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Reviews
Skullflower - Ilird Gatekeeper (reissue)
Wednesday, October 15 2008 @ 01:00 AM PDT
Contributed by: Blond Adonis

Ilird Gatekeeper (reissue)

Artist: Skullfower United Kingdom

Title: Ilird Gatekeeper (reissue)

Label: Crucial Blast / Crucial Bliss United States

Genre: Ambient

Tracklist

01 Can You Feel It? 
02 Black Rabbit 
03 Larks Tongues 
04 Center Puss 
05 Saturnalia 
06 Rotten Sun 
07 Vanadis 
08 Godzilla 
09 Spoiler

Originally the brainchild of Londoner Matthew Bower, Skullflower was around for a while during the late 80s and up to the late 90s, making their own brand of experimental music. Unfortunately the band broke up in 1997 and the trio went their separate ways. But fortunately for us - the hardcore fans and the uninitiated future fans who never got a chance to hear Skullflower in their heyday - Crucial Blast Records has just reissued, among other releases, Ilird Gatekeeper, recorded back in 1990/1991 due to the rise of the internet. They are also reissuing Skullflower’s entire catalog for the delight of their cult-following and for ears of future generations or for those who may not have been ready for their brand of music back in the 1990s. Now getting Skullflower’s CDs are as easy as going straight to the internet.
On this 9-track reissue of IIird Gatekeeper they’ve brought back a disc full of metal-ambient-noise rock. It’s all instrumental with a few vocalizations thrown in for good measure. The heart of the music is a rambling, droning guitar. All the tunes just blur together for one mega-jam. Instead of velvety ambience backed by a room full of equipment, Skullflower just plugged in their guitars and went nuts churning and burning up the amps. The brainchild of Matthew Bower who takes it upon himself to create the creepiest guitar work this side of Asia.
It’s creepy, eerie, freaky and you can’t beat it with a ten-foot stick. Ambient music can’t all be one staid style. It is nice to have some variations in the genre. There’s no hint of Eno, Jon Hassell or Moebius with Skullflower, instead their ambience comes out of a heavily-reverbed guitar with a whole package of effects pedals, light on the percussion and a tinge of metal-edged atmospherics.
If you dug the EP Kurt Cobain and William S. Burroughs did together a year or two before the latter’s death, The Priest They Called Him in which Cobain accompanied Burroughs on guitar while Bill read the short story (the title of the aforementioned EP) then you know the kind of guitar noodling going on of which Skullflower delight in. If you’d like to find out more about Skullflower check them out on their MySpace page, or go to www.monotrema.com for a biography, discography and any tips on how to procure this and other recently reissued CDs. If you check out their website you’ll see an abundant catalog of their music. It can basically be summed up as noise-art with an ominous ambience about it. Check out their website and dig the rest of their catalog, who knows how long the good vibes will last.

     


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