diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

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Blue Sausage Infant – Flight Of The Solstice Queens (CD, Zero Moon)

Posted: May 25th, 2010, by Justin Snow

Apparently this Blue Sausage Infant dude, Chester Hawkins, has been around the noise scene for a while, already having played with major hitters like Christopher Willits and Strotter Inst. My apologies to you all for not passing along this awesomeness sooner.

I can’t review this guy’s record and not talk about his name, so I might as well get that out of the way. Honestly, Blue Sausage Infant is probably one of the grossest band names I’ve ever heard. When he contacted me to review his new record, I almost didn’t even listen to it because I thought there’s no possible way I could like the music made by someone called Blue Sausage Infant. Luckily, I was open minded enough (and he seemed cool, writing a friendly personalized message) that I thought, sure, why the fuck not. Just give it a listen. Guys, it would have been a goddamn tragedy if I skipped over Blue Sausage Infant because Flight Of The Solstice Queens is really, REALLY fucking good.

The music isn’t as intensely fucked up or disgusting as the name implies. It’s not some twisted Gnaw Their Tongues horrorcore, it’s not Locust style hyper grindcore, it’s (surprisingly enough) some strange alchemic psychnoise krautdrone.

The opener “Gezundheit!” is about as bizarre as it gets, with a children’s TV show sounding happy time theme song playing over people fake sneezing and complaining they need more nasal decongestant. The rest of the album is a little more straightforward, by which I just mean you don’t feel like you’re tripping balls while watching Lidsville.

The songs are seriously all over the place. It’s all ambient static weirdness on “Locust Of Control.” “Ashtray Man” is just insane, a fast paced psych freakout where the guitars aren’t chugging along with killer riffs or doing the solo noodling thing, they’re just squawking and squealing like a broken electronic parrot. Fuck, maybe it is some electronics shit and not guitars. You can’t even tell.

“Space” opens with a wall of abrasive panning feedback that turns your speakers white just before they melt into a puddle of Alex Mack. It morphs into an unsettling blood boiling drone while a guy comes in spelling out some secret code, the sort of thing you’d hear on a numbers station except not numbers. Creepy as hell, let me tell you. “Radiant Arc,” one of my favorites, gets in a rad as fuck groove, somehow both chill & rocking, and stays there the entire time with droning organ melodies and intermittent squelches of electronics. I could just listen to that jam for the entire album, eyes closed, head keeping in time with the propulsive beat, and letting the CEV take over.

Flight Of The Solstice Queens was probably the last thing I expected to hear from a guy named Blue Sausage Infant but damn if it’s not better than anything I imagined. It’s super cohesive (especially for being so fucking genre scattered) and works perfectly for pretty much every situation you’ll find yourself in.

Blue Sausage Infant
Zero Moon

Harsh Noise For Your Wall

Posted: February 25th, 2010, by Justin Snow

Harsh Noise 4Harsh Noise 3

Danny Milanese, who makes fucked up tunes under the Ultra Bonbon moniker, also apparently makes visual art. Paintings to be precise. And he’s got a new series that he’s working on called Harsh Noise For Your Wall, which, if you don’t know, is a terrible/hilarious pun referencing the idea/philosophy/genre Harsh Noise Wall.

He’s only got a couple HNFYW paintings for sale at the moment (pictured above) but more should be following soon. Judging by these little 200×300 images, they certainly seem to evoke that HNW aesthetic, and I’m sure they do an even better job when seeing them in person. They’re 8×10 acrylic & oil on board originals for 20 bucks a pop (shipped sans frame). That’s one sweet fuckin deal to own original pieces of art influenced by HNW for so cheap. No use resisting, cave in to your desires.

Dan Friel – Obsoleter (LP, Spooky Tree)

Posted: February 11th, 2010, by Justin Snow

I have a total hard on for anything Parts & Labor related. Any album, split, or solo project they do, I will be all over it and Dan Friel is no exception. He handles the electronics and vocals for P&L but when he goes solo, he forgoes all vocals and just goes crazy with his damaged electro blasters.

Obsoleter was originally released on cassette back in 2006 through Night People but sold out (with good reason). Friel and Spooky Tree were kind enough to put it out on vinyl for all of us who missed out on the awesomeness a few years ago.

This is similar in sound to his last release of new material, Ghost Town, which shouldn’t come as a surprise because Friel is doing shit that is unlike anything else out there right now. It’s harsh and melodic, massive and hollow, gritty and lush, and creates hypnotically blissful ear candy that spans the grand desert jungle. This is electronic music for those weary of the clubs or the ambient drone and are looking for something to blast when you’re rolling down a grassy hill getting covered in dirt.

Funny thing about me and Obsoleter… I was playing this at your traditional 33rpm forever until one day I noticed the innocuous footnote on the bottom of the back sleeve reading “45RPM.” HA! So I got pretty used to this running much slower than it should. But even though I’m totally used to the proper speed now, I still think I prefer a couple of the songs slowed down. I feel like a complete ass. Has that ever happened to you?

Dan Friel
Spooky Tree

Machinefabriek – De Jonge Jaren (2001-2004) (digital, 2010)

Posted: February 4th, 2010, by Justin Snow

Machinefabriek gave the world a present (today?). You can now download and listen to the earliest recordings of Machinefabriek before “Machinefabriek.” Songs compiled from 20 CD-Rs he self released way before his debut full length Marijn came out on Lampse. Songs that sound almost nothing like the Machinefabriek we know and love today.

De Jonge Jaren sounds like Machinefabriek making a Notwist/Aphex Twin record. Yeah, tons of electronic beats, pretty poppy, kinda catchy, and really fuckin good. Hearing the roots and foundation of the guy who went on to record Marijn is endlessly fascinating to me and I bet I’m not the only one, which is probably why he released this.

There’s a text file included in the download that tells the story of how Machinefabriek came to be and where these songs came from. It’s a pretty great read, especially the part about his metal phase where he “became a master in drawing unreadable band logos.” Imagining this guy being really into Cannibal Corpse is fucking hilarious for some reason.

Download De Jonge Jaren (2001-2004)

OrganOrganOrganOrgan – OrganOrganOrganOrgan (CD, Seedy R!)

Posted: January 26th, 2010, by Justin Snow

Here’s the one time live collaborative supergroup you never knew happened. Sam Hamilton, Stefan Neville, Campbell Kneale and Antony Milton got together at some gallery in New Zealand and each brought their chord organs. See how the name works out there?

Fact: I loooove me some drone. Fact: Organ drone is, like, the best kind of drone. Fact: All four of the dudes involved with this are infallible drone lords. So this Organx4 thing was destined to blow my mind. It never had a choice.

The recording is a single track clocking in at nearly a half hour. I get the feeling this was the entire live set, but there’s no real way of knowing unless you were there (holy FUCK I wish I was there). But for 30 minutes, your ears go on a magical journey of blissful beds of warm fuzz creating the foundation for the mostly melodious wheezing tones and weaving chords.

Honestly, though, all you need to know is “organ drone.” Obviously, this is organ drone of the highest quality considering the masters behind it. It’s the best of the best. These are the winners of the organ drone contest.

Seedy R!

Kevin Drumm – Light’s Out (digital, self released)

Posted: January 19th, 2010, by Justin Snow

On New Years Eve day, crazy noise motherfucker Kevin Drumm released Light’s Out as a free digital download on his blog. It’s a single 28 minute mp3 with 4 tracks recommended at “maximum volume.” Fucking obviously.

2 pulse generators, 1 band pass filter, tape delay, computer assistance, and one epic noise fuck. “Spraying Weeds” sounds like a fire hose of acidic rat poison blowing through your ears. “Hypnogogic Jerk” is slightly less caustic and instead goes the high end static skree route, at times so shrill I think I’m going insane and my ears are about to bleed. I think “Needleprick” is bound to give everyone vertigo and by the end of “Idle Worship” you’ll have fallen out of your chair convulsing on the ground in a pool of your own vomit. Ear piercing doesn’t even begin to describe this music. You need the nerves of a god to be able withstand this kind of minimal brain boring squeal.

Could I love this man any more? Doubtful. This is sheer brutality on your physical and metaphysical self. And just think you didn’t even have to pay for it!

Kevin Drumm
Light’s Out

Tiger Throat – Tiger Throat (CD, Rusty Axe)

Posted: January 7th, 2010, by Justin Snow

I hate to copy from others, but Rusty Axe was (and, lets face it, should be) spot on when describing Tiger Throat as a metal HEALTH. Actually, they specifically mention Bone Awl and Mono as well. And that’s there, definitely. But I’m gonna simplify and says it’s HEALTH gone metal.

Tiger Throat’s self titled demo is strangely put together. Only three of the 10 songs are proper song length. The rest are 6 second interludes of electronic warble and feedback fading in and out. But those three songs are fucking killer. Huge monstrosities of epic noise rock that’s heavy as shit. Sure, dance a bit, but I’m pretty sure by the end you’ll be air drumming and head thrashing like the unabashed dork in the back of the room at an Oxes show.

Is it just me, or is it kind of weird that a “demo” got released by a label? Does that happen a lot? Either way, I totally understand Rusty Axe for knowing the goods when they hear it. Tiger Throat totally deserve to have their shit put out. Here’s hoping a full length is on it’s way. Although I’m not sure I can handle that much awesome.

Tiger Throat
Rusty Axe

Deastro – Dead Kids EP (digital, self released)

Posted: September 24th, 2009, by Justin Snow

Deastro is a band (or rather “band”) who I’ve totally lost my shit over this summer. I discovered him just a few months ago and have been gobbling up as much of his electronic tunes as I possibly can. The best thing is, he’s already released two free digital EPs, including his latest one Dead Kids EP. Strange name, considering there’s nothing on here that’s reminiscent of death…

If you’re still trying to hold onto the last moments of summer, Deastro’s got your fix. Bright and shiny songs that are like a sun happy mix of M83, U2, and The Postal Service. The stuff is just full of so much energy and optimism without being drippy or disgustingly over the top, it’s impossible not to love.

Unlike his previous records that have some super hooks and catchy choruses, Dead Kids EP is entirely instrumental. And they’re so lush and synthy and dancey and poppy and occasionally kinda cheesy. In a good way.

It’s a good thing Deastro has been releasing free stuff, that way he can get his name out there and you’ll all realize how crazy you’ve been for not giving this man the money he so rightly deserves. So download Dead Kids and you’ll immediately be driven to go buy Moondagger and Keeper’s because, like me, your hunger will become insatiable.

Deastro’s Blog (to download Dead Kids EP)

Treetops – Eternal Sky (CS, Monorail Trespassing)

Posted: August 20th, 2009, by Justin Snow

There’s a few different Treetops bands out there but this particular tape is from Mike Pollard, the dude who runs Arbor. Knowing that, it seems a bit strange that this tape came out on Monorail Trespassing. I’m sure he was just spreading the love.

Eternal Sky is suuuuuuper minimal. Though not quite as minimal as, say, Phill Niblock or Yoshi Wada. But this is still some bare bones drone. The opening track, “Hope Always,” sounds like the wind is breathing and “Voice Of Man” could be the sound of clouds meditating. Everything has a strong organic quality to it, even though I’m sure the only instruments used are synthesizers. But I’m pretty sure synths are one of the only ways you can make such stretched out, blob-like drone.

This is some special stuff. It’s not exactly blissful, but it’s certainly elevating. Simultaneously dense and airy. You close your eyes and lose yourself in it for long enough and you’ll wake up finding yourself levitating in your seat. Absolutely gorgeous. Highly recommended.

Monorail Trespassing

Prehistoric Blackout – Stone Reaper (CS, Pizza Night)

Posted: August 4th, 2009, by Justin Snow

Prehistoric Blackout might not be a name recognized right off the bat. But Taylor Richardson, the force behind PB, also works with Daniel Lopatin in Infinity Window. And Daniel would be the dude who’s making everyone blow their load as Oneohtrix Point Never. So there’s a roundabout way of why Prehistoric Blackout should matter and appeal to you, as if just my saying so wasn’t enough.

Stone Reaper is a murky mess that doesn’t leave you feeling filthy when you’re done. Great, right? You get all the joys of rolling around in grime and then you just get to stand up when it’s over and say, “That was a fucking blast” and not have to worry about taking a shower or anything. Your palette is somehow already cleansed. Don’t ask me how it works. I’m just passing it along.

I haven’t the slightest idea what Taylor’s using to make these sounds. Guitars and synths most likely. Regardless, though, it rarely sounds like any straight up instruments. Kind of like a field recording/purely electronic hybrid. Sometimes you got the churning sea ready to explode when the storm comes, other times it’s fairy bubbles popping in a stuttering breeze. But of all the different sounds are coming out of the speakers, it’s always drone. Hypnotic drone, dynamic drone, dull drone, bright drone, it’s all here. Except for the last half of the B side, with lots of clomping around, making something that could be considered a beat, and a caterwauling guitar, almost like Richardson’s attempting to make a pop song. A totally fucked up pop song that would never ever get radio play, but we know what’s what. And this is definitely a pop song at heart.

Prehistoric Blackout
Pizza Night