“To Carry The Seeds Of Death Within Me”
After their mammoth 2013 album Christs, Redeemers unceremoniously collapsed your chest and threw your stuporous mass of bones and tissue into the shallow end of the pond to heal among the muck and the lily tendrils feebly lacing around your limbs, you’d think The Body might need to take a breather. Maybe gather their wits, gather your wits, lie low in the shadows for a minute. False: The Body never rests. The Portland-based duo’s next full-length LP I Shall Die Here smashes into our consciousnesses on April 1st, and the boys brought along some backup for this round: sub-bass-mongering dark ambient warlord Haxan Cloak (whose Excavation LP still astounds with each spin). Independently, both artists continue to push the limits of extreme recording practices, capturing bowel-rending bass tones and noise-charred treble/static voices on their ongoing quests to replicate the apocalyptic blast of their live performances. Together on the same session, The Body and Haxan Cloak overlay their trademark tropes (death-howl vocals, whistling synth samples, sludge-paced live drums, skittering dub edits) into cavernous mixes collectively saddled with enough negative ions from both camps to charge your grimmest reveries well after the music ends.
The video for I Shall Die Here cut “To Carry The Seeds Of Death Within Me,” directed by Richard Rankin (the man behind these previous The Body visual masterstrokes), introduces us to a character capable of mirroring the music’s singular horror. His goals and motivations are clear. His methods: sound. He gazes at himself, and we gaze at him. Prepare yourself to witness his task.
“I’m just a smelly, smelly giraffe.”
“What troubles could have befallen this giraffe? This poor freak of nature, shaped like a construction crane… he feels that he’s no more than a smelly, smelly giraffe. The sort of giraffe that wanders around the edge of the watering hole, looking for a companion — another Serengetite — who might be able to tolerate his smelliness for long enough to listen to the long list of things he hates. Having observed this particular giraffe from the safety of my Jeep Wrangler (decked out with four-dimensional vector prairie camouflage and a winch with a big fucking hook on the front), I can only determine that this misanthropic creature will be driven to starvation soon. The other giraffes will exile him, beating him mercilessly with their necks when he comes near, for lack of a better style of combat. Soon, though, the other giraffes will accept him back into the tower, but only because they know he is the weakest, and when the lions come they can offer him as a sacrifice by beating him with their necks and then galloping away….”
The preceding anecdote was adapted from the unintelligible in-the-margin scribblings of the lyric sheets of Matt Mottel. In addition to his memberships in Talibam! and NYMPH, he is the singer of the band Platinum Vision. The group recorded a live set on February 8, with Mottel leading a tight group of musicians — Drew Sayers (saxophone), Alex Asher (trombone), Rick Parker (trombone), Dave Treut (soprano saxophone), Jim McHugh (guitar), Adam Caine (guitar), Nick Lesley (drums), and William Flynn (bass) — through his bloated fantasies of instinctual, carnal passion and expensive wine. Inside his head, a small metal ball — the diameter of a nickel and the weight of a large orange — rolls back and forth, keeping tempo, which Mottel transmits to his bandmates via telekinesis (he explains his distaste for wires during the set). This is the only conceivable explanation for how the band manages to execute their fiercely tight set, with saxophone and guitar playing licks thicker than the three-foot tongue of a smelly giraffe tearing leaves off a large shrub.
Witness all of this yourself: Platinum Vision are playing two gigs this month in New York. The first is on Sunday (3/23) at Brooklyn’s Littlefield with Tuareg group Imarhan Timbuktu. The second show is next Thursday (3/27) at Trans-Pecos with Eidetic Seeing, Martin Bisi, and Nola Gras.
• Platinum Vision: http://platinumvision.bandcamp.com
Tara King th.
Didn’t know how I felt about this video for “Mutuelle Appreciation,” considering I drove to work today listening to Hirondelle Et Beretta, the newest Tara King th. release on Moon Glyph. My hesitation stirred at first thinking Tara King th. in general is a Vox Populi rip-off, or just some hack from Tampa getting “retro” and French for the fuck of it. Well, I was genuinely wrong. The second bit of hesitation arose when I felt like a video to this FAUX and exceptionally well Cinemascoped cassette would be killing the imaginative listening vibe that spreads on thick in sound. Not to mention that Hirondelle Et Beretta was brilliantly recorded onto cassette, which is where you’d hear the soundtrack-esque style of song writing Tara King th. submits to: 60s foreign spy/terror/monster b-movie put on VHS around ‘88. But the visuals for “Mutuelle Appreciation” don’t get too airy. At least, it remains as unspecific as the vocals of the song.
For real, Tara King th. is an interesting personality to invest in. “Mutuelle Appreciation” is merely the tip of her iceberg, as Hirondelle Et Beretta gets deep in musical lore, like many cassettes have been dabbling in this year, and keeps on promising listeners everywhere. I guarantee, if you reel the entire cassette on your own, you’ll start telling people, “Oh, oh – this is the scene where… [imagination ensues].” Scope Moon Glyph immediate for Hirondelle Et Beretta by Tara King th. and feel your brain chemicals pump to the tide of music.
Each welcome burst of new material from Golden Retriever provides the singular delight of hearing a live unit stretch their performance tactics into new and unexpected directions. Since the beginning of their catalog, Matt Carlson and Jonathan Sielaff have excelled at juxtaposing the academic, tightly-controlled strains of contemporary electronic, ambient synth, and long-form drone musics with the freewheeling, lyrical voice of live woodwind performance. More than a synthesis of “human” and “inhuman” elements, Golden Retriever offers the chance to perceive joyful irregularities within the order of rigid electronic systems, as each voice airs its fine grain in the context of a larger spectrum of interlocked tones.
“Flight Song,” a cut from the duo’s forthcoming LP Seer, crams numerous opportunities for sonic discovery into its seven minutes of running time. Hear Carlson’s ornate modular synth patch blossom from a series of self-consuming arpeggio phrases into soaring lead passages, chiming through gorgeous chordal progressions in recursive jaunts up and down the scale. Sielaff’s bass clarinet fanfares duck and weave through the sympathetic trails of synth melody, alternately bolstering the lower register with moments of subdued resonance and sliding through a motif that comes to serve as the piece’s recurring head. The resultant session has the potential to lift the opera glasses of the stodgiest contempo-classical boffo, and send basement synth-freaks off scrambling to grip previous releases before their glory fades into the shelfspaces of the savvier OGs.
Today, I’m choosing to live as a prehistoric chicken out of celebration for new discovery and spring. Probably eat a few of my coworkers in half. The owner of my company. BUT not his wife. Instead, I would change my mind and become her rather than stay a prehistoric chicken. Then I’d call everyone by the wrong name and demand shit like a wedding to sing at or maybe help putting pain killers crushed in a coffee filter up my butt. Totally not in a sexual way, but maybe more celebrity. CELEBRITY.
Then the video for Farrah Abraham’s “Blowin” clicks on the “Smart” Screen teleprompter, and it’s like a PG version of that brainwashing experiment they do in A Clockwork Orange, only this is caught by about 75 people just zomb-gazing the future-famous singer grippin’ bubbly and her kid’s hand and a steering wheel, and everyone just want’s to know, “Farrah, darling – where are you GOING in any of these instances seen during your video for ‘Blowin?’” Maybe it’s her brilliance still at work. Maybe she just “Blowin” in the wind, careless as a… celebrity?
OH FUCK, y’all gotta scope this video!!
• EVERYTHING about Farrah Abraham: http://farrahabraham.me
Cartoon violence, a smooth plastic playground of ergonomic slopes and bars. There’s a gleeful smirk to all the frankly brilliant instrumental grime that has been streaming out of UK inner-cities this last year. Fleshy, lurid sounds that wouldn’t stick out of place at a child’s birthday party – or piped into the background of an advert for acupuncture – mix sleazily with gunshots and happy slapping, crunching kicks. Whoever said grime grew up too fast?
Slackk is all stamina. He even makes low-slung digital dub feel energetic. His prolific steering of the good ship Boxed London recently culminated in the release of a fierce free compilation to celebrate their first birthday. Every one of his monthly mixes has been a killer, each feeding off the accrued aural capital of the ones that came before. The fear that he’ll slip up and give us some shonky, sub-par selection just adds to the fun of each month. And he never disappoints. I’m going to take the authoritative ground here and say that this March mix is the best yet, if only because it forced me to go out an buy a super-strength lager and sit in my cold flat nodding my head with my shadow for at least two hours. Discipline motherfuckers!