Sunday, February 7, 2010

BUDWEISER SPRITE
"Muculent Passage" C60 (OMS-B)
FORM A LOG
"Air Circus" C30 (I Just Live Here)

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A C60 of straight noise does not always make me jump for joy, but what we have here is actually quite good. Budweiser Sprite is the one man band of Dan Rizer and he creates a massive sound. Not too massive, however, to take time for dynamic shifts and moments of (relative) peace. This tape is rather epic and has a real nice arc to it. There is some really great mixer greasing going on here, along with a sizable amount of four track crunching, a dash of knob twiddling and a heavy dose of psychedelic doom. It's been said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture and this tape makes me dance about a dungeon ... a really fun dungeon that you will want to listen to again and again.

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Form A Log is a Philadelphia super group (related projects: God Willing, Social Junk, New Flesh) and "Air Circus" is their third tape. The first one found them thrashing amiably and amateurishly on guitar/bass/drums. This is an entirely different beast. Each of the three members operates a four track tape player and little else, an instrumentation that seems so obvious in this day and age, but when I saw these guys a fortnight ago at the Montague Phantom Brain Exchange in Turners Falls MA, it was the first time I'd ever seen a band with that particular make up. The live set and the tape are remarkably similar so my impressions of the two blend together. Perhaps even more so than the Budweiser Sprite outing, this tape is very dynamic and displays a variety of forms of sonic trickery. The four track's ability to be used as a mixer or playback device, along with it's variable speed control give the musicians almost limitless freedom. Thing about it: three dudes = twelve tracks of insanity. Like all of I Just Live Here's releases, this looks very nice: a great screen print and a black and white insert with a poem by Alex Hampshire. The label's website (operated by Ren - God Willing) says there are only five copies left, so scoop this up soon!

oms-b.org
ijustlivehere.org

MATTRESS "WFMU" (Eggy Records)
SELDA BAGCAN "'71" (Eggy Records)

Sam already reviewed the Majic Eyes tape on Eggy, which is fine and all, but I think these two releases are absolutely the best of the best, signaling the label as a really great new place to pick up something different.

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Mattress is the project of Portland, OR resident Rex Marshall. This set was recorded live on the radio and Rex's voice and keyboards are accompanied by a live drummer. What we have here is incredibly low and sexy crooning over instantly memorable bass lines and synth riffs. Possible points of reference: Alan Vega doing his best Elvis impersonation, dare I say a touch of New Order. Anyway, this thing has barely left my car's tape deck in the last month (everything I review is spun at least once without distraction on the Hi-Fi at home, in addition to any car play). I still can't tell if there is downwards pitch-shifting on the vox, but if there is I imagine it is only used slightly. This man sings LOW! All of these songs are fully realized and I imagine Mattress is going places (if they're not there already). I've been singing these songs in the shower.

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The Selda Bagcan release is a bootleg reissue of the Turkish psych legend's early singles from the early 70s. These recordings are more traditional and acoustic than the one's found on on the Love, Peace and Poetry: Turkey compilation or her Selda album that was reissued by Finders Keepers. The music on this release comes from a CD released only in Turkey, so these tracks will most likely be new to fans. All ten of the tracks are outstanding and very moody. If you've never been exposed to Selda's mesmerizing music, at four dollars, this ain't a bad place to start.

eggyrecords.blogspot.com
mattressmusic.com
progressive.homestead.com/SELDA.html