Archive for the ‘label’ Category

Return of the Downloads

December 15, 2009

Here’s a ton of downloads for you– I’ve re-upped them at Mediafire due to the ongoing weirdness in the bit-torrent community, so these are good and solid links. Click on any date to go to the Mediafire download page, or click “playlist” to see the original liveblogged entry for the specific broadcast. Each file is under 200 megabytes, though some are much less. Be sure to share these with your friends!

12/5/09 (part 1) – Interview with Tristan Perich; Craig Colorusso/Joel Westerdale phone-in performance on WDBX-FM (playlist)

12/5/09 (part 2) – Karthik Kakarala, DaveX, LIVE @ WDBX

11/28/09 – This show is dedicated to Acid Mothers’ Temple, Katie Holmes, and Fred Savage. Features Terry Riley, Cluster & Eno, Eyes Like Saucers. (playlist)

11/21/09 – Analog goodness from Resipiscent label, Brian Eno, and the slowest “Yakety Sax” ever. (playlist)

11/14/09 – LIVE @ WDBX-FM; Karthik Kakarala & Tom Vasilj,  Malaria, Oblive, Wilmer Incognito, group improv w/ DaveX (commentary)

11/7/09 – Frank Rothkamm, Wadada Leo Smith, Ironing & Chefkirk, Art Jerks (playlist)

10/24/09 – Jeff Arnal, Edgetone Records goodies, Eddie the Rat, Sabrina Siegel (playlist)

10/10/09 – LIVE @ WDBX-FM, Matt Weston!!! Show also features recordings from Gordon Beeferman, George Korein, Focus Quintet (playlist)

9/26/09 – LIVE phone-in set/interview from Swamp of Pus label owner Novasak, plus an interview with George Korein. Also, lots of previously-unreleased Korein recordings, and an extended selection of Glenn Weyant awesomeness. (playlist)

9/19/09 – Improv saxophonist Randall Hall classes up the Hi-Life Room with THREE live sets, and a hands-on demonstration of extended technique. What does bubble wrap in the bell of a sax sound like? We do the things Mythbusters won’t try. Play along at home, and clap when you hear us say “John Cage.” (playlist)

9/12/09 – Harold Schellinx phones in a sound tour of his home, and Trash Ant provides the most art-damaged cassette tape EVER. (playlist)

9/5/09 – “It’s Too Damn Early” salutes BKPR, and jams to Peter Gordon’s “Life is Boring”. (playlist)

8/29/09 – Black Beast of Arrrghhh, LIVE phone-in performance on WDBX-FM. Also features recordings from Hal McGee’s “Dictaphonia” series. (playlist)

8/22/09 – Ironing, LIVE phone-in performance on WDBX-FM. Also features recordings from Transhumans, Bob Marsh, Rich West, and the “Dictaphonia” series. (playlist)

8/15/09 – Ernesto Diaz-Infante AND Mike Khoury do live phone-in sets for WDBX-FM. You get a car! You get a car! YOU get a car! (playlist)

8/8/09 – Unless you own a Brekekekexkoaxkoax DVD, cool microcassette recordings of Nassau from Ironing, and an alternate version of Alan Licht’s “Remington Khan,” you’d better grab this episode! (playlist)

8/3/09 – DaveX stars as a teen hockey player well-liked and respected among his coaches and teammates. He battles to hide the truth from his elders and peers — that he is actually an enormous lizard. A special daytime broadcast also featuring long-time listener favorite DJ Mo, and a subliminal animal theme! (playlist)

7/25/09 – Not quite the full show, but enough to cover Lonely Procession’s live set, and a lot of weirdness on either side. Well worth your time! (playlist)

6/27/09 – Karthik Kakarala, Tony Youngblood, DaveX, LIVE @ WDBX-FM. Recorded exactly one month before Tony got kicked off WRVU-FM, and setting off a chain reaction of community member shows being cancelled!

6/27/09 – Praey, LIVE @ WDBX-FM

6/20/09 – Marathon, LIVE @ WDBX-FM

6/13/09 – Warm Climate, phone-in performance, on WDBX-FM

I’m planting things today

May 2, 2009

I really dig Dubbio Nil‘s newest mini-cdr for the Hymns label, “Seed, Fruit, Thorn.” As you may recall, I like ambient music that isn’t boring. In fact, I’m incredibly picky about it. If I didn’t like Brian Eno so much, I’d even say I dislike ambient music– which is why I’d rather say that this little 16-minute wonder is “quietly active” than ambient. It doesn’t hold my attention, but it does require it. Do you understand the difference?

My copy came with a Poncirus trifoliata seed, not exactly the most friendly plant. Known for possessing rather nasty hook-shaped thorns, I imagine it will also require more than a little of my attention! Here are two Dubbio Nil videos to keep you busy until your copy arrives in the mail:

Startling Moniker’s Top 12 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2008!

January 13, 2009

Yes, it’s mid-January 2009. Let’s just say I’m fashionably late, and leave it at that. Or think of this list as your buying guide– if you’re spending this coming Valentine’s Day alone (perhaps tearfully re-organizing your record shelves?) see to it that you order a bunch of these fantastic releases to cheer you up. Just as last year, I will be treating my inability to count as less of a handicap, and more of a endearing eccentricity. And now, in no particular order, here are the Top 12 13 Best Happy Neat-O List of 2008 winners:

amo_2001) Mooey Moobau — “All Murmur of Our Mothers’ Waters” — Earlier this year, I referred to this disc as “dictio-fuckery,” a term which captures the pure glottological delight of rolling words back and forth on your tongue until all meaning is lost save for the sweet sonority. As a child, I once said the word “question” repeatedly until I couldn’t figure out if I was saying it correctly at all. This could have easily been the accompanying soundtrack.

40782) Eddie the Rat — “Out Behind the 8-ball” — Privately, I think of Eddie the Rat‘s Peter Martin as  a more unruly modern-day version of Harry Partch. This may not be totally accurate, but hey, it’s my head. Still, what with the brash polyrhythms coaxed from oddball homemade percussion instruments, I may not be too far off. But where Partch carried elements of the American folk landscape back to a greater listening audience, “Out Behind the 8-ball” mines South Asian influences, resulting in something like a post-trepanation Les Baxter album. Lovely!

40773) Jess Rowland — “The Problem With the Soda Machine” — Here’s a weird one for you. Rowland comes across some intra-corporate vending machine related e-mail drama, and decides to set it to music. In less capable hands, a disaster. For Rowland, one of the most immediately loveable albums right out of the box that I heard all year. Order this, and I’ll tell your future as a free gift: you’ll soon find yourself singing “we are faced with a choice about the future of the machines.” (Psst, this disc and #2 are from Edgetone Records. Order them both, and you’ll save on postage!)

frank-rothkamm-just-3-organs4) Rothkamm – “Just 3 Organs” — I used to think that if I had math skills, I would have made Rothkamm music; that’s how much I enjoy what he’s doing. But lately, I realize that nobody can make Rothkamm music but Rothkamm. It’s really the only similarity this list of albums shares– it’s strange stuff, a unique product of a unique mind. Simultaneously sound-obsessed and math-enabled, “Just 3 Organs” visits a series of hyper-organ works upon us. It’s a post-Second Life music, both virtual and yet displaying the umbilicus of its creator. If my ongoing fascination with Rothkamm hasn’t got you to pick one of his releases up yet, now is the time.

5) GX Jupitter-Larsen’s “Zelphabet” Series — Didn’t I say it best already? “Like the RRRecycled tapes, but done with some class, and considerable more attention to quality.” This 27-CD subscription (or buy ‘em individually!) series shows why Jupitter-Larsen is the Bruce Schneier of noise– he’s got deep connections, and even deeper knowledge. Each disc is like sitting at the knee of a master, so you better believe they’re worthwhile.

cc_elementalshifta6) Cristopher Cichocki – “Elemental Shift” — This is the kind of release that only comes around once in a blue moon; a perfect artistic statement in its own right, but also able to vividly enhance one’s perception of many other unrelated works. Undoubtedly, this was my favorite release of the year– I couldn’t shutup about it, either– so there’s more of my gushing here and here.

mangler-redbeard7) Warm Climate — “Mangler Redbeard” — Apparently the locus of many LA experimental projects I’m currently enjoying, Warm Climate’s Seth Kasselman recorded “Mangler Redbeard” in a month as part of an online challenge… true evidence of how hard inspiration can strike! Equal parts glam-rock and bizarro-world influence, this ugly little bit of Xerox-and-CDR should not be missed.

tefasimage8) Glenn Weyant — “SonicAnta D-Construction Series” — If you’re looking to develop an ongoing relationship with something truly unexpected, consider subscribing to this series of CDRs. They from full-length explorations with a Honeywell fan; to sonic smorgasbords of homemade instruments, field recordings, and Weyant’s trademark border-fence-and-violin-bow collage. Wild and heady stuff, crafted by someone with a palpable love of sound.

9) George Korein — “Another Corpse” — I can’t seem to nail down exactly when this disc came out, so I’m going to be bold and claim it for 2008. As always, Korein appears to have dropped in from somewhere out in space, content to mystify Earthling listeners with another art-fractured gem. Describing Korein’s music always reminds me of an old Rolling Stone review for Missy Elliot, “She jumps so far off the heezy, she lands right on another heezy.”

10) LX Rudis – “Audible Method 1.43″ — I don’t have a lot of info on this one, but I’m still super-excited to hear a live-studio-CDR hybrid disc such as this. Field recordings, live performance, editing, mastering all get mixed up quite thoroughly here. It’s hard for me to make this sound as amazing as it actually is, the mystery of whether you can actually acquire a copy makes it every more fun. Better check with Rudis at his MySpace profile… and while you’re there, dig his blogged bio for fun bits about trying out for tuxedomoon and the Dead Kennedys.

transe_des_mots11) Frederique Bruyas — “La Transe Des Mots” — This is the album that got me thinking, “gee, I really need to learn French.” It’s a one-two punch of bibliophile elan and Diamanda Galas’s swagger, and well worth your time. Bruyas collaborator Pierrejean Gaucher’s dexterous fretwork surprises at all turns.

51tixbrjyxl_sl500_aa240_12) Annea Lockwood — “A Sound Map of the Danube” — A triumph, which all sound enthusiasts should own. Lockwood not only covers the entirety of the Danube in this three-disc hunt for the river’s voice, but features many inhabitants whose daily lives are shaped along its way. This is fascinating listening, perfectly captured in a sumptuous release from the always-worthwhile Lovely Music Limited label.

bnn21_313) Lee Hangjun, Hong Chulki — “Expanded Celluloid, Extended Phonograph” ( 확장된 셀룰로이드, 연장된 포노그래프 ) — An astounding film demonstrating a concept vital to understanding many of the fine releases from Seoul-based Balloon & Needle label, that of “cracks” or “gaps” in media. For Hangjun, this takes the form of not filming anything, but rather choosing to work directly with the film itself. For Chulki, listeners are confronted with the sound of recordless turntables, or of the “meta-record” created by putting two needles to digital time-code vinyl records. It’s a world where sound influences itself, and raw film finds a place in the spotlight, and is definitely a world worth your visit.

Raamatulliset miehet – “Paavalin kirjeitä Tiitukselle”

April 7, 2008

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this disc, so let’s get a few facts out of the way– it’s the fifth release for Finnish label Luovaja. Its sound is dominated by cheesy keyboards of the Casio variety. To an English speaker, at least one track sounds like it has the lyric “Dookie poo” repeated over and over in a silly voice, while a cuckoo clock signals the 4 o’clock hour.

Clearly, not the best candidate as crossover material.

Raamatulliset miehet \

At its strongest, “Paavalin kirjeitä Tiitukselle” produces some heavily-layered chaotic moments, densely packed with conflicting noises. “Heraaminen,” for instance; descends into a fury of crashing cymbals, roller coaster screams, and bleeping towards its finish. “Kaiken Sen Ma Menetin,” (of the aforementioned “dookie poo” lyric) melds a mellow synth melody with spastic drum twiddling, all while introducing distressed breaking noise and female vox loops under the main drunken vocal. It’s a terrible mess, but it hangs together like a machine that has to work, no matter how many inept repairs need be made.

Unfortunately, the rest of the album doesn’t seem to have had such effort put into it. Screwing around with the tape rolling sounds pretty much the same in any language, and the lack of direction will make for a difficult listen to any but the most wishy-washy of listeners.

Still, this is the age of the CDR. If Luovaja wants to put out 50 of these, I’m inclined to look on the bright side of it. “Paavalin kirjeitä Tiitukselle” is far from being a fully-realized album, but the chance to hear new artists constructing their work from the ground up in real time is an opportunity unique to this generation of listeners. There may be some good in this– but only time will tell.

Asher – “Intervals”

April 3, 2008

Through 39 simple miniatures, Asher questions our idea of time, specifically the concept that perception of time is linked to the memory of place. It’s fertile intellectual territory for scientists and philosophers alike, so I suppose it’s not unlikely that these sorts of questions would pop up in “Intervals,” the fourth release of NYC-based label The Land Of.

Please keep in mind that I have the worst scanner on Earth. The album is not a sickly bubblegum color, but a retina-killing neon pink.

Admittedly, the extensive liner notes give a lot away. Getting to the actual disc requires going through an outer envelope printed with the first portion of the notes, and into a second sleeve printed with the remainder. In the notes, one is not made aware of Asher’s personal theories of time perception; but also that the listener is “an essential part of the artistic endeavor;” by virtue of Asher’s encouragement to listen to the various field recordings, lo-fi piano musings, and insect calls in any order we choose.Unfortunately, Asher forgets that these are his places, and his sound memories. The brevity of the individual tracks (the longest, by far, is only 2 minutes) works against the listener– where a well-made field recording can impart some feeling of “visiting” a locale, it is usually due to the illusion of immersion– whereas Asher seems content with a baptismal dunking in lieu of scuba gear. At best, listeners can use their actual place as a substitution. But then the question becomes: “why use these sounds?”

Without more ability to build a personal connection to the material, I don’t feel as apt to explore the album in the manner Asher suggests. The sad thing is that without all the direction, I’d have probably enjoyed this disc a lot more, and quite possibly gotten very close to the experience Asher is wishing listeners to have. The crackly presentation of the piano recordings is quite nice, and the cut-up footsteps opening the disc are immediately engaging. Because of this, I’m torn between feeling miffed about missing a more pure initial appreciation of these sounds; and having to let it go– Asher has a concept worth exploring, and asking him to tailor his needs to those of the listener wouldn’t be appropriate.

For me, “Intervals” is a close-but-not-quite affair. There’s no doubt I’ll be listening to more of Asher’s work in the future, and with any luck, everything will come together next time around.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 11/24/07

November 24, 2007

Update: This broadcast is now available for download. As always, I ask that you do not use this as a substitute for the actual recordings– instead, I encourage you to seek out the artists and labels linked throughout this commentary and playlist. Thanks for listening! –DaveX

I started today’s broadcast about 15 minutes early. With three hours of sleep, I’m actually feeling better than you’d think– of course, I did little yesterday except eat leftover tofurky and watch “The Office”…

I kicked everything off with Hong Chulki’s “Turntable” double 3″ set from Seoul-based label Balloon & Needle. I played from the “no cartridge” disc last week, so I aired the “with cartridge” disc this time around. I have a tremendous soft spot for experimental turntable work, and Chulki’s generous and straightforward recordings certainly fit the bill. Currently, I’m playing from “Hum and Rattle,” featuring more of Chulki’s turntable, as well as Choi Joonyong’s work with manipulated CD player.

Like Otomo Yoshihide‘s turntable recordings, these are both noisy without being “noise” recordings, and are seemingly quite interested in many of the smaller sounds able to be generated with such sources as well as the more obvious louder ones. As a side note, I’m also really impressed with the design of both releases– “Turntable” features a subtle set of triangles to help listeners match the otherwise-featureless discs to their respective sides; “Hum and Rattle” is displayed nicely in a bit of folding cardstock that cleverly grasps the disc on both sides.

How’s this for a cool release? Uton and Valerio Cosi! I’m playing from their Fire Museum Records release “Kaarmeenkaantopiiri,” which I have no hope of pronouncing correctly on-air. This disc isn’t nearly as mysterious as previous Uton recordings I have encountered, with a much stronger musical bond between the two musicians than I would have guessed. This ends up sounding quite a bit like a more dramatically-layered My Cat is an Alien, very cool!

Moving to the Last Visible Dog release “Hum Hum Hum” from Vapaa… the track “Varjoista,” so we’ll have some time to get into Keijo Virtanen and company’s mindset– not always the easiest thing to do on radio.

It’s been a while since I last played an Ernesto Diaz-Infante/Chris Forsyth collaboratition– “Wires and Wooden Boxes” is actually among the first I heard from either artist, so I’m happy to be able to play from this one, “(As Is Stated… Before Known)” on Pax Recordings and Evolving Ear. I’m planning to do some new reviews this coming week, so look for some more information about this disc in upcoming blog entries.

Also new this week from Pax is another album from The Abstractions! Truthfully, this is a split-label effort, with help from Edgetone Records as well… so it’s a real pastiche of Bay-area improvisers and sound artists– Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Rent Romus, Bob Marsh, Marjorie Sturm, Matt Davignon… you see where I’m going with this!

There’s a lot of left-wing political lyrics here, which sort of turns me off– not that I don’t agree that Bush is a complete moron, I just don’t like mixing politics and music… it’s like putting dirt in a grilled cheese or something. On the other hand, for those of you who don’t mind a bit more fearsome gnashing at the bit of straight society, (and dig strange flavorings of music) The Abstractions’ “Novo Navigatio” might be just the thing for you.

I ended up playing a lot more of Frank Rothkamm’s “LAX” disc than I thought I would have– this is a real infectious release, and I’ll definitely have more of it for you next week. Don’t be surprised if some Rothkamm makes its way into my “It’s Too Damn Startling!” contribution to tonight’s broadcast of WRVU-FM’s “~Ore Theatre Intangible”

“Hey! You got Rothkamm in my podcast!” Sorry, I had to do it.

I also played a long selection from Gianluca Becuzzi and Fabio Orsi’s “Wildflowers Under the Sofa,” which is available through Last Visible Dog Records. This is a really enjoyable disc– a great blend of the drone and avant-garde elements LVD is known for.

Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 1
Hong Chulki — With Cartridge 2
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — hr
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong — ua
Uton, Valerio Cosi — Silmaympyrakolmio
Vapaa — Varjoista
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — The Sun is Shining
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — How Little Observed… Half a Mile Distant
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Tomorrow
Ernesto Diaz-Infante, Chris Forsyth — Some Years Since (The Moon, Supposing It To Be Uninhabited)
The Abstractions — Lament the Fallen
The Abstractions — Take Off Leave Now Never Come Back
The Abstractions — Christian Bush
The Abstractions — Take Yourself Seriously
Frank Rothkamm — Temporarily Unavailable OR Descent into LAX
Frank Rothkamm — Los Angeles OR LATV
Frank Rothkamm — Beehive OR Focal Point of Masonic Meditation
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Signal Processor OR Earthquake
Frank Rothkamm — Still Random OR Burial of Music
Frank Rothkamm — Digital Feedback OR Highland
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — No Flower
Gianluca Becuzzi, Fabio Orsi — Last Flower

Lona Records multi-review showcase

September 26, 2007

Here are reviews of five different 3″ cdr releases from the limited series on Hong Kong-based Lona Records. The cdr series, inaugurated in late 2005, features experimental works in a variety of area of sound– drone, noise, sound art, etc– produced by label head Alok.

Seeing as how he’s the man in charge, I’ll start off with Alok’s challenging disc “C”; which follows a low sustained tone through an underbrush of piano phrases, cable crackling, and resonant hum. The single track, entitled “C for Schubert,” credits the Impromptu no.1 of Schubert’s Opus 90 as an “influence,” which it seems (to my rather untrained ear) to obliquely quote at times. Still, these would be rather free quotes– I think they’d be better thought of as half-remembered shadows of the original, and in this case, much better suited to Alok’s murky (but moving) vision.I also have to mention the fine use of implied movement in this recording. Without a reliance on ping-pong silliness, Alok imparts a strong feeling of traveling throughout his aural landscape. Regardless of whether this was his intent, or simply instinctual, the effect is remarkable and highly appreciated!

Next up is “Objects & Things,” by Lublin-based Mind Twisting Records co-founder Kim_Nasung, from the same series of 3″ cdrs. Like the Alok disc, “Objects & Things” is comprised of an odd blend of electronic and concrete sounds– static bursts reverberate in a shared space with blasts of buzzing tones, clanking metal, and something like a decaying tape of agitated choral voice. There is a sense of multiple layers of recording being present in a single time frame; attentive listeners should enjoy the mismatched spacial effects, creating a sort of “room-within-a-room” feeling.

The use of voice is also notable, both for its complexity and energetic approach. At the halfway mark, the vocal elements of “Objects & Things” become truly disturbing, guttural and cloaked in their own muttered cacophony. Due to this recording being constructed from three live performances, it has a nice live electricity to it, but is not necessarily linear. A rewarding listen, and certainly one to whet my taste for more from this artist.

There’s no secret that the split ‘O’/Moon 3″ cdr “MoonOphonique Part II” (with a companion disc on Burning Emptiness) was going to be my favorite among these Lona Records releases. I am an unabashed fan of ‘O’, and as such, will claim no journalistic objectivity whatsoever while reviewing this disc. Still, I can be truthful– I love it. In the short time I’ve had “MoonOphonique Part II,” I’ve listened to it dozens of times, rarely leaving the immediate area of my stereo. As one of the first ‘O’ recordings solely featuring Yann, it holds up well with previous work, warmly carving out a niche of understated electronic whine and puffs of acoustic guitar. It is a lazily aware recording, with the occasional embraced misstep that is the basis of so many ‘O’ works. As always, it is too short.

Helpfully, DDN (as “Moon”) steps in with two tracks of synth and bass that do a good job of departing from where ‘O’ leaves off. The contrast between Yann’s plaintive acoustic mini-melodies and DDN’s deep space swirlings is amazing; it is the difference between the using the moon to light the way toward home, and using it as a base to the stars. Great work all around– I’m definitely needing to get a copy of Part I!

Our fourth disc is “Tele,” by No One Pulse, an internet collaboration between Wong Chung-Fai and Chau Kin-Wai. Chung Fai has two previous solo discs on Lona, while Kin-Wai has released a multitude of works available through his Sleepatwork collective. Of the five discs reviewed here, this is easily the most electronic of the bunch, where chittering bits of data mixing fluidly along a pulsing series of tones provide the basis of the first track. There are some very interesting sounds I cannot begin to place, including something like the digital version of vinyl crackle that fills much of this piece. The first track doesn’t grab me entirely, though– there isn’t a lot of noticeable progression, despite the somewhat ‘busy’ background sounds.

The next track, “#4″, reminds me a little of David Tudor’s “Rainforest” composition. It is easy to imagine this as a field recording taken at dawn on a digital world. Where the first ten minutes of “Tele” are rather cold, this next ten are simply full of life– and as an experimental release, I commend the artists for including both works. As “#4″ concludes, the sleepy digital forest has fully awakened– flocks of bit-torrent birds sheet across the skies, a wonderful ending to a terrifically-imaginative construction.

Speaking of evocative recordings, let’s finish off with “The Quicker Are the Encumbered,” by The Painful Leg Injuries, the main musical project of recent NYC-to-Austin transplants Bill and Suzanne Byrne. On this disc, the Byrnes treat listeners to no less than SIX tracks, all featuring their trademark looong titles– “An Ice Cream Truck Flipped Over and We All Got Some” being a good representative, and incidentally opening the disc. At about three-and-a-half minutes each, these cuts get in and out quickly, allowing Bill and Suzanne ample opportunity to throw a number of different ideas out at the listener.

On the aforementioned opener, the unfortunate ice cream truck is played by an equally unfortunate de-tuned siren, clattering into and out of existence in semi-melodic fashion, while all manners of chirping occurs just off-stage. It is simultaneously silly and disturbing, but fades out before any serious harm befalls our four-wheeled friend. On “The Broken Elevator’s Spiral Descent,” spastic drums and hyper electronic bell trees pitch wildly about the deck of a sinking carnival organ– I’m reminded quite a bit of Walter Weasel‘s eight-armed additions to Coltrane here, but again, the Byrnes change gears just before I get my comfy chair warmed up.

Then it’s on to crazed voices, toy piano, watery synths, and buzzing guitar noises! Rushes of icy synth horns! Birds in traffic! Tweaking drum machines! Robots chanting “blah blah blah,” and Harryhausen’s clockwork owl attacking an all-blind brass band! “The Quicker Are the Encumbered” simply does not let up, which is a serious feat across almost 23 minutes. Although I generally prefer mini cdrs which explore a small area in greater depth, Lona’s limited series promises genre-bending and experimental works, a concept which The Painful Leg Injuries surely deliver on throughout. Besides, listeners wanting more from the PLI have a few full-length releases available through OKS Recordings of North America, should “The Quicker Are the Encumbered” prove interesting…

All in all, I’m very happy with these discs, and looking forward to researching the Lona Records catalog more in the future. Be sure to catch my broadcast this week (9/29/07), as I will be playing selections from these discs– and don’t forget to check out the rest of their catalog– that Monitors mini and the Sin:Ned are calling my name, should anyone be searching out early Xmas presents for their favorite DJ!

Lngtche — “Music for an Untitled Film by T. Zarkoff”

August 22, 2007

More mysterious sounds from Etude Records– this time, a 44-minute debut from an improbably-named artist, scored for a director who may or may not exist. On a rather inauspicious note, it seems I actually know more about the album’s packaging artist; this being Seldon Hunt, who did a fantastic picture LP for Troum and a beautiful Lotus Eaters EP jacket among others.

With an emphasis on falling water, rusted hinge noise, and bursts of reverberant guitar, “Music for an Untitled Film by T. Zarkoff” falls pretty squarely in the “dark ambient” zone of which I’m generally not a big fan. Still, Lngtche manages to bring some new sounds to the  disc, easily conjuring pictures of large engines gearing up amidst a Kowloon Walled City-type setting.And the work is quite visual, surely more so for listeners more inclined in this direction than myself. At times I’m almost tempted to believe Lngtche captured some of these sounds “on the set;” sampling from some impossible conglomeration of afterburners, howling wind, and electronic disarray T. Zarkoff has turned his camera towards.

Throughout, the quality of the disc is high, with no technical mistakes to cut in on my imagination’s wandering. I also appreciate the efforts that have been taken with the dynamics of the work, which is pleasingly spatial and sounds nice in a quiet room. Personally, though, I can’t see this as a disc that I’ll be listening to over and over. I think that one’s own “use” of music may ultimately be the deciding factor on this disc’s worth. Lngtche has presented a work long on mood and ambiance, and that will be quite compelling for some; but it’s also a bit light on greater ideas, which leaves me wanting.

DaveX interviews Justin Hardison, AKA “My Fun”

August 22, 2007

Last week, I reviewed My Fun’s fourth album “Sonorine,” a gorgeous electroacoustic work that has really caught my ear. Justin Hardison, the man behind My Fun and label The Land Of, took some time out of being a busy New Yorker to let me do a little e-interview:

STARTLING MONIKER: “Sonorine” uses a lot of source recordings one might not ordinarily expect to find in a postcard– pianos, birds, traffic, radio… what influenced the selection of sound sources you used?

JUSTIN HARDISON:
One of the aims in my work has always been to incorporate sounds I’d find on an average day and then edit and transform those elements into compositions whether they’re musical, environmental, accidental etc. I guess when it comes down to it, My Fun is really about creating romanticized portraits of everyday life. Usually when I start a new project I try to build a collection of raw sounds to work with and I take and capture them from wherever I am at the time. During the time I was recording Sonorine, I was doing quite a bit of traveling and I was making field recordings of these trips as a way to remember them and share them with other people.

Freilassing, image provided by JH

SM: With “Sonorine,” you’ve really done away with the usual concept of the “album-as-listener-trip,” and made it something much more artist-centric– at least if the listener chooses to play along with the overall concept. In what ways did this affect how you went about creating the album?

JH: I think the concept of the Sonorine or sound postcards is very loose and open to experience/interpret how ever the listener chooses. I didn’t even think of the concept for the recordings I was working on until much later in the project. The concept seemed to fit the recordings I was collecting and I think has helped explain the ideas behind this sort of music work to those who usually would have no interest in sitting around listening to bugs or shortwave radios.

I really like to use sounds that are at least semi-recognizable because this way anyone can identify with and possibly attach their own memories to a specific sound. It is that immediate emotional response to sounds that I’m really interested in and I think if a listener is first brought into a composition by a familiar element then it leaves me room to
introduce the stranger and more obscure sounds that hopefully pique their interest and curiosity.

SM: I’ve noticed that on many of the tracks, the more obvious “musical” elements– such as the drones in “Radiant,” or the piano in “Phonopostal”– are framed by what I think of as “environmental” sounds such as clattering, walking, mechanical elements, and natural sounds. How appropriate is it that the listener consider the sounds individually in this way?

JH: I think listeners are used to listening and paying more attention to the musical elements but forget about all of the other noises they might hear around them when they’re listening to a musical recording but I think it is those elements that make the central musical element sound more interesting. I’ve heard others mention this as well but I always loved the ambient and accidental studio sounds you hear on some records, especially jazz records and studio out takes. It is those extra breaths, voices, tape hiss, guitar amp crackle and especially the ends of these songs that give a recording that human and mysterious element. I think listeners should take all sounds into consideration when they’re listening. With that in mind, I think noise pollution is a serious problem and I’ve really noticed it more since moving back to New York. The worse culprits are traffic and aircraft noise. It frustrates me to go out recording and and always capture the roar of traffic or planes in the recordings. With all of the added noise, you really miss out on the more subtle and quiet sounds.

Alghero, image provided by JH

SM: If you’ll allow me to take this interview in a “Guitar Player” magazine direction– what sort of recording equipment are you using? What’s your studio setup consist of?

JH: I recently saw these pictures of some of the old studios where people like Tod Dockstader and Delia Derbyshire worked with the crazy tape machines and ten thousand knobs and wish I could say I had such a place! My studio is pretty simple really. I have a software based studio for editing and composing sounds. For field recording I have a couple of mini disc recorders, Audio Technica and Sony mics, some contact and lapel mics if I want to go more stealth. I sample a lot of old records and use all of those strange extra sounds I mentioned earlier or perhaps a single harp pluck or guitar chord. I also picked up a shortwave radio and record a lot from that and have a acoustic guitar, mandolin and various other noise makers like a music box and some toy rattles and cheap cassette tape
Walkman. I started off a long time ago playing in guitar bands and then made a lot of techno and drum&bass music for a few years. After working with so much hardware, I still find it amazing that you can do so much on a laptop computer.

SM: You’ve always said that My Fun is concerned with narrative works. If each track is a stand-alone “postcard,” how much thought has gone into making them a coherent group?

JH: I spent a great deal of time making them a group and it really is meant to be listened to start to finish. I composed the whole thing as a single track and then edited it down into individual tracks. I know it will be split up by iPods and MP3 players and I do take that into consideration but I think that track sequencing is very important when you’re making a collection of recordings and hopefully this will always be appreciated element in recordings as technology changes over time.

SM: What have you been listening to lately? Anything similar in spirit or sound you’d care to recommend?

JH: Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of different things. There is always a ton of great music to be found on net labels like EKO, SKM, Test Tube and others. I’ve also been checking out a lot of CDs from the library like “Premieres Chansons Douces” by Henri Salvador and the Anthology of Noise and Electronic music on the Sub Rosa label. Also a lot of minimal techno and I highly recommend Billowy Mass by Alejandra & Aeron as well as the Yasujiro Ozu Hitokomakura compilation on and/oar!

SM: What’s coming up for My Fun? How about your label, The Land Of? I see something about a Darren McClure release– what’s the date on that?

JH: I recently decided to turn The Land Of into a label that would release material by other artists. It is something I have thought about for a long time and am really excited about. Yes, Darren McClure has an amazing full-length called Softened Edges coming out on October 15th and I have a couple of other projects in the works as well. The Land Of won’t be releasing a ton of recordings. Right now I’m thinking about four or so a year. My wife Kimberly Hall has worked really hard on a visual identity for the label and is designing and hand silk screening all of the cover art as well.

As far as my own work, I’m always collecting new sounds to work with and I hope to get back working on my sound journal/blog. New York is very distracting! Also, a friend of mine is working on a book of various friends artwork and I’m contributing a sound element of some of those small recordable cards like you’d find in a sound greeting card. Each one has a different recording of a particular place. Too bad they only have a ten second memory!

DaveX interviews 1/2 of Pulga

August 17, 2007

As you may have noticed by now, when I hear an interesting album, one of my first responses is to fire off some long-winded questions to the artists responsible. It’s sort of a combination of duty and privilege, and thankfully, my poor victims are usually inclined to go along with it. First to return in a series of “interviews” I sent out recently were these questions, happily answered by Vanessa Rossetto. If you’re one of the slower STARTLING MONIKER readers, or if you claim to have just found this blog, you can catch up by reading my review of Pulga’s debut release “Pulga Loves You,” on Fire Museum Records.

photo provided

STARTLING MONIKER: I’m very curious about the recording process– Valerio is in Italy, and you’re in the States– but still, the album sounds terrifically together. What was the setup? Were you able to work together in person at all?

VANESSA ROSSETTO: No, we’ve never actually been in the same room before. We sent files back and forth through Soulseek for one another to work on and built the tracks up that way.

SM: Although it isn’t the first, “Pulga Loves You,” is a great example of geography’s increasing irrelevance in selecting a musical partner. Out of all the people in the world, why choose each other? Is there a commonality that isn’t immediately obvious?

VR: It started because Valerio and I were friends and we had talked about wanting to collaborate with one another for a while. I had been sending him all the new things I had been making and at one point he took one of the tracks I had sent (“The Forest of Shoes,” which ended up on the Joy of the Mountain CDR) and added saxophone and some other things to it. We both ended up liking the result so when I got home (I had been traveling) I started making pieces specifically with the intent of sending them to Valerio to add to them. The first piece that was made this way was “Witches and Bitches Brew” that was made for a comp Marriage Records was putting out.

SM: Depending on your answer to the first question, this one may be senseless… It seems that a lot of “Pulga Loves You” is improvised, yet I’m imagining you did not have the opportunity to improvise live together. How do you work around the rigidity of your recorded partner? During the process of creating the album, did you find that one of you was better suited for the task of “going second,” so to speak?

VR: I usually went first. Thinking back I am pretty sure I always went first but I’m not 100% sure on that. It worked better that way because Valerio was doing all the mixing and mastering and we just seemed to fall into doing it that way. For this reason, Valerio could probably give a better answer about working around rigidity than I could. It’s really about the most fun thing ever, though, to get files back after the other person has added to and modified them, not knowing what to expect.

SM: Each of the songs has a significant ‘imaginary’ quality to it– “Return to the Forest of Shoes,” ‘Still it Rides Me,” etc… and of course, the sounds are equally imaginative. What influences your music to sound this way? Are these purely “what if” creations of sound, or are either of you drawing on some sort of experience?

VR: It’s interesting because most of the things I make on my own are fairly programmatic in nature, but the Pulga stuff really isn’t. If anything, it’s more influenced by the things that Valerio and I were listening to at the time.

SM: What is coming up in the future for Pulga? Any plan to tour?

VR: Besides the Fire Museum release we have a split with Rob Funkhouser coming out on Phantom Limb/House of Alchemy that is pretty much done and should be out soon and will be making a second full length CD that we aim to have out some time in 2008. It would sure be fun to tour (or even just play in the same room for a change!) but for now it’s mostly a matter of having the money to do it.

SM: Last I knew, “pulga” means flea. Any special significance you’d care to share with obsessive fans who simply have to know this sort of stuff?

VR: The pulga where I live is a huge and amazing flea market where you can get roasted ears of corn and toy musical instruments of all kinds, along with fat scurrying chickens, astonishing and elegant cockatiels, ritual floor wash, cheap car mats, pocketknives emblazoned with flaming skulls, and hair clips (four for a dollar!)

Pulga — “Pulga Loves You”

July 25, 2007

I’ve occasionally thought of Fire Museum Records as being somewhat hit-or-miss. Their obvious passion for releasing numerous odd or challenging albums, combined with my notorious ability to be picky, will surely result in a few unpleasant collisions. Still, Fire Museum has more than earned my attention with bold risk-taking; and when something goes right, it’s terrific.

A case in point– Pulga’s “Pulga Loves You,” a surprisingly stately turn of electroacoustics for two musicians usually associated with the generally-aimless “free folk” camp; the nebulous (and somewhat undefinable) movement fully capable of turning out great work, but often simply flooding listeners with sub-par limited edition discs.

“Pulga Loves You” not only builds on the successes of free folk, but transcends it in many ways, with a fully-realized album; densely layered, richly dynamic, and very much worth listeners’ time to experience it over and over again.

Listen to “Tequila Feast” with headphones and see if you don’t agree. It starts with a slow wash of electronic drone, to which bells and jangly strings are gradually revealed. The hint of a drum beat surfaces, with video game noises surfacing to herald the arrival of– you’ll never guess it– something almost like afrobeat and drone, all at once. It’s a really tremendous moment, made all the more fascinating by Pulga’s casual transition to other sounds, and another track.

“Raga Pulga” is the real highlight here, though. At nearly 19 minutes, it is double the length of any other track on the disc, and makes the most of every minute. Equal parts Edgard Varese, John Zorn, and Edward Ruchalski; “Raga Pulga” moves with the calm confidence found in much older musicians. Personally, I’d chalk it up to the yeoman-like work ethic of these two– Vanessa Niwi Rossetto often has interesting new works posted to her site each day, while Valerio Cosi’s discography reads like an Aquarius Records catalog. As further demonstration of Rossetto and Cosi’s abilities, “Pulga Loves You” was apparently constructed by mail– a collaboration between Texas and Taranto.

On a more technical side, the sound quality of this disc is quite good. Whatever challenges collaborating over great distances may have presented, Pulga seems to have overcome, with mastering by Cosi that deftly handles large amounts of sound sources without become muddy. In fact, this is a fine album for headphone listening, which makes some of the ultra-slow fade-ins even more enjoyable.

DaveX interviews Ophibre

June 20, 2007

In the interest of learning a bit more about the mysterious artist Ophibre, whose anonym serves as the sole appellation of both his person and label; I wrote to inquire about conducting an e-mail interview.

Knowing full well the abstruse nature of Ophibre, I was still somewhat surprised to receive his answers– each as a separate audio file, with his voice bearing the stamp of several different transformative processes.

Although I had initially considered transcribing Ophibre’s responses as well as offering the recordings, I was concerned that doing so would encourage users to avoid the audio files, which certainly lessens the total experience. Ophibre also wrote to encourage me not to provide transcriptions, and his reason is compelling:

“I would feel better if the answers were not transcribed and the listener would be forced to listen multiple times to fully comprehend, like learning how to understand another language.”

What follows are my original written questions, each followed by a short audio file with Ophibre’s response. The total size of the six files is less than two megabytes, so do not fear, dial-up users! –DaveX

1) I have to get it out of the way right off– how do you say “Ophibre,” and what does it mean? Barring a meaning, where did this name come from? How long have you been making music?
::RESPONSE 1

2) If “Puzzle Pieces” and “Shattered CD” are any indication, repetition is a pretty big element of your work. Still, I have to admit that I find some moments, such as the opening to “Shattered CD” to be pushing this repetition a bit far. Assuming this is purposeful on your part, what’s the idea?
::RESPONSE 2

3) One thing I have noticed (and some other reviewers as well, it seems) is that you have a good sense of space in your recordings– be it lengthy periods of silence, or simply the feel of the recordings themselves. When considered alongside the ubiquitous bagged items, it seems safe to believe the physical to be a strong influence for your ideas. What are your thoughts on this?
::RESPONSE 3

4) In my review, I mentioned your relative anonymity– both as an artist, and of your work’s intent. Sometimes, however, a blank slate invites listeners to over-examine a recording. Care to shed any light on the meanings behind your recordings, or on your anonymous status?
::RESPONSE 4

5) What are you listening to lately? Any favorite recordings you’d like to share with STARTLING MONIKER readers?
::RESPONSE 5

6) What’s coming up for Ophibre, both artist and label? Any plans to tour?
::RESPONSE 6

Here are some links to the artists mentioned in Ophibre’s response to question five. Because at least one name is rather common, it is entirely possible that Ophibre was referring to another artist. Here they are, in order of mention:

one, two, three, four, five ::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Nihil Communication – “We Are Violent”

June 19, 2007

Late last month, I said that the Edgetone Records release of Nihil Communication’s “We Are Violent,” reminded me of “a compressed version of everything that creeps me out about Diamanda Galas’s best work, but without the volume or the howling.”

I was on the right track, but not close enough to the truth– realistically, this album seems to cover more than simple personal fright– but instead, conveys a portion of the greater fearsomeness of the world. Rather than simply conjure a series of aimless spooky “washes,” Andre Custodio seems to set his sights on more cosmic, xenophobic territory. I chalk it up to Custodio’s success in this endeavor that I am experiencing such a difficult time even describing it; “We Are Violent” seems to combine the dread of our unknown future with the unsatisfactory emptiness of the universe.

This is the blues, as written for existentialists.

One of the most impressive aspects of “We Are Violent” is the recording quality itself. This disc will very nearly rattle your speakers off the wall before you hear much of anything– even at high volumes, you’ll feel this disc as much as you hear it. In some spots, there was enough of a breeze coming from my subwoofer to dry laundry.

Like many things I enjoy, “We Are Violent” exists at both ends of a continuum. It is calm, but aggressive. It is somewhat featureless, but easily disturbing. For fans of Brian Eno’s “Apollo,” or Francisco Lopez’s work, this is another fine album to check out.

Climax Golden Twins – s/t

June 14, 2007

Testing Ground is a Barcelona-based label casting a wide, but hearteningly selective, net over electronic music. Testing Ground is also notable for releasing the first copyleft CD in Europe, Pau Torres’ “Songs for Nula,” as part of their minidisc ‘B-side Project’.

Also part of Testing Ground’s ‘B-Side Project,’ is the self-titled minidisc from Climax Golden Twins. It features some lovely (albeit small, of course) cover art from Marefumi Komura. This is a really interesting disc, although not recommended for users checking out a new stereo– a long period of near-silence in the second track had me wondering if I’d broken something! Once I realized my error, I was happy to find this disc among those that put the minidisc format to good use– keeping a narrow focus, and exploring an idea in depth. “Climax Golden Twins” is also assisted by fantastic production values. The organic qualities of the acoustic guitar theme are not lost among the digital crystalline structure; nor are listeners left behind in the transition from contemplative reverie to harsh noise.

Liveblog! ITDE 6/9/07

June 9, 2007

Feeling much better this week– I decided to kick off the show with a new disc, a CDR promo copy *sniff* of the new limited-edition 12″ vinyl by Motor Ghost, “A Gold Chain Round Her Breast,” on Dancing Wayang Records. I’d originally gotten in touch with Dancing Wayang on the merits of seeing Ben Reynolds name at the site– I really enjoyed his “Other Worlds Sermons” minidisc on First Person, you see– and I’m equally pleased with his work in Motor Ghost (a duo, with Alex Neilson on drums). Although the disc has a fairly “live” feel to it, my understanding is that the studio was actually put to some use– overdubs, etc– which I appreciate, as all too many current experimentally-minded musicians treading into free folk waters seem content with just using the recording studio as a large tape recorder.

Do I have to mention again how terrific Eddie the Rat’s “Once Around the Butterfly Bush” is? Even at 4:30 in the morning, it has the power to send an electric thump down my spine– it’s hard for me to believe that an album this visceral is also recorded this beautifully. Take that, “Raw Power” fans! It’s no surprise to me that the only thing I have that can follow it is another Edgetone Records release, “We Are Violent,” by Nihil Communication. Usually, I can get away with changing gears completely after a half-hour break, but I think Eddie the Rat’s power will hold through the minute of station announcements enough to exact a measure of control over the next set.

Does it make incredibly lame that I am bothered by my use of “is” to end the first sentence in the previous paragraph? How about my nagging suspicion that the Dancing Wayang folks should have allowed an apostrophe to accompany the titular “Round”? These are the questions that keep Discogs editors up at night, beware!

Nihil Communication almost took the show into noise territory, but stopped just in time for me to introduce you all to Ophibre, who seem to inhabit this strange land. In a similar fashion to artists like Seht and Mystified, Ophibre presents a close cousin of noise, but takes enough time with structure and detail to clue listeners in that its more of an influence and less of a destination. Of course, I’ve only heard a couple Ophibre releases so far (“Puzzle Pieces”, and ‘Shattered CD”– so leave a comment if you know about the others.

Damn. It’s barely 5 a.m. and the sun is already coming up, here to make Southern Illinois into a tropical-humidity nightmare yet again.

I’m now playing from “The Long Await Between Collapsed Lungs,” which is just a fantastic disc. It reminds me that I have a couple things to look up, or at the very least, have STARTLING MONIKER readers help me with:

1) What the heck is Ernesto Diaz-Infante doing now? I used to see a new disc of his every week or so. Is he hiding?
2) Lo-Bango was supposed to come out with some minidiscs, a whole series of very cool stuff. I need to get in touch and find out what’s up with these.
3) What’s the perfect recipe for grilled cheese?

Okay, so that was three things. Sue me.

You have to love the lead-in to the first track of Rabliutto Recordings’ “Trios 2004″ disc with Jean Paul Jenkins, Joseph Fosert, K. Scott Handley, and Mark Kaylor. It’s just a bit of low hum, the crackle of a cable, silence, a small honk, more silence… a beep, and maybe some magnetic interference. I wonder how many people got all worried listening to this for the first time?

It’s been too long since I’ve had some Joan La Barbara material on the show. I was just listening to the Lovely Music release “Voice is the Original Instrument” the other day, and figured I’d bring it along tonight. “Cathing” is one of my favorite tracks. Check the vocal drone-work– incredible!

A full download of this show is now available, in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format– basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Motor Ghost — Gash Division
Motor Ghost — Tremble
Motor Ghost — My Dancing Day
Eddie the Rat — There’s No Such Place as Outer Space
Eddie the Rat — I Spy a Human Inside of You
Eddie the Rat — Chasing the Sun
Nihil Communication — Interpretation from Sandstone
Nihil Communication — We Are Violent
Ophibre — Puzzle Pieces pt.1
Ophibre — Puzzle Pieces pt. 2
Diaz-Infante, St. Chaos, Bohol — Still Endless & Drawn Out Toward You
Jean Paul Jenkins, Joseph Foster, K. Scott Handley, Mark Kaylor — ‘Past Midnight.
Never Knew Such Silence. The Earth Must Be Uninhabited.’
Joan La Barbara — Cathing
Joan La Barbara — Autumn Signal
Joan La Barbara — October Music: Star Showers and Extraterrestrials

Liveblogging! “ITDE” 5/19/07

May 19, 2007

I came in this morning to find Jim from the “JLDJ” show in the Hi-Life Room– a pretty big surprise, since nothing was being broadcast, and I’d expected to see an empty station. Whew! I didn’t recognize him right off, but luckily, we got stuff sorted out before I had the chance to aim my large metal box of CDs at him!

Anyways, this show is going to be a great one. I’m especially enthusiastic because I am covering for the show following mine (“Kids Kamp”) which means I will have an extra 1.5 hrs of show time… and with an additional half-hour’s worth from going on early (“Gamer’s Guild” didn’t go on tonight) it means I’ll have a 4.5 hour broadcast! Looks like time to bring out the long cuts!

I got this Climax Golden Twins minidisc going… which had totally confused me the first time I heard it, not realizing that the second track has an enormous fade-in from silence. I thought it might have only had one short track… but I noticed the disc was still playing. Anyhow, I figure this time, I’ll just stick something in that spot, hence the Melanie Auclair release “Decor Sonore,” in the middle of the two CGT tracks.As always, I’m digging the Mystified material. The “Strange Traffic” release is just another example of not being able to pin Park’s sounds down– a good thing, by my estimate. I decided to play Matt Weston’s “Resistance Cruisers” disc for a while, give the first couple tracks another go. This is sort of a habit of mine, re-visiting discs to see how my perception has changed. I’m hearing a bit more variation this time, and I’m definitely leaning more towards the less-percussive sections of the tracks– those horn noises are pretty nice. Still, the random rumbling isn’t doing a lot for me. For some reason, it just never seems like Weston really lets go. This might be a lot better in a live setting.

Edward Ruchalski never lets me down! I have to say, I love his use of propane tanks and homemade instruments. The First Person release “Refined Localities” is great stuff, especially for this slow time of the morning. I’ll be waking up a bit more later, but right now, I just want to take it slow for a bit. Ruchalski has a great sense of pacing… I’m following it up with the album “Rusted Breath Quiet Hands,” a droning sort of work from Craig Colorusso and Matthew Welch, available on Muud Records.

I think the LARB disc was just what I needed to ramp up out of the quiet area I had been exploring for the past couple hours… it’s a nice mix of odd, processed sounds and electronic drones. One of these days, I’m going to have to track Mike Honeycutt down and get some more of this stuff– Memphis is too close for me not to!

Yep. Definitely out of the quiet zone now. For all I know, WDBX is currently knocking down every building in a five-block radius as I play from the Hymns Records release “Skin Atonement” from Wether. Whee!

Now I’m playing Yermo. I wanted to play Rabbit Girls’ “Hard Drive” right now, but the new CD player wasn’t recognizing the disc. I had to wait to get Wether out of the one that would, so Yermo skips ahead a spot– I don’t like dead air while I change discs!

Alrighty… I got the Rabbit Girls disc working just fine now. Stupid, picky disc players! Let them have a dose of this audio nightmare before I junk them! I’m not for certain, but I think I hear a sample of that “oh yeaaaah” from Ferris Bueller in the first track. Someone remind me to ask. Truthfully, “Stress Fracture” is more my speed than the first track. It’s definitely evocative of some sort of stereo/hard drive mutant mating session; the hybrid lovemaking of Tandy wizardry and JC Penney sonics as blasted through a few screen windows and a dirty HEPA filter at high speed. As you can imagine, I’m having a blast playing this at the “end” of my show. So begins this week’s “Kids Kamp,” sure to send all the children to their corner for the rest of the day. Sorry kiddos, it had to be done.

Digital Photography by E.J.

I decided to mix “Militant Audio” with my own recording “Improv for Folded Signals,” which I recently released. This is from the “C” version of the album, which will be available for free download soon. I’m loving the play between Rabbit Girls’ terror-static, and my own drone signals… It’s a pretty good combination!

I went out on the front porch for a bit to catch some fresh air, and listened to the Big City Orchestra material from the radio there. Sounds truly different coming from such a small speaker. Keep in mind, this little radio often sits out in the rain, cold, hot summers… it’s a neglected little thing! BCO sounded great on there, though– the pulse of “Joneynomey” popping through, with those odd voices… makes for an interesting mix between the natural sounds outdoors and the little radio, that’s for sure. During the BCO stuff, I decided I hadn’t played enough Otomo Yoshihide recordings lately, and resolved to locate at least one to play this week. This selection is from number two of the four-disc set of Martin Tetreault and Otomo’s live duos. “Tok” is probably my favorite disc of the set, although they’re all amazing. These are all available on Ambiances Magnetiques.Odd. Someone just phoned. “Hey, DaveX– what’s happening?” And then hung up. Weird. In the spirit of giving, though, I’ll answer the question– Paul Dutton is up. “Mercure” is what’s playing, and yes– he IS saying “poisson” over and over. Or is he saying “poison”? Well, that’s up to you to decided, my multi-lingual listeners…

Well, Paul Dutton is as close as I’m ever going to get to a good lead-in for Robert Anbian’s avant-poetry. I like his words, but the background sounds sometimes distract me… anyone know if he has some solo albums? Still, I don’t play nearly enough vocal work on the show– and someone at Edgetone has the experimental/vocal hookup, so I figured I’d follow Anbian with a couple tracks from the Doctor Bob “Dark Times” release, which also has some stream-of-consciousness FX’ed vox. 3.4 hours into this broadcast, and I’m actually starting to feel the crunch. There’s so much I want to play, and so little time. And folks are starting to call in their requests for more run-of-the-mill music, yuck… Only 7:30 and the intolerance has begun!

I know. I know… Art Bears and Muslimgauze have no business following one another– but dammit– I wanted to hear these tracks. Sue me. Still, you have to have respect for a DJ who can blend Contrastate and Atau Tanaka so beautifully. Thank you.

I think I’ll play my theme music soon, to cap off a wonderful show. This was the perfect pick-me-up for a string of so-so shows… if you want to make it extra-special, leave a comment or send me some well-hidden cash for no reason whatsoever. –DaveX

A full download of this show is now available, in a single-track, 64kbps mp3 format– basically, the same way you’d hear it in the webstream. I do not offer this recording as a replacement for purchasing albums from the artists and labels heard on the show, but merely as another chance for busy “ITDE” listeners to catch their favorite broadcast. If you require any assistance or information about a recording I have played, please let me know!

Kim Cascone — Statistically Improbably Phrases
Climax Golden Twins — Climax Golden Twins pt.1 (the one on Testing Ground, see?)
Melanie Auclair — Sunday Driver
Melanie Auclair — Le Fil
Melanie Auclair — Les volet mous
Climax Golden Twins — Climax Golden Twins pt.2
Mystified — Rubber Cats
Mystified — Mercury Vapor
Mystified — Strange Traffic 1
Matt Weston — It’s Your Career
Matt Weston — Lonely Drive, Crowded Street
Edward Ruchalski — Refined Localities 2
Edward Ruchalski — Refined Localities 3
Craig Colorusso, Matthew Welch — Rusted Breath Quiet Hands (excerpt)
LARB (Zan Hoffman, Mike Honeycutt) — Untitled 2005 minidisc
Wether — Selective Reasoning
Wether — Silver Flood
Wether — Torrid
Wether — Anticipate the Genesis
Yermo — Yermo
Rabbit Girls — Eating Out of Boredom
Rabbit Girls — Stress Fracture
Rabbit Girls — Lost Hope Machine
Rabbit Girls — Militant Audio
Rabbit Girls — Musical Abatement
DaveX — Improv for Folded Signals
Big City Orchestra — Algae Seldom Genuflects
Big City Orchestra — Joneynomey
Martin Tetreault, Otomo Yoshihide — Nijmegen No. 4A, Live 4/25/03
Paul Dutton — Mercure
Paul Dutton — Stereo Head
Robert Anbian & the Unidentified Flying Quartet — We 3.6
Doctor Bob — They’re Coming
Doctor Bob — Opera-ation
LaMonte Young — Two Sounds
Contrastate — Invocation to the Rite of Birth
Atau Tanaka — 9m 14s over Vietnam
Art Bears — Song of Investment Capital Overseas
Muslimgauze — Refugee

Naked Arrival, the Internet Archive, and FTP

May 2, 2007

Well, I did it! The first release of my new micro-label “Naked Arrival” officially sold out, and has been delivered as earlier this evening. As promised, I made “Tenex” available free online– so you’ll want to go download it straight away.

Let me tell you, working on Naked Arrival has been a lot of fun so far. Well, except dealing with the Internet Archive. That thing is amazingly complex… almost needlessly so! For those of you who haven’t attempted to manage content on the Archive, let me just say that it is a labyrinthine, dauntingly arcane process suitable for sending my inner dyslexic directly into the fetal position.

Still, it’s an amazing resource, which surely requires a serious level of intricacy to maintain any sense of organization. I simultaneously pity and envy the administrators– keeping ahead of a growing wave of data is tough– but being able to access and order all that data!I have shivers, seriously. This would even beat running around an office supply store at midnight with a label gun, a gift card, and someone to push me in a fancy swivel chair.

Anyhow, it’s an interesting process which yielded a few surprises. First off, I was worried about the huge variety of file types I generally see on netlabel pages: ogg, 64kbps mp3s, flac, etc… I really didn’t want to have to create all these myself. It’s just too much of a pain, and I think they tend to crowd the release pages with formats I’m rarely interested in. To my delight, I found that the Archive creates these “derivative” formats on its own, and that I could turn them off. Problem solved!

The other surprising thing was finding out that the folks at the Archive encourage you to use Internet Explorer rather than something like Firefox when uploading files with FTP. Does anyone know why this is?

I also had to create a main page for Naked Arrival itself. Here’s what I came up with– my best attempt so far at describing Naked Arrival’s purpose and aesthetic:

Naked Arrival is a micro-label, dedicated to releasing experimental recordings which document the under-explored area between natural sounds and full musical works. Releases are available in an extremely limited-run physical format, often as a single edition. Following delivery, each release will be made available for download.

Sound alright? I hope so. Thanks for continuing to read this entry– you’re very polite. Please continue your kind streak, and go download “Tenex” now. Enjoy! –DaveX

Naked Arrival 01: “Tenex” (SOLD OUT!!)

April 24, 2007

The first Naked Arrival release, “Tenex,” is now available. “Tenex” features three massive conference calls with over thirty U.S. government agencies digitally recorded, with the results mixed to microcassette– a little over fifteen minutes long.

“Tenex” is housed in a burgandy card file, with a full list detailing each call participant. “Tenex” exists as a single copy, with no other physical recording in existence. Upon receipt, Naked Arrival will make the recording freely available online.$10 in the U.S., $12 international. Due to the limited nature of this recording, contact me for arranging delivery.

Update: The first Naked Arrival release is now SOLD OUT. Following delivery, I will make this release available free online. Thank you!

A Brand-spankin’ New Label!

April 23, 2007

Every year on my birthday, I enjoy taking friends and family out to dinner. I tend to enjoy this more than any normal birthday-related activities, so it’s become somewhat of a tradition. Still– I don’t want any of you to feel left out, so I’ve got something for you as well– I’m starting a new experimental music label, Naked Arrival.

Presently, Naked Arrival will be my personal outlet for extremely limited-run releases of an experimental nature. My emphasis will not be on finished products, but true experiments in sound– recordings located somewhere between the natural world and the realm of music.

I have been considering this for a long time, and “now” felt right.

My plan is to make frequent recordings, each of which will be available to a single purchaser. Upon receipt, the recording will be made freely available online. No other actual physical copy of any recording will exist save the original, which I hope to feature in imaginative packaging with extensive information.

The first Naked Arrival release will be “Tenex,” a series of mass-conference phone calls among government agencies, available soon.


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 44 other followers