Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Alexythimia – Nucleogenesis cdr

Somewhere in the dusty, forgotten recesses of my record collection is a copy of the Chemical Brothers' Dig Your Own Hole, which was as into techno as I ever managed to get. So, I'm probably the last person qualified to be reviewing this, but I'll give it a shot. Alexythimia apparently plays a mixture of breakbeat, a sub-genre of hardcore drum and bass, and neoclassical, which I'm pretty sure is an oxymoron like 'jumbo shrimp'. That seems like a unique sound and it had my curiosity peaked. I was actually surprised at how much more pronounced the neoclassical elements were on Nucleogenesis then the drum and bass aspects. Interesting stuff, but it hasn't swayed me over to techno. I suspect this will be appreciated by those fans who want electronica that's more than just beats for dropping ketamine to.

Dark Meadow Records

Fun & Head Molt – Halftone Mud c20

A collaborative piece, Halftone Mud, has the rad distinction of each tape containing a unique selection tracks. Hows that work? A wizard did it. The side-long tracks on my tape will only be heard by 15 others who buy a copy and those people's tapes will only contain one or the other of the songs. You dig? Anyhow, the first side is filled with mechanical rumblings and pulse waves from deep space. On the flip things get all harsh and noisy. Cool music, cool concept.

905 Tapes

Garrincha & The Stolen Elk – Void lp

Since discovering a while back that Garrincha & The Stolen Elk would be putting out a full length, I've been eagerly awaiting it's release, which has only intensified my frustration upon finally hearing Void. Now, here's the thing; this is not a bad album, by any means, but when stacked up against their two earlier releases, it seem lacking. With each release G&TSE has changed up their sound and Void is no exception. It's five tracks of dark, ritualistic industrial ambiance; a mechanized incantation constructed from slowed down samples, moaning synths, and electric guitars. It is a good album, but I've heard these guys do better. I'd recommend new listeners start with Void and work their way backwards to We Are Wyoming and Black Sambo/White Mambo. As critical of it as I am, I'd still encourage you to check out a copy.

Weird Forest Records

Hoist/Struggling Beacons, Fading Light/Total Solitude – Split cd-r

What are the odds I'd get two techno albums to review in one post? Anyhow, first is Hoist with a lot of jangly beats, arbitrary sounds, and the same Kermit the Frog sample over and over again. Seriously, three songs with snippets of “Being Green” in them. Next up are numerous short tracks of disjointed beats from Struggling Beacons, Fading Light. Finally, there's Total Solitude with a few tracks of indie electronica stuff. The Total Solitude stuff was listenable, but everything else? Pass.

Dark Meadow Records

Holy Strays – Enlightenment 7'

Niiiiiiice. This ep kicks off with a slab of relaxed psychedelic stuff; music for the ethereal plane. On the B we get a change up with a spacy track composed of electronic percussion, synth, and distant vocals. It's the soundtrack to a casual joyride around Phobos. This is one of those releases where no matter what stupid shit I type, it wont do the music justice. Check it out.

Not Not Fun Records

Make Believe Bombs/Ailes Of Few – Split c14

This split tape starts off with a spacy track of instrumental post-rock from Make Believe Bombs. The sound is just a little gritty and the synth is wailing away; killer stuff. Ailes Of Few follows on their side with a track of improv experimental music created from a variety of instruments and random items. Honestly, it's a really uninspired track and it sounds especially meh following MBB's track. 50/50.

Gilden God Tape Label

Ryley Walker & Daniel Bachman – Of Deathly Premonitions c32

Having never heard of either of the musicians, I snagged a copy of this tape on a whim, and I'm quite glad I did. Of Deathly Premonitions is four tracks of superb Appalachian guitar. I know, you see something described as “Appalachian” and the first thing that pops into your head is some stupid hipster with an ironic handlebar mustache fucking around on a banjo. Not here. What you get is densely layered, intricate folk music from two skilled guitarists. The songs tend to meander, but in a good way, and by the end of each track you've become lost in the music. A must have.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Archers By The Sea – Paper Light c43

Paper Light is shimmering, ambient bliss filled with electronic loops, disembodied vocals, and muted percussion. It's got that hypnotic vibe you know and love. My one objection; despite being an aficionado of cassettes and everything lo-fi, I'd like to hear this in high fidelity on wax or even *gasp* cd. There's a slight fuzz that just doesn't do Archers By The Sea justice. Even so, a rad little gem here. Turn on, turn up, tune out.

Bum Tapes

Chapels/Sound Out Light – Split c41

You know that episode of Scooby-Doo where the crooked real estate agent dresses up like a ghost and plays spooky music, so he can scare off potential buyers by making them think the mansion is haunted, thus allowing him to eventually buy the place super cheap? Well, Chapels sounds like the music he'd be playing. Where are those meddling kids to stop this? Needless to say, I was dreading the Sound Out Light side, but it's a total 180. A really intense, well done synth piece that leaves you with a bad case of the creeps. I have a hard time with splits like this, because you should totally get it for the SOL side, but you shouldn't get it 'cause of the Chapels side, you know?

905 Tapes

Congenital Mutation – All Too Human cd

The first time I listened to All Too Human, I did it in an offhanded manner and the magnitude of it didn't really register with me. A solid black/death album and that was about all I thought. However, with each subsequent listen I've come to appreciate Congenital Mutation more and more. This isn't simply a blackened death band, but an intricate blending of technical black and melodic death metal. The results are spectacular. I'm sure a cross section of black and death fans will dismiss this, claiming Congenital Mutation is, respectively, not “kvlt” or “brootal” enough; foolishly leaving this for those of us with more refined and progressive tastes to appreciate.

Dark Meadow Recordings

Ed Wayne Lefski – Last Day of a Dying Tooth cd-r

I'm one of those people that draws conclusions about a band based soley on their name, so I was completely surprised by the gargantuan slab of drone contained here. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but something maybe a little more...uh, serial killer-y? C'mon, you tell me that “Ed Wayne Lefski” doesn't sound like the name of a guy with bodies in the crawlspace. Seriously though, this is some epic stuff here. A single piece of drone clocking in at over an hour, devoid of loops or rhythmic aspects, it's a beast. The track's intensity ebbs and flows and by the end you're left in a state of exhaustion. As this is limited to 50 copies, I'd suggest you get on it.

Salamander Lane Productions

Lighted – Queendom c25

A trio composed of guitar, synthesizer, and drums, Lighted has unleashed some impressive psychedelic, krautrock stuff with Queendom. The four tracks are forceful and driven; there are no meandering ragas or free-form exploration here, just focused heavy tunes. The interplay between the three instruments is complex and ambitious, i.e. something better appreciated by listening to than reading about. Fucking get this already.

Lighten Up Sounds

Playing With Nuns – Frolicking Through The Meadow cd

Employing an intricate loop structure of electronic and natural sounds, Playing With Nuns has created a dense and highly textured set of soundscapes here. While the drone and ambient aspects of Frolicking Through The Meadow are quite obvious, they aren't pronounced enough to place this release into either genre. Rather, it falls into the encompassing label of 'experimental'; rhythmic, hypnotic, experimental music. The first half of the album has a rather menacing tone about it, while the second half is all about being soothing and calm. Really worth checking out.

Dark Meadow Recordings