CHARTIER, RICHARD Of Surfaces (L-NE / 12K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Ultra-minimalist composer Richard Chartier has claimed that this album "suggests an incremental process of reduction with the compositional focus placed in the space between sound and silence." It takes about 17 minutes of practical nothingness before the barely perceptible elements of nervous fizzings, slow rumbles, and microscopic events make themselves audible. Similar compositional techniques have been employed by Bernhard Gunter and Francisco Lopez to astonishingly results, yet Chartier's highly restrictive palette of purely digital tones and pings points to the fact that "Of Surfaces" is merely an academic execution of the idea of minimalism, rather than the exploration of what minimalism can say. Thus, listening to this record is not relevant to understanding it.
CHARTIER, RICHARD Re'Post'Postfabricated (DSP) 2cd 19.98
CHARTIER, RICHARD Retrieval 1-5 (ERS) cd 19.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Easily the best Richard Chartier album we've come across! The DC-based ultra-minimalist has been responsible for a number of albums so reductivist in their methodology and presentation that even with headphones, it can be a strain to discern what profundities Mr. Chartier may be offering to his audience. Yet in recent years, Chartier has been shedding the minimalist hyperbole for sterilized electronica and creating some truely evocative compositions for impressionist ambience. There was his Archival 1991 and his collaboration with William Basinski which caused us to really take notice to Chartier's work as something beyond an exercise in ultra-minimalism; and now there's Retrieval 1-5. Originally meant to be released on vinyl (with only 2 pieces) in 2004, and finally released in the beginning of this year, has now been revamped for cd where it really belongs, and with three extra pieces. Basinski, Thomas Koner, Lustmord (e.g. Where The Black Stars Hang) and Keith Berry would all be reference points for the steady dronescaping that Chartier musters on these five tracks which were in fact retrieved from old analog material Chartier produced in the '90s. These beautifully rippled and hushed drones may not have the academic rigor that won Chartier the Honorable Mention for Ars Electronica, but they are far more evocative and emotionally connected than any of his earlier recordings. Recommended!
"Retrieval 1" MPEG Stream:
"Retrieval 4 (content / intent)"
CHARTIER, RICHARD & TAYLOR DEUPREE Specification.Fifteen (Line) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
CHARTIER, RICHARD / BERNHARD GUNTER / STEVE RODEN For Morton Feldman (Trente Oiseaux) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Upon discovering this album on our new arrivals rack, Loren Chasse remarked "When hasn't a Bernhard Gunter album been a tribute to Morton Feldman?" It is true that over the past couple of years, the ultra-minimalist electronic composer Gunter has been paralleling Feldman's late period pieces, which centered around the slow evolution of slighly asymetrical tonal patterns for small wind-instrument ensembles. As Gunter has acquired the habit (perhaps from Feldman) of citing his influences as dedications and titles of his pieces, it was only a matter of time before "For Morton Feldman" came to fruition (after previous albums gave credit to Xenakis, Luigi Nono, Mark Rothko, etc.) Yet this album doesn't entirely speak with Gunter's voice as he has commissioned two of his closest associates, Richard Chartier and Steve Roden, to compose tributes to Feldman as well. Gunter begins the album with a processed field recording of rushing water, and adding wavering notes from a Sho - a Japanese flute which Gunter performs much like the dissonant notation that Feldman ascribed to pieces like "For Philip Guston." Richard Chartier's piece suffers from the same problem as the majority of his recordings... most of it simply can't be heard beyond muffled bass rumbles. Upon viewing the visual waveform of the material, it's clear that something is present, but operating at frequencies that our stereo can't generate / can't playback. The Steve Roden track, however, is the reason to get this tribute as his tidal fluctuation of metallic resonance with tiny, ghostly slivers of something sounding like a sitar struggling to be heard. It has to be said that none of these pieces are as challenging or as uncompromising as Morton Feldman's iconoclastic compositions; yet, strains of Feldman's austerity and muted colors run strong on this album.
RICHARD CHARTIER "How Things Change" RealAudio clip:
BERNHARD GUNTER "Fuyo No Ame (For Morton Feldman)" RealAudio clip:
STEVE RODEN "Stasis"
CHASING VOICES Acid Bathory (self-released) 12" 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. If only all dubstep sounded this mean and mysterious! A seriously dark, low slung slab of bass heavy skitter from some unknown electronic alchemist, a stripped down skeletal beat, some skull cavingly caustic electronic crunch, heavily panned, swinging from speaker to speaker, disembodied female vox, swirls of minor key synths, so tense and dense and claustrophobic, the beats wreathed in clouds of thick swirling bass buzz... Over the course of the track's 11 minutes, the mood and tension just get ratcheted further and further up, the sound more and more layered, like the soundtrack to some foreign thriller, maybe a chase scene through dark alleys, or a couple's decent into drug induced madness, the sound brooding and THICK, about as -heavy- as electronic music gets, easily our favorite dubstep/electronic jam of the year, it kills us it's only one song, but we've been playing this on repeat pretty much nonstop. One sided, super limited, packaged in a super swank hand screened jacket.
CHASING VOICES Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit (Chasing Voices) 12" 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Exfolia Motors (Unique Ancient Tavern ) cd 11.98
Odd to think that this is only the second solo recording for San Francisco's exceptional sound artist Loren Chasse after his numerous outings with id battery, Thuja, and The Knit Separates. "Exfolia Motors" is a collection of four different works, whose sections are mixed up and interspersed along the continuum of the disc... as if each of these sections have been broken from their original narratives and been rearranged in a more poetic fashion. "Exfolia Motors" presents a beautiful crystallization of droning sound with origins in various bells and gongs, the dynamic pulsations of an amplified strobe light, field recordings from rural Pennsylvania, and the crackling details of paper, rocks, and cloth. Chasse accentuates his source materials with a soft-focus haziness that recalls the tonal purity of Andrew Chalk and Jonathan Coleclough. Rather than extended drone floats, Chasse prefers to situate small events in which he gently smears his subtle sound recordings across stark white silences. Goddamn beautiful. While certain labels (Meme, Trente Oiseaux) were a bit too slow and missed out on releasing this, we're certain that this wouldn't have had such amazing artwork (each cover is a different hand rubbing from a rough piece of wood... as opposed to the stark non-existent design work of either outfit) if Chasse hadn't put it out through his own imprint Unique Ancient Tavern. Recommended!
"Exfolia Motors 1" RealAudio clip:
"Furniture Next To Twilight 3"
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Hedge Of Nerves (Anomalous) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Oval, Disc, Autechre... Lots of folks like that digital glitch stuff -- we do too -- but how 'bout some analog 'glitch'? Good old fashioned record crackle! AQ friend and fave sound artist Loren Chasse's new solo release, his first for Anomalous, totally delves into the realm of crackle, from records and beyond. For details, we may as well quote directly from the label's press release (since our own Allan wrote it!): "The work of sonic artist/investigator Loren Chasse (solo, Thuja, id Battery, Coelacanth and various manifestations of the 'Jewelled Antler collective') usually involves the documentation and manipulation of minute sound events (rubbings, scrapings, clickings) involving found objects and natural phenomena, emphasizing unexpected perspectives and connections. Even when performing in the psychedelic improv outfit Thuja, his 'instruments' primarily consist of contact mics, a mixer, some rocks and twigs, and his imagination. Loren's processed field recordings are fragile and full of strange beauty and feeling. "Hedge of Nerves is dedicated to a friend of Loren's who dearly loves the sound of record crackle as it mingles with the music from a record's grooves. He also enjoys the sound of record crackle alone, as when an LP cycles on its run-out groove. Compact disc reissues of early 20th century ethnic music 78s, or Portishead, or Philip Jeck: if it's got that crackle, he likes it! So, this friend asked Loren to make him a recording of vinyl surface noise only, one that he could DJ with, mixing with non-crackly musical sources, to create virtual scratchy records. For this reason, the idea was to avoid any obvious looping, but to make a continuous, unbroken and organic field of crackle. Thus inspired, however, the project soon turned into more than that, as Loren decided that it was more interesting to emulate the sound and texture of record crackle using other sources. The resulting cd indeed begins by utilizing sounds from a scratchy old 78 rpm disc (one recorded by Loren's grandfather in the 1930s at NBC Radio) but also explores more 'elemental' crackling sounds derived from fire and wind and water, from rustling branches, waves, and sand. Hedge of Nerves is dynamic, moving from loud crinkly-crackly storming sound-swarms to the sounds of a wilderness quietly bristling. It's a mesmerizing expanse of hiss and drone, buzz and click, with hints of melody (from his grandfather's 78). The originating idea of surface noise is ever-present, but upon closer examination that 'surface' proves quite deep, something within which the listener will become submerged, blissful and fascinated. Hedge of Nerves is a masterpiece -- just ask Loren's grateful crackle-loving friend, who files it with the best of Philip Jeck, Jonathan Coleclough, M. Behrens, Troum, and other masters of detailed drone constructions." As you might have guessed, that friend of Loren's is of course our own Allan...and he really does love this disc!! (And he did manage to use an advance version of this to DJ with at the Beyond The Pale festival last year -- it goes really well with Bo Hansson, actually.) Even if you're usually wary of some avantgarde academic "experimental" sterility, try this out anyway, it's warm and organic and inviting in a way many glitchy, noisy things are not, like a bonfire on a desolate, foggy sea-shore.
"track 2" RealAudio clip:
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Siphon Glimmers (Unique Ancient Tavern) cd 12.98
Loren's first solo cd! (not a cd-r, either)
CHASSE, L. (LOREN) Synthesis of Neglected Places (Unique Tavern) cassette + book 9.99
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. THERE'S A CD-R VERSION NOW AVAILABLE A 60 minute tape of field recordings from Mr. Chasse's sabbatical to Pennsylvania this past summer. Humid atmospheres and fragmented sounds of stones scrapping across each other are accompanied by bittersweet piano and violin. While not intended to be as conceptually complete as some of Chasse's other albums (notably the brilliant Id Battery record for Ecstatic Peace), this a nice document into the working process into of the most underexposed sound artists.
CHASSE, LOREN Fantasy Apparition (s'agitarecordings) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. During the past couple of years, San Francisco's Loren Chasse has split his time equally between textural minimalism, as found on his exceptional solo album "Exfolia Motors", and organic improvisations, as heard in Thuja as well as several other bands on the Jewelled Antler label. Yet, Chasse has released a couple of limited CD-Rs that bridge the two at times conflicting headspaces. "Fantasy Apparition" is one of those cross-pollenizing albums from Chasse, showcasing a good deal of sustained harmonium built into half melodies amongst Chasse's signature environmental abstractions, where low creaking drones emerge from blustery loops of slowed down cricket choruses and the hiss of burning wood. As always, Chasse contextualizes these field recordings and contact microphone striations with an amazing sense of mystery.
"Fantasy Apparition 1" RealAudio clip:
"Fantasy Apparition 6"
CHASSE, LOREN Script Lichen (Edition Graphon) 3"cd in petri dish w/lichen 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. There's no better way to visually represent the music of Jewelled Antler's Loren Chasse than with the various bits and fragments of nature's detritus, stones, pebbles, sticks, leaves, branches, dust and dirt. This newest release from Chasse goes a step further, encapsulating the disc itself (a little 3" cd) along with a sponge and a piece of lichen gathered from the German countryside in an actual petri dish, all in a sealed medical baggy. Wow. And the music inside is just as meticulously assembled as the packaging. Delicate and crystalline, intricate structures, microscopic movements, gentle reverberations, subtle scrapings, abstract shimmer and barely discernable micromelodies. It's almost impossible to tell which parts are natural ambience, and which parts are Chasse reacting and responding to nature, but that's what makes his work so vital and fascinating and what makes Script Lichen such an engrossing listen. And like the rest of Chasse's work, this is not something you just throw on (although you could), this music requires deep listening, active listening, the act of listening akin to a slow, exploratory wander through a sonic forest, every step causing brambles to shimmer and rub against each other, breezes to send leaves drifting earthward, the crunch of each step, the forest, and the earth around it, shifting slightly, the sonic evidence of such minute movements deftly captured by Chasse and reworked into a subtly different soundworld. So nice. Each 3" cd comes packaged as we said in a petri dish with a sponge and a piece of lichen, wrapped in a medical baggy, every one with a sticker, and hand numbered. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES!!! We only got 50 and once those are gone this will be out of print and gone for good!
CHASSE, LOREN Synthesis of Neglected Places (Unique Ancient Tavern) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Loren Chasse (Id Battery, Thuja, Knit Separates) originally released "Synthesis of Neglected Places" as a limited edition cassette but has finally released a second pressing as a cdr. The majority of these recordings were made during Chasse's sabbatical in the Pennsylvania countryside during the summer of 1999 and reconstructed later in San Francisco. This album reads somewhat like a diary through sound, at first merely documenting the landscape with an extended field recording of crickets endlessly repeating their rhythmic chorus. Even for his crickets, this environment appears to have been a lonely and lethargic space. Chasse slowly begins a textural duet with the insects with shortwave crackle and labored rock scrapings. In keeping up with Steve Roden's retro-grade process of being "experimentally incorrect" (where such 'pop' aphorisms of melody and Martin Baytes' baroque singing could be included with archetypal experimental techniques such as musique concrete), Chasse concludes his album with a beautiful selection of plaintive piano improvisations, rippling with a hazy production wash and tweeting birds in the distance. "Synthesis of Neglected Places" acts as a nice bridge between the droning abstractions of his solo work and his collaboration in Thuja.
"untitled excerpt 4" RealAudio clip:
"untitled excerpt 6"
CHASSE, LOREN The Air In The Sand (Naturestrip) cd 16.98
With all of those Jewelled Antler projects keeping AQ's dear friend Loren Chasse busy, it's no wonder that it took over three and half years for him to complete the follow up to his acclaimed 2002 album Hedge of Nerves. Yep, it's true that Loren has released two solo projects under the Jewelled Antler moniker Of; but he doesn't see work such as The Air In The Sand (or Hedge of Nerves, or anything from id battery or Coelacanth, for that matter) as being related to Jewelled Antler. Who are we to argue? That said, Loren's solo work is made in pretty much the same manner as much of the Jewelled Antler work, particularly The Blithe Sons, where he treks up and down the Pacific Coast making tons of field recordings and then playing those recordings back in similar environments with small speakers and occasional accompaniments from rocks, sand, teasles, leaves, and the occasional alto recorder. Part of this process is an attempt to move away from the constraints of the digital workstation; but at the same time, Chasse is far more interested in the curious alchemy that occurs when a space listens to itself making sound. A nighttime chorus of crickets gurgles within aqueous percolations and the tectonic crash of surf crashing against rock. Rain vaporizes in a caustic sizzle as it falls upon overhead electrical wires, and this sound is compouned by the sharp crack of branches and the slow hiss of sand. For all of the elemental sounds that dominate his recordings, Chasse extracts subtle musical timbres and fragile half-melodies that haunt The Air In The Sand. Beautiful and timeless, this is another marvellous album from Mr. Chasse.
"The Air Inside The Sand" MPEG Stream:
"The Air Inside The Rain" MPEG Stream:
CHASSE, LOREN The Footpath (Naturestrip) cd 16.98
Loren Chasse is a man of many guises, while his recent solo releases being issued under the moniker Of for the past couple of years, his constant output via Jewelled Antler related projects has continued with his revolving presence in Thuja, Blithe Sons, Softwar, Ov, Kyrgyz, and many others. The work that Loren produces under his own name tends toward the sound art end of his aesthetic spectrum, closer to his work with Id Battery and Coelacanth than the field recordist approach to rural psychedelia found in those Jewelled Antler efforts. Throughout all of his sonic pursuits, Chasse's use of sound has always been to spark the imagination and generate a sense of mystery; and that is certainly the case here on The Footpath. A dark cloud of rumbles and growls announces the beginning of this album, as Chasse grasps several heavy rocks in his hands and caresses their surfaces with sand, dirt, leaves, water, ash, and other debris. As is often the case, these recordings have been recorded outside with a contact microphone or two and a digital recorder. So the external sounds of the environment creep into these crackling textures and eroded drones. The lulling fluctuations of surf and wind are most common, indicative of Chasse's continued wanderings up and down the California coast. But, you will also find the buzzing slash of an insect chorus or the smoldering bristle from a campfire. Chasse deftly abstracts these softened noises without ever making them sound like they had been processed in the digital arena. Every piece here enjoys a wonderfully rough hewn quality with the edges torn, tattered, and frayed. Hints of the melodic phrasing which Chasse brings to Jewelled Antler pop up on sporadic occasion in small two note phrases, that only barely pass for melodies, emerging from the mire and debris, or with his zither buried within a cloud of tape hiss and bunker reverberations, replayed and re-recorded numerous times exacerbating all of that tactile crunch. Chasse's work always comes recommended, and The Footpath is no exception!
"Footpath 1" MPEG Stream:
"Footpath 2" MPEG Stream:
CHASSE, LOREN & ELEANOR HARWOOD Fantasy Apparition (Unique Ancient Tavern) video 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. SF dronologist Loren Chasse (from Id Battery) presents the first of what we hope will be many collaborations with multimedia artist Eleanor Harwood. This 30 minute video documents slow visual explorations of natural spaces as seen through a variety of chemical filters - a perfect visual parallel to Chasse's sound investigations. Oval-like mesmer constructed out of looping drones accompanies a slow-motion pan across the negative image of a stagnant lake, whose steady march is disrupted by a car speeding along a far away road. Distant almost Arvo Part-like chorales float with the wispy motion of two baren trees shaken by a steady wind. Very nice work.
CHASSE, LOREN & MICHAEL NORTHAM The Otolith (The Helen Scarsdale Agency) cd 14.98
BACK IN STOCK!! Throughout the Marin Headlands just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the coastal mountains are dotted with countless bunkers which were built during World War II in anticipation of the Japanese invasion that never came. Nearly 70 years later, these bunkers have been weathered by wind, fog, rain, and of course the sodden folks who tromp through the Headlands on a daily basis. These concrete structures with small portals facing the Pacific all have amazing reverberant qualities; and it shouldn't be a surprise that the more frequented bunkers and passageways inevitably echo with the sound of children dying to hear their own voices tossed back to them. The Headlands have been a favored destinations for Loren Chasse, who has sought many of the lesser known and lesser travelled environs for field recordings and jam sessions that would eventually work their way into all things Jewelled Antler (Thuja, Franciscan Hobbies, The Blithe Sons, Of, Ov, etc.). In his recordings, Chasse extracts a profound mystery and grand sense of wonder from that echo, the bunker's grit, the soft recurrence of surf bleeding through those walls, and the distant bleat of a foghorn. Back in 2005, Chasse took his fellow globetrotting wanderer Michael Northam to the Battery Townsley where the two set up long string wires and various handheld instruments to begin a series of recordings which took a few years to complete after Northam left California. The two did manage to meet up once again in Estonia, there exploring the Soviet industrial ruins that pock the Estonian landscape with similar intentions. Out of the bramble of overgrown weeds, rebar, concrete, dirt, rock, wind, and water, Chasse and Northam straddle those psychedelic leanings of Jewelled Antler and the more studied aspects of minimalism. The Otolith begins with an acoustic clamor, as if billions of iron filings were brushing against each other under the direction of a couple of hefty magnets, before shifting into a harmonium blur of sustained tones hinting at a melody well beneath these clouds of tousled energy. Softer drones and Aeolian fragments flutter forth out of bowed strings and gently tapped gongs amidst a golden hue of opiated atmospherics. Scrabblings across the surfaces of leaves, rocks, mud, and metal fuse with field recordings of wind and water, as a continuing demonstration of Chasse's alchemy with naturalist sound to bring forth stately ragas and dreamtime psychedelic lullabies. Chasse and Northam work amazingly well together, having produced this thoroughly amazing album. Think Popul Vuh, Parson Sound, Pandit Pran Nath, Harry Bertoia, and Erc La Casa. Totally beautiful and mesmerizing.
"The Broken House" MPEG Stream:
"Spinning Cloth" MPEG Stream:
"The Spectral Harvest"
CHASSE, LOREN / ADAM SONDERBERG + KATHERINE YOUNG Characters At Water Margin / Speech Acts (Compost And Height) 3"cd-r 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We got a very very very few of these. It is after all limited to a mere 50 copies. Chasse completists and Jewelled Antler obsessives, as well as fans of gorgeous abstract field recordings, it's a race to see who can grab one of these before they're gone. Chasse's piece is 10 minutes long and begins with a burst of static, but as you might imagine, that's not static at all, it's more likely a field recording of wind in branches, or water traveling over a rocky stream bed. The sound soon fades, and then rest of the track is a constantly shifting soundscape of textures and timbres, many recognizable, many not, but all of them strangely musical. Such is the magic touch Chasse has with field recordings, an alchemist who with a handful of sticks and some pebbles can conjure up a beautiful world of earthy sound. Sonderberg is a member of the Chicago based sound-project Haptic with Steven Hess; and his half with Katherine Young is not quite as serene as Chasse's, a sound field rife with squeaks and creaks and thumps and Geiger counter like clicks, the sound shifting from spare and skeletal to thick and hissy and almost distorted, all underpinned by a weird low end almost electronic sounding thrum. Really nice, but as mentioned above, we have VERY FEW of these, it's almost out of print, and once they are gone, we will not be able to get more. Cool packaging too. A 3" cd-r affixed to a small block of wood, wrapped in s sheet of clear plastic, attached on one side with little nails, and velcro on the other, the liner notes a sticker beneath the plastic, each one hand numbered, LIMITED TO 50 COPIES.
LOREN CHASSE "Characters At Water Margin" MPEG Stream:
ADAM SONDERBERG + KATHERINE YOUNG "Speech Acts"
CHATHAM, RHYS A Crimson Grail (Table Of The Elements) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In 2005 the city of Paris commissioned avant-composer and no-wave legend Rhys Chatham to orchestrate and conduct a piece to be played in the basilica of Sacre-Coeur, the largest church in France. Chatham took this amazing opportunity to have his piece A Crimson Grail performed for this first time. The piece calls for 400 electric guitars!!! In a Basilica!! Holy Shit!! Rhys Chatham and 400 electric guitars = get ready to be blasted by unrelenting noise, right? WRONG! Somehow Chatham manages to use this army of guitars to make one of his most beautiful and celestial pieces to date. The guitars come together to create a glistening wall of sound that had to make those 10,000 in attendance simply melt into their seats. Exciting to hear what could have been overblown bombast, and a flexing of too much guitar muscle turned into a subtle and shimmering work that creates space and tension and emotion and seeps right into your soul. Last year was chock full of great Chatham reissues, we couldn't get enough, so it's thrilling to start the new year not with a reissue, but a brand new piece as thrilling as anything Chatham has ever done. So totally stunning!
"A Crimson Grail: Part One" MPEG Stream:
"A Crimson Grail: Part Three"
CHATHAM, RHYS A Crimson Grail (Outdoor Version) (Nonesuch) cd 16.98
A Crimson Grail is one of our favorite massive guitar ensemble compositions of all time, and now getting to hear a different version of it, recorded outdoors at the Lincoln Center with 200 guitarists brings us back once again to the totally sublime beauty of the piece. The way Chatham is able to compose and conduct that army of guitarists to be both so subtle and explosive at just the right moments is a testament to his talent, and another reminder that he really his one of the most exciting and incredible composers around. There is a patience in this piece that really allows you to slowly enter the zone, until you have no choice but to follow wherever the shimmering sounds of all these guitars take you. We're also glad for this release 'cause the previous recording of this piece, on Table Of The Elements, seems to be out of print these days. And extra cool is that our pal and WFMU music director Brian Turner was one of the guitarists at this performance, we can only imagine what a chill inducing experience it would be to be a part of creating this sonic beauty!
"Part 1" MPEG Stream:
CHATHAM, RHYS A Rhys Chatham Compendium (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. There are many reasons why somebody needs to smack some sense into Table Of The Elements, with this compendium of Rhys Chatham's work being simply the latest episode of marketing blunders. Sometime in the future, Table Of The Elements has plans to release a 3CD box set of Rhys Chatham's compositions of rock-as-minimalism for multiple guitar symphonies, a fusionist strategy also explored by Chatham's contemporary / doppleganger Glenn Branca. And that boxset is scheduled to have a huge booklet with essays by Chatham, Lee Ranaldo, and Tony Conrad, as well as artwork by Robert Longo. All of this sounds enticing, but until that day (which may never come after how long it took Table Of The Elements to complete the Captain Beefheart series), all we can offer from Chatham is this overpriced, condensed version of the boxset. Groan. Oh, and supposedly this has a track that *won't* be on the alleged box set. Smack!
CHATHAM, RHYS An Angel Moves Too Fast To See (Table Of The Elements) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Always unpredictable and often a little bit frustrating, Table Of The Elements have decided to re-release 2 of the 3 discs from the now out of print Rhys Chatham An Angel Moves Too Fast To See box set (the third disc to follow later?), with no mention on either of these two new discs that they are indeed the same discs contained in the box. So if you already own the Chatham box, you already have this stuff, but if you somehow missed the box, you absolutely need this! A gorgeously packaged and lovingly assembled disc chronicling one of the most important works of guitar experimentalist and early drone pioneer / minimalist Rhys Chatham, a man whose career seemed to always have been overshadowed by fellow New Yorker / guitarist Glenn Branca, who may have borrowed his multiple guitar idea from Chatham anyway. The interesting thing, to us at least, is how accessible most of Chatham's pieces are. Sure, he's a minimalist composer, an artist, an avant garde pioneer, but when you get right down to brass tacks, much of his music sounds a lot like Stereolab or Neu! Filtered through Television and downtown Manhattan and with some more challenging arrangements, but very post rock nonetheless. Endless crescendos and repetitive intros build and build, until the band often launches into propulsive krautrock jams. Simple, repetitive and totally hypnotic. Echoes of AQ faves Circle and Salvatore as well as Faust and Can. Even though the pieces are for multiple guitars as well as sometimes horns and drums, it's hard to hear anything other than some really nice, spacey jams. Occasionally the dense horn jams remind us of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" slowed down and played through the sound system at CBGB. This disc, the 5 part title track, starts off with a dense brassy drone that sounds a bit like Niblock composing for an army of trumpets or a little bit like later records by Dutch metallers Gore. That jam quickly slips into a sleepy krautrock groove before drifting off. The second movement is a blissed out brass drone beneath a dynamic mathrock workout, stacatto bursts demarcating a wide open expense of reverberent whir. The third movement is straight up Stereolab / Neu!, a loping post rock rhythm, a dreamy sunshiney melody, all propulsive and hypnotic. Next up is a much more dissonant slab of twentieth century angularity, an amorphous cloud of swirling notes and thick washes of orchestra-tuning-up clatter and cacophony. The final movement sounds like Circle or Salvatore or Tortoise or Zombi, but with strange synthy swooshes, like bits of Chariots Of Fire or something. Driving and almost rocking, totally mesmerizing and head nodding. While this stuff is obviously of interest to folks into modern minimalism ala Maclise, Cale, Coleclough and other masters of the mighty drone, Chatham's more rock stuff, like An Angel Moves Too Fast To See, will definitely appeal to the more adventurous post/pop rockers into the above mentioned outfits (Tortoise, Stereolab, Circle, Salvatore) as well as folks into all things krautrock/free rock/space rock.
"An Angel Moves Too Fast To See - Prelude" MPEG Stream:
"An Angel Moves Too Fast To See - Allegro"
CHATHAM, RHYS An Angel Moves Too Fast To See: Selected Works 1971-1989 (Table Of The Elements) 3cd 51.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another gorgeously packaged and lovingly assembled artifact from Table Of The Elements. This time chronicling, albeit in edited form, the career of guitar experimentalist and early drone pioneer / minimalist Rhys Chatham, a man whose carreer seemed to always have been overshadowed by fellow New Yorker / guitarist Glen Branca, who may have borrowed his multiple guitar idea from Chatham anyway. Plenty to take in here. An amazingly comprehensive booklet with notes on each piece as well as a fascinating artist's diary that Chatham kept during the seventies, eighties and nineties. And three discs chock full of some truly gorgeous music. The interesting thing, to me at least, is how accessible most of Chatham's pieces are. Sure, he's a minimalist composer, an artist, an avant garde pioneer, but when you get right down to brass tacks, the tracks here sound a lot like Stereolab or Neu! Filtered through Television and downtown Manhattan and with some more challenging arrangements, but very post rock nonetheless. Endless crescendos and repetetive intros build and build, until the band launches into propulsive Krautrock jams. Simple, repetitive and totally hypnotic. Echoes of AQ faves Circle and Salvatore as well as Faust and Can. Even though the pieces are for multiple guitars, it's hard to hear anything other than some really nice, spacey jams. There are also some pieces for multiple horns that are really gorgeous, repetitive and woozy. Militaristic drums underpin seasick melodies over rumbling low end bass drones with the horns playing a warbly, wavery melody over and over. Reminds me of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" slowed down and played through the sound system at CBGB's. The first disc though is worth the price of the box alone. The entirety of disc one is taken up by the piece 'Two Gongs", where two huge gongs are beaten, rubbed, bowed, struck and shaken to produce an unbelievably rich, rumbling, moaning drone, with overtones that shift restlessly and endlessly changing the emotions of the piece every second. Dark and langorous, deep and powerful. Fans of the recent Karen Stackpole gongs 12" we listed a few lists back will love this, as will fans of Flynt, Maclise, Cale, Coleclough and other masters of the mighty drone. But like we mentioned before, the other two discs may also appeal to adventurous post/pop rockers into Tortoise, Stereolab, Circle, Salvatore as well as folks into krautrock/free rock/space rock.
"An Angel Moves Too Fast To See - Prelude" MPEG Stream:
"An Angel Moves Too Fast To See - Allegro" MPEG Stream:
CHATHAM, RHYS Die Donnergotter (Table Of The Elements) cd 16.98
Always unpredictable and often a little bit frustrating, Table Of The Elements have decided to re-release 2 of the 3 discs from the now out of print Rhys Chatham An Angel Moves Too Fast To See box set (the third disc to follow later?), with no mention on either of these two new discs that they are indeed the same discs contained in the box. So if you already own the Chatham box, you already have this stuff, but if you somehow missed the box, you absolutely need this! A gorgeously packaged and lovingly assembled disc chronicling one of the most important works of guitar experimentalist and early drone pioneer / minimalist Rhys Chatham, a man whose career seemed to always have been overshadowed by fellow New Yorker / guitarist Glenn Branca, who may have borrowed his multiple guitar idea from Chatham anyway. The interesting thing, to us at least, is how accessible most of Chatham's pieces are. Sure, he's a minimalist composer, an artist, an avant garde pioneer, but when you get right down to brass tacks, much of his music sounds a lot like Stereolab or Neu! Filtered through Television and downtown Manhattan and with some more challenging arrangements, but very post rock nonetheless. Endless crescendos and repetetive intros build and build, until the band often launches into propulsive krautrock jams. Simple, repetitive and totally hypnotic. Echoes of AQ faves Circle and Salvatore as well as Faust and Can. Even though the pieces are for multiple guitars as well as sometimes horns and drums, it's hard to hear anything other than some really nice, spacey jams. This disc begins with the slow building epic title track, all keening guitars and droning sustain, peppered with splashes of jazzy percussion and extra layers of chordal warmth, but like most of Chatham's pieces, it eventually kicks into a groovy post rock / krautrock jam, driving drums, soaring melodies, all with a blissed out fuzzy sheen. Definite shades of Stereolab and Circle on this one. "Waterloo #2" is the track that reminds us of Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" slowed down and played through the sound system at CBGB. Martial drumming and dense horn figures float above. Up next is the scuzzy garage stomp of "Drastic Classicism", nods to Faust and Can but with plenty of distorted guitar scuzz and atonal fuzz rock jangle. The minimalism here is in the relentless repeated main riff, building to a blissed out jam, similar to the way black metal riffs at their most buzzy fuzz out into epic dronescapes. But Chatham's take is more like some sort of Stooges/Brainbombs drone. Cool. "Guitar Trio" is another spacious post rock jam, guitars hover and float, chords and notes ring out and drift into and around each other, supported by a simple solid rhythm. Finally, things finish off with Chatham's infamous "Massacre On MacDougal Street", a nearly twenty minute long, horn / percussion freak out, with honking skronking horns moaning and screeching and warbling, weaving dense stretches of marching band repetition and long slow stretches of moaning and groaning drones, all above BIG percussion, booming toms, miltary snares, chaotic drum fills and spurts of complex tribalism. The perfect soundtrack for some insane sixties psychedelic horror film. Full of tension and minor key atonalism. Intense! While this stuff is obviousl of interest to folks into modern minimalism ala Maclise, Cale, Coleclough and other masters of the mighty drone, Chatham's more rock stuff, like An Angel Moves Too Fast To See, will definitely appeal to the more adventurous post/pop rockers into the above mentioned outfits (Tortoise, Stereolab, Circle, Salvatore) as well as folks into all things krautrock/free rock/space rock.
"Die Donnergotter" MPEG Stream:
"Waterloo, No. 2"
CHATHAM, RHYS Echo Solo (Azoth Schalplatten) lp 16.98
CHATHAM, RHYS Guitar Trio Is My Life (Table Of The Elements) 3cd 28.00
Excessive minimalism?! For the thirty year anniversary of the release of Rhys Chatham's seminal musical manifesto, Guitar Trio, a piece that married avant minimalism to No Wave punk aesthetics, Chatham made a five stop tour (Brooklyn, Chicago, Buffalo, Toronto, and Montreal) recruiting a star studded cast of musicians at each location. Brooklyn featured members of Sonic Youth and Jonathan Kane; Chicago featured members of Tortoise; Montreal, members of God Speed! You Black Emperor, and so on. Table of The Elements has released this whopping three disc set documenting both parts of the piece at each locale. Those not familiar with "Guitar Trio", the piece is basically three or more guitarists (sometimes up to 14), a bass player and a drummer, playing the same chord (an Em7) roughly to the rhythm of "My Baby does the Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells. Starting with one guitar player, the others join in and the piece soon builds into a wall of buzzing harmonic overtones. Part two repeats the structure but faster with more driving drums. It's an amazing piece no doubt, and important surely in the scheme of musical breakthroughs (i.e it's so simple, it's genius!). But despite the star power wielding the axes and sticks, and the microtonally subtle nuances of all those harmonic overtones, there is extremely little variation in listening to five versions of the same one chord piece. Making this triple cd set more of a souvenir document of an event than an essential listen.
"Guitar Trio Pt. 1 (Chicago)" MPEG Stream:
"Guitar Trio Pt. 2 (Brooklyn)"
CHATHAM, RHYS Reve Parisian (Primary Information) lp 21.00
A gorgeous new lp recording from the venerable minimalist composer Rhys Chatham, who in the recent past in New York and Paris has been staging, and revisiting, his multiple guitar orchestras (sometimes numbering in the hundreds!), performing his long form pieces of large repetitive clusters of sound. However, on Reve Parisian, Chatham returns to solo trumpet after a nearly twenty year hiatus from the instrument. Unlike his martial horn compositions of the eighties and nineties, the four pieces here are delicately layered cloud-like compositions of horn tones that billow and pulsate in rich harmonic textures and atmospheres. The first three tracks on side 1 are improvisational pieces for solo trumpet that build tonal free jazz passages into airy fields of circular momentum. The side long piece on side two, "Un Chanson Si Vieille" however, was composed for multiple trumpets resulting in a plaintive and moving piece where the lush warm wind tones weave a gossamer like sound environment that eventually no longer seems like horns at all. It reminds us somewhat of Harold Budd's instrumental collaboration with members of The Cocteau Twins, where tendril like vibrational layers of treated piano and guitar combined in a vast misty breath-like condensation of sound, yet Chatham creates these tones solely through the use of horns to wonderfully stunning effect. Originally created as a sonic component to a visual art show by collaborator Jacob Kassey, the lp is packaged in a stunning gatefold with an arced die-cut cover, and is limited to 1000 copies. Recommended!
"Un Chanson Si Vieille" MPEG Stream:
CHATHAM, RHYS Two Gongs (Table Of The Elements) cd 16.98
Previously available only in the now out of print triple cd set An Angel Moves Too Fast To See: Selected Works 1971-1989, "Two Gongs", that set's highlight is finally available as a single disc. Two huge gongs are beaten, rubbed, bowed, struck and shaken to produce an unbelievably rich, rumbling, moaning drone, with overtones that shift restlessly and endlessly changing the emotions of the piece every second. Dark and languorous, deep and powerful. Fans of that Dielectric Karen Stackpole gongs 12" we listed a year or two back will love this, as will fans of Flynt, Maclise, Cale, Coleclough, Organum and other masters of the mighty drone. So awesome.
CHATON, ANNE-JAMES Evenements 09 (Raster-Noton) cd 17.98
Oh how we hate spoken word. Bad poetry, dramatic readings, in all but a very very very very few rare cases, spoken word = BAD. But then this is not your average spoken word record. In fact it's not even strictly a spoken word record. It's a modern minimal electronic record, made with voices instead of electronics. Closer to someone like Jaap Blonk, that is if someone recorded Blonk's bizarre poetry and then chopped it all up and reassembled it into complex rhythms. Sound poet Anne James Chaton has been collecting receipts and train tickets, newspaper headlines, and various other seemingly mundane bits of text, specifically related to rare media related occasions, in the case of these recordings, specifically Barack Obama becoming president, and the death of the 'king of pop' Michael Jackson. Much like those sound exercises where a phrase is repeated until it becomes a jumble of nonsense syllables, these pieces are paced on short spoken pieces, which are recorded, cut up, and reassembled into human beatbox style hyper rhythmic arrangements. The result is strangely hypnotic, not just the words, but the percussive elements of recorded speech are transformed into lurching, stuttery, skittering beats, the jumble of rhythmic vocals peppered with brief snippets of the original phrase, creating weirdly meditative trancelike expanses of rhythmic speech, or speech based techno, or whatever you want to call it. Baffling and brilliant, this stuff would sound so amazing mixed randomly into a DJ set, but it's also some serious headphone bliss, it's so easy to get totally lost, letting the words and sounds, the sibilance and phrasing, the pulse and throb of these textual rhythms transport you to some strange world where sound and speech, music and words, blur into something wholly other. Also included are shorter loops, presumably so you can assemble your own rhythmic word workout....
"Jeudi 22 Janvier 2009 - Evenement N20" MPEG Stream:
"Jeudi 19 Mars 2009 - Evenement N21" MPEG Stream:
"Vendredi 26 Juin 2009 - Evenement N23"
CHAUVEAU, SYLVAIN S (Type) cd 14.98
CHAUVEAU, SYLVAIN Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated) (Type) lp 19.98
CHEF MENTEUR East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon (Backporch Revolution) 2lp 24.00
This is the first we've heard from this New Orleans psychedelic combo, even though this is their third record, but it's as good a place to start as any, cuz it's hard to imagine any of the other records competing with the sheer sonic scope of East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon, a sprawling double lp (which was supposedly trimmed down from a QUINTUPLE lp!!), literally years in the making, which finds the band touching on all sorts of different sounds, but all the various sonic strains held together by a thread of cosmic psychedelia that runs through the whole record. The opener, "Narconaut", should have space rock nerds losing their shit, totally druggy and drifty, the bass and drums locked tight into a loping groove, while the guitars fill the sky with wild tangles of FX heavy swirls and squiggles, clouds of swirling psychedelia, that drifts from heady and ethereal to churning and heavy. The record unwinds gradually, the second track, a smoldering bit of mathiness, rife with twang, and spidery minor key melodies, and laced with a bit of Appalachia, but building to a serious heavy crescendo before slipping into a brief bit of country, only to return to the mathiness of the opening few minutes. From there the band drift into weird woozy horn driven slowburn balladry, a washed out blues, wreathed in loads of echo and reverb, giving it a serious dub vibe, only to then slip into a brief bit of rhythmic churn, which quickly transitions into some drum driven, almost IDM sounding electronica, but that electronica is wedded to the band's brooding drifting psychedelia, there's even some sampled voices, which gives it a definite Boards Of Canada feel. "Oxen Of The Sun" is one of the record's two centerpieces, an 11+ minute jam that flits from sound to sound, beginning as a dense chunk of buzzing space rock, driven by low slung bass and wheezing organs, it soon gives way to a sort of blurred countryish drone/drift, which in turn becomes a haunting elegy of organ drone, before exploding into some seriously heavy super distorted psychrock, that itself shifts from dense driving pound, to spaced out abstract shuffle and back again. "Ganymede" is the other one, clocking in at more than 19 minutes, this one less all over the map, a lush organ/synth/keyboard dronescape, softly roiling, spacious and kosmische, gradually building to the occasional Sunroof! like ur-drone, only to slip right back into something much more serene and pastoral. It's a fantastically heady chunk of droned out psych bliss for sure. The rest of the record continues the group's sonic explorations, more heavy psych space outs, bits of droned out minimal guitarscapery, woozy, slide guitar laced twang flecked drifts, pocked with slow build to explosive psychedelic squalls, dark strummed folk that gives way to some seriously dense and druggy psychedelia, and a final bit of spare steel string guitar, a little coda, surprisingly spare, considering how dense and sprawling and ambitious the rest of the record is. WAY recommended, and pretty much essential listening for all you psychedelic space phreaks out there, LIMITED TO 200 COPIES. Super elaborately packaged, in deluxe gatefold jackets, each one printed and hand numbered by the artist, the art a handmade woodblock print, includes a digital download.
"Narconaut" MPEG Stream:
"Il Obstrue Ma Vue De Venus" MPEG Stream:
"Oxen Of The Sun" MPEG Stream:
"The Long Stand (Part 2)"
CHEN SANTA MARIA Jefferson Chopper / Great Society (333) 7" 5.98
CHEN SANTA MARIA Jefferson Chopper / Great Society (333) 7" 5.98
CHEN SANTA MARIA KFJC 3/22/08 (Two Thousand Tapes) cassette 5.98
Latest blast of psychedelic textural soft-noise sonic experimentation from this local duo, who swing from heavy crunch to blissed out drift, this particular sonic session captured live on the radio, on the always awesome KFJC...
CHEN SANTA MARIA Murked (self-released) cassette 5.98
CHEN SANTA MARIA Murked (self-released) cassette 5.98
CHEN SANTA MARIA s/t (GSSD) cd 11.98
George Chen is responsible for so many cool things in the Bay Area. Whether it's helping keep the all-ages scene alive with Club Sandwich, injecting life into zine culture, championing all sorts of weird and unusual music, etc. So it's kind of easy to forget that the man is also quite an awesome music maker himself, for proof just check out records he's been on in bands like 7 Year Rabbit Cycle, Common Eider King Eider, Voltz, etc. Teamed up with Steve Santa Maria the two have put together quite a potent concoction of damaged, haunting and often gorgeous textural sounds that rank right up there with folks like Taiga Remians, Simon Wickham-Smith and Birchville Cat Motel. Collapsing electronics, fractured guitar, seamless samples and primitive drum machines all come together to create sounds that would make the perfect soundtrack to a mysterious and brooding post-apocalyptic experimental film. These are sounds of machines on their last legs, creeping and crawling through fields of grit and grime and buzz and glitch trying to survive. Their affiliation with the East Bay noise scene can be heard on some of the more squelching and stuttering moments here, but they also have a more subtle side to their sound that is more dreamy and drifting keeping things drifting and spacey and oh so hypnotic!
"Tic Taxed" MPEG Stream:
CHEN SANTA MARIA & LUUSE s/t (self-released) cd-r 5.98
If you live in the bay area and don't know who George Chen is, we can safely say you've been locked in a windowless room for the past decade, surviving only on bread crust and lint. For those of you who fall under the above condition and have not had the pleasure of knowing Mr. Chen, he is a huge organizer of all kinds of all ages events and get togethers in the bay area, and has been on the road with all kinds of people from Grey Daturas to Common Eider King Eider. He also makes some seriously awesome music under the name Chen Santa Maria, usually of the noise freak-out persuasion. And this collaboration between Chen Santa Maria and Luuse is no exception, almost an hour of live sonic exploration from these dudes, relentless and all the while totally immersive and huge. Recommended!
"A" MPEG Stream:
CHEN, GEORGE Fried (Two Thousand Tapes) cassette 5.98
CHERRY BEACH PROJECT Silo II (Mystery Sea) cd-r 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The latest in the Mystery Sea label's ongoing exploration of "night-ocean drones", which as we've mentioned in the past, is precisely what these discs sound like. Dark, moonlit nights, rippling black seas, and drones, glorious drones! Cherry Beach Project is the Canadian duo of Joda Clement and Nigel Craig, and Silo II was indeed recorded in a silo, at Cherry Beach, an industrial wasteland, on an abandoned peninsula in Toronto, know as a place, where "off the record" police activities occur, and all manner of crime. The area has since been demolished, but on the nights of recording, the duo were forced to abandon their equipment in the midst of some sort of violence, forced to return the next day to retrieve their equipment, only to be pursued by several unidentified men. With that sort of story behind the recording of Silo II, one might expect something more jagged, or harsh, or extreme, but instead, the sounds here, are glistening and delicate, massive stretches of shimmering space separating low end thrums and sparkling upper register glimmers, each note hovering gently like dust motes caught in moonbeams. Drops of water, send sonic ripples skyward, deep cavernous groans and distant chimes swirl lazily in wide open fields of reverb, huge barely audible rumbles permeate the proceedings, offering up subtle sonic support, bumps and random percussive thumps surface occasionally out of near silence, but just as quickly fade away. Definite nods to Japanese field recordists Toshiya Tsunoda, as the silo is as much a part of the action as the sounds created within it. So mysterious and dark, spacious and abstract, minimal and haunting. Like all Mystery Sea releases, LIMITED TO 100 COPIES, each disc numbered, and gorgeously packaged in striking full color artwork.
"Untitled 1" MPEG Stream:
CHERRY BLOSSOMS (AND JOSEPHINE FOSTER) s/t (self-released) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Never heard of the Cherry Blossoms? Neither had we, but some quick digging around revealed that they are a damaged abstract free folk jugband from Tennessee, and that for this here disc, they were joined by none other than folk songstress Josephine Foster for a dizzying, tripped out experimental folk freeforall. Foster fans should be well prepared to not expect only gentle strumming, dreamy torch songs, and Appalachian fingerpicking, while some of that stuff is present, Foster spends as much time wading through dizzying folk flecked soundworlds that have way more in common with the No Neck Blues Band or Sunburned Hand Of The Man or Avarus. But even compared to those far out cats, some of this sounds pretty dang unhinged. Thee opening track is a minimal chaotic swirl of random clatter, detuned guitar strum and scrape, and a dense cloud of tangled voices, a druggy psychedelic choir, voices all intertwined, crooning and cooing, careening back and forth, wild and confusional, eventually coalescing into a drug folk lament right at the end, before drifting into the next track, a wandering atonal folk jam, the guitar stumbling and detuned, jaw harp, more kitchen sink clatter, and those vocals again, not your typical harmonies, ghostly and mildly atonal, the main male vocal, a lazy drawl, wandering through a forest of feminine chanting and falsetto ooh's and ahh's. A lot of this sounds like genuine old timey music, that became corrupted as it was transmitted forward through time from the old days, everything coming through slightly twisted and tweaked, the vocals wavery and haunting, the guitars slightly out of tune, the drums more a splatter of percussion than actual rhythm, the whole record wavers druggily from dreamy damaged folk to abstract drone and strum, back and forth, often multiple times in the same song. On first listen, it's definitely strange and off putting, but a few songs in, we couldn't help but be carried off, lulled into a strange trance, by these mesmerizingly off kilter lullabies.
"Shimey Chuck Down" MPEG Stream:
"Shaker Tune" MPEG Stream:
"These Were Our Woods"
CHESSEX, ANTOINE Fools (Tourette Records) lp 17.98
CHESSEX, ANTOINE Terra Incognita (Absurd) lp 17.98
Total fucking destruction by way of a man with a saxophone and a couple of pedals. Zurich born and Berlin based, Antoine Chessex has a background in jazz, although his treatment of the instrument through his punishing use of distortion pedals arrives at something wholly other. He neither skronks nor screeches with his sax; rather his is a very physical sound, sculpted out of electronics possibly more than the prolonged bellows from his sax. Even the aggressive sounds that Ulrich Krieger gets out of his horn in Zeitkratzer pales in comparison to the monstrous noise that Chessex can muster. It's all about the circular breathing techniques, which form the undercurrents to his pulverizing distortion. The room clearing blasts from Chessex on Terra Incognita are actual live recordings from a couple of unspecified gigs in Japan and Germany. When he stomps down on the pedals and unleashes his crusty noise, it's an all-enveloping thrumm of mid-range noise through which you can make out various screams and yelps of Chessex vocalizing through his saxophone at the microphone in the bell of his horn. Throughout, he'll also hit upon some pretty fucking heavy riffs that hold more in common with the crustcore distorto-punk sounds from Man Is The Bastard. The middle half of side one finds Chessex eschewing the obliteration aesthetic, allowing his circular breathing to stand on its own. With the help of a delay pedal, Chessex offers an intensely psychoacoustic drone that falls somewhere between a Tibetan horn and the sound of WWII bomber engines. This is billed as a 'single-sided lp with a hidden track'. Dunno how it qualifies as a 'hidden track' when you can see it clearly on the second side. Well, it is pressed as if were a 7", but on a 12" so that's a little odd.
CHESSMACHINE Live In Los Angeles (Line) cd 14.98
CHEVAL SOMBRE Couldn't Do (Trensmat) 7" 7.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. One of two new super limited 7"s from Trensmat on this week's list, the other, a brand new one from psychedelic apace rock legends The Telescopes, and this one, from dreampsych combo Cheval Sombre, their second for Trensmat, and another glorious slab of sun dappled psych drift, all washed out shimmer and lazily strummed acoustic guitars, mumbled soporific voices and hazy sitar like melodies, a dreamy druggy take on the Spacemen 3 / Galaxie 500 school of slowcore dream pop, the A side is a mantra like dirge, soft focus and hushed, the acoustic guitar and vocals, wreathed in a gorgeous cloud of FX, from dense buzz, to strange sci-fi skitter, beginning very balladic, before gradually blossoming into a prismatic burst of glimmering psychedelic swirl. The B side is a Stones cover, "As Tears Go By", the sound similar to the A side, with the group adding some organ warble and some Beach Boys style orchestral percussion, and wrapping the guitars in woozy effects, the hushed croon hovering on a bed of blurred bleary dreampop, the Stones classic transformed into a perfect slab of psych pop bliss out. Super limited, with Trensmat releases we generally only get one shot, and once the batch we get runs out, that's it, which means, of course, you should grab one of these before they're all gone for good. Includes a download code as well.
CHIE, MUKAI & GARY SMITH Eight + (Paratactile) cd 23.00
CHILD READERS Boy On A Cliff (Jewelled Antler) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. An increasingly prolific body of work is emerging from a loose collective of San Francisco artists and musicians, a group that has spawned such neo-psychedelic improvisers as Thuja, Mirza, The Knit Separates, The Blithe Sons, and now The Child Readers. Self-described by the ever talented Loren Chasse (who is half of The Child Readers and released this cd-r through his Jewelled Antler imprint) as "Jandek meets Francisco Lopez," The Child Readers is somewhat of a metaphysical extention of the campfire sing-a-long. Alongside the spontaneous songwriting ability of Jason Honea (who sounds as if having equal parts Nick Drake, Martyn Bates, and yes, Jandek), Chasse filters into the mix empathic field recordings of fire crackle, birds, wind, and snapping twigs, as well as his lonely harmonium. The production techniques of The Child Readers are quite unusual, as they'll record something (possibly an action of scraping rocks or a floating vocal harmony from Honea) and then play it back through a cheap boombox and / or car stereo which would in turn get further augmentations. The resulting abstractions add a gritty richness which nicely complements Honea's often baroque voice. A strangely evocative record.
"Darkness Beneath The Trees" RealAudio clip:
"Reading For Winter"
CHILD READERS Dark Laughter (Jewelled Antler) cd-r 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In the ongoing stream of releases, the Jewelled Antler collective continues to offer new facets to their signature of hazy, psychedelic improvisations; but of all of their productions, none are as risktaking as The Child Readers. The collaboration between Loren Chasse and Jason Honea, The Child Readers juxtaposes the detail oriented field recordings that Chasse brings to his numerous projects with Honea's idiosyncratic songs that center on Honea's fluttering falsetto. For those 'purists' in the field recording community, Honea's voice, uttering stream of consciousness lyrics of wide-eyed wonder and innocence, may be an irritation within the time-based narratives that Chasse builds though his seemless collages of crows, airplanes, and campfire cracklings. Yet, there is a strange logic that exists in The Child Readers, which seeks to reconcile Chasse's field recordings and Honea's voice by blurring everything into expressions of natural sound. The Child Readers cares little for semantic distinctions, preferring to concentrate on listening to each other and what they bring to the collaborative process and wandering wherever inspiration takes them. "Dark Laughter" is sloppy, obtuse, and occasionally stumbles; but even in those falterings, The Child Readers could be one of the more rewarding projects you will find.