Saturday, 20 September 2014

Thrashing The Heart In A Teardrop Factory


Whenever Faux Discx bring out a new release, my ears are suitably pricked. I have come across Teardrop Factory before - their Topshop EP from last year was a lot of fun. They are back with their debut album Thrash In The Heart, and first taster '3AM Coke Dream' is what you would expect from such a title - its hazed, loud, a little brash, hypnotic, suitably roughed up and scuzzy around the edges, high albeit a little seedy, and fun. A LOT of fun. It's got the slow head movements inherent within the melody - it reminds me of a slightly more dour version of Terry Malts' 'Tumble Down'. And seeing as that was one of my favourite songs of 2012, that's a very good thing/




You can preorder Thrash In The Heart now - the 12" is a pink vinyl with white swirls - I'm transfixed...and it MIGHT add further explanation for the name of the single...And while we're at it - here is the video for another track, 'Now We Shatter'...

The Badlands Are Deathly Dangerous, Baby

Here are a couple of psych-inflected releases that have crossed the desk today that make for a good Saturday's listening...


The Dunes are from Adelaide - how did I not know this until I had left the country? Or maybe I did? I feel like I have heard these guys before...anyway their three track EP Badlands is pretty great. Stacie Reeves' vocals are haunting and ballsy in equal measure, which you need if you are going to slide the breadth of the psych rock spectrum. The title track in particular is a highlight, a dark sprawler that at almost nine minutes doesn't feel nearly long enough.




Then there is Prince Rupert's Drops, who I definitely have written about before. They are back, readying to drop (sorry) LP Climbing Lights on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond Records (out in limited oxblood coloured vinyl - yum - grab that here). This has more of the garage rock juggernaut powering it on 'Dangerous Death Ray' - it actually gives me a bit of a Tumbleweed vibe, which is very appreciated - and feels longer than its four minutes (which is a good thing in this instance) so is the perfect yin to The Dunes' yang this morning.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Teleseparating The Woodsman


Woodsman continue their prolific ways, releasing new EP Teleseparation after bringing out their third album Woodsman earlier this year. The four tracks here are typically layered and atmospheric, roiling in Kraut-rock rhythms and the euphoric mode of repetition within repetition. It's a stream-of-consciousness "jam" that the final song off Woodsman was a mere excerpt from - and gives you a strong idea on what this band does when crafting their sound.

This week has been a strange one for me to say the least, but this is one release that I have reached for when the time comes to let the stress leave the body and give mind and soul over to the music. The band is playing at the excellent Incubate festival at Tilburg in the Netherlands today (if you are there - you lucky sucker!), before playing London on Sunday at The Water Rats.

Friday Cover Up - Crass Maltings


This week sees a resurgence in the "staples" here on Sonic Masala - whilst we have been fairly regular with Video Vacuum posts, there haven't been much in the way of the others. First up is a Friday Cover Up - and this is a doozy, Brazilian label Pug Records' brilliant single club Mutt Singles (which brought us one of the best songs EVER, Ciro Madd's 'You and Me') have put out this cover from Terry Malts guitarist Corey. The cover? Nothing other than anarcho-punks Crass' 'Do They Owe Us A Living'. Corey's take is decidedly Terry Maltsian - AKA poppy, bouncy, sunny. I'm not sure the English ruffians would approve... But it's making me smile regardless.


And just because I love it so much, here is 'You and Me'!

Old Mates Is What They Is, Ey?


One band that seemed to both be confined by and outstrip the ill-fated "dolewave" genre pigeonhole was South Australia's Old Mate. It may have been in the name; it may have been in the droll drawl that lead Pat Telfer (Bitch Prefect) delivered his sometimes-weary, sometimes-jacked-up lyrics. But just as many of the bands that were tarred with that brush over the last two to three years have moved on by incorporating stranger tics and tricks to their bag, Old Mate's new album It Is What It Is (out through SDZ Records) explodes, its core aesthetic spreading in every direction like the impact of a paintball on a white wall. Don't let the kangaroos boxing on the cover dissuade you from acknowledging that we are entering a whole new world.


'Medicine Man' is a gargantuan jazz blues number - seriously. Sure, it's used and abused and flung in the corner to dry, but the 12 bars, the solos, the howling space, the husky vocals are all present and accounted for. It's a strange opener - it's a strange choice, considering the band's back catalogue - but then nothing should surprise you with these guys (remember the other half of Bitch Prefect is the chameleonic Liam Kenny...). From then on we are taken to one surrealist vignette to the next, in a battered limousine al Carax's bizarrely brilliant Holy Motors film from 2012, with Telfer the ever-present ringmaster of the macabre. 'Requesting Permission' is back on terra firma, a downer jangle with dour vocals a la Brisbane act Dag, with a melancholy that reminds me of the solo work of Neil Young in his early years - really - or that first recipient of the Grant McLennan Fellowship back in 2007, Charles Curse. But this isn't the needle and the damage done. We step up with 'Something', a vocal that sounds like Macka from The Onyas having a go at an acoustic number. It isn't overtly funny though - the tempo, the backing vocals, the 'hey hey hey hey hey heeeey, hey' lending a desperation to proceedings. 'February' is a lament in a netherworld saloon - the Gothic drawl reminiscent of another dormant Aussie act, Nikko - holding that plodding, maudlin beat for its entirety, and drags you down with it.


Then we hit a sonorous contemplation with 'Stressin'', a lysergic percolation of languid rhythms (for some reason Im tracking back to some of those subterranean grooves the Stone Roses often doled out) in what is generally an instrumental track, except for some growled, rolling-around-the-mouth vocals (and yet another video featuring that post-Soviet kid in the nightclub, which really looks like a sequal to the film Orphan); the sax burbles into the fervour underscoring 'Know What He Wants', a fine addition here; 'Him' re-enters the Young orbit, albeit in a warped fashion, offering layered nuance that promises more than it gives, with lyrics that imply never learning from mistakes; and closer 'Truth Boy' evokes another crooked minstrel of the Australian musical landscape, Nathan Roche, although there are no Sydney references in sight, just some Aussie sardonic sneers...

It Is What It Is is a bizarre and inexplicalby attractive record. The title tells it all, thus making this review, or any really, redundant. Old Mate, Telfer, the music - it is what it is. Deal with it - get it here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Listening To The Heart Of The Sky Mirrored


I'm pretty sure this record came out ages ago - I THINK it scraped into 2014, but it could have been put out last year - but I only stumbled across Listening Mirror's ambient drone work The Heart Of The Sky last night and was immediately cocooned by these percolating suites of nebulous sound. It's surprising I haven't stumbled across Jeff Stonehouse's work before, seeing that one of my closet obsessions is abandoned architecture, in particular the sound mirrors of Denge in England. And just like those hulking structures, this album pervades the senses, their now lost cause for being superseding the imposing figure they cut, the uneasy impulses that permeates the soul when encountering it - this is not of this world. Particularly the opening track 'Midnight At Teques, Storm Approaching' - I played this song four times before I let the album play out. The field recordings that bleed into the sonorous melange of languid sounds are impressive and help with the teleportation into other worlds, but the tonal shifts that occur here do often denote that idea of an archaic computer bleeping in a funereal, empty warehouse, monitoring a world and a war that no longer, and maybe never did exist. Abandoned, out-of-date, doing nothing - yet its very existence holds a great deal of power due to its alienness, and its propensity to expand and come to life. The Heart Of The Sky does that to me - the fear of the unknown exists, yet is overridden by extreme titillation as I step into the abyss. Get The Heart of the Sky here.

Ausmuteant Growths


The growth of Ausmuteants continues like a fluid-filling canker. The treble-troubling twerps love courting straight up garage rock, acerbic synth punk, trashy rock tropes and scuzzy flailings of noise, but settle on their own inimitable course, wrapping it all together with a slacker coyness and irreverence that becomes more palatable by the day. And I don't mean they are softening the blows or sweetening the edges - just that their delicacies are becoming addictive. Take Stale White Boys Playing Stale Black Music, the band's latest release. The cover digs into Eric Clapton, blanking out the eyes in a faux attempt to give him is dignity; the vocals for 'Who's The Narc?'are more up front and therefore the serrated lyrics bite deeper; the rollicking nature of the "chorus" is both an addictive melody and a conceited ripoff of 80s chugging stadium rock.



The Ah...What An Ugly Face Every Face Is 7" out through Heinous Ass Records scuzzes up the formula and puts the dancing shoes on, albeit ones with bloodstained steep caps. Each song dives headlong into a different genre and comes up covered in shit and shit eating grins.



I don't know why, but these elements all give Ausmuteants an indelibly unique take on any genre. You have heard all this before - but not quite like this - and that is what makes them one of the biggest bands in Australia right now. Don't believe me? See them one night at the Tote and then try to explain your indifference away. And if you are in the States later this month you might catch them roaming the streets - catch em while you can.


UPDATE: Details for Ausmuteants' new album on Goner Records Order Of Operation and sample track 'Boiling Point' appeared overnight on Stereogum - go see what you think.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Video Vacuum - Multiple Man, Drug Sweat, Whirling Hall Of Knives, Club Sound Witches


I've been waiting for the plumber to come around to the new flat for three hours now. The kitchen is full of water. The washing machine is pretty much dead, hemorrhaging water by the litre. Ive sandbagged it all off with the last of my towels - but how long until the levee breaks? Ah well, let's watch some videos while this domestic race-against-time irons itself out...



Those faux-irascible twins Multiple Man are at it again, this time with decidedly cleaner bass. 'Persuasion' is still a MM black mass, yet with a decidedly New Wave production style. I felt like I was watching archival footage here, although the lack of makeup perturbed me... And that little synth fart noise. Incredible. Then at the three minute mark we get serious. Alex Dunlop (Roku Music, Cobwebbs, HITS, et al) has done a killer job on this clip - the best one yet.


On to the next Aussie dirge sensation then. Drug Sweat formed in Melbourne earlier this year in response to Primitive Calculators curating the "comeback" of Little Bands, where bands are created for this one-off event and just go for it. Formed of Jake Robertson (Ausmuteants, The Frowning Clouds, Leather Towel), Richard Stanley (Aarght! Records), Angus Bell (Pageants, The Galaxy Folk), Marc Dean (Ausmuteants) and Roland Hlavka (Cobwebbs, Barbiturates, Gold Shade), Drug Sweat was too good a name to give up, and the band have been playing shows since. This is one of their slapdash efforts. I think it's brilliant, and hope they get around to recording an album's worth of stuff.  Sonic Masala is interested ...



Clubsound Witches "Uprok" from nicola morton on Vimeo.

Delving into the deepest currents of Brisbane's electronic experimentation you will find Club Sound Witches, the amalgamation of noise wizards Nicola Morton and Matt Earle (the lifeblood of Real Bad Music). This ten minute exploration is excellent, a mind burner that melds with Nicola's footage of a paper boat at a lake in Jakarta on a sunny day to disorienting effect. There is word that more recordings are on their way - on the strength of 'Uprok' we can only hope.


Whirling Hall Of Knives - Comminute from Trensmat Records on Vimeo.

And finally we are travelling back to Ireland for the second Whirling Hall Of Knives video in a month. This dystopian duo are bringing out a 12" EP and this is the title track, 'Comminute'. The kind of techno noise that swallows you whole - nightmarish beats and squalls that nonetheless draw you inexorably to your oblivion. It's songs like this that blur the lines between fear and sexuality to a scarily indiscernible degree. Long live the new flesh.

NOW GET BACK TO WORK!!

SPIRITED FURRY DISCO POP RIDES

(Post written by Fred Savage Beasts)

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this might just be the best single I’ve heard this year. Not since I listened to 'Re-murdered' about seventeen times in a row have I plugged a song through my speakers over and over again like this. Seriously, it’s to the point where my housemates have started yelling, “What kind of fucked up video games are you playing in there?”

With ‘Disco Horseride Montage’ Spirit Bunny have lived up to the toy-destroyed, line-bending, heart-break-beat promise that they previewed on ‘Gold and Brown’. It sounds at once like something overheard in a Japanese arcade and someone reading their sociology thesis aloud to a lover. That’s a compliment, in case you were wondering. It means that it is bloody interesting!
 
'Disco Horseride Montage' comes with two remixes of 'Gold & Brown' by Pale Earth and Bong YZA, also worth a tonne of plays.


METRO SCHOOL REUNION FOREVER!

(Post written by Fred Savage Beasts)

Adelaide - home of the severely underrated genius. Right where Australia balances between the currents from the Antarctic and the wide, brown desert. Wide streets, trams, Jamie Siddons, Crows and now this… The Metro School Reunion. This is the reason you’ve been looking for to take your beat up VK Holden on its final legendary drive.

Get a load of the bands on the list, dammit! TV Colours alone would make this worthwhile. Like the Crows say, “FAAARK…” All these bands should be in the test team.

TV COLOURS★CONSTANT MONGREL★HIT THE JACKPOT★NATIVE CATS★LAKES★SCHOOL OF RADIANT LIVING ★BITCH PREFECT★PEAK TWINS★OLD MATE★RULE OF THIRDS★WIREHEADS 

On at the city's stalwart Hotel Metropolitan on October 5. Wind down the windows, rubber band your teas towels round your frozen water bottles and get yourself there. Any way you can.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Scrabbled Sewers Are Virtually Cool


Virtual Cool is a new label out of Brisbane that, whilst staying predominantly cassette based, should really reach a lot of people. Why? Because they are intent on putting out records that would otherwise languish in the tinnitus and vagrant memories of hazy booze and drug fuelled nights, a jigsaw puzzle of a sound never to be fully remembered or repeated. The first two releases are cases in point.


An unheralded amalgam of some of Brisbane's best fringe dwellers (members of Dag, Clag, Gravel Samwidge, Extrafoxx and X Wave litter their numbers, among others), Scrabbled's Welcome To Pig City is revving on narcoleptic fumes of disdain at the state of affairs in the Sunshine State and desperation. Everything is slanted and disenchanted - a dissertation to punk politicism in Can-Do Campbell Newman's backwards-leaning regime. Queensland has always had a hard run of it when it comes to forward-leaning politics, hence why the world recognises Brisbane for its punk music of the late 70s and early 80s than any other genre and era. But Scrabbled aren't interested in tapping into old vibes or digging at old scabs - no, these wounds are fresh. The music itself is loose, warped, awkward, defiantly out of step. This isn't a detriment though - Scrabbled have a voice and energy all their own; a purging of pent-up exasperation spilling into abject aggression. You need bands like this - you really do. Get angry and have some fun.







The other release is something altogether different - diseased and snarling, more malevolent, and much less serious. Sewers and Rat King split the shit right down the middle on Leather. The Brisbane contingent stomp the fuck out of any nuance anyone thought they might have had on new cut 'Chinese Tommy', a short shotgun blast to the gut. Their dirge-drivel take on Grong Grong's 'Japanese Train Driver' sounds like the best Sewers song they never wrote - the irascible energy is finally unleashed in a more rampant speed, and the whole thing falls apart in a rust-hollowed heap. Brilliant. Newcastle's Rat King don't offer the yin to Sewer's yang though - 'Sick Pills' and 'Browood' somehow slow things down with embalmer treacle yet up the ante with their seething vitriol. The feedback on the former track is still ear-splitting even in recording, a harsh reminder that the imperfections are deliberated, serrated and antagonistic; whilst 'Browood' is a pitch-dark march into the nether regions of listlessness leading to evil transgressions. Hanging out with these clowns will get you killed - if they don't kill you first.




You can get both of these here. There is more to come from Virtual Cool, including a release from Bent, so you will be hearing more from me too.

TOXIC REFLEXIVE PITY SEX SPLIT

(Post by Fred Savage Beasts)

What do you need? A to the red fuzzy pop song with unapologetically honest lyrics? Alcohol and aspirin? Love? Well, now you can have all three at once – which, for my liking is probably the best way to have these things. And while you’re at it, and with whoever you’re at it with, dig down for the harmonies in this new Pity Sex track and you’ll come up with a comfort of sorts.


Get ‘Acid Reflex’ here (out on a split 7” with Adventure through Run For Cover Records).

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Weird Ovaries In The Rain


Man, I love me a straight up moniker. And whilst Lux Ovarye's Weird Time isn't exactly an easy mouthful, it sure is a weird time. Playing out like a paisley Thee Oh Sees offcut with Ariel Pink taking the reins whilst asking all and sundry where he can score some MDMA, 'In The Rain' is a beautiful jangle with a soaring melody that nevertheless feels sketchy, flaky, borderline psychotic. But the band keep it together, enough where you drop your guard and start to really enjoy yourself. Then you open yourself to it properly, and the rain spears into your being - it's like being out of yourself on the side of a highway that you have no reason to be on, with someone who you DEFINITELY shouldn't be with, yet knowing that the walls are coming down... Spinning around, arms outstretched as the sun rises over the industrial complexes... Not really knowing where you are, and not caring. That's what 'In The Rain' does to you, be it real or imagined. And that makes it a dangerously good song.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Smashing Raindeer With Quasi Rock And/Or Roll


Here is a little brainworm. Raindeer out of Baltimore (obviously) have taken the creative mushrooms that must grow all over that city and followed it with a blazed pill of Animal Collective energy. it's a weird one because effectively 'This Is Rock N' Roll' is a straight up song, not much in way of structure that can proclaim it as doing anything innate "different". But it is the hypercolour kaleidoscopic layers that are infused here. The high pitched vocals, the glockenspiel pings, the wormholes that dive from Alice In Wonderland-style cutesiness to a Speed Racer-style mind melt of candy-covered sounds, with a bass line that underpins it all, blasting out with an almost aggressive thrust. It ends suddenly after two and three quarter minutes, spitting you back out into your mono-coloured world, bemused, bewildered, and besmirched - what was that? how can you subject me to such sugar rushes without my consent? - before you blink and there you are again, in line, buying another ticket. This ISN'T rock and roll, but it sure is addictive, whatever it is.



Raindeer have an impending album, You Look Smashing. They seem like the polite, self-deprecating types. They also seem like the treacly Woodland Creatures from South Park who turn out to be cannibals. Let's see where this heads...

Friday, 12 September 2014

Daughters Of The Legendary Hearts


A failure to communicate saw my final two Not Not Fun write-ups for last week fail to materialise - that and some awful work-related meltdowns and the lack of Internet-inal attachment. So here they are, jammed into the one...


What I love about Ride To Die, Minneapolis band Daughters of the Sun's fourth album, is how it simultaneously feels like an extraneous entry to the Not Not Fun roster and yet an indelibly intrinsic totem. The trio are effectively a kraut-psych wet dream, filtered through the VHS gloss of early 80s Viacom cyber-sci-fi genre hybrid films. And it's this later part that comes to pass on tracks such as 'Fly By', a lysergic trance mantra that besmirches the more gargantuan psych numbers that bookend it. Don't get me wrong, the psych numbers are what get me humming here - yet even the titular 'Ride To Die', a blasted hallucinogenic bomb with its phasers set to kill, starts with warbled tetravision synth. Meanwhile 'Sater's Ghost' feels like stepping into a Kraftwerk bad dream, marionetting around a circular black hole, the strings manned by Gary Numan.  And the flayed sworl of 'Reigns Of Iron' mirrors the Robedoor black drift spirit, yet with more metallurgic pulse. But it's the inexorable pull to the damned unknown that really hooks you in, and the majority of that power must go to Collin Gorman Weiland's synth wasteland. Check out his and percussionist Bennett Johnson's Dreamweapon too while you are at it. Grab Ride To Die here - it's killer.



And it's nice to end Not Not Fun week with something Australian too. Melbourne duo Legendary Hearts have just released Aerial Views, and it's a swirling hyperventilation under an cloud of opium dreams. The vapours drift effortlessly, whether it be the nebulous guitar lines on 'Vanishing Point', the waveforms that drift over the pastel sunset tones of a romantic comedown that is 'Distance & Desire' or the warped amalgamation of 80s backlit ballads and being caught in a lava lamp that percolates throughout 'Acceleration'. These narcotic inducing songs all pulse with an energy and drive that is often missing from music of this ilk: it's fun yet purposeful; sensuous yet playful. With a dash of sadism in there for that exotic taste of the wild side. Aerial Views is in fact a very sexual record in that regard, and is probably soundtracking the entire spectrum of the Kinsey scale as we speak. Grab it here.


Duskdarting


I don't know about you, but my week has been a bit of a stress A-bomb. Cutting down on the beer on the weekend (involuntarily) and the lack of seeing regular live shows (again, out of my control) hasn't helped things. But there has been some shining lights stabbing my mind-s eye from the dark - the arrival of a new bed and finally connecting to the Internet (I know - domasturbation, right?); writing my first piece for The Quietus; starting my first commissioned column (here's hoping this becomes some kind of semi-regular gig); the test pressing for the latest Sonic Masala release (although unlikely to be the next one out of the stable - more on that later); and some news about the next few Sonic Masala releases that are likely to keep me occupied until the New Year. So, most of these things don't bring in money - in fact they added cash to the black void of negative funds that has been my life of recent months - but who gives a shit. I have Duskdarter to console me.


Duskdarter is an eclectic label out of Brisbane that specialises in the more ambient and otherworldly outreaches of sound. Two of their latest releases have occupied my warped, tired brain over the past couple of months, and both include artists who have been involved in Sonic Masala shows over the years. The first release is Monkey-Flower-Shell, a suite of suitably chilled acoustic guitar jams from Kahl Monticone. None of the eleven "songs" breach the two minute mark, a refreshing notion when most instrumental meanderings, well, meander. These songs are soporific moments in a fragmented time - languorous sojourns into a tiki bar of the somnambulist. The electronic aspects that seep into these songs help shift the sands of focus to a degree where it's hard to know whether you are happy, sad, awake or asleep. It's a cryogenic muzak, lulling you through the null-years until it's time to come into a new world. Perfect for the permanent chill.



Then there is the livewire stylings of Adam Cadell and Tony Irving. I saw these two perform one of (if not the very) first shows when they supported Girls Pissing On Girls Pissing November last year, and their loose experimental, experiential jams were raucous yet tempered - and electrifying. Both are incredibly skilled musicians of the highest order, having trained and played with some elite folks. But it's the innate ability to free-form into the darkest recesses of the sonic ether that is truly mesmerising. Some Shards For The Void sounds as rooted in strength in confidence and ability as it sounds insoluble, irascible, anarchic. Cadell's violin takes precedence here, creating a maelstrom of inner-ear turmoil, a skittish membrane one moment, a archaic rusted nail through the brain the next. It's cerebral nightmares and cathartic dreamscapes, with Irving a muttering fulcrum that manages to propel as it anchors.


You can get both in digital form (and Monkey-Flower-Shell in CDr form) here.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Chroming The Young


I am a massive fan of Austin reprobates The Young’s Voyagers Of Legend LP, which tore my face off in 2010 (it was one of our top albums of that year). That album was surprisingly on Mexican Summer - not a label that keeps tabs on this kind of viscerality - and was also their last one on there. Then my knowledge of their existence pretty much stopped right there. The quartet apparently brought out a follow-up album called Dub Egg, which I somehow missed. I'm scurrying around looking for it now...

But onward and upward. The Texans have a new album on Matador Records, and it's a balltearer. Chrome Cactus is sharper; harsher; leaner; sinister. There is a dropped-down drive that underscores this songs, which are then superseded by fuzzed out guitar solos a la Fu Manchu’s Scott Hill albeit with some deliberate restraint, and other abrasive effects like the squalling feedback stab on ‘Metal Flake’ or the the soaring synth that accompanies the “ballad” ‘Apache Throat’. The excellently-named Hans Zimmerman takes front and centre with his vocals this time around, and it lends an interesting counterpoint that is often overlooked in 21st century rock production – his voice is uninhibited by pedals, effects and nonsense distortion and delay, and as such stands somewhere between the monotone snarl of Girls Against Boys’ Eli Janney and the growl of Young Widows’ Evan Patterson. It helps the the sound has been tweaked by Tim Green (Nation of Ulysses/The Fucking Champs) in the blasted surrounds of the Sierra Nevada – definitely perfect environs for what transpires here - but you get a sense that Chrome Cactus may have landed at his feet fully formed. ‘Chrome Jamb’ has a narcoleptic undertone to its dry crawl, bent strings belying a Morricone hangover before bringing the doom; ‘Moondog First Quarter’ maintains the vitriol that has been missing from Black Mountain for some time. I still miss the darkness sewn into the Pixies-lite that littered their debut, but when the raucous drown-out that is the aptly-titled ‘Slow Death’ kicks in, closely followed by the feedback squall of closer ‘Blow The Scum Away’, the new Young is all that matters.


You can grab Chrome Cactus here. The Young play in NY tonight alongside SM faves Degreaser - get along.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Sydney's Local Fathers, Sons, Legends

Mikey and Jack from Sydney band Beef Jerk started their own label recently. Called Local Legends Records (great name), the impetus was on getting out some of the weirder DIY recordings of local Sydney musicians that mightn’t otherwise reach your ears. It’s all pretty rough and ready, but therein lies the charm, and there are some real gems to unearth here. Essentially a cassette release label (in Jack’s words, “we are starting out on cassettes because I found hundreds for pretty much nothing in a shop in Lewisham”). This is true DIY too – the duo dub each cassette themselves before printing the jackets at Petersham Officeworks (probably some legends right there too) then finish off by writing the labels too. As would be expected, one of the first releases features none other than rumpled rascal Nathan Roche, under the moniker The Revisionists. Keeping with the proud Sydney geographic touchstones, the cassette is called Potts The Point, and is touted as the “shortest lived punk group”. It's got some corkers - 'I Don't Need Ya' should be my theme tune.



But it is all of extreme interest as a sort of stream-of-consciousness underbelly archive – a aural microfiche of cast-offs and lightning-in-a-bottle moments of epiphany, never to be repeated. There is the Bad Guys single which sees Randall Lee (of Ashtray Boy and Cannanes fame, and Jack’s uncle) writing music to accompany lyrics inspired by his three year old son, producing raucous inter-generational blasts; there’s Luke O’Farrell (The Laurels) with a bunch of demos highlighting the gestation of that band in his mind; there’s the wild detritus of Wild Cat Falling; there's the jangle-drown of Encrypted Hard Drive; and there's the supposed release of Lincoln Brown (Housewives) going solo and getting all debaucherous in the process, apparently reaching for the Jandek bottle of reclusive blues ennui wisdom followed by a chaser of Axemen untuned angst...I want this to come through guys.






Get it all here - there are some burnt classics here that need serious attention...Oh, and happy Father's Day!

Saturday, 6 September 2014

The Magic Eye Of Babylon


Another day, another narcoleptic synapse burner from the Not Not Fun stable. This one is from Edinburgh cryo-pop trio Magic Eye. Babylon is a breezy-yet-blazed pop odyssey, the slightly murky production and otherworldly vocals/samples evoking a time capsule quality; long forgotten scores to long abandoned 80s VHS also-rans. This album helped save me today though. I'm currently looking for a “day job” – having lots of time on my hands has been great, but no money is fun only up to a point – and today has been a particularly obstacle-strewn calamity. The broken-yet-decadent dreams of Babylon though has a soothing quality to it; a nebulous embolism of yearning emotions that proffers familiarity and therein a modicum of sonorous hope, especially the penultimate title track, its multitudinous sounds of voice and submerged guitar lines soaring and intertwining into a uplifting crescendo.


You can get Babylon here.

Friday, 5 September 2014

The Age Old Perception Has Been Coined Once More


I have been meaning to do the fourth instalment of my drone explorations for months now, but to no avail. The thing is it takes so much time and effort to do those posts – hence why there haven’t been that many Hits From The Box segments either. I do love Everybody’s Droning On The Weekend though, so instead I thought I might unearth a few that I have been digging of late, just to show you drone acolytes that I still like delving into the greyzone.


Today I want to mention Perceptions, the debut release from Danes Simon Formann & Kristian Emdal (from Lower), here known as Age Coin. My favourite part about this release is that the white noise that is rolling back and forth in the first half of ‘Pt 1’ is undercut with a beat that becomes trancelike in itself – a deliberate hook that inexorably draws you closer to the abyss. ‘Pt 2’ winds this escalator grind to hell even further towards oblivion, but there is an undercurrent of a dancefloor underworld here – it’s as if Formann & Emdal surreptitiously want the listener to shuffle in time, a zombie flash mob of narcoleptic movement, the slow undulation of flesh controlled. It’s this sense of melody underneath the white noise and innocuous beats that is both the light and dark of Perceptions – at one moment an exultant exercise in zonal euphoria, at the next the exit music as the last beat pulses from your bloodstream.


You should get Perceptions from Alterstock here.