1822 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles California United States
The Echo Presents
Helm, Rakta, Flesh World
If you’re reading this, you’re probably part of whatever is left of the music press in 2011. There is no reason to explain the state of modern, relevant punk rock to you; you’re paid (in one way or another) to know it all. Fittingly, there is no reason to outline any scene reports or regional histories that brought about the formation of Copenhagen’s Iceage. Its members are teenagers, presently 18 or 19 years of age, and as with most people that age, it doesn’t do any good to cite influences. Rather, Iceage mixes punk, post-punk, Goth and hardcore as if they invented it, and does such an excellent job of blending these tropes with the pent-up energy and frustration of the just-post-pubescent years of young mens’ lives, that they might as well have.
New Brigade is Iceage’s debut album (licensed from Escho Records of Denmark); 26 minutes of anthemic stress, of tension undiluted by worldly wisdom or amassed experience. Following a seven-inch single (recorded by Peter Peter, of the Sods and Sort Sol) and compilation track, New Brigade displays a confidence that substitutes worldly experience for the thrills of discovery, of knowing that it is possible to forge your own path in light of adults, the establishment, and prevailing wisdom telling you to do otherwise. In this tradition, New Brigade’s twelve songs rush past, long enough to hit you in the chest and short enough to make you wonder what happened.
Helm is Luke Younger – a sound artist and experimental musician based in London, working with a vast array of revolving instrumentation and abstract sound sources. Younger’s compositions build a dense aural landscape which touches on aspects of musique concrete, uncomfortable sound poetry, industrial, and hallucinatory drones.
To this date, he has produced three full length albums; debut To An End, self released on his own ALTER imprint in 2010, was a complex network of intricate layers and mixed sounds, described by John Elliott (Emeralds / Spectrum Spools) as “a haunting composition of field recordings, tape loops, percussion, and electronics (among other things), creating an extremely tense and daunting audio tapestry which leaves the listener pondering the intense meaning of the sounds chosen”.