Tropic of Cancer announces new EP for Blackest Ever Black, shares track at NPR

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Stop Suffering is the new EP from Tropic of Cancer, due to be released on 12″ vinyl and digital formats on October 30, 2015.

It’s the first music to emerge from Camella Lobo’s project since the 2013 debut album, Restless Idylls, and features three new songs – ‘Stop Suffering’, ‘I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over’ and ‘When The Dog Bites’ – written and recorded by Lobo in LA, with additional production and mixing from Joshua Eustis (Sons of Magdalene, Telefon Tel Aviv).

 

Lobo’s deeply romantic, fatalistic music has always luxuriated in sadness, and that isn’t about to change: themes addressed on Stop Suffering include, she tells us, “disappointing yourself and others…burning your own house down…temporary feelings with permanent consequences.” It is music steeped in pain and regret, certainly, but unlike TOC music of old, these new songs feel less about surrender: even if the title track does seem to address the S-M dynamic at the heart of any meaningful relationship (“For you the world feels so brand new / When you cut me like you do”). On the contrary, they are self-possessed and constructive, even confrontational, embodying the stark command of the EP’s title. This is not a record about loss, but about what comes after: and it is mature enough to know that what comes after is no walk in the park. Lobo identifies the idea of “self-help” as being particularly pertinent to these songs, and this comes across: rebirth, redefining the borders of the self, learning to be happy again. Gone, or at least receding, is that decadent, fin-de-siècle preoccupation with decay, with the end. Stop Suffering is a new beginning.

The towering, time-stopping title track is the culmination of Tropic of Cancer’s work to date, and sets the tone for the entire EP. This is music at once intimate and immense. Rarely does an arrangement so sparse exhibit such grandeur: Joshua Eustis’s bravura mixing wrings spine-melting effect out of each component, and the dubwise harnessing of space and bass pressure first showcased on Restless Idylls is now a core, defining feature of the band. Lobo’s melodic gift has always been strong, but the hypnotic, monochord intensity that characterised TOC’s previous records gives way here to a more concrete song-narrative – which serves only to heighten the sensation of drowned-world psychedelia. Her divine alto still swims in reverb, but the words are clearer, there’s a resolve to communicate through the aqueous haze: “I hope you’ll forgive me…”

‘I Woke Up And The Storm Was Over’, which appears here in a slightly different mix to that which opens the vinyl-only Blackest Ever Black compilation I Can’t Give You The Life You Want, is no less mesmerising, further highlighting Lobo’s ever more sophisticated, painterly use of synth textures, not to mention her unmistakably plangent, otherworldly guitar work. She has spent a considerable amount of time crafting these songs, and it shows: for all that we cherish her earlier work, never has Tropic of Cancer sounded so poised, so assured, or so moving as it does today. The EP concludes with the elegiac, frozen-space ambience of ‘When The Dog Bites’; Lobo’s vocal is a radiant blur, consoling across a void of lonesome string-pads, vaporous noise and distant, tranquilized bass-drum detonations.

“I’ve searched all the world,” Lobo sings on ‘I Woke Up…’, “And it turns out I want all the world.” With Tropic of Cancer it always comes back to longing: for the impossible, the irretrievable, the un-requitable.


Tropic of Cancer will be touring Europe this Autumn, including a performance at the Five Wretched Years Of Blackest Ever Black event at Berghain in Berlin on October 30, 2015 (alongside Raime, Prurient and more). The full list of dates as it stands is copied below, with many more to be added in the coming weeks.

Stop Suffering coincides with another Tropic of Cancer release on Blackest Ever Black, Archive: The Downwards Singles (BLACKEST041).

 

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Blackest Ever Black announces 10″ single for Six Six Seconds, stream A-side now

A very necessary stand-alone release for Six Six Seconds’ ‘Tearing Down Heaven’, which originally appeared on the 2012 Downwards compilation So Click Heels.

Written and performed in Berlin by the elusive Eden, and deftly recorded and mixed by Karl O’Connor, ‘Tearing’ was the comp’s stand-out: a piece of drugged, darkly rapturous dream-pop in which the abyssal swoon of shoegaze meets a harsher, more pernicious order of psychedelic rock minimalism.

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Barnett + Coloccia announces “Weld” LP for Blackest Ever Black, stream a track now!

Faith Coloccia and Alex Barnett return to Blackest Ever Black with their second duo album, Weld. Working with synthesizers, affected vocals, raw electrical noise, field recordings, EVP techniques, tape manipulation and drum machines, Barnett + Coloccia’s special facility with the interpenetrating mechanisms of time, space and tone yields a music at once lucid and mystic.

The songs on Weld embody a series of experiential philosophies and objectives: searching for the sacred in the forgotten and supposedly useless; exploring the meaning of “natural”; listening for the pulse of the ancient; using technology both to materialise memory and to dream a folklore for a future age.

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Jac Berrocal, David Fenech, Vincent Epplay announce LP for Blackest Ever Black

Antigravity is a new trio album from legendary trumpeter Jac Berrocal and two fellow travellers in the French avant-garde, David Fenech and Vincent Epplay.

A lugubrious mise-en-scène in which ice-cold outlaw jazz meets musique concrète, DIY whimsy and dubwise studio science, all watched over by the lost souls and hungry ghosts of rock ‘n roll.

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Blackest Ever Black announces 2×12″ for Killing Sound (members of the Young Echo collective)

 

 

 

“There’s only one way of escape that I’ve ever discovered, and needless to say I haven’t forgotten that. So now I wave my arm frantically at a passing taxi, fall inside, and tell the man to drive to the old address.” 

Oblique soundsystem murderers from Killing Sound, the trio of Amos Childs (Jabu, Zhou), Seb Gainsborough (Vessel) and Sam Kidel (El Kid).

Members of Bristol’s noted Young Echo collective, Killing Sound make their full recorded debut on this self-titled 2×12″, its four tracks cut obnoxiously loud across four sides by Matt Colton at Alchemy, London.

 

Blackest Ever Black announces Weekend “The ’81 Demos” (ex-Young Marble Giants)

 

Blackest Ever Black is pleased to present the first vinyl edition of the legendary demos recorded in 1981 by Weekend – the trio of Alison Statton, Spike Williams and Simon Booth.

Alison Statton began her recording career with Philip and Stuart Moxham in Young Marble Giants, one of the most unique and important bands to come out of the UK post-punk/independent scene. YMGs dissolved in 1981, at which point Statton began writing with Wrexham native Mark ‘Spike’ Williams, one of the brains behind Z Block Records and a member of the band Reptile Ranch. They joined forces with guitarist Simon Booth to form Weekend, and recorded the exquisite demo versions of ‘Drumbeat’ (later titled ‘Drumbeat For Baby’), ‘Red Planes’, ‘Nostalgia’ and ‘Summerdays’ that are collected on this new 12″.

 

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Blackest Ever Black announces LP for Stefan Jaworzyn (Skullflower, Whitehouse)

Drained Of Connotation is a collection of synth improvisations recorded by Stefan Jaworzyn in 1982, recently rediscovered by the artist when trawling his cassette archive for the 2013 Skullflower KINO reissue/compilation series.

Writer, musician and misanthrope Jaworzyn was a notorious and energetic presence in the UK underground of the 1980s and ’90s. Following a brief stint in Whitehouse, in ’86 he formed Skullflower with Matthew Bower and remained the band’s guitarist for four years, playing on Birthdeath (1988), Form Destroyer (1989) and Xaman (1990), among others. In 1990 he established the Shock label, which, like the annual Shock Around The Clock film festival, grew out of Shock Xpress – the seminal, vigorously outspoken horror/exploitation zine edited by Jaworzyn for most of its lifespan. Shock Records was a resounding boot to the arse of the narrow-minded, welcoming artists as disparate as Lol Coxhill, Coil, Drunks With Guns, The Dead C and Ramleh into its fold.

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Secret Boyfriend shares new track + interview, LP out 12/9 on Blackest Ever Black

Blackest Ever Black’s last release of 2013 comes from Secret Boyfriend, the solo project of North Carolina’s Ryan Martin, who is also one half of Boyzone (not that Boyzone, more’s the pity) and founder of the Hot Releases label – a catholic endeavour that has seen him release records from the cream of the contemporary N.C. underground as well as reissuing classic sides by the likes of Maurizio Bianchi, Ghedalia Tazartes and Ashrae Fax.

To date, Secret Boyfriend’s presence has been felt largely in the shape of live performances and short-run cassette releases (among them Carved At Birth, Furnishing The Void and Skin On The Clock), as well as vinyl splits with Russian Tsarlag and Horaflora. This Is Always Where You’ve Lived is SB’s first LP release and unquestionably his most potent, fully realised work to date.
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Dickon Hinchliffe’s score for Red Riding: 1980 out next week on Blackest Ever Black!

Blackest Ever Black presents the first vinyl edition of Dickon Hinchliffe’s original score for 1980 – the second part of Channel 4 and Revolution Films’ Red Riding trilogy, adapted by Tony Grisoni from David Peace’s quartet of novels and first screened in 2009. The 20th release on Blackest Ever Black, it represents a spiritual and geographical homecoming for the Yorkshire-born label.

Each film in the Red Riding trilogy, a landmark achievement in British television history, was helmed by a different director and had its own distinctive look, sound and feel. While Julian Jarrold’s 1977 and Anand Tucker’s 1983 were both marvellous, well-rounded pictures, James Marsh’s 1980 – photographed by Igor Martinovic on 35mm – somehow seemed to hit harder, penetrate deeper, and linger longer and more vividly in the memory.
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