A duo of John Olson (Wolf Eyes) and his wife, Tovah O’Rourke.
Death, dying, dead. Electronics that whiz, whirl and shred through your ears.
High pitches and deep ditches.
Growling knobs and twisted wires. Perhaps dipped in the tub.
Side B – farting popcorn computers? Peppered with a side of noise.
A duo of John Olson (Wolf Eyes) and his wife, Tovah O’Rourke.
This is an experimental, improv recording that Genesis and Throbbing Gristle’s documentarian, Stan Bingo, made back in the early 80s. Recorded in Genesis’s bedroom, he wanted to test out new equipment, and ended up releasing what they came up with on cassette in 1983 on Nekrophile. Forgotten for decades, it’s risen from the dead in a limited 500 copy release. What you have is a home recording of tinkering and toying around with various instruments, mostly electronic. Sounds of a playful xylophone type thing, mixed with subtle screeching, sliding and halting electronics, and a barking dog. All instrumental. It’s one big session, split into side A and side B.
An intimate and beautiful soundtrack to life. Percussion, piano, mellow guitar, bowed instruments, melody, reminiscent, rhythm. Repetitive motions that flow and intertwine like lovebirds after a rainfall. Gorgeous, lush, instrumentals that shimmer. ‘Detail. Depth. Quiet. Ringing. Echoing. Brevity. Rhythm. Listening.’ -words from John Boursnell, an accurate description of the path for this release. Stunning.
The collaboration between Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club, Vibracathedral Orchestra and A Band), and High Wolf. Swirling electronic tones that bounce and reflect. Two side longs of droned out, rhythmic textures. Somewhat tribal, in an iridescent bubbly kind of way. Looping, rotating patterns that almost put me under a spell, very relaxing and full of sunshine.
rolling. looping. hissing. humming.
deep waters. crackling. aquatic.
drone. dreamy. electric rattles. tense.
One man project of Chicago fellow, Brett Sova.
Hazy, rhythmic psychedelic pop gems.
Side A – Upbeat, catchy Brian Wilson/Panda Bear-esque vox.
Guitar noise and desert stoner feels on side B – instrumental.
Rock for those with a slightly jaded point of view.
Tor is a musician and painter (album artwork) from East Hampton, NY. This is uber dreamy and lovely. The titles and artwork fit the mood perfectly. This is the music that you would imagine playing if waking up at a shipyard was your life. The moody morning clouds, echoed rumblings of motor engines and stench of sweaty sea waters. Melancholic, and a sense of loneliness. Beautiful ambient sounds roll and fade just like coastal fog.
Ryan Huber is the mastermind behind Olekranon. You may also know him as Sujo. Dark ambient soundscapes, floating on the black plains of the desert. Electronic mass, with a shy rhythm, looping and rotating throughout. Distorted and subtly loud.
A whimsical, delightful, and reminiscent album. All tracks were complied from various Victorian parlour music machines, wax cylinders, French carillon, and calliopes. Plinth is an accurate name, as the music has that sort of echoing plink-plonk hum. It’s like listening to glimmering music boxes, whiles eating cotton candy. No cheeseball or goofy sounds here, the way Colin has reconstructed them into tracks is brilliant. Thoughtful, pondering, almost ambient. Chimes, wooden cranks, pipes and the roll of punched paper fill each dainty breeze of sound. Beautiful, relaxing and lovely.
Two soundtracks that Terry composed, in the early 1970s when he focused more on “longform keyboard cycles and improvisations.” Les Yeux Fermes was a feature length art film, and Lifespan features Klaus Kinski, and is about a doctor who tries to create a serum to lengthen life. The first track was the highlight for me. Beautiful synth melodies that float in and out of celestial time. The second track for the first film also drowns you in glorious sound. Calmly spastic horns, and an organ tone so rich you can feel the Leslie spinning in your head. A very film noir feel. Lifespan also has the dreamy organs, melodic synth keys, and saxophone (sometimes a bit cheeeball, but hey it’s the 70s!) Lifespan has a bit more of the colorful rainbow sounds that Terry Riley likes to create. Soft vocals on track 6, and picture a fat old, jolly bearded man playing track 7 (takes about 14 seconds for it to start being audible). Dreamy and experimentally cinematic.
A super noisy trio out of the Santa Rosa-SF area. Distorted, loud ear fuckery. Two dudes, Jared and Cory have everything from guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, turntable, electronics, and a suitcase of pedals, while one chick, Nicole, brings terror on the microphone – although you wouldn’t be able to tell, it’s cleverly distorted and buried in the mix. The second track brings a low rhythmic beat to the beast table. The final swirls in and out of warped wires, with a feedbacked screech on the horizon.
The way the album starts, you’d think it’d be titled Burning Witches. Over twenty minutes of what sounds like burning, hissing, crackling flames. Evil terror lurks in those fumes. Not overbearing or harsh at all, almost soothing in its destruction. Subtle electronics weave in and out like daggers with rusty blades. It almost flows seamlessly into track 2, which is the cool down. Midnight in town’s square, the corpses are left to shame, wind blowing and ashes floating. Murky waters tide in halfway through. This album is definitely a field recording for me, rich visuals to be had. BSBC self described as Black Acid Noise Doom Drone Hate, from Seattle. The Rita is a one-man torture from Vancouver, BC.
Dark, hypnotic, doomy, gloomy drone. Rich deep murky waters, flooding and drowning your senses. The whole thing is almost like one huge track, slowly growing and building on itself. Side A gives you a straight ahead dark ambience. Side B continues the lingering airy drone, but adds in some drums. Rolling, tapping, and shimmering on the cymbals. Side C grows even more, continuing with the dark menacing drone, with drums- but this time they’re a little more rhythmic. As if they’re teasing the darkness to come to the light. Side D finishes out with two tracks, part 1 and part 2. More atmospheric guitar and a bit more noisier. Some echoing effected words mumble midway through, followed up by the drums. The second track is the most rhythmic of them all, with the drums, guitar and drone blending into one. Ends with a war battle.
Chicago native, Jason Soliday, giving you some ear blasts. Modular electronics squiggling and squarbling, wave patterns flying off the screen, blood pressure rising. Definitely more on the noise end, but not complete chaos all the time, there’s a few low ends and darker sounds mixed in. Scratched, scabbed, picked and re-bled.
A 4 cd collection of sound artists from China, mostly Beijing. Noise, ambient, idm, breakcore, new minimalism, field recording, soundscapes, electronics and all sorts of knobs and laptops. The tracks are various recordings from the mid-90s, when Chinese experimentalism started to grow, to the mid 2000s, where it had a major peak. In 2003, Li Jianhong, founder of 2Pi records, created the first major 2Pi festival in Hangzhou, and since then it’s become a yearly tradition, showcasing the best in noise and experimental music every fall. They say that’s when things consolidated and had a shift, creating pre-2003 generations and post-2003 generations. In the early 90s, Dickson Dee founded his label, Sound Factory which he later changed to NoiseAsia. He was the one bringing Japanese artists like Otomo Yoshide and Haino Keiji over to perform. Sort of a leader in the whole Chinese underground noise scene. There’s a lot to choose from on this collection, but each one is timeless and unique. Each track has the artist name, city they’re from, and the year it was recorded. There’s danceable glitch, dark ambience, doom drones and knob twiddling noise. Very diverse in the electronics rainbow.
Beautiful, distant, cinematic drone. Shruti Box, Voices, harmonica, carillon bells, chimes, melodica… It has the sound of a desolate, isolated, melancholic feeling. The part of a movie where you’re stranded and left for dead, the scorpions smell your fear as your face drips with blood. Doomy and gloomy, but of the southwestern touch. Gorgeous floating moans, and echoing bells, almost monk temple-esque. The second side is a bit more optimistic, starting with sounds of children, people and life. It soon gives way to what sounds like an organ with a stuck key. Both Charlemagne Palestine and Janek Schaefer are known as sound and visual artists, musician and composers.
Suzanne Ciani is known for “her groundbreaking evolutions in the commercial evolution of synthesizer music, as one of the small number of female composers in the field.” This album was created for an exhibition at the Galerie Withofs in Brussels, Belgium in June of 1970. These sounds were created when she was at Stanford University’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. Lots of analog synthesizer – knobs and switches, touch plates, mixed with musique concrete, modified and swirled in. High pitches, lots of ’70s minimal “outer space” style sound effects, early electronics. Each track has a narration of which “voice” and usually some trippy title like “sound of an eyeball ripping”, some in French and English. Both sides appear to be one, but if you’re careful, you could start and begin between narrations.
A sort of compilation for those who like to mix it up. Supposedly a few tracks on each side, but each side plays as one continuous mix. Side A starts with what could be the beginning of a Stereolab song, then brings you some ’60s psychedelia, a lava lamp here, a peace sign there, then jumps into a quick summer dub sample. Side B has an interview quicky, before diving into some electronic bubbly dub that soon melds into a chill lounge style beat – cocktail hour. The last half of the track has a steel drum 80s dance flair, complete with low-man vox.
Twisted, warped, pitched, effected and warbled words. Every track is composed only of Carly’s voice, through various effects and triggers. The ‘pronoia’ tracks are segments from a live call in show, recorded at 4am – stuff about spiritual, understanding and communicating, while sounding like they’re on painkillers, possibly stoned, or just feeling the effects of being awake at 4am. A play on voice, and how with the right knobs, you can make an ‘UH’ sound like a stringed instrument. Experimental.
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