Florian Kupfer: untitled 12″ EP (L.I.E.S., 2017)

February 25, 2018 at 1:52 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Florian Kupfer: untitled 12″ EP

I hadn’t even realized that Florian Kupfer released a new record on L.I.E.S. until I was recently searching through Reckless Records’ website a few days before the last time I visited Chicago. I heard some clips and had to buy it. In some ways, it seems like perhaps the least lo-fi thing he’s released so far. There’s still fat, thumping kicks on opening track “Contact”, but there’s a drifting sensation underneath that’s hard to explain, with scattered pianos aiding in the song’s progression. “TY” is a shorter track with a more complex beat pattern and a thin layer of white noise, but it doesn’t sound “hissy” the way his other stuff did. “Random Chaos” seems to have a more club-friendly beat, and it seems to progress that way, but the percussion seems to imitate the banging hammers of construction workers, and then it just gets wavier and trippier. “Z” begins with several interlocked percussive patterns, none of which are a standard club rhythm, before a soft but vengeful layer of swarming synths hovers over everything. If it were more distorted and there were several more layers to it, it would be close to Somatic Responses territory. Really stunning and surprising, not at all what I was expecting.

Schnellertollermeier: Rights (Cuneiform, 2017)

February 24, 2018 at 10:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Schnellertollermeier: Rights

Cuneiform has announced that they’re no longer going to be releasing new music after being one of the very best sources of experimental music (especially avant-prog and jazz) for over three decades. Part of their final batch of releases is this fourth album from instrumental trio Schnellertollermeier, which is a smushed-together amalgamation of the band members’ last names (one of which is actually Troller, probably no relation to the Austin band of the same name). Their music is very precise and considered, building up from locked-in patterns and seeing how far out they can stretch. It all seems to be played on a standard guitar-bass-drums trio configuration, but there’s some effects added, making the guitars flange and stutter. Of the four tracks, the first and last are over 10 minutes each, and the longer this band plays, the more convoluted and off-the-rails they get. The whole album sounds fresh and exciting, and the band consistently defy expectations at every turn.

Show #432 – 2/24/18

February 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

2:00 am Psychic TV ~ “Dead Cat” ~ Kondole/Dead Cat ~ Cold Spring ~ 1989
2:23 am The Skull Defekts ~ “A Brief History of Rhythm, Dub, Life and Death” ~ The Skull Defekts (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2018
2:30 am Steve Roach & Byron Metcalf ~ “A Noble Direction” ~ Tales From the Ultra Tribe ~ Projekt ~ 2012
2:38 am Wetware ~ “Likewise” ~ Automatic Drawing (new) ~ Dais ~ 2018
2:43 am Oviformia Sci ~ “Hablamos de Nosotros” ~ Interferencias Vol. 1 – Spanish Synth Wave 1980-1989 ~ Munster Records ~ 1981
2:47 am Depeche Mode ~ “The Meaning of Love” ~ Catching Up with Depeche Mode ~ Sire ~ 1982
2:50 am Miracle ~ “The Seventeen Nineties” ~ The Strife of Love in a Dream (new) ~ Relapse ~ 2018
2:54 am Chromatics ~ “Hands in the Dark” ~ After Dark ~ Italians Do It Better ~ 2007
2:58 am Glass Candy ~ “Rolling Down the Hills” ~ B/E/A/T/B/O/X ~ Italians Do It Better ~ 2007
3:02 am Twisted Wires ~ “One Night at the Raw Deal” ~ Half Lives ~ Italians Do It Better ~ 2009
3:09 am Ryuichi Sakamoto ~ “Solari (Fennesz Remix)” ~ Async Remodels (new) ~ Milan ~ 2017
3:13 am Pursuit Grooves ~ “Defensive Play” ~ Felt Armour (new) ~ self-released ~ 2018
3:18 am Dabrye featuring Shigeto (local) ~ “Sunset” ~ Three/Three (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2018
3:22 am Five Star Hotel (local) ~ “Aphyd Portal” ~ Solar Hexagoness (new) ~ Bandcamp ~ 2018
3:29 am Loren Nerell ~ “Eclipse” ~ The Venerable Dark Cloud ~ Projekt ~ 2016
3:34 am Moaning ~ “Don’t Go” ~ Moaning (new) ~ Sub Pop ~ 2018
3:37 am Ed Schrader’s Music Beat ~ “Rust” ~ Riddles (new) ~ Carpark ~ 2018
3:39 am Ed Schrader’s Music Beat ~ “Rats” ~ Live at WFMU on Talk’s Cheap Aug 25th 2011 ~ Free Music Archive ~ 2011
3:40 am Flying Saucer Attack ~ “Standing Stone” ~ Distance ~ Domino ~ 1994
3:44 am Mint Field ~ “Boötes Void” ~ Pasar de las Luces (new) ~ Innovative Leisure ~ 2018
3:50 am Zola Jesus ~ “Bound” ~ mp3 (new) ~ Adult Swim Singles Program ~ 2018
3:54 am Stacian ~ “Ice Hole” ~ Voorhees (split EP w/ Gel Set) ~ Moniker ~ 2014
4:00 am Meat Beat Manifesto ~ “Synthesizer Teste” ~ Impossible Star (new) ~ Flexi Disc ~ 2018
4:05 am Brainwaltzera ~ “Day After [The_Greyz]” ~ Poly-Ana ~ Film ~ 2017
4:07 am Radio Slave ~ “Parallels” ~ Feel the Same (new) ~ Rekids ~ 2017
4:11 am M.E.S.H. ~ “Epithet” ~ Piteous Gate ~ PAN ~ 2015
4:16 am Gold Water ~ “Fractured Break” ~ Interiors ~ Invisible ~ 1998
4:22 am Fret ~ “List Is Full” ~ Silent Neighbour (new) ~ L.I.E.S. ~ 2018
4:28 am Tatira ~ “Tunnels” ~ The Light Will Disappear (new) ~ Inam Records ~ 2018
4:33 am Asmus Tietchens ~ “Mäßig Bewegt” ~ Eisgang ~ Klanggalerie ~ 1995
4:38 am Dedekind Cut ~ “De-Civilization” ~ Tahoe (new) ~ Kranky ~ 2018
4:42 am Jemh Circs ~ “Qot” ~ 7″ (new) ~ Hasenbart ~ 2018
4:45 am Maral ~ “lori lullaby” ~ wav (new) ~ Soundcloud ~ 2018
4:47 am Francesco Giannico & Giulio Aldinucci ~ “Pangea” ~ eilean 58 (new) ~ eilean rec. ~ 2017
4:50 am Carl Matthews ~ “As Above, So Below” ~ Space, Energy & Light: Experimental Electronic and Acoustic Soundscapes 1961-88 ~ Soul Jazz Records ~ 1982
4:54 am Charlatan ~ “Double Blind Host” ~ Local Agent ~ Umor Rex ~ 2014
5:00 am Keiji Haino + Sumac ~ “What Have I Done? (I Was Reeling In Something White And I Became Able To Do Anything I Made A Hole Imprisoned Time Within It Created Friction Stopped Listening To Warnings Ceased Fixing My Errors Made the Impossible Possible? Turned Sadness Into Joy) Pt.I” ~ American Dollar Bill – Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On (new) ~ Thrill Jockey ~ 2018
5:08 am End.User ~ “Shut Down (Stazma Acid Shower Remix)” ~ Shut Down Remixes (new) ~ Sonicterror ~ 2017
5:11 am Aaron Spectre ~ “Hey Natty Dreadlocks” ~ Roots We Seek (new) ~ Jahmoni Music ~ 2018
5:16 am McGruff the Crime Dog ~ “I’m Glad I’m Me” ~ McGruff’s Smart Kids Album ~ Sony Wonder ~ 1986
5:20 am Ivor Cutler ~ “I’m Happy” ~ Ludo ~ Parlophone ~ 1967
5:20 am Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois ~ “Mag11 P82” ~ Venetian Snares x Daniel Lanois (new) ~ Timesig ~ 2018
5:25 am William Price ~ “WOOSH” ~ Rush Hour ~ Ablaze Records ~ 2012
5:29 am Steve Roach ~ “The Texture of Remembering” ~ Future Flows ~ Projekt ~ 2013
5:37 am ADT ~ “Unlimited Self Service” ~ Insecurities (new) ~ Hausu Mountain ~ 2018
5:40 am Ω▽ (Ohmslice) ~ “Get Matter” ~ Conduit (new) ~ Imaginator ~ 2017
5:45 am Return to Forever Ft. Chick Corea ` “After the Cosmic Rain” ~ Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy ~ Polydor ~ 1973
5:54 am Sonido Gallo Negro ~ “La Danza de los Diablos” ~ Mambo Cosmico (new) ~ Glitterbeat ~ 2018

Crush Collision 2/22/18

February 23, 2018 at 8:40 am | Posted in Crush Collision | Leave a comment

I won’t be doing Crush Collision again until late next month, when I get back from BANGFACE!!! 😀
Hour 1
10:00 pm Barry Warner ~ “Losing Control”
10:04 pm K-LONE ~ “Clouds”
10:09 pm Troy Gunner ~ “Esperanza”
10:11 pm Radio Slave ~ “With You”
10:17 pm John Barera & Will Martin ~ “Night Train”
10:22 pm Iron Curtis ~ “Captured”
10:27 pm The Juan Maclean ~ “The Brighter The Light (Octo Octa Remix)”
10:31 pm Levon Vincent ~ “Kissing”
10:36 pm Tiefschwarz & Yawk ~ “South”
10:43 pm The Cyclist ~ “Chime”
10:46 pm J. Albert ~ “Smoke and Mirrors”
10:52 pm G-Prod ~ “D-Light”
10:59 pm Vitalic ~ “Cosmic Rain”
Hour 2
11:00 pm The Abstract Eye ~ “Nobody Else”
11:03 pm Eduardo De La Calle ~ “Mr Dewey D”
11:09 pm Primitive Trust ~ “Little Love (Floorplan Remix)”
11:15 pm Overmono ~ “Phase Magenta”
11:20 pm Acid Mondays ~ “Universal Rhythm (The Maghreban Soul Mix)”
11:24 pm Santiago Salazar ~ “Prolonged Effect”
11:28 pm CJW ~ “Midarg”
11:32 pm Serena Butler ~ “Deep Sea Dive”
11:37 pm Mod3llr ~ “Rebel Approach”
11:44 pm Makeness ~ “Micro Boss”
11:48 pm Eric Copeland ~ “Mixer Shredder (Machine Woman Remix)”
11:51 pm MANASYt ~ “Mobile Pharmacy (Via App Remix)”
11:58 pm Justin Zerbst ~ “Places”

William Price: Rush Hour (Ablaze Records, 2017)

February 19, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

William Price: Rush Hour

Mind-altering electro-acoustic works from Birmingham composer William Price, inspired by abstract art, literature, and everyday scenarios. Lots of granular processing and manipulation of voices and instruments, transforming the sounds entirely; dipping them in acid, making them sharper and jagged, making them wet and bubbly. His usage of voices, particularly in “2 Days in the Tank” (which has a particularly liquid-like feel, and is based on manipulations of the title of Charles Bukowski’s The Drunk Tank Judge) and the especially otherworldly “Spline”, are incredibly haunting, blurring and distorting the lines between the familiar and unfamiliar. Brief pieces are alternated with longer, more ambitious ones, and two of them focus on non-electronic instruments. “Sans Titre V” is a lengthy piece for amplified cello, which constnatly shifts between more graceful, melodic sections, abrasive interjections, and silence, with a chilly glow of reverb over everything. “Rush Hour” is a three-movement piece featuring tenor saxophone, which interacts with Price’s electro-acoustics. At times they alter the saxophone, and at one point (during the first movement) they end up forming a fast, jazzy rhythm perfect for zipping along the highways. The short piece “WOOSH” is apparently based on notes originally played by a toy saxophone, recorded using ProTools and manipulated using granular synthesis software. Price’s sound design is consistently impressive, and the compositions are all entertaining as well as thought-provoking.

Ω▽ (Ohmslice): Conduit LP (Imaginator Records, 2017)

February 19, 2018 at 11:51 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Ω▽ (Ohmslice): Conduit LP

This NY-based improv ensemble utilizes two drummers, one of which is fed through a modular synthesizer, courtesy of Bradford Reed (who was in King Missile!!!), inventor of what he calls the pencilina. On several tracks, Jane LeCroy delivers stream-of-consciousness poetry over all of this, reminding me of Lydia Tomkiw (Algebra Suicide) but with more of an acerbic edge, and with a freer sense of dynamics. She sing-songs about wanting to get away by any means necessary on opening track “Crying on a Train”, and “Get Matter” is more free-associative and ponders the infinite complexities of the universe, but ultimately determines that “you don’t matter” in a cold, punishing, matter-of-fact way. “Gravity” sounds like it has a didgeridoo but it doesn’t, it must be the magical, sound-transforming powers of the pencilina. After the dark ambient rumblings of “Rusty Ground” is the ominous yet free, unforced doom-jazz of “Paint by Numbered Days”. Closing instrumental “Ohm’s Awe” is like some strange complex structure come to life and lifting off the ground, rotating and emitting wonderful music.

Tatira: The Light Will Disappear CDr (Inam Records, 2018)

February 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Tatira: The Light Will Disappear CDr

The latest Inam Records release may be the first one that I’ve seen arrive in a standard CD jewel case. The artwork is bright white with clear lettering, and much of the music is also surprisingly accessible. It combines drone and techno the way other recent Inam releases have, but the majority of the tracks here are punchy and somewhat shiny and polished. There’s even something approaching chords to some of them, and bits of new wave and progressive house elements. At least compared to some of the more dour Inam releases, this is a lot sunnier and brighter-sounding. “All Is Seen” goes on for nine minutes, and it gradually picks up a growling bass lump which sneaks up on you, and can be quite terrifying if you’re driving. Like a lot of these tracks, this one stops suddenly and dovetails into the next one. Some tracks are fully ambient (“The Absentee”, “Son of Machines”), but then there’s other lengthy beat-driven ones, like “Merciful Tyrant”. “Tunnels” is a bit darker and lonelier than most of the other tracks, and it could easily keep going and building for a lot longer than the 3 minutes it gets here. The album ends with the sparse, shimmering drone “The Light Will Disappear”, suggesting that maybe the next release will return to murk, fuzziness, and malaise. Free DL at Bandcamp.

Hans Tammen & Dark Circuits Bunker Orchestra: Ten Minutes Late With No Bus In Sight And No Taxi Either (Gold Bolus, 2017)

February 10, 2018 at 10:11 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Hans Tammen & Dark Circuits Bunker Orchestra: Ten Minutes Late With No Bus In Sight And No Taxi Either

Lengthy compositions played by a gigantic orchestra of synths (including Euroracks, a random tone generator, and a modified Moog Etherwave Theremin) as well as some very unhinged, impulsive drumming. Tammen is credited with “concept, composing, binary conducting”. There’s clear guidance to these recordings; it’s obvious that someone is telling the musicians when to be calm and when to explode and go crazy. When the drums get manic and the synths swell and saturate, it all provides an ultraviolet head rush. Probably the best track overall is “Kafka’s Hat”, a pretty thorough mix of heavy rhythms, musique concrete-like synth-work, and outer space overdrive. “Black Magic and Its Full Expose” is nearly 18 minutes, and interrupts interstellar voyagery with brief moments of far out, frenetic drumming which could’ve been recorded at some sort of carnival. The whole album is highly inventive and never predictable, and sounds like it was spontaneously created by humans in love with the possibilities of technology as well as intense, sprawling rhythms.

Bruce Russell: Metallic OK (Glass Redux, 2017)

February 10, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Bruce Russell: Metallic OK

Bruce Russell’s solo material is generally even further out than his work with the Dead C. Rather than making an ungodly racket in a rock band format, his solo work tends to focus on limited sets of weird sounds, and wringing them for all they’re worth. He’ll tune his guitars the way bluesmen like Skip James did, then he’ll play them with knives or other devices not normally associated with music-making. Much of this was recorded live, and you can imagine the audience felt like they were being constantly zapped by high-voltage electrodes, but there’s no way they could possibly turn away or escape. Some tracks eschew guitars, instead using field recordings, metal bowls, and other sound sources. “Electro-magnetic Feedback Study #1 (Strange House in the Snow)” seems to blur the lines between radio and guitar feedback. “Woodchopping (Way On Up, Till the Sun Go Down)” sounds like, well, chopping wood; it’s almost like he’s hacking a guitar to bits and burying it in the dirt, and recording it all with contact mics. The last track (“Excerpt from ‘Motorboeating'”) is the longest one, and it’s the one where everything feels like it’s being consumed in a toxic meltdown.

John McCowen: Solo Contra (International Anthem Recording Co., 2017)

February 10, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

John McCowen: Solo Contra

True to its title, this is a short album of solo performances for contrabass clarinet. The instrumentation is acoustic, but like Colin Stetson, McCowen uses multiple microphones and extended breathing techniques to create something that defies what a standard musician can seemingly produce. The first track is fairly subdued and controlled, but “Chopper HD” is much sharper and reedier, verging on abrasive noise, but again, entirely acoustic. “Berths 1-3” is an extended suite which moves very slowly, tipping from thin waves to richer, more jagged textures without straying from the pulpit. It ends with what must’ve been an extremely satisfying mic (or contra) drop.

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