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

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

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

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

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

Daniel Bennett – Roil (Organized Music From Thessaloniki)

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

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

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

Insights?

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

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

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

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

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

enrique palma

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

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

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

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

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

richard kamerman

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

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

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

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

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

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

33

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

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

Onward black snake, advance dark worm!

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

A fumble for tickets means you drop your felt hat

45

More pop than mope, more yomp than stroll

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

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

Metal Guru? Iron Man?

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or do you disagree?

 

omft

-ooOOoo-

the heady scent of courage: joe murray on greta buitkute, alan wilkinson, thf drenching, seth cooke, nick hoffman, va aa lr

February 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Greta Buitkute & THF Drenching – Contribution to a Discussion on Tic (download, Plush Wattle)

Alan Wilkinson & THF Drenching – Night of the Flaming Meatus (download, Council of Drent)

Seth Cooke – Eternal World Engines Of The Demiurge (3” CD-r, LF Records, LF044)

Seth Cooke / Dominic Lash – PACT (3” CD-r, 1000füssler, 025, edition of 60)

Nick Hoffman – Necropolis (CD, organized music from Thessaloniki, t26, edition of 200)

VA AA LR – Newhaven (3” CD-r, organized music from Thessaloniki, t27, edition of 100)

greta - tic

Greta Buitkute & THF Drenching – Contribution to a Discussion on Tic

An under-the-radar, sneaked-out recording from two of the out-est heads around.

I came across this one by accident via that You Tube.  This led to a series of embedded links, a journey through the dark web to the home of the Plush Wattle Corporation, where this very generous free download sits.

Taking callused thumbs, fingers and twin gob-holes to act as our orchestra these two have charmed their way into my very bones.  This is an intimate listen, full of clicks, creaking and rustling; it’s an interior sound world that’s perfect for headphones and tedious train journeys.

So (drum roll please)…introducing Greta Buitkute! Greta might be a new name to Radio Free Midwich but she has been wowing Northern audiences with her fresh take on vocal jaxx/nu-scat for the last couple of years.  A recent move to Manchester, a light ale quaffed and connections made via The Human Heads means Greta and the great THF Drenching have teamed up – their individual super powers amplified by the presence of similar corduroy mutants.

You already know THF Drenching and you’re thinking Dictaphones yeah?  Sure, the Dictas make an appearance but over half of this collection is vocal-based doof, hurling two well-lubricated throats together to dance merrily like bacteria in a Petri dish.

Yet keen Drenching watchers will note the Dictaphone tone is drier – less squelch; more rattle and hink/rustle and clatter.  The bombs are deftly dropped and the feedback ‘heek’ soars like a rectangular alto.

‘Bach Bathed in Bathos, Full Illustration’ is an important cornerstone.  An Hawaiian motel room is wrapped up in garish litmus paper, reacts pinkly and then is noisily unwrapped.  You can’t beat them apples!

But it’s the twin-vocal pieces that froth me over like excited milk.  The twin ‘Portrait of Baize Wattle’ pieces (large and small) make me recall those European Public Information films that would show up on That’s Life!  The humorous animation would be followed by a vaguely chucklesome punchline…’Winner’s drink piss’ or something like that.  The pace is furious but uncluttered; live with no overdubs (I think).  This almost puritan and old oaty approach really pays off.  The clean living certainly lends itself to Amish-style efforts.

This is in and out, reflexive and agile music.  It slips happily between hi-brow and goose-honk, pearly notes and granddad mumble.  As the closing seconds of the recording state:

Greta Buitkute:

Oh my God, it’s exhausting

THF Drenching (sniffs with a chuckle):

I know.

alan thf - night

Alan Wilkinson & THF Drenching – Night of the Flaming Meatus

This is an altogether more Jazz recording.  Two pieces; live, live, live at Sconny Rotts (2014) or something.

Welcome, reader a fine pair of foils: thin breath pushed through brass and the quivering whine of sculptured feedback.  Damn, that’s good!

Soundz?

(i)                  Like snakes making out in the back of an old Audi until they make a mess of the upholstery; their coppery tones get all twisted and spoony.

(ii)                Old doods reminiscing about the days in their wartime dance band – sounds leak all gummy from their ears.

(iii)               The alarm on our oven telling me the bread’s ready…oh wait.  That is the oven.  Give me a minute…

…but it’s not all top-end tomfoolery.  A real satisfying base layer of hissing creak (Dictas) and watery saliva- garbles (Saxes) give this a weighty gravity that pulls on the rocketing undulations (a flight of a condor).

And if you’re still asking questions about what free music is doing right now jam your ear up against these two beauties and huff up the heady scent of courage.

This is music for heroes!

PUBLIC APOLOGY:  This review also functions as an apology to Mr A Wilkinson for my cheeky and childish ripping of his sound check sounds on my Correct Come tape.  Sorry mate – can I buy you a pint or something?

seth cooke - eternal

Seth Cooke – Eternal World Engines of the Demiurge

These two pieces of electronic gumbo take what we might call process recordings and apply the extraction method adding calm and deliberate shadings to a real-world sound scenario.

In the first of two offerings Seth ransacks an insurance office circa 1978 whilst the office party averts prying eyes.  The unmistakable sound of a dot matrix printer (duh…I was mistaken.  Research shows it’s one of them stupid 3D doo-hickies) going all akka over a slowly emerging picture (in this case a 3D  bust) of Benjamin Disraeli – or some similarly bearded goof – as it appears line by dotty line.

Said printer is jammed with cocktail sticks and discarded business cards – in reality electronic shadows – as he hits the print button and lets nature take its course.  The frantic slide, shuffle and whirr is hypnotic and lulled me like a fat wren zonked by bright red berries until it snaps off into disturbing silence.

The calm is suddenly fractured by track number two, a gliding, sliding and silvery cascade; a perfect sound track to ice skating that would make Torvill & Dean throw greasy shapes ending up as sooty smears on the ice.

Gear heads will be pleased to note that the machinery on this disc was pioneered by Paul Lomere for his Infinite Jukebox that “endlessly extends and reconfigures MP3s by calculating probabilistic routes through the sound file based on pitch, timbre and metric position.”

Seth says he’s channelling Jack Kirby but for the romantics out there this is Bolero 2015 and a perfect 10 for artistic interpretation.

cooke - lash - pact

Seth Cooke/Dominic Lash – PACT

The quicksilver tones versus Pront-a-Print kerfuffle that starts this disc (‘PA’) are a waterslide into a world of grimy groan.

Massive and ungainly ‘things’ are rubbed with tweed gloves.  Moist and sweating ‘objects’ are painfully squeezed to release sticky ichors.  Soft and flexible ‘parts’ are cruelly bent into unholy shapes resembling the Goat of Mendes.

A close-up inspection reveals canyons of scrape and gummy friction.  And while the pace remains stately for a time layers of rub and tug bring forth some slippery excitements.  Oh Matron!

Track two (‘CT’) is a darker affair.  The double bass bowing (Lash) and kitchen sink manipulation (Cooke) as uncooperative as a sullen teenager.  Black storm clouds gather over my cheap-o high-fi and I feel my brows knit.

Gosh.  This is brooding stuff.

The simple bass riff is not happy with me or you and doesn’t care who knows about it; electronics twinkle but with the black light of sea coal from Redcar beach.  I love this sombre and funereal pace and can feel my mood merge into full-on sulk.

So, what you looking at eh?  Clear off and leave me with Lash & Cooke.  You don’t understand me anyway.

I hate everything!

More details here if you can be bothered.

nick hoffman - necropolis

Nick Hoffman – Necropolis

Microscopic attention to microscopic detail turns my hammer, anvil and stirrup into marshmallow fluff.

This is a record of extreme extremes: from hosepipe-full-on-gush to tiny cooling-metal-tik.  These five pieces of sieved electronics lurch from Black Metal through the Gristleizer (The Rotten Core) to the ivory click of miniature pool balls intensifying until my speakers are fizzing and flipping-out like a model railway going straight to hell (Eros).

But what I like most about this disc are the abrupt edits, the inter-track halts and about turns that keep this grizzled noise monkey twisting to check that a fuse hasn’t blown.  While I enjoy a heads-down, no-nonsense, continuous blast of fetid sludge as much as the next pair of ears being wrong-footed and fooled is a joy.  What’s next?  Is this build up going to explode or whimper out?  It’s as slippery as Be-Bop from Minton’s Playhouse.

Nick pulls out all the stops for the lengthy closer, ‘The Scent of Ground Teeth’, a 16 minute monster of glitching signal, spluttering like a coffee percolator spiked with cobra venom.

va aa lr - newhaven

If this blog was a radio show I would segue seamlessly from this blustery fizzing into the white-hot spitting of VA AA LR’s Newhaven.  Recorded at last year’s fascinating Fort Process festival VA AA LR drop their usual prepared electronics and objects and carve out a landscape from the sound of distress flares alone.  Taking away the literally explosive visual element you are left with a wonderfully peculiar 20 minutes of sparkling hiss and frazzle.  Every permutation of splutter and crackle is worked through like Coltrane on Giant Steps, probing and searching; pushing forward and wringing all possible combinations from this electric spitball.

After a time the busy and frantic schizzle seems to fine-tune my old ear ‘ole letting me pick out tone and textural changes.  There is a whole world in here as the planes of fuzzing gimble regroup like a forgotten language.  Be sure to make a beeline for this vibrant crackle readers; a worthy bookend to that other splutter classic, Lee Patterson’s Egg Fry #2.

—ooOoo—

Plush Wattle

THF Drenching

LF Records

1000füssler

organized music from thessaloniki

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