The best music you're not listening to.™ Reviews of lost classics and obscure titles. Unheralded bands and songwriters. New bands deserving of greater attention. The site for the music omnivore. It's all here, on the Ripple Effect
Q&A AND SIGNING WITH GENESIS BREYER P-ORRIDGE ON
THE SECOND ANNUAL REPORT, 20 JAZZ FUNK GREATS AND THE TASTE
OF TG REISSUES OUT NOVEMBER 24
Mute and Rough Trade are pleased to announce a special
Q&A and signing with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge of Throbbing Gristle at Rough
Trade NYC on November 24. Moderating the discussion will be T. Cole Rachel of
The Creative Independent. The Brooklyn event follows a similar occasion held earlier
this month at Rough Trade East in London
with Throbbing Gristle’s Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter. Further
information regarding the Brooklyn Q&A and signing is available here.
The Rough Trade event coincides with the first in a series
of reissues on Mute, starting with the 40th anniversary of their debut album
release, The Second Annual Report.
On November 24, The Second Annual Report, presented as a
limited edition white vinyl release in the original packaging and also on
double CD, and 20 Jazz Funk Greats, on green vinyl and double CD, will be
released along with, The Taste Of TG: A Beginner’s Guide to Throbbing Gristle
with an updated track listing that will include “Almost A Kiss” (from 2007’s
Part Two: Endless Not). This will be the first time The Taste Of TG has been
available on vinyl and will be presented on double red vinyl alongside a CD and
digital release. For those not attending the Rough Trade event, stream and
order the reissues via the links below.
The Second Annual Report, the first album from Throbbing
Gristle, came out originally on November 4, 1977 and launched the career of one
of the most politically and sonically antagonistic bands of all time.
Throbbing Gristle are Chris Carter, Peter 'Sleazy'
Christopherson (who sadly passed away on November 25, 2010), Cosey Fanni Tutti
and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge. Their impact on music, culture and the arts is
immeasurable and still felt today.
November’s anniversary releases will be followed by further
catalog releases in 2018.
D.o.A. The Third And Final Report
Part Two: Endless Not
Of Dead Souls
Journey Through A Body
In The Shadow Of The Sun
2017 saw Throbbing Gristle’s catalog available on streaming
services for the first time. Mute and Throbbing Gristle will continue the
reissues series, creating previously unreleased box sets and making available
long out-of-print and important pieces of work.
Its True!! STB Records is going to be 5 years old! How
insane is that!! To celebrate I am putting everything in the STB Records store
ON SALE for 30%
off!! EVERYTHING!. Not only that, every order will get a FREE copy of an
unreleased version of one of my records!! That is right! FREE VINYL!! People
First! This is relationship business not show business...
I want to extend a heart felt thank you to each and everyone
of you who have supported wheather it be from day 1 or just this week. You all
are equally important and help STB Records continue to grow and pursue its
mission to create a movement. This fight has no meaning unless we ALL grow
together. So again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Stay Punk in your minds and Heavy in your hearts.
STB - 28 TOKE - ORANGE - On
Sale Saturday Dec 9th 12 noon EST
STB 28 - TOKE "Orange"
- Repress comes with 2 new VINYL ONLY TRACKS
Sunshine of Your
Love - Originally by Cream
Limb from Limb -
Originally by Motorhead
Rick Contes from “Young And In The Way” did guest solos on
limb from limb!
Test Pressing - 15 units - Comes hand numbered with a SUPER
exclusive laser etched WOOD cover.
Die Hard -75 units - 180g vinyl - Half Transparent Orange /
Half Clear - with black splatter in a heavy weight euro version jacket with two
diff color foil stamping.. Comes with an exclusive TOKE "Orange" cast
ring, a 4ft x 4ft TOKE "Orange" silk banner, and a TOKE "Orange"
Back patch for your battle vest!
OBI Edition: - 100 units-Clear with a black center and orange splatter. Printed OBI Strip - Made
to look like "Toke Brand" rolling papers. hand numbered. Jacket with
- spot UV
Standard Edition - 125 units-Clear with black and orange splatter Jacket
with - spot UV
Save your alarms and mark your calendars. These will go FAST!
Luigi Cara – Vocals/Bass, Andrea Sechi – Guitar, Giampiero
Serra – Drums
Incest Of The Wretched is Slayer thrash with death metal
vocals and blast beats. Eucharisty Of Worms more annihilation of sounds and
grinding riffs. Lost In The Vortex of Heretics just grinds thru you and tears
you apart. Blasphemik Souls has more of a classic metal riff then the deep
vocals just pound into your very being. Dethroned Archangels is Metallica meets
Slayer meets Death. Mors Mori 3002 evil slowly builds intoCrowning The Beast which just grabs you and
slams you to the ground over and over.Spreading The Chaos is just that, a chaos of sounds that just runs you
over. King Of Rats keeps up the blast beats and fast riffs along with the
demonic vocals.Deny The Cricifix starts
slow and steady boring into your very essence and dragging you to hell.
Diuna – The Very Best Of The Golden Hits
Maciek Klimiuk, Patryk Mitzig, Jakub Didkowski, Konstanty
Smiec W Czerwcu is a very blues based stoner style of song
that just has your head a bobbin and feet tappin that also has some interesting
twists and turns. Klamstwa Szatana is blues mixed with stoner mixed with
psychedelia very interesting to sit back and trip to. Uczta is mid-tempo song
that has a very Sabbath style to it.Zielony Syn slow steady and plodding with rough deep vocals.Szron has a guitar riff that is Hendrix meets
Stevie Ray Vaughn with a slow bluesy riff with a very strange ending. Afekt Bladawy
blues meets stoner meets psychedelia. FilozofiaDialogu a fast tempo bluesy rockabilly riff mixed with stoner rock
vocals has a Motorhead sound to it.Telmo Sisso slow and melodic then a grinding riff moves in and goes back
and forth for 9 minutes of pure musical tripping.
Tellurian I Nil strange sounds and moods that just make you
trip away to a far place.Tellurian II
Accelerated Extinction old style Pink Floyd psychedelia with death metal vocals
strange and different.Tellurian III
Contrivance is more of a metal riff with some blast beats and prog keyboards
Fragarak – A Spectral Oblivion
Supritam Sen – Vocals, Kartikeya Sinha – Bass, Arpit Pradhan
– Guitar, Ruben Franklin – Guitar, Louis Rando – Drums
In Rumination 1 The Void excellent acoustic guitar then a
riff that melds in with some deep evil vocals in the background that slowly
move their way to the front then back to the acoustic guitar.In Rumination II Reflections melancholy and
moody with some very evil intent. The Phaneron Eclipsed more great acoustic guitar
work with choral vocals the music builds and builds along with some demonic
vocals.Alucinari 1 Transcendence a
classical style of song that melds into Fathom Of Delirium which is a straight
forward death metal song with some prog elements. Alucinari II Revelations is a
very folky style of song that leads into Spectre An Oblivion Awakens that is
classic progressive death metal with a few twists and turns. Alucinari III
Reverie is a great acoustic melancholy style of song to just drift along with.
This Chastising Masquerade is death metal screams and heavy riffs that just
pound you into the ground. Of Ends Ethereal 12 minutes of just pure progressive
death metal with many changes that take you down a weird winding path.
Alucinari IVThe Fall acoustic guitar
and spoken words that drift off into the distance.
Invertia – The Crimson Screen Vol 1
David Coppola- Guitar/Bass/FX/Samples, Tim Winson – Drums/Programming/FX/Keyboards
Lykanthropos in your face rammed down your throat death
metal with vocals from the depths of hell.Cast No Shadow weird sounds building with a strange riff and deep growling
vocals. Face On His Face industrial sounds and a rumbling bass that builds till
it rips your face off. Created From Cadavers more industrial sounds and tv
sounds with weird heavy riffs that just kick you in the teeth.
Canadian heavy metal/stoner rock collective BLACK WIZARD
will release their brand new full-length Livin' Oblivion this February via France's
Listenable Records. Their second release on Listenable and fourth album overall
was produced and engineered by Michael Kraushaar in Vancouver, BC,
and comes sheathed in the cover art of renowned Berlin, Germany-based
illustrator Eliran Kantor (Testament, Crowbar, Satan).
Livin' Oblivion centers itself on the obliteration or slow
decay of one's self, morals, and life as we know it. "We are living in an
age where the powers of the World are taking steps backwards and moving away
from a positive future," the band elaborates. "There is a large
number of disenfranchised youth and young adults that would rather live their
lives in oblivion -- drinking, drugs, partying etc. -- than chasing any kind of
future or dreams, simply because the rest of the world seems to be falling
apart around them."
Further info on BLACK WIZARD's Livin' Oblivion, including
final release date, teaser tracks, and preorders, to be released in the coming
weeks. Stand by.
Livin' Oblivion Track Listing:
1. Two Of These Nights
2. Feast Or Famine
3. James Wolfe
4. Livin Oblivion
7. Poisoned Again
8. Heavy Love
9. Eternal Illusion
Hailing from Vancouver,
BC, BLACK WIZARD was forged in
2009 between high-school friends. Some years and personnel changes later, the
band is going stronger than ever. Founding members vocalist/guitarist Adam
Grant and drummer Eugene Parkomenko were both working underwhelming
construction jobs at the time, passing the days to the sounds of Thin Lizzy,
Deep Purple, Witch, and Electric Wizard. Today Parkomenko and Grant are
accompanied by guitarist Danny Stokes and basisst Evan Joel. Having followed a
true DIY aesthetic, the band has released three full-length LPs along with a
7" single independently and sold over five thousand copies worldwide. In
classic WIZ fashion, Livin' Oblivion has evolved from their previous efforts
boasting a bigger, heavier, sharper, and louder approach than ever before.
Faster thrash elements have been added, while staying true to that sultry, Thin
Lizzy-esque twin lead vibe throughout.
Since their first Listenable album release, New Waste, in
early 2016, the band has toured non-stop including a Canadian mini-tour with
Red Fang, a six-week stadium tour with Killswitch Engage and Volbeat, a
month-long US tour supporting Brant Bjork and Royal Thunder, a month-long North
American tour supporting Weedeater, and so much more. At home on the road,
BLACK WIZARD is ready to take to the streets again kicking 2018 off with their
fourth European run.
doom metallers Doomstress are set to release their new EP, The Second Rite on
CD via No Slip Records on December 1st.The EP contains remixed versions from the original, very limited self
release and 7" DHU single.The EP
also features the new song "Bitter Plea" which was recorded at the
end of the Wicked Summer tour and featuring additional rhythm guitar by
guitarist Joe Fortunato (Sparrowmilk/Venomin James/ex-Ancient VVisdom).The artwork was done by renown psychedelic
artist, Goatess Doomwych.
Song List for The Second Rite EP CD via No Slip Records:
This progressive rock trio from Cincinnati, OH
features Karis Tucker (voice), André Machado (8-string guitar, bass), and Henry
Conde (synth, piano). Guest musicians include Julio Oliveira on drums, Ander
Peterson on saxophone, Soojin Kim on piano, and with lyrics by Diogo Oliveria.
With 2016 being the official start to the band, this new EP continues on and
expands from the first single “Reality.”
Oculus is meant to be listened to in one sitting to absorb
its power and meaning with the main theme being about reconciling the
individual’s outer persona with their inner self running through the four songs
on the EP.Opener “You” starts acapella
and then the piano comes in to make a song that reminds me of a Depeche Mode
quiet piece. “Gold Spectrum” is an avant garde jazz piece with wailing and
squawking sax and discordant sounds that bring to mind the Contortions. “The
Fear Peddler” has a more strait forward sound than the previous song and adds
some interesting spaciness in the sound, kind of like drifting in the sky high
above the earth. Finishing with “Identidade,” a quiet, yet powerful song that
has sweet vocals and a haunting piano that grabs your ears and pulls you into
the depth of the song.
A very interesting EP that will have you putting on your
headphones to listen to so that you don’t miss one bit of sound that they have
produced here. From beauty to quirky and back to beauty all in under fifteen
minutes, and fifteen minutes that you will no doubt be listening to again and
It's finally here!!Out of print for years, Ripple Music is proud to unleash the self-titled
album by Stoner/Doom legends Freedom Hawk!Unavailable on vinyl for years, we'll be releasing two editions, the
"Red Freedom" Limited Edition milky clear vinyl with Red and Gold
splatter, and the World-wide "Midnight Black" Edition."Red Freedom" limited to only 80
copies available, so you may want to hurry.CD digipack also available.
Wrapped in core metal tones with slight psychedelic edges
Freedom Hawk’s driving beat and heavy guitars offer the kind of timeless vocals
that gave light to the dawn of the new and heavy revival.
“Freedom Hawk, for instance, is the soundtrack to cold kegs,
warm weather, and backyard barbecue. Jams like “On the Other Side” and “My
Road” were made for: worshipping at the Super Fuzz altar. James Gang riffs
groove it up behind singer T.R. Morton’s excellent Ozzy/Pepper Keenan
impression throughout seven songs of bong-loaded bliss.” --- Invisible Oranges
Ripple Music, based in California, is widely regarded as one of the
world's leading purveyors of Heavy Psych, Stoner, Doom, and Heavy Rock.All releases are available world wide
through our distributors and the Ripple website.Check us at www.ripple-music.com
Formed in 2014, Fuzz Evil is a chug-heavy 3 Piece that tames
the fuzziest guitar and bass tones on the planet and wields them to blast a
monolithic speaker-ripping fuzzapocaplyse for your ears and soul. Raw and dirty
in "Stooges-like" fashion with soaring soulful vocals. Fuzz Evil
released their first single, “Glitterbones” on a 7” split with the California trio Chiefs
on Battleground records in 2014. In 2016 they followed up the single with a
full self-titled debut release on Battleground records.In the past few year they have gone through a
few line-up changes. The current line-up is Orgo Martinez on drums, Wayne
Rudell on guitar and vocals, and his brother Joey Rudell on bass and vocals.
From the depths of Texas,
Switchblade Jesus returns with a heaviness and deep grooves that succeed their
previous recordings. Mixing southwestern boogie, desert-worn blues, retro-metal
assault and fierce rocking into a sound that screams Texas–at times sanguine
and starkly beautiful, at others full of damn sexy groove and assaulting
violence can only describe the music of Texan power rocking, fuzzed out stoner
blues trio, Switchblade Jesus.
Consisting of Eric Calvert (Vox/Guitar) Jon Elizondo (Drums)
and new comer Chris Black (bass) to the fold to create a new chapter in
Switchblade Jesus, more Doom and Gloom but no lack of the groove that the
Texan's brought in the beginning.
Influenced by Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, High
on Fire, Melvins, Church of Misery, Deep Purple, ZZ Top, DOWN, Orange
Goblin, Clutch, Sleep.
The new album,“I Am Legion”, by Swedish blackened thrash
metallers WITCHERY is out NOW via CENTURY MEDIA RECORDS!
Read below to find out what the critics have to say about
- 6/7 Points Review - # 1 in Soundcheck – Metal Hammer (DE)
- 8/10 Points - # 6 in Soundcheck – Rock Hard (DE)
- 11/15 Points - # 7 in Souncheck – Legacy (DE)
- 8/10 Points Review – Rock Tribune (BE)
- “…a perfect mix of death, black and thrash metal” - 85/100
Points Review – Aardschok (NL)
- "Fast and furious" - 7/10 Points Review – Metal
- "Another excellent release by these Swedes!” - 85/100
Points Review – Lords Of Metal (NL)
- "...a blackened treasure of metal oozing with
maniacal fury" - 9.5/10 Points Review – Metal Wani
As with last year’s previous album “In His Infernal
Majesty’s Service”, “I Am Legion” was created in the WITCHERY line-up
consisting of Angus Norder (Vocals), Jensen (Guitar), Rickard Rimfält (Lead
Guitar), Sharlee D’Angelo (Bass) and Chris Barkensjö (Drums). The album was
also produced and mixed by Daniel Bergstrand at Dugout Studios (Behemoth, In
Flames, Meshuggah) and comes packaged in powerful artwork by Andreas Diaz
Gothenburg power trio LÅNGFINGER is pleased to unveil latest
video, "Say Jupiter." The tune comes by way of their Crossyears
full-length, released last year via Small Stone.
Directed, produced, and edited in a restaurant kitchen by
Anders Bryngel, the clip is currently playing at The Obelisk who issues,
"I don't know who in LÅNGFINGER's world owns a restaurant and decided to
give the three-piece access to the kitchen for the purposes of the Anders
Bryngel-directed clip, but the results are pretty hilarious. As anyone who's
ever made one can tell you, a good meal is as much about preparation as it is
about the taste of the outcome, and whether they're in the kitchen rocking out
or in the front of the house getting the royal treatment from the waitstaff - also
played by them - bassist/vocalist Victor Crusner, guitarist/backing vocalist
Kalle Lilja and drummer/backing vocalist Jesper Pihl seem to be having a great
time putting it altogether. Whatever dinner turns out to be, it's apparently a
pretty transcendent experience. Must've had a lot of garlic. God damn, I love
Watch "Say Jupiter," courtesy of The Obelisk, at
THIS LOCATION, where you can also view the band's previously-released "Fox
The ten-track Crossyears full-length was recorded by Johan
Reivén and Olle Björck at Sweden's
Welfare Sounds Studio with additional recordings by LÅNGFINGER at Beduin HQ,
mixed by Olle Björck, and mastered by Daniel Johansson. Wrote Sea Of
Tranquility in a 4/5 review, "If you love albums like Mountain's
Climbing!, any of Led Zeppelin, Humble Pie, and Grand Funk Railroad's first
few, and even The Who's Who's Next, you'll find plenty to sink your teeth into
here on Crossyears. Add LÅNGFINGER to the already healthy list of outstanding
Swedish retro rockers who are keeping the sounds of the '70s alive."
Stream Crossyears in full HERE where the album is available
A truly kick ass power trio is quite possibly the perfect
rock formation. If there aren't that many trios around, that's because it's a
hard thing to pull off: with just three people having to nail the rhythmic
fusion of bass and drums, the wild colors of guitar, and the soul-grabbing
focus of the human voice, there can be no passengers aboard. Extraordinary
chemistry is essential. Everyone has to be right on it, and locked in. Which is
why lots of trios fail, or cop out, and recruit extras.
The members of LÅNGFINGER, hailing from the fertile rock 'n'
roll city of Gothenburg,
are masters of the art. They've been playing together since they were in their
early teens, and their imminent third album is both the thrilling culmination
of their collective endeavor, and a rumination on it - on how time has shaped
them and brought them to this point. Within its hard-hitting grooves, the
interlocking of LÅNGFINGER's three disparate characters - Kalle Lilja, the
unflappable, precision axeman; Jesper Pihl, the athletic sticksman battering
out physical revenge on his kit; and Victor Crusner, the intense, exploratory
spirit, bridging thundering bass and howling exorcism - is a magical
Ethan Lee McCarthy – Guitars/Vocals, Jonathan Campos – Bass,
Joe Linden – Drums
My Will lots of feedback and slow plodding droning riffs
with vocals from the mouth of a demon.Victim
more feedback and fuzz with a slightly mid-tempo beat and vocals that sear your
soul. Caustic noise from hades and other
places beyond the grave then Commerce starts a slow plodding demonic marching
from hell.Tepid has feedback that hurts
the ears and more slow plodding demonic sounds form the underworld. Ash works its way into your brain with a
screech then Sterility pounds you into submission then back to a slow march to
hades.Sugar Hole grinds its way into
your very being sucking all of the light out. The Weight has all the sounds of hell bearing
down on you and just devouring your mind then Disfigured grabs your soul and
rips it out.Inevitable is just what it
says the end of your sanity.Absolutes
feedback and strange sounds that slowly drive you insane totally.
Profetus – Coronation Of The Black Sun
V Kajansuu – Drums, Eppe Kuismin – Guitar, A Makinen –
Guitar/Vocals, S Kajunssu – Keyboards
Skull Of Silence slow and steady Sabbath like rhythms that
seems to be coming from a witches coven black mass.The Eye Of Phosphoros grinds even deeper and
darker into the black pit of nothingness.Coalescence Of Ashen Wings growling grinding deep into your very being
and just converting your soul to darkness.Blood of Saturn worming its way up behind you grabbing your throat and
just strangling the life out of you. Saturine
Night hidden deep in your sub conscious is lost emotions.Winter Solstice is just dark deep growling
lost in the woods for your life music and vocals. Blood of Saturn Live completes this horror
Purple Hill Witch – Celestial Cemetery
Kristian – Guitar/Vocals, Andreas- Bass, Oyvind – Drums
Ghouls In Leather guitar feedback slowly builds then bass
comes in then the drums these guys were definitely influences by old Sabbath. Harbinger of Death heavy riffs pounding drums
and bass slow Sabbath stoner rock.Celestial
Cemetary continues the doom stoner festival that will have you just tripping
away with some excellent lead guitar.Around The Universe takes back to the early days of Black Sabbath and
just slow emotional tripping music. Menticide
head banging heavy metal that just envelopes you and takes you away to another
time and place.The First Encounter
could be on one of the first few Sabbath albums and fit in very well great
moody heavy metal with some excellent searing lead guitar.Burnt Offering ends this doom fest correctly
with lots of great playing and emotion.
Grow Up hard core/pop punk vocals and interesting riffs with
some excellent drumming.Jamais Vu is
slightly more melodic at the start the goes back and forth from hardcore to pop
punk. Remorse lots of feedback and a
grinding riff with gruff yelling vocals. With A Heavy Heart punches away at you and has
some twists and turns. More Wild Than
The Wind has an excellent Green Day style of beat and some interesting vocals.
“We recorded and produced the EP in each of our flats. After
recording, we got help from Jonas Kjølstad of At The Loft Records to create the
sound to be a mix between our first demos, Lisa Cranner’s music, and Bon Iver’s
Tuvaband is a Norwegian/English duo made of Tuva Hellum
Marschhaüser and Simon Would. Their sound is a melancholic dream world of indie
and contemplative lo-fi folk aesthetics influenced by Bon Iver. However you
describe their sound, it’s quickly gaining mass appeal. Since their first
release one year ago their songs are already pushing 13 million Spotify plays.
Their new single, “Mess” is a poetic song gently balancing piano and acoustic
guitar with Tuva’s voice. The effect is an immersive listening experience that
invokes imagery of a bird guarding an empty nest from predators.
With comparisons to the likes of Laura Marling and The
Staves, Tuvaband have regularly been named as one of the best new Scandinavian
bands currently looking to dominate the UK’s music scene. And with songs
like these, it is easy to see why so many have already fallen for their charm.
About the EP, the band says, “We recorded and produced the
EP in each of our flats. After recording, we got help from Jonas Kjølstad of At
The Loft Records to create the sound to be a mix between our first demos, Lisa
Cranner’s music, and Bon Iver’s first album.” Overall, the EP feels like a
beckoning call to return to nature, which also means disconnecting from the
electronics that rule our lives. The lyrics are sophisticated and artistic,
gracefully narrating stories like a choir of birds in a tranquil forest.
Tuvaband’s Mess EP is out NOW on Brilliance Records.
EXCALIBUR IV is the widely anticipated fourth NEW STUDIO
ALBUM in the Celtic Rock Opera series, following on from the GOLD and PLATINUM
selling original trilogy. EXCALIBUR IV was played live in its entirety to 12
ARENAS in Germany
in December 2016 and will be touring again in 2018.
Released on Babaika Productions, via Cherry Red Records, the
album features appearances by:
Michael Sadler (Saga)
Jesse Sibenberg & John Helliwell (Supertramp)
Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Moya Brennan (Clannad)
Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth)
Bernie Shaw (Uriah Heep)
Sonja Kristina (Curved Air)
John Kelly (The Kelly Family)
Maite Itoiz (Elfhental)
Excalibur – the legendary rock opera is back!
After a thousand years of imprisonment, Merlin – the wizard
– finally escapes from Morgana’s spell. Initially intrigued by the beauty of
the new world that he returned to, he soon discovers the decay of knightly and
sublime virtues, which once had been so bravely defended by King Arthur’s
roundtable. An enraged Merlin casts his biggest spell over this world and brings
the mighty dragon to life. A epic return of the legendary Celtic rock opera on
to German stages, a new chapter in the saga around the sword Excalibur – this
is “EXCALIBUR - The Dark Age Of The Dragon”.
Negativehate began in 1995 and have had a lot of ups and
downs and especially lineup changes, but the one thing that remained after all
of this was the guarantee of music that is challenging and full of emotion and
talent. Based in Monroe, NY the band is comprised of Mike Stewart
(keys, vocals), Eric Stewart (bass), Chuck Scandura (guitar, vocals), Sergio
Sanchez (drums), and Freedom Scheyd (guitar, backing vocals).
The music is a mix of many styles; ambient, prog rock,
alternative and post metal, but it all seems to work in their favor creating a
sound that will astound and confound in places. The songs are mostly long and
do have meandering parts like “The Expansion of the Universe (via magnification
of the infinitesimal)” does, but you find yourself just going along and
floating during those moments and then when it gets heavy and the growled,
almost death metal vocals come in, it fits perfectly. The songs on the album
are conceptualized after a story of the same name also written by the band, so
it has a definite meaning to it and actually makes for a great listen. This is
not an album to throw on and party along to, unless you have really weird
parties….and I want to party with you! This is one of those listen to it in one
shot to get the full effect of the music, even though you will find tracks that
stand out more for you, like I did with “The Expansion of the Universe (via
magnification of the infinitesimal)”. The songs do flow from one to the next
without a lot of difference between them, but that’s not a complaint, it just
makes the whole thing work in ways that most just can’t seem to do.
Give your ears a treat and freak them out a bit with the
time changes, vocal variations and other non-traditional sounds on here and let
them grow and evolve into something better than just holes where sound goes in,
but turn them into something special and lovely, but demented at the same time.
A great listen and one that just seems to get better the more I listen to it.
How long have you been
doing this and what got you started running an independent record label?
I started APF Records in the Spring. I go to around
a hundred gigs a year in Manchester, where I live, and have gotten to know a
load of the bands who play locally as a result. Many of them don’t have record
deals, or the money to self-release, so in simple terms I decided I’d see if
they wanted someone to release their stuff for them. APF Records began when a
three-piece from Stockport, called Under, said yes.
What motivated you? Why here, why
I'm just a big old fan of music. I'm in my mid-40s
now but have been passionate about hard rock and heavy metal since stumbling
across my first love (Rush) in the 1980s. I turned to stoner rock with Kyuss,
doom with Trouble and sludge with Helmet in the early 1990s, and my taste has
gotten ever more downtuned and more underground with each passing year. Back in
my youth I was a drummer, but I long ago hung up my drum sticks. I wanted to be
a part of underground music, more than just a punter, and having a business
brain I thought I might do OK running an independent label.
The “why here” and “why now” is because the UK has
such a vibrant, exciting and burgeoning underground so is the perfect place for
a small label. And for the first time in my life I have the time, money, energy
and excitement these days to pile everything of me into it.
What's your prior history in the music
Apart from being a fan, the only music world
experience I have is a short stint working at EMI records in London in the
1990s in the press office. I didn’t last long: I got frustrated that they
wouldn’t spend money on (or let me work on) their rock and metal releases, so I
spent my days dealing mostly with manufactured teen bands and Cliff Richard.
Then one day I put Adam Ant on hold for half an hour by accident and had a
massive falling out with my boss and walked out before I could be fired.
What will be your first release?
My first release was Under’s “Slick” album back in
May. Since then I’ve released albums, singles and EPs by Diesel King, Blind
Haze, Mastiff, The Wizards Of Delight, Tronald, RedEye Revival and Ba’al. At
the end of November I release BongCauldron’s album “Binge”. Next year I have a
host of stuff coming out including new material from Desert Storm, Pist and
Any special projects planned?
The one I’m most excited about is a gig I’m putting
on in Manchester in February which my entire roster is playing on. 15 bands.
It’s probably the only time it will ever happen. We’re getting a photo taken
with me and all the boys and girls in the bands. That’s gonna be an amazing
I’ve just signed a worldwide distribution deal with
Cargo Records, abd the thought that my releases will now be sold in record
shops in Japan blows my mind.
Are you looking to tap into a particular
local scene or were you aiming to capture a sound?
A bit of both. When APF started I just wanted to
sign bands based in northern England who played sludge, doom or stoner rock.
But then I signed Diesel King from London and Desert Storm from Oxford, so go
figure. I have no plans to sign anyone from overseas at this time, but will
never say never.
Tell us about the label Name and logo.
After Under said they wanted to sign with me, I had
just a month to get their album “Slick” manufactured. I spent a week trying to
come up with a clever name, but couldn’t settle on one. So I went with my
initials. The logo was designed by a dude I know through the scene. It was the
first idea he came up with and I immediately loved it.
There's so much to learn about running a
label, share with us some of the lessons you're learning along the way.
I was very lucky to have several friends who run independent labels who offered
guidance and advice (Chris West of Superhot, Leigh Jones of Riff Rock, Jay
Ackerman of Hevisike, Gareth Kelly of When Planets Collide, and James Kidd of
UMC). I still call on them now occasionally, though I’ve learned so much in the
last 9 months.
I guess the biggest lessons I’ve learned are
twofold: 1. Don’t get overexcited and order too many CDs, because people don’t
buy music like they used to. And 2. Getting reviews for your releases without
using a PR firm is challenging.
What changes do you see ahead for the
I leave that kind of introspection to others. I
have no aspiration to make money from my label, or for it to be something that
I make a living out of. All I want to do is release great music that enough
people buy that I break even on each release. If I can shift 500 vinyls, 500
CDs and some digital downloads for each of my bands that will make me happy.
What will you do to stay on top of new
and emerging technology?
Well the record industry doesn’t seem that arsed
about emerging technology as I see it. Look what’s in vogue at the moment,
especially at my label’s level: vinyl, cassettes, streaming and YouTube. Two of
them have made a return, and the other two have been around for ages. CDs wil
come back too, mark my words. I’ll keep an eye on developments, but won’t
pretend I’ll be on top of them.
What's the biggest challenge facing you
today as an independent label?
Breaking even, and getting my music heard by enough
people to break even whilst working within a very limited budget. Those are the
only things I fret about. I love every other aspect of running my label.
Seems like there are a lot of
independent heavy labels emerging these days. What will you do to set
I don’t know how to say this without coming over
like a narcissist, but my label is different because of me. I was able to start
it because I was well-known in the Manchester underground heavy music scene. It
has grown through sheer will on my behalf, on almost no budget and largely
without any PR. I’ve sold myself as much as the label brand and it seems to
Those of a certain age will remember Remington
shavers and their television adverts in the late 1970s, where the President of
Remington Victor Kyam used to say “I liked the razor so much I bought the
company”. The advert was a hit and he appeared in all their marketing from them
on. I guess I’m a bit of a modern day Victor Kyam: people know me as much as
APF Records, and I’m content with that. When I look at other labels I see the
brand and not the individuals behind it. I’m almost the reverse of that.
What do you look for in your bands?
When I set up APF Records I just wanted great bands
on the label who made music that blew me away. Going forward I’ll be looking
for a bit more than that. They must be dedicated to the stuff that comes with
releasing a record: willing to engage on and in social media, do good interviews,
and play live a lot. I will also be looking closely at bands before I sign them
to make sure they all get on. Band members not being on the same page is a
license for disaster.
I would never sign a band whose music didn’t move
me, or a band where the members were not nice people. Life’s too short.
How do you find your artists? Are
you a club rat, constantly searching live venues for cool acts?
I’ve found everyone so far by going to so many
gigs. The ones I love the most are all-dayers with 10 to 15 bands playing 30
minute sets. With one exception, all the bands on APF I knew from loving their
bands – and telling them I love them at their gigs.
What are you looking for now?
A rest. I’ve put 10 releases out in 9 months. After
BongCauldron’s “Binge” comes out on 30th November I have nothing
scheduled until Desert Storm’s “Sentinels” drops in March 2018. I’m looking
forward to some chill time.
Are you involved in all the creative
No. I stay away from the studio unless the bands
invite me along, and I let them commission their own artwork. If they want my
involvement they can have it, and they know that. But most of them don’t need
What would you like to see happen for the future of the music industry and your
label in particular?
When people are chatting about cool heavy labels
I’d like them eventually to add “and APF Records” at the end of a sentence
starting with “yeah man there’s some killer stuff on New Heavy Sounds, Riding
Easy, Ripple Music, Hevisike”.
Anything else you'd like to share with
Streaming is easy and cheap, but if you love a band
you hear online go buy their record. Or some of their merch. Or go see them
live. Cos without that, we’re all doomed.
Best of luck man. Ripple will be there every step of the way to support
you in any way we can.