by Byron Coley and Thurston Moore
from Arthur No. 28 (Mar 2008) [available from The Arthur Store]
Stream: [audio:http://www.arthurmag.com/magpie/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/kites_final-worship.mp3|titles=KITES – “Final Worship”]
Load has dropped a warm totem pole of new guh, most notably the fourth release by Kites called Hallucination Guillotine/Final Worship. Kites is the solo sound art project of Providence, RI’s Chris Forgues and it’s always a curiosity where this cat is gonna land. His last record Peace Trials had him delivering weird and exciting song-based ideas but this one has him not so much returning to noise form as refining it in a more succinct, minimalist way. The musicality of harshness is achieved in an impressive and contemporary style. Kites is almost considered old school these days in the hyperventilating world of noise but this is some new juice.
Chris also has a new art book issued by Picturebox called Powr Mastrs which is the beginning of a ten-part journey through the mystic world of a psycho-warrior tribe. If you can dig the exquisite graphic vibe to his record covers then you definitely need to score this.
Another new one on Load is At All Ends by the West Coast duo Yellow Swans. It’s their most thought-harmonic release we’ve heard yet and we’ve heard quite a bit from these drone squall pups. Awesome sweet chug with considerable cooze flow.
Yellow Swans had an early autumn tour in the USA with Brooklyn’s magnificent Mouthus. Mouthus we continually rave about and their fistful of self-released CDs have been always welcome whippets of dense blacked-out snort tone but we were fully unprepared for the royal roar of their new Load load Saw A Halo. The heaviest of rock-mind meltdown engorged by buckets of brain fry amp smoke and experimental percussion in its most NOW of sound states. Proves Mouthus to be at the forefront of what we hoped and desired from a post-Dead C factory of art/magic. Fucking sweet.
The amazing slamming sweatpig sensuality of Ohio’s Sword Heaven is in full flesh-thumping effect on their Load LP Entrance. The duo of Aaron Hibbs and Mark Van Fleet is one of the most crucially hardcore bizarre performance ritual acts since post-early Swans intensity. Finally a record is out which captures their brutal meat. In excellent b+w gatefold sleeve.
“Television is great. The wind blows across a screen in Nevada, Utah. That’s great, greater than Utah…” – an excerpt from a collaboration between New York poet Ron Padgett with Larry Fagin and Bill Berkson, two contemporaries of Padgett’s and all three from a long history of late 20th-century St. Mark’s Poetry Project and beyond poetics. Padgett’s work has always had the vibe of friendship in its presentation, particularly that of the men and women he developed his craft with, the Oklahomans Joe Brainard and Ted Berrigan and the coterie of language-spiritualists they howled with: Alice Notley, James Schuyler, Tom Veitch, Lita Hornick, Allen Ginsberg et al. They are all in collaborative dance with Padgett on the pages of a great and great looking collection published by Proper Tales Press called IF I WERE YOU. The classic cover illo of Brainard’s monkeys grooving together over a typewriter is exquisite and publisher Stuart Ross’ design in tandem with Dana Samuel and Canada’s legendary Coach House Press is as awesome as a handmade silkscreened LP in its aesthetic heft. Grade A+.
Swedish label Segerhuva has released an essential LP Chariots by Envenomist, a solo synth project of Ohioan David Reed. Reed is known to be involved with many a project and pseudonym, Luasa Raelon amongst others, all dealing with his take on doom machine Lovecraftian horror-mind scapes. This is the place to start for any of you not caught up in his extensive, impressive catalog. A soaring, surging synth output through nether-life.
Houston noise woman Melanie Riehle has been finally finding it suitable to release her harshness under her own name. She’s been in the Texas trench of delicious noise drip since the mid ’90s as a member of notorious necrosex units Baptist Skin Communti, Tearing The Wings Off Flies, Release Helen Rytka, ERK64 and, with Richard Ramirez, Are The Volcanoes Still Active?. Her new cassette Yellow Cipher (Deadline Recordings) delivers crushing, yet cream-drenched, soundwork which moves at a speed undeterred by any consciousness of norm.
Way-underground Brooklyn label t.b.t.d. has whipped out a few recent, good-looking tapes in carboard art envelopes. One we heard is a real rock n roll monkey called Fly So High by The Shining Path, a duo comprised of Ilya Monosov and Preston Swirnoff. More known for their weirdo psyche minimalism as Monsov Swirnoff, documented heavily by Eclipse Records the last few years, here they get down to some confused and slippery boogie-spazz with the finer elements of Jap free spirit futurism informing the process. Fucking out there and great. Jazzed to hear their LP on Holy Mountain.
Eileen Myles really hits it on the head in her blurb for Mike Topp’s new collection Shorts Are Wrong (An Unbearable Book/Autonomedia): “Just when I think Mike Topp’s poems are funny, they’re wise. Just when I think they’re wise, they’re bad. Just when I think they’re bad, they’re great. Mike Topp’s book is exactly like the world.” Topp can be the guest you don’t wanna have at dinner cuz he’s got waaay too much spurt but at the same time so much of the goo is sweet ginch, no doubt—check this : INTUITION: “Is intuition what I think it is?”—that’s it! Fucking sweet. Or this: WHERE WE FOUND YOU: “x”—some clunkers in here too but yes they do create a real-life dynamic—total poetree. Worth yr buck.
Super cool solo cassette on Ontario label Elite Tapes from Apollo, the nom de noise of Claire Therault who plays in harsh drone dream swallowers ATLÄS. Speaker-gnashing synth wash and hype storm cat scratches make this a furious-yet-frothy rampage.
Baltimore’s fabulous Lexie Mountain, she of the chanting, humming, scatting, trance-tone microphone language spooge has unleashed three new CDRs—Sexy Fountain Noise, Venus Cleaners Sessions 1 + 2, and Woodgrain Manicure with the extended Lexie Mountain Boys (Sam Garner, Amy Harmon, Katherine Hill, Roby Newton, Amy Waller and Lexie herself). Each of the packages comes in beautiful hand-rendered simple-fold color + sticker art. All have the performative energy of creative femme-tongue more punk than academic. Very forward and progressive yet NOW-like. Collect ’em all.
The Mossy Throats, which is Dan from Haunted Castle (which is no more) and White Leather (with Kristopher Reinshagen from Villa Valley) and Weedmother and Uneven Universe, as well as a one time project called Snow Covered Deer Corpse, has released a scant few items into the North American noise gunk universe but what there is is choice. Real skin-scraping rawness with meditative distortion drone. The most recent thing we heard is a double cassette on the way, way elusive Irrational Tenttent label run by Matt (also of Villa Valley). These guys are all nuts and are making some of the most crucial new sub-spuzz currently available. We suggest contacting Nurse Etiquette tapes for initial investigation.
Elektronavn is the solo sound project of Magnus Olsen Majmon who runs Empty Sounds, a great label out of Denmark documenting the most current of Danish sound-field-hushtone-psychemind-improv/electro-organika. Most everything on Empty Sounds is CDR with handmade sleeves allowing artists to realize projects with a minimum of manufacturing delay. L.A.’s unstoppable Not Not Fun label has released a limited-to-99 copies cassette of Black Zurnai by Electronavn and it rolls off the tape heads with curious ghost-tones and pulsing sound-meat. A good place for statesiders to check this cat’s crazy cool emission. Not Not Fun also graces us with a warm and woozy double cassette called Earth Lodge by Ajilvsga which is the Oklahoma duo of Brad Rose and Nathan Young. Like their recent releases on Peasant Majik, Arbor, and Arroyo this pair’s southwestern streams of sunsound make for excellent sweet listening. It’s accompanied by striking collage art by Manda from Pocahaunted. An LP is forthcoming from Palindrone.
One other cassette on Not Not Fun we’d like to alert you to is certainly the rock n’ feedback drive of At The Mountains of Madness by Magic Lantern. This Long Beach 5tet has been together for a year or less and are already melting the hairwaves with a new youth-psych Taj Mahal Travelers induced orgiastic repetition hardcore drone fry that is completely boss.
As far as vinyl ala Not Not Fun, well they should be as ecstatic as we be with the release of two amazing LPs. First up is Heather Leigh Murray’s Devil If You Can Hear Me which is raw un-fi recordings of Heather unfolding pedal steel dark and heavy improv moves allowing her thoughts to suddenly extol stirring and lovely voicings. Side two’s side-long “Candy Butcher” is wildly wonderful and ends as if slurped by a black void. Second up is probably one of the coolest, most stirring LPs we’ve ever heard. A split between Christina Carter and Pocahaunted that reaches into some very narcotic and raw fields of music-love-magic. Christina’s side is four stark and personal readings on 1. Aging, 2. Death, 3. Solitude, and 4. Dreams. An involving and deep affair touching on the more nether vibes of Jandek but with an introspection distinctly Christina’s. Pocahaunted’s side, particularly “Sweat Lodge” is probably the most killer jam they’ve published. Super eerie and soul-licking. A divine experience and one you gotta taste post-haste.
Supremo ass-squelch of a distinctly Canadian order is in full anal gland grip by the sound of the Hachinki cassette by Bonsai Forestry (Wintage). That is until the meat-radio kicks the buttplug loose and all liberated sickness signals are unleashed. These kats are all krunk nature lovers packaging their masterpiece into a velcro’d carboard box with tree-jizz pasted on and a tape holder made of tuff-flaking foam. Blip n’ scrape fun but you best wash yr hands after handling.
Cody Ranaldo’s first release on what is presumably his own label Western Unconscious is entitled Beating You Up and while there is a rather insistent power strum to Side A augmented by over-fuzzed footswitching it is music of a young and wise soul more gentle than naught. Raga ripping is the character at hand, though it all goes out the window with side B’s investigations into beatbox offness. Hopefully more from this dude will come our way.
The No Fun fest earlier this year was a completely unhinged miasma of orgiastic brain-crushing bliss. A lot of it had to do with the premier stateside performance of Incapacitants, hands down the most remarkable and stultifying practitioners of rapacious noise-bleed onslaught not only from their homeland of Japan but the goddamn universe. No Fun Productions has released the Live at No Fun Fest 2007 CD of that performance alongside the one by Japan’s Pain Jerk, also killer. It’s all a total slashing, slamming, sizzling physical barrage of hurricane meat-sound and it comes at a time when a retrospective look at Japan as ground zero for global noise history is due. Thanks to No Fun’s hellbent release schedule we are gifted with a primary overview of C.C.C.C., one of Japan’s most notorious outfits from the ’80s featuring Fumio Kosakai (later of Incapacitants), founder Hiroshi Hasegawa and porn-pain queen Mayuko Hino. The four-CD boxset Early Works is essential to anyone seriously into this genre either as curiosity seeker or full on devotee. It is probably the most relentless fuck-the-universe noise document ever compiled for one band and the Kosakai liner notes are amazing, real and hilarious. Incapacitants’ T. Mikawa, a remarkable man who works daily in the straight world of high finance and literally explodes into a noise demon at night is featured on a great tape release with legendary Japanoise outfit Crack Steel from a live 2006 event called Fuck My Ass: Live At Binspark (Cipher Productions). The tape is adhered to an excellent booklet of photos from the event with delirious memoir by “Soddy” (whereabouts unknown).
Fantastic Sleep is Ged Gengras (Fantastic Ego, Antique Brothers and Thousands) and Grant Capes (Sleepwalkers Local 242, (VxPxC), and Thousands) deciding to make non-boring drone music which is quite an ambition as yes there is a lot of bored and boring droneism being executed at any given time. Thankfully these lads have some pretty stellar moves and know of which they drone and thus have created this hep drone tape New Master (Phantom Limb). Do we need a drone war? Or would that just be another drone bore? (help).
There’s this guy Ignatz from Brussels, well that’s not his real name, his real name is Bram Devens, but he identifies with the mouse Ignatz, or is it a rat, whatever it’s a rodent who was known to throw bricks at Krazy Kat. Do you know your cartoon history? Krazy Kat was this kind of accident-prone, impervious and sentimental feline who was knocked viciously to reality with a brick thrown by Ignatz the mouse. The characters were created in 1910 by George Herriman. The thing with Krazy Kat is he always decoded the brick smacks as declarations of love. Weirdness and Devens uses Ignatz as his nom de plume for deploying love-sounds wrapped in vintage mortars. Dude’s involved with the Belgian Kraak scene, put out a CD and LP, and he released a cassette on Canada’s Bennifer Editions. All of which are choice, but what’s been stuck in our players is this new mysterioso jam called Atlantic Woman. It’s by an Ignatz/Bram Devens sub-ego called Miles Devens and it’s on the Skaters’ tape label New Age, so good luck locating this gem. You may want to try the regular distros of the irregular like Volcanic Tongue in the UK and either Fusetron or Eclipse in the USA. Also check out the Skaters fan site on Myspace. It offers leads. The music has a sort of more-beneath-the-ether vibe of PG Six’s earlier gloops but more shrouded and clouded. The tones are sweet, sensual and spooked.
It’s encouraging to see some of the better small presses keep it happening in these dreary days of virtual desire. Chicago’s Pitchfork Press has wisely changed its moniker to The Silver Wonder Press but not before allowing one more Pitchfork rag to be constructed. It belongs to Gerald Locklin who has been writing strong and steady since the early ’60s with over 3000 poems in print within 125 books and rising, including this fine stapled edition titled The San Antonio, Savannah, & Daytona Beach Poems. His is an eagle’s eye on the American landscape of humanity and all its frenzied lassitudes and is worth reading for the sake of connecting to honest rumination in the face of TV death. Dig? Two issues under the new Silver Wonder imprint are one each by Guy R. Beining and Robert O‘Neal. Beining has a long history of writing supersonic slices of minimalist poetry. Outside The End has some of his most choice new jams alongside some drawings and collages to help crack the sweet code. A few lines from “almost complete, 5/7/01-monday”: “those golden notes / are from a cave / & the black acid drops / come from the t.v. / where its widening / white circle is lost / in protraction of the skull. / why not bang another / bone on the floor…” Robert O’Neal works somewhere in southern Indiana as a sweeper in a car repair joint. Perfect poet environment and he rips wicked lines left and right in both anger and solace in search of righteous juice. One poem rolls off into a litany of fuck declarations: “Fuck high fructose corn syrup. / Fuck computers dumped in the 3rd world. / Fuck dirty bombs & sanitized word bombs…” Fuck yes. (Newsbreak: Silver Wonder Press has just issued Hello From the American Desert, a 40-page collection of Lee Ranaldo’s spam-inspired poetry, accompanied by artwork by the Meat Puppets’ Curt Kirkwood)
Nondor Nevai, by all accounts, should not still be alive. It’s very possible he isn’t. We first caught sight of him on the infamous “free-glam” tour of To Live & Shave In L.A. a few years back. He was a ferocious black metal scum bandit raging way past the band’s set with unbridled drum pounding and sweaty headbanging inanity. He made fellow bandmates Weasel Walter and Misty Martinez appear absolutely docile. All we know is ex-Chicago resident Jim O’Rourke claimed the best band name ever in Chi-town was Nondor’s legendary and infamous Vagiant. So we had hoped to hear Vagiant as a recording session happened but it never was released. As neither was the Aborted Christ Childe LP that Tom Smith was to release. One other Nondor group called Hatewave, again with Weasel Walter, did release a CD and it’s one of the best outsider sick-metal projects out there, though “true” black metal freaks are oblivious to it for reasons of elitism inherent to the genre. But trust us who listen outside of the box, it destroys. Anyway Nondor is a satanic power metal freak of nature and we just found the compilation of his lost and sundry works as produced by Weasel on the Nihilist label. It’s titled The Best Of Nondor Nevai and it is crushing, hilarious and delivers the damaged goods. Available only on cassette, keeping it out of sight to aboveground ears, it features tracks from the unreleased Vagiant, VVarvolk and Aborted Christ Childe LPs. A lot of Beefheartian voiced ruminations on straight up boner-boy sex with a shot of art history thrown in. Fucking weird and fucking awesome. From the liner notes: “Nevai has manipulated the very fabric of reality to create his work, and as a result, documentation has been scarce. Much of his legend exists thusfar in the domain of oral history and rumors. Equal parts GG Allin, Otto Meuhl, Andy Kaufman, Kim Fowley, Ted Kaczynski, Charles Ives, Gurdjieff and Dennis Hopper. Nevai has fucked with death and survived so many times we must regard him as superhuman. What you will hear on this release are the ravings of a madman, drunken with lucidity.” ~ Weasel Walter
The Psychform, Black Horizons and Steronucleosis labels have gotten together to release a split LP by Anakrid and Blue Sabbath Black Cheer where both outfits mix and manipulate each other’s tracks. South Carolina’s Anakrid are a self-identified concrete electroacoustic minded concern while Seattle’s Blue Sabbath Black Cheer have a bit more savage take on things. What you get is both outfits creating fantastic dark noise extracts that leave you panting on the cellar floor. Particularly the two Anakrid tracks that BSBC finagle with. Really wrenching, noise clang destruction with a heavy horror blackness.
Thurston’s top 40 of 2007
1. Christina Carter / Pocahaunted – split LP (Not Not Fun)
2. Aaron Dilloway – Chain Shot LP (Throne Heap)
3. Grouper – Way Their Crept LP (Type)
4. Rodger Stella – Foucault Zombie LP (Gods of Tundra)
5. The Jasons – LP (Tovinator)
6. AA Magazine 1 (AA Records)
7. Pengo – Counterfeit Memories (Nashazphone)
8. John Weise & C. Spencer Yeh – Live In Nottingham LP (What The…?)
9. Can’t/Carly Ptak/Heather Leigh/Zaimph – split 10” lathe (Curor)
10. Blues Control – LP (Holy Mountain)
11. Visitations – LP (Time-Lag)
12. Def n Dum – DVD (Barf)
13. Unholy Crucifix – Séance of Death cs (Northern Sky)
14. Sunburned Hand of the Man – Weekend at Burnie’s 2 LP (Lost Treasures of the Underworld / Blackest Rainbow)
15. Joe McPhee – Soprano LP (Roaratorio)
16. ffh/Prurient – Women in the War split cs (Hospital / Roots of Slavery)
17. Sam Goldberg – Halcyon cs (Wagon)
18. Jason Crumer – What is Love cs (Hospital)
19. Bone Awl – Meaningless Leaning Mess LP (Nuclear War Now! Productions)
20. Robert Ashley + Walter Marchetti – October 25, 2001 Merkin Concert Hall NYC 2XLP (Choose)
21. The Folk Spectre – The Blackest Medicine LP (Woodsist)
22. Deathroes – Final Expense LP (No Fun)
23. Squamata – Cumshot Wounds cs (Harsh Head Rituals)
24. Josh Lay – Abandoned By Christ cs (Long Long Chaney)
25. Mutant Ape – Doom Ape 7” (Turgid Animal)
26. Altar of Flies – “…Hate This City” 7” (Daisy Cutter)
27. Work/Death – Dedicated to Peter O’Toole cs (Ekhein)
28. Jewish Uprising – Desperate Prince Charming cs (Monorail Trespassing)
29. Dead Machines – Plays Kwaidan 7” (iDEAL)
30. Bruce Russell – 21st Century Field Hollers and Prison Songs LP (Rococo)
31. S.A. Griffin – Numbskull Sutra book (Rank Stranger Press)
32. Below PDX – Summer 2007 fanzine
33. Gown – The March Towards the End Continues Despite Any and All Efforts … CDR (Blackest Rainbow)
34. Splash – Slippery Beach Trash Gamelan cs (New Age)
35. Wally Shoup/Chris Corsano/Paul Flaherty – Bounced Check LP (records)
36. Social Junk – cs (JK Tapes)
37. Suzy Shaw and Mick Farren – BOMP! Saving the World One Record at a Time book (Ammo)
38. Befoul – At the Devil’s Mass cs (Northern Sky)
39. Three Legged Race – Ringing Order cs (Rampart)
40. Dude War – Noise Wizzzards cs (SSS)
Byron’s Suggested Reading List (in no particular order)
1. Brendan Mullen: Live at the Masque (Gingko)
2. Rejean Ducharme: Go Figure (Talonbooks)
3. Leonard Cohen: Book of Longing (Ecco)
4. Don Cauble: This Passing World (Author House)
5. Joe Carducci: Enter Naomi (Redoubt)
6. Mario Panciera: 45 Revolutions Vol. 1/UK & Ireland (Hurdy Gurdy)
7. Richard Kern: Action (Taschen)
8. Isis & Electricty Aquarian: The Source (Process)
9. Dough Harvey (ed.): Heart & Torch: The Transcendance of Rick Griffin (Gingko)
10. Paul Schimmel (ed.): Chris Burden (Locus)
11. Jon Clinch: Finn (Random House)
12. Genevieve Castree: Roulatheque Roulatheque Nicolore (l’Oie de Cravan)
13. Bill Nace: Drawings (Open Mouth)
14. Ken Waxman: The Sound of Squirrel Meals – The Work of Lol Coxhill (Black Press)
15. Thomas Kellein: The Dream of Fluxus (Thames & Hudson)
16. Joshu Glenn & Carol Hayes (eds.): Taking Things Seriously (Princeton Architectural Press)
17. Bill Shute: In Perspective (Kendra Steiner Editions)
18. Alan Licht: Sound Art – Beyond Music Beyond Categories (Rizzoli)
19. Charles Potts: Valga Krusa Vol. 1 & 2: the Yellow Christ & Shit Crackers (Green Panda)
20. Brian Chippendale: Maggots (Picturebox)
21. Tobias Petterson/Ulf Henningsson: The Encyclopedia of Swedish Progressive Music 1967-1979 (Premium Publishing)
22. Gerald Locklin: The Ristorante Godot (Bottle of Smoke)
23. Mick Rock: Psychedelic Renegade (Gingko)
24. Benoit Chaput: Les Pirates au Couvert (Myrrdin)
25. Tom Franklin: Smonk (Morrow)
26. Valerie Webber: Thin Little Arms Build Castles (Big Baby)
27. Jan Wenner/Corey Seymour: Gonzo (Little, Brown)
28. Richard Krech: We Are on the Verge of Ecstasy (Green Panda)
29. Julian Cope: Japrocksampler (Bloomsbury)
30. Robert Mathieu/Brian Bowe: Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine (Collins)
31. Bob Flaherty: Puff (Harper Collins)
32. Jonah Raskin: American Scream – Allen Ginsberg’s Howl and the Making of the Beat Generation (University of California)
33. Marci Denesiuk: The Far Away Home (NeWest)
34. Ingrid Swanberg & Larry Smith: d.a. levy & the mimeo revolution (Bottom Dog)
35. Dave the Spazz (ed.): Best of LCD – The Art and Writing of WFMU-FM (Princeton Architectural Press)
36. Raymond Pettibon: Whatever It Is You’re Looking For, You Won’t Find It Here (Verlad fur Modern Kunst Nurnberg)
37. John Sinclair: Guitar Army (Process)
38. Michael Layne Heath: Sacred Grounds (Kendra Steiner Editions)
39. Patrick Rosencranz (ed.) You Call This Art?: A Greg Irons Retrospective (Fantagrpahics)
40. d.a. levy: UKANHAVYRFUCKINCITIOBAK (Robert J. Sigmund)
Bonsai Forestry: http://www.myspace.com/bonsaiforestry
Cipher Productions: http://www.iheartnoise.com/cipherproductions
Deadline Recordings: http://noiseweb.com/deadlinerecordingscatalogjune2002.html
Elite Tapes: http://www.elitetapes.com
Empty Sound Records/Magnus Olsen Majmon/Elektronavn: http://www.majmon.com
Ignatz: http://www.ignatz.be and/or http://www.myspace.com/ignazt
Lexie Mountain Boys: firstname.lastname@example.org or 812 Powers St., Baltimore, MD 21211
Magic Lantern: http://www.myspace.com/magiclanternmako
Meat Puppets http://www.meatpuppets.com
No Fun Productions: http://www.nofunproductions.com
Nondor Nevai: http://www.myspace.com/n0nd0rn3va1
Not Not Fun: http://www.notnotfun.com
Nurse Etiquette: nursetapes.net
Palindrone Recordings: http://www.dorkinglabs.com/palindrone
Phantom Limb: http://www.phantomlimbrecordings.com
Cody Ranaldo / Western Unconscious: Lessbones@gmail.com
Melanie Riehle: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=159011136
The Silver Wonder Press: http://www.silverwonderpress.com
Skaters (fan site): myspace.com/gambling_in_ohpa_s_shadow
t.b.t.d. – 750 Driggs #26, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Volcanic Tongue: http://www.volcanictongue.com
Wintage Records & Tapes: email@example.com – 1530 Queen St. W. #C-3, Toronto ON, M6R IA6 Canada
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