TULLUM "Voluptous Astral Freeze" (Mancat)

This tape of the little known Austin, TX punk band Tullum was recorded between mid 1986 and early 1987, but it's only now getting it's first US release, on Shawn David McMillen's Mancat Records. When he brought it to me he described it as something like "Black Flag on more drugs", but in reality it sounds more like "Flipper on worse drugs", but that's more than okay in my book! The music herein was recorded at Scratch Acid's practice space and these guys once got a half page write-up in Maximum Rock'n'Roll. The recording quality is uneven, but there are some real fucked gems on here and the tape surely deserves repeated listens. Most of the songs feature solid midtempo riffs and sing-talking, but there is one track that has some brutal screaming and backwards guitar. That one is pretty cool. Apparently these guys were Hippies just like Flag and some of that comes across here. It's by no means the greatest find of the century, but I really think you'll want to pick this up if you're sick of wading through the mire of hypnagogia

Buy the tape and check out the interesting back story of Tullum here:

"Morning Nap" c46 (Turned Word)

Wow, this is a really lovely tape. For those who aren't in the know, Village of Spaces (currently residing in and around Belfast, ME) is the new moniker for Dan Beckman and Amy Moon's longstanding group that began as Dan's solo project, Uke Of Phillips, morphed into Uke Of Spaces Corners County, which released two LPs on Corleone (check their website: they didn't quite get the baffling syntax right!) and is now onto a more collaborative band sound with members Asa Irons (Feathers), Clare Hubbard (Caethua, Sports, Ancestral Diet), Andy Neubauer (Ancestral Diet, Impractical Cockpit), Big Blood and Michael Hurley (!). This tape is a collection of "demo" versions of the tunes that appear on the newly released Village of Spaces "Alchemy and Trust" LP (which is a co-release between Turned Word, Corleone and a few other labels). I believe they were both recorded by Nemo from Time-Lag Records.

These versions are just as strong as the ones found on the record, and I actually find myself listening to this one more, though I suppose that's because I don't have a record player in my car. It's got an over all rawer sound and there are times when you can hear Dan and Amy's kid crying, but I count both of those things as assets. The songs are vaguely psychedelic (read: echoy with cryptic lyrics), but they also fit nicely into a number of American and English folk traditions. The first cut, "Alchemy & Trust" is so jaw-dropping that I would call it nothing short of a masterpiece. The rest of the album flows nicely from there, with all of the tunes creating wonderful mind-pictures of the beautiful, but sometimes challenging, Maine landscape.

I really haven't found a tape that has been this exciting to me since Chris Weisman's outstanding "Fresh Sip" from last year. Dan covers most of the lead vocals here and his vocals have that amazing nasal/otherworldly quality of Ed Askew's work, but his lyrics are a touch more grounded in reality than on that classic ESP folk disk. But now that I mention it, you should also check out the new Ed Askew LP reissue "Imperfection" on Galactic Zoo Disk/Drag City. Those songs are more autobiographical then any of his two previously released albums, & it's so wonderful!! Only 500 copies, so get it while the getting is good. But hey, we are talking about Village of Spaces here. This thing is only an edition of 100 copies, so snap it up before it's gone.


DYLAN ETTINGER - "Botany Bay" c24 (NNA)

Dylan Ettinger continues his epic journey into future's past, with Botany Bay.Four brand neu interplanetary club jams, made from neon vapors and dolphin dreams.Treble-soaked synth excursions are headed straight for the sun, drizzled with ultraviolet arpeggios and sweaty, motorik beats.Put on your future shades and sink your fingers into the pink sand beaches, this is what summer vacation sounds like on a square planet.A place where gold chains have melted into vast oceans, waves ride surfboards, the giant fruit speaks, and the water drinks you.Everyone has a twin, and hologram animals are running shit.Botany Bay is something you would hear pumping from a dance club floating a mile up, and requires more than two feet for it's dance steps.A true minimalist sci-fi score in 5-D.Comparable to his New Age Outlaws LP on NNF, and all the more astral.This cassette is an ancient artifact sent from the future, excavated from a lost dimension, somewhere between 1980 and 3080.Ettinger has birthed yet another battery-powered newborn unto the world of electronic music.Fantastic
Get it here.