Sorry for not posting these last few days but we're on a brief break.

Hope to get things started back up again by next week.

“Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive” (Submarine Broadcasting Co.)

“I used to LOVE netlabels, especially the ones that trafficked exclusively in ambient, electronic, and post rock. The best ones combined all three. Ten years has now passed since I so eagerly dug into that stuff. Ten long years… But hey! Here’s Whettman Chelmets to bring the whole thing back around, full circle, and rekindle my love for that heady brew of the one-person-that-sounds-like-a-full-band recording project.

“[‘Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive’] is a sensory treat.”

So went my initial review of Whettman Chelmets’ “Annihilate Your Masters,” and it feels like I didn’t write that all that long ago, so it remains an apt description here today with this new three-track tape drop. The three tracks are cheekily out of order from how they appear in the full EP’s title: 1. “The Sun Is Shining”; 2. “Alas…”; 3. “You are Still Alive.” The first side is all twinkling instrumental dream pop, definitely some Cure influence in there, sweet throwbacky vibes that get your heart all yearning for yearning again – the moments in your life where you’re nothing but a lovesick loser. Were those moments all that good? I dunno – the nostalgia for them is, though.

“You are Still Alive” takes over everything with nine minutes of sustained ambient feedback – the perfect end to a shoegaze treat?

Sure thing, buckaroo.

Whettman Chelmets 

Submarine Broadcasting Co.


“Kaffeeklatsch” C90
(OJC Recordings)

Alright you outsiders, gather round, and listen to story of the great R. Stevie Moore’s reissue of “Kaffeeklatsch.” See, this here C90 was originally a 2xC90 from 1984 that featured a bunch of extra live shit that was pretty OK when you get down to it. But the The Man intercepted the 2xC90 in transit to OJC Recordings and lopped half of it off. Before The Man could finish the job, OJC Recordings snatched what it could from The Man’s greasy mitts and released the tape in its current form, a single C90.

The Man.

The Man was watching, and because this was 1984, the magical year when dystopia reigned both in our imaginations and in our real lives. The Man couldn’t handle so much extra R. Stevie Moore. But we can handle The Man.

OJC only made 50 copies of this before the masters exploded in the tape deck. Fearing sabotage, the label went into hiding and has been there ever since, dropping their releases clandestinely from various and never-repeating locations. But we still get them, we still hear them, and we rise up with raised fists.

All this is to say that this is quintessential period R. Stevie Moore, and there is no shortage of excellent tunes on “Kaffeeklatsch.” Pump it at loud volumes, and don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do. Especially…

…The Man.

R. Stevie Moore

OJC Recordings


VARIOUS ARTISTS “End of Infinity: One-Track Mind Vol. 5” C60 (Greentape)

There’s a li’l something for everyone on "End of Infinity”; from gorgeously plucked guitar-soli (David van Auker) to backyard bonfire “pass me that guit-box” folk (Treefrogs); from electro-acoustics by one-man-gamelan-on-dissociatives (Brian day & Phil Sudderberg) to playful synth ditties ( *e*); from uneasy ambient (Tired Light & the Wppss) to cosmic space jamz (Ancient Elephants); &on &on &on, all artists being pretty great in their own respects.

The only unifying thread between these 16 wildly unrelated tracks is an earnest looseness & simplicity that translates well to a blank black tape with TNMT-green duct tape slapped across the top. Thanks GREENTAPE!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Travels In Public" C42
(Lily Tapes & Discs)

Firmly staked out between effusively heart-sleeved nostalgia and aloof, confusion-based reticence, Kiel, Germany’s Vierzig Skizzen patiently sculpts ambient-guitar drones that cloud the ear-motions with distinctly hazy non-memories and maybe-feelings of lessons possibly-learned and friendships-just-around-the-other-other-corner. “Travels In Public” soundtracks all those forgettable missteps and negligible connections we glorified apes might make in our early adulthoods that all but dissolve in the quicksand of collective memory; he takes those alternate-burdens and distills them into discrete swells and delayed guitar (s)weepings (ala SOTL, KBD, or BRE’R), rendering sonic any number of undefined emotions hovering just short of adequate complacency and hope.

Which is to say, this album is both incredibly memorable (albeit maybe painful) and ohsoeasy to forget oneself -and everything else, for that matter- inside of. I’d recommend it if I didn’t think it’d maybe bum you out. Listen with caution, I guess. If you’re up for such an undertaking, it’s pretty goddamn great.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Submission of Archival Sonic Documentation: Riverwest, WI 2017-2018” C36 (FTAM Productions)

The Bachelorette Party release on FTAM Productions from this past summer (featuring Amanda Schoofs and label head Peter J. Woods) is some of the most interesting and dynamic noise I’ve heard in a while. It consists of two textured and robust live performances from 2017-2018. The A side and first performance, recorded in 2017, is ushered in with sustained atmospheric tones and vocals that are at times soft, at times operatic, and at times bordering on the vampiric. Mirroring these vocal changes, the sonic landscape also morphs gradually but steadily through periods of calmness, brightness, and danger.

The second performance and B side was recorded in 2018 and is markedly more menacing as it unfolds, with a recurring theme of tension in the electronics that is punctuated by witchlike vocal aspirations.  The vocalizations are vast and expansive as they dance among the clouds of sonic activity like locust swarms, appearing and disappearing throughout the piece. The entire thing builds and heaves like some sort of electronic coven ritual.

Overall, this creative and intense album is satisfying not only conceptually but also because it features two strong live performances that share a continuity while also boasting their own characters. Props to these two performers for coming together as this new and impressive duo; I hope to hear more from them in the near future.


--P. Karras

CHRIS REIERSON “Sensitive To Textures"
C34 (Self-Released)

“Sensitive To Textures” is a two year study on the literal Ghost In The Machine; how a seemingly sterile electrical-hum or industrial, friction-inspired screech can host a teeming forest of microflora that breathes warmth and movement into otherwise barren, hostile, abandoned factory-scrapes and rusted-cog-lurchings. Chris Reierson achieves this through painstaking attention to detail in mixing Radigue-ian atonal cycles and drones with the subtlest touch of ambient-guitar sonority, letting texture not only float to the fore of the mind, but strengthen and solidify into its own guiding star, where only the faintest of solar winds bear mellifluous consciousness upon the listener, nearly undetected, yet undeniably, viscerally witnessed.

Though primarily white-noise-centric, two manic episodes upend the dynamic topography of this release to the point of non-background-ableness. AKA don’t try to study with this on. It IS, however, deeply evocative and great for actively meditating along with, or watching watercolor pools blending and drying.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

GERMAN ARMY "Kowloon Walled City"
C45 (Null/Zone)

There’s an anti-didactic adage to be gleaned from DFW’s infamous commencement speech, “This Is Water”, in which two young, budding SoCal electronic music artists are walking along on a road towards Joshua Tree and one of the Bishop brothers comes waltzing by and says, “Hey, boys, how’s the German Army?” And then he walks off to get a frenchfry-stuffed burrito or something. After that, those two young, budding SoCal electronic musicians just continue walking along for a li’l bit until one says to the other, “Who the hell is German Army?”

Goddamnedest thing about the word “ubiquity” is that we’ve been using all those letters for other stuff the whole time…

This cassette is already sold out, of course, like every single other cassette I’ve ever received for review by them.  Why the hell does GeAr even bother having people review their stuff if we’re all just buying the damn tapes anyway, well before anyone has a chance to say a damn thing about them? Are GeAr just hoping we’ll continue to assure their rabid fanbase that they haven’t jumped the shark and started indulging in quality-reducing drugs like the Rolling Stones did or something?

Well, they haven’t, okay. Not a lick.

KWC is fanfuckingtastic, just like you’d expect. Groovy, yet reservedly driving, respectfully paying homage to the world’s diverse flavors and swaggers whilst adding a smidge of their own electronic spice, where they see fit, to further sharpen the edges. Perhaps they’re hoping someone’ll get inspired to start a well-meaning cult? Their (primarily tribal) beats ARE undeniably entrancing like that. Yeah. Solid cadences, simple-yet-effectively-bewildering accents & counterpoint. Ceremonial. Quite culty, for sure.

&if you’ve never seen footage* of people walking though the concrete veins of Kowloon Walled City, may I unhumbly suggest you get on that shit right now, while listening to this tape, cranked up LOUD?!

Disclaimer: Neither CG nor I can vouch for the accuracy of the claims made in said video.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

WINTERBLOOD “I Signori Oscuri" C41 (Ephem-Aural)

NYC’s own Ephem-Aural label have just put out one brooding behemoth of an album by Florentine dungeon-synth-esque, minimal/new-new-age masters WINTERBLOOD. These Italian anti-maniacs have been catatonizing people across the globe for about a decade now, and “I Signori Oscuri” is yet another finely permafrosted soundscape for the rest of us to get to know them by.



It cannot be said enough times.


Winterblood have made it their overarching mission to viscerally embody and embolden what it means to be clinically removed from mirth and livelihood; what it means to be an ego-less observer of all darknesses inherent in humanity’s toils and tribulations. Through somberly strolling, barren synth phrasings that echo and linger, these moody lifelines freeze and dissipate, giving way to an infinite cache of Neptunian narratives, all crystalizing and melting, within each and every revolving measure.


Listening to this tape BLASTED on a tropical beach would easily drop one’s internal celsius count a full degree. Maybe two.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Sttt Thomasss “""DINGGGDONGGG DINGGGzzzzzzzz ferrrr TONYYY””"" " C26
(Blank Forms Editions)

With Sttt Thomasss…, humbly opalescent ritual-conductor, Charlemagne Palestine, pays a half-hour tribute to his dear pal Tony Conrad by clanging the bejebus outta the very same carillon bells that proved the clarion call responsible for bringing the two together. It’s everything you’d expect from CP, but with a sincere prelude that colors the following expression all the deeper of hues, purples, reds, & blues.

Now, down to the nitty-gritty…

This tape was promoted by BLANK FORMS, which is a really rad promotor of…well…really rad music and art (Currently, they’re hosting Loren Connors and Henning Christiansen) and their mission statement is to support;

"emerging and underrepresented artists working in a range of time-based and interdisciplinary art practices, including experimental music, performance, dance, and sound art. We aim to establish new frameworks to preserve, nurture, and present to broad audiences the work of historic and emerging artists. Blank Forms provides artists with curatorial support, residencies, commissions, and publications to help document, disseminate, and advance their practices.”

Peep their website to see who they’re giving a boost to in YOUR area.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"First Second" C40
(That’s Cool Records)

I can easily picture Jeph Jerman and Steve Jansen walking out from beneath an occupied underpass/railroad crossing where they’ve just captured to tape the scrapes and clatters of aluminum and tin can separation, said shopping-cart-kerfluffle likely drowning out what later will be the amplified sizzle of a camper’s illicit substances liquefying upon a sheet of foil. Not fifty yards past a fading freight’s screech, they stop to admire the subtle purr of an obliviously rusting electrical box. “I wonder how she’ll sound when it begins to frost,” ventures one. After a solid two minutes of pondering the other replies,

“We’ll have to come back next month I guess.”

Veteran vibration-worshippers JJ & SJ each have an impressively extensive output of visionary improv releases, but now they’ve teamed up here to vibrantly paint a more focused, intentional, potently vivid dream sequence of living-toil-texture and cold-machine-hum, using as their sonic brushes various tapes, homemade electronics, & “objects”.

“First Second” starts out with a blazing-fire-crackle’s intensity as a commotion of distinct wobbles, scrapes, and skids share common frequencies with various recordings of birds and/or barnyard utterances. As the trebly acou-sto-chastics decrease, ghostly tones less beholden to decay are introduced, with both electro-acoustic feedback and treated, sustained string recordings coming into play at juuust the right times. This could not possibly be chance/improvisation, right? The whole album pretty much just continues to mutate like this, at an impressive pace –and to an increasingly diverse, rhythmic degree- the entire time. With no idle doldrums or filler to be heard, this is a solid release, through and through.

Play loud as hell with good headphones and the lights off!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

NNN COOK "Dowser" C20 (Close/Far Recordings)

N(NN) Cook is both the curatorial head of Missouri’s Close/Far Recordings AND one S-E-R-I-O-U-S polyrhythmic/mood/sound collage artist! Across two action-packed 10 minute sides, he wisely stacks soundbites, field recordings, cyclic loops, organic flutes, processed pedal-work, distant drones…the list goes on & on...all in a seamless, dreamlike sequence of details, both intentionally hazy and crispified.

The big take-away here is that “Dowser” is an edge-of-yr-seat thriller of distinct vignettes that each add upon one another, both forward and back, in the mind’s ear, appealing to sensibilities cinematic as well as down-right primal.

Brilliant soundtrack for writing and/or sketching up dystopian relationships of the emotional/social/superficial variety. Seriously good shit!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"A Whole New Alphabet" C74
(Flag Day Recordings)

Peter J. Woods & Andrew Weathers are both wildly prolific and adventurous in their respective outputs, but not exactly two peas in a pod, genre-wise. PJW, generally running with the harsher, noisier crowd, plays this release markedly tame…almost sonorous…almost, in comparison to his usual MO of power-electronics. Same goes for the polar opposite, Andrew Weathers, a tried &true guitar-soli/folk musician who, while often employing electronic accompaniments to enhance his stringed noodlery, pretty much always keeps the tones bright & airy, harmonious.

So, naturally, they decided to smash their heads together & explore uncharted (&unchartable?) narrative soundscapes, much in the same vein as Ry Cooder and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt did with their legendary (must-hear!) collaboration, "A Meeting by the River", over a quarter of a century ago, which sought to rhythmically destroy xenophobia by sonically reenacting a Rumi poem through "East & West" instrumental dialogue "unhindered by the rules of grammar*".

Bear with me here. I'm not saying that PJW & AW are bridging any social gaps or anything, but they do one HELL of a job bringing their own well-developed skill-sets to the table and complimenting the other's sonic posits with their own finely-honed flavors of knob-tweaking wizardry, thematic teasings, modulation (of modular moods, dudes!), & uncompromising drive.

The 1.25 hour story was recorded live, with each artist's contribution captured & isolated to a separate channel, so headphones'll deliver a wildly different experience than your stereo. Great for long walks (listen twice!) or drawing.

*K. Alexander quote taken from liner notes of AMbtR


--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Gibraltar / акордеон" C50
(Moon Myst Music)

Though Moon Myst Music hails from Detroit, the rest of this release is pretty much English (Bristol, specifically), where Tremolo Ghosts is based and where this live performance of Worker Vs Parasite was recorded. Aside from that UK link, however, I’m not sure why these two acts could possibly have been thought to be paired together on one single tape, let alone a label.

Cases in point;
TG is pretty much a more melancholy mashing-up of John Darnielle and Ben Gibbard, concerning singer-songwriter folksiness, whereas WvP play longform drones on top of drones on top of drones. TG keeps it barebones simple, strumming stock 4/4 acoustic guitar chords or plinking out simple piano melodies, whereas WvP treats (ha!) their electric guitar* and accordion with a mélange of sustaining effects pedals that all but obscure the original sounds. TG sings with a solo, hymnal simplicity, whereas WvP sing not a single vocal sigh, but rather belt out a thick chorus of instrumental Oms akin to a sea of Tibetan Buddhist Monks in both gritty intensity and duration.

Both artists Do keep on the calmer side, I suppose, but one politely asks for attention and consideration whilst the other intentionally erases concerted focus and drive, fostering an egolessness unsubscribed to. Perhaps that was the point?

*liner notes say that one of the two members of WvP plays “guitar and paintbrushes”. Is THAT how they got that e-bow’d sound?!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Fond Regards” C17
(Giraffe Boy Records)

Thompson Springs are a slick, slightly rockin’ Americana band out of Chicago that sounds exactly like what I’d imagine a computer would compose were one to only feed it mid-late Wilco albums and a few Kurt Vile jammers…which is no coincidence because a co-conspirator from each of those camps had a hand on playing and/or recording “Fond Regards”.

As you’d guess, this EP is a good soundtrack for driving along in the countryside to; it’s all easily sing-along-able, steering wheel-tappable, and/or noddable-to, save the very last track, “Graffiti Rose”, where the guitar and bass join forces to explore a slightly darker, Murray-Street-esque vibe. Super-pleasant.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

MARY OCHER "Faust Studio Sessions and Other Recordings" C27 (Related Records)

The vocals on “Faust Studio Sessions…” are masterfully bewitching and truly over-the-top-to-the-point-of-other-worldliness, the depth and richness of her contralto croonery matched and amplified by a vibrato so aggressive, it harkens back to the golden years of SPARKS. Mary Ocher then takes this energy and fleshes it out with relatively minimal (yet powerful) accompaniment of acoustic chords galloping, strings plucked, tubas touted, marching snares percussing, lapsteels whistling, and or tympani a-thunderings. &to sweeten the pot, there’s also a cover of Robbie Basho’s “Blue Crystal Fire” on here, and, if ANYone can cover him and do his songs justice, it’s Mary fucking Ocher!

A slight departure from the more heady compositions found on her earlier works, FSS isn’t just some collection of wild b-sides but a truly stand-alone testament to MO’s creativity and ability to make MORE with less. Not only are the creative melodies catchy as hell, but so is the actual voicing of the words. Truly powerful!


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Echolalia” C33 (Strategic Tape Reserve)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.

That’s what Ferris Bueller had to say in the movie about the time he took a day off from school. And that’s the kind of attitude Matt Ackerman (moduS ponY) and Adrian Suchowolsky (Suko Pyramid) adopted while crafting their collaborative effort “Echolalia,” a psychedelic pop album that took a year to piece together. Long distances and all. LA and Madrid. Many miles, especially (or even—not sure how this works) as the crow flies.

But Ackerman and Suchowolsky took a moment or two to dig into each other’s work, to wriggle around inside what the other was doing and come up with inventive and unusual melodies to apply to the already inventive and unusual melodies. The result sometimes sounds like a wrestling match for your attention, but more often than not the result hits a sweet spot of ramshackle, homespun electro-indie that aligns quite nicely with one of my favorite semi-recent producers, Nomadic Firs (although wrung through the Haord Records catalog, because “Echolalia” can’t be TOO nice, then it’d be predictable … which it’s not).

What it is is a model for slowing down and examining the details, of parsing the fine print or peering into the pixels. It’s both sour and sweet, a mix occurring at cellular levels and blooming through its DNA. It’s a collaborative gem, a blueprint for rigorous effort dressed up in laid-back presentation. Not unlike Ferris Bueller’s MO at all.

Suko Pyramid

moduS ponY

Strategic Tape Reserve


BLUE SUEDE PLATFORMS “Collection” C65 (Albert’s Basement)

If you are especially,
incredibly enthusiastic
about Monty Pythonic,
solely-falsetto sung vocals
being paired with the
pop sensibilities
of acts such as
Guided By Voices ,
prepare to
bear witness to this
UK-based collection
of bite-size
out on Australia’s
bedroom label,
Albert’s Basement…

Click on the link provided below to access this type of music…


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“S/T” C50 (Tigerasylum Records)

Beats, man… B-E-A-T-S! Programmed beats. Key’d beats. Triggered beats. Drumkit beats. It’s like a goddamn android drum circle out here! Modular synth vagrants popping in here & there to e-howl up a melody or two, the obligatory didgeridoo & saxomophones replaced by, you guessed it, more modular synths; the tweeker-shakers swapped out for crisp samples, each tweaked in turn by more drum machines. Both Champagne Sequins and Snaykhunt love themselves some beats, and all they wanna do is hypnotize you and make you T-H-I-N-K about dancing. Not A-C-T-U-A-L-L-Y getting up and shaking it, mind you, but giving the I-D-E-A-R a serious considering. Think I’m kidding? Take a listen for yourself via the link below.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Caught in the Noise” C27
(Uncle Bob’s Records)

Former North-Westerner, Ted Brunning, does the IDM thang, specifically working with soft (&not-so-soft) industrial textures & tones, blending them into a creamy, saccharine goo, &then injecting said viscous grit into the mainstreamlined blood of happy-go-lucky metronomic techno beats, samples & playful electric guitar accents. It’s a reliable formula he’s following and it never fails to get the pulse-rate up and those pent-up toxins porously evacuating. Have a listen via the link below.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

PELVI$$ “Pelvi$$” C20
(Fuzzy Warbles Cassettes)

Saxophone in the front fucking seat, Pelvi$$ storms into town dripping all manner of corrosive fluids and dust clouds that’ll linger for weeks! They have a song titled “Blood Wiser” and you know they’ve been shot-gunning that shit in the front seat since the emergency brake snapped.

That brass fucking swagger, man; those pregnant tones that bond to and heavi-mah-fy all surrounding distortions, amplifying the hefts and punches of each and every bass & guitar rhythm wrung.

&lest we forget the cosmic hurtling of words outward, each salient syllable blindly searching for meaning in this swampy, mired existence. Fucking Pelvi$$, man. Don’t need any hip puns, just good-natured catch & release. Rocking the fuck out.

My good neighbor, Mr. Internet, sayeth that Pelvi$$ self-identify as “psychedelic sludge punk on a swamp pop skeleton” and I hereby fully endorse this description to the max.



--Jacob An Kittenplan

DAVEY & THE CHAINS “Shimmy” C40 (Tank Beach)

As the album title and J-Card art might suggest, “Shimmy” is a straight-up, straight-forward, grooving Good Time. Davey & the Chains kicks out solid-gold jam after throwback jam, borrowing tried &true, ass-shaking formulas from disco, soul, latin, funk, sunshine pop, & 60s psychedelic rock. This upbeat release must be a great tape for riling up the troops whilst transitioning them from mingling to dance par-tay; no matter how rawkus the rug gets cut or guests be tripping, this cassette ain’t a-skipping!


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Songs W/ Strings” C31
(Eyes Closed Recordings)

Attention: New England Indie-Rock/Freak-Folk New musicians,

Jason Ribadeneyra (AKA Free Country) may well be your gun for hire!

“Songs w/ Strings” functions as both a stand alone portfolio AND irrefutable proof that JR is not only capable of adding song-writing craft and accent/support to your (I’m sure already lovely) furtive ideas/identities…but he’s also an indisputably deft facilitator in the polishing and execution of the very unsexy gruntwork of transitioning romantic/creative ghost-musings into tangible, hand-held artifacts.

Following in the same vein as Elliot Smith, Modest Mouse, Iron & Wine, & Grizzly Bear, JR keeps folk/country compositions fresh & energized. Have a listen below to get a better feel for what he’s all about.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Emptiness & Other Such Places” C20

I cannot for the life of me figure out why St. Terrible aren’t being piped through the PA speakers of every single mall in the United States of America. The vocals are about as radio-accessible as it can possibly get and the instrumentation is as tastefully-restrained as it is expertly crafted and executed. My only guess is that these artists’ geography (Idaho) and their penchant for vaudevillian theatrics while performing live play some part in holding them back. Check out their website to see what thespian shenanigans go on at their shows!


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Field Notes” C19
“Field Notes II” C37

Throughout pockets of Europe and the Eastern USA, Jane Boxall has captured lo-fi field recordings of unsuspecting human civilizations going about their business on her I-Phone, then taken those samples to her studio to pair them with all manner of melodic-percussive devices, including, but not limited to: vibraphone, marimba, mbira, glockenspiel…propane tank…the list goes on & on.

What’s really Field-Note-worthy about these albums is just how wildly different they sound when played at different volumes. Loudly, the tinny overtones all but demand one’s focused attention upon their battering waves of bright overtones; played at a lower, background level, however, these very same collections of droning anti-melodies fill the room with a soft, gentle, mere suggestion of a rockabye current. It’s like a buy-one-get-one-free album. Kinda.

Whatever mood you’re in, just be sure to play this on a stereo with decent sub-woofer for maximum enjoyment.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS ARE DEAD “S/T” C8 (Amperical Recordings)

Well, now, sonny. 13 SONGS in 8 MINUTES, eh? Wonder if this here might be one of them “POW-ER VI-O-LENCE bands” that my grandson is always talkin’about BACK EAST. Ahh. Yes. The tracklist includes song titles like “Crime Pays When Nazis Cry”, “I Rooted For The Bees At The End Of My Girl”, “My Dog Goes Crazy When I Listen To Bastard Noise”…ohh…my nephew’s son LOVES that musical group…let’s see… there’s also “Jahbreaker/Hot For Preacher” and “I Used Parts Of Your White Picket Fence To Make An Inverted Cross” and a whole mess of obscure name-references that must be insider-jokes. Yup. If I had to make a wager, I’d say these Jersey boys probably SOUND LIKE those whacky Canucks LEFT FOR DEAD did, back in the day, what with all-a those “Bawls-ta-tha-walls” BLASTBEATS and tasteful PIZZA-MAKERS, and that monotone, HARDCORE angry moan-hollering…so cathartic! Such wholesome fun!

Boy, I really sure do hope THEY
find a way to play that fast stuff LIVE!


--Jacob An Kittenplan

LAKOOKALA “Hang On” C17 (Self-Released)

Lakookala plots out modest-yet-heavy bass lines and kickdrum-centric percussion as a minimal scaffolding along with which she passionately belts out a cadre of creative, punky, post-diva vocals. The ease with which she transitions between a vibrato-rich head-voice and diaphragm is only eclipsed by her studio-layering of them into inspired touch-and-go melodies and choral counterpoint.  If Björk, Annie Lennox, and Karin Dreijer all decided to have a bare-bones brain-child, this is likely what it would sound like. 



--Jacob An Kittenplan

LONG GONE “Seven Songs” C22 (Reflective Tapes)

&when I say the instrumentation and tone both fall perfectly within the venn-diagram detailing alt/country, pop, and cowpunk’s overlap (like 90s J Mascis)…

&when I say that their bandcamp’s URL declaration that they in fact aren’t punk sounds about right, and like something I’ve heard before (like 90s J Mascis)…

&when I say that the lead singer sounds a good deal like Michael Stipe pointedly singing slightly out of key (like 90s J Mascis)…

I mean to say that Long Gone are both easily accessible and deviating juuuust enough from the formula. Check out the link below to hear for yourself.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“Cutest Boy in Town” C50
(OJC Recordings)

Rigel Magellan, yes? OFK.

This is the love album, R.M. Gellin style. Sounds like our boy Rigel’s been huffing glue with the Ween boys these days instead of dropping acid and going to planetariums like he used to do, or some junk. This is a strangely welcome development, one I didn’t expect. Gellin (we’ll go with that) carries the torch of romance on “Cutest Boy in Town,” dropping pitch-fucked odes to … stuff? People? Crab chips surely. Neil Young, amazingly. Truly, “Only Neil Can Break Your Heart,” to that tune! Everybody on board this band(old station)wagon.

These seventeen fantastic songs lurch from a clearly demented mind, touching on cuteness, bugs babies, fire, and terrible, terrible Bogle wine. Built from the wiry wreckage of squeamish synthesizers, “Cutest Boy in Town” squirms and jiggles its way into your earholes until you’re unable to shake it – you can’t get it out of your head. The singsong melodies and drippy textures coat your brain and cause fuzzy mold to grow there, which sprouts crystals that multiply and poke into all the nodes and receptors and crap you’ve got floating around in that skull of yours. Only then can R.M. Gellin control you, and then you will be but one pawn in his mighty army of love. Of thirty. Because, you know, edition of thirty tapes.

OJC Recordings


C18 (OJC Recordings)

“Gold Chain,” melted down like Velveeta, drip nasty over the concrete streets, sneaks pound cluelessly under cloudless skies. Perfect Jack and his friends head down to the liquor store, liquor store’s the place to go. Perfect Jack sings tune(less)(ful)ly while synthesizers wheeze and croak, LA spaghetti Freddy sidewalk tales puncturing canisters on skywriting planes. We see you smear up there, smear in here.

Sexy jumbo love cake melting hearts, spray-on tans oiled and boiled. The workin’ man is workin’ hard or hardly workin’. Pimp city soundtrack, basement VR pimp city. Perfect Jack is cash money, gold chain vaping top-down avatar of pimp city. Covered in ice.

OJC Recordings


“Live Improv Redux” (Pacific Rock Records)

It’s a Slowcoach kind of day, which I thought was going to be a sort of taut indie kind of day, but it turned into something a little more expansive, a little looser. See, the Slowcoach boys got together in the same room for the first time in nine years and jammed, recording the guitars and drums and going back in later and adding bass and vocals. So, not exactly a hella focused collection here, but that’s all part of the fun, isn’t it?

It sure is.

These fourteen tracks, unconventionally conceived and recorded, exhibit the ease with which the two Slowcoachers can get back into a groove. Despite the break, the band sounds like they’re having a good time, and they’re still coming up with indie nuggets that would sit nicely alongside Sebadoh and the like on a shelf. If I had to tack on a comparison – and yes, I will, thanks – I’d go this time with early Jane’s Addiction meets “There’s Nothing Wrong with Love”–era Built to Spill meets Soul Asylum. Lots to like there. Lots to like still with “Live Improv Redux.”


Pacific Rock Records


COMPLAINER “Pure Vanilla” C16
(Already Dead Tapes)

I just wrote about the Dead Tenants record that came out around the same time as Complainer, and I could apply a lot of the same comparisons to it: scuzzy noise rock, punk that’s high on AmRep dust, gritty and angry and disillusioned. Complainer’s a duo, though, and from what I understand, two is less than three, so there’s a big difference. Still, Joe Hess and Mabel Suen make an awful lot of noise for just two people, a thrashy racket specifically geared toward making your ears bleed. And god, Suen yelp-sings like a KRS all-star, she’s so good. And the sax that pops up is a nice touch.

So when you think of a “complainer,” you think of something irritating – Complainer is the opposite of irritating, which is, what? Exhilarating? That’s it. Also, when you think of vanilla, you think boring – Complainer is the opposite of boring, which is, what? Exhilarating? That’s it.

Complainer = exhilarating.

They’re probably a total whirlwind live too. Catch em where you can, I guess, around ol’ St. Louis way. Gateway to the West.


Already Dead


DEAD TENANTS “LPII” (Already Dead Tapes)

Hey, you’re sick of all this too, right? Ugh, I’m right there with you. Annoyed, bewildered, baffled; eyes in a constant state of rolling, mind in a constant state of disbelief. Till numbed of course. We’re all gonna end up super numb at some point.

So how do you inject a little adrenaline into your life, keep you moving through these ridiculous times? With Dead Tenants’ “LPII” of course! Easily done – “LPII” is like a cold slap to the face with a side of beef, or the ice bucket challenge if you dumped a vat of 34-degree Tabasco over your head while you force your eyelids open. Remember the ice bucket challenge?

Dead Tenants have obviously listened to a lot of records on AmRep, Alternative Tentacles, and Kill Rock Stars. What results is a blistering noise-punk onslaught that’ll blast the neighbors out of bed at 2 a.m. if you play it loud enough. Hey, that reminds me, have you ever taken the blistering noise-punk challenge?

It’s worth it.

My doctor told me to combat disillusionment with it, and then he prescribed Dead Tenants’ “LPII.” I’m just paying it forward.

Dead Tenants

Already Dead


"Level Crossings" C40 (Start Here)

“Level Crossings” is to be experienced as an academic artifact documenting the fidelity of field recordings of passing vehicles (trains, cars, ambulances) in relation to their initial input levels as captured by two different vintage magnetic recording machines. Read the bandcamp bio for the manifesto.

My neighbors (and their pets) probably still fucking hate me for playing this on the livingroom stereo, but nowhere near as much as the previous “Chewed” tape.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

HARVEY FOREST "The Endless Present" C12

outside arkade-garten filling up
&the bonfires are stoked
frog pond, birdsong,
& some carnie-organ trickling
sounds like warm summer showers

As printed on the strip of paper that comes with this cassingle:

“The repeating stages of life as it is formed
out of the shape from the gills of the clown fish
and the wings of the raven.”

I could not agree more.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

MARIO "XBCE" (Dokuru/Viande)

Legions of unapologetically bastardized samples are further tweaked & collaged across an electro-shock quilt of sharply snaking atonal posits and sneaky, temperamental tempo shifts, any room left being taken up by low-voltage hum-haze and electro-acoustic scrape and/or feedback nuance. Great collage soundtrack!

Italy’s own frenetic knob-tweaker/solderer, Mario (Gabola), one half of Aspec(t), and one entire head honcho of Italy’s “Viande” label, cobbles together a language-free set of Cliffs Notes for a treatise on the entropy facilitated via technological advancement; &he achieves. That’s fancy-talk for “this shit sounds like fast-paced modular chaos.” Reminds me of a more caffeinated-to-the-point-of-agitation Headboggle a good bit, and that’s a beautiful, if not bewildering, thing!


--Jacob An Kittenplan

AMK "How Are You? I’m OK" C30 (Dokuro)

Singularly, a train’s one track mind, wailing in the night; in chorus, each carrying their own baggage, they sing care-free as sirens.
Singularly, each loop a sure-fire earworm, circling seamlessly in the mind; out of sync, each carrying their own self-important vision, they dive, surface, and drown in the rivers of contemplation.
Chirp, whistle, call, salutation, buzz, signal: Crowded awareness stimulators shorting the nervous system, achieving uneasy ambiance, an involuntary mute.
Blown-out rail-commute and/or thunderous, hundred-strong drum circle? It’s all the same in the end.
To play live, chop, screw, harsh, & blend ingredients 1-4 in a concrete mixing bowl. Sit inside and let delay and decay for daze.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

SICK LLAMA "Stage Poison" C115 (Unifactor)

hollows static scrape electric squeal & screech interference non-referenceable blown-out fluid and dusted faint breeze-melody machine doubt unachieved swarm removed heart puff and pop

post-first-crepuscular city-less wide wake & molten clip-clip for plod to lumber unoiled blood shot third-stye tighten quiver fulfill chaotic welcome turbulent program saturation recessed signal collapsed seismic transfer releaser ring-rapt soft crashes awash in grit texture scribble mist down of tinkering pipe block wind emboldened hingings on & on to clunk/rest active all ways re-entry zero pulse mystery drag cursory & huff lyrical oh retreat oh molt

tandem aloof dependent deficiently linear hole pause-printed splotch intender torn out footer hold-devoid amateur temper pre-cautious red conjure cheek’d rattler of creek-rot fence sunken trembler rise & fallow frame-free circuit dissolver expect nothingness less than

As with all dying-machine musics, this is recommended listening to in tandem with a bird-sung dawning upon any favored, remote woodland paths.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

SUGAR PRINCE "Purple Tape" C30 (Kuma Tapes)

This unassumingly little “Purple Tape” is a brilliantly cinematic, dream-like stream of loose, noisy ambient vignettes wrung out from myriad acoustic and electronic devices, including, but not limited to; melodica, recorder, pre-set beats & keyboard tones* (organ & steel drum, specifically), bowed & plucked cello*, deftly-executed vintage* delay pedal, looped feedback, and drum kit, all with a lovely, soft, cloudy reverb-wash over the whole shebang, allowing drones to morph into riffs to slide into grooves to melt back into drones, and vice-versa. While managing to stay Mellow on each 15 minute side, each of these slabs of calm joy, wonder, and pause practically whiz by while exploring every single nook and cranny that those moods entail. More, puh-lease!

*guessing here


--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Twee-Eiige Eenling" C40 (Self-Released)

At times, with blissful swells of consonant light, but mostly utilizing bump-in-the-night plucks & bows, Groningen, Netherland’s one-man haunt-fest, Modern Wolfskind, weaves together an ever-shifting slew of out-of-sync electric guitar textures, processings, and a few mysterious, treated loops, all this spooky warpage (& weftage?) melding to yield one uneasy sound-quilt, replete with ouroboroan duvet cover, to snuggle up in and contemplate anxiety’s suffocating swaddling to. Not for those with sensitive nervous systems.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

LOW PRAISE "Expectation(s)" C13 (Self-Released)

Oakland’s Low Praise re-hash some 90s post-rock vibes by blowing off the dust stuck to Jawbox & mid-early Sonic Youth records. What sets them apart from being an expert, mash-up of the two bands are some lock-step dual semi-harmonies sung over top of it all. Sounds like a full car ride back after going to a punk show the next town over.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Plasma Den/Overland" C8
(Glorious Micro Cosmic Sound)

SF’s The Tunnel marry So-Cal’s desert-stoner rock vibe with the Bay Area’s love of darkness and the avant-rock. The result is a groovy-eerie haze of surfy/trance-inducing riffs punctuated by impassioned-if-not-creepy croonery. Pretty sure some form of good-natured moshing happens during their live sets. I’ll have to research that personally.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

ERIC WALLGREN "Delicious" C29 (Midwest Action)

Back-seat, washed-out guitar chords & jangly leads, impeccably-tasteful, driving bass lines, no-frills percussion and that speak-sung, bottomed-out baritone vocal delivery that wavers intentionally juuuust outside of harmony…

Arise, ye LOUtheREEDan congregants and rejoice in this Delicious series of psalms! Not since Adam Green’s “Minor Love” has an artist so thoroughly appropriated and re-imagined TRANSFORMERS and spun it into a fresh new set of rock-fucking-solid singalong jamz. If Lou Reed had started out on a K-Records budget, this is, without a doubt, what it would have sounded like.

When this dude comes to town and plays your neighbor’s backyard bonfire, light up your sparklers and sway along to the Ballad of Huff Tillman, a gloriously glib tale not-not involving an alternate-universe Michael Jackson and his rise to fame on the carnival circuit.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

NYXY NYX "Magic Coffin Ride" C46
(Blight Records)

Got rid of the vehicle over 15 years ago, but “Magic Coffin Ride” makes me wanna drive. Slow. At night. Along muggy, cornstalk-lined backroads. All windows down. Let them bugs on in. Maybe annoy some o’possum or other. 

This is that kinda tape. From back in the day. Fit right on any 90s slowjamz mixtape. ‘longside those noisy/alternative/shoegaze/jangly-pop greats. Talking Modest Mouse, Dinosaur Jr, Pavement, Smashing Pumpkins here, easy-peasey. No questions asked. No eyebrows raised. Those unexpected hooks. Modestly mixed vocals. Quirky leads & accents. Delay & warble for daze. All slow and swagger. Make ya lean out the window & hi-hat-tap that side-view mirror. Busy, heavy, lagging, glorious.


--Jacob An Kittenplan

"A Birth Place Is Not A Grave Site"
C240 (No Part Of It)

This split/compilation/set took forfuckingever to write a review for because it’s a goddamn beast. The literal dozen of disparate artists, the behemoth content, the artwork (there’s an actual rose-stamped wax seal atop vintage wall paper AND a found polaroid included with every set, for fuck’s sake); all of it is polarizing and jagged and overstimulating and infectious in a mood-plague sort of way. It’s, it’s, it’s pretty fucking great, if you’re a masochist. Arvo Zylo does one hell of a job summing up the content on his own nopartofit.blogspot.com, so I’ll highly recommend reading that after (and maybe before) stumbling through my own impressions of this impressive culling of audio insanity.


side a: 156
Thunderous clomping of horsehoof blends with an onslaught of canon explosions, the soft kiss of steel as it slithers, warm & bloodwet, back into its limbo/sheath. Condensation from battled breathing fogging the slotted brass helmet. All the crickets, as they lay in wait. If chainmail and visors had recurring knightmares, this is what they’d sound like; a condensed epic of cyclical forces, each destroying the other in asymbiotic fashion, until the hovering tractor beam takes hold. Quite a Jacob’s Ladder finale!

side b: NOVOSAK
In an alternate universe, Pauline Anna Strom’s “Trans-Millenial Consort” is a searing drone-opera about pissy electrons commuting to and fro betwixt an innumerable series of long-distance jobs that nail up their shutters at random. Novosak manages a tightrope balance between long tones rendered fairly smooth, lightning hot, and crushingly heavy. Pretty much uncoolable lava/feedback. Think of a possessed Eliane Radigue, with anger issues, and far less patience.


Harsh wall vibes with gripping industrial/noise-rock aesthetics. Death gasp electric chair diva passages. Like if Daughters stayed up for a week straight on a hunger strike, then broke their silence to deliver an irritation-assault via dinosaur drum machines and a few dying sequencers.
Dynamic pop movement and release amidst a backdrop of psychotic breakdown.

As the name implies, this artist manages to appropriate some Gnarly hXc/punk recipes and metal/classical leads, and then slathers them with a greasy, noisy/ambient Sheen, thus suffocating them in the interest of hermetically sealing off the former trope, using its subsequent death and decay as fertilizer for better garden beds…for better zombies… to spring forth from, whenever some better occasion arises. In keeping with the themes of “ABPINAGS”, it stands to reason that, perhaps, a Grave Site COULD, indeed, be a Birth Place. “side d" is a great document showcasing the seduction of listening to treated acoustic instrumentation alongside subtle-yet-blown-out electronic textures.


side e: LALEMUS
Look, we all know GeAr aren’t the only ones allowed to wax lyrical on what the earliest séances and ceremonies of other planets (and galaxies) might sound like. Lalemus, too, is an entrancingly intuitive conduit for conjuring up sets of bewildering visions:

Faint, back alley wafting 1920s muted brass section meets early 1950s factory percussion ambiance meets haunted by dial-up-bitcrusher dinosaur lamentations from the primordial soup. Gregorian devotionals in praise of a digitized ocean’s King’s Tide celebration. Post-beach apocolyptixx. More tribal remixes of well-loved shiva-the-destroyer jamz. What parties haven’t been "killer", anyway?

side f: ARACHNAD
After sides a-e, f’s ARACHNAD begins by providing a relatively gentle Yield sign, a limbo, a purgatorial waiting room for us to process this first half, with notions of subtle toil, minimal brimstone-boil texture, and a stoic reminder of what’s always to come with any other No Part Of It release; more challenge, more pain, more gain. As one’d imagine, this recuperative rest station doth not last long…

Arachnad then switch it up, substituting their introductory, more mellow contribution, with outright catchy DUNE-dance numbers, bleeding in tortured drum machine lines and some simple synths to color in their hellscape of melodic, if not dismally melancholonic, arrays of misanthropic throbs & shimmies, giving a whole new meaning to the imperative “get down”.


side g: BOYLE
Mysterious, meandering flute passages and spring-coil toilings laid o’ertop mildly massaged percussive field recording loops and ER fluorescent thrums (and their all-pervasive trebly hums)! This nervously blissful meditation plays out like a host of fevered daydreams from the infirmary at the foot of great mountains, where angsty water pipes hammer out their thermal distress upon the haunted convalescent below.


Pulsating swarms of deep static-drone, tortured electric guitar treble-yelps, and one staggeringly nasty riff attacking and abating, exploring and imploding. Without a single percussive kiss, Mark Shippy turns the stoner riff on its sticky skull, replacing hedonistic might with unrelenting terror, all the while commanding our spines to systematically weave like slo-mo palms in a hurricane. it’s ugly. it’s heavy. it’s everything you’d expect from No Part of It, all without adherence to any formula. Is that the formula? no.

Slow, seamlessly blended descent into an all-alarms chaos that renders itself atmospheric, like that fucking meme with the dog sipping coffee in a room that’s on fire & looks around & says “this is fine”.


side i: ILTH ZONGZ
Opening: unencumbered, loose syncopations of some possible typewriter battery & glitchy loop, but it’s ever Reichian evolution keeps it fresh, whilst low-hertz damned-souls-in-lamentation-in-slo-mo tremoloes siren, dead center, in the mix. Are these spirits being pummeled or are they summoning catastrophic comets to surround them like quirky quarks? By the denouement, a stoic celebration may have been achieved.

Volcanic contractions and their syncopated moans spook equestrian poltergeists into harried pacings of the caldera.

Possessed contact mic energies attempt to corral a likely bowed cello/contrabass’s sleepwalk/lumbering about the warehouse-scape. Trebly plinks melt into soupy pond-skips as the whole primordial soup reconfigures itself.

By the last slurp, no one is sure: are these repeated pleas “SOS" or “SO WHATs”?


The name of the game is “destruction”, the rules, lie. As in, denounce “fidelity”; as in, obfuscate. Moulttrigger K-N-O-W-S the beauty of a microphone’s limitations and takes painstaking steps to forge meditative riffage to showcase them.  At times, it’s outright dancey; at others, catastrophic.



Anastasia Vronski’s contribution to this epic 12-sided collection snakes its way through static, seismic rumblings, ghostly world beats, and garage-burning blackmetal aeshetics, all while maintaining an undeniable, dissociated noise stock. These 20 minutes play like their own mixtape within the compilation with the unifying glue of manic darkness holding it all together.

side l: DJPTSD

So, of course, to round this whole shebang off, Arvo Zylo chose to close out this six-tape collection with some poignant, deeply hypnotic spoken word-centric industrial funk/noise. That’s right. and, it’s a hair-raising documentation of human corruption and mental/spiritual degradation that’ll haunt anyone willing to listen between the lines (and do a little homework on the subject matter being touched upon).


I’ve probably listened to this entire compilation about 20 times through, and the implied constellations keep coming, with every listen. It feels kinda criminal that there are so few of these collections to go around, but I hope that somebody’ll maybe press it to 6xLP wax some day, when we move away from formula, in the interest of darker moods.



--Jacob An Kittenplan

"Motheroceanmorning" C36
(Fish Prints Inc)

In less than FOUR months time, Fish Prints Inc (li’l sibling label to I <3 Noise) has already put out a handful of quality, quirky releases from largely unsung/underrated artists from around the world. First, there was a twee-pop demo by Nelories, from Japan, 1990, followed by a brand-spankin’ new album by Cryostasium, an avant-garde atmospheric black metal project out of Boston. Then came a re-release of a 1997 album by German electro-diva, Barbara Morgenstern, followed by a brand new offering, which found her ever-darker and more powerful.

And now, PDX’s Lida Husik kicks out her first proper recording in nearly two decades, after taking a long hiatus from a decade of exploring punk & electro-pop psychedelia (in the 90’s…see a pattern here?).  2018’s “Motheroceanmorning” finds LH trading in her trusted, busy electronic beats & slick studio mixing of vocal harmonies/canons for a more earnest folksy, country-blues repertoire, she alone physically playing her catchy honky-tonkin’ arrangements and softly cooing along, old-timey-like, in a now huskier contralto.

It’d be great to catch her and maybe Michael Hurley trading off songs at the Laurelthirst someday!


--Jacob An Kittenplan

“here & how / silver currents”

Hello cassette gods subscribers! We have for you today notes on TO THE WEDDING’s double EP cassette tape “here & how / silver currents”. Have you heard Lauren Grubb’s music before? It does all the right things. Sometimes it sounds like Scout Niblett is playing the guitar with that wonderful fuzz sound that often times needs no accompaniment besides a VOICE. But then damn when everything else comes in, the dreamy guitars and hard-hit drums and powerful bass—WOW! This is the right kinda of dream pop. They’re from the bay area, this band, but sometimes it sounds more like they live in the desert with lots of rattlesnakes around, a haunted and open space where you can see for miles and miles—as far as their sounds travel, to where the skyline meets the sea or sierra. This music stretches far and wide and is good for, in my little opinion, long travels on the road or in the air or on a boat. These sounds are lush, rich, dreamy, uncompromising and psychedelic in calm and chaotic kinda way. You’ll like it if you give it a listen. Really there’s nothing to dislike.


-- Ricky Lemonseed, esquire