September 29, 2009

Bronski Beat - The Age of Consent

Genre(s) - Synthpop
Origin - United Kingdom
Year of release - 1984
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 55.12 MB

Okay, this may make a few people feel really sickly, and hopefully only because of the music, but to hell with it. Every store has this one in the discount bin,
just today I picked up a second-hand copy of The Age of Consent on vinyl for only fifty cents, and that is for a reason. This record is so distinctively eighties it probably became unlistenable to most of its owners the moment the clock struck twelve to introduce the first of January, 1990. It's disco-ish, falsetto-sung synthesiser pop that makes the Scissor Sisters sound like Fred Phelps guest-singing for Anal Cunt. This stuff is really ultra-gay in every way. And that's the most important point about Bronski Beat. More than a musical project, singer Jimmy Somerville intended this as a social project for gay emancipation, listing a gay legal advice number and pointing out in many countries it was still illegal to be in a homosexual relationship. Most lyrics are about gay issues like discrimination and homophobic violence but also the more everyday and positive aspects, and I was happy to notice many implicit anti-capitalist elements as well. Great music for keeping up spirits while learning boring and difficult texts.

I realise the mp3 files read "Bronsky" with a y but the tags are correct.
  1. Why?
  2. Ain't necessarily so
  3. Screaming
  4. No more war
  5. Love and money
  6. Smalltown boy
  7. Heatwave
  8. Junk
  9. Need a man blues
  10. I feel love / Johnny remember
  11. Smalltown boy (full 12" version)
  12. Why? (full 12" version)
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Robert Downey, Jr. - The Futurist

Genre(s) - Jazzy chamber pop?
Origin - New York City, later California, USA
Year of release - 2004
Bitrate - 128-320 kbps
Size - 54.36 MB

Jim Barris, er, Robert Downey Junior is one of the most fascinating creatures to stalk the Hollywood wastelands and I've been a bit obsessed with the good man since I saw A Scanner Darkly (which you should definitely read AND see if you like surrealist dialogue, drug culture, dystopian sci-fi, unhappy endings and/or mindfucky plots!). So when I read he had an album out I had to hear it. And it's... well, very different than what I'm used to: open, jazzy piano arrangements that lack any regular shape or structure. Not everything can really stir my enthusiasm, but it has some great moments. I really like the triple tandem Kimberly Glide-The Futurist-Little Clownz. And Robert's voice is great and evocative, with an impressive span and a nice raw edge. It's elegant, but I guess it has to suit you.
  1. Man like me
  2. Broken
  3. Kimberly glide
  4. The futurist
  5. Little clownz
  6. 5 - 30
  7. Your move
  8. Details
  9. Hannah
  10. Smile
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September 24, 2009

Graupel - Auf alten Wegen

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Nordrhein-Westphalen, Germany
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 256-320 kbps
Size - 64.85 MB

Among the bands to spring into the gap that Nagelfar left behind after disintegration were Graupel, a three-piece of mostly (ex-)members of the aformentioned unit that was around since a long time before they released their first demo. You can expect some really extreme stuff on here; an unscaleable wall of raw guitar noise melting together with the drums that are, of course, rumbling along at a merciless pace. Still, the noise keeps just enough distance from the listener that he or she can gradually learn to discern the riffs and details. There is one song that more than the others deserves your attention, and that's the long Requies Filii. It is the most varied song and the melodies come to the fore a little bit more boldly. Indeed it has a much greater emotional pay-off than the other tracks, and that is no coincidence as the song was written about and dedicated to singer Zingultus' son, who passed away at a very young age. It's a very striking and remarkably honest detail on an album you would not expect such a thing, and I can bring up a lot of respect and sympathy for this gesture. Not that more people should suffer the loss of a child, but it kind of makes me wish black metal lyrics were not generally so impersonal.
  1. Heimkehr
  2. Saat zieht Zeit
  3. Die Notglocke
  4. Der alte Weg
  5. Requies Filii
  6. Soll und sein
  7. Von der Gunst de Schelte
  8. Glück der Söhne
  9. Ein Sterbelied auf Metall
  10. Blutend Weiß
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September 22, 2009

The Pastels - Up for a bit with the Pastels

Genre(s) - Twee pop
Origin - United Kingdom
Year of release - 1987
Bitrate - 256 kbps
Size - 58.54 MB

From the new Twee I rolled into the old and man, a lot has happened since the previous pop generation of the eighties and earliest nineties. That's not (at all!) to say it all got better from here, just... different - even though more and more new bands hark back to the old sound. The average old twee record was generally more British, more noisy, more emotionally ambiguous and more radically at odds with the world around it. So too the Pastels; they were among the very first. The music's pleasant and woozy, and
it gets better every time you hear it. So if it's late and you still find yourself up for a bit, have some the Pastels!
  1. Ride
  2. Up for a bit
  3. Crawl babies
  4. Address book
  5. I'm alright with you
  6. Hitchin' a (ride)
  7. Get 'round town
  8. Automatically yours
  9. Baby honey
  10. If I could tell you
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September 21, 2009

2 Unlimited - No Limits

Genre(s) - House!
Origin - Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Year of release - 1993
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 50.33 MB

A Dutch electronic, techno kind of music duo - we used to call it house back in the days - that was widely popular in the early to mid-nineties. No Limits (the song) was the first overhyped mega-hitsingle that I consciously experienced, and I and all my peeps at nursery school lapped it up like puppies. Looking back on it today, No Limits (the album) is as nostalgic as it is dated, and contains a lot of boring segments and even ones that simply don't work out. But the old-school fucking primordial electronic effects and great melodies bestow the best moments of the band with a perfectly hedonistic sense of danceability that make it worth the while. Just steer clear of the last two horrid ballad-like tracks and you'll be relatively safe.
  1. No limits
  2. Tribal dance
  3. Mysterious
  4. Faces
  5. Maximum overdrive
  6. The power age
  7. Break the chain
  8. Kiss me bliss me
  9. Throw the groove down
  10. R.U.O.K.
  11. Let the beat control your body
  12. Invite me to trance
  13. Where are you now
  14. Shelter for a rainy day
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September 17, 2009

Graveland - Fire Chariot of Destruction

Genre(s) - Pagan black metal
Origin - Poland
Year of release - 2005
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size -
54.50 MB

Notorious for being filthy fascies and team cap'n Rob Darken's fashion sense, it's unfortunate that Graveland create such amazing brown metal. It's true to the best currents in the pagan tradition: striding proud and majestic music - no jolly polka rhythms here. With Prayer for my Ancestors and Dance of Axes and Swords (I do believe the tracks are written and sung in Polish, though) the Fire Chariot delivers two of its most memorable tracks and they feel like a forest around you, sheltering and all-encompassing, and beautiful. I wish it wasn't; I feel much more comfortable thinking unpleasant people can only make unpleasant music - you have to admit, it does seem logical. Anyway, this slays most if not all other bands of its kind, especially Absurd.
  1. War wolf
  2. River of tears
  3. Fire chariot of destruction
  4. Flaming wrathful hate
  5. Creator and destroyer
  6. Prayer for my ancestors
  7. Dance of axes and swords
  8. Motherland
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September 14, 2009

Behemoth - Zos Kia Cultus (here and beyond)

Genre(s) - Death metal
Origin - Poland
Year of release - 2002
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 40.24 MB

I just can't get used to how fast time blazes by, quite like this release. Is it really seven years ago since I saw Behemoth and Deströyer 666 in Rotterdam's tiniest, most wonderful underground venue, de Baroeg? It was there that I bought Zos Kia Cultus - it might as well be my own rip - 128 kbps, windows media player, fuck yeah. It's another one of those exception-to-the-rule albums: one in literally a handful (i.e., 5) death metal releases I ever learnt to enjoy. It's ultra-brutal and technical, occult and philosophical, and it will consume your soft warm organs and sap all fluid from your body until you are a dried-out husk of cracked parchment slowly becoming one with the dust. But it has these little (and some less little) melodies that - however a drag it's becoming to call it such - can only be descibed as fucking epic. Drummer Inferno does a massive and not to be envied job underpinning those with mind-warping blasts and fills and Nergal's growl never sounded this murderous (again). Ia, azhi da haka!
  1. Horns ov Baphomet
  2. Modern iconoclasts
  3. Here and beyond (titanic turn ov time)
  4. As above so below
  5. Blackest ov the black
  6. Hekau 718
  7. The harlot ov the saints
  8. No sympathy for fools
  9. Zos kia cultus
  10. Fornicatus Benefictus
  11. Typhonian soul zodiack
  12. Heru ra ha: let there be might
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September 9, 2009

Deb Talan - A Bird Flies Out

Genre(s) - Folk, singer-songwriter
Origin - Topanga (not Topeka!)
Year of release - 2003
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 40.74 MB

Hey, who is that singin' lady? You may know better than you think if you're acquainted with the Weepies, America's happiestly married indie-folk couple. But the Weepies wasn't the start of it; Deb Talan and Steve Tannen met through their shared musicianship. 2003, the year both released solo albums, was the start of their romance and collaboration. They feature in small roles on each other's release and share a great track; Rocks and Water. Deb is the real folkie of the two and responsible for their most minimalist subdued folk side and A Bird Flies Out is a collection of beautiful songs in that very style. Saturn's Light, Ashes on your Eyes, Unraveling, they're still growing on me and who knows how big they're gonna get?
I used to compare it unfavourably to Steve's album, but that was undeserved and I ought to be spanked. Spanked to Deb's gentle tones. Make it really hurt.

This release prefers to be downloaded together with Stopped at a Green Light and Happiness.
  1. Unraveling
  2. Tell your story walking
  3. How will he find me?
  4. Saturn's light
  5. Comfort
  6. Big strong girl
  7. Sincerely
  8. Two points
  9. Rocks and water
  10. To the bone
  11. Ashes on your eyes
  12. A bird flies out
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Steve Tannen - Stopped at a Green Light

Genre(s) - Folk-rock, singer-songwriter
Origin -
Topanga (not Topeka!)
Year of release - 2003
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 46.85 MB

Steve is the other Weepie and with his electric guitar, he is the one who provides the duo's more melodic, fleshed-out aspect. His album even starts off with a real uplifting rocker. But in the end he's still just a Weepie so you know it can't last forever. And indeed, Sick to the Bone and Hard Luck Kid are fucking deliciously depressing, with lyrics that seem expressly written for the tragic lives you and I lead. It's great how the Weepies sound like exactly the product (which is a lot more than the sum!) of both halves and having heard their respective solo material you can point out with some accuracy who wrote this or that song, refrain or melody. Fans of the band and of folk(-rock) in general would do well to try out these two albums, they are totally worth it. Warning: spontaneous tendency towards weeping possible.

This release prefers to be downloaded together with A Bird Flies Out and Happiness.
  1. Stopped at a green light
  2. If you don't feel that way
  3. Allison is crazy
  4. Picture of you
  5. Sick to the bone
  6. Good times
  7. Rocks and water
  8. Late night phone call
  9. Yours if you want me
  10. Hard luck kid
  11. Just a little
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September 5, 2009

God is an Astronaut - God is an Astronaut

Genre(s) - Post-rock
Origin - Glen of the Downs, Ireland
Year of release - 2008
Bitrate - 160-320 kbps
Size - 91.01 MB

Just saw these scruffy blokes live in hideous Tilburg and it was quite the experience. I bought the previously posted EP, A Moment of Stillness, and decided that was kind enough a gesture to allow me to make some more of their stuff available. You ought to exploit that opportunity as God is an Astronaut is simply the best the young post-rock genre has to offer. Things only step up from there if you consider that this self-titled (yet third) full-length is made up of the most wonderful material the band's come up with so far. It's music you could share your burdens with but - watch out - it will also shift some its own burdens back onto your own weak shoulders. Soothing, yes, but sadly so. This is for the people like myself, who supplant and eclipse their own darkest hours by a more abstract sense of great and all-encompassing tragedy. You know who you are, I guess, or don't I. You?
  1. Shadows
  2. Post mortem
  3. Echoes
  4. Snowfall
  5. First day of sun
  6. No return
  7. Zodiac
  8. Remaining light
  9. Shores of Orion
  10. Loss
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September 4, 2009

Botulistum & Christfighter - Split

Genre(s) - Black metal?
Origin - The Netherlands
Year of release - 2000
Bitrate - 128 kbps
Size - 27.99 MB

Totally demented and in(s)ane raw black metal parody, no idea what it's doing here. No entertainment value, no lessons learnt, but great cover art. Enjoy if you can! [they hope you don't]

Track 1-9: Botulistum. Track 10-18: Christfighter.

[repost because of instantaneous delinkaging from the blog's (or file hosting site's) side. The words Load It Down were still there but they no longer led you digitally to Mediafire - the only good file sharing site - which was deplorable to the highest degree. Probably the link will disappear again and perpetually like with, what was it, Forteresse or something.] No, Valuatir! [A black metal band at least; that got delinked every time I tried to share it.] It was Valuatir! [Notice how this pretentious household announcement is much longer in length than the actual post that presented the
album to you was! Super awesome]
  1. Luchtalarm (Air raid alarm)
  2. Mieke had een lammetje (Mary had a lil' lamb)
  3. De ontknaping van Jezus (the deflowering of Jesus)
  4. Moord en pootslag (Murder and gayman slaughter [?])
  5. Schedelentroon (Skullthrone)
  6. Masturbatie op de lijkwade van Jezus Christus (masturbation on the shroud of JC)
  7. Wederopstanding der veenlijken (resurrection of the bog bodies)
  8. Horizon van bloedstaken (horizon of bloodstakes)
  9. Sacriligieuze heiligschennende godslasterende blasfemiën in de naam van de gekloven hoef (VERY blasphemous stuff i.t.n.o. the Cloven Hoof)
  10. Viva la Christfighter
  11. Sletten voor mij (Sluts for me)
  12. Holocaust holiday
  13. Kotsen in de kerk (Puking in church)
  14. Disgusting
  15. M'n ziel voor Satan (My soul for Satan)
  16. Give me some pussy
  17. Neuken, neuken, neuken (Fucking, fucking, fucking)
  18. Heilige nacht, obscure (Holy night...)
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September 3, 2009

Immortal - Sons of Northern Darkness

Genre(s) - Black metal
Origin - Norway
Year of release - 2002
Bitrate - 192 kbps
Size - 53.57 MB

Though never quite at the vanguard of the scene, Immortal was always a band that quietly worked very hard on building a respectable discography and eventually they received the esteem that was due. This
has long been their latest album but at the end of this month it'll be, hopefully, superseded. Like the previously upped Battles in the North, it is again cold and frostbitten and all that, but a lot more mature and measured. The same can not be said for the band photos, but that's another story. The guitar tone is clearer and blunter but no less cold, and the tracks are more structured. They are also remarkably varied: from the raging opener One by One to the glacially plodding Tyrants, and from the catchy refrain of the title track to the cinematic, nautical atmospheres Beyond the North Waves rings out the album with, they form their own entities. It's a clear sign of a band that manages not to strand on endless repetition and continually develops their sound. Makes me very curious as to the upcoming album, All Shall Fall.
  1. One by one
  2. Sons of northern darkness
  3. Tyrants
  4. Demonium
  5. Within the dark mind
  6. In my kingdom cold
  7. Antarctica
  8. Beyond the north waves
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