Friday, August 28, 2015

“60 Minute Cassette” C60
(Helen Scarsdale Agency)

This guy really got behind GW Bush’s “No Blemish Left Behind Act”! I’m not much of a historian, really, but I feel pretty comfortable (from this internet soap box) saying that this here R. Garet has taken William Basinski’s “let us fuck and further fuck with the medium of our message” to withering heights.

This tape acts as The academic field recording of Decay-Study field recordings, and I imagine a buncha noise worshippers all sitting around, comparing notes on how, exactly, they, themselves might coax that particularly cherished blemish from your standard magnetic drone. This is electro-acoustic noisy drone for its own sake and I’m goddamn glad I get to listen to it until the tape itself warbles and fades like my mind/body/spirit/whathaveyou.

- - Jacob An Kittenplan

Thursday, August 27, 2015

“Fantasy Error” C44
(Sophomore Lounge)

You know that great feeling when you hear a song and instantly check their tour schedule?  Praying to the great music gods that they will soon be stopping by your town?  I just felt it.  This is what Kings of Leon/Whiskeytown/etc. wish they were.  Indiana alt country with badass licks, great lyrics, amazing violin and some of the catchiest dang songs I’ve ever heard. 

I will admit that they had me when a sticker and not a download card fell out of the cassette when I opened it.  And there was a sweet booklet glued into the j-card!  I popped the tape into the tape deck and sat down, inches from the speaker.  Hoping against hope the music would match the packaging.  It was good.  No! It was great!

Thoroughly aurally aroused, I greedily listened to it all the way through, fumbling drunkenly at the end of side A to flip it over as fast as possible.  I drooled happily in front of the speakers.  Giggling occasionally with the joy that comes from finding some new great tunes.

-- Jeremiah Paddock

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MALINGERER “s/t” C20 (Self-Released)

Luigi Russolo’s intonarumori was invented to best articulate the song of the industrialized city. Malingerer does not evoke urbanity so much as bring new life to the hymns sung by fax machines & copiers, the drone of fluorescent lighting, and the moan of the ever-fickle automatic coffee maker. The space created here is ominous, cavernous, and righteous; outright eerie at times, with great care given to the shifting timbres of dirty synth echoes. I’d like to hear more of this, but I could find hide nor hair from the artist’s minimal j-card layout. All that’s printed, aside from nice textural graphics, is the word “MALINGERER” in typewriter font and “NN” on the back. So mysterious…

- - Jacob An Kittenplan

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

“Hailstorm & Maelstrom”
(Already Dead Tapes)

Doseone. Juiceboxxx. Signior Benedick the Moor. These are the guys who operate within hip hop, but who only really exist there on the surface of the genre. Dig in a little deeper to any segment of their catalogs, and you’ll be surprised at how much really goes on. It’s “hip hop” in shelving category only. After that? All bets are off.

Hailstorm & Maelstrom is Coin Locker Kid’s addition to the conversation, and it’s a stunner. The tape is the story of an artist not willing to be confined to genre, or any preconceived idea, in fact. The inside of the j-card even states, “The story of a boy who disappears into a beautiful woman,” questioning even the boundaries we place on ourselves as physical human beings.  These are big, important ideas, and they’re quite au courant. Start listening to Coin Locker Kid, everybody.

Hints of ragtime (“Ragdoll”), noise (“Boy toy, pts. 1 & 2”), synth pop (“The mannequin”), experimental collagist weirdness (“The absence of soil, air, and law,” all 13 minutes of it!), punk (“Superpredator”), musique concrete (“(screamer)”), blue note (“Still”), and folk (“Begotten”) make appearances, all of them done well. By the time you get to the end of the album, “Memory of a boy (who doesn’t exist)” (where CLK pulls a wild-eyed Signior Benedick jam, and perfectly), I’ve almost forgotten that this started out hip hop.

What a breath of freakin fresh air. This tape’s all over the place. In a good way. Enjoy these kinds of releases that revel in their own madness, because they don’t come around too often. They’re a treat. This is one of those.

--Ryan Masteller

Monday, August 24, 2015

V/A “Tribute to the Residents” C40
(Quantum Wampum)

Sixteen weird-ass noise-rock covers of one weird-ass noise-rock band, put out by a weird-ass noise-rock tape label out of… Connecticut. Is Connecticut weird and noisy? Quantum Wampum have been churning out a fair number of left-field tapes for what looks like coming in two years now I’ll certainly be checking back in with them to see how that Sun City Girls tribute turns out!

- - Jacob An Kittenplan