Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mankind Is Obsolete: Fresh Out Of The Studio

I just received Trapped Inside premasters from Scott Landes, a past musical collaborator and bandmate. He’s been in the studio this summer with Mankind Is Obsolete in Weed, California (I kid you not), working under the guiding hand of Sylvia Massy. (You may recognize her the producer of TOOL’s seminal albums, Opiate and Undertow, though that’s far from her only work). I’m more than happy to be able to share some of this music with you, hot off the presses, before they hit the road for a massive twelve month tour. I also managed to put some questions to the band about where they’ve been, and where they’re going.

(Part 1, on Alterati.com - intro & track "Trapped Inside.")

(Part 2, on Alterati.com - interview transcript & track "Passing Through.")

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ripple debut

Ari, Nate, and Ray Carney interview Trey Spruance of Secret Chiefs 3, Mr Bungle, and Mimicry Records. This is part one of a two part interview. (For part two, check back tomorrow.)

Listen now.

(If you're wondering, I'm producer & co-editor of the show.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

subQtaneous & Veil of Thorns review on Nemesis To Go

And I think they pretty much nailed it dead center.

"What strangeness have we here? This: a trippy ride through post-industrial atmospheres, guided by multi-instrumentalist and producer James Curcio. Although SubQtaneous seems to be a collaborative effort, with many names in the credits, it's James Curcio's name that crops up most often. This music runs riot from dubbed-up rumbling to heavily-fuzzed guitar workouts, from incongruous jazz odysseys to bouts of bad-trip psychedelia. At times, it resembles rock music, particularly on 'Daily Grind', which sounds like the kind of mashed-up splattery racket you'd get if you shoved Ministry down a waste disposal unit. At other times, rhythms you could (almost) dance to are hauled into the sonic melee, and there are effect-laden interludes and sample-soaked soundscapes, although even when things get a little mellow the listener can never quite escape the suspicion that monsters lurk just beyond the music. 'All You Know' is a jazzy rap, springing forward on the vibrations of a double bass, and in a way it's the most radical thing here. Stick out a white label 12" with this track on it, and I bet it would be all over hip hop radio in a week. 'Panning For Gold In Rivers Of Blood' sounds like someone slipped the orchestra that accompanies silent movies some amphetamines, while 'Out Of Control' belies its title with a tumbling, chopped-up neo-rock rampage. I'm not at all sure who SubQtaneous think is going to buy their wayward art, for it's obviously not aimed at any particular market, and the band - if indeed there is a band - takes a particular delight in eating generic boundaries for breakfast. But you know what? I'm glad this stuff is out there."

Veil of Thorns
"Another emanation from the Mythos Media monster, in this case a solo project from P.Emerson Williams. And - somewhat surprisingly - we're in the rock zone, sort of. Veil Of Thorns are not exactly a band, but the music does inhabit a rocky landscape, even if it sometimes doesn't seem entirely comfortable there. P. Emerson Williams is responsible for vocals and most instruments, with James Curcio on drums (I'm delighted to note, by the way, that the album was engineered by someone called Fluffy) and together they brew up a dust storm of tight-but-loose guitar riffs and driving, nervy, drums. Let's sample some: 'The Enigmatic Barely Atone' has a lost-in-the-desert feel, as if the sands of the Sahara are shifting under the music as it hurtles towards the sunset. 'Delusions Of Excitement' is a fine title for a spooky, sepulchral song - the desert night has fallen, the world is hushed. Even the bass seems muted here, rumbling somewhere in the background as if Steve Severin was hiding behind a pyramid. 'Corrode And Engulf' (Veil Of Thorns are great on titles) is a grind of treated cello, half way between a lament and a threat. This music is, naturally, high on atmosphere, and if, at times, it teeters on the brink of proggy indulgence it has enough latent attitude to pull back from the brink. It's like nothing else out there, that's for sure."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Fallen Nation: Babylon Burning

...is temporarily being held out of stock on Amazon until we get the 2nd edition of the book up in a matter of weeks.

I will post a notice when it is back up.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Postmodern Apocalypse

2012 is a meme on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days.

An an example, Daniel Pinchbeck just launched the site “Postmodern Times,” which is:

"…a series of short animated films presenting new ideas about global consciousness and techniques for social and ecological transformation. Our first episode, “Toward 2012″, introduces the project, explaining concepts from the best-selling book, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl (Tarcher/Penguin, 2006) by Daniel Pinchbeck, in the author’s own voice. Future segments will focus on shamanism, sustainability, alternative energy systems, the Mayan Calendar, quantum physics and synchronicity, human sexuality, and a host of other subjects."

This explosion, of course, is not restricted merely to Pinchbeck, though he seems to have positioned himself well atop the wave. For better or worse, it is a cultural movement, and it is happening now.

(Alterati.com article.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back To The Folk (Post-Genre Blues)


When J.R.R. Tolkien "created" the fantastic world of Lord of the Rings, he built it upon the linguistic and mythic foundations of ancient pre-Britain. This is how most myths are built, as a palimpsest, one layer built over the next, whether we are talking about the early mythological personification of Jesus from earlier male Gods of death & resurrection (Osiris, Tammuz, etc), or more modern inventions- such as black metal.

For hardcore fans of this genre, this comes as no surprise, but for those who have only glanced at it's murky surface, I suggest you take a deeper drink before spitting it out. Though its first wave was retroactively named thanks to thrash metal bands
like Venom, it grew new legs in Norway. The real pioneers of this ear splitting genre take as much from the ancient folk music and traditions of the surrounding cultures as they do from thrash metal. Like any genre, this road is littered with garbage and half-wits trying to jump on a bandwagon they don't even completely understand, so with the curatorial assistance of P. Emerson Williams, who is something of a veteran in the genre, I would like to introduce you to some of the stuff worth listening to.

(Alterati.com article.)

Monday, September 10, 2007

iTunes picks up initial Mythos Media albums.

subQtaneous: Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation and Veil Of Thorns: Cognitive Dissonance are now available through the iTunes store.

An initial group of fifteen companies have picked the albums up for digital distribution, and we will provide the information as we recieve it. We start at the top with the trend setter for digital content delivery.

subQtaneous: Some Still Despair In A Prozac Nation downloads can be purchased here, and Veil Of Thorns: Cognitive Dissonance here.

You can purchase songs a la carte or the full albums for the complete experience.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Drawing Outside The Lines: Interview With David Mack


I still remember the first time I encountered Kabuki. I was just browsing around a Barnes & Noble, buzzing on caffeine, and this beautifully illustrated hardcover book found its way into my hands. It's not hard to be taken with the art, really, but I actually laughed out loud when I started reading it- there was a section where the characters were talking
to one another, and then moving through a building. Now most sequential artists would draw panel after panel of them walking and talking, West Wing style, maybe breaking it up with different angles and whatnot so it's not just a bunch of talking heads. But you just give us a top down view of the building, and little talk bubbles as they wind their way around the maze. I just thought that was completely brilliant... I never would have thought of that, but then looking at it, it's just like "of course!" This is something I've seen continuing through these books, that you are
really good at finding the straightest line, the best means of telling the story rather than just adhering to whatever storytelling conventions people might be used to.

David Mack: I like how you described that. I think you described it very astutely. That is how I approach the art. As a tool of the writing. I try to consider what pace, or rhythm, or medium or visual personality of style of art will best and most effectively communicate that particular story or scene of the story.

Full interview

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Black Osiris

Aside from the conceptual side of this project, which I'm not going to inflict upon you just yet, the name is fitting based on how the production process seems to be an endless series of deaths & resurrections. Nothing shocking, I just haven't had time most of this summer to do music.

So it's been refreshing to get back at it. This track (working title- Ministry of Cliches) isn't finished yet, but it's starting to 'set up.' Yes, like a cake.

More soon. Maybe.


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