VIPER SISTERS “Tropical Depression Precipitated by Nature’s Disregard for European Values”
(Self Released)

Noisy electronic release from Canadian Jakub Tywoniuk. For those who aren’t meteorology geeks or live in parts of the country that don’t get slammed by large rainstorms with high winds that originate from sea between June and November, a tropical depression is basically as weak and unremarkable a storm as you can get that still has a name to it. It’s not a hurricane. It’s not a tropical storm. It’s just a depression and you shouldn’t forget your umbrella when you leave the house but that’s about it. No need to evacuate or board the windows up. Life goes on when one hits and it is often forgotten soon thereafter. 

Unfortunately, this Viper Sisters release is much like a tropical depression. It’s too tame for the majority of it to let any of the abrasiveness phase me. The heavier parts still felt weak and the lighter parts felt boring. Too structured to be noise but too scattered for me to take seriously in any other way. While I am relieved I won’t be needing to declare a state of emergency or request assistance from FEMA, I am just not impressed by what I heard. Tywoniuk’s soundcloud has lead me to believe he is a talented individual capable of better. Maybe his next release will be more bruising. The stream is below in case anyone is interested.

-- Roy Blumenfeld

“Night Recovery” C43 (Self-Released)

Pretty sure I found my new favorite tape here. I don’t know how to review this without spoiling the surprises; let me assure you that this ride is a multi-disciplinary exercise in tastefully-just-short-of-harsh-noise, sound collage, warbled throwback synths, electro-acoustics, & awkwardly-saccharine blackmetal intros/outros/bridges.

The psycho-acoustic effects of composition need applause, too; the meta change-over-time theme is fucked with pretty goddamned delightfully, as are the highs/lows-as-movements in themselves. Really, I cannot say enough about how refreshing this truly is. While 95% of the world will surely hate it, those tired of pop music and a’hankering for uncharted territory ought be goddamned thankful this exists!

Thank you, Brooklyn!

- - Jacob An Kittenplan

FIGURAE "I & II" (Bored Tapes)

Figurae are an electronic duo from Texas and this tape is a pressing of their first two EPs. Good music to zone out to. If I shared a state with Ted Cruz, George W Bush, and their followers chances are I’d want to zone out a lot too. Since North Carolina isn’t that far behind Texas politically maybe I will give this a listen next time I consider the alternative of turning on the news and making myself angry. Figurae have not only used their audio software to make some good sample heavy idm; the way I see it they’ve performed a civil service. Thanks for that, guys.

I give the packaging and inserts an A+. While these are also the least consequential attributes of the final product they are still worth mentioning. I’m the type of person who likes to really look at a tape when I pick one up. So I noticed the handwritten 2 along with the question mark written on the top before I put it in. Not sure why Figurae did that but since they did it and I saw it I might as well write it down. The j-card consists of the “I” cover for the front and the “II” cover on the inner printed on high quality paper. Inserts are track list, a business card, and a mini-print photo of the duo. Fun stuff!  

-- Roy Blumenfeld

“Wimp Abilities Sluice” C30
(Bicephalic Records)

The WoWI half of this rad Mid-Western Noisecraft makes great use collaging processed field recordings with electro-acoustic feedback loops on two of the tracks, with a nice long exploration of (from what I counted) 5 distinct modular synthesizers carrying on like they were haunting a mansion or something. Maybe the first track was a trip through the yard and the last one, the acceptance of an early death? Nothing so dark, but with the infinitude of nothingness in spades.

Nipple Stools sounds something right out of the freeform synth Orange Milk catalog, with plenty of butchered field recording textures and Pauline Oliveros bleeps and bloops in constant variation to never get quite comfortable with even thinking about rhyme or reason or recognizable symbols. No, it ain’t for everybody, but I sure as shit digs it! Listen with headphones.


- - Jacob An Kittenplan

(Nailbat Tapes)

Red Boiling Springs are from Portland. This tape is 6 tracks long and those tracks are titled 1-6. Each was composed using guitar, synth, and audio samples. They all have a different environment. You’re either into it or you’re not. After listening, I have decided I’m not. I found the compositions to be either sparce or monotonously loud in the dullest way. Maybe, just maybe, I’m just not cool enough to be stimulated by what Red Boiling Springs was offering. Maybe I failed to get “it”. Do you get “it”? Check the link below and decide for yourself.

-- Roy Blumenfeld