Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Hototogisu
Chimarendammerung

De Stijl No Cat

CD
£8.99


Brand new full-length recording from the duo of Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Total/Sunroof et al) and Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards/Zaimph/GHQ) features a more rock-reverent take on the kind of vertical screens of impossibly detailed overtone that defined their earlier albums, with Marcia's viola slow-burning fluttering afterimages of neon spirals deep into the air while Bower's guitar/microphone worship generates repeat-ascensions of overloaded ecstasy tone. Something grittier, more immediately tactile, that makes this their most dramatically meat-based orbit of hallucinated space/time vectors to date. Highly recommended.

Hototogisu
Green

Heavy Blossom

CD
£7.99


The first ever release from the Hototogisu duo of Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Total/Sunroof) and Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards) that even approaches being ‘generally available', Green is a real CD - not a CD-R - pressed up for the group by the sainted Ed Hardy of Eclipse records and available in an edition of 1000 copies complete with a suave full-colour booklet reproducing a bunch of the duo's art. Anyone whose mind was blown by the vision of this pair powering their way through one of the most magical/unforgiving sets of Subcurrent 2005 will find plenty to drown in here. Tracks are shorter than on previous releases, though even more obsessively detailed. There are points where the cacophony is so insanely oversaturated that the noise starts to sound as if it's spontaneously giving birth to language: you start hallucinating words and sentences, almost as if the film protecting you from a constant bombardment of information-heavy environmental radiation has been blown apart. Green also features some of Hototogisu's most straight-ahead death/doom metal moves. Although they're not quite Skullflower, the first track features snatches of classic death metal riffs alongside the stomach-punch of a cheap drum machine and on their theme song, the beautifully ferocious “Heavy Blossom”, Mick Flower of Vibracathedral Orchestra plays drums. Alongside all the iron first action, there are some beautiful moments where Marcia and Matthew's voices melt into ribbons of pure white light and the whole thing floats to the ceiling. A modern classic, and possibly the best Hototogisu album to date. Highest recommendation.

Voltigeurs
Possession

Turgid Animal TAVOLT-2012

CD
£8.99


All-new recordings from the duo of Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Total et al) and Samantha Davies: Possession represents a further progression of the Voltigeurs sound, re-thinking droning European metal as a form of violent symphonic noise, with triumphal melodies sunk deep, deep in fields of barbarous fuzz. Bower’s guitar has always sounded more like buckling currents of electricity than six steel strings but here he really pushes it to the extreme with walls of curdling feedback and whiplashed amplifier violence with only the haziest hints of martial melody. Indeed, it really sounds like nothing else, fully delivering on Bower’s vision of the hum of vast Industrial plants or vibrating metropolises heard from a hundred miles away or the gravitational roar of planets in dead, dark space. Bower’s thought keeps evolving and this is a radical re-statement of symphonic guitar brutality. Highly recommended. 

Ax
Metal Forest

Cold Spring Records CSR-167

CD
£9.99


Necessary culling/upgrading of a bunch of tracks from the mid-90s by this major UK underground outfit, the brainchild of Anthony Di Franco of Ramleh/JFK/Skullflower et al: Voyages presents devastatingly re-mastered tracks from OOP releases like 1997’s Astronomy, 1994’s Nova Feedback and 1995’s Ax II. Ax’s sound was extremely prescient, somehow tying together the kind of endlessly postponed cathartic metal of SunnO))) with thudding fists of electricity and bass heavy boombastics, birthing a thug-punk take on Butthole Surfers-play-Suicide that would appeal to fans of the most esoteric Zaimph sides as much as the early Zos Kia rituals. And the material has never sounded better, benefiting from a clarity and punch that is truly ear-lacerating.

Skullflower
White Wolf

Cold Spring Records CSR-12S08

one-sided LP
£18.99


Edition of only 100 copies one-sided LP from UK underground legends Skullflower: only ‘officially’ available direct from the label,  White Wolf presents a torrential side-long epic from Matthew Bower and co that takes off where Fushitsusha circa Tokyo Flashback 3 left off, with buzzing armies of transparent guitar oblivions dissolving in endless vectors of fuzz to the point that they generate hallucinatory arcs of classical string elegies, sounding a symphonic threnody w/a distant euphoric metal backbone. Bower’s recent work has been particularly amazing and the combination of classical scale and full in-the-red guitar violence is exceptionally potent here. Limited supply, obviously, comes in a white sleeve with a hand-stamped obi strip. 

Skullflower
Kino I-IV

Dirter Promotions DPROMSXSET-1

Art Edition 4xCD + One-Sided LP Set
£76.99


Edition of only 250 copies ‘mail order only’ art set that bundles a four CD retrospective of the early Skullflower recordings 1986-1990 with an exclusive one-sided live LP documenting Skullflower’s first ever concert and with a stamped and hand-numbered package of six reproductions, fliers and hand-bills, five of which are designed by Matthew Bower: this is the goddamn motherlode, exactingly re-mastered editions of some of the most toweringly inventive free rock recordings ever to come out of the UK from the early Matthew Bower/Stuart Dennison/Stefan Jaworzyn et al line-up. The set consists of: Birthdeath; the re-mastered first 12" EP, available in its entirety for the first time since 1987, plus six previously unreleased, unheard of tracks; Form Destroyer; the re-mastered first album  with two bonus tracks from Shock's long out of print Ruins and two previously unheard pieces; Xaman; the most requested early Skullflower release, the original CD rendered unplayable by disc rot for 20 years, finally re-mastered, with new cover art from Matthew's archive; Black Sun Rising; rounding up the first three 7" releases on Shock, Majora and Forced Exposure, the bonus track from The Portable Altamont plus six previously unreleased tracks including three from the Xaman sessions. All the CDs come in gatefold sleeves w/new artwork, extensive notes and unseen snaps. The LP is the only document of the Matthew Bower/Stuart Dennison/Stefan Jaworzyn/Gary Mundy (Ramleh/Broken Flag et al) line-up, recorded on October 7th, 1987 in a 'bottom of the bill' support slot at the Bull & Gate. This previously uncirculated recording is sourced from Jaworzyn's cassette archive and the record label features a detail from the MB-designed gig flyer. It will be unavailable on any other format or release. A revelatory set, only ‘officially’ available direct, highly recommended!

Skullflower
Kino 2: Form Destroyer

Dirter Promotions DPROMCD-96

CD
£13.99


Massively anticipated expanded/re-mastered series of early Skullflower reissues: Form Destroyer presents the re-mastered first album issued in 1989 by Broken Flag with two bonus tracks from Shock's long out of print Ruins and two previously unheard pieces. Still one of the most epically wasted ‘rock’ records to come out of the UK underground. Come in a gatefold sleeve w/new artwork, extensive notes and unseen snaps. Highly recommended. 

Skullflower
Kino 3: Xaman

Dirter Promotions DPROMCD-97

CD
£13.99


Massively anticipated expanded/re-mastered series of early Skullflower reissues: Xaman is the most requested early Skullflower release, with the original CD rendered unplayable by disc rot for 20 years, finally re-mastered, with new cover art from Matthew's archive. Released on Shock in 1990 this was the last full-length album to feature the line-up of Matthew Bower, Stefan Jaworzyn (Shock/Ascension/Whitehouse et al), Alex Binnie (legendary tattooist/member of Pure et al) and Stuart Dennison. A massive side, finally available once more. Come in a gatefold sleeve w/new artwork, extensive notes and unseen snaps. Highly recommended. 

Skullflower
Kino 4: Black Sun Rising

Dirter Promotions DPROMCD-98

CD
£13.99


Massively anticipated expanded/re-mastered series of early Skullflower reissues: Black Sun Rising is a collection that rounds up the first three 7" releases on Shock, Majora and Forced Exposure, the bonus track from The Portable Altamont plus six previously unreleased tracks including three from the Xaman sessions. This plays out alongside The Dead C’s Shock collection, World Peace Hope et al as one of the great and inexplicably coherent long-form statements of 1990s avant guitar excess. Come in a gatefold sleeve w/new artwork, extensive notes and unseen snaps. Highly recommended. 

JfK
La Bas: 1987-1992

Fourth Dimension Records FD2LP87

2xLP
£18.99


New vinyl collection of stray tracks and unreleased jams from this great UK underground group with a side that restores the full session featuring Matthew Bower (Skullflower at al) on guitar that was recorded at JTI on 29/1/90, two nights before Skullflower recorded the Xaman album at the same studio: JfK was the brainchild of Anthony Di Franco of Ramleh, Skullflower, Ax et al and they played a bizarre mutant form of thug-psych that took drum machines and monstrous acid bass and devoured them with shots of pure electricity. Think The Cramps, Chrome and The Buttholes given a furious post-Broken Flag dressing down. La Bas gathers a buncha choice shots into the void, including their great Temple Of Set/Sexodus 7” that came out on Fourth Dimension in 1992 alongside eight otherwise unavailable recordings and the tracks with Bower on guitar – including a previously unreleased alternate take of “Sexodus 90” – see him at his most iconoclastically testifying. Also comes with two more bonus tracks unique to the vinyl. A key piece of the puzzle from the depths of the UK underground. Recommended!

Sunroof
Rock Power

Nashazphone NP-13

LP
£18.99


Unlikely vinyl reissue of this all-time-classic CD-R release from Matthew Bower’s Sunroof, here a duo with Mick Flower of Flower-Corsano/Vibracathedral Orchestra on second guitar: originally made available during a European tour in 2003 on Bower’s own Rural Electrification Program, Rock Power is titled as a tribute to AC/DC and Neil Young (!) and it’s truly one of the most stupendously destroyed takes on classic wipe-out rock/roll of the entire Bower catalogue. Here Sunroof tear through levels of variously destroyed, inverted and feedback-obliterated two chord boogie, jamming to the point of almost complete gridlock, with huge fists of pure electricity that take the spirit of Zuma into the Egyptian desert for a true sex-magick working, with hysterical amp-humping solos that feel like blats of pure white light. If you believe that rock/roll as a perpetually innovating cultural force went underground sometime in the 1970s where it remained on the revolutionary trajectory it maintained in the late Sixties, well, this is the sound of rock and roll circa now, damaged by noise, liberated by free jazz, made profligate by Industrial DIY strategies so that now it feels more like a being caught in a ball of pure electricity. Indeed, Rock Power functions as the fulcrum of the whole Bower project, pointing the way from the heavenly dissolves of earlier Sunroof albums like Cloudz through to the full metal jacket of Panzer Division Lou Reed and towards the torrential/hallucinatory metal of the current Skullflower sound. But this is just such a blast, a euphoric, intensely psychedelic set of electronically devoured desert rock, boogie, freaked balladry and all-out thug punk from one of the killingest duos ever to bust outta the UK underground. Love this, highest possible recommendation!

Skullflower
Bull & Gate Oct 7, 1987

Dirter No Cat

one-sided LP
£19.99


Devastating early live show captured on limited to 250 copies one-sided vinyl, only ‘officially’ available as a bonus LP with the 4xCD art edition set of early Skullflower albums released on CD by Dirter: this one documents the early Skullflower line-up in massively form-destroying glory, with Matthew Bower joined by Stefan Jaworzyn (Ascension/Whitehouse/Shock et al), Gary Mundy (Ramleh/Broken Flag) and Stuart Dennison live at the Bull & Gate in London on October 7th 1987.