SANELIV "Peninsula" C110 (Illuminated Paths)

Out of Illuminated Paths’ 483 releases (usually in batches of 25), this is their 417th, and easily saneLIV’s 3rd (at least) via the label. Both artist and Floridian imprint specialize in beat-centered cuts, with the occasional foray into atmospheric soundscape or ambient bent. Listen via the link below.

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

KFM "///fail" C60 (Self-Released)

When I reference KMFDM, it is because I am beholden to nostalgia. Cringy, ghost-acne’d; a teenager’s having yet to realize that, when speaking to someone of romantic interest, treating them like a fellow human being is the only “tip” one really ought consider. End of story.

KFM sound nihil like KMFDM, but they DO both play on the same recursive, self-deprecating aesthetic, the same propping up of past Tried-and-True-Tones (and synth patches). Yes, they’re both electronic and dance-y, but the former is markedly more moored to disco than industrial metal, more ABBA than ABBATH, for sure. The synth riffs, arpeggios, & beats differ in tempo and attack, but the weight is surely equal.

KFM’s Bandcamp profile purports that this release is to be considered an unfinished collection of tracks; I call bullshit. I wouldn’t change a thing. There’s slow/mid-tempo swagger for days and daze, and it’s pretty perfect for kitchen dance parties, late night drives, and trying to rally for that last hour of work before a nice break.

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

"Self titled" C60B
(Zeon Light Kassett)

Zeon Light is a SERIOUSLY WEIRDO Swedish label, putting out rad ambient/drone/leftfieldfolk/electropop-anomalies and/or dancinesses for the small-batch’d masses. A quick look at their release-roster touts recordings by Oliwa (Argentina), Arc Light (USA) & Linear Bells (France), with the majority of other artists, including Cheap Imitation, being neighboring Nordic folx, like Flourescent Heights, who are ganska jätte bra, if I (and google translate) do inappropriately say so, ourselves!

So, Cheap Imitation; what a wild ride! Maybe the label of “electro-anti-pop” may suit this duet best? I didn’t see “omnichord” listed in their instrumental arsenal, but a good portion of their songs involve the expertly unapologetic (yet tasteful, mind you!) tweaking of tempo AND pulse, in tandem, which is part & parcel to the great Om’s charm. Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist here? Anyhoo…

Cheap Imitation’s eponymous vignette of slippery ditties is a rrrad stream of conscious meditation on the boundaries between meditative-new-age mantra and ever-shifting stream-of-conscious-electro-pop posit. There are seVEREly fucked with field recordings (and Swedish moviemusic from 1937), as well as haunted drum machines, ambient guitar swells, & ghostly synths that stagger to & fro. There may be a sliiiight turn off for some with the hushed vocals that live between-the-notes (think a rreeaallyy sleepy Kim Gordon), but it rreeaallyy makes sense for them to be this way, as they avoid being a focal point, eschewing the gravity of melody in favor of texture and further movement and gelling of said warbling synthesizer loops & drum machines (& omnichord, right?!)

All in all, this is fairly spectacular and well, well worth repeated listens in a variety of environs, though it’d be a living hell for anyone, say, someone who was trying to study while I played it on the living room stereo. :/

Headphones highly recommended, but not necessary for a good time here. What a mix!

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

TURKISH DELIGHT "Tommy Bell" C60 (I Heart Noise)

Alright, look. I’m no SONIC YOUTH scholar or nothin’, but have I got some information for you! Get woke!

So, TURKISH DELIGHT, right? Never heard of ‘em, right? Fairly obscure, right? As in, this here re-issue is over 20 years since its first and only release & you & I didn’t know diddley-squat about it, until just now, right? Do the MATH, man! These Bostonians (AKA NYC’s NEIGHBORS) “made” music that sounds JUST like some “hypothetical” Sonic Youth retrospective “best of” comp, but, like, without all the self-indulgent, onanistic vignettes (you heard me, man), but, rather, this “theoretical compilation” focuses on truly highlighting the more accessible, driving, singalongablenesses of SY’s most loftiest of noisiest points… all of these culled from 1983 until 2009.


They totally traveled to the future, dubbed a mixtape of what Murray Street and Sonic Nurse and Rather Ripped and the Eternal would sound like, and then they traveled back to 1995 and used it to better inform themselves on writing some of the catchiest, punkest noise-worshippingest indie rock they could possibly get away with, without getting themselves accused of witchcraft and being extradited to Salem for trial.

Okay, look. Maybe this Kool-Aid is a bit strong. I’ll grant you that. but, think about it. How else could a band be so far ahead of its time and do Sonic Youth even better than Sonic Youth did Sonic Youth?*

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

*Did I mention Sonic Youth at all? This comparison will be inescapable, because they’re an easy reference point, AND a damn good one. This tape fucking rocks! Too bad it (and the LP) is sold out already and you gotta wait another two decades before you can get it again. Keep your eyes peel’d! I do believe there are a few mp3s left lying around, though, so, there’s that. ☺

"Of Gods & Kings" C27
(zYPHER Un-Label)

“Of Gods & Kings” is the latest hip-hop mixtape from Pasadenan visionary label, zYPHER. Every. Single. Goddamn. Track. Is either a brilliant mix of old school homage, outsider/experimental accompaniment, bizarro/mythological themes, or a smooth amalgam of the three. &Though zYPHER don’t pigeon-hole themselves into being a hip-hop only label, this particular ALL TOO SHORT BUT SWEET collection really ought have y’all asking, “how could they possibly excel so far in promoting this genre AND be involved with others, too?!” GOOD FUCKING QUESTION.

Strap on the ol’ headphones and get ready for a wild ride!

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

VARMINT "s/t" c30 (Undone Nun)

Thereís a new current of trans and queer acts working with Power Electronics that I think are producing some of the most exciting new material in the noise scene. The clichÈs and tropes of PE seem perfectly suited for exorcising this sort of alienation and rage. Varmint, the Industrial/Power Electronics extension of the Western Mass harsh noise project Feedback Queen, is certainly among them.

Pretty much still a new kid in the scene, Alexandria has already churned out an impressive catalog as Feedback Queen (the final tape Unfiltered is well worth tracking down). And now as Varmint, is shifting from scrap heap collage to a more cohesive rhythmic and vocal oriented style.

The tape has, I think, four tracks. One expansive, throbbing, dirge filling side A and three shorter bursts on side B. The tape opens with a symphonic sample I donít recognize and shifts to a pulsing rhythm of white noise and incomprehensibly mangled vocals. The second half puts the vocals further up front, but no less distorted. The music is controlled feedback and mangled (Iím guessing) synthesizer. Could be well rehearsed pedal loops. I havenít seen either project live, so I canít say for certain was is used. And thatís just fine. The tape is heavy, sonically and emotionally. Iím glad to see this music being reclaimed from bro-core edge lords.

The insert includes lyrics and other info, but presents it all in an obtuse manner that requires the listener sit with both the art and music to understand what is happening. All together, there is a strong sense of intention in the art and music. Being the first release from a new project on a new label, that sets the bar high.

-- Michael Barrett

(Flag Day Recordings)

With “Discorporeal,” Flag Day Recordings brings us a wonderful collection of tracks from Benjamin Mauch. These are thick and juicy modular synth pieces that wander around in the stratosphere, pulling the listener up and along. The textures leave absolutely nothing to be desired. Each track is ethereal in its own way, whether droning, pulsing or meandering. Condensed sonic microcosms of imagined landscapes and times. In fact, the artist himself says that his love for speculative fiction weighs heavily on this release. As per the Flag Day release page, he says “I treasure the moments I have spent on other worlds, in future times, and on ships whose destinations seem endless. Discorporeal is my attempt to sew together what I have been dreaming for years, and turn those dreams into sound." Knowing this aim, its hard to say he didn’t nail it. “Discorporeal” is like the sound track for a spacey, dreamy parallel reality. One where the mothership runs on good intentions and major chords. A place where gravity can be defied if you just know the right code.

I can’t recommend this album highly enough. There is a certain mood that comes over me (and maybe you) frequently enough that calls for this type of music and only this type of music. Put your feet up and let it drench you.

--James Searfoss 

RIP ROOM “Monsters” (self-released)

San Francisco trio Rip Room owes a bit to the Pac NW indie punk bands that blossomed in the early 1990s, like Octant and Unwound. Angular riffs run through the dour environment of constant rainfall. Ennui. Dissatisfaction. Malaise. Rip Room exhibits it, and has a terrific blast reproducing it. I betcha they’re a total hoot live.

Scrawling jagged scribbles of tonality on basalt surfaces, Rip Room deface monuments to lesser rock acts, jamming dynamite in the crevices and lighting the fuse. Also, they could probably show up on “Portlandia” as some kind of Fred and Carrie herky-jerky riff. It would be funny, but also incredibly listenable, because those guys are total pros.

Don’t let that deter you from “Monsters.” Plus, you should see this tape, completely glitterfied and a wonder to behold. If you’re keen on the artifact itself, do NOT pass “Monsters” by. Plus, it’s really catchy in an earnestly aloof way. Get me?

Rip Room


NODOLBY “Rejected” C17 (Nostorca)

Metal heating to its melting point. Did you know iron melts at 2800 degrees Fahrenheit? Now you do.

Metal on metal. Intense friction. Sprays filings and shavings everywhere. Use magnets to clean it up when you’re done.

This industrialized wasteland as depicted by Italian noise artist Michele Scariot is nothing if not an extreme, severe dystopia. Writhing within it for an extended period of time only brings more pain.

We’re on our way there, though – trust me.



"Savoy Special b/w Antlion" C6
(Fern Records)

Much like the electric orange of this blank cassette shell, the Midwestern is a sonic emo burrito, with no hot sauce. Where the hell are the vocals?! This post-rock/emo business could be a SERIOUSLY rawkin’ good time, but there needs to be some strained upper-register hollering in unison going on to really flesh it out. Sounds like Empire State Games had a jam session while the singer had laryngitis, which, of course, is pretty great, but it could be so, so much more.

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

"Burn My Letters" C36
(I Heart Noise)

“Dad Rock”, as in, “my dad, in Ohio, who retired his tape deck ten years ago, will really dig this download code I’m about to text him”. I’m keeping the tape. It will sit right the fuck next to a J-Cardless copy of Billy Bragg and Wilco’s “Mermaid Avenue II” I found for fifty cents at the consignment shop near my house. Do you even remember how goddamn good Wilco was in the ‘90s?! “Summer Teeth”?! “Being There”!? 

Well, William Carlos Whitten sure as shit does, I’ll tell you what!! He knows that everything after “A Ghost Is Born” was absolute and utter horse-shit, and that, with such an amalgam of incredible musicians, moving “forward” shouldn’t have meant “mind-numbingly vanilla”, right? Ok, maybe I’m projecting here. Maybe I’m definitely without a doubt bitter for what Wilco did to me…but now that that bitterness has faded, and with it, this here album has been released by William Carlos Whitten that takes all of the very best parts of BT & ST & infuses them with a touch of Malkmus-esque guitar quirkery and a rock solid vocal backing to each and every single line sung (with the exception of a blatant Harry Nilsson homage sung solo) and, daaaang, is alll GOOOOOD! Great summer jamz album, for sure!

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

URD J. PEDERSEN "Dum/Smart" C17 (Unhinged)

This quarter of an hour was recorded on a dinghy, presumably along the Atlantic seaboard, outside of Oslo. It is a documentation of a spoken word performance, with the most base, basic art-rock accoutrements possibly utilized (this one string’d guitar?) as minimal, textural filler) behind Urd’s Kim Gordon’esque atonal speak-shouts. The words are what really matter. Just take a look at the two (available) J-Card covers to see how UJP’s focus is on what words mean, in context with each other, and themselves. For Urd J. Pdersen, the term “accent” likely means “worlds”. Keep this in mind, and “D/S” may prove fruitful?

If you’re l

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

"Quote Questions" C40
(Science Box Music)

“This tape is a reflection on what it is like for me to do mathematics. It is a pursuit of understanding that will never be complete. Mathematicians set a lot of puzzles & challenges for ourselves and one another, but many of these are not truly questions in an honest sense, so much as they are crude measurements of our understanding.”

˜Steven Senger.

(Quote reproduced from the inner J-Card)

Now, having read this quote, and, knowing that Steven Senger is a techno artist, what do YOU think his output sounds like? Might there be fractal, self-escaping variations that run into their own asymptotal melodies, only to be enveloped into atonal reveries?  Perhaps Fibonaccian divergences referencing their own original pose/posits splinter into infinite chorii? Or might this tape simply be an auditory hundreds chart, separated into 8’s, following, lock & step, with consonant focal intervals, highlighted ad infinitum?

You be the judge via the Bandcamp link below…

  --Jacob An Kittenplan

"Phonogetic Ouch" C20
(Strategic Tape Reserve)

I wasn’t even done writing this review before putting MP’s “Bananafest Destiny” and “Fresh Business” on a mixtape I was making for a friend, on account of its sounding maybe like perhaps an “Odelay”-era Beck and a ‘00s-era The Books decided to collaborate and leave thee most awesomely fucked up outgoing message on their answering machine humanly-possibly ever, and he, my buddy, Tyler, he really, really needed to hear it, as he’d been having a busy month, and this rules.

The above (possibly) run-on sentence, from what I can tell, is, fairly, grammatically correct. As is the likeness-ascribed ‘twixt said well-renowned recording artists and MP. Really. This tape is pretty great. Cologne, Germany did the world a service by picking up this Californian’s batshit-crazy transmissions.

For real, moduS ponY got woke on the (Steve) Reich side of the bed, if you know what I mean. As in, the attention to detail, while editing/obfuscating/obsessing over weirdo/funky/angular loops, is rock solid, as is the fluid, stream-of-conscious stitching of disparate vocal samples (on Bananafest Destiney, specifically, but certainly throughout the album, for sure), this all being reminiscent of the seamless melding of timbrally-diverse tones in that heaviest-hitting “riff” from Morton Feldman’s “Rothko Chapel”.

When the focus from all the other-wise juxtaposing elements’ unity isn’t the focus, it’s likely on account of the juuuuuuust-out-of-time looping between layers, which truly adds to the whole clusterfuck, in that it, itself, fluctuates, falling in time, then out, again, of “the rhythm”. Beware, ready, and open to it, and this short banger can be played for hours at a time while drawing, walking, or pretending you can dance. Not remotely good for studying.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"Antumbra Pull" C38
(Antiquated Future)

It’s no new recipe to mix chillll indie-folk with electronica. It’s been done before, and well, by well and many an artist, but usually by relegating the synth to drum & bass, all vocals layered and thoughtfully, thickly arranged (with maximum singalongedness in mind) and with rhythm guitars fingerpluck’d or metronimically strum’d, any leads taking a wee, e’r-tasteful solo here & yon. This guit-fiddle exploration, and a more sincere vocal execution,  is where Pleasure Systems adds to the dialogue, big-time.

Clarke Sondermann’s axe-use spans a wide range of genres, from Sea & Cake and Minus the Bear jazziness to an almost Slint-like angularity, whilst still keeping with indie-folksy prescription clean amplification. Maybe Papa M’s “Live from a Shark Cage” would be a more apt reference here? On top of this, sporadic field recordings add yet another element of diversity I don’t see often. The vocals aren’t meek by default, nor crooning, but a hazy, nomadic presence between the two, which fits well with said guitar/synth/arrangement chemistry.

Being from Olympia, CS will undoubtedly carry the weight of comparisons to the PNW sincerity of Phil Elverum and the honest/raw aesthetics of K-Recs, and that’s a fairly good place to be, right? Having been acquainted with Antiquated Future for some years now, I think I’m ready to drink their kool-aid, cz I really appreciate the plethora of sub-genres they promote along “left-field folk” lines, even though I usually don’t dig it that much, these days. Thanks for bringing me back around AF!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

BRET BERRY “Environments” C30
(Obsolete Staircases)

You’re in an environment. Any environment. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? Now the real question, cassette tape lovers: what does it sound like? That’s the question Bret Berry sets out to answer on his, uh-duh, “Environments” tape on Obsolete Staircases. (It’s not “What does the environment taste like?,” although that might not be a terrible question depending on where you are, say, for example, a cake store.)

No, no – come to think of it, that’s not the real question at all. The real question is, how can Bret Berry get all your senses firing through NOTHING BUT sound? I’m serious, all of them. It’s not a ridiculous assumption that listening to a composition can stimulate more than just your ears; all you have to do is let your imagination wander a little bit and you’ve got all sorts of possibilities opening up to you.

So these four “Environments,” titled appropriately, are meant to be immersive experiences, and they succeed at their task. “Nightlight” features electric hums before opening up and cascading into the evening air, where you’ll encounter fireflies and cicadas on a humid summer’s evening, right outside your window. “Invisible Mechanisms” click and crunch, transitioning into and embarking upon an “Investigation of Secrets.” Then the hilariously titled (I think? I don’t know) “Sukha Dukkha” meanders upon a meditative path until you’re lifted into billowing clouds, the condensed moisture gently brushing your face.

So yeah – get everything going at once inside your body, simply by listening to this tape. Take it from me – I did it!

Obsolete Staircases


“Echoes of a Dead Planet”
(Cellar Tapes)

This is big news: “Echoes of a Dead Planet” is the post-Burial death hip hop mixtape you deserve. Ubik MCDXCII (or Ubik 1492) twists familiar sounds until they’re unrecognizable and sinister, warping the reality of recordings beyond the realm of easy categorization. And yeah, this looks like a death metal tape, but it’s not – it’s just so preoccupied with the spiral toward eventual termination that there’s no other real option for aesthetics, is there? You just go with it.

“Ubik” of course is a novel by Philip K. Dick, whose premise isn’t something I’ll delve into much (although rapid demise features prominently), and MCDXCII is the Roman numeral representation of 1492, the year our hero Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue and gloriously discovered America. My 1980s elementary-school history education, folks! Gotta love it. But we all know (now, anyway) that even more disease and waste followed in his wake, so we’re back here to the combo: Ubik MCDXCII, time-warping death dealer, mirror holder to vile love child of Columbus’s legacy and modern technology. Take a good look, and try not to heave up your burrito or pass out on the sidewalk.

Dark, grimy, subterranean – the London maestro fulfills the rhythms of the alleys in horrific movement, echoing indeed our final throes before the bitter end.

Who wants to go out for ice cream?

Cellar Tapes


RANGERS “Late Electrics” (Doom Trip)

This is the guy I was telling you about. Joe Knight.

“Late Electrics” is his newest tape on the ever-fascinating Doom Trip. But don’t mistake this connection. Don’t for a second think that Joe Knight has anything up his sleeve – no tricks, no illusions. His cards are on the table, and his chips are down. He’s calling you out, you and your whole crew. He doesn’t know the meaning of the term “poker face.”

Somehow this turned into an extended metaphor, and I didn’t mean to do that.

I was telling you about Joe Knight because, in the tradition of weed-haze indie rock like Wooden Shjips and The Donkeys, it’s easy to vibe out to Rangers’ style. Texas guitar jammage hasn’t sounded this triptastic in a while, not since Rangers’ own “Texas Rock Bottom” for sure. And Knight knows what he’s up to – he didn’t release music on LA’s Not Not Fun for nothing. That’s certainly credible!

Joe Knight’s put together a nice little run of successful rock and roll here, a winning streak of about nine songs that fit perfectly onto two sides of a cassette tape. This continues the winning streak he’s had across multiple albums. And, given his winning streaks with things such as parking tickets and heads-up pennies found (none, and thousands!), I wouldn’t want to go up against him, not by a long shot. Especially not in a game of Texas Hold’em.

So it’s cool – it’s fine. Prop your feet up on your Fender practice amp, pop on some headphones, and jam along to your favorite track on “Late Electrics.” I like ’em all, but I’m going to do “Nile Rodgers” right now.


Doom Trip


JOHN MARKOW "Over The Flame"
C18 (Self-Released)

John Markow’s guitar licks are flawlessly slick and seamlessly smooth and I kinda hate him for that, a little bit. Just a little.

I do not know John Markow, but my guess is that, by the time he’s 65, he’ll be a street musician who will have played in about a hundred fairly decent bands, a sizeable chunk of those touring internationally, playing genre-spanning music for dancing and having a nice beer with friends and being fairly productive at post-work-but-still-at-work gatherings.

John Markow’s style can only be defined as “easily accessible, agreeable, and fun”, and I hope he knows that, when he picks up a guitar at a party, anyone who knows his work won’t be leaving the room any time soon, so he has a responsibility to deliver.

John Markow can sing really well and has some clever tricks up his sleeve when doing so, which might bring to mind David Bowie a teensy bit, but not in any obvious way.

John Markow’s music can be downloaded via bandcamp on a sliding scale between the price of air and a sensible, 4-door sedan.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

ISIS MORAY “Echolia” (Sunk Records)

Self-Described Dark Feminist Techno Bitch, Isis Moray, hails from Sheffield, UK. She appears to be just fine partying all night by her lonesome and some kind of light brite beat making device and a keyboard. Her sounds are classic rave and moody psyche of the beats and the treats.

Is Isis Moray a Mademoiselle of myth? Is she the stuff of pixie dust and plein air painting? Do all these sounds creep up from the mossy outlines of hairpin turns on the way to the Shire? The tire tread has glitter in the gutters of the rubber. The steering wheel is covered in melty candy. The platform shoes have doors in the heels with custom figurines resting in them. 

Isis Moray Patterns

--Adam Padavano

KOLB “Making Moves” (Ramp Local)

Bushwick. Shit; I’m still only in Bushwick. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle.

Billy Joel was there.

So was Craig Wedren.

Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Rami Malek dusts off his Freddie Mercury mustache he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

Michael Kolb’s just gonna have to head up that river by himself. He’s got the chops – that voice; the tunes. Tunes about cars, miracles, and bikes. It’s all Bushwick, man. It’s alright, it’s alright.

It’s a good start.


Ramp Local


“Produczioni Tecnofobiche 1988-1989”
(Sanzimat International)

I don’t know why some bands push past the experimental home recording stage and some don’t. No, that’s not true, I do – it’s virtually impossible to keep a band together for any length of time, unless of course you’re Pearl Jam or Depeche Mode, and only then it works because people pay you actual cash money – not bitcoin! – to perform. Death Tricheco could only keep it together for so long, -ploding – whether im- or ex- is hard to determine without asking someone – just like the rest of their post-punk ilk. Except for Interpol. Is Interpol post-punk? They probably like to think they are.

Fortunately, the upstart Venice-based trio (ah, Venice!) decamped at some point in 1988 and 1989 to Canaletto Studios and let their imaginations run wild. And yes, “Death Tricheco” translates to “Death Walrus,” because if you’ve ever encountered a walrus in the wild, you’ll know what I mean when I say the experience is no less than terrifying. And by “imaginations running wild” and “post-punk,” I barely mean the latter and almost certainly am hanging on by dear life to the former. I don’t know if Death Tricheco was trying to lay a cohesive set of tunes to tape when they hit record (they almost certainly weren’t), but the resulting compilation of recordings from these sessions is nothing short of mesmerizing.

So this “studio” was actually a “house filled with wine, cigarettes, and a spattering of cheap keyboards, bongos and 4-track recorders.” This was a place where the Walruses could feel comfortable, able to sit back and test the ideas (or pieces of them) that were percolating in their fertile minds. These investigations led down some twisty paths where ideas bloomed quickly and sputtered to their natural endpoints. The collection of these disparate results forms a weird whole, one that captures a snapshot of three curious artists with an ear for texture and tape hiss, unafraid of the results of simply letting their minds wander. They’d almost certainly be heralded within a multitude of homegrown tape communities these days, and sure enough, they’ve reforming – just like Smashing Pumpkins! – playing together for the first time in thirty years.

Sanzimat International


HANZ BRONZE "S/t” and “Exploding Hanz" (Dubz, yo)

It hath been ‘bout exactly three years since I received Hanz Bronze’s eponymous debut full length (via Range Life Records) and, upon getting these lo-fi recordings/mixtapes, I am inspired to share in the revelry with these blogposts, copied from HB’s own website >> writings >>:

“Blog 3 /.
The third of July traffic was too much so I turned off highway 101 and drove home to get my bike . Armed with a couple fruit flavored Tums I rode downtown and paid rent - I bought some time . The people thought I was a cliche ' and then I drove a motorcycle flaming into the hospital - freeing everyone - even Burt Reynolds looked to me for guidance on chicks - as the crowd gathered and the sky grew overcast I felt paranoid - like the jerk at the post office that judged me for sending tapes to Indiana - I adjusted my book shelf and fixed my phono - I lamented that I'd never learned tennis - I got so bitter that I even started to love myself - I got so loving all the owls of America moved to my barrio. That's right assholes : hoo hoo ! Hoo hoo!!!
- Hanz Bronze

Blog 2 /.
I can't stop eating veggie burgers everyday - sometimes a black bean burger with Swiss cheese and avocado smeared lettuce onion tomato pickle mayonnaise mustard - you know what ? It's better than me eating cheeseburgers everyday although who knows mayb I am . Sometimes when I'm really feeling free I ' ll get a salad with blue cheese dressing instead of fries chips or tots. I'm the real tot . I ll never grow old I'm Peter Pan come to raise Peter Pan hell . I'm Peter Pan come to raise young god hell ! I don't get these jerks who can't wish a young god well.
- Hanz Bronze

Blog 1 /.
It was a happy moment in my life. I simply had never felt more content . The mountains of northern coastal oregon draped me in a sadness I had never known before , the preposterous level of gnarlacity of the waves I was too afraid to know . Maybe it was my fear of sharks , o , but that's silly. I wished there were more honky tonks but then I made the world my honky tonk and God was my dj . Or was it Jesus? Well I like him better than God anyway . I rambled around the south spray painting God is gay all over the little churches. I regretted it but I revelled in being a wildman. Life was never better yet I needed a woman o what a fascist I became . At least a happy fascist . I went to movies alone and I never wanked it. safeway became a sanctuary , my place to get produce , since I was too anti social to hit the farmer's market which didn't exist anyway . I asked out the cute red headed housekeeper at the hotel because I figured she could only say no. She said yes. She did say yes to a glass of wine after work and now I'm married and yes, my life has simply never been finer. Now God is my butler, that old freak.
- hanz bronze *”

As one might surmise from the aforementioned evidence, this chap is the Charles Bukowski of Frank Blacks. (You have been warned.) With a full band, he sings recklessly, commanding a powerful falsetto for precise accentation; yet, solo, his vocals tread a baritone, tight line between Lou Reed’s and (a much, much lower) Syd Barrett’s disregard for establishment harmony. Funk As Puck? Mebbe…

-- Jacob An Kittenplanq888

BÖHM “Transients” (OTA)

They’re still out there looking for us, but we’ve moved on. There was so little left for us here, and so much more out there to discover. This place has stagnated – we were stagnating along with it.

Daniel K. Böhm will not let us stagnate along with the place where we were, the places we’ve been, not with “Transients,” not while we’re moving. We wander, and Böhm wanders with us.

“Transients” gathers like a thundercloud in the enormous sky over this wilderness, this wonderful, mysterious landscape. In our relentless pursuit of a place to end this wandering, a place to rest, we are beset with turbulence. The road will end, and we will wearily, gratefully accept its termination.

Until, of course, it’s time to move again.

Electricity is in the air. Do you feel it? Is it real?



HEAVEN LIMOUSINE “Beauty and the Beast” (self-released)

I’m not quite sure how to start this one, this tape eludes description in so many ways. So I’ll just dive right in and try to get a sense of it across. The music consists of fairly straightforward keyboard progressions, with the occasional drum machine beat or sample to accompany. It has a lo-fi bedroom quality to it in the best way. I like the feel of the instrumentation on this release. It has a drifting, frequently eerie quality to it. But I think it’s fair to say that the focal point of this project is the vocals.

The lyrical content bounces around between surrealism and a sort of ultra-personal storytelling. And the delivery somehow matches perfectly. It’s somewhere between spoken word style poetry and a folksy-indie sing-songy approach that is difficult to put into words (if you couldn’t tell). The vocals are all over the place lyrically and sonically, but not in a bad way. There is a rambling nature to it but without ever losing coherence. It’s a faerie-driven stream-of-consciousness monologue that leaves you scrambled at worst and dumbfoundedly introspective at best. It just might be the fuzzed-out therapysynth session you didn’t even know you needed. One thing I can say for certain about this music is that it’s intensely original and genuine. 

--James Searfoss

"No Me Tengas Miedo" C27
(Antiquated Future/Spirit House)

On “No Me Tengas Miedo”, Indira Valey’s canonical slow-motion séances-of-one blur the line between wood, fire, & smoke; strings, vocals & percussive noise. The ceaseless interplay between subtle permutations amongst all that deceptively complex mixing of sonic strata is so well crafted in its nuance that I’m having a hard time believing this wasn’t compositionally mapped out with a fine tooth’d comb a million times before recording, but it’s also too loose to possibly achieve that, right? Right? The way the Simone-esque contralto foundations of witchy choruses contrapuntally tug and shove against the caterwauling sirens above, letting barely enough light in for the fingerpick’d mantra of electric guitar to meander through, for a quick sec…that can’t be transcribed, right? Only harnessed. &then there’s the almost imperceptibly executed layers of effects pedal-work that never oversteps, but always adds just that extra bit of texture to bump the focus away from the canon by a hair.

Yet another gem from the Antiquated Futurists up in PDX! Do listen loud and/or with headphones to get lost beside yourself like a dozen times in a row.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

"The Mouth is the Most Promising" (Bumpy)

As a prog fan, Larry Wish is the top shelf, stoner rock solution to hypnotic grooves, eery vocals & harmonies, unique prog drumming, and lots of subtle, mathy counterpoint sure to sooth the most savage/progarchive/ reader. Out on the newly started Minneapolis’ Bumpy Label, this was actually recorded in 2012. It shows the listener a dense world of imagination where coherency and genre blend into unconventional instrumentation, all while maintaining heavy rhythmic grooves that are not nearly as unfamiliar. Often reminiscent of the more cogent Beefheart albums (such as Bat Chain Puller) some of the songs are heartbreakingly complex in both macro- and-micro- arrangement.

The bass work of Sam Kramer and drumbeats of Katelyn Farstad (also of Itch Princess) are dense and unpredictable. The synth work by Aaron Baum goes exceptional with Wish’s powerful vocals and Tim Hudson’s clever guitar work. The album takes all sorts of turns including a drum solo by Wish and straight prog-deconstructions of abstract motifs into nearly free jazzesque proportions.

My favorite track was “Above a View of (Of View)” which was probably the catchiest and most memorable tune. “Riding His Bike on A Noun” is a sonic synthesizer suite with some interesting timbres and drum machinerhythms. “Christmas of a Town” is where it gets REAL proggy. I mean like strap yourself in for some dischord and dense resolution proggy. “HiFive” has a distinctly intelligent resolution and a tempo shifted riff of note. “Chaptermin” closes the album on an almost funky level of groove. As a whole, the album leaves an impression and the hypnotic riffs prevail.

Definitely for the listener who likes a challenge, get one of the limited tapes now over at the Bumpy Label!

--Josh Brown

“Boring Country Songs
(Northern Gothic Recordings)

Cowpunk. You know it. You love it. You live it. You’re in Canada, why not buy a tape? You’re in America, why not also buy a tape? You’re in the Czech Republic – buy a friggin tape!

I love the name “Tower of Dudes” for some reason. And “The Hex” was a Pavement song (with an extra “x,” but who’s counting?). Pavement’s the best.

These dusty tunes are about drinkin’ and carousin’ and kickin’ up yer heels and rustlin’ steer and payin’ back yer student loans (?). But you knew that already. You knew it in your bones. You have boots on, a Stetson, probably chambray. Fringe. Spurs. Packin’ heat? Yeah you are.

Walkmen are made for this.

Just don’t walk into a local place with one of those yella sport ones. I hear they don’t take kindly to the yella sport ones.

Hey, don’t look at me, I’m just the messenger.

Tower of Dudes
Northern Gothic Recordings


“Creations for Electric Guitar/Shining Fields”
C-30 (Reserve Matinee)

Proud Father of Chicago, is not to be confused with Proud Father of Tennessee, or Proud Father of Los Angeles, could be Proud/Father of New Orleans, circa 2010, but definitely not London’s Proud City Father(s). Now that we got that out of the way, this Proud Father pays debt to his forefather, Manuel Gottsching’s “Inventions for Electric Guitar” with “Creations”, a dense atmospheric bliss-scape.

A decent communicator, PF leaves no stone unturned with a paper insert detailing his homage, and for the second side, the who what where of a live recording he made in 2016, opening for Richard Pinhas. Several other shout-outs are included in the notes regarding the making of this release.

Side B’s The Light That Guides Through Falling Missiles live track unravels a misty yarn onto the dome. Onto the sphere. Onto the egg. Chirpy talky critters and stationary guideposts blur while damp winds spray. I guess that’s why he calls it…

shining fields

--Adam Padavano

EGGS ON MARS "In A Desert Place"
C38 (Self-Released)

Punk’ish, garage’ish
rock, EOM are
a mid-western trio
doing their DIY
thang & it sounds
like a lot of fun to
play this music in
this band, I bet.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan