Selector Catalogue: The Storm (Reject Records, 2017)

September 16, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Selector Catalogue: The Storm

Has it really been 3 years since the last Reject Records release, and 4 since the last Selector Catalogue album? Then again, how many people are really paying attention? Jonah continues bringing the best in splintered 300BPM confusecore, combining a sense of extreme glee with a logic to beat-shredding that him and few others (such as Watabou) can fully grasp. This one’s free and it’s all winners. Highlights include the Garfield-sampling yukfest “What’s a Record Player?”, the chiptune + turntable scratch-core of “Summer Cruise”, an extended mix of the classic “Normal Sux”, and a special song created for one of the unforgettable Code Name Dracula events.


Kill Alters: No Self Helps (Hausu Mountain, 2017)

September 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Kill Alters: No Self Helps

This pink plastic tape with a smooshed Miss Piggy face on the cover features a bunch of fast, noisy drum-heavy electro-junk jams with soaring, screeching, acrobatic, commanding vocals from Bonnie Baxter. Hisham Bharoocha is in this group, so there’s certainly an element of Soft Circle/certain eras of Black Dice in this, but also some Foot Village drum power, some quasi-dance-punk (he was also in Pixeltan), some riot grrrl, and a bunch more overloaded machinery, but not enough so that obscures the rhythms. Also, there’s a ton of interludes of kids singing along to a cheap keyboard demo. This, plus the strange therapy session skit at the end, make this seem like an audio document of a bunch of hyperactive kids killing time during summer vacation, but the proper songs are studio-recorded and pack a multitude of ideas and concentrated energy into their chrome-plated shells.

Black Sandwich: Suddenly Wednesday tape (FPE, 2017)

September 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Black Sandwich: Suddenly Wednesday tape

Super anxious lo-fi synth-punk with a pop core, vaguely reminding me of Jon Barba or Gerty Farish, but those are only top-of-the-head comparisons. There’s somewhat deceiving moments of pure poppiness such as “New U”, and there’s also cathartic screeds like the “It only hurts when I breathe in / It only hurts when I breathe out” part during “Butt Nugget”. Also, the final track “For I Am Satan” is described as being about suffering a mental breakdown after an abortion, and right before it, “Driven By the Hive” is about being abandoned by one’s father. And in the middle is a sweet, heartbreaking sorta-darkwave love song called “Branches”. This all sounds awkward, amateur, and emotionally confused, and I love it. Tape and digital available from Bandcamp.

The Miami Dolphins: Water Your Waiting For (FPE, 2017)

September 16, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Miami Dolphins: Water Your Waiting For

The second album from the Minneapolis-based Miami Dolphins has a similar sort of cartoonish, angular no wave sound as their previous EP and album, but the lyrics seem a bit more overtly political this time. There’s several songs which seem to enthusiastically chirp “kill them all!”, with “Protect The Children And Drain Your Boat” saying “Nobody wants to go to war / Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it”. Disbelief and paranoia color a lot of the tracks, particularly “Fluoride” and “It Goes On”, and “Speak Up” spits back numerous lines of toxic, misogynist downtalking. Elizabeth Bambery’s vocals continue to swing from a nervous shout to more delicate, ethereal moments, but they’re always energetic and spirited. There’s also moments where she and the other band members seem to get stuck in one thought, such as the “Can you heand me the ketchup, my hamburger’s a little dry?” bit during “Protect the Children…” The music is a similar sort of trapeze act going from various points of frenzied, noise-rock chaos, with a few short, strange interludes thrown in, such as the circus-like intro and the jaw’s harp piece “Miami Oh Yeah”.

Giant Claw: Soft Channel (Orange Milk, 2017)

September 16, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Giant Claw: Soft Channel

Giant Claw is the solo project of Keith Rankin, co-founder of Orange Milk Records and one of the underground’s most prolific producer of trippy album art, along with Robert Beatty. Giant Claw’s work has varied from mutant prog-rock to MIDI-juke to vaporwave, and this continues in the direction of recent releases like Dark Web and Deep Thoughts. Lots of splashes and smashes of color and voices and instruments against a blank canvas. Brief bursts of glitched, tweaked-out classical instruments, melted R&B vocals, deconstruction. Non-linearity. It starts, it stutters, it smudges and skitters and crashes, and offers moments of light and half-thoughts, and a few notes of a majestic aria, then it stops. Very scrambled and hectic, but it also has a sort of poise to it. If there’s one moment that seems like a sort of calm respite, it’s “006”, but its clipped bass string plucks keep getting sidetracked by buzzes and percussive scrambles. Once again, another total mindfreak from the Claw.

Show #411 – 9/16/17

September 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Posted in The Answer Is In The Beat | Leave a comment

Hour 1
2:02 am Ariel Pink ~ “Another Weekend” ~ Dedicated to Bobby Jameson (new) ~ Mexican Summer ~ 2017
2:06 am Zola Jesus ~ “Remains” ~ Okovi (new) ~ Sacred Bones ~ 2017
2:10 am Kedr Livanskiy ~ “Za Oknom Vesna” ~ Ariadna (new) ~ 2MR ~ 2017
2:16 am Shanti Celeste ~ “Being” ~ 12″ ~ Future Times ~ 2015
2:23 am Bicep ~ “Kites” ~ Bicep (new) ~ Ninja Tune ~ 2017
2:31 am CM Von Hausswolff ~ “The Sleeper In the Valley” ~ 800 000 Seconds in Harar ~ Touch ~ 2011
2:40 am Laraaji ~ “Sun Gong No. 2” ~ Sun Gong (new) ~ All Saints ~ 2017
2:52 am Island People ~ “Waterway” ~ Island People (new) ~ Raster ~ 2017
2:57 am Throwing Shade ~ “Wonderful Sushi” ~ Beating Heart – South Africa Vol. 3 (new) ~ Beating Heart ~ 2017
Hour 2
3:00 am Lusine ~ “Tropopause (Loscil Remix)” ~ Sensorimotor Remixes (new) ~ Ghostly International ~ 2017
3:05 am Demen ~ “Ambur” ~ Nektyr (new) ~ Kranky ~ 2017
3:12 am Mini Dresses ~ “Fantasy Nails” ~ Mini Dresses (new) ~ Joy Void ~ 2017
3:17 am His Name Is Alive (local) ~ “Blues [version 1]” ~ Emergency LP ~ Time Stereo
3:20 am Katherine Hepburn (local) ~ “Dream Boy” ~ Over Easy ~ Youth Owned Records ~ 2015
3:23 am Zach Phillips with Ani Ivry-Block ~ “Four Minutes to Play” ~ How to Slip Away (new) ~ OSR Tapes ~ 2017
3:25 am The Miami Dolphins ~ “Speak Up” ~ Water Your Waiting For (new) ~ FPE ~ 2017
3:28 am DNA ~ “Size” ~ DNA On DNA ~ No More Records ~ 1978
3:31 am The Claudia Quintet ~ “This Too Shall Pass” ~ For ~ Cuneiform ~ 2007
3:38 am Longmont Potion Castle ~ “LPC 14 Medley” ~ 14 (new) ~ D.U. Records ~ 2017
3:51 am Antwood ~ “Commodity Fetish Mode” ~ Sponsored Content (new) ~ Planet Mu ~ 2017
3:55 am Giant Claw ~ “004” ~ Soft Channel (new) ~ Orange Milk ~ 2017
Hour 3
4:00 am Gerry and the Holograms ~ “Gerry and the Holograms” ~ Close To the Noise Floor ~ Cherry Red ~ 1979
4:03 am Beastie Respond ~ “They Mobilized Ignorance and Slack” ~ Information City (new) ~ Foul-Up ~ 2017
4:07 am Run Dust ~ “Wharf Rat” ~ Serf Rash ~ In Paradisum ~ 2015
4:09 am Run Dust ~ “Proto-Poem” ~ Supermarché ~ In Paradisum ~ 2015
4:12 am Olin ~ “People Fix (Huerco S. Remix 2)” ~ 12″ ~ Giegling ~ 2016
4:20 am Huerco S. ~ “Rushing To Paradise” ~ Railroad Blues ~ Proibito ~ 2015
4:30 am Quaeschning & Schnauss ~ “Thirst” ~ Synthwaves (new) ~ Azure Vista Records ~ 2017
4:38 am Burial ~ “Rodent (Kode9 Remix)” ~ single (new) ~ Hyperdub ~ 2017
4:43 am Julien ~ “Snowblind” ~ single (new) ~ Tobago Tracks ~ 2017
4:48 am Homemade Weapons ~ “Killing Moon (The Untouchables Remix)” ~ Negative Space Remixed (new) ~ Samurai Music ~ 2017
4:53 am Sam Binga & Danny Scrilla ~ “Further Peaks” ~ Weird in Munich (new) ~ Cosmic Bridge ~ 2017
4:57 am GITCHII X Soslo ~ “Lazers” ~ Young Art Sound (new) ~ Young Art Records ~ 2017
Hour 4
5:01 am KABLAM ~ “Mouthing (Recycled)” ~ Worldwide Recycle Service 02 (new) ~ W – I ~ 2017
5:06 am Somatic Responses ~ “Unknown Fate” ~ Pattern Seeking (new) ~ Hymen Records ~ 2017
5:09 am Bonaventure ~ “Multiplicity” ~ Reclaiming the Void (new) ~ Uniti ~ 2017
5:12 am Visionist ~ “No Idols” ~ Value (new) ~ Big Dada ~ 2017
5:16 am Nosaj Thing ~ “Get Like” ~ Parallels (new) ~ Innovative Leisure ~ 2017
5:19 am Ulobit ~ “O Haia” ~ Vikingland ~ Audiotalaia ~ 2016
5:23 am Flowers ~ “Say 123” ~ 7″ (new) ~ Fortuna Pop! ~ 2017
5:26 am Maximum Joy ~ “White and Green Place (Extraterrestrial Mix)” ~ I Can’t Stand It Here On Quiet Nights (Singles 1981-82) ~ Silent Street ~ 1982
5:32 am Ryan Huber ~ “Warlike” ~ Suburban Peril (new) ~ Inam Records ~ 2017
5:45 am Orson Hentschel ~ “Fade In, Fade Out” ~ Electric Stutter (new) ~ Denovali ~ 2017
5:53 am Hype Williams ~ “Baby Blu” ~ Rainbow Edition (new) ~ Big Dada ~ 2017
5:54 am Lapalux ~ “Tessellate” ~ Ruinism (new) ~ Brainfeeder ~ 2017

Chicago Afrobeat Project feat. Tony Allen: What Goes Up (self-released, 2017)

September 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Chicago Afrobeat Project feat. Tony Allen: What Goes Up

Following the imaginative covers album Nyash Up! (Fela mashed up with Radiohead, and also Fugazi! Talking Heads! Vandermark 5! 808 State!!?!), Chicago Afrobeat Project worked with the incomparable drummer Tony Allen on their fourth album, What Goes Up. While Fela’s brand of Afrobeat typically means sprawling groove-based compositions which can last an entire album, this is an album of concise Afrobeat pop songs, all of which feature guest rappers or singers. It’s accessible, but not watered down. The energy isn’t diluted, only concentrated, and all of these songs feel urgent, vibrant, and most of all, fun and exciting. While songs like “Race Hustle” and “No Bad News” are themed around political and social concerns, “Marker 48” touches on a romantic breakup (while starting out by slipping in some political commentary), and “Afro Party” is self-explanatory. The general tone of a lot of these songs, of course, is disappointment and disbelief with the current state of the world — “White Rhino” states that there’s “too much oppression in the first world for it to be the first world”. But the music is always uplifting and joyous, and the album is a total treat.

Zach Phillips: How To Slip Away (OSR Tapes, 2017)

September 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Zach Phillips: How To Slip Away

OSR Tapes lives! Well, sort of. It’s gone through a stint as a mail order-only label, and retired as of last year, but it still has a Bandcamp with free downloads of much of the back catalog, and there’s plans to relaunch in 2018, but “less as a label than a lab”. In the meantime, Zach Phillips has released this album, on which he wrote all the songs and played guitar and bass, but turned vocals and instruments over to a different guest for all 20 songs. The songs all seem pretty simple, but they’re generally a bit nervy and not quite straightforward, not really sticking to a proper song structure. They generally seem to just let out thoughts, not quite in a straight line, and not arranged into pop hooks. They just sort of come out as slightly strange miniatures, playing out as a song cycle of sorts. Sean Schuster-Craig (Jib Kidder) shows up for the sharp, surrealist “Fucking Up”, and other guests include Ryan Power, Sarah Smith (Blanche Blanche Blanche), Quentin Moore (Big French), and Chris Cohen, who contributes the final word and solo. Also, there’s a narrator (Colin White) who introduces and back announces songs as if this were a radio show, sometimes giving bits of commentary as to the current status of the featured performers. Sometimes he makes mention of the recording quality, wishing the vocals were mixed higher. There’s also some lo-fi tape smudge here and there. An artist as restlessly creative as Phillips can never slip away for too long, so stay tuned for what 2018 brings.

King Jammy: Waterhouse Dub (VP, 2017)

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

King Jammy: Waterhouse Dub

As soon as I pressed play on this one, I knew I was in for something incredible. This is an album of all new mixes from dub legend King Jammy, with assistance from his sons. Jammy produced numerous roots records in the ’70s, helped bring dancehall into the digital age, and has released an enormous number of dub albums as well. On this album, he revisits a lot of his older roots songs, dipping into the early electronic dancehall sound, but it’s packed with all the wildness of the best, weirdest dub. Sirens, rewinds, airhorns, sound effects, disconcerting amounts of echo, deejay shoutouts, everything you could want from dub. This is the type of album that seems like it was created with a complete and total disregard for any type of commercial potential, just a love for creating bizarre, bugged-out sounds simply for the fun of it. This as well as Adrian Sherwood’s recent album with Pinch prove that the biggest envelope-pushers of dub’s earlier generations are still creating some of the genre’s best work today. Ridiculously good.

Träd, Gräs och Stenar: Tack För Kaffet / So Long (Subliminal Sound, 2017)

September 9, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Träd, Gräs och Stenar: Tack För Kaffet / So Long

Träd, Gräs och Stenar were one of the most influential Swedish progressive/psychedelic rock bands. They were mainly active during the early ’70s, reunited at the end of the decade, and then reunited again during the ’90s after bands like Pavement cited them as an influence. They recorded some new albums during the 2000s and toured with Acid Mothers Temple, and eventually Reine Fiske of Dungen joined the band. Two of the group’s primary members died during the early 2010s, however. This album contains material recorded between 2006-2012, including contributions from the late Torbjörn Abelli and Thomas Mera Gartz. It’s a nice, sprawling set of wayward psych jams which don’t break any new ground, but if you’re in the mood for low key, slow burning guitar jams, it’s really well done and enjoyable. Mostly instrumental, and mostly slow and meandering, except for “Pengar”, which sounds like it could be a Swedish interpretation of either “Sister Ray” or “Roadrunner”, and “Farväl”, which has a bit of distant bellowing near the end, almost like Robbie Basho, or maybe even Laraaji.

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