TMT Cerberus 12
Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction

In this ever-expanding musical world, there’s a wealth of 7-inches, cassettes, CD-Rs, and objet d’art being released that, due to their limited quantities and adventurous sonics, go unnoticed by the public at large. TMT Cerberus seeks to document the aesthetic of these home recorders and backyard labels. Email us here.

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1958-2009
II [CS]

[Ekhein; 2010]
By Jspicer

Matthew Sullivan, purveyor of the fast-rising Ekhein label, is one half of 1958-2009 along with Alex Twomey. The duo’s name is a dedication to the deceased King of Pop, but nothing from the group’s second cassette hints at the brylcreem hysteria of Jackson’s heyday. Rather, II is composed of three uplifting ambient tracks that rain down like mana from heaven. The first two tracks are stationary synthesizer, floating above the treeline with the majesty of an eagle and the weightlessness of a cloud, but it’s the cassette’s third act that delivers us our daily bread. The transcendent guitar that cuts through the hymnal drone is like Jackson moonwalking through the celestial plane with all the vigor and style lost in his never-ending tabloid and court room battles in the later stages of his life. II is an answer to a prayer we never intended to prosper and moreso, the most innocent tribute to Michael Jackson offered since his death.

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Chris Weisman
Fresh Sip [CS]

[Autumn; 2010]
http://www.autumnrecords.net
By Jspicer

Pop is often neglected in the world of underground sound, but to ignore its influence would be terribly shortsighted. Which is precisely why it’s worth listening to underground pop release, Fresh Sip. Chris Weisman’s 60-minute journey into pop’s inner sanctum turns over stones left to collect dust and host organisms long thought extinct. Touched with the same 70s A.M. brush that birthed Richard Swift and David Vandervelde, Weisman’s Fresh Sip hearkens back to a time when the whims of any Beatles-inspired band garnered a bit of anxious praise — but where those copycats fail, Fresh Sip excels. Much like Swift, Weisman is a chameleon unashamed of loving the lighter side and its neglected treasures. The Donovan homage of “Nu Carta,” the delicate Jim Croce take-off of “Midi Van,” and the stripped Syd Barrett rambler “Hardcore Experimentation” all point to pop’s warm, bright future in a scene overflowing with dark synth and the cold atmosphere of space.

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Noveller
Wolf [7-inch]

[FTAM; 2010]
http://experimentalmilwaukee.com
By Jspicer

Sarah Lipstate returns with two quick glimpses into guitar Armageddon. However, paring down her lengthy compositions doesn’t detract from the Noveller principle of coaxing full sound from a plethora of pedals and fragile fingerings. “Hair Tapes” whistles and rattles above a rapid hurdy gurdy of guitar effects, while flipside “Redgrave” is an exercise of subtly, using terraced dynamics to transform an elemental organ-grinder melody into a surprising slow-roller. Meanwhile, Wolf proves a demonstration, not of experimentation but ingenuity. Here, we are given a brief glimpse into the creation process, and though trade secrets are nowhere to be found, a momentary respite from the tight noose of high art is afforded.

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Bee Mask
In the Balm Yard: The Nth Dream of the Thermo-Hygrometer [CS]

[Deception Island, 2010]
http://deception-island.com
By Jspicer

Whatever the toxins judiciously dumped into the waters of Lake Erie, the stench it has left in Cleveland has also turned out a crop of marvelous genius. From the not-ready-for-primetime ‘burbs Drew Carey immortalized in sitcom comes Chris Madak. When not running the aptly named label Deception Island, Madak hides behind the alias of Bee Mask. His moody electronic experiments — coerced from guitars, synthesizers, and oscillators — have quickly won Madak approval. In the Balm Yard is a tale of two distinct personalities: Side A, sulky and restrained; Side B, colorful and effervescent. Despite which side you’re drawn to, the musings of Madak are intended for late-night contemplation. Whether hitting the Midwestern backroads after a hard day’s work or unwinding after a night out on the town, In the Balm Yard is the sort of creamy salve to heal your wounds and ease your pains. Whatever pollutants may hover in the brisk Cleveland air, they do not dilute the talent of Madak and the Cleveland synth scene.

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Bjerga / Iversen
Return to Serpent Sky [3-inch]

[Sturmundrugs; 2010]
http://sturmundrugs.blogspot.com
By Jspicer

Subtlety prevails within the confines of Return to Serpent Sky, a live recording from the mysterious Norwegian duo Bjerga/Iversen. Unlike the pretense of the title, this 15-minute composition is linear, focusing on the calming affects of pulsating drone to create an airy ambience that fills the room. While it’s clear the goal of the performance was to transform the space between performers and audience into a drone-induced mantra, Return to Serpent Sky works tenfold, as its soothing ambient waves emit their healing power from speakers to couch. Like the warm glow of a tractor beam ready to snatch you to the heavens, Return to Serpent Sky asks you to surrender yourself to the greater good — and you’ll have no choice but to obey. Fighting Bjerga/Iversen will only cause negativity, and who wants to be angered by such an exquisitely simple piece?

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Dead Luke
Cosmic Meltdown [CS]

[Night People; 2010]
http://www.raccoo-oo-oon.org/np
By Jspicer

The remnant dirty bootlegs of psychedelia’s past are all that is left of a once-fruitful scene lost in the recesses of many a trip, but thanks to a new crop of psych-inspired releases — such as the 45 minutes of bliss titled Cosmic Meltdown — we can vividly imagine how the old scene can transition into the new. Combining the distance of lo-fi recordings with a healthy helping of Eastern time signatures (“Dreaming”) and Western acid-wash melodies (“Choking and Choking”), Dead Luke solders 1970s garage with 2010s ingenuity. Cosmic Meltdown is all about plug and play, an album built on catchy repetition and sloppy effects intended to rip the soul out of the audience. The result is an album of perpetual motion, always worming itself into your cerebral cortex for one more sweet dose of liquid candy.

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Mr. Gnome
Tastes Like Magic [7-inch]

[El Marko; 2010]
http://elmarkorecords.com
By Jspicer

Nicole Barille and Sam Meister have flown under the radar since the release of their second LP, Heave Yer Skeleton. To further the shame of neglect, the duo have released the Tastes Like Magic EP, which continues to illustrate the intricacies interlaced amidst this traditional power duo. Both cuts housed on the band’s 7-inch short-runner find Barille and Meister channeling the heavy metal thunder of classic rock gods with differing aesthetics: “Devil Be Gone” is a mellow burnout, with Barille’s signature saunter taking the proverbial chill pill; while “Three Red Birds” provides the typical in-your-face assault of Barille’s dark guitar and Meister’s Bonham-like drumming. If anything, Tastes Like Magic only serves notice to would-be rock stars who can’t pay the rent without paying dues to Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Lemmy.

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Sean McCann
Open Resolve [CS]

[Stunned; 2010]
http://stunnedrecords.blogspot.com
By Jspicer

Sean McCann is becoming a voice of a new generation. Which particular generation — likely one that has yet to be born — is still up for debate. What can’t be argued is how prevalent and desirable McCann’s voice has become. Never one to relax for a moment, McCann returns to Stunned with 43 minutes of sonic manipulations that mirror his frenetic pace. Open Resolve is everything at once, not unlike equaled Stunned darling Padna. It’s a hodgepodge of found and created sounds, swirling into McCann’s black hole at their own leisurely pace. While McCann is quite adept at churning out dynamic textures from more conventional instruments, manipulations such as those on Open Resolve offer an enriching look into his creative process. The true surprise is not the chaotic nature of the tape’s earlier tracks, but how McCann shifts his jittery focus onto tunnel serenity as the cassette progresses. Each McCann release is a welcomed change of pace, and Open Resolve proves no different.

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