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Electro-Haram – “Taharrush Gamea” – [Post-Materialization Music]

electro-haram

From Russia’s experimental Post-Materialization Music label comes this bizarre cassette of extremely lo-fi “ethnodub”. The album name “Taharrush Gamea” is Arabic for “group harassment”, and usually refers to mass sexual assault. Very little information about this album or the artist exist. Only 31 of these cassettes were produced, and the artist’s other albums have been released on recycled soviet-era reel-to-reel tape, and 3.5″ floppy disk.

The cassette is seemingly designed to make you wonder if your stereo is busted. It’s an hour of international pop music, played at the wrong speed through unreliable equipment, mixed with crunchy record scratches, cut-up tape loop squiggles, and spooky spoken-word. Broken electronics buzz and hum throughout, and the whole thing sounds like it was recorded underwater. Samples (actually entire songs) are appropriated from a variety of sources: Bollywood dance tunes, Eastern Orthodox chants, Thai power-pop, and (as the artist’s name implies) middle Eastern folk. The result is disorienting (to say the least), like a bad acid trip through the depths of the international library.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on February 25, 2017 at 11:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Nurse With Wound – “Surveillance Lounge, The” – [United Dirter]

    nww

    This 2009 release featuring David Tibet was originally composed as the soundtrack to F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent film Der Brennende Acker (“The Burning Soil”). Listening to the four long tracks is like being bound and blindfolded, thrust into the center of a mysterious occult ritual, anxiously awaiting your inevitable sacrifice.

    A begins with ominous druid drones. Melancholy pianos tinkle and horns bellow. Inner-ear whispers, possessed growlings, and manic incantations from haunted souls. Swirling ceremonial typewriters crunch under stomping feet.

    B continues with sacred scrolls crinkling, tearing, tossed piece-by-piece into the flames. Rhythmic percussion shakes, ecstatic shouts speaking in tongues — the spirit of Noddy? Tapes speed up and swirl down, distorting and disorienting. Echoing scrapes and squeaks, far-off ringing of bells.

    C picks up where B left off, with shamanistic synths and droning gongs. An explosion of voices and tape malfunctions. Motherly murmurs comfort you, guiding you through the strange unknown.

    D holds the rabid climax of the satanic ritual. Whispered incantations, choral moans, ringing chimes. Angered shouts accompanied by violin warbles, building to a dramatic crescendo of shrill piercing blasts. Chaotic interludes of department-store muzak, simultaneously mundane and sinister. The chaos breaks, giving way to a few short minutes of completely innocuous smooth jazz — the true sounds of the underworld? The piece ends with broken radio transmissions in foreign tongues, slowly fading to quiet deathly ambience.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on February 21, 2017 at 8:56 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Raymond Scott: Biography 1 [coll] – [Aural Films]

    rs

    Raymond Scott was an American composer, band-leader, and inventor of electronic instruments. Although he never composed directly for cartoons, his music is most famous for accompanying countless Looney Tunes shorts, as well as more modern cartoons like Ren & Stimpy, The Simpsons, and Animaniacs.

    Scott experimented with electronic sounds throughout the 30s and 40s, establishing Manhattan Research Inc. in 1946 to design and manufacture electronic instruments, such as the “Keyboard theremin,” “Chromatic electronic drum generators,” and “Circle generators.” He also invented the first device capable of playing a sequence of tones.

    This CD is the first of a two-volume compilation tribute to Scott’s electronic work. 28 bands offer up songs channeling (in one way or another) Scott’s music. The tracks range from blippity-bloopity recreations, to poppy songs built on samples of Scott’s music, to entirely new pieces inspired by Scott’s imagination and experimentation. All songs are short, clocking in at 2 minutes or less, and provide a wide variety of interesting sounds.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on February 5, 2017 at 5:06 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Haino, Keiji/ O’Rourke, Jim /Ambarchi, Oren – “I Wonder If You Noticed “I’m Sorry” Is Such a Lovely Sound” – [Black Truffle]

    hoa

    Recorded live in Tokyo during March 2014, this double-LP swings wildly and repeatedly from free-form explorations of rhythm and structure, to face-melting psych-rock jams. Accompanied by Ambarchi’s explosive drumming and O’Rourke’s thunderous bass, Keiji Haino shouts and screams emotional, poetic lyrics in both Japanese and English. Haino also brings a few interesting instruments with him, including a contrabass harmonica, and a traditional Turkish string instrument called a bulgari.

    A starts with Ambarchi’s sparse and airy percussion. Slowly the bass rolls in, followed by Haino’s voice, powerful and guttural. The rhythmic strumming on the bulgari is trance-inducing. The musicians wander and explore until they spontaneously coalesce in an intense free-folk freakout, which disovles away and the cycle repeats.

    B is dark and ominous. Haino passionately shouts and groans. Soon all is overtaken in a screeching wash of guitar fury. A series of psych-rock jams emerge from the chaos only to disintegrate under their own cosmic weight.?? Eventually this gives way to the strangely soothing humms and snores of an enormous contrabass harmonica.

    C has a persistent yet evolving body-shaking drum groove, coupled with thumping bass lines, and pierced with scorching guitar tones. Probably the heaviest psych-rock of all the tracks, although it ventures in a weird acid-tinged direction about 2/3 of the way in before blasting everything down.

    D begins with soaring guitar lines, then settles into a deep plodding relentless groove while Haino delivers some of his most forceful vocals yet. The final third of the side sees the return of the bulgari, while Haino mournfully wails.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on February 5, 2017 at 3:26 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Zoulek, Nick – “Rushing Past Willow” – [Innova Recordings]

    zoulek-ss

    Nick Zoulek is an American Saxophonist and composer, pushing his instrument in new directions through his unique vocal techniques, circular breathing, and “unconventional articulation.” He uses multiple microphones to pick up different aspects and textures of the sax sound.

    The first thing you notice when listening to this album is Zoulek’s incredible circular breathing abilities. Beautiful melodic lines continually flow and evolve, becoming ever louder and more powerful. Relentless streams of arpeggios rush at you, unwavering.

    Then come the otherworldly moans and screams, as Zoulek vocalizes and blows simultaneously, resulting in some room-shaking harmonic vibrations. Thick, honky sounds bellow like from the depths of hell. The songs take on such a richness and textural complexity that they sound electronically processed. On top of all this, Zoulek smacks the keys like drums, yielding a hollow percussive sound, almost like a bass.

    The album is an exploration of harmonics and resonance, and what can be achieved with a simple instrument played in a new light.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on January 23, 2017 at 8:52 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Stella, Rodger – “Final Programme, The” – [I Dischi Del Barone]

    stella

    Bathe in the warm sonic shower of Rodger Stella, American noise artist and founding member of Macronympha.

    Waves of static punches and shattering explosions all crashing on an electronic shore. A full spectrum experience.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on November 20, 2016 at 6:28 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Meirino, Francisco – “Surrender, Render, End” – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

    fmereino-surrender-lg

    Francisco Meirino is a Swiss noise-concrete sound artist exploring “electro-acoustic dialectics.” His latest work, “surrender, render, end”, fuses many layers of subtle found-sound recordings and minimal ambient electronics into a deep sonic bath.

    Slowly rotting appliances rumble and rattle in hollow warehouses. Fields of electronic insects flutter. Far-off beeps and close-up squeaks.

    As the title implies, most of the sounds here are cold, uncomfortable, and a bit harsh, but they sometimes give way to warmer, more inviting moments.?? Memories of long train rides, or the static fuzz of an old television set.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on November 12, 2016 at 6:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Luciernaga – “Sleeping / Wandering” – [Fabrica Records]

    luciernaga

    Luciernaga is a project of Joao Da Silva, a member of the hardcore-punk scene in Santiago during the 90s who now lives in Brooklyn.

    This 7″ contains two beautiful guitar-driven ambient drone pieces on clear vinyl. Both tracks are extended versions of songs originally released on cassette. Only 100 of these were pressed, each featuring one of four different photographs on the front.

    “Sleeping Green-Eyed Girl” is a study in resonance and (subtle) dissonance. Shimmering feedback like a glass bell, with harmonics coalescing and then slowly melting away.

    The B side, “Wandering June”, layers bowed strings, faint whistles, and low guitar rumblings. Very pensive and meditative.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on October 9, 2016 at 2:56 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Unwelcome Or Ignored: Noisefest 2001 [coll] – [Super Art Media]

    noisefest2001

    You know what you’re getting in to here. 17 tracks featuring experimental artists. From the noisiest of noise (Xome) to the droneyest of drones (Klowd), and everything in between.

    1. Chachi Jones: Gurgling grinding gears and crunchy 8-bit vocal samples.
    2. Filthmilk: Mellow backwards synth give erode under waves of static distortion.
    3. Delayed Sleep: Guitars loop and reverberate while time folds in on itself.
    4. Control R Workshop: Arrhythmic feedback-infested noise-skronk.
    5. Critical Theater: Heavy, plodding bass and drums, psychedelic guitar, and ethereal whispers.
    6. C/A/T: Pure static blast morph into pounding dance beats.
    7. KrisTal Marimba Lounge: Echoey industrial bass and beats.
    8. Products of Conception: Smorgasbord of synths.
    9. Stimbox: Lasers engage for spaceship blast-off.
    10: Pedestrian Deposit: Contact mic music concrete.
    11. K. Atchley: Crushed under a rolling, rumbling wave.
    12. Instagon: Squelchy improv noise-rock.
    13. Uberkunst: Rattling drums and whirling oscillators.
    14. Xome: “You don’t wanna look in there.” Harsh.
    15. Klowd: One solid low-frequency resonating drone.
    16: Human Bone Bicycle Sciences Industries: Exactly what it sounds like.
    17: Conure: Rhythmic K-hole dub. (Louie’s pick)

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on October 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Muchmore, Pat – “BABEL fragments” – [Innova/American Composers]

    muchmore

    Pat Muchmore is an American composer, cellist, and founder of punk-chamber group Anti-Social Music. He holds a Ph.D. from the City University of New York, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “Humanity and Mechanicity in the music of Nine Inch Nails”.

    BABEL: fragments contains many short, abstract, chaotic pieces inspired by broken worlds and the impossibility of communication and true human connection. Meticulously detailed movements give fleeting impressions of cohesiveness, but shatter and disintegrate before your ears, as the radio dial turns and new and obscure sounds come into focus.

    The album consists of four works (with impossibly difficult names), each divided into many tracks (with even more impossible names):

    Tracks 1-11: f(f(4))[Kr]5s^(1)18d^(1):}{Fr.I.a-k

    Eleven “short stories” for string quartet. Explorations of dissonance. Staccato screeches. Longing poetic drones. Hitchcock-esque stabs and shards. Sophisticated skronk.

    Tracks 12-16: BABEL(maya)f(f(1))

    The real name of this work includes Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphics, and Muchmore has a 25 minute YouTube video explaining the significance of the title alone. In this piece, dark electronics and soprano vocals combine with the strings, giving a more somber and threatening tone.

    Tracks 17-27: Fr.II.a-k

    Similar to the first piece, but for solo Scordatura (miss-tuned) cello. More bizarre, dissonant chords. Introspective and longing.

    Tracks 28-32: SESHACH(maya)f(f(3))

    Again impossible Mayan and Egyptian hieroglyphics (this time with a 30-minute video explanation). A 5-movement piece with Ken Thomson on sax and clarinet and Muchmore on electronics. A bit noisier and punkier than the rest. Partially written in Babylonian Cuneiform notation, inspired by the Cantor Set (a fractal set that is uncountable yet has measure 0), and the nonlinear dynamics of predator/prey populations.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on September 5, 2016 at 3:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Appel, Karel – “Musique Barbare Van” – [Sub Rosa]

    appel

    Karel Appel was a Dutch painter, sculptor, and poet. He was one of the founders of the avant-garde movement Cobra in 1948. This album was recorded in 1963 as the soundtrack to a documentary about Appel that was never released.

    There’s lots of different different sounds going on here, and the three pieces on this album are very distinct. They reflect the different approaches to artwork that Appel took throughout his life: assemblages of used materials, forceful impressionistic art brut, and overall a rejection of rationalism and geometry.

    “Paysage Electronique” (tr 1) is a collage of sounds recorded onto tape, arranged and manipulated by hand. A room full of percussion: metal sheets rumble, timpanis boom, and bells tinkle. Roaring organs and smashing pianos. Very frenzied, playful, and humorous, the piece sounds almost cartoonish at times.

    “Poeme Barbare” (tr 2) is drums and spoken word, looped into a furious crescendo.

    Finally, “Le Cavalier Blanc” (tr 3) is a pensive and unsettling piece with thunderous drums and discordant organ, punctuated by grunts and screams.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on September 5, 2016 at 10:45 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Placenta Popeye/Slicing Grandpa [coll] – [Tanzprocesz]

    pp-sg

    Slicing Grandpa: Noisey power electronics, low-frequency rumbles, and screeching guitars. Monotonous croaky indecipherable vocals that sound like they were delivered over a department store PA system.

    Placenta Popeye: Noise rock trio from Marseilles France. Underwater sonic vibrations and piercing guitar feedback, punctuated by demented screams and moans.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on August 14, 2016 at 1:34 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Cock E.S.P. – “Pride of North American Noise, The” – [Breathmint Records]

    cockesp

    Complete fucking destruction, as usual. Screaming, squealing, static stabs. Pure sonic sadism.

    “Pride of North American Noise” captures the band’s sound in 2000-2001, just after Elyse Perez (of Laundry Room Squelchers) joined the testosterone-heavy duo of Emil Hagstrom and Matt Bacon. Many of the tracks were recorded live in Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and South Florida, and feature a variety of guests, including Weasel Walter on Clarinet and Rat Bastard on Violin.

    The album clocks in at only 20 minutes, and most tracks are under a minute. The longest is track 17, a bizarre 5-minute club mix by V/VM featuring cheesy 80s synths and sax lines accompanied by cheering crowds and a cacophonous collage of Cock ESP live sets.

    FCCs: 3, 16.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on August 14, 2016 at 1:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Aethyr – “Messio” – [R.A.I.G.]

    aethyr

    Ritualistic Russian doom metal. So heavy and sludgey you can almost swim in it. Infinite bass fuzz beneath squealing guitar feedback. Pounding barely-rhythmic dirgey industrial beats and choral moans. Lots of low vibrations and sub-sub-sub-harmonics to shake the cobwebs from your crucifix. Samples of Aleister Crowley add to the mass-like feel, although the album is more sonic than satanic.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on August 8, 2016 at 6:10 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Krube – “Krube” – [I Dischi Del Barone]

    krube

    Krube is Alexander Schneider, a sound artist working out of Berlin since the late 90s.

    Two quick tracks of music concrete. Everyday sounds juxtaposed in new and disturbing ways. Crackling flames, rending metal, billowing wind, and percolating water. Unidentifiable yet strangely familiar machines.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on July 31, 2016 at 11:37 am
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • Corum – “Black Or White Orpheus 2: Place of The Hidden Sun” – [Lost Discoveries]

    bwo

    Corum is Grant Corum, a graphic designer, sound artist, and member of Million Brazilians and many other bands. On this cassette, he is inspired by Indian shrines and rituals, transcending time and reality, awakening higher levels of consciousness.

    Looped breathy beats and shimmery atmospheric synths, very flowing and rhythmic. Lo-fi trance-like vocals. Lots of layers that combine, meld, and disorient. Reminded me of a mellower, more spiritual Black Dice.

    Extensive liner notes liken singer and trickster Michael Jackson to a modern day Orpheus, a divine creature full of magic and a symbol of metamorphosis.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on July 31, 2016 at 10:39 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Erl – “Erl” – [Erl Records]

    erl

    ERL is a record label run by Dave Belem and Jack Wingate out of Albany NY. ERL is also a band on that label, and that band’s first full-length release is titled “ERL”. It sounds to me like a guitar trio, but I can’t find any information about the personnel, other than a cryptic note from “Squealer” included with the vinyl.

    Limited to only 100 copies and packaged in a spray-painted recycled record sleeve, the album contains two untitled sidelong tracks of Dead-C-esque free-improv guitar rock. Jagged riffs drenched in feedback and reverb, heavy droning chords and frenetic noodling. A definite crowd-pleaser!

    FCC ALERT: Side B starts with a very short track of looped vocals containing repeated “ASSHOLE”. Drop the needle after that and you’ll be fine.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on July 9, 2016 at 10:31 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Infinite Plastic Internal – “Radioactive Cloud Alert/ Spectrum Studies 1″ – [Self Produced]

    ipi

    Released in 2014, this is the debut 7″ from Infinite Plastic Internal, a project of Mark Pino of San Diego. This release incorporates drums, ring modulator, synth pedals, and a unique home-made instrument Pino calls the “Pan Feedback Flute”.

    Radioactive Cloud Alert is a free-yet-groovy thumping drum solo over faint warbling synths.

    Spectrum Studies 1 is noisy and droney. Heavy machinery sounds: grinding gears, hydraulic forklifts, humming conveyor belts. Bowed metal and screwy scribbly electronics.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on July 9, 2016 at 9:51 am
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • V/A SENTIENT SOLDER II [coll] – [Ratskin Records]

    ratskin

    19 tracks and 19 bands from our friends at Ratskin Records. Heavy distortion, industrial static, and throbbing rhythms are common themes, but there’s still an incredible amount of sonic variety here. Something for everybody!

    Highlights:
    1 Moor Mother Goddess: Thumping, distorted, and soulful goodness.
    2 Future Blondes: Pounding beats and synth noise.
    3 Las Sucias: Industrial Reggaeton!!!!
    4 Beast Nest: Ambient and squiggly.
    5 Thoabath: Static and lo-fi Puerto Rican trashcan rhythms and raps!!!
    6 Black Dog: Black metal punk.
    7 Coral Remains: Slow industrial beats with punches of pulses and waves of fuzz.
    8 Big Debbie: Heavy beat, ringing guitar, and haunting suicide-esque vocals. Almost dancy.
    9 Fleshlight: Fast glitchy drum machine bongos. Distortion slowly cranks up and beats meld into something larger. Definitely dancy!
    10 Jeweled Snakes: Synthy sci-fi dark post-new-wave.
    11 Maya Songbird: Fuck music.
    12 Bonus Beast: Rumbly beats and gurgly rhythms.
    13 Tralphaz: Harsh blasts of static and a broken walkie-talkie from hell.
    14 Black Spirituals: Droney and pretty guitar harmonics. First minute is very quiet.
    15 Malocculsion: Abrasive nastyness. Buzzing alarms, sparking electrodes, and deep growls.
    16 Zanna Nera: Retro 80s synth-pop with an industrial satanic bent.
    17 Styrofoam Sanchez: Electronic thunderstorm on a sea of sludge.
    18 Slanted Square: Echoing melodic synths juxtaposed with screechy looped samples.
    19 Loachfillet: Like a lost castle level from Super Mario Bros, but with way more than 8 bits.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 28, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Godspunk Volume Sixteen [coll] – [Pumf Records]

    Compilation of nine British bands, each of them sharing in the cost of CD production and distribution. The result is a variety of interesting sounds, ranging from straight-ahead punk to far-out psychedelic electronics.

    Howl in the Typewriter: Playful experimental wanker-pop. Each track sounds different. Mellow psych/punk to drippy-droney and orchestral pieces. Final track samples Hanson.

    UNIT: Melodic Brit-pop with a modern electronic feel. Slightly creepy.

    Spam Javelin: Hardcore punk rock with aggressive guitar riffs and pounding bass.

    Nil by Nose: Underwater bloops and dubby beats.

    The Large Veiny Members: Retro synth-heavy electronic experimentation.

    Catholic Overspill Blame dJohn: Bizarre mix of synth, acoustic guitar, and maracas.

    seven eyes: Strange droney blips+buzzes played forwards and backwards.

    Higgens++: Britpunk.

    Tirikilatops: Crunchy beats and melodic bloops. Gah-gah-Goo-goo vocals mixed with Japanese exercise soundtrack? Great!

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 26, 2016 at 5:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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