Monday, January 30, 2017

Various Artists - Downtown NYC

Label : Virgin Records - 1-90950
Country : US
Year : 1988
Format : LP
The 80s music scene in downtown New York brought a lot of great stuff, including the barrage of eponymous Downtown Music projects, No Wave and other noisy cacophonies. Unfortunately, these scenes are not represented very well here, aside from some more obscure inclusions. It starts off with the title track, a very cheesy eighties anthem about living "downtown". So, yeah.

Some gems are to be found here, though. Tracks such as the second by Mark Johnson, who put out a classic Baroque pop private press album in the 70s. Another highlight is the contributions by Timber side project Rude Buddha and the post-No Wave of Ritual Tension. Some other good things to be found are the minimal synthpop of Soma Holiday and avant-folksong of Songs From A Random House. I don't really care for the rest, sadly. You might, though.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Candiru / Fat Hacker - Split

Label : Red Stream Inc. - RSR-0103
Year : 1993
Country : US
Format : 7 inch
I've posted a lot of Industrial musics on this blog, but I've never really divulged in the rock or metallic side of the "genre". Barring some exceptions depending on your definition of Industrial rock/metal, of course. I don't really care for this kind of stuff, preferring the more noisy and abstract sound. This release itself is no real outlier in this calamity. Enjoy, some Harrisburg bred Industrial rawk split with some NY style racket.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Unwanted Christmas Presents - Unwanted Christmas Presents

Label : Electrocution Records - ELE 33007
Country : US
Year : 1993
Format : LP
I dislike unwanted Christmas presents. Obviously these guys did, too. This WV-bred weirdo punk would fit right in the catalog of Siltbreeze if not for the untimely demise of vocalist/howler/barker Keith Dunleavy, who makes his voice heard throughout this racket of eighties coaltown dementia. The screeching of the frontman is backed by the metallic improvisation of guitarist/various object player Joe Nathan (no relation to the reliever I presume). This is mainly composed of fragments strewn throughout the nineteen eighties via live performance and garage 4-track debauchery. 
Exhibit A: this cool poster outlines the whole process of this little compilation, with some nice drawings to boot. This is the stuff I crave, garage-punk noise trash with a little lore behind it.

Note that the first track had some residue and/or a scratch on it, so there are some annoying clicks. Luckily, a better version can be found here, along with some other cool things about this obscure little outfit. Also, an interesting interview with Nathan was in Maximum Rock 'n' Roll awhile back, it can be found on page 88 here.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Jaki Jakizawa - Can You Feel The Juices?

Label : Milvia Son Records - MS006
Country : US
Year : 2011
Format : LP
Gross, or a synonym thereof, is often used when describing this album. It's easy to see why, just look at the greasy mug on the cover and the title of the A-side. Or the goddamned title: it's a very unsettling question. Yes, this album is pretty gross, as in disgusting, grotesque, or any other sense of the word before the co-opting of the term by network dwelling sycophants. But the music itself is not as deplorable as the packaging makes it out to be. The top flip side "Period Blood" would bring to mind some goregrind style juvenilia, but it really is, as Music for Maniacs describes it, "like Giorgio Moroder goes free jazz". The bottom side of the slab is the kicker here: "Eros in Neon". A kraut-synth juggernaught, beautifully developing a simple line throughout it's ~16 minute runtime. Reminds me of lucid produce and such as that.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Alan Bishop - Radio Moderna

Label : Alterity 101 - Alterity 2
Country : US
Year : 2013
Format : C44
In the annals of the Sun City Girls canon™, improvisation via devices such as the radio is not uncommon. Here, the humble contraption takes center stage thanks to the thumb-twiddling and spontaneous interjections of the Uncle Jim. Talk shows on the AM spectrum to mainstream hits on the FM spectra are not safe from the brothers Bishop. This reminds me of my early experimentations in noise-musicks, an abused boombox cassette deck was not safe in my hands. Anyway, don't expect the beautiful appropriation of traditional musics of the world of 330,003 Crossdressers or the (sheer) hellish carny miasma of Dante's Disneyland Inferno, but more along the lines of Carnival Folklore Radio. Still, the more Uncle Jim, the sleazier, cat.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Judas Iscariot - Skeptics, Mystics and Blind Idolaters...

Label : Denied A Custom - CUSTOM #2
Country : Japan
Year : 1997
Format : 7 inch

I've kept this one hidden away from the blog for quite a while, thinking it wouldn't really fit the mold. It's a bit too hard/grindcore for my tastes, unlike their previous (and better, in my view) EP "Harrison Bergeron Bound?". Flashes of what I like from that release can be heard in the penultimate track "wheres the cheese and mission?". From the packaging and band name, this takes on a theological theme of sorts. Speaking of the packaging, it is pretty elaborate, if not varied. Letters, a little picturebook, and some catalogs in this little 7 inch EP. It even includes a little biography for the band, in Japanese:
音楽、ミュージカル、オペラなどなどの宝庫で知られるニューヨーク。 まん いずざばすたーどに対抗するバンドはやはり存在した...ギターレス ストレートフォワードスラッシュジャズと言えば、JUDAS ISCARIOT。 15人分のギターをー人のベースプレーヤーであるJeff がまかなうバンド、 JUDAS ISCARIOT。7inch に12曲も詰め込んでしまったつわもの3人組。 偶像崇拝物 (宗教・UFOなど) すべてを否定するために付けられたタイト ルが, この Skeptics, Mystics and Blind Idolaters...。スローな曲に飽きさしまった、バンド編成にギターはいらないと思う人、ぜひ御ー聴を!最初から 飛ばして行きます、JUDAS ISCARIOT。イエスは、。最後のユダを待ってい た。ニューヨークのJUDAS ISCARIOT (ユダイスカリオテ) をよろしく。
Using machine translation, it says somethin' about New York (TJI's home state) being thee home of operas and some such stuff. It's probably not very accurate, daga. Also included in the packaging was this typed letter signed by the label honcho themself, Yoshiyuki Takahashi (no relation to the mangaka of the same name, I assume). It seems like a heartfelt response to a letter from the previous owner, but for all I know it could have been included in every mail-ordered record sent to the states.
In addition to these snippets are some other scraps of printed matter:
Perhaps the coolest thing is little novelette, rife with topographic illustration and esoteric texts:

 That about does it for the packaging, for me the most interesting part of this little release. I never particularly liked straight hardcore punx or grindcore so this is a bit of a wash for me, the more artsy punky aspects of their work is found elsewhere.

(Note the idiosyncratic capitalization, is that a cipher?)

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Re-upload Round-up #?

Big City Orchestra - Carnival of Monsters
Seeing as this blog is getting up there in years (I believe I started this in ~2012, and retooled it to what you see now in mid '14), I figured I'd start dealing with dead links in head-on fashion. I'll just choose some random releases for this one, if you have any specific request for a future round-up, feel free to comment.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Various Artists - A Consonant Vowel

Label : C.A.G.E. Records
Country : US
Year : 1988
Format : LP
As the year changes, I don't. Another sound art compilation for your ears and, perhaps the intention of the organizers, brain. Like the last post, collage and industrious noise play a prominent role here. This time, it's centered around Ohio-born sound artistry. Seeing as it was released by the "Cincinnati Artist's Group Effort", it makes sense. Ohioans such as John M. Bennett and Charlotte Pressler make an appearance, as well as Cincy groups like Lopez Sophisticates and Contraption #37. Even a Cleveland projects contribute with the Backyard Mechanics for Language (led by Luigi-Bob Drake, who appeared on Put Down Your Pencil). Other than that, artists from different areas also submit their efforts here. These include the late, great Minóy of California and the ephemeral Wisconsin project Qwa Digs Never Parish. I wonder if Charlotte Schmitz is related to K.D. Schmitz. As an aside, making scans for 12'' LP's on a small scanner is a lot harder than it seems. Happy New Year.