dental tang: rfm on aqua dentata, gareth js thomas, kwc, yaca, microdeform

June 19, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Aqua Dentata – One Day You Will Be a Painter (Echo Tango)

Gareth JS Thomas – Wandsworth Sports (Aphelion Editions)

KWC – Fruit Rosary Sacred Hour Service (Power Moves Library)

Yaca  – I (Ce chemin est le bon / Manjar Records)

Microdeform – Neural Regression (Aphelion Editions)

aqua dentata 2

Aqua Dentata – One Day You Will Be a Painter (Echo Tango) cassette

There’s not an ounce of flab on this whippet-like tape.

I’m not sure if such timeless music conceptually has a side one or side two (and the tape case is teasingly naked) but when I click ‘play’ a sinuous wave slowly oozes out the speakers like runny honey.

The gentlest shake (a greasy blue bag of salt perhaps) accompanies the sticky snake until “snip” it cuts out all sudden like.  What a tease you are Mr Nuttall!

But fear not Dentata-followers as complex coils of zinc-coated drones poke around my listening room like anxious lizards.

Slowly they build, blindly they roam.  Slick muscle slips over steel bone in concentric arcs.

Oddly the decaying dreams of each lizard/tone/wave can be viewed as plain as day.  A dull halo of images flicker at the leading edge of each sound.  At first they form a sort of pressure wave – the brooding bruise of a storm cloud.  After time they dry out and rattle as arthritic knuckle shuffles.

Finally my ears register the electronics tones as haw frost shimmering on silver birch or endless exhalations roaring from bronze lips.


…the tape judders to a halt and I’m back in the room; feeling fresh as an egg-cup full of lime juice.

gareth js thomas

Gareth JS Thomas – Wandsworth Sports (Aphelion Editions) cassette, CD and digital album

An intriguing tape that runs from Assault on Precinct 13 gang-synth-pulses to Neighbourhood Watch whimsy via the Australian Soap Opera.

The superb ranting on the opener ‘Lurk On My Block Get Hurt On My Block’ is both semi-comprehensible and threatening as it phases in-and-out of the great sleazy wings of drone-synth heaving left to right.

Surveillance and security is pumped-up on steroids for ‘Go Home’ a throbbing bassline whacked through some form of effect that multiplies things by very many factors. If I’m not mistaken ‘the plod’ riddim mimics Juliet Bravo’s heavy footfall into the gloomy incident room.  The back-room boys huff on that ether they found in the lock-up causing everything to

s—-l——–o————w                                                       d—-o——-w—————–n.

Elsewhere a sampler ‘trips’ down the stairs making things as messy as court drawings – amateurish pastels over which renewed street ranting (a new field recording genre – the new dawn chorus?) explodes briefly.

Mrs Jarret causes trouble for our Australian teenage sweethearts and is carefully mashed beneath an electric avalanche, whirring flywheel and more ‘plod’ rhythms.

But what I get most of all is a sense of dangerous fun…almost a Dada-esque approach, daring you not to listen.


KWC – Fruit Rosary Sacred Hour Service (Power Moves Library) CDr with smart postcards, sold out cassette and free digital album

Another vital PML release!

“Another vital release,” you say, “are you sure?”

Reader…I am.

great dictaphonic swoops of sepia-tinted sound / the initial source material is religious, baptist I believe / the spiritual weight is felt with heavy presence / like a riot of bees in my ear / constant re-ordering and waggling / deep, deep found recordings are pushed through the condenser mic miracle / transforming them not to angels on a pin head / but the vengeful ones with claymores / snatches of melody gently float on occasion / chopped and screwed becomes slowed-down and fucked-with / sound morphs into one melancholic wave / dusted / out-of-focus but undeniably there / pulling and pushing / subtle…a powerful tide, a hectic blues / repetitious spoken word become brain mangles / breaking words and meanings into grey shifting pebbles / piled up in to a precarious cairn / hail marys and ritualistic bingo / self-help becomes text-sound gumbo / fylkingen with lap steel blunts


Yaca – I (Ce chemin est le bon / Manjar Records) CD and digital album

Oh…beautiful rattle!

One new duo from two wise voices: Rodrigo Montoya (Brazil) on Shamisen and Ignacio Moreno-Fluxa (Chile) on e-guitar/electronics mesh their sounds together into a rich savoury lattice.

The aptly named ‘Vertigo’, sets the course towards a dizzying sense of panic and loss of control but each step is very carefully measured.  Flickering, dry crackles and pops are wrenched from the slack strings while a cloud-deep strumming soars overhead.  The final moment explores the submission of freefall in detail…the final acceptance of eternal nothingness.


The other lengthy piece ‘Power’ starts with the gentlest whirr of machinery and a slight dental tang.  Soon I’m lost in a listening swamp; thick drone leaves brushing my face as roots catch in my battered Converse.

Toothy dolphins blow pinched squeals from rubbery blowholes – thick oil is spread across the water and soon full of sonic detritus.

(note: there is a reassuring ‘liveness’ to these recordings with the unmistakable ‘clunk’ of picking up and putting down various doodads and gizmos)

At the twelve minute mark things settle (the oil – the troubled water) into a patient thrum with banjo-like Shamisen accompaniment peaking and building into stiff ecstatic peaks – Loaded era V.U. though a min’yo lens.

Oh…beautiful shimmer!


Microdeform – Neural Regression (Aphelion Editions) CDr and digital album

Turntablist (L McConaghy) ploughs straight into a surface noise symphony on this handsome disc.  The fuxxing scutter of the vinyl becomes a star.

>>>   <<<<      >>>>>>   >>>> <><>><>><>    >>>>>>    >>>>>    <<<<>><>>><><>>><>>>   ><>

Ghostly echoes of otherness sound like distant fog horns muted and damp.

///////////\//\/\\/\\////\\///\\\\\\ \\\\\\\   \\\\\   \\////\/\/\  /\////\\/\/\\///\\\                                        \///\//\\\\//\/\

Place the horns on a spinning disc of sandpaper to smooth off the edges; sweep iron-filings into the groove.

//\\/\/\\//\\/\/\/\/////\\\////\/\\/\/\\/////      \/\/\/\/\\\\\\\/\/\\/\\\           \/\\/\\\/\\\\\\/\/\///\/\/

A series of smears and smudges

\/\///\  /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\\\\\/\/\//\/////\\/\/\\\\/\\\\///\/\\\\\\//\/\////\/\/\/\/\\/\\\/\/\/

Do you need me to spell it out?


Aphelion Editions

Aqua Dentata/Echo Tango

Power Moves Library

Ce Chemin est le Bon / Manjar Records



occult technologies: microdeform, ian watson, mother spit

January 29, 2014 at 3:16 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Microdeform – APHELION (C65 tape, zamzamrec, 024, edition of 33 or download)

Ian Watson – Terrestrials gone Tropic With Some Pretty Fancy Animals (CD-r, LF Records, LF032, plus two freely downloadable extra tracks)

mother spit – carve (3” CD-r, aetheric records, edition of 25 or download)

microdeform - aphelionian watson - terrestrials gone tropicmother spit - carve

Older readers will recall that it was once possible to own a tape deck which could sense the gaps between songs when fast-forwarding a cassette.  The stereo I had would find the next track, rewind a second back into the silence then start playing from there.  This took the tedious to-ing and fro-ing out of looking for an elusive moment on, say, a homemade compilation of Peel sessions but was clearly an occult technology indistinguishable from black magic.  Thus, sadly, the machine had to be burnt as a witch, the melted remains rubbed with garlic and the whole sorry lot buried on hallowed ground.  Shame.

Anyway, all true music fans of my era know that any given tape can only contain two tracks: ‘Side A’ and ‘Side B’.  Even single-sided tapes have that long, quiet track on the reverse of the noisy side.  Feel free to include a tracklisting if you like but, especially if your music is at all abstract, I’m unlikely to pay it any heed.

This format-invoked, nostalgic whimsy occurred to me as I ‘researched’ the excellent tape Aphelion by Microdeform, that is Liam McConaghy, released in a tiny edition by zamzamrec and also available for download.  Buy it from the artist’s Bandcamp site (where you can find the few remaining physical copies too) and you get an eleven track album, download from the label’s Bandcamp site and you get two half-hour chunks titled ‘side 1’ and ‘side 2’.  I chuckled approvingly, plumping for the latter option.

A persuasive sense of purpose pulls the listener through both sides as various sub-genres of dark electronics run together into a united current.  There are Tangerine, Vangelisian synth-wobs riding over the fuzzed out murk – part science fiction dystopia, part mass for the drowned in a submerged cathedral.  There is thumping industro-grind as machine rhythms emerge from the loops and echoes.  A growing crescendo of tension across ‘side 2’ suggests it isn’t going to end well for the protagonist of this supernatural cyber-thriller.  I picture her looking over weapons she knows to be inadequate with a wry resignation then, coincidentally at the exact moment the Earth is at the furthest distance its orbit takes us from the Sun, the door is kicked in…

Terrestrials gone Tropic With Some Pretty Fancy Animals is the second of Ian Watson’s projects to come my way (see my review of the SWEFN album on hairdryer excommunication here) and is my favourite of the latest batch of releases from the ever-impressive LF Records.  It is a one hour long CD-r comprising twelve untitled tracks and, should that not be enough for you, LF have kindly made two further tracks freely available via Bandcamp to boost it to feature length.  Ian is an illustrator as well as a musician and the cover shows off his considerable chops – take a good, hard look at the chicken thing above, though I’d wait until after lunch if I were you.

The music is mainly electrical, yet there is something squishily organic about it too.  It’s as if Ian were recording impulses in the newly formed nervous system of a giant lump of sentient tofu (its mood = forlorn, as you might expect).  Hmmm… too flip – the situation portrayed is more grave.  Some of this sounds like the trilling and bobbling background noises to be heard on the bridge of the USS Enterprise but smeared-out, slowed down.  Perhaps what we are getting are the tragic attempts of a red-shirted crew member to recombine himself following a devastating transporter accident.  Doomed to haunt the corridors and quarters of the spacecraft, he is not corporeal enough to make an impression on the physical world yet is still ‘real’ enough to avoid dissipating completely.  These tracks are how he hears what we hear.

I found this album to be distractingly compelling.  An attempt to use it as background soundtrack to an afternoon of pottering ended with me sprawled on the bed in the spare room, chores forgotten, staring at the ceiling, as I followed its twists and pulses

carve by mother spit is a single, eighteen minute track housed on a 3” CD-r with the striking cover photograph above, released in a tiny edition by aetheric records (home of RFM faves people-eaters) and also available for download.  Interestingly, the band hails from Sofia in Bulgaria.  Now, I am perfectly aware that this is the modern capital city of a modern European country but, to an unseasoned non-traveller like me, it is the sort of location that will always feel like ‘the old country’, as alluded to in fables and 1940s horror films like Jacques Tourneur’s sublime Cat People (yes, I know the main character was from Serbia, not Bulgaria, but you see what I’m getting at I hope.).

Using a carefully selected palette of eerie, droning electronics the track quite deliberately, and very successfully, creates a cosmically chilling Lovecraftian vibe.  There are three scenes depicted: the warm winds whistling through the deserted, subterranean corridors of the nameless city, the aftermath of a woodland ritual in deepest New England – the celebrants have departed but the ground is littered with still warm torches and a sticky, rust-coloured liquid is drying on the large, smooth rock used as an alter and, finally, the dark, grey interior of a Mi-Go spacecraft on a journey home to Yuggoth (yes, I know they were supposed to fly through the aether using their membranous wings but, having attended the dissection of a captured specimen, I now consider that theory to be unlikely.).  These scenes overlap one another and drift in and out of focus, as if in the crazed mind of an unfortunate soul who witnessed all three.  I can’t stop playing it.

Microdeform’s own Bandcamp site.

Microdeform on zamzamrec’s Bandcamp site.

Ian Watson on LF Records.

Ian Watson’s own site.

mother spit on aetheric record’s Bandcamp site.

Blog at
Entries and comments feeds.