Tag Archives: Music Ruins Lives

Wreck And Reference – Black Cassette

Every now and then I come across a release that I really want to tell everyone about, yet no matter how long I let it simmer in my head, I’m at a loss for just the right words to use… Occasionally that has resulted in something of a lateral approach, but I really didn’t want to leave it a minute more before talking about Wreck And Reference’s Black Cassette, particularly as – instead of something moderately easy like altering images with wire, sand and various other mediums – the artistic inspiration this is responsible for involves herding a big group of unsuspecting people near large buckets of different coloured paint, plus the use of a fly wall and a catapault.

I have no idea why, though I’d hazard a guess it has something to do with that cover art, but it’s all beside the point since it’s not something I have the resources to accommodate. You’ll just have to trust me when I say that the presumed people-mosaic such a thing would result in looks very cool the way I imagine it.

There is something a bit fascinating about the focus of surprise people have after being subject to forces greater than themselves, particularly if that force has become an accepted if but domineering presence, as I suspect a great big catapault in a room would be. I’d bet good money people would be splat against that wall and saying things like “My good coat! It’s ruined!“, partly because they already know and have accepted how they got stuck to that wall, and it can’t be changed, and partly because there is strange comfort in the absence of will and choice. Such, also, is the power of something that is both personal and visual that it usually supersedes the importance of great things in our immediate vicinity, even if they pose a threat.

Generally, if people are thrown, they accept they will fall.

On to much more important matters, however, and this music. There are things that are due attention (like all the stuff about innovation and so on, in particular that this can be filed under genres like doom, noise and metal yet it’s all electronic aside from the drums). And then there are the things that grab mine… Things like “what’s it like to not have hands?”, a line in the first track All The Ships Have Been Abandoned, which is my own paint-covered coat. (Metaphorically speaking).

What’s actually important is that there is a hell of a lot that is striking within the 2o or so minutes these tracks run for, and if/when you give some thought to what struck you the most, I doubt it’s going to be what instruments were (or weren’t) used. These songs have been crafted effectively enough for that to be largely inconsequential, to me anyway. As in, good music is bloody good music; don’t care how you make it.

You can currently purchase the second issue of Black Cassette from Music Ruins Lives, which includes an exclusive track. As with all their other releases, numbers are limited but if you miss out, you can grab a digital copy from Bandcamp.



New Releases: Music Ruins Lives

Nearing the end of a quieter month for S4E, I thought I’d spend the next couple of days highlighting a few things that, due to a horrendous lack of time and opportunity, I haven’t brought to everyone’s attention yet. (On that note, if you’re one of the very lovely people waiting on a review, rest assured that it is forthcoming).

You might remember a few of months ago I mentioned the latest releases from Music Ruins Lives (the Bad Braids release in particular has since become a favourite of mine). I hope some of you heeded the warning I issued back then about the limited availability of their releases and kept a close watch on the label (if not, go subscribe to the blog, then you won’t have to wait until I catch up with everything and risk being too late, as once again physical copies of their three latest releases are getting scarce, or sold out, already.

Life In The DarkThe Sunya Is Rising/Limbs In Gloom

This release sold out during the pre-order process, but you can currently grab it on digital format via Bandcamp.


Sequences & Isolated ExistenceGraminaea/Poaceae Split

Currently available on CD with an exclusive collaborative track.



Still available as a pre-order, but only 20-odd copies left available from the original 100.


Take a moment to listen, but if you like what you hear don’t waste any more before the chance to grab a copy is gone.


Tom Vourtsis – Mothhunting

I mentioned this a few weeks ago, briefly, and the other day decided to try something a little bit different in terms of elaboration. Despite the drawbacks, and my lack of talent, I wanted to mess round with a visual medium and had this bright idea of trying my hand at a visual interpretation of each track on the release, but I wanted it to contain a smilar, unifying thread (as does the release itself), so here’s what I did…

I made the particularly inspired choice to google for an image of a moth (yup, firing on all cylinders that day) and chose this one:

Not that it probably matters, but that’s an Emperor Gum Moth, which I chose primarily for the relatively blank canvas of the wing span and the leaf-like shape and texture of the antennae (see a full colour version of the above photo here). I basically divided the image into five segments, then re-made it using whatever I felt like while I listened to each track. So here’s my visual interpretation of Mothhunting:

Ghost Doze | Overlookers | Mothhunting | Crowhurst | Attic Summers

In amongst the panels, along with original segments of the photo, is the following: a snake eye; bee wings, legs and body; a fish, a metal screw; blood vein; wire mesh; paper; smoke; sand; water; glass; salt and Hungarian words; with touch ups, filtering and effects using both Photofiltre and a couple of bits n’ pieces on Photobucket, like the frame once it was all re-assembled.

Each of those components represents an element in the respective songs, though as the specific components I chose were down to purely personal interpretation, I’ll leave you to do the same. What I will say is that you may note there is an underlying tone that is consistent throughout each panel, that various textures are prominent, yet generally maintain that tone in some way. Most of them have subtle backgrounds intended to indicate certain forms of movement, which are underneath the more present forms in the music and generally fluid, but occasionally fractured.

I shared the first track, Ghost Doze, last time, so take a listen to the title track Mothhunting.

Mothhunting is due out on Music Ruins Lives soon, and you can order the CD here.

Oh, and I’m not quite sure why I went for Hungarian as a language in there – I originally chose Japanese but that didn’t work. I am, however, a big fan of sweet paprika, a deep, coppery-red powdered spice that also comes in smoked and (very) hot varieties. I often cook large pots of Hungarian goulash, to which generous portions of paprika is added, and is a favoured dish to cook during winter. I suspect that, for some reason, that little cottage on the cover is entrenched in my mind as belonging to some Hungarian village somewhere.



Music Ruins Lives: Winter Releases

It should be common knowledge ’round these parts that one of my favourite artists in 2010 was Planning For Burial, with two exemplary releases – Leaving on Enemies List Home Recordings, and the subsequent Split CD with Lonesummer on own label, Music Ruins Lives.

With five¹ releases under their belt since the first back in October 2010 (Voids, a collection of Have A Nice Life tracks), most of them sold out or nearing it, MRL are shaping up to be a label you need to know about, and before the chance to lay claim on one of their limited physical releases slips through your fingers. You can keep up with the latest MRL news and events here. In the meantime, here’s a selection of current or forthcoming releases, so you can’t say you weren’t warned if you miss out.


Planning For Burial – Untitled

For the uninitiated, this would be the ideal place to begin, self-described as the ‘“missing link” between the lumbering doom compositions of Leaving…and the dark keyboard-driven drone pop of last year’s split…‘, so you’d get a good grounding with this. It’s also a perfect example of what I mean by missed opportunites – the CD version, which contains a 28-minute extended version of the title track from Leaving, is sold out, but you can purchase the two main tracks in digital format via Bandcamp.


Bad Braids – Arrow And Orb

The first thing that struck me when I listened to this was the hint of something both other and old-wordly about the psych-folk music of Bad Braids. Full review is coming soon at [sic] so keep an eye out there, in the meantime, take a listen to the first track, When My Darling Turns To Dust (Pt II & III). Or just go ahead and pre-order the cassette.


Tom Vourtsis – Mothhunting

Remember that whole thing about imagining your head is a fish tank? (I know it made sense to a select few out there). I’m in similar territory with this drone project, only the water is a little deeper and murkier, filled with some critters I can’t quite make out…yet. While I wait for the tide to go out – or come in, whichever happens first – take a listen and make up your own mind; I bet you can make it into something cooler than a fish tank, anyways. Pre-order the CD here.



1. Not including the Negative Series, unofficial releases of bonus material with a -cat#. The first of which was a live Lonesummer set, issued on CDr along with the first 30 orders of the Planning For Burial/Lonesummer split. Lucky for you, that release has  also been made available as a free download.