THIS WEEK'S BEATS 29/04/2010

Asthmatic Astronaut
Super Intelligent Common Sense
[Cymatics Recs]

This is one that's close to my stereo at all times right now. Asthmatic Astronaut has been a main player in several bands over the years, and has produced material as a solo artist and as a producer and remixer for other artists, releasing on Tru Thoughts, Cymatics:Rec, Dejine.Rec. and our own Black Lantern Music. Super Intelligent Common Sense is a full album, twelve tracks in all, and has no input from other artists - it is a labour of love which DJ AA has striven hard to make as personal and as distinctive as possible. The effort he has put in pays off and then some. He has crafted a musically rich and coherent collection of abstract hip-hop, referencing electro, trip-hop, ambient, soul, dub and jazz, without ever compromising the record's unifying feel and sound. One element that he uses to bring all of the rhythmic and melodic influences together is an ever-present, deeply textured bass. Even softer tracks like the syncopated Summer Monkeys have serious weight, something that becomes even more apparent when watching AA perform live, and when listening through a system with serious sub-bass. Considerable attention has been lavished on this album's bottom end, but the rest of it has a beautifully warm, polished sheen to it as well - SICS is immaculately well produced. The horns of Show Me This Perfection have a dusty timelessness that sits delicately alongside the phased, electronic counterpoint. The heavy throb of Playin is contrasted by a rising organ line and crisp hi-hats and kicks. Some Sugar pulses and throbs with 2-step synths, accompanied by an insistent broken beat. The dubstep influence emerges slightly further on the blissed-out psychedelic garage of Almost There, while the woozy, backwards-looped sway of Which Way take it back to hip-hop again. Just to dispel any notions of journalistic bias, I have been a fan of Asthmatic Astronaut for longer than I've been his friend and collaborator - you should go and buy this album now, because it's absolutely brilliant, pure and simple.

Dead Geoff & Mister Thumbs
The Opposables
[Purple Bird Music]

The more I keep bumping this 4-track EP, the more I enjoy it. Maybe it's the fusion of nerdcore themes with glitch-heavy, electro bass and synths on the infectious Friday Night Loser, or the impressively freaked-out science fiction poetry of the hyperactive Renoise, but it seems to me that this Vermont-hailing, Brooklyn-based duo are on to something very interesting here. Even self-consciously poptastic tracks like Quarter Life Crisis, whose R&B chorus and loping beat might sound crass in less skilled hands, have a skewed appeal. Dead Geoff and Mister Thumbs handle pop hooks deftly, and their lyrics flip between witty directness and complex estoerica with a likeabley schizophrenic wobble. Like a hyperactive Cool Kids raised on ritalin, this EP will lodge pleasingly in your hindbrain, making you grin like an idiot at innoportune moments.

That's all for now... more next week!

/texture out



A long-term presence on the Boston hip-hop scene, H.W. (AKA Hazardous Wastes) is a gifted, often misunderstood emcee who wears his heart on his sleeve. His unflinchingly honest lyrics have seen him occasionally branded with the unfortunate tag of 'emo rap,' but with each successive tour and release, he gains an ever-larger number of fans. His most recent release, 'A Year's Worth of Worry' is a superb introduction to the world of H.W. (we reviewed it here), and is available as a free download. We caught up with H.W. as he was preparing to set out on the road once more...



This incredibly vivid fantasy / horror tale comes from the pen of Aaron Jacobs, author of a previous story, SF parable Jolts Above, Jolts Below. Aaron has a rich, often arcane syntax and style, and the themes of this particular piece will send a cold chill through the bones of even the most stalwart horror fan. A gruesome treat!

Days. Days and weeks and months I had tracked him. I had seen and felt sickened as he followed in his father's footsteps. I had passed the wheel-carcasses hanging crowpecked and putrefying in the early winter damp. I had trodden across shallow graves, feeling the bodies beneath my feet, the silence broken by the snapping of dusty, rigor mortis-imbued fingers under my boots. Twigs. Dry twigs that had once been the hands of men - the most glorious parts of our physical being, the beautiful thumbs and fingers that allowed us to create, to destroy, to be human. Twigs under my boots ...READ MORE


Michael Jacobo is a writer based in Nevada, hailing from California. His first tale for Weaponizer is a dark little post-apocalypse ficlet about mercy, childhood and salvation.

"Mother is the savior of lost children. When the world started to burn she took it upon herself to save the innocent. She moves from camp to camp gathering the children and leading them to a safe place.” Her eyes always widen at this point ...READ MORE



We here at Black Lantern Music are very happy to announce the launch of our third channel, URGE MODE. The label is run by Morphamish, who describes it thus:

Urge Mode provide experimental bass music for the wide eyed and bushy tailed – incorporating sounds from dubstep, future garage, techno, electronica, breaks, hiphop and more. Deep, mental, hard, chilled, rough, smooth, techy, organic, dark, warm, straight up or just plain weird. There's a time and a place for it all. Previews of our upcoming releases on the Urge Mode channel can be heard on our Soundcloud... check back regularly! We are proud to announce the launch of our free netlabel Urge Mode, with the 1st release coming from Blackmass Plastics.

Details of that very release follow shortly!


Without further ado, the inaugural release from Urge Mode. I'll hand you over to head honcho Morphamish.

Each weighing in with one original track and one remix, Blackmass Plastics and his Crooked One alter ego do battle with themselves across four tracks of fractured sci-fi funk.

As a taster for the forthcoming Crooked One LP 'Non Fiction Horror', Blackmass Plastics remixes album cut 'Disaster Area', reworking the bleak industrial landscape of the original into a lean electrobass dancefloor warp out...

Next up Blackmass Plastics drops 'Squelch Gate', a direct dose of technoid rave energy featuring (unsurprisingly) a squelch and a gate.

Crooked One takes up the remix duties on Blackmass' Rag and Bone tune 'Tek Tek', stripping it down to the marrow and delivering a nasty slice of space vacuum halfstep (any excuse to dust off the classic old 'hi tech music' sample)...

Finally 'Uranium Blues' continues Crooked One's mission to explore the darker regions of the X-step universe, crossing the event horizon in a sub bass powered telepod and returning with a bad case of radiation sickness.



THIS WEEK'S BEATS 24/04/2010

Calling this irregular column 'This Week's Beats' seems a little pointless, given that I've not posted anything for a few months now... anyway, just so you know, I have been downloading an absolute TON of music, and the only reason it hasn't been reviewed is because I've been slack as fuck! Anyway, here's the best of what I've been listening to of late. These are all Creative Commons or Bandcamp releases, so click through the links for free / cheap downloads.


H.W. is a Boston-based rapper, fiercely independent, and totally committed to playing live shows and writing rhymes. He runs his own label, Delusional Records, and makes tracks with his DJ Emoh Betta. His brand of rap is very personal, deeply confessional and introspective, but laden with pop hooks and clever wordplay. Tracks like 'Shithead' and 'The End of the Line' show H.W. to be quite a moralistic, opinionated writer: on the former he rails against random drunk chicks; the latter is a narrative depicting an unhappy marriage. These themes recur throughout AYWOW, but rather than depressing the listener, H.W. is a talented enough emcee and writer to be able to transcend his themes with clever rhyme schemes and near-flawless technique. This is a release that should appeal to fans of underground rap of the Anticon persuasion as much as it will to more mainstream tastes. Emoh's beats are polished and funky, contrasting nicely with the downbeat lyrical style: the two tracks named above are particular highlights. 'Shithead' revolves around a languid piano riff, while 'The End...' features twanging acoustic guitar. Admittedly, if H.W. continues to write purely about himself, his life and his problems, he risks becoming a self-parody, much like Eminem has in recent years. However, there is enough intelligence and humour in his writing to suggest that as his career progresses, his scope will widen. H.W. is definitely one to watch. We'll hopefully be interviewing him for Weaponizer soon, so eyes peeled.


This album is, quite simply, sick as fuck. 18-year-old producer Mr Boss has assembled a team of slick, funny, disgusting rappers to rhyme over his album of unbelievably polished and inventive beats, and managed to drop an instant classic with his first release. Sonny Jim kills it on 'The Landing' with a standard 'this is us, we're fucking awesome' type verse, which opens the album perfectly. The strangely named Dirty Dike brings the hilarious misogyny on 'Plenty More Piss In The Toilet' (sample rhyme: 'I'd even fuck the gash in your head' - riiiiiight). It's a hard song to take seriously, with a cowboy whistle underscoring the, ahem, colourful lyrics, but this works in its favour. If you're a guy who's just been fucked over by a girl, this track will cheer you up no end. Them Lot bring the heavy philosophy and weed wisdom on the smoked-out 'Young And Foolish,' while Freedom's superlative, spanish guitar and horn-inflected cut 'Unknown Zone' delves even deeper into vivid imagery and deep wordplay - again, perfect smoking music. Freedom also wrecks it on another track - alongside the nu-soul vocals of Cherri, 'Gutter Puddles' is transformed into a moving, deep track about global politics and ghetto reality. Dr Syntax drops a hilarious 'Passing Me By'-style narrative on the fantastic 'Careful What You Wish For,' which features some truly side-splitting rhymes. There is barely a weak track on this album - every rapper acquits himself well, while every single cut from Mr Boss is just insanely professional and slick, completely dedicated to golden-era hip-hop aesthetics. On the strength of this debut, he is a producer with a very bright future. In short, go and download this album NOW, and play it to every real hip-hop head you know. Fantastic stuff.


[2 Circles]

Fill is a Russian producer, releasing on the Detroit-based experimental netlabel 2 Circles. The highlights of his latest release 'Never Again' are absolutely delightful: the warm sub-bass, old-school electro synths and laidback horns of 'All The Same' are worth downloading the whole release just to check out. This is the kind of music R2D2 would put on if he was trying to seduce Ms PacMan. 'Take It' has some nice analogue synth work, and an insistent, slowed-down four-four pulse. The more ambient sounds of 'Alone Within Four Walls' and 'D Mood' are marginally less successful - at times Fill veers slightly too close to elevator music. The guitar-based 'Balloon' in particular is pretty forgettable. Album-closer'Tribute,' a house-influenced track which takes in Balearic vistas and echoing droplet-synths is easy on the ears, but retains the spark of invention which makes this album's highlights so worthwhile. A varied and interesting release, with some real innovation on its standout tracks.


Recorded mostly live, this stunning release features intricate, layered guitar work and exquisitely understated found sounds. On first listen, this sparse, melancholy album is almost bare - as close to silence as it is to cacophony. Each successive listen reveals new depths and intricacies, taking the listener into strange internal realms of hallucination and inner vision. Finnish producer Taphead seems to be channeling the eldritch, arcane mythology of his native country - these are songs that evoke cold wind whispering through dark forests; lonely snow-filled fields and stark, endless sunlight. A truly beautiful piece of work, falling somewhere between Godspeed You! Black Emperor and minimalist electronica, it rewards repeated play. Download now, listen with your eyes closed. Also check out Taphead's band, Alymysto, for more beautiful Finnish noise and weirdness.

Thats it for today! I've got a ton more stuff to review though, from the likes of Black Lantern collaborator Asthmatic Astronaut (whose 'Super Intelligent Common Sense' is a thing of rare beauty), Daedelus, clearsignals and Lorn. It won't take me a month this time, I hope!




I'm very pleased to announce that former professional Combat Magician and blogger about the occult, Ian 'Cat' Vincent, has joined Weaponizer as a staff writer! He will be writing regular features on magic and the occult, and reviewing films on related topics. Ian's been blogging about the weirder side of life for some time now - whether you're a skeptic or a true believer, he'll be able to teach you a thing or two about strangeness. He leads off with his FAQ about weird shit!

Everyone has their own story or myth, a bunch of metaphors they use as the basis of how they live their life. Many stick with the one their parents or society told them. Some move to other myths as they grow older. And some of us nick bits from a whole bunch of stories and try to use them all to work out what the hell's going on ...READ MORE


Fan favourite C. Brian Hickey delivers a very brief flashfic about the end of the world, global warming, and giant robots. Man, this one was hard to find a picture for...

By rights, we shouldn't have even made it this far. We were past the tipping point. Back in 2023, the scientists had made their pronunciation: we had passed the tipping point. The methane that was under the glacial ice was let loose during the melt, and we were one and all well and truly fucked ...READ MORE


HARLEQUINADE is a writer, film-maker and musician involved with Black Lantern Music, curating the NeverZone channel. He is the lyricist in Lovecraftian hip-hop group Sileni, and a founding member of The Chemical Poets. Today, he serves up a subtle but grisly slice of reimagined fairy-tale horror, in the form of THE BREADHOUSE.

Although they were old family friends, I would hesitate to call Al and Liz anything other than complete strangers and had no memories of their oft recounted visits to our home while I was an infant. However, as I was travelling and would be in their city, I was instructed that they would be delighted to receive me for dinner and to put me up for the night ...READ MORE



Ah Twitter. How I do love thee. Pointless observations, narky ranting, surreal mini-fictions, attacks on Russell Howard, Jeph Loeb and James Cameron, and links, glorious links. I've posted 2065 tweets now... here's the best / most pointless of the last 1000.

Interestingly, my Twitter habit is spiralling... it took me just 4 months to do the last 1000, as opposed to two years for the first 1000. It is clearly the crack of social networking.

For more of the same, follow @weaponizer on Twitter.

Have come to the conclusion that I'm too ambitious with prospective novel themes and plots. Having a look at the Tor list and I'm certain...
... that all my ideas are too complex. Am going to write a generic horror with teenage characters and a happy ending. Fuck it. I want money.

Been watching Dog the Bounty Hunter & Operation Repo guys pepper-spraying hapless unemployed & drug dealers all afternoon, #shoulddosomework


Sitting by the ozone towers, watching steam rise from cooling vents. I imagine it cumulating, wisps of moisture escaping into black sky.

"Irrationality cannot be fought with empirical evidence." - John Stewart

Mediocrity (n, pl) 1. the state of being mediocre.2. mediocre ability or accomplishment. 3. a mediocre person. 4. Russell fucking Howard

You Can Win Today's Twitter! Join the campaign to demand the public execution of Russell Howard. Send your hatemail to @weaponizer now

New Doctor's assistant is... delightful. #drwho

Astounded we managed to finish an entire bottle of 12y.o. Glenfiddich in one sitting... Feeling every single finger today.

Today's Twitter is sponsored by the David Cameron Should Fuck Off Back to Eaton campaign

Has anyone else got a major man-crush on the physicist Brian Cox? Or is that just me? Major man-hotness going on.

Stop Jeph Loeb from making comics. Don't allow him to ruin the Ultimate line a second time! Ban the abysmal Heroes! #FUCKJEPHLOEB Please RT

just rocked the fuck out of BBC Glasgow.

I think Scotland is trying to kill me.

Home listening to Bar 9 at extreme volume. Going out to have fun in the meatworld tonight. Almost forgot what a bar looked like! WOMPWOMPWO

"A man can't have everything. I mean, where would he put it?" - Spike Milligan

This week: experimentally posting negative, toxic, demotivational memes on Facebook as status updates. Why? Because I'm a bastard.

My tuppence on the Oscars: Inglorious Basterds should have won Best Pic & Script. Star Trek should have taken the effects award. Fuck Avatar

@catvincent Bunnies RULE!

I'll only say this once. I got beat by a guy with a fucking SOCK PUPPET. Fucksfuckingsake #grrr #poetry


With Formspring, you too can be one of millions of digitised WarholTM synthetic lifeforms.

Straight eating junkfood and wearing hats. Ah yeah.

Going out in the sunshine for a bit. Biosystem overclocked. May fall asleep on couch later. Not a day for brainthings.

Seriously, Kevin Smith is director of Cop Out? For real? Seriously? No shit? Honest? No fucking way. NO WAY! I DON'T CAN'T WON'T BELIEVE IT!

"As the spirit dies, the form appears." - Charles Bukowski

Most amusing / uninformed heckle EVER. I do a verse about Scottish hip-hop, namechecking the likes of Penpushers, Underling and Verse One...
This guy pipes up: "You stole that verse!" I respond: "From who?" The reply: "You know fuck all about hip-hop! You're ripping off Mudhoney!"
Oh kayyyyy.... I thought he meant Mud Family. He didn't - he'd never heard of them. He was pretty embarrassed later.
If there IS a Newcastle hiphop band who namecheck Scottish hip-hop artists, I REALLY need to know who the fuck they are!!!

Talkative today, like some kind of pure big mad bird.

This week, Texture is going to have THE BIG IDEA. He will also start talking about himself in the third person like some kind of man-mental

What can i say? Y'all missed out. Whatevs


Ex-cop JoeZ battles thieves in theLabyrynthVault! A game of D&D will make him choose: save kidnapped billionaire or foil superpowered mooks?

The NeutralZone: a doomed vicar & old con enrage a bear, causing a bus crash by battling a mini-army. Will they survive a BavarianFireDrill?

It's just occurred to me that JK Rowling's first two names COULD be Jeremy Kyle.

Were we, or were we not up the Finneston crane? #limmy

I can't keep it secret any more, I'm coming out... I WAS BORN IN MILTON KEYNES! There, I said it. I'm not proud of it, but it's the truth.
... which is probably why I secretly like Bonnie Tyler, Journey and Foreigner.

@Fauxhammer Work is VERY stupid, agreed. I like evenings. Evenings rule.

The Lovely Bones looks pish. Peter Jackson, MAKE A FUCKING HORROR FILM! NOW! NOW! NOW!

Every now and then I get a little bit terrified and then I see the fuckin' look in your eyes...

Jeremy Kyle, the 'wonga' guy fom the phones-for-cash ad, Peaches Geldof, Shirley from Eastenders, and as always the Bingo Fox #mustdie

Sometimes I wish I knew one hell of a lot more about marketing and making money. Most of the time though, I'm glad that I know jeff all.

Cephalothorax wounds crippled the soldier: limbs rigor-stiff, folded in. A field surgeon spins silk field dressing, too late

Woke up: vision expanded, reticulated. Unfurled 8 brittle limbs. All flesh now black, chitinous carapace. Feel... predatory

8 legs skitter on pale flesh. At her temple it plunges the dataspike home, viral payload quickening, then stilling her pulse

I think that's enough spider-based #twitfic for one day.

"Give me the pringles of knowledge! Make it more-ish!" - Morphamish

RIP Benny Harvey. He will be missed. A living legend. But now he is gone.

'Mon the anthraxx!

For the record, I am trying to quit using the word 'awesome' but I'm a fuckin' junkie for it.

Bingo fucking sucks

I wanna hugga you face! #coraline


There's nothing quite like a baby wearing a raygun tee-shirt. It's just majorly awesome.

Goddamn fuckball is on, celtic v rangers, all pubs with wifi full of sports nerds

Weaponizer. Plumbing the depths of ignorance so you dont have to. Thank us.

In the future, we have tinfoil erections.

Hanging on by my fingernails

At the end of the day... Its fuckin' night

Dont be so fucking naive.

This little illusion caster has me spellbound #penpushers


Via Professor Brian Cox, on Facebook.



I've got the honour of interviewing Flying Lotus tonight, about his new LP Cosmogramma (on WARP): a sprawling, experimental fusion record that takes in heavy swathes of jazz, bass music, found sounds and lush, confusing layers of sonic anarchy. It's a true masterpiece, and typically for FlyLo, it consistently delivers the last thing you were expecting to hear. A lot of attention will fall on the track featuring the vocals of Thom Yorke, but for this listener, it is the echoes of the Coltrane jazz legacy that shine through.

I am really looking forward to the interview. Head on over to FlyLo's superlative BRAINFEEDER label site, and get yourself a copy of A DECADE OF FLYING LOTUS mixed by Gaslamp Killer. It's a free download, and the perfect thing to whet your appetite for Cosmogramma.



Calling all Edinburgh hip-hop and electronica heads! DO NOT MISS the launch of Asthmatic Astronaut's fantastic new album SUPER INTELLIGENT COMMON SENSE!

Tomorrow night, get thee down to The Roxy Art House between 8:00pm and 11:00pm, for:

Asthmatic Astronaut

Album Launch Party

with special guests Krowne & Scuffy Q.

Playing his new live set from the new album SUPER INTELLIGENT COMMON SENSE, a bass heavy journey through bumping electronic grooves for your listening pleasure.

Krowne also joins with his solo live debut an infectious electronic fusion of fat beats should prove to be a complimentary warm up.

Scuffy Q, the legend that was Pigeon-Style Kung-Fu returns to the live scene with a new sound and evolved style using synths, samplers and a whole host of instruments to create his psychedelic palette.

With visuals from the 25th century VJ's and DJ Blair Massari playing the main bar so once the live electronics is done we can still nod those heads.

come listen, drink and be merry with AA and friends, on Friday 16th April.




Grimly Whetfox weighs in with some craftily-hyper-scripted Glasweigan anti-romance. Click carefully, folks.

"So did she apologise too?"


"Tell her you want an apology to your face. That's the condition. Otherwise, drop her. She owes you."

"Dude! I can't do that! I... I think... I think I love her." The German twitched. Didn't the boy understand? He always understood. What the hell was he trying to say then?

"Exactly." said the boy, and was silent, trancing out again.




Up ahead was the City of Woe. It was marked by the rickety and crumbling stone buildings which, as StilletoEye and RazorGut drove past, they saw had no floors. The people lived in the same foul cocktail of mud and excrement; pigs and horses ran in and out of the houses, and a grubby barefoot boy in a flatcap tapped on Betsy’s window, offering some filthy rotten apples. Down a dark alley, Betsy’s headlight caught a glimpse of an exaggeratedly tall man in top hat and tails mutilating a diseased woman in a corset against a wall, her eyes closed and moaning, oblivious to the gore he was pulling out of her under her soiled frilly skirt ...READ MORE


Ian 'Cat' Vincent is a combat magician and blogger. His theories about The Tribe Of The Strange have been discussed in detail over at his blog, Guttershaman - here, he gives us a short introduction to exactly who and what the Tribe are all about. This is a postcard from the fortean / occult underground - a rabbithole, a red pill.



A very short flashfic now from Will Couper, author of the excellent epic fantasy Twitter novella Crown Wearer, and a long-term Weaponizer contributor. Mysterious stuff....

A closer inspection reveals that I’m not smiling at all. That’s okay because neither is anyone else ...READ MORE


Will Ellwood takes on notions of domestic terrorism in this disturbing fiction piece. Less I say about it the better, but this is one I would definitely welcome some comments and discussion on. Will Ellwood, for those who don't yet know, is the author of the blog Quick Tales, and the founder of The Kick School of Creative Writing. He is also the proud owner of a lovely, lovely kitty.

Cameron heard and felt the taxi's wheels bounce over the chevrons painted in the road as the driver broke the speed limit. "Don't worry mate, we'll be at the airport soon. We've just cleared a large accident," the driver said. "That's good," replied Cameron ...READ MORE



Neverzone is very proud to present the first of two archival releases from electro-troubadour, chocolate genius and eco-superhero, mo-seph. As part of the Kresch and Chemical Poets Big Band configurations as well as a wide variety of collaborations, mo-seph's digital glitch-scapes, phunky twists and sonic boom an awesome signpost at the crossroads of cutting edge digital composition and club beats.

The Other Place and Growth and Form are collections from the mo-seph vaults that explore some of the places his music has preperation for his forthcoming release of a stunning collaboration with vocalist Josie Davies which indicates on of this places it is now.



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