Monday, December 19, 2011

JASON MARTIN "Harmonic Time Cycles & Scary Guitar Man" c60 (Yeay!)

First off, I'd like to say that it's been WAY too long since the last cassette release on Yeay! (rhymes with "whey", which is pronounced like "way")... Say...HA HA HA, that rhymes with all those other words too!

First off, I'd like to say it's been way too long since the last cassette release on Yeay!, the label run (from time to time) but Fat Worm of Error drummer Neil "Neel" Young. Some of the releases that Neil was putting out 3 or 4 years ago are among my favorite tapes of all time. Track down Jeremy Latch Love Songs For Everybody and Vapor Gourds Dagger Magic at all costs!

This new release from Jason Martin keeps with the label's "out there" aesthetic and comes highly recommended. The A side is a radio play that was first broadcast over unsuspecting airwaves in upstate New York during 2008. It consists of a variety of cut up music for guitar, shortwave radio, tape player, bass, drums, percussion, function generator, organ and samples of a preacher talking about the very P.K. Dickian subject matter of ancient Romans enslaving humanity by freezing time. Apparently this very particular strain of looniness wasn't exclusive to the author of "Valis", but had a few other proponents as well. The full title of the A side is Harmonic Time Cycles or How the Romans Sent A Disruptive Time Piece To Psychotronically Entrap Us Within Our Own Minds. As the piece progresses, it becomes less cut up and a little more musical in a way that is reminiscent of Caroliner, or something like that, but without lyrics. A great grating mass! Towards the end we hear Jason's voice overlaid onto the preacher's voice to awesome effect and we do finally learn just how those crazy Romans did it (entrap us within our own minds, that is). It all ends with a little fractured dirge leading into a rhythmic beeping that brings us back to reality (hopefully).

The B side, entitled Scary Guitar Man is a series of improvisations and spoken word pieces dedicated to Don Van Vliet. The music doesn't so much sound like Beefheart, but surely it's a tribute to his anarchic spirit. The poems, on the other hand, capture his mad sense of lyricism, though they owe much to Williams S. Burroughs as well (second time I've mentioned him in a review during the last week). There are passages of distorted (acoustic?) guitar that sound like lots of different kinds of animals that are really angry. That's cool. Listening to this side made me realize that my favorite parts of this tape are all the little distortions and broken sounds that push Martin's recording device to the max. The beauty is in the details, as they say.

All of this is made clearly audible by the fine dubbing job by Young. The artwork is a double sided full color fold out with insert.

For all things Yeay! - here - "yeay! plastics" leads you to the label
Jason's very informative website - check it out

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