I was too busy on Halloween first chasing after a toddler dressed as Hello Kitty cracked out on sugar and then passing out while watching Cronenberg’s The Fly to eventually notice that Australian creepers Portal slipped a gnarly video out into the world of the track “Curtains” from this year’s badass Vexovoid. Noisy/Vice premiered the video, which is about as dark as you’d expect, given the band’s penchant for spooky theatrics.
C. Spencer Yeh / Okkyung Lee / Lasse Marhaug
“The Mermen of Poetry”
In case you haven’t noticed yet, we here at TMT are pretty stoked for C. Spencer Yeh, Lasse Marhaug, and Okkyung Lee’s appropriately named Wake Up Awesome to come out. I know that the day this record gets released will be the day I wake up most awesomely, but for now, the rest of the world and I will just have to settle for waking up to two-fifteenth’s awesome since the trio has dropped another track of sweet brain-frying noise on us.
Continuing with this group’s commitment to awesomeness, the name of this piece is “The Mermen of Poetry,” and it shows a slightly different side of the trio’s work compared to “Throw Down the Fishcake / Anise Tongue and Durian Wet Dream (Edit).” “The Mermen of Poetry” still manages to work the trio’s sounds into a delightfully chaotic amalgam, but there’s much more restraint and space with this work. “The Mermen of Poetry” begins pointillistically, with Yeh’s extended vocal techniques and Marhaug’s skittering electronics blending almost imperceptibly to create a textural bed that Lee proceeds to emerge from. As a result, Lee steals the show on this track in many ways; it’s amazing to hear how she alternates between decidedly soloistic passages and a more textural/gestural role.
Wake Up Awesome is out November 19, but you can preorder the LP or CD now from Software mother-label Mexican Summer.
Tabs Out: Laser Focus #1
Tabs Out is an all-cassette podcast that’s been documenting the prolific tape underground with joyful obsession and humorous expertise since 2012. Tiny Mix Tapes has teamed with Tabs Out for a show called Laser Focus, in which tape aficionados/fetishists Mike Haley, Dave Doyen, and Joe B hone in on a specific label or artist. Check out the archive here.
On the inaugural episode of Laser Focus, Tabs Out talks with Headboggle about his Krautrock past, collaborating with his father, and setting up synthesizers on his bed. We also play a sampling of HB cassettes on Baked, Hyperdelic, Excitebike, A Soundesign Recording, and Tusco/Embassy.
Headboggle doing the sad-face hunch-over at The Lab in San Francisco, CA
More Headboggle gear
“Live at KFJC” cover art by Bonnie Banks
Cover art by John Elliott for self-titled release on Spectrum Spools
DJ Sí Sí Sí Gracias & D/P/I
“HALLO WEE TWENTY THIRTY”
Drawing upon the raw energy of Alex Gray (D/P/I) and the funk-inspired spastic control of Cameron Stallones (DJ Sí Sí Sí Gracias), “HALLO WEE TWENTY THIRTY” comes at you filth-live recording style. It’s nearly 15 minutes of mind gunk intended to clog each creative vessel within your brain’s crevasses. Synaptic nodes snap and spin out of control like a loose fire hose aiming full-blast at the toilet. Mess and mayhem ensue the mind in sheer electronic grime, stretched across a spectrum of universal hearing.
Influence is negated here, the sense of time filters being, and transcendence of the physical breathes in a mode of abstract dance. Catch yourself falling into the circle swaying next to the stage. Slam your head against the nearest speaker, either on purpose or by accident, and finally understand the mentality and deposition of the flow and feel DJ Sí Sí Sí Gracias & D/P/I possess together. Get your best twerk flowing, and feel their live colab “HALLO WEE TWENTY THIRTY” below:
In the last couple years, DJ Rashad and the TEKLIFE crew have put footwork so forcefully on the map that it’s easy to forget just how many artists on Planet Mu’s Bangs & Works comps weren’t from that crew. Which is also to say: many of the footwork tracks a lot of us initially fell in love with back on those first two comps were produced by lesser-heard artists, many of whom haven’t been as visible (or at all) since the Ghettoteknitianz took the spotlight. Of course, respect was due to footwork’s progenitors, so it made sense, but Rashad has been swimming in international waters lately, and since a lot of the more paranoid, schizophrenic Chicago-based music was brushed aside by The Great Teklife Upswing, often the way to hear the weirder strands of footwork was to look to other countries (namely Japan, with the likes of Paisley Parks, Foodman, and Satanicpornocultshop).
But producer EQ Why has been going strong throughout. Former member of the now-defunct all-star crew Bosses of the Circle (which boasted DJ Roc, DJ Diamond, Young Smoke, Jlin, etc.), EQ Why first made his presence widely known with a few tracks on the second Mu comp as DJ T-Why — including this hot number — and now, after releasing on labels like Moveltraxx, Booty Call Records, and Duck N Cover, he’s back with another album, The Dynamic Time, an 18-track footwork monster that comes from the school of RP Boo minimalism and DJ Roc suspense, with several juke- and ghetto house-flavored tracks.
“Grind” is an exemplary cut: rhythmically tense with the barest of elements; sub-bass tempering the violent, chaotic Morse code-like synth; complexity more befitting of an underground footwork circle than a fashionable European dance club — more dirt, less sheen; mood over matter. It’s one of the rawest footwork tracks of the year, a reminder that, while the TEKLIFE crew is making the headlines, there are plenty of gems if you dig beneath the footwork mainstream.
Brooklyn guitarist/composer/filmmaker/Radiolab collaborator Sarah Lipstate is Noveller. Her newest record No Dreams just came out on Important Records, and it’s amazing (!!!!). This video accompanies the title track “No Dreams,” which shows off Lipstate’s experienced technical ability — she’s a heavily trusted guitarist to many, having contributed her talents to projects like Rhys Chatham’s Guitar Army and pop-art band Parts & Labor — as well as her natural psychedelic instinct. The visuals here capture the complexity and intricate organization behind the seemingly free and organic sounds of Noveller. Definitely worthy of a listen and a drug or two.