darkthrone - a blaze in the northern sky

Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky (1992)

I am so far behind in cataloging my recent vinyl acquisitions (not to mention all the CD box sets I’ve been picking up) that I’m going to try and buckle down and get some short entries up, and at the very least explain WHY I have not one but TWO copies of A Blaze in the Northern Sky, the seminal black metal classic by Norwegian institution Darkthrone. They were the band that paved the way the way for my own music in Necrolytic Goat Converter, showing me that my musical expression could best be achieved via tremolo riffing and strained, raspy vocals that can’t quite hide the influence of old school melody. By any standard this is a classic of the metal genre, so let’s give it some thought.

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voivod angel rat full

Voivod: Angel Rat (1991)

Day 14 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album you’ve wither waited the longest to receive, or the longest to be released. I’ve got two albums that I ordered back in November that were supposed to be released and six months later I’m still waiting (though one is due to get here next week). And the longest I’ve waited for something that was already shipped I wrote about last year. So how about an album that took 31 years to get a North American release? I may have already featured it a few weeks ago during my Record Store Day excursion, but it’s always a good time to talk about Voivod, and their beguiling release Angel Rat.

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fugazi - repeater

Fugazi: Repeater (1990)

We’re back in Fugazi territory, and with every release I regret more and more not having this band in my life during my childhood. I was 17 when the band’s debut full length Repeater came out, and listening to it now 32 years later I can hear how the intensity, the immediacy of the songs would have taken a hold of me. True, I was listening to Minor Threat and getting my McKaye fix that way, but the space and use of sound as a punctuation rather than a melodic component is so addicting now…I assume I would have mainlined this like a fiend back in the day.

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tricky-maxinquaye

Tricky: Maxinquaye (1995)

I woke up this too early this morning, startled out of bed by the sound of my son screaming downstairs over his headset to his friends over whatever just happened during the masters round of Apex: Legends. After appropriately responding by taking his controller and throwing it outside, I made a pot of coffee, headed up to the office and looked for a record to put that would suitably chill me out and put me in a reflective mood suitable to the cold, wet day ahead. That album was Maxinquaye by trip-hop progenitor Tricky, and it counts for my Day 8 entry for the #mayvinylchallenge, which is the first album you put on this morning.

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lauryn hill - the miseducation of lauryn hill

Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998)

Day 5 of the #mayvinylchallenge had me twisted. Best side or solo project. What does that even mean? I was looking at the entries and got even more confused: do you count solo work after the original band broke up? What if the side project becomes the main project? I had a few things in the air, from Ty Segall’s Sabbath rooted Fuzz project to the one-off between Ginger Baker and Fela Kuti. But the minute I saw The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill sitting there on my shelf there wasn’t a second of hesitancy. This was my favorite album of 1998, and a sterling example of someone stepping out from the shadow of a popular outfit to blow the doors off the music world. Whatever you think of Lauryn Hill how, this album is incredible from start to finish.

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bedhead - 1994-1998

Bedhead: 1992-1998 (2014)

WhatFunLifeWas.  Beheaded.  Transaction de Novo.  I had no idea these albums existed two years ago.  I was unaware of Bedhead, the band that created this music, or the slow core scene in general.  And yet I’ve always known this music.  In a real sense, the music of Bedhead is the music that has always played in the quiet hours inside my head ruminating and reflecting on questions I’ve had my entire life.  Bedhead 1992-1998 is a boxset of the band’s collected output, and to say that for me it’s become one fo the essential musical components of my life is not an exaggeration. Continue reading “Bedhead: 1992-1998 (2014)”