Looks Realistic: Where Does It Come From? tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2013)

September 29, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Looks Realistic: Where Does It Come From? tape

Looks Realistic: Where Does It Come From? tape

I haven’t seen the whole video, but this is the first Constellation Tatsu title to be released in VHS form as well as cassette, and if any release on the label fits that aesthetic perfectly, it’s this one. Each side of the tape starts with an audio logo, and there’s such a wasted, weathered quality to it that it just feels like looking at pixel-damaged landscape imagery. “Dot Compost” manages to pull some Steve Reich phasing techniques out of severely mangled cassette tape manipulation. “Rainbow Reader” can’t help but bring to mind the theme song of a familiar PBS program about books that we all grew up watching, but then colorfully explodes with neon synth textures. “Pressed Rock Coating” buries some crushed voices under new age synths, and “Sleep Cadet” does even more so, with shimmering star-lit tones lulling you to sleep.

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Somatic Responses: Puny God + Sketches (Photon Emissions, 2013)

September 29, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Somatic Responses: Puny God

Somatic Responses: Puny God

So glad Somatic Responses are still at it, releasing album after album of crushing rhythmic noise at an unrelenting pace as they’ve done since the mid-’90s. They still release physical CDs and vinyl, but they’ve been taking to Bandcamp lately and unleashing a lot of material, including tons of free albums. Puny God came out at the beginning of the year, and it’s as hard-hitting as anything they’ve ever done. “The Illusion Of Control” in particular is like a more blow-out, ballistic version of mid-’90s Aphex, and “Quartz Riot” shreds drum’n’bass breakbeats over sci-fi synths. “Hammer Drone” injects some acid into intelligent, choppy d’n’b, and “Sharpen The Sword” is obscenely hard, distorted techno (but not to the point of being gabber) with buzzsaw bass and a beatless mechanical drone section in the middle.

Somatic Responses: Sketches

Somatic Responses: Sketches

Judging by the title, Sketches is a 102-minute dump of unreleased, unfinished material and odds-and-ends. It definitely has a more cast-off, playful feel, focusing less on their hardcore side and more on melodic, less intense IDM. Some of their material feels like dense, mammoth constructions utilizing dozens, maybe hundreds of tracks simultaneously, but these sound more basic and nowhere near as intense. Still, plenty of fun, mangled beats and sounds, just not quite as developed as their proper releases.

Jordan Piper Philips: Back To Sleep tape (Singapore Sling Tapes, 2012)

September 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jordan Piper Philips: Back To Sleep tape

Jordan Piper Philips: Back To Sleep tape

I keep meaning to post about my adoration for all things Blanche Blanche Blanche/OSR Tapes. Wink With Both Eyes was my favorite album of last year, and there’s an astonishing amount of music from this camp that’s been released in the past few years, much of which is available for free download. This tape was released last year by Singapore Sling Tapes, an incredible label home to Piper Spray, Giant Claw, and many others I haven’t fully explored yet. This is a solo tape by the guy from BBB, but it’s definitely in line with their brand of warped lo-fi ADD-pop (or at least their older style, they’ve actually started recording in a studio recently). Lots of demo-quality keyboards, stumbling electronic drums, unnecessarily complicated time signatures, and unlikely earworm melodies. There’s a few covers here (Royal Trux, Ariel Pink, The Cure’s “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”), but it all fits the sort of alternate dimension AM radio vibe. Check it out here.

Jar Moff: Commercial Mouth LP (Pan, 2013)

September 29, 2013 at 12:16 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jar Moff: Commercial Mouth

Jar Moff: Commercial Mouth

I don’t even. There’s 500 things going on at once. I can’t see anything. I can’t follow anything. I’m getting lost really deep right now. There’s something resembling a totally crushing beat that I think I’m zoning out to but part of it feels like I’m being tricked and it’s actually something totally different. Then there’s all this free jazz sax, some explosive debris noise, and all manners of hallucinogenic smoke and mirrors. Seriously… I have no clue what is going on here. But I am totally stunned by it.

Sugarm: Wasted: God’s Clit (2012) + Ron Tubman + Sugarm: split tape (Hausu Mountain, 2013)

September 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

Sugarm: Wasted: God's Clit

Sugarm: Wasted: God’s Clit

I posted about the first 2 Sugarm digital EP’s on Foxy Digitalis a long time ago, and a second part of Wasted came out and I never got around to posting about it. Both parts are on Bandcamp, but there’s also a tape on Hard Disks as well. God’s Clit explores dilapidated beats, flanging distortion, and abrasive drone. Opener “Achat D’or” has overblown Southern rap drum machine beats and a furious, crunchy synth pattern, ending in a blast of feedback. “Moonshine Mile” starts out quiet and ponderous, but then some sliced, hard-to-follow beats tumble in, the droning starts swooping and swarming, and it gets really confusing and awesome. “Singing Blacktop” has more convoluted drums and is doused with feedback, but then it gets quiet in the middle and a loop of mischievous laughter surfaces, along with more strange rhythms that barely make sense. “Sick Foliage” is a short, slowly growing guitar drone piece, which ends in a fog of effects that segues into “Empties In The Grass”, which ends up with a really lovely piano melody under more brittle distortion. “New Good Friend” is a more distorted cousin of the EP’s first song, but without the drum machine.

Ron Tubman/Sugarm: split tape

Ron Tubman/Sugarm: split tape

Sugarm’s most recent release is a split tape with Ron Tubman, as part of Hausu Mountain’s Mugen series of splits focusing on solo live performances with no overdubs. Sugarm contributes two pieces, the first one (“500 Dollars”) using a theremin and plenty of delay and modulation, and getting pretty harsh and frightening, especially with the use of ghostly canned voices at the end. “Skinjob” is another harsh drone looper, using an old record and concentric feedback loops, and constantly sounding on the verge of combustion. Sugarm’s side is in total contrast to the Ron Tubman side, which is languid looping guitar drone, but with a healthy layer of feedback noise underneath. A few lovely atmospheric melodies surface, and there’s some wild synth oscillations during the second half of the piece.

Plankton Wat: Drifter’s Temple (Thrill Jockey, 2013)

September 28, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Plankton Wat: Drifter's Temple

Plankton Wat: Drifter’s Temple

Side project of Dewey Mahood from Eternal Tapestry and Garden Sound. Droney instrumental rock, with some noodly blues-psych guitar licks, and some keyboards. Laid back and relaxed, meandering and spacious, but still focused enough to keep all the songs in a 3-6 minute time frame. A couple tracks have drums (“Nightfall”, the hand percussion on opener “Toward The Golden City”), and there’s some keyboards, but the focus is mainly on ringing, chiming acoustic guitars, as well as some blazing distorted solos. The two most different tracks are “Hash Smuggler’s Blues” (full of pulsating tremolo) and the awesome noisy finale of “Siskiyou Caverns”.

Show #209 – 9/28/13

September 28, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

mic break music = Vivaldi’s Revenge: The New Four Seasons

3:01 AM Oneohtrix Point Never ~ Boring Angel ~ R Plus Seven ~ Warp
3:05 AM Steve Hauschildt ~ Thumbprints ~ S/H ~ Editions Mego
3:10 AM Dustin Wong ~ Out Of The Crown Head ~ Mediation Of Ecstatic Energy ~ Thrill Jockey
3:14 AM Donato Dozzy ~ Vaporware 05 ~ Donato Dozzy Plays Bee Mask ~ Spectrum Spools
3:20 AM Mind Over Mirrors ~ Bark & Barge ~ When The Rest Are Up At Four ~ Immune
3:31 AM Plankton Wat ~ Klamath At Dusk ~ Drifter’s Temple ~ Thrill Jockey
3:37 AM White Manna ~ Ascension ~ Dune Worship ~ Holy Mountain
3:42 AM Semisolid ~ Polizei ~ District Of Noise Vol. 6 ~ Sonic Circuits DC
3:46 AM SlowPitch ~ Ghost Fossil Pt. 2 ~ Ghost Fossil ~ Bandcamp
3:51 AM Seams ~ Iceblerg ~ Quarters ~ Full Time Hobby
3:56 AM Mikael Jorgensen & Greg O’Keeffe ~ Quincy ~ self-titled ~ Butterscotch Records
4:05 AM White Poppy ~ Without Answers ~ White Poppy ~ Not Not Fun
4:09 AM Frankie Rose ~ Sorrow ~ Herein Wild ~ Fat Possum
4:14 AM Soft Location ~ Fools ~ Fools ~ Physical Things
4:17 AM Chevalier Avant Garde ~ The Love Run ~ Resurrection Machine ~ Fixture Records
4:20 AM DIANA ~ Born Again ~ Perpetual Surrender ~ Jagjaguwar
4:24 AM Blouse ~ Trust Me ~ Imperium ~ Captured Tracks
4:38 AM Benasser Oukhouya & Cheikha Hadda Ouakki ~ Ha Howa Ha Howa (That’s Him) ~ Kassidat: Raw 45s From Morocco ~ Dust-To-Digital
4:42 AM Zwerm ~ tween (k-tood #2) ~ Underwater Princess Waltz: A Collection Of One-Page Pieces ~ New World Records
4:49 AM Scissor Now! ~ Ham Sandwich ~ Not Now, But Right Now! ~ Arbco Records
4:50 AM The Stranger ~ Spiral Of Decline ~ Watching Dead Empires In Decay ~ Modern Love
4:54 AM Eugene Carchesio ~ 16 ~ Concert For One Person In A Small Room ~ Room40
4:57 AM Henry & Hazel Slaughter ~ B1 ~ Endless Power Cycle ~ Fedora Corpse
5:02 AM Jackson & His Computerband ~ Blood Bust ~ Glow ~ Warp
5:07 AM Moderat ~ Versions ~ II ~ Mute
5:12 AM John Wizards ~ Hogsback ~ John Wizards ~ Planet Mu
5:14 AM Nagamatzu ~ Nikto ~ Shatter Days ~ Dark Entries
5:19 AM Infinity Shred ~ Straylight ~ Sanctuary ~ Paracadute
5:22 AM Eat Lights Become Lights ~ Life In The Sprawl ~ Modular Living ~ Rocket Girl
5:28 AM Jumpel ~ Floor 12 ~ Bloc4 ~ Hidden Shoal
5:36 AM R. Stevie Moore ~ Copy Me ~ Personal Appeal ~ Care In The Community
5:40 AM Algebra Suicide ~ Sub Rosa ~ Feminine Squared ~ Dark Entries
5:41 AM Robert Alberg ~ Rainbow Falls ~ Acoustically ~ self-released
5:44 AM Jacqueline Humbert & David Rosenboom ~ Wishes ~ Daytime Viewing ~ Unseen Worlds
5:50 AM Esmerine ~ Barn Board Fire ~ Dalmak ~ Constellation
5:55 AM Sarah Neufeld ~ Right Through ~ Hero Brother ~ Constellation

Crush Collision 9/26/13

September 27, 2013 at 9:58 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:00 PM Arthur Russell ~ Springfield
10:08 PM Basic House ~ Denial As Method
10:12 PM Deepchord ~ Aerosphere
10:19 PM Plaster ~ Signals From A Gold Sky
10:22 PM Holy Balm ~ Phone Song
10:28 PM Drivetrain ~ Digital Toy Box
10:34 PM Max Graef ~ Ignorance Is Bliss
10:37 PM Atticus Jacks ~ Potential
10:41 PM DFRNT ~ The Way You Look At Me
10:45 PM Naphta ~ Valley Queen
10:48 PM Diinch ~ Reaching Out
10:53 PM Esteban Adame ~ Effect
10:58 PM E-Dancer ~ Feel The Mood
Hour 2
11:03 PM Robot Koch x Siren ~ Melville
11:08 PM Sir Lord Comixx ~ Trading Places
11:13 PM The Cyclist ~ Daily Spirals
11:20 PM Appaloosa ~ Fill The Blanks (Instrumental)
11:23 PM Fort Romeau ~ SW9 (Lowtec Remix)
11:29 PM Lords Of Midnite ~ Drown In Ur Love
11:33 PM Arthur Russell ~ Kiss Me Again (Japanese Phonetic Translation)
11:37 PM rRoxymore ~ FltNordf
11:42 PM Sulumi ~ Jurchen
11:45 PM Viers ~ 92688
11:49 PM Color Plus ~ Pulp
11:52 PM Ducktails ~ Letter Of Intent (Heatsick Remix)
11:56 PM M.Nomized ~ Drones Dancing

Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven (Warp, 2013)

September 25, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven

Oneohtrix Point Never: R Plus Seven

Stepping up to the big leagues, R Plus Seven is Daniel Lopatin’s Warp debut. Instead of being the logical sequel to 2011’s instant classic Replica, this is a little closer to OPN’s split LP with Rene Hell from last year, using abrasive stuttering and glitch sounds, but also using plenty of preset, plastic MIDI sounds. James Ferraro has explored those sounds at length on his Far Side Virtual album, and while I thought that album was highly overrated and gimmicky, I think Lopatin truly does some creative, unpredictable things here. Even more so than other OPN works, this album is clearly meant to be digested as a whole work (not to mention on a good soundsystem, there’s lots of bass here). Both halves of the album seem like stand-alone pieces themselves, especially given how there’s a gap of silence between the two. There’s plenty of interstitial moments that seem to cut out and instantly shift to another landscape entirely, and plenty of mutated voices (there’s a lyric sheet in the liner notes, but good luck connecting those to the actual songs). The first and last tracks end with dramatic, grandiose church organs, “Americans” cuts into gamelan-like drum passages towards the beginning and end, and “He She” is a short piece with a koto loop and simultaneous slow and fast cut-up voices (the faster ones sounding like some sort of religious chanting). These types of voices and edits continue throughout the album, with “Zebra” starting out like Fennesz’s “Before I Leave”, building with choir voices and shredded sounds, adding garage-house synth-bass and MIDI sax, pausing for a long ambient stretch, and ending up with something similar to Oval’s “Dowhile” rattling around for the last 2 minutes. “Problem Areas” is maybe the most accessible, structured track, and while I thought it just sounded like a Far Side Virtual clone, it sounds better in context and sequence of the album. “Cryo” is a slow, unassuming, bassy intro, and then we get to the epic “Still Life”, which I think would fit in anywhere on FSOL’s double-CD opus Lifeforms (which I’ve compared OPN’s collection Rifts to in the past). Seriously, just listen to the last 2 minutes. There’s the “Cascade” high whistle-like synth, and some Jean-Michel Jarre type stuff going on. It’s great. “Chrome Country” ends the album with synthetic children’s choirs and pianos, plus more digital shredding and bass tones. I’d still say Replica is OPN’s best and most accessible album so far, and I feel like this one might confuse people a little bit and potentially divide his audience, but it’s still a fantastic album, and continues Daniel Lopatin’s status as one of the most important musicians on the planet right now.

Seams: Quarters (Full Time Hobby, 2013)

September 24, 2013 at 10:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Seams: Quarters

Seams: Quarters

Slow-building techno. Except for buzzy miniature “Pocket”, all the tracks are well over 4 minutes, with a few approaching 6. Tracks take their time building up elements, but use bright melodic textures and detailed beats. “Constants” sort of reminds me of a less fractured version of Mark Fell/Sensate Focus, although it changes directions and goes into something Booka Shade might’ve done circa Movements. “Sitcom Apartment” has some kling-klang beats and sparkly melodies, with everything coming together in the last minute. “Iceblerg” has itchy, cricket-like beats, and builds to a looped staccato melody. “Rilo” is an obvious highlight, with an alert beat and structure, and a pleasant melody. There’s also a false ending around 4:30, and the last minute or so reflects on the arpeggiating synth melody, before fading out. Overall, a fine set of jittery desktop techno.

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