Friday, November 26, 2010

Caboladies - s/t LP - DNT
Caboladies - s/t LP - DNT
Big thank you to DNT for bringing this record into the world. What we have here is a beautiful -- in sound and appearance -- LP that collects five excellent tracks from five different limited run Caboladies releases from 2007-8. What really stands out about this record is how good the pieces sound a few years down the road, given that they come from the tape and CDR underground which tends toward quick and sometimes disposable. They are remarkable as a group for the very reason that these tracks still sound good now -- while their sound fits in with the drone and fringe scenes generally, they are very much going down their own path. The hazy, ecstatic feel of their music is familiar to a lot of groups right now but they build theirs up from more not less, with layer upon layer of tumultuous movement buoying up the wall of sound. It makes for a deep record that rewards repeated listening(believe me, this LP has not strayed far from the turntable in the last few months). Excellent collection that makes it clear that these guys belong in the upper tier. Hope more labels start doing this kind of thing. $11
I'm so behind here at Eggy HQ that this news is no longer new -- Gift Tapes main-man Jason Anderson has started a sister label called Draft as a haven for artists to go beyond their accustomed sound and try new things. Batch number two is already a reality, so be sure to scope those at the Draft site.
Frak - Tournament City/Dry Vanadis - Draft Tapes
Frak - Dry Vanadis/Tournament City - Draft Tapes
If I'm not mistaken, Frak is the flagship band of the Swedish Borft label, which I've been curious about for quite a while now, but that curiosity running up against international shipping rates and sheer ignorance about where to start with the label. So already I was eager to listen to this tape before I even set the reels in motion. And my instincts were not wrong -- Dry Vanadis/Tournament City has been in heavy rotation since Jason sent along a pre-release Draft care package many moons ago. Frak are a Swedish trio playing synthesizer and drum-machine instrumental(for the most part) pop that perfectly sates a yen I didn't even know I had. The charm of this music is ultimately its simplicity -- the songs here were all recorded to 4-track using a huge pile of analog gear -- and it's freshness -- the snappy, linear drum-machine beats and choppy sequencer lines light up a whole web of early synth-pop/electro associations, from Yellow Magic Orchestra to the Normal, but Frak take such a lively, wide-eyed approach to their sound that it never feels dated or overly referential. Sides A and B are each EPs in themselves, one recorded in 2010, the other 2007-8, not sure if they've ever been released before, but it makes for a nice, full tape. Recommended! $7
A. Diller - Still Live - Draft Tapes
A. Diller - Still Life - Draft Tapes
"Still Life" belongs to a genre of music that exists mostly in my head at this point but that includes the music that Justin Meyers is doing right now, and to a lesser extend Graham Lambkin's recent work, all of which is very exciting stuff to me. The two elements coming together here are collaged field recordings and gentle synthesizer work, each making the other more interesting by its presence. Not a whole lot more I want to say about it, it's really a very interesting and dynamic tape that mostly speaks for itself. Another one that I can whole-heartedly recommend, very happy to have it in stock. $7

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Yeti Ten!
If it weren't enough that this issue comes with FIVE tracks from Robert Scott projects(including the Clean and, if it's the track I'm thinking of, a very nice song by the Weeds), there are two Eggy-family tracks, one from the Golden Hours and one from Orca Team. And like every Yeti, tons of other stimulating material.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hey New York!

I'm very excited to let you know that Kim's Video is now carrying Eggy tapes, as well tapes from other nice labels, so stop by and check them out, if you needed another reason to spend an afternoon in Kim's.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Some nice news around here is that Jeff Witscher/Rene Hell has been living in town for the last month or two(just a few blocks from Eggy HQ, actually). Getting to catch a live Rene Hell set was a treat, and I was also able to grab a handful of copies of some otherwise out-of-print Agents of Chaos titles for the distro:
Flowerman/Rene Hell - split - Agents of Chaos
Flowerman/Rene Hell - split - Agents of Chaos
I can't decide how much I like the Flowerman half of the tape but it's certainly a surprise and not what usually comes my way via cassette -- clean, open, chirping electronics, a lot like the Audiodregs releases I was into as a teenager. It does get a little "weird" for the last track but still quite reserved. It's nice stuff for sure, and I do enjoy listening to it. The Rene Hell side is divided up between the sparse, stark, deep-space electronics like on the Porcelain Opera LP on Type, and the more traditional analog synthesizer sound heard on his split with Pete Swanson. Solid all around. $7
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Live Generators (1.5) - Agents of Chaos
Keith Fullerton Whitman - Live Generators (1.5) - Agents of Chaos
For the last few years, it seems, Keith Fullerton Whitman has been exploring "automated synth music," which as far as I understand, means the use of some kind of environmental or non-musical input to direct the parameters(pitch, panning, tempo, etc.) of the audio being created. If you are worried that these pieces would be interesting without being very enjoyable, you need not be. The music here is rich, strange and dynamic, and fairly briskly paced given the 20-minute lengths of the two pieces here. At the core of these recordings is the rhythmic burble of synthesized tones, which sometimes drift in pulsing equanimity and other times swerve and de-tune into more evil territories. All in all, a nice antidote to the current overabundance of "nice" synthesizer music, as can be attested to by the audience member who closes out side A with his refrain of "Fuck that! Fuck that! Bullshit! Fuck that!" $7
Any Given Sunday - Take Me To Your Dealer - Agents of Chaos
Any Given Sunday - Take Me To Your Dealer - Agents of Chaos
This is, I believe, the debut release of Any Given Sunday, a duo consisting of Keith Fullerton Whitman and Geoff Mullen. As readers of this blog might already know, I am a big fan of both of them, and have been since my days as a student in Providence. Quite unlike either of their solo projects, this collaboration finds the duo rolling first with a molasses-slow Cluster beat, slowly layering on, then peeling back, all manner of synthesizer swoops and squawks, then on the flip leaving only the pulse to anchor their electronic explorations. I mentioned Cluster, but these tracks are refreshingly non-referential(to these ears, anyway), and they float in a sparse, zero-gravity zone that is immersive without being "blissed-out" or cloying. These early explorations point toward an interesting future, and I hope the releases keep coming from this collaboration. $7
Brand new label in town, Brian Mumford's Musical Impressions imprint. Release number one is Much Of The Nuance Is Lost by Deeds:
Deeds - Much Of the Nuance Is Lost - Musical Impressions
Deeds - Much Of The Nuance Is Lost - Musical Impressions
Head-cleaning thrash of pummeling drums, guitar skronk and weird electronics delivered in short, loud, improvised bursts. But as blasted as these tracks are, the sense of communication and interplay between players(Mumford and drummer John Niekrasz) is never lost. The questions is not how far out either of the two can get, but how far out they can get together. The primitive electronics Mumford brings to the table are a nice and mysterious addition. I also dig the sense of space these pieces create, very open somehow and dangling above the void. $6
Picked up copies of the second release on Wiseblood Media, the label run by Aaron Davis(Acre); "Ruins" by the Slaves. Really killer art and design for this tape, a fold-up card stock sleeve with printing on just about every surface, just beautiful as an object.
The Slaves - Ruins - Wiseblood Media
The Slaves - Ruins - Wiseblood Media
To be honest, my encounters with the Slaves as a live band have been iffy at best -- it always seems like something very interesting is about to happen, and maybe it does for a minute or two, but it never quite holds together. So it was really a very nice surprise to hear how spot on this tape is, start to finish. Unlike their shows(maybe this not the case any more, it's been a while since I've seen them), Ruins consists not of "songs" but two side-long drones. This stuff is very much in the vein of early, pre-song Grouper -- bleak, slow-moving, and the voice a specter pulled along in the wash of sound. Underneath it all -- and one of my favorite aspects of the Slaves -- the impossibly rich tones of a Roland Juno synthesizer move in dour procession, those slow chords perhaps the very heart of the band. $6
Huge backlog of tapes to write about, going to keep things brief...
Really happy to have stumbled across Alex Twomey's(Mirror to Mirror) Jugular Forest label. These tapes are a nice companion to Matt Sullivan's Ekhein label -- a lot of the same artists being represented and overall a similar vibe, that being the current wave of shimmering, sometimes loop-based drones and synthesizer music.
Harpoon Pole Vault - Outside This Area - Jugular Forest
Harpoon Pole Vault - Outside This Area - Jugular Forest
Harpoon Pole Vault is the solo work of Jason Anderson(Brother Raven, Gift Tapes, Draft Tapes). As the past releases of his own work and by his labels can attest, the man has high standards, so while not as fully realized as your typical Brother Raven outing, this Harpoon Pole Vault tape is nothing to gloss over. Perhaps it's the strange creature staring up from the tape's cover, but all in all there's more menace and mystery here than the cosmic sounds you might be expecting. The synthesizers are are dialed into sturdy, substantial tones that ground the sound nicely. $7
Earn - In a Year - Jugular Forest
Earn - In A Year - Jugular Forest
A collection of shorter and more sonically diverse pieces than I was expecting(early work, perhaps?) from Ekhein main-man and former Privvy Seal Matt Sullivan. Still of a piece with his recent discreet music, the work here from time to time breaks from the usual serene calm -- sometimes insistent, sometimes brooding. $7
Mirror to Mirror - The Door With a Lock - Jugular Forest
Mirror To Mirror - The Door With A Lock - Jugular Forest
Hazy, shimmering drone work from Alex Twomey. This is the first Mirror To Mirror release to come my way -- it's all shifting layers and buried melancholy. I haven't really kept up with the Kompakt label but this reminds of their early "Pop Ambient" comps. $7
Cloaked Light - Drapery
Cloaked Light - Drapery - Jugular Forest
Stoic, monolithic work compared to the relatively spacious and upfront sounds of Cloaked Light(Pete Friel, of young tapes, I believe. JK tapes, too? I can't remember) Arbor tape of last year. More straight ahead drone work, dark in sound, focusing on the lower end of the sonic spectrum. $7
Pale Blue Sky - Souvenir - Jugular Forest
Pale Blue Sky - Souvenir - Jugular Forest
Pale Blue Sky is Mike Pollard who runs Arbor(I'm just realizing that is seems like everybody on Jugular Forest runs a label...). Souvenir is a tape of light-hearted disco pop with lyrics on the general theme of the loneliness of the dance floor. Er. Souvenir is a tape of placid, tune-out drones for lying on the couch with the lights off and drifting away to. The gentle murmur of overtones sometimes suggests ur-melody, and on the whole the tape is executed with the deliberateness and posture of Minimalism. You've heard this kind of drone music before, it's not going to blow you mind, but it's always nice when something of this quality comes your way and fills your room with its calm for a half hour. $7

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Friday, November 12, 2010

Skything are a Indiana-based duo who released a tape on Friends and Relatives this year or last, which they were kind enough to send me. They make long, hypnotic, drone-y songs but it's largely percussion based, which I thought was particularly swell. Long story short, they are working on a tape for Eggy, which is very exciting. In the meantime, you should pick up that Friends and Relatives tape, and take a listen to this live recording from their tour with Justin Clifford Rhody a few months back:
Sky Thing Live from Kevin & Jason's house YPSILANTI MI by Pro You

Friday, November 5, 2010

Radio and "radio" things:

Jovontaes play live on WRFL Wednesday Nov. 17th at 9pm.

KZSU program Flashbang Radio will be doing an Eggy spotlight next Sunday, Nov. 7th.

And Foxy Digitalis writer David Perron dropped me a line about his Free Form Freakout webcasts of songs culled mostly from cassette and 7" releases, should see some Eggy jams entering into rotation in the near future, so check it out.