Light a candle. Draw the required sigils. Now, raise your arms above your head and slowly, gently, exhale your soul. You won’t need it here. This is Audioccult, and it’s time to get low.
You might recognize the photo above as a ‘classic’ piece of artwork from the great AIDS-3D. I chose this as the image for this week not only because it’s a fantastic photo that mirrors this column’s ideology nicely, but also just because I like talking about these guys. Maybe you don’t know their amazing dragged pop edits, or their cultural reconceptualizing artwork, or their insightful interviews. You should. It’s very hard to get me to leave the house for art events (especially after all the high school-level shows I saw during Berlin Biennale, brrr) but I’m all over anything these two do. Essential.
On to new sounds. This week was dominated largely by the announcement of a new Deathface EP From Beneath. This is fairly serious business for me. ‘Bloodrave’ was one of the major factors in me deciding to start DJing again after a terrible five-month tour throughout Europe. It’s just so much fun to play, and so much fun to dance to. From Beneath isn’t like ‘Bloodrave’. The dubstep factors are relegated to grinding, shredded punctuations, blasted over by shrieked megaphone-punk vocals somewhere between Atari Teenage Riot and Fat Worm of Error. No massive strobelit clubs here; this is a filthy cellar with a swinging lightbulb, dripping with sweat. I really, really love it.
4AD has really come full-circle in my life. The label soundtrack my youth thanks to Cocteau Twins, The Birthday Party, Dead Can Dance…most of everything up until about ’89. After that, they went through a college-rock thing that I found incredibly boring before rising again thanks to quality releases from Ariel Pink, Gang Gang Dance, and a few other choice signings. Then they apparently lost their shit in the best way possible and started signing stuff like Zomby and SpaceGhostPurrp, which made all their old goth fans mad and mutants like me indescribably happy. Purrp is, in fact, releasing his debut LP Mysterious Phonk: The Chronicles Of SpaceGhostPurrp via the UK label, and if the video for ‘The Black God’ is any indication of total replay value, it’s going to mark the second known time a 4AD record was played in the hood (Lil Boosie‘s Colourbox obsession being well-documented).
On the subject of videos, I’m kind of really loving just about any visuals Designer Drugs put out. From the cemetery dance of ‘Drop Down’ to the S&M punch of ‘Leather Gang’, they just always feel so on-point. Their latest is for my favorite track off the album, and certainly their most atypical. ‘For All We Know’ treads closer to member Michael Patrick’s project Kloaks than their usual electro-banger territory, making it all the more memorable. Goes pretty heavy on the overlay. There were several more excellent videos released by Grimes, Ritualz, LA Vampires, and Trust (okay, but the song is great at least) but too many videos and I might as well start my own VIDEODROME.
SpaceGhostPurrp – The Black God
Designer Drugs – For All We Know
I never expected to be talking about deathrock again. If you don’t know the genre, just think punk outfits with goth drama. Started by Rozz Williams around 1979 and resurged by bands like Cinema Strange in 2002, it had a few interesting moments and then kind of disappeared up its own ass. Or not; apparently the kids are still wearing leather and lace, releasing the bats, and a bunch of other puns you won’t get unless you used to part of the back-combing set. CVLT Nation recently put up a selection of newer deathrock bands, though I might not have been so curious if it wasn’t for the inclusion of newer material by Rudimentary Peni. What can I say, you always want to know what your childhood heroes are up to, and honestly I felt like giving deathrock another chance. We had some good years together. So, is it worth the download? I sat looking at my keyboard and trying to come up with an answer, but all I could do was make a drawn-out sigh. So probably not. Just typing out the word ‘deathrock’ makes me feel bored. Rudimentary Peni still owns though.
Realized today that nobody ever photographed ’90s Leo and Marilyn Manson together before. Makes you think. Take care.
Published May 14, 2012.