Saturday, April 30, 2005

Foxglove continues to be one of the most active limited CD-R series in all the lands, and this stuff rarely disappoints, more often than not serving as a viable window into some of the finest home-recorded noise experimentalists in the world. Surefire is now distributing all of it, some of which is discussed below. So mosey on over there if so inclined:

Second Violin "Extinguished by Beating" CD-R - Glitchy layered drones, voices, sampled percussion and feedback refabricated as stupefying sonic voyages into the bottomless unknown. Occasionally threatens to develop a hook but mostly displays the slightest ghost of mobility. That being said opener "Room 347" goes from a dreamy industrial ooze to an actual pulse. The second track is a mass of layered vocals that recalls the early voice experiments of Cab Voltaire and The Hafler Trio. CV in the mid/late 70s when they were lost in creaking drone space and had yet to hone their fine edge. Also deep Kraut droners like Cluster and Popol Vuh at their most malevolent. The murky harmonics occasionally even sing to the soul.

Culver "Day of the Maniac" CD-R - A lone guitar is plucked for lost souls. Minimal whirring heard in the distance slowly grows like the coming day. The sense of space is palpable but the plodding rhythm makes sure this day is getting hotter and longer by the second. Loren Mazzacane Conners comes to mind, but lent a dreamier feedbacking blare like sunflares bouncing off a camera lens. The way the rudimentary guitar is augmented with layered plucks, low murmurs and backwords effects at various spots add an inscrutable haze to the tones.

Leannan Sith "In Search Of..." CD-R - A fractured "noise" spell that alternates between hummable oldy folky singalongs and pure head-scratching atonality, which means you might find yourself thinkin' Johnny Cash on smack one track, Dead C-ian waves of squlelch crossed with Comus on the next. Buckles and jerks in all sorts of zany directions and almost loses me entirely only to push the plunger down and shoot warm love all through my body. Country fuzz folk from the mountain children of Saturn (by way of Florida).

Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood "Lucifer's Bride" CD-R - Aussie brother/sister duo get panethnic with 5 swirls of acoustical raga mayhem and more frenzied sandstorms. The magic comes on like a warm breeze on the opening track which gets knocked off its axis by head-tickling metallic bowls. Elsewhere they combine tribal evocations with native chanting and scorching guitar smear. Throughout, all manner of wind and shaker instruments accent the loose, primitive feel. Amon Düül and early Ghost come to mind at times, maybe Matt Valentine and Erika Elder gone prog? All in all I prefer the more shamanistic parts, combining the finer elements of heaven and earth.

Jerusalem and the Starbaskets "Darkbasket" CD-R - Strummy lo-fi folk pop crumbles into clattery free drone and back again. The opener makes an impression as it builds from tormented loner warbling over guitar to tense strumming and feedback. This mostly feels like sketches or impressions of fever dreams, often delivered in dire all-or-nothing mode. The guy's gotta unleash it or someone will die. Each extended track alternates from rumbling sound sculpture to meditative acoustic passages replete with haunted voices and vocals. Mostly works well, see-sawing between cruddy feedback sculpture and soul searching acoustic introspection.

The Cone Bearers "Dew Drops on Grass Blades" CD-R - Improvised ethno sound dreams conjured on the day before Halloween in Tulsa, OK. They weave a timid drone melody early on with ornamental piano, bells, bows and more, while other pieces have a more billowy folk aura with ambient tones woven throughout joyful strumming: the spirit of the waking forest. My favorite moments are the more meditational dreams and meandering acoustic pieces. Though it's all pretty much meandering. Folky Jewelled Antlers, Six Organs and early Ghosts dancing in the green morning mist.

Terracid "Transcendent Reign Inheritor" CD-R - Somehow related to the sinister Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood mentioned above, this is some mighty fine free psych drone that builds to majestic heights with fem vocals gliding over exploratory screech and hiss at the start. The rest of the way we get mind-melting massed feedback and destroyed improv folk that wouldn't sound too out of step to any Tower Recordings junkie, but this is a messier more in the garage trip and mostly kicks some bung all the way through. ...Total and the Hototogisu obsessors might dig.

No comments: