Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Spiteful Womb 'Interior Castle' LP out now!

I am very pleased to announce the release of the debut LP of Nora Zimmerman’s project Spiteful Womb. ‘Interior Castle’ coalesces so many of the elements which have coursed through Nora’s near-decade of cassette and CDR releases, combining sombre dark ambient, fetid power electronics, captured sound elements and hints of melodic dissatisfaction into a architected sequence of carefully layered and viscerally powerful compositions.

Anyone familiar with Nora’s earlier works will appreciate the care and distinctiveness with which she composes, and ‘Interior Castle’ finds common (burial) ground across the range of post-industrial recesses in which Spiteful Womb has dwelled, constructing a sinister sequence of mansion rooms which expose an array of embedded horrors.

“Fourth Mansion” can be previewed now on YouTube or SoundCloud.

‘Interior Castle’ is pressed with full colour covers and multiple inserts, in an edition of 150 copies.  Copies are expected to start landing with a number of international distributors soon; if you want to know whether copies will emerge local to you then please get in contact.  Americans are encouraged to contact Nora for a copy direct, rather than brave international postage costs.

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Monday, 28 November 2022

Illusion Of Safety & Z'ev

Along with a number of other fine labels, I am co-releasing the Illusion Of Safety & Z'ev LP.  The official release date is this coming Friday, 2 December 2022; my copies are in hand and shipping to arrive on, about or after Friday depending upon where you live.  I have both black vinyl and clear copies!

Numbers on the previous releases are running low, and the Jonathan Canady cassette has already sold out.  Try Scream & Writhe, Sentimental Youth, Cloister Recordings, Tesco, Freak Animal, White Centipede and Self Abuse Records.

New releases are in the works, with big plans for 2023.

Saturday, 22 October 2022

new gear

Sorry, updating this news page escapes me sometimes during the giddy throes of new release day.  New to Cipher:

(sic 125) Scar Crowe 'A Sudden And Unexplained Drop In Temperature' C-20

This subdued alter-ego of Patrick O’Neil (Skin Crime, Hanged Man’s Orgasm) finds terror in nature: the blackness of night, the wetness of soil, the chill of snow. ‘A Sudden And Unexplained Drop In Temperature’ traces the fine details of found sound and palpitating ambient through scenes of delayed decay and posed hillside victims.

Painted and printed wood covers tied to a cassette and booklet with printed hessian. Edition of 75 copies.

(sic 131) V/A 'Transgressive Collective IV' CD / C-40

Retrieved from the vaults of Reverse Records, ‘Transgressive Collective IV’ is the culmination of enquiries into the irreverent, unforgiving, callous and violent. Sharing only a broad theme, each of Sutcliffe Jügend, Satori, Isomer, Streicher, Inhibition, Dry Greed, S.T.A.B. Electronics and Stark contribute a track of their finest contemporary work, as well as a page of A5 art. Stan Reed (Blue Sabbath Black Cheer, Dried Up Corpse) then added a detailed piece of collage art for the cover.

The result is a 12 page booklet paired with eight tracks on either CD or cassette (same content on each), with 100 on each audio format. A highpoint of modern audio primitivism and exploratory arts.

(sic 133) Kadaver 'My Hell Is Above' C-42

Another set of fire and brimstone from the never disappointing Kadaver. Armed with an arsenal of hellfire and militaria, Michael Zolotov advances another unforgiving barrage of maelstromic harsh noise. Includes an appearance from Murderous Vision’s Stephen Petrus on one track.

Pink chrome tapes packaged in a ziplock bag, with collage art by Ben Schmidt (Cursed Earth tapes, Bespoke Decay, etc.). Edition of 75 copies.

(sic 140) Theologian 'People Are Weak They Deserve Pain' C-40

The successor to 2018’s ‘Reconcile’ cassette on Cloister Recordings, ‘People Are Weak They Deserve Pain’ finds Theologian bracing for the imminent end of human civilisation.

As each day greets us with more news of impending annihilation, we feel fortunate to live lives of relative privilege, casting our opinions on the scales via social media as though they actually carried weight. The deities man looks to for his solace have all been revealed as sham; whether it be money, power, sex, or the voluntary stupidity of religious “faith,” avarice and cruelty have proven to be the truths which guide our society. No more hiding behind ideologies. As Cronus castrated his father Uranus to depose a corrupt power, it is left to the masses, drunk on their conveniences, to rise up. Yet… we won’t. Not here… Not in America. Lee Bartow is weighed down by a paralysis which stems from the fear that there’s no way to undo what we’ve done. All that is left, is for our society to be swept away by the winds of history.

Theologian performance at the Dominion Of Flesh USA festival presented by Cloister Recordings and Fringe Records NYC, features slightly different mixes than the original digital EP, and was mastered by J Stillings at Steelhook Mastering. Insert, sticker and labelled tape in a foil bag. Edition of 80

(sic 141) Cryptophasia 'End' 7"

The final breaths of Cryptophasia, four tracks of curdled electronics swipes, emphysemic ambient smog and faint machinery heartbeats, which seem to draw in dust and decay as the needle hits the groove. Even against a background of ashen monotone, Cryptophasia turns pallid and fades to grey: this time for the last time, as ‘End’ winds the project back through the cemetery gate at which it started.

Lathe-cut 7” with centre labels and foldout cover designed by James Keeler (Wilt). Edition of 40 copies.

(sic 142) Living Room 'The Cipher Tape' C-30

Within the Living Room vista Matthew promised me something “extra fucked” for ‘The Cipher Tape’, and he delivered. Mangled noisecore, electroacoustic mangling, ghastly electronics, and uncomfortable tape fragments all careen through a constantly unsettled upset of brave edits and unintended consequences. It’s cut-up, Jim, but not as we know it.

A5 wraparound covers with collage artwork from Matthew Reis, labelled cassettes. Edition of 60 copies.

(sic 145) Swollen Organs 'Obesity Indoctrination' C-31

After superb releases on labels of note including Breathing Problem, Nil By Mouth and Deathbed Tapes amongst others, I had to persuade Jimmy Aly to record some material for Cipher. Swollen Organs has unleashed some of the most personally punishing and plaintively primitive of modern American power electronics, capturing the genre’s distended core and wrapping it in a complex veil of guilt, paraphilia, resentment and challenge.

‘Obesity Indoctrination’ engages those obstacles anew through five tracks barely contained by analogue 31 minutes of tape, wrapped in a suitably sweaty and bloated wraparound cover and packaged with a body fat caliper: join in the dismal realisation. Edition of 75 copies.

(sic 152) Jonathan Canady 'Empty Box' C-62

‘Empty Box’ is over an hour of psychologically intense heavy electronics, individually dubbed on chrome cassettes, and limited to 57 copies. Each tape is housed in a 5″ box that also contains liner notes, and one of Jonathan’s original drawings from the “Empty Faces” series that is featured on this release. 57 drawings were individually ripped up and put into envelopes for every copy. The artwork can be reassembled and framed if you like.

Thursday, 30 December 2021

new releases on new year's eve eve

 New releases available today:

(sic 144) Dead Boomers 'Aspen Liberals' CD

The Dead Boomers team of Leith Thomas and Mark Groves spent much of the early '10s honing their incisive power electronics live set, while recording a series of penetrating and perceptive releases for a number of Australian labels (including yours truly) and some further ashore.

The duo may have called it a day, but couldn't stand by without setting their sights on the political and social short-sightedness which the 2021 pandemic produced. Cue 'Aspen Liberals', an April 2020 radio broadcast piece of cruel noise, found sound memories, petri dish electronics creations and narrowed vocal delivery which places Dead Boomers' long-targeted upper class elite at the centre of the pandemic's spread.

This CD adds a number of tracks written and recorded between 2015 and 2020, some previously released in now lost editions, and others breaking to the surface for first time. While we still sweat at home under our masks, Dead Boomers remind us through 'Aspen Liberals' that the underground will always find a way - and hopefully bring down the elite in doing so.

Edition of 200 copies, digipack with an 8 page booklet, all designed by Mark Groves.

(sic 129) Savage Gospel 'Horrors Of Nature' CD

Sometimes nothing less than pure harsh bliss will satiate those needs, and Savage Gospel's unapologetic radiance of electronics fury is intended for just that. Incapacitants and Testicle Hazard fans can rejoice that another duo, Haare's Ilkka Vekka and Avarus' Janne Laurila has joined those elite pairs who are fighting their way to the sun and shedding ultraviolet furiousness on their way. 'Horrors Of Nature' is microcosm blown to macrocosm, energy focused as sound - and mastered for ultimate ear penetration by the unmatched Grant Richardson.

Jewel case edition of 200 copies.

(sic 121) NoDolby 'Exhaustion/Consumption' C-23

Earthen drone and slow electronics machinations from this careful Italian soundcraftsman. 'Exhaustion/Consumption' rises into tempest from humble beginnings, crafted from both tangible and ethereal but all coursing through its creator.

Edition of 50 copies, collage artwork by the fantastic Paul van Trigt adorning a metal tin, the tape wrapped in tissue paper.

(sic 139) Circuit Wound 'Involuntary Ruination' C-60

Oh this is fun. Two Circuit Wound live sets captured in all their room-shaking glory, pure punishing electronics with full room ambience. Jay Howard has been terrorising the surrounds of Los Angeles for over 20 years, and 'Involuntary Ruination' is the outcome should you meet up one late night.

Stickered silver tapes with an oversized cover and show flyers, all sealed up in a vellum envelope. Edition of 50 copies.

(sic 134) L.A.C.H. 'II' C-30

Lorenzo Abattoir and Clive Henry unravel remnants found in late night factory foraging, natural and unnatural sounds emerging from a cautious clamour which finds some resonance comparable to The New Blockaders' calmative moments, Lethe, or Giancarlo Toniutti.

Edition of 50 copies, cassette and collage artwork bagged up and tied to wood which has then been branded with discarded industry and coated in coloured latex.

(sic 137) Encephalic Death 'Relentless' C-21

The first release from this assured project hailing from Bangalore, India. Sickly death industrial atmospheres, prickling noise suffocation, unsettling samples, and the occasional funereal pulse, acknowledging the Slaughter Productions originators while forging its own way.

Edition of 75 copies, stickered resealable foil bag with insert. My own small tribute to Marco Corbelli's simple but unsettlingly effective presentation.

The webstore has been updated, including with a slew of titles discovered during a cleanout of the shelves.  More new titles are coming sooner than my usual pace: tapes from Scar Crowe, Kadaver and Living Room are already dubbed, there's a Cryptophasia lathe-cut 7" just back from the cutter, and the 'Transgressive Collective IV' CD is almost - finally - done, amongst others.

Monday, 23 August 2021

 Well shit I completely forgot to update this news page with June's new releases:

(sic 117) Knurl 'Lacerization' 12"

(sic 126) Soleil Satan Les Couronnes De L'Aube CD

(sic 132) God Is War Cosmic Camouflage C-30

(sic 135) Gruntsplatter & Wilt 'The Trough Of Armageddon' 2xCD and 'Poisoned Sleep/Broken' special edition C-20

Copies of all releases, including the final few of both Knurl and the special edition of the Gruntsplatter/Wilt collaboration, are still at the webstore.

Monday, 28 December 2020

My final releases for 2020 are unveiled:

(sic 119) Body Stress 'The Silence Hurts The Most' 12"

LP issue of Body Stress' final work, previously found on an absurdly limited 4 x C-10 set released by Moral Defeat. The intentionally short tracks further fragment Body Stress' already disruptive harsh noise style, a fierce high-end focus forged through cruelly treated electronics, indecipherable sound source abuse, and libidinous fury.

Edition of 100 copies with collage artwork tweaked from the cassette edition.

(sic 123) V/A 'Night Science VI' 'zine + CD

The sixth issue of my 'Night Science' 'zine/compilation CD. Thorough interviews and stellar CD tracks from Purgist, Iron Fist Of The Sun, Toshiji Mikawa, Spiteful Womb, Taeter, Hostage Pageant/Still Life and Torba; an interview with Lee of Annihilvs; live reviews of Puce Mary, Hair Stylistics, Hijokaidan and Merzbow; and a slew of reviews of releases from the past few years including some choice reissues and the Come Org, 'On Corrosion' and Masonna boxsets.

124 pages, perfect-bound, pro-pressed CD.

(sic 124) Human Larvae 'Methods Of Submission II' C-60

Finally, the sequel to 2017's 'Methods Of Submission'. While the first cassette evoked a suffocating submissiveness, its follow-up is a plunge into putrescence and domination across a series of ravaged power electronics missives. Intentionally raw and grimy in execution, 'Methods Of Submission II' is a far more uncomfortable offering than the first - there's no safety word this time.

Edition of 100 copies mirroring the packaging to the first cassette: painted cloth wrapped around a small booklet and secured with a bandage clip.

(sic 127) Gnawed 'Cessation' C-30

If you haven't heard this year's Gnawed full-length 'Subterranean Rites', you're missing one of the year's finest power electronics/death industrial releases.

'Cessation' is something of a stylistic precursor, 30 minutes of carefully realised horror, fear and putrescence with Grant Richardson's evocation skills at their peak through this brew of slow creep, dismal melodic fragments, puncturing vocals, execution foley and throbbing synth dread.

Edition of 75 copies in screenprinted envelopes with an insert and loss of life curio.

(sic 130) Licht-Ung 'Aube' C-40

In the final few years of his Aube project, Akifumi Nakajima (RIP) released several obscure works through and with the unpredictable and entertaining label/project Licht-Ung.

This cassette is Milan Sandbleistift's tribute to a pillar of the Japanese noise/sound design community, two side-long pieces recorded using Aube LPs (originally released on Praxis Dr Bearmann) as source material, with final finessing by Daniel Menche. The result is a sobbing swamp of noise electronics with strong undercurrents of Aube's rigid strictures, set with honest clarity.

Cassette edition of 75 copies (the artist has released a limited LP edition of 21 copies) packaged in 6" square sleeves with layered art tributing both the artist's own photography and Akifumi Nakajima's distinctive G.R.O.S.S. design aesthetics.

(sic 133) Utøya 'Lay Down And Rot' C-40

After successful cassette releases on Nil By Mouth, Contradiction Tapes and Slaughterhouse Records, Utøya sharpen their tools for a new full-length cassette entitled 'Lay Down And Rot'.

Lambasting incel culture, for this release Utøya strip away past ambient drift to focus on a primal and suffocating power electronics sound, prominent vocals and choking noise textures assuming primacy within the project's still considered and atmospheric attributes.

Available in a regular edition as well as a limited specially packaged edition wrapped in wire and bitumen.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

New releases finally available, with updates across the site:

(sic 120) Mo*Te & Worth C-30

New split cassette from two harsh noise artists who should need no introduction. Mo*Te has been spawning unsettled harsh noise from Saitama, Japan, since the mid-1990s, a unique voice even among the abundance of artists of the time. Since resurrecting Mo*Te in 2012 Fumiyuki Nagura has continued in that same turgid style with intermittent cassette releases and also had his early work compiled by Industrial Recollections and Audio Dissection for a 2019 boxset. His two tracks here are especially mean, a malignancy coursing through the material for a focus and frustration unlike any previous work.

Worth adds another collection of splayed and restless noise to Will VanGorder’s impressive discography, after recent releases on Total Black and Nefarious Activities. There’s an immediate connection to Fumiyuki’s own motivations and tendencies, the tracks never shaking their debt to the mid-1990s noise underground, lingering melancholia, and the tension between creator and equipment.

Edition of 75 copies, packaged in mesh, wire and printed parts as my tribute to the Mo*Te/Cracksteel ‘Brain Storm’ cassette released by Fumiyuki Nagura’s Uncut label in 1996, one of many amazing packaging works the label crafted.
Edition of 75 copies in a semi-transparent sleeve of cut-and-paste artwork, ziplock-bagged.

(sic 118) Uboa The Origin Of My Depression & The Sky May Be C-42 + C-30

‘The Sky May Be’ and ‘The Origin Of My Depression’ are the most recent full-length recordings by Melbourne’s Uboa, finally available on this double cassette set released by Cipher Productions.

‘The Sky May Be’ is “a work about poverty, sex, anxiety and love", an overpowering record that slips between dreamy ambience and nightmarish caverns of harsh noise. The record rattles with a sense of instability from start to finish – song structures are freeform and unbound by chorus or verse, harsh elements attack at random yet land perfectly, and it’s rare that any single track can be summed up as solely ambient or noise. The sum of the music is a feeling that pushes sound and mind to its limits, reaping new forms of terror and weakness as the seconds pass by.

‘The Origin Of My Depression’ moves beyond Uboa’s expert ambient and harsh noise craftings to explore elements of shoegaze and found sound, but without ever losing its identity as a craft and highly evocative harsh noise record. theneedledrop describes the release as “a ‘cerebral dive’ into Xandra's most negative and intense feelings of being a transgender woman... via ‘intense feelings of abandonment... expressed through intense soundscapes... and walls of distortion’, culminating in a wide expanse of styles and soundscapes.

Both releases feature extended artwork.  The first 25 copies are packaged in a surgical dish with a an individually numbered printed cloth cover, while the remaining 50 copies are packaged in a double-sided cloth and photograph cover, in a ziplock bag.

(sic 116) Un Regard Froid Accélération CD

Inhumanist Singularity Electronics.

Accélération is the second full-length by Quebec-based project Un Regard Froid. Pure accelerated devotion to cyberschizophrenic deterritorialization. Celebrating machinic impulses and void lust. Injecting propergol and the ashes of economists.

Edition of 100 copies in a printed box, with a 16 page booklet of expositive artwork.

(sic 106) Culver The Razor And Deceit 12" + 3xC-40 boxset

Eight sides of ashen drone from British mainstay Lee Stokoe, covering a lathe-cut LP and three cassettes. Singular tones, melodic memories, extended techniques and raw electronics are all subsumed into the drone vortex, smothered by Culver’s billowing drones and electronics dustcloud. After a heft of releases on his own Matching Head label, At War With False Noise and Turgid Animal, and an extended reach into the experimental underground, I’m very pleased to present this release as an extended study of Culver’s central capabilities.

Limited edition of only 20 copies, special packaging.  Currently only 8 copies are for sale, the remainder will be listed at a future date.