Local Music Show 2/20/13

February 21, 2013 at 9:54 am | Posted in Local Music Show | Leave a comment

Hour 1
9:02 PM saturday looks good to me ~ ride to the party ~ 7″ ~ violet and claire
9:04 PM shells ~ track 4 ~ 12/12/12 ~ ginkgo
9:08 PM secret twins ~ hands up ~ 7″ ~ sneaky eurekas
9:10 PM his name is alive ~ whiter ~ emergency lp ~ time stereo
9:14 PM about, the ~ LIVE IN THE WCBN STUDIOS!!!
9:53 PM godzuki ~ rock 4/rock 5 ~ your future ~ march
Hour 2
10:00 PM ADULT. ~ nausea (restructured) ~ resuscitation ~ ersatz audio
10:03 PM DBX ~ baby judy ~ rare and unreleased ~ accelerate
10:11 PM ectomorph ~ time fold ~ stark ~ interdimensional transmissions
10:17 PM drexciya ~ aqua worm hole ~ bubble metropolis ~ underground resistance
10:28 PM nautical almanac ~ hot process infibulator ~ split lp w/ vertonen ~ crippled intellect productions/scratch and sniff entertainment
10:38 PM cotton museum ~ track 9 ~ damp creatures keep wet robots ~ i hate to rock! records
10:41 PM viki ~ track 3 ~ live on electric kingdom 4/19/2003 ~ wcbn
10:44 PM persona ~ thumper (warren defever rmx) ~ maximal ~ vinyl communications
10:49 PM pulsific planet ~ asteroid m ~ digital single ~ void tactical media
10:54 PM city center ~ zen kids (version) ~ 7″ ~ k
10:58 PM bad indians ~ trisha said ~ are on the other side ~ cq records

Charity Blackstock: 3″ cdr (Fedora Corpse, 2012)

February 18, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Charity Blackstock: 3" cdr

Charity Blackstock: 3″ cdr

Fedora Corpse usually releases vinyl (and MP3s), and all of their vinyl releases are high quality. It looks like they put out a few very limited 3″ CDR releases late last year, though, and this is one of them, limited to 12 copies and probably not available anymore. 4 tracks of crushing noise feedback, packaged in some sort of wallpaper-like golden-stamped paisley pattern. “Tatami” starts and definitely has some sort of subliminal voice action going on in the background. It vibrates with enough intensity to suggest some sort of beat or rhythm, sort of. “Train” could sort of suggest a train-like rhythm, but sped up and extremely amplified with metallic distortion. It arrives at a very blissed-out sound, and I wish it went longer than just 4 minutes, as it fades out kind of abruptly. “Teapot” isn’t quite as noisy as the others, focusing on a buzzing, dark drone which continually sways for its 4-minute duration. “Tripod” returns to the noise, pounding its way through a storm of feedback for 6 minutes. It seems to generally stay in the same place, just oscillating with varying degrees of intensity, and with some pounding pulsations, a bit more randomly at first but forming a frequent rhythm during the last couple minutes. Seriously intense, but not impenetrably harsh noise. Very nicely done.

Mueran Humanos: El Circulo/La Langosta (Vanity Case Records, 2013)

February 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mueran Humanos: El Circulo/La Langosta

Mueran Humanos: El Circulo/La Langosta

Hypnotic, repetitive industrial?psych? with Spanish lyrics. “El Circulo” has a minimal, delay-heavy drum machine beat, blinking synths, and slightly distorted vocals. Vocals and guitars and beat get a bit more furious and distorted at times, but it mostly stays in the same straightforward mode. “La Langosta” is slower, quieter, softer, and not furious at all. It has another minimal, thumpy beat, but languid keyboards and cricket-like sounds throughout the song. The vocals are calm and chantlike, but they’re only present for a few minutes, and the rest of the track goes on a long mostly-instrumental journey of chirping, bubbling, droning synths and guitars. There’s almost sort of an Eastern tinge to some of the guitars, and some more upfront blissful organ droning in the latter half of the song. Some more vocals come in, as well as a little undercurrent of feedback, but it mostly sticks to the same chilled out repetitive vibe, and the same thumpy minimal beat, but with some occasional delay and noise effects flaring up.

Brünch: 7″ EP (Fedora Corpse, 2013)

February 18, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Brünch: 7" EP

Brünch: 7″ EP

Seriously lovely instrumental space-rock from the always wonderful Fedora Corpse label out of Philadelphia. This 7″ is 4 tracks of instrumental downtempo rock, most likely made by one lonely guy with a guitar and a drum machine. Just a spare, uncomplicated beat clicking away and some dusty guitar work. All tracks 2 or 3 minutes long, and you feel like they could go on a lot longer in an album format, but they sound fine as succinct ideas this way. I guess it sort of reminds me of Mogwai or Jesu, but in a much more lo-fi, singular vision or idea. “Piedmont” has a touch of whammy-bar note-bending. “Anchored” is a little more sparse and maybe has some organ. Good stuff all around.

Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself (Sineszi, 2012)

February 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself

Mendel Kaelen: The Tragedy That Drowned Itself

An old, dusty harmonium is the only proper musical instrument heard here, but instead of sounding like you’d expect a harmonium drone album to sound like, the recordings present focus on the mechanical aspects of the instrument. As in, creaking and wheezing sounds that you might not expect to come from the instrument, or might tune out if you were playing it or trying to record it. It sounds like a field recording type album, you swear you hear gusts of wind or rain, or maybe sounds you might expect to hear on a ship or boat. Along with all the pumping and scraping, there’s still plenty of minimal, somewhat melodic droning. The album’s centerpiece, a 20 minute piece called “The Horse”, has the harmonium loud and upfront, but accompanied by all sorts of gnarly gnashing and crackling sounds. “The Heart” starts out with windy, static-y sounds and ends up focusing on a thick bass drone sound. “The Dream” ends the album, probably with the most clear and blissful drone sound on the album, but still with some birdlike squeals and watery ripples.

Korperschwache: As the color fades from the dying petals (Colony Records, 2012)

February 17, 2013 at 1:49 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Korperschwache: As the color fades from the dying petals

Korperschwache: As the color fades from the dying petals

Korperschwache is a long-running doom-metal-noise project, with dozens of releases stretching back to the late ’90s. I’m most familiar with the project’s releases on Inam Records (always a quality label), but they also have plenty of releases on Crucial Blast/Crucial Bliss, Peasant Magik, Public Guilt, and many others. This is a fantastic CDr containing three long tracks with long titles, and utilizing slow, Godflesh-y drum machine beats, electrified drones utilizing keyboards and guitars and what sounds like a harmonium (maybe it isn’t but it sounds close), and some occasional Gregorian chant-like vocals. An 11-minute prelude sets the tone with the slow beats and droning, and then we get into the 38 minute monster titled “On my last night in the moonlight I remember how the dead flowers looked inside your shallow grave”. This starts out with harmonium-sounding drone, Gregorian chanting, and then some slow reedy vocals, before the slow doom-metal guitars and drum machine beats kick in. The vocals shift to something more black metal-ish, simultaneously sounding like they’re whispering and screeching, and of course covered in echo. After this, the piece continues in a long instrumental section, using more of the harmonium-like drone, focusing on guitar and drums for a bit, and then removing the beats entirely, and dropping out to a more atmospheric guitar sound. The long beatless section gets lighter, adding soft keyboards and even electric piano, and then more harmonium-drone. A bit of drumming comes back in, but the piece begins to fade out after the half-hour mark… only to return to the reedy vocals, which are abruptly cut in by abrasive shrieking, and then a faster, more involved drum machine pattern. The vocals are turned down a little, but they’re still loud and abrasive. After a few minutes, the drums and vocals go away, and the guitars sort of burn out, and there’s a quiet bit of drums and vocals, which sound particularly evil and ogre-like. The album’s coda is almost 9 minutes long, short for this album but still epic by other standards. It ties everything together with more crushing drum machine beats, droning and guitars. Some really lovely sounds here, and even as doomy as it is, it’s extraordinarily beautiful and even uplifting.

Michael Pollard: Translations 01 (Spectrum Spools, 2012)

February 16, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Michael Pollard: Translations 01

Michael Pollard: Translations 01

Ever since Spectrum Spools started releasing records in 2011, I’ve been pretty obsessive about collecting them. I wasn’t too into the Hive Mind LP they released, though, so I held off on a few of their releases last year, but they still released a lot of gems, especially the epic Motion Sickness Of Time Travel 2xLP. I bought this Michael Pollard album sight unseen, and while I don’t want to say that there’s such thing as a typical Spectrum Spools release, this one definitely isn’t the type of instant-gratification synth-bliss you’d get from an Outer Space or Forma album. It’s mostly field recordings, and it’s mastered by Russell Haswell, who knows a thing or two about recording sounds. Unlike Haswell’s recordings (I’m thinking of the Wild Tracks release), some of the recordings on Translations 01 are modified. Or, rather, they take certain sounds as source material and use computers, synths, and technology to create drone pieces. “Material Study 02” uses a cello and a North Face jacket (!) along with Max/MSP and a few synths, and turns out a glowing, minimal drone. Much more hypnotic is “Spacialisation Study 01”, which is subtitled “One freeze from seven positions in a house”, and poking around online looking for information, it appears that what he’s actually recording is the tone that a sleeping computer makes, recorded from different areas in the house, and turning that into a drone, which is why it’s so warm and glowing. Not just using computers to make music, but actually making music out of the computer itself. The second spacialisation study uses the previous study as source material, isolating and overlaying clicks, creating a collage of short, muffled, decaying bursts.

Oddly enough, possibly the most soothing recording on the album ends up being the most straightforward and minimal. The last track on the album is a pencil being rubbed on rice paper taped to a wall, recorded by a stereo contact mic. The drawing produced in this recording is the album’s cover. Turn the album cover sideways so that the “L” and “R” on the top and bottom of the drawing actually correspond to the left and right sides, and it’s like you’re listening to the album cover in stereo. Maybe “soothing” isn’t the right word, but it definitely has some sort of oddly calming effect, and I think it’s such a brief, simple concept and statement that it ends up being very memorable, and that’s why it ends the album and why the drawing is the album’s cover art.

I didn’t mention the first side of the album yet, which is another unprocessed audio recording, namely that of a stereo condenser hydrophone buried under the sand in a lake, while firecrackers are being set off. So basically, an entire album side of muffled rustling and crackling sounds. I’m still trying to decide if this is something I actually enjoy and would want to listen to, or if it just sounds like a cool concept. The second side has a bit more variation, so it’s easier to appreciate. Of course, the back cover states that this record is “intended for playback in a room via loudspeakers”, and of course I mainly just listen to records at home on my small computer speakers as to not piss off my neighbors. So maybe something’s missing if I’m not blasting these recordings on huge speakers, and really getting inside the sounds so that they’re larger than life.

Charlatan: Isolatarium (Type, 2012)

February 16, 2013 at 3:50 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Charlatan: Isolatarium

Charlatan: Isolatarium

Foxy Digitalis is no more, so Brad Rose has more time to make and release awesome records, like this one. He sent me promo mp3s of this, but they don’t look or sound as cool as the slab of yellow vinyl currently spinning on my turntable. Anyway, this shows the Charlatan project moving further into beat-driven territory, except the beats seem kind of tethered in a darkened corner and sometimes they just seem to disappear, but you know they’re lurking around somewhere. There’s definitely some sounds and textures that are a bit familiar from recent releases by The North Sea (Brad’s now-discontinued noise project) but this clearly goes in a much different direction. There’s usually a pulse driving the tracks, but it’s overshadowed by all the bubbly synths and sometimes chaotic noises (like those in “Anti-Crash Device”). I tried mixing something off this album into a Crush Collision set recently and it strangely kinda worked. Really a strange and hypnotic record, I don’t have anything else to say about it other than that it’s just great to put on and zone out to, there’s something weightless but electrically charged and free-flowing about it that’s hard to put in words.

Daniel Bachman: Oh Be Joyful (Debacle Records, 2012)

February 11, 2013 at 12:13 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Daniel Bachman: Oh Be Joyful

Daniel Bachman: Oh Be Joyful

Young musician Daniel Bachman is one of many continuing the legacies of fingerstyle guitarists such as John Fahey and Robbie Basho. I will never fancy myself as much of a folk guy, but neither did a lot of these musicians, and I can never get enough of this type of instrumental guitar music. This guy designed artwork for a posthumous Jack Rose LP on Thrill Jockey, and he’s wasted no time getting his own work out there, putting out a considerable amount of CDs, CDRs, LPs, cassettes and 7″s on a variety of labels, such as Dying For Bad Music and Feeding Tube. Tompkins Sqaure (basically the most major label for this type of music right now) released his Seven Pines album on CD and vinyl, and this one is released by One Kind Favor on LP and Debacle on CDr. Basically, it’s him doing what he does best, namely fine fingerstyle steel guitar instrumentals. Nice rollicking rhythms, but also some more contemplative, atmospheric pieces, including an 11-minute raga called “Sita Ram (Who Is God)”. “Rove Ryley Rove/Wild Bill Jones/Darling Cory” is a duet featuring banjo by Charlie Devine, and “The Bridge Of Flowers” features Ryley Walker, I assume accompanying Bachman on guitar, I can’t hear much other than guitar on that song. “West 45th St.” ends the album on a quiet, contemplative note, sounding like looking up at the sky and wilderness after either a long day, or at the crack of dawn after a long night.

Hot Guts: Edges LP (Blind Prophet Records, 2012)

February 11, 2013 at 12:10 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hot Guts: Edges

Hot Guts: Edges

First LP by a Philly post-punk group, on the Blind Prophet label (run by Sean Ragon of Cult Of Youth), which also released an excellent LP of hypnotic, trancey minimal-synth industrial dance by Future Blondes. Haven’t heard much of the rest of the label’s output, but Pop. 1280 is also on there, and they’re Sacred Bones labelmates with Culf Of Youth. Also, Pop. 1280 did a split 7″ with Hot Guts in 2010. Anyway, this Hot Guts LP has really nice packaging; clear, marbled vinyl and a glossy gatefold sleeve, plus a download code. Lots of work put into the design here. The cover is just a stark black void surrounded by flames, plants and sand. Musically, it has pounding deathrock drums, dark (but not overtly gothy) vocals, and some snarling synths, but not on every track. “Unawares” brings in some witch-house-esque slow, detailed drum machine beats, blending guitars and synths which coil around each other. “The Ballad Of John Simon” is surprisingly anthemic, heartfelt school-dance type of number, with pounding tom-tom drums and Peter Hook-ish guitar. The second side starts with a fast drum-machine-led synth-pop song which inevitably reminds me of “Maniac”, but the vocals sound closer to Peter Murphy, and it’s obviously a much different atmosphere. Nice arpeggiated synths and more killer New Order-y guitar. Song ends abruptly, and then there’s another slow, minimal drum-machine-led one, which features labelmate Void Vision. Album closer “Small Brass Cage” is tense, bloody and a bit perverse. Slow pounding drums, but quick monotonous vocals, followed by slower, chanted ones, and anxious synths. After the vocals end, the rhythm keeps going, and some of the synths seem to fly off their hinges. Madness.

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