Archive for March, 2011

Album Review

Fossils From The Sun – Forever Came Today (Tape Drift, 2011)


Fossils From The SunTear Your Back Against The Wall

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
Fossils From The Sun is Ray Hare, who isn’t too prolific as FFTS but definitely gets his kicks playing in Century Plants with Rambutan/Tape Drifter Eric Hardiman, Twilight Of The Century with Hardiman & Rise Set Twilight (aka Michael T. & Linda Aubrey Bullock), or Burnt Hills. So, the guy’s obviously got some experience, and his newest disc on Tape Drift will drown your sorrows in a heaving pile of guitar’d FX.

Forever Came Today is a stripped down jam record with Hare grabbing his axe(s) ‘n’ pedals and just fuckin goin to town. Nothing fancy, no bells & whistles, just a man summoning dusty magik. This is some classic shit, caked in crust and buzz, buried in a coffin and recorded 6 feet under. These are songs that’ll both tear your heart out and then kick back a few beers with you.

The pieces here are way more developed & intricate than anything on the Zomes record, but I still get a strong sense of brotherhood between them. They’re gritty & muffled, they both start with a looped groove but where Zomes let that be the main event, Hare lets it grow and progress into something more elaborate, tweaking it each go-round, never meandering too far from home but always laying it down straight from the soul.

I love everything about this record. The gorgeous distortion, the brilliant simplicity, the off the charts chill factor, the layers of dreary melodies, the background scuzz & endless solos, the fact that Hare had the gravitas to sit down and make a straight faced guitar album and have it just fucking blow everything else out of the water. Seriously, you can’t fuck with the electric guitar. Clearly it’s all you need to make some badass dark & stormy creep dreams of beauty. A round of applause for Fossils From The Sun.

Album Review

David Lackner / John Swana – Struttin’ Around (Galtta, 2010)


David LackerIm Wunderschönen Monat Mai

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I’m not a really a jazz guy, so when the new Galtta tape label sent me the first batch of four releases, I was a little hesitant. But every once in a while something special comes along and shows me what’s up, like some of the Galtta tapes. Some of them were more straight jazz than the rest, but GALTTA-001, the split with David Lackner and John Swana was definitely weird enough for me to dig into and share with all yous.

David Lackner’s side is packed with some wicked electronics, which gives it an automatic +10 in my book. It’s super cool, not too ambitious or gaudy, and definitely made for couch melting. It does a killer job of keeping it nice & spacey, with radar echoes, arpeggiated bloops, lo-fi static buzzing, glitchy ambience, and robot love songs, conjuring sexy retro sci-fi chicks with white go-go boots & mod hair. There’s also plenty of traditional horns, saxophones, drums, etc, but pulling in some surprises too. One of the tracks, “Study In Clutter” is so out there, with boy-girl Sesame Street vocals and a very solid almost tribal beat with lots of handclaps, flutes, and some numbers station samples. Yeah, I’ve heard that done to death but it really works well here. Lackner’s tracks are pretty fucking rad and totally not your usual jazz fare. Wacky sounds abound on this side, giving me a reason to make a minimal ’60s existential sci-fi throwback because Lackner would be so goddamn perfect for the score.

John Swana is normally a trumpet dude, but his side of Struttin’ Around is completely lacking. Instead there’s classic synthy Moogy electronics, definitely making me think of some of the first jazz synths like old Francis Bebey or something. Swana’s style is similarly spacey to Lackner’s, but a bit darker, maybe more ambient and New Agey. He does a lot of exploring, weeding through exotic alien jungles in the dark without worrying about deadly creatures lurking, stumbling upon a mythical nightclub, lit only by the glow of fluorescent insects, where the celebrities lounge in smokey decadence and John Swana is the house band. Totally pretentious, obviously, but still utterly desirable. Swana kills it every night with splayed electronics boards & the occasional piano/drum/whatever backup, crafting an intelligent weave of loopy melodies, dim crackle, magic sex, and blorpy atmospheres. Chill party CITY.

I doubt Swana’s tunes always sound like this, and maybe Lackner also does some other more traditional shit, but the pairing of their sounds on this split is fucking grand. They just work so well together. And when you mix spacey electronics with jazz, I’m pretty much hooked. Galtta nailed it with their first release. Can’t wait to see where they go from here. Major cool points: stream the whole tape on Bandcamp (or grab one of 200 limited copies for a mere $4).

Out of Print

Hunted Creatures / Blown Doors Split (905 Tapes, 2010)


Hunted CreaturesRoom With A View

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download Hunted Creatures / Blown Doors Split
 
Ryan Emmett of Hunted Creatures and the Dynamo Sound Collective label gave me the heads up that the Blown Doors split on 905 from last year was kaput and they wanted to start spreading the good sounds to the rest of the world who missed out.

Hunted Creatures is no longer an Emmett solo project, he’s quadrupled in size & awesomeness. I’m not certain, but I think this tape might be the first HC release that has them as a four piece now. Their three tracks are a wacky noisey spray that’s way more textured & varied than Emmett’s old droney ways. More instruments, more ambient destruction, darkly twisted, endlessly foreboding, waiting to tar your heart.

Blown Doors’s side is one 28 minute piece of deep end bass blow outage, static explosions, hissing, piercing, pulsing devils. It’s way dark, gritty as shit, consuming by way of collapsing, terror from a swampy Elm St. It bubbles & builds to a pure fucking carnage singularity. Definitely not to be missed. SO goddamn cool. And now, free.

Video

Giles Corey – A Sleeping Heart

NEW GILES COREY SONG!! That’s all you need to know. Unless you need to know more, in which case…

Giles Corey is Dan Barrett, proprietor of Enemies List and Have A Nice Life wizard, he brings some olde dusty gloom, and in the case of “A Sleeping Heart,” he does so with a lone guitar and depressive as fuck vocals. The video goes back and forth between a bitchin retro car and Dan spilling his guts in a racquet ball court. It’s directed by Justin Donais, the same dude who made the HANL Live At The Stone DVD. The song comes from his upcoming full length debut, which is obviously one of the releases that you should be be as pumped as possible for this year.
 

Video

Videodrones On The Tome

The awesome blog-bros over at Tome To The Weather Machine have successfully triumphed where I have failed in scouting out the under the radar weirdo music videos. The have won so hard that out of only three main sections, one of them is Videodrones (the other two are reviews & features). I have no idea where they find them, but Videodrones has pretty much been my go-to source when I’m looking to watch some rad vids that aren’t straight off of P4K. Do yourself a favor and check out some of the hot shit they’ve been posting lately, like this killer video for Salamander’s “Creatura.”
 

Album Review

Kyle Bobby Dunn – Ways Of Meaning (Desire Path, 2011)


Kyle Bobby DunnCanyon Meadows

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
Kyle Bobby Dunn is making his way up the charts, through the ranks of hundreds of new droners, getting press & praise everywhere he goes, and making me giddy every time a new album comes out. A full length is up next on Desire Path and it is certain, outlook is good, signs point to yes, without a doubt, Ways Of Meaning is my favorite KBD record yet.

This new album continues what Dunn does best, overwhelming beauty without relying on crescendos or building to grandeur, understated & impeccably paired tones, but it progresses beyond the straight-faced neo-classical sounds from before and works toward something warmer, more light hearted, attention grabbing, and overtly pleasing. Meaning is primarily guitar & organ based, giving it an exceptionally church-like vibe without any of the religious or epic connotations. It’s easy to imagine how incredible these drones would be resonating through a church, making me hate myself all the more for missing Dunn’s performance at the First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn last year.

The album works insanely well as a whole, one cohesive life-shroud of smothering brilliance, but each individual song is astonishing on its own. “Canyon Meadows” is one of the most gloriously uplifting drone pieces I’ve heard in a long time, it perfectly embodies an open field untouched by man, blues & greens saturated by golden hour, subtle shimmering & glistening sun on stillwater, the incomparable feeling of napping in a warm sunlight bath after days of dreary rain. Everything about the song glows hope and happiness.

This is the most delicate bliss I’ve ever experienced. 100% shining purity that doesn’t need to be cranked to 11 to get the job done. It swirls softly & effortlessly turns hearts into puddles of droney delight. To say this album is absolutely gorgeous is an understatement, and even though I always have high expectations for a new KBD record, this one still surprised me. I can’t stress enough how incredible it is. If your lazy ass is thinking “Ok, I’ll get around to it,” FORGET IT. Make this a priority and don’t sleep on it. You’ll be a sad sad person.

Ways Of Meaning officially comes out on May 3rd, with Desire Path giving it not only the usual LP & digital niceties, but also going full on “special art edition.” If you remember what they did for Solo Andata’s Ritual art edition (and minimally glamorous box set!) then you’re probably wetting your pants right about now.

Song Review

Caddywhompus – Age Of Wild Spirits (Chinquapin / Community, 2011)


Caddywhompus – Age Of Wild Spirits

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I freaked out over Caddywhompus’s free Remainder last year. That album is so much fuckin fun and still gets tons of plays. They’ve got a new single called “Age Of Wild Spirits” that brings back the raucous mathy noise pop ecstasy, with a nice droney intro (seeping in from Chris Rehm’s awesome solo work), keepin it chill for most of the song until it explodes in a glorious fury at the end. Killer fucking stuff. Love these dudes so much.

BUT, as you might have noticed, there’s no download link up there for the song. That’s because they’re experimenting with a new release method. If they get a combined total of 7,500 downloads at the Chinquapin and Community websites, they’ll unleash the forthcoming album The Weight early. Right now it’s scheduled for May, but you can help get it out sooner. Either way it goes, though, The Weight is going to be FREEEE just like Remainder. Way to fucking go, guys.

Haiku Review

Radere – Lost At Sea, I’m Never Coming Back (basic_sounds, 2011)


RadereLost At Sea, I’m Never Coming Back

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
Lost At Sea, I’m Never Coming Back (download)
basic_sounds
/grey waves under storm/
/foggy mind clears in mist bliss/
/wind swell dreams, calm noise/

Video

Vitamins – No Notion Of Anything Only Whatever Is What

My buddy Crawford from Tome To The Weather Machine sent me over the newest video his band Vitamins put out. “No Notion Of Anything Only Whatever Is What” is a nice shoegazin kraut psych pop track with lots of room for partying. High stakes ice skating videos chopped & layered, triple axels blowin the roof off the place. The end is fuckin teaser of the year.
 

Album Review

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


Corey LarkinSource/ .pdf

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

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

Mamaleek – Kurdaitcha (Enemies List, 2011)


MamaleekWake Up, Jacob

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I legitimately & understandably freaked out over Mamaleek’s self titled debut CD almost 3 years ago. It was brilliant & twisted black metal. For various reasons, I missed out on the second album, which I forever regret, but I’m not letting that happen for Kurdaitcha, their third slab of bestiality. The best part about this is that the inimitable Enemies List is giving it the ROYAL treatment, with a digital pay-what-you-want version that’s out right now (FUCKING DOWNLOAD IT) and a super deluxe vinyl, super thick, full color art with foil imprint and insert. Only $20, only 150 copies, hurry the fuck up.

Mamaleek is made up of two brothers making a terrible & raucous purge from San Francisco. Their black metal is totally original, unlike any other band out there right now. There’s throngs of weirdo fucked up black metal and Mamaleek might be considered part of that, but they do it without being gimmicky, keeping it 100% pure & accessible. Now I’m going to say, “Black metal with strong Middle Eastern elements and world-music instruments” and you’re going to say “WTF fuck that I don’t want that shit in my black metal” and I say “Trust in me, trust in Enemies List, sit down, take 40 minutes out of your life, and have your mind totally fucking blown by Mamaleek’s soon to be patented brutality.”

Kurdaitcha is fucking INSANE. There is so much going on, so many different styles pumping through it. I get a strong video game vibe from “Wake Up, Jacob,” specifically the Birdo fights in SMB2, with that guitar and its tweaking intensity, timing the jumps just right so you land on that goddamn egg. Then there’s fucking Steve Reich piano as the twinkling foundation while drums stutter and religious figures sing Latin hymns, and that’s interspersed between warped buzzing chords and hidden blown out vocals. There’s mostly drum-less black noise tracks caked with industrial static, shrieking feedback, rusted screams, and silent haunted wind, there’s a mournful ballad with plodding drums & cinematic synths, there’s even a sludge pop piece that sounds like they wanna be best buds with Torche.

However they make it, with whatever the fuck they want to throw in there, it’s blistering, engulfing, monolithic, and fucking kvlt as hell. Mamaleek are making their own black metal, copying no one, shocking anyone who gives them a chance. Kurdaitcha is unreal, exceeding my stupidly high expectations for a new Mamaleek record. It’s a destroyer of things, speakers, headphones, faces, minds, and it’s one of the best black metal records I’ve had the honor of listening to.

Album Review

V/A – SMM: Context (Ghostly International, 2011)


JacaszekElegia

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
I’m not usually one to review compilations. They’re too fucking hard to talk about, there’s never any real defining thread worth discussing, and, my biggest reason, is they’re mostly used by labels to promote themselves. That’s not to say I don’t like compilations. I fuckin love ‘em. They’re like professional mixes and that’s fine by me. But when it came to Ghostly’s new SMM: Context, I absolutely had to make an exception.

There’s no way I could let an album of this caliber slip by AGB without even a cursory mention. Look who’s on it: Goldmund, Leyland Kirby, Svarte Greiner, Christina Vantzou (1/2 of The Dead Texan), Jacaszek, The Fun Years, Manual, Aidan Baker, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Kyle Bobby Dunn, and Peter Broderick. That’s like a 100% hype rate and, wait for it, they’re all NEW SONGS. Nothing on here has been released on anything else (as far as I could tell). That goes for the most prolific dude ever, Aidan Baker, as well as for Christina Vantzou who’s only got one album under her belt.

There’s a couple of artists I hadn’t heard before this comp and I’m endlessly thankful for Ghostly introducing me to them. Specifically to Jacaszek. His piece is fucking STUNNING. The climax is like a warped symphony glitching out to the most tragic moment of your life. Heartwrenchingly beautiful. And Manual’s sweeping SOTL-style majesty is ensuring that I’m gonna do some more digging of his stuff.

Everyone on this comp is at the fucking top of their game and they’re all masters tackling ambient drone in their own unique way, The Fun Years’ turntable crackle, Kirby’s spacious guitar resonance, Baker’s densely foreboding circles of tense bliss, KBD’s delicate harmonies, Greiner’s textured midnight dreams. I could write pages on all of these guys but the tracklist is all you need to piss your pants and make sure this becomes a part of your life. I think Ghostly just won the compilation game.

Blast Fest On The Road


 
The folks at the Whitehaus sure know how to step it up. Every year is bigger & brighter. The annual Blast Fest is in its fourth year, so obviously they’re taking it on a tour of the Northeast, appropriately naming it Blast Forth. In addition to the hometown show, they’ll be hitting Portland, Kittery, Philadelphia, Brattleboro, and NYC throughout the end of March (although the Brattleboro show seems to be just Peace, Loving right now).

All your favorite classic Whitehausers will be playing like Manners, Gracious Calamity, Casey Rocheteau, The Needy Visions, Shai Erlichman, Brian S. Ellis, and Morgan Shaker, along with some newer playaz like Welcome Home, Free Pizza, and Gobby. The whole crew isn’t going on the road the whole time, each show will have a variation on the core plus a few special guests too keep things spicy. You can check out the full lineup and more details on the Blast Forth site.

The Boston show will be at the Cambridge YMCA on Saturday the 20th, although instead of marathoning the place for a whole day like they used to, they’re doing a hardcore 3 hour whirlwind starting at 6 pm. It’s going to be a traditional Blast Fest, aka a seriously crazy night “with lots of special effects, dramatic lighting, homemade sets, theatrical cues, and herds of long-haired sheep/goat(s).” Sliding scale entry donation of $5-$15, although I’m pretty sure they’d worship you and give lots of hugs if you donated more. Otherwise, you might only get a couple hugs.

Out of Print

Jonathan Coleclough & Andrew Liles – Burn (October Editions, 2008)


Download Burn
 
I reviewed this bad boy a couple years ago, had some lame things to say like “the most delicate, precise, and beautiful sounds of glass cracking ever recorded” and “an absolute masterpiece in minimal drone soundscaping.” It’s still all true. Coleclough & Liles fuckin ace it on Burn. I’m hoping most of you know their names and are already downloading this but if you’re just joining us, these guys are true masters of sound. Coleclough takes a micro-blow torch to glass panes, exuding an enormous amount of tension (and a little release), and Liles works on haunting tape loops & prepared pianos. Incredible stuff, definitely attention grabbing and pre-conception shattering. Do NOT skip this.

Album Review

Foxdye – Monsters Of Meme (Fukdup, 2011)


FoxdyeADD Rave Massif

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


 
About a year ago I was bombarded with some of the most insane breakcore I’ve ever heard. Foxdye’s M4g1c47 G71mm3r1ng R41nb0w was a fucking blow to the head, and a ton of you seemed to love it just as much as I did. Well, good news everybody. She’s back with another round of electro sample chaos that’s just as good as her last. Although truth be told, not much has changed on Monsters Of Meme. But for me, that’s a goddamn relief. I fell in love with happy hardcore and I’m more than happy to get an annual fix.

What we have here is R41nb0w squared. There’s double the farts, double the blast beats, double the delicious glitter, double the LOLs, and a motherfucking meme OVERLOAD. There’s samples from all your favorite everythings from pop & obscure culture chopped & fukdup to oblivion: “I’mma let you finish,” Banana Phone, Ren & Stimpy, Billy Mays, Ace Of Base (with farts), Indiana Jones, and a zillion other things, including the most necessary of all, Double Rainbow. Full on. SO BEAUTIFUL.

When Foxdye’s not sampling Mario, Uncle Phil, and every other fucking thing on the planet, there’s the actual music parts which take a jungle dub skwee rainbow shit all over your chest. Way harder than on R41nb0w, these are the glitchiest nastiest beats to ever pump through your speakers. This is hardly danceable but I’ll be DAMNED if I can’t help myself from flailing uncontrollably in pure ecstasy.

No amount of sub-genres can be applied to Foxdye. They’re useless. She’s beyond them. I don’t even think the self-described “happy hardcore” is enough anymore. This is some ultra-level shit that builds off of everything, resulting in a meta noise that if it weren’t so rooted in current trends I’d swear it came from the future.