I suppose you can consider me the kind of guy who likes the most bizarre, untoward, and nearly incomprehensible types of music. A fellow actually warned me online that listening to such music could possibly damage my psyche—i.e. make me go insane—but so far, this old cranium is still intact. In any case, here are some of the weirdest records that I’ve heard this year, just in case you’re also willing to risk irreversible damage to that squishy thing inside of your skull.
French for caterpillar—and even incorporated into the band’s moniker—this new project comes from a collaboration between former Pin-Up Went Down frontwoman Asphodel and multi-instrumentalist Baptiste Bertrand. Samen is such a unique and oddball sort of record that you’ll soon begin to wonder what they didn’t use here. There are sections of death metal, disco, pop music, jazz, sludge, electronic synth-pop, alternative rock, black metal, circus music, and even Oompa Loompa friendly pieces apparent within this massive collage of abstract sound. The most peculiar thing about this whole experience, however, is that it can become extremely catchy!
When we’re talking about odd and experimental, we certainly can’t forget about two of the major progenitors behind this style. Both beloved Japanese artists have come together in what is not just a mere split, but a huge collaboration between the emotional rollercoaster of musical emotions that Boris’s music has always carried and Merzbow’s uncompromisingly proficient noise experiments. A record that warrants its length, fans of both acts will be extremely pleased with this once in a lifetime experience that can be imported for a bonus live concert performance of the entire thing! It doesn’t get much better than this.
Missouri’s Jute Gyte could be considered more of a musical experiment than anything else, and their current album is an experiment in what the composer, Adam Kalmbach, terms “multiple simultaneous tempi.” In addition to this, he’s also utilized a 33-beat hypermeter in an attempt to bridge his electronic work with his black metal work. It goes even deeper and sounds even more peculiar when he begins to talk about microtonal arrangements as expressed through deep study of classical pieces. The whole description reads like a college dissertation, but the music itself comes off as some of the most oblong black metal and electronic mixtures that you might ever hear.
Chicago’s Brain Tentacles are a supergroup featuring members of Discordance Axis, Yakuza, and Keelhaul. They carefully craft their meld of avant-metal by mixing together horns, electric piano, and synths in a fashion that almost reminds me of old sailing themes from the ‘50s. These come coupled with hefty amounts of brackish sludge, which almost creates a sort of Lovecraftian sea salt atmosphere. That is, until they call up your local seafood supplier and ask for their namesake. You might have heard several attempts at unique sludge this year, but I can guarantee that you’ve never heard anything like this before!
A grind supergroup helmed by of all people, a bossa nova aficionado, this massively vicious and extremely bizarre mixture features members of acts like Necrophagist, Paganizer, Hail Of Bullets, Brutal Truth, and Cynic, among others. These guys don’t play by the rules as they offer up a sheer display of insanity in the form of frantic drumming, abrasive guitars, and touches of sweetly implemented bossa nova, which might make you feel like you’re on a one-way elevator to Hell.