Music Reviews

Dead Drums – “Fashion Defense / Human Hair” – [Bathetic]

Thurston Hunger   5/9/2012   A Library, Cassette

Probably should not have fallen asleep in the bathtub
again, but this Dead Drums release on Bathetic definitely
drifts a body down, through the drain and into another
world. Steamy slurry vox sometimes, and that one-winged
chick, the pop priestess is summoned. Home-spun, with
tap-water guitar, and a clear murkiness to the production.
Results in a barbituate cassette. Lo-fi badge of courage,
and a MOR rock hangover, seeping into various karaoke dreams
(forever Everly on #6, and Nicks knacks on #9). Haze
on top of haze, with guitar as a mesh.?? Caleb Moore is
the Calgonian at work here, also in a band called Lands
and Peoples. The full (double EP) plays really well
in its entirety, a better chance for submerging. Track #13
is a two-fer, beware silence from 3:45 till 4:38. It has
a bowed start, and then circling bubbles of guitar. Bohren
and Der Bathrobe of Baltimore drip electic piano drops on
#7. Shoe gaze without the shoes? Sink into it…

-Thurston Hunger

Sagan Genesis – “Mollusk In Water” / Waxy Tomb – “Take One, Try All” [coll] – [Weird Forest]

Roland Blunt   5/2/2012   A Library, Cassette

Split cassette collection from, Sacramento-based, Weird Forest Records featuring two KDVS (UC Davis Radio/ TechnoCultural Studies) related sound artists: Sagan Genesis (John Brumley) & Waxy Tomb (Julia Litmer-Cleper). A subtly drastic synthesis of electronic signals, field recordings, voice, and noise elements deployed through explorations of avante-garde recording, editing, mixing techniques.

Side A – Sagan Genesis…(0:00-14:26) entropic, subaqueous plumes of resonate noise meander, pitch, squish, burble, brood, surge within an extramundane realm. (14:26-19:59) placid buoyant plashes surface. (19:59-23:46) precipitate toggle to an enchanted swell of chimes. (23:46-28:21) toggle to a blushing phlegmatic carousel of synth. (28:21-29:59) toggle to a country tune superimposed within a field recording of classroom lecture. *False ending @ 29:38*

Side B – Waxy Tomb…Ten tracked movements of psychoactive otherworldly transmissions…pulses, vibrations, squeaks, squelches, rumbles,??demented device noodling, mutated voices, eerie synth swells, eruptions of twisted electronics, rhythmic industrial leanings…warped narration of noise-powered contrivances struggling into motion.

Mullins, Patrick – “Farewell, Friend and Helper” – [Underwater Experiences]

Roland Blunt   5/2/2012   A Library, Cassette

Solo work from Patrick Mullins: former member of Burmese, and Orinoka Crash Suite. Delicate blend of field recordings, synthesizer, electronics, tape manipulation, acoustic and electric guitar. A mellow, captivating, deep listening experience…with select moments of resounding intensity.

Side A : Track 1 (0:00-04:03)…breathy ambient washes. Track 2 (04:03-10:55)…crickets, tones, eerie silence, fumbling, gentle acoustic strumming. Track 3 (10:55-15:30)..swirling acoustic melody surrounded by squishy, electronic muck…intensified noise-drone-tone transmission rises during the last 01:54.

Side B: Track 1 (0:00-06:43)…reprised acoustic melody transforms into electro-ambient submersion of notes, tones and grumbles. Track 2 (06:43-08:57)…acoustic noodling, noise washes, traffic, footsteps, birds chirping. Track 3 (08:57-16:15)…languid acoustic picking overtaken by persistent tone-drones swells, footsteps in wet sand/dirt guide you out.


Deep Magic – “Balance” – [Deep Tapes]

cinder   4/13/2012   A Library, Cassette

A fellow by the name of Alex Gray. Recorded using a laptop, drum machine, guitar, synth, and bamboo sax. Loops and magical sounding drones. Cassette cover features clouds with triangles and circle cut-outs, very representative of the sound. These are more uplifting, bubbly types of repetitive electronics – a sort of desert psych feel.

Sea Zombies – “It Died In Africa” – [Digitalis Industries]

cinder   4/13/2012   A Library, Cassette

John Xela and Brad Rose (The North Sea) are the minds behind this terror. Two 20 minute tracks of darkness and despair. The first having a dirty drone with a man ranting on in a foreign language (African men speaking in French), sounds religious in the manner he’s speaking, and the title – repent – concludes that thought. He disappears about halfway through, the drone thickens, then he’s back to finish it out. The second track has a different approach, with a lighter, synth loop, but with the same man ranting and raving. Love how the music changes the way your perceive his speech.

Chapels – “That Incorrigible Death’s-Head” – [Robert & Leopold]

Roland Blunt   4/11/2012   A Library, Cassette

Droning, industrial noise-mospheric experimentation from Buffalo, NY-based artist, and force behind House Of Alchemy label, Adam Richards. Two, side-long compositions of abstract sonic creep-age that lurch, scrape and grub at your brainium. Acoustic feedback, delay loops, as well as live manipulation of equipment, objects and voice are exploited to fashion soundscapes that inspire an acute texture of distress.

Side A (19:46) – Ethereal, portentous, distrait, maniacal tinkering….as icy moments of deep, alluring dread linger before the act.

Side B (20:19) – Jovian scour for terrestrial sap induces a timorous relent to a psycho-sonic fugue.

Mad Nanna – “I Made Blood Better” – [Goaty Tapes]

mickeyslim   4/3/2012   A Library, Cassette

Mad Nanna is Michael Zulicki who runs the Albert’s Basement label outside of Melbourne, Australia, where he resides. From what I gathered, Mickey (as they call him!) plays his skewed take on “pop” music, getting together with random musicians who sometimes haven’t heard the music before. Mostly lo-fi recordings make the album seem very live, like its coming at you from your living room, and at times, sounds like it’s coming from someone else’s. Some tracks sound like they’re very stripped down; metal trash cans and plastic tubs drum set and one chord songs with crappy mic volume, daddy likey.

The volume likes to fluctuate, but it only gives it a grittier more homemade sound, which I approve of on this album. Sometimes bluesy, sometimes psychy, also some popy numbers, and drudgier stuff as well. His guitar feels thrown together in the moment, keeping you waiting for the next note, but played precisely in time. Track 2 and 7 are spoken and 7 sounds like it might have a “fuck you” on it. Mad Nanna has some 7″s?? out also, would love to see more of this group in the library! Eat it up!

PGM: track 7 (B3) may have a “fuck you” on it.

Monypeny, Derek – “Limerence” – [Underwater Experience]

mickeyslim   3/22/2012   A Library, Cassette

Limerence (n), term coined in ’77 to describe the strong romantic attraction to someone else, coupled with the obsessive need for the feelings to be reciprocated by the limerant object. This cassette will undoubtedly be the limerant object for many DJ’s up here at KFJC. Monypeny uses electric oud and the electric guitar, making this release less Middle Eastern influenced. The first track on side A starts off in the middle of a cloud of bees swarming around and around, distracting you from something. That something comes unexpectedly and sounds like a robotic Godzilla tearing apart cars at the junkyard. Second track is more of a lucid underwater naptime dream. Three is hypnotic ambient single notes until halfway it stops and turns into a handdrum jam.

Then turn this sucker over and experience the 17:00 long track. Sparse sounds warbling by, slowly building and building to drop back down, never really hitting a peak. Awesome job here, and I think many will enjoy, especially with all the love Don’t Bring Me Down, Bruce has been getting. Get your fix…

Mickey Slim

Winters In Osaka – “Mind Burrow” – [Self-release]

Laethaka   3/21/2012   A Library, Cassette

Two track self-released cassette from Chicago “creep ambient” band. Track 1 is pretty much a dub- undulating waves of noise for several minutes, maybe good bed music. Track 2 is the real meat- extremely raw and layered vocals over grating rhythms that get increasingly cut up by whines and impacts. More ambient black metal than most “ambient black metal”. Very strange but not terribly painful.

Obeast Mixtape Vol 1 [coll] – [Obeast]

humana   3/20/2012   A Library, Cassette

This compilation of fuzzy, droning, whirring, mechanical, feedback laden noise will be right up a lot of folks’ alleys. I have selected the ones with melodies going on within. Sometimes there are voices speaking or humming, and sometimes there’s a bird singing. Mostly, though, it sounds like washing machines whirring and chain saws screeching. Enough to set your teeth on edge as you go racing for the Advil.

Satoshi Kanda / Nick Hoffman [coll] – [Pilgrim Talk]

Thurston Hunger   2/29/2012   A Library, Cassette

Cassette release from adventurous Pilgrim Talk label,
with the label leader Nick Hoffman delivering the
heavy duty b-side. A 22+ minute wandering number in
the electronic wasteland, where the sun hums and
the birds are static clicks that flutter by. Lots
of silence between sonic valleys, so be prepared to
be soothed, even the the start which delivers more
industrial sizzle has a rough but reassuring texture.
The Kanda pieces I need to understand more about.
I dig the first movement, with it’s shrill blasts to
separate the meat from the bone of your inner ear.
A switch is thrown to connect the charge, over a
steady drone for most of the piece. Kind of feels like
metal dragging behind a car, making a circuit for
the louder sounds, but tinkling at other times. I
think it stops at 6:30, unless there are canine
frequencies after that. Then the second movement just
seems to be a constant hum, with more than 2X the
length, so not sure about the simulataneous nature of
it. Is it the 2nd derivative of the 1st at half speed?
Formulas may be at work, but evaded my ear/mind.
Dig the first and the last though.

-Thurston Hunger

Robair, Gino – “Noisebox (e.11.b)” – [Holy Cheever Church]

Grizzly Adam   2/17/2012   A Library, Cassette

Rotatables, rotor sparks, spit sounds from a straw in low
soda and exhaling. Tufts of air. Creaky hinges, space
sound efx for play miniatures. Mighty mountain men mine.
Toad’s wild ride on car and galloping horse. Emulating
expensive electronics via simple acoustic exploration
of Modern products for home, office, sport, business,
recreation, and entertainment. All your most annoying
poor table manners rolled into one cassette double
sided janus faced object collage, musical play room.
Kids would dig it, so can you. Compositionally noise
as diverse as a purist might make. A branch against
a fence as you walk by, a strong twig against the steel
poles of a fence as you walk by. A blender with ball
bearings inside set on super low speed. Sputtering
alien babble.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly

Hands to – “Cicuye” – [Yugen Art]

cinder   2/16/2012   A Library, Cassette

Super headphone music. Natural field recordings from various monuments in Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Navajo Indian Reservation, Sunset Crater, Battle Rock , etc. What you have is pretty much what sounds like someone accidentally hit record on their Walkman and left it in their pocket. The sound of the clear skies blow across the microphone, giving it that wide open space feel. Footsteps, and moving of the recording device are the only other sounds that are really prevalent. Possibly some camping gear. It’s interesting from a voyeuristic point of view.

Coxhill, Lol – “Bald Soprano Companion, The” – [Tak Tak Tak]

mickeyslim   2/11/2012   Cassette, Jazz

Coxhill is a prolific solo soprano and sopranino sax player. this album is supposed to accompany a book of the same name, which is a biography of Coxhill’s life. Half of the songs were written for the album, others were recorded live or come from soundtracks.

The music changes from groovin boppy sax riffs to wonky squeaks and high pitched expirimentation. Very versatile player. Feels like a “best of” album. Long tracks good for mixing since it’s all solo saxophone work. Great expirimental imporv here.

mickey slim

White Gourd – “III The Empress XIV Temperance” – [Self-release]

Grizzly Adam   2/1/2012   A Library, Cassette

Is there a live chicken in the house? Probably just effects, yet this and a percussion introduction brings out the village in the city, the wilderness into downtown. A speaker who might be announcing grand day, as a ringing metal instrument marks the sound jovial as in a church with music accompaniment. Sudden hair rising and blood curdling voice enters, and still in time we return to a tranquil garden in sound-oppolis, where there are animals stirring, friends lounging around reading, piano, guitar, and sax played by Suzanne Stone who also vocalizes, making dinosaur voices, chant, and languid, has words to say. Track 2 is in parts a horrific sound scape, and in others the sound of a heritage festival. Some accordion in here as well. Nice.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly Adam

3 Moons – “Almanac of The Dead” – [Psyop Recordings]

Grizzly Adam   2/1/2012   A Library, Cassette

Folk pop. Actual swamps and instrumental #4. Well trodden paths and LANGUAGE #5. Upbeat #2. Instrumental #8. Like the Mumlers? #1 and #3. Nice accordion #9. For the living and then maybe the dead. Donated from the Fake Hospital group, which #10 reminds me of.
LANGUAGE Track 5 – shit

-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly Adam

Haptic – “Scilens” – [Fss]

Grizzly Adam   2/1/2012   A Library, Cassette

First Note: “Mingus Plays Piano”.
Exterior grooves in fist-sized metal clang when struck, being thrust downward to bang on it’s symmetrically opposed double. Some that are actual used sources; Sewing machine, location recording (field recording or found sound.) Clanky in the construction. Over blown horn squeak, air flow fault, cavernous or in closure surround sound water and trickle inside the piano with a scrape object with a little piano unikey expression upward increasing dynamic, sound of cylindrical air tubes, blow horn, a distant thunder heard from inside faint. Breathing, breathy word mutter and less than a minute inside. Violin in a slide technique, only a few are done and in a just as much done still fewer in a small range. Emulating boat creak, a process, massive object, and slow to change. Heart pound bass sudden, accompanies with fainter drum from tom tom or the like
(parade drum). Wind in rain, tapping a window. A fairly encircled tonal range, trebly. Fuzz from the cassette originals comes to the front and gets accompaniment. A loose cling together is once again encircling. This time a higher pitch tonal area is revealed as being with more drone elements than done so for the crinkly start and progressions. Near nothing yet it might be an organ, of what sounds like a chord, you can spot it out. And 10 minutes in, the sound dissipates into a few closing notes on drum. That was track 1. #2 Bass to rumble, wind against glass, and muted snare roll builds to be the largest sound until dissonant harmonies come up quicker than a lab grows cultures. A very loud track. Manual alarm to sudden quiet and electronic invis-a-drone. Folds into clock seconds, tick tock and end. #3 More like the guitar drone stuff of frontier. Pulse active, trance sleep and evening, at night, calm collected, doing sewing grinding etc. The more liminal stuff that goes with a band like Gog. There is a coda ending this piece where
some creative use of silence was done so be aware. #4 More of a noise piece, with longer, more sustained, noise sources. Flickering, scanning, and printing. Pan percussion or cymbals. To ambient electronica. Sudden silence here too, and on into a piano coda. #5 Skipping portable CD player. Rain noise (almost) humming acoustic sound, and screechy electronics that drone. Fire crackle, and marbles.
-Eveningly Infinitely Wipes Scrub Sonny Atoms Grizzly Adam

White Gourd – “Unprotected Sax” – [Karamazov Tapes]

Thurston Hunger   12/14/2011   A Library, Cassette

Fall-out from the recent Fake Hospital check-up. and fantastic
fall-out at that. If you’re the kind of person who would walk
over white-hot coals in pursuit of Grouper, Weyes Blood sort
of sounds, prepare for the smell of burning flesh. White
Gourd is apparently Suzanne Stone, her tarot workout includes
loops of synth, spell-bound sax, and echoes of her voice
in mirrors. She can get abrasive too in bursts. Screams aboard
the alien abduction on “Clever Clux Twins.” Shrill vox in the
“Ice Caverns” are going to cave them right in.?? But most of this
is really pretty in that raw blitzing way. It’s a great kitch
sinking with the television on, and cheap elecrtric
birds short circuiting, and her high priestess-ness getting
higher in waves of sound. Inspired lunacy, do not leave this
Stone cassette unturned.

Tart tantrum tantra
Tease tenseness to tinnitus
Tarot cards on fire

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