Tuesday, May 23, 2017

A.J. Kaufmann - "r'/,f"

Released under my own name by the Poznan, Poland Labela label in late 2016 (mini CD-R) and early 2017 (digital). This is the digital version, which contains different tracks than those found on the mini CD-R release (and listed on the cover)... check out both versions on Labela's website. This is the rare instance where brutalist rock was released under my own name. Here's a recent addition to the brutalist rock blog then...

"Album r'/,f is a mixture of different pigments. There are heavy, motoric and dark compositions where distorted guitar, featured voice and percussion automata appear. It contains relations to aesthetics of noise of such groups as Butthole Surfers, Black Flag and also reminiscents of Primus. Aside of it there are discernible inspirations of kraut rock and space rock and among them is a tribute to Hawkwind. Compositions have strong potential to become hits despite their cruelty."


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Brain Salad Underground - "X"

"X" tells the tale of the titular rock star/serial killer. Outer and inner observations plus mind improv drifts off. Set simultaneously in 1920s and 2020s.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

What is, and how to consume brutalist rock.

"Brutalist rock" has its rock roots in the music of MC5, Blue Cheer, Hawkwind, Amon Duul II, Black Sabbath, Iron Butterfly, and Budgie. This was the music I listened to most often when I was in high school. Later on the influences expanded into krautrock, bands like Eloy or Novalis, but it never showed in the sounds I played (back then with punk bands) which was always on the noise rock side of things - because around the time when I graduated high school, I discovered Butthole Surfers, Einsturzende Neubauten, Notorische Reflexe, Throbbing Gristle, Swans, and Sonic Youth. Not to forget the philosophical influence of Conrad Schnitzler, or the machine musik of Kraftwerk, which shows in the rare electronic moments on Mirphak/Brain Salad Underground albums, and prominently on the Doctor Cosmonaut side project, or less so on The White Foreigner's compilation albums of outtakes and unused ideas for both brutalist rock projects. The first song I ever wrote was "Flower in Asphalt". I was 13 back then. Here's the latest version of the tune, as recorded for a Mirphak album.

Writers and poets also influence this little enterprise, as I started writing and publishing poetry back in 2008, and writing/reading it for many years has definitely had an impact on my life, also as a musician. (Everyone is a musician)

The Velvet Underground, The Stooges, and Can were also important sonic reducers, but also cheap pop LPs from the 70s which I bought from budget bins in my local store.

As the years gone by, I decided to dust off my earliest rock songs, and record them for "Hall of the Menthol Chill", a solo album of mine, released on May 9 2015. I count this album as the beginning of my brutalist rock adventure, because around the time I was recording it, I got influenced by brutalist architecture, and my musical tastes and inspirations got so wide by then, that it is now impossible to name check direct or indirect inspirations. Everything is music, and music is architecture, in this case - brutalist architecture.

As a kid raised in a Polish high rise block
, I found it natural to merge classic hard rock/heavy rock, with industrial, psychedelia, sometimes dub production, punk and noise rock into a blend of styles that I like to describe as "brutalist rock", or "psychedelic noise rock", or "smog rock". This is big city music with a nostalgia for calm village living, with often funny cliche rock lyrics, or sometimes psychedelic visions, noisy, heavy and fun to record. I only regret it's so hard to reproduce this sound live for me, as I am sure this music would work great in concert environment.

The best, and fun way, to describe my brutalist rock music, would be "Hawkwind meets Ramones and together they decide to molest Kraftwerk's drum machines while nobody's watching."
I also dig and use atonal solos, both as total artistic freedom of expression, and a parody of stadion rock/speedy guitarillos pomp wank soloing which hardly makes sense. This is anti-guitar at its best.

I hope you enjoy a glimpse of my brutalist rock world. It currently resolves around four projects - main "bands" - Mirphak, and Brain Salad Underground, kosmische pop/machine musik of Doctor Cosmonaut, and vast archives of the eternally travelling White Foreigner. It is best to consume brutalist rock on headphones, being high. Last floor of your nearest high rise block would be high enough.

http://ajkaufmann.bandcamp.com (this site also includes my solo material and other projects...)

The new Brain Salad Underground album, titled "X" (as it is the 10th album by this project) will be released sometime in June.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mirphak - "Regret"

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Brain Salad Underground - "Haj School"

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mirphak - "MRAU"

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mirphak - "Mir"