MBB / RODENT split c50
PISTOL PETE "Concentration EP" c45
RHAGMAGMA "Silksnares"
(Skrot Up)

I received these three tapes from the Danish label Skrot Up, that also appears to have "offices" in Los Angeles. I first heard of this imprint from the LP they put out for Boston WTF? collective Kid Romance earlier this Fall. Here's what I thought:

Miguel Baptista Benedict (MBB) gives us a dose of noise, tape samples, guitar, song and sound manipulation with "Prom Night Wearing Nothing But An Anklet (Airconditioning For Those With Hot Faces)." Takes awhile to get going, but this MBB stuff transverses so many different sonic territories that I was really taken with it by the end. There is some really great processed guitar stuff towards the end and a few random little folk songs too. I applaud this loudly for its effortless flow and large pallet. The B side of this tape is called "Halved" and it's by Chicago's Garrett W. Anderson, who plays as Rodent. I found this stuff not as compelling as the MBB material. The whole thing felt much too reliant on the loop pedal, which never goes over well in my book. There are a few different sound sources at work here: some keyboard, one sing-songy vocal bit that dissolves into eerie looped death cries, but whereas the A side had an organic approach to sound organization, the B side feels too mechanical and it left me bored. I think the connection between the material here is that both of these artists have lived in Ypsilanti, MI. I would say this is worth picking up for the MBB material.

Sacramento, CA's Pistol Pete turn in a double A sided tape with "Concentration." Although the vocals are often buried in the mix, the instruments come out loud and clear. Noisy guitar/bass/drums rock with some decent moves, but not that great really. Some Flipper-esque snot vocals mixed with Sonic Youthicky guitar figures and some Brainbombs-lite heavyosity, then a sudden left turn into some sort of amped up version of Public Image, Ltd., and then finally to '77 UK Punk...weird. I like the last two phases of the tape a little better than the more "indie" first one. I would probably dig these guys live, but I'll stick with the real deal on record.

I was unable to track down any credible information on Rhagmagma, other than that this tape was recorded in Seattle. The music on "Silksnares" is a rather sleazy blend of keyboards riffs and beats. Definitely well-made and memorable. Nothing terribly innovative but I liked it nonetheless.