Saturday, June 12, 2010

Moon Runners Full Enough (Rack & Ruin)

Duo Danny Natter-Jake Jones comes from Olympia, USA, the city with decent musical traditions, launching an inspiring art/avant-punk line. Music which is a mixture of motorik patterns, blues, garage, math-rock, post-hardcore, surf rock, and psychedelic seeds. 11 tracks within circa 45 minutes do show some affinity toward The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Times New Viking, The Fall, The White Stripes, the 80`s end Sonic Youth, Big Black, and The Stooges as well. The tracks have relatively short duration, averaging two and a half minutes out, which is sufficient enough, to deliver a spicy and noisy sonic depeche. The opening track All Cops Are Murderers does open up through exhilarating surf-y blues refrains while opposing to it primitivistic declamations to have created an intriguing contrast. My Name Is Not Mud strikes with Mark E Smith-ian cynism, and the clash coming out from guitars and drums. Indeed, all what regards Natter and Jones noise doings it is completely targeted and refined. In the track Wolf Shirt all is about to speak in the terms of very harshness, accompanied by a minimalist electronics (compare it to The Fall`s Perverted By Language). I Want to Say No is also driven by similar bass-synth outlines - still edge-y and psychedelic ones. The ending track Death Tunnel can be considered as exceptional - an nearly 17-minute long colossus, which provides the opportunity to have some experiments with form and content - after the intense hits of blues and noise rock you can hear atmospheric and reversed upper sonic sentiments, which is apparently the case of minimalism. One of the best.

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Foxes In Fiction Swung From The Branches (Orchid Tapes)

Warren Hildebrand, an youngster from Toronto has gradually beefed up his position in the powerful (post-rock/ experimental folk/experimental indie/ambient) music scene in the North America. His debut album Swung From The Branches - the talk of which will be coming about now - will be soon released under the label Moongadget which is better known by the artists of such as Hella, Casino Versus Japan, Benoit Pioulard, Praveen, Dykehouse (though, the last three names are related through some compilations). However, he bears the course, and the indie bible Pitchfork dedicated an relatively lengthy introduction to the forthcoming event.

Swung From The Branches was firstly published by the Canadian`s own tape label Orchid Tapes. What makes his sound special? Certainly one of the (technical) premises is a dense blending of analogue and digital technology. Indeed, the sounds are recorded onto tapes , on the other hand, the use of digital reverb machines gives it another dimension. Having integrated different sonic waves into an organic whole it can only hints at a musician`s cleverness. The album of 19 tracks can be divided into two parts. First section is introduced by hilarious ambient/atmospheric post-rock numbers, in which you can hear tape hisses in a positive way, sometimes even pastoral primitivism evoking from somethere. Above all, it reminds me of the Fort Collins scene`s doings, especially M. Pyres` ambient experiments in some albums. However, the middle tempo rhythms, spoken word/storytelling, but first and foremost giving to the soundscape faster move, and the new phase started. The musique concrete-embedded items are subtly added to open-felt electro-acoustic environments, there are also viewable some experiments with pitch-effects, and various volume intensities. New Panic Cure is the first indie number demonstrating instantly, why the great hopes are set upon him; Jimi Bleachball does recall My Bloody Valentine, in particular, through Hildebrand` s vocal manner and timbre, which is getting really close to Kevin Shields himself (compare it to Off Your Face, and Moon Song). The title song is opened window/door laptop folk, which contains a lot of tape manipulations, and psychedelic vowel textures. Though Shields was mentioned herein, the closest of Hildebrand`s contemporaries is obviously Bradford Cox. In the same context one of the highlights of the album is 15 Ativan (Song for Erika). Dynamic indietronica/poptronica simply pushes the serotonine to flow to higher levels. One of the masterpieces of the year!

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[Live Session] Live at WFMU on Brian Turner's show, 5/4/2010

The French duo/love pair Nafi aka Scott Serpent, and Armelle aka Bisoubisou remained me first time with the excellent single pair on label Beko DSL (though, it wasn`t their first release yet). The duo mixed avant-punk and no wave creating an astonishingly ecstatic milieu around the listeners.

9 tracks within 36 minutes provide a way out set of post-punk, no wave, dub, reggae, and the world music, in-between filled by monotonous shamanism (Intro / Reggae 1 / Rising Son), exploiting in the primitivistic way programmed synths and electronics, sheer psychedelic layers and noise walls. The most remarkabale it is their ability and ratio to realize their conceptual sketches to bring ideas into an end - into a real apotheosis (Reggae 2; Tropique du Cancer). All of those nihilistic shifts and vectors, though uncompromising ones, are mere instruments to fill this purpose. The band is ruled by democracy (or should I say rather anarchy?) - sometimes sings Nafi, sometimes Armelle, sometimes they sing in unison. By speaking about parallels and legends it reminds of the early PIL, The Clash, The Slits, The Screamers, Karen Cooper Complex, Sonic Youth, even Elastica, and from nowadays it is a bit reminiscent of Gang Gang Dance. However, it does not make sense to think The Dreams could somehow to be the bastard of one of them. Listen and enjoy, and if it is for purpose you could take a lesson for to be aware of how practicing punk music in the `adequate` way.

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[Old but important] Ashbrg Music for Cats (Hamsterloco)

Actually the first premise is very promising anyway - Aleix Pitarch `s music is without any doubts always liked by me, and secondly, the cats are always enough cute to be welcomed and dedicated something to them. However, can we expect the new turns regarding artistic freedom, i.e playing with various forms and genres?

30-year old Catalan has released a bunch of personal issues under his own Hamsterloco label, many of whom have been re-issued recently. Indeed, Music for Cats, consisting of 17 tracks and enduring merely 32 minutes, was initally brought to an end in 1998 having revealed his unconventional approach to 8-bit/tracker music. On the one hand, all of those acid synth lines, bewildering and quaint sonic layers and mutated samples, and on the other side, it is all blended into a weird mix with a lot of diverse references - drum and bass, big beat, downtempo, ambient, and chilltronica. Even indie tunes are represented here - actually red eyes does bid bass sequences which, indeed, are probably one of the best moments on it. Also, there are quite a lot primitivistic sound collage as well, which conceptually is immanently concomitant with 8-bit music anyway, though, it seems the Barcelonan is used to involve to trying to magnify even more differencies and gaps to bring forth interesting contrasts between its parts. In any cases, though, psychedelic undercurrents are the corpuscles of his bloodstream. There are some very eccentric tracks too - for instance, country phone, does it belong more to the Kenny Rodgers`universe, or the Bruce Haack/The Jackpine Savage`s weird one, though? Will it be playlisted in Country music radio shows? Another example, flinser, is a hauntingly rumbling one, or spy which is built up on a sample of a sufi song, or empty going on a fly and disappearing into endless desolation. However, if you are being aware of Pitarch`s favorite artists (David Bowie, Cocteau Twins, The Residents, Deerhof, Scott Walker, The Cure, Yellow Magic Orchestra) it does not surprise you, though.

No doubt, it is one of the top releases in the 8-bit/tracker music universe.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Hox Vox Mjöllnir (Jamendo)

45-year old Gianluca Missero have reached its sixth album yet. More exactly, `Mjöllnir` means Thor `s hammer, and all the songs, except one, bear the names of the gods of the Vikings. At the peak of the last year was released curious club beat-driven Hurry Up Harry - Part 1 which in spite of all promises have yet not found a sequel - instead of it the Venetian is generally back to his old habits, exploring and discovering new angles of avant-garde and progressive rock. As he himself has pointed it out his purpose is to melt together sacre and profane. Therefore, Missero as a great creator has much aspects to add to his diverse yet excellent discography. The Italian does open some burning doors being never opened before. On the other hand, it shouldn`t be surprising at all, because Mjöllnir is titled as `zeuhl`. Indeed, in the conceptual heart of the album there are brittle bass undercurrents, scratchy guitars, the drum cascades by rote, enough interesting entries into symphonies, theatrically obscure keyboards, and classically overwhelmed mannerisms. Chaos and order - on and off, and softness and roughness do change its places as well. Even the pomp elements are used to have influence on you to get your hands up. Crafty, decorous, enjoyable, and consistent. Unquestionably one of the best publications from the RIO/avant-prog field altogether I have had the honour to know.

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Least Carpet Least Carpet (Dying For Bad Music/Bandcamp)

Marko Martini aka Least Carpet `s debut album has epithets such as `psychedelic` and `experimental`. Indeed, it`s expressively psychedelic, and in this regard the magic of his music has already been attributed to some sort of mushrooms and weed. However, it is unlikely that the necessity arises at all, so far as this kind of music for the projection is not needed to show up by decisive pictures or fictions. Although being a conception of the folk, it is quite far from the well-known folk tradition. The German man`s concept is instrumental not being subordinated to any statements or visions. Just expandingly streaming sounds, the harmonies in movement, non-traditional instrumentation (a bouzuki, a melodica, flutes, guitars, cymbals, a Jew`s harp). Certainly, Least Carpet neither does deliver the extravagancy or ecstasy of freak folk, nor it is the part of the Eastern and Central European traditional music movements - as opposed to what is being mentioned in their home label website, except for Old Wedding Song, which treats the Hungarian folk music with some rhythmic influences from the Balkan Peninsula. The experimental side is primarily reflected through growings from harmonies into long droning keys, and skilful using of guitar and its effects within ethnic instrumentals. All of those who are being familiar with the Children Of The Drone (and its adjacent projects), and Six Organs Of Admittance, however, it will constantly be telling you of belonging intrinsically to the Indian music tradition. And the parallels can also be drawn with Charalambides` dragging psych lines. In most cases, very beautiful, it is like the opening of a lotus flower (A Narrow Path (Part II); Leaving) ). I am being remembered it is already the another great album in the vein of experimental folk from Germany in few months (after gillicuddy The yaouhl! Mashups).

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