Illustrations isn't an easy band to describe. The Texas outfit definitely falls somewhere in the hardcore realm, but their songwriting also pulls in elements of death and black metal, and other sonic nuances that are usually found in the wide-screened post-metal of Neurosis and Cult of Luna. On their forthcoming sophomore album, Acts of God, Illustrations even invited Bruce Lamont (Yakuza, Brain Tentacles) to add some saxophone to the recording sessions. In short, this is a band who can't be bothered with genre expectations.
In that spirit, Illustrations singer Matt King and guitarist Nicodemus Gonzalez shared with No Echo the 10 artists that helped inspire their new album. As you'll see, their tastes are all over the map.
Björk orchestrates atmosphere like none other. Sparse but articulate compositions, the marriage of electronic and organic elements, everything about this music is perfection to me. Growing up listening to these recordings has definitely had the biggest impact on my creative palette.
Often imitated, never duplicated. Majority Rule is my favorite band, hands down. From the music writing and the lyrics to the atmosphere their music created. Incomparable.
Arca's abiliity to paint these extraordinarily palpable, hyper-emotional landscapes, while still retaining an element of brutality, has always resonated with me firmly. This music really shines a new light on the true potential of what we perceive as "heavy music."
I feel like Robinson never got the love and respect they deserved. The Great City crushes everything in it's path. Long live Debello.
The Haxan Cloak
Huge, cinematic, desolate, post-apocalyptic. The Haxan Cloak reach depressive-suicidal-black-metal levels of bleakness, through the use of modular synths and samplers, of course.
Human Hatred might be my favorite 7" of all time. Pissed off/violent straight edge. I love this shit.
Atari Teenage Riot
Atari Teenage Riot re-imagined the entire foundation of being a hardcore band, in an era of digital renaissance, even pulling and re-purposing samples from classic punk records. Atari Teenage Riot pushed the boundaries far and wide, creating their own world along the way, known as "digital hardcore." Raw. Unrelenting. Sociopolitical. This is how punk is done.
I don't think I would've found out about this band if not for word of mouth, but I'm glad I did. I love everything about Raise the Bullshit Flag and revisit the album too often.
Centuries ahead of the times, forward-thinking on a level I'm not sure even today's society is quite ready to embrace, Psychic TV, are true warriors of individuality and human expression. Their following transcends "cult" and the group's leader(s) Genesis P-Orridge, head an actual cult of creative visionaries and practitioners of chaos magic. Not to mention the individual members musical legacy as the originators of industrial music and innovators of rave culture. There's is a lot our future generations can take away from this group.
A long time ago when I first started playing music, a friend of mine left me with his entire hard drive of music. Yage was one of countless other screamo bands I then discovered on that hard drive, but enjoyed more than most. Such epic writing and memorable riffs.