Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ufomammut - Godlike Snake

I haven't posted any metal for a while, so here is some uber-heaviness. Ufomammut are an Italian 3 piece, augmented live and on record by tapes of theremin, synth drones and movie samples. They specialise in a kind of pounding psychedelic stoner sludge, which is most effective live. I would say they were the second best live act I saw last year - a close second behind The Master Musicians Of Bukkake. They achieve their superb effect with repetition, tightness and dynamics, as well as the aforementioned atmospherics; but they also have a mean guitar sound - ultra heavy and bludgeoning. Their grasp of dynamics is becoming more consummate with every album, as far as I can tell: the last album 'Eve' is basically a suite of tracks that don't deviate a great deal from the main blueprint, but it works fantastically as a whole, and is thoroughly recommended. This one is their debut from 2000, and is out of print - it's a good place to start, and a brilliant slab of mammoth spaced-out sludge groove.


EDIT: Ufomammut are playing in London on Thursday October 6th - the Purple Turtle in Camden. I highly recommend this gig if you like all things heavy and psychedelic!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Marc Ribot - Asmodeus: Book Of Angels 7

This is Volume 7 in John Zorn's massive Book Of Angels series - a series I have found it pretty impossible to keep up with, what with all the other music in the world. Not to mention the stuff. The others I have heard: Secret Chiefs 3, Zorn with Medeski, Martin and Wood; Bar Kokhba have all been excellent, so it's probably worth checking them all out. Marc Ribot is perhaps most famous for playing with Tom Waits, but on this disc he is eschewing his tasteful embellishments in favour of acid-jazz/rock onslaught, in power trio mode with Trevor Dunn and G. Calvin Weston. The results vary from chugging heavy riffs such as the opening of 'Dagiel', to more free jazz explosions, such as the opener 'Armaros'. Whilst they stay in touch with Zorn's East European/Klezmer themes, they rock them up beautifully, and intersperse wilder, freer passages of group improv and fret burning. I don't mind admitting that I prefer the slightly more structured numbers, and 'Mufgar' and 'Sensenya' are fantastic masterpieces of controlled acid power trio chaos: superb riffs backed up by relentless chugging bass runs and beautifully swinging propulsive drumming.