KŁY

Well the election is over so let’s talk about something else: Kły.

Have you ever wondered what it’d have been like to be those first people who heard that first Black Sabbath album? The ones who hated it? The first album was panned heavily when it came out by generally everyone. The general descriptor was “hippies trying to be scary and playing badly. done before. boring. dumb”.

I always wondered how it would have been to hear it through those ears since now we just hear a genre defining record packed with radio hits. I suppose it’s natural to wonder about this, it’s sorta the metalheads version of being there for opening night of Psycho and having an experience everyone afterwards can only know about second hand.

That’s the introduction I want to use for Kły specifically and for that Śląsk/Kraków Poland metal scene that’s happening right now. Mgła is the famous band out of it, but probably the least representative one as they went really normal western-style metal recently. More the ones like Furia, Gorycz, Entropia, Biesy, Plaga, or as I said, Kły.

This is the part where I drop the link and I hope you click it, it’s the context:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wmgyy5SzpA

It’s a long track and it’s hard to listen to. That’s the point. Hippies playing badly, done before, boring, dumb.

The sample in the beginning is longer than comfortable, the poor recording on the drums (or drum machine), the slower tempos with very few blast beats (there’s only one sorta near the end), the guitar sounds sloppy compared to most BM, the lack of catchy riffs overall, the lack of a heavy tone throughout, the going between spoken word and harsh vocals, the cheap and non-traditional artwork, the themes being oddly cosmic and I won’t say psychedelic but it’s more that than it is generic metal…

First time I heard something like it I remember thinking “oh, it’s an up and coming band. They’ll get better at it soon”. Then the other bands started releasing stuff and I realized, no this is the sound. This is a microscene and this is what it’s supposed to sound like.

Some people call it ‘post-black metal’ and I dunno. The term already got bandied about for things like Deafhaven and Nachtmystium (spit) and this is nothing like it. I agree both are things that just sound … off to most metal listeners, but this is a step beyond what the US bands are doing. The chord structures of black metal are there but usually buried in repeating psychedelia and even in what would say is 90s throwback minimalist riffing but without the distortion that lets those moments sound full.

It’s a bare sound throughout. It exposes the workings. The sound is representative of the place. This is cold mud in a city, this is factories, this is small basement clubs, this is a chemical haze. This is unpleasant but the unpleasantness of urban loneliness. It’s grey metal.

And I don’t mean to predict that this bunch of local Polish bands on bandcamp will be the new hyper influential genre defining thing like Sabbath was. Really, I kinda doubt most these bands will even make it to spotify seeing as it’s a local scene to an east european country.

I just mean that this is probably what it was like: hearing some kids from an industrial town and thinking to yourself “this is a bit dull. maybe they’ll get better and fit in later”. This is what it was to hear Black Sabbath in 1969.

little kid stories

In 2004-2005 I helped organize an art project in the shape of a book of children’s stories. The book was then read by people who were asked to read them unprepared, as if a bedtime story in a book they’ve never read before. Those readings were then set to music written custom for each one. The final result, called “little kid stories” was released as a pdf+mp3s set, and as a webpage that unfortunately did not survive into the modern era of browsers.

It’s now a bit past the 10 year anniversary of this project, and for the occasion I went ahead and converted the book and audio into videos using the original pdfs of the text and illustrations. They’re now available for easy watching on youtube.

the crow
the crow

 

I want to say thank you to Tanya Bjork

shaolin signal

halloween at ken club. angelica did corpse paint for us

shaolin signal

shaolin signal

awkwardly, an actual black metal band played first so it kinda came across odd when we went up there playing Motley Crue while rocking the paint

DYay

selling my VCM-100 djing soundcard. with the included software it’s literally everything you need to do a laptop dj set, pro style. $140

in other words, you get a left and right song, can switch between them using the hardware (like a dj mixer), it does speed synching, auto-synching, and has a separate headphone output for the cues. and it’s neat and metal. and i think has one sticker on the bottom or something.

i’m switching to all ipad. this will allow vinyl, cd, cdr, AND laptop djs to look down on me.