Wednesday, June 14, 2017

To Lie Is To Be Strong: 90s german hardcore punk special post. Part 1

Note: We love Beckenbauer. Are we popular yet?


Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with our long awaited special post. Yaaayy! This time around, we'll talk about german hardcore punk in the 90s. Since we started this humble website, we've already featured some of these interesting jewels and we wanted to explore more of this amazing hardcore scene. Germany has always been one of the most important epicenters of hardcore and punk. Indeed, since the 80's, we've seen amazing hardcore punk outfits such as Chaos Z, Normahl and Inferno, as well as top-notch post-punk acts like Fliehende Stürme and EA80, among others, that have always been a source of admiration and inspiration. Obviously, for the next decade, german hardcore punks didn't fall sleep and produced a wide variety of brutal and politically-charged music. 

Just like many other contemporary hardcore punk scenes around the world, the american hardcore punk style was gradually gaining more terrain, above all bands of the time such as Downcast, Born Against and Econochrist, whose sound and their highly political sensibilities were a direct influence. When some of these bands made their respective european tours, they couldn't believe how well organized the scene was. Kent McClard, owner of Ebullition Records, remarked this and compiled some of these emerging bands in the Illiterate compilation (we've already posted it, so you can view it once again here. The entry is in spanish, however). 

Thus, during all the decade, many political hardcore punk bands (including vegan straight edge bands) appeared exploring different subgenres. For example, the first wave of 90s german hardcore like Abolition, Truth Against Tradition and Spit Acid, among others, had late-80s and early-90s american hardcore influences. For the second wave, in the same vein as other european scenes of the time, metallic hardcore or metalcore bands were emerging and groups like Loxiran and Lebensreform gained an important reputation inside and outside of Germany. Other bands of the same style such as Bremen-based groups like Systral, Acme, Mörser and Carol, whose ferocious, uncompromising and unbeatable sound also gave them notorious fame. This local scene has also been known as Northcore. Even bands such as Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn have had little mainstream success. Also, some emocore bands like Age and Abyss were a clear reference for the subgenre, and, emerging powerviolence acts like Stack and Y were admired and highly praised as well.  

Finally, like previous special posts, we'll feature you some records and compilations of this spectacular 90s hardcore scene. Also, for this first entry, we'll translate the 90s german hardcore-related compilations we've posted so far (plus one extra). I know this is an uncommon move because the final entries of the previous special posts feature compilations, but these ones will serve as an introduction, or even as an "appetizer", of what we'll talk about. However, the newest compilations we recently got for this special post, will be featured in the last entry. With all that written, let's begin.

500 Years of Genocide

https://mega.nz/#!S1xQBIKB!Xf77UBKrZGEdiOioP7mJpYfje2vejF5iqMQkMt6CuTA

An impressive compilation released by Per Koro (one of the most influential german hardcore punk record labels) and Peacy Records (Luxemburg) in 1993. It contains the following bands: Downcast (USA), Wounded Knee, No More (Luxemburg), Abolition, Truth Against Tradition (Germany) and P.R.A.C.H. (France). The featured tracks are already available on each's band discographies and were taken from a live performance in Luxemburg, during Downcast's european tour in 1993.

The name of this compilation is clear: it conmemorates the massacre of indigenous people in North America executed by european caucasic men, blinded by their insane craving of conquest and expansion. All proceeds were donated to Mohawk Nation, an american non-profit organization that fights for north american indigenous' settlements (only a few remain), their preservation and respect of their environment and vital space. Also, there's included a short yet complete writing about the negative influence of the rich white men in american territories. It's written in both english and german.

Regarding the sound, we find fast, relentless and ferocious political hardcore, highly influenced by american outfits such as Downcast, Rorschach and Born Against. Nonetheless, I must admit that these european bands took these influences to the next level and, perhaps, they were even more engaged to the cause. And, the lyrics are varied, full of both social and political critics, denouncing colonialism, death penalty and prison, among others.

Finally, I highly recommend this compilation. Click on the image for downloading it. You'll find all artwork, inserts, layouts and the aforementioned booklet in the file. All-in-one. Enjoy! 

The Seed Of The Next Season

https://mega.co.nz/#!DoIW1CID!XQEyL4Hod353zK_ulzgQMuoolGIQO91a_mJ8Rx3i7l0

Another impressive german hardcore punk compilation released by german record labels Per Koro and Alveran in 1999. It was released on both CD and LP formats, with no apparent differences between them. It features the following bands: Jane, Chispa, Systral, Y, Acheborn, Heaven Shall Burn, Linsay, Tumult, Man Vs. Humanity, Enfold, Nyari, Gomorrha, Deamon's Jaded Passion, Mörser, Inane, Metalfist, Caliban and Aclys.

Regarding the sound, we find top-notch metalcore (including Northcore bands), screamo and powerviolence. Unlike other german hardcore punk-related compilations of the time, this one has a superior sound quality and a high production value. It also contains exclusive tracks that aren't available on each's band discographic material, for example, some of Caliban and Heaven Shall Burn's early recordings are here, before having their short "fifteen minutes of glory and fame", Acheborn's To Lie Is To Be Strong track, which is a re-interpretation of Seal (Yup, the british soul/pop singer) and Adamksi's Killer track and Gomorrah's Human Slaughter track, whose lyrics are taken from one of Rüdiger Safranski's, a german philosopher, writings. 

Finally, get this record. One of the best 90s german hardcore punk compilations ever released. Click on the image for downloading it. The file contains all the artwork, inserts and layouts. All-in-one. Highly recommended. Enjoy!


PLOT 

https://mega.co.nz/#!ihw03S4b!F9xbcoQKC9aIGbggWhiKGP7qUnSEJqDxvsh0ioN2_jI

This is a rare compilation released by X-Mist Records in 1994 and contains the following bands: Graue Zellen, Cwill, Ambush, Ego Trip, Golgatha, The Slumlords, Zorn, Acme, Systral, Luzifers Mob, Stack, Time To Suffer Power, Wounded Knee, Mine, Corrosive, Zelot, Dawnbreed and Bohren Und Der Club Of Gore. All of the featured bands are german, except Wounded Knee (Luxemburg) and Mine (Switzerland). Also, all proceeds were used for releasing the first and only issue of a fanzine of the same name. 

Regarding the sound, once again, we have metalcore (including Northcore), powerviolence and even experimental hardcore. Compared with the previous compilation, PLOT doesn't have a high production value nor good sound quality, however, it does have a special charm. Indeed, not only is one of the rarest german hardcore punk compilations, due to its scarce printing, but it also contains some previously unreleased and never heard before tracks. For example, we have Acme's last track ever that didn't have an official release (it's not even included on their discography disc) and Stack's Armistice studio version (originally released on their first demo).   

Finally, get this record. Click on the image for downloading it.The file contains all the artwork, inserts and layouts. All-in-one. Enjoy!

Agressions In An Emotional Way 

 https://mega.nz/#!FHwyXazB!poKChgXCafjp9B69VB-EPtGhnnHO0vxr3NU77k0xby0

A beautiful german hardcore punk compilation released in 1995 by Daydream Records (a short lived german record label owned by Niels Bogdan, bassist of Spit Acid). It contains the following bands: Day By Day, Grey, Spit Acid, Better Tooth Organization, Systral and Peace Of Mind. It was also available in black and white and red. This compilation was meant to appear long time ago here in the blog but I don't know why it didn't happen.

Regarding the sound, we find different styles. For example, Systral surprise us with their Northcore attack; Day By Day is female-fronted with both political and melodic hardcore influences; Grey has post-hardcore influences; Better Tooth Organization has both straight edge hardcore and youth crew influences. They would later form Lebensreform; and, last but not least, Peace Of Mind has emo and post-hardcore influences. Also, the lyrics are in english, except Systral's song, and are highly political.

Finally, get this record. Another outstanding 90s german hardcore punk compilation that it isn't as savage as other releases but it's still pretty cool. Click on the image for downloading it.The file contains all the artwork, inserts and layouts. All-in-one. Highly recommended. Enjoy!

  
Heart Circle benefit compilation

https://the90sscreamohcemoindie-rockfriends.bandcamp.com/album/v-a-heart-circle

We finally conclude this first part of our special post with this surprising benefit compilation curated by The 90s SCREAMO/HC/EMO/INDIE ROCK FRIENDS Facebook group. All the proceeds were donated to cover Marc Köhler's, a friend of the group and active in german underground scene, medical expenses. He was diagnosed with a strange genetic disorder known as "Factor V Leiden" that severely affects his cardiovascular system. We're not completely sure how he's doing right now, but we hope he gets well soon.

This compilation contains the following 86 (!) bands: Fine Boat That Coffin, A Tired Day's Night, ABCM, Adore_Repel, Andorra Atkins, Apsis, Arktika, Aslov Kinski, Assay, Bängks, BLCKWVS, Bobbie Knollmann, Burke, Carol, CHLRN, Confusing World, Cousin Of Death, Danton, Deadwood, Dear Diary, Decent Paint Box, Derbe Lebowski, Downright, Être, Fallow Deer Fawn, Glasses, H.ate K.ill Z.ersteu, Hatehug, Hell & Back, Hester, Hund Kaputt, Idiotlights, John Matrix, Jukai, Kaschmir Köter, Keep It Alive, Kinetic Crash Cooperation, Kishote, Komma Acht Komma Eins, Kosslowski, La Petite Mort_Little Death, Lassard, Last Beautiful June, Letters To You, Lightsome, Loose Suspense, Lypurá, Mallory Last Dance, Minion, Morla, Mörser, Narrowline, Nausae, Nixion Golden, NOºRD, On Your Marx, Phantoms, Phobos And Eleos, Planks, Rangka, Rant, Redröm, Reno Kid, Resolutions, Rusty James, Sermon, Sesame, Siege Of Hate, Sleep Kit, Sometimes Go, Sonic Skies, Stale, Surmoi, Systral, Tephra, The 244GL, The Notorious Love Affair, The Tidal Sleep, This Too Will Pass, Thurm, Trainwreck, Welk, When There Is None, White Crane, Wolves Reign and Yanos.

Regarding the sound, it has both classical and modern german bands with multiple musical genres and styles. For example, some Northcore and 90s emocore acts such as Systral, Carol, Mörser, Assay, The Notorious Love Affair and Rusty James, some 00s screamo revival bands such as A Fine Boat That Coffin and Trainwreck, as well as other muscial groups that explore post-rock like CHLRN, sludge like BLCKWVS, blackgaze like Apsis, and some 80s Deutschpunk homages like Hund Kaputt. We decided to re-feature this comp, due to the inclusion of the 90s german hardcore punk bands that will be present in this special post. Also, there are some exclusive tracks, for example, Carol's Dark Side Of Genius. Finally, early this year, a second volume was released with only german modern bands. I'm not sure if it's also a benefit compilation for Marc.

Finally, get this record. Click on the image for getting redirected to The 90s SCREAMO/HC/EMO/INDIE ROCK FRIENDS' official bandcamp account. This is probably the best register of the prolific german underground scene, remarking the inclusion of the 90s hardcore punk bands that are all-time classics and an institution for the subgenre, as well. See you next time with more surprises. Enjoy. Kisses and hugs!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

John Zorn's experimental hardcore punk sideprojects: Naked City and Painkiller

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We're back with another short yet wholesome entry (Ay, qué ricoooo. Papiiii) Ehemm, ok...This time we'll feature Naked City and Painkiller, two amazing experimental hardcore punk projects of John Zorn, a renowned american composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist (most of the time as a saxophonist) that is known by his extensive and prolific musical carrer creating, mixing and arranging music mixed with different styles, notably jazz, ambient, hard rock, both improvised and classical music, among other musical genres and subgenres. He has described his music as avant-garde or experimental. 

This is not the first time that different personalities outside of the hardcore punk community have had interest in the most important punk rock subgenre. As you may remember, BBC journalist John Peel compiled different live sessions in his radio program, known as Peel Sessions, with early grindcore outfits like Heresy, Extreme Noise Terror, Carcass and Napalm Death. We've already posted these sessions, as well as compilations featuring these collaborations with these and other UK hardcore punk acts. You can refresh your memory here, however, the entry is in spanish. Even though grindcore had its "fifteen minutes of fame and glory" in both public radio and TV broadcasts (remember Extreme Noise Terror's infamous appearance with The KLF at the 1992 Brit Awards), it has luckily remained underground.

Now, John Zorn's first, and probably his most well-known, hardcore-inspired sideproject is Naked City. It was active between 1988 and 1993 and featured other outstanding New York City-based avant-garde and experimental musicians such as Bill Frisell, Fred Frith, Wayne Horvitz, Joey Baron, Yamatsuka Eye and even Mike Patton, vocalist of Faith No More, contributed to this project. While most of their material was released through non-hardcore punk related record labels, Earache Records (influential british grindcore and death metal record label) did release some of them, though. 

 https://mega.nz/#!YfAlRQTY!wz9pZqzENscd2pq-LB9BahPaLWozZIqVE1B5b9aSqKoAt first, Naked City was meant to test improvisation limits in a traditional rock band line-up. Thus, they mixed different musical genres such as hardcore punk, notably grindcore and sludge, progressive rock, noise, surf, jazz, heavy metal, country, drone and other avant-garde elements, for creating an unique and complex musical style with an unorthodox and improvised structure featuring screamed vocals (in some tracks because it was instrumental most of the time), fast tempos and abstract ambient.

Along with this bold and innovative musical approach, Naked City's albums featured suicide, torture, BDSM and surrealistic artworks, which was controversial for mainstream rock standards of their time. During their short yet productive lifetime, they released 5 full-length albums self-titled, 1990; Grand Guignol and Heretic (Jeux Des Dames Cruelles film soundtrack), 1992; Radio and Absinthe, 1993; singles like Leng T'che (Japan-only release, 1992) and different collections containing all of their complete works.

 https://mega.nz/#!9KZ3GDrJ!tFGtr6TlvW_JyPHE26YU_7nybAmurz6f3UjokSJuNFE
Finally, Naked City disbanded after the release of their last full-length album because Zorn considered that it was time to move on and explore other musical ideas and contexts. There was a brief reunion in 2003 where the band participated to different european jazz festivals. For this entry, I'll feature you Torture Garden (Shimmy Disc, 1990), which is a compilation of "hardcore miniatures" featuring nine tracks taken from self-titled and thirty-three tracks that would later reappear on Grand Guignol, as well as Leng T'Che single, which has more grindcore, drone and sludge influences. Due to the controversy behind the marvelous BDSM original artwork, Torture Garden was re-released along with Leng T'Che single as Black Box (Tzadil Records, 1996), featuring a black front cover with yellow letters. Both records are also included in Naked City's discography named The Complete Studio Recordings (Tzadik Records, 2005). Click on each record image for downloading them with their respective original artworks, layouts and inserts.

Last but not least, we've got John Zorn's second and last experimental hardcore punk sideproject named Painkiller. It was formed in 1991 and disbanded four years later. There were also some brief and occasional reunions in 1997, 2003 (for celebrating Zorn's 50th birthday), 2004, 2005 and 2008. If you already noticed, Painkiller was born two years later than Naked City but lasted two more years. Cool, huh? The band members were: John Zorn (saxophone), Bill Laswell (bass) and Mick Harris of Napalm Death (drums). There were also some collaborations with Naked City's vocalists Yamatsuka Eye and Mike Patton, Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green of Godflesh, among other musicians.

 https://mega.nz/#!cThlUDqA!UhBBv37I0uAQ9cD7t3GKb6K09KFkfPmpWA3lV-FPo-gDuring their short yet prolific lifetime, Painkiller released Guts Of Virgin EP (Earache Records, 1991), Buried Secrets EP (Earache Records, 1992), Rituals: Live In Japan EP (Toy's Factory, 1993), Execution Ground (Subharmonic, 1994), Talisman: Live In Nagoya EP (Tzadik Records, 2002), 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 12 EP (Tzadik Records, 2005), The Prophecy: Live In Europe EP (Tzadik Records, 2013). After the release of Execution Ground, Harris left the band for creating his own computer music sideprojects. Many people thought that Harris' departure would make disband the musical group. Nonetheless, both Zorn and Laswell decided to continue without him and recruited Yoshida Tatsuya of Ruins, a japanese progressive rock band. They only played a few shows and finally disbanded next year. Following Painkiller's disolution, the band briefly reunited for playing a few shows with different line-up. Even the posthumous live EPs don't include Harris and were recorded without him (except the first two). And, finally, the band's last performance ever was in 2008 in France with the original line-up (Zorn, Laswell and Harris) and Fred Firth and Mike Patton of Naked City as special guests.  

Regarding the sound, Painkiller followed Naked City's frantic and eclectic musical path. Therefore, they had hardcore punk, notably grindcore and some sludge, jazz, ambient, dub, and progressive rock influences, among others. I dare to say that in some moments Painkiller's sound is really close to Naked City's. Also, both bands shared the same dark and brutal iconographic touch, featuring a morbid and gory aesthetic, however, Painkiller didn't receive any complaint about it. 

Lastly, I'll feature you Completed Works (Tzadik Records, 1997) containing everything that Painkiller's original line-up recorded (except Rituals: Live In Japan and Talisman: Live In Nagoya EPs). There are 4 CDs (named zero, one, two, three): the first one contains the first two EP (with Justin Broadrick and G.C. Green of Godflesh as special guests on Buried Secrets and The Toll tracks); the second one contains Execution Ground and the third one contains the same record's ambient version; and, finally, the fourth one contains a live performance in Osaka, Japan with Yamatsuka Eye of Naked City as vocalist on Bodkyithangga, Black Bile, Yellow Bile, Blue Bile, Crimson Bile, and Ivory Bile tracks. Click on the record image for downloading it with its respective original artwork, layouts and inserts. A friend of mine, who took them from his own physical copies, passed me the image files. So, you'll notice some of the band members' signatures in some of them. Consider it a really special edition haha. I hope you really enjoyed these superb experimental hardcore punk bands. Will we ever see another reunion show or even much better, other bands following this trend? We certainly hope so. In the near future we'll feature more experimental hardcore and grindcore bands like these ones. Highly recommended. Stay tuned for tomorrow because we'll start with the first part of our special post of this month. Kisses and hugs!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Drip Feed - Music Strikes Like A Fucking Dagger EP

https://dripfeed1.bandcamp.com/releases

Coucou, les chaton.ne.s! We`re back with another quick review before the long awaited special post of this month. We'll officially start it on Wednesday 14th. Stay tuned because it will be such a blast. So, I received lately an e-mail sent by this interesting swedish punk band named Drip Feed, who gladly asked me to review their record. Coming from Sweden, I expected chaotic and violent d-beat infused hardcore punk or even Göterborg's melodic death metal recipe. But no, I was surprised since Drip Feed is an exception to all of this. Regarding the sound, they draw influences from classic punk rock, Oi! and some UK82. Think of different classics such as Blitz, Crux, Peter And The Test Tube Babies and Cock Sparrer, for naming a few. The result is a well-executed and melodic punk-driven vibe with good instrumentation. Also, the lyrics are in english, well-structured and clever, criticizing different aspects of our modern times. Perhaps my favorite song of all is Dagger, because it's the fastest and has an unique charm. Finally, I really liked this EP. It's a pretty good homage to old-school british punk and something different to both swedish hardcore punk and death metal that I'm used to listen to. Click on the image for getting redirected to their official bandcamp account, where you can get it for free or paying the price you consider right. I highly recommend to support them. Enjoy and until tomorrow. Kisses and Hugs!