Yasuyuki Uesugi: Psychosis Is A Condition In Which Nerve Cells Can No Longer Tolerate Defects tape (Psy-Fiction Recordings, 2020)

January 31, 2021 at 10:32 am | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Yasuyuki Uesugi: Psychosis Is A Condition In Which Nerve Cells Can No Longer Tolerate Defects tape

12 copies of this tape exist, making it one of the larger pressings on Russian label Psy-Fiction Recordings, which usually releases tapes in editions of about 5 copies each. It’s also one of the few releases on the label created by someone other than multi-monikered founder Alexey Nakhodkin, and one of the more professional-looking tapes I’ve seen from the label. Noise artist Yasuyuki Uesugi has released dozens of albums since 2019 (!) and they’re all deeply psychological, filled with titles related to mental health, suffering, and the abuse of experimental substances intended as forms of medication. The tracks on this tape reflect a never-ending vortex of confusion, dissatisfaction, and severe migraines, and all of them are basically 4-minute vacuum cleaner drones with slightly varied effects on them. The second side definitely has more variation, as there’s more of a swirl to these tracks, and more of a psychedelic tinge. “My Failures Always Stimulate the Brain” is harsher and more cutting with spaceship oscillations fluttering underneath, and “People Trapped In Social Mechanisms” seems more like a tub filled with bubbling acid. All of the tracks basically sound like the artist is setting the controls a certain way and just letting it run for several minutes, but they all feel like being captured at a certain state, and the pieces on the second half seem more agitated, more stimulated, a bit more removed from reality, but also more alive.

Show #567 – 1/30/21

January 30, 2021 at 1:52 am | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Sweet Trip ~ Darkness
wzrdryAV ~ Elysian Chorus
Material Girl feat. Mondegreen ~ Material Girl Meets the Devil Pt. 1
Arlo Parks ~ Bluish
Masma Dream World ~ Becoming the Magician
DJ Diaki ~ But Show Diaki DJ8
Metal Preyers ~ Peppa
Orphan Swords ~ VUAL
Ripatti ~ Flowers
Swordman Kitala ~ Batufitina
The Body ~ They Are Coming
bvdub ~ Not Yours to Know

Terry Gross: Soft Opening (Thrill Jockey, 2021)

January 29, 2021 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Terry Gross: Soft Opening

The title of the first album by the newest project of Trans Am’s Phil Manley is totally misleading. This one freely storms out the gate, playing Neu!-style rhythms and riffs with the energy of a garage-punk band. The drummer breaks up the rhythms a bit so it doesn’t get too samey, and then it totally breaks down and heads into a group chant for a bit. Once they steer back onto another course, they sound more determined and charged than ever. “Worm Gear” does more Motorik-style trancing out, but feels more sideways and wobbly. Eventually the riffs get a bit more metal, and there’s some epic vocals that blast out at one point, as the band sludges toward the end, yet still keeping their composure. “Specificity (Or What Have You)” is shorter and more anthemic, starting with spirited verses before unleashing some dazzling guitar pyrotechnics. Just a joyous quest all around.

Von Hayes: Wa La! (self-released, 2021)

January 28, 2021 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Von Hayes: Wa La!

The latest release from Von Hayes sports a quote from Tobin Sprout, who states that there are no grand secrets to 4-track recording, just use tracks for overdubs and bounce the vocals to one track. “Mix and EQ to taste and wa la.” With that, Von Hayes keep doing it as they’ve been doing since the ’00s. This one has a few big rock singalong moments (particularly “I’m Tired” and “Zamp”, which has both harmonica and guitar solos), a mini-power ballad (“I Had No Idea It Was Today”), and tracks that are a bit mellower and more singer/songwritery than the band’s older material, like the nostalgic “Decades in the Breaking”. Both of the group’s singers duet on “And Always” while surrounded by brain-electrifying guitar noise and rumbling drums, but the second half of the song is sparse, barely audible acoustic strumming which gets interrupted by sudden, hair-raising jolts. “No Title #11” is a queasy, punch-drunk number backed by a swarm of creaking violins. “Quarantine Dreams” sounds like an R.E.M. demo, but with weirder, messier guitars. The album triumphantly ends with the space-themed pop epic “Message to the Sparkled Egg Star”.

Reynols: Gona Rubian Ranesa (Outlier Communications, 2020)

January 27, 2021 at 9:00 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Reynols: Gona Rubian Ranesa

The legendary Argentinian experimental group Reynols returns with their first studio album in 17 years, following a gargantuan 2019 box set and a collaboration with Acid Mothers Temple early last year. Blazing opener “Cameso Cator Sitero” definitely finds them in a sort of AMT free space rock mode, with leader Miguel Tomasin pounding out shaky but driving rhythms and excitedly shouting and la-laing to another galaxy while guitarists Anla Courtis and Rob Conlazo blaze paths to infinity. “Lintiri Teperoli” is slower, calmer, and more mystical, Tomasin improvising on an organ and Pacu Conlazo beating out earthy rhythms on hand drums. “Acotan Silago Foli” is more meandering and has multiple Tomasins wailing away, sometimes expanded to supernatural heights with reverb and echo effects. “Corlo Saturu” basically feels like their Krautrock jam, albeit looser and less disciplined than most of the bands associated with that term. Still, the flanged guitars and trebly, whistling flutes guide the music to some different spaces.

Sverre Knut Johansen: Dreams Beyond (Spotted Peccary, 2020)

January 27, 2021 at 8:21 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Sverre Knut Johansen: Dreams Beyond

Norwegian composer Sverre Knut Johansen produces rich, expansive soundscapes typically exploring topics such as deep space and extraterrestrial life. This one seems to be about the more fantastic aspects of nature, and how it shapes our dreams. The synths imitate bird cries and synthesize the feeling of flying over lush forests and between snowy mountaintops, also simulated by the soaring guitars. The beats are generally downtempo, but the music is in no way sluggish; tracks like “Skylight” feel like rushing over a landscape and you can’t catch all the details at once. “Dawn” is shorter and beatless, and mixes analog chirps with synthetic sunbursts. “Tatra Mountains” is another majestic flight over a grand range. “Causeway” actually does have some sludgier beats and textures, especially towards the end. “Human Connection” features cellist Henrik Silfverhielm, and feels closer to music for an Olympic procession. Still, there’s enough synth roughness and strange textures to keep this from sounding too clean and polite.

Grid 707: Wind Grid CD-r (Degenerate Trifecta, 2020)

January 26, 2021 at 7:07 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Grid 707: Wind Grid

Portugal’s Grid 707 debuts on Degenerate Trifecta with a 4-song EP of raw, analog-sounding techno, heavy on craftily-timed delay effects. “Grid 101” has some haunting, doldrum-like atmospherics but the beat drives through it all. “Wind Power” is more heavy effects-laced minimalism, with icy shattering sequences as well as a steady kick drum which sounds armed and ready. The triangle-like ringing pushes it over the top, and the acid fluctuation is just icing on the cake. “Power Grid” fittingly feels sharper and more electric, with a rippling current of acid pulsations and a few static disturbances. An “Underwater Mix” of “Grid 101” takes the same idea but appropriately adds some clattering, sweeping effects which add an aquatic feel, and cuts the juice at 4 minutes.

ACT!: ‘Grey Matter AR’ Snapchat Compositions [100] (Halocline Trance, 2021)

January 25, 2021 at 8:19 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

ACT!: ‘Grey Matter AR’ Snapchat Compositions [100]

David Psutka, formerly known as Egyptrixx and Ceramic TL, recorded these pieces as a soundtrack for a series of Snapchat filters designed by artist Karen Vanderborght, created after she interviewed 10 senior citizens and intended to explore to potential of Augmented Reality. The compositions are all ordered by section, and they consist of 20 brief movements with full stops and starts. Yet it all plays like a continuous album rather than a series of ringtones strung together. There’s variations, with different note sequences, more sparkling effects, stranger pitches, and sometimes more lingering sensations. But they all feel like a brief plunge into a strange lavender-tinted pool, with every trip revealing different details.

Show #566 – 1/24/21

January 24, 2021 at 10:53 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

New schedule starts tomorrow! This show will be heard Friday nights (Saturday mornings) at 1 AM!
Cleveland Eaton ~ Hamburg 302
Sivuca ~ Tunnel
Aesop Rock ~ Dog at the Door
Ecko Bazz feat. Bigga Yut ~ Tuli Banyo
Etch ~ Strange
Françoise Hardy ~ Et Même
Omara Portuondo ~ ¿Dónde Estabas Tú?
Os Mutantes ~ Bat Macumba
The B-52’s ~ Butterbean
Howlin’ Wolf ~ Riding in the Moonlight
Mamman Sani ~ Dangay Kootyo
Pink Siifu & Fly Anakin feat. Liv.e ~ Mind Right
Pursuit Grooves ~ This Concentrated
SUSS ~ Winter Light

Jon Mueller: Family Secret (American Dreams Records, 2021)

January 23, 2021 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Jon Mueller: Family Secret

Percussionist Jon Mueller (of Volcano Choir, Collections of Colonies of Bees, Mind Over Mirrors, and other projects) recorded this album at home using gongs and singing bowls, among other instruments. As he created these four pieces, he experimented with perception change, particularly by using different lighting conditions. He’s been doing these lighting and perception experiments since he was in college three decades ago, and doing this has had nearly hallucinatory effects, and helped him engage with his family’s past. The music itself is sparse, haunting drone that sounds like it’s emanating from a cave. It’s not unlike Thomas Köner’s gong experiments, or some of Lustmord’s more lo-fi dark ambient works. “Black Glass” is a particular highlight, establishing a drone that feels like shining, gleaming light and then striking it with sudden flares of darkness. “Ignited Hands” is shorter and more metallic, sounding like a bucket of chains being whirled around in an echo chamber, and resembling dronier Nurse With Wound, like a reduced excerpt from albums like Soliloquy for Lilith or Trippin’ Musik. “Welcome” is a more stretched out variation on the album’s techniques, and seems to be the one produced under deepest concentration, rewarding deeper listening.

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