other needles of infinite length: joe murray on ladyz in noyz

January 19, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Various Artists – Ladyz in Noyz 3 (2 x CD-r, corpus callosum distro)

Various Artists – Ladyz in Noyz 3.5 (CD-r, corpus callosum distro)


These three discs, split across two releases, form part of the cutting-edge Ladyz in Noyz series – a long-running, on-going, world-wide celebration of female experimental and fringe musicians – and pretty marvellous it is too.  Series 3 is compiled by our very own marlo eggplant and is an explosive introduction to Twenty Eight exceptional artists.

Regular readers will know I love a compilation; and for me the more varied the better.  I’m very happy, in fact I’m delighted, to be thrown from one hermetic sound environment to another – letting sense collapse around my ears as (for example) cool, gritty reductionist harp is angrily shattered by hissing-pissy Black Metal.

First up on the cheap-o stereo is the double pack LiN 3.  It’s a fairly weighty tome and as wonderfully varied as I dreamt, shifting the rug from bleak harsh noise to psychedelic guitar-picking to hydrant-rousing rhyming all with the crisp distinctive pop of a jar of fresh pickled onions being prised open. Ready?  Sit back, pick up a fork and dig in…

Disc One

  • Wolfesule – Sabbath-strength groan. Like deep ridges and howling canyons.  I’m clinging to a secluded mountain ledge.
  • Lyrels – Dub yomp through marsh-land with heavy boots and backpack leaking nitric acid. In triplicate, uphill.
  • Ladyjam – Spooked sheep gut and horsehair; a simple waltz round a gasping sink-hole.
  • Lucy Bonk – Gin-soaked electronics and tape cacophony. Then the organ grinder puts the monkey in the blender!
  • MINIM– Stainless steel poetry. Short vibrations set up a chain reaction of lonely pluck and subterranean ripple that take us to pre-revolutionary Russia.
  • Alodi – Ear-shattering in the way Einstürzende Neubauten would crack the brittle brown plastic of my Fisher Price tape player.
  • Sekret Dyke – Heavy and wobbling with one foot in the club and the other jammed into a malfunctioning leaf blower.
  • Lady of Situations – A reefer rolled with Godflesh. A Hammond toke (Jimmy Smith) – and the walls close in like prehistoric ferns.
  • VIA – Glass Harmonica full of silverfish flipping backwards in a wriggling cascade down the table and across the floor turning bare concrete to a shallow bristling sea.
  • Yohimbe – Backed up potato-exhaust nightmare.  Creeping rumbles set to stun.  Chances of survival?
  • Guggenheim Doppleganger – Radio waves bounced off a gritty satellite; the original signals are scrambled but marbled into a wonderful chaos. The band plays on (naturally).  KISS covers I think?
  • Pony Slut – Pure boiling hell. Absolutely no-nonsense harsh noise delivered like a fist-full of wet clay.
  • Multifungi – Thin needles ‘ping’ against other needles of infinite length. The tin reverb drowns out the ocean.
  • L Soulio/S Lee – Classy guitar pluckage becomes a million points of light. Eventually the sound of a rosy shadow is smeared into wet grass.
  • Chica X– Super innocent and joyful and gosh-darn F.R.E.S.H. The Double Dutch revival starts right now!
  • Panoptic Cyst – Obnoxious tunnelling noise. Rocks and debris rush past ‘the mole’ as it descends into shale gas deposits.
  • Berberine – A skilfully erased song. Wide swipes with a damp cloth make the chalky equations melt into a grey paste.  Beautifully vague.
  • Milch De La Maquina – Owls cast in bronze! The Sirens join in on thigh-bone cello and cloaked vocal jaxx. Soundtrack to The Secret History?

Disc Two

  • Hobbyknife – A very live sounding Noise Aktion piece paced as carefully as a chess match. Checkmate!
  • Poundland – Shimmering exotica, an orchestra of lucky trinkets and gee-gaws. Like those novelty birthday cards that play a tune…but re-programmed to The Twilight Zone theme.
  • Secrets – Hum-bubbling beats that just don’t quit become the Burundi under clear digital ripping and vocal harmonies really saying something.
  • Motion Sickness of Time Travel – Ritual electronics using repetitive lurching like a shaman with a palmed frame drum. The full-on perfumed smoke makes my eyes water and nostril sting…but what’s that shape moving in the corner of the yurt?
  • Future Ex-Wives – Solo guitar bounces between twin peaks of heavy reverb into marmalade gloopiness.
  • Mass Ornament – The insistent glockenspiel and gently running water make me think about the glamour of 1950’s Air Travel and Bongwater backing tracks (circa Double Bummer). Both wonderful reveries.
  • Chic Gala – Electro-punk or something that rocks the Casio ‘tom’ sound like German Disco. Condenser Mics make the voices compressed as slick carbon and powerful beyond measure.
  • Jane DaPain –What is it about the deadly unpredictability of electricity that draws us like fleshy moths? Just over two minutes of perfect overhead-cable-drone
  • Foxdye – An unbalancing music to knock your gravitational centre. The glitch is well and truly the star as bass ‘whoooms’ detonate in each ear making me physically limp as I try to walk to Superdrug.
  • Concrete Diva – a beautiful recording that seems to capture the action going on in another room. Heavily processed guitar; part hi-life jitter, part psych-pond ripple makes time an oily slick.
  • Poundland – A darker side to the abstract is mined with a bass-line thrum. Above ground the feedback squeals as gulls do.


I take a day or two to recover from this mung-barrage and then slip in LiN 3.5, which I am guessing is a stop-gap until LiN 4 hits the shores.  This mix is pulled together in bunches so we get a couple of depth-charges from Sharkiface, Phantom Chips, our marlo eggplant and one from TAHNZZ.  OK… let’s roll.

Phantom Chips favours a crisp sizzled interface; like an electrocuted typewriter.  In fact I can do no better than hurl the title ‘buzzoidcircling’ at you as a resume for this particular micro-style.  Crinkle cut!

Sharkiface looms with a slow and low bass throb that comes across like spooky Penderecki on ‘Down the Mountain’ and moves into deep-fat-fryer territory with a wicked bubbling and dust-bin drum solo on ‘Blood Transfusion’ reminding me of something on that Cosmic Kurushi Monsters comp from donkeys ago.

The single track from TAHNZZ is an intense 15 minute (harsh) wall of rubbery fluctuations and bass-heavy rumble.  So… hot gravel gets shovelled into large house-sized piles only to get knocked down by giant lobster claws.  Both peachy and pneumatic in heavy doses.

marlo ramps up the Cthulu on her pieces ‘Shursh’ and ‘Buzz Spling’.  These two pieces sound like something ‘unnatural’ escaping from a cage and poison gas bubbling through a phosphorescent marsh respectively. An undersea kingdom is discovered by rusty bathysphere (springing a hull breach) in ‘Theadle’ and then the stunned survivors join in with the dripping-wet Old Ones booming a bass-choir of massive conch shells on the ‘Sous’.  Best of all is the all-too-brief ‘Martial’, 1 minute 42 seconds of warped tattoo and bowed golden keys.

All these sounds (and more, more, more) available at the corpus callosum distro Bandcamp site.


corpus callosum distro

ladyz in noyz 2014: marlo eggplant on women making a racket

February 9, 2015 at 9:28 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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1 clara rockmore

[Editor’s note: OK folks, I’m delighted to welcome the second of RFM’s new writers.  Marlo de Lara, or mj dela, or @marloDeWawa or, as she is best known to readers of this blog, marlo eggplant is a noise musician and thinker whose effervescent enthusiasm, startling breadth of knowledge and knuckles bloodied from the coalface all make her the perfect January signing.  Here she guides us through some of last year’s highlights from women in noise so you can get click happy.  Over to marlo…]


Well first off, right on: to Monsieur Midwich, to another year of radio free goodness. Kudos to the fine gentleman to make an initiative to have a more diverse staff! [Editor’s note: *blushes*]

Festivals, shows, and compilations still continue to lack visibility of women sound artists and musicians, but times have changed a lot! (Thank goodness! i could write a lot of old timer sounding crap about my own journey and experiences but you could probably find that stuff online already.) Major props to festivals like Tusk and Colour Out of Space for their diverse musical lineups and workshops, but outside of the UK there is also much action! So even though 2015 has been kicking it for over a month now, i thought i would give a little shout out to the lesser known projects/festivals in 2014 that succeeded in showing the multitude of women making good music. (Disclaimer: i was involved with some of these projects. So there.)

Shout outs:

2 int noise conf

1. International Noise Conference 2014 (Miami, FL, USA)

If you don’t know who Rat Bastard is or the Laundry Room Squelchers then you probably live under a rock! Arise from under said rock! Rat has played regularly in the UK and has successfully thrown the International Noise Conference and corresponding USA/Europe/Asia INC tours for twelve years.  This festival is seen as the noise mecca party time of the year. Last year, it still had “over 100 artists with sets of 15 minutes or less” play for several maddening days, but with tons of women performers. The festival was even referred to as “Year of the Woman”.

Projects such as Cock ESP, Irene Moon, Eva Aguila (a.k.a. Kevin Shields), Unicorn Hard On, and Dromez made it apparent that if you are looking for good performers at a festival then it shouldn’t take any effort to find talented women on the bill.


2. Urban Arts Berlin’s Synthesis Volume 1 (Stream for free and download for 10 euros)

This German arts organization made an international call out to women working in the sonic field. The result was a diverse selection of artists from all around the world: Vietnam, China, South Africa, Bolivia, Venezuela, Mexico, Europe and USA are represented. From sound collage to pop electronica, from free improvisation to contemporary classical, the curator has brought an international showcase of women who are making music professionally. My favorite tracks feature the self made instruments of Margriet Kicks-Ass (Netherlands) and the droney delight of Jessica Ekomane (France).  The Bandcamp download has links for all the artists so you can get deep on their other works.

3 tit wrench

3. Titwrench (Denver, CO, USA) and Titwrench (Stockholm, Sweden)

Since 2008, Titwrench has been organizing events that promote “female-identified musicians and emerging artists pushing the boundaries of genre and form.” This festival has always had a big dose of and a big love for noise. Last year, the American festival took a rest to assist its sister satellite festival in Stockholm, Sweden establish itself. From contact mic workshops to sound installations, Titwrench continues to extend its reach. (Some UK artists participated in a sound installation for the festival:  Ingrid Plum, Rebecca E. Davies, Sarah McWatt, Daria Ramone, Kate Fear (Ceramic Hobs), and Freudian Slit [Editor’s note: my new all-time favourite label name].)


4. Ladyz in Noyz Australia Volume 2

In August 2014, Lara Soulio curated some brilliant musicians in Australia, released another compilation and held a party to celebrate in Melbourne.

In 2011, Ladyz in Noyz Australia began its sister collaboration with the Ladyz in Noyz ongoing series which was created by me (initially on the label spleencoffin and now on the label Corpus Callosum) that continues to celebrates women in noise and outsider musics. Now i wanted to avoid tooting my own horn about my projects so please hear this as a toot for these Australian sound artists. Featuring extended vocalists [Editor’s note: very tall women?], electronic manipulations, and harsh noise, musicians such as Bonnie Mercer (The Grey Daturas), Kusum Normyle, Cat Hope, and Rosalind Hall won’t steer you wrong. These women have pulled it together to release some painfully lovely tracks and some that soothes the ears. Listen to their first compilation here and you can buy Volume 2 via Corpus Callosum (in the UK) or here (if in Australia).

This is definitely not an exhaustive list but the proof in the pudding that women are all over the place making good music and performing. So bring it on 2015!

P.S. If you really want the goods as far as an excellent compilation of women in noise goes then try to find a copy of the classic Women Take Back the Noise curated by Ninah Pixie from Big City Orchestra. The 47 artists include such greats such as ioioi, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Ava MendozaAnalog TaraJessica Rylan, and Noveller (who was also featured on the original Ladyz in Noyz compilation). If you want to get even more in depth, pick up the book Pink Noises – women on electronic music and sound and learn more about women’s perspectives on sound.

5 pink noises


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