rejection of predetermined techniques : luke vollar on vluba, tom richards, sean derrick cooper marquardt & hole house

June 1, 2017 at 5:57 am | Posted in new music, no audience underground | Leave a comment
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Vluba- Altar (Aetheric Records)

Tom Richards – Selected Live Recordings 2013 – 2016 (Fractal Meat Cuts)

Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt – Air Almanya   (Aetheric Records)

Hole House – A Stranger in Town (Aetheric Records)

 vluba

Vluba- Altar (Aetheric Records) CDr and digital album

Strange occurrences from this Argentinean duo as they operate dark and gelatinous horizontal happenings within the shadows.

The mysterio vibe is kept aloft with pseudonyms (I guess); Murisia and Aphra provide a list of instruments on their website that may or may not exist.

Of the various descriptions on their Tumblr site my favourite is “negative improv” an approach I can get down with; it erodes the individual and throws a psychedelic blanket of sound out.  No longer doing a call and response jam with your buddy but morphing into one mighty being for an incense drenched trance ritual.
The happening across three spacious tracks include ominous intonations, reverb-ed clank and an amorphous smog of ghostly electronics. A slow procession of unseen horror like John Carpenter’s “The Fog. “

If I had to describe this CDr in one word it would be ‘goat!’

tom richards

Tom Richards – Selected Live Recordings 2013 – 2016 (Fractal Meat Cuts) sold out tape and digital album

In this review I will ask a lot of questions but provide no answers:

1. Sinuous blood lava reverberating inside a conch shell. As pleasing to the fists as pizza dough.

2. Woah! there boy. Scattershot mulch of demented bells , voices from the beyond and spongy  synth-drek flecked against the wall. Like Wile E Coyote is the size of a wasp and trapped under your drained snakebite and black pot. Drunk from viscous fluid.

3. More voices sped up, reversed. Ladies gasps chopped up like lemon grass. Stubby fingers prod greasy portals. Health and safety? Nah mate

4. New trainers? Yeah mate sorted. Actually danceable electro grunk with neon goo dribbled over hiccuping beatz. Ever regretted getting up to dance to brainy electronic music on an empty dancefloor?

5. Buried field recordings under metallic chirps and insistent lemon sherbet rhythmicals. Ever wondered how an Altern 8 /Morton Feldman collaboration would pan out?

6. Tin can feedback is at war with the obnoxious robodude trying to get his groove on. Is this a battle that can be won?

7. Liking the diced syllables. Like Hip Hop chop-project Prefuse 73 done with Fisher Price keyboards, elastic band and glue.

Tom Richards music offers a glorious array of unlikely collaborations to play out in your mind. It pleases me that he closes the tape with a daytime fever dream of the Delia Derbyshire/The Prodigy hook up that you never dared to believe could ever happen.

sean derrick

Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt – Air Almanya   (Aetheric Records) 3” CDr, badge and digital album

More horror drone from Aetheric.

This is apparently accidental guitar music. A rejection of predetermined techniques and an embrace of spontaneous no-mind noise-making.  SDCM doesn’t rehearse for gigs or recordings either so this Berlin-based American presents a collection perplexing sound oddities.

I’m guessing that the approach includes choosing your environment to record in and allowing whatever sounds occur to coexist with the artists creation though Lord alone knows what he’s doing amidst all the small sound events.

This is quiet beguiling music that seems to flow eternally – the 3″ format provides a snippet  of gracefully unfolding sound in motion.

hole house

Hole House – A Stranger in Town (Aetheric Records) 3” CDr and digital album

Next up from what is looking to be the No Audience Underground’s least cheerful micro-label is this chilly little number.

A stark abandoned property graces the cover, perhaps the abandoned  VHS rental shop in West Yorkshire, where the recording took place.   To hammer the message home like a hot nail the Bandcamp includes a lengthy quote from arch-pessimist Thomas Ligotti.  So far, so gloomy.

The short tracks all have an icy insistence, a lethargic draw to a murky centre that comes nauseatingly in and out of focus. Take for instance ‘The Way Out’ as rusty metal echoes within a damp stuttering oscillation, it sounds as dark and grim as the cover.  ‘A Place You Left Behind’, uses smears of vaporous tone as a hymn to decay.

The titles point to time spent in a sad dilapidated house, wondering what went wrong. The presence of those gone and forgotten hangs over these recordings like a blackened spectre.

 

Aetheric Records

Fractal Meat Cuts Bandcamp / Fractal Meat WordPress & essential radio show

-ooOOoo-

the severed tongue, the haunted fog, the family crypt: new from aetheric records

August 5, 2014 at 12:07 pm | Posted in new music, no audience underground | 2 Comments
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Troy Schafer – Rigid Oppression (business card CD-r with pin badge, aetheric records, edition of 23)

more black then god – 1964 ZEN IN THE DRONES (3” CD-r, aetheric records, edition of 20)

people-eaters – disincarnate (CD-r with stickers and pin badge, aetheric records, edition of 20)

 troy schafermore black then godpeople-eaters - disincarnate

My love of the post is obsessive, bordering on fetishistic. The fact that in exchange for a small(ish) amount of money you can make an object disappear from your presence and reappear elsewhere in the world sometime later is magical to me. Despite grumbling about the continuing ubiquity of ‘stuff’ in these sleek, downloadable times the novelty never seems to wear off.

As you can imagine, running a blog in celebration of a fringe art form created by a taskforce of the unco-opted invites odd correspondence. Many’s the time that the contents of a parcel have caused a raised eyebrow. Always notable, for example, are packages from Dr. Adolf Steg of Spon – the painting/collage encrusted with toenail clippings being especially alarming – but a couple of weeks ago he was momentarily outdone: Alistair of aetheric records sent me a severed tongue.

It wasn’t real, thankfully, just a squishy, sticky, joke-shop toy – the sort of thing a ghoulish pre-teen might throw at his classroom window to gross-out his contemporaries – but it made me jump, then made me laugh. It fit right in with the goth/horror aesthetic of the label too. Sadly, it had leaked a foul, petrol-smelling, oily substance over everything in the envelope but, hey, it’s the thought that counts. It also reminded me that I’d had a couple of his releases on the pile for months now and that I should really dig them out. Now, I don’t want the lesson you take away from this to be ‘send Rob body parts = jump the queue’ but I have to admit it was a diverting tactic…

I mentioned the goth/horror aesthetic. This isn’t the backwoods/back alley grindcore of, say, certain Matching Head/Oracle atmospheres, more a sort of Victorian gothic: dimly lit séances, air thick with incense, charlatans fooling the gullible with fake ectoplasm and stigmata only to be dragged under themselves by offended spirits. Occasionally it reaches a tentacle into the cosmic horror of Lovecraftian weird tales or, in moments of full-on noise, to the tongue-severing schlock of EC Comics. The packaging is artfully realised – sharing a Pennine-corridor affiliation with Crow Versus Crow – and the releases are, by and large, conveniently short.

Presented on a dinky business card CD-r and clocking in at a mere five minutes, Rigid Oppression by Troy Schafer delivers a right kicking. This is the visceral clattering of actual physical objects being violently rearranged. I often find this kind of noise comical at first – like a floppy-fringed teenager ordered to sort the recycling and making as much racket as possible because it’s just not fair – but repeat listens reveal the chaos is contained within a bowed rise and fall. I imagine the breathing of a junkyard Smaug, his heaving chest – lungs ragged from years of smoking – dislodging detritus from the mountain of crap he is splayed across.

more black then god [sic], nom de plume of Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, stretches his three tracks to a relatively epic total of 20 minutes. This is the stuff of seafaring nightmare – sodden souls gripping the slippery rail of their ghost ship as it glides into harbour. There is a formal, shot-in-black-and-white, austerity to it too though, as if the haunted fog is rolling in over the manicured lawns of L’Année dernière à Marienbad. Bourgeois hotel guests shift uneasily as they play the matchstick game and order another cocktail. There is a tapping at the window…

disincarnate is the latest from aetheric house band people-eaters and is the longest of the trio at just under half an hour. On the album’s Bandcamp page it is noted that…

This album contains eight threnodies for my late father (1942-2013).

…which I found rather numbed my critical response. There is a passage in Martin Amis’s autobiography in which, to paraphrase, he describes reaching a point in middle age when the only things that have any real importance are births and deaths. I am (un)comfortably within that zone myself now and, as such, my reaction to a dedication like that is to listen to the music in a solemn and contemplative mood. It isn’t conducive to flights of descriptive fancy but I see that, as ever, I am late to the party and reviews rich in the figurative can already be read at heathenharvest, riverrockreviews, forestpunk and musicuratum – all written by talents less psychologically squeamish than me.

What I can say is that I was impressed that the band’s usual atmosphere of dread has not been dialled back in the slightest. This is a wake as desolate as could be described by Poe and, shockingly, the sixth track, ‘me mokutu vakamatea’, contains a poem written by fellow aetheric label mate slowthaw reminiscent of Poe’s translator Baudelaire or maybe something from a ritual hallucinated in a Lovecraftian fever-dream. Given the declared context it is bold stuff. I listened to this album whilst sat in a sun trap created by the concrete geometries of the campus where I work and was transported to a windswept, hillside graveyard where a group of horrified mourners wonder what the hell could have torn the doors from the family crypt…

—ooOoo—

aetheric records

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