Reviewed: The Black Book VA w/ JASSS, Pact Infernal, ++++ [iDEAL Recordings]

Words on contemporary releases. Seeking to offer an honest description of works which manage to exist in their own space and time.


The Black Book VA w/ JASSS, Puce Mary, ++++ [iDEAL Recordings]

Celebrating 20 years of iDEAL Recordings, the timeless Swedish label brought out a triple LP compilation foregrounding some of the most influential or remarkable artists and collectives of this moment (and frankly speaking, of all time). To the contributors we may count Pact Infernal, Vanity Productions, JS Aurelius, Autumns, and quite a few other names (see tracklist below). iDEAL has earlier released iconic records by Merzbow (iDEAL004), Dungeon Acid (iDEAL085), and Stephen O’Malley’s trilogy (iDEAL134, 135, 136).


A1 JASSS – Parental Youth
A2 Pact Infernal – The Eternal Return
A3 Ramleh – Entropy II
A4 Vanity Productions – Ideal Life

B1 Jim O’Rourke – In Regards
B2 Mokira – Cats In The Cradle

C1 Jonathan Uliel Saldanha – Siren Frontier
C2 Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe – Ehh??? (For Folke Rabe)
C3 Dungeon Acid Afro Acid

D1 Carlos Giffoni And Prurient – Returning Rains
D2 Ectoplasm Girls Neuropean
D3 JS Aurelius – All In Sync With All, And Me
D4 John Duncan – Shortwave6

E1 JH1.FS3 – At The Bottom Of The Night
E2 Stephen O’Malley – LOUP
E3 Trepaneringsritualen Manifest As Týr × Reið × Vend – Ǫnd þau Né átto, óð þau Né Hǫfðo

F1 Coppice – Flywheel (Flood Blowing)
F2 Autumns – Lose It
F3 Drew St Ivany – A Mixer And A Delay Unit

Since this tracklist is so extensive, we only unfortunately have time and space to discuss a few highlights off this compilation. All tracks are quite distinct from each other, which reflects the varied iDEAL sound throughout the years, so it’s perfectly fine to listen them separately. The interlude Parental Youth is a beautiful dive into distant memories, a delicate composition, seemingly reminiscing a vibrant late summer story. Pact Infernals The Eternal Return delivers the menacing, off-tempo goodness we are used to of the Horo records resident.

Jim O’Rourke’s In Regards is a 17 min long drone exercise, intent on putting the listener into a lucid state. Unbelievably well textured, a journey in itself, playing with ambiances in similar tonalities. LOUP on the E-side is comparably a dense drone track. The guitar however is abrasive and tense, going from a rough state to a calmer intermezzo and back.

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