Archive for Industrial

What Do Ya Know…

Posted in News, Projects with tags , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2010 by scottsplatter

I just stumbled across something curious over at discogs.com

“I Hate The Tapes Fuck Them” C100 Cassette Compilation
Released in 1998 on Bizarre Audio Arts

“When the tape starts to run, you will hear two bands in the same time; one in the left speaker and the other in the right speaker. Edition of 25 copies.”

The most striking thing about this:  I am on it and had no idea. I’ve never even heard of it. I discovered this because someone added it to the Gruntsplatter discog page. There are 20 tracks on the release for a total of 40 contributors. The tape is limited to 25… no wonder I have never heard of it.

This is the second time Bizarre Audio Arts did something like this with Gruntsplatter. The other was a split cassette with Armenia allegedly released in 1999. The track that appears on the comp was one of the tracks from that release. After waiting over two years for the release to come out I withdrew the material because someone else wanted to release it. Just as the alternate release was slated to come out on Verbrannte Erde Prod. I got a package from Bizarre Audio Arts with two copies of the canceled split in it. Xerox cover, poorly dubbed cassettes that if I remember right cut something off… and took over two years to produce. I canceled the Verbrannte Erde release because of BAA release. I’m not sure the label ever produced more than those two I got in the mail. All the tracks from that (and then some) were included on “The Organ Harvest: Rare & Unreleased 1994-1999” CDR that Audio Savant released in 2004.

I don’t care at this point. It just reminded me of one of the very rare bad experiences I had in doing all of this music stuff.

Spookatorium Podcast

Posted in Projects with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by scottsplatter

Prof. Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium is a podcast I do that has produced 26 episodes in the last 3 years or so. I didn’t do any shows at all this past year, but I never officially canceled it. I had intended to do another Halloween episode this year, which would have been the 4th annual, and then hopefully revive it in some form going forward. Now it’s Devil’s Night (hello Detroit!!) and I don’t have anything ready. So, here are the last three years worth of Halloween episodes for you to check out should you be so inclined instead.

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 007 – 2006

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 017 – 2007

Professor Gruntsplatter’s Spookatorium 026 – 2008

If there is any real interest, and I can make the time, I would like to continue the show in some form. It’s fun to do, obligations and other interests just sort of moved it to the back burner and the next thing I knew a year had passed. All of the past shows are still online through the link above so feel free to check those out too.

Cinder Skin

Posted in Projects, Rumination with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by scottsplatter

It occurred to me I probably haven’t posted about music as much as I should. So, here is a long story that ends with some MP3’s of a demo few heard.

Cinder Skin was the first solo project I did.

I had a project in Michigan called Grinch with my brother in arms, Marty Rytkonen (Worm Gear, Bindrune, Charnel Valley etc…) for a few years. There was no drummer, towards the end Bob Green (now creating Alien Devices) joined up on drum machine. Grinch wasn’t a band really, but it was all we had in Northern Michigan in the late 8o’s. I left Michigan in 1991 headed for San Diego. Once there I tried to get into a couple of band situations. Here’s my favorite of those stories…

This guy would come into the record store I worked at talking up a bunch of  songs he needed bass and vocals for. Bass and vocals were what I did. He assured me the influences of bands like Godflesh, Voivod, Neurosis, Scorn (that I was mentioning to him) had been woven by their deft hands into Obituary, Morbid Angel etc.  style Death Metal. I was skeptical.  His enthusiasm and an actual a drummer eventually convinced me to give it a go.

When I showed up for my first and only practice, the drums were in the bedroom closet, the guitar amp was on one side of the bed, and I set my amp up on the other. I think the mic was plugged into a Peavy Audition. The guitarist and drummer launched into their repertoire enthusiastic that I might be the last piece of the puzzle. Each of the 8 or so songs they played sounded exactly like Bad Religion. Crap.

We practiced a couple tracks and I tried to get some vocals arranged. The call to break out the boom box and record was sounded. The room was too small to record and not have it sound like Incapacitants. So they opened the bedroom window and set the boom box on the hood of the car in the driveway. One of the resident girlfriends was tasked with hitting record when we were ready to bring the hammer down!

I wish I had a copy of that tape but alas the magic captured on that day has been dispersed in the ether.

That was the last straw for me, and I decided to go it alone. I bought a 4 track, sequestered myself in my sweatbox studio apartment, tried to figure out gear I had no idea how to use and started writing. At the same time I also started experimenting with noise and found sounds. This was in 1993 I believe. The first track I recorded (Memory Scars) I used a toolbox,  a plastic pitcher and some other crap from around the house for drums. It sort of works, but I decided I needed to shell out for a drum machine. I bought an Alesis SR-16 from this guy and set to figuring it out. I got a couple of tracks recorded with it before it crapped out on me.

Some of those tracks ended up on the first Gruntsplatter release, and “Irritation Hive” ended up on the Cinder Skin release. While I was trying to save up the cash for a second drum machine I continued to work on the experimental stuff figuring I would mix the noise tracks in with the “regular” tracks. I ended up with more noise tracks and Gruntsplatter was born. The first Gruntsplatter release came out in 1995 and was made up of stuff recorded either originally for Cinder Skin or during the down time between drum machines.

I scraped together the money for a Boss DR-5 which I chose because it some synth sounds. I continued to work on Gruntsplatter but also needed to finish this Cinder Skin project. In 1996, 3 years after it started, it was released on cassette. The original mixes of the tracks sound better than what ended up on the tape. It was mastered by someone whom I found out later mostly worked with church groups on spoken word recordings and aspiring mariachi bands. He muddied it up real good. I made him do it over, the second time was a little better, but at that point he was done with me. These MP3’s were taken from the release, the original masters are in a box somewhere. I tried to re-eq it a bit. So, culled from a 13 year old cassette that sat in a number of dank basements and miserably hot apartments over the years is the Cinder Skin “Sunken” demo.

cinder_sunkenCinder Skin – “Sunken” Demo

1)
Cadaver Man
2) Congeal
3) Memory Scars
4) Introspection
5) Blood Gutter I
6) Irritation Hive

There are some reviews on the Cinder Skin page I linked above. I still have a bunch of these tapes, without covers. They are sitting in my dank basement.

I always intended to come back to do something in this vein with proper equipment.  It never happened. I’m finally going to have a my studio set up again in the next few weeks as the wife and I are moving to some place with more room. It will be the first time I’ve had my full studio set up since I finished “The Aberrant Laboratory” that Gruntsplatter released on Dark Vinyl in 2006.  So who knows…

The Unacceptable Face of Freedom

Posted in Recommendation with tags , , on May 25, 2009 by scottsplatter

As I mentioned before I’ve been ripping old vinyl and cassettes into the computer. In doing so I rediscovered Test Dept.’s 1986 release The Unacceptable Face of Freedom. What a great fucking record this is. They aren’t a band that I ever delved that deeply into, I have this and Pax Britannica. Pax Britanica is good, but The Unacceptable Face… is outstanding. I am going to need to take another look at this project.

Heavy percussion, clattering factory atmospheres, urgent beats, and pissed off political lyrics delivered with passion and intensity. The whole presentation feels authentic, and the execution is spot on. If you are a fan of the “old school” Industrial music sound, this record is among the best of that era for my money.

The video includes interview and live footage. The quality is pretty much crap, but it’s still worth a look.