Friday, January 11, 2019

New Selections — BARNETT+COLOCCIA, Dave Harrington Group, The Coathangers, Mörglbl, Dylan Henner, Good Fuck, Black Taffy

The first full week of 2019 is at a close, so please enjoy this first batch of sounds. 

(via Rarely Unable / SIGE Records / Soundcloud)

Via Rarely Unable:

Barnett + Coloccia is the musical collaboration between Faith Coloccia (Mamiffer, Mára and recently vocals on Jóhann Jóhannsson's Mandy soundtrack) and Alex Barnett (Oakeater, Champagne Mirrors).

Each record begins the same, with a reunion of two good friends catching up on life changes, new ideas on existence, magical occurrences, and difficult experiences. The ideas in the reunions between Faith and Alex plant the conceptual seeds for each song. The music itself takes influence from cinematic soundtracks, 20th century classical and early electronic music.

The project is a true collaboration in the sense that the songs never end up as one person's vision, rather they end up somewhere new, where the whole is a strange extension beyond the sum of the parts.

Recorded over three days by Nicholas Wilbur at Anacortes Unknown. Randall Dunn's production helped to realise each song as a space in time event.

With two previous albums released by the Blackest Ever Black label, B+C continue their singular approach on SIGE with
VLF their third outing into the unknown, which shall see release on 22nd February 2019.


Dave Harrington Group: "Well"
(via Clandestine Label Services / Yeggs Records / Bandcamp)

Via Clandestine Label Services:

Today multi-instrumentalist and producer Dave Harrington announced his second full-length album with his project Dave Harrington Group titled Pure Imagination, No Country. The album will be released on February 1st 2019 on CD/LP/Digital courtesy of Yeggs Records, and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp.

With the announcement Harrington shared the album opener "Well" (listen on Spotify, Bandcamp), a 2-minute glimpse into the album's spirit of improvisation and composition through psych rock, jazz and electronic music — all at once, in equal measure.

From their 2014 EP and 2016's
Become Alive, Dave Harrington Group have received acclaim from The 405, Drowned In Sound, Noisey, NPR, Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and many more. Yet with the help of Will Shore (TMBOY, Francis Harris, Uzupis), Andrew Fox (Visuals), Samer Ghadry, and multi-instrumentalist Lars Horntveth (Jaga Jazzist), Pure Imagination, No Country showcases the most focused distillation of Harrington's collaborative musical framework, which he notes as being inspired by Miles Davis's innovative "electric years."

Harrington will celebrate the release with select shows including a date in Los Angeles, CA at Zebulon and a special five night residency in Brooklyn, NY at Threes, which will feature a rotating lineup of guest players (including Brian Chase, Joe Russo, Kenny Wollesen, Stuart Bogie, Yuka C. Honda, Shahzad Ismaily, Greg Fox, Jeremy Gustin, Spencer Zahn and more).

The Coathangers"Bimbo"
(via Stereo Sanctity / Suicide Squeeze Records / YouTube)

Via Stereo Sanctity:

Today we’re excited to announce the latest work from Atlanta's three-woman riot, The Coathangers. New album The Devil You Know is due out on March 8th via Suicide Squeeze Records.

For 12 years The Coathangers have been building an infallible reputation for chaotic punk rock and visceral live shows, but this sixth LP is a record that captures their established takes on vitriolic punk, playful house-party anthems, and heart-worn ballads and melds them all, revealing a new level of songwriting and nuance.

Today they share the album’s opening track and accompanying video, "Bimbo", with guitarist/vocalist Julia Kugel saying: "'Bimbo' is a bittersweet note on love, self preservation, and letting go. It came together naturally and was one of the easiest songs to be written for the new record. It tells two sides of the story but still feels uplifting and positive. An acceptance of things the way they are."

She continues: "The video was shot on our last European tour by us and our fellow road warrior Mackenzie Sutch. We spend a large part of our lives on the road and it felt right to make the first video off the new record a small documentation of that. Tour is bittersweet as well. It can be dreamy and harsh at the same time. Shot mostly in Spain and Portugal, the video for 'Bimbo' is a lovely memory of a complex emotional and physical journey. The video was edited by our good friend Nacho Montero from Madrid."

“The writing process was done with an open heart,” says Kugel. “Everything that came before had to go away. Whatever hang-up, whatever thing we were holding onto, it had to go away. And we started there, at ground zero.” This may sound like the band was going through some Hüsker Dü-level personal drama, but the reality is less gritty and salacious. The individual members had merely become entrenched in their way of doing things. Kugel excelled at the melodic pop songs. Drummer/vocalist Stephanie Luke belted out the gritty rock tunes. Bassist/vocalist Meredith Franco drove the post-punk and no-wave angles of the band. With each album, you could hear the individual songwriters honing their style. But with ‘The Devil You Know’, it feels like we’re hearing the first Coathangers record written as a true unit. There’s a newfound discipline, depth, and dimension, like each member learned how to imbue their bandmates’ songs with their own personal touch.

Inspired and emboldened by their experience recording previous LP Nosebleed Weekend, the band returned to Valentine Recording Studios in Laurel Canyon with Nic Jodoin, who pushed them into increasingly layered and lush sonic territories. The album title stems from an old adage whispered at a friend’s wedding; we settle when we’re afraid of the unknown. It’s a theme that runs through every song on the album, and even though the band insists they were writing songs about other peoples’ pain, they acknowledge that the old saying applies to their band as well. We get comfortable, we get scared, and we refuse to change. But with The Devil You Know, The Coathangers lost their fear, and that allowed them to shed the baggage of the past. “Why are we living in these cells we built for ourselves?” Kugel asks. “That’s been the great thing about this record. It’s been honest and confrontational… but not in a shitty way.”

Suicide Squeeze Records is proud to release The Devil You Know to the world on March 8, 2019 on CD, a limited run of 300 cassettes, digital formats, and an initial pressing of 3,000 LPs with 500 copies on MAYDAY colour vinyl, 500 on LUCKY DEVIL colour vinyl, and 2000 on BITTERSWEET colour vinyl. The vinyl version includes foil on the cover of the LP jacket, a printed inner sleeve, and a download card.

The Devil You Know will be released on March 9th via Suicide Squeeze and is available to pre-order here.

Tour dates:
FRI JAN 25 - Calgary AB, Big Winter Classic
WED FEB 20 - Santa Ana, CA, Marty’s On Newport
THU FEB 21 - Los Angeles, CA, Teragram Ballroom
FRI FEB 22 - Long Beach, CA, Alex’s Bar
SAT FEB 23 - San Francisco, CA, Independent*
SUN FEB 24 - Reno, NV, Holland Project*
TUE FEB 26 - Bend, OR, Volcanic Lounge*
WED FEB 27 - Portland, OR, Mississippi Studios*
THU FEB 28 - Seattle, WA, Neumos*
FRI MAR 1 - Bellingham, WA, Shakedown*
SAT MAR 2 - Vancouver, BC, Imperial
TUE MAR 5 - Spokane, WA, The Bartlett*
WED MAR 6 - Boise, ID, Olympic*
THU MAR 7 - Salt Lake City, UT, Kilby Court*
SAT MAR 9 - San Diego, CA, Casbah*
THU APR 4 - Birmingham, AB, Saturn
FRI APR 5 - Nashville, TN, Exit/In
SAT APR 6 - St. Louis, MO, Old Rock House
SUN APR 7 - Kansas City, MO, recordBar
MON APR 8 - Minneapolis, MN, Turf Club
TUE APR 9 - Chicago, IL, Empty Bottle
THU APR 11 - Detroit, MI, El Club
FRI APR 12 - Cleveland, OH, Grog Shop
SAT APR 13 - Toronto, ON, The Horseshoe
SUN APR 14 - Montreal, QC, Let Ritz
MON APR 15 - Boston, MA, Great Scott
WED APR 17 - Asbury Park, NJ, Asbury Lanes
THU APR 18 - New York, NY, Music Hall of Williamsburg
FRI APR 19 - Washington, DC, DC9
SAT APR 20 - Philadelphia, PA, Underground Arts

*= with SadGirl


Mörglbl"2 Flics Amis Amish"
(via Earsplit PR / The Laser's Edge & Free Electric Sound / YouTube)

Via Earsplit PR:

Laser's Edge imprint Free Electric Sound has posted "2 Flics Amis Amish," the lead single from MÖRGLBL's impending seventh album, The Story Of Scott Rötti. The long-running French progressive instrumental jazz metal fusion trio has just celebrated their 20th anniversary and has big plans for the new year in support of the new album.

Often described as Primus meets Steve Vai or The Beatles meet Pantera, MÖRGLBL's output veers toward the crazy, mixing substantial metal riffs with subtle jazz harmonies, deep pocket grooves, and their trademark goofball humor. Through two decades of performing and touring internationally and reaping well-earned critical acclaim from journalists around the globe on their six full-length albums, MÖRGLBL is an incredibly unique and creative musical force which transcends genre barriers and commands the attention of anybody into forward-thinking music with a lighthearted appeal.

The Story Of Scott Rötti was recorded at The Beat Factory during the Summer of 2018, mixed by Enzo D'Agostino at Elia Studio, mastered by Mobo at Conkrete Studio, and completed with artwork by Pierre Bernard and Peter Puke.

Stream the opening track and first single from
The Story Of Scott Rötti, "2 Flics Amis Amish,"and preorder the album RIGHT HERE.

The Story Of Scott Rötti will see release on CD and all digital platforms through Free Electric Sound on February 1st. Watch for new audio and video previews from the album to be issued in the coming days, and expect new tour dates to be announced shortly.

Led by guitarist Christophe Godin and bassist Ivan Rougny, MÖRGLBL gained an international following with the release of their first two albums in 1997 and 1998. Years of constant touring required the band take a break. By 2007 MÖRGLBL released
Grötesk which drove their popularity all over the globe - particularly in the US - and was invited to perform at Europe's famous Frank Zappa tribute festival, Zappanale.

MÖRGLBL shifted in late 2007, when drummer Aurélien Ouzoulias joined the band and kicked them into high gear, ultimately resulting in 2009's highly acclaimed
Jazz For The Deaf. 2008 saw MÖRGLBL become the smash surprise of NEARfest X, America's largest progressive rock music festival, where the stunned audience gave a standing ovation and cheered through a double encore. Intensive touring throughout Europe, Russia, China, and the US followed right through 2012's Brutal Romance album. Along the way, they shared the stage with the likes of Liquid Tension Experiment, Panzerballet, Freak Kitchen, Echoline, and Umphrey's McGee.

Three years since the 2015 Free Electric Sound release of
Tea Time For Pünks and having performed more than one hundred shows all around the world, MÖRGLBL celebrated twenty years of rocking the planet with their progressive jazz metal in 2018. A twentieth anniversary live DVD has been recorded and is pending release in 2019. While awaiting the DVD's release, and while continuing to tour in support of Tea Time For Pünks, the band composed and recorded their seventh album, The Story Of Scott Rötti. With eleven new songs, the album showcases the band's most achieved material to date, basing all the ingredients that have made the trio one of the most exciting combos of the genre.

Dylan Henner: "Marie Slept With Her Shoes On (Single Edit)"
(via Phantom LimbSoundcloud)

Via Phantom Limb:

After releasing diverse records in 2018, from Hekla's haunting theremin based debut album Á, to New Optimism's joyous experimental pop of Amazon to LeFrak, Phantom Limb's first release of 2019 will be from the secretive newcomer Dylan Henner - who describes his work as "bliss-out ambient".

Henner's intriguing debut EP A Reason for Living comprises of multiple parts - a nostalgic analogue-synth backbone inspired by Jon Hassell, Popol Vuh and Brian Eno; strange new-age orchestration that touches on the organic midi of Geinoh Yamashirogumi; a love of American minimalism and its polyrhythms; noisey drones in the style of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma or Grouper; field recordings from across various cultures and environments - he's a new artist with high ambition...

A Reason for Living will be released digitally on February 22, listen to 'Marie Slept With Her Shoes On' here and below, a track taken from the EP.

The record was largely formed over Henner's travels in his day-job as a photographer's assistant. Exploring with a handheld analogue synth and a field recorder ("no laptop!") across India, the Middle East, Morocco, the Americas, South East Asia and Australia, much of the album's conceptual framework existed long before the songs themselves, inspired by local music and ambient sound. Henner then took this bank of starting places back home to flesh out completed pieces. "The fundamental theme woven through the record is the universality of life", Henner writes. "Though societies and cultures and conventions and customs vary a great deal across the world, at the inescapable core is the state of humanness. I wanted to dig into that core and see how it feels without the rest attached." 

Musically, the fundamental core of A Reason for Living is rooted in its ruminative spareness. Opener 'I Had to Wash The Shirt I Lost' marries empty space with resonant, shuddering synthesis, and then disappears back into the darkness as if it itself had been a dream. It is followed by 'The Beach Was Covered In Coral', which journeys Reichian percussion through a slowly-evolving multitude of reverb responses, punctuated with zither and major-chord choral hits. Crucially, the record is far from joyless; not as straight-faced as "ambient music" often is. Laughter, happiness and innocence flourish through the field recordings. The chanting vocal-percussion of 'Marie Fell Asleep With Her Shoes On' brims with sweet euphoria.

Unforthcoming on biographical details ("I prefer the music to speak for itself"), Henner contacted Phantom Limb through his friendship with Berlin-based producer Eomac.

Track listing:
1. I Had To Wash The Shirt I Lost
2. The Beach Was Covered In Coral
3. Marie Fell Asleep With Her Shoes On
4. Angels Made A Ring Around Them

The artwork for the EP was created by Henner himself, based on Native American folk art, and highly representative of the dreamy unreality of his music - a ghostly, quasi-spiritual structure floats in empty space while words and details echo around.

A Reason for Living will be available on all digital formats. Pre-order the EP from Bandcamp HERE.


Good Fuck: "Secret Meetings"
(via Force Field PR / Joyful Noise Recordings / YouTube) 

Via Force Field PR:

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse are Good Fuck. Today the duo announces its first ever tour, supporting El Ten Eleven. The band will also perform songs from some of Kinsella's other projects, including Joan of Arc, as part of their set each night.

The only constant in Joan of Arc’s long career is that it has continued to evolve, sometimes gradually over years, and occasionally suddenly. Joan of Arc will be winding down after this tour as the members all concentrate on other projects. These shows will be a unique one-time experience; Tim Kinsella weaving together some of the band’s earliest material that he hasn’t played in years, along with an introduction to his new duo Good Fuck, whose debut record comes out February 22 on Joyful Noise Records.

Tim Kinsella and Jenny Pulse have consummated their love on disc. The result is Good Fuck, an erotic exploration of experimental literary techniques and adventurous electronic beats.

Seeking an intimate creative environment to develop their musical concepts, Kinsella and Pulse journeyed deep into isolation. “
We packed the car and drove 13 hours to The Millay Colony in upstate New York: an artist’s colony in The Berkshires, miles down a private road, next to 100,000 acres of national forest,” Kinsella shares.

On arrival, the couple devised a unique artistic process to work from, Kinsella describes it as a
“collaborative conscious alignment.” The most unique aspect of this creative method involves the writing of the album’s lyrics. “We agreed on 12 books we thought most relevant and came up with various systems to collapse and collage them into each other in different combinations,” Kinsella says. That list included titles ranging from Don Quixote to The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry. Drawing from this source material, Kinsella and Pulse employed a sort-of literary mash-up, scrambling content and structure into a thoroughly new product. “We might take the form of an Eskimo genesis myth, but use words from Anaïs Nin,” Kinsella explains.

There’s audible chemistry in Good Fuck’s sound; Kinsella’s extensive history in genre-pushing rock and roll (Joan of Arc, Cap’n Jazz) is strikingly complimented by Pulse’s fresh ear for minimalist electro sounds. Kinsella and Pulse achieved complete artistic symbiosis in composing Good Fuck’s music.
“To a large degree we don't even know who programmed what beat, and who programmed what synth line,” Kinsella reflects.

Kinsella says he and Pulse were “stunned” by the results of their collaboration, but their process wasn’t perfect.
“Of course there were snags, technological and psychological. And of course we threw a good amount away. But what was left was not the result of trying to write songs, but the effortless evidence of what emerged when we got clear in our intentions and then just let it out,” Kinsella recalls.

But listeners won’t notice Kinsella’s perceived imperfections, the album’s eerie synth soundscapes and chanted vocals flow effortlessly from track to track. The music of Good Fuck melds the sensual with the cryptic, the erotic with the esoteric. Good Fuck reminds us that experimental music doesn’t necessarily need to be caustic or harsh, it can exist comfortably in the groove of a seductive electronic beat.


1/11 - Chicago, IL - Empty Bottle
1/17 - Dallas, TX - Dada*
1/18 - Austin, TX - Empire*
1/19 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall*
1/20 - New Orleans, LA - Gasa Gasa
1/22 - Gainesville, FL - High Dive*
1/23 - Jacksonville, FL - Jackrabbits*
1/24 - Orlando, FL - The Social*
1/25 - Tampa, FL - Crowbar*
1/26 - Atlanta, GA - Aisle 5*
1/28 - Columbia, SC - New Brookland Tavern*
1/29 - Charlotte, NC - The Milestone Club*
1/30 - Asheville, NC - The Grey Eagle*
1/31 - Carrboro, NC - Cat’s Cradle*
2/1 - Charlottesville, VA - The Southern*
2/2 - Washington DC - Union Stage*
2/5 - Lancaster, PA - Lizard Lounge
2/6 - Philadelphia, PA - The Fillmore*
2/7 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg*
2/8 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall*
2/9 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair*
2/10 - Rochester, NY - The Bug Jar
2/11 - Hamilton, ON - Casbah

* = w/ El Ten Eleven



Black Taffy: "Lantern Flies in Mist"
(via Julian T. Schoen / Leaving Records / YouTube)

Via Julian T. Schoen

Black Taffy - "Lantern Flies In Mist"
(YouTube // Spotify // Apple Music)

Happy 2019 Everybody!!

Kicking things off this year is a brand new LP from Dallas producer Donovan Jones, better known as Black Taffy, who's got his
Elder Mantis LP dropping February 15th on LEAVING Records.

You may remember rumblings from Black Taffy back in 2018, the song "Geraldine," which is also included on this LP, got some Spring shine when it originally dropped.

Mr. Jones is a composer & performer whose current focus lies in pairing ambient music with big bass and percussion.

The first born son of Pentecostal music ministers, Donovan grew up witnessing the power music has to induce trance and encourage spiritual awakening.

Eventually drawing parallels between Christianity, voodoo, and the occult, Mr. Jones left the former to immerse himself in the latter.

Sometimes performing with only Vibraphone and cassette decks, he frequently employs the use of tape loops and other antiquated mediums to create pillowy worlds of wow and flutter.

Elder Mantis is the culmination of Black Taffy's works thus far. At twelve tracks, it is a meditative and soothing listen, synthesizing the heavy warmth of deep bass with the melodic hum of harps and other stringed instruments.


Black Taffy
(Bandcamp // Instagram)

(Site // Soundcloud // Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp)

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

What's (Re)New? — Brainiac's Electro-Shock for President and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture

Touch and Go Records continues its reissue streak, announcing today that there are plans for two new Brainiac reissues: the Electro-Shock for President EP and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture LP. Both are limited edition color variants with bundle options that include a t-shirt. And, there's news of a documentary as well. 

The release info and links below were provided by Touch and Go Records.

To coincide with Eric Mahoney's upcoming 2019 Brainiac documentary, Transmissions After Zero, we are excited to announce these limited edition reissues of Electro-shock for President EP on white vinyl and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture full-length on blue swirl vinyl.

From now until February 11th, you can bundle your pre-order for Electro-shock for President white vinyl or both Electro-shock for President white vinyl and Hissing Prigs in Static Couture blue swirl vinyl with a NEW limited edition Brainiac t-shirt. The limited edition t-shirt will not be available for purchase in the Touch and Go store after February 11th.

Orders will ship to arrive on or before March 8, 2019.

About BRAINIAC: Brainiac began in 1992 as the basement experiments of Dayton, OH natives Tim Taylor (vocals, synth), and Juan Monasterio (bass), who first met playing cello in fifth grade. Upon completing the lineup with Michelle Bodine (guitar) and Tyler Trent (drums), they released two full-lengths and toured vigorously, establishing themselves as the latest peg in Ohio’s diverse musical timeline. In 1994, Michelle left the band and was replaced by John Schmersal. After recording a 7” with Steve Albini for Sup Pop, the band recorded a handful of songs with Kim Deal (of The Pixies), which became their Touch and Go debut single Internationale.

1996 saw the release of their Touch and Go full-length debut, Hissing Prigs in Static Couture. Like their two previous full-lengths, this was also produced by Eli Janney, and saw the band use less Moog and more random electronic gadgets and noisemakers. Jim O’Rourke produced 1997’s Electroshock for President EP, in which Brainiac continued their transition into a more electronic rock band. On May 23, 1997, however, only weeks after the EP’s release and the band’s return from a European tour supporting Beck, Tim lost his life in a car accident in his hometown of Dayton, Ohio. He was 28.

About the documentary Transmissions After Zero: In the mid 90's the Dayton, OH music scene became a hot spot generating world wide buzz from the influential indie rock being produced there (The Breeders, Guided by Voices). Arguably the most innovative of them all was the band Brainiac, led by musical genius and insanely charismatic front man Tim Taylor, who was tragically killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and friends to pick up the pieces.

The film explores the band's music, legacy, massive influence on modern musicians and how people survive and cope with the loss of loved ones. Directed by Dayton native and Brooklyn based filmmaker Eric Mahoney (Madly) and edited by musician Ian Jacobs (Monograms), the project (the first from Prod Co Hotshot Robot) will feature interviews from the surviving band members, the Taylor family and a slew of musicians including: Fred Armisen, Steve AlbiniStuart BraithewaiteBuzz OsbourneCedric Bixler-ZavalaDavid YowEli JanneyMelissa Auf Der MaurMatt BerningerGregg ForemanScott McCloud and many more…

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, January 04, 2019

Gotta Read The Labels — ears&eyes Records

So, it would be turn out that in addition to Sons of Kemet and Kamasi Washington, there were other jazz-based artists to hear in 2018. This morning, I've been listening to a sampler provided by ears&eyes Records, which offers a selection of the label's 2018 output. Featured are various jazz-based offshoots ranging from beat-oriented (Matterhorn) to chamber-centric (Redwood Tango Ensemble), exploratory (Chad Taylor) to reverent and modernized (Juan Bayon).

The label is run by artist Matthew Golombisky, who is also leading another project called Thirsty Robot Media. TRM's purpose is to promote budding talent outside of the ears&eyes framework in an effort to provide exposure for more artists.

Here's the Volume 6 of the ears&eyes Records sampler:

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Oh, 2018 … Where Have You Gone?

In the interest of full disclosure, this is the second time I'm writing this introduction. For some reason, the entry didn't save, so the few hours I spent writing over the weekend were sadly wasted.

But, oh well…

If I had to sum up 2018, I'd first say "great music." To follow that, my coverage was far from consistent and I listened to nowhere near as much I wanted to. My list of Omissions & Lamentations is fairly high, keeping in mind that High On Fire released an album, (the excellently heavy Electric Messiah), that was not included in my year end list. I was not only a bad fan, but resistant to much of the audible goodness that had been plugged and pushed over the course of the year. My day job had a lot to do with this, as the exhaustion levels that I'd experienced at points were astoundingly pervasive and really cut in to my ability to think clearly or analytically. Or, even just listen patiently. With that said, I'm hoping for better, more active and engaging output in 2019. And while I understand that blogs are no longer a very popular format for social interaction and the dissemination of news or opinion-driven content, I still enjoy writing so Letters From A Tapehead will remain active. In an effort to branch out, however, since videos and podcasts are the way to go these days, I do have a YouTube channel that I'm going to use more this year. My family recently acquired a GoPro, which should help with the image clarity, though it won't do much for my garbled commentary.

Coming back to my Omissions & Lamentations for 2018, I'd like to acknowledge also that I missed Ty Segall's Freedom's Goblin, JPEGMAFIA's Veteran, New Material by Preoccuptions, Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe (though I was not a fan of the "PYNK" single), Noname's Room 25, and Earl Sweatshirt's very recent Some Rap Songs. I also neglected to check out Dead Magic by Anna Von Hausswolff and The Dream My Bones Dream by Eiko Ishibashi, though I did post a single from this album.

I'm sure there are more. If anyone has any additional suggestions of records or artists I should check out, feel free to comment or get in touch.

Here are my favorite albums of 2018:

15). Exit Group — Adverse Habitat (Castle Face Records)

14). Dylan Carlson – Conquistador (Sargent House)

13). Colin StetsonHereditary (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Milan Records)

12). Parquet CourtsWide Awaaaaake! (Rough Trade)

"With regard to message music in 2018, it would be difficult to top the dance-punk and econo-funk of Wide Awaaaaake!, the sixth release from Parquet Courts. Topically relevant and accessible, the band’s eloquent social critique - including the declarative and memorable final line of the track 'Total Football,' which is 'Fuck Tom Brady' - fits well into their evocative interpretation of post-punk’s multi-genre idiom." – transcribed from No Ripcord's 50 BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

11). Death GripsYear of the Snitches (Third Worlds/Harvest)

10). Exploded View — Obey (Sacred Bones Records)

"Stylistically eclectic, or maybe even chaotic, Obey is a sublime release, its melancholic moments offered grace and any ounce of frenzy more subtle than overt. Even at its most distressing, especially for its title track, it’s as if Obey was treated with an ethereal sheen that glazes every component. Nothing sounds buried, just contained, enabling the listener with an opportunity to distill and absorb every sound as it’s meant to be heard without having to contend with jarring effects or alienating discordance. There’s no sign of creative restraint, but attention to the package overall." — 9.28.18

9). KEN modeLoved (Season of Mist)

"While its abrasive nature is undeniably tied to the late 80s/early 90s onslaught of sound pollutant rock cultivated by indie labels like Sub Pop, Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go, KEN mode’s Loved spews enough corrosive vitriol and sturdy arrangements to sound peer-worthy as opposed to plagiarist. Following the more hook-laden, high energy pummeling of the Steve Albini-produced Blessed, Loved owes more to Unsane’s cathartic racket and the absurdist rock of Cows, hitting the near-metallic grind and collapse with 'He Doesn’t Feel Pain Like He Should' along with the melting bass riff and the out-of-nowhere brass in 'The Illusion Of Dignity.'With producer Andrew Schneider tweaking the knobs, his experience producing Unsane certainly applying here, KEN mode elevates their sonic outcry, hitting levels of discomfort with the subtly seasick 'Learning To Be Too Cold,' thrash-bred 'Not Soulmates,' and the manic combination of sounds in 'Fractures In Adults.'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)

"Is this sardonic pop? Perhaps, but this is where Guerilla Toss seems content to find space for themselves, taking cues from the annals of post-punk’s most seminal period when funk, dance, rock, dub, and even hip-hop could co-exist and inspire other genres, developing a more dance-friendly brand of eccentric disco and avant electronics." – 9.24.18

7). Oh SeesSmote Reverser (Castle Face Records)

"What I hear are grafted swathes of unpolished notes, old, albeit inventive and roughly designed sounds attached to a modern band who grant them new opportunities to be discordant and meaningful. As post-punk and 1980s indie rock attempted to outrun the blues-plagiarist 60s and the snobbish academia and arena-cultivated, over-the-shoulder cock swinging hubris of the 70s, a band like Lithics is attempting to make a good rock record at a time when we’re led to believe that no one cares. If that’s true, then people are missing out: Mating Surfaces is a lot of fun." – 5.28.18

5). Sleep — The Sciences (Third Man)

"Ending the four-year of silence since the 2014 single 'The Clarity,' Sleep, doom metal’s most blissed out trio, finally bestowed upon us its fourth LP dubbed The Sciences. Appropriately released on April 20th (FOUR-TWENTY, DUDE!), The Sciences follows the band’s gargantuan single-track LP, Dopesmoker, thankfully keeping up with an expected level of decibel purveyance and marijuana-concerned treatises ('Marijuanaut’s Theme,' 'The Botanist'). On the band’s first LP with touring drummer Jason Roeder, Al Cisneros (singer/bassist) and Matt Pike (guitars) retain (and maybe surpass at times) the established might and riff-dominant purity of their sound: beautifully elongated serpentines of bass tone charged by Pike’s masterful fretwork. The long-standing track 'Sonic Titan' (which appeared as a live bonus on the Tee Pee Records issue of Dopesmoker) introduces a three-song block of ten-plus minutes of excellence that includes the muck-riddled crawl of 'Antarcticans Thawed' and the perfectly titled 'Giza Butler.'" — transcribed from Phawker's THIS IS OUR MUSIC: Our Favorite Albums of 2018

"Over the last 10 years, U.S. Girls has evolved from a lo-fidelity solo experiment into more of a collaborative entity, (Megan) Remy’s lasting creative partnerships with Max “Slim Twig” Turnbull and Louis Percival aiding her development. For In A Poem Unlimited, the Canadian-based multi-genre ensemble The Cosmic Range - of which Turnbull is also a member - were added to the roster, structuring disco loops and funk around Remy’s narratives, which our political climate seems to have finally caught up to. As activist hashtags #MeToo and #TimesUp bear weight and stage heavy resistance against a significant and still increasing population of men with power, Remy’s words prop up the cause, not quite providing the movement its anthem(s), but certainly offering its reason(s) why." – 2.21.18

3). ThouMagus (Sacred Bones Records)

"If anything can be said about Magus, the fifth studio LP from Baton Rouge doomslayers Thou, there isn’t a single aspect of this record that isn’t pushed well into the red. Preceded by three EPs released earlier this year, The House Primordial, Inconsolable and Rhea Sylvia, Magus swells with an expectedly melancholic intensity, its doom-n-blues elevated by a captivating and immense array of riff-dominate thoroughfares which are navigated with an effortless fluidity. Though much of Magus is set to a crawl, not much by way of variation in speed or any true percussive irregularity, you can hear ideas being explored, songs like 'Inward' mutating over the course of its 11 minutes, while 'Elimination Rhetoric' basks in the gloriousness of its immensity. Without much by way of respite from volume, though the lovely intro to 'Sovereign Self' produces such a moment, Magus captures well the force of its players throughout its near 90-minute runtime, the culmination of which occurs in the album’s final track, 'Supremacy.'" – transcribed from No Ripcord's QUICK TAKES (AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018)

2). Tropical Fuck Storm — A Laughing Death in Meatspace (Joyful Noise Recordings)

"As the stinging fragments from a six-string inject a corrosive agent into the song 'Chameleon Paint,' vocalist/guitarist Gareth Liddiard sings, 'Who’s screwing who, what, where, when, how, (wow!) … power gets let off every time.' His words are clever and acidic, expressed with an air of intellectual exhaustion that doesn’t let up. It’s appropriate that the post-truth hellscape is addressed by a band called Tropical Fuck Storm, A Laughing Death in Meatspace the band’s first LP. While no less packed with comment than Lilliard had been fronting the Australian noise punk of The Drones, Tropical Fuck Storm (also driven by ex-Drones bassist Fiona Kitschin, drummer Lauren Hammel and guitarist/keyboardist Erica Dunn) is less Gang Of Four than they are The Pop Group, a similar level of poetic critique and takedowns packaged and delivered with unsettling and risky discord, a veritable junkyard sculpture thoughtfully constructed from punk scraps, crusty psychedelia and a rhythmic articulation of ideas bred from the spoken word." — 11.16.18

1). Daughters You Won't Get What You Want (Ipecac Recordings)

"Deviating from the thrash-math havoc of their previous output, Providence, Rhode Island’s Daughters broke an eight-year absence of recorded material with You Won’t Get What You Want, a high-volume stress ball of pulsating bass rhythm and artfully conceived and unrelenting panic, segments of which could exist in Scott Walker’s eerily composed and terror-iced latter-day oeuvre. With the band’s rejuvenation evident, this departure from signature plays on tension, an underlying metronomic pulse as sounds rupture and wind, crawl or bleed. Keeping in mind the uptick of 'scary rock' that’s been finding audiences these days, not the isolated post-punk of The Soft Moon per se, but the unsettling air of Spectres or shriek-laden fits from groups like Uniform or The Body, You Won’t Get What You Want finds its own way to play sinister, employing undulating bass loops ('Satan In Wait'), all-out tonal onslaught ('The Lord's Song'), or gradual intensity ('Ocean Song'), compositional ideas demonstrated by the aforementioned Walker also finding commonality with Suicide and Swans." – transcribed from No Ripcord's 50 BEST ALBUMS OF 2018

And, here are my follow ups:

16). wimpsGarbage People (Kill Rock Stars

17). FailureIn The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind (Self-Released)

18). Judas PriestFirepower (Columbia)

19). Keiji Haino & SUMACAmerican Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You're Too Hideous to Look at Face On (Thrill Jockey)

20). Thom YorkeSuspiria (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (XL Recordings)

21). Czarface & MF DoomCzarface Meets Metalface (Silver Age) 

23). Wei ZhongleThe Operators (Self Sabotage Records)

24). Daniel Carter, Patrick Holmes, Matthew Putman, Hilliard Greene, Federico Ughi — Telepatia Liquida (577 Records)

25). GrouperGrid of Points (kranky)

26). FUKUI Am (Happily There's No Earlids)

27). DrinksHippo Lite (Drag City)

28). Dedekind Cut Tahoe (kranky

29). Martin Bisi BC 35 (Bronson Recordings)

30). Gorillaz The Now Now (Warner Bros./Parlophone)

Singles & EPs:

1). AD.UL.TA Dainty Bit (Self-released)

2). ProtomartyrConsolation EP (Domino)

3). Parlor Walls — EXO (Northern Spy)

4). Clebs I’m Here (JASS)

5). Bush TetrasTake The Fall (Wharf Cat)

Favorite Songs (or, New Selections):

1). Big Bliss: “Constants” (Exit Stencil Recordings

2). Yonatan Gat: “Cue The Machines” (Glitterbeat

3). Carla Bozulich (w/ The Night Porter): “Sha Sha” (Constellation Records)

4). Emma Ruth Rundle: “Darkhorse” (Sargent Horse

5). Eiko Ishibashi: “Iron Veil” (Drag City)

6). Wume: “Shadow” (Northern Spy

7). Windhand: “Grey Garden” (Relapse Records)

8). Here Lies Man: “Taking the Blame” (RidingEasy Records)

9). Rattle: "Signal" (Upset The Rhythm)

10). Djrum: “Waters Rising”

Letters From A Tapehead
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Friday, December 21, 2018

12.21 — Happy Birthday, Frank

78 candles... 

I really needed to hear this one today, so I'm grateful that it exists. If you haven't listened to Frank Zappa's The Grand Wazoo, I strongly recommend that that be changed as quickly as possible. It's a big band effort and I don't think it gets anywhere near the coverage, credit, or acknowledgement that it deserves.

Happy Birthday, Frank. 

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

New Selections — HARMS, HHY & The Macumbas, CUTS, CAVE, Never Betters, Surachai, S-E-R-V-I-C-E

Sorry to have quiet on the singles front for a while. Enjoy.

HARMS: "Car Outside"
(via Good Eye Records / Substream Magazine / Soundcloud)

Via Good Eye Records:

While playing with his other band, What Moon Things, Brooklyn-based artist Jake Harms began to start to feel an itch to make something wholly his own. It didn't start as a record - just a group of songs that seemed to make sense out of a fog of journal entries and scraps and demos and half-finished ideas throughout the years. 

Working as HARMS, the inspiration for his forthcoming, debut EP, Aquarium, came from a poem he had previously written about the feeling of living in New York City for the first time as an adult:

walking around is like
being at the aquarium
observing 6 tons
per square meter
of pressure on the glass
dividing you
and everything else

The resulting EP finds Harms crafting pressurized dark rock fusing the goth grandeur of The Cure with the lonely indie pop of Porches.

"Walking around the streets of the city felt like being at an aquarium," shares Harms. "The pressure from millions of thoughts and bodies pushing against glass that just barely separates you from them. The sound and feeling are shaped by riding the subways in Brooklyn, hearing sirens, scrapes, voices filter in to the space in my arrangements, the space in my headphones."

HARMS links:


HHY & The Macumbas: "Swisid Mekanize Rejiman"
(via Rarely Unable / House of Mythology / YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

Portuguese collective HHY & The Macumbas share a new video for "Swisid Mekanize Rejiman", taken from Beheaded Totem LP/CD/DL", which was released September 28th by House of Mythology. Directed by Diogo Tudela, and starring Frankão and Teresa Froufe Castro, the collective's brainchild Jonathan Uliel Saldanha talks us through the video...

“This video is made in a vibe and tempo that brings a spasmodic effect to the hyper-presence in the music of HHY&TM. With images that I’m sure can resonate with peripheral places in any human city, but in this case comes with flavours from a popular Portuguese party style called “Romaria”: done in earlier days for the saints, but now serving mainly the sinners that look for trouble in the night – a night illuminated by explosive pyrotechnics."


About Beheaded Totem...

Febrile, haunting and at times overwhelming, Beheaded Totem is nothing short of a dream for the necro-tourist. Cerebral and alluring. Toxic. Welcome to the four-dimensional meltdown.
“Beheaded Totem continues a long investigation into percussion, circular rhythms, dub strategies, and horns coming from the alcohol-fuelled Portuguese marching bands,” says constructor and conductor in the world of HHY & The Macumbas, Jonathan Uliel Saldanha. For those unfamiliar with the Macumbas, they are a shifting musical entity. Built amid smoke and fiery red lights, the performers on Beheaded Totem are: João Pais, Filipe Silva, Frankão and Brendan Hemsworth on percussion, and Álvaro Almeida, André Rochaand Rui Fernandes on horns. An Arkestra reaching not for the stars but the boiling core under our feet.

This music stems from a deep connection with the streets of Porto and its undertones, nights and drags,” Saldanha says. Emerging from SOOPA, an art and music production unit based in the old harbour city, he has been a leading force in the Portuguese experimental music scene since the early 2000s, through which he coined a signature “skull-cave echo.”

“It comes with a love for trance, otherness and sound pressure,” he explains. Beheaded Totem is indeed a pulsating and physical album, revealing both an ultimate pain and unbearable joy – a funereal ecstasy – as if everything might collapse in on itself at any moment. The disruptive nature of the seven tracks also hints at a free form. They are more evocations than songs, found in the depths Saldanha reached for in the filmic and musical explorations of Tunnel Vision (2016), made alongside director and musician Raz Mesinai. Recorded in tunnels and cavities in and around the city of Porto, the sub-frequencies of Tunnel Vision functioned as a panoramic documentation of the underground, a “dub fiction,” as Mesinai put it. Add the Macumbas’ already famed live capacities evoked on this album, and Beheaded Totem comes across as a fear- less interpretation of sulphurous storms. Both meticulous and massive, raw and ravishing, as if their minds are set on rewilding a hollow earth.
And as the nightly creatures prepare themselves to join HHY & The Macumbas in a final Danse Macabre, they might realise what they’re in for: to never find their way back to the corrosions of daylight. But, then again, some sacrifices come with joy.

– adapted text, originally by Tore Engelsen Espedal, May 2018


CUTS"From Here to Nowhere"
(via Big Mouth Publicity / Village Green Recordings / Vimeo)

CUTS - From Here To Nowhere from Village Green Recordings on Vimeo.

Via Big Mouth Publicity:

CUTS, the audio-visual project of composer and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr, will release his debut album A Gradual Decline through Village Green Recordings on 30th November.

Continuing with the environmentally themed videos, after the beautiful yet foreboding "A Gradual Decline', CUTS have now shared one for 'From Here To Nowhere'. He explains:
"This was the first piece I wrote for the album. I watched British diver Rich Horner’s powerful and devastating film of him diving in a sea of plastic and felt inspired to write something to it. It was the catalyst I guess for the rest of the album and its themes. Rich kindly gave his permission for me to use the film. I’m sure a lot of people have seen it, but if more people end up watching it as result of this, then that can only be a good thing."


Summoning 11 widescreen, electronic compositions in response to global political and environmental breakdown, album A Gradual Decline addresses the planet’s current fragility using actual field recordings of ice collapsing from glaciers. Weaving these momentary, dramatic events directly into the DNA of the music, CUTS has sculpted rhythmic elements out of geological transformation.

“We are living in the age of the Anthropocene and it feels like everything is in decline,” reflects Anthony. “We’re in a moment where extinction is regular. I wanted this record to reflect these frailties.”

A stark sense of urgency permeates A Gradual Decline. At times chaotic and alarming, the album’s siren-like tones and volatile, stuttered beats converge with synthetic gales of melody and glacial percussion. Elsewhere, the sense of precariousness is subtler, enveloped in gaseous chords that swell and evaporate, ethereal and dense guitars and distant vocals – all hallmarks of previous CUTS material - here honed into a concise, conceptual set.

“I have tried to make a record that feels like it’s all come from one place," explains Tombling Jr. “My only musical influence on this was William Basinski’s ‘Disintegration Loops’. Not the music, but the process. The idea of a decline in sound really suited the concept of this record. All this music and instrumentation trapped in this declining digital signal. I wanted it to sound brittle and precarious. I also wanted to avoid doing overly dark material, opting instead for something that was more fragile, melancholic and even hopeful in moments.“

CUTS signed to Village Green Recordings earlier this year and released the double EP EXIST in April. The EP featured the track ‘Bunsen Burner’, which can be heard in the memorable climactic scene of Alex Garland’s Ivor Novello-winning, sci-fi masterpiece, Ex Machina. Tombling Jr’s composition was also used in the finale of JJ Abram’s cult TV show, Person Of Interest. Taken from the same double EP, ‘Dream Voyager’ was remixed by shoegaze legends Slowdive and Village Green label mate, Ben Chatwin.

CUTS has performed at ATP, Simple Things, Drill Festival and played with Fuck Buttons, James Holden, Haxan Cloak and Wire.



(via Rarely Unable / Drag City / YouTube)

Via Rarely Unable:

Regardless of any perceived time between record or tours, CAVE keep such a fluid beat that their actual musical time becomes a universal constant. CAVE's music relies equally on energy as well as a formalist rigor, and Allways may be their finest example. CAVE's chosen path of expression is bed-rocked in repetitive and interlocking rhythmic patterns, and over the course of their rich catalog, one can easily identify modes and moods that can be described as punk, funk, post-punk, kraut, psych, boogie, and jazz. Yet no matter which way you listen, CAVE sound uniquely like CAVE and nothing (and no one) else.

Perhaps it's this singular nature that makes "Beaux," the endlessly pleasing jammer from
Allways, so outrageously groovy. We could describe it with various fluff and verbiage and still never quite land on what makes it such an ear tingling delight. Now "Beaux" can be seen in a way that's just as wild and stunning as it sounds on record: CAVE present "Beaux", a video directed by Krzys Piotrowski with VFX from Nick Ciontea.

The audio portion of the video for "Beaux" was recorded live to tape in session Labranza with no overdubs as it was being filmed, all in one take. A beautifully kaleidoscopic snapshot of a band with peerless sound and vision.

CAVE are set to hop back into the van for a string of US dates on the East Coast and in the Midwest, and in Europe in 2019. Full dates below.


29/3/2019 Galeria ZdB, Lisbon PT
30/3/2019 Palacio de La Prensa, Madrid ES
4/4/2019 Radar Estudios, Vigo, ES
6/4/2019 Psych Fest, Barcelona ES
7/4/2019 SUFRE Soundsystem, Valencia ES
8/4/2019 Planta Baja, Granada ES
11/4/2019 Sala X, Seville ES
13/4/2019 Vera, Groningen NL
14/4/2019 Roadburn,Tilburg NL
15/4/2019 The Shacklewell Arms, London UK
16/4/2019 Gullivers, Brighton UK
19/4/2019 Rotondes, Luxembourg LU
20/4/2019 Rockerill, Charleroi BE

CAVE Online:
Drag City-


Never Betters: "Alone"
(via Auteur Research / Soundcloud)

Via Auteur Research:

Never Betters are pop worshipping punkers in the church of fuzz. Danny got a good deal on a sick amp; Davita teaches drums to children; April lip syncs; Pat doesn’t want to deal with their bullshit anymore (neither did Nathan, Joey, or Andrew — hopefully Bob sticks). They're just trying to be better.


Surachai: "An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates a Gate (feat. Aaron Harris)"
(via Speakeasy PR / Resident Advisor / BL_K Noise / Bandcamp) 

Via Speakeasy PR:

Surachai, the musician/producer who has been hailed for his adeptness at merging the worlds of tweaky electronics, aggressive metal and avant-garde noise, returns with his seventh full-length album, Come, Deathless, on Jan. 25 via BL_K Noise.

“I spent a terrible year recording sounds around the world and finding places for them to fit into this semi diary of an album,” explained Surachai about the 12-track release.

The album also features three guests: ISIS/Palms’ drummer Aaron Harris, The Locust/One Day As A Lion keyboard player Joey Karam and newcomer, singer Sara Kendall. Resident Advisor recently previewed the track “An Unfamiliar Reflection Activates A Gate”, which features Harris’ contribution.

Deathless pre-orders, which include limited edition test pressings, various vinyl editions, cassettes and digital options, are available now via

Surachai’s most recent release, the 2016 album Instinct and Memory, has been praised across a wide spectrum of outlets, with XLR8R saying his music is “conjured from a deep knowledge and relationship with machines, machines that in this case sound like they are let off the leash to run wild across a desolate, apocalyptic sonic landscape. Post-Punk said Surachai’s releases are “always dangerous, never predictable,” while No Clean Singing described his technique of layering samples with guitar and various electronics “creating an almost symphonic atmosphere.”

# # #


S-E-R-V-I-C-E: "Who Are You Anyway?"
(via Tell All Your Friends PR / Glide Magazine / Vimeo)

Indianapolis-based band S-E-R-V-I-C-E have shared the live video for new single, "Who Are You Anyway," in an exclusive premiere with Glide Magazine. They had high praise for the visual, saying "The video perfectly captures the band’s hard-charging rock and roll sound in what looks to be a backyard day party." Previously, the band shared "Hey". Magnet premiered the track calling it "a caterwauling assault of a post-punk song that will help you end your bummer summer on a high note." Both of these singles can be found on the band's forthcoming debut album Drag Me due for release in early 2019.

S-E-R-V-I-C-E began when Jon Spencer Blues Explosion drummer Russell Simins and We Are Hex singer Jilly Weiss met on tour. They wrote their first song together in 2015 at a messy kitchen table in his Manhattan apartment. They fell in love, got married, and wrote a dozen or more perfectly flawed rock and roll songs.

Taking a breather from JSBX, Russell joined Jilly in Indianapolis to turn these raw songs into an urgent, swaggering rock and roll record. They found their accomplices in Sharlene, Johnny, and Mitch. Together they’ve made S-E-R-V-I-C-E into the most authentic expression of vulnerability and self-awareness, with wildly impactful vocals set against roaring guitars and a giant beat. It’s post-punk, then punk again.

S-E-R-V-I-C-E is Sharlene Birdsong (keys, guitar, noises from space), Mitch Geisinger (guitar), Russell Simins (drums), Jilly Weiss Simins (vox), and Johnny Zeps (bass).

Their debut record
Drag Me will be released early 2019 with supporting tour dates.

Website | Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram

Letters From A Tapehead

New Selections — BARNETT+COLOCCIA, Dave Harrington Group, The Coathangers, Mörglbl, Dylan Henner, Good Fuck, Black Taffy

The first full week of 2019 is at a close, so please enjoy this first batch of sounds.  BARNETT+COLOCCIA : "Copperworks" (vi...