BVVJESUS, by Turny Les
>> With the legions of black metal bands cropping up these days, it’s important to remember how good of one we have right here in Falls of Rauros. They rarely play out, but their recordings are devastating enough to keep them on the radar. The four-piece group have a new split LP out with Minnesota’s Panopticon — two songs, about 20 minutes worth — half of it blisteringly fast, melodic black metal in the vein of USBM practitioners Weakling or Krallice and the other half folkier and more remote. Highly recommended if you want something heavy, relentless, and smart. Available at fallsofrauros.bandcamp.com.
>> Gotta confess: we didn’t arrive at The Astrogatrix, a super-pleasurable new album by Portland recording artist Cathode Ray Tube, by way of his deep-space fantasy novel of the same name. But if that book is anything like The Astrogatrix — The Soundtrack, is all over the map. The alias of Portland author Chang Terhune collects nine long tracks of meditative listener’s techno. Nothing jawdroppingly groundbreaking, but plenty impressive nonetheless; each piece trekking into outer subforms of the genre from the last 20-30 years and treating them with studied, often daring execution. Among the many dense and cinematic scenes conjured here is “58 Days,” where several engines of synth ambience lift some psych-dub rhythms into lofty emotional peaks. The tense, vaguely Arabic textures of “Alice’s Jive” have us recalling our fonder moments with Muslimgauze. And the cold, post-industrial burn of the Cabaret Voltaire-ish “Metal Universe” takes a few listens for its oscillating, subterranean textures to fully bubble up, though it kept us afloat regardless. Chilly, self-reflective techno is out-of-season right now, but we could always use more of the moments music like this is made for. Visit therealcathoderaytube.bandcamp.com to listen and download.
>> We say we are fans of certain genres — metal, reggae, drone — but the proper nurture of that love and appreciation depends on the will to strip it down, step away, start anew. This is what we felt listening to the very raw folk songs on a seven-song EP by Turny Les. Titled BvvJesus and recorded, as it is credited, onto “a fucking iphone,” the record spans about 12 minutes of spare, guileless ministrations of frustration, desperation, and hope. Music the barest vehicle for getting the thought across. If that sounds a little twee, well, maybe so. But we find it’s got a fair amount of edge, and appreciate how Turny Les isn’t trying to move us or anything, just getting some stuff off his chest. Folk music gets bloated and blustery all the time; it’s good to remember what we liked about it in the first place. Visit turnyles.bandcamp.com and catch him playing with a bunch of other outsider-folkers at the new Meg Perry Center (36 Market St.) on May 29.