Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BUCK GOOTER "Beyond The Rotting Leaf" CS


Buck Gooter, really interesting band here. First thing I noticed about them was their lineup: one 50something and one 20something.  I saw them open up for Black Pus in the spring and the set was a bit of a mess.  This tape though, I like a lot more.  It's about two years old at this point so I would imagine these guys could have a different sound now??? but what I've got here is really basic two chord punk with loud guitar, wasteoid vocals (form the old dude mostly, I think?) some sound effects and some buried beats (floor tom 16th notes?).  I really dig what I'm hearing.  They clearly don't give a fuck (Buck Gooter???) and that's their strongest suit.  Give 'em a whirl.  They've got an LP out and that might be the best place to check 'em out.  Really informative website loaded with content.  They're from Harrisonburg, VA by the way. Cool town.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lunar Miasma - Observing The Universe (Moon Glyph)



The Ancient Greeks were amongst the first to study the stars. Hell, Archimedes helped Eratosthenes calculate the circumference of the Earth and Eratosthenes himself was said to have the ability calculate the Earth’s distance from the Sun and Moon which back then was pretty hard to do. Anyhow, the Greeks are still studying the stars to this day. Panos Alexiadis aka Lunar Miasma is a composer currently living in Athens, Greece making the most beautiful synthesizer music.

Lush tones explore the void in which asteroids and comets whizz around into the infinite abyss. A slow tour past Jupiter’s red spot, this release is very celestial and makes nods to Gustav Holst’s, The Planets as well as the work of Wendy Carlos. What does Mars really look like? How does it feel to be aboard a spaceship peering out into the infinite? Where does one go from there?

All are questions that arise in the beautiful synth epic “Observing The Universe”. Once again Moon Glyph releases a classic for stargazers to gaze to. 

Buy and Listen HERE!

RUN DMT "Dreams" C30 (Culture Dealer)


Another fine tape that harkens back to guitar based 60's psychedelic pop. This would surely appeal to fans of Woods or whatever, but I'm enjoying this a lot more due to the "true deep weird factor". Very strong songwriting and dreamy production that fit together nicely with the Leary-esque spoken word interludes.  The B side is more of a new age keyboard thing, but I was entranced the whole way through. This is the first I've heard from Baltimore based Run DMT and I'm eager to dip into more.  There's also a side project called Drug Dealer, but don't tell your friends.

Cool looking label too, check out the website here. Mike Collins, Run DMT's main man runs it.

Giant Claw - Mutant Glamour LP (Orange Milk Records)



When the human race destroys 95% of itself in some major global conflict the remaining 5% will forge forward into a world of peace, kindness, and future music. People will wear all white and preach only that which is beneficial to those who still exist. Travel will be quick and precise, technology will be created quickly to manage the instability of the planet and everything will work together in synchrony. Did I mention that Giant Claw’s record Mutant Glamour would be the chart topper?

Mutant Glamour is an electronic record by Giant Claw that drives unlike any other in the present day. Think all the Krautrock dreamboats in one, the softness of Tangerine Dream, the forward motion of Kraftwerk, and the percussion of Cluster. This is an insanely good contemporary ode to the forefathers of synthesizer music. Giant Claw easily rivals contemporary synthesizer force Emeralds and blows many more out of the water. Hell, this was even mastered in Germany! Even more wild is this music picks up where Krautrock left off, it is faster now, more sporadic, and all behind the synthesizer. The future is bright for a once forgotten machine. Giant Claw proves that the synthesizer is back in all forms. This is a must have record; Orange Milk has released a gem that is certain to be repressed a number of times.

The packaging is beautiful, the art is beautiful, the music is amazing, I am blown away!

Buy and Listen HERE!

Monday, August 27, 2012

German Army - "Hoatzin" c36 (No Kings

Sourced from the always convenient wiki: The Hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), also known as the HoactzinStinkbird, or Canje Pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riverine forest and mangrove of the Amazon and the Orinoco delta in South America. It is notable for having chicks that possess claws on two of their wing digitsIt is the only member of the genus Opisthocomus (Ancient Greek: "wearing long hair behind," referring to its large crest, which in turn is the only extant genus in the family Opisthocomidae. The taxonomic position of this family has been greatly debated, and is still far from clear.

What the bird background has to do with the latest music from German Army I can't for the life of me understand, but it doesn't matter in the long run because this is haze abstracted crazy person music. I love it for its weirdness. It isn't scary weird, just plain odd - with hiss fucking analog beats, evolving key tones, and mysterious voice overs - like music recorded at different times, by different people played on top of each other from a variety of tape machines in a padded room. 

I tried to sleuth some facts about this band, but you know what happens when you google "german army?" NOTHING about this band, that's for sure! OK, that isn't exactly true, but I'm not writing a history of WWII here, so...I managed to find some tidbits like the GA consist of two people who go by Chin Genie and Meatball Maker. They also come from Los Angeles. Some pit of darkness I'd like to imagine, where sound is a physical creature that needs to be tamed and dissected by these two mad scientists...yet the reality is probably way less interesting...still, I will listen to this tape as captured audio from a subterranean laboratory where questionable experiments take place.

The label, No Kings, does a fantastic job with their packaging so I would recommend spending time on their site HERE. Have FUN!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

It Is Rain In My Face - s/t (DZ TAPES)




Tripping into the future, I find myself listening to more and more sample based music. Like with other music genres I like some of it more than others. At times I find it un dynamic and sometimes it can be hard for this kind of music to take me to the next level. However, if it’s done right it’s pretty easy to get lost in. On “It Is Rain In My Face’s” self titled release from DZ tapes you get to walk on the better side of a copyright blurred line.

Guitar, claps, vocals, sequencers, and everything else runs around on this electronica, folk, computer music, swirl. Data goes in an out of your ears and everything seems broken but somehow sequential, it sounds like someone wrote a bunch of songs and then chopped and screwed their own tracks and then presented what had been screwed as the final project. This music to me sounds like an audio diary of entries from different places around the globe. At times you feel a world music influence mixed with some good 80’s vibes. At other times this feels like Air France mixed with Kings of Convenience, which when you think about it sounds pretty odd, it’s not. This stuff is really listenable and good for any hangout session.

My main issue with this tape is how long it is, it feels like it could be two releases, also it is pretty stiff at times and it feels more like a grip of singles rather than an album. The tape looks good and sort of cartoony. It sounds quality and is pro dubbed, totally worth picking up if you want to relax and bust out a few beers with some buds! 

Buy and Listen HERE!

BODY GLOVE "Power Smile" CS (self released)


Picked up this tape on the Body Glove tour that just went across the whole USA. These guys are a quartet made up of Adam Keith (Cubicle), Noah Marmalefsky, Corey Hucks and Lazer Lopez.  There is zero internet info on these guys, but you can watch the youtube video and get a general idea of what they do.  I was really into the live set and I like the tape just as much.  Very psychedelic, yet focused, electronic dance music out of Oakland, CA.  What makes me like this 100 times more than a lot of the similar stuff I get in the mail?  I think it's the fact that these guys are clearly a band.  Like Form A Log, they take something that is usually the provence of a solitary knob twiddler and turn it into a living breathing entity.  The members respond to each other and take the sound to new heights.  Somebody said something about the Grateful Dead really loud after they finished their set in Providence.  I'm not saying who.  The tape looks and sounds fantastic.  You'll maybe find it somewhere?  Maybe not... Anyway, check out this video:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Friday, August 24, 2012

FAT HISTORY MONTH "Bad History Demos" C70

I really love this band.  They're a melancholy two piece that is kind indie rock, but whose music moves with a tidal slowness that is more reminiscent of The Dirty Three (with vocals).  Nothing is tied down too tightly here and the drums and guitar are constantly churning up froth while the melodic vocals drift in and out.  You'll probably like this.  The tape in question contains very well recorded demos for what appears to be their forthcoming second LP. Hey, and they put on an amazing live show, as they should after criss-crossing the country numerous times.  Be sure to check out their debut LP on Sophomore Lounge, titled "Fucking Despair" (pictured below -get it?). Listening and buying here.





Three from sPLeeN CoFFiN


Three experimental tapes from Baltimore sound fuckers, how about that for an evening of music? Mold Omen, Comfort Link, and Rosemary Krust don't sound similar, but the visual design by label Spleen Coffin connects these releases in my mind (and my box full o' tapes). First thing I want to say about these albums is how good they look. Sure, I eat with my eyes...don't you? Mold Omen's Every Day a Dream, Every Nickel a Nectarine is described by SC as having bits of music that sounds similar to, "...labels like Apraxia and Chocolate Monk, while others blend elements of Sun City Girls, Noggin, and even touches of early Loren Mazzacane style disjointed blues riffing." That works for me. I'm not enamored of this release as of my first listen. Maybe it's a grower...The art makes the best impression on me. It is "constructed from 1920s sheet music and embrittled 1950s dress-making tissue paper templates with hand typed text."


Comfort Link is the most interesting and "difficult" of the three tapes. The label calls this Baltimore artist a reclusive archivist, so I'm taking their word that this is an individual who has A LOT of music and time on their hands. The album, The Gentle Sounds of Comfort Link, reminds me of a work that my label (Teflon Beast) put out earlier this year because Comfort Link's music is made of spliced cassette loops. The loops are disjointed and strange and actually are "gentle" in their own odd way...that is, they create a hypnotic background to some serious soul searching (or, more precisely, some drinking). SC recommends this tape to fans of Bert Kaempfert and Philip Jeck.

The final tape of the batch, Rosemary Krust's compilation of guitar oriented blorg, In Hollenshade Basement/Deskulling Society, which features my fave art design because it looks the best (duh) and it is "...screenprinted in sliver and black paint on kraft paper, screens exposed from used typewriter ribbon impressions on acetate, with the used ribbons also hand-rubbed onto the cassette shells themselves." This is damaged, heavy (not metal at all tho) guitar trash. Industrial in parts, No Wave in others. If ya love guitar playing, but wish it was put through a garbage disposal more often, this tape is for you. SC says one half is improvised four-track recordings and one side is a ragged far out live recording recorded at the defunct Hexagon space in Baltimore. Good J.Christ this is fucked up!

Buy and Listen HERE.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

LANTERN "Burned Youth" C32 (NIght People)



I had a more warm to lukewarm feeling about the first Lantern tape on Night People, but this one shows great improvement over it's predecessor.  So much so that I think "Burned Youth" should qualify as the band's first LP.  Before I was getting more of a hard rock meets sort of psych jamming, this new tape takes things down a notch and embellishes it with some folksy touches.  There's some hypnotic space rock jamming on the B side, but the whole thing is held together on the strength of the 9 songs.  Listen or buy from Lantern here.  Night People website here.

Label description:

Lantern return with a 2nd tape release for Night-People this time in the form of a reissue of a tour only cassette called Burned Youth that highlights the bands evolution over the course of 2009-2011*. Despite being a bit of a retrospective Burned Youth feels very whole, considered and complete. The fidelity of the recordings are actually a bit more hi-fi overall then the recent NP tape "Stranger I Come/Stranger I Leave". The destroyed pysched out proto punk (Stooges/Denudes) inspired squall of that release isn't really present on this more archival material. At the point of these recordings Lantern seemed to be approaching things from a more Texas/Delta blues and "Their Satanic Majesties" era Stones influence with a good bit of Texas Garage Psych thrown in the mix ala the Elevators and "Parable of Arable" Red Krayola. This is really good catchy fun music regardless and feels like its own take on classic rock n" roll aesthetics. Artwork by Shawn Reed. 

*Improvement through time travel apparently.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

RUSSIAN TSARLAG "Liquid Nails" LP
(Personnel Records)


Hot new LP from dungeon based lifeform Carlos Gonzales aka Russian Tsarlag.  Very limited (200 copies only), so don't sleep on this one.  It's the first release on the label and you can order it direct while supplies last.  Not Not Fun may have some copies too.  Also check on discogs.  Boo.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Raven - A Disease Called Man (Lava Church)



     Walking in a field of wheat towards a dead tree the dream falls silent. The raven flies over in slow motion and that is when you feel the presence behind you. Looming, full of angst, fear, and regret, you feel the weight press against your chest as your dream begins to mix with your waking life. Helpless, you try to scream but silence fills the air. You are battling with sleep paralysis, suddenly your lungs grip the air and you are rifled into reality.

     When I listen to the Lava Church CS by Raven, “A Disease Called Man” I feel like my nightmares are merging with my waking life. This ambient noise tape makes me cringe and at times makes me want to secure all of my doors. This is some terrifying stuff, and is a consistently solid effort all the way through. One of the better noise tapes I have ever received and a must have for any harsh noise static head.

     The new batch of Lava Church tapes look amazing, the side A and B markers are under the plastic tape casing. Aesthetically the imagery is Xeroxed to death and it looks so great, toner suits these releases well. Grip the new batch before they are gone!

Buy and Listen HERE!

VARIOUS ARTISTS "Schrodinger's Cassette"
(Concrete Sound System)

Pretty funny huh? More info at http://concretesoundsystem.com.  Get your concrete block today!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Field Hymns: In Seven Parts

Field Hymns is a label based in Portland, OR and one of the slickest operations I've seen going in the last couple years. They are one of the best organizations releasing analog synth, Tangerine Dream influenced, electro-esoterica and 80s slasher flick soundtrack inspired tapes in the US. In fact I don't think I've handled better designed or packaged tapes...and they release so many!! Recently I found a box of seven cassettes in my mailbox. I was enthused by the sheer quantity and I knew the quality would be high. Since I want to feature every tape, I thought it best to do short reviews of each release all on the same post instead of breaking it up or spreading them out over time. Bottom line: Listen to the music put out by Field Hymns...you won't regret it.
Foton's Omega is a time capsule. It sounds like something from the early 70s and that isn't likely to be an accident as the label describes this album as a, "...soundtrack of a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe, circa 1971." Somewhere HAL 9000 has regained power and is lording over a doomed astronaut.
Oxykitten's Octagonal Wax is easily the most fun synth album I've ever heard. Hands down awesome. Beats and analog whizz whurrz and tune titles like, "I Got Your Digits in My Pocket Calculator" and "Warm Smell of Fajitas," immediately got me in the mood to smile higher than any normal man. Great, GREAT, listening. Plus the art is cool.
Described as, "music so kraut it's still cabbage," Grapefruit's looping synth bleeps trip the night away. This is analog heaven for synth-heads. Be advised to spend a long weekend with this release...and a few friends...and a light show.
The Cutting Room is a split by Adderall Canyonly and Oxykitten. Again a soundtrack for a film that never was or ever will be, this album bubbles with light touches of spinning keys and calliope dreams. I'm lost in a sci-fi B movie. I don't want to get out either.
Susurrus' eponymous tape is 31 minutes of drone, “…in two parts, composed of feedback, ground-loops and other various unintended ephemera endemic to electronic instruments and the recording process.” Definitely intended for introspective headphone listening, this composition is meticulous and well-crafted. Damn, wish I thought of it!
Detainee's Vital Organs is rapid fire gaming music in technicolor. Controllers and joysticks are covered in pizza grease and the Pepsi has gone flat, but the music still slams.  Far out.
This album by Eyes has already been expertly reviewed HERE on Cassette Gods so I won't have the pleasure of being the first to write about it. Actually, I pretty much agree with the past review...so...well, shit...All I want to add is this is one of the most satisfying psyche-revival Hawkwind-esque albums I've ever heard...If you only buy one tape from Field Hymns, let it be this one.

Buy and Listen HERE.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Dragons/Dogbreth Split (Tagobella)



Dragons and Dogbreth are two Arizona bands that are full of punk moods, good vibes, and strong feelings. Both bands have pretty pop punk origins but on this split from Arizona Cassette label Tagobella both bands push beyond the punk niche into something entirely different.

The Dragons half on this tape shows remarkable pop sensibilities mixed with jazzy guitar and vocal moans. At times this even reminds me of that first Vampire Weekend release. Pop bordering on tropical tones, fast but not furious. Good vibes and vocal harmonies, the songs on this split prove the versatility of this Flagstaff punk band.

The Dogbreth half of this tape shows the blossoming dark side of the band, steering away from their usual sound. This is a move in the right direction, the band adds shoegaze elements and Jemsek’s vocal styling is noticeably stronger and different on these two songs. These songs are thicker than before but stick to the love song structure that Dogbreth pull off so well! This band is growing and going places, RAD!

The tape has a simple Xerox j card, no label, and sounds pretty good, they put all the songs on both sides, which is fine. I am not always a fan of that because it steers the listener away from interacting with the tape itself. Either way this is a solid release worth picking up! 

Listen HERE

Buy this tape form the bands on their west coast tour starting today!!!! 

MORE TAPES

Okay here's another batch of capsule reviews from my months old backlog of submissions.  I wish I'd gotten to this stuff sooner, as some of it is sold out by now (probably, maybe, definitely).

Welcome Back Sailors "(Love) That's All" C24 (Crash Symbols) - at first I wasn't sure, but this is a really enjoyable slice of electro pop.  Tape is sold out, but you can listen here.

ITHI "Within" (Land Of Decay) CS - pretty good set of gothy kind of keyboard noise that everyone loves to make.  Guy sings low, pulsing industrial beats, you get the idea. It's well made for sure, but there's so much of this out there nowadays.  Still, you really might like it.  It's definitely not bad. One of the guys is in Servile Sect (next review). Band / Label

Servile Sect "Demos 2005/2006" (Land Of Decay) CS - well listening to this makes me like the Ithi tape a lot more.  This is like that but without the songs to act as glue.  I'm going back into my cavern now. Artist website.  Still you might want to check out the Land of Decay label if you're into this sort of dark drone stuff (link above in Ithi review).



Saturday, August 18, 2012

Kösmonaut/Adderall Canyonly - "Split" (Ethereal Mother Tapes) c60


America, you unpredictable saucy bitch! Sure we all know the coasts are killing it with their spaced out synth mind meltdowns, but central Texas?? I'm pleased as punch to be a madman from Austin, but now after hearing Kösmonaut (from San Angelo freak the brain electric, Tejas...hell, his is mushroom music w/plenty of kraut on the side for taste) I'm thrilled! Kösmonaut is a fan of the post-Berlin School, pre-rave sound of synth psyche club mix OUT THERE tones. K is Patrick R. Pärk and he describes his music thusly, "...propulsive retro-ish psych-prog electronics. A lone explorer of myriad psychic vistas, Kösmonaut channels experiential knowledge of Time’s secrets into trance inducing kosmische-electronic excursions." This split with Adderall Canyonly (put out by Kös' own label) is magnificent. Pro-look, pro-sound - 'nuff said. Both sides are wonderful excursions for those so inclined to lift off. I got my hands on this tape courtesy of Field Hymns 'cause they're distributing the title and it was part of a huge box of review tapes which I'll write about soonish. Of the 100 dubbed only 6 remain at EMT's Bandcamp (as of the last time I checked, that is) so don't wait on this Saga Genesis cosmic technicolor dream coat. 

Buy and Listen HERE.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Good Amount - "Swimmer" and I've Been Franklin - "Potato Sonatas" (Holy Page Records)



(Hyperbole and handwritten notes transcribed for this review conducted after much coffee entered my system...)

My mind is split to splinters...bouncing from genre to genre, popping tape after tape into the stereo...no rest for the analog freak! My clothes are piling up into a mini-mountain of stank - I haven't eaten or a had a drink for days...this is a desperate situation - a desperate time to be alive.  

I've heard electronically manipulated throat singing over banjo licks and I've nodded off to sampled Yoko Ono beatboxing, but now I have to pull my shit together long enough to decide between some know it all garage scum rock band or this pile of keyboard computer music. Guess it's getting close to the witching hour...I need to find some nocturnal tones that will soothe the fire of the day...

Good Amount hail from the peyote deserts of Tempe, AZ and the cassette sent to me is titled Swimmer. Is there a lot of water in the crispy dirt and rock of southern Arizona? Salt River? Does it flow? No time to bother with land survey questions. Five tunes make up this album, all titled with single words: "Health," "Given," "Bare," "Taken," and "Tide." What does this signify? Well, as far as I can tell they hint at purpose. The pieces of music feature rolling waves of static and hiss, minimal midnight electric piano keys (& other synth sounds), vague vocalizing from some downtown warehouse nightmare, which all factor into what is an ambient and highly listenable cassette.

The second tape on my playlist is by the cheekily named I've Been Franklin and the album Potato Sonatas. This isn't quiet as good as Good Amount, but it isn't terrible. Maybe the fun name and potato artwork have me in the state of mind where I can't give this serious attention. It's a Garageband production through and through. The drums sound nice however. Some of the tunes seem like demos to me or maybe these compositions soundtrack a potato themed video game. Overall pleasant stuff without being amazing.  

Buy and Listen HERE.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nomadic Firs s/t (Crash Symbols)


    
    Is it weird that I feel like Nomadic Firs is the kind of music that I would hear used in a Target commercial? The happy go lucky sounds just remind me of odd monochromatic marketing campaigns featuring Starfucker jams. The self titled CS from Nomadic Firs mainstay Ryan Boos is like a bag of Sour Patch kids, no matter how burnt the rough of your mouth is from all that sour powder you just keep going back for more. This is pretty straightforward pop music, with obvious tropical and folk influences. Lo-fi buzz lingers throughout catchy hooks and nod worthy beats. Every kid with a faux flannel shirt and fixed gear bicycle will be all over this band like free samples.

     I can hear all sorts of influences on this, think Blur mixed with David Bowie and a touch of New Order. People will probably try to lump this in with the Animal Collective clay that everything seems to be made with these days; but I assure you this is its own animal. My favorite songs on this are probably Vines (The obvious single) and Generations the beginning to the B-side.

    I think Boos succeeds most when he is more focused on conventional pop songwriting, lyrics hooks etc. There are some more trip hop sounding songs on here that he doesn’t shine on, but are still interesting enough to be progressions within the album mainly “i94”.  There is also a lot of blank space on the A-side, which doesn’t feel like a conceptual benefit to the album itself and is quite a bother when trying to listen all the way through.

    Lets get real though; this tape is probably going to appear on some top ten lists, it’s a really good release. I don’t think I would personally seek out this music, but I would definitely ask, “Who the hell is this? It's pretty interesting.” if I heard it somewhere. This is cool stuff, and deserves every ounce of hype it gets. You can see the craft and time that it took to make Nomadic Firs what it is. I won’t be surprised when this sucker goes viral and the CS is selling on discogs for $30!

Straightforward quality dubbing and printing from the Crash Symbols, they keep it too real.

-CFIL

Listen and Buy HERE!

SMARTY "Super Android" C43 (Self Released)


This is the kind of autistic rap music I wish people would make more often.  Correction: this is the kind of autistic rap music people make in my nightmares. "Super Android," Smarty's first tape, sounds like what all the kids will be listening to in 2033.  You see, by that point we're all going to be physically deformed and mentally challenged, but our access to technology will have increased tenfold from it's dangerously high current levels.  Mutants, like the lady behind this tape, will huddle in their conapts, covered in kibble, reading their homeopapes and channeling god knows what kind of perverted obsessions into their digitunes.  Well, pull out your mood organ and set it to "sexy dance party," cause Smarty is like M.I.A. on bath salts, and I should know because of taken LOTS of bath salts.  Very unique stuff going on here and we're left with something that will please even the surliest of miners in the off-world colonies. Stream or download the whole album here, but you should order the tape proper (from same site) because it's got amazing double sided full color fold-out artwork. See:





Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Spooky Moon/Blake Mandrayk - "split" (Teen River)


If Syd Barrett had lead Pink Floyd after the 80s I'm almost certain it would have sounded like Spooky Moon. He (Spooky M.) doesn't have that British whimsy Lewis Carroll shit down, but he is wonderfully lysergic and that makes for a good side of tape listening. Every tune here swims in the hazy afterglow of psychedelics. The vocals are lovingly dipped in reverb, the guitars phase & fuzz appropriately, and the overall sensation is that of watching the sunrise after many laborious hours awake. I look forward to hearing new music from this artist soon. For starters just buy the damn tape, but if you must sample a tune online, I would stream "Howlin (Maggot Mouth)" because it has a great rhythm and the vocals are woozy enough to hit the spot. Not to mention the buzzing lil keyboard sound underneath it all. The tune actually reminds me of the Flaming Lips. Excellente!

Blake Mandrayk's side of this split is one long medley of guitar-centric tunes titled "Peacemaker." Imagine an electric Jandek album if it was played more traditionally. That might be close. Mandrayk's wobbly leads and arpeggios support distant minimal vocalizing. I can't tell if I'm in a dream world or listening to a soundtrack for a indie film starring Will Oldham. The sixteen minutes float by and when the tape stops one might wonder what the hell just happened to them. I don't have any answers and neither does Mandrayk, but his music is a good foil for Spooky Moon's more "band" oriented trip. Recommended for the tie-dye sandals and bearded freak philosopher in yr family...

PS - I interviewed the man behind the TR label and our chat will be posted in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Buy and Listen HERE.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuggboat - NuMeddle (Snorin' Desert)


    Tuggboat is the solo project of Seattle Washington’s Nick Shively, and this debut little four song EP “NuMeddle” out on Snorin’ Desert is far from new metal. This is some pretty solid pop music bordering on 90’s emo, with occasional experimental elements scattered throughout. Think of bands like Grandaddy and The Flaming Lips, turn them into solo projects and make them a bit more guitar driven with more melancholy lyrics and you have this little jammer. Recording wise this sounds really well done and I like the songs and would like to hear more.

    The J card printing is clear and the credits are there.On the cover Shively is covered in pink goo in a bathtub. For some reason the pink residue reminds me of that new Battles cover. Either way this collection of “Nu” songs is pretty solid and available for purchase on cassette upon request and is up for free download on Tuggboat’s bandcamp! Another solid release from Snorin' Desert.

Buy and Listen HERE!


MARS "Live At Irving Plaza" LP/Book
(Feeding Tube / Negative Glam)
GARY WILSON "Lisa Wants To Talk To You" LP
(Feeding Tube Records)

New reissue of the late 70s band Mars who practically invented music.  Way, way ahead of their time these gals and guys were.  The record is produced by Feeding Tube, but brought to the light by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore (AKA Negative Glam) who also wrote the highly informative history of Mars that's included in the booklet.  For the uninitiated: ever hear a band with guitars, drums and vocals in a basement making noise and think to yourself "man these folks are really tearing apart the rules of rock"?  Well, more likely than not, Mars was there first. So first it's not even funny.  While this fine sounding live recording (made by Brian Eno) and it's companion "Live At Artists Space" (also on FTR/Negative Glam) won't make you through away your copy of the absolutely essential discography comp "78+", they are both very interesting windows into the band's creative process.  What might have come across as kind of random, is actually show to be rather composed, as both of these live sets bare striking similarity to the studio material.  The Artists Space LP was made in a run of 1000 copies and is now sold out, so act fast on the Irving Plaza record, cause they only made 500.  And if I didn't say so above, the included booklet is really essential and will probably remain useful for many years. Buy here.


Another fine reissue currently available from Feeding Tube is Gary Wilson's "Lisa Wants To Talk To You."  Many of you might be familiar with Wilson's creepy stalker porno funk, but this album, released on CD only in 2010 might have flown under your radar.  This listener thinks it's among his finest work and it sounds absolutely fantastic on vinyl.  Limited to 500 copies.

Lastly, Feeding Tube has also reissued one of my favorite cassettes of all time, "Dagger Magic" by Vapor Gourds.  Read the Cassette Gods review here. Don't pass this one up when ordering the two higher profile titles above.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Realer Than Real

I've taken an extended extended break from writing here and I can see that it's all been due to an inherent flaw in my reviewing logic:  I've received way too many tapes that I just don't know how to write about.  Not all music is good and I've basically become sick of finding words to describe hazy/lazy hypnagogic bullshit that I have no interest in. Wow, thanks for harshing my mellow Nick.  Go suck an egg Brooklyn-guy!  I've got a new address in North Providence posted in the right hand column and you can feel free to send me tapes (or hate mail) again, but I may not review them if I'm not into them (I will review all hate mail).  Then again, I may give you a bad review if I'm feeling up to the task.  Rest assured, If your tape meets my strange and specific criteria for "quality", it will get a review.  I just can't sit around and listen to mediocre music all day.

Hey, guess what, I'm also going to start reviewing vinyl on here. Why? When Cassette Gods was started, most of the artists we were "encouraging" could barely afford a pot to piss in, let alone a deluxe vinyl release, but the music world has changed and more and more folks are turing to vinyl as their go to medium.  Well I don't suspect the LPs to all of a sudden start pouring in, let it be known that I will never review web submissions (notice how none of us put our email address up here?) and I will review every vinyl submission I receive.


REVIEWS:


Cruise Whisp "Cruise Kontrol" - this one definitely falls into the "realer than real" category.  Laura Bradford is a Western Mass show going mainstay, but only rarely ventures out into the realm of actually getting it together long enough to put on a decent set.  Actually the last time I saw her she was anything but decent, breaking eggs all over her tits on the front porch of a house.  It was awesome.  This tape is the best recording I've heard of her: a fantastic pint of home-brewed tunage with some fucked up guitar over randy keyboard lines. Yeah the keyboard is the new guitar, but I don't give a flyin' toot cause this tape makes me boogie like "Truckin" from "Europe '72".  This is the tape that made me not want to quit writing for Cassette Gods. Write Cruise Whisp via the internet at LBradford86@gmail.com and get your self a slice of something that doesn't reek of poseurism. DO IT. or at least listen to a tune here.  But there's a picture of a pussy on the cover, so...



Anonymous Dog Records - this is a new label that just popped up overnight with 4 strong releases that are all in my possession.  First off, there's a double release by Russian weirdos, Asian Woman on the Telephone who traffic in absurdist rock grooves.  More so, Anonymous Dog looks to be the home of the New No Wave, as it features two skronky bands that I've been blown away by live and who could have played at the legendary Artist's Space showcase back in the "day".  Providence based Holy Sheet is a totally skinny and pale looking trio of sexy kids who play guitar, bass and drums like wasted hyenas, hopefully they can stay alive long enough to play a few more shows!  Signal Break is a now defunct band who's guitarist and singer is now rocking it even harder in Sediment Club, who is as good if not better than Mars or DNA.  The only thing is that both of those bands happened over 30 years ago! It's all good though, because I think these kids haven't even heard of them!  Really outstanding stuff here.  You can see Sediment Club open for Suicide in NY this fall, or for Jandek & R. Stevie Moore at the Cropped Out fest in Louisville this September.  The last tape in my stack is an EP by the ever astounding Guerilla Toss, whose drummer "Pedro" Negroponte, is the Anonymous Dog label-head.  Again, fantastic stuff from this prog-noise-metal-jamband.  The music on "Jerry Died For Our Sins" consists of a few tracks from their upcoming Feeding Tube Records LP. GET THAT when it comes out, but get the tape now if you can't wait.  Website here, click on the tape image to purchase. Samples up too.



VCO Recordings - Wow, out of all the keyboard crap floating around the blogosphere, the work of Steve Moore (Zombi, "Gianni Rossi") stands way way above pretty much every other scumbag out there.  His fake Italian horror soundtracks "Star Vehicle" and "Gutterballs" on Permanent Vacation are some of my favorite records of recent memory.  This tape I've got here under his own name is called "Primitive Neural Pathways" and it's pretty solid.  I'm going to forgive it for being similar to Jean Michel Jarre's "Oxygene," because, hell, that's one of my favorite records.  The VCO label has a classy look and everything sounds really "dank."  Current releases are also available by Andy & Zeus, Brainstorm and Long Distance Poison. Check 'em out here

Night People - sure everyone's heard of this label by now, so why do I keep writing about it?  Cause the releases are of a uniform consistency, and that consistency is gravy.  Rest assured that anything you get on this label will be interesting.  Current cassette releases are by Terror of the Deep, Mole House, Son of Salami, Lantern, (Miami) Angels in America, Lab Coast, Ryan Garbes, N.213, Featureless Ghost and Xiao Hong Yu Xiao Xiao Hong.  You really can't go wrong with a single one of 'em, though to me, the Son of Salami tape is the winner, hands down.  Definitely pick up the Blanche Blanche Blanche LP "Wink With Both Eyes" while you're at it. The keyboards have a retro 80s hazy feel but the vocals are completely unadorned with digital gobbledygook. Song writing is the strongest suit here, these are tunes you'll remember.  I've called singer Sarah Smith the "Moe Tucker of vocalists," and I still think the comparison is apt.  The repress of Peaking Lights' "Imaginary Falcons" is also top-notch.  Website 

Pod Blotz "White...Black...Spectrum Infinity" - Bay area resident Suzy Poling delivered one of the more memorable noise performances I've ever heard back oh so many years ago, and for that I'll always give her a "pass".  This new tape of hers on Teen Action takes a little while to get started, but I eventually got into it and you probably will too.  Suzy is also an incredible photographer and I suggest you check out her work.  Eyes? Ears? Whatever, it's all good.  This is the kind of brain sucking electronic music that is good for all sorts of sci-fi get togethers. Especially ones involving deep and penetrative surgeries.

The Johns "Level 2"- no-fi artwork (hand written song titles) on a generic cassette and j-card, but guess what, it's good! Screw you photoshop.  This probably isn't actually a release but I'm going to review it anyway.  Who are The Johns?  Real fucking people/person, that's who! I mean it's not the greatest thing I've ever heard, but it's got some music songs and lots of comedy skits that are completely weird and have great/stupid production.  What, the second song is rap music? Wow this is so stupid and cool. I love you The Johns.  "Mushroom comedy album." Touche. Web presents.



Tronics "Love Backed By Force" - what a cool thing! A reissue of this classic self released weirdo "punk" album, originally released in 1981.  This is the guy who did that awesome "Shark Fucks" song, maybe you heard that.  Available on LP/CD from What's Your Rupture? and on cassette from Burger Records. yeah! Actually I think Burger is sold out, but you can find the tape somewhere I'm sure. I found my at Armageddon in Providence. The LP version is still in print and it's cheap, go ahead and get it!

That's all for now. Maybe more soon.

Nicole Kidman - s/t (Folktale Records)



People will automatically tag this music as a “Casiotone For The Painfully Alone” knock off. However, to me it feels a lot more sincere than that. It’s pretty raw summer bummer music. Jon Barba is the man behind Nicole Kidman and I have seen him play a few times in Arizona and parts of California. This  is really good lo-fi pop.

No matter how you twist it, this is some on point 80’s Yamaha keyboard dream pop. While this cassette is long out of print, it’s a nice looking Folktale Records release.

I suppose this whole post is jut meant to raise awareness about Nicole Kidman and Folktale Records, some quality goods from California. 

Listen HERE!
Buy HERE!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

MSHR "Nesting Face" C25 (self released)

MSHR is a really neat live act from Oregon that builds they're own instruments.  They straddle the line between drone, noise and beat, creating excitement from both their sound and they're super cool homemade gear.  The tape I've got sounds good, but it's a real trip to watch them produce these sounds live.  At first glance it looks like this super cute couple just stumbled off of Phish lot, and in fact they may have, but the world would be a lot better place if that scene produced more stuff like MSHR and less like Skrillex.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dragons - Feel This (Morning *)



    In dank basements all over the country there are guys and girls getting’ wild to great guitar music. The room starts to smell like seawater because of all the sweaty people getting crazy. It’s only appropriate though because we are all riding the great big waves resonating from reverb-laden speakers. One of my favorite contemporary surf, garage, and pop bands that I am nuts about is Flagstaff, Arizona’s Dragons.

    I’ve seen this band a couple of times and their music is super compelling. While a punk influence is obvious, this band doesn’t fall into a place where their music feels predictable. These guys are super fun and at times their music reminds me of bands like Kickball and a more laid back Chinese Stars. Their debut tape “Feel This” which is out on the infamous Flagstaff label (Morning *) is a six song EP of infectious surf pop songs. These songs are melancholy, wild, and fun my favorite being the last slam on the z-side called, “Family and Friends’. There is also a video for this song online too!

    While I don’t know if you can even buy this tape on the net, it is pro dubbed and the insert is pretty punk looking. However, you can snag this release for free digitally from the band’s bandcamp! 

Listen Here!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inferior Design - "Ego" EP (Pretty All Right, co-release with Teen River)

What renaissance this is! People in every nook and cranny of the globe record music and release it out to worldly ears. I feel like I'm living in an age of discovery. The pay off is small and personal, but worth it. Inferior Design is Mosses Shoshan and his quickie 15 minute EP titled Ego is over so fast I thought I'd heard it wrong, but no, it is worthy of flipping and starting over again however. Like some kind of uncovered classic from the days when Sonic Youth were still fresh faced "youths" releasing records on SST, Ego has the songs man! Great nuggets of rock with thrash about drumming and chiming slash sloppy guitar parts. This EP sounds like a homemade project, but it's awesome. Pretty All Right co-released this tape with Teen River and like I've mentioned in several goddamn reviews already, Chicago has amazing labels and talent...right? 

I find myself really digging the more "rock" oriented stuff from these two labels, but they have electronic sounds for the non-rocker tape junkie too. Plus the visual layout on their tapes slay me. Sweet Jesus, I need more storage for the prodigious output flying my way via snail mail...better knock down some walls or build a bunker.

Buy and Listen HERE.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ADHD LOFI - IX VI IV (Sun Hypnotic)


    Some people can’t pay attention. They go their entire lives bouncing about between ideas. However, occasionally this motion will create a series of movements that at times can be beautiful, disturbing, and occasionally invigorating. On ADHD LOFI’s “IX VI IV” the listener is presented with a harsh set of sounds interwoven into something dynamic and at times spectacular. Close in relation to Black Dice or Merzbow, this tape warrants multiple listens to extract each tiny piece of an ever-elusive puzzle created by the solo noisemaker.

    There are keyboards, field recordings, guitars, pedal gurgles, and anything else you can think of on this tape. Everything is scrambled all over, and then you have the final result which is this tape. It’s bizarre and is probably amongst my favorite tapes to listen to. This little gem is out on a tiny Mesa, Arizona label called Sun Hypnotic and is probably my favorite of their releases.

    The cover of the tape is sort of gross; it looks like some bloody pulp on a metal grate. The title of the tape is written on the tape itself and the tracklisting is scribbled crudely on the inside of the j card. The best thing about the packaging is the cool instant photo that was slipped in with the cassette. This is totally worth picking up or at least downloading!

Listen and Buy HERE

Dominic Pierce - "West" (Already Dead Tapes)

Go west young man. Well, there aint no west no more. The Internet is the wild west now, a lawless land of wheeling & dealing and making it up as you go along. The Internet is also responsible for driving many of us to the plastic imperfections of the cassette. Dominic Pierce's new album titled West is the soundtrack tape to a film of young scruffs driving sleepless towards the Golden Gate Bridge looking for something that can't be found. Pierce's album is well-produced and well-performed, but it's missing something for me. Vocals. These compositions are close to being backing tracks for actual songs. Gimme some croaking empathetic rock singing! My complaints are my own obviously so Mr. Pierce will probably be glad to note that this reviewer enjoys his soundtrack for a montage scene that doesn't exist, but hopes for more in the future. "Colorful Skeptic" is a tune that represents every other piece on the tape with its acoustic guitar, electronic beats, and keyboard sprinkles. One of the nice things about this album are the guitars. I don't hear too many shimmering guitar parts, but damn if some non-shitty singer delivered on top of these tracks, we just might have something. For now, I can safely recommend Dominic Pierce's tape for long car rides out of town - away from the familiar hangouts of yesterday to the unknown temptations of tomorrow.  

Buy and Listen HERE.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dogbreth/Falsetto Boy - Buzz Ballads (Snorin' Desert)


   
    If I was good at any sort of extreme sport I would really love to hit the surf, mountain, or concrete while listening to the jams on this Dogbreth/Falsetto Boy split “Buzz Ballads”. For me the tracks on this split from both bands nod to Promise Ring, and sometimes sound a bit like a more straightforward Pavement. This little CS just came out on a new tape label out of Phoenix,AZ cleverly called “Snorin’ Desert”. The A-side is the Falsetto Boy side and the B-side is the Dogbreth side.

    The Falsetto Boy side is riddled with sad melancholy fast paced pop punk jammers. I like it a lot. It reminds me of some early lo-fi less bass heavy Japanther. The pace of this bands side is really nice, as it is a progression from fast to slow. Exciting to chill, you know what I mean.

    The Dogbreth side seems a bit deeper than the ladder. The music itself for me is more compelling and the lyrics are fun, quirky, and pretty straightforward with some metaphors here and there. There are some cool solos, I like the one on “To be a Dog”, and it’s probably my favorite track on this split! Stir Sticks, is also an amazing guitar and bass whirlwind that I am sure is amazing live. You can envision the kids wigging out over this one.

    The packaging is straightforward and is definitely a nod to punk demos of the 80’s and 90’s. There is a nice llama on the front, he looks pretty confident. Overall this is a nice tape to add to the collection that deserves more than one go around. 

Buy and Listen HERE!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Submissions s/t (Skrot Up)



    Submissions are a band that is hard to grasp. While they aren’t all over the place, their influences seem to be. A lot of the time it sounds like a noise pop band, but it also sounds goth influenced, but then it sounds like a band that saw a krautrock documentary and is into Wavves. It’s pretty confusing to say the least. It even at times just sounds like Joy Division or some other band that sounds like Joy Division. I don’t dislike this tape, but I guess I just have a huge difficulty concentrating on the music. Which could be the most interesting thing about these jams!

    To say the least, this stuff is pretty dark and heavy, which sounds great on tape! It even gets really psychedelic at times and gets you going. The tape looks solid; most stuff on Danish label Skrot Up looks great. It’s got a nice cardstock J Card, and is faux Xeroxed which is pretty interesting. In the end, this band is worth checking out I guess. One of the members is in Best Coast and the others are in German Army. Tight! 

Listen HERE
Buy HERE

Nomen Novum "If You Look For It, It's There" c46 (Broad Beauty Tapes)


Another debut release to talk up here from a new label out of Philadelphia called Broad Beauty Tapes, this one from Atlanta’s Nomen Novum, the experimental pop project of one David Norbery. First, it should be duly noted that one of the people behind the Broad Beauty label is none other than Colin Pate, whose group Remote Islands released one of the most unexpectedly brilliant pop albums of the past few years in Days of Heaven out on Stunned. With this in mind, along with Pate’s recent work in Ladies Auxiliary, I was quite confident that, from a label curatorial point of view, this guy could sniff out a decent pop album a mile away. Sure shit, after listening to “If You Look For It, It’s There”, my gut instincts proved correct.

Norbery is one of those omnivorous modern pop songsmiths, gobbling up kernels of electronic, sound collage, dancehall, hip hop, and pop music and spitting them out into something quite memorable. Sure, some of the vocal harmonies, electronic textures, and naïve lyrics spread throughout do bear trace similarities to Animal Collective, or maybe the experimental-hip-hop-turned-indie-pop of the Anticon Collective, but Norbery clearly knows how to write catchy, hook-filled and heartfelt pop songs in a very classical sense, which a cursory stroll through his previous recordings would confirm. I’ll openly admit that some of this borders on being almost too glossy for my tastes, but then I have to ask myself, “Why are you listening to this for the 15th, 16th, 17th time . . . . . without writing a single word about it?” The truth is, like any good pop music, this is just an easy album to enjoy, and I could easily see Nomen Novum gaining some above ground traction in a “Best New Music” type of way. If you can’t get behind the songs, at least you’ll have a nice knitted cassette warmer to keep your favorite drone tape snuggled up in.

cassettes and cassette warmers here
1's & 0's here

Sindre Bjerga and Daniel Spicer - "Voice Studies" #9 & #10 (My Dance the Skull)

On Sindre Bjerga's site this text heads the page in the top right corner, "…cassette player drones and kitchen sink psychedelia, sound ghosts hidden deep in the molten magnetic tapes.. always aiming for that mind-altering head trip…" That statement of purpose pretty much sums up his "Voice Studies" tape as well. The tape features three live performances two in Norway (A side and half of B) and one in Russia (other half of B). Side A is called "The Demise of Personal Hygiene" and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more upon first reading that. How fun! The music is not exactly funny however. A series of gurgles, blonks, boings, and thuds, represent the demise I reckon. The second side has two performances, "Procrastination is the Square Root" and "A Possible Outbreak of Clinical Hysteria." Both continue the contact mic clashing crashing guttural rumble of the A side's piece (with "Outbreak" being an extremely short cut). This makes for a demanding listen. As pure sound, I love it, but for a stroll or vacation drive, I wouldn't listen to this particular experimental tape. The mood just has to strike YOU.
What we have here is a rare opportunity for the reviewer to be the reviewed. Daniel Spicer is a broadcaster, musician, and writer for Wire magazine, if not the best music mag (I think it probably is the best), then certainly the most consistently well-written. Spicer's entry in the "Voice Studies" series (put out by My Dance the Skull - see my previous reviews of Jaap Blonk's and Janek Schafer's contributions) is music for the adventurous listener, not just an adventurous listener. "Let the Body Attend (for Angus MacLise)" is the title of Side A and as you might expect from the dedication, it is a percussion rattling ode to original Velvet Underground member and musician/poet/crazy person Angus MacLise. Spicer yelps the title phrase along with other Gertrude Stein-esque circular verbiage while Evie Spicer (Daniel plays too) beats the hell out of some percussion instruments. This piece is about ten minutes long and quite entrancing. It's definitely an appropriate ode to one extremely idiosyncratic musician. Side B is called "The Diamond Life (for Henry Flynt)" and, like the A side, it is a specific tribute to a music maker who is as out there as they come, Henry Flynt. This piece consists solely of the title phrase, freakout Ornette violin crushing by Spicer and a gaggle of friends making assorted sounds in and around the furious bow & string action. This is wild energy music and something to be excited about. The piece on the A side was good, but "The Diamond Life" is great. CRAZY LISTENING. I would hunt this tape down just to listen to the B side. Daniel Spicer's knowledge of left field music obviously contributes to the success of this cassette. Musicians like MacLise and Flynt are not widely known names, but anyone familiar with the avant-garde would know them. Bravo!

Buy and Listen HERE.