CONVEY, JOSHUA Vacant Integument (Utech) cd 14.98
We love the harmonica, especially when it's used in super creative ways, processed perhaps, or spread out over some Morricone-ish post rock, it is definitely evocative, and has an incredibly unique and distinctive sound, which definitely comes to the fore when the harmonica is rescued from the blues rock ghetto it usually finds itself trapped in. A couple past harmonica favorites: a tape by Usputuspud, a gorgeous dronescape of processed harmonica, and the sweeping deserty post rock of Souvenir's Young America, wherein the harmonica was used to add a layer of mournful mystery, and now we have this cd from NY soundmaker Joshua Convey, who utilizes harmonica, guitar and electronics, to create deep listening drones, and mesmerizing soundscapes of repetitive texture. The opener is a brief shimmer of high end, the harmonica smeared into soft billowy streaks, the electronics burbling percussively beneath, like a much more tranquil and washed out Sunroof! The second track finds Convey dipping his toes into Fennesz territory, a strange murky rhythm, supports a skittery stuttery high end guitar, that is looped and layered, the notes glimmering and overlapping, creating strange landscapes of pixilated upper register metallic shimmer, harmonics drift dreamily, punctuated by smears of grinding glitchy buzz. The third is a brief clattery soundscape that sounds like a contact mic dropped into a malfunctioning music box, all truncated twang, and strange metallic plunks, fractured melodies, and strange mechanical textures. Which brings us finally to the final track, a nearly 15 minute expanse of overdriven guitars, the notes transformed into buzzing shards, the tones chime like but wreathed in pulsing electronics and grinding distortion, until the distortion dissipates, leaving a slowly unfurling tangle of steel strings and soft focus harmonics, transforming into a low end rumble and drift, until the final couple minutes when the guitars become blown out once again, creating a gorgeous squall of overlapping and almost psychedelic buzz, before slowly sinking into the murk. Quite challenging, pretty far out, but definitely haunting and strangely lovely. Fans of fucked up dronemusick, harmonicas, and gnarled guitars will definitely dig. Gorgeous diecut packaging with super striking photos by Max Aguilera-Hellweg.
"Vacant Insturmentals 1" MPEG Stream:
"Vacant Insturmentals 2"
CONVIVIAL HERMIT, THE Issue 5 magazine 8.98
We're always on the lookout for new music metal magazines, cuz as much as we love Decibel and Terrorizer, it's the cool DIY mags that really cover the stuff we love, in a way that seems totally genuine, driven purely by a love of the music, whether it's the now defunct Oaken Throne, or Salt (not strictly metal), or Asgard Root, we can't get enough. Which is why we were so thrilled to discover the curiously named Convivial Hermit, while at the same time confused as to how we missed the first 4 issues of this incredible magazine. Based in Warmonster, Pennsylvania (!!!), TCH covers a wide array of dark and heavy underground music, black metal, doom, psychedelic folk, industrial, and pretty much everything in between, as well as artists and filmmakers and whatever the hell else they feel like. This is issue five, and it's a doozy, featuring legendary slowcore doomlords Skepticism, Chinese neo-folk outfit Baishui, USBM horde Nechochwen, Korean metallers Sad Legend, Norwegian metal outfit Wallachia, filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky, Orson Welles' film Mr. Arkadin, mysterious Russian black metallers Walknut, black metallers Algaion, symphonic neo-folk group Rome, longtime aQ fave Steven R. Smith, Russian doom metal label Solitude Productions, Lovecraftian metal weirdos Fungoid Stream, funeral doom outfit Helllight, an essay on the dying art of compilations and reviews of some of the editor's faves, French Illustrator Chris Moyen, death metallers Affliction Gate, Spanish black metallers Beelzeb, German black metal horde Drengskapur, Italian black metal unknowns Adversam, an essay on hermits (!), acid folk legends and ALL time aQ faves Comus, Czech black metal weirdos Master's Hammer, French black metallers Aorlhac, legendary dark ambient soundscaper Raison D'Etre, Chinese label Pest Productions (whose releases we have featured on the aQ list recently!), an thoughtful essay on record stores and the future of recorded media (for which this 'zine would get our recommendation alone, read this!), and then of course, TONS of reviews, records, magazines, shows. The magazine is massive, beautifully laid out, fun to read, packed with old faves and new discoveries, just might be out 'new' favorite metal mag!
COOKIE BROOKLYN Gets 'Cute' (Pseudo Arcana / Oak Park) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. When we first heard the name Cookie Brooklyn, thoughts of pop-funk immediately sprung to mind, but the ten tracks on this 3" cd-r reveal something completely not that! Ah, but we would've known that if we'd just looked at the name of the label who released this! Yup, although the release came to us via the New Zealand label Oak Park (home to dark, spacy, country rockers Marineville), it's actually on Anthony Milton's label Pseudo Arcana. Seemingly inspired by Keiji Haino (the acoustic Black Blues album for instance) and/or Jandek, these 1997-2001 home recordings drift more into the realm of experimental folk. Deconstructed melodic elements, spartan instrumentation (often just effected electric guitar and voice), fleeting clouds of buzzing dissonance, generous application of reverb, and some very detached and stream-of-consciousness-y murmurred and muttered vocals.
"You're A Piece Of Magnetic Tape" MPEG Stream:
COOL PERSON s/t (Hooker Vision) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. No idea who this Cool Person is; but he / she / it / them hail from Gainsville, Florida and landed this outsider chunk of electronica on Hooker Vision. At its most sensible, the Cool Person ethos follows more of a rhythmless, atonal, and organic sounds similar to Matmos and Mouse On Mars, all done on a very lo-fi scale, with squelching tones and ring-modulated arpeggiations sent along divergent paths; but at other times, echoplex delay patterns crosshatch into swarms of gritty feedback or swarming Reichian drones that cut against abstracted polygons of golden tones with hints of those Frankenstein tape constructions from any given Joseph Hammer project circa 1983. A strange one, but a very intriguing tape from this anonymous project. Released in a tiny batch of just 50 copies, all of which are sold out at the source, so these are the last few copies...
COOMANS, LEO Basement Recordings 1978-1982 (Ultra Eczema) lp 36.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Easily one of the most freaked out and fantastical outsider free jazz records EVER. And yeah, that sounds like hyperbole, but wait until you get a load of this. Start with the cover, an image of Coomans, a Belgian jazzman of some sort, with some crazy goggles on and some sort of mask strapped to his face, attached to a machine on his belt, an aerosol device he used to treat his asthma, which he SINGS THROUGH. He also sings through a harmonica, attaches vacuum cleaners to saxophones, or just mics em up to create clouds of strange hum and buzz, or submerges horns and plays underwater, in a half filled bathtub in his basement. Sound weird? It is. But it's also amazing. The opening track is the one where he sings through his weird aerosol asthma device, the result is otherworldly, like processed Tuvan throat singing, hypnotic and alien, warm and whirry and a little monk-like, we sort of wish he made a whole aerosol/asthma record! But then we wouldn't have heard the next track, an extended anti-jam, more space than sound, with strange bleats and burbling, the aforementioned submerged saxophones, underwater moaning, bursts of watery sploosh as the sounds break the surface, but plenty of strange vocalizing, also underwater we would assume, metallic and reverby, distant conversations, foot steps, like some freaky field recordings of some basement free jazz ritual, which it essentially is. The flipside begins as a melancholy, long toned almost funereal dirge, warm and washed out and melodic, before slipping into something WAY more frantic, a wild bit of rapid fire phrasing, chaotic, notes tumbling over other notes, relentless and intense, but somehow still weirdly pretty, until finally the sax is joined by a hissing whirring drone, which we can only assume is the vacuum cleaner. After that there's a short voice / harmonica jam that goes from warm swirls of chordal wheeze, to mysterious harmonically enhanced vocalizing, until finally, the record finishes with a totally damaged, and mostly unrecognizable sax / piano / vacuum cleaner / tape recorder cover of "Louie Louie". A stumbling, gloriously WTF mess until the piano and female vocals finally start to sound like the original, other than the fact that the vocals and piano are matched beat for beat by bursts of glitched out, and we assume either tape recorder or vacuum cleaner derived, static crunch. Holy shit. Weirdest free jazz record ever? Most definitely a contender. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES.
COOPER, BIRCH Weird Lesson (MSHR) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Earlier in 2011, we were introduced to the heavy-drift shoegaze of The Slaves through their impeccable Ocean On Ocean album. While we eagerly await the follow-up to that album, we were stoked to discover that The Slaves' Birch Cooper has been up to quite a lot on his own beyond the tapestries of drug-drone synth and blisswave noise of The Slaves. He's collaborated with Heavy Winged / Operative drummer Jed Binderman in The Greys, worked within the metaphysical collective known as the Oregon Painting Society, and tinkered with homebuilt electronics that are just as much sculptural as they are functional. Weird Lesson bears the first fruits of Cooper's explorations with those aforementioned synths, and it's pretty damn amazing although quite a detour from The Slaves. Here, Cooper embraces his inner Conrad Schnitzler (RIP) through these semi-improvised constructions of highly stratified electric squiggle, zonked noise, and disjointed sawtooth tones with plenty of patch-bay cuts and scattershot trajectories for all of Cooper's sounds. "Physical Dream" entertains a lovely Tim Hecker like cascade of spectral, semi-melodic wash behind all of those polyphonic electronics; and here, Cooper comes closest to what he had been presenting in The Slaves. Limited to 100 copies, with just a handful of those here in our shop.
COOPER, MYLES Cassingle (Ormolycka) cassette 5.98
Also back in stock... Yet another release from our pal Jason's amazing and weird as fuck Ormolycka tape label (along with two others on this week's list), this one weird for an entirely different reason. Sort of. Where most of the Ormolycka tapes hover WAY out on the periphery of popular culture, as in seriously underground, bizarre, challenging, confusional, noisy, chaotic, each with a hefty helping of WTF going on, well, for fans of the label, this might end up being the most WTF of all. Cooper was maybe best known as the singer for the Passionistas, but since that band hung it up, he has struck out on his own, we reviewed his debut 7" a while back, and the jams here are not that far removed, sunshiney, sugary electro /techno pop, cheesy house music grooves, drum machine driven new wave, synthy, swirly, fey sung / spoken slightly auto-tuned vocals over thumping beats and dreamy melodies, gay club jam meets '80s new wave, fun and funky and a little bit fluffy, like the dance/love scene or montage from an old VHS eighties romantic comedy. Ormolycka definitely has a soft spot for summer grooves, radio/MTV pop, Hot/Wild FM style megajams and the like, and this definitely pushes some of those same buttons. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES.
COPELAND, ERIC Alanon (Catsup Plate) lp 16.98
COPELAND, ERIC Alien In A Garbage Dump (Paw Tracks) cd 14.98
No doubt about it, Eric Copeland is a bona fide weirdo! In the best of ways, as his manic and often hyper musical stylings have reached near brilliance with his band Black Dice and on his great mind-melting solo outing from a couple years back. In fact we think we kind of prefer what Copeland does on his own these days more than the recent Black Dice outings, there's just something a bit more inventive, immediate and deliciously confusing and mind bending about his solo stuff. Alien In A Garbage Dump is a pretty appropriate title considering the warped way Copeland's musical mind seems to work. Utilizing busted, broken and discarded equipment, the sort of stuff most people would throw out, Copeland sees the opportunity to explore other dimensions, reachable only by using damaged electronics, old tapes, and warped loops that feel like they've been melted, messed with and burned beyond recognition. Using repetition often to the point of exhaustion, some songs definitely a test of endurance, yet the rewards that come from sticking it out are totally worth it! We can hear the influence of monumental 20th Century experimental compositions like Terry Riley's "You're No Good" and Steve Reich's "Come Out" and "It's Going To Rain". Yet you can also tell that underneath the extreme left field sonic fuckery in which Copeland roams he also loves dizzying rhythms and pulsating waves of sound. It's kind of like Daft Punk records playing underneath an Astral Social Club freakout. There is also a really cool Seefeel influence that he of course takes and tweaks to create a totally different atmosphere. One of those records that you can't really just hear a bit or piece of to appreciate but instead it does really work best when you can blast it loudly and let it unfold with all its twists and turns from beginning to end. With plenty of turbulence, chaos, and moments of pure ecstatic joy, this is one fucked up musical journey worth jumping on board for!
"Alien in a Garbage Dump" MPEG Stream:
"Al Anon" MPEG Stream:
COPELAND, ERIC Hermaphrodite (Paw Tracks) cd 14.98
Similar to the way Copeland's friend Panda Bear released his own little masterpiece earlier this year while taking a break from his main act the Animal Collective, Eric Copeland has made an equally amazing solo record of his own, which just so happens to come to us on the eve of his main act, Black Dice, releasing a new album. Hermaphrodite finds Copeland displaying major cinematic flair. There is an intensity and density to the sounds on Hermaphrodite that make the listener feel like they've been whisked away, similar to the way the masters of the silver screen are able to transport audiences. Not many people can sculpt sound the way Copeland does, always in control of the way the sounds shifts and change shape, never feeling stiff or too smart for its own good. What makes Hermaphrodite such a special record is how physical the music seems. Like the strange songcraft he's developed in Black Dice, Copeland has become so adept at taking sounds to mysterious places and transforming them into rich visceral experiences, as intriguing to the mind as they are to the body. Hermaphrodite sounds like creatures from another planet were given some run down analog equipment, a broken old video game arcade machine, a glimpse into Gamelan music and assigned to score a lost film made by Michelangelo Antonioni and Alejandro Jodorowsky. One of those records that truly takes you on a wild ride you never want to get off. We're more than intrigued with this Hermaphrodite, we think we might be falling in love!
"Oreo" MPEG Stream:
"Hermaphrodites" MPEG Stream:
COPPER GLOVE Dead Space / No Power (Monorail Trespassing) cassette 6.98
Had this been issued on Vinyl On Demand as something from some terminally obscure tape label from East Germany circa 1983, we wouldn't have batted an eye. All of the trappings of quintessentially bleak industrial music alluding to the best of SPK (i.e. Information Overload Unit), The New Blockaders, and everything on Broken Flag way back when (i.e. Ramleh, Mauthausen Orchestra, Toll); and with very little discernible digital effects (including a 'direct to cassette' citation in the liner notes!), this doesn't sound like a contemporary noise project at all. Everything is overblown but with the attack of the high end blunted into static distortion and the low end snarled into a morass of tape rumbling. These caustic noises are not the end result, but the toxic patina which is applied to some fine synthpunk / industrial culture dirges. Baltimore's Copper Glove fortunately has been listening to all of those aforementioned projects quite a bit, and has done a great job of synthesizing noise, drum machine rhythm, urban malaise, and detached resentment into this exemplary tape only release from the ever consistent Monorail Trespassing. Twenty-six minutes and limited to 125 copies.
COPS, THE Fables (Battlecruiser / Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd-r 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Yet another release from Campbell Kneale's (of Birchville Cat Motel) Battlecruiser label, a sub division of his free drone Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label, specializing in METAL, or at least sort-of-metal, or maybe more accurately very heavy music that is the sort of 'metal' music ambient dronesters make when they're trying to get heads banging. So far in the series we've had loads of slow motion sludge metal, some Steve Reich style repeated NWOBHM riffs and even some almost ambient metal. Now we have the Cops. Who don't really sound all that metal at all on first listen. But then again, one man's metal is another man's circus organ flecked industrial sludge spazz grind. Or something like that. The Cops sound a little like the Locust, if the lead guitarist played one of the Fisher Price guitars with the buttons on the neck that unleash noodly squiggly guitar solos, and if the whole thing was recorded on a boom box. Massively overblown recording, super ultra-distorted angular riffs (some very metal indeed), loads of squealing feedback, suffocating washes of distortion over howled banshee vocals, programmed blast beats, and occasional Godflesh like industrial rhythms. Weird but pretty effing cool! Maybe a bit aggro for your typical metalhead. But anyone who wants a quick (11 minutes) furious electronicly grinding drum-machined metallic knee to the nards can definitely count on these Cops! SUPER LIMITED AS ALWAYS!! NOT SURE WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET MORE WHEN THESE ARE GONE!
"Burn In The Fire" MPEG Stream:
"The Birds Of Angus" MPEG Stream:
"Theme For A Cop"
CORDIER, ERIC Breizhiselad (Erewhon) cd 14.98
This former aQ Record Of The Week (List #257), finally available again!!! Making music is all about transporting the listener to another place. Creating sounds or songs that transform the listener's whole world, so with eyes closed, a person could be anywhere, drifting through space, wandering in caves miles below the surface of the earth, laying in tall grass in the countryside, holed up in a concrete bunker during a war, wandering through the smoking ruins of some ancient city, all through the magic of music. Most of our favorite sound makers use their considerable talents to sonically alter the course of time, taking us back with them to some unrealized past, some mysterious otherworld where it's still the middle ages, or the 1900's, or the fifties or even just the seventies. Their sounds are faded postcards, old snapshots browned with age, glimpses of places and people long forgotten, it's all very evocative and hauntingly emotional. Philip Jeck, Tim Hecker, William Basinski, Jasper TX, Machinefabriek, they all meticulously craft windows to other worlds, using various instruments and techniques, they allow us to step through our speakers and into some rainy day, an overcast afternoon, in a barely populated city, an intimate get together with family and friends, a lonely walk through dark alleys and rain slicked streets, but unlike a film or a photo, these are less distinct, more like memories than actual visual images, and like memories, they are nothing but personal recollections of events long past, and like memories, some parts are fuzzy, indistinct, everything seems faded and ghostlike, on the verge of being lost forever. Capturing that ineffable sound, manufacturing a world of mysterious musical memories, with music, never fails to captivate us completely, and we could listen to those sounds, rich with nostalgia and warmth, rife with magic and mystery, pretty much forever... French experimental sound artist Eric Cordier has taken a bit of a detour from his usual electro-improv and installation work and has joined the ranks of our favorite sound makers, with his latest, Breizhiselad, an epic and gorgeously inventive exploration of tape, the turntable and a single 78rpm 10" record found in the attic of a friend's grandmother. The original recording, one of the first to proudly feature the Breton language after years and years of persecution, was to Cordier's ears, "horrible because of the catechism-like vocal arrangements" but the conviction of the vocalists, as well as the condition of the record itself, convinced him that these were important sounds. SO he transferred the sounds to tape, and attempted to capture the essence of the music, the power and the passion, while discarding the rest. The result is a haunting epic, an expansive drift through some lost era, the voices are disembodied and wreathed in murk and static, an EVP broadcast from the beyond, rhythms and melodies develop suddenly amidst a cacophony of distortion and processed voices. The opening track sets the tone, with a looped low end rumble, fuzzy and mysterious, the rich warm sound of deep harmonies, amidst a bed of tangled crackle, looped and chopped into lurching rhythms, like some disembodied short wave doom, a creepy low end moaning melody that gradually fades into a soundscape of layered angelic voices, creating a stuttering blurry chorale. The record is peppered with field recordings and bits of found sound, whipping wind, footsteps, snippets of conversations, the crunch of boots in snow, all woven into the strangely liturgical sound of Cordier's mysterious world of sound. Imagine the murky undersea drift of Oval's skipping cd-scapes, but wrapped in a thick cloak of analog imperfections, skips and pops and crackle and hiss, imbued with an ominous undercurrent, minor key melodies assembled from rumble and hum, thick swells of static and clipped stuttering snatches of organ or voice, all transformed into creepy complex squalls of sound, scraping and hiccuping, but just as often, smoothed into hushed, dreamlike drifts, warm and muted, almost like some analog Pop Ambient, letting us float serenely and ghostlike through a sonic world of dark forests and crumbling castles, small villages and rolling hillsides, battlefields and ruined cities, of war, famine and death, but also of hope and salvation.
"Breizhiselad / Ar Baradoz" MPEG Stream:
"Lieux De Repos"
CORDIER, ERIC Houlque (La Grande Fabrique) cd 16.98
Beginning back in 1989, French experimentalist Eric Cordier (who you may know from the stunning electro-improv ensemble Afflux) began building immersive audio installations that broadcast sound through hundreds of speaker cones mounted to the wall at the average height of the audience's collective ear. "Houlque" dates back to 1996 and is but one of many of the soundtracks that Cordier designed for such installations. While originally an 8 channel piece, Cordier has compressed the music down into a stereo recording for this release, making it a bit more compatible with most folks' home systems! Layering multiple tracks with sustained drones from hurdy-gurdy, dulcimer-vina, harpsichord, and church organ, Cordier has successfully crafted a dense piece of maximalism that harbors similarities to Hermann Nitsch's "Harmoniumwerks," Jim O'Rourke's "Happy Days," and even some of Organum's textural density. Coincidentally enough, Cordier is responsible for introducing both O'Rourke and Keiji Haino to the hurdy-gurdy, which has played a considerable role in both artists' work. Beautifully packaged with lots of photographs of Cordier's installations.
CORDIER, ERIC / JEAN-LUC GUIONNET Tore (Shambala) cd 14.98
French improvisers Eric Cordier and Jean-Luc Guionnet have a long history of collaborating together: several exceptional "live electro-acoustic" albums as Afflux with Eric La Casa, continued work in the free noise collective Schams, and several duets involving baffling sound installations. Now comes Tore, an album pieced together from several recording sessions in two different churches, where Cordier and Guionnet performed on hurdy gurdy, church organ, flute, and saxophone. For the majority of the album, Cordier and Guionnet give precedence to the drone, whose twisting tonalities and abrasions share Tony Conrad's physical play between dissonance and harmony. Yet as the album progresses, the balance begins to sway toward their free jazz aesthetic, as clusters of random notes begin to push outward, tearing the fabric of the drone from within. At these moments, Cordier and Guionnet wander into Keiji Haino territory, where sound is just as physically dominant as in Conrad's anti-Pythagorian minimalism but focuses specifically on the immediate chanelling of an emotional urgency. Coincidentally, it was Cordier who introduced Keiji Haino to the hurdy gurdy back in the early '90s! By the end of the record, the two have erupted into an inflamed free jazz dynamism driven by Guionnet's sax. This may be too much for most droneheads, but may be perfect for those who crave the taste of saxophone with their eternal minimalism.
"Tore" MPEG Stream:
"Spire" MPEG Stream:
CORE OF THE COALMAN 2/3 (r4) (Two Thousand Tapes) cassette 5.98
CORE OF THE COALMAN Box Of The Last Heap (Zum) cd 11.98
We've loved everything we've had heard from Core Of The Coalman, a one man noise drone outfit from right here in the Bay Area (but now based in the Czech Republic), making dark crusty corrosive dronemusic that we described as sounding like Phill Niblock on steroids at one point, intense and blown out and hypnotic, the sounds corrosive and crumbling and in the red, impossibly soothing while being seriously dark and dense. But something must have changed since then, cuz this new COTC, while still droney and hypnotic, seems to have shed all the filth and buzz and crust, instead, what we have here is a gorgeously hypnotic assemblage of looped mesmer, sounding more like Phill Niblock than ever, but also a bit like Philip Glass, long stretches of repeated motifs, layered strings, chopped and stuttery, the repetition creating constant shifts in perception, the tones and notes beating against one another, creating rhythms, and strange overtones, subtle harmonies, woozy and psychedelic, some seriously divine minimalism. The first half of the record, "Inertia II" and "Inertia I", sounds like a string quartet chopped and screwed, in the beginning, a constant flutter and flurry of clipped notes, but as the song progresses the strings become more distinct, the melodies emerge, becoming more and more calm, before right near the end, blossoming into an even more dizzying bit of looped repetition. The second half of the record, "Last Help", takes a simple subtle bit of folky steel string guitar, left mostly alone during the intro, but then during the 20 minute piece proper, again delicately recontextualized into a warm tangled swirl of interwoven melodies, of constantly shifting textures, never getting super washed out or blurry, instead, retaining the guitar's sound, and the main melody, mostly adding a haze of echoes and shadows, doubling some of the notes, harmonizing others, the result, not nearly as dense and dizzying as the first half of the record, but equally as blissed out and beautiful.
"Inertia II" MPEG Stream:
CORE OF THE COALMAN Canarsie (Custodian, Color Zoo Containers) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've all been digging the recent cassette revival. It was inevitable really, as the cd-r became more commonplace, the tape became the underground format of choice. And in some ways we're all for it. Nowadays you can knock out a cd and a printed cover in minutes flat, the amount of effort it takes to release a cd-r borders on NONE (apologies to the labels who do it right, with gorgeous music, and great attention to packaging, you know who you are, and we love you). But with a tape, even the copying requires more time and effort. And it seems that folks making tapes understand this and have been going way out of their way to customize their releases, and make the look as special as the sound. But none quite as impressively as Custodian Color Zoo Containers, a new tape label, whose packaging is so intricate and over the top, each one is a work of art, stunning and intricate and incredibly time consuming. So much so that these tapes have been in the works for more than a year, and when you see them you'll understand why. Our new favorite tape label in one fell swoop. The second release on CCZC is by Core Of The Coalman, an Oakland based noisemaker who traffics in thick corrosive drones, long tracks of thick coruscating low end, like Niblock on steroids, a lo-fi industrial drone symphony, noise music, but rendered warm and thick and prickly, but somehow still soothing and intense, the various tones intertwining into soaring sheets of sound, eventually transforming into high end shimmer, some serious Sunroof! style effulgence, heart of the sun ur-drones, glimmering and glistening, a brilliant sky full of sonic supernovas. And then there's the packaging. Holy shit. Several different designs. The covers black ink on transparencies, with various insect shapes knocked out, as well as the text, flowers cut out on the other side through which the tape spools show, the cassettes themselves hand painted, and numbered, the number showing through a little transparent window in the sleeve. LIMITED TO 83 COPIES!!! Totally eye popping. As gorgeous and intense as the music inside. WAY recommended.
CORNER, PHILIP 3 Pieces For Gamelan Ensemble (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. As can be inferred from the title, Philip Corner presents three meditative works using the Indonesian instrumentation. However, Corner's organization priniciples follows more of a Western minimalist aesthetic with regular numeric structures. The first piece simply entitled "Gamelan" slowly adds new sounds at intervals that are half the amount of time for the previous sound to emerge. Starting with a huge silent gap of 64 seconds, the long resonant gongs increases in intensity as the rhythms multiply to 1/8 of a second. "The Barcelona Cathedral" is composed of slow beats by the gamelan enemble that clamour hypnotically every few seconds for 20 minutes. "Belum" appears to be a composition that originated in an 108 measure 'improvisation' that is repeated with variations throughout the composition. Though perhaps not as beautiful as Loren Nerell's "Lilin Dewa" as a Western synthesis of gamelan sounds, Corner's experiments are interesting fusions of gamelan within the context of '60s academically minded minimalism.
CORNER, PHILIP Piano Work'd (The Tapeworm) cassette 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
CORNISH, DALE Fleshpile Thematic (The Tapeworm) cassette 9.98
We first heard Dale Cornish in the context of a different tape on The Tapeworm label, that one from his mysterious ensemble Baraclough, which sounded like some warped and stumbling mix of No Neck style free form clatter and drift, and droned out modern minimalism. Much of that sound surfaces here as well, the main difference being that Fleshpile Thematic seems to be a showcase for Cornish's spoken word, which gives this whole tape a definite Shadow Ring vibe, Cornish's voice an accented deadpan, that only occasionally slips into something resembling a croon (at which times he sounds a bit like a wasted - or more wasted - Scott Walker), but more often than not, delivers his strange prose is a quite reserved manner, occasionally stretching out the syllables, and once in a while slipping into something that sounds almost cockney, but the background music is what makes this so good. Shifting constantly, from shimmery static, distant voices, chiming tones that sound like struck glasses or tiny bells, soft focus clouds of hazy static drift over smoldering chordal swells, lots of deeeeeep drones, woozy, turntable manipulations unleash truncated samples slowly shifting into warbled melodies, the rumble and swirl of music speeding up and slowing down, the white noise of television static, sculpted into strange shadowy, granular shapes, eventually splintering into a weird collage that sounds like Jeck, if most of his turntables were spinning Merzbow records, or were simply TVs turned on to some dead channel at 3am, noisy, but the hiss and wow of the static is muted and blurred into something downright soothing, the whole end of the A side is like a blissed out soft noise record. The flipside begins with looped metallic shimmer over field recordings of rainfall, and more reverberant tones, the spoken word, now a sort of croon, over haunting swirls of sound, dark and looped and hypnotically droney. The sound shifts eventually into a sort of clanging metal junkyard cabaret, the spoken word dramatic and croony, deep and sonorous and a little over the top, laid over what sounds like someone playing the inside of a piano with a hammer, before dissolving into deep rumbling tones, that blur into a washed out thrum in the background, finally disappearing into a field of electronic hum, droned out and crackling. Super cool. But definitely depends on your love/tolerance of spoken word, definitely seems like Shadow Ring fans might dig a lot!
CORRIDORS s/t (Sedimental) cd 14.98
Corridors is the moniker of one Byron Westbrook. This New York based composed has been charged as Phill Niblock's technical assistant at the renowned Experimental Intermedia loftspace where Niblock has been hosting literally thousands of shows since the late '60s, and he also spent time in one of Rhys Chatham's ensembles a few years back. Westbrook's own work doesn't stray too far from the minimalist stasis of either Chatham or Niblock, although Westbrook is far more interested in the slippages of his frequencies and more of an impressionistic, ephemeral sound instead of Niblock's signature heavy overtones or Chatham's swarming density. Sourced from guitar feedback, Farfisa, autoharp, trumpet, and viola, Westbrook's sounds have been smeared into elongated passages of wavering tonefloat, which he layers, loops, and morphs into some beautiful tapestries of shimmered and glassy-eyed drone. There's a rich, crystalline quality to his sounds, which seem to levitate and lift-off into the otherworldly, atmospheric, and even astral from time to time. Fans of Coleclough, Stars Of The Lid, Basinski, and Celer would be well served in picking up this exceptional recording.
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CORRUPTED Llenandose de Gusanos (HG Fact) 2cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Sadly, the legendary Japanese label HG Fact, longtime home to sludgelords Corrupted, closed up shop recently, rendering loads of amazing records gone for good, but Corrupted managed to acquire a handful of remaining copies of this otherwise out of print doom/sludge classic, and we got as many as we could from them - not many. So this is indeed available again, for what we're guessing will be a very, very limited time... Here's our review from way back in 2000 when we first listed the all-time classic Llenandose de Gusanos, and in fact made it a Record Of The Week: Japanese sludge-core doom merchants Corrupted return with this monumental effort. Their previous album consisted of one long, crushing song. Llenandose improves upon that by taking TWO full discs for two tracks. WARNING: if you already intend to purchase this incredible album, read no further. Your enjoyment will be enhanced by not knowing the precise musical details that we are about to reveal...Disc one begins not with the expected wall of brutalizing guitar, but with quiet, hypnotic piano playing. An eerie voice begins to croak softly in Spanish (did we mention that for some reason Corrupted's lyrics are always in that language?) but the music is almost pretty, lulling the listener into a stupor that sets them up for the eventual entry (after 25 minutes or so!) of a slow-moving but awesomely heavy guitar/drums dirge. Eventually the piano re-enters and the disc comes full circle. Beauty and depression co-exist on this disc like none other, it's like George Winston at 16 rpm with Burning Witch playing in the background (and diabolical whispers in your head).. Disc two is the "ambient" disc, and is also really well done, a creepy quiet grey wash of sound, the sound left in the world AFTER its destruction... One of the best releases of 1999. Fans of Esoteric, recent Neurosis, Sleep, Earth, Skullflower, etc. should bow down to Corrupted. Additional information for Japanese-music-o-philes: Corrupted's drummer Chew used to play in Omoide Hatoba. And here's a 'customer review' (which just happens to back up our claims above), emailed to us by recent purchaser-of-Corrupted and classical music fan John Botz: "The Corrupted album (Llen...Lleandos...uh...something about 'Gusanos,' i.e. 'worms') absolutely kicks ass. It's hard to accurately describe just how far beyond my expectations this album is. I was totally willing to go with Andee's recommendation on this one, but I was half expecting the three main parts of the album to be: banal, new agey, minimalist piano followed by some fairly generic bongtar sludge riffs, followed by fifty minutes of gray-washed amp noise. Not Even, dudes! These guys have obviously had some classical training, and this album is further proof of how much more depth ANY music acquires when there is some solid classical training behind it. The opening piano section, far from sounding like ambient/new age drivel, sounds like Rachmaninoff on codeine and muscle relaxers. The entry of the 'metal section,' with portentous feedback, makes a real impact, and the choral ambience of the keyboards at the end, added to the piano sound, sinister vocals, and distorted guitar makes for an even more ominous feeling at the apocalyptic conclusion of the first disc. Wow! But maybe disc two was the most pleasant surprise of all! This is genuinely atmospheric (and good) ambient drone, with enough variety and layering of sounds to keep one interested for the full 74 minutes. I kept thinking of the spacey, eth-eerie-al, sections of 2001: A Space Odyssey (one of my two favorite movies, by the way; and my favorite soundtrack: Kubrick's choice of Ligeti's otherworldly choral/orchestral music juxtaposed with the majesty of R. Strauss, the grace of J. Strauss, and the austerity of Khachaturian's adagio was truly an inspired stroke of genius). Perhaps the Corrupted is the REAL 'Soundtrack of the Apocalypse.' Anyway, your description was apt/excellent, and this album become one of my instant favorites, not just a curiosity. And, by the way, whoda thunk that the Spanish vocals would be so effective, adding an esoteric arcaneness to the album?"
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"excerpt from disco segundo"
CORSANO, CHRIS / PAUL FLAHERTY Full Bottle (Ultra Eczema) lp 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another blast of modern free jazz from this dynamic duo. A drums and sax duel to the death, but what a way to go! Corsano's jazzy splatter, shuffling skitter and pummeling pound up against Flaherty's wild and wooly world of skronk and skree. They've been playing together so long, it's almost like listening to one four armed, four legged, two mouthed man single handedly (um... you know what we mean) deconstructing the history of jazz over the course of 12"s of vinyl. Highlight has to be another Corsano drum detour, a long stretch of dream like ambience that turns into a drums only jam, not so much a drum solo as an eminently listenable exploration of every part of the drum kit. Awesome. Limited to 400 copies and we only got FIVE COPIES, and it's already out of print. DRAT! So act fast.
CORSICAN PAINTBRUSH Aquarian Hymns (Digitalis) cd 11.98
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CORSICAN PAINTBRUSH Diamonds (Ruralfaune) cd-r 10.98
Corsican Paintbrush is Brad Rose (North Sea and Digitalis label head honcho) and Eden Hemming Rose, who as Coriscan Paintbrush weave a delicate world of folky clatter and deconstructed Appalachia, simply strummed guitars, lilting finger picked melodies, hushed voices, little bursts of alien percussion, bits of droney rumble, all woven into the bands haunting free folk drift. If you didn't know better, you'd think this was yet another branch on the Finnish free folk tree, most likely featuring members of the usual suspects, Avarus, Anaksimandros, Uton, etc. Coriscan Paintbrush, while sharing many sonic similarities, CP manage to take that sort of tribal clatter and rhythmic experimentation and reel it in, allowing swaths of abstract noise to drift within a slightly more organized framework of strum and croon, a hushed folky drift, with a tangled bit of rhythmic abstraction within. Nice! Packaged with a textured piece of wallpaper, with a fragile printed paper insert. Hand numbered in gold ink and sealed with a twig. LIMITED TO 85 COPIES!! We got a handful. Once those are gone, we won't be able to get more...
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CORTEX The Whole Story (Plinkity Plonk) 2cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've all fallen in love with this one! It's a minimal-wave fantasy come true, imagine your sultry French girlfriend whispering in your ear over mesmeric machine beats... Obscure origins, limited edition, and (most importantly) utterly captivating atmosphere = Record Of The Week!! In 1981, Belgian minimal-synth experimentalist Alain Neffe began his Insane Music cassette imprint, with the first of many Insane Music For Insane People compilations. We're pretty sure that all of the material on that first compilation was penned by Neffe with the help of a few other people, including Pseudo Code, Human Flesh, and Bene Gesserit. Some of those projects (especially Bene Gesserit) moved towards a disjointed, minimal-wave agenda, while others moved towards a cacophonous industrial sound with Pseudo Code in particular paralleling the information overload of SPK or Nocturnal Emissions. Cortex might have been the most elegant of Neffe's projects, with baroque / sci-fi ambience setting the stage for monotone recitations of French lyrics from a rotating cast of female vocalists. Neffe's surrealistically charged drones, suspenseful passages of pregnant silence, and baroque synth fragments figure somewhere between Edward Artemiev's frigid soundtrack for Tarkovsky's film Solaris, the bleaker moments of Richard Pinhas (especially on Iceland), and with those breathy female vocals, the radiophonic works of Luc Ferrari. Everything on the first disc of The Whole Story came from various cassette and lp compilations from the early '80s, but Neffe managed to keep the Cortex sound very consistent almost as if he were anticipating some archival collection some 30 years later. The second disc is almost all unreleased material, except for the 24 minute "Cortex O" which was the b-side of a cassette released back in 1984. The longer tracks of the second disc favor the spaciousness of Cortex's aesthetic, augmented by skittering drum machines and prog-tastic meanderings on the intertwining synths influenced by Schniztler and Pinhas for sure. Very nice to have this reissued, although probably not for long as it's unfortunately SUPER LIMITED, Korm Plastics only printed up a mere 300 copies of this 2cd set.
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CORTEZ / LANGUAGE OF LIGHT split (Anticlock) 12" 10.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** ATTENTION: LOVESLIESCRUSHING FANS!! We managed to get a handful of these split 12"s direct from the man himself, one side a gorgeous slab of hazy LLC style shimmer, the other an equally lovely bit of abstract guitarscaping from a new to us outfit, it's already out of print, we have a handful of copies, but they will probably not be around for long. The Cortez side is of course Scott Cortez, the man behind Lovesliescrushing, and the sound is quite similar to much of the LLC stuff, in particular the fantastic Voirshin record, hushed and hazy, ultra minimal, a blurred lovely stretch of softly layered drones, glimmering and glistening and aquatic sounding, very much reminiscent of William Basinski, like if you locked up the tapes that were the source for this record, in 20 years, it'd be all crumbling and decayed and disintegrating. The flipside is from a group called Language Of Light, who we've never heard until now, a good match for Cortez, similarly washed out and ethereal, but more structured, chiming guitars streaks over processed metallic shimmer, with muted hazy melodies, before the sound shifts to something much darker and ominous, a jagged processed loopscape, weirdly warped and noisy, but that quickly gives way to the final movement, more lovely guitar ambience, blurred and gauzy and otherworldly.
CORTEZ, SCOTT Twin Radiant Flux (L-NE) cd 14.98
We've long championed the beautiful bliss of Lovesliescrushing, which was born in the early '90s as a deconstructed shoegaze project producing billowing masses of blown-out drift-drone on oversaturated 4-track recordings with bits of song smeared amidst the ethereal guitar and voice. It seems as though Lovesliescrushing's guitarist / principle sound sculptor Scott Cortez has been digging through the archives. First there was the Girl Echo Suns Veils boxset which issued some of the demos and alternate mixes from way back in the early '90s, and now he's gathered this collection of unreleased guitar drones recorded outside the context of LLC from 1997-1999. Robin Guthrie and Kevin Shields certainly loom large as the icons for Lovesliescrushing's guitarist Scott Cortez; but this work also looks forward to the guitar driven driftscaping produced by Fennesz and Tim Hecker (on Black Sea and Radio Amor especially). Cortez opens the album with lovely ambient passages of smooth surfaces that whisper hints of an impressionist romantic underbelly. For those familiar with the most recent work from Cortez on Lovesliescrushing's restrained Crwth (Chorus Redux) or the split lp he did with Language Of Light, these amorphic tones will be instantly recognizable. But as the album progresses (and this becomes apparent by the 5th movement of Twin Radiant Flux), the smooth surfaces at first become disturbed in a series of darkened shimmers, slightly distorted passages, oceanic swells, and harmonic rumblings. Slipstreams of blurred noise which extend into the aforementioned Hecker / Fennesz territory act as a suitable crescendo, however subtle that might be, to this exceptional album!
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COSI, VALERIO Freedom Meditation Music Volume 1 (Students Of Decay) cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
COSI, VALERIO Heavy Electronic Pacific Rock (Digitalis) cd 12.98
COSMONAUTS HAIL SATAN Bizarre And Tortuous Rituals Of The Primitive World (Secret Devil) 7" 12.98
COSMONAUTS HAIL SATAN Bizarre And Tortuous Rituals Of The Primitive World (Secret Devil) 7" 12.98
COSMOS Tears (Erstwhile) cd 14.98
Click, zap, bleep. Japanese miminalist electronic experimental music alert! The lovely cover art of this disc conceals some mighty difficult music. "Tears" consists of three long tracks from the duo of Sachiko M and Ami Yoshida. Sachiko M's "empty" tone generating sampler you've heard before, wreaking havoc (in a pure, Zen-like way) both solo and in collaboration with others, quite often with Otomo Yoshihide in such outfits as I.S.O., Filament, and Ground Zero. She's also a member of the electronic avant-pop trio Hoahio. In Cosmos, she's teamed up with Ami Yoshida, another Otomo collaborator, whose instrument is more ancient: her own voice. Of course, these are some quite abstract vocalizations indeed, rivaling the extremity of sound that Sachiko coaxes from the pulsing, piercing sine-waves of her electronics. Track one starts in with the fluttering, dog-whistle sampler sounds of Sachiko, in a strange duet with the kissy-kissy squeals and dying, whispery retching of Yoshida. Random machine bleeps punctuate the slowly unfolding action. It's like something's gone very very wrong in the hospital ward. The noise isn't enough to attract the doctors, however. By track two, you're wondering if Yoshida isn't actually employing a rubber balloon to make all her bizarre noises. But maybe that's Sachiko, who on this track is experimenting with contact mics. Track three was our favorite, with Sachiko's Ryoji Ikeda -like purrs and pulses coming to the fore, in a crinkly, calm cacophony of clicks and silence. Well, it might seem quiet, but try turning it up, we dare you.
COSTER, TIM Mornings (PseudoArcana) 3" cdr 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another warehouse find, this one a tiny stash of this LOOOOONG out of print cd-r from New Zealand soundscaper/dronologist, Tim Coster, who we'd only heard on a collaboration with another NZ combo we dig called Nest, the duo of guitarist Andrew Scott and NZ noisemaker Nigel Wright. On that split, Coster helped craft a blurred shimmery landscape of deep tones, and slow shifting layers, blissy and blurry and beautiful which is pretty much what he offers up here on his own, lush smears of tonal color, washed out and woozy, laced with various field recordings (he runs a field recording label after all), warm rumbling swells, subtly ominous, tinged with subtle shades of darkness, muted motorik pulses, hushed ambient drift, delicate crystalline streaks of sound, bits of glitchy electronics, thick undulating drones, all leading finally to the gorgeously ehtereal final track, which sounds ghostly and otherworldly, like a barely audible 78 being played on an old victrola, set up on a small dock, jutting out into a eerily calm lake, a barely there minimal dreamscape pocked with tiny sounds and sonic events that seem to appear and disappear, as the hazy sonic thrum drifts on and on... Way out of print, we found 5 or 6 copies, once there are gone, they are indeed GONE.
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COTTON FEROX Defragmental (Eroto Tox Decodings) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
COUGH COOL s/t (Debacle) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another week, another killer batch of weirdo releases from one of our new favorite labels, Debacle. So far, of the practically millions (okay maybe 30 or 40) of Debacle releases, we've reviewed records by Expo 70, Demian Johnston & Mink Stole, Megabats and The Slaves. This time around, elsewhere on the list we have another Demian Johnston jam, this time teamed up with 1/2 of local black metal / black noize merchants Sutekh Hexen, and this, the first we've heard from the awesomely named Cough Cool, who specialize in a sort of druggy dreamy droney bedroom pop, but the sort of pop heavy on the mantra like repetition, the woozy atmosphere, and the downercore dreamdrone bliss. Originally released as a super limited cassette on Sweat Lodge Guru, Cough Cool unfurl a blurred appropriately cough syrupy skeletal electro pop, clipped electronic beats, draped over warbly expanses of shimmer and whir, the guitars dripping with reverb, the vocals a heavily effected whispery croon, everything muddy and murky and washed out, some gloriously lysergic slowcore. But the sound shifts constantly, where the opening track is murky and muffled, the follow up is a bit more crisp, a little more jangly, everything still wreathed in effect, and the programmed rhythm still skeletal, but here the guitars crunch a bit, the vocals a little more moody, the sound like classic indie pop slowed way dooown and run through a bank of effects with dying batteries. And so it goes, CC spinning lush landscapes of looped jangle guitar, hazy expanses of blissy dream pop, twisted lo-fi eighties style electro-pop, each track not so much a song, as a single riff, or single part, repeated, transformed into an oddly trancelike version of whatever influences CC are choosing to subvert, cyclical and hypnotic, we're reminded here and there of a way more minimal Ariel Pink, while in other places the sounds drifts into seriously Pop Ambient territory, and still elsewhere, it sounds like the muddiest murkiest lost Sentridoh tape, but all of these sounds manage to be woven seamlessly into a single dreamy druggy whole. Our favorite track might be the heavy doomy dream pop dirgery of "Sucker", thick syrupy guitars creep and ooze over a simple loping beat, the vocals spinning a whispery Higgs style mantra, it almost sounds like a darker dirgier Zomes, which is most definitely a good thing. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!!
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COURTIS Albumina Blues (Freedom From) cd-r 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Alan Courtis -- sometimes referred to as Anla Courtis -- has been instrumental in channeling the quasi-mystical visions of Miguel Tomasin into the brilliantly left of center drone-rock produced by the prolific Argentinian ensemble Reynols. From the infamous self-descriptive recordings of "Blank Tapes" to the mutant garage ploddings of "------", Reynols has created a multi-faceted vocabulary reflecting their anthropomorphic philosophy in which every object (such as rocks, chickens, pumpkins, dogs, humans, and tape hiss to name a few) has the potential to contribute to the surreal festivity of creating a Reynols album. For "Albumina Blues," Courtis has struck out on his own with his debut CD -- actually, a CDr production from the terminally manic label Freedom From. Much like Reynols' tectonic re-interpretations of Pauline Oliveros, Courtis offers a series of slow moving drones from tape loops of controlled, closed circuit feedback systems and downpitched guitar distortion. Much like a grittier version of Robin Storey's hypnotic loops in Zoviet France and Rapoon, Courtis allows for these loops to speak on their own with subtle amounts of lo-fi effects and EQ modulation. There is an almost Industrial quality to this album with its tonal grimness and its methodical plod, but 'Albumina Blues' has the same oblique giddiness found on all of the Reynols albums. An album clearly worthy of inclusion in the grand Reynols pantheon.
"Poliestireno Expandido" RealAudio clip:
COURTIS The Name Of This Drone Is Hidden In Your DNA (Ikuisuus) cd 15.98
Originally released in 2004, this is one long blissed out drone from this ex-member of Reynols.
COURTIS / KIRITCHENKO / MOGLASS split (Nexsound / Carbon / Gold Soundz / Tibprod / 1000+1 Tilt) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** An awesome three way collaboration, five way label split, with each artist using mainly sounds contributed by one of the other artists. The three include Andrey Kiritchenko who runs the Nexsound label, Ukrainian abstract drone folk combo the Moglass and Anla Courtis formerly of the mighty Reynols! A strange combination but it definitely works, with each artist twisting and turning the sounds of the others into something completely their own. Kiritchenko uses sounds sourced from Anla Courtis, but also incorporates bandura, guitar, objects and field recordings. His first two tracks are thick glistening snarls of keening high end, ringing chimes, warm processed warble, grinding industrial whir, all coaxed gently from his super limited palette. His final track is our favorite, a super spare cavernous soundscape, constructed from swirling wind like whirls and muted white noise hiss. Over the top is a stumbling damaged, deconstructed guitar melody that scrapes and buzzes and rumbles. So good. The Moglass also use mostly Anla Courtis sounds, introducing guitars, synth and vocals. And as you might imagine, they manage to turn those disparate sounds into dark dronelike dreamscapes of slow oceanic swells, thick buzzing rumble, and an occasional blast of super strange circusy psychedelic freak out, a dizzying collision of scraping strings, creepy falsetto vocals, moans and chants and all sorts of falling apart melodies. Finally, Courtis gets the chance to return the favor, borrowing a little from both the Moglass and Kiritchenko. His first three tracks are assembled using ONLY sounds taken from the Moglass, the results vary, from murky shimmer, to glistening ambience, soft blissed out whir, to sparse skeletal industrial landscapes. The last two tracks again feature Courtis using only sounds borrowed from Kiritchenko, one ends up being a super pare abstract mechanical percussive shuffle, lots of creaks and clatter, sounding a bit like a rainforest, or some sort of giant shower, the final track is wash of fuzzy clang that sort of settles into a dense field of tightly woven chimes and tinkles, amidst a swirling sea of hiss and fuzz. An amazing concept that actually produces some incredibly beautiful results!
ANDREY KIRITCHENKO "One" MPEG Stream:
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ANLA COURTIS "Nine"
COURTIS / MARHAUG North and South Neutrino (Antifrost) cd 16.98
COURTIS, ALAN Antiguos Dolmenes Del Paleolitico (Sedimental) cd 14.98
Well then! After countless recordings as Anla Courtis, the former sonic technician of the Argentinean avant/savant-art ensemble Reynols has now returned to his birth name, as opposed to the malapropist spelling given to him by Reynols frontman Miguel Tomasin. Perhaps, Courtis is trying to move beyond the scope of Reynols' magical absurdity and develop something of a career as a 'serious' composer; if that is indeed the case, Antiguos Dolmenes Del Paleolitico doesn't help the cause as it's a metanymic exercise in giving a voice to dolmen -- megalithic stone structures thought to be the earliest tombs crafted by primitive man. Courtis constructed this homage to those weighty stones through the no-input mixing board tricks which had previously been employed by the likes of Arcane Device, Sachiko M, and Toshimaru Nakamura. The first of the four lengthy tracks tumbles into pure standing wave form low frequency feedback. Each of the following tracks gradually increases the frequencies of the feedback, moving through gossamer networks of intertwining sinewaves and glassine feedback tones into piercingly sharp tones that are almost too intense to listen to. Altogether, its easy to imagine that Courtis was attempting to commune with the dolmen by reducing music down to its more pure form: the harmonic ur-drone. If so, he's done a remarkable job.
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COURTIS, ALAN Unstringed Guitar & Cymbals (Blossoming Noise) cd 14.98
COURTIS, ALAN / BRUCE RUSSELL / EDDIE PREVOST / MATTIN The Sakada Sessions (Azul Discographica) lp 27.00
COURTIS, ANLA Harmonica F'ever (Pink Skulls) 3" cd-r 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ok, when you think of harmonica, maybe you think of someone like Bob Dylan wearing one of those orthadontic-like apparatus thingies that lets you play guitar and harmonica at the same time. It's bluesy, it's rootsy, it's kinda square. But Anla Courtis' Harmonica F'ever will make you forget that sort of harmonica. This lil' 3" cd-r solo disc released by Jewelled Antler off-shoot Pink Skulls features Courtis taking harmonica playing into a multi-tracked realm of insanity and abstraction. Courtis is of course 1/3 of the bizarro Argentine out-rock troupe Reynols, so its no surprise that his approach to harmonica playing is about as far from Big John Popper as you can get. The disc starts off with a track that crams what sounds like random blowing/breathing by maybe a dozen harmonica players into 6-7 minutes. But then, when you think you've got Courtis' concept figured out, track two comes along. It's much less readily identifiable as being sourced from harmonia (though of course it is), and it's a much sleepier, spookier affair than track one. Droney and abstract and really quite lovely. The third and final track on this lil' disc switches focus to the higher register harmonica sounds, sounding like the harmonica version of a happy flock of birds. Overall, probably the ONLY nothing-but-harmonica recording you need to own.
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COURTIS, ANLA Tape Works (Pogus) cd 14.98
It's hard to imagine that Anla Courtis had any time to dedicate to his own work throughout the '90s when he was the technical wizard for Reynols, the now defunct Argentine avant-rock project whose primal rock thud and conceptual oddities confounded many a listener across the globe. We'll admit to being huge fans of Reynols' more tripped out works, such as the 10,000 Chicken Symphony, their collaboration with Pauline Oliveros, and their infamous / brilliant album Blank Tapes. When Courtis and Reynols were cranking out recordings, we could hardly keep up with the output. There were hundreds of recordings popping up on every label imaginable, and hundreds more that only materialized in Reynols' mythological parallel universe Minecxio, never making themselves known to those of us on this side of the astral divide. Yet despite all of this activity, Courtis had been composing a number of tape pieces independent of his work in Reynols, many of which have been collected on this rather self-evidently titled collection Tape Works. Dating from 1991 - 1998, Courtis' experiments with the tape deck are an exaggerated distortion of cassette mechanics, with magnetic storms of hiss and drone bristling with mechanoid thunder, drowning microphones, volatile screeches, sicktone minimalism, and mutated electronic splutter. There's even a piece which sounds as if Courtis is reclaiming Pierre Henry's "Variations For a Door and a Sigh" through his own rickety recordings. While in Reynols, Courtis certainly played the part of the mischief-maker very well; Tape Works proves that Courtis has long been a mighty fine sound-sculptor.
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"Reducido A Hemorragia De Merluzas"
COURTIS, ANLA / SEIICHI YAMAMOTO / YOSHIMI Live At Kanadian (Public Eyesore) cd 10.98
COUSIN SILAS Lilliput (Fflint Central) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. More electronic weirdness courtesy of our pals at the prolific and 'all hit and no miss' Fflint label. The mysterious Cousin Silas delivers some down tempo, almost dreamy electronica (especially considering the 'fucked-up-ness' of most of the stuff on Fflint). This is Boards Of Canada for the underground set, a chill out record for after that heavy bondage session, or that robot war, or that day spent taped naked to the side of a building. Not for the faint of heart, but pretty and tranquil enough that adventurous mainstreamers might try starting here if they have any fantasies of listening to 'underground electronica.' Gentle chimes and toy xylophones, modulated bird chirp-like warbles, humming buzz and whirring static are woven into a surreal sounscape dotted with weird downtuned melodies, chiming soaring synths, stabs of minor key piano, skipping and shufffling, clicking and hissing, and pastoral washes of cottony sound. Not a whole lot of rhythm, but when it comes in, it's perfect: heavily reverbed, stuttering understated loops that stretch out into late night excursions through dark and druggy landscapes. Can Fflint do no wrong? How can Warp and Matador and Lo claim to have their finger on the pulse of electronic music when all this crazy, amazing and creative shit is blowing up right under their noses? Too bad.
"Moorgate" RealAudio clip:
"View From a Room"
COUSIN SILAS Necropolis Line (Earthrid) cd-r 11.98
It's been almost 3 years since we last heard from Cousin Silas and back then he was slouching around dark electronic graveyards and dodgy ambient parts of town with the rest of the Fflint Records stable. For this most recent release, Silas may have relocated to Earthrid records, another upstart electronic cd-r label, but his Fflinty roots still show, and that Silas sound we love so much is still in full effect. That sound is a delicate shimmer, a blissed out ambience, chillout music for folks who hate chillout music. A warm, languid and luxurious pop ambience, like a Boards Of Canada record stripped of any trace of rhythm, all the beats removed leaving just a soft billowy cloud of sound. Thick washes of slow shifting swirl, beneath all sorts of subtle swoonsome melodies float and hover, spin and shift, like watching oil and water mix, dreamy and drone-y and rife with all manner of muted color. When rhythms do surface, they are mumbled and subtle, more like a soft pulse or a minimal murky throb. But always way down in the mix, beneath an expansive sparkling and twinkling ocean of sound. The record's title Necropolis Line sounds ominous, and the skull locomotive and train wreck imagery on the cd seem to reinforce that vibe, however, this disc really isn't as dark or dreary or ominous or evil as you might expect, instead it's way at the other end of the spectrum, slightly out of focus, fuzzy and rich with subtle melody, sun dappled, lazy and hazy and oh so dreamlike. In the past we've described Cousin Silas as Boards Of Canada or The Orb for the underground set. But this new record is so soft and shimmery and accessible, it might be more accurate to classify this as Fflint for the mainstream set. Either way, one of the dreamiest slabs of latenight / early morning ambience we've heard in ages. So lovely!
"Black Wurm" MPEG Stream:
"Entropy" MPEG Stream:
COUSIN SILAS Portraits & Peelings (Fflint Central) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's been a while, way too long actually. And we were starting to get the shakes, jonesing for some new noise from our pals at Fflint Central. And as if they heard our poor neglected ear drums calling out to them from across the sea, what should show up on our doorstep but a box of the new Fflint release by Cousin Silas! Where as Silas' last release was a demented downtempo masterpiece, a sort of more damaged Boards Of Canada, things on this new one get way more abstract and spaced out, maybe like The Orb for the fucked up, noise rock set. Burbling, acid tinged spacescapes, with sinister gurgles and swooping blooping Hawkwindiness, Goblin-esque doomscapes and chopped up, rhythmic throbs, searing sci-fi synth splatter, and alien, almost house-like four on the floor pulses, creepy Whitehouse-ish free noise and delicate spider webbed melodies all coalesce into a nightmarishly soothing, gorgeously creepy late night chill-out record. All hail Fflint!
"Bug Lady" MPEG Stream:
"Olympus Mons" MPEG Stream:
"Rossini Pump Device"