Rangers / KWJAZ Lite

Angel Island

[CS; Brunch Groupe]

Leave it up to Rangers, bringing all the murky and criminal that dwell within “Xochimilco,” the Mexican-named, non-Mexican side of the Angel Island, where bustle is rustled and the muscled get muffled. There, hope exists only on notes played out in snippets of what do-and-don’t happen. What’s euthanasia and natural? What’s drugs my dealer? “Shhh,” not too loud, cause it’s all being reel recorded, and ya can’t turn back now. Continue on the path of mutual as/decent by tuning into KWJAZ Lite. Confusion sways in lost, smeared melodies as you drag yourself to the other side of Angel Island. What you’ve ingested in “Xochimilco” begins to both take effect and wear-off, swelling your pupils and heart, creating the feeling of assurance: “It Is It.” Covered in slime inside and out, you find yourself entering the “Word of Phase,” only it’s not how you expected the other side of the island to appear. With hopes of climax being smashed, there is only drab, oven-like humidity, and purple-skinned tribesmen wearing white faces hunting you. They dig a hole, bury you alive, and wait before you’re completely dead to pull you out. Your brain gets all fuckered up from the lack of oxygen, and you become their personal zombie/slave. Do work!

Links: Brunch Groupe

Jeremy Bible

The Journey of Enoch

[CS; Rubber City Noise]

The proliferation of tape labels has given birth to an equally rampant and much appreciated phenomenon: the lost reissue. Of course, how do we know something is lost to us when we never had it in the first place? Needless to say, Jeremy Bible’s The Journey of Enoch was most definitely lost, drowned in limited availability and a response to the blowhards that dominated radio, television, and print for the last few years of the 20th century. Recorded between 1998-2000 and first released as a CD-R in 2004, Bible’s baby is given a proper Easter celebration — the dark, piercing synth reverberating from the hollow earth from where Enoch was buried, as Bible busts through the dirt and ascends the physical plane, only to find a world seeking salvation at the hands of the synthesizer. Of course, the persistent hums key a chorus of angels, singing in a language that needs not to be fully recognized to be understood. Bible’s cult classic now finds itself on tape, a place its manifesto was meant to be guarded all those years ago. With a new track lineup and art, Bible’s cherished Enoch is given the dressings of a king without tarnishing its halo. But come the end of Enoch, you may begin to discover that Bible has not produced the new savior, but has in fact given rise to the horn-tailed devil, as the album pokes you with its sharp pitchfork, the angelic chorus turning to fiery cackles.

Links: Rubber City Noise

The Rebel

The Five Year Plan

[12-inch; Monofonus Press]

Last I heard about five-year plans was from D.R.I., so who’s this fuckin’ “rebel” guy? Apparently he’s in Country Teasers (who aren’t Scene Creamers, unfortunately), which doesn’t help me out much. What to do? The Rebel wants more, more, more; MORE as in LESS-is, I mean. These cutz are relatively bare, considering all the temptations out there just waiting to be picked up. Oscillators, pads, pedals, loops — many of these tools are leading us right down a toilet-swirl of chillwave/hypnagogic fogginess, but The Rebel ain’t goin’ there. Just give him a guitar, a synth or two, a cheap drum machine stolen from a pawn, and something — anything — to record with. He’ll make do. To be honest, my mind’s kind of spinning right now. I just don’t hear enough good indie-rock these days. Inspector 22, The Robot Ate Me, Casiotone For The Painfully Alone, Emperor X, The Planet The, and listen to that bassist go super-high up on that fret; that’s gotta be real. Rock it, big man. Those tag-echo vocals also do it for me. A smooth ride.

Links: Monofonus Press

M. Aker

The Elders of New Detroit

[CS; Retrograde]

In the world of blaxplotation, there is no film rifer with folly than Detroit 9000. And yet, for all its mistakes, it still captures a city crumbling despite one beastly history of success and homogeneous pride. Nearly 40 years on and Detroit continues to shrink into the abyss, known largely for automobile fuck-ups and an aging rock scene that still spits out relevant (along with many irrelevant) acts from its dried-up womb. However, Matthew Aker is lending Detroit a bit of silver-bullet power with his 80s soundtrack homage, The Elders of New Detroit. Speaking in the same jive as the marks in Detroit 9000, Aker speaks to a Detroit still riddled with rotten enamel but strong in root. For all the obstacles that stand in Detroit’s way back to prominence, the power surging through Aker’s work — harkening to the machismo of Commando, Robocop, and its action-flick ilk — also speaks to an idea of a brighter future. There’s always going to be something to darken our doors, and it stands to reason Detroit will always have its detractors and antagonists. But may the synthesized soul and confident strut of The Elders of New Detroit lend the citizens of Detroit the confidence to wrestle itself out of corrupt hands and to remake itself as the steely city it was once proud to be.

Links: Retrograde

Jordan Piper Phillips

Glades

[CS; Feeding Tube]

As soon as cassette-head hit tape, I knew this was that motha-humpa from GDC and Blanche Blanche Blanche, getting all overly comfortable on his piano stool and shit. Truth is, I craved to hear a coherent Casio-finger flow after the exhausting razzle-dazzle of the GDC tape on Alchemist (“Jours Avec Jennie”), and “Glades” is… more zany than I’d dared dream, perhaps even a few whippets above what I’d already heard. I guess I’m not gonna catch a break from this guy, and that’s okay, because he’s working up to something truly dramatic, one composition at a time. There exist moments aboard “Glades” so pure (“Different Guy,” “The Climate”) you’d swear dude was ready for a piece of Ariel Pink-curated prime time. Just listen to that milky synth drizzle into the nooks and crannies of that Thelonious comp! Ultimately, Phillips is still working shit out, and like I always say, I hope he gets the chance to take his time. The shade is the best place to find your face.

Links: Feeding Tube

PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS

Aoxomoxoa

[12-inch; Brave Mysteries]

Doom and gloom exporter Brave Mysteries continues to expand its stonewashed mind with acid-washed tomfoolery. How else to explain the schizophrenic wonders of the strangely twisted PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS? Blending warped tape loops and samples, Aoxomoxoa exists only in the mind, so to hear it coming from speakers only causes paranoia and anxiety. Noises come from all directions and in all pitches and tones, blending itself into a climax only suitable for those who can stand to watch Requiem for a Dream on repeat. But when the swirling nonsense does die down, PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS is discovered to be masters of nuance. As the din of “The Mirror Cabinet of the Water Witches” draws to a fade out, the rich layers of low-end rhythm and high-end drone unveil a band as steeped in musicology as it is in psychology. The cassette’s title track is even more subtle once it silences the voices talking over one another. Don’t be fooled by the stylized name and gimmick; PWIN ▲▲ TEAKS is deeper than their shallow name and trendy palindrome of a tape title leads on.

Links: Brave Mysteries

Aaron Dilloway

Lip Syncing to Verme

[CS; Hundebiss]

Aaron Dilloway’s Lip Syncing to Verme is the best kind of noise experiment: one that constantly turns the listener on his ear. D-way also takes the extra step necessary to extend a noise recording’s worth from “glad-I-checked-it-out-now-to-the-back-of-the-pile-with-you” to “I-find-you-enchanting-and-will-lovingly-place-you-on-the-Favorites-rack.” Side A is like hearing that short story wherein a young girl falls asleep and wakes up packed to the gills with ants (They had climbed into her nose, you see.): I’m creeped the-fugg out and I think something’s buzzing around my skull. I can’t really tell you what’s going on here. Dill could be sampling a pig’s “hoinkle” or diddling the innards of a dusty, hard-to-find Royal typewriter and I’d never know the difference between it and a duck’s fart (though officially my money’s on a piece of luggage being thrown around a room with snare-drum-head walls). And that’s of course the beauty of the whole process: I feel I’m learning by way of knowing it exists.

Links: Hundebiss

Shearing Pinx / Ahna

Shearing Pinx / Ahna

[7-inch; Geographing]

I’m way beyond the point of return with Shearing Pinx. I know and love them like the back of my hand, and the back of my hand is FUCKING AWESOME, an uncanny assortment of veins, skin, and sandy, blonde body hair. ShxPx’s side of their split 7-inch with Ahna isn’t particularly special when you consider the incredible scope and dearth of the former’s catalog, but it’s still a damn-fine egg. “Bodies” is more a groove than a noise-rock shard, starting off heavy-handed and ending in a warm pool of its own delicious leavings. More of those fantastic vox, by god; Pinx know how to stretch a larynx without pulverizing it. Ahna are like a young Shearing Pinx: They charge balls-/bass-out and scream right in your face, BLAHHHHHHHAHLKGKSALDG!$^&*#$!!, and a lot of folks aren’t going to like that. I, however, DO. It’s a robotic attack of slow, churning hardcore aggression. Ahna’s stuff is fairly rote considering the craziness being undertaken these days, but that’s also its charm. Think Dead And Gone/Creeps On Candy, Flipper, The Pope, etc., then click your heels twice to get back home.

Links: Geographing

Sister Overdrive

Honey

[CS; Organized Music from Thessaloniki]

On the more abrasive side of Organized Music from Thessaloniki’s, Sister Overdrive’s (a.k.a. Giannis Kotsonis) Honey is a patchwork of at times short tracks stitched together into two sides of a cassette. As a result, it covers quite a bit of ground within the electro-acoustic and harsh noise spectrum but without ever feeling disjointed — as the liner says, “The structure, episodic on the surface, follows at the same time a larger form with a discernible internal logic.” This fractured yet consistent structure is reminiscent of a dream-like state experienced at supremal volumes; car jams for the catatonic.

Links: Organized Music from Thessaloniki

M. Geddes Gengras

Tetragrammaton

[CS; Sacred Phrases]

Fort Wayne, Ind may not strike fear into the hearts of mortal men, but tape label Sacred Phrases will do its damnedest to change that attitude — even if they have to go outside their Hoosier borders to make it so. Prime example: the bombastic new cassette stunner from M. Geddes Gengras. Plastered with a fantastical fireworks display, Tetragrammaton puts the onus of synthesized pleasure on the listener, exploding with the fiery energy of its cover from the moment the play mechanism broaches the tape. Intro “Agape” leaves listeners just as it contends a whirlwind of sound kinetically combining into a synth sound that is neither the future nor the past, but the now — a much-appreciated exploration of the sound. Complement “IAO” is a softer, more sensual sound, perhaps a bit swank in Barbarella futurestyle but yet, one can’t help but sense the need to stay in the now from Gengras. B-side séance “LVX” is the first real hint of reaching out to the future, forgoing the combustible energy of Side A for the spatial. It’s a colder second half, but one that puts a bit of bite into Gengras’ work and Sacred Phrases’ reputation.

Links: Sacred Phrases
  

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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.