rowdily settling in my stomach: rfm on bold oxide lust, sindre bjerga, king kungo and brandstifter

May 5, 2017 at 6:16 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Bold Oxide Lust – A Fad, Then (Self Release)

Sindre Bjerga – Almost Like Music (Spam Tapes)

King Kungo – Da Ist Der Rhein (Spam Tapes)

Brandstifter – Die Stereoiden Des Merz (Spam Tapes)

 bold oxide lust

Bold Oxide Lust – A Fad, Then (Self Release) a cassette perhaps but certainly a digital album

Effervescent and blistered electronic tone-poems enter one ear then dum-dum the precious grey fluid within.

It is, of course Enrique R. Palma to blame for detonating my magnetic mind-wipe direct from his base in Yucatan, Mexico.

This four-tracker, a quartet of future blues starts with ‘Brunei Rigs Nuns’ fizzing like damp fireworks until it moves through a movement for (1) stainless-steel frogs and (2) diamond-tipped cicadas. Most surprising is the guest pan-pipes hoffed by B. Eno (or someone)!

The sound of falling piss hails the start of ‘Cobalt/Trauma Eel’ while synthetic chords swell and bloat under the golden shower.  The longest piece on record – a hefty twelve minutes – things move from hot splatters to distant gasps and exhalations.  The organist is determined to add some decorum to this situation and play clumped, fistfuls of notes that seem to decay into soft butter almost instantaneously.

N-AU crossword fans will no doubt make a beeline for ‘Anagram Liar’ to seek some obscured pattern in the flailing muss.  I’ve never been a cryptic fan but, for the record, my findings are as follows: aqueduct field recordings meshed with Judy Dunaway scores, electric typewriter keys tapped with frenetic energy, mouth squoosh.  A winner in anyone’s book.

Enrique leaves closer ‘A Fondly If In’ to really kick out the jams.  This is a full-throttle rocker in a world where Suicide became punk’s measurement and the Smex Pustules petered-out like the bad fashion-world joke they were.   Almost 9 minutes of explosive muck and bluster that then chills-the-fuck-out and we’re transported to a soft cantina filled with warm erotic hiss.

Sindre Bjerga

Sindre Bjerga – Almost Like Music (Spam Tapes) cassette

Bjerga- a presence unmoveable!

Bjerga – a method unrepeatable!

Here stand two live performances summoned from N-AU’s Misterrrrrrrr James Brrrrrroowwwwwwwwwn.

(Side A)  We travel back in time to March 24th 2016.  We are in the fine city of Cologne (home of Spam tapes).  Prepare yourself for a tape-jaxx heavy set.

The FFW button is given some serious hammer as voices get squeaky and disco/funk grows an extra limb.  But the tomfoolery can only last so long as Sindre breaks out something more sparse and dub-wise where faint grunts waddle.

The sudden intrusion of space makes me feel uneasy and makes each click, throb and slo-tape-smear something a little uncomfortable – like watching a candied industrial process.

And while the third movement goes full-circle back to Sindre’s drone roots with a gritty, visceral chugga-chug-chugga of perfect dictaphonix roar; the final segment gets me all tight round the middle, in a post Sunday-lunch kind of way, before the rosemary and sage farts offer sweet relief.

(Side B) The dial is set two days earlier and this time we are in the home of the International Trade Conference circuit – Frankfurt!

Things start off very quietly with a muscular yet almost internal sound.  Could this be the birth of peristalsis-core?

The swallowing and bolus-juggling come in waves (natch!) squashing and releasing tight clumps of roots reggae into my innocent ears.

Any riddim is soon overpowered with searing tape roil, drone-embers and destroyed soft-rock (think Leather and Lace) until a child’s voice steals the show speaking with great emphasis.

As befitting a master Bjerga rejects the easy crescendo in favour of a return to subtle ham-fist tape warping: voices clutter and mesh with wet mouth-noise and (snip) it all suddenly cuts off.

Time travel at its finest.

King Kungo

King Kungo – Da Ist Der Rhein (Spam Tapes) cassette – plays same on both sides

Utterly charming and disarming!

This brief and beautiful tape is an on-the-spot composition of Nils Quak’s young son King Kungo running, shouting and talking inside a huge resonant bridge in Cologne.  In the background a piano loop by Michaela Melian is playing (from a previously happened-upon installation).

Both are dressed in the most wonderful natural reverb I think I have ever heard.

Simple eh?  But the sum of these parts results in a powerful listening experience, swaddled in memory and warmth.

The piano is sparse and dry – echoing through the huge space dropping ivory tears in complex patterns.  But it’s the young Master Kungo that turns these ingredients into a ray of sunshine.

The shouts and hollas let us gnarly-old adults revisit that pure innocent joy of shouting into the wind; you can hear his excitement as these sounds reflect back his practiced squeals and effectively rolled ‘r’s and trills.

The feedback loop of noise-excitement-noise-excitement is, I’ll wager, one of the universal N-AU equations and keeps us coming back to damp cellars across the globe to plug in and play.  Hearing this laid out without no pretence or posturing is most intoxicating – like the first sip of ice-cold lemonade; I can feel the fizziness flow though my head and neck, rowdily settling in my stomach.

Production-wise it sounds like nothing has been touched or tweaked so there is an occasional tape flutter or mic rustle but hey…that just makes it more real man.

An experience tape of wide-smiles and wonderment!


Brandstifter – Die Stereoiden Des Merz (Spam Tapes) cassette

And of course this offering from Brandstifter couldn’t be more different.  Note to self – never expect the usual from Spam!

What sounds like tightly wound, tightly worked “FIELDS, LOOPS, NOISE, VOX” rumble, rustle and whistle between broken teeth.

After a few minutes of side one’s opening soft-factory vibes we’re treated to a hiss-symphony of subtle breath sounds all looping over themselves like Wounded Knee’s most delicate moments mumbled into the bottom of a pint pot.

In time, small electric motors power some fowl or other into a clucking mess, feathers are ruffled and breasts plumped – but look alive little goose – the farmer and family chant a Summer Isle backwards psalm.

Side two is a more free-flowing energy river and goes a little something like this

…car door/rubber knocks/more bloody geese/someone takes a marimba onto the train/dropped chocolate coins…

until a real Fylkingen text-sound experiment wraps creamy ‘b’ sounds and ‘lem’ sounds round various tonsils ending in a true babblicious fountain!

Brandstifter waltz the looping majestic!

Bold Oxide Lust

Spam Tapes / A-Music Spam Page


more yomp than stroll: socrates martinis, enrique r. palma, richard kamerman, louie rice & daniel bennett

April 4, 2017 at 6:13 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | 1 Comment
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Socrates Martinis – Under the arches of her voice (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

Enrique R. Palma – Contenance (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

Richard Kamerman – Music for Glassblower’s Studio and Broken Toy Piano (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

Louie Rice- 33/45 (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

Daniel Bennett – Roil (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

socrates martinis Socrates Martinis – Under the arches of her voice (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) CD and digital album

Richly textured recordings of rumbling mic damage.  Abstract in the extreme, this symphony of hiss and clicks, gritty-roar and deflated muss are edited cruelly with a straight razor.

The quick, decisive cuts that dart between dry hessian rough and oily slipperiness are arresting to say the least.  No sooner does my heart-rate settle into a particular gruff hum then I’m thrown by a high-end squeal or inflatable ping.


Track 3, ‘Under the arches of her voice, words explode in blue sparks like gunpowder spilled on candles’ gradually reveals a slender hand dropping plastic cups, the echo of the cloister thick and clouded as mediaeval glass.

To my cloth ears track 4, ‘Under the arches of her voice, horses carry the milk of dawn’  seems the most worked on: an imagination of typists clicking away on MacBook keys, inside the Laundromat, singing bowls rubbed with warm Vaseline.

But its track 6, ‘Under the arches of her voice, the air of summer whistles over the headless statues of the hours’ that stretches out a battered alarm bell’s (?) tinny ring into the most gorgeous fade out you’ll hear today.

But any way you want to slice this dusty fig the power of the scrubbed and polished sonic palate is palpable.

Like stepping down the ladder of the landing vehicle to emerge blinking into the harsh white light of Mars.

enrique palma

Enrique R. Palma – Contenance (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) 3 inch CD

Enrique offers us lucky listeners a passport to an imagined future via the murmurings of some giant data engine.  The sound of one million calculations bouncing from damp connectors and making the valves glow a warm sunset orange.

But, I’m getting ahead of myself here.  The process is important and in this case the process involves Javier Beci on melodica huffing over Enrique’s bowed cymbal and computer morass – the electronic 10101010’s merging seamlessly with that dry breath bruising a vibrating reed.  Simple enough I guess but the resulting bluster can throb wildly like a stubbed toe or smear itself as hot tar covers a pock-marked road.  Gosh…either approach is good for me and I find myself rocking gently to this 20 minute piece never quite relaxing but riding the changes in intensity and clarity…we’re weaving between clearly recorded melodica/cymbal and abstracted NOIZE flickering like a stick pulled across a chain-link fence /or/ a rusty jet taking off /or/ a scrap-yard dog dragging an iron bone across black rivets.

The only un-rawkus moments are the final 3 mins.  Of course this only serves to remind us of the technique and brains behind this operation.  As slack as a Jazzfinger jam, this brief pause in the splintering noise digs deep into the engineering of sound, pulling leavers and oiling the blunt teeth of the many cogs making up this contraption.

File under: magnifying-raindrops-to-better-understand-the-hurricane music.

richard kamerman

Richard Kamerman – Music for Glassblower’s Studio and Broken Toy Piano (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) Cassette and digital album

Blimey!  Ultra-minimal rattle and site specific munge; a real scratcher that makes me go ‘wha?’  And I like it.

Side one – This may well be a glassblowers studio with the fiery ‘husss’ of the blast furnace underpinning some rusty hinges, various droppage and steel-rod clangs along with an almost Lucier-like radio chattering in a room (in a room).  There’s an easy momentum as things get plunged into stuff, utensils are washed and tools are replaced noisily to the tool box.

Side two – The flipside makes me think of a miniature Big Ben, small enough to fit in John Cage’s top pocket along with the pens.  Delicately placed pings humbly peal through a glorious riot of cassette grot.  Ever heavier manners are laid upon the scene until dread is the only emotion vibrating out the stereo.  A happy finish of deeper drone, slow slaps and the faint impression that you’ve left the iron on.

Layers of enigmatic rustle; plateaus of barren shell-noise whistle – this cassette pushes boundaries.

louie riceLouie Rice- 33/45 (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) 7 inch single and digital album


Right-to-left dry brillo scours out your ears, bouncing

A slow glutinous train advances from Osaka directly into your weak skull

Onward black snake, advance dark worm!

This hiss that shuffles the shadows, the finger that smears grease on soft bacon

A fumble for tickets means you drop your felt hat


More pop than mope, more yomp than stroll

The interior dialogue of a boulder (containing quartz and seams of basalt)

The soft rubber leavings from an erased life-drawing collected in tiny pyramids

Metal Guru? Iron Man?

There’s a great Wurlitzer in the sky hungry for the 3:23 of this perfect un-beat


daniel bennett roilDaniel Bennett – Roil (Organized Music From Thessaloniki) CD

This sharp palette of breathtaking sourness makes me realise how sweet and cloying much of today’s music is, as our Daniel is relishing in the zesty and tangy on this quartet of electronic pieces.

The first two tracks ‘Pain’ and ‘Mint’ are forged of elements ranging from thin magnesium to bright electric scissor-kicks.  They unfold like the endless belt on an escalator, gnashing interlocking steel teeth with a relentless energy.  But there is enough black avalanche to please a grim-faced noise fan. For me though the sweet spot comes in the quieter moments: a reflective squeal, an introverted circuit snap, all placed with unknowable logic.

The second pair of tracks take a clubbable twist with the scent of salty bodies writhing on ‘Tennenbaum’ and ‘We’.  The first is a superbly warped beat and bass rumble that’s boiled down until it is almost liquid.  The approach to rhythm is choppy as the Solent with static breakers crashing on a crisp digital shore…

…and on my deckchair I fantasise about FKA Twigs humming over the top of the bit-splicing, waving a tiny foot in a bruised ballet pump.

The closer ‘We’ is a bacchanal; a no-holds-barred ritual in losing one’s shit at 6am in the morning after fourteen hours of hard partying and then ending up in a chill out room with a cyborg Sunn O))) providing the vibes.

Or do you disagree?




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