Wednesday, October 30, 2013

GAZE "III" (Teen Action)

SIDE A
A signal fades in and out of volume, pulsating and oscillating with distorted fuzz and distant organ jams. It sounds analog; tubes over solid states. It turns into a space jam more akin to the psychedelics of Hawkwind or the homemade bent circuits of Mark Lord/Kites. No percussion is present; the only sense of rhythm is made clear by the on/off of circuit board knobs that crackle with radio interference. The whole tape kind of sounds like different airway signals from a distant, foreign, cold land - like a drifting spaceman way past orbit from that movie Gravity hopelessly trying to put out an SOS but he/she only get this tape in response.

Halfway through Side A, "Xerxes Concubine - the Winged Lion", a synthesizer melody made of approximately 3-4 notes takes center stage. It stagers and isn't a firm collection of notes (I sense perhaps because the artist is improvising) but they counterbalance the atmospheric chaos behind into something harmonious yet still ominous.

The musicians take a step back and someone cuts out and is replaced by sped up pulsating samples that linger as synth notes are held out. A metronome is heard. The tapes gets creepier as the artists underplay, perhaps with more moments of quite their sounds are more confirmable, as if we're getting a better rendered illustration of the monster they're attempting to narrate. Still - we're not being attacked here, just observing ... but over time, the first track begins to degrade from "space rock" to just "spacey".

If there are any complaints, I'd say the composition drags on for too long on side A. There are only so many descending pitch frequencies smothered in distortion one can hear before the sound stops carrying its validity. Side A could have easily lost about five minutes and I wouldn't miss those five minutes. You may disagree but there is no need for this to be a sixty minute tape.


SIDE B
While I can tell the artists are trying to branch out a little more at the beginning of Side B, The first song, "Peacock Motel" unfortunately offers little new ideas sonically. Digital delay snare tapes begin to hint at something new as sounds more akin to bird calls are made rather than outer space chill. I hear a little more contemporary Black Dice influence on "Peacock Motel". For an instant I heard something that's maybe a unmixed guitar dying in the distance. diverse tones are utilized better, but they are elusively amiss amongst watts of mangled samples and crackles.

I'm being more honest than not; if the first two songs were not labeled I could barely tell a difference. And they're drawn out. Perhaps live I could tolerate how long these space jams go for because I would be given the pleasure of watching the musicians play, adding a visual element, but on cassette in a walkman at 6 AM it sadly begins to underwhelm.

The final song on Side B, "Brindisi Nights" breaks mold fortunately. Laser beams from other galaxies still are present, but looping Cliff Martinez sythn licks sync in and sink their teeth into this track. This accessible 80ties thriller homage base allows for the musicians to really go full throttle and escalate their space assault. It adds a new dimension. The synthesizer melody flutters like a butterfly drenched in the rain of an approaching hurricane. Giving the listener a constant in a swirling world of loosely structured frequencies balances out the track. It allows the listener to get more out of it because of the subtle harmonies being made. Plus - loops, psychologically, allow the listeners to put down a wall because they know what's coming next. The effect is borderline "dancey", although I could never dance to this band, sorry.

The cassette design is minimal but effective. I like the yellow on blue; X-men colors. The utilitarian designer in me disapproves of there being no plastic case hence making the tape susceptible to damage, but the environmentalist applauds the lack of waste; two pieces of small paper and a tape = one new art product, why not? They get big points for good basic typography and I like Gaze's logo: /////

http://www.teenactionrecords.com/ TAR 032

--Jack Turbull

Monday, October 28, 2013

AMALGAMATED "No Way Out"
(Metaphysical Circuits)

Guitar solos and beachside sunset keyboard harmonies dance around a metronome click. Synthesizer emulating Plucked Violins drift around before falling into line, oscillating and invading your brain with sexy dancehall disco fantasies. This is space jams with whammy bar vibrato and drum machine sequencers galore.

Church bells, scrambled brains and egg tape loops and pulsing 70ties shitbots pleasantly congeal. Sign waves pulse with little logic. At one moment, a looping car engine start is presented and is then reversed and reverberated at low volume. It portrays an inner chaos that has been mastered into improvised melodies of gentle statements, a beautiful irony.

An AMEN drum beat is accompanied by bongos and low end, low frequency loop cantina piano. Great BBQ music. The laid back scratching of a record even emerges alla an early Beastie Boys jazz jam! A history of the trio in jazz lies behind this digitalized jam and ends with low tone frequency modulation and delay.

You're then inside the planetarium getting a lecture on the cosmos from Whoopi Goldberg as Ghienan in Star Trek:TNG. It feels nice, but then all of a sudden a black hole emerges which is an overdrive repeating screech. A snare drum militantly keeps beat as frequencies ascend and descend in pitch. The tape goes from accessible to anti-social within minutes before sputtering into digital delay infinity and fade out.

It reminds me of an instrumental Passion Pit at times and early Wolf Eyes on Seroquil at other times. Somewhere between disco beats and mangled howling at the moon is Amalgamated. Think the Trainspotting Soundtrack at it's more pulsating moments.

Side two blends these two feelings a little bit better but overall this is too spacey to be an awesome dance cassette to too dancey to be an awesome space cassette. I like the range and respect it, but right now I'm looking for a cassette that I can play at BBQs all the time, not just for a song here or there, you know what I mean?

But that's not this tapes problem, it's mine. This tape is good. Psychedelic, Acid drenched disco dance and expanse. Techno's back. This is the perfect soundtrack for your Halloween Harem of purple smoke, Cassette Gods.

--Jack Turnbull

Saturday, October 26, 2013

GRIPGEVEST & KLING "s/t" C38
(Hare Akedod)

"Gripgevest & Kling"; Another beautiful drone mind scape from the pitch dark deep thoughts bin.

Diverse in mood yet smooth in transition, fuzz guitar and West World synths play post-modern Middle-Eastern scale drug blues.

At this cassette's best, "Gripgevest & Kling" underplay but don't underwhelm. All tracks are live improvisations as the cassette liner notes state. These two musicians are clearly listening to one another while responding to one another, not an easy task. This probably explains why chord progressions are drawn out, echoed and gradually transform.

Still, the spontaneity of experimentation is present. Levels of volume and whammy octave changes surprise although don't overstimulate. Ideas are presented and then edited and adjusted in real time giving the tape a loose feel. The word "Jam session" is appropriate even though this isn't rock/roll music. It's better for relaxing and staring at your living room fish tank aquarium.

The tape breaks down when one of the musicians is ONLY listening while the other is playing and vice versa. It's fair to say the tape crescendos and recedes, but moments of amp input fuzz and looped keyboard melodies can break mood or just not jibe well. At worst, the tape can sound uninspired and casual while wanting to sound serious. It comes off as heavy handed.

Some guitar playing on this suggests an amateur knowledge of scale. But unlike less talented improvisors, all the right notes are playing, just with a small range that does not showcase the guitar's full ability. At times it sounds like one of the two guitarists only has one string on their guitar. That lesser range is less satisfying but not distracting to the overall mood.

At times, the majestic, progressive noise sounds and limited guitar don't seem to pair up well with folkish flute. Moments of melodic and thematic unity are more often than not on the tape, but at the lower points the call-and-response can feel strained.

These guys don't mind sounding creepy, trippy, tranquil or menacing. It's an ambitious tape and a great piece of cassette craft, but not an essential part of your collection. Good effort overall and great liner note graphic design.

http://hareakedod.tumblr.com/

-- Jack Turnbull

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

JAKE BLANCHARD
"Archaic Practices"
(Feathered Coyote Records)

High pitched peace pipes slowly collide with a looping train reaching it's station. Drawn out drone and hiss is this tape's beginning. I keep waiting for an axe to fall somewhere on this noise cassette but instead it fades in and out of tranquility. Slowly through the mix of feedback a faint few chords on synthesizer are revealed. Chime Melodies drenched with echo and reverberation appear, disappear and drift. Behind sweeping broad statements of noise is clean guitar chords sliding up and down inversions.

Other songs are less soothing. "Archaic Practices" can set a more ominous mood akin to Lars Van Trier movie soundtracks. Fife whistle even reminds me of the creepy drug hallucination scenes from Akira. These moments of style on the cassette play is less innovative than his subtly more melodic songs, but they are still effective and complex; tranquil yet unsettling. Vangelis at his most atmospheric also comes to mind.

I had to sit down with this cassette to fully appreciate it. It's not instant gratification rock/roll music. Instead of emulating mechanical, mathematical movement changes, the melodic and thematic electronic noise transitions ooze like evolving, primordial slime. Distant drums and snake slithering are mysteriously lurking through these songs.

Yet at other times, If I had a flying car and I wanted to show my girlfriend that flying car, I would play something like "Archaic Practices" in that flying car.

On a side note, the cassette album artwork is minimal yet well crafted, colored and designed. An illustration of a light purple silhouetted human figure eaten by oversized tape worms is a fitting image for how this music "decomposes" and recreates itself.

Read trippy literature to this cassette. It's not great for action-painting because it is more relaxing and meditative than seizure inducing metal, but due to its slow evolution between major and minor chords, gongs, static and ghost moans, it begins to become mind expanding. Great tape, just be patient with it.

http://www.discogs.com/Jake-Blanchard-Archaic-Practice/release/4314255

--Jack Turnbull

Monday, October 21, 2013

REX DESTINY AND THE DICKTATIONS
"King of Doobs"

A supremely boring “Rock Opera” in an edition of 50. With such an awesome band name and an album title like “King of the Doobs,” I had pretty high hopes. Unfortunately each side (respectively: side “jeff” and side “alex”) really doesn’t do much but pay testament to some of the most boring of the suburban rock tropes. Very little of this tape stands out from the hordes of other vanilla rock bands in the world, there’s just not much interesting going on. Singer has a nasally, kind of whiny voice, the guitar rocks, etc. I don’t want to be a totally mean person though- there are some pretty decent songs on here. It’s just that the songs I genuinely enjoy are separated by some pretty boring ballads. “Fuck Your Friends” is a pretty good rager that definitely makes me want to romp a little bit, and the bass tone on this track is killer. “Let’s Go Out Rockin” isn’t a masterpiece but the rhythm is infectious and I dig the cheesy lyrics. “Pink Lemonade” is a perfect summertime jam about catching bugs and being in nature, but it’s October now so the summer fun time theme kind of missed the mark for me. Maybe if it was called “Tamiflu and Cough Syrup” it’d fit my mood a little better, but I guess that would probably take away from the lyrical weight or something.

http://miguelgallego.bandcamp.com/releases

--Timonthy Johnson  

Saturday, October 19, 2013

DESMADRADOS SOLDADOS DE VENTURA
"Untitled" (Feathered Coyote Records)

These two side length psych-drone jams from Manchester New Hampshire’s Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura hit the spot but don’t do too much more. The sound is an absolute trainwreck: three guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, but it’s completely suitable for some fun practice room jams like these. The lead guitarist pulls these snake-charmer licks that are totally hypnotic and the vocals sound like they’re being transmitted to the 4 track from the bottom of a pond. I can’t really tell what the other two guitars are doing in this recording, besides making reverbed phaser sounds in the background, and I honestly probably wouldn’t have known they were there if I hadn’t read the J card. Desmadrados don’t pull many fancy tricks, but they definitely have a way of getting your head nodding. The A side, Leese Geese, is definitely the better of the two tracks. Mesmerizing guitar leads and a pounding bass riff build up to a sweet raw power finale. I like the mostly clean guitar licks, there’s some tasteful phaser but he doesn’t seem to employ too many alien-abduction effects. Serves to relax the thought-lobe while the pounding rhythm section crushes the consciousness. The formula is pretty consist on the B side, “Beneath the Eck Plane,” a ton of reverb, pounding low end, and persistence. Instead of building up to a rush they start out in the thick of it and keep it going for the whole length of the side. After ten minutes it gets a little old, and if you stick it out the song just cuts off right to silence at the end of the tape which is kind of a drag after so much build up. I can’t lie to you and tell you this is the best psychedelic tape of the century, or that this type of thing hasn’t been done before, but it’s certainly adequate listening, and I expect to put it in my tape deck someday when I want to tune out and enter another zone.

http://featheredcoyoterecords.bandcamp.com/album/untitled


--Timothy Johnson

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

FORM A LOG "The Two Benji's" LP (Dechoherence)


Very excited to announce the November 5th release date of the first vinyl LP by the four track supergroup Form A Log.  The trio of Ren Schofield (Container, ex-God Willing, I Just Live Here tapes), Noah Anthony (Profligate, ex-Nightburger) and Rick Weaver (Dinner Music, Human Conduct Records) makes weird, but danceable music for mutant basement gatherings.  I've enjoyed every one of their previous tapes and "The Two Benji's" will definitely keep me grooving this fall.

Pre-order from Decoherence Records

Stream the title track on soundcloud

and listen to other tracks below:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NOXAGT
"Live at Checkpoint Charlie, Stavanger 08.03.03"
(Drip Machine Records)

This tape is fantastic - 11 songs of pure punk garbage can blast beats, a fuzzy electric Viola from hell and bass riffs heavier than tsunami waves. This Electronic three piece noise-core is similar to acts like early Arab on Radar and Maybe even dark tones similar to Wonderful Rainbow era Lightning Bolt. The bassist can get downright plunky funky like a more badass and less goofy Primus. The drummer shows a healthy range of ability and is free and competent. But it is really the Viola that makes Noxagt stand out as a strange, unique instrumental distortion laced jazz punk band.

I saw these guys in Providence opening for Lightning Bolt. It was Halloween 2003, not at the famed Fort Thunder, but a warehouse community punk house that was very similar called the Pink Rabbit. Here is photos of it from the Lightning Bolt website ---> http://www.laserbeast.com/photos/103103/ There were about 12 bands playing that night at 3 different stages. The whole place was decorated and looked like Pee Wee's Playhouse. It was like the entire Load Records roster was there. Wrangler Brutes played, so did Fat Day. Lightning Bolt was the last band and they were incredible. I was dressed as a bumble bee. The whole scene felt like some trippy anime movie, I loved it.

Anyway, Noxagt were radical that night. Their set was less pulsating than a band like Lightning Bolt but more menacing. The viola is used brilliantly on this cassette and in public. Their tonal range is smaller than a band like Melt Banana but more concentrated. The viola gives everything a "dead meadow" feeling ... it's really European over American in terms of the style in which is played. We're not talking a "cotton eye joe" viola. It is more sludgy like Melvin's frontman King Buzzo's les paul yet still reminiscent of something remotely classical.


--Jack Turnbull
www.jackturnbull.com

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

INFINITY PEOPLE "The Serpent Tape"
(UFO Factory)


Infinity People's the Serpent Tape is the best cassette I have been given to review since I began writing for Cassette Gods this summer. This album is a cathartic, multigenre prog-rock orchestra with brass sections, multiple voice harmonies, classical piano solos, tape manipulation, 80ties metal guitar, synth oboe mediations, bird calls, horror movie soundtrack and straight up hippie noise. It sounds like a collection of many different musicians who in two compositions, an A and B of a cassette, are all given a spotlight. Their flow of tone is carefully and beautifully composed through the songs various movements.

Often times post-modern music that splices genre can feel like it has a deficit of attention or concentration. This is because splicing genre is as simple as rubbing your finger across a sliding AM/FM radio tuner; the task of mastering various types of music is accomplished easily through the assistance of computers and digital devices. Infinity People stand out because these musicians play analog instruments (although electricity, tapes and frequency effects are very present). It is music that could be played live at the Boston Symphony Orchestra or in a dingy Olneyville warehouse; This music is accessible to almost a universal audience, but is still forward thinking and challenging for a listener.

Their two compositions (an A and B side of the tape) share a serious dramatic mood. Side A's piano solo sounds almost as if it could be accompanied by jazz great Pharaoh Sanders but morphs into a metal power ballad. The second half sounds more ambient and is less operatic. Instead it sounds more like an urban slasher movie soundtrack with meditative synth parts and a movement with distinct low tomb tribal drumming. Choral chanting, fuzz distortion marshall stack guitar, gong and timpani are even heard!

This cassette is an epic DIY achievement. Unapologetic, meditative and quite possibly a masterpiece.

Buy your copy here - http://ufofactory.bigcartel.com/product/infinity-people-the-serpent-b-w-the-nest-ufo3-cassingle

--Jack Turnbull
www.jackturnbull.com

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Avocados "Huge Panorama" C20
(Dept Tapes)

 Avocados play music that is equal parts digital and analog electronics; half and half common dollar store objects (I hear some casio beats on their song "Fence") and high end effects (flanger, wha pedal) can be heard throughout. Gentle electric guitars and synthesizers gravitate between chords and rural licks while drum machines keep quiet, steady mechanical beats. Avocados go from trance country car ride music like the songs "Canopy Tent" and "Huge Panorama" to ambient new age sound spaces like "Natural Halo". They're also unafraid to make trippy make out music like on "Self-Portraitin Tapestry" and "Body of Water". Fans of "Real Estate" or "The Sea and Cake" will get into this band easily.

The scales being played are equally influenced by western and eastern sources. The photographs on the cassette are rural but ambiguous of their location. They could be of New Jersey, Nova Scotia or Japan. The inability to pin down Avocados location based upon the design of the cassette liner notes is smart; this music travels, expands, contracts, speeds up and slows down. This is road trip music and is anywhere because it moves.

Contradictory, each song's structure is repetitive. Usually I am skeptical of repetitive music because propaganda is a simple message repeated loudly over and over again. This can be similar to your average rock song that will be at most three to four chords played to exhaustion. Stamina is more applauded then complexity with rock fans. Some blatant examples would be just about anything the Ramones wrote or that stadium verse chorus repeat of "We Will Rock You" by Queen. These songs can be hypnotic and therefore manipulative. They are what rev up football fans to fight their hometown rivals. My personal taste gravitates towards Jazz and Classical because these two genres usually focus more on longer, varied melodies or improvisation.

Hence, I would be hesitant towards Avocados because many of their songs only have a few chords presented and the drum machines are just fancy, hypnotic metronome. But I am still won over by this cassette because while the structures of every song on "Huge Panorama" are repetitive, they are more meditative than manipulative. Furthermore, each separate song is different enough that I can hear them as if they were movements in the theme of the cassette's title; "Huge Panorama".

If I have any complaints, it would be that none of these tracks have outros. Their endings are abrupt like when a cassette runs out of reel. It can kill the mood. It's not a huge problem, but a fade out at the end of songs like "Huge Panorama" would have been more satisfying than someone just turning off the drum machine.

Overall, this cassette is very well thought out and executed. It puts me in a reflective, calm and warm mood. Great for apple picking, hammocks, sunsets, yoga, or any mixture of these four.

--Jack Turnbull www.jackturnbull.com

Saturday, October 5, 2013

CTHULU DETONATOR
"Frequency of the Multivibrator"
(Null Religion Records)

This tape is a killer. If you can stomach how deeply disturbing the intro composition of echoed breath is, the rest of the tape becomes less subversive and creepy. It's unknown to me if the A side track "Frequency of the Multivihrator" is composed or improvised, but here you have a deeply provocative battle of man versus machine as the artist's screams fluctuate between digital processing effects and feedback to the tone of a human. It sounds like the machines are winning.

Right when you thought you had this taped figured out and you get used to hearing chaotic depress-o monster drones, you're suddenly flying with uprising engine oscillations. This sounds like a tornado of angry robots hunting down the last screaming man. Once they have accomplished their assignments, the robots win and indulge with narcissistic feedback as if everyone's computer was on the sleep switch and at full volume.

The human voice is so smothered on the cassette you wonder where the humanity lies, a perfect metaphor about the prophecy of the rising machines.

By the end of the first half I am MISSING those echoed creepy breaths in the beginning because that monster was recognizable. Listening to the tape loop feedback becomes antisocial and less confrontational although still brutal. But it is just short of agonizing so I keep listening. Jesus Christ this sounds terrible at times.

Midway through the tape's A side I sense the sound becomes more unfocused but still cathartic. No more metaphors hold up as I am exposed to an onslaught of punishment. There is no concept anymore and I get the sense all of the artist's buttons are being pushed at once violently. This musician is trying to hurt me. This is a final act of desperate offense before what sounds like a wind recorder subtly embarks.

A few final chords of more charming, drawn out optimism comes out of this now manipulative ear terrorist. Unfortunately for me, his gracing hand is loosened and submits to tremolo feedback equalizing fluctuation.

But the onslaught gets tiring and suddenly I can hear similar techniques repeating at the end of side one. This songs goes on for what feels like 20 minutes and then ends abruptly. There is only so much an abuser can do to you before his meaning starts dissipating and whatever reasoning for his abuse becomes more transparently primitive.

Onto Side B:

Side B gets chunkier and more rocking but fades in and out of high frequency hiss. At the beginning of this tape any trace of a human generating these noises is gone. We're now getting thrown through another descending dimension of infinite mechanical death at a disconcerting speed. The artist's onslaught is so heavy that a slowed down sound of a bomb going off is the most uplifting moment on side B.

At times things get a little too blippy and "Star Trek" sounding for me. Don't get me wrong, everything sounds otherworldly and dark, but I personally do need a little more of a human touch. There is too many artificial samples when the cassette starts with such a strong, human presence. The tape looses menace because let's face it, robots are indifferent always because they themselves have only their programed function. Unless you are a Phillip K. Dick fan and your definition - OK, sorry, off topic.

All I am saying is I wish there was a few more human or wooden sounds to balance out the steel.
At the end of the tape momentarily the human voice is looped and not fuzzed and laced with high volume feedback. It's kind of like a trick ending at the end of a horror movie when you think the onslaught of mayhem is finally over ... only to realize the killer is in the back seat right behind you!

The art of the cassette by the way is pretty cool although I disapprove of the shoddy typography. Fierce sumi ink lines photocopied in black and white with a chicken headed man similar to a drawing of Goya's dark period at the end of his life. The cassette itself is see through green. Radical.

I personally enjoy a little more composition when it comes to noise like with Black Dice's "Beaches and Canyons". This tape starts with something brand new and truly menacing, but soon after that the composition devolves into "all systems go" free improvisation that is very expansive but disorganized.

Overall, this is pretty good. It's a pissed off and challenging noise tape.

hear sounds: http://cthulhudetonator.bandcamp.com/

--Jack Turnbull www.jackturnbull.com

Friday, October 4, 2013

GARBUS/BISSETTE Cassingle (OSR Tapes)


Another aesthetic benchmark from insular Brattleboro, VT, OSR Tapes' Garbus/Bissette release is a short statement rich and ripe with musical ideas.  

Ruth's side offers heavy songwriting within the parameters two songs. "And You Be" wisps through the trees, drawing long breaths over lush chords. 
"I Won't Quit" is a subtle masterpiece, a firm determination of being, a trip to unexpected sonic terrain lush with harmonic depth.
Her side ends with a collaborative(?) sound collage, a transmission from a friendly poltergeist winding up birds and spooky toys.

Danny Bissette (Wampum Physics, Ice Cream) further illustrates artistry in subtlety.  A work in primarily acoustic strings, Danny's side is both playful and simplistic; a moving lens blurred and lucid.  In "Flower Pot" intermittent string buzz tolls like an opening bell:
"I don't wanna chase the ice cream trucks without you" 

voices wrestle right off key, close mic'd and detuned.

a proper gem


visit osr-tapes.com and be sure to check out other new split cassingles (Blanche Blanche Blanche/Hartley C. White, Big French), videos and out of print releases available for free download(!)

- -Matt Robidoux

WHITE REAPER
"Conspirator" b/w "The Cut"
(Earthbound Records)


 On their new 7’’ release, Kentucky rock duo White Reaper deliver a solid offering of two fuzzed out garage jams. White Reaper fit in seamlessly with many of the other garage bands of our era with their poppy, minimal approach and ample amounts of reverb worship. The first track “Conspirator” is a ripper of a track rife with paranoid lyrics and driving riffs. The drums kill it and the chorus is catchy and memorable. White Reaper’s two person approach definitely works in their favor as they create tons of noise and power without getting too cluttered and messy. My one gripe might be that approaching the four minute mark it seems a touch long for a garage punk track.  The B side “The Cut” didn’t grab me as quickly but on repeated listening is a pretty rad tune in it’s own right. While it doesn’t have quite the kick of Conspirator it’s well worth a listen and rounds out the record nicely. This 7’’ is a solid addition to any collection for fans of bands like Ty Segall, Diarrhea Planet or other bands in that same vein. Grab a copy and dig!




-- Steve Cameron

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Savage Relatives "Phantom Uncle"

Let me start off by saying that if you purchase cassettes based upon the artwork or design of the liner notes and you get your hand's on Savage Relative's "Phantom Uncle", you are in for a surprise. When I received this cassette for review, I assumed this was going to be some decadent and confused "golden age of digital collage" music similar to Extreme Animals. The cover of this cassette is as gaudy as a middle schooler's myspace page from 2004. The cassette looks like Lisa Frank was tripping on some dark, dark drugs, locked herself in her studio and came out with this kaleidoscope of surreal, tacky bullshit.

The music, in contrast, sounds like one of those Haunted House soundtrack tapes you can buy around Halloween except slowed down and with way more fog horns. There is nothing frantic or energetic about this cassette. it doesn't even chug along like a stoner caravan because there is no rhythm. It's what you'd call a harsh noise drone tape.

This disconnect between the design and audio is frustrating. It leaves me questioning the intension of the artist/artists. It's as if the two things cancel each other out, the full impact lost through horrid juxtaposition. It's like ice cream on pizza, I like both ice cream and pizza, but ice cream on pizza sounds terrible. I wouldn't go as far as to say I feel swindled, but the audio of this cassette does not conjure up images of bare skinned sexy ladies, poodles getting their teeth checked out, sparkly pomegranate colored text or navaho rugs.

This music is great if you've just got dumped by your long distance girlfriend via mail while militarily serving in Vietnam or are just watching some creepy snuff movie with the sound off. It does portray dread, hopelessness, emptiness and loneliness pretty well. None of the sounds are recognizable. I can make out a delay pedal here and there and a distant vocal track, but it all lumps together to sound like one big, mean air conditioner from hell.

I guess this is a pretty good release if your thing is harsh noise drone, but it does not hold a candle to the pain and agony harsh noise masters are able to express. This sounds more like the harsh noise of an opium addict stuck in a lotus field as opposed to a dying Warrior like "Prurient".

Also, this thing gets major points taken away for having completely illegible text. The track listing reads "1.Mo(?)e Th(?)n I Owe (ok, I got that one) 2. ????? side (?) - ugh, you get the picture. I don't know where it was recorded even though the artist is trying to tell me.

The cover was done by (????) S(????).

--Jack Turnbull www.jackturnbull.com