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του Phil McMullen

Terrascopic Rumbles No.1 (Mάρτιος 2012)

Tα "Terrascopic Rumbles" αναδημοσιεύονται από το To κείμενο που ακολουθεί έγραψε ο Steve Pescott και επιμελήθηκε ο Phil McMullen.

Gerald Hawk - King of the River CanoeRight, without further ado, vacillation or prevarication, let's get this Spring issue of Rumbles off the ground by squinting lewdly at a coupla bits 'n' pieces that I've only recently chanced on. Our first blushing entrant (though I'm 11 yrs late!!), being an obscurist film maker/zoned out troubadour Gerald Monk (Hawk). His King of the River Canoe (cd) reveals a gnarly piece of outsider weirdery that was given its voice by the Sun City Girls' Abduction imprint back in 2001. In fact, this is one of the first Abduction releases that wasn't SCG-related. But unlike those global tourists of the outre/exotic, this disc, with its untitled songs of lust and moida centres on insinuating/wheedling spirit voices, Jandek-like solitude and a pair of calloused hands fumbling their way around a loosely strung/primitive git box set-up. It's much like the wind whipping its way through a sharecropper's hastily built wire fence and, surely, can only be filed as an example of prime Dada Americana.

Posset - Mump GrumpyNext up comes the Mump Grumpy (cd) by Posset; a curio of 2009 vintage from the Blythe-based Infinite Exchange label, the home of creeping doomsters Bong and the spiralling psyche dronescapes of Eyeballs. J.G. Murray is the man behind this project, being the sole (?) practitioner of the "Dictaphone Jazz" microgenre. His urban beachcombing forays have lead to amassing a collection of electronic castoffs/random noisemakers (Walkmans, Ring Modulators etc.), that have probably seen better days. These are captured on mini-recorders (a major boon to any seventies secretary/p.a.), and, employing Burroughsian/found sound aesthetics, the hubbub of over magnified crowd scenes and the clang 'n' whirr of tiny machines collide with scratchy vinyl and the dull thwunk of elastic bands. A tongue-firmly-planted-in-cheek approach does emerge however, in the fer-azzled clank and titling of pieces like "The Pete Best of Noise" and the comic cuts onomatopoeia of "Verunk Bluarghh". Almost Voice Cracky.

Wicked King Wicked - God is busy... Save YourselfWith the God is busy... Save Yourself (cd from 2009), the US duo of Jim Gibson and Logan Butler a/k/a Wicked King Wicker have unleashed something SO steeped in stifling atmospheres and pitch-black nihilism, it's almost as if Corrupted and Merzbow had joined forces (!!). It's WKW's seventh album but only the first (via Cold Spring) to pollute these shores with its black-hearted uglitude. A vast, lumbering, bottom-feeding bass drone is supplemented by the sounds of a horde of insane/gibbering/teeth-gnashing subhumans. Amid layer upon layer (upon layer) of bubbling fat-like noisetronix. Surprisingly, the expected (?) industrial jackhammer unit, redolent of Vulcan's smithy is an option neatly sidestepped. The only timekeeper in evidence being a distant steely reverberation, that, like everything else in this endtimes tableau is slowly and painfully dragged along on an all engulfing lava flow. So that's goodbye house, goodbye trees, goodbye you and certainly me...

MARS - Live at Artists SpaceOf the four no wave outfits found on the No New York meisterwerk, MARS were always the most enigmatic and certainly the most mind warping, all within an eighteen month (!) career. Well, thirty or so years after their passing, Feeding Tube Records (home to Edith Bunker's DVT and outsider guru Gary Wilson), have miraculously unearthed two live sets recorded at New York's Artists Loft during May '78 as a limited vinyl elpee (σσ. LP). Their bite-sized capsules of abstract/neurotic sound always seemed to have a never ending scream buried subliminally at their core, especially on "Puerto Rican Ghost" (included here in two glorious versions...). And, of course, all of this chaos 'n' complexity was more than ably driven along by the stylish and cruelly underrated drum work of Nancy Arlen. In terms of how high in regard they're held, Mars are an all time top 4 favourite of Keiji Haino, if that's any help... After hours of deep thort, I make this THE reissue of 2011, nudging the self-titled cd by avant garde/proto punks Jack Ruby (on UgEXPLODE Records) into second place...

Le Système Crapoutchik - Aussi Loin que je me SouvienneAnd... while I'm on the subject of last year's reissues, it'd be a heinous crime to let mention of French combo Le Système Crapoutchik fall by the wayside. Their trio of albums; Aussi Loin que je me Souvienne... (1969), the Flop double set of alternate takes/singles etc. (1971) and the self-titled comeback LP (1974) were released on Flamophone; which was also home to the rather fine Ilous & Decuyper. With their name growing in stature in collectordom during the intervening years, it's fallen upon the broad shoulders of Spain's Wah Wah Records to give the group a serious, plush, glossy-sleeved/info-laden kinda reappraisal in vinyl format. Look, if you desire limpid, achingly melodic sike pop (the native tongue vocals are a minor hurdle...), this is definitely your next port of call. On the strength of say "Judy" and "Lettre au Japon" I'd say LSC are easily the equal of Andwella's Dream, Blossom Toes, Cressida and yes, even Pussy!

Various - Acid RumbaIf like me, your only exposure to flamenco in an electric setting boils down to David and Angela Allen's Carmen whose releases on Regal Zonophone led to a brief Bowie crush back in the day, you might be surprised to know that there is a vinyl compilation that consists of obscuro singles/EPs by flamenco/rumba artists, who for a time in seventies Spain, were heavily influenced by home-grown moddy discotheque soul and funk/garage from the states. Acid Rumba (Spanish Gypsy Grooves 1969/76) on Hundergrum Records is liberally peppered with high end fuzztone, spicy moog squiggles and a number of vein-bulgingly passionate vocal performances, which come to near emotional breaking point in the form of the amazing Dolores Vargas on "A la Pelota". Aside from a perfunctory cover of the Champs' hit "Tequila" by Junal y sus Caustos... and Trigal who are a little bit too airport arrival lounge for my tastes, this is still a fascinating guide to a time when experimentation/progressive moves could be found working their magic on the most unlikely of genres.

Yoshi Wada - Earth Horns with Electronic DroneIn what's getting to be a fairly regular occurrence, we take another dip into the rich and diverse back catalogue of Em Records; Japan's premiere outlet for the reactivation of those items that go way beyond mere obscurity. Yoshi Wada's Earth Horns with Electronic Drone (cd) is another welcome instalment (hopefully not the last), that documents his experiments in überdrone. Where the lung-blurt from four "alpine drainpipe" players is filtered/processed by electronic means to produce ever-shifting combinations of room enveloping sound. This release, which has never seen the light of day in any form, is a live recording from the Everson Museum of Art, in Syracuse, New York, dating from February 24th 1974 and is one of only six major performances. You might be surprised to know that this predates the extra-bloody-ordinary ...Elephantine Crocodile and Off the Wall albums by nigh on seven years! These ersatz tales from the fogbank are what I'd imagine MEV member Alvin Curran's Maritime Rites (of the US Eastern seaboard) might resemble. However, past the audience member with a bad cough and towards the midway mark of this seventy-seven minute blow out, the sea mists disperse and the methodical bowing of what seems to be a massive cello makes its appearance. But of course this is a phantasm, a mischievous trick played on the ear. The thing is, I couldn't really guarantee the very same thing happening during further plays... such is the nature of this particularly deceptive beast. One p.o.i. - one of the "pipers" (at the gates of drone?) here, is trombonist Garrett List; a former La Monte Young sideman and future Arthur Russell sessioneer.

Desert Island Dicks / Where Woodwose Walk - Clearance SaleClearance Sale is a shared cd-r album between Desert Island Dicks, a deliberately faceless plunderphonic combine and Where Woodwose Walk, a solo project from Brighton-based field 'n' drone recordist Arran Jones. They both share a common aim in sounding the last post on a number of British retailers, that have sadly bitten the dust during the past few years. Zavvi, Roseby's Olan Mills etc. etc. are all remembered/duly headstoned with sparky/intelligent use of mournful, impressionistic electronic washes and chillingly pertinent vocal samples harvested from the ether, including a T.S. Eliot, dry-as-dust reading of a section of "The Wasteland" that drifts through D.I.D.'s "Viyella". Other highpoints? The frayed guitar clangour of D.I.D.'s "MFI Group", W.W.W.'s "Warerford Wedgwood", which appears to point its nosecone towards the Tang's Alpha Centauri LP and "Land of Leather" where Arran juggles elements of the English rural cosmic with Sowiesoso-era Cluster. And thankfully, there's not a John Nettles voiceover in sight! Get it from Amoebic Industries.

Vulcan - Meet Your GhostVelvert Turner GroupNow... Lyle Steece; the guy behind Vulcan's Meet your Ghost LP, claims to have had some starry wisdom imparted to him by the ghost of Jimi Hendrix during a dream and Mahogany Rush's Frank Marino claims to have been ... errm ... possessed by the spirit of Jimi during a spell in hospital. However, if you prefer, gentle reader, something a little more anchored in reality, check out guitarist/vocalist Velvert Turner; who was actually tutored by the great man himself and, as an interesting sidebar, was also a teenage friend of Richard Lloyd; future second stringer with Television. Velvert's stand alone album Velvert Turner Group, first released on Family Productions Records in '72, has been given a fascinating second twist by Flashback Records, inasmuch as this has now been expanded into a double cd set where the original album (now the "Rock Mix") has been bolstered up by a slightly differing "Soul Mix", (a matter of give 'n' take in the guitar overdubs dept. really... ). As you'd much expect, there's a strong Hendrixoid tendency here, in fact you can find a rather fine cover of Jimi's "Freedom" at the close of play... but there are also hints and suggestions of hard rock-era Love and a possible smidgeon of The Buddy Miles Express circa Expressway... (To Your Skull) Oh and by the way V.T.G.'s keyboardist was Chris Robison, who some might remember as a (very) fringe member of The New York Dolls. And by pure chance, I've also just found out that Flashback's only other known slice of activity on the reissue front was a fairly recent vinyl repro of the German Oak LP, where dank, atmospheric psyche-jamming abounds in veritable shedloads...

Evariste - Do You Know the Beast?You just couldn't make this kinda thing up! Back in late sixties France, Joel Sternheimer had a brief, yet eventful spell as a bug-eyed singer/songwriter who recorded under the pseudonym of Evariste, and, get this, has (in the seventies), worked on the musical stimulation of plants and is now a highly regarded chin-stroker in the field of theoretical physics!! Recently, No Smoke Records (again, no discernable addresses), have compiled his entire output (2 singles + one EP), onto a 45 revs mini album. His eccentric vocal repertoire of animalistic grunts/growls/falsettos and theatrical asides suggest that his self-penned script requires him to be everywhere at once. Which he is. Almost every available space in his swirling dayglo world is crowded out with his psychedelicized jabber. The straynge tayle of "Les Pommes de Lune" uses an "old bag" voice which is reminiscent of Python's Terry Jones of all people, though this predates "Mrs Scum" by at least a year or so! In "La Revolution", he even performs a male/female duet, while staging a magic lantern show and indulging in a spot of tap dancing. Naaah...I lied about the last two, but you get the picture. Because of his impulsive work ethic and his fetish for novelty, Evariste has been dubbed "The French Kim Fowley", but from where I stand, perhaps the gallic cousin of Big Boy Pete (Miller) might be more accurate... especially during Pete's adventures in multi-overdubbing circa "Nasty Nazi".

Formed by musicians Yair Yona, Yoni Kretzmer and Ido Bukelman and, with offices in Tel Aviv, Brooklyn and Jerusalem, OutNow Recordings is a label that's primariliy concerned with putting their own individual stamp on contempo avant jazzdom and beyond, with particular emphasis placed on solo guitar wrangling, scored works, freedom blather and electro-acoustics. Recently I've been fortunate enough to have been sent a goodly number of cd’s from their burgeoning catalogue; all dressed in eye-snagging sleeve art with a mixture of geometrical whathaveyou, the occasional photomontage and jagged spurts of abstract expressionism.

Ido Bukelman - Cracked SongWith influences that range from Ornette C. to Jimi H., Ido Bukelman's Cracked Song is first off the blocks and is a collection of seven written compositions that shift from, say, lugubrious to an agitated rush in a matter of moments. The bog standard g/double b and d. is given a whiff of the conservatory with the addition of Yuval Mesner's excellently sonorous cello work, which is encircled by the unusual skittering drumfall of Udi Shlomo; who appears to be adding some kinda indigenous percussives into the mix. It doesn't take too long though, for the quintet to cut loose and head for planet x. On "Nechodi Bird" and the excellent "City Tail", Ido's fretwork would give any serious follower of Pauvros, Ulmer, Bjorkenheim and Lifetime-era Johnny McLaughlin a s-e-r-i-o-u-s hot flush of joy. Oh, and let's not forget the theremin-like trail that closes the latter cut; this being a particularly righteous example of pedal trickery for sure... There's really only one stick thrust through the spokes of this august release and that's their trawl through the lovable moptops' "Julia" which just seems a little bit out of place, all things considered...

Ido Bukelman/ Daniel Davidovsky/ Ofer Bymel - EftStill with Ido Bukelman-related produce, Eft (the Electro-Free Trio), is the debut studio recording of full-on freejazzrocknoise from Daniel Davidovsky, Ido Bukelman & Ofer Bymel. Any handful of tracks are representative of the whole, but I continue to come back to "Soul Cramp", "Step your Mind" and the outlandish "Crunch", in which Daniel Davidovsky's screaming circuitry is seemingly tested to near destruction by blowtorch and lumphammer., while Ofer's muscular drumwork is the perfect adversary to the squalling guitar barrage of Mr. B. So, witness if you will, three men united in a glorious cacophany. Vastly enjoyable. Five stars etc. etc. ...

Ido Bukelman - Solo

Ido Bukelman also has a finger or two, well, eight hyperactive fingers and two very flexible thumbs really, in his Solo cd. All 'free', all erm, 'solo' and doggedly abstract. His Martin acoustic goes through several brands of wringer, including a noticeable tuning down of the strings, prominent finger squeaks, feedback layering and more unidentified sounds. Bill Orcutt (the ex-Harry Pussy-man), would be the nearest comparison I could grasp I guess, though the rather dry production is much more microscopic, picking up every last microdetail.

Yoni Kretzmer - OverlookYoni Kretzmer's Overlook is next. The fourpiece hail from Tel Aviv and have been in existence for a coupla years. Their phrasebook of craggy abstractions, fuse with powerful melody lines that can occasionally bring forth images of Saxist Peter Brotzmann's most finely honed blasting capabilities. Add to this, the interweaving and unusual rasps of Nitai Levi's bass clarinet, which makes Overlook even more of an enticing prospect. Great things bass clarinets... why aren't they used more often eh?


σχόλια αναγνωστών

Tags: Gerald Hawk, Posset, Wicked King Wicker, MARS, Le Système Crapoutchik, Acid Rumba, Yoshi Wada, Deseri Island Dicks, Where Woodwose Walk, Vulcan, Velvert Turner, Evariste, Ido Bukelman, Yoni Kretzmer


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