Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tartarus - ΧΑΟΣ (private 2008)



ΧΑΟΣ in ancient Greece meant the initial state of the universe, and by extension space, darkness and abyss.
Those are the exact words that can describe ΧΑΟΣ by Tartarus. This cd-r (limited to 50) recorded in a cloudless night at the winter of 2008. The Mastermind behind this medieval creation is Tefkros who performed all of the instruments in this release as he recorded also the whole album by himself. The sound is bleak and raw as the creator of this discribes it as Supreme Hellenic Black Arts. If you are into obscure you should check Tartarus... if not... your loss... Brother Ray will sure wait to hear some more works from Tefkros in the near future.

Tracklisting:

1.From The Past
2.Pagan Massacre
3.Chaos
4.Reaper (Hellhammer cover)
5. S/M (sadistic mass) *bonus

A video for the track "From The Past" here

Download (artwork included)

Tartarus - ΧΑΟΣ (private 2008)

ΧΑΟΣ in ancient Greece meant the initial state of the universe, and, by extension space, darkness or an abyss (the antithetical concept was ΚΟΣΜΟΣ). Those are the feeling that discribe both Tartarus by it's musical approach and chaos it self.
The Band Describe it's bleak existence as Supreme Black Arts, and the genre behind this is totally obscure black thrash metal by all means.
The Mastermind behind this medieval creation is Tefkros playing all instruments (guitar's, bass, keys, vocals, drum machine programming) and recorded by him self in a cloudless night of 2008.
The sound is pure and raw as it must really be and the cold runs through the black veins of this creation.

Official Myspace page of Tartarus can be found here
Video for the "From The Past" can be found here


Jandek - Nine - Thirty (1985)



Corwood 0748

After the raucous squalor of Interstellar Discussion, [this] is certainly his come-down record. It’s always difficult to tell how much of the Jandek oeuvre is the result of a psychological problem and how much is consciously constructed aesthetics. So in saying that this is a come-down record could be the result of either or both. Jandek’s voice is hushed, his guitar plucks quieter, and the drums untouched.



Hans Otte - Das Buch Der Klänge (The Book of Sounds) (1983)



On his fourth collection of piano works for ECM, pianist Herbert Henk brings to the stable one of the most varied and obscure of the 20th century's composers, poets, artists, and sound sculptors, Hans Otte (b. 1926). Written between 1979 and 1982 after a multi-day retrospective of his entire oeuvre at the Baden-Baden Festival, The Book of Sounds is Otte's attempt to wipe out his own history, to begin with a tabula rasa from a place of nowhere and nothing --except the present moment and the relationship of sounds to that moment, because of what they are in themselves. If this sounds a lot like John Cage, it is no doubt his influence that hovers over these proceedings. But the methodology is different. Otte's training could not help but be brought into play here; his sheer pianism (he studied with both Paul Hindemith and Walter Giesseking) touches not only upon his historical relationships, but his ideas about how simply he regards the piano as a an instrument of transcription, of delivery: simple, clean, immediate. The floating harmonies, which are the result of unresolved unions of majors and minors in interaction with one another without dissonance, are hauntingly beautiful. The sense of pushing a note or a series of small chords into one another before allowing space to reclaim them is another hallmark of the work. In this way, without just intonation at its base, it relates in feeling and unfickle sonance to LaMonte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano. This is deeply moving, mysterious piano music, like the Rosicrucian works of Satie or the later preludes by Debussy, or, in some ways, the Nocturnes by Chopin, without their reliance on strict harmonic resolution, but in their convocation of intention and fascination with the mystery of sonic interrelationships. But not even these comparisons do this work justice. In fact it is -- as the late Pandit Faquir Pran Nath remarked when he heard the composer perform it in the '80s -- like a prayer. Henk's performance is unwaveringly pure in its intention and execution; his reading adds no flourishes or odd angled interpretive movements, but allows the score to speak for itself, which in turn speaks volumes about Henk, as it has always done. His essay in the CD booklet is also novelistic and full of deep insight about the work and the composer; it is no wonder that he has given listeners such a memorable and thought-provoking performance of this little-known work. Truly, this is brilliant. (allmusic)

Jandek - Interstellar Discussion (1984)



Corwood 0747
Jandek sounds like he’s locked in a cellar with some musical instruments and he’s pissed off about it... There’s ‘drums’ of a sort, though a bit like Mo Tucker, they don’t so much keep the beat as corral it into a corner and whack it over the head with a lead pipe; it’s a bored three year old with a wooden spoon and a tumble dryer. His [guitar] playing — even over all these years — stubbornly refuses to improve... every so often, you need to be reminded of the depths of the human psyche, and listening to this racket affirms that.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Women & Children - S/T (Indoormusic reissue 2009)



The most remarkable thing about the Velvet Underground isn't how many bands have patterned themselves in some way on their music, but how varied and different those bands sound in relation to each other. Women & Children start not from the noisy proto-punk side ofthe Velvets, but from the echoing, reverb-heavy, primitivist take on New York urban folk of songs like "Sunday Morning" and most of the self-titled third album. The group's music is sparse and folk-based, but unlike the loose conglomeration of new folkies around Devendra Banhart, there's less of a sense of childlike naïvete than a deliberately reductive musical philosophy (shared by the Velvets and Women & Children's other clear antecedent, Robert Wyatt) that prefers the stripped-down to the lushly ornate. Women & Children formed in 2001 when California-born guitarist Kevin Lasting and Canadian keyboardist Cheryl June Serwa hooked up in Paris with multi-instrumentalist Jamie Moon and drummer Olivier Robert. Writing all of the band's material collaboratively and switching around vocal and instrumental duties in an egalitarian fashion, the group debuted with a self-titled album in 2003 on the small California label Attacknine, followed by an entirely different self-titled limited-edition release on the British experimental label Hallso, this one consisting of a handsome embossed wooden box containing two 10" vinyl EPs, a DVD of a live performance, and a pamphlet written by a friend of the band. In 2006, Women & Children slimmed down to the core duo of Serwa andLasting and recorded their second proper album, Tonight, for the Narnack label.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Silver Antlers / Seven Feathers Rainwater - Split Ep (Moondial 2009)



...Seven Feathers Rainwater birthed into the fraternal "New Weird Utah" held down by mainstays Stag Hare, Silver Antlers, Navigator, Chaz Prymek, Hew Mun, etc... Seven Feathers Rainwater's murky drones, tripped out by Eastern influenced samples and ragas, are really some of the most straight up enjoyable moments in SLC's experimental hadj towards Mecca. Looped piano drones, scattered woodwinds, wordless vocals, acoustic guitars and dancey percussion. Silver Antlers reigns in and compresses some of the most exciting swelling guitar drones and soaring solos meets tribal meditations meets the Algerian Desert Desert blues of Terakaft at a Qawalli festival, and straddles a line between Western blues and the contemplative percussion and spiritualism of Eastern musical traditions. This split is a mystical journey in the vein of doomsday calendars, feathered serpents, far east shamanism and all the wonderful oddities of Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Machinefabriek - Marijin (2006) / Ranonkel (2008)






Fizzing glockenspiel tones light a melodic causeway across a minuscule, infinitely graceful backdrop of high frequency sine tones, crackle and slow chords. It's a real keeper, definitely among the very finest of Zuydervelt's compositions. If you've grown a little sceptical of the Machinefabriek quality control system of late, here's the antidote. A series of more streamlined drones follows, although the overall feel is one of methodical, well thought out composition rather than off-the cuff tonal layering: 'Stofstuktoon' resonates like an orchestra of perpetually sustaining Tibetan prayer bowls, eventually sliding away into near silence populated only by a protracted static hiss.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grizzly Prospector - Old Mountain Radio (Magic Goat Music 2009)



...I don't know much about Parker Yates, the man behind the grizz, but I do know there is something about his short, simple songs that grab me with a fragile, tangible grasp for the few minutes they are on. Recorded with a decided lo-fi approach,Grizzly Prospector wraps his short, sweet tunes, and his fragile yet assuringly confident voice in a thin sheen of tape hiss that sounds like an old 45 you saved from your Grandmothers estate sale. I suppose this is the aesthetic he is going for on Old Mountain Radio, tiny depression-era folk songs about love, mountain men, grizzly bears, and a kindly old narrator who introduces the album with an inexplicable cajun accent. Bookmarking each end of the album is a spoken word piece titled "Bare Hands/Bear Hands" that seems to begin and end the journey of loss, love, and discovery on this little disc that clocks in at just under 24 minutes. Stand out tracks include "Medley" and "True Love will Find You in the End" which include some of the best strummed guitars & voice I have heard all year...
quería escribir algo bonito sobre este disco pero sólo puedo dar las gracias. además se puede descargar gratis aquí. medley, child's prayer, true love will found you in the end... en repeat

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Homeless Trees - 5 Track EP (private 2007)



Homeless Trees is a private 5 track EP from Greece that was written in 2007 and never been releashed. As i've seen a performance of Homeless Trees this summer i was searching to get my hands into that little thing that the artist behind this one man band refers as emo folk rock psychedelic country gospel hard core underworld gun junkies criminal fugitives progressive gothic death metal nice greek free and easy band. If that is not the most exact describe genre that you ever heard for a record that you NEVER heard, then what is it?
Behind the wirlwind of all those musical "labels" the band (as the sound in it) is quite clear as the sweet and warm country vibrations really get you in the end. At my opinion this EP has an inner light that misses from most of the bands today... Enjoy!

You can see the official video for the opening track Wheels (Gram Parsons) here

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Topaz Rags - Capricorn Born Again (not not fun 2009)




Grey clouds stay grey. Low light situations birth low-lit moods. It's all bummer clockwork. West Coast lurk-jazz triad Topaz Rags return to vinyl with their debut long player, Capricorn Born Again, an eight-song comedown recorded/mixed from spring-to-fall of '09 via a complex 4-track/boombox assemblage method. Everything creaks and hisses, there's smoke in the air, players at the end of their ropes, lyrics washing over faded raga ballads, slinky electric piano bar depressions, shadow gauze cavern pop. The bell jar is half empty, obviously. Slow dive and sink in. Black vinyl LPs (mastered by Pete Swanson) in jackets designed by Amanda. Edition of 400.




Jandek - Living in a Moon So Blue (1982)



Corwood 0743

This is where Jandek's stuff gets really ‘difficult’ and damaged... Lots of pissed-off down strokes, tracks that build into blister-inducing dirges and just some seriously fucked up mess all around.

Jandek - Chair Beside a Window (1982)



Corwood 0742

The album kicks off with another classic haunted track... in which you can hear some weird almost freeform electronic tape hiss (?!) and Jandek's foot stomp, that also seems to have been accidentally fractalized into something greater than its parts by shitty technology. Then everything fucking EXPLODES and IMPLODES in Dylan-Live-1966-bootleg-proportions on "European Jewel", featuring the funniest Rick Danko-meets-Mingus bass impersonation ever put onto tape! Jandek's guitar playing is getting choppier and more manic on this record until the freak-folk classic "Nancy Sings" comes out of fucking nowhere for no reason causing time to momentarily stop — amazing what a woman's touch can do! The rest of the album noodles around aimlessly for a bit, but is no less ‘exploratory’, with some nice, frustrated steel-string buzz/drone on trax like "Blue Blister" (speaks for itself really). It's interesting to note that despite the record being the most 'fractured' of his albums so far, Jandek's tapping foot is heard on nearly all tracks, proving there is some method to the meshigarse!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Magic Castles - Songs of the Forest (Moon Glyph 2009)



Songs of the Forest", the Magic Castles' first release on the Moon Glyph imprint, is a study in delicate psychedelia. Throughout the album, the group harnesses sounds that harken to the mid-Sixties experimentalism. From beginning to end, it is a collection that houses surprises, such as the killer organ riff buried deep in "The Mole People" and the unexpected trombone in "Songs of the Forest" to name only a few. Recorded between the witching hour and three a.m. over the course of several months, this autumnal record is a revivalist showcase that straddles audacity and restraint with aplomb. Play it and float along...

Nels Cline - Coward (2009)



A solo guitar record in name only, Cline overdubs a number of exotic instruments alongside his trusty six string, from zithers and autoharps to Korg synths and drum machines. Weaving an intricate web of cantilevered loops into a subtle, shimmering mosaic, the majority of the session is austere and contemplative. There are brief moments of abstruse pointillism and ecstatic release, but for the most part the mood is serene, laced with lush interludes of breathtaking splendor and hallucinatory psychedelia.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gkfoes Vjgoaf - Magic Days (Ace Of Tapezzz 2009)


dang. gkfoes is back with another song set. they're heavier on the percussion and rhythm but he's still using all his mysterious pretty samples and weaving that lofi magic across an even larger sound palate this time around. spaced out psych-swag music you can blush to. edition of 100.

Mountainhood - The River / The Road 7" (Important 2009)


Somewhere in the realm of the Holy Modal Rounders, Tower Recordings, Diane Cluck & Daniel Johnston there is Mountainhood. Each cover is exquisitely handmade. So nice. This follows his sold out and sought after Time Lag & Ecstatic Yod releases. See the release page for a link to photos of each and every cover. Get it now before it hits the online auction realm. important

Themselves - theFREEhoudini (Anticon 2009)


Given everyday rappers’ proclivity for talking about themselves, it was only a matter of time before Themselves started talking back. Jel and Dose One originally imagined rap’s shadowy alter-ego in the form of Them and released their weirdly awesome self-titled record in the year 2000 before distinguishing, ahem, themselves from Van Morrison and releasing releases forgettable (2002’s The No Music, 2005’s 13 & God collabo with the Notwist, maybe a couple other things I don’t remember). Themselves’ fade from the limelight was concurrent to Jel and Dose germinating with Dax Pierson as the seed at the heart of the ambitious sextet Subtle, whereby they dropped some records loved intensely by many of us here at the Glow. In the now theFREEhoudini seems destined to the same sort of fleeting regard as Themselves’ post-Them releases but is juicy with the pleasure in which these two iconoclasts indulge in the rap genre trope of mixtapes. As Dose is wont to do, everything is taken to the next level after next, landing the listener roundly in the middle of some deep crater on the dark side of solipsism—which, in terms of this odds-and-ends assortment, gives us rap music as analogy for empathetic nonsense. Or for describing rappers as interns, modelships, etc.
I mean, the fact that a Themselves’ mixtape has a track called “Party Rap Sucks” featuring Busdriver is predictable to the point that I start to wonder if these dudes are parodying, ahem, themselves—and then it’s over before I have a chance to categorize it firmly as anything other than a flippant fuck-you. This caustic flippancy characterizes the entire mixtape, really, right down to including the truly awful track with Slug, but it also means that the bursts of brilliance come hard and fast. Tracks advertised as appearing on the upcoming super-official LP CrownsDown bear some trace of the evolution that Subtle’s imposed on the duo’s music, whether it’s the blurry harmonic tones of multi-tracked Doses on “Roman Is as Roman Does” or the distinct way Jel’s overload of sounds and synths churn in “Oversleeping” and “The Mark.” Yet, compared to Subtle, there’s something a little more brutish about this transcendence—as if that group were a rocket that carried Dose and Jel to a different plane and once there they burgled Thor’s hammer so as to lay waste to what they left behind. When Dose starts throwing disses at the end of “Oversleeping” and the music resembles a series of explosions ripping through a factory, you know that Themselves have set their sights on destruction and burning bridges.
Perhaps fittingly it’s some of the most homeless tracks that make the strongest impressions. Dose plays back-up to Serengeti on the glide of “Keys to Ignition,” a testament to heavy bass drum, a few keyboard keys, and a keen sense of dynamics. Serengeti raps like he doesn’t care what he’s rapping about as long as it encompasses as much of everything as possible and still sounds good. “Free & Void” is a drifting terror, a fitting retort in mood to carefree nihilism and that Bill Callahan record; when the layers of noise finally peel off and there’s Dose over pretty much just the drum break proclaiming, “That’s all I got / and the rest is / to waste or not to waste breath,” it’s a rushing relief like Dose just popped a mass of existential angst with a prick of his pen. The anti-commercial triumphalism of “Rapping 4 Money” then reminds us to care about something again, even if that’s just doing stuff because you like to or the possibility of a new cLOUDDEAD record that shines as brightly and simply as this particular track.
It’s closer “Each Ant in Their House,” however, that’s most deserving of having an Album unto itself. Sounding like Odd Nosdam’s best dream ever, the modules of warm trebly noise flow together in shutter-frame motion while the beat swishes and snaps and Dose rises above, pure phoenix. The lithe synth bass hook is unrelenting in its grip, the rapping seamless in its synergy with that grip and the way it flexes as it grows. Ultimately, this is the most potent fuck-you that Themselves could give to the thoughtless body of rap that casts their shadow: undeniable greatness in the form of progress that doesn’t look back once it has torn free from its material limbs.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vulcan - Meet Your Ghost (1978)



...a monster private psych LP from Iowa. Recorded in 1978, Vulcan is Lyle Steece, and this is his one-man-against-the-universe-rock-album. Dedicated to Jimi Hendrix, this features real primitive basement-psych guitar rock that is outrageously fucked, inspirational, distortion-overloaded and massively mindblowing...

Burial & Four Tet - Moth / Wolf Cub (2009)


Now then. There’s some dream collaborations that you’d probably sell yr granny, or at least her thimble & china elephant collection for but who’d have thought a 12″ knees up ‘twix Fourtet & shady non-Sun reading grimester Burial would suddenly occur out of the blue. ‘Wolf Cub’ has a beautiful tribal rhythm with it’s roots in two-step garage but instead of the paranoid urban hiss, crackle & ghostly atmospherics of Burial’s own tunes you merely get a suggestion of a disembodied flutter of spectral female vocal (right near the end!) but most of the tune’s “body” is quite reminiscent of some of Hebden’s finest work, that chiming, cascading kaleidoscopic wall of SOUND that he builds so lovingly and distinctively. ‘Moth’ is quite different, slightly less immediate but no less rich in texture and soul. The beat is quite understated and house-y, yet powerful. It’s got this really great muted melody running through it that gives it a dubby house feel and then there’s the gentlest sprinklings of chinks, chimes, atmospherics and “urban” magic but although this feels more along Burial’s minimal lines it’s definitely a “sun’s breaking over the rooftops and lighting up last night’s freshly painted graffiti by the railway lines..” vibe and not nearly as bleak & rain soaked sounding as his own output. Kevin Saunderson & some of the better Kompakt stuff have been mentioned.
Tracks:
1. Moth
2.Wolf Cub

Harmonic 313 - When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence (2009)


When Machines Exceed Human Intelligence starts with the slumped shuffle of “Dirtbox,” which flashes on the weighty torpor of dubstep; Pritchard’s been listening hard to recent developments in dance music, and parts of this album offer his own, skewed take on these forms. Interestingly, though, When Machines... is more convincing when Pritchard’s looking back – the acid-period rhythm box of “Flaash” induces déjà vu as prickly, phosphorescent electronics pulse and twist like LCD displays on overdrive. The jewel-like quality of some of these compositions is charming, and their simplicity and unhurried development is welcome, though they sometimes risk slipping away into nothingness. There are stretches of When Machines... that pass by and refuse to lodge in the memory.
Download links removed by request

Giuseppe Lelasi - Aix (2009)


Milanese guitarist and electronic musician Giuseppe Ielasi is best known for his languidly beautiful, yet painstakingly wrought drone poems. His finest releases – 2003’s Plans (Sedimental) and 2007’s stunning August (12k) – are set apart by Ielasi’s attention to the smallest of details in his sound sources, which are left largely untreated. Pieces seem to unfold out of the hypnotic ebb and flow of crackling field recordings, warmly linear guitar lines and burbling electronics.
On first listen, Aix – named for Aix-en-Provence, where the album was recorded – appears to mark a shift, however subtle, in Ielasi’s solo work. The emphasis is more on rupture and rhythm, rather than on the soft, stream-of-consciousness flow that is Ielasi’s hallmark, but it’s still as immersive and atmospheric as ever. Ielasi constructed the nine untitled pieces that make up the album along the lattice points of a rhythmic grid, using chopped up samples and fragments of piano, drums, guitar, trumpet, vinyl and other less-easily decipherable sources as basic musical building blocks.

Hecker - Acid in the Style of David Tudor (2009)


Edited like a slow moving film, Hecker has spliced together the scenes of his experiments. Punctuating these movements are three tracks that share the title "Asa.” High-pitched and hard-panned, these short and hyper-repetitive tracks offer the listener a greater chance to zoom in on the blistering sounds. It’s a dizzying proposition.One consequence of its process: Every sound on Acid in the Style of… has a shadow. Feedback variants follow each squawk, blast or rumble wherever they go, often ending in collision. The blistering feedback coats everything, like some sticky, electronic residue. But at the suggested high volume listening, these complementary forces open up into more detailed strata, each perceivable pattern of sounds revealing smaller and smaller sub-sets of noise.That’s definitely the record’s most curious trait. By simply turning the volume up or down, one can wake or destroy all sorts of afferent ghosts. The rub: By the time one discovers the disc’s quietest illusions, there’s no escaping the range of its roar.

Jandek - Six and Six (1981)


Corwood 0740
It is a sweltering afternoon in Texas. In a tiny bedroom, all windows curtained against the sun, sits a man, or a boy. He is plain, blond-haired, looks like an extra from a B Sci-Fi thriller. He holds a Sears guitar he was given as a child. The guitar has never been tuned — it may only have five strings. It is connected to a cheap amp. He plucks the strings, sometimes together, sometimes singly, and sings into an old cheap microphone. With a Dylan-like inflection, he pours the lyrics from his soul while plucking the guitar... The recording is made on an old Wollensak reel-to-reel with broken meters and no volume knob. He records 12 songs and presses them into a record... it is so deeply personal as to be profound.

Jandek - Ready for the House (1978)


Corwood 0739
Jandek is one of the most interesting and mysterious acts in the history of outsider music. his musical activity spans over 30 years, during which he released over 50 albums, covering a vast amount of genres and styles, but still maintaining a very recognizable "blues" attitude. this unofficial jandek site has a long and interesting biography about "the man from corwood", which i suggest you to check out even if you're not interested in his music. (there's also a good documentary film, called jandek from corwood, which you can find on dvd on amazon i think).
"How to describe the Jandek experience? Well, first of all, it doesn't exactly fill you with 'joi de vivre'. In fact, Kurt Cobain was a fan, and I would not be surprised if Jandek was the thing that pushed him over the edge. But that's fine, really, sometimes you really do need to hear something depressing. And I like to play Ready for the House just as the light is fading on the day: as it creepily gets darker, Jandek is the perfect accompaniment for making you feel that, yep, life really isn't worth living. It's not necessarily what he says, it's the way he says it."

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sotiris Debonos - Film Musik 10'' E.P. (Puzzlemusik 2007)


This is a 10" vinyl-only release coming out in 500 numbered copies (and 25 numbered promo copies). It also includes a cd-r with the tracks in mp3 format and a video art inspired by the Film Musik tracks. The video art is captured and edited by Socos (of Socos & The Live Project Band). This is the musik for a film that was never shot. Cinematic, minimal, improvisation - call it what you may. It transforms every time that you hear it. And although classical guitar, violin and viola, nei, and percussion are the key instruments, you could swear that what you hear is... electronica. Anyway... Who cares about a description when you can hear the real thing...
Tracklisting:
01. 5.32
02. 2.36
03. 1.34
04. 3.34
05. 4.38
06. 5.53
Download:

Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol.2 (2009)


Does its mournful neo-classical tone indicate that Xerrox, Vol. 2 is a lament for the human elements lost in translation? I don’t think so – the tone is more to underline the seriousness of its purpose. Nicolai isn’t in denial about an increasingly mechanized world, and the best thing we can do is to try to harmonize and understand the similarities. The genius in this album is how clearly the man/machine balance comes across. Capturing this balance is nothing new (in fact, it’s even wrapped up in the name of the electro-acoustic genre), but Nicolai renders machines as something other than exotic emotion simulators. At the same time, he combines the crackle with some utterly gorgeous string work, best heard on the “Monophaser” tracks. While it was difficult to see at first, Nicolai has really moved beyond the intellectual games of Trans. More is at stake than that, and the realization necessarily carries heavy emotional impact.

Alva Noto - Xerrox Vol.1 (2007)


The results mark a departure for Nicolai both in terms of source materials, as well as overall structure. As one of the premier exponents of conceptually-minded post-techno, Nicolai has created abstract, pixelated funk modeled closely on the rhythmic schematics of contemporary hip hop and R&B. In the fine-tuned sound world of alva noto, the art gallery was rarely far from the dance club. Although it begins with a bracing bit of crackle and buzz, Xerrox is far removed from the pinprick percussion and sub-bass thump of so much of his past work. On this latest CD, Nicolai navigates a gentler, almost pastoral musical terrain, full of gently pulsing rhythms and simple melodic patterns. The omnipresent static typically comes in soft, swirling clouds rather than sharp, percussive bursts, bathing the listener in finely wrought hiss. It's a beguiling pretty record, which is not something you'd necessarily expect from a conceptual project so tightly focused on the process of digital reproduction.

Pyha - The Haunted House (2008)


This drone/black album was recorded by some 14-year-old korean in the darkness of his room. Enough said...

The Shaggs - Philosophy of the World (1969)


First things first... this is the best worst album ever...
The conceptual beginning of The Shaggs came from Austin Wiggin, Jr.'s mother. During Austin's youth she had predicted during a palmreading that he would marry a strawberry blonde woman, that he would have two sons after she had died, and that his daughters would form a popular music group. The first two predictions came true, so Austin set about making the third come true. Austin withdrew his daughters from school, bought them instruments, and arranged for them to receive music and vocal lessons. The Wiggin sisters themselves never planned to become a music group, but as Dot later said, "[Austin] was something of a disciplinarian. He was stubborn and he could be temperamental. He directed. We obeyed. Or did our best". Austin named The Shaggs after the then-popular shag hairstyle and as a reference to shaggy dogs. In 1968, Austin arranged for the girls to play a regular Saturday night gig at the Fremont, New Hampshire Town Hall.
On the topic of the album, Cub Koda wrote, "There's an innocence to these songs and their performances that's both charming and unsettling. Hacked-at drumbeats, whacked-around chords, songs that seem to have little or no meter to them ... being played on out-of-tune, pawn-shop-quality guitars all converge, creating dissonance and beauty, chaos and tranquility, causing any listener coming to this music to rearrange any pre-existing notions about the relationships between talent, originality, and ability. There is no album you might own that sounds remotely like this one". Reportedly, during the recording sessions the band would occasionally stop playing, claiming one of them had made a mistake and that they needed to start over, leaving the sound engineers to wonder how the girls could tell when a mistake had been made.
Upon closer examination, The Shaggs seem to have a consistent (but highly idiosyncratic) approach to melody, harmony, and rhythm. The songs use highly irregular verse structures, which are emphasized by the melodic structures, which typically accord one note per syllable: the guitar accompaniment attempts to reproduce this pattern as well. Most of the Shaggs material is made up of eighth- and quarter-notes.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sonic Youth med Mats Gustafsson og Merzbow - Andre sider af Sonic Youth (2008)


Sonic Youth + Jim O'Rourke + Mats Gustafsson + Merzbow,
live @ Roskilde Festival in 2005.

Current 93 - I Have a Special Plan for This World [EP] (2000)


"No more worlds like this, no more days like that"
"Your plan is a mistake, he repeated
this world is a mistake, I replied"

Jackie-O Motherfucker - Fig. 5 (2000)


For all its disparate strands, Fig. 5 is surprisingly cohesive, constructing some ratcheted new sound with junk and memory rather than laundering old sounds with the irony and veiled contempt of other pastiche exercises. The disc itself is packaged in an oddly fascinating die-cut cardboard folio, complete with snippets of Alan Lomax's celebrated American ethnomusicology. Fig. 5 is slow and plodding like time itself. This work, again, simply has no precedents. Or rather, its precedents lie in the dusty anonymities of American musical history, instead of the proud and touted monuments of our cultural past. Listen to it once if you can.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

MV & EE - Smoked Bossier (Ecstatic Peace 2009)


Performed at Art Space, Shreveport, LA (29/01/09)This is one of the best live sets I've heard from MV And EE - don't want to hype it up too much but it is excellent. Side A has the kind of track list I would like to see them perform - Hungry Stones, Anyway, Freight Train and Cold Rain. Then Side B brings along a 25 minute monolith to the complete an hour long set. Long tracks rarely finish an album on a good note, but live, yeah... That is the way you want to send your audience away.
A1. Hungry Stones
A2. Huna Cosm
A3. Huna Rap
A4. Anyway
A5. Martyn Rap
A6. Freight Train
A7. Erie Cotton Rap
A8. Cold Rain
B1. Weatherhead Hollow
B2. Drone Trailer
Download: Side A / Side B

Takahashi Chikuzan - No Shinzui







Takahashi Chikuzan was a blind shamisen player throughout the 20th century (born 1910, died 1998). He made quite a number of recordings and there was a 1977 film about his life called 'Chikuzan Hitori Tabi' ('Life of Chikuzan') but, like other traditional music, the albums are not always easy to find. Some were re-issued on CD in Japan and sometimes records appear on ebay or gemm for $5 (but more often $40+), most are relatively hard to get hold of as they are quite often badly listed (in my experience).
There's a lot to listen to on this record - four sides of roughly 20 mins each - and it covers a wide range for an instrument with just three strings. He is accompanied and introduced by other traditional Japanese instruments on a number of songs but the sides tend to stick to one style rather than have a wide range.








Tom Carter & Robert Horton - Campfire (sloow tapes 2009)


Casual late night camfire jams by Robert Horton and Tom Carter, with laidback appearances by Natacha Robinson, Janet and Mary Carter. Baked guitars, boot and percussion. On special request there’s only 40 copies of this one.

Monday, November 9, 2009

All Tomorrow's Parties - The Film


DVD RELEASE DATES
9 November - UK DVD release - onlineCLICK HERE TO BUY
16 November – UK DVD release – retail
21 November - DVD release Japan (launching at Warp20 Tokyo)
24th November – US DVD Release
1 December – Canadian DVD release
DVD pre-order now available from www.warpfilmstore.com

Sloowroad - s/t (sloow tapes 2008)


Space hymns from deep woods within by Sloow Tapes Bart De Paepe and Golden Roadie Matt Valentine, crawling beyond shredding wah-wah guitars and intoxicating synth, culminating in twisted chouffe raga and porkslap pulse. Reissue of obscure Heroine cd-r, 100 copies.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Six Organs Of Admittance / Azul


Limited to 800 copies Japan-only split LP between Ben Chasny’s Six Organs Of Admittance and Japanese underground group Azul, on the sainted PSF imprint. One massively extended devotional psych track from Chasny that segues from an almost Popol Vuh-style build-up into a dark downer ballad, easily one of his most ambitious creations in years. (And is that a burst of the fuzz guitar from The Open Mind’s “Magic Potion” near the end there?). Flip features five tracks from Azul who play a gorgeous form of acid folk that factors elements of South American psych styles ala Traffic Sound and Satwa into the mix, using hand-drums, F/X, massed vocals, violin, steel guitar, tambura, flute and kazoo. Beautiful full colour sleeves with obi strip. Very limited and like all the rare PSF vinyl editions, sure to be a monster in years to come. volcanic tongue

Book Of Shadows - The Secret Garden (folkwaste 2009)


Medicinal plants, strange berries, thick pollen, and brown dirt. Hailing from Texas, the Book of Shadows live in the soil trodden on by Jandek and Charalambides, sprouting from those voices, those guitar sounds. This secretgarden will grow on you, it's roots will envelope you, it's beauty overwelm you. Alternating between composition and improvisation the guitars echo down like the rain, drones warm the ground, thorny notes scrape up against the fragile skin of Sharon Crutcher's voice. Water your minds, shine from behind your eyes. folkwaste

Ous Mal - Viime Talvi (under the spire, 2009)


Even if it wasn't for the song titles you'd still be able to tell this record was Finnish. Like all that country's finest musical exports, be they Hannu or Paavoharju, Ous Mal's recordings carry a certain grainy lo-fi charm, sounding like some gnarled old 78 you might find in an enchanted attic.
Vinyl crackle, weird old field recordings and weathered instrumental sequences all come together to make beautiful collages on tracks like 'Meidän Piha', which comes laced with faded string samples, glockenspiel melodies, wispy voices and the tolling of bells from a distant church. The glistening ambience of 'Tähdet' persists with the magic-realist sense of wonderment, sounding a bit like a haunted version of The Avalanches as it makes way for the equally ethereal strains of 'Tumma'. By the time you arrive at closing track 'Ukkonen' (whose curious sonic profile seems to shift from a spectral sea chantey into a demonic ice cream van) you'll be totally hooked on this record's creaky, tuneful and endearingly decrepit constitution.
Highly enjoyable Scandinavian lo-fi melodicism from the ascendant Under The Spire imprint, limited to a mere 100 copies.