ROTW: The Biophonic Boombox Recordings!

We're pretty stoked about this archival release on Anthology by eighties-era, Philly-area synth unit The Nightcrawlers!

I (Allan) just got the copy I ordered from FE in the mail today, and Andee has ordered himself one too, so we figured that makes it an excellent choice for our Record Of The Week.

Basically, as someone recently wrote, The Nightcrawlers "were like an '80s cassette-culture version of Tangerine Dream before them," and they were pretty good at it too, producing a proliferation of self-released recordings circa 1980-1991. 40+ tapes (and three LPs) of improvised ambient electronics with a definite seventies kosmische "Berlin School" vibe, as filtered through the lo-fi, DIY aesthetic of a bedroom or basement boombox recording.

This double LP or even more expansive (yet less expensive) double cd collection is a great summation of the trio's spacey sounds, and includes a 28 page booklet with liner notes, ephemera, etc. If you wanna hear more, well, there was an earlier double cd compendium of (almost) entirely different Nightcrawlers material called Traveling Backwards that the German label Manikin put out back in 1997, that's how I first encountered 'em (Amoeba bargain bin find!), but good luck finding one for a reasonable price currently, although it is available digitally via that label's Bandcamp page.

RIYL: Tangerine Dream, Tangerine Dream, Tangerine Dream.



Today's Record Of The Week is on a label that I don't think we ever stocked at aQuarius but totally would have/should have: Kraków, Poland's Instant Classic. They have a lot of cool releases, particularly when it comes to post-rocky, neo-krauty style stuff. Maybe someday we'll write about Lotto, Pin Park, Alameda 5, So Slow, et. al., but right now we want to highlight this recent release from October 2017, the second album by a band called BNNT.

'Tis totally rad, experimental noise/jazz/abstract rock heaviness (& atmosphere) from a mostly instrumental Polish duo, with guests including Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. Sampling, sax, distortion, drone, yeah! Ambient metallic improv with tribal-industrial beats, whoo-hoo!

Comparisons may or may not be of much use, but we'd guess one semi-random 'recommended if you like' citation would include Supersilent. Very scary Supersilent. Like maybe if Supersilent were on Utech. Really, though, just click below, turn it up, check it out...

FYI, the Bandcamp link above is where you'll find the cd and vinyl for sale, for digital-only go to this one instead.


ROTW: Calamita!

Today's Record Of The Week pick is the debut recording from mesmeric 'free rock' power trio Calamita, put out on cd by the Beirut-based indie label (and radio show) Ruptured. It features two Lebanese musicians on guitar and bass, joined by an Italian drummer who also plays in a cool Spaghetti-psych/free improv fusion band called Squadra Omega that we should investigate further.

The drummer chugs along steadily, building upon serious plod with skittery, splattery energy, while the other two cut loose with some spacey and spidery psychedelic skronk on these four long instrumental jams, recorded live in one take.

Technically this came out in late December 2017, available then if you were at the record-release show they played in Beirut, but for the rest of us what remains of the 300 copies pressed will be available from the likes of Cargo UK and Forced Exposure in the very near future.

RIYL: Rhyton, 3 Leafs, Musica Transonic, Ash Ra Tempel, early White Hills...


ROTW: Black Death!

Finally reissued! We've been waiting for this for years, heck from the moment we first heard about it, let alone heard it. But the thing is, as significant and Black History Month appropriate (?) as cult Cleveland band Black Death's 1984 self-titled album is, as perhaps thee first album released by an all-African-American heavy metal group (see footnote below), it turns out this is a fantastic slice of raw n' heavy early '80s metal absolutely regardless of the skin color of the persons involved, full of over the top performances (vocally, especially) and killer riffage with a wild, raucous energy. Think Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, Cirith Ungol, and some Venom. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Rumors of a reissue had circulated for years, their original label Auburn was supposed to do it, but at last Hell's Headbangers stepped up and took care of business, doing it on fancy vinyl, cd (for the first time) and cassette (likewise).

Footnote: Black Death's origins date to when they were in high school, circa '77, which makes them contemporaneous with San Francisco's Stone Vengeance, who started in '78, another pioneering "black metal" band, but those guys took 'til like 1990 before releasing even a demo.