pico-routines and micro-dramas: joe murray on skatgobs and the found secret compilation

September 23, 2015 at 12:50 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Skatgobs – Pointless (CD-r, Chocolate Monk, choc.314, edition of 40)

Various Artists – Found Secret (CD, 777 was 666, 777-022, edition of 300)


Skatgobs – Pointless

The cockney fug of Café Oto gives way to a relaxed domestic burr and the sharp acoustic slap-back you get between Victorian terraces.

Please welcome Skatgobs

…says some showbiz dude and the performance starts with Luke Poot in your left ear, Dylan Nyoukis in your right and Phil Minton all over your face.  These three have been pulling gunk outta their necks for about 1000 years or so but tonight they are concentrating on collective mouth-music and similar damp jaxx.

For those expecting duck-like explosions, brace yourself.  The sound here is mainly gentle; hissed swoops and whispered threats are the vocabulary.  Each individual – Poot, Nyoukis or Minton creates fresh cockles and whelks from that tonsil and mind conglomerate but it’s the collective that makes this one a speciality bean.  Ideas may launch individually but work in tandem then triplicate.  Things lock pleasingly together for a while then peel away… reflective soap bubbles.

The ‘hssss-furrr-chow, chow, chow’ is lightning fast with pico-routines and micro-dramas played out and passed from cake hole to shell-like to shrimp joke like a juggler’s hot nut.  The collected minds carefully splice each presented ‘bluurr’ or ‘tssshhhh-ch’ with an infinite number of other potential ‘blaaaahs’ to become a 50’s Radiophonic but without the sellotape and white coats.

The pace is brisk enough to satisfy any Minor Threat fan but the deepness of this game means we’re looking at things along the vertical rather than horizontal.  I’m not saying this is a hippy-band meditative piece (this is way more large-colon than third-eye) but a certain gravity and space is required to sup properly .

It’s been asked before but I’ll ask it again.  Does this work without the red-faced gurn and fat-cheeked pop; the sweaty visual to eyeball wide and contextualise? Well of course it does, listening to this in your own dungeon, it becomes an abstract electronic, they (P/N/M) become the human synths with a Mentat’s purple lips.

So dearest librarians… do you file this under Sound Poetry, free-release throat metal or tooth-jazz?

Categories become problematic and stifling with juice this fresh so park that thought buddy and slip these randomly between Editions Mego and Naxos joints, let the punters sort it out.

Essential?  You betchya.

found secret

Various Artists – Found Secret

The N-AU loves a compilation: short odd-ends and snippets, bedfellows a-strange and lumpy.  This compilation finds loving arms for all its wonk-eyed children.

But what’s the general feel?  Is it a ready reckoner, a ‘now’ check against your wish list or a wide open window to glistening new green fields?  That all depends on you, my dearest of all possible readers.

Does this tickle you?

  • Rick Potts – Calliope collapse/loop-ography.  Ninja Tune scratched and scratched but never got this blunted.
  • Spoils & Relics – Gandalf’s pocket fluff rubbed on a shiny pate.  Squeals become veals. Never an accident ignored.
  • Yeast Culture – Dot Matrix Disco!  Micro-events drench you like drizzle to awake refreshed but inky.
  • Dylan Nyoukis – Close-miked MB Games (Frustration? Perfection?? ) summons up a slobbering beast muttering oaths to pond-scum reverb.  Munch the kelp!
  • Smegma – Travel expenses claim recorded in the medium of squeaks and gingerly sliding tones. “How much for an egg sandwich?”
  • Aaron Dilloway – Congolese Ping-Pong.  The heat effects the balls so they become heavy as sand.  To be inhaled violently, with paddles proudly flapping.
  • Hair Stylistics – Reptiles let loose in the studio. You’ve heard of Lounge Lizards right? Go-Go revolution with £15,000 worth of percussion.
  • T Mikawa – a cleansing pixelated conundrum.  The sphinx rendered in exclamation marks. Singular as a Morse Code fist.
  • New Blockaders – Mystery men rattle a waterfall.  A ghost of Lisa ‘Lefteye’ Lopez does backing vocals in the style of a ticking car bonnet.  Malfunction never tasted better.
  • Yellowhouse – From the brain canal of every blues guitarist ever.  When half-formed is overdone we all win!
  • The Custodians of the Realm – The urban jungle beautified with sheets of sound (Coltrane on tapes).  Tiny Indian head massage works my skull as beds vibrate in the emptiness within.
  • Altar of Flies – Any Moomin re-boot needs to leak this into the mix. Other worlds but with a distinct Northern flavour – like Dill sauce I guess.
  • Karen Constance – 25 years of Eurovision distilled into a pipette and dripped slowly into the corner of your eye.  A slight sting then blissful, herb-scented numbness.
  • John Wiese – Bristles like my chin.  See-sawing horns rasp like they are ribbed with foul rubber.   The unease suggests significant REDRUM music.
  • Marc Hurtado – Motley Crue’s Mick Mars gave off this vibe in black waves, up to, but not including 1985’s Theater of Pain. The residual mung is collected in jars and left to ferment.

Take a chance sir?  Feel like a flutter madam?  Catch this one while it’s piping hot.


Chocolate Monk

777 was 666

[Editor’s note: Found Secret cover pic nicked from the Mantile Records site, where this CD is also available.]

scunnered, holding a pickle: joe murray indulges with chocolate monk

February 27, 2015 at 12:57 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Dylan Nyoukis – Scunnered at Breakfast (CD-r and text inserts, Chocolate Monk, choc.299, edition of 50)

Blood Stereo – Rid Raw (tape, Chocolate Monk, choc.300, edition of 20)


Dylan Nyoukis – Scunnered at Breakfast

This booby is 25 mins long and formed of two waxy-cream hemispheres. Dylan kicks off in balls-out Holy-Mystical-Roller mood with a lulling and lowing, slightly shifting, accordion loop that puts a stoner nod on your basic livestock (goats, cattle, llama etc).  Cud-scented breath busily excites the brittle reeds with a ‘whhuuuuuuhhh – whuuuuuuuhhh’.  Gosh!  It’s like accidently tripping over some classic organ piece; Psych Mouldfield’s Tubular Balls or something as eventually flutters of speech and slivers of stomach-ache gas right in through the swollen yellow belly.  I’m goofing off over the stretching that’s going on here and it takes me right back to a fragrant memory-bomb: thinning bright oils with stinky turpentine, just like it was yesterday.  After approximately 8 minutes of kneading this pale wash a whole bunch of crispy characters get an invitation to the dusty rodeo.  Familiar faces rub their paws together with some names new to me.  So (koff koff) on the mike, it’s head-cheese from…

Hitomi Arimoto, Marco Cazzella, Seymour Glass, Paul Kirk, Ludo Mich, Angela Sawyer, Norman Shaw and Erkki Sinnemaki

…all magi-mixed with a steady hand on the capstans.

Scunnered.  The guest’s sounds turn to speech, words fracture meaning.  Scunnered.  Slowed talking stories from assembled heads, multiple-layered voices, pinched taped squall.  Scunnnnered.  Placement plays with sense & non-sense; reptilian repetition leaks into my gut.  My brain (eager to please) takes these sleazy pieces and stitches together a map with key designed by Flavor Flav and Sen Dog.  Skunnn-nered.  I follow the contours and with the handy charts supplied work my way through the (SKUNNE’RRD) text,













mouthing along with the international word-set, puckering my lips in a dry whistle and filling my neck pouches with greedy air to bellow a long and low mewl. That thing happens when sibilant hisses all come together like an MC5 jam, riffing on the chord, and building intensity around a single abstract moment.  The source doesn’t matter so much…it’s the heart with which you execute the exercise.  Scuuuuunnnnnurrreeeeeddddddd.

Phew.  My Kelman-flaps flicker.  Let’s get this shit on the National Curriculum, eh?!


BTW…the random Radio Free Midwich quality check suggests that while I score high on gonzo it’s far too low on eyeball-scrape.  I’m all about the soundz (man) so often forget to mention the rusty packets this shit gets sent in.  No more!  Attached are pics of this whole goofy package.  You can sing–a-long my friends and gaze at our knighted host.  See…I listen!

rid raw

Blood Stereo – Rid Raw

This ruby red tape holds the accolade of being Chocolate Monk 300.  Think about it.  That’s Three Hundred soft-tissue missiles delivered on target.  Three hundred brain-pans re-tuned and soured.  And three hundred beautiful objects to line up and believe in when you’re up against the mundane cruelty of early 21st Century life.

Blimey…I’m getting all emotional…I better just talk about the music eh?

It’s tape in two parts right?

(a) futtle-the-pin It goes “Kuff, Kuff.”  There’s street noise and lavatorial water-gurgle.  This is pieced together like a Junk Opera where two layers of sound overlap each other, two layers of consciousness leak into one omni-strata.  The arresting ordinariness of some of the sounds – cat’s crying, bird song and distant traffic ‘shooosh’ play like a new exotic into the Dr Who tape melt.  Then a slammed cell door makes this a dub and I understand the dread that runs beneath this whole side.

(b) outen-under starts with strange kissing cousins: a violent choking and Chinese flute that’s just about the most uplifting sound ever.  A strange under-the-duvet recording of deep lungs wraps itself up in a gentle clanking (the mechanism for a dry dock pumping out oily water perhaps) like a sweet spring roll; crispy on the outside, gelatinous within.  The Chinese theme continues, tinting the air in my dank writing corner, refreshing and fragrant as freshly picked jasmine with the insistent electronic bubbling adding a splash of vinegar!   Then the weird gets spread about like tick-cream and the lost voices/spooky keys/frog-goff starts to resemble a future dream I might have tomorrow –   faceless bodies hum and vibrate, hair sprouts out of palms.  An old horse-drawn carriage clip-clops down the forest track, led by nuns lashed to the bridle.

Sick of reading my shit yet?  You wanna one-liner eh?  It’s the best bloody Blood Stereo side for ages man…go find it doof!

Oh yeah…I made a promise to mention the art.  The cover art seems to be penned by the same hand as Scunnered with thick, black lines carving out an image that would have fit nicely into 2000AD’s Cursed Earth landscape.  Their Muties were genuinely disturbing man…and this bugger’s holding a pickle.


Chocolate Monk

[Editor’s note: alas, both releases now sold out – frequent visits to CMHQ recommended to avoid disappointment.]

rfm attends colour out of space part one: joe murray ruminates

November 22, 2013 at 8:38 am | Posted in live music, new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
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Performance Weekend: 8th – 10th November, 2013, Brighton, UK

COOS poster

Editor’s note: RFM had two roving reporters present at this year’s Colour Out Of Space festival down in that Brighton. Regular contributor Joe Murray, who also performed, enjoyed himself enormously.  Pascal Ansell, whippersnapper and occasional guest of RFM, ahh… not so much.  Copious enthusiasm from Joe first, a more exacting response from Pascal to follow.  Over to Joe:


Ahhhh Brighton…the sun, the sea, the squalor!  I’ve had a soft spot for Brighton ever since I was a wee kiddie with a vivid imagination, trying to piece together the violent Mods & Rockers legend with the twin-set & pearls crowd that strolled slowly down the pier huffing camphor-scented liniments.

These days of course it’s all about the hipsters and Bubble Tea but I’m not complaining; I’ve got my freak on as I meet my gracious host Bod for a pint or two before we lurch expectantly to the main venue, The Old Market.  Immediately adopting ‘Brighton time’ I missed the mysterious Occult Hand and outrageous Acrid Lactations who I both really wanted to see – please accept my apologies Occult Lactations, I was with you in spirit.

It was sometime around pint four I met up with my co-reporter Pascal Ansell and we immediately set ourselves up in a Hunter S Thompson style press-pack; silver-eyed Tuna darting purposefully through the flitting shoal.  We rejected the usual journalistic conventions to move straight from gentle ‘forming’ to chaotic ‘storming’ within minutes, swapping war-zone anecdotes, snippets of esoteric record knowledge and the loudly proclaiming the relevance of Sammy Davis Jr.  The result of such firm-calved bonding and reckless drinking resulted in a beery bonhomie for sure but also meant I pretty much missed every act to play on Friday.  Oops…I did it again!  The one that got away was the Enzo Minarelli.  Dressed in dark jeans and tight black T shirt, his hair scraped back, there was an air of the ninja in his vocal guffings.  Assisted with backing tracks of further mouth-chaff the precise and deadly Enzo sliced the air with steel-edged hissing and lippy smacks.  This was no po-faced sound poetry lark but a right old hootenanny with his piece ‘Poem’ being turned into ‘PoemMacaroni’ in the curdled air.  The rest of the bill was crammed with exceptional acts of legendary avant-gardary but to my shame dear reader I spent the remnants of Friday propping up the bar catching up with old friends and making new ones.  I’ve never been a good mixer Midwichers but I made up for 43 years of insecurity and introversion with full-strength good cheer and love for my fellow travellers.  You’re (hic) my best pal (hic)!

Saturday morning was an exercise in sickness, pain and remorse as I sheepishly ate brunch with family Bod and took the drizzly bus in disgrace to witness Gen Ken Montgomery in a Hove Oxfam shop.  The steamy windows of the Oxfam obscured the ‘standing room only’ crowd as I inched in and stood, stomach lurching, for this exploration of the 8-track tomfoolery.  Gen Ken, dapper in vintage Op Art shirt and tie manipulated old portable 8-tracks filling the damp air with warped 70’s AM rock all mashed and rotting.  The warbles and trembles on the tape gave the Bee Gees et al a sepia fuzzed-out logic as loops were found and layered up into the consistency of dusty blancmange.  He was a right card too, playing it up for the steaming crowd, making asides and throwing out hula-hoops of pulsating ‘waaahhhhoooosssshhhhh-voooshhhhhh’.  After Gen Ken’s performance I wandered round Brighton for a bit, drank some peppermint tea (swearing off the demon drink for the rest of the weekend) and soundchecked with the great Gwilly Edmondez & THF Drenching.

coos_dylan nyoukisCoos_maya dunietz

At about teatime I found myself outside the very proper St Andrew’s church for some right high culture. Old-guy Produktionsprozesse composer-guy Dieter Schnebel was interviewed by Ilan Volkov about his approach to music and personal history.  Dieter seems a game old bird, humble and gracious but with a sharp sense of humour…he somehow manages to call the audience stupid and make them love him for it…dude!  A bunch of doofs play some Schnebel pieces: Maya Dunietz world premieres the ass off a beautiful and catchy piece for piano, voice and tambourine.  Ilan and Maya throw some shapes in a gestural piece where composer and pianist struggle for supremacy like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.  Then Maya and Dylan Nyoukis get all serious and tackle a vocal piece for restricted mouthshapes and we end up with the most spellbinding piece of the afternoon.  Like air hissing through naked ribs, dry and crackly.  The pair, dressed in formal black, embrace at the end of the show, cracking hearts at CooS and letting pure love flow.  The only way to follow such an intense and refined performance is of course with some chips so I headed to Bankers (Brighton’s best Fish & Chip shop) for sustenance.

Energised by hot potato and grease I walk into the Old Market to see the friendly and familiar face of Sindre Bjerga coaxing gentle tape loops out of his mess of wires and objects, polishing them up and floating them on the breeze like water-filled balloons pulling gruff-clouds out the air.   Stepping round his desk he carefully wraps up a few people in abandoned cassette tape, hurls a miniature cymbal onto the deck and politely waves marking the end of a neat little set.  Next up were a bunch of A-Band/Ceramic Hobs/Zero Map/Smell & Quim refugees calling themselves The Y Bend.  The programme describes ‘no-mind sounds’ which pretty much sums up the Hawkwind out-takes vibe.  Personally I’m transported back to the days of Anti-Poll Tax benefits as this jam band takes a note and jiggles it proper between guitar, keyboard, violin and eccentric hand percussion making incidental music for the revolution.

coos_jon marshallcoos_charlie collins 2

Roman Nose take the stage behind them and win the rosette for ‘best band of Saturday’.  These days Roman Nose are very much a ‘band’ bridging the gap between rock’s looseness and tape/noise/jam’s love of overload. It’s almost funky with a pushing and pulling, a wrapping and un-wrapping of tape-fuff mittens across fluttering drums and breathy intrusions via flute and black-bamboo sheng.  Throw some horns for the Nose!

coos_sharon galcoos_sharon gal 2

Huge wineglasses are set up amid electronic doo-hickery for Sharon Gal and Andie Brown.  These glasses are Jeroboam massive, pregnantly full; delicate but comprising a thousand potential shivs.  Like an inverse Justice Yeldham the glass is thumbed to produce deep rasping drones.  It’s great to watch the deft hand movement turn into such singing and bassy mulch.  Gal uses her voice like some terror-choir re-enacting a trauma.  Electronic squash makes a Black Metal grunt adding to the dungeon gloom.  Wow…a Carpathian Forest sprouts from the floor as the thin rays of a dismal sun rise slowly in the East.  The bald guy with all the pedals is M. Stactor; his mask is a composite of Her Majesty Betty II and Saddam Hussein.  Slowed down speech goes ‘burrrrrrr’ and get shoved through a variety of whizz-bangs to come out ‘BURRRRRR’ anointed with contact-mic crackle and hand-palming crunch.  Brand new CooS trio Edmondez/Posset/THF Drenching adopt the dual Dictaphone position like a crouching Judas Priest. Gwilly bangs his head like Halford.  And seeing as I’m involved modesty prevents me for saying too much about this fine-legged beast.

coos_will 2coos_possetcoos_drench 2

I caught about 20 seconds of Bridget Hayden’s set but within that 20 seconds I heard the entire history of overblown fuzz-guitar from the Sonics to the Velvet Underground to the Dead C.  Rusty chainmail began clanking out the walls; rolling thunder crashed from the ceiling.  The very gods showed their pleasure in ancient, animalistic ways.  Oh boy!  I was still kicking myself when Greg Kelley & Dylan Nyoukis sat erect and purposeful on a pitch black stage.  Side by side they were, with Greg’s tubes augmented with cold brass and Dylan’s with moist flesh.  Snide hiss and scything tones crept almost guiltily from trumpet and gob, playing merrily between wet-mouth slappings and full jowl squelch.  This was no dramatic, overwrought, performance piece nor academically apologetic. The “my voice, your voice” mantra summed up a lot of the days sessions in a simple repetitive phrase.  Some jokers joined in on coughing and started a response group reflex (koff-KOFF-koff).  The optimist in me thought the spontaneous outpouring would lead to a scratch feral choir but no…it was a piss take…yet troupers Kelley & Nyoukis toughed it out cackling and blowing the third eye till it blinked all yeasty.  Lovers Ritual (Maya Dunietz & Ilan Volkov) used voice and violin to beguile, encouraging minimal and thin tones out the cracks in the light fittings. Not content with sticking to the stage both Maya & Ilan ended up on the floor, among the punters, stroking and keening their flexible bones in a tangled tableaux.

It’s Sunday.  The Lords day.  And me & Bod celebrate with a visit to a typical Brightonian Car Boot sale; he picks up some Colombian tapes, I nab a Fantasy Island fridge magnet and we both head happily to the Sallis Benney Theatre for the famous CooS film screenings.  I really loved what I saw but I soon discovered it’s hard to take notes in the dark so am relying on musty recall only.  Standouts…the bonkers The Handeye (Bone Ghosts) by Anja Dornieden & Juan David Gonzalez Monroy which coupled 19th Century taxidermy with digitized commands and the bumbling chunter from Patrick Goddard’s charming Free Radicals.  As the films ended, us gaggle of cinema-goers milled around, checking maps and GPS systems to find the next venue, giggling over being able to genuinely say, ‘See you in church later man.’  A walk along the cold, crisp sea-front takes us back to St Andrew’s Church for a session of spooky Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) from CM von Hausswolff & Michael Esposito.  I’m really excited about this one.  Since I was a kid I’ve been in love with that flexi disc that came with the first edition of ‘The Unexplained’.  Of course I never knew these supposed ghost voices were EVP but I totally dug the hissy weirdness.  The two gents open with about 15 minutes of static tape hiss with the occasionally clunky ‘chump’ like ghosts dropping wooden marbles in a bucket.  The fuff was pretty damn immersive and had some of the flagging hordes crashed out on the pews.  CM and Michael then took us through some of their EVP recordings (cue demonic chuckle) made in this very church.  What could have been (possibly should have been) spectral and creepy turned into a bit of a laugh as the particularly chirpy Michael introduced second-long sound-clips of the dead calling us ‘assholes’, urging us to ‘get out’, that they ‘are in love with married men’ and…to much hilarity…‘it’s all shite’.  Wow the ghosts sound like angry jakeys!

COOS Jooklo Duo 1COOS Jooklo Duo 2

Back in the Old Market I strained limbs to find my comrade Pascal.  It was Jooklo Duo next and I was pretty sure he’d be right up the front for this.  Some lazy sleuthing revealed Pascal had packed up and gone.  He’d had enough and trekked back to Leeds earlier in the day.  Oh Pascal…you would have loved what came next!  Jooklo Duo were absolutely amazing.  Now I know that’s trite, lazy journalism but I was too busy picking my eyeballs up off the floor to concentrate on clever words.  This was a 100% lung-bursting blowout with drumming as agile as a crack-fuelled squirrel.  I’m no jazz buff but I like my brassy honks and squeals.  Jooklo one, Virginia Genta, plays like Pharaoh Sanders with some nifty Arabic scales quickly releasing that cheeky kundalini from the base of my spine.  Woah boy, I said Woah!  Not one or two but three casual acquaintances said this was ‘better than Brotzmann’. Heard that?  Promoters…book ‘em now.

COOS f ampism

Brighton local f.Ampism loops and loops and loops domestic clunk, mbira tones and gentle sighing all engaging and releasing softly like the briny blue sea just 100 meters down the street.  A film is projected behind his hat and beard; cut-up collage sourced from what seems to be the family Nyoukis archive and Martha Colburn’s paint splattered horror-core.  I have to admit I’m a total fan-boy of Amp’s choogle-leech-warp but this was a whole new saltine!  Fordell Research Unit sat like a couple of chess masters and manipulated a pretty damn heavy drone with micro-movements.  So far, so good.  In tiny, tiny increments the drone gets grunty and somehow slower and fuller until we’re faced with a monolith – a black slab, playing the theme tune for the world’s most evil super villain.  There’s a growing feeling of excitement for the next set from noise-monkeys Spoils & Relics with Karen Constance.  Faced with a table full of gizmos and wires the quartet sat in quiet contemplation building a Jenga house of quivering tones and darkly-twinkling steam.  Like some giant engineering puzzle, pieces are interlocked; a spark starts a fire and is extinguished ruthlessly by the hobo fire brigade.  After a time the factory klaxon calls and the workers down tools and melt into grease.

COOS Usurper

It’s no secret; I’m a little in love with Usurper. Ali Robertson and Malcy Duff have been making the most singular no-input music for half a decade at least.  Writing about Usurper is always a tough gig; their total lack of any of the regular handholds makes the amateur pamphleteer work hard, busting chops to describe their occasional cutlery pings and tales of Auld Reekie.  Tonight they are joined by Dora Doll, one half of the legendary Prick Decay, on scissors as a circular story unfolds on twin tape recorders.  Narratives intertwine as a regular haircut turns into a meditation on the seaside and seaside ritual.  A grumpy Ali gets wrapped in ribbon like a maypole, Malcy crawling on the floor streaming the red and white tapes behind him.  Hairy objects are presented to Ali & Dora for snipping.  A guitar FX pedal, a pair of glasses, a descant recorder are shorn of hair and (in some cases) indecently rubbed beneath the barber’s shawl.  Apart from the taped stories, folding in and out of phase there is a rare skronk-interruption on contact-miked yard brush ‘Shussssh, shusssh, shussssh’ as Malcy coughs up hairballs.  Any traditional ideas of what performance is are dashed.  Any preconceptions of what underground art should be are delightfully roasted.  Usurper are right out on a limb, doing their very own thing and making up a whole new set of parameters.  What on the page seems like random vignettes has a strong sense of direction and pace…and most importantly fun.  I’m laughing like a drain and looking round to see a crescent of bemused yet joyful faces.  No one is really sure what they have witnessed but pretty much everyone agrees it was damn fine.

The tapes spool to an end, Usurper and Dora bow and grin, and my CooS adventure comes to an end.  It’s been a trip and a half Midwichers.  Brighton itself is a beautiful backdrop to this very psychedelic weekend, the bands/acts/performers have all brought their own slice of oddness with a spice and professionalism the naysayers often miss.  But for me it’s all been about the people…the floating and transient chats, the laughs and the in-depth conversations.  There’s that quote about the Velvet Underground isn’t there?  They didn’t sell loads of records but everyone who bought one formed their own band.  Well this weekend might have been an intimate affair but I wonder how many projects and plans were hatched, how many ideas were sparked and alliances formed.  CooS brings the no-audience underground together like a giant think-tank…but what’s gonna occur?  I can’t wait to find out.

Editors note: a comprehensive selection of band bios and links can be found on the COOS website here.  Photos by Joe or Marc Teare.

group mind clank: the murray dynasty on ua yenoh cry cry, le drapeau noir and various various artists

October 2, 2013 at 12:01 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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space and order

Ua Yenoh Cry Cry – Space and Order (C40 tape, Orl Records and Paraphernalia, orl17, edition of 100)

Ua Yenoh Cry Cry is some Shon Mahoney dude from the USA doing his solo jizz on the cheeky Greek label, Orl.  Who sez the no-audience underground doesn’t get around eh?  Well packaged with some lace/plant cell motif this sexy little tape slips into bed and spoons you without any small talk.  Headline…degraded loops of keyboard mung and gentle brown distortion fug round the corners of some proper tunes that repeat and loop and repeat.

Now then, reviewing tapes can be a lonely business so this time I enlisted young master Posset for his views.  We did the Burroughs/Bowie/Gysin method to create a two-mind, stream of consciousness thing.  You get the drift.  So catch this one:

Soft waves of chords and notes travel to you from another space as black rubber drone pipes get huffed leaving a sooty halo round the gob. The ever growing drone wobbles and shakes; micro-syringe sounds swagger like mercury badgers waddle.  ‘Verberating beacon flashing highs and lows bridging the gap between no-audience underground and the hipster set…a crossover hit?  A meditation on ferric construct?  The incessant ringing becomes more eerie and sinister as kindergarten keyboard melodies (played by stubby fingers) lighten up a blowfly hum.  The sci-fi organ continues to bless us with more notes and patterns as the drone pauses and sound pierces the atmosphere.  The ominous furious-classical rusts and decays.

(Editor’s note: woah… can you dig it?!  Whilst they were being super-jive hep cats Joe and son created a visual review of this tape too.  Check it out.)

Hope that’s all useful my dearest reader.  And if not Orl have a snazzy website with all the sounds so you can do a judge for yourself.

le drapeau noir - whalley range

Le Drapeau Noir – Whalley Range (C30 tape, Krayon Recordings, KR020)

A whole family of mungfarmers: Chora, Part Wild Horses Mane on Both Sides and The Hunter Gracchus team-up like DC’s finest to beat up swollen-headed bad guys.  This is reconnaissance blues.  A stealthy assault, silently slipping a dagger between the ribs…you don’t know you’re cut till you drop to your knees.  My head was here, there and everywhere when I first jammed this one so I bribed Master Posset again to give me a hand with the cut-up technique:

Group-mind clank and free reed drone; quivering waves and harmonic screams with cymbals thrashing, drums beating.  Imagine the Edinburgh tattoo populated not by purple rinsed matriarchs but the very you and me; but there’s subtle feedback behind the violence.  They shriek, “A river flowing out to the sea embraces the thick salty arms of wild current.”  Whooping and gentle rings pierce the heavy beat of a solemn drum but among the soft rock, soldiers march in concentric patterns – shifting your gaze starts the sands to pour down one channel.  Slight shakes can be heard but they’re not alone in the sound of this dark opera.  The grain of moans is rough, a feral call to prayer.  Then the noises clear and all that is left is the drums and metallic, echoing howls.

Yup.  That’s it.  It’s been out for a while now but still available via the ever reliant bandcamp.

RFM_CM Tour Tape 1RFM_CM Tour tape 2RFM_CM tour tape 3

Infinite Gaaah / Blood Stereo / Usurper / Pengo – Summer 2013 Tour (cassette and inserts, Giant Tank)

I missed my opportunity to get one of these on the actual tour but later was cock o’hoop to slam it in the tape drawer and dribble on the eiderdown as it gushed.  Infinite Gaaah takes a couple of loops of sweating machinery, roasts ‘em up nice and hot and plunges them in ice-cold cider.  Bright and refreshing.  Blood Stereo take a nice set of domestic cackles and record in the garden (it has been a great summer eh?) bending and shaping loops like they were silvery zinc.  A dinosaur’s tears roll down scaly cheeks while a caveman mungs on.  It could be that I have all that Opal Tapes stuff locked in my head and I’m making unnatural connections between things.  Check out your nearest hipster coffee room.  Are they playing Blood Stereo?  Thought so…the tide is changing and the Blood shall inherit the earth.  The Usurper employ egg whisk and bottletop-rattle, twanging ruler and various dull ‘clunks’ to make a pastoral piece of gentle loveliness.  Like listening to the breathing of a new born baby this has an innocent rise and fall with sweet chirrups of milk-sour breath making your nose wrinkle and say, ‘Ahhhhhhhh-bless’. Pengo come across like a beefy Spacemen 3 raised on good old beer rather than that nasty heroin.  But the routes to transcendental bliss are buffeted and bruised by honking geese and wild fowl as the kind of echo-action King Tubby saves for extra strength dub gets hurled about.  A mighty tape document of this season’s tip-top sounds baby.

…and if these sounds were not enough there is visual tosh to viddy while you listen.  Karen Constance & Dylan Nyoukis collaborate on a tidy cardboard box cover (that squeaks pleasingly on opening) and four C-30 sized postcards printed with a kind of kinky Victoriana that raise a variety of chin-strokers around the medical aesthetic.  Release the foxes!

See the Duff and Roberton tumblr and email ‘em for availability.

RFM_Blue Spectrum comp coverRFM_Blue Spectrum Comp 1

Blue Spectrum Tapes Artzine #4 (Various Artists Patterns Grown Like Crabgrass CD-r and 30 page art-book, Blue Spectrum Tapes, edition of 50)

Another intriguing package from Brum’s Blue Spectrum.  The zine cradles a selection of ‘cut ‘n paste’ collages from Mr Blue and the occasional photo-copy blurr/photo shot from some of the other collaborators.  I’m no expert but I’m guessing the zine as we know it is celebrating it’s 40th birthday right about now. But there’s no grey hairs or paunch for this slim-hipped package…it crackles with punk energy and sticky edges.

As for the disc, there’s 17 jokers on here all pumping it hard and bursting forth with variations on scorched-earth noise, rusty-metal-clanging noise, throat curdling noise and black ambient noise.  For reasons beyond my ken there seems to be a hard drinking theme to this comp; it all starts off pleasant enough but before long you’re wobbling on your heels and puking down someone’s neck.  A guilty knee tremble round the back then it’s nosh first into some deep-fried nightmare.  Most notable mentions go to the Gas Mask Horse for recording a bouncer’s dark thoughts pre kick-off, Yol for an increasingly unhinged closing time lament (to Kebabs it seems), Kapali Carsi’s subtle mic bumble that wanders into sound poetry, Robert Ridley Shackleton’s enraged ripping sound stretched low and slow and the extra-violent, knuckle duster kerfuffle from Blue Spectrum himself.  There’s over an hour of sub-underground noise and drone in this sleek edition of 50.  Don’t wait ‘til they ring last orders.

Buy here.

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