Glottalstop – Side A (Tartaruga)
Insanely awesome debut release from Glottalstop aka the Petrels dude, basking in an unsettling tape manipulated tension. Woodsmoke is fucking fantastic, two side long pieces that are dark as hell, the A side is super minimal and the B side cranks the horror volume to 11, the whole thing sounds like a haunted mansion coming to life to chill yer bones, it has deep low end tape wobble drone tying itself in knots with ghostly cello skree, scratchy looped hypnosis, scrambled white static, voices that you’re damn certain must be coming from inside your head, and who knows what kind of electronic wizardry that taps you on the shoulder and quickly disappears, this is nightmarish in the most perfect way, ethereal and nauseating, sounds rising from the silent mist and being whisked away before you can fully hear them, roaring demons passing in & out through a wall of noise, Woodsmoke is about as eerie as you can fuckin get. And like most things Tartaruga, this is dressed to the nines with a screenprinted inner sleeve that runs across the label, a sewn & screenprinted jacket, and all housed in a PVC sleeve, extremely limited to 200. No reason to skip this one.
Max Bondi – Monopoles (Tartaruga)
Max Bondi, the dude who also runs Tartaruga, has crafted a totally fucking incredible record here. Masterful in ways that are beyond me. Convolution is a drone/analog synth (maybe? no liner notes so I’m just goin with my gut) record, and if that’s an automatic deterrent for whatever reason, please take half a minute and look beyond that. Each discrete track is a fucking winner but this works much more beautifully as a whole, smoothly shifting gears from minimal drone to bubbly synths (with one exception, track 3, that breaks off the minimalist path for some relatively abrasive sequencing, giving you a taste of things to come). It’s like the sounds of a spelunker’s dreams, the deepest gemstoned caves, the air thick and stagnant, only moving from your breath’s disruption, gorgeous when it subtly shimmers, dank dungeons of hopes & terrors, scared stiff, heavy relief, and the halfway point, “Monopoles,” acts as a bridge to the yin/yang, making way for more dynamics, more standing room, synths locked in arhythmic sequences, the drones still present but more varied & buried, an overwhelming display of underground magic that turns into a frenzied dash for the exit. A record this fucking good only comes around once in a long while, and when it’s packaged as beautifully as this (screenprinted thick gatefold card, hand sewn, with a fold-out double-sided screenprinted insert), you should do everything in your power to make sure you don’t miss it.