Tag Archives: Jesu

Experimental Groundbreakers Controlled Bleeding Straddle the Primal and Cerebral

Controlled Bleeding

Controlled Bleeding bandleader and guitarist Paul Lemos isn’t the type of artist you can pigeonhole. Since founding Controlled Bleeding in Boston in the late ‘70s, Lemos has led the band through a dizzying array of musical styles including post-punk, fusion, power electronics, and industrial, to name just a few. Not unlike King Crimson or Swans—acts whose names function as institutions that host revolving casts of players—Controlled Bleeding can appear to be an entirely different band depending on which album or period you focus on.

Last year, after a lengthy hiatus following the deaths of longtime creative partners, drummer/keyboardist Chris Moriarty and singer/keyboardist Joe Papa, Lemos released his first album in 14 years under the Controlled Bleeding banner, Larva Lumps and Baby Bumps. Anchored by the talents of new collaborators Chad Bernhard and Mike Bazini, both drum programmers, sound sculptors, and keyboardists, the album was the result of a gradual (but initially unintended) five-year build towards reactivating the band.

In a career defined by exploration, Lemos and company are still pushing themselves to discover new sounds. On their appropriately-titled new remix album Carving Songs, 15 like-minded artists including Merzbow, Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and Jesu, and Child Bite reimagine Larva Lumps for a varied but surprisingly cohesive take on an already-eclectic album. Of course, it wouldn’t be Controlled Bleeding if the project didn’t also put fresh twists on the idea of the definition of the remix itself. Lemos spoke to us from his home on his native Long Island, his base for over 35 years.

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Slowcore: A Brief Timeline

Low

Low, photo by Lego.

You could easily argue against the idea of “slowcore” as a genre. Unlike its late-’80s/early-’90s contemporaries in shoegaze and grunge, there was never a geographic focus or self-celebrating scene. Its key bands formed all across the country, rarely toured together, and never seemed to swap notes or compare guitar pedals. There were no formative moments, no Sex Pistols at Manchester in ’76. Nothing close to an ethos.

But, crucially, there is a sound—or, rather, a continuity of sound—a commitment to allowing songs the room to breathe, to stripping things down to their essence before something bigger can be built back up around them. Even when the songs are fast or loud or busy, they never lose that essential clarity, that push toward beauty as its own end. Continue reading