Future Blondes

Feather 17

[LP; Blind Prophet]

This is dance music that scrapes along and basses-up your brain rather than offering a silky-smooth progression of highs and lows, occasionally stopping to refuel and tossing out loops. Future Blondes twitch with the witch and aren’t afraid of the occasional glitch, which presents the problem of classification: Exactly where do they belong? As with Vapor Gourds, half the fun is figuring that out. FB are willing to dispense with rhythm altogether to explore a shadow-y vocal sample, stuttered for that modern effect, and their complex synth patches wouldn’t sound out of place on an eMego installation. Not getting any warmer, in other words. Plus there’s that high gloss, that treble-y snap, not to mention the drone that ramps up “Fehe’r A Tuz (Finom A Ve’red)” and launches it into your gaping ear. It’s like doing drugs with a gas mask, I imagine. Visit Coldwave Canyon, then time-travel to the future, say, 10 years ahead, and you’ll land smack in the middle. White vinyl (special 50-run of black, as well), limited copies, urgency advised.

Links: Future Blondes - Blind Prophet

Piss Test

Piss Test EP

[7-inch; JohnnyCat]

The same day I crashed the interwebs and get an email from Portland trio Piss Test, an unmarked package hits my mailbox with this 7-inch from a Portland contact that says it’s well worth my time even though you don’t like punk. Which is not entirely true, I just don’t like the teenage punks who act punk but don’t make punk. You can patch up that jacket all you want but if you’re not in the trenches (or basement) playing for the local constituency with all the bravado and none of the chops, I ain’t got the time. But for Piss Test, I have plenty of time–though they only take up 8 minutes of it. Growing up in the shadow cast from Plan-It-X, I feel like Piss Test was meant for a different time; not the dawn of punk, but the dusky 90s period before Green Day, Rancid, and Social D began eating up radio airwaves. “Babies” riffs on the popular sentiments of Fat Worm of Error’s Pregnant Babies Pregnant with Pregnant Babies (as actualized by Teen Mom 11). “Cabbin’ to the Methadone Clinic” is old, sneering drug pass-outs and clean-ups. It’s not all kisses and hugs. “Necrophilia (it’s Halal)” is too repetitive at 40 seconds but the xenophobic joke makes me smirk and I’m certain crowds in the tens are shouting “It’s Halal” ‘til their throats are raw. Piss Test is my childhood redemption, out there playing to whatever crowd in whatever disinfected town. I’m forced to step down off my soapbox. Maybe I just DON’T care for punk, though I do care for Piss Test.

Links: Piss Test - JohnnyCat

Cross Brothers

Live at the Rat Palace

[CS; Endless Melt]

Cerbs has often lamented how those “down under” are doing it better. But by decrying our english-speaking brethren as “down under” seems insulting, when we’re the ones sinking and they are the ones rising. Case in the point, the brothers Cross (Daniel and Patrick) and their two-headed racket of post-psychedelic no-form noise rampage. The Tasmanian duo rip apart their former hometown of Hobart and though comedic logic points to making a childish analogy, these bros-from-the-same-womb are far more destructive (and not stupid enough to continuously chase a rabbit with no hope of capture). So they turn on the poor denizens of Hobart. They turn on the island municipality they once called home. They take the rising garage and psych of Australia and New Zealand and devour it in 30 minutes of ecstatic gluttony. No allusions to whirling dervishes, Looney Tunes, or criminal states, just organic brutality as perpetuated by a continental area that has not only caught up to us but is surpassing us daily with equal parts mind expansion and ritual musical torture.

Links: Endless Melt

Eggs, Eggs

Make Yourself

[LP; Feeding Tube]

I don’t have any qualms with Eggs, Eggs, but that’s more a sign of my problems than an indication of any semblance of accessibility. Make Yourself is weird and involuntary, like sneezing and sharting at the same time then puking on your dog’s asshole. The singer, like Eric Paul before him, has no shame whatsoever, and unloads his every demon onto his microphone. The super-blurry drones behind him are the most impressive aspect of this particular Eggs, Eggs product (there were 13 or 14 in 2012 alone, ya dig?), a lone cello carving out a distinct presence, augmented by atmospheric drone-cake and several indistinct shadows, some of which sound like a garage-band boombox jam five houses down, barely audible even to your dog (which still has puke all over it; dude). Cave Bears and Dylan Natzinger, unite!

Links: Eggs, Eggs - Feeding Tube

Inhalt

Vehicle

[12-inch; Dark Entries]

Inhalt’s Vehicle is the first non-reissue I’ve heard from Dark Entries but you’d never know it. Aside from some additional production gloss this easily could have emanated from the early 1980s; German to the core and set to the time of a twitching clock. Synths, gloomy, dark nights, heartache, more synths, sin, regret, heartache, more synths… Even if you’ve heard other examples of it recently that don’t set as high a bar, don’t hold that against Inhalt, as they transcend the hype by whipping you into a trance and holding you, cross-eyed, until they let you down not-so-gently at the end of each side. They use the technology of modern times to jump-kick their compositions to life, rather than adorn them to death. Love the exploratory key strokes of “Walking on Glass,” though each track makes its case. If you know this label you know what to expect, and you will be rewarded here.

Links: Dark Entries

Birds of Passage/Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier/Motion Sickness of Time Travel/Aloonluna

Taxidermy of Unicorns

[2xCS; Watery Starve]

The dearth of women in experimental music is a gap worth bridging. In the sausage party of drone and minimalism (any any outsider form of musical art you care to reference), the list of women as creators grows, even if recognition remains stunted. Lynn Fister’s Watery Starve label (of which Cerberus has had a love affair with since its first beautiful cassette hit our mailbox) has said poppycock to such notions, Taxidermy of Unicorns a resounding testament to four notable women creating thoughtful and boundary erasing music. Though remarkably feminine in timbre, there’s a fair amount of bravado to each side. The breathy pop drone of Alicia Merz’s Birds of Passage is a confident reminder that melody and romance can be as provoking as the louder, aggressive males of the species. Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier stands as the meditative representation of Félicia Atkinson, “Sauna Fauna” wavering little from its pensive pose; stalwart in its resolve to exist in a world seemingly keen on ignoring it. Rachel Evans has emerged as one of the boys with Motion Sickness of Time Travel, but here she showcases the womanly wiles of synth and space; a piece as seductive as it is tough. Fister’s own Aloonaluna is most braggadocios, beginning as a buzzing taunt before bullying the noise world into synthetic submission. What’s most remarkable with the musical gender bending is not that Taxidermy of Unicorns serves as a reminder not only to James Brown’s shortsighted edict but to the supposed lack of women able to cut it in the all-encompassing hap-dash of experimental music. These four women, beyond biology, are exceptional musicians. Fister’s curatorial touch in managing this immaculate package may showcase a feminine touch but there’s only so many beards and slam dances a man can stand. This is a take notice moment and seemingly the man’s world is doing just that.

Links: Watery Starve

OObe

Delphi

[CS; Haute Magie]

The sensual mysticism embodied by the cover art for OObe’s Delphi reaches deep into the Italian outfit’s tape. Rather than focus on its witch house and slow dub touchstones, Delphi brings with it a sense of body-at-motion. A mix of dance and mash-up that encompasses the lengthy dole of love. At times dripping with romantic schmaltz, at most times brimming with the sexual buzz of two close bodies; the build-up before the release. This talk might paint me as some old-time romantic but so what? Delphi doesn’t go so far as to be the soundtrack to a night of lit candles, fine dining, and love making but it would be fantastic sloppy late night make-outs and spontaneous sex. You lock eyes with someone at the [club/house party/back alley/crack house] and its electric. Take ‘em back to your one-room home, blast this bewitching tape hex and rip off each other’s clothes as if there’s no tomorrow. But there is and though the harsh light of the walk of shame may seem unbearable come morning, it’ll wither when you remember the primal force of OObe. It’s the Axe Body Spray of cassette tapes but I promise through all its warps and weirdness it will be the go-to aphrodisiac.

Links: OObe - Haute Magie

Sounding The Deep

Return to the Quiet

[LP/CS; Sonic Meditations]

Sounding The Deep, helmed by David Williams, combine the tact of certain post-rock constituents (Continental, Lanterna) with the soulful guitar work of the usual suspects (Fahey, etc.), creating a whole new reason to forget about lead singers and sink into the strings. Return to the Quiet couldn’t be more unassuming. Not too many twists, not too many turns, just an ongoing thrust of thoughtful riffs and delicate changes that gains surprising momentum. The instinct is to crave more atmosphere, more ____, and that’s just the thing – you don’t need it. And there are sections, chiefly “Bestow,” wherein the mellowness recedes and a fiery, finger-picking avalanche tumbles over. Then you’re fuckin’ hooked. Not all-the-time music, Return has its time and place. Pre-dawn is best, from my experience. Three-hundred copies, if you must know.

Links: Sounding The Deep - Sonic Meditations

Pengo

Resurrection Wars

[2xCS; Los Discos Enfantasmes]

It’s good to be challenged, but it’s also nice to get what you want. Music such as that of Pengo used to challenge me, but now it’s just what I want. Fuckin’ A!! But seriously, it’s like entering the room with a hail of gunfire when you lead off your (double) tape like this, blistering the ear-holes with withering effects and HUGE chunks of arctic bass and laser-sharp synth metrics. The extra ingredient is care. Side B is more of a mellow-gold trot, led by dapper drums, watery blurts of strange noise, de-tuned guitar, and a prevailing rule: each instrument must drop in and out of the mix at random times then reappear like a stalker ex-girlfriend back from the dead. Soon we’re headed down a spiral staircase of the mind, escorted by lonely guitar figures and Doug Yule bass. This is where Resurrection Wars swallows your mind whole, never to let go. Seventy-five copies to hold and cherish; or just one, if you hurry.

Links: Los Discos Enfantasmes

Coyote Image Medicinals

Coyote Image Medicinals

[3-inch CDR; Kimberly Dawn]

Under the cloak and dagger of surprise, the wily duo of Grant and Rachel Evans deliver suspenseful spoonfuls of static drone and reverb as compositional outfit Coyote Image Medicinals. The 20-minute swelter is a good tonic for the shattered nerves, caused by keeping up with the duo’s many guises. But here, I surrender. I take the hemlock and swallow it triumphantly. But I do not die, I slip into a world both drowsy with weight and light with hope. That Grant and Rachel refuse to fall in line with their more considerable projects and nom de plumes is worth the calculated risk; that they continually succeed and supersede should warrant no more frayed and jittery prose. Let me awake from my poisoned slumber and echo this: Evans’ aren’t deceitful or tricky. They put it in our faces, pour it down our throats, and let us taste the sweet nectar disguised as suspicion. But no matter the name or title, we are all now a part of the ruse. No matter the elixir, it is pure and chaste. All hail the King and Queen, bah, The Alpha and Omega!

Links: Coyote Image Medicinals - Kimberly Dawn
  

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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.