Sunday, March 16, 2014

France Sauvage - Tanzprocesz Live Series Vol. 6

Miraculously, I went to France one time.  While I was in the northern region in the university town of Rennes, I made my way to a small independent record shop.  I had a rule to not make a habit of doing that too often on the trip but this was one of the few exceptions.  The experimental section was pretty potent and a good variety of psych stuff, too.  But then I saw the collection of local weirdo French cassettes that were for sale.  I told the shopkeeper that I wanted recommendations, explaining I liked the weird stuff; noise, experimental, psych-folk, bizarre synth pop... anything in that realm.  In total, I walked away with 5 tapes and this France Sauvage was the most highly recommended of the bunch.  It also turned out to be my favorite and possibly the most brutal tape I own.

This power electronics/live drums trio had me from the get-go of this performance.  The drummer sounds like a pissed of ape who made it through all three levels of calculus, beating the shit out of the kit in the hopes that someone will let him out of his cage.  The god-knows-what electronics mimic the impending doom that awaits all of humanity at the edge of the proverbial void.  Elements of early Lightning Bolt could be referenced but this band goes to other, darker planes of existence with the sound.  Although this is a live show (hence the title) and I imagine portions of this are improvised, it does sound extremely well composed.  It's not all chaos and doom, either.  There are several moments of beautiful, almost melodic, clarity one might recognize when accepting their fate and giving in to the eternal abyss (about 3:55 into "Le Château Très Fort.")  There are also times when the drums take a break and the electronics glitch out on some sort of spastic randomized drum machine sequence.  Unlike other noise acts, the compositions go places and they do so quickly, allowing the music to stay continually interesting throughout the set.  This is one of the few noise tapes I own that I have flipped over multiple times for consecutive listens.

Although this album is free to download through the label's site (also worth digging through if you are looking to discover obscure French noise artists), I've uploaded it here with the scanned artwork; a thick coated white cardstock with red thread hand sewn throughout.

Jerusalem & The Starbaskets/Flowers - Split CS

I've been digitizing more tapes as of late and I thought I'd post up this rarity split cassette between Jerusalem & The Starbaskets and a band called Flowers.  I picked up this tape a few years back in the used section at Permanent Records.  I was already a fan of JATSB so the purchase was a no brainer.  Featuring an even more intimate and mellowed out vibe than much of Jerusalem's other work, it's fairly sparse on the drums and heavy on the great country-ish vocal melodies.  I had known JATSB to be a duo but there's a fella named Terry playing with them on this release.

I was curious what this band Flowers was going to be like, as the liner notes showed that the songs alternated between each band, rather than a band on either side.  Holy wowzer was I pleasantly surprised.  Incredibly meditative electric guitar pluckings layered with murky yet beautiful vocal melodies rising up from the depths of the tape.  Checking the liner notes, it appears that Flowers consisted of Jeremy and Terry from JATSB and Rex, who I assume is the same Rex from the notorious krautrock experts, Cave.  Makes sense considering the genesis of Warhammer 48K (pre-Cave) and JATSB originated in Columbia, MO where this tape was recorded.  The album flows seamlessly between each band, creating a consistency in tone and overall song style.  The Flowers songs really stick with me, though.  "Sunset (of logic)," in particular, always makes me stop whatever it is I'm doing and forces me to just listen, getting lost in the simple and infectious melody.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Metal Machine Music For Airports

The Variable Why sent me this link today and I'm so glad he did.  Mash up of Lou Reed's "Metal Machine Music" and Eno's "Music For Airports."