Thursday, March 27, 2008

tim hecker

Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet

"For his sixth album Tim Hecker sticks to more organic, muted colours. It's a sign of creative maturity and marks a welcome move away from the Fennesz-style layered glitchscapes that have dominated his back-catalogue. It's hard to tell exactly how these drone tapestries are woven together, the granular laptop trickery of old is virtually undetectable and the source instruments detuned and dissolved to the point of blissful obscurity. Opening with the elegiac strains of 'Rainbow Blood', Hecker eases the listener into his melancholy new sound-world before launching into the curiously titled, 'Stags, Aircraft, Kings and Secretaries' with a flickering percussive urgency. Somewhere within the digital fog you can just about discern the occasional glisten of guitar strings. Next up is 'Chimeras', a real standout on the album, its slow motion synth arpeggios providing a rare glimpse of overt melodicism, a property which, though ever-present on this album, tends to be restrained - even buried. That said, filtered and faded as they may be, Hecker's compositions always manage to reveal an emotive core beneath the static. You can understand why Kranky snapped up Tim Hecker: Harmony In Ultraviolet sits comfortably next to material by the likes of Keith Fullerton Whitman, Stars Of The Lid and Loscil, while retaining Hecker's unmistakeable trademarks, that minor key grandeur atop relentless waves of crumbling sonic detritus. This is music every bit as preoccupied with the beauty of decay as William Basinski's finest material."

sounds like: drowning in gelatin

maurizio abate

Maurizio Abate - Mystic Strings

"Hand-made silkscreened edition of 100 copies from Abate who plays acoustic raga guitar and drones in the higher-mind style of Jack Rose and Robbie Basho. Some great aggressive, overtone-thick work here, with Abate generating whole mouthfuls of barbed microtonal teeth that sink deep into the background drones and pin em to the sky."

sounds like: one of the adventures of a sailor who travels the world

jackie-o motherfucker

Jackie-O Motherfucker - Fig. 5

"In America, we have monuments instead of mythology: bright obelisks and classical statuary erected as perpetually new in the place of the perpetually old. This is, after all, the New World; we dedicate these talismans against ruin across the landscape almost as if to keep history itself at bay, to keep time from catching up with us. Underfoot are bones and detritus, though, the debris of the little nameless events that are excluded from American history. It's all a rather shallow grave when you think about it.
Jackie-O Motherfucker's unprecedented Fig. 5, the group's first CD release, presents a dim and unsettling archaeology of American music. Released in the wake of the American century, it's the first unapologetically brilliant piece of experimental music I've heard this year. Somehow constructed bereft of any postmodern irony, Fig. 5 transforms a commanding grasp on the celebrated tributaries of American music-- jazz, Appalachian folk, soul, African-American spirituals, West coast surf-rock, Protestant hymns, Louisville post-rock, bluegrass, electronic noise-- into an autochthonous gospel. Jackie-O Motherfucker-- two multi-instrumentalists, Tom Greenwood and Jef Brown and the cadre of eclectic talents with whom they surround themselves-- abandoned the remix loop jazz-fusion of their first two albums (available only as LPs) and literally emerged from the basement and the soil with a masterpiece.
The gust-blown digital hum of the first track, "Analogue Skillet," underpins plucked and scraping strings, like a bow on the nervous system itself. It's buzzing neon yielding to something like a screen-door creaking on its rusted hinges behind wind chimes in "Native Einstein," a kind of front porch minimalism. There's a faint chorus of young girls counting down in the recesses, playing Double Dutch in the road. The strings sound like saws; the lone sax whines like an animal. The scene is replaced by the solemn repetition of guitar twang; "Your Cells are in Motion" is the working man's Mogwai: a funereal procession of rising guitar and faint vocals coalescing steadily into shantytown post-rock, tarnished but true. Labradford will spend the entirety of their career trying to create this song and never get it right.
The choral "Go Down, Old Hannah," performed here by the Amalgamated Everlasting Union Chorus Local #824, is a prison camp work song dating back to the turn of the century-- a plea for sunset to end the workday. "Amazing Grace," the slave trader John Newton's ubiquitous 1779 hymn to God, is barely recognizable as Appalachian free jazz: steely banjos and twittering horns that sound like bagpipes are equal parts mountain folk and Pharoah Sanders.
The lilting "Beautiful September" provides an interlude of catchy No Depression dream-rock. But the album's centerpiece is clearly the tribal 24-minute "Michigan Avenue Social Club," a track that sounds at times like dismembered Gershwin, and at other times like Cul de Sac with horns. Fig 5. fades out on the brief, chirping "Madame Curie," dissolving into the earth from which the whole work arose.
For all its disparate strands, Fig. 5 is surprisingly cohesive, constructing some ratcheted new sound with junk and memory rather than laundering old sounds with the irony and veiled contempt of other pastiche exercises. The disc itself is packaged in an oddly fascinating die-cut cardboard folio, complete with snippets of Alan Lomax's celebrated American ethnomusicology. Fig. 5 is slow and plodding like time itself. This work, again, simply has no precedents. Or rather, its precedents lie in the dusty anonymities of American musical history, instead of the proud and touted monuments of our cultural past. Listen to it once if you can. It is our secret national anthem."

sounds like: road trips, porches

the taj mahal travellers

The Taj Mahal Travellers - August 1974

download part 1
download part 2
"The four sides of August 1974, each about 20-minute long (the length that fit on an LP side), present the Travellers at their most sophisticated. The first jam is a concert of cosmic hisses that ebb and flow, distortions that scour the abysses of the psyche, sinister wailing and rattling that create a metaphysical suspense. At first, it straddles the line between Pink Floyd's Astronomy Domine and Klaus Schulze's Irrlicht, but then it becomes more and more abstract, recalling Sun Ra's extraterrestrial jazz-rock. Percussions are used sparingly. Violin, harmonica, bass, tuba, trumpet, synthesizer, mandolin duet in a subliminal and obscure manner. There is no melody, there is no logic. Just "voices", both subhuman and supernatural, that resonate with a universal inner voice. The second jam is a cacophonous gathering of timbres and gamelan-like tinkling, over which Tibetan chanting and droning intone a demented psalm. Halfway into the piece, the band seems to lose interest in playing, so the rest of the track is a rarified wind of tenuous sounds. The third track continues this silent journey into the unknown, with odd percussive patterns and random dissonance. As the chaos increases and exuberant voices join in, the bacchanal turns into a surreal pow-wow dance. The last jam continues the program of eerie noises and unlikely counterpoint in an atmosphere that is both dreamy and austere. We are transported to a floating zen garden, traveling on a flying saucer. A wavering harp-like melody invites to meditation, and, for a while, the spiritual mood prevails. Then the percussions break the spell, introducing the usual element of indeterminacy and heresy, and the trip ends, one more time, in the resonating depths of distant galaxies."

sounds like: floating

Saturday, March 22, 2008

william basinski

William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops

buy it here
"It's impossible: no one could create a script this contrived. Yet, apparently, it happened. William Basinski's four-disk epic, The Disintegration Loops, was created out of tape loops Basinski made back in the early 1980s. These loops held some personal significance to Basinski, a significance he only touches on in the liner notes and we can only guess at. Originally, he just wanted to transfer the loops from analog reel-to-reel tape to digital hard disk. However, once he started the transfer, he discovered something: the tapes were old and they were disintegrating as they played and as he recorded. As he notes in the liner notes, "The music was dying." But he kept recording, documenting the death of these loops.
These recordings were made in August and September of 2001. Now, this is where the story gets impossible. William Basinski lives in Brooklyn, less than a nautical mile from the World Trade Centers. On September 11, 2001, as he was completing The Disintegration Loops, he watched these towers disintegrate. He and his friends went on the roof of his building and played the Loops over and over, all day long, watching the slow death of one New York and the slow rise of another, all the while listening to the death of one music and the creation of another. As I said, it's impossible. The music, however, is beautiful, subtle, sad, frightening, confusing, and ultimately uplifting. What's he created here is a living document: a field recording of orchestrated decay. It sounds like nothing else I've heard, yet, at its core, it's the simplest and most familiar music I can imagine.
The four disks comprise six unique works. There is some overlap on the different disks; in fact, the first work (which Basinski calls "D|P 1") begins on disk one and ends on disk four. Some of the works are very long ("D|P 1" is over 90 minutes), while some are relatively short ("D|P 4" is only 20 minutes). However, each of the six works employs a different, repeating loop that slowly deteriorates into oblivion. The loops are very simple: a lush string or synth melody backed by atmospheric arpeggio countermelodies. The melodies are, as Basinski notes, pastoral: lush, simple works intended as idealized representations of nature and beauty. In theory, then, this is ambient music: music designed to set a mood, evoke a feeling (like a cinematic score), but one that is not designed for deep listening. That, I'm sure, was Basinski's initial design when he first created these loops in 1982.
But time has slowly killed these loops and the pastoral (and ambient) ideals they once represented. What we hear on The Disintegration Loops are not poetic images of nature or beauty but nature and beauty as they truly exist in this world: always fleeting, slowly dying. What makes these works so memorable is not the fact that the loops are slowly disintegrating but the fact that we get to hear their deaths. In a very real way, we experience the muddled, ugly, brutal realities of life. What's more, these muddled, ugly, brutal realities of life are, in their own way, incredibly beautiful, perhaps more beautiful than the original, pristine loops ever could have been.
As with any natural occurrence, these individual loops all die very individual deaths. "D|P 3," for example, begins as a bright, bold, orchestral melody that, over the course of 42 minutes, is slowly reduced to a sputtering, churning blob of its former self. The melody disintegrates slowly, until, by the end, only portions are audible; the rest is silence and noise. By contrast, the longest piece, "D|P 1," because it is split into three distinct parts ("1.1" on disk one; "1.2" and "1.3" on disk four), actually dies three separate deaths. Each one begins as soft, warm halos of sound, which then slowly mutates into muddled fragments. And then there's "D|P 4," the smallest work. It begins as a full-fledged melody but slowly devolves into chaos: silences slowly spreading across huge gaps in the loop, while the muddled melody struggles on, barely perceptible, until it, too, is silenced into oblivion.
This is not ambient music; this is not one melody played over and over to fill the background space of a Japanese restaurant. This is natural music: music created from the elemental forces of life and as a testament to those forces. This is the sound of entropy, the sound of life as it decays and dies before our ears. And like all living things, these sounds struggle and claw for life with their last, dying breaths. Their deaths are a memorial to Basinski's past. That he dedicates these works to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is fitting. I can think of no better tribute, no better response to a tragedy of that magnitude than a work as beautiful and as fragile as this one."

sounds like: time passing


Emeralds - Servant

sounds like: looking through crystals

no fucker

No Fucker - No Flesh Shall Be Spared
wolf eyes covered "noise not music" but it's not on this demo.

sounds like: uh being really angry i guess


Seaworthy - Map In Hand

""Map In Hand" must be the least overtly electronic release in the 12k catalogue. Australian three-piece Seaworthy conjure their languorous post-rock from a combination of guitar drone, field recordings and the slightest of electronic treatments. The resultant album is an impressive departure for 12k: ordinarily if a guitar shows up on one of the label's releases it either gets mangled beyond all recognition by Christopher Willits' jittery Oval-isms or appears as a component of a Minimo or Fourcolor austere, heavily processed soundworlds. On "Map in hand" you get a sense of the analogue dirt that comes with electric guitar sounds in the real world. You can hear the speckling of amp hiss and the interruption of jacks being plugged and unplugged on this record, and it's all the better for it. 'Map In Hand pt. 7' even comes close to the ghostly reverberations you'd find on a Loren Connors album, with its untreated, unbroken minor key soloing. Excellent."

sounds like: long walks, ponds, algae

lotus eaters

Lotus Eaters - 4 Demonstrations

very limited cd-r

sounds like: islands, cliffs

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

the tallest man on earth

The Tallest Man On Earth - Shallow Graves

i have been playing this over and over. it is pretty.

sounds like: thinking a lot, watching people leave

Monday, March 17, 2008


Hijokaidan - Tapes

"Volume Six in the "Hijokaidan Rarity Series" is another treat for all of you into UTTER DEVASTATING NOISE. As practiced in Japan, which makes it even better. Hijokaidan, despite fierce competition from Merzbow, Masonna, and quite a few others, are still the reigning Kings Of Noise in the Land Of The Rising Sun. With a cover and title paying homage to their krautrock heroes Faust, Hijokaidan's Tapes is a crucial entry in their discography, a record originally released in 1986 as sort of a career retrospective to date, comprising tracks from various eras and lineups, all only previously available on cassette. It starts off way back in 1979 with Hijokaidan's first ever recording, the studio-destroying (so they, rather believably, claim!) electric guitar and vocal skree of "Angel Dust" as performed by the founding duo of Jojo Hiroshige and Naoki Zushi. 1980's "Circles" adds more members and instrumentation (including drums and saxophone) and certainly doesn't let up from the noisy standard set by "Angel Dust". Then there's a 1985 track by the Incapacitants (members of Hijokaidan, equally noisy on their own), followed by two lengthy cuts from '85 and '86 inspired by horror film/fiction ("The Beyond" and "Salem's Lot", the latter an especially effective/destructive 18+ minute drones n' screams attack). And then Tapes finishes up with a cover tune, their beautifully blown-out take on the classic '70s space rocker "Silver Machine" by another band of Hijokaidan heroes, Hawkwind. Good stuff. Plus, the front cover features very personal notes on each track, and a history of the band '79-'86, neatly typed up in English. How can any Hijokaidan/noise fan do without this??"

sounds like: fucked up old movies

dj 光光光

DJ 光光光 - Planetary Natural Love Gas Webbin' 199999

"Who would have guessed that Boredoms would become a franchise? They stray so far off the beaten path, it's hard to imagine a need for side projects. Nonetheless, there are many, some of which are actually quite good. DJ Pica Pica Pica, which is the brainchild of Boredoms' brainchild Eye Yamakanta, is one of them, and Planetary Natural Love Gas Webbin' 199999 is the name he chose for his first album. And, as might be anticipated from an artist called DJ Pica Pica Pica, there is a certain dancehall flavor to it. But it's not really dance, techno, house, or even drum'n'bass, per se. And it's hard to imagine anyone actually dancing to it. There's a regular drum beat keeping things steady, but that's not what makes the album so fascinating. It's the no-holds-barred, adventurous, and impressively to-the-beat sound combinations Eye has layered over it. "3" seems to feature the sounds of jet airplane in the background. "13" rocks with what sounds like a rolling, processed didjeridu, intermittent jungle breakbeats, and any number of interesting noise arrangements you couldn't hope to describe. As always, anything goes, and, when it does, it usually goes well. This is more accessible than most Boredoms albums, but definitely wild enough for the die-hard fans."
i had to edit this review to say "boredoms" instead of "the boredoms". psh

sounds like: rollercoasters, happiness

the gerogerigegege

The Gerogerigegege - Tokyo Anal Dynamite

"Easily the most infamous and well known release from the gerogerigegege, this one really just can't be beat, no pun intended. a little bit more than half an hour long, this album ought to come with its own built-in safety belt. if the album cover (a line of naked punk looking cartoons all simultaneously vomiting and shitting in unison) doesn't prepare you for the album, then hopefully this review will. it is basically a live recording from 1987 that is indexed into 75 (!) separate tracks. absolutely no track is more than 1 minute long. juntaro is listed as playing NOISE BASS and another person is listed as playing both drums and vocals. the liner notes are fairly confusing even though there is not much written to begin with aside from who is playing and when it was recorded. this cd is generally considered to be one of the most important and highly significant releases of the entire Japanese noise scene. even though there were about 3000 copies pressed worldwide, it seems to be one of the more difficult gero releases to get a hold of. Every song follows the same formula: "___(insert Japanese curse word, phrase, etc.)__" then a count off into short spastic bursts of pure punk-driven dissonance. Every song title is generally screamed in japanese with the occasional American cover song thrown in. although this has always been pointed out in other reviews of this same album, hearing Juntaro (or whoever) scream, "boys-a don't-a cry!" (the cure) or "I can't-a getta no satis-a-FAK-tion!" (rolling stones) actually IS completely worth whatever amount of money one is willing to spend on obtaining this obscure gem. At one point, Juntaro screams his own name and counts off only to end the song after 20 seconds to scream his name again BACKWARDS. it is completely hysterical. Near the end of the cd, there are more drawn out feedback drones and less screaming, due to obvious reasons that one could assume. The production is very gruff, although one can make out the drums quite well and the feedback and/or bass add an another layer of sound. There is not much left to say other than the fact that this is THE quintessential gerogerigegege release."

sounds like: tokyo, anuses, dynamite

Thursday, March 13, 2008

daphne oram

download part one
download part two
this is so rad. you have to look at the album cover while listening to it btw
"Daphne Oram might not be a name as familiar as, say Delia Derbyshire or Raymond Scott, but she is one of the unsung heroes of the early electronics movement, and even more interestingly was the founder of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop! Are you impressed yet? Well you should be, Daphne joined the BBC at a mere 17 years of age back in 1942 (turning down a place at the Royal Academy of Music) and from there on she badgered the company endlessly to start investing in electronic music. She was convinced of the potential of this new sound and was totally obsessed with pioneering it, to the point where she would camp out at the BBC studios for nights on end splicing tapes and working with various modified machines to create her abstract soundscapes. Eventually the BBC bent under her pressure and in studio 13 created the soon-to-be-legendary Radiophonic Workshop, with Daphne Oram as the director. Sadly this involvement was to be short lived as Daphne decided she was unhappy to be writing music simply to be heard in the background of some science fiction television show or another, and left the company to start her own studio and pioneer her own musical instrument. Named the Oramics system, this incredible device allowed her to 'draw' sound, and had the synthesizer's oscillators, pitch, volume, vibrato and more controlled by hand drawn slides. It was an incredibly original way to think about sound creation, and her work was totally pioneering in the genre - allowing her to make sounds and compositions totally unlike anything heard before. Daphne continued to experiment with music using the Oramics system and then an Apple II computer until she had a stroke in 1994, and was up until that time totally dedicated to experimental electronic music. Her work is here presented across two discs and shows many of her early compositions for film and television and also some later work (post 1966) which made use of the Oramics system. Having only managed to hear a very small amount of Daphne's work before (notably the track 'Four Aspects' on Sub Rosa's influential 'An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music #2') it is an absolute revelation hearing this collection. Each track shows just how important she was on the development of music we know and love so dearly - Delia Derbyshire for instance was a devoted follower of hers, and is quoted as saying she was "one of the most important people in the history of electronic music". This sentiment is clearly evident as we are taken through a journey of devastatingly complex electronic and concrete music, music that would give any number of the more well-known composers a run for their money. Possibly one of the finest collections of early electronic music we've ever had through our doors, this is a stunning presentation of a truly remarkable woman's work - I think we've found our holy grail. Unmissable."

sounds like: interplanetary journeys

yellow swans

"In an effort to describe the visual work of Shirazeh Houshiary, it was suggested that it had a "presence," like light, which required experience in order to be comprehended. This also holds true for Yellow Swans’ newest release, At All Ends. With this, their second album for Load Records, Gabriel Salomon and Pete Swanson present a work exquisite in the weight of its melodic presence and brutal in its devastating beauty. It is a work that seeks to assert itself beyond the limitations set upon it by its recorded form.
"At All Ends" begins the album with a series of passages, looping and dissolving in absolute reflexive response beneath their own counterclockwise fallout. These motifs move at the pace of hallucinatory trailings, in constant progression toward their final end, succumbing to an aggressive flare of guitar strum and feedback. This final sequence brings to full view the primary foundation from which their work is birthed: noise. And while sonic explorations that fall within this practice are often considered lacking in expressive qualities, this couldn’t be further from what’s on play here. Building upon this infrastructure of noise, Yellow Swans have fused elements of shoegaze, wherein the melodic basis of the record finds root. This component elevates the proceedings beyond what could have potentially been a fixed exercise in dissonant scree and feedback.
"Mass Mirage," a blur of somber guitar harmonics submerged in audio grain and rubble mixed with Pete’s obliterated vocals, is a prime example of this influence. It’s not difficult to hear the influence of Slowdive, My Bloody Valentine, or Loveliescrushing fixed within their open-mouthed, skyward-eyed noise, nor is it a task to hear the influence of the archetypes — dream pop and space rock — of shoegazers in the cathartic extremes. "Our Oases" is similarly invested in this celestial gazing, with expansive, divinity-invested ambience buried beneath seething guitar figures and vocal phantasma. And while shorter by half, the transcendent effect is undeniably achieved. Deconstructed in comparison, but no less entrenched in metaphysical otherness, "Stretch the Sands" is a panorama of scorched undulation laid bare before your eyes. The album reaches a final transcending moment through the slow, unfolding melody of the somber guitar on album closer "Endlessly Making An End Of Things," which radiates outward from a shadow in majestic climb; spiritual absolutism perhaps, but profoundly affecting.
With At All Ends, it’s clear Salomon and Swanson are progressively moving toward an openly pronounced use of melody, which will assuredly continue to alienate them from noise die-hards. Conversely, their decisive use of noise will alienate listeners easily frustrated by the squalls of feedback and electronics. It would be a shame, however, for any listener, regardless of their biases, to be lost on this record. Indeed, their melding of ideas induces an "unknown knowing," coaxing the listener into an absolute state of self akin to the work of Francisco Lopez and John Duncan. The element of "noise" is transcended, becoming an unobtrusive extension of the achieved infinite state. Records capable of provoking such psychotropic transitions come along very infrequently; do not miss out on this one."

sounds like: an empty desert

john wiese

John Wiese - Soft Punk

"John Wiese is no stranger to the manipulation of others' music; he's mangled his own sounds and those of others on past releases, but Soft Punk contains his most obvious reworking of found sounds to date. The disc's liner notes credit Denny Mclain, Grand Ulena, Sissy Spacek (Wiese's band, not the actress), and Die Monitor Bats as providing source material for a few of the disc's tracks, but more overt sampling is evident on a few other tracks, and, alongside the digital pyrotechnics that Wiese usually employs, it offers bit of organic counterpoint to the proceedings.The use of samples isn't a necessary addition to Wiese's arsenal (in fact, "Recorded Hologram," heavy on such use, is one of the disc's weaker tracks), but Wiese largely avoids hackneyed use of the plundered material, and the trajectory of the disc isn't put noticeably of course. Soft Punk is another "debut" by a musician whose catalog is already bursting at the seams. There's an issue of semantics at hand, but, whether or not it seems ludicrous to call an album released at this point in John Wiese's career a debut, one can safely just call this album another quality release from Mr. Wiese, the cream of Los Angeles' noisemaking crop.
Wiese likely doesn't use tools unavailable to his contemporaries in noisemaking, but listening to a track like "Spectral Hand" might make it seem that way. When at its best, Wiese's sensitivity to timbre and his logic in sandwiching sounds are top notch; there's a cleanliness and clarity in even the most decimated masses of half-digested static and the swirling tones that surround them. Wiese works in sound that, at times, is practically three-dimensional, and through stereo panning and architecture of sound, he's capable of impressively immersive sonic environments, especially considering the hectic pace that much of his work has a tendency to take. Soft Punk is the sort of album to proves that noise isn't purely the realm of the talentless hack with an ear for discord, and though it's indiscernible in any truly tangible way, there's certainly a method to Wiese's madness, and an art to his crafting and arranging of sound.
Selecting a favorite Wiese album is somewhat akin to choosing the best looking blade of grass in a yard; there are way too many to choose from, and keeping them distinct in one's mind often proves to be a challenge. Soft Punk, however, seems a fitting entry to the upper echelon of Wiese's oeuvre, and a worthy wearer of the title of his full-length debut, no matter how contentious such use of the term, in this case, might be."

sounds like: grinding teeth

i am on a fucking roll tonight



Bunalim - s/t

"First-ever CD reissue of some of the most amazing Turkish music ever recorded: wild, raw and with fuzz guitar all over. Bunalim (which means "depression" or "frustration" in Turkish), founded in 1969, was one of the most well-known underground groups on the Turkish music scene of the early '70s. Although their discography is limited to only a few singles, Bunalim is regarded as a seminal band in Turkish music history, who paved the way for its members to find fame later on in their careers (playing with Erkin Koray, Mogollar, Ter, Edip Akbayram). Bunalim released 6 singles which are incredibly rare, and never completed a whole album. They were produced and managed by legendary Turkish rock musician and instigator of the Anatolian rock movement Cem Karaca, one of the most important rock singers in Turkey during the 1970s. This release is a blend of their work from 1970-1972, and features everything from American-influenced garage to early punk experiments to fuzzed-out psychedelic heavy Eastern drone, including a cover of Iron Butterfly's "Get Out Of My Life, Woman" ("Yeter Artik Kadin") sung in Turkish. They say about the band: "God, they were crazy! Running all nude down the Istiklal Street, psychedelic light shows, crazy paintings all over the stage wall and screaming of LSD! LSD! in their live shows." As good as the best recordings from Erkin Koray, Bunalim are, even for most Turkish collectors, a well-kept secret. The LP version reissued by Shadoks sold out within a blink of the eye."

sounds like: the stooges except uh turkish

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Raccoo-oo-oon - The Cave Of Spirits Forever

"Time-Lag Records :: Raccoo-oo-oon blend wooded spiritual progressions with guitar experimentation, sometimes reminiscent of Animal Collective or Acid Mothers Temple. Often psychedelic, it also feels like something scraped up along the American landscapes on a recreational drug-use category of drugged-out roadtrip. The songs lurk strangely in post-Godspeed You! Black Emperor territory with simple guitar lines being built upon with varying degrees of epicness and strangeness as well as tribal throw-back sing-songing. This recording was originally pressed as a CDR in early 2005, now repressed here on a regular CD. I'm anxious to hear the newer offerings by this group of cave spirits. They are on their way to possibilities."

sounds like: mob mentality, moving bodies of water, things that live in moving bodies of water


Prurient - And Still, Wanting

"A follow-up to Dominick Fernow's Pleasure Ground tract, And Still Wanting maps out a fresh set of paths into the abyss, with an initial, limited edition CD run accompanied by a 5" slab of vinyl featuring 'Prologue' and 'Epilogue' pieces as bookends to the album proper. The voice tends to be at the epicentre of Fernow's infernal compositions, and on this album you're even supplied with a lyric sheet, so you can screech along at home. 'Memory Repeating' uses a straight forward spoken vocal as its lynchpin, while layer upon layer of horrendous distortion collapses in on you. There are plenty of noise records that cake on the fuzz and feedback, but just as there ain't no party like an S Club party, there really ain't no racket like a Prurient racket. Fernow always manages to go that little bit further into the filth-pit of extremes than just about anyone else. It's that particular kind of extremity to his work that makes it all that little bit more terrifying than the industry standard. Even by No Fun standards this is not for the squeamish. And Still, Wanting is hardly pushing things forward but the dark poetry recital aspect gives the noise onslaught an added depth, particularly in the deep, cavernous musings of 'Strict Ideas' which sounds like someone incinerating a William Basinski Disintegration Loop whilst reading out some unintelligibly overdriven statement in the midst of it all."

sounds like: speaker problems, beetles, solitary confinement

religious knives

Religious Knives - It's After Dark

hey btw these folks are coming to seattle on the 15th, go see them
"It was always going to be tough following up a record like "Remains." For me the Religious Knives trio of Double Leopards' Maya Miller and Mike Bernstein and Mouthus stick-man Nate Nelson were at the top of their game with that disc, bringing to mind the finest elements of early Popol Vuh and blending that with a roominess, a sense of outsider bliss which was impossible for me not to fall in love with. It was the sound I'd always wanted from Double Leopards welded seamlessly with the kind of percussion that wouldn't be out of place on a Sublime Frequencies collection, and in that the Knives had become almost their own sub-genre. Strangely then for their second long player the band have tripped almost headlong into a world of heroin-soaked fuzz-rock - a sound not too many hops, skips and jumps from a Morrisson-less Doors or even The Stooges.
Those of us who managed to lay our grubby mitts on the stunning "In Brooklyn After Dark" 12" last year will already have an inkling at the sound they're approaching, and indeed that track pops up as the extended introduction to "It's After Dark." Grimy, fractured and primal, this is music that sounds as if it's been recorded in a basement as a near psychotic Abel Ferrara frustratedly attempts to daub oil on canvas in the room above. There are plenty of links here to the trendy and recently re-emerged no-wave scene Sonic Youth so proudly represent, but somehow the trio manage to sidestep this faddishness. It was a track that surprised me at the time simply for the fact that it was so different from their previous work, but a track that has elevated with each play, and one which sounds infinitely better when you crank the amps up to eleven. From this extended introduction however the Knives' sound creeps and crawls mutatedly around the psychedelic rock genre with dashes at smudgy, drugged out half-tempo balladeering, fat organ-led grooves and even nods toward the rock-pop flourishes of the equally genre-bending Magik Markers. It doesn't always work either; occasionally the single-mindedness we became so accustomed to on tracks such as "Bind Them" is fractured to give way to a rare fragility. The fog breaks for a moment
and our suspension of disbelief is broken, the band become mortal for a second - vocals cracking and silence becoming dead air. This is however exactly what makes "It's After Dark" a totally different beast from it's predecessor, a brave record which almost resets the band in my mind at least giving them a set of rock 'n roll credentials they possibly never had before.
"It's After Dark" is precisely that, music to sit awkwardly in-between you and that nerdy girl in the over-washed X-Ray Spex tee shirt as you sip on a cheap bourbon and give out wry, uncaring smiles, music to accompany you as you wander alone back from the show wondering silently whether she even gave a fuck. It is music for mixtapes and heartbreaks and exactly the kind of noise the tiresome blogosphere needs to replace their ill-founded adoration of the Animal Collective or Grizzly Bear. Don't believe me? Flick over to "It's Hot" and play it three times. you can almost imagine Iggy Pop himself crawling around the corner, limbs flayed as he dribbles a chemical-rich saliva over your new rug. Give the ten-minute epic "Noontime" some airing and you'll be sinking hopelessly into the whirling synthesizers and chanted vocals with scant regard for the consequences, and it's around this time you realize that there's simply nobody else like Religious Knives. Fuck the genres; New Weird America? Noise? Psychedelia? This is good, old fashioned American rock music, and sure, the band might not have got it entirely right - but that's what makes them so damn good and what forces you to remember why you fell in love with music in the first place. Just remember this ain't an album for the attention deficit generation, you need to listen more than once - trust me, in about six months this will have gone from 9/10 to 10/10."

sounds like: rainy spring weather where the air is heavy

the skaters

The Skaters - Untitled
the skaters are so wonderful and mysterious that i could not find anything about this album

sounds like: large spans of human history in secluded parts of the world, levitation

jim o'rourke

okay this will be the first jim o'rourke of many i shall post
i fucking love jim o'rourke
Jim O'Rourke - I'm Happy And I'm Singing And A 1-2-3-4

"I'm Happy, and I'm Singing, and a 1, 2, 3, 4 is a collection of three tracks performed by Jim O'Rourke on his laptop computer in New York, Osaka, and Tokyo. Given the nature of these performances, the record inhabits that squishy gray area somewhere between a composition and an improvisation. Since this is the first time these songs have been released, it's impossible to know how much of the album is premeditated.
The results of O'Rourke's half-improvisations are absolutely stunning. I'm Happy, and I'm Singing, and a 1, 2, 3, 4 is comprised of sounds too intricate and complex to be the product of spontaneous experimentation. But unlike many albums consisting of such sounds, this album moves at the speed of human thought, developing in a subtle, methodical, yet never cold and technical manner. Changes happen slowly enough that you can fully take in every nuance, yet nothing ever seems obvious.
"I'm Happy" opens the record with nondescript glitchy sine waves playing a sparse, quiet pattern. That pattern swells to a buzzing mass of sound so dense that it seems to comprise a single melodic entity. Gradually, O'Rourke manipulates this one central sonic pillar, adding sounds that vary slightly in melody and timbre. And somehow, he manages to keep "I'm Happy" dense enough to be completely enveloping, while still open enough to be noticeably transformed by every one of its individual voices. About halfway through the track, a series of subtle melodic changes and the addition of a humming bass drone drastically alter the character of the song, though the elements comprising remain largely unchanged.
Though "I'm Happy" fades out with a few moments of dark ambience, the following track, "And I'm Singing," showcases a more playful side of O'Rourke's laptop. Opening with the stuttered sounds of a timer and chime, "And I'm Singing" then sees him using looped keyboards and synthesized sounds to create what could best be described as a single fragment of a gorgeous melody frozen in time. Strange, ambiguous percussive sounds create a controlled cacophony, until the song metamorphoses into a minimalistic arrangement of clean and distorted synthesized blips. A single array of melodies is repeated, developing so slowly that it can barely be noticed. It then flows seamlessly into what could be the album's finest moment: a progression of odd, ambiguous sounds backed by distorted sine waves and acoustic guitar. Like its predecessor, "And I'm Singing" ends with a brief period of subdued ambience.
Whereas "I'm Happy" and " And I'm Singing" often use a flurry of individual sounds to create the illusion tranquility, "And a 1, 2, 3, 4" is much more sparse, allowing the listener to focus more closely on every sound O'Rourke uses. And the sounds themselves are utterly gorgeous-- subtly manipulated strings that quiver and pulsate in slow, sweeping gestures, constantly arranging themselves into new harmonic patterns. As more voices are added, these patterns become more complex and more regular until the end of the song, at which point O'Rourke gently deconstructs the layers of sound that have been building for over fifteen minutes with the introduction of new, thoroughly engaging sounds that function almost like a screen behind which the song can dismantle itself.
Indeed, I'm Happy, and I'm Singing, and a 1, 2, 3, 4, despite its somewhat ridiculous title and its digital origins, is a startlingly personal, affecting album, drawing as much on the fragile melodicism of folk music as the technical manipulation of minimalism. And considering the strength of the bond that can develop between a man and his machine, this record may be O'Rourke's most direct statement to date."

sounds like: kitchen appliances, sunny days, perfect music

sword heaven

Sword Heaven - Entrance

"Sword Heaven is a Columbus duo using sheet metal, electronics, horn, drum and treated vocals to bring a supercluster of black clouds into your zone. While there is an undeniable black tone of metallic grime hanging over the proceedings, this music will appeal to those wanting something absolute in their lives. Yes, name check pre-industrial dive bombers like the Swans or Godflesh, but realize that will not prepare for the all out bombast this duo spreads on your toast. The band has 7 inchers and LP sides on undy mainstays record labels like Not Not Fun, Deathbomb Arc and Cephia's Threat, as well as a split LP with fellow Ohio cyanide spritzers, Lambsbread. This is their full-length debut. Make no mistake, this release will be noticed and fans of exxxtreme soundz and bold smells will bow down and spill proper restitutions of pig blood stained dollars at their local record shack or illegal download center."

sounds like: crutches, giant cave spiders, a brass band where all the members have recently been hit by an automobile

Saturday, March 8, 2008

food for animals

Food For Animals - Belly

"Despite its penchant for woofer-throttling, high-tech bombast, Food for Animals couldn’t be more old-school. The group from the Maryland ’burbs embraces noise in a way that few hip-hop acts do, but calling the racket futuristic or dystopian would sell it short. FFA’s second disc, Belly, picks up where 2004’s criminally ignored Scavengers left off: Its beats are constructed almost exclusively from crackle and fuzz, and its rhymes veer from the personal into the impressionistic. The key terms here, however, are “beats” and “rhymes”—the group sticks to hip-hop orthodoxy (big sounds, thoughtful rhetoric) and just happens to present it through nerdy machinery. That’s FFA’s strength; it sticks to what it knows, even if it means dropping a Silver Spring reference now and then. Lead rapper Vulture Voltaire—a tall, pale, bearded dude—does a bit less hollering this time around, but he’s no less passionate: “I’m like, yeah/Yeah, my generation got clowned/And still my surroundings can’t even make a sound/You say you can’t find the words, and I say/Shit, I’ve stolen more than one from your lost and found,” he raps on the anti-apathy anthem “Shhhy.” FFA’s other core member, producer Ricky Rabbit, turns the song into a lesson on tension and release: While a synth loop anxiously shimmers in the background, the digi-bass throbs at a martial, fist-pumping tempo. It’s the album’s most accessible track, but that’s no knock on the others: The glitched-up “Bulk Gummies” and the hyper “Mutumbo” are both funky as hell (for FFA), while the chaotic “Belly Kids” and the percussive, jittery “You Right” both push the group’s aesthetic into psychedelic territory that Scavengers never quite reached. All of those songs, incidentally, feature new member Hy, whose hopped-up delivery provides apt contrast to Vulture Voltaire’s stentorian tendencies. Hy holds down the back end of “Belly Kids” like a political-thought professor, but many of his lines are nearly eaten by rushes of static. When the thunder stops, though, he says this: “But fuck bein’ humble/When it comes to these raps, I’ve sung millions/So all of the MCs in existence are my illegitimate children.” It’s a welcome blast of ego, even if it’s a tad facetious. FFA fills out Belly with some well-pruned instrumentals, a couple of tracks where Vulture Voltaire plays entertainer (“Tween My Lips,” “Summer Jam”), and a finale (“Grapes”) where he philosophizes about the inadequacy of language—and the grief that accompanied the death of his mother. “Because of you I had a childhood the size of the sky,” he says to her, injecting that rarest of hip-hop elements: true pathos."

sounds like: toys, chain link fences, computers booting up

roscoe holcomb

Roscoe Holcomb - An Untamed Sense of Control
"Oh, but this is wonderful! The title comes from a quote by Bob Dylan, 'Roscoe Holcomb has a certain untamed sense of control which makes him one of the best'. One of the best? Come off it Bob. This guy was the best! And this album is as good as it gets. I am sure that Roscoe needs no introduction. His recordings on two previous Smithsonian-Folkways sets, Mountain Music of Kentucky (SF CD 40077) and The High Lonesome Sound (SF CD 40104) are testaments to his greatness. Now we have the cream on the topping.
Any number of people have tried to analyse just what it was that made him such a good performer. Was it his intensity as a singer, his voice straining on all those forced high notes? Was it the driving banjo, or the open-tuned guitar plying relentless notes behind that remarkable voice? Or was it rather that he was the total embodiment of all those varied facets that make up what we call the Appalachian style of music? Sitting here listening to Roscoe's voice working its way through the Frank Hutchison classic Coney Island it hardly seems to matter. No matter what the source of Roscoe's songs and tunes, they were his songs and tunes. And they were sung and played by a man whose whole life, his total experience of life, sparkled throughout his performances. Many people listening to Roscoe only heard the sound of pain and suffering, but I think that they were missing something. John Cohen, who has assembled this collection, gives the following quote from John Hartford, 'See, I really love Roscoe Holcomb's sound. These other people tell me I'm hearing all this pain and all this stuff - but that's not what I think of. I can't tell you what I feel - I just love it. Maybe there's some deep psychological reason going on that I don't understand with my limited hillability.' Roscoe's music stems from a number of factors. It is rooted in the hard life that he was forced to endure in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. It takes in the traditions that were all around him, the old ballads and love-songs, the Baptist hymns and chants, the blues 78s that were played on treasured Victrolas, performers on the radio. But, whatever the source, Roscoe's singing was, as I said, his and his alone."

sounds like: my bloody valentine for real

Friday, March 7, 2008


Teotihuacan - Live Smokeshows from Inside the Ciguri Cave Hazed Diamonds with Windswept Hair


another side project by james ferraro of the skaters. i'll up some skaters soon enough.

sounds like: rituals being performed on the other side of a jungle valley

ogurusu norihide

Ogurusu Norihide - Modern

"In the white room with white curtains, Ogurusu Norihide patiently and steadily works on his distinctive techno-folk hybrid, his studio of white walls and hardwood floors is as clean and single-minded as his musical vision. Ogurusu Norihide's Modern is part of the burgeoning 'laptop folk' scene alongside fellow Carparkers Greg Davis and Takagi Masakatsu, but to limit his music to this tag would do Ogurusu a great injustice. His music follows its own path, informed as much by contemporary Japanese culture as by the ancient religious and cultural institutions of the Shinto faith. For Ogurusu Norihide is a certified Shinto priest, having completed his studies in Tokyo last year, Ogurusu has returned to his hometown of Kyoto to concentrate fully on music. Kyoto, where centuries old temples and gardens sit side by side with the offerings of new Japan, complements the music of modern well. The sounds of religious rites (hand-claps, bells) rub up against digitally-produced rhythms which are integrated with acoustic guitar and piano. Instantly familiar and totally abstract modern is informed by so many musicians but sounds like none of them. Like all great artists, Ogurusu Norihide completely reshuffles your ideas and preconceptions and deals them out in a way you didn't think was possible."

sounds like: drinking tea, early morning, cleanliness


Incapacitants - No Progress


sounds like: skidding cars, fingernails

bone awl

Bone Awl - Undying Glare

instead of a label quote i'll just tell you the very \m/, names of the two members: he who gnashes teeth and he who crushes teeth

sounds like: that

j dilla

J Dilla - Donuts

"Tragically, Donuts was released just three days before J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) passed away from complications arising from lupus--he was only 32. As one of his last projects, though, Donuts is a fitting reflection of Dilla's creativity and an apt tribute (however unintentional) to a career spent as the quintissential producer's producer. Unlike some of Dilla's previous instrumental albums, such as Welcome To Detroit, the songs here are less finished and polished pieces and more caught up in mid-creative motion. Unlike the soft, filtered sound he was known for in the mid-1990s, for Donuts he leaves a variety of soul and jazz loops in plain view but splices and reworks them as a set of sonic jigsaw puzzles. Spontaneous but not sloppy, the capture the late producer at his best--in the throes of his own imagination, each song poised with endless possibilities."

sounds like: the best tv channel ever

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

the snivelling shits

The Snivelling Shits - I Can't Come

"This one came out of nowhere and kicked our asses. And to be totallyhonest, as is often the case, we ordered it almost entirely because theband had an awesome name, heck, they're called the Snivelling Shits.Fingers crossed we threw it on, and what do you know? The sound was as snotty and snarly and snarky and catchy and punk as fuck as the name implied. The 'Shits were a joke band, formed by music journalist Giovanni Dadamo in 1977, designed to take the piss, but they ended up whipping up abatch of songs as good as if not better than any other groups at the time. Some impossible blend of the Buzzcocks, the Undertones, the Modern Lovers, The Sex Pistols, the Damned and the Velvets. Propulsive drumming, looped hypnotic riffing, and Dadamo's high pitched invective over the top. Take "I Can't Come", a bawdy sex tale about bedroom misadventure, with an insanely long list of other luminaries who couldn't come, culminating in the classic "Jesus Of Nazareth, heeeeeee can't come!" delivered in a snotty nasal whine. The rest of the tracks are just as funny: "Only 13", "Terminal Stupid", "I Wanna Be Your Biro", the all in French "Et Moi, Et Moi, Et Moi" and the impossibly catchy "Bring Me The Head Of Yukio Mishima". Every song here is a stone cold classic. Why these guys weren't huge it's hard to say. Might be because they didn't take it all that seriously, or the fact that they only ever recorded EIGHT tracks in their whole brief career, all collected here, along with some demos as well as the holiday chestnut"There Ain't No Sanity Claus" with the Damned (Dadamo also wrote a couple songs for those guys) and the previously released "isgodaman?"which was included on a comp under the pseudonym Arthur Comix because the record label didn't want the word Shits on their record cover."

sounds like: brattiness


BARR - Summary

"After growing up in Reagan-era Berkeley, Brendan Fowler's parents moved him across the country to the sticks outside Baltimore when he was nine, leaving him culture shocked and having to scour for memos from the outside world. Finding inspiration in skateboarding, fanzines, and his cool older goth friends who were into The Cure, he played music in high school with friends (who would eventually become Animal Collective) and in college in New York City and studied free jazz percussion. After college, he DJ'ed in the performance duo Dogg and Pony, which eventually lead to the birth of the record label he runs called DoggPony ( All the while, he was immersed in the modern and underground art world working at New York's infamous Alleged Gallery, a place that fostered many important contemporary street artists. Involved in a million different things with a million different groups of people at once, Brandon Fowler was on his way to building up to what would become BARR.
With a previous release on 5RC (US) / Upset The Rhythm (UK) Brendan spent the bulk of last year supporting Beyond Reinforced Jewel Case touring with Xiu Xiu and Animal Collective and was given the opportunity to bring his manic musical-spoken-word to a wider and more “indie-stream” audience. With his upcoming release Summary, Kill Rock Stars (US) / Upset The Rhythm (UK), the most musical BARR record to date, Brendan explores more of a pop sensibility (without ever becoming poppy) with a new means of lyrical narrative and execution (Brendan learned to sing rather than talk his lyrical prose as on previous pieces). The collection of works spans five tumultuous months of triumphs, failures, loss and growth and evokes a spectrum of raw emotion, as would a novel, a movie, a sonnet, or a classical concerto."

sounds like: spring, conversations, sunlight, good advice

snake figures fan

Snake Figures Fan - s/t

"Another mysterious new project from James Ferraro of The Skaters, this is the first volume of three audio documents of a four month travel through Mexico and is a beautiful mix of sweeping Klaus Schulze-style Kosmiche synth, padding drums, Tangerine Dream scale teleport tone and washes of barely-there phase. Highly recommended, limited run."

sounds like: aztec ruins, hypnosis, moss, forests, fanning snake figures

the white star line

The White Star Line - s/t


sounds like: the album cover

peter brötzmann

Peter Brötzmann - Machine Gun

"Though Machine Gun (the original sleeve is pictured left) is certainly a dyed-in-the-wool classic, the two years of music surrounding it are equally worth considering. Breuker was active in the Instant Composers’ Pool starting in 1967, and had already recorded the large-scale work “Litany For The 14th Of June 1966” on Relax Records. Kowald was in the Swiss trio of drummer Pierre Favre and pianist Iréne Schweizer; they recorded Santana (PIP, 1968) later reissued on FMP. Parker at the time also worked with Pierre Favre’s group, recording for Wergo in 1968, and shortly thereafter joined Tony Oxley’s unit. Niebergall and Johansson were working in trumpeter Manfred Schoof’s group, which also included Gerd Dudek and Alexander von Schlippenbach. Johansson had augmented and then replaced drummer Jaki Liebezeit (later of Can).
There was a lot of music being made under the banner of “European free improvisation,” most of it equally arresting and just as heavy as Machine Gun. But the fact that Brötzmann’s ensemble is an international swath of players on the European free music scene is what makes it especially unique. Sadly, most of the connections it draws are beset by scant recorded availability.
It’s uncertain if Machine Gun and its brethren are the soundtrack for Vietnam, the Left Bank revolt or the washing away of Germany’s Great War legacy. The session isn’t exactly “dated,” even as Brötzmann and company have clearly evolved as musicians and composers since that time. In fact, it’s a blueprint for bands like Mats Gustafsson’s The Thing (hear them do “Ride the Sky”) and has fueled recent combinations of Ayler-esque fervor with punk-rock energy.
Certainly the natural reverb provided by Lila Eule contributed to its legacy as a stamp of presence for European improvisers (though I prefer the live recording as it separates the drummers), so dense is its aesthetic—not to mention that the title is often misconstrued as a veritable riot if not an assertion of purpose. It’s hard to say whether Machine Gun makes one want to take to the streets, but it does inspire a yell—and more than a few grins."

sounds like: machine guns, stabbings, rusty wheels, fun

flux of pink indians

Flux of Pink Indians - the Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks

"A fiercely political leftist punk band formed in Hertfordshire, England in 1980, Flux of Pink Indians comprised vocalist Colin Birkett, his bassist brother Derek, guitarist Kevin Hunter and drummer Martin Wilson. Previously dubbed the Epileptics (later rechristened Epi-X after grumblings from the British Epilepsy Association), in 1981 the group signed on with the Crass label, adopting the organization's dedication to anarchist politics and punk abrasion; soon they issued their debut EP New Smell, scoring an indie hit with "Johnny Kidd."
Upon forming their own label, Spiderleg, Flux of Pink Indians resurfaced in 1982 with the full-length Strive to Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible. Not surprisingly, their 1983 follow-up The Fucking Cunts Treat Us Like Pricks was banned by many British retailers; one Manchester indie record shop which did carry the record was subsequently charged for displaying "obscene articles for publication for gain." A long layoff followed before the group -- now known as simply Flux -- returned in 1986 with the largely instrumental Uncarved Block. They disbanded in 1987; Derek Birkett later founded the influential One Little Indian label."

sounds like: getting in a fist fight with to live and shave in la

tim hecker

Tim Hecker - Atlas

"You put music by Montreal's Tim Hecker on the headphones and go for a walk around your neighborhood, and all of a sudden your other senses are heightened. The colors of the leaves are more vibrant; the stench wafting from an alley dumpster has an extra note of pungency; the sunlight on your face feels a little warmer. His music is designed for immersion, and it has a tendency to transform the space in which it's heard. The first time I listened to last year's Harmony in Ultraviolet I was riding on a bus, sitting in back, feeling the rumble of the engine beneath my seat. The windows had a plastic coating of some kind that gave everything an orange tint. As we idled at the corner, the glass shook and warped and it looked like a huge, brightly-colored earthquake outside, and the music reinforced the idea that the ground would rupture at any moment.
So anyway. I've missed Tim Hecker a bit this year, but he returns with a vinyl-only 10" EP later this month. Atlas consists of two tracks, each in the ten-minute range. Here we have the A-side, "Atlas One", which combines shifting drone, feedback, and plenty of digital crackle with random-sounding clusters of guitar harmonics that sound like they're being played by a gusty wind. Rather than building to a big peak, as he sometimes does, this track feels more like one of his dense travelogues, a steady unspooling of richly-textured tone and color. The pictures to go with it are up to you."

sounds like: glaciers. fuuuuuck, man

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

keiji haino

Keiji Haino - Tenshi No Gijnka

"Tenshi No Gijinka finds Keiji Haino solo and without guitar. Focusing entirely on percussion and vocals, Haino builds a unique, meditative space out of drones, cymbal smacks, rings, and reverberations. Bizarre yet also beautiful, Haino creates a personalized and esoteric ritual that alternately serves as repeated tension release and representation of the inner sounds of existence. The result is a captivating immersion in sustains and overtones."

sounds like: monk rituals, animals in nature documentaries


Grouper - Cover the Windows and the Walls

"Moving on from the vocal-and-tape-delay of “Way Their Crept” to the inclusion of guitar and piano on “Wide”, Grouper has already proven to be a project that had a signature sound from the beginning but was always expanding the horizon of what is essentially a musical landscape a perceived or envisioned by Liz Harris herself. The tracks on “Cover the Windows and the Walls” still have her choral vocals drifting over reverb from afar with a somewhat drowned ambience fluttering and dancing in the breeze. At some point you become aware that Grouper’s music actually IS the breeze, gently creating an atmosphere you feel you could touch."

Grouper - Way Their Crept

"'Way Their Crept' was originally released back in 2005 but the folks at Type Records have managed to re-release it on vinyl and mp3 and it's high time. Although since the album's release there has certainly been a lot of interest generated in Liz Harris's Grouper project, we've always felt that more people needed to get hold of this album. Maybe that's down to the construction of the tracks - deceptive in their simplicity, on the first play you are almost encouraged to think that there's nothing to it; it's just vocals and tape delay, right? That's where you'd be wrong, Harris's voice is submerged beneath layer upon layer of dense noise and tape saturation, looping into a degraded whirlwind of cascading sound and on every play you wipe away another layer and discover something more. There are comparisons I could possibly make, the original press release compared 'Way Their Crept' to Arvo Part and William Basinski, but while there are similarities (Basinski's use of slowly degrading tapes, Arvo Part's sense of harmony and stark minimalism) Liz Harris is an artist I can safely say is out on her own. A Grouper album simply sounds like a Grouper album, you can spot her tracks a mile off - that voice, those slowly-shifting waves of audio, and to have a sound that characteristic is truly amazing. For me, 'Way Their Crept' is like watching a film, once you've started it's hard to stop; you've got to go through it in one sitting, taking in each track as if it were a scene in a movie, analysing it carefully before coming to the breathtaking conclusion, and when you finally reach the end you're well aware that you've sat through a very special experience indeed. Personal, emotional and packed with that priceless stuff missing from so much contemporary experimental music; substance, this is a stunning record and one which I'm certain we will be able to listen to many years from now and it won't have dated at all. These productions are totally out of time and out of place in the world, and rather than feeling like an alien experience listening to it, it feels like you are learning something about music, something about subtlety and restraint. An absolutely bumper recommendation."

sounds like: the bottom of the ocean, bioluminescent creatures that live at the bottom of the ocean, jellyfish


Pukers - Beach Cop

"”Where are you going, what are you doing, you’re doing a bad job, you’re doing a bad job.” Lyrics like these – and song titles like “Look at Me” and “Don’t Look at Me” – are what elevate Pukers’ meta-thrash into an even wilder arena of high art internal debate. Beach cops aren’t the only law enforcers brought to task on this savage C32; bike cops and park cops get equally brutalized. Since semi-temporarily relocating to Culver City/LA, Pukers have ditched the dead dog worship for a more conceptual crowd-surf across the polluted waters of stream-of-songciousness. The results are sick and blazing. Especially seeing as how the A-side finds Britt sitting in on electric axe for a session while the B stars Manda’s intuitive six-string synergies. This is some supergroup shit."

sounds like: napalm death drowning, stubbed toes, living next door to an underground wrestling ring

mika miko

Mika Miko - 666


sounds like: high school, bikes, friends

Sunday, March 2, 2008

contagious orgasm

Contagious Orgasm - The Flow Of Sound Without Parameter

"The sounds on this CD flow without parameter as the title suggests. Recordings of the sound of a town in Germany. The sound of a park being cleaned. Recordings at a zoo. A conversation in the kitchen. The scenic sounds on a balcony. These sounds were processed, and other sounds were added with ambient beats mixed in. This gives you The Flow of Sound Without Parameter.
Hiroshi Hashimoto has been recording under the name Contagious Orgasm since 1987. Their has gone through many changes; from dark and creepy sound constructions to beat oriented music verging on dance music. This CD combines a little of all of the Contagious Orgasm styles. There is sample based sound sculptures, annoyingly repetitive looped bits of musical phrases sounding like Muslimgauze, Japussy 2000 or Climax Golden Twins and wonderful complex soundscapes combined with mellow beats that blend right in."
(from the ground fault series II)

sounds like: movies, the internet, rainforests

yellow swans / the cherry point

Yellow Swans & the Cherry Point - untitled

"a collaborative effort that starts off by lunging at you with a furious velocity. you don't get a chance to do much more than blink before this track has you on your knees & deep in the violently gross wreckage. and on your knees is where you'll stay for the almost 19 minutes the track lasts. it is varied and layered, but never lets up. give up & give in. the three currents behind this pummel through you & drag you in. this is being overwhelmed at it's very finest, you surrender your struggle and sink to the bottom in a defeated stupor. there is no delivery here because delivery calls for consideration and this track considers nothing. it is a maliciously persistent piece that has little mercy for tender ears or faint hearts. there are no second guesses here. action is king and the action is nonstop. exploding slabs of sheet metal, sounds that mimic static frying and bubbling over. nonstop. for those who fancy a faster hand, you're in for a treat. not just fast hands but forceful hands. no means yes hands. nonstop hands. hands that push shards of ugly sounds into you & through you. if you favour being handled with a certain roughness, this is highly recommend. play it loud and get thrown around. the caustic symphony will mute your tender cries."

sounds like: being caught in the wheels of a train moving at 400 mph toward the center of the earth

tim hecker

Tim Hecker - Norberg, Sweden

"Recorded at the Norberg Festival (Sweden) amidst the mineshafts and cluttered buildings strewn throughout parts the city, this 21 minute live piece summarises much of what makes Tim Hecker’s music so vital and compelling.
Adept at counter-pointing the most ferocious of distorted platters with smooth beds of ambient sound and potent melodic overtones, Tim Hecker creates music with a vast depth. On Norberg, this depth seems almost endless, as layer upon layer of sound are compiled into a swelling and all together visceral oceanic sound wave."

sounds like: cliffs, orbit, being under a bridge, looking out of plane windows when it's just cloud or ocean outside

psychedelic horseshit

Psychedelic Horseshit - Magic Flowers Droned

"The sounds on Magic Flowers Droned captures the rickety skeletal pop of Step Forward-era Fall, the lo-fi fuzz of Swell Maps, and static noblesse of Slay Tracks-era Pavement. Is that classical enough for ya? For sure, this full-length debut is no Parsifal, but to these guys, sometimes a spear is just a spear and The Holy Grail is a movie made by Monty Python. As for Wagner, four outta five housepainters will tell you theirs is a name you can trust. Now where'd I put that joint?
Considered by the Columbus cognoscenti as the "little brother band" (Stooges-style) to Times New Viking (MC5-style), Psychedelic Horseshit first came about as three buds determined to crash a hippie fest and jam retardo. When asked for their name, singer/guitarist Matt Whitehurst replied, "Just call us Psychedelic Horseshit." The band killed, the name stuck, and thus the die was ignominiously cast. Since then, they played with the Urinals, Country Teasers, Dan Melchior, Blues Control, toured with Pink Reason and Times New Viking, ruled a couple showcases at the 2007 SXSW, basically doing what they can to lay the foundation for the release of this debut LP (a previous 7-inch on the Columbus Discount label made many 2006 Best Of lists, too).
Distempered, jaded, harmonious, and ramshackle, Psychedelic Horseshit keeps the glass half full; the question is, do you have the courage to drink their wry and wizened brew? Sure you do, it's the tonic of champions!"

sounds like: best friends, things falling off shelves, helping your mom paint a room over the summer


Hototogisu - Chimärendämmerung

"Chimärendämmerung is the 3rd Hototogisu release on Destijl and the 5 untitled walls of vertical viola drone / overtone, lapped by shifting electronic waves of feedback, blackened guitars, rhinegold cast deep into dying rivers, an instrumental cycle of conflict, of the birth of a supreme aristocratic beauty into a fallen world, and its inevitable conflagration, then a glimmer of hope of escape from the cycle, in tune w/ the breath of the cosmos, like a glacial reimagining of van der graafs 'a plague of lighthouse keepers', and it represents a current plateau for the duo."

sounds like: 1000 years, polar bears, cement

the rita

The Rita - Thousands of Dead Gods

"The Rita returns with his second full length cd, his ultimate tribute to the GREAT WHITE SHARK. Almost academic in his noise purity obsession, The Rita mercilessly charts every nuance of crunch & crumble, the space between demolition, white out & heavy flood. Dead Gods pushes nearly 60 minutes thick of RAW WALL, recorded live using source sound from great white shark cage diving."

sounds like: not sharks (unless maybe they're biting you)

takagi masakatsu

Takagi Masakatsu - Eating

"Takagi is known to us from visual collaborations with one of our current idols, Aoki Taskamasa on his dvd for the marvellous Progressive Form label from Japan. There’s something of the short film at work here, on this fine album for the unmissable Karaoke Kalk. Perfect, yet somehow open ended short pieces work in the same way as vignettes, suggesting time before and after with great aplomb. Never do you feel that these beautiful, sonorous pieces are unfinished, instead each sidles into your consciousness, like small flowers seen on a country walk. There’s acoustic elements aplenty, with pizzicato strings, wooden marimba tones, hopeful modal keys, muted horns, starkly beautiful accordion sounds, atop twinkling keys, all forming a cohesive and beautiful whole. This undemonstrative album is supremely persuasive, from its own wayside point of view. Impossibly fresh and hugely impressive, this will no doubt be one of the finest albums this year for your reviewer, and hopefully some of you out there as well. Essential music to warm the heart."

sounds like: senile grandparents, traveling in europe, smiles, semiformal courtesy

bastard noise / christian renou

Bastard Noise and Christian Renou - Brainstorming

sorry about the blurry images on this and the mattress. i could just scan my cds but my scanner is dead at the moment.
"Two of the most prolific and inventive noise musicians from the past decade have merged and delivered 'Brainstorming'. Both abstract and impressionistic, each piece inspires a concrete vision by association. . Bastard Noise (Wood / Wiese) create noise at its best with an orchestra of home spun instruments and loads of lo-fi electronics, field recordings and power electronics. Christian Renou (ex-Brume) has won himself a place of his own with his crossover between collage, electro-acoustics and noise. Mastered by Robert Rich. 6-panel digipak."

sounds like: glass tubes, molten glass

Saturday, March 1, 2008


Atlatl - All You Fuckers Without Radar
I can't find a review or photo of this album. The album is lots of electronic clicks and sine blips. The cover is red with gray stripes. The end. It's pretty good.

sounds like: bleeeeeeep blip blip bloooooop bleeeeeeeeeeeeep
please support artists by buying from them if you like their stuff and it isn't too rare or oop