Dead C/Rangda
split [12-inch; Ba Da Bing]

I remember that first step into the Sunset. I was invited to witness the emergence of Rangda; to bask in the beginning of something new. I stood in the middle of the club surrounded by Chasny and Corsano, only for Bishop to walk to the stage and the rest follow. Thus began the greatest night in the history of our sport. Of course, the same phenomenon occurred 20 years prior in a small New Zealand hamlet with The Dead C. History has a funny way of repeating itself, but this split from trans-global wunderkinds averts deja vu. Rangda’s half is a more meditative but nonetheless raucous jam, expanding the band’s False Flag transcendental melodies while stripping bare the rigidness of Formerly Extinct. The Dead C…well…each cut is different, a compass to the story of New Zealand experimentation as reinvented by the trio. And as familiar as any Dead C can be, it all feels very different from their lengthy catalog (expounded by “Eusa Kills,” a tip of the cap to the band’s 1989 LP) without losing the directional thread. There are garages and alleys to explore to find the sound needed to complete an idea. Fact of the matter is these two are linked by the bloody bond of restlessness, so sharing a piece of wax seems like the least messy manner in which to squish legends together. So much in common with each other and music’s rich history and yet, no desire to repeat any of it out of social grace. It should be noted that these 6 songs only whet the appetite for what we really want: a Rangda/Dead C super-duper group.

Links: Ba Da Bing

Mike Rep & The Quotas

Rocket to Nowhere

[7-inch; Mighty Mouth]

AWWWWWWWWWW yeah, down and dirty, party-till-4:30, Ramones T-shirt-y, somethin’-somethin’-flirty… You know what I mean: It’s 1975, and Mike Rep And The Quotas don’t give a fuck about what anyone else is doing. They’re going to play loud, in a garage, if that, and they’re going to record with a boombox, if that. Funny thing is, “Quasar” is actually, unless the piece I received is defective, a minimalist drone piece, so go figure I guess. Didn’t realize the proto-punks were dipping into this pool so long ago, but then again I didn’t realize Morton Subotnick invented solo synth either; it’s a learning process, all the time. “Rocket To Nowhere,” thank god, makes with the rock, and to a cheering crowd that seems to be manufactured. Am I going crazy? Well it’s probably because of the music. Nice, thick vinyl, as per usual from the Almost Ready fold.

Links: Mighty Mouth

Dolphin Tears

Spa World

[CS; Lillerne Tapes]

Who doesn’t want to go to a place called Spa World right now? No one doesn’t. Spa World is a place where there’s nothing but the absolute best of vibes after all, and I’ll tell you what, every vibe I come across from now until the end of my very life might just end up being compared to this vibe — this one, singular, holistically healing vibe. Man, it’s just right. There’s another I heard that does this kind of thing, and does it with that just-right vibe: Water Lily Jaguar. Might there be a genre for this yet? I’m not doing the Vapor-thing here (and yeah, there’s an earlier BOTR tape, so what?), but at the same time I want to say that the way Dolphin Tears goes about it is called… something. And why? It shouldn’t matter. It’s because I want more of it, whatever it is that these guys do. What it does smells good. It clears the sinuses, rids the pores of microscopic debris, all with the steam of a synth-salve. Harmonic consonance made for maximum soul-resonance, texture-matched melodies scrubbing the insides of your mind and a sunken groove to keep your body conscious and Dolphin Tears strangely within the realm of pop. Here’s a thought: you’re thinking too hard. Just relax.

Links: Dolphin Tears - Lillerne Tapes

Moth Cock

Bremmy

[CS; Hausu Mountain]

Glad I snuck this one in at the last minute, as it didn’t deserve to die with 2012. Moth Cock… nice. I thought Bremmy might be a euphemism for Bremerton, Wash., but I don’t want to be presumptuous. Still, I presume that. What a tape though, folks. All buzzin’ flies and digital capillaries oozing blood-red through the prism of 1990s noise, with an extra helping of lazer. The word ‘busy’ comes to mind, and this time it might even be too much. While it’s a lot of fun ‘getting there,’ once the reality of 15 or so instruments/effects/etc. hits you it’s disorienting and, after admittedly more than a few minutes, off-putting. I don’t know, maybe the kids have finally caught up with me. I feel dehydrated and irritated, like Kevin Bacon in Stir of Echoes. There’s no sign of let-up, either. Plenty of fight in these dudes, and I salute them for it. Give me hell, purveyors of hand-crafted trips.

Links: Moth Cock - Hausu Mountain

Mike Adams at His Honest Weight

Not No More

[7-inch Flexi; Joyful Noise]

Mike Adams is a nice guy. I mean really nice–and though I haven’t had the pleasure to face him like a man and shake his hand, there’s plenty of cut-outs and articles speaking to his philanthropic endeavors. Sadly, there’s not enough speaking praise of his musical endeavors (of which some are tied to his volunteerism, etc.). So let’s remedy that. Looks like Joyful Noise had the same thought, embracing their fellow Hoosier (much like St. Ives and Flannelgraph have). “Not So Much” is one slow roll of summery pop–this flexi series as a means of giving turntables a shot of hooch. But “Not So Much” is a good buzz, not a alcoholic downer. It’s for those days of mid-afternoon beer with friends on a patio or outside your favorite outdoor bar. It’s for casual conversations that turn to raucous laughter after two beers and a plate of wings has been had. Yes, there’s still a slice of Americana to have, whether imbibed in mason jars or shared via clear plastic wonders.

Links: Mike Adams at His Honest Weight - Joyful Noise

Gates

Eintraum

[CS; Land of Decay]

You think you’re in for a nice drift, then Gates pull a cloak over your eyes and toss you out into space, and it’s a lot noisier than you’d expect, particularly when, somewhere in the background, a band starts shredding, and maybe even blast-beating. And so begins Eintraum, a post-black-metal haze that has to be heard to be believed. I remember school was canceled in Post Falls, Idaho, one year due to icy winds. As a kid, hell, you’re still thinking, “Why not head outside?” but when you do, you’re confronted by a blast of paralyzing cold that felt like this tape sounds. It’s so intense the senses can barely handle it; this is the music of the future. So glad to hear Gates endeavor to strive for a sound less defined by gray, flat landscapes than skulls being crushed into powder by a twisted-metal thundertruck, though Eintraum has its moments of drone reflection, however brief. Lean into this one; it’ll kill you back.

Links: Gates - Land of Decay

Brünch

Brünch

[7-inch; Fedora Corpse]

Brünch? They’re in no hurry to win you over. They tread lightly through three songs on this self-titled 7-inch before letting the drapes down a little for the final act, “Atlas.” Quite a mystical trick they pull, to the point where you’ll be digging it and you don’t know why. It doesn’t shock you like so many bands/releases try to do these days, and it doesn’t reach too far in any one direction, preferring a mellow, scenic post-rock template stripped down and shortened. I guess Ulaan Khol (I miss you) are a decent comparison, if you’re into that sort of thing. The post-ist with the mostest! Coffee-colored vinyl, sheathed in recyclable materials, and supremely limited, as is eternally Fedora Corpse’s wont.

Links: Brünch - Fedora Corpse

Caves

Secretly Dead

[CS; Leaning Trees]

Despite me being kind of pissed there’s another ‘cave’ band out there (so CAVE, Nick Cave, Cavedwellers? Not enough?), Caves represent, at their best, what happens when chillwave goes incredibly RIGHT. (I know. Rarely does.) Diggin’ the melodies, sung through a toilet-paper roll, the ace guitars, and the woozy sense of place. Even when a cut begins with an unconvincing beat, once each element is locked into orbit a surprising amount of voltage is packed into Secretly Dead. So fuzzy you want to wipe the glass, but it’s best to let the fresh air slowly defog them. Jesus & Mary Chain>Crocodiles>??? … Nice to hear this much ambition packed into a tape. I used to doubt the underground but these days quality work like this tends to get noticed, or at least proliferated. You just got the Gumshoe bump, boys!

Links: Leaning Trees

Smokey Emery

Soundtracks for Invisibility Vol. 2: You Take the High Road

[CS; Holodeck]

You know what I like about music? Of course you do, you’ve been reading Cerberus since we were a wee little column. But in case you haven’t and really because you don’t, allow me to be vain for one moment and tell you: suspense. It can come in any genre so long as something on a song, album, or video is unexpected and enthralling. It doesn’t need to be flashy and should never be telegraphed (hello dropped beats). This is why Smokey Emery is a favorite new find. Daniel Hipolito fits no mold and follows no blueprint. Though his tools are as worn from overuse as any in the experimental/noise/drone category, his duct tape and spit approach to keeping it all together provides surprise after surprise, even in the most calm of musical circumstances. Hipolito deftly maneuvers between found sounds and created moments, organically hitting the peaks and valleys of musical creation. But he never runs out of steam and always keeps you on your toes without forcefully adding a loud moment or quiet contemplation where they do not belong. He has tapped into the secrets of invisibility, only it’s his own of which he hails, not ours. Which is why I must be loud and make myself known in a review because if I can’t go unnoticed, I must BE noticed. Hipolito? He’s transcended.

Links: Smokey Emery - Holodeck

Little Wings

Made it Rain

[CS; Gnomelife]

Little Wings, aka Kyle Field, always seem to pop up in the strangest of place. I remember him passing my review desk a few times in different places, often on labels I’d never heard of (like Rad), though K is the main source. This expertly folded little tape is a gem much like a lot of the Wings’ recordings. Nothing at all fancy. Acoustic guitar, voice, and a world of possibilities is all Field brings to the table and all he needs to run it. His compositions drip of questionable tunings and pitch, so that will alienate some of you, yet it’s difficult to find music this pleasant and unassuming. It’s like, he really did write this song five minutes ago, know what I mean? Nothing like it. Do your thing, bro; don’t change.

Links: Little Wings - Gnomelife

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In this ever-expanding musical world, there's a wealth of 7-inches, cassettes, CD-Rs, and objet d'art being released that, due to their limited quantities and adventurous sonics, go unnoticed by the public at large. Cerberus seeks to document the aesthetic of these home recorders and backyard labels. Email us here.