FACTUMS - "Guilding The Lilies" C45 (Night People)

Finally!Seattle's Factums bless us with another dose of tortured dub worship and blank, no wave deconstruction, this time in the form of a cassette.If you are still being mesmerized by last year's ultra-inventive "Flowers" LP, as I know I sure am, you will surely fancy this batch of songs just as much, if not more.
Right off the bat, Lilies fills the open spaces with damaged percussive loops, reminiscent of early Suicide and Young Marble Giants' clever minimalist bumps.Every click and rattle are soaked in heavy delays and more than a touch of reverb.Once they have totally hypnotized you with a lengthy clicking drone, they chime in with a creeping synthesizer and those downer vocal slurs that we love them for.These elements all seem to melt together so well for this band, and they continue to belt out something completely different and fresh every time.
The songs on Guilding aren't so similar to what we've been hearing from them recently.There's still a strong presence of Residents-esque no wave weirdness to their music, but things have definitely been toned down in terms of tempo and overall mood.These tunes are fairly laid back and heavy on the dub tip.They tend to drift off into space here and there, but this tape is pretty cohesive in hindsight.Works in fragments just fine, which is how most of their stuff is put together, but I think this album is best listened to in it's entirety.This is a bit of new territory for Factums, if you can imagine that.Fantastic.

“Jumping Fences With The Road Kill” split
(Sweat Power #004)

a guest review by Josh Landes, culled from the Feeding Tube Records "review a cassette" box

Coyote Slingshot is a frantic burst of plaintive whines, carnivalesque synth lines, and hyperbolically distressed lyrics. It sounds like a diary recitation at a raucous party: there is something very pained and personal to these fractured pop hymnals, but the sheer enthusiasm with which they are delivered pushes them into a frenzied sing-a-long of complete abandon and rapturous release. A touchstone on the path to this interesting and exhilarating sound would be Sunset Rubdown, but this cassette establishes an independent voice for members Dominic Rabalais, Camille Morehead, and Julia Ross. I would like to see this in a dank basement with maximum deranged gyrations. The first track, “I Should Have Killed You When I Had The Chance, If I Had Ever Gotten The Chance To Kill You”, is a stomper. The wordy title speaks to the wry sense of self the passionately rendered tracks impart onto the listener. This is their party. We are the ones in the stupid hats. The second track, “Grace From Terror”, begins with a facile, glee hook, and settles into a heads-down skank-fest with some delightfully rough guitar crunch and group vocals. The band nods to Neutral Milk Hotel and Black Flag on their internet presence, and I can see what they’re drawing from: the sort of lo-fi explosions of NMH cuts like “King Of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2-3” and BF’s grim determination and ‘into the red’ presentation. I like this band; they don’t seem to half-ass a goddamn thing and they have something to yell about.

The Caution (Comma) Lemmy side of the split consists of trembling electronic burbles and pitched squalls eating their way into your head in the background. Warm, gargled waves segue into more fuzzy eruptions. Textures are contrasted on the second track (“Senti-Mentali-Tease”) with interventions of heavily distorted and cracked noise landing atop a bed of hums. The third track brings in some vocal samples to languish beneath a heavy serving of whatever has been going on for the last few minutes. Its inability to engage the listener is perhaps due to the brevity of what are best described as aborted suggestions to sound. These propositions seem unfinished and don’t provide a great amount of accentuation to their meandering ideas. The perplexingly titled Caution (Comma) Lemmy remain a cipher to me.

Favorite Cassettes of 2010

Provided below is a list of my favorite cassettes that were released this year. These aren't in order of enjoyment or interest, and are rather in alphabetical order because there's no competition between these cassettes.

Colored Mushroom & The Medicine Rocks "At Red Frosting" c26 (Wagon): John Elliott's latest foray into synthesizers has expanded by adding two other members to the group. Not only does Elliott and co. put forth the as-expected shimmering tones heard from projects like Imaginary Softwoods and Emeralds, but also incorporate driving rhythms into the mix. At Red Frosting has led me to believe that this is the most accessible Emeralds side project, but I could be exaggerating.

Cyque-Sage "Woven Hare" c40 (Different Lands): Mike Pouw (who also records as Knit Prism) has created some great rainy-day/nighttime music with his moniker Cyque-Sage. Very subtle yet eerie tones begin to oscillate as shuffling, crackles, and clattering interjections weave in and out of the drones; it's hauntingly beautiful. - http://capri.firstpress.net/Differentlands/

Sean McCann "Fable Shop" c49 (Cylindrical Habitat Modules): This seems to be an anomaly within what I've heard from McCann: no sprawling, ambitious orchestrations; here we have murky hums emanating from (what I assume is) a synth engulfed in foggy room ambiance. In a similar league to Cyque-Sage's Woven Hare, Fable Shop has that hermit/claustrophobic quality to it that leaves me both alienated yet subdued.

Tapes I Like

Here are some newish tapes that I like:

Zaimph "Coast to Coast" C40 (Gift Tapes) - Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards newest...great stuff

Angels in America "Allergic To Latex" (self released) though i think it's now on Digitalis, but probably sold out...try epichotness@hellokitty.com , though that doesn't seem real, does it? Super great out of left field, twentyearolds from Western Mass and Baltimore play it like it ain't been played before, and maybe it's true...

Anthro Rex
- all of the recent self-releases have been great, and there are a few, including a split with Id M Theft Able...this from the "front man" of Neanderthal "rockers" Grey Skull. Really deconstructed shit. brings a winsome smile....drop Dan Cashman a line: porkatron88@hotmail.com

Preggy Peggy & the Lazy Babymakers
/Hjuler und Frau ++ Colorguard/Ashley Paul splits - both from a Serbian (?) label that I believe is called Male Bonding (actually it's called No Basement Is Deep Enough - ed.), but don't quote me on that. One of them is i
n a hand sown "pussy pouch" with public hair, blood and girl-come... contact xtabaywatch@hotmail.com or http://www.myspace.com/xtabaywatch

Mirror Tapes - located in Malaysia (again, ?) is putting our some cool looking reissues of noise and electronic music: Conrad Schnitzler, M.B., etc...http://www.mirrortapes.blogspot.com/

also gotta give it up again for Night People and Goaty Tapes whose releases are always little gems in the packaging and audio continuity department. Nice when one artist defines the look of a label. Most of their releases sound great, and they for damn sure look good on your shelf.

last, but not least, Sounds Of The Indian Snake Charmer, Vol. 2 a follow-up to the out of print first LP. Recorded by Aaron Dilloway in India...it is, as advertised, that wonderful music that snakes like to jam to so dearly - - http://www.hansonrecords.net

LAUHKEAT LAMPAAT "Mystery of Hyyry" c40 [pok]

Handmade cover travels many places most often giggling Finnish brothers Antti and Jaakko Tolvi ring bells, jangle change, gently tap percussion instruments, crazed strings, busy triangles, tablas b-side has your water drums pan flute mystery back for little bells playful and joy.

"This is hot oat! Lauhkeat Lampaat have found new views for their sounds. What used to be a mountain is a huge pile of bubble gum now and what used to be a straw is now an old tree dropping its seeds on your head. Call it free, call it impro, anyway the brothers and their guest have done something special for you. Hand made sleeves." pok