Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy (SMD Recordings, 2014)

December 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy

Steve Daubenspeck: Black Dog Duppy

Unexpected dub-inspired album from a former member of Granfaloon Bus. Opener “New Year Dub” is straight-up instrumental dub, with melodica and trippy fx. He sings on most of the other songs, and he has a high, reedy, almost Jad Fair-esque voice. “Departure” is where the reggae influence comes to the forefront in the songwriting, with horns and lyrics about “moving out of Babylon”. “Dubtonic” has a basic drum machine beat and some patois (“nah go break I”) and lots more trippy fx. “Latin Ripoff” has some sax and hand drums and reminds me slightly of early Ween in some ways. “Drone Of Druid” isn’t dubby at all, but more droney and spacey, with some distant spoken/whispered vocals, some piano, horns. Maybe more of a tension-building soundtrack feel. “Rocker’s Delight” is a feelgood uplifting song with non-reggae electric guitars and some additional vocals joining in on the chorus. “Beat 82 Dub” is a long dub instrumental. Best of all is closer “We’re Gonna Make It”, which is pretty different from the rest of the album, more of an early ’80s minimal-synth sound, with drum machines, cold synths and bass guitar. RIYL: Brenda Ray/Naffi Sandwich.

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost (Cuneiform, 2014)

December 10, 2014 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP: Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

An extention of Chicago Underground composer/cornetist Rob Mazurek’s Sao Paulo Underground project, this is a revelatory session of ecstatic, noisy, distorted psychedelic spiritual jazz. The album was recorded 2 weeks after the passing of Mazurek’s mother, who told him before she died that no matter where she was in the universe, she would always hear him. So this is a truly enraptured session filled with rattling percussion, thundering drums, ecstatic voices, and crushing distortion. Opener “Oh Mother (Angels’ Wings)” rides a groove and melody that would be commonplace on plenty of Thrill Jockey post-rock albums, but then 10 minutes later it dovetails into blown-out chaotic frenzy. After about 6 minutes, this finally launches into “Return The Tides”, which blends Brazilian percussion and spicy trumpet with a heavy rhythm and violin shredding reminiscent of Zappa’s “Willie The Pimp”. This one also seems to drift off into a harsh, furious space after 10 minutes, and “Let The Rain Fall Upwards” follows, a truly strange 18-minute trip of backwards percussion and keyboards, and a few moments of almost terrified-sounding vocals. “Reverse The Lightning” does just that, shifting us back into forward drive, with a hypnotic rhythm propelled by tumbling drums and freewheeling cornet soloing. After 9 minutes, everything goes silent, but it’s not quite over. There’s some very quiet humming/chanting, which grows in numbers until it’s this ghostly fog of vocals. An unbelievably moving album.

Borja: Infinite Journey EP (Droidsong, 2014)

December 7, 2014 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Borja: Infinite Journey EP

Borja: Infinite Journey EP

Couldn’t tell you a thing about Borja, last.fm only knows about a metal band with the same name. This Borja is atmospheric, intelligent drum’n’bass, but definitely not the sort of lite post-LTJ Bukem stuff that was around in the late ’90s. Sparse and minimal beats and synth pads, but not the sort of minimal 1-loop tracks that made d’n’b pretty damn boring for a while, also around the turn of the century. This closer to the sort of shapeshifting, genre-fluid work of producers like Fis, Rockwell and ENA. Clear bass tones, thin-metal beats and lots of space for everything to breathe. Not cluttered, but not too minimal. Detailed. Nothing bashing you over the head, and really not dancefloor material either. Worth seeking out.

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP (Recital, 2014)

December 7, 2014 at 7:57 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP

Ian William Craig: A Turn Of Breath LP

One of the most startlingly original albums I’ve heard all year. I’m not entirely sure how this guy is doing what he’s doing, but he’s making really strange unsettling decayed tape and piano loops and singing heavenly quasi-operatic vocals over them. The way that incorporates decaying loops and static into the fabric of these compositions is truly mindblowing. I guess the extremely lazy comparison would be that it’s somewhat similar to The Disintegration Loops turned into songs, but these songs just simply don’t have similar structure or composition to anything else I can think of. Guitars make a few appearances, as do organs and circuit-bent instruments, but mostly it’s pianos and heavy distorted tape loops that catch your ear. Vocals tend to just blend in with the sounds as another instrument, but the two songs where lyrics stick out the most are both parts of “A Slight Grip, A Gentle Hold”, with multi-tracked vocals about allowing heaviness and feeling something shift. And the way the pianos sort of curdle and corrupt under all the tape hiss in songs like “The Edges”… unreal. This is totally the type of album that will probably stay far below the radar, but over time I think people will discover how truly original and breathtaking it is.

Show #269 – 12/6/14

December 6, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
[I’m not sure why the media player isn’t working for this file, the download link works fine]
3:00 AM Richard Dawson ~ The Vile Stuff ~ Nothing Important ~ Weird World
3:16 AM Litüus ~ κλίση ~ split tape w/ Black William ~ Notice Recordings
3:19 AM Fis ~ Fever Sweats ~ Iterations ~ Tri Angle
3:24 AM Ian William Craig ~ On The Reach Of Explanations ~ A Turn Of Breath ~ Recital
3:30 AM Itasca ~ Buzzard Gulch Well ~ Unmoored By The Wind ~ New Images
3:33 AM Johan Agebjörn ~ The Right To Play ~ single ~ Paper Bag
3:36 AM Ray Lynch ~ The Oh Of Pleasure ~ Deep Breakfast ~ Ray Lynch Productions
3:42 AM Seth Graham ~ Piano Goop ~ Goop ~ Noumenal Loom
3:45 AM Foodman ~ Bin Toro ~ Drum Desu ~ Noumenal Loom
3:47 AM [. . (]. ~ side A track 2 ~ tape ~ Chained Library
3:51 AM Lord Raja ~ Pistol Refix ~ A Constant Moth ~ Ghostly International
3:52 AM Strange U ~ Falcon Punch ~ EP #2040 ~ Bandcamp
3:55 AM Tiger Village ~ Emilie (Sea) ~ V ~ Hausu Mountain
Hour 2
4:01 AM Guenter Schlienz ~ Games At The Creek ~ Treehut Visions ~ Sacred Phrases
4:06 AM Co-Habitant ~ side B track 3 ~ tape ~ Chained Library
4:08 AM AU+ ~ EVEN ~ EMILY EP ~ Minimal Trend Records
4:12 AM Suzi Analogue ~ Second More ~ Chills + Thrills EP ~ Never Normal Records
4:14 AM ENA ~ Pressed ~ Binaural ~ Samurai Music Group
4:19 AM Borja ~ All That Is Destroyed (May Come To Be) ~ Infinite Journey ~ Droidsong
4:24 AM BLÆRG ~ Encultured By Detritus ~ The Entertainment ~ Immigrant Breast Nest
4:26 AM Attack ~ Monday, May 9th, 2005 ~ Retreat ~ Your Sun
4:33 AM M. Sage ~ Data In The Details (Mover Isuzu Dub Edit) ~ Data In The Details ~ Geographic North
4:45 AM Ryan Hemsworth ~ Blemish ~ Alone For The First Time ~ Last Gang
4:47 AM Dan Bodan ~ Reload ~ Soft ~ DFA
4:51 AM Eric Copeland ~ Scum Of The Cream ~ Ms. Pretzel ~ DFA
4:55 AM Glacial23 ~ …the last evenings of summer ~ 12″ ~ Savage Quality
Hour 3
5:01 AM Khotin ~ Everything Dub ~ Hello World ~ 1080p
5:08 AM The Bug Vs. Earth ~ Boa ~ 12″ ~ Ninja Tune
5:15 AM Sd Laika ~ Great God Pan ~ That’s Harakiri ~ Tri Angle
5:19 AM Mogwai ~ No Medicine For Regret (Pye Corner Audio Remix) ~ Music Industry 3. Fitness Industry 1. ~ Rock Action
5:28 AM Jefre Cantu-Ledesma ~ side B ~ Songs Of Forgiveness ~ Baro
5:36 AM Ty Segall ~ Music For A Film ~ $ingle$ 2 ~ Drag City
5:39 AM Parkay Quarts ~ Kevlar Walls ~ Content Nausea ~ What’s Your Rupture?
5:40 AM Plasmodium ~ Sin ~ Clairaudience ~ Electric Cowbell Records
5:45 AM Jason Adasiewicz’s Sun Rooms ~ Just Talkin’ To Myself ~ From The Region ~ Delmark
5:52 AM Secret Pyramid ~ Eternal ~ The Silent March ~ Students Of Decay

Crush Collision 12/4/14

December 5, 2014 at 9:21 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:00 PM a–rp ~ sortilegio
10:05 PM Marshall Applewhite ~ Dr. Weatherbee
10:09 PM Mark E ~ Clares Gate
10:16 PM Bonobo ~ Pelican
10:21 PM Johan Agebjörn ~ The Right To Play (Korallreven Remix)
10:26 PM Echologist ~ Yellow Sands
10:31 PM Cooly G ~ Narst
10:36 PM Heiko Laux ~ There There
10:42 PM Sumsun ~ New Piano (Minilogue’s Ocean Of Love)
10:51 PM Flug 8 ~ Musik Aus Metall
10:55 PM Grey Branches ~ Exsolve
10:59 PM Kangding Ray ~ Luna
Hour 2
11:03 PM Subotika ~ Ronin
11:10 PM Mikael Klasson ~ Motion
11:15 PM Italcimenti ~ Gli Gniogni
11:19 PM Moko ~ Chorder (Boom Merchant Remix)
11:24 PM Plants Army Revolver ~ Pales Teen
11:29 PM FaltyDL ~ Do Me (Bruk Mix)
11:32 PM glacial23 ~ Phase Lock
11:39 PM Karenn ~ Pace Yourself
11:43 PM Makaton ~ Night #1
11:46 PM The Crane ~ Ascended Pyromancy Flame
11:48 PM Robert Hood ~ Untitled 1
11:49 PM Lee Bannon ~ RMF-5
11:55 PM Gant-Man ~ Jungle Juke
11:58 PM 97 Bad Masters ~ Science

[. . (].: s/t tape (Chained Library, 2014) + Co-Habitant: s/t tape (Chained Library, 2014)

December 3, 2014 at 10:45 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

[. . (].: s/t tape

[. . (].: s/t tape

From the ashes of now-defunct Chicago label Tailings comes the first two tapes on its founder’s new label Chained Library. The first one has an ever-so-cryptic unpronounceable moniker, and starts mid-seance with a brief eerie synth intro. After that, the tape features a series of hypnotic synth patterns which loop endlessly and only change ever-so-slightly. The first one has a staccato, almost harpsichord-like feel to it, and the others are more spiraling and shadowy. The fifth track is a pair of overlapping arpeggios which are slightly out of phase with each other, reminiscent of Lorenzo Senni’s “pointillist trance” experiments. The B-side opens with an eerie echo-heavy organ loop that can’t help but remind me of Dr. Octagon’s “Waiting List”, but minus the beats and with even more of a low-budget horror feel, so that’s totally awesome. After that is another series of haunting echo-covered patterns, with B4 sounding probably the most like a potential horror movie theme. The tape ends with kind of a sour sadface loop, bringing an incredible tape to a morose end.

Co-Habitant: s/t tape

Co-Habitant: s/t tape

The other tape (also by the label’s founder) comes to us under the name Co-Habitant. This one has more eerie minimalist horror-theme loops, and at first there seems to be a bit more variation in the notes, but then it seems to get more repetitive. The first side only has 3 tracks, and the last one is a long BoC-ish synth sound. The second side has some crackly, grainy loops, alternating between shorter bits and longer loops, for 4 tracks in total.

Black William/Litüus: split tape (Notice Recordings, 2014)

December 2, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Black William/Litüus: split tape

Black William/Litüus: split tape

Black William previously surfaced with an excellent tape of live noise/drone performances, released 2 years ago on the now-defunct Tailings label. His side of this tape, “Fissures”, is basically a brief pattern of a few notes repeated endlessly, which gets amplified and stretched out until it’s basically just a single bleary-eyed hum lurching back and forth (but barely moving). It feels like the aural equivalent of extreme pupil dilation, and when it finally reaches its sudden ends it snaps hard, and your ears need a bit of time to cool off and readjust. Litüus’ side (“κλίση”) has a similar minimalist trick of just exploring a handful of notes repeating endlessly, but this pattern seems to have more of a solid rhythm and is more melodic, and it doesn’t go for all-out ear-bleeding distortion. Instead, the reverberations of the notes create sort of a dubby rhythm. The side fades out cleanly, so unlike the A-side, you have fair warning this time.

Itasca: Unmoored By The Wind (New Images, 2014)

December 2, 2014 at 8:55 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Itasca: Unmoored By The Wind

Itasca: Unmoored By The Wind

Newest album NY indie-folk singer-songwriter Kayla Cohen, who first caught my attention with her track on the excellent Life Blood tape compilation on Life Like. Simple and warmly recorded enough that you could be fooled into thinking it’s a reissue of an obscure ’60s/’70s psych-folk album, lost somewhere in time between Linda Perhacs and Vashti Bunyan and only being rediscovered now. After opening with a brief birdsong-abetted guitar instrumental, Cohen continues with nearly a dozen dreamy, forest-dwelling folk songs, usually consisting of nothing more than acoustic guitar, vocals, and occasional flute. “Walking In Hahamongna” is a free-flowing guitar instrumental that dips into more American primitivist territory, and has much more detailed and involved playing than the songs with vocals. “Buzzard Gulch Well” has multi-tracked vocals, and is probably the slowest, most solemn, and most ethereal song on the album. “Colt In Hiding” is a runner-up, with its lush vocal harmonies and subtle backwards guitar layered underneath. “Glass” concludes the album with perhaps its most sit-up-straight song, with upfront vocal harmonies which don’t sound as sleepy as some of the other songs.

Negativland: It’s All In Your Head FM (Seeland, 2014)

December 1, 2014 at 12:10 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Negativland: It's All In Your Head FM

Negativland: It’s All In Your Head FM

There are many reasons why I love and respect Negativland, but one of the main reasons is because they’ve always stuck to their guns and fought for what they believe in. Their albums, concerts, radio show, website, culture jamming, multimedia pranks, lectures, and everything else they do is their life’s work, and they’ve persevered for so long, through lawsuits and controversy, simply because they believe in themselves and their work. Their newest release is all about belief, specifically why humans believe in God, and why Negativland doesn’t. This is a theme the group have been exploring for years on their radio show Over The Edge, and on their tours circa 2005-2007. This album is basically a studio recording/edit of that tour, and was previously released in an earlier version in 2006. I saw the tour when it came to New York (you can download this set on archive.org), and while the concerts were structured as improvised radio shows (the audience members were even given blindfolds), the general premise and sequences seemed to be similar throughout the tours, and they’re honed into a tighter, denser mix here. The album is packaged inside a repurposed, modified King James Bible, with a barcode sticker labeled “file under fiction” on the back cover. The sticker also mentions a limited Qur’an edition, but as far as I know that one hasn’t been made available yet. The album explores several points of view, starting with a sort of virtual collage argument between Christians and atheists, and focusing more on Islam during the album’s second disc. While all points of view are expressed, Negativland clearly makes it be known that they are non-believers, most explicitly with a recurring sample of the harrowing cry “there is no god!!!!!” which pops up many times throughout the album. Ultimately, as the title of the album states, they encourage you to think for yourself and come up with your own conclusions. As with any of the group’s more thinkpiece-type releases, whether or not you agree or disagree with their messages, the recording and presentation is always put together with extreme care and precision, and is entertaining and thought-provoking. The sampling and plundering is as rapidfire and sometimes overwhelming as ever, and the music sample choices in particular are on-point. Most exciting is “Relatively Optimistic Notions”‘ sample of David Byrne’s eternal words of wisdom “heaven is a place where nothing ever happens”, chopped up with the same glee as when Negativland deconstructed “Stairway To Heaven” back in 1995, on their classic Fair Use book/CD, in which they told the in-depth story of their battles with U2, Casey Kasem, Island Records, Greg Ginn, and copyright law in general. Given that Casey Kasem died this year and U2 pissed more people off than ever with their iTunes shenanigans, the time couldn’t be better to revisit Negativland’s immortal “U2” single. Even with all the serious religious/anti-religious talk, this album still has the same moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity that have always been present in the group’s work. Towards the end of the first disc, the group enacts a scene depicting a chimp being shaved live on the air, revealing that a shaved chimp looks eerily similar to a human. Does that prove or disprove evolution, the existence of God, or anything else? Who knows, but the way it’s presented sounds at once funny, disturbing, and surrealist. Considering how long they’ve been exploring this concept, it seems like this release is the band’s definitive statement on faith, but obviously the group’s faith in itself and commitment to its own beliefs will always be present in their work.

« Previous Page

Blog at WordPress.com.
Entries and comments feeds.