Guest Post from Josh Johnston (Kentucky USA)

Various Artists “Marecages Restauration” (Crudites Tapes)

With a cover depicting a gator’s head on a child’s body, you can’t help but be a bit worried that the sounds won’t quite live up to the sights, but this French compilation is packed with enough sonic goodness to do a picture of the pope in a rhinestone suit justice. It’s a bit lengthy (twenty tracks clocking in at an hour), but the affair never grows dull thanks to the sheer variety of sounds scattered throughout. Windswept soundscapes and manipulated samples of speakers discussing schizophrenia saddle up beside uneasy folk and good ol’ guitar-driven rock. Electronics run the gamut from dying machine to fast-motion dream. The vocals are playful just as often as they are downright creepy, and the songs are sung in English almost as frequently as they are in French. There’s even a cover of “Strychnine” thrown into the mix, because why not throw a cover of “Strychnine” into the mix. Definitely worth trekking on over to Bandcamp to try/buy (

 LOUGOW “King Conversion” (Friends and Relatives Records)
These two fifteen minute slabs of tape manipulation and percussion feel like nightmares I would have had after falling asleep with the television turned up much too loud as a child. The first involves wandering through a burning office complex. A drummer can be heard fooling around in a distant room as if chunks of the ceiling aren’t falling, but the smoke prevents me from ever actually finding him. When the situation finally grows hectic enough for me to call off the search, I open the first door I come to and find myself staring out at a crowded factory. The workers go about their business, stoically ignoring the machines falling apart only a few inches away. Is this just me? The second involves fighting off paranoid hallucinations in an abandoned hospital as the one-man cult who dragged me there conjures some violent spirits in the other room. The occasional peaceful mirage presents itself, but I hold on to the last one a few seconds too long, awaking to find half of my body already in the mouth of some new creature. When it finally swallows me whole, I slide down the chute, dropping back into the same hospital. Clearly, you need this.

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Anthony Ford “Kissing the Poverty Goodnight” (Otherness)
When poverty hits the sack, it rests its head beneath a dream catcher that it snatched from a booth at the county fair last July, and when Anthony Ford gives it a final peck on the forehead, there’s plenty of overdriven guitar work involved. Side A sounds like Ford hit record then proceeded to surf through a box full of experiments and sketches, eventually taking the cassette out and taping it to a flagpole during a storm. This is a good thing. Side B finds Ford breaking out more conventional (though, no less interesting) songs, with hypnotic, trem-picked guitars riding atop excited, rolling toms. I thought of a surfer having some sort of epiphany after narrowly escaping being eaten by a shark, and, for reasons unknown to me, deciding to become a snake-charmer, but that could just be me. There’s plenty to sift through here, and anyone up to the task will surely find the experience to be an enjoyable one. Shoot Anthony an email (othernessinc at gmail dot com) and procure a copy or two. It’s worth it.