Thursday, March 29, 2012

Maaaa "Human Waste" cdr

Human Waste
self released?

Maaaa has an urgency in their noise that isn't found everywhere. There are these rhythms that made me actually just stare into the distance and almost feel nothing when they started. It's like being a deer in the head lights. It's pretty cool actually. The vocals on this recording are just fucking twisted. The overall sound is dirty and slightly evil. I am enjoying a lot of what I am hearing from Poland these days and this is no exception. This will be the second Maaaa release I have heard and I am hoping not the last. It's good stuff. The layout is a little too simple for me. I think it's the slim cdr cases that are starting to bug me. There really isn't a lot you can do with them on their own. I appreciate the minimal nature of the design on this one though. The type treatment on the back is a little questionable but overall it's well executed. 

Dao De Noize "NMII" cdr

Dao De Noize

First of all, if the audio on this cdr was not so damn good I would have to give this a 2. The layout is so lackluster that I am kinda bummed just looking at it. It's not the worst thing I have ever seen but it's another slim cd case with a cdr (thankfully it's at least stamped with the label's logo) but the color photocopy that sits inside goes only halfway across the back and it looks kinda cruddy. If this was in resealable bag where you could see part of the cdr this might look okay but it's either the wrong packaging or the wrong cover. The cover itself, with it's toy frog, kinda looks like Boris' Amplifier Worship cover before Steve O'Malley got to fix it. It looks kinda 90's and not in the best way. The audio however is gorgeous. Really excellent droning noise with lots of strange instrumentations or field recordings of instruments that totally work. This artist, Dao De Noize, despite having a rough name and a rougher typeface for that name, is doing some really amazing work. 

Dao De Noize/Daruin split cdr

Dao De Noize/Daruin
Split cdr

Excellent noise from both Dao De Noize and Daruin. Dao De Noize plays piercing noise that sits on top of heavy, thick static. There seems to be loops below the fray of bells, drums, scraping metal, voices and various other sounds but they are all so buried that picking them out can give you a bit of anxiety. It's really good work from an artist I have not heard of until now. Daruin's two tracks seems to be more in the world of drone. It has a Birchville Cat Motel playing a Buddha Box type of sound. This is to say it's awesome. The trance that you will find yourself in after the first 20 minute track will be slightly jarred by the noisier, shorter track to follow. Really excellent audio on here. It looses a little points for the overly simplistic packaging and layout. It's not bad but a totally blank white cdr in a slim case with a photocopied cover is not that inspiring. Like I said, its not bad, it's just sorta forgettable. Musically though you will not be disappointed. 

Pollutive Static "Cruel Machines" cdr

Pollutive Static
Cruel Machines
Quagga Curious Sounds

Totally brutal HNW from UK. Pollutive Static delivers a harsh, ever shifting wall of harsh noise that leans heavy on the synth manipulations that accompany the constant distortion. It's 8 tracks that clock in at about 40 minutes and it's pretty fucking killer. Nice handmade layout that houses a "vinyl" cdr in a resealable bag. Limited to 50 copies.  It's nuts.

God Destroyer cs

God Destroyer
Slays for Days Records

This cassette is basically a masterpiece of restraint. It's seven tracks over two side of beautiful slow moving drones. This is like the soundtrack to all the beautiful melancholy in the world. It never gets off track, there is never a sour note. It's just wave after wave of beauty. The layout is full of these interesting photos that compliment the music quite well. Included was a hand written insert that I normally would probably not say I liked, as it doesn't go with the rest of the artwork, but the other side is a hand painted piece of original artwork that is pretty cool, so I will give it a pass. Slays for Days did an excellent job all around on this one. I would get this tape later today and have it shipped from New Zealand. 

Sadness Saturn/Golden Raven split cs

Sadness Saturn/Golden Raven
Split cassette
Handmade Birds

Fuck yeah, this is awesome! Sadness Saturn is Luke from Servile Sect's solo project and it's pretty much in the similar vein. Prog influenced black metal and noise but on the slower and more psychedelic side of things. It's really good stuff. The Golden Raven. or Nhate from Ash Borer, is also excellent. It sounds like a scarier, noisier Parsons Sound or maybe a super evil Tangerine Dream. Pretty bad ass. The artwork and text is excellent although I would have loved to see the two married in a way that made legibility still possible. Limited to 100 copies and surprisingly still available. Go to Handmade Birds site and buy every single thing that they still have available. Quickly!

RJ Myato "Fukushima" cs

RJ Myato
Love Torture Records

Excellent little noise cassette here. It is a reference to the massive disaster in Japan last year that has and will effect all of us for many, many years to come. The audio sounds like danger. Alarms, garbled radio transmissions, broken static all make for a tense but short listen. The tape is about a c10, which is my new favorite length these days (probably due to how many reviews I have to do). The artwork is little underwhelming. Pictures of the smoldering power plant with some kinda rough type but it's still a pretty killer release. 

Venowl "untitled" cs

Ivory Antlers

This is a beautiful mess. The music is basically two tracks of what sounds mostly improvised using two different vocabularies of music. Side a, which is also my favorite side, is a super manic destructive maelstrom of guitar, vocals, drums in the style of Sissy Spacek or Menstruation Sisters but within a black metal sensibility. It's total screaming destruction. Side B is more like a doom track. Imagine Grief having to play first thing in the morning with no practice in months. It's a disaster but it works pretty well. Totally unique and bizarre. The layout and artwork are great and inspiring. I thank them for that. I would have liked to see some sort of imprinting on the cassette or at least a stamp. My only real problem I think is unique to my cassette. The first five minutes or so of side one sounded very warped and made listening a little weird.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Clew of Theseus "Rehearse the Right Life" cs

Clew of Theseus
Rehearse the Right Life
Husk Records

This is such a sad cassette. Listening to this feels like coming across a small, lonely funeral in the wilderness and hiding the the brush while someone plays a single droning horn into the trees. It's minimal melancholy drone that could go on forever if my heart could take it. I have never heard this act before but I am certainly going to look for more right away. It is nice and simple in it's design and artwork and fits perfectly. Limited and selling out I am sure. 

Balcony View cdr

Balcony View
Slays for days Records

This is so close to perfect for me. Beautiful ambient guitar drone on par with Brian Eno's Music for Airports meets Oren Ambarchi's Grapes from the Estate. Minimal gorgeous waves of swelling guitar that absolutely hits the mark. There is a rough change here and there but it almost adds to the spontaneous feel of this recording, which is something that neither of the afore mentioned comparisons had. After a couple tracks of this beautiful instrumental drone you get a slightly more straightforward guitar and vocal song that is more of a repetitive, morose pop/folk track. This song, although strong in some ways, ultimately doesn't work as well.  Strained, soft and slightly out of key vocals accompany guitar and bell loops while controlled feedback adds a lot of texture. This track feels a little long and there are some screams that are pretty silly and out of place. You will find some really excellent guitar playing throughout this track though and it certainly is a break amidst the walls of melancholy drone. Although this record certainly didn't need to the break. This is another cdr that unfortunately I just can't get into how DIY the packaging is. The sleeve the blank cdr comes in is even worse than the one that came with the Alaskan Night Bears cdr but with the same computer print out insert. This is not something someone would want to trade money for even though the audio encoded on the disc is great. 

ZFK "Mahina Yest 1/Medizinisch" cs

Mahina Yest 1/Medizinisch

This is cool. I feel like I don't really know much about Russian noise and experimental music at all. My education basically starts and ends at Fear Konstructor, basically. I am quite glad I have a chance to learn a bit about this stuff though. I received a box, a huge box, packed with cdrs and cassettes from Russia recently and it's taking awhile to get through them all. This was recorded in 2004 before ZFK had broken up. It's subtle, mostly harsh noise with a slight industrial feel to it. It sounds like broken transmissions from the other side of the sun. The first side is my favorite track, it's very noisy and harsh and buried beneath a blanket of static. The second side is a bit more heavy on the industrial side of things. Loops and some almost riffs fade in and out throughout the track while still buried beneath the same noisy blanket. Super simple, yet nice, design and layout in a poly case. Limited to 50 copies.

.NYCTALOPS. "Electric Retard" cs

Electric Retard

Pretty cool noise from this Russian artist. It's dark and twisted static destruction with some awesome synth manipulations. It is not really HNW but the torn up sounds never really relent either. If HNW seems fast to you, this will seem slow. It's deliberate and controlled and pretty impressive. The layout is very simple and clean. Nicely done, but the poly cases with a totally blank tape feel a little too simple to me. Still, it's good. Limited to 50 copies with the craziest name for a cassette. 

Citizen Clane cs

Citizen Clane

I wasn't quite expecting Citizen Clane to sound like this. It's dark, psychedelic, abstract rock with lots of layers of strange instruments, vocals and noise. It's apparently a few songs from a forthcoming record that features Mike Watt (The Minutemen, Firehose, Al Qaeda) and Steve MacKay (Stooges, Estel). The music has the feel of spending time driving long distances at night while on some wonderful drugs. I quite enjoy the music on this one and will definitely look for the LP when it comes out. This cassette has the cover art, with an obvious Residents vibe, which looks nice but the way it fits in the cassette case feels awkward. There is no information of any kind inside (I had to search the internet for what information I could find) and all the tape has on it has a sticker of the number 3. So there's not too much to go on there. It overall has the feel of a cassette that was put out as an afterthought. Limited to 50 copies. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Glass Coffin "Remnants of a Cold Dead World" cdr

Glass Coffin
Remnants of a Cold Dead World
Crucial Blast 

As most of you can tell by my reviews I am pretty into Glass Coffin. It's so dirty, lo fi and dark in it's approach to black metal. There is something so competent yet naive about Josh Lay's delivery that it feels genuine. Like it could have been recorded at the same time as Apocalyptic Raids. The recording on this one is by far the best and the dirtiest. The drumming is raw yet somehow precise, the guitars sound like chainsaws in the next room and the vocals sound like an apology gurgled through a Columbian Necktie. It's a full length cdr with ten tracks of blackened filth. This is necessary. Limited to 200 numbered copies and packaged in an amray dvd style case. It comes with a pro printed credit sheet, two buttons, two stickers and an amazing artzine full of Josh Lay's artwork. The artwork is fantastic. It has a Mike Diana vibe and the look of a hesher's binder in high school. This is my favorite thing I have received this whole year. I recommend getting this immediately. 

Alaskan Night Bears "Champion Sound" cdr

Alaskan Night Bears
Champion Sound
Slays for Days Records

Alaskan Night Bears is very intimate bedroom folk by Charles Fishowitz. Very much in the vein of Jenn Ghetto's mostly solo project "S" and you could say there was a bit of Elliot Smith, Bon Iver or Tiny Vipers in there as well. It's very sweet, sad and quiet and each song has the feeling of something found and precious. The audio is a bit quiet but I think that is a side effect of it being recorded in small bedrooms around the united states. My only real issue with this release is the packaging. It's very DIY but in a very unattractive way. A totally blank cdr with a insert that is just a computer print out slid into a reclaimed cd sleeve. The imagery and typography is actually really nice but the execution has the feeling that the label doesn't really care and therefore someone may pass this up that would have really loved it. I know the DIY nature is something the label want to convey and I get that but I think just a little more effort would go a long way. Regardless, I would suggest you look into this release. 

Zebra Mu "Experiment and Destroy" cdr

Zebra Mu
Experiment and Destroy
Smell the Stench

This new work from the U.K.'s Zebra Mu is like listening to noise in school. The way he is able to move around his pedal board and instruments is inspiring. Listening to this is making me think that Zebra Mu should maybe only do DVDs from now on because I would watch how he did all this every single day. It's very good harsh, circuit bent, junk noise and I love it. You can almost feel the way this sounds due to the textures alone. The packaging is pretty rough. The last cd I reviewed of his was pretty well designed where this seems like a totally afterthought. Nonexistant typography and collages that have no composition or contrast so everything just sort of washes out in a dull gray tone. I want more from the packaging with something that sounds this good. There is nothing wrong with dressing up before you go to a symphony and there is nothing wrong with the symphony dressing up before it destroys your ears. 

Government Alpha "Venomous Cumulus Cloud" cd

Government Alpha
Venomous Cumulus Cloud

Awesome!  Six tracks of swirling brutal glass tornados of sound. Totally perfect HNW. The tracks stay pretty focused in their delivery but the Government Alpha does do some interesting things with it's use of dynamics in the eq and the left and right. It's definitely headphone music and it's brutal. The packaging is pretty minimal but the artwork on it is out there enough for me. They also win for the awesome record title. I am pleased. 

Crown of Cerebus "Salome" cs

Crown of Cerebus
Hail the Crown

This is pretty good. It's dark, brooding, noisy and has a very cool Oakeater sort of feel to it. It feels a little safe to me at time though. It kinda hits all the right marks in all the right places and doesn't really resonate with me. I think there may be just a bit more delay than is necessary and I ended up having that issue where I can start hearing the pedals more than the performance. God knows I have been guilty of that very thing myself more that a few times but that is probably why it stuck out to me. That aside, like I said before, it's still pretty good. It's the perfect length and captures a mood and holds onto it throughout the release. I would love to hear more from this project but I want to hear them push the limits of the minimum and the maximum. Nice woodcut artwork and simple design with an interesting blacklister typeface but that kind of also felt "safe". It's already sold out at the label but I would recommend checking out the label's site. They have some very interesting things on there that you should really take a look at. 

Plack Blague "Heavy Leather" cdr

Plack Blague
Heavy Leather
BTK Records

This creeped me out. The artwork throughout has that weird hyper sexual man on man torture thing that always kind of gives me the willies. It makes me think of what was probably going on in Dean Corll's head during his horrible career as a serial killer. I have to say that the music is pretty awesome. It's harsh in it's delivery and a bit like Prurient's Bermuda Drain cassette that I received this year. I am digging this dark industrial, no wave insanity that I have been hearing more and more of lately. The vocals on this Plack Blague in particular though are fucking horrifying. It's so deranged and harsh in comparison with the synth heavy danceable music that it is accompanying. I like this. It's fucked up. 

Casque Strenght "Culture and Humiliation" cs

Casque Strenght 
Culture and Humiliation
Depressive Illusions 

Before I get into it I want to say that the spelling on that name is correct.. or incorrect.. whatever. It's supposed to be that way and that's cool but I will admit that the name spelling and the fact that the cassette was a plain TDK blank cassette with no altering of any kind made me want to not like this. In fact I was geared up to give this a 2 or a 3 based on the delivery alone. Oh yeah, It also came in the mail without a case. I had plenty of TDK cases sitting around so it got a mate but that was a little weird. Surprisingly, the dark ambient orchestral sounds on this cassette are amazing. I was thoroughly amazed at the sounds that came out of my stereo. This is real professional sounding music that I would not be surprised if the artist behind this recording was classically trained. I am very impressed. The packaging and the music do not relate. I think they spent all there time on the meal and didn't care about the plating and that's fine. I would have easily given this a 5 if they had though. The layout aside this is also a c90 with only about 25 minutes of music on just one side. With it's superfluous faults aside I recommend finding this cassette and enjoying. Limited to 100 copies from the Czech Republic. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Yautja "2011" cs

Tapes of a Neon God

Awesome brutal powerviolence from an excellent label that doesn't do enough releases for me. Yautja remind me a bit of Iron Lung with touches of Despise You and Infest. Totally fast and brutal but with this thickness that none of those previously mentioned bands have ever really been able to acquire. This one sided tape fly by so you will be pretty stoked when it flips over and it's the same exact thing. Excellent artwork and design by Anderson Cook. It's well worth your time. Get this. 

Broken Penis Orchestra "Plays with Itself" cs

Broken Penis Orchestra
Plays with Itself

This is the opposite of everything I should like. My opinions of samples in noise have been well documented and I probably get more comments and emails regarding my opinions of samples then just about anything. Broken Penis Orchestra is driven by Stan Reed of Dried Up Corpse, Blue Sabbath Black Cheer and Plethora and it is basically all samples. This is not a bunch of samples adorning a wave of HNW, letting me know the artist performing the harsh noise appreciates Stanley Kubrick or wants me to think about bloody penises or whatever. This is pure sound collage and its really, really well done. You have been hearing sound collage since the 1960's or at least since you started caring about this weirdo genre of music we all enjoy. Just by using source material the tracks on this cassette seem to move between genres: some doom, ambient, pop, hip hop… It's totally varied and very interesting. I love this and so should you. Limited to 200 copies. 

Alto Jeffro "Songz USSR (1983)" cs

Alto Jeffro
Songz Ussr (1983)
Lava Church Records

Solid and strange. I am not sure what exactly to make of this, some odd loops accompany simple drums and guitar riffs. It actually reminds me a really psychedelic version of the Cars but with much better instrumentation and vocals. I can imagine thinking this is what music in the future might sounds like if I was discovering krautrock in america when it was first being recorded. I don't think saying this sounds like NEU! or Can would be accurate but you can hear some of that throughout this. If you wanted a contemporary comparison I would maybe say I hear a little bit of The Books in there if they had once started off very lo-fi. It's good and totally interesting. The layout is fine and fitting. Nothing to write home about and not nearly as exciting as some of the music on this cassette. Also came with a Yngwie Malmsteen trading card. That's weird. 

Mixed Band Philanthropist "The Impossible Humane" cs

Mixed Band Philanthropist
The Impossible Humane

A gorgeous chunk of sound collage from MBP. I don't know if I even need to say anything about this. It's kinda like reviewing a Merzbow record. All I have to say is it's great. Totally amazing and huge in it's use of context and texture. Both in the sound of it's pieces and the juxtaposition of them. This sounds like a schizophrenic's dream. Whether that's a night mare or a gorgeous dream is up to the listener to decide. It's fantastic. Again, all samples on here but used as tools and not as training wheels but you all know this as this is the 25th anniversary edition. Nice simple layout and artwork. Limited to 200 copies. 

Patrick McBratney "Lovebird" cs

Patrick McBratney
Lava Church Records

Excellent bedroom pop from Patrick McBratney graces both sides of this cassette. With the lo-fi feel I get the vibe of an early Ariel Pink if he used an 8 bit synth for his drum machine instead of his voice for the percussion. Maybe if Ariel Pink had released hi first record on Factory Records or maybe World Serpent. The songs have a haunting naivete that I find very appealing. The vocals are almost completely impossible to understand but I really enjoy the mumbled/distorted sound of what would have sounded like pretty straight forward singing. The artwork and layout are not something that appeals to me really. It's fine. The painting on the cover is pretty nice but it looks like a jumble of ideas with little or no focus. The layout is not really there to speak of. The type treatment is pretty 90's and not in a god way but other than that the audio is great. I recommend checking this out if you come across it for that alone. 

Soft Targets "The Rise and Fall of..." cs

Soft Targets
The Rise and Fall of…
Cassette Pet Records

I am always surprised when I get a tape to review that is not some crazy harsh noise drone thing, so Soft Targets was a huge surprise. As the first song started I immediately thought Mission of Burma, Lync, Crackerbash, Naked Raygun and early SST records all at once. It's fast, jangling pop with a noisy, punk sensibility. Not pop punk though.  There is no NOFX crud here. This is closer to garage rock with a lot of volume. If you look these guys up online you will be floored by how rad they look. I know that doesn't matter but I was picturing a bunch of kids who discovered everything that ruled about Chicago in the 80s through the early 90's but these are the guys who were making that scene. I don't love every song. Not that they are bad but some just don't really do it for me. Still it's a pretty damn good cassette. If you are my age or older and ever got a chance to see any of this stuff when it was happening I think Soft Targets will totally make your day. The design on this cassette is excellent. Strong typography and simple imagery that totally works. Good job guys. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Glass Coffin "Haunted by the Ghosts of the Damned" lp

Glass Coffin
Haunted by the Ghosts of the Damned
Prison Tatt Records

After last year's cassette release by Glass Coffin impressed me enough to refer to it as one of the best releases of the year, I was quite excited to see a new piece of Josh Lay's psychedelic, lo-fi, bedroom black metal onslaught. I was also quite relived that this record was not a let down from what I considered an almost perfect previous effort. This record, although only having music on one side, shows a huge range in the dark horridness of black metal. Some mid tempo riff heavy twisted tracks, some full on blasting drums with insane sounding guitars and an ending track of some distant howls over the top of horror movie like piano lines. It's awesome to see where this is going. I can't recommend this one enough. It's super limited, only 100 copies and has screen printed covers with sort of naive typesetting and artwork that perfectly works with the music. My only real complaint and it's not much of a complaint is that they kinda wasted the b side visually. They should have screen printed or stenciled that side instead of leaving it blank. Not a big deal as there is label on that side but I think that effort would have been very appreciated. Anyway. Go get this. 

Plutonium "devilmentertainment" cd

Self Released

To be totally honest I was ready to hate this when I pulled it out of it's case. I hated the text on the cover so much that I assumed this was going to, at best, sound like a sad Skinny Puppy. What I actually heard when the music started was some very intense industrial black metal. You almost have to hear this to know what that means but it's not bad. Intense and well played with incredibly mechanical drums and decent vocals. There are times that make you think of early Immortal mixed with Ministry. I actually know a few friends that would totally worship this thing. It's not totally my thing but I recognize that this is pretty well done. There are a few kinda questionable moments here and there. A few parts that sounds a little stadium metal and a couple things that are a little heavy on the samples and mechanics of the whole thing. I like my black metal to be more naive and lofi where this is very polished and almost perfectly recorded. There are some riffs on this that are amazing though and I wish I had written. The first riff on Unintelligent Design is some sort of blackened voivod inspired awesomeness. There is a quick break of samples that kind of bum me out but then it goes right back to killing everyone. It definitely has it moments. I think if industrial black metal sounds like something you might dig I would recommend it. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sissy Spacek "Harm" cd

Sissy Spacek 

Sissy Spacek is sometimes described as "grindcore" (even by John Wiese to me once). I think this is a bit of a stretch but this record certainly has the power, if not more power, than your average grindcore record. If you take the most inhuman, noisy, destructive parts of grindcore and make that the loudest most fucked up thing you have ever experienced then you will understand Sissy Spacek on this live to tape album. It's a fast and destructive wave of pure noise fuckery. I am sure you own this already. It's absolutely necessary. This will bum out friends and lovers but will make you want to go drive a car as fast as you can. Limited to 200 and it looks beautiful. I actually have to take a moment and talk about this. Troniks, especially in regards to their John Wiese related projects, have the nicest design in noise. They actually understand typography. They pair serif and san serif fonts flawlessly, the use of imagery is always minimal yet totally interesting and effective. The only crime I have ever seen them commit in relation to typography (and they are way better at it than I) is that the font they used on the John Wiese "Teenage Hallucinations" cd had too high of a contrast for the way it was printed and the paper it was printed on. It was a font designed for letterpress and not for offset printing so it was a little hard to read with the thin parts of the letters not being punched into paper… that is as nitpicking as I get about that though because their design is almost flawless. I am always in awe. 

DDDD "Sameness" cdr

Love Torture Records

DDDD is a trio of very competent noise artists. Members of +DOG+, Endometrium Cuntplow and Final Solution create three different tracks using the same basic source material to somehow conjure three separate emotions. The first track opens with a sample from the beginning of one of your parent's relaxation tapes they never used. I bet in a live setting that is pretty awesome as it sounds pretty cool on the cd but you kinda want it to hurry up and be over. The sounds are focused and direct noise pieces that drone and sputter right past you and into infinity. Probably. They sound amazing and they each get more dense and thick. This is made to be heard with headphones, as most noise albums, but this one especially. When you get to the last track you will know why. The sample at the beginning that I said you want to fast forward through, well, it changes by the third track in a way that actually feels scary. You have to listen to all three tracks in order and in one sitting or the experiment wont work. Edition of 50 copies with simple yet appropriate artwork.  

Phil Blankenship "...plays Criminally Insane" cd

Phil Blankenship
…Plays Criminally Insane

This is not a noise record. In the same vein of Worthless Recordings' "Fire Walk with Me" and "The River's Edge" on cassette this is basically the audio to a horror movie about an obese woman who kills people and eats. I have never seen this movie but it's pretty fucked up. The audio is clear and disturbing. The incidental music in between is beautiful in that tragic and lonely 1970's sort of way. Just buy this and sit down with it on headphones. It's quite an interesting piece. I applaud Phil Blankenship for this endeavor. Limited to 150 in a very professional package. 

Kenji Siratori & Flat Affect split cdr

Kenji Siratori & Flat Affect
Disk Etikette

A long time in the making and completely interesting if not a little disjointed. I usually like to hear splits compliment each other and the tracks on here feel a little bit like a compilation instead of a split. Luckily all the of the tracks are pretty fucking interesting. Flat Affect does some futuristic synth explorations that feel like a very alien version of drone. Nothing analog. This is pure digital sine wave manipulation. Kenji Siratori (a man I cannot get in touch with. Please let me know if you can) goes even further into the future with his spastic deconstruction of digital noise and chaos. Often done with manipulations of his voice, it's pretty spectacular to hear. The collaboration tracks on this are between Flat Affect and a third artist, RedSK. This is were things feel a little off for my. Although those tracks are great too. This is all pretty spastic, brutal noise that was all recorded in 2009, 2010 and 2011. Limited to 35 copies and packaged in a jewel case full of nails. Seriously. It's worth finding for sure. The coolest thing about this label Disk Etikette, by the way, is that they mostly put out floppy disks. You know the ones. You used to play Zork on them. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Ultra Bonbon "Tape Hiss Abyss" cs

Ultra Bonbon
Tape Hiss Abyss
Lava Church

This is great. Super spaced out synth layers. reminds me of a more aggressive and less ambient Brian Eno: Songs for Airports. A bit harsher in it's tones and there are a lot more synth squeals and squelches that cut through the distant ambient loops. The loops are really the gem on here. They are really beautiful and deserve their own spot on the next Buddha Box. It's pretty damn good. The artwork is great but the treatment of the type is pretty rough. It actually wouldn't have been so bad if they had considered the substrate they were printing one. The paper is very textured and has a semigloss look to it so these small thin letters become totally unreadable. Otherwise this is damn good. 

+DOG+/Endometrium Cuntplow "Urban Letdown" cs

+DOG+/Endometrium Cuntplow
Urban Letdown
Love Torture Records

I have been awaiting my next run in with +DOG+ after I hated the artwork from their last submitted cd. Just like that cd I feel similar about this release and that is that the music is totally great! The layout on this tape is fine. Not offensive in the slightest. Simple photocopied card… Nothing to write home about but nothing awful either but their long droning synth track on this cassette is fantastic. Totally enveloping and i dig it. The ECP side is a bit more harsh and varied but it's also pretty damn good. Twisted and odd with a lot of static smeared over the top. It's good. 

Deadmoths "Disinclined Beings" cs

Disinclined Beings
Worthless Recordings

Totally solid vocal heavy noise on this short cassette. The first track is totally brutal and destroyed noise along with some sinister screams. This dudes vocals are nuts.  The second side starts with this long guitar jam with some spoken/sung vocals that don't totally do it for me but before the track ends it gets totally fucked up again and I am back on board. It's solid and I bet you would dig it throughout. The layout is beautiful aside from the SxE HxC font that kinda bugs me a little. Those little peccadilloes certainly do not ruin what in general is a solid and brutal cassette. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Compactor "Self Destruct Sequence" cs

Self Destruct Sequence
Worthless Recordings

I want to start by saying that this is a fucking good cassette. The "3" rating (which is a good rating) is mainly because I feel the audio on this cassette is just a little unbalanced. Mainly because the first side is a little heavy on the industrial side of things for me. I know groups like Scorn are pretty fucking awesome, and I do own those records, but the first side just feels a tiny bit too much. Not that it's bad, because it's not. It sounds great. It's like Scorn meets Hair Police or something.  But it's the second side that blew me away. Totally abstract, darkness that is completely unique and inspiring. I don't even know how to compare this but I have rewound and listened to this second side about ten times now. It's amazing. The artwork is good but simple. Limited, but I am not sure to how many. Too few I assume. 

KPTMichigan/Black Stepdad split cs

KPTMichigan/Black Stepdad
split cs
Mirror World Music/The Lows and Highs

First of all, I was not expecting this to be very good. The collage artwork on the cover which is a mix of porn, krishna and comics is kinda silly and the names of the bands are kinda silly as well. I was thinking this would be "shocking" noise with little inspiration and that would be that. I was wrong. Although the packaging and design are a bit forgettable, the music is fantastic. Right off the bat I was totally impressed by kptmichigan's first track. Oppressive, focused drone that sounds like tape loops manipulated by time. The second track starts off like a love scene from twin peaks without the dated synth sound. Beautiful and interesting. The rest of this side is just gorgeous. I need to find out who this artist is and buy all their work. Black Stepdad is also amazing. I would say it is also gorgeous organ heavy drone but that isn't what it sounds like. Imagine that you are walking through a dense park in a city you are unfamiliar with and you keep hearing this sublet droning music coming from somewhere near you but you can't place which direction. You decide to go looking for it and although you never seem to get close, you also never seem to never be able to escape the sounds either. Birds, trains, leaves in the wind; they all seem to color the huge faraway drones but they never overtake it. It's an experience to hear this cassette. I have never really been quite as wrong about a release before listening to it than I was with this one. I must say that even though I judged this book by it's cover, it could really use a new cover. Limited to 70 copies in both the US and Europe. Go get this one. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tom Hall/Endometrium Cuntplow Split cs

Tom Hall/Endometrium Cuntplow split
Love Torture Records

Fuck yeah. The first side of this cassette, Tom Hall, is gorgeous. It almost sounds like the music would expect in the lobby of heaven. Huge, soaring synths that make giant waves of almost choral textures. The track then starts to degrade into synth wave manipulation that feels like you are slowly spinning to a stop. It's a nice ride. Endometrium Cuntplow starts out so quiet that it feels like something might be wrong with your cassette. I love when people do this. I actually have to check the signal meter on my deck to make sure something is happening. Once it kicks in you get waves of delay heavy synth waves that are just on the edge of becoming full on feedback. Slowly, very slowly, a almost HNW comes in and accompanies this piercing squall. It's pretty damn good. The layout is nice and simple. Screenprinted covers with an insert, although I should save that the nice design of the cover and the insert have little to do with each other in style, tone, color and it's a little off. Still nicely done though. Limited to 40. 

Servile Sect "Demos 2005/2006" cs

Servile Sect
Demos 2005/2006
Land of Decay

Listening to something titled "demos" usually, for me, means that I will probably be listening to it with an ear towards where the artist ended up and not so much where they were when they started. In other words, I want to hear how, in this case, Servile Sect became the black metal, drone, kraut-rock, noise goliath they are today. These demos are about six years old and it's cool to hear how certain SS were about what they intended to do with their music (or anti-music). Both sides of this cassette house some beautiful moments that really do moves seamlessly through the genres I mentioned previously. If this was their foundation I totally understand how Servile Sect have consistently churned out quality releases. It's not necessary for you to hear this first but I would recommend you do hear it. Limited to 100 copies with awesome design by Kevin Gan Yuen. 

Bad Algorithm "Collapse I & II" 3"cdr

Bad Algorithm
Collapse I & II
self released

Excellent piece of HNW from Bad Algorithm. Two tracks that take two different directions of focused brutality. This is on par with the recent Dried Up Corpse and Nervous Corps stuff I have been hearing lately. It's straight forward and intense. Not much more to say other than I think you will enjoy this if HNW is something you enjoy. I dig it. Simple black and white layout with a vinyl sticker. Limited to 20 copies and there are a few more on Bad Algorithms bandcamp

Friday, March 2, 2012

Bad Algorithm s/t 3"cdr

Bad Algorithm 
Shit Music for Shit People

This 3" is a constant barrage of squelching and squealing noise insanity. It's so intense and varied that it's actually pretty hard to tell where one track ends and the other begins. I like that. You pretty much just have to watch the numbers change. The layout is simple but I feel like it's maybe a little too simple. The logo for bad Algorithm is totally killer but it looks sort of flat. I don't know… I am really just nitpicking as it's a totally solid release. I have another to check out this week from this artist and I am excited to see how it compares. So far, I am intrigued.

White Jazz "The 4th Practice" cs

White Jazz
The 4th Practice
Wall of Dogs Tapes

Absolutely. Yes. This is insanity delivered on a sweet wave of power violence and grindcore from maybe the funniest live band since Anal Cunt. Seriously. Sporting of members Akimbo, Bloodhag, Spirit of the Radio and Doomsday 1999 this band is absolutely something to see live. The bantering and back-and-forths are so hilarious that I was a little worried that the tape wouldn't have that crucial bit of their live performances. Fortunately they have used the packaging (which is simple and kinda awful but in the context works pretty well) and samples to make up for that. Usually I am not a fan of samples but in this case it works fantastic. Moments of Boston, the Jackson 5, and some stuff I don't recognize but I am sure is fantastic. The music is similar to Despise You, Crom, Spazz, Charles Bronson and a bunch of other stuff that we all love. I think you should try to find this and learn to laugh again. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ithi "The Persistence of Meaning" cd

The Persistence of Meaning
Utech Records

This is bludgeoning. Heavy noise accompanying synth rhythms and chanting vocals make for something almost cocky. This record, which features Servile Sect personnel, is a huge chunk of grim, belligerent krautrock. I was absolutely floored by the first track and each one that follows continues to blow me away. This is thick and dark like a blizzard at midnight. They do this one thing that I love where they add context to the heavy drones and noise by adding these bits of audio (maybe field recordings maybe something else) that have little reverb or distortion on them. They almost sound like they are happening right next to your head where as most of the music could be being blared from the top of a mountain at you. It's a rich album that needs at least a few listens before you should go on. Being on Utech Records it is amazing looking. A debossed logo into the cover with a second double sided full color cover. Excellent hand done type by Kevin Yuen. This is excellent. 

Servile Sect "Realms of the Queen" cd/lp

Servile Sect
Realms of the Queen
Ecstatic Peace (cd)/King of the Monsters (lp)

This has been out for awhile so I am am sure you have at least heard of it. Even though this cd came out in 2010 I never got a chance to hear it until it showed up in the mail recently. I just want to share with those of you who don't know how or Realms of the Queen much I enjoyed this record. Black Metal, Shoegaze, Drone, Noise and Dark Wave are all touched upon over the eight tracks that make up the full length cd. So many weird genre changes could end up with something very unfocused and scattered but this is absolutely cohesive. Heavy waves of droning distortion over drum machine and screeching blacked vocals make for something like a bit more psychedelic but less brutal Sutkeh Hexen. I can't believe it took me this long to check this thing out. I have about four more Servile Sect releases to check out and I am going to try to go in order from here on out...

UPDATE: Holy crap! In my pile of Servile Sect releases to review was Realms of the Queen on vinyl. It's amazing. The vinyl itself is clear with glow in the dark mixed throughout. In print now and worth picking up right now!

Endometrium Cuntplow/Pregnant Spore cs

Endometrium Cuntplow/Pregnant Spore
Love Torture Records

Wow, this is a fucking mess. I mean that in the best possible way though. Both sides of this cassette are so overfilled with scrapping, smashing, ripping, squealing and squelching that it almost seems to pour over the sides of your tape deck and deposit stains of chaos and noise all over your floor. It's totally out there and completely messed up. This really needs to be heard. I think it's limited to 20 copies so I can't guarantee that you can find one but I would try. Crazy hand painted covers that fold in a totally strange way. I like when the packaging and the music are both nuts. It just feels right...