Taking a very brief break from The Fall, having just published the latest YMGTA post on Slates, here’s a tour through the other things that have been making a splash at Fi5 Towers over the last month or so…
Contemporary Recorder Music – the three-way edge of fear (jackson pollock) (From keith and rick)
‘We’ve been making noise for roughly 10 years!’ proclaims their Bandcamp page, and there’s certainly quite a bit of discography to get through, with another dozen albums available (all ‘name your price’), including a whole-album cover of Tubeway Army’s Replicas (bonus tracks as well) and the intriguingly titled we’re on the moon, titsuckers! and i did a shit in this box (this one right here). (CRM seem not to do capital letters.)
Keith and Rick is full of short bursts of droney, lo-fi slacker tunes; all spaced-out, echoey wandering just-about-in-tune vocals, lazy acoustic strum and tinny drum machines; like The Residents meet Sebadoh. three-way is a lovely blast of warped, fuzzed-up psych melody.
The TeleVibes – Smiling Tide (From Major Drones)
Another one of those Bandcamp discoveries about which I can tell you little, other that they’re from Boston (Massachusetts, not Lincolnshire). They play pretty straight-down-the-line melodic garage-psych-rock, with a nice touch of organ floating around behind the driving guitars. But they do it very well.
Croatian Amor – La Hills Burn at the Peak of Winter (From The World)
There is a certain breed of artist whose relentless creativity boggles the mind of those of us who find it hard enough to pen a few sentences about the sounds they produce. Loke Rahbek seems to be one of them. The Dane has released music under the names 1989, Hvide Sejl, LR, Semi Detached Spankers (!) as well as Croatian Amor and his own name.
According to this article/interview, Croatian Amor represents the most ‘extreme version’ of his output. Apparently, he released an album in 2014 that ‘could only be obtained if a prospective listener emailed him a nude self-portrait, offering a meditation on the vulnerability of artistic exchange’.
LA Hills is a hypnotic piece; a soothing synth line and a gentle, delay-pedal guitar figure circle round and around each other, doing much less than ought to be able to be sustained over seven and a half minutes. However, the minute variations in tone and tempo produce seemingly endless variations that make it feel a lot shorter. Another one of those artists that make you feel as if life’s too short and you’re only scratching the surface…
Klara Lewis – Twist (From Too)
Klara Lewis, according to this article, is ‘a critically acclaimed sound sculptress who.. builds her work from heavily manipulated samples and field recordings, creating a unique combination of the organic and the digital’. Which sounds just like my sort of thing.
Again, I’ve only dipped into her intriguing back catalogue, but Too is an intoxicating mix of jagged, abstract soundscapes. Twist features deathly stabs of synth, pattering anxious percussion and has an atmosphere of cloying paranoia and claustrophobia.
Asha Mirr – Sun Dealer (From It’s A Big World)
The tags on this album’s Bandcamp page are: electronic / nu disco / chillwave / future funk / plunderphonics / vaporwave. Now, there’s at least one of those genres that mean nothing to me (several, if I’m honest), but this track is a glorious collision of all sorts multi-genre stuff (even if I’m not entirely clear on what those genres actually are). Deep, reverberating synths; nervous, twitchy glitch rhythms; ghostly, multi-tracked backing vocals a la Burial’s Untrue; spiralling, echoing classical guitar… and a shedload more besides. Ominous, strange and beautifully crafted.
Ditlev Buster – Welcome to the EC compilation / Frank – That’s How I Would Like to be Remembered / W.A.Davison – Broken Radio Loops (From Electronic Cottage Compilation 004)
Hal McGee seems to be an affable and eccentric kind of bloke. On his website, http://www.haltapes.com, you can find ‘more than 200 albums of homemade experimental electronic music, noise, tape collage, and improvisation’.
Some of it verges on overindulgent nonsense, but there are a few gems on Electronic Cottage Compilation 004. Ditlev Buster’s (what a great name) introduction contains some true words of wisdom (‘Don’t sit at your computer for too long or you’ll go blind… go outside… put on your shoes…’); Frank’s track consists of some sharp, jazzy hiphop beats accompanied by the voice of the sort of elderly, worldy-wise gent you might find in a New York diner before it descends into some sort of spluttering bluster; W.A.Davison’s Broken Radio Loops does pretty much what it says on the tin. Mad fun.
PAINT – Sour Patch Kid
I know very little about PAINT. It sounds like it might be just one man, as it has a very home-demo sort of vibe. There are three tracks on Bandcamp, and all you learn from there is that he (?) is from Brooklyn and is ‘weedless in Seattle’, whatever that might mean.
Sour Patch Kid (the cover of which features a teenage girl giving her younger brother a drag on her cigarette) is a heavy, drowsy and distorted piece of distorted bedroom lo-fi; off-hand and melancholy, with a rather moving and laconic fuzz solo.
Porch Sam – MGMT (From Porch Sam Cassette)
No idea who Porch Sam might actually be, but this album is a noisy, aggressive mess, full of dubstep thump and angular samples; it’s all elbows – nothing fits, everything jars and butts up against each other; squelchy , distorted and dissonant.
MGMT features a rolling, crenellated synth and blasts of corrugated noise that clear the passages a treat. One to turn up loud and annoy the neighbours.
The Valenteens – Painted World (From Fuzzed Out Tone For The Painfully Alone)
If ever there was an album title that summed up an album’s sound…
Fourteen two-minute blasts of scuzzy, angry, distorted garage punk, it’s reinventing the wheel to some extent, but it captures the howling, wounded feeling that many bands at this end of things strive for but miss. The staccato riff of Oh, Boy! is a heady whirlwind; the choppy, driving Hideaway merges The Ramones and The Dead Kennedys. But Painted World is the pick of the bunch: a joyfully aggressive slab of guitar angst that teeters on the edge of hysteria.
Spaceslug – Galectelion (From Lemanis)
You should have a good idea of what you’re getting from an album whose opening tracks are Proton Lander, Hypermountain and Supermassive. Like The Valenteens above, Spaceslug are not exactly doing anything new, but if you like a spot of heavy / doom / stoner / sludge / pysch-rock then this will most likely tick all your boxes.
The nine-minute closing title track is a swirling monster of unbridled, deep and dirty heavy, bluesy chords. Galectelion has a more subtle opening, but soon opens up into a fierce but controlled bit of Sabbath-esque riffery.