Saturday, January 28, 2012

(D)(B)(H)/Seeded Plain & Hal Rammel split 12"

(D)(B)(H)/Seeded Plain & Hal Rammel split 12"
Friends and Relatives Records

This may be the smartest record I have put on in a while. I don't mean in a pretentious way just in the way where I feel like it is actually good for my brain to hear this. (D)(B)(H) starts off the split with a whole side of minimal abstract jazz (even typing their name gives you a little song in keyboard rhythm). There is a bit Peter Brotzmann and a touch of John Coltrane coming through my speakers right now. The four musicians on this recording, Justin Rhody, Kray Korbella, Marty Belcher and Daniel Wick are mostly multi instrumentalists on this record. Trumpet, tapes, guitar, harmonica, radios, saxophones and a wide array of drums and percussion creates a huge, sprawling piece of free, although very restrained, jazz. It's really quite good. It was recorded live on the radio and there is a little bit of sound that seems lost. The recording sounds really great and has a sort of lo-fi vintage quality but I would like to hear these players record with someone like Randall Dunn. Seeded Plain & Hal Rammel is a collaboration that also really exceeds in abstract minimalism. The instruments listed here are: Homemade instruments and amplified palette. I wish I could have seen this being recorded so I could really get a grasp on what exactly is going on her. Bed Springs, metal trays, lengths of rope, broken guitars, plastic drums? I have no idea what exactly is going on but it sounds awesome. This is an excellent example of electroacoustic music or maybe musique concrete. Simple screen printed reclaimed record covers with xeroxed inserts. I seriously feel like I could destroy Sunday's NYT crossword after having heard this.

Cock E.S.P./Actuary "Electric Static Bodies" split 7"

Cock E.S.P./Actuary split 7"
Electric Static Bodies
Love Earth Music/No One's Ark

Holy fuck! I have not heard much from Cock E.S.P. in awhile and I had kinda forgotten how fucking intense they can be. This is pure fucking terror. HNW meets the most horrific screaming I have heard in a long time. I think it might be live but I am not entirely sure. i do know that I am freaked the fuck out. Actuary totally delivers as well. Harsh feedback and punishing low end waves of distortion. It's a fucking amazing 7". Absolutely pick this thing up. As a father I will warn you not to play this around your children. They will grow up to be someone who makes headlines in a very grim way. 

Actuary/Winters in Osaka "Chosen Curse" 7"

Actuary/Winters in Osaka
Chosen Curse
Love Earth Music

Actuary never disappoints and this split with the excellent Winters in Osaka is no exception. Actuary gets some insane textures on this one. Mixing a cocaphany of bells, walls of noise and screeching vocals they basically hand you anxiety on vinyl. Winters in Osaka follow suit but in their own more subtle way. They start with a quiet and rather beautiful drone that ends up going in a quite noisy and intense direction. I don't think you can really go wrong with this one. Clear purple vinyl in a simple full color sleeve. It belongs on your turntable on a sadly lonely Friday evening. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Arvo Zylo "333" cd

Arvo Zylo
self released

As I say in my ratings key this is totally solid. Beautiful, destroyed noise that often moves into the world of modern compositions. Synths and walls of distortion morph into piano and drums crashing on top of sputtering sine waves. It's less of a soundscape and more in your face with it's fluctuating musicality. At times it's basically HNW and at other times it feels like another Arvo (Part) but in his much younger days. It's pretty long and quite a mountain to get over. My 11 year old step daughter just asked if I like this music. I said that I often do. She told me its just obnoxious to her. I love that. This is kid repellent.The artwork itself is awesome psychedelic collage work with streamlined typography. Although the packaging itself is a little underwhelming but don't let that deter you. Not sure if it's limited but it's worth looking into.

Gaze "III" cs

Teen Action Records

The thing I really dig about Gaze right off the bat is that they remind me of my favorite era of Emeralds. When they were doing tapes on Hanson Tapes and playing with circuit bent televisions. That's not to say that Gaze sounds just like Emeralds but I think you could draw some similarities just by listening to this cassette. This is my first bit of exposure to this project and I am a bit intrigued. It sounds like three guys with Moogs just going crazy. Fuzzed out square waves mixed with squelching synth blips and bloops create an interesting soundscape of loops and drones. It goes on a little long for me but it's never dull so I am pretty happy with this thing. So should you. The same type of packaging as the S.C.O.A.M. & Pregnant Spore release on the same label and I have the same thoughts as I did about that in the review below. Limited to 100 copies. 

S.C.O.A.M. & Pregnant Spore "Circle the Excess" cs

S.C.O.A.M. & Pregnant Spore
Circle the Excess
Teen Action Records

So this is pretty fucking killer. I am a little unclear if this is a collaboration or a proper split but I believe it's a collaboration all the way through. I had not heard S.C.O.A.M. (Student Considers Other Academic Models) before this but I am impressed. First of all the tracks are relatively short, around 3-5 minutes, I think and the sounds on this are fantastic. Squelching synths juxtaposed with harsh noise and contact mic fury. It's a fucking mess and it's fantastic. The design and packaging is pretty interesting. A fold over J card that folds over the long way and an obi strip. I kinda wish this also came in a bag though (u-line makes those rad anti-static bags that would fit this perfect). It feels a little naked and flimsy just sitting the way it does. I think I have some bags around here that will work…  Either way it's, as I said before, pretty fucking killer. Limited to 50 copies. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Nipple Stools "Decision Points" 3"cdr

Nipple Stools
Decision Points
Bicephalic Records

Carl Kruger is becoming one of my favorite artists in noise/experimental right now. So far his work is stellar and he is able to move throughout the genres of experimental flawlessly without sacrificing his own voice. Nipple Stools is a Collaboration between Carl Kruger and August Traeger. This is fully glitched out free jazz meets ambient music and it sounds great. At times you even get that awesome Star Wars transmission sound that is probably one of the coolest thing George Lucas made popular that Akira Kurosawa didn't do first. Fourteen tracks on a 3" cdr means that no track is very long and that works great for the spastic nature of the audio. Definitely feels like a bit of a laptop battle but it never gets into that weird glitchy/dub step thing that some people seem too tempted to avoid. Awesome layout that fits perfect with the audio. I am intrigued to hear more. These guys should definitely send something out to Debacle Records. I see more on the horizon. Probably limited but I am not sure about that… 

Swell Zombie "Frank" cdr

Swell Zombie
Self Satisfied

Very much lo-fi electro-acoustical work on this cd by illustrator and musician Marc Palm. Lots of simple guitar manipulations and loops. Sounds so simple. As if there is maybe one delay pedal, a distortion pedal and a tape deck involved. The loops and guitar playing sometimes seems to fall apart a little but he gets right back on track. This almost feels a little nostalgic to me. Reminds me a lot of Jeremy Eaton's Andyland in some ways. Andyland had a revolving batch of musicians; Eric Reynolds, Andy Schmidt were pretty much the standard ones but Al Columbia, Jim Woodring, Chris Jacobs, Chris Johansen and yours truly had all played at one time or another. After listening to this I think Marc Palm would have made an excellent addition. In fact I think Jeremy and Marc should get together and do at set. The packaging for this is awesomely crude and handmade. I really dig it but i got #2 of 2 copies in this version. I believe if you are interested there are other less elaborate cdrs available (UPDATE: this is true. Check the comments). Either way, check out Marc's music and artwork. You will not be disappointed. 

Man-0-gram for a Maa'm "Sorry, Sorry, Sorry" cdr

Man-0-gram for a Maa'm
Sorry, Sorry, Sorry
Orphanology/Blue Sanct

This immediately gets points for being recorded live in a library full of people talking about other things besides paying attention to the band. The first few minutes of the cd especially are full of voices and chatter from people who are more excited to talk than to listen. Maybe they don't notice as the audio from Man-0-gram for a Maa'm starts off sounding like backwards whale songs. It's pretty awesome. Then some breathing/grinding sounds start to overtake the waves or bass heavy drones. A couple samples peak through the din but they work pretty well in context so I am all for these ones. All the time you hear coughs and sniffs of people sick with colds as this was recorded in Maine during December. It's pretty awesome all the way through. I recommend picking this up, even with the band's silly and kinda lame name. Limited to 23 copies and packaged in a slimline cd case. The design is pretty nice as well. 

Bloater "Radiac" cd

Self Released

Bloater are a duo from Brooklyn NY, playing a filthy, droning type of noise that I sorta love. The duo consists of someone "playing" guitar and another making horrific noise. The result is very similar at times to less doomy Blue Sabbath Black Cheer or maybe a less manic Birchville Cat Motel. The interplay between the two players is excellent. I assume they have played together in some shape or form together for awhile now. They really give each other room as this doesn't sound like two people clamoring to make it to the top of the noise pyramid. It sounds like they are building their own. The cd itself has a theme, pollution or contamination or something like that. Works with what they are doing but you don't need to know what the have to say when they are playing shit this awesome. The layout is fine. It's simple and in one of the sleeves that Debacle Records and myself use pretty often. Simple insert that looks like one of those flyers that are handed to you at a protest.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

XlosmouX/Dust Cult split cdr

XlosmouX/Dust Cult 
self released

This is very strange. It's strange and I am kinda digging it to be honest. XlousmouX starts off with 25 fucking tracks but a handful of these make it above 30 seconds. Most of it is super bass heavy grind and grind/noise. There are more that a few 5 second tracks as well. It's like some crazy noise version of GO! if any of you remember them. There is a adorable naivete with XlousmouX that is totally endearing even though they are probably singing about nun cunts or something. Oh yeah… slap bass makes a short and ironic appearance. Good luck. Dust Cult has quite a few releases out but this is my first experience with them. Their tracks start out with some strange blues sample that is being altered and manipulated. I know I am usually against samples (as my last few reviews have stated) but this one really creates an interesting feel. It's almost a palate cleanser from the XlousmouX. Right after the sample you get some very thin but fascinating HNW. It almost sounds like you are hearing noise from a small television speaker. It has this alien mechanical vibe that is totally winning me over. Nice work. The layout is pretty DIY. Cut up photos and some poorly done computer graphics. It's not bad but pretty underwhelming. Limited to 30 copies. Worth a listen for sure. Check out the Dust Cult link to the side. I think they have downloads available of most if not all of their catalog. 

V/A "Feline Fury" cs

Feline Fury
Shit Music for Shit People

Twenty two noise acts doing what they do best on a cassette tape wrapped in cat pictures. I imagine this would be a noise loving Redditor's dream cassette. Cats and noise. Together at last. It's all pretty good. Most of the tracks seem to be named in a way that emphasizes cats as well. Here is the list of bands and their song titles (mainly because it is funny): Bobby Mason "Cat #1", Der Domestizierte Mensch "Catnip is my Drug", OSA "Cat Food Colosseum", Ikodora '65 "Tadasana", Problem Anderer Leute "Schmusekatze", Elle "Gattorumore", Raven "Tomorrow Brings Sadness", Collapse Arc "Black Cat Loops", Dust Cult "Tepepa", Sirotek " Tsarapka", Agrippa "You Weren't Beer", Christian von Sponheim "The Insatiable Lioness", Samplechined "Mimsy F.", Rank Moist Vegetation "Hypochondria", Inappropriate King Live "Criterion Carry-On", .nyctalops. "Firs", Emiel ten Brink "Vivian", Nxfxtxex "Crepiscular Boredom", Loopool "Cat Brain", COJAA "Murder Dream", The Smudge "Cat Memo (Take One)" and Booby Mason again with "Cat #2". So they aren't all funny but very few are real words. My spell check loves that list. Anyhow, It's a pretty nice sampling of contemporary noise acts. Most are good, some are so so but this is totally worth listening to. The packaging, although covered in cat pictures, is a pretty light on the effort, but it fits nicely in it's bag and god knows anyone that had to type all those crazy band names deserves a little slack. Oh an since you are wondering it, yes, some people use actual meows throughout their tracks. That's "people" as is plural.  More than one. 

Deadbeat "Source Tape for Dirty Old Men" cs

Source Tape for Dirty Old Men
I Hate Tapes

So this one starts off with a sample. A long sample from an old movie (1950-1960?)that I don't think I have ever seen. It sounds like a father discovering a kid with his daughter and then goes about torturing him. I know I normally turn my nose at samples as if they were unnecessary jewelry on a already gorgeous pig but in this case the sample works perfectly. Totally fits the mood, it builds a slight narrative and once the screaming really starts the HNW takes charge for the next 8-10 minutes. It's pretty perfectly used. This sample works in the same way the Goodfellas sample at the beginning of Today is the Day's masterpiece record Willpower does. The noise on this cassette is thick, heavy and pure filth. This is important. This is an example for everyone on how to use samples into and out of noise. The label is called I Hate Tapes I think. I have no information about them but I believe Worthless Recordings sen this to me so I would bug them about getting one of these. It's good. It even ends with a continuation of the sample and it's terrifying. Good work Deadbeat. Seek help. 

Gnawed "Patience is Waste" cs

Patience is Waste
Out of Body Records

For fans of Pig Heart Transplant, Self Communion, Deutsch Nepal, Throbbing Gristle or anything in that vein I think you are going to dig Gnawed. I have reviewed their work before and it's always been pretty awesome. This is pretty much a full record of hateful vocals and rhythmic noise loops. My wife actually just described this as werewolves having sex. I think that is kinda awesome. It's a full length cassette of eight tracks that make you just feel hopeless. God help the troll that puts this as the hold music on a suicide hotline. 

Developer "00BR004" cs

Out of Body Records

This is the first noise tape in a long time that, surprisingly, reminds me a little of Merzbow. You would think that would come up a lot more often and maybe at first everything kinda sounds like Merzbow or Massonna to people but the glitchy, harsh, spastic, intense noise on this cassette reminds me of Merzbow. Specifically from like twenty years ago. It's pretty nostalgic listening to this one. I think when I was about 18 years old and I was buying noise tapes and records I was thinking that I was doing something that would scare girls and therefore they would think I was interesting and then want to show me their boobs. I was an idiot. Clearly. But I got to listen to a lot of really amazing work back then and of course from the availability and already massive catalog, Merzbow was a constant for me. When Pulse Demon came out and I discovered I could actually own a Merzbow shirt I think I actually worn it everyday for a month. Developer is intense. I don't know if rocking early 90's Japanese noise is what they were going through but I suspect they have a pretty extensive knowledge of noise and how to make it. Developer makes me feel young again. Young and very not laid. 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hobo Cubes "Timeless/Mindless" cd

Hobo Cubes
Debacle Records

I have heard some people say this is the record of the 2011. I think I understand why. This is gorgeous, looping, droning synth music that exists somewhere between Emeralds and Boards of Canada. Maybe I would put it right next to that Imaginary Hardwoods record that came out this last year. Really beautiful stuff and probably still available. I have nothing to say except that this is awesome. Comes in the tell tale digipack wallet that Debacle is known for. I hope you pick this up right away. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Baby Daddy "Hot Dick" 3"cdr

Baby Daddy
Hot Dick
910 Noise

A totally solid piece of HNW that will not disappoint anyone who loves that stuff. Baby daddy is made up of Carl Kruger and someone named Mr. Stonecipher. They have really put together a powerful yet tiny cdr. I think I mentioned this before, but the whole marrying of noise and sex is getting a little tired for me personally. I get it but it is just getting to be something I have heard so many times that I guess it seems almost novelty now. Still the audio on this is great, the layout is simple yet totally effective and I recommend checking this out if you can. Limited to only 42 copies.

Hive "s/t" cd

Debacle Records

Now that I am reviewing cds I am getting to talk about a lot of other bands and artists that I really enjoy. I also am able to start talking about Debacle Records. Full disclosure: I personally have a few releases on this label through myself, Demian Johnston, and also Hemingway and Great Falls. That said, Debacle is always and I mean always putting new waves of excellent music. Mostly fitting in the drone, noise, electronic and generally experimental music. Hive is a drone duo from the Pacific Northwest made up of one half of the other excellent drone band, Tecumseh. Hive is less in the world of Sunn 0)) and more into the Klaus Schultz/Tangerine Dream vibe. Straight up drone that is not really heavy but is still very intense and overwhelming. It feels anxious. You almost want to stand up and walk around the room while this is playing. Absolutely necessary for anyone who considers themselves a fan of drone. The packaging is the usual Debacle digipack. Excellent illustrations as well. Oh yeah, along with the "full disclosure" sentence from before, I also did the layout for this cd. So nothing to mention there. Not sure about the edition number but it's been out for a few months now and I would do my best to grab another before these are gone. 

V/A "mxd ape 2" cs

mxd ape 2
Ape Tapes

It's a little weird to review a long cassette compilation. I will admit that when you are reviewing cds or even vinyl you have the option of skipping tracks and especially immediately going back to the last track and listening again. This makes reviewing cds and vinyl comps much easier as I would like to talk about each band (I will take this moment to say that the label also offers a download of the cassette. That is awesome but I unfortunately need to review not just the music but the experience of listening to a cassette. Which is why I only review physical copies of releases so I don't get the luxury of being able to skip and skip back to tracks). I am finding this difficult with this one as it's pretty long but I will say that each and every band is one I had never heard of and they are all mostly great. Not at all in the world of noise here, this is pop, dark wave, electronic, folk, neofolk, maybe some drone pop (if that's a thing) and some interesting almost dubstep pop/electronic/indie rock. All stuff I have never been known to enjoy but I do and I don't often get the chance to review. If you need to judge my credentials in this areas I will say I saw Olivia Tremor Control in Philly, 1994 on one end and I saw Ariel Pink sing over a cassette deck with ten other people in 2005 which therefore makes me suddenly seem like the kind of guy who wears ironic hats and jackets and needs to brag about crappy shows he saw 12+ years ago. Anyhow the bands on here are Onuinu, Your Canvas, Prescription Pills, PoPoPePe, Pocketknife, Radiation City, Lynnae Gryffin, Shawn Parke, Summer Ono, Speus Christ, Adventures! with Might, Keeps the Kids Quiet, Wax Fingers and Leviticus Appleton. There are people that sounds like Cold Cave and others that sound like early Joanna Newsom. It's a pretty nice mix. This is exactly the type of cassette that if you bought and put in the tip jar at your favorite coffeeshop, the super cute barista would get it and suddenly think you cute and may actually ask you out. Seriously, this cassette will get you laid. The art is simple and a bit naive but in this little poly case you are just getting a barely packaged collection of often compelling songs. 

A Night to Dismember "Salmonella, Chains and Plastic Cadavers" cs

A Night to Dismember
Salmonella, Chains and Plastic Cadavers
Worthless Recordings

It's funny, when I pulled this out of it's case and saw a label only on one side I actually said out loud, "this better not be a fucking one sided cassette". It totally is. I have two pet peeves that are related here; one is samples in noise and the other is one sided cassettes. I last got mad at the Winters in Osaka one sided cassette I reviewed awhile back. This still bums me out but I have to say that the audio totally allows me to forgive this infraction. This is HNW with some fucking balls. It's heavy as shit and totally unrelenting. The only time the walls goes down is when bursts of feedback pierce through and make you wish the comforting yet blistering wall of distortion would come back. It does have some quieter moments but it just sounds like chaos with a lower line input level. It's not a break, it's just a different sounding manic destruction. It's also a C-46 so you are in for a pretty intense ride. Of course, it's the kind of ride that you can't just flip over and get right back on, you have to push rewind and wait 7 minutes. Ugh. 

Dead Body Collection/Persistence in Mourning "Ritualistic Reanimation" cs

Dead Body Collection/Persistence in Mourning
Ritualistic Reanimation
Worthless Recordings

Fuck yeah. This is awesome. Heavy, noisy and totally eclectic. Plus, Worthless Recordings does something awesome that few people do; they staggers the tracks. Side A is Dead Body Collection/Persistence in Mourning/Dead Body Collection and side B is the opposite. So to break this down I will just describe each act a bit. Dead Body Collection is harsh noise with a extra layer of filth laying on the top. Listening to DBC's sounds is like trying to read the names and dates on 300 year old tombstones. It's tough, depressing and brings to mind your own mortality. Persistence in Mourning is much more of a "band". It has a ultra heavy doom vibe that reminds me of Neurosis, Ardent Vein, God Flesh, Deutsch Nepal and Throbbing Gristle. It's fucking bleak. It actually has samples and for some reason I am totally okay with it. I guess it's the Neurosis vibe. It always worked with them. I need to hear more from both of these acts and so do you. Knowing Worthless Recordings this will probably be sold out by the time you read this but I recommend doing your best to pick this up (you should really just check in with them once a week). Excellent work in general although I do have one criticism. This cassette is a prime example of the need to get things mastered. I don't always do this with my own releases (or if I do, I do it myself and I am not the best) but right now I can think of three guys who are great at mastering and they are waiting for your emails. James Plotkin, Phil Petrocelli and Pete Swanson are all amazing at mastering and they will make everything you do sound a million times better and more balanced. In this case it was more the staggering of tracks that made it evident. Regardless you are not going to be bummed about this one. Simple layout that is a little too dark but I think the awesome vinyl sticker makes up for that. Edition of 50 copies. Only 4 left at press time. 

Chefkirk/Somnaphon "Tender Pink Moments" cs

Tender Pink Moments
Becephalic Records

All of the words on this tape make your brain hurt. I like that. Chefkirk; I have no idea what that name means but it's awkward enough to be a real word for something odd. Somnaphon; again, not sure what this means other that something about sleepwalking maybe? Bicephalic; two brains? I don't know. Immediately the layout feels like someone who knows design handled it. Especially the really nicely done typography with excellent kerning on all the text (note: even for those people that still do everything in photoshop, please adjust your kerning. In other words, make sure the space between the letters looks good and is balanced. Hold option and press the left or right arrows when you are adjusting your text (if you have cs4 of newer). It makes a big difference…). Sorry about that, a little nerdy and probably hypocritical. Oh well. Anyhow, Chefkirk start this cassette off with some amazingly measured and minimal noise. There are huge periods of almost no discernible sound and then the silence will be interrupted by bitcrushed synths and noise. Excellent all the way through. Really inspiring. The somnaphon track is also very measured and subtle but there is a contrast in warm analog synth drones and piercing digital blips and bloops that creates the most amazing sense of depth without the exclusive use of reverb. Very impressive. The tracks actually both have a lot more to offer than what I said before but I think you need to check this out as soon as you can. I am not sure how large the edition run is but I imagine something this good will probably be gone before you get there. 

Swamp Horse "Subtle Dementia" 7"

Swamp Horse
Subtle Dementia
Husk Records

Before I say anything lets agree that you will buy this right away. The majority of this review will be short but glowing and it will say "own this. listen to this. be pleased". Swamp Horse offer us two tracks on this 7" that absolutely will have you scouring the internet for months to come for another record. The A side of this 7" is the real stunner here. If I had to compare it to anyone I might say Goblin. Hearing this for the first time will fill you with the same excitement that you had when you first watched/heard Suspiria. Reading that you might think it has the tell tale 80's moog and I should say that it doesn't, in fact it only sounds like Goblin in feel and approach but not in the same type of instrumentation. Although synths are used throughout, it's in a totally different way. It is dark and scary and it comes from a gorgeous place of hell. I have played this record a total of nine times tonight and I don't plan on getting bored of it. The second side is much noisier but still totally dark and interesting. Grinding shifting waves of noise. It's excellent. I have to say that when I first got this I had no idea what I was in for. The cover painting, while very nice, made me think Josh Lay and Morgan Rankin (in sunglasses) had a southern rock band or something. It's a pretty punk layout but once you listen to the audio I think it all makes sense. I am a fan. This goes on the "best of" list for the end of year.

I used the photo from the Husk page so you can see the record next to the original painting. I think the original looks a little nicer than the record cover but it's still a killer/weird painting. Reminds me of early Dave Cooper. Also notiee how the hand on the cover is also probably from a different person. Otherwise it would be an awkward way to hold your own right hand. I think this adds a subtle bit of anxiety. Nicely done.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Marax/Coma Centauri "Coerced to Pull the Trigger" cs

Marax/Coma Centauri
Coerced to Pull the Trigger
Worthless Recordings

So here it is. A test of my capacity to handle samples. The first side of this tape starts off with Marax doing some of the most interesting HNW I have heard in awhile. It's tough, twisted, scary and totally brutal. It's also peppered with a ton of samples. To say peppered might be an understatement. It's "peppered" the way an unfortunate convenience store clerk may be "peppered" with buckshot during a botched robbery. It's almost a radio play. Maybe it is actually. That would be kinda cool… but I just can't get into what I am hearing. If it was just the samples on one track and just the noise on the next I could totally get behind this but I just don't like it. I know some people will fucking love this though. I am like that dude who fucking loves peanut butter and kills for chocolate but throws up at the thought of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup (my old roommate and Rorschach guitarist, Keith Huckins is that guy). I love Marax's work and this seems pretty personal. It's all about suicide so I guess if you are going to make noise "about" something you can either just say it's about suicide, you can write lyrics and sing over the noise or you can have samples accompany it. I guess this is pretty effective and it's super well done but I just don't dig it. At the end of Marax's side you get a track that is almost free of any samples and it pretty much rules. I guess Marax is peanut butter to me. Coma Centauri's side also starts with some fucking killer HNW mixed with just enough stutter to keep in interesting. There is also some odd use of sampled loops that are not quite the same and the samples of people talking but are more along the lines of odd music and tape manipulations. It's pretty interesting and kinda gets into that electronic vibe. Like I almost imagine that this person could also be into dub step or something but it's damn crazy. There is no real narrative through this as there was on the Marax side so I am not sure how this is exactly about suicide either. The track titles mention Jack Kevorkian, having a right to die and being generally depressing so I guess that is it. There are some subtle samples here and there. They fit in pretty nicely with the noise in general but when I hear FDR's familiar voice it kinda looses me. Maybe I need a more open mind because I bet the average noise fan would fucking love this. Packaging looks nice. A little 90's in the type treatment but it's definitely solid. 

Flesh Coffin "The Beast Won't Go to Sleep" cs

Flesh Coffin
The Beast Won't Go to Sleep
Lighten Up Sounds

I have reviewed Flesh Coffin before and I gotta say that this stuff is always super brutal. Absolutely no exception on this one. Excellent HNW interspersed with some excellent broken loops and the occasional sample. Most who read this blog at this point know I am not a fan of samples from movies or tv. This again is not my thing but it's so quick and surrounded by impenetrable walls or pure awesomeness that I really don't mind. You also get some creepy as fuck synths and room sounds that really work well. Pretty nice layout on it's black and white 1.5 panel J card. I would probably grab one of these if HNW and evil is your steeze. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Harassor "Hater of Man" cs

Hater of Man
Husk Records

I was super excited when this showed up in the mail that it had to jump the line a little. I am already a huge fan of Harassor's LP on Universal Consciousness that I picked up from them last year. I am not at all disappointed by this cassette. It has a recording quality that brings to mind Bathory meets Bone Awl and the music isn't that far off either. This is tough primitive death/black metal with vocals that are completely fucked. I guess this was recorded in 2006 which makes me think I might be missing something. This is so fucking good I can't imagine that they waited almost six years to put this out. Thank the elder gods that Josh Lay unleashed this on the planet for us. I fully recommend this in every way. Awesome simple layout and nicely put together. 

Carl Kruger/Deign "Knees" cs

Carl Kruger/Deign split cs
Fusty Cunt Tapes

Right off the bat the Carl Kruger side of this tape is awesome. Harsh, broken noise that somehow sounds like a jet engine warming up and failing over and over in the middle of a hurricane. With headphones on this thing swirls and spins around your head, causing some excellent disorientation. Trying to pull apart the sounds that are chopped and smashed into each other is pretty fun as well. I think a hear a carnival, a train, a dump truck and possibly a murder. Like I said, fun! The Deign side is a bit closer to HNW. The first track is pummeling and rarely changes course but for a second here and there. It's very intense. The second track gets a little more subtle and quiet but it becomes very manic and slightly crazy. Both acts on this cassette are excellent and I recommend picking this up or at least hunting down more of their catalogs. I guess this is an older release as Fusty Cunt has about another 20 releases that came after this one. The layout to this cassette is very DIY in a way that kinda makes me sad. Poorly photocopied printer paper wrapped around a tape in a bag that was the wrong size so it was poorly adjusted does not make for an impressive or interesting design. Although to some people this is exactly what they want out of a noise tape. I just love seeing people take their limitations in materials, money, time and making something really inspired.

UPDATE: I talked with the curator of this label and it turns out that the flimsy and sorta cruddy look to this tape was totally intentional. It was to create a sort of irony about consumerism. If you look at the other Fusty Cunt releases you will see that this definitely stands out in it's craziness. I guess that was lost on me for any number of reasons but I can see it now. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fire Walk with Me 3xcs

Fire Walk with Me 3xcs
Worthless Recordings

This is a rare gem. In fact it has to be or else the guy who made this would probably get in trouble. The River's Edge cassette that came out last year on this label was great and this is just as great but it actually sounds a little clearer. It's very nice to be able to just have this one while you draw. Without the visuals you really get to focus on how totally creepy and perfect the sounds and music were for this excellent piece of surreal film noir. Excellent minimal design with a excellent use of color. Thanks Worthless Recordings. You have proven time ad time again that you are anything but. 

Mole Hole "Wedge" VHS

Mole Hole
Lighten Up Sounds

I am in love with the VHS revival that is happening. This is the second one I have reviewed and so far I am very impressed. The visuals on the tape are made from what looks like layers of 16mm films; cars, people talking, spaceships, outdoor gatherings that are all juxtaposed with some excellent audio. Drones, samples and subtle rhythms that at times remind me of the scariest parts of Fire Walk with Me and other times a bit like Brian Eno's Music for Airports. It's a really excellent piece of work and I fully recommend it. Edition of 50 copies. Samples can be checked out here.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Sewn Leather "Blood Runs Down the Drain" cs

Sewn Leather
Blood Runs Down the Drain
Friends and Relatives Records

This is real out there. Aesthetically this looks like you might be getting some HNW or maybe some creepy doom. It's creepy but in a totally different way. Strange synth manipulations, odd beats and some really spaced out guitar playing and deranged vocals make up something that sounds like it would have definitely influenced David Lynch. I actually have this cassette tape of the cartoonist Al Columbia's music from the early nineties. It's amazing four track manipulated folk noise and it reminds me a lot of Sewn Leather. I should see if Al would let me put that out… Oh yeah, Sewn Leather also sounds very eighties. In it's production and use of instrumentation. It is a different psychedelic animal all together. The artwork is fucked up and I am pretty stoked on this one. Bizarre and waiting for you. 

Ryan Jewell "Radio: vol. 1" cs

Ryan Jewell
Radio: Vol. 1
Friends and Relatives Records

This is subtle. Really minimal glitches and noise that have a pretty impressive amount of restraint. The second side is really beautiful work. Subtle (there's that word again) drones and strange bells mixed with quick bursts of quiet noise and some really surprising drums. Really nice. It's so subtle that at times you may think there is nothing going on. Unfortunately the audio on the cassette is much shorter than the physical length of the cassette so you get a little fooled into thinking that something else is going to happen when really you have just listened to five minutes of blank tape hiss. It's not that big a deal though as what you do hear is very measured and controlled minimal soundscapes. These tracks originally were on the radio in 2007 and 2008 in Paris and New Jersey respectively. Nice simple j cards. 

Survivor Series cs

Survivor Series

Fuck yes. This sounds like two people wordlessly killing each other in a scrap yard. Which isn't too far from the truth. Its a live collaboration between someone from Paranoid Time and Scorpio & Glass. It's very twisted sounding. Scraping metal, shattering glass and blown speakers paint a bright red cacophony. excellent work and as of press time there are only 3 left of the original 44. Go. Now. 

Liable "silver b/w hypocrisy" cs

silver b/w hypocrisy

Amazing lo fi industrial works on this short cassette. Only about 6 minutes per side but totally effective. The sounds of rusty tools sliding around inside a cement mixer, fuzzed out, unintelligible vocals, synth loops and random bursts of noisy rhythm make up a pretty awesome little package. I recommend this for sure. Edition of 44 copies in that excellent simple xeroxed j card that is characteristic of Nostilevo. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Scorpio & Glass "Alba Lulia" cs

Scorpio & Glass
Alba Lulia

Another awesome raw design from Nostilevo. Simple xeroxed covers with spray painted tapes. I guess I miss doing this myself. It felt so satisfying to look at what you had created with a lot of effort and little money. I appreciate that. Anyhow, the audio is great. It starts with abstract guitar punctuated by noise. It feels a little improvised but it has a direction. It reminds me of a very raw and more abstract A Death Cinematic. The second side is much more about destroyed tape loops and trash noise bursts. Excellent work. Edition of only 44 copies. Seems crazy.