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Spettro_Records on 12/19/2016 at 01:48PM

章4 : 真っ暗闇の人生 : Spettro Records' 3rd Compilation

Artwork by Akis Karanos

Spettro Records: a small place for experimental music. Celebrating 6 years with its third compilation!

It's been 6 years of Spettro Records. 6 years is a long time, if you want it to be. And at this moment in my life it feels as they've been forever, and I certainly won't be getting them back...

Spettro started more as an outlet for what me and friends were doing and recording ( Salomè Lego Playset, STUFA, Achievements, all of them dead projects... ), then grew into something different, a netlabel sui generis, mostly net / sometimes physical label ( of abysmal sales ), but anyway a home to us, and then to so many artists from everywhere in the world, so many I can't thank enough for trusting me and my instincts and who have allowed me to share their wonderful and unique music. It's still a home for me, for my own work ( SLP, which in the years has become more and more secondary), and of those artists which made up most of 2010's first compilation only few remain. So many have passed by, donated their work and passed on to different, probably better, labels. Some have quit music altogether. Some have moved to bigger things and achieved much deserved success, while some have freely and so generously donated a release even if Spettro was much below their label standards. I'm happy to think that Spettro has been The One, out of so many, that they chose, out of their free will, despite all the other, maybe better, choices around. Spettro can't offer much but a tiny and cozy home of uproaring silence, "a small place for experimental music" indeed.

So many artists are still joining, from everywhere in the world, and it's this fluctuating and stateless nature that makes Spettro so special to me and, hopefully, to you. It is an honor to host your music, and seeing younger people writing and joining Spettro gives me hope and pride.

This third installment offers the best that Spettro has and will have to offer in the years to come. Hopefully, other 3 years, and then another compilation will come, new people will join, and new pages will be written and leafed through. Perhaps at least. Fingers crossed. That's why the title, Chapter 4: Makkuraysmi no Jinsei : La stagione della Notte )", starts with "chapter 4", hence a compilation looking ahead, at another chapter. Then the "season of darkness", "la stagione della notte", 2016 and what remains of these last few years: very little, loss, hardship, confusion and despair, a night never ending, nothing but darkness ahead. Hope and despair.

This sampler is also in memory of Kelly Churko, incredible musician, unpredictable improviser, fierce alchemist of sound and composer of truth who passed away too soon. I'd also like to remember Ryo Tsuchiya of Senseless Records and of so many old and new school punk and rock'n'roll bands, whose path I briefly crossed back in 2008 and whose memory I will cherish.?

This album is for those who know Spettro, those who chose Spettro, and those who never heard of it, and maybe never will. This is for me as much as it is for you.


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Ultra Bide' - "LED" (04:11)
Ultra Bide' - "LED" (04:11)
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cheyenne_h on 07/27/2016 at 02:53PM

Radio Free Culture #69: Upload the Punks! Maximum Rocknroll's Archive with Shivaun Watchorn

Photo by Winston Merchan, courtesy of Maximum Rocknroll Archive. Used with permission.

WFMU and the Free Music Archive are proud to bring you a fresh episode of Radio Free Culture, a podcast exploring issues at the intersection of digital culture and the arts.

In this episode, Cheyenne Hohman, RFC host and current Director of the FMA, was joined by Shivaun Watchorn, the archivist-in-chief for the Maximum Rocknroll Archive Project, which is currently underway and aims to preserve all issues of the long-running punk/hardcore fanzine, episodes of their radio show dating back decades, and contain a fully searchable listing of their entire record collection, which currently holds more than 49,000 pieces of vinyl.

The archive, expected to launch in early 2017, has also been featured in a couple of print interviews if you want to read more about it.

Check out the podcast at WFMU, PRX, or subscribe to the Radio Free Culture on iTunes!

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wmmberger on 05/31/2014 at 03:37AM

Coffin Nail Kickout; Through Thorn and Brier LIVE on My Castle of Quiet, 5.7.2014

Wm. Berger / Tracy Widdess

WFMU, among a great many other things, is about community, i.e., presenting and promoting local musicians / artists / humorists, in addition the great International performers we present. My Castle of Quiet has always been about the business of seeking out exceptional local musicians, and it doesn't get too much more local for us than Through Thorn and Brier, their craft honed in our shared County of Hudson, NJ. At one time, WFMU's staff was chock-full of NJ-bred radio personalities, many of whom lived and or passed through nearby Bayonne, including late-great broadcasters and good friends of mine, Terry Folger and Frank "Vanilla Bean" Balesteri, both of them taken from us way too soon. Bayonne borders directly on WFMU's home town of Jersey City, and offers great pizza, good bars and a decent standard of living for a largish NJ city. All that considered, if you told me that Bayonne had bred a strong, talented, one-of-a-kind punk / metal band, I still might have doubted the veracity of your claim, not sure why though. That is, right up until the first time I heard Through Thorn and Brier.

Originally stumbling upon their songs on bandcamp, in a position I now often find myself in, checking out a band that I missed live for no good reason except that I generally like to stay home. Sporting twin brothers on vocals and guitar, amidst a mighty, accomplished lineup, TTAB play a threatening, driven brand of metal-infused punk music, with arcing guitar melodies, swinging, thudding riffs, and ominous, almost tribal beats; add roaring vocals and a general mood of rolling with reckless abandon. If punk-metal hybrid bands can be "catchy," TTAB certainly ARE, their riffs immediately inspiring head swirling; one of those physically motivating bands that make me wish that I had long, straight, flowing hair to swing in time. 

Every Through Thorn and Brier song is something like a mini-suite, blasting through multiple inspiring riffs and you-must-pay-attention time signatures in a matter of minutes, taking you on a ride you can't fully absorb the first time, and isn't that the way? Shouldn't a band's numbers be such that new pleasures reveal each time you listen?

Call them screamo (don't!), call them hardcore, or metal—all those genre labels quickly dissolve in the hands of the best of bands—and TTAB's songs cover a wild breadth of punk and metal styles with purpose and ease, such that the hops are never gratuitous and always contribute quite naturally to the sum of their parts.

I was very pleased to present this excellent band, well-deserving of more widespread notoriety, as evidenced here. (Note: Where songs were played without a complete stop in between, they are presented here as such, i.e., tracks 1 and 3 consist of three songs apiece.)

Thanks and much appreciation must go to engineer Juan Aboites, for working his ass off, and making everything sound full and ferocious. Thanks too, to Tracy Widdess of Brutal Knitting, who for maybe the 100th time, pieced together a handsome band portrait from my miserable iPhone captures.

You can hear the Good Grief EP and Failure Prone MLP (both worth owning) and purchase hard copy of the same at Through Thorn and Brier's bandcamp page. There, you'll also see their use of non-typical, decidedly un-metal imagery, a move well appreciated by this DJ / writer. Also visit ttabhc.com for more up-to-date band info.

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wmmberger on 09/05/2013 at 05:18AM

Jamaica-Queens-The World; Psychic Limb Live on My Castle of Quiet Pseudo-Finale

What makes a great grind band? Doing as much as you can in an average of 43 seconds' song duration, flexing those ferocious chops from all angles, and, though this may be hard to explain to someone whose ears are attuned to pop music and the traditional song form, a certain "catchiness," an anthemic propulsion that will make the listener/receiver want to propel oneself into the pit without a care for personal safety. Psychic Limb have all these qualities, in spades.

I've liked these guys from the second I heard them, they stand out mightily from the pack of late 2000s grind on bandcamp and elsewhere, and they make records that stand firmly amongst the classics of the genre. And yes, they can and do reproduce it all in person.


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ange on 03/22/2013 at 08:15AM

New York's Alright: Contemporary Punk & Hardcore Festival

If you love punk music, it's an incredible time to live in NYC. In celebration of the current surfeit, New York's Alright will be kicking off 4/20 weekend with a slection of comtemporary punk and hardcore bands from around the world. In anticipation, you can download this free mix of bands who will be playing the fest including the Altered Boys, Bad Noids, CREEM, Hounds of Hate, No Class & Nomad. These are all live performances expertly recorded on WFMU's Distort Jersey City with Deed Runlea.

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