Too Evil to Have a Human Name

MMW: Legendary Pink Dots

February 16, 2014

Formed in London in 1980, the Legendary Pink Dots moved to Amsterdam a decade later. A rotating ensemble of band members have come and gone in the 25 years the band has been together, but the prophet Edward Ka-Spel (singer, keyboards), and Phil Knight aka The Silverman, have been the mainstays. Another long time member, Niels Van Hoornblower (various wind instruments and one of my favorite members – he’s a great entertainer on stage), has a great presence on many recordings. The Dots are Legendary (at least in my mind) for blending pop elements with abstract exotica ranging from sampled psychedelia to classical instrumentation. Throw in brooding, apocalyptic lyrics, and the result is a concoction that must be heard, and I have been lucky enough to seem them numerous times in and around San Francisco, and once in Pittsburgh.

Hear it: Blue Velvet & Black Coffee with Patrick, Tuesdays 2-4 p.m.


MMW: Archgoat

This Finnish band was active from 1989-1993 as a three piece with members Lord Angelslayer on bass/vocals, Ritual Butcherer on guitar, and Blood Desecrator on drums. They played primitive black/death metal purely dedicated to devil worship and death. They only released 2 demos and one EP before entering into cult legend. They reformed in 2004 and finally began recording full lengths with 2006s “Whore of Bethlehem” and 2009s “Light-devouring Darkness” along with several EPs and split releases. They’ve also played live recently including a rare US performance at the 2012 Maryland Deathfest. Their music is not for the lighthearted or those interested in melody or song craft.

Hear it: Too Evil to Have a Human Name with Bill, Sundays 7-9 p.m.


MMW: Burial

Anonymity was part of the initial lure of Burial, a dubstep producer from London. “I love…old jungle and garage tunes, when you didn’t know anything about them, and nothing was between you and the tunes,” Burial was quoted as saying in a rare interview (The Guardian, October 26, 2007). “I liked the mystery; it was more scary and sexy, the opposite of other music.” Anonymity, of course, has long been a quality positively associated with electronic music, going back to early years of Detroit techno, when acts such as Underground Resistance and Drexciya veiled themselves in obscurity, and even farther back to Kraftwerk, who championed the notion, “We are the robots.” So it’s the back story of Burial (or rather, the lack thereof), in addition to his music, that explains his great appeal to many of those well-versed in the traditions of electronic music.

Burial debuted in March 2005 on the label Hyperdub with the South London Borough EP, which included the tracks “Southern Comfort” and “Broken Home.” This was followed by the full-length album Burial (2006), whose release was accompanied by a second EP, Distant Lights (2006). Comprised of bleak, evocative dubstep — one track, “Night Bus,” entirely beatless, driven only by sample rainfall and eerie synth melodies. Burial’s second album, Untrue (2007), was eagerly awaited as a result of all the acclaim; an EP, Ghost Hardware (2007), was released a few months in advance, drumming up further interest.

In February 2008, British newspaper The Independent made a claim that William Bevan, indeed a native of South London, was the individual behind Burial. Bevan later confirmed the report, continued to record under his alias, and issued several collaborative works with the likes of former schoolmate Kieran Hebden (Four Tet), Thom Yorke, Massive Attack, and Jamie Woon. He issued three additional Hyperdub EPs — Street Halo, Kindred, and Truant — in 2011 and 2012. A Japanese CD release combined the first two. Bevan’s 2013 was quiet until that December, when he released a three-track EP for Hyperdub entitled Rival Dealer.

Hear it: Blue Velvet & Black Coffee with Patrick, Tuesdays 2-4 p.m.

“Fostercare” video

Burial vs Massive Attack video

Burial and Portishead live video


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