JOCHEN Arbeit & PAOLO Spaccamonti – CLN

Got this wonderful email the other day, from an artist that I have tons of respect for, “Hello Justin, I am Paolo Spaccamonti, a Turin-based musician, do you remember me?  On the 9th of March I will be releasing the vinyl version of an album I co-wrote with Jochen Arbeit  (Einstürzende Neubaten’s guitarist) on Boring Machines and Escape From Today and I was wondering if you might be interested in reviewing it.”  Well hell yeah! He did me right last time with another collaboration…”This is an absolutely incredible find, so overjoyed sometimes that these things come to me, because how in the world would I even know that this unassuming record would be so massive.”
And so Paolo this time comes to me with another collaboration, this time with Jochen Arbeit of Einstürzende Neubaten.  Double hell yeah!  I know in the real world musicians can’t approach a reviewer that way, they have to send impersonal press releases by the dozens, but it sure is nice for the music lover to be connected personally for a moment with the musician.  So what do you get when extremely talented guitarists together with a shit ton of effects?  Brilliance, plain and simple.  Well, maybe not so plain and simple.  I’ve been listening to it for about a week and a half, off and on, probably the whole thing 6 or 7 times, and I trip on it every time.  With my headphones on it’s just me and the music, first thing that comes to mind is layered atmospheres, the songs don’t fly by, they float on.  It’s not hippie at all (although my inner hippie wants to eat a sack of mushrooms and give this a spin) , but it has this laid back Ravi Shankar-ish vibe, jamming to a drone, kinda thing.  I am reminded of something very old, but this is as modern as it gets.  Emotionally, it’s relaxing to listen to, although it’s almost sinister at times, without being evil.  This is not good or evil, it’s beyond that, it’s to guys creating on a primal level, the compositions are in the act of being sculpted. Maurizio Blatto wrote a very nice piece about the record…

“Only if you know symmetry you can break it. Only where the dark has reigned, you can escape. Places have sounds. CLN is the album by Jochen Arbeit and Paolo Spaccamonti. CLN place is the city of Turin exoteric center joint. With two fountains depicting Po and Dora Riparia rivers, in perspective symmetry, and two twin churches exactly behind them, in San Carlo place. Through the lines of the tracks, two guitars stare at each other, but instead of chasing each other, they take slight different directions. Like being close to a defined and straight rail path, but choosing rather to grow free close to it. In an apartment overlooking CLN place, the first homicide is committed in the horror movie Profondo Rosso by Dario Argento. A sentient woman is slaughtered by an axe. The dark force of the album is an elegy, reverberating on a rigorous architecture. In CLN place, tourists often point their finger, with an uncertain smile, seeking for the right window of that apartment. “Did it really happen there?”. The swollen blast of the guitars appears always consciously managed, like noise being taken by the hand and thrown elsewhere. Jochen and Paolo got to know each other in Turin, while the speakers in a bar were diffusing the notes from Rumors, an album by Spaccamonti. Arbeit liked it so much that, after a few months they gathered again in a studio, without any preordered plan or scheme. But defined perimeters materialize often freedom, and three hours of recordings distilled thirty minutes of sounds. Redefined, thinned and carved. In CLN Place, Gestapo held their quarters during the nazi occupation of the city in World War II. For this reason, the significance of the location was mended from its history and the place was renamed, dedicating its name to the National Liberation Front. Every sound needs to be reshaped, in order to build something new from it. The concrete beating of Einsturzende Neubauten (of which Jochen is a member) and the cinematography on electrical chords by Paolo. This is the theatrical exposition of psychedelia as iron and fleeing sounds as narrative. CLN: a place, this record”.

Pretty deep huh? In fact, this record is deep, probably a lot deeper than I am able to fathom, not being a musician myself. When this comes out on the 9th it will be available digitally of course, but also as 180gr white vinyl…hell yeah!

HAU – Brilliant Gospel Alibi CD

This was on the way back from town very early this morning, through the cracked, dirty windshield of my deceased Mother’s pride and joy, her Subaru…perfect prequel to blogging about this badass album…

On fucking fire is what this CD is, from beginning to end, an intensely, raging flame, like a furnace at a steel mill melting your goddamn brain! What do you expect though outta the wasteland that is Greece these days (don’t feel left out my American friends, the USA may only be a decade behind the Greeks, as Mike said, “our days are dark / many human developments”). Mike and Jianni, virtual pals of the Relics for some time now by way of another Greek pal, Panos of Pornostroika Dadafi (you may remember this tune PORNOSTROIKA DADAIFI – NEUROPE (HAU REMIX), released this here CD on Bulgaria’s own DVNTT back on February 10th (no one can say Mustard is too early to the party, in fact I’m late and everybody’s drunk…got some catching up to do). The labels on the Bandcamp page are very generic (I kinda like that)…electronic experimental techno industrial noise, but you very easily could call them…ambient drone tribal rhythmic noise post punk and potentially a whole host of other micro-labels, but there’s nothing “micro” about HAU, this duo is huge. It’s got this immense start, that in true old school, industrial fashion, reminds you of being in a factory, gears turning, metal pounding metal (really the whole CD has that vibe) and then 6 3/4 minutes in, it abruptly ends and I realized my pulse had become rapid with the music…BAM BAM BAM, STOP!  A weird feeling, the quiet after that seemingly endless loud smash of your fucking car into a brick wall. The silence is short of course, as they get right back into it. The hit, the one that maybe even folks not into this kind of music, could dig on this bad boy is “Cunts and Needles”, sorta dark wave… very, very dark…”down here.”  These are all hits though, and as with a lot of these kinds of albums, the whole thing is one work, not to be separated, you take out one piece and the whole thing doesn’t make sense.  And so, to separate another track, I love how, “Into The Caves of Disability” reminds me a bit of their comrades Pornostroika.  Anyway, I bought this thing (limited to 25 physical copies) about half way through listening to it, absolutely fucking amazing every time I listen to it and each time I’m almost exhausted aurally, this thing pummels you that hard (there should be a warning label on it). They have a Soundcloud, Bandcamp, Facebook, and a Youtube, you fucking name it. I wanted to thank Mike and Jianni for enlightening me with this wonderful music. Now listen…

Rich Kids on LSD…

Don’t know if I’ve ever sat through a whole Mr. Bean movie, just seems like a schtick that could get old, but this kills me.   I wouldn’t turn down a hug from someone who needed one (because that’s the kind of world I want to live in) but there are a few that it would be suffering to endure, so Mr. Bean’s Jedi trick could actually be handy.

TGIF baby, tomorrow is Friday and it’s payday, so just gotta make it through what is looking like a hectic day. Damn, I miss the days of my youth, doing landscape construction (best shape of my life). Just another fucking office jerk now, having to make decisions that affect my clients’ lives, the pressure gets to be a bit much. Too much, woulda coulda shoulda. Need to catch up on this place as well. Got two really bitchen projects to review, one German/Italian and the other Greek, really blown away that people this talented are asking me to review their music. Also need to add the Garden Weasel “Smerb” flexi postcard, Mustard Relics Records #2. Don’t know if #3 is going to happen, sure wish I knew because I’d be hyping the shit outta that motherfucker right about now. I’ve bugged the artist enough though and this time of year it’s cold as fuck in Norway.

I’ve taken a couple of painting classes, a dabbler really, I love animated gifs (duh) and I’m a double dabbler at making my own gifs, but this dude Dax Norman is fucking insane. With the bleak drabness of winter heavy upon us, maybe what we need right now is a splash of vibrant, colorful, lunacy

This post goes out to all my Bro Shawn, who probably saw these guys in their heyday, when this record was released in 1985…I unfortunately never did, but had this album dubbed on cassette and coincidentally I got my first car in ’85, so chances are if you rode with me in my bug, you have ear damage partially because of this album. Recently they ended up on my playlist again, but that’s not unusual as I share a long history of addiction with the band members (three have succumbed), and lets face it, this is a helluva damn good hardcore record. Keep laughing, baby…


Cable access TV – San Francisco 2-8-88

Live at the Farm

There Goes The Neighborhood

In the news from yesterday, another mass shooting at a school, 17 dead so far, more thoughts and prayers. Lots of opinions floating around these shootings that apparently happen every 60 hours in this country now, but I don’t give a shit about the opinions of anyone except those of the loved ones left mourn.  I will offer my own opinion of course. A large number gun people are fucking cowards, Mr. Jones in Friday had THIS to say, but then again not everybody is playing by the same rules…

My old friend Ramie dropped me a line and asked me my thoughts on this article about the nazis in the 80s LA punk scene. My first thought was “rat pack”. These guys thrived on superior numbers, just like any gang, and you wouldn’t hear a peep out of them when there was one or two at show, but when you get 10-20, all of a sudden they’re brave. People quickly figured out that fact and used the same tactic to keep the peace. I remember one show at the Olympic, English Dogs in ’86, there was shit ton of fighting going on, the only time there was a pause in it was when Youth Brigade played Sink With California. My close group of punk friends, there was five of us, met up with a small group of racist skins camping back in high school. They were pretty harmless and very stupid, we ended up partying with them, and listening to them try to rationalize their point of view. They were of course passive because there wasn’t 20 of them and 5 of us. I was more nervous about the fact that one of the skinhead chicks was sweet on me…hahahaah. The Specials song Racist Friend is a good statement about how I feel about natzees…

Coincidentally my pal Jay turned me onto this tune by Body Count…