Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tres Face Von Dingo​/​Alosi Den - "Archaic Hymn" Split (HOKO))



a split between two bands: tres face dingo/alosi den - Archaic Hymn Split

SIDE A: tres face dingo is an enjoyable psychedelic downer synth/drums pop group. its nice to hear oscillating synth beds accompanied by LIVE drumming as opposed to a drum machine. the songs are generally solid and feature the usual reverb drenched vocals that would be associated with this kind of music. worth checking out if this is what you're into

SIDE B: alosi den, a band made up of piano, guitar, and "broken drums" contrasts the A side nicely. the lo-fi, folky jams mostly float around one or two chords while the band plays repeated rhythms underneath it. some of these tunes are extremely catchy but the tape itself could possibly use a higher quality pro dub… or maybe my little hand held tape player needs a solid cleaning… hmmm

DIG IT

Friday, March 22, 2013

3 X Juniper Tree Songs



Hiss and boombox as instrument and bandmate exemplify the sound of Juniper Tree Songs' releases. The label, based in CA, has a consistent look and audio quality, no matter the artist. Three tapes arrived in my mailbox recently and all three share lo-fi as religion. The best of the trio is by Eye Seas and her Fruit Fucking Salad cassette. Aggressive title aside, the songs are haunting and fragile. The intimacy is almost too much, but it ends up being right on. Both Shivering Window's Vt tV and Morgue Toad's Buzzing Vibrations embrace the "direct to boombox"  approach more hapazadly. Shivering Window's songs are better composed and performed, shaky, yet holding together (a lot like the delicate nature of existence!). While Morgue Toad's set is nearly impossible for me to digest. I think there are some good ideas here, but the sound quality works against them. All in all more good stuff from a cool lil label out west.

Buy and Listen HERE.

follow me on twitter: @teflonbeast

Monday, March 18, 2013

The Movies - "In One Era, Out the Other" (Spring Break Tapes)

One of the most beautiful aspects of the small tape label community is the hunger for documentation. Labels all over the world want to help musicians (sometimes they're one in the same) preserve moments of inspiration, be it poignant, humorous, spacey, or just plain weird. Spring Break Tapes has reissued an album by a Los Angeles area band that no longer exists. The Movies broke up in 2008, but for those who heard or saw the band when they were active, the music lives on. In One Era, Out the Other is a wonderful album. At times I think this is the album I always wanted to hear associated with a (to me) mysterious band like Slint. The drums are steady, dry, but keep a pulse when some of the songs could easily go off the rails. The keyboard flourishes are almost more sci-fi than indie-rock (with a touch of New Wave), and the guitar playing is kind of perfect, sloppy-tight, RIGHT ON. Jessica Gelt's bass playing keeps the softest grooves in the pocket. For me though the most intoxicating element in the band are the lead vocal parts. Guitarist Timothy James has an elastic voice. Sometimes Ian Curtis croon or Bowie yelp, and at other times he sings in an earnest manner that makes it seem like he's singing the most intensely personal song ever sung. Honestly, this is an exciting listen. Spreading music on tape by bands (in small run editions of course) that never made it out of their circle of friends or local scenes (The Movies did tour extensively and played alongside "name" bands however) is one of the best reasons to keep one's ears open. Seriously, PASS THE MUSIC. 

Buy and Listen HERE

Friday, March 15, 2013

Justin Scott Grey - "All In Time" (AMOK Recordings)



this i like - i reviewed a tape for the canadian based label AMOK Recordings and - hey! - they send me another tape to check out. COOL! thanks guys. 

Justin Scott Gray's tape ALL IN TIME is maybe more up my alley than the last tape AMOK sent me. why? because its a self described "analog synth-rock album" and i love analog synth jams just as much as the next cassette connoisseur. i'll be frank tho, its definitely a bit cheezy, but cheezy in a good way - the way i like it - tonal, cute, and poppy as all hell, with badass funky drumming. the music is mostly instrumental with the exception of COMA CHAMELEON (nice name), a track that features some beautiful, reverb soaked vocals by a female singer by the name of b.burroughs. there are certainly hints of influence from past kraut/synth rockers like kraftwerk and neu!, as well as the more recent bands like zombi, etc. 

a solid, well written, well recorded/produced tape that is recommended to those of you who are into dancey (non-digital [yes, please]) synth jams. 

buy the tape from the label HERE and check out the music HERE

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Macho Blush - "Under Weight" (Self Released)



what the fuck?! this might be one of the craziest/coolest tapes i've received thus far. this tape is absolutely awesome - exactly what i've been wanting to hear for a long time now. macho blush is from austin, tx and as far as i can tell the band is made up of one person named GINA.. who are you GINA? you totally rule!

the music is completely unique and totally bizarre. to describe it accurately is tricky but its something along the lines of fragmented/collaged demented free jazz piano with no-wave drumming and chopped and screwed signing. 

i can't say i've heard anything this intriguing in a while and i strongly encourage YOU to please check this tape out - maybe you'll love it too!

buy it/stream it HERE

Alto Jeffro - "Night Came" (Self-Released)


i just wanna say one thing before i write about this ALTO JEFFRO tape, and i don't mean this to be directed towards him specifically but i gotta get this off my chest:

for those of you making lo-fi pop recordings for cassette - be careful because the music that SON OF SALAMI (aka JOEY PIZZA SLICE) is making is most likely better than the music that you are making. i don't mean to sound harsh, or discourage anyone from doing what they are doing, but mr pizza slice has set the bar extremely high for what has now become a genre. not only does the man write catchy and smart pop tunes, but his satirical lyrics are absolutely brilliant. he has mastered the art of making music that is as demented as it is beautiful. and it sounds fucked up for a reason - his sophisticated process makes the music sound that way (watch him remove the eraser head and create a song HERE).  


that being said, and with my personal biases aside, NIGHT CAME by ALTO JEFFRO is good tape. from the vibe of the letter that came with the package, i would assume that this jeffrey gallagher guy is somewhat of  a nutty dude (i mean this is a good way). somewhere in the scatter brained letter he wrote "music equals therapy" or something to that extent.. not that this is an uncommon thought for all us freaks out there, but something about how he made sure to include that statement in a letter to me, a stranger, was quite intriguing. the songs, are cute, mostly catchy, poorly sung, reverb drenched, and as lo-fi as the next weirdo making music in his or her basement. 

maybe son of salami hasn't ruined your appreciation for the other nuts making similar music, and even if it has, i suggest checking out this ALTO JEFFRO guy anyways. thanks for the tape and godspeed. 

listen HERE

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Life Partner - "Dead Wrestlers" (Sophomore Lounge)



heres a great tape from a great label that keeps em' coming. sophomore lounge is run mainly by some great people in louisville KY and they've released some absolutely killer rock and roll LPs and tapes in the past few years (fat history month, skimask, fielded, christmas bride, giving up, meah, state champion, wishgift, and many many more). i got this tape from ryan davis (SL label head) the other day and have been cranking it nonstop. 

in the flesh LIFE PARTNER is aaron ozzy - he writes all the music and plays almost all of the instruments on the recordings - and he does a stellar job. DEAD WRESTLERS is 10 relentless tracks of sassy, catchy, sludgy, garage punk beauty.  LIFE CHAMPION is a dark nostalgic epic and my favorite track on the cassette (i was a life champion/i was a beast but now i am all alone/i was a life champion/but i'm in giving up/this world doesn't need me around that much anymore). aaron ozzy has seemingly mastered the pop song formula and did i mention that the overall sound of the tape totally rules and so does the artwork?!? 

great release if ya like rock, roll, and everything in between

check out LIFE PARTNER - DEAD WRESTLERS, here at SOPHOMORE LOUNGE

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Sur/Haints - Split (Self Released)



SIDE A:

SUR is what i call … sad noise rock (i guess?) … not "emo" by any means, but just kinda psyched out and depressing sounding. but this is not a bad thing because whoever these dudes are, they are very good at sounding sad and pissed off. the recording is quasi lo-fi and somewhat blown out in a way that fits the overall vibe. i didn't find any tunes to be particularly catchy upon first listen but i dont think thats the point - its more the mood that SUR sets forth to create that is very effective.. being dark and brutal in a beautiful and chaotic way.. does that make sense?? see for yourself HERE

SIDE B:

HAINTS is a heavy austin based bass/drums duo that compliments SUR quite nicely. some of the songs are on the shorter side with little/no breaks in between giving it an overall continuous flow (im generally a fan of this). the music is  tight and well composed with different sections that weave in and out of one another. a cool band for sure - find em' HERE

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beachniks - "In Color" (Neotomic Records)



Beachniks = Beach Bingo Babies. I wrote briefly about the band awhile back when I reviewed a split they were put out by Bleeding Gold Records. The album, In Color, is all garage organ, electric guitars, tambourines, and slightly off-key singing/harmonies. Charming all over. The delivery is playful and catchy. Pretty much what you would want from "naive" - 60s-ish pop/rock. Though Neotomic Records released the cassette, it is also available in vinyl directly from the band on Bandcamp. My only question is, does this band dream of Cheap Trick?

Buy and Listen HERE.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Personal Archives


PERSONAL ARCHIVES sent me a few neat tapes. i listened to all of them and wrote about the two i enjoyed the most:


BBJr - A CONCISE COMMUNIST MANIFSTO
...a short collection of varying outsider-esque improvisational pieces that range from electronic noise to tonal looped ambience. my favorite piece is composed of gently strummed acoustic guitar, embelished nicely by psyched out electronic sounds. the cover art features what looks to be like dirt ridden, neglected toys or children's props thus complimenting the dark yet playful nature of the music itself.  



IDIOT HEATHENS - WITCH DOG JAM (SIDE A) // LAP BABIES - ULTRABRITE BLUES (SIDE B)
witch dog jam starts as a suprisingly pleasent, quasi demented, lofi pyschobilly jam before breaking down into a bizarre drone accordion in hell segment. bursts of wonderful beefheart-esque howls come in and out as well as a brilliantly badly played harmonica as the song withers and dies. VERY cool stuff for sure. side B wasn't as strange but I enjoyed its 18 minutes of sad stoner dying guitar paired with thedrunk "i don't give a shit" drumming. 

check out the bandcamp page for personal archives HERE


Thursday, March 7, 2013

ELM RECORDINGS


Elm Recordings’s avatar

new haven, CT noise guru and guitarist kryssi battalene sent me three new fabulous tapes from her label, ELM RECORDINGS. the label has a gorgeous aesthetic, aka the art on the tapes totally rule and they sound fantastic. a little about each one -

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ARABIAN BLADE is a CT based duo whose focus is on slow, creepy, and minimal, synth jams. each piece starts slowly and reaches a modest climax of pure ambient euphoria. the website describes their music as calling "the listener into a disturbed world in slow motion" and that is exactly how i felt while mellowing out to this 30 minute gem. the cassette includes pyschedlic art by the imfamous mike haley of 905 tapes. 

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COLORGUARD is kryssi's prepared turntable project and although somewhat minimal, it is considerably the most chaotic (at times) of the 3 tapes. CHANNELS is short and sweet and quite beautiful at times (side B specifically). she has multiple release and has played a vital roll in new havens thriving noise scene - her attention is well deserved. great tape! 

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THE PALE LIGHT by swedish/norwegian noise artist JON ERIKSON is yet another killer tape - here we have a quick and extremely tasteful 15 minutes of well controlled and composed noise that at times features beautiful and haunting, completely blown out tonal qualities. this i like. alot…

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ELM RECORDINGS is highly reccomended - the new batch is a solid collection of educated and well thought out experimental music that is making new haven a very special place. 

check it out HERE

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

2 X Blue Tapes



Blue Tapes is a great discovery for me. I find myself impressed with their design & musical choices. The label describes itself as specializing in handmade packaging, alternative process artwork, and curious audio. RIGHT ON! One thing I would like to see...ALBUM CREDITS. I like to know what instruments were played and/or song titles...real record nerd huh? Anyway, they sent me a bundle and, while I dig pretty much all of it, I'm going to briefly discuss my two favorites.

Former Ninja High School leader Matt Collins is back with a solo album titled, The Grin Without the Cat or The Cat Without an Outline. The tape is positively perfection. It is glitchy, spacey, propulsive, and contemplative all at once. At times I'm reminded of the quieter moments of Radiohead's Kid A. Some of the keyboard work also recalls the most far out of the 70s German electronic travelers. All in all, this is great electronic music.

I also enjoyed Light by Japanese sound artist Hitoshi Asaumi who goes by Leedian. This is a work of staggering coolness. "Cool" is not chosen randomly as a descriptor either. After riding through the electronic noise and scientific experimentation with sound, the tape ends with almost acoustic jazz, piano trio stylings. Kinda like the end credits of a movie rolling in darkness after a mindfuck ride through a sci-fi amusement park. Blue Tapes' releases have this quality to them. Both familiar and strange. I suggest sampling the goods soon.

BUY AND LISTEN HERE & HERE.

twitter stuff = @teflonbeast

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Gut Nose - "eaT biskiT" (self-released)

Gut Nose and their album eaT biskiT, is accurately described by them as, "a groovy dystopian sci-fi soundtrack." The glitch & paste electronica deals in grooves and drums. There isn't a lot of melody or "prettiness," its all quite club-noir set in an grimy alternate universe. Some of the pieces build only to fade away too quickly. Overall Gut Nose's tape packaged and presented well, with a sense of fun and that aint too bad. You even get stickers and lil art scraps made by the band!

Buy and Listen HERE.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mold Omen - "Sanbenito" (Teflon Beast)



BOOM! a great tape here from the TEFLON BEAST tape label (whoa cool! that's JEFF DAILY'S label - a fellow cassette god!). i've never met jeff nor do i know anything about the dude, but he sent me an awesome tape by a baltimore based duo called MOLD OMEN. jeff explains on the TB website that SANBENITO (the tapes title) is a "penitential garment worn by heretics, especially during the spanish inquisition"… RAD! the tape feature 7 improvised (?) jams from two dudes named ANDY and MIKE (mysterious??). each track differs greatly, flowing seamlessly into one another, and covering many aesthetic and timbral qualities common in noisy, but tasteful, improv. my personal favorite tracks are the "folkier" ones - the jams with acoustic instruments - banjos, etc… 

overall, this is a great tape and I enjoyed it thoroughly.. keep em coming jeff!

check it out HERE

Shiloh - "MRS" (Rhed Rholl)



a new nashville based label called RHED RHOLL RECORDINGS sent me a tape by a chicago based band called SHILOH. The bands release, titled "MRS", has 10 nice indie-ish pop rock ditties that are clearly inspired by their indie-ish pop rock predecessors (weezer, pavement, etc). the songs are good, well produced, and the artwork/cassette itself looks cool. however, I have to admit that SHILOH is a bit too conservative/generic for my picky taste when it comes to indie-ish pop rock… but maybe it's your thing?! so check it out HERE and check out RHED RHOLL RECORDINGS HERE

Friday, March 1, 2013

The One (Family) - Live @ SOMETHINGseries (AMOK)



here we have a neat tape from our neighbors up north in canada land by a husband and wife duo that perform under the name THE ONE (FAMILY). each side is a solid sounding LIVE performance from "SOMETHINGseries" (sounds like an artsy joint to me).

the music is more or less standard ambient/psyche jamz: side A is mostly made up of drones and looped material that builds until a the end when a steady slowish drum beat enters. SIDE B however (featuring a saxophone player by the name james jenkins) begins similarly before launching into a full blown TECHNO jam (not the minimal techno that all my florida friends are all about, but the clubbed out, rolling face on E techno)… pleasant surprise… the piece continues to have different sections and towards the end showcases the sax player. unfortunately he is my least favorite part (i really only enjoy brutal sax playing - brotzmann and alyer - or the wackier dudes like ornette and zorn). this james jenkins dude is far too smooth for me (i do however love mid 80's progged out david sanborn [highly recommended]).

so that's that - a cool tape worth checking out if you're into artsy "experimental" ambient jams recorded live at what is perhaps a gallery. 

listen/buy HERE (it comes with a cool pin too!)

and check out THE ONE (FAMILY) HERE