Thursday, October 3, 2013


I've been offline, simmering, coping with illness, etc. The good news is that sometimes these lulls are necessary for one to formulate, take a step back and view the whole map.

I could not be more excited about the current and upcoming Prison Tatt Records releases, and Passion and Torment Series batch #2.

The order is rough, and there are other projects (like the Anthony Saunders one-sided LP that could come together at any time), but generally speaking this is what's happening, and it's all freaking SILVER (I don't care for gold.) -

Bob Bellerue - Butcher's Broom LP. One of Bob's heaviest works of late/to date; source material from the band Health, radically remixed/filtered/pounded out, so that the overall effect is like that Theatre of Eternal Music concert we all wish we were old enough and/or hip enough to have attended. Bob has done so much (released previously on Prison Tatt as 1/2 of KILT, with Raven Chacon, for the Kitchen Sorcery CD); he's done solo works under different names, simply legendary collabs, with Telecult Powers and a great many others ... it's almost impossible to categorize what Bob "does," and I feel pretty sure that he likes it that way. If pressed, I'd say that this album stands strong alongside Amplified Piano Duets (with Jarrett Silberman), one of the first records of his that Bob generously gave me, and still one of my favorites. Think hi-volume, bone-shattering drones, but not at all static, more "sweeping," as in you don't know where this record will attack you from next.

Nuit Noire - A Beautiful Belief one-sided LP. Long-anticipated, A Beautiful Belief is one of the first records that was discussed/planned at the Prison Tatt label's very inception. Tenebras very graciously offered to release with us, he really embraced the one-sided LP concept, and as he takes on his projects/release offers one at a time, I knew that the day would come, and now it's here! Perhaps NN's most intimate/radically romantic record to date, still with their unique crunchy catchiness, and Tenebras' gorgeously idiosyncratic vocals, more upfront than ever. Thoroughly excited for this one!

Malkuth - Tamahprabha - One of two Malkuth LPs of brand-new material that's been simmering for a good, long while. I wrote up the promotional/press-release copy for Hathir Sakta, the other new album, which is coming out on Kelippah. Originally conceived as a double-LP, IMO these records are perhaps better even than Malkuth's two exceptional full-lengths on Hospital Productions. ...That rare breed of black metal that brings the "hard" and the "head" in equivalent measure. (Malkuth live set on WFMU / My Castle of Quiet, 2010 January.)

NRIII - The Algea. I've been following the releases of NRIII pretty much since the beginning; $, their debut cassette, was released on Primal Vomit, a label that features substantially in the Prison Tatt distro. Several years and releases later, and stylistic/compositional leaps forward (the 2012 EP trilogy on Neon Doom is a personal favorite, and received heavy airplay on My Castle of Quiet) NRIII bring us nothing short of a masterwork; I like to describe The Algea as the record I always wish Coil had made (always wanting Coil to be a bit more intense, more grimy and loud.) I'd also compare The Algea to the more pounding, song-oriented works of Nurse With Wound, or perhaps a cherry-picked collection of my favorite Genocide Organ songs—it's really that good; a new high for the band and for Prison Tatt.

What else? More, more, MORE!

To be released next, Molestador, the new one-sided LP by Sesso Violento, whose crusty, sci-fi-black-metal masterpiece, Pacificador, was one of our best- and fastest-sellers to date; Seed Stock unloaded their distro copies in hardly any time at all. This record finds SV in much the same form, but forward-looking as well; tight, boom-tap high-impact songs—black metal, yes, but of the Vordr/Bone Awl-inspired stripe, and not at all conscious of subgenre categorizations or limits, mixing in odd sounds all over the place, also not afraid to pick up an acoustic guitar for a song either. These guys are happy to work with Prison Tatt, and the feeling is mutual. Our label was built on great, black-metal one-siders, and Molestador more than continues this tradition.

On that topic, following hot on the heels of Molestador will be another one-sided LP, by the much-beloved Smoke. Deep black metal heads know all about Smoke (from The Netherlands) and their consistently high-caliber cassettes of improvised (!) black metal, the overall effect like being in a wind-tunnel haunted house, riding an uneasy wave of blast beats and frightening, transient melody. The effect of Smoke is staggering, and we're sad to report that this vinyl debut also represents the band's swan song, entitled Het Laatste Oordeel (The Last Ordeal?) The record is comprised of three lurching, hypnotic songs—classic Smoke, and K.v. Hardeveld's pencil-drawn jacket is one of my favorite bm covers EVER.

Our companion releases by OPPONENTS (Telepathic Times) and Creeplings (their two-song, one-sided vinyl debut) are still very much NEW, and Prison Tatt is fiercely proud to be presenting these records/artists, on the very cut of postmodern, Brooklyn-analog-industrial, with "edge" to spare; these are such great records, there's no time for humility, and you're plain missing out if you don't pick them up. I've extended indefinitely the period for which continental-US customers can pick up both records for a flat $30—because I want you to have them. Full descriptions of these (as well as records by Wretched Worst, Moloch, Demonologists, Todd Pendu's Chaos*Majik, Long Distance Poison—all remarkably still in print, though supplies diminish weekly), song samples, basically the whole Prison Tatt catalog, can be reviewed at For NY locals, Creeplings will be performing a live score this Monday night at Silent Barn (see the link for info) to my choice of an early Clive Barker short film, The Forbidden. Event curated by Stephanie Wuertz and Millennium.

Am I done yet? No! ...Because batch #2 of the Passion and Torment Series is coming soon, somewhere in the midst of all these vinyl releases. P&T is the CDr imprint of Prison Tatt Records; a cheaper and and more-immediate way to release some great music that comes across our figurative desk. There are a lot of P&T releases in the works/being discussed; things most often don't come out when or exactly as planned, but I've whittled our second batch of four down to these:

Degenerate Slug - Garuda II - Leningrad Mon Amour - it was decided long ago that this would be the first disc of our second CDr batch, from the hyper-prolific, hyper-talented Paul von Aphid. I hesitate to put any sort of subgenre label on this, as Paul is so much more well-versed in these things—I just know I like it! Raspy vocals over collaged sounds and pounding drum machine; the audio equivalent of a severed head on a chain, as anguished dungeon cries close in around you, a full psychic meal of things to listen to and for. Includes a full, 26-min, 2011 live show.

Terrier - The Doors - My collaboration with Bob Bellerue of scary/weird improvisations finally does its impression of the MGM lion. A full-length disc of material culled from various sources, all centered around "The Doors," our favorite live-recorded performance to date (from Port d'Or.) Also included are some pieces recorded off-air in WFMU's famous Studio B live studio, and a particularly juicy live set from Corey Bauer's Brooklyn space, July 2010.

Gnus - The first physical release for this great, minimalist black metal outfit from Bosnia and Herzegovina. At that link, you can hear what Gnus are about—strong, wicked compositions, and the most cobwebbed, depressive atmospheres that will capture you in awe, but also keep the songs short enough that one ought not get too attached...hehe.

Lastly, a three-way split of black metal from the extended, prolific universe of Smoke/Profectum Iri founder K.v. Hardeveld. This is the CDr version of a cassette release on the Kaladruna label. Eeuwig presents the centerpiece of an extended, depressive epic entitled "Martelgang," a track one can get dangerously lost in, advancing ever forward, as phantom doors close and lock behind you. One track by Arjen, also from Bosnia (see Gnus, above) and two, shorter tracks from Nevelrijk, solo project from the drummer for Smoke (per Smoke, see new vinyl, above.)

More than enough to keep me on an anxiety bender through and past year's end, balanced by the fact that I know these releases will be great, and bringing great music to the public is its own reward (in addition to sales, of course) when one endeavors to keep a small, independent, "boutique" music label (as my friend Jeff Conklin has dubbed us) exciting and vital.

One final bit of "promo," as it were—new in the undershopped, SHINY, AND JUST WAITING FOR YOU Prison Tatt distro (literally just arrived in the mail today)- Gutter Choir, by Hivesmasher, one of my favorite LPs of this year, a great grind album, with progressive and artful deviations, as well as the self-titled 2009 Painkiller Recs. 7" by Failures, on clear vinyl, sort of a must-have for fans of modern, dark hardcore (and you may/should be a fan of their s/t 2009 LP on Youth Attack.) Prices tba, like I said, just arrived today. Please write to:

In addition to my role as purveyor/conduit, there's also the infinitely lower-stress universe of fan and sometime radio DJ (next Castle fill-in, 11.14.13 for Diane's Kamikaze Fun Machine.) The ongoing, ever-churning process that is the discovery of new music is one that's saved my life more than a few times, and is in my blood like NJ toxins.

On to...trolling bandcamp for great new grind, sound art and black metal... Bandcamp is the breeding ground where it's really all happening, in terms of near-instantneous music delivery; name-your-price digital downloads, often not, though sometimes happily entwined with a physical release, Deafkids, The Atrocity Exhibit, Bleak, new works by personal favorites Moonknight (Rising Beast) and Husere Grav (Crucial Blast), and the ongoing greatness perpetrated by both Greh Holger's Chondritic Sound and Justin Marc Lloyd's Rainbow Bridge have all kept my music Jones chugging along, and occasionally, there's a smartly done cassette, CD or even vinyl 7" or 12" that arrives a few weeks later in the mail to accompany one of these ultra-satisfying mini-grail downloads. In that spirit of physical releases, I want to also mention the Tunnel/Chi Omega 7", one in a relatively steady stream of superior works by Spettro Family, a one-man Italian project that waxes boldly original, while taking in part its cue from 70s-80s Giallo and thriller film soundtracks (SF's great Black Horizons cs release of last year, for example) and has in the works a one-sided LP for Prison Tatt. Stefano has been absolutely great to work with, and I know that whatever he delivers to the label to release will be beyond top-shelf—it will be some of the best Spettro Family to date. Also, as goes digital-followed-by-physical releases, a set of tracks I had privy to by Lea Bertucci last year will soon see the light of day on LP. Though now, these four selections, since last I heard them, arrive radically transformed with maximum crunch; organic, yet "factory floor," in the form of a custom-designed (by the artist) LP package, Resonance Shapes, to be released by the Obsolete Units label, of which this writer has been a long-time fan. Lea played live last October (has it been that long?) on the My Castle of Quiet radio program, and though due to that, I had some idea of the primordial stew these selections were originating from, it's this final product (pre-order the LP from OU at the link above, and receive an email link to download the digital files, while you wait for your LP) that is sure to bring home the greatness of Lea's total vision.

With this all in mind, I'm pleased to say that we're "in it," too, with some, though not all (because what fun would that be, if everything was available in every format?) of the Prison Tatt artists having agreed to let me sell their works both physically and digitally via our very own bandcamp home. Some releases will remain exclusive on vinyl, while yet others will appear for sale digitally, only when the vinyl has sold out from home base. Similar to a conversation I've had with more than one "noise friend," I don't dwell on formats so much, they are but music-delivery systems; everyone is pretty much in agreement that by and large vinyl is king, and beyond that, I just want to have the music, so a CD, CDr, or digital file does not offend me with its impermanence, and often that choice is made, by label, artist, or both, that expediency is of the essence for getting the sound to your ear, and we'll worry later about which works to preserve in which ways FOR ALL ETERNITY. There are also some damned-attractive, one-of-, or-few-of-a-kind packages being done of late with CDr; Fadensonnen's PD3 comes to mind.

This having been one mutha of a post, I'll sign off now. You can always keep your eye on the Prison Tatt Records Facebook group for the most up-to-date information on the releases mentioned in this post, distro adds, and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you've been very busy Wm. Glad to hear. The new Prison Tatt and P&T releases sound really exciting. Glad to hear that there is a storm brewing.