Big Jazz Boys Unite And Listen To Peculate


I found some cool music that was new to me, and tried to think of a theme to tie a post together. Maybe get some other, similar bands to go with it, or just get stupid with it. But you don’t care about themes and clever garbage. You just want buttery ear globules to slither into your salivating head.

Music, is what I mean. You want to hear music.

I was browsing the avant garde metal tag on Bandcamp, being a douche and all, and I clicked on an album called Mines in the Sand by a band called Peculate. Look at these tags.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 10.49.20 AM

I’m helpless trying to resist tags like that. You can print out this picture of Bandcamp tags and put it next to a dead, sweaty bat on a pile of hair and I will give myself rabies rolling around on it in order to get closer to what has been tagged with such fantastic tags. So I clicked play and was immediately greeted by a marimba riff. I’m helpless trying to resist marimba riffs. I have two useless degrees in percussion, since I use my time and money wisely, so that sank the hook hilariously deeper. Cue some jazz meandering, getting progressively more angular through vibraphone and piano phrases, and BOOM. Mathy, angry, jagged hardcore à la Dillinger Escape PlanBotch, and (some lesser-known band in that vein that I’ll name to increase my street cred).


I get irked when bands say that have jazz influences. More often than not, bands say that to sound cool when they really mean “we sometimes have clean sections.” I really like Peculate’s take on that idea here: juxtapose the jazz and metal in disparate sections. Later in the album the two combine in interesting ways, but the breakneck transitions between the two make for some fascinating tracks.

The next step was naturally to browse Peculate’s back catalog (which turned out to be quite an undertaking), where an existential rumination on butter, an anti-love project, and many deep philosophical tracks all walk hand in hand. I then discovered that this is all the work of one guy name Ben Norton. Ben is either a magnificently hard working genius, or a total weirdo with far too much free time. Or both? Either way, he boasts an impressive array of musical compositions; Peculate, 12-tone inspired jazz works, classically oriented chamber works, electronic music, and full orchestral pieces. On top of that, he apparently makes films with his brother, keeps an active blog of political and satirical content, and has written eight plays. Obviously.


I then came across Ben’s project called XYAXa spacey, technical death metal project he did with a guy named Dave Tremblay. I spent sleepless, frustrated minutes trying to remember where I knew that name, then I remembered that it’s none other than the vod man himself, with whom W. did a fantastic interview. Dave actually mentioned his work with Ben in the interview, something I failed to look up from jamming vod too much. It’s a small Toilet world out there guys, and we have truly come full bowl. Enjoy the vast world of Ben Norton, revisit vod, and then join me as we cry about how little we’re doing with our lives.

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  • Janitor Jim Duggan

    Did someone say jazz? Here’s some jazz. This is Herbie Hancock leading a reunion of Miles Davis’ second great quintet sans Miles and it is magical.

  • Edward/Breegrodamus™

    The Dillinger Escape Plan and Botch are two of my oldest favorites in extreme metal, and my gateway to so much of the other stuff I listen to now.

  • Sir Tapir The Based :]

    Yep, when I heard the marimba I instantly knew I was gonna like this.

  • Dubzlinger, Malandro

    What kind of films does he make with his brother? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

    • DCLXVI

      deep web films

    • Stockhausen

      Wide range of styles, some short, some feature length. Check his website, yo.

  • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

    This I like. That sex at 2:46… is magical.
    Thr jazz and the PrRRÄäH! Sit together surprisingly well.

    • lel, sex

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Sax = Sex.

        • Howard Dean

          Practice safe sax. Slick Willy didn’t.


          • Janitor Jim Duggan

            That is oddly prophetic of the scandal with Monica. Was this before or after that?

          • Howard Dean


            Sometimes he used a cigar on Monica.

            Sometimes he used a sax.

            Either way, it ended with a plump intern covered in Presidential man chowder.

    • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

      I’m quite enjoying this Tahrir too.

      • Paddlin’ Rites ov Beargod

        Oh lord this XYAX is… oh lord.

    • Stockhausen

      I’m always digging the PrRRÄäH!

  • Dubzlinger, Malandro

    Oh yes, this is lovely. Good find, Jerkhausen.

  • Waynecro

    I have jazz influences despite lacking a single clean section.

  • Spear

    Peculate is cool, but XYAX is doing weird things to my brain and I think I can taste colors now.

  • DEP and Botch? You’ve said the magic words! I will jam this.

  • HessianHunter

    Yeah dude, I am also hella tired of heavy bands claiming jazz influence because they sometimes have clean guitars. This shit though, is the good shit.

    • Stockhausen

      You know’m sayin’. “Oooh, listen to this jazzy secti–” “YOU PLAYED 30 SECONDS OF A BORING CLEAN SECTION AND YOU KNOW NOTHING. SHUT UP.”

    • Hubert

      Occasional tempo change? JAZZ MATH FUSION CORE

  • JW(E)G

    That is an excellent set of tags, indeed. I’ve only ever seen one similarly intriguing tag-splosion:

    “tags: metal alien classic cynic folk heavy jazz metal power progressive tool zappa”
    (I’ve actually mentioned the album they’re attached to plenty of times so I won’t repeat it, as it’s actually kind of anti-climactic)

  • Hearing the jazzy parts makes me want to listen to Candiria.

    • more beer

      Well they are the kings of that!

  • Hubert

    Bandcamp tags are LIES 90% of the time though.

    • Mxxk Bxnxntxn™© :]

      True, the other day I was listened to symphonic black metal and there was grindcore on the tags.

      • Dagon

        Why were you listening to symphonic black metal instead of grindcore?

        • Mxxk Bxnxntxn™© :]

          Because black metal.

          • Dagon

            I was just fucking with you. I listen to Lil B.

        • Howard Dean

          Symphonic black metal took a lot of shit after the Cradle of Filths and Demon Burgers of the scene went off the deep end ov lameness, but there be some good symphonic black metal out there. See: Obtained Enslavement (all albums, but Witchcraft in particular), Tartaros, Limbonic Art (most material), Obsidian Gate’s debut, Odium’s album The Sad Realm of the Stars.

          • Dagon

            *scribble *scribble

  • Guacamole Jim

    Awesome article!! I was just jamming this yesterday, on your lovely recommendation. Didn’t know the Vod connection, but that’s awesome!

  • NOW i see why you like these bands, stocky: percussion

  • JamesGrimm
  • tertius_decimus

    Yet another incredible mix of jazz and metal. Liek!

    Spaced Out
    7 for 4 (listen to album “Diffusion”!)

    In no particular order. Enjoy.

    • Guppusmaximus

      Yea, Spaced Out has been doing similar stuff for quite some time. Great band.

  • I’m getting all of these.

  • Guppusmaximus

    The Fusion rabbit hole is wide & deep my friend. Exivious’ first album was one of my favs. A real nice blend of jazz & metal. Of course Michael Manring will always be the number one example I can give of an artist that has been dabbling in both for decades but his projects, solo & band releases are too many to name. Happy hunting:

  • Dave Tremblay

    Oh, and by the way XYAX 2 is on the way. SCOOP!