oTo archive complete

March 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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(oTo) – Ordnance, Tape Only

oTo archive pic 1

About a fortnight ago I announced the launch of the oTo tape archive project.  Today, much to my surprise, I am delighted to declare it complete.  That is: all fifty tapes that comprise the oTo catalogue, originally released in limited numbers more than a decade ago, have been digitized and are available to listen to and/or download for free here on this blog.  Haven’t I been a busy bee, eh?  Actually, hooking up a decent tape deck, via my little midwich mixer, to the laptop has made the task a breeze.  I’ve enjoyed chugging through it very much.

For further information about what this tape label was all about see the preamble on the archive’s own page.  This page is also where you’ll find all the links.  There are many gems hidden amongst the names you’ll recognize so please take the opportunity to dip your toes.  How about a terrific hiss-drone by The Dead Body?  Or the mutation of recordings made during the refurbishment of Leeds Railway Station into a Basic Channel-ish jackhammer dub by TK94?  I could go on: noise, electronics, folk-psych, dada collage – it’s all there for the taking.

May I ask a favour?  I’m usually loathe to ‘promote’ RFM, figuring that the right people will find it eventually, but I’m quite proud of the work done in presenting this bounty.  So… if you find something you like would you mind passing the link on to someone else you think might be interested, or doing one of them tweets or a facebooking?  Many thanks to those that did so following the initial announcement – your support is, as always, much appreciated.

The normal reviews based service you’ve come to expect from RFM will resume shortly with some great stuff dictated by Joe Murray to his children from the bouncy castle he uses as his office.  Scott is up to something calculated and evil in his mysterious undersea lair.  Me?  Well, having begun a phased return to work following my recent bout of depression I find myself in a near-constant state of bewilderment.  The muse is finding this most unattractive.  Hopefully inspiration will return as my energy levels increase as I am looking forward to doing justice to some exceptional releases on the review pile.

oTo archive pic 4

the oto tape archive

March 2, 2014 at 4:47 pm | Posted in blog info, fencing flatworm, midwich, no audience underground | 10 Comments
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(oTo) – Ordnance, Tape Only

oTo tapes

‘Ordnance, Tape Only’, or oTo to its friends, was a sound-art off-shoot project from fencing flatworm recordings, the micro-label I co-ran with Sean Keeble in the early years of this century.  There were fifty oTo releases, with each release limited to a numbered fifty copies, all on one-sided cassette tapes.  Apart from the artist name and the catalogue number no other information was included.  Inlay cards were made by chopping up various Ordnance Survey maps of this fair country.  Thus you got a random square of Britain, five miles on a side, to look at whilst listening to your near-anonymous tape.  Oh, and it is nowt to do with London’s Cafe OTO, which it predates by several years.

To my surprise, this insane enterprise caught the collective imagination and I had no trouble filling up the 50 slots.  It became a cross section of the UK noise underground at the time (2001-ish) and even attracted the attention of the international experimental jet-set with, for example, Thurston Moore donating some skronking.  Julian Bradley, who encouraged me to get started with the project, had tape number T01 and I took last one.  Whilst chopping up maps I was often left with some wholly blue squares containing just sea.  I kept those to one side and the 50 inlay cards for the midwich tape each cover 25 square miles of water.

In a lengthy interview with me conducted by Bang the Bore (read the whole thing here) I was asked a bunch of questions about oTo including this one:

Are you planning on giving oTo a digital after-life? It seems more suited to that format than the ffr releases, possibly… for one thing you can construct the eternally looping playlist implied by how the original releases were structured. It’s also easy to give it that “check it out then move on” response that you mention.

…and I replied:

Well, I can see the appeal for the reasons you mention but, no, I am not planning a digital reanimation for oTo.  Difficulty in finding the time would be a major hindrance – many of the masters are on tape themselves and would therefore need recording onto my laptop and mastering before acceptable mp3 versions could be created.  The bigger problem though is that I no longer have all the masters.  When ffr/oTo was wound up I offered to return masters to artists so they could reissue their work elsewhere and a few took me up on it.  Phil reissued the Zen Nuns tape (a collaboration he did with Lasse Marhaug) on BWCD, for example.  I realise that most of these reissues are now themselves unavailable but still… I returned this stuff on the understanding that oTo was over.  I’d also not feel happy about releasing mp3s of this stuff without the permission of the artists themselves and I’ve completely lost touch with quite a few of them.  No, reanimating oTo would be a logistical nightmare.  Best just to accept that the moment has passed.

Solid reasoning, I’m sure you’ll agree, but then I found myself shifting a stereo upstairs to the RFM offices here at Midwich Mansions and my thinking began to change…  My current opinion is as follows:

Ahh… fuck it!

So, with that in mind, please see the oTo tape archive page (also tabbed above) for a list of the fifty tapes.  The blurbs are from the original FFR website.  I thought about putting it on Bandcamp or doing something like Jeff did at Union Pole but neither of those options felt quite right.  Let’s keep it a private affair for readers of this blog.

The page is being launched containing a random selection of about half of the catalogue (mainly those I had CD-r masters for) in best quality mp3 format.  In due course I will add more until all, or as close to all as I can manage, are archived here.  Your patience requested – this archive is a work in progress and progress may be glacial.

Apologies in advance if some of the sound quality isn’t crystal sharp – such is the nature of the exercise.  Amazingly, I am digitizing tapes via the Pioneer tape deck that I originally duped these tapes on.  It is still working fine – <appreciative whistle> – they don’t make ’em like that anymore, eh?  Where I’ve created mp3s from a CD-r master there may be multiple tracks, mp3s from tapes will be in one lump.  Playing and/or downloading options are both available.

Comments welcome.  Much more to come…

the barrel nut #6 and #7: double barrelled!

February 23, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Posted in art, no audience underground, not bloody music | 4 Comments
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tbn #6 covertbn #7 cover

The more zine-hungry amongst you will have noticed that during my recent illness I was, sadly, only able to publish one issue of The Barrel Nut microzine.  However, I’m glad to say that despite this unavoidable slowdown the plaudits kept coming in.  It was voted ‘The North’s most charming noise/art delivery system’ by Members Aflame! – the newsletter of the Campaign for Civility in Power Electronics and was awarded an unprecedented 4.5 star-shaped sensory appendages out of 5 by Tago Mi-Go – the journal of Lovecraftian Krautrock studies (heh, heh – lolz – that nugget of comedy gold dedicated to Paul Walsh who celebrated his 50th birthday last week – happy belated returns!).  This approbation has spurred me on to publish issues #6 and #7 simultaneously, thus recovering some of the lost ground.

Newbies might be wondering what I’m on about.  Well here’s me self-quoting some explanatory blurb (those in the know can skip it):

A microzine is a single sided, single sheet of A4 paper cleverly folded to make an eight panel, A7 pamphlet.  Paper copies will be distributed to anyone who wants one, or who has expressed an interest in the past.  I’ll bring some to gigs I attend and a bunch will be passed around by those with a similar love of the post.

Should you be all internet-enabled n’ that then you are very welcome to download and print out your own.  It’s well salt-and-shake!  Links to the latest issue in jpeg and pdf formats are below (you’ll need to trim the print-out a bit down one edge to make it fold properly).  Some more context, assembly instructions and previous issues can be found on the Nut’s own page (tabbed above).

Should you wish to contribute artwork then I would be very grateful indeed.  Submissions need to look OK when reproduced as a black and white photocopy and be 7cm by 10cm in size (or scalable to roughly those dimensions).  Good quality scans attached to an email are fine, originals sent in the post ideal.  Please get in touch.

So there you have it…

Some really terrific contributions this time around.  We have gnomic poetry and lollipop toting ghost children from Julian Bradley of Zellaby Award winners The Piss Superstion – a chap who should be better known for his exceptional graphic work.  We have the monarch of the glen being prepared to become ‘value’ lasagne and a comment on the moustachioed breed of hipsterism by Yol, master of the starkly black and white and a TBN regular.  We are celebrating the release from prison of Hiroshima Yeah!’s Gary Simmons with a bleak sketch of a cell window and a collage made during his time incarcerated (the smears are toothpaste – he wasn’t allowed glue).  His fellow HY! editor Mark Ritchie contributes a poem-ish cut-up as does RFM’s very own Joe Murray, of Posset infamy. We have Michael Clough to thank for donating a double-page spread of elegant minimalism built from offcuts created whilst constructing one of his photocopier experiments (of which more anon).  Hard stares for Dex Wright of Tapenoise who lays down some paranoia-inducing, exuberantly worked, outsider Cubism.  Finally, we are treated to an unnerving sketch by Lucia Foster, a Mexican based illustrator affiliated to Miguel Perez’s Oracle Netlabel/Agorafobia Tapes axis.  Her work is new to me and I hope to see more of it in future.

I’m proud to bring this lot to your attention.  Contributors and subscribers will be receiving copies in the post in due course.  Links to downloadable versions below, as promised.  A plea: leaving aside a rainy day stockpile of stuff by the regulars I am in need of submissions for future issues.  If you’ve ever fancied giving it a go then now is the time to get the crayons out…

The Barrel Nut #6 as a pdf file

The Barrel Nut #6 as a jpeg file

The Barrel Nut #7 as a pdf file

The Barrel Nut #7 as a jpeg file

threat of disintegration: joe murray puzzles over basic house but is damn sure about the piss superstition

December 18, 2013 at 10:07 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Basic House – Oats (CD, Alter, ALT12)

the piss superstition – southpaw the skull (CD-r, poot records, poot#49)

basic house - oats

Basic House – Oats

One of the stranger developments in recent years has been them naughty noise-boys trading in their para boots for vintage gazelles and applying the ‘noise’ mentality and sound sources to a completely new template.  Labels like Pan, Opal Tapes and Alter are scooping up these singular artists and opening up new vistas; transforming these no-audience stalwarts into some-audience players.

Oats starts with tape hiss as fresh as ocean spray soaking the bridge of the Terra Nova.  And it’s with this image of adventure I sit down and struggle to work out, what is it that Basic House does?  He’s not a DJ.  Well not here anyway, so it’s not turntablism I’m listening to.  He is using sound sources and in some way sampling them but I find the term samplist clumsy and insufficient. The job title ‘composer’ is far too stuffy and does nothing to describe the very organic thought process on show.   So, how about loopist?  One who performs with loops?  Does that take us any nearer understanding the art of the Basic House?

Let’s see…

Like movements of a galactic timepiece ‘AR II’ chimes with cymbals double-timed by Jack DeJohnette.  On a second listen the touchstone could be Tom Recchion’s Chaotica with its woozy, schoozy fat-wobbling circles spiralling within each other and occasionally collapsing.  I think I’ve just got this thing cracked when it all ends with about 15 seconds of syrupy mid-70’s easy listening schmaltz.  The atmosphere is briskly challenged by ‘Child Confession’ with the introduction of a soggy-bottom beat, a machine-like ‘whump’ that anchors the soaring, grinding gears.

I need to make something clear here though Midwichers.  A few commentators have used the word ‘industrial’ when describing Basic House.  For me this sends out all the wrong messages.  This is not the itchy grime of a replica WW2 uniform but the beautiful deep pearly-grey of a dove’s wing.  And while the occasional beat (however lopsided and lurching) signifies a ‘club’ feel, this has as much in common with late-period Blood Stereo as Berlin’s  Transmediale.  It’s all about the sound of the sound.

‘Interiors’ could be extreme vocals pushed through a mincer.  It could be the time stretched squeal of a pig as a bi-plane circles overhead.  The only thing that remains certain is the distinctive klunk and scree of a Dictaphone that makes an appearance into the misty melange; fading slowly…

‘BG Feathers’ lavishes a beat so distorted it sounds like a dot matrix printer wired to explode, whilst cymbals buried deep are ‘ten-to-two-ing’ again.  Folded into the mix a stanky aquarium squelch comes across almost like a parody of an acid track.  These are not Autechre’s studied opaque strategies but genuinely odd juxtapositions and alliances; field recordings from the Nostromo, air vents opening and closing wetly.

The CD version that I have been playing has a couple of tracks of silence separating side one and side two to mimic the anticipation of turning the record over and diving in again.  Patience is rewarded with ‘Time Table’, that loops the sound of a trawlerman’s winch hauling nets and throaty gurgles that wouldn’t be out-of-place in Yol’s back catalogue

The penultimate piece, ‘C – Beat’ ripples like mercury.  The heavy, silvery waves lapping with insistent purpose until we find ourselves at the Terra Nova once again, climbing out the sea like lesser gods, ready to summon accursed masters in a diabolical ceremony.

But does the term loopist work?  For me Basic Stephen Bishop waits right until the end to give us hungry listeners a tantalising clue with the epic ‘L-Wave and Comb’, the greatest tune Jazzfinger never wrote, an exercise in dank basement gloom, grimy loops and never-ending climax.  You’ll have to listen to see if you agree with me Midwichers!

OK.  I started this slightly hysterical review with a knee-jerk and badly-researched statement; folk are leaving the sub-underground to engage with a slightly different set of parameters.  Basic House et al are making work that is just as challenging and avant garde as anyone else on these pages but it’s snagged something more commercial.  It’s becoming more than another tiny-micro niche and turning (dare I say it?) into a movement.  And the million dollar question…what’s the difference?  Could it be that a slight change in frequencies and presentation are the deciding factors?  Are audiences so shallow that the merest hint of a beat places this music into a different, more commercial and visible, category?  Hell…I don’t know.  But it’s fun trying to figure it out eh?  Until then consider me a fan…the oldest swinger in town.

southpaw

the piss superstition – southpaw the skull

That Dorian Gray of the no-audience underground, Piss Julian Superstition Bradley, kindly put me up once after a gig in Leeds.  We had a laugh that night; drank some beer, listened to Public Enemy and generally put the world to rights.  But my enduring memory of that visit was having the most powerful and outrageously lucid dream of my life kipping on his sofa.  I’m one of them annoying light sleepers.  The merest rattle of a fag paper and I’m sitting bolt upright shot through with black-coffee alertness.  But on that morning it took me hours to pull myself round.  I was so confused I kept questioning my compatriots (Lee TUSK and our RFM host Rob (Editor’s note: heh, heh – much fun was had by all…)) ‘Did someone visit in the night?’ so realistic were my dozy memories.  That, dear readers, is a taste of the potency of Mr Julian Bradley when he’s not even trying!  The contact-high off his sofa was enough to knock me for six all morning.  Now imagine distilling this psychedelic essence into a silvery disc and pouring it into your ear.  That is pretty much what I attempted with repeat listens to the glowing masterwerk southpaw the skull.

But despite his boyish good looks, me and Julian must be similar ages coz the all the references on this sizzling disc are super-resonant to my 43 year-old ears.  At some points it’s the harshest, worst fidelity imaginable, Velvet Underground bootleg ever; a two note boogie, nodding-out over the zonked repetition, dropping brass polish all over the floor and headaching the metallic fumes.  At other times it’s a Stylophone demonstration disc played by furious bees then roughed up in an alley by a Mexican girl gang.  Finally there is a hint of that old Pebbles compilation (with bands like The Litter? The Wild Knights?? (Editor’s note: the most reprehensible song ever?  Possibly.)) letting them guitars ring out and feedback like a trashy liberty bell.  There’s a real joy in the simple fuzz and fuh that’s pretty darn contagious.  Even non-musical sounds twang the memory gong with the grey-pumice pulsing of a ZX Spectrum game endlessly loading becoming a theme running though ‘Hospital Material.’  And if that makes things sound like moronic retro-riffage you got it all wrong pal.  Amid the spark and fizz of the uber-distorition strange melodies peek out.  ‘Sev Acher’ is one of them modern hymns you get on Songs of Praise every now and then that has a vaguely familiar tune taking unexpected turns as if people don’t know the words very well.  It’s on the point of constantly breaking up but holds things together for a minute or two before a breathless surge towards the climax.

And it’s that threat of disintegration; the edge-of-chaos collapse that keeps making me turn back to this sweet knuckle-sandwich again and again for a hit of fresh air.

Buy Oats via the Alter Bigcartel site, buy southpaw the skull by contacting Poot direct.

alien currency: valuing stuart chalmers, robert ridley-shackleton, spoils & relics and the piss superstition

May 15, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Posted in musings, new music, no audience underground | 3 Comments
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Stuart Chalmers/Robert Ridley-Shackleton – Blunders (tape, Hissing Frames)

Spoils & Relics – Angels Trumpet Over Moonbeams (CD-r, Chocolate Monk, choc.252)

The Piss Superstition – Vocal Learning (CD-r or download, Kirkstall Dark Matter)

vocal learning frontvocal learning backspoils and relics - angelsblunders

Recently my heavyweight cultural commentator status was leaned upon by that talented noise scamp Duncan Harrison.  He wished to pick my brains in an email interview and then use my powerful insights to inform his MA dissertation, thinking, correctly, that my involvement would guarantee him top marks.  His subject, a fascinating one, is the construction of value in noise.  I won’t rehearse too much of what I said to him as a) much of it was culled from previous interviews and blog posts that can be found here or nearby and b) I don’t know what stage he is at in the project or if he intends to publish it himself.  Suffice to say it was a pleasurable business which got me thinking about a difficult subject that I’ve long been nervous about.

To put the question as simply as possible: when faced with two noise performances or recordings what, if anything, makes one better than the other and what allows the listener to make that judgement?  I have been mulling over the implications of this thought whilst enjoying these three releases.  I’ll use the excuse of the reviews to chuck in a bit of light philosophizing too.

A month (or so – sorry: taking care of a baby seems to shrink the calendar) ago, Stuart Chalmers generously sent me a copy of the split tape pictured above and his CD-r Daydream Empire on rock-solid noise label LF Records.  I was especially keen to hear the latter as Uncle Mark over at RFM’s sister blog Idwal Fisher had already lavished praise upon it.  Stuart’s blistering collages are constructed with care, dedication to detail, a dry wit and sense of rhythm.  There is an admirable fluidity to the craziness which suggests hidden narratives beneath the surface froth.  It is delicate and nuanced in places, gibbering bonkers in others.  The recording is immaculate, the package very smart.  In fact, I can’t think of an ‘objective’ measure of quality on which this release doesn’t score highly and yet…  I’m sad to say that I didn’t like it.  Over the course of several benefit-of-the-doubt re-spins I found my attention wandering, unable to latch on.  It is clear to me why others like it and why I ‘should’ like it myself, but knowing that doesn’t help.  Most perplexing – it feels like my fault somehow.

The split tape Blunders, however, despite being ‘less accomplished’ (and I realise that using phrases like that is not helpful when the nature of ‘accomplishment’ is the point being discussed but, hey, I’m not the one writing a dissertation) is great.  Stuart’s side begins with a groaning cassette player, low on battery power or suffering from finger-on-the-capstan syndrome which accompanies Stuart sorting out his recycling, clearly in a bad mood.  There is an appealing physicality to this section – I like to hear things chucked about.  The following sequence is simplicity itself: a short loop is augmented with various clatters and allowed to rise and fall as rhythms emerge and are subsumed in the growing crescendo.  This cuts abruptly and is replaced with some ghostly, chittering squiggletronics layered in overalpping spirals sat atop an uneasy moan.  Effective and gratifying.  Robert’s side begins with a tooth-loosening trebly whine.  This isn’t something I would usually warm to, but it is subject to occasional and semi-rhythmic disruption which proves hypnotic.  Like watching the cool, even flow of a melt water stream disrupted by a child bringing odd shaped muddy objects to wash in it.  The dreamlike atmosphere is continued with a strangely breathy middle section and compounded by a final sequence that feels like lying on a beach listening to light aircraft pass overhead, well, until a smearing of the sound suggests this may be something slightly more sinister – an imposed memory perhaps.  So what of ‘quality’?  Are there such things as objective measures?  If the attributes I list in the previous paragraph are examples then in a ‘tick list’ exercise the CD-r wins out over the tape.  However, as I far prefer the latter to the former, it seems that exhibiting all these virtues does not necessarily lead to a release being ‘good’.

Which brings us to the next point: is saying something is ‘good’ anything over and above saying ‘I enjoyed it’?  Is saying ‘this is better than that’ just a way of saying ‘I liked this more than that’ couched in pseudo-objectivity?  Can I get away with saying, for example, Angels Trumpet Over Moonbeams by Spoils & Relics, volume 4 in Chocolate Monk’s ‘The Well Spliced Breath’ series of releases, is better than all-but-one of the other items on the review pile?  Well, I’m going to…

Spoils & Relics are much loved here.  Their collages of found sounds, unfathomable scrapings, radio twittering and cultural detritus are superficially similar to many other releases that come my way but they seem to add an extra layer in-between their sources and results that others don’t.  Before being recontextualized, the causes they have collected get abstracted and uncoupled from their usual effects.  Elements are recognizable, of course, and some of the filters used are obvious (tapes sped up for humorous effect etc.) but everything is coated with an oily film of, for want of a better word, magic.  Perhaps because the group is a trio the sense that some kind of rite is taking place is more pronounced than it would be with a solo artist.  I dunno.  Never mind: this is 24 minutes well spent.  I was entranced, amused, fascinated.  It weathers repeat listens – the twinkling cragginess becoming more characterful each time around.

Whilst stopping short of claiming my judgement has an objective grounding, I might have a go at a kind of appeal to authority: my own.  I recognize this gambit has no logical force behind it but I have spent thousands of hours over more than two decades listening to and thinking about certain types of experimental music, and many of those hours/years have been spent engaging with this type of noise.  I’d like to think that I’ve developed a certain connoisseurship during that period.  I have a historian’s feel for context, and a fellow practitioner’s (I hesitate to call myself a ‘musician’) appreciation of the methods of construction.  Thus if some ne’er-do-well challenged me to justify my assertion that this CD-r is excellent I would put a friendly arm around their shoulder and calmly explain that I have put the hours in.  Experience allows me to appreciate depth, nuance, texture and/or take joy from immediacy and the unexpected.  Basically: if I know about anything, I know about this.

Which brings me neatly to the pay off.  For the reasons given above, I am well placed to appreciate and savour anything genuinely remarkable and unique that happens along.  Hang on a minute, the sceptic might say, didn’t you just assert that your trustworthy aesthetic judgement was based on a bedrock of accumulated precedent?  If so, how do you account for something unprecedented?  It’s a fair point.  I think I’d try and wriggle out from under it by saying that my experience has taught me that novelty has a value in and of itself and that finding something unclassifiable is usually a good reason for close further attention.  I love those ‘what the fuck am I hearing?!’ moments.  As I said to Duncan: in a scene where anything goes you have to be prepared for anything going.

The Piss Superstition, that is Julian Bradley and Paul Steere, is just such a proposition.  My bromance with JB is over-documented elsewhere on this blog so I won’t go into that again.  Suffice to say I cry uncontrollably whenever I remember that he has deserted Leeds for that Manchester.  Still, we’ll always have the music…

Vocal Learning comprises three tracks totalling approximately 26 minutes and comes on a sleek, black playstation-style CD-r in the nicely designed, minimal packaging pictured above.  It is the second release on Dave Thomas’s microlabel Kirkstall Dark Matter and effortlessly betters the inaugural release by yours truly.  I’m honoured to be in such company.  The music suggests systems gone wrong, like some guy pushed in a punch card upside down and then went to lunch leaving everything running.  Yet heavy, juddering electrics describe arcane symbols as they spiral through the iterations of this garbled instruction set.  Something truly wierd is being revealed.  The serrated buzzing suggests saw mill equipment escaping its moorings and consuming itself as one bladed machine vibrates into the path of another.  But again, there is nothing random about this movement.  All is being conducted by an unfamiliar intelligence for some unknowable purpose.  In the end though, all metaphors, similes, superlatives and whimsy just slide off this band or, at best, get caught in the gears and mashed – such is the beauty, mystery and power of their output.  They do not sound like anyone else and yet, somehow, it turns out that this sound is exactly what I wanted to hear.  Its value can only be calculated by fumbling with an alien currency, glinting strangely in my palm.

Thus: Vocal Learning is the best album of the year so far.  Why?  Because it is – I said so.

LF Records

Hissing Frames

Stuart Chalmers

Chocolate Monk

Spoils & Relics

Kirkstall Dark Matter

The Piss Superstition

artifacts of the no-audience underground: second review haiku

November 9, 2011 at 10:08 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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At a time when the quantity of music I’m exposed to is increasing exponentially, even without amassing downloads, I am super wary of burn-out.  It did for me during the last days of fencing flatworm when I was stretched paper thin and miserably ill.  Back then, an unsolicited jiffy bag full of scratchy Scandinavian improv was enough to bring on thoughts of self-harm.  Ugh.  In hindsight it wasn’t surprising that the short break from music that I embarked on in 2004 ended up lasting five years…

Now back in the fray, healed and enjoying some hard earned sense of perspective, I am digging music more than I’ve ever done before.  Amazing, eh?  The only problem is finding the time and the energy to write about everything I want to write about.  Goddammit, the world must be told!  And by me!  So here is the second in an occasional series of round-ups in which I maximise efficiency by using the traditional Japanese poetic form of Haiku.  Pretentious?  Aww.. maybe, but I enjoy attempting to achieve the clarity and precision of thought that the form demands.

I’m hoping that, as none of the producers and donators of this material were expecting reviews at all, they won’t be disappointed not to get a thousand word epic containing rapturous references to duelling cybernetic dragons.  I’m parking all that for a minute.  Instead this lot get seventeen syllables in the traditional 5-7-5 formation.  Each poem is a distillation of some concentrated repeat listens and was composed whilst the music was actually playing.  Each entry follows the same format:

Thumbnail of cover (click to enlarge)

  1. Band name – album title
  2. Review poem
  3. Label and release info which doubles as a ‘buy here’ link

OK, off we go…

  1. Enoc Dissonance – Ilimitada Disponibilidad Corporativa de un Automata
  2. Lump hammer rhythm / Heaving circadian wheeze / Wounded robot blinks
  3. Oracle ORE72, free download

  1. The Skull Mask – The Old Spirit of Maria Sabina
  2. Wilderness shaman / Sierra de Chihuahua / Ego Dissolving
  3. Oracle ORE70, free download

  1. Mascarae – Daemdria Lades
  2. Mechanical ghost / Abandoned power station / Circuitry spirit
  3. Oracle ORE71, free download

  1. The Piss Superstition – Valentine, The World Hates Us
  2. Reptilian hulk / Immobile yet poised, like a / hibernating frog
  3. Self released, CD-r

  1. Inseminoid – untitled
  2. Quiet, implied threat / Cinematic butchery / Hung meat favoured here

  1. Inseminoid – uk tour 2011
  2. The gulf between us / The sheer metallic cliff face / The roaring abyss
  3. Self-released, 3″ CD-r

  1. Hapsburg Braganza / Trancers II / Posset – …a clutch of eggs…
  2. Magic carpet flight / George Dixon versus Jack Deth / Dicta-noise chirrups

  1. Foldhead – Drugs Paint Alcohol
  2. Amniotic lab / Grisly incunabula / struggling to be
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