me = Russell Walker
Denesh = the dude doing Acolytes
Get The Pheromoans’ new LP here.
Get Acolytes EP here.
Incomplete festival review and contest. Kuma Hora, Czech Republic – july 13th, 2012.
All the concert goers looked like the future people in Bill and Ted’s. One of them floated up and shyly asked if I’d judge a contest of a few new bands playing the fest. I took this request from the future very seriously and these reviews are the result.
Planety: Pět minut za městem
A dreamy crash-boom-bang traditional pop sound played with force. Heavily effected up beat lead guitars smells like Czech grunge. The lo-fi approach and flavor has me dancing around the room. It doesn’t even matter that I don’t understand a word, I instantly liked Planety’s simple approach.
KRISTEN: An Accident!
Loopy intricate guitar & bass paired with sparse open drumming and repetitive vocals. Solemn interesting indie noise music. I believe the late Jean-Michel Basquiat would have loved this Polish trio. Aggressive jazzy dance jams with free form bits scattered all over the place. BRAVO!
Piotr Kurek: Coda (Digitalis – sold out)
Insanely surreal video game sounds pushed together by analog keyboards. Like being trapped in a 8 bit haunted house while wearing a lead suit. I like that this Warsaw artist is working with dance companies and artist residencies. I’d love to see the results of those efforts someday.
Aches: Fine Tongue EP on EXITAB label.
Colorful droning loops with nice organic feeling. Super creepy “stalker vibe” vocals and ultra slow drum machine beats. Painterly guitars that seem dream like over what sounds like screwed up jungle beats. This Brit relocated to eastern Europe and interesting results abound.
Mile Me Deaf: Call Us Rats – Fettkakao Sampler – Fettkakao 2011 // fett022
Sarcastic psychedelic pop music. Driven by a collective beauty and tight guitars. From Fettkakao, the same Vienna label that brought you PLAIDED and VORTEX REX, two additional pop groups with a very unique takes on the form. I recommend all three whole heartedly.
Hand made black and silver digipack. Slow sad wash of tortured guitar. Like a long folk song sung underwater. High smokey vocals sung under a curtain of effects. Rouilleux is very depression influenced but still the balance of noise and songwriting is pleasant and keeps the listener engaged.
S ND Y P RL RS: DARK MATTER book + cdr, 22 pgs, Colpa Press
Nice warm German drone that lasts and lasts. The book would certainly enhance the experience of the piece, alas I didn’t get one. Still I enjoy the warm, slow building rumble this Berliner produces. Sounds like living in a jet engine or a steam ship. Just like any long trip, after about 40 minutes, S ND Y P RL RS slowly fades out and ends…
A third album for Extra Life, New York aesthete Charlie Looker’s band, and the first with a three-piece line-up. Their bass player left over a year ago, which resulted among other things in the significance of keyboards and 80s synth wave in the 2011 EP Ripped Heart. Extra Life had retained their medieval facet, but they also seemed to have softened.
Dream Seeds foreshadows something similar (but it will later prove to be a fallacy), with Charlie Looker’s focusing on vocals and keyboards, playing just a little acoustic guitar. Meanwhile violinist Caley Monahon-Ward gathers momentum as he deals all by himself with the electric guitar, the violin, electronic manipulation, and sometimes synths and backing vocals. His role in Extra Life has become essential and the band now appears as a perfect entity, a triangle with three equal sides – the extraordinary drummer Nick Podgurski is just as noteworthy –, an entity of which Charlie Looker is the base and the mastermind, the enlightened composer.
Dream Seeds starts out quietly with No Dreams Tonight. A wonderful ballad, medieval as can be and in keeping with the spirit of Ripped Heart. Actually Dream Seeds may sound more dreamy, and less rhythmic than the genius Made Flesh (2010) or Secular Works (2009).
Little One is also filled with delicacy, wonderful violin layers, and a soft piano which manages to spare us sentimentality and pompous conceit – a pure moment of grace and levitation. Even a track like First Song proves to maintain this enveloping and chilling softness despite the complex rhythmics. Extra Life is a special band, they are elsewhere.
Yet, Extra Life have sustained their ardour, except it is now channelled differently. Discipline For Edwin and Righteous Seed both reconnect with Extra Life’s two major features : the wonderful and lyrical tension on the one side, and the captivating, quasi-religious fervor on the other side. The splendid guitar backgrounds and the indecipherable but direct rhythmic patterns are still there, dominated by Charlie Looker’s out of season singing, and additional synths as support or counterpoint. The album ends with two bravura pieces : Blinded Beast followed by Ten Year Teardrop, both reaching a near quarter of an hour in length and representing Extra Life’s darkest, but also most lyric and stunning side. The whole musical range of the trio is brilliantly represented, reaching noise and madness – you have to hear Charlie Looker shouting « I Love You/I Love You/How I Miss You/I Buried You/We Buried You/We Buried You/I Love You », on Ten Year Teardrop. The band’s alchemical splendour is there, chiseled into its purest shape, at a level approaching magic.
Dream Seeds’ double themes (dream and childhood) are pregnant in Charlie Looker’s introspective and personal lyrics. In the booklet, a quote from Paracelsus, a rebel mind and Swiss Renaissance visionary, alchemist, astrologer and physician, sums up Dream Seeds’ demented and contagious content: « Blessed is he that is born during sleep ». Dream Seeds is already one of the most prodigious and bewitching album of this year.
Extra Life – First Song (right click/save as)
Extra Life – Righteous Seed
Texture, timbre, mood, vibe: today, music journalists and musicians alike tend to keep the bulk of their eggs in this well-padded basket of aesthetic signifiers. These amorphous musical elements don’t lend themselves very well to language, and so their privileged status in music writing is a little ironic. When the fascination with aesthetic categories swells to the point of eclipsing the more tangible tonal, structural and lyrical aspects of songwriting, writing ostensibly “about” a specific piece of music finds itself in the absurd position of holding the indescribable above the inscribable. Similarly, musicians captivated with aesthetics face some pretty limited prospects for developing novel material if the possibilities of musical novelty are relegated to an abstruse realm of effect and intention.
All this to say: what happens if, instead of resorting to “fifth-dimensional namecalling” by attempting to stabilize unstable aesthetic signifiers so that writing makes more sense, you hone in on the representable, repeatable, linguistically communicable content of a piece of music? What happens when there are no rules but structure still matters? What happens when there are no rules but a C# is still a C# except it’s arguably happening more like a Db right now, or you’re playing in a nonstandard tuning so it’s a C# on the fretboard but an A on the stroboscope?
What happens is this: you write some music infused with your engagement with the event of this language. I don’t care if C# is any more “real” than the “suburban vibe” of the new Real Estate record; I don’t care if you name and remember your chords or write down your melodies (I usually don’t). Sure, the premise that C# is any more ontologically stable than timbre is indefensible; both are theoretical as far as I’m concerned. The difference lies in the availability of pitch to the interactivity of language. As Socrates said to Theaetetus, “the notes, as every one would allow, are the elements or letters of music.” And as soon as you hit that C#-on-the-fret-but-A-in-pitch on the fretboard, you are dealing with a multivalent empirical phenomenon: that C# and that A are characters you get to respond to, favor, position, make speak, or deny, etc., all the infinite dramaturgical possibilities fostered by the God Position and the corollary Position Of Worship. Privileging tonality in music doesn’t mean presuming to answer the question of knowledge, of objective forms, etc.; instead, it opens up 1000s of ways to frame those questions.
Chris Weisman: “Pitch Noise is the aesthetics of Noise — shock collages, maximum sensuality, letting the materials speak in their own tongues — but focusing on pitch relationships rather than timbre, texture, costume. What seems reactionary — but is radical by virtue of 1) being unpopular 2) requiring an education in theory and analysis — is the privileging of exactly the elements that were traditionally hierarchically higher in Western Classical music. For example Debussy believed timbral and decorative elements were awesome but must serve the higher powers of cadence, form, tonal drama; that the real music is what can be captured on the notated page. You know like you can read a poem aloud in all these different ways — and those ways make a difference — but the poem is really somewhere else; it can be real all these different ways but ultimately the poem is unreal, abstract, like geometry or math or a game. These are the star systems I try to encounter. When I bring them to earth I might try a pedal but the real work is already done.“
American civil rights attorneys suing the state often worry about inducing “bad law,” i.e. when legally uncontroversial cases based on clear precedent are heard in districts spellbound by the unshakeable ideology of pro-government, anti-plaintiff cronyism. The danger is that a ruling will prove influential, either with respect to the merits of the particular case or by introducing concepts that constrain future litigants seeking redress for violations of their constitutional rights.
During the Tang dynasty, kung-an (公案) referred to something like the precedent resulting from a legal ruling. You know it now as koan. Lin Chi said, “If you want to get it, you’ve already got it — it’s not something that requires time.” Because the practice of writing songs is time-consuming and characterized by intense focus and deliberation, there is always the danger of creating a bad public precedent! Let me try to explain what I mean.
“If you do not see what I do not see, then it is quite natural that it is not a thing. Why is it not your self?” When it is taken up in thought rather than lived, the concept “pitch noise” is a pedal, too, only available to be turned on after the work is done. The institutional many-face of music may ask, “do you want to play the changes or do you want to change playing?” But you don’t have to list your sources in citationless anthropology. Participant observation is the name of the game, and if you’re doing it right, the one you’re watching looks back, failing to see not having to try.
Chris Weisman – The Mask Is The Face (from Hi) (right click/save as)
When I feel like giving up on life, I think of a handful of people and Jesse Hlebo of Swill Children is one of them. Jesse takes the hard road, never cuts corners, and sees things through to the end every time. This and his massive talent as an artist and designer keep me collecting all his releases. Swill Children is an independent record label/book publishing company from Brooklyn NY that has released music by Lucky Dragons, Guardian Alien, W-H-I-T-E, Nü Sensae and Okie Dokie among others. They’ve also published books by Grant Willing, Bryan Kruger, Ryan Foerster and Taraka Larson. All the books and Vinyl are printed in house on a Risograph (high-speed digital printing system).
1. Some music released on Swill Children:
Lucky Dragons – Existers (Matthew David remix) (right click/save as)
Nü Sensae – New Lies (right click/save as)
Guardian Alien – EP track1 (right click/save as)
Okie Dokie – UV DUST (right click/save as)
W-H-I-T-E – Fountain (Lucky Dragons-remix) (right click/save as)
White Fold – End of Now (right click/save as)
2. Pdf version of the first book published by Swill Children: Jesse Hlebo & Hannah Racecar – I Tried To Take A Picture Of The Moon Because It Was So Big or The Math Drinkers (right click/save as)
Jesse Hlebo and Hannah Racecar collaborated on a zine in which they took pictures and wrote poems once a day for six days, leaving up to chance the content that was to be produced. The result is a brief glimpse at lives full of frustration and loneliness.
3. Go spend some valuable time on Swill Children’s website.
The swill children projects suggest a narrative but there not linked together are they? How far ahead do you plan?Do you have an arc in mind for Swill Children?
There is an arc for Swill Children but it’s more spontaneous than engineered for a particular future. I never know what will happen next month or next year. I try and respond to what came before and keep moving forward.
Each release references sorrow or jubilance in a manner that converses with the last. I sort of viewed this last batch of releases as a unit, though they are very distinct from one another. I haven’t done that before.
Can you tell me a bit about your relationship with NYC?
I’ve never been to a place that was as inclusive as NYC. The time in which it took me to get involved with the music scene was not only quicker than any other place I’d lived, but was far more passionate and heartfelt.
It’s the first place I’ve lived for more than a year since I was 17 but has yet to become dull in any way. Not that things are ‘comfortable’, things just fit.
I don’t know if I could live anywhere else.
Who is Jesse Hlebo?
I spend a large part of my day trying to figure out this question. I’m not sure if I’ll ever know.
On your website you have the Sopa Petition pop up. What’s the deal?
SOPA (Stop Online Privacy Act) is an act that the USA government has been attempting to pass that would, in short, introduce a very highly controlled haze over the internet that doesn’t currently exist on such a massive scale. It is an outright attempt at censorship and authoritarian control. I’m really glad the internet has continued to be as ‘wild-west’ as it has for so long and think it should stay free for as long as possible.
What images do you come back to again and again?
Maurice Ronet looking into a mirror before committing suicide in The Fire Within, directed by Louis Malle. The fire and crickets scene from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven. Gordan Matta-Clark’s documentation of Splitting: Four Corners. The elephant-trampling scene in David Lynch’s The Elephant Man. Tauba Auerbach‘s Static photographs of television static. The first time I saw Richard Tuttle‘s work at MoCA in Los Angeles. Fireworks exploding in a panorama around me while laying on my roof in Brooklyn. Childhood best friend rolling over a brick and cutting open leg, blood seeping through his pants and dripping on ground while running. Skateboarding in Union Station in Los Angeles while drunk, falling on my face, bleeding everywhere, and peeing in a urinal while blood dripped into the water. And running on gravel between trains in Klamath Falls at 4am while being chased by a railroad officer.
What projects are coming up?
Paperweight -a primarily online-based organization dedicated to furthering a dialogue on independent publishing- is about to launch on Thursday the 12th of July. We’re participating in Brooklyn Shelf Life, a year long project with a total of 48 publications. New releases in the coming months from _ Quarterly, Andrew Laumann + Jesse Hlebo, Peter Sutherland. We’re participating in Printed Matter’s NY Art Book Fair at the end of September as well as the Sculpture Center block party at the beginning of September.
Druid Perfume – II (Urinal Cake)
Third Lp by this crazy Detroit outfit and in all probability their last, because the bass player moved to LA. Druid Perfume played some of the weirdest rock music I ever heard and I fucking love them for it.
While their previous release was somewhat calmer than the rest of their output, this second Selftitled album gets pretty manic again. When I listen to this record I think of a circus in which the singer of the band functions as announcer. The band backs up the acts with music. Jimbo introduces every act with a drugged out slur while barely being able to stay up on his feet. It should go without saying that his circus ain’t your ordinary circus and this is more than apparent as the opening act makes its entrance.
The clowns are clearly strung out on hallucinogens as they climb the stage drooling, howling and hitting themselves in the face. One is having a bad trip and curls up on the floor in fetal position whilst screaming he’s dying. He then begins to cry and calls for his mother in a childlike voice. In the meantime a fellow funny man has started undressing. He invites the audience to do the same : ‘Free yourselves! Throw off your chains!’ In the background another clown’s eyes get splashed by a flower pinned to a colleague’s chest. He runs around the arena blind. It was battery acid.
Next up are the lion and his tamer. The king of all animals is in no mood to jump through burning hoops no matter how hard his master whips him. The creature eventually loses its patience and tears off the tamer’s leg. In the meantime a drunk cord dancer has entered the stadium and is climbing one of the poles. Her first step from the plateau is about a foot away from the cord she’s trying to walk. She falls all the way down to the ground. Fortunately her fall is broken by some stuffed animals stainedby questionable substances. Things are about to get wrapped up with the human cannon ball act. Too much gun powder has been stuffed down the barrel, causing a giant explosion in which the human cannon ball burns alive.
As the tent catches fire, the audience try to escape the flames that reach out for everything that isn’t ablaze yet. Parents flee in blind panic leaving their kids behind to function as fuel for the fire. Children’s screams of agony and cries for help fill the night sky as the band keeps playing. The announcer shouts one incoherent sentence after another throughout this grand finale. What a perfect ending for a perfect band.
Druid Perfume – Balloon Artist (Right Click/Save As)
Druid Perfume -Wax Hand
Druid Perfume – Wheel of the Chance
06/19/12 – HEADWAR @ KHEDIVE
Headwar are wild children from Amiens. They also happen to be the best french live act for a few years: love of dissonance, no-wave/punk guitars, dementia shriekings, frenzied avalanches, crushing bass, hammered tribalism, ear-drilling synth. Plus something which reveals the Beast laying in each of us.
Headwar generate a creepy golem out of sound and then they tame it, control it, alter it, caress it, until it is unleashed and swallows everyone. And then people return to a primal state, sweat, bleed, climb on each other, bite each other (it actually happened to me. I was the victim). Headwar is the Monolith and we are a gang of monkeys discovering fire.
Here is a video recording of their full show at Grnd Zero in 2009. Watch it full screen. Entirely. If you don’t have the time or if you’re suffering from interweb’s attention disorder syndrome, download it and keep it for later.
+ Another more recent live with a lot of new songs :
Headwar @ GrndZero 06/14/12 – 444 mb RAW BUT LOSSLESS AUDIO (Right click/Save as)
Khedive is an unlikely venue, right accross the street from the very official Botanique. The owner tries to make a living of it, but doubtless the place doesn’t reach any safety standards and he really seems elsewhere.
Frequency of good music: No idea, first time I went there. The Headwar show was organized by a friend of them.
Other remarks: Probably won’t last long if they continue to leave the door open while noisy rock roars and neighbours are sleeping not far away.
6/20/12: ZEA + KING AYISOBA @ ATELIERS CLAUS
Zea already wrote about King Ayisoba recently on A&D, and we mumbled a few clumsy words about Zea too, so I’ll be brief. Zea = pop-punk anthems, african guitar riffs and cheap drum machine colliding (+ delicate folk side). King Ayisoba from Ghana = KILLER, with at least half a dozen persons living in his head.
Ateliers Claus holds its name from his owner, Franz Claus. Weird, isn’t it? If you blink very quickly you can see a subliminal fresco of his face behind the stage. At first Mr Claus was hosting shows in his living room, but then the Brussel’s city council wasn’t happy about it and there was a dispute and then they played Rock-Paper-Scissors and the city council lost so they lent him a new place.
Frequency of good music: Around a third of great shows in Brussels happen there.
Other remarks: The barmaid, after years of practice, still doesn’t know how to pour a beer. Tech guys are über competents (one of them is Deerhoof’s sound enginneer when they tour europe).
6/20/12 – DON VITO @ RTT
Don Vito are a spontaneous, concise, dense and disruptive trio from Leipzig. They navigate with dexterity between structure and chaos, and none of their tracks last more than the time to smoke half a cigarette. Their music is nifty like math rock, ferocious like punk, boiling over like free jazz, and it makes everyone dance like spuds.
Don Vito – Jean Luc Cora (Right click/Save as)
Don Vito – Banana (Right Click/Save as)
Don Vito – Mihaha (Right click/Save as)
Check their bandcamp.
RTT is one of my favourite venues in Brussels. The building mainly hosts artists’ residences, but sometimes shows take place on the 1st floor. No security guards, (very) cheap entrance tickets and drinks, you can smoke, bring your own booze, there is a garden, shows finish late… Crust heaven on earth.
Frequency of good music: Good (expect mainly punk, noise, math-stuff)
Other remarks: Feels like home (if your home is messy). Will close on summer 2013, boo boo.
06/21/12 ANDY MOOR & YANNIS KIRIAKIDES @ RECYCLART
Andy Moor (The Ex’s guitarist) and Yannis Kyriakides (
macbook laptop from Hell and various bleep bloop machines) play LEGO with rebetika music, the “blues” music of the Greek diaspora of the early 20th century. The record they made and the liveshow are both stunning.
Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides – Minores (Right click/Save as)
Andy Moor & Yannis Kyriakides – Vamvakaris
Get the record via Andy and Yannis’ label Unsounds.
Recyclart organises parties, concerts, art exhibitions, debates…
Frequency of good music: Sometimes. Fantastic non-western music shows happen there (from Omar Souleyman to Shangaan Electro).
Other Remarks: the place, located in an abandoned train station, is gorgeous.
06/23/12 IGNATZ @ MICROMARCHE/DIY Day
I know it is unfair, but when you’re an inconspicuous redhead with a beard, some people will always think you just escaped from Lord of The Rings. But as soon as Ignatz/Bram Devens sits down, picks his guitar & pedals and starts to sing his fractured blues, no doubt is allowed : he comes from Mount Olympus and has the power to suspend Time, to reveal the Secrets of the Universe, to make hearts of mortal men vacillate and beat stronger while feeling simultaneously doleful and happy and lonely and surrounded with love and wasted and straight-edge. Praise him.
Ignatz – “I Hate This City” Boogie (Righ click/Save as) from I Hate this City Lp
Ignatz – Dance For Two Hundred (Or A Drink) from I Hate this City Lp
Ignatz – The Blue & Windless Dusk (Right click/Save as) from Selected songs from cassettes 2005-2009
DIY Day is a out-doors festival where post-hippies gather and play djembe and fiddle necklaces and do bodypainting while schmoozing about social participation, cultural exchange and environmental approach (actually I didn’t go and only bad faith allows me to write this). Micromarché hosted a bunch of experimental shows during this DIY Day event. Hundreds of people came but 98% of them stayed in the courtyard drinking beer in the sun. I agree it is a reasonable occupation, but they missed the epiphany occuring inside.
Frequency of good music: Sometimes. Problems with neighbours have limited the amount of shows happening there.
Other remarks: Micromarché is above all an art/blahblah market where various creators sell their stuff, and a restaurant.
6/25/12 TENNISCOATS @ LA BEAUHAUS
I met Saya, Ueno and Tetsuya a few years ago, when we hosted OneOne at Grnd Zero in Lyon. OneOne is the project of Saya and Satomi from Deerhoof, but Greg Saunier (Deerhoof’s drummer), Ueno and Tetsuya accompagnied them for this tour. The result was an euphoric and energetic rainbow pop show. This time the set up is totally different, they play without any mic or amp. Saya walks around, sings and plays melodica. Ueno plays acoustic guitar. Tetsuya plays altered sewing machine, ventilator, beer can, loaf, water pot… Sometimes he takes a stick and wanders about. The result could have been vacuate and simple-minded but instead they kept walking on a tightrope of absolute grace.
Below is a video we were sent of the song Oide No Umi transcribing 1% of the magic that transpired. I’d be ready to give a lung to see again the song they played right before this one. But everyone was crying, and it ain’t easy to hold a cam in these conditions.
A Tenniscoats’ classic:
Tenniscoats – Marline (Right click/Save as) – from The Theme Of Tenniscoats – Majikick Records – 2000
They will release a new album, All Aboard! July 6th on Chapter Music. Here is a track:
Tenniscoats – Mosha Mosha Mo
La Beauhaus is a micro-venue (30 square meters), organizing art exhibits and shows, notably run by our friend Max (also playing in the band Hoquets and running the Matamore record label). Even if I hated Max, i’d have to admit this place is great.
Frequency of good music: Excellent (expect accoustic/experimental music)
Other remarks: Way too small.
6/26/12 XXL @ ATELIERS CLAUS
XXL is Xiu Xiu teaming-up with italian band Larsen. Well, it was just Jamie Stewart with his tanned skin, skinny shirt and penetrative look, as Angela stayed home so he could enjoy naughty sightseeing in London. XXL delivered a Loud (they blew a speaker in less than 10 minutes) and angry rock scattered in multiple directions (psychedelism, wistful 80′s pop, experimental digressions).
An unknown person Felicité of A&D said we could deduce their sexual behaviours from the way they move on stage: Jamie’s probably consists of whips and twirls, Fabrizio (guitar, dildo) starts softly then becomes a fierce grizzly, while Il Bue (drums, but he missed his True Destiny: acting in Oz), Paolo (synth, accordion) and Roberto (guitar) are more the stoic-but-virile-powerful type. Most of the tracks were instrumental, although Jamie granted us three songs with his delightful agonizing goat’s voice. The show was exalted and staggering, my only problem being that Fabrizio, who also has an enchanting croony voice, didn’t open up his throat.
XXL – Vaire (from Düde, to be released July 2nd on Tin Angel records)
You can download another mp3 (Disco Chrome) and buy Düde on Tin Angel records’ website.
Volcano The Bear is a brilliantly and seriously messed-up british band blending improvisation from Mars, sailors’ folk, acousmatic music and dadaist rock in a weird but efficient mix. I’ve read Golden Rhythm/Ink Music is their first studio album in six years, which would imply its direct predecessor is the magnificent Classic Erasmus Fusion (2006, on Beta-lactam Ring Records). Let us not forget Volcano The Bear also has published, during this six-year period, live recordings (Egg And Two Books), more or less obscure cd-r (Grande Pfungst), ultra-limited vinyls (Volrudolf), salutary reissues (such as The Mountain Among Us) and oldies’ compilations (Catonapotato) – besides, the excellent Admidst The Noise And Twist (2007, on Beta-lactam Ring again) also is a proper album.
Liner notes inform us that parts of Golden Rhythm/Ink Music has been recorded in 2008 at the Grim in Marseille: Volcano The Bear is a band who know how to take their time. So yes, Golden Rhythm/Ink Music is a true studio album, published by the well-recognized experimental music label Rune Grammofon. The artwork of Kim Hiortøy is for that matter a doomed-to-failure attempt to conciliate the visual identity of previous Volcano The Bear releases with minimal and austere aesthetics of the Norvegian label. It doesn’t prevent Golden Rhythm/Ink Music from being a very accomplished album.
It is also the most openly influenced by This Heat, and we won’t complain about that. Aaron Moore and Daniel Padden – assisted by some pataphysical interventions of the irreplaceable Clarence Manuelo, too bad he’s not touring with the band anymore – pay a beautiful tribute to the music of Charles Bullen, Gareth Williams and Charles Hayward, but they do it in their own way, with a humour and a finesse which belong to no one else but them. Buffalo Shoulder, then the terrific Baby Photos, the first two tracks of the album, are the best achieved from this point of view.
However, contrary to This Heat, Volcano The Bear exclude all traces of confrontation and urbanity in order to privilege their own musical language (moreover, one can sometimes wonder in what language the band is singing), with a penchant for the incongruous, the unexpected and the uncontrollable that so many others haven’t managed to shape.
Just like their shows, the band’s recordings aren’t devoid of a few wavering moments, due to abrupt and sudden bifurcations. However, what we’ll retain above all is the farcical terror, leading to an unfeigned melancholy which, in turn, has to be diverted. Let’s get rid of concepts and assumptions, and just listen to the wonderful Fireman Show.
Volcano The Bear – Fireman Show (Right click/Save as)
Volcano The Bear – Baby Photos
Get the album here.
(This post was first written in French. Approximate translation by Clémentine)
When we asked Orange Milk Records if they wanted to take part in A&D’s project, Keith Rankin (who co-runs the label, and also is a musician and a visual artist) answered us heartwarming words:
“The manifesto is pretty intense… I always wonder why more people aren’t discussing the topic, as it’s one of the most relevant to small musicians these days. I’m glad to see the view that downloading/sharing isn’t a purely negative force, but a deep part of human nature and history. I don’t like the argument some people make that we need to revert to a 90s model of buying more records… new models need to be discussed, obviously. So in short.. I love what you’re doing here”.
Of course, such a kind message is all the more embarrassing as our donation platform isn’t ready yet (hopefully it is only a matter of weeks now).
However, Keith sent us two art pieces he has done recently (lots more can be seen on his flickr page here), and we take this opportunity to mention some Orange Milk releases.
Keith also has a solo project, Giant Claw, in which he “makes music that sounds like the soundtrack to a dystopian children’s book published in 1981″. He just released a new album on Wool Recordings. You can stream it here and buy it there.
Giant Claw – Hobo Cop (Right click/Save as)
Orange Milk Upcoming Releases
(tapes will be out soon and you can already listen to the whole albums and buy digital versions on a free donation basis on Orange Milk’s bandcamp)
Maharadja Sweets – Engines of Joy CS
I’m still not sure what it is about Maharadja Sweet’s music that is so sincere it brings joy and pain simultaneously. There is something undeniable about a man who looks like a distressed bank teller by day and an open mic circuit player by night.
Maharadja Sweets – John Henry (Right click/Save as)
Maharadja Sweets – Hobbes to Calvin
Criminals - Babes CS
“Slow, quiet jams; hot off our July tour. All recorded in my dead aunt’s empty house in a remote oak-and-plastic suburb. I play foghorn, ms-10, & piano, Leslie plays bass, motors, & violin.” – Andy Burkholder
Criminals-B3 (Right click/Save as)
HCMJ - Honeybee CS
Honeybee is an experiment in twisted droning metal, dark synth weirdness, and galloping acoustic ballads. It’s also a concept album about a group of sailors from the late 16th century who return to the shores of spain only to discover that the land has become like a corrupt jpg – broken and whitewashed.
HCMJ – Fathom I (Right click/Save as)
Orange Milk Recent Releases
(you can hear more on Orange Milk’s bandcamp, again)
Ashley Paul - Slow Boat LP
Slow Boat pulls out every last sound in the organic world and puts it into a context of sheer beauty and conceptual interest simultaneously. It is masterfully original and well thought out with superb musicianship and puts hope into the polarized world of conceptual vs. analytic. This is a limited pressing of 300. Featuring Eli Keszler on percussion.
Cream Juice - Self Titled CS
Seth Graham (Henry Dawson) & Keith Rankin (Giant Claw) bringing some improv synth randomness. This is a sprawling hour-long debut.
Sean McCann – Open Resolve LP
A seminal recording of sound collage and experimental synthesizer sounds from one of the brightest musicians in underground America. PLAY LOUD.
Sean McCann – Broken Replicator (Right click/Save as)
A) The Merciless Wheel Of Novelty (2012 records)
Acolytes is (Mysterious first name) “Boseman” (Mysterious last name), a friend of Russell of The Pheromoans. Actually I met him on Soulseek, this P2P culture-sharing network is litteraly crowded with musicians/activists. Boseman is supposed to do a duel interview with Russell for Amour & Discipline, but it will probably take him 7 years as he would rather do nothing or just sit and listen to grime like a fucking chav. However, his first EP on Savoury Days, Known Nonsense, is a true jewel of “creepy and complex psychedelia, an updated take on 80′s DIY eclecticism, from the likes of Gareth Williams, Prominent Disturbance or L. Voag, with a hint of futuristic proggers such as Heldon” (Russel’s words).
Yes that’s a lot of name dropping but Acolytes deserve it and I can’t wait to hear his first full album.
Life is short and we’re all gonna die soon in a awkward way so you should stream now the whole A side just below (three songs: The Music of Eric Zahn, Syncopated Sleep and The Agreement) and then swiftly spend all your money there.
I can’t get bored of the new Zea 7″ with clarinet player Xavier Charles. Zea is known for his booty-shaking pop punk anthems, but here he’s showing his sensitive side with Bourgeois Blues (a cover of Leadbelly) and two new songs. Buy it directly from Arnold here.
Does anyone know why there is sometimes such a disgraceful big blank after the song names on Soundcloud players? If you can show us the light please write to email@example.com
Gay Anniversaryis a noise punk band from Athens, Greece and I’m gonna rip-off their own description. They sound like
another boring clone a credible reincarnation of Bick Black. Scratching guitars, Pounding drum machine, Robocop bass, Barked vocals, Wild excitation: everything is in its right place. Why not take a look at their Bandcamp page? Some members also play in Bazooka, you can admire their poetic skills in “I Want to fuck all the girls in my school”. Both bands respectively released a LP and a 7″ on the excellent Slovenly Recordings.
Gay Anniversary – American Yard
Gay Anniversary – Choke This
Bazooka – I Want To Fuck All The Girls In My School
Dan Deacon hasn’t sent us his contribution to A&D webzine yet but we still love him, because he wrote a great Grnd Zero support letter to the Lyon’s City Council (thanks a billion times, dude), and also because he just spread a vigorous track from his forthcoming America LP over the interweb. The lyrics of this new album are supposed to advocate the destruction of capitalism or something but according to
reliable sources far-fetched rumors he SHAMELESSLY BETRAYED Carpark records because Domino offered him more strawberry ice cream. And yet I can’t wait to hear it and fight big corporations and see him live again and feel as if I will be four years old forever.
Dan Deacon – Lots (Right click/Save as)
B) We don’t care about the release date anyway (non-2012 records)
Noise-duo Yellow Swans (and Pete Swanson solo works) deserve to have a whole book written about them but for now let’s just say their music was, in their own words, “a constantly evolving mass of psychedelic noise that is both physically arresting and psychically liberating”. This surprising emo-pop track comes from the 2007 tape Deterioration, one year prior to their separation. It is out of print too so you know what you gotta do.
Yellow Swans – Reintegration (Right click/Save as)
Wow, Elvis Presley and The Wailers are apparently jamming together on the secret island where they reside with Osama, Adolf and 2pac.
Elvis Presley and The Wailers – Crying in the Chapel (Right Click/Save as)