Thursday, August 30, 2007

SOCIAL JUNK “Mirror Landscape” (Snakefork)

This metallic gold C12 by warped Kentucky electricians Social Junk is as great, nameless, and unique as anything else I’ve heard by ‘em. The A track is a hypnotic windswept steppe of blips, bloops, and purring electronics that ends far too soon, and the B is pretty similar, although some of the high plains drifting peaks at screechier frequencies, plus there’s some lonesome sax bleat and the echoing croak of what sounds like a pack of gargling frogs somewhere under a dock. Unclassifiable and visionary and a solid display of Social Junk’s impressive depth. Bonus/bummer: you gotta bust out a knife to play this CS, as it comes rope-tied to a chunk of oversize cardboard. Deal with it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

GHOST OF OBTUSE s/t (ESR)

GOO (the initials say a lot) is the duo of Matthew Reis (head of Epicene/ ESR, Teeth Collection, etc.) and Josh Fink (Plasmic Formations, etc.), who have also collaborated on projects like Kvlt of Unicron, Ex-Yes, Collapse and Antennae Boy. Whew! Ghost of Obtuse professes a liking for Aufgehoben on this collection, and one can see the similarities in their open improvisation, but this is dirtier. It seems fitting to describe GOO as a "band" rather than two gearheads jamming. There's a real dialogue between the acoustic drums and percussion (being processed real-time through warped and distorted effects) and the banks of synthesizers and electronics. The second track on side two (there are four untitled tracks altogether) is sans beats but crammed with enough insane bleepage to satisfy a diehard synth freak. Not that the rest is exactly rhythmic- whatever the drums are going through, they're more like depth charges. Slow and crumbling 4/4 thuds on the A-side opener are interspersed with high-pitched squalor until the whole thing congeals into a menacing, thundering wall. Anyone familiar with collaborations between Hive Mind and Mammal might recognize a similar feel, except Ghost of Obtuse prefers to change directions frequently and without warning. The only objection here is that a c30 just isn't enough to contain all the possibilities suggested from these excerpts, a few of which are mercilessly cut off by the end of the reel. Ghost of Obtuse full length? Damn, I hope so.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

TEETH COLLECTION / MIGRATIONS IN RUST split (ESR)

Recently I was lucky enough to get a chunk of the new batch from Matthew Reis' Epicene / ESR label (the former is for vinyl and CDs, the latter for short-run tapes, CD-rs, etc.), and they all look pretty stellar with nicely designed pro-printed color inserts. Teeth Collection is the prolific alias of Mr. Reis himself. In a previous review I had guessed that synthesizers might be his primary sound generators, but it turns out that the strange tones Teeth Collection employs are in fact homemade reverb chambers. This explains why material from this project has a distinctive sound that one doesn't hear too often. The two unnamed tracks on this split are even more lethargic in feel than past releases and noticeably minimal to great effect. The feeling which Reis' work has conjured in the past of passing slowly through decaying industrial wastelands is still alive and possibly more realized than before. Never having heard Migrations in Rust, I was surprised to find that its sole member is Jesse Allan of the NY noise duo The Cathode Terror Secretion. This is about as far away sonically from that project as you can get. "Thrust Against This Horrid Machine, We Shudder As Its Voice Is Opened To Us" (great name) is an unbelievably sublime ambient composition focusing on shifting layers of submerged melodies. It easily rivals anything being produced today in this vein. Allan has previously used a laptop in performance with The Cathode Terror Secretion, but it's difficult to tell whether it's in use here (to reassure anyone with a negative disposition towards the "L" word). Another impressive release from ESR, and sure to disappear soon.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

GLOCHIDS “Ca. 1999” (Workout Tapes)

James R. from Tent City handed me this tape at the Raccoo-oo-oon show at Echo Curio last month but I only got around to listening to it now. That was clearly a bum move on my part, as this tape is fantastic. Minimalist solo casio compositions that echo and loop and smear around in violet spirals and neon zig-zags. Very reminiscent of Orphan Fairytale’s sparser stuff, and that comparison is not invoked lightly. Apparently these recordings are from 1999 (hence the title) so I don’t know if Glochids still sounds like this or not, but somewhere online I read a classic hilarious quote from John Ryan of Tent City/Soft Shoulder (who runs Workout Tapes) describing Glochids as “dreamynatureglitchcore.” Is that helpful? These are private dream sequences of bedroom electronics, playful, confusing, and as priceless as a pile of tie-dyed pillows. Dive into this one. The art is next-level rad too: hand-painted tape with full-color cardstock J-card and color-washed strip of cloth affixed to the case. More please!

YOUTH OF THE BEAST “Two Mothers” (Fuck It Tapes)

Andy Spore’s young beast project continues to evolve/devolve into a even stranger creature. “Two Mothers” is the most loopy and musical YOTB outing so far…lots of sampled sax-skronk, detached talk-sing/songing, and sputtering mixer noise. The A side starts with a womb of chimes (hence the first track’s title – “Chime”) but it slowly erodes into an echoing, claustrophobic cavern of ping-ponging mixer destruction. The B zone is where Spore throws it all on the frying pan, and fucks the initial rhythmic quotient exploration. Sharp bursts of machine, headless drum kit battering, toy raygun warblings, all sequenced together audio carcrash-style. Eventually he locks into a slow stomp beat and the track gets 20 times fiercer. “Seagull” breaks rank though, engaging a twittering pan-pipes sounding Wizards & Warriors theme song melody that cant help but RULE. And “Many Names,” the final jam, marches out a Spartan drum-and-flutes battle hymn that’s both rousing and depressing. It eventually builds into a flooring white-out inferno of howls and rumbling. Without a doubt the most unclassifiable and intense Youth/Beast outing to date.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

HUSH ARBORS “Row Life” (Fuck It Tapes)

Folked up and (color) photocopied C36 by Keith Wood’s pretty impeccable Hush Arbors identity. I’m no expert on his discog (it’s fairly broad and deep and hard to keep track of), but this strikes me as a bit more varied and electric than some of his stuff I’ve heard (like the “Under Bent Limbs” 2xCD for example). The first song, “Poppi On My Mind,” intertwines fingerpicking daydreams with really eloquent amplifier gestures, sweeping melodic feedback, and subconscious pulsing sub-beats…near the end everything coheres into a beautifully focused war of hypnotic tension and elemental desperation. One of the most powerful Hush Arbors pieces I’ve heard. The B side tracks don’t let up on the intensity much either…”Rowed On Home” devolves from an acoustic reverie into a blown-out sludge-noise dirge that sprawls on for surprisingly long. And the tape closer, “Ripped Raw,” unfurls a poppy electric guitar melody against melancholy moaning and some tonal emoting that totally tugs at the heartstrings in a blissed, bummer soundtrack sort of way. A near-flawless tape by one of the post-folk realm’s most visionary gatekeepers.

Friday, August 17, 2007

SHEPIS "We'll Never Be Done" (Deep Fried Tapes)

Shepis keeps a low profile, turning up much less information (zero) than the horror movie actress who might be the group's namesake. Mystery band or not, Shepis fits perfectly with the rest of the DFT roster on this outing which captures a little less than 20 minutes of a live set. Attempting to describe what's being played is difficult and kind of pointless, since the best part- halfway through the first side and into the next- is when the elements slide into total murk, perfectly balanced between rumbling bass sludge, grunts and aimless high-pitched squelches. It's intuitive, slow and foreboding. Unfortunately the second half fades out before the finale, breaking the spell of the live recording and leaving behind the question of how it ended. Altogether not bad, though. This could be the grossest looking DFT yet that I've been afraid to put in the deck (still works). What is that, algae?

THE TWO-YEAR CURSE & D/A A/D Split (Blastbeats for Freedom)

The Two-Year Curse is the solo project (excepting a few guest appearances) of Fred Avila, who plays all manner of instruments and electronics on this one. Spastic, gross stuff. Not being too familiar with the blastbeat niche (every time I hear a guy screaming followed by a drum machine impersonating a jackhammer I think of Atari Teenage Riot, and I don't know whether Mr. Avila would consider that a bad thing), this isn't too shabby of an entry. There are four short and concise tracks, all packed with a dozen change ups. Scream at the world, pound the drum machine, blow up some circuits, repeat. There's also some nice live drumming on the final track "Camelopardalis" by Kenneth Topham that keeps the momentum while offering a contrast to the stuttering Alesis HR-16. On the flip, D/A A/D vomit up some electric mayhem Halifax, Nova Scotia style. Manipulated high-end frequencies skittering across pulsing bass, fading into hiss and fuzz. Dismal done decently. Topping it all off is a nicely designed full-color insert, with real liner notes and legible information! This was an edition of 60, and it's taken longer than necessary for me to get around to writing about it, so you might want to contact these dudes for spares (who doubtless have a whole new offering by now).

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY "She's Got Legs" (Barf Records)



There’s about a million things I could say about Riverside and the group of friends, enemies and losers that comprised the brief but beautiful thriving scuzz-pop scene out there on the edges of civilization. I’ll save most of my feelings, the descriptions of various disasters and ruinous life decisions for VH1’s Behind the Music. But suffice to say, it brought weirdness such as I.E., Whitman and Child Pornography out of the ghetto and into the world. It’s definitely better experienced from afar. That’s why I can bask in its dingy glow from the yuppy village of Claremont and get all gushy with nostalgia. If I was living in it I would have probably figured out some way to move to Kansas or Idaho by now. Anyhow, what I am listening to is really a remarkable record, by far the most solid and noteworthy CP record to date. It’s bright, poppy and optimistic against all realities. I’ve been told that this is supposed to be CP’s “rock ‘n’ roll record,” so there’s a good quantity of thrashing, tinny guitars, but really, more importantly, this record bumps. There’s gut wrenching bass thud all over this thing. I think it has a lot to do with keyboardist Brian Perez's influence on the band. "She's Got Legs" competes hardcore with my Miami Bass records for providing maximum booty shake. The low end exploration has been in CP live shows for a while, but it’s exceeds expectations on record. Maybe I really know too much about the people that made this record – I mean I get all the inside jokes, understand a lot of the vague pronouncements – it’s all close to the heart. Beyond that it definitely has that Riverside-under-my-skin quality that remains common in our little crew. Therefore you get funny songs about friends on drugs, violence and getting the fuck out of town. You even get the Riverside as utopia concept presented in “New Neighborhood,” which calls for a tongue and cheek revolution to preserve the town we love to hate and hate to love. Luckily this record succeeds in two ways, it’s a record for friends who know for example what songs like “Honey Bear” and Pixel Palace Ode” refer to and can make an educated guess about who and what “Cold Fingers” is about, but beyond all this, “She’s Got Legs” is an unbelievably solid pop record that transfixes with hazy heat, dirty thud and the incandescent strangeness that is vocalist/guitarist Erin Allen. This tape is due for a wider release soon, and in any format it rules – and I’m trying to be objective when I say that. It definitely tops my list for records I’ve heard this year and beats out any previous Child P records in fulfilling the mystic vision. Oh, and to the bus stop junkies, heat addled sketch freaks and everyone in the lotto line down at Save-A-Minit, I miss you Riva…sort of. Who am I kidding?


Erin Allen at his studio in San Francisco, CA

P.S. If you live in LA please be sure to attend the benefits being set up for Brian Perez aka Brizzahh from Child Pornography. He needs multiple surgeries for stomach problems and he has to pay for a week long hospital stint he had to endure at the begining of this month. He could really use the cash. The first will be at Pehrspace in Echo Park on Sept 1st.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"Kassette Kvlt III" (Earth.Space Noise)

One of the more interesting "conceptual" series of releases this year (if the label actually has much competition in that area), Earth.Space Noise's Kassette Kvlt series has asked a number of devoted artists to record exclusive material in anonymity. Before describing anything else about Kassette Kvlt III, it should be stressed that this is worth picking up for the packaging alone. Fetishists take note. The amount of work which has obviously been poured into this project (check the photos here) far outweighs the price, which is no higher than the average rate. The case is housed inside silkscreened black cloth which has been stapled together, and once inside there's more macabre fun with black-on-black printed cardstock featuring biblical imagery and a tape splattered in red.
The liner notes describe the Kassette Kvlt series as "an ongoing tribute to the history and future of noise." KK III, then, is the history lesson. As the first side begins, a chanteuse (rare enough in these parts) croons and chants in a tongue hard to decipher amidst swathes of dark synthesizer melodies. Found sound clips of people talking in the next room occasionally intersperse the instrumental sections, which are a lot of fun to follow in their gradually unfolding paths. Intertwined loops of minimal guitar and reverb-saturated drones appear and reappear but only to serve the direction of the piece. It wouldn't be surprising if the mystery artist was a veteran in disguise, since there is a firm sense of composition throughout the recording. Although some aspects of the production are contemporary, the feeling recalls an earlier time when noise and industrial music were not partitioned off. The ghosts of EN, Foetus and Swans are floating all over this thing, although no one brought drum machines (or mallets). Come to think of it, the singer sounds kind of like Jarboe....? Naaah. Regardless of the artist's identity, this remains an involved and rewarding title that becomes more interesting (and prompts more guesses) with each listen. Recommended.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

OWL XOUNDS EXPLODING GALAXY “Touch The Iceberg” (Fuck It Tapes)

Wowl Sounds man. This relentless free-jazz rotary club is dropping a lot of releases these days, but this is the best one I’ve heard so far. Or wait, the A side is anyway. “Oh Sweet Iceburn” is a live minidisc recording/document of a raging, intuitive shakedown set at the Flywheel in West Mass with Thurston Moore on second guitar and it SLAYS. Owl Xounds’ side of the Mef Teef split on Arbor was great too but the tape-recorder low-fidelity blurred a lot of the action/interplay. Here, shit shines a lot brighter, Adam Kriney’s drumming flies, the dual basses rumble and slam and stop on dimes, the guitars fray into fried piles of string smoke…exploding galaxy indeed. But, for better/worse, the B side isn’t really Owl Xounds, it’s an electronic remix of the side A set by Liek Twi (aka Hektor Fontanez and Anthony Lebron). It’s by no means bad per se, but the majority of it is extremely digital and computery and the glitchy deconstructionist approach to Owl Xounds’ sound eliminates all the untamed analog primitivism and intensity which seems to be their deepest strength. So, I don’t know. It seems like a strange choice. But strange is subjective, so touch the iceberg yourself – does it feel cold to you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

GHQ “Square Growth Sessions” (Sloow Tapes)

I’m definitely biased, but this is perfect. A gently unfurling matrix of e-bowed elegy, Far East lotus positioning, and low cloud banks of meditative reverb. Muttered mantras echo through steam baths of chiming strings, smooth stones lightly clattering at the bottom of a mossy well. At the end of side A they plug in the Strat and strum a groovier trip, muted tube amp riffing set against a waterfall of shimmering ambient vertigo that slowly cascades more and more chaotically, burying the guitar in crystalline rapids. The Gunn/Nolan/Bassett axis rarely fails to churn out occult chemistry in their mind-meetings, but “Square Growth Sessions” shows the recent splatter paint of genius GHQ releases to be far from dry and done. The B side is the trio at the height of their dark art, summoning a beautifully burning beast of magma drones, crash cymbal fire, subterranean toms, and a melting tower of opalescent wax noise. With a classic Bart/Sloow Tapes watercolor hallucination J-card.

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY “Huff Some Jesus” (Barf Records)

Weird-ass postal-collab conceptual CP C11 with Erin mainly doing solo stuff on side A and Brizzah captaining the B music. Erin starts his piece of the puzzle off with a very Child P-sounding casio spazz-out, but the 2nd track moves into oscillating noise territory, with beats buried in static and incomprehensible vocals fighting against thick formless mixer haze. Hostile and brief. In direct contrast, Brizzah’s side begins with a playful, bouncy keyboard workout with Erin overdubbing some reverby talk-song. But it’s the second track where CP’s two polarities bond most fully. Brizzah’s casio melody is stripped and hypnotic and the barking vocal calisthenics hop up and down with the rhythm in a satisfying, synchronized way. The most surprising thing about this tape is how much it sounds like Child Pornography, despite the geographic distance and mail-art aspect. Great and weird like all the best Barf. Epic collage fold-out J-card gives ya something to read while you listen. (Allegedly there’s Deep Jew remix of something on side B, but if so, it must last about 5 seconds, cause I didn’t even notice it).

Saturday, August 4, 2007

SUNBURNED “The Pegadrift” (Fuck It Tapes)

FIT follows up its stunning archival NNCK tape with another chunk of historical audio by a similarly canonized New York psych institution, Sunburned (Hand of the Man). “The Pegadrift” collects a quartet of recordings from the fall of 2005, many (all?) of which document sets from the Sunburned/Magik Markers US tour. They played LA/The Smell on this trek and I recall a hairy guy dropping his pants and hitting a keyboard with his dick, which weirded out the bulk of the under-21 all-ages punk youths there so much that they left, leaving SBHOTM to play their half-hour of jams to roughly 9 people. Fortunately this CS finds them in slightly less confrontational form, and the editing/clothing helps immensely. The A side track, “Horse Country Blues,” is a great, condensed, overtly musical organic psych rhythm slipstream, drums and guitar mantras pounding in runic unison. They start the B side with a muddled/muddy hippy spoken word piece that goes on for waaaaaay too long but eventually it ends and Moloney revs up the drums into a brambly drunken groove, which motors the proceedings to a better place. Momentarily. Then Rob Thomas gets BACK on the mic and spits out more incoherent stream-of-consciousness beatnik babble until the C30 runs out of tape. Love it or hate it, this is what Sunburned is: a sweaty, ragged, intoxicated stink of open mouths and burned minds. Smoke on or sober up.

VITO ACCONCI “Anchors” (GSVA)

WEIRD. This is a tape of what-the-FUCK by Vito Acconci, the artist best known for “Seedbed,” an installation where he hid under a gallery-wide ramp masturbating while muttering into a loudspeaker all his erotic fantasies about the gallery-goers walking around above him. Sound normal? Well this tape is in keeping with that vibe. It’s audio from a November 1972 gallery installation in Paris, and it’s basically a bunch of voices lewdly whispering a handful of repeating phrases about “bad dreams” and “I’ve never had a sister” and “there’s no one to turn to” and other psychoanalyst-couch ambiguities. This tape was given to all the labels that participated in the Leaderless cassette exhibition in New York in May as…”thanks,” I guess. Um, “you’re welcome?” For fans of feeling insane.

YOUTH OF THE BEAST “Son Sigil” (Night People)

Recorded, quite proudly, in mono, “Son Sigil” is Raccoo-oo-oon drummer/saxophonist Andy Spore's latest outing under his young/beastly moniker, and it's a frantic freak-out for sure. Sputtering hoses of hissing air (or escaping helium) flail and thrash in a reverby chamber with no light (and shrinking sanity). Fucking weird man. The B side feigns a chiller vibe initially with some mild rain field recordings but quickly explodes into another apoplectic field day of pulsing, tightly-wound electronic schizophrenia. Then there’s the sound of laughter, a dying horn, and the tape is done. Interpret as you see fit.

Friday, August 3, 2007

WE QUIT! "s/t" (Stop + Rewind)


I wasn’t sure what to expect from this tape and this band. I heard hints of pop music witnessing them live, but in that setting they seem somewhat disorganized – the vocals don’t come together as they imagine they should. This tape, on the other hand, presents solid short pop tunes that are cohesive, well-recorded and seriously hyper-active. What seems like a bit of an undifferentiated blur live, here, makes perfect sense. Male / female vocal exchanges sound optimistic and light, but the stop-and-go breaks in their songs are strange enough to distinguish them from other pop crews. There are eleven tracks of chant along bass and drum rumble that clock in at under a minute a piece. It’s a worthwhile solid tape, that is fun, sunny and overamped. The funny thing is, I could only make out the vaguest idea that they were a pop band live - I kinda thought they had no-wave influences.

SAMUEL LOCKE-WARD "Boombox by Bedside" (Unread)


I spent a lot of time listening to this tape trying to figure it out, which is perfectly all right. It is after all a pleasant ride. True, but it makes you feel like you haven’t slept in days and you’re seeing little minute hallucinations out in your peripheral vision. From the first track on this record latches onto a weird amateur auteur sort of sensibility. He starts with a Screamin’ Jay Hawkins cover that has schizophrenic background vocals that curtly yell “shut up” between bars of the belted chorus. What really makes this tape great and mysterious is the slide between slow paced boombox languor and serious up tempo pop and pomp. The line of the intimate and the public is crossed repeatedly. The finest example of this is the weird slow falsetto of “heaven,” which is endearingly awkward, but segues into “holy shit” which sounds pro and pop by comparison, with a driving drone from the chord organ and an absolutely viral chorus. That would be enough to make it a particularly interesting release, but then there are all the overt and vague religious overtones that abound on the record. Locke-Ward speaks to God, talks about those we’ll be seeing in heaven and places these ideas next to something utterly absurd (something about eating eggs) and obscures it all in boombox fidelity. Another good one from the dubbing decks of Unread Records.

CAMPER VAN CHADBOURNE "s/t" (Fundamental)



It is no secret that I’m a huge Camper Van Beethoven fan, hell I even like a lot of David Lowery’s post CVB band Cracker’s music. On this strange tape, however, redneck avant-gardist Eugene Chadbourne does lead vocal duties, but present still are the honky tonk ska vibes that made Camper van Beethoven amazing. Jonathan Segal’s violin is front and center, as is Chadbourne’s weirdo banjo picking. The album has some North Carolina inside jokes like “Fayettenam” designed to make the boys back in Greensboro laugh. There are some pretty good half-assed David Lowery vocal parts, though he seems a little awkward paired with Chabourne. Really what makes this release work is Chadbourne’s deranged redneck on psychedelics outlook. His playing is utterly bizarre, foregoing normal rhythmic conventions. It all makes for a fun record, though the production has a strange subdued quality reminiscent of CVB’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. It takes some getting used to.

various artists "BRUTAL SOUND FX COMPILATION AND EXHIBITION OF STRANGE FACT" (Enterruption)



So you might want to go ahead and purchase this compilation before the Europeans snap up all the copies with their strong currency. That’s right, the strong Euro against the weak dollar means those continentals are increasingly raiding our fertile underground music stores – just ask anyone who runs a decently prolific label. It would be a real shame if people in other noise pockets around the country failed to hear this record because it presents some of the weirdest most forward thinking noise around. Really, it’s the patriotic thing to do. Don’t let our important cultural relics leave the continent. Now, Bay Area noise is different to say the least. Often more neon and psychedelic than other regional strains and an Oakland loft show can be the sight of some serious deep listening on the part of audience members. There are clear nods to the Residents in some places…and plain indefinable weirdness in others. But this community is also very open to sounds from a variety of different genres, something that is somewhat uncommon in scenes as niche oriented as the Brutal SFX tribe. At one point my vision of Bay noise was a general sort of “bleeb blorp blip” feeling, but there has been undeniable morphing of this psychedelic randomness into bizarre frontiers – some of them almost entirely melodic in nature. Purists will likely insist that a track like Liz Allbee’s “Leisure Sport Overlords” doesn’t even belong on a noise compilation. It’s pretty, languorous and sounds like a warped Herb Albert track, but its subtleties make it shine; well deployed distortions and alterations to the indolent waters keep the track from becoming background music. The album’s opening track comes off almost as a statement of the purpose of the whole. Diatric Puds & the Blobettes produce a piece ranging from cavernous swells of delay to ergot poisoned chants with weird funk underbellies. And then there’s the kingpin himself, Sir Grux, a staple of the Bay’s black light weird-out scene. He contributes a track from his Spider Compass Good Crime Band showing off his prowess in dishing out completely deranged midget circus jams with brain frying noise compliments as a side dish. And that’s not all. He contributes a more noise oriented attack in the form of Commode Minstrels in Bullface, which the first time through really scared me silly with its off-kilter bad vibes. But if you’re the type who desires to straight-up RAGE there’s no shortage of that either. You get 16 Bitch Pile-Up’s disaster swell accompanied by high-end clatter, or Ettrick’s deep jazz thrash. The fact that this double tape is all over the place sound wise is it greatest asset. Well, besides the rather elegant packaging, as if clearly this is not amateurish material. The only complaint I have against a compilation this varied and interesting is that, it perhaps has too much music on it and therefore perhaps it is a bit self-involved. Tracks tend to be somewhat long and the tape sides clock in at over 30 minutes a piece. And yes, there are some slow parts, but the benefits far outweigh the faults. I guess, more bang for your buck, bro.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

"Kassette Kult IV" (Earth.Space Kassette Kult)


The liner notes state that the composers of this tape have “cast aside their egos and proclaimed anonymity.” Too true. Though the tape looks beautiful; comes in a nice black on black screened pouch made from old shirts and a black on black screened tape cover, (It even feels good, like its of the earth), its contents are rather disapointing. The idea sounds good, but the tape is very anonymous – and not because it’s a harsh wall of noise, but because it’s intensity falters. It has few distinguishing features or points of reference. It is tape squeal, static, distortion and pedal pounding. Only in very limited phrases does any single portion stand out. Once at the end of each side something interesting will poke its head out – once in a vague field of static where silence suddenly appears…Once in the thrall of feedback overlaid and overlaid. If I was to be particularly generous I could say that this tape’s lack of specificity or personality is because it is intended as a tribute to “the history of noise.” But let us switch genres completely: In 1999 Chemical Brothers (yeah that’s right) release the album Surrender which accomplished the same purpose for electronic music – but it was seriously good. It reproduced sounds from the past, using old gear, but they went the extra mile and brought the sounds of the past into the present. Though that record may have passages that sound dated eight years on, at the time however, that record sounded like an incandescent history lesson. If Earth.Space Noise is supposed to be a history lesson – it’s the type that puts you to sleep. Why? Because it fails to apply its lessons to the present.