New two-track maxi from Regis, The Master Side. 12″ housed in die-cut picture sleeve; a vinyl-only release, no digital. Available now from Low Company, out everywhere else November 10th.
New two-track maxi from Regis, The Master Side. 12″ housed in die-cut picture sleeve; a vinyl-only release, no digital. Available now from Low Company, out everywhere else November 10th.
Two new releases available to pre-order now for April 28th release: a limited edition 12″ album sampler from Pessimist (BLACKEST063), featuring two of the heaviest soundsystem weapons from his forthcoming LP (due to land in summer), and the return of Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay with a 7″ entitled Why (BLACKEST062).
Both titles are available from our Bandcamp.
Notion 2 Notion is a new 12″ from Raime, featuring a pair of dread rhythm tracks built in the wake of last year’s Tooth LP. ‘Notion 2 Notion’ and personal favourite ‘Losing Track’ feel like the spiritual descendents of their much-loved 2011 Hennail EP. A vinyl-only release, pressed on clear wax and limited to 500 copies; no digital, and no re-press. The cover artwork is by Damien Tran. Available from all good record stores and our Bandcamp webshop, while stocks last.
Shocked and gutted to hear that Mark Fisher, aka k-punk, has died. I was privileged enough to work with Mark on a few brief occasions, and some of you may recall he supplied the sleevenotes for our Red Riding: The Year of Our Lord 1980 soundtrack release (reproduced below in tribute). His ideas and insights, communicated with style, zeal and a courageous honesty across books, journalism and of course blogging, were a constant source of inspiration. It’s impossible to overstate his influence on us or the surrounding culture. Rest in peace, Mark.
LIKE SOMETHING OUT OF DAVID PEACE
Appropriately, Channel 4’s production of David Peace’s Red Riding novels felt like something out of time – a throwback to the early days of the broadcaster’s history.
Red Riding was an anomaly amongst the new Channel 4’s property shows, cheap controversy-mongering and reality TV. Since there were only enough funds available to adapt three of the four novels – 1977 was the one which didn’t make it onto the screen – 1980 became the centrepiece of a trilogy. Here we had a vision of what British television could (still) be like. Director James Marsh and screenwriter Tony Grisoni constructed a film that was expressionistic, fractured, mythic. Marsh drew the best of an excellent cast, led by Paddy Considine, perhaps the most gifted British actor of his generation. Somehow, Marsh and Grisoni broke free, not only from the conventions of current British television, but also from the mediocrity that reigns in recent British cinema (a mediocrity which, sadly, was demonstrated all too acutely in Tom Hooper and Peter Morgan’s dreadful adaptation of Peace’s The Damned Utd).
Four years on from the Red Riding adaptations, and Peace’s work has come to seem even more prophetic than it did even in 2009. How is it that writing about the past could tell us something about the future? And yet, how many times, in the last few years, have we found ourselves saying it’s like something out of David Peace? In England, in the second decade of the 21st century, it’s as if some kind of spell is wearing off. The conjuring, the concealment, could only work for so long, and there is a growing feeling that the past is coming back, that what had been buried will no longer remain underground. All the occult deals, the secret meetings, all the silencing and the disappearances, all of them gradually coming to light. Everything that was necessary to build the reality system we have lived in for the last thirty years is now being exposed. The same unholy triangle – police, politicians, journalists – keeps returning, scandal after scandal: Hillsborough, hackgate, Savile. Dark networks of complicity, everyone compromised (and therefore compliant). It all connects…Pull on one thread and it all starts to unravel…
It’s like Peace woke up before the rest of us, laying out, in the novels he wrote between 1999-2002 a vision of British society that would be vindicated by the revelations of the last few years. The central character in the Red Riding novels has also had a returning role in some of this decade’s scandals: Yorkshire, which in Peace’s hands becomes the dark secret heart of England, a rival source of power to London, a cursed territory. The tendrils that connected Hillsborough to Savile pass through (or under) Yorkshire. Flash to a now notorious photograph of Jimmy Saville with Peter Sutcliffe and Frank Bruno…A light entertainer, a serial killer, a boxer…Like something out of David Peace…Then there’s the revelation that police investigating the Yorkshire Ripper murders considered Savile a suspect for a while…and one of the Ripper’s victims was found only yards from Savile’s flat…
By 1980, Peace’s fictional(ised) world was increasingly incorporating actual events, as the Red Riding story arc started to centre on to the bungled police investigation into the Yorkshire Ripper. With 1977, Peace had begun to move out of James Ellroy’s shadow. 1974 felt like a fairly simple translation exercise, in which Ellroy’s infernal vision of LA corruption was transposed to Yorkshire. Already, though, it was clear that the two writers had a very different orientation to what they were depicting. Ellroy is a pugnacious pessimist, rubbing our noses in the excrement of the world and calling us sentimentalists for expecting any more. There is no such acceptance of corruption in Peace’s work, which howls with an unexpiated sense of outrage at injustice and corruption. Peace’s is a Gnostic vision: even if the material world is dark and heavy with a corruption that is constitutive and indelible, even if there is no possibility of escape or redemption, on no account should we accept it.
Some of the moments in the Red Riding novels that most felt like melodramatic excesses – children kept prisoner in bizarre underground lairs, for instance – turned out to also to be prophetic. It seems that melodramatic ‘excess’ is built into the Real. Realism screens out this excess by reflecting the world according to common sense, and in this way abets power (this can’t be happening). Actual conspiracies are easily waved away by being dismissed as conspiracy theories. Yet, after hackgate, after Hillsborough, after Savile, it’s clear that conspiracy theories have a much better grasp on how things operate than level-headed Anglo-Saxon common sense.
Drawn into the murk of institutional cover-up, Peter Hunter in 1980 has no hope of exposing the conspiracy. (The conspiracy can only be revealed many years later, when the key players are retired or dead.) Hunter is led down blind alleys; he faces lack of co-operation, outright obstruction and deadly betrayal. Most ominously, he sees, necessarily too late, the way in which corrupt power responds when it is threatened. Cops, hacks and politicians all have the goods on each other. Ruling class consciousness: it is either watch each other’s back or be stabbed in the back. There’s no need to fear do-gooders like Peter Hunter. No one is pure; there is always something – a photograph, an indiscretion, a remark – that you would rather keep under wraps. They have something on everyone, and, when the time is right, they will let you see what they’ve got on you.
– Mark Fisher, July 2013
Camella Lobo by Mash Bits
Happy new year.
What follows is a round-up of recent news from Blackest Ever Black’s leaky floating headquarters. Apologies for the erratic updates in the last few months: the second half of 2016 was a chaotic one for us due to various personal goings-on and our move from Berlin back to the UK. As our mailorder customers may have noticed, our stock is still stuck in Berlin, and so orders will continue to ship from there until January 31st. From February onwards, all orders ship from the UK, with postage costs updated accordingly (sorry).
Before we get onto 2017’s releases, allow us to draw your attention to People Skills‘ Gunshots At Crestridge, which, by virtue of being released in mid-December, may have escaped it up till now. In the new video for ‘Mint Julep’, Jesse Dewlow’s cracked, highly personal music becomes something like an exasperated state-of-the-nation (what a state, eh) address. This album is available in an LP edition of 500 copies, and digitally, and it comes with our highest possible recommendation.
Stupid as a painter thick as sculptor: Blackest Ever Black “Singles” 2016 is a cassette+digital compilation bringing together key tracks from Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards, Carla dal Forno, Secret Boyfriend, Ashtray Navigations, People Skills, Dalhous, Raime and Pessimist, and with an exclusive newie from Tarquin Manek & Ying-Li Hooi. Strictly limited edition of 100, with £1 from every purchase donated to the homeless and housing charity Shelter. At the time of writing there are 14 copies left in stock.
This year you can look forward to 2×12″s or LPs from, among others, Pessimist, F ingers, Jabu, Silvia Kastel, Tarquin Manek, Dalhous, Amateur Childbirth and тпсб. New singles/EPs from Raime, Regis, Carla dal Forno, Black Rain, Berrocal/Fenech/Epplay. Much else in the oven besides, including two long-gestating archival projects.
Before any of that, Themes, a 12″ mini-LP from Naaahhh (cover art pictured above). “Five tracks of darkside slither from somewhere under London. Sidereal downers for all hardcore ravers. The dread energy of grime and bleep techno distilled into pungent electro-acoustic ooze. Paranoid street music meets the cosmic disturbances of musique concrète, the MDMA spine-freeze of isolationism and England’s hidden reverse. Staccato string stabs, murmured voices, black holes of reverb and pulverising, body-numbing bass. Drums optional. Unwanted side-effects include nosebleeds, earaches, stomach cramps, and nausea. Just say naaahhh.”
BEB, Raime, Tropic of Cancer and Carla dal Forno radio shows
You can hear music from many of the above in Blackest Ever Black’s first NTS radio show of 2017, available to stream/DL here.
Speaking of radio, Raime guested on Radar last week. All the way back in November – but in case you missed it – Camella Lobo of Tropic of Cancer presented the first episode of her Cry Later request show for NTS, with tunes from, among others, Lifetones, Keith Hudson, Joe Crow and The Four Tops. Carla dal Forno‘s monthly show for Berlin Community Radio is also something you should keep tabs on.
Blackest Ever Black meets The Death Of Rave
Our first gig of the year is a joint label showcase with The Death of Rave, taking place at The White Hotel, Manchester, on Saturday 4th February. Serious all-nighter with live sets from Raime (full band show), Ashtray Navigations, Sam Kidel (who has appeared on BEB as part of Killing Sound, and released the celebrated Disruptive Muzak on TDOR last year – he’ll be installing and performing the latter work for this event) and, making his debut, Croww; DJ sets come from Pessimist, TDOR boss Conor Thomas, and yours truly b2b Jon K. Tickets here.
Tropic of Cancer on tour
Tropic of Cancer have announced some live dates for Europe: Rennes (La Route du Rock Festival, 22/2), Barcelona (Delicalisten, 24/2), Antwerp (Het Boss, 26/2), Edinburgh (Summerhall, 1/3), Graz (Elevate Festival, 3/3), Copenhagen (Frost Festival, 23/2), Hamburg (Kampnagel, 25/2), London (St John at Bethnal Green, 28/2), Berlin (Berghain, 2/3) and Frankfurt (4/3). Visit TOC’s Facebook page for more information and ticket links.
Carla dal Forno on tour
Carla dal Forno too is playing a handful of European dates and then touring the UK throughout February, before returning for the Safe As Milk festival. Current list of shows is as follows, with more to be added:
Jan 13th – Cologne, Gewölbe
Jan 25th – Rome, Blackmarket Monti
Jan 26th – Milan, Standards
Jan 27th – Udine, Visionario
Jan 28th – Bologna, Covo Club
Feb 2nd – Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar
Feb 3rd – Bristol, TBA
Feb 4th – London, The Islington
Feb 5th – Nottingham, The Chameleon Arts Cafe
Feb 6th – Manchester, TBA
Feb 7th – Glasgow, The Hug and Pint
Feb 8th – Edinburgh, Paradise Palms
Feb 10th – Newcastle, TBA
Feb 12th – Sheffield, The Audacious Art Experiment
April 21st – Safe As Milk, Wales, Pontins Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park
To coincide with the tour, we’re releasing a cassette edition of You Know What It’s Like. This will primarily be available from CDF on her upcoming live dates; but we’ve allocated a handful of copies for online, available to pre-order now for February dispatch.
Raime live dates
In addition to their appearance at the BEB + The Death of Rave event at Manchester’s White Hotel on February 4, Raime currently have live shows scheduled for Barcelona (Caixa Forum, January 27th) and London (Convergence Festival at Village Underground, March 24th, with Actress, Randomer and more TBC).
OK that’s it, apart from everything we’ve forgotten. Will update you again soon.
Krokodilo Tapes is no more. In its place, a new series of mixtapes we’re calling Id Mud.
The first Id Mud is a double-cassette set, limited to 50 copies, of Nina + Good News (of Golden Pudel and vis fame) recorded at Blackest Ever Black’s Berlin leaving party at OHM on Friday 12 August 2016.
IDMUD002, entitled Bibula Harena and also available in an edition of 50, is by Berlin-based Italian musician Silvia Kastel, who has solo work of her own forthcoming on Blackest Ever Black.
Both tape sets are available to pre-order now.
Next year The Quietus is putting on a series of events celebrating the work and legacy of COUM Transmissions, as part of Hull City Of Culture 2017. The events – including “new works…using sound, imagery and the human voice” from Gen and Cosey – coincide with the first retrospective of COUM, on show at the new Humber Street Gallery from February 3rd to March 22nd.
“Closing proceedings at The Polar Bear on Spring Bank on Sunday 19 March will be a free showcase of Hull-inspired sets from some of the city’s underground exports; cultural innovators who grew up in the area and can just about still recall a youth spent loitering on Queen’s Gardens and mainlining toxic green Spiders cocktails.
“Heading up the bill will be Kiran Sande of Blackest Ever Black, an underground record label that has been bringing sonically dark mischief to our ears since 2010, and whose mix CD-Rs Id Mud and Dream Theory In Haltemprice have touched upon Hull in more than name alone. Also appearing will be Alex Wilson, who co-runs Public Information, a label that has released a fascinating survey of electronics from the last seven decades, and who will also be presenting a paper entitled: Thee Fabulous Mutations: Film and Video in Yorkshire after COUM in Hull as part of a separate Hull 2017 event. They’ll be joined by the Quietus’ Sophie Coletta, who, after spending many teenage years staring longingly down the mouth of the Humber, fled and returned to Hull’s clutches multiple times in the 2000s.”
Of all the places I thought I might find myself DJing next year, The Polar Bear was not one of them. My parents go to their weekly bridge class next door.
For more information, click here.
Carla dal Forno has shared a third video/song to bring you up/down, the title track from her imminent debut album, You Know What It’s Like. You can read some thoughts from her about it here; the album is out Friday 28 October and available to pre-order now on vinyl, CD and download formats.
Blackest Ever Black presents an album launch show for You Know What It’s Like at Kantine am Berghain, Berlin, on Wednesday 30 November, with a headline performance from CDF, and support from Hypnotic Sleep and Omen. Advance tickets available here.
Blackest Ever Black returns to London’s Corsica Studios this Saturday 15th October for the first time since 2013, with an all-nighter across both rooms of the venue.
It also marks the label’s possibly foolhardy relocation back to the UK after three years of self-imposed exile in Berlin. A homecoming, a funeral, a Hard Brexit special if you will.
DJ sets from Felix K, Pessimist, Dynamo Dreesen, Ossia (Young Echo), DJ Benetti, Andrew Ingram (Tabernacle Records), Chris Farrell (Idle Hands) and Kenny White. Live performances from Carla dal Forno, Chain Of Flowers, Tarquin Manek and AD Jacques. The time of your f***ing life, la.
Advance tickets, priced £12.50+BF, are available here.
(HIDDEN HAWAII / BLACKEST EVER BLACK)
Berlin’s foremost drum ’n bass/techno innovator, co-founder of the peerless Hidden Hawaii label and the brains behind more incognito projects than anyone even begins to suspect. In his DJ sets, as in his productions, Felix explores the spaces between techno, DnB and abstract electronics…effortlessly bridging tempos and time signatures, creating hybrid forms on the fly, opening up wormholes in the dance – beats aren’t so much broken as smashed to smithereens, smothered in gloriously oppressive industrial textures and shot through with a battery of third-eye-opening dub FX. Ahem. Having made his Blackest Ever Black debut in 2015 with the Tragedy of the Commons EP, he closed out the label’s fifth anniversary at Berghain, and this London date is long overdue.
CARLA DAL FORNO
(BLACKEST EVER BLACK – LIVE)
Solo live performance from this major new singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Having previously contributed to Blackest Ever Black as a member of F ingers and Tarcar, the Australian CDF opened her solo account earlier this year with the instant classic ‘Fast Moving Cars’ single. Debut album You Know What It’s Like, out later this month, is a future classic of dub-disoriented, post-punk-inflected pop, variously channeling the deadpan DIY whimsy of Flaming Tunes and Call Back The Giants, lo-fi Chicago house, the eldritch moon musick of Coil, and the gothic intensity of Nico.
(ACIDO / SUED)
The man behind Acido…Berlin’s most free-form, trippy, no-fucks-given house/techno stable, with a typical 12” offering detours into dub, ruff-cut hip-hop, meditative soundscaping, musique concrete and whatever else takes their fancy that day. Their house is not your house. Avant-garde but unpretentious, dead simple on the face of it but totally mind-scrambling, and home not only to Dynamo Dreesen productions but also cuts from PG Sounds, DJ Sotofett, Madteo, Porn Sword Tobacco, Convextion, $tinkworx and more. Dreesen also makes music with SVN as Dresvn, with releases on Sex Tags Mania, Wania, Honest Jon’s and SVN’s closely affiliated SUED label. Special 3-hour set, not to be missed.
(RUFFHOUSE / UVB-76 / SAMURAI / BLACKEST EVER BLACK)
Hands down one of the most exciting young producers currently operating in the UK, and a member of Bristol’s Ruffhouse crew, – who through their own releases and their recently launched label UVB-76 represent the techno-savvy vanguard of contemporary UK drum ‘n bass. Pessimist’s own uniquely brooding, minimalist sound was showcased on his recent ‘Balaklava’ 12” for Blackest Ever Black’s A14 series – where you can hear the influence not only of vintage Photek, Dom & Roland and Doc Scott, but also Chain Reaction, T++, Regis and early dark garage.
All the way from Rimini, we welcome one of italo’s unsung pioneers, DJ Benetti. Conqueror of dancefloors all over the world, Benetti’s sets routinely blow the minds of first-timers and hardcore Italo & hi-nrg cognoscenti alike. His first gig was at a Mafia-controlled pizza restaurant in Vigevano (Northern Italy) in 1980, a restaurant famed for its special aphrodisiac “spaghetti a la slinguata”. He’s also big in China —where he lived for 18 months as paid guest of the Communist town council. More than 50% of his income is spent on D&G clothes and accessories. A rumour persists that Benetti is the alter ego of William Bennett (Whitehouse, Cut Hands), but this seems altogether unlikely.
CHAIN OF FLOWERS
(ALTER – LIVE)
Cardiff four-piece who channel their hardcore backgrounds into epic, ultra-heavy, shoegaze and goth-inflected post-punk that brings to mind early Creation and Factory fringe operators, The Sound, Birthday Party, Chameleons’ Script Of The Bridge, Sound, Blitz’s Second Empire Justice…all the good stuff. Their brilliant debut LP came out on Alter Records last year.
(YOUNG ECHO / BLACKEST EVER BLACK / BERCEUSE HEROIQUE)
Ossia hates being called a lynchpin of the Bristol scene but that’s exactly what he is. A member of the Young Echo collective, he runs the RWD>>FWD shop and distro, and has a hand in pretty much all of the key labels to come out of that milieu: No Corner, Hotline, Peng Sound, and of course the recently minted Young Echo imprint. He’s also emerged as a quality producer, with 12”s of raw, free-form soundsystem techno to his name on Blackest Ever Black (2015’s ‘Red X’) and more recently Berceuse Heroique. His DJ set at the Idle Hands x BEB party back in January knocked us out.
(BLACKEST EVER BLACK – LIVE)
Melbourne’s Tarquin Manek is the architect behind some of the finest records to come out on Blackest in the past couple of years. He’s one third of the band F ingers, and half of Tarcar with Carla dal Forno, whose upcoming solo album You Know What It’s Like he also co-produced. He released a solo record of his own in late 2015, Tarquin Magnet, a remarkable blend of DIY concrete, chamber jazz and tripped-out hypno-electronics that no self-respecting, contemporary-minded record collection should be without. His live performances fall somewhere between crooning synth-pop, improv, and dubbed-to-all-fuck techno-splack.
Co-pilot of the redoubtable Tabernacle Records, home to the likes of Lost Trax, John Heckle and The Connection Machine, Andrew knows a thing or two about space travel – in fact for our money he’s the best techno/electro selector in our grubby little solar system. Heads down, closing out Room 2.
Special reggae set from the venerable Idle Hands bossman, all the way from Stokes Croft, Bristol. Anyone who heard his No Vampire mixtape for BEB will know what to expect… proper stake-through-the-heart business.
(BLACKEST EVER BLACK)
Avant-garde electronics from the mysterious ADJ, who contributed to our Low Company cassette compilation and has an LP (eternally) forthcoming.
+ KENNY WHITE
Some bloke I met at the pub.
Raime embark on a short tour of the US this week, playing dates in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
First off New York on Thursday 13 October, for a show at ANALOG_BKNY presented by Quo Vadis Productions. Fantastic line-up also featuring Alessandro Cortini and Lussuria. More information/tickets here.
On Friday 14 October, it’s over to L.A., for a show hosted by Mount Analog at the Masonic Lodge, Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Support from Daniel Higgs (Ideologic Organ) and Noveller. More information/tickets here.
They finish up in San Francisco on Saturday 15th, at the Gray Area Foundation For The Arts with Grebenstein, Stave and more. Information/tickets here.
On Saturday 15th October, Blackest Ever Black returns to Corsica Studios for its first London party since 2013. Live performances from Carla dal Forno, Chain Of Flowers, Tarquin Manek and AD Jacques; DJs: Felix K, Pessimist, Dynamo Dreesen, DJ Benetti, Ossia, Andrew Ingram (Tabernacle Records) and Kenny White.
A small quantity of £10 early bird tickets are available now.
Raime play a 5-hour set – which will apparently cover ““post-punk, no-wave, drone, avant, cold wave, electro, techno, hip-hop, garage, techno, house, hardcore, jungle and various gaps in between” at DIY Space For London this Saturday 20th August, in aid of feminist anti-austerity group Sisters Uncut and the fight against UK government cuts to domestic violence services. “Simple, informal affair: 6 – 11pm, £4 in advance or OTD”.
And in other Raime-related news, they participated in a “Fireside Chat” interview with Red Bull Music Academy Radio, in which they talk in-depth about their approach to music and production. I don’t think I’ve read, seen or heard any interview with them that explores this thoroughly their ideas and motivations, and as such it’s an essential listen for fans of their work:
Raime debuted their Tooth live show earlier this year at the Unsound Toronto festival, with Tom Halstead on guitar, Valentina Magaletti on drums, and Joe Andrews on electronics. If you’ve already caught one of their handful of performances in this incarnation, then you know how devastating this trio is, and how deft – not to mention unlikely – their synthesis of post-hardcore rock dynamics and instrumentation with uncompromised soundsystem pressure is. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, then listen to these live recordings of ‘Coax’ and ‘Stammer’, recorded made at Unsound Toronto by NTS:
Upcoming Raime live dates:
25/08/16 Berlin, DE Berlin Atonal
23/09/16 Brussels, BE Bozar Electronic Arts Festival
08/10/16 Odense, DK Phono Festival
12/11/16 Utrecht, NL Le Guess Who?
You Know What It’s Like is an album for inbetween days, and occupies inbetween states: plain-speaking pop, disorientated by dub. Psychedelic folk delivered with (post-)punk economy. Drifting in space while still tethered to the ground. Astral tones blurred with earth sounds: wood, bone, breath, skin, dirt. Ending and beginning, dying and becoming. Longing for adventure and an unquiet life. Struggling to get out of bed.
This is Carla dal Forno’s debut solo album, following time in cult Melbourne group Mole House and an earlier association with Blackest Ever Black as a member of F ingers and Tarcar. It’s due out on October 7, 2016, on vinyl LP, CD and digital formats, and is available to pre-order now (pre-orders come with instant download of ‘What You Gonna Do Now?’). More information here.
Here’s the video for ‘What You Gonna Do Now?’:
Londoners, a date for your diary: October 15, 2016. We’ll be returning to our spiritual rave-cave, Corsica Studios, for our first party there in three years. Felix K (pictured), Pessimist, Dynamo Dreesen and Ossia will be leading the charge [UPDATE: Carla dal Forno will also be playing live]. A couple of other live acts, and DJs, still TBA. Tickets, and full line-up, will be released next month.
Blackest Ever Black’s most cloistered and curiously monikered project, Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards, returns with Wreck His Days: a debut long-player of unexpected scale, range and political passion. Guest appearances from members of HTRK and These Immortal Souls, the ghosts of Rowland S. Howard, Les Baxter and Nina Simone. Cosmic pastorals and techno-exotica that will appeal to fans of Robert Wyatt circa Old Rottenhat / Nothing Can Stop Us, Global Communication, Deux Filles, Manuel Goettsching, B12, Arthur Russell… Due to be released in August 2016 on LP and digital formats. More information here.
Shub Roy’s Revelate show, home to “genre-less abstraction with a focus on noise, experimental, punk/post-punk, various threads of electronic music and more”, returns to Berlin Community Radio this Friday, 15 July with a live set of oneiric dubwise electronics, corroded cold wave and revelatory avant-song experiments from our very own Tarquin Manek (pictured above).
Melbourne native Manek released a solo album, Tarquin Magnet, on Blackest Ever Black last year, and is a member of the bands F ingers and Tarcar (he’s also behind LST and several other more incognito projects). Currently in Europe for recording sessions and selected live dates (please direct any booking enquiries here), he will release a new record in Autumn/Winter 2016.
Raime have recorded a mix of old-school garage, grime and 4×4 for Resident Advisor’s podcast series, available now. It features tracks by the likes of Geeneus, Anthill Mob, Sunship, DJ Scud and DJ Charmzy; as they explain in the accompanying Q&A, productions of this ilk strongly influenced the arrangements, basslines and drum programming of their recently released Tooth album.
On Friday 12 August, Blackest Ever Black bids a fond and sweaty farewell to Berlin, its home of the past three and a half years, with a party at our favourite club in the city, OHM. Music comes from William Bennett in his lesser-spotted, italo and hi-NRG-evangelising DJ Benetti guise; the brilliant Dynamo Dreesen; and Golden Pudel regulars and Vis label heads Nina and GoodNews.
Earlier this week, Carla dal Forno snuck into Berlin Community Radio’s studio for a one-hour special. Fantastic selections, including tracks from Fall of Saigon, the Au Pairs and Chandra, and a previously unheard instrumental from her own forthcoming debut album. Listen via Mixcloud.
Those very decent sorts at the Monorail Music record store in Glasgow have invited us to include compile a Blackest Ever Black CD label sampler, which they will be giving away free with purchases of the new Raime album and other BEB material, while stocks last (it’s a limited edition of 100).
Available in-store and online from June 13, the disc is housed in a pro-printed card wallet (that’s the cover artwork above) and includes eighteen recent catalogue highlights from the likes of Bremen, Carla dal Forno and Secret Boyfriend, as well as a brand new track by Naaahhh that is currently unavailable anywhere else. Please contact Monorail directly for more information.
You can now listen to ‘Glassed’ – the second track to be shared from Raime‘s upcoming album, Tooth – via YouTube, Soundcloud and Spotify. For more information on Tooth, which is due to be released on June 10, 2016 on deluxe 2xLP, CD and digital formats, click here.
Raime play an intimate live show to launch the album at Birthdays, London, on Tuesday 14 June – tickets are available here. They have also just confirmed a live set at this year’s Berlin Atonal festival, which takes place August 24-28.
The third release on Blackest Ever Black’s A14 series is a 12″ by Ruffhouse member Pessimist. Balaklava bridges icy drum’n’bass minimalism and sub-aquatic dub-techno meet, offering a perfect alignment of stripped, shadow-boxer drums, swooping drones and earth-shaking subs, with a thin layer of crackle and masterful use of silence…..you can hear the influence of Chain Reaction outliers, Source Direct, even early dark garage in there….but this is pure futurist blend. More information here.
Following their incendiary performance for the Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Blackevent at London’s ICA last year, we’re pleased to bring Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay to Berlin for a show at Kantine am Berghain on Thursday 26th May.
Support comes from Tarquin Manek, his first show in Europe since the release of his Tarquin Magnet LP in December, and Silvia Kastel, who has work forthcoming on the label. DJ support comes from Orson, who runs the brilliant Version label with Hops.
Raime play an intimate live show to launch their new album, Tooth, at Birthdays in London on June 14, 2016. Doors 8pm, tickets available here.
The latest episode of the Blackest Ever Black show on Berlin Community Radio has been archived and is now available to stream/download via Soundcloud and Mixcloud. No BEB tracks this month, all stuff from further afield, old and new, from the likes of BJ Cole, Disco Mantras, B.B. Seaton, Lutan Fyah, Fourth World Magazine, Eggs, Primal Scream and Hidden Operator.
Night School Records showcase at West Germany, Berlin, on Saturday 25 June: CC Dust, Liberation (electronic pop solo project of Rat Columns’ David West) and Apostille, plus Blackest’s own Carla dal Forno. More info here.
The latest edition of the excellent Past Haunts show on Portland, OR’s Xray FM was a kind tribute to the first five years of Blackest Ever Black, with host Mehran Azma playing a selection of his favourites from the label’s back catalogue, as well as a few bits and pieces from further afield that have appeared on BEB radio shows or mixes. Check it out here.
Raime’s second album, Tooth, arrives June 10, 2016 on 2xLP, CD and digital formats. The widescreen melancholia of their 2012 debut, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, gives way to an urgent and focussed futurism, in the shape of eight fiercely uptempo, minimal, meticulously crafted electro-acoustic rhythm tracks. The DNA of dub-techno, garage/grime and post-hardcore rock music spliced into sleek and predatory new forms.
No let-up, no hesitation. Needlepoint guitar, deftly junglist drum programming, brooding synths and lethal sub-bass drive the engine. The production is immaculate, high definition. No hiss, no obscuring drones or extraneous noise: the music of Tooth is wide-open and exposed. The seeds of its supple dancehall biomechanics can be found in the self-titled 2013 EP by Raime side-project Moin, an ahead-of-its-time synthesis of art-rock and soundsystem sensibilities, but Tooth pushes the template further, binding the disparate elements together so tightly that they become indistinguishable from one another.
If Quarter Turns was an album that confronted total loss and self-destruction, even longed for it, then Tooth is the sound of resistance and counter-attack: cunning, quick, resolute; calling upon stealth as much as brute-force. At a time when so many pay lip service to experimentation without ever fully committing themselves or their work to it, Raime return from three years of deep, dedicated studio research with a bold and original new music: staunch, rude, and way out in front.
The vinyl is a 2xLP set, pressed on heavyweight 180g vinyl and housed in a matt laminated gatefold sleeve with spot-gloss detail, download code and two printed inners, and is available to pre-order here, as are CD and digital formats. Pre-orders of all formats come with instant download of ‘Dead Heat’ and full album download on the official release date.
More information here.
NTS Radio just published a short video interview they did with Camella Lobo (Tropic of Cancer) as part of their ‘SOUNDCHECKS’ series.
Very excited to be DJing this Saturday at my favourite night in Berlin: Version, hosted by Orson and Hops. Expect sub-zero grime, dancehall, breakbeat and wave stuff from me, and all manner of impeccable, post-dubstep fwd business from the main men. Ohm, Berlin, 11pm-7am on Saturday 19 April. More information here.
The new album by Dalhous, The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44, is out now on double-vinyl and digital formats. The 2xLP set, available direct from Blackest Ever Black and all other good retailers, comes housed in a matt varnished sleeve with spot-gloss detail, with download code included; the digital is available to stream and download from all the usual outlets, including our Bandcamp.
Listen to ‘Lines To The Border’, the album’s closing track, here.
Dalhous’s new double-LP, The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44, is out now on digital formats; the vinyl is on general release from Friday (25 March).
To herald the album’s arrival, Marc Dall recorded a mix of predominantly soundtrack influences for Xplaylist, featuring pieces from (among others) Graeme Revell, Hahn Rowe, Klaus Schulze, Mark Isham, Eric Vann and Gil Mellé. Listen here:
Dall talks about the making of the album, and Dalhous in general, in this interview with Sounds Of A Tired City. You can buy The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1 on download formats directly from our Bandcamp now.
Two songs from the soundtrack of Jane Arden and Jack Bond’s Anti-Clock (1979), both sung by the late Arden herself, appear on a new 7″ lathe-cut from Blackest Ever Black, available in a strictly limited edition of 50 copies. The 7″s are housed in clear plastic sleeves with screen-printed, wraparound card inserts, in two colour-ways (to be randomly distributed). Pre-orders ship in the w/c March 27, 2016.
For those of you who miss out on this edition, don’t panic: both songs will appear as part of the full Anti-Clock soundtrack LP which will be released later this year.
March 2016 sees the arrival of a new album by Dalhous, The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44, the first of a new trilogy of releases from Marc Dall’s Edinburgh-based project. Following initial taster ‘Methods of Élan’, you can now listen to another song taken from the forthcoming LP, ‘End Of Each Analysis’.
Dalhous will be performing live as part of The Long Now, a special event curated Berno Odo Polzer, Laurens von Oswald and Harry Glass in association with the Berlin Festspiele. It takes place at the formidable Kraftwerk venue – home also to the Berlin Atonal festival. Dall and longtime co-conspirator Alex Ander will play an extended 90-minute set, on a bill that also includes Moritz von Oswald & Rashad Becker (premiering their new collaborative work, fathom), Dan Vincente (Acronym), and Manuel Nawri conducting a performance of John Cage’s 1992 work Fifty-Eight. More information and tickets can be found here.
Happy Valentine’s Day. Our gift to you: a shot of pure heartache from People Skills, in the form of ‘Town of Diana’, taken from the album Gunshots From Crestridge – due out on Blackest Ever Black in Summer 2016. For those of you unfamiliar with Jesse Dewlow’s People Skills project, we recommend you check out his 2014 LP for Siltbreeze, Tricephalic Head, which is currently available digitally from the Free Music Archive. Expect more of that high lonesome sound on the forthcoming Gunshots.
The last thing the world needs is another reissue of ’80s industrial/post-punk/minimal synth, eh? But those of you who are in any way familiar with Caroline K’s Now Wait For Last Year will understand why, when given permission to release a new vinyl edition of this outstanding 1985 album, we really couldn’t help ourselves. The work of the late Caroline Kaye Walters, co-founder of Nocturnal Emissions, it’s truly one of the most adventurous, emotive and accomplished full-lengths to come out of the UK underground in that period, and, thanks to Klanggalerie’s 2010 CD edition and no small amount of online file-sharing, it is firmly established as such (‘Animal Lattice’, you may recall, featured prominently on the inaugural Blackest mixtape, The Scold’s Bridle).
Nonetheless, Now Wait For Last Year has been unavailable on vinyl since its original ’85 pressing on Earthly Delights, which though not impossible to come by, is certainly rare, and certainly expensive. Given the explosion of interest in this sort of music over the past few years, and the sheer number of reissues flooding the market, we assumed it was only a matter of time before Now Wait For Last Year got the wax treatment…but five years passed, and nothing happened, so we decided to do something about it.
Now, in collaboration with Klanggalerie and with the blessing of Walters’ husband, Danny Ayers, we’re extremely pleased to announce a 2016 pressing of Now Wait For Last Year (BLACKEST050 / gg127-3), due out on April 29 and available to pre-order now. For more information on this unclassifiable, Philip K. Dick-inspired masterpiece, click here.
Yes, it’s a Blackest Ever Black tote bag…A 38 x 42 cm Westford Mill W101 “bag for life”, to be precise. Ideal for carrying records, groceries, the weight of the world on your shoulders. Black, 100% cotton, 140gsm, with long handles (67cm). Ethically produced and chlorine free. Comfortably holds around 20 12″s/LPs.
Logo screen-printed on one side in light grey by Black Ink Press, Berlin. First edition of 100.
The bag comes free with all webshop orders of other items totalling £30 or more, while stocks last, or you can purchase it separately for £10 (inclusive of shipping). Fore more information or to buy, click here.
For the past three or four years, Blackest Ever Black’s bread and butter has been its webshop and attendant mailorder service. In this time, your loyal support (and patience when required) has been of huge importance and value to us, enabling us to maintain the frequency and (we like to think) quality of the label’s output.
For a while now, a few of you have been asking whether we might offer some kind of subscription service, allowing you to pay a lump sum upfront and be guaranteed a copy of each new release when it becomes available, rather than having to scramble
Finally, after a bit of thought, a lot of procrastination, and then shamelessly copying the approach of a couple of other labels, we’ve decided to launch just such a service – as a means to reward our most regular customers, and hopefully make their lives a little easier. And, in the tradition of such things, we’ve given this service a silly name, one which not only sounds suitably cloak-and-dagger but also alludes quite bluntly to the addictive, enslaving nature of record-collecting and indeed records themselves: the Vicious Circle.
Why bother? In brief, the advantages of becoming a member are:
Intrigued? Yes? No? Maybe? For more information on the Circle and how to apply, click here.
**Please note that membership of the V.C is currently limited to 30 members. Membership will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. The minimum first payment is £30 GBP.**
UPDATE, 11/02/16: All 30 memberships have been filled. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list and be contacted when we’re ready to accept new members, please register your interest with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
A new album from Dalhous, The Composite Moods Collection Vol.1: House Number 44, will be released on 2xLP and digital formats in March 2016 and is available to pre-order now. It’s the first part of a new cycle of recordings that examines the relationship between two individuals co-habiting in the same confined space – their interactions, their sense of self and of each other, and the pregnant space between. One of these people, the protagonist (if you like) of House Number 44, is, or at least believes themselves to be, in fine mental health. The other appears distinctly unwell – detached, isolated, often feeling helpless and unable to influence the world around them; at other times prone to committing acts of extraordinary aggression and manipulation.
For more information, click here.
Thanks to our man Chris Farrell for putting on the Idle Hands & Blackest Ever Black party in Bristol last weekend, and for bringing the janitor over. Had a lot of fun, which isn’t something I say very often these days.
Compliments especially to Rhythmic Theory (first time I’ve ever seen him play out: murderer) and Ossia (pictured above), whose incredible set of breakneck techno was not at all what I expected, but exactly what I wanted to hear. Thank you Bristol people: Richard Carnes, Andy Payback, Ruffhouse, Alex Tape-Echo, Shanti Celeste, Daisy Moon, Benji Semtek. Already looking forward to next time, if there is one. There certainly should be.
Rhythmic Theory’s release on our A14 imprint, Forgotten Realms, is out now; we’re currently out of stock but should have a handful more copies. Ossia’s ‘Red X’ 12″ for Blackest is now sold out at source, but you can still find it in shops at more or less RRP; the title track is finally available digitally, but only as part of our Radio Caliban: Blackest Ever Black “Singles” 2015 compilation (also available on cassette).
Camella Lobo aka Tropic of Cancer took the reins of Rinse FM on December 29, 2015, for a one-off radio special. Featuring music by, among others, Joe Meek, Martin Denny, Broadcast and The Supremes, the show is now available to stream or download as a podcast.
Happy new year. We begin 2016 as we mean to go on – impulsively? – with a party in Bristol co-hosted with our friends Idle Hands. It takes place this Saturday 9 January at the one and only Take 5 Cafe, with music from Rhythmic Theory, Ossia, Idle Hands bossman Chris Farrell, and yours truly. If you’re in the area, hope to see you there.
Mailorder customers, thanks for your patience while we catch up on things this week: we’ve a huge backlog of orders to ship and emails to respond to after three weeks off, and we’re working our way through it as quickly as we can.
Do You Know The Mind Of A Bullet? is a mini-album of sketches and improvisations recorded by Tarquin Manek (F ingers, Tarcar, LST) in Summer/Autumn 2015. Originally intended only to be released on a limited edition cassette given away with initial pre-orders of Tarquin’s new LP proper, Tarquin Magnet, in the end we decided that this music deserved to be made more widely available and so, in addition to the tape (which is sold out), Bullet? is now available as a free download. If you’re familiar with Tarquin Magnet, consider it a crucial addendum to that record; for the rest of you, it provides a good introduction to Manek’s work. More information here.
We’re very pleased to announced the new release of Memory Care Unit – a new long-form offering of poignant, isolationist machine music from Secret Boyfriend. Eschewing the cryptic and compact song-sketches that characterised his 2013 Blackest Ever Black LP, This Is Always Where You’ve Lived, Ryan Martin instead guides us through vast interior topographies and nerve-damaged ambiences that comfort and deceive like memory itself.
Beginning with ‘The Singing Bile’ – minimal synth submerged and subjected to an almost oceanic pressure – the tracks are mostly crude, extended live improvisations, recorded straight to tape. Martin’s loose intention was to subtract himself from proceedings and “let the music play itself”, but the erasure is not quite complete: on the contrary, each piece feels distinctly authored, and charged with personal significance. The atrophying loops of ‘Memorize Them Well’ broach the elegiac grandeur of Gas and William Basinski, while ‘Paean Delle Palme’ summons E.A.R., Af Ursin, and the clammy, opioid exoticism of :zoviet*france:*’sJust An Illusion. The album is largely instrumental, but there are two weighty exceptions: the sprawling, drumbox-driven space blues of ‘Little Jammy Centre’ and the guileless yearning of ‘Stripping At The Nail’. This is electronic pop undressed, unravelled and mapped onto the infinite wave.
The album will be released in January 2015 on vinyl and digital formats; for more information and pre-orders, click here.
The latest edition of the Blackest Ever Black show on Berlin Community Radio is now up on Soundcloud for your streaming/DLing pleasure. Originally broadcast at 5pm-7pm on November 17, it features new BEB music from Carla dal Forno, Dalhous, Secret Boyfriend, Bremen and Tarquin Manek, among other things.
Blackest Ever Black will be based in Melbourne, Australia for the remainder of the year, but our mailorder will continue to operate more or less as normal from Berlin during this time. However, please note that any orders placed after December 10, 2015 will not be processed until January 2016 – given how many packages sent during the Christmas period end up delayed or lost, it’s simply not worth it.
Customers who pre-ordered Chris Farrell’s No Vampire (pictured above), New Private Window’s The Desperate Hours, Blackest Ever Black’s Id Mud, Id Mud (second edition), or one of Jasmine Deporta’s signed Tropic of Cancer prints, please note that these items are all in the process of being shipped – we’d hoped to have them all dispatched by the end of last week, but it’s all taken a little longer than we imagined. If things go to plan, they should all be on their way by the end of this week (November 27). Thank you for bearing with us.
Tarquin Manek’s Tarquin Magnet and Rhythmic Theory’s ‘Forgotten Realms’ 12″ will be out in the first week of December, with Bremen’s Eclipsed following soon after. That will be your lot for 2015, though in the next couple of weeks we will announce – and list for pre-order – our first releases of 2016.
Friday just gone (October 30), we dispatched with the second and final of Blackest Ever Black’s fifth birthday celebrations, at Berghain in Berlin. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the artists who performed at this event, and at the London event at the ICA back in September: Raime, Regis, Prurient, Tropic of Cancer, Felix K, Philipp and Ian Death Disco, Diat, Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay, Af Ursin, Officer!, Ashtray Navigations, F ingers, Stefan Jaworzyn, Dalhous, AD Jacques, William Bennett and Brian Not Brian.
Thanks too to: Matt Williams, Ben Moon and all at ICA; Andre, Andreas, Jan, Martin and all at Berghain; Sanjay, Greg, Laura, Sam Dunn, Jack Bond, Thomas and Black Ink Press, Oliver Smith, Jasmine Deporta, Snowman, Ben Britto, Lisa Fairview and Andrew, and not forgetting the numerous support staff who helped keep the wheels on the bus, and in some cases helped build the bus in the first place.
While I’m in a sentimental mood, or more sentimental than usual at any rate, I’d like to say a final word of thanks to all the artists and technicians who’ve contributed to the label, and to those fans and friends who’ve supported us, over the past five years.
Since we first announced Tropic of Cancer’s European tour dates, there have been a number of additions, changes of venue, and so on. The revised poster above features the final and confirmed listings.
Bremen – the duo of Jonas Tiljander (Brainbombs) and Lanchy Orre (Brainbombs, Totalitar return with a new double-album of glacial electronics and smouldering space-rock minimalism, Eclipsed, due out on Blackest Ever Black in December and available to pre-order now. Arriving little more than a year after their last outing on BEB, Second Launch, it’s another masterpiece of black hole psychedelia from one of the greatest underground rock’n’roll units on the planet. More information here.
Following a month off, Blackest Ever Black will be back on Berlin Community Radio on Monday 26 October, 6pm-8pm CET, joined for this show by a special guest and very old friend of ours: Chris Farrell, boss of the Idle Hands record store and label in Bristol. We first crossed paths 12 or so years ago, when Chris was working at the late Imperial Records in Bristol; he’s played records for us at a couple of BEB parties in the past, and this month also sees the release of his No Vampire mixtape through our Krokodilo imprint. Oh and we’re planning to hatch a joint label, Silent Street, in 2016, if time allows. Chris taught us at least seven tenths of what we know that’s worth knowing, and our tastes intersect at a lot of different levels – from winsome indie-pop on up (or down?) – so it should be an interesting couple of hours of music. Listen live at berlincommunityradio.com.
Responding to the fact that the two new Tropic of Cancer records, Stop Suffering and Archive: The Downwards Singles, won’t quite be ready in time for the start of their imminent European tour, we’ve produced a one-off tape release combining the tracks from both releases. The tape, pro-dubbed and housed in a white and clear library case with printed inlay featuring photography by Jasmine Deporta, is a limited edition of 150 copies; the bulk of the edition will be available only at Tropic of Cancer’s live shows, but we’ve siphoned off a handful of copies for web customers. More information here.
Tarquin Magnet is an album by Tarquin Manek (F ingers, Tarcar, LST), his first full solo release for Blackest Ever Black, and a unique synthesis of time-dilating folk jazz romanticism, brittle chamber dub and plasmic post-techno electronics. Due to be released in late November, it’s available to pre-order on vinyl and digital now; the first 30 vinyl pre-orders come bundled with an exclusive Manek tape, Do You Know The Mind Of A Bullet?, containing archival material unavailable elsewhere.
More information here.
Tropic of Cancer are touring Europe this year, for the first time since 2013, and for the first time in their new three-piece live configuration: Camella Lobo will be joined on-stage by Taylor Burch (Dva Damas) and Joshua Eustis (Sons of Madgalene, Telefon Tel Aviv).
The dates are listed on the poster above, and include the now sold-out show at Berlin’s Berghain as part of the Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black showcase there. Please note that while the early concert part of the evening (Tropic of Cancer + Diät) is completely sold out, and advance tickets are no longer on sale, there will be plenty of tickets available on the door for the second part of the event, which commences at midnight and features Raime (live), Prurient (live), Regis and Felix K.
Before they head our way, Tropic of Cancer will play a send-off show in Los Angeles – their only remaining US date of the year. Presented by Werkartz and Mount Analog, this intimate gig will take place at Werkartz, Arts District, 927 S. Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021, on Saturday 17 October. More information here.
Tropic of Cancer’s new EP, Stop Suffering, and their Archive: The Downwards Singles reissue 12″, are both due to be released at the start of November. A limited edition, tour-only cassette featuring both releases on one tape, with exclusive artwork, is currently being prepped.
After months of delays, finished copies of our US vinyl-only compilation, I Can’t Give You The Life You Want, finally landed the week before last. We’ve sold out of our stash on pre-order, but copies are still available from Mount Analog (last time we checked). The comp features exclusive tracks from the likes of Cut Hands, Secret Boyfriend, Bremen, Dalhous, Tropic of Cancer and Exploring Jezebel, and is currently available to stream in its entirety over at Spin, where you can also read an interview with the janitor about the first five years of Blackest Ever Black’s life.
The last remaining copies of Low Company, the limited edition (150 copies) cassette compilation we put together to mark the Five Wretched Years… event at the ICA last week, are now in stock and available to buy from the BEB webshop. The comp features exclusive tracks from Officer!, Ashtray Navigations, Dalhous, Af Ursin, F ingers, AD Jacques, Stefan Jaworzyn and Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay.
Apologies for a recent lack of updates here, the Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black event in London was rather consuming. So now, with little regard for precise chronology, a barrage of posts alerting you to things that happened in the past fortnight or so.
On Monday 21 September, Blackest Ever Black visited the NTS Radio studio in Dalston for a one-off show. Raime were supposed to be joining us too, but had to bail due to last-minute recording commitments. You can listen to the show here.
Low Company is a special cassette release compiled to mark the Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black event at the ICA, London, on September 26, 2015. It features exclusive, previously unreleased tracks from all eight of the artists performing live at the event: that’s F ingers, Officer!, Af Ursin, Dalhous, Ashtray Navigations, AD Jacques, Stefan Jaworzyn and Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay. Produced in a strictly limited edition of 150 copies, the first opportunity to buy the tape will be from the merch table at the event itself; any left over will be available from the BEB webshop from 6pm on September 28, 2015. More information here.
This three-track 12″ and digital EP, with cover photography by Jasmine Deporta, is due to be released on October 30, 2015. We will simultaneously be releasing a Tropic of Cancer 12″ entitled Archive: The Downwards Singles, which collects the three original songs (‘The Dull Age’, ‘Victims’ and ‘Be Brave’) from TOC’s brace of 2009-11 Downwards singles on one 12″, with new artwork by Silent Editions.
Tropic of Cancer will be touring Europe this Autumn; full dates to follow.
The August ’15 edition of the Blackest Ever Black show on Berlin Community Radio has now been archived for your listening pleasure. Highlights include new/exclusive BEB material from Tarquin Manek, F ingers, Dalhous and Officer!, most of it taken from the forthcoming cassette compilation Low Company (of which more soon), recent cuts from Busen, Acido, Forum; a Hanna Mekonnen track played at the wrong speed; divine 7″s from People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz, Raum and World of Pooh that we’ve owned for years but had almost completely forgotten about; and a very brief trip down hardcore NY rap’s corpse-strewn memory lane.
More information and tracklist here.
F ingers‘ sublime Hide Before Dinner LP is due out on September 4, and the band will be touring Europe in support of it this Autumn, including dates with Cured Pink and Rat Columns, and an appearance at the Five Wretched Years Of Blackest Ever Black event at London’s ICA (with Jac Berrocal, Officer!, Ashtray Navigations, Stefan Jaworzyn, Af Ursin, Dalhous and more). Full dates are below.
If you have any bright ideas for the dates marked ‘???’, drop us a line.
A limited edition F ingers tour tape containing all-new material, Trilogy: They Got The Best Heart, will be on sale at the gigs (we also have a few copies available now from the BEB webshop).
30 AUG SUN – PRAGUE @ OUTDOORS @ Štvanice w/ Rat Columns
8 SEP TUES – POZNAN @ CENTRUM AMARANT w/ Cured Pink
9 SEP WED – WARSAW @ MOZG w/ Cured Pink
10 SEP THURS – BYDGOSZCZ @ MOZG w/ Cured Pink
12 SEP SAT – COPENHAGEN @ MAYHEM w/ Cured Pink
13 SEP SUN – AMSTERDAM @ OCCII VS HAPERENDE MENS FESTIVAL @ OT301
14 SEP MON – ROTTERDAM @ ROODKAPJE w/ Cured Pink
17 SEP THURS – PARIS @ OLYPIC CAFE w/ Cured Pink
18 SEP FRI – BRICQUEBEC @ Le REAUME w/ Cured Pink
20 SEP SUN – BARAKALDO ??
21 SEP MON – BILBAO ??
22 SEP TUES – PONTEVEDRA @ BAR LABRANZA w/ Cured Pink
23 SEP WED – PORTO @ SONOSCOPIA w/ Cured Pink
24 SEP THURS – LISBON @ ZDB w/ Cured Pink
26 SEP SAT – LONDON @ ICA Event – Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black
28 SEP MON – BERLIN @ TRICKSTER w/ Rat Columns
The Abyssal Podcast series’ guest contributor this month is our very own Dalhous. When invited to record podcasts in the past, Marc Dall has invariably chosen to use only his own music (including many exclusives and re-samples). This latest is unusual, then, in that it’s a selection of other people’s music – among them Edgar Froese, Mark Isham and Ed Tomney – and as such it provides a rare insight into some of Dall’s influences and home listening.
A new Dalhous album, The Composite Moods Collection, is being mastered next week. More information soon.
For those of you who missed out earlier in the year, we’ve put our last 20 copies of the I Can’t Give You The Life You Want compilation (BLACKESTUSA001) up for pre-order. Released in a limited edition of 500, this vinyl-only comp features all-new material from the likes of Cut Hands, Bremen, Tarcar, Dalhous and Tropic of Cancer. It’s finally due out in mid-September.
Although these 20 are the last of our label copies, the record is also currently still available to order direct from Mount Analog in LA.
Perth-based Rat Columns are touring Europe in late August and late September, celebrating the release of their Fooling Around E.P. on Blackest Ever Black, and their Do You Remember Real Pain? EP on Adagio830. The tour kicks off in Berlin at Bei Ruth this Friday, 28 August, and includes a couple of shows with BEB’s own F ingers. Below is a full list of dates as they stand; if you’ve any help or suggestions to offer for the shows marked ‘???’, get in touch.
28 AUG FRI – BERLIN @ BEI RUTH w/ Future Punx
29 AUG SAT – HALLE @ Hühnermannhattan w/ Future Punx
30 AUG SUN – PRAGUE @ OUTDOOR SHOW @ Štvanice w/ F ingers
31 AUG MON – GRAZ @ SUB
1 SEPT TUES – BUDAPEST @ Müszi w/ F ingers
2 SEPT WEDS – VIENNA / MUNICH / NURENBERG / BRNO???
3 SEPT THURS – DARMSTADT / OETTIINGER VILLA w/ Solids
4 SEPT FRI – LUZERN @ KLUB KEGELBAHN w/ Thee Irma & Louise
5 SEPT SAT – BASEL @ HIRSCHENECK w/ Thee Irma & Louise
6 SEPT SUN – BERN @ CAFETE w/ Thee Irma & Louise
7 SEPT MON – OFF
8 SEPT TUES – ???MARSEILLE???
9 SEPT WEDS – MONTPELLIER @ UP AND DOWN
10 SEPT THURS – BARCELONA @ ALMO2BAR w/ Zephyr Lake, $SDVORE & Heather
11 SEPT FRI – VALENCIA @ CSA LA RESIDENCIA
12 SEPT SAT – MADRID @ WURLITZER BALLROOM
13 SEPT SUN – BORDEAUX @ TBC (GENRE! SHOW)
14 SEPT MON – PARIS @ L’ESPACE B w/ Blank Realm & Kitchen’s Floor
15 SEPT TUES – BELGIUM? / LILLE? / AMSTERDAM? KOLN???
16 SEPT WEDS – BRIGHTON @ THE HOPE AND RUIN
17 SEPT THURS – LONDON @ MONTAGUE ARMS
18 SEPT FRI – LEEDS @ TEMPLE OF BOOM
19 SEPT SAT – MANCHESTER @ FUEL CAFE (WILMSLOW RD) w/ Apostille, Slowlight & Gut Model
20 SEPT SUN – OFF
21 SEPT MON – ANTWERP @ TBC
22 SEPT TUES – KASSEL @ NORDSTADT
23 SEPT WEDS – GRONIGEN @ DE GYM
24 SEPT THURS – NORTH OF GERMANY? BREMEN? HAMBURG? HANNOVER???
25 SEPT FRI – KOPENHAGEN @ Spillestedet Stengade w/ La Luz, Moon City Boys, Munnen
26 SEPT SAT – AARHUS
27 SEPT SUN – HAMBURG
28 SEPT MON – BERLIN
As previously announced, Blackest Ever Black begins its fifth anniversary celebrations with an all-day and evening event at London’s ICA on Saturday 26 September.
The evening concerts features live performances from Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay, Officer!, and Af Ursin; with DJ support from Raime. In the daytime, there are live performances from Ashtray Navigations, Stefan Jaworzyn, F ingers, Dalhous and AD Jacques; plus a screening of Jane Arden & Jack Bond’s 1979 film Anti-Clock. And we’re now pleased to announce that William Bennett will be DJing in the bar between the daytime and evening sessions.
A limited edition C50 cassette compilation, specially assembled to mark the occasion and featuring exclusive tracks from all of the participating live performers – the Jac Berrocal trio, Af Ursin, Officer!, Dalhous, AD Jacques, Ashtray Navigations, Stefan Jaworzyn and F ingers – will be on sale exclusively at the event. Any copies not sold on the day will subsequently be made available to purchase online via the Blackest webshop. Full details to follow.
Also forthcoming: limited edition screen prints of the gig posters for both (ICA and Berghain) Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black events.
Tarcar will be playing an extended 2-hour live set at Berlin’s Ohm club this Wednesday, 19 August, for one of the Atonal festival’s official afterparties, sandwiched between DJ sets from Healing Force Project.
Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek debuted their duo project on Blackest Ever Black last year with the Mince Glace EP; their instant classic ‘Eija’ features on the upcoming I Can’t Give You The Life You Want compilation; and new material is on its way. Meanwhile dal Forno and Manek’s other band, F ingers, are due to release their Hide Before Dinner LP on Blackest at the end of this month, with a Manek solo album arriving before the year is out.
Also performing at Atonal this week: Chra, which is the current solo incarnation of Shampoo Boy’s Christina Nemec, plays the Main Stage on Thursday (a good recent interview with Christina here); and Regis, both on his own and as part of Ugandan Methods (Friday).
Id Mud is the first CD-R “mixtape” from Blackest Ever Black since 2012’s Dream Theory In Haltemprice. In fact it’s a 2xCD-R set, housed in a hand-made, individually numbered card booklet with white letraset titling and three photocopied inserts of visual/textual material. On the discs: over 140 minutes of music, including a number of exclusive, “mystery” tracks from Blackest Ever Black artists. Strictly limited edition of 60 copies, available to pre-order now for late September dispatch. More information here.
‘I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over’ is a new song by Tropic of Cancer, the project’s first since 2013’s Restless Idylls LP.
It appears on the upcoming, US-only Blackest Ever Black compilation I Can’t Give You The Life You Want (BLACKESTUSA001), released in collaboration with LA’s Mount Analog. Originally slated for release in June, manufacturing issues mean the LP will now land in September 2015. As well as Tropic of Cancer’s contribution, it features exclusive tracks by Tarcar, Bremen, Cut Hands, Dalhous, Infrastructure Zero, 500 Stamps, Tarquin Manek, Barnett + Coloccia, Exploring Jezebel and Secret Boyfriend.
Tropic of Cancer will also release a new, three-track EP on Blackest Ever Black in October 2015, in addition to an archival 12″ (also on BEB) compiling the three original tracks from their brace of classic Downwards singles. Now expanded to a three-piece for live performances (with Camella Lobo joined by Dva Damas’s Taylor Burch and Telefon Tel Aviv’s Joshua Eustis), ToC will tour Europe this Autumn, including a headline appearance at the Five Years of Blackest Ever Black event at Berlin’s Berghain on October 30 (alongside Raime, Prurient, Regis, Felix K and Diät). Full tour dates will be announced soon.
Camella: “[This] was the first track I had written and recorded in more than a year.
“It’s a very personal song. I was coming out of a very rough year. I wanted to package up my feelings in order to understand them. The perspective it gave was a big relief and integral to moving forward with my life.
“I’ve entered a period where I’m much more into taking my time with everything in general. I think this track reflects that. I used to rush through the writing process instead of tending to ideas over a longer period of time.
“This track is also the first time I worked with Joshua Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv/Sons of Magdalene.) The addition of his mixing and production transformed the impact of the track and shaped it into more than I ever imagined.”
I Can’t Give You The Life You Want is available to pre-order from Mount Analog now, and comes bundled with an exclusive Blackest Ever Black mixtape entitled Truth Or Dare In North America.
Details of the new Tropic of Cancer EP will be announced in the next few weeks.
Various new distro titles available from the Blackest Ever Black webshop this week. These include Social Acid, the latest release from the always compelling Thought Broadcast, released in an edition of 100 on Marco Raspberry Bulbs’ Personnel label, and already sold out at source; Hour House’s wonderful Chiltern House LP on Penultimate Press, which along with Diät’s Positive Energy is undoubtedly one of the records of the year; a re-stock of Penultimate’s handsome 2015 edition of the Ksiezyc LP (something no home should be without); and a brawny new collaboration between Black Rain & Shapednoise on the latter’s own Cosmorhythmatic label.
Still in stock: Hypnotic Sleep’s self-titled LP of drug-destroyed exotica on Berlin’s Static Age; Richard Youngs’ dub-deconstructing Primary Concrete Attack; and that 11-minute d-beat epic from Impalers on Static Shock. Enlivening additions to any record collection, to be sure.
The latest two instalments in our Krokodilo Tapes are available to pre-order now. No Vampire is a slaughtering 90-minute reggae mixtape from our old friend Chris Farrell, the man behind the Idle Hands record store and label in Bristol; The Desperate Hours is a collage of “self-surveilling internet field recordings and derivative, masturbatory ambience” by Leicester’s New Private Window.
Each of these titles is available in an edition of 100.
The Fooling Around E.P. by Rat Columns is out now on 12″ vinyl and digital formats. For us it’s the ultimate summer record, light on its feet but full of regret and longing, and the title track in particular surely counts among the very finest to have appeared on this label. The 12″ is housed in a duotone reverse board sleeve with photocopied lyric sheet and download code; you can order it direct from Blackest Ever Black here. Digital is available from Bandcamp, iTunes, Bleep, Boomkat and all the usual suspects, and of course it is streaming via Spotify, Apple Music et al.
Late August sees Rat Columns embark on an extensive European tour; tour dates as they currently stand are listed here.
A video trailer for Regis’s Manbait compilation, due out on Blackest Ever Black in September 2015. The audio is an excerpt of one of the comp’s previously unreleased tracks, and the one that gives the it its name: the Regis remix of Family Sex’s ‘Manbait’.
Due to a quirk of scheduling we don’t entirely understand, Blackest Ever Black is back on Berlin Community Radio for a second time this month. The shows goes out via berlincommunityradio.com today (Tuesday 28 July) at 5pm-7pm CET, and you can expect to hear new label material from F ingers, Tarquin Manek, Ossia, Secret Boyfriend, Rhythmic Theory, Rat Columns and others.
Blackest Ever Black presents Red X, the debut release from Young Echo member Ossia. 10 unyielding minutes of noise-strafed, rootical techno backed with two more abstract, uncanny studies in reverb and delay. One of the Bristol underground’s most vital behind-the-scenes operators, Ossia runs the RWD>>FWD mail-order and oversees the Peng Sound, No Corner and Hotline Recordings labels, among others.
This vinyl-only offering – housed in a devilishly handsome litho- and screen-printed LP-style sleeve, designed by Studio Tape-Echo – is out now and available from Boomkat, Bleep and all the usual suspects, including our own webstore. More information here.
Hide Before Dinner is a new album by F ingers – the trio of Carla dal Forno (Tarcar), Samuel Karmel and Tarquin Manek (LST, Tarcar). Deeply drugged, synth-daubed death-folk and DIY electronics of the highest order. It’s due to be released through Blackest Ever Black on August 31, 2015 on LP and digital formats. More information here.
This very special group will be on tour in Europe this Autumn, including a performance at the Five Wretched Years of Blackest Ever Black event at London’s ICA on September 26. Full list of dates to follow.
The first 20 pre-orders of Hide Before Dinner come bundled with a copy of F ingers new tour tape, Trilogy: They Got The Best Heart.
RAIME (live) | PRURIENT (live) | TROPIC OF CANCER (live) | REGIS (DJ) | FELIX K (DJ) | DIÄT (live) | DEATH DISCO DJs
October 30, 9pm. Tickets €20.50 (concert from 9pm + party) / 15€ (party from midnight)
Following the announcement of the first of Blackest Ever Black’s fifth anniversary celebration events, at London’s ICA, we’re now ready to share details of the second: a major offering at Berghain in Berlin, on Friday 30 October.
Like the ICA showcase, the Berghain event is split into two parts. The earlier “concert” part of the night, presented with Death Disco, features a live performance from Tropic of Cancer. Camella Lobo’s LA-based project, now expanded to a three-piece for live performances, first appeared on BEB with The Sorrow Of Two Blooms back in 2011, and has remained a fixture of the label, releasing debut album Restless Idylls with us in 2013; a new Tropic of Cancer EP is due out on Blackest in October. Support for TOC comes from Berlin punks-on-wave Diät (whose debut album, out in September on Iron Lung/Adagio 380, is one of 2015’s finest), and Death Disco DJs.
The second (ahem) “party” part of the night commences at midnight, and features live performances from Raime and Prurient. Raime and their music – a minimalist but emotive, highly original synthesis of such disparate influences as jungle, post-punk, dub, doom metal and post-hardcore – have been synonymous with BEB since its inception. This Autumn they release the eagerly awaited follow-up to their 2013 album Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, and this live show in Berlin will be the first of unveiling of new album material, and of the group’s new live configuration. Prurient is of course the alter ego of Dominick Fernow, founder and figurehead of Hospital Productions. His 2013 Prurient LP Through The Window, a visionary meeting of techno and power electronics, was released on Blackest Ever Black in 2013, and Fernow has contributed to the label before and since under numerous aliases, among them Vatican Shadow, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement and Exploring Jezebel. This live performance will be Prurient’s first in Berlin since the release earlier this year of what is arguably his masterpiece, the double-album Frozen Niagara Falls.
DJ sets come from Regis and Felix K. Regis, aka Karl O’Connor, was one of Blackest Ever Black’s earliest supporters, and quickly became one of its key artists, not only releasing his own work (2011’s In A Syrian Tongue EP) but lending his remix and studio skills to releases by Tropic of Cancer, Ike Yard, Dalhous, Vatican Shadow and Raime. This September sees the release of Manbait, a compilation of the Downwards boss and Sandwell District co-founder’s production work for BEB. The roots of Berlin native Felix K are in drum-and-bass, and he has repeatedly advanced and invigorated the genre with his own sparse, dub-centered productions, making important lateral connections to austere Hard Wax-school techno and more abstract electronic realms. As well as being one of the faces behind the Hidden Hawaii label, Felix released an EP of his own productions, Tragedy of the Commons, on BEB earlier this year.
You may also be interested to know that PAN are hosting Panoramabar that same night, with M.E.S.H., Bill Kouligas, Lee Gamble, Objekt and more. As usual, once inside the club you can move freely between Berghain and Panoramabar. To reiterate, tickets for the earlier concert part of the evening (featuring Tropic of Cancer) cost €20.50, and of course these tickets grant you entry to the party beginning at midnight. Those wishing to attend the party only (Raime, Prurient et al) can buy tickets on the door at €15, but for obvious reasons, and to avoid disappointment, we’d strongly recommend advance concert ticket purchase. Buy them here.
Some more information here.
Earlier this month, Blackest Ever Black was back in the place of its birth, London, finally sorting through various possessions it left there when leaving for Berlin in a hurry two years ago. These included several large boxes of unsold stock, and spare archival copies, of BEB releases dating back to 2010, many of them quite rare; plus a handful of distro stock items.
On the morning of July 2, we packed up the most significant finds, dragged them to Queen’s Crescent post office, and shipped them to our stock-room in Berlin, at no small expense. Now they’re here, and we’re putting them on sale. If we’re lucky we’ll make back the extortionate amount it cost to ship them here, if nothing else.
A list of the titles and how many copies we have available for sale follows. All these records, tapes and CDs will go on sale simultaneously over on the Blackest Ever Black shop site at precisely 6pm Berlin (CET) time (that’s 5pm British Summer Time) tomorrow: Thursday 16 July, 2015. We’re unable to reserve items for customers, so please don’t email with any such requests. We’ve concluded that the only fair way to do this is to notify everyone in advance, and put the items on sale at a time that is, for most people, fairly civilised.
Please note that these titles are not re-presses but warehouse finds of original first pressings, and have been priced accordingly: in most cases more expensive than their original RRP, but still less than the going rate on the second-hand market. Prices are in GBP and do not include shipping.
ALEXANDER LEWIS – A LUMINOUS VEIL (BLACKEST014 12″, 2013) – £12
Mint, first edition copies, unplayed and still in shrinkwrap. 5 copies in stock.
CUT HANDS – BLACK MAMBA (BLACKEST010 12″, 2012) – £6
Unplayed, first edition copies. Record in mint condition, sleeve is VG (bent corner, top-left, nothing bothersome). 4 in stock.
GARETH WILLIAMS & MARY CURRIE – FLAMING TUNES (BLACKEST009 LP, 2012) – £25
Unplayed, first edition copies of this highly sought-after record (£50+ on Discogs). Record and inner sleeve are in mint condition, sleeve is VG (bent corner, top-right, nothing bothersome). 7 in stock, one per customer.
IKE YARD – REGIS / MONOTON VERSIONS (BLACKEST011 / DSR60, 2012) – £6
Near-mint, unplayed first edition copies.
PETE SWANSON / MOIN – POSITIVE / ELSIE (CONFESSION001* 7″, 2012) – £10
Unplayed, first edition copies of another rare one, the split 7″ from Pete Swanson and Moin (later revealed to be Raime working incognito) that was the inaugural and last release on our very short-lived Confessions sub-label. *NB: Original copies were placed in clear plastic sleeves with hand-numbered, lithoprinted 7″x7″ art insert; the copies we have on sale here are housed in white paper inners only. 14 in stock, one per customer.
PRURIENT – THROUGH THE WINDOW (BLACKESTLP002 LP, 2013) – £15
Mint, first edition copies, unplayed and still in shrinkwrap. 8 in stock.
PRURIENT – THROUGH THE WINDOW (BLACKESTCD002 CD, 2013) – £12
Mint, first edition copies, unplayed and still in shrinkwrap. 19 in stock.
PRURIENT – THROUGH THE WINDOW (BLACKESTCS002 CS, 2013) – £20
Mint, first edition copies of this extremely rare tape edition. 7 in stock, one per customer.
RAIME – EP (BLACKEST001 SECOND EDITION, 2011) – £25
Mint, unplayed copies of the second (and last) edition of Raime’s debut EP. Hand-stamped white label in white disco bag. 5 in stock, one per customer.
RAIME – HENNAIL (BLACKEST005, 2011) – £20
Mint, unplayed first edition copies in original picture sleeve. 14 in stock, one per customer.
RAINFOREST SPIRITUAL ENSLAVEMENT – BLACK MAGIC CANNOT CROSS WATER (BLACKEST015 LP, 2013) – £15
Mint, first edition copies, unplayed and still in shrinkwrap. 18 in stock.
TROPIC OF CANCER – I FEEL NOTHING (SLEEPERHOLD PUBLICATIONS, 2013) – £15
Mint, first edition copy of this limited edition release on Sleeperhold, unplayed and still in shrinkwrap. One-sided play, with etching on B-side.
VATICAN SHADOW – IRAQI PRAETORIAN GUARD (BLACKEST008, 2012) – £12
Mint, first edition copy of first pressing in original picture sleeve. 5 in stock, one per customer.
In addition to the London haul, we’ve also found the following here in Berlin, all mint, unplayed copies still in their original shrinkwrapping (if ever they had any). These will be added to the store at the same time as the above.
TOMORROW THE RAIN WILL FALL UPWARDS – HOW GREAT A FAME HAS DEPARTED? (BLACKEST025 10″, 2013) – £10
6 in stock. One per customer.
TROPIC OF CANCER – RESTLESS IDYLLS (BLACKESTCD005 CD, 2013) – £12
7 in stock.
STEFAN JAWORZYN – EATEN AWAY BY SHADOWS (SHOCK CD, 2014) – £12
1 in stock.
TROPIC OF CANCER – THE SORROW OF TWO BLOOMS (2013 EDITION 12″) – £15
3 in stock. One per customer.
CHRIS PETIT – MUSEUM OF LONELINESS (TEST CENTRE LP, 2013) – £15
1 in stock.
CROATIAN AMOR & LUST FOR YOUTH – POMEGRANATE (POSH ISOLATION 2xCS, 2013) – £10
2 in stock. One per customer.
VANITY PRODUCTIONS – I ALLERFORSTE GRY (POSH ISOLATION CS, 2013) – £20
1 in stock.
Blackest Ever Black will mark its fifth anniversary this year with a two-part event at the ICA in London, on Saturday 26 September, and a two-part event at Berghain, Berlin, on Friday 30 October. We’re now ready to announce some details of the ICA two-parter; details for Berghain will follow later in the week.
A 2015 ICA Associate, Blackest has been given free rein over the venue’s main theatre space, and will present both a daytime and evening programme of performances on September 26. Tickets for these day and evening sessions can be bought separately, or together at a discounted price.
The evening session features live performances from Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay, Officer! and Af Ursin, with DJ support from Raime; the daytime session features live performances from Ashtray Navigations, Stefan Jaworzyn, Dalhous, F ingers and AD Jacques, plus a screening of Jane Arden and Jack Bond’s 1979 film Anti-Clock. Full details are as follows.
Evening: JAC BERROCAL, DAVID FENECH & VINCENT EPPLAY (live) | OFFICER! (live) | AF URSIN (live) | RAIME (DJs)
September 26, 8pm. Tickets £7-£8 (day+evening tickets also available at £12-£14).
The evening session features the debut UK performance from the trio of Jac Berrocal, David Fenech & Vincent Epplay, who whose album, Antigravity, Blackest Ever Black released earlier this year to considerable acclaim. “Trumpeter” is hardly an adequate epithet for avant-garde legend Berrocal, a 1946-born musician, poet and sometime film actor who came of age in the ‘70s Paris improv scene. Inspired by bebop, chanson, free jazz, beat poetry, early rock ‘n roll and myriad Eastern influences, and with an anything-goes approach to instrumentation and technique that would later align him with post-punk sensibilities, Berrocal blazed an eccentric and unstoppable trail across the underground throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. His uproarious performances routinely wound up jazz and rock audiences alike, but earned the admiration of plenty of others: Steven Stapleton invited him to perform on two Nurse With Wound albums, and other notable collaborators include Sunny Murray, Lizzy Mercier-Descloux, Lol Coxhill, James Chance, Pascal Comelade and Jaki Liebezeit. Now Berrocal has found the perfect foil in David Fenech and Vincent Epplay, two fearlessly inventive composer/improvers who create challenging, acutely modernist yet historically aware settings – wrought out of synthesis, guitars, computer processing, field recordings and unorthodox percussions – for Berrocal’s unmistakeable voice and breathtakingly lyrical horn sound to flourish. Antigravity is the trio’s first album together: a lugubrious mise-en-scène in which ice-cold outlaw jazz meets musique concrète, DIY whimsy and dubwise studio science. Do not miss the opportunity to catch one of the most uniquely brilliant musicians in his element.
Another cult hero of the ‘70s and ‘80s DIY/art-rock underground, Mick Hobbs, will perform at the helm of Officer! for the first time in “decades” (we estimate 25 years), with a group assembled from collaborators past and present, including Flaming Tunes’ Mary Currie (you can vouchsafe you’ll hear one or two Flaming Tunes songs in their set). Londoner Hobbs’ musical roots are in the fecund RIO scene of the late ’70s and early 1980s, initially as guitarist in The Work, and related groupings The Lowest Note, The Lo Yo Yo, and The Momes; over the course of the decade he became closely associated with This Heat and their Cold Storage studio in Brixton, working with the likes of Flaming Tunes, Family Fodder, Catherine Jauniaux and Zeena Parkins. The Officer! project formally surfaced in 1982 with a cassette, Eight New Songs By Mick Hobbs, which marked the arrival of a singular writer and improvisor, with a gift for plangent melody, ingenious arrangement and lyrics at once caustic and courtly, playful and profound. The Cold Storage-recorded Ossification LP arrived a year later, and Megaphone Records, responsible for its recent reissue, describe it as “one of the most unusual, pleasurable and character-filled ‘pop’ records anyone has heard…a timeless anomaly in the history of recorded music.” In 2014, Blackest Ever Black released Officer!’s “lost” album, Dead Unique, recorded in 1995 but inexplicably shelved for 19 years. It’s a bona fide classic of English song-based experimentation, one that addresses the biggest themes: love, loss, commitment, independence, the mutability and inconstancy of all things. “You lose, you learn, you advance…but you always go back.” What a true honour it is to welcome Officer! back to the stage.
Af Ursin is the alter ego of Finnish autodidact composer/improviser Timo van Luijk. He began his musical activities in the mid-1980s, founding the Noise-Maker’s Fifes collective with Geert Feytons in ’89. During the ’90s he developed his solo work under the name Af Ursin, providing music/sound for dance, theatre and film projects, before establishing his own record label, La Scie Doree, in 2001. This became the main platform for his own music and related projects, including regular collaborations with Christoph Heeman (as In Camera) and Andrew Chalk (as Elodie). His work mainly uses acoustic instruments (strings, wind, percussion) and various sound objects in order to create free-form arrangements through combined structured improvisations; the intuitive and poetic aspect, and the unique timbre of each instrument, forming the core of his musical approach. Af Ursin’s live performances usually consists of applied mechanics from an old sewing machine and motorised percussion combined with a variety of acoustic instruments, objects and tape manipulation. In early 2016, Blackest Ever Black will release new LP and CD editions of Af Ursin’s 2005 masterpiece, Aura Legato: a visionary, profoundly psychedelic synthesis of acid-folk, musique concrète and ceremonial drone currents that has earned telling, if inadequate, comparisons to Third Ear Band, Nurse With Wound and HNAS.
Evening DJ support comes from Raime, the duo of Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead whose work has been synonymous with Blackest Ever Black ever since its inception. Raime’s first release, their self-titled EP, was Blackest’s first also, and the duo have since release two further 12″s – If Anywhere was here he would know where we are (2010) and Hennail (2011) – as well as an EP and split 7″ as Moin (their post-hardcore-influenced side-project). In 2013 they released their debut album, Quarter Turns Over A Living Line, and Autumn 2015 will see the release of its eagerly anticipated, full-length follow-up.
Day: ASHTRAY NAVIGATIONS (live) | STEFAN JAWORZYN (live) | DALHOUS (live) | F INGERS (live) | AD JACQUES (live) | JANE ARDEN & JACK BOND’S ANTI-CLOCK | MORE TBA
September 26, 12 midday. Tickets £7-£8 (day+evening tickets also available at £12-£14).
The daytime session is headlined by Ashtray Navigations. Operating out of various basements in Stoke-on-Trent and Leeds since the early ’90s, AshNavs occupy a uniquely important, idiosyncratic and bloody-minded role in the global psychedelic underground, with a sprawling, countless catalogue of LPs, tapes and CD-Rs (both self-released and on labels like Siltbreeze, VHF and Golden Lab) to their name. Centered around Phil Todd, their inspired, improvised, ever-mutating sound is impossible to satisfactorily pin down, but suffice to say it touches on psychedelic rock ’n roll, ecstatic drone, molten electronics…In the words of Todd, “I always imagine myself and Ashtray Navigations going through and shovelling up all types of music. Everything gets thrown on the furnace to some extent.” Ashtray Navigations’ members and collaborators over the years have included the likes of Alex Neilson, Neil Campbell, Stewart Keith and Phil Legard; they currently perform as a two-piece with Todd (described by David Keenan as “a trashcan antidote to LaMonte Young”) joined by Mel Ó Dubhshláine on various instruments/devices. The Wire: “This is music stripped free of song into a perpetual crescendo by someone who loves music so much, he has to destroy it so no one else can have it. Welcome to the psychedelic mess that is Phil Todd and Ashtray Navigations’ universe.”
Writer, musician and misanthrope Stefan Jaworzyn will also perform live. Following a brief stint in Whitehouse, Jaworzyn formed Skullflower with Matthew Bower in ’86 and remained the band’s guitarist for four years, before establishing the Shock label (home to releases from the likes of Lol Coxhill, Coil, The Dead C and Ramleh), which, like the annual Shock Around The Clock film festival, grew out of Shock Xpress – the seminal horror/exploitation zine he edited. Jaworzyn rejoined Whitehouse in 1990-91, and around this time was also invited to participate in a roundtable discussion about serial killers on Channel 4’s After Dark programme: it ended with him vehemently debating the meaning of the word “integrity” with fellow guest Michael Winner. Despite having supposedly renounced the guitar, in ’91 Jaworzyn returned to it with some venom, forming Ascension (later Descension) with Tony Irving; the band’s turbulent brand of free music famously incited an audience riot when they supported Sonic Youth at Kentish Town Forum in ’96. In the second half of the decade Jaworzyn retired Shock and largely withdrew from music, choosing to focus on drinking and cursing (although his The Texas Chain Saw Massacre Companion was published by Titan Books in 2003). After some 17 years off the grid, Jaworzyn recently reappeared with a series of new and archival releases, including Drained Of Connotiation (Blackest Ever Black, 2014) , a document of raw, sociopathic electronic music created in early/mid-’82 using a Korg MS10 or 20 and his beloved Dr Rhythm drum machine.
Dalhous is the brainchild of Edinburgh’s Marc Dall, joined for live performances by regular studio collaborator Alex Ander. Their most recent release, a limited cassette of selected 2009-13 demos notwithstanding, is 2014’s Will To Be Well: a double-LP of highly lyrical, sublimely melancholic electronic music inspired, like Dalhous’s An Ambassador For Laing (2013) and Will To Be Well EP (2014) before it, by the life and arcana of R.D. Laing, but also alluding to more universal and enduring mysteries: the relationships between body and mind, illness and wellness, the physical and the metaphysical. Dalhous perform at the ICA ahead of the release of their third LP, The Composite Moods Collection, by some distance their most complex, ambitious and personal offering to date.
F ingers is a Melbourne-hailing group which includes Tarcar’s Carla dal Forno and Tarquin Manek in its ranks. Their brand of sleep-deprived, synth-daubed death-folk – like some suburban dream-meeting of Nico and Dome – is powerfully documented on new album Hide Before Dinner, due out on Blackest Ever Black in August/September 2015. Dal Forno and Manek have quickly become key members of the Blackest Ever Black family, with a number of solo and collaborative projects in the label’s pipeline.
London-based Northerner A.D. Jacques spent fifteen years selling avant-garde LPs and recording his own music in secret before spending another ten years as a recluse. He made his live solo debut at the 2012 BEB showcase whilst disguised as a DJ, and his first release for the label is due in 2016.
The daytime session opens with a screening of Jane Arden & Jack Bond’s Anti-Clock (1979, 105min). Actress, playwright and filmmaker Arden (1927-82) was the author of Vagina Rex and the Gas Oven (1969), the first play to emerge from the Women’s Liberation Movement, and founder of Holocaust women’s theatre company. Her collaborations with Jack Bond – who would later earn much praise for his run of terrific South Bank Show documentaries (on the likes of Patricia Highsmith and Werner Herzog) in the ’80s, and his pop films for the Pet Shop Boys and Adam Ant – include Separation (1968) and Anti-Clock (1972). Anti-Clock, Arden and Bond’s last work together, is often described as an “avant-garde sci-fi”, but that phrase, though not exactly inaccurate, scarcely does justice to its unforgettable imagery, the bleak poetry of its script (much of it derived from Arden’s radical social and psychological manifesto You Don’t Know What You Want, Do You?), and the deep sense of existential unease which the whole picture conveys. The film opened the was never picked up for British distribution: its only other public British screening was at the NFT in 1983, as a tribute to Arden, who had committed suicide at the end of the previous year. However, it had a modest theatrical release in the US, where it received notable critical acclaim – Newsweek applauded “a complex and fascinating experimental exploration of time and identity…a film of authentic, startling originality”, and Warhol and Chabrol both gave their seals of approval. Following Arden’s death, a grieving Bond suppressed further distribution/release of the film, until a 2005 restoration and DVD/theatrical release from the BFI. In 2016 Blackest Ever black will issue a vinyl edition of the Anti-Clock soundtrack, including dialogue cues: this soundtrack has never been available before on any format, and features two extraordinarily haunting, synthetic folk/pop songs sung by Jane Arden herself.
One or two more artists yet TBA for the daytime session, schedule allowing.
Buy your day tickets here and evening here (and remember to take advantage of the discounted multibuy if you wish to attend both day and evening concerts.
The latest edition of Blackest Ever Black’s monthly show for Berlin Community Radio, broadcast on July 9, 2015, has been archived and is now available to stream/DL.
A recent clear-out of our London storage (of which more soon) turned up a box of 50 mint, unsold copies of Turin Versions, the mail-order only Regis 12″ we pressed in a limited edition of 300 and originally released in January 2013.
It features a version apiece of ‘Blood Witness’ and ‘Blinding Horses’, re-tooled for live Regis performances in 2012-13. The ‘Blinding Horses’ version appears on the forthcoming Manbait compilation (the CD and digital editions, anyway), but the ‘Blinding Horses’ version remains entirely exclusive to this vinyl-only release.
The 250 or so copies issued in 2013 each featured a different page torn from two paperback editions of Pier Paolo Pasolini’s poetry, and were individually hand-numbered. The 50 warehouse find copies lack those two particular flourishes, but are otherwise identical to the original edition (which currently commands £50+ on the second-hand market), with the record housed in black paper inner and brown kraftliner disco-bag.
A new t-shirt from Blackest Ever Black, screen-printed (front) by Black Ink Press, Berlin, on black Stanley & Stella tees. Strictly limited edition of 100, available to pre-order now.
Suitable for all activities, especially looking after sir.
Rat Columns‘ Fooling Around E.P. will be released by Blackest Ever Black on July 31, 2015.
The brainchild of Perth’s David West, Rat Columns first caught our attention with the very fine Leaf LP on R.I.P. Society last year, and we’re pleased now to be providing the first vinyl outing for the heart-stopping extended version of its most memorable track, ‘Fooling Around’ – a modern rock ‘n roll classic co-written by West and Total Control’s Mikey Young.
‘Fooling Around (Long Version)’ is backed with three new Rat Columns songs, all previously unreleased, for this edition of 500 (housed in full-colour LP-style sleeve with download card and lyric sheet included). More information here.
It is now possible to buy Blackest Ever Black records, merchandise and other distro items from us in person from our office in Neukölln, Berlin. Your order must be paid for in advance via PayPal, or in cash upon collection. Available titles at any given moment are listed on the homepage of the BEB webshop. Please email email@example.com in advance to reserve your items, confirm payment method and make your appointment.
Weld, the new LP by Barnett + Coloccia, is now in stock; pre-orders from the BEB webshop are shipping this week ahead of official release on Monday. It’s an extremely powerful record, and is presented in a striking package designed by Faith Coloccia, with high-gloss jacket printed in black and metallic copper pantones, and a two-sided litho-printed insert. A code giving you access to a full mp3/FLAC download of the album is included.
Also in stock and shipping now: Six Six Seconds‘ ‘Tearing Down Heaven’. Written and performed by Claude Eden, and recorded by Karl O’Connor, the original version of this song appeared on the Downwards’ So Click Heels compilation a couple of years ago. It has been re-edited and slightly extended for this new, stand-alone 10″ and digital release – also officially out on Monday 15 June – with a previously unreleased dub on the B-side. Customers who order the 10″ direct from BEB will receive a download code via email.
The latest (June 2015) edition of Blackest Ever Black’s monthly radio show on Berlin Community Radio is available to stream/download here.
A general update on incoming releases. After a delay due in equal parts to the Record Store Day fall-out and some last minute design tweaks, the physical and digital release of Barnett + Coloccia‘s Weld (BLACKEST042) has been pushed back a couple of weeks to June 15 (copies pre-ordered direct from Blackest will ship a week earlier) – apologies for any inconvenience this might cause you. Six Six Seconds‘ Tearing Down Heaven 10″ and digital release (BLACKEST038) will be available at the same time.
Also running a little late, this time due to a manufacturing fault beyond our control: I Can’t Give You the Life You Want (BLACKESTUSA001), the US compilation we’re putting out in association with LA’s Mount Analog. We’re working hard to have it ready to ship before the end of June; we’ll update you as soon as we have a clearer idea of whether we’re going to succeed.
Attentive listeners to our Berlin Community Radio show will be aware of a forthcoming Ossia 12″ (BLACKEST046) due out on Blackest Ever Black in June/July; we also have an LP from F ingers (BLACKEST044) and a 12″ EP from Rat Columns (BLACKEST043) coming out this summer, and a 2xLP/CD/digital compilation of Regis‘s BEB productions, including several previous unreleased tracks, is slated for August. All of the above will be available to pre-order soon.
Other things that will be emerging over the course of the next 6-8 months: new titles from Secret Boyfriend (BLACKEST045), Dalhous, Bremen, Tarquin Manek and Tropic of Cancer (a new EP); the AD Jacques LP we’ve been promising since 2012; the second release on our A14 sub-label; and several archival editions. And yes, the new album from Raime will be out in Autumn of this year.
Thanks, as ever, for your attention.
We’ve found a few copies of some out-of-print and sought after BEB titles from 2013-14, including Prurient’s Through The Window LP, Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement’s Black Magic Cannot Cross Water LP, and Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards’ How Great A Fame Has Departed? 10″. Also vinyl and CD re-stocks of albums from Black Rain, Dalhous, Raspberry Bulbs, Secret Boyfriend, Barnett + Coloccia, Tropic of Cancer, Lustmord, Weekend and Killing Sound.
In terms of distro stock, we have three new hand-picked titles in from Static Shock UK: Sheer Mag’s rampaging debut EP, a lush reissue of Ultra-Violent’s pulverising Crime For Revenge 7″ and a killer 12″ of strung-out D-beat from Impalers. Also last remaining copies of Richard Youngs’ “dub” CD on Fourth Dimension, Primary Concrete Attack and a pair of Stefan Jaworzyn’s thoroughly essential Eaten Away By Shadows comps, also on CD. Last but not least, we found a few unsold copies of the limited edition Lustmord art print by Simon Fowler; needless to say, these will not come round again.
View the full offering here.
UPDATE: The Prurient and Rainforest LPs are now gone, but we’ll be getting hold of some more at the end of June. The other bits and pieces mentioned above we still have, and we’ve also just added a couple of excellent 2012/13 LPs on Jartecknet, Bremen’s debut LP on Skrammel, and Mischa Pavlovski’s Kapitel on Posh Isolation.
Blackest Ever Black returns to Berlin Community Radio for the May 2015 edition of its monthly show, tomorrow (Tuesday 4 May) at 5pm CET. Listen live if you can; the archived podcast will be available for stream/download later this week.
UPDATE: You can now listen to or download the show via Soundcloud. Includes forthcoming Blackest Ever Black material from Barnett + Coloccia, Ossia, F ingers and Tarquin Manek.
Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay mark the release of their trio album on Blackest Ever Black, Antigravity, with a live performance at the REWIRE festival in the Netherlands this Saturday, 2 May. Unmissable, really. For more information and tickets, click here.
Due to an unforeseen delay with pressing (insert moan at RSD here), official physical and digital release date for Antigravity has been pushed back to May 11. For those of you who have pre-ordered the album direct from Blackest Ever Black: CDs have already shipped earlier this week; the LPs are due in on Monday, and we expect to have them all dispatched by Wednesday (May 6).
When I agreed to record a short mix of my “synth heroes” for the show of the same(ish) name on NTS Radio, I did so believing that I would deliver an original and purposeful selection which showed synths being used in unorthodox ways, or to evoke/signify unexpected things. When it came down to it, I panicked and turned out an hour of sci-fi techno and dark ambient clichés instead. Oh well. The mix and my brief track-notes can be found here. -KS
Blackest Ever Black presents a very necessary stand-alone release for Six Six Seconds’ ‘Tearing Down Heaven’, which originally appeared on the 2012 Downwards compilation So Click Heels.
Written and performed in Berlin by the elusive Eden, and deftly recorded and mixed by Karl O’Connor, ‘Tearing’ was the comp’s stand-out: a piece of drugged, darkly rapturous dream-pop in which the abyssal swoon of shoegaze meets a harsher, more pernicious order of psychedelic rock minimalism.
This 10”/digital edition on Blackest Ever Black features a slightly extended version of ‘Tearing Down Heaven’, and a stunning new “reprise”, which homes in on the original’s roaring, phantasmic electronics, unravelling its complex webs of feedback and high-end scorch into a masochistic drone-raga for eternally thwarted lovers.
For more information, click here.
Raime have a trio of DJ appointments lined up for May 2015. On Saturday 2 May they play at Bristol’s The Exchange for TILT, alongside live performances from Karen Gwyer, Blood Sport and Giant Swan.
On Saturday 16 May , Logos and Mumdance have invited them to play a “’91-’92 set” in support of DJ Vibes’ “’93-’94 set” at their Different Circles night (taking place at The Queen of Hoxton, London); the hosts, meanwhile, will be playing a “bleep set”.
Finally, on Friday 29 May, they travel to Barcelona for Primavera Sound festival, where they’ll be DJing in the Electronic Tent.
May 2 – The Exchange, Bristol, UK – TILT w/ Karen Gwyer, Blood Sport, Giant Swan
May 16 – Queen of Hoxton, London, UK – Different Circles w/ DJ Vibes, Mumdance & Logos
May 29 – Primavera Sound, Barcelona, Spain
This Thursday at N.K. in Berlin, Blackest Ever Black presents a release show for Shampoo Boy‘s new album, Crack. Peter Rehberg’s trio are supported by Silvia Kastel (Control Unit) and Tarcar. Doors 19:30, more information here.
This will be the debut German outing for Vienna’s SHAMPOO BOY (Rehberg, Christina Nemec and Christian Schachinger). Their new album Crack – A powerful alloy of extreme electroacoustic music, noise, luminous ambience and the mineral fundaments of rock and black metal – is the follow-up to 2013’s similarly pulverising Licht, and is due to be released on BEB next week. Epic in scale, complex in mood and dazzling in technique, the LP is a momentous achievement from three improvising musicians at the height of their powers.
As one half of Control Unit (with Ninni Morgia), vocalist and multi-instrumentalist SILVIA KASTEL has worked with the likes of Smegma, Factrix, Gary Smith, Aki Onda and Gate (Michael Morley of The Dead C); their collaborative album with the latter is due later this year. Hailing from Italy but with a predilection for the bleak and jarring sounds of the UK’s first industrial wave, Kastel’s confrontational yet sensual work incorporates voice, rhythm, synths, tape echo and dub influences. Following a series of 7″ and cassette offerings, many released through her own Ultramarine label, she is currently at work on her debut LP.
First ever European peformance for Melbourne’s Carla dal Forno (Mole House) and Tarquin Manek (LST, Bum Creek) aka TARCAR. Their debut EP of dub-damaged DIY,Mince Glace, was issued on BEB in late 2014, and they have a number of further works – solo and collaborative – coming out on the label in 2015, beginning with a new LP, Hide Before Dinner, by F ingers (the latest iteration of dal Forno, Manek and Samuel Karmel’s group project). Manek also records as LST, whose Th Duo LP is out this month via Berlin’s Another Dark Age, and will release a solo LP on Blackest under his own name later this year. Tarcar also contribute to the upcoming BEB compilation, I Can’t Give You The Life You Want.
The April edition of Blackest Ever Black’s show on Berlin Community Radio was broadcast live the Tuesday before last. Here, belatedly, is a link to stream/download it.
The Ransom Note ran a short interview with Blackest Ever Black’s chief worrier last week, you can read it here.
We’re currently preparing two new Krokodilo Tapes: A self-titled, split release from Penile Colonie / Prison Planet (the first original material to see release on Krokodilo since Thought Broadcast and Gnod’s 2013 offerings), and the second in the planned trilogy of mixtapes from Gewissen. Edition of 75 in both cases, due to go up for pre-order around 5pm CET today (April 16, 2015).
Due to ongoing demand, we’re printing a third edition of our “NO PEACE NO LOVE NO UNITY” t-shirts. These are expected to be ready towards the end of May; pre-ordering is recommended.
I Can’t Give You The Life You Want is a new, vinyl-only US compilation from Blackest Ever Black.
Exclusively manufactured and distributed by LA’s Mount Analog record store, in a strictly limited edition of 500, it features new and previously unreleased material from Tropic of Cancer, Bremen, Cut Hands, Dalhous, Tarcar, Exploring Jezebel, Barnett + Coloccia, Secret Boyfriend, Tarquin Manek, 500 Stamps and Infrastructure Zero.
Listen to Tarcar’s contribution, ‘Eija’, here.
It will be released in the US in early June. All customers pre-ordering/buying from Mount Analog will receive a free Blackest Ever Black mixtape entitled Truth Or Dare In North America with their record. A handful of copies (without the mixtape) are available to pre-order direct from Blackest Ever Black.
More information here.
This Thursday, 2 April, the tenth edition of Before My Eyes takes place at The Waiting Room in London, with the usual back-to-back DJ sets from Demdike Stare and Raime. More information and advance tickets here.
A spring clean has turned up ten copies of There Is Something Wrong With England, Blackest Ever Black’s first cassette mixtape, and a personal favourite, from Spring 2013.
The inlay artwork replicates that of the original first edition, but is printed on white rather than yellow paper, with no imagery on the reverse side.
In stock and shipping Friday 27 March. Buy here.
Antigravity is a new trio album from legendary trumpeter Jac Berrocal and two fellow travellers in the French avant-garde, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay. A lugubrious mise-en-scène in which ice-cold outlaw jazz meets musique concrète, DIY whimsy and dubwise studio science, all watched over by the lost souls and hungry ghosts of rock ‘n roll. It’s due to be released on LP, CD and digital formats through Blackest Ever Black on April 27, 2015, and is available to pre-order now. For more information, click here.
The March 2015 edition of Blackest Ever Black’s monthly Berlin Community Radio show has been archived and is now available to stream and download via Soundcloud. Listen out for new label material from Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay, Tarcar, Secret Boyfriend, Dalhous, Shampoo Boy, Barnett + Coloccia and Tarquin Manek.
Congratulations also due to BCR for their successful recent funding bid.
Crack is the new album from Shampoo Boy on Blackest Ever Black. The Vienna-based trio’s second LP to date, following 2013’s crushing BEB debut Licht, Crack finds Peter Rehberg (Editions Mego), Christina Nemec (comfortzone) and Christian Schachinger leaving behind the post-everything in search of their very own neo-something: a powerful alloy of extreme electroacoustic music, luminous ambience and the mineral fundaments of rock and black metal.
Mastered by Russell Haswell, with artwork by David Coppenhall, the album will be released on vinyl and digital formats on April 6, 2015. More information here.
A release party for the album takes place at N.K., Berlin, on Thursday 23 April, with live performances from Shampoo Boy, Silvia Kastel and Tarcar.
Warehouse find: a few copies of Blackest Ever Black’s out-of-print 2013 vinyl edition of Red Riding: In the Year of Our Lord 1980, Dickon Hinchliffe’s original score to the Channel 4 TV movie of the same. David Peace’s sequence of Red Riding books, and Revolution Films’ trilogy of screen adaptations (of which 1980 was the second part), are both firmly established as modern classics, and this powerfully emotive soundtrack remains one of our proudest releases. High gloss gatefold with liner notes by screenwriter Tony Grisoni, director James Marsh, and critic Mark Fisher.
Blackest Ever Black presents a release show for Shampoo Boy‘s new album, Crack, at N.K. in Berlin on Thursday 23 April.
This will be the debut German outing for the Viennese trio of Christina Nemec, Peter Rehberg (Editions Mego) and Christian Schachinger. Crack, the follow-up to 2013’s pulverising Licht, is due to be released on BEB in early April. Details will be announced next week.
Support comes from Silvia Kastel of Control Unit, and recent additions to the Blackest family, Tarcar, playing their first ever show in Europe. Early bird advance tickets are available at the heavily discounted price of £4.50 GBP (approx €6 EUR).
Doors open at 19:30. More information soon.
A number of new distro items have been added to our Big Cartel shop site recently: a limited edition t-shirt from Felix K’s Hidden Hawaii label; the self-titled Acolytes LP on Alter; Richard Youngs’ “dub album” Primary Concrete Attack on Fourth Dimension; and Klanggalerie’s expanded 2015 edition of Caroline K’s indispensable Now Wait For Last Year.
Felix K’s new 12″ for Blackest Ever Black, Tragedy of the Commons, is out on Monday 16 February. Customer pre-orders are now shipping, and the record will appear in selected stores before the weekend. The 12″ includes a free, instantly redeemable download code; download formats will be available to buy separately from March 16.
The February edition of Blackest Ever Black’s monthly show on Berlin Community Radio will be broadcast live this Tuesday (2nd) at 5pm-7pm CET. We’ve been busy on the mastering front recently, so expect lots of new material – including first plays of upcoming Bremen, Secret Boyfriend and Tarcar, among others.
UPDATE: show is now available to stream/download via Soundcloud.
On A Business Trip To London, a new adults-only album of of “curious electronics and sissy dance” by Exploring Jezebel, will be released through Blackest Ever Black on March 16, 2015 on gatefold LP, CD and digital formats (BLACKESTLP008 | CD008 | DL008).
Produced by Vivid Extreme in Berlin, New York and London, OABTTL is the perfect and perhaps overdue meeting of emasculated P.E, limp-wristed ornamental industrial, sickly minimal synth and cheap suntanned trollop techno. It is required listening for all who admire those qualities most fascinating in a woman: allure, magnetism, power and dominance.
Exploring Jezebel has been active since 2008’s Locking Up The Husband’s Penis Is Not Slavery, But Rather The Greatest Act Of Kindness Given To A Man and Attending UCLA Lecture On Forced Feminization, and notable releases since include the 12-hour, 8-cassette set Penis Torture Chamber (2010) and 2014’s Performs For Her And Her Bulls. On A Business Trip To London is Exploring Jezebel’s first vinyl offering, and is presented in a full colour gatefold sleeve with two printed inserts; the album will also be issued on CD and digital formats. All three editions are available to pre-order now; more information and sound-clips here.
Blackest Ever Black presents a concert from Shampoo Boy – the trio of Peter Rehberg, Christina Nemec and Christian Schachinger – at NK, Berlin, on Thursday 23 April. It’s the release show for their new album on Blackest, the follow-up to 2013’s Licht, details of which are due to be announced later this month.
Support comes from Melbourne’s Tarcar, who recently debuted on BEB with their Mince Glace EP, and others TBC. More information soon.
Just stumbled upon some unsold Krokodilo cassettes, all rare and out-of-print mixtapes from last year: first editions of Brian No Brian’s Holywell Session, Nina’s No Observable Effect Concentration, Gewissen’s Robisheaux Reminds Us and Blackest Ever Black’s What I Learned On My Holidays, to be exact. 3-10 copies of each, undoubtedly the last reserves, available to buy in the shop and ready to ship.
A new Raspberry Bulbs “Light Surrounds Me” t-shirt is available to pre-order now. Artwork by M. del Rio, printed by Black Ink Press, Berlin, on white American Apparel fine jersey short-sleeved tees.
Felix K arrives on Blackest Ever Black next month with a front-rank EP of bleak, bombed-out soundboy electronics.
Felix has been active in the underground of his native Berlin since the late ’90s, often working incognito. His roots are in drum-and-bass, and he has repeatedly advanced and invigorated the genre with his own adroitly minimalist, dub-centered productions, making important lateral connections to austere Hard Wax-school techno and more abstract electronic realms. With their Hidden Hawaii label and its small galaxy of subsidiary imprints, meanwhile, Felix and his co-conspirators are futurists who still kill the old way: doggedly DIY, committed to short-run white label culture and covert action.
Even in the context of his wide-ranging discography, Tragedy of the Commons’ 17-minute title track is a stand-alone experiment in form: a labyrinthine, slow-burning dread epic, beatless but crushingly dynamic, its frail minimal synth lines wandering lonely amid plate-shifting bass drones and a dense, disorienting assemblage of field recordings. It’s exemplary Berlin noir: hurt but stoic, pessimistic but unyielding, and closely attuned to the city’s strange psychogeography.
Blackest Ever Black returns to Berlin Community Radio this Tuesday (January 13) for its first show of 2015, due to be broadcast 5-7pm CET. Listen live at berlincommunityradio.com or check back here or on our Soundcloud for the archived stream/download later this week.
UPDATE: Here it is. Includes first plays of new BEB material from Barnett + Coloccia, Shampoo Boy, Felix K and others.
Not strictly speaking Blackest Ever Black news, but presumably of interest to you nonetheless: the British Murder Boys’ long-promised “elegant and luxurious limited edition box set” has finally materialised, courtesy of Downwards. A bittersweet occasion, as it also marks the formal conclusion of the BMB project.
The box contains a booklet, with sleevenotes by BEB’s Kiran Sande, and two discs: Live In Tokyo, a DVD capturing the British Murder Boys’ final live performance in Japan last year (following their re-formation in 2011 to play a secret set at the first Blackest Ever Black label party in London); and Recordings, a CD compiling their Downwards/Counterbalance singles. The version of ‘Learn Your Lesson’ featured is exclusive and includes, says Regis, “the unreleased DUB-RANT ending”.
More details on the package itself when we have it in our hands. A handful of copies will be available to buy from the BEB webshop, just as soon as they arrive (expected mid-late January). You can also pre-order from ReadyMade.
As previously reported, £1 from every purchase made at Blackest Ever Black’s webstores (Bandcamp and Big Cartel) in the period December 18 – January 4 was set aside for donation to registered UK homeless and housing charity Shelter. A total of £89 was raised, which we rounded up to £100; the donation was made today. Thanks to anyone who bought anything from us over the Christmas period, and for your patience while the office (such as it is) was closed.
We are now fully operational again: all outstanding orders on previously released items are being dispatched today and tomorrow; the delayed Officer ‘Life At The Water’s Edge’ 7″ and Dalhous Demos 2009-14 tape are now in stock and pre-orders will ship this week; the delayed Rat Needs Constant Affirmation should be in stock and ready for dispatch next week. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email us.
Officer!’s ‘Life At The Water’s Edge’/’Dogface’ 7″ (BLACKEST030) is in stock and shipping now. More information on this strictly limited edition of 300 here.
The Blackest Ever Black office is now closed until January 4, 2015. You will still be able to place orders at our Big Cartel (physical) and Bandcamp (digital) webstores during this time, but any physical goods ordered will not be dispatched until January 5.
Over the Christmas period – until midnight on January 4, 2015 – you can enjoy a 10% discount off all purchases from both our Big Cartel and Bandcamp stores, simply by entering the code WEIHNACHTS14 at checkout. Furthermore, £1 from every purchase will be donated to Shelter (UK registered charity 205311).
With Christmas nearly upon us, some news of what you can expect from Blackest Ever Black in the new year.
2015 will see us release the long-awaited
sophomore second album by Raime, and a new 12” from Regis, followed by a compilation of all his productions for Blackest Ever Black to date.
There will of course be new records from other familiar/returning faces, among them Secret Boyfriend, Tomorrow The Rain Will Fall Upwards and Shampoo Boy, and a number of new additions to the roster, including Felix K, Amateur Childbirth, Infrastructure Zero and the trio of Jac Berrocal, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay.
Planned archival editions included the previously unreleased soundtrack to Jane Arden and Jack Bond’s 1979 film Anti-Clock (which will finally materialise in the first half of the year after a long gestation period), a legendary recording from Księżyc, and new remasters / special editions of one or two BEB catalogue items.
A Blackest Ever Black “USA only” compilation – manufactured and distributed in the States, and including exclusive contributions from Tropic of Cancer, Black Rain, Dalhous, Bremen and others – will be released in Spring 2015.
Our A14 sub-label will re-open its account in 2015, as will our Krokodilo Tapes series, beginning with a mixtape from Powell, entitled HOOLIGAN.
September 2015 marks five years since the inception of the label, and we will be celebrating this – in so far as we celebrate anything – with some special events and a retrospective compilation towards the end of the year.
And of course there’s a good deal else on the horizon that we’re not liberty to speak about, or can’t presently recall.
Einen guten Rutsch,
Blackest Ever Black
Mince Glace, the debut offering from Tarcar, is out now on 12″. More information here.
Limited to 300 copies, it comes housed in an LP-style sleeve with printed inner, featuring reproductions of original woodcuts by Tarcar’s own Carla dal Forno. Also included with the vinyl is a download code giving you access to the full release in your choice of MP3 or FLAC formats.
As of today you can also purchase digital formats from our Bandcamp page, and from other retailers as of December 28.
Acquaint yourself with dal Forno and her partner Tarquin Manek’s discursive, dubwise daymares now, before you get left behind: they have many more projects, solo and collaborative, forthcoming on Blackest Ever Black, and each one will require your attention.
Felix K is the latest contributor to Juno Plus’s podcast series. You can stream or download the mix, which consists largely of his own productions and tracks released on his Hidden Hawaii label, here. Felix’s long-mooted 12″ for Blackest Ever Black will materialise in January/February 2015.
The Blackest Ever Black office will be closed between Friday 19 December and Sunday 4 January. Please be aware that any orders received at our webshop after midnight on Thursday 18 December will only be processed and shipped in the week commencing Monday 5 January.
This offer is open to all; feel free to share the code.
Please note that any orders for physical goods received after midnight GMT on December 18, 2014, will not be processed or dispatched until January 5, 2015.
Dalhous will be performing at Roskilde 2015 in Denmark, which takes place June 27 – July 4. The festival organisers have so far only announced a handful of the expected 169 acts – these include Deafheaven, Pharrell Williams, St. Vincent, The War On Drugs, Rustie and Goat as well as our own Marc Dall (pictured) and Alex Ander.
More information and tickets here.
This Thursday, 4th December, The Waiting Room in London hosts the ninth edition of Before My Eyes, with DJ sets all night long (9pm-2am) from your hosts Raime and Demdike Stare.
Earlier in the day, 3pm-5pm GMT to be precise, Raime and Demdike will be DJing together down the road at NTS Radio. Listen live at ntslive.co.uk.
Tarcar (pictured above) debut on Blackest Ever Black this month with the baleful, beautiful Mince Glace. The six-track EP will be released December 15th on 12″ vinyl (a limited edition of 300, housed in LP-style sleeve with printer inner, and available to pre-order now) and digital formats. Listen to ‘Fireball’ and find more information here.
Last week’s Blackest Ever Black label night in Berlin, as photographed by Camille Blake.
The November 2014 edition of the Blackest Ever Black show on Berlin Community Radio has been archived and is now available to stream/download via Soundcloud. Includes the majestic ‘Fireball’ by Tarcar, taken from their imminent Mince Glace 12″ on Blackest Ever Black, and something by Infrastructure Zero, who have material forthcoming on Blackest in 2015.
Privacy, the new album by Raspberry Bulbs is out this week in the UK and Europe, and will reach the US on November 25 (distributed by Forced Exposure). You can order the LP directly from the Blackest Ever Black webshop, and receive a free download code over email; you can also buy the digital album from our Bandcamp page (it’s also available from iTunes, Bleep, Boomkat, et al). Read a new interview with RBs’ Marco del Rio on Wondering Sound.
The penultimate Blackest Ever Black radio show of 2014 will be broadcast live on Berlin Community Radio tomorrow (Tuesday 18 November) at 5pm-7pm CET. Listen live at berlincommunityradio.com or check back here later in the week for the archived audio.
Thanks to all who attended or in some way supported the Blackest Ever Black label night in Berlin this Saturday gone, especially those who played: Cut Hands, Black Rain, Zoe Zanias, Diät, Raime, Nina and our not-so-secret guests Powell, Felix K and Chris Farrell. But no less those who worked behind the scenes to make the night happen: among them Brandon, Laura, Ben, Daniel, Sanjay, Ragnar and David.
This Saturday, 15 November, Blackest Ever Black celebrates its fourth birthday with a party at Urban Spree in Berlin. Live performances come from Cut Hands, Black Rain and Diät; DJ sets from Raime and Nina.
We have previously alluded to several secret guests, and while we’re still not at liberty to announce all of them, we can confirm that our Powell, whose Diagonal label is enjoying a vintage year, will bring his romper-stomping DJ style to bear on the early hours, both solo and back-to-back with Raime.
We must take this opportunity to reiterate once more that there are no advance tickets available for this event, so early arrival is essential if you want to be sure of entry. Doors open at 10pm. More information here.
We’ve previously alluded in these pages to A14 (ay-one-four), a new 12″ imprint from the Blackest Ever Black family dedicated to delinquent dancefloor gear. The first release on this label, ‘In Advance Of The Broken Arm’ b/w ‘Collapse’, is by December, and is out now on 12″ in an edition of 300 copies. For more information click here.
20 Jazz Funk Greats have just published an interview with Stuart Argabright that looks in-depth at his involvement in the nascent cyberpunk scene and follows the narrative thread through to the new Black Rain album, Dark Pool. Particularly noteworthy is Argabright’s unpacking of various aborted or unfinished film/music projects that he has been attached to over the years – touching not only on his well-documented associations with William Gibson and Robert Longo, but also the likes of Rashid Nugmanoff, Jack Womack, Sogo Ishii and Chuck Russell. It’s a fascinating counterfactual of post-Blade Runner sci-fi in Hollywood and Japan, a tantalising account of what might have been – or may be yet to come.
Black Rain’s Dark Pool is out now on Blackest Ever Black, and in the not too distant future we’ll be releasing an expanded 2xLP and CD edition of the 2012 compilation Now I’m Just A Number: Soundtracks 1994-95.
Earlier in 2014, Marc Dall was invited to record a mix for the Terra Incognita series on Intergalactic FM‘s Radio Free Robotron channel; instead he compiled an hour’s worth of unused Dalhous demo material made in 2009-13.
Following a number of fan requests to make this selection available in physical form, we’ve decided to release it on tape, very slightly edited to fit the format, in a limited edition of 100 copies. More information here.
A new Blackest Ever Black t-shirt is being produced to mark the occasion of the 2014 BEB label party in Berlin. Gildan Heavy Cotton tees, screen-printed on one side by Heavyrock, UK, in an edition of 145. The shirts will be available to buy at the party (which takes place at Urban Spree on November 15, with Cut Hands, Black Rain, Diät, Raime DJs and many more) at a special discounted price; a limited quantity are available for online customers to pre-order now for late November dispatch.
Officer!‘s ‘Life At The Water’s Edge’ 7″ is now available to pre-order from Blackest Ever Black, and will be released in December 2014. This is the first time ever on vinyl for what is, quite honestly, one of the most glorious songs ever recorded; it’s backed with one of the strangest (‘Dogface’). Both songs are taken from the 1983 cassette 8 New Songs By Mick Hobbs, and were remastered in January 2014 by Matt Colton at Alchemy, London. The 7″, pressed in a strictly limited edition of 300 pieces, is housed in a reverse board sleeve with a 6.5″ x 6.5″ insert featuring reproductions of the original lyrics sheets.
An hour-long live DJ mix by Raime‘s Joe Andrews features in the new Diagonal Rave Tapes set from Boomkat’s Reel Torque cassette imprint. The pack consists of five tapes featuring five and half hours of live room and desk recordings taken from the Diagonal label showcase in Room 2 of Corsica Studios, London, part of the Leitmotif 002 event held there on May 31, 2014. In addition to Joe’s set (which, in the words of Boomkat, is “a sick hour traversing early bleep ‘n bass, ‘ardcore, garage and grime of the deadliest calibre”), you’ll find turns from Powell, Vereker, Russell Haswell and EVOL.
Diagonal Rave Tapes is released in a one-time edition of 125 copies, with a two-colour risograph inlay by John Powell-Jones, available to buy here.
Blackest Ever Black’s October 2014 show for Berlin Community Radio was broadcast live from the station’s new studio in Mitte last night. The show has now been archived and is available to download/stream via BCR’s Soundcloud. Includes new label material from Tarcar, Raspberry Bulbs, F ingers, December, Six Six Seconds and others.
William Bennett has written some short track-by-track notes for his Festival Of The Dead album, which was released by Blackest Ever Black last week. You can find them over in our Internal Affairs section.
Buy Festival Of The Dead on 2xLP vinyl or CD here, and digital here. Cut Hands performs live at the upcoming Blackest Ever Black night in Berlin, which takes place at Urban Spree on Saturday 15 November.
Blackest Ever Black returns to Berlin Community Radio tomorrow – Tuesday 21 October – for its first show in the station’s new Mitte studio, in the new, earlier slot of 5pm-7pm CET. Expect exclusive airings of new label offerings from Raspberry Bulbs, Tarcar, Felix K and Six Six Seconds, among other things. Listen live at berlincommunityradio.com, and/or check back here later this week for the archived Soundcloud stream/download.
Next Friday, as part of the 2014 Unsound festival, Księżyc will perform live at Krakow’s Kościół św. Katarzyny – for fans of this extraordinary Polish group, it is a momentous occasion. Księżyc haven’t been active since 1996, the year that they released their sole, self-titled album on the OBUH label, having debuted three years earlier with the Nów 7″.
Their music is a captivating, highly original synthesis of the medieval and the modern, rooted in the Slavic tradition but employing elements of 20th century minimalism and vocal experimentation, with disquieting, fairy tale-inspired lyrics by Remigiusz Mazur-Hanaj. This cursory description, of course, doesn’t do justice – listen to this, or this, for a better sense of the forces at work.
In spite of, or perhaps because of, their silence, interest in the band has grown significantly over the past 18 years – culminating in Penultimate Press‘s 2014 remastered LP edition of the album – its first outing on 12″, having previously been issued as only a cassette and a 10″ (with notably inferior sound quality).
Ahead of the Unsound concert, we’re tremendously pleased to be able to say that there will be a new vinyl release by Księżyc on Blackest Ever Black in 2015. We’re unable to go into more detail now, but will of course update you further as soon as it’s appropriate.
Designed and photographed by Anthony Gerace, who also created the collage artwork for Dalhous’s Will To Be Well. Hand screen-printed in two colours on off-white 190gsm paper by Heavyrock in Hove, UK, in an edition of 75 – individually signed and numbered by the artist.
This print will also be available for a special price at the event itself – which takes place at Urban Spree on Saturday 15th November, with sets from Cut Hands, Black Rain, Diät, Raime DJs, Nina and secret special guests.
On Friday, Raf Simons showed his women’s Spring-Summer 2015 ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior, at the Cour Carrée du Louvre in Parison. The Regis version of Ike Yard’s ‘Loss’, a 2012 co-release between Blackest Ever Black and Desire Records (BLACKEST011/DSR060), was the official soundtrack. You can watch video footage of the show here, and an i-D account of it here, should you be interested in that sort of thing.
Anthony Gerace, whose collage artwork graced the cover of Dalhous’s Will To Be Well album, has created the official flyer for the upcoming Blackest Ever Black night in Berlin. A limited edition poster print of the same design, signed and numbered by the artist/photographer, will be available to buy at the event and via the BEB webshop also. More details next week.
Their second full-length offering for Blackest Ever Black, following 2013’s Deformed Worship, Privacy is a defence of the anti-social, the secretive, and the inward-looking; a call to resist the contemporary obsession with “connection”, exhibitionism and peer approval, and to claw back ownership of the self. Because it’s only then that the real battles begin.
Blackest Ever Black’s fourth annual label party will take place at Berlin’s Urban Spree venue on Saturday 15 November, 2014, presented in association with UnReal.
This is the first time the label has celebrated its birthday in its current base of Berlin, and follows last year’s two-room blow-out at Corsica Studios in London, which featured Prurient, Tropic of Cancer, Regis, Source Direct, Horsepower Productions and many more.
For this more intimate gathering on German soil, William Bennett will perform live as CUT HANDS, celebrating the release of his new album for Blackest Ever Black. Festival Of The Dead, due out in October, is the most potent distillation of Cut Hands’ delirious polyrhythmic energy to date, in which the spirits of santería and vaudou come together for a final rapturous celebration of oblivion. The indefatigable Bennett, pioneer of extreme electronic music and founder of Whitehouse, has refined and intensified Cut Hands’ percussive assault across two previous albums (released on his own Susan Lawly imprint) and a trio of 12″ singles for BEB and Downwards; his live invocations are always psychologically gripping, physically overwhelming affairs; in the nowhere-to-hide environment of Urban Spree, this one has the makings of a classic.
Another sub-cultural trailblazer and stalwart of Blackest Ever Black, Stuart Argabright, will also be joining us from New York to play his first BLACK RAIN live show in Europe since 2012 – back when he was touring in support of Now I’m Just A Number, BEB’s compilation of his visionary soundtrack work from the mid-90s. Most famously leader of post-punk minimalists Ike Yard, Argabright’s improbably eventful career has seen him fashion dystopian hip-hop in Death Comet Crew and erotic electro as Dominatrix, among numerous other ventures; but it’s Black Rain – which began life as a death metal band before mutating into the cyberpunk techno project it is today – that remains his most vital and compelling undertaking. New album Dark Pool is awork of hard-edged sonic fiction influenced by the writings of K.W. Jeter and Paolo Bacigalupi; musically, as well as conceptually, Argabright’s futurist impulse remains razor-sharp and indomitable.
DIÄT is a Berlin-based band with a hardcore background, who were brought together by their enthusiasm for bleak UK punk but ended up something closer to what they describe, perhaps not entirely seriously, as “tough new wave”; fans of Crisis, Killing Joke and The Mob will certainly feel at home with Diät’s unlikely synthesis of depressive drift and cranked, accelerated energy. One of the finest bands currently active in the German capital’s rudely healthy scene – a scene for which drummer Iffi’s Static Shock shop in Kreuzberg is an important hub – they will play live for us ahead of their debut LP release on Iron Lung.
RAIME‘s redoubtable Joe Andrews and Tom Halstead will also be joining us to DJ throughout the night, taking time out from intensive recording sessions for their sophomore album, due to be released on Blackest Ever Black in 2015. This duo’s tastes and influence have of course been central to the label since the very beginning, and as those who’ve attended our Before My Eyes nights and previous BEB showcases in London will attest, their carefully wrought and invariably head-cracking sets run the gamut from gothic abjection, brutalist punk and outsider electronics through to the seamiest grime, dancehall and jungle-tekno.
DJ support comes from NINA, who runs the Nina Trifft nights at the Golden Pudel in Hamburg, and who was responsible for the recent, riveting No Observable Effect Concentration mix for our Krokodilo Tapes imprint. Expect pure darkwave fire from this peerless selector.
Additionally, there will be some “SECRET” SPECIAL GUESTS dropping in to play some records and possibly some instruments – among them a notable Berlin-based artist whose Blackest debut is due in the coming months.
UPDATE: We can tell you that one of the no-longer-secret special guests will be POWELL. The Diagonal boss will bring his romper-stomping DJ style to bear on the late shift, both solo and back-to-back with Raime.
We don’t plan to make advance tickets available for this party, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Doors open around 10pm, and festivities will run all night; there will be a merch table, including one or two small items only available at this event.
If you’ve not come across Pripyat, the sophomore album from Amateur Childbirth, perhaps it’s time to get acquainted – we have a handful of copies of this modern classic, released late last year in addition of 300 by Disembraining Machine, now available in the BEB shop (and at a very reasonable price for an Aussie import, we might add. It’s available on digital formats as well, here).
The nom de plume of Brisbane’s Ivan Matthew Hicks, Amateur Childbirth deals in a uniquely mordant, apocalyptic acoustic pop – playful but damaged, digressive yet flab-free – and we can say with some confidence that Pripyat is one of the best sides you’ll encounter all year. We’re also pleased to say that its full-length follow-up will be released on Blackest Ever Black in 2015 – more information about that in due course.
The September edition of Blackest Ever Black’s monthly show on Berlin Community Radio will be broadcast this Tuesday, 16th September, at 6pm-8pm CET. Expect to hear new BEB material from Raspberry Bulbs, Felix K and Cut Hands, among other songs of innocence and experience (but not Songs of Innocence). Listen live at berlincommunityradio.com, or check back here for the archived stream/download later in the week.
A friend of the label today drew our attention to the fact that some joker is selling unofficial Blackest Ever Black sweaters online, or at least knowingly appropriating the name to their own ends. Ordinarily we’d be flattered by a spot of bootlegging, but these happen to be very crass, moronic creations indeed, with Ian Brady’s gormless mug placed front and centre (seriously). So, should you happen to encounter this product, please ignore it, it has absolutely nothing to do with us. Any official BEB merch, crass or otherwise, will be announced/documented on this website.
Thanks to M.A. for the tip.
We’re currently in the process expanding our modest distro operation, our love of papercuts and post office bureaucracy seemingly boundless. Regular punters will have noticed, and indeed taken advantage of, the fact that we sporadically stock titles from labels like Downwards, Posh Isolation, Test Centre and Penultimate Press, to name a few. Put simply, this will continue, but now with more consistency and frequency, and an altogether wider range.
New to the shop this week: a welcome slew of re-presses from our n’er-do-well neighbours, ReadyMade Distribution. These include the first four 12″ releases from their Frozen Border imprint, including the classic, still sort-of-anonymous FB01, and handful of early Horizontal Ground 12″s. The Frozen Borders are all (naturally) hand-stamped white-labels, and come with a fold-out A3 poster; the Horizontal Grounds have printed labels and a fold-out A3 poster too, this one designed by Silent Editions (Juan Mendez).
Also just added: re-presses of Cut Hands‘ ‘Madwoman’ 12″, and Dva Damas‘s Nightshade LP (with CD included), both on Downwards.
Visit the BEB shop here.
And then there were two. Holywell Session, the mix recorded for our Krokodilo Tapes series by Brian Not Brian, is now available to stream (as too is the concurrently released No Observable Effect Concentration mix by Nina). The original C60 cassette was released in first and second editions of 75 – more information here.
You can now listen to No Observable Effect Concentration, the mixtape that the Golden Pudel’s Nina recorded for our Krokodilo Tapes series, via Soundcloud. Both the first and second editions of the cassette are long since sold out, but the masochists among you can find more information here.
Nina will be playing at the BEB night in Berlin this November; details soon.
This year Blackest Ever Black’s annual label party will take place in Berlin – for the first, and possibly also the last, time. The event is scheduled for mid-November 2014; precise date, venue, guests and all other details will be announced in the second week of September.
Full details of Festival Of The Dead, the new album by Cut Hands, have been announced here.
This full-length, William Bennett’s first for Blackest Ever Black, is due to be released on 2xLP vinyl, CD and digital formats on October 13, 2014.
The 2xLP and CD editions are available to pre-order direct from Blackest Ever Black now.
The August edition of Blackest Ever Black’s Berlin Community Radio show has been archived and is now available to stream/download via Soundcloud. Includes first plays of new BEB material from Felix K and Black Rain.
For the latest edition of Before My Eyes, Raime will be joined by guest DJs Powell (Diagonal) and Luke Younger (aka Helm). As usual, BME takes place at The Waiting Room, 175 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 0LH. Tickets are £5 advance, £7 on the door. More information and pre-sales here.
As you may have noticed, Blackest Ever Black has a new website. This is it, you’re in it. Operating a site as ostensibly slick as this one isn’t something that comes naturally to us, so please forgive any issues with functionality that you may encounter, especially in the first few weeks. Rest assured that we’re working fairly hard to fill in the holes.