Harvestman – Merzbow & Meat Beat Manifesto – Pound Land – Adult Jazz – The Lost Letters – Poppy H – album reviews

Today we give you Harvestman’s ‘signpost to the sacred that might not indicate where to look, but how.’ in the first part of his trilogy of albums to come this year. The ‘unique collaboration between Industrial Breakbeat pioneers MEAT BEST MANIFESTO (Jack Dangers) and the undisputed king of Japanese noise, MERZBOW (Masami Akita).’ Pound Land’s ’48-minute whirl of raw frustration, kitchen-sink surrealism and filthy noise-punk sludge, soundtracking vitriolic stream of consciousness situational societal observations.’ Adult Jazz’s ‘abrasive but gentle, beautiful and melismatic’ album, the ‘lo-fi dream-pop’ of The Lost Letters and the ‘urgency and intensity@ of Poppy H’s new release. Have a read and listen below.

Harvestman – Triptych Part 1

Neurot Recordings

If you put this on and close your eyes you can see stone, ancient, wind and rain scarred stone. If you close your eyes and listen you can see grassy flowered meadows surrounded by ancient woodland. It’s like eating a handful of those spidery mushrooms you found by the stone circle and letting your brain melt into the mud. It’s a spiritual listen and it’s quite a trip. Steve Von Till released this album on the night of the Pink Moon in April and will release it’s two other thirds on other significant full moons later in the year. There are moments of weird Psilocybin spiralling away, moments of monstrous dub lost and climbing into the sky. Dark insects calling you into a menacing, thorny forest and layers of emotions, synths and sound. As a record in it’s own right it’s brilliant, lets see what the whole trio sound like.

Merzbow & Meat Beat Manifesto – Extinct

Cold Spring

Meat Beat Manifesto starts the sound with fast techno beats. Clear, crisp and hard, but underneath them you can feel the static bubbling up and flowing like mercury. It bleeds through and over the beats and then without you even realising it has happened Merzbow has taken over, the beats are still there but underneath the overriding brilliantly bright static and drone that carries this sound on for just over twenty minutes. The second track is straight into thunderous, destructive, cleansing noise. Any beats you can pick up are buried way way down in the mix as the sound sears into your very being. Essential noise.

Pound Land – Mugged

Cruel Nature

Right, imagine if Sleaford Mods actually meant it. Imagine if you got a bunch of bloody furious maniacs into a room with a bunch of instruments, serious adult strength lager and got them to just shout about their lives. How they’ve got fuck all, how they can only afford to shop in the cheapest of shops, how everything is falling apart and there’s fuck all you can do about it. Imagine being so paranoid, drunk and poor that all you can do is rant about it. Then press record on the cheap cassette player in the corner of the room. That’s what this tape feels and sounds like. Like it’s real, they don’t just mean it, they’re fucking living it.

Adult Jazz – So Sorry So Slow

Spare Thought

This was a difficult album for me to get into to start with, the rhythms are off kilter, made with whatever percussion is around and that jars with the vocal which uses the same up and down style that David Sylvian made famous with Japan. To be honest I’m still not sure but it does mesmerise me and keep me listening just to fathom out what it has, what quality is drawing me back. 

The Lost Letters – The Lost Letters

Cruel Nature

This isn’t so much Post Hardcore as Post All Of The Bollocks. It’s a distillation of slow, quiet lowness. It flows like a dark viscous liquid and reflects the beauty of the stars above. The key words are gentle and soothing. It strays into folk and is all the more beautiful for it. It moves slightly off kilter, enough to keep you riveted, a wonderfully constructed sound

Poppy H – Confidence Of Crisis

Cruel Nature

Three tracks, the shortest just under five and a half minutes, the longest just shy of twenty one. All three are the sound of the world closing in and enveloping you, suffocating and layering onto you and becoming unbearable. That’s not to say the music is hard and cold, on the contrary, the electronic noises that create this music are meticulously light and clear. The fact that the brittle dub meditative sound of the first track is so encompassing is something I can’t explain, but as it confuses and confounds what you expect you find yourself trapped inside. The fact that the music across this tape is slow helps too, you don’t realise how far in you are until it either ends or you get distracted. A recommended listen

Harvestman, Steve Von Till’s website is vontill.org, he is also on Instagram, Facebook and X as @SteveVonTill.
Merzbow’s website is merzbow.net, he is also on Facebook.
Meat Beat Manifesto’s website is meatbeatmanifesto.com they are also on Facebook, Instagram, Bandcamp and X as @MBManifesto.
Pound Land have a Bandcamp page.
Adult Jazz’s webpage is adultjazz.tumblr.com, they are also on Facebook, Bandcamp, Instagram and X as @AdultJazz
The Lost Letters are on Bandcamp.
Poppy H is on Bandcamp and X @poppyhproducer.

All words by Adrian Bloxham

Adrian Bloxham

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