Still Available N-Z 1..2
25-Aug-2019. 20% Off Until Next Catalog!
Still Available N-Z
The New Blockaders – Live At Morden Tower (Menstrual) LP $29
The New Blockaders were the first band to take Luigi Russolo at his word and make Futurist Music, albeit 70ish years later. Of course, there was plenty of noisy music in the various Avant Gardes of the 60s and 70s, but The New Blockaders brought noise to the fore like no other previously. Live At Morden Tower was their second release and captures the band at a real high point of the very exciting British Power Electronics/ Experimental underground, which was so very interesting from 1982-1985. It is very nice to see another reissue of this essential recording. Because I have almost always had excellent taste (which only becomes more exquisite as the years pass), I have A/B'ed the four versions of this recording I have: the original Aeon tape release, the RRR bootleg LP, the VOD 21st Anniversary boxset, and this Menstrual release. This Menstrual reissue has a bit more low end than any of the others and may be more like it sounded in the room at the time. (I was not there.) Nice cover, etc. If you do not have this recording, you really should. Live At Morden Tower makes a lot of the 90s 'noise-boom' artists look like charlatans.
The New Peculiars – Dance Music 2000 (Tonschacht)….7" $5
Back In Stock! Three tracks from the band of the 00’s. The title track is our full frontal assault on glitch techno (with catchy vocals). Side 1 finishes with a vinyl disaster known as “Landing Party.” Side 2 is consumed by “The Crucial Failure of Authenticity,” a slow edgy track which is one of our best. The New Peculiars march on and on.
Svitlana Niano – Lisova Kolekciya (Skire) LP $20
This LP is a reissue of a cassette from 1996.Some vague comparisons could be drawn to Ksiezyc (whose original 10", also from 1996, and reissue LP were both carried in this catalog). Niano's music is much more song oriented than Ksiezyc and simpler and more straightforward. There are two Casios, Niano's sometimes multitracked vocals, and an engineer/ sound effects person. There is also a strange echoed whistling sound that appears in many of the tracks. While the instrumentation may be minimal, the songs are all carefully and compellingly arranged. I think Niano's voice is gorgeous and these songs sound like they came from another world. A good portion of the songs are somewhat up tempo, which is nice. I think this is a fantastic LP. The first and last tracks are more experimental than the songs, but are still very good. A glass raised to Tom Scott for reissuing this gem. And, of course, a glass raised to Svitlana Niano. Everybody Wins!
Phill Niblock – Nothin’ To Look At Just A Record (Superior Viaduct) LP $19
This is one LP that passed me by back in the day, even though I had a bunch of records on India Navigation that I liked. I suspect the title probably put me off. Well, that mistake has been rectified. Rectify! This is a super-superb drone record made entirely with trombones. Niblock’s working method at this time was to use tapes of specific pitches played by various instruments (in this case trombones) to create his massive and yet organic compositions. This is really a fascinating exploration into overtones and slow, captivating development. If you like Frippertronics or 3R4, or David Behrman’s On The Other Ocean, this is for you. It certainly is for me. Live and learn. Comes with an informative interview with the composer.
BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa – Big Shadow Montana (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) LP $17
One big piece divided into two side long chunks. Normally I don't go much for that approach, but these guys have pulled it off. Very spacey electronics and field recordings with just enough mystery that Big Shadow Montana brings the excellent Dome and side projects (especially MZUI) to mind. Very nice work. Minimal and bleak, but it has something to say throughout. A nice antidote to the 'Posi-New Age' stylings of a lot of today's very misguided electronic musicians.
BJ Nilsen & Stilluppsteypa – Goda Nott (Editions Mego) LP $20
B.J. Nilsen/Stilluppsteypa – Space Finale (Editions Mego) 2LP $26
I've followed the careers of both B.J. Nilsen and Stilluppsteypa for some time now although, apart from ealy Stilluppsteypa records, they rarely grace these pages. Space Finale isn't like any of the other music I've heard from those involved before. Four side long excursions for mostly analog synths and effects. Organic, slow moving and spacey throughout, Space Finale lives up to its name. Oddly enough, there are large bits of this that are very reminiscent of my still unreleased (and, perhaps, unfinished) FOUST! – Space Sickness CD. Space Finale gathers a sort of negative momentum as it moves along. The atmosphere is both claustrophobic and melancholy. Very nice.
Nivritti Marga – ST (Editions Le Souffleur) LP $24
Back in stock! Nivritti Marga is Raymond Dijkstra, Timo van Luijk, and Frederique Bruyas. (She is a professional reader!) The texts are from Maldoror by Comte de Lautréamont. There are a lot of long instrumental passages and the pacing is very dream-like. The music seems to be mostly from acoustic sources, although Raymond's trademark hard, short echo is in effect on and off throughout the LP. Bruyas' voice is also processed, leading an even odder air to the proceedings. This is another fantastic release from Raymond and he seems to have a very unique, updated and individualistic angle on Dada/Surrealism. He continues to construct a very personal sound world. The record is in a bag, with a 12" x 12" artwork and a printed inner sleeve with the texts in French and English. PS If you have not read Lautreamont, you owe it to yourself.
No Intention – Good Intentions/ Material Dilemma (Il Dischi Del Barone) 7" $10
No Intention is Allan out of Good Area. Good Intentions is a spoken word piece over an increasingly dubby rhythm box. Very reminiscent of early Shadow Ring/ Mark E Smith's Post Nearly Man/ Burroughs cut-ups. Nice. Material Dilemma is very primitive tape music with some voice in the background. This is what a single should be like. IDBB is on a roll.
No Intention – Rabelais (no label) C60 $10
No Intention is, of course, Allen Mozek of Good Area and the Vitrine label. The first side starts with a spoken word piece, with the usual excellent accompanying odd atmospherics. After that comes two pieces of very nihilistic fucked up noise. The second side has a location recording, a harsh blast of noise and then a field recording. This is followed by a long (maybe 10-minute) silence. (My Admission: I listened to a lot of it, but I also used the fast forward option a bit. There may be an occasional sound.) Then comes a piece with birds, rustling, scrabbling, and a bit of feedback. Rabelais is perplexing, annoying, and often excellent as always. I think this is the way Allen prefers it. The last track is superb.
Onde – One (Ondemusic) LP $28
Debut LP by the trio of Timo van Luijk, Greg Jacobs, and Mark Wroblewski. The two pieces on the first side (Four and One) are very harsh and abrasive, all squealy guitar and violin and whatever, which is probably bowed cymbals on One. Both pieces have a very aggressive, early Organum feel to them. Side two is an entirely different affair. Two pieces (Three and Two) of low key, very organic, quiet music. Two is particularly effective, with the unreal feel of a soundtrack to a dream.
Onde – Purple (Ondemusic) LP $28
Purple. Along with Orange, the most exotic colour. Purple is more royal and majestic whilst Orange is a radical troublemaker. Onde is the trio of Timo van Luijk (electric guitar), greg Jacobs (violin), and Mark Wroblewski (metals). The side long Vloed is an insidious Krautrock/ NDW hybrid, without sounding like a copy at all. It is a three part suite, the last of which is a solid chunk of Faust-style heaviness. The second side-long piece, Eb, is the first side backwards. It is not ordered end to beginning, but rather has the three parts of the suite in the same order as the first side, only backwards. I haven't listened to Eb enough to assess its aesthetic possibilities, as it took me a while to figure it out. I'm not as sharp as I once was. Anyway, certainly worth it for the fantastic Vloed. Absolutely gorgeous gatefold sleeve.
Opera Mort – Film Works (BAADM) LP $22
Opera Mort is El-G and Jo Tanz. I am fairly certain this is the first music I have heard by them. Film Works is what it says it is. Two soundtracks for two experimental films plus an extra track recorded at the same sessions. The first side is the side-long The Potted Psalm. The piece starts out with a slow accumulation of looped beeping sounds of the sort you would hear on a shortwave radio or as pips on a phone (landline). These slowly build up with the addition of two distinct wandering synth parts, one low and one high. There is also what might be a chopped up voice sample. I am not doing the piece justice. It is very peculiar. There are also two interruptions, both of which result in similar ingredients being combined in different ways. Really excellent. The second side starts out with the other soundtrack piece, Dream Work. Dream Work has some of the same looped beeping at the start along with some eerie keyboards and a sort of rustling sound. The mood shifts suddenly to discordant keyboards and what sounds like a crazy man ranting mixed very low. It could be anything. The excitement ramps up and up, although it never gets to what I would call noise. The last track has looped shortwave sounds and a rather winsome synth. Maybe I do not get out enough, but Film Works, along with Andreas Hirsch's Summe 1, both sound very fresh to these ears, although in very different ways. Very nice.
Ora Clementi - Cover You Well Softer Me (Penultimate Press) LP $25
Ora Clementi is Crys Cole (I'm not familiar with her work) and James Rushford (from the fabulous Manhunter LP). Although Cole and Rushford live far away from each other (Canada and Australia), this recording certainly sounds like two people interacting together, which, however it was accomplished, is something I quite enjoy. There are keyboard drones, lots of unidentifiable small percussive sounds, perhaps some tapes, as well as some truly remarkable vocals. There is not any singing or intelligible words, but the voices play a very interesting card. Often quite submerged, like a Burroughs throat tape, but sometimes engaged in a somewhat creepy and erotic boy/girl banter, that sounds like it is backwards, but not quite. The vocals are not the main element by any means, but really help locate the droning and ticking in a very peculiar area. This is fascinating music. I have heard it through six times now and it is still revealing hidden mysteries. Just superb.
Organum - Die Hennen Zahne (Die Stadt).....3" CD $13
This was originally supposed to have been two separate 10"s, but is now a suave 3" CD. I love the Jackman/ Organum 10"s on Die Stadt, but I am not so much of a format queen to object. I am somewhat ambivilant about the title track as it sounds like someone emptying a garbage truck in front of Albert Ayler's band. Whilst I totally agree with the sentiment, I don't really need to hear it. The other tracks are all superb. For those unfamiliar with Organum, imagine the best bits of twenty Vibracathedral Orchestra releases condensed into a few five minute tracks. Without all the messing about. I hate waste.
Organum - Sanctus (Robot).....CD $15
First of a suspected trilogy of new Organum releases utilizing graphic scores. Sanctus is four similar pieces for organ, piano, tower bell, and gong. Just gorgeous, excellent, minimalist music. The sound is somewhat droney, but very open and spacious. The pieces conjure up an atmosphere of infinity, loss, and dread, and the contemplation thereof. This sort of expert work makes most of today's drone artists (improv, laptop, or both) seem like incompetent amateurs. Which is probably what they are. That's not my fault.
Organum – Sorow (Siren) ...CD $21
Although it has the same style cover and somewhat the same sound palette as the trilogy on Die Stadt, Sorow is a bit more lush and static than its predecessors. Heavy drones, lots of sympathetic strings, keyboards, and a gong combine for a solid 40 minute block of sonic immersion. I love music that really forces you into a sonic environment and this is certainly that. Of course, the environment has to be one that I enjoy and Sorow meets that qualification as well. It's like being the star of your own film for 40 minutes, surveying the endless vistas and confronting the abyss. David Jackman has been one of the most interesting artists over the last 30 years and, well, the beat goes on.
Fabio Orsi – Wannsee (Ricerca Sonora) One-Sided LP $22
One-sided LP of a three part suite of field recordings made at Lake Wannsee in Germany by this Italian composer. The first two parts are fairly minimal, mostly an organic drone of some sort with the occasional moving about or boat sound. Most of the action is in part three, which features excellent water sounds, some birds, and some barely heard conversations. I have sort of had my fill of music based solely on field recordings, but this is a nice one and extremely concentrated. And, if there is nifty computer editing, it is not obvious. Always a plus in my view.
Genesis P-Orridge/Stan Bingo – What's History (Dias) LP $20
Nice LP reissue of a tape originally issued by Nekrophile in 1983, although recorded in 1981. I missed out on this at the time, but here it is now. Two side long tracks of vibraphone and assorted electronics. The first side sounds a bit aimless to me. The vibraphone/ electronics combo is a nice one, but I can not help comparing it to the 'After Cease To Exist' soundtrack, which has similar instrumentation and feel that this P-Orridge/Bingo meeting comes up lacking. Although the instrumentation is the same, side 2 is definitely superior to side 1, and has an atmosphere worthy of further explorations. Even with the vibraphone, there is that palpably totally disassociated feeling of early Come Org tapes. Who doesn't need more of that? A tale of two sides, one worth telling.
Pampidoo/Tapes – Split (Meeuw) 7" $8
Another strange one from the always strange Meeuw Musik. The strangest thing about this one is that it sold out immediately, faster even than Titmachine, so all I have is the second pressing, which, I believe, is identical to the first. Another strange thing is that this 7" comes in a plain black sleeve unlike other Meeuw releases. The music? Sort of a No Wavey tune with dub elements. I can hear Dark Day synths and Steel Leg bass. (See! I can be lazy and throw around obscure band names too.) The A side has a distorted repetitive vocal. What do I know? MEEUW!!!
Bernard Parmegiani - De Natura Sonorum (ReCollections GRM) 2LP $29
Another superb reissue by ReCollections GRM. De Natura Sonorum has been a long time favourite here at HQ. I used to have a BASF metal C60 of it that I listened to in the car on the way to and from my job at the mall record store. Twelve movements divided into two sets of six, each set on its own LP. Parmegiani's work here is very thorny, excavating, mutating, and editing sounds at a brisk pace. It is as though you have been sucked into a totally new world that operates very differently from the world you have known. Regular time and space no longer matter. Parmegiani's attention to detail is quite astounding. I think a lot of today's computer musicians who are working in the 'sound art' field could learn a lot from this recording. Parmegiani certainly had a lot of fancy gear for the time, but everybody with a laptop has loads of sound effecting tools and much easier and more precise editing available. De Natura Sonorum seems to be a very futuristic and optimistic statement compared to most of today's 'sound art' which reeks of banal plasticity. Although I have not A/Bed this issue and the original, this version is spread over two LPs instead of one and has the usual state-of-the-art ReCollections GRM cutting and pressing. Fantastic.
Dave Phillips - They Live (RRR) LP.....$17
A nice record by Schimpfluch Gruppe member, Dave Phillips. They Live consists of two side long pieces. The A side consists of bass knocking, highly demented grunting and babbling, along with thumpings and squeaks, all organized for maximum effectiveness. The B side is a low bass throb with percussion all overwhelmed occasionally by an ocean of buzzing strings. Two sparse and very moody pieces, reminiscent of an updated version of the early Come Organization sound, when experiment and atmosphere ruled the day. Two Notes:
Note #1: Although it doesn’t say so anywhere on the record, I’m pretty sure this was cut at 45 RPM. I’m not sure what the artist’s intentions are, but it sounds more ‘right’ at 45 and it certainly sounds better and more powerful.
Note #2: The cover of this record has swastikas replacing the stars on an American flag (front) and an EU flag (back), Apparently it is illegal to import this record into Germany. It is your responsibility as a customer to decide whether or not this record will be seized by customs. I am in no way pro-National Socialist (as my many writings prove), but I have to say I find it very counter-productive to ban symbols. It reminds me of the Moslem edict to keep women covered at all times because if we even saw a bit of their flesh, we would be compelled to rape them. I really don’t believe that the mere sight of a swastika turns otherwise sane men and women into raving Fascists. I think it is much better to treat people like adults, then they are more likely to behave that way. Banning anything invests it with a power it does not deserve.
The Pickle Factory - Our Pledge CD (Swill Radio 013).....CD $8
The Pickle Factory is Karla Borecky and Scott Foust from IFCO plus long-time collaborator Mike Popovich. The sound is somewhat similar to the Idea Fire Company, although within at least sort of a song structure. Many think this is our finest work yet. The CD package is a manila envelope with stickers on the front and back, and a printed card insert. Some (in the U.S.) have suggested that the package is crap, although people overseas don't seem to think so. The truth is the I just hate jewel boxes.
The Pickle Factory - Our Pledge LP (Swill Radio 012).....LP $12
The Pickle Factory is Karla Borecky and Scott Foust from IFCO plus long-time collaborator Mike Popovich. The sound is somewhat similar to the Idea Fire Company, although within at least sort of a song structure. Many think this is our finest work yet
The Pickle Factory – Our Anthems (Twisted Knister) LP $19
Our Anthems was recorded in 1996 as the follow up to Our Pledge. We were so sure the first LP was going to go somewhere that we started working on a new record before Our Pledge was even released. I really believed that this original combination of Krautrock, Eno, and Dome, as well as our own unique talents would make The Pickle Factory a household name in alternative music households. I pressed 1000 CDs and 500 LPs of Our Pledge and sent boatloads of promos to everyone I could think of. Alas, Our Pledge was one of the biggest financial disasters in Swill Radio history, and that is saying something. This failure sent Mike Popovich back into retirement, where he remains to this day. This is a loss for musical civilization, as Mike is a great bass player and all around interesting musician. Our Anthems is a bit different from Our Pledge in that there are more vocals. Karla does more of her beautiful siren singing and Mike does more of his radio altered slogans. I still have never heard anything quite like The Pickle Factory even after all of these years. Gorgeous edition on Twisted Knister, which we all appreciate. Hopeful, beautiful, and pessimistic.
PIG – Public Announcement Program (Regional Bears) C30 $11
No info on this other than 'PIG is a family band' and 'Recreational abstract dream music' scrawled haphazardly on the inside spine of the gaudy j-card. The music declaration is fairly accurate. (I can't say much about 'family band'.) It seems to be a collage of some parts played and some, especially the voices, sampled. Things come and go in a very dream-like manner. Some percussion, some drones, a lot of things that sound like they were played, but might not have been. In some ways, PIG is not all that far removed from the first two IFCO double LPs, although collage was a different lady back in the tape days. Side B has some almost vocals and is a bit more single minded. Very suitably obscure
Gotthelf Pistor/Sigismund Pilinszky – Lebendige Vergangenheit (Preiser) CD $10
Gotthelf und Sigismund! Those are a couple of first names. When Preiser first introduced the Lebendige Vergangenheit (The Living Past) series in the 60s, it hit the Classical world like a Time Bomb. The recordings of the first half of the 20th century had been totally disregarded as unimportant relics, but Preiser changed the perception of the worth of the past. This volume presents two still largely forgotten Wagnerian heroic tenors, the two Ps, Pistor and Pilinszky. If you are a completist, you can have pretty much all that is available by either by buying this and Parsifal - Akt 3 (Pistor) or Tannhäuser (Pilinszky), both of which are available here. Thrilling stuff, mostly Wagner, recorded between 1928- 30. Pistor four selections from Siegfried are the highlights for me. I (briefly) forget where I am in time when I get caught up in this music.
The Pitch – Frozen Orchestra (Amsterdam) (Sofa) LP $23
The Pitch is a quartet of electric pump organ, bass, vibraphone, and clarinet. For this live recording, they are augmented by a six piece orchestra of two clarinets, tuba, violin, cello, and Revox. The tuba player is Robin Haywood out of Microtub, and the sound is a bit similar, although Frozen Orchestra is more lush and padded (in a perfectly fine way) than the starker Microtub. The effect is somewhat like the more drone oriented Organum recordings, but not quite as heavy. The many instruments blend together so seamlessly, that at times it is difficult to pick out individual instruments. A slowly oscillating, revolving acoustic drone that both stays interesting and stays static. Strong stuff and a nice, yet somewhat menacing, balm.
Posset – Double Jupiter (Vitrine) C48 $10
Posset is Joe Murray. The promo for the 7" asserted that the music is made from manipulating Dictaphones and I have no reason to doubt it. The inclusion of a lot of manipulated voice recordings by Murray himself gives Posset a leg up on a lot of the somewhat faceless Sound Art being produced these days. This music also sounds fairly sinister to me, even though the presentation does not suggest it at all. I suppose I have a very vivid imagination. Lots of wheezes, groans and choking, rearranged.
Posset – Fanzine Ink Dries Like Black Blood/ Slurpy, Slurpy, Creep, Creep (Il Dischi Del Barone) 7" $10
Posset is Joe Murray. According to the promo, Mr. Murray's work is all done with Dictaphones. Some of these dictophonic recordings are of Murray's own voice, etc. While lo-fi tape manipulation music does not thrill me these days, both of these tracks seem to have a very malevolent vibe to them. It was not until the third spin that I realized what this music reminded me of: This 7" would have been perfect for the Self Abuse label's Serial Killer 7" series. The cover art makes me think that this is not the intention, but I felt smart when I thought of it.
Pregnant Peggy & The Lazy Babymakers – A Short Visit To The City That Bleeds (Being Weird Isn’t Enough) LP $11
PP & TLB is Angela Sawyer, who runs the wonderful Weirdo Records. She is also one of my favourite music writers. I start most days with an iced tea, cigarette, and Weirdo reviews. She knows and loves more kinds of odd music from across the years (and the world) than anyone I know. She is also super nice. So, this record’s creepiness came as a bit of a surprise to me. This LP was recorded in a rental car during a festival in Baltimore before a performance. Do not be fooled by the silly name or the limited circumstances of the recording. This would have sounded like a gem as a tape on Come Org or Broken Flag. Lots of interesting, very claustrophobic voice sounds, some hums, a brief field recording outside the car (is that flip-flops I hear? Recording an LP in flip-flops? A Beach Boys tribute?) No separate tracks, but the record certainly has sections. Angela gets a lot out of her mouth. The whole LP has a surprising sense of unity and depth. In my mind, this would make a great 90, to play in the car of course, with Graham’s Amateur Doubles LP. Oddly enough, Graham’s car was moving although he does not drive. Angela does drive, but her car was stationary. Somebody with greater analytical skills than my own will have to reduce this to a paradigm someday.
Produktion - Film Soundtracks (Menstrual) CD $19
Produktion were three Australians, Paul Hurst, Christine Glover, and Ross Cannon, who ran a hair salon in London in the early 80s. For a while, their salon was the only place in London where you could buy Come Org records and tapes. (I have had my girlfriend/wife cut my hair since 1978, but I wish I could have had a haircut there.) I got the original tape when it came out and the Italian 90s bootleg LP, and it is still nice to have on a CD. Produktion has that minimalist Noise/ Power Electronics/ Experimental edge that I love so well. There is some sort of drone (synth?), some feedback, some radio, maybe a little muted yelling. The whole affair is very dire and very compelling. Four tracks; the last two are shorter and involve processed vocals, one also has an abused string instrument. Excellent stuff. I love the stringent Avant Garde rawness of the sound.
Raeo – Daddy Legba/ Mambo Maya (El Diablo) 7" $5
Raeo is a duo featuring Mark Cunningham out of Mars. This music is from the early 90s, but it isn't all that different from the approach of Mars. More tape work, different sound, same architecture. More muzzy and removed. Jazzy and strange.
Michael Ranta – Yuen Shan/ The Ritual Of Life (Metaphon) 2LP $42
Michael Ranta has been around a while (he's even older than me!), but he does not have that many releases. The only other music I have ever heard from him is the Lewis/ Ranta/ Plank box, also on Metaphon, and the LP as Wired in the DGG Free Improvisation boxset. Here he is mostly by himself. Yuen Shan is a big concept work; there are extensive liner notes detailing the concept, involving the cycle of life, which I will not go into here. The music is mostly percussion based and most of the percussion involves bells, gongs or cymbals, although there are also some drums, especially on side four. The music is pretty sparse, perhaps a little too sparse for me. I am on my third trip through the box and even though Yuen Shan was put together over many years, it has a bit too much of that Free Improv sound to my ears. I am, of course, cranky and old. Usual outstanding Metaphon presentation.
Remnants – Marred By Time (Crisis Of Taste) LP $16
Remnants is Ryan Marino, who has been active since 2010. This is my first exposure to his work. Marred By Time has six pieces, all composed using cassette tape loops. The immediate comparison that came to my mind, was my good friend Matt Krefting, who makes solo music in a very similar way. And, the music is somewhat similar. I would say the loops are a little less recognizable In Matt's music, but Marred By Time is still quite subtle. This is a great LP. A lot of the music has a very forlorn feel, without the in-your-face gimmickry of William Basinski. There are some aggressive bits, but the majority of the LP is rather dire and sort of minimal. And, the aggressive bits are somewhat repetitive, which, in this case, makes them less aggressive. Demon has a particularly great build up and arc. Marred By Time is obviously well thought out and well put together. Very nice. If you like this sort of thing, this is for you.
Vanessa Rossetto – Whole Stories (Kye) LP $16
Rossetto's third LP for Kye continues on from the two previous, collaged field recordings with subtle bits of music. The first side, This Is A Recorder, seems concerned with transportation. There are a lot of motor vehicle sounds and snatches of conversation. There are two excellent gaping maws (are there any other kind?) of Negative Space. The violin, which comes and goes, holds the piece together nicely. The bit where she explains what she does to a passerby pushes my cute-o-meter a bit, but I suppose that in the information age no one can figure anything out anymore, so it is important to tell them. Side 2 is the title track and follows a similar compositional strategy, although this side seems more interested in public spaces and features a bit more conversations. Once again the violin (although often quite low in the mix) and the editing are the stars. I am not much for collaged field recordings these days, but this is a well put together step above the usual.
Santasede – ST (Le Souffleur) 10" $19
Santasede is Raymond Dijkstra and Tiff Lion. Raymond you should already know and Tiff Lion is from an indie band called Tying Tiffany. An odd combination to say the least. No songs here though. There is some sitar, piano, hand drums, and what might be a piano soundboard all sparsely organized to make for a very engaging listening experience. I haven't heard anything this close to sonically describing a Surrealist room since NWW's Ostranenie 1913. Mysterious. Two complete, side long scenes of disruption and purpose. I am not sure what Ms. Lion does, although there are some sparse male and female voices on the first side, but this is an superb collaboration. Raymond has always cut a highly individualistic path and this 10" continues that tradition. No scraping. Excellent atmosphere.
Pierre Schaeffer – Le Triedre Fertile (Recollection GRM) LP $22
Pierre Schaeffer was the inventor of Musique Concrète. Le Triedre Fertile is synthesizer music from 1976. I am an atmosphere man and not as interested in the sort of aimless bloops and blurps that a lot of academic electronic music seems to concern itself with to this day. (Just so you don't think I just fell off the turnip truck, there is a quite a lot of INA/GRM music that I am solidly behind.) There are a lot of superb passages in this music that really seem to be building to something, when, all of a sudden, there is a gear shift to something of a totally different character. I am sure that is the point, but it is somewhat lost on me. Oh well. Still, if you are at all interested in this sort of thing, you will not be disappointed. The sound quality of the pressing and mastering is insanely great. Test your stereo and yourself.
Schakalens Bror – Benzedrine Bonanza (Regional Bears) C25 $11
Louis of Regional Bears told me I would hate this tape and he was right! Useless guitar overkill with really shitty edits. I have to admire the courage of anyone who would want to listen to this. Or something. Ho-Ho!
Heinrich Schlusnus – Rhein, Wein, Und Heimat Lieder (Gebhardt) CD $11
'Postmaster' Heinrich Schlusnus is pretty much forgotten now, but he was a great opera singer and an even greater lieder singer. I regularly enjoy over ten CDs of his lieder mastery. On offer here is a wonderful collection of lieder about rivers. Schlusnus has a great lightness in his voice and you are soon transported away to a different time. Four of the 17 songs are duets with his wife, Annemay, and her voice is a lovely match. Also includes 5 opera arias with Schlusnus as a bonus. What more could anyone want?
Eric Schmid – Alain Badiou (Recital) LP + Book $28
I read a boatload of French Theory between 1987 and 1994 (I did my Debord in the late 70s/ early 80s), and although I read a lot of Badiou's contemporaries (Foucault, Lyotard, Deleuze, Guatarri, Baudrillard), I never read any Alain Badiou. I know him mostly as a Communist. At any rate, this single sided LP is a monologue by Eric Schmid as Alain Badiou. This, of course, is a ridiculous concept, but I think Eric pulls it off. His French accent is ridiculous. He does nail the 'French Theorist giving an English interview' by lapsing into French every so often. Eric seems to know his Badiou. Another thing I quite enjoyed was his silly French laugh. Dr. Timothy Shortell does a very similar silly French laugh, so it makes me laugh. Eric also mentions himself a few times near the end. Excellent. This record is certainly not for everyone, or, perhaps, anyone. I enjoyed it. I will not pull it out often, but I am glad it exists. The LP comes with a fat book of pages of Badiou's writing with Eric's artistic additions. Half folded printed sleeve in a plastic bag.
Eric Schmid – Scheisse Musik (ODX) LP $24
Eric Schmid! He is everywhere. A CD on Recital, IFCO played at an art opening of his work, and now, an LP. And what a strange LP it is. One long piece, with many layers of recordings. The most obvious is Eric (I met him, I know his voice), speaking on the phone, sometimes in German and sometimes in English, to a German speaker, discussing some sort of computer issues. In the background are a number of voices that sound like a business meeting collaged. That is the set up over both sides. The phone call departs after the start of side two and the business meetings seem sparser. Another very bizarre release from ODX, who seem to be trying to revive the Fluxus/Euro art release tradition. Regular white sleeve with paste on cover art.
Eric Schmid/ Ben Schumaker - Chicago/ Vienna Acid (FPBJPC) 7" $14The first side is a cut-up of voices, probably all home recorded. Every once in a while, there is a flare up of echo, which adds a lot to the track. The words are artspeak, bullshit, messages, etc. The second side has a lot of the same voices from side one, but with the addition of a minimal trance beat and a squiggly synth. Occasional echo. This is an Art Single. I like it. Real printed sleeve. Big hole, but it plays at 33. Art Single.
Tom James Scott – The Carousel (Skire) C38 $13
The name Tom James Scott should be familiar to most of you. Solo artist, collaborator with Andrew Chalk among others, head of the Skire label. And, on Skire, we have The Carousel, a new tape. Twelve pieces, some of which are quite short. Piano, drones, a very fragile sounding acoustic guitar (or other stringed instrument), field recordings, etc. I am not quite as fond of the pieces that feature the guitar as I am of the pieces that feature the piano. A real standout is the long-ish piece which sounds like a field recording of a boat tied up. Nicely sequenced and dreamy. This tape will certainly slow down your day. Comes with a beautiful printed snood.
Tom James Scott – Teal (Skire) LP $24
Tom James Scott strikes again! Teal is a gorgeous LP of low key ambient music very much in the Eno On Land mode. (I always think On Land is a very underrated LP.) Slow wisps of field recordings, lots of sometimes vaguely there piano, lots of unidentifiable sounds ebbing and flowing. Eight very discrete pieces, each exploring a different well defined texture and atmosphere. Just a beautiful release all the way around. Excellent cover as well. Fans of Andrew Chalk (who appears on the LP) or Ian Middleton please climb aboard. Suspended in time.
Tom Scott – Hilldrop (Skire) 12" $16
Some of you may know Tom Scott for his fine solo work or on collaborations with Andrew Chalk. Hilldrop is a good old fashioned four song 12" 45 EP. Like old days. All of the tracks are under four minutes, so this is a concentrated dose, much like a fine perfume. At least three of the four pieces are piano based and there may also be some piano on Dewpoint, the first track. I really like a lot of Tom's work, but I think Hilldrop may be my favourite. Every track has a different focus, but the whole thing works outstandingly together. The production is perfect for each piece too, which always helps. To return to the perfume allusion: this concentrated effort seems like a distillation of the best aspects of Tom's music to date. 2/3 wraparound printed disco sleeve. Superb melancholy music.
Scuba Death – Demon Seed (Semata) LP $15
Excellent LP/EP (Two side long tracks of about 10 minutes each that plays at 45 RPM.) from Scuba Death. There are a few noisy bits on side 1 (Dripsweat), but they are well within the construct of the piece, which has a fairly limited sound palette of scrapes and air, but also has good construction as well as atmosphere. The second side (Ex-Dream) is just that. Banal memories of banal events with somewhat sinister overtones. This is great atmospheric music in the vein of the MZUI project or the up-and-coming Helm. I love this sort of stuff. Plastic sleeve with inserts.
Mathieu Serruys – On Germaine Dulac (BAADM) LP $19
This is Mathieu Serruys' debut LP and the debut release of the BAADM label of which he is a co-founder. On Germaine Dulac is inspired by the Surrealist filmmaker, Germaine Dulac. I have to admit although I am quite familiar with Surrealist painting and writing, I am less familiar with Surrealist film, so discovering Dulac's work on YouTube was a pleasant surprise. On to the LP! Most of the pieces feature synth, field recordings and loops. Some of the loops and backgrounds have that isolated Gas feel, but the whole thing is put together quite differently. The synth parts, which are almost all on the minimal/ repetitive side, set up the rest of the music. Although the sound palette differs from track to track, once a piece gets going, the sound elements play out around each other. I always like that. The whole LP has a great lost and melancholy atmosphere which is very appreciated in these parts. A simple and excellent LP.
Shifts - Trees/Leaves (Entr’acte)..... LP $18
Shifts is Frans de Waard’s guitar project. My old was comrade Frans has been on a bit of a hot streak as of late. Tress/ Leaves is a fascinating minimal drone record of repeating guitar loops arranged for maximum effectiveness. Bernard and I were listening to this and right away we both said ‘An Index Of Metals’. (Index Of Metals is a side long, very static, Fripp & Eno piece that Bernard and I have a little, sort of Noh Theatre-style, dance piece worked out for.) ‘An Index Of Metals’ turns out to be not quite as monolithic as Frans’ work, but our dances worked just the same. Just gorgeous music. I’d say my favourite de Waard to date.
Timothy Shortell – Windows (Uberkatze Studio) Book/CDR
Dr. Timothy Shortell AKA BRRR. I also know him as Tim or Big Train. Windows is a beautiful art book with photographs of Windows taken by Tim in his travels as a Sociologist. (Tim is a professor at Brooklyn College.) Windows from all over the world! The CDR is Tim's music edited and mixed by Graham Lambkin. Graham does his usual excellent job of bringing to the fore previously unheard aspects and drama in music he works with. Tim's stately and melancholic loop based music receives the royal treatment to great, and almost orchestral, effect. Very expensive, very excellent, and very limited.
Shots – Can We Win (Regional Bears) C30 $11
I am familiar with Shots via the Kye CD compilation Nice Weather For War, but I do not know much more about them. 'Them' because it certainly sounds like more than one person, but, of course, who knows? The music on this tape is either of the 'plink-plonk' school of Euro Improv or The New Blockaders 'play the shed' school, depending on your viewpoint. Either way, this is a nice tape of rummaging about. There are a few very occasional scraping sounds that are loud and very New Blockaders, but most of the music is much more low key. Besides the acoustic fidgeting, there is the occasional very primitive electronic sound as well as an actual drum kit near the end of side 2. If you like this sort of thing, this is a great tape. I don't like this sort of thing nearly as much as I used to, but I liked Can We Win.
Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson – Sad Vocal Manipulation? Sorry, I'm New And Not Very Clear On This (Vitrine) C40 $10
Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson is a member of Stillupsteypa and Evil Madness, both of which have made appearances in this catalog. I carried Stillupsteypa's Car Jam On A Dirty Street LP way back in 1995. Sad Vocal Manipulation… does in fact have a lot of vocal manipulations as well as many other manipulated sounds including violins, organ, piano, field recordings, and other bits. There are a lot of pieces listed on the cover, but they are collaged together, so it is difficult to single out any of the titles. The tape features lots of inventive manipulations and is very well put together, as one would expect from an old pro. Lots of different approaches to sound and editing, but it all sticks together like a solid whole. Another fine entry in the expanding Vitrine Universe. It appears to me that the covers have been hand coloured and signed by the artist.
Skin Crime – The House On The Hill (Self Abuse) LP $16
Self Abuse is on the rise! Self Abuse was one of my favourite Noise related labels of the 90s, run by Patrick O'Neill, who is also in Skin Crime. The label's releases tended towards the Power Electronics end of the Noise spectrum, and while I did not like every release, I found most of them to be rewarding. The House On The Hill was recorded in 1997 and 1998, before digital technology made most Noise music what I suppose it always wanted to be: totally unlistenable. Two side long untitled pieces. The first side exemplifies what I always liked best about Skin Crime or Patrick's solo project, Hanged Man's Orgasm. It is a slowly developing piece of scraping, muted feedback, and who knows what else, very heavy on the creepy atmosphere, but never exploding. It is almost like a drone, but there is no tonal center and the focus shifts between the sounds. The second side is a bit more aggressive and evolves into a fairly harsh feedback plus noise fest about halfway through. Still well executed, it would be right up anyone's alley who digs Mauthausen Orchestra. Maybe I am a bit nostalgic for the past, but I quite enjoyed this. It would not sound that out of place on Vitrine if that helps at all.
Small Cruel Party – (Title in Greek) (Regional Bears) C33 $11
Small Cruel Party is basically William Key Ransome and has been sporadically active since the late 80s. I became interested in Small Cruel Party in the early 90s and pretty much kept up with their releases, carrying some in the Swill Radio Catalog. This piece is from 1997 and was released by Banned Productions as a 3" CDR in 2003. Small Cruel Party's music has always been both maximalist and minimalist. The sounds are all made with non-instruments, I suspect a lot of contact mics and are all non-musical. Sometimes there is a lot going on. And yet, the music never gets really noisy. I think this is because Small Cruel Party's music has a very organic sound. The piece on the A side starts slowly, builds up a bit and then ends with very quiet ticking. It is excellent. Side B is the first side backwards, but because of the nature of the sounds, it does not sound backwards at all. It also might be organized, in terms of the durations of the parts, differently, but I also may well be imagining things. There certainly is a line that can be drawn from parts of The Vitrine Universe, back to parts of Graham Lambkin's work, and all the way back to Small Cruel Party. Great tape. Great band.
Small Cruel Party – Resin : : Parched : : Cthonic (Ferns) LP $24
This LP is a reissue of a cassette released by A State Of Flux in 1991. I know I have been at this too long as I carried the cassette back in the old paper catalog days. You would think I would be doing better for myself after all of these years. Small Cruel Party is always great. I cannot think of a release that is not excellent and Resin is no exception. There are droney elements, excellent dramatic and yet minimal use of noisy elements, and the sounds are all pretty much unidentifiable. The editing is superb, and, as I well know, it was a bit more complicated in those days. This is commanding and arresting music, somewhat drone oriented, but not afraid of Action. Beautiful cover and printed insert to boot. If you do not know Small Cruel Party, check it out. They are very underappreciated in my view.
Small Cruel Party – Unroof The House Of The Fishes (Harbinger Sound) LP $23
Two side long pieces by the always superb Small Cruel Party originally released on G.R.O.S.S. (out of Japan) as a cassette in 1993. The first side is spacey and almost Gothic with its vaguely chanting voices and guttural sound poetry. Almost a little like very early Zoviet France. The second side is denser and harsher. Squelching and squeaking tones fly about in a most exemplary manner. It is a mesmerizing piece. Very visceral gravy. I was a big fan of Small Cruel Party back in the day, but I never heard this tape. I am certainly glad I did now. Excellent!
Société Anonomie – Newcastle 22/3/83 (Menstrual) CD $19
Société Anonomie were an offshoot of the Produktion band/ hair salon. Although I have not heard enough of either band to be sure, it seems Societe Anonomie use more tapes in their music. Like Produktion, this is a superb example of the underground experimental music of the early 80s. Both long tracks have that aimless feeling of ennui that seemed very appealing at the time. And, it still is! Lots of murky tapes, tremolo, sirens (could be synths), and who-knows-what-else. I did not own this tape at the time, so listening to this was quite pleasant. Miles ahead of a lot of today's somewhat useless Sound Art. Hopelessness at its finest. If you love MB (and who doesn't?), this is for you. Very bleak and desolate.
Son Of Earth - Erotic Empire (Apostasy)..... CDR $11
A fucking fantastic CDR from Our Boys. A tightly edited sketchbook of their lonely desires. Erotic Empire sounds weather oriented and organic, and yet totally artificial and composed. It manages to be both comforting in its beauty and very claustrophobic in its alienation. A very difficult trick to pull off. The sound palette ranges from unidentifiable to vaguely familiar, as if in a dream of outstanding proportions. The stout despair of a crew of broken and yet optimistic men. A powerful statement of Aesthetic Optimism in the face of the passage of time. Mit poster.
Son Of Earth – Improvements (Amish) LP $20
The keenly awaited follow up to Pet by Our Boys finally arrives. And worth the wait! Improvements carries on the Son Of Earth tradition of homemade abstraction. Quietly for over ten years now, they buzz along their own trajectory, quite unlike any other band really. My two favourite pieces are ‘Slow Shakes’ and ‘A Function Observed’ packed like dynamite at the ends of both sides. ‘Slow Shakes’ is a gong tapping smoker; A Function Observed is a crunchy suspense filled journey. You can’t go wrong! The mostly vocal piece, ‘Muttering Triumph’, doesn’t quite convince me as it seems to bring the LP a little more back to earth than is needed, but that is small potatoes and I am a bitter old man who has cut himself off from ‘polite’ society. Ho-Ho! Beautiful cover and pressing, especially of this quiet music, and a nice little art booklet of artwork as well.
Son Of Earth - Pet (Apostasy)..... LP $13
Cracking effort from Our Boys, Matt Krefting, Aaron Rosenblum, and John Shaw. I’ve been friends with all of them for quite some time now and Matt and I have done an awfully large amount of drinking and working together over the years. Son Of Earth has been together eight years now and most of their excellent and sparse discography remains elusive. Until now. I’ve always enjoyed and admired Son Of Earth releases and Pet might be my favourite to date. The Boys sound more confident of their strengths than ever before. They have added a touch of drama to their always taut, claustrophobic and beautiful compositions. Pet is a boat ride through a mysterious place where a vague perfume of melancholy fills the still air. Not a moment wasted. Excellent!
Stare Case – Lose Today (De Stijl) LP $17
Stare Case is John Olsen and Nate Young whom you probably know about. In the early days of American Tapes, I carried all of the LPs and some of the tapes here at Swill Radio. Since then I haven't kept up with Mr. Olsen as much as I probably should have, but there is just so much I can keep up with and do my own work. I find this to be a fascinating and very effective LP of depressing songcraft. The instrumentation is fairly simple. Deadpan distressed vocals, basslines vaguely holding the songs together, effected and distorted sax and guitar, and the occasional maraca/tapping. The music completely epitomizes the hopelessness of being hopeless in the world of today. Every review I have read of this great LP mentions the Velvet Underground, but I think you would have to have ears of cloth or be an oily salesman to think that. If I had to mention other bands, I would say Persuasion-era TG and the more dub-wise (and saintly) Good Missionaries. If Stare case ever need a good trombone/radio man, I know just the person for the job. The best song oriented music I have heard since the still sadly unreleased Dead Girl's Party LP. Tops.
Jim Strong – The Sallow Rakes (Vitrine) C20 $10
A short tape of short works by Jim Strong, to whose work this is my introduction. There is a lot of vocal manipulation and tape manipulation throughout this curious release. Some of the voice pieces have recognizable words and seem to tell a story (or non-story). Non-musical as well, although if you squint while listening to Listening To Hair, it almost sounds like some kind of music from somewhere. The Sallow Rakes is also well sequenced despite its short run time. Very nice. If Vitrine is your bag, this tape is for you. And, it has a slightly different feel than anything else I have heard from Vitrine.
Stunt Rock #1 Magazine $5
Nice little magazine from Norway featuring a long interview with me, articles about Italian Prog and Norwegian underground music, and an interview with Lumpy Davy. Sindre Bjerga of Gold Soundz fame is back in the magazine racket. Hurrah!
Sudden Infant/No Is E – Finals 990217 (Tochnit Aleph) 7" $7
Great example of a great noise single. The first side sounds like manipulated ping-pong balls, which ties in with the nice cover. The second side may be manipulated ping-pong balls as well, but the music is much more in the abstract noise vein. As with a lot of the great noise singles, what may be tedious as a whole LP is a fantastic texture as a 7".
Matthew Sullivan – M. O. (?) C80 $11
Not much information on this tape. A very tiny 'Matthew Sullivan – M. O.' on the spine and a scrawled 'M. O.' on the cover. (I look forward to the day when all you kids need reading glasses and regret the stylish but small print. I don't need reading glasses, but I hate small print.) M. O. is a collection of recordings from 2013-2018 and is a companion to Matthew's upcoming LP on Recital. Two untitled, sprawling, 40 minute pieces of collaged field recordings, etc. This is not my favourite genre these days, but this tape is very well done. There are some musical bits with gongs and percussion at the end of side one and organ at the start of side two, which are excellent. There is a great bit of processed droning following the organ that (with additions) occupies a large part of the B side. There are many things to catch your ear throughout M. O. and it is very well put together. Looking forward to the LP.
Matthew Sullivan – Skene (Recital) LP $22
I know Matthew Sullivan from the excellent LP Vanity Fair that he did with Sean McCann. Skene has two side long pieces. The first side is assembled location recordings including a fair amount of mouth/voice sounds. It is very well put together, but at the same time, there is not enough musicality to it for these old, tired ears. The second side starts off with some cut up tapes of a young girl speaking, followed by an excellent Noh Theater-inspired segment of minimal bells and tapping percussion. Then comes some queasy sawing violin and finally some more location recordings and some ominous whispering, hissing, and tapping. The first side did not do all that much for me, but I thought the second side was quite nice. Very small edition. Flats instead of a cover. Signed insert.
Per Svensson/Leif Elggren – Transatlantic (Firework Edition) 7" $10
Svensson and Elggren team up for this enigmatic conceptual recording. According to the notes it was made with electrodes attached to the artists' heads in airports, on airplanes, etc. Both sides have the hissy ambience of both airports and airplanes with muffles voices and comings and goings. Airports and airplanes are both places I do not like to be. No smoking and crammed like a tinned sardine are not my ideas of a good time. Still, like recordings of insects, I would much rather enjoy the ambience in my own home removed from the actuality of the sonic events. Another nice one.
Per Svensson/Leif Elggren/Michael Esposito – Inner Voices (Firework Edition) 7" $10
The A side was recorded by Svensson and Elggren in The Silent Room at Gothenburg University in Sweden. Svensson and Elggren amplified their body sounds and present the results. These results are pretty much what you would expect. Low-fi ambient thumpings and bumpings that sound both organic and mechanical. Just like the human body. The B side is Michael Esposito revealing hidden voices from the same recordings. I have to admit, I didn't hear any hidden voices, but I am drunk and having fun. At any rate, the B side is still a nice bit of Art Music, a bit more dynamic than the A side. Great single.
Tapes/ Diggory Kendrick – This Weed's Making Me Nervous/ Pipe Cleaner (Meeuw Musik) 7" $9
Tapes are very mysterious. The A side, which is Tapes alone, is a small low-fi drumbox and arppegiator, with some quiet synth beeping in the background. The B side is the same, but with dubby keyboard, flute and other sounds, perhaps by Diggory Kendrick. This single brings to mind something that might have been on From Brussels With Love. It is nice. Generic sleeve.
Still Available N-Z 1..2