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Prince Jammy – “Prince Jammy Presents Strictly Dub: Pressure Sounds 67” – [Pressure Sounds]

surferrosa   10/9/2012   12-inch, Reggae

Before King Jammy… there was Prince Jammy. This record is taken from an obscure album that briefly surfaced in the early 80s and according to the liner notes is regarded as a minor masterpiece of Jammy’s mixing style. What you have here is bouncy dub dubby dub with a swing and a sway. All instro… that is no vocal samples. Sounds like a super stony chill session on an island beach..the grooves roll and the bass lines bump. Side A has more of a sleepy kick back sort of feel. Side B is a bit more upbeat and horny. Dub-tastic. -Surfer Rosa

Richard Ramirez – “Swimming Hole, The” – [Love Earth Music]

surferrosa   10/5/2012   A Library, CD

Deliver me from silence! Oh my…what you have here is sadomasochism at its finest, crafted in the form of glass shattering feedback and harsh power electronics..courtesy of Love Earth Music like only they can do it. In a few words, this is a sweltering, blistering, merciless sonic massacre. Crackling, buzzing and shrieking in all of its relentless glory… Now a word about Richard Ramirez. If you’re wondering, no, this is not the name of the artist..not exactly anyways..Richard Ramirez, or the ‘Night Stalker’ is a satanist, serial killer and rapist, infamous for taking his victims in their bedrooms late at night during the 80s and 90s in the LA area. He is known for killing his male victims rather quickly and giving the ladies more leisure..He is currently on death row awaiting execution, responsible for at least 13 gruesome murders. Ramirez claims to be Satan’s right hand man and looks forward to sitting beside him in hell. While in prison, he was courted by self proclaimed 41 year old virgin Doreen Lioy, who wrote him over 70 letters post incarceration before he proposed to her. The two were wed in an unholy union, she with a gold band and he with platinum because “Satanists don’t wear gold”. That’s all you need to know. May the lords of agony have mercy on your soul. -Surfer Rosa

Darto – “All Eyes” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   9/25/2012   A Library, Cassette

A trio of siblings from Seattle Washington, rockin’ away and kicking out the jams. This is Darto’s debut release, lo-fi, homemade, almost instrumental and full of raw hissing energy. Sounds like the music here was recorded live. Sparse, far away vocals are drowned out by the superfuzz. The music is thick. A subtle synthesizer comes and goes like the violent blowing of a rising wind as guitar/bass/drums pound out and roll away with the rocks. These three like to jam. Tracks have a slow burn, heavy handed sort of grit, Occasionally delving into odd meter and dropping in and out of massive freakout. The smoke rises, fogging up your glasses, in a room full of sleepy people swaying back and forth to the lull of feedback and the crunchy rhythm of overdrive. -Surfer Rosa

Total – “Hard and Low” – [Turgid Animal]

surferrosa   9/25/2012   A Library, CD

What you have here is Matthew Bower’s (of skullflower) solo project, Originally a cassette release on Broken Flag Records in 1986 and re-released now on Turgid Animal. This is Bower’s first project under the moniker Total. This album is driven by analog sound and largely instrument lead, post-industrial noise. Varied and cacophonous, riddled with broken loops, moldy fuzz and ominous frequencies. Tracks #1 and #6 echo of each other. The first kicking off with a distant anarchy in the UK . Both descend into a prickly wall of drone, populated with feedback and construction zone musings. #2 houses an analog horn drone. Processed and layered, creating a thick mess of pipe moans and low end hums. #3 brings tape manipulation. Warped and broken loops singing of a haunted symphony of backwards satanists, caroling as they pound their heavy fists at your front door. #4 is vocal deterioration. Anguished and pulsating on a synth-drone see-saw. #5 brings the music home. Solo piano improvisation, soaked in melancholy and accompanied by the occasional clicks of prepared strings or a gritty guitar. Rounding things out with #7, spinning out on a lopsided loop, crackling in and out of samplage. Infectious and oscillating under the heat of sound. This album is a gloomy, murmuring collage. It can be harsh at times, but if you search you will find loveliness. Constant flux and sonic bliss. -Surfer Rosa

Sad Horse – “North Portland Music Series, Volume #2” – [Mississippi Records]

surferrosa   9/12/2012   7-inch, A Library

Sad Horse brings in a lo-fi bounce. This 7” was released in 2008 as part of Mississippi Records’ “North Portland Music Series”, showcasing the wide musical range coming out of Portland over the last 101 years. This whole thing comes out to a whopping 5 minutes, and each fleeting moment is worth all the while. So much twang! Odd times and churning rhythms! These are energetic, angular, whimsical blasts delivered with punk rock sensibilities and the simplicity of a duo. Boy/Girl vocals shriek, rant and chant. These two are versed in not singing, producing plenty of good humored hollers and all sorts of silly vocal sounds. Sad Horse packs a crunchy, garagey homemade flavor full of sweetness. -Surfer Rosa

Rake / Con Demek [coll] – [Fourth Dimension Records]

surferrosa   9/12/2012   7-inch, A Library

This 7” was originally released in 1993 as part of Grim Humor Magazine, a UK publication directly affiliated with fourth dimension records, in existence from 1983 to the mid 90s (1993 maybe?). The magazine followed the whereabouts of the underground scene in music and the arts. Grim Humor would often times come accompanied by flexidiscs or compilations, such as this one, released on either cassette or 7” records. The magazine is associated with all sorts of names you already know.. but I’ll leave the list off the review..Rake (side A) delivers a bit over four minutes of hard and churning freakout. Noise rock if you will.. in a distorto-frenzy with wailing vocals and growls. The track comes in heavy, feeds back and teeters out. Con Demek (side B) is known for their noise-scapes. This track starts off with a sample detailing the activities of a possessed oven,accompanied by maniacal laughter. A repetitive locked-groove sort of rumble sets in and we enter a world of grating, industrial, electro-acoustic sounds, populated by oscillations, reverberations, squeaks, clinks and the kitchen sink. Enjoy. -Surfer Rosa

Anworth Kirk – “Shacklecross” – [Pre-Cert Home Entertainment]

surferrosa   9/11/2012   12-inch, A Library

Fingers running along the rims of watered wine glasses. Strings breaking. A faucet is dripping. Somebody is moaning in the next room. The drum line is doing drills outside. The forest is burning. oh.. the forest..Almost like surfing on the radio dial. Fleeting thoughts of precussion and melody are droned out by a haunting. Cerebral. Otherworldly. It loops, chirps and glitches. Pulls an electro-acoustic string through your fried brain. You can hear the tracks change if you are keeping an ear out, but the tracks flow as seamlessly as side longs. The sounds here are incapacitating. Tones for every inch of your body. This record is dank like a dungeon. -Surfer Rosa

Deep Magic – “Closed Eyes” – [Debacle Records]

surferrosa   9/5/2012   A Library, CD

We are going for a dip in the deepest, most ominously murky blue, where you can only see a couple feet ahead of you. Deep Magic creates something from the dream world…an underwater, opiate, reverie. Alex Gray, this one man project out of LA, constructs heavily layered, glimmering and shimmering, hazy sound-worlds.. riddled with heavenly drone, found sounds, tape manipulations and the warped and worbly. Ethereal swells and oscillations…the sonic caress of ringing chimes or meandering piano lines. This album is absolute elation…meditation..sedation.. polluted or enhanced by the slightest, most subtle touch of static. The occasional warp will remind you of turntable three. Closed Eyes is a tranquilizing orchestra of bittersweet loveliness. Tracks track if you are so inclined. -Surfer Rosa

Gebbia Goodheart & Powell – “Zen Winter” – [Evander Music]

surferrosa   9/5/2012   CD, Jazz

Like starting a sentence mid-thoughr. These are the improvised pieces of Matthew Goodheart, Gianni Gebbia and Garth Powell. Tracks range from 17 seconds to 8 minutes. The shorter tracks are like miniature almost free jazz. They come and go so swiftly..like a fleeting, unfinished thought that escapes your mind as quickly as it entered. This album contains a lot of sounds.. such a statement may normally seem painfully redundant, but in this case it holds relevance. Populating these frequencies are clicks and scrapes of a prepared piano. The honk and skronk of a horn or a sax. The rat-at-tat of restless fingers pushing buttons and blowing air. Reedy quacks. The sweeping and shimmering drop of piano keys. Reactionary, percussive meanderings. The resonance of a ringing bell, or the flutter of a flute. And is that a squeaky toy I hear? (#9, 12)… Relative to other improvised jazz, this music is rather gentle (depending on the calibration of your ears that is.. ). The music here is conversational, interlocking, musical and no-so-musical,consistently executed with an artful and knowing use of dynamics. Here is an exploration in composition, improvisation, soundscaping and lack of arrangement. Whether you are in search of the somewhat tangible or the entirely abstract…look no further. -Surfer Rosa

Nazoranai – “Nazoranai” – [Editions Mego]

surferrosa   8/27/2012   12-inch, A Library

Here is a collaboration of epic proportions. This trio includes the godly musings of Keiji Haino, Stephen O’malley and Oren Ambarchi. This was recorded in Paris November 2011. Do not come here in search of rock and roll, this is for lovers of noise, drone and stacks of sound. Ominous, pounding, angular, darkness…heavy and dripping with drone, speckled with shimmering bursts of total freak out. Haino’s vocals groan through a tortured growl or a heavenly moan. His guitar delivering a face-melting wall of dissonance, always in flux, flawlessly complimented by Ambarchi’s blistering drum battery and the low-end, earth-shaking rumble of O’malley’s bass work. This is a universe of guttural tension. So much tension. The imminent doom of noise lies behind each moment of relative calm. It cooks in all its smokiness, riding on a black wave of massive proportions. Brace yourself… you are in for a concussion. -Surfer Rosa

*note- side C comes to a screeching halt at 21:58 minutes.

Ptak, Carly – “Wonder Now” – [Heresee]

surferrosa   8/21/2012   12-inch, A Library

Carly Ptak does guided meditation and audio exploration. She is also half of Nautical Almanac. This album is a collection of sonic experimentation and field recordings. The sounds her are entirely varied so here is the breakdown…Lets start with side Bird (or A..) tracks 1 and 3 are complimentary, housing haunted, wind chimey sounds, crackling and droning through a broken speaker. Bells and gongs and relentless ringing make for a heavily layered dreamlike state. #2 sounds like a field recording taken at a horse horse, including the sounds of announcers and spectators. #4 is a field recording of a flute being played in a casino, complete with slot machine sounds, background casino noise, and the general mumbo jumbo of a crowded place. Pretty great. #5 is Carly singing an acapella song. Spreading her world view.. or something.. ends in a locked groove. Side Leaf (or B) contains 20 minutes of guided meditation for schizophrenics. Layers on top of layers of vocal instructions and subtle drones whisper into your brain, easing you into a state of other-worldliness. Sounds like all the voices in your head cooing to you all at once. This album has an unnervingly blissful quality to it. Take a deep breath, and drop the needle anywhere. -Surfer Rosa

Walking Corpses, The – “We, God’s Apes” – [3 Acre Floor Records]

surferrosa   8/21/2012   A Library, Cassette

This is the first ever release by The Walking Corpses, a Teenage Panzerkorps spin off, featuring members of this band as well as artists from the groups Death in June and Last Dominion Lost. The band is based in Berlin and is out on the newly resuscitated 3 Acre Floor record label. This cassette release has a warped and??wobbly??lo-fi sound. Old time, far away, telephone??receiver??vocals, often times consisting of some mysterious German speech (2, 4, 5, 6, 7) , are placed besides keyboard clinks and foggy static. Lonely drones and meandering melodies mesh with the noodling of various sounds.??Warbley,??weird and simple with ??that??unmistakable??tape hiss tickling your ears, inducing a sonic sneeze-Surfer Rosa

Phog Masheen – “Survey of Brutality” – [Distorto Sound]

surferrosa   8/20/2012   A Library, CD

The electro-acoustic, uber-distroto musings of noise chemist Phog Masheen. This is a sorta glitchy, demented, industrial daydream. The beat is bent and deformed by the fuzz, but it shines through the grit, giving you the compulsion to wiggle out an involuntary jig. The trumpet howls through some of these tracks, heavily processed and thoroughly filthied. Here is a towering mass of noise and rhythm, escalating and searing through a psychoactive sound parade. Listen to the voices..and take your meds!! -Surfer Rosa

Crown of Cerberus/ Miscreant [coll] – [Self-release]

surferrosa   8/20/2012   A Library, CD

This split contains tracks originally of off various cassette releases put out by sound artists Crown of Cerberus and Miscreant. ??The first is the gentler of the two projects. #1 brings ethereal, ghostly, choral incantations..skipping, cycling and swirling away. #2 houses looping, stuttering tones. Sounds like a backwards symphony. #3 chimes broken chirps and the swinging breeze of static. Miscreant is the more abrasive project. Their two tracks revolve around harsh electronics, burning and crackling beneath a hateful, indecipherable human yell. Solid, crystal clear samplage awaits at the end of both these tracks #4 on psychological warfare for the last minute or so. #5 on the brainwash of television for the last 3 minutes. This collection has got the roses and the thorns -Surfer Rosa

Medicine Cabinet – “Discordant Ovation” – [Love Earth Music]

surferrosa   8/13/2012   A Library, CD

Did you know that they have video arcades in hell? Well, this is what this sounds like. Or maybe it sounds more like having an epileptic seizure. No… more like consuming the abundance of drugs you keep in your possession all at once. Dig into some abusive power electronics. Get ready for some ear rape! The noise here is not stagnant, but constantly morphing, fluxuating and rearing its ugly head. Its got a deranged element of whimsy, but mostly its going to induce menstruation through the ears…. brought to you by the sadistic fuckers of Love Earth Music. If your stomach is weak, #11 is the most forgiving. This will make you drop to your knees, and beg for silence… in other words, buckets of good clean fun. -Surfer Rosa

Teledetente 666 – “Teledetente 666” – [Sweet Rot Records]

surferrosa   8/13/2012   7-inch, A Library

Sweet Rot has been rummaging through the French underground and has put out Teledetente 666’s debut 7” LP. This is some gritty, mid-tempo drum machine punk, soaked in fuzz drenched riffage. The drum machine is a little unfortunate if you ask me, but hey, Big Black used a drum machine too (though this sounds nothing like BB so don’t get the wrong idea..), and all computerized percussion aside, this LP certainly stands its ground. This has a staticy, bedroom hot-boxed with cigarette smoke kind of feel. The grooves here are infectious and the vocals sung in french make for some sex appeal. Side A is my pick, but ends super abruptly, so watch out! Side B echoes of the 80s with more of a dirty synthy sort of sound. You could eat a handful vicodin and sway to this. -Surfer Rosa

Ufomammut – “Oro: Opus Primum” – [Neurot Recordings]

surferrosa   8/13/2012   A Library, CD

Ufomammut (pronounced Oof-o-ma-moot) are a three piece from Italy delivering the doom sludge from outer space. This is a creature from some other planet populated by headbangers and stoners. The builds are slow like dripping resin, and the drops are heavy like dark matter. Sparse vocal samples and far-away moans barely break through a thick layer of fuzz, among the trance-like oscillations of an analog synth. These guys know how to work the dynamics, launching innocent, unsuspecting you from a psyched out space-trip straight into a plodding death march. Tracks segue quite seamlessly, so you could conceivably play this as one 51 minute track or anything in between. I’ll take my cannoli drenched in blood and stuffed with severed limbs, thank you very much. -Lucifer Rosa

Fontana – “Fontana” – [X! Records]

surferrosa   8/1/2012   12-inch, A Library

This trio from Detroit Michigan can’t decide what kind of music they want to play, which is precisely what makes this record so solid… this is hard rock breaking through the little cardboard punk box. I would definitely call this punk rock, but sometimes is sounds more like metal..or thrash..or surf.. or noise.. or psych.. Just when you think you know where a track is going it takes a hard turn, throws you off track and then comes right back around to slap you in the face. These guys deliver the plodding, driving, head banger grooves and then some. The dynamics here are tight, the freak outs abundant, especially because these three are sonicly locked into each other. Pissed off, high energy vocals teeter on the edge of growls, screams, screeches, yelps and speech. Lyrical content is absolutely delightful when you can understand it, and equally as pleasing when you can’t. Fontana creeps up with all sorts of nonsense. These tracks are far from uniform, within themselves and from each other. Haphazard, angular, noisy, jammed out bliss. This is something I would like to see live. FCC on A2, B1, B3 -Surfer Rosa

Titan – “Titan” – [Paradigms Recordings]

surferrosa   7/25/2012   A Library, CD

Titan is a four piece project from Brooklyn, NY, specializing in massive jams. So why are all the song titles in German? Probably because these guys worship the lords of Kraut rock . This is some straight psychedelia from outer space, complete with a perpetual synth drone and plenty of laser gun sounds (which are kinda cheesy sometimes..). The synthesizer totally dominates here, making for a shimmering, oscillating, bubbling sort of soundscape. Combined with an abundance of face melting guitar solos and driving beats, this makes for an otherworldly,involuntarily meditative sonic experience. Its all about the build up here. 4 minutes of drone ease into track 1 which is an epic psych-journey, delivering about 18 minutes of sticky jam. track 2 (my personal pick) is a stellar freak out. Track 3 starts with almost 5 minutes of drone and brings some extra bloopy synth-scapes to the party. Dig it. -Surfer Rosa

Gangrene – “Odditorium” – [Decon Records]

surferrosa   7/25/2012   12-inch, Hip Hop

The Alchemist and Oh-No team up once again to deliver the beats, scratches and psychedelia. The hip hop here has a dark, warped sort of air to it. It wiggles, wobbles, convulses and foams at the mouth. Samplage is heavy and often times bizarre, echoing of fuzz guitar and drug use. This record is saturated with odd sounds and all sorts of static, which makes this listen surprisingly noisy. Check B2 for frog sounds. Rhymes are divine, strung together artfully, bringing home the clever and often speaking of food and other substances. The loops here are infectious, maddeningly repetitious and certainly something to bounce to. Gangrene slathers their art with a thick layer of grit and grime, producing a truly eccentric sound like no other. -Surfer Rosa

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