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Just say GNOD: Fighting the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine
01:42 pm


Experimental music

Remember back to the heady days of December 2016 when the phrase “President Trump” still felt like a waking daydream as opposed to a crushing, numbing nightmarish reality?  When everyone’s favorite avant-garde whipping girl Amanda Palmer went on record as stating that “the Trump presidency will make punk rock great again”? You do?! Great! So where is all this awesome punk rock music, huh? Contrary to Ms. Palmer’s prediction, the re-flowering of great punk has been pretty thin on the ground so far. In all honesty, it seems like the only contemporary music genre willing to go on the record with outright “Fuck Trump” statements is hip-hop (which IS heartening if not particularly surprising.)

Well, fear ye not, as here come one of the UK’s premier noise-experimental-electronic-rock-whatever collective-cum-bands, Salford’s Gnod, who have just released their latest album, and boy, is that album’s title quite a statement! It’s called “Just Say No To The Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine”. Let’s be honest, we’ll be hard pushed to find a better album title than that all year (never mind a political statement.) It’s not just the album’s title that lays it on the line: the music too is a blistering squall of white-hot intense noise that veers from claustrophobic soundscapes to straight-up punk aggression. It feels perfectly suited for those aggrieved at the state of the world just now.

Check out the album’s lead track “Bodies For Money” for a taste:

While the name Gnod might be new to many, the band have been plowing their own unique furrow in Manchester/Salford for a decade now, first coming together as an experimental jam collective, as founder member, guitarist and producer Chris Haslam explains:

“The first Gnod rehearsals were freeform jams that were recorded and listened back to, trying to come up with a set for our first gig at The Royal Oak in Chorlton on 21st March 2007. We decided in the end to just jam the gig out & invite anyone who wanted to join us onstage to jam along. The first few gigs carried on in this format, usually playing with around 10-16 people on stage. We recorded most of the shows and made CDRs of the recordings to sell at the next shows. Abstehen Der Ohren, Live: Birth, Lord Fears Dream, Bulletproof Awareness, Pixiedust & Gnod LP01 were all made during that first 6 or 7 months of Gnod.

At the time we were influenced by 70s krautrock bands like Can, Faust, Neu, Amon Duul, etc and also the ‘New Weird America’ bands, especially Sunburned Hand of the Man who we took a lot of ideas from of how to be a functional jam band. We liked the way Sunburned worked, making music without fixed lineups, a kind of communal project between a group of friends & interested contributors, handmaking CDRs and selling them at gigs, jamming with repetition as a means to transcend into the other. We were also watching & reading a lot of esoteric stuff at the time like the Zeitgeist films, Money Masters, David Icke, etc. Our interests overlapped in lots of areas, they still do.

Gnod also gives you a chance to branch out and explore other areas in the sound. There aren’t many other bands where you could just wake up one day & decide you’re going to play a new instrument at rehearsal. As long at it fits in with the vibe it’s all good. We also like going back to live drums & guitars too, especially for tours.”

The band are about to embark on a mammoth two-month tour (their biggest yet) which unfortunately for our readers in America doesn’t get to the States, but which does take in many major European cities (check out this post the on the band’s website In Gnod We Trust for dates and locations.) A gorgeous, super-limited vinyl edition of Just Say No… is available to buy from Rocket Records (see image below) and you can hear and buy lots more of the band’s music (including the digital release of Just Say No… ) at the Gnod Bandcamp page.

And as for that album title? What was the inspiration? Chris Haslam sums it up:

“Frustration at the selfish stupidity of humanity.”


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Holland’s Roadburn: a very different kind of festival

So Coachella is happening. Everyone with even a passing interest in live music knows this (and most likely from the holographic Tupac performance that has become quite the meme already.) And yeah, Coachella looks cool and all, but what if that’s not your kind of thing? What if you want music that’s a bit darker, a lot heavier, basically more extreme? Well, while you are definitely in the minority there, don’t worry because you are not alone.

Happening over the same weekend as the first part of Coachella, but thousands of miles away (both literally and metaphorically) Holland’s annual Roadburn Festival is a celebration of all things doom, drone, experimental, noisy and heavy. This years festival saw performances from Michael Gira, OM, Voivod, Doom, Sleep, Kong, Yob, GNOD, Bongripper, The Obsessed, Jucifer, Black Cobra, Urfaust, Electric Orange and the very fun-sounding Mount Fuji Doomjazz Corporation.

Roadburn takes place over four days in the Dutch town of Tilburg, and has been steadily attracting a growing fan base over the last few years, enough to start its own record label (affiliated with Burning World Records.) Next year’s headliners have already been confirmed, and it will be industiral legends Godflesh performing their classic album Pure in its entirety.

Here’s a statement taken from the Roadburn website (which also features details on travel and booking tickets):

Holland’s very own Roadburn Festival has become Europe’s leading underground festival for psychedelic, avant-garde, doom or any other variation of leftfield sonic pleasures that push the boundaries of music.

Originally a spin-off of the Roadburn website, the Roadburn Festival has emerged as an event in its own right. It brings together bands, fans & media from around the world. Despite it’s international acclaim, Roadburn Festival retains an underground vibe and ethics, but with seriously big-league production values.

In addition to the music, Roadburn has earned a reputation as having a unique camaraderie between the festivalgoers, bands, organizers and staff, and ranks as one of the best and most laid-back festivals to be experienced. It is one of the festival’s primary goals to make the Roadburn experience second to none, not only for the fans but for the artists as well.

Check out the Roadburn website too for video and audio streams of past performances, and details on travel and tickets.

And while, ok, an extreme music festival is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste (I think I’d have trouble listening to non-stop doom and drone for four days solid), it warms the cockles of the heart to know that something like this exists. Or maybe chills the cockles would be a better phrase?

Super 208 Productions have uploaded a series of video reports on the festival, one for each of its four days. Here’s part one, featuring music from Aggaloch, Michael Gira, OM,  Red Fang, and Voivod:

After the jump, Roadburn video reports parts 2-4 featuring live music from Sleep, Celestial Season, Bongripper, Purson, Kong, Valiant Thorr, Barn Owl, GNOD, Wino & Conny Ochs, Nachtmystium, Urfaust, Black Cobra, more Voivod and many more…

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
The experimental noise music of Rod McKuen
01:00 pm


Experimental music
Rod Mckuen

Although it sounds like a string of non-sequiters, America’s favorite poet, under the hilarious pseudonym Heins Hoffman-Richter, was behind this 1974 quasi-experimental music record. And y’know what ? It’s not half bad as far as quasi-experimental music goes !
via Weirdo records:

Subtitled: Symphony for Tape Delay, IBM Instruction Manual, & Ohm Septet. Rod McKuen‘s label Stanyan put out this exploito/fake avant-classical record, and since Stanyan basically was McKuen, you can bet your bottom dollar that Rod himself did the cut & pasting here. Big chunks of samples from Raymond Scott’s ‘Soothing Sounds For Baby’, feedback, tape echo, sound effects from the local beach, etc. Liner notes & track titles just scream of Rod’s writing.

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment