Saturday, December 3, 2011

THE HERMETIC TRIO "s/t" c24
DAIN DALLER "Tirehouse Tapes Vol.1" c48
SAM GAS CAN "Life On Earth..." c24
(Lighten Up Sounds)

The Minnesota based Lighten Up Sounds is run by the eminently likable Matt Himes (Shep & Me, Mole Hole) and is one of the spiffiest labels in the Midwest. From fancy lathe cuts, to beautifully designed cassettes, Himes really puts an artist's touch on the full color packaging of everything that the label releases.


The Hermetic Trio plays an occult form of free jazz known only to dwellers of basementdom's sub-sub-spheres. "Recorded beneath Providence, RI on April 25th 2011" as it states on the handsomely designed j-card. The two named members are reed players Bill Doob and Jefferson Zurna and a third "mystery" member who contributes percussion by gently pounding on basement air-ducts. The music is more in the vein of melodic instant composition, than total shriekfest. The clarinet and the zurna weave subtle patterns that recall both the ecstatic forays of the Master Musicians of Jajouka and the complexity of Anthony Braxton's best work while the percussionist lays down a framework of rhythmic echo. All in all, a very engrossing listen. Highly recommended.



Dain Daller, of the Chicago band Tiny Music, now lives in a self-constructed house of automobile tires in the desert of New Mexico (pictured on the artwork). This tape resonates with the unique vision one might expect from someone with such a hermetic existence. "Tirehouse Tapes Vol. 1" is an album length collection of thoughtful musique concrete constructions. Daller employs household objects, skipping or crackling records, snippets of radio and perhaps an instrument here or there to create 7 distinct compositions. A suite that shows the path toward a possible future for music in a post-technology collapse.



The full title of this tape is Sam Gas Can & The Charter Communications Defamation League "Life On Earth Is Pure And Golden, Life On Earth Is Hell On Earth." Our boy Sam has been working hard of late and this is my favorite thing I've heard from him so far. A really good overview of the Gas Can sound: casio jams, hypnagogabop, downer acoustic folk, humor. All in 24 minutes! Love the cover with it's "I'm standing in a corner" self portrait and the funny insert listing the negative characteristics of Pisces. Highly recommended. After 10-15 EPs, I hope I'm not the only one eagerly awaiting the arrival of the first Sam Gas Can LP, whenever that may be. For all things Gas Can, head over to here.

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