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ALTER

FINAL (Justin Broadrick)

It Comes To Us All

    Justin K Broadrick (Godflesh, Jesu, JK Flesh) breathes new life into his FINAL project for an album on Helm’s ALTER label. Formed in 1984 out of an obsession with the industrial, noise & power electronics acts of the early eighties, FINAL made its public debut at the legendary Mermaid pub in Birmingham when Broadrick was just 14 years old. A string of cassette releases via his Post MortemRekordings label established the name within the underground noise scene of the time until increased activity with his various groups (Napalm Death, Head of David and later Godflesh) meant that FINAL naturally fell by the wayside before the end of the decade.

    Broadrick reactivated the project in 1993 during the British ambient “isolationism” period and FINAL's sound became focussed more on texture, producing beatless ambient work with a number of albums for labels like Sentrax, Utech, No Quarter and Neurot. ‘It Comes To Us All’ is the first FINAL album to appear on vinyl since 2015’s ‘Black Dollars’ on Downwards and continues to explore the textural nature of Broadrick’s ambient work - this time through a filter of blown-out harmonic noise that reconnects the project with its harsher roots. Rather than channelling the angst of early power-electronics, the noise here rumbles along blissfully through 8 untitled tracks, sombre in tone and at times beautiful. Melodies sampled from pop music are put through a process of decay, stripped of their form and worn down with a rusty, melancholic afterglow. Reducing all its parts to slow-motion shadows of their former selves, ‘It Comes To Us All’ is an exploration of the decay of all living things that we face collectively, day after day

    Low Life

    From Squats To Lots: The Agony And XTC Of Low Life

      Low Life are a rock band from Sydney, Australia.

      THE RECORD: Low Life’s 3rd LP is called From Squats to Lots: The Agony and the XTC of Low Life.

      NOTES ON HOW TO LISTEN TO AGONY AND XTC OF LOW LIFE:

      1. Some records hit you with an instant impression of timeless brilliance, and Low Life’s Dogging is one of those records, what the wise call “an instant classic”.

      2. From Squats to Lots: The Agony and the XTC of Low Life is more like their second album Downer Edn (read Edition), a little more withdrawn, a little more textured. Complex. Rich. Which is to say: you’re going to need some time with it.

      3. Some show, some grow. Low Life have done both. This one is a grower. Spend some time with this one. It’s got that nuanced flavour. Don’t guzzle. Sip. Savour.

      4. Sip it, and sense the recurring brilliance of Mitch Tolman’s lyrics, exploring the usual territory of gutter life, lad life, punk life, low life. The dirge. Disgust and shame in white Australia. Council housing, bills piled to the neck, substance abuse and rehabilitation, the fallen lads and lasses who stood too close to the flame, loss and loneliness, from squats to lots. Un-Australian gutter symphony.

      5. There is a celebration of resilience and that’s a central theme of this record and a time like ours needs a record like Agony & XTC. Low times are coming through, but if you’re low they won’t get to you.

      6. Iggy Pop’s Bowie produced studio rock masterpieces ‘The Idiot’ and ‘Lust For Life’ are important reference points to the 3rd album sounds of Low Life. Here comes success!

      7. ‘The Agony and Ecstasy’ is a 1985 novel by Irving Stone about the life of Italian Renaissance painter Michelangelo. Stone wrote another novel about the single eared painter Vincent Van Gogh called ‘Lust For Life’. This synchronicity hit me.

      8. Iggy and the Stooges are a pretty safe reference for Low Life (and all good rock music). Iggy and the Stooges are a low life’s Michelangelo, but solo Iggy like Lust for Life is a better reference for this particular incarnation of Low Life, which is to say they are studio rock albums.

      9. Bowie later referred to this period of his life as profoundly nihilistic. But Iggy looked at it as the period of his life that saved him from an early grave. This confrontation is Low life lore.

      10. Let’s stick to this, because there’s something about this era of Bowie that makes sense with Low Life’s new album, particularly Low. One should never miss the Low in our new album from Low Life. Producer and studio boss Mickey Grossman has the ear for the Low, and he has carved out a little statue of David right here.

      11. Mickey’s ears are recording, mixing and producing the best of Sydney, most notably the Oily Boys Cro Memory Grin. A great companion record to this one. Use Agony & XTC AFTER Oily Boys. Not on an empty stomach, and don’t try to operate heavy machinery (bobcat, bulldozer etc).

      12. The relationship between Low Life and Sydney hardcore should not be understated, but it also shouldn’t guide how to listen to Agony & XTC. This is not austere, disciplined music.

      13. Think, like, if Poison Idea were given the kind of studio time and budget as Happy Mondays. You wouldn’t play it to a teenager. It’s not for children. This is a mature flavour, one for the adults who have had to contend with failure and hardship, medical bills and disappointed family members, betrayed lovers and worrisome growths, police brutality and tooth decay, humiliating bowels and collapsed septums, detoxing and drying out, for those who have seen themselves as corrupted and putrid and unloveable, for those who endure all of this and aren’t willing to lie down and cop it sweet: Low Life are still here and they ain’t going nowhere

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Agony Intro
      2. Agony & XTC
      3. Collect Calls
      4. Real Man
      5. Still Here
      6. CZA
      7. Conversations
      8. Hammer And The Fist
      9. Epitaphs
      10. Harmony
      11. Moments
      12. Agony Outro

      L.I.E.S. alumni Nick Klein lands at Alter with a diverse four tracker of cryptic machine conversations. The set gets off to an ambient start with the crystaline tones and glassy bass notes of "Burning Mattresses", (full on late 80s Eno vibes here) before lurching into industrial territories courtesy of the discordant bleeps, queasy lead lines and distorted bass pulses of "Pena Adobe". Over on the flipside, "Smelling The Sheets" keeps it dark and distorted with buzzing waveforms and thrusting rhythms, but cuts back on the full frequency craziness for a crisp dancefloor experience. Finally "The God In Vodka" gives us all out insanity, tripping out into droning feedback and garbled sequences, the woozy leadline the booze laced icing on a very strange cake. Recorded in Brooklyn NY, on an economic set-up, this is fringe shit for the real freaks out there.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Burning Mattresses
      2. Pena Adobe
      3. Smelling The Sheets
      4. The God In Vodka 

      Age Coin

      Perceptions

      'Perceptions' is the debut vinyl release from Age Coin, the Danish duo of Simon Formann and Kristian Emdal whose work you may have previously encountered as members of the Copenhagen based bands Lower, Var and Girlseeker. Originally issued as a short-run cassette on the Posh Isolation label in 2012, Alter is pleased to rescue this powerful industrial gem from potential obscurity and present a vinyl edition. Two long pieces of slowly developing wind-tunnel noise and air-craft hangar electronics that bring us close to the reality of what Mika Vainio and Esplendor Geometrico jamming over a desolate and barren landscape might sound like. Mastered for vinyl by Stephen Bishop and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, August 2013.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. I
      2. II


      Latest Pre-Sales

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