Sunday, July 31, 2011
Freewitch/J. Bartee splt cs
the Yellow Air of Spring/Also, Yes
This is fucking great! Seriously, I don't want to get too into the packaging first but just know that I love it. We will get to it. Freewitch rides some pretty spacey and psychedelic synth waves. It's almost like what an ocean in Tron should sound like. Like maybe a lo-fi Tangerine Dream at their best. Definitely in league with some of the better Klaus Schultz stuff I have been listening to lately. J. Bartee is a different cat all together. This starts off with drums, chimes, bass lines and some funky accordion playing. I am pretty sure they are all created with the same synthesizer but it sounds pretty awesome. Really out there space funk that also brings to mind some of the more odd experiments from the 70's. It's real short before some odd little ditty comes in that I swear has birds chirping along. Maybe laser guns. Either way it's refreshing and fascinating. Now the the artwork. Max Clotfelter is one of my favorite artist these days. He does comics that remind me of why i liked Renee French, Dave Cooper, KAZ and Julie Doucet. His work is stunning and intense and his care in packaging is nothing short of inspiring. He created a slipcase (full bleed) that encases a stenciled poly case (just be careful as nothing really sticks to a poly case except stickers). Inside that is a double sided insert and then a stenciled cassette. The artwork is great as always. Buy his comics and definitely get one of these cassettes. He will be doing four in this series. This is the first and I almost forgot to mention this, there are only 25. Good luck.
Lighten Up Sounds
This starts with dragging. The sounds of long, even strides dragging something behind it. It is most likely not really a recorded dragging, but it is the first thing the entered my mind. This thing carves a swath through your mind. It's huge, epic and doesn't ever let up. When I was very young I had a terrible fever that almost killed me. Some sort of "asian flu" or something. In the days I laid in bed trying to watch cartoons and drink 7up, I remember hours of horrible waking fever induced nightmares. There was one in particular where a giant hulking machine was slowly dragging itself across a desert landscape towards me. It must have been miles wide in my mind because even though it was barely over the horizon, it took up the whole sky. I remember screaming. This tape sounds like that. It's actually kinda bumming me out… The layout totally adds to the experience. Since it's been spray painted you kinda get a headache from opening it. The artwork is dreadful and wonderfully done. The text is all in crazy-person typewriter style. It's a good one.
This hits me like a headache. There is something almost nauseating about the sounds on this tape. I love RJ Myato's work and this is no exception. This has such a weird faraway, HAM radio sound that you can imagine that in the future this might be the kind of music people listen to after a long hard day of killing Terminators. It's short but tragic. Great work. The packaging was a nice attempt but it had kinda fallen apart by the time it got to me. The design is nice but there is some jute twine that I don't think really works with the more modern design of the layout. It's a little unfocused in that department but you gotta hand it to someone who basically designs a brand new kind of slip case for a cassette. You should still try to grab this right away as there is only 25 of these. I am going to keep an eye out on this label.
Mamiffer // House of Low Culture // Merzbow 2xLP
This is a live collaborative 2xLp in every way. The first side has Mamiffer with Atsuo from Boris playing their beautiful and haunting piano driven minimalism. The second side is HOLC and Merzbow playing the spaces in between the notes in a subtle and interesting way and the third and final side is a three way collaboration. It's pretty well recorded and sounds wonderful, although there is amount where the audio kinda falls away like there was a flaw but it is fleeting and forgivable. This sounds like it was probably a show not to miss and if you don't live in Tokyo you don't have to. Beautifully packaged with a etching on the D side. Limited to 330 copies and there are still some available out there. I guess it is also sold as a cd/dvd from Daymare.
Actuary/Bacteria Cult split 7"
I have mentioned in the past about how I can't really listen to this music around my daughter because it might scar her. I have mostly been exaggerating. She really pays little attention to what I am listening to. She is more into the Wiggles and Yo Gabba Gabba. This record… How do I put this? If I had let my daughter hear this it would be child abuse. This is dangerous. Truly. Both sides are great. Really intense noise that feels full of hatred and horror. Wonderful work from both of these California artists but one side in particular is really noteworthy. You may have heard some spew hyperbole about how noise can sound like a soundtrack for a snuff film. Well the Actuary side sounds like an actual audio recording of a snuff film. I felt a little ill after hearing this. It sounds like someone is being stabbed and tortured along with some other intense sonic evils. I hear "h was going to help me find my son!", "Stop it! Stop it!" "You want to know what is going on…" I am not sure what is happening but it can't be good. I never enjoy samples usually but this just works great. Also, if you accidentally listen to this on 33 you might die. It's brutal in a way that nothing will ever be brutal again. This is horror.
No Visible Scars
Nightmare industrial meets John Carpenter soundtrack. So i guess, if I am getting this correctly, that the artist here decided to make two pieces dedicated to some awesome 70's horror films. Not so much soundtracks but almost audio love letters. Still working in the noise/industrial world but with a definite sense of the time these films were made. Truly capturing a real sense of dread. Excellent work. There is a mountain of talent packed into this c30. Very limited but I think there is a few copies left. Packaged in No Visible Scars usual 7" sleeve.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer
Anyone who has read my blog in the past year probably knows that I really enjoy BSBC. They're a juggernaut in doom and noise right now and I know the day when they get the same mention as Sunn 0))), Earth or Neurosis is not far away. Although, the big difference between BSBC and the aforementioned bands is that they don't really give a fuck if that happens or not. They don't tour a whole lot, they don't have a huge web presence and even though their records fetch some decent cash on eBay, they are pretty much a band that doesn't care about turning itself into a product. They fly so far below the radar that they might as well be underwater. Good for them. Part of me doesn't want to share them and the other part wants to tell every kid who shells out their hard earned money on fucked up records to send Stan Reed and Wm. Rage a check every month for some new wonderful gem of pain and misanthropy. This cassette is a great place for those who have yet to check them out to become initiated. It features long time contributor, Mason Jones, and it is fucking brutal. Destructive walls of noise mixed with some pretty intense vocals. Rhythms made up of swelling bass tones and the crashing down of mountains. It's still the kind of thing you must not play around children. You gotta be responsible with this kind of stuff. I can't mention the artwork in my review because in full disclosure, I did it. I hope you can find a copy of this. I think the label may have a few more left, although I have a feeling this is destined for a vinyl reissue in the future. Good luck.
Holy shit. How did I miss this one? I have done you all a disservice by not reviewing this immediately and forcing you all to buy one. This is incredible. When you hear it I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. I think the cover art kinda through me off at first. It's not bad but it's really not my thing. I am not a huge fan of collage and when I saw how long the tape was I think I was assuming this was going to be some epic self indulgent nonsense. How fucking wrong I was. This is long, make no mistake but it is excellent all the way through. Huge waves of sounds that crash around you. Every frequency is being utilized but this is not a HNW. This is layered. This is like the soundtrack to the Earth being created. Lightning strikes of high pitched crackling synths, undulating waves of sub bass drone, deconstructed rhythms and sudden but somehow comforting explosions of harsh noise. It's fucking great. As beautiful in it's sonic delivery as an actual sky burial is to it's corpse. I am in awe.
Friday, July 15, 2011
self released? (Stuart Chalmers)
This is madness. Immediately from Tusk (not the metal band) you get a loop of a child laughing that starts to evolve into some of the worse things you can imagine. I am actually a little fearful for my brain for having listened to this. Fortunately under all of this there is a high pitched synth note that when it wavers slightly you get something to grab onto. Unfortunately however, a second child's laugh loop then comes in… it just gets more fucked up from there. I love the existence of this. It really, really crazy. Honestly, I am a little worried. Side B is just as fucked up with Skarabee's track. It's like junk jazz loops, R2D2, and that sound Cylons used to make all torn apart in a blender. When someone starts screaming it just gets worse. I love it. You will too. The packaging is a repurposed Sean Maguire cassingle from 1995 wrapped in what can only be what left of Sean's hit "Someone to Love". Tragic.
Check out some samples:
01-Eardrum ( or how to lose your hearing and neighbours) by S.Chalmers tusK
02 - happy shopper (or how to lose friends and money) by S.Chalmers tusK
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Blue Sabbath Black Cheer
Gnarled Forest Recordings
You know how I often compare noise records, especially ones I like, as sounding like explosions? This actually sounds like explosions. Right at the beginning of "Autophobia" you are almost literally bombarded with wave after wave of impending destruction. When the more scraping, stabbing and smashing starts to accompany this constant destruction it's almost a relief. This is another example of why Blue Sabbath Black Cheer is making some of the most dangerous music in the world right now. Well, music isn't the right word. Stan Reed and Wm. Rage don't really care much for music. They are more about communicating hatred. Bless them.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The second in a series of three cassettes, this is recorded live in Jerusalem early this year. A loud, epic glacier of solo guitar noise. This thing doesn't fuck around at forty plus minutes but it needs to be heard in one continuous sitting. The guitar work on this release moves in such subtle and interesting ways that you really might miss some intricacies if you were to passively listen. I encourage you to sit and dissect some of the sounds that come through on this cassette. Piano, synth, violins and maybe vocals seem to be in the mix but it's all guitar. It's pretty amazing to behold. In an edition of 250 copies and packaged with a jcard/booklet full of beautiful and appropriate artwork.
Monday, July 4, 2011
So all is well and I have a few new reviews to post but my camera is not working. I am going to spend the next couple days getting this solved. I may have to use my camera on my phone but it doesn't take pictures quite as nice... I will figure it out. Bare with me.