Wednesday, February 26, 2014

NO! -Various Artists C64 (No! Records)



 Exceptional
 new compilation from Indiana (Bloomington and surrounding areas) tape label NO!, featuring some of the area's finest local experimental electronic, industrial and ambient acts. Approached as a cohesive cross-stitch sound collage, rather than just another label sampler, the artists featured all share a similar gloom and ache, yet they all have their own slightly unique vibe.
   
  Drekka tips this off with a dark and brooding wash of deep tone drifts and minimal percussion, heaps of low end magic akin to recent Lustmord or Peter Kyed scores. My personal favorite. The NOON and John Flannelly works that follow, pull you in quite different and quite manic directions, as Canid and Assimilation provide some very heady, live power electronics.  

  Agakus closes the mix with "Last Reichs," a track dedicated to Wilhelm Reich, respectively. Slabs of what sound to me like treated voices (or tugboat horns) swell up in a deep and haunting melody, atop a gurgling wash of mysterious field recordings. It's undeniably the most "musical" of the bunch, and an really nice closer.
  
  Something interesting is clearly happening in this part of the country, and NO! has done a fine job of getting these local artists' work out there. Recommended. Edition of 75, includes download code. 
Get one from NO! here.
Http://norecordlabel.bandcamp.com  


Monday, February 10, 2014

RAW MCCARTNEY "Introducing..." (Tripp Tapes)


Momma Mia Pizzeria calling all cars this here cassette is a solid 9.8 outta 10! Literally atomic hot and snapped rotten tube amps totaled from abuse play laid back cadillac rockabilly surf riffs while mr. Raw McCartney himself serenades you with songs to rival the Cars... to make another comparison it kind of sounds like George Brigman , a 1970ties Baltimore psychedelic fuzz head. To make a more contempoary comparision, this sounds a little like THEE OHH SEES or JAPANTHER. Guitars over guitars over bass over guitars over forever and ever drummer beat dance hypnotism --- this cassette is a punk rock expression of humanity miracle.

Raw McCartney has all his bases covered with this release. First, there is a lyrics sheet, and you'll need it as the vocals on the cassette are reverberated to the far reaches of HELL and HEAVEN. The lyrics remind me of Ramones lyrics but a little more bluesy than poppy. Unlike a lot of contemporary vocal acts, the lyrics feel like they are very considered. The singer does not have a large range but knows his limits and does what he can do very well. The lyrics do not overpower but they are also more than underwhelming. The lyrics give the chaotic noisy nature to this type of music a much needed structure.

Idiot Wasteoid, Born to Ride and PA Morning Garden of Shit are my three favorites. Also - check out the awesome package design RAW MCCARTHY threw together. Good things are a brewing in Indianapolis!

-- Jack Turnbull
www.jackturnbull.com

Friday, February 7, 2014

BLACK KASPAR "Schizo Tech"

A pulsing trainwreck of a free jam session by what sounds like a marching band made up of Scooby Doo monsters.

The bass and drums stand out a lot. I like how they can be on planet eleven X but then return to a four four drum beat with a bass rhythm that goes up in scale constantly similar to the Bane Batman movie soundtrack. I forget the name of it, the one with Bane.

The bass and drums are accompanied by what sounds like a theremin, an out of tune guitar played with a slide, a saxaphone (I think?) and ghost moans far and wide.

The use of fuzz on this album is incredible, simply because technology and tonal trends have changed since the hey day of psychedelic band fever, the 70ties ...

the Cassette is the musical equivalent to a jackson pollack. Experimental, self indulgent, most likely intoxicated, - but you can't argue it's not liberated and free.

-- Jack Turnbull

Thursday, February 6, 2014

HIGGINS - "Stereo" 2xcs (Words+Dreams)


 Mesmerizing new album from the fairly new Zs member Patrick Higgins, and his debut solo outing for Words + Dreams. Stereo is a sporadic three part affair for electric guitar and laptop. Stretched out over two tapes to be played simultaneously on separate players, this album really can't be experienced the same way twice. Try it.

  Side A is an aural attack straight from the get go. Higgins doesn't seem to drench his tools in many effects, and there is little to no software trickery whatsoever. "Stereo" starts off with a bit of tame noodling, staggering somewhere between hypnotic psych and free jazz modes. Before long, you are being tapped on both shoulders by the intertwining and sometimes disorienting chords, harsh and heady jabs, and he's just getting started.

  Side B is where things get real interesting, Higgins' unique style really comes to life on Pointillist, and a bigger picture starts to unravel. Clusters of harmonics bounce from side to side and the short bursts of notes become more sustained and haunting. A few harsh drones make their way into the mix on Estancia before things drop out into silence. Pure ear candy. Recommended.

Get yours from http://www.wordsplusdrea.ms

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Tapes From Samling Recordings: Barhus / Future Shuttle


  The first (black) is from a TX duo, Future Shuttle. A lovely, sprawling album entitled Étude Study. From the first moments of side A's "Love On A Metal Shuttle," the intertwining flute and glockenspiel create a vast and entrancing vibe, with gentle brushes of percussion propelling the spaced out melodies.
  Lizzie Harper's (of Sleep Over fame) flute is hypnotic and commanding, and often resembles an icy analog synth, and there's an obvious and powerful chemistry between the three players.  

  Side B is a slightly more heady, cosmic cruise through time, but a cohesive and focused one indeed. Things come to a close with the lushness of "Twilight Cave," and then you flip it right over for another play. Excellent batch of tunes, and I hope to hear more from them. 

  The second tape (gold) is an attractive looking five song album from Barhus, called Vasteland. I really dug this one. Slow swells of guitars and soaring keys, compositional drones and lots of open space. Some of this reminded me of older Fennesz works, or maybe Celer, with it's sustained beauty and dramatic key changes.

  Nothing too eclectic or experimental going on here, just five well crafted and thoughtful instrumental movements. Sunrise listening. Recommended!
  Get them both from
  www.samlingrecordings.com 
-MJO 


SOLID STATE ENTITY /
TRUCK STANLEY'S NIGHT DREAMS
split tape (Extended Release Plastics)


This is a split tape between pat from LSDV (Solid State Entity) and mark from Bang!Bros and Hunnie Bunnies (Truck Stanley's Night Dreams).

This release is a loose but focused sonic face-melting noise/rave masterpiece. It sounds like late night access television becoming possessed by yoga ghosts - psychedelic techno with an endless sample and tone palette to weird out even the loosest of peaceniks.

While accomplishing this it never feels too heavy handed or pretentious. This "mix" could easily double in with a 50 cent track. Think Aaron Dilloway doing his Mouse on Mars tribute. The ominous organ groans still sit next to an echoed snare drum beat leaving the smallest hint of rhythm even threw the muckiest of eerie nightmare drones. To put it another way, it's never not confident and it always stays accessible in execution and clarity if not in content.

The music is unpredictable, its tempo can slowly meander at times but its Aphex Twin speed at others. Sometimes the ideas transform at the speed of rotting bananas and other times spit out like a vomiting machine gun. Circuit bending, tape loops all messed up, maybe max/msp?, effects, all sorts of crazy stuff, is somewhere in all this, and the musician isn't afraid to be pleasant, spooky, experimental or dance. He's always vibrant.

Reverberated vocals make me think of Arthur Russell for a second, but they are fleeting and minimal. Lyrics over such a loose compositional noise structure is difficult, but the fact that some edited vocals exist on this tape at all shows how much is happening.

There isn't much information on this cassette as I said earlier. Just an e-mail (smokeybearcave@gmail.com) and a reference to a record label.

-- Jack Turnbull

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Happy Groundhog's Day You Sick Fucks!

If I had a gun held to my head and someone was asking me what the best rock and roll record ever made was, I think I would have to say The Groundhogs 1971 "conceptual" album Split.  I've heard that it's about a man going through a drug binge and comedown and I've also heard that it's about schizophrenia...maybe it's about both? or neither?  Either way, it contains some of the best guitar playing and "experimental" production I've ever heard.  Take this ride.

Oh, this is also the 1,000th post on Cassette Gods since 2007.
Happy Birthday!!!