Industrial rockers Azar Swan
‘s (Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn) third album, Savage Exile,
was released on December 1, and, in celebration of the record, they let us know some records that have greatly impacted their lives.
Consumer Electronics, Estuary English
A few seconds of ‘Teknon’ is all you need to be reminded how false it is when any other music is described as ‘an assault.’ The electronics are unhinged and the lyrics are literate and devastating. This record and everything they’ve made since is essential music for sociopathic times.
Diamanda Galás & John Paul Jones, The Sporting Life
The record opens with a really traditional Eastern vocal motif and goes completely out of space and time from there. It’s kind of blues and kind of avant-garde and pretty all around divine. Diamanda populates the record with a cast of characters and enough musical invention to blow a mind wide open.
While some might find something politically problematic in these disturbing vignettes of rape and murder, there’s a horror that comes across here that’s absent from our daily thinkpiece-and-CSI existence. Even shows like Mindhunter that attempt to inject a sense of intellectualism into the true crime genre can sometimes feel too much like entertainment. Art that looks into the depraved depths of human behavior shouldn’t be easy to digest, and this isn’t.
Lydia Lunch, Queen of Siam
Everything Lydia does, from Teenage Jesus to The Gun is Loaded to My Lover the Killer to Fistful of Desert Blues, is perfect. Queen of Siam is arguably the most Lydia Lunch of Lydia Lunch records, whatever that means, so this is the one to pick. What’s it feel like to get punched in the face while simultaneously having what ails you soothed? It feels like this.
Prurient, Pleasure Ground
There tends to be an all-or-nothing quality to music that’s designed to be confrontational, especially where melody is concerned. This is one of a very small number of recordings that manages to weave harsh textures together with what can only be described as hooks. They’re hooks in the same way a repeated theme from a Steve Reich or Brian Eno piece are hooks; there’s nothing resembling traditional song structure. This record moves like a menacingly paced sprawl, and it has a shocking infectiousness that rewards many repeat listens.