Cryogenic Husk #28 - Mike Hill re-soundtracks the horror classic ‘Alien’

We’re not sure how much of our audience is new these days and how many stalwarts have ridden the highs and lows with us throughout the last two or three years. In order to provide the least confusion possible we may sound like we’re repeating ourselves, but it’s all for the sake of not leaving the newcomers in a state of confusion.

Why we’re mentioning this is because we’re excited to post a guest mixtape that follows a very unique theme: re-soundtracking.

This is where we have a musician or artist select a movie and then ask what THEY would have selected as the movie’s accompanying soundtrack. One of our favorites was guitarist/vocalist Mike Hill, of the Brooklyn-based art/noir/metal band Tombs, as he provided his vision of the Ridley Scott horror classic ‘Alien’. It seemed appropriate for this to be the first one to dust off since the band will be releasing their highly anticipated new album this year.

Here, in his own words, is the how and why he created this mixtape:

"Ridley Scott’s 1979 interstellar, gothic horror masterpiece “Alien” is one of my favorite all time films. The movie has it all: brooding atmosphere, great cinematography, top notch acting and those creepy H.R. Giger creature designs. Hawkwind’s “Wind of Change” and Coil’s “Dark River” capture the feeling of cosmic isolation, of being in a deep suspended animation and suddenly brought back into the conscious world millions of light years from your home. What dreams they could have had, exploring the internal world of the mind. “Mercury” has an intense, frenetic energy that brings to mind creatures eating their way through the living host and entering the world in a wave of blood and violence. Tangerine Dream, in general makes me think of space travel, so “Alpha Centauri” provides a nice backing track as horror unfolds on an inter-galactic voyage. “Wounds” by Godflesh and “Shiva” by Fields of the Nephilim are fairly self-explanatory with Wound being inflicted by Shiva, the Hindu Destroyer God. “Millstones” by Non and “God of Rapture” by Meshuggah sound great together and, to me at least conjure up images of fear and violence. “To Wander the Stars” by Krieg has more to do with the title in the context of the movie. The Alien race is a race of predators that wander the stars, spreading their progeny across the universe, destroying life. For years, the Front 242 song “Sacrifice” has made me think about the movie Alien, so now I finally have an opportunity to include it in this mixtape. “Those Slimy Things” by Leviathan and “Minions” by Lurker of Chalice create a desperate vibe of impending death, which I’m sure would be the emotion of the day for a crew of space travelers being systematically destroyed by a nearly invincible Alien Killing Machine.”

-Mike Hill

                    Cryogenic Husk #28 - Mike Hill (Tombs) Mixtape For Alien

1) Hawkwind - Wind Of Change

2) Coil - Dark River

3) Voivod - Mercury

4) Tangerine Dream - Alpha Centauri

5) Godflesh - Wounds

6) Fields Of The Nephilim - Shiva

7) Non - Millstones (Featuring Death In June)

8) Meshuggah - Gods Of Rapture

9) Krieg - To Wander The Stars

10) Front 242 - Sacrifice

11) Leviathan - Those Slimy Things

12) Lurker Of Chalice - Minions

                                                      

Deep Dark Jungle

We’ve always been enamored with the jungle. The dark, deep remote areas that that are untouched by (or even unaware of) civilization. Perhaps you could chalk it up to the forays of Indiana Jones and other “adventures-into-the-unknown” influencing a young person’s imagination, but whatever the case, the jungle seems otherworldly and amazing. This mix tried to capture, and at the same time recount, those same youthful feelings – the mystique, the danger, the allure, and the exotic unknown. As countless novels and cinema have shown, while any protagonist stares with wonderment at the jungle, so, too, does the jungle stare back into the observer (eat your heart out Nietzsche)… 

To us, though, the idea was not to just simply create a mix that’s ambient or ethnic or droning. To be blunt, that’s too boring. The jungle is engaging. So there’s a myriad of sounds ranging from electronic, jazz, trip-hop, noise-scapes and more to take you through the spectrum of colors and pacing the jungle offers. There’s the feeling of curious fascination, dark beauty, danger, inner-peace, and intuition that takes the listener from being an observer of nature to a point of being at one with nature. This mix isn’t what the jungle SOUNDS like, as much as what the jungle FEELS like.

The tracklisting is below, but if you’re feeling adventurous, we suggest you let our track-by-track summary lead you like a Choose Your Own Adventure story (except we’re the ones doing the choosing)

                                Cryogenic Husk #6 - Deep Dark Jungle

1 Alluring drapery pulled aside. Enter.

2 Approaching indigenous tribe. Chase ensues/narrow escape.

3 Round the bend. Gentle river. Sunshine breaks through.

4 Foliage begins to thicken. Nature speaks.

5 Deeper and darker.

6 Mystery. Things are not what they seem.

7 Fascination and wonder.

8 Tranquil floating under the stars.

9 Insects buzz.

10 Hazy morning comes. Wildlife awaken.

11 The Jungle’s heart beats.

12 The Forest pulses in rhythm.

13 Flora and Fauna call out.

14 Uneasiness. Prying eyes. The tribe has caught up.

15 Flight from death.

16 Dream? Reality? Daytime fantasy?

Amon Tobin - Searchers

Neurosis - Emergence

Boards Of Canada - Wildlife Analysis

Future Sound Of London - My Kingdom

Massive Attack - Angel

Cult Of Luna - Osterbotten

Portishead - Hunter

Black Sabbath - Planet Caravan

Isis - Wavering Radiant

10 Midnight Juggernauts - Fantastic Valleys

11 Aphex Twin - Triachus (Mix By Aphex Twin)

12 Candiria - Advancing Positions

13 Boards The Canada - Opening The Mouth

14 Neurosis - Flood

15 Danny Elfman - Main Titles (Planet Of The Apes)

16 Disneyland - Adventureland

Cryogenic Husk #15 Egyptology

In case you were paying attention to our Facebook page last weekend (www.facebook.com/cryogenichusk), you might have noticed that in 2014 we will be not just posting our unique mixtapes, but also playing some of them live and impromptu on the airwaves/interwebs via KWCW 90.5 FM (http://kwcwradio.tumblr.com/). Make sure you set you reminders for every Monday 7pm-8pm (PST)

The first broadcast spliced our fav tracks of 2013 (see previous post) with our ‘Egyptology’ mixtape from back in the day.

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Our epic meltdown of 2012 lost all of our posts, but fortunately not the mixtapes. However, it is rather depressing and laborious to try to re-write the original post. Here goes: this mixtape tried to recreate the sound, vision and vibe of Egypt and the desert… but it tries to do this via linking very disparate musical entities and genres (ie. industrial, ethno-ambient, metal, electronic, etc.), hence, the fun listening experience, no? Vast expanse of sand, isolation, exotic cultures, flora and fauna… sounds like fun, right? Here’s the link and below is the track listing. Listen and enjoy

                                        Cryogenic Husk #15 - Egyptology

1) Nile - Dusk Falls Upon The Temple Of The Serpent On The Mount Of Sunrise

2) Trial Of The Bow - Father of the Flower

3) Einstürzende Neubauten - Zentrifuge

4) Ulver - Let The Children Go

5) Dead Can Dance - Cantara

6) Karl Sanders - Curse The Sun

7) Trial Of The Bow - From The Mountains Of Tangier

8) Aphex Twin - Journey (Aphex Twin Care Mix)

9) Nile - The Infinity Of Stone

10) Dark Castle - Spirited Migration

11) Amon Tobin - Theme From Battery

12) Nile - Libation Unto the Shades Who Lurk in the Shadows of the Temple of Anhur

13) Karl Sanders - Awaiting the Vultures

14) The Blood Of Heroes - Wounds Against Wounds (Gunshae’s Sunset Over English Bay Remix)

15) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Night Fight

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Best of 2013

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Letting go of the past, embracing the now.

It’d be easy to treat 2013 like a punching bag and throw verbal assaults, lash angry blame, and for all intents and purposes treat it like a scapegoat for any disappointment experienced in the year. However, we’d rather let it go and emphasize the great things that happened.

As for Cryogenic Husk, when we first started, we pumped out 70 unique mixtapes in our first year and a half to two years. That’s almost consistently a new mixtape every week - considering how many blogs are flash-in-the-pan then gone or terribly inconsistent, it was a point of pride to continually put out high quality stuff. (Cue the ominous foreshadowing music…) Then in 2013, we dropped off dramatically. There was barely a pulse. We’re sure there are a myriad of reasons, but like mentioned above, let’s focus on the good stuff: we’re still here and will be so more often.

That being said, here is our Year-End list. Twenty albums (and some honorable mentions), that helped make this year a good ‘un for music (in alphabetical order, picking the best of our favs is just too demanding):

  1. All Pigs Must Die - Nothing Violates This Nature
  2. Arcade Fire - Reflektor
  3. Batillus - Concrete Sustain
  4. Beastmilk - Climax
  5. Blockheads - This World Is Dead
  6. Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty
  7. Cold Cave - All their 2013 EPs
  8. Depeche Mode - Delta Machine
  9. In Solitude - Sister
  10. Lust For Youth - Perfect View
  11. A Memoria Brooded - The Human LP
  12. Midnight Juggernauts - Uncanny Valley 
  13. My Bloody Valentine - m b v
  14. Nails - Abandon All Life
  15. Nine Inch Nails - Hesitation Marks
  16. Tropic Of Cancer - Restless Idylls
  17. Unkind - Pelon Juuret
  18. Wavves - Afraid Of Heights
  19. Weekend - Jinx
  20. Weekend Nachos - Still

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We honestly think 2013 trumped 2012 in terms of quality releases that came out. Maybe “trumped” is a bit excessive… 2012 was no slouch, but looking back on our “Best Of” list from then, this past year’s music seemed to impress us more, we didn’t have to sit with something and look deeper/seek out the musical highlights. 2013 had records that delivered more when we wanted them to, and surprised us more when we least were expecting it.

Here’s our mixtape selecting a song from each of the above albums (the flow ebbs from more harmonious to dissonance as you work your way through the 20 songs). Please read further below for some honorable mentions. Cheers!

                                 Cryogenic Husk #75 - Best of 2013

1) Nine Inch Nails - Copy Of A (After a very inconsistent last six or so years of noodling around with various ideas, to various degrees of success, NIN return with a stellar album with points all over the sonic spectrum and great songs)

2) Midnight Juggernauts - Memorium (This dance/pop rock Australian trio topped our 2010 list with their last album, The Crystal Axis, so expectations were high for this one… It mostly delivers, taking a more even keeled approach, aka fewer peaks and valleys, and a little darker mood overall)

3) Arcade Fire - Afterlife (There’s too much analyzing Arcade Fire’s sound or even their significance in music and pop culture. It’s good creative rock/pop, period. Maybe there’s an “indie” component because they have a creative flair or experimental tendency that falls outside the mainstream’s comfort zone, but whatever the case, they deserve all the success that’s come to them)

4) Lust For Youth - Another Day (Repetitive, lo-fi, synth-loving electronic tunes with droney vocals. Lots of layers and warbling effects help get you lost in the swirl, although this track is probably his most straight forward) 

5) Tropic Of Cancer - More Alone (Speaking of repetitive… Tropic Of Cancer excels at this quality. Minimal electronic tunes where some post-punk bleakness comes to surface, making for great melancholy morning-afters)

6) Depeche Mode - Slow (Having released this record very early in 2013 was a good thing because this record is a grower. It may not have the dance energy of some of their more well-known songs, but it pacts amazing song-writing and emotion, think; Songs Of Faith And Devotion, into a colorful album)

7) Wavves - Demon To Lean On (This record is like MTV’s Buzzbin from the early/mid 90s all rolled into on - aka awesome. Like the PixiesNirvana et al jamming on some catchy, fuzzed-out alt-rockers that are melodic and catchy, yet driving and energetic)

8) Weekend - July (This duo has been on our radar, but never taken the full-plunge until a song from their previous EP was on a mixtape we checked out at the beginning of the year. They sound like alt-rock from the 80s, think Echo And The BunnymenJesus And The Mary Chain, etc., good stuff)  

9) Cold Cave - Oceans With No End (Alright, so Cold Cave didn’t release a proper album in 2013, but they - aka “him”, Wes Eisold - did put out a number of singles and EPs, so we’re gonna count it. Electro/pop rock with just enough fuzz and attitude to make it stick)

10) Chelsea Wolfe - Reins (Oof! Chelsea Wolfe is queen. Amazing vocals. Haunting. Equal parts goth, acoustic, electronic, experimental, operatic. This album has no bad songs or duds with plenty of variety compared to her past output)

11) My Bloody Valentine - In Another Way (Shoegaze veterans pull it off. Is it as good as Loveless? No. But it’s still amazing. Love the last few minutes of this particular song where they just repeatedly rock out the last hypnotic riff over and over with all the dense layers of noise.

12) Beastmilk - Death Reflects Us (This was a late addition to the list, but we’re glad it made the cut. These Finns make superb post-punk, death-rock with catchy as hell choruses)

13) In Solitude - A Buried Sun (Front to back, amazing album of vintage metal. Not a bad song. Add a generous sheen of darkness, the occult and esoterics only helps to ensure repeated listens from us)

14) Blockheads - Already Slaves (Punishing grind from France. Came out early in 2013 but was a consistent listen for us throughout the year. The drummer is inhuman, and needs no help of triggers or sound-replacers. This song is the best grind song of 2013 - bar none, and there was some GOOD grind this year)

15) Unkind - Olemisen Pelko (Last year we were let down by Tragedy’s album, Darker Days Ahead. Maybe that’s why Unkind, from Finland, blew us away: by beating Tragedy at the game of dark, melodic, hardcore, crust, punk)

16) Weekend Nachos - Sickened No More (Pissed as hell, grinding, metallic hardcore that will call out anyone and everything. When we were angry and wanting to melt people’s faces, we turned this album on)

17) Batillus - Concrete (It might seem biased to include the band that was the first of our ongoing concert promoting endeavors we started this year, but seriously, this Brooklyn band is helping progress the sludgy/doomy scenes by injecting noisy industrialisms into the mix with great results)

18) Nails - Absolute Control (The angriest record released in 2013, no question. Grinding, metallic hardcore that is heavy on the grind and the HM-2 pedal. The production needs to be mentioned because every note, beat and yell is so unrelentingly caustic it’s no surprise their mantra is ‘Hatred Ad Infinitum’)

19) All Pigs Must Die - Silencer (It’s always a little dicey when describing bands in the metal/hardcore realm as though it’s a continuum with “metal” at one end and “hardcore” at the other. ‘Metallic Hardcore’ is predominantly hardcore with metal influences, but what’s the opposite? Any answer we come up with sounds too cheesy to repeat, but we’re glad that All Pigs Must Die exist to show what it sounds like: metal, all kinds from all areas, with hardcore’s grit and heft, both dripping with darkness)

20) A Memoria Brooded - Human (Here’s the one guilty pleasure. With guitars tuned down impossibly low to the setting of “electrified thick steel cables”, and breakdowns replacing verses within a song, this is, in a word, HEAVY)

Honorable Mentions:

  • Boards of Canada - Tomorrow’s Harvest
  • Cult Of Luna - Vertikal
  • Cut Copy - Free Your Mind
  • Disfiguring The Goddess - Black Earth Child and Deprive
  • Ghost - Infestissumam
  • Hessian - Mánégarmr
  • Inter Arma - Sky Burial
  • Inquisition - Obscure Verses for the Multiverse
  • Mammoth Grinder - Underworlds
  • Vhol - Vhol
  • Statiqbloom - Mask Visions Poison (EP)
  • True Widow - Circumambulation

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Cryogenic Husk featured on Miranda Colors Free radio show

Black Halloween

I love this time of the year. Nature turns a darker shade (when not morphing into vibrant colors). And Halloween is right around the corner.

I’ve pieced together some of my favorite intros, instrumentals, and segues from various black metal records to celebrate the time of the year (along with a couple songs from soundtracks). The result is spooky, dark, and-even though I should be grim and kvlt cause we’re talking black metal here-also a little fun.

                              Cryogenic Husk #40 - Black Halloween

  1. Dimmu Borgir - Xibir
  2. Cradle Of Filth - Creatures That Kissed In Cold Mirrors
  3. Hecate Enthroned - At The Haunted Gallows Of Dawn
  4. Danny Elfman - Introduction (Sleepy Hollow)
  5. Cradle Of Filth - Once Upon Atrocity
  6. Marduk - The ppearance of Spirits of Darkness
  7. Dimmu Borgir - Eradication Instincts Defined (Orchestral Version)
  8. Bathory - Odens Ride Over Nordland
  9. With Passion - The Scorpions Dance
  10. Deathspell Omega - Obombration
  11. Bram Stoker’s Dracula - The Beginning (Wojciech Killar)
  12. Dimmu Borgir - The Demiurge Molecule (Orchestral Version)
  13. Hecate Enthroned - Witch Queen Ascending
  14. Paradise Lost - Desolate

What are your favorite Halloween songs?

Southwestern Isolation Vol. V

In “The Great Fire of 2012” (our attempt to mythologize our clean-slate/new site) a lot of great stuff was lost. One mixtape, which eventually turned into a series we’re very fond of, was one such casualty.

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It was called Southwestern Isolation. It attempted to provide the musical counterpart to dry, dusty, Cormac McCarthy landscapes of the old southwest. The kind of scenario where living was dirty, tough and often times solitary… I think this King Dude video does a good job of capturing some elements of the Southwestern Isolation concept:

Coincidently, King Dude was the second of concerts we’ve booked this year, and we couldn’t be happier to have brought his dark, brooding, and-somehow-uplifting apocalyptic folk/occult americana sounds to Walla Walla on Sept. 16th.

…But we digress. Here is our fifth installment of Southwestern Isolation. We hope you enjoy. 

                 Cryogenic Husk #73 - Southwestern Isolation Vol. V

  1. King Dude - Eternal Night
  2. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - End Crawl
  3. Inter Arma - The Long Road Home (Iron Gate)
  4. Of The Wand And The Moon - Absence
  5. ARRM - Sand
  6. Johnny Cash - Redemption
  7. Dead Man’s Bones - Intro
  8. Barn Owl - The Long Shadow
  9. Robert Johnson - Phonograph Blues
  10. Headdress - Skydye
  11. Chelsea Wolfe - Flatlands
  12. Woven Hand - Tin Finger
  13. The Dead Weather - Rocking Horse

If there’s any requests or inquiries for the previous volumes we’ll probably make those available as well. Although Cryogenic Husk’s initial site went down, we’ve backed up all the mixes (pat on the back/good job us). Cheers.

Circus Gypsy Opera

My sister is full of great ideas. She gets credit for suggesting the “Southwestern Isolation” mixtapes (which will see its fifth installment in a week or two), one of our favorite themes.

A while back she had another great idea, one that sought to meld the qualities and imaginary wonder of gypsy frivolity, circus performance and operatic surrealism. It was a challenge. Below is the letter I sent her, which went along with the mixtape, to outline its aim and background.

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"I’m so excited to give this to you! This is YOUR mix tape. The idea you had oh-so-long ago: a merging of two worlds, of gypsy gaiety and backstage opera wonder. This mix tape was a challenge for me to do, here’s why: The scope and breadth of light and color and energy can be so all over the place. From whimsical to dramatic, beauty to curiosity, profoundly moving to mundane playfulness. I don’t feel it would be representative of your idea to just focus on one aspect of it (ie. the heartfelt side or the slightly fun gypsy side), so the challenge was to showcase the pendulum swinging from one side to the other, going from pomp liveliness to awe-inspiring majesty… In this way, I feel like the mix tape probably looks like a heartbeat on an EKG machine (lub-a-dub, lub-a-dub…) going from upbeat frivolity to glorious wonder. In fact, it makes me think of a dream… everything is so hyper-real and creative where you’re not sure if you’re seeing/hearing a performance, backstage AT a performance or IN the performance. I kind of like that concept - that "getting lost" idea where you’re not sure where true north is because you’re getting lost in the experience and it’s layers. It’s in these waves that you’ll hear the music ebb from playful to theatrical in two major movements over the course of the 14 songs (for the longest time I had just 13 songs, but something told me that a gypsy or bohemian would not be content with the number "13", and would see to make it a nice even collection of 14 songs). There are songs with singing, and there are purely instrumental songs - some use words (in various languages) and others are solely acapella. Some sounds are created organically and some blend in new world technology… but all of these things aim to create a scenario, a visual and a feeling. All art is an expression of the soul and with these songs I’m trying to capture various people in their craft expressing something otherworldly, or at least where the veil between worlds is so thin you can dance between them in a spectral fog of dreams. Seeing people create and perform is a marvelous thing and with these songs hopefully you feel transported to a place where magic is real."

Cryogenic Husk #71 - Circus Gypsy Opera

1) Miranda Sex Garden

2) Beats Antique - Bloody Bones

3) Crippled Black Phoenix - (What?)

4) Saint-Saens - Aquarium

5) Swans - Blood And Honey

6) This Mortal Coil - Waves Become Wings

7) Marissa Nadler - Game Of Thrones (Edited)

8) Beats Antique - Miss Levine

9) Stories from the Moon - Make It Stop Now, Please

10) Mr. Bungle - Chemical Marriage

11) Miranda Sex Garden - Willie Biddle and His Waltzing Maggot

12) Cranes - Green Song 7

13) Dead Can Dance - The Host Of Seraphim

14) Woodkid - Shadows

Cryogenic Husk #74 - Sofia Coppola

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Alone in a crowded room. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Sofia Coppola. Well, more specifically, that’s what I think a lot of her films deal with. The key characters all seem so isolated and detached, even in the company of others… Marie Antoinette, The Virgin Suicides, Somewhere, Lost In Translation… The films all provide the perfect backdrop: nostalgia, melancholy and longing, all interspersed amongst withering strands of hope. It makes complete sense that she cleverly cherry-picks specific songs from the 80s by the likes of The Jesus And Mary Chain, and The Cure, essentially the musical equivalent of those same feelings. Since she was born in ‘71 she was a perfectly aged adolescent to appreciate the sounds of the new romantics, post-punk, proto-goth and other new acts at the time peddling alternative sounds with emotional heft and their heart on their sleeve. Admittedly, I wasn’t earning my wings during this music scene’s first wave, but I have an older sister who was, and that typical sibling admiration definitely applied to musical taste as well. In any event, this is my ode to Sofia Coppola, an attempt to capture some of those same feelings and people her films embrace.

Cryogenic Husk #74 - Sofia Coppola

1) Black Marble - A Great Design

2) Asylum Party - Julia

3) Belong - Different Heart

4) Makeup And Vanity Set - Collapse

5) The Cure - Closedown

6) John Maus - Do Your Best

7) Tamaryn - Heavenly Bodies

8) My Bloody Valentine - New You

9) Boards Of Canada - Come To Dust

10) Trust - Candy Walls

11) Cold Cave - Youth And Lust

12) Be Forest - Wild Brain

Hosting our first show with one avant-metal’s rising stars! If you’re near Walla Walla, WA come to this show!

Hosting our first show with one avant-metal’s rising stars! If you’re near Walla Walla, WA come to this show!

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