Sorry for not posting these last few days but we're on a brief break.

Hope to get things started back up again by next week.

“Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive” (Submarine Broadcasting Co.)

“I used to LOVE netlabels, especially the ones that trafficked exclusively in ambient, electronic, and post rock. The best ones combined all three. Ten years has now passed since I so eagerly dug into that stuff. Ten long years… But hey! Here’s Whettman Chelmets to bring the whole thing back around, full circle, and rekindle my love for that heady brew of the one-person-that-sounds-like-a-full-band recording project.

“[‘Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive’] is a sensory treat.”

So went my initial review of Whettman Chelmets’ “Annihilate Your Masters,” and it feels like I didn’t write that all that long ago, so it remains an apt description here today with this new three-track tape drop. The three tracks are cheekily out of order from how they appear in the full EP’s title: 1. “The Sun Is Shining”; 2. “Alas…”; 3. “You are Still Alive.” The first side is all twinkling instrumental dream pop, definitely some Cure influence in there, sweet throwbacky vibes that get your heart all yearning for yearning again – the moments in your life where you’re nothing but a lovesick loser. Were those moments all that good? I dunno – the nostalgia for them is, though.

“You are Still Alive” takes over everything with nine minutes of sustained ambient feedback – the perfect end to a shoegaze treat?

Sure thing, buckaroo.

Whettman Chelmets 

Submarine Broadcasting Co.


“Kaffeeklatsch” C90
(OJC Recordings)

Alright you outsiders, gather round, and listen to story of the great R. Stevie Moore’s reissue of “Kaffeeklatsch.” See, this here C90 was originally a 2xC90 from 1984 that featured a bunch of extra live shit that was pretty OK when you get down to it. But the The Man intercepted the 2xC90 in transit to OJC Recordings and lopped half of it off. Before The Man could finish the job, OJC Recordings snatched what it could from The Man’s greasy mitts and released the tape in its current form, a single C90.

The Man.

The Man was watching, and because this was 1984, the magical year when dystopia reigned both in our imaginations and in our real lives. The Man couldn’t handle so much extra R. Stevie Moore. But we can handle The Man.

OJC only made 50 copies of this before the masters exploded in the tape deck. Fearing sabotage, the label went into hiding and has been there ever since, dropping their releases clandestinely from various and never-repeating locations. But we still get them, we still hear them, and we rise up with raised fists.

All this is to say that this is quintessential period R. Stevie Moore, and there is no shortage of excellent tunes on “Kaffeeklatsch.” Pump it at loud volumes, and don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do. Especially…

…The Man.

R. Stevie Moore

OJC Recordings


VARIOUS ARTISTS “End of Infinity: One-Track Mind Vol. 5” C60 (Greentape)

There’s a li’l something for everyone on "End of Infinity”; from gorgeously plucked guitar-soli (David van Auker) to backyard bonfire “pass me that guit-box” folk (Treefrogs); from electro-acoustics by one-man-gamelan-on-dissociatives (Brian day & Phil Sudderberg) to playful synth ditties ( *e*); from uneasy ambient (Tired Light & the Wppss) to cosmic space jamz (Ancient Elephants); &on &on &on, all artists being pretty great in their own respects.

The only unifying thread between these 16 wildly unrelated tracks is an earnest looseness & simplicity that translates well to a blank black tape with TNMT-green duct tape slapped across the top. Thanks GREENTAPE!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Travels In Public" C42
(Lily Tapes & Discs)

Firmly staked out between effusively heart-sleeved nostalgia and aloof, confusion-based reticence, Kiel, Germany’s Vierzig Skizzen patiently sculpts ambient-guitar drones that cloud the ear-motions with distinctly hazy non-memories and maybe-feelings of lessons possibly-learned and friendships-just-around-the-other-other-corner. “Travels In Public” soundtracks all those forgettable missteps and negligible connections we glorified apes might make in our early adulthoods that all but dissolve in the quicksand of collective memory; he takes those alternate-burdens and distills them into discrete swells and delayed guitar (s)weepings (ala SOTL, KBD, or BRE’R), rendering sonic any number of undefined emotions hovering just short of adequate complacency and hope.

Which is to say, this album is both incredibly memorable (albeit maybe painful) and ohsoeasy to forget oneself -and everything else, for that matter- inside of. I’d recommend it if I didn’t think it’d maybe bum you out. Listen with caution, I guess. If you’re up for such an undertaking, it’s pretty goddamn great.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Submission of Archival Sonic Documentation: Riverwest, WI 2017-2018” C36 (FTAM Productions)

The Bachelorette Party release on FTAM Productions from this past summer (featuring Amanda Schoofs and label head Peter J. Woods) is some of the most interesting and dynamic noise I’ve heard in a while. It consists of two textured and robust live performances from 2017-2018. The A side and first performance, recorded in 2017, is ushered in with sustained atmospheric tones and vocals that are at times soft, at times operatic, and at times bordering on the vampiric. Mirroring these vocal changes, the sonic landscape also morphs gradually but steadily through periods of calmness, brightness, and danger.

The second performance and B side was recorded in 2018 and is markedly more menacing as it unfolds, with a recurring theme of tension in the electronics that is punctuated by witchlike vocal aspirations.  The vocalizations are vast and expansive as they dance among the clouds of sonic activity like locust swarms, appearing and disappearing throughout the piece. The entire thing builds and heaves like some sort of electronic coven ritual.

Overall, this creative and intense album is satisfying not only conceptually but also because it features two strong live performances that share a continuity while also boasting their own characters. Props to these two performers for coming together as this new and impressive duo; I hope to hear more from them in the near future.


--P. Karras

CHRIS REIERSON “Sensitive To Textures"
C34 (Self-Released)

“Sensitive To Textures” is a two year study on the literal Ghost In The Machine; how a seemingly sterile electrical-hum or industrial, friction-inspired screech can host a teeming forest of microflora that breathes warmth and movement into otherwise barren, hostile, abandoned factory-scrapes and rusted-cog-lurchings. Chris Reierson achieves this through painstaking attention to detail in mixing Radigue-ian atonal cycles and drones with the subtlest touch of ambient-guitar sonority, letting texture not only float to the fore of the mind, but strengthen and solidify into its own guiding star, where only the faintest of solar winds bear mellifluous consciousness upon the listener, nearly undetected, yet undeniably, viscerally witnessed.

Though primarily white-noise-centric, two manic episodes upend the dynamic topography of this release to the point of non-background-ableness. AKA don’t try to study with this on. It IS, however, deeply evocative and great for actively meditating along with, or watching watercolor pools blending and drying.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

GERMAN ARMY "Kowloon Walled City"
C45 (Null/Zone)

There’s an anti-didactic adage to be gleaned from DFW’s infamous commencement speech, “This Is Water”, in which two young, budding SoCal electronic music artists are walking along on a road towards Joshua Tree and one of the Bishop brothers comes waltzing by and says, “Hey, boys, how’s the German Army?” And then he walks off to get a frenchfry-stuffed burrito or something. After that, those two young, budding SoCal electronic musicians just continue walking along for a li’l bit until one says to the other, “Who the hell is German Army?”

Goddamnedest thing about the word “ubiquity” is that we’ve been using all those letters for other stuff the whole time…

This cassette is already sold out, of course, like every single other cassette I’ve ever received for review by them.  Why the hell does GeAr even bother having people review their stuff if we’re all just buying the damn tapes anyway, well before anyone has a chance to say a damn thing about them? Are GeAr just hoping we’ll continue to assure their rabid fanbase that they haven’t jumped the shark and started indulging in quality-reducing drugs like the Rolling Stones did or something?

Well, they haven’t, okay. Not a lick.

KWC is fanfuckingtastic, just like you’d expect. Groovy, yet reservedly driving, respectfully paying homage to the world’s diverse flavors and swaggers whilst adding a smidge of their own electronic spice, where they see fit, to further sharpen the edges. Perhaps they’re hoping someone’ll get inspired to start a well-meaning cult? Their (primarily tribal) beats ARE undeniably entrancing like that. Yeah. Solid cadences, simple-yet-effectively-bewildering accents & counterpoint. Ceremonial. Quite culty, for sure.

&if you’ve never seen footage* of people walking though the concrete veins of Kowloon Walled City, may I unhumbly suggest you get on that shit right now, while listening to this tape, cranked up LOUD?!

Disclaimer: Neither CG nor I can vouch for the accuracy of the claims made in said video.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

WINTERBLOOD “I Signori Oscuri" C41 (Ephem-Aural)

NYC’s own Ephem-Aural label have just put out one brooding behemoth of an album by Florentine dungeon-synth-esque, minimal/new-new-age masters WINTERBLOOD. These Italian anti-maniacs have been catatonizing people across the globe for about a decade now, and “I Signori Oscuri” is yet another finely permafrosted soundscape for the rest of us to get to know them by.



It cannot be said enough times.


Winterblood have made it their overarching mission to viscerally embody and embolden what it means to be clinically removed from mirth and livelihood; what it means to be an ego-less observer of all darknesses inherent in humanity’s toils and tribulations. Through somberly strolling, barren synth phrasings that echo and linger, these moody lifelines freeze and dissipate, giving way to an infinite cache of Neptunian narratives, all crystalizing and melting, within each and every revolving measure.


Listening to this tape BLASTED on a tropical beach would easily drop one’s internal celsius count a full degree. Maybe two.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Sttt Thomasss “""DINGGGDONGGG DINGGGzzzzzzzz ferrrr TONYYY””"" " C26
(Blank Forms Editions)

With Sttt Thomasss…, humbly opalescent ritual-conductor, Charlemagne Palestine, pays a half-hour tribute to his dear pal Tony Conrad by clanging the bejebus outta the very same carillon bells that proved the clarion call responsible for bringing the two together. It’s everything you’d expect from CP, but with a sincere prelude that colors the following expression all the deeper of hues, purples, reds, & blues.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty…

This tape was promoted by BLANK FORMS, which is a really rad promotor of…well…really rad music and art (Currently, they’re hosting Loren Connors and Henning Christiansen) and their mission statement is to support;

"emerging and underrepresented artists working in a range of time-based and interdisciplinary art practices, including experimental music, performance, dance, and sound art. We aim to establish new frameworks to preserve, nurture, and present to broad audiences the work of historic and emerging artists. Blank Forms provides artists with curatorial support, residencies, commissions, and publications to help document, disseminate, and advance their practices.”

Peep their website to see who they’re giving a boost to in YOUR area.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"First Second" C40
(That’s Cool Records)

I can easily picture Jeph Jerman and Steve Jansen walking out from beneath an occupied underpass/railroad crossing where they’ve just captured to tape the scrapes and clatters of aluminum and tin can separation, said shopping-cart-kerfluffle likely drowning out what later will be the amplified sizzle of a camper’s illicit substances liquefying upon a sheet of foil. Not fifty yards past a fading freight’s screech, they stop to admire the subtle purr of an obliviously rusting electrical box. “I wonder how she’ll sound when it begins to frost,” ventures one. After a solid two minutes of pondering the other replies,

“We’ll have to come back next month I guess.”

Veteran vibration-worshippers JJ & SJ each have an impressively extensive output of visionary improv releases, but now they’ve teamed up here to vibrantly paint a more focused, intentional, potently vivid dream sequence of living-toil-texture and cold-machine-hum, using as their sonic brushes various tapes, homemade electronics, & “objects”.

“First Second” starts out with a blazing-fire-crackle’s intensity as a commotion of distinct wobbles, scrapes, and skids share common frequencies with various recordings of birds and/or barnyard utterances. As the trebly acou-sto-chastics decrease, ghostly tones less beholden to decay are introduced, with both electro-acoustic feedback and treated, sustained string recordings coming into play at juuust the right times. This could not possibly be chance/improvisation, right? The whole album pretty much just continues to mutate like this, at an impressive pace –and to an increasingly diverse, rhythmic degree- the entire time. With no idle doldrums or filler to be heard, this is a solid release, through and through.

Play loud as hell with good headphones and the lights off!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

NNN COOK "Dowser" C20 (Close/Far Recordings)

N(NN) Cook is both the curatorial head of Missouri’s Close/Far Recordings AND one S-E-R-I-O-U-S polyrhythmic/mood/sound collage artist! Across two action-packed 10 minute sides, he wisely stacks soundbites, field recordings, cyclic loops, organic flutes, processed pedal-work, distant drones…the list goes on & on...all in a seamless, dreamlike sequence of details, both intentionally hazy and crispified.

The big take-away here is that “Dowser” is an edge-of-yr-seat thriller of distinct vignettes that each add upon one another, both forward and back, in the mind’s ear, appealing to sensibilities cinematic as well as down-right primal.

Brilliant soundtrack for writing and/or sketching up dystopian relationships of the emotional/social/superficial variety. Seriously good shit!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"A Whole New Alphabet" C74
(Flag Day Recordings)

Peter J. Woods & Andrew Weathers are both wildly prolific and adventurous in their respective outputs, but not exactly two peas in a pod, genre-wise. PJW, generally running with the harsher, noisier crowd, plays this release markedly tame…almost sonorous…almost, in comparison to his usual MO of power-electronics. Same goes for the polar opposite, Andrew Weathers, a tried &true guitar-soli/folk musician who, while often employing electronic accompaniments to enhance his stringed noodlery, pretty much always keeps the tones bright & airy, harmonious.

So, naturally, they decided to smash their heads together & explore uncharted (&unchartable?) narrative soundscapes, much in the same vein as Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt did with their legendary (must-hear!) collaboration, "A Meeting by the River", over a quarter of a century ago, which sought to rhythmically destroy xenophobia by sonically reenacting a Rumi poem through "East & West" instrumental dialogue "unhindered by the rules of grammar*".

Bear with me here. I'm not saying that PJW & AW are bridging any social gaps or anything, but they do one HELL of a job bringing their own well-developed skill-sets to the table and complimenting the other's sonic posits with their own finely-honed flavors of knob-tweaking wizardry, thematic teasings, modulation (of modular moods, dudes!), & uncompromising drive.

The 1.25 hour story was recorded live, with each artist's contribution captured & isolated to a separate channel, so headphones'll deliver a wildly different experience than your stereo. Great for long walks (listen twice!) or drawing.

*K. Alexander quote taken from liner notes of AMbtR


--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Gibraltar / акордеон" C50
(Moon Myst Music)

Though Moon Myst Music hails from Detroit, the rest of this release is pretty much English (Bristol, specifically), where Tremolo Ghosts is based and where this live performance of Worker Vs Parasite was recorded. Aside from that UK link, however, I’m not sure why these two acts could possibly have been thought to be paired together on one single tape, let alone a label.

Cases in point;
TG is pretty much a more melancholy mashing-up of John Darnielle and Ben Gibbard, concerning singer-songwriter folksiness, whereas WvP play longform drones on top of drones on top of drones. TG keeps it barebones simple, strumming stock 4/4 acoustic guitar chords or plinking out simple piano melodies, whereas WvP treats (ha!) their electric guitar* and accordion with a mélange of sustaining effects pedals that all but obscure the original sounds. TG sings with a solo, hymnal simplicity, whereas WvP sing not a single vocal sigh, but rather belt out a thick chorus of instrumental Oms akin to a sea of Tibetan Buddhist Monks in both gritty intensity and duration.

Both artists Do keep on the calmer side, I suppose, but one politely asks for attention and consideration whilst the other intentionally erases concerted focus and drive, fostering an egolessness unsubscribed to. Perhaps that was the point?

*liner notes say that one of the two members of WvP plays “guitar and paintbrushes”. Is THAT how they got that e-bow’d sound?!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Fond Regards” C17
(Giraffe Boy Records)

Thompson Springs are a slick, slightly rockin’ Americana band out of Chicago that sounds exactly like what I’d imagine a computer would compose were one to only feed it mid-late Wilco albums and a few Kurt Vile jammers…which is no coincidence because a co-conspirator from each of those camps had a hand on playing and/or recording “Fond Regards”.

As you’d guess, this EP is a good soundtrack for driving along in the countryside to; it’s all easily sing-along-able, steering wheel-tappable, and/or noddable-to, save the very last track, “Graffiti Rose”, where the guitar and bass join forces to explore a slightly darker, Murray-Street-esque vibe. Super-pleasant.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

MARY OCHER "Faust Studio Sessions and Other Recordings" C27 (Related Records)

The vocals on “Faust Studio Sessions…” are masterfully bewitching and truly over-the-top-to-the-point-of-other-worldliness, the depth and richness of her contralto croonery matched and amplified by a vibrato so aggressive, it harkens back to the golden years of SPARKS. Mary Ocher then takes this energy and fleshes it out with relatively minimal (yet powerful) accompaniment of acoustic chords galloping, strings plucked, tubas touted, marching snares percussing, lapsteels whistling, and or tympani a-thunderings. &to sweeten the pot, there’s also a cover of Robbie Basho’s “Blue Crystal Fire” on here, and, if ANYone can cover him and do his songs justice, it’s Mary fucking Ocher!

A slight departure from the more heady compositions found on her earlier works, FSS isn’t just some collection of wild b-sides but a truly stand-alone testament to MO’s creativity and ability to make MORE with less. Not only are the creative melodies catchy as hell, but so is the actual voicing of the words. Truly powerful!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Echolalia” C33 (Strategic Tape Reserve)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

That’s what Ferris Bueller had to say in the movie about the time he took a day off from school. And that’s the kind of attitude Matt Ackerman (moduS ponY) and Adrian Suchowolsky (Suko Pyramid) adopted while crafting their collaborative effort “Echolalia,” a psychedelic pop album that took a year to piece together. Long distances and all. LA and Madrid. Many miles, especially (or even—not sure how this works) as the crow flies.

But Ackerman and Suchowolsky took a moment or two to dig into each other’s work, to wriggle around inside what the other was doing and come up with inventive and unusual melodies to apply to the already inventive and unusual melodies. The result sometimes sounds like a wrestling match for your attention, but more often than not the result hits a sweet spot of ramshackle, homespun electro-indie that aligns quite nicely with one of my favorite semi-recent producers, Nomadic Firs (although wrung through the Haord Records catalog, because “Echolalia” can’t be TOO nice, then it’d be predictable … which it’s not).

What it is is a model for slowing down and examining the details, of parsing the fine print or peering into the pixels. It’s both sour and sweet, a mix occurring at cellular levels and blooming through its DNA. It’s a collaborative gem, a blueprint for rigorous effort dressed up in laid-back presentation. Not unlike Ferris Bueller’s MO at all.

Suko Pyramid

moduS ponY

Strategic Tape Reserve


BLUE SUEDE PLATFORMS “Collection” C65 (Albert’s Basement)

If you are especially,
incredibly enthusiastic
about Monty Pythonic,
solely-falsetto sung vocals
being paired with the
pop sensibilities
of acts such as
Guided By Voices ,
prepare to
bear witness to this
UK-based collection
of bite-size
out on Australia’s
bedroom label,
Albert’s Basement…

Click on the link provided below to access this type of music…


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“S/T” C50 (Tigerasylum Records)

Beats, man… B-E-A-T-S! Programmed beats. Key’d beats. Triggered beats. Drumkit beats. It’s like a goddamn android drum circle out here! Modular synth vagrants popping in here & there to e-howl up a melody or two, the obligatory didgeridoo & saxomophones replaced by, you guessed it, more modular synths; the tweeker-shakers swapped out for crisp samples, each tweaked in turn by more drum machines. Both Champagne Sequins and Snaykhunt love themselves some beats, and all they wanna do is hypnotize you and make you T-H-I-N-K about dancing. Not A-C-T-U-A-L-L-Y getting up and shaking it, mind you, but giving the I-D-E-A-R a serious considering. Think I’m kidding? Take a listen for yourself via the link below.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Caught in the Noise” C27
(Uncle Bob’s Records)

Former North-Westerner, Ted Brunning, does the IDM thang, specifically working with soft (&not-so-soft) industrial textures & tones, blending them into a creamy, saccharine goo, &then injecting said viscous grit into the mainstreamlined blood of happy-go-lucky metronomic techno beats, samples & playful electric guitar accents. It’s a reliable formula he’s following and it never fails to get the pulse-rate up and those pent-up toxins porously evacuating. Have a listen via the link below.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

PELVI$$ “Pelvi$$” C20
(Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes)

Saxophone in the front fucking seat, Pelvi$$ storms into town dripping all manner of corrosive fluids and dust clouds that’ll linger for weeks! They have a song titled “Blood Wiser” and you know they’ve been shot-gunning that shit in the front seat since the emergency brake snapped.

That brass fucking swagger, man; those pregnant tones that bond to and heavi-mah-fy all surrounding distortions, amplifying the hefts and punches of each and every bass & guitar rhythm wrung.

&lest we forget the cosmic hurtling of words outward, each salient syllable blindly searching for meaning in this swampy, mired existence. Fucking Pelvi$$, man. Don’t need any hip puns, just good-natured catch & release. Rocking the fuck out.

My good neighbor, Mr. Internet, sayeth that Pelvi$$ self-identify as “psychedelic sludge punk on a swamp pop skeleton” and I hereby fully endorse this description to the max.



--Jacob An Kittenplan

DAVEY & THE CHAINS “Shimmy” C40 (Tank Beach)

As the album title and J-Card art might suggest, “Shimmy” is a straight-up, straight-forward, grooving Good Time. Davey & the Chains kicks out solid-gold jam after throwback jam, borrowing tried &true, ass-shaking formulas from disco, soul, latin, funk, sunshine pop, & 60s psychedelic rock. This upbeat release must be a great tape for riling up the troops whilst transitioning them from mingling to dance par-tay; no matter how rawkus the rug gets cut or guests be tripping, this cassette ain’t a-skipping!


--Jacob An Kittenplan