Controlled Bleed “Perks Moonlight Perversion (Chvad SB Remix)”

INDUSTRIAL [r]EVOLUTION interviews Controlled Bleeding

Read the interview here:

Tech21 Boost R.V.B.

Reverb is a tough little monster to get “right” and we all know that “right” is subjective. There are reverbs that are space accurate and then reverbs that “just sound good.” The Tech21 Boost R.V.B. isn’t a reverb pedal that is seeking out to model “exact spaces” but it is a reverb that, in a very big way, sounds amazing.

The Boost R.V.B. features 6 knobs for controlling tone, two ¼” instrument jacks for input and output, a switch for turning the pedal on and off and an input for a DC power supply, and like most pedals, it can also be powered with the standard 9-volt battery. The switch is a buffered bypass switch that is easy to open and close and doesn’t create any kind of “pop” or “click” when engaging the signal. Although not a “true bypass” pedal the Boost R.V.B. doesn’t mute or adversely affect the guitar tone in any perceptible way (Tech 21 supplies an interesting document on pedal bypass types HERE).

The knob controls are all pretty standard for a reverb pedal like this, with flexible mix and EQ settings, but it’s worth making special mention of two of the knobs. One of them, “Feedback,” creates an internal feedback loop of the reverberated signal, and opens up tons of interesting effects. If pushed too far you can actually create a monstrous feedback signal that quickly spirals out of control. It’s an awesome feature that allows for some pretty imaginative applications and I like the fact that Tech21 didn’t limit the amount of feedback that could be applied, instead leaving that choice up to the consumer. It is an interesting option both for those seeking more tame and musical applications and for those with more experimental purposes in mind. The other control worthy of special mention is the “Level” knob, which is responsible for the “Boost” in the pedal’s name. The knob adjusts the overall volume of the pedal’s output, allowing you to cut through a mix for big solos, if you’re interested in using the pedal for that. Personally, I just keep the in/out level at unity but this extra flexibility may be helpful for some players.

Despite the fact that this is a mono pedal, it excels and creating the illusion of space. A lot of reverbs sound like a muted decaying white noise carrying a hint of tone… they’re cloudy, muddy and in general sound very poor to me. The Boost R.V.B. doesn’t suffer from these shortcomings. I tested several pedals in the sub-$200.00 price range for my purchase and the Tech21 Boost R.V.B., a solidly built pedal meant to last, was by far the most pleasing to my ears.

Review by; Chvad SB
Edited by; Lars Casteen

Rocktron Big Crush

The Rocktron Big Crush is a fairly standard compression pedal with a basic set of controls including output level, attack and sustain. It can run off of one 9-volt battery or an external power supply. If you are looking for a transparent noise free compression this does a pretty good job with that. There is a moderate amount of noise with the sustain pushed past 85% but a lot of that is dependent on the signal you are feeding into it. If you are looking for a compression with “character” this is not the pedal for you as it really is mostly transparent aside from the obvious restricted dynamics of the signal when the sustain is pushed. When bypassed there was no appreciable tone loss. Build-wise this pedal is an absolute tank as most Rocktron pedals tend to be. The jacks and switches are all surface mounted with metal nuts and the knobs are mounted on potentiometers with metal shafts. Even with abusive stomping I can’t imagine any of the components on this breaking anytime soon. The blue LED is annoyingly bright but it doesn’t leave any room for question regarding its power state… when it’s on IT’S ON.

-Chvad SB

Rocktron Hush, The Pedal

The Rocktron Hush pedal is a noise reduction pedal with a super simplistic design and if used for the right type of noise it can be pretty effective. The Hush pedal is not a noise gate so it shouldn’t be confused with one. Unlike a noise gate. the Hush doesn’t clamp down on noise around a specified threshold, it attempts to remove the actual noise from the signal with what I am assuming is some type of phase inversion. On slight humming or dirty pickups this is pretty effective. Using the threshold knob you can determine the amount of noise reduction applied and up to about 75% you can remove noise with little audible loss to the signal. Past 75% the is a definite loss in tone in higher frequencies. This pedal is best applied directly out of the guitar before any other pedals. The Hush sitting post-distortion is entirely ineffective. This won’t solve any grounding issues you may be having either. If you are suffering ground related hum look elsewhere. I get the feeling a lot of people look to this pedal for the wrong reasons and post some pretty negative stuff about it but for what this pedal is intended it does its job extremely well.

-Chvad SB

Real Traps Portable Vocal Booth

Room acoustics and audio treatment is a world unto itself… a world usually riddled with mathematic calculations, rocket science, and a strong dose of voodoo. For the sake of simplicity, article space, and personally sanity, I’m not going there. For most users, the important issues are simple things like “it works” and “it doesn’t work,” and I can say without any hesitation that Real Traps Portable Vocal Booth (PVB) works. It’s awesome. It works so well, I doubt I’ll ever stop using it. Really. It’s that cool.The PVB is a hinged two-panel device that attaches to a microphone stand and encloses around the mic while you are recording. It comes with an easy-to-use kit that sets up in seconds. The panels don’t attach permanently, so it can be removed and re-purposed fast and efficiently. This device is ideal for anyone recording in a space that is not acoustically treated, whether it’s a bedroom or a kitchen, or anything. Even in treated spaces, the PVB will have its uses, but in an untreated environment this is easily a “must have” item.

What this ISN’T is a sound isolation device. This will not prevent the neighbors from hearing you. This will not prevent you from hearing the neighbors. What it does, and does extremely well, is isolate room noise, so your recordings only pick up what you’re directing at the microphone, rather than reflections off the walls and other noise that can dirty-up recordings. I tested this out recording vocals and a guitar amplifier inside a horrible sounding apartment and the Portable Vocal Booth excelled in both cases. Room reverberations and echo were almost entirely absent and the recordings sounded tight and full-bodied.The PVB is not so cosmetically appealing, however. It is large, dense, and when attached to a microphone stand, it sits very close to your face. This wasn’t a problem for us while testing, but for people who don’t want to feel too closed in, especially if they have limited experience in the studio, use of the PVB may require some coaching. It also completely removes line-of-sight to anyone else in the room, so forget about visual cues. This is a minor issue considering how great the PVB can benefit the over sound of your recording, but the way that it changes your workflow is worth taking into account.Overall the PVB is built well, the microphone stand attachment is incredibly sturdy and the product surpassed any of my expectations in its abilities to keep unwanted room noise from recordings without having to shell out for full room treatment. Highly recommended.

Ibanez Time Machine, AD190

Analog Delay. The kind of you thing you just can’t understand until you have had your hands on one. These were eventually replaced by digital delays due to the digital delay having longer delay times and crisp exact delays with no signal loss. Then, like most things analog, people realized that the analog delay had a certain character that wasn’t easily replicated digitally and that both digital AND analog were cool and could co-exist with one another and all was good with the world.

The Ibanez Time Machine is a table top analog delay not easily fit into either a rack or a pedal board. I’m assuming Ibanez were thinking “on top of amp” would be a great place for these. It has one 1/4″ mono input jack, variable pad switch for the input signal, two 1/4″ mono outputs (dry plus delay and wet only), and seven pots controlling input level, tone, delay time, regeneration (feedback), blend and two for a flanger mode “width” and “speed”.

Here is what I have to say about the AD190 flanger mode. It has a switch. That switch turns on the flanger. The delay is bypassed when flanging. There are two knobs to fuck with the flange. I’m not a flanger fan so we will not be flanging today. That is all I will write about the flanger.

Delay. The BEST. EFFECT. EVER. MADE. It makes everything sounds better. EVERYTHING. If I could delay my late night chinese food delivery it might make that taste better. The “tone” knob on this does what you’d expect but the need for it ebbs and flows as the tone is also radically altered with “delay time” knob. The longer the delay time the darker the tone gets. There is significant loss in upper frequencies with long delay times even with the tone knob turned up all the way but this is not a bad thing. The delayed signals are dark, warm and muddy. You get a gooey mess of a delay that doesn’t fight for your original signals bandwidth and is extremely pleasant to listen to. The shorter the delay time, the brighter the delayed signal and the greater the effect of the “tone” knob. The “regeneration” knob is your delay feedback that will take you from a pleasant one or two delays to a monstrous gain-heavy feedback loop cycle that is more than capable of destroying the finest of well… anything. Watch your gears and ears people. This thing gets loud and rude FAST. It’s awesome. It’ll even start feeding back on it’s own signal path noise without anything being fed into it which makes the AD190 a capable noise generating instrument unto itself in the correct hands.

The bottom line? You like delays? Get it. You like noise? Get it. Want better food? I’m sure this will help.

-Chvad SB

Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano GR

Armed with 18 wooden buttons (16 for the “piano” keys and 2 for mode/waveform/octave changes), 4 knobs, a jack for an external power adaptor, ¼” mono audio output, two LED’s and a built-in 3 watt speaker the original Pocket Piano first caught my eye late last year and after coming across the more recent Pocket Piano GR with it’s super sexy green anodized aluminum enclosure and extra sound I was sold ($220.00). So what is it?

The Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano GR (PPGR) is a small digital synthesizer that is far greater than the sum of its parts. Each mode that the PPGR offers (vibrato synth, harmonic sweeper, two-octave arpeggiator, octave cascade, mono FM synth, FM arpeggiator and MONO Glider) also has a subset of functions depending on the patch. These functions vary from LFO rate and depth to glide rate to arpeggiator speed and gate time. All modes have two knobs dedicated to volume and pitch control (a 2 octave range). Additionally 5 of the modes offer alternate waveforms while the remaining 2 offer an octave “jump” function. For the patches that are polyphonic you have a 4 note polyphony. So how’s it sound?

Perky, bright, dark, gloomy, glitchy, nasty, pretty, video gamey. For a tiny little box the PPGR is more than capable of delivering a wide palette of playable tones. The built-in speaker is surprisingly good and after a couple of months of playing the device I never really found myself needing much more than that unless I was recording or routing through external effects. The PPGR aliases all over the place but that really is part of the charm. A lot of people get their panties all up in a bunch about aliasing and digital/analog etc etc.. this thing is noisy and I’ve had a ton of fun playing with those aspects of the instrument. Push the LFO too far in some modes and yer in straight up glitch land. It’s super fun because the PPGR has in spades what so many other devices are lacking: CHARACTER. Which bring me to… TINY WOODEN BUTTONS.

They are so amazing I’ll say it again… TINY WOODEN BUTTONS. These are your keys to musical expression on the PPGR. No velocity or after touch or anything.. they are simple on/off switches and they are a blast. They have a pleasantly tactile “plop” when depressed and clack and rattle a bit when moving the instrument around. They look fun and generally when an instrument looks fun I tend to play it more and the PPGR is no exception to that rule. It has lived in my backpack for a couple of months now and I routinely pull it out at work, home, on the train… wherever. The PPGR was meant to be used and the build quality does nothing but underscore this fact.

The build is nothing short of SUPERB. The body is wood and aluminum, the wooden buttons are firmly in place, the power switch feels solid, the audio out and all 4 knobs (metal stemmed potentiometers) are mounted to the chassis. No need to be gentle here. My only gripe about the construction is the battery compartment. Located underneath the unit, the battery compartment is basically a hole in the body of the instrument with a snap in 9 volt casing. It isn’t inherently a “bad” thing but as it is an open hole I can’t help but feel like something is eventually going to slip in there while I’m toting the instrument around that could potentially be a pain in the ass to deal with.

The Critter and Guitari Pocket Piano GR is awesome. $220.00 might be too steep for some as an impulse buy and for others a hard sale over a VST which for the same dollar value could have 1000’s of more options as a synthesizer. You DO get what you pay for though. A fun, good sounding, solidly constructed instrument that is entirely unique in presentation and SCREAMS to be played with. A co-worker has pleaded with me to stop bringing it into work because he insists it prevents him from getting anything done. The thing is, the only time I get anything done at work anymore is when HE has it. As far as problems with instruments goes, this is a pretty good one to have.

More info and demos on the Critter and Guitar website:

-Chvad SB

Atomosynth Mochika XL

The Mochika XL is an analog synthesizer and step sequencer combo hand built by Atomosynth in Peru and is available for $249.00 US. There is a lot going on with this deceptively simple looking device so I’ll break down each of the major components one by one and I’ll start that off absolutely superficially… with it’s looks.

Yes… before I say a word about the sound this thing makes I just want you to take a look at the image of the Mochika XL again and drool a bit. This thing is mad sexy looking. I’m the guy that lost my shorts and started humping the synth rack when I first gazed on the grotesque orange monstrosity from Waldorf, the Microwave XTK and I’m also the same guy that drooled over the brushed aluminum body of the Kawai K5000. So clearly when a green glowy transparent box shows up in the ether with flashing LED’s you can bet I’ll be the guy wanting to buy it regardless of how it sounds. Well, ok… I DID check out the available sound samples and YouTube videos and well… they mostly suck horribly and you know what? I STILL BOUGHT IT. I had faith that something that looked this cool would still sound rad in the correct hands and it totally does but before we talk about the sound… LOOK AT IT. IT IS TRANSLUCENT GREEN AND THERE ARE LITTLE ELECTRONICY THINGS TO SEE!!!! This is the stuff that creates gear porn. The laser cut acrylic case seems thoughtfully laid out and despite the plastic body the construction seems fairly sturdy though I am sure very susceptible to scratches and things like, well… falling. So you know, don’t drop it. I don’t think it’ll crumble under regular use but don’t use it for a football. The knobs, sliders and switches are all very tight and sturdy feeling and obviously meant to be used. The rear of the synth has one jack for your standard three prong AC cord (NO WALL WARTS!), one 1/4″ out for the audio and a MIDI in jack for clock signals. So how does it sound?

The Mochika XL has a single oscillator that can produce either a square or a sawtooth waveform. You can control the pitch and level of the oscillator and there is a noise generator that can be mixed into the signal path or used as a modulation source for the oscillator which can produce some nice and crunchy results. The Mochika is also equipped with a switchable filter (low pass or high pass) with cutoff and resonance controls and a simple filter decay envelope with a variable release. The LFO is switchable between square and sawtooth waves, has variable depth and rate controls and can modulate either the oscillator pitch or filter cutoff. The immediate tonal characteristics of the synth are predominantly nasal with an extremely squelchy filter that is reminiscent of a 303 filter type. The filter can EASILY eat over the oscillator and become it’s own tone source. With some careful tweaking you can push out some pretty good bass tones or melt everything into a blissful squelch of noise. It isn’t the most flexible synth in the world but I’ve had fun tweaking it and pushing the oscillators into lower than musically useful octaves and letting it burble into cascading piles of neat sounding analog mush. How useful any of these sounds really are rest heavily on the sequencer section of the Mochika XL.

The sequencer is how you will coax any sound out of the Mochika. You can’t trigger notes from any external sources so your sole method of controlling the Mochika is with the variable 8-step sequencer. The sequencer can function in 4, 6 and 8 step modes in a looping or back and forth fashion, it can jump randomly between the 8 steps or it can drone endlessly on a single step. In all of the modes except the “drone or osc” mode there is a tempo knob that will adjust the tempo of the sequencer during play back… in the “drone or osc” mode, the tempo knob allows you to manually shift from one step to the next either forward or backward. Each of the 8 steps has a on/off switch and a slider to vary the pitch of the note. There is a “Range” switch that will limit the range of the sliders allowing for a potentially easier tuning of a step… albeit having half of the tonal range available. There is also a GATE knob which allows you to dictate how long a note sounds in between each step. This is a very simple analog sequencer and setting up musically cohesive steps can be challenging but that’s all part of the fun when using a tool like this. This isn’t a modern analog despite it’s package… it’s all pretty antiquated tech and need to be “massaged” into place. In use? Flick the toggle switch to play… the sequencer steps through whatever notes you have activate… adjust pitch and tweak the synth. Done. Super easy and a lot of fun. Chain some FX behind it and yer cooking with some fun tones.

Extra goodies…
The Mochika XL also has CV and Gate outputs on 1/8 inch jacks allowing you to use the sequencer with external CV equipped gear. I’m not sure what voltages it is using but I tapped the sequencer into the CV in on my Moog LP and rocked out a cool filter sequence so at the very least it works with that. The Mochika XL comes with no documentation so feel free to experiment!

Almost cool but not quite cool goodies…
MIDI CLOCK!! Wahoo!!! Oh… wait… ALMOST cool. KINDA fucking irritating actually. A BIG selling point for me was the fact that the Mochika XL can supposedly sync to MIDI which is great because I have a ton of gear I want to use with it. Well, the good news is, it DOES sync to MIDI clock… the BAD news is that is doesn’t respond to START or STOP signals. What this means is the second your drum machine or sequencer is turned on while your Mochika XL sits waiting in MIDI mode, the Mochika just starts playing. How is this a problem you ask? Most devices, when MIDI clock is enabled, transmit that clock continuously. Devices receiving that clock see the signal but don’t react to it until they receive a START or STOP command. This allows multiple devices to.. well, start and stop at the same damn time. The Mochika however, just starts… and keeps on going regardless of what all the other gear happens to be doing. That my friends is a giant suck. Work arounds? You can leave the Mochika in STOP mode, start your sequencer and then manually toss the MIDI switch on the Mochika at the top of the measure and hope your timing was spot on. That doesn’t work so well for me. My current solution involves the DAW “Reaper” by Cuckos. Unlike every other sequencer on the market, Reaper doesn’t transmit clock continuously when idle. This is a frustrating behavior BUT in this particular instance a real attribute. When starting playback on Reaper, MIDI clock starts along with previously mentioned START commands and in effect, allows me to synchronize the sequencer, drum machines and whatever else along with the Mochika XL. Using a laptop and a DAW and an extra MIDI interface to resolve shitty MIDI implementation sucks though. To advertise MIDI sync this broken is, in my opinion, practically lying to the consumer and is intensely frustrating. Which brings me to one other bit of negativity…

The slightly nasty aftertaste…
I don’t like saying negative things about people or companies or gear but in this case I feel like I need to. Atomosynth is HORRIBLE with communication and did not deliver the unit anywhere NEAR the advertised time frame (7 to 10 days). As a matter of fact from order date to receiving the Mochika XL I waited 70 days exactly. That’s a hell of a long time. I received no order confirmation and when emailing to inquire if payment went through I had to wait two weeks just for a response that told me there was a slight delay with orders. I followed up again two weeks later and received no response. I wrote again ANOTHER 2 weeks later and was told I’d receive a tracking number in the next few days. Three weeks later I still had no Mochika XL or a response from Atomosynth. Knowing that the company also sells on Ebay I decided to see if anyone had reported similar issues. What I discovered was that bids for Mochika XL units had been purchased AFTER my order AND fulfilled weeks before mine. I purchased directly from Atomosynth which in retrospect seems to be a mistake. After writing one last email threatening to retract payment via PayPal for non-delivered goods I magically received a tracking number for a shipped package. I’m an easy going guy but dealing with Atomosynth was horrible. I finally received my Mochika XL and it’s a fun instrument but I really have to warn anyone considering a purchase to do so at your own risk. I was convinced my money was lost. I’m glad I have the synth but if I had to do it again, I’d buy from a company that cared a little more about the consumer. I’m fully aware Atomosynth is small and boutique but this isn’t the first small company I’ve purchased from and hands down, Atomosynth has been the worst to deal with.

So now what?
So what to do? I’ve managed a work around for the bogus MIDI sync, despite delays and bad communication I DID receive The Mochika XL and in the end I’ve had a great time playing with it and will continue to do so. Should you do the same? Ultimately I’d feel bad recommending anyone to go through what I did so probably not… but if yer still drooling at the cool glowy green translucent goodness… well, maybe you already have your answer. The Mochika XL is far more about “feeling” out cool sounds, rhythms and textures than presenting things in a “tidy ready to sound perfect” package. So it’s an instrument you’ll have to play with your instincts and unfortunately one you will also have to purchase with your instincts. I really hope Atomosynth get their act straightened out because they make cool stuff.


-Chvad SB

Akai MPK mini

The Akai MPK mini is a sub-$100.00 two octave USB controller with 24 mini keys, eight assignable knobs, 8 assignable MPC style pads, a fairly flexible arpeggiator and four program locations for saving your setups. It is powered via USB and that is the controllers sole means of power and connectivity so if you need a MIDI out port you will need to look elsewhere.

I was looking for a controller to toss into a backpack along with a laptop for mobile creativity. A couple of years ago I attempted to get my mobile vibe in gear with the Edirol PCR-M1 that featured their S.L.I.M. keyboard with low profile knobs. That lasted about a week before the board failed and when I tried to get it replaced I’d found out that in that week it had also been discontinued. At that point the PCR-M1 was really the only super small controller in the game and with that leaving the building so did my mobile setup. Years passed and now we have multitudes of small backpack oriented MIDI control devices so I decided once again to peak into the options available. After spending some time looking at various options, I settled with the Akai MPK mini. I’d played around with some of Akai’s other controllers and was impressed with the build quality so I felt pretty comfortable that the build would be decent and after opening the box I was correct. The pads feel solid and the knobs have a nice tactile feel to them… smooth turning but with a proper amount of resistance. The keys feel solid and aren’t so small that playability becomes an issue but they are definitely very springy/spongy/sprongy. They feel VERY much like a Korg Microkorg. That isn’t my preference really but as this isn’t my primary controller I can deal with it.

The software that comes with the controller allows you to assign control change numbers (CC#) to the knobs, make various arpeggiator settings and pad settings. One nice feature is that the pads can be set to be momentary or latching and they can also be configured to send note numbers OR CC#’s. This function is switchable via a “CC” button on the face of the MPK mini so swapping pad functions is simple. Two banks are available for the pads per setup so in effect you have an available 16 pads and with each pad serving as a note or CC# you have a fairly broad array of 32 possible controls with just the 8 pads. The included software is available for both Mac and PC and during testing it ran fine on both platforms.

The arpeggiator is, well, an arpeggiator. Not something I would have specifically asked for but it has been fun to play with. You can choose anywhere from 1/4 notes to 1/32 notes including triplets. You can have up to 4 octave stepping and can choose between a variety of note orders. All of the arpeggiator functions are accessible via secondary functions on the key bed except 2 dedicated switches for turning the arpeggiator on and off and tap tempo button. The on/off button serves as a SHIFT button for selecting key bed options. It’s fun and all of the options are very simple to access.

From the photo you may have noticed the lack of a pitch or mod wheel. Personally I would have preferred two less pads and no arpeggiator in order for two wheels to be stuck somewhere on the board but I can deal and you can always map those functions to a knob. It isn’t really the same but every player has different needs. For scratch work I can do without. For recording or live performance? This will NEVER be used.

In the end the Akai MPK mini is a well built little tool for tossing in a bag and hooking up to your computer. It has a fairly low profile and the knobs are also shallow enough not to get caught on too much while entering or exiting your backpack. The lack of mod or pitch wheels and small key size may be a deal killer as a performance instrument for some but with the arpeggiator and knob combo all of you manly knob tweakers* out there will probably be more than happy with this.

More info on the Akai MPK mini can be found on Akai’s website HERE.
-Chvad SB

Ayla teaser out today!

First trailer for Ayla (directed by Elias and scored by Chvad SB is out today!

Controlled Bleeding “SWARM” (2017)

Beach Sloth – Chvad SB “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” (2017)

Embracing the space and the subtle, Chvad SB’s “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” goes for subdued structures. Attention to detail serves the collection well for the pieces teem with life. Over the duration of the collection Chvad SB has an experimental bent to their work while retaining an emotional core. Texture is of the utmost importance for the songs appear to almost bloom in the milky twilight. Darkness radiates over the course of the collection for Chvad SB’s work emphasizes the darkness over the light. Continue reading Beach Sloth – Chvad SB “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” (2017)

Big Takeover, The – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2017)

Former BT contributor Paul Lemos has never been one to sit still. Over 38 years, he has released nearly 40 albums spanning various genres, suffered the deaths of his closest bandmates and reconfigured Controlled Bleeding into what is arguably one of its strongest lineups. Larva continues in the punk prog style he resurrected late last decade, with an emphasis on the prog element of concept; i.e., the five-part story of a serial killer’s night out told as driving, spaced-out instrumentals, something between The Cows and Boredoms, atmospheric lounge, and nightmarish psychedelic noise – which gets inside the character’s mind. Additionally, a second disc documents a live session recorded by the legendary Martin Bisi in 2012, where Lemos’ dexterous fingers simultaneously recall Robert Fripp, Richard Pinhas, and John McLaughlin over several instrumentals. Wow. 

Continue reading Big Takeover, The – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2017)

House of Prog – Chvad SB “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” (2016)

US composer and musician CHVAD SB is perhaps best known for the bands he either leads or is a member of: Things Outside the Skin, Tongue Muzzle, Controlled Bleeding, The Qualia. He has been making outside of these bands as well, and has a career in music that goes back a quarter of a century. The EP “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” dates back to 2015, and was released by US label Silber Records as part of their ongoing 5×5 series of experimental productions featuring 5 tracks with a total playtime of 5 minutes. Continue reading House of Prog – Chvad SB “Outside the Shadow of an Aliquot Tree” (2016)

Beach Sloth – Chvad SB “Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20” (2016)

Chvad SB’s “Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20” recalls the early days of early electronic composition. With a playful quality that is built into the song’s DNA the way the piece unfurls gives it a natural, airy feeling to it. Textural elements simply stun as Chvad SB allows nothing to sit still. Over the course of the piece tempo, melody, structure, these exist only in the smallest possible amount. Utmost attention is given to the journey of the sounds as they burrow down further, deeper down into the rabbit holes of sound. Letting these sounds bounce off of each other creates something that feels very gorgeous indeed. Continue reading Beach Sloth – Chvad SB “Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20” (2016)

Aiding & Abetting – The Qualia “Cotillion Knives” (2016)

So what if I told you there was a band that paired near-perfect indie pop hooks with goofy disco-laden EDM? The Qualia doesn’t do that, exactly, but it tends to veer between those sounds. In any case, the hooks remain near-perfect.

Some albums are pure enjoyment from the start to the finish, easy on the ears even as they tickle the mind. This is one of those. The water is warm and the seas are inviting. Pretty much perfect for the end of summer.

I think what works best here is the seamless combination of keyboards and garage guitars. Ace songwriting helps, of course, but there aren’t many bands out there that can merge guitar and keys like this. New Order comes to mind, except that the Qualia mixes its tempos and dynamics far too much to make any comparison like that.

This one feels like a slow dawn on a steamy morning. You know the burn is coming, but for now it still feels good to luxuriate in the tempered rays. Watch the sandpipers run and forget about going back to work next week. This one is for right now.

The more times I hear this, the more addicted I get. For all of its easy accessibility, Cotillion Knives is a layer cake of pleasure. There’s always something else to find. Spectacular.

Review by; Jon Worley
Review originally published here:

New album out today! The Qualia “Medusa Session!

So The Qualia has a new album!! Ok, it’s actually an EP but it’s super unique… we went upstate to hide out in a barn in Medusa NY for a weekend and brought tons of shit with us. Recording gear, cameras, lights, instruments… dogs. Everything. We set out to capture the energy this band has when playing together live and we completely nailed it. No sequencing, no retake after retake… this is us and I think we sound damn awesome. Special thanks to Tim Durland for recording us that weekend, to Will McCutcheon for shooting the whole affair and of course Lars Casteen for making it all happen.

Brainwashed – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

In the over three decades since he first began the project, Paul Lemos has guided Controlled Bleeding all over the sonic map, from the early power electronics days into 1980s industrial, and eventually jazz and prog tinged rock improvisations.  It makes sense then that, for the first full length release of mostly new work since 2002 (releases since then have been either reissues or contained earlier work), he and his assembled crew of Chvad SB, Mike Bazini, and Anthony Meola have put together two albums of work that draws from all of these eras, and effortlessly manages to shift between periods of the band’s lengthy history at every turn. Continue reading Brainwashed – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Magnificent World of Dave K, The – Chvad SB “GUT” (2016)

Gut (2012) film/Bluray thoughts… This choice for my COEURS NOIRS closer might be confusing to some, as it it always promoted as a horror film. The truth is Gut, directed by Elias is a psychological horror/neo-noir. One of my favorite indie films in years, Gut recently had it’s Bluray debut and I wanted to give it a once over again. Continue reading Magnificent World of Dave K, The – Chvad SB “GUT” (2016)

New Noise, The – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Sempre tenaci Paul Lemos e soci. Dopo l’interessante split dello scorso anno con gli Sparkle In Grey tornano con questo nuovo doppio album e non si accontentano, dato che mettono in circolo pure la ristampa di un vecchio e ormai mitizzato lavoro, l’esordio per la Broken Flag, Distress Signals (in due versioni, i collezionisti più incalliti sono avvisati, il tutto fa parte inoltre di una più articolata operazione di reissue). Nel frattempo sono cambiate molte cose, ovviamente, e la loro discografia si è fatta via via impressionante, dunque maneggiarla tutta è davvero dura: il suono si è fatto meno monolitico rispetto agli esordi ma non ha perso mordente, anzi, proprio grazie alle forze fresche dei compagni di Lemos, risulta all’ascolto sempre parecchio abrasivo e all’occorrenza evocativo (“Driving Through Darkness”), velocizzato a dovere (“Return Of The Quiet”), anche oggettivamente a rotta di collo, come nel caso della violenta “Trawler’s Song”, una sintesi riuscita tra urgenza punk e slanci progressive rock. Larva Lumps And Baby Bumps, oltre ad avere una copertina piuttosto disturbante, riesce nell’intento primario, credo, di farsi ascoltare (al netto di una durata corposa, si supera infatti l’ora di esercizio), tanto da permettersi il lusso di battere strade più melodiche senza perdere in credibilità (“As Evening Fades”, ad esempio, mentre è meno riuscito l’arrangiamento di “Trang’s Song”). Il mestiere serve a qualcosa, insomma…

Review originally published here:

Outburn – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Continued Uncategorization: Controlled Bleeding’s history goes back to the early 80’s, and if you’re brave enough to attempt headway through their confusing discography, both as Controlled Bleeding and various offshoots, then you’re much more patient than we are and you probably like mapping things out in flowcharts. Though, if you don’t and you want to get to know this band better, you’d better start liking them, and fast. As exhibited over the course of four decades, a Controlled Bleeding full-length consists of various distinct styles, and within those styles are further explorations on a variety of musical themes. Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps is a two dic package with disc one being driving, industrialized soundscapes mixed with rhythmically martial progressive rock. Bands often featured on Tzadik and Subharmonic labels like Praxis and John Zorn himself make up the meat of this disc with the 22 minute, four part closer “The Perks of Being a Perv” acting as a crowning achievement of factory floor inspired calamity and metallic guitars. The second disc takes its gestation from a vivisection and combination of free jazz, dub, and noise rock with a leaning towards instrumental pieces and “Trawler’s Song” summoning the ghost of Nine Inch Nails’ past.

Review by; Kevin Stewart-Panko
Review originally published in Outburn #86


Metal Titans – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Controlled Bleeding have run the gambit over the course of their 30+ year career. To say that the Boston based act is eclectic is a gross understatement. Controlled Bleeding cull from Industrial, ambient, experimental, free jazz, post-punk, noise, rock and dub genres to create their unique sound. The band issued their latest offering at the tail end of summer. The new album titled; ‘Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps’ IS unlike any album that I have heard ever. Continue reading Metal Titans – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Side-Line Magazine – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Genre/Influences: Industrial-rock, noise, psychedelic-hardcore.

Background/Info: Controlled Bleeding was set up in the late 70s. The band hailing from New York rapidly became an influential name at the experimental- and industrial music scene. They’ve released an impressive discography, but this new studio-work can be easily considered as a milestone in their career. “Larva Lumps & Baby Bumps” is the first new studio-album since 2002! Founding member Paul Lemos remains the captain of the crew while he’s assisted by another ‘old’ member Anthony Meola plus Mike Bazini and Chvad SB. This is a double album featuring a total of 12 tracks. Continue reading Side-Line Magazine – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Metal Underground – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)

Reviewed by Rex_84 on September 23, 2016

Paul Lemos has been releasing experimental albums through the Controlled Bleeding moniker since 1985. Fans of groups such as Swans and Coil also recognize Controlled Bleeding as a pioneering act in this ilk. “Experimental” is a catch-all phrase that not only denotes non-traditional compositions but also stylistic combinations. Controlled Bleeding’s “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” shows Lemo stirring an electro stew of industrial, prog rock, jazz, and metal. The 2CD digipack album features a ton of harsh, layered noise to melt listeners’ brains. Continue reading Metal Underground – Controlled Bleeding “Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps” (2016)