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Header Gif by Edouard Urcadez
While Bleeding Gold Records and I haven’t always seen eye to eye I respect the San Diego based label enough to give their output a listen. After a couple mediocre reviews from me, they sent over Liverpool band Tear Talk’s latest seven-inch Breathe. Enclosed with the seven inch was a small note that read, “Hope you like this one.”
Luckily for me, I am genuinely into this record. The packaging is extremely nice, the two Ts on the jacket are die cut out and the vinyl itself is marbled white and grey; quite beautiful. Immediately upon seeing this record I thought of UK super stars the XX. Which unfortunately for Tear Talk have a similar guitar tone and similar graphic style. However, not all is lost. Breathe, is a good single, a catchy guitar riff, mellow vocals, and cool breakdowns give this song what it needs to reel me in. The music is solid and the production isn’t really leaving anything to be desired. Imagine a less filled out Horrors or a fuller XX and you have Tear Talk.
To be honest I would like to see this band reach a little bit more, the pace of each song on this wax is the same. While promising, it’s all almost identical in tone and it would be nice if they mixed it up. That doesn’t mean that they don’t do what they do well, rather it means I want to hear more of something a little less expected. This band is solid and has a ton of potential, the guitar melodies are awesome, the keyboard voices match the vibe they are going for, they are definitely tight, together, and the vision is clear.
So if it is three post-punk pop influenced jams you want, look no further, go out and grab this glorious seven-inch.
Wish for Skin is definitely an attempt to deal with some pent up things, and the dude Erik Brown has been pretty prolific with it over the last year or two with a slew of CD’s, splits, live and digital releases. Mud Flock sounds great on CD in my opinion and I have nothing against CD’s. The cover sports a dead mouse and a leaf on the asphalt, appropriate to the eerie feeling put off by the sounds. There’s a flow to the whole thing that’s nice rather than having a bunch of split up tracks. That being said there are breaks in the track, but they’re definitely more compositional than structural. Erik’s vocals are pretty aggressive; perfect when they’re happening and leave a lot of space for the noise to do its own thing. The last few minutes have this ominous and pretty untouched player-piano noise over some rhythmic beeps that remind me of being fucked up on sedatives in hospitals waiting for surgery. Good stuff, this one stays in the car.
Here are my top 5 cassettes of the year in no particular order. They are the best to me because they show a balance of raw emotion, creativity, and experimentalism. I hope you enjoy!
Right now I am pretty sick with some sort of weird head cold and the few things that have been making me feel better are tea, water, my girlfriend, and this Derek Erdman cassette. I got it in the mail the other day from Sanzimat International, a label that is pretty legitimate and is based out of Buenos Aires and Chicago, cool combo.
Coyote, Erdman’s release on Sanzimat is a pretty bizarre collection of outsider pop songs that teeter on the edge of lo-fi and occasionally fall into an experimental noise haze. This is the kind of stuff you wish you could stumble upon at some estate sale or goodwill. All the songs on here were written between the years of 1991 – 2004 however they all manage to fit quite well together. It almost seems like this tape was constructed by someone going into a closet full of reels and miraculously coming out with something sewn together after hours of listening. While this tape is made up of works by Erdman himself and bands that he has been apart of his influence on each song is very apparent despite the number of projects he appeared in. Like with any other artistic omnibus that takes a tiny part of an individual’s musings and uses them to represent a large time in the person’s life “Coyote” is meant to provide a glimpse into Erdman’s career and serve as documentation of his existence. Rather than saying, “I present to you, Derek Erdman” Coyote says, “There was this guy named Derek Erdman….”. However, this is a collection of cool stuff nonetheless so of course I have my favorite slams of this magnetic beast. Even if the majority of the songs on here are less than two minutes there is an enormous amount of personality in every single one of um so here we go!
The first “song” that really seemed to stand out to me was a short little pop jammer called “It Really Happened” which is by Erdman’s band Double Decker Bus it has this chorus that goes “Smoke Pot, Trip On Acid, It’s Really Cool, It Really Happened.” It’s really catchy and goofy and I think the bass line is nice. It reminds me a lot of some early Moldy Peaches stuff. Cool.
The second song that really stood out to me is called “He Knows That I Love Him”. This song is a short dark love song with oddly plucked guitar that is sort of aggressive despite the tenderness of the song itself. The track immediately after is a nine second blip of Erdman saying, “Do I look like Kurt Cobain to you?” Needless to say there is a lot of good stuff on here. So why not weave through it all yourself. The tape is beautiful and pro dubbed and sounds amazing. I would like to close with a quote found on the Sanzimat International site under Erdman’s tape.
“A Coyote is a mischievous or roguish figure in myth or folklore with cunning and subversive humor. The Coyote alternates between cleverness and stupidity, kindness and cruelty, deceiver and deceived, breaker of taboos and creator of culture.”
Last night I played with the band Purple Pilgrims from New Zealand, they were on tour with Gary War and I really dug some aspects of their music a lot. They had a handful of technical difficulties but I was still feeling their psych volk vibe quite a bit. Here is a neat little video that visually sums up their sound quite nicely. Catch them on the rest of their tour as they roam up the west coast!
So many records suck these days. I can’t even count the records I’ve wasted my money on. My stubborn ass will always roll into a record store and buy the record with the coolest packaging and the lowest sticker price, ensuring myself that despite the albums clearance status it’s still worth my time. Oh the pain, goodbye Mr. Hamilton I’ll see you later. I should have listened to all of those terrible reviews, I should have just gotten a torrent that saved the file directly to my recycling bin, I should have taken my girlfriend out to dinner. Oh well, for all the painful experiences there are a few lucky breaks in the clearance bin. So here’s a rare list of some of my favorite records I have gotten on the cheap!
I found this little LP for cheap at downtown Phoenix’s Revolver Records. This Life’s Blood release is a weird sample trip akin to the likes of Black Dice and Negativland. Super duper good, I saw them once on tour with Tan Dollar but failed to pick up any of their stuff. I have no idea if they are still around but this is a great record and you should grab it if you can!
I ended up getting this Meredith Monk LP at Bookmans in Flagstaff,AZ it’s a super cool work based around vocal work and chanting and things like this. Monk’s vocals are nuts and you can totally see how she influences a lot of the more wild wild vocalists of the everyday!
I got a copy of Gary Wilson’s “Electric Endicott” which is easily one of my favorite records of his. If you don’t know Wilson’s work you should. The dude is nuts, and outsider artist with a lot of proclaimed girlfriends in his life. He is dreamy, a more perverted Bowie if you ask me!
If ya’ll don’t know Kitaro you better get your mind right. He is only a International New Age Synth legend. I found a copy of his greatest hits in a dollar bin. The art is really cool and abstract minimalism at its finest. Seriously, get on it if you haven’t, people try to rip off new age left and right and talk all sorts of shit about it. It’s more than just flutes and zen dudes!
Last but certainly not least, the best record I constantly see in some deal bin is Neil Young’s “Trans”! Come on people, it’s time to get all over this fucking record. There are some really great forward thinking electronic songs on this. People wish they could get that analog smooth feeling that Young gets. Ahead of its time and always super cheap, buy and cherish this record ya’ll!
Before I saw HUME the other night, they had been mentioned to me on multiple occasions. People had told me they were touring like mad, had some wild pedal boards, were cool dudes, and pretty good. All of it was true, the Baltimore based four piece is pretty crushing live. When they played at Trunk Space they had two drummers, a guitarist, a bassist, and one of the biggest pedal boards I have ever seen.
Throughout part of their set there was a gnarly helicopter cop chase outside and lots of flashing lights, a circuit blew, and people danced all over the place. It was wild, loud, and an overall great experience. I actually ended up selling Joey one of the drummers some of my tapes in order to buy a seven-inch from them.
The little 45rpm single “Inverse Fireworks/One Drug” from Sockets Records is an amalgamation of present and past forms of Hume. They cut back the live delay on Britton Powell’s vocals for a more distinct and clear vocal sound and they also drop the two drumkit setup for an extra guitar and keyboards. These two songs are good but are only a taste of what this band can really do. Swirling guitars, wild time changes, and ambient sound akin to the best of Kranky releases make my ears perk up causing me to flip this little wax piece over and over. Despite leaving me wanting more, this is a beautiful souvenir from a good night.
The packaging on this 7inch is beautiful. Wilson Kemp drummed and did the art for the 7inch too, which is all screen-printed on some nice cardstock. Worth grabbing for sure if you can’t afford an LP at a show!
Slowing down the day is one of the best things you can do sometimes, elongating the daylight hours so you can get more done and find satisfaction in the little things life has to offer. On Rotifer Cassette’s 61st release “Pomander” by Nag Dolly we get to slow down for a minute and take a break from what the future has in store. Living in the present has never been easier.
Pomander is a world full of tape hiss, odd samples; visceral vocal bleeps, and perfectly dialed in pitch control. At times this tape mixes dub feelings with lo-fi ambient noise emotions to give you an early Peaking Lights feel. It’s pretty simple and feel good, you can really sink your teeth into this piece while listening to it because the repetition of some samples really gets your head bobbing as you get drawn into this world of over saturated colors. I can imagine this being played along to some documentary on East Asia as small motor vehicles whip around on the dunes of the Gobi Desert.
Ultimately, this tape isn’t too long but it is really fun to listen to and I find myself letting it cycle over and over. This tape is pro dubbed and sounds really good, the art is full color and printed on both sides. Rotifer kills it and there are more reviews to come from us on there releases.
Buy it HERE!
The other night I played a show with the Baltimore, Maryland based band HUME, they are really good but this post won’t be about them, it will come later. This review is about a band that also has two drummers but is from Portland, Oregon called Deelay Ceelay.
I saw this duo about three years ago when Modified Arts in downtown Phoenix, Arizona was still doing shows. They were on tour opening for Starfucker and when it came down to it they were really the more talented songwriters! It’s always funny when you like another band on the bill more than the band you came to see. To make a long story short these guys shredded on the drums, while fog machines filled the room with steam, and trippy green-screened visuals swirled amongst the fog and crowd. It was winter at the time and everyone was dancing it was great. The next day I found out that these dudes give there music away for FREE on their website which is pretty wild. Then I decided to take a look back into what these guys were doing now and they have another free record available, COOL!
This record is called, “Sunset Drumsets” and is much more produced and eclectic than the bands first EP entitled “Thank You”. Sunset Drumsets is also much more electronic and much more upbeat, it’s happier. To me it seems like you are at some forested mountaintop party on a cliff that overlooks the ocean where the sun is just setting and there are campfires that keep everyone warm while people get wild and dance. A perfect campsite constructed to get crazy in, think of a more positive Lymbyc Systym with a little more of a pop edge and you have Deelay Ceelay’s new record! Also Sunset Drumsets introduces minimal vocals into this bands arsenal, which aren’t seen on their previous EP. They are robotic and vocoded but fit with the new fast paced giving environment that Deelay Ceelay have created! This stuff is great; I don’t want to say much more because I will give it all away if I do! Check this stuff out and feel the power of the double drumset!