KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW Consciously Unconscious, Unconsciously Conscious (Metamkine) 3"cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Contributing to the ongoing "Cinema pour l'oreille" series of 3" CDs from Metamkine, the uncompromising electronic composer Zbigniew Karkowski offers another noxious slab of low frequency sound that ripples as massive standing waves and chugging fluctuations. As the short 19 minute program continues, Karkowski intermittently inverts the low frequencies to painfully high ones modulated with all sorts of ray-gun effects and the psycho-acoustic play between slightly detuned stereo channels (i.e. Ryoji Ikeda, Alvin Lucier, etc). Karkowski has claimed that "he is not interested in traditional definitions of what is music; in his opinion, all theory and systems of music as cultural concepts have to be destroyed." Yet, contarian that he is, Karkowski continues by stating his work is an allegory (a very common linguistic / narrative device) concerned with "realizing drama with sound [as] electronic and acoustic walls with scores based on architectures of ruins." Of course, Karkowski would claim little allegiance to the realm of language preferring to build his own monuments dedicated to himself and his self-deterministic free-will through the sheer power of sound. A Fitzcarraldo-like testament to the glory of hubris.
"Consiously Unconscious, Unconsciously Conscious"
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW Elasticity Of Time (Raw Special Effects) cd 14.98
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW It (Mego) 3"cd 9.98
The uncompromising Zbnigniew Karkowski has recently been screwing around with the sound of raw data as it streams across the internet, resulting in a number of experiments that produced little in the way of interesting sounds. Fortunately, his first release for Mego is a return to the sound of his great collaborations with the Hafler Trio in the early 90s. "It" is a blistering collage of mutilated sine waves and gut churning bass tones sounding like a grittier / more organic version of Ryoji Ikeda phase patterns. Excellent work!
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW One And Many (Sub Rosa) cd 14.98
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW & ANTIMATTER kHz (Auscultare) cd 12.98
kHz is the second collaboration between the globe trotting sonic bruitist Zbigniew Karkowski and Asphodel's inhouse engineer par excellence Xopher Davidson (aka Antimatter). Where so many Karkowski records push noise to the extremes of volume, pressure, density, and masculine expressivity, kHz follows Function Generator -- the 2001 collaboration with Antimatter -- in setting forth a composition of relatively soft, low-end rumblings from sinewave generators and analogue electronics (another detour for the increasingly digitally dependent Karkowski). Karkowski and Davidson coax a surprisingly gentle purr out of those machines; but never fear, the two eventually build up to a psychoacoustically antagonistic crescendo of noxious frequency pulses and white noise accumulations. Altogther, this stands as one of the most listenable Karkowski records in a very long time.
"Excerpt 1" MPEG Stream:
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW & HELMUT SCHAFER Disruptor (Error) cd 14.98
Karkowski (who has collaborated with the Hafler Trio, CM von Hausswolff, John Duncan, and Ulf Bilting) now finds his time shared with Helmut Schaefer for an album which draws very complimentary comparisons to Mille Plateaux's Restgeraeusch in obliterating electronica beats in a gritty digitized blast of static as if Chain Reaction records were being broadcast on a shitty AM radio. Metallic drones ala Muslimgauze and distorted beats degenerate into roaring static pulses ala Xenakis, Bohor I and ...rain... very beautiful and highly recommended.
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW & TETSUO FURUDATE World As Will III (Sub Rosa) cd 16.98
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW / FRANCISCO LOPEZ Turnoff (Noise Asia) cd 14.98
Within the condensed format of this 3" CD, Zbigniew Karkowski and Francisco Lopez get to the point very quickly. Eschewing his typical approach of incredibly slow building compositions, Lopez allows himself to be relatively active in his sound-collage. At a brief 10 minutes, "Untitled #132" ramps up through variable passages of processed white noise, some of which appear to be his cricket / locust field recordings while others might be the amplified electrical hum of a computer hard drive. Regardless of the source material, Lopez steadily brings the volume up on his bristling sounds, then cuts the power. He has set up multiple tracks of these ramp-up-to-drop-outs to fill the entire sonic spectrum. The final terminal snap is all the more unsettling only because Karkowski's power-violence is lurking around the corner. It's possible that both artists are applying the same source material to their signature sounds. While Lopez is a little bit more dynamic than usual, Karkowski follows his brash noise approach. Every sound is as loud as possible, as distorted as possible, as misanthropic as possible, and as ugly as possible. Note: limited quanity in stock, as we got 'em directly from Mr. Karkowski when he dropped by the store the other day, and we don't expect to get more.
FRANCISCO LOPEZ "Untitled 132" MPEG Stream:
ZBIGNIEW KARKOWSKI "Wave Terrain"
KARKOWSKI, ZBIGNIEW / XOPHER DAVIDSON Function Generator (SIRR.ecords) cd 14.98
Polish-born, Japanese-dwelling experimental electronics artist Karkowski (well known for his solo work, as well as his many collaborations with the likes of Merzbow, the Hafler Trio and John Duncan) here teams up with one Xopher Davidson (who has previously recorded under the name Antimatter) for some explorations in the realms of extremely low frequency sounds. We're told that 100Hz is the *maximum* level found on this disc. Pulsing, droning stuff as you might expect. The deep rumble and hum of "Function Generator" seems soothing to us, rather than distressing, but your results may vary...
KAVINA, LYDIA Music From The Ether (Mode) cd 16.98
KAWABATA / PAUVROS Extreme Onction (Fractal) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "Extreme Onction" is the first collaborative production between Acid Mothers Temple's guru Makoto Kawabata and France's Jean-Fran¨ois Pauvros. Kawabata has led the Japanese collective on some wild trips through psychedelic mayhem and eerie dronescapes, and Pauvros has a number of releases of improv guitar work on Spalax. These two have revisted the guitar isolationist sounds that found their way on Sentrax and Subharmonic in mid '90s: thick guitar reverberations taking on the challenge of creating a dark ambient music entirely out the guitar (and of course a shit load of effects). Just as Buckethead (he's got a bucket on his head - that's funny) and Bill Laswell had the ability to produce some amazingly expressive and dark atmospherics, Kawabata & Pauvros have succeeded in getting their guitars to speak with a bleak torpor. But similar to their predecessors, Kawabata & Pauvros want the listener to know that they are masters at their instrument and can shove 30 million notes in less than 10 seconds. Wow. What virtuosity.
KAWABATA MAKOTO, ANLA COURTIS, ROKUGENKIN Kokura (Riot Season) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Triple electric guitar attack, from Acid Mothers Temple mainman Kawabata Makoto, ex Reynols axeman Anla Courtis and underground Japanese guitarist Rokujenkin. We know what you're thinking, but you're probably way off. This is no psych rock blow out, some FX drenched jam session, instead, Kokura is two huge slabs of epic ambience, shimmering, chiming, glistening, sparkling, all of those ING things guitars do when they are creating gorgeous soft swirls of sound. Thick sheets of guitars are bathed in soft focus effects, and allowed to drift and gently intertwine, slowly and dreamily melting into each other. Even the noisier moments are strangely beautiful, soft fuzzy melodies colliding with dense waves of distortion, all over hypnotic melodic runs and subtle barely-there rhythms. The label describes Kokura as sounding like SUNNO))) at half volume, but it's a lot more delicate than that, at moments monstrously heavy, but at others, like a soft whisper or a ghostlike sonic shimmer. Really nice.
KAWABATA, MAKOTO Hosanna Mantra (Important) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. NOW ON CD! Good thing too since this album's really great and the original vinyl version is both hella expensive AND now out of print anyway. And the two tracks from the bonus 7" that came with the vinyl edition are included on this cd too, yay! It's really difficult to not start off every Acid Mothers Temple or Kawabata Makoto review with something about their ridiculous prolificacy. Which makes sense of course, especially when we're faced with a new release probably every two months, if not more frequently. But as we've stated before, the point is almost moot, as pretty much everything we lay our ears on is great! So it all boils down to how much you need, or how different each recording is, a sort of personal preference. Allan probably has 40 or 50 Keiji Haino albums, and probably thinks that is not nearly enough, whereas Andee has maybe one or two, and is positive that that's plenty. So here we have the latest slab of divine psych from Acid Mothers Temple guru Kawabata Makoto, functioning here in his solo shaman incarnation (as opposed to his role in AMT's freaked out psych rock space rituals) and it's awesome. Really. A deliriously dreamy swirl of electric guitar, bouzouki and sitar, all woven into two sidelong tracks of glorious ur-drone! Glistening, sparkling expanses of slow shifting overtones and overlapping melodies, steel string buzz and deeeeeeeeeep resonant rumbles. Hard not to hear a bit of fellow countrymen Taj Mahal Travellers. The more static passages sound downright Niblock-like with their almost imperceptible sonic shifts.
"Scarlet Phenomenon" MPEG Stream:
KAWABATA, MAKOTO Hosanna Mantra (A Silent Place) lp + 7" 45.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. It's really difficult to not start off every Acid Mothers Temple or Kawabata Makoto review with something about their ridiculous prolificacy. Which makes sense of course, especially when we're faced with a new release probably every two months, if not more frequently. But as we've stated before, the point is almost moot, as pretty much everything we lay our ears on is great! So it all boils down to how much you need, or how different each recording is, a sort of personal preference. Allan probably has 40 or 50 Keiji Haino albums, and probably thinks that is not nearly enough, whereas Andee has maybe one or two, and is positive that that's plenty. So here we have the latest slab of divine psych from Acid Mothers Temple guru Kawabata Makoto, functioning here in his solo shaman incarnation (as opposed to his role in AMT's freaked out psych rock space rituals) and it's awesome. Really. A deliriously dreamy swirl of electric guitar, bouzouki and sitar, all woven into two sidelong tracks of glorious ur-drone! Glistening, sparkling expanses of slow shifting overtones and overlapping melodies, steel string buzz and deeeeeeeeeep resonant rumbles. Hard not to hear a bit of fellow countrymen Taj Mahal Travellers. The more static passages sound downright Niblock-like with their almost imperceptible sonic shifts. LIMITED TO 550 COPIES, packaged in a super deluxe full color gatefold sleeve. And for a super limited time we have some of the version that comes with a bonus 7", pressed on red vinyl (ONLY 150 COPIES, WE HAVE ABOUT 15), two more brief bursts of buzz, with reverb drenched chant-like vocals added to the already buzzing, droning mix. So good.
KAWABATA, MAKOTO You Are The Moonshine (Mar/ino) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Fulfilling his self-made prophecy as the reborn spirt of legendary hippie music guru Father Yod from Yahowha 13, Acid Mothers Temple ringleader Kawabata Makoto proclaimed a harmonious existence within his own personal "cosmos" in 1999. The perpetual output of material from Kawabata after that incident may indicate that he is merely a medium for the extra-dimensional spirits with which he has come in contact. Or maybe he just took a lot of drugs. Either way, Kawabata's neo-psychedelia has become one of the more wildly divergent expressions of an altered consciousness, ranging from the propulsive psychedelic jams of the aforementioned Acid Mothers Temple, to the thug-rock riffs of Nishinihon, to his miasmic guitar / sitar drones when recording under his own name or the Father Moo moniker. "You Are The Moonshine" falls into the latter category of glistening, reverbed guitar washes projecting the levitationally transcendent images from Kawabata's lysergically tinged personal cosmos. Even better than the recent "Inui" recordings, but painfully limited to 150 copies each. Don't expect these to last.
"You Are The Moonshine 1" RealAudio clip:
"You Are The Moonshine 3"
KAWABATA, MAKOTO Your Voice From the Moon (Vivo) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. If a bearded, tie-dyed guy fiddling with the knobs and wires of some vintage synth is your idea of a good time, you're in luck. Here's another three (quite long, of course) tracks of space-out fantasia from the prolific Kawabata Makoto, leader of everyone's favorite band of hippie throwbacks, Acid Mothers Temple. Kawabata's music is just about Japan's number one export these days, isn't it?? Well c'mon, he's got rent to pay (or effects boxes to buy, or something). And as always, we're not complaining... ol' Kawabata can indulge his love for krauty cosmic electronics, as he does here, all the live long day and we'll forever be willing to lend an ear. At 21, 19, and 34 minutes, roughly, these tracks have plenty of space to develop, and feature quietly creepy stretches of looping seagull static as well as utter sci-fi, videogame zappery, pretty much along the same lines as Space Machine, Masonna's similarly inspired analog synth side project. Good music to veg out to while starring at any remotely abstract pattern, with the last and longest (title) track being the most meditative, basically a central drone-tone and heartbeat-like pulse.
"Planet Crazy Diamond" MPEG Stream:
"Love On The Galactic Railroad"
KAWABATA, MAKOTO & JEAN-FRANCOIS PAUVROS Venus (PSF) cd 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. *Acid Mothers Temple alert* *Acid Mothers Temple alert* *Acid Mothers Temple alert* Yep, back to the bomb shelter (or out to the playground). Didn't we just have one of these drills last week? Seems it like anyway. Still, best to be prepared. This time, it's AMTer in chief Kawabata Makoto, a veritable psych guitar guru, teamed up with veteran French avant-guitarist Jean-Francois Pauvros, whom many of you might recall from a previous collaboration a few years back with Kawabata (Extreme Onction). He's also recorded with another Japanese psych guitar guru: Keiji Haino. Together, here, Kawabata and Jean-Francois stir up three long tracks of psych-guitar improv beauty. It's a billowing blowout of both droning nightmare whalesong and subtle scrabbly textures, wrung ffrom guitars, bows, amps, and the cosmos. Venus has a seductive softness to it, even when it's loud. PSF brand goodness for sure.
KAWABATA, MAKOTO & RICHARD YOUNGS s/t (VHF) cd 13.98
After being out of print and unavailable for far too long (a coupla years anyway), the kind folks at VHF have repressed this, at last. Here's what we had to say about this great record back when it came out in 2001, originally: "The entirely too prolific Kawabata Makoto (who fronts Acid Mothers Temple) joins AQ fave Richard Youngs for a surprisingly tranquil, and beautifuly melancholic record of swirling haze and delicate melodies, employing acoustic guitar, autoharp, organ, and voice. Rather than have titles, on the back cover this disc's songs are differentiated by colored bars of varying length. Medium length blue bar: distorted autoharp over a fuzzy drone of muted melodies, with beautiful plaintive vocals soaring over the rich sonic miasma. Longer orange bar: gentle finger picked guitar over far away wind chimes and dreamy soundscapes. Green bar shorter than the blue one: manipulated vocals time stretched and twisted into alien melodies over a warm buzzing hum and acoustic guitar. Short red bar and really short purple bar: two tracks of gorgeous melodies on acoustic guitar with simple droning organ chords and fluttering high end organ noodling. Really beautiful and totally mesmerising. Some of the best work by both Makoto and Youngs, who have curbed their penchant for all out noise and given us a glimpse into their sensitive sides." Of course, since we wrote the above review (which first appeared on list 124), the ever-prolific Kawabata has explored some other equally "sensitive" realms, but this is still one of the best from amongst his mellower stuff. And Youngs (who often allows that glimpse) has also increased his profile to some degree, bringing us such AQ-faves as May, Airs Of The Ear (especially), and River Through Howling Sky. So we imagine there's got to be a bunch of you out there who have only discovered either Youngs or Kawabata relatively recently, or otherwise somehow missed this before and thereby (not to use to strong a word, but...) NEED it now.
"Long Blue Bar" MPEG Stream:
"Really Short Purple Bar"
KAYO DOT Blue Lambency Downward (Hydra Head) cd 14.98
KAYO DOT Choirs of the Eye (Tzadik) cd 15.98
Back in 2001 we reviewed two simultaneously-released albums by a really strange death metal / prog rock / new age collison of a band called Maudlin Of The Well. Perhaps you remember them, they were pretty great and weird, and hard to figure out. Now, two years later, Maudlin Of The Well are back in the guise of Kayo Dot. Not sure why they changed their name, it must have had something to do with signing to John Zorn's Tzadik label. Yes, they're on Tzadik -- their avant-garde dreams come true! John Zorn is their buddy now! But it's clearly the same band. And if anything, better and more bizarre than before. Imagine an epic combination of Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Radiohead's OK Computer, Neurosis or Tarantula Hawk, and Faith No More circa Angel Dust (Kayo Dot's singer definitely has some sort of crush on Mike Patton)!! The heavy parts are HEAVY, the pop stuff nicely poppy, the dreamy stuff way dreamy and delicate. Music to float along with, or dive down deep into. The dense heavy sections approach Boris or Pelican levels, with screams buried beneath the din...then it'll break down into a piano interlude or Frippish guitar solo. The most avant black metal acts also would appear to be part of Kayo Dot's listening diet. An unusual Tzadik release to be sure -- even with the chamber strings and jazz horns and prog moves and psychedelically noisy parts, this has a core of both pop and metal that ironically makes this one of the *most* experimental releases on the label! Recommended.
"The Manifold Curiosity " MPEG Stream:
KAYO DOT Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue (Robotic Empire) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Hot on the heels of the excellent "solo" album from Kayo Dot frontman Toby Driver we reviewed last list, comes this new opus from Kayo Dot proper. They've moved from Tzadik to metalcore label Robotic Empire, but Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue is no less avant-garde than previous KD output, that's for sure (you ought to be able to tell that just by the title, eh?). A confusing, crushing blend of Godspeed, Neurosis, John Zorn, Amber Asylum, Oxbow... Kayo Dot's apparent points of reference make for a mysterious listen. It's chamber-prog rock, it's metal, it's melodic and mysterious, with cryptic lyrics softly intoned amidst the creepy, ambient beauty, marred (not really) by violent outbursts of claustophobic heaviness, when and if the track builds to such a climax... Or marred by jazzy saxophone solos, there's that too. You can tell why John Zorn likes 'em! Actually, sax only surfaces significantly on "Aura On An Asylum Wall" which also has some of the album's most brutal blasting passages to make up for all that jazziness. There's also rumbling percussion and droning strings and sensitive singing and long stretches of ominous, dark, weighty quietude -- track lengths reach up to 18 minutes and are often more soundscapey than anything "song-structured". It's about as experimental as you can get and still appear on a nominally "metal" label.
"Gemini Becoming The Tripod" MPEG Stream:
"Amaranth The Peddler"
KAYO DOT / BLOODY PANDA Don't Touch Dead Animals / Fever / Circle And Tail (Holy Roar) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We've long been fans art metallers Kayo Dot (who were born from another band we loved, metallic chamber prog weirdos Maudlin Of The Well) and they just keep getting better and better, weirder and weirder. And who better to get matched up with for a split lp, that outsider art sludge combo Bloody Panda? Who, much like Bathtub Shitter, we liked before we even heard em cuz how can you not with a name like that?! And thankfully their sound more than lived up to the high expectations we had because of the name. Anyway, these two groups are pretty well matched, different enough to keep things interesting, but similar enough to ensure that most folks who dig one, will most likely dig the other. Kayo Dot start things off with the side-log "Don't Touch Dead Animals", which begins with some creepy female spoken word before lurching into some woozy dark jazz, blissy and warbly underpinned by thick (yet subtle) metal guitars. The sound is slithery and late night, like a metal tinged Bohren or DJ Shadow. Eventually, this dark lounge groove builds into some serious metallic crunch, with wailing horns and anguished female vocals, and truly killer drumming. A glorious trainwreck, blown out free jazz groove all tangled up in some dirgey heaviness. Pretty great. Bloody Panda counter with what starts out as just a simple caveman plod, with distant moaning metallic guitars, a weird sort of doomy ambience, but it pretty quickly amps up into a massive churning slab of doomy sludge. Guitars are huge and downtuned, poured over everything like viscous goop, the vocals are bizarre, some chanted and crooned, others garbled and alien sounding. There are brief bits of post rocky bliss, and some weird ambient spaciness, but for the most part, this is the sound of a huge Bloody Panda, trudging through tarpits and molten rock, leaving a swath or ruin behind it, crushing everything in its path. Pressed on super swank grey and brown splattered vinyl, and housed in an eye popping full color gatefold sleeve.
KEEN, JEFF Noise Art (Trunk) cd 17.98
We had never heard of artist Jeff Keen before, but by now, we know to just trust the curatorial, crate digging brilliance of Johnny Trunk and his ever expanding series of sonic wonders released via his Trunk label. This collection of unearthed soundtrack recordings from comics obsessed UK outsider artist Keen is no exception. Keen, a painter, sculptor, filmmaker, and more, created a whole series of films, for which he also recorded the soundtracks, using whatever he had on hand, field recordings from his local arcade, an old Atari, primitive delay machines, radios, tape loops, old synthesizers, as well as an arsenal of homemade instruments of his own invention, made from old dolls and toys and all manner of salvaged detritus. That's not to mention his own voice, speaking a language he invented, and delivered as if spoken by various characters he created. These soundtracks were all discovered after his death, a box of cassettes containing some of the coolest craziest sounds you'll ever hear. From wild plunderponic jumbles of tangled voices woven into constantly shifting textures, and weird dizzying rhythmic arrangements, cool glitched out soundscapes, all FX drenched bleeps and bloops laid over buzzing strings and weird sonic blurts, blasts of super psychedelic noise, dubbed out into hypnotic pulsations, or whipped up into wild speaker destroying squalls, woozy loops peppered with all sorts of random sonic fragments, voices, sound effects, plenty of short wave interference, EVP like static and hum, twisted Speak & Spell style vocal garble, and lots of droney noisiness, caustic and chaotic one second, weirdly mesmerizing the next, some stretches that sound like old industrial music or power electronics, and others that sound like modern minimalism, or some lost Dada artifact, mysterious recordings reminiscent of an alien Kurt Schwitters. Super cool, and super strange. Extensive liner notes and essays, as well as lots of photos!
"Atari Sounds 4 Track Mix" MPEG Stream:
"Rayday" MPEG Stream:
"BlatzomFragzWhitenseWasp2" MPEG Stream:
"Artwar Noise Loop" MPEG Stream:
"Omozap Master Side B" MPEG Stream:
KEEP BREATHING s/t (Rhizome) cd-r 12.98
We never listed this now-out-of-print cd-r from a few years back... but just discovered we actually have over a half dozen copies in our closet! So, grab it now while you can, it's pretty cool if you're into "human" drone sounds. Originally released as a limited cd-r on the Australian label Winter Records in 2005, this was an equally limited reissue by the mysteriously monikered, Keep Breathing. Comprised of three long-form (each over 20 minutes) drone compositions involving circular breathing on what sounds like bagpipes or melodicas, that modulate and flutter around a few notes in trance-like fashion. Reminiscent of Yoshi Wada, Ellen Fullman, Malachi, or even a slow motion Daniel Higgs in instrumental mode. Perfect music to have your chakras aligned to.
"Track 1" MPEG Stream:
KEFFER, LESLIE Feels Like Frenching (Ecstatic Peace) lp 8.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** We're beginning come to terms with the fact that Ms. Keffer is pretty much our new noise rock crush (although hard to remember who our old one was... Matthew Bower?), not only is she foxy, she kicks up a seriously corrosive din that puts most of the other noisemakers, men AND women, to shame. This three track 12" is some seriously old school corrosive and caustic noise, fitting perfectly alongside groups like Robedoor (who she shared a split with recently), the Yellow Swans, and similarly minded noisemakers, but only at their fiercest and most brutal, cuz this 12" is fierce AND brutal. Seriously lo-fi, dense clouds of processed guitars, damaged FX, misfiring synths, who knows what all is in there, a pulverizing wall of damaged FX drenched sound that eventually attains a sort of Total / Sunroof! droned out bliss, albeit much harsher. ANd as with only the deftest of noisemakers, Keffer manages to make this blast of brutality downright listenable, but probably only to those with ears of steel (or collections packed with Masonna, Merzbow, Hijokaidan and the like...)!
KEIJO Flying Over (Digitalis) cd 11.98
"Flying Over The Plains" MPEG Stream:
"Esta Claro Si"
KEIJO For A While (Last Visible Dog) cd 9.98
"Endless Shine" MPEG Stream:
KEIJO Palla, Blown From Here (Digitalis) cd 14.98
KEIJO Whose Dream We Live In? (Fire Museum) cd 14.98
KEIJO & THE FREE PLAYERS After At Once (Digitalis) cd 12.98
It's hard to believe we've somehow managed to never review a record by Finnish free folk improviser Keijo Virtanen, considering the sheer number of cd-r and cassette releases he's amassed over the last few years, but we're making up for it this list by listing two different ones. Keijo's After At Once is his very first non-cd-r release, and gathers up his usual group of sonic cohorts, known collectively as the Free Players, some of which also do time in the group Vapaa, to do that thing that seems to come so naturally to the Finnish, weave an enormous and gorgeously complex sonic tapestry of clattery improv, dark droning ambience, and stumbling foresty free folk. It should go without saying that anyone into Avarus, or Anaksimandros, or Kemialliset Ystavat or any of their like-minded musical brethren and sistren, will love this. They are all branches on the same tree, a massive sprawling sonic collective, even when they don't share members, they share ideas, and inspiration, a common musical heritage, and the results are always totally breathtaking. Here, the sound is crafted into slow building meandering epics, detuned steel string strum, shimmery distant chordal swells, occasional bells and chimes, strange simple minimal percussion, haunting deconstructed grooves, bursts of abstract tribal drumming, plenty of tape hiss and ambient noise, moaning horns, playful little Renn faire melodies, bizarre Comus-like vocals, throat singing, all tangled up and intertwined and overlapping, a gloriously untethered drift through some lost world of sound.
"A Short Cry" MPEG Stream:
KEIJO AND THE FREE PLAYERS Untitled (Pseudo Arcana) cd-r 13.98
It's hard to believe we've somehow managed to never review a record by Finnish free folk improviser Keijo Virtanen, considering the sheer number of cd-r and cassette releases he's amassed over the last few years, but we're making up for it this list by listing two different ones. This is a more recent cd-r, released on Antony Milton's Pseudo Arcana label, and again features Keijo teamed up with his band of Free Players, featuring some folks from fellow Finnish free folkers Vapaa, and like the Digitalis disc reviewed elsewhere on this list, it's another gorgeous slab of spaced out free folk bliss, and minimal psychedelic drone. As we mentioned in the other review, fans of Avarus, Kemialliset, Anaksimandros, and any of that sort of Finnish free weirdness, should just stop right now and pick this up (we actually only have a handful in stock). Fans of No Neck and Sunburned Hand will probably dig this a lot as well... Keijo and his players sound like Hawkwind, if they had all of their instruments confiscated, and were forced to wander in a deep forest for years and years. A meandering, primitive folky drone, a sort of abstract freenoise, with bits of jazzy skitter, pagan tribalism, rumbling drone and creepy ambience. Simpler percussion, wood blocks, chimes, all manner of random clatter, broken drums, clanking cymbals, spread out over expanses of warbling organ drones, and murky minimal shuffle, peppered here and there are field recordings, snippets of conversations, strange dubbed out FX, new agey flutes, some playful bits of jaunty melody, and dense layers of thick, swirling sound. A deeply dark, dreamily dense listen.
"One" MPEG Stream:
KEIM Be:Fallen...) Blu Eme-s.k. (Wad) cd 16.98
We picked this one up on the recommendation of Stefan "Troum" Knappe, who told us that Keim sounded a lot like Daniel Menche, Francisco Lopez, and Oval. His comparisons are certainly apt as Keim specializes in deep low-end textural drones, processed environmental recordings, and occasional hard-disc edits that reference quantum radioactive decay rather than indicate the pure digital circuit bending of the Raster-label folk.
KEITH, RODD Ecstacy To Frenzy (Tzadik) cd 16.98
Genius or madman? Both? Neither? It's going to be tough to decide as you delve into Ecstasy (sic) To Frenzy by Rodd Keith, the second Keith release in Tzadik's "Lunatic Fringe" series. Unreleased and unknown until now, Keith's studio epic "Shome Howe Jehovason Plays" takes up the bulk of this disc. There's two versions presented, each over a half-hour in length, the second playing in reverse. It's sheer lunacy from a man best known for his for-hire song-poem compositions like "Beat Of The Traps" (which, along with the title track and "Little Rug Bug" appear here as boni, although they also were included on The American Song-Poem Anthology released last year by Bar/None, so you might already have them.) However crazed and wonderful those examples of Keith's commercial songcraft are, they won't prepare you for "Shome Howe Jehovason Plays". His "cool cat" persona flies out the window, replaced with something altogether more alien. Wandering organ and maddening Vince Guaraldi Peanuts piano meets wordless, backwards Magmoid vocal babble. If you told me this was some Fluxus piece, or an Italian avant-garde prog experiment gone wrong, I'd believe it. We're not sure what Keith was thinking back when he recorded this opus (we don't know when that was exactly, but he died in 1974), but we do find it weirdly enjoyable. Outsider art for sure, completely cracked in fact. It certainly goes to prove that Rodd Keith was the right guy to tackle all those crazy poems that folks sent in to have set to music, he was obviously feeling where they came from!
"Shome Howe Jehovason Plays (version one)" MPEG Stream:
"Beat Of The Traps"
KELLEY, GREG / ALEX NIELSON Graveside Doles (Ultra Eczema) lp 25.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. As always, these Ultra Eczema lps are amazingly packaged, in gorgeously designed sleeves, pressed on nice thick vinyl, and limited to 400 copies, most of which are sold before we even realize they're out. So we only got a tiny handful of these (5-10 copies) so don't get your hopes up. Greg Kelley, meet Alex Nielson. UK, meet USA. And the proceed to hurl shards of chaotic free noise at each other for about 40 minutes. Lots of feedback, tortured guitars, swirls of effects, random free jazz rhythmic clatter, swooping space age electronic bleep bloop and flutter, an abstract soundscape constructed from just the fade out parts of Hawkwind songs, Acid Mothers Temple with all the actual rock taken out, Sunroof! out takes and the very free-est of jazzes. Cool.
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Alkuharka (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 24.00
One of our favorite slabs of freaky Finnish forest folk, now available on lp!! Pressed on thick vinyl in a deluxe jacket with a printed inner sleeve and all new artwork! The 18 tracks found here are a riotous festival of Finnish folk-psych. A pagan parade in a forest glade. Abstract, druggy, dark, delightful... We're always entranced by Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged improv folk mystery, and Alkuharka is yet another reason for us to keep saving our pennies in order to afford a trip to Finland (lucky Andee's been there once already). Anyone into anything along the lines of Tower Recordings, Thuja, Trad Gras Och Stenar, Six Organs Of Admittance, the whole Broken Face 'zine scene (to whom Kemialliset mainman Jan Anderzen used to contribute much art) will want/need this. Horns flutes guitars drones bells tapes voices feedback. Wheezing buzzing bliss. With contributions from honorary Finns Dylan Nyoukis (Prick Decay) and Campbell Kneale (Birchville Cat Motel), Jan and company are the true underground krautrock heirs, making music so long haired that it's furrier than any Animal Collective. Music from the soundtrack to The Wickermoomin, perhaps?
"track 2" MPEG Stream:
"track 4" MPEG Stream:
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Kellari Juniversumi (Beta-Lactam Ring) lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This long out of print AQ fave from these foresty free folk weirdos gets an ultra deluxe vinyl reissue thanks to Beta-Lactam Ring. Really gorgeous packaging and nice thick vinyl. Here's how much we love this record, from back when it was a cd: Hallelujah! More droning, buzzing, flickering folk-psych from Finland's mysterious Kemialliset Ystavat collective. Sure, we know who's in the band -- Broken Face 'zine artist/contributor Jan Anderzen, Fonal label head Sami Sanpakkila (Es, Kiila), and a host of other Finns -- but they still SOUND mysterious. The damaged four-track folk sound of NYC's Tower Recordings filtered through the forest ambience of AQ-fave improv-psych outfit Thuja might, MIGHT be an approximation of Kemialliset's sonic space. They inhabit that territory previously explored by the likes of Amon Duul, Ghost, Kalacakra, Toho Sara, Parson Sound, International Harvester, Amps For Christ, Six Organs Of Admittance, Algarnas Tradgard, etc. If any of these names bring a warm sensation to your frontal lobes, then you're likely already a Kemialliset fan even if you haven't yet heard 'em. Each track (there's 17 of 'em, spread over 47 minutes) is a psychedelic miniature constructed of drifting, chanting vocals, gentle melodies, and primitive rhythms, contrasting distorted electric guitar wash with pretty, chiming percussion, strings and woodwinds. Freaky and far-out yet mostly mellow and warm and cosy. Fucking lovely. Ah, Finland.
"Kellari Juniversumi" MPEG Stream:
"Uruaurat" MPEG Stream:
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Latvasta Laho (Celebrate Psi Phenomenon) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Lucky for us there's not a whole lot to do in Finland other than drink, smoke and make records. It means that we will never have to worry about running out of weird and wonderful Finnish foresty psych rock jams. And by now, we're quite comfortable in admitting that we can never get enough. EVER. Circle, Avarus, Uton, Islaja, Es, Kiila, Anaksimandros, Tivol and of course Kemialliset Ystavat. They've all tapped into something special and mysterious, some gorgeously primal world of drones and simple rhythms, minimal psychedelic freakouts, deliriously primitive drumming and outer space melodies. A sort of Krautrock meets seventies pagan folk meets minimal drone meets free rock meets everything else. No wonder it all sounds so good. It's little purloined scraps of everything we love, woven haphazardly together into gorgeous rambling and meandering sonic explorations. Banjos accompany wavering falsetto vocals, shuffling seasick rhythms underpin wild songbird like melodies and fluttery flutes, buzzing distorted guitars rumble beneath full on harmony pop vocals, warped and warbly organs and woodwinds nestle up against the clattery clang of kitchen sink percussion. It all sounds so perfectly imperfect together. Dreamy and melancholy, stumbly and goofy, dark and brooding, woozy and hypnotic, innocent and playful, exuberant and festive, creepy and bizarre, pretty and darn near perfect.
"Verta Hiuksissa" MPEG Stream:
"Black Holes M.I." MPEG Stream:
"Haisee Kissojen Taivaalta"
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Lumottu Karkkipurkki (Vapaa Systeemi) (Fonal) cd 17.98
People have been going crazy for the Kemialliset stuff lately, so we thought we'd better relist this! What we said when we first got it: And if a repress of the beloved Kellari Juniversumi wasn't enough (no it's not, and might we suggest their Suurempi Pieni Palatsi album get reissued sometime too?) there's also this "new" cd from Finland's foresty freak folksters Kemialliset Ystavat. Actually, this has been released twice before in other formats: first as a cassette on Finland's Huutomerkki label (hmm, missed that) and then again as a lathe cut double vinyl 8" on New Zealand's Celebrate Psi Phenomenon label (dang, didn't get one of those either!). So thankfully Fonal has now put it out on cd for those of us who somehow inexplicably failed to get either of those previous versions when they were "available". Yay! And what of the music? Well, imagine sitting somewhere deep in the forest... not alone with nature though. No, you're hanging out with a bunch of elves and trolls, drinking or smoking pot or something delinquent like that. Actually this isn't even that foresty really... maybe you've invited your little friends back to the city and you're hanging out in your apartment listening to weird '80s industrial experimental music and electronic krautrock records. And maybe you've got a few of these records going on several turntables at once, at 16 rpm, the volume turned down low, and some of the trolls are joining in (faintly) on vocals, and one of them's got a flute, and another one's got a broken music box, and some bells, and a shortwave radio. But the music you're hearing/making is still amazingly nice and mellow and organic 'cause you're with a bunch of elves after all. The sun's going down and the light is fading and you feel all warm and toasty and kinda sleepy-drunk. Ok, stop imagining. You'll have your own (better) mental images to go along with this music when you hear it. But we'll say that right from the get-go this is immediately some of the rawest, most primitively-electronic Kemialliset Ystavat stuff we've heard. There's what what sounds like layers of loops, tape machine fuckery, all kinds of pleasingly distorted textures folded into a mysterious and still somewhat (abstractly) melodic sound-world, with haunting eerie vocals and tribal clink-clank. And yet, among the 15 tracks here you'll find some of the simplest and prettiest of the Kemialliset canon too. Loose, lovely and loveable stuff.
"Metsa" MPEG Stream:
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Suurempi Pieni Palatsi (Alice In Wonder) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The hard to pronounce Kemialliset Ystavat play a mysterious, fucked up brand of psychedelic improv folk music -- fractured, fairytale sounds from the woods of Finland. Well, more likely a bedroom studio in Finland. But Kemialliset Ystavat seem like they belong in a forest, an old dark magical forest. This is their first full length cd, after several obscure and odd releases over the past few years (homemade cassettes, a one-sided LP for Fusetron, a 3" cd-r on Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, a split 7" on Bad Vugum, etc.). Indeed, this disc actually consists of material originally released on a limited 7" last year, plus lots of bonus stuff. It's primarily the work of one main band member, Jan Anderzen. He's helped by, among others, our friend Sami Sanpakkila (of Es, Kiila, Velvolino and Fonal Records). Maybe the closest comparison we could make would be to NYC's Tower Recordings. But Kemialliset Ystavat's damaged psych meanderings somehow capture an even more "authentic, exotic" mood of post-krautrock wonderment than that conjured by the New Yorkers, although we love them so. After getting all those great sixties International Harvester, Trad Gras Och Stenar etc. reissues in, it's nice to know that their spirit of psychedelic exploration is still alive and well in Scandinavia, thirty years on!
"Hurja Taivas" RealAudio clip:
"Kuin Kaste Aamun" RealAudio clip:
"Nykyajan Tanssi" RealAudio clip:
"Katkennut Rauhanpiippu "
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Taju (Pohjoisten Kukkaisten Aanet ) cassette 6.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. You know how we're always listing cds from the mystical, mythical Finnish free-folk crew of bands like Kemialliset Ystavat, Avarus, Uton and others that consist of material long before previously released on super limited edition formats like cd-r, lathe-cut vinyl, and cassette tape? Stuff that, upon inital release, only made it out to the handful of gnomes and trolls who hang out in the Finnish forests and snap up such treasures while they're still warm. If you're a fan but don't dwell in the deeps of the Finnish woods, it's a little frustrating ain't it? Well now here's your chance to get in on the ground floor with one of these releases. No promises that it will ever be available on any other format, either. From the same folks that brought us the fabulous Maan Matoset comp reviewed elsewhere this list... Live Kemialliset Ystavat! ON CASSETTE TAPE. Yup, just like in ye olden days. Packaged with nice, colorful j-card artwork. Recorded live in Hyvinkaa, 2005. Next best thing to being there... Taju is a muttering, howling, clanking, freaked out party of a record, just as mysterious and fun as any other Kemialliset document but very live and energetic indeed. Kazoos compete with rattling percussion, electronic drones, and barnyard vocalizations... It's a preschool Amon Duul on a sugar high. Get it while you can, we won't have these for long (already some gnomes have been by to pick up their copies).
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Untitled (Fonal) cd 17.98
Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat (and Avarus, and Anaksimandros, and Uton, and Lau Nau, and Doktor Kettu, etc.) are often referred to as "forest-folk", implying some sort of quiet, gentle rustling mystery amidst the trees, and sometimes that's quite the case. But the first few tracks here, on Kemialliset's latest, would certainly scare off any friendly small animals -and- wake up the sleeping forest trolls. It's woozy woodsy cacophony unleashed. This be outsider "folk" at its most abstract and noisy and "free". But, by track four or five things have calmed down a bit, the sounds have gotten more organized. Some charismatic, long-haired, bearded guru has obviously taken charge of the previously wild music-makers, their pagan energy now channelled down paths previously trod unshod by the likes of Parson Sound and Amon Duul... more mellow and musical, still druggy and damaged. Track six, "Superhimmeli", comes off like something by cult '60s ESP tribe Cromagnon!! (Perhaps due to having the same keening horn cry as heard in Cromagnon's "Caledonia".) There's a hippy chant drone density to a lot of this that's VERY satisfying. It's like an ancient celebration underway, wooden space rock rituals, accompanied by electronic squiggles or birds atwitter, burbling and gurgling sounds in the margins... sunshiney yet strange, very strange. Fonal thinks this is one of their best yet and we wouldn't argue. NB. There IS vinyl of this, but unfortunately the copies we got were damaged -- we're expecting replacements from Finland soon, though.
"Tulinen Kiihdytys" MPEG Stream:
"Superhimmeli" MPEG Stream:
"Himmeli Kutsuu Minua"
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Untitled (Fonal) lp 11.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We were never able to list the vinyl of this past AQ Record Of The Week. Luckily we just found a stash of them, all of which however have slightly bent corners to their covers, so we're reducing the price big time, and now you have the chance to have one of our favorite records of the last several years on wax! Finland's Kemialliset Ystavat (and Avarus, and Anaksimandros, and Uton, and Lau Nau, and Doktor Kettu, etc.) are often referred to as "forest-folk", implying some sort of quiet, gentle rustling mystery amidst the trees, and sometimes that's quite the case. But the first few tracks here, on Kemialliset's latest, would certainly scare off any friendly small animals -and- wake up the sleeping forest trolls. It's woozy woodsy cacophony unleashed. This be outsider "folk" at its most abstract and noisy and "free". But, by track four or five things have calmed down a bit, the sounds have gotten more organized. Some charismatic, long-haired, bearded guru has obviously taken charge of the previously wild music-makers, their pagan energy now channelled down paths previously trod unshod by the likes of Parson Sound and Amon Duul... more mellow and musical, still druggy and damaged. Track six, "Superhimmeli", comes off like something by cult '60s ESP tribe Cromagnon!! (Perhaps due to having the same keening horn cry as heard in Cromagnon's "Caledonia".) There's a hippy chant drone density to a lot of this that's VERY satisfying. It's like an ancient celebration underway, wooden space rock rituals, accompanied by electronic squiggles or birds atwitter, burbling and gurgling sounds in the margins... sunshiney yet strange, very strange. Fonal thinks this is one of their best yet and we wouldn't argue.
"Tulinen Kiihdytys" MPEG Stream:
"Superhimmeli" MPEG Stream:
"Himmeli Kutsuu Minua"
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT Varisevien Tanssi / Silmujen Marssi (Kevyt Nostalgia) lp 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Awesome vinyl reissue of these two long out of print 3" cd-r's from one of our favorite Finnish outfits Kemialliset Ystavat, one originally released on UK noise-experimental label Betley Welcomes Careful Drivers, the other released by Finnish underground folk label Lal Lal Lal and originally packaged in a velvet sleeve designed to be used as a petting glove! Everything we love about KY is present here, gorgeously primitive / innocent / timeless Ur-folk, simple strummed guitars, outdoorsy lo fi recording, chant-like vocals, simple clattery percussion, dreamy hazy ritualistic soundscapes, delicate melancholy melodies, deliberate rhythmic stumble, subtle tape malfunction and home recorded production fuckery, loping late afternoon, staring at the sun rhythms, and occasional swirling swooping electronics. Fans of Kemialliset and all things Finnish (you know who you are) definitely need to pick this up. And all you folks who have been digging the Jewelled Antler stuff (Blithe Suns, Thuja, Ivytree, Child Readers, etc.) will find a whole new world of sonic forests and audio landscapes to explore and get lost in.
KEMIALLISET YSTAVAT / SUNROOF! split (Fat Cat) lp 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Latest in this long running series of split 12"s, each volume's number in the series denoted by the number of holes punched in the plain white cover, this volume thus being number 19! And this time number 19 is the magic number as both bands sharing the split are LONG time aQ faves, Kemialliset Ystavat from Finland, and Sunroof!, the more droned out and blissy project of Skullflower's Matthew Bower. Both groups sound amazing as usual, but display different sounds than we're used to here. Let's start with Kemialliset, whose usual sound is a gloriously ramshackle abstract foresty folk, and it still is, sort of, but it sounds like someone in the group got a computer (or at least finally figure out how to use one), as this is easily the most polished sounding KY record yet, and the most rife with strange electronics and effects, but by no means does that mean it's less out there, in fact it's probably the weirdest and most twisted KY record yet. Woozy twisted lullabies, warped music box melodies, haunting vocal harmonies, it's still foresty and folky, but way more fractured, with strange edits and tons of swirling effects and electronics, way more experimental and abstract, pretty and lilting for sure, but totally twisted. The final track is fantastic, a playful groove, only mildly effected, hypnotic and beautiful, but still a bit off kilter. The flipside finds Sunroof!, one of our favorite purveyors of glistening high end ur-drone, and technically these tracks still qualify but they're a bit more abrasive and harsh, the opener is brittle and caustic, a field of shrieking feedback, and hiss drenched high end, sputtering horns(?) and all manner of NOISE. The second track is all warped radio transmissions, still droney and minimal, buried beneath a sea of pulsating buzz. And the final track explodes with sheets of corrosive buzz, all high end, grinding and fuzz drenched, a mighty ur-drone bordering on Merzbow territory, but always with a haunting melodic undercurrent that transforms what could be near white noise into something thick and layered and organic and in some strange abrasive way, quite beautiful.
KEMP, ALICE Decay And Persistence (Fragment Factory) cd-r 13.98
A hitherto unknown to us British sound artist, Alice Kemp seems to have honed her craft of cloak-n-dagger electroacoustics through the realms of performance art, with this long-form piece being a reworking of the sound designs that were commissioned by the performance art duo Weeks & Whitford. The imagery and allusions from Weeks & Whitford are gruesome (with Rebecca Weeks holding a malformed Eraserhead-like creature molded from livers and hearts in one of the photos accompanying this album) and spooky (a human hand made of frozen wine that melts all over a wedding dress worn by Weeks), in "tracing the scars that are left as the trophies of love." Admittedly, there's only the various project descriptions and photographic evidence of those pieces, but Kemp's sound design must have been a disturbing, claustrophobic addition to those performances, as this album would easily make her an honorary member of the notorious Schimpfluch-Gruppe. In fact, she was invited to perform at the Extreme Ritual festival alongside all of the Schimpfluch artists (e.g. Rudolf Eb.Er, G*Park, Sudden Infant, Dave Phillips, Raionbashi, etc.) with the participants and audience members alike astonished / aghast at her work. The tick-tock rhythms of a clock brace empty spaces and shadowy rumblings of tactile sounds that could very well be the calving of massive icebergs or the amplifications of blood vessels hemorrhaging just underneath a trepanned skull. Taut wire snaps and VLF crackle slowly enter the fray as Kemp's overarching composition follows what Nurse With Wound's Stapleton did on Salt Marie Celeste, with a leviathan crawl of incremental psychic intensity. Lets hope this album isn't just a minor excursion for Kemp; but as it stands now, this is all we know of... and it's a pro-duplicated cd-r in a nice digipack with an edition of just 100 copies.
"Decay And Persistence"
KENNEY, JESSIKA & EYVIND KANG Aestuarium (Editions Mego / Ideologic Organ) lp 21.00
KENTOLEVI Keimola (Cheap) 12" 9.98
An older single from 1996 by Mika Vainio (Pan Sonic, Tekonivel, O, etc.) on the perenially good Austrian label Cheap. Hyper-minimal phaseshifting techno constructed on a handful of one-off analogue machines like the complex sound generator. As with all Vainio productions, highly recommended.
KEVIN COSTNER SUICIDE PACT My Hand Holding A Still Photograph Of The Same Scene (Hooker Vision) cassette 8.98
That's a great name for this blustery dronemuzak project from Denver, Colorado. As much as we would like for the band to operate as the ambient technicians for some mountain-man cult of doomspeakers and nay-sayers akin to Elizabeth Clare Prophet's Church Universal And Triumphant, the name was spawned as a drunken joke that belies the introspective atmospherics and smoke-n-mirror melancholy which oozes from their bank of pedals. A contemplative drone wafts from the collective's floorcore alchemy for guitars that blossoms into a dissonant crescendo of wintery noise sounding like a lo-fi version of Tim Hecker or Lawrence English. As the noise deflates back to a subtle ambient smear, one of the Pact wrangles with the mechanisms of a tape deck alongside some pixel-shifted noises that would make one think of Oval's skipping cd constructions given over to the Starving Weirdo's kitchen sink approach to stoned transcendence. On the second half the the 64 minute tape (thank you for not just settling for 15 or 20 minutes!), the Pact eschews the guitars for a freak-folk amalgam of bells and Finnish-inspired clatter that morphs into a balefully cinematic conclusion to the tape with deeply resonant loops that speaks to the expansive land in which these gentlemen live, as some sort of cracked, lugubrious reinterpretation of Arthur Honegger's early 20th Century symphonic ode to railroads and trains in Pacific 231. Another great find from Hooker Vision. Limited to 100 copies.
KEY Birch Skeletons, Skin Lanterns & Lake Of Stars (Handmade Birds) 3x10" box 48.00
Yet another strange release on the increasingly difficult to pin down Handmade Birds label, run by R. Loren of Pyramids, White Moth and Sailors with Wax Wings. In a matter of months, Handmade Birds has more releases than most labels have over the course of years! But hell, we're not complaining. So far we've had Blut Aus Nord's Mort, Celestiial's Desolate North, Evan Caminiti's When California Falls Into The Sea, His Name Is Alive's King Of Sweet (reviewed elsewhere on this week's list), and about a million more on the way (Der Blutharsch, Human Quena Orchestra, The Rita, Crooked Necks, Swamp Horse, Servile Sect and more!!), but this one, this is odd even by Handmade Birds admittedly far out criteria. This is a triple 10" boxset reissue of three long out of print demo tapes from Finnish black folk weirdos Key, a duo consisting of Kaarna from drone outfit Somnivore and Rauta from outsider black metal horde Circle Of Ouroborus, and all the mentions of 'black' above could be a little misleading, as this is far from black, and not at all metal. It's more in keeping with the later Circle Of Ouroborus recordings, a sort of fractured folk, a jangly, gloomy folk pop, all clean guitars, and haunting atmospheres, the vocals plaintive and hushed one second, deep and dramatically crooned the next, the sound slipping easily from psychedelic folk, to haunting almost new wave, to creepy doomy ballads, to reverby proto punk, but all gloomy and moody and fantastically strange, sounding a lot at moments like some lost nineties New Zealand outfit, maybe a bit like the Moles, or some obscure band on Flying Nun or Xpressway, the melodies are lilting, the basslines gloomy and a little gothic, the songs minimal, but strangely catchy, and definitely haunting and otherworldly, fans of Finnish stuff like CoO and Dead Reptile Shrine will definitely dig, as will anyone into fractured freak folk, and outsider gloom pop. LIMITED TO 250 COPIES, housed in a silver foil printed box, each of the three 10"s pressed on colored vinyl (white with black splatter, milky clear, ultra clear), each record in its own printed sleeve.
KEY OF SHAME s/t (Planam Kos) 2lp 38.00