Peter Kris
Labrador [2XCS; Never Anything]

Almost as amazing as its emotional austerity is the wide gap between Labrador and Peter Kris’ work with the unflappable German Army (or GeAr, as the headz call them). This is intense, lonely music best projected into an empty desert at night, long after the last coyote has made its bed. Such a nifty double-cassette package too (and only $7 on the Never Anything site; can that be right?), more exciting to me than even most vinyl submissions simply because the format is so awkward and impossible to place (they don’t fit in tape racks, they’re chubby too; nightmare!) you’ve got to love them. Or at least I do, underdog-champion I am. Not that Kris needs my constant boosting, but apparently not enough of you are listening to even sell this 50-run piece of magic out. GET OFF YOUR FAT ASSES, PEOPLE. Hear me? Feel me? The cheese is turning against you, and you’ll never fall in love or find the right job if you don’t take advantage of life’s opportunities. This is one of those opportunities. Four sides of cosmic girth that ooze from the speakers at times with a faint creepiness, all white retaining the sacred overall mood discussed earlier. Labrador digs deep over 21 songs, with some of the latter entries, such as “Visitor” at slot no. 20, stealing a scene or two from those that preceded. Don’t get me wrong though, Kris has put out a perfect 2XCS, one with four sides that take on lives of their own immediately, even if I’m not able to discern a theme separating each quadrant. It’s more of an overarching statement, and it’s one I’m hearing at least as loudly as any of the recent German Army dispatches, crucial as those also have been. There’s just something about Labrador that speaks to me, I guess, as I usually don’t cotton to wandering, solo-guitar-guy fluff and there’s at least an element of that here, a sprawling, time-chewing sentiment that holds time as infinite as long as the tape is rolling. That mindset often backfires. Kris, whether droning or boning up on his guitar work, pushes it through confidently, albeit never testing the listener with too much static. If you’d a-told me Kris had taken a second on his own to record a series of lonely solo outings, I’d have been worried. Truth is, however, that he’s revealed a whole new layer of artistic excellence. He even sings a little, just a little, when the tracks get too lovely not to vocalize. It’s rare though; Labrador is an instrumental mission legally, and it’s one of the best I’ve heard this year. Don’t make an asshole outta me; pick this one up before 50 copies becomes 50 memories you’ve missed out on.

Links: Peter Kris


Cerberus seeks to document the spate of home recorders and backyard labels pressing limited-run LPs, 7-inches, cassettes, and objet d’art with unique packaging and unknown sound. We love everything about the overlooked or unappreciated. If you feel you fit such a category, email us here.

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