Various
The Lemon Tape [CS; Hobo Cult/Kinnta ]

The mixtape, in its literal form, seems eerily obsolete. This website holds onto its visage like grim death, a point of pride among our legion. Those doomed to a world post-mixtape will exist in a sad world, one without hope springing eternal or the discovery of a band that would otherwise never hit our radar. It’s this inspirational well that The Lemon Tape is drawn from. Hell, just look at the hippie, happy cover art. It’s sunshine all over this cassette, coming straight from the unicorn and rainbow capital, Montreal. Shit! Quebec is not only seeking independence, it’s also stealing psych-pop from under the noses of capitalist Canadian swine! Oh, what joyous rays of subversion to be soaked in! The Lemon Tape is the world’s greatest mixtape, steeped in Montreal’s finest psychedelic purveyors. The lazy swoon of Brave Radar’s “A Spike” fueling a quick sprint across an overgrown field. The Capital of Plastic Daffodils pillaging 1960s Frisco and repurposing it with scratched sexuality on “Princess.” The Yesteryears tapping into a world where Jackie Browne stars Joan Baez rather than Pam Grier, the ferocity of drug trafficking replaced by a gigantic hookah soul-out. It’s all peace and love here, sugar.

Links: Hobo Cult/Kinnta

Lockbox

Hypersecret

[CS; Animal Image Search]

In this day and age, people should refuse the phrase “day and age.” Check it, th’oh: modern singer/songwriters attain originality through distributing a familiar character that only pertains to the artist being 100% involved in their music. Examples: Lil B or Savage Young Taterbug direct their own style of music, implement it within their recording process, instruments, and confines of character, and using any means of modern distribution. Distribution being the internet creating a hugely false sense of community to everyone on it. Familiar, yet personalized character being what sets these artists aside from any other DIY-style musicians, encompassing the modern-day singer/songwriter persona. Character, as in who they replicate: Lil B being someone’s little brother, and Savage Young Taterbug being the uncle who creeps kids at gas stations. Thus, rookie Lockbox is characterizing youth submitting to infinity. Maybe he is. Maybe all these people, one day, will have trouble describing who they were or will have trouble finding their music and information on it. Don’t search here; this is just my imagination puking. Back the fuck up, future!

Links: Lockbox - Animal Image Search

Rose Croix

Rose Croix

[CS; Brave Mysteries]

The industrial world is often micromanaged to a few mainstream touchstones (mostly those who came before Nine Inch Nails and those who came after), neglecting the wealth of demur and sadistic tones the genre has conjured for nearly half a century. The machinery of manufacturing transformed over time into a gothic stew of steeled, twisted, and mangled melodies that spoke to man’s new place in a world dominated by technology even as our primal urges to kill, eat, sleep, and fuck ran rampant below this already-rusting metallic crust. This is the world in which the anonymous three known as Rose Croix dwell, hiding in the cavernous depths of our soul and waiting to prey upon a world that has crammed its very being into neatly packaged assembly-line products. The trio’s self-titled tape creeks and crawls with the sound of Industrial Revolution as it rots, with vocals sounding more like a new underground language learned after humans forgot their native tongue, when work itself was the primary form of communication. Strange echoes and rattles force themselves in between the spaces, a chilling reminder that this apocalyptic future isn’t as far from our grasps as we’d like to imagine. Wherever these brave beings reside and whatever has brought them to Rose Croix, may they stay as unidentified harbingers of what a world without feeling would resemble.

Links: Brave Mysteries

Buffalo Bangers

Blockader

[7-inch; Private Leisure Industries]

Hearing this much character in a lead vocal is enough to draw notice on its own; that Buffalo Bangers also own a gregarious moniker and sprightly sound, well, is icing atop a fresh-baked cake of life. Not sure where Blockaders fits, of course. There was a band called Pigeon outta Cali a decade or so ago, not to mention the RTX/Howling Hex crowd, The No Nos, a few of the HoZac bands, and several riot grrrl acts, but in the here/now, you just don’t find acts with the ass-plastering sass the Bangers possess. Straight-line drums/bass, clean guitar either hittin’ a riff or running through an arpeggio or two, and that pristine personality-plus voice = keep Gumshoe posted. White vinyl with spraypaint insert never hurt anyone, either.

Links: Private Leisure Industries

Galaxy Toobin’

Galaxy Toobin’

[CS; Not Not Fun]

Audible groans are heard across the space-time-internet continuum. Galaxy Toobin’? Really? But in a bit of a rich but apropos cliché, please do not let the chosen name of Elliot Lipp and William Burnett’s collaboration steer you away from this dutiful delight. The San Andreas creep Not Not Fun has undertaken to transform its once scruffy psychedelic self into a new-new-new wave dance synth label has finally taken hold, and Galaxy Toobin’ is the sort of repetitive kitsch that will win over new fans and old haters alike. Lipp and Burnett may owe much of their sound to 1970s and 80s lo-fi technology, but the end results are only dated by the timestamp of media deliverance. Existing on a plane where ravers aren’t stuck with mind-numbingly loud techno and wallflowers aren’t made of petrified wood, the self-titled from Galaxy Toobin’ grooves with the pulsating energy of an all-night discotheque with just enough Euro chill to keep the party from becoming a mess of sweaty assaults. This once LP is now on cassette for the car rides to the unknown midnight warehouses, your 85 Dodge Omni now its own galactic vehicle fueled with the promises of fleeting love and magnetic synth makeouts.

Links: Galaxy Toobin’ - Not Not Fun

Zac Nelson

Toward Your Own Worlds

[CS; Field Hymns]

Zac Nelson may be an unfamiliar name, but the dude known as Hexlove and as one-half of aural assault freakout Chll Pll literary takes a chill pill under his given name. Towards Your Own Worlds is Nelson’s most beautiful work to date, eschewing seizure-inducing syncopation for carefully layered calm. The cassette is a practice in meditation, channeling good vibes through subtle drones and droll rhythms. “Labendolla” channels early Honey Owens, an eerie but hopeful minimalism. “Borne By Tropical Waves Within Their Foamy Bosom” is a rolling composition, a true exploration of Nelson’s many influences being slowed by the oncoming Ice Age. Towards Your Own Worlds is cinematic in both scope and delivery, a laser-focused finale to the jittery beginning of Nelson’s career as he transitions to more mature but equally exciting work. Toward Your Own Worlds may be the product of maturity, but Nelson proves it only in the practice, not in dulling his imagination.

Links: Field Hymns

Plante

Harvest

[12-inch; Fedora Corpse]

Plante’s Harvest isn’t what you’d normally expect from a 45-RPM 12-er, as it takes half a lifetime to build momentum and depends on glacial modes to enchant the ever-lit listener (if you’re the hyper type, you won’t have time for this, is what I’m sayin’). It rips on low, guttural churn like most other Fedora Corpse releases and drifts to the tune of Lanterna, Neil Young’s soundtrack to Dead Man and countless other movie accompaniments, yr standard Kranky-ites, and Eluvium (but with guitar serving as the focal point), reflecting eternity like early, minimal Locrian held up to clear water. While Harvest is an effective campaign, it leaves me wanting more. A 2xLP can’t be far behind. Lovely glass-colored vinyl and a nice, limited press wrap up the package. Another nice cadaver from Fedora Corpse.

Links: Fedora Corpse

Greg Davis

States (3)

[CS; Draft]

Spread across a few labels, Greg Davis’ States series has been warming cockles for much of 2011, and though 2012 is upon us, we must rectify the mistake of not speaking of these wonderful releases. So we catch up with the ‘third’ installment, which yields parts 5 and 6 of Davis’ masterstroke. Finding its home on the equally daft Draft, States (3) is a minefield of buzzes, blips, and beeps. The tape alternates harmoniously between fast and slow, Davis switching between lightning strikes of tangled electronics before easing into simplistic, almost quiet periods of cleaning up the messes he made. More so, States (3) is a look into invention; Davis’ creative process is put on display in such a manner that any filtering or editing is insignificant. States (3) is the sound of cogs and gears moving effortlessly in the brain, transferring idea into locomotion. So much commotion to be had with a modular synthesizer, with Davis making calculating, albeit frenzied, outbursts of creativity — how valiant!

Links: Greg Davis - Draft

Miami Angels in America

A Public Ranking

[CS; Night People]

And you’re feeling weird and shit all the time now. Getting high always on a duster-huffin’rag-reefer-cough medicine cocktail. No boozing. You’re too poor. The amount of damage you’re doing to your mind is permanently making you slur your speech. Outcast don’t begin to describe your situation at work. When you talk anywhere now, it’s like your jaw is tapping egg shells to each syllable. Loneliness is an excuse to get high or say something about your life that you’ve no concern about, but it’s frightening to the listener. The only way you orgasm is when your eyes fill with blood and struggle to keep open/you alive. Waking up in the morning consists of nose bleeds and sneezing brains. As you start to recognize the world wasn’t built for you, or your body/ears, the weight of sky crashing down into your eyes compares only to not yours, but “A Public Ranking.” So if your day job provides you with too much *flatline*, Miami Angels in America will melt them brains out ya nose in the mean/tough/aggressive/tense time.

Links: Miami Angels in America - Night People

German Army

Papua Mass

[CS; Night People]

What seems a bare cupboard for the one band you just can’t Google turns out to be an old coldwave trick: Lull the listener to sleep with hypnotizing weird-wave minimal synth and wait… and wait… and wait. Then what? Well, I guess you make another tape. Until then, German Army have me in the palm of their hairy hands, their Martian Church XX-style sludge-vocals reminding me of that time I’s probed by aliens. (I swear! Ma told me if’n I lie I’ll be in hot water, so don’t tell on me!) Their frothy chemical brew is a strange, pungent one that no one should try at home: Stack a uncooperative drum machine on top of a shit-house synth, echo-killed vox, and maybe a bass line and see how much your version of this sucks. How do they do it? This is one of those tapes you listen to mouth-ajar; the 39 Clocks of mini-synth-wave, German Army are. The end of Side A even mimics a tape being eaten. You’ll keep checking and checking. What an idiot! Bruce Hart is watching approvingly from heaven (What? He’s alive? Man…), not to mention Wet Hair. Those nice Raccoo-oo-oon boys sure have comported themselves well with this Night People label, a veritable shit-storm of fascinating vibrations emanating from their every audio orifice. It’s sick. And yes, like every actually-good cassette I review, it’s probably fucking sold out before you even knew what hit you circa Dave Mustaine. Sorry; you lose.

Links: Night People

News

  • Recent
  • Popular

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.