Ddrome | Beyond The Thunderddrome | Cruel Nature Records  

Ddrome is drummer Jamie Davis reacting and synthesizing against a wall of light and translucent drone. The drumming here is spatial and reflective, at once the foreground and background. It’s music that is halved and continuous. The cassette offers two compositions, each a solid 21 minutes. “Fearless And Feral Wins The Race” is circular yet linear, a feat achieved by free-jazz swing and beat and the honoring of dimensions yet unglued. “Stairdust” is more solitary, more celestial; there is fullness at every peak, every corner. It is cool music to listen to because it’s simultaneous, there are at least two brains working within one. You get something physical, real; jazz and the freedom it allows, and you get absolute repetition and simulation set against that freeness, achieving complete form. It’s peace within chaos.  

Succumb | XXI | Caligari Records  

Succumb are a San Francisco death/grind quartet, who push those constructions to the max with abstraction and a high art approach to fusion, especially Cheri Musrasrik’s vocals, which absolutely heighten the group’s varied mechanisms. Succumb make their way through songs like dragging soldiers, slugging through the trenches. It’s grey music, with pummeling shards whipping over and over. There are nods to thrash that sprint out of the perpetual darkness, and breakouts, modes that give needed air to the claustrophobic alleyways scattered throughout. XXI is the band’s second release, and it’s a monster, something that can be played around the clock and still achieve a freshness that sprinkles around the ears. In a lot of ways, Succumb are completely postmodern, a deconstruction of everything extreme up to this point.  

Sheer Zed | Discreet Frequencies Machars Action Remixed | Self-Released  

Sheer Zed practices in many forms: electronics, Thai Lanna Buddhism. The sounds that spring forth on the latest package are muscle memory. The drifts where the space-time continuum flattens, is reversed in essence. You hear what your brain has already processed, and it feels like your shadow is melting and the future is dark. Sheer Zed writes of the importance of Kraftwerk, and you can hear it here, albeit transformed into one’s own inspiration of newness, of other-worldly-ness, an excellent attempt at hearing what one could believe, and seeing two places (or more) at once. Discreet Frequencies Machars Action Remixed is the sort of tape that will lift your brain over if you’ll allow it. It’s a trip, a hallucinatory sleigh ride across the peninsulas of yesteryear, in the future, where it’s already happened. It’s the perfect echo.  

Mortuary Punishment | Pride.Power.Punishment | Transylvanian Recordings  

Mortuary Punishment is Xibalba’s Bigg o))) crushing down. It’s the sound of devastation, but on hold, like watching something in slow motion. So there’s air in there, and that really makes the riffs and scorches stand out. Four songs done in their own way, at their own speed, with underground brushstrokes sweeping paths towards the outer layers, because there’s also space and celestial vibes, like darkness and stars, and the whole streets of life, and that’s where this album is birthed: cement, real life, hardness, and the softness that is required to put that hardness into a form that can translate. It’s the perfect length with bursts and punishing death/doom that never relents. The kid of cassette that is played in one day, 15 times, while you remark, “damn, that section is hard, and it’s like it’s brand new once again.” Yes, forever!  

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