MONTAG Are You A Friend? (Gooom ) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MONTAG Going Places (Carpark) cd 14.98
Hmmm, if Euro smooth operators Air were indie popsters their music might sound something like this! Going Places definitely has an international flair, but at the same time it charms with a less sleek, more bedroom-y kind of feel. The man behind this album is Montag, one lone fellow whom his parents call Antoine Bedard. A couple of years ago he put a call out beckoning contributors and collaborators for his recording project We Have Sound aka his third full length. He got responses back in spades from around the globe from the hippest now-est artists -- M83's Anthony Gonzales, Stars' Amy Millan, Ghislain Poirier, Owen Pallett of Final Fantasy, Beach House's Victoria Legrand, Ida Nilsen of Great Aunt Ida, Leah Abramson, and Au Revoir Simone. All of them lend their sweet singing to Montag's dreamy electronic pop tunes. Quite akin to Stephin Merritt's The Sixths or Dntel's latest album Dumb Luck (on which the mastermind wrote and performed the and got friends and fellow artists to sing!), and definitely for fans of Dntel, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone and the Morr Music label.
"I Have Sound" MPEG Stream:
"Best Boy Electric"
MONTALBA, GEORGES Pipe Organ Favorites / Fantasy In Pipe Organ And Percussion (Hit Thing) cd 15.98
Unfortunately, we can't play this disc in the store too often because Andee expects to be taken out for pizza and Jim starts having these creepy ice skating flashbacks from his childhood. But for those of you out there who love big organs, and I *know* you're out there, you're guaranteed to feel the swell of these pipes down in your loins when you crank this one up. Originally released in 1957 and 1958, the two albums on this disc are classics in the pipe organ genre. They were both produced by 101 Strings creator Dick Miller, who was apparently always keeping his sights on the bleeding edge of hipness. What's more is that Georges Montalba was nothing more than a pseudonym. The real man behind the organ here was Bob Hunter, a man who already had an immensely successful career as a concert pianist and arranger. While this may not seem all that odd -- plenty of people in show business use pseudonyms -- the persona of Georges Montalba was made ever more mysterious by two additional circumstances. The first was that Mr. Hunter, for some reason, never told anyone about his being Mr. Montalba with the exception of an audience attending a 1964 performance by "Montalba" in which he revealed his true identity. The second was the exploitation of Montalba's true identity by none other than the Church of Satan's longtime leader Anton La Vey. La Vey apparently milked a Church of Satan follower's suspicion that he was in fact Montalba. It wasn't too difficult to fabricate a story to fit since he had -- prior to acquiring his day job as Satan's spokesman -- been a successful theater organist in the San Francisco bay area. The whole gruesome (well, not really gruesome, but very interesting none the less) story is related in detail by both reissue producer Toby Dammit and Anton La Vey's own daughter Zeena Schreck (who disputes her father's claim) in the liner notes. Listening to this disc, it comes as no surprise that one might become convinced that Mr. Church of Satan himself was behind the pedals. The playing by Hunter of the huge Robert-Morton Pipe Organ (to which was affixed an additional complement of a Deagan vibraphone and a set of orchestral chimes) is truly possessed. Not to disparage Mr. La Vey or his followers, but upon closer listening you can tell that the caliber of playing is a notch above Mr. Satan's. On these two Hi-Fi Mono recordings Hunter performs the works of Saint-Saens, Khatchaturian, Rimsky-Korsakov, Manuel de Falla, Wagner, Sousa, Grieg and more (including a couple original compositions) with all the ferocity of Swedish progster Bo Hansson (see Hansson & Karlsson). Take this one home and crank it up 'til your neighbors' ears bleed.
"Ritual Fire Dance" RealAudio clip:
MONTANER, RITA Rita De Cuba (Tumbao) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Born in 1900, Rita Montaner was enrolled in a conservatory of music in Cuba and studied voice and piano at the age of ten and received her diploma at sixteen. By the age of 19 she was giving recitals throughout Cuba, at 22 she was one of the first voices to be heard over Cuban national radio and at 27 flew to New York -- beginning her career as an international artist. But despite her extensive performances abroad and her knowledge of the European classical repertoire, it was to Cuba that she always returned and it was the music of Cuba that she performed the most. On this collection of recordings, mostly made in 1928 & 1929 in Cuba (there are six tracks recorded in 1940 & 1941), Rita sings the songs of her countrymen, including Moises Simons, Ernesto Lecuona, Juan Bruno Tarraza and many others. Her operatic singing style stands out on these recordings and some here even remark that she sounds a bit like Minnie Mouse. On most of the tracks she is accompanied by Orquesta Hermanos Palau, but there are a few duets of Rita with piano on here as well.
"El Manisero" RealAudio clip:
"Alla En El Batey"
MONTEIRO, ALFREDO COSTA & BEN OWEN Frele A Vide (Contour Editions) cd-r 11.98
Two quietly busy sound-artists wrangled together a not-so quiet album of unstable electro-acoustics. Ben Owen is a NYC based sound artist we have been familiar with over the years, in part due to his work running the always impressive Winds Measure Recordings label, complete with some exceptional letterpressed packaging to house the hushed minimalism and subtle field recordings. Monteiro Alfredo Costa is one of those artists who's been very prolific throughout the European sound-art / improv circles but is something of a mystery to us. His work purports to share an interest in low-fi technologies and unstable processes - with crappy tape decks, feedback systems, found objects, and old record players working into his repertoire of electro-acoustics. It is a model of instability that seems the modus operandi for this collaboration with pierced tones of variably sourced feedback wavering upon that high-tension wire between sonic evaporation and sonic obliteration. These oblique, ear-ringing hums couple with microwave sizzlings, deadened electrical buzzes and gravel-crusted static to form chunks of sound that butt up against one another. Compared to the brutalist agenda of Merzbow, Prurient, The Rita, etc, this would hardly qualify as a noise record, as the compositions are thoroughly detached from any overt confrontation, but these grey rumbles and bright rattlings can get quite noxious. One can think of Joe Colley, Chop Shop, or Kevin Drumm during their introspective ruminations on electro-acoustics and noise disintegration. Released on the small Contour Editions imprint, run by the very talented Richard Garet. Limited to 150 copies.
"Sans Titre 2" MPEG Stream:
"Sans Titre 3" MPEG Stream:
"Sans Titre 4"
MONTENEGRO, HUGO Moog Power (Get On Down) cd 16.98
Hugo Montenegro was one of many light composers of the space-age bachelor pad era that included Dick Hyman, Esquivel, Frank Comstock, Ferrante & Teicher and Ray Coniff. What set him apart from his contemporaries was a flair for restless frenetic rhythms, scatting vocalese, and groovy surfy spy themes like the soundtrack for such b-movie potboilers as The Lady In Cement and the TV shows The Wrecking Crew and The Ambushers. But his most literally electrifying moment came from his adoption of the Moog synthesizer for 1969's Moog Power, one of the more zany Moog records out there next to Gershon and Kingsley's In Sounds From Way Out. Not that he was exactly going for that. Everyone knew the Moog could make odd sounds, but Montenegro wanted to mine its musical potential to see if it had commercial appeal. While the record is mostly covers of the day, "Hair/Aquarius", "Traces", The Doors' "Touch Me", and others by The Turtles, Harry Nilson and Jimmy Webb ("MacArthur Park", but only the rocking end part!), he puts such high energy into the arrangements which gives the songs a kind of warped feeling like the Hullabaloo singers on speed. We're sure that has only added to its appeal amongst Incredibly Strange Music circles. But the title song, the only Montenegro original, is worth the price of admission alone!
"Moog Power" MPEG Stream:
"Dizzy" MPEG Stream:
MONTENEGRO, HUGO Mr. Groovy (The Omni Recording Corporation) cd 17.98
Hugo Montenegro was one of many light composers of the space-age bachelor pad era that included Dick Hyman, Esquivel, Frank Comstock, Ferrante & Teicher and Ray Coniff. What set him apart from his contemporaries was a flair for restless frenetic rhythms, scatting vocalese, and groovy surfy spy themes like the soundtrack for such b-movie potboilers as The Lady In Cement and TV shows, The Wrecking Crew and The Ambushers. But his most literally electrifying moment came from his adoption of the Moog synthesizer for 1969's Moog Power, one of the best Moog records out there next to Gershon and Kingsley's In Sounds From Way Out. Now, in typical anthologizing fashion, the generous folks at The Omni Recording Corporation who have brought us many a left-field pop eccentric such as Porter Wagoner, Biff Rose (also reviewed this list), Bruce Haack, Hoyt Axton, and Jim Blanchard & Misty Morgan set their targets on Montenegro's enormously varied output. Sometimes Omni's exhaustive anthologies can be, well, exhausting, offering almost too much work from a single person. The first half of Mr. Groovy is largely well-worn covers ("Classical Gas", "Happy Together", "Love is Blue" etc.), that are not quite as rewarding as the second half's awesome Moog pieces and spy themes. But the quantity versus quality complaint is a minor one when it comes to Omni's releases who most of the time deliver both in large numbers. Just don't dismiss this disc because you don't like the theme from "Hair". Grooovy!
"Moog Power" MPEG Stream:
"Theme For Three" MPEG Stream:
MONTERA, JEAN-MARC Smiles From Jupiter (Grob) cd 15.98
MONTGOMERY, GEN KEN Drilling Holes In The Wall (Monochrome Vision) cd 15.98
A name that pops up quite a bit in discussions about the '80s noise underground and the global network of cassette culture is Gen Ken Montgomery. He and Al Margolis founded Pogus Productions out of Margolis' Sound Of Pig cassette label; and in 1989, he expanded his Generator record store into the first sound art gallery in NYC of the same name. His own work eludes easy description as it centers upon process-oriented sound construction, exploring the cohabitation of cheap electronic gadgetry with objects from every day life. More of an extension of the eccentricities of Fluxus, Montgomery's work involves the process of adding and negating sound through those aforementioned tools; and as such, his work doesn't really fit into the Controlled Bleeding / Haters axis of ear-splitting noise deconstruction. Inspired by the demolition of the Berlin Wall in late 1989 (where Montgomery was taking up residence at the time), Drilling Holes In The Wall was originally released as a cassette a year later. Montgomery had recorded the material in Conrad Schnitzler's studio in Berlin, initially conceiving the piece as an 8 channel cassette concert with overlapping lurches of cancerous electronics, mechanical exhortations, uncomfortable abstract groans, and power-tool atonality. That 30 minute piece is reprised here on cd, with four additional lengthy tracks, including two more tracks recorded at Schnitzler's place a couple years earlier. The "New Age Machines" suites are much more spacious than "Drilling Holes" with spooky sound-effects laced around sci-fi paranoid atmospheres and plinkety-plonking electronics, almost recreating the computer music aesthetic of the '60s through cheap consumer-grade electronics. Scattered, convoluted, and highly rewarding.
"Drilling Holes In The Wall" MPEG Stream:
"New Age Machines Part 1" MPEG Stream:
MONTGOMERY, GEN KEN Pondfloorsample (XI) 2cd 14.98
Gen Ken Montgomery is a New York based sound artist who actively creates unusual noises from the abuse of common place objects and consumer electronics. The emphasis for Montgomery is less on the quality of the end result and more on the process, the act of creation, and the artistic risk involved. It's not surprising to find an inherent silliness and absurdity within his compositions with such self-evident titles: "Bird Eating," "Bath Drain," "Egnekn's Fridge," "Crayoning Around," "The Aquarium Fishtank Symphony," etc. While Montgomery was an incredibly prolific member of the underground cassette culture in the '80s, his work has shifted more recently towards multi-channel installations, where the chorus of channels and haphazard peaks of tape distortion aid Montgomery's purpose of creating new experiences from these everyday objects. The collection of work found on "Pondfloorsample" has a few of Montgomery's installation tapes compressed down from their 'octophonic glory' but most tracks focus on his more commonplace stereo field compositions. Montgomery never tries to compel you into thinking that these sounds are interesting, but rather prods the audience through his obsessive documentation / reguritation of sound into asking themselves: "Am I missing something?" For fans of Fluxus.
MONTGOMERY, ROY (Siltbreeze) 2x7" 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. More exquisite solo guitarwork from New Zealander. Comes in a gatefold sleeve with lots of explanatory notes, and features Miss Barabara Manning on one track.
MONTGOMERY, ROY 324 E. 13th Street #7 (Drunken Fish) cd 13.98
"Then those little Yankee microlabels put them out and they floated to the top of the seven-inch glut, and we drank 'em down, and bought 'em up, and traded 'em for foolish amounts of money after they sold out." This quote, from the liner notes, perfectly describes the near constant stream of Roy Montgomery singles which seemed to be coming out every week in 1995 - 1996. This very prolific period of Roy Montgomery's career follows the shift in his aesthetic from the post-Velvets/Joy Division/Wire strum of his early days with Dadamah to his current soaring, guitar reverb space-rock mantras. Aside from the convenient consolidation of all of these out-of-print singles onto one disc, this really is some of his best material. Also contains four previously-unreleased tracks, along with guests including Bill Direen and Barbara Manning.
MONTGOMERY, ROY 324 E.13th St. #7 (Yellow Electric) 2lp 23.00
This excellent collection of early Roy Montgomery material gets the limited vinyl treatment courtesy of Yellow Electric, the imprint run by Liz Harris, aka Grouper. Originally released on cd in 1999 on Drunken Fish, this album documents the more vocal-centric output of Roy Montgomery's early solo work after leaving New Zealand and setting up temporary residence in New York (the address of the title is where most of these tracks were recorded.) "Then those little Yankee microlabels put them out and they floated to the top of the seven-inch glut, and we drank 'em down, and bought 'em up, and traded 'em for foolish amounts of money after they sold out." This quote, from the liner notes, perfectly describes the near constant stream of Roy Montgomery singles which seemed to be coming out every week in 1995 - 1996. This very prolific period of Roy Montgomery's career follows the shift in his aesthetic from the post-Velvets/Joy Division/Wire strum of his early days with Dadamah, The Pin Group and The Shallows (whose only single begins this collection) to his current soaring, guitar reverb space-rock mantras. Aside from the convenient consolidation of all of these out-of-print singles, this really is some of his best material. Also contains four previously-unreleased tracks (Also on the cd btw), along with guests including Bill Direen and Barbara Manning, as well as some awesome covers of Wire ("Used To") and The Victor Dimisich Band ("It's Cold Outside").
"She Said (The Shallows)" MPEG Stream:
"Used To" MPEG Stream:
"E.N.D." MPEG Stream:
MONTGOMERY, ROY And Now The Rain Sounds Like Life Is Falling Down Through It (Drunken Fish) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Released especially to coincide with Terrastock weekend! Gorgeous washes of moody guitar.
MONTGOMERY, ROY Inroads: New And Collected Works (Rebis) 2cd 14.98
We've always had a soft spot for New Zealand's incredibly fertile underground rock scene, and the glorious noises it produces, these days it's outfits like the Dead C, Birchville Cat Motel, Antony Milton, 1/3 Octave Band, Sandoz Lab Technicians, Brothers Of The Occult Sisterhood, Lamp Of The Universe, Lugosi, Lovely Midget, Dean Roberts, Pumice, Omit, but a few years back, it was a whole different scene, well okay, except for the Dead C maybe, but there was a hugely thriving scene and even back then we couldn't get enough. All those bands who sewed the seeds, the bands that paved the way for the groups who make us cd-r crazy today. Folks like Alastair Galbraith Trash, Gate, Golden, Tall Dwarfs, Bill Direen, David Kilgour, Cakekitchen, The Clean, Dadamah, Dissolve, King Loser, Space Dust and of course the legendary Roy Montgomery. Montgomery did time in the groups Dadamah and Dissolve, both of whom were amazing, but it's when he struck out on his own, just him and his guitar, some delay, maybe a little reverb, that's when we really fell in love. Inroads collects all sorts of singles, and compilation tracks, as well as a handful of unreleased songs, and reminds us just why we loved Montgomery, and how much we've been missing his blissed out solo guitar space rock. And that's exactly what this is, space rock, not so much rock as space, every single track is totally mesmerizing, multitracked reverb drenched nirvana, some super spare and simple, drifting and abstract, others tangled and dense, thick and aggressive. His sound is so unique, so totally singular, the second we pushed play on this, even though most of us hadn't heard him in years, we would have known immediately who it was. Which speaks volumes about a record of mostly JUST guitar. How expressive and emotive and deeply personal Montgomery's guitar playing really is. Lyrical and melodic, even at its spaciest. All of the obvious adjectives apply here, shimmering, glistening, sparkling, but Montgomery doesn't just make sounds, letting his guitar drone and drift, these are songs, riffs, beautiful and memorable and catchy, dark and spacey and dreamy, complex fingerpicking, simple strumming, subtle shadings of tone and timbre, it doesn't matter what he does or how he does it, it always sounds like him. And it always sounds divine.
"Dawn Fades Over Ocean" MPEG Stream:
"Liverpool 1982" MPEG Stream:
"Two Trajectory" MPEG Stream:
MONTGOMERY, ROY Just Melancholy (Ajax) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Great NZ guitarist.
MONTGOMERY, ROY Scenes from the South Island (Drunken Fish) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Solo guitarist from New Zealand outfits Dadamah and Dissolve.
MONTGOMERY, ROY Silver Wheel Of Prayer (VHF) cd 13.98
AQ's favorite New Zealand solo guitar explorer presents his latest Tascam 4-track recorded output. "Silver Wheel of Prayer" is at times hauntingly beautiful, with a definite "krautrock" vibe. We maybe could have done without the electronic rhythms found on the disc's last few tracks (which take away a bit from the lulling, dreamy and almost heavy mood established on the majority of the album) but no matter, it's still a compelling listen.
"Disoriented" RealAudio clip:
MONTGOMERY, ROY Temple IV (Kranky) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ex-Dadamah, Dissolve guitarist, who played an Aquarius instore in 1997.
MONTGOMERY, ROY The Allegory of Hearing (Drunken Fish) cd 13.98
New Zealand guitarist/songwriter Roy M. presents a new, all-instrumental album, recorded at home in 1998. As usual, lovely stuff. Incredibly emotive guitarwork, murky, shimmering, meditative.
MONTGOMERY, ROY Two Trajectories (Enraptured) 7" 5.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Thing-of-the-moment guitarist weighs in with 2 instrumentals on Enraptured.
MONTGOMERY, ROY Winter Songs (Roof Bolt) 10" 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Everyone's favorite prolific New Zealand guitarist! Five pieces recorded on a four track back about three years ago, including variations on themes by the Velvet Underground, Joy Division and the Clean...
MONTGOMERY, ROY / AZUSA PLANE split 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The Azusa Plane song takes its title from the Belle & Sebastian record: "She Was Into S&M and Bible Studies, Not Everyone's Cup of Tea She Would Admit to Me, Her Cup of Tea She Would Admit to No One."
MONTGOMERY, ROY / CONNORS, LOREN MAZZACANE (Gyttja) 7" 3.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Split single in an edition of 600. Montgomery's track is entitled "Sterling Morrison, Corner 10th & First, 1966."
MONTGOMERY, ROY / GROUPER split (Grouper Records) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We had a vinyl version of this split between ethereal bliss-scaper Liz Harris aka Grouper, and legendary NZ guitarist Roy Montgomery, a while back, but we got so few copies, and had such a rush on the ones we did get, that we never had a chance to review it, and thus it never even made it up onto the site. But now it's finally been reissued on cd, and with a bonus Roy Montgomery track to boot! Roy's original track/side was a gorgeously epic bit of dreamy strum and steel string drift, titled "Fantasia On A Theme By Sandy Bull (Slight Return)", just that instantly recognizable guitar, a cloud of buzzing steel strings, a sort of blissed out Appalachia spread out over nearly 20 minutes, the sound slipping smoothly from that urgent strum, to something much more hushed and minimal, abstract and softly space-y, and over the course of the track, drifting between the two. Hypnotic and haunting and quite lovely. His bonus track is a billowy cloud of chiming shimmering guitar, sweet melancholy melodies, piled atop a jangly strum, notes wreathed in delay and reverb and echo, the sound somehow both ethereal and propulsive, ghostly and insistent, the sounds hazy and gauzy and washed out, but subtly tense, with a sense of mystery and loss and longing, the aural equivalent of watching the world through rain slicked windows, in fact, Montgomery seems impossibly deft at creating the perfect rainy day soundtrack. Grouper's half of the split begins with "Hollow Press", and the sound of whispering wind, for nearly two minutes, before ethereal effected vocals drift in, floating atop the swirling soft white noise, which leads directly into "Vessel", a haunting elegy of weirdly distorted guitar, unfurled in spidery tendrils, the vocals nearly free of effects, and sounding as angelic as ever, a gorgeous hushed lullaby. "Hold The Way" is another gentle bit of crystalline drift, a looped muted guitar figure, undulating softly beneath sweetly crooned vox, a dream pop slowed down and blurred into something much more ethereal and ephemeral. Finally, "Pulse" sends reverbed guitars drifting from speaker to speaker, the stereo field dizzyingly panned, softly psychedelic, slowly the wind returns, and guitar fading out leaving just the sound of wind, and a barking dog, a hazy outro of found sound, wiping away all the traces of the sounds that came before, like the surf smoothing out sand on the beach. So Lovely. The new cd version is housed in a swank digipak, and is still most likely WAY too limited...
GROUPER "Hollow Press" MPEG Stream:
ROY MONTGOMERY "Vessel" MPEG Stream:
"Fantasia on a Theme by Sandy Bull (Slight Return)"
MONTGOMERY, ROY / HEAPHY, CHRIS True (Kranky) cd 13.98
For two albums, New Zealand stratospheric space rockers Roy Montgomery and Chris Heaphy have collaborated as Dissolve. Roy had composed this music for the North Island play of the same title while isolated on the South Island. As the original compositions were turning out to be more delicate and skeletal than the improvised haze of Dissolve, Roy and Chris decided not to use the Dissolve moniker for the album...
MONTGOMERY, ROY / LAKE, KIRK London is Swinging by His Neck (Rocket Girl) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. New label by the brains behind Che has issued this UK single featuring Roy's rainy day guitar strum joined with the dead pan vocals of Kirk Lake.
MONTGOMERY, WILL / ROBERT CURGENVEN Heygate / Looking For Narratives On Small Islands (Winds Measure) lp 16.98
Two conceptually minded pieces of electro-acoustic minimalism found here on the first vinyl release from Winds Measure Recordings, known for some seriously exquisite letter pressed artwork and an aesthetic of austere sound experimentation. That austerity bridges the work of British composer Will Montgomery and the Australian sound artist Robert Curgenven, as does a shared use of controlled feedback (or at least the use of pure tones which flutter eerily in that fine style). Montgomery's piece is sourced entirely from the Heygate Estates, which was a huge public housing project located in London and sported a rather grim facade of neo-brutalist architecture which fell into disrepair by the turn of the millennium. Demolition of the site began in 2011, but has been stalled because of numerous environmental hazards which emerged through the process, notably the high concentration of asbestos. Montgomery wandered the Heygate Estates with a VLF recorder, contact microphones, and a wiretapping mic, collecting the corroded, ephemeral sounds of that space, layering the disembodied hiss, crackling static, and eerie hum into a beguiling collage akin to the work of Tarab, Loren Chasse, and Murmer. Curgenven's piece hails from a very cool sound art project that the Australian began during a European residency, in which he had Dubplates & Mastering (THEE place to get anything weird cut onto wax!) cut a handful of dubplates of a subtle feedback piece, but at an incredibly low level. In playing the dubplate back, one has to really crank the volume thus creating the opportunity for feedback to occur in playback between the stylus and the speaker. The surface noise that one would expect from such a strategy is present, but it's not overwhelming given how good D+M are at cutting their wax. In this composition sourced from that sound making system, Curvengen transmits sinewy feedback tones and deep electrical thrum amidst a dispersion of the cyclical hushed crackle from the vinyl's surface noise. Winds Measures normally releases cds and occasionally some tapes; but the label was very wise to release Curgenven's brilliantly realized concept on vinyl, finding an excellent complement in Will Montgomery. Limited to just 250 copies! Download card? No.
WILL MONTGOMERY "Heygate" MPEG Stream:
ROBERT CURGENVEN "Looking For Narratives On Small Islands"
MONTOYAN ARTESIAN CONNECTION s/t (Plus Tapes) cassette 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
MONTY PYTHON The Holy Grail Original Soundtrack (EMI Comedy) cd 12.98
Or more precisely, "The Album of the Soundtrack of the Trailer of the Film of Monty Python and The Holy Grail". This classic "soundtrack" is of course a hilarious comedy record in its own right, so even if you've seen "The Holy Grail" 300 times (and also, especially if you have), you'll still find much new to laugh at here. Includes most of the film's classic bits (Knights Who Say Ni, Brave Sir Robin, etc.) and then some. And, just like the original 1975 vinyl version, this is conveniently programmed into two tracks, side one and side two! There's no point in saying more, now is there? You probably want this, or your cd collection will be forever lacking. MUCH better than listening to your geeky Python obessed friends repeat the same sketches themselves (a pet peeve of Allan's).
MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS The Infamous TV Soundtrack 1969-1974 (De Wolfe) cd 17.98
MONUMENT OF URNS Absence (Hand Hewn Timbre) 3" cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. THE URNS RETURN. We never get tired of that. And we never get tired of Monument Of Urns, whose impossibly beautiful and crushingly suffocatingly heavy slow motion doom seems to effortlessly outpace all their doom-ed brethren. Four releases, each one a single track. A single 3"cd-r, meticulously designed and packaged. Each of those four tracks, massive and expansive, slooooooooooooow and so grimly gorgeous. Even at twenty minutes a pop, we can't ever get enough. The Urns' black doomscapes need to spread and sprawl, for hours, days, weeks. A sonic black plague slowly but systematically infecting the whole world. For those new to the world of Monument Of Urns, their sound is massive, ultra thick guitars, pummeling drums, howled harsh vocals, glacial tempos, incredible dynamics, complex arrangements, and here on Absence, the band have definitely hit a peak. Not as slow as past releases, this one is a monster. With super dynamic stop start segments, squealing streaks of harmonized feedback, guitars that buzz and crumble. The sound here is as much Eyehategod as Khanate. With a healthy dose of Harvey Milk. In fact, lots of this does definitely sound like a blackened Harvey Milk. The lurching mathy stumble, the churning downtuned chug, always with those feedback filled pauses. And somehow, Urns manage to make this caustic doomed brutality catchy. We even just caught Antaeus humming along with the main riff! We've been bugging the Urns to release a full length, or to let Andee re-release all the 3"s on tUMULt cd. But they are perfectly happy to work at their own pace, to create the elaborate packaging one at a time and by hand. To forge this black art, in some mysterious pit, unleashing each noxious missive, only when they deem we are worthy. So for now, we'll have to be happy with the occasional 20 minute helping of glorious black sludge. And wait patiently for the next one. As always, the packaging is amazing. An oversized cardstock sleeve, with an outer vellum sleeve, the overlapping designs meshing perfectly, the inside gatefold all elaborate fractals, the cd affixed to a nub on one of the inside panels. So nice.
MONUMENT OF URNS Blaspheme (Hand Hewn Timbre) cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. RETURN OF THE URNS!! Quite possibly our favorite one man black doom outfit is back, with installment FIVE, in his ever expanding canon of droning downtuned blackness, and as always, it's gorgeously and lovingly hand packaged, a black folded cardstock sleeve, printed in thick red ink on the front and back, a strange black on black skeleton mandala on the inside. The big change this time around is that Monument Of Urns has outgrown the 3"cd, this latest track, clocks in at a whopping 29 minutes, which seemingly forced a shift to a proper 5" cd-r. But beyond that, all is well, and grim, and bleak, and harrowingly dooooomy in the world of Urns. When we first put this in the computer, the song info came up "When The Wind Stopped Blowing - A Read To Your Child audiobook!" And while "When The Wind Stopped Blowing" does make a perfectly doomy title for a record, for this record even, evoking some sort of blackened wasteland, a burnt expanse of deadness and pestilence, these sounds are definitely a bit too intense for all but the grimmest of child folk. A churning, roiling mass of near static black riffage, crumbling and distorted, oozing and filthy, a SUNNO))) baked crawl, that seems to grow more and more dense and caustic and black, as the track progresses. It's not until over 10 minutes in that the drums finally kick in, a BPM of say maybe 3 or 4, a seriously lugubrious tarpit creep, way beyond funereal, this is doom that is dead and buried and dug up again, caked with blood and mud and human flesh, a lumbering sick sonic behemoth, ultra doom, many many o'd dooooom, crushing and punishing and pummeling, total black hole, hollow earth, end of humanity doom, eventually ditching the drums and forward momentum, as the shuddering black grime oozes back into whatever black void birthed it. So goddamn good. Why Urns isn't up there with Moss and Corrupted and SUNNO))) and Monarch and the rest of the grim slowpoke royalty we'll never understand, needless to say, if you dig the very very slow, and ultra ultra low, and can't get enough oooooozing blackness and soul crushing dooooooom, then prostrate yourself before the Monument Of Urns, and let the buzz and rumble wash over you in thick filthy black torrents...
"Blaspheme (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Blaspheme (excerpt 2)"
MONUMENT OF URNS Cruelty (Hand Hewn Timbre) 3" cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. THE RETURN OF THE URNS!! THE THIRD URNS!! We've been waiting patiently, almost a year now, for the next installment in Monument Of Urns' creeping crawling, and slowly coalescing masterpiece. A timeless epic, so massive, it can only be presented 20 minutes at a time. Each chapter a massive single track, each a piece of some unimaginable grand design. Each immaculately designed and presented. Each somehow impossibly heavier than the last. First there was The Ancient Method. Then there was The Destroyer Of All. And now, there is Cruelty. Another all too brief missive from the mysterious dark lord who guards the Monument Of Urns. Cruelty is another soul smiting slab of ultra sludge, a plodding doom metal behemoth, trudging endlessly forward, knee deep in murk and mire, wreathed in clouds of black buzz, a monstrously monolithic dirge, laying waste to any and all who kneel before it. In addition to the demonic growls, there seems to be some sort of strange monk like chanting, giving Cruelty a sort of demonically liturgical feel. The riff and pounding rhythmic pummel repeat like some sort of hellish mantra, over and over for nearly fifteen minutes, before the riffs devolve into a swirling black morass, over which harsh vocals struggle to be heard, the cries of a tortured soul, soon huge black hole pulses of downtuned crush drop from the sky, threatening to rent our puny planet asunder. The beast arises and continues its relentless rampage, until finally, all that is left is the chanting of those mysterious monks, praying that the beast will never return... Essential doom for the Skepticism, Moss, Bunkur, Esoteric, Khanate, Corrupted, Earth and SUNNO))) sets... And like the other two installments, gorgeously packaged in a fold over sleeve, printed with woodcut images and strange calligraphic text, the 3" cd-r affixed to the inside. All must worship before the Monument Of Urns. Or perish.
"Cruelty (excerpt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"Cruelty (excerpt 2)"
MONUMENT OF URNS The Ancient Method (Hand Hewn Timbre) 3" cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. A mysterious package showed up on our doorstep one day a few weeks ago. An oversized brown paper sleeve printed with all sorts of geometric figures, atop them a drawing of a curled up skeleton, and beneath the skeleton were printed the words Monument Of Urns. And along with it came a note, printed on the same paper and in the same manner, which said simply "Free doom for all". We were more than halfway to digging this before we even slapped it in the cd player. And moments later, free-doom was indeed ours! (But it'll cost you five bucks.) Included was a three inch cd-r, packed with 16 minutes of some of the most massive glacial super distorted, soul crushing doooooom we'd ever heard. Riffs that could flatten a city, given ample time to drift into nothingness before the next comes crashing down, a rhythm so slow and spare, it sounds like the drummer could smoke a cigarette between each snare hit, vocals, distant and hazy, as if being shouted from the bottom of a blackened pit, that sometimes roar ferociously before drifting back southward. Essential for fans of all things Skepticism, Bunkur, Esoteric, Corrupted, Earth, SUNNO))), Boris and the like!
"excerpt 1" MPEG Stream:
MONUMENT OF URNS The Destroyer Of All (Hand Hewn Timbre) 3" cd-r 4.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. THE URNS RETURNS!! We all went mad for the first release from mysterious outerspace underworld doom outfit Monument Of Urns, a massive glacial slab of black as tar, slow motion doom. A brief quarter of an hour, a mere three inches of utter doom and devastation. Beautifully packaged in an oversized cardstock sleeve. So fucking good but at the same time so cruel. It's the kind of track, the sort of sound that you want to go on forever and ever, an endless smear of blackened buzz. Of which we were blessed (cursed is maybe more appropriate) with only a tiny glimpse of the mighty beast. So we were psyched to discover a new, but similarly brief blast of that dismally delightful Urns ultradoom. This time it's in the form of a single 17 minute track entitled "The Destroyer Of All". Upping the drone / drift / ambient ante, "TDOA" begins with a long stretch of slow swirling metal guitars, drifting and droning, before even more guitars are piled on top, and then the drums hit, like someone dropping anvils from a seventh story window. A plodding, trudging stretch of 16rpm riffage and vocals so raw and distorted and distant they just sound like another layer of demonic buzz. So slow and heavy, so impossibly crushing, it's doom metal verging on ambience, sludge metal stretched dangerously close to complete drone-age. And we fucking love it. Someone has got to get these guys to take all of their 15 and 17 minute tracks and string them together into the ultimate doom symphony. A double disc, a triple disc even, we can hardly imagine it. ESSENTIAL for fans of all things Skepticism, Bunkur, Esoteric, Corrupted, Earth, SUNNO))), Boris and the like! Packaged in a cool oversized cardstock sleeve, with a mini 3" cd sleeve inside.
"The Destroyer Of All"
MONUMENT OF URNS The Old Man And Death (Hand Hewn Timbre) 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. Once again, the RETURN OF THE URNS!! For those keeping track, which is a lot of you we're guessing, considering how popular Monument Of Urns is around these parts, this is installment number SIX in the Urns' ongoing exploration of grim black dooooooooom, the sort of lurching, lumbering, blown out, downtuned ultraheaviness we can't ever seem to get enough of. Number six, The Old Man And Death, finds MoU returning to the format of the first 4 releases, a 3" cd-r, housed in a super striking, and meticulously designed oversized sleeve, this time around, there's a thick textured black screenprint of a skeleton riding a ghost horse on the front, and an on old style woodcut on the back, while inside, the disc sits in the middle of a geometric design, overlapping shapes beneath two angels. And like the past installments, The Old Man And Death is a single track, just shy of 21 minutes this time, and is another corrosive, filthy slab of abject, glacial, tarpit heaviness, the guitars massive, the riffs Teutonic, the drums simple and spare buy crushing, the instruments locked into a sinister plodding death march. The guitars crashing, and then slowly decaying, the riffs transformed into crumbling superdistorted rumbles, before the next riff crashes in. Feedback swirls, the vocals a howling shriek, barely audible, buried in the murk and mire. And while it's of course crushingly and suffocatingly heavy, it's also dark and droned out, strangely hypnotic, the arrangement very cyclical, repetitive, total trance inducing lowend black doom ritual for sure. Like SUNNO))) jamming with Monarch, or Khanate covering Winter, epic, majestic, slow and low, doom-drone-dirge bliss. Eventually some of the crush is peeled back, in a squall of feedback, revealing a strange muddy minimal riff, it too wreathed in feedback, but soon, that riff blossoms into another brutal black crawl, slithery and sinister, the sound even dronier, the vocals washed out and almost atmospheric, and so it goes, the Urns pounding and pounding and pummeling, until eventually, the sound seems to melt into a viscous black puddle, a swirling, oozing black mass, that rumbles and whirs and groans and buzzes in a gauzy psychedelic haze, before fading to black. Yet another installment in what has to be one of thee most perfect bodies of work in the extreme ultra doom / black / sludge / drone / dirge underground, and again, all the folks who love Monarch and Bunkur and Moss and The Body and Trees and Habsyll and Fleshpress and Atavist and Orthodox and all the rest, should most definitely be bowing down before Monument Of Urns...
"The Old Man And Death (exceprt 1)" MPEG Stream:
"The Old Man And Death (exceprt 2)"
MONUMENTS COLLAPSE s/t (50 Year Storm) lp 10.98
This is the debut release from this young local outfit, and it's a doozy. Obviously influenced by the post-metal heavies like Neurosis and Isis, they also infuse their sound with some seriously atmospheric twang flecked dreaminess a la Earth or Barn Owl. Two side long epics, each one a brooding slow build. Doomy for sure, but also atmospheric, and darkly psychedelic. Clouds of downtuned guitar shimmer ride atop, loping rhythms, all wreathed in a swirl of distant guitar shimmer. Opener "White Owl" begins total True Widow style slowcore, and we would have been perfectly happy if it just kept plodding along like that, hypnotic low slung doom-dirge mesmer, totally tranced out and dreamy. But then about four minutes in, the guitars com crashing down, blown out and in the red, huge heaving walls of cascading riffage. We sorta expected the band to stay locked into that doomy trudge, but instead, things settle down into that opening psychedelia again, before bursting into something much more math/post rocky, replete with some super tense leads, emotional and minor key, adds some serious pathos and drama to the proceedings, and again, we would have been just as happy if it never got heavy/loud again, but obviously it does, and we were pretty darn happy about that too, a dense, chugging mathy tangle, that explodes into a churning doomy groove, complete with bellowed, glass gargling vox, eventually slowing down to an almost ultra-doom sludge, before once again, returning to the dark psych-dirge opening, only to surprise with one final burst of skull caving heaviness right at the end. The flipside offers up another variation, similarly structured but a bit more riffy, the vocals swooping in much earlier this time, the sound a bit like a more raw, and more fierce Katatonia, but with the same sort of minor key melodicism, and like the first side/track, the song seems to swing back and forth between the two, mixing it up here, by wedding those bellowed vokills to the clean guitar and rums breakdown, before once again bursting into some seriously headbanging riffery and some soaring, emotional Godspeed style crescendos. Fans of all things slow and low, heavy and sludge-y, post metal and metallic post rock, will wonder where these guys have been all their lives. And as mentioned above, clear a little space between your Isis and Neurosis records, cuz while this might not be the most original sound ever, these guys do it really well, and add their own sonic twists, and while this is pretty great for a first record, it definitely points toward some bigger and better things to come.
"White Owl" MPEG Stream:
"Out Of Darkness"
MONUMENTS COLLAPSE / BREAG NAOFA split (Halo Of Flies / Shove) lp 10.98
Brand new split from local heavies Monuments Collapse, whose debut lp was a big hit around here, fusing Neurosis / Isis style post metal heaviness, with brooding psychedelic slowcore a la True Widow. Their half of this new split finds them in equally fine form, opening with a gorgeous bit of psych folk ambience, before launching into some epic, majestic, crushing heaviness, all throat shredding howl, and blown out, lumbering doomic crush, but like that debut, MC's sound manages to remain rife with melody, the vibe melancholic, the sound laced with droned out, downtuned thrum, not to mention some extended space jam mesmer, chugging, churning, soaring metallic majesty. They close their side of the split with the 10+ minute "Pathos", that begins all meandering post rock drift, chiming melodies, subtle percussion, a stripped down rhythm, and thick, rumbling bass, totally tranced out and moody, the sound building slowly to some serious epic metallic mathiness, the sound blossoming into full on Godspeed style metallic epicry, that stretches out for the remainder of the track/side. So great. It's only a matter of time before the rest of the world catches on. The flipside comes from Breag Naofa, a progged out doom sludge combo from the Pacific Northwest, who were a big surprise for sure, their sound equalling Monuments Collapse in terms of metallic heft and sonic majesty, the opening few minutes, super melodic and mathy, unwinding an epic instrumental jam, that sounds a bit like a way more metal Mogwai, until the vocals come swooping in, a monstrous bellow, the music following suit, thick downtuned riffage, massive drum pound, the song churning and roiling malevolently (but still melodically), before slipping into a washed out post rocky sprawl, all muted steel string strum, chiming chords, and sinewy, spidery bassline, eventually working its way back up to an epic and emotional coda, plaintive and melancholic, sounding a bit like Neurosis crossed with Alcest... The second track is more of the same. Opening with a rumbling raga like buzz, punctuated by monster drum pound, thick sprawling guitar buzz, and some strange percussion, before exploding into a tarpit trudge, thick chugging guitars and keening high end leads, definitely reminiscent of Neurosis (circa Enemy Of The Sun), brooding and massive, like the first track, it winds down into some spaced out psychedelic drift, and once again works its way back to one final blast of pound and pummel, all dense guitar chug and churning double kick drumming, locked into a seriously crusty doom-ic groove, before gradually fading to nothing. Killer stuff from both bands for sure, and man do we want to hear more from Breag Naofa...
MONUMENTS COLLAPSE "Starvation" MPEG Stream:
BREAG NAOFA "VII"
MONYPENY, DEREK Don't Bring Me Down, Bruce (Raheem) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Bay Area folks might remember Derek Monypeny from the ferociously explosive, improvisational trio Oaxacan. Their fiery brand of Eastern flecked, face-melting psych mastery was truly amazing to behold live. Sadly their time as a band was short-lived, but guitarist Derek Monypeny continues his journey into the desert cosmos with his debut lp of solo oud. Though he has also played guitar in Sir Richard Bishop's touring band, Mr. Monypeny decided to put the blaring fuzz and virtuosic six-string tendencies aside and opted for a more traditional approach here. These beautifully minimal pieces of eloquent, contemplative oud unfold like ancient narratives, evoking dramatic images of ghostly mirages, shimmering horizons and the desert sun sinking under pale dunes. Side A unfolds with gorgeously sparse, delicate movements of slowly picked oud, each note rising up then dropping down like diamonds in the sand. We love the patient, reflective pace of the songs, each note carefully plucked and sent off like a gentle offering into the night. While side A reveals Monypeny employing the art of restraint and patience, side B finds Monypeny on the periphery of tradition, drenching the oud in hazy reverb and other effects that tastefully reiterate the instrument's Saharan roots. Reminiscent of Sandy Bull's oud outings, these final two pieces warble and melt in the hot sun, tremolo washes and smeared melody hover in the arid sky as the rhythmic haze and gentle noise lull you deeper into the cosmic badlands. So gorgeous and so perfect. Highly recommended for fans of anything related to Sublime Frequencies for sure. Limited to an edition of 250, don't be left in the Saharan dust!
MONYPENY, DEREK Limerance (Underwater Experiences) cassette 3.98
MOOG (OST) (Hollywood) cd 17.98
Where would we be without the Moog synthesizer? Well, we'd be missing a whole lot of our favorite artists that's for sure. In fact Stereolab would just disappear in the blink of an eye. Thankfully, the Moog is still everywhere, and for years has shaped the sounds and songs of tons of our favorite bands. None of us have seen the movie yet (by filmmaker/musician Hans Fjellestad), but the soundtrack is a doozy! Featuring tracks from Stereolab (obviously), Jean-Jaques Perrey, Luke Vibert, Meat Beat Manifesto, Tortoise, Money Mark, The Album Leaf, Bernie Worrell and Bootsy Collins and loads more. But it's the bonus disc that hits the spot and offers up some of our favoritest classic Moog moments: Emerson, Lake And Palmer, Gary Numan, Devo, New Order, They Might Be Giants and of course Yes!
STEREOLAB "Variation One" MPEG Stream:
TORTOISE "Beautiful Love"
MOOG A Documentary Film By Hans Fjellestad (Plexifilm) dvd 24.00
Oh man! Where would we be without the Moog (pronounced MOAG, not MOOG). We wouldn't have Stereolab, or Tortoise, or E.L.P. (says Andee!) or almost any of the risk taking bands of the last thirty years. Well, we'd probably still have 'em but boy would they sound completely different. And most certainly not nearly as good! The history of Robert Moog (who is unbelievably cute and so effusive about his keyboards and the folks who play them) and the development of the synthesizer is totally fascinating, especially so for music tech nerds, but definitely fun for anyone to watch. Loads of insane footage from the sixties and seventies: Moog instructional videos, live performances, interviews, and up close examinations of the machine itself, a snarled mass of wires and knobs and plugs that look almost organic, like the inside of a human being! But it's definitely the live performances that drive the point home, showing the Moog in its element demonstrating quite easily how it managed to define and recreate the possibilities of synthesized sound! A particularly awesome clip features Gershon Kingsley (of Perrey and Kinglsey) defending the Moog against critics who at the time claimed it was a machine NOT a musical instrument, some Stereolab shot right here in SF, and of course some INSANE Keith Emerson Moog jams. Later in the film there's a brief bit on the theremin, but for the most part it's all about the moog! Extra stuff includes deleted scenes, interviews with DJ Spooky, TIm Gane of Stereolab, Charlie Clouser of Nine Inch Nails, and more Bob Moog himself, as well as extra live footage from Money Mark, The Album Leaf, and more. Probably the most amazing extra though is a Schaefer Beer commercial, where a dude all decked out in his seventies finery, plays a wild Moog-ed up version of the Schaefer beer theme before pouring himself a tall cool one!!
MOOLAH Woe Ye Demons Possessed (EM Records) cd 22.00
Fantastic! We weren't expecting it all all, but this long-gone AQ fave has just been repressed and is back in stock!! We went nuts for this when it first was reissued by EM back in 2005, we probably only didn't make it a Record Of The Week back then 'cause of the steep import price (it was $28, it's now a bit cheaper, yay!) and 'cause were had to get 'em direct from Japan, but in the years since EM has gotten better US distribution. So if you missed it before, you're in luck now. Here's what we wrote the first time, back on list #239: YESS!!! Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod! Those are direct quotes from Allan the day he discovered, totally out of the blue, that this album had been reissued on cd by the Japanese label EM Records. Kerry and Andee were both in the office that day and can attest that Allan just about jumped out of his skin, his voice positively yelping with excitement. And now we're ALL going ohmigod, ohmigod too since the box from Japan that Allan ordered arrived and Moolah is among us. Ok, so what the heck is Moolah?? Well we're talking a super-obscure psychedelic/experimental Holy Grail album here. Allan only knew about it 'cause he'd heard some of it on a cd-r burn that our pal Loren Chasse had gotten from Jan Anderzen of Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat. Totally weird, damaged, krautrocky cosmic psych with electronic drones, haunting classical piano, and fucked up rhythms! According to Anderzen, it was an ultra rare LP from the '70s by a band called Moolah, entitled Woe Ye Demons Possessed. Wow. Allan found it hard to believe that was really true, and that it wasn't just something recorded by some genius Finnish forest freak friend of Anderzen's directly for the cd-r. But some diligent research revealed that the mysterious Moolah was indeed a band from New York who released an album on what was probably their own label, Druidstone (!), in 1974. But it was still pretty much unknown and almost utterly unobtainable. It didn't seem to have ever been reissued. And even our most '70s knowledgeable psych-rock reissue supplier in Sweden hadn't heard of it at all. But we never lost hope. And now, thanks to the extremely strange and cool Japanese label EM Records, here at last we present to you Moolah on cd! We're still left in the dark about a lot of the details of this mysterious record's history (EM's sales info is mostly in Japanese*) but from the album cover notes reproduced in the cd package we can tell you that the men behind Moolah were a duo named Walter Burns and Maurice Roberson, who recorded this, "their paranormal concertwork ...a cosmic rock relaxation creation" at a "secret studio in New York's Greenwich Village". There's also some amazing pagan poetry on the sleeve, here's a few lines: "Licking BLOOD Drinking TEARS Sacrificing LOVE on the Altar of Tomorrow Eating FRUITS of Stolen Vineyards With Withered Young Mouthes That Sing The OLD SONGS WHICH WERE FORBID". And the music is as amazing as what Allan remembered. Dreamy, beautiful ambience -and- disturbingly chaotic, claustrophobic sounds. Shimmery, murky, distorted, primitive... is it even rock music? For the day, about as far out as you could get. Indeed, ahead of its time. Such tracks as "Crystal Waters", "Terror Is Real" and "The Hard Hit" are lo-fi jams full of dubby echo effects, indistinct voices intoning New Age ideas, crazy backwards percussion, and insectoid squiggles of electronics. And we think we heard a purring cat in there too. The question is: did the Moolah duo simply inhabit their own, messed-up, mystical little world (which seems likely, judging by those sleeve notes of theirs), or had these guys heard records by early Kraftwerk, Amon Duul, Kluster, and Neu!? We wonder. But either way, the krautrock scene's freakiest had nothing on Moolah. File with such rare, eccentric, outsider psych artifacts as the Cromagnon's Orgasm, Yahowha 13's Penetration, and Comus' First Utterance. What a find. If you like weird, lost, lovely, maybe a bit frightening music THIS IS FOR YOU. *Here's Google's automatic translation of the Japanese-only info EM provided: "The [kozumitsuku] psychedelic album where 1974, two youths of New York are identified [mura] and announce. The piano, the keyboard and the percussion musical instrument electric set and electronic sound, esoteric Buddhism vocal sound, drawn, concrete sound, the delay effect, it is the work which is formed with tape opposite revolution."
"Crystal Waters" MPEG Stream:
"Courage" MPEG Stream:
MOOMAW Don't You Just Love (Gazebo Music) lp 9.98
MOOMAW, NATHAN 26 (Cazelo Music) cd 10.98
MOON Caduceus Chalice (Moribund) cd 16.98
We first heard Australian one man black metal band Moon, on a three way split with Nekros Manteia and long time aQ fave Nekrasov. At the time, we described Moon's sound as merging black metal atmosphere with more contemplative noise elements, resulting in a creepy, unsettling droned out chunk of twisted experimental blackness. Caduceus Chalice seems to be the fully realized vision of what was only hinted at on that one track, a sprawling songsuite equal parts murky blown out riffage, and blurred blackened ambience, a spectral black soundworld, the guitars, woozy and lugubrious, sounding at times like they're being played in slow motion, the stretches of atmospheric ambience, only a step away from Philip Jeck or the Caretaker, that same sort of of washed out, faded feel, and Moon does deliver the blackness, the riffing is blurred and smeared into whirling streaks of sounds, layers of softly undulating black gauze, wrapped around surprisingly poppy guitar melodies, and the drumming, muted and buried until it's just a heartbeat like pulse, the only TRULY black metal element is the vocals, but even those are hazy and seemingly wordless, wreathed in effects, that lets them seemingly melt into the sounds around them. A lot of Caduceus Chalice almost sounds like the record was recorded at 45, and then pressed to disc at 33, everything exuding a sort of haunted drag, as if the sounds were trying to extricate themselves from some black sonic tarpit. There are moments where that murky atmosphere is shrugged off, for the most part, and Moon can engage in some proper buzz and blast, but even them, there's a gauzy patina over everything, muting the sounds and dulling the sharp edges, which only makes everything seem that much more mysterious and ominous. Minus the vocals, this almost sounds like some sort of experimental shoegaze blackdrone record, drifting and hovering, lumbering and loping as much if not more then buzzing and blasting. "Caduceus" might be our favorite of the bunch, a mournful midtempo lament, that were it not for the vokills, would be the prettiest saddest doom pop song ever, but with the vox added, just sounds that much more anguished and abject. The record finishes off with the 19 minute "Chalice", a lumbering balladic dirge, the drums simple and Swans-like, the guitars whirling amorphous chordal clouds, processed vocals adding a haunting choral quality, reminding us a bit of Skepticism, but again, sweetly melancholic and darkly melodic, no vocals either, so this could totally pass for some blackened dronepop ballad, even though it's actually a washed out ghostlike slo-mo black metal lament. Fans of Xasthur and Moloch and other purveyors of mournful, ambient, buzz drenched blackness would do well to explore Moon's mysterious soundworld...
"Forest Samhain" MPEG Stream:
MOON DARK / HARASSOR split (Universal Consciousness) 7" 4.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It doesn't get more kvlt than this. Two of the grimmest black metal bands California has to offer. One from SF, one from LA, each rumored to include members of some other more well known black metal bands, the sound of both bands, raw and primitive, stripped down, furious and buzzy, simple and pounding. The true measure of a black metal band these days is their MySpace presence. The truly grim and kvlt, still somehow manage to whip up a Myspace page, even though that's probably the last kvlt activity imaginable. We like to imagine bands in the forest, or in a cave recording, or covered in blood and corpsepaint wandering through the snowy mountains, not hunched over a laptop writing html. But still a quick look at both bands' MySpace pages reveal that Moon Dark are truly the most hateful and grim band in the land, read as they defend their shitty logo, and their stupid band name, while still managing to accuse all other bands of being false metal and lame poseurs and call for the death of all Christians. While we discover that Harassor are pretty badass looking, fronted by a HUGE bearded bald dude, with corpsepaint and a big upside down cross on his forehead that stretches all the way up to his bare pate. Excellent. Sonically, both bands tread similar ground. Pounding buzz drenched stripped down black metal. Think Akitsa, Ildjarn, Bone Awl and the like. Moon Dark is the more lo-fi of the two, a furious super distorted rehearsal space sound, the vocals a hysterical shriek over chugging midtempo riffage and barely audible drums (assuming there are drums at all). Occasionally, the riff slips into a bizarre almost circusy sing-song melody which is fucked up but actually awesome, before slipping back into grim buzz mode. The Harassor side is not so lo-fi but still plenty grim and buzzy, total d-beat style heaviness, Akitsa, Malveillance, pounding drums, SUPER buzzed out guitars, killer gurgly demonic vox, and even some strange scrappy guitar parts which are super cool. Creepy and almost Misfits-y at times, but buzzy and black enough to hold their own with Moon Dark. LIMITED TO 300 COPIES. Each numbered in human blood. Black and white printed sleeves, and pressed on white vinyl!
MOON DUO Catch As Catch Can (Agitated Records) 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. What do you really need to know here? A NEW MOON DUO 7" (their first?), and the inaugural release for new UK label Agitated Records. We know by now that the Moon Duo of Erik "Ripley" Johnson (um, of Wooden Shjips if you haven't already heard...) and Sanae Yamada are unstoppable, and once again, they deliver. "Catch As Catch Can" is the band's most energetic song to date with a super distorted fuzz organ riff and a guitar that sounds like a shimmering sheet of white noise. It's relentless and catchy as hell, sure to stick in your mind for days. The B-side is a cover of a Scientists tune, and in contrast to the A-side, this represents Moon Duo's slower, more groove oriented persona. The stuttered beat is accompanied by heavily saturated fuzz chords and pleasant little synth blips before rising to a crazy and amazing fuzz solo. Bonus points for the cool as fuck magic eye cover art. Yep, this one kills, and at only 1000 copies worldwide, just know it won't be sticking around for long.
MOON DUO Circles (Sacred Bones) cd 14.98
Record number three from aQ beloved modern minimalist psych-kraut combo Moon Duo, initially an offshoot of psych rockers Wooden Shjips, but over the last few years, it seems the 'Duo have been way more active than the mothershjip. This latest record from the Shjips' Ripley Johnson and his partner, Sanae Yamada, taking up right where the last one, Mazes, left off, the duo weaving lush, hypnotic, jams, expanding their sound with every record, Circle being the most polished, and certainly the most poppy. They still worship at the altar of Spacemen 3, you can't really play this sort of music and not, but the sound this time around is definitely less dark, more sun dappled and dreamy, and the pop element is huge, with some of the songs sounding downright noisepoppy, even the more tranced out krauty jams, find the duo adding multiple melodies, layering their guitars and synths, and most excitingly, singing together much more, the boy/girl harmonies downright dreamy. While the opener "Sleepwalker" is about as close to classic Moon Duo as Circles gets, it sort of feels like they're easing us into it, cuz "I Can See" is propulsive and driving, a little bit bouncy, but Yamada and Johnson sing the chorus together, before Johnson lets loose with some wild gouts of psych guitar. The sound is still plenty sinister, and darkly hued, but that is NOT the case on the title track, which is fuzzy and super poppy the intertwined vocals and the killer chorus, not to mention a super melodic lead, it's a sunshinier side of Moon Duo, one that we sort of like. "I Been Gone" is almost new wavey, a percolating melody over a driving groove, and another pretty excellent chorus. Our only complaint with past Moon Duo records really, and a minor one at that, was that their songs were less songs, so much as just cool parts, the band would play the part, a killer psychedelic krautrocky groove, until they stopped, this was even more evident live, where they would push play on the drum machine, then start the song, then eventually stop, the programmed rhythm continuing on unwavering, until they pushed stop. Here, the songs sound much more crafted, and composed, as if they were meant to be the length they are, a certain number of verses and choruses, and then end, and somehow they manage that without losing that sense of endless jamminess, which was part of the joy of Moon Duo's sound. And for all the took of new sounds and more poppiness, fear not, there's still plenty of tranced out psychedelic brood, and looped hypno rock mesmer. "Sparks" is classic Moon Duo, as is the epic loping closer "Rolling Out", with its Spacemen 3 riff and monster groove, but then out of nowhere comes the weird, pulsing, effects drenched stomp of "Free Action", with its stuttering guitars and woozy descending almost glammy sounding chorus. So good, just enough of the classic old sound, balanced with a whole lot of the new, is making this a big fave around here for sure!
"Sleepwalker" MPEG Stream:
"I Can See" MPEG Stream:
"Circles" MPEG Stream:
"I Been Gone"