Album Review

Josh Mason – The Symbiont (Sunshine Ltd, 2013)


Josh Mason – Dying In A Canoe (Sunshine Ltd)

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Josh Mason isn’t quite new to the game, but still fresh enough to perk your ears. As far as I can tell, this is Mason’s first full length vinyl, and it’s a fucking winner. Some of the humblest drone I’ve ever heard, electroacoustic meditations on life, anxiety, and death, bringing an incredible depth to what could have been a very flat sound, tape hiss clear as day with the distant warbles & clicks sounding as if they’re inside your head, immaculate dreams filled with soft n glitchy guitars and airplane cabin static, intimate & calming on so many levels, the silence is anything but, embedding the slightest shred of serenity into every moment, and going full on lush euphoria in the most delicate & restrained way, a heaven I never knew existed and never want to leave, this is masterful in its beauty, a perfect goddamn record. Crazy limited, only 100 copies pressed, clear vinyl, and guaranteed to not last much longer. Don’t be a fool.

Album Review

Flossin – White Anaconda And The Rainbow Boa (Overlap, 2011)


FlossinThe Launch (Overlap)

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There are three well known facts. 1: Zach Hill is awesome. 2: Christopher Willits is awesome. 3: Matmos is awesome. Flossin is those guys (along with Nate Boyce and Carson McWhirter (the bass player for The Advantage)). Sadly, it’s also known that super groups don’t always amount to the sum of their parts. Flossin is not that kind of super group. Originally, it was Willits, Hill, and the almighty Kid 606, but that was just for the first record, Lead Singer. It was pretty great. But then the Kid left and Matmos took his place (along with those two other dudes who everyone for some reason seems to ignore is part of Flossin?) for the second album, Serpents, from 2009. I haven’t heard that one. I’ve heard this one, though. White anaconda And The Rainbow Boa.

WOW. How has this not received any fanfare? You guys, it’s Christopher Willits, Zach Hill, and MATMOS. The blogs should be all over this. Not just because of who’s involved but that should at least be your entry point into this mess. And this is a mess. They spent two days improvising in the studio and the result was White Anaconda, a glitchy free jazz noise fest. Willits and Matmos (and those two other dudes) fuck around with their electronics & guitar processings, whining & clicking, droning & exploding, melting their sounds into one indistinguishable whole because honestly, who knows who’s doing what on this, while Hill destroys his drums in the way only he can. Yes, normally he’s a beast on the kit, but in Flossin he goes the spastic Eli Keszler route and takes his already inhuman skills to the next level.

Flossin is a furious monster of chaos, a reigning maelstrom of glitch, that is the least jazz-like jam session I’ve ever heard and somehow makes all of this flurrying actually soothing & relaxing. For all of it’s precise notes & isolated tones, it blurs into a smooth pink bliss, something that’s surprisingly transcendant, a soft wash of zen over your mind, ambient glitch pushed so far to the limits of glitch it collapses in on itself and becomes ambient again. 100% top notch. This is what should be expected of supergroups. White Anaconda is fucking it.

Haiku Review

Zbeen – K-Frame (Ripples, 2012)


Zbeen (Gianluca Favaron & Ennio Mazzon) – Sentrert Dot (Ripples)

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Download K-Frame

/tinnitus wave tones/
/electronic consciousness/
/travel by glitch ticks/

Video

Watson – Adsidua

A new Watson album titled Interstices just dropped on basic_sounds today, making it the netlabel’s first full length release! And supplementing the album’s release is this super stylin video for the first track “Adsidua.” Nice glitchy ambient techno stuff, full of organic water sounds and solid beats, and the video matches it perfectly, digital geometry laid over & interacting with the analog atmosphere. Excellent eye candy and a free full length’s worth of killer tunes. Quite a way to kick off the best month of the year (the month in which yours truly arrived on the scene).
 

Album Review

Sculpture – Toad Blinker (Dekorder, 2011)


SculptureElk Cloner (Dekorder)

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A music/animation duo with a “psychophonotropic picture disc LP.” Basically, two dudes whose live show is better than their records so they compensate by making zoetropic LPs. Super fucking cool zoetropic LPs. These guys sound like a collab between an ADHD Boards Of Canada and a noisier Andrew Douglas Rothbard on LSD. Some crazy shit in here. It’s a techno glitch madhouse with ’50s avant garde electronics & sci-fi sounds, ’60s psych, and ’70s film score snippets. Truly the wackiest wonkiest beats around, dubby trip hop going toe to toe with breakcore, max chill groovin with acid freakouts, sequenced synth loops and glittery robotronics strolling through the common, all manner of awesome thrown into a blender, soundtracking the only kind of club I’d ever want to go to. Digital music that most certainly belongs on the turntable. See the zoetrope in action and while you’re at it check out the brand new video for “Elk Cloner.”

Album Review

Mario Gonzalez – Sueisfine (Already Dead, 2011)


Mario GonzalezJade Garden (Already Dead)

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Chicago dude’s debut of scattered electronics on a newish tape label that’s already almost 20 releases deep. This is some crazy potent shit, pumping out all sorts of stuff using jungle beats, electro-acoustic processing, ambient glitch, static noise blasts, smooth pop charm, and whatever else meets Mario’s needs for electrosploitation. Sueisfine is sexy as fuck, the tracks alternating between sultry grit & chill grooves. A total crowd pleaser, but I’d say the crowd is a pretty niche bunch. That niche could just be you & your other, a private party for two that starts with some freaky shit on the dance floor. Or it could be the inspiration for your next homegrown DIY DJ set. Either way, this album is fuckin hot and full of amazing beats for all occasions. Not too shabby for a debut.

Concert Review

Mark Fell, Ricardo Donoso at Middlesex Lounge

Twin Stars: husband/wife visuals team (Linda Aubry & Michael T. Bullock)

Ricardo Donoso: playing new material from Progress Chance (which if you don’t remember I’M IN LOVE WITH), potentially one of the best sets of the year, first song in he fucking melted the speakers, literally. He only got to play about a song and a half before one of the speakers couldn’t handle the Donoso Dream and sounded like it wanted to die. Since the speaker couldn’t get its shit together, Ricardo cut the set short by about, oh, 95%. MEGA-EST BUMMER :(

Mark Fell: techno glitch destruction, absolutely insane, owning the whole fucking room, breakdancing crew formed a circle and went to town, showing off their hottest while Fell teased them with second long rhythms, a suited up Justin Timberlake lookin motherfucker tweaked out and danced sexy seizure style, people walking into the club dressed to the nines ready to get their mid-week freak on giving each other the most ghastly looks when hearing what kind of non-danceable awesomeness Fell was spewing, definitely the coolest show Non-Event & Basstown have graced Boston with this year
 

Twin Stars

 
Ricardo Donoso

 
Mark Fell

Album Review

William Bowers – Post Modern (Haute Magie, 2011)


William BowersNight Moves On Shallow Ground (Haute Magie)

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Synthed out electro-semi-acoustic “post modernism.” j/k there’s nothing really post modern about this. Still pretty fucking cool though. Blade Runner-esque city-soundscapes, exceptionally soundtracky and occasionally danceable. Like a slice from an awesome theme to a bad 80s movie, caught in a loop and repeated for minutes on end for maximum spacing outing, total kosmische sprawl with field recordings of who knows what and drones from harmonic thrones, ambient pianos meld seamlessly with glitches electronics, mixed fidelities throwing grit & crunch into an otherwise smooth & creamy tune. A bleary album of strange awe & slight bewilderment. Yup. Pretty fucking cool.

Concert Review

Barn Owl, High Aura’d, Lussuria, Stillbirth at O’Brien’s

Stillbirth: knock down drag out techno, glitched & warped, evolving into maelstrom of chaotic noise, completely fucked

Lussuria: black sludge drone, muffled tanks roll by, crawling through a tunnel of shit, briefly poke your head out into the harmonics

High Aura’d: below deck creaking, deep sea density, sky blue soaring to the sun bliss

Barn Owl: sunbaked psych drone from the masters carving out their own spot in the canyons, ended with some heavy fuckin doom shit venturing in Skullflower territory
 

Stillbirth

 
Lussuria

 
High Aura’d

 
Barn Owl



Haiku Review

Nils Quak – On Sinking (Rural Colours, 2011)


Nils QuakThere Will Be No Harm (Rural Colours)

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Download On Sinking

/underwater bliss/
/golden glitches, frozen drone/
/light dances above/

Album Review

Richard Kamerman – I Stayed In The Apartment For Thirty-Two Days Without Leaving (Copy For Your Records, 2011)


Richard KamermanI Stayed In The Apartment For Thirty-Two Days Without Leaving (excerpt) (Copy For Your Records)

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A swift kick in the junk. Less than 20 minutes on a mini CD-R of abrasive as fuck electronic glitch. Like a hundred cats scratching at your microphone while it’s hailing outside. Scratch pop scar city with what sounds like a completely distorted and incomprehensible growling. It could actually be vocals or it might just be an homage to power violence. And it’s fucking relentless. It kicks in immediately and it’s in the red the whole goddamn time. The especially difficult part is the millisecond (and multi-second) pauses dispersed throughout that act like reset buttons. You can’t just zone out to this and ignore the caustic static. He’s a tabula rasa master.

The title of this makes me like to imagine Kamerman going all sorts of insane in his 32 day homebound stint. It’s fuckin raw as hell and beautifully destructive. Plus, it’s only 20 minutes so even those with the most delicate of eardrums don’t have an excuse not to cop this.

Apparently these 20 minutes are an excerpt from a 2+ hour long piece Kamerman made that will be released in differing formats on varying labels. A very strange approach but I kinda dig it.

Out of Print

Bulbs – Infirmary Of Dream (self released, 2008)


BulbsHarper Pools

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Download Infirmary Of Dream
 
Bulbs, who you might remember from that split with Mouthus on Important, haven’t been very active lately. I figured since their old Infirmary Of Dream tape doesn’t seem available anymore, I’d share it with you guys.

This is a killer warble filled hiss mess of fractured rain forest noises. Deep hum rumbling down hills of lush muffled squawks, thick n thin drones mixed with bubbling nonsense and airy clatter, recorded under water and in outer space, aliens taking a stab at glitch pop and failing gloriously, truly weird & truly enjoyable. So. Fucking. Cool.

Album Review

Corey Larkin – Raw Data Studies (Copy For Your Records, 2011)


Corey LarkinSource/ .pdf

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Corey Larkin has a history of making intense & not so easily accessible electronic music. As I’m sure you might expect from the title, Raw Data Studies is more of those wonderful sound experiments.

There’s only 2 tracks, the first is a mere 35 seconds long. It’s a quick brittle static blast sourced from a PDF file. The second, titled “Dissipative Music/ µũ Law Algorithm,” is wayy longer, clocking in at 15 minutes. This is some HARSH shit. Abrasive squelches, piercing glass & blade tornadoes, lo-fi robot blurts, and ghostly electronic chatter, this runs the gamut on cold, inhumane, & antiseptic noise. It’s like dipping your amputated limbs in Clorox.

I’m not entirely sure how these sounds are made. They’re primitive & digital and my guess is Larkin is using some traditionally non-audio data to make noise, similar to Steven Flato’s transformation of “An Occurrence At Owl Creek Bridge” .txt to an .aif (Larkin even thanks Flato for “directing me to the medium of raw data” on the disc). This isn’t easy listening, this isn’t even pleasurable listening, it’s startling & painful but goddamn if I’m not still drawn to it. It’s not just the intrigue of the creation, it’s actually a varied & compelling experience, one that I probably won’t listen to on a daily basis but will no doubt peel away at its layers and get more out of it with every listen.

This is the first of four releases in Copy For Your Records‘ Fan CD-R Series. They’ll all be a 3″ inside a 5″ CD-R, limited to “no less than 100 copies, and cumulatively, as a complete series, totalling an edition of 500.” Strange, but whatever. This is totally fucking rad, major props to CFYR for getting brilliant future-noise glitch in the physical hands of those who care.

Album Review

Ennio Mazzon – Azure Allochiria (Triple Bath, 2010)


Ennio MazzonPart 2

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In addition to running Ripples Recordings, Ennio Mazzon is an Italy based sound sculptor who usually works with eletro-acoustics & field recordings. His new record on Triple Bath, however, is his first that’s strictly electronic, and the first of his that I’ve heard. So no comparisons, just me raving about how he doesn’t need any analog acoustic sounds because Azure Allochiria is totally fucking awesome.

This is some minimal stuff but it has a hundred and one layers. Pretty quiet, delicately textured like digital lace. If you play this at a normal volume, (1) you’ll miss out on 80% of it because it flies under the radar and (2) you’ll forget you ever put on a record and you’ll just think there’s an EBS test running somewhere you can’t find. So play this fucker loud and you’ll be in for a treat, with all of the vertigo high pitches, stuttering anti-patterns, and garbled dog whistles.

There’s a magic beauty to Allochiria that transports you to a midnight garden. Lots of insect sounds, chirping, static hammering, clicking, everything twinkling & glitching with a Tron-like blue glow surrounding it. It makes me think of a much more controlled version of the sound speakers/amps make when plugging them in. An elaborate ambient alien Morse code that seeps through The Matrix. Seemingly cold & unwelcoming to the uninitiated, but in reality it’s a warm embrace of next-level electro-harmony.

Not knowing what sort of field recordings Mazzon has done in the past, it’s still pretty obvious that that’s where he’s coming from. So much of this record sounds like it could be from the analog world, melting icicles & trickling water, buzzing cicadas, throaty bird songs, yet all blatantly electronic. But regardless, THIS IS IT. Azure Allochiria is an hour long gorgeous minimal texture fest and it’s all I need. Way to fucking go.

Video

Robocopodenieve – Siamellizas

Robocopodenieve makes music out of Buenos Aires full of beautiful ambient loops that glitch out in glorious ways. The video for “Siamellizas” has a pair of vintage girls connected at the hair who have a lonely life in the woods where they make failed attempts at having tea parties with each other. So sad. The track can be found on their split tape with Los Sueños on the newly formed & totally awesome Argentinian tape label, Spit On BPM.