27.9.09

Chop Shop 'Discrete Emissions' 7" (Banned Production, 1999)

The work of Scott Konzelmann is gritty, brutal, and all together noisy. But there is something else going on in his music, a consistent element of degradation that seems to permeate in everything he touches. Almost ten years before his 08' opus Oxide, Chop Shop's Discreet Emissions seemed to clearly allude to future endeavors. It's blown out fuzzy noise, at times mysteriously dark, brooding and warm and at other times fiercely noisy, is vaguely sourced to "speaker constructions," a tin daguerreotype adhered to the inner sleeve depicting one of these peculiar constructions. The seven inch wrapped inside sun-caked parchment while the whole thing comes literally sealed in a slab of tar paper (took me 20 minutes just to open it). Incredibly packaged.

The A side, a jet engine drone, like a decaying sine wave bubbles up from the initial record crackle then yields to a full on aural assault of blown out speaker noise before being subdued once more by an ominous low-end rumbling loop. Short and most certainly sweet. The B side, the same material, only you have to play it from the inside out, like the way a laser reads a cd. Just make sure not to leave the room or you might return to a broken record needle, as the arm simply takes the plunge after the wax runs out. With that said, these are some essential emissions. Don't miss out.








Discreet Emissions


12.9.09

Velvet Cacoon 'Atropine' 2CD (Full Moon Productions, 2009)

Described below is a dream I experienced one night after four days straight of listening to nothing but Velvet Cacoon's 'Atropine.' I believe this experience was channeled through me by the members of Velvet Cacoon as a result of some enchanted mystic force, soaking it's way through these recordings during their two year burial in the Earth, and infecting the mind's of all who dare embrace these otherworldly sounds. I awoke the next morning, out of focus and dizzied, but with a clear cut image of the vision tatooed to my brain. This is meant to be read while listening to Nocturnal Carriage by Velvet Cacoon. (Scroll to the bottom to stream)
Do enjoy.

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At an indeterminable time of day I found myself in a large aquatic compound busy with activity, a warehouse environment in which the walls were draped in many shades of blue. I didn't know for sure what was really going on as there were many people around me flying by in all directions. The people were all wearing black, preoccupied with drilling, moving boxes and talking loudly over long tables covered in blueprints. I wasn't able to piece together much other than the fact that I was involved in some kind of heist or covert operation as the compound had a distinct military feel and there was a great tension in the air.

Suddenly, I am transported outdoors to a section of grass between a row of hedges and a doorway that lead into a narrow corridor about 10 meters in length. The width of the corridor could not have exceeded that of an elementary school hallway. There were four of us. Kris was a friend I had known for a short while. There was Matthias, an old teammate of mine from my College volleyball squad. And aside from myself, the last of the group was a man who had absolutely no distinguishing features. I don't remember his name and I had never seen him prior to our standing on that grassy patch. I don't remember a single detail about this man, so he will remain nameless and unknown. There was no time for introductions anyhow and the four of us then proceeded to shuffle into the corridor. When inside the only noticeable light darted in through two small windows located on the doors at either end of our narrow enclosure. In my disorientated state I could no longer remember from which side we had even entered, therefore leaving me in a state of naivety as to which side the exit was. This troubled me. What troubled me even more though was that at that precise moment I heard, like being shot in the forehead with a diamond, the fast and loud scrape of giant deadbolts locking the doors into place. My gut fell.

The four of us immediately scrambled to one of the doors, no-name fumbled over a set of keys and I remember thinking that there was no chance in hell we were getting out of here. We were fucked. Surprisingly the door busted open yielding a wall of the purest white light, quickly fading to the leafy shades of grassy knolls pocked with oak trees and mossy stumps. The chase began. From what we were running was a complete mystery, but neither of us wanted to stick around to find out. I ran and ran but my legs felt as though they were made of lead. my muscles ached but I had to keep running, all of us did. As I ran I noticed the environment as a vivid hallucination, large farm-like homes stood wearily few and far between. The rolling hills leveled out into grazing fields and land plots in the distance. Areas of dense forest seemed to appear from nowhere and would just as suddenly disappear. We were running on all cylinders through the outskirts of a suburban farmland. The vastness scared me, possibly even more so than being in that bleak corridor. No-name fell behind and vanished. I figured the dogs must have got him, or the terrorists or whatever.

As if sharing a collective thought, the three of us darted towards a denser forest patch. We broke through the first few layers of trees with relative ease and quickly came across a beaten path running perpendicular to our own. After a right turn onto the path I realized that maybe our drastic forest entry did not go as smoothly as a had thought as I was now alone with the others nowhere in sight. But no, I was not alone. People, approaching on the path towards me. I walked casually with my head down towards them. I didn't try to hide or run, they were too close now. I just walked stiffly yet carefully down the path. A couple, middle aged and fit jogged past me. The woman smiled in my direction, a smile that instead of being reassuring seemed to reveal something diabolical. And as if on cue a shrieking siren began blaring from every direction providing an appropriate soundtrack to the flashing red traffic lights that reared their heads from behind towering trees.

With no time to think I hopped a wooden fence into a backyard for cover and slid down the planks with my back pressed up against them. I laid there, motionless, waiting. The sirens then seized their racket and the red lights retreated to their dormant states. So I sat there for some time, body glued to the inside of that fence, waiting for something to happen. After what seemed like an eternity I relaxed a little and took note of my surroundings. The backyard was small and comforting, enclosed by three walls. The attached house stood white and bland, a small wooden step leading to a glass sliding door. Through the glass I noticed a woman's outline turned to it's side. The woman, middle aged, was lying in a pink reclining chair, her right arm lazily dangling over the flaked and faded upholstery. I could tell she was watching tv by her listless expression, her face radiating the act of comfortable routine. I felt sorry for her. I felt sorry for her because I knew things about her. Her husband supported her and although it once seemed like a dream come true, that she would never have to work nor even move if she did not desire too, the truth was that she was unhappy. I knew that she woke up each morning and fell into the sameness that was her life, yogurt and granola for breakfast followed by glass after glass of white wine. And at noon, she would take her glass and her wine to the living room and sit back in her reclining chair which everyday grew more and more comfortable as it continued to mold to the outline of her body. I had never seen her before in my life, but I watched her through that glass sliding door and I knew her. And I gloated over the fact that she knew nothing about me, let alone that I even existed, or that I was watching her through the glass sliding door from her backyard. No, she was utterly naive to her clandestine voyeur.

A faint, yet completely undesirable sound then jarred me from my fixated state and snapped me back into alertness, the sound of footsteps, of someone walking towards me. Long pauses in between short lengths of ground told me that they were searching for something, or maybe someone. I felt helpless again, all I could do was wait and hope that the woman in the house and the person approaching would not meet eyes as this would surely reveal my hiding space. The very thought of this seemed to manifest the situation into existence and the two locked eyes. The woman peered through the glass and over the backyard fence at a man who's face I could now clearly see from my crouched position. I became overwhelmingly apprehensive as the man proceeded to climb over the fence. Just as he landed I grabbed his shoulders from behind and forced his face into the ground and wrested him onto his back. I then madly threw wild punches with both arms at his exposed face until I had mashed it into a soft pulp and he lay motionless on the ground. I rose slowly to a fully erect stance, breathing heavily and holding my blood soaked hands out in front of me as adrenaline surged from my pores. It was then, right before turning to escape back into the wilderness that I glanced in through the glass sliding door. The woman, now sitting up right in her chair, stared at me. The apathy in her face remained the same but her eyes were now wet and glazed over, as if now, she knew me.

I would miss her. I liked her but I had to leave. The others would be coming for this one any time now. So, I ran. I ran fast and I ran hard to nowhere in particular. I just needed to get away, as far away from that dreaded compound as possible and as far away from the place I had buried a man with a fury of fists. I ran until my muscles were on fire. I tore my way through the forest and sped across endless kilometers of open fields of grass. When my legs wanted to give out I simply pushed harder. I knew I couldn't last much longer. In the distance and off to the right I spotted a sloped section of grass that appeared to descend into a valley. I headed in that direction, figuring it would be a good place to rest and to gain my bearings. By now I was running on adrenaline alone and the slope absorbed whatever little reserves were left. I fell to my knees near the base of the valley floor and crawled behind a row of stubby bushes like a dying dog crawling under it's owner's porch to be left alone for it's final moments. It was there, sitting comfortably in a lawn chair, that I spotted Matthias looking rested and content. He was with his family: mother, father and younger sister, who of which, could not have been older than six years old. Nobody spoke. The little girl skipped towards me smiling and blinking innocently. She then knelt down by my waist and rocked back to let her weight rest upon her feet. She grabbed my wrist, placed her hand into mine and I closed my eyes.


Nocturnal Carriage

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6.9.09

Various 'Lasting' Cassette, C-90 (Pineapple Tapes, 2009)

Some of you may have purchased, listened too, or at least noticed the Foust! release listed on the second to most recent Aquarius new arrivals list titled Jungle Fever, or maybe you're familiar with the man's work already. I wasn't.

The man behind Foust! and the Swill Radio label-started to promote Foust's projects and is also the label that said album was released on-is in fact Scott Foust. It seems Mr. Foust is also responsible for putting together this compilation, released on the Swill sublabel Pineapple Tapes, as sort of a grand finale to the demise of chrome cassettes. So yes, apparently this is the final Pineapple release, tallying in as the 10th release in about 7 years of the label's existence.

I was immediately drawn to this by the names I recognized: Emeralds, Vikki Jackman, and Andrew Chalk and I think I had heard something of Matt Krefting's at some point in my life but I can't remember clearly. Something like 30% of this comp is a cross breeding of Scott Foust and Swill Radio affiliated projects: Foust!, Idea Fire Company, Dead Girl's Party, Karla Borecky and Matt Krefting (Both doing time in at least one of the bands mentioned above while also producing their own solo works for the comp). With that said though, the incest does not in any way hinder the diversity of this compilation.

I dig this for sure. The lo-fi warmth, wide-eyed and bushy tailed desire to experiment, and diversity in musical styles makes for an interesting listen, reminding me of that L.A.Y.L.A.H. Anti-Records comp from 1985 with Coil, Organum, Current 93, Lustmord, Robert Haigh, etc.. Obvious stand outs include the Emeralds, Chalk and Jackman tracks (because I can drool over their work forever) but also the Jungle Fever excerpt by Foust!, Ian Middleton's phase shifting Forest Walk, Karla Borecky's spare and beautiful piano keys on Structure, and the epic closing track The Sinking Ship by Idea Fire Company.

All in all, Lasting is a good cassette to get lost in, with cool artwork by Karla Borecky. It's just a shame that there won't be any more. Scott, if you are reading this, why not just give up the pineapple and try another fruit? How about Mango Tapes? or Banana Tapes? Kumquat?...think about it.


Track Listing:

A
1. Foust! - Jungle Fever (Goldfish Mix)
2. Karla Borecky - Structure
3. Graham Lambkin - Recycle 19
4. Emeralds - Lasting (Music by John Elliott, Steve Hauschildt, Mark McGuire)
5. BRRR - Ditmas Park Excerpt (Music by Dr. Timothy Shortell)
6. Dead Girl's Party - The First Pill (Music by Scott Foust, Mark Krefting)
7. Timm Goss featuring Beverly's Records - Thunder-rum
8. Frans de Waard - Nijmegen Hiss

B
1. Asmus Tietchens - S.17A
2. Ian Middleton - Forest Walk
3. Vikki Jackman - A Night Sketch (With Andrew Chalk, Daisuke Suzuki)
4. Weyes Bluhd - All and Over (Music by Natalie Mering, Edited by Graham Lambkin)
5. Matt Krefting - Maiden Voyage
6. The Collection Of The Late Howell Bend - Long Fields (Music by Irene Moon, Rory Hinchey)
7. Andrew Chalk - The Rose That Falls
8. Idea Fire Company - The Sinking Ship (Music by Karla Borecky, Scott Foust, Matt Krefting)