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Nasturtium was my "Private Metal" concept ca. 2003-2004, fake backstory & everything (below), right when we were all (re) investigating this stuff. No apologies, but certainly no critical reassessment necessary - it is exactly what it is - so if the idea of hearing Steve Reich's "Piano Phase" played by a Doom Metal band is at all appealing, then you've got it right there in track #3. The first two involve more of an ensemble sound - I was going for Träd, Gräs & Stenar / International / Harvester covering "Earth 2" - the last two were recorded earlier for various projects, notably the commemorative wedding album of Aquarius / A Minor Forest's Andee Connors. You can hear the familiar "Feedback Resonating A Snare Drum" technique as utilized on "Playthroughs" right there at the opening bell.
Interestingly, this intended LP & 7" set made it all the way to the manufacturing stage, where it was plagued by a series of mishaps, ultimately thwarting the whole affair. I still have several test pressings of the LP w/ various issues (quiet or noisy mastering, missing tracks) but the 7" made it through & was "released" separately via Mimaroglu around June 2010 after I got tired of moving the box around the office. Feel free to grab a copy here & you'll still get the digital release of the whole album.
Those of you that are surprised at this music & the whole gesture: keep in mind that I co-wrote a column in Guitar World magazine for a couple of years in the early 90s that covered mostly Metal & related genres; I was knee deep in all of this for ages & ages.
released June 21, 2004
Like many of you, I became fascinated with Black Metal after hearing the story (told, in hyperbole-padded hushed tones, often while consuming beer with other men) of Dead, Euronymous, and Count Grishnackh et.al back in the late 90s. Followed the stuff rabidly, attended what gigs I could, but the local (Boston-area) presence of this stuff, let alone a tangibly-accessible (talking about something as physical as Black Metal with others on the internet is like knitting about an earthquake) community of fans, was entirely unheard of.
Then ... one warm Somerville night back in 2004, I heard what sounded like cats asphyxiating other cats coming out of the basement of a house a few miles away from the Reckankomplex. I stood in the street with PETA on speed dial & listened for a bit, mustered up the courage to ring the doorbell. Approximately 12 minutes later I was met with a “the fuck YOU want” from the individual now known as The Seeer (other members include The Summoner, The Banished, and The Returned) who, upon the offer to release a recording of said asphyxiations into the wild, invited me into their lair (curiously titled "The Haag Den") & rewarded me with a chalice of ... Heineken ... and a demo of the band (then named “Halter”). Other than The Seeer’s brief appearance at a Reckankomplex box social later the same year (during which I lent him copies of Steve Reich’s “Early Works”, Åkos Rozmann’s “Images and the Dream of Death” and Eliane Radigue’s “Adnos I - III” - all of which are still missing from my collection - I heard head nor hide from any of the Halter members in the interim.
Flash forward about ... 6 years; had completely forgotten about the meeting, the demo, and the agreement; such is life (especially my life). But then I found it in a spring-cleaning raid, spun it, & was completely floored. Walked over to the Halter house the same night, and, sure enough, all four residents still very much living there, very much living the Black Metal nightmare. although their alliance was now renamed the albeit far-more apropos Nasturtium. Reneged the deal & can now now offer you this fine collection.
Featured here are the original 2-track demo from 2004, including a piece featuring the triple-guitar/bass lineup recorded by close-mic’ing snare drums placed directly in front of their amps, plus a decidedly more “psych” oriented number, then a side-length piece from the following year, which, I have to say, sounds a hell of a lot like a “cover” of Reich’s “Piano Phase”, and with initial copies only, a bonus 7” of “Contemporary Material” - shudder at the thought, but in fact this includes a nicely synth-heavy, double-free-drum blaster and a fine moog-drone to cleanse the palate.
Issued in a “Boutique” edition- what can I say? I have something of a guilty conscience for sitting on this for so long; decided to make it “Nice”, with both a Black-on-Black LP in one of those nice euro “Polybag” Black/Black windowed inner sleeves and a Black-on-Black 7”(in a black paper envelope all housed in “Library Style” Laserdisc sleeve with a little pouch for the index card; in this case an unintelligible “Credits” sheet along with two ... you guessed it ... Black inserts.
One-strike edition of 300, available exclusively from Mimaroglu Music Sales and its acolytes ... Behold.