Karel, Ernst – “Heard Laboratories” – [and/OAR]

cinder   8/9/2013   A Library, CD

If you dreamed of being a scientist, but didn’t want to do the work…. well, at least you can listen to what they do day to day. Field recordings from various laboratories at Harvard. The hums, buzzes, drones and flickering of silence. This is SUPER minimal, probably best to layer. After working in a record store for too many years, the sounds of mechanical sterile nothingness is sweetness to my ears. There’s the occasional phone ring, a blip of a conversation, ticking and tocking, something that sounds like steam, tamarin monkeys that sound like birds, etc… a voyeuristic soundscape, make up your own work day.
Amongst other things, and besides recording sound, Karel is currently a lab manager for the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, where as Lecturer on Anthropology, he teaches a course in sonic ethnography.

Domus Mactibilus – “Rehearsal 2013” – [Brotherhood of Light]

cinder   8/9/2013   A Library, Cassette

A part of some such of Brotherhood Of Light. Three tracks of varying lengths. Super lo-fi experimental noisiness. It’s so distorted that it’s hard to sometimes really get what’s going on. Sounds like possible guitars, some feedback here and there, really high levels, and some electronics? Fuzzed, crunchy and munchy. There’s some rhythm that’s taking place, but it’s like you forgot your earplugs while standing next to the stack of speakers, with the engineer that doesn’t know how to adjust levels. I like it, sort of a mystery.

Xiphoid Dementia – “Secular Hymns” – [Malignant Records]

cinder   8/9/2013   A Library, CD

One man project of Egan Budd, been creating since 1999. This is a noise record, but it falls more into the experimental field. I like how his website states that his music ranges from “cerebral industrial to introspective drone”, pretty accurate. Tracks might start off with a low, industrial drone that then feeds the mouth of a monstrous sharp toothed electronic beast. It’ll shift from one end of loudness to the other. Soft, winds and calming seas of sound plummet right back into the abyss of harsh razors. Some demonic tweaked vox buried in the mix on track 1. Ticking clocks, telling tales of your wasted life on the chilling of track 2 (this evolves into something that sounds like it should be on a Death Waltz reissue). Purring motors, metal scraps and a crazy guy on track 3. Alien drones and hums on the spookiness of track 4.

Demons That Drove – “Werk” – [Black Noise Records]

cinder   7/19/2013   A Library, CD

This is some dark, scary shit. Eerie, haunting vocals that send shivers down your back. Picture a skinless face with teeth like daggers whispering in your ear, while blood drips off his chin. Demonic, spooky drones that rumble and boil with evil. Chains and torturous screams intoxicate a few tracks. Moody, thundering soundscapes. Heavy on the low-end and bass, watch those meters… could cause an earthquake with earth grinding tones like this. A few harsh tracks but most are more unsettling and sinister. This is the project of Krister Bergman, Swedish.

Frizzi, Fabio – “Zombi 2” – [Death Waltz Recording Co]

cinder   7/19/2013   12-inch, Soundtrack

Late 1970s soundtrack from the Italian composer, Fabio Frizzi. Zombi 2 (or known just as Zombie in the states), directed by Lucio Fulci. Listed as 8 sequences, on fresh blood red vinyl. The first starts you off in a tropical Caribbean island. Super accessible Pina Colda type tune, sort of the oddball track. Then it shifts into more synth driven, horror-cheese sounds with sequence 2. Xylophone tones, and pulsing science fiction optimism. Sequence 3 is more of a jungle vibe, with conga drums, bowing strings and rattling spookiness. The final track on side A is full on tribal rhythms. A mover and shaker. Shrunken heads, and voodoo dances ensue. Side B begins with a short, almost romantic ’80s sounding tune. More tribal rhythms continue. A bit more suspenseful and haunting with echoes vibrating in the background. The final track is the supreme cheese. Synths and computer steams, in a triumph style ending.

Cotton Museum – “Pus Pustules” – [Tasty Soil]

cinder   7/19/2013   12-inch, A Library

One guy, Chris Pottinger from the Detroit area. Rumbling, gurgling electronics. Bubbling lava burps, and boiling blisters. Goo farts and regurgitated grumbles. Grits and purrs. One sided, killer etchings on the B side. The cover art is pretty representing of the sounds you hear. It feels like everything is melting into colorful wax, with a side of cotton candy sulfur.

Ecstasy of Gold: Vol. 2, The [coll] – [Semi-Automatic Records]

cinder   7/11/2013   12-inch, Soundtrack

Killer collection of rare and more obscure Spaghetti Western songs from the 1960s & 1970s. Second in a series of five. You have the haunting trumpets, the blazing guitars, gunfights with silly sound effects, the woeful maidens singing, the cowboys belting their hearts out, opera-like vocals… everything that Clint and Wayne would ride their horses against. Borderline surf guitar riffs. A little wah-wah action. Some of the best Italian composers that were possibly outshined in Morricone’s fame… but Ecstasy of Gold is actually the title of one of Morricone’s songs in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, so a big nod. It’s pretty evenly split between instrumentals, the favorited thematic “ahhhh” chorus type tracks, and full vocal songs.

Artemiev, Artemiy – “Time, Desert and a Sound” – [Electroshock Records]

cinder   7/11/2013   A Library, CD

Russian. 2004 release. Super zoney, transcendental, meditative, drones. Exactly what you’d imagine a hot day in the middle of the Sahara to be. Gorgeous layers of semi-doom, mystical ambient sounds. It had a bit of a sci-fi feel to me, not sure why. The electronics build up like a slow wave… keyboards, samplers, computer programming. A gentle acoustic guitar strums in the midst of the building chaos on track 3. Some hypnotizing Tuvan sounding singing on a few tracks. The last track is live, and blends in some middle eastern sounding strings and perfect desert ambiance. Since 1996 he’s produced a TV-radio program “Electroshock” devoted to electronic, electroacoustic, experimental & avant-garde music.

C.O.T.A. – “Marches and Meditations” – [Tesco Organisation]

cinder   6/26/2013   A Library, CD

Moved to the Bay Area in the early 90s for school, and started their venture with Sonick Sorcery. This album is from 2001. ‘C.O.T.A. is a vessel for creating trance states and ritual, combined with an interest in deep ecology and new mythology.’ This has some super low humming drones that are the underbelly for rich, frothing rumbling and growling overlays. Wind tunnels, wild west and spooky female ghost vocals. Gypsy backward words and bells. Definite tribal vibes… more electronic than hippie percussion though. This has a darkness, but not evil. Hypnotizing. A sister in sound to Crash Worship, who helped them with publishing around this time.

Mystery Triangle [coll] – [Feeding Tube Records]

cinder   6/26/2013   12-inch, A Library

Devil’s Triangle, Bermuda Triangle…. and Flaherty, Gas Can and Limo’s Triangle. The A side is just pure saxophone. From the highest, most annoying pitches to the repetitive fingering, to the silence and loud. It actually drove me nuts, which is hard to do. Great for layering since it’s just Paul whaling and squonking away.
Sam Gas Can is having a freak out. Making mouth noises, like a little 5 year old kid. Monster noises, guns, motor bike engines, silly groans and moans… he covers it all! White Limo have the easiest track of the three. Electronics, with a space satellite-like beeping over a humming drone that comes and goes. Computers of the 70s have the mid-tone affect. Sniffs and shuffles complete the sound.

Les Geometries Souterraines [coll] – [Tanzprocesz]

cinder   6/26/2013   12-inch, A Library

A split 12″ from Fusiller (France) and Balinese Beast (Greece). Fusiller has electronics that waver, quiver and quirk. Random wordless vocals. Sounds that reflect trying to find the right frequency on the radio. Humming and rotating, rolling tape. Balinese Beast has more quirk, but in a random choppy way. Short stabs of electronics, mixed with other things… like a slice of piano, Scooby Doo’s running feet and other cartoon sound effects, the blowing of air through a horn, parts of jazz songs, possibly video games, and of course high end squirks and bleeps. Spazzy fun!

Keszler, Eli – “Oxtirn” – [Esp-Disk]

cinder   6/26/2013   12-inch, A Library

Crazy chaoticness! Keslzer plays drums, guitar, piano, prepared piano, motors, cymbal, crotales (bowed and unbowed), snare drum, prepared/riveted sheet metal, spring harp, bass board, and microphones…damn! Three others join him, adding in trumpet, tuba, French horn, trombone, clarinet and piano. It’s a rhythmic rolling, rattling balance of improv styles (it’s actually all composed!) and organized mess. The percussions skitter about, while the strings & metal scrape and churn. You listen to one instrument and its perfection within itself, and then focus in on another and hear something completely different. I can see how this lead into his Cold Pin release, the following year. Side B has more minimal sounds and higher pitches.

Menche, Daniel – “Feral” – [Sub Rosa]

cinder   6/21/2013   A Library, CD

Four noise excursions from Daniel Menche, out of Portland.
1 – Imagine being right in the center of a giant waterfall. Piercing water blades that sting your face. Building intensity and blasting your skin off until there’s nothing but skull. Ends with a quiet low end.
2 – Droning, vibrating sawmills. As if 20 were buzzing all at the time same time, bleeding into one solid humming tune. Subtle shifts.
3 – Piles of wooden sticks. Where is my pencil? It’s not here, so you set fire and stick a mic right in the mess. This one builds into some deep intensity, and only lets up 12 seconds to the end….barely. Personal favorite.
4 – Lastly we have some intense winds on the barometer. Layered over a solid, buzzing drone. Whipping and thundering. Brisk and dark.

Clell Miller’s Corpse – “Bill Chadwell Demo, The” – [Clell Miller CD-R Label]

cinder   6/21/2013   A Library, CD

Clell Miller was an outlaw, and known from the (Jesse) James-Younger gang. On September 7, 1876 Miller was shot and killed by townspeople in the robbery attempt on the First National Bank of Northfield, along with outlaw Bill Chadwell. His body was photographed (insert), then buried. This cd is distorted noise, with subtle rhythmic, sort of gothic, tones that float underneath. Sometimes coming with a low-budget horror movie feel. Three piece from who knows where, with synths, superfuzz, mpc 3000 and no-input Behringer listed as the sound makers (a bunch of pedals, samplers and knobs.) Slightly spooky, definitely annoying, and perfect for the chaos lovers.

Grunt – “Europe After Storm” – [Force Majeure]

cinder   6/14/2013   A Library, CD

Formed back in 1993, in Finland. This release is from 1998-1999. Re-mastered tape recordings, unreleased studio stuff, and some live tracks at the end. Dark, power electronics, industrial noise. Pressure, intense, screamed unintelligible lyrics mixed with moody spoken words. Burning walls of sound, with growling underbellies. ‘Crushing, heavily repeating loops with near random metal junk noise and feedback on the top, with furious effected vocals and spoken word samples.’ Blasting and harsh sounds.

Actuary/Juhyo [coll] – [Love Earth Music]

cinder   6/14/2013   7-inch, A Library

One sided flexi-disc! Actuary have the first track and build up an intensity of ambient turned angry. It slowly burns up, then climaxes with a gentle fade. Juhyo bring deep sonic noise guts, that rotate and poke. Churning like seismic ocean waves, then give you a final blast at the end. Both short, noisy excursions. Actuary from Los Angeles, Juhyo from Minneapolis.

Avarus – “Salon Des Amateurs” – [Pome Pome Tones]

cinder   6/14/2013   12-inch, A Library

11th album from this Finnish psych folk band that started back in 2001, with about 10 to 20 rotating members. Hypnotic, rhythmic instrumental jams. Guitars, a little funky at times in the background. Rolling soft drums. Crystal electronics. Gorgeous blending of modern and futurist sounds. Psycha-futura? Easily accessible, great to open the front door and bask in some sunshine with.

Clarinette – “Clarinette On DNA: Jazz Impressions of DNA On DNA/Retrospekt” – [Cassetto Editions]

cinder   5/31/2013   A Library, CD

NOT DNA covers…well sort of. Instead, Clarinette On DNA is an homage to New York No Wave icons DNA in the form of a track for track piano improv/compositions set designed to mirror the No More Records CD edition of DNA On DNA to it’s precise length. I admit, I played this at the same time as the DNA album, and it’s pretty hilarious, in an awesome way. Funny to hear plain, and simple piano imitating spastic guitars and drums. Interesting interpretations, that you would never guess.
The Retrospekt CD (second disc) contains parts of releases and unreleased from the past 10 years, dates are on the insert. Piano and “instruments” are listed, mostly electronic sounding, and of course, no actual clarinet. Computer-like hums and subtle digital trickles. Ambient drones and floating resonance. Others have echoing pianos, in a hypnotic state. Daze-dreaming with your meditative mind. Clarinette is Dan Valor, local guy.

Teeth Mountain – “Teeth Mountain” – [SHDWPLY]

cinder   5/31/2013   12-inch, A Library

Cacophonous, desert dwelling, patchouli smelling sounds of Teeth Mountain. A salivating singing saw, a distorted crying cello, carnivorous computers and four drummers playing floor toms and a communal cymbal. This evokes some hippie chant circles, with straw hat masks and loose psychedelics for sure (artwork is on spot). Hypnotizing sounds drone out of the strings and saws, as the egg shakers and drums play to their own tune. Stonerdelia. Instrumental tribal trances. Beware, you might cause a rain storm of awesome in master.

Dauby, Yannick – “Wa Jie Meng Xun” – [Ini.itu]

cinder   5/31/2013   12-inch, A Library

Born in France, but living in Taiwan at the moment. Dauby dabbles with electroacoustic compositions, soundscape collages, and musique concrete. This release is focused on the twitching sounds of the night. Crickets, bugs, frogs, everything that you’d imagine living in a bayou. The purring and chirping of amphibians is bubbled along with improvisations on the modular synthesizer. Field recordings taken from around Taiwan. Mostly relaxing, except for the occasional barking creature and low synth jumble. Side A does build up to some intensity near the end. Dauby regularly connects with naturalists and often provides the sounds needed for their exhibitions and documentaries.

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