Handful of new tapes from Goaty...
Silk Ears - Bed Room Water
So I am sitting in front of my stereo with an impossibly large pile of tapes to listen to and the afternoon dwindling and yet I can't help myself from listening to this Silk Ears tape twice all the way through. Sprawling, directionless, We-Don't-Give-A-Fuck, zero-fidelity, bedroom mess of weirdly brilliant songs, if they are songs even. Drums, bass, guitar three piece from Victoria, Australia, playing is primitive at best but I get the sense that these two guys and a gal have got deep record collections. Not that they SOUND like other bands, but that they've got that intuitive sense of what sounds good. The group starts upright, if teetering, moving more-or-less together through the first number but it's not long before all organized momentum dissipates and the music is let loose to drift in hazy, outer zones. Two singers, boy and girl, the girl a dead ringer for Karianne from the Whines, every time she pops up it really hits you in the gut -- distant and immediate, witchy and melancholy. Wait around for Side B when she really lets loose, it sends chills up the spine. Really fucking good tape. OK, as finish typing this the tape is finishing out it's third time through. I move on reluctantly. $6
Baronic Wall - Traditional Appearance
Truly, deeply strange new tape from Baronic Wall. The layers of distortion that characterized his last one on Night-People have been pulled away but the new set-up offers little relief to the listener. Like turning on a florescent light in a creepy, dilapidated factory, what's revealed is still a creepy, dilapidated factory but now bathed in bright, cheery light. The mad-man raving is as unsettling as ever, sometimes even more so for the shopping-mall keyboard backing tracks. I think the song title "Shooting From the Sundeck" just about says it all. Like the Night-People release, this is a tape you really have to engage with but it's well worth the commitment. $6
Sohni Chambers - Yaw-Mah-Ha
Organ and drum workout from Cameron Stallones of Sun Araw and Nick Malkin. All in all a lo-fi affair but the duo keep it interesting, moving from more upbeat pieces into dronier territory. Actually reminds me a lot of the Jovontaes tape that came out on Eggy last year. Straight-forward tape but well done. $6
Banana Head/Rosemary Krust - split
Second release (to my knowledge) from Goaty Tapes main-man Zully Adler, more straight-laced affair this time around. Repetitive loner-pop very much in the Russian Tsarlag mode -- minimal, if any, percussion and slack playing and singing.
Rosemary Krust steals the show on the B side, which makes sense considering that she's been roaming the badlands between noise and pop for quite a while now. This release tends towards the abrassive, opening with a fever-dream of sea-sick loops before lurching into the first "song," which reminds me a lot of Eraserhead for whatever reason, maybe the general sense of unease and desolation. By the second track we are given that glimmer of sweetness that is the key to Rosemary Krust's music. A good reference point is probably Fursaxa's poppier moments. Great side from start to finish, this kind of thing is right up my alley. $6
Smegma/Kommisar Hjular and Mama Baer - split
Being from Portland, I'm not sure how much explaining I have to do regarding Smegma. Pretty much the deal is this; these guys have been around forever and they are really, really good at what they do. There's is a very pure kind of noise music, notable for it's almost complete freedom from delay, feedback and distortion. The focus is instead on group play and the interaction of simple, sometimes garrish sounds. Cut-up audio from old records lends a musique conrete vibe, but drums and guitar-like strumming are just as likely to pull things toward more familiar musical references. The pieces scuttle and move organically, passing quickly but deftly from one sound environment to the next. Really wonderful, curious audio from the masters.
The Kommisar Hjular and Mama Baer side is the same track as on the A side of their Feeding Tube LP of last year except with a music box tinkling away in the background the whole time. I was dissappointed for a second until I remembered how much I love this insane and wholly bracing slab of madcap audio, and that I was perfectly happy to be listening to it again (my housemates, however...). What do we call this? A lecture on Concrete Poetry gone totally unhinged? There's a lot of screaming and feedback and references to Mary Ellen Solt. Brilliantly zonked, the work of deeply strange minds. So if you don't have the LP, this is KH and MB at their best, totally essential.
Excellent tape, props to Goaty for the deft pairing. Best $7 you'll spend in a while.