you animal! tapes from mothers of the third reich and burnt to perfection

March 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Mothers of the Third Reich – s/t

(C60 cassette, Swim Club, SWIM11, edition of 100 in hand made packaging)

Burnt to Perfection – Trippin Balls

(C65 cassette, Triangle Tapes, TT#1, edition of 50)

mottr tape on swim clubburnt to perfection - trippin balls

What with all the recent excitement here about *ahem* ‘new releases’ the review pile has been neglected.  This is a shame as over the last couple of months many of the earthy, knobbly objects presented at the kitchen door of Midwich Mansions have proved to be delicious musical truffles.  Whilst we wait for our baby to arrive (junior has now missed his or her launch date and thus will be fashionably late) I’ll try and dish up the tastiest for you.  First on the menu are two tapes of gonzo(ish) racket that have been languishing in the cupboard since January.  Mea culpa.

The Mothers of the Third Reich (hereafter MOTTR) offering contains excerpts from three gigs played in 2012 and totals about an hour.  The tape comes glued into an A4 sized page of odd plasticky material that has been (I’m guessing) spray painted through stencils and hand printed with the MOTTR logo.  A denim patch featuring the same logo is also included along with an insert featuring the details.  These are superimposed over an infamous photo of a blood-spattered guitar taken in the aftermath of one of the gigs documented.  Rock and roll!

It is tempting to to describe this as a balls-out free-rock blowout but that isn’t really a satisfactory reaction on closer and repeat listens.  There is a lot more than that going on.  It starts with subterranean rumbles, cavernous atmospherics and bursts of electrical skwee before a fee-fi-fo-fum plodding announces the arrival of something dragging itself towards the goat we’ve tethered under a tree as bait.  Violent clatter, howling and a stomping rhythm suggest another troll trying to break into a shipping container to get at the tasty car tyres stored inside.

Onto side two.  Picture members of a Chinese opera company, bitten and turned during a zombie apocalypse, stumbling down the stairs to a basement jazz club where they join the undead musicians there in an unholy improv session.  Cymbals crash, saxophones squawk and honk.  There are contemplative sections but dark, grimly fascinating, almost panic-inducing as whispered spoken word and detuned bursts of chaotic electronics puncture the reverie.  As if the object of contemplation was something like Fucking Hell by Jake and Dinos Chapman.  This is substantial stuff and I like it very much.

Visit Swim Club here.  Buy here.

Now just a brief account, as it is already sold out, of Trippin Balls by Burnt to Perfection.  A red cassette is squeaked into one of those puffy plastic cases that ZX Spectrum games used to be packaged in.  It is accompanied by a hand-stamped inlay and has the terrific psychedelic cover pictured above.  Sent to me in trade by the charming Marc Roberts of hardcore tape-only (“analog rules.  keep it reel”) label Triangle Tapes this features just over an hour of noise improv recorded under the influence of magic mushrooms.  As you might expect, given the circumstances of its production, there are long periods of indulgence but there is also plenty to recommend it too.  Let’s face it: if indulgence was a crime this blog wouldn’t exist, nor would much of what is reviewed here.  Lolz.  Anyway, this carries a satisfyingly fried atmosphere throughout.

A howling whistle, part Arctic wind whipping the tundra, part deflating balloon alerting us to its dismal fate, is replaced by a guttural augmented growl.  An incinerator roar, a machine rumble, forms the baseline and is whipped into an oily froth by squiggly electronics, pared back to bare tape hiss, then piped in again as the peaks and troughs of the mushroom buzz open and close the mental valves controlling the flow. Clatters echo, the deflating balloon becomes a swarm of agitated robot wasps, a giant grain silo is sluiced out and refilled with gravel.

Sadly, this is no longer available but why not check out the other stuff going on at Triangle Tapes?

wired for sound part 27: tapenoise, mothers of the third reich, petals

August 13, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Tapenoise – Cobblers (self-released, approx C10 cassette, hand decorated packaging)

Mothers of the Third Reich (self-released cassette, no details provided)

petals – preconcerted (hairdryer excommunication, approx C25 cassette, appropriated packaging with decoration and found objects)

Here’s a collection of objects all exhibiting the quality of true tapeness.  Each, in its own way, revels in the physicality of the cassette as a format and employs a level of hand-assembled craft that respects the lo-fi, high-tech magicality of the medium (it’s all done with magnetism?!).  Much appealing oddness, no download codes included.

Firstly we have Cobblers by Tape Noise.  I’d not heard from Dex Wright for a while and was wondering what he was up to when this arrived as a housewarming present.  This cassette case has been opened (I’m guessing) and the tape clipped and rehoused at a length of about five minutes per side.  The case and inlay card have then been decorated with metallic ink pens and felt tips in the usual ebullient Tape Noise manner creating a literally unique object.

One side starts with the muffled popping of late 70s/early 80s industro-style drum machine which is soon replaced with a more emphatic bashing over which a wild synth solo dances until the end of its brief running time.  On the other side similar electronics act as a backing track for a daft, improvised (I’m guessing again) song sung by Dex about his despair at how things aren’t built to last anymore.  Hence the title: ‘cobblers’ as in everything is crap, but it also refers to his literal need to find someone who can fix his leaky boots.

There’s a nostalgia to Dex’s outlook but no luddism.  He is into the idea of recycling technology considered obsolete and appalled at the waste of our throwaway culture.  His work is created generally in editions of one (or more or less one), sometimes given away, sometimes auctioned to collectors of the odd on eBay.  Visit the Tape Noise website for details.

Next is the golden tape by Mothers of the Third Reich.  I only know it is by them because it was given to me by the band at the gig in Stoke where we shared a bill, the object itself is completely anonymous.  The cassette and inlay are sprayed gold and contain no information, no text at all.  I only recognise the ‘T’-with-four-bars logo as theirs too because I was given a patch (more patches in noise!) featuring the same thing at the same time.  I suppose I could look it all up on the internet but where is the fun in that?  It’s cool to add a mysterious layer of intrigue…

The music is a skronking mixture of jazz noise and free rock.  Gargling electronics do battle with a sometimes rolling, sometimes skittering drum kit whilst throaty, gravelly honks are forced from a saxophone and/or the guitar kicks over tables.  This isn’t super-saturated bombast though; there is plenty of shading and room to gulp air in-between molestations.  Ace.

I don’t know where to get hold of this but these cats are on facebook so I guess you could head in that direction.  I see a second tape is available on Bandcamp too – download is free and you are encouraged to dupe it to a C60.

Finally there is an extraordinary object from Kev Sanders.  preconcerted is by Kev’s main musical concern petals and is released via his own omnicorp hairdryer excommunication.  It comes as a one-track-per-side C25ish cassette and my copy is housed in a roughly chopped half of the packaging that once contained some kind of tape-and-booklet set about interview technique.  Remaining stamps, stickers and classmarks suggest this was appropriated from the University of Huddersfield library which I think is Kev’s place of employment.  The original cover is obscured with a black and white photo of masonry detail and the half-a-booklet remaining inside shares its pouch with two unrelated photographic slides.

The music is from the noisier end of Kev’s output.  ‘A’ is a glorious drone as viscous, gritty and as tempting to poke with a stick as tar on a beach.  It roars, gutters into noise, rises, then loses the fight again.  Terrific.  ‘B’ is a right racket of stuttering, fizzing and warbling with some proper finger-on-the-spindle messing with the space-time continuum.  Also terrific.  The answer to the question ‘petals?’, is ‘yes, as much as can be spared please.’

Object fetishists can contact Kev via hairdryer excommunication here, impurists and latecomers can download the sound via Bandcamp.

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