Monument of Decay
If Sutekh Hexen continues their (1) A: [quest] B: [onslaught] C: [ritualistic crawl] through the (2) A: [noise] B: [black metal] C: [avant-garde] underground at this pace, they stand to build a legacy of restless experimentalism along the lines of (3) A: [Ulver] B: [Coil] C: [sunn 0)))]. Since 2010, the evolving Bay Area project has issued a stream of (4) A: [tapes] B: [discs] C: [baroque limited edition packages] documenting the aural and visual aesthetics of Kevin Gan Yuen, A.C. Way, and their collaborators. In less capable hands, such a busy release schedule runs the risk of diluting a catalog, but the SH camp remains consistent in their (5) A: [evisceration tactics] B: [rigorous studio documentation] C: [TONES] to the point that every burst of new or reissued material warrants deep listening.
Monument of Decay, the project’s fourth object of 2013, comprises four five-minute tracks, each of which twists and mangles signifiers of any number of “extreme musics” into a compressed narrative arc. On the screen in front of you, my adjective-laden description of the band’s (6) A: [guttural demonic howling] B: [overwhelming bass frequencies] C: [blown-out tremolo-picked guitar] can kinda hint at the intensity of this experience. In real life, with the stereo cranked and all infants or skittish adults either carted off wholesale or politely asked to consider leaving the room, shit gets serious. Prepare yourself for the (7) A: [widescreen terror] B: [dark ambient meditation] C: [shred] about to reach you in the stream below:
Monument of Decay ships this month in limited 12-inch pressings via Black Horizons and a lavish two-cassette edition (23 of which come with “two vials containing human blood and bone dust”) via Beläten.
Diary of a Trap God
In case you haven’t been following Radric “Gucci Mane” Davis’ career lately (shame on you, seriously), allow me catch you up to speed. Within weeks of releasing a three-part mixtape chock-full of 1017 Bricksquad features, the artist briefly known as Guwop publicly disbanded his crew via Twitter, then used the social networking platform to launch a two-day tirade targeting not only his past associates, but also basically everybody in the world. A war ensued — a world war, one might say. (Read: Gucci claimed to have had sex with a bunch of famous pop stars and in turn was told he needed to go to rehab.) Unfortunately, Gucci’s Twitter account did not survive the melee. However, with its dying breaths, the rapper-cum-actor managed to…
“Claim his account had been hacked?”
“Apologize for his rant?”
“Describe Nicki Minaj’s plastic posterior one last time?”
“Well, what then?!”
He announced the release of yet another mixtape, this one titled Diary of a Trap God. That’s right: Gucci Mane isn’t just a mane. Gucci is God (how’s that for a t-shirt?!) and he kept a diary (so who needs Twitter anyway?!).
• Gucci Mane: 1
• Terrorism: 0
“Pretend to be a Cop” / “‘96 Galant”
Fuck it, cut the cord. I got a copy of Battle of Los Angeles from my friend in seventh grade. But I was already obsessed with “Guerrilla Radio" because of THPS2. Man, that school skate park is the greatest level in video game history! Turn that shit up. ‘Cause it’s Torn Hawk with a new release via Beer On The Rug called FIST. From Rage’y guitar samples to future-funk frankensteins, Torn Hawk produces elaborate yet concise, familiar yet alien soundage on sample FIST tracks “Pretend to be a Cop” and “‘96 Galant.” You can hear these tracks from the record below, but gotta purchase it to get the full experience. Lights out.
Various Artists: Tranquility Tapes
Yet again, Tranquility Tapes has gathered an eclectic bunch of banderling outsider musicians ready to rip at your reactor core(s). Duets II comes at a cost in waging a sonic war against wave after wave of tracks that dig deep into your mode of audible transformation. As language is to culture, the sound variety on this compilation will trash at the task of each translator and call forth a parade of meanings only one can mark as their own. Visuals encapsulate the masses in a real way here, but on such an individual basis, who KNOWS what you’ll see.
Duets II is relentless and won’t give up as it reels away your afternoon blues and takes you to colors you’ve yet to witness. Tranquility Tapes got that young creative madness blistering at your brain stems with heavy hitters and new bloods surrounded by an atmosphere of swirls and sizzles. So treat your imagination already to Tranquility Tapes’ newest collection captured on Duets II. It’s a c100 tape that includes Dozens, Glass House, Cream Juice, Roped Off, Perspectives, Nite Lite, Pendulums, Urkas, Coyote Image Revisited, and Morae. BANG!!!
• Tranquility Tapes: http://tranquilitytapes.blogspot.com
Plays Bee Mask [excerpts]
I’ve always been fascinated by the potential for a piece of music’s mood/tone to be completely altered via production, arrangement, and timing. Even when melody/harmony are kept intact, a minute change in any one of these three elements can drastically change the listener’s perspective on a composition. In some ways, this is the ultimate test for a composition’s worth. If an artist is able to dramatically alter something within the structure of a piece and have their interpretation illuminate something new about the work or ring true to the original’s intention despite radical variation, then the initial composer’s material must contain a significant degree of musical integrity.
On Plays Bee Mask, Donato Dozzy has proven that Chris Madak of Bee Mask’s “Vaporware” piece from last year’s album of the same name is full of structural richness, but also extremely permeable for radical reinterpretation. Plays Bee Mask is in essence a remix album, since he is working with Madak’s original tracks, but what Dozzy does with these materials is truly remarkable. For over 40 minutes, Dozzy manages to completely deconstruct “Vaporware” and examine each one of the track’s elements under a microscopic before moving onto the next. That means the original’s bell-like percussion gets expanded into nearly six minutes of ambient bliss and that Madak’s original vocal samples become looped swaths of glacial noise among many other things. The whole record works well as a testament to both Madak’s initial material and Dozzy’s ability to reinterpret and restructure a complete composition into something that’s entirely new yet still in line with the original’s ambient intentions.
Plays Bee Mask is out now via Spectrum Spools. You can listen to excerpts of the album below:
• Bee Mask: http://www.bee-mask.tumblr.com
• Donato Dozzy: https://www.soundcloud.com/donato-dozzy
• Spectrum Spools: http://www.editionsmego.com/releases/spectrum-spools