Orasique – “Ixtlahuaca” – [Public Eyesore]

abacus   3/8/2023   A Library, Cassette

free improv quartet out of Mexico of multi-national origins, with artists from Catalonia, New Zealand, El Salvador, and Italy (reflecting the multicultural nature of the region of Mexico implied in the title). full on freeform frenzy, fiery but more of a low simmer; bubbles, pops and screams abound. a flurry of lysergic radiance and delusional unity, the psychic collaboration of sonic chaos sending each other off deep chasm into sharp corners and sparse contemplation, expertly dynamic shifting from one track to another. this is surly jazz, but in deeply troubled and confused form. regardless, the digestible track lengths leave no excuse to throw a cut in the mix. lacerate your brain with this psychotic sizzling skronk and sizzle.

Interracial Sex / Bacillus – “Tropics: Modern Methodologies, The” – [Fusty Cunt]

abacus   6/25/2022   12-inch, A Library

inevitable collaboration between PNW power electronicists bring us a brief study in postcolonial epidemiology: spread and origins. enveloped in humidity ideal for festering, lingering, mutating; dense with vicious feedback and jagged edged noise; rife with geographic exploitation and exclusion. both artists’ portfolios pose hopeless charges for the human condition and its kismet: mankind as the nemesis of its own annihilation: race and disease as its weapons: this is the soundtrack of the plagued scourge and roar of slow extinction

Ekin Fil – "Coda" – [Helen Scarsdale Agency]

abacus   5/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

fragile hypnagogic meanderings from Turkey’s Ekin Fil. her presence here is distant yet deeply ominous, the nebulous wafts of voice, piano and guitar are reminiscent of other somber drone pop artists of the past 10 years like Grouper, Inca Ore, or Ensemble Economique. nocturnal premonitions, foggy introspection, cinematic noir and melancholy.

Specimens – "Sculptures" – [First Terrace Records]

abacus   5/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

drifting between ambient industrial and classical renaissance drone, alternating tracks between warmth and frigidity. Alex Ives from the UK presents this scrapbook of dreamy vignettes, intentionally crafted in contrasts to challenge the listener. pieces are partly achieved through utilising samples of Sudanese wrestling & Tuvan Throat Singing, a variety of sound sources and processing are utilized.

Sunk Heaven – "Where All Sides Collapse" – [Hot Releases]

abacus   5/7/2021   12-inch, A Library

outsider pop noise decay from Brooklyn’s Austin Sley Julian. grooves that grind and bubble simultaneously, intermingling with spacey soundscapes and often dreamy vocals. some collab work from a certain Ras Yoyo on one track and Kassie Carlson (G-Toss) on another. this release alternates between dystopic nightmare and bedroom pop daydream. drift, but not too deep.

Pacific Yew – "(((( Bathing ))))" – [Hot Record Society]

abacus   3/9/2021   Cassette, Hip Hop

Pacific Yew is a pacific coast evergreen conifer that ranges from the Klamath Mountains to the fjords of British Columbia that has a habit of rotting from the inside, creating hollow forms as it grows extremely slowly, much like these flourishing disjointed rhythms that grow slowly, spreading into the host of your psyche. this Oakland new wave r&b pioneer feels like some Lonnie Holley Scott-Heron bedroom pop, soulful singing set over simple grooves. lo-fi, like the skeletal tree forms that are ageless in their imperceptibility. the seed cones and berry-like structures spread around easily, as I’m sure this record has wide appeal that should make it around the airwaves smoothly.

Judgitzu – "Umeme / Kelele" – [Nyege Nyege Tapes]

abacus   2/24/2021   10-inch, A Library

hyper hypnotic rave seizures from punk ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon lacing together soundscapes acquired from years of traveling throughout Asia, Africa, and Oceania (see link below) these tracks are the results of his artist residency in Tanzania, and are reflective of the local Singeli style (see other link below). Umeme opens with frantic polyrhythms reminiscent of much of the label’s catalog, blasted by startling stabs of alert tones over undulating attacks. Kelele is less aggressive but no less mesmerizing, with recordings shining through more overtly about halfway through. this label has been shredding dancefloor vibes internationally, hopefully we can keep up



Alternate African Reality [coll] – [Syrphe]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

comprehensive survey of experimental music scene from across the African continent and holy shit is this amazing. almost three hours of material from 32 artists and bands from 24 African countries and the diaspora, from Morocco to South Africa to Uganda, Somalia, Togo, Reunion, Madagascar and much more. there’s a huge variety of styles represented throughout: the first CD definitely starts off pretty beat oriented, and excels at that, floating through countless overheated dance floor club scenes and smoky clubs, we hit a couple rap tracks before getting some biopunk tech beats out of Mauritania and Senegalese instrumentals then the left turns are swirling: some vaporware pop synth from Age of Heroes and Lynchian musique concrete loops out of Cameroon. CD2 continues to get more spacious, tortuous sin wave stretching from South African Cobi Von Tonder then crackle-pop drone swells from Kenyan KMRU (who also has a new release on Editions Mego). we gets some chaotic field recording cutups out of Rwanda before the tracks take a more instrumental turn, even some contemporary innovations from Victor Gama and a blissful collaboration on “E”. as noted above there’s a huge mix of styles: beats, vocal loops, musique concrete, hip hop, drone and so much more. dig deeper into the label for some other amazing compilations of underground weirdness from other obscure parts of the globe as well.

Thirteen Hurts – "Threshold" – [No Part of It]

abacus   11/4/2020   A Library, CD

pedal noise project of Richard Adams aka The One Eyed Zatoichi for some odd reason, a veteran of the Norcal and Denver Noisefest circuits, apparently been making sounds since 1977. burbling gurgling harsh noise textures: overpowering megatons of aqueous feedback and swirl. this is a rerelease of a 2011 CD it seems, part 2 of a pair on Arvo Zylo’s No Part of It label. got some sonic treats with impressive dynamic shapes and studio tricks like stereo panning and soundscape layering. this aint no run of the mill HNW record, plenty of surprises to jump sizzle and scare.

Moor Mother – "Fetish Bones" – [Don Giovanni Records]

abacus   11/4/2020   12-inch, A Library

sophomore album from Camae Ayewa, the prolific and highly acclaimed native of Philadelphia- the city that gave us Sun Ra and the MOVE organization. afrofuturism rooted in the circularity of time, timeless protest music transporting us throughout centuries of black liberation against the necropolitical forces of subjugation and derailment. the tracks move fast between cyber-punk vignettes of hip hop soul poetry drenched in noise, avant-blues experimentalism, sci-fi spirituals, and bebop nightmares. for the past 5 years her output has been persistent and pertinent, always ensnared in the present moment. we’ve got a lotta catching up to do.

FCC 3,7,9

Sharkula X Mukqs – "Prune City" – [Hausu Mountain]

abacus   8/26/2020   CD, Hip Hop

mud city all-star collab from underground legend Sharkula and Hausu co-founder Max Allison. truly a mythical figure in Chi-town, Sharkula made his name heavy grinding, selling CDs and posting flyers, built from the street up. Mukqs met him at a local Burger King and told him he was gonna make him some beats, proceeded to live construct some chaos production with synths, drum machines, looper, and sampler, complete with 16-bar intros, verses, and chorus for Sharkula to lay out his free-association word pasta. there’s an infectious familiarity to Sharkula’s verses, an unabashed originality, like he’s just having a conversation with the listener, or with Mukq’s noise-infected video-game techno beats. crumbling alien urban soundscapes

Fuck U Pay Us – "Live At Cielo Gallery For Melanin Unity Show" – [Self Released]

abacus   6/17/2020   A Library, CD

No wave noise punk patricidal destruction (and not in the father sense, more the white male patriarchy sense). do I still got you? live recordings from this aggressively anti-racist group of black queer women from around the LA area. insurrectionary calls to action for everyone that’s ever been pissed off at things like systemic racism, patriarchy, and exploitation economics. this definitely feels like some pro-looting music, and in the best way. if this offends you, then take a good long look at yourself, this is definitely confrontational so leave your fragile white feelings at the door. but seriously, challenge yourself, lean into it, its supposed to be uncomfortable. FCC on 1,3,4,7,9 and… is Nappy Black Pussy an FCC violation? cuz it shouldn’t be. the title seems to be a reference to reparations, a controversial subject amongst white folks for sure, and whether it takes the form of giving your black friend $10, eating out at black-owned restaurants, or encouraging white people to donate to black-led organizations, there’s always going to be naysayers (except maybe Naysayer?)

DoNormaal – "Jump Or Die" – [Self-release]

abacus   6/17/2020   CD, Hip Hop

damn, you know im gonna dig it when they kick off the album w/ an ELO sample (Tbag, Minor..?) Experimental hip-hop / trap-soul / etc from Seattle originally from California. this falls under the “cloud rap” genre umbrella that fits so well in the PNW – woozy, dizzy, spellbinding. she tags grunge and I don’t think that’s just a geographical coincidence; there’s this raw, unfiltered delivery, she brings all of herself to this and lays it all out there, naked for all to see (not just a reference to the album cover). this is personal, this is real, plain-spoken and direct. she was 24 when she released this and she keeps producing forward thinking, genre bending music. keep an eye out, she’s gonna fly past us if she hasn’t already.

Machine Girl – "Gemini" – [Orange Milk]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

machine girl seems to be the moniker for a matt stephenson out of NYC aka Artie’s Kryptonite aka some seriously chaotic pixified millennial dance music. idk if theys a gemini for sure but speaking as one, it sure sounds it: vaporwave? who tf knows, but there sure is some labile attention shifting genre mashup: energetic breakcore, bright bodied trance, some juke and footwork tweaks and twerks, all constantly zone switching then dropping back into vibe. i feel like im missing out on something listening to this digitally, this has a serious mixtape feel and the aesthetic lends well to lofi textures, but alas all the tapes seem to sell out, even this re-release. late spring grooves right in time for this sun’s season.

Crazy Doberman – "Illusory Expansion" – [Astral Spirits]

abacus   5/26/2020   A Library, Cassette

new release of psy skronk din spiritualism from this revolving door collective of jazz deconstructionists hailing across the wasteland of middle america. alternate zoning from one psychic plain to the next tracking rapidly across two expansive tape sides; feels like a DMT dissociation with the amount of space travel power packed into so little time. the whole trip flows like orchestral movements, and the attendance is there, with the density of players producing such cohesive sound. equal parts harsh and ethereal, jazz and psychedelic, there’s something for everyone here so tune in and drop out

Concrete Mascara – "Bilharzia" – [New Approach Records]

abacus   5/6/2020   A Library, CD

timely narrative of pathogenic spread from American trio Andrew Wilmer, Frank Cordry, Jack Scanlan for Portuguese label under Nekrogoat Heresy. static shock blankets of power electronx: starting off with a doom laden invocation worthy of Thothian imposition, the EP moves through various textures of feedback flatulence, boil, and squeal; screaming gateplay and prickly buzzcut frustrations vented through all layers of serrated fuzz edginess. play loud

Wound [coll] – [Carbon Records]

abacus   4/29/2020   12-inch, A Library

homage to the gueetar in all its gloree, an Americana that’s more postmodern in its primitive I think. short, accessible blurps celebrating the six string in all sorts of styles. what starts off as some plucking pleasantries gets thrown in the deep end of all sorts of experimental weirdnesses: psychedelic folk noise, trip ambient, stoner drone.. plenty of heavy hitters in here and too many familiar faces to even begin to name but I will anyways: a few of my favorites are the zone switch slap in the face by Bill Nace, Daniel Bachman’s surprisingly regal yet ethereal meditation, former Bardo Ponds Curanderos channeling some sort of alternate history, James Plotkin really knows how to mix a collage (and mastered this here comp of course too), sparse melodies throughout this compilation but really shine stark on Michael Morley, Wendy Eisenberg may just be the best new reinterpretations of the blues I’ve heard.. I’d say this is about a third just guitar tracks and the rest range in all different approaches so try one out, there’s definitely something here to suit everyone. oh yeah and check out the liner notes by John Olson on this one, I’m sure he’s got something interesting to say about it.

Ramirez, Richard & Skin Crime – "Pleasure, Commerce & Disease" – [PACrec]

abacus   4/29/2020   A Library, CD

2004 release from American harsh noise veterans, Richard Ramirez and Skin Crime join for this unholy slab of feedback worship composed of SC source material processed by Dick. thick, acerbic but sterile gray, not so much walls as shattered chalkboard skidding over flayed concrete. smells like the disinfectant coated linoleum surfaces, barely erasing the death and dismay seeped into the surface. empty lullabies to a barren room, you keep grasping at the surface, trying to wake for just a few last words but there’s nothing left to hold onto, you choke on sleep as they die laughing. a void so heavy it makes you want to squirm and weep. unavoidably, most lifeless desperation

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