Black Dirt Oak
The needle lands on the vinyl surface of Wawayanda Patent, and the room appears in your mind’s eye. Black Dirt Studio sits empty, the sunlight still caught in the west-facing window, while an array of strings, drums, bells, and wooden bodies waits in expectant silence. In time-lapse, each performer appears in the space before your eyes, channeling the experience of unnumbered past collaborations into a new chimera: heart of Pelt, head of Gunn, neck of NNCK, legs of Rhyton, wings of Pigeons. To enumerate the personnel is to miss the point. Ensembles cohere within the crowded roster to carry out one-to-eight-minute missions, overlapping their expertise into dense exercises of American Primitive/folk/psych/rock/drone improvisation. One collective intuition pours tones, ideas, and traditions into the board, and Black Dirt honcho Jason Meagher documents the resultant sessions for infinite porches and bonfires of grinning posterity.
The nine tracks of Wawayanda Patent share strategies: pick a key, populate the posse, and head into the room with high expectations. There’s enough time and space here to accommodate more sounds than seemingly possible. “Demon Directive” slinks across the forest floor to the sounds of bass, slapped polyrhythms, and sax skronk. “From The Jaguar Priest” ropes every tendril it can into a wreath of banjo, synth, and funereal vocalization. Album closer “Crowning the Bard” blurs the plucking of strings into a textured hum that airs its crystalline facets as other players cast their lines into the haze. Who calls the sessions to an end? No one does; they don’t end. Evidence still lingers of the whistled voices that filled the space — etched into the studio’s wood deeper than wax grooves.
Stream the entirety of Wawayanda Patent below. You can order one of the 500 physical copies or the digital files from MIE Music below:
One of my favorite things about Carla Bozulich is her ability to so beautifully deconstruct and then reassemble various strains of roots music into something that feels both completely alien and inextricably connected to the work from which it draws influence. Her previous solo albums, Red Headed Stranger and Evangelista, were prime examples of this, with the former modernizing Willie Nelson’s classic work, and the latter reducing the minimal harmonic movement of blues/gospel songs into haunting drones augmented by Bozulich’s fervent vocals. Bozulich’s more recent albums with her band Evangelista still explored the art of deconstruction, but that project often seemed more focused on delightfully cathartic eclecticism in comparison to the focus of her solo work.
Bozulich’s forthcoming album, Boy, is another excellent foray into the realm of the deconstructed song, but where Evangelista focused on creating drone-based soundscapes out of the remnants of song forms, Boy focuses on generating hypnotic grooves that subtly allow melodies to drift off into weirder territories at any moment. “Lazy Crossbones” is a particularly great example of Boy’s aesthetic. The track is reminiscent of the more rhythmic moments on Talk Talk’s later records, and like those albums, “Lazy Crossbones” embeds its formal deconstruction into the song structure itself. On the surface, “Lazy Crossbones” may seem fairly straightforward, but listen closely and you can hear Bozulich’s consistently incredible voice being used as a catalyst for the song to be taken into new sonic territories. It’s a great example of how Bozulich’s ability to re-contextualize has grown even more streamlined and synthesized with her recent work.
Boy will be out March 4 via Constellation. Listen to “Lazy Crossbones” below:
Tabs Out: Laser Focus #4
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 monthly 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. Enjoy!
“Calling Tiger Hatchery a free jazz band would be as silly as asking any of the three members to wear the tennis outfit from a Ken doll. Try shoehorning the sex danger saxophone of primordial rock and roll into such a puny category. Simultaneously fold in the entire time line, stretching a hundred years in to the future, of avant earthquake bass technique. All while trying in vain to squeeze in an A1 spasmodic mallet swinging monkey man. Getting the picture yet kiddo?”
– Mister Matthews
We shot the shit with the Tiger Hatchery boys half way through their recent tour in support of their debut full-length on ESP-Disk’, talking about the weed, scrambled eggs, and cassettes that got them up to this point.
On the deck:
- Tiger Hatchery - “Tiger Hatchery” (Self-Released)
- Tiger Hatchery - “Lemon Crystal Sun” (Deception Island)
- Druids Of Huge - “Druids Of Huge” (Catholic Tapes)
- Forbes/Young Duet - “Forbes/Young Duet” (self released)
- Ben Billington - “Brave Grave #3” (905 Tapes)
- Egg Sac - “Lose It” (Moon Mist)
- Tiger Hatchery - “Providence/Madison” (Baked Tapes)
Tiger Hatchery relaxing between songs (photo: Karina Natis)
“Sun Worship” album artwork
Tiger Hatchery live
Tiger Hatchery via Noise Park
Last year’s breakout duo is BACK (sorta)! This time as SIMULATOR. Trudging through the snow has been SHIT for many drives to work, bike rides with pizza, shuffling through the nonsense of Brooklyn traffic, highway breakdowns and crashes, yet LORD $M$ & LAMPGOD as SIMULATOR shatters icy ears with good tunes. Melting through that frozen sweat, “PROLIX FLESH” is the first track off their newest Bootleg Tapes EP GLASS BRIXX VOL 1. Repeat “PROLIX FLESH” over and over again in your head, and you’ve pretty much reached the equivalent of dance-floor mania.
Insanely (and manically), LORD $M$ & LAMPGOD as SIMULATOR continue to flirt with the listener in their depth of transitional beat making. And when I type “transitional,” it’s more about their syncratic nature as a team toward music. ‘Cause if you’re doing as I’ve suggested, try and find the hiccup in the tracks turnover as it repeats itself. OR, just immerse yourself in the flood of repetition and stuttering swan song singing sample, cause pin-pointing a break in this cycle of poppin’-off will most likely crush your mind. Pay attention to the snow, focus in on that maddening beat, and find GLASS BRIXX VOL 1 EP on Bootleg Tapes this Thursday. Don’t fuck around, either. These get bought up just as quick as the label produces em! Scope “PROLIX FLESH” below:
• Bootleg Tapes: http://bootlegtapes.bandcamp.com
“Skeptical Seventh Sun”
In “Lox Moon,” the title of a recently released clip of Jonas Reinhardt’s upcoming film/soundtrack Ganymede, the colors are lush, gentle. And as a spaceship descends from the upper atmosphere and into view of the moon’s surface, cameras attached to the hull of the ship take low-res videos, scanning the terrain for suitable landing conditions. The craft is moving too quickly for a human to process the information. Alien land formations and rocks are mistaken for mountains, taiga forests, fractured lakes, and cascading streams. The videos are artificially colored to reflect the surface temperature and altitude, generating a pleasant sense of homeliness in the swirling colors. Home on Earth, out there in the chaos and uncertainty of space.
“Skeptical Seventh Sun” is the opening track on Ganymede’s accompanying soundtrack. Instead of rambling on minute modulations, the music is urgent and concise, with Reinhardt cutting his loops into tiny slices, like the millions of blinking buttons inside a retro-future spacecraft. Think Wallace and Gromit’s A Grand Day Out, but directed by a mermaid on DMT. Just the music, though. The film is quite good as well.
Look for Jonas Reinhardt’s Ganymede February 11 on vinyl and DVD, courtesy of Constellation Tatsu.