CAALDRUUN - Headstone CDR
(Foxden Recordings FD02; Ltd 25; USA) 2012
Sometimes a record is not easily defined, or interpreted in words. I can't gauge the metaphors correctly for this release by Caaldruun, the project of Eric Kessel, a new noise artist, or formerly unknown to me at any rate. Maybe these sound-structures were created using field recordings, maybe contact mics attached to unusual objects, maybe they are cleverly programmed analog synths, it's really hard to tell. The very refined use of his sound sources creates otherworldly, ambient spaces, mixed intelligently with a few pseudo-melodic textures and some abrupt cuts along the way that teeter the structures in upon themselves. One thing is for certain, this is one of the best debut releases I have ever heard, Kessel's work comes fully formed and mature, a superb release that must be heard. Limited to 25 copies this may already be out-of-print, inquire about it HERE.
DAVE FUGLEWICZ - The Wizard's Porch CDR
(Self Released; USA) 2011
Dave Fuglewicz continues his creative streak with this excellent release. The inception of this album is explained in the liner notes: "I originally recorded this in 1996 as part of a collaboration, but that fell through and it stayed buried in my tape library until late 2010. I added some more to it with several VST synthesizers and so I present the two versions (from) 1996 and 2011". Each track is a little less than 30 minutes, both satisfying listened to separately, but I like it better as one long, cosmic trip, in two parts, running an hour. The structure is abstract and languidly paced, never moving far from the primary looping repetitions. Analog synths, bells, chimes and chirping/tweeting sounds create a minimalist, but well-textured evocation of a stoned evening (crickets, wind chimes and psychotropics) on "The Wizard's Porch". Get it HERE.
Dave Fuglewicz Excerpt
GNARLY SHEEN - Transit Of Venus CDR
(DumpsterScore Home Recordings DSC#089; Ltd 50; USA) 2012
One of the most bizarre albums to have crossed my path in 2012 was this oddity, "Transit Of Venus", by Gnarly Sheen. Gnarly is the solo project of Morgan Rankin, who runs the Husk Records label with Josh Lay, but this album is on the DumpsterScore Home Recordings label, which has already brought out about a hundred limited edition releases since 2004. There is a definite horror film soundtrack quality to these compositions. Utilizing lo-fi synths, guitar, and drum machines, the mastering here is very strange, with some sounds unexpectedly loud and distorted in the mix and even, at times, seeming to be at odds with the structure they are coalescing with. Like this was made at the end of a psychedelic trip, these compositions are wobbly, unstable, the product of a mind that is still unhinged, emerging from an altered state. This is an excellent example of 4 a.m. bedroom isolationist music with each track fascinating, intense and moody. Get it HERE.
Gnarly Sheen Excerpt
TRIANGLE AND RHINO - Diamond Slime CDR
(TNR Tapes; USA) 2012
Triangle And Rhino, the post-rock duo consisting of Jake Lexso and Matt Rappa, have another excellent release under their belts with this one, "Diamond Slime". I've compared their work before to Sun City Girls, but i think it's their eclecticism that bears that resemblance the most, otherwise these guys are definitely unique and getting better all the time. This release is one of their best and also one of my favorite releases of 2012. From the hyperactive opener, "I Will Protect You From The Mouths Of The Liars" to the epic half hour noise-rock title track, to the prank-call facetiousness of "Teenage Brain Fucker" this album will leave you devastated in it's wake. Time for some larger indie label to grab this band up, you hear me Sub Pop? Get it HERE.
Triangle And Rhino Excerpt