PERRACHE “Une Cassette Comme Les Autres”
(Taping Desk O-phon Mania)

Joachim Henn isn’t one to relax. The Stuttgart native has released many things with many folks under many guises, some of which I’ve heard of (e jugend! trikorder 23!) and some I haven’t, but whose ignorance I will rectify posthaste (Frood of the Loop, Olumpique Jazz Trio). Here he drops “Une Cassette Comme Les Autres” as Perrache, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s a knockout of a tape release.

You can’t shake its trance, that’s for sure, as waves upon waves of nocturnal energy billow and pulse, densely coalescing and interacting like the friction of cloud formations. Henn builds massive sound structures that don’t come off as imposing as they are, as if their enormity was relegated to sheer distance. In fact, they’re not imposing at all – they’re inviting, hovering like lullabies and gently enveloping you as their characteristics emerge. Even when the tones are harsher, they’re still capable of engendering an awestruck response.

Beginning and ending with the fascinating “Chien de Loop,” the tape eats its own tail, ouroboros-style, although neither “Chien” resembles the other really; instead, they’re complementary pieces. But it illustrates how one of Henn’s ideas can be distributed in completely different ways. And it showcases how tightly controlled those ideas are, as if the elements of them find their way into each other and vice versa, each track resonating with and expanding upon the others. There’s not a dull moment on “Une Cassette Comme Les Autres,” so track one down as soon as you possibly can (not sure how easy that’s going to be for you Americans – I guess you can do a little distro digging).


Taping Desk O-phon Mania


A.M. STATIONS “Nonsense” C34 (Already Dead)

The noise rock recipe is fairly simple if you were going to write it down: distorted/jagged/angular guitars, (sometimes distorted) spoken/sung/shouted vocals, distorted riff-happy bass, pummeling drums. A.M. Stations features all of these things, and their brand of noise rock is therefore eminently successful.

There are even glimpses of melody throughout – not everything is a punishing wall of sheer serration. But even as tunes like “Milk Siblings” and “Charred Wings” offer a break from the onslaught, it doesn’t last long. Sure enough, even these diversions erupt with the intensity and propulsion of a roadside IED, flinging sonic shrapnel in all directions. The impact is lasting.

Check out these wily Chicagoans if you get a chance – I imagine their live show is a sight to behold.

A.M. Stations

Already Dead


REGATTAS "Garudas" C35 (Shinkoyo)

Free-Jazz lovers, rejoice! Tenor sax virtuoso, Sam Hillmer, plays in like a bajillion projects (check his personal site link below), but here, he’s on his own, exploring pretty much every sound one could possibly make with brass & reed.

I suggest not listening to this tape while your partner attempts to study or you might just be threatened with actual death.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

(Eh? Records/Public Eyesore)

When not using the built-in mic of his cellular phone to steal the sound-souls from Bolivian & Chilean passersby, Felipe Araya acts upon his cajon like so:

rub, smoosh, flutter,
clack, swipe, squeak,
massage, caress, shuffle,
drag, scrape, massage,
tinkle, creak, shudder!

&do not look for rhymes or reasons here.

Then, he plots Andean flute, Earth winds, footsteps.
Oh, do not look for rhythms or raising hairs.

As kerfluffle ubiquifies unto ambiance-hood,
and seismic groans drone plaintively below twinkling scraps,
do not look for rams or rustles near.

found within are field recordings from South America, electro-acoustic compositions via treated solo cajón, flute, & pretty much most sounds harvestable via natural frictions & jigglings about.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

DAVE SCANLON "Coupling Duet" C39 (Shinkoyo)

“Coupling Duet” is a clinical collection of avant-garde studies in repetition, phasing, overtone and space/time that’d fit right in next to several Steve Reich and Morton Feldman releases. Every track is a snack-sized inner world unto its own, each collected element demanding various degrees of multi-focused attention and patience as it engages with its surrounding (sparse) group of peers.

Listen loudly with headphones in the morning before traffic picks up for an altered sense of pacing, posing, and passing things/thoughts.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

IE "Ark" C39 (Shinkoyo)

In an excerpt from IE’s bandcamp page (hosted by Shinkoyo), a poem by (2/5ths of) the recordings artists reads as follows:

“About ARK:

The drone is an ark. It is not a negative space. It is a positive void. Its sound is built upon frequencies held steady with no aim. There is no place involved. There is consumption and repetition and shame associated with these activities. There is a world of rhythms and animal repetition. The drone is an ark. It is not a negative space. It is a positive void. It is a place of not knowing what. It can be played backwards and forwards. The drone is made of frequencies held steady with no aim. They have length. There are sensory motor pleasures that rewire consumption machines and there is shame involved. There are chords and they are a puzzle; people are working on the puzzle; the puzzle is the ark. The drone lasts for some time outside of time and inside there are only shapes, and possibly more. If you have shame, you can always make it into a movie instead of a drone. So then you might have left the ark. Shameless cinema is the absent work of drones. The drone is an ark. It is not electricity and also is what it is. It is not a negative space. It is a positive void. It is an ark. Drones are built upon frequencies held steady with no aim, and there is disruption of sensuous pleasures and consumption and repetition and all the shame associated with them. It may or may not be filled with emotion. It has beginnings, endings, inconsistencies and mistakes, or pretends that it does or does not. The drone is and makes perfect and imperfect pairings. The drone is an ark. It is not a negative space. It is a positive void. It is not a place. It is an ark.”

Recorded with the charms of brutalist architecture in mind, this electro-acoustic live document of the resonations culled from thrice-amplified keyboards, bassoon and saxophone is a minimalist dreamer’s drone (and vice versa) for all of us in love with naturally occurring binaural warble and the nuances inherent in stairwell echoes and austerely-constructed open art spaces.

Think Ellen Fullman, La Monte Young, & Phil Niblock, but, like, much younger, and from the Twin Cities. Make no mistake, this is an elegant, vibrant release, and IE know what is shaking. Specifically air molecules.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

NEW POPE "Meet the New Pope" C44 (Shinkoyo)

Sharing psychedelic DNA with the legendary Oneida, New Pope churns out some pretty far out there, dynamics-focused post-rock for dizzy headphone walkers. Part polyrhythmic hypnosis, part ceremonial drone, part krauty-space jam, this studio-born&raised release proves the glory of studied counterpoint, angular groove, and deft mixing/production.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

C. WORTH "A Farther Sea"
C54 (Gertrude Tapes)

The sound of all lone bedrooms
lit only by streetlamp,
fading candle, & intervals
of distant lighthouse flash.

Dust, devoutly swept into
all four corners, achieves
topsoil status, hosts
modest ice plant colonies.

Foghorn husk and battered,
barnacled hiss, Sea Worthy
hazily fingerstyles his subtle siren
strings of electric guitar,
mutely of pluck, or
jazzily strum’d, leagues
of reverb and delay coloring
even post-midnight horizons
with ghostly sails of unpinnable

Tides dependable, concurrently
peaceable, despite infinite opportunities
to dreamily

… … … …

This tape may actually be a perfect decompression-hour soundtrack. With or without headphones and/or neighborhood noise, it absolutely delivers, time and time and time again. The slippery blend of bass and treble and its rhythmic interplay, the arpeggios that slide into strums, the seamless movements between keys, the waxing and waning delay levels; C. Worth embodies all that can be transcendental about virtuosic guitar playing, with positively zero traces of the onanistic qualities so common in the genre.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

C30 (Perfect Wave)

Side A: With sustain pedal to the metal, Bryce Hackford patiently plots & plods a select few sentimental grand piano chords with minimalist-mantric repetition, creating a hollow peace within that is uneasy and inevitable.

Side B: Metronomic deep bass pulses around a lonesome, keyless chord. With no other subtext, its erratic cries ring out, untethered to any major or minor constraint, even when a low drone surfaces and recedes. Despite superficial tranquility, the gestalt yield is again uneasy & inevitable, leaving us looking, and feeling, “off”.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

C83 (Perfect Wave)

One point five hour’s worth of distilled sonic sleep apnea, magnetized and perched for a lackadaisical swooping into the vicinity of your ever-too-functioning-pulmonary caves. Read: this time-freezer is on le-fritz, again, so just shut some eyes, massage the back of a scalp; just enjoy the ride. Just…

Best visual: an emaciated taxi driver stuck in armageddon traffic, blissful. Each yard moving forward no less celebrated than the last. No less dreaded. No less Anything.

Notes of:
-mausoleum reverie,
-emotional trainwreck nostalgia,
-abandoned artifact stoicism,
-torn subway ticket despair,
-space held by-and-for space itself,
-organs of organs of…

Given William Basinski couldn’t eulogize his own wake, this’d do just fine.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

TROPICAL ROCK "Yellow Dock" C45 (Perfect Wave)

Two to three High Priestesses pace the perimeter of an impossibly morphing Yellow Dock, each one a-flutesaxophoneanalogsynthcrystalsingingbowltenori-onvocalizin’ to the others’ past/present/future inner ear through the slippery delay (pedals) of time. This cosmic circle-pit is jubilant, intense, revelatory, mesmerizing. It is a time-lapse party portrait at both micro- and macro- levels, in dynamics, narration, rhythm, and space.

Yes. There are nuanced, sonic jokes, social tropes. There is bickering, splitting hairs, these sounds all ringing intensely and timelessly, part & parcel to this cathartic gathering. There is unity; the tension acts as glue every bit as much as the countering, blissfully waxing moon’s pull. And then they all go out on a midnight-herbal-tea run, leaving said Yellow Dock shaken (and stirring) in the falling humidity.

Camille Padgitt-Coles and Ka Baird are not only the main contributors (with additional accompaniment from T. Peterson, another STITSR alum) to Tropical Rock, but also the head honchos of Perfect Wave, an NYC asset to experimental music promotion/curation. Do check out their website below to see how you might get involved/bare witness!

--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Self Titled" C26 (Pidgeon Records)

Nagual, Oberlin’s own nefarious, electric guitar triumvirate, teams up with Zach Rowden (on bass guitar here) to deliver two nerve-wracking slabs of droning feedback for the calloused-of-heart only.  Each side plays as a build-up to and/or come-down from some inferred breakdown (of the hardcore punk variety) without so much as a beat or chord strangled.

I can’t help but envision a mute, sweaty-brow’d vocalist flailing about stage between these four fullstack-abusers, madly pacing back and forth, jumping up on the bass drum of a never-to-be-played kit, threatening to bash a crash symbol with his unplugged, battered-in microphone, fervently awaiting an eternally undelivered count-in.
Pretty intense stuff. Play loud as fuck on a stereo with a good subwoofer, for sure.

--Jacob An Kittenplan

GARY HILL “Earth” (Windhaven Enterprises)

Totally rad font for this folded paper “j-card,” Gary Hill: I’m all ready for “Earth” to be some sort of text-based RPG adventure for an ancient PC, somehow confronting “Earth-Crisis (Impressions) 1-15” on side A, while “Earth Crisis (Impressions) 16-24” await on side B. The music does not disappoint. Warbly synth and Casio, mothballed melodies sprinkled quickly, transitioning quickly. The feel is exactly the look, and I am keen on it.

There is also a manifesto of sorts from Gary Hill in the folded paper accompanying the tape, something about saving the world from ourselves, it’s not too late, etc., but I’m not sure how serious to take it. (I mean, saving the planet is certainly important, as are green initiatives and restorative practices, don’t get me wrong.) Maybe it’s that this was released by something called Windhaven Enterprises … in 1990. That leads me to believe the whole retrofuturism thing might be a stylistic ploy. And my momma didn’t raise no dummy.

Oh, and please don’t get confused with this Earth Crisis. Unless you want to.

There doesn’t seem to be much info on this one, but here’s a YouTube link with the whole thing playing:


“Falling Up a Down Escalator” C45
(Already Dead)

Depends, I guess, on the season? If it’s cold, chili definitely. My brother-in-law’s Thai creations. Spaghetti. Warm weather I’m more into seafood stuff – we get this great shrimp ceviche around here that’s just so refreshing. I can taste it right now.

I’m talking about comfort food, obviously. Now I’m going to talk about Comfort Food.

Named after the kind of food that makes me (AND ONLY ME) feel good, Comfort Food the band is sort of the opposite, scattering their noise rock discontent among the jazz funk soil, like they’re filling your underpants with sand or something and making you walk the two miles back to town instead of giving you a lift. Comfort food, the food, this is not. This is scratchy and herky, uncomfortable, awkward. In short, this is everything that this kind of music should be.

“Falling Up a Down Escalator” is as unusual as its title sounds, like it’s really hard to do what it suggests. But bassist/vocalist/trumpetist Daniel Wolff and percussionist Jake Marshall are adept at turning gravity on its head in their tunes, and they’re up to the task at putting you off your equilibrium. These tracks churn and sizzle, fester and bubble, sometimes all at once. You guys like Jerkagram? You should. Comfort Food are spiritual siblings, but weirder. And Darko the Super even drops by to drop a couple of rhymes!

Comfort Food

Already Dead


SCRATEBOARD “Your Hand” (Peconic Records)

Scrote up, scrateboarder! Kirkflirp that rollie to a nrose slide, and try not to totally breef it. Raxle starl on a harf parp. Autograrfed Trorny Hark knee pards hanging on my gararge warl. A million back issues of Thrarsher margazarn in a borx downstors. Scrate or drie!


Shrrrederrr synthersizer torns. Blirp flirprs. Thrs chrmrng mrn. Trance brandrt. Rrrarrtrrraterr.

Fruck irt.

--Streve Craballero