Wednesday, May 27, 2015

TALsounds: All the way (cassette)

I feel like I'm floating, weightless, directionless, thoughtless. The cause for this pleasant state of mind is the music of TALsounds, released on cassette by Hausu Mountain under the title All the way.

TALsounds is just one person: Natalie Chami on voice, synthesizers, oscillators, effect pedals and loop pedals. Her music is like waves caressing the beach on a sunny day, or wind in the trees when dusk arrives: gentle, pleasant and soothing. It has a childishness and innocense that we all should embrace, to become like children again.

There are no regular songs on this tape, just sound patterns hesitating, shifting, moving. There's some connection to Fripp & Eno's tape loop music released on Evening Star or No Pussyfooting. or Philip Glass's mathematically structured minimal music, but only superficially. Because TALsounds' music is much more unorganized, and therefore much more unpredictable. This means there's a lot to discover by playing the tape repeatedly, which is of course a big plus.

The simple synthesizer sounds, the abstract voices, the soothing basses, the gentle chords, all flow in to and out of each other in a very pleasant way, yet experimental enough to avoid the New Age moniker. There are dissonants, and thank God for that! Because Ms. Chami has played all her tracks, as multilayered as they are, in one go, leading to many unexpected but pleasant musical surprises!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Heck no, I don't listen to techno! (cassette)

Do you like Italo Disco, early 1980s synth pop or 1990s 16-bit Sega videogame soundtracks? Then log in to your PayPal account and buy Heck no, I don't listen to techno by The Hound Of Love. The tape is released by Plastic Response Records, a cassette label from Greenville in the United States that has the magic touch for catchy retro techno.

The music is a tongue-in-cheek representation of the above mentioned genres, but at the same time so well constructed musically and rhythmically, and so super catchy melodically, that I'm starting to feel more and more happy as I type this review while listening to the music.

Those synthesizer and drum computer sounds that once were modern, then became outdated, and now are retro-cool again! Those orchestral parts, clearly and purposely recognizable as samples instead of the real thing! There are hardly any vocals on this tape, but when vocals are there, they are funny. For example, some dialogue fragments of a man who explains he basically totally wasted his life, are the highlights of Back to normalcy, a track apparently referring to mental illness.

So here I am, typing on the keyboard of my Chromebook to the beat of Heck no, I don't listen to techno, and what else can I tell you then to go and listen, and get happy!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Delmore FX: Innumerevole (cassette)

Musique Concrete was born in the early days of the tape recorder. Tapes were used as analog memory: to record, slow down, speed up, invert, cut up, loop, and otherwise treat sound in ways that had simply been impossible before it could be recorded. It was reinvented with the arrival of the analog synthesizer, an instrument even more suitable for the creation and processing of sound: it could even create totally new sounds!

Elia Buletti, who runs the Berlin based cassette label Das Andere Selbst (The Other Self), and who performs and releases music as Delmore FX, stands with one foot in this tradition, while with the other foot he steps out of it. Listen to his cassette Innumerevole, and you will understand what I'm trying to say.

He uses analog synthesizers and digital equipment in the same spirit as the pioneers of Musique Concrete: exploring sounds in-depth, whether musical or not. Recording or creating sound,s tasting them, chewing them, swallowing them, spitting them out again, mixing them, cutting them short, cooking them, frying them, burning them, breaking them ...

To paraphrase Star Trek's Spock: It's music Jim, but not as you know it ... It's a weird, alien landscape constructed out of sounds you think you know. But just when you're starting to recognize them, they mutate into something else. And then again. And again. So: no music in the traditional sense of the word. No easy listening. But if you are willing to put on headphones, and maintain your concentration for 2 x 20 minutes, you will make an interesting, crazy trip through a mutated musical universe.

Listen to the music, and buy the cassette or the digital audio, at Bandcamp.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Wiener Records

WINR001 - The Noise - Worst Of...
WINR002 - Wax Witches - From Hell
WINR003 - V.A. - The Wiener Dog Comp
WINR004 - Gangbang Gordon - I'm Not A Musician
WINR005 - The Bingers - Rhymes With Fingers
WINR006 - The Jigsaw Seen - Gifted
WINR007 - My People Pray By Starlight/Yusuke Tsutsumi
WINR008 - Shake Before Us -  S/T
WINR009 - Derrick Knight - Mayan Rain Dance
WINR010 - Loafers - Late Bloomer

WINR011 - Cashew & Cleary - Husbands, Vol. 1 EP
WINR012 - Big Air - Buds
WINR013 - Deadly Lo-Fi / Sidewalk Babes - Split EP
WINR014 - GYMSHORTS - No Backsies!
WINR015 - Santa Youth - 2012
WINR016 - Mildriot - Fought Songs
WINR017 - Psychic Alliance - Psychedelic Hamster
WINR018 - Jigsaw Seen - Old Man Reverb
WINR019 - White Lodge Technicolor Visions/Holy Void EP

WINR021 - Krol Kleks - Got Kleks?
WINR022 - RUIINS - Trab Pu Kcip
WINR023 - Concord America - Suns Out Guns Out
WINR024 - Cult Choir - Fantasy 6
WINR025 - Men's Club - S/T
WINR026 - The Magdalene Laundries - White Whine)
WINR027 - Methadone Kitty & The Daily Doses - Unconfined
WINR028 - The Lifeforms - S/T (CASS)
WINR029 - Thelma & The Sleaze - Heart Like A Fist EP
WINR030 - Surfbort - R.I.P. die old

WINR031 - Evil Hearted You - Too Gone
WINR032 - Speedshot - Spit
WINR033 - Reverent - Friends
WINR034 - Picnic, Lightning - Gilded Youth
WINR035 - The Cleopatras - La Maledizione De Faraone
WINR036 - The Ha-Rang! - She Wants Pretty
WINR037 - Satanoise Tv - S/T
WINR038 - Mama's Boys - Suburban Nights
WINR039 - Melvoy - Irrelevant Elephant
WINR040 - Lakehead - S/T

WINR041 - Expired Logic - Dissolution Consensus
WINR042 - Club De Surf - Sonic Death EP
WINR043 - Malk - Prehistoric
WINR044 - Penelope Gazin - I'll Knit Your Hair Into A Sweater
WINR045 - The Roxy Suicide - Glam-Damaged
WINR046 - Future Holotape - Analog Renegades
WINR047 - Uncle Luc - Humblebrag
WINR048 - Kilo Tango - Bummed Out, Suns Out
WINR049 - Twister - Don't Worry Tim
WINR050 - Black Islands - S/T

WINR051 - Ghost Cloak - World Travels
WINR052 - Rip Kids - Bored Of You
WINR053 - Slurred Words - S/T
WINR054 - Bodega Satellite - S/T
WINR055 - Super Thief - S/T
WINR056 - A. Rex & J. Rex - I.
WINR057 - The Gromble - S/T
WINR058 - Midriffs - Subtle Luxuries
WINR059 - Idaho Green - Do The Nelz
WINR060 - Bombay Harambee - Wolfman Fellowship

WINR061 - Water Rats - Ugly By Nature
WINR062 - Solitary Debate - Inert
WINR063 - Plankton Dada Wave - 2 EPs + Side Effects
WINR064 - Jygüer - Cabalgada Solar
WINR066 - Ice Cream - We're Set
WINR067 - Tomb Hanx - Moral Kombat
WINR068 - Underwater Brothel - Muzak
WINR069 - Mint Mind - Near Mint

Wiener Records Homepage
Wiener Records on Facebook
Q&A with Danny Gonzalez (CMJ Magazine)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Artistic Integrity Tapes

Dan Wallach, founder and president of Artistic Integrity Records, writes:

So far, Artistic Integrity Records has done 3 cassettes out of the 21 total releases on the label, all of which have been released in the last 8 months.

Mraz Volta is a Chicago super group of sorts, made up of members of Dr. Manhattan, Truman & His Trophy, Meat Wave, Everything's Alright, and Sophagus. These 8 tracks were released in April of 2014 and are limited to only 100 copies (50 on clear blue, 50 on white cassettes).

Nervous Passenger is another Chicago band. The A-side is the new EP entitled Way Too Weird, 5 songs clocking in at under 15 minutes. the B-side is the first physical release of their 2013 EP entitled Songs About Things And Stuff, 5 more songs clocking in around 13 minutes. This release came out in September of 2014 and is also limited to only 100 copies (50 on black, 50 on red cassettes).

This tape is one of the favorite things I've released with AIR. it's a 2-song cassingle from Chicago electronica band Hide, entitled Possession. What makes this release so special is that the lead singer in Hide is artist Heather Gabel, of Alkaline Trio fame. Heather had never been in a band before, so to be lucky enough to release the first thing she's ever put out musically was a real thrill for me. This release came out in October of 2014 and is limited to 500 copies (250 on black, 250 on white cassettes).

Links: Homepage & Bandcamp