guest post! extracts from the joe posset end-of-year round up! part two of two: conference of gurgles

December 12, 2012 at 7:11 am | Posted in musings, new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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OK, for preamble from both me and from Joe Murray, guest author of this post, see part one below.  No need to repeat ourselves here – on with part two:

(with continued apologies to those whose pictures I’ve stolen.  Click on the linked bits for further info and/or purchasing details)

–ooOoo–

hapsburg braganza - recurring dreams

Hapsburg Braganza – Recurring Dreams LP x 2 (Alt Vinyl)

Guitar reigns supreme here.  A faded, scrubbed, scuffed guitar sound that seems to slink along the skirting boards.  Sombre chordings and plucks play with time, swinging in places (‘Dolomite 98’ is almost jolly; like a weary parent’s forced smile) adding space like Dub.  To keep it all frosty Phil introduces the occasional fear piano (hear ‘In Holland Cloth’ brother and tremble) and dervish organ (mainline ‘Golding’s Eclipse’) with fog grey electronics smeared carefully over a few of the tracks.  The biggest Hapsburg surprise is the addition of super subtle drums every now and again; courtesy of Bong’s Mike Smith.  A lazy journalist would point to the drums and shout “A-Ha.  Slow drums and slow guitar…that’s post-rock that is!”  And of course they would be wrong.  There’s an older tradition here.  The tradition of the saga, the legend, the epic story shared between glowing faces over a roaring fire.  Recurring Dreams is a lengthy wallowing in the Kingdom of Hapsburg…and this is a place where you need to take your time, pull up a stool, bathe your feet in the stream. Recorded mostly in the early hours, on the edge of sleep, gives Recurring Dreams a definite feel…we often talk of peripheral vision…could this claim to be the first example of peripheral listening?

cabbage rosette with phil minton

Cabbage Rosette with Phil Minton – Ran out of breath licking elegy nipple, cough and fall to bits, tight chest as achievement? CD-R (Total Vermin)

Balls out skronk from Messers Poot & Vermin abetted by Mr ‘jazzface’ Minton on swelling tubes.  Over-blown kitchen electronics huff each and every cough and splutter so the inward sigh becomes symphonic, the lip smack a thunderbolt.  Squeaky doors or plastic tape cover are rattled to destruction (screeechhh, scraaaaaw) and the only recognisable ‘instrument’; a phat keyboard, blebs in dopey chimes, once, twice then not at all.  Sounds are fairly poured over each over with abandon and mixed up with a hot spoon.  There’s little structure or reason to this making it all the more fun and engaging.  The frenzied jerk and Tourette’s tick keep the energy up.  You can almost picture them, shoulders up to earholes, spazzing out on spittle warp.  Things get more crimped towards the end when what sounds like some remedial turntable abuse plays up against mouth babble and the whole thing ends in a conference of gurgles and wet-fart lippings.  13 mins in total…the perfect length.

blue spectrum - i almost drowned

No Artist – Untitled aka Blue Spectrum – I Almost Drowned MC (Blue Spectrum Tapes)

Sorry about the mystery surrounding the name here.  It’s all very confusing…if you’re trying to check it out it’s got a Pegasus on the cover.  Released in a huge edition of 3!  Flipping open the case and slapping this into the deck starts a strange claustrophobic trip.  Recorded in the lowest of all know fidelities this sounds like a penguin colony getting their hands on some sharpened sticks and menacing the keepers.  The bars of the enclosure are wired up to the mains and blasted apart using slow dynamite.  Sparks fly, low crunching fills the air and before long blubber and blood lap up against the sides of the pool.  Things get pretty nasty towards the end of side one with granite hammers being thrown at a giant insect-o-cutor.  High tape strangeness in the mould of an early Prick Decay or pre-school Cock ESP or something.  Side two couples its buffers to classic dark noise territory and sounds like massively amplified rolling stock slamming on the breaks and keeping them there for 25 mins.  Metal on metal screech and heavy rumbling fuss make this a steam powered listen, all oily and soot covered sideburns.  Refreshing as a Irn-Bru enema.

(Editor’s note: in the spirit of investigative journalism Joe contacted Simon of Blue Spectrum for further information and got the following response:

As far as the title and artist goes there wasn’t any, although I credited myself on discogs just to say who made it. I didn’t want it to have a name or title. On the spine there is ripped paper in place of where the artist and title would usually go. I think how you referred to it was perfect no artist – untitled aka blue spectrum ‘I almost drowned’ because it gives it an identity. The official label name is Blue Spectrum Tapes. This is the discogs page.  I will be making another batch of these soon, maybe 10 or so copies.

…so now you know.)

jazzfinger - destroyed form

Jazzfinger – Destroyed Form MC (Handmade Birds)

One sided cassette that opens the door to forbidden times.  At some level all Jazzfinger records are an exercise in archaeology.  Although I have a brand new tape in my hands the actual recordings could have been made 20 years ago and only now have filtered through the arcane and secret Jazzfinger process known only to Has, Ben and Sarah.  As it happens this does invoke ‘early’ Jazzfinger when cymbals and organ played a much bigger part in the ritual.  ‘Ocean is free’ sounds like my earliest memories of Jazzfinger with the singing-grainy organ, tape wobble and sickly cymbal tapping.  ‘Sun Punishment’ lurches forward in time to the white-out-guitar-squall period blowing static clouds of electric fuss all over.  This one is more badly behaved than most JF jams delving into metallic tantrum through to a come down of goblin hammers tinkling.  The final jam ‘blown cotton woodland’ sounds like the soundtrack to some terrible conspiracy theory documentary on cable.  A doomy horsefly buzzing in your ear, some backmasking sound manipulation drawing to a close of throbbed out organ bliss.

acrid lactations - presidential

The Acrid Lactations – The Presidential cow is bound to the maypole MC (Total Vermin)

This tape pretty much takes every gob-punk cliché and bombs them back to year zero.  Very fucking warped skronk and then some extra double girl on boy skronk are the order of the day.  Things seem to be in both real time and then manipulated via bad-electronics at random, making for a discombobulating listen.  Moaning and groaning is fighting with pinched throat gurgles, drawn out mouth drones stray to the fore with a more high pitched keening just at the edge of my (admittedly damaged) hearing.  Regular instruments are jettisoned as being bourgeois in favour of the more democratic domestic rattles of: bird-pipes, concrete sacs being dragged, ice chinks in a glass of Dandelion & Burdock, ripped cardboard, amplified plastic bags, violently bubbled milk and yogurt pots etc.  Helium high screes march over tape loops of ‘vurrrum-raaaam’ with indistinct clumsy DJ scratching like Grandmaster Flash’s first session on him moms hi-fi slipping a ‘high on crack’ sample against falling down the stairs drum machine.  There’s a bluesy quality to some of this…god know how that got into here…and then, just before you can dismiss this as aimless fucking about I’m reminded this is just a fag paper away from James Tenny’s classic tape piece  ‘Blue Suede’ from 1961.  The Lactations know their history man!  For today and today only this tape has the distinction of being the exact end point of what music is and what it can achieve.  Awright!

dylan - acrylic widow

Dylan Nyoukis – The Acrylic Widow Vinyl (Discombobulate)

As of writing this is still unreleased but early 2013 will see this burst forth like pus.  There are four measured tracks here.

  1. Dry coughs and outta-wack piano chords play into Boy Scout bike repairs, ‘test the bell, spin the wheel!’  Hot air leaks from a perished rubber hose.  With knuckles like hazelnuts, these sounds shine like delicately laid cobblestones, laid end-to-end without no fuss or haste, they are tram tracks.  Late night thumps, ‘boof, baff’ and a lousy Soft Machine organ solo talks a Brighton raver down from gritted jaw oblivion.
  2. Ideas are put through the wringer in stereo effect.  The domestic bric-a-brac builds up: a motorcycle revving, the dry crunch of gravel underfoot…a jumble sale of sweaty woollens, singing out through pinched throat to make un-sense of the phrase ‘iss, sum bear-lae-um’.  An unexpected kitchen sink gamelan makes for a feverish listen. Tension is introduced via leathery lunged accordion but there’s no crass crescendo.  Fading out like pinched guts.
  3. Euro voices abound in tangled syntax.  Verbs sounds & nouns renamed.  Sure, there’s blubber and chunder…’you, you, you and me’ that’s slam-up-bang to babby titter-chat for starters.  Then the downs come in, re-directed by taut tape loops making the ecstatic, grooving on the surface of bubble.   The proclamation, ‘I’m right here’ leaves us in no doubt who you are sharing your damp bedsit with tonight, slurping up the old wine as red as pooled blood.
  4. Another take on the stretched ritual.  A parrot squawks underwater struggling for fresh O2.  Furious eraser scurrying action is met with the stony silence of a 14 year old girl while apples crunch between strong white teeth.  Our old friends, words, are worried and fretted in a dark experiment; turned over looking for new seams and valves to shuck and prise open like ripe clams until mucus-like muscle slips free and falls to the flagstones below.

This is a living séance with The Acrylic Widow.  Wisdom from the Old Ones, the thin Venn diagram slice between frantic scuttling & sweet Miskatonic stoned.

–ooOoo–

…and so we end the extract with a fittingly festive Lovecraft reference.  Many thanks again to Joe for his kind permission to post these great reviews.  His complete 2012 round-up will be available at the end of the month over at the Posset myspace blog.  Reading it, and chasing up the goodies that it describes, will give you something to do in that null week between Christmas and New Year after you’ve broken all your new toys…

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