American Nightmare Announce New Album, Their First in 15 Years


Lots of news on the American Nightmare front today, starting with confirmation of the band’s long-awaited (15 years!) third LP. Due out February 16th through Rise Records and available for pre-order here, the self-titled effort features a long-held lineup last seen in 2004: singer Wesley Eisold (also of Cold Cave), bassist Josh Holden, guitarist Brian Masek and drummer/engineer Alex Garcia-Rivera. According to a press release, it’s a mix of everything from Negative Approach and The Cro-Mags to Joy Division and Siouxsie And The Banshees… “the first truly collaborative record the band has written with all members contributing to its creation. Adhering to a writing process inspired by the Smiths yet evokes Black Flag, and is dripping with the angst-driven nihilism that has defined the act since their inception, the album is the result Eisold feels represents the true essence of the band.”

“In making this record we had one goal: To make a hardcore punk album that was true to American Nightmare, who we were then and who we are now,” explains Eisold. “No filler, just existential poetic venom. This is ground zero, a new life for the band.”

Check out the record’s savage lead single below, along with tour dates and footage of the group playing a reunion date in Philly a few years back….

American Nightmare self-titled album

American Nightmare
American Nightmare
(Rise, February 16th)

1. The World Is Blue
2. Flowers Under Siege
3. American Death
4. War
5. Gloom Forever
6. Lower Than Life
7. Colder Than Death
8. Dream
9. Crisis Of Faith

American Nightmare tour dates:
2/16 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *
2/17 Brooklyn, NY – Market Hotel *
2/18 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall *
2/21 Montreal, QC – Foufounes #
2/22 Toronto, ON – Velvet #
2/23 Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theater #
2/24 Detroit, MI – Magic Stick #
2/25 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge #
3/2 Baltimore, MD – Soundstage ^
3/3 Richmond, VA – Broadberry ^
3/4 Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (w/ Protester, cloak/dagger, Abuse of Power)
3/9 San Diego, CA – Brick By Brick &
3/10 Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex &
3/11 Berkeley, CA – 924 Gilman &

* with Pissed Jeans, Protester, Spiritual Cramp
# with No Warning, Spiritual Cramp
^ with Pissed Jeans, Protester, cloak/dagger
& with TØRSO, Fireburn, Spiritual Cramp

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Stream A Sacred Geometry’s Chapter IV EP and Read the Stories Behind Their Shadowy Ambient-Techno Songs

Since many of you are probably halfway out the door—ready to get the weekend started right—we thought we’d highlight a late-night listen that’ll come in handy once the clock strikes 12 and sleep isn’t an option anymore. And that is Chapter IV, the latest nocturnal transmission from the subterranean techno duo A Sacred Geometry. Check it out in full below, along with a track-by-track commentary from the Berlin-based duo and streaming versions of all the greyscale grooves in their back catalogue….

The structure of the track mirrors the concept behind the whole EP. The idea was to have loopy percussive elements, maintaining a good balance between the atmospheres and ambiences that we love to design. We like to keep a solid low end, driving the movement in a club, and at the same time mess around with stereo movement and high-frequency shift, keeping the mind focused on that. We are captivated by that (subtle) feeling that nothing seems to happens, having no perception of the subtle variations that occur during the listening experience.

It came out pretty natural—choosing star names for the first two tracks—since we spotted an analogy between the experience of staring at the sky and listening to something that is not really changing, even if it’s evolving.

The difference here is in the shades; “Hyades” has a gloomier mood, leading to a darker meditative state.

We believe that electronic music should not be confined to the club experience. That’s why we always try to deliver a full spectrum of sounds that could be perceived in different ways. Soundtracks are also a huge influence on our work, and “NYR” is the result of these two factors, as well as a calm anchor at the end of the journey. Pads, atmospheres and delayed toms create a peaceful state, in which it’s nice to find ourselves lost.


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Neo-Classical Nods Meet Fractured Electronic Music on Vito Gatto’s New EP

While he may have been classically trained at Milan’s prestigious Conservatorio di Musica “Giuseppe Verdi”, violinist Vito Gatto has also spent time on stage with Einstürzende Neubauten and Blonde Redhead. Which leads us to Wood and Meat, a freshly pressed EP that strikes a delicate yet dynamic balance between organic and electronic music. Or as Gatto puts it, “I was looking for a way to watch the flow of time from outside, without being part of it. Music can do it. In this new production, the sound of classical instruments like strings, pianos, and violin crash and mix with electronic concrete sounds…. Wood and meat are manipulated by technology, voluntarily. Travelling from past to future through present, not worrying about their own origin.”

“Vito’s music is like a great soundtrack—full of images and different emotional waves,” adds Roberto “Rup” Paolini, the director of the music video we’re premiering below. “Through Wood and Meat, you can travel inside yourself, doing a sort of introspective trip through anger, contemplation, melancholy, and reaction. This video is a sort of short movie. I saw a warrior that is first of all a human being—traveling internally through training and meditation until he arrives to his interior demon….”

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Fever Ray Explains How Ball Gags, Leather Fetishes, and Weird Memes Inspired Her New Album

For Karin Dreijer, Fever Ray is not just a cool alias. Fever Ray is a character—many characters, actually. These guises are brought to life through the Swede’s sinister art-pop, as well as through costumes and visual concepts that complement her music’s subversive pull. When she first emerged as Fever Ray in 2009, Dreijer took several forms: a bleach blond gothic witch, a painted skeleton, and, memorably, a gurgling enigma with a melting mug. These outlandish looks filled out the foggy world of Fever Ray while simultaneously making it even more mysterious.

Since then, Dreijer’s life has vastly transformed: The Knife, her beloved project with her brother Olof, disbanded; she divorced her husband; and she embraced a long-simmering queerness (and Tinder). Those changes are reflected in her new LP Plunge, a radiant emanation of Dreijer’s reclaimed carnal desires, a celebration of community, rebellion, and sex. “At one time I thought the album name should be Fun,” Dreijer explains over Skype, referring me to a photo of French artist Thomas Mailaender’s butt tattooed with the word. “It was a very, very, very important direction, as a contrast from the past.” She decided that Plunge’s physical manifestation would need to express the same excitement and joy of sexual freedom and curiosity.

This reincarnation is most apparent in album trailers and her video for “To the Moon and Back,” where she takes the form of both a smiling, bald sex slave and a self-described “monster” whose cracking skin is largely covered by latex. Talking about the nature of her various characters, she says, “They are very different, but they also have many similarities. It’s more about the character of emotions, like you how wake up and feel that specific day. There can be very many different ones that fit into one body.”


News Round-Up: 15/12/17

Behringer planning clones of pretty much every classic synth and drum machine ever. Pete Tong slammed by Massive Attack for ‘nostalgia nightmare’ take on dance classics. Berghain bouncer presents experimental video.

Let me in. Berghain’s famous door man Sven Marquardt has curated a series of experimental videos featuring Radiohead and David Lynch, and you can watch it above.
Record shop. Gear marketplace Reverb has launched a vinyl buying and selling website called Reverb LP. It connects the right users using software comparable to dating website, apparently. Read more here.
Pete Wrong. Radio 1 and dance legend Pete Tong is touring a dance classics live show where he reinterprets iconic tracks with a huge orchestra and conductor Jules Buckley. One of the tracks in the set list is ‘Unfinished Sympathy’ by Massive Attack, and the trip-hoppers aren’t happy with it. See below for why.

Big Behringer leak. Earlier this week, Behringer’s website displayed information pertaining to a load of product design concepts by mistake. In a Facebook post (below), Behringer claim that this was all a big accident, but the leak hints that they’re working on clones of a huge range of classic synths and drum machines, including the LinnDrum, Octave Cat, Oberheim DMX and many more.
Sold. Apple has bought Shazam and it will “enable us to continue innovating and delivering magic for our users”. Read a statement on it here.

Get to know. Synth Lord Legowelt investigates the Yamaha MK100 with a blog post and some demos on his website. Source:

Natural Progression: UVI’s Alain Etchart


We catch up with UVI co-founder Alain Etchart to discuss the company’s evolution and how his own musical tastes inform the company’s products.
Attack: Hi Alain. For those who don’t know you, can you introduce yourself?
Alain Etchart: Sure. My name is Alain Etchart, I’m a co-founder and CEO of UVI. My background is a mix of scientific studies and musical activities. I have a strong connection with sound and music and I’m still active today making records. I just finished producing the latest MC Solaar album, released last month in France.

What does your day-to-day role at UVI involve now?
In abstract, you can think of a company like a little bonsai; you need the right soil (people), to water it (guide and enable them), and as it grows, prune, to keep it healthy and give it a pleasing shape (managing focus, vision). So in a way my role is that of a caretaker, and I get to work with an amazing and talented organisation.
How do you balance your UVI role with your own music and production work?
At this point it’s very natural. They feed each other, being both technical and creative in complementary ways. You work on one until you hit a wall or burn out, and then you change gears, deep-dive into your other passion, recharge, and often you’ll find solutions for the one buried in the other.
[quote text="Instruments are linguistic tools, they affect how we think, work and communicate, and they’re a communication in and of themselves."]
UVI has evolved significantly over the course of the company’s lifespan to date. Can you tell us about that process? How much of it has been planned and how much has been natural and organic?
From an internal perspective our progression has felt completely natural. I can’t say that at the beginning we planned to be exactly here, or that we know exactly what we’ll be doing in 10 years, but I can say without a doubt that whatever it is, it will be the result of a team that’s personally engaged and passionate about their work. I couldn’t ask for more.
How does your own passion for hardware and vintage synths influence UVI?
That’s a great question. They’re profoundly influential, and not just for me. Instruments are linguistic tools, they affect how we think, work and communicate, and they’re a communication in and of themselves. I think they’ve made us particularly sensitive to the quality and character of our sounds, to how influential interface can be on not only how you work but what you create, to be confident in your own voice and to never be afraid to take risks. When we do instrument, I really want the result to sounds like it’s off a commercial record, so it’s not only the vintage hardware, but the whole process around recording it.

Are there certain products which you think reflect your personal tastes more than others?
I have my passion projects to be sure, but often more surprising is how the ones you weren’t as excited about at first can end up influencing you. EGP, a prepared Yamaha CP70 recorded in both electric and acoustic, is a good example of that. Some of the sounds we ended up with were so expressive that I lost hours playing them without realising it.
[quote align=right text="Sometimes the most profound innovations can be the simplest ones."]
Do you think it’s enough for a company like UVI to react to trends in music production or do you have to stay one step ahead of trends and predict what people are going to want to before they know they want it?
Unfortunately we can’t predict the future, but we’ve always walked our own path. Every organisation has their own strengths and their own voice and to succeed you can’t lose sight of that. When we’re at our best our products make it easier for customers to do the things they need to do today while creating opportunities that keep tomorrow exciting.
On that subject, to what extent are you exploring newer technologies such as VR or cloud computing?
We’ve always got an eye towards the horizon. It’s hard to say which efforts will have the best yield but opportunities for innovation are abundant and the products we’re developing now are our most ambitious yet. Sometimes the most profound innovations can be the simplest ones. Source:

New Music: Poppy – Bleach Blonde Baby (Video)

“She is the sort of celebrity who could not have existed even half a decade ago: born of and beloved by the internet, and essentially unknown outside of it,” the Guardian wrote of Poppy the other day. They pretty much nailed it.

Poppy is not in a cult. She does not believe in cults. Or so she tells us in this very cult like video (here). Yet once you’ve entered her slightly creepy, alien, wooden world of pastel colours, a mannequin called Charlotte, a basil pot plant and a man called Titanic Sinclair it’s hard not to get sucked in. There’s something weirdly compulsive about her You Tube channel. It probably explains why she’s had over 230 million views on it and it’s rising by the day. People love her. Just like she tells them to (in this disturbing video here)

I’ve often suggested both here and on Twitter that there’s a big disconnect between streaming statistics and punters who will actually turn up to a live show, but with so many streams it was perhaps inevitable that someone would want to see what Poppy does live and this week I went, mainly out of curiosity, with a whole bunch of Poppy obsessives, to see her first ever UK gig at The Garage in London. OK it’s still only a 600 capacity venue, but at least punters did turn up.

Rather like Poppy’s musical output online, live she probably isn’t quite as odd as you might want her to be. Ultimately the gig was still a straightforward pop show with singing, dancing and flashing lights. But on the other hand there aren’t that many pop shows that start with an hour of Toto’s 80’s hit Africa being played on a loop, a DJ set by a mannequin, an artist asking numerous times ‘Do you love me?’ And measuring the audiences love with a love meter, and a man telling the audience to shout Monster Energy drink in response to one of the artists videos (this one). 

To coincide with the gig Poppy has released a new music video. I’ve never featured the music of Poppy on the blog before, partly because a lot of it is just too cheesy, too saccharine, too Barby Girl-ish to be considered of any lasting merit, and whilst Bleach Blonde Baby still very much sits on that side of the fence there’s something (rather like her alternative universe conversation videos) that is ridiculously possessing about it. Maybe it’s the synth riff that sounds like a beginner learning to play Material Girl by Madonna, the lyrics that describe that if you cut her she’ll bleed pink and that one day her face will be on a million dollar bill, the way that the video sneaks in Charlotte the mannequin sitting in the congregation at the church of Poppy without you really noticing, or the stupidly happy looking people waving giant fluffy letters spelling the words ‘Everybody Dies’. Or maybe it’s just the fact that the whole thing, rather like the whole Poppy project, is just a very modern, very youthful, satirical take on celebrity culture. 

Poppy – Bleach Blonde Baby (Video)


The 20 Best Experimental Albums of 2017

The album, as a form, is a suggestion at best, and 2017’s most adventurous artists stepped well beyond its boundaries—if they acknowledged its boundaries at all. Most of the time, what’s considered experimental music derives from serious, sustained play: with genre, with form, with tempo and attention, and even with reality. The albums that pushed the hardest in all directions this year managed to carve out pockets of time where the rules and limitations of the broader world didn’t bear down quite so harshly. They came from experimental veterans who have been straining against convention for decades, and they came from young artists starting to cultivate their voice. But all of them, whether they adopt the vernacular of harsh, guttural noise or delicate, synthesized ecosystems, offer reprieve from the repetition of mundane life. In them, you might just find a way out.

Listen to selections from this list on our Spotify and Apple Music playlists.


Videos: Oscar Peterson Live

Screen Shot 2017-12-14 at 8.19.09 PM

Oscar Peterson was an exceptional jazz pianist, especially in front of a live audience. His rousing playing style and robust sense of swing swept up everyone in a concert hall. My favorite live period for Peterson is from the late 1950s to the late 1960s. Here are three recently posted videos from this era:

Here’s Peterson with Ella Fitzgerald, guitarist Herb Ellis, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Jo Jones featured in a 24-minute clip of concert footage from Amsterdam in 1957…

Here’s Peterson, guitarist Herb Ellis and bassist Ray Brown playing A Gal in Calico in Amsterdam in 1958…

And here’s Peterson with tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon, bassist Sam Jones and drummer Bobby Durham playing Polka Dots and Moonbeams in 1969…



New Music: Johnny Marr & Maxine Peake – The Priest (Video)

I’ve had a few days away from the blog, but during that time there is one piece of music I heard that absolutely blew me away. So better late than never I’m casting it here. It’s the new collaborative single between Johnny Marr and actress Maxine Peake.

As time goes on and we all get that little bit older it seems that Johnny Marr is becoming ever more likeable and ever more wise, the opposite to Morrissey, the man he once had a special creative relationship with, who dives deeper and deeper into a world of hate and awfulness. 
Therefore, it should be no surprise to find that unlike Morrissey’s at best patchy album, Marr has created something cinematic, powerful, intimate and graceful. It’s staggeringly good. But more than that. The Priest is compelling because it’s so thoughtful. 

Taking as it’s starting point the words of Joe Gallagher, a man who was homeless, that has used his ability with words to make his life a bit better, and delivering them through a female voice from Peake, before casting a young actress in the video (20 year-old Molly Windsor), the whole piece avoids stereotypes and joins the dots between all types of people. This is pop music / art with a social conscience; and it makes you think that anyone could fall into this situation given a bad deal.

If only Morrissey could take a few lessons from Marr. This one gave me goose bumps. A very meaningful piece of work.

Johnny Marr & Maxine Peake – The Priest (Video)