Peter J. Woods – Impure Gold (FTAM / Hewhocorrupts Inc)
Milwaukee DIY champ Peter J. Woods, self described maker of “Theatrical Harsh Noise,” part of Phoned Nil Trio, xALLxFORxTHISx, and FTAM head, drops his vinyl debut (7″s be damned) and the world is now a better place, this is high caliber shit, throwing down the dynamics gauntlet on here, going for long stretches of absolute silence (or so far out of my fucked up hearing range that it might as well be) to harsh walls of caustic blown out static and high end insect skree, this has so much range that if you’re not careful you’ll fry your speakers & eardrums from cranking it up during the quite parts because it’s fuckin tricky like that, rusty industrial clank & rattle alongside nonsensical vocal samples processed to sound like a glitching melted Speak & Spell, obliterated screaming and ghostly dungeon whispers over an acid bath wash, tinnitus buzzing drone vaguely reminiscent of Charlemagne Palestine or Birchville Cat Motel, but always, relentlessly, an unpredictable treachery, this isn’t noise for noise sake, nor for shock value, nor for machismo, it’s elaborate, beguiling, & filthy as fuck, and it’s fucking excellent.
Wastelanders – The Beginning (Calls & Correspondence / Basses Frequences / Space Idea / Hewhocorrupts Inc.)
Despite the plurality, Wastelanders is actually just one dude, Dean Costello. And he’s got four different labels working on his side, C&C and BF doing the CD release, Space Idea is taking care of the tape, and Hewhocorrupts, Inc. is releasing it digitally. Maybe a little over the top, but whatever. I’m just glad this is getting out there on all fronts because Cosmic Despair is a fuckin BEAST. Mostly organ based, this is a drone record for the masses, calling up all sorts of dark places. The first few tracks are as depressing as it gets, gloom thick enough to asphyxiate on, solid minimal melancholy that turns your heart into lead and brings gods to tears. Then there’s a 15 minute piece that gets noisier, rumbling feedback sounds crisped on the edge of a black sun while stardust and distant beacons twinkle in the faded background. The final 20 minute closer is a fucking burner, shifting gears into something wholly uplifting, stripped of darkness and brought fully into the light, holy & transcendental, busting out all the instruments on hand to make for a hypnotic ritualistic drone to assist in trans-dimensional passage. Impecable stuff. I can’t get enough of this. Then again, I’m always a sucker for organ drones, so, consider me slightly biased.
Chica X – I Know What I’m Doin!
I always get simultaneously inspired and downtrodden when someone like Chica X comes along. Xiola Tapia is only 11 years old and is already making bizarre electro hip hop jams. She put out a full length & a split (with Hewhocorrupts) by the time she was 8. It makes me ashamed to be 15 years older than this girl and not having accomplished anything even half as cool. But this isn’t just about me being a mopey bastard. This is about Chica X.
A little tape lasting less than 10 minutes comes out next week on Hewhocorrupts Inc and it’s innnsaaaane. Chica X makes some minimal beats with a deep love for the crazy, lots of wacky scratching, buzzing blats, thunder bass, looped police sirens, and a relentless danceability. And while the drum beats & synths keep shit interesting, the music gets overshadowed by Chica’s amazing lyrics. A lot of it isn’t too thematically radical, songs about money, dancing, partying on the weekend, etc, but then there’s the nuggets of brilliance that, when heard coming from a pre-teen girl, is just fuckin unreal. Like on “Da Bank (1, 2, Step)” where she calls out “I got a lotta guts to get up on stage. Suck it up punk, you ain’t never gettin laid. I’m just learnin how to flow.”
Then there’s the lyrics that could ONLY come from a pre-teen girl and that’s what makes me want to listen to this again and again. I could hear her rapping “I’m on my Malibu bike and I’m feelin kinda happy” or “To the library, and step on it!” over weirdo electro hip-hop pop beats all fucking day. I’m pretty sure Chica’s going places and I can’t wait to see what kind of glittering wisdom she boils up in the next few years. But for now, just gonna “Dance with Chica tonight.”