Sunday, January 17, 2016

:::: ALBUMS OF 2015 ::::

Alva Noto  "Xerrox Vol.3"  (Raster-Noton)
Cat's Eyes  "The Duke of Burgundy"  Soundtrack  (Raf)
Death & Vanilla  "To Where The Wild Things Are..."  (Fire)
Bersarin Quartett  "III"  (Denovali)
Max Richter  "Sleep"  (Deutsche Grammophon)
Coil  "Backwards"  New Orleans & UK Sessions  (Cold Spring & Threshold Archives)
Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto & Bryce Dessner  "The Revenant"  Soundtrack  (Milan)
Sunn O)))  "Kannon"  Japanese Edition  (Southern Lord)
SWANS  "White Light from the Mouth of Infinity" / "Love of Life"  Reissues  (Young God)
Mika Vainio & Franck Vigroux  "Peau Froide, Leger Soleil"  (Cosmo Rhythmatic)
Sun Ra  "Marshall Allen: In The Orbit of Sun Ra and His Arkestra"  (Art Yard)
Thomas Köner  "The Futurist Manifesto"  (Von Archives)
Dennis Johnson  "November"  (Penultimate Press)
Lubomyr Melnyk  "Rivers and Streams"  (Erased Tapes)
Harmonia  "Complete Recordings"  Reissues (Groenland)
David Bowie  "Five Years"  Box Set Reissue (Parlophone)
John Coltrane  "A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters"  Reissue  (Impulse)  
Ennio Morricone & Bruno Nicolai  "Controfase"  Reissue  (Edizioni Musicali Gemelli)
Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe & Ariel Kalma  "We Know Each Other Somehow"  (RVNG)
Teeth of the Sea  "Highly Deadly Black Tarantula"  (Rocket)
Chelsea Wolfe  "Abyss"  (Sargent House)
Föllakzoid  "III"  (Sacred Bones)
Russell Haswell  "As Sure As Night Follows Day"  (Diagonal)
William Basinski  "Cascade"  (Temporary Residence)
Jóhann Jóhannsson  "Sicario"  Soundtrack  (Varèse Sarabande)
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma  "A Year With 13 Moons"  (Mexican Summer)
M.E.S.H.  "Piteous Gate"  (PAN)
Dasha Rush  "Sleepstep"  (Raster-Noton)

Nothing this year compared with the incontestable greatness of time spent in Europe this summer attending the Okwui Enwezor curated “All the World’s Futures” and the Venice Biennale. Adrian Searle offering an encompassing overview in the pages of The Guardian, "Venice Biennale: The World is More than Enough", going on to include the city-wide exhibition in his Best Art Shows of 2015. With Artforum's selections touching on the critically hailed pavilion by Joan Jonas: "They Come to Us Without a Word". Returning from travel abroad it was a great relief to find engaging festivals and exhibitions domestically. The inaugural Paul Allen funded Seattle Art Fair, which taken with the collateral "Out of Sight" exhibition proved to be significantly more than a wealthy man's vanity project. Particularly for it's inclusion of the "Thinking Currents" wing with galleries and media work from the Pacific Rim. Reflecting the changing economic and cultural landscape of Seattle, two regional festivals with an international scope had closing and transitional years in 2015. Neoclassical, ambient and electronic music from around the globe gathered under the vaulted ceilings of the Chapel Performance Space for the final Northwest edition of Rafael Anton Irisarri's Substrata Festival. And in an open letter Decibel Festival's 13th year closed with programming director Sean Horton's farewell to the city. But not before Autechre could deliver their three dimensional, hallucinogenic sonic sculptures in a sold-out festival setting as part of Decibel's Resident Advisor Showcase. The epitome of what's come to be known as the New Music movement largely centered around late 20th and 21st Century American composers, Bang on a Can have "A Quarter-Century Of Banging, and are Still as Fresh as Ever" when they came to Seattle's Moore Theater for this year's iteration of their daylong marathon performance, including the quietly groundbreaking "Music for Airports" by Brian Eno and Steve Reich's landmark "Music for 18 Musicians". If you live on the west coast, this past year offered the possibly once-in-a-lifetime touring retrospective of Hou Hsiao-Hsien's entire oeuvre. Screened in weeks-long series at Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive, UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater and without such prestigious academic support, The Grand Illusion Cinema and Scarecrow Video combined forces with Northwest Film Forum here in Seattle to present three weeks of, "Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-Hsien". As appraisals of the significance of his contribution to late 20th Century cinema, polls conducted by Film Comment and The Village Voice named Hou director of the decade, and in the overlapping 1998 worldwide critics' poll he was cited as one of three directors "most crucial to the future of cinema". Yet it's the Museum of the Moving Image, "Hou Hsiao-Hsien: In Search of Lost Time" and their symposium introduction that still stands as the most succinct tacking of the paradox of this revered, yet rarely seen director.

In music it was another unusually convoluted path to the year's more memorable sounds released. Digital distribution has certainly freed up some of he channels of access and stages of separation between producer and audience, conversely it's also made what was in the past the locus of curatorial vision; the record label, less a reliable go-to. No question, the well curated label is still the best bet at finding more of related sounds when you're attuned to their frequency, it's just not quite the end-all that it once was. The issue of accepting poor royalties for the hypothetical benefit of expansive exposure aside, there are whole forms and centuries of music that are not being served by the predominant streaming platforms. Like the marginalization of global cinema on Netflix and Amazon, Jazz and Classical music are finding themselves particularly under-served on the platforms that define the digital field. For the those that rely on Apple Music and the iTunes player and library system, Robinson Meyer's "The Tragedy of iTunes and Classical Music" details the woes of the player and archiving particulars for the The Atlantic. With the architecture of streaming services like Pandora and Spotify even less attuned to the duration, composer and fidelity concerns that are significant for genres outside of pop music, jazz guitarist Mark Ribot writes, "If Streaming Is the Future, You Can Kiss Jazz and Other Genres Goodbye". Taking a more magnanimous tack, New Yorker's classical music writer, Alex Ross host of The Rest is Noise blog, puts forth benefits and drawbacks in his "The Classical Cloud: The Pleasures and Frustrations of Listening Online", yet expresses deep concern for Apple Music's de-prioritization of anything outside of pop culture canon and it's hierarchical values, "The Anxious Ease of Apple Music". Anastasia Tsioulcas, in a piece for NPR, "Why Can't Streaming Services Get Classical Music Right?", reports much more extensively on the headaches of classical streaming, not least the effects of poor sound quality. Like in the case of the 12 decades of cinema not being represented by the dominant commercial platforms, independent music has begun their own enterprises to better serve their own interests, "Independent Music Labels and Young Artists Offer Streaming, on Their Terms", like that of Drip.FM.

On the subject of classical music, there was the aforementioned Bang on a Can Marathon performance wherein the ensemble brought their daylong realization of selections from New Music and 20th Century composers to Seattle's Moore Theater. The year also saw Neoclassical composer Max Richter realize his long developing 8 hour piece for the facilitation of "Sleep". The full night-long composition ironically after the above discussion of the platform's failings, only available digitally on iTunes via it's label Deutsche Grammophon. Thankfully, there is a physical media release as well as a separate edition of excerpt highlights conceived to represent the more engaged listening aspects "From Sleep". Performed in atypical venues across Europe, such as the Wellcome Collection Reading Room in London this past fall, wherein the attendees nestled their campbeds between the reading room’s bookshelves and displays of alchemist flasks in anticipation of the clock striking midnight and the performance of Richter's "Eight-hour Lullaby for a Frenetic World". Recognizing the New Music and American Minimalist connections Richter in an interview for Bomb, spoke of his longstanding; "interest in extended-duration things. With music, this goes back to the ’60s, those all-night happenings, like Terry Riley and John Cage, all that. It’s certainly an idea that’s been around a long time." There have been no shortage of pieces in the pages of The Los Angeles Times, Time and NPR connecting Richter's new work and it's benefits in relation to the media abundant and time-stretched lives that many people feel they lead. More than just neurological research by incredibly low-key stealth, Richter consulted with Baylor College neuroscientist David Eagleman in developing his composition. Composed over the course of two years, the project's genesis was born of the composer's desire to make a “very deliberate political statement” on how daily time is spent and nature of how the public engages with the larger sonic environment.

The New York Times Magazine feature, "The Art of Slow" posits this socio-psychological examination of how time is spent and perceived in relation to extended duration pieces is nothing new. Chronicling a near-Century of work spanning all disciplines, there are probably no better examples in the sonic arts than "Eliane Radigue's Mining of Wisdom from 11th-Century Buddhism" and the chamber works that American Minimalist composer Morton Feldman wrote in the final decade of his life. His legendary "String Quartet No.2" composed in the earliest 1980s, is over six hours long and is among the most beautiful and extraordinary works composed in all of the second half of the 20th century. FLUX Quartet's performances throughout North America since their premier rendition in 1999, have been marathon exhibitions of "A Piece that Reveals its Beauty Hour After Hour After Hour", including this past October's performance as part of Vancouver New Music's Nordic Streams Festival. This year also saw a significant footnote in the history of American composition. Revived from obscurity and nearly lost, Dennis Johnson's "November" finally saw it's return to a rightful place in the canon of early minimalism. While Johnson himself turned away from music not long after its composition, this piece has been credited as a direct inspiration for LaMonte Young's influential "The Well-Tuned Piano". But "November" was not performed or recorded for an expanse of decades until, in 2009, Kyle Gann reconstructed the score using a 1963 cassette recording, which he had received directly from Young. Now, more than 50 years after its premiere, the composition has finally been recorded in its entirety by pianist R. Andrew Lee and released as a nearly five hour audio document by Penultimate Press. In his review for New Music, Isaac Schankler notes the paradoxical nature of how the piece both demands and defies attention in practically any listening environment. The introductory couple hours of the work, are quite linear, bordering on the teleological, though the material moves forward at a very unhurried pace. Schankler likening Lee’s thoughtful, plangent chord voicings to that of Thelonious Monk at 1/800th the speed of his 1963, "Criss-Cross". But somewhere approximately in it's third hour, the piece shifts to improvisation, Lee's impeccable sense of pacing and touch producing a static vantage, "indefinitely suspended in a gorgeous landscape between a forgotten origin and a nebulous destination".

Though it's role may be reduced in the age of streaming, the magazine, both print and digital can still be a defining tastemaker amid the multitude of channels in which to discover new music. Online institutions like The Quietus, Headphone Commute, Resident Advisor, FACT Magazine and Redbull Music Academy represent the kind of expertise you'll not find outside the framework of such vision and publishing legacy, compiling the life's work of people who make art their enterprise. In my case, no music magazine has been consistently with-it enough to continue readership from the early 90's to present with the exception of The Wire. Evolving right along with the times from a Free Improv, Modern Classical and Jazz magazine in the 70's and 80's to include Post-Rock and Electronic music in the 90's to the all-inclusive Hip Hop, Dub/Reggae, Noise Punk, Post-Everything, Jazz, Black/Doom Metal, Techno/House, Free Folk, Psyche, Kraut/Nipponese Rock, Minimalism, Sound-Art, Bass Music and OutSounds. In addition to their 2015 Rewind feature covering the Top 50 Critic's Picks, the issue features sub-genre breakdowns and interviews, assessments, political commentary and cultural overviews from a spectrum of artists, curators, publishers, and journalists. If there is one print resource that will bring you a global view of the ever-expansive world of Adventures in Modern Music every month, The Wire is still very much it. The well-curated record label can still be one of the best paths toward discovering new sounds as well amid the multitudes of over-abundance online. In the way of cutting edge electronic and experimental sounds, Raster-Noton, Tri-Angle, Blackest Ever Black, PAN, Touch and Front & Follow all delivered catalogs of quality, often groundbreaking work this year. Experimental, Black and Doom Metal continued it's influential hybridization on labels like Southern Lord, Ipecac, Deathwish, Sargent House, Profound Lore and Relapse. Neoclassical and chamber music were served by institutions like Erased Tapes and Denovali and American indies like Sacred Bones and Temporary Residence continued to step up their game, with ever expanding diversification and discovery of new talent. Reissue imprints expanded their catalogs with titles spanning decades of overlooked, rare and seminal work. RVNG continues to release lost wonders from the fringes of psychedelia and early electronic music, as well as adventurous contemporary work, with a willful obliviousness to genre. The San Francisco Bay Area label, Superior Viaduct have continued their strong launch by reaching further into he discographies of Post Punk, Modern Composition, Free Jazz and Out Rock. This year releasing a long overdue edition of Alain Goraguer's classic French surrealist sci-fi soundtracking to "La Planète Sauvage", the complete discography of Post Punk funkers, Liquid Liquid, one of Steve Reich's defining compositions and more 1960's Jazz classics by Alice Coltrane and Charles Mingus.

Some of the most valuable ore from the Industrial music sounds of the early 1980's have been extricated from the dark morass of that period's underground history by the audacious curatorial work of Vinyl on Demand and Dark Entries. Including rare works by Australian surrealists, Severed Heads and the complete early recordings of fellow Sydney industrial concrete artists, S.P.K. One of the most significant duos emerging from this era of 1980's experimentation produced a body of work spanning 22 years of mystic, psychedelic and deeply beguiling sounds as Coil. David Keenan's "England's Hidden Reverse: A Secret History of the Esoteric Underground" is an essential overview of this generation's work in the margins of the British underground, with Jhonn Balance and Peter Christopherson's central role detailed in Russell Cuzner's feature for The Quietus, "Serious Listeners: The Strange and Frightening World of Coil". With much of their catalog scattered to the wind upon Peter's death in 2010, a half decade of uncertainty concerning the preservation of their legacy was resolved this past October when Jon Whitney of the longstanding online music and underground culture entity Brainwashed issued a statement establishing among other things, the ongoing work on their shared archival endeavor. Upon the occurrence of the Brainwaves Festival in 2008 he and Christopherson began the assimilating and building of the highest quality materials available representing Coil's recorded history into the intended corpus that would become the Threshold Archves. As the entity sanctioned by Christopherson and the family of Balance, the archives have released the first of their proposed series in response to releases of varying propriety issued this month by other parties. Foremost among them, Danny Hyde has produced his personal master tapes of the completed "Backwards" album from the British and New Orleans sessions in a edition newly remastered by Gregg Janman. Hyde's statement on the Cold Spring Records site crediting it's entombment for decades at the hands of Interscope to Universal Music's "grey men", and their legal contract concerning it's initial release. Regardless of the album's pedigree, it is a true, great, posthumous expansion of Industrial Music's legacy, and an essential chapter in the Musick of Coil.

The decades of subterranean soundtracks, musique concrete, neofolk, jazz and experimental work that have adorned much of the 20th Century's cult cinema continue to be mined by great reissue institutions like Death Waltz, WaxWork and Mondo. A real gem within this abundance was the first-ever commercial LP release for this 1972 holy grail of brooding avant orchestral work including members of Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza and Edda Dell’Orso borrowed from the bodies of the Italian avant-garde. From Walter Branchi’s processed VCS3 synth duetting with mournful violin, to Egoisto Macchi’s percussion jousting Edda Dell’Orso’s vocal abstractions, Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai have crafted in "Controfase" a radiant, forbidden jewel. There are seeming whole new genres being born of the thematic beds of atmosphere and constructed worlds or Italian Giallo and British Psychedelic, Pagan and Folk Horror of the late 1960s and 70s and their kinship shared with the composers of early electronic music and concrete psychedelia. No better resource covers the source material that inspired this strange little burgeoning corner of the music world than the veritable home of horror studies, The Miskatonic Institute. Earlier this year in interview with The Quietus, founding member Virginie Sélavy with Mark Pilkington of Strange Attractor Press and Stephen Thrower speak of the cross pollination of the postmodern situation, where the genre definitions break down, and in their collision producing contemporary works like Peter Strickland's "The Duke of Burgundy" and Nic Pizzolatto's "True Detective". Strickland's sophomore effort of 2012, "Berberian Sound Studio" was both a homage to the stylistic excesses of the genre and a disquieting period piece set within Italian cinema of the era, making for "A Bold Evocation of the Eras of Both Analogue Sound and the Italian Giallo".

Strickland being no novice when it comes to soundwork either, particularly in relation to the more avant-leanings of Modernism's past. He sought out Nurse With Wound's Steven Stapleton for sound engineering on his first feature after having spent the last decade in a process of discovery, immersed in mid-Century improv, early electronic music and modern composition. The fruits of which are graphically evident, more than any other British contemporary, his filmmography listens like a best-of of the current sonic explorers in the Hauntological hinterlands of New Weird England. For his third feature he enlisted James Cargill of Broadcast to supply the soundtrack score and again recruiting Andrew Liles of Nurse With Wound for the sound design for the fictional film-within-the-film, the brilliantly titled, "The Equestrian Vortex". The title sequence from which stunningly realized by another significant player within the scene, designer Julian House of the Ghost Box label. For last year's "The Duke of Burgundy", Strickland recruited soprano and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira and Faris Badwan of The Horrors, performing together as Cat's Eyes, they produced a deep, hauntingly somnambulistic chamber music, complimentary to the film's kinky fetish of texture and form. Another notable director about the scene, Ben Wheatley returned after the great occult crime thriller of "Kill List", with a unique and sinister vision of Olde Albion set during the 17th Century Civil War. His "A Field in England" watches as a "Oblique, Ominous and Wickedly Idiosyncratic Barney through Old Weird England", the soundtrack for which was Re-Imagined by another of the current roster of British artists working in this occult-fiction inspired postmodern space, Teeth of the Sea. Another postmodern confluence meets in the retro-futurist sound of Malmö, Sweden's Death & Vanilla. Where 1970's Science Fiction soundtracks, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, 1960's Phil Spector and Lee Hazelwood-produced Girl Bands and the ambiance of Angelo Badalamenti's work for the films of David Lynch create a kaleidoscopic assembly on their first feature, "To Where the Wild Things Are".

Having followed the Raster-Noton imprint and it's core artists of Frank Bretschneider, Carsten Nicolai and Olaf Bender since the late 1990s, it's been illuminating to see them not only defy being marginalized by the fadishness of electronic music's short 'half life', but instead evolve to transcend simple codification. Some 15 years witnessing variations on their label aesthetic seen live in cities across the continent from San Francisco and Los Angeles, to Mutek Montreal and beyond, each time the occasion marked by an evolutionary leap present in each artists performance, and the larger audio/visual expression of the label's continuance. The 21st Century has yielded some of the finest work to be heard from the label in the collaborative Alva Noto & Ryuichi Sakamoto project. Their five album run of restrained piano and electronic pointilism reached a state of sublime nuance with the "utp_" live media set in 2008. Carsten Nicolai's solo work as Alva Noto has also undergone a process of significant refinement, the last decade producing the two most recent installations in his Xerrox series, characterized by the enveloping vocabulary of distortion on "Xerrox Vol.2" and melodic beauty of this year's "Xerrox Vol.3". This serial work embodying a sonic vocabulary epitomized by such maturity, articulation and grandeur that when completed, Xerrox will likely stand as the opus of not only Nicolai's discography, but the most significant entry in the history of the label. Frank Bretschneider's "EXP" was another high water mark, a boundary pushing multi-media set of abstract audiovisual sculptural objects has not seen another peer in his discography, and Olaf Bender's "Death of a Typographer" was an unexpected meeting of energized motoric Krautrock and 80's synth-pop inspired explorations. Outside of the core ensemble that initiated the imprint, Raster-Noton has enfolded a global body of work.

Ranging from Japan's urban experimental dancefloor duo Kouhei Matsunaga and Toshio Munehiro, as NHK to the DeStijl inspired dynamic austerity of Emptyset to the pure datamatic audio-visual sensory environments of Ryoji Ikeda and Vladislav Delay's improvisation and jazz-informed rhythmic wanderings. The parameters of the label's scope have expanded with the inclusion of the humor and retro-futurism of Uwe Schmidt's live sets as Atom TM, most recently seen on the media package, "HD+" and the melodic dream-ambulations of the abstract pop of Dasha Rush and this year's excellent, "Sleepstep". Alejandro Iñárritu has chosen in central elements from the Raster-Noton core aesthetic, both a challenging and correspondent companion to his most recent collaboration with cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Together they have realized the scale and splendor of frontier America, a land of endless riches, haunting beauty and great danger. This almost spiritual concoction comprising Lubezki’s extraordinary cinematography and Iñárritu's commitment to being there in the inhuman expanse of the natural world, expressed through "The Revenant"'s hesitant regard for the grandeur of true wilderness, has produced a unflinching, enveloping drama, set against the unsympathetic magnitude of the cosmos. The film's depiction of "A Return From Death's Door", was mirrored both onscreen and off, as during it's production Ryuichi Sakamoto had just emerged from a extended hiatus from touring and performance, while battling cancer. In an interview for Rolling Stone upon his return to health, "Ryuichi Sakamoto Detailed 'Gigantic' Score to The Revenant", revealing the collective soundtrack stands as more than a work by it's three central composers of Bryce Dessner and Alva Noto. The recordings they produced as featured in the film are instead a complex intermingling of their larger structures and the work of Raster-Noton label contemporaries, Vladislav Delay and Ryoji Ikeda, as well as excerpts from John Luther Adams' Pulitzer Prize winning "Become Ocean", which had it's premier and was recorded with the Seattle Symphony in 2013.

For live music heard in the year, the festival context often not only being the highest concentration of sounds heard, but often supplying the most memorable as well. This year's fifth and final Northwest installment of Substrata Festival offered a small intimate festival setting in a cathedral setting in which to hear international names like 12K label founder and minimalist composer Taylor Deupree, chamber ensemble Rachel's pianist, composer, and arranger, Rachel Grimes in collaboration with Loscil's Scott Morgan and one of the great unsung composers of the 20th Century, Continuous Music pioneer, Lubomyr Melnyk. Notable stop-overs from international tours included a night of the founding members of the Onkyokei movement in modern Japanese sound. Their movement's genesis at the millennial cusp saw Tetuzi Akiyama together with Toshimaru Nakamura and Taku Sugimoto, launch the monthly concert series The Improvisation Meeting at Bar Aoyama (later renamed Meeting at Off Site in 2000), centered around the Off Site Gallery with the brilliant Improvised Music from Japan label acting as a vehicle for their transmissions. In recent years the New York Erstwhile label and annual Erstquake concert series have brought Nakamura and Akiyama into regular performance contexts with percussionist Jason Kahn and Bryan Eubanks who expanded their ensemble to a global touring quartet. Earlier this year The Wire's Clive Bell revisited the genesis of what came to be known as the Onkyo sound in his excellent, "Off Site: Improvised Music From Japan" for Red Bull Music Academy. Seattle's monthly showcases of electronic and experimental sounds, Elevator, Secondnature and the MOTOR night at the done-right underground venue that is Kremwerk produced many memorable nights over the course of the year. Foremost among them was the broken-euclidean rhythmic exercises of PAN recording artist M.E.S.H., the dissonant drone and synth onslaught of Room40 label founder Lawrence English, and the elusive minimalist techno of Giegling who Resident Advisor rated label of the month in their detailing of the collective's slippery characteristics.

There was also the Spectrum Spools label showcase featuring Container and Sebastian Gainsborough under his Vessel moniker, representing for the Tri-Angle label, as another of it's roster of colliding melodicism, smeared noise and folded rhythm structures that are inspired as much by hip-hop as by the distorted abstractions of shoegaze. Appropriately referred to as ‘drag', by degrees it shares a weighty physicality that’s as hazily euphoric as it is crushingly abate, or as The Guardian's Scott Wright puts it, "Inspired by Hip-Hop's Screwed Brigade, 'Drag's Heavy Atmospherics and Tormented Outlook are Pure Musical Entropy". The annual Decibel Festival, in it's 13th year and undergoing a transitional period still delivered an abundance of quality, boundary-pushing performances this year. Highlights from the five-day assembly of over 100 artists from 14 countries spanning the globe, included Chicago footwork producer, and The Wire's #1 ranked album of the year, Jlin. Sean Booth and Rob Brown on their twice-decade return to the United States, Autechre manifest this occasion as a hypercomplex, three-dimensional sonic sculptural event that superseded many of their previous decade's incarnations. Female producers figured largely with Laurel Halo's low-end mass ornamented by flitting holographic detail and the hypnotic electronic dream-essays of Raster-Noton artist Dasha Rush made for the festival's first major discovery. Across town on Decibel's final night, Hospital Productions label head Dominick Fernow performed outside the festival setting at from his newest collection of noise-drenched Darkwave electro, "Frozen Niagara Falls", tellingly released on the progressive Doom and Black Metal label Profound Lore. Purient’s North American tour paired Fernow with one of the all-time defining metal acts of the late 80’s and 1990’s. The revived musical monstrosity that is Jesu’s Justin Broadrick and bassist G.C. Green’s Godflesh came on the heels of a series of European festival appearances in 2010. Those who caught the successive tours and performances with Cut Hands, Pharmakon and House of Low Culture were witness to some of the most unrelenting nights of punishing, loud, assaulting music created by man and machine this decade. Decibel's five days and nights of performances from tens of artists from across the globe ended with sixty minutes of decisive and furiously discordant punctuation. For those with a taste for this kind of opprobrious sonic abuse, there could be no better conclusion to a week of cultural, social, auditory adventuring.