“The Big She”
“The Big She” from Dustin Wong’s upcoming Thrill Jockey release still bubbles with the same eagerness of his earlier releases, but progresses with much less intention. Each layered guitar loop is explored to a much deeper degree, rather than feeling like a stepping stone up a mountain of loops toward the eventual peak. In that regard, the album title, Meditation of Ecstatic Energy, is surprisingly apt, resembling the more ambient, repetitive nature of one of Wong’s older projects, Ecstatic Sunshine, which used the same process of looping guitar cuts toward infinity, but in a much less intentional way. If the rest of the album moves like “The Big She,” I think we are all in for something really transcendent.
Meditation of Ecstatic Energy is out September 17 on Thrill Jockey.
“Five Faces of Decay”
While you sleep, the members of Bay Area black metal noise project Sutekh Hexen don’t. Right? How else could they put out 15 releases in three years, tour the US, and, in the case of guitarist/mastermind Kevin Gan Yuen, find time to develop an endless string of eye-popping album designs for everyone from Aidan Baker to Ash Borer? The band embodies the rare combination of a prolific release schedule and a finely tuned sense of quality control, which has won them a metal militia of fans devoted enough to snatch up every release before the casual listener even has a chance to sample the goods. After the more widely available Behind the Throne LP on Magic Bullet and this year’s collaborative album with Andrew Liles, Sutekh Hexen’s profile is higher than ever, but this doesn’t mean that they’re resting on their thorn-laced laurels. More releases on more formats, more shows, more sonic doom, perhaps deeper than ever; the sleepless existence carries on.
After a sold out die-hard collector edition on reel-to-reel tape — the grimmest physical medium? — the Become sessions see a wider release on vinyl via King of the Monsters Records. Check out an excerpt from the EP’s first side, “Five Faces of Decay,” below. Hear a haze of static and low-end drone bury Yuen’s ominous two-chord guitar progression while A.C. Way’s vocal shrieks reach us from what seems to be a bottomless chasm of delay. As the session moves through multiple dynamic movements (each one its own “face of decay,” maybe?), voices and guitar lines funnel down into a layered mire of blackened noise capable of splitting speakers right open at maximum volume. Sutekh Hexen find the middle ground between evil ambience and distorted ferocity, resulting in a side-long composition capable of terrifying and entrancing its audience.
The order page for Become is up on the band’s webstore, but no release date has been listed yet. Keep an eye out in the next couple weeks for the moment to strike.
With a groundbreaking new content rating of “NOBODY” comes new music from WTF.FM. Intended for an audience of nobody, AUDIO_TS will move nobody’s ass and touch nobody’s heart. So, unless you are nobody, or somebody who is willing to defy content ratings, then you won’t experience these new jams that nobody is talking about.
Back in October 2012, Lil Ugly Mane released two compilations composed of various amateurs’ “first beats / first attempts at making music,” the idea being that there exists a certain purity in one’s initial compulsion to create and, therefore, an otherwise-unattainable degree of realness in an artist’s first recording. This post isn’t about Lil Ugly Mane or his unsupervised doctoral dissertation, though; it’s about Turnbull Green and his new EP, Heady, which Tiny Mix Tapes has the distinct pleasure of premiering to you here and now.
Listening to this five-song set is not unlike listening to the first demo of a talented and tasteful friend who, for years, you’ve been pressuring to record something. It’s raw, spontaneous, and unpredictable in all the right ways. Its mistakes aren’t low points, but happy accidents that steer the song(s) in new directions, adding depth of character and texture. It’s the philosophy of glitch (music) or “experimental punk,” depending on who you ask.
This is not to say that Heady sounds outright amateurish. To the contrary, Turnbull’s take on L.A. Beat-style glitch-hop is clearly the result of much practice and careful consideration. But at its best, the EP seems to grasp, however briefly, the kind of uncompromised integrity one usually only finds in an artist’s first outing — a feat made all the more impressive by the fact that this isn’t Turnbull’s first; his debut LP, The Wolf In You dropped in March on Take A Record/Daylight Curfew.
• Turnbull Green: http://turnbullgreen.com
Celebration of the withering and elderly is moot. As moot as the word moot’s existence in today’s language. And it ticks on into what Nicolas (Esteban Aldrete) provides as home. Comfort in the state of bouldering paranoia and anxiety, he keeps the suspense within the crevices of goose bumps, forever. The phone is ringing and nobody wants to answer. Don’t know if they around or not. Or got the fists or fingers to operate the receiver. Fraught with decisions and too much time, many beckon to the arch when they “Date Cuenta.” Scream it now: “Date Cuenta!”
Soft in suspect, but vast in depth. No. Nicolas, NO! Creep up and crank that dance by the bedpost. Make it more than the music and heavier than the situation. Wake up the neighbors. Stop into their living room. Become thy neighbor. It’s almost too much to take in and all the while exhilarating. Stars and SARS and scars; streaks of the unknown succumb to satiable singularity. Morph of mind and transference of you, you “Date Cuenta.”
Night People creaks the corners with Nicolas on Las Lomas II, and for 45 minutes, it’s all green and brown, flaking lobes and budging globes.
• Night People: http://raccoo-oo-oon.org/np
The Wave Pictures
“The Woods (Live at Toe Rag)”
I feel like some kind of indie rock soothsayer. Having just orchestrated a fictional guitar dual between Steph from Shield Your Eyes and David from the Wave Pictures, I happen to stumble upon a new video by the latter. And it really throws down the gauntlet.
“The Woods” is over six minutes long, featuring two bass solos, and one killer guitar solo; the video a tense one-room boiling pot of tape reels, plaid shirts, and wires. The venue? Hackney’s famous Toe Rag Studios, womb of The White Stripes’ Elephant album and many more.
The Wave Pictures have been tenser, tauter, and angrier for a while now. Gone are the days of “The sun came in like a pack of orange spaniels;” instead, we’re taken to a place where our protagonist snarls about how “the fear is bland like English food and warm like English Beer.” It would take me more hours and words than either of us have time for to delve properly into David’s lyrics here, but I cant remember the last time I heard someone sound so simultaneously eloquent and pissed-off.
The band’s new double album, City Forgiveness, comes out on the 21st of October.