June 1, 2013

Playlist Week of 2013-06-01

Kylesa - Ultraviolet LP

* Mozart: Night Music (English Concert/Manze) (Harmonia Mundi SACD)
* Beethoven: Complete Music For Piano and Violoncello (Schiff/Perényi) (ECM 2CD)
* Elvin Jones/Jimmy Garrison Sextet: Illumination! (Impulse! CD)
* Roy Haynes Quartet: Out Of The Afternoon (Impulse! CD)
* Mary Halvorson & Hubert Bergmann: MixTour (Mudoks CD)
* The Philly Sound: Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff & The Story of Brotherly Love (Epic/Legacy 3CD)
* The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (mono) (Apple/EMI CD)
* The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (mono) (Apple/EMI CD)
* Grateful Dead: Wembley Empire Pool, London, England 5/7/72 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Wembley Empire Pool, London, England 5/8/72 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Grateful Dead: Dave’s Picks Vol.1: Richmond, VA 5/25/77 (selections) (GDP/Rhino 3HDCD)
* Jerry Garcia Band: Garcia Live Vol.1: Capitol Theatre March 1st, 1980 (Round 3HDCD)
* Love: Forever Changes (Elektra/Rhino LP+7”)
* Love: Black Beauty (High Moon LP)
* Black Sabbath: Black Sabbath (Warner Bros./Rhino LP)
* Camel: Camel (MCA/EMI CD)†
* Camel: Mirage (Deram/EMI CD)
* Phil Collins: No Jacket Required (Atlantic/Audio Fidelity CD)
* Phil Collins: …But Seriously (Atlantic/Audio Fidelity CD)
* Michael O’Meara: Chronology (Micheal O’Meara 2CD)
* Wilco: The Whole Love (dBpm 2LP)
* Kyuss: Welcome To Sky Valley (Elektra CD)†/‡
* Steven Wilson: The Raven That Refused To Sing (KScope BD)
* High On Fire: Death Is This Communion (Relapse CD/DVD)
* High On Fire: Snakes For The Divine (E1 CD)
* High On Fire: De Vermis Mysteriis (E1 CD)
* Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind (Epitaph MP3)†
* Clutch: Earth Rocker (Weathermaker  LP)
* YOB: The Illusion Of Motion (Metal Blade CD)†
* YOB: Atma (Profound Lore/20-Buck Spin 2LP)
* Mastodon: Remission (Relapse 2LP)
* Mastodon: Leviathan (Relapse LP)
* Mastodon: Blood Mountain (Reprise 2-45RPM LP)†
* Mastodon: Crack The Skye (Reprise 2-45RPM LP)†
* Mastodon: The Hunter (Reprise 2-45RPM LP)†
* Baroness: Yellow & Green (Relapse 2LP)
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Sect(s) (Debemur Morti Productions CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Desanctification (Debemur Morti Productions CD)†
* Blut Aus Nord: 777 – Cosmosophy (Debemur Morti Productions CD)†
* Kylesa: To Walk A Middle Course (Alternative Tentacles LP)
* Kylesa: Time Will Fuse Its Worth (Alternative Tentacles LP)
* Kylesa: From The Vaults Vol.1 (Season of Mist/Relapse 2-45RPM LP)
* Kylesa: Ultraviolet (Season of Mist/Relapse LP)
* Pelican: Pelican (Hydra Head CDEP)
* Pelican: Australasia (Hydra Head 2-45RPM LP)
* Pelican: The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon The Thaw (Hydra Head CD)
* Pelican: City Of Echoes (Hydra Head CD)
* Pelican: “March Into The Sea” (Hydra Head EP)
* Pelican: What We All Come to Need (Southern Lord 2LP)
* Pelican: Ataraxia/Taraxis (Southern Lord EP)
* The Sword: Age Of Winters (Kemado CD)†
* The Sword: Gods Of The Earth (Kemado CD)†
* The Sword: Warp Riders (Kemado LP)
* Kadavar: Abra Kadavar (Metal Blade LP)



Over the course of my ongoing metal fixation, I have tried to get into Kylesa—but their music just never clicked for me. I liked it well enough but nothing struck me as particularly memorable. I picked up the recent vinyl reissues of To Walk a Middle Course (2005) and Time Will Fuse Its Worth (2006), listened to ‘em a couple of times and filed them away. But after streaming a couple of tracks from their new album, Ultraviolet, I could tell that they had evolved in interesting ways in the intervening years. I grabbed a copy at my favorite local record store and it’s been playing pretty much non-stop ever since.             

Still firmly rooted in the punk-infused sludge of their earlier albums, Kylesa has considerably broadened their sound, expanding Laura Pleasants’s role as a vocalist and allowing her to sing actual melodies rather than just shriek and scream. Similarly, the instrumental palette is greatly expanded to include elements of ambient techno, 80s synthpop, ‘90s shoegaze and the choogling, blues-drenched sounds of classic rock—sometimes all in the same song. Rather than sounding schizophrenic or forced, this still sounds like Kylesa. It is the sound of a band that has finally found its true voice.

Side one opens with “Exhale” and it’s just as you would expect with its intensely pogoing beats and Philip Cope’s shouted vocals – but then Pleasants enters with a simple, plaintive four-note melody that leavens the gloom and lifts the music. A trippy instrumental section leads to yet another churning groove before ending all too soon. Variations on this process are repeated throughout the album and my only complaint is the shortness of the some of the tracks. I wish some of these ideas could have been expanded, leaving me feeling like the songs are somehow “unfinished.”

But maybe that’s just me, selfishly wanting them to go all-out prog or something. One thing is for sure: this “over before you know it” quality makes me want to listen to the record again and again, each time hearing something new, the whole of the album gradually coming into view. While displaying neither jaw-dropping chops nor hyper-complicated songwriting, Kylesa creates singular moods and atmospheres, with wildly creative use of guitar effects and the layered thunder of two drummers. That there is more “clean” singing than ever will no doubt piss-off some of their fan base but I think it makes their music more listenable—and memorable—than ever. The textures may be more variegated but Ultraviolet is no less heavy than any other Kylesa record.

One thing I love about the metal scene is that the bands that last tend to evolve. Kylesa may have started out as just another loose amalgamation of stoner metal-heads—yet, after years of perseverance, they have created their masterpiece. Ultraviolet is not just Kylesa's best record, it is easily one of the best albums of 2013 (so far). Long live rock!



Like records? While not metal, Rodger Coleman & Sam Byrd: "Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano and Drums)" kicks serious ass. You can stream it at nuvoidjazz.com, download it at iTunes and elsewhere. Or, click below to order the deluxe CD for a mere $10.99. Thank you for your interest and support!

Rodger Coleman: Indeterminate (Improvisations for Piano and Drums)


Roddus said...

Bloody hell, that is a massive list for the week. When do you sleep?
With all that headbanging your probably too wired to sleep;-)

This last couple of Days I have had some time at home and with Mrs.Roddus working last night as well I got to enjoy some music on the big speakers for a change.

Had a wonderful and wild ride with a random playing combination of John Zorn's Naked City Complete Studio recording and Sun Ra Art Yard in a Box. What an incredible mix. I then spiced it up even more with a 5 disc various set "1-2-3-4: Punk & New Wave 1976 - 1979" Bliss.

I see you had Black Sabbath in you list. I just read a review in the latest Uncut Magazine of their new album with Ozzy, the first with him in 35 years or something. I haven't heard it yet but I doubt it will even come close to those first 6 Sabbath albums, Nothing, and I say NOTHING can touch Sabbath, Not "Zeppelin", not "Purple", not even "Nirvana" and nothing ever will. Just got The first Album playing as I clean up after dinner and as I type and I am in Rock N' Roll Heaven. Also For me, "War Pigs" is the greatest song ever recorded, tears of joy come to my eyes just thinking about it.

So my complete list for the week is:
Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
The Sonny Clark Memorial Quartet - Voodoo
Neil Young - Chrome Dreams II
Various Artists - Uncut Magazine CD June 2013
Various Artists - 1-2-3-4: Punk & New Wave 1976 - 1979
Naked City - Absinthe & Leng Tch'e
Naked City - Grand Guignol
Naked City - Naked City
Naked City - Torture Garden
Naked City - Radio
Naked City - Heretic
Sun Ra - The Antique Blacks
Sun Ra - Beyond the Purple Star Zone and Oblique Parallax
Sun Ra - Disco 3000 ('09) at the teatro Ciak, Milan, Italy,'78/1/23
Sun Ra - Horizon
Sun Ra - Nidhamu & Dark Myth Equation Visitation
Sun Ra - On Jupiter
Sun Ra - Sleeping Beauty
Sun Ra - Heliocentric Worlds Vol. 3
Sun Ra - Cosmic Tones For Mental Therapy/Art Forms Of Dimensions Tomorrow
John Zorn's Book Of Angles Volume Nine -Xaphan - Secret Chiefs 3
John Zorn's Book Of Angels Volume 10 - Lucifer - Bar Kokhbar Sextet
John Zorn - Gnostic Preludes
John Zorn - Nosferatu
John Zorn's Book Of Angels Volume Eight(Masada Book Two) - Volac - Erik Friedlander
Massive Attack - Blue lines
Robert Johnson - The Complete Recordings
Jimi Hendrix - Axis: Bold as Love.

I see Kyuss in your list and I read that Queens Of The Stone Age got a new album out this month also. looking forward to checking that out also.

The Sword: Age Of Winters is one that I have also enjoyed.

Sam said...

Here are my lists from last week:

Playlist 2013-06-03:

*Luciano Berio: A Portrait, Part I (CDR) disc 3
*Morton Feldman: Morton Feldman Festival 2008-02-10 Amsterdam (CDR) disc 2
*Basil Kirchin: Quantum
*Anthony Braxton: Orchestra (Pisa) 1980-06-29 (CDR)
*Anthony Braxton: Piano Music (1968-2000)/Performed by Genevieve Foccroulle (discs 1-3)
*Andrew Hill: The Complete Blue Note Andrew Hill Sessions (1963-66) disc 2
*Charles Mingus: Mingus (Candid)
*Charles Mingus: Blues & Roots
*Charles Mingus & the Jazz Workshop All Stars: The Complete Birdland Broadcasts 1961-62 (CDR) discs 1-3
*New Loft: 2013-05-20 “Pasadena Jump Start” (wav)
*Nommonsemble: Life Cycle
*Beach Boys: 50 Big Ones (selections)
*Daft Punk: Random Access Memories
*Brian Eno with Jon Hopkins & Leo Abrahams: Small Craft on a Milk Sea
*Grateful Dead: 1973-06-10 RFK Stadium, DC (CDR) "Dark Star"
*Madd Wikkid’s Brassft Punk: Brassft Punk
*Candi Staton: Candi Staton
*UYA: Selections 16: Hail to the Knee
*UYA: Selections 17: Bone Crunch
*UYA: Selections 18: Afro-Want
*Various artists: How To Blow Your MInd!!!: A Brief, Subjective History of Psychedelia (CDR compilation)
*War: Grooves & Messages: The Greatest Hits of War (disc 1)
*Frank Zappa: 1973-05-09 Capitol Theatre, Passaic NJ (CDR)

Reading List 2013-06-03:

*Ditko, Steve, & Joe Gill. Steve Ditko’s Monsters, Vol. 1: Gorgo (started)
*Straub, Peter. Mystery (reread/started)
*Shakespeare, William. Taming of the Shrew (reread/started/finished)
*Straub, Peter. Koko (reread/started/finished)
*Pynchon, Thomas. Inherent Vice (reread/finished)
*Priestley, Brian. Mingus: A Critical Biography (reread/in progress)
*Weldon, Michael J. Psychotronic Video Guide (in progress)