Friday, October 31, 2014

Daughter of a Tapehead: Halloween III Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

John Carpenter & Alan Howarth
Halloween III: Season of the Witch (Deluxe Reissue)
Death Waltz Recording Company
Released: 10.21.14 (Adjusted: 11.12.14)

*Kind of a bummer, but I'm still happy to have secured a copy of this one.  Figured it would sell out quickly.

**Images pulled from the Death Waltz Recording Company website.


According to Death Waltz Recording Company, the album is out but the shipping dates were pushed off.  The album is available in stores.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, October 30, 2014

tētēma (Mike Patton/Anthony Pateras): "Tenz"

tētēma is a new project from Mike Patton and composer Anthony Pateras. Ipecac Recordings will be issuing the duo's new album, Geocidal, which will be out December 9th and a sample of what the album will offer has been revealed.  "Tenz" has the feel of ritualized dance and trance modes revealing shades of On The Corner era Miles Davis and even some rhythmic patterns that sound akin to Cibo Matto's Viva! La Woman (I'm thinking of its opening track, "Apple").  Pushing the trance comparison a bit, the track also contains what could be considered "drop" sections, few second length pauses followed by heavy blankets of sound, not to mention Patton's heightened vocal. 

Check out the track and read some info on Geocidal, all of which has been provided by Speakeasy PR.



San Francisco, Oct. 30, 2014 – tētēma, a new duo featuring Australian composer/pianist Anthony Pateras and Mike Patton share "Tenz," a song from the pair's forthcoming debut album, Geocidal (Dec. 9, Ipecac Recordings):

"This track experiments with a palimpsest of rhythmic microcosms, consisting of drums, voice, arp 2600, contrabass recorder, nylon string guitar and marimba," explained Pateras. "The orchestration attempts to create kaleidoscopic barber pole effect : a constantly rotating electro-acoustic cross-pollination which culminated in some kind of brutal polychronic trance music, albeit with a glockenspiel coda."

The Quietus said of the song: "Judging from 'Tenz'...the album promises to be an intriguing affair. It opens with the lumbering rhythmical heft that immediately brings to mind Cut Hands, before Patton's incantatory vocals surface and we skirt through jazzy touches and gentle inflections of contrabass recorder and synth, culminating in a full-on, howled assault."

Geocidal is very much Pateras' vision realized over one and a half years of recording. The record combines various musical elements from analogue electronics, strings, winds, brass, orchestral percussion, and vocals - each recorded in a different location which as Pateras describes, creates a "displaced, almost vaporous intensity - it comes from everywhere and nowhere." Every one of these musical elements on Geocidal was also played live, with no samples, handcrafted and performed by a human - stemming from a desire to base everything on feel and instinct. Ultimately then, it represents universality and timelessness in music.

Geocidal, Pateras balances these kaleidoscopic elements from controlled brooding electronics to unrestrained explosive outbursts. Frenetic, trance-inducing percussion punctuates much of the record, making way for more spacious grooves and jazz rhythms. Elsewhere, widescreen string compositions rouse and stirring piano parts creep in, shifting into film noir atmospherics. All the while, this expansive sonic architecture allows Mike Patton much freedom to display his vast array of vocal techniques.

Combining this method of live recording, and the cross-pollination of an array of musical talent, Pateras allows for absolute stylistic freedom which makes Geocidal a very dynamic and unclassifiable album, where quality is never compromised over the quantity of ideas on display. As Tiny Mix Tapes said of Pateras’ music, it offers a look as to where
“trailblazers of avant-garde are heading,” adding music lovers will “be captivated by his bold creative foray.”



Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, October 23, 2014

No Ripcord: The Pop Group

The Pop Group
We Are Time & Cabinet Of Curiosities
Freaks R Us
Released: 10.21.14

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dope Body: "Repo Man"

Mid-summer, I listened to and posted the first single from Dope Body's new album, Lifer, which was a muddy noise rocker called, "Hired Gun."  Following the album's release this week, a new single and video for their track "Repo Man" surfaced and from sight to sound this band captures angst like I haven't heard it in years.  The rambunctious percussive storm of instrumentation that precedes its otherwise slow and sinister calm sets up its emotional presence rather perfectly, its payoff the excellent riff-driven descent into frustration which pulled me in and really didn't let go.  It's a strong single and the video, with its multiple depictions of good times, carelessness, sex and violence, all addressed through either the obscuring grain of VHS or super crisp narrative, suits the song well. 

I may need to pick this one up.  Lifer is out now via Drag City.

All info comes courtesy of Rarely Unable.


Dope Body turn up the heat with the first video from their third album, Lifer, released this week via Drag City.

Simmering and smouldering before the invariable sonic explosion, "Repo Man," is matched and met by the razor-sharp visuals of Theo Anthony, who worked from a concept by Dope Body lead singer Andrew Laumann. Danny Lorden supplied the heavy-grained VHS footage which supplies another kind of dread to the sunshiny darkness that Dope Body are transmitting on "Repo Man".


LISTEN TO "HIRED GUN" city/dope-body-hired-gun

On their second album for Drag City, the Baltimore quartet refine the aural yawp they have been perfecting for some time, wild windmills honing into surgical strikes, the band’s gut-busting repulsion-sound continuing to expand without losing any of the feral energy that the group have become renowned for.

There is a distinct evolution from one Dope Body record to another.
Lifer is no different. The aforementioned “Repo Man” showcases the progression of the band’s songwriting, a creeper, crooning with an oscillating bass groove before whipping into a frenzied stomp. “Day By Day” has a propulsive sound, demonstrating the band's frenetic spirit and “Hired Gun” is pure sonic pyrotechnics with a forward-evolving, dynamic range of loud/soft/loud and a big sing along chorus. Where most songs showcase singer Andrew Laumann’s rhythmic ability, “Rare Air” is one of the first Dope Body tracks that exhibits his talent for constructing melody.

Although it is tempting to imagine the members of Dope Body emerging from some rock and roll cave to terrorize yet again with a new wave of Sabbath-refracted mayhem, when these musicians and fine artists get together, the storm brews, songs are rocked and written and we're propelled into another sweaty go-round. This is actually a controlled demolition, planned but with room to take down additional structures.

Here's a reminder of some contextual info about Dope Body...

The group began modestly, rocking up and out in Baltimore punk basements. The landscape and street culture of the small, east coast city, have risen to prominence due to the popularity of the realist crime drama, The Wire. Dwelling shoulder to shoulder in that harsh urban environment is a vibrant art scene, which has served as an incubator for some of the most prominent indie acts of the last decade. Groups like Dan Deacon, Future Islands and dozens of artists from DJ Dog Dick to Lower Dens to Animal Collective have their roots in the city. Amid this landscape, Dope Body evolved into a driving, diverse four-piece rock ensemble. They released one cassette and one full-length album via HOSS Records in 2011 before releasing their first LP and subsequent split twelve-inch singles for Drag City.

Dope Body have built a reputation in the underground community for delivering intense live performances, galvanised in large part by the group’s charismatic lead singer, Andrew Laumann. Off the back of their 2012 release for Drag City, Natural History, the band embarked on a rigorous 19 months of almost nonstop touring. In this time, they developed a unique performance and bringing it to every festival, bar, basement and backyard, garnering a grassroots fan base along the way.

In autumn 2013, the band took time to pursue a life outside Dope Body: bassist, John Jones, focused on his solo project, Nerftoss, as did guitarist Zachary Utz and drummer David Jacober with their duo, Holy Ghost Party as well as their respective solo endeavours. Lead singer Laumann pursued his creativity in the visual arts, exhibiting work at Galerie Jeanrochdard in Paris, Pre Teen Gallery in Mexico City and Signal in Brooklyn. The vacation was short lived. In January 2014, Dope Body was back in the studio recording with producer, Travis Harrison, at Manhattan’s Serious Business Recording Studio, the result of course, being Lifer.

Dope Body are pushing ever forward while never losing site of that rough spark that makes their music so good in the first place. In the Internet age where the audience is constantly bombarded by trending artists and the best new music, it’s easy to lose sight of the basic concept of music as a source of creative output and one hell of a live performance. For Dope Body, at the end of the day, it doesn’t boil down to much more than that.

Lifer is released this week via Drag City. Stay tuned for a tour announcement very soon. Thanks for your time.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, October 17, 2014

Stereokiller: Godflesh

A World Lit Only By Fire
Avalanche Recordings
Released: 10.6.14

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Shopping For Records: Sunn O))), clipping., The Gun Club, Glaxo Babies, Deicide, J Dilla

Here are some online orders (and one concert purchase) to dissect.  Enjoy.

Sunn O)))
Black One
Southern Lord Recordings
Reissued: 2013

I know I've probably talked this band to death this year (and I'm not finished yet... ahem, Soused), but Sunn O)))'s 2005 LP, Black One, has been on my list for quite some time.  It was for me an elusive acquisition, copies selling out pretty quickly whenever a limited run would be produced and made available.  This time, however, I managed to grab a copy and it's a nice package: Textured cover art with beautifully printed silver dust jackets housing thick, grey vinyl.  I almost felt bad opening it, but it sounds great pushing through speakers.  It's just inimitable, reverberating bleakness.  Price was $35. 

I will say, though, that I think I'm done with ordering vinyl from the Sunn O))) Online Store.  This is the second time I've received an order and the album has pierced through the top of the record sleeve.  And, with such an excellent package, it is kind of a bummer that it showed up torn. 


Union Transfer
Philadelphia, PA

"Chain" b/w "Jump" 10"
Released: 2013

I had the opportunity to see clipping. open up for Shabazz Palaces in late August, and picked up this 10" at the merch table for maybe $15.  It's white vinyl, 45rpm and rare apparently.  Saw some absurd price gouging online for this one, (someone wants $100 for it on Discogs).

The album features two tracks and acapella versions of each.  

Superior Viaduct

The Gun Club
Superior Viaduct
Originally released: 1981
Reissued: 2014

I wrote out a small blurb about Superior Viaduct reissuing The Gun Club's debut release, Fire Of Love, back in July.  Figured I'd pick up a copy as it's another one of those albums that's collected virtual dust sitting on some long abandoned wishlist out there in the vast expanses of the limitless web, the price growing to unattainable heights thanks to its out-of-print status.  CD only, which is unfortunate if you're turned off to the format.  Digipack; nothing too fancy.  A small tribute penned by Divine Horsemen's Chris D., who originally co-produced the album, is included.  This is considered one of the essential releases of the 1980s and a significant entry in the annals of post-punk.

Glaxo Babies
Put Me on the Guest List
Superior Viaduct
Originally released: 1980
Reissued: 2013

Put Me on the Guest List is a compilation release from the sadly short-lived U.K. post-punk band Glaxo Babies comprised of unreleased tracks from the late 70s. It's hard to imagine that this hadn't been released in the U.S. prior to the recent Superior Viaduct reissue at some point, but the earliest version of this I could find came out in 1980 in the U.K. via Heartbeat Records.  According to the SV link, this is the album's first domestic release.

Myself being uninitiated to Glaxo Babies prior to this purchase, I've been spinning this one a lot.  Love the textures and tempo, love the rhythms and tone.  These songs sound great on a turntable, charred and intentionally fuzzed.  "Burning" has become a favorite song of mine.  Completely worth the $15.

20 Buck Spin

Metal Blade Records
Originally released: 1992
Reissued: 2014

An appreciation for Death Metal somehow eluded me back when I was a growing, self-absorbed, typically unhappy and sullen teenager, when I should've been less conservative with my musical tastes.  I had some moments of clarity: Morbid Angel's Covenant and Death's Individual Thought Patterns in particular. 

But, bands like Deicide slipped past me and, consequently, so did Legion, which is a wonderfully brutal and technically astounding listen.  While I won't attribute this to any lack of exposure to the music, (I had metal friends, don'tcha know?), I will say that the Black Flag/Rollins Band/90s-Alternative Rock kick I was on at the time probably chalked up any and all other noise as mere distraction.  Plus, as I'd mentioned earlier, I had a very narrow understanding of music and what it was I was supposed to be listening to.  As I've grown older, I've definitely become a more adventurous listener.  At least, in my mind I have.  Maybe I'm not adventurous enough?

So, Legion, following that extensive digression, is Deicide's second LP and was originally released in 1992.  The reissue is from Metal Blade Records, though I picked this up from 20 Buck Spin's online store.  Red vinyl, but no frills.  180 grams of sturdy, breakneck aggression.  I dropped the needle on this yesterday, dialed up the receiver and immediately hit up the air guitar.  My daughter walked by, gave me one look and went, "Really, Dad?"  It was an inspiring moment.

Stones Throw

J Dilla
Stones Throw
Originally released: 2005
Reissued: 2014 (Cassette Store Day Release)

Somehow the cassette format is fitting for Donuts, the much celebrated instrumental release from the late J Dilla.  Its 31 tracks are treated as singular composite tracks, either labeled "Go!" or "Stop." depending on which side you're playing, forcing listeners to consider Donuts as a whole rather than easily digestible portions. And, yes, I'm aware that I made what sounded like food analogies about an album called Donuts

Stones Throw released the cassette version of the album for this year's Cassette Store Day.  As I wasn't able to take part in the festivities, and I knew that Stones Throw was issuing Cassette Store versions of this as well as Madvillian's Madvillainy, I figured I'd investigate the release's availability after the event.  Other than enforcing the album's track-by-track continuity, the format also grants the recording some audible grit, a factor directly connected to its format, which doesn't become distracting.  Instead, it humanizes the mix, adding an analog sheen to this expert manual assembly of various sounds and samples.  It's the sort of cut-n-paste sound collage you want to hear from a hip-hop producer/DJ, the re-purposing of old to new as heard on an antiquated, but underground, platform.  All that being said, I'm happy Stones Throw decided to release Donuts this way. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Singles: Hot Nerds, Le Bucherettes, Giant Claw, Katie Rush, Oozing Wound, Annihilated, Ty Segall

Hot Nerds: "The Brubeck Counting Institute" (via Us-Them Group/Three.One.G./Soundcloud)

Le Butcherettes: "Demon Stuck In Your Eye" (via Rarely Unable/Ipecac Recordings/YouTube)

Giant Claw: "Dark Web 003" (via Julian T. Schoen/NPR/YouTube)

Katie Rush: "Dangerous Luv (feat. Samantha Urbani)" (via Dark Matter Media/Gorilla Vs. Bear/Soundcloud)

Oozing Wound: "Going Through the Motions Til I Die" (via Thrill Jockey Records/Metal Hammer/YouTube)

Annihilated: "Eradication Profits" (via Earsplit PR/Metal Assault/Soundcloud)

Ty Segall: "The Singer" (via Mutante/The Guardian/YouTube)

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

What I Heard This Morning: The Real American Cream

The Real American Cream. 

A few weeks ago, I received an email from a rep at Old Blackberryway Records about this group and its debut double-LP, Nathan.  Inspired by an ever-changing line-up of musical participants, Nathan works in improvised bass-propped drones and tripped out Neu!'ish repetition.  The group's lead member, Nate Nelson, (also of STNNNG) apparently worked with a total of 24 musicians by the time recording was finished.

Nice Wire homage.

The only other musician I can think of that comes close to pursuing this level of collaboration would be Josh Homme, both Queens of the Stone Age and his past Desert Sessions output the result of revolving line-ups and the varied ideas such an environment can provide and inspire. 

Here are three tracks for your enjoyment.  I'd recommend checking them out.

You can purchase the album here.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, October 02, 2014


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