dälek, Tombs, Couch Slut, Yellow Eyes


Stepping out from behind the dark, ugly shadow of contemporary Hip Hop, Newark, NJ's Dälek are here to redefine pretenses of the genre now and forever with their challenging new full length on Ipecac Recordings.

Back in the day, Dälek and the Oktopus met at William Patterson University. The O, learning that Dälek made beats at his home studio offered to help him engineer his nascent tracks at his growing studio, Sweetwood Sound. Since a creative mind is a terrible thing to waste, Dälek later dropped out of Patterson, cashing in his college loan checks to pick up his first MPC 3000 -- turning what began as an experiment into one of the most inventive Hip Hop records the world will ever hear.

The duo's first album, 1998's Negro, Necro, Nekros (Gern Blandsten) caught the attention of critics around the world and established Dälek as risk takers, and flag bearers for a new generation of Hip Hop. The five track full length (clocking in at under 39 minutes) debuted the group's eclectic musical force. Blending elements of Faust's over the top noise, the Velvet Underground's grit, shoegazer rock density, innovative arrangements, prophetically insightful lyrics and hard hitting drums, all to come up with something truly rare in any musical genre: a sound that's hard, honest and unique. This record showcases a group as unconcerned with conforming to conventions as it is with breaking them.

By fall of '98, the young group made yet another uncommon move in the Hip Hop world by committing themselves to a ceaseless, DIY touring ethic which they maintain to this day. It was on the road at a college show that the group met Still. He impressed them by jumping up during their sound check and improvising a 15 minute set on the turntables. While Dälek and the Oktopus are consistently pushing the limits and expectations of the sampler as a musical instrument, Still spends most of his time recreating how audiences hear turntables. Alternately pulling out old school cuts or making the turntable sound like a guitar, a violin, or a wall of white noise, Still aims to be equal parts Grandmaster Flash, Jimi Hendrix, and Merzbow rolled up into one tight afro.

The group spent years since meeting Still on the road, captivating audiences across the board opening for such varied groups as De La Soul, EC8OR, Isis, Prince Paul, DJ Spooky, The Rye Coalition, Lovage, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Pharcyde, Techno Animal, Tomahawk, Funkstrong, and The Roots (to name a few). Not to mention their studio and on-stage collaborations with Avant-Garde Jazz artists like William Hooker and Ravish Momin, to electronic artists like Kid606, Velma, and the legendary Krautrock super-group Faust.

Biographies can't explain it all: this is a band you want to hear, and definitely want to see live, no matter who you are. The group's innovative show, which grabbed the attention of The New York Press, CMJ, NJ's Star Ledger, NME, Melody Maker, Wire Magazine, and more, usually includes a dense wall of sound, intense delivery, and at times, a blinding light show. Dead serious on stage, many a Dälek set has ended with monitors thrown, mic stands strewn, and a deafening feedback lingering in what was once the empty space between audience members.

Expect the band to tour extensively starting the early summer of 2002 in support of their new album "From Filthy Tongue of Gods and Griots," on Ipecac Recordings.

American metal band based in Brooklyn, NY.

Couch Slut

From Brooklyn, New York, Couch Slut shook the underground in 2014 with the release of its debut, My Life as a Woman. Stereogum called that album "engagingly smart and terrifyingly blunt" and pegged the sound as "a little bit Oxbow and a little bit Today Is the Day during the AmRep years... It's catharsis through pain, both for the listener and the band. But it's also smart in the way it sets expectations and subverts them."

New album Contempt carries on in this fashion – Couch Slut's savagery and intelligence are both in full effect, adding up to an album that thrills on two levels. Opening track "Funeral Dyke" sets the tone, with a skronking saxophone buried under a grimy, blackened, noise-rock blitz. Later in the song, a tambourine rattles along happily with the beat as vocalist Megan Osztrosits screams, "I will fuck you, now you're dirt!"

Contrasts such as those on display in "Funeral Dyke" are what make Contempt the engrossing, dynamic affair that it is. The band's foundation rests on the scorched earth between Unsane's pounding NYC hate-rock and Darkthrone's mournful metal, but Contempt is filled with surprises. The songs are peppered with odd instrumentation – the aforementioned saxophone and tambourine, as well as tuba, trombone, accordion, viola, and concert bells – and tend to begin on one path and end on another. A cold dirge erupts into a chugging thrashfest; a sludgy rocker slides into a wistful jam recalling Sonic Youth's more tender moments.

A consistent force throughout the album is Osztrosits' wild-eyed, hair-raising voice. Harsh and unsettling, every snarled word slashes at nerves. Atop the twisting, writhing, and rocking of guitarist Kevin Wunderlich, bassist Kevin Hall, and drummer Theo Nobel, her confessional lyrics paint horrific pictures of "anger, depression, terror, drug abuse, mental illness, violence, the surreal, longing, and loss."

Gilead Media owner Adam Bartlett says this: "As a label that releases a fair amount of black metal, doom, and other varieties of 'extreme music,' the concept of visceral and transgressive art is nothing new to Gilead Media. But Contempt may stand as one of the most vicious and unnerving releases in the label's history."

Contempt was recorded by Couch Slut's Kevin Wunderlich and former member Amy Mills. It was mixed by Caley Monahan-Ward (Extra Life, Voice Coils) and mastered by James Plotkin (Leviathan, Sumac).

The cover art was created by Leandro De Cotis, the artist behind the X-rated My Life as a Woman cover which sparked many discussions upon its release.

Sporting brains and brawn, Couch Slut makes music that punches the gut and stimulates the mind. Contempt's harrowing version of rock reflects its hometown – dirty, dangerous, dazzling – and secures the band's place in the line of great NYC documentarians, from Sonic Youth to Swans, from Unsane to Pyrrhon.

Brooklyn based black metal band


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