PALE SKETCHER Jesu: Pale Sketches Demixed (Ghostly International) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Pale Sketcher finds Justin Broadrick taking his post Godflesh project Jesu in an entirely new direction. Named for Pale Sketches, a collection of early Jesu demos and song fragments, unused parts and unfinished songs, which were presented on Pale Sketches as a collection of odds and ends, but here are reworked into a mysteriously minimal electronica. And to be totally fair, the sound, while on the surface seems radically different, really doesn't sound all that far removed from the sound of Jesu proper, sure the thick metalgaze guitars are stripped away, and the beats are a bit more skeletal and overtly electronic, but the lush shoegazey drift is still what it's all about. Thick swells of melancholy minor key shimmer, spidery melodies, hushed gauzey production haze, everything sun dappled and washed out and prismatic, it's not that hard to imagine that instead of this being a one time excursion, that this is in fact the direction Jesu was, or is, headed. Every record since the debut, Heartache, has consistently gotten less heavy, more and more mellow and dreamy, drifting ever closer to a sort of M83 style retro eighties shoegaze doom pop, so it would make perfect sense for Jesu to gradually be transformed into something warm and dark and electronic. The sound here suits the songs perfectly, dreamy and minimal, moody and hushed, a little bit dubby, the heaviest parts are the swaths of buzzing dubsteppy bass that surface here and there, but otherwise this is like some spaced out soundtrack composed by Jesu, very cinematic, haunting and lovely, stripped down and abstract, the vocals ghostly and ethereal, in fact most all of the sounds here are ghostly and ethereal, allowed to drift and shimmer, held in place by muted pulses, and streaks of soft skitter, the whole thing ends up sounding so dreamlike, so otherworldly, the perfect next step in Jesu's constant evolution.
"Don't Dream It (Mirage Mix)" MPEG Stream:
"Wash It All Away (Cleansed Dub)" MPEG Stream:
"The Playgrounds Are Empty (Slumber Mix)" MPEG Stream:
"Plans That Fade (Faded Dub)"
PALESTINE / COULTER / MATHOUL Maximin (Young God) cd 14.98
Charlemagne Palestine has long been one of the pioneers of American Minimalism, tracing back to his '60s performances that rivalled Terry Riley, LaMonte Young, and Tony Conrad in duration, intensity, and transcendent potential. "Maximin" finds Palestine working with David Coulter and Jean-Marie Mathoul to re-intepret / re-mix / re-iterate (or how ever you care to catagorize it). For the most part, Palestine contributed material from his albums "Jamaica Heinekens In Brooklyn," "Schlongo!!!daLUVdrone," and "Karenina," while Coutler and Mathoul added additional drones, found sound textures, illbient breakbeats, and ethnic instrumentation.
"Schlongo!!!daLuvdrone Revisted 1" RealAudio clip:
"Schlongo!!!daLuvdrone Revisted 2"
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Continuous Sound Forms (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
Volume 2 in Alga Marghen's "The Golden Research" series of Charlemagne recordings from the late '60s to mid '70s. The self-explanatory "Continuous Sound Forms" features two works from Palestine's archives. "Duo Strumming for Two Harpsichords" (1978) is broken into three excerpted duets between Palestine and Elisabeth Freeman who hammer out a continuous tight arpeggiation on two harpsichords. At predetermined times, the duo altered their tight rhythmic patterns to play indeterminant notes, giving a very playful feel to the piece. The title of "Piano Drone" (1972) is a little misleading as the entire piece doesn't exactly coalesce into an extended drone, rather this is a painterly composition of whimsical piano patterns that are washed out with acoustic effects using the piano's sustain pedal.
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE From Etudes To Cataclysms For The Doppio Borgato (Sub Rosa) 2cd 18.98
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Holy 1 & Holy 2 (Alga Marghen) 2lp 37.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "The Golden Research" series of previously unpublished works from the Charlemagne Palestine vaults so far comprises two cd volumes and this expensive vinyl item, which features an expanded version of what you get on half of the first cd volume (reviewed elsewhere). The 'late night electronic sonorities' of 1967's "Holy" are here presented in four subtle variations (instead of the two found on the cd version, where the piece is pared with "Alloy"). This piece was based upon creating a drone that harmonized with the din of New York's late night ambience. Using a battery of oscillators that were altered to emit varying degrees of white noise, Palestine generated an effective electric drone device which fluctuates ever so slowly across the two 20 minute variations. Palestine himself described his sound generators as "immense sacred machines humming like gargantuan Tibertan bees." Palestine presents two version of "Holy 1," one version of "Holy 2," and a sound-collage between was commissioned by Gus Solomons for a dance piece at New York University.
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Holy 1 & Holy 2 / Alloy (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
"The Golden Research" series of previously unpublished works from the Charlemagne Palestine vaults begins with this volume that documents two distinct bodies of Palestine's work. The first being the 'late night electronic sonorities' of 1967's "Holy" which are presented in two subtle variations. This piece was based upon the creating a drone that harmonized with the din of New York's late night ambience. Using a battery of oscillators that were altered to emit varying degrees of white noise, Palestine generated an effective electric drone device which fluctuates ever so slowly across the two 20 minute variations. Palestine himself described his sound generators as "immense sacred machines humming like gargantuan Tibertan bees." The second half of the cd features "Alloy", which is one of those pieces that qualified Palestine as one of great minimalists from the 1960s. Working with Tony Conrad, Bob Feldman, and Deborah Glaser, Palestine accompanies the electric drones from "Holy" with extended glossalalic vocals, the clatter of various chimes, and Conrad bowing one very long amplified string. An excellent historical document.
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE In-Mid-Air (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This is one of three separate shards of electronic music history (Ashley, Neuhaus, and Palestine) recently unearthed by Italian audio archaeologists Alga Marghen. The disc of early Charlemagne Palestine electronic works ("late night recordings" at the NYU Intermedia center on the Buchla 100 and 200 analog synths, done between 1965 and 1970) is probably the most "listenable" of these three reissues. It's also volume 3 in Alga Marghen's "The Golden Research" Palestine archive series. Listenable, yet certainly scarily dark and droney and hissy, conjuring fear and sudden violence, far from the pretty, hypnotic bliss of some of the man's later work. Inspired by everyday refrigerator hum and race car motors, but way more "late night", this material must predate his obsession with cute stuffed animals!
"Tymbral For Pran Nath"
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Schlingen-Blangen (New World) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. NYC drone-pioneer Palestine takes us on a 71-minute trip of shimmering bliss, utilizing not his usual Bosendorfer piano but rather a baroque organ. First realized in 1979, recorded in 1988, and finally now released. "Schlingen-Blangen" is a sustained organ drone in which Palestine manipulates the timbre subtly throughout the piece. Very reminscent of the works of Palestine's contemporary La Monte Young. To be filed under "disembodied organ sonority"!
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Schlongo!daLUVdrone (Cortical Foundation) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "Schlongo!daLUVdrone" was a Valentine's Day performance that Palestine gave as a part of the Beyond The Pink performance festival held in LA in 1998. His contribution was a pipe organ solo concert at the Hollywood Methodist Church. While Palestine's liner notes do well to explain the process, his grammar sucks: "I began my investigation pipe by pipe creating sonorities putting small folded paper nuggets between the keys a continuous sound object starting with a fundamental then a perfect fifth then the octave above and gradually building enormous sonorities over several hours with tens then hundreds then thousands of overtones interacting with the beats creating a rhythmic fabric of overwhelming complexity." Of course our grammar often leaves something to be desired too... but what are you gonna do?
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE Sharing A Sonority with Terry Jennings, Bob Feldman, Rhys Chatham, Tony Conrad (Algamarghen) cd 21.00
PALESTINE, CHARLEMAGNE / TONY CONRAD An Aural Symbiotic Mystery (Subrosa) cd 14.98
We think the mystery suggested in the title is why this is the first ever recorded collaboration between these two giants of improvised left-field minimalist drone. Both Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine, key figures in early American minimalism and the New York avant-garde of the early seventies had only performed three times together previously and since reuniting in Belgium in 2001, hadn't even seen each other in three decades. What's equally amazing is that neither one fully dominates this extended performance. Palestine's multiple crystalline organ drones graft neatly with Conrad's bowed pulsations from his modified 5 string violin, eventually intensifying with blistering shimmers and burning organic keyboard crescendos before falling into subdued space and void. There the two sweep the dust off and begin to spar with each other all over again, getting into some heated free-music territory culminating in Palestine's delayed vocal drones and Conrad's blissful undulating vibrations. Gorgeous!
"An Aural Symbiotic Mystery 1" MPEG Stream:
"An Aural Symbiotic Mystery 2"
PAMELA Z A Delay Is Better (Starkland) cd 15.98
PAN DOLPHINIC DAWN (SKATERS) s/t 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. First things first. SKATERS. 100 COPIES. ALREADY OUT OF PRINT. You know the drill. Anyway, James from the Skaters steps out on his own for this brief blast of free drone loveliness. Under the name Pan Dolphinic Dawn (thus the Dolphin on the cover, although not sure how the swastika on the other side figures into things), James wanders through murky tunnels of muted noise, thick, and dense, with mumbled rumbles and whirs piled up into near melodic waves of sound. Lots of reverb makes the whole thing sound pliable and soft like a pillow dipped in tar, like you could just dunk your head right into the middle of this 7", but the murk is thick and viscous enough that you would most likely be unable to pull yourself free and would end up suffocating, ears full of molten goo. But what a way to go.
PAN GU Primeval Man Born Of The Cosmic Egg (Utech) lp 19.98
Vinyl-only (with download), limited to 300 copies, on Utech, beautifully packaged, complete with obi, with a gorgeous cover painting depicting a scene from ancient Chinese mythology that's referenced by the band name. Oh, and the music? It's pretty fantastic too, if hard to describe, being an improv session featuring Leslie Low (The Observatory, Arcn Tmpl) and Lasse Marhaug (Jazzkammer) doing a chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter routine, Leslie working with loops of acoustic guitar and voice, gauzey and droney and soft, that meld with the extreme washes of crackling distortion and electronic glitch dished out by Lasse. And it works, the harsh high end insectoid skree sounds and the lovely mesmeric moody looping ones achieving an intriguing harsh/moody synthesis, separately and together quite satisfying to adventurous ears. Imagine, say, something gorgeously drifting and droney on Time Released Sound, remixed by Merzbow. Very nice indeed!!
"Silver Needle, Silver Dragon" MPEG Stream:
"Fleas Were The Ancestor Of Mankind" MPEG Stream:
"Each Bay Its Own Kind"
PAN SONIC Gravitoni (Blast First Petite) cd 17.98
Here stands the final report from Finnish electronic music masters Pan Sonic, a heavy, super distorted, seriously aggressive swansong, as Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen have decided to call it quits, years after releasing their first ep on the now seminal Sakho label. Moire patterns of phase-shifting bleeps and spiralling waves held their Sputnik orbits around punishingly simple techno drum programming in their earliest incarnation, with much of their gear being hand-built or repurposed from Russian technology that occasionally crossed the border into Finland. Hence, the Pan Sonic take on techno has always been unique compared to even the most innovative of techno producers, with their typical arsenal of Roland gear. Throughout those 16 years, the rhythms of Pan Sonic have shifted away from the techno monophunk and towards a mechano-electro swagger. Ghosts of Suicide's rockabilly influence, the industrial foundations laid by Throbbing Gristle, and the psychoacoustics transmitted from Xenakis' electronic scores all manifest within Pan Sonic. Much of the poetics of the group's sound are based on the tiniest of objects, amplified through extraordinary means as to express the sublime power of X-rays, radio waves, and the energy housed within the atom itself. The title Gravitoni refers to a hypothetical particle that has been predicted within quantum physics to be related to gravitational force and its correlative relationship to spacetime. The album begins with the Pan Sonic duo revving their electrical engines and expelling visceral riffs of cathode-ray noise grafted upon urgent breakbeat rhythms whose pace hurtles down the path of linear particle accelerators, smashing into anything that gets in their way. But gradually, the album sublimates the rhythm amidst arctic reverberations of electrical pings cast against the walls of a huge metallic chamber. This progression from the claustrophobic to the expansive harkens to Pan Sonic's masterful 4cd boxset Kesto which took a similar sonic route and which positions Gravitoni as a fantastic finale to an incredible career. So recommended!
"Voltos Bolt" MPEG Stream:
"Hades" MPEG Stream:
PAN SONIC Katodivaihe / Cathodephase (Blast First) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In 2004, the Finnish tech-minimalist duo Pan Sonic unleashed Kesto, a massive 4cd boxset that encapsulated all of their ideas, one half focused on their style of augmenting minimalist techno with engine propelled noise, while the other half concerned itself more with stripping everything away resulting in sublimely still abstractions of electron orbits and cathode ray hum. Three years later, Pan Sonic have yet to match that body of work, even after they applied plenty of those strategies to their acclaimed collaboration with John Duncan; and in many ways, Katodivaiche is an impressive recapitulation of Kesto with the necessary fine-tunings and adjustments that continue to keep Pan Sonic at the forefront of contemporary electronica. The first track enjoys the company of Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir, whose languid notes counterpoint the clinical breakbeats shifting Pan Sonic's homage to Throbbing Gristle closer to contemporaries like Murcof or Polmo Polpo. While the next couple of tracks are Pan Sonic's trademarked blasts of concussive bomb noise exploding over low slung technotic grooves, Pan Sonic drops a dubstep number next, which should be the template for where South London should go next with that sound. Like the best tracks from Kode 9 and Burial, Pan Sonic focus on the physicality of stalking basslines while shifting layers of rhythm glide above effortlessly. Elsewhere, the phase shifting bleep and bloop which dominated the early Pan Sonic recordings return, perhaps in response to a series of minimalist techno singles released by Berlin's Sleeparchive who shamelessly / brilliantly appropriated the Pan Sonic / Plastikman sound. Altogether, it's a brilliant, if somewhat familiar sounding album from the masters of Finnish electronica.
"Virta 1" MPEG Stream:
"Hyonteisista" MPEG Stream:
PAN SONIC / CHARLEMAGNE PALESTINE Mort Aux Vaches (Staalplaat) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Sure there's a novelty to a collaborative album recorded by the figureheads from two generations of uncompromising (and at times brutal) minimalism, but this is not your garden variety resuscitation of crotchety '60s minimalism by Jim O'Rourke. When Charlemagne Palestine and Pan Sonic set organs, oscillators, and random noise generators to constantly warble for over an hour, their intentions are far from benevolent. This album of uneasy listening was commissioned by the VRPO Radio in the Netherlands and is limited to 1000 copies. If you blink, you'll probably miss it.
PAN SONIC / KEIJI HAINO Shall I Download A Blackhole And Offer It To You (Blast First Petitie) cd 17.98
Whoa! Talk about an unexpected, yet killer collaboration. In this corner, arctic electronic experimentalists Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen (aka Pan Sonic), from Finland. In the other corner, blackclad Emily The Strange lookalike and psych guitar shaman Keiji Haino, from Tokyo, Japan. Both parties know a thing or two about manipulating electricity, noise, and drone. You'll hear plenty of that here, the Vainio/Vaisanen/Haino trio recorded live in Berlin, November 2007. Heck, we're always happy hearing Haino in any setting, but it turns out that Pan Sonic are particularly perfect to accompany him, they bring the darkness too... note that it's usually Haino's unique presence that makes itself felt most prominently in any collaboration with which he's been involved (Boris, Merzbow, Sitaar Tah, Zeitkratzer, etc.), and such is the case here, even the title is obviously Haino-esque. And nothing else sounds like his occasional, anguished vocals, which when they appear here, are in stark organic contrast to the digital, mechanical machinations of his co-conspirators Pan Sonic. Guttural throat-torn outbursts from Haino screech forth over palpitating drum machine clicks and throbbing low-end pulses. Sizzling buzz and whirr wreathe the proceedings. Haino's whale call guitar feedback breaches the dark void, Tibetan monks are channelled. The dynamics shift from mysterious quiet groans and beautiful keening drones to loud, out and out distorted glitch/guitar warfare... It's been a loooong time since there's been an album from Haino's band Fushitsusha, but this is the next best thing! Well, we dunno if you can download a blackhole but basically there's equivalent blackness and gravity on this compact disc, that we'd be happy to sell to you. And unlike any download, it's housed in nice Stephen O'Malley designed digipack packaging with the artists' names in spot varnish on the cover.
"track 3" MPEG Stream:
"track 4" MPEG Stream:
PAN SONIC / KEIJI HAINO Synergy Between Mercy & Self-Annhiliation Overturned (Blast First Petite) 2lp 33.00
Recent AQ Record Of The Week honorees Pan Sonic team up again with surprise partner Keiji Haino, the Tokyo psych shaman himself. More proof of the mysterious Finland-Japan connection. Previously the extreme electronic duo and the guttural guitar guru had collaborated on a live-in-concert cd for Blast First Petite, Shall I Download A Black Hole And Offer It To You, which we heralded as the next best thing to a Fushitsusha recording. Apparently only days after that show in Berlin, Pan Sonic and Haino went into the studio for another go-round. Again, drone and darkness are manipulated here by the masters. As bombastic as Pan Sonic has been throughout their career, it shouldn't be a surprise that Keiji Haino is the dominant force on this record (he was on the live one too) with Pan Sonic sublimating their Tesla coil bursts of electricity into a reverberant tapestry of rumbling basstones and undulating frequencies. On only a few occasions will you find the Vainio / Vaisanen duo sequencing anything rhythmic, with Haino taking that opportunity for a rather clean-sounding guitar solo on the quintessentially Haino title "Without Doubt, An Attestation Written From That Time, Will No Longer Have Effect, Because The Wound Has Widened So Much." The pairing works much better when Haino channels voice, guitar, electronics, and drums through an abstracted slant on his existentialist poetics such as manifesting his lung-torn shrieks and obliterated guitar distortion in parallel to the dive-bomb electrical storms from Pan Sonic on "I Have Embedded It Approximately 2 Minutes And 7 Seconds Into The 4th Song, In Order To Return Here Whenever I Wish." Perhaps, this was originally conceived as an electronic recapitulation of Fushitsusha, but Synergy works best when evoking the shadowy ritualism of Haino's more ambient act Nijiumu to manifest this expressively infernal recording. So, while Keiji Haino and Pan Sonic only managed a couple of days working together back in 2007, it seems that not a minute was wasted during that time, as they managed to make two great recordings together. We don't know why the live one was cd-only, and this studio album released as lp-only, but that's the way it is. Again, art/design by Stephen O'Malley, a deluxe package indeed, and quite LIMITED.
PANDA BEAR I'm Not / Comfy In Nautica (Uunited Acoustic Records) 7" 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Oh panda bears, they're so peculiarly roly-poly, black and white. Wait a sec, one of these things is not like the others! This entity calls himself Panda Bear, but there is little if anything in common with those creatures. Well, they do have opposable thumbs. Perhaps he survives on a strict diet of bamboo shoots? Seems unlikely. Anyways, this music maker, also known as Noah Lennox, also known as one of the founders of Animal Collective, has followed up his fine solo album Young Prayer which came out last year with this two-song 7" record. Oh and we should add that he somehow also finds time to record under the moniker Jane (whose recent Coconuts cd we've been throughly enjoying) to boot. "I'm Not" and "Comfy In Nautica" are both definitely in a similar hazy vein as his Jane material -- psych, avant-folk, drones among other things are once again drawn together into his whirlpool of sound -- but perhaps there's a bit more of a pop influence that makes its way into the mix to very good effect. Fits nicely right between Jane and the most recent Animal Collective album Feels. This is also apparently on the cdep format but we haven't gotten those yet...
PANDA PORN Rarities (Woolwung) cd-r + book 10.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** Not sure what we were expecting... With a name like Panda Porn, and the fact that we got these from Heart & Crossbone, who usually supply us with super intense heavy noisy Israeli weirdness... But whatever we were expecting it sure wasn't this. Five tracks, all very minimal and abstract, mostly glitch and buzz, and hiss and crackle. Much of it sounding like a needle in the run out groove of an lp, and you know how much we love that sound. A fuzzy chunk of muted glitchy static, beneath which strange streaks of low end throb and pulse, barely audible, deep resonant rumbles hum and whir peppered with rhythms crafted from cracks and pops, distant bell-like chimes, glistening high end tones and what sounds like strings glitched and chopped and skipping into stuttery rhythms, a collage of super damaged outsider turntablism. Lots of this sounds like a lo-fi Ryoji Ikeda, while the prettier bits remind us of Phillip Jeck. Really cool, but be warned, it's quite brief, less than 14 minutes, but we do find ourselves listening to it over and over, especially the last track, a jumbled stuttery minor key soundscape made from chopped up voices and hiccuping smears of strings. The Rarities referred to in the title number 1 to 30. Rarities 1-5 are the five tracks of minimal glitch and buzz, while Rarities 6-30 are images, housed in a gorgeous, mini perfect-bound book. Stark textures, grayscale images, high contrast, simple yet super striking. The cd is housed in a heavy book-sized cardstock sleeve, also included is a thick card with liner notes and images, the cd sleeve, the book and the card all housed in a printed slip cover, hand numbered on the back. LIMITED TO 100 COPIES!
"Rarity 1" MPEG Stream:
PANHUYSEN, PAUL Engines In Power And Love (Het Apollohuis ) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Paul Panhuysen is the Belgian sound-sculptor who has worked extensively with the Fluxus inspired Maciunas Ensemble. In his previous works, he has transformed everyday sounds (notably clocks, birds, and here dot matrix printers) through 'rock' effects and results in nearing the drone supreme alongside Andrew Chalk and Jonathan Coleclough. In spite of the snobbish attitude that Panhuysen gives to 'rock' and 'heavy metal' pedals, Panhuysen has masterfully crafted dreamy repetitions of dot matrix printer clatter. If you loved [The User]'s "Symphony For Dot Matrix Printers #1," this is certainly one to check out!
PANHUYSEN, PAUL & THE GALVANOS Lost For Words (Table Of The Elements) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Rhodium 45 from the Table of the Elements. Paul Panhuysen is a sound-sculptor who has worked in the Fluxus / concept group The Maciunas Ensemble in producing some rather aesthetically stunning hybrids of trance-rock drones from conceptual frameworks that could easily give sterile results. His solo installations ('with' the Galvanos - semi-automated devices which have been programmed to subtly alter the elements of the installation) have generated dreamy golden colored drones from effects laden dot-matrix printers, Lucier-esque long stringed instruments, birds, and clocks. While this work could clearly fit along side the dronological investigations of Andrew Chalk or Arcane Device, Panhuysen maintains a decidedly academic view of these sounds with an underlying guilt over the 'rock' aspect to these sounds (mostly due to his use of electric guitars and 'rock' effects pedals). Hey, dude... rock is good. Your sound is good. What's the fucking problem? And better yet, what really is the fucking difference?
PAPER RELICS Over Exposure (Time Released Sound) cd-r 13.98
We're really so excited to finally welcome local label Time Released Sound to the aQuarius family. We've yet to list anything, in part because their releases are so limited, but also, because they sell out so quickly. Every single release, every single copy is an incredible work of art. Each one hand crafted, individually assembled, numbered and hand stamped, letter pressed and printed, the packaging thematically linked to the sound within, with photographs, or old records, strange little knick knacks, clock hands, piano keys, they're really incredible, an absolute labor of love, with most of the limited versions taking hours to assemble, and the fact that Time Released Sound is just one man, makes it all the more impressive. So from here on out, we'll get a limited number of each release, they're quite limited already usually around 70-100 copies. And odds are we won't be able to get more than 10-15, but trust us, they're worth it, sonically beautifully, and visually stunning. There will be regular non-art editions of some of the releases, much less limited, and thus less expensive, but if you're after one of the limited editions, you'll want to act fast. The super limited art edition of this release sold out before we could manage to get any copies at all, but we did manage to get a handful of the slightly less limited (100 copies) digipak cd-r version, which is much cheaper, and still worth grabbing for the music inside, a gorgeous collection of field recording flecked folk, hazy and pastoral, spidery steel string guitars unfurl a dreamlike Appalachia over a bed of chirping birds, and mysterious bits of random percussion, a lovely bit of back porch dreaminess, which is how most of the record plays out, slippery slide guitar hovers over woozy bass and the sound of a gently burbling brook, long stretches of steel string buzz underpin simple, sweetly melancholic acoustic guitar, a crackling fire in the background, much of the music here is moody and muted, the guitar occasionally bursting into a fiery bit of psychedelia, but more often than not, darkly strummed, intertwining melodies creating lush landscapes of twang flecked drift. Fans of Scott Tuma, Ilyas Ahmed, Chris Smith, James Blackshaw and other Appalachian soundscapers would do well to check this out.
"Over Exposure (Prelude)" MPEG Stream:
"Soft Focus" MPEG Stream:
PARADISE CAMP 23 Mu (Mandragora) cd-r 11.98
After two cd-r's and a proper cd of completely gorgeous improvised Sitar music from Erik Amlee, we pretty much got to the point where we'd buy anything he put out. But we definitely weren't prepared for this Paradise Camp 23 disc. Sitar is still his instrument of choice, that and electric guitar. But PC23 is not another Amlee solo venture, PC23 is a 4 piece. A real band. Sort of. All improvised, these tracks sound a bit like Amlee's solo material but WAY heavier, WAY darker, WAY more dense, and a lot thicker, and more slithery and almost metal at times. You can definitely hear lots of Bardo Pond, and SUNNO)), and Sunroof! and even some NNCK or Sunburned Hand. But with a haunting Eastern buzz, and way more of a blissed out psychedelic sprawl. Some tracks are monsters, huge churning walls of downtuned guitars, others are dreamy and shimmery, with the buzz of the sitar spreading out like a late morning fog, while guitars and electronics just drift lazily by, others are weird primal tribal jams, rife with deconstructed riffs, bits of random percussion, lots of buzz and clang and clatter, and still others are straight up sun dappled, strummy dream folk. So great. A definite contender for psych-dirge-dream-buzz-drone record of the year!
"Kether" MPEG Stream:
"Oaxaca" MPEG Stream:
PARKER, EVAN Live at 'Les Instants Chavires' (Leo Records) cd 16.98
Working with Lawrence Casserly (who collaborated with Parker for the amazing Solar Winds album for Touch), Noel Akchote, and Joel Ryan, Parker has managed to construct live soundscapes resembling musique concrete's erratic starts and stops in and out of silence. Lots of discordant blips make for an another great album...
PARKER, EVAN & EDDIE PREVOST Imponderable Evidence (Matchless) cd 18.98
PARKER, EVAN & JOHN WIESE C-Section (Second Layer) cd 15.98
Evan Parker - the venerable saxophonist and avant-jazz icon of the UK, known for his mastery of circular breathing - and John Wiese - the Californian noisenik with a vast array of lo-fi meets hi-tech strategies in gnarled sound - set forth on a series of collaborative concerts in 2008 throughout the UK. On an off day from performing, the two found themselves in the studio where they recorded these real-time improvisations. Parker's looping glissandos and continuous streamed notes result from his circular breathing techniques; and Weise musters a static-laced cacophony, cable buzz splutter, and start-stop tape mechanications given over to MSP control systems. Wiese doesn't succumb to any ill-informed desire to dress-up his noise constructs, if anything his abrasions with all of their soft and loud dynamics are as guttural and gurgling as ever. Well, they never hit the full-on sustained explosion of some of Weise's Sissy Spacek recordings; but what good would that do for Parker? If anything, this is a solid redux of the British improv ethos that Parker helped pioneer in the '70s.
"No Shoes" MPEG Stream:
PARKINS / CLINE / MOORE Live At Easthampton Town Hall (JMZ) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. So how many electric harp / electric guitar / electric guitar trio albums do you own? None? Well you should pick this one up then, 'cause it's good, and also sales of this cd benefit the Flywheel Community Arts Space in Easthampton, Mass., which seems like a cool place. (Normally, releasing a disc of noisy improv music wouldn't be such a brilliant fundraising idea, but the presence of Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore in the line-up probably will help sell a few copies.) Of course, his contribution is only one-third of the whole. Downtown NYC harpist Zeena Parkins and LA-based guitarist Nels Cline (we're always raving about him, y'know) are just as good reasons to check this out. Together, the trio make a rather beautiful, loud racket. It's a fifty minute string-scribble strum-storm that really builds into some frenzied peaks of outward-bound heaviness!
PARKINS, ZEENA Devotion (Table Of The Elements) 12" 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Still another in the Table Of The Elements' series of super limited, silkscreened one sided 12"s. This latest 12" features harpist and NY downtown mainstay Zeena Parkins along with Raz Mesinai and Jim Pugilese. While the instrumentaion is listed as electric harp, wasp (!), percussion, mallet instruments and bells, the sound is a lot less rhythmic and percussive than that list would lead you to believe. Instead, it's a deep, rich, swirling wash of gentle melodies, droning chords, and shimmering tones with subtle low-in-the-mix rhythms that occasionally sound a bit like a more ambient Muslimgauze. The final piece on the record is a beautiful hypnotic melodic drone constructed out of Pugilese's rapid mallet strikes, Steve Reich-like, slowly-shifting rhythm stretched into a sweet undulating melody. A flowery trellis is silkscreened in white ink on the non-playing side of this record. And in response to the complaints of folks who bought any of the first eight 12"s in this series and experienced the brittle / easy-cracking plastic sleeves, these new 12"s come in an improved sleeve, much softer, and way less fragile.
PARKINS, ZEENA AND IKUE MORI Phantom Orchard (Mego) cd 16.98
Recent Wire cover stars Zeena Parkins and Ikue Mori team up, not for the first time, for this new disc for Austrian experimental electronics label Mego. Both fixtures of the downtown NYC scene, Parkins is the fashionably dressed avant-harpist best known lately for playing with Bjork (alongside Matmos), and Mori is the former drummer for no wave legends DNA who has made a career since then doing really interesting things with drum machines, though now she's using laptop computers. Together, Parkins and Mori create an enjoyable example of electro-acoustic improv, the abstract soundworld of their Phantom Orchard mixing harp, piano, and synth with squiggly electronics and samples, some tracks mesmerizingly mild and pretty, others on the somewhat skronkier side...
"Jezebel" MPEG Stream:
PARLANE, ROSY Getxo (Sigma) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "Getxo" is the second full album from New Zealand transplant Rosy Parlane, who had previously worked in the avant-noise-rock ensemble Thela with Dean Roberts and Dion Workman. Like the solo work of Roberts and Workman, Parlane has been exploring the possibilities of sound construction through digital means. At his best, Parlane establishes melancholic hazes through layers of crunching digitized distortion applied to simple melodic repetitions that sweep like sad waltzes through cybernetic flotsam. Undeniably inspired by the work of Christian Fennesz (who has collaborated with Parlane on occastion), these compositions hover as synthetic abstractions of what were once traditional rock melodies. Sometimes, Parlane gets too distracted by the trickery of digital signal processing and ends up with some clunky chunks of Mills College computer music, which doesn't always complement the oceanic washes of his aforementioned deconstructed melodies.
"Versa" RealAudio clip:
PARLANE, ROSY Iris (Touch) cd 15.98
While perhaps not as prolific as his former partner Dean Roberts (they played together in the Sonic Youth inspired avant-rock trio Thela), Rosy Parlane has quietly constructed a quite impressive career himself. Iris is Parlane's third solo album, after a couple of releases on his own Sigma Editions imprint and a collaboration with Christian Fennesz. In many ways, Iris echoes the recent Fennesz masterpiece Venice, as DSP filters perpetually spiral samples into immersive drone constructions. Parlane's Iris is less focused on the suggestions of melody and more concerned with textural abstractions which softly shower upon the composition's minimal foundation. Spread across three extended pieces, Iris is a bleary low key album, supposedly crafted from organ, piano, and guitar, but you might not necessarily guess so. Parlane's digital treatment of those source materials renders almost all of the references to the original instruments unrecognizable: a series of monochromatic blurs of ambient sound quietly activated by distant mechanical whirrings and icy fragments that are just as fragile as they are cold. Certainly on par with the laptop intellect of Stephan Mathieu and Akira Rabelais.
"Iris [part 1]" MPEG Stream:
"Iris [part 3]"
PARLANE, ROSY Jessamine (Touch) cd 15.98
New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark should really have a word with one of her country's citizens about the paucity of material he's been producing over the years. When so many other New Zealand sound artists release dozens of albums every year (you know, Birchville Cat Motel, Peter Wright, Anthony Milton, etc.), how can almost three years go by between albums for Rosy Parlane? Fortunately, Parlane's delinquency in keeping up with his fellow New Zealanders is made up by the quality of Jessamine. While Parlane's work harbors a glassine drone sensibility found in the similarly minded aforementioned NZ artists, his work has a considerable density and an appreciation for digital processing rarely heard in the feral drone underground. Parlane's ephemeral atmospheres strive for an activated minimalism, occasionally harboring similarities to the sparkling electronica of the Kompakt Pop Ambient sensibility; but he often pushes the work into teethgrinding electro-acoustic studies paralleling the Hafler Trio and even Hitoshi Kojo's vastly under appreciated collaboration with Maurizio Bianchi. The closest thing that Parlane gets to the tempestuousness of a Campbell Kneale outing is on Jessamine's finale which culminates in a steadily building track of monochromatic psychedelic distortion.
"Part One" MPEG Stream:
PARLANE, ROSY Peetoom Files (Tonschacht) 7" 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This is another in the Tonschacht series of 7"s that has previously featured Gate, Ashtray Navigations, Hrvatski, and Vote Robot. Rosy Parlane is a New Zealand transplant now living in London, having spent a good portion of the last decade in such NZ guitar noise projects as Thela (with Dean Roberts and Dion Workman), Emperical, and Pit Viper. As can be heard on his recent solo disc, Parlane's recent work is much less Sonic Youth and much more Fennesz in taking the powerbook approach to sound manipulation. These two short tracks are warm constructions of digitized surges and morse code bleeps. Nicely done.
PARLENE, ROSY #1 - 4 (Sigma) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Shimmering gossamer drones that are constructed with appears to be looping hypnotic layers of violin. Quite similar to what Robin Storey did for Zoviet France and Rapoon. A very nice debut from this New Zealander.
PARLOUR Simulacrenfield (Temporary Residence Ltd.) cd 14.98
We've long been fans of this Louisville post rock supergroup, featuring members of Crain, Ariel M, The For Carnation, and Rodan. Simulacrenfield might just be their best yet. Mesmerizing and hypnotic, equal parts melodic meander and rhythmic churn, they often sound like a heavier Tortoise, locking into hypnotic, almost jazzy grooves, but without being afraid to infuse those jams with thick distorted guitar crunch, tangled complex woodwind interplay or buzzing sci-fi synth shimmer. With an arsenal that includes clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone and synthesizer, augmenting the classic rock guitar / bass / drums (not to mention some banjo here and there), these guys craft gorgeous, timeless instrumental post rock, the sort few bands play anymore, and even fewer can pull off. The opener, "Destruction Paper" perfectly displays everything that's so good about these guys, a dizzying blend of post/math/kraut rock, the horns and synths adding so much breadth to the group's sound, standing in for vocals in a way that keeps the sound from getting boring, while simultaneously elevating the sound, adding a sort of prog/art rock element. "Camus" is more of the same, the band locked tight, the core instruments laying out an irresistible groove, while the horns wind and whirl and intertwine. The banjo on "Jalepenooptics" totally transforms the song into some sort of strange twang flecked post/kraut workout, the horns giving it a sort of chamber ensemble vibe, and definitely reminding us of Tortoise again. Over the next few songs, the sound swings from dark Slinty brood, to almost Decemberists sounding Victorian jangle, to Godspeed like slow build and finally to the nearly 11 minute closer "Sea Of Bubbly Goo", which also has some serious Slint going on, the guitar parts creepy and skeletal, drifting amongst clouds of cymbal shimmer, gradually growing more and more propulsive, the sound fantastically tense and hypnotic, the tempo building, effects whirling, the horns adding plenty of melody, finally exploding in a skronky, crunchy, epic denouement, before fading out into a cloud of rumbling slow fading distorted low end. AWESOME. Definitely for fans of Tortoise, Chevreuil, Trans Am, Circle, Fridge, Maserati, Explosions In The Sky, Resonator, Salvatore, Woodsman and various other practitioners of the lost art of post/math rock...
"Destruction Paper" MPEG Stream:
"Camus" MPEG Stream:
"Sea Of Bubbly Goo"
PARLOUR Simulacrenfield (Temporary Residence Ltd.) lp 12.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. **SALE **SALE* *SALE** We've long been fans of this Louisville post rock supergroup, featuring members of Crain, Ariel M, The For Carnation, and Rodan. Simulacrenfield might just be their best yet. Mesmerizing and hypnotic, equal parts melodic meander and rhythmic churn, they often sound like a heavier Tortoise, locking into hypnotic, almost jazzy grooves, but without being afraid to infuse those jams with thick distorted guitar crunch, tangled complex woodwind interplay or buzzing sci-fi synth shimmer. With an arsenal that includes clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone and synthesizer, augmenting the classic rock guitar / bass / drums (not to mention some banjo here and there), these guys craft gorgeous, timeless instrumental post rock, the sort few bands play anymore, and even fewer can pull off. The opener, "Destruction Paper" perfectly displays everything that's so good about these guys, a dizzying blend of post/math/kraut rock, the horns and synths adding so much breadth to the group's sound, standing in for vocals in a way that keeps the sound from getting boring, while simultaneously elevating the sound, adding a sort of prog/art rock element. "Camus" is more of the same, the band locked tight, the core instruments laying out an irresistible groove, while the horns wind and whirl and intertwine. The banjo on "Jalepenooptics" totally transforms the song into some sort of strange twang flecked post/kraut workout, the horns giving it a sort of chamber ensemble vibe, and definitely reminding us of Tortoise again. Over the next few songs, the sound swings from dark Slinty brood, to almost Decemberists sounding Victorian jangle, to Godspeed like slow build and finally to the nearly 11 minute closer "Sea Of Bubbly Goo", which also has some serious Slint going on, the guitar parts creepy and skeletal, drifting amongst clouds of cymbal shimmer, gradually growing more and more propulsive, the sound fantastically tense and hypnotic, the tempo building, effects whirling, the horns adding plenty of melody, finally exploding in a skronky, crunchy, epic denouement, before fading out into a cloud of rumbling slow fading distorted low end. AWESOME. Definitely for fans of Tortoise, Chevreuil, Trans Am, Circle, Fridge, Maserati, Explosions In The Sky, Resonator, Salvatore, Woodsman and various other practitioners of the lost art of post/math rock...
"Destruction Paper" MPEG Stream:
"Camus" MPEG Stream:
"Sea Of Bubbly Goo"
PARMEGIANI, BERNARD JazzEx (Fractal) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've been a fan of French musique concrete composer, Bernard Parmegiani for awhile now. His sound engineer's background brings forth a stunningly unique view of music-making through which he combines improvisational intuition with an excellent sense of compositional form. JazzEx is a collection of four of his earliest works: "JazzEx" (1966), a composition for electronic tape and Jazz Quartet from the 1966 Festival de Royan; "Pop Eclectic" (1969), an electro-acoustique divertimento that mixes natural and synthetic sounds and was composed for the Peter Foldes movie; "Du Pop a l'Ane" (1969), a plunderphonics sound collage using pop and symphonic sounds; "Et Apres" (1973), an amazing electronic tango composition featuring Michel Portal on bandoneon. This is an important period of Parmegiani's work, noting his first major steps in this eclectic sound language. Highly recommended!
"Pop Eclectic" MPEG Stream:
"Du Pop a l'Ane"
PARMENTIER Luxsound (Sigma) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Parmentier is a collaboration between New Zealand's Rosy Parlene and Dion Workman (ex-Thela) who combine to create scratchy drawn out soundscapes with bleak, claustrophobic drones and rhythms approximating at time the Chain Reaction pulse, by building loops out of skipping records. The end result is similar to Boyd Rice's infamous Black Album, but far more beautiful.
PARRY / SOEGAARD Off The Map (Hwyl Nofio) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** **LAST COPIES** We've long been huge champions of the highly unpronounceable UK outfit Hwyl Nofio, aka Steve Parry. Every record some new world of sound, haunting and mysterious, delicate and lovely, creepy and dreamy. Judging by how quickly we sell through most of the Hwyl records, you all feel very much the same way. Off The Map is the long in the works collaboration between Hwyl's Steve Parry, and fellow guitarist Fredrik Soegaard, who had been a contributor on previous Hwyl recordings. Thus it's not really a huge stretch to imagine that some of Off The Map might sound a bit like Hywl Nofio, and it does, while at the same time taking off in its own distinct directions. Two guitar players, each with their own approach to the instrument, both seeming to fit together perfectly. Much more active than the often subdued Hwyl records, these two guitars tangle and wrangle and the results are quite lovely, from buzzing metallic drones, and complex webs of melody and overtones, to burbling cauldrons of electronic sputter and squiggle, to gorgeously melodic soundscapes of sparkle and glimmer, to chest rattling steel stringed lowbuzz, to damaged atonal acoustic folk, peppered with squeaky balloon streaks of high end guitar, to blissed out washes of soft shimmer and muted melody, to grinding Wolf Eyesian industrial scrapescapes, complete with haunting pterodactyl skree and throbbing metallic crunch, to dizzying arrays of all-over-the-place screech and splatter and flurries of upper register trills, to soft billowing waves of warm sun drenched sonic buzzstorms... Every track is dramatically different, but they all seem to fit together, like chapters in a book, each track a tiny piece of the story, every one hinting at what is to come, each retaining ghostly memories of what came before, part of the joy is figuring out the story, following the record from end to end, it's a journey through sound, letting your ears lead the way, but the great thing about Off The Map, and music in general, if you don't care about the 'story' or the 'journey', the sounds offer just as much on their own, sans emotional and intellectual intent, just sweet simple sonics to set your ear drums abuzz.
"Off The Map" MPEG Stream:
"Unstrung 101" MPEG Stream:
"Map" MPEG Stream:
"Abstract 0 9"
PARSONS, DAVID Earthlight (Celestial Harmonies) cd 15.98
David Parsons is not as well known outside of New Age circles as say Deuter or Kitaro, but in the case of this New Zealand artist who's been releasing music since the early eighties, obscurity in that particular genre is an asset rather than a liability. Parsons makes the kind of New Age music we really dig a lot around here, the kind that exceeds the boundaries of the genre into areas of experimental drone, pastoral Kosmiche music and 20th century composition. Like Eberhard Schoener (another krauty 'New Ager' we love), Parsons is known mostly for a cross-cultural fusion of Eastern and Western musical forms that feature lots of ethnic instruments and field recordings, on Earthlight, Parsons only uses synthesizers, where he programmed in his own sounds built completely from scratch. Deep bottom-heavy Ur-drones, and soft phased in high tones converge on fields of repetitive gamelan-ish arppegiations and filtered washes of bell tones. Really Nice!
"Earthlight" MPEG Stream:
"Altai Himalaya" MPEG Stream:
PART TIMER Blue (Flau) cd 14.98
Back in 2006, we reviewed a record by a mysterious band (or person) called Part Timer. Whose sound was a gorgeous lush dreamfolk, overlaid with bits of glitch and electronic skitter. At the time, that sort of thing was all the rage, for a band to take their pedestrian folk or indie pop, and then cover it with electronic bits, to make it edgy or hip or whatever. But Part Timer seemed to effortlessly transcend that. Their sound organic, but with the various electronic elements an integral part of not just the sound, but the composition as well. On a trip to Japan about a year ago, we took a long train ride through the countryside, up a mountain, to a monastery tucked way on top of a forest covered mountain. That record was the soundtrack, and it was perfect, the sound of green trees rushing past, little villages tucked into the mountain side, the movement of the train, the blue skies, the world rushing by, clouds, birds, the sound is just s soft and lovely and tranquil and beautiful. We were super excited to discover that there was in fact another Part Timer record, which we finally managed to get from a tiny Japanese label, and we're happy to report, it's just as gorgeous as the other one. Acoustic guitars weave tranquil little melodies, super spare rhythms are constructed from bits of glitch and record crackle, the sound of birds and children playing constantly in the background, like this is the soundtrack to some warm afternoon stroll though a tiny village, cobblestone streets, the world lush and verdant, bits of vocals surface here and there, offering the tiniest hint of melody, muted chiming bells ring out, simple melodies plucked out on old pianos, the sound of creaking machinery, moaning violins, sweeping strings, it sounds like a lot of sound, but the sound is never dense or cluttered, instead it's spacious and airy, nearly weightless at times, the sound of floating on a puffy white cloud through a crystal clear summer sky. At its heart Blau is a simple soft folk record, but the folk drifts through strange landscapes of subtle sonic variation, the electronic bits never intrusive, gently complimenting the lilting guitars, the voices and textures and field recordings wrapped around the melodies like some soft down comforter, everything about Blau is tranquil and dreamlike, warm and so utterly soothing. Some of the prettiest pop folk we've ever heard.
"Theme From Part Timer" MPEG Stream:
"Unknown" MPEG Stream:
"Four Timer (Mix One)" MPEG Stream:
"Hide All You Like"
PART TIMER s/t (Moteer) cd 15.98
We really have to come up with a name for this stuff. You know, that sort of deconstructed fragmented pop, glitchy crumbling, fuzzed out ambient weirdness, everything blurry and buzzy and soft focus. Jeck, Tim Hecker, Fennesz, Machinefabriek, Jasper TX, and now Part Timer. It's another one of THOSE SOUNDS, the kind of sounds we can't ever get enough of, just like super hard ragga jungle or buzzy drone-y black metal, it's a sound that we are absolutely in love with. If we could figure out away to make these records go on forever and ever and ever we surely would (for now, the repeat button will have to suffice). But as we've mentioned in the past, it's not enough just to assemble some lilting folk or some pretty ambience, and then haphazardly "fuck it up" with weird electronic bleeps and bloops or fuzzy drones. No, it takes someone special to allow organic prettiness and jagged digital disruptions to co-exist so perfectly. It's like some strange alchemical art, allowing two such disparate sounds to exist as one, as if we couldn't possibly imagine them separate. And rarely has there been a more beautiful, and subtle example of this art than on this debut release from Part Timer. First and foremost, this is simply a gorgeous dreamfolk record, glistening guitar melodies, languid and lazy, sweet and sundappled, with tinkling piano, fluttering flutes, ethereal angelic female vocals, drifting bits of abstract twang and distant reverbed horns, shuffling muted rhythms, a breathtaking collection of shimmery pop folk perfection. And that's before we even consider the fascinating and constantly fluctuating production, a series of bizarre treatments, rendering each little perfect pop nugget or drifting free folk flitter in a completely different light. A little bit of soft folky twang, becomes a haunting stuttering soundscape of steel strings and weird tape recorder clicks, sweet pop vocals become totally obscured beneath filmy layers of fuzzy distortion and glitchy grit. Weird almost-IDM rhythms materialize from distinctly un-techno song parts, before coming apart into some murky ambient drift. The whole record is glazed with strange bits of sonic sorcery, a little sprinkling of dusty old looped record crackle, warm smears of fuzzy foggy melodic murmur, warped warbles and staticky grit, chopped and shuffled vocals, thick drifts of white noise tape hiss, all miraculously managing to act more as subtle accompaniment rather than overpowering noise. The perfect blend. Catchy and simple, dreamy and lovely, but slightly off kilter and subtly damaged. Like discovering a tape of some lost folk pop classic, all degraded and decayed, and then trying to repair and reassemble it, but realizing that there is too much tape hiss and too many drop outs to fully restore the tape, only then realizing that somehow, the final product, this, is even more lovely than the original could have ever been.
"Unwritten Letter To No. 9" MPEG Stream:
"We Made A Big Mistake" MPEG Stream:
PART WILD HORSES MANE ON BOTH SIDES Poisson (MIE) lp 27.00
We've been wanting to list something from this flute and percussion duo for ages now, but we've been unable to get enough copies of any of their releases to list until now. From the same label that released the recent 2lp reissue of Gate's The Dew Line, which we made Record Of The Week, comes this, an older release from the oddly monikered Part Wild Horses Mane On Both Sides, originally released on tape in a limited run of just 50 copies (on Rayon Recs), now available again as a limited lp (with a bonus track), and like the other recordings we've heard from these guys, it's amazing what they can whip up with just a flute and percussion. Somewhere between modern minimalism and free jazz and abstract ambience, these guys lay down a strange landscape of creaks and groans and rumbles, sounding a bit like an acoustic Wolf Eyes, with some moaning drones and abstract shakers and random bits of hand percussion, while the flute unfurls a fluttery bit of folkiness, that sounds like Spiritual Jazz via gypsy folk, the percussion becomes gradually more rhythmic, as the drones in the background seem to coalesce, and the flute becomes weirdly processed, as clouds of cymbal shimmer add some high end skree to the mix, the sound slipping into a weird avant No neck sort of territory. One minute it's hushed and contemplative, and sounds like it could be some lost recording on the ESP label, the next it's clattery and softly cacophonous and sounds like it could be some weird strain of Finnish Forest Folk, and the next it's some sort of cosmic free jazz psychedelia all long layered tones and sputtering percussion, and still the next it sounds like some weird hybrid of lo-fi electronica and the Dead C at their poppiest. So weird and wonderful. Start here, but then try to track down whatever you can from these two. Everything we've heard is great! LIMITED TO 500 COPIES!!
PARTRIDGE, ANDY & HAROLD BUDD Through the Hill (Hannibal) cd 16.98
This long out of print Partridge/Budd collaboration has been reissued with different cover art, more liner notes (offering an account of how these two unlikely musical bedfellows came to meet and how these recordings came to be) and a bonus track! For those unfamiliar with the album from its original release back in 1994 and those who might be expecting more of a pop presence considering the intelligent hook-writing talents of XTC's frontman Partridge, you'll soon discover that this album sounds nothing like XTC and everything like Harold Budd. The seventeen tracks are divided into seven sections -- Prelude, Geography, Interlude, Structures, Interlude, Artifacts and Postlude. Meditative soundscapes with occasional spoken word segments (actually Partridge's poetry as read aloud by Budd). Shimmery percussive washes weighted by solemn piano and guitar lines, analog synthesizer textures and cycles played out on Indian and African bells. Elegant and beautiful.
"The Place Of Odd Glances" MPEG Stream:
"Mantle Of Peacock Bones"
PASSARANI, MARCO 6 katun (Nature Records) cd 22.00
PATERAS / BAXTER / BROWN Ataxia (Synaesthesia) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "After last year's Synaesthesia release Coagulate with Robin Fox, and several tracks on his Tzadik debut Mutant Theatre, pianist Anthony Pateras reveals further evidence of his improvising skills on Ataxia, more dazzling proof that the New Music scene in Australia - especially Melbourne - is going from strength to strength. he's joined by percussionist Sean Baxter(Bucketrider, Lazy, Western Grey), one of a growing band of hands-on junk percussionists, and guitarist David Brown, aka Candlesnuffer, in six riotously colourful tracks ranging from the delictae sonic haiku of "Maladroit" to stochastic freakout - Xenakis would have loved the end of "St/chi". While improvising pianists since Burton Greene have been delving inside the instrument in search of new sonarities, very few have explored the prepared piano with much rigour - john tilbury being one - but Paters's piano, as the album photography makes abundantly clear, is stuffed to the limit with rubber, cardboard, screws, coins and crocodile clips, making him sound like a veritable one-man gamelan. It's a truism to say that Bali and Java are as accessible to Aussies today as Blackpool was to Manchester cotton workers 100 years ago. Should Globalisation one day go beyond exporting Big Mac's, and the indigenous populations of those islands ever move into free improv, it might just sound something like this. The spicy stir-fry of New Complexity and exotic percussion clatter bears more relation to Richard Barrett's "Negatives" - recorded, as it happens, in melbourne ten years ago - than it does to any other recent trend in improv. Coming at this music from directions as diverse as extreme noise meltdown and post-Darmdtadt composition, Brown, Pateras and Baxter have served up one of the year's crunchiest and tastiest dishes so far." - Dan Warburton, The Wire
PATERAS, ANTHONY & ROBIN FOX End Of Haze (Editions Mego) cd 17.98
PATTERSON, BEN A Fluxus Elegy (Alga Marghen) lp 26.00