Some records from Argonauta Records vault, a journey into, psychedelic, occult and industrial sounds.
We begin this column again with a few records from the catalog of the Genoese Argonauta Records.
The first is ‘Journey to the pink planet’ by the venetians Aktopasa. In the Nepalese language, Aktopasa means octopus, and it is a very interesting term, given that Nepal’s location, they should not have seen any octopuses for millennia and millennia, and instead the truth could be very different, if we have no preconceptions, and anything can be, just like Aktopasa’s music.
Psychedelia, hard rock that gassifies and becomes ethereal, continuous research and experimentation for a group that is never the same as the note played before.
The group from Veneto proposes a very interesting mixture with the journey at the beginning, going beyond through and with music, letting oneself go while listening to a record, and there is a lot of journey material here. As references one could give Colour Haze, My Sleeping Karma and that new wave of armed psychedelia that has been churning out good stuff in recent years. All the tracks are wide-ranging and their path winds sinuously and impetuously, but at the same time gentle, warm and enveloping. “A journey to the pink planet” is a record with great depth and which lasts many listens, possesses an enviable strength and brings us closer to the third eye than to what we see in reality.
A very successful record that can serve as both a meditation and an escape from reality.
‘Sons of the Occult’ is the new record by Dutch band Thammuz, and it is exactly what the title proposes, namely a journey into the occult, into what lies beneath.
The album was released in 2022 and confirmed the validity of this band that starts from a very desert stoner and arrives at a new definition of occult post-metal, always full of distortions as well as great melodic openings that project the listener far away.
Thammuz possess that musical pace that allows them to erect sonic monoliths that stand alone on the sand dunes of Arrakis, and all they are is what you have yet to discover.
The band ranges across genres and they do it very well, in one moment they are conjuring up forgotten gods, and the next they are drinking at the bar with Tom Waits and Queens Of The Stone Age and it all makes sense.
Also important in Thammuz’s musical writing is the psychedelia of the sixties and seventies, which here is declined in its hardest and most uncompromising form. A varied record, written and played at a higher level, for a very enjoyable result.
Eighth and new album for the sound beast Infection Code from lower Piedmont.
This band is simply one of the most underrated groups in the Italian music undergrowth, and this record released in September 2022 is the greatest testimony to this. Every Infection Code album is something that carries on a stylistic and even political discourse in the truest sense of the word that began years and years ago.
Each record interlocks with the others like the pieces of a mosaic that only comes to life when you listen to it, in perpetual motion. In addition to coherence, there is a greater vision, a continuous description of the ever-changing human situation, digging deep, unafraid of pain and demons. “Alea iacta est” sees a new line-up that makes them even more powerful and metallic with Gabriele’s voice becoming more dystopian and incisive with each record. And it is precisely his voice that deserves a separate speech, since you can hear that he has worked on it for a long time and treats it as an instrument of the band and not as something alien to it, as unfortunately happens in many bands.
The Piedmontese band hits very hard on this record and their sound is indeed industrial metal, but on the Godflesh and similar bands side, with granitic sound evolution and dozens of double bass drums and sharp distortions in the description of what might appear to be a dystopia, but is instead the figurative description through excellent lyrics of our civilisation. It is not Infection Code who distort reality, but we who see it for what it is not, trying to grasp salvation where there is none, and a track like ‘Red Death Masquerade’ explains this very well.
Recorded very well at the studio at Novi Ligure The Cat’s Cage by Francesco Salvadeo, who also mixed and mastered it, the record takes the band, who have always had new elements on every record, a step further, but in this latest work they are really at a high level, in a dictatorship of noise that falls like a nuclear fall out on things and covers them revealing their true face. ‘Alea iacta est’ is a work that confirms Infection Code’s vision, taking us inside the matrix and showing us the only possible way to survive it, which is to use noise as a weapon, and there is plenty of that here.
A heartfelt record that vibrates very strongly.