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Appel, Karel – “Musique Barbare Van” – [Sub Rosa]


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]


    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]


    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.]


    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 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]


    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 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]


    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]


    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!

    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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  • Dalek – “Asphalt For Eden” – [Deadverse]


    After a 5-year hiatus, Dalek is back with another album of dark industrial hip-hop. Big walls of warm sound encompass angry quasi-political vocals. Heavy old-school beats and looped samples are soaked in fuzzy guitar feedback and soaring synths. Elements of drone, noise, ambient and shoegaze. Lyrics deal with themes of war, consumerism, and mass media. Check out the Chomsky sample on track 6.

    Track 5 is instrumental. Track 1 is clean.

    FCCs on 2, 3, 4, 6, 7.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm
  • Filed as CD,Hip Hop
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  • Lotions and Creams [coll] – [Ghoul House Records]


    2014 West Coast Tour compilation cassette from these three heavy indie post-whatever bands.

    Trumans Water: Odd-ball “squiggle-core” with a fast and fervent pace. Dissonant yet intricate guitar work. Definitely noise rock, but more rock than noise. Covers of MC5 (track 4) and Kinks (track 16) are simple and straight-forward, but still maintain a unique sound.

    Octagrape: The most melodic of the bunch. Sing-songy hazy-dazy distortion-soaked rock with a SoCal beach feel. “Medicinal Glop” breaks the mold with a long psychedelic pop-punk meltdown.

    Permanent Makeup: Florida post punk. Paranoid ranting lyrics. Aggressive and angular guitar riffs coupled with rumbling bass lines. Occasional improvisational breakdown.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 18, 2016 at 9:31 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Graham Repulski – “Octopus Bribes” – [All Tens Music]


    2-song cassette single from Philadelphia funster Graham Repulski.

    Low-fi poppy beach rock for a sunny day. Melodic riffs, heavy on the fuzz.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 18, 2016 at 7:13 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Coral Remains – “Zero Tour Demo” – [Ratskin Records]


    Coral Remains (formerly Styrofoam Sanchez) is an Oakland-based post-industrial wretched noise waste receptacle that “personifies the trash island in the pacific gyre”.

    Electrostatic blasts, jagged crunchy beats, and growling demonic incantations. Looping low-end thuds that self-destruct before your very ears. Apocalyptic visions of our doomed species and ruined planet. Vile misanthropy at its finest.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 18, 2016 at 6:46 am
  • Filed as A Library,Cassette
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  • Death Unit – “Only Death Is Certain” – [Hospital Productions]


    Death Unit is Chris Corsano, Carlos Giffoni, Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) and Trevor Tremaine (Hair Police). Released by the venerable Hospital Productions and limited to only 325 copies.

    Beautifully nasty improv jazz-noise with dueling drum kits, blasting guitar fuzz and screeching electronics. Blood-stained, rumbling and pummelling.

    “Smut” starts off with low resonating electronic rumbles, like getting a buzz-cut from a lawn-mower. Before long the drum explosions start to land, with increasing frequency and fervor, driving the piece with broken rhythms and cymbal punches. Last to the party are the high pitched screeches and static blasts, squealing and squiggling in all directions.

    “AIDS Death 666″ is coated (maybe internationally?) in crinkly popping surface noise. The song starts slow, with just the static over faint guitar musings and occasional drum fills and electronic bursts. The feedback slowly builds and the squealing buzzes become more focused and impatient, demanding your full attention. Soon the drums coalesce and the real destruction begins, coming in punishing forceful waves and only stopping once complete demolition is achieved.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 12, 2016 at 1:58 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Hive Mind – “Beneath Triangle and Crescent” – [Chondritic Sound]

    Dark crushing drone and looping industrial synths from Greh Holger. Originally released on cassette 2008 by Fag Tapes Records, now available from Holger’s own Chrondritic Sounds.

    Heavy electronics with only the faintest traces of rhythm. Opiate-influenced. Gritty and grinding, yet fuzzy.

    Sticker indicates “playable at any speed”, but it doesn’t sound that different at 45, maybe slightly warmer and just a tad less bleak.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Dying/ Less Life [coll] – [Endless Disaster]


    Split LP from Dying (Philly) and Less Life (New Jersey). Limited edition of 300 on white vinyl.

    Dying: Aggressive hardcore with hints of garage and a kind of doomy feel. Indescernable vocals about isolation and suicide. Life is hard, man.

    Less Life: Short rough & tumbly songs, most under 2 minutes. Fast paced and angular, with a few math-rock riffs. Final track is longer, slower, and a bit screamo.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 12, 2016 at 11:37 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble – “Armless Marvel, The” – [BUFMS]


    Free improv noise from these Butte County Free Music Society weirdos.

    The first three tracks are confusing collages of looped synth feedback, jagged guitar fuzz, clanging percussion, skittery static, and echoing found sounds.

    Track 4 is a campfire ballad of sorts, telling of the tale of a woman with no arms through tweaked vocals over a bed of psychedelic guitar warbles and animalistic snorts and hairball-expulsions.

    Track 5 sounds like an underwater raga on acid.

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on June 8, 2016 at 7:04 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Ecker, Koenraad – “Sleepwalkers In a Cold Circus” – [Line]


    Sleepwalkers in a Cold Circus is the second album from Belgian sound artist Koenraad Ecker. These nine electro-acoustic tracks are dark and gloomy, yet filled with wonder and curiosity.

    Heavy bass frequencies with throbbing subharmonics flow like dreams under sharply-focused field recordings and processed electronic noises. The amplified micro-acoustics mix and mingle with the macro, both intimate and intense. Some of the sounds are easy to identify: bowed strings and ringing bells. Others seem familiar but are somehow hard to place. Matches being lit? Sonar pings? Thunder storms?

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 31, 2016 at 9:02 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Dead Letters Spell Out Dead Words – “No Words” – [Cloister Recordings]


    Gloomy, haunting, and beautiful soundscapes from Thomas Martin Ekelund. These three tracks go way beyond depressing, into full blown anguish accentuated with layers of hopelessness and despair. Slow throbbing electronic pulses, fuzzed out guitar drone, longing synth loops, and faint raspy echoing beats.

    National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

  • Reviewed by Louie Caliente on May 16, 2016 at 7:20 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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