ROWE, KEITH / TOSHIMARU NAKAMURA Between (Erstwhile) 2cd 27.00
ROZMANN, AKOS 12 Stationer VI (Editions Mego) 2lp 32.00
RROPE We Are You There (Deathbomb Arc) 3lp 42.00
Folks who lived in San Francisco in the nineties may remember the band rRope, but odds are probably no one anywhere else does. A fairly obscure, but super awesome band who was part of a seriously ruling scene. Bakamono, Nitre Pit (pre-Deerhoof), Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, Caroliner, Henry's Dress, A Minor Forest, Fibulator, Lowercase, Trackstar, Hickey, so many great shows happening all the time, touring bands, loads of cool clubs and weird places to play, and so many bands that seemed destined for bigger and better things. One of which was most definitely rRope, a quartet who built their own amps and fused jagged Sonic Youth like noisiness to blissed out My Bloody Valentine like shoegaze, their songs a barrage of intricate tangled progged out post punk rhythms wrapped around chiming jangly melodies and dense chaotic drumming. Crazy catchy hooks doused in wild squalls of noise rock freakouts, glitched out experimental ambience coalesce into loping post rock mesmer. And some truly unique expressive vocals, that added a whole 'nother art rock dimension to the proceedings. The band never shied away from weird sonic experimentation either, whether it was twang flecked Tortoise-y grooves or free form avant rock meander, Jon Wayne styled garbled cowpunk or woozy math rock weirdness, often in the same song (check out "Pocket Song"), noisy blissed out drone-punk or spaced out desert-y drift, their entire sound would change from record to record, even from song to song, but there was definitely a distinctive, if ineffable something that held it all together, but just barely. One of those amazing bands that sounded impossibly tight and constantly on the verge of collapse at the same time. This sprawling triple lp collects everything the band ever recorded, including albums, 7"s, demos, and live tracks, specifically a set from 1998, right before the band broke up, opening for Sonic Youth at the Fillmore, a performance that reportedly has SY inviting them to tour the US, a tour that would sadly never happen, as the band would hang it up not long afterwards. A totally mind blowing nostalgia trip for those of who were there, and an insanely exciting discovery for everyone else who wasn'tÉ LIMITED TO 300 COPIES!!
"Step Right Up" MPEG Stream:
"Mercury" MPEG Stream:
"Ok Nic" MPEG Stream:
"Jingle Jangle" MPEG Stream:
RST Axes (Last Visible Dog) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. More mysterious six string sonic explorations from New Zealand guitar alchemist Andrew Moon, but unlike the last release (the triple cd-r Other Machines) a grinding thick heavy smear of SUNNO))) like low end rumble and Fear Falls Burning-ish smoldering amplified intensity, the sounds on Axes is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you might expect a record called Axes to sound like. Dark, dreamy, tranquil and contemplative. Where other RST releases tended toward the minimal, the static Niblockian drone, the guitar against the amp rumble, Axes features fluttering melodies, chiming harmonics, bits of simple strum. All appropriately nestled amidst distant whirs and soft shimmers. There are some heavier moments, the ultra brief "The Gate Of The Sun" is a minute plus of corrosive distorted crawl, and "Adrift" is an extended throbbing dirge of amp buzz and guitar distortion, melodies carved out of grinding buzz, beneath a sky filled with streaks of feedback, gorgeous for sure, but also heavy and dark. The rest of the record though, while peppered with bits of guitardrone and crumbling distortion, does definitely tend toward the dreamy, and while we love us some glacial heaviness, we're pretty into the softer side of RST: long drawn out swirls of druggy sound, sounding a bit like a more abstract Spacemen 3 at points, while at others, the sound is delicate and mysterious, a barely there hum, glistening cricket like high end, all wound into tense cinematic ambience. Some tracks explore insectoid ragas, muted buzzing woven into expansive slow shifting soundscapes, others fall in more with the modern free folk, abstract soundscape movement, like the opener, the appropriately titled "Crystalline", a slowed down lullaby of chiming guitars and distant blurred whirs. All of Axes is gorgeous, even at it's heaviest, the sounds are still imbued with some mysterious beauty, some otherworldly magic...
"Crystalline" MPEG Stream:
"Lords Of Space" MPEG Stream:
RST Other Machines (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) 3cd-r 34.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The welcome return of New Zealand minimal drone guitar wrangler Andrew Moon, the man who is RST. We recently managed to get a handful of his amazing Corpus Hermeticum release Warm Planes (sorry, all gone now) direct from the man himself, after years of being out of print, and it reminded us how much we loved and missed his dark abstract guitarscapes. And what do you know, hot on the heels of that reminder, BAM. A new record. And not just a new record, a new TRIPLE cd-r, which if anything, is essential for the sorts of sounds Moon creates, his expansive worlds of glacial guitar need all the space they can get, the beauty lies in the sounds of the journey, the sound of the guitar unfurling its sonic mysteries. We would have been just as happy with 6 discs, or 12, but we'll make do with three. Other Machines is three discs, three tracks, each 45 minutes plus, titled "Worlds", "Ages" and "Earth", titles that certainly sound epic and timeless, but which perfectly suit the sounds within. Each track is one looooooong piece. Ultra minimal. A single guitar, allowed to slowly uncoil, to sprawl like some planet swallowing black cloud, the guitar loosing a single note, or maybe a single chord, either way, that sound drifts from the speaker like it could go on forever. And it feels like it does. Or it should. But this is no static drone, no, the guitar is always changing, pulsing and throbbing, shifting and shimmering, floating from downtuned thrum to metallic hum to drifting high end whir and back again. Always muted and minimal, not heavy so much as intense and dense. A strangely cyclic and mesmerizing expanse of never ending guitar buzz. We could listen to this stuff nonstop (and some of us do!). You like SUNNO))), Fear Falls Burning, Phill Niblock, Vulture Club, you definitely need to hear RST. Epic, intense, super minimal, strangely melodic, and so totally gorgeous....
"Worlds" MPEG Stream:
RST R136a (Ecstatic Peace) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Sitting in a pooly ventilated barn behind his house outside of Auckland, New Zealand during one particularly hot winter, Andrew Moon struggled with his guitar to produce these humid noise drones layered with peculiar chord based structures. One of the best albums to come out of 'free noise' school of New Zealand in years!
RST Tomorrow's Void (Utech) cd 14.98
Latest disc of dronemusic from aQ customer and master dronelord Andrew Moon, his first for Utech, and definitely one of his heaviest. From the opening few seconds, this is some seriously distorted metallic static heaviness, a massive crumbling wall of slow moving fuzz guitar, gorgeously layered so it's not just some guitar-against-the-amp bullshit, no, this is some serious minimal dronemusic, just instead of tones, or sinewaves, Moon has opted for BIG amps and slow glacial chords. The sound pulses and throbs like it was alive, and it sort of is really, with all manner of metallic buzz and grinding shards of feedback drifting beneath and within the humid cloud of warm whirring thickness. Moon is a master of maximizing minimalism, and this track is the perfect example, both understated and pretty, but thick and corrosive and heavy enough that some dronedirgedoom obsessive could get really into it. And it's the sort of sound we can never get enough of, and one that could have stretched the length of the cd and we would have been perfectly pleased. But there's more to Moon and Tomorrow's Void than just heavy buzz, the second track is much murkier affair, moaning deep tones gradually spread out and grow more and more melodic, even as feedback adds another layer to the proceedings. But 10 minutes later and the guitars come growling back, unfurling an avalanche of crumbling fuzz and blown out minimal anti-metal. There are 3 or 4 tracks over the remainder of the record that dip into much more muted minimal dronescaping, some offering streaks of high end with their rumbling whirring drift, but the majority of the record is spent with distortion pedals on, filling rooms and speakers and headphones with billowing clouds of warm buzz and ever expanding slow motion guitadrones, each one in its own way powerful and dark, but to our ears trancelike and dreamy, the exact sort of heaviness that has us entranced and drifting off to the other side.
"Radiant" MPEG Stream:
"Constellation Drive" MPEG Stream:
"Eternal City Ruins"
RST Warm Planes (Corpus Hermeticum ) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Not long ago, we discovered that one of our loyal AQ customers just so happened to be the man behind one of our favorite groups, RST, and who released two mind blowing discs, R136a which came out on Ecstatic Peace! and this one, Warm Planes, released on Corpus Hermeticum. After discussing a mutual love of all things Skullflower and Terminal Cheesecake, Mr. RST informed us that he had some new actions planned for the near future and just so happened to have a stash of this WAY out of print disc, which he want to be available again, in anticipation of some upcoming new material. We obviously jumped at the chance and grabbed a whole mess of these, just in case some of you somehow missed out on this the first time around. Whereas the Ecstatic Peace! disc was a dense assemblage of claustrophobic humid distortion, Warm Planes is much more of a drone based disc, downright dreamy at times, an amazing collection of dynamic tectonic guitar-drone rumble, very prescient considering the current love of all things doomdronedirge. And holy shit does this stuff hold up. Dense and thick and viscous, these tracks move at a crawl, slowly and completely engulfing everything it their path, filling your ears with a murky black buzz. Some of the tracks dial back the grrrrr a bit, offering up soft ripples of muted feedback, and shimmering swells of amp buzz, while others are expansive sheets of crystalline shimmer, but the majority, are thick and snarling beasts, steel strings reverberating through big black speakers, and wrapping us up in thick tendrils of guitar growl. A doomdirgedrone classic, before there even was such a thing. Fans of SUNNO))), Fear Falls Burning, Vulture Club, Earth, you got some catching up to do. Start here...
"Black Sand" MPEG Stream:
"Transform" MPEG Stream:
RST / INSECT FACTORY Split (Insectfields) 7" 5.98
Killer split from these two bands, RST most AQ folks should know by now, New Zealand guitarist Andrew Moon, who delivers another fantastic chunk of dark, dense, humid guitardrone, darkly meditative, but surprisingly active, the swirling blackened churn alive with buried melodies, and ever shifting textures, spaced out and psychedelic for sure, but more a softly swirling bit of layered mesmer, rife with muted feedback, and jagged shards of fragmented melody buried in the mix, kinda wish this was a 12" and this track was waaaay longer. The flipside comes from US outfit Insect Factory, who we had never heard before, but who apparently played the Terrastock festival back in 2008, this being their first recording since. Good stuff, and a nice contrast to RST's darker drift. Insect Factory are a much noisier proposition, a warped psychedelic collage, muted percussive loops, all woozy and warbly, wheezing melodies, layered textures, softly distorted and dreamily chaotic, it sounds a lot like a more dreamy drifty Our Love Will Destroy The World, with a similarly skewed kitchen sink style, all the sounds blurred into something more washed out and melodic, druggy and hypnotic.
RST "Burn Out" MPEG Stream:
INSECT FACTORY "Reflective Chrome Waves"
RST / RAHMANE split (Benefit for Stephen Kasner) (Wasted Magic) cd-r 15.00
A while back we had a little gift certificate giveaway to help raise money for aQ pal Stephen Kasner, an artist you no doubt know, his art has adorned records by Aluk Todolo, Skullflower, Lotus Eaters, Subarachnoid Space, Blood Fountains, Khlyst, Aun, Habsyll, and loads more, we used to carry his amazing art book too, anyway, he was recently diagnosed with a serious illness, and of course like many artists/musicians, he does not have health insurance, and was faced with impossible medical bills, so the underground community has been doing everything they can to help raise money so Kasner can get the treatment he needs and get better. This here split cd-r is another benefit, all proceeds from the sale of these discs will go directly to Kasner, and in addition to helping out a super nice, and ultra talented guy, you get two gorgeous, massive slabs of dark, thick. layered droned out ambience. Most of you probably already know RST, aka Andrew Moon, a killer NZ guitarist, here he shares a disc with Rahmane, who are/is new to us, but who offers up a pretty stellar bit of droned out psychedelic ambient drift, beginning with a bit of abstract shimmer, some minimal percussion, and finally some wheezing organ, haunting and cinematic, minor key and moody, the whirring organ soon gives way to a tangle of horns, wild squalls drifting over the now distant low end thrum, a sort of abstract dronejazz, which quickly erupts into a blast of noisy chaos, of gnarled electronics, twisted effects and processed vocals, a sound that gradually crumbles leaving just the sounds of a burbling brook, and a hazy layer of metallic drones, and soaring string like melodies drifting over the top. Quite nice. RST follows up with a sprawling expanse of humid guitar drone, a thick all of muted and distorted heaviness, no forward momentum, instead, the sounds themselves churn and roil, buried melodies shifting and tangling, streaks of sizzling cymbals, chordal fragments, all drift within a corrosive, glacial swells, throbbing and pulsing but somehow remaining nearly static, a gorgeous washed out almost Tim Heckerish expanse of gauzy soft noise, underpinned by bits of guitar strum, and deep rumbling low end. Gorgeous as always. And well worth the price of admission, even mores knowing that it's for a good cause. LIMITED TO 70 COPIES. Features original Stephen Kasner artwork, ALL proceeds go to the Kasner Fund.
RAHMANE "The Martyr's Finger, II. Kashf al-Asr?r, III. Santariyyah (Return) (Excerpt)" MPEG Stream:
RST "Tropic Of Hull (Excerpt)"
RSUNDIN Sleepwalk (Ground Fault ) cd 11.98
RUBBER O CEMENT High Speed Electronic Cardboard (Toyo / Lincaster) cd + comic 5.98
Following their compilation release with Pink & Brown, The Lowdown and Lozenge (also on Toyo), SF's cardboard and tin foil superheroes Rubber O Cement are back with twenty-three more tracks of comical lo-fi power electronic action. Rumors (which are true, by the way) of a Caroliner member's involvement have been denied, yet the aesthetics in sound as well as artwork prove otherwise. Comes in an oversized screenprinted cardboard package, each with its own random superhero comic enclosed.
"Raman Effect On Nucleon Electroscope"
RUBBER O CEMENT Osmolytes (Dolor Del Estamago) cd-r 4.50
RUHR HUNTER Moss & Memory (Glass Throat) cd 12.98
This is the latest disc of dark ritualistic drone music from Ruhr Hunter, aka Chet Scott, the man who runs the Glass Throat label, who in the past have brought us amazing music from Beneath The Lake And Elemental Chrysalis as well as his own Ruhr Hunter. A handful of copies of this disc (made for friends of the band only) came packaged in a box filled with ocean stones, dirt, pebbles, crow feathers, mink bones & teeth, insects, branches & White Birch bark collected from the forests of Maine, a box of death, and earth, sky and water, transition and rebirth, symbols for the musical world of Ruhr Hunter. Sounds born of nature. A true forest folk music, dark ritualistic soundscapes, primal, tribal, shamanic. Lovely and dreamlike. The sound of wind in leaves, the sound of rain falling through trees, rendered in swirls of acoustic guitar, distant shimmering drones, hushed whispered vocals, as well as actual sounds of the wild, animals, and nature, woven into Ruhr Hunter's dense sonic tapestry. A moody and melancholy missive from the heart of a dark forest, a mysterious figure cloaked in a constantly shifting swirl of low end rumble, sits before a black cauldron suspended above a crackling fire, shadows dance wildly on the canopy above, into the pot the figure places a Jewelled Antler, a Dead Raven, blades of grass, a handful of Lichens, a pine cone and a Wooden Wand, a glorious sound drifts from the murky brew, like tendrils of smoke, drifting heavenward, tangled up in the branches overhead, shifting amongst the shadows, filling our ears with a soft warm otherworldly fire. As with everything on Glass Throat, breathtaking packaging. An oversized brown textured six panel sleeve with the text and imagery embossed in a darker brown, the cover, the instantly recognizable Ruhr Hunter raven talon logo. So nice.
"Antlers In The Fog, To Will The Spirit Of Transit" MPEG Stream:
"An Owl's Gift"
RUHR HUNTER Torn of This (Glass Throat Recordings) cd 11.98
Chet Scott's dark ambient project Ruhr Hunter takes its name from the case studies of a German serial killer from the 1950s named Joachim Kroll who had been dubbed the "Ruhr Hunter" by the local authorities due to a concentration of his crimes taking place along the Ruhr River. Such fascinations with transgressive themes and Scott's calls for human cleansing (even if it may be metaphoric) lend themselves for placing Ruhr Hunter in the true-crime pulp elements of industrial culture as well as a giving him the obvious crossover appeal with black metal mythology. Yet, this does little to embody the rich instrumentation that Scott puts into Ruhr Hunter, as those gaping Lustmordian drones so common within the dark ambient oeuvre are matched with smatterings of extended song fragments with acoustic guitars, ghostly harmonicas, tubular bells, delicate piano melodies, and a number of handcrafted stringed instruments. As good if not better than the atavistic, pseudo-pagan ambient works of Tribes of Neurot.
"Wounded By My Own Blade" RealAudio clip:
"The Sower and The Sown"
RUPTURE, DJ/ Special Gunpowder (Tigerbeat6) cd 14.98
It's been a while, but finally a new record from AQ fave DJ /Rupture. Unlike his previous releases, which were essentially mix tapes, this is a bonafide record of original tracks produced and arranged by Rupture with all sorts of guest vocalists and musicians. Now obviously it would be hard to create a record that stood up to your past releases, when they are all culled from the cream of your record collection, but Rupture makes a go of it and fares pretty well. The tone on Special Gunpowder is much more laid back and mellow that previous releases, and way less experimental. While your need for weird might not be fully satisfied, this is definitely much easier listening. A smooth mix of reggae and dancehall, as well as muted Eastern rhythmic ambience ala Muslimgauze. The dancehall tracks are awesome, but not at all aggressive like the Bug. Wicked Act, Junior Cat, Wayne Lonesome and a handful of others toast over darkly delerious, pulsing dancehall rhythms, nestled in Rupture's unique sonic stew. There are a few missteps, the opening spoken word bit is a little cringeworthy, and Eugene from Oxbow (who can do no wrong in our eyes) pops up smack dab in the middle of the record, mewling and howling over a creepy musical backdrop, and while we can never get enough Eugene, it definitely feels out of place and disrupts the flow. Other than a few hiccups, Special Gunpowder is a prety cool spin, and it's definitely cool that Rupture chose to write and record a record instead of cruising along on his impeccably hip record collection.
"Little More Oil ft. Sister Nancy" MPEG Stream:
"Leech Wisdom" MPEG Stream:
"No Heathen ft. Wicked Act (Blacksmith Mix)"
RUSSELL, ARTHUR Let's Go Swimming (Audika Records) 12" 14.98
With this one track from 1986, Arthur Russell clearly set his sights for the future of dance music and pretty much became the godfather of chillwave, balearic house and other modern day pop forms dedicated to all that's the sun-kissed, blissful and breezy. This newly remastered version features three dubs of the song (Gulf Stream, Puppy Surf, and Coastal, the last one mixed by the legendary Walter Gibbons!) and a previously unreleased track called "Make 1.2 (Gem Spa Dub)", that has a more funk oriented vibe, but still as left-field as can be. There have been rumors that Arthur Russell had made 96 separate mixes of "Let's Go Swimming", and the versions here don't sound exactly like previously released versions on other compilations like Strut's Disco Not Disco 2 or Soul Jazz's The World of Arthur Russell, which felt more orientated to the dancefloor and could have been stripped down mixes by Gibbons and others. The Gulf Stream Dub may be the truest of the three mixes here to Russell's original vision of the song, a submerged percolating paean to the return to innocence of summertimes past. But the three mixes here are like one extended jam of the song going into a more balearic house mode on the Puppy Surf Dub then into Gibbons' more economic and percussive but mind-bending and body shaking Coastal Dub. Essential!
"Let's Go Swimming (Gulf Stream Dub)" MPEG Stream:
"Make 1.2 (Gem Spa Dub)"
RUSSELL, BRUCE Gilded Splinters: Tape Works 1995-2005 (Spirit Of Orr) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ultra limited collection of tape works from the last ten years, composed and performed by Mr. Dead C himself, Bruce Russell! Five lengthy tracks, all super dense and heavily layered, some noisier than others, but all reflecting the sonic sensibilities of one of the men responsible for some of the most moving noise rock of the last 20 years. But don't be expecting any sort of Dead C action, although some of the sounds and arrangements sure could have found their way into some wild Dead C mash up. Instead, these tracks are serious experiments with sound, but surprisingly listenable ones. Strange cricket like trills over stuttering distorted grit, to shimmering high end glimmers draped over helicopter like chugs, bits of vocals slightly processed, some clattery room noise (which does in fact sound a bit like some Dead C outtake), murky expanses of moaning creaking ambience, reverb drenched samples scattered throughout, massive low end reverberations wrapped in glistening streaks of distant skree, squalls of shortwave interference, ear piercing electronic squiggles, scribbled guitar lines all tangled up into messy splatters, looped tones and strange hiccuping rhythms, angular guitar fragments, mechanical squeaks and fuzzed out tape hiss, crumbling bits of crackle and whir slowly modulating and emitting random chunks of muted rhythm and more more more... A gorgeously expansive sonic exploration, equal parts tranquil drone, blown out free noise, and all stops in between. SUPER LIMITED!! Packaged in hand assembled digipacks, with full color photos affixed to the front and the inside, with extensive liner notes and in depth notes on the genesis and realization of each track.
"Sonatas For Toy Fire Engine And Tape Delay" MPEG Stream:
"For Laurie Penney"
RUSSELL, BRUCE Maximalist Mantra Music (Crank Automotive) cd 11.98
New Zealand noise-guru Bruce Russell has taken some time away from his busy schedule running the Corpus Hermeticum megacorporation and recording with The Dead C and A Handful of Dust to release this solo recording. "Maximalist Mantra Music" perfectly describes the improvized clatter and guitar feedback wrestled into a hypnotic drone. So we'll just leave it at that, well, except to say this this is one of Andee's current drone faves.
RUSSELL, BRUCE Painting The Passports Brown (Corpus Hermeticum) cd 16.98
Dead C main man Bruce Russell's latest solo record is a gorgeous slab of gurgling textures and humming buzzing drones. Built from a seven meter pre-recorded tape loop and slowed down thumb piano, these two lengthy pieces build from rich, soothing foghorn like tones into shimmering washes of high end feedback and rumbling clatter. Really, really beautiful and much less abrasive than a lot of Russell's work.
RUTMAN, ROBERT Zuuhh!! Muttie Mum!! (Die Stadt) cd 15.98
In the 70s, Robert Rutman began tinkering around with steel stringed instruments and founded the Steel Cello Ensemble, which specialized in lengthy sonorous drones not far from the bowed metal work of Organum or the delicate sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia. "Zuuhh!! Muttie Mum!!" is a collection of 1998 recordings that featured Rutman, Rudi Mose (of Einsturzende Neubauten and Die Haut), Matthias Bauer, and Carsten Tiedemann. Rutman's steel instruments have a surprising dynamism that can achieve spindly gossamer textures as well as earth moving bass resonances. Excellent stuff.
RUTTMANN, WALTER Weekend Remixed (Intermedia / Strunz) cd 15.98
Thankfully, the original version of Walter Ruttmann's "Weekend" is presented here in its entirety, or else there would be relatively little context for the remixes from DJ Spooky, Mick Harris, Ernst Horn, John Oswald, To Rococo Rot, and Klaus Buhlert. "Weekend" was released a few years back on musique concrete label Metamkine's "Cinema For The Ear" series (which also included work from Luc Ferrari, Ralf Wehowski, Bernhard Gunter). Ruttmann's fractured cut 'n' paste collage of street sounds, rhythmic tappings, musical scales, and political speeches were years ahead of the musique concrete techniques of Pierre Schaeffer/Pierre Henry. Composed on an optical sound film using the so-called tri-ergon technique, "Weekend" was presented as a radically innovative radio piece, but was only broadcast once. This definitely remains one of those historical artifacts that is still fascinating to listen to. And with the exception of the Mick Harris remix (which illogically includes his usual drum machine plod), the remainder of the disc presents some downright decent reinterpretations of the Ruttmann piece.
RV PAINTINGS Samoa Highway (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) lp 15.98
BACK IN STOCK!!! Two brothers from Humboldt County are RV Paintings - one is Brian Pyle, whose name should probably strike a chord as one of the principals in Starving Weirdos and recently has been generating some impressive work under his solo Ensemble Economique moniker; the other is Jon Pyle, who occasionally makes a guest appearance in the Weirdos but also operates in Nudge with Honey Owens, Paul Dickow, and Brian Foote. For all of the method acting from the brothers Pyle in getting stoned and jamming, they have been remarkably consistent and consistently good in all of their ruminations, with RV Paintings probably the best that they've mustered. The RV Paintings debut on Root Strata is three years out but is still a timeless, gorgeous dronesmear of bowed metals and elongated guitar; this was followed by a well-suited split with Taiga Remains on Blackest Rainbow, and now, they've got this stunner on Helen Scarsdale. RV Paintings speak about, to, and from their own immediate surroundings: the moss, mushrooms, and mycelium of the awe-inspiring redwood forests, the heavy fog that hangs at the coast and from their bongs, and the weightiness of the Pacific Ocean just off to the west. The title Samoa Highway gives the impression that the two brothers were on their own trip during a cold, wintery day, gazing off to the southwest and pondering the warmer climate of American Samoa. But no, the Samoa Highway is located in Humboldt County, connecting Eureka with the small community of Samoa on the other side of the bay which was thought to resemble that of Pago Pago in the mid-19th Century. It's also the bridge that would get you to the Arcata/Eureka Airport. So, the album begins with field recordings of airplanes lifting off on the jawdropping track "Millions," as sitar-like harmonics and ghostly, levitating drones emanate from the distance. It's a perfectly narcotized smear of echo and drift, hanging in space as the remnants of a particularly lucid dream or the foggy headspace from an afternoon of smoking pot and staring at the sun. This is a track that could spiral onward forever. So nice! Samoa Highway continues with "Mirrors" driven by melancholy looped melody from a cello that dissolves into a flurry of shimmered guitar fuzz, whose shoegazed mantra has been submerged under centuries of felled trees and lichens. Cyclical patterns of samples from dark yet pastoral orchestral passages rounds out the album. If it weren't for the delicate freeform clamor of the drumkit, tracks such as this wouldn't be that far removed from the 'pop ambient' cuts by Gas. Citations of Taj Mahal Travellers, Organum, Grouper, Barn Owl, and The Caretaker certainly hit the mark. Music for airports? More like Music for California airports! Fuck yeah! And a download coupon is tucked within the sleeve as well!
"Millions" MPEG Stream:
"Mirrors" MPEG Stream:
"As Far As We Could See"
RV PAINTINGS Trinity Rivers (Root Strata) cd 12.98
The legend beneath the liner notes inside this disc from Starving Weirdos offshoot RV Paintings reads "Jam Nature!!!" Not sure whether it's a command or a description of their process, but just like the music they make, those words could just as easily come from the twisted musical minds of the Jewelled Antler Collective. Which is not all that surprising really. When we first heard the Starving Weirdos, what struck us was their deft blend of abstract found sounds, and improvised noisemaking. Anyone can sit on the floor with a bunch of instruments and fuck around, but only a handful can make magic. This trio does just that on Trinity Rivers, utilizing the usual array of sound making devices, but incorporating some less likely devices as well, including most notable glasses and "fog-like layers". And it's those two elements that go the farthest in defining the unique sound of Trinity Rivers. The singing sounds of rubbed glass, make everything glisten and sparkle, a breathtakingly delicate shimmer that spreads out over the proceedings like the morning sun peaking over the tops of the trees. Beneath it, plenty of drones and whirs float and drift, as well as dense little flurries of rhythmic tangle. But no matter where the 'Paintings take their sound, it always seems to return to the tranquil drift and shimmer of the glass. The second track begins with a bang, a huge dense cloud of insect like buzz and intertwined with dizzying loops and hiccuping pulses, a swirling sonic chaos with a soft melodic center, barely audible through the buzz and fuzz, but by the end it's drifted back to the glassy glimmer of the first track. The final track also starts out intense, with strange rhythmic guitar and deep droning swells, before fading into a bleary eyed foggy ambience, the sounds of gulls and lapping waves, hovering beneath wispy clouds of chimes and peals of high end skree, before gradually devolving into a slow fading stretch of hypnotic hand drums. Released on Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's (of Tarentel) Root Strata label, packaged in a gorgeous black and silver metallic cardstock sleeve with a printed insert.
"South Fork Trinity" MPEG Stream:
S.E.T.I. Above Black (Ash) cd 14.98
This is the second pressing for the S.E.T.I. "Above Black" album, originally released in 1998 as part two in a trilogy of paranoiac / isolationsist sound constructions that include "Knowledge" (1995) and "Pod" (2000). Throughout this series, S.E.T.I. (aka Andrew Lagowski who spent time in the early IDM scene with recordings for GPR, and who worked on Lustmord's apocalyptic ambient masterpiece "Heresy" as well) crafts beguiling soundtracks mired in the mythologies of contact with extra-terrestrial beings, both optimisistic and conspiratorial. The title "Above Black" comes from a book of the same name authored by Dan Sherman, a former agent for the NSA, who while on active duty in the US Air Force claimed to have firsthand evidence of the US government's dealings with alien lifeforms. Lagowski may have genuine allegiances with Sherman's claims, but wisely sites his sound productions within the realm of sci-fi metaphor. The source material for "Above Black" appears to be shortwave radio transmissions, in particular the enigmatic repetitions and crackling bleches from utility signals. Whether they overtly function as voice frequency telegraphy, differential global positioning, or air controller communication, it's not a big leap that the intrinsic mysteriousness of these transmissions across the shortwave band are part of some conspiracy. Lagowski accentuates these references through a well-designed sound-narrative aiming for psychological tension and punctuated with shivering electrical drones, bursts of garbled communications, and distant cracklings from the ether.
S.E.T.I. Pod (Ash International) cd 15.98
"Pod" is the final installment to Andrew Lagowski's alien trilogy, which has dealt with the secrecy surrounding extra-terrestrial intelligence and the so-called Grey Projects of research & development of the defense applications of ET technology. Thematically, Lagowski posits a different metaphor for "Pod" away from the control of information and closer to an escape mentality that was embraced by the members of the Heaven's Gate cult. Within this context, Lagowski has crafted an evocative collage of crackling VLF recordings, air-traffic control transmissions of UFO sightings, and other cosmic transmissions.
S.O.C.M.Z. Seance Orchestra's Cosmic Mind Zoo (self-released) 2 x cassette 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This one is a mind bender. The strangely named Seance Orchestra's Cosmic Mind Zoo offer up two cassettes of ultra abstract, minimal soundscapery, one tape is all buzzing electronic hum, flittering fields of tinkling glass percussion, massive speaker shaking low end swells, grinding throbbing stuttering bass buzz that is so thick and dense it almost swallows the rest of the sounds completely up, angular crumbling guitar distortion, bits of voice and vocals, while the other tape is heavier and much more brutal, a definite Dead C style skree, but muted and spread out into a strange hissy staticky pulse, that throbs and emits a strange subtle melodiousness, murky and prickly and weirdly warm and washed out. Two tapes, a color insert and some stickers all housed in one of those massive plastic multiple tape cases, that usually house language tapes or self help tapes, the artwork some complex bit of electronic diagramming. As with all things like this, ultra limited, so if you want one don't be hemming and hawing...
SABERS Specter (Neurot) cd 14.98
Sabers? What's this? The picture on back is one of those band equipment in the studio photos that resemble a sculptural art gallery installation, all wires and mic stands and pedals and mixers and drums and amps. Interestin'... well, as you may know, the Neurot label has done us darn right of late, with several recent releases being AQ-list highlights (House Of Low Culture, Grails). Here's another one that also impressed the heck out of us, the debut from NYC's Sabers. They're a two-man band, one guy on guitar and effects and the other on percussion and effects. Not a little effects, a lot of effects. And a lot of amps -- it's a baritone guitar they use that goes through a multitude of bass and guitar amps. These two guys and their gear make glorious, miasmic music -- sparse, rhythmic and wholly instrumental abstractions that ought to appeal to both Starfuckers and Skullflower fans to use two relatively obscure references (sorry). Sabers' heavily droning yet quietly restrained soundscapes are also a bit like Neurosis stripped of most instruments, vocals, song structure, and aggression (but not menace). Artful, original, and extremely moody. Massive and mysterious. We like.
"Loess Kindchen" MPEG Stream:
SABISTON, WILLIAM s/t (Jyrk) 3" dvd-r 7.98
Sabiston is an ex-member of Axolotl, and records under the name Ball Lightning, we had a totally kick ass cd-r from BL a while back. A mindblowingly inventive percussionist, Sabiston is also a pretty amazing video artist as well. This ultra limited 3" dvd-r features three short films, each one in glorious super lo-res black and white, filmed using a Pixelvision camera, one of those failed toys that became a prized possession for those who could find 'em. The Pixelvision uses regular old cassette audio tapes to capture super lo-fi video, high contrast black and white, very creepy and beautiful and alien looking. It's like watching an ultrasound, weird shapes stutter and jump, lines move, static drifts and wiggles, sort of like video feedback, but even more simple and abstract. So gorgeous and haunting. Each film features original music from Sabiston, a swirling fuzzscape of sound, stuttery glitchy skitter flitting over deep rumbling bass thrum, while buried within are soft snippets of looped melody, everything occasionally blissing out into dubbed out pulses and cavernous low end throbs. Packaged in a mini 3" plastic DVD case, with black and white artwork. LIMITED TO 90 COPIES!!!! Already out of print, these are the last copies ever...
SACHER PELZ (MAURIZIO BIANCHI) In Hoc Urbia Miazi (Old Europa Cafe) cd 16.98
Here's another reincarnation of Maurizio Bianchi's Sacher Pelz project. Back in the late 70s, the Italian industrialist self-published a handful of cassettes for super primitive musique concrete recordings culled from turntable / needle abuse upon LPs by Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Conrad Schnitzler. In 1979, he picked up some new gear and changed his nom de plume to M.B. through which he fabricated some of the best power electronic / post-industrial noisescapes of that era. Recently, the man has been excessively prolific, getting somewhere near the Aidan Baker and Merzbow quantities for output; and In Hoc Urbia Miazi is the second album that he's released using this name again. While many of the recent Maurizio Bianchi albums have been all over the map with some decent ambient constructs, some brilliantly droning grim 'n' gloom, and some curious forays into cybernetic rhythms, it appears that Bianchi has reserved the Sacher Pelz project for noisy projects based around tape hiss and rough hewn musique concrete. In Hoc Urbia Miazi is just that: a boiling mess of looping tape hiss, varispeed accelerations, and razor cut edits between between the white noise chorus of tape hiss piled densely on top of itself. The label made references to the classic Come Organisation sound made famous by Whitehouse; but Bianchi's Sacher Pelz shares more in common with the blank tape experiments by Reynols heard on their self-evidently titled album Blank Tapes or by the obscure Australian turntablist project Gum.
"M Your Eyes - Biolche" MPEG Stream:
"In Hoc Signo Vinces"
SACHER-PELZ Mutation For A Continuity (E'est / Alga Marghen) 4cd 43.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "Sacher Pelz offered up burnt offerings, and finally they began to say to the other: 'The true MB is the giver of acts of vengeance to us," quoting Maurizio Bianchi from the obtusely apocalyptic liner notes to his 4 CD box of his earliest material as Sacher-Pelz. In the late '70s, the enigmatic Bianchi produced four cassettes as Sacher Pelz that he had given to a handful of his friends and to the very few proponents of experimental music in his native Italy. These recordings were self-described as musique concrete albums, but are clearly situated outside of the realm of academia and the institutionally driven music of Pierre Schaeffer or Pierre Henry. Instead, Bianchi had fused the most primitive application of musique concrete (music composed with tape and a razorblade) with the principles of Throbbing Gristle's "entertainment through pain" and William Bennett's extremist Come / Whitehouse projects. Within the Sacher-Pelz cassettes -- which have been resurrected this box set on E'est / Alga Marghen -- Bianchi could easily be crowned as one of the '70s forefathers of 'anti-music' alongside Lou Reed for his legendary "Metal Machine Music" and Boyd Rice with his "Black Album." Stephan Kraus' well researched website on the history of Bianchi (which can be located at Brainwashed) indicated that much of the original source material from these cassettes was taken from Bianchi's abused Kraftwerk vinyl, then vastly recontextualized into monotonous loops, completely devoid of anything sounding like Kraftwerk. I guess it could be the music of Kraftwerk, but if "Autobahn" had been exhumed from a lengthy burial in a murky swamp. "Cainus" is Bianchi's very first outing, finding him enthralled by the looping technology of a varispeed tape machine. An entirely decentralized affair, this recording takes those post-mortem tones from his beaten Kraftwerk albums and warbles arrhythmically through several repetitions then shifts into a different loop. "Venus" is similar in the arrhythmia of looping textures, but finds Bianchi experimenting with the varispeed and with an additional synthesizer bleeding through the turgid noise. Even within these recordings which are decidedly primitive, Bianchi makes it very clear that the monotony and dullness of his records are an intentional pursuit for his music, as exorcisms of the existential frustrations of life. "Cease To Exist" progresses more into the sinister dense collage work that precedes his masterpieces as MB, "Endometrio" and "Carcinosi." The final Sacher Pelz recording "Velours" is the most advanced of the four with the loops showing a much broader spectrum from clarity to abstraction, with some of his samples coming directly from Neu! "2" (an interesting choice as that album was a remix of Neu!'s earliest recordings!), but most distorted into a bass-heavy muddle of Merzbow proportions. It must be stated that while this Sacher-Pelz boxset is an fascinating document of Bianchi's earliest work, this box isn't nearly as good as the truly depressing but totally overwhelming MB recordings.
"Crime Uberall (from "Cainus")" RealAudio clip:
"Venus (from "Venus")" RealAudio clip:
"Exterminans (from "Cease To Exist")" RealAudio clip:
"Sans Sang (from "Velours')"
SACHER-PELZ / M.B. (BIANCHI, MAURIZIO) Clerzphase (Stridulum) cd-r 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. As for the reasons for the reprise of the Sacher-Pelz moniker, maybe we'll never know; regardless, Maurizio Bianchi has returned to the name that started his illustrious career of sinister, industrial abstraction some thirty years ago. In the late '70s, Bianchi recorded a handful of cassettes as Sacher-Pelz using little more than a turntable, a varispeed 4-track, some well worn Kraftwerk, Neu!, and Conrad Schnitzler LPs as source material, and lots of rough-cut tape splicing in a primitive attempt at a ghastly variation on musique concrete with a few moments of toxic brilliance. Four of those early cassettes had been reissued in a Sacher-Pelz box through E'est / Alga Marghen (who were also responsible for the reissues of the 10 classic M.B. recordings from the early '80s). That box set evaporated from the market very quickly, along with most of those classic M.B. records. For the 2006 incarnation of Sacher-Pelz, Bianchi cites as his source material "concretonic irradition for concrete noises, efflorescent loops, and foetologic guitar." Ah, yes, Bianchi has always had a way with the English language! The sounds that he musters from those sources has much more in common with those that he generated as M.B. particularly found on his 1983 masterpiece The Plain Truth. Clerzphase swarms with a post-mortem atmosphere as cold cold cold electronic vibrations offer little room beyond intense claustrophobia. Hints of horror film minor key melodies and megaphone-distorted vocals may be lurking in the mix, yet Bianchi's vibrating patterns are so relentless as to obfuscate every undergirding sound to the Sacher-Pelz death-ambient mantras. Limited to 250 copies.
"Sunev" MPEG Stream:
"Tsixe Ot Esaec"
SACHIKO Anro (Utech) cd 14.98
From our friends at the mighty fine Utech label comes this heady blast of spaced out Japanese psychedelic ritualistic minimalism, part of the same batch of releases which also included the dark droning minimalism of Owwl and the blackened spacedrift of Sky Burial. Sachiko is in fact a member of amazing Japanese psych rock combo Overhang Party, as well as Kousokuya, but here veers quite far from the psych rock path, and instead forges a droned out drift worthy of late great Japanese Fluxus psychdronelords Taj Majal Travellers, a 37 minute sprawl of primitive percussion, layered thrum, garbled vocalizations, woozy buzz and swirling shimmer, whistles and bells, electronics and fluttering flutes, bowed strings and spidery melodies, all blurred and woven into an epic stretch of raga like swirl. The track surprisingly dynamic, shifting from dense and chaotic, to hushed and hypnotic, but all woven together by warm whirring drones and strange almost Yoko Ono like mewling vox, the sound organic and alive, pulsing, and pulsating, a throbbing rhythmic core driving the track subtly from within, the surface a frenzy of microtonal shifts and constantly transforming overtones, headphones definitely required, allowing the listener to sink deep into Sachiko's lush mysterious soundworld. So gorgeous. And fantastically and psychedelically mesmerizing. Essential for Japanese psych freeks, but folks into more modern raga-psych a la Sunroof! or Our Love Will Destroy The World and the rest, might find this to their liking as wellÉ Houses in a super striking minimal oversized sleeve. LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
"Anro (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Anro (excerpt 2)"
SACHIKO M Derive (NAIM) cd 16.98
SACRED FLESH Original Soundtrack (Cold Spring) cd 14.98
"Sacred Flesh" is an erotic lesbian nun film made by Nigel Wingrove who commissioned Band Of Pain's Steve Pittis to score the soundtrack. Using a similar dialogue-recycling technique that John Duncan used for his "John See Soundtracks," Pittis incorporates echoed voices (some of religious incantations, some of sexual ecstacy) directly into the soundtrack dominated by deep washes of dark ambience. Or as the guy who writes the Relapse catalog blurb says "I've got to see this movie!!" You'll understand after you see the booklet photos. In any event, another fine Band of Pain release.
SAGAN Resting Pleasures (333) 7" 6.98
Heads up! Here comes another wave of limited edition 7"s from 333 Records! Each release in this series is pressed in an ultra small quantity of 333! The latest additions are this one by Sagan and one by Girl Talk. Plus: The first 100 of this Sagan single came with a little extra something -- a bonus 3"cdr! Don't fret too much if you do miss the first 100 though 'cause we've been assured that the track will be available online for download too. The ever mischievous and crafty trio of Jay Lesser, Blevin Blectum, Wobbly pour out the prickly tickles, thick bass thuddery, and druggy effected vocals for these two short heavily processed and distorted tracks. Always entertaining! We've only got a handful of these. Snoooze'n'loooze, kiddie!
SAGAN Unseen Forces (Vague Terrain) cd + DVD 13.98
We've been getting more and more tired of electronic music recently. How could you not? It seems that every week there's a hundred more glitchy wannabe Autechres or Aphex Twins. But thankfully, there are always groups of folks, quietly doing their own thing, thinking weird thoughts and making weird sounds, turning unlikely concepts into reality, and offering us amazing alternatives to the usual crap we are forced to sift through day after day. Thus we have Sagan. With a pedigree that would have us expecting no less. Jay Lesser, Bevin Blectum, Wobbly, film maker Ryan Junell, and the label run by Drew And Martin of Matmos. You'd almost find yourself shouting 'supergroup' if you didn't know that such behavior would get you a punch in the nose. A massive concept album based on Carl Sagan and just good 'ol science in general, Unseen Forces is a heaping sensory overload of sonic irregularites and visual fuckery. The audio disc is a lot more listenable that you might expect from audio terrorists like Lesser and Blectum. It's a far spacier affair, channelling classic Tangerine Dream, Pink Floyd swoosh, Hawkwind spaciness, as well as modern glitch into a slowly swirling galaxy of shimmery synths, and stuttering starbursts, throbbing techno broadcast from a distant galaxy, and garbled through the light years into a smeary ambient blur, demarcated by chirps and clicks, thumps and throbs. A space opera for the IDM set. We were a bit wary of the accompanying film, fearing at best, some sort of cool music videos, and at worst, home movies of band members mugging and acting silly. Well, somehow it's actually both, but the sum of those parts is infinitely more watchable than you might think and so completely compliments Sagan's techno space glitch swirl. So much so that after watching the film, every time we listen to the record now, all we can picture is the scenes from the film! Various historical scientific discoveries and encounters are fictionalized and re-enacted by the band members as well as the guys from Matmos and AQ pal Dave Cerf. Gorgeously filmed and masterfully edited, the grainy Viewmaster menus and segues perfectly balance the silent movie feel of the vignettes, with the action skipping and hiccupping to the music. Funny and fascinating, silly but emminently watchable. Also the opening sequence and the closing credits are AMAZING looking. This record and film have been in the works for a LONG time, but we are happy to report that the wait was worth it! Also, the hybrid DVD contains 9 shows with over 6 hours of music!
"18,000 BC - Figurines Of Vulva And Waterbird" MPEG Stream:
"Fuguestate: Cosmic, Brah..."
SAGAS Between Worlds (Greenup Industries) lp 10.98
This was another one of those records that just showed up one day, and knocked us on our asses. And while all the descriptors pointed to something that would be right up our alley, spacey and psychedelic, krautrocky and kosmische, heavy and hazy, which all do definitely apply, the music manages to embody all those adjectives, while tangling them up into something all its own. This one man band opens up the proceedings with some droned out psychedelic synths, sounding like Amps For Christ or Daniel Higgs, the sounds undulating and spiraling into little tangled melodic squalls, there are bells, and a deep crooned almost chantlike vocal, very hypnotic and almost new agey, those droning synths (or are they effected guitars?), get more and more wild as the song proceeds, a wild woolly freakout over that deep sonorous drone. Great stuff, and we would have been perfectly happy had the whole record sounded like that, but instead, the second song starts off all low slung slither and wah guitar, it's got 'boogie' in the title, and it shows, sort of. Loose and ramshackle, the guitars again blossom into soaring streaks of high end skree, the drums pound and stumble, the vocals wreathed in reverb, the sound insanely dubbed out, everything swallowed up in echo and send swirling into the ether before landing again and reengaging with the in-progress kraut-dub space rock freakout. This is the sort of shit Burnt Hills would conjure up if they wrote songs instead of endless jams, infusing sort-of-proper song structures with all the elements of an unhinged drug addled jam, and the results are pretty wild. The rest of the record though is all over the place, feet firmly planted in psychedelia, and Appalachia, but exploring pretty much every disparate strain, from clattery, foresty free folk, sounding almost like No Neck Blues Band or Avarus, to back porch bluegrass Fahey-y style American primitivism, from strummy, synthy, noise drenched darkdrone balladry (maybe our favorite track, sounding like a muted Merzbow / Portishead slowburn mashup woven into some Appalachian psychedelic creep), to blown out, in-the-red, Japanese psych style White Heaven / Les Rallizes / Fushitsusha grinding guitar freakout, finally finishing off with another bout of melancholic minor key Appalachia. Killer stuff, most definitely recommended for fans of modern psych, neo-Appalachia, psychedelic dronemusic and the weirder side of space/psych/drone rock. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES! Includes multiple inserts.
"The Hidden Variable" MPEG Stream:
"Bad Karma Boogie"
SAGE, M. The Receivers Peaking (Moon Glyph) cassette 4.98
The latest mysterious musical missive from now local label Moon Glyph comes in the form of this gorgeous bit of collaged ambience from M. Sage, who sound hovers in the shadows between the Caretaker, Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker, a woozy loopscape of random radio snippets, of treated instruments and muted moody melodies, processed guitars drift wraith like over haunting field recordings, wreathed in hazy swirls of static, the various sounds all blurred into soft focus impressionistic drifts, that just seem to fade in and out, like the flickering of an old filmstrip, or the world viewed through the dusty old window of a beat up car, driving through empty towns and long abandoned neighborhoods. Sound become distorted, gristly and crunchy, shards of caustic buzz surface here and there, but are quickly smeared into another layer of sweetly swirling sound. And when proper instruments do surface, they give the sound a haunted otherworldly twang, or a glistening prismatic cosmic shimmer. The sound constantly shifting from sun dappled dreamlike glimmer, to murky, faded drifts, softly churning dronescapes, all slowed down sounds and softly keening melodies, warm whirs and hushed crackle, to darkly cinematic mesmer, the crackle almost becoming a physical presence, the dreamy lilting thrum beneath almost wholly obscure by this glorious patina of crunch and crackle, turning sound into something impossible tactile, a blissed out sprawl of heavenly soft noise. So utterly, and hauntingly gorgeous.
"Radio Slope (For Whitcomb)" MPEG Stream:
"Campaign Cycles / Harrowing Straits" MPEG Stream:
"The Apocraphyl Atlases"
SAKADA Askatuta (Rhizome) cd-r 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
SAKADA Undistilled (Matchless) cd 17.98
Beyond the scope of AMM, percussionist Eddie Prevost and Keith Rowe have been exploring the synthesis of improvisation and digitized electronics through a handful of divergent ensembles. Where Rowe's M.I.M.E.O. was a massive 13 piece ensemble with a number of forceful egos struggling with each other for position in the stereo field, Prevost's Sakada -- a far less cumbersome trio working with Australian transplant Rosy Parlane and the London-based Basque who simply goes by Mattin -- succeeds in marrying specific textures found within an unconventional means of playing a drum kit and an unconventional means of digital sound. With Parlane and Mattin working the electronic workstations to generate radio static and controlled feedback manipulations (no clean samples here! everything's covered in a layer of grit), Prevost never strikes the heads of his drums once. Rather he scrapes metal objects around the rims, bows the cymbals, and rubs handheld motors on the skins themselves. Many of the sounds could have come from an Organum record; however, Sakada is far more of disjointed affair snarling and stumbling their way through 3 extended improvisations recorded in London and Barcelona in 2002.
"Audit - 20.01.02"
SALA-ARHIMO s/t (Last Visible Dog) cd 9.98
Yes, more delicate spectral music from Finland! Sala-Arhimo are a branch off of the Islaja tree... and if you're at all familiar with us here at AQ you know we're mighty fond of 'em. This self titled album is very hazy, Spartan and folk-tinged much like Islaja, but perhaps a bit darker, more somber and mournful. Lovely.
"Onnellisten Saari" MPEG Stream:
SALLY STROBELIGHT Starships In Silhouette (Weird Forest) lp 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A druggy troll through a cough syrup drenched new wave underworld. Like waking up in some filthy sonic back alley, your head spinning, and you ears filled with fuzz. The memories of last night's little fragments, coming back to you in bits and pieces, some murky analog synths, some stumbling drum programming, lots of creepy low slung bass...but it's the druggy female voices that swirl around your head like some hangover halo, sultry and sexy but also distinctly alien, drenched in FX, cooing softly in your ear, a late night, narcoleptic narcotic lullaby. An Adult. 45 played at 16 rpm, Nico fronting some slow motion electroclash outfit, a mysterious damaged doom version of Glass Candy, a seriously fucked up new wave Portishead? Sally Strobelight is all of those things. A delightfully damaged, druggy, slow motion new wave electro dirge missive from some doomed and drug ravaged otherworld. Awesome. LIMITED TO 200 COPIES!! Clear vinyl housed in a gorgeous in tranluscent, full-color vellum sleeve!
"You And I" MPEG Stream:
"Transcend The Obvious"
SALOMAN, GABRIEL Adhere (Miasmah) lp 19.98
After the breakup of the much-loved floor-core noise duo, Yellow Swans, Pete Swanson has carved quite a solo career for himself, but we haven't heard as much from fellow YS member Gabriel Saloman. As it turns out, Saloman has been rather busy himself over the past few years in Vancouver working on various solo projects of his own under the monikers of GMS and Sade Sade and with collaborative projects Diadem and Chambers. Most of his projects have taken on a conceptual form of social resistance like his Music for Prisons project, which employed field recordings of protests for imprisoned Tamil refugees with original music to be broadcast at extreme volume outside of prison walls as a form of political protest against authoritarian-imposed incarceration. But Adhere, his vinyl debut for the Miasmah label, is the first time we're getting a full sense of the range of Saloman's sonic vision, and it is uniquely compelling and powerful. Composed in collaboration with a contemporary dance group, Adhere reads as a modern classical composition in seven parts with intense builds and pregnant silences, centered around reverberated piano, bowed strings, ambient guitar, percussive woodblocks and martial drumming into a captivating and beautiful soundscape. Sometimes the intensity is restrained by minimal piano stabs in a big empty room, in the third part, we hear some gorgeous Robin Guthrie-ish guitar washes, still later some dramatic yet solemn percussion. The entire composition toggling back and forth between quietly pensive dynamics and voluminous crescendos that give a sonic drama to an obviously visual accompaniment. Perfect for the Miasmah label which has always had a strong focus on marrying works of experimental classical forms with dark penetrating ambience.
"Adhere (part 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Adhere (part 3)" MPEG Stream:
"Adhere (part 7)"
SALVATORE, K The Counterfeiter (Siwa) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. K Salvatore is an unspecified permutation of the modern-day, free-noise hippy collective The No Neck Blues Band. The Counterfeiter is the fourth album from this side project and is a sprawling loose improvisation for quiet horn flutter, wild flute trills, occasional guitar growl, and a clatter of semi-tonal wooden blocks against contact microphones (thereby following up K Salvatore's previous 'pipe fight' albums with a 'wood fight'). The production is purposefully coarse with the building flurries of K Salvatore's wild actions occasionally peaking out the analog recordings. Think Scratch Orchestra without any Fluxus conceptualisation, Amon Duul with less drum circle mantras, or Zoviet France completely stoned and lacking their trademark production work and effects. Or it could be our beloved Thai Elephant Orchestra, if they had been listening to Albert Ayler records instead of Thai temple music their whole lives. And, Siwa have outdone themselves with the super elaborate silkscreen work on the cover of this vinyl-only release!!!
SALVATORE, K. Ashmadai (Fusetron) 2lp 22.00
The newest release from this mysterious two man No Necked side project. A darkly damaged and demented abstract drone folk freakout. Soundiing not surprisingly like NNCK through the looking glass. A tripped out warped sonic funhouse of squiggly synth noodling, warbly wah guitar, haunting creaks, sporadic rhythmic clatter, dreamy blissy acoustic guitar strum, cicada like clicking minimalism, all wrapped up in thick layers of rumbling fuzzy ambience. Occasionally melodic fragments drift by, or bleeping blooping electronics surface, but for the most part. Asmadai is a mystical musical mystery in the form of warm muted underwater warble. So great. Another No Necked offshoot that can seem to do no wrong. Two thick slabs of 45 rpm wax, housed in a gorgeously designed thick black and white sleeve. And as with most things like this, VERY LIMITED!
SAMARTZIS / ENGLISH One Plus One (Room 40) cd 15.98
SAMARTZIS, PHILIP Soft And Loud (Microphonics) cd 15.98
The Australian sound artist Philip Samartzis has been working out the details of his Soft and Loud concept through various sketches which have been released on the Grain and Variable Resistance compilations, as well as in his contribution to the Mort Aux Vaches Staalplaat series. The source material and some of the compositional strategies tie all of his Soft And Loud pieces together, but it quickly becomes clear with this disc that Samartzis at last has fully realized his ideas of the surgical articulations of tactile aural phenomena within temporally linear progressions. In other words, he melds the ideas of INGRM's musique concrete (especially Luc Ferrari) to the pristine electro-glitch aesthetics of Raster-Noton and 12K (especially Carsten Nicolai and Richard Chartier). However, Samartzis is not purely a formalist, for there is a sense of metaphor and introspection that is evident in his work. All of the material found throughout the Soft and Loud pieces is from field recordings that Samartzis made on several trips to Japan. These compositions speak with a hyper-reality of his own reflections upon Japan's incredibly complex culture. In particular, Samartzis concentrates on the unique dialogue between the artificial and the natural. Set against a stark backdrop of empty silences, Samartzis' composition is pinpricked with tactile events: cracklings, sinewave mantras, pneumatic crunches, nauseatingly happy pachinko themes, a maudlin Japanese flute much like Akio Suzuki, etc. Even though some of the same materials have been presented before, it's unusual to have the opportunity to witness the progression of piece of music such as this. So many times, a composition stands as a monument to the genius of the musician; not so here, for Samartzis has worked out all of the blemishes and false starts (perhaps even encouraging them!) under the critical ears of a listening public. So what I'm trying to say is that even if you already have the earlier parts to the Soft And Loud series, it's well worth picking up this highly recommended album!
"Soft and Loud part 1" MPEG Stream:
"Soft and Loud part 4" MPEG Stream:
"Soft and Loud part 5"
SAMARTZIS, PHILIP Unheard Spaces (Microphonics) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The Australian sound artist Philip Samartzis is essentially presenting two bodies of work on Unheard Spaces, both of which are connected through the relationship between sound and emptiness. The first suite for Unheard Spaces is called "Absence And Presence" and opens with an abusive scrape across a cello announcing something of new direction for Samartzis. The pristinely crafted electro-acoustics which culminated in the dynamic Loud & Soft album have been replaced on the first half of Unheard Spaces with a series of spacious, yet expressionist clattering improvisations between Samartzis (electronics and field recordings), David Brown (guitar), Sean Baxter (drums), Anthea Caddy (cello), Thembi Soddell (electronics and field recordings), and Michael Vorfeld (percussion). However, Samartzis introduced one hell of a detour to the typical improvisational context: as he asked the participants to re-record what they had performed during the improvised session by memory and without the benefit of hearing what any body else was doing. The strategy is much more of a conceptual conceit that certainly adds to the randomness of the clusters of spluttering guitar, squealing sinewave oscillations, and tumbles of percussive improvisation. The second half of Unheard Spaces (also called "Unheard Spaces") is something of an homage to the work of the late, great composer Luc Ferrari, whose cinematic musique concrete compositions brought an unnerving psychosexuality to his decentered collages. Perhaps less inclined for the lurid aspects of Ferrari's work (at least here, there's plenty of grotesqueries to be heard on his early Gum project of turntablist damage), Samartzis concentrates on the very subtle sounds within the urban landscape, Venice's landscape to be exact. The echoes from the various canals and antiquated passageways comprise the bulk of Samartzis' field recordings, with a healthy dose of watery sounds just to make sure you didn't forget this was Venice. What's clearly missing is the hustle and bustle of the city itself, as Samartzis has surgically removed almost all of the direct human presence. While the sound of cars and boats provides activity in the composition, the human voice is never the direct focal point; rather it's the elegant refractions of sound emerging from a labyrinth of a city. An impressive duality of improvisation and manipulated field recordings that would have easily been the jewel in INA-GRM's crown had this been recorded thirty years ago in Paris.
"Absence And Presence 02" MPEG Stream:
"Unheard Spaces 07"
SAMARTZIS, PHILIP Windmills Bordered By Nothingness (Dorobo Limited Editions) cd 14.98
For those who have paid attention to the Microsound and Phonography online lists, much has been made about the certainty some pundits place upon the categorization and divisions between the computer based Microsound genre and the field recordist based Phonography. An argument of similar rhetoric raged in the '60s between the German school of electronic music and the French school of Musique Concrete, but there were a couple of Swedish composers (Rune Lindblad in particular) who saw the advantage of both compositional models working harmoniously. Melbourne based composer Philip Samartzis holds a comparable postion as a relative outsider to these primarily European / American discourses; and thus has been able to synthesize elements from both field recording manipulation and the generative models of computerized sound construction. "Windmills Border By Nothingness" is his second solo CD, after recording a couple of hard to find noise-junk albums as Gum (which may get reissued sometime in the future through 23five). Samartzis' title of this 39 minute composition is indicative of the numerous punctuations of silence that bracket all of the events housed within. Unlike the practitioners of low-volume compositions (Gunter, Roden, Chartier, etc), Samartzis punctures sound with silence rather than playing the notions of audibility. Rushing waters, scraping improv guitar work (possibly from fellow Aussie David Brown), repeated metallic clangs, the hushed clickery of run-out grooves, indeterminant creakings, tense rattles from electronic vibrations, and strident granular synthesis are splattered across the stereo field with silences as breathing room. A very nice recording.
"Windmills Bordered By Nothingness excerpt 1" RealAudio clip:
"Windmills Bordered By Nothingness excerpt 2"