Thousand Foot Whale Claw: Cosmic Winds tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2016)

April 15, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Thousand Foot Whale Claw: Cosmic Winds tape

Thousand Foot Whale Claw: Cosmic Winds tape

This Austin-based group shares members with Troller and S U R V I V E, and while in some ways they seem like they’re somewhere between the two, they’re really on another plane entirely. I saw them at a Holodeck Records showcase at SXSW once, and it felt like a different band was taking the stage for every track. There’s dark, atmospheric soundtrack-like pieces, but also pulsating arpeggio drone and airy post-Hillage guitar psych explorations. This tape is much the same, it inhabits a lot of spaces and it does everything splendidly. “Cosmic Winds The Song” is a 10-minute early highlight, but then there’s the noisy rift of “Dark Mote” and then the lighter, more vibrant “Cassini”. “Hyugens” slips in a motorik machine rhythm, then “Mood Light” is pure tranquility. Seriously impressive tape, and it gets better on repeated listens.

Robert Crouch: A Gradual Accumulation of Ideas Becomes Truth (Line, 2016)

April 12, 2016 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Robert Crouch: A Gradual Accumulation of Ideas Becomes Truth

Robert Crouch: A Gradual Accumulation of Ideas Becomes Truth

On this album, sound artist Robert Crouch constructs his slowly developing drones from sounds sourced from modular synthesizers. This album sounds absolutely nothing like most modular synth albums, however. He’s still using digital processes to stretch out and transform the sounds. It creates a sort of intersection where analog roughness and digital glitch collide. “Hohle Fels” is the clearest drone, the others get a lot rougher, and go through more changes. Some of the pieces (such as “3184 Pullman, Costa Mesa, 1974”) seem to develop a sort of trembling rhythm. “Potbelly Hill” is definitely the busiest, it seems to claustrophobically shift rapidly. Even while it feels contained the point of severe restriction, it has a sort of accepting calmness, and seems to hit some bliss-out frequencies along the way.

Ekin Fil: Heavy tape (No Kings, 2016)

April 12, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ekin Fil: Heavy tape

Ekin Fil: Heavy tape

“Still Numbers” pulled me in, so I had to check out the rest of this tape. It’s like Grouper but more windswept, or caught up in a whirlpool. Or even lost down a well. Endlessly echoing vocals and guitars, but with a few cosmic star trails following the voices down. It’s heavy, but not in a way that feels weighted down. It’s heavy with things that are not tangible. In some ways, it’s as dark and suffocating as any noise or metal album you could name. And yet it’s so spacious. Is it possible to be claustrophobic while floating in a cloud? What if it’s a storm cloud? I don’t know, it’s frightening to think about. This album is stunning.

DeLIEN: Identity Annex tape (Detroit Industrial/Void, 2015)

April 9, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | 1 Comment

DeLIEN: Identity Annex tape

DeLIEN: Identity Annex tape

Detroit’s Kirill Slavin has been making kickass hardware-based industrial/breakcore since the ’90s. He hasn’t released much more than a handful of CDs and a 12″ on Low Res, but everything is guaranteed quality. This tape has 4 tracks, some of which are lengthy jams that just blast through ideas excitedly. Opener “Judgement Call” has a steady industrial beat and scattered voices and noise bursts, and it sounds awesome, but “User Interface” is a 12 minute thrill ride through smashed samples and convulsing rhythms. It starts out uptempo and breakcore-ish, but it frequently lapses into halftime electro beats, and keeps frantically skittering and stammering. “How To” has fun adding noise bursts to a children’s story record. Then there’s “Rose Covered Steel”, the tape’s longest, most aggressive, and best cut. It starts out harsh and frenzied, then settles into a sort of demented twitchy techno beat, with plenty of noisy static interruptions. It goes through periods of less and more going on, but it’s still always changing and exciting. Every time it feels like it’s going to settle into a dance groove, it blows up and gets corrupted. And then it just falls to the floor with a thud. Grip it at Bandcamp.

Show #338 – 4/9/16

April 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

2:01 am Tim Hecker ~ “Castrati Stack” ~ Love Streams (new) ~ 4AD ~ 2016
2:05 am Dokuro ~ “Watermarks” ~ Avalon ~ Monotype ~ 2015
2:10 am Sawako ~ “Deep Under” ~ Bitter Sweet ~ 12k ~ 2008
2:14 am Troller ~ “Nothing” ~ Graphic (new) ~ Holodeck ~ 2016
2:20 am Samantha Glass ~ “Engraved Vision” ~ Preparations For a Spot in the World (new) ~ Holodeck ~ 2016
2:26 am Redrot (local) ~ “Freedom” ~ 7″ ~ Void ~ 2011
2:30 am DeLIEN (local) ~ “Judgement Call” ~ Identity Annex (new) ~ Detroit Industrial/Void ~ 2015
2:36 am Troum ~ “Signe du Miroir” ~ Acouasme (new) ~ Cold Spring ~ 2015
2:44 am Bombardier ~ “Control Voltage” ~ split 12″ w/ WMX ~ Void Tactical Media ~ 2014
2:48 am Split Horizon (local) ~ “Trees – Our Tribute To Despair” ~ split 12″ w/ J-Stat ~ Void Tactical Media ~ 2008
2:54 am Dimentia ~ “Jamais Vu” ~ split 12″ w/ Split Horizon ~ Void Tactical Media ~ 2012
3:00 am Havenaire ~ “Brute Camp” ~ Tremolo (new) ~ Constellation Tatsu ~ 2016
3:03 am The Fall ~ “Prole Art Threat” ~ Slates ~ Rough Trade ~ 1981
3:05 am Celestial Trax ~ “Secrets” ~ From the Womb (new) ~ Purple Tape Pedigree ~ 2016
3:08 am Lit Internet feat. EndgamE ~ “Empyrean” ~ Angelysium ~ BWWWOYS ~ 2015
3:10 am Sami Baha feat. Kuedo ~ “Cataphract” ~ Mavericks (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2016
3:13 am Darq E Freaker ~ Flabbergasted” ~ ADHD (new) ~ Big Dada ~ 2016
3:18 am 111X ~ “Inner Peace” ~ Youth EP (new) ~ TAR ~ 2016
3:21 am Imaabs ft. Lia Nadja and Felicia Morales ~ “Extravío” ~ mp3 (new) ~ NON/RBMA ~ 2016
3:25 am Nkisi ~ “Karma” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2016
3:29 am DJ Osom ~ “Brick” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2016
3:36 am Dane Law ~ “Blackout” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Quantum Natives ~ 2016
3:40 am SHALT x Supremes ~ “Unconfined (Dis Fig Bootie)” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2016
3:44 am Nunu ~ “Heels (Total Freedom Rinse FM Rip)” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2016
3:48 am Russell E.L. Butler ~ “Blowing Trees” ~ Visions of the Future (new) ~ Jacktone Records ~ 2016
3:53 am Prince Rapid ~ “What’s Good” ~ Immortal (new) ~ New Build Creative Resources Ltd ~ 2016
3:57 am Odeko ~ “The Yumato Spring” ~ 12″ (new) ~ Gobstopper ~ 2016
4:03 am Xeno & Oaklander ~ “Marble” ~ Topiary (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2016
4:07 am Who Ha ~ “I Don’t Wanna Do My Homework” ~ Synthwave Belongs In a Museum (new) ~ Retro Promenade ~ 2016
4:10 am Moderat ~ “Animal Trails” ~ III (new) ~ Mute/Monkeytown ~ 2016
4:15 am Metrist ~ “Sundried Man” ~ This Is For Sore Is Just There (new) ~ Black Opal ~ 2016
4:21 am We Will Fail ~ “You are Beautiful and Artistic” ~ Hand That Heals/Hand That Bites (new) ~ Monotype ~ 2016
4:26 am DMZ ~ “Carex Boréal – Part 2” ~ Carex Boréal (new) ~ Tanzprocesz ~ 2016
4:29 am Moth Cock ~ “Silver Meadows” ~ split LP w/ Form a Log (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2016
4:31 am Chihei Hatakeyama ~ “Elementary Particle” ~ You’re Still In It (new) ~ Constellation Tatsu ~ 2016
4:39 am Form a Log ~ “Badge” ~ split LP w/ Moth Cock (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2016
4:43 am Taylor McFerrin ~ “Postpartum (Dorian Concept Remix)” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2016
4:47 am Aaronmaxwell ~ “side A” ~ split tape w/ James Matthew (new) ~ Colossal Tapes ~ 2016
5:02 am Vik ~ “Snooze Button” ~ Disposables (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2016
5:03 am Samiyam ~ “Kimchee” ~ Animals Have Feelings (new) ~ Stones Throw ~ 2016
5:06 am Sikka Rymes feat. John D, prod. by Genesis Hull ~ “Love Di People (Cakedog Version)” ~ Fresh Clipp’d (new) ~ Duppy Gun Productions ~ 2016
5:09 am Chevron ~ “Ciro (The Gasman Remix)” ~ Possibilities Remixed (new) ~ Balkan Recordings ~ 2016
5:13 am CFM ~ “Lunar Heroine” ~ Still Life of Citrus and Slime (new) ~ In the Red ~ 2016
5:16 am Coypu ~ “Man, Wolf, Jackal and Jungle Cat!” ~ Floating (new) ~ MIE Music ~ 2016
5:20 am Deakin ~ “Seed Song” ~ Sleep Cycle (new) ~ My Animal Home ~ 2016
5:24 am The Body ~ “Adamah” ~ No One Deserves Happiness (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2016
5:28 am RONiiA ~ “Hell” ~ Sisters (new) ~ Totally Gross National Product ~ 2016
5:33 am France Jobin ~ “n” ~ Singulum (new) ~ Line ~ 2016
5:50 am Jan St. Werner ~ “Beardman” ~ Felder (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2016

Form a Log/Moth Cock: split LP (Hausu Mountain, 2016)

April 8, 2016 at 9:10 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Form a Log/Moth Cock: split LP

Form a Log/Moth Cock: split LP

This one’s trouble from the getgo. Form a Log are a weird group which includes Ren Schofield (Container), and they fuse beats with noise, but not in the same way Container does. This is way more playful, silly, and nonsensical. The beats often sound like flimsy toy instruments, and they often break into funny voices, dilapidated samples, acoustic guitars, and other songs entirely. Kind of reminds me of some of the early Tigerbeat6 stuff if it was created with junky electronics and tapes rather than laptops. Lots of squeaks and chatters and big booming bass. Moth Cock’s side is in a similar vein, but with more of a severely topsy-turvy hip-hop bent. Melted easy listening snippets bent into the most absurd breakbeats you can imagine, and then submerged in an overflowing bathtub by mutated horns. Loops never seem to be left alone for more than a few seconds, they’re always pitched up or down or sideways. At one point it sounds like Raymond Scott’s electronic inventions are screaming for dear life as they’re being held hostage by an evil group of wild drums. I feel like this one quite isn’t as intense as the Moth Cock tape I reviewed a few years ago, but it’s still relentlessly weird and amusing. Oh, and there’s cartoon sound effects piled up like used candy wrappers during “Paulus”. Too much.

HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12″ (Midwich Productions, 2016)

April 8, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12"

HIDE: Flesh For the Living 12″

HIDE are a Chicago-based duo doing dark industrial synth-pop, but that description could mean anything, and this group covers quite a lot of ground just on this 12″. The title cut is a sizzling, thumping EBM track which sounds like one of Underworld’s more aggressive moments, but with a take-no-bullshit goth-punk diva staring you down. It’s minimal in construction, yet it sounds big and brooding. The remix by WATTS slows the tempo down to a sparse dubstep crawl, but it fills the space with detailed drum fills which sometimes approximate the rattling hi-hats of Southern rap, other times imitating marching band drum cadences. There’s also vocal glitches and crazy synth squirms, with an ominous sci-fi melody tucked into the center of the song. The 11-minute “Limb From Limb” takes up the record’s B-side, and it’s halfway between minimal techno and horror-disco, with an insistent throb covered in washes of echo. Heather Gabel scowls “turn the other cheek, don’t speak” as the track gets more tense. It keeps building up and adding more explosive, disturbing sounds, and then it strips down only to get more scary. A phoned-in paranoid voice talks breathlessly about a murder he had to commit (or at least attempt). After a pregnant pause, the track explodes back into action, and remains aggressive and dread-filled for most of its remainder.

Crush Collision 4/7/16

April 8, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

Hour 1
10:00 pm Moderat ~ “Finder”
10:06 pm MGUN ~ “Don’t Hurt Yoself”
10:10 pm Alex Barnett ~ “Premonition Reel”
10:14 pm Mikkel Metal ~ “Affirmation”
10:16 pm Chevron ~ “Makossa Nova (Cardopusher Remix)”
10:20 pm Bobby Draino ~ “Another Vibe (Lolo’s House Mix)”
10:24 pm Metrist ~ “Sometimes Rubix Cubes”
10:30 pm Rydberg ~ “And the Science”
10:38 pm We Will Fail ~ “Blind Spot”
10:40 pm Helen ~ “Witch (Instrumental)”
10:47 pm Peaking Lights ~ “Conga Blue”
10:53 pm Princess Century ~ “Robber”
10:56 pm Mayo Soulomon ~ “World Whisper”
Hour 2
11:01 pm Medlar ~ “All One Machine”
11:06 pm Jam For Real ~ “Lovin’ U (Mangabey Remix)”
11:12 pm Tim Wright ~ “Can’t Stop (Vromm Remix)”
11:18 pm Patrik Carrera ~ “Hovi”
11:22 pm Philou Louzolo ~ “Alter Ego”
11:29 pm Casino Times ~ “Foundations (End)”
11:34 pm D5 ~ “Future Sense”
11:40 pm Buz Ludzha ~ “Positive Vibes”
11:43 pm Julian Alexander ~ “JANC1”
11:47 pm Chambray ~ “Makin Me (AM Unit Remix)”
11:51 pm Oliver Ho ~ “Control”
11:56 pm Oscar Mulero ~ “Rotar (Tensal Remix)”

Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola Lobitos: Highlife-Jazz and Afro Soul (1963-1969) (P-Vine Records, 2005/reissued by Knitting Factory Records, 2016)

April 7, 2016 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola Lobitos: Highlife-Jazz and Afro Soul (1963-1969)

Fela Ransome Kuti and His Koola Lobitos: Highlife-Jazz and Afro Soul (1963-1969)

Fela Kuti needs no introduction, but the music on this collection introduced him to the music world back in the ’60s, when he lead a group called Koola Lobitos. This is far different than the Afrobeat sound he would invent during the ’70s. While every bit as spirited and lively as the music he would become known for, this is much more light-hearted highlife and jazz (sometimes bordering on calypso), lacking the political fury that would turn him into a cultural icon. This isn’t to discredit the music contained here, as it is highly enjoyable, fun music. The first disc consists of the group’s singles, and they start out highlife for the first 6 tracks, switch to modern jazz for a few songs (with “Amaechi’s Blues” sounding more like American jazz than anything else he’s done), then eventually moving closer to soul with the last 2 tracks. The second disc is the group’s proper studio album, and it focuses on the highlife sound. Disc 3 starts out with a live 10″ the group released in 1966, then concludes with more tracks from singles. The live tracks, as expected, are pure fire. Just super loud and explosive and great. It goes without saying that the fidelity on all these recordings is not state-of-the-art. Some of it’s really distorted and muddy, because a lot of the master tapes simply don’t exist, so they had to be dubbed from ancient, dirty vinyl records. The music absolutely needs to be heard, so I’m assuming most people won’t complain about the fidelity. This collection has been released a few times before, first by Japanese label P-Vine a decade ago, then as 2CD set Lagos Baby by Vampisoul in 2008; this edition from Knitting Factory Records is the comp’s first American issue.

Dokuro: Avalon (Monotype, 2015)

April 5, 2016 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dokuro: Avalon

Dokuro: Avalon

This Oakland-based duo has an intense, improvisatory sound blending electric cello, vocals, synths, and electronic manipulation. Has some really intense Roly Porter/Emptyset-type moments, especially “23”, which combines power electronics bursts and layers of haunted vocals. “Aazaan” comes close to a sort of mystical late-period Coil aura. “Backbeat” slips into a sputtering beat along with ghostly vocals, and it ends up in a wash of static. “Nachtgestalten” and “Watermarks” both have heavy, ominous cello bowing. “The Final Journey” starts out with rhythmic static washes and gorgeous cello melodies, and it eventually explodes into a fast stream of colorful sparks. This album was recorded during a European tour, and it definitely has an in-the-moment feel, but the songs are pretty short (generally around 2 or 3 minutes, with only one track clocking in at over 5), so they feel focused even as they’re free-flowing and spontaneous. Truly a hidden gem, I’m astonished that this duo isn’t more well known. Hear it and possibly buy it on Bandcamp right now!

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