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Hertz, Jack – “End of Time Is One Second From Now, The” – [Aural Films]

abacus   6/15/2016   A Library, CD

overlapping hemispheres of orchestral music and celestial noise, interdimensional soundscapes blending machines, instruments and found objects enveloped by electronic dark matter with light trails of processed field recordings and effects. sound artist from San Francisco I believe apparently inspired by the mystery of life and molding these “techno-organic impressions”. horror sci-fi soundtracks full of spaceships haunted by alien specters. creepy, nefarious visions

Drawing Virtual Gardens – “Six Weeks Were to Long to Wait” – [Time Released Sound]

abacus   6/14/2016   A Library, CD

american born multi-instrumentalist David Gutman residing in brussels produces an exquisite palette of lost, listless drones; a dusty mirage of electroacoustic serenity blending field recordings, synths, guitar, piano, glockenspiel, etc into a violet haze over orange dusk. soothing yet somber these pieces are perfect for hot summer evenings, though may be better suited for the august-september months

Chessa, Luciano – “Petrolio” – [stradivarius]

abacus   6/8/2016   A Library, CD

composer, sound artist, musicologist: Luciano Chessa is a highly prolific figure in the avant-garde / modern classical / experimental sound world grossly underrepresented in our library for the fact that he has been active for decades and is based out of the Bay Area. anyways, what we have here is a collection of compositions ranging from 1987 to 2013 covering a huge expanse of compositional styles and formats:

-the first piece (1-4) a percussion-piano duet reinterpreting Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final unfinished novel, an examination of gender politics and identity psychology.
-the second piece (5-8) a selection of free compositions commissioned by the Bologna Conservatory where he studied in the 90s set to vocals performed by Chessa himself and controversially incorporating his popular music influences resulting in a more playful, almost catchy delivery.
-the third piece (9-11) a string quartet commissioned by and dedicated to a couple for their wedding tells the story of Italy’s most prominent post-WWII luthier.
-track 12 is a piece for solo guitar/voice, based on a poem about Amadou Diallo, a Guinean immigrant murdered by NYC police officers in 1999. this piece, he explains, carries a nihilistic tone resulting in a “painful overdose of silence.”
-the fifth piece (13-15) is a series of “salon dances”, piano compositions for four hands that involve intersections of actionism outlined thoroughly in the liner notes”
-the final two pieces are a repurposing of earlier compositions for solo violin requiring the performer to wear two green “jingle-bells” bracelets.

the compositions contained here are serene, cerebral, provoking, challenging, surprising, playful… a wonderful sampling of Chessa influential compositional styles and a wonderful introduction to his work.

Elephant Rifle – “Ivory” – [Humaniterrorist]

abacus   6/1/2016   12-inch, A Library

yet another example of how shit towns make shit music in the best kind of way: Reno noise-rockers bask in the squalor and trash that their hometown so proudly sweeps under the carpet; after the viral opening, dying piano keys and all, they kick you in the teeth with a good ol’ Bone Voyage. the ceaseless punk-tinged ruckus that ensues chews on the obscene inhumanity that the names’ theme suggests, pushing masculinity to the point of parody. their bandcamp tags definitely touch on some relevant motifs: bleached bones, cadillacs, cannabis, canyons, death, decomposition, hardcore, horses, minimal, motorcycles… side A closing track seems like a sorta anthem to the Nevada wasteland they’re doomed to wither away, the B side packs some sludge, some Dead C sorta drone noise, and a long-drawn teetering dirge to close it all. real rollicking rock and roll music for those that don’t pull punches

Antwon – “Double Ecstasy” – [Anticon]

abacus   6/1/2016   12-inch, Hip Hop

newest EP release from LA-based rapper with south-bay roots; this is some real Bay Shit to an almost ironic extent: bingeing on local crunk/trap genre tropes in a hedonistic self-loathing purge. the lyrical content leans tongue-stuffed-cheek like the sex-obsessed 16 year old he always will be gettin loose in the club. his punk/hardcore background shows in the humor, with an i-don’t-give-a-fuck delivery, equally juvenile as it is critical while constantly maintaining personal elucidation. apparently he spent the past five years in isolation writing/recording this; i’d hate the world too.

Blacksea Nao Maya – “Calor No Frioo” – [Principe]

abacus   6/1/2016   12-inch, A Library

based out of Lisbon, the Principe Discos label has been pushing electronic music from the city and its suburbs internationally for the past 5 years or so, focusing on African influenced sounds and releasing their vinyl with individual hand-painted stencils; BNM is no exception.

dense off-kilter tribal rhythms of afro-portuguese derivatives (Funana and Kuduru amongst others, drawing from Cape Verde and Angola) with hints of Batida, a more locally sourced fidgety/frenetic style (the fruity cachaca cocktail from Brazil is equally relevant). 3 producers: 2 brothers in their early 20s, DJ Kolt and DJ Noronha, and the 17-year-old DJ Perigoso. some more emotive harmonies in the mix, even an insurgent house repetition amidst the step, but mostly pure jungle music (not in the breakbeat sense, but in the environmental sense).

dance so hard you get dizzy

Metrist – “This Is For Sore Is Just There” – [Black Opal]

abacus   6/1/2016   12-inch, A Library

UK producer Joe Higgins brings cranky stumble fuck all techno; babble bass bingeing incessantly, 72 hour club haze compulsively consuming stimuli mainline; bulging and popping that beat to pulse to in greasy tattoos and slick salience. seedy rave underbelly murking in its intrepid lurk. get sore just standing there

NON – “PAGAN MUZAK” – [Grey Area of Mute]

abacus   5/25/2016   12-inch, A Library

landmark 7″ originally released in 1978 of unnerving locked grooves, polluting ears and inspiring generations of future audio terrorists; thick choking on sonic debris, toxic pulsations of atonal hum and clatter. piercing monotony to rest your boots on your velvet ottoman while sipping mai tais to.

COVEN: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [coll] – [Forever Midnight]

abacus   5/25/2016   12-inch, Soundtrack

rank-stink cheese-grade horror movie soundtrack for COVEN (pronounced like woven not like oven) the legendary failed 1997 short film by Mark Borchardt (see: American Movie). the worst kind of pre-packaged cheap keyboard library music with hilariously creepy bone-chilling interludes. reviewers try to lure you with words like “ominous”, “dilapidated”, and “stark” but don’t be fooled, this shining example of creativity gone wrong is the most satisfying disappointment you’ll ever force yourself (and your listeners) to suffer through. perfect on any playlist and essential for our bulging library of blow-hard overpriced horror movie soundtracks. suck it Death Waltz

TOADS and BUGS [coll] – [White Rabbit Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

double mini CD release from Feine Trinkers Bei Pinkels Daheim out of Germany and Der Bekannte Post Industrielle Trompeter from Italy. the trumpeteer plays the toad side: a number of short tracks carrying juvenile delinquent flatrumpence with sci-fi lullaby calypso grooves and twisted future jazz industrial breakdown. the trinkers play the bug side: one long track of warped mash into factory-grade steel drone drifting gently through the void carrying echoes of voices and melody trailing behind, monastic memories and creeping carefully to the forefront. haunting oddities for sleepless nights

D.B.P.I.T / F.T.B.P.D [coll] – [White Rabbit Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

experimental post-industrial split between Flavio Rivabella aka DBPIT out of Italy and German duo FTBPD. Flavio has been active since the early 2000s and contrary to name, not particularly well-known despite his huge output and collaborations, having worked with Mushroom’s Patience and others. his side is a warped sleepytime hallucination with echoing trumpet carrying us along, an alien ambient soundscape. FTBPD roughly translates to “the dope drinkers at home” or something… active since the mid-90s and quite a bit active, with extensive touring around Europe. their side starts off significantly more abstract and absent, post-classical drone emanating out of a dank sewer-ambiance, until we creeper deeper down the tunnels and find a rhythmic-concrete ritual grooving by candlelight on the inside that devolves into a non-locked loop fading away. beautiful aural oddities to waste away the day

Crawl Unit – “Tucson Mon Amour” – [Drone Records]

abacus   5/25/2016   7-inch, A Library

second pressing of live performance from Crawl Unit’s only tour played at Big Storage in Tucson, a relic from a criminally underrepresented sound artist. distant wavering tones on the hazy horizon, sparse industrial tinkering litters the foreground, the scattered detritus flickers in the hot desert sun. the B-side has more of a looped rhythmic feel. stroke delusions

Moloch / Closure [coll] – [King of the Monsters]

abacus   5/17/2016   7-inch, A Library

destructive split from UK juggernauts: moloch from Leicester start of feral and drag themselves through the sludge like a dull blade through flesh, Closure out of Leeds plod and stomp but explode in sporadic bursts of powerviolence and grime. mud hurling, vomit choking goodness; now spit

Crowhurst – “Aghoree” – [Chondritic Sound]

abacus   5/17/2016   12-inch, A Library

LA-based Crowhurst, experimental black/sludge metal / noise/ambient project centered around Jay Gambit, has been incredibly prolific over the past years, pumping out multiple releases per year since 2012. here is his first release on Greh Holger’s label Chondritic Sound and featuring a diverse blend of instrumentation; the mixture of synths, electronics, flute, guitar, and field recordings combine to produce a truly haunting and psychedelic ambiance. at the beginning, hollow Ghosts linger on the periphery until Claustrophobic emptiness consumes, black metal guitar swells devoid of form but tone still hovering on the sonic horizon. Marfan offers a calming respite of overlapping organ textures as side A closes. the foreboding coalescence of Siren builds doom clouds like a looming storm and Dance a shadow draped bridge leading to the industrial noise visions of Modern Life. this album figures more firmly in the noise/ambient realm, which makes sense for its place on the label, but is only a sliver of the sonic offerings Gambit puts forth.

drone – “reversing into the future” – [Pomperipossa]

abacus   5/17/2016   12-inch, A Library

a name as mundane and obvious as it can be, but simple enough to reveal its most base form: under a sweltering LA hills morning, Touch curator Mike Harding pairs with sound artist Mark Van Hoen complementing each other on a mix of modular synth, short wave radio and field recordings. plodding diamond-cut drones shimmering in opaque luminescence, subtle melodies tread through almost viscous murk; tonal beads glisten in the beckoning heat, the hazy soundscape blurs as waves of harmony lap against rhythmic apparitions and disappear into the breath of dusk. on the B-side conversational hallucinations narrate the intangible outer world, drowned out by the piercing repetition of inner existence; inaudible lapses mid-way through make the beaming resolution all the more proud. from masters of the drone form, as beautiful and inviting as it is alienating; sure to brighten the early lights of dawn and darken the mood of dusk alike.

Oranssi Pazuzu – “Varahtelija” – [Svart Records]

abacus   5/11/2016   12-inch, A Library

blast off to the furthest reaches of outer-dimensionality with these Finnish trippers: cyclical cataclysmic transformations of metal, kraut/prog, jazz, thrash, psychedelia. the album art says it all: stare into the abyss of nothingness and open up to brilliant colors. black metal to be sure, but not the least bit bleak- they recorded this with an indiepop/shoegaze producer to bring an entirely different aesthetic. don’t get me wrong though, this is heavy as fuck and got all the tortured screams and blistering riffage to satisfy your angst, just that there’s a lot more going on: time signatures galore and layers upon sonic layers of beauty. the most intense and illuminating DMT trip you’ll ever have.

Todesstoss – “Hirngemeer” – [I, Voidhanger Records]

abacus   5/11/2016   A Library, CD

a trapdoor to dementia, twisted hallucinations from German avant-artiste Martin Lang supported by screams of anguish from Flesh of L and bass blasts from Euer Gnaden; lonesome wrangler black metal alternately depressive ambient and brown-acid-soaked caterwauling; fumbling instrumentation broken by maniacal sortie of shrieking decapitated guitars and headswollen synths. a spectacle of mental collapse and decomposition; a barefoot walk on a carpet of shattered mirrors, each fragment reflecting distorted images of the self. evocative voyeurism lashing out at tortured platitudes and mindless quotidian.

Floral – “EP1” – [Subruckus Collective]

abacus   5/4/2016   A Library, Cassette

precision math rock from local virtuosos out of Mountain View; their interplay is telepathic, Ty perfectly syncopating Nate’s complex finger-tapping. Nate studies at Berklee, and it shows – weaving beautifully fluid mosaics between opposing melodic lines. outstandingly mature delivery- pushing boundaries without being overly showy or technical; these guys have the potential to blast off and never come back with their level of playing abilities, but show admirable restraint as they execute these meticulously crafted homegrown DIY songs. some of the best new rock music to come out of the Bay Area, so play it.

signor benedick the moor – “el negro” – [Deathbombarc]

abacus   4/27/2016   CD, Hip Hop

weirdo hiphop from outsider kid out of the LA area, like the dude that brought pot to all your LAN parties in middle school, and always showed up high to drama class; theater nerd – names himself after his favorite jaded character from Much Ado About Nothing; clever wordplay that maintains its juvenile toilet humor amidst intellectual eloquence. production that sounds like a 90s fantasy-rpg on casio, other times heavy metal noise rock – all self-recorded, probably spends all his time in front of a computer chopping up the hardcore/sample-heavy beats; did i mention he’s high as fuck?

Custodian & Gnawed – “Loathsome” – [Maniacal Hatred]

abacus   4/26/2016   A Library, CD

icy cold dominance and derision from Jon Engman out of Wisconsin and Grant Richardson from Minnesota; chain dragging / stone crumbling / glass shattering loops and shrieks; vocals buried in the bruising distortion, industrial electronics to blow out speakers and scare the neighbors; Loathsome.

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