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Liles, Andrew – “Anal Aura Gram (ophone)” – [Beta-Lactam Ring Records]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   12-inch, A Library

Released in 2009 by Andrew Liles, this record contains remixes, re-recordings and alternate versions of tracks from the cd “Aural Anagram” (2003). It is based on the erotic works, ideas and obsessions of the artist Hans Bellmer (who apparently is best known for creating life-sized pubescent female dolls.) There is nothing sexy about this record. If anything it is tense and eerie. This is a soundscape of drones, tones and dark ambiance. Synthesized sounds and swells along wih ringing feedback and a constant hum. This record is quite minimalistic, it occasionally builds but never peaks. Side A contains vocal samples speaking of sexual subjects, both processed and clear. Voices include those of men, women and little girls. Side B is based more on dark, abstract sounds with very little vocals. This record is delightfully creepy and uncomfortable. -Surfer Rosa

Ngozi Family – “45,000 Volts” – [No Smoke Records]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   12-inch, International

Originally released in 1977, here is an album of African garage rock from Zambia. Ngozi Family were the first band to be classified as “zamrock” (read the blurb on the back, lots of good info). The music here is riff driven and vocal-centric, with an up beat , approachable sound. Paul Ngozi sings both in English and Zambian and plays a great lead guitar, adding tasteful, well placed guitar solos full of crackley, gritty fuzz and a nice touch of wah on almost every track. The music here is a beautiful blend of traditional African beats and rythms with the sound of western 70s rock.?? It feels good and it sounds even better. – Surfer Rosa

Smith, Wadada Leo / Dejohnette, Jack – “America” – [Tzadik]

surferrosa   11/8/2011   CD, Jazz

Released in 2009, here is a collaboratoin between trumpeter Wadada Leo Smth and Drummer Jack DeJohnette. The drumming here is off the hook. DeJohnette is noteworthy for having performed and recorded with many jazz greats in the late 60s and 70s, particularily for his work with Miles Davis, whose influence can be heard all over this recording, especially through Leo Smith’s approach. The music here is sporadic, It is chaotic, melodic, calm and hectic all at once. It has a free jazz feel while maintaining a tangible sound. Trumpet trills and rolling drum lines, straight, unprocessed analog sounds push the dynamic between rhythm and space. There are only two musicians here buy they full up a whole lot of space. Make note! All tracks end early, between 10-23 seconds before the track time hits zero, so be mindful. – Surfer Rosa

3leafs – “Eat The Earth” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

3leafs are a psychedelic, space-trip from San Francisco, active since 2006. These guys list birds, hollow metal object and abandoned churches as influences. The music here is fully spaced out with an ambient, hypnotic, kraut-rock feel. Long, instrumental tracks riddled with ethereal noises, droning tones, strobing sounds and bubbling synths. This album has a real meditative groove. Its always spacey, quite lovely and occasionally slightly eerie. Eat the Earth is to be thoroughly enjoyed. -Surfer Rosa

Asteroid #4, The – “Hail to The Clear Figurines” – [Committee to Keep Music Evil, The]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Here is the 6th release by Asteroid #4, a band from Philadelphia currently signed on to Anton Newcombe’s record label “The committee to keep music evil”. This music sounds heavily influenced by bands such as R.E.M, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, and Spacemen 3. The music here is shoe-gazey, space-pop with a touch of psych. With plenty of reverb and tremolo, this album has a floaty, elated, yet rock driven sound. It is sweet and pleasant with a nice dose of 60s-esque fuzz freakout. This album is very approachable. Not too much dissonance here, mostly pleasant sounds with a bit of psychedelia. – Surfer Rosa

Hecker, Tim – “Ravedeath, 1972” – [Kranky]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Time Hecker (formerly known as Jetone) is a producer/composer out of Montreal. This album, released February 2011, contains a collection of ambient experimental work. It is full of drones, ringing tones, a touch of organ, plenty of ominous feedback and no vocals of any kind. Heck put up a wall of sound here. This music seems dark and muddy, with a sort of hypnotizing, meditative quality. It sounds to me like a low, murky, underwater sort of rumble. The tracks flow into each other smoothly and the Cd almost plays like one long track. -Surfer Rosa

Skullflower – “Fucked On a Pile of Corpses” – [Cold Spring Records]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Here is another delightfully dissonant release from Skullflower, executed in a harsh, noisy fashion, just as one might expect. The music here is apocalyptic noise drenched is gritty, crackly, guitar fuzz and the constant drone of static, white noise. It picks up a vague sense of rhythm at times, but remains mostly chaotic and consistently doomy, hazy and dark. Songs rack into each other to make for 36 punishing minutes of grating, saturated white noise. And with swell track titles suck as Tantrik Ass Rape and Defiling their Temples with Bestial Lust, you really just can’t go wrong. – Surfer Rosa

Secret Samurai – “Zanshin” – [Muad’Dib Records]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Surf revival from San Diego, because California is the capitol of SURF. Secret Samurai consists of 4 guys playing with the classic surf band lineup of guitar, keys, bass and drums. There is reverb and tremolo picking a-plenty and echoes of the beach, of course. The flavors here range from Russian, to Turkish to Latin. This some solid surf with a classy sound. Anchors away, everybody… -Surfer Rosa

Birchville Cat Motel – “Bird Sister Blasphemy” – [C.Psi.P]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Birchville Cat Motel is a one man band courtesy of Campbell Kneale coming straight from New Zealand, land of rainforests, breathtaking beaches, exotic birds and seizure educing noise. The music here is saturated with gritty, scraping, T.V-static style fuzz, filthy rumbling drones, feedback and ominous oscillations. Track 1 starts off with a full deceptive minute of low key, melodic noodling before it descends into noisy ear-hell for the remainder of the album. #1 is the most tangible of the four tracks, with drums and bass keeping a beat behind guitar chaos. There is a vague sense of rhythm on this album, but mostly it seems to be an exploration in wall of sound, saturated noise. The album ends with drones, chanting, chines and 30 seconds of silence. Songs track together to make for 26 minutes of pure fun. -Surfer Rosa

Battles – “Gloss Drop” – [Warp Records Ltd]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Here is the second release by Battles, featuring a new lineup with the absence of former vocalist and guitarist Tyondai Braxton. I found this album to be quite intriguing. It echoes of math rock, is upbeat, heavily syncopated and even orchestral of theatrical at times. The music here is calculated, and seems to emphasize experimentation in musical textures, tones and sounds as opposed to melody. There is a really heavy electronic element here, but it works well and blends perfectly, its hard to tell where the electronics start and the human instrumentation begins. It runs smooth and seamlessly, a perfect blend of man and machine. Like a cyborg. This sounds to me like a demented video game soundtrack. Vocal tracks are marked with featured artists. Tracks end abruptly. This album in delightful. Enjoy. -Surfer Rosa

Cult of Dom Keller – “EP2” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

The Cult of Dom Keller is a psych-rock group from the UK. This EP (EP2) was released along side another (EP1). I feel like the two go hand in hand. The best part about this EP is the great, saturated, dirty, fuzz these guys use all over their music. They really set up a solid wall of sound here. I would say a little more so than on EP1. The vocals are drenched in reverb, almost functioning as another instrument at times, and the music possesses a heavy, hazy, fat sound. Thing shoe-gase meets stoner-rock psychedelia. Pretty Great.???????? -Surfer Rosa

Cult of Dom Keller – “EP1” – [Self Released]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

The Cult of Dom Keller is a psych-rock group from the UK. This EP (EP1) was released along side another (EP2). The music here is loaded with effects and lots of heavy, saturated fuzz. The vocals are drenched in reverb and often seem to function as another instrument. Many of these tracks transition into each other, this EP almost plays like one 18 minute track. For fans of spacey, shoe-gazey, stoner, psych-rock! -Surfer Rosa

Massacre – “Killing Time” – [Fred Records]

surferrosa   10/31/2011   A Library, CD

Massacre is Fred Frith on guitar, Bill Laswell on bass and Fred Maher on drums. This album was recorded live, mainly in Paris and Brooklyn 1981. These sound like they would have been epic liver performances. The music here fluctuates between the sounds of math rock, psych and free jazz. Its all instrumental and largely improvised. Some of the songs sound more calculated than others (3, 19 for example) but its pretty obvious to tell which are improvised jams and which are not. The music here is chaotic. Its dissonant and experimental. Weird note intervals, strange time signatures, and intriguing combinations of rhythms and sounds. The music here is heavy, gritty, noisy and fully delightful. Check out tracks 6 & 11 for lengthier improvised journeys of feedback, dissonance and alien string noises. A lot of these pieces track into each other, especially the shorter ones, so play it continuously if you please. this album is solid awesome. – Surfer Rosa

Hey Colossus – “RRR” – [Riot Season]

surferrosa   10/26/2011   A Library, CD

Hey Colossus delivers some super heavy, distorted, fuzzed out, wall of sound, punishing noise rock. These guys are noisy as all hell but they keep a beat and lay down some rhythms, which barely escape being swallowed up by dissonance, but this music has drive and tangibility. Some of the tracks lean more towards abstract noodlings while others deliver sludgy, riffy, stoniness. There are some low end, gritty vocals on here which seem to serve more of an instrumental purpose rather than a lyrical one. Prepare to injure yourself because these guys will melt off your face, make you speed on the freeway and headband till your neck snaps. This is massive.

Dead Meadow – “Three Kings” – [Xemu Records]

surferrosa   10/26/2011   12-inch, A Library

This is a double LP of live material recorded at various performances consisting of tracks which you may already be familiar with if you are a Dead Meadow fan. This is some heavy, stoney, ultra bluesy, psych-rock. Its riddled with infectious blues riffs, distortion and good news to all you fans of epic guitar solos because they are unavoidable, found on every single track on this album. Here are some heavy echoes of 70s rock. This record has that crunchy drive which makes you feel nostalgic about those old Lep Zeppelin and Black Sabbath records you never listen to anymore. The music here is far out, but not too far out. Its heavy and distorted, but not dissonant. There are lots of jams, but the jams don’t go for days. This will appeal to those of you who like concise, anchored, accessible rock, as well as those you who crave those drawn out, heavy, spacious psych sounds. This music is definitely some straight motherfuckingrocknroll. These guys have the power trio sound down. Its pretty much all drums, bass and lots of guitar with some twangy mid to high range vocals. Too heavy to be catchy and not heavy enough to melt off your face. Either way not lacking in drive or rock-out madness. -Surfer Rosa

Portable Shrines – Magic Sound Theatre Vol. I [coll] – [Light in the Attic]

surferrosa   10/21/2011   12-inch, A Library

This is a collection (released April 2011) put together by the Portable Shrines Collective, a small group of musicians and artists in Seattle dedicated to “the advancement of psychedelic causes”. This collection, (to quote) is “a treasure trove of rare and exclusive tracks from 18 of the headiest bands currently working in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.” a satement which proves to be quite true. This here is much more than a psych compilation. The music here varies widely in style and apprach while spanning a vast range of psychedelia and musical experimentation. It is effects-heavy, covered in fuzz, reverb, feedback and sounds from beyond. It is delightfully trippy, satisfyingly heavy, and often times quite beautiful, containing everything from fuzz-driven instrumental jams to soundscapes of noise, tones and drones. Check out A4, B1, B4, C2 and D2 for some heavy stoniness with a touch of doom. B3, C1, C3 and D3 lean more towards the ambient/experimental side. Also, check out C4 for a trip down memory lane (has Jim Morrison risen from the grave?). My favorites are noted, but I firmly believe that every track here deserves special attention. This collection delivers. Play it to death! – Surfer Rosa

 

Trees – “On The Shore” – [Sunbeam Records]

surferrosa   10/21/2011   12-inch, A Library

Trees are a British folk-psych band, not to be confused with the metal and of the same name. This is their second album, recored 1970. The music here is acoustic driven, though not lacking a touch of electric sound, with lovely female vocals mich makes for a sound reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane/Battle of Evermore. Many of the tracks here start off as straight British folk and pick up into some rocking jams. This is a good combination of acoustic meets electric, lovely folk meets 70s rock. Longer tracks contain nice, jammy, instrumental sections and the vocals give the music a pleasant, bittersweet touch. Sides 3 &4 contain remixes (and one demo) of tracks on sides 1 &2, some of which differ slightly in their instrumentation and length, but the difference for the most part is not huge. This music is over the hills and far away. It will take you on a psych-driven journey to the English country side. -Surfer Rosa

Congregation For Anti-Flirts Inc.: [coll] – [Cicadelic Records]

surferrosa   10/21/2011   A Library, CD

Here is a collection of music from 1965-67 out of McAllen Texas. This is 60s garage leaning more towards pop as opposed to psych or punk, though it is not lacking in quintessential 60s fuzz. This music is mostly vocal-centric, and seems to contain an over arching theme of love and heartbreak.?? It is also interesting to note that the majority of the artists on this album were high schoolers whn they recorcecd this music (15-18 years old, what was I doing in high school?) 7 has some solid fuzz and plenty of drive, 16 is a nice instrumental surf tune, and 17 is a really nice female vocal with a solid bass line and a sweet organ solo ( my personal favorite). Tracks are all pretty short ranging from 2 to 3 minutes in length. Spin away! This music is Fun.???????????? -Surfer Rosa

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