Reviews

Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, ‘Think Tone’

July 31, 2013

Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, ‘Think Tone’ Fire Talk Records, 7/9/2013 Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk is a bizarrely named trio of DIY scene veterans originally from Kansas, and like many good midwestern acts, now based in NYC. I met them three years ago via craigslist as they were about to kick off a huge tour of the US. I think I traded... 

Chris Watson, ‘In St. Cuthbert’s Time: The Sounds of Lindisfarne and the Gospels’

July 30, 2013

Chris Watson, ‘In St. Cuthbert’s Time: The Sounds of Lindisfarne and the Gospels’ Touch, 7/1/2013 A small island measuring just over a mile across and two miles in length, Lindisfarne sits just two miles off the coast of Northumberland and something like 200 people call it home. Known colloquially as Holy Island, Lindisfarne is thought to have been populated as long ago as the 7th... 

Cannibal Movie, ‘Mondo Music’

July 29, 2013

Cannibal Movie, ‘Mondo Music’ Yerevan Tapes, 2013 Basing your opinions of a band on what they say about themselves can be problematic, but sometimes you can strike solid gold. In their own words, Cannibal Movie get their name from “a sub genre of exploitation films made mostly by Italian filmmakers through the 1970s and 1980s”... 

Giant Claw, ‘Impossible Chew’

July 26, 2013

Giant Claw, ‘Impossible Chew’ Field Hymns, 7/1/2013 I’m sitting on the deck of our new apartment, smoking and checking out the view I’ll be growing accustomed to over the next twelve months. Directly in front of me is a well-meaning graveyard with a few ambiguous housing complexes and brick standalone storefronts with... 

Vitamins, ‘Motions’

July 25, 2013

Vitamins, ‘Motions’ Diego’s Guide to Making the Most of Summer 2013: Step 1: Acquire this tape. Step 2: Play it. Step 3: Play it some more. Denver’s Vitamins know how to rock hard and have fun, striking a perfect balance between spastic, cluttered jams and tight sunshiney grooves. These musicians are brimming with... 

Algebra Suicide, ‘Feminine Squared’

July 23, 2013

Algebra Suicide, ‘Feminine Squared’ Dark Entries Records, 6/4/2013 Words fail to express how happy I am that Dark Entries released this record, and that it’s in my hands right now. Algebra Suicide was the duo of poet Lydia Tomkiw and musician Don Hedeker, who formed the group in Chicago in 1982 and were married during the band’s... 

Ryan Power, ‘Identity Picks’

July 22, 2013

Ryan Power, ‘Identity Picks’ NNA Tapes, 7/2/2013 Ryan is a pretty good guy, and if you can’t get along with him, you probably need therapy. From this opening cut bombshell, Ryan Power‘s second release for NNA Tapes, Identity Picks, descends into a decadent collection of wise-guy deadpans delivered as paralyzing earworms.... 

Marc Weingarten & Tyson Cornell, ‘Yes is the Answer (And Other Prog Rock Tales)’

July 17, 2013

Marc Weingarten & Tyson Cornell, ‘Yes is the Answer (And Other Prog Rock Tales)’ Rare Bird Books, 2013 “Disclaimer: Some of the essays in this book are prolix and self-indulgent. These are essays about Prog Rock. This is as it should be.” That is the first thing you will read when you open Yes is the Answer, a collection of essays by musicians and writers from across the world,... 

Bird Names, ‘Naming Names’

July 16, 2013

Bird Names, ‘Naming Names’ Self-released, 4/15/2013 Bird Names is the kind of name you’ve heard around, or maybe you only thought that you’ve heard the name. Or maybe you’ve seen the name, perhaps painted in muted colors on the wall of a dream, a room with no square corners. Maybe you wish you knew more about... 

Jan St. Werner, ‘Blaze Colour Burn’

July 15, 2013

Jan St. Werner, ‘Blaze Colour Burn’ Thrill Jockey, 6/10/2013 Mouse on Mars — the German electronic outfit composed of Jan St. Werner and Andi Toma — first came to my attention through their work on Stereolab’s still-amazing-to-this-day Dots and Loops LP. The duo’s spatters of electronic dust particles, hymn-like alien... 

Celer & Hakobune, ‘Vain Shapes and Intricate Parapets’

July 11, 2013

Celer & Hakobune, ‘Vain Shapes and Intricate Parapets’ Chemical Tapes, 2/15/2013 When we look at the current landscape of contemporary art we should be reminded of the words of Alexander Hamilton when he wrote, “I never expect a perfect work from an imperfect man.” We might take this to mean that there is a connection between the kind of standard we... 

Ignatz, ‘Can I Go Home Now?’

July 10, 2013

Ignatz, ‘Can I Go Home Now?’ Fonal Records, 6/3/2013 It’s official — the eclectic Finnish label Fonal Records no longer limits itself to Finland. Last year’s phenomenal Pretty Lightning debut There Are Witches In The Woods proved that Fonal wasn’t tied down to any one genre or country, but now Brussels-based guitarist Ignatz’... 

V/A, ‘An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music/Seventh and Last A-Chronology 1930-2012’

July 9, 2013

V/A, ‘An Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music/Seventh and Last A-Chronology 1930-2012’ Sub Rosa, 2013 For over 10 years, Sub Rosa has been releasing volumes of its Anthology of Noise & Electronic Music series. These compilations have always been an invaluable resource, digging deep in order to put electronic experimentation into an historical perspective. Previous volumes have included... 

Matthew Herbert, ‘The End of Silence’

July 8, 2013

Matthew Herbert, ‘The End of Silence’ Accidental Records, 7/24/2013 You get about 7 seconds. That’s it. Try to imagine it. Imagine your end, after the bomb hits, and then imagine what comes after. The streets are littered with rubble, in some cases making it impossible for cars to pass. Of course you must assume that this was done... 

Poena, ‘Likboden’

July 3, 2013

Poena, ‘Likboden’ Beläten, 12/21/12 Aura is often what truly distinguishes experimental releases. On the very best recordings, something greater than the mechanical elements floats beyond the proceedings themselves. There is a blissful suspension of time, or manipulation of a room that allows the spaces to speak more... 

The Rainbow Body, ‘Magnetic Highway’

July 3, 2013

The Rainbow Body, ‘Magnetic Highway’ Tranquility Tapes, 6/1/2013 Tranquility Tapes sounds like it promises simple ambient relaxation with cheap cassette kitsch, but Magnetic Highway hints at a more all-encompassing enlightenment, an ancient synthesis of mind and body. The Rainbow Body is an idea in Vajrayana Buddhism, a state of “complete... 

Indian Weapons, ‘Messiah’

July 1, 2013

Indian Weapons, ‘Messiah’ Sunshine Ltd., 5/17/2013 Describing an ambient/noise tape in six-hundred words can be a daunting task, especially when the writer is still attempting to understand the genre. This spring’s Debacle Fest really helped me understand how this type of community and its music works — and sometimes doesn’t...