Saturday, February 28, 2009


notice to los angeles area residents and visitors: there's a new record store in town. it is called "vacation". it is a record store in the most literal sense, featuring a carefully curated selection of vinyl LPs, 10"s, and 7"s, (as well as a hand picked assortment of CDs, magazines, cassettes, DVDs, books, turntables and other vinyl accessories). the inception of the store resulted from a series of casual meetings and more formal strategic planning sessions between the founders of two locally and international established entities: hydra head records and secret headquarters . after many discussions, wrestling matches, site surveys, recruitment seminars, and wholesale ordering, "vacation" is ready to open its doors to the public starting now - that is, saturday feb. 28, 2009.

in the welcoming environ of "vacation" visitors can find a slew of different musics to choose from: rock, soul, experimental, jazz, metal, hip hop, and many other forms of recorded sound that will please the discerning and distinguished palette of seasoned afficiandos and musical newcomers alike. aside from a wide variety of releases culled from all corners of the globe, "vacation" boasts the best selection of regularities and rarities from hydra head/isis/and related affiliates (including many new & out of print items unavailable elsewhere). the store is open 7 days a week and is located at 4679 hollywood blvd in the silverlake/los feliz area of LA, near the corner of vermont and hollywood. yes, we're vacation....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

winter 2008/2008

above: photos from various locations in massachusetts, new mexico, and california (photos by a.t. and f. coloccia).

currently in the works:

-isis: "wavering radiant" album art is now in its final stages - u.s., european and japanese versions will all have different covers and interiors based around the same themes and basic elements. previews of the finished layouts to be posted here soon.

-house of low culture: material is being prepared for an upcoming split 12" with mamiffer , as well as remixes for pyramids and lustmord . also in the works will be a collaborative project project with tom neely called "the wolf". tom is writing/drawing content for a book for which HOLC will create a soundtrack. the finished product will likely take the form of a hard-bound book packaged in tandem with two 10" records - release date is tentative, but we're aiming for summer. all of these materials will be released in one form or another via hydra head over the course of 2009.

-lotus eaters: "mind control for infants", the debut album by lotus eaters (consisting of james plotkin, stephen o'malley, and myself), is finally going to see the light of day on the vinyl format. the album (originally released on CD via neurot recordings in 2001), is undergoing a transformation for its new incarnation. the new version will include alternate mixes of the original tracks, a bonus track not included on the CD version, and revamped artwork. taiga records will be handling the release - please take a moment to familiarize yourself with their fine label if you haven't already.

enhancing: a good dose of snow in various locations, ofermod "tiamatü", birchville cat motel "four freckle constellation", einstürzende neubauten "fünf auf der nach oben offenen richterskala", deathspell omega "chaining the katechon", green grass in the valley, m.o.s.w.f., prurient "adam tied to stone", deep listening band "then & now now & then", leatherface "fill your boots"

Monday, February 2, 2009

darkness of the future

Above: details from illustrations for ISIS "Wavering Radiant"

Below: excerpt from C. G. Jung's "Memories, Dreams, Reflections" (1961)

"Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The "newness" in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied re-combination of age-old components. Body and soul therefor have an intensely historical character and find no proper place in what is new, in things that have just come into being. That is to say, our ancestral components are only partly at home in such things. We are very far from having finished with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend. Nevertheless, we have plunged down a cataract of progress which sweeps us on into the future with even wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots. Once the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the "discontents" of civilization and to such a flurry of haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up. We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness. We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is cancelled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant of discoveries of science expose us. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand of ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and his guiding instincts, so he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.
Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetenings of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than ever before. Omnis festinatio ex parte diaboli est - all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say.
Reforms by retrogressions, on the other hand, are as a rule less expensive and in addition more lasting, for they return to the simpler, tried and tested ways of the past and make the sparsest use of newspapers, radio, television, and all supposedly timesaving innovations.
In this book I have devoted considerable space to my subjective view of the world, which, however, is not a product of rational thinking. It is rather a vision such as will come to one who undertakes, deliberately, with half-closed eyes and somewhat closed ears, to see and hear the form and voice of being. If our impressions are too distinct, we are held to the hour and minute of the present and have no way of knowing how our ancestral psyches listen to and understand the present - in other words, how our unconscious responds to it. Thus we remain ignorant of whether our ancestral components find an elementary gratification in our lives, or whether they are repelled. Inner peace and contentment depend in large measure upon whether or not the historical family which is inherent in the individual can be harmonized with the ephemeral conditions of the present."