similarly introverted/greasy feathers: joe murray on final seed, troy schafer, termite acropolis, michael barthel, kent tankred, body morph, matt krefting, jon collin, f ampism and final seed again!March 14, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: beartown records, body morph, chocolate monk, f. ampism, final seed, joe murray, jon collin, kent tankred, matt krefting, micahel barthel, round bale recordings, soundholes, termite acropolis, troy schafer
Final Seed – S/T (Round Bale Recordings)
Troy Schafer – Untitled No4 (Round Bale Recordings)
Termite Acropolis – Dedication in Vinegar (Round Bale Recordings)
Michael Barthel – Randradau (Chocolate Monk)
Kent Tankred – Organ 1 (Chocolate Monk)
Body Morph – Keep Still and be Devoured (Soundholes)
Matt Krefting – Danger (Chocolate Monk)
Jon Collin – Sky Writings (Early Music)
F Ampism – The Resolution Phase (Beartown Records)
Final Seed – Untitled (Chocolate Monk)
Final Seed – S/T (Round Bale Recordings) Very rare tape or download
Rejoice in this super-subtle tape nothingness.
Side A is a perfectly timed 10 minutes that weaves the sound of background hiss-radiation with brief leather-necked gulpings and pre-language garrotte. The sound of the sound of the recorder whirring dumbly is captured in startling clarity. A round off in the cavern of the delay bounces a single blank tone off the squash court wall.
Side B is similarly introverted. What was once a throaty wolf-man roar is pitched right down and super low into a substratum of broken sea-foam. It warbles quietly, paying no mind and, like pouring thick glue over an uneven floor, the sound pools in places making deep ripples, skims the surface in others as light as a pond skipper.
The sense of purpose and dedication to a dream makes this a supremely confident release and an important exercise in listening to the sort of chuff we often ignore, gloss over and palm off.
Read no further and click here for evidence.
Troy Schafer – Untitled No4 (Round Bale Recordings) Ultra rare lathe cut 7inch or download
Round Bale describe this as a ‘brain-scrambler’. After listening I’m feeling poached and fried to boot!
Side A. Sepia piano recordings run through a wood-chipper.
Troy’s fingers may nudge the occasional keys gently but his feet hit the pedals with force sending those white and black notes ricocheting through tin and bronze filters that wreak the pretty and gasp with giant violence. What else am I getting (like a wine taster – that’s me!) a lung-rattling wheeze, half-song and memory. You know what? I’m just a sucker for a solo piano. The final 11 seconds promise a new beginning with that build up of blocked, harried notes that rudely snip off. Oh yeah…distinctly classy.
Side B starts with a grunt and then something orchestral is wrenched back and forth through a pinhole. The dry wooden click of a cello (perhaps) mimics a poultry convention; angry clucks and gobbles, that red wattle vibrating with the rough string attack. I hear a woman’s laughter and then Troy launches into more grappling with the horsehair. A dramatic friction. Like looking down a sound-microscope that magnifies each textured sound-bundle a thousand times until it bursts like a turgid cell – spouting information into your lucky earhole.
Termite Acropolis – Dedication in Vinegar (Round Bale Recordings) sold out tape and download
What an apt name for this ant-city investigation. Miniature tunnels are bored through the hard red earth and filled with dark cardboard clunks and billiard hall knockings.
Powerfully restrained recordings of process with little ornamentation. This is: a bell, a dropped coin, a handful of pocket fluff.
But that’s not to say these are overly simple. Sounds are doused with a gentle condiment (or indeed pickled) until they slush about like a rotting medical exhibit (see: Caricature of the garden) in the bottom of a demijohn.
While massive machines are imagined in ‘Lardworks’, brass pistons pumping and levers floundering in a polished wooden way, it is left to ‘Extinguish the light’ to hurl us into the modern age; a symphony of gates opening and shutting to the beat of the Bontempi.
Title tracks often tell us a little about the intention and drive behind a record or artist. In this case I’m guessing the closer, a nine-minute brining, is a powerful psychic calling card. It’s subtle and refined, relaxed but with a steady guiding hand on the reigns. Delicate and simple tones and clunks rattle around the bagatelle that mirrors your own dainty cochlear. It’s easy to get lost in such dwarf loops as they occur again and again, melting over each other in polite collapse. At around the four-minute mark a constant high-lonely-moan is redoubled turning that sweet milk into smoked cheese marking the start of a watery, pale beauty.
Waiting room music for the hep, hep cats.
Michael Barthel – Randradau (Chocolate Monk) C20 Cassette
Insider bone scrapings and economic scribble.
Side A runs for about 9 minutes and places micro-pieces of clean and energetic German-sounding spoken goof with psychotic milkman-whistle and hissy-Dictaphone-grottage. Oh yes! Michael barks stern his instructions. These blocks of meaning lock as tight as Duplo bricks but instead of the obvious primary colours this is an altogether mistier proposal.
So…rather than tan the glitches Mr Barthel exercises all the edges of his palette. The lion indeed lies down with the lamb with the final few minutes mimicking aching layers of lazy sediment.
Side B starts with off-radio, wrong-phonics and some glorious sepia glossolalia. A hum and whirr of the taping device is left to whittle away adding a tambour-like drone for an amateur age. Gloriously smeared sound leaks like straw-coloured plasma from a bad burn. Oily as balm; dressings are changed for the finale of woollen moans and an almost vaudeville reading of sparse and strangulated word blooms.
It’s a hectic world for sure, but listening to this made me dawdle like a child. Damn…listening to this tape made me a better person. You NEED some!
Kent Tankred – Organ 1 (Chocolate Monk) C40 Cassette
These ultra-heavy organ manipulations weigh as much a chubby whale loafing about in the viscous and dark brine.
A presence piece that you can, and should, project your reality on to: this is perfect travelling music.
Each organ foldback-loop and full –throated gas-roar is like a cold sun flickering through autumn leaves or watching the savage juxtaposition of a ripped billboard layered with contrasting messages.
- Large pumice boulders skin your elbows and the dead skin falls like dry sleet.
- A microphone is lowered into a crimson oubliette.
- Running into the wind with your mouth open wide until your breath gets caught behind chilly teeth.
This hissing bustle plays well obnoxiously loud and pasty-necked quiet.
Body Morph- Keep Still and be Devoured (Soundholes) C60 cassette
This tape is an exercise in long-form rustage.
True! Tones from a dying crab get hoofed through the murky, mystic mix at points but mostly it’s a 1000 yard stare of slowly crashing gears.
On side one I’m picking up cheap-casio keys gummed down under years of tape-varnish & mould-hiss. I’m hearing a smeared gossamer touch akin to greasy feathers.
Side two gets all lo-maxxed on a horn of some sort; mournful and cool as the night air. Armenian Jazz Sorrow? The sound of occasional suffocation?
A true listeners tape, this is no ‘slap it on and do the ironing’ cassette. It demands full attention and for this thorough investment you are amply rewarded with layer upon layer of ear –silt clogging yr golden wax deposits.
Matt Krefting – Danger (Chocolate Monk) C15 Cassette
Ultra-core tape jaxx.
Super-indefinite and lost imaginings.
It’s the softest breath kissing carbon paper; that most delicate and faint purple image as tender as an early morning bruise.
Memory slides smooth as a trombone made of smog and brass fittings.
Half-formed but fully realised. The magic happens in that grey blancmange as you use natural electricity to link the un-linkable, paint the un-paintable.
Matt leaves us mortals a few clues – popping candy in a giant’s gob and infrared tinfoil. Apart from that you’re on your own pal!
Polite yet essential.
Jon Collin – Sky Writings (Early Music) C15 Tape
If I’d got my finger out this tape would have made the 2016 ‘best of’ lists for sure and will no doubt be top 10 material in sunny 2017.
Fahey, Rose and Nugent fan boys/girls must listen…this tape is so charming I coughed up a cream tea and a cheeky goodnight kiss. This tape made me a damn loving fool!
In the old definition this is a fucking splendid tape (shine, be bright) that warms up my cold heart and makes me smile like reading Nicholson Baker details and footnotes.
A real human-sounding solo acoustic guitar probe the damn nostalgia nodes to conjure up an imagined picnic in a cornfield. The colours are vivid. The corn is the creamiest yellow, the sky the brightest blue. Our blanket the deepest red.
The melodies trip some switch that bursts crisp cornflowers out my chest and replace my blood with silver helium bubbles.
Spiritualised? Do me a favour eh? I’m really floating in space here mate. The strums and pickles are complex as spiderwebs but simple as nursery rhymes. The untitled tunes are as familiar as pins and needles and get under my skin in a similar restless and itchy way; it’s like I’ve always known them as they slip out of reach skidding like a deer on ice.
Oh my! Such elegance with chipped nails and calloused hands. The perfect beautiful happiness of aching heart.
F Ampism – The Resolution Phase (Beartown Records) CD
A tasty CD that I’m now re-imagining as a vinyl EP pressed onto seven inches.
“But why format transfer boy? You may ask.”
Because this is a disc of two halves, that’s why doubter. An ‘A’ and a ‘B’. My ‘This Side’ twinned to your ‘That Side’ is strongly suggested to my oatmeal mind.
Let me explain…
A jungle lushness drips through the recent work of Mr F Ampism. Thick and green, waxy and water-resistant each micro-collage is rich beyond our feeble senses; ethnic percussive loops wobbly like belly fat, environmental recordings gurgle as algae-thick rivers, electronic squirts gush tessellated digital foof. It’s a sound you can smell and that smell is pregnant and full.
The first three tracks, ‘Monaestry and Math’ to ‘Straight Brains’ are alive with exotic Toucan ‘caws’ and Howler hoots. The middler ‘The Joint Capsule’ replays Balinese rhythms among the creaking boats, the lapping waves and call of villagers selling shrimp-based snacks. Gradually a soft tone bubbling erupts in my pocket. Copper pans are dropped overboard and ‘boaab’ drunkenly in the mud-coloured water as they slowly fill, sway, and sink beneath the waves.
All of a piece these three realised constructions suggest organic life with a face tilted towards a red, red sun.
‘Shabada Transmission’ bucks the trend by laying down heavily in the rumpled bed belonging to Detroit Techno – the synthetic strings and xylophone tones as future facing as jet boots and holidays on Mars. And in doing so Ampism revels a new destination and we are already deep in ‘Side Two’ territory.
‘Inner Eyelid’ is made up of spare parts, a lone creak, a dropped calliope yet is patched up in the most un-Frankenstein manner. No flat head no sir! Bolts through the neck? Forget-about-it. Think more like a slim ankle glimpsed or thick auburn curls just begging to be tousled.
The jazz, in all its hot boiling majesty, infests ‘Thrown Jam 1 and 2 ‘ with Pazuzu sitting in on traps while Regan hams on the vintage synth. This duo/solo gets ripe!
And, as all things must, this disc ends. But with a juddering, flustering loop so perfectly placed those plunderphonic dingbats blush crimson and sweat.
Final Seed – Untitled (Chocolate Monk) C30 Cassette
Witness the drunken bowling alley vibe on this damp-chiller from Final Seed.
Like a diary opened at random one passage might reveal children squeaking, another, the fumbling fingers of a defective chord-organ.
Dark percussive knocks form a rhythm interuptus ladled on thick like broth. Slack-mouthed and slurry, a voice gnarls on with steaming feet. Wonked-out keyboard extrapolations all bothered with hot-electric butter. Broken cassette ghost-capture.
Neat eh? But all the while this is undoubtedly gush from the same mush. Oh my!
This is serious stuff…like the abstract soundtrack to the sound of making a soundtrack each perfect formula of tones, field recordings and manipulations delight by being both utterly novel and head-scratchingly familiar. So while the diary analogy still holds I’m darting from love-sick boy-teen to worried mother to toddler rocking on their plump heels. It’s got charm in punnets, invention in spades!
The best album that chump Eno never made. DEMAND A RESSIUE!!!
sliver lizards: joe murray on olivier di placido, fritz welch, kelly jayne jones, ross parfitt, jon collin, yol, culverOctober 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: beartown records, culver, early music, fritz welch, joe murray, jon collin, kelly jayne jones, matching head, olivier di placido, ross parfitt, winebox press, yol
Olivier Di Placido & Fritz Welch – untitled cassette (tape, humansacrifice, HS0010, edition of 75 or download)
Kelly Jayne Jones & Jon Collin – Sheffield, 9 August 2015 (tape, Early Music)
Jon Collin with Ross Parfitt – Münster, 10 April 2016 (tape, Early Music)
Yol – This Item Has Little Or No Scrap Value (tape, Beartown Records, edition of 48)
Culver – Gateshead Soup (tape, Matching Head, MH213)
Olivier Di Placido & Fritz Welch – Untitled
Absolutely no nonsense Technicolor squall and dramatic brokenness from that most hectic of fluffer duos: Di Placido/Welch.
Like stitches in yr lip this stings a little as it wrenches new shapes outta junk-drums and garrotted-guitar. Frantically itchy as scabies it is… the scabby metre has you shuffling on and off the hot foot never quite sure where to hang your hat. But I’m diggin’ it… diggin’ it bad.
I’m listening with an abstracted grin now. I just can’t help it; the reptile part of my brain fair goofs on the hard/soft, fast/slow choices being presented to my dense grey lumps. But at the same time my debonair city-slicker love-node is lapping up the lightening-fast interactions and improvisations between flapping pig skin and eviscerated coiled steel. The perfect music for the metrosexual caveman perhaps? Shit… let’s throw a party to find out. I’m on nibbles.
Is that some post-production fingering I can hear in the backmasked vox that plays us out of this side? Wonderful, wonderful… let’s get some electronics soaking up this gravy to deglaze the nuggets.
The other side* made me squirt like Slaine in full-on berzerker mode such is the slap and clatter, the fizzing rip and hi-hat chit-chit-chit-bash. Like an erotic jazz experience it manages to create that brassy plateau of living a constant high… then stops on a teasing sixpence.
It’s not all hi-NRG jizz-riffles though. One small section’s a right downer of industrial ‘booms’ and ‘crashes’ played out next to a juddering (bass) washing machine that segues neatly into a promise of friction and anatomically crude charcoal drawings. Phewy.
The art of the improviser occasionally gets ladled with faux academic nonsense from highfaluting bodies, boards and authorities. A pox on them. This is vital as hydrogen and alive as a fresh pig because it’s free from any grey-beard permission.
Play this at your next lecture and watch Prof implode!
*I’ve used the rather unhelpful ‘this side’ and ‘other side’ descriptors because there’s nothing as bourgeois as track titles or side demarcations on this babycake. Total Hardcore yeah.
Kelly Jayne Jones & Jon Collin – Sheffield, 9 August 2015
On seeing the title a ripple of excitement forced me to check last year’s journal and I can see I was right there, in Sheffield, when this piece was recorded.
…firmly camped upstairs for the rest of the show Jon Collin & Kelly Jones played guitar & flute but nary a note was plucked or blown. 99% of the sound came from feedback tones as fresh as a handful of snow down the trousers. Thin and minty… menthol smoke sprouting from the fingers. Control was the watch word and even a dropped e-bow couldn’t interrupt the stately ‘hhiiiimmmmm’…
Listening back to this, in a domestic setting, seems to downplay the austerity and dial up the astringent complexity. The sharp guitar tones (sliver [Editor’s note: I suspect a typo but am leaving it in for the sake of poetry] lizards shimmer across cool marble) mesh perfectly with the breathy feedback/flute (crystallised ginger crushed into powder and applied to the forehead) and create a ritual of pure transcendent beauty.
I’m often lost in the fog of metal or jazz (crashing and slashing) but the paleness and gentle simmering of these mercurial sounds has tickled my mind forever with its frosty bliss.
Jon Collin with Ross Parfitt – Münster, 10 April 2016
It starts with twin guitar plucking, wild and free as a Manx cat, but stretching out time into an almost cosmic nothingness.
However sparse and spectral this recording is though there’s a right-in-your-face attitude with some heavy clarity. Those brushed-steel sounds emerge from the plucks adding an odd gamelan ‘kong’ to the twisting strings, reminding us we are on a journey. From here to where doesn’t really matter but the steady pad of the foot and swing of the arm propels this music constantly forward.
Don’t look back.
A lake of clear water lays still and calm. Birds (too far away to distinguish species) swoop lazily overhead. All is peaceful until the standing stones begin to quiver, small pebbles roll down to the lake sending ripples across the surface drawing patterns that weave and double cross.
A watery maze appears. The walls clear enough to see through but refractions set up a prism effect showing the landscape with a rainbow light. Glorious colours indeed… but what’s that smoke on the horizon?
Yol – This Item Has Little Or No Scrap Value
Ever wondered what JAZZ would sound like after Yol had had a fair go at it? Wonder no more as ‘Finley Crafted’ kicks like a Sidney Bechet joint with bruised ribs. Yakety-Sax and Ten-to-Two drums are pushed out a porthole but the pulse… the all important swing remains. It’s all syncopated beats and bomb-detonation throat, man. Gosh! This is heady, heady head-est schizz right from the get-go. These ‘live’ recordings are juddering with malevolence and stark contrast. ‘Bleed Mouth Parts’ and ‘Trapped in Portland Works’ are two of the most violent and brutal recordings I think I’ve ever heard. Sorry Extreme Noise Terror. Yol has beaten your usually exceptional ROOAAOOORRROR trump with a single (but scientifically focused) gob, cheap spanner set and polystyrene block.
Real rubble is thrown about for ‘Bird Feathers’ a rare decent into bass with (what sounds like) a fully pressurised deep sea diving suit dragged down a spiral staircase – as you listen, ear cocked against the air tube, it pulses ‘Vuphhhh-chk-hhhoooofff’.
The final boof , ‘A Medium Experience’ brings the hooligan noise back into home territory with the warmness and (dare I say it) comfort of interlocking manacles. Again my jass-ears are focused on the clattering percussion; the tinka-link of scrap metal that divides time like a punk Dejohnette. Do I have to say it? Essential. Essential and life affirming motherfuckers!
Culver – Gateshead Soup
What is there left to say about Culver? The most singular of artists he does his thing with no regard for fashion or favour. You’re into it or you’re not.
This tape (same as the last and same as the next) was picked up at a live show and apparently not available via more ‘official’ channels. What? Less official than a regular Matching Head release… that’s like trying to copyright snowflakes, man.
But what’s it sound like? A slowly emerging landscape of loops that I’ve tried to scientifically represent (a) to (g):
(a) a foul machine heating up and (b) three solitary acoustic guitar notes
(a) with (c) brown organ smear
(c) and (d) foreboding doom rumble
(d) incorporating (e) bleak metallic thunder
(e) gives way to (f) plumes of black smoke rising over the battlefield
(f) gently diminishes for (g) Valium earthquake
(g) x 2 fades out incredibly slowly leaving you praying for a start to the endless nothingness…
Tags: barry dean, contemplative music, desert guitar, desolate wasted melancholy, edwin stevens, jon collin, luke vollar, tom settle, whole voyald infinite light, winebox press
Jon Collin – Wrong Moves / Dream Recall (tape, Winebox Press, winebox26, edition of 72 ‘from the door of the below wardrobe’)
Whole Voyald Infinite Light – Uncollected Recordings (2 x tape, Winebox Press, winebox25, edition of 82 ‘in a double tape case constructed from the broken down frame of a wardrobe’)
Winebox Press is something special. Thus when an e-mail appeared in my inbox advertising two new releases I didn’t hesitate to order them immediately. Jon Collin seems to occupy his own little pasture of contemplative music untroubled by the futile excesses of modern life. The fact that most releases are on the cassette format and attached to lumps of wood fashioned from old wardrobes, boxes and whatnot adds a charm that really emphasizes the aesthetic at work. Whether it’s Jon’s music or that of like minded artists which gets released, there is a common theme: a primitive folk music that’s been nourished with a knowledge of underground forms and approaches. A scan of the Winebox Press blog will show an impressive list of highly desirable objects put together with love and devotion, most now long gone. I cannot think of another label with such a heartfelt dedication to presenting their cherished sounds in a way that makes them feel possessed with cosmic force. It’ll warm you from the inside out.
Wrong Moves / Dream Recall is straight up lovely. An unfortunate habit of the male music scribe is to show off his knowledge when discussing artists in order to make unnecessary comparisons:
blah blah John Fahey, blah blah Robbie Basho
…ad nauseum. Well I’m not going to do that [Editor’s note: heh, heh – you kinda already did! Sneaky]. I will say that his guitar playing on Side A is languid, reflective and beautiful. Notes are shrugged off like drops of water falling onto the surface of a lake, while the creak of his bottle neck confuses his playing and the cassette format keeps the listener cradled in ‘cotton wool arms’ (copyright: Joe Murray). There is no purpose or forward motion to these short pieces, rather it sounds like Jon is out on the porch, daydreaming his fingers across the strings. He manages to combine a hesitant probing approach to playing with a profound serenity that is as deep and green as the forest that adorns his High Peak Selections album. The picture attached to the box is a scene of coastal idyll: a beach, some trees and a blurry patina that reminds me of flicking through my grandparents’ photo album as a kid. Shit, I’m already choking up and I haven’t even flipped it yet.
Side B sees some piano and ebow action. The tactile feeling conveyed is supremely seductive – the kinda opiated creek you could swim in for hours. Pure piano for the second piece and Jon’s playing is as unhurried as his guitar playing. I LOVE this sound and if this brief foray into piano is new for Jon then I hope we get to hear more.
Uncollected Recordings by Whole Voyald Infinite Light sees Jon joined by some guitar slinging buddies, a quartet on the first tape and a duo on the second. Tape One sees some loose and heady psych jams with Tom Settle and Edwin Stevens on bass and drums and the ethereal vocals and guitar of Barry Dean (Infinite Light) coming over like Tim Buckley via Kate Bush. If you, like me, can dig baggy, exploratory wig outs that roam around like crazy horse then this will most certainly stoke the coal in your fire. Jon shows another side of his chops and goddam if that boy can’t play the shit out of his geetar. Grizzled leads carry the rest of the group over the horizon into the sunset with enough conviction to make the most seasoned of heavy psych collectors nod solemnly in approval. Side B is a slow burner, the collective instruments and ‘that voice’ glowing like stars in the sky – hell, there’s even a harmonica – and some truly stupendous string blurt going on.
Jon and Barry go it alone for the next tape and the guitars coalesce into thick streams of fuzz tone, showering sparks like a six stringed flame thrower. Things slow down to more nuanced interplay with swelling feedback, off kilter spontaneous riffing and the vibe of a tape left to roll capturing ‘the moment’.
Side D starts with an almost Japanese feel of desolate, wasted melancholy. Barry’s vocals are at their most nuts here (seriously how does he sing that high? I wonder if he talks like an ordinary guy?) and we bow out with more harmonica and drunken guitars crying into their beers. I’ve no idea if this configuration is an ongoing concern but I certainly hope so. The wild and the free, the prairie dwellers who howl at the moon and drink up the vapours, are always welcome in my kingdom.
Tags: belied gunaiko, bill orcutt, crank sturgeon, dylan nyoukis, electronica, fritz welch, harappian night recordings, human heads, humbolt ventures, improv, joe murray, joincey, jointhee, jon collin, jooklo duo, julian bradley, junko, luke poot, marvo men, new music, no audience underground, noise, papal bull, paul steere, peak signal 2 noise, ps2n, roman nose, sharon gal, sheffield live community television, stuckometer, sweat tongue, television, the family elan, the piss superstition, trans/human, turk geko, vimeo, vocal improvisation, yol
Peak Signal 2 Noise (TV show, Sheffield Live Community TV and Vimeo)
[Editor’s note: amused by the impressionistic ‘off the TV’ snaps that Joe sometimes tweets I encouraged him to use the same technique in illustrating this article. Thus what you are seeing has more to do with the workings of Joe’s phone camera (and fevered bonce) than the clear, sharp, properly lit and framed images you can expect from this excellent television programme. OK, over to Joe…]
It’s seems to be a truism in broadcasting that music TV has to suck really, really bad.
Cast your mind back to the mashed potato blandness of The White Room, the jokey yoof-arse of The Tube and the god-awful sweaty slobbering from Jools Holland (which is apparently still on).
What should be so simple, folk playing music with a camera aimed at them, turns into an excuse for zany camera angles, ill-thought out concepts and paedophile presenters. Ugh. It’s grim. I rest my case m’lud. [Editor’s note: hey, SnubTV had its moments!]
Thankfully Peak Signal 2 Noise is different fishy kettle. There’s no presenter to foul things up, no false stage antics or miming fools. It’s just a camera in face of the no-audience underground.
Cut up like a mix tape, the show moves swiftly between a whole buncha beards in a whole bunch of situations (live show footage, specially recorded pieces, installation performances) keeping the energy up and creating spaces to dream. Although edits are hard some interruptions blur the edges: a cheap kaleidoscope, raw fennel seeds bouncing on a speaker, frozen wasps, Yodel/Honkey and the Bubble Wrap man. On the seven episodes broadcast already you can expect to see…
· Jooklo Duo – Tender solo sax squall like free-jazz insects. Drums clatter in fur mittens. A sound so wonderfully clear and fresh it’s like a clear mountain stream running over polished cobbles.
· Human Heads – A real Dr Who vibe. That’s not saying this is Radiophonic; more like Ben & Hannah are playing parts of a broken Tardis for kicks.
· Humbolt Ventures– Glorious Sellotape jam. Rubbing and stroking are the order of the day with thin vibrations. Bullroarers in pt 2 induce coma.
· Bill Orcutt – Winged Eel finger-licking, blues shalom with naked foot.
· Luke Poot – No one does shame quite like Poot. Performance, the pink end of noise, a burst orange ball is honked like a rubber sax, lights pulled out flies, plastic toast. Lead us Luke!
· Dylan Nyoukis – Multiple Vines flicker like cat’s eyes –the hottest tip yet from the dark monk.
· Papal Bull – Maplin shoplifters curse the day tape was invented. Slow torture of the C30.
· The Family Elan – Off-kilter yarbles from Transylvania (or something). A proper band!
· Sweat Tongue – No Wave roots with new (blue) boots. Treble cranked high like it should.
· Harappian Night Recordings – Those familiar stretched ferric sounds clash off Bali bonce with wide eyes.
· Roman Nose – Layers and layers of Cardiff chalk blown up (Roman) nose, hopping from frame to frame capturing the mauve kinetic holla. PLUS some bagpipe animation creep hidden elsewhere!
· Marvo Men – Free gong-poetry on a dusty floor in a freezing space. Every opportunity taken to push things beyond ‘here’ and into ‘there’ with head-folding results. A brave and true duo.
· Fritz Welch – Mental crenulations and high metallic wavering; clikerty fingerings and squeak in two glorious parts
· Stuckometer – Free Jizz overdrive for the ‘fuh’ generation from these boy legends.
· Junko – “Atttttahhhh-atttttaaahh. Ktchhttaaaaa. Tch-aaaaaahhhhh.”
· Sharon Gal – Granite-hard birdvoice dreamtime. Geysers scored for hot-ash hiss.
· Dylan Nyoukis/Luke Poot – This time together. In conversation via khat-o-phone. Explosive sinus and remorseful tutting like all the world’s Geography teachers at once.
· Turk Geko – Found footage, frowned frottage, grown pottage, hewn montage.
· YOL – Without a face he chants (gggrrrrrrrr) leaving few traces but ghastly thoughts.
· Belied Gunaiko – Silver cloud noise. The sound of pilots dozing off…
· The Piss Superstition – Transparent methods. A ‘how to’ guide if you will. But ingestion of foul liquids may, just may, play a part in the visceral rusty bliss-tronics.
· Jon Collin – Naked guitar (finger then slide) of ultimate sorrow. Salty harmonics from slack, bitter strings cry. Two-fer-one.
· Trans/Human – Mystery Machine hi-jinks full of fuzz, fizz and fixx. Taking pale ‘scree’ to the people like hotdogs.
· Joincey Jointhee – Word poems to a frosted tit. Superb fractured sentences folded together with abrupt and sudden breath. Curse the rain that stops the f-l-o-w.
· Crank Sturgeon – Electric Portraiture. Oh my Crank!
OK friends…I tried me hardest with those descriptions (for some reason this is so much harder than talking about records) so it’s probably best just to tune in really. If you are Sheffield based you can get this on the proper telly (9.00pm/Saturday/Channel 159). Jokers living in other locales can check out Vimeo for an identical web version and an archive of everything broadcast so far building up to an encyclopaedia of No Audience shenanigans. The series plans to run for 10 episodes which should take us almost up to Christmas. But, be warned, the busy bees behind the venture are looking to bust out in all different directions in 2015.
Stop reading. Start watching.
Tags: culver, drone, improv, joe murray, jon collin, jon marshall, lee stokoe, matching head, new music, new weird moscow, no audience underground, noise, roman nose, singing knives, somália, tapes, vampire blues, winebox press, yavgnu
Vampire Blues – Recorded Live at Les Voûtes, Paris, France, 24th November 2012 (C36 tape, Winebox Press, winebox22)
Culver/Somália – Untitled (tape, Matching Head, 197)
yavgnu/Roman Nose – Split (tape, исподволь)
Vampire Blues – Recorded Live at Les Voûtes, Paris, France, 24th November 2012
Vampire Blues is the natural-organic duo of Jon Marshall (Harmonium) and Jon Collin (Electric Guitar) feverishly stroking and a’ huffing live in the City of Light.
Side one is super-heavy on the harmonium, wheezy like an asthmatic pony as the guitar gently rests, calmly ‘pinging’ every so often. This is a boozy sedative with absolutely no intention of rushing. Waves of heavy vibration are pushed and pulled through the battered reeds and amplified with the slightest hint of over-distortion making everything quiver like it’s heard through a heat haze. As ever, with Winebox releases, the sound of the tape itself becomes a third player with its woollen arms cradling the sounds making it all fuzzy-eared and alive. After a while guitar rouses itself with prepared plucks performed with gnarled, wooden fingers, new leaves sprouting in place of nails.
Side two rips pretty much from the click of the play button. The gravy-brown harmonium picks up pace (huff-huff-huff) as a Sonny Sharrock style guitar solo falls heavy like electric sleet. Nifty playing makes the guitar sound backwards/forwards, background/foreground all at the same time with a thin keening edge…the sound of loss and yearning. The harmonium pumps on and on reaching some candle-lit nirvana; reaching the peaks of ecstasy like some Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sculpted from geranium-scented air. After the dizzying heights are reached there’s the slow trek down into the foothills to drink deeply in the crystal-clear brook that runs swiftly across the valley floor.
Bavardage assez, voici le boeuf. Edition limitée de 70 ans. 7 £ pour acheter de thewholevoyald.blogspot Pour votre argent, non seulement en êtes-vous présent document extatique mais cette petite bande vient cloué sur un morceau de peinture de table éclaboussé!
Culver/Somália – Untitled
Culver is a master of the dark art of static movement. In the same way smoke will fill a room to the corners, too thick to see thorough but fragile enough to part with the wave of a hand, Culver plays that hard/soft, full/empty, maximal/minimal dichotomy like Erich Von Daniken’s ancient astronauts. Always working on the edge of being there and not being there this piece, this relatively brief drone called ‘seven human hairs’ is like watching ink boil. The darkness is mesmerising and minutes lurch past, my fingers poised claw-like over the keyboard, when I sort of forget what I’m doing, so drawn into the loamy and fertile sound rolling out the speakers. I’m lucky enough to get to see Culver play a couple of times a year so I have a window into his working methods. I reckon this is a keyboard derived drone made with simple pieces of kit (Casio, Dictaphone, Sticky Tape) but that doesn’t stop the coiling tentacles probing out all soft tissues; leaching the essence of me out my living skin, as Nyarlathotep looks on delighting in the exquisite cruelty.
Somália is some mysterious Portuguese music maker who, on ‘das cordas’ takes a melancholic Satie riff (Gnossienne No. 1 I think) and loops it over and over again with a grimy patina of tape murk. That’s it. No speeding up or slowing down. No descent into beats or basslines. Just a gradual fade into the muck collected round the capstans. Super simple and super effective. It works at times (and I have to point out here I have played this tape a lot!) like dark canvas, swallowing the light but freeing up the subconscious. This is dreaming music. With my amateur musicologists hat on this whole idea of macro-samples could be traced back to hip hop I guess and people seemed to get their knickers in a twist when that hipster Oneohtrix Point Never did the same with a Chris De Burgh sample (‘Nobody Here‘). This is twice as cool and double the fun. It also became Mrs Posset’s favourite tape of the year which I think says a lot. Keen to learn more a quick Google search reveals little about Somália apart from an up-and-coming split tape with the with bonkers Portuguese duo Yong Yong. Wow…sounds like another essential release.
Sparse info here.
yavgnu/Roman Nose – Split
Direct from Jon Marshall’s duffel coat pocket this tape has travelled back from Russia on friendly sleeper trains following his visit deep behind the Iron Curtain (editors note: Scott chips in to tell us the tape is on a Russian label called ‘ispodvol’. According to Jon it’s a Russian word ‘исподволь’, meaning something like ‘gradually’.)
yavgnu are a ‘New Weird Moscow’ collective of bowed strings, flute, effects, vocal, guitar and percussion yet they speak the universal language of folk-group improvisation like any Chora or Hunter Gracchus would back in Blighty. Whacked out violin and percussion jangles crack the frozen earth as river-smooth pebbles of ‘echo’ are lobbed down any grike. Rusty bows are rubbed up against guitar and cymbal until the horsehair splinters and rips while previously recorded experiments jump through time-holes making the very ‘then’ now. Whilst the methods and vernacular are common to improvisers the world over (and this is no place for my extraordinary pamphlet linking the desolate Tuvan plains to Hull’s abandoned factories) the overall feel is very different. The balances we grow accustomed to in western improv are skewed and jammed. The weight of instrumentation feels different in the hand and demands careful consideration. There’s no desire to fill each space with sound; the restraint in the playing and decision making is apparent and welcome. There’s a calm confidence to this work that many an improv collective could learn from.
On this tape Jon’s Roman Nose is a collage of solo jams on ‘bicycle breaks, effects pedals, junk, metal food bowls, harmonica reeds, harmonium, sheng, tabla, tharqua, xaphoon & vocals’ and is as ecstatic and mixed up as that all sounds. Notes, tones and breaths tumble over each other in a frantic rush with tightly coiled punk energy. Metal bowls are bashed rhythmically until the tinny echoes fold in and the reverberations become diamond sharp. A sheng is blown with such lung-bursting power bamboo splinters and rips, tabla’s are amped up and twonked until skin can resound no more. This is a pretty violent melange and a world away from the more composed (but no less frantic) three-piece Roman Nose I saw live recently. This is all about the forward motion, propulsion, riding the peaks and soaring the ionosphere. Bliss. You might be able to get this from singing knives but I’d move fast if I was you. A birdy tells me there are fewer than 10 in the whole world!
Tags: blues guitar, desert guitar, giant hell, j collin, joe murray, john fahey, jon collin, new music, no audience underground, winebox press
J Collin – Follow The Great Road (High Peak Vibrations Vol 1) (download, Giant Hell)
Jon Collin – High Peak Selections (vinyl LP, Winebox Press, edition of 250)
J Collin – Follow the Great Road (High Peak Vibrations Vol 1)
Jon Collin plays the guitar. Mostly the electric kind with magnetic slides and sheer-faced shingle; but with a tint of acoustic woodiness from time to time too. And, as with every solo guitarist playing in the 21st Century, the spectre of John Fahey has to be addressed at some point. I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t hip to Fahey until fairly recently. I’d love to say I’d been collecting all the early albums since I plied my trade as a teenage blues scholar but it wouldn’t be the truth dear reader. As a teen I was steeping myself in the blues…shit I didn’t even pick up a record unless it had an old wizened geezer on the cover but the local Our Price only ran as far Robert Johnson, and once I’d supped with the devil my first exposure to Fahey was a little underwhelming. It was all a bit… pretty & lyrical. I didn’t get it…the fan boy gleam I’d seen reflected in so many fan boy eyes never caught a spark. But, my excellent friends, I persevered, played dusty & scratched sides late into the night; listened to the mixtapes fellow travellers had made me and after a few years the silver dollar did indeed drop. I was a fully fledged Fahey fanatic. But what’s all this got to do with Jon’s work? Well…I’d like to say, right from the off, I get this. I get it, I want it, I need it. This is a vital, vicious sound that needs no introduction or interpretation. Jon plays with a palate as dry as a fine Fino sherry. Tunes are coaxed, not just from plucking and picking but from rattles and slices against the uptight steel strings. This has been out for a while and, as a physical object, it is sold out. But the honest & mighty Giant Hell organisation, via the indie-pop graveyard, Bandcamp have made it available for free download to all. These sound like improvised pieces to me that ghost in and out of consciousness, but with some honest grit beneath the nails too. Silvery, rolling fingering makes a raga of ‘Virgin Soil’ with a nagging, insistent tug at the edges of sleep that fades to sun-drenched dreams. ‘A La Sainte Terre’ has a hint of Hapsburg Braganza’s tear-jerking explorations of sepia-toned space and foggy memory; tumbling the blues out of a wire-wool cloud of soft kittenish scratch as it threatens to shake itself to death falling though our cluttered knife drawer. I’ve said this before, but tape comes into it’s own with Jon’s soundworld, the blowsy hiss building warmly and covering me with beautiful crochet. It’s only with the closer ‘Westward I Go Free’ you get anything approaching a traditional song, nixed with occasional scrabbling, like many hands are trying to turn Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Albatross’ inside out and back to front. A right proper stunner that’s perfect flu-recovery music.
Free download from the Giant Hell Bandcamp site. (editor’s note: I took advantage of this after reading the above and concur – it is beautiful stuff. RH)
Jon Collin – High Peak Selections
The beautifully packaged, reassuringly heavy album is a child wise before it’s time; generous and a little bit mysterious. Things kick off in an almost industrial vein with the spooky ‘Prelude to CK Junior Blues’ in which nary a note is plucked. Thin, tinny, feedback drones croak over heavy amp ‘fuh’ and inner-spring ‘clack’. Strings are sliced, with a knife perhaps, or certainly menaced in some way, until the ghost gives up and returns to the ether leaving a warm humid scent like pine forests after rain. ‘Furniture Makers Moan’ collects pockets of headstock ‘ping’ and knuckle reddening ‘clunk’ as hot and cleansing as horseradish sauce and models them into tiny chess pieces ready to be displayed in an antique box. Even the blind idiot gods of the elements doth their cap as it starts to rain outside the instant ‘High Water’ starts, mirroring the downpour caught as a duet with the salty guitar. This time things aren’t quite as abstract and, as a Chinese blues hopes of happier times, there’s digging deep into some dark corners of the soul, the overseer looks on, cane in hand. After so many variations of steel and wood and thumb and finger it’s hard to imagine where else there is to go but ‘For the Road No’s 1 & 2’ adds aggression to the mix with each note violently plucked and spawning a slight shadow in this knotted tone poem. Complex as the creases on a hand, a pleading tone weeps (man I tried to keep weeps outta this…guitar/gently/weeping etc is a blogging no no) like a boy with a skinned knee. It’s relentless, like illness, until what I’m guessing is part 2, kicks in with a hopeful riff of golden buttery sunlight peaking over the trees helping you scramble out of the darkness towards home. Phew…this is emotional stuff, not afraid to be beautiful and not bullied by trends. Essential to my 16 year old self and any other blues scholars out there…oh yeah.
Only 250 issues of High Peak Selections are available in this world and can be located via Winebox Press for £10 plus p&p.