Canada Effervescent: Ridin’ America tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Canada Effervescent: Ridin’ America

Fresh off a Not Not Fun tape and directly preceding a digital album called Sleep Better (very much looking forward to testing this out as a sleeping aid), Denis Tremblay’s Constellation Tatsu release is a new age healing session disguised as a cross-country road trip. Very easy-going, rolling organs and back-porch guitar licks, with a few lapses into trippy effects and crystalline chiming. On its most engaging tracks, it achieves a sense of traveling without a steady rhythm, or at least without the usage of drums, and it sounds relaxed and at ease yet playful, but not in a cartoonish, over-excited way.


Curved Light: Quartzsite tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Curved Light: Quartzsite tape

For fans of drone and ambient music who follow the cassette/Bandcamp scene, Curved Light was one of the breakout artists of 2017, with tapes on labels like Field Hymns, HoloDeck, and CTatsu in addition to extensive touring. Peter Tran’s warm, enveloping analog synth drones match perfectly with Deirdre Smith’s kaleidoscopic visuals in a live setting, and the music is just as transportive while listening at home. On this tape, opener “Dream Sequence” demonstrates the project’s range, progressing through rhythmic patterns which dance excitedly, ending up with an intense shower of delay-induced noise. “Routine Simulation” is more agitated, with finnicky noises and glitches and rapidly flashing sequences, verging on some sort of restless IDM kosmische. “Dive 2501” is a more straightforward burst of starry arpeggios, and “Chromakey” does something similar but more expansive and complex. The release was recorded over the course of four years in four different cities, and shows how much the project has grown since then. Very highly recommended. Tape/DL available at CTatsu’s Bandcamp.

The ears on the trees: New Beginnings tape (Constellation Tatsu, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The ears on the trees: New beginnings tape

The seven pieces on this tape consist of very simple notes repeated endlessly, often sounding like small, expanding bubbles or buttercups in bloom. The patterns do transform, however, and on some tracks (esp. “Holidays I”), they end up sounding a bit decayed or warped, and there’s also field recordings and nature sounds (splashing water, children playing) behind some of them. Nothing complicated at all, but it somehow avoids sounding simple or normal or formulaic. Very refreshing. Tape/name your price DL available at Constellation Tatsu’s Bandcamp.

An Gella: Perma (Anyines, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

An Gella: Perma

Danish producer Aske Zidore debuts his An Gella project with this album of suspenseful sound sorcery. There’s broken glass sounds and finely detailed sound design, and attention paid to various facets of current experimental club music, but it’s not quite rhythmic itself to really fit into such a category. There’s lengthy pauses and drifts, only to snap into a sharp rhythm, sometimes accompanied by indiscernible manipulated/robotic vocals. Some tracks lead into bursts of abject horror or pulverizing attacks, while gentle flamenco guitar guides “Ur Not Alone” and “Zen Cell” has a more hopeful trance-esque ecstasy-pulse to it. The acute, choppy digital explosions and pitched-up voices of “Non Spoken” make the track seem equally playful and threatening. It’s a strange and wondrous album, and it’s never clear what direction it’s going to take, but it’s always riveting, the arrangements and production are never less than jaw-dropping.

Emptyset: Skin 12″ EP (Thrill Jockey, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Emptyset: Skin 12″ EP

Following a bracing album made from self-created instruments, Emptyset go acoustic on their latest EP. It sounds like they’re banging on some sort of drastically detuned hammer dulcimers, or otherwise something with lots of vibrating resonance and a heavy twang. Most of the tracks get lost in deeply immersive rhythms, with slow kicking drums and sweeps anchoring the thrashing and buzzing of the instruments. “Skin II” is shorter, softer, and more delicate, but the others build up into acoustic doom mantras. The duo reach some deep frequencies without the use of amplification, and even if these pieces aren’t quite as granulated as their digitally-created ones, they’re just as immense.

Leyland Kirby: We, So Tired Of All The Darkness In Our Lives (History Always Favours The Winners, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 7:49 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Leyland Kirby: We, So Tired Of All The Darkness In Our Lives

Taking a break from the Caretaker’s dementia-themed final project, Leyland Kirby’s latest pay-as-you-wish release, which seems to have escaped the typical shower of acclaim his work usually receives, consists of an hour and a half of slow, shadowy rhythms and cracking drums. It’s slow and stretched out, but not in a lazy, meandering way. There’s echoes of rave melodies and pianos, but transformed and drained of their ecstasy. It’s comforting, but also brittle and unsettling. Tracks such as the glorious “Dig Deep, March On” contain positive, encouraging messages even though they seem weary, exhausted, and trudging on. I’m sure fans of 2814 and other Dream Catalogue artists are all well aware of Kirby’s work, but in case they aren’t, this album provides a similar aesthetic, more so than the usual Kirby recording. The last track is called “Back in the Game”, but Kirby never left, and he arguably created it in the first place.

Brett Naucke: Multiple Hallucinations tape (Hausu Mountain, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Brett Naucke: Multiple Hallucinations tape

Brett Naucke’s Multiple Hallucinations tape consists of numerous short passages stitched/melded together in a deliberate sequence. Constructed with modular synths, the pieces range from starry, melodic shimmers to abrasive drilling to unquantized rhythms, and there’s no clear beginning or end to them, and no telling when the next section is about to start. Everything’s overlapped and interacts with each other. The sections develop their own personalities and seem to usher in their companions, or sometimes spar and brawl with other parts. The last few minutes, beginning with the part featuring amorphous voices, are the most intense and brain-triggering. The overlapping text on the J-card seems to mention planets, strength, beauty, wisdom, numbers, zodiac signs, maybe specific pieces of gear. The music contains all of these things, usually at the same time.

Moth Cock: 0-100 At The Speed Of The Present tape (Hausu Mountain, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Moth Cock: 0-100 At The Speed Of The Present tape

Moth Cock’s first tape in 3 years features the types of jumbled jazz and corkscrew rhythms usually expected from the duo, but they also venture out into headier spaces this time, particularly on the 10-minute “Preserving Power of Pulp Paperbacks” and “World Weary Travelers”. This is dark crystal music, with horns and voices floating and evaporating, and heavy gases pressing down but also preserving and elevating. There’s still goose-like clarinet squawks and squishy, buzzy bass feedback tones, but so much more space. It’s still confounding and hard to make sense of, but maybe a bit less like Daffy Duck at his looniest than some of their other releases. It’ll still tie your brain in knots, but maybe more refined, less twisted knots than before. Just watch out for the sudden storms of delay-enhanced clarinet. Tape available from HausMo’s Bandcamp.

Bullshit Market/Dental Work: Straight Banana/Live At Midwest Harshfest 3 split tape (TRASHFUCK Records/Placenta Recordings, 2017)

December 31, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Bullshit Market/Dental Work: Straight Banana/Live At Midwest Harshfest 3 split tape

On their side of this split cassette, Detroit power electronics trio Bullshit Market debut their free jazz direction (unless they’ve done something like this before and I haven’t heard/seen it, which is entirely likely). There’s still some bursts of electronic noise, including some harsh electronic feedback and a Speak-N-Spell or similar robot-voiced toy, but much of this consists of unhinged drumming, demented scat singing, and acoustic noisemaking. There’s also some spoken word material, such as the parental abuse-themed “Ow Dad That Hurts” and “Inequality”, a brief poem about white privilege. Quite different sounding than the group’s usual output, but still confrontational and boundlessly expressive. On the other side, Dental Work presents their performance at Midwest Harshfest 3, which I missed because I was in Chicago that weekend. Dental Work’s performances are always visual as well as audio experiences, involving costumes, destruction, absurdity, and unpredictability. The visual and situational elements of their performance are lost on this tape, but the crowd interaction is captured, and the audience members react viscerally to the waves of heavy feedback and oscillation, and whatever’s being smashed onstage. The performance ends with chopping and crashing, as well as screams and chants of “Tru! Tru! Tru!” from the audience. Tape available from Placenta Recordings’ Bandcamp.

Show #425 – 12/30/17 – Best of 2017 edition!

December 30, 2017 at 11:34 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | 1 Comment

Mic break music = Gas: Narkopop
Hour 1
2:01 am Four Tet ~ “Two Thousand and Seventeen” ~ New Energy ~ Text ~ 2017
2:06 am Jefre Cantu-Ledesma ~ “A Song of Summer” ~ On the Echoing Green ~ Mexican Summer ~ 2017
2:18 am James K. ~ “My Sorrow is Luminous” ~ Physically Sick ~ Allergy Season ~ 2017
2:22 am Colleen ~ “Separating” ~ A Flame My Love, A Frequency ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2017
2:33 am Nabihah Iqbal ~ “Something More” ~ Weighing of the Heart ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2017
2:36 am Mini Dresses ~ “Fantasy Nails” ~ Mini Dresses ~ Joy Void ~ 2017
2:41 am Stef Chura (local) ~ “Spotted Gold” ~ Messes ~ Urinal Cake Records ~ 2017
2:44 am Fred Thomas (local) ~ “Voiceover” ~ Changer ~ Polyvinyl ~ 2017
2:46 am Do Make Say Think ~ “And Boundless” ~ Stubborn Persistent Illusions ~ Constellation ~ 2017
2:54 am Saajtak (local) ~ “Underscore [_]” ~ Spokes EP ~ self-released ~ 2017
Hour 2
3:00 am Nicole Mitchell ~ “Egoes War” ~ Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging World ~ FPE ~ 2017
3:07 am Second Woman ~ “////” ~ S/W ~ Spectrum Spools ~ 2017
3:12 am Lapalux ~ “Petty Passion” ~ Ruinism ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2017
3:15 am Visionist ~ “No Idols” ~ Value ~ Big Dada ~ 2017
3:19 am Jlin ~ “Kyanite” ~ Black Origami ~ Planet Mu ~ 2017
3:23 am Aaron Dilloway (local) ~ “Switch” ~ The Gag File ~ Dais ~ 2017
3:31 am Mumdance & Logos ~ “FFS” ~ 12″ ~ Different Circles ~ 2017
3:35 am Spencer & Saginaw (local) ~ “Real Talk (Talk Mix)” ~ 12″ ~ Portage Garage Sounds ~ 2017
3:41 am Pan Daijing ~ “Very Uncomfortable, Please” ~ Vectors 3 ~ Power Vacuum ~ 2017
3:45 am Duran Duran Duran ~ “Untitled 3” ~ Duran ~ Power Vacuum ~ 2017
3:50 am Machine Girl ~ “Bullet Hell” ~ …Because I’m Young Arrogant and Hate Everything You Stand for ~ Orange Milk ~ 2017
3:53 am Igorrr ~ “Houmous” ~ Savage Sinusoid ~ Metal Blade ~ 2017
3:56 am Jana Rush ~ “Frenetic Snare” ~ Pariah ~ Objects Limited ~ 2017
Hour 3
4:01 am Detboi ~ “Secret Venom” ~ Secrets EP ~ Metalheadz ~ 2017
4:06 am Pessimist ~ “Through the Fog” ~ Pessimist ~ Blackest Ever Black ~ 2017
4:13 am Iglooghost ~ “Peanut Choker” ~ Neo Wax Bloom ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2017
4:16 am Paul White & Danny Brown ~ “Accelerator” ~ Accelerator ~ R&S ~ 2017
4:19 am Wiley ft. Manga ~ “Laptop” ~ Godfather ~ CTA ~ 2017
4:22 am Nídia ~ “I Miss My Ghetto” ~ Nídia é Má, Nídia é Fudida ~ Príncipe ~ 2017
4:25 am Lee Gamble ~ “Ghost” ~ Mnestic Pressure ~ Hyperdub ~ 2017
4:34 am Giraffage feat. Japanese Breakfast ~ “Maybes” ~ Too Real ~ Counter ~ 2017
4:38 am Kelela ~ “Take Me Apart” ~ Take Me Apart ~ Warp ~ 2017
4:42 am Zola Jesus ~ “Siphon” ~ Okovi ~ Sacred Bones ~ 2017
4:45 am Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings ~ “Searching for a New Day” ~ Soul of a Woman ~ Daptone ~ 2017
4:48 am Future Islands ~ “Cave” ~ The Far Field ~ 4AD ~ 2017
4:52 am Joey Agresta ~ “I Feel Like Shit and I Want to Die” ~ Let’s Not Talk About Music ~ Wharf Cat Records ~ 2017
4:55 am Mount Eerie ~ “Real Death” ~ A Crow Looked at Me ~ P.W. Elverum & Sun ~ 2017
Hour 4
4:59 am CCFX ~ “The One to Wait” ~ CCFX EP ~ DFA ~ 2017
5:05 am Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith ~ “To Follow & Lead” ~ The Kid ~ Western Vinyl ~ 2017
5:10 am Lusine feat. Vilja Larjosto ~ “Just a Cloud” ~ Sensorimotor ~ Ghostly International ~ 2017
5:15 am Sherwood & Pinch ~ “Charger” ~ Man Vs Sofa ~ On-U Sound/Tectonic ~ 2017
5:19 am Ziúr ~ “Don’t Buy It” ~ U Feel Anything? ~ Planet Mu/Objects Ltd. ~ 2017
5:22 am NHK yx Koyxen ~ “Dignity” ~ Exit Entrance ~ DFA ~ 2017
5:24 am Godflesh ~ “Mirror of Finite Light” ~ Post Self ~ Avalanche ~ 2017
5:31 am Laibach ~ “Das Glück” ~ Also Sprach Zarathustra ~ Mute ~ 2017
5:35 am Ben Frost ~ “Threshold of Faith” ~ The Center Cannot Hold ~ Mute ~ 2017
5:42 am Jacaszek ~ “Love” ~ Kwiaty ~ Ghostly International ~ 2017
5:44 am Ryuichi Sakamoto ~ “Stakra” ~ async ~ Milan ~ 2017
5:48 am Justin Walter (local) ~ “Soft Illness” ~ Unseen Forces ~ Kranky ~ 2017
5:52 am Godspeed You! Black Emperor ~ “Undoing A Luciferian Towers” ~ Luciferian Towers ~ Constellation Records ~ 2017

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