Music Reviews

Trumans Water – “Godspeed The Static” – [Drunken Fish]

SlartiBartfast   3/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

Fantastic, raw, energetic, Low-Fi, garage sounds from Trumans Water. Transport yourself to that underground, post-punk, improvisational sound emanating from a warehouse party of the early 90’s. A band appears and begins to test the limits of expression and noise. All distortion on instruments and mic’s at 11. Perfection! “Godspeed the Static” is Trumans Water’s first in a series of limited releases of the Godspeed series. The Godspeed limited releases are all live, in studio, improvisational sessions. “Godspeed the Static” is a noisy, fuzzy, gritty gem of an intro to the Godspeed recording series. From “Sweet Sister Gay” to “California Lies” This is a four track LP sure to let that pent up anxiety disappear into the fuzzy distortion of Trumans Water’s loud, noisy and impressive improvisational escape. 

Goat – “Commune” – [Sub Pop Records]

SlartiBartfast   3/6/2021   12-inch, A Library

Tribal rhythms, fuzz guitar and psychedelic sounds? A band dressed in masks and tribal attire to bring this enchanting psychedelic sound to you? It must be Sweden’s own Goat. “Commune” is Goat’s second studio release out on Sub Pop Records from 2014 and remains a gem nearly a decade later. For those that know Goat, you can bask in the warmth and love of this sophomore release . For those of you who are unfamiliar with this fantastic Swedish psychedelic experience, sit back, relax, and let your noggin get carried away in the hypnotic rhythms and fuzz heavy guitar driven divineness that underlies the enchanting and energetic vocals of the two female lead singers. “Commune” is guaranteed to scratch that psychedelic itch in your ear and transport your mind to another world. 

SS / S – “Sicario De Dios” – [Jealous God]

cinder   3/4/2021   12-inch, A Library

This being a collab between Silent Servant (John Juan Mendez) and Svreca (Enrique Mena). The first track opens like a foreshadowing into a nightmarish dream. A dark, guitar drone ala Sun O))).  Then the struggle in your dreams begin. The next track brings a bass heavy techno beat, that runs repeatedly through your head as you run through the fog filled forests at midnight, escaping what lurks in the shadows. Side B has that foreboding drone feel again, as if you’ve been stopped cold in your tracks…something is whispering your name, pulling at your soul, but you can’t see it. The final track – you race like hell to find shelter and hope that your sweat drenched smell doesn’t attract the steaming behemoths that stalk.

C.O.T.A. – “New Mythologies” – [Sonick Sorcery]

cinder   3/3/2021   A Library, CD

A release from 2012 from Children Of The Apocalypse.
Dark ambient journeys through mystical, neofolked fantastical lairs.
Rustling sounds, crackling fires, deep water currents, cult like vibes, possible witchcraft, spiritual dives.Each track takes you on a quest, almost theater/radio story style with all the specific sound effects and foley.
female vocals/singing/casting spells on 3 tracks, the rest are instrumental.

Ulrich, Torben & Goldston, Lori – “Oakland Moments: Cello Voice Reuniting (rejoicing)” – [Obscure & Terrible]

mickeyslim   3/3/2021   A Library, Cassette

Brand spankin’ new tape label out of Seattle, Obscure & Terrible. This is poet/musician/painter/tennis player Torben Ulrich (yes, the father of Metallica drummer, Lars), reciting his poetry to the cello of Lori Goldston. They’ve been playing together since 2005 with Angelina Baldoz and Jaison Scott in a project called Instead Of. This, however, is their first project as a duo. Goldston is “Classically trained and rigorously de-trained, possessor of a restless, semi-feral spirit” and her evocative cello playing is haunting, flittering, profound, and raw, which pairs perfectly to Ulrich’s sing-songy delivery of his exceptional poetry. In what I wish was a longer release, this cassette does not disappoint, and often feels sultry and seductive.

The pairing is genuine, and clearly comes from a place of mutual sonic understanding. Dig it…

Copy – "Chosen Atmospheric Pieces" – [Gold Robot Records]

aarbor   3/3/2021   12-inch, A Library

Copy is Marius Libman from Portland, OR (who now lives in SF). This is his most recent musical release from 2016 on stylish silver vinyl. His style is playful and retro sounding with a very analog synth sound as if he’s trying to create 8 bit computer music. Each track is an instrumental gem. Some tracks are lusher sounding, others more glitchy – each one has its own unique personality. You can’t dance to it but it’s definitely worth a play! AArbor

MXLX – “At Time Temple” – [Kinda Rad! Records]

whngr   3/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

MXLX is Mathew Loveridge, Bristol, England and “At Time Temple” is an explorations of the perversion of several genres including Black Metal, Ritual Psychedelia, Noise, Punk, Folk, Hymnal, and perhaps the inception of several other genres that fall between the cracks of extant categories. At times meditative and serene (Zone Away), elsewhere tortured and vehement (Disastrchasr), the composition and performances appear to provide a vehicle for personal expression above any other motive.  
Layers of drone and squealing guitar, buried percussion, white noise modulation, emphatic wails, deep string bends, cacophonic scrambles of electronics and guitar, thunderous double-kick, quiet spaces of single picked acoustic guitar, lilting choral passages filled with lamentation yet devoid of meaning… 

Pulling from a broad spectrum of influences and subverting them all, indeed,, there is an utter lack of convention in almost every aspect of this release, especially the spit in the eye of high-minded grandiloquence. He produces (heavily) as a byproduct of a diagnosis that he credits as a motivator.and states, “I happen to be autistic, The ridiculous pumping out of mediocre jams is sort of a by-product.” But this apparent self-depravation has a note of humility to it. The art and packaging of  this release is raw and unrifined, mirroring aspects of the sounds contained within, especially a sense of immediacy, or urgency, of capturing a moment or a feeling before it slips away giving the album an ephemeral feel. Having excised this ghost he will move on to other compositions, other demons to slay. with no allusion to deeper meaning or value. He does it because he must. Internal incentive being the crux of his motivation while we, the listener, are an unnecessary mote, a passive witness to his expression. 

“Loveridge’s vocals are typically obscured or non-verbal (see 2015’s I Aim To Understand Nothing). While he dismisses questions on his lyrics, claiming they are as obligatory and “completely unconsidered”…”-Alastair Shuttleworth, The Quietus 2020 https://thequietus.com/articles/28115-matthew-loveridge-mxlx-interview

Loveridge of Bristol, England whose mental health apparently provide the impetus for a staggering amount of output under several different monikers (Knife Library, Fairhorns, Speed the Plough, Gnar Hest, et al.) encompassing a vast amount of influences without derivation. Something wickedly pure amid a turgid ocean of clamoring whore-hounds. 

Conniffe, Brian & Walsh, Suzanne & MacDiarmada, Diarmuid – “Landslide” – [Lumberton Trading Company]

whngr   3/2/2021   12-inch, A Library

Three musicians from Dublin, Ireland explore quiet space with enchanting ambiance on this release from Poland’s Lumberton Records, 2013. 

Mellifluous, feminine vocals interwoven with shimmering chimes and bells, juxtaposed against strange nocturnal abstractions. Squeaking trapdoors? Frog chirps? Thumps, aerophone, and synthesizer swells create a slightly spooky backdrop for the delicate singing of Suzanne Walsh. 

What are your musings fragile spirits, there in the shadows, eyes aglow against the inky blackness just beyond our reckoning? Might you be coaxed out, to dance with us around the fire? Or are you too shy, too reticent, and too many secrets held to mingle with humanity? Join us in our mourning song , to heal our wounded hearts opened by the loss of our fallen companions so that we might sleep deeply, come ere the dawn.

Landslide is dedicated to the memory of John Balance (Coil) and Peter Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle)

Ferg Ferg & London, Robert – “Se Qui” – [Self Release]

whngr   3/2/2021   A Library, CD

Perhaps the strangest piece of smoldering horse-shit genius I have had the fortune to review since joining the station. Dispose of the confines of genre, dispense with sensical tuning or established structural norms. Reason and logic have no place in the world of Robert London and Ferg Ferg. Vague allusions to the recognition and worship of a Christian god and what appears to be fairly traditional instrumentation, albeit with a considerable amount of reverb (and many likely synthesized), are the only thing I warrant you will find familiar. I’m pretty sure there is a drum kit and an electric bass and I imagine that these two marvels will simply mic the room and switch instruments when the whim takes them to improvise. Attempting to upend what music is fundamentally to remarkable effect. This is an album that utilizes an astonishing level of creativity while ignoring almost all other attributes of sound that one might find meritorious. This is outsider art to its core, with a hint of mental illness, and isolation, perhaps cloistered in the chapel band room… shades of Henry Darger though slightly less secular. Bongos, bass guitar, synthesizer perversion, mostly off pitch vocals, Jaw-harp/reverb-majoris, organ, some shuffling meters and distorted R&B elements, a considerable amount of panning and other effects in post, didgeridoo, in-the-red harmonica, harp, cabasa, muddy abstractions and other items one might find in a box in the back of a church’s band room, Ie: rain-sticks, shakers, tambourines and the like. Se Qui sounds to me like something that was recorded in the day, with the sun at its zenith, a brilliant white light streaming in through windows. Diurnal and disturbed. A unique, hand drawn pencil on photocopy paper and the sharpie enblazened cdr lends credibility to my theory of sequestration in a church… they probably employed those tiny pencils without erasers that are often found in the pews for marking your King James up or noting your donation or for whatever they were intended. To be honest I don’t know what they’re for but in some ways they are an excellent symbolic representation for this album; you can be creative with them, but probably shouldn’t, instead waiting until you have proper equipment and vision. Inspired by something deeper than the monotony of Sunday worship.If you have no idea where to begin (absolutely appropriate) might I suggest tracks 3 & 9, Ichabod and Puissant respectively? And be baptized in sound knowing that you’ll never be able to unhear these modern psalms.

Iran – “Aemelia” – [Aagoo Records]

mickeyslim   3/2/2021   A Library, CD

This is the debut album from this trio from Reggio Emilia, Italy. Nazim Communal and Andrea Silvestri started as a improv duo in 2015. They’ve since evolved, getting a drummer and creating seven really distinct pieces that run the gamut from psychedelia to rock, noise to electronica. Ranging from 7-10 minute, these excursions take you from the driest desert to the darkest parts of our universe. Dusty keyboards, reverb walls, other-worldly grooves, and hidden samples. Tasty…

White Hills – “Splintered Metal Sky” – [God Unknown]

Max Level   2/25/2021   A Library, CD

Abrasive noise rock with pounding machine beats, seething electronics, and semi-sneering talk-singing. I was not familiar with White Hills, but I have been reading other reviews that portray them as guitar-driven and psychedelic. This CD isn’t like that at all. I would describe it as urban-sounding, synthetic, and damaged. There are a few noise pieces that only last a minute or two, and sometimes just a few seconds. Dave W, one of the two constant members of this prolific, long-running project has said “I’m very conscious about making the records sound different from each other.” Quite so. If you know White Hills from their previous releases, this one may surprise you.

Judgitzu – "Umeme / Kelele" – [Nyege Nyege Tapes]

abacus   2/24/2021   10-inch, A Library

hyper hypnotic rave seizures from punk ethnomusicologist Julien Hairon lacing together soundscapes acquired from years of traveling throughout Asia, Africa, and Oceania (see link below) these tracks are the results of his artist residency in Tanzania, and are reflective of the local Singeli style (see other link below). Umeme opens with frantic polyrhythms reminiscent of much of the label’s catalog, blasted by startling stabs of alert tones over undulating attacks. Kelele is less aggressive but no less mesmerizing, with recordings shining through more overtly about halfway through. this label has been shredding dancefloor vibes internationally, hopefully we can keep up



Kinny – "Idle Forest of Chit Chat" – [Tru Thoughts]

aarbor   2/24/2021   A Library, CD

Kinny whose name off stage is Caitlyn Simpson, released this full length on Tru Thoughts in 2009. She was born and raised in Canada and her family heritage is a mixture of Jamaican, Native Canadian Indian, French and Swedish. Trained as an opera singer her singing style and attitude is more jazzy soul. Here she partners with other label mates to create some tracks with a spunky attitude. “Forgetting to Remember” will always be my favorite but the other tracks are also very fine. AArbor

Bombardment – “Bombardment EP.” – [Destructure]

whngr   2/23/2021   7-inch, A Library

Bordeaux France, female fronted guitar driven five-piece hardcore punk.
Blazing, ripping, shredding, squealing onslaught of dystopian D-beat.

Havoc of detonation. 

Conscision, derision, precision.

Emphatic and brief, Bombardment EP. is a terse, vital expression of an established genre with chops and vision that will get the coldest of hearts thumping. 

Mountain Ocean Sun – “Peace Conference” – [Home Normal]

whngr   2/23/2021   A Library, CD

Drone with minimalist accoutrement.

Understated, meditative vehicle with allusion to aural healing. Ambience for introspection. Sublimity slithers through this single sixty-four minute piece executed thoughtfully by an international quaternity. A measure of Buddhist teachings appear to inform this project with their first performance taking place at a five-hundred year old temple in Osaka. Perhaps an excellent accompaniment for ritual nature worship, drain your dour perspective in drone.

Jean Cook – Violin, Viola, Shruti box – Collabs with Jon Langford, William Parker, and Assif Tsahar
Hitoko Sakai – Harmonium, Shruti box –  MSBR, Japanese Noise scene writer
Daniel Littleton – Harmonium, Bells, Kubing – IDA, Tara Jane Oneil collaborator
Warren Defever – Bells, Percussion, Gong – UFO FACTORY, His Name is Alive (4AD)

Collocutor – "Instead." – [On The Corner Records]

aarbor   2/17/2021   12-inch, A Library

From 2014, five fine tracks from Tamar Osborn and her colleagues in Collocutor. There’s a magical blend of influences here. As Osborn says: “I’ve always been interested in music from other places, of what happens when humans from different cultures interact, seeing which ideas stick and how it comes together to create something new and redefining. And, hopefully, that comes through in the music,” The music sounds both old and new, and it has roots in different parts of the world. New London Jazz at its finest. AArbor

Loscil – “Coast/ Range/ Arc//” – [Kranky]

cinder   2/15/2021   A Library, CD

Ambient electronic project of Vancouver Canadian, Scott Morgan. He chose the name Loscil from the ‘looping oscillator’ function in Csound (some computer language programming thing). This is a release from 2011, looks like originally on Glacial Movements, but re-released on Kranky. Gorgeous, lush tones, drift and wave like soft fluffy clouds after a winter storm. Rays of light bursting through. Mellow, relaxing, and dreamy. Planetarium vibes. 

Gravite – “Gravite” – [Empty Cellar Records]

cinder   2/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

A duo of Matthew Riley and Aaron Diko. For their debut release, they’ve used a collection of classic and reissued analog equipment: Juno 60, Prodigy, Mono/Poly, Minimoog, SH-01A, MS20, Minilogue, Volcakeys, & a TR-08. It’s a fantastical journey through the cosmos, with an edge on the rainbow crystallized comets and colorful oil hues of the horizons. Happy and optimistic. Definitely has a Kraftwerk vibe. Synth-tastic!

Paisiel – “Paisiel” – [Rocket Recordings]

SlartiBartfast   2/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

Dreamy, spaced out, psychedelic saxophone and FX float over driving, trance inducing, rhythmic percussions on this 2019 freshman release from Paisiel. Hailing from Porto, Portugal, the duo of Julius Gabriel (saxophone & fx) and Joao Pais Filipe (percussion) create an atmosphere filled with tabla inspired Afro-Caribbean beats and mind melting melodies of saxophone and fx that is other worldly. The duo met in 2014 while Joao was working in a record store and Julius was a customer. In 2017 they decided to start collaborating and this self titled, release is just the beginning of that partnership. Get your refreshments ready, sit back, and enjoy the stimulating dreaminess pressed onto this luscious translucent blue vinyl.

Dora, Delphine & Cooper, Sophie “Divine Ekstasys” – [Feeding Tube Records]

SlartiBartfast   2/15/2021   12-inch, A Library

Forest Sirens call from a hauntingly, dreamy musical atmosphere of piano, organ, trombone, guitar, and fx. This 2018 Feeding Tube Records release from France’s Delphine Dora and Yorkshire’s Sophie Cooper is sure to satisfy the soundtrack cravings of your near nocturnal state of mind. Brilliantly composed as a two part suite of music, side A takes you from the beginning of a journey filled with ominous underpinnings to a side B that is redemptive and speaks to rebirth. Relax, rest your weary head and let Delphine and Sophie invite you in to their musical dreamscape.

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