Archive for January, 2009

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/31/09

January 31, 2009

“It’s Too Damn Early” is seven years old today! My inaugural broadcast under the “ITDE” name (changed from the rather droll “Radio Show For Resume”) kicked off January 31, 2002. Although I don’t remember it too well, the playlist was a bit IDM-heavy for my current tastes– Squarepusher, Kanito, Oval– but nothing too embarrassing there. At the time, OiMa were regular contributors to my broadcast, with their “Prayer Wheel” track featuring as my “Lengthy Selection.” Already, I was making committments to play longer and more immersive tracks. A bit of Sun Ra and the Vandermark 5 closed out the broadcast with jazz… probably not a bad start to seven years!

Today’s broadcast started off with recordings from the Cadavre Esquis compilation/collaboration “Imperfect Silence.” This is volume one, and it’s already a very far-reaching set of improvisation and blending of so many interesting musical ideas– I’m wondering what volume two will sound like! Warm Climate’s “Circle Dub/Regrettable Form” was a nice transition. This is a fairly limited-release for Warm Climate on the Phantom Limb Recordings label. I recommend any and all Warm Climate recordings– I’m not sure this is the best starting point, but if you see it, don’t sleep!

Next up, various tracks from the Wooden Sherpa label. A little while back, this self-described “tiny label from Finland” sent me a compilation– I’m impressed! The Kospel Zeithorn work is especially interesting, and really got me going in an unexpected direction for this week’s broadcast. I knew that Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet would be go great afterwards– sort of a straight analog chaser to some of the more psychedelic moments of the Wooden Sherpa disc. I’ll definitely be trying to track down more stuff from both of these!

Right now, I’m playing from the Last Visible Dog release of Fabio Orsi’s “Audio For Lovers.” It’s titled like one of those throwaway LPs from the mid-70’s, but of course, puts a new spin on the idea. It’s a two-disc set, so LVD is helpfully including the entirety of an earlier Students of Decay3 x 3″ CDR set from Fabio Orsi on disc two.

I played from Kim Cascone’s recent “Music For Dagger and Guitar” album, specifically the “Language of Ghosts” track, blending it with some of the Fabio Orsi. This sounded terrific, really leaving much more of an ominous mood than I had originally intended. On the upside, it made getting into Thanos Chrysakis’ “A Scar in the Air” disc a bit less jarring. I haven’t had enough time with this release yet, but my initial impression is that it’s another fine release from Aural Terrains, who have yet to compromise themselves with a poor disc.

Of course, every birthday needs a present. This year, Mystified gives us “Pulse Ringer Pieces,” his first effort for vinyl. Available through Droenhaus, it’s another lovely addition to the ever-expanding Mystified discography. I’m playing Side A today– next week, I’ll play Side B.

Looks like I’m keeping the “Lengthy Selection” idea alive, seven years down the line– Bearly Queen’s “Rainbow’s End?” from Luovaja label is 37 minutes long! This is interesting material, though. Towards the end, there is a kind of audio haze… it’s hard to remember that this is a CD, and not some vintage tape! A great mood-setter.

I really dig the Balloon & Needle label. Such amazing releases, all seemingly quite vital. This is one of my recent favorites, though it is a real challenge for the ears. If you can muster your best attention skills, “Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves” will really pay off.

I’m closing out this birthday broadcast with Don Campu’s “Jungle of Misunderstanding,” playing the title track, which features loops from a variety of Tape Germ artists– Ed Drury, 8th Day Rebellion, M. Nomized, Mental Anguish, International Garbage Man, and Insecta Sonic are all represented here.

As a birthday gift for “It’s Too Damn Early,” take a bit of time this week to send me an e-mail! Let me know what you’re wanting to hear more/less of on the show, and also share your “It’s Too Damn Early” memories. As always, I appreciate your musical submissions, ideas, ‘zines, information, etc. Putting together these shows is fun, but it’s also a lot of hard work– if you know something I should hear, let me know about it!–DaveX

Various — Imperfect Silence, Cadavre Esquis Compilation One
Warm Climate — Rehearsal Repulsive
Kospel Zeithorn — Kukkula 70
Ester Poland — Megrez
Atte Nylppanen — Posetiivari-ilmestys ja koynnoshiippaillija
_______ — . (edit) [DJ note: from Wooden Sherpa label album titled “.” ]
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Pulse Widthed Doors
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Helitude
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Dark Waidung
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Autzahlungszeiche
Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet — Fanfares
Fabio Orsi — Yesterday Love
Fabio Orsi — Rising Love
Fabio Orsi — Secret Love
Fabio Orsi — Pure Love
Kim Cascone, Kathleen Cascone — The Language of Ghosts (monologue)
Thanos Chrysakis — Inscape 24
Thanos Chrysakis — Inscape 25
Thanos Chrysakis — Inscape 26
Mystified — Phantom Ringer
Mystified — Floaty Ghost
Mystified — Pulse Beyond
Bearly Queen — Rainbow’s End?
Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide — 3/1
Choi Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide — 3/2
Don Campau — Jungle of Misunderstanding

Advertisements

Inexplicable photos, pt. 2

January 30, 2009

On the way back home this evening, I noticed this sign had been “translated” somewhat… Dr. John is actually fairly cool– and besides, it’s bad form to leave so much nonsense throughout the remainder of the sign. Next time, I suggest “DAILY ASS LEACHING / I CUT YA BUTT / USE PENIS WISELY!”

At any rate, it sure beats spray paint.

doc_john

Next up– look what I’m getting in the mail! St. Louis ambient/drone-master Mystified took pity on a poor DJ and has mailed one of his BRAND-SPANKIN’ NEW vinyl copies of “Pulse Ringer Pieces” in my direction. He wrote to hip me to his gift, and also to warn me that he’d forgotten the insert. With his attached track listing, some watercolors, and my inkjet printer; I decided to whip up my own. Obviously, I am NOT talented with a paintbrush. No doubt you’ll be insanely jealous and want your own copy– if you order one in the next 2 weeks, I’ll make and mail you a custom insert myself, no kidding. I MAY EVEN PUT SOME ACTUAL TIME INTO IT!

pulse_ringer_pieces_mystified

This is the Nutone intercom/radio/phonograph unit that came with my house. Obviously, it’s a rather vintage item– no FM receiver here! The satellite speakers are scattered about the house. Although I have yet to source parts for the actual head unit amplifier, I was able to connect the speakers to my own amplifier for throughout-house “surround” sound by toggling a “remote” switch. At present, I can control each satellite speaker’s volume at it’s own control panel; I plan to upgrade this soon to enable individual volume control at the master panel. I’ll also be working on the talk/listen function, which I don’t fully understand yet.

nutone_in_wall1

Another John Cage sighting– HE’S ALIVE!

January 27, 2009

I know, I know what’re you’re thinking… “all those “Cage is Alive” folks are NUTS, as a society, we just have to acknowledge this and move on.”

But it’s just not true.

I can’t ignore the USA Today photos, though I’ll admit that I tried. But there, right behind Bjork, you can clearly see John Cage. It’s not like everybody doesn’t know what he looks like! I grew up watching his concerts on TV, so I think I know what I’m talking about. My friends and I would run to my house from school (it was the closest) and catch the last half-hour of his show before Thundercats came on. I don’t think any kid didn’t own one of those John Cage zipper jackets with the glove and the red leather, hell yeah, those were the shit! I knew the whole dance to “Water Walk,” too.

He got a little weird later, and I didn’t listen to him as much in junior high. I still had some of his tapes, but I never bought that “Use Your Indeterminancy I & II” double set. I don’t think I got back into him until he started beefin’ with David Tudor. I heard a couple of the diss tone-poems, and I ended up going to see him at Nonopalooza when he played with Sonic Youth.

I remember the day I heard that he’d been shot. I was coming back from classes, and everyone I passed was crying. I asked someone what had happened, and they said that John had been shot, just walking inside from his car. I don’t remember how I got home– I just remember turning on the radio, and hearing all his songs– Bacchanale, Cartridge Music, the Fontana Mix… the DJ would just put on one of the number pieces, I don’t even think they could keep it together enough to say which one. Everyone was really broke up.

At first, I thought the people saying he was still alive were idiots, and that it was rude. I’d heard about the whole ” It’s just we thought that they said dead / When they said bread” haiku, but doesn’t that one start out “There are no secrets” ? If he was trying to tell us he was alive, I didn’t think this was the way. Of course, he also said “That’s a mystery the solution of which interests me very much.” So did he fake it??

The photos don’t lie. It’s him. John Cage is alive.

(This blog entry was written as part of the 5th Annual Rabbit Hole Day, a blog-holiday in honor of Lewis Carrol. Bloggers are encouraged to write in a different style, or in a fantastical manner, stepping outside our reality for the duration of the day. For more information, see the original post at Scribbles and Lies.)

“Vietnam” flyer controversy, pt.3

January 25, 2009

The ongoing, unthinking controversy concerning the now-infamous “Vietnam” flyer continued to rage today, reaching a greater percentage of the public than analysts had previously thought possible. In what pundits are calling “a classic example of the media watchdog asleep at the gates,” the New York Times mistakenly selected the late-night blog ramblings of community radio volunteer DaveX as serious commentary on Vietnam. As early as today, WordPress statistics show an influx of visitors to the New York Times website have followed the link– unwittingly introducing themselves to the world of underground music, severed cow head photography, and John Cage fanfic.

It is not yet known at this time how much of the global population will be exposed to STARTLING MONIKER, but it has been suggested that anonymous Carbondale citizens are making every effort to contain the leak.

“We’ve asked him to crawl back to his cave, where he belongs,” said Carter Frederick from besides his hobo campfire. “I could give two shits about a hack radio show in the middle of the night.”

Another resident, who asked reporters to remain nameless, told reporters he was jealous of the enjoyment his pets took from listening to DaveX’s broadcasts.

“I told him to take his art to a local shelter,” he said, wiping tears from his eyes. “He should change the title to ‘Music Only Dogs Can Hear’.”

For now, DaveX is content to let the controversy run its course. “It’s ironic,” he said. “Those who want most for me to just disappear seem to do the greatest job of promoting everything I do!”

(VIEW THIS IN FULL SIZE)

nytwtf

“Vietnam” flyer controversy, pt. 2

January 25, 2009

dsc00126
Remember my “Vietnam” flyer that created a tiff around WDBX? It was getting more page views than my blog, so I took it down out of jealousy– but seriously, it was the flyer that refused to die, and my Negativland-lovin’ heart couldn’t let something this absurd go to waste without a decent response.

But first, here’s the terrible flyer that started it all. I can’t remember who sent me this art, as I receive a good number of promotional mailers filled with all sorts of odd enclosed items.

I know, it’s awful. You can see where the devil himself put colored Sharpie markers in my hand to brighten things up and encode my foul message at the bottom. And the graphic depiction of violence! It truly brings home the reality of war, and the terror of conflict. Then again, I’ve seen worse on Tom & Jerry cartoons.

I already told you about the inital response to this, but here’s a snapshot of the final commentary. I think it’s an interesting text-portrait of the diversity of opinion around the station. Be sure to view it full-size.

dsc00127

But as I mentioned, I wanted to whip up a response. I’ve always believed that silly nonsense should be fought with equally silly nonsense. It puts such arguments in their rightful place, and can be fairly humorous besides. Here’s my final comment on the subject, a parody of the famous Alfred Eisenstaedt photo taken on V-Day. I’m not sure if Malty looks like a willing participant, though!

loves-vets

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/24/09

January 24, 2009

Today’s broadcast starts off with two disappointments:

1) I found one of those large velcro bags designed to keep pizza hot and delicious during delivery in the front room of the station, but it had no pizza inside.

2) Sweet Action Radio host Nick got kicked off the air for violating station policy, and will be joining the pile of lovely shows Southern Illinois will no longer get a chance to hear. It has always been difficult to find any sort of decent show for the slots immediately surrounding mine, so it’s especially disheartening to see the loss of one that was able to make a decent go of it. As so often is the case in Southern Illinois, alcohol played a role– this is a profound disappointment for me, and a loss for WDBX’s listeners. Here’s to hoping that someone more capable will be able to fill this spot soon.

For interested parties, the open slot is from 2-4 a.m Saturday mornings. This is a better slot than you might guess, with a lot of potential listeners.  Contact Brian at 618-529-5090 for details.

I just convinced someone in chat to open the show’s webstream, even though they have no audio output. I told them, “it’s the thought that counts.” Am I trying too hard?

Something else I’m trying: talking a bit more on the air. I decided that I would re-introduce myself to the microphone. We’re comfortable together, but I haven’t usually had a lot to say during the show, often feeling that the music should speak for itself. I’m still not certain where the best balance is, but I’ll find it.

Potpie — Cold Mountain Breakdown
Krzysztof — Descending Moonshine
Armpit — Tron
Armpit — Rainy Room to Room
Armpit w/Morgazm, Torbett, Abnu — Whisky Bottle (Live @ Special Olympics Party)
Armpit — You & I
Armpit w/ Stfn Nvll — Hung Burning (Live @ Empire 98)
Dan Warburton — Al-Dhahiira
Dan Warburton — Al-Masaa
Shelf Life — Protection
Shelf Life — Pink A
Shelf Life — (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, )
Shelf Life — protection
Bob Marsh, Bryan Day — Cut Up
Bob Marsh, Zz Brr — Memoreight
Bob Marsh, Arg — Jumping on Eight
Bob Marsh — Eight
Daryl Shawn — Heat Sink
Daryl Shawn — Test the Waters
Bearses — The Prettiest Girl I Ever Saw (excerpt)
RP Collier — New Prong City
Tim Reed — Tracings
Tim Reed — The Point
Croatan Ensemble — The World Ending in a Festival of Light
Croatan Ensemble — Concentration Camps
Vanessa Rossetto — Found Rabbit

How to write good copy

January 24, 2009

LESSON ONE: DEVELOPING EFFECTIVE MOTIVATIONAL TEXT

More and more methamphetamine abusers listeners are setting their alarms– why sleep the day away when you can experience the awesome power of a fully operational death star radio show that has all the kids kicking up their heels does it to you in your earhole with a sharp stick tender, loving sounds of ecstatic joy?

I’m on the air way too soon to bother sleeping please kill me just four hours, so why don’t you put me out of my insomniac hell tune in, or better yet, shoot me in the face give me a call? 

618-457-3691 is the number you can contact the authorities and let them know I’m completely bonkers contact me with your stupid requests stupid requests!

LESSON TWO: ALWAYS INCLUDE A CHEERFUL AND INFORMATIVE ILLUSTRATION

head2-pola

Potpie vs. Krzysztof – “Appalachia”

January 22, 2009

Backporch Revolution label mainstay Mike Karnowski contrasts two of his aliases with each other, on this bluegrass-themed experimental EP. It’s certainly not a combination you see very often, but Karnowski holds it together with his Potpie persona churning bluegrass sound files into an increasingly complex ball, and his Krzysztof side doing more of what I expected from Potpie– agile sine wave manipulation “inspired by” bluegrass music itself.

potpie-krzysztof-appalachia
Don’t ask me how the Krzysztof track, “Descending Moonshine” is anything like bluegrass, though. Living in Southern Illinois, I thought I’d had my fill of the stuff. Apparently, Karnowski hears some untapped elements there, and it is refreshing to hear an artist visiting older territory to see what might be created anew. The Potpie track “Cold Mountain Breakdown” is a nice result– part Steve Reich, and part abstract electronica– but really a bit too stripped-down for either. “Cold Mountain Breakdown” lets the sound snippets speak for themselves to create a somewhat disorienting mixture of familiar fiddle lines, banjo licks, chords, etc. In their new context, they dart amongst one another playfully, less constrained than in their traditional support roles within songs.

Not a lot more can be said about this disc without ruining it; after all, it’s a limited edition EP clocking in just under 20 minutes. The cover art is a bit of wonderful illustration in a Russian or Polish folk style, and the whole thing comes in a decent heavy cardstock folding slipcase.

“Appalachia” is available through Backporch Revolution as [bpr-035].



Up-Tight – “Live at the Lucrezia”

January 22, 2009

126Not to be confused with Up-Tight‘s 2004 release of a similar name, “Live at Lucrezia” is a thoroughly entertaining and well-filmed DVD– a happy first for label Last Visible Dog and the these Japanese psych-rockers themselves.

vlcsnap-636420 vlcsnap-639249
Although the “Live at” portion of the title suggests an actual live gig with an audience, this DVD features the three-piece straddling a line between music video and and a fully-live performance, playing for an equal number of camera-wranglers intent on providing a bit of their own art to the mix. At first, the “Cinema Variete” crew keep things simple. A bit of disco ball, liquid lights— but otherwise, just a simple shot of highly-photogenic vocalist Tomoyuki Aoki doing his thing. It isn’t long that the effects kick in, though. Aoki’s guitar turns to rubber, Shirahata’s hands make tracers out-of-sync with the beat, and multiple layers and camera angles pile up into a frenetic visual dance. Thankfully, and much like Up-Tight’s playing, these visual tricks are tightly-controlled and purposeful. At times, the overuse of lens flare gets a bit bothersome, but it’s hardly the worst mistake that could have been made.

vlcsnap-639624 vlcsnap-640477

As for Up-Tight, I had only known them from the inclusion of their music in the “Invisible Pyramid” 6-CD set from a couple years back. In that setting, I’m sorry to say that they were easy for me to overlook, bewildered as I was by so many intriguing artists and songs. “Live at Lucrezia” has fortunately given me a more dedicated chance to meet these artists. Up-Tight’s focus on definite songs also helps; I was fearing the affair might be an hour-long plunge into a formless acid jam. While these have their place, it’s rarely the best way to encounter a musician for the first time! A display of untempered jamming most likely would not have produced such an emotional and musical range, either. “Day Dream Believer” opens strong, quickly building into a fairly aggressive workout. “Cool Eyes” and “Never Come Morning” explore more subdued territory, from near-ambient to pulsing drones. “Sweet Sister,” probably my favorite of the four, drops unexpectedly out of a wonderfully rhythmic orbit into a free-time noise melange; jarring at first, but utterly appropriate.

Recommended! “Live at Lucrezia” is available on Last Visible Dog Records as [LVD DVD 126].

John Cage remix

January 19, 2009

Since 1997, I have maintained a miniature tradition– making some sort of small, improvisational sound recording on the eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. I don’t remember how this got started, but it’s one of the few tasks I have managed with any regularity.

This year, I almost forgot. Luckily, a friend reminded me of tomorrow’s holiday, so I decided to take a few moments before midnight to concoct a little something. At first, I toyed around with multiple radio streams. Yesterday’s success with integrating random streams into my show convinced me that this might be worth following up on. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t working out, so I turned to YouTube. My initial idea was to just start up random links, and capture the audio. Within a few moments, however, I decided that a basic theme would be much more interesting– and why not John Cage?

What you will hear is the combined audio output of multiple John Cage-related YouTube uploads, with no regard for their relative volume or content. For the video portion, I searched for a video that was the exact length of my audio file. I decided to pick the first one that was 3′ 36″ long, in this case, someone’s time lapse footage of driving home from work. Somehow, combining the audio collage and video footage resulted in a 3′ 33″ final cut; I am not certain how this occurred.

At any rate, enjoy it. Feel free to leave a comment here, or link to your own John Cage remixes!

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/17/09

January 17, 2009

Happy birthday, Art! Here’s to another million-ish years!

Today’s broadcast is going to be great. Not only am I playing from my list of top releases for 2008, but I’m going to be working through a ton of new releases as well.

Ha! Right now, I am trying to convince someone at an AM station KLBJ-AM to add WDBX into their live mix… I’m adding them right now to ours… trying to make a giant radio loop. Also, just added in WPTF-AM… and WTIC-AM. What a blast!

As it turns out, Mama C (of WDBX-FM’s “Kids Kamp” and “Camp Festus”) heard at least ONE MORE station, a local Jesus-channel blending in at the edge of our station’s range. Hooray for serendipity!

Mooey Moobau — Love Bloody Love Food Sewer Food
Mooey Moobau — Trap Door
Mooey Moobau — “and that may be who hell is for”
Frederique Bruyas — Poem Choisi in Pan, Editions POL
Frederique Bruyas — Poemes-Chorus in Mexico City Blues, Christian Bourgois Editeur
Warm Climate — Snake Procession
Warm Climate — 19th Century Blessings
LX Rudis — Audible Method 1.43 (excerpt)
Eddie the Rat — Lela, My Familiar
George Korein — Pulsing Corpse
George Korein — Rotodrone Encroaching!
Emil Beaulieau — theE lEttEr E
Cristopher Cichocki — Elemental Shift (excerpt)
Glenn Weyant — Queen Bees and Blue Dots
Annea Lockwood — Fridingen to Ulm
Jess Rowland — We Are Faced With A Choice About the Future of the Machines
Frank Rothkamm — Kris Kristofferson of the Avant-garde
Frank Rothkamm — The Irvine Master Plan
Frank Rothkamm — California Pink-a-Pades
Nole Plastique — In Things Around
Nole Plastique — Fantastic Yellow and Grey

Seeded Plain – “Land Tracts”

January 16, 2009

seededplainLimited-edition improv from Midwestern odd-instrument builders Jay Kreimer (The Mighty Vitamins) and Bryan Day (Eloine, Shelf Life) on the Featherspines label. This one reminds me a lot of the Day/Polipnick project “Nagaoag;” with its free-time meandering, random vocal outbursts, and unknown instrumentation.

Of course, that’s a big part of the enjoyment here. What could be making the mechanical lion growling? Why does everything sound like it was recorded underground in a colony of 50-foot ants? What mad carpenter fashioned the instrument that sounds like lightbulbs being shattered while sliding down a de-tuned guitar?

“Land Tracts” is quite bewildering, but at turns– and mostly due to Kreimer and Day’s unerring sense of aural nuance– it possesses a true organic beauty that simply does not exist on so many improvisational recordings. I’m sure I’ll never find it again (natural beauty is always elusive and wild) but one of my favorite moments so far was hearing an unexpected transition to a more quiet atmosphere. In just a few seconds, every sound nestled amongst the others, like a heavy blanket settling gradually upon a bed.

With only 60 copies printed, my advice is to grab this one quickly if it sounds interesting to you. If you miss it, go back and pick up “Ductworks” from Day’s “Shelf Life” project.

Available now as Featherspines/17.

Not MY president

January 15, 2009

(…and that’s too bad, ’cause he’d have been awesome. Cage fanfic, anyone?)

cageobama

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.

Liveblogging! Commentary for “ITDE” 1/10/09 MERZSHOW

January 10, 2009

Yes, I did another Merzshow– this time, with the help of Nick from Sweet Action Radio, for a total of 3.5 hours of non-stop Merzbow programming here at the station. So far, we’ve had a few supportive, interested calls; it is definitely a different situation from my last Merzshow, which saw me fielding numerous irate listeners’ bullshit.

Anyways, here’s a playlist, so you can see what you heard:

Merzbow — Electricwatersheep
Merzbow — White Peal Fowl
Merzbow — Anicca, pt.2
Merzbow — Dolphin Sonar, pt.1
Merzbow — Catapillar 2002
Merzbow, GX Jupitter-Larsen — Untitled Collaboration
Merzbow, Kim Cascone — Rondo
Merzbow — H. Penisorpenoscrotalis, Penile Orpenoscrotalhypospadia
Stapphylococcusseminoma Blastomeren
Merzbow — Tract 1
Merzbow — Fear of God
Merzbow — Arijigoku, Pt. 1
Merzbow — Ultra Marine Blues