TMT Cerberus 20
Riders on the Strom [Thurmond]

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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Atlantic Triangular Trade
Velvet Satellite [CS]

[Draft; 2010]
http://draftrecords.com
By Jspicer

I’m beginning to worry for Jason Anderson and Brad Rose. Anderson finds himself splintering his musical monument, Gift Tapes, to make way for sub-label Draft. Likewise, the musical chameleon and Digitalis honcho (Rose) can’t seem to settle on a moniker: The North Sea, Ajilvisga, Altar Eagle… what’s next, Cybil? Nevertheless, the idea behind Draft was to depart from the Gift Tapes aesthetic, a sentiment at play under Rose’s Atlantic Triangular Trade personality. Velvet Satellite is rhythmic tick tock, the breakdown of Altar Eagle’s Mechanical Gardens. The tape is heavy with settling rust, Rose busied by dictating the humdrum of a synergetic society on technology growing obsolete by the minute. Despite moments of angry gurgling from ancient tar pits, Velvet Satellite is quite the relaxing timekeeper, as Rose, Anderson, and the whole of society descends into Dissociative Identity Disorder.

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Aerosol Constellations / Born Without Bones
Split [12-inch]

[Isolated Now Waves/Thnkls Productions; 2010]
http://www.freewebs.com/isolatednowwaves
By Gumshoe

This 12-inch-split-LP-with-silk-screened-‘B’-side leaves little time to trifle, and Aerosol Constellations get right to it, shading our bustling planet with a thick sheen of chemicals that acts as a giants dome-top of smog. Sometimes well-placed, volcanic bass and the sound of planes taking off and landing is all you really need to get to that next level. Other times you can SMASH-PLP-FZZ-BANG — shake things up and spray them out. AC do neither; I would have been interested to hear what they could do with a little more disruption, but what they came up with here works exceptionally well, too. Deep and heavy. Born Without Bones are ploppy and mushy and ooze from the abyss with some squeaks and stuff to mess up your WEAK speakers. More on the Merz/Prur side of the fence (save some deeply tamped synth seedlings), B W-out B burble and bubble up in static “pop”s, an ominous, hypnotic wave closing the curtain on this gorgeous clear-blue LP, 314 copies be thy name. Isolated Now What?

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Berber Ox
Minor Tranquiliser [CS]

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

A Cerberus column does not go by where we can’t crane our necks away from Stunned. The venerable label recently celebrated its 100th release, but it is trusty number 99 that deserves your undivided attention. David Rutledge introduces the states to his Australian blend of longwave drones and public documentations. Field recordings have been reduced to obtuse moments of quiet forestry or held high like the library of Alan Lomax, but Rutledge captures people in the act of living daily life. There is no backwoods blues singer or the caw of a lonely crow amongst a wooded twilight to recall a point in time. Minor Tranquiliser is the slowest method of madness: voices going off in your head as you try to figure whether you left the TV on, if the neighbors are speaking loudly, or your subconscious is trying to scream its way out. What’s more disconcerting is that you aren’t going mad, you’re just finding yourself part of Rutledge’s musical painting. As similar as Minor Tranquiliser may initially seem, you’ll soon find yourself drawn to the minute differences within Rutledge’s drones. The faint fluctuations; the distant laughter; the intense swells — you’ll find that it isn’t madness that is setting in, but a keen sense of Hippocratic duty. You’re not the patient, but Rutledge’s latest colleague.

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Mincemeat Or Tenspeed
Dungeon Master [CS]

[Linear B Tapes; 2010]
http://www.linearbtapes.com
By Gumshoe

Mincemeat Or Tenspeed get the job done with a minimal set-up. It often sounds as if a layer of a Kid606 composition has been looped, by itself, and then pedal-bent and raved-up. As boring as the answer to this equation could be, “Dungeon Master” adds up as well as MoT’s full-length on Zum not too far back, and that’s a winning formula. Dare I say this tape is a bit dance-y? I think a lot of bedroom producers will go mad reading all the press on Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, wondering why he’s getting attention and they can’t get their pedal-worshippin’ tapes reviewed. I wish I had an answer for them; somehow, this outfit gets the job done in an arena so many fail to take by storm. Like a waterfall on top of a four/floor bass burp on top of an Atari Teenage Riot SHRIEKfest on top of another waterfall, you can lock me up in this dungeon and throw ‘way the key. (Actually I didn’t mean that; LET ME GO, sir.)

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Angel Eyes
Dire Dish [CS]

[Not Not Fun; 2010]
http://notnotfun.com
By Jspicer

This has become the bread and butter for Not Not Fun: discovering the psychedelic wonders of the world as they bounce back acid transmissions 50 years past due. It’s a strange sort of anthropology, but one that finds the cannibals of the world devouring delicious tones rather than the flesh of rival tribes. Australia’s Andrew Cowie provides a global bookend of NNF’s Further(ed) adventure with Dire Dish, a strange but suitable complement to this year’s Towers of Spines by Japan’s Topping Bottoms. Unlike the bass-heavy trips of Tokyo, Cowie’s transmissions as Angel Eyes are of a lighter fare. Dire Dish is a warped whirling dervish, spinning like a drunkard at the end of a jolly bender. Sporadic guitar and high-pitched drones compete for meditative attention, slowly unraveling like the slurred speech of our hero the drunk. Each movement of Dire Dish is careful; the guitar tip-toeing amidst broken glass and passed out bodies as a beaten copy of The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders skips along a busted table. It’s the preeminent blending of classic psych virtues with worldly improvements. Only if it were churned out by Taiwanese kids at Timothy Leary sweatshops would it seem perfected, but in a world where Saharan nations showcase a stronger understanding of psychedelic music than of the peoples who engendered it, it only seems fitting that an Aussie would prove once more how sad of a state we’ve been in before the rebirth of the not-so-slick. American ears are listening, and though we have our own stable of worthy psychedelic kings and queens, we are still inferior to the global royalty of Japan, Africa, and now Australia.

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We Love You / Duck That
Live at Feeding Tube Records, Vol. 1 [12-inch split]

[Feeding Tube; 2010]
http://www.feedingtuberecords.net
By Gumshoe

That’s a sick, sick saxophone, if that’s indeed what is making the mangled, post-road-kill murmurs that fill We Love You’s side of “Live at Feeding Tube Records, Vol. 1.” It’s a sound you’d expect from a dying yeti or a band on Feedin’ Tube and a handful of others, and it sets the stage for a whole mess of tricks and audio stick-ups. It’s not all harsh as the cry of the yeti — there’s a ripple flowing through the fog, some twigs snapped, balloons fingered, a leave or two blown back by wind, cymbal scrapes, footsteps in the forest, fish being cleaned… you know, that old chestnut. Very filmic and warm. Chill-inducing at times, even. Yoda would approve. Duck That, cut from a similar cloth, have the force with them as well. I hear some Stooges-style (and I’m talking The Three, not Iggy’s group) “nyek-nyek-nyek”-ing, high, screechy vocals, several reeds producing reassuring blow-back, and either a kazoo or an actual duck caller. You can never be sure with those damn things. When the whole orchestra-of-sorts gets in a gnarly tangle, the effect can be quite spectacular, the different horns/etc. all providing a unique layer. Either way, this-here record is of a dying breed (200 copies), so don’t slizeep.

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Talibam!
Cosmoplitude [7-inch]

[ESP-Disk’; 2010]
http://espdisk.com
By Jspicer

Needle down and Talibam! bring the boogie from the jump. The oddball duo continue to mash Pee Wee’s Playhouse into the tenets of jazz, funk, and rock with every other utterance followed by deafening screams. After all, Kevin Shea and Matt Mottel can’t stop saying the secret word. “Cruisin’ the Cookie Isle” is as jittery as the kid begging his mom for his next chocolate and cream fix. Shea and Mottel are bouncing off the shelves, pushing the shopping cart into the display, and turning their sugary aisle into an Oreo island infested with gummy worms, Keebler elves, and treehouses fashioned from ooey, gooey S’mores. The sugar has transferred its frantic energy from the nervous system to the libido on disco-rock catastrophe, “Cosmic Attitude.” With all the style of a worn Prince — velvet suit torn from countless but memorable walks of shame — Talibam! cram an album’s worth of crotch thrusts into speed-induced stabs at scoring another vulnerable lady high on Aquanet fumes and vodka-soaked pheromones.

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Over A Cardboard Sea
“Down in the Subway” b/w “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” [7-inch]

[Eternal Otter Records; 2010]
http://eternalotterrecords.blogspot.com
By Gumshoe

As much as The Real Tuesday Weld freaked me out back in the damn day, Over A Cardboard Sea don’t exactly hold anything back either. “Down in the Subway” is full of oddities: Manatees playing crash cymbals, old showtunes bundled up with a surrealist streak, some parlor piano, cocktail jazz… I’m drawn to OaCS not for their bluster or shenanigans, but for their ceaseless attention to all the small, elegant details, from aching string solos to tiny trumpet flourishes to singin’ saw. Hokey as “Brother” is over its first blinking moments, there’s quite a storm waiting for those who travel on, travel on, travel on. The large, well-equipped band seems ready to tackle any situation, and they will transport you to other times and climes effectively; unfortunate, then, that a lot of Over A Cardboard Sea’s material will be evaluated based on the singer’s voice. It’s out there, all greased up and ready to slide into your ear. I like it best when he huffs and puffs and blows yr damn house down at the end of “Brother”; the rest ain’t as easy to defend. An interesting 7-inch package overall, with evocative art and confounding music to match.

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Gremlynz
Arkansas Vampire Eater [CS]

[No Kings; 2010]
http://no-kings.tumblr.com
By Jspicer

What began as a CD-R label in 2006 has awoken from its slumber, pulled out from the stone like an eager Excalibur ready to slain an oppressive dragon. The lull that drove the mighty sword into its three-year snooze: Arkansas Vampire Eater. The latest “side” project from William Cody Watson is a crimson lullaby, rocking the dead into eternal slumber. Consider Gremlynz another descendent from the royal line of dark drone. Rather than being the hinted-at Satanic pillar of smoke, it’s a far less angry beast. The drones are minimal but stark, radiating like the last beats of a dying heart. It is 30 minutes of fond farewells and sad tributes, as we hold a dying dignitary in our blood-soaked arms. Then I went home and smeared that last reminder all over the cassette art, because I’m foolish in my grief. Thankfully, Watson’s provided me with restful sways of flesh to always remember Arthur as I knew him before Excalibur’s gift became a burden none could bear. No Kings, your resurrection is welcomed surprise and a much-needed return. Hail!

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The Fresh & Onlys
“Tell Me What You Want to Know” b/w “Nothing Ever Happens” [7-inch]

[HoZac; 2010]
http://hozacrecords.com
By Gumshoe

The Fresh & Onlys have a few solid full-lengths out there, but they’ve really come to master the 7-inch format. From one-sided singles on French labels to random splits, Tim Cohen and Co(hen) get in, get out, and get it done. “Tell Me What You Want to Know” is no different, a perfect blast of dusted punk smarts snorted through a rolled-up $2 bill then sweated out for other punters to pick up on. The chords are such that, if you’ve been playing geetar for a few years, you’ll figure them out in about five minutes; instead of judging the Onlys, however, you’ll just be happy you can play along. I was. “Nothing Ever Happens” has a slippery appeal with its jerky lunges forward and awkward, scientist-at-a-dinner-party clunkiness. It won’t win any beauty contests but this unit will always be heaven on the ears and hell on the eyes anyway. HoZac flips a lotta burgers so make sure you don’t miss the gems.

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Work/Death
To the Hills of Altadena [CS]

[Jugular Forest; 2010]
http://jugularforest.com
By Jspicer

For whom the bell tolls? Does it toll for thee? Scott Reber (under the alter-ego, Work/Death) piefaces you with mortality at the onset of To the Hills of Altadena. Spaghetti Western church bells and the static of existence fight for your soul during “Fornax Angelus.” As the bells dissipate into harsh, deliberate synth notes, we are once again presented with the same existential quandaries that haunt these equally scarred and angelic passages. One end of the spectrum presents Hell’s Gates, rusty and sharp — ready to impale the fallen and beleaguered; the other is the Pearly Gates as Heaven’s choir gently plays you up to life in the clouds. And yet, all we want is to enjoy the earthly pursuits To the Hills of Altadena provides. Reber presents a slate on which to evoke emotion and on which we are to project ours. Music this delicate and hypnotic is precise science: careless measuring and the whole thing implodes. Reber’s touch is slight, allowing his Dante’s Inferno to progress naturally, heeding the lessons of those who have heavily treaded before him. There is no reliving your earthly past, so enjoy it while it lasts. Perhaps by listening to Work/Death.

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