Joe Talia is a drummer, percussionist and electro-acoustic performer based in Melbourne, Australia. James Rushford seems somewhat mysterious online, but I believe he’s from Australia as well. This is minimal, fog head inducing drones. Wind and ambient tones. A slow synth beat pops in for a second on A2, then fades into the shadows, only to reappear again. Lots of experimental, gloomy ghostly sounds. Dreary like a wet winter morning. Popping and clicking, like mic’d acoustics or wood crackling in a fire. The B side has some spooky, effected vocals, like an 80s monster-in-the-TV type of sound. This side has more going on and sort of has a B-movie horror feel towards the end. Don’t be alarmed of the “skipping” sound, it’s supposed to sound that way.
Super short cassette! Over before you blink, with both tracks at 2:30 each. Skozey Fetish’s track is the beginning of your neural mind operation. Setting you down, tape manipulations with zipping and zapping, subliminal words…. your eyes are getting heavy as the doctors fine tune their instruments. Horseflesh is the full on mind wipe. Plugged straight in, electronics are flowing statically right into your brain. Rolling, grumbling, riding wire taps and electrode maps.
Dreamy, ethereal cosmic ambient bliss. Has a very old world gothic feel to it, especially when Sarah Jouffroy comes in with her ghostly singing on the first track. This summons the spirits of times past. No joke – when I was listening to this, the light in the room died a slow fading death, leaving me in darkness. Chillingly fitting to the beautiful electronics, and piano that drifted from the speakers. Slowly floating, in an empty gray cloud with soft and loud percussion that sting and intertwine throughout. Bells and strings, whether their programmed or real, ring and echo. The second track has an ethnic flair to it, while the third track combines elements from the first two, along with a skipping record effect… the most experimental of the 3 tracks.
Tags on his page include tape manipulation baby jesus buttplug and tardcore. This is oddities at play. Random guitar playing, ugly mouth sounds, annoying singing, offense song titles, quirky attitude. One guy, Brent Field, seems to hate everything and everyone. Lonely and depraved music is what I also read. This guy is probably the kid that used to piss in the popcorn butter at movie theaters. There’s some more experimental tracks here and there, as well as some super quick clips like fake phone calls and computer voices. Swans cover on side A!
Darkness within the beat, from the Brooklyn area. Mentions of post-apocalyptic times and concrete walls were made to help you envision what they were going for with this. There’s a red light style dark wave synth, with monotone male vocals. Ghostly wordless singing on one track. A very dreary, danceable futuristic style sound. Industrial “light” with rumbling, lurking rhythms.
Two 20ish minute tracks from two solo artists. TALsounds is Natalie Chami. She brings super dreamy, whimsical, airy looping and twisting ambience. Synths and voice roll over each other like grape vines. Dewey, misty and pretty. Greyghost is Brian Griffith. Radio frequencies shifting and fading. A plucked guitar loops and lapses in time. Thoughtful memories and mind racing meditations. Very soothing and relaxing cassette. Great for laying in a meadow on a warm summer afternoon.
Solo outing from Seiji Nagai, of the Taj Mahal Travellers. Recorded in 1999.
Dense, lush rolling improvised sounds swirl and twist like tendrils. There’s definitely electronics, and in between the cracks you can hear piano and keyboards. It’s psychedelic in its own way, where instruments and sounds melt and pour into each other like lava (lamps, ha!). Some are more droned out and slow, while others are quicker and more frenzied. Yet it all sounds harmonious, and almost raises you like a fizzy lifting drink. Lots of warping sounds, and trinkling effects. I noticed after, on the back he has a short blurb about each track, and he’s spot on with how I would describe each of them. There’s lots of layers and details on each side, fun to listen and shift your focus from one to the other.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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