Ilyas Ahmed
With Endless Fire [CS; Immune]

With Endless Fire is constantly playing with the Promethean substance. Ilyas Ahmed’s latest is ablaze with countless influences, each converging into a strangely hypnotic pop release. You will become a moth, tirelessly returning to this tape (there is a vinyl release as well). Drone into Eastern raga into weird pop medley; it’s a strange flow that will confound, but it ultimately engulfs you in the whitest flames. Ilyas has achieved the unthinkable: turning the complex into the simple. The layers become rubble, revealing an artistic vision fit for a broader audience. Ilyas is Joan of Arc, tied to the stake and set to burn as the English pig dogs revel in their minor victory. Or even larger and more gluttonous, Ilyas is an elegantly set Thanksgiving table, complete with a glistening turducken and the razor-sharp fangs of a family eager to devour the spoils of evenly roasted labor. Fire is indeed endless, and so is With Endless Fire. You’ll never give this up. You can’t, no matter how hot to the touch.

Links: Ilyas Ahmed - Immune

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete

Ghost Archives

[7-inch; Captcha]

Lorelle Meets The Obsolete furthers the punk of groups like The Sandwitches, Medications, and Mikael Cronin by adding yet another layer of mesquite mystique — a.k.a. fuzz-y-Q — to a haunting lurch of dual guitars, middle-of-the-mix bass, and 70s bad-boy-rock drumming. “The In-Between” is smooth and bad-assin’ all over the place, while “Uncomfortable Knot” has a hitch in its stride and a much heavier JAMC message for us to stuff in our peaceful pipes and smoke to the sky. When the chorus hits, we’re hit with a SWOOOSH and left to cough and convulse in the jet trail, but I’m holding up just fine, thanks. After hearing that new Bitchin Bajas LP (technically on Captcha sister label Kallistei Editions), I thought I had Captcha (formerly HBSP-2X, of Horn of Unicorn fame) figured out; I don’t. Not at all. Life is an adventure, thank the-fuck christ.

Links: Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - Captcha



[CS; Avant Archive]

Here lies convincing evidence Hakobune is not from this world, but rather exists as a newly modified version of E.T. phoning home. Evergreen/Faraway unfolds like serene Morse, enveloping the room one air particle at a time. Soon the music begins to spread beyond its origin, expressing itself in the ether of space and reconnecting Hakobune to his family and friends in the great beyond. “Evergreen” is a calm status report, the gentle drone being broken up by droplets of sentimentality, as Hakobune waxes happily about the majestic wonders of Earth. Rather than focus on human nature and the depletion of resources, Hakobune speaks to the beauty of it all. It’s a lengthy transmission but one that Earthlings need to intercept. “Faraway” follows the radio signal into the atmosphere as it begins its travels into the great beyond; the intricacies of the message come to the surface as galactic travel begins to wear on the lilting words of wisdom.

Links: Hakobune - Avant Archive



[CS; Leaving]

Once this is all washed away and drought comes through, new land will form and harnessing energies will become readily available to the evolved human survivor. Biotechnological implants will grow within the human body, and animals with the same fabricated organs and implants will also evolve. To protect yourself and keep beast-creatures at bay is to arm yourself with a battalion of drums and intricately twisted metals, to form what is called Resolutions. Not only can Resolutions raise a sleeping or even deceased beast, but if played correctly, groups harness the advantage to train the beast in defense. It’s possible to train them in anything, actually: dance, drone-work, transportation, etc. Armies of these traveling groups and creatures could develop and be feasting on land that is fresh and ready for bloom. Yet it’s trounced by greed and disgust. So, listen carefully to your fellow Resolutions while among this land. Learn about your surroundings and make some future beats.

Links: EMV - Leaving

Andy Boay

Evil Masters

[CS; Dœs Are]

Andy Boay is half of the unpronouncably brilliant Tonstartssbandht and likewise half of the Dœs Are label, which has been the port out of which most of the Tonstartssbandht releases have sailed since its creation. Evil Masters concerns itself less with the hit-single factor that Tonstartssbandht does so effortlessly and takes a relatively free-form approach, drifting beautifully in and out of structure at all levels. The sounds themselves are familiar, but not totally recognizable. When there are words, they’re definitely in English, but what are they, exactly? A single track can (and does) drift seamlessly and quite naturally between multiple genres. And perhaps because this tape is a collection of tracks spanning a giant length of time (2006 to 2011), it’s extremely diverse, with the only similarities between tracks being that they share a certain recording quality rather than any certain musical style or instrumentation. Some tracks sound like they could be skrewed covers of dark 1960s psych-fuzz nuggets, while others nod to frequent collaborator Run DMT in their sparse, looped beauty. All of them play off of each other wonderfully, creating an album that’s easy to leave on indefinite repeat. I’m hoping for many more Andy Boay albums to come in the future, preferably not five-plus years in the making a piece.

Links: Andy Boay - Dœs Are

Benedek + DāM-FunK

“That’s My Jam!”

[7-inch; Proximal]

“That’s My Jam!” is so outside the blackened purview of what we normally cover here at Cerbs (and even at TMT) that I feel skipping it over despite its deficiencies would be, frankly, a dick move. Benedek (with the help of DāM-FunK) went and funked yo mama: That’s right, he lured her to a dance club, got her all hot and sweaty, then took her home, and… well, the evidence is all over this sexy 7-inch (that’s all?) and its post-/future-funk grooves reminiscent of everything from Rick James to Deee-Lite to George Clinton to DāM-FunK himself. Certainly not my normal listening zone, but that’s why I find it refreshing and much more preferable than, say, Jamie Lidell. It ain’t my “jam” yet, but I’m Benedek-curious, to be sure.

Links: Benedek + DāM-FunK - Proximal

Compound Eye

Origin of Silence

[12-inch; The Spring Press]

There’s an itch. It began benignly enough — just a minor sensation on the back of my left hand. I scratched it, and it went away. A week later, it returned slightly red and inflamed. I gave it a few more scrapes with my meaty nails until it was a part of the past. Two days later, the red spot grew, and my whole left hand could not escape the sensation. Lotions, ointments, and creams did me no luck, so I returned to hearty scratching until the itch went away. The problem is that it won’t go away now. It’s a part of me, and now my left hand is a swirl of permanent nail marks, the redness turned into a chalky white as skin begins to flake away. This nagging itch has been brought about thanks to Compound Eye. Origin of Silence is the sort of metaphysical ailment that you can’t rid yourself of, a dense, slightly yellowing vinyl disc that must always occupy the turntable. The work of Drew McDowall and Tres Warren grows in intensity with each successive spin, its silence becoming uncomfortable and its piercing drones proving more satisfying than any other source of din. My left hand has become a badge of honor, and Compound Eye has become the brigade’s brave drummer. They lead me to my doom. My pocked hand and I shall go willingly.

Links: The Spring Press

Kane Ikin


[7-inch; 12k]

The cardboard sleeve is sturdy, the Spirogram ink a testimony to the fifth-dimension wonders of Contrail. The solo debut of Kane Ikin is not a flimsy attempt at minimalism, rather a successful — and particularly hardy — two-song set of ambient drone. A-side “Contrail” and B-side “Synthetic Setting” are natural complements: “Contrails” is cold, a guitar plucking out an existence in vast, frozen terrain, while “Synthetic Setting” is the summer equinox, melting away the perma-frost with warmer tones. Much like the seasons, Contrail’s two sides have more in common than their temperatures would hint, seamlessly blending into one another (which makes the flip from A to B both an annoyance and a treasured masochistic pleasure, like an unexpected May freeze or an unusually cool August afternoon). It’s a complete package on all ends, stamped with the 12k seal of approval.

Links: Kane Ikin - 12k

Coyote Slingshot

Oblivion Fever Forever

[7-inch; Super Secret]

Not sure who the singer for Coyote Slingshot is — he’s listed in the credits as “Puzzle Nuzzle” — but he’s got me believin’, even with the odds stacked so thoroughly against him he’d have to shoot his way out of the Death Star to break through. HE DID IT, HE DID IT, DADDY! And I’ll tell you how: First, I believe because he believes; simple, right? Second, he stays at least within remote range of proper pitch — that helps. Thrice, he sounds like the Hot Hot Heat singer back when he was broke and hungry, also much like that dude from Tora! Tora! Torrance! And, finally, four-square, he leads a band that dips into a lot of no-no troughs and comes out sparkling. It’s almost as if Arcade Fire and Titus Andronicus never happened, dude. Thank Christ! Not to mention that the flip-side jam kicks off with a lonely pan flute and explodes into a sloppy punk-rock sandwich from hell, replete with tom-tom titty-slaps and treble-heavy cymbal fluffs; without a Side B of this magnitude, the jump-start of A means little. So glad to hear spirited chant-punk that doesn’t physically hurt my heart. I feel like maybe we’re gonna make it after all.

Links: Coyote Slingshot - Super Secret

Hey Mother Death

Hey Mother Death

[CS; Self-Released]

Spontaneity is the spice in any relationship. A naughty negligee, role-playing, or producing a tape — all worthwhile foreplay. So it goes from Hey Mother Death, the project of Nova Scotian duo Denma Peisinger and Laurence Strelka. It’s an odd little creation, constructed of pop Papier-mâché and stuck in place by globs of avant theater; Denma and Laurence have been huffing it backstage like it cures a stuffed up nose. The French and English sing-song of their debut EP complements the cinematic textures, be it the grinder glam popped “You Left Me” or the dramatic slowcore descent of “Desert of Trees and Water.” It’s surprisingly svelte for an out-of-thin-air performance trip. It’s weird and wild but never too decadent — two people at ease with their strangeness but not consumed by it. As long as Hey Mother Death produces more oblique ensembles such as deconstructed spoken ballad “Black Monday,” we’ll keep coming back for them. And the face paint? Gotta pick up more of that.

Links: Hey Mother Death

Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d'art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.