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Matthew Bower is a British musician, active since the early 1980s, with a vast collection of collaborative and solo work behind him.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Skullflower was formed when Bower joined up with Stefan Jaworzyn, Gary Mundy and Stuart Dennison in 1987having previously worked under the name Pure with Alex Binnie and Alex Windsor. Unlike most of their immediate contemporaries in the London-based industrial underground, they used traditional rock instruments such as guitars and drums as well as tapes, synths etc. The line-up could be fluid, with members of contemporaries such as Whitehouse, Coil and Ramleh contributing. The group are often cited as having been a strong influence on Justin Broadrick of Godflesh and, indeed, Broadrick later released two Skullflower albums on his HeadDirt label. Jaworzyn left the band with bassist Anthony DiFranco and guitarist Russell Smith (formerly of Terminal Cheesecake) joining. The unit moved further and further away from any recognisable rock genre with albums such as Obsidian Shaking Codex and Transformer showcasing a free-flowing, rootless brand of drone music, often adding reeds and strings, sometimes played by John Godbert. Skullflower was put on hold around 1997 with Bower pursuing other activities, and triumphantly revived in 2003, with Bower enlisting people like Mark Burns, Neil Campbell, Michael Flower and Colin Potter (of Nurse With Wound) for new material. Although he recorded some of these albums (including Tribulation) alone, many of the group's live commitments were fulfilled by a duo of Bower and Lee Stokoe (who records solo as Culver). A show at the 2008 Colour Out Of Space festival saw Bower and Stokoe being joined by Alex Binnie and Stuart Dennison. At April 2009, the full line-up of Skullflower was Bower, Stokoe, Dennison and Samantha Davies. He and Samantha Davies also record together as Voltigeurs. 2011 saw the release of 'Fucked on a Pile of Corpses' more visceral/Black Metal/and an almost return to the industrial sounds of Total. Fittingly, it was released on long running English Industrial label Cold Spring. At the close of 2011 the full band line up is Bower, Sokoe, Davies and West Yorkshire Patriot, George Proctor (Mutant Ape).
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the finger(s)/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.
Bower recorded under the name Total, from 1984-7, and then as a solo vehicle from 1991-2000,on labels such as Majora, VHF, American Tapes (run by John Olson of Wolf Eyes), Self Abuse and Freek as well as appearing on Virgin's Isolationism compilation. Initially a more drone/neo classical/industrial counterpart to Skullflower's harsher work, the roles slowly reversed, reaching a peak with the noisy Merzbow Mixed Total cassette being released around the same time as the mostly gentle, fluid "This Is Skullflower" CD. Bower coincidentally stopped using the name, adopting Sunroof! for his solo work, at the same time the US R&B group of the same name appeared; there was no connection between these events.
VHF Records is an American record label, known for their extensive work with several major experimental artists. The label is based in the Washington, DC suburb of Fairfax, Va., and it initially focused on indie and experimental bands from that region. The label has since branched out to release innovative and offbeat music from around the world, although Northern Virginia artists are still prominently featured in the catalog. The label was founded by Bill Kellum in 1991, originally to release a single each by his own band, Rake, and that of his friends, Wingtip Sloat. After a handful of releases by both bands, Kellum acquired the US rights to the first releases by UK psychedelic group Flying Saucer Attack including the CD edition of their debut album. Following this, Kellum released an album by Matthew Bower's Skullflower, which in turn led to the release of an LP by Bower and Richard Youngs. Since then, Youngs has released a dozen collaborative albums on the label, including 6 with Simon Wickham-Smith, 3 with Alex Neilson, one from his progressive rock unit Ilk and one with Makoto Kawabata. Kawabata has also released 3 solo albums for the label. Other artists include Vibracathedral Orchestra, Roy Montgomery, Jack Rose, Pelt, and Stephen O'Malley's Æthenor. Matthew Bower released another 2 Skullflower albums on the label, one Total release and several more under his most recent solo alias, Sunroof!.
Wolf Eyes is an American experimental music group from Detroit, Michigan, formed in 1996 by Nate Young. Currently a duo, Wolf Eyes are a prominent act within contemporary noise music. They have collaborated with a variety of artists from different countries and art forms.
Virgin Group Ltd. is a British multinational venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneurs Sir Richard Branson and Nik Powell.
With Skullflower officially resting and Total retired, Bower began a more inclusive project called Sunroof! which, on occasion, could feature Richard Youngs, Neil Campbell, John Godbert, Phil Todd and other friends.More melodic and keyboard based than his previous work, albums were issued on VHF, Giardia and his own Rural Electrification Project label. In addition, he also guested with Vibracathedral Orchestra on a number of occasions and has issued 2 albums with Richard Youngs. Bower’s discography of visceral, free drone-rock is one of the most formidable of its kind and he was considered in 2005 by The Wire to be one of the "map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s" (issue 259).
Richard Youngs is a British musician with a prolific and diverse output, including many collaborations. Based in Glasgow since the early 1990s, his extensive back catalogue of solo and collaborative work formally begins with Advent, first issued in 1990. He plays many instruments, most commonly choosing the guitar, but he has been known to use a wide variety of other instruments including the shakuhachi, accordion, theremin, dulcimer, a home-made synthesizer and even a motorway bridge. He also released an album which was entirely a cappella.
Neil Campbell is a British musician, notable for his vast catalogue and his many collaborations. In 2005, The Wire declared that he, Richard Youngs and Matthew Bower had "provided the map co-ordinates for much of what passed for a post-punk UK underground during most of the 80s and 90s".
Giardia is a genus of anaerobic flagellated protozoan parasites of the phylum metamonada that colonise and reproduce in the small intestines of several vertebrates, causing giardiasis. Their life cycle alternates between a swimming trophozoite and an infective, resistant cyst. Giardia were first described by the Dutch microscopist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1681. The genus is named after French zoologist Alfred Mathieu Giard.
Neurosis is an American avant-garde metal band from Oakland, California. It was formed in 1985 by guitarist Scott Kelly, bassist Dave Edwardson, and drummer Jason Roeder, initially as a hardcore punk band. Chad Salter joined as a second guitarist and appeared on the band's 1987 debut Pain of Mind before being replaced by Steve Von Till in 1989. The following year, the lineup further expanded to include a keyboardist and a visual artist. Beginning with their third album Souls at Zero (1992), Neurosis developed a unique musical style crucial to the emergence of the post-metal and sludge metal genres.
Jesu is a British experimental band formed in 2003 by Justin Broadrick following the 2002 breakup of his band Godflesh. It is named after the last song on Hymns, the final album of Godflesh's initial run. Jesu's sound is heavily layered and textured, incorporating a diverse mix of influences. Broadrick himself has stated that "...it's very loosely speaking pop/rock/metal/electronica ... I'm intentionally writing what I consider to be coherent "pop" songs".
Justin Karl Michael Broadrick is a British singer, songwriter, guitarist and drummer. He is best known as a founding member of the band Godflesh, one of the first bands to combine elements of extreme metal and industrial music. He was briefly in the English grindcore band Napalm Death when he was a teenager in the mid-1980s, writing and recording guitar for Side One of Napalm Death's debut album, Scum. Broadrick has also maintained a parallel career as a producer, producing records and remixes for groups such as Pantera, Isis, Mogwai and Hydra Head labelmates Pelican. Since 2012, he has been releasing hard techno music under the solo moniker JK Flesh. Broadrick has set up record labels such as HeadDirt, Avalanche Recordings, Post Mortem Productions, Lo Fibre and Heartache.
Jim Matheos is an American guitarist and the primary songwriter for the progressive metal band Fates Warning, in which he has been the only consistent member since the group's beginning. Matheos also plays in OSI alongside Kevin Moore, as well as making other appearances with many different bands and artists.
Alex Fergusson is a Scottish guitarist / record producer.
Earth 2: Special Low Frequency Version, also known as simply Earth 2, is the first full-length studio album by the drone metal band Earth. Produced by Earth and Stuart Hallerman, it was released on February 5, 1993, on Sub Pop Records. The album was influential in the development of drone music and drone metal genres. Celebrated as a "milestone" by Terrorizer's Dayal Patterson, he described it as "a three-track, 75 minute deluge of feedback and distorted guitars that marked the blueprint for what lead singer/guitarist Dylan Carlson at the time coined 'ambient metal'"
Vibracathedral Orchestra is an England-based drone ensemble that has been active since 1998.
Onslaught are an English thrash metal band from Bristol, England. Initially active from 1982 to 1991, they reformed in 2005. The band initially drew influence from second wave hardcore punk bands such as Discharge and The Exploited, and then adopted a straightforward thrash metal sound. To date, Onslaught have released six studio albums, one compilation, four singles and two live recordings: a live album and a live DVD.
Selfless is the third studio album by British industrial metal band Godflesh. It was released on 26 September 1994 in Europe and on 18 October 1994 through Earache and Columbia Records. Being the band's major-label debut, the record features a more conventional and rock-oriented sound compared to Godflesh's previous releases. It spawned two singles, "Xnoybis" and "Crush My Soul". The music video for the latter was directed by photographer Andres Serrano.
Young God is an extended play by American experimental rock band Swans. It was released in 1984, through record label K.422. It is also referred to as "Raping a Slave" and "I Crawled", but is officially referred to as Young God by the band. As with Cop, the cover art includes a notice that the record is "designed to be played at maximum volume."
Vomitory is a Swedish death metal band formed in 1989 by guitarist Urban Gustafsson and bassist Ronnie Olson. The band released a total of eight albums, all released on Metal Blade Records. After breaking up in 2013 and reuniting for a one-off show in 2017, Vomitory officially reformed in 2018.
Skullflower is a British noise rock band, formed in 1987 in London. Led by guitarist Matthew Bower, the band attained a cult following with a sound based on "sludgy, Black Sabbath-style riffs overlaid with feedback, fuzzed-out guitar noise, and throttling rhythms, all played at a high volume." Always an improvisational outfit, the band's music grew increasingly free-form over the course of their career, moving farther away from the rock music form.
Symphony for Improvisers is an album by Don Cherry featuring Gato Barbieri, Henry Grimes, Ed Blackwell, Karl Berger, Jean-François Jenny-Clark, and Pharoah Sanders recorded in 1966 and released on the Blue Note label.
Andrew Benton Hawkins is a composer, record producer and guitarist from Missouri as well as a founding member of the band Blind Idiot God. He has also recorded as a solo artist under the moniker Azonic, releasing two experimental drone albums that were more abstract and feedback-based compared to his more structured work in Blind Idiot God.
Pelt is a drone music group formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1993.
Greymachine is an experimental music project founded in 2006. It is led by Godflesh and Jesu frontman Justin Broadrick. The act also features Isis frontman and guitarist Aaron Turner, Jesu bassist Diarmuid Dalton and Head of David bassist Dave Cochrane.
Ramleh are a British experimental music group formed by musician Gary Mundy in 1982. The current line-up of the band includes Gary Mundy, Anthony di Franco and Stuart Dennison. Originally a part of the English power electronics and industrial music scene in early 1980s, Ramleh experimented with a more traditional rock format in their later releases.
Valley of Fear is the only album from English noise group Valley of Fear, release on April 13, 2012. The band was composed of Godflesh front man Justin Broadrick, Skullflower founder Matthew Bower, and Skullflower member Samantha Davies. Kez Whelan of Terrorizer described Valley of Fear as "densely textured black metal".
https://skullflower-skullflowertruth.blogspot.com/-bower-davies blog https://skullflower.bandcamp.com/ many digital only releases since 2015