6.08.2015

Snailface, new Neurotech, Nosferatu

[snailface]Kowloon Walled City is some of the most interesting bands I've discovered since a few years. With only a couple of full-length albums released so far, I think they haven't quite spoiled their potential yet and a lot more is to be expected from them. They recently announced a new album coming out shortly, to be released on Neurot Recordings no less. I'm looking forward to that. I might even consider paying for their music, this time around (just trying to make a joke: in fact, this is an adamant case of a project that should be supported).
Although not that prolific in their everyday guise, Kowloon Walled City seem to also have a parallel, much lesser known identity to keep themselves busy with: Snailface appears to be a side project involving the same band members. I don't know why, but this hasn't received much coverage, maybe in a deliberate attempt by the musicians to keep the project under the radar or just because they didn't care that much. Anyway, there isn't much information at all about Snailface on the Net, which is a shame because their music is very, very good.
To put it simply: happy Kowloon Walled City. Think of the same mammoth-heavy sound, yet drenched in weed induced trippy vibes instead of the usual bleak visions of urban decay. Think of Kyuss and the most uplifting moments of Ozzy era's Sabbath.
Besides, it amazes me how these guys can boast such a sludgy wall of sound and yet retain that pristine clarity. Not a drop of mud goes wasted.
Both Kowloon Walled City's and Snailface's entire catalogues are downloadable for free with the "name-your-price" option.

Stigma cover artMeanwhile, another one of my favorite underground project of the last years, Neurotech, has recently released a new album, only one year after Infra vs. Ultra which I listened to over and over but its appeal still hasn't expired.
In fact, the new Stigma sounds a little rushed. In a good way, though: meaning less complex and focused compositions but a more natural flow to it, less study in getting the perfect chorus or the catchiest melody but trippier and somewhat more cohesive in its diversity.
It's almost like the album was conceived and put together in real time, like a live performance, an electronic improvisation, those trance dj sets that don't seem to have a beginning nor an end but just build upon themselves, layer upon layer, beat after beat. It's noteworthy that distorted metal guitars, which were so prominent a part of the sound of the band in its first efforts, are this time pushed very far in the background, even more than on Infra vs. Ultra. Yet, this is undoubtedly the same mind that conceived those early works. One must praise how consistent and consistently good the output of this band has been despite the rampant evolution in style.
Stigma is once again available with the "name-your-price" option, even for free.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/Nosferatu_Popol_Vuh.jpgSome days ego I watched Herzog's Nosferatu on Youtube. This was, I think, the only major Dracula movie I still had not seen.
Not frantic paced like Coppola's, less tragic and theatrical, more driven by pure visual than dialogue (the spoken scenes are, in fact, very sparse). Not eerie like Murnau's but more dramatic, with the Count still having somewhat of a human nature, if wretched and corrupted, instead of being a mere shadow, a ghastly apparition, a spooky, volatile presence like in the 1920s' version.
Cheesy FX typical of Seventies' horror are completely absent. In fact, the horror relies basically on the performances and Kinky's eccentric but effective makup. However weird, Kinky's Dracula is believable and for that his performance must be praised most of all.
Last but not least, the music. You rarely come across such a fitting and inspired soundtrack like Popol Vuh did with this. The best part of the movie, really. In fact, that's what fascinated me about it in the first place.


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