REIGHNBEAU “Slight EP" C20 (Antiquated Future)

Not content to merely have their work fit in with other visionary seminal works by Grimes, Sylvan Esso, & Múm, Reighnbeau’s “Slight EP” shows the band kicking their composition & mixing skills up a few notches, toeing the line between entrancing and mania-inducing.

&whilst each azz-shaking track (save the last) keeps solidly infectious, a closer listen reveals brilliant shifts in rhythmic accents & negative space that might otherwise slip by the ear whilst that booty oscillates oso wildly.

This electro-pop masterpiece is a perfect mood-lifter, work out jam, or going-out soundtrack. Pump it up!


Antiquated Future continues to be an undeniable source of inspiration and proof that pop\accessible music not only doesn’t have to be boring, it can playfully challenge what it means to be <s>catchy</s> intoxicating.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

TUCKER THEODORE "LSG" C52 (Antiquated Future)

Tucker Theodore gives zero fucks about your expectations; unless, of course, you only expect that he’ll turn ordinary pop/country/folk tropes on their twangy ears, leaving you asking, “Now, how exactly did he get That sound out of a Guitar?” I had the privilege/curse of getting to review “To Make the Sun Hurt” a few years back and only recently have I been able to listen to anyone else’s freak-folk albums with any interest. Which is to say, TT’s creativity in meta-composition is exemplary, and his spirit of sonic exploration is truly inspiring.

Take LSG, here, a bewilderingly sprawling sound collage of moody, meandering, psychedelic alt-country solos (both forward and backward!), ominous organ drones, and brief, visiting vignettes of punkish power chords and drums, each dropping by for a quick-but-powerful bull session, like halcyon thoughts of old friends. As the title hints at (a capital G is pretty much just a slightly cracked D, turned 180 degrees, right?), Tucker Theodore is setting us all up for a breaking down of consciousness-barriers, not so much a yoga-ball-meditation as a full on wrecking-ball-vision-quest in re-realizing the guitar’s potential for turning melody into rhythm into texture, & then right back again.

Great for daydreaming, art-making, or playing along with on your own lute!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

(Personal Militia Records)

Wood Chickens’ “Well Done!”, their follow-up to 2017’s “Countrycide”, is a continuation of the trademark rip-roarin’ cowpunk the band’s been known for, only this time it’s even cow-punchier and meat-greasier. No five minute tracks on this one, the longest song here squeaking past a blistering three. Yet even with the shorter runtime, the Chickens explore a greater variety of sounds and structures than ever before, from the instrumental surf rock opener “Theme from ‘Carlos’”, to borderline crossover thrash of “Mall Cop” characterized by wailing guitar leads, to (oddly) the closest to a 'pretty' song we have here, “I Live In Your Basement and Eat Mice”, which breaks up its sleazy, guttural, spastic verses with gorgeous, layered psychedelic passages that well up nostalgia for Meat Puppets’ “Aurora Borealis”. Much of the rest would suggest an ever so slight shift closer to hardcore/garage punk, but their country fried roots are still ever present, with “Emilio Estevez” and closer “Golden Goose” particularly sure to please fans of their debut. The music is occasionally interrupted by short clips of coughing and grilling meat, which adds a fitting ambiance to the whole thing.

A band that was once great has further tightened their songwriting, broadened and expanded upon their sonic palette, and beefed up their production. So yes:

Well done!

Favorite tracks: "Mall Cop", "I Live In Your Basement and Eat Mice"

You can purchase Wood Chickens’ “Well Done" here:

or here:

-- Travis Shosa

HOWARD STELZER & FRANS DE WAARD “The Rebels Fold Scratchy, Relaxed Meanings into Their Smallest Actions” C34 (Park 70)

“Component sounds extracted from all previous HS/FDW collaborations, 1996 to present.” So we know what the source material was. It’s kind of remarkable to be able to take what you’ve done and recombine it into new work. Remix it, as it were. I doubt this really counts as the remix treatment. Just sound sources, recombined.

The tiniest pieces of Stelzer and De Waard’s work, their “Smallest Actions,” here are reimagined into even more rebellious permutations. Buck the status quo, forge new weapons against mediocrity. The hiss and grind of industry, the menace of economy. Reactions stirred till they’re broken down into static. Ambitious noise that radiates outward.

Howard Stelzer

Frans De Waard

Park 70


YMDSIH “Opened Hate” C81 (Already Dead Tapes)

This IS what it sounds like, you know, when you crack the seal on a portal to the netherworld where all is destruction and backward inside-outness and infinite oblivion. Heck, there’s even a track here called “Hell’s Porch,” where you can while away the day in miniscule torment. So when you hear that YMDSIH actually and factually “Opened Hate,” you can believe it with all the faith you can muster.

YMDSIH is a “superduo” of sorts, as it features Cop Funeral’s (and Already Dead’s) Joshua Tabbia and Dead Man’s Lifestyle’s Jake Watkins. I’ve spent enough time with their respective output to totally expect this kind of hellacious (but surprisingly delicate) racket. As in, the racket is sinister and blank and filled with space and static – it’s not cranked into the red for maximum ear bleedage (although you could probably burst an eardrum or two if you really wanted). There’s nuance in the void, a sort of massaging darkness that infiltrates your brain and gradually ratchets up the massaging till you can really FEEL it, and then maybe it starts to become a little more uncomfortable than you’d like.

Them’s the breaks, though; it’s just what happens with YMDSIH.

“Opened Hate” is a “hate letter” to modern life, a reminder that everything you see seethes from within with disdain and disquiet, which bubbles periodically to the surface. YMDSIH wallows in that malevolence, draws power from it, and scribbles it through speakers. If you enclose your head within it somehow, you will go crazy. So … be careful out there.


Already Dead


split C17 (Black Ring Rituals Records)


Black Ring Rituals Records from North Dakota brings us this split featuring Manchester Bulge and Piss Enema. Manchester Bulge’s side of this split is a single piece (perhaps a live set?) that maintains a consistent yet dynamic flow throughout. It’s an enjoyable wash of sound, frequently rhythmic, evoking something like a War of the Worlds oscillator assault. Pulsing electronics and whooshing feedback whirl together to form a buzzing, robotic whole. There are intermittent bursts of harsher sound (seemingly distorted and looped samples?) that provide nice punctuation to the sweeping backdrop of the oscillator hum.

Piss Enema’s contribution to the split is a bit more anxious sonically. Electronics sputter along and piercing, high-frequency tones weave in and out. This side of the tape has a grittier quality than the other. The textures are chaotic and menacing, like the internal churning of some post-industrial machinery complex. Both sides are solid noise sets though and worth a listen.

--P. Karras


Sorry for not posting these last few days but we're on a brief break.

Hope to get things started back up again by next week.

UPDATE: we will resume posting on Tuesday March 26th

“Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive” (Submarine Broadcasting Co.)

“I used to LOVE netlabels, especially the ones that trafficked exclusively in ambient, electronic, and post rock. The best ones combined all three. Ten years has now passed since I so eagerly dug into that stuff. Ten long years… But hey! Here’s Whettman Chelmets to bring the whole thing back around, full circle, and rekindle my love for that heady brew of the one-person-that-sounds-like-a-full-band recording project.

“[‘Alas… The Sun Is Shining and You are Still Alive’] is a sensory treat.”

So went my initial review of Whettman Chelmets’ “Annihilate Your Masters,” and it feels like I didn’t write that all that long ago, so it remains an apt description here today with this new three-track tape drop. The three tracks are cheekily out of order from how they appear in the full EP’s title: 1. “The Sun Is Shining”; 2. “Alas…”; 3. “You are Still Alive.” The first side is all twinkling instrumental dream pop, definitely some Cure influence in there, sweet throwbacky vibes that get your heart all yearning for yearning again – the moments in your life where you’re nothing but a lovesick loser. Were those moments all that good? I dunno – the nostalgia for them is, though.

“You are Still Alive” takes over everything with nine minutes of sustained ambient feedback – the perfect end to a shoegaze treat?

Sure thing, buckaroo.

Whettman Chelmets 

Submarine Broadcasting Co.


“Kaffeeklatsch” C90
(OJC Recordings)

Alright you outsiders, gather round, and listen to story of the great R. Stevie Moore’s reissue of “Kaffeeklatsch.” See, this here C90 was originally a 2xC90 from 1984 that featured a bunch of extra live shit that was pretty OK when you get down to it. But the The Man intercepted the 2xC90 in transit to OJC Recordings and lopped half of it off. Before The Man could finish the job, OJC Recordings snatched what it could from The Man’s greasy mitts and released the tape in its current form, a single C90.

The Man.

The Man was watching, and because this was 1984, the magical year when dystopia reigned both in our imaginations and in our real lives. The Man couldn’t handle so much extra R. Stevie Moore. But we can handle The Man.

OJC only made 50 copies of this before the masters exploded in the tape deck. Fearing sabotage, the label went into hiding and has been there ever since, dropping their releases clandestinely from various and never-repeating locations. But we still get them, we still hear them, and we rise up with raised fists.

All this is to say that this is quintessential period R. Stevie Moore, and there is no shortage of excellent tunes on “Kaffeeklatsch.” Pump it at loud volumes, and don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do. Especially…

…The Man.

R. Stevie Moore

OJC Recordings


VARIOUS ARTISTS “End of Infinity: One-Track Mind Vol. 5” C60 (Greentape)

There’s a li’l something for everyone on "End of Infinity”; from gorgeously plucked guitar-soli (David van Auker) to backyard bonfire “pass me that guit-box” folk (Treefrogs); from electro-acoustics by one-man-gamelan-on-dissociatives (Brian day & Phil Sudderberg) to playful synth ditties ( *e*); from uneasy ambient (Tired Light & the Wppss) to cosmic space jamz (Ancient Elephants); &on &on &on, all artists being pretty great in their own respects.

The only unifying thread between these 16 wildly unrelated tracks is an earnest looseness & simplicity that translates well to a blank black tape with TNMT-green duct tape slapped across the top. Thanks GREENTAPE!

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Travels In Public" C42
(Lily Tapes & Discs)

Firmly staked out between effusively heart-sleeved nostalgia and aloof, confusion-based reticence, Kiel, Germany’s Vierzig Skizzen patiently sculpts ambient-guitar drones that cloud the ear-motions with distinctly hazy non-memories and maybe-feelings of lessons possibly-learned and friendships-just-around-the-other-other-corner. “Travels In Public” soundtracks all those forgettable missteps and negligible connections we glorified apes might make in our early adulthoods that all but dissolve in the quicksand of collective memory; he takes those alternate-burdens and distills them into discrete swells and delayed guitar (s)weepings (ala SOTL, KBD, or BRE’R), rendering sonic any number of undefined emotions hovering just short of adequate complacency and hope.

Which is to say, this album is both incredibly memorable (albeit maybe painful) and ohsoeasy to forget oneself -and everything else, for that matter- inside of. I’d recommend it if I didn’t think it’d maybe bum you out. Listen with caution, I guess. If you’re up for such an undertaking, it’s pretty goddamn great.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

“Submission of Archival Sonic Documentation: Riverwest, WI 2017-2018” C36 (FTAM Productions)

The Bachelorette Party release on FTAM Productions from this past summer (featuring Amanda Schoofs and label head Peter J. Woods) is some of the most interesting and dynamic noise I’ve heard in a while. It consists of two textured and robust live performances from 2017-2018. The A side and first performance, recorded in 2017, is ushered in with sustained atmospheric tones and vocals that are at times soft, at times operatic, and at times bordering on the vampiric. Mirroring these vocal changes, the sonic landscape also morphs gradually but steadily through periods of calmness, brightness, and danger.

The second performance and B side was recorded in 2018 and is markedly more menacing as it unfolds, with a recurring theme of tension in the electronics that is punctuated by witchlike vocal aspirations.  The vocalizations are vast and expansive as they dance among the clouds of sonic activity like locust swarms, appearing and disappearing throughout the piece. The entire thing builds and heaves like some sort of electronic coven ritual.

Overall, this creative and intense album is satisfying not only conceptually but also because it features two strong live performances that share a continuity while also boasting their own characters. Props to these two performers for coming together as this new and impressive duo; I hope to hear more from them in the near future.

--P. Karras

CHRIS REIERSON “Sensitive To Textures"
C34 (Self-Released)

“Sensitive To Textures” is a two year study on the literal Ghost In The Machine; how a seemingly sterile electrical-hum or industrial, friction-inspired screech can host a teeming forest of microflora that breathes warmth and movement into otherwise barren, hostile, abandoned factory-scrapes and rusted-cog-lurchings. Chris Reierson achieves this through painstaking attention to detail in mixing Radigue-ian atonal cycles and drones with the subtlest touch of ambient-guitar sonority, letting texture not only float to the fore of the mind, but strengthen and solidify into its own guiding star, where only the faintest of solar winds bear mellifluous consciousness upon the listener, nearly undetected, yet undeniably, viscerally witnessed.

Though primarily white-noise-centric, two manic episodes upend the dynamic topography of this release to the point of non-background-ableness. AKA don’t try to study with this on. It IS, however, deeply evocative and great for actively meditating along with, or watching watercolor pools blending and drying.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

GERMAN ARMY "Kowloon Walled City"
C45 (Null/Zone)

There’s an anti-didactic adage to be gleaned from DFW’s infamous commencement speech, “This Is Water”, in which two young, budding SoCal electronic music artists are walking along on a road towards Joshua Tree and one of the Bishop brothers comes waltzing by and says, “Hey, boys, how’s the German Army?” And then he walks off to get a frenchfry-stuffed burrito or something. After that, those two young, budding SoCal electronic musicians just continue walking along for a li’l bit until one says to the other, “Who the hell is German Army?”

Goddamnedest thing about the word “ubiquity” is that we’ve been using all those letters for other stuff the whole time…

This cassette is already sold out, of course, like every single other cassette I’ve ever received for review by them.  Why the hell does GeAr even bother having people review their stuff if we’re all just buying the damn tapes anyway, well before anyone has a chance to say a damn thing about them? Are GeAr just hoping we’ll continue to assure their rabid fanbase that they haven’t jumped the shark and started indulging in quality-reducing drugs like the Rolling Stones did or something?

Well, they haven’t, okay. Not a lick.

KWC is fanfuckingtastic, just like you’d expect. Groovy, yet reservedly driving, respectfully paying homage to the world’s diverse flavors and swaggers whilst adding a smidge of their own electronic spice, where they see fit, to further sharpen the edges. Perhaps they’re hoping someone’ll get inspired to start a well-meaning cult? Their (primarily tribal) beats ARE undeniably entrancing like that. Yeah. Solid cadences, simple-yet-effectively-bewildering accents & counterpoint. Ceremonial. Quite culty, for sure.

&if you’ve never seen footage* of people walking though the concrete veins of Kowloon Walled City, may I unhumbly suggest you get on that shit right now, while listening to this tape, cranked up LOUD?!

Disclaimer: Neither CG nor I can vouch for the accuracy of the claims made in said video.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

WINTERBLOOD “I Signori Oscuri" C41 (Ephem-Aural)

NYC’s own Ephem-Aural label have just put out one brooding behemoth of an album by Florentine dungeon-synth-esque, minimal/new-new-age masters WINTERBLOOD. These Italian anti-maniacs have been catatonizing people across the globe for about a decade now, and “I Signori Oscuri” is yet another finely permafrosted soundscape for the rest of us to get to know them by.



It cannot be said enough times.


Winterblood have made it their overarching mission to viscerally embody and embolden what it means to be clinically removed from mirth and livelihood; what it means to be an ego-less observer of all darknesses inherent in humanity’s toils and tribulations. Through somberly strolling, barren synth phrasings that echo and linger, these moody lifelines freeze and dissipate, giving way to an infinite cache of Neptunian narratives, all crystalizing and melting, within each and every revolving measure.


Listening to this tape BLASTED on a tropical beach would easily drop one’s internal celsius count a full degree. Maybe two.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan