Four unsheathed slashers from this four piece out of the city of angels. Growling, smoking fretboards, note intensive bass-lines, hammering the snare, crushing the cymbals, necro-centric hardcore punkrock led by Austin Delgadillo (Deathly) inciting fury, contempt, and violence. Tracks are short with short pauses, stay alert and have some Christ On Parade cued up.
A densely fog covered trip down the rivers of an ancient faux bayou. This is Fossil’s ode to the water, mud, muck and scum of the twisted veins of aqua throughout the lands. Post-industrial sound design, field recordings, found sounds, static tones, distant birds chirping….a collage of ambient distortions and harmonic strings. Alien creature sightings and fluttering drones.
Solo project of Iranian chick Kris Esfandiari, who was the front woman for metal band King Woman for over 10 years. This is definitely nothing like that though! It’s got industrial beats, noise elements, 808s, sound clips, and a tough edge. She sings/screams/deadpans vox, which have a sometimes have distorted or echoed ghostly manner. She opened for Boy Harsher in 2019, and finally has made her music available on physical format. It’s haunting, sinister, twisted and nefarious… but slightly sweet. ‘Firestarter’ is a Prodigy cover (wooooo, ’90s!)
Jana Irmert is a composer from Berlin who has collaborated with Jóhann Jóhannsson, Christopher Chaplin and other artists that blend music with film and visual media. While this 2017 release is a stand-alone album, Flood surely summons rich imagery with its mix of field recordings and electronic sounds: a vision of massive walls of ice meeting a slow thaw. We hear the ice breaking and cracking, its melt flowing into the oceans. The catastrophic process is overseen by an outside consciousness that pulses from above, as if to sound a warning. It unfolds in three parts: a 22 minute track, a shorter interlude, and a final long form piece. Though quiet and slow moving, there’s movement and detail that keep Flood consistently engaging throughout, an impressive feat. Our first release from the Vienna experimental label Fabrique.
Dirty pure swirl of vinyl and sound, green and purple growing and oozing from LA by way of Detroit and spilling all over the kitchen sync of so many samples. Oakland instincts in the sink too? There’s deep automotive bass lines, quick honks and a few karate cartoon chops a la MF Doom. All instro though, well kinda…. I mean on “shineversince” there’s this groggy voice muttering while an uplifting R&B clap-along sample gets phased. The track “rap” also has some minimal voice samples maximized, but Dakim does NOT get stuck on the sticky talkie stuff, and his attention spans crates upon crates of records. This was assembled in 2010 apparently by Dakim, waxed more recently and dedicated to Ras G (RIP July 2019) and it has that Oooooh Ras spirit (without the airhorn, but definitely some abrupt cuts). Anyways this is every bit an experimental record, drop it with your Christian Marclay art party and dance a little to “setside” and don’t fret the differences. “setside” really covers a lot of turf with a sorta sonic theme like kelp swaying in the ocean. Dakim does that well, maybe even adding some of his own keys on tracking, connecting dots on musical staphs that feel like a rough mix at first, but upon repeated listen they are just right. Notion : if Tom Waits wants to start his rap career, Dakim’s got him covered on the beats.
Abstract pieces by this electroacoustic trio featuring alto sax, electronics, and drum set. Often crazy, jagged, blurting, and in your face, other times more restrained and seemingly thoughtful. I especially enjoy it when Tom Weeks uses his sax to make unusual sounds—squeaks and pops and flutters. Track 5 has a different flavor than the rest— it starts quietly with what could be water sounds but may be electronics; about 2/3 of the way into the track things get louder with something that sounds like train noises but who knows what it actually is, and then it ends quietly. There are a couple of tracks with snippets of conversations added, and those don’t do a whole lot for me. I like this release because it’s weird and messed up, but I hear it as mostly coherent sound—which is good—rather than random stuff thrown in just to be weird and messed up.
So Leaving Records gets a socially distant (350 miles) virtual slap on the socially distant back for being a pretty amazing and diverse label. Here we find Celia Hollander’s debut, Hollander an LA musician and erstwhile Dublab DJ. The lead off track uses a stringed sample for effleurage up and down your spine, short and sweet. More digital processing on the second piece with a hovering pulse, but then maybe she’s tapping on a piano keylid after awhile for percussion. Those manual beats question a twitchy drum machine and other tones. “Surround Sound Me” follows with a kind of gamelan waterfall, not gamelan per se but a soothing cascade of soft metal into a brief softer storm. The sound of ball bearings going to heaven? The piece that called me is “Big Talk/Small Talk” voice chat chopped so fine you cannot pull any words out, so it has the aura of Robert Ashley, but recalls Alessandro Bosetti’s talk-cussion or some art installation on the joy of information overload. I’m not a synaesthete, but this pushes those sort of buttons for me. This record exists in a space between drone and beats, which “Spared Time” illustrates very well. The concluding piece is my second favorite, elegance and elegy….simple piano wandering in between the magnetic fields. A stimulating release, I suspect there are detailed stories behind each pieces. A glistening electroacoustic listen.
Gorgeous third release from this German producer. Said to be born out of a period of musical exploration in the Swiss Alps, his sounds are often labeled as minimal techno. This is so full of sound though, very earthy and rich. Lush electronics, intriguing dance-able beats, organic instruments, field recordings, bells, tropical flairs. All instrumentals except track 4 which features vocals by Panda Bear (Noah Lennox of Animal Collective), and track 7 also has vocals but I’m not sure who, himself perhaps? It’s optimistic and beautiful!
“Trou” (pronounced trū ), french for “void” is the mysterious and prolific rhythmic noise, harsh industrial project from France ca. 2012 to present. Three gloomy tracks of mind wipingly repetitive dark ambient/industrial fare suitable for the final round of stripping your captive of their ego. Apply liberally to the feeble minded in order to gain control and begin supplanting capitulation for autonomy as you guide them towards self destruction and they bend to your terrible will. Originally self-released on cassette in 2017 this outing is another delectable/detestable disc from Chicago label No Part Of It.
French sound artist Bérangère Maximin transforms an assortment of instruments – percussion, small objects, synths, guitar, and voice – into the Land of Waves on her sixth album. Over two LPs, we visit the imagined corners of this strange land, starting with its terrain: the underground drones and gemlike synths on “Day 41” (A1), idiophonic melodies emanating from deep caverns on “Kalimba Rough” (A2), the swarm of tremors on “The Broken Shoe” (A3). The B side sets out on a night time walk through an unusual wilderness, its sounds of glowing insects, wind-up birds, leaping fish, calls of owls and other unidentified creatures beaming through the darkness. “L’Echappee” (C1) begins at the edge of a dock before unmooring, drifting into a shadowy sidelong journey. The final D side holds some of the most exciting and varied tracks: “Walking Barefoot: Imaginary Quintet” (D1, a collaboration with Fred Frith on guitar and the Swibeckico Quartet on electronics) an eerily beautiful techno piece, “Des Tigres Multicolores” (D2) with its jeweled tones, purrs and growls, and closer “The Thread” (D3) where the most familiar of sounds, like a cell phone notification chime, are absorbed into Maximin’s dreamworld. More of her previous work can be found in our library, here and here.
Eerie Cinematic Vignettes.
Haunting, serene, and at times unnerving like dreams of lovers long passed, entropy, and the death of hope. A collection of modulated strings, samples, and ambient sound collage by Washington state’s Kevin Lewis culled from unreleased selections by this magnificent composer, released August 2020 by the label No Part Of It (Chicago). In a word, perfect.
slow motion bees swarm
as electric shockwave birds chirp,
and rusted whispers ebb
cartoon sound effects
stretch over a toilet bowl,
and tin cans apologize
Live recordings from their ’98 tour of Japan. Quaint, noisy 7″ limited to 303 copies.
I’ve been sitting on this doulbe CD release for something like 6 years. I don’t know why I never opened it. I don’t know where it sat all these years, but after I found it when I moved back to the Bay, it STILL sat, unlistened, for two years. So sorry, folks…. Simply put, this is amazing. Amazing music from an amazing musician with an amazing story.
This album was recorded well before Mogerman moved from California to British Colombia in 1985, when he ended up having a stroke due to a terrible car accident that made him unable to play guitar for twenty years, making this possibly the only recording/release of music before his accident. He has gone on to become a clinical counsellor, specializing in restoration of self-image after brain injury and trauma. Aside from being a musician, he is also an accomplished author and artist
Half of these 20 tracks are quick, fast-paced acoustic guitar songs with witty lyrics taken from on his wife, Gundula’s, poetry. The other half are improvised, jazz-ic, acoustic, living-room jams. Even the composed tracks have a freeform feel. Enjoy!
a washed out daydream
just beyond the greying clouds
find its way out of the rain.
a hurried pitter patter on
eaves, beating as if a
morse code from the heavens
is finally saying,
“… maybe not one day.”
a knock at the door,
a bird finding sanctuary
underneath your windowsill,
and, now, rain
the moonlight glistens
off the puddles
in the sidewalk.
Mountain View math-rock duo. Beautifully melodic syncopation from Nate Sherman on guitar and Ty Mayer on drums. Delicate, masterful, stunning.
NYC’s Warthog are driving HXC with a fantasy aesthetic and few nods to war metal so I find warcore to be an apt moniker, one I am claiming to have coined despite it being used previously to describe a recent trend in the fashion world that I am only now discovering. Young, vital and I’m assuming to be an absolute gas at house parties. Excellent low brow virtuosity for your next campaign against a Lawful Evil Liche or for getting pumped for your Friday night razor fight.
Released in 2018 by Toxic State and in the U.K. by Static Shock Records.
Mark Gage is the man behind Vapourspace. He’s been recording since the ’80s, but his first release didn’t come out until the mid-90s. When he moved to NY, he called Plus 8 label-head Richie Hawtin (aka Plastikman) and eventually signed a contract, releasing his debut 10″ and eventually touring with Orbital, Moby and Aphex Twin in 1993. This album is his first full length release. Killer mid-90s techno, acid and dance (my personal favorite era for it). There’s some more mellow, abstract ambient alien spaceship trax in there as well, so pick your bpm and let’s gooooo!
French minimal-industrial-electro tunes from A// aka Le Syndicat Electronique, French musician and performer. Minimal programmed synths sounds, rhythms and pulses with French vox and words. Cold, echoed and sharp. Issued on opaque raspberry vinyl!
Italiano producer, delivering some lush electro sounds. Has a soundtrack element to it, and veins of dark disco and electro-synth. Light airy female voices hover and suspend over the slower pounding beat, a perfect contrast. His bio includes: Influenced and enriched by mystical and esoteric experiences, has created a blend of retrofuture and dark-electro sound with references to past civilizations, harmonies and ancient sacred mysteries. You can definitely envision the UFO ideas this album projects.
Evicshen is Victoria Shen, a sound artist working in Somerville, Mass. Shen began working with analog modular synths as an intern at Jessica Rylan’s Flower Electronics (Rylan’s work as Can’t most certainly can be found in our library), and later incorporated other homemade electronic instruments into her work. On Hair Birth, her first full-length LP, Shen extracts vivid psychedelic dreams from the Buchla 100 and Serge Modular synthesizers. Sustained tones, rhythmic sparks, blasts of coarse static, and bright electronic fizz all flow from the cables, and from the waves of synthesis her voice, distorted with effects, surfaces. Whirlwind tones and maniacal voices cast a dizzy spell “Funhouse Mirror Stage” (T4), and a creeping menace takes root on “Bolete” (T5). We’re flung along the twists and turns of the “Lissajous” (T6) before the final slow build to a “Fever Pitch” (T7). A wild ride, released on the Chicago experimental label American Dreams.
Born in England and raised in NY (Long Island), Karsh Kale (pronounced Kursh Kah-lay) became a drummer and tabla player, known for his “electric tabla”. He first came to my attention as a part of Bill Laswell’s Tabla Beat Science project (founded in 2000). He was the 1st ‘Indo-American” to be signed to a solo recording contract by a U.S. label. This is his 3rd full length album from 2003. The best known track is ‘Milan’ (Meeting of 2 Rivers)  which includes both Laswell and Zakir Hussain.
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