Last night I was at Spaceland for Bohren & Der Club of Gore. They met all expectations - consummate musicians. Opening for them was Attila Csihar of Mayhem, doing his one-man show under the name VOID OV VOICES. Attila is a mammoth figure in the black metal world, and occasional vocalist with SUNN O))) (including on the soon-to-be released Monoliths and Dimensions) and BURIAL CHAMBER TRIO. This solo performance presented a lot of unknowns. All I had heard was some clips on the Myspace site. Attila emerged from behind the shiny curtain cloaked and to little fanfare. He sat down at his table that was covered with synths and about six small candles all unlit. They remained that way. On the floor next to him was a smoke machine. Lighting was sparse. He picked up the mic and begin to emit sounds from deep in his throat, at remarkably low frequencies. I thought it was a sound check, but it did not stop - slowly, deliberately, it all built up. The smoke engulfed him. Vocal tracks were looped, knobs were adjusted, this was it. I closed my eyes and moved towards the stage until I was up against it, away from those that refused to just listen. But they were the minority - this was a good crowd. Despite the name of this project, there were many voices. Swirling and pulsating distortion. It was beautiful and meditative. He was clearly lost in the music. The movement of his hands and his head was strangely emotive. His fingers didn't seem real. His face only occassionally seen. I've never understood why people pay all that money for massages. Now for certain people, it makes sense - athletes, those in need of physical therapy, guys with asian fetishes. I get that. But the music in those places is unbearable and causes me stress. There can be no relaxation. But surrounded by this noise that would be horrific to most, I felt peace. That says a lot about me. Laying down would have been nice. It was one coherent piece, about 20 minutes, and it ended like it started. Just his voice. Perfect. Attila stood, raised his thumbs in approval, and disappeared through the curtain. Later on I saw Greg Anderson approach him, now in street clothes, and share some kind words. It was a good night. And Der Club of Gore had yet to play. No pictures to share - those who flashed committed a wrong.
As I write this, I'm listening to THE HUMAN QUENA ORCHESTRA's new album, The Politics of the Irredeemable. It's in a similar vein, though kind of ambient industrial doom with percussion that sounds like bombs falling in the distance, and definitely more unsettling. Crucial Blast is kindly allowing it to be streamed anywhere, anytime:
If this gets you going, you can check them out Monday for free at Mountain Bar in Chinatown with GERONIMO, a super original drum/bass/electronica band out of East LA. I picked up their self-titled album about a year ago after reading this description from Aquarius Records, and I can say with confidence that this is a rare chance to catch them live:
Imagine Man Is The Bastard transported back to the early seventies and let loose in This Heat's Cold Storage recording studio, or take the black hypno kraut noise of former aQ record of the week, Aluk Todolo and strip it down to its bare essence, a sound based almost entirely on rhythm. A pounding, Neanderthal groove, pelted with squelches, and laced with a strangled inhuman mewling, huge chunks of grinding minimalism and long swaths of dreamy shimmering bliss, an ultra intense slab of kraut-doom power violence for sure.
Intrigued now? It will cost you nothing to check the show out, and if it's not you thing, there's always Metal Mondays at Relax Bar not too far away.