Josh Urist: The Cold Equations LP (Yeggs, 2018)

January 31, 2018 at 11:01 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Josh Urist: The Cold Equations LP

The Cold Equations looks like a soundtrack, and there’s even a cinematic trailer for it, but the actual film doesn’t exist. Composer Josh Urist used to be a volunteer at WCBN a long time ago, and this album features several other former U of M alumni and former Ann Arbor music scene regulars, most notably Stuart Bogie and the omnipresent Colin Stetson. Sarah Neufeld appears on here as well, adding strings to the sorrowful “He Meant It The Way It Sounded”. Musically, it’s sometimes airy, sometimes suspenseful, and sometimes dramatic. Drum machines pulse under a few tracks, particularly “Marilyn Lee”, “M Plus X”, and the trippier “Paragraph L, Section 8”, but several others have live drums, particularly the jaunty, breezy “Woden Bound”. “The Western Edge” is the most country-sounding lament here, while “Gerry’s Escape” is the most raucous, with gigantic drums bashing out of nowhere, and Stetson’s inimitable sax flamethrowing. “You Told a Lie (Closing Credits)” ends everything with a big, torchy ballad. The packaging is absolutely phenomenal; the sleeve is sturdy, the vinyl is heavy, and most anyone will be fooled into thinking it’s an actual soundtrack if they haven’t read the press release. Definitely a must-listen for anyone who’s enjoyed Morricone Youth’s recent scores for classic cult films.

Hannu Karjalainen: A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert (Karaoke Kalk, 2017)

January 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hannu Karjalainen: A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert

At first I kind of thought this sounded like atmospheric jungle without the breakbeats, just leaving ambient floating. While some of the lush chords definitely have that sort of feel to it, it seems to be even more weightless, and there’s also more of a lo-fi roughness to it. It seems structured and loop-based, but yet it’s still not quite arranged so that beats could easily be pasted on top of it. And there’s something intimate about the way the melodies are played, even though it also seems really expansive and all-encompassing. Other pieces are a little closer to the usual for the modern classical side of ambient music. The title track is like a cluster of thin clouds fluttering across a sunset, for example. The most prominent rhythm is the resonating, somewhat tropical beats of “A Year In A Day”. “Love Is A Black Lion” moves away from the calmer, more pleasant sound of the majority of the album, into something more fearful, lonely, and reserved. “Breaks My Heart She Aria” starts with a soft, sighing vocal loop, then backwards crashes shudder in. Somehow the ambient jungle atmosphere, and some other hidden nature/incidental sounds, smooth everything out. Fans of Kompakt pop ambient material, don’t sleep on this.

Pablo R. Ruiz: Bad Hombre 12″ EP (Portage Garage Sounds, 2017)

January 28, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pablo R. Ruiz: Bad Hombre 12″ EP

Chilean Detroit resident Pablo R. Ruiz appears on Shigeto’s label with a fantastic EP of Trump-baiting club tracks. The title track is restless, with nothing but jackhammer rhythms and synths which peer at you like eerie eyes. “Portal Escondido” has dot matrix printer-like slashing sounds and a big thumping kick drum, and a gloomy, swirling atmosphere. It seems stuck in an uncomfortable situation, but all it can do is keep moving regardless. “Crawlin” is by far the most paranoid track here, as it constantly features a voice asking “Why you crawlin’ on me? Hey!” like someone’s tapping you on the shoulder and speaking directly into your ear. Not to mention the sinister synth-strings and that big, fluid bass tone. “El Sueño Capitalista” is another foggy house tune with lots of under-the-beat muttering and a higher-pitched vocal loop. Killer stuff all around. Available from Bandcamp, and the digital version has a bonus track.

Show #429 – 1/27/18

January 27, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

R.I.P. MARK E SMITH :(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(:(
Hour 1
2:04 am The Fall ~ “I Am Damo Suzuki” ~ This Nation’s Saving Grace ~ Beggar’s Banquet ~ 1985
2:09 am The Fall ~ “Eat Y’Self Fitter” ~ Perverted By Language ~ Rough Trade ~ 1983
2:16 am The Fall ~ “Jawbone and the Air Rifle” ~ Hex Enduction Hour ~ Kamera ~ 1982
2:19 am The Fall ~ “Prole Art Threat” ~ Slates ~ Rough Trade ~ 1981
2:21 am The Fall ~ “How I Wrote ‘Elastic Man’” ~ Palace of Swords Reversed ~ Rough Trade ~ 1980
2:25 am The Fall ~ “English Scheme” ~ Grotesque ~ Rough Trade ~ 1980
2:28 am The Fall ~ “No Xmas For John Quays” ~ Live at the Witch Trials ~ Step Forward ~ 1979
2:37 am The Fall ~ “Neighbourhood of Infinity” ~ Perverted by Language (Expanded Edition) ~ Castle Music ~ 1984
2:40 am The Fall ~ “Cab It Up” ~ Cab It Up ~ Beggars Banquet ~ 1989
2:43 am The Fall ~ “Oh! Brother” ~ 458489 A Sides ~ Beggars Banquet ~ 1984
2:47 am The Fall ~ “New Big Prinz” ~ I Am Kurious Oranj ~ Beggars Banquet ~ 1988
2:50 am The Fall ~ “Don’t Take the Pizza” ~ Shift-Work (reissue) ~ Fontana ~ 1990
2:53 am The Fall ~ “British People In Hot Weather” ~ Telephone Thing ~ Cog Sinister ~ 1990
2:56 am The Fall ~ “Zandra” ~ I’m Frank ~ Cog Sinister ~ 1990
Hour 2
3:00 am The Fall ~ “A Day in the Life” ~ Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father ~ New Musical Express ~ 1988
3:03 am The Fall ~ “Why Are People Grudgeful?” ~ The Infotainment Scan ~ Matador ~ 1993
3:08 am The Fall ~ “Beatle Bones ‘N’ Smokin’ Stones” ~ The Complete Peel Sessions 1978-2004 ~ Castle Music ~ 1996
3:11 am The Fall ~ “Hey! Student” ~ Middle Class Revolt ~ Matador ~ 1994
3:19 am Mark E Smith ~ “Mark E Smith Reads the Football Scores” ~ mp3 ~ BBC ~ 2005
3:25 am The Fall ~ “Life Just Bounces” ~ Cerebral Caustic ~ Permanent Records ~ 1995
3:30 am The Fall ~ “Glam Racket/Star” ~ The Twenty Seven Points ~ Permanent Records ~ 1995
3:33 am The Fall ~ “Cyber Insekt” ~ The Unutterable ~ Eagle Records ~ 2000
3:37 am The Fall ~ “Mad Mock Goth” ~ The Real New Fall LP ~ Narnack Records ~ 2004
3:41 am The Fall ~ “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” ~ Fall Heads Roll ~ Narnack Records ~ 2005
3:44 am Von Südenfed ~ “Flooded” ~ Tromatic Reflexxions ~ Domino ~ 2007
3:48 am The Fall ~ “Over!Over!” ~ Reformation Post T.L.C. ~ Narnack Records ~ 2007
3:52 am The Fall ~ “Fibre Book Troll” ~ Sub-Lingual Tablet ~ Cherry Red ~ 2015
3:58 am The Fall ~ “Victoria Train Station Massacre” ~ New Facts Emerge ~ Cherry Red ~ 2017
Hour 3
4:01 am Brix and the Extricated ~ “Damned For Eternity” ~ Part 2 (new) ~ Blang ~ 2017
4:03 am Graham Repulski ~ “Superior Sources” ~ Permission to Love (new) ~ Shorter Recordings ~ 2018
4:05 am Linda Guilala ~ “Ausencia Es Presencia” ~ Primavera Negra (new) ~ Elefant ~ 2018
4:09 am Xylouris White ~ “Call and Response” ~ Mother (new) ~ Bella Union ~ 2018
4:12 am Hollie Cook ~ “Lunar Addiction” ~ Vessel of Love (new) ~ Merge ~ 2018
4:16 am Khruangbin ~ “Shades of Man” ~ Con Todo El Mundo (new) ~ Dead Oceans ~ 2018
4:20 am Laraaji ~ “I Can Only Bliss Out (F’Days)” ~ Vision Songs Vol. 1 ~ Numero Group ~ 1984
4:25 am Schlammpeitziger ~ “Smooth Motion Kaukraut” ~ Damenbartblick auf Pregnant Hill (new) ~ Bureau B ~ 2018
4:31 am Laslo ~ “Itt Vagyok Lent” ~ Minden Nap Vasárnap (new) ~ Greta Cottage Woodpile ~ 2017
4:39 am The Belbury Circle ~ “Light Industry” ~ Outward Journeys (new) ~ Ghost Box ~ 2017
4:44 am Johnny Jewel ~ “Digital Rain” ~ Digital Rain (new) ~ Italians Do It Better ~ 2018
4:49 am Ekin Fil ~ “Hasret” ~ Inflame (new) ~ Helen Scarsdale Agency ~ 2017
4:51 am Krikor Kouchian ~ “Zulette” ~ Pacific Alley (new) ~ L.I.E.S. ~ 2017
4:56 am 1954 ~ “Hermann’s Dream” ~ A Part of Me (new) ~ Project Mooncircle ~ 2018
Hour 4
4:59 am Lanark Artefax ~ “Styx” ~ In Death’s Dream Kingdom (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2018
5:03 am Shapednoise ~ “Ghostly Metafiction” ~ In Death’s Dream Kingdom (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2018
5:09 am Spatial ~ “Haunted Dance Hall” ~ In Death’s Dream Kingdom (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2018
5:15 am Matthewdavid ~ “Secret Rooms of Tokyo” ~ Time Flying Beats (new) ~ Leaving Records ~ 2018
5:22 am Wriggler Bascombe ~ “Final Battle” ~ Final Battle ~ One Nation Records ~ 1993
5:26 am Elevation & x.nte ~ “Bahama Noise” ~ Angel 93 (new) ~ Cock Rock Disco ~ 2017
5:32 am Tatira ~ “Dirt in the Vein” ~ Scraping the Wall (new) ~ Inam Records ~ 2018
5:36 am Hydropark (local) ~ “Do U Wanna Know?” ~ Hydropark (EP1) (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2018
5:39 am Negative Gemini ~ “Bad Baby” ~ Bad Baby (new) ~ 100% Electronica ~ 2018
5:43 am Profligate ~ “A Circle Of” ~ Somewhere Else (new) ~ Wharf Cat Records ~ 2018
5:49 am Tomoko Sauvage ~ “In Some Brighter Sphere” ~ In Death’s Dream Kingdom (new) ~ Houndstooth ~ 2018
5:54 am Cocteau Twins ~ “Donimo” ~ Treasure ~ 4AD ~ 1984

Vanity Press Records megapost

January 21, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Charles Trees: EP 12″

Vanity Press Records gets an enormous amount of love from this blog, as it consistently delivers some of the best new underground dance music from Detroit and beyond. The latest round of titles, all of which are (or will be) available digitally from Bandcamp and physically from the label’s site, is typically excellent, and pushes the label’s scope a little further than previously hinted at. On his Vanity Press debut, Ann Arbor resident Charles Trees continues to explore hip-hop-influenced house, which is surprisingly only his second vinyl release. “Feels” has rough, choppy bongo drums and brief, blippy vocal samples with a gyrating bassline surging things forward during the last couple minutes. It sounds like there might be some jazzy vibraphones tucked away in the mix, also. “Matern” is a bit more dramatic, with tense synth-strings and a percolating acid bassline. Best of all is the B-side, “Flex”, which turns an infamous Funkmaster Flex rant (the one where he tells Jay-Z “Your website is trash!”) into a fun, furious club banger. His words are often edited and repeated to emphasize particularly biting lines and hype things up with the beat, and it ends pretty viciously.

Force Placement/Val G: split 7″

Continuing with the hip-hop/house tangent is the label’s first 7″ release. Detroit’s Val G released one of Vanity Press Records’ first releases, containing edits/reworks of tracks by Aaliyah and NIN. The mysterious producer’s second release takes on a ’90s LL Cool J hit, endlessly looping and filtering the hook into a splashy pool party jam. On the other side, Los Angeles’ Force Placement provides a more relaxed cut, “Play On”. I’m not recognizing the sample, but it’s not quite as upfront as the track on the other side, it’s more of a hazy drift. This one’s still a summer record, but it’s more for relaxing and cooling off from the heat. The simple piano notes help push this into a more contemplative zone.

Expletive: EP 12″

Moving away from party-friendly house, the second release from Boston producer Expletive (properly spelled !@#$%) is one of the label’s most experimental releases yet. The A-side is taken up by “Static”, a stunning track which filters digital static into some sort of rhythmic hook, and fuses it with fast, thumpy beats and ghostly ambient synths, and some haunting voices. You wonder where it’s going while it’s happening, then when it’s over you wonder where you’ve been taken to, and where else you can go from there. On the second side, “Sorting Data” has a tech geek’s voice constantly interrupted by rapid arpeggios and electro beats. The sounds seem very basic and lo-bit, but they’re arranged into something that manages to gradually become more momentous. “Big Shift” is a continuation of “Sorting Data”, traveling the same beat but going in a more dramatic direction, turning into some sort of bubbling bitwave acid trance with a relentlessly pounding kick drum. Truly a record that does a lot with just a few simple sounds, and an exciting left-field surprise.

Color Plus: EP 12″

I’ve been admiring Color Plus for a while now (or at least what I’ve heard), so it’s exciting to hear the experimental club producer on local favorite Vanity Press Records. Five tracks of vastly forward thinking beats that shun typical rhythms or structures but still have the fire to burn up a club. “Keygen” is a constantly flowing ripple of stuttering beats, obscured vocals, and soothing synth pads; heavily trippy but also steady and club-focused. “Medical MF” is a bit more fun and cheeky, with flickering machinery and an echoed voice repeating “the prozac seems to be working.” “Powercell” is more tough, hyped-up club music, with ’80s rap scratches and a slyly fluctuating, shimmering melody. “Da Back” (featuring AceMo) is more uptempo and ghettotech-inspired, with club-prowling lyrics and punchier snares. Totally on a different level than the other tracks on the disc is “Fade 2”, a leftfield pop gem sung by VXO and produced by Color Plus. It’s a sort of U.K. garage throwback with airy synths and loads of trippy effects, and it’s the type of track you’ll feel like you’ve heard before but can’t remember where. It’s astoundingly good. This and the Expletive EP are in tight competition for my favorite Vanity Press releases so far.

Paul Steven Ray’s BlueBlack Dream: Maps (OVRG Records, 2017)

January 21, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Paul Steven Ray’s BlueBlack Dream: Maps

The first part of this dream, “Prerevmoon”, starts with cooing, whispering, warbling, hushing, and a heavy fog of churning guitars. Eventually it gathers some more demented voices, a crunchy, skipping beat, hand percussion, and upfront guitar soloing. And then eventually a flurry of frantic Spanish chatter. It’s pretty dense and chaotic, but it doesn’t seem tethered to anything (even with the skipping-record-style loop) and floats like an apparition. “Map Before” has some guitar drifting, but it’s mostly ever-evolving layers of scattered vocals, with some fast, choppy techno beats constantly being interrupted towards the end. “Northern Boys” adds some theremin to the sinister fever dream of uttered thoughts and guitar plucks, creaks, and exhortations. “Seven Corners” is much shorter than the preceding tracks (4 minutes instead of 10 or 11), and it’s more of a straightforward free jazz freakout, but there’s still a dark spaciness to it.

Show #428 – 1/20/18

January 20, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
2:01 am Laraaji ~ “All of a Sudden” ~ Vision Songs Vol. 1 ~ Numero Group ~ 1984
2:09 am FP-Oner feat. Minako ~ “Light Years” ~ 7 (new) ~ Mule Musiq ~ 2017
2:22 am VXO ~ “Fade 2” ~ Color Plus EP (new) ~ Vanity Press Records ~ 2017
2:26 am Negative Gemini ~ “Infin Path” ~ Bad Baby (new) ~ 100% Electronica ~ 2018
2:31 am Steven Halpern ~ “Presence of Mind” ~ Sound Healing 2.0 (new) ~ Inner Peace Music ~ 2017
2:36 am Mount Eerie ~ “Distortion” ~ Now Only (new) ~ P.W. Elverum & Sun ~ 2018
2:47 am 1970s Film Stock ~ “Victory Repeating” ~ Birds (new) ~ Fire Talk ~ 2017
2:56 am Graham Repulski ~ “Soft As Shit” ~ Permission to Love (new) ~ Shorter Recordings ~ 2018
Hour 2
3:00 am Balmorhea ~ “Slow Stones (Jon Porras remix)” ~ Clear Language Reworked (new) ~ Western Vinyl ~ 2018
3:04 am Hanz ~ “Root Words” ~ Plasty I (new) ~ Tri Angle ~ 2018
3:07 am Meat Beat Manifesto ~ “Impossible Star” ~ Impossible Star (new) ~ Virtual Label ~ 2018
3:11 am Steve Murphy ~ “They Are Controlled Pt. 1” ~ Skream: Fabriclive 97 (new) ~ Fabric ~ 2017
3:14 am Expletive ~ “Sorting Data” ~ 12″ (new) ~ Vanity Press Records ~ 2018
3:20 am Pablo R. Ruiz (local) ~ “Crawlin” ~ Bad Hombre (new) ~ Portage Garage Sounds ~ 2017
3:28 am тпсб ~ “Pacifier Habits” ~ Sekundenschlaf (new) ~ Blackest Ever Black ~ 2018
3:34 am Panda Bear ~ “Sunset” ~ A Day With The Homies (new) ~ Domino ~ 2018
3:39 am Equiknoxx feat. Alozade ~ “Fly Away (Dubbed by Gavsborg)” ~ 7″ (new) ~ Swing Ting ~ 2018
3:43 am The Aggrovators ~ “Give Me A Dub” ~ Aggrovating the Rhythm At Channel One ~ Jamaican Recordings ~ 1979
3:46 am Charles Trees (local) ~ “Flex” ~ 12″ (new) ~ Vanity Press Records ~ 2017
3:53 am Force Placement ~ “Play On” ~ 7″ (new) ~ Vanity Press Records ~ 2017
3:58 am Scratcha DVA ~ “Square Off” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2018
Hour 3
4:02 am She’s Drunk feat. Sho Madjozi ~ “Amadoda” ~ Subclubsciously (new) ~ Through My Speakers ~ 2018
4:06 am Russell Haswell feat. Sue Tompkins ~ “Special Long Version (Demo)” ~ Respondent (new) ~ Diagonal ~ 2018
4:16 am Nathan Fake ~ “Sunder” ~ Sunder (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2018
4:23 am Daniel Avery ~ “Slow Fade” ~ Slow Fade (new) ~ Phantasy Sound ~ 2018
4:28 am Profligate ~ “Black Plate” ~ Somewhere Else (new) ~ Wharf Cat Records ~ 2018
4:33 am Intrusion ~ “Amongst the Stars [Variant’s Etherscape]” ~ Amongst the Stars (new) ~ Echospace [Detroit] ~ 2017
4:39 am Hannu Karjalainen ~ “Love, Unconditional” ~ A Handful of Dust is a Desert (new) ~ Karaoke Kalk ~ 2017
4:43 am John Wall & Mark Durgan ~ “Ntrapt” ~ Contrapt (new) ~ Harbinger Sound ~ 2017
4:46 am The Sprawl ~ “Burning Chrome” ~ EP2 (new) ~ The Death Of Rave ~ 2018
4:50 am Hisato Higuchi ~ “Girl Sister” ~ She ~ Family Vinyard ~ 2003
4:54 am Paul Steven Ray’s BlueBlack Dream ~ “Seven Corners” ~ Maps (new) ~ OVRG Records ~ 2017
4:58 am Shells (local) ~ “Leaves Pt. II” ~ Shells 2 (new) ~ Ginkgo Records ~ 2017
Hour 4
5:00 am Sannhet ~ “Sapphire” ~ So Numb (new) ~ Profound Lore ~ 2017
5:04 am Sun Ra ~ “Untitled Outtake” ~ Discipline 27-II ~ El Saturn Records ~ 1972
5:12 am More Eaze ~ “Spin the Kn1fe” ~ bodiezNcode (new) ~ Self Sabotage ~ 2017
5:16 am Design Default ~ “Wood Carving” ~ Dawn Chorus (new) ~ Fragil Musique ~ 2018
5:20 am L4-E ~ “Helium Reactor” ~ Future Phaze (new) ~ Eco Futurism Corporation ~ 2018
5:25 am Dengue Dengue Dengue ~ “Cobre” ~ Son De Los Diablos (new) ~ Enchufada ~ 2018
5:32 am Ueno Takashi ~ “track 1” ~ Smoke Under the Water (new) ~ Room40 ~ 2017
5:37 am Answer Code Request ~ “knbn2” ~ Gens (new) ~ Ostgut Ton ~ 2018
5:41 am Dust-e-1 ~ “4 the Thorough” ~ The Dust in the Dance (new) ~ Collect-Call ~ 2018
5:46 am C-Schulz ~ “Barbapapa” ~ Frühe Jahre ~ Unseen Worlds ~ 1991
5:50 am A Certain Ratio ~ “Bootsy” ~ Force ~ Mute ~ 1986
5:54 am Robert Haigh ~ “I Remember Phaedra” ~ Creatures of the Deep (new) ~ Unseen Worlds ~ 2017

FP-Oner: 7 (Mule Musiq, 2017)

January 19, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

FP-Oner: 7

Fred Peterkin has been crafting some of the most exquisite deep house on the planet for over a decade now, either as Black Jazz Consortium, Fred P., FP-Oner, or a handful of other names. His second FP-Oner album, 6, crept up on me after it came out in 2016, and its sequel is just as lush and immersive. His brand of house is calmly euphoric, taking pleasure in simple things (“Smiles” is filled with children’s laughter) and reaching for a higher level of understanding without losing sight or awareness of the present surroundings. It’s incredibly dreamy, but it maintains a consistent rhythmic focus and progression. Apart from the brief intro, the tracks are generally quite long, although “Follow the Sound” is a more concise 5-minute track which is also one of the poppier ones here, due to its sugary vocal hook. “Light Years” is a fantastic 11-minute daydream featuring Minako, who sings longingly in English and speaks in Japanese. “Beyond Understanding” is filled with harps, brushy drums, and rising/sparkling synths, coming close to Four Tet or Floating Points territory. Some of the later tracks seem to get a bit more gaseous, but there’s still strong kick drums on “Simple Things”.

Crush Collision 1/18/18

January 19, 2018 at 9:39 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

10:01 pm Hieroglyphic Being, Sarathy Korwar & Shabaka Hutchings ~ “The Doctrines of Swedenborg”
10:08 pm Golden Teacher ~ “Shatter (Version)”
10:11 pm Kapote ~ “Curation”
10:15 pm Hanetration ~ “Air”
10:18 pm Intrusion ~ “Amongst the Stars [Intrusion’s Extended Dub]”
10:20 pm Angel 1 ~ “Volunteering”
10:25 pm Funkadelic ~ “Undisco Kidd (Gary Marvine Edit)”
10:30 pm Ian Blevins ~ “Roland’s Rat”
10:35 pm Project Pablo ~ “Evening Call”
10:38 pm Kuniyuki Takahashi ~ “Cycle”
10:44 pm Superpitcher ~ “Brothers”
10:51 pm Cassy et Demuir ~ “Please Me (Fred P Broken Vibes Mix)”
10:55 pm J Deep ~ “Low Rise”
11:00 pm Marco Lazovic ~ “In the Jungle”
11:04 pm Prins Thomas ~ “Bronchi Beat”
11:09 pm Stereociti ~ “Reflexions”
11:16 pm Plush Throw ~ “plushwhosback”
11:20 pm Lauer ~ “Tyco”
11:25 pm Moutier ~ “MOU002”
11:30 pm SCB ~ “Test Tubes”
11:36 pm Lakker ~ “Table Rave”
11:39 pm Special Request ~ “No Phone Calls”
11:45 pm Neue Grafik ~ “Moutons Electriques”
11:50 pm Christian Tiger School ~“If You Want To (Edmondson Version)”
11:55 pm Alex Arnout ~ “Jupiter Love”

C-Schulz: Frühe Jahre (Unseen Worlds, 2017)

January 15, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

C-Schulz: Frühe Jahre

Carsten Schulz has recorded several albums of abstract collage music for Mouse On Mars’ Sonig label, as well as Australian label Extreme. This CD is essentially a reissue of his first LP (1991’s 10. Hose Horn) plus several other tracks from other releases dating from around the same time. Very heavily inspired by H.N.A.S., this is a series of surrealist collages using animal/nature sounds, strange voices, oddly recorded instruments, and occasionally some groovy rhythms. There’s some parallels to Nurse With Wound’s knack for sound design and infatuation with easy listening/exotica, but this is still very much its own entity. “Meister” is probably the best introduction: 10 minutes of a coiled, buzzing rhythms, uproarious applause noise, buzzsaw guitars, and yelling in German. Aside from the first two 10-minute tracks, most of the pieces on the album proper are short vignettes, painting a brief scene and focusing on one or two samples or moods. “Tri-Top” mainly consists of an evil distorted voice straight from a disturbing sci-fi movie, and then “Barbapapa” is a finely sanded ’80s drum machine rhythm with some sinister synth pads. Following brief tape experiment “1972” is “KreuzChor”, which may as well be the Residents singing in German. “Kurze Flitze” is a brief but fun trip with a racing rhythm, scratched-up CDs, and free jazz saxophone blurts. “Aus” is a minute of silence with a brief, sudden burst of sound at the end. The non-album tracks at the end of the disc are longer, more involved pieces. “Wir Beide Sind Verwandt” is more of a free-floating soundscape with children’s voices and flutes, but “Schwellen” is more of a locked-in industrial rhythm. “Meisterschaft” has more of a fun spy groove with what may or not be kazoos on top, and German speaking mentioning new wave and rock’n’roll. “Spacer” is a more hi-tech track with early ’90s dance beats mixed with cartoon sound effects and vocals which sound like the Shamen in German.

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