“Houston” (Used 3 times)
hfayekay on 04/11/2014 at 09:15AM
That sound of Houston's shadow music collective Ak'chamel that has been hovering over Houston has congealed again in a release known as "Pus Ch'en" under net-labels suRRism-Phonoethics & Have You Said Midi?. Like their earlier albums Old Norse Mara & The Divine Vine Tapes, they continue to evoke tribal rituals from abstract hinterland cultures with haunted throat-singing, guitars, percussion, drones, & more-only this time with a heavier (if possible) & more refined sound. The title of track 2-"Underworld Sweat Bath" is a pretty accurate description of the Ak'chamel sonic experience. The occaisional brightness of a chime might punctuate the music now & then but it's perfectly contextualized to simply add detail before the sounds give way to gutteral chant.
Pus Ch'en could be described as psychedelic improv, but there's nothing sloppy or hokey about it-the members of Ak'chamel are skilled at their musical craft & all textures are intuitively organized to create a sincerely chilling soundtrack. Really wish HBO knew about this when they were scoring True Detective. -Faye
jason on 03/29/2013 at 02:00AM
Ak'chamel, The Giver of Illness hail from Hexas. That's Houston, Texas, under a spell.
Inspired by Sun City Girls, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Hayvanlar Alemi and related strains of psychedelic improv and raw international music, the collective's self-released cassettes would sound right at home on Sublime Frequencies ("Radio Hexas?"). Tune into Old Norse Mara and The Divine Vine Tapes as throat singing and mysterious glossolalia meld with analog percussion, wind instruments, metal strings and chimes to cast a malevolent witch-doctor spell.
Houston may not be the most receptive environment for Ak'chamel's shamanic performances, but they have graced a handful of unconventional venues around town, including a laundromat, a clothing store, and an attic. Formerly known as Chairs, you may encounter Ak'chamel at FMA, Bandcamp, Facebook and beyond.