Huntsville- “For The Middle Class”- [Rune Grammofon]

nic   1/29/2007   A Library

Huntsville is Ivar Grydeland, Tonny Kluften and Ingar Zach. They create an abstract yet rhythmic sound- not quite noise, but close to it. Moving pictures transmitted via your ears, not your eyes. All instrumentals.

T1- The Appearance of a Wise Child: Bouncy bleeps meet a locomotive head-on, with guitar accompaniment. (15:28)

T2- Serious Like a Pope: Drones and moans for strings and synth. (5:03)

T3- Add a Key of Humanity: Epic percussion creates the field and the other instruments play rugby all over it. Leading to a wild scrum at the end. (22:10)

T4: Melon: Lonely acoustic guitar puts on its best suit and searches for a distant drum. (7:29)

Ersen- “Dunden Bugune” – [Underground Masters]

nic   1/29/2007   A Library

Ersen was one of the leading Turkish rock acts in the 70’s. This, his debut album, is a very sought after album by psychedelia collectors all over the world. If Arabesque flavored psych-rock with complex drumming and great fuzz assaults are your flavor of the month, relax, pull up a hookah and enjoy.

All tracks heavily feature Ersen vocals with various Turkish influenced instrumentals folded in and bongo like drumming throughout. Look for electric mandolin (T1/T4/T9), fuzzy guitar (T2/T9/T10), Synth (T3/T6/T10), piano & guitar (T5) and bass guitar (T7/T8).

Reel Change- “Open In Total Darkness’- [Evander Music]

nic   1/29/2007   A Library

Reel Change gives us Soundtracks for films by David Michalak. Reel Change includes Tom Nunn, Joe Sabella, Adam Hurst, Andrew Voight, David Michalak, Phillip Greenleaf and George Cremaschi.

T1- A kaleidoscopic finger painting in search of the end of the rainbow.

T2- A filmmaker’s head explodes with too many ideas that form a universe of their own where he floats in pursuit of his dreams.

T3- Three friends rendered visually, now musically.

T4- A dark, haunting psychological portrait of a man struggling with his deams.

T5- A fireplace becomes a completely different universe forming and deconstructing at the whim of some nameless deity

T6- A tribute to abstract expressionist Ben Lindgren- each muscian was assigned one of six paintings and acted as a searchlight sending out sounds for the others to react to.

t7- An exploration of the fairy tale- the Keeper of the Forest- a spirit who cares for an Evolving Creature and ensures the cycle of nature by creating a magical rejuvenating storm.

Butcher, John/Kurzmann, Christof- “The Big Missunderstanding Between Hertz and Megahertz”- [Potlatch]

nic   1/29/2007   A Library

Butcher on tenor and soprano sax and Kurzmann on lloopp and pick-up gives us hiss, bleeps, bloops, drone and every other noise they could conjure from their twisted sax-ual positions??? Never gets anywhere near the noise level of a drill bit to the brain, these tracks are more thought provoking than pain inducing.

T1- Heartbeat Hiss T2- Cricket Taiko T3- Machine Madness

T4- Howl/Answer T5- Jacobs Ladder T6- Flatulence Tinkle

T7- Metal Moans T8- Hornie Hum T9- ???lectric Trains Toot

Sleep On The Sidewalk- “Morning Birds/In The Water- [Self- Released]

nic   1/29/2007   A Library

Sleep On The Sidewalk is Greg Baldzikowski. This is his self released double EP. Its target is relaxation and sleep. This is done with a variety of soft atmospheric vocals, found sounds (beach, running water, birds, etc), guitar and synth all mixed together in a nice ambient blender of a drink. Greg has played with Swell, Ivans Hose and Osmo. He is currently based in Seattle, but he grew up in Santa Clara and studied music at De Anza College in the mid 70’s. This is great stuff for those early morning hours when speed metal just doesn’t seem the right thing to do….
Track 4 on Morning Birds and Track 1 on In The Water are the same- both have a long (20 sec) very quiet start, so consider a further in cue point if that worries you.

Chris Brown “Master Switch” [Insignificant Records] (33RPM)

nic   11/18/2006   12-inch, A Library

Chris Brown- Master Switch

Chris Brown, Tom Nunn and David Poyourow improvise on home made instruments. Soft ambient percussive and strings intertwine and reproduce.

Wavicle Board- plywood sheets wit steel rods, bronze brazing rods, nails and strings.
Crustacean- balloon mounted rodded metal 32? disk sound radiator.
Wasservina- resonators mounted on stainless steel, water filled bowls and string.

Master Switch (21’18?)- soft percussive, wood on metal, soothing to spooky
Sonar Vacation (3’20?)- vocals (Devo on acid?) over layered, cannibalized piano parts
Insect Love (8’32?)- clicks and buzzing: insectoid poetry?
Summer Jam (7’18?)- liquid percussion in slow motion

Stephan Dunkelman “Rhizomes” [empreintes Digitales] (CD)

nic   11/4/2006   A Library, CD

Stephan Dunkelman “Rhizomes”
Dreamlike soundscapes of the electronic variety- music to create your own SciFi movie of the mind…

Metharcana- On a haunted space ship alien ghosts and humanoid robots play laser tag
Rituellipses- metal, glass and stone percussionists poke each other in slow motion
Hanna Duet- Blue man drummers attacked by giant iron dragonflies
Dreamlike…- Surprising silences, crashes, meteors impact a frozen moon
Aquaera – Trains ful of titanium insects followed by hungry wooden birds
Signallures- Centaur archers practice to the accompanyment of clockwork gnome lyrists
Thru, above and between- traveling to the beach, blindfolded in a crystal hovercraft

Jonathan Coleclough and Murmer “Husk” [ICR] (CD)

nic   9/24/2006   A Library, CD

Jonathan Coleclough and Murmer (aka Patrick McGinley) give us Husk- an in your face, dark and sometimes scary drone masterpiece. A Frankenstein’s monster pieced together from source material cut from refrigerators, thunderstorms, sheep, car horns, ferryboats, windblown sand, and crackling charcoal- field recordings the two traded and processed/distilled to the sonic equivalent of moonshine. The constant drone anchors each of the tracks, with a variety of punctuations- either manipulated gongs, animal noises, thunderstorms, wind, etc. Drink deep…

Track 1, Husk, is a low drone punctuated with scary rattles, distant gongs, thunderstorms and wind blown sand. 30min
Track 2, Approaching Pucara, features a building droning background with giant pig snuffling noises. 14:30min.
Track 3, Fieldwork, Rain and thunder give way to bottles and branches moving in the wind. . 7:10min.
Track 4, Germ, Minimal oscillating drone- growing and shrinking, advancing and retreating. About a min of silence at the end. 21:20min.

Jack Rose “Untitled” [Tequila sunrise] (7”, 45rpm)

nic   9/24/2006   7-inch, A Library

This solo effort by Jack Rose (also of Pelt) is a departure from his usual folk-rock sound. It is much more uninhibited and free form. Just Jack and his 12 string, making wonderful noise. The limited availability of the record, only 500 copies in the initial printing (we got #331), speak to the experimental nature of the release. Discordant guitar pounding and plucking, in front of a live audience gives this a special feel. Can all these sounds come from one instrument?

Part 1 on track 1 should ideally track over to side 2 where part 2 resides and the song ends…

Track 1- Part1- 4min of guitar strangling, starts with applause and ends with hard stop
Track 2- Part II- 4min more with hard start and applause at end

Modern Institute “Excellent Swimmer” [Expanding Records] (33rpm)

nic   9/16/2006   A Library

Modern Institute is the new project by Teho Teardo (guitar, Rhodes, electronics) and Cellist Martina Bertoni. Electronics and cello weave a dreamy, cinematic score for a lazy afternoon. Side one is more upbeat melodic with cello and glitchy electronics call/response. Side two is slower and more atmospheric.

1: dancing sine waves 7: cold metal fingers
2: electronic smoke signals 8: dark skies beckon
3: clock work penguins 9: robotic aorta
4: rain on frozen lake 10: sad gremlin ghost
5: sandpaper piano bleeps 11: ripples on hot metal
6: metronome drone 12: crystal insect dance
13: underground city hum ‘nic Electro

Sufyan Stevens “The Avalanche” [Asthmatic Kitty] (CD)

nic   8/19/2006   A Library, CD

Sufjan (suf-yawn) Stevens gives us what would have been the 2nd CD from the Illinois Album if time pressure had not won out. What we get is an echo of Illinoise with common themes repeated- Saul Bellow instead of Carl Sandburg, Clyde Tombaugh (discover of Pluto) instead of Aliens landing in Highland, etc. We get 3 versions of Chicago- acoustic, adult contempory easy listening, and multiple prsonality disorder- so pick your favorite. Similar in tone and feel to Illinoise- we get a master of quirky indi pop with upbeat, thoughtful lyrics along with a peek at the underlying decay that a closer examination of life in any state can bring. Sprinkle on just a little to spice up any playlist. With 21 tracks from 1:30 to 6:40 its easy to do.

Vladimir Ussachevsky “Film Works” [New World Records] (CD)

nic   7/29/2006   A Library

Ussachevsky, Vladimir “Film Music” “New World Recordings”
Vladimir Ussachevsky was a pioneer of electronic music composition and an early developer of “tape music”- a synthesis of French musique-concrete and German electronics. This collection features 2 film scores.

In No Exit he uses three sound sources- electronic, vocal and concrete: ominous, slicing electronics, manipulated screams, children talking, men laughing- silenced by rifle fire.

In Line of Apogee he uses more environmental sources- wind, footsteps, animal sounds along with chanting, piano and glock(enspiel) all electronically modulated.

Nam June Paik “Works 1958-1979” [Sub Rosa] (CD)

nic   7/29/2006   A Library

Paik, Nam June- Works 1958-1979 (Sub Rosa)
Nam June Paik was a student of Cage and Stockhausen and it shows. Using prepared piano his performances were not only experimental in sound, but at time dangerous for the performer and audience- eviscerated pianos that he threw himself into, grabbing wickedly long scissors and leaping into the front row where he proceeded to cut and slash away Cages suit jacket while Stockhausen edged nervously away…

Trk 1- Prepared Piano is a live recording of his performance on and IN the piano. 28’33
Trk 2- Hommage a John Cage is a hand spliced sound collage 4’10
Trk 3- Simple is a hand spliced sound collage 0’21
Trk 4- Duett Paik/Takis is a collaboration with Paik on piano and voice and Takis on metal sculpture 25’46
Trk 5- Etude for Pianoforte is a hand spliced sound collage 2’49

Amps for Christ “Every Eleven Seconds” [5RC] (CD)

nic   6/17/2006   A Library, CD

Claremont, California based Amps for Christ (AFC) is a blender full of tasty-cool mixed-up Merzbow and Charalambides- noise in all it’s forms meets radical folk. Ranger Barnes and Enid Snarb, who is a recording freak and preparer of Hammonds, met in 1996 and they started recording AFC. There have been many collaborators: Tara Tavi singing and playing Chinese instruments, Marz of Pyramids On Mars, Barnes’ brother and dad, as well as many others.

Every Eleven Seconds (Every eleven seconds a vacuum tube warms up and someone, somewhere breaks a guitar string) by Amps for Christ has something for everybody. Electronic noise from rhythmic, to organic, to painful dentist-drill in-the-ear (1, 15, 3, 5, 11, 7), blue grass pickin’ and strummin’ (2, 13), spoken word (4, 8, 12), mariachi (6), distorted bagpipe (9), sitar/tabla (10) and radical folk (14).

Max Neuhaus “Four Realizations of Stockhausen’s Zyklus” [plana-P] [CD]

nic   6/17/2006   A Library

Master Percussionist Max Neuhaus plays four realizations of composer Karl Heinz Stockhausen’s Zyklus. Neuhaus plays, solo, twenty one different percussion instruments live. All the notes are written out specifically with respect to loudness (one of 12 note sizes), the instrument to be played (instrument symbol), the pitch of the instrument (by a staff), and when the note occurs in time (by correlating time with horizontal space on the page). Stockhausens ‘score? leaves many choices up to the artist, giving a live performance a wide degree of flexibility. The score is circular in that the performer plays from any of a variety of starting notes, plays through the piece and then ends on that starting note. Not for everyone, but an amazing demonstration by a master performer of a legendary composers work.
Version #1- Cymbal crash start, bells, wide dynamic range (9’49”)
Version #2- Drumming start, many silent passages, slow (12’41”)
Version #3- Cymbal start, drums, more organic, less metal (11’17”)
Version #4- Drums, surprise false stops, lots of metal tingles (11’23”)

Charming Hostess – “Punch ” – [Rer Megacorp]

nic   5/6/2006   A Library, CD

The “Big Band” version of Charming Hostess has vocals from Jewlia Eisenberg, Carla Kihlstedt and Nina Rolle and adds instrumentation from Nils Frykdahl (Faun Fables, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum), Wesley Anderson and Daniel Rathbun.

Punch is full of surprising contrasts: pop sounding tunes with vivid lyrics of loss and torment; musical elements of klezmer, Balkan, punk and even country combined with lyrics from Jewish-Polish, Albanian, and Hungarian folk songs (as well as original lyrics from Hostesses leader Jewlia Eisenberg); odd stops, multi-part rhythms and elaborate harmonies weave in and out of more ‘traditional’ sounds. These songs will fit into just about any show- that’s how wide ranging this album is. When the Hostess sets the table you know you will be going back for seconds. (nic Electro)

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