Get music to the label. Call your mother. Work? Fuck work (I mean seriously, if quit smoking and drinking whiskey and you want me to tone the language down, at least leave me my f-bombs for work)!
Babies need attention, wives need food to feed babies, babies need to be entertained until moms can get to babies for the mere hour they have together. Multiplied, aggregated, repeated.
As I was saying, as your dream eyes descend that debit column, tallying all that hubbub needed for today, this day, you begin to feel the dull ache rising from your heels. The beady red eyes of the alarm clock gaze at you violently like a lurking thief, patiently waiting for the pinnacle of dark to rob you of your final precious minutes before the day's onslaught, just before night gives way to the faint gray of yet another sunless day.
Coffee, shower, kisses, bag, car, work, car, bag, kisses, food. Multiplied, aggregated, repeated. Sans wife, sans baby, the song remains the same, only in a different key...coffee, shower, weather report/sports center/bagel, brief case/purse, car/train/walk, WORK, car/train/walk, brief case/purse, drinks, maybe food. Multiplied, aggregated, repeated. With no intent to dredge up buried angst or intensify the preexistence of an undoubted and collective case of seasonal affective disorder, yet with every intent to instill the desire to seize the moments that give worth to it all, I make music. I blend records to my will, sometimes with clarity, often with a novice hand. I fashion rhythm sections that make me sway. I listen to songs that make me feel happy that music exists and that I have the freedom to chuck the garbage out of the window and to create my own music into an amalgam of fragments from the subconscious of a childhood spent glued to a substantive MTV and my adult experiences with the rarest of musical excavations from locales exotique and domestic.
Outside of a show, I once heard an acquaintance of a mutual friend explain to me why our friend made music. The aquaintance said, "Ryan makes music because he needs to, not because he wants to. If he didn't, he would probably murder someone." I am not hyperbolic when I assent to this definition in totality.
With that, I present to you a mix. It is not the most technical that I have ever made, nor is it the most soulful. It is, though, at base, totally me. Enjoy. Click Here To Download These Prime Cuts
Ryan Graveface, a quiet and modest young man, has just released his newest Dreamend album, “So I Ate Myself Bit By Bit (SIAMBBB),” and what a fine work it is. Graveface, Dreamend’s prime architect, is also the mastermind of Graveface Records. Additionally, Graveface is an integral part of Black Moth Super Rainbow (BMSR), of which you may have heard. What is of major import is the substantive quality of Graveface’s work as Dreamend on SIAMBBB. This concept album brings to fruition the aural incarnation of a supposed serial killer’s diary, which Graveface allegedly purchased at auction some years back. The shadowy circumstances and hearsay of murder surrounding this release only adds to the album’s mysterious nature, a nature that exudes ethereal eeriness and cuts to the bone like the fog of pre-dawn tall tale-ing at the ol’ lake house.
Lest previously cemented notions or expectations from either Graveface Record’s back catalogue or by BMSR sway you, rest assured, SIAMBBB stands, firmly balanced, all on its own. Inevitably, there are those who will prematurely draw comparisons to BMSR. Certainly, successive Black Moth member solo releases further demonstrate each player’s individual styles. These solo divergences serve not only to illuminate each member’s discreet, yet familiar, bases of contributions to the merged BMSR sound but also highlight individual talents in a “pre-formed Voltronic” sense. In fact, while Graveface’s style is immediately apparent it also shines like a lighthouse beacon in the rising for of an autumn eve.
While Dreamend’s newest release is a prime example of that piecemeal sound, this album exceeds expectation and displays a soulfulness one is unlikely to expect from an album whose basis lays in serial murder. Most striking were the transient thoughts, ebbing and flowing throughout my listen, of John Wayne Gacy, Steve Martin, Sufjan Stevens, and myriad other seemingly disparate source materials summoning intangibly delightful emotions.
Where the BMSR connection truly emerges is in the production of the established BMSR/Dreamend high quality lo-fi sound. While critics argue that production style seems substantively tenuous, it ascends to the role of ‘band member’ adding richness and texture. This album sounds, at times, as if Dreamend hand cranked tones through a phonoautograph, pushing the sound thorough blown speakers, underwater, through two tin cans. It whirls in twangy and hollow modulation; instantaneously harkening Graveface’s singularly identifiable banjo and guitar melodies from BMSR’s “Eating Us.” The crackly vocals, similarly, add an authenticity that is at once foreign and recognizable.
This album’s conceptual nature and being a musical iteration of a deliberate tale caused me to focus with greater attention to the story’s details, track by track. Thus it seems appropriate to review the album as I listened to it and as, I assume, it was intended to be listened to.
The combination of reverberating twang and alliterating vocals “I looked at the sky today and said, I said hey ah and I looked in your eyes today and said I said hey ah. I looked at the stars tonight and said, I said don’t go, I looked at the stars tonight and said, I said don’t go away,” are a culmination of compounded joy brought on by the album’s opening tracks. This happiness, which as we soon see was induced with purpose, fades like the accuracy of distant memories. If by design, this is extremely clever.
Following directly from the hypnotic fury and an uncontrollable zone of purposeful monotony of “A Thought,” “Pieces” snap you from the act violence suddenly into a stroll through a summer’s lane, raising spirits only to crush them along with bone and sinew.
Whether or not this voice, I imagine as a disembodied force of supernatural origin, is within the killer’s mind or independent of the murderer, is of little importance in the grand scheme. A song of repentance, the bewilderment of what has recently transpired draws little sympathy for the protagonist. The story and Graveface’s falsetto vie for my attention, but neither wins.
This battle for my graces is disturbingly peppy for its content yet I am distracted, longingly awaiting the next chapter in the story. How wonderful to have immediate concern for mental safety outweighed by the curiosity of what follows.
The dilemma here is to hate the actor while being enchanted with the beauty of the music. In this respect, Graveface succeeds immensely. I am mesmerized and disgusted throughout the album. The timbre forces regressions to youthful frivolity yet the words are horrifying. The album evokes a spectrum of feelings. Never would I have suspected this type of fare from the label, had I not been a supporter of Graveface records for such an extended time, particularly since this is less in your face psychedelia than those works that brought initially drew me to the label. However, I implore you to listen to this album, actively. You will be a richer, and possibly, more conscientious person, two qualities most people will do well by to deepen.
Support Graveface, browse the new releases catalogue, and purchase Dreamend records here...http://graveface.com/nr.html
Like my mama always said, “anything worth doing, is worth doing right.” Well bubba, RVNG releases quality product, and nothing bears that sign more proudly, in my opinion, than Pink Skull’s “Endless Bummer.” While, Pink Skull has hit us with mini-nuggets of wonder, “Endless Bummer” is their first full length and a helluva go, to be sure. For Christ’s sake, for a limited time you could even customize the album cover for a nominal fee. Much to my brother’s chagrin, our copies read “Can’t Keep A Pompa Down.” Brilliant! No matter, the first track, “Peter Cushing” (synonymous with Star War’s Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin for a generation, and you know who you are) with its lofty flute and Liquid Liquid-esque live bass line makes you want to muddle home-made cocktails on a warm summer’s eve and get into it. The funs don’t stop there though, homey. The second track (a-side), “Chicken Dream Inside Egg” is a show-stopping, panty-dropping straight up indie-house hit with a subtle shuffle and a catchy “Boo Doo Dee Dah Dah Dah Dah” vocal. This track compels otherwise skinny boys to grab the closest babe in short shorts on the dance floor and whisk the night away. The reversed bass, in selected sections, combined with the reverb guitar twangs and Saxaphone scream, “two men enter, one man leaves,” with its refined jazziness and raw juiciness.
From here the album progresses to straight up weirdness, but in a loveable electro-dancey way. Imagine Human League, Tina Turner, Stars of The Lid, and the Rapture huddled around a makeshift table made from a piece of plywood and a used keg at a Larry Levan loft party and you’re growing ever so close to an idea of what this album aspires to, and often achieves.
B-Sides, baby, that’s where it’s really at after all, and this one done brought it. “Endless Bummer” shakes the rafters. It jangles with its minor key synths and simplistic bass, but the twitch-glitchiness, acidy synths and the track’s tweaked Laurent Garnier inspired sax screams “take my to the rave.” “Oh, Monorail” follows with a funky underpinning and its rhythmic vocals force you to dig out your old EMF and Jesus Jones records and scour those little bastards for their inevitable redeeming qualities. After all, mid 90’s electronic forays were the basis for where you are now, like it or not.
Why stop here, right? You want to know as much about this damn record as you can before you spend them hard earned greenbacks, yes? “Fast Forward Bolivia” begins with a combo of Indian screeches that sound like Prince Rama fighting with R2-D2 at Altamont (WTF, we’re already invoking Grand Moff Tarkin, what’s a droid or two?) ending in a psychedelic stew of flautisto terrorism, Native dance, and delay that smacks of awesome. Still reeling from the Charlie horses from dancing my ass off, I finish the album the way music is supposed to be listened to, which is as the artist conceived it and in the order conceived. Nevertheless, I am taken aback at “The Inconsiderate Neighbor” and “Fired, So Fired.” While not the strongest of finishes, I forgive Pink Skulls like you forgive your best friend for asking if you’re still dating that high-school sweetheart he knew you were still into. Bittersweet, yes! However, it didn’t really matter too much because he was, in total, way cooler than she ever was. These last two songs are that girl, and the album, your best friend. We can all dig deep to forgive minor shortcomings, when what lasts is infinitely more memorable. The Skulls are Pink. Long Live The Skulls.
Oh, yes, lest I not forget, the digital download comes with three additional tracks… “Gonzo's Cointreau,” “When Falling Straight Through A Goat” and, in my opinion, the most magnificent “Several French Revolutionaries Standing on the Back of My Neck.” “Several French Revolutionaries Standing on the Back of My Neck” is creepy and beautiful and frightening and despite numerous requests by your author to the label is still unscheduled for pressing to vinyl. However, I shall remain persistent in this endeavor. Until then, let Julian Grefe and Justin Geller dazzle you with their fantastic skills as Pink Skull.
What the funk? ”Maggot Brain,” was, is, and will arguably forever be an unparalleled bundle of tremendous funk. Indeed, as a result, I would be forsaking my duty to proselytize the good word of music that isn’t rubbish, if I did not beseech you to dive into Magic Lantern’s hazy bucket of tar -“Platoon.” Clinton it ain’t, but “Platoon” strives for, and hits dangerously close to, the benchmark heart of true funk.
Sans any real vocal track “Platoon,” picks up where “Maggot Brain” slowly fuzzed out and I am in love with it. The opener – “Dark Cicadas” - is so frigging fonky that my mind could not override my lower appendages from shucking and jiving. The sultry “Moon Lagoon Platoon” conjures images of the ubiquitous Vietnam film scene where the wayward soldiers blow off steam before heading back into the ”shit,” painting imagery as thick as chilled Jager shots in the jungle night.
If I hadn’t snatched the record from the new releases stack, I’d have sworn sideways that it was a human impossibility that this ill sludge had been recorded after 1973 or 1976 (maybe). Guitars and organs twitch and crescendo and heavy waves reverberate through warm analog tubes. Unlike previous releases, this album is much darker and has a narrower focus. This business is as dark as pre-Christian Samhain rituals on the solstice - just oozing with sludgy psychedelic funk.
Now, I know cats are slinging the word “psychedelic” around like pre-pubescent girls talking about “Justin Beiber” at the “American Girl” Store, but Lantern has earned the title through funk, sweat, and tears. Fret not though, children, this is not sloppy psy-funk, but truly mind-bending, old school, organic bad-assery. Note band images, easily culled from the network, and you will see these lads, heads bent and shoegazing - not at their pedals (though one can imagine the magnitude of incessant toe tapping that must occur to produce this fog) - but as a result of being totally zoned into the ethereal. These corporeal vessels channel, rather than just merely produce, slurries of face-melting rhythms.
Now “Platoon” is Magic Lantern’s most recent 12” following a series of cassette and limited pressings and displays a stoic maturation. Prior releases ran the stylistic gamut from dub, prog, Kosmiche-pastiche, drone, and various other elements on a song-by-song basis. Here however, Magic Lantern fuses, successfully in most instances, varying elements within each song’s loose borders. For example, in lieu of an arguably unbridled jam out on “At the Mountain of Madness” (containing a b-side of Warholian noise art reminiscent at times of Stephen Stapleton’s NWW works) the band has honed their compositional craft on “Platoon.” Yet another example of their tighter, new direction, presents itself upon listening to their album “High Beams” followed immediately by “Platoon,” both on Not Not Fun Records, incidentally. On the one hand, “High Beams” varies from sounding like a Can homage on “Vampires in Heat” or older Pelican on “Deathshead Hawkmoth,” while “Platoon” cruises consistently throughout the album with an enticing but violent calm. “Platoon’s” B-side contains two tracks that, together, run a healthy 20 minutes plus. “On The Dime” maintains the solid groove of the album while amping up guitar stabs and organ wizardry. On “On the Dime” Chip Knechtel and Gavin Fort blast their gear, drums and bass respectively, into a sonic flow like a river of mud and sound very much like Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding doing what they did for James. These are the raw materials that you wished Bristol junglists would use to fashion their own tracks. Finally, while “Friendship’s” guitars now share headspace with eerie horns and what can only be described as some bizarre East-Asian clarion call to things that can result in no good. The track never relents on trying to bury you in the thickness. Here, Magic Lantern sinks deeper into the abyss, oozing sludgy funk. The reverb machine is still cranking overtime but the gears and pistons have been power cleaned and re-lubricated.
This album howls and snarls and creeps clandestinely into your mind. The mayhem inducing chugginess must be what it’s like to wake up in your barn, clothing tattered, only to find out that you have no recollection of last night’s events and that your village has been ransacked by a wolf-monster that dispatches groups of armed townspeople in short order. Yeah, it’s that heavy. Get lost and enjoy.
“No Mas” glides out on the good foot with a hazy down tempo, distilled embodiment of the feelings one has of summer mornings before the big trip to an amusement park or the “festival of the season.” Surely, you can empathize with the spirit of “Vibrationz.” You can’t sleep the night before so you anxiously toss back can after can of PBR dreaming of what the weekend may hold. From the jump off, the listener believes, incorrectly, that what they hold in their hot little hands is the typical Luaka Bop fare--- (after all, sometimes you buy by label, and sometimes you gamble and lose)-- worldly drenched amalgams ranging from East India to Chile. Alas, Javelin is sufficiently savvy to anticipate that expectation, and pitches several delightful, and yes, a few sometimes predictable, curves. For example, “Oh Centra,” a little ditty previously released on Lal Lal Lal, with its sub bass funkiness and its almost offensive Alvin and the Chimpmunk-esque pitched vocals manages to endear the listener, perhaps for its Salt-n-Peppa bass break, but maybe just because it’s cool, whether you care to admit it or not.
Anyway, brethren, the constant dynamism tends to give “No Mas” the aura of lacking focus, but on the positive, samples out Javelin’s warez as though they were a tag-team, compilation machine. Hell, that’s why I bought it. I inquired as to what was playing, on my weekly binging spree, and mistakenly thinking that it was several different artists, was politely corrected…”Nah man, it’s Javelin.” Ignorant me, it sounded like a Numero Group release, followed by Basement Jaxx, and then as I zoned back in from an impenetrable wander through the experimental section, something Motown sounding. Well, now you know why it was an impulse buy, but I digress.
Now, after aurally consuming some of their earlier releases, as we junkies are oft known to do, this album seems polished, like boots at the airport. Yes, the hiss and fuzz and lo-fi, which we’ve all grown to love, has been toned down, but in the most loveliest of ways, and not all that much. If you need proof, come to my basement and listen to “We Ah Wi” as we shimmy and shake,
So, to avoid any implications of impropriety and to be thorough in my job, it’s only fair that I address the B-side as well. As if the variation on the first side weren’t ample, “Moscow 1980” sounds like M83 and Luomo’s love child dancing in a field of daisies and synthesizers, in a pure electro-pop heaven, sliding you off into a personal Indian Summer day dream. Further progressing on a similar trajectory, though seemingly divergent, the late 60’s funk style “The Merkin Jerk” continues on the quest for the ultimate dreaminess. Here, however, the day dream is more of a Haight-Ashbury thing, and, unfortunately, seems incomplete, leaving the listener wondering if the remainder was stashed in a retro-future time capsule or if someone accidentally smoked it.
To round out the series of, what I believe to be, a fairly thorough first LP proper, are the monotonous “C Town,” the ersatz chamber music and xylophonic “Off My Mind,” the back-track for a Mos Def-like interlude, “Susie Cues” (sure to become an effective transition for the DJs and producers out there), and several more, which deserve their own treatment. “Shadow Heart” and “DEP,” in particular, invoke a longing and homesickness for the corridor, because of their likeness to Motown and P-Funk throwbacks that seem to age gracefully, gaining rather than loosing flavor. In fact, I’d wished that my friends were with me here as I pen this piece. Yet, my worries are short-lived, for if you are concerned with my opinion, than we too are friends, and sharing with you is tantamount to being with friends near and far. It is for this reason, the warmth inducing familiarity of an old friend that this album conjures, that you should give this record a listen. After you have well spent those 80 plus minutes, you too will be a convert to Javelin’s diversity and wit.
I appreciate, what I believe to be, the man's aspirations to make his brand of sonic art without care for, ostensibly, anything. Perhaps he was an ego-maniacal jack-ass. That fact is moot. It is my perception of the quality of the man's principles that guides, and inspires, my reverie.
So, why am I talking about Lou Reed? Get comfy, because explaining, in detail, my thought process, can be somewhat involved. Obviously, it's involved.
My intention was to re-start my writings, for the one hundred and fifty second time, with a 'one a week' theme. The 'one a week' theme being that I should write, at the very least, once a week, surprising yes? Mind you, more is better. Once a week is the base.
Could I do this, should I? Maybe more opportunity, professional and personal, would spring forth from my creative expenditures. If only I could create with more frequency and without the constant intrusion of work. In either case, I decided to start writing at the exact moment that I did, this morning, out of sheer frustration with the incompetent, busy-bodies with whom I work. These interlopers have counterparts everywhere and are similar in substance to your co-workers that burgle your time in like manner.
Nevertheless, when I thought about writing, at that exact moment, a vision of Lou popped into my head, jeans, leather, and all, singing "I can't stand it anymore, more." Thus, in my extremely round about synaptic firings, we progress from the theme of being exhausted by office politics, to music, to writing, to explaining it all. Little doubt that I find a way to bring everything back to music, as it is my belief that life is music, and vice-versa.
In any case, this whole attempt of explaining my process is... well, cathartic, and didactic. It purges the negativity within, simply by removing the thoughts from mind, placing them in some medium. Further, explanation elaborates and memorializes my thought patterns, from which I can later glean life-improving facts and lessons, hopefully.
Furthermore, I am a disciple of a particular school of thought, followed by others, I am sure, that posits the creation of art begets the creation of art, i.e., the more you do, the more you will do. So, now that I think of it, "I can't stand it anymore more" applies to both my inability to suffer my co-worker's ineptitude and meddling as well as my failures to develop a routine for creating art. Both problems which I have temporarily solved merely by expunging these thoughts. Jerks =0, Me = 1.
My skin feels like Ned Flanders ski one piece..."it feels like I am wearing nothin' at all." Despite many consecutive days of feverish consumption of art and music, more days lie ahead. If I may courageously cut a swath through these unparalleled days of evil that stand before me and party, I may, once again, revel in the arts.
Until then, I provide this aural shield to ward of ghouls and other psychic, day walking, vampires. May you wield it well, always. You may download this shield here... http://www.zshare.net/audio/682407948d4349a4/
Also, a shout out to my dear friend Charles. "May your magnets never lose their power."
P.S. The shield components are listed below...
Logarythm Presente: EN:NO Musique/Jonas Bering From the nape of the neck
Mo's Ferry Prod. presents Luka & lazo-MidEvil Disko E.P. Cutfather
Kid Scientific - Lovelife
Casey Hogan- Rotation
Brennan Green & Daniel Wang - Electrokution
Luomo w/ Raz O Hara- Give it away
Disco Dream and the Androids - The Dream Machine
Lipps- Funky Town
Chicago - Street Player
Commodores- Machine Gun
Heib - Cargo
United Artists E.P. - Irwin Leschet
Gary Numan- Cars
Shriekback - All Lined Up
Air Frog- Bon Voyage
Higamos Hogamos- Major Blitzkreig Depth Charge Buzzer Remix
Thomas Dolby- One of Our Submarines
Rob Acid- After Club
Some Weird Glitch?
Prefuse Does the Books - Ocho w/ Claudia Maria Deheza
What is of note, is the single's b-side. To a drum 'n' bass enthusiast, or what was at the time considered 'Jungle,' as a blanket term, despite whatever it may be described as now, this b-side was fantastical. Even having gained some 12 to 14 years of musical experience, this track is still quite bad-ass. It has some cheesy elements of that old acid techno (think James Brown is dead) and seems rather rudimentary, but come on, this is UB40 we are talking about.
Nevertheless, there were many afternoons and evenings spent cruising around Detroit in a green, Ford Escort, wagon blasting this cassette, over and over. Even Windsor had the profound joy of experiencing this UB40 track on occasion.
Anyway, I have been scouring the planet and networks for this damn little track for some time. I have finally discovered this track, no insignificant feat for a track hunter bordering on the deviant, like myself. If you don't share my enthusiasm for this ditty, restrain yourself and hold your thought, I don't much care.
Take a listen to "Jungle Love" by UB40 at this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TqbXMZBLlo
The album combines glam and progressive rock and, in my opinion, foreshadows Eno's foray into ambient and electronic art forms of music.
Several other artists that played on this album, including Robert Fripp, went on to create names for themselves in other aspects of experimental rock. Rock that, despite coming years before the rock that would inspire post-rock, is essentially pre-rock post-rock, to get non-linearly metaphysical.
These songs seem absolutely timeless and, if one was not aware of when it was released, could easily be deemed to have been created in a basement studio last week. Absolutely brilliant stuff.
Take a listen to "here come the warm jets," from the album "here come the warm jets," at the following link...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP-RFsuv-8Q or take a look and listen here