AUTUMNS: A Product of 30 Years of Violence.

18 10 2016

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All music should have an element of fear within in. It should scare you a little bit, it should mess with your head. Anything to escape routine and things that are familiar. Sure you can sleep it off, but sometimes you need to hear something to let it all out. I’ve been writing about Autumns (Christian Donaghey) for some time now, and everything he puts out is as mind blowing as the last, truly. He has this sound that captures the coldness and the lack of fulfillment from having a typical routine. You need something to kick in the walls of your mind and to give you something you’re not getting from whatever you’re putting yourself through. As someone who is dealing with panic attacks and migraines on an almost daily basis now, this is the kind of music I need to hear.

Christian’s new EP, A Product of 30 Years of Violence is out 15th November (3 days after my birthday, so you know) and will be released via the ever excellent Clan Destine Records. The mood is cold, the atmosphere is tense. Its part The Fall, part industrial town on a dark December day and it is every part brilliant. The tormenting sounds would fit perfectly in some film noir or a shocking horror film. These are not songs for those who only see sunshine and rainbows. They are for those who want, who need more- and they know it.

So far, I’m tipping World Hates as my favourite off the EP. Of course I am likely to change my mind because every track on this EP is nothing short of punch to the gut and a shake to the soul. You’ll feel the world in your head crumble and something else within you rebuild itself. Every song has a tense build up, and regardless of how many times you listen to the songs, you’re just never ready for it to happen. I go through stages of where I don’t know if I even want to write about music anymore, but then I’m sent things like this and it all makes sense.

I have the coldest room in my house. I think this is probably the best setting to listen to A Product of 30 Years of Violence. You won’t gain anything from listening to it on a warm beach somewhere. You need a cold setting. Go for a walk and play it. Play it as loud as you can handle. Take in every note, take in how dark, intense and grand the sound is. Let it boldly consume you and go into the unknown. Let the songs throttle and maim you. Let the songs take you where you daren’t go before. Let yourself escape but feel uncomfortable. Be constantly on edge as you let the sounds drip into your ears and swirl in your brain.

The EP closes on Crime of Passion. My idea of love and romance seeps through this song. There is nothing conventional or tame about this song. Crime of Passion sums up the feel of the EP, and when it ends you cannot help but return to the start. Over and over again. This EP feels like it is ahead of what is around now, maybe it could have fit in with what came before but it has something very special about it that has hold of you within the first listen. It is one of those records I’ll keep playing and finding something else to write about or it’ll evoke another feeling. It stirs something within the listener. I can’t define what exactly, maybe it is too personal. Or maybe words aren’t enough. My words and anyone else’s words about A Product of 30 Years of Violence aren’t enough.

Of course I’m a huge fan of what Christian does, and I’m confident enough to say that so far- this is the best thing he’s done. It steps away from all he has done prior to this, and the sound he has created here is something to truly love and to be proud of.

You can pre-order the tape here: https://clandestinerecords.bandcamp.com/album/a-product-of-30-years-of-violence





AUTUMNS-Das Nichts.

6 03 2016

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A few years ago I wrote about Autumns. I wrote about how much I loved them and how Christian is the Northern Ireland equivalent of Alex Zhang Huntai (Dirty Beaches/Last Lizard.) I think I mentioned how brilliant it is to have one person make a load of noise with such urgency and passion. A few years have passed, and now I get to write about Christian’s new EP, Das Nichts.

Christian is currently in America where in the next few weeks, he will be playing his first set of live shows out there. I couldn’t be more proud of him. He makes the kind of music I wish I could, the TV static sound and the distorted vocals aren’t to everyone’s taste but for me it’s exactly what I look for in music. I sincerely hope the American audiences fall in love with him and hear what I hear. I’ll post the dates towards the end, but for now- Das Nichts.

Das Nichts is the kind of record you play late at night when you should probably be asleep. My sleep pattern at the moment is semi-questionable but I can still function. I think life would be easier/better if we all took more naps. Anyway. With this EP Christian has definitely delved into the Electronic side of music more. For some they associate this with really bad 80s music, to an extent they could be right but what they don’t seem to acknowledge is the darker side. Das Nichts sounds like Suicide meets My Bloody Valentine with the fury of Rowland S Howard. The songs are going to torment your mind and you won’t want to sit down with a cup of tea whilst listening to this. With one listen, I loved it but I feel because it is the kind of record that puts you on edge, I feel that’s what makes it Christian’s best work to date. When I hear music like this I always seem to want to know what goes on in the head of the person making it. But recently I’ve started thinking what goes on in my brain and how it would sound if I translated it to music. It would sound a bit like this record. Maybe slightly more tame as I’m annoyingly shy. I try to get better at it, but what can you do. Das Nichts is a remarkable EP that is made for night time/very early morning listening when the world is asleep.

This EP is intensely dark and would sound perfect in some Danish Thriller that messed with your mind. If this is how Christian’s debut record is going to sound, then we are most definitely in for a treat. It’s the right kind of loud, the right level of noise and creepy. I can only imagine how brilliant this is going to sound live. The first track on the EP, Motel Lover is 19 minutes and 45 seconds long. It’s a solid way to start the EP and I think it straight away indicates to the listener where the EP is going. It’s going somewhere no one and nothing else can take you. You feel like you’re on a motorbike at 2am heading deep into the unknown. The night air sends chills over you and the dark mist keeps you on edge. It’s beautifully terrifying and is under 20 minutes of straight up noise. The static guitar sound mixed with the repetitive kick drum keeps your attention locked. There are swift changes in the song here and there but it’s the torment of the kick drum that remains your focus throughout. When it comes to an end, you find yourself looking around to check who was there and who took you to wherever this song may have taken you to.

I really can’t praise Christian enough for what he’s done with Das Nichts. It’s a captivating listen that will scare you a little but you won’t want to turn it off. Something about this EP will make you feel a little uneasy and unsure of what is around you- it will heighten all you feel as you listen to it, and that for me is what makes this the best thing he has done to date. The suspense in the EP makes you feel like it is the soundtrack to something. I’m 100% sure that Christian could easily create a soundtrack for some dark and unsettling Thriller film going by this EP. He would be perfect for it. Das Nichts isn’t a kick in the gut kind of listen, it is more like someone messing with your head in a way you didn’t know was possible. This kind of exposure of the mind is what makes this one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Sure there’s still many months to go, but this is truly something else.

Das Nichts is out on 15th March via Clan Destine Records and you can pre-order a tape here: http://clandestinerecords.bandcamp.com/album/das-nichts

As mentioned previously, here are his US dates for this month:

3/09 New York @ Nothing Changes + (with Nite Fields)
3/12 Lafayette @ The Spot + (with Nite Fields)
3/13 Indianapolis @ State Street Pub + (with Nite Fields)
3/20 San Francisco @ Rickshaw Stop * (with Lust For Youth)
3/21 Frenso @ Dynamite Vinyl + (with Nite Fields)
3/23 Long Beach @ 4th Street Vine – (with Gold Class)
3/24 San Diego @ The Whistle Stop
3/26 Los Angeles @ Non Plus Ultra # (with SEXTILE)

Christian will also be drumming for Nite Fields on all of their dates.