"Party Music" C53 (Hairy Spider Legs)

“Party Music” is a 2xCS, 4-way split put out by Chicago’s fine purveyors of experimental/strangeshit, Hairy Spider Legs. A look at their back catalogue shows other notables Spires That In the Sunset Rise and Wei Zhongle, so you know this release’ll also be both good & weird!

Silver Tape:

Kicking off the first tape is Bad Psychic, a present day distillation of everything that was great about the Eurythmics’s darker side. Deep, commanding, séance-like, Liv Mershon’s contralto (?) vocals provide a slow-motion noding above the contrastinged, driving bass-lines and borderline industrial beats below…and when she jumps an octave (or two!) and layers those vocals, the effect is chilling.

Side B Starts off with Diva 93 leading us through an ancient ceremony as a coven’s worth of layered vocals and acoustic drumming circles the fire. Once the witchy introduction finishes, we’re whisked back to a present day’s smokey dance floor, with busy, brooding darkwave synth layers looped and busier, echo’d vocals a-crooning, exploring the infinite space created.

Gold Tape:

Side C, for Century, as in Sara Century, a Tokyo based left-field, lo-fo singer-songwriter whose general shtick is to above a steel-string acoustic and energetically howl into nearby recording mechanisms. On this release, however, perhaps to keep with the minimal-electro theme, she’s forewent the usual and picked up an electric bass and some bongos to slap around. Directly from the case reads “Sara Century did everything herself and recorded vocals on a zoom in a car”, which raises the question: Did she record this whilst moving? Passenger or (gulp) driver? At any rate, she’ll maybe sprout an offshoot of “bedroom pop” with “motorvehicle pop”.

Closing out this four-way split is Sophie Weil as Syko Friend, leading with a pup-centric sound sculpture…perhaps an ode to the joys of walking one’s best friend, off leash? The second and only other track, clocking in at eight and a half minutes, drives home a surfacing secret being rehearsed or maybe an affirmation being brought to light and sharpened, the blurry vocals trading focal point with a heavily delayed, wandering electric guitar line, delivering an feeling of unraveling.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan