19 March 2019

JAPANESE FURNACE


Disgusting. I challenge you to make aggressive music sounds this genuinely damaged. The mix is all fukkd up, the components all sound like they were recorded in a basement toilet on a micro-cassette recorded and nothing sounds like it is even supposed to go together. I can't tell if the vocalist is mad at the world or just pissed because the bass guitar is smothered weird sauce and all you can really hear is the unfortunate off time click instead of the low end rumble that might give the recording some power. There are breakdowns....and those are a different story. A story about how JAPANESE FURNACE just doesn't make sense. I mean, it's hardcore to be sure, but I don't think you can set out to make something this demented, and I certainly cannot imagine a band hearing this mix after a recording and thinking "Yeah, sure....that's what we were going for. Let's release it!" It should go without saying that this band is fukkn great. Two demos, from 2013 and 2014, repackaged for further listening confusion and/or pleasure....the second one sounds slightly more cohesive, is no less intense, and the guitar solo in "Dried Out" is just...wow.  




18 March 2019

LÉGITIME DÉFONCE


I first heard of LÉGITIME DÉFONCE from their late '90s split with San Jose's KRUPTED PEASANT FARMERZ, but I never looked any further (and honestly kinda forgot about them). Then this homemade collection appeared on my shelf (that's more or less how it happens around here) and it was like a time machine taking me back to the tours when we played a handful of tapes until they were transparent, sweating and drinking and discovering everything, us against the world. This was the punk that we listened to on these tours - not this band per se, but this was the sound that escorted us across North America and we would have loved this tape if it had been on our radar. High energy, snappy, melodic French hardcore....mid '90s hardcore that holds up extremely well, even if in retrospect there's a little too much NOFX in the mix. This tape features their self titled 1995 debut and the slightly rougher sounding ¡Ya Basta! from the following year...and I'm glad it lives on my shelf now. 


This '90s tape maker was a nice one, slapping eight tracks from the Higgledy Piggledy comp at the end of the tape....there's never a reason for leftover tape, kids. Excellent French shits from OVER TEN INCHES, TILT UP, BURNING HEADS, OUT OF ORDER, MASS MURDERERS and more. Included in the DL of course, because I am also a nice one. 





17 March 2019

CARLOS VILLENA


A hallucinatory sonic sculpture spanning forty-five minutes from Spanish multi-disciplinary artist CARLOS VILLENA. The accumulation of sound is almost painfully slow, and the end result feels like he is opening a black hole in and through my very soul. Not for casual listening, not for a quick dip....this requires full immersion. 




16 March 2019

NEW BERLIN


The first thing I thought of was that NAKED RAYGUN track "Hip Swingin'," but only because NEW BERLIN actually made me want to swing my hips. It doesn't sound like NAKED RAYGUN at all mind you...it just made me want to dance. We're talking SPITS, EDDY CURRENT level delivery with a similar casual cool oozing through every crease in the recording. Laid back, cool as fukk.


Also - putting a mini-mix tape on the flip side of your demo is an extremely sick move. METIN H. ALATIL, CHROME, CAN, LOS SAICOS and PETALOUDA serve to change the vibe completely. IT's awesome, and....who the fukk is METIN H. ALATIL (1970s Turkish Moog driven funk is the answer, but how could I have actually known that?!), because that track is siiiiiick. 

15 March 2019

EARLY TONGUE + DEALING


An extremely cold release utilizing the combined grey matter of two cold entities. This half hour proto-industrial excursion leaves me feeling somewhat disoriented and more or less hopeless...it's centering. Grounding...and conveys a dark hopelessness that feels very very real. 



14 March 2019

PELTERAS


Quite literally the only negative thing I can say about this tape is that there are only two songs.  PELTERAS play aggressive, driving goth punk with some of the best bass lines in the game, everything was so on point that I actually stood up from my chair and exclaimed "yes!" about 30 seconds into "Meranggas." Brooding and powerful vocals seem to direct their power inward, and the guitars here are ripped straight from the grooves of the greats....PELTERAS are just damn near perfect. All I want from this Indonesian band is more. 


13 March 2019

LIBYANS


Y'all remember this band? I do. Always seemingly just under the radar, but furiously intense live - so much so that every time I saw them I thought "why is this band seemingly under the radar?" Liz's vocals bring up thoughts of BLACK FORM and LOS CANADIANS, which is to say catchy and tuneful but full of dirt and anger. Check the guitar lead on "Missing Pills" and tell me how a band can drop that lead into that song and know it's gonna be OK? I mean, it's more than OK, it's fukkn great....I just don't understand how someone can have that kind of vision. Demo tracks are predictably raw, then you hear the band get faster and tighter as they move to wax ("Higher Standards" - I mean....come on). So yeah...if you don't remember LIBYANS, then today is the day to start learning. 

This 2009 tape has pretty much everything....well, everything up to 2009 anyway. 

12 March 2019

DOUGLAS EWART // GEORGE LEWIS


A beautifully trying sonic excursion recorded in 1979, this duo creates lays down a quarter hour of abstractions and non-music, and then they step effortlessly into the stunning "The Imaginary Suite" and serenity has rarely sounded so beautiful. As is often the case with jazz, and especially avant-jazz, I'm not going to try to punch above my weight with context here, but this release led me to dig deeper into the respective works of Lewis and Ewart, both beyond fascinating musicians with legacies (past and current) that make my brain spin. Praise due to Loathed Sound Department, without whom I may have never come across this stunning and challenging work. 



11 March 2019

BARREN?


This one kinda took me by surprise - I just thought I was putting in a tape by a regular band I had never heard of. I thought maybe it would be pretty good, or maybe it would be pretty forgettable (that's not an pre-assessment of this tape in particular, just a law of averages thing....every tape can't be great, you know?), but I didn't necessarily think it was going to kick me in the ass. Paris anarcho-punks BARREN? did exactly that, however, and I can't stop listening to their 2016 demo. File alongside ARCTIC FLOWERS and very few other bands who are able to make new sounds feel familiar (or make old sounds feel fresh and urgent), it's dark and fiery punk for a hopeless generation. That generation is us, in case you were wondering, and "Violence For Peace" is our anthem.


RUBBER


Longtime visitors will remember a time when Mondays were reserved for distortion drenched mutants bashing the shit out of regurgitated DISCHARGE drums (but somehow still better) and rehashed four chord jerk-off riffs (see: also, better) with howling layers of distortion and reverb. Maybe those Mondays are done and maybe they will return next week, but this Monday is reserved for New York City's RUBBER and their '90s grrl punk delivered with '10s perspective and attitude. Distortion can wait, y'all.