German Army

Jivaro Witnesses

[LP; Burka for Everybody]

As Ben Stiller once said: Here we go again; again… German Army invades my record room and it’s NOT OK. Never. So what is Jivaro Witnesses all about? Well, I’m not completely sure, but there are a lot of sexual references being bandied about. With song titles like “Harem Diseases,” “Bondage,” and “Sexual Cycle of Human Norms,” I guess that was obvious, but you’d be surprised at how adept this duo is at taking carnal thoughts and making music out of them. Just keep in mind that GA are having seedier sex than you or I are probably having. “Sexual Cycle of Human Forms” is like foreplay, a deep, foreboding voice whispering sweet nothings into your ear while synths swirl and sway. “Bondage” contains a click track that to the right pair of ears can sound like a whip hitting a submissive’s skin, and that deep voice is still there, soothing yet representing unmitigated evil. These two cuts are shorter and less involved; they’re enough to get you a little heated up, but if you want the full effect start venturing into “Six Leg Counterpart,” which contains all the comfort-food elements we’ve come to expect from German Army here at Cerberus, and “Household,” a quirky offering that blends more of those pitched-down vocals with icy, mechanical beats and coldwave keyboards. “Survey of Uses” is by far the sickest grope on file, featuring operatic female singers and a corroded conscience. Averaging about a half-dozen releases a year, German Army keep advancing, and conquering, and there’s nothing the Allies can do about it, thank Christ.

Links: Burka for Everybody

Public Housing

Public Housing

[LP; Torn Light]

The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Links: Torn Light

ARU/Underwater Escape from the Black Hole

split

[CS; 5CM]

I’ve been in fights. There was a time when I went looking for them. Not any sort of hooliganism, mind you – just the pure, I-need-to-outwit-a-frat-hero sort of drunken stupor that happens when one too many people think you’re an easy target. I’ve taken my wallops but I also win most of the time. I was a beast of adrenaline. I knew how to choke someone out. I knew how to use their strength against them until they tired and gave up before being made a complete fool of. That’s the feeling of ARU: 21 minutes of a back and forth spar with both coming out with welts and scars. It’s a black and blue kinship that you can only experience by taking the punches to the gut, throat, and ears. Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is that nervous aftermath. Senses are buzzing, the pain has yet to settle, and you’re sharp to what’s happening around you. The world is in slow motion and for a brief moment you can see all the little details you miss even as large gaps of what just happen are slowly erased from memory. Fighting is a drug unto itself. It feeds a different desire, but it doesn’t last forever. Soon, a smashed nose and bloody lip grows tiring. There’s nothing left to prove, but should you find your honor at stake, ARU and UEFTBH have you covered.

Links: 5CM

Christian Lisco

Thoughts EP

[12-inch; Komisch]

Komisch keeps a low profile, releasing jacket-less 12-inches of what a less-creative critic would call mutant dance music (Luckily you’ve got me! I’ll call it: mutated dance music!). Christian Lisco’s debut 12-inch is one of two the choosy label has released this year and, much like the DeFeKT release (also Cerb’d before you knew what hit you), Thoughts does so much more than merely build dance momentum (though as a matter of course it also does just that), often causing elements to collide together even if their rhythms don’t quite seem to sync up. Yet they do, when it counts. Things might jump out of meter, but it’s a ruse, perpetrated by Lisco in order to push back against the conventions of relatively minimalist techno. You might even call this thinking man’s dance music, as there’s something oddly logical about how each cut comes together, evoking less a visceral response than a chin-stroking “hmmmmm” moment. Even “007,” with its bouncy bass bumps, isn’t fever-inducing as much as it is mind-blowing. Which is just fine, I’m sure y’all will agree.

Links: Komisch

Rosen & Spyddet

Springet Som Symbol

[CS; Posh Isolation]

Springet Som Symbol is an oddly rejuvenating little cassette. Not in the way a hot bath sluices away a day’s problems or finally taking off your shoes and throwing them across the room after doing the five-day-drag suddenly peels the bleariness from your eyes. More in-line with how the first drag on a cigarette and first mouthful of coffee evens you out after a night of abusing your body. That darkening of teeth, lungs and connecting flesh turns the contrast up; adjusting the picture on what was previously a dim world of wincing and muttered curses. The 15 odd minutes of music here do just that; bright synth and rhythm dragging itself towards clarity. Which is wholly unexpected; serif typewriter fonts over a monochrome collage of naked bodies tends to scream “noise tape ahead, gird thine ears!” But there is none of that here. This is not music that will abuse your tympanic membrane, or move your legs or spice up your party. But deploy it while sitting on a porch, in the early morning sun, dragging nicotine into your lungs and sipping, with appropriate trepidation, a cup of cheap coffee that is still a little to hot, and it fits.

Links: Posh Isolation

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt

Live at Various

[CS; Palilalia]

Corsano has always been to the point, not rhythmically but mechanically. The same is true for Orcutt. Both treating their respective instruments as rote pieces of communication. Though there is always a beauty in how they reach out to audiences, there’s a metallic sting when a particular snare hit or awkward note unveils a truth into our own psyche. Together, they provide a near Jungian revelation as the duo tear through machine gun psychoanalysis via Montreal, Cleveland, and Rochester. Usually Corsano has played receptionist to the whims of frequent in-office collaborators but more than not, he’s just as tactile and forward as Orcutt. The twosome sit you on a thorny couch and proceed to turn your fears from unbiased to obsessive. It’s an unromantic process, complete with a Rorschach that makes you see Corgan and Love in bliss. At least that’s what I’m seeing, and it is upsetting me with its plainspeak. And then I began hearing pop bubble up through their double entendre and maybe I’m falling in love with what I despise. Maybe I AM what I despise!? It sinks in, the barbs and the jolts and the deconstruction of ego until all I hear is the id assault. Corsano and Orcutt: The Doctors will see you now.

Links: Palilalia

Stella

Big Table No People

[CS; New Village Tapes]

Arab on Radar and Fat Worm of Error eloped to Columbus (OH). They had a baby (allegedly pregnant with its own baby), which was adopted and nourished on the teat of New Village Tapes. They named their baby after their favorite Comedy Central program or the first memorable name from some forgotten play. Stella was an only child and felt the angst of adoption, but it grew up in a loving home that encouraged such fits. That rage soon became concentrated on music, as if the offspring was attracted to the loud and asinine by default. That asymmetrical DNA finally gave birth once more to Big Table No People, a quick wallop of all that good-riddance feistiness that was long trapped inside the child. New Village, being caring parents, has captured it all on cassette and delivered it to the world. Stella has no plans to meet their parents, crazily chanting “I-71 Forever” and “Go Away” to any transgressor toward their Ohio home. Bless their little expecting hearts.

Links: Stella - New Village Tapes

Corporate Park

Mise En Abyme

[CS; Nostilevo]

Imagine 39 Clocks underwater, or German Army/Merx in the afterlife, and you might come up with a recording vaguely similar to Corporate Park’s Mis En Abyme, but why not go straight to the source and mainline away? I bring up mainlining because many of these freezing post-coldwave tracks, “Pundit Mantra” in particular, sprawl out a little bit like (I imagine) the mind does when it’s lost in the thick, soupy clouds of a heroin high. It’s a bit incoherent if you’re not in the right mindset. However, if you can wade through it, more strident cuts like “Too Expensive to Live” (nice title/truism, also) will reward your perseverance. (That said, eight songs of gloopy goo also would have been fine with me!) Corporate Park is S. English/J. Lange, of Texas, and that explains a lot actually because, as I’ve learned, Texans are some fucked-up motherfuckers. In a good way (mostly; often; the majority of the time; sometimes; occasionally; rarely). Great to have Nostilevo back on the Cerberus clock, and if the tape sold out, don’t forget to check back for a new presssss…

Links: Nostilevo

Jen Reimer & Max Stein

Lisboa/Skagaströnd

[CS; Hula Honeys]

There was a moment when all hope was lost. It caught me in the middle of the night, snatching my breath and waking me from a restless slumber. I sucked what I could of the dead air back in and forced my eyes shut. I tried to forget the hopelessness of that millisecond but it stuck with me in what passed as dreams. It was once the sound of To Kill a Bourgeoisie; it is the hollow playground of Tim Hecker. An instance when the black and white noir of everyday life comes crashing down. It’s not as beautiful as a melting glacier or an exotic chase with a doppelganger, but it’s as real and feeling as it gets. That gnaw of whether this is the paycheck to finish off debts or must I begin new ones to continue to feed into some sort of normal stasis. Jen Reimer and Max Stein embrace all and none. “Lisboa” a slow drudge of a line between holding on and letting go. There is no vacation from this world but there is still beauty within it. It keeps away those fleeting but impactful moments of doubt. There will always be dread but it doesn’t have to weigh us down. “Skagaströnd” is the wistful aftermath – the next night when you try desperately to forget the last. It’s a calming reminder that our film is still being shot and the thrill of the chase is to find happiness in whatever corner of the world it exists. Let go of that fear. Let Reimer and Stein baptize it in their soundwash and be free.

Links: Hula Honeys

Ketamines

11:11 EP

[7-inch; Leaning Trees / Mammoth Cave]

Ketamines are so good to me, so why did I sleep on this pretty little 7-inch for so long? Honestly, I hate to admit it, but a lot of times the records you send me get lost in the shuffle of tapes/LPs/7” and are never found, so just be happy I got to this one at all, maybe? Agreed. I never got to try ketamine back when I was still in playing shape where drugs were concerned but I do know it seems to be a fuzzy, fun-as-fuck trip to the nether-regions of the psyche, a lot like songs such as “Take Me To Your Leader,” actually. Then “Light Workers Lament” steps in and comandeers a dance from your lady with its Yardbirds (“Shape of Things” in particular) feel and somewhat psych-y delivery. “We Are 1” is a lot more polite, even more druggy, and represents perhaps the best trip you’ll have via this six-track, super-stacked EP (I think all 7-inches should be EPs, rather than a single backed by a b-side; make it so!), but “Right About Now” is a cute lil’ acoustic daydreamer too, followed by the almost funky indifference of “Change Your Ways,” which wraps things up. Keta-who? Keta-duuuuude!

Links: Leaning Trees / Mammoth Cave
  

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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.