Journey of Mind
Oil Burner [CS; Constellation Tatsu]

NEW AGE! I knew it was upon us. All those late-night infomercial warnings, those tactful 30 second breaks in the mid-90s interrupting all the distorted three chord angst and rap-rock hybrids. The world is coming to an end. The Mayan prophecy is fulfilled. Marshall Applewhite. Jim Jones. Carrot Top. Oil Burner is the sound of a world purged of BP, Goldman Sachs, and Halliburton. Fuel returns to the core to rejuvenate the world. Wait, I’ve written this review before. Maybe the world’s already reset; maybe I’m trapped in the matrix. I’m doomed to repeat myself. Space. Galactic. Psychedelic. Sounds like… four words… first word… It’s getting so tiring. Let’s be simple: You’re going to grip Oil Burner, because it’s as real as I’m being with you right now. It might lean a bit too new age for its own good — 80s keyboard interlaced with the odd field recording and electronic nodule — but it’s chill, ripe to place in the cassette player on that fateful December day. You won’t be witness to anything the next day but relaxing diversions from all the bad social media jokes and 24-hour news cycle bullshit about Mayans and cultists and fanatics, which will lead you to Oil Burner. Just as Journey of Mind designed it.

Links: Constellation Tatsu


Ablesigh, 1984

[CS; Self-Released]

If you’ve been in a Students of Decay/Aidan Baker/Locrian/Pink Priest mood of late — and many have — you could do worse than give Haunter a pinch of your time. The scorched landscape left by Ablesigh, 1984 leaves one with a sense of incoming doom, tempered by the reassuring beauty of the subtle melodies that swim on its ocean floor. It’s all over pretty quick, which always makes me wonder, if a tape is the method, why they didn’t go longer. But I suppose they have their reasons. The painting is done when you put the brush down, right? Drone on, Haunter, drone on…

Links: Haunter

M. Akers

Mythical Abyss

[CS; Self-Released]

The first eager moments of “Rolling Night Tide” from Matthew Akers’ newest tape signals a new direction from the electronic musician’s last tape, The Elders of New Detroit. It’s… POPPY! And I dig the singular groove that strides 80s analog and 90s grime as it chills out for six minutes of B-roll energy. But it’s a trap: Mythical Abyss soon devolves into the same cryptic landscape that haunted Elders, this time with a mesmerizing replication of alien abduction during the epically eerie “Taken Aboard.” It’s as if Akers was in the midst of a stroll before going past his neighborhood boundary and discovering the rest of the world is in utter madness. Was his a village of the damned, or has he found himself in the middle of those doomed to nuclear fallout and extraterrestrial invasion? Isn’t it the plight we all experience when snatched from the clutches of our comfort zone? It’s becoming a trademark of Akers, one that makes the skin crawl with abhorrent anticipation. Why I crave these odd fatalist fantasies are beyond me, but clearly I am not alone in my stagnate pool of the bizarre.

Links: M. Akers


Topographical Interference EP

[12-inch; Morphine]

Metasplice is the tandem of that guy from hair_loss and that guy… that guy that is Dave Smolen. Both were great on their own, but as a team, they tend to tag a little harder, dig a little deeper, and down a lot more space-dance donuts. The easy way to explain the appeal of Topographical Interference is to invoke kindred spirits like Demdike Stare and Ensemble Economique, so there you go. Yet these two lay it on a lot thicker, “it” being a strange aural substance known as digi-spray that cropdusts the arrangements with a layer of spice that more minimalist dark-dance folk lack. If it feels like Metasplice are rambling at times, it’s because they are. That said, they’re one of the few groups mining this sound with any semblance of bravado, laying down tracks a more enterprising chap might even be able to dance to. Go figure.

Links: Metasplice - Morphine

Long Distance Poison

Ideological State Apparatus

[CS; Constellation Tatsu]

“Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

In the real modern age, we’ve all gone here before. But Long Distance Poison don’t take us by warp speed or by parody. Ideological State Apparatus unfurls slowly, window shopping the galaxy as it explores the unexplored. Our curiosity is satiated by the leisurely pace. It becomes maudlin, making the music meaningful. Light year twinkling and alien life are so pedestrian at this point. LDP get it. They dress it up in clever titles and futuristic synths, but it’s still an earthly life for us. And that’s cool. I’m tired of the elaborate spaceships and nighttime visits; I want something real! Now, I’ve got it. Space music to explore the new world that is the outlet mall 40 miles away. That’s where Ideological State Apparatus will work its magic. The mundane will become the exciting, and as security drags me away while I make phaser noises out of the side of my mouth, I’ll hear LDP soundtrack my misadventure.

Links: Long Distance Poison - Constellation Tatsu


‘T Orgelorkest

[CS; Crooked Tapes]

As if Death were the Earth, to you to me to her to everyone, and dissolving is human’s long pathway toward the next thing. The “next thing” for this cemetery is more than 300 years away, as humans have decided that burying the dead is too primitive, so they’ve turned the area into a miniature forest. An attraction at its best; the biodegraded coffins and decayed bodies have provided unusually speedy and meaty nutrition for the vegetation. ‘T Orgelorkest park thrives on the oxygen, for this world has been depleted of pure air, and society relies on cemetery parks to breathe a bit better. Scattered around cities, churches, and ‘burbs, people suck in the purest air brought to them by the people before their people before family. Long awaited benefits. Death went green. Morbid air lingering as the finite time has come. Humanity cannot escape humans, for existence is as long as it’s spoken/written. And once transcendence through decay becomes beauty and a vantage point for quality life, then peace will be made with the past. Until then: it’s the future.

Links: Hellvete - Crooked Tapes

Emme Ya

Erotognosis: The Voices From the Void

[CS; Brave Mysteries]

Erotognosis: The Voices From the Void is another must-hear drone album. You’re sick of hearing that, right? DEAL WITH IT, as the art form rarely presents itself in such ripe form. The first half of Erotognosis is a walking cloud descending into a yawning chasm as slo-mo processional drums mark the occasion. Glad to hear so many dronesmiths coming around to the sound of percussion once again, and if the sub-life chants of Emme Ya’s mega-godz are any indication, it doesn’t take a zillion layers or obnoxious effects to achieve artistic heights both harrowing and subtle. Side A and B bear that point out with equally stimulating yet disparate moods. B is more of a dungeon-clanker, albeit one with more of those eternally watching eyes of audio malice peering through every Sauron-conjuring spell cast. I was never one for those Arrington de Dionyso didgeridoo records, nor did I take to the the eMEGO-by-way-of-IdOrgan Phurpa 2xLP (ooh, just realized Phurp-Phurp also have a release out on label-at-hand Brave Mysteries that I haven’t heard), but their deeeep groans are in play here, along with House Of Low Culture, black-drone, ring wraiths, and a thousand angry shadows. Submit to them.

Links: Emme Ya - Brave Mysteries

Isle of Sodor


[CS; Sic Sic]

Isle of Sodor is not a person. Nor is it an island. It is a desolate rock floating light years beyond the Oort cloud, collecting dense matter and planetismals to form into a supergiant. Goshen is star stuff — as Carl Sagan put it, the particles that make up all of us. We are all connected by the Big Bang, each born from the cosmic dust and icy gases that continue to expand. But we’ll get lost if we focus on never-ending expansion, worlds that not even our grandchildren’s grandchildren are likely to experience. But that little shard of frozen oblong rock that hovers just outside of the Milky Way? That’s what matters. It captures the last gasps of the solar wind, vacuuming up debris into its condensed form. It grows hot, as hydrogen and helium begin the earliest stages of nuclear fusion. Goshen begins to glow, sending its beacon toward all inhabited worlds. It has just reached the view of Earth, a new star in the night horizon. It’s taken billions of years for it to reach us. Isle of Sodor has been manifesting itself well ahead of our comprehension. Although it’s brand new from our perch, it’s as old as time from its lofty confines. But we’re glad it has arrived in all its galactic glory; to be a planet rotating around Goshen, to see its yellowed photosphere from a new habitation zone. Only John Elliott has made the journey, and not even he is speaking of its wonder.

Links: Sic Sic

The Family Stoned

“Rituals” b/w “High Time Woman II”

[7-inch; Perennial]

I hate it when people say, “Wow, small world!” No, brother: It is a HUGE world, and we probably won’t see each other ever again. Having lived in seven-odd states, I deal with this problem of impermanence so much it’s ridiculous. Point being, hearing kids playing music prominently influenced by bands I remember listening to in my youth is like the missing-people-huge-world thing in reverse; it’s like making a new friend you never knew you needed. The Family Stoned represent something special, particularly to those reared on Pacific Northwest indie rock. “High Time Woman II” is an extremely confident ballad, out-of-tune vocals or no, a high-school prom number from a wedding band in the sky. Fuck, that’s lame. Sorry. Now that I’m embarrassed, I’ll have you know “Rituals” is a real corker as well, albeit in a more Meat Puppets-y way. Uptempo and… shit, The Pretenders and J Mascis maybe? I need some fuckin’ sleep.

Links: Perennial

Annie Shaw

Shanty Awe

[CS; Old Frontiers]

In his ode to the amalgamation of his car and girlfriend, Mark Tucker created an atmospheric epic with Batstew. It’s a sound that has yet to be recaptured, even as contenders and pretenders have tried to pick up the shards of the blueprint, torn asunder after multiple breakdowns and a name change. So leave it to another unknown, creating music in the not-so-wilds of Canada, to finally stumble upon the Dead Sea Scrolls of musical carelessness. Annie Shaw breaks the rules (though there are NO rules!) with Shanty Awe. Two odd flavors populate her 30 minutes of tape. Side A is the syrupy high of a sno-cone, dripping uncontrollably in the hot summer sun. It’s a carnival of freaks and geeks merrily terrorizing the heatstroked patrons with friendly prods. Side B is quieter, the contemplative look on a stranger’s face. Unaware of whether it’s a serial killer or a helping hand, you split the difference and walk on the other side of the street. SURPRISE! It’s both! She’ll pick you up from the ground with one hand as she carves out your innards with the other. I like untethered, and Shaw is well past the gravitational pull of convention. Here’s to hoping she revolutionizes the music world — or, at the very least, doesn’t try to write some sci-fi oeuvre to the postal service.

Links: Old Frontiers

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.