Inverted Summer

This is first vinyl effort from Eric Hardiman’s Rambutan project is stellar.  This set of eight tunes has been infecting my brain over the past week.  Hardiman’s at his absolute best here, mixing divergent styles with ease while keeping “Inverted Summer” delicately interconnected.  ”Time Garden” sounds like a long-lost early Ducktails piece in the best possible way as it bends and bubbles effervescently toward a lush horizon.  Contemplative tones blanket the solemn “Flying Through Glass” while “Shallow Motion” adds a surprising amount of crunch.  Hardiman is juggling so many flaming batons on “Inverted Summer” – each track has its own, distinct atmosphere – that I’m floored at how well he keeps them all in the air.  For a project that I’ve followed closely for years and that’s been responsible for numerous quality releases, “Inverted Summer” certainly stands at the top of the heap.  Really great stuff. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

La Chimie

*Follow up to 2012 Album of the Year “Mil Pluton. North American Exclusive. Includes download coupon.* After melting minds (my own included) with last year’s underrated gem “Mil Pluton,” Èlg is back with, impressively, his best effort yet. There’s always a level of pressure involved in trying to follow up something as well-received as “Mil Pluton,” but it becomes obvious within the first minute of “La Chimie” opener, “Vue Neon Ouie,” that all is well. Hypnotic synth swells mutate into broken, disjointed voices before the curtain is pulled back entirely, leaving a recording of someone bawling in a checkout line in its wake. I know, WHAT? Yet not only does it work, it’s the perfect way to start a record as perplexing and wonderful as “La Chimie.” Bizzaro-world vocals dominate the album, mixed and matched in unexpected ways. From the inflected crooning of “Grand Huit,” wrapped around shredding guitar riffage and minimal synth patterns, to the Suicide-esque minimalism of album standout, “Notringo Indigo,” Èlg is cutting a wide path. “De Salem” treads in haunted, soul-infused waters. Throughout, “La Chimie” is an experience that envelopes the listener, locking him or her into this strange place Èlg inhabits. For someone who has been around for quite a while, it’s in the past few years that he’s really found his voice. Biggest recommendation I can give. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

Svarte Greiner
Black Tie

Black Tie is the latest missive from Erik Skodvin’s Svarte Greiner project, one that seems to get more grim with each successive notch in the wood.  Originally conceived as the soundtrack to an installation by Norwegian artist Marit Følstad, it became the jumping off point for this desolate full-length.  Doom reverberates in each crackle of static, each guitar echoing discordant, directionless into the void.  Rolling ambience creeps up like a plague covering everything in an opaque white sheen.  It’s an album of blurred shapes, sometimes hiding in the dark corners of the room, sometimes as phantoms moaning like strings stretched to their breaking point, an eye turned toward the dirt.  ”Black Tie,” like most Svarte Greiner releases, is an experience.  It creaks like old bones coming to life, finding one last reason to keep moving forward.  Skodvin is happy to keep haunting nightmares until the next chapter is ready to begin.  Big recommendation.  - Brad Rose, Experimedia

Editions Mego / Ideologic Organ

Wold is the latest missive from Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ label and my god.  ”Freermasonry” is dangerous music in the best possible way.  Nothing about this album feels safe; everything is pushed past extreme into another realm entirely.  Growling electronics are mauled to death in a cage of barbed wire by hissing noise and guitar tones that have been blurred and distorted into almost-annihilation.  But it’s the hellish vocals that take all of this and sculpt it into something else, something that squeezes into the tightest corners of the listener’s skull until the nightmare becomes reality and the voices devour all the weakest flesh.  Throughout its 58 minutes, there is no let up.  Guitars die in the fire, overrun by hostile noise and serrated electronics, cut off at the top so everything is muddy, drowning under pooling blood. And those voices, always those voices…. Wold turns the dial all the way up and keeps it there because any opportunity to take a breath would be an opportunity lost.  - Brad Rose, Experimedia

Celer & Hakobune
Vain Shapes and Intricate Parapets
Chemical Tapes

Some pairings, collaborations are more natural than others; there are times you see two artists together and it instantly clicks.  Celer and Hakobune is one such collaboration, the kind of thing I could see coming from a mile away, bound to happen eventually, but it delivers stellar results all the same.  Both of these artists are known for their glowing drones, always steeped in raw emotion.  On the two side-long pieces of “Vain Shapes and Intricate Parapets,” their assimilation is seamless.  The line between each artist evaporates, leaving the focus on the music, which shines.  Tonal shifts are subtle yet effective.  This is music that is steeped in warmth, enveloping the listener as it builds in strength and potency.  For two projects that have given so many memorable moments, “Vain Shapes and Intricate Parapets” is a uniquely high mark. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

Morning Way
Alien Transistor

Admittedly, I don’t know much about who or what Saroos is but I don’t suspect that matters much anyway.  On this latest EP, “Morning Way,” they lay down some serious grooves amongst a bed of dubbed-out basslines and heavy rhythms, plus a whole bunch of other random snippets thrown in for good measure.  The title track is main attraction here, though, with lush instrumentation and vocal samples steeped in glam elegance.  Slow moving and enchanting, it’s just over two minutes of pure, stylish luxury.  Throughout the EP vague Caribbean aesthetics along with hints of glitch and straight-on dance grooves flesh things out, keeping the listener engaged.  Also of note is the number of outsiders Saroos worked with on the EP, be it in the form of mixes/remixes (Schlachthofbronx, Dax Pierson, & Opiate) or outright collaboration (Fenster, Life & Limb).  All in all it’s a quick and worth listen. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

Black Pus
All My Relations
Thrill Jockey

Brian Chippendale’s latest solo opus as Black Pus is a battering ram to your skull.  Recorded in a proper studio, “All My Relations” is a sonic juggernaut that pushes boundaries with each forward step.  ”Fly on the Wall” is constant catharsis, blasting out more pent-up stress and rage than anyone thought possible.  It’s relentless.  Just when it feels like there couldn’t possibly be another drop, Chippendale finds a new way to turn up the dial.  Brutality isn’t the name of the game, though.  Chippendale is clearly having the time of his life, smirking all the way through choice cuts like “Hear No Evil” and “Word on the Street.”  Deep bass riffage pummels while polyrhythmic insanity moves like a living, breathing river of percussion.  Everything about “All My Relations” is over the top in the best possible away.  Black Pus will happily assault your eardrums and nurse ‘em back to health in the aftermath. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

William Ryan Fritch
The Waiting Room
Lost Tribe Sound

The story behind this soundtrack is as compelling as the music itself.  Peter Nicks filmed for five months in the emergency room of a large hospital in California, documenting the patients and overburdened staff, showing a microcosm of the problems facing American healthcare today.  Fritch was the perfect choice to compose the soundtrack as his ability to craft a wide variety of music adds another level of depth to the piece as a whole.  Each movement is meticulous, adding dramatic flourishes when needed or scaling back when scenes call for it.  As a standalone album, Fritch makes an ambitious statement with layers of strings, piano, percussion, and countless other instruments melding together in perfect harmony.  It is full of lament, but not without a tinge of hope for some solution, some better way forward.  Beautiful music for a very worthy cause. – Brad Rose, Experimedia

This weeks installment of Experimedia’s weekly mix series comes to us from Digitalis head honcho Brad Rose. Brad need little introduction as the artists behind a growing list of projects such as Charlatan, Alter Eagle, The North Sea and countless more.


1. Jolin Ras “SunGoddess” 
2. Esplendor Geometrico “Signos de Energia” 
3. Marie Davidson “L’Unique” 
4. Prince Douglas “Let Me Love You Dub” 
5. Threads “Room” 
6. [PHYSICS] “Remember” 
7. LE1F “Bubbles” 
8. Aloonaluna “Kaleidoscopes” 
9. Charles Dodge “When I Am With You” 
10. Ras Michael & The Sons of Negus “Keep Cool Babylon” 
11. 51717 “L.K.I.X.” 
12. Euphrat + Tigris “2:53” 
13. Hedia “Trading Caresses” 
14. Junk DNA “Mercator” 
15. Pinchers “Agony” 
16. Sil Electronics “V7” 
17. Best Available Technology “Atomic Numbers” 
18. Regis & Ian Richardson “Staff Car”

The North Sea
Grandeur & Weakness

Rubber City Noise

Grandeur & Weakness is the final album from Brad Rose’s The North Sea, a project that has traversed a wide range of phenomenal sound territories, and it is an sublimely uncanny farewell from one of experimental music’s most ambitious names. 

Rose (best known as the polymath mastermind behind Digitalis and scores of projects) oversees an assemblage of sound sources evoking the history of electric music. From synthesizer soundscapes that seek to reconcile the limits of timbre to concrete sampling and collage, G&W plays a crash course in sonic evocation. Clearly in control of The North Sea sound, Rose notes that he has “never spent more time on any solo project than on this record,” and this is apparent throughout the scale of sound and emotion of G&W. There’s a sense of the uncanny, a mysterious unsettling, throughout the album and this is directly attributable to G&W’s aesthetic basis in Franz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth, African percussion, and progressive drone. The “psychology of colonization … and all the awfulness that entails” is viewed both literally and figuratively through an aura of uncanny unease, and this aura becomes a metaphor for both internal psychological states as well as external manifestations of oppression, despair, and release. 

Grandeur & Weakness is a final album monumental to both the worldwide experimental music community (in which Rose is an essential player) as well as on a larger scale, addressing the overall human condition where heavy, ineffable emotions and essences swirl intangible and the most clairvoyant understanding comes from the act of listening.

Rubber City Noise is honored to present this limited edition vinyl release of Grandeur & Weakness with full color artwork by Tiny Little Hammers and mastering by John Twells (Type) and James Plotkin. Distribution by Experimedia.  

Russell Haswell

Editions Mego

Latest missive from Haswell’s ever-expanding catalog, “The Factual” is a difficult, but rewarding, listen. Consider that the first track is called “Black Metal Instrumental Intro Demo” and take that in for a second. It kind of tells you all you need to know about this record. It’s gnarly as fuck. Beaten-to-hell synth jabs just whack you over the head while barely-there rhythms try to dislodge from the burnt skeleton taking up space on the floor. “Killer Snakehead” is the soundtrack to the worst rave imaginable, where everyone ends up covered in shit and burned at the stake while “Urban nO!se” and “Record Shop Day” are thick, everything-turned-to-11 noise blasts. It’s utterly relentless, extreme music. - Brad Rose, Experimedia

BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa
Goda Nott

Editions Mego

So the story goes, Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa got snowed in at the studio this past winter with no food or drinks and decided to pass the time by working on new recordings. Whether that’s true or not, “Góða Nótt” certainly sounds and feels like what it’s like to be stranded on the edges of the earth. Bleak does not even begin to do this album justice. This does not sound like music that was created but rather sounds that were discovered, like something that has always been there, decaying in the earth and waiting for somebody to dig it up. “Góða Nótt” has hints of melody here or there and even recognizable voices, but it’s all a guise to distract you from how this mass of sound is just THERE, waiting. It is oppressive and intense in all the best ways. It surrounds you and eventually begins to constrict, drawing out all the air until the final segment eventually, cathartically releases you into the desolate, cold air. Impeccable. - Brad Rose, Experimedia

Barnaby Bennett
Shadows and Reflections: An Anthology

Umor Rex

This is an absolute trip. And so goes the story of unknown folk hero, Barnaby Bennett. “Shadows and Reflections” covers a lot of ground and will serve as a perfect introduction to the world that Bennett inhabits and creates. As an anthology, it’s not surprising that the songs are all over the place, but that diversity in line-up, approach, and fidelity becomes on of “Shadows and Reflections” greatest strengths. From the woozy cut-up loops of opener “A Satisfied Mind” through the clandestine auto-tune of “Waltz Away” and muted intimacy of “Whiskey Road,” Bennett is a shapeshifter moonlighting as folk troubadour. Sparse electronics lead to a time-warp on the short but great “Sleep,” and assistance from M. Geddes Gengras adds some serious bass thud to cosmic murk of “Dengue Fever.” In addition to Gengras, Barnaby enlists help from Nashville session legends Charlie McCoy, Wayne Moss, Jim Isbell, Russ Hicks (Ween, Bob Dylan, Elvis, etc..) & Johnny Cash’s niece Lorrie Carter Bennett. It’s hard to know what to make of “Shadows and Reflections” beyond wanting to get lost in it over and over. Good stuff. - Brad Rose, Experimedia

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Timon Irnok Manta


Rob Lowe continues to impress with his boldest statement under his own name, this time for Type Records. As he shifted away from the vocal-based incantations of Lichens over the last few years, the first inklings of this sound were unearthed. On last year’s “Terre Plate” tape (Los Discos Enfantasmes), he offered up something new and enticing. But “Timon Ironk Manta” is another beast entirely. The A-Side, “M’Bondo” loops layers of minimal electronics in circular patterns until they all line-up and erupt. The rhythms are sparse and leave you wondering and the analogue modulations are considered and slow moving. These two elements set each other off, making it seem disorienting at first until everything begins to move into place. Catharsis never really erupts so much as it sneaks up on you. As everything has built perfectly, over the last few minutes of the piece you are absorbed entirely and free to take off. The flipside offers up “M’Bondo (Version),” a totally different take on the same idea. The rhythms are more pronounced here, finding a sliver between dub and tribal influence, while Lowe’s chopped & looped vocals take this to a whole different level. Heavy bass blasts and haunted echoes stem the tide acting as the last barrier to the great beyond. As a frenetic synthesizer sequence tumbles in-and-out of the mix, it adds a chilling element to the already dark and twisted proceedings. This is the new ritual. This will haunt you deep into your bones. Highly recommended. - Brad Rose, Experimedia

Holly Herndon

RVNG International

I remember hearing Holly Herndon’s sprawling exercise in precise, if not bizzare, synthesis with last year’s “Car,” but even with how much I enjoyed that, I wasn’t prepared for how impressive “Movement” is. Herndon has honed in on the ideas presented on “Car,” while adding in some unexpected dance elements to mix it all up. Album standout, “Fade,” is the most accessible with 4/4 rhythms and chopped-up vocal hooks. And yet it’s still anything but straight-forward as she shifts through layer upon layer of electronic trickery, folding melodies into a filter-constructed fog. The title track flirts with danceability (in the furthest stretch of the word), but is even futher down the twisted rabbit hole than “Fade.” The rhythms are even more broken, the hook more obscured, and it’s all punctuated by acid-infused synth sequences. There’s so much going on here that it’s a miracle Herndon keeps all the plates spinning and nothing falls to the floor. Her skill is impressive and this track is relentless, building and building until your skull feels like it’s going to explode from the inside out. But what really makes “Movement” (the album, not the track) such a feat is the spaces between the two aforementioned tunes. “Breathe” takes six minutes worth of breathing sounds and vocal stutters, pushes them through a vortex of processors and effects, and extracts something that blurs the line between human and machine. This is a really great album. - Brad Rose, Experimedia