By M. Jarosinski
As summertime approaches quickly we all are in need of at least one thing, some killer tunes. Because of this high demand for bangers of all sorts, I, the author of the definitive UW-Madison tailgate playlist, have most graciously decided to provide some warm-blooded songs for the warmest season. I’ve even separated this playlist into three different sections to soundtrack multiple summer activities this time around.
In The Garden
You know it, I know it, summertime is a time for gardening. That’s why these first couple tracks have titles that are gardening themed to get your green thumb going.
“To Carry the Seeds of Death Within Me” by The Body
Starting off the playlist is the crushing and oppressively bleak drone metal of The Body. The opening track of the duo’s fifth album I Shall Die Here is a perfect little ditty for you to play while practicing some at-home horticulture. Afterall, you have to plant the seeds or roots first before your plants can grow 🙂
“Fragments Of A Lily” by Puce Mary
One thing I learned about the often startling genre of death industrial while writing this list is that it is not uncommon for artists in the genre to have at least one song in their discography with reference to a plant. Sure, it’s definitely not every artist, but I still could compile a little list of examples like this track taken off of Puce Mary’s 2018 album, The Drought. See even the album title pertains to agriculture, that being said “Fragments Of A Lily” is some top tier flower planting music, well I guess it is if you’re either really angry or really scared but still, it’s’ definitely a worthwhile listen this summer.
“Spear Flowers” by Ramleh
Another example of the principle I mentioned in the previous entry is “Spear Flowers” by the UK based project Ramleh. This song comes off of one of death industrial’s earliest and most defining albums 1987’s Hole in the Heart. The chaos of this track is reminiscent of the chaos in my mind as I tried to decipher which spear-shaped flower the title is referring to. It could be Ithuriel’s Spear, a nice purple flower which grows out of a corm which apparently tastes like a potato. It could also be referring to a King’s Spear, which are relatively tall it seems, good ol’ Wikipedia tells me they can reach up to four feet (1.2 meters). I could name spear-shaped flowers for much longer than this, but I’ll close out on my personal favorite spear-shaped flower, the Vial’s primrose, if you’re going to click onto any of these flower related links make it this one, it’s a legitimately beautiful looking flower. No matter what flower this track is referring to if you’re hankering for some death industrial with a floral related title this track is a must listen.
“Morbid Garden” by Sete Star Sept
Sete Star Sept is a noisecore/grindcore duo from Tokyo. Like any good grindcore band their sound is frenzied, punishing, and tortured, which might be a bit like maintaining all of your plants. This can be a hard and sometimes agonizing process as much as it is rewarding. So if you ever find yourself in a perpetual state of unforeseen seething rage while tending to your garden this track is for you.
“Dragonflies to Sew You Up” by Prurient
Capping off the gardening segment is a track by prominent noise project, Prurient, which is the work of Dominick Fernow, a musician with a vast discography. He has released more than 75 albums under just this alias amongst many of the other projects he has been involved in. I chose this track in particular because you know for certain that when you’re gardening you’re going to encounter some insects along the way, and if we’re going to be talking about insects, I’d like to mention one of my favorites, the dragonfly. There you have it, this is why I included this stark and ominous track amongst the many other stark and ominous tracks this playlist has to offer.
At The Beach
The beach is definitely a nice place to go during the summer, however I should acknowledge that if you are in fact going to any beach in the nearby future, that you should be safe and keep a responsible distance from others. However, if you blast these jams out loud, maybe just then people will avoid you instead of you avoiding them, you know out of fear, because playing power noise and black metal at deafening volumes just might do that for you.
“Goths at the Beach” by Dreamcrusher
I had a goth phase once, well maybe not, but I did spend much of my free time my junior year of high school listening to The Cure and Bauhaus if that counts. This little anecdote has very little relevance to the heavy and abrasive power noise and electro-industrial of Dreamcrusher, an artist whose unique mix of synth punk, deconstructed club, power electronics, and noise rock, is cathartic and exciting. An essential track if you’re looking for a very boisterous beach experience.
“The Beach At Redpoint” by Boards of Canada
Coming off of the IDM legends 2002 album, Geogaddi, there’s something uniquely balmy about this track and it’s not just the title. To begin with I would guess that the field recording sample contained in the song is of water flowing in and out of a beachfront, that beachfront being in Redpoint, Scotland, a small village in the country of Boards of Canada’s origin. However, it’s also more than just the field recording, there’s something both warm and surreal about this track. That being said, if you’re looking for a very hypnotic downtempo and IDM song to soundtrack your beach visit “The Beach At Redpoint” is a must.
“A New Kind of Water” by This Heat
There’s a lot of water at the beach right? Okay, if I’m being honest this entry is just an excuse to write about This Heat, whose album Deceit, which this song comes off of, is my second favorite of all time. It’s a full-fledged experience of an album, it’s frightening, confrontational, cryptic, and sinister, it’s all the adjectives that mean scary blended into very intelligent and innovative post-punk which is surprisingly catchy. Now that I’ve conveyed this, this song is still beach worthy, I mean not every not every beach experience is positive. Just imagine, you’re at the beach, it’s a beautiful sunny day and all of a sudden a thunderstorm rolls in, this is the perfect song for that experience.
“Scald Scar of Water” by Altar of Plagues
“There Matt goes again with the water in the title of the song joke” you might say. However, you did not consider the ultimate metajoke pulled by a finely smooth brained individual such as myself in choosing a song from the genre of atmospheric black metal, a very cold and melancholic genre, to put in my playlist about summer activities such as going to the beach which is traditionally practiced in warm weather. What a snafu!
“I’m But a Wave to …” by Cynic
Bookmarking the end of the beach section of the playlist is a cut from my favorite technical death metal album, Focus, by Miami’s Cynic. Cynic are composed of what is pretty much a star studded cast of players within the prog and death metal scene, featuring members who were also part of groups such as Atheist and Death. Once again you are treated to a sample of the tide at a beach before the track transitions to what technical death metal does best, guitar wankery, I realize that I come off as hostile by saying this but I really don’t mean it in a bad way. So if you’re looking for a track to headbang or maybe mosh to while watching that sweet tide roll in, look no other place than here.
General Summer Vibes
The last of these tracks are not about any specific summer activity and just contain some titles with some nice summer vibes.
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Grind” by Wormrot
To begin here, I realize that this title is just a play on the film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, I am just going to ignore that because I want to talk about Wormrot goddamnit! Wormrot is a grindcore band from Singapore, and the album this song comes off of, Voices, is in my opinion one of the best grind albums of the last decade with its crust punk influenced fury being very riveting to listen to. So if you’re in need of a summertime listen with unmeasurable rage and hellfire Wormrot is the way to go.
“Air Conditioning” by Lightning Bolt
Air conditioning is very useful during the summer. What’s also very useful during the summer is having noise rock jams to listen to, especially those performed by the legendary duo Lightning Bolt. This song comes off of the band’s 2019 album, Sonic Citadel, which was a surprisingly melodic yet still bone crushing departure for the band. For instance, you can kind of hear what Brian Chippendale is actually saying in the song instead of the usually incredibly noisey grunts that were characteristic of his vocal style in previous albums. All in all, both in this song and this album by Lightning bolt, there is a certain warm blooded frenzy all over every bass note, every drum hit, and every scream, making the song proper summer listening.
“Million Year Summer” by The Angelic Process
What if summer were one million years? That would be wild right? You know what’s also wild, how good of a band The Angelic Process were. The album this song comes off of, Weighing Souls with Sand, is such a crushing and existential mix of shoegaze, drone metal, post-metal, and pure unadulterated drone. The songs sound dense, huge, and tragic. It’s a true album to watch the sunset to in a melancholic state, all the while the summer heat choking the air.
“In Summer” by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
I know that the title of this track is a bit on the nose for what I’m trying to do here, but I wholeheartedly recommend this whole EP, of which this song is the title track of, by San Francisco musician, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. On this playlist I mention a lot of noise and rugged disturbing works within that genre, but if you’re looking for the most melodic. serene, and ethereal work the genre has to offer, look no further than this EP. Some moments on it like “Love’s Refrain” featuring blissful and exultant textures of noise that really highlights some of the genre’s more peaceful aspects.
“Endless Summer” by Fennesz
Closing out the playlist is a track by the Austrian musician Fennesz. “Endless Summer,” coming off an album of the same name is actually quite a peaceful delight of a track. “Endless Summer,” is very comfortably nested within the genre of glitch, while the name implies chaotic and busy music, there are a lot of works that are definitely actually quite hypnotic and calming within the genre, including this album and track. Featuring a warm acoustic guitar accompanying the tracks atmospheric glitch effects, this track definitely feels like it is trying to convey to the listener some of the more placid moments summer can bring.