JANDEK The Ruins Of Adventure (Corwood Insudtries) cd 8.98
What to say about Jandek that hasn't already been said. This is release number 49, the last of 2006, if you're already a fan, you might have to buy this one too (some of us here are so inclined), if none of the last 48 records have managed to turn you into a fan, odds are this one won't either. That's not to say it isn't good, it is, really good actually, but good in that way only Jandek records can be good. An alternate universe of sound, where a 'good' Jandek record is one that seems to be mostly solo bass and vocals. Plodding lugubrious low end, simple fumbling basslines, and that atonal croon, spewing tales of sadness and misery and loneliness and despair. The ultimate outsider solo doom folk death trip. Recommended, if that's your sorta thing. It is ours...
"The Park " MPEG Stream:
JANDEK What Else Does The Time Mean (Corwood) cd 8.98
Jandek's always been a difficult proposition, with his atonal deconstructed blues, drastically out of tune guitars, howled and groaned harrowingly emotional vocals, definitely an acquired taste. So to imagine Jandek sounding EVEN MORE atonal, and off key, and detuned, and damaged, seem pretty much impossible. But that's precisely what has happened on What Else Does The Time Mean, the 46th Jandek, release and the 3rd of 2006! We were worried that Jandek's mystery would have faded with his recent shuffle into the spotlight (including several live shows), but if anything it's only made him more of an enigma. A handful of live performances and a higher profile than he's ever had in his entire career have done absolutely nothing to change his totally unique, totally fried haunting abstract blues stumble. If anything it's pushed it even further OUT. This record is totally damaged and incredibly difficult to listen to even by Jandek standards. The opening track is a 16 minute stoned stagger, a lugubrious drift through prickly steel string strum, accopanied by a slurred, sleepy sounding, stream of conciousness tone deaf mumble. The rest of the record follow essentially the same sonic blueprint, each tune a tiny tragedy, each one a creepy out of tune crawl through a drunken drowsy abstract blues-scape. This is definitely dark and emotional stuff, practically dripping with pathos, a seriously intense soul laid bare for sure, but the sound of pain and anguish is meant to be sharp, and jagged, sounds that help the listener feel that pain as if it was being inflicted upon them, which in a way it kind of is. What Else Does The Time Mean is a gloriously and fantastically uneasy listen, the sort of musical discomfort we've come to expect, and anticipate from quite possibly the saddest sounding man in the world!
"My Own Way" MPEG Stream:
JANDEK What Was Out There Disappeared (Corwood Industries) cd 8.98
Oh geezus more Jandek!
JANDEK When I Took That Train (Corwood) cd 8.98
JANDEK White Box Requiem (Corwood) cd 8.98
That guy in the sun on the cover again, this time with mutton chop facial hair.
JANDEK ON CORWOOD A Documentary Film (Unicorn Stencil) dvd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Jandek is definitely an acquired taste, what with his deconstructed blues guitar and atonal moaning vocals. Totally powerful and personal but very very difficult. The accusation is often levelled that hipsters don't like Jandek because of the music, but because of the music's inherent unlistenability, thus ensuring hipsters are the only ones (the elite) to love Jandek. Probably true in some instances, but there is definitely a beauty and sadness in the music of Jandek, and of course the mystery definitely adds to the allure. Until a few weeks ago, Jandek, had never performed live. In twenty something years. Only one or two people had ever spoken to him or met him. He was the ultimate outsider musician, prolific, brilliant, and completely reclusive. Obviously the perfect subject for a film. Albeit a very difficult subject as source material would obviously be quite limited. Dircetor Chad Freidrichs did a pretty great job of putting together an engrossing and fascinating documentary using mostly album covers, talking heads / interviews and constructed surreal tableaus. The meat of the movie is a series of interviews with record collectors / rabid fans like John Trubee and Byron Coley talking about how they first heard Jandek and what the music meant and all that kind of stuff. The most controversial part of the movie is the only known recorded interview with Jandek, which is really kind of cute and makes Jandek even more appealing, like a regular quiet guy who just likes to make music instead of a creepy recluse. The timing of the DVD's release is a bit remarkable because as we mentioned Jandek recently performed live for the first time in 25 years, which does sort of detract from the mystery of the film, although we imagine it will probably help sales quite a bit. Definitely a cool movie, essential for Jandek fans, and certainly a good way to initiate the Jandek unfamiliar. Even my ex-housemate, who had never heard Jandek, watched the move with me and ended up buying a couple Jandek records soon after! Bonus features include: audio commentary, music only audio track, an album cover featurette, the complete John Trubee interview, audio essay by music critic Douglas Wolk, selections from Jandek albums since the movie was made, interviews with "Jandek scholars" Byron Coley, Irwin Chusid, and Phil Milstein, articles by Katy Vine and Richie Unterberger, reviews and the movie trailer.
JANDL, ERNST 13 Radiophone Texte & Das Rocheln Der Mona Lisa (Intermedium) cd 14.98
Kurt Schwitters meets King Tubby at some well endowed European arts residency program! Andee once said that if our country had the same government financial support for the arts that many European nations have, we'd just get a bunch of "artists" getting paid to "shove fruit up their butt". Which would probably be pretty close to the truth, for better or worse. In the case of Ernst Jandl, one wonders if Mr Jandl was a pensioned haberdasher and the money bestowed upon him in the form of an art stipend was actually a pity payment for the insanity incurred from the years of huffing toxic glue. In actuality, Jandl (1925-2000) was a highly regarded Viennese poet who made his living by day as a high school English instructor. Those who know German, and even more importantly: German & English, will get much more enriched results listening to this disc, as Jandl's sound poetry is not only very difficult to translate, but utilizes a great many puns which make use of English and German phoenetics. 13 Radiophone Texte is a 1966 BBC commissioned radio play in which Jandl recites his sound poetry while having his words processed via tape delay by the station's engineers. Das Rocheln Der Mona Lisa is a similar play from Berlin radio and recorded in 1970. It was originally released only in cassette form and has long been out of print. The liner notes for this disc are all, unfortunately, in German only but a good online translator will get you entertaining results.
"Auf Den Land" RealAudio clip:
"Das Rocheln Der Mona Lisa"
JANE Coconuts (Psych-o-path) cd 14.98
When a record can suck you into its spell and keep you in its grasp from start to finish you know you have something special on your hands. We hope you got to hear the drugged out and seductive full length Berserker that Scott Mou & Noah Lennox (aka Panda Bear of Animal Collective fame) released in 2005 under the monicker Jane. Now we get the recording of the two's first recording session packaged in a fake out 7" sleeve... And wow! as much as we liked Berserker there is something even more seductive and spell inducing happening on these two 20+ minute space jams. Armed with lo-fi electronics, turntables and keyboards cultivating a sound that takes you in its grasp and lets you float atop the beautiful stoned wave that you find yourself never wanting to get off of. There is something so nice about hearing spacey sounds that aren't so glossed over and studio perfected. The perfect record for twilight filled with pink skies or the late late night when it's time to resign your body and mind and begin to melt away to a better blissed out place. We hear some similarities in strategy and sound to the repetitious drones of William Basinski, early Oval or even imagine a d.i.y Steve Reich coming home from a drugged out rave and wanting to wash the night away, making music in a garage with some beat up equipment with the controls set for the heart of the sky. So very nice!
"Coconuts" MPEG Stream:
JARBOE Introducing The Sweet Meat Love And Holy Cult (Paradigms) 7" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. First vinyl release from the UK's Paradigms label, who over the last few months have brought us amazing releases from Amber Asylum, Hjarnidaudi, Blueprint Human Being, Throne Of Katarsis, Utlagr, Titan, the Angelic Process, as well as the gorgeous Walking With Ghosts compilation reviewed elsewhere on this list. And as first (vinyl) releases go, this one's a doozy. Jarboe, formerly of the mighty Swans, who has for years been crafting dark and mysterious musicks on her own, returns with a new extended ensemble and new dark tribal sound. Her new group, The Sweet Meat Love And Holy Cult features some seriously expansive instrumentation, two drummers, cello, violin, piano, acoustic guitars, rebab, vocals and sitar. A big ensemble, but it doesn't sound overblown, instead it manages to still sound immediate and intimate. Especially on side A, a swirling ambience of warped effects, muted minor key melodies, and strange shimmering metallics, underpin Jarboe's haunting vocals, which build and build, layer upon layer, until the track becomes a sea of tangled voices, slipping and drifting in and out of unlikely harmonies. From within this dense cloud of vocal tangle emerges a dirgey steel string guitar, and suddenly it sounds like some modern outsider psych folk jam, all strummy and drifting, with soaring sorrowful vocals woven delicately into the reverberating steel strings. Side B is a little more chaotic, clangy, clattery and dense, tribal rhythms, some primitive krautrock jam, topped again by Jarboe's wailing vocals. The whole thing is thick with natural reverb, like it was recorded live in a cave or a cathedral. Gradually, mournful strings materialize way back in the mix, giving the whole track a subtly sorrowful vibe, and ends up sounding like a string section jamming with a sonically overpowering No Neck / Avarus orchestra. Which sounds amazing! Definitely one of the nicest and most powerful post-Swans recordings we've heard from Jarboe. SUPER LIMITED. ONLY 600 COPIES PRESSED. Packaged in a thick full color sleeve, with a truly haunting, beautiful painted portrait of the lady herself on the cover.
JARBOE Mahakali (The End) cd 12.98
JARBOE Thirteen Masks (Atavistic) cd 15.98
JARSE Alas (Fonal) 7" 13.98
JARVIS, ANDY Tectonique Du Corps (Students Of Decay) cd-r 7.98
Limited to only 100 copies and long sold out, we realized we had a bunch of these and never actually reviewed them, so figured we'd get it on the list so at least a few of you free noise cd-r obsessives could get your grubby little paws on one of these. If you're quick that is! Jarvis is a fixture in the UK noiserock underground, and unlike his usual soundmaking, Tectonique Du Corps is more of a drone-y skittery percussive freejam, organic and a bit tripped out, very free, but rife with layers of buzz and strange rhythmic arrangements. We won't go into too much detail, since we have less than 10 copies, other than to say this is some pretty kick ass shit. Drums are haphazard and abstract, very free, almost like some free jazz drummer sitting in with a noise outfit, which as far as we know could be exactly what happened. While the drums stumble and lurch, streaks of feedback swirl above the fray, while beneath and within a thick fuzzy drone holds it all together, the second track is way more drifty and abstract, a meandering bassline beneath a layer of wheezing harmonies, super mesmerizing and strangely groovy, track three is some more buzzy drift, overlaid with gnarled little tangles of distorted guitar squiggle, everything drizzled with effects and creaking ambience, and finally, the disc finishes off with a 12 minute slab of almost jazzy freedronedrift, murky and muddy, but with a distinct groove and a propulsive krautjam buried beneath the whir and buzz, super druggy and tripped out. Killer stuff. Already out of print. We have just a handful so once these disappear, they will never reappear!
"Golden Lady" MPEG Stream:
JASPER TX A Darkness (Lidar Productions) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Brand new full length from one of our favorite new outfits, the strangely named Jasper TX, the work of one man, a Mr. Dag Rosenqvist, who as you might have presumed, is not, in fact from Texas. And actually, based on the music of Jasper TX, it's a bit difficult to even begin to guess where Mr. Rosenqvist hails from. One minute we're tempted to suggest some tiny village in the Alps, surrounded on all sides by snowy peaks and lush verdant forests. Moments later, we'd guess he was from the desert, existing amidst miles and miles of wide open space, the sky threatening to swallow the world whole. Another theory would be that Jasper TX comes from nowhere, or at least, nowhere we would recognize, an alternate universe perhaps, and alien land, somewhere different, dark, mysterious, separated from our world by a thin gauzy veil, so as we glimpse into that world we see and hear a reflection of our world, but one that is slightly skewed, obfuscated, fuzzy and blurry and indistinct. Which is precisely why we seem to love it so much. Like many of his sonic brethren, Rosenqvist takes simple bits of pop music, and pulls them apart, wrapping them in bits of crackle and hum, and setting them amidst soft warm melodies and dreamy shimmering soundscapes. A sort of abstract, spaced out ambient post rock might come close. But it's not really that simple to describe. It's effervescent, weightless, dreamlike, but at the same time, dark and heavy and intense. Each song a struggle between the two. A subtle tension that imbues the songs with emotion and urgency, even at their most blissed out and laid back. A Darkness, as the title implies, might just be a tad bit darker than past outings, although the first track might not immediately let on. it's a doleful warm summer afternoon drift of soft focus post rock guitar, all minor key and meandering melody, floating along a slow flow of strange static and buzzing hum. But after that, it's a slow descent into a darker place, thick washes of warm drone and whirling winds of hiss and buzz, looped vocal snippets, strange beeping and distant industrial grind, before breaking through the black sky in a burst of effulgent bliss, still minor key and miserable, but briefly unhindered by the black buzz of the preceding 8 minutes. The next track is a desert-y drift, like Godspeed covering Calexico, harmonicas and little bits of twang hover amidst a dense reverbed soundscape, like a blown out and stripped down Galaxie 500. Beyond that, the sound continues to darken, huge billowing clouds of low end rumble and metallic shimmer, muted FX drenched snatches of distant piano, peppered with strange scrapes and scratches, footsteps? Someone digging? All very mysterious and haunting. The record ends with the epic 20+ minute "Some Things Broken, Some Things Lost", a glistening slow motion drift, everything sparkling and glimmering, crystalline guitars smeared into long slow streaks of sound, melodies muted and blurred, gorgeous and ethereal, before transforming into a skipping crackly glitchscape, a whirring minimal drone hovers beneath a storm cloud of record crackle and a skipping record rhythm, before slowly blossoming into world of warm melody, a sonic expanse streaked with oranges and yellows, dark burnished reds, guitars flittering like little birds, just bits of melody against a stained glass sky. So lovely...
"Better Days To Come" MPEG Stream:
"Destroy Detroit (The Sign Of Buildings Never Built)"
JASPER TX An Index Of Failure (Handmade Birds) lp 22.00
Jasper TX, how we will miss you! An Index Of Failure marks the final installment for Jasper TX, although the man behind this dream-time drone-rock project will be continuing to record under his own name, that being Dag Rosenqvist... and hopefully, he'll be retaining the same moodscaping and slippery alternation between post-rock ambience (e.g. Stars Of The Lid, Labradford, Barn Owl, and perhaps a rhythmless Mogwai) and the electro-acoustic soundsculpting of a Tim Hecker or a Jonathan Coleclough. That said, the title is apt, given this is a collection of tracks that were originally commissioned for various compilations or were collaborations that never quite got off the ground with Rosenqvist completing the original material by himself. The sad chords on the first track sound like they could have come from a Rhodes organ that leads into a beautifully shimmering wash of guitar drone, and that resonant, echo-laden radiance continues on the second track, about which Rosenqvist quips that it was just recorded with voice and guitar, although the expansive blur and wash speaks to a much larger, if hushed orchestra of instruments quietly layering timbre on top of timbre. Piano and tape experiments get reworked through Rosenqvist's tricks and techniques, culminating in what is undoubtedly one of his finest moments - the grandiose, oceanic crescendo of desolate guitar chords, slow marching rhythms, and densely washed out blur of post-Nadja distortion on "Days Above The Tide." So beautiful! Handmade Birds printed up a few more of these than they normally do, with an edition of 500, all on winter grey-sky vinyl.
JASPER TX Black Sleep (Miasmah) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's actually been a while since we've heard from Jasper TX, aka Dag Rosenqvist. For a brief spell, JTX was churning out releases like a Machinefabriek or Aidan Baker. And to be honest, we actually didn't mind, as we've loved pretty much everything Rosenqvist has released. In fact, the very first Jasper TX release, I'll Be Long Gone Before My Light Reaches You, still ranks as one of our favorite discs, and in some ways was sort of the first of this new breed of obfuscated blurred ambience we've come to love so much. Anyway, finally a brand new full length, one epic 51 minute track, split into 6 movements, and right out of the gate, we're smitten, deep dark swells, washed out barely there melodies, distant hiss, and a strange buried pulse, that seems to surface and then disappear, like some mysterious beasts heartbeat, growing louder as it reaches the surface, only to fade away as it disappears back into the depths. Long drawn out tones, shimmery reflective, before it slips into something MUCH more minimal, the second movement, a super low-end drift, barely audible through speakers but in headphones it's a powerful seismic rumble, rippled with strands of whispery static, and more buried barely audible rhythms. It's only on track three that the record takes on anything songlike, a loping lilting guitar, unspooling a dreamy laid back melody, a keyboard picking out a simple harmony over the top, all underpinned by a soft dronelike murmur. But the respite is brief, Black Sleep is indeed true to its title, narcotic and very dark, murky and mysterious, the record shifts into some abstract assemblage of thumps and bumps, before they fade out leaving a distant ominous whir, spread out like a slow moving black sonic sea, before shifting back again to song, the guitar returning, this time suspended amidst dense layers of static shimmer, low end rumbles, laced with bits of grit and glitch, of hiss and static, all very moody and intense, threatening to build to something climactic, but instead, shifting slowly forward, resolutely and mournfully. The final part, clocking in at nearly 20 minutes, begins with a cacophony of buzzing and scraped strings, a manic exploration of a piano's inside, still surrounded by shards of electronic glitch, the static and buzz creating accidental rhythms over a distant machine-like hum, before a melody surfaces, minor key and melancholy, the notes appearing one at a time as deep swells, the distant drones building in density and intensity, never quite exploding, but building to a muted murky chordal climax, majestic, but still subdued, before as all things drone must, it fades to silence. Definitely not the prettiest Jasper record (that honor still goes to I'll Be Long Gone) but certainly the darkest, and maybe the most mysterious sounding, a musical rendering of the Black Sleep, which to our ears can only be death, and as a soundtrack to slipping off our mortal coils, we'd be hard pressed to do much better than this.
"Black Sleep Part III" MPEG Stream:
"Black Sleep Part IV"
JASPER TX Closet Ghosts (Fenetre) 3" cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Latest disc from long time aQ fave Jasper TX (after 10 releases in 3 years, and those are just the ones we reviewed!), another lil' one, a 3" cd (not cd-r), six songs in just over 20 minutes, the first of which begins with a bang, almost knocked us out of our chairs, a super loud bit of metallic cacophony, which thankfully quickly gives way to something much more contemplative, but only a little less buzzy, a warm shimmering whir, that manages to be warm and meditative, but still a bit prickly and abrasive. The second track is much more song-y, a beautiful lilting arrangement for guitar, dark and folky, a bit Appalachian, before slipping into the third track, a gorgeous understated bit on ultra minimal drone, a subtle pulsing thrum, softly overlapping layers of low end, that seem to melt into one another. A bit of ultra high end shimmer, a whispery barely there upper register ur-drone, gives way to a spare bit of piano laced minimal ambience. The notes wreathed in reverb- and floating through dusty sun dappled expanses of hushed near-silence, which slips quietly into the closer, a beautifully bleary bit of spidery guitar, unfurling through soft clouds of reverb, a super spare slow core sprawl, that manages to be both lovely and hauntingly ominous. Another fantastic bit of abstract minimalism, and as some other reviewer opined, a pretty great way to spend 20 minutes. We of course concur, and thus say: RECOMMENDED!
"I'm Asleep On The Floor While Sunbeams Grace My Tired Head" MPEG Stream:
JASPER TX D + A (self-released) 3" 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. Not sure if the title of this super limited cd-r has anything to do with the OTHER Jasper TX release elsewhere on this list, although we think it sort of must, c'mon, this is D + A, the other disc is called A Darkness, hmmm... Or maybe it's a play on "DNA"... Anyway, D + A follows a similar sonic path as A Darkness in that the sound of Jasper TX, for these releases at least, seems to be growing darker and more ominous, everything painted in deep blues and rich browns and of course lots and lots of black. The two lengthy tracks on D + A are ultra minimal, and surprisingly smooth and hi-fi. Part of what we loved about the other Jasper TX releases was the crumbling lo-fi aspect, the hiss and crackle and sonic imperfections wrapped around the glimmering glistening melodies inside. But Jasper TX do wear it well, this new smoother sound, and these tracks benefit, glowing darkly from within, shimmering and spreading out like barely there ripples on the surface of some massive body of oceanic sound. This is definitely the most minimal we've heard Jasper TX, and we're loving it... there's a lot of subtle overtones happening (a la Niblock) and the results are truly divine. Subtle for sure, but so so lovely. Ultra limited of course, already out of print as far as we know, we got about 30 copies but those will definitely be gone in a flash... Packaged in cool mini hand painted jackets in a plastic sleeve with a printed sticker.
"track 1" MPEG Stream:
JASPER TX Harrisburg (self-released) 3" 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 gorgeous missive from former AQ record of the week recipient Jasper TX, aka Swedish sound sculptor Dag Rosenqvist. For more on the obfuscated beauty of Jasper TX, check the review of I'll Be Long Gone Before My Light Reaches You elsewhere on the AQ site, where we wax rhapsodic about the fuzzy, blurry, shimmery pixelated dreamscapes Rosenqvist seems to be able to muster from thin air. For this brief two track blast, Rosenqvist ups the noise ante just a bit, but balances it with plenty of blurry beauty and dreamy ambience. The opener shifts from a creaking, nearly not there whisper, to a huge buzzing squall of crumbling distortion and keening high end shimmer, which quickly gives way to a super spacious near ambient minor key drift. The second track, clocking in at 15 minutes, spends its first two minutes rumbling at the edge of human perception, before a melody begins to emerge, the notes ringing out, hovering above the roiling near silent rumbles below, before beginning to swell, the notes ringing out longer, thick gauzy streaks of reverb wrapping themselves around the fragments of melody, wreathed in bits of glitch and crackle, glimmering and glistening, when, for just a brief moment, a guitar muscles its way through the murk, a single grinding chord smeared across the mournful drifting soundscape beneath, before disappearing completely, leaving the glistening notes and the crackling melodies to slowly fade away. Gorgeous. Packaged in a cool mini cardstock sleeve, with a printed sticker affixed to the plastic. LIMITED TO 75 COPIES!! We got about half, but those won't last long...
"Pt. I (excerpt)" MPEG Stream:
"Pt. II (excerpt)"
JASPER TX I'll Be Long Gone Before My Light Reaches You (Lampse) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's funny that after years of everybody striving for better sound quality, better recording equipment, higher fidelity, a sound closer and closer to pristine perfection, wax cylinder to 78 to lp to cassette to compact disc.... that we here at AQ tend to lean in the exact opposite direction. Sure that record's great, we'll think, but imagine if it was swathed in murky distortion, or drenched in a dense swirl of tape hiss! Record crackle? Yes, please. This constant quest for sonic perfection seems like a reflection of exactly what is wrong with society in general, a constant striving for some unattainable ideal, the march of progress, sacrificing character and feeling and emotion for faceless smooth 'perfection' in the process. But those imperfections are exactly what make things interesting and unique and totally unlike anything else. But as much as we love lesser than pristine sound quality, it's worth pointing out that when, for example, we hear a compilation of old blues 78's often cleaned up, obviously the scratches and pops and hiss were not at all intended, and thus realistically have no place in the music, at least from the musician's point of view, but as a byproduct of degradation and the passing of time and the fragility of primitive recordings, the sound of that decay becomes representative of the time passed, and the history within the music. So when we hear old 78's or long lost wax cylinder recordings, we don't want them cleaned up and digitally restored, the sound of the music wrapped in warm scratchiness and murky lo fidelity, gives the music a special kind of character, like the lines on our faces, or metal oxidizing into cool greens and blues. And I guess that's what appeals to us about the music of Philip Jeck and Tim Hecker and William Basinski and the like. Musicians who create modern music, but who take that music and affect it in a way that makes it sound antique or otherworldly, damaged and decayed, sometimes by utilizing modern techniques, but just as often by employing old turntables and antiquated recording techniques, the music on its own is of course beautiful, but even more so with a rough patina of age and weariness, of whir and hiss, the musical equivalent of an old sepia tone photograph, edges all creased and folded, the images blurry and indistinct. It's more romantic, and way more mysterious. But it takes more than just slapping on some fuzz, or recording on a broken old reel to reel machine. There was a glut recently of electronica pop hybrids, where a band would sprinkle some bloops and bleeps over some generic strummy pop, and suddenly what was once a crappy pop band became some sort of experimental avant post pop group. Bullshit. Just like anything, it's more than the process, more than the technique, it's some ineffable combination that creates magic. Magic like Jasper TX. The work of one man, Dag Rosenqvist, and recorded at home in Sweden, Jasper TX sounds like so much more. A fuzzy travelogue, soft smeared images from lost lives and faded memories. A gentle lilting post rock, transmitted through time, picking up all sort of sonic detritus on the way, a message from another world, faded like an old postcard. A futuristic version of the unearthed 78. Imagine music nerds in 2066, discovering a mysterious compact disc, "rarely see those anymore...", unearthed in a trunk in some old abandoned house, marveling and the murky mystery of this record, and the beautifully fuzzy and foggy melodies, the droney timeless beauty. Jasper TX manages to evoke all sorts of feeling and emotions, some of the sounds, the methods, are clearly modern, but the whole record, every sound, every melody, is steeped in warm warbly mystery, even the title, I'll Be Long Gone Before My Light Reaches You, hints at the emotional disconnect, that faded photo, undelivered postcard, translated into music. Each track is a snapshot, a sonic glimpse into the past, or a future that was never meant to be, a melancholy soundtrack full of shadows and whispers, a slow shuffling shimmer, a loping lazy rhythm, drifting beneath a warm swirly wash of thick guitar fuzz and what sounds distinctly like the sound of surf crashing on the shore, a thick wash of My Bloody Valentine guitar and M83 buzzy shimmer over a lilting minor key guitar and delicate piano, long stretches of lustrous, sun dappled drones, over slow shifting chordal washes, and a creeping morose melodic crawl, soaring strings and gentle fingerpicked guitars, all muted and mumbled, as if heard from underwater, the light bending and wavering hypnotically, tinkling music box melodies drenched in reverb and broadcast from tin speakers hung from trees, the fog thick and the moonlight dull and grey, soft strummy guitars smeared into whisps of dreamlike whir, each track thick with sorrow, or regret, or hopelessness, not overt, but conveyed through the subtle soft light each track is cast in, warm overcast evening glow, the pale spill of the crescent moon, the diffuse flush of predawn light, glimmering and glistening soft and bittersweet. The heart of the record is the appropriately titled "My Heart Is Broken, I've Lost My Way", a nine minute slow build, warm wheezing layers of organ, over ambient clatter, mic sounds, footsteps, a weary, woozy wanderingly soft soundscape, gentle swells, each hovering and gliding dreamlike, an angelic theremin-like skree way in the background, while an alien melody is played out on top, crafted from glitched out crackling instrument buzz, an abrasive squelch, cutting in and out, easily the 'hardest' sounds on the record, like someone trying to get a message through from another dimension, a groaning distorted guitar, broadcast intermittently through the ether, creepy and strangely haunting. The record closes with the just as eerie "All Those Broken Birds Singing Winter Into Spring", a final look back, before fading into nothing, soft lilting guitar, over a whisper soft drift of minor key shimmer and minimally morose melody. So totally and absolutely perfect.
"Blown Out To Sea, I'm Never Coming Back" MPEG Stream:
JASPER TX In A Cool Monsoon (Pumpkin Seeds In The Sand) cd 11.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. For a while there it was a pretty even race, Machinefabriek versus Jasper TX. Both bands offering up releases after releases, super limited, 3"s, whatever, it just seemed like it would never stop, and we didn't want it to, everything we heard was fantastic. Then suddenly it seemed like Jasper TX dropped out of the race, leaving Machinefabriek to keep us sated with disc after disc of dreamy fuzzy blissed out sound. Well, if In A Cool Monsoon is why we were waiting to hear from Jasper TX, it was well worth the wait. And the wait ended up being even longer than planned, as this disc was recorded and released months and months back, but there was some problem with the mastering and the discs were trashed, and the record was remastered and now, finally, it's here, sounding just the way it was intended to. And it's divine, and more of what we love about Jasper TX. Not at all lo-fi or minimal, this is a lush, expansive song cycle, sounding like it was recorded and performed by a full band, guitars drums, strings, squalls of feedback, languid and long form stretches of moody cinematic instrumental slowcore, dreamy and spacious, laced with drones but not a drone recordÉ The opening track is the first sign things have changed, a brief minute and a half chunk of super distorted crumbling electric guitar, chopped up bits of acoustic guitar, thick corrosive sonic swells, really pretty bur intense and noisy. But then the second track is just the opposite. A simple spare tribal drum line, a languorous bass line, chiming guitar harmonics, and a warm wheezing organ melody over the top. It sounds like Scenic or Low or Bjorn Olsson or something, meandering and wide open, subtly epic and cinematic. There are some drone tracks, but even those are rife with texture and melody, "Summer" is all layered organs, the layers shifting and beating against one another, all sorts of overtones drifting in and out of earshot, but one of the organs is always working through a sweet sad melody, while the others drone on in the background. "Waking Up" is one of the highlights, with it's delayed reverbed Spacemen 3 like guitar line, drifting in an expanse of soft space, the guitar joined by another, and then another, each offering a complimentary melody, the song is briefly interrupted by a thick swath of My Bloody Valentine style blissed out buzz, before slipping back into it's shimmering drift. The final track, "Falling From The Sky Like A Flock Of Burning Birds" is all smeared blurs of indistinct melody, tinkling chimes, soft swells of backwards guitar, distant whirs and drones, climaxing with a dense flurry of low end piano, epic and grandiose, before slowing down and darkly droning until the end, the chiming melodies, fading like the last light of the day.
"Still A Tiny Light" MPEG Stream:
"Bending Spoons" MPEG Stream:
JASPER TX Pilgrims (self-released) 3" 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. Here we go again, another spectacular mini-album from Jasper TX, aka Dag Rosenqvist. It's getting hard to keep up, but we're sure having fun trying. Each and every one a gorgeous little sonic gem. This time it's another 5 songs, stretched out over 20 minutes. Each track a miniature soundworld of resonant rumbles, creaking metallic streaks, long languorous stretches of slow shifting low end whir, huge speaker rattling bass swells, disembodied reverbed guitars, everything casting shadows of haunting buzz and smeared shimmer. The final track is maybe the loveliest, a fuzzed out, foggy melodic drift, barely visible through the dense sheets of druggy ambient swirl. So gorgeous. Another disc that could have gone on forever and ever and we wouldn't have minded one bit! AS with all these little treasures, incredible limited, so act fast...
"A Beacon To Lead Us There" MPEG Stream:
"Through Dusk....and Falling Leaves"
JASPER TX Singing Stones (Fang Bomb) cd 23.00
JASPER TX / MACHINEFABRIEK (DAG ROSENQVIST / RUTGER ZUYDERVELT) Vintermusik (self-released) cd-r 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Music nerds are always fantasizing about the ultimate collaboration. And of course we're no different. We're always thinking about how cool it would be to have Necrofrost collaborating with some North American Frogs, or the Conet Project and the Thai Elephant Orchestra hooking up, or maybe Belle and Sebastien and Darkthrone... ok, maybe we're a little different. But the possibilities are endless... Even so, it never really even occurred to us to imagine two of our past record of the week honorees teaming up, but here it is! Jasper TX and Machinefabriek, each responsible for one of our favorite discs of 2006, and together, well, it's just as subtly beautiful as you might imagine. Slow chiming harmonics drift along slow warm swells of rich chordal hum, very dramatic and intense, building to a dense reverberant shimmer, barely there wintery whirs over distant steel string buzz and tiny bits of glitch like rain drops, gorgeous smears of cloudy ambient pop, drifting bell like guitars chime out over a slowly twisting bed of shuffling percussion and muted low end rumble, gauzy expanses of dreamlike reverb and insectoid buzz wrapped around mournful and melancholy bits of piano, lo-fi glitch and fuzz underpin, simple far away drumming, melodies materialize from the ether, but only just barely, huge swells of fuzzy guitar and deep resonant choral vocals, drift and swoon, like some otherworldly liturgical ceremony, all washed out and blurred into gloriously indistinct smears of spiritual sound, while in the distance, high end sparks flare and streak across the sky, like shooting stars. So lovely. Package in a beautifully designed oversized cardstock folder. We got these direct from the two bands, and we got the last copies from each, so we ended up with about 50 copies, which will not be around long...
"Frost" MPEG Stream:
"Gras Som Bryts Och Gar Av" MPEG Stream:
JAUMET, ETIENNE Night Music (Domino) cd 14.98
We love it when something unexpected, unknown, and essentially totally off our radar shows up and then completely blows us away! Which is exactly what happened with this chunk of epic cosmic psychedelic space-out by French artist Etienne Jaumet. By the looks of his photo on the cover we first thought this was going to be some sort of smarty pants singer songwriter, Jarvis Cocker sort of thing, but talk about about how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Instead, Night Music is one of the most satisfying and fully realized analog synth driven discs we've heard in ages. Imagine Goblin and Kraftwerk gliding through cosmic space, as the record's opening 20+ minute track really does evoke some sort of interstellar autobahn, the listener whirling through the stars and sky, Night Music a deep rich and nuanced soundtrack for that late night cosmic excursion. We also think about some of our fave modern psych-space rockers, like try to imagine Expo 70 remixed by Jonas Reinhardt, or Arp channeling Franco Battiato or Subway stretched way out into a sonic stratosphere pioneered by Conrad Schnitzler and Klaus Schulze. Folks who dug the Altres record we listed last time should definitely dig this too. We'd also bet the Black Devil Disco folks and both Zombi and Zomby lovers will find loads to love on Night Music. Oddly enough when we starting doing some digging to find out more about Jaumet we discovered he was in a group called Zombie Zombie (not however, related to the above Zomby/i's). You can tell that Jaumet also has a deep love of cosmic free-jazz as he introduces subtle saxophone on parts of the record with perfectly understated results, bringing to mind Herbie Hancock's Sextant album for sure, and also Sun Ra as reimagined by Four Tet, particularly on that epic opener "For Falling Asleep" - the very next track sure says "wake up", though, bringing in more of a techno thump to the proceedings, but still staying wonderfully spaced out. Pretty much every time we play this in the store either a customer or one of us who works here asks if this is a reissue of some long lost kosmiche gem, maybe from Germany in the 1970s. In fact we found out that Jaumet based the sequencing of the record on many of those same amazing cosmic psych records from the '70s, where first side of the vinyl is one long track and the other side is filled with shorter tracks. Jaumet also has such an obvious understanding of composition, especially how to stretch tracks out without letting them overstay their welcome, and thus Night Music is just long enough to totally transport us to another dimension, yet focused enough to stay listenable and sonically complex the entire time. Something which only makes us love this record even more was the discovery that long time AQ favorite, '70s French folk-psychstress Emmanuelle Parrenin adds her voice as texture on a couple tracks (sounding very Yoko Ono, at times) as well as playing harp and hurdy gurdy. Furthermore, the mix was "directed and imagined" by none other than Carl Craig and you can totally tell, as the whole record flows with such a lush layered sound and driving pulse that is both immediately satisfying and utterly hypnotic!
"For Falling Asleep" MPEG Stream:
"At The Crack Of Dawn" MPEG Stream:
JAUMET, ETIENNE Night Music (Domino) lp 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We love it when something unexpected, unknown, and essentially totally off our radar shows up and then completely blows us away! Which is exactly what happened with this chunk of epic cosmic psychedelic space-out by French artist Etienne Jaumet. By the looks of his photo on the cover we first thought this was going to be some sort of smarty pants singer songwriter, Jarvis Cocker sort of thing, but talk about about how you shouldn't judge a book by its cover! Instead, Night Music is one of the most satisfying and fully realized analog synth driven discs we've heard in ages. Imagine Goblin and Kraftwerk gliding through cosmic space, as the record's opening 20+ minute track really does evoke some sort of interstellar autobahn, the listener whirling through the stars and sky, Night Music a deep rich and nuanced soundtrack for that late night cosmic excursion. We also think about some of our fave modern psych-space rockers, like try to imagine Expo 70 remixed by Jonas Reinhardt, or Arp channeling Franco Battiato or Subway stretched way out into a sonic stratosphere pioneered by Conrad Schnitzler and Klaus Schulze. Folks who dug the Altres record we listed last time should definitely dig this too. We'd also bet the Black Devil Disco folks and both Zombi and Zomby lovers will find loads to love on Night Music. Oddly enough when we starting doing some digging to find out more about Jaumet we discovered he was in a group called Zombie Zombie (not however, related to the above Zomby/i's). You can tell that Jaumet also has a deep love of cosmic free-jazz as he introduces subtle saxophone on parts of the record with perfectly understated results, bringing to mind Herbie Hancock's Sextant album for sure, and also Sun Ra as reimagined by Four Tet, particularly on that epic opener "For Falling Asleep" - the very next track sure says "wake up", though, bringing in more of a techno thump to the proceedings, but still staying wonderfully spaced out. Pretty much every time we play this in the store either a customer or one of us who works here asks if this is a reissue of some long lost kosmiche gem, maybe from Germany in the 1970s. In fact we found out that Jaumet based the sequencing of the record on many of those same amazing cosmic psych records from the '70s, where first side of the vinyl is one long track and the other side is filled with shorter tracks. Jaumet also has such an obvious understanding of composition, especially how to stretch tracks out without letting them overstay their welcome, and thus Night Music is just long enough to totally transport us to another dimension, yet focused enough to stay listenable and sonically complex the entire time. Something which only makes us love this record even more was the discovery that long time AQ favorite, '70s French folk-psychstress Emmanuelle Parrenin adds her voice as texture on a couple tracks (sounding very Yoko Ono, at times) as well as playing harp and hurdy gurdy. Furthermore, the mix was "directed and imagined" by none other than Carl Craig and you can totally tell, as the whole record flows with such a lush layered sound and driving pulse that is both immediately satisfying and utterly hypnotic!
"For Falling Asleep" MPEG Stream:
"At The Crack Of Dawn" MPEG Stream:
JAZKAMER Art Breaker (Smalltown Superjazz) cd 16.98
58 tracks in under 17 minutes! This is energetic, brutalizing NOISE, short sharp shocking shards of the stuff, kinda like Masonna with a drummer. Relentless bursts of distortion, screaming, pounding, feedback. Everything louder than everything else. Many of the tracks have epigrammatic titles long than the "songs" themselves (there's several here as short as 5 or 6 seconds)! We liked Metal Music Machine, the previous album by Norwegian duo Jazkamer (nee Jazzkammer) quite a bit... but while that one was noisy, it was not quite THIS noisy. MMM was way more droning and doomy and black metallish, the sort of thing that would appeal to fans of SUNNO))) and Khanate and KTL. Whereas Art Breaker is more like the Japanoise of Masonna, Hijokaidan, or the Hanatarash. With maybe a little early Napalm Death thrown in. Jazkamer are pros, so if you want to annoy your housemates, this WILL do the trick. While at the same time satisfying your own personal (sick and twisted) harsh noise jones. Doubtless this would have gotten a positive (and of course cryptically confusional) review from Bananafish 'zine had it been released back in the day.
"Art Is Magic Delivered From The Lie Of Being Truth" MPEG Stream:
"Democracy Is An Abuse Of Statistics" MPEG Stream:
"Absurdness Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth"
JAZKAMER Metal Music Machine (Smalltown Supernoise) cd 16.98
Savage Pencil cover art. Gothic font. Grim graphics. Black metal sonics. So this is the new Jazzkammer?! Metal Machine Music sees this Norwegian electronic noise duo changing their name (slightly) and suddenly adopting a black/death/doom metal sound. Maybe in this case we should say Metal, using the capital M for it like The Wire magazine does. Not sure what inspired this new direction, we'd hate to think it was just that in avant-experimental-indie circles Metal is now 'cool', and that they thought hey if SUNNO))) can do it, why not us? But chances are that being from Norway they're well aware of the black metal scene and dig a lot of the same stuff about it that we do, the perhaps unintentional avant-gardisms of bands like Abruptum for instance, and figured it was time to delve into it fully themselves. What matters, anyway, is how did Jazkamer's Metal Machine Music turn out? Well, we like it! First off, Jazkamer, as opposed to Jazzkammer, is not a duo, they've brought in some other folks to help out, including a real ringer -- Ivar Bjornson of AQ fave Viking black prog metallers Enslaved!! So we're taking it pretty seriously already. The first track, "Friends Of Satan" is a pretty harsh intro, and should serve to weed out listeners who AREN'T in fact friends of Satan. It's a blurred, blasting battery of drums and distortion, not unlike that sampled death metal disc by Francisco Lopez, Untitled 104. Or the Dave Lombardo track on Jonathan Bepler's Cremaster 2 soundtrack. The chorus of anguished vokills at the end of the track further nail down Jazkamer's black metal ballsiness. They'd be pleased to know that someone here asked, when this was playing, "What's that? Besides headache-inducing?" Following that, we encounter one of this album's main events, the 16:51 "The Worms Will Get In", a study in slow-motion, doom-dirge minimalism a la SUNNO))), Earth, and Khanate. Simple but effective. When it ends, it's a jarring segue into the next track, the jagged "Abomination". Probably the thing on here that most sounds like it could be from a "normal" black metal album, albeit with No Wave / Voivodian influences. Next up, the title track, that's along the same lines as "Abomination" but, like, ten times noisier. And then, the finale, the 12 and a half minute "Occult Glider" that's a menacing ambient fuzzed-drone soundscape, beautiful and powerful. We're impressed. Our doubts were quashed. Better than any Jazzkammer album we'd previously heard, as a matter of fact!
"Friends Of Satan" MPEG Stream:
"The Worms Will Get In" MPEG Stream:
JAZKAMER Metal Music Machine (Ass Piss) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. NOW ON VINYL! Savage Pencil cover art. Gothic font. Grim graphics. Black metal sonics. So this is the new Jazzkammer?! Metal Machine Music sees this Norwegian electronic noise duo changing their name (slightly) and suddenly adopting a black/death/doom metal sound. Maybe in this case we should say Metal, using the capital M for it like The Wire magazine does. Not sure what inspired this new direction, we'd hate to think it was just that in avant-experimental-indie circles Metal is now 'cool', and that they thought hey if SUNNO))) can do it, why not us? But chances are that being from Norway they're well aware of the black metal scene and dig a lot of the same stuff about it that we do, the perhaps unintentional avant-gardisms of bands like Abruptum for instance, and figured it was time to delve into it fully themselves. What matters, anyway, is how did Jazkamer's Metal Machine Music turn out? Well, we like it! First off, Jazkamer, as opposed to Jazzkammer, is not a duo, they've brought in some other folks to help out, including a real ringer -- Ivar Bjornson of AQ fave Viking black prog metallers Enslaved!! So we're taking it pretty seriously already. The first track, "Friends Of Satan" is a pretty harsh intro, and should serve to weed out listeners who AREN'T in fact friends of Satan. It's a blurred, blasting battery of drums and distortion, not unlike that sampled death metal disc by Francisco Lopez, Untitled 104. Or the Dave Lombardo track on Jonathan Bepler's Cremaster 2 soundtrack. The chorus of anguished vokills at the end of the track further nail down Jazkamer's black metal ballsiness. They'd be pleased to know that someone here asked, when this was playing, "What's that? Besides headache-inducing?" Following that, we encounter one of this album's main events, the 16:51 "The Worms Will Get In", a study in slow-motion, doom-dirge minimalism a la SUNNO))), Earth, and Khanate. Simple but effective. When it ends, it's a jarring segue into the next track, the jagged "Abomination". Probably the thing on here that most sounds like it could be from a "normal" black metal album, albeit with No Wave / Voivodian influences. Next up, the title track, that's along the same lines as "Abomination" but, like, ten times noisier. And then, the finale, the 12 and a half minute "Occult Glider" that's a menacing ambient fuzzed-drone soundscape, beautiful and powerful. We're impressed. Our doubts were quashed. Better than any Jazzkammer album we'd previously heard, as a matter of fact!
"Friends Of Satan" MPEG Stream:
"The Worms Will Get In" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Autumn Engines (Rebis) cd 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. FINALLY!! The first proper non-cd-r actual cd release from these unsung heroes of the UK freenoise underground. In the past we've reviewed as many releases by these guys as we could get our hands on. Every one an absolute gem. Dark shimmering dronescapes and epic washes of sculpted sound. Sure we love us some Skaters and some Yellow Swans and some Sunroof! and some Vibracathedral Orchestra and some Double Leopards and some Starving Weirdos, but damn it if we don't have a special place in our hearts reserved just for Jazzfinger, and their twisted take on soundmaking. It must be going on a decade now AT LEAST, since these guys started making records. I can remember stumbling on some strangely packaged cd-r, and being fascinated by the name Jazzfinger, and then later being just as fascinated by the strange sounds inside. Autumn Engines finds Jazzfinger still exploring the same sonic universe they were 10 years ago, but it's a big place, and these guys have seriously honed their chops, so every track here is like a fresh glimpse into some still undiscovered soundworld. Like sonic archaeology. Jazzfinger, take the same instruments, the same recording techniques, and mine all manner of unique sounds that no one else is able to discover. Jazzfinger's world is definitely one of drones, and ambience, delicate and dreamlike, but it's somehow much more. These are not just simple drones. Each track is like taking a different drone, or found soundscape (foundscape?) and splitting it open and observing what happens inside. What seems like a simple slow moving whir, is in fact rife with millions of microscopic happenings. Layers and striations, a whole world of melodic wonder and sonic wonder lurks beneath and within every sound Jazzfinger discover or produce. Jazzfinger have again delivered a record full of dark and lovely, truly beautiful and incredibly mysterious music. And already we want more...
"Fishing In Wet Railways" MPEG Stream:
"Strong Cheese And Fish" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Grief To Grind The Fire (Blackest Rainbow) cd-r 10.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We discovered a stash of these cd-r's, and we're guessing that these are WAY out of print as it came out months and months ago, but we have a bunch, and we know there are lots of Jazzfinger obsessives out there, so for a handful of you, here's your chance to grab one of these rare little gems. Grief To Grind The Fire bucks the trend of later JF releases, eschewing the short sound experiments and song fragments in favor of two epic drone workouts. The opener is nearly 40 minutes, and is a killer. Dense and buzzy, lo-fi but thick as a brick, the track covers lots of ground, but seems centered on a constant static drone, while all around tones screech and skree, hum and pulses, rumble and whir, it's a bit like a more caustic Sunroof!, mixed with plenty of Dead C ambience. The track swells and sways, slipping into stretches of more muted melodic buzz, but then right back into exercises in high end urdrone, it's rally one of the most musical pieces we've heard from Jazzfinger, it's almost like some sort of krautdrone ambience, but rendered in 4track and busted Casio, damaged guitar and short circuited amplifier. Ramshackle but very lovely, almost like some lost Xpressway band. The second track, the shorter one, clocks in at nearly 26 minutes and is almost like a variation on the first. The backdrop is a grinding corrosive rumble, all hiss and skitter, distortion, and crumbling whirs, while over the top a strange playful Casio melody surfaces now and again, the whole track growing hissier and more distorted one second, more washed out and tranquil the second, it's a bit like listening to a remix of the first song transmitted via a shortwave radio with terrible reception. The result is surprisingly warm and tactile, dense and raw, and just as mesmerizing as the opening track. Too bad we waited so long to review this, as it's fast becoming one of our favorite JF cds ever. But at least a bunch of you will get to pick this up. Dig it!
"Legs In The River" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Los Band Magicos (Low Point) 3" 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. Holy crap! MORE Jazzfinger. For a band who was averaging one record every 3 or 4 years, they've really been cranking 'em out lately. They're like the UK's answer to the Yellow Swans or the Skaters, what with their monthly, and sometimes bi-weekly releases. And sonically too, they're certainly exploring similar territory. But just like those two other groups we're sure as hell not complaining. We don't want this avalanche of Jazzfinger to ever let up. And it sure doesn't look like it will, with THREE releases on this list and more on the way! Jazzfinger, while definitely similar to the Skaters and the Yellow Swans in some ways, are a much subtler proposition. Less a noise outfit, or a free rock ensemble as they are drifting dark drone explorers. They can definitely kick up a serious sonic fuss, but they spend most of their time, lurking in the shadows, creeping around corners, and drifting well below the surface, their sounds muted and mumbled, a wonderfully twisted world of abstract soundscapes and mournful minor key minimalist laments, peppered with all sorts of random sonic irregularities and subtle shadings. Los Band Magicos is two lengthy tracks, the first might be our favorite JF track EVER. A fuzzy barely there crawl, all lo-fi tape hiss, and manipulated static, a slithering ambient whir, that is gradually disrupted by weird Conet Project like shortwave interference, and distant sonic dust devils of keening feedback and grinding glitchery, the whole thing super fuzzy, mumbly and muted. Almost like some weird Chain Reaction heroin house 12" being transmitted from the beyond, and being picked up on a crappy transistor radio tuned between stations. So weird and wonderful. The second track is an abstract clattery soundscape, of shimmering guitars, scraping reverberating metal, strange percussive thumps and creaks and clangs, everything draped in thick webs of room sound and natural reverb, sort of like a more damaged, WAY more abstract No Neck / Dead C mash up. Cool! Packaged in a cool mini 3" DVD like plastic case with printed red and black insert. And as always, SUPER LIMITED!!!
"The Shadow Between Two Worlds" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Mole and The Morning Dew (Spirit of Orr) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
JAZZFINGER Orange Sauce / Peace Factor Fashion (alt.vinyl) 8" square lathe cut 15.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** We haven't heard from these guys in a while. Which more than likely just means we somehow missed out on about a million super limited cd-r's and cassettes and wax cylinders. But we weren't about to miss out on this one. Another in alt.vinyl's series of ultra limited 8" lathe cuts (the Prurient one is featured elsewhere on this list). As always, the boys are in fine form, offering up confounding and confusional loveliness and sometimes not so loveliness. Side one sounds like Nurse With Wound doing the soundtrack for an afternoon soap opera, with a melodramatic organ wheezing and whirring in a sea of partially plucked guitars and dense clouds of shimmering feedback, metallic clang and all sorts of grind and crackle and crunch and glitch and buzz. All deftly woven into something surprisingly listenable, almost like some super lo-fi dada-ist Pop Ambient jam. The B side is a gorgeous minimal, lazy and languid, slowly unfurling Taj Mahal Travellers like organic drone, all drawn out billowy buzz, drifting over a spare stretch of low end shimmer, very meditative and serene. Occasionally over the top drift little flurries of percussion, bells and shakers, very tribal and ritualistic. Both sides are pretty dang awesome. And like all the releases in the series, this is a custom hand cut, Peter King lathe cut, 8", and it's SQUARE!!! Packaged in gorgeous square and triangular die cut sleeves, super fancy textured paper, with a paste on front cover and a printed insert, each insert hand numbered, each release LIMITED TO 150 COPIES!!
JAZZFINGER Prayer Wheel / Soar Part 1 (Short Forest) 7" 8.98
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 since we've heard from UK experimental drone/noise duo Jazzfinger, but that just means we probably missed about 20 super limited cassette and cd-r releases. This here is the very first 7" from JF, and offers yet another side to their sound, this one a gorgeously minimal buzz drenched lo-fi raga. The A side is all warbly guitar scrape and scrabble, over some wheezing lo-fi buzz, the sound warped and woozy, bits of electronic grit and glitch, very hypnotic, like some alien Appalachia, but minus the twang, and way more whir and buzz. The B side opens with a keening high end drone that sounds like a feeding back bagpipe, unfurling a strange stately raga over a buzzing static drenched melody, the sound like some crumbling tape being played back on a dictaphone, everything wreathed in glorious grit, buried beneath a lo-fi hum, very reminiscent of the more rag-like recordings of Dan Higgs, but much more minimal and abstract. Really cool. Gorgeous full color artwork, hand assembled, pressed on clear vinyl, and of course SUPER LIMITED!!!
JAZZFINGER The Ducal Palace (Turgid Animal) cd 11.98
JAZZFINGER The Glass Key (Classic English Womb) cd-r 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We just discovered a tiny stash of this way out of print classic from UK sound sculptors Jazzfinger. We only have 6 or 7, and once these are gone they are gone! Here's our review from when we first listed this a while back: Another new Jazzfinger release! If it was any other band, we might scoff, but hell, Jazzfinger are making up for some serious lost time. In a big way. And while there are plenty of bands we can't get enough of, Jazzfinger are one of our favorites. For years we subsisted on their debut, assuming the band had broken up or disappeared, until discovering that they were indeed still a band, just not a very prolific one. But that all changed fairly recently, and the band has been spitting out new releases, like one a month. But we're not complaining. Not at all. In fact we've been waiting for the Glass Key for ages, having heard rumors of it's existence. The second in a series of insanely elaborately packaged cd-r's. The first, The Well Of Used Dreams is long gone, and when we did have it, it flew out of here in to time flat. Which makes sense once you see it. And hear it. For those new to Jazzfinger, they exist in the same sonic orbit as groups like Skullflower, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Sunroof! crafting epic worlds of drone and buzz, strange little fragments of some undefinable musical whole. Unlike their sonic brethren, they are not as concerned with massive walls of sound, or huge swirls of guitar or clouds of keening reeds, instead, Jazzfinger explore texture and shape, shrinking themselves down and crawling physically through the minutiae of music, drifting through strange alien worlds of sounds, surrounded on all sides by vast expanses of sonic wonder. The Glass key is a wonderfully mysterious song suite, a varied sampling of Jazzfinger's musical wares. With all the songs and sounds connected, a distinctive, yet hard to describe musical thread running clean through. Spread out over 70+ minute the band takes us along, on their tripped out psychedelic journey. Haunting pianos drift beneath a thick layer of fuzzy grit, distant warbly organ, and a scraped violin that either sounds like a crying baby or a meddlesome mosquito. Jack Hammers are muted and smeared into soothingly rhythmic flutters, epic expanses of cavernous echo and cymbal shimmer underpin buzzing distorted guitars that slither dirgelike through fields of chimes and coruscating feedback. Voices are chopped up and spread out over wheezing smears of huffing harmonica, warm clouds of Eastern melodies and raga like buzz hovering like a storm cloud over a loping funereal piano. So totally amazing. Packaged in a massive oversized cardboard sleeve with super tripped out collages affixed to the front and the back, while on the inside the liner notes are affixed to the rocket shaped cardboard insert that functions as a sort of pull out tray, with the black cd-r in a sleeve attached to the front. Quite stunning. And incredibly elaborate, and totally time consuming to hand assemble. Needless to say, there were very few of these made, they are sold out and out of print, and we will never be able to get more, so don't blow it. You'll definitely be sorry.
"Premeditated Obsolescence" MPEG Stream:
"Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER The Little Girl On The Plane Who Turned Her Doll's Head Around To Look At Me (Muza) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Jazzfinger may seem like they just burst upon the scene, what with the recent flurry of cd-r releases, but these guys have been making beautiful noises for going on a decade now. We have been LOVING everything, we just can't get enough!! So much so that we pulled out our decade old copies of The Little Girl On The Plane Who Turned Her Doll's Head Around To Look At Me, their debut from way back in 1998 (although it was recorded in 1996-97). And holy shit, did that stuff sound just as good now as it did then. We were so blown away when we first discovered this record, we were convinced Jazzfinger would be huge, then they sort of just disappeared for a while before resurfacing more recently. Anyway, we were lamenting the fact that all the folks who had been freaking out over the recent spate of Jazzfinger cd-r's would never get to hear the one that we might just consider to be the best. The lo and behold, we get a call from Ben Jazzfinger, who out of the blue lets us know that the label still has a stash of these discs! Well, needless to say, we had a little freakout, did a little dance, and ordered us up a whole mess of these amazing discs. Needless to say, if you are already a fan of any of the recent JF releases, this is ESSENTIAL. And all you cd-r nerds into Jyrk, Onomata, Celebrate Psi Phenomenon, PseudoArcana are definitely gonna want to check this out!! So what does it sound like? Well if you're hip to the Jazzfinger already, you probably have a good idea, but as this was nearly a decade ago, the sound is a lot more raw, a lot more varied, and really fucking awesome. A caustic soundscape of high end streaks, like howling dogs and balloons being rubber together morphs into a thick fuzzy dirgescape thick with industrial scrapes and warbly organ, like some long lost Dead C jam, then some damaged acoustic guitar beneath a field of buzzing electricity. A lurching sort-of doom metal free noise dirge leads into a stuttering soundscape of sliced and diced vocal and instrumental snippets, a glistening swirl of shortwave interference, found sounds and thick grinding guitar feedback gradually melts away revealing a bizarre low end landscape of gurgles and rumbles, and some stumbling percussion. A radio broadcast is transformed into a thick super distorted snarling beast, jagged and harsh, swathed in fuzz and sheets of feedback, before it drifts away replaced by a strange beeping bleeping symphony of upper register tones and haunting chimes. Finally, an epic, super dramatic, free noise freaked out psych jam, like the Dead C covering Goblin. The music for some alien horror movie. Thick and caustic and noisy but somehow so creepy and pretty. Such an amazing record. Beautifully packaged too, in an oversized vellum sleeve, printed in metallic silver, the thick brown cardboard inner sleeve visible through the vellum, the whole thing housed in a thick vinyl sleeve. NOT A WHOLE LOT OF THESE LEFT, SO WHEN WE RUN OUT, WE'RE NOT ENTIRELY SURE WE'LL BE ABLE TO GET MORE.
"Axis" MPEG Stream:
"Wishing I Was Younger" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER The Metal Eggs (Infinite Exchange) cd-r 10.98
JAZZFINGER The Well Of Used Dreams (Classic English Womb) cd-r 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Every scene has that one group that toils away in utter obscurity while their contemporaries move on to bigger and better things. And often that band is left behind not because they aren't as good as their sonic brethren, but because while they are adept at music making, the whole aspect of self promotion and releasing records and playing shows takes a backseat to the sheer joy of making wonderful noise. So you probably know Skullflower, Sunroof!, Total, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Neil Campbell and a host of others. But odds are you've never heard of Jazzfinger. Which is a pity, as JF are as good as, if not better than all of those other groups. For years Jazzfinger have skirted the UK free/psych/noise scene, crafting gorgeous slabs of ambient skree and bowel loosening rumble, all imbued with subtle melodies and unlikely dynamics. But their records have been really diffcult to track down. This new cd-r may not necessarily help their cause, but that does not make this any less essential. It's pricey at 26.00 (for a cd-r!) but once you see it, and hear it, you might not feel so bad about forking over that dough. Packaged in a massive oversized cardboard sleeve with strange photos affixed to the front and the back and the inside, different views of some sort of celestial / cellular phenomenon, multi-colored circles merging and intersecting. Quite beautiful. The music inside is sort of the sonic equivalent, with sonic spheres slowly shifting and merging, black holes of sound sucking up sonic detritus and releasing clouds of rumbling whir and warm multi-hued drones. Super limited and we only have a handful so it may take us a while to get more. So act fast.
"Wooden Fireworks" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Ugly For A Living (Gold Soundz) cd-r 9.98
"Summer Was A Flame Ride" MPEG Stream:
"Ascent Through Degradation"
JAZZFINGER Winter's Shadow Between Two Worlds (Curor) 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. Finally another sonic transmission from the mysterious and elusive Jazzfinger. The last we heard from these murky noisesmiths was a VERY expensive, super limited, gorgeously deluxe cd-r way back in 2004, and we, like you were absolutely smitten. We had long been fans, but that was the first release we were able to get enough copies of to reviews. Low profile or not, here was a band who had been lurking on the fringes of the underground, crafting their own dark and wondrous ambient drones and mumbled freerock explorations and who we wanted, nay NEEDED to hear more from. And is if in response to our prayers, what should suddenly appear? A brand new full length from this UK ensemble. And for those of you put off by the almost $30 price tag of their last release, or those of you who just missed out since it was so limited, well here's your chance to dive in. Sonic brethren to folks like Sunroof! and Vibracathedral Orchestra, and often sharing a similar penchant for the ur-drone and various mighty swells of sound, Jazzfinger have managed to in fact carve their own, darker, more minimal path. Almost like a rock band covering Coleclough or Chalk. Jazzfinger are not so much ones for huge squalls of guitar or woodwinds, instead these guys creep and crawl, a low rumbling exploration of dark corners and shadowy otherworlds, of dusty forgotten trunks filled with old objects, abandoned buildings overgrown with foliage, and wide expanses of barren terrain, colored only by moonlight and the slow whirring drift of their gauzy sonic fog. Strings buzz and shimmer, long form drones stretch way out, while underneath subtle sounds shift and swell, percussion is minimal, a softly struck bell here, a brief clatter of tiny pipes there, only adding color, not rhythm. Melodies drift forth like distant foghorns barely audible through the clouds of a dark and stormy night, guitars are plucked, and strummed, but not to fashion riffs, more to unleash a series of reverberating waves, that build and build, layer upon layer, a thick, head spinning monochrome crawl, organs wheeze out delicate melodies over the omnipresent buzzing steel strings, creating a soft music box like raga, the sound here is definitely dark, and ominous, but suffused with warmth, and life, a subtle glow, an inner light that makes each stretch of slow shifting ambience feel alive and dense with emotion. A totally breathtaking journey through a mysterious universe of dark buzz and warm shimmer. Super limited and so totally essential.
"Rabbit Wolf Reflection" MPEG Stream:
"Roman Tide" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER Wixxon Flag Bearer (DNT) 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. It's been a little while since we've heard from UK duo Jazzfinger, we've got a split lp that will be reviewed on the next list, and we found a few of these hiding out on the shelves, another cd-r from last year that we're only getting around to reviewing now. It was limited to 100 copies, we have less than ten, but sure there are way more then 10 of you out there who never got your hands on this. Jazzfinger are always all over the map and it's no different here, from wheezing melodica, slathered in distortion and feedback, to strange percussive junkyard lope, swirling tendrils of high pitched shimmer, to haunting laughter draped over ominous church organ whir and metallic creaks, abstract detuned folk strum over more wheezing warble, and then there's the 24 minute "Caves", a noisy workout that slips between corrosive crunch, dreamy drone, fucked up confusional soft noise and ever possible combination of the three. Bizarre, and unpredictable and sort of pretty and definitely cracked, exactly what every Jazzfinger fan expects and desires. Once again, this was LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, we've got 8 or 9 left, it's out of print so that is definitely it, packaged in cool water colored covers...
"One" MPEG Stream:
"Three" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER / A WAY split (Mallard Lake) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The UK's Jazzfinger hit us again with another slab of their gorgeous free rock abstract drone wonder, but here they're sharing sonic space with a band we had never heard before. A Way are from Finland, and seem to fit somewhere between their countrymen Avarus, Anaksimandros, Kemialliset Ystavat and like-minded groups like No Neck Blues Band, Sunburned Hand Of The Man, Ghosting, Bonus and of course Jazzfinger. A Way's 4 tracks are brief little snippets of low end weirdness. Drones, but dense with disembodied non-melodies, fragmented chunks of rumble and shimmer, rhythms, but the sort of rhythms you can only see when you stand way back, up close, they're just dizzying whirls of random percussive shuffle and stumbling flutter, the warm whir of machinery, a smeared industrial drift, sparkling with tiny harmonics and muted tonal color. An ambient world of soft and spooky sweet submerged. Jazzfinger counter with a 20 minute wall of crumbling guitar. Layer after layer of pealing, keening, roaring, buzzing amps and strings. Dense but also sort of lo-fi. It almost sounds like some sort of installation where a gallery was outfitted with 1000 crappy tape players, all playing poorly dubbed copies of live Sunroof! bootlegs. A gloriously epic tangle of high end guitars, a massive sun dappled Ur-drone, hovering and shimmering, while beneath lurks a swirling world of tinkling music boxes, plucked strings, sing songy melodies, random percussion, thick strum and abstract riffage. Nice! SUPER LIMITED. We only have a dozen or thereabouts, so act fast. Packaged in thick plastic pouches with two hand screened squares of textured paper and secured with a tiny piece of twine.
A WAY "Around Under" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER "The Sun Is Your Enemy The Wind Is Your Friend"
JAZZFINGER / CULVER & FORDELL RESEARCH UNIT split (Blackest Rainbow) lp 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
JAZZFINGER / NUMBER NONE Penny Dreadful / Lichfields (Gold Soundz) cd-r 9.98
We won't go into too much detail on this one, as it's an oldie, from way back in 2003, we never had enough to list it until now, and even now we probably don't have enough, but we do have a bunch, so if you want one of these act fast, cuz it's pretty dang great. Longtime AQ faves, UK duo Jazzfinger (at least a duo here) battle it out free rock, abstract ambient drone style with fellow noisemakers Number None, who we've actually been fans of for a while, but this will mark their first appearance on the AQ list. The Jazzfinger tracks, are more of what we've come to love, hissy lo-fi soundscapes of warble and shimmer, clattery chaotic percussion and rumbling drones, the eleven minute second track is the shows the band at their best, stretching way out, and meandering from soft focus drone to foresty free folk, to No Neck clatter jam and back again, washed out, grinding buzzing and so gloriously mysterious. The rest of the tracks play out similarly, like some strange mechanical music making contraption, wound up and let loose, on some old 1800's dirt road, wobbling beneath bruised purple skies and sending the villagers skittering back to their houses, to peek warily through the curtains. Number None, are like minded maybe, but their execution is completely different. More minimal and hushed, their tracks are stretched out streaks of muted metallic buzz, buried mumbled vocals, dark industrial hiss, haunting melodic fragments, all drifting weightless in some murky alien sea. The final track, the 15 minute long "High Noon On The Negative Plane" sounds exactly like that. Dark shimmers of ringing metal, smeared into barely shifting slabs of soft sound, an orchestra of Tibetan bells, dropped into the sea, their subtle vibrations recorded as they descend into the blackness, then broadcast toward the surface, where they arrive as a warm watery warble. So nice. And again, SO LIMITED, already out of print, so needless to say, these will be gone in a flash...
JAZZFINGER "1" MPEG Stream:
JAZZFINGER "2" MPEG Stream:
NUMBER NONE "6" MPEG Stream:
NUMBER NONE "7"
JAZZKAMMER Hot Action Sexy Karaoke (Ground Fault) cd 11.98
JAZZKAMMER Mort Aux Vaches (Staalplaat) cd 21.00
JAZZKAMMER Pancakes (Smalltown Supersound) cd 15.98
Jazzkammer is the Norwegian duo of Lasse Marhaug and John Hegre, typically resorting to the Voice Crack / Yoshihide-like avant-turntable collages disfigured by computer generated noise attacks. "Pancakes" is a detour down the 12K_ Line aesthetic with sub-audible, pristine low-frequencies spiked with crisp, high-end sinewave. Headphones required.
JAZZKAMMER Timex (Rune Grammofon) cd 16.98
Jazzkammer's free improvisations revolve around turntables, samplers, sine waves, guitars, field recording, and the static crackle of nearly broken electronics which are prodded and poked to surprising results. At their most austere, this Swedish duo resembles an analogue equivalent of Oval... at their loudest, it's a neurotic aural assault not unlike Otomo Yoshihide or Voice Crack.