Nathan McLaughlin
Echolocation #4 [CS; Sunshine LTD.]

The latest installment in Nathan McLaughlin’s Echolocation series is dedicated to the “mid day meal.” And yet, it doesn’t substitute as a five-hour shot of energy found among the ruin of saccharine and faux-health alternatives stacking shelves at the dilapidated convenience store. In fact, this is no soundtrack of convenience at all , adding much to the 2:30 feeling. We love that 2:30 feeling. The normal begins to break down. Eyes heavy with nap seeing the world differently. Perhaps Echolocation #4 is the sound to those weighty midday holiday meals, where we stuff ourselves and collapse wherever visiting family has left space. McLaughlin distorts reality, turning it into sinewy waves of retrospection. This midday has become a Dalí, dripping with the drone of sleep deprivation. Not even our fine Spanish friends can find solace in a siesta under McLaughlin’s ripple. This is by far McLaughlin’s best in the series, finding a rhythm unmatched in tone and mood. Raise our wine to a blurred reality.

Links: Sunshine LTD.



[CS; Retrograde]

A journey to Japan. Seeing lights and neon. Running through streets as unicorns. Finding the temple of. Smashing archives and accreditation, artifacts and effigies. Being absorbed by sound and smoke. Prayers clicking in and out of consciousness. Filtered pedestals. Imagining everything melting and forming. Motion as a trajectory act, not void. Becoming something that has filtered from pseudo-sacrifice to a god within flesh. Embodied persistence eager to rip out. Blown holes. Falling in. Further toward the center of the earth, where I meet you. We cinder and merge as part of earth’s core, in molten metal and heat. In human form, we embrace and become a part of everything moving. And secret secretions arise within cracks. Smearing us closer together, pushing us further away from what we now know as earth. At the terminal, we erupt in the air and collide slowly on the ground. Oozing into one another, our spirit rises as one in plumes of smoke, blessing the surrounding area and witnesses with ash.

Links: Retrograde

Derek Rogers

Institutio Amet

[CS; Space Slave Editions]

Derek Rogers deserves something better. The gnarly guitar whippets of Institutio Amet may be the cursory high you’ve been waiting for. Rogers is a traditionalist in regards to melody; nothing is off-putting to even the most mundane music fan. But underneath the jangled guitar and overblown synth is a call to our primitive ancestry. We scratch at our cropped hair, beat our flat chests, and become prehensile. Only by entering this devolved state of detachment are we able to tap into our imagination as a means to true creation, to evolve in a newly designed form. Institutio Amet is that odd, ebon obelisk dropped into our fragile ecosystem. It all comes together by lone B-side beacon, “Franklin,” the pieces of the A-side torn apart and reassembled in our new neanderthal existence. Men are dragged back to caves by lusty, powerful women. Kings are given no quarter as peasants control fiefdoms. Glass ceilings are non-existent in a world where all fear has been erased. We didn’t beat this obelisk with sticks and bones; we hugged it and nursed it as an equal. What a much better world it would be if Institutio Amet had been born from Adam and Eve. Our transformation complete.

Links: Space Slave Editions


Theta Distractions

[CS; Beer on the Rug]

How CVLTS manage to be contemplative, atmospheric, mellow-yellow, rudimentary, and plodding, yet retain the listener’s interest is truly a mysterious phenomenon in the world of ghostly drone. Maybe it’s because they treat their compositions as separating songs instead of a side-long blob that somehow glurps its way, sideways, onto a cassette, or maybe they just have that talent; either way, so few possess the ability to render their material effortlessly haunting yet strangely joyous. I remember old-school Sesame Street bits that contained music like this, synths dancing in metrically correct place as tones and drones drip-drop in the foreground. At times there’s an Eola flavor, but other than that, I’m strapped for comparisons. Shoulda caught these guys at SXSW, I guess is the message here? Heard that.

Links: CVLTS - Beer on the Rug

Space Burn

Space Burn

[CS; Laser Palace]

Tapes with actual frickin’ lasers attached to their heads definitely make a lot of sense coming from the Laze-Pal axis (which has changed from Denver to Chicago, reportedly), and Space Burn back up their quests with dusty rave beats, one or two layers of rhythmic accompaniment, and unexpected rejoinders like string squeaks and jungle howls. Space Burn represent the ongoing movement of groups that want to make you dance and at the same time confuse you to the point of total impotence. I’m guessing with a tab of something-or-other and a head full of sweat-inducing steam, this post-rave conglomeration makes more sense. Me? I find myself initially fascinated by each track but watch-glancing after the first few minutes. Still a neat trip though, full of florescent green/yellow/pink/blue and flashy enough to ensnare the minds of listeners more attuned to commercial acts than the average Cerberus fare. In other words, you could slip Space Burn to a teen and more often than not get a more positive reaction than you’re witnessing hear. HEAR. Ya dig?

Links: Laser Palace

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

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.