Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ice Orgy s/t cs

Ice Orgy

This is awesome. I have been itching to post this review but I am so crazy backed up right now. Ice Orgy is huge sweeping drone that has massive movements and a lot more dynamics than you might be used to from someone working within that genre. First of all the music is gorgeous, it sounds a little like Brian Eno meets Winters in Osaka. There are some occasional subtle beats that never get in the way or take away from any of the rhythmless drone. There is a lovely tension throughout that almost feels like watching a birth, it's beautiful and impressive but it is also dangerous and can be quite sad. Roy Styles has created something quite impressive. 
     The look of this is untouchable really. Letterpressed j-card, slipcase and labels give this such a finished yet handmade look I can't help but want to steal this. I recommend this quite a bit.
     Would I buy this yes. Absolutely. 

Sorry, for the slump.


Monday, May 28, 2012

The Rita "Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence " cd

The Rita
Bodies Bear Traces of Carnal Violence

The Rita is one of those few acts that can still get away with the HNW meets brutal sex thing for me. I am not sure why it works but it really does. I think after seeing him perform and thinking he was super intense, with the epic harsh noise wall and the table slamming, but also thinking he looked pretty harmless/canadian made the whole murder+boobs thing seem kinda ironic. Either way what the Rita does is fucking fantastic. One of my favorite harsh noise artists working right now. In fact you have to check out that Blue Sabbath Black Cheer/The Rita collaborative cd on Debacle Records as soon as possible. Anyway, the two 30+ minute tracks on this cd are perfection.
     The packaging is real simple but works well. Simple pro printed sleeve in a plastic bag, sorta like how all the Revelation Records cd versions of 7"s used to look in the early 1990s. Clean type that works pretty well. I think the name "The Rita" on the cover may have been stretched and squashed a little which is never okay under any circumstances (I  am looking at you, people who design in Photoshop) but if it was done in this case it was subtle and obviously barely noticeable… 
     Would I buy this? yes. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Mold Omen "Deem" cd

Mold Omen
Lava Church

Electro-acoustical noise at it's finest really. I am pretty into this actually. It has that lo fi sounds that I just love. Sounds like a single mic in a room with people just bashing the shit out of things. It's like listening to a tantrum from giant toddlers made out of crazy. I am pretty into it. A couple tracks become more synth destruction type tracks and lean more towards traditional noise. Also quite good and only once on the fourth track did I get a little annoyed and fast forward. The final track is actually quite a surprise with it's jangling guitar playing and deep drones. I am imagining the two gentlemen that make up Mold Omen, Andy and Mike, just need a Moog, a guitar, a hammer and a bucket of scrap metal and they could tour the world.
     Visually it looks a lot like a Holy Molar 7" i bought a handful of years back. Same font and colors. Instead of a laser shooting chicken, or whatever was on that Holy Molar cover, you get a creepy picture of squid ribs or something. That type besides looking very 8 bit is pretty cool. They need to reconsider the photo treatment, I would have probably not used any photo at all. The type is interesting enough and the photo is pretty unnecessary. 
     Would I buy this? I am torn. Probably not unless I could have listened to it a few times first. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lunokhod "Meditations on Life and Death" cs

Meditations on Life and Death

Lunokhod is the name of one of the Russian lunar rovers and I can see why that name was picked for this project as this cassette has a cold and lonely feel. Beautiful loops and drones that become more and more gorgeous as the track goes. Subtle vocals and field recordings add just the right amount of context and texture. It's fantastic. My only real issue with the audio is that it just stops at the end. Like there was more music and it wasn't planned well. It's not like a harsh noise track where that is kind of killer to just pull the power all of a sudden. This is jarring. 
     The artwork for this cassette is similar to the Leather Sky in it's production. I think the same person lettered both cassettes actually so I like that. The logo is a bit cut up and random and I don't think it works quite as well. Aside from that it's very simple but nice. Only 10 of these were made so I wouldn't be surprised if they were gone. 
     Would I buy this? Yeah, I think I would 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bent Spoon Duo "Price of Darkness" cs

Bent Spoon Duo
Price of Darkness
House of Alchemy

This is total room music. By that I mean you are hearing two people actually playing a room. It is a percussive improvisational piece that has both some really great moments and some pretty forgettable ones. I really appreciate how this is recorded. The room is really the star. They scrape, pound, smash and play just about every corner of the place. It almost makes a sonic painting of the room in your mind as you hear it. I think my real issue is that it meanders too much. One minute I am hearing subtleties and restraint and the next I am hearing someone just filling up too much space where they should be worried about the in between moments. 
     The tape is nicely printed yardstick j cards but the paper they used or the finish on the paper is just not right for the darkness of the photo they chose. It's too shiny on the dark purple and black artwork. The photo itself has these little photoshopped traces in the corners that seem a little rough. The type treatment on the other hand is nicely done and just about as simple as the best moments of the music. The totally blank cassette, although an appropriate color, is a little underwhelming.  Just like the music it has it's strengths and weaknesses. Limited to 75 copies and definitely for fans of musique concrete.
     Would I buy this? No.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Remnants "Suspension" cs

Tycho Magnetic Anomalies

Remnants has been a favorite over here since for awhile. The atmospheric and emotional drone work for this artist has always been spot on. This release is absolutely no exception. The audio is full of as much tension as it is full of beauty. Subtle percussion gives this a slightly Tibetian feel at times but that can be broken up by moments of audible tape manipulations and squelching synths. It's very lo -fi sounding and that only adds to the precious quality of the music. 
     Visually this is pretty damn good as well. Simple photography and typography that work well. I have nothing to criticize here. Well done.
     Would I buy this? Yes. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

0+yn/The Failed NASA Experiment split cs

0+yn/The Failed NASA Experiment
split cs
The Lows and Highs

This cassette has really challenged me as a reviewer. Let's face it, I am a shit writer. I write like I speak and for those that know me I am scatter brained stuttering lunatic who talks about ten things at once and often starts to act in the middle of a description. Voices, sound effects and gestures. It's like trying to talk to the entire 1975 theatre arts class from your community college all at once. That said let me try not to fuck this review up too much. Both artists on this cassette do very similar work. Both use massive bits of sound collage, loops, guitars, voices, samples (used perfectly), drones, hand drums to create something amazing. 0+yn has elements of John Coltrane, Ravi Shankar, The Velvet Underground, NON, SUNN0))), Nurse with Wound, Throbbing Gristle, The Beatles… it's all of that and none of it as well. I am in total awe. The Failed Nasa Experiment approaches things in a very similar way. Minimal nods to world music, Tibetian chants, Radiohead, Yellow Swans, Aaron Dilloway, Master Musicians of Bukkake, Six Organs of Admittance…  Again none of these are totally accurate comparisons but it may give you an idea of what are in store for. I will be listening to this tape for sometime.
     The packaging is great. It's a four paneled J card that unfolds into a small poster that is also a reversible j card. The artwork reminds of some of the Nurse with Wound collage covers you probably own. Nice simple use of type. Garamond I believe, which is one of my favorites. It's really well done. High marks all around.
     Would I buy this? Yes, I may have to buy another, just in case.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Clear Days Always "Smith High School" cs

Clear Days Always
Smith High School
Rastan Records

This is pretty god damn good. I don't think I have ever heard a cassette that has made me vomit before. Pretty impressive. In the midst of this excellent swirling, yet extremely minimal noise, you will hear quick cuts to the sound of someone throwing up. Repeatedly. It's nauseating but I love the idea that the artist, Levi Jacob Bailey,  either A) made himself throw up and recorded it or better yet B) was going to throw up and thought, "shit! I better record this!". I love that. Subtle and quiet little acoustic guitar pieces with some strange noise accompaniment pop up and the music just keeps morphing in your head. It's like the audio representation of an afternoon fever dream. The second side continues with the fever dream analogy but it even gets weirder. It ultimately works very well. A little better than the cdr I had reviewed. It's chaos and it will make you feel ill. This is an exceptional bit of artwork from Clear Days Always. I guess the label is defunct but if you search for the artist you can order one from him.
     It looks good. Strange hand done lettering on the cover that has an interesting 60's feel. A deer holding an AK-47. Nice simple type on the inside and a bizarre photo. It's great.
     Would I buy this? Yeah. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Clear Days Always cdr + 3.5" diskette

Clear Days Always cdr + 3.5" diskette
O.G. on B Floppy Disks Pro-Choice Etc. My Put Away Th' Gun
Self Satified

So this is super odd. Some of it is really awesome lo-fi bedroom experimental, folk, pop, noise stuff and some of it is pretty much throw away nonsense. It instantly wins for having a 3.5" floppy disk of music but as far as the music goes it's real hit or miss. I would say for me mostly miss. This is similar to the Churchburner cassette I reviewed recently and I again know a few friends that will flip over this. It's not all or even mostly bad, in fact a lot of it is very well done but totally not my thing. I should mention that the audio on the floppy disk is my favorite by far and if you decide to check this out make sure you can get the audio off of that. I think if that was all I got to review I would have been much more into it. 
     The way this looks is definitely eye catching but ultimately I think it's just working for me. The paper is thin printer paper, the type is not horrible but it's not that great either, the diskette is spray painted when it could really have had something more interesting done to it…  I could go on. There is a strange comic inside that I enjoyed but I just think more care and focus needs to be taken on this. I do like how it was packaged like a bag of candy you would buy at the boardwalk though…
     Would I buy this? no. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sutcliffe Jugend "Blue Rabbit" cd

Sutcliffe Jugend
Blue Rabbit
Crucial Blast Records

This is one of those records that I almost hate but ultimately it's totally successful. Musically this is so angry, grim and intimate that I can't help but enjoy this. I imagine that the artist responsible, Kevin Tomkins, is a creepy dude based on both the music and the deranged sexual writings that deal with murder and molestation. I have mentioned in the past that the noise/industrial/drone correlation with sexual imagery, especially when referencing child molestation and rape, kind of bores me. I kinda feel like Taint in the mid 1990's pretty much did it best. This on the other hand is so well done that I can't write this off as anything other than totally realized and brilliant work. The loops, drones, spoken vocals, noise, chimes, grindings and scrapings create such an intimate, anxiety inducing record that you would be doing yourself a great disservice not being damaged by this. 
     As far as the artwork is concerned it's a bit off for me. It has the right feel but I am not very attracted to the artwork. It's messy naive paintings of bunnies and chaos. The type is not bad. Whoever designed it understands ligatures and leading quite well. That's refreshing. I would hesitate to use italics in the way they have chosen to and the text looks a little stretched in some spots but in general it is pretty well done.
Would I buy this? yeah, if i could hear it first.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Leather Sky "Neglected Prayer Rug Abomination" cs

Leather Sky
Neglected Prayer Rug Abomination
Sleeping Giant Glossolalia

After seeing this band live and hearing their tracks on bandcamp I became a fan. The singer, Mike, was also in an excellent experimental/noise group called Epileptinomicon that really understood how to bring utter grim depression into your world but with Leather Sky it's a totally different thing. Super filthy hardcore. Heroin meets Black Flag maybe. The music destroys you and I love that. I do have to say that the quality of the audio on this tape is not the best though. It is too quiet, it has little of the power that the bandcamp songs did. I can't tell if it's even the same recording or if this is totally different. It's not bad but I think a touch of mastering here would have done them some good.
     The artwork is fucking killer. Again, it's filthy and dark. There is this underlying sexiness to Leather Sky's sound and presentation. It's punk and dark and a little scary. I like it. The hand lettered text and photocopied pictures are totally cohesive. This is DIY cassette production done right. Well done Sleeping Giant Glossolalia.
     Would I buy this? Especially after I saw them live… Yes.  

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Mumber Toes "Always Already" cs

The Mumber Toes
Always Already
Brave Mysteries

The Mumber Toes sound a lot like something I would expect to hear on Hanson Tapes. In that I mean it's dirty, lo-fi, spaced out, twisted synth driven noise. Because of that I pretty much love it. It sounds a lot like getting a sci-fi VHS stuck in your VCR and having to listen to the tape as it slowly eviscerates itself in the aging deck. It's awesome. 
     Visually it seems a little throw away but I still dig it. The cover is basically scribbles but those scribbles transfer over to the pro printed cassettes themselves and add some weight to the illustration and the inside pretty much looks how this sounds. Brave Mysteries is a pretty good judge of things and I think you will not be too upset with any purchase from this prolific label. I haven't yet.
     Would I buy it? Yes. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

T.O.M.B. "Uag" cd

Crucial Blast Records

This is fucking grim. Drone, noise, industrial, blackened ambient, experimental, doom… any of these genres can be applied at various times but what you really are getting is one of the darkest and most evil sounding records since whatever Blue Sabbath Black Cheer put out last. It really is all over in it's sounds but also totally focused and unified. If you take some DMT and listen to this on headphones at night you will die and probably look like that corpse from the Ring. It's fucking terrifying blackened ambient noise. I think the most unsettling thing is for the track Tribe of the Corpse where T.O.M.B. actually uses a contact mic on an actual corpse. So there you have it. You will never be clean again after hearing this.            
     The artwork is pretty nice but it's also a little heavy on the photoshop layers. That looked kinda rad in the early 90's when Dave McKean discovered how to adjust the opacity of layers but nowadays it just looks a little dated. The cover and back cover are nicely done though and all in all it's pretty cool. Note: I can't seem to find the cd nor the photo I took of it so I used an image from the internet. Apologies. 
     Would I buy this? Yeah. 

Facial Mess/Sleep Sessions "Excessive Force" cd

Facial Mess/Sleep Sessions
Excessive Force
Somnolent Shelter

So this is a split between two noise artists from somewhere far away. First of all let me say that this sounds very professional. These two artists clearly understand how to record and make things sound killer. I usually like things that sound gritty and awful but I do appreciate the artistry and skill that goes into meticulous recordings like this. Especially when it's noise they are working with. In general the noise on this sounds pretty good. Both artists sound very similar so I think any comments can apply to both. In both cases I think you get a spastic switching between samples on an Akai MPC2000 or something similar. It has a vague electronic/dubstep/dance kinda of vibe. You know how some people came to noise from punk, others from metal or black metal and some from the rave culture? This seems closer to the latter in it's delivery. Although noise can really be a mirror pond. You can see what you want out of it. Throughout some of Facial Mess' tracks you hear some samples of hip hop tracks and I think kind of colored everything for me from there on out. 
     Visually it looks like a hardcore record from 1995. Exactly like one. Maybe like Acme's cd or maybe the first Drowningman cd…  Not sure but with pictures of riot police and cut up and distressed text I am feeling pretty nostalgic for some early Hydrahead Records releases. It's a basic jewel case with a pro printed cd. It's again, like the production, very clean and professional. If any of that sounds interesting to you I would look this up.
     Would I buy this though? No. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blanche Blanche Blanche "Open Session Rock " cs

Blanche Blanche Blanche
Open Session Rock
OSR tapes

This is pretty different for me. Strange lo-fi bedroom pop and rock similar to maybe early Ariel Pink. I actually like Ariel Pink quite a bit, or at least did. For Kate I Wait is such a gorgeous song. BBB sounds similar to me but it's quite different as well. No drums to really speak of. Some real incredible bass playing along with guitars, keyboards and lots of nonstop singing. It's good stuff but I am not totally jelling with it for some reason. The tape is pretty long and that can turn me off a little. Also the songs sound nice but they never really have a hook. They sort of just start and stop without anything really being said. It's hard to describe but I think they need to write fewer songs better. 
     The artwork on the cover and inside is pretty cool if not a little slapdash. There is some interesting hand done type but I think they could have done it all a little better. all in all i think the whole release lacks a little effort. It needs some of the pop sensibilities that it's predecessors knew so well.
     Would I buy this? No. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

54r/Pornography split cs

split cs
Tapes of a Neon God

Holy shit. I fucking love this label. Fast fucking grindcore starts off the tape with 54r and then slow dirty doom ends it with Pornography. This is fucking amazing and brutal. Just fucking perfect. There is even a few fuck ups here and there that make it all that much better and remind you that you are not listening to the new Cattle Decapitation. I don't know what else to type except a bunch of curse words. 
     It looks great. A simple J card with a hilariously unreadable lyric sheet of black on black. The beauty of the J card is that besides being well designed is that it's reversible. Tired of too many black j cards? now you got a white one. killer. 
     Would I buy this? Twice

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Distant Trains "Teen Lust" cs

Distant Trains
Teen Lust
Worker Bee Records

Very, very lo-fi down tempo rock songs. Reminds me right off the bat of Elevator to Hell if they recorded in 1971. It's often soft and sad with vocals that sound like they are being sung from beneath a huge pile of blankets. There is a slight Dinosaur Jr. influence in there somewhere as well. The recording is crazy sounding and is almost too hard to explain. They use samples throughout their songs here and there and it's not bad. I think samples tend to work better in rock songs than they do in noise. I thought at first I would not like this but I am pleasantly surprised. This is nice work although not the type of thing I really listen to very often. Ten songs on this album. Limited to 50 copies.
     The look of this is super DIY. Handwritten text on the j card and the cassette itself. The tape is maybe just a little too DIY for me though. The logo on the front of the cassette is not doing it for me and I think they could have executed it a little better. I think this needs some more work.
     Would I buy this? Probably not. 

John Wheatly "Dimentia Europe" cs

John Wheatly
Dimentia Europe
Friends and Relatives Records

Very interesting. This is a long cassette, a c90, but in this case it is much to short. John Wheatly has basically traveled all around europe and made tons of field recordings and then seamlessly layered them together in one giant audio journal. It's fascinating and totally made to be listened to in a car on a long trip. It's very well put together and full of discovery. 
     It's looks say nothing about the audio journey though. It's so understated in it's layout that it feels like they are trying to hide how cool this could be. They don't have to do a lot but I feel like the design could compliment this somehow. they could use type that says travel, they could design it in a collage, maybe even both… I don't know. the layout is fine but it could be for anything. oh well.
    Would I buy this? Yes, it's worth it. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

En Nihil "Crimes" cs

En Nihil
Phage Tapes

The audio on this most recent En Nihil cassette is a total HNW. Very much in the vein of Taskmaster or Dried Up Corpse with it's dull brutality. It's not a sharp, pointed noise. It's more of a deep in the stomach grinding that every so often is pierced by little spears of feedback drenched synths. It's thick and you almost feel wet after hearing this. 
    As far as the packaging goes on this I am pretty pleased. Phage Tapes has certainly gone in a new direction with the hand screened covers. I love the feel of screen printed anything and this cassette is really nicely done. In fact it's double sided with another spot color on the inside which was very impressive. The only real issue with my copy is that the text didn't print so well and I can see where someone went back and touched up the white text with a white gel pen. I know how hard it can be to get small text to print but after watching Andrew Crawshaw print Khanate dvd covers with 10pt type successfully by hand, I am a little less forgiving. Still I am very impressed with this packaging. Simple yet you can literally feel the work put into this.
     Would I buy this? Yes

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Comforter "Voice of the Voiceless" cdr

Voice of the Voiceless

Right off the bat nostalgia hits me right in the face. This immediately brought me back to seeing Massonna for the first time and not knowing what to expect. This Comforter cd was recorded back in 1999 and has a lot of that Japanese harsh vocal driven sound. It's pretty fucking awesome to be honest. Although it is a bit long for my listening I still and in awe of it's intensity. Forty five minutes of ripping tearing fuck you's from Comforter. Pretty fucking killer.
As far as the artwork goes there is not much to say. Simple jewel case packaged cdr but it looks pretty nice. One color on kraft paper with nice clean typography. Very simple but also very tasteful. 

Would I buy this? Yeah, especially in 1999. This would have destroyed my roommates. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Andy Ortmann & Luca Sigurtá split cs

Andy Ortmann/Luca Sigurtá

Andy Ortmann from Panisville starts this cassette from Tulip Records. Glitchy, spaced out synth sounds make for a very interesting and disparate couple tracks. They both have their own interesting sounds one sounds like manipulated chimes with jabs of static and the next almost sounds like twisted phone dial tones…  It's pretty killer. Reminds me of something you may hear on Hanson Records. It's good.  Italy's Luca Sigurtá starts with a big wave of bit smashed distortion and hanging drones. There is a stopping and starting sound that never allows you to fully grasp onto the tones. It's nice but definitely makes you feel very anxious. The second track goes a bit more melodic with the drones but it's still cut up and fucked with by static and stutters.
     The packaging is apparently been done by this label before but it looks and feel spretty cool. It a thick felt bag that is very nicely made. A elastic strap holds the whole thing closed. Inside there is a entirely blank cassette but at least it's an interesting color. The little insert could probably be handled a little better but at least it has nice drawings and they credit the artist, Sara Cattin. Limited to 50 copies. 
     Would I buy this? Yes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Haemorrhaging Fetus "A Dying Expression (Extended)" cs

Haemorrhaging Fetus
A Dying Expression (Extended)
Worthless Recordings

This is long. It's a c47 and I know that is not unheard of, god knows I have released longer tapes, but that is a serious length of tape to get through. Thank goodness it's totally brutal synth driven HNW for basically the entire length. I think. I may have zoned out while listening a few times. Like I said. It's long… Although there is one issue for me. A sample. A big horror movie sample right smack dab in the middle of the first side. It reminds me that it's supposed to be "creepy" and that people that do HNW are "unhinged" and you should watch out for them when they are in line at your coffee shop or whatever… Not a huge deal but it bugs me. The majority of this release is really excellent though. It says that it is "extended" which makes me think this may either be a reissue or possibly the artist knew this was a burly chunk of sound to digest. I do enjoy that it doesn't seem like he took some noise loops in his mac and dragged them out until he hit the 47 minute mark in garageband though. 
     The layout is fine but not very attractive. The type on the spine is some poorly distressed version of Garamond I think and then there is a poorly distressed version of Helvetica on the cover and although those type faces generally look pretty good together they have nothing to do with each other on this. The art is fine. High contrast sex pictures that make me think that Harsh Noise is supposed to be sexy and scary I guess. The Rita does that the best. Although, without the samples, Harsh Noise Wall is excellent music to fuck to. Trust me on that one. Gross...
     Would I buy this? No, probably not. 

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Prowler cs

The Prowler
Worthless Recordings

So I thought this was going to be another movie on cassette, as Worthless Recordings has been doing since their River's Edge cassette, but this is total HNW destruction. I fucking love this stuff. This sounds like putting your head in a waterfall. It's massive sounding. You almost imagine that the tape in your cassette is bouncing a bit from the fuckery that is occurring on this release. Fuck. 
     Visually its nice. Not much to it. It says the name on the spine, which shares it's name with a slasher movie about a ghost of a WWII vet that kills teenagers with a pitchfork because people were dicks once… I don't know. The cover is the painting from that movie and the back has the tagline. No other info. If I was judging this on how well it communicates with it's listener I would have to give it low marks but I I was judging this on how many fucks it gives I would have to say that zero fucks are given and fuck you for asking. I guess that means I am saying "fuck you" to me though…  Yeah this is probably working exactly how it was intended. 
     Would I buy this? Yup.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Yoshihiro Kikuchi "One Intensely Eats Up Another Economic Principle " cs

Yoshihiro Kikuchi
One Intensely Eats Up Another Economic Principle
Fragment Factory

This is maybe the smartest thing I have reviewed in awhile. Maybe it's a little pretentious but I am very impressed. All of the sounds on this cassette were made from found audio files that I guess were corrupted and then re-corrupted by the artist using a complex process of transferring files that I barely understand. Luckily he explains the process but even with that it is hard to wrap my mind around. There are a couple small typos in this explanation but I get the gist of it. The sound is minimal digital squelching, feedback and distortion. Other times it gets more manic but still with this interesting digital twisted sound. It's really good. 
     The design is top notch. Perfectly tracked out typography with a nice san serif typeface for the cover and the info. The note inside is done with a more traditional typeface which gives it a more human feel. I probably would have gone for Garamond or something that you could use to be highly readable but fit a lot more characters on a line and maybe increased the leading slightly. That is all knit picking though. This looks great. I should also mention that the text is printed on a clear transparency sheet and the artwork is printed full color on separate card stock. It's a very nice touch. Signed and numbered edition of 66 copies. Not enough. 
     Would I buy this? Yes. 

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Andrew Felix "Intermediate State (enter)" cs

Andrew Felix
Intermediate State (enter)
I Had an Accident Records

My only issue with this cassette is that it is a second part of a series and I don't own the first. I guess that is not an issue with the cassette but with my obsessive weirdness. I wouldn't really care if it were for the fact that this fucking rules. Huge cinematic drones and subtle electronic pulses paint a huge picture on a c21. This has a very definite eastern vibe in its progressions and notes. I really love this. 
     The layout is pretty simple in that is just a one sided black and white j card in a case but with the type they have chosen and the artwork itself, I am impressed. The only tiny issue I may have is that on the spine they changed to type face of the title of the record to a typeface that doesn't seem to repeat anywhere else on the packaging and kinda fuck up the hierarchy. But like I said, tiny issue. This whole thing is solid. I hope some label knows enough to put this and the previous cassette, which I assume is also great, on vinyl once these 50 copies are gone. 
     Would I buy this? Yes.

Friday, May 4, 2012

DS Matter "Harmonia" cdr

DS Matter

This is great. As far as the sound goes at least. Super quiet and subtle. Sometimes you get a bit of noise here and there but most of it sounds like you are standing in the wastes, recording Howl's Moving Castle from a mile away. Or maybe the small town Sophie lived in from way up on a windy hill. It's sad, quiet and surreal. I really enjoy this stuff. 
     The disc is in one of those damn dvd slimline cases with the upside down text on the spine…  The artwork is minimal and fine but I think all of these Abgurd cds I have been reviewing deserve better. It's fine but it just needs more… 
     Would I buy this? Yeah, with audio that good it totally makes up for the packaging that is driving me crazy...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Тетрагор "Сделано В Безумии" cdr

Сделано В Безумии (Made In Madness)

This sounds like a collection of old horror movie soundtracks. In the way that this reminds me of every creepy horror movie score I have ever seen kinda rolled together in a not as scary but way more dense soundtrack of the films. It's totally fascinating and actually has a pretty heavy NON vibe as well or maybe just the recent Robert Turman stuff. It's real good actually. I think you would do well to try to find this.
     The packaging that I received was clearly "for review". I can tell from the size of the paper stuffed into the white envelope with the tell tale upside down spine text that this was going to be one of those slimline dvd case things that I have decided I hate now. What I got in the mail is for review from places that don't care about the physical appearance of the release and just care about the quality of the audio. yawn. I care about it all so for this one…
     …when I ask myself, "would I buy this?" My answer this time would be no. Even with such killer music. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Red House "Aggressory" cdr

Red House

So yes, Aggressory is not a word but fuck it, it sounds rad so lets do it. Red House is industrial-esque noise with lots of vocal manipulation. Loops, noise, piercing feedback and waves of delay make up the majority of this piece. It is apparently all improvisation and unfortunately suffers from a little self indulgence here and there. The noises and sounds are pretty awesome but it feels like it just goes on too long for me. Like with just a bit of editing this could have been really tight. As I listen through some of these tracks again though I have to say, when it's on it is really interesting. I am pretty torn. I guess I would say that too much of a good thing is not a good thing in this case. 
     The packaging on this is in that slimline, black dvd shell again. Like the kind you get bootlegged movies on Canal Street in NYC. The words on the spine are upside down again… that is a little irksome but aside from that I kinda dig the art. It's simple but the typography is actually not too bad on this. It almost looks handmade and I think that is what won me over. It's obviously not and it's not the best font for trying to read the song titles but sometimes you gotta say fuck legibility and go with what is working. So I guess I am a little torn on the packaging as well. I hate the case but I mostly like what is in it.
     Would I buy this? I guess not.