mercoledì 24 febbraio 2021

Kusa'i by SSHE RETINA STIMULANTS - vinyl reissue


Recorded and assembled by P.NG5361.B in 1994.

Originally released by G.R.O.S.S. (Japan) as GR-032 cassette in 1994:
R.I.P. Akifumi Nakajima.

Remastered by Paolo L. Bandera in 2020.

Reissued as a limited edition CDR in 48 copies by BeTon Raw in June 2020: contact BeTon Raw at

Reissued as limited edition LP by Influencing Machine Records on February 22, 2021: European copies available at, while for US and other countries orders should be placed at

From the Influencing Machine Records site

"As a founding member of the seminal group Sigillum S, Paolo Bandera is a luminary of the Italian Industrial music scene.

Since then, he has consistently produced music under a variety of aliases, but the most significant of Bandera’s solo work is that which he’s released as Sshe Retina Stimulants.

Beginning in 1993, assuming the cryptic pseudonym NG5361, Bandera released a succession of monumental tapes and CDs on some of the most prominent labels, including Old Europa Café, Slaughter Productions, Self Abuse Records, Ant-Zen, and BloodLust!.

Released in 1994, Kusa’i, one of Bandera’s earliest Sshe Retina Stimulants tapes, came out on the legendary G.R.O.S.S
. label run by the late Akifumi Nakajima, better known as Aube.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of G.R.O.S.S. In addition to self-releasing much of his own work, Nakajima put out tapes by some of the most prominent noise artists of the 1990s.

The label’s incomparable aesthetics commanded respect and ensured that each artist’s submission was among his best work.

So it was with the Sshe Retina Stimulants Kusa’i cassette. Nakajima approached Bandera to release a tape focusing on, as Bandera describes it, “the occult meaning of acoustic debris and the hidden power of environmental noise to reveal forgotten images.”

The conceptual direction Nakajima provided to Bandera generated an extraordinary work, one focused on the “sensorial bridges between extremely ancient cultures and their future reincarnation.”

It is a concept that would foreshadow Bandera’s long-time obsession with psychogeography that informs much of his musical output.

The word "kusai" describes a pungent or revolting odor (before the tape was released, Nakajima suggested using the transliterated version of the word with the erroneous apostrophe because it more closely approximates the spoken sound).

The recording features two sprawling 22-minute tracks, a delirious onslaught dense with howling, metallic shrills and charged electric pulses.

Kusa’i’s abrasive textures are stretched out and paced to discomfiting effect, never sounding too frantic or haphazard.

This recording is among the standout works in both the Sshe Retina Stimulants discography and the G.R.O.S.S. catalog.

Remastered and presented on vinyl for the first time, this edition of Kusa’i features new cover art by Tim Grieco and photography that Bandera himself took during his psychogeographic explorations in Japan."

venerdì 19 febbraio 2021

Demonization: These Worldly Powers by Ensemble Sacrés Garçons


Ensemble Sacrés Garçons



Ensemble Sacrés Garçons is a post-industrial band that was formed in 1994, by Paolo L. Bandera (Sshe Retina Stimulants, Sigillum S, The Sodality, Iugula-Thor, etc.), Andrea Chiaravalli (Iugula-Thor), both from Milan, and Mark Solotroff (Anatomy of Habit, BLOODYMINDED, The Fortieth Day, Intrinsic Action, etc.), from Chicago.

“Demonization: These Worldly Powers” is the band’s second album. It contains seven songs that are characterized by dense foundations of magnetic tape processing, spectral analog synth, and layers of opposing vocals

The album is pressed on 160 gram black vinyl. It’s housed in plain, glossy black LP jackets, with wrap-around 12”x24” poster sleeves, printed on both sides, in metallic silver ink on heavyweight black stock. There are individually numbered, double-sided 8.5”x11” cardstock inserts included, with credits and lyrics, as well as separate download codes.

Track Listing:
Side A:
I'm Your Nightmare (3:34)
Death Inflates (3:28)
Velocity (5:32)
Devil's Still On That Seat (4:25)
Side B:
Voice Stealing (4:47)
Dead Band (7:50)
Suffers (3:44)



Please note that the price of $30.00 includes postage in the US, EU, and UK.
Additional postage of $15.00 will be added for all other countries/regions.
EU/UK orders will ship from Milan each Saturday.
All other orders will ship from Chicago each weekday.
Tracking numbers will be provided.


Andrea, Paolo, and I are very pleased to finally release the new album by our group, Ensemble Sacrés Garçons. We’ve been anticipating it for a long time… for over 25 years, in fact. We recorded our debut in 1994, in Brooklyn, at Bass Mind Studio. Andrea and I got to work utilizing recordings that Paolo had prepared in Milan, in advance. Megan Emish from Intrinsic Action/BLOODYMINDED produced those studio sessions for us. It was released on CD by the Italian label Old Europa Café in 1995.

We decided to start on our follow up, right away. To begin, Paolo again prepared material on analog tape, which he brought to Brooklyn, in 1995. I then manipulated these recordings in the manner of the SCTL (Source Control) style that I used on multiple Intrinsic Action releases. Roughly eight months later, after I completed my mix, Megan mastered the album for CD, at Acme Soundworks, NYC.

As 1996 continued on, Andrea, Paolo, and I considered and discussed the results. I think we all new that there was great material on the DAT master, but across the 12 songs and 70+ minute running time, it began to feel somewhat impenetrable. Amidst its thick walls of synth noise, tape distortion, and destroyed vocals, it was lacking in the appealing immediacy of its raw and primitive sounding predecessor. Time passed, and every so often, the three of us would discuss resurrecting the recordings, doing some judicious editing, and preparing to release it.

Finally, in 2018, a solid plan was put together. Paolo would focus on adding some minimal yet dynamic synth, I would write new lyrics, and Andrea and I would take a new and more direct approach to our vocals. In April of 2019, studio time was booked at Soundcheck Studio in Milan, and I flew there to record and to perform at our debut live show. I believe that our concert was particularly important, because it further solidified Ensemble Sacrés Garçons as more than a collaboration and more than a many-years-long series of face-to-face visits, video chats, emails, and faded out faxes. It felt like we really functioned as a band. During the recording sessions, Andrea and I were focused on our vocals, while Paolo was working his magic in the control room with the engineer, Matteo Pace. By the time I returned to Chicago, we knew that the tremendous chemistry of that week, grounded in our long friendship, had given us just what we needed to complete the album.

Paolo then got to work on his final synth tracks, as well as the challenging process of mixing the album. After just a couple of rounds of mixes, we knew that we were ready. But the album still seemed too long, especially if we were going to move forward with releasing it on vinyl. Our next step was to consider whether we had two solid albums, and if so, how we might divide the twelve songs between them. This actually turned out to be easier than we thought it would be, and two discrete albums materialized with very little effort.

We then sent the songs for the first LP to Collin Jordan at The Boiler Room, in Chicago, and we were thrilled with the results of his mastering work. As we were putting our plan together for the LP, the global pandemic hit and things slowed down again. We decided to use a relatively new pressing plant in Chicago, Smashed Plastic, which was doing some great work on albums that I’d heard. Once they were able to reopen their facilities our album went into the queue. After a few months, we had our vinyl in-hand. Staying local, we also decided to have a Chicago printer and friend – Erin Page/Kill Hatsumomo – screen print the sleeves that we designed. The three of us simply couldn’t be happier with the final outcome, especially after all of these years that have passed. As for the future, we’re already discussing plans for our third album, “Sanctification: Seeing the Singularity”...

(Mark Solotroff, February 2021)

domenica 7 febbraio 2021

Coalescence Of Time: Other Conjectures On Future by SIGILLUM S