Fundraiser 2018 — Donate now!

Music Reviews

Strangulated Beatoffs – “White Album, The” – [Skin Graft Records]

mickeyslim   5/28/2014   A Library, CD


All the songs you know and love! Shitdisturbers Fritz Noble and Stan Seitrich recorded their version of the Beatles’ White Album back in 1989, but only released four of the tracks on a 7″.

Now released as a full album on Skin Graft Records! Songs are actually played pretty straight ahead, or it sounds like they meant to, but they’re a little to tired or drunken or stoney, or some condo of all three. FCC at beginning of track 2, and the last track ends with a minute left, but the band sings “Her Majesty” from Abbey Road (very drunken). Pick your favorite tune and reminisce… well, sort of.

Co La – “Moody Coup” – [Software Records]

abacus   5/28/2014   A Library, CD

Primary project of producer Matt Papich dishing out a diversity of delightful delectables. Dirty patchwork mosaic of clean bubbly plastic sounds hearkening to an era of tropical exotica and disco-pop soulfulness. Don’t be mistaken, the disjointed dub grooves and cut-up collage beats straddle firmly the tightrope of experimentalism, but with a palatability that is smooth on the swallow. Slurping, giggles, babies and birds; an array of silly synthetic sampling and cheap keyboard tonalities. Light-bodied without being ethereal, playful while still maintaining a concrete tastefulness. This has been called new exotica, avant-luxury, and furniture music: angular in a way that is comfortable and accomodating. Like a sunny spring break in Sarasota sipping on Sweaty Hipsters.

Music of The Ottoman-american Diaspora Vol. III [coll] – [Mississippi Records]

Max Level   5/26/2014   12-inch, International

Vocal and instrumental recordings from 1905-1928. (For some reason the album cover says 1916-1930, but I’m going with the liner notes because they date the individual tracks.)
The Ottoman Empire, in existence for six centuries, enveloped a large portion of Mediterranean and Balkan Europe, and drew cultural influences from many different regions (Turkish, Egyptian, Greek, Armenian, Macedonian, etc.)
The performers here reflect a variety of nationalities. Some of these musicians were respected classical players and others were popular performers of the day. A couple of tracks feature unknown performers. The only artist I was familiar with is the great Turkish violinist/cellist Cemil Bey, whom the liner notes liken to Charlie Parker in terms of having enormous musical ability while notoriously suffering from drug addiction and poor health.
Audio quality is decent, bearing in mind that some of the recordings are more than 100 years old. The tracks are in the 3 to 4 minute range and were recorded mostly in each artist’s home country; a few of them were recorded in America.
Fascinating stuff. Fezcore. Dudes with excellent mustaches. I am partial to track B5, an instrumental that the liner notes claim was a typical accompaniment to Turkish wrestlers covered in olive oil and wearing leather trunks.

Siskiyou – “Keep Away The Dead” – [Constellation]

humana   5/21/2014   A Library, CD

The music issuing from this Canadian band grows on you with each song. Singer-songwriter Colin Huebert sounds an awful lot like Neil Young (who wrote “Revolution Blues”). The lap steel guitar and cello on other songs give this CD a distinctly folk-rock feel. Erik Arnesen plays guitar, and other musicians join in to make this a listen-worthy release.

Pavlov’s Woody – “Abstract Adventures” – [Neat Guy Records]

Cousin Mary   5/21/2014   A Library, CD

Pavlov’s Woody is two-man studio band from brothers Doug and Don Simpson, now living in Portland, OR and Orange County, CA respectively. All instrumental rock, all fitting into the surf genre but with distinct rockabilly, funk, and jazzy influences. Well played, fun energy, and best of all surf with a difference that includes the use of lap steel. The first and last tracks are covers of Beethoven’s Fur Elise – a favorite of piano students everywhere.

Bombino – “Agamgam 2004” – [Glitter Beat]

humana   5/14/2014   12-inch, International

This is stirring music that gets inside your blood and moves you whether you want it or not, physically and mentally. Read the fascinating sleeve notes to learn about Bombino, who when he was working as a cook’s assistant in the Tenere desert gave a concert around a campfire one night, playing his acoustic guitar and singing his words. Firmly rooted to tradition, but adding modern chords to his music, he continues a conversation that has been going on for years. He works to unite his people in a peaceful way, to alert them to the truth, and rally them to react with knowledge and intelligence. Amidst it all, you hear camels, the crackling of the fire, and whooshes of wind. You feel like you are rollicking along gently as you ride the camel in some songs (B2, B3). This is great stuff. Play it.

Regler [8mm]

thewindow   5/9/2014   A Library

Regel #1 (White Side) is an sidelong anarcho-spiritual cacophony. It is the noise punk analogue to what Sunn0)) is to doom metal: all of the noise, dissonance and tempo of their respective genres distilled into a radical, transcendental sonic world of infinite intricacies.

Regel # 2 (Black Side) is the complete antithesis of Regel #1. It is so close to silence, that it is arguably a 4???33 remix. The are brief glimmers of drums, guitar and breathing that escape and are subsequently ensnared into the nothingness with surgical precision. The tension evoked by the silence makes side 2 a great deep listening experience on nice sound equipment. However, if I was listening to it in my car I would probably mistake it for dead air.

Melchior, Dan – “Slow Down Tiger” – [Starlight Furniture Co.]

mickeyslim   5/7/2014   12-inch, A Library


Hypnotic ambientness and extrodinary sampling on this, Dan Melchior’s latest solo release.

Starts off with a lulling, hypnotic synth in the backround as an organ pattern gets layered over it. Sounds like a haunted shipyard at midnight, or in the distance howling in a graveyard.

Spoken samples are woven through the whole A-side: field recordings of the 1990 poll tax riots in London, Chilean poet Nicanor Parra; a clip from Sult, the Swedish film based on Knut Hamsun???s Hunger; Russian absurdist/surrealist Daniil Kharms; Jesuit priest Gerard Manley Hopkins; author of modernist masterpiece Briggflatts Basil Bunting; the eternally disenchanted Alan Dugan; and John Betjeman. The side ends with multiple layers of random beats falling in and out of sync, I could hear a heart rate monitor and a phone ringing, with other electronics I’m sure.

B-side was almost just an psyched-out instrumental drone version of the A-side. Almost makes you fall asleep, but keeps you attentive, could very well be used as a mixing tool. Get into this, many people will dig..

Dickerson, Walt & Sun Ra – “Visions” – [Steeplechase Productions]

Cousin Mary   5/7/2014   CD, Jazz

1978 recording featuring the duo of vibraphone virtuoso Walt Dickerson with Sun Ra on piano. The tracks were composed by Dickerson, but sound highly improvised. There is none of the silly Space is the Place stuff here – this is a stunning collaboration between two excellent players. This interview with Dickerson includes a bit where he talks about working with Sun Ra:

Portable – “Into Infinity” – [Perlon]

humana   5/7/2014   A Library, CD

This one sounded like IDM, British invasion, drum machine, electronics and felt like its tracks are designed as segues. The voices sound like a combination of the Moody Blues and monks singing Gregorian chants. Some songs almost lulled me to sleep on my drive home, and others pepped me up and made me take notice.

Serious Problemz – “369 1/2” – [BUFMS]

humana   5/7/2014   A Library, CD

This is an animal jam of strange field sounds ranging from ringing telephones to opening and closing refrigerator doors! It is also a strange collection of spoken/sung lyrics that at times sound like Dr. Suess. Where else could you find the lyrics “I woke up with stuff in my mouth things were going to head south” (8)? One of the tracks even ends with a mention of San Jose (13). You’ve got to listen. It’s sort of like a reality show soap opera with drums and strings and strange murky sounds like submarines filling up slowly with ocean water due to a leak. Like I said, you’ve got to listen.

LZR – “)))o(((” – [Skrot Up]

Naysayer   5/7/2014   A Library, Cassette

Lzr (pronounced Lazer) is Johnny Lzr from Detroit. experimental film and video artist, co-founder of experimental punk band Human Eye, electronic musician: this is what can be found out about Lzr. His Skrot Up cassette release )))o((( is ten tracks of elctronic beats and soundscapes, familiar and soothing yet with a 2013 twist. There are beats reminiscent of Cabaret Voltaire. There is static of a lighter sort via Throbbing Gristle. Early dance beats. Floating electronic background noise. Scratchy electricity sounds with found text recordings. The tag lines for the cassette say “alternative experimental detroit electricity electronic punk rhythmic noise throbbing pulser Copenhagen.” I couldn’t agree more. Listen up.
Oh, and at the bottom of the cassette in very small lettering is the note “Lzr thanks: The Detroit Transhuman Society”. Can’t find info on them but transhumanism is “an international cultural and intellectual movement with an eventual goal of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities.” Think Robocop.
Now listen up.

In Hoc Signo Vinces (Collection), Black Goat Records, Cd

ophelia necro   5/6/2014   A Library

2010 release on Los Angeles label Black Goat Records. 6 song full length collection involving 4 black/doom metal projects; Halo of the Sun,The Arm and Sword of the Bastard God,Gnaw Their Tongues and The Slaughtered Lamb. Halo of the Sun are from the U.K. and the song “Fenriz” is a melodic, ambient doom/black metal song. Vocals are a mixture of high pitched screams and clean singing. Subject matter based on Norse Mythology. The Arm and Sword of the Bastard God are from Southern Ca. and provide a heavy stoner/doom metal track named “Gutter Mother Creator”. Heavy production, death metal growls, slow stoner doom. Misanthropic themes of anti-religion and hate.Gnaw Their Tongues is a project from the Netherlands. There are 2 tracks from them and they are raw, noisey, experimental black/funeral/doom metal with high pitched screams for vocals and a few spoken word samples. Bondage and torture is the lyrical theme. The collection closes out with 2 tracks from the Southern Californian project The Slaughtered Lamb. The Slaughtered Lamb is a side project from one of the members of Welter In Thy Blood. The project is depressive doom/black metal with black metal screams, deep growls and samples. Dark and primitive production with suicidal themes.

Mutiilation, “Vampires of Black Imperial Blood”, [Drakkar Records] CD

ophelia necro   5/6/2014   A Library

Mutiilation (spelled with an umlaut over the “u”) is a French one-man black metal band who belonged to Les Legion Noires aka The Black Legions,a group of French underground black metal musicians and bands in or around the Brest region of Brittany. This group or circle was believed to have been formed in response to the Norwegian “Black Metal Inner Circle”. This incarnation of Mutiilation features duo of Mordred and Meyhna’ch (William Roussel). Bass, guitar and drum machine with vocal stylings typical of Norwegian black metal.Depressive/suicidal black metal considered one of the early originators of 2nd wave black metal and often credited for inventing the “depressive/suicidal black metal” sub-genre. Pure and traditional in composition and use of primitive production style. Melancholic, bleak and dynamic. Subject matter predominantly fixated with death and Satan. This is a re-release (2012), the album was originally released in 1995, it was the first full-length CD to be released on the French record label Drakkar Productions which was established in 1994.