Monday, February 22, 2016

Matmos: "Excerpt Nine"

If you've ever considered the turbulent movements and cycles within a washing machine as comparable to an arranged onslaught of beats, noise, and electronics, this might be for you.  Matmos, who've recently released their LP, Ultimate Care II, (an album built from the sounds of a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine), just put out a video for the track, "Excerpt Nine." Using the washing machine concept of the album as basis what you'll see if you hit PLAY, this video was borne from a creative partnership between Matmos and the design team, L-inc Design

All the info on the video and links came directly from the good people at Thrill Jockey Records.  Support the label.  Support the artists. 

Today, conceptual art and electronic music duo, Matmos release their third video from the new album, Ultimate Care II.

"Excerpt Nine" was co-directed by husband and wife team Ed Apodaca and Lisa Berghout. In keeping with the domestic origins of the album, the newest video for the album is a homegrown, family affair. They run L-inc Design, a motion graphics and animation firm, who made Matmos’ acclaimed 2012 video, ‘Very Large Green Triangles’. But for this video they enlisted an extra pair of collaborators… firstly, their teenage son Dario Apodaca, who appears in the opening shot and assisted with animation duties. Secondly, their neighbour Nathan Moody, a colleague and friend who experimented with the placement of Go Pros inside washing machines and provided extreme close up photography of lint and laundry detergent crystals.

The video begins and ends with Dario, loading clothes into and out of a washing machine, which becomes a gateway to an eye-opening turbulent interior world...

WATCH: Matmos "Excerpt Nine" -

Ed describes their creative process for the video:
“Lisa was thinking about how to conceptualize a washing machine visually. Her focus was around creating pastoral, aerial and clothing scenes inside front and top loaders that will move and or fall apart with the spinning of the machine, generating a surreal take on washers and their uncanny movement. I mapped textures to cubes with an abstract washing machine front and back to further personify the machines.”

The result is a tightly rhythmic sequence of images that contrast the clean with the dirty, the macro with the micro. In its most intimate setting, we telescope into a hairy grey jungle of lint seen in extreme close up. In its widest view, skyscrapers are made to throb and twist to the clamorous industrial rhythms, while a huge “agitator” from a washing machine seems to rotate entire freeway systems and suburbs. Working together, the Apodaca/Berghout family and their friendly neighbour have fashioned a detailed, delirious and vibrant audio-visual ode to an everyday household chore.

Matmos US in March, full list of dates HERE. There will be a Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine on stage during these performances. A full European tour is planned for June with dates to be announced soon.

Letters From A Tapehead

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Daughter of a Tapehead: John Coltrane

John Coltrane
Reissued: 2.2016
Originally released: 2.1966 (as "Edition I" — A-95)

* Actual question.

** Actual opinion.

So, the reissue sounds great.  My copy is mislabeled, however, so Side B is actually Side A, which I guess is sort of fitting since the whole "Edition I"/"Edition II" thing still requires a bit of brain matter to keep straight.  Interestingly, it's easier to find structural cohesion on the vinyl edition than I was ever able to find on the 2000 CD issue, which contains both versions.

Letters From A Tapehead

Friday, February 19, 2016

Singles: Tom Waits, Graves at Sea, Hooded Fang, Some Gifts, Orouni

Tom Waits: "The Soul of a Man (Blind Willie Johnson cover)" (via Big Mouth Publicity/Soundcloud)

Graves at Sea: "Dead Eyes" (via Earsplit PR/Decibel Magazine/Soundcloud)

Hooded Fang: "" (via Force Field PR/The FADER/Soundcloud)

Some Gifts: "All Washed Up" (via The Deli Magazine/Soundcloud)

Orouni: "The Peanut Specialist" (via Orouni/Soundcloud)

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kaada/Patton: "Red Rainbow"

A patiently composed and theatrically stylish new single from Kaada/Patton has surfaced called "Red Rainbow."  This is the first single from the duo's upcoming release, Bacteria Cult, which is the first LP spawned from the collaborative efforts of John Kaada and Mike Patton since 2004's Romances

With the mood of a thriller, the pace of which eventually culminates into a rather sinister finale, "Red Rainbow" is performed by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra.  Patton's vocal melody adds character to the composition, as if to add an air of distinction.  Despite its dimension of impending dread, its captivating tone and rich undercurrents of zig-zagging harmony offer much for the ear to absorb.  

Bacteria Cult is currently available for pre-order.  You can listen to the track below.  All info and links were provided by Speakeasy PR.


Feb. 17, 2016, Elko, Nev. - "Red Rainbow," the opening track from Kaada/Patton's forthcoming album,
Bacteria Cult (April 1, Ipecac Recordings), the long-awaited, second collaborative album from the esteemed Norwegian composer John Kaada and the prolific epitome of experimentation Mike Patton, is streaming now: A video for the song debuts on March 9 via Pitchfork.

"Red Rainbow" begins the record with a slow burning, underlying sense of dormant power, made graceful with the considered movements of the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, and spiraling around a procession pace in to a whirl of exotic vocal intonation, setting the tone marvelously for the magic that follows across the rest of
Bacteria Cult.

“Working with John Kaada on this latest release was an honor and pure pleasure,” said Patton of resuming work Kaada. “His compositions have always resonated deeply with me and his orchestral arrangements for this project are harmonically dense and delicious! Each individual piece is so well constructed and inventively assembled that my vocal passages practically sang themselves. I’m hoping very much that we can seduce some eardrums and welcome listeners into this lush sonic ‘other world.’”
“We wanted to try new things,” explains Kaada. “Fully utilizing new technologies, combined with a large orchestra, while putting more attention towards melody and structure.”

The eight-song, orchestral collection exudes the music Ipecac has become well known for: eclectic, experimental and cinematic. Similar in feel to Fantômas
Director’s Cut, as Kaada describes it, Bacteria Cult “dwells in the twilight zone where spooky and seductive meet.”

Bacteria Cult track list:
1. Red Rainbow
2. Black Albino
3. Peste Bubonica
4. Papillon
5. Dispossession
6. A Burnt Out Case
7. Imodium
8. Fountain Gasoline

Pre-orders are available now:
Ipecac Webstore CD/LP:
iTunes Europe:

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

What's (Re)New?: The Dillinger Escape Plan's Under the Running Board EP

Relapse Records continues to reissue the calculated progressive violence of The Dillinger Escape Plan.  The label's latest installment comes in the form of a 10" of the Under the Running Board EP, which is now available for pre-order.  Considering how quickly the Calculating Infinity, Miss Machine, and Ire Works reissues were picked up, I imagine this one will go quickly as well. 

Info and links are courtesy of Relapse Records.

Relapse Announces Deluxe Vinyl Reissue of THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN's Classic EP Under The Running Board

Relapse Records is proud to announce the deluxe vinyl reissue of The Dillinger Escape Plan's classic and highly influential Relapse debut EP Under The Running Board. Originally released in 1998 and unavailable on vinyl for over six years, this special pressing will be the album's first time ever on 10" wax, allowing for higher-fidelity. The LP also includes an etching on side B.

The reissue of Under The Running Board is set for worldwide release this coming March 4. Pre-orders are available via AT THIS LOCATION, and the album can be streamed via Bandcamp HERE. A trailer for the reissue can be viewed HERE.

After five studio albums and countless tours around the globe, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN has earned much respect among fans and critics worldwide. With accomplishments such as coverage in mass media from the Rolling Stone to the New York Times, Billboard chart status, and performances on net work television such as
Late night with Conan O’Brien, THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN is often named one of the most important bands to have emerged over the last decade.

Letters From A Tapehead

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Anenon: "Once"

I’ve listened to “Once” more than once at this point.  A lot, in fact. 

With hurried blasts of hi-hat, delivered with the precision and speed of a singular member of a dominating championship drumline, emotional swells of tone emerge from the ether, improvised melody, both ghostly and lush, lessening the severity of its otherwise very strict, very disciplined manner.  I got the sense of thought processes acting in harmony with motor skills, dreams swimming through the grey matter at no cost to the elementary functions of the body.  It’s like daydreaming during a jog.   

About midway through the song, I’m reminded of “Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain,” an instrumental track from DJ Shadow’s classic Endtroducing….. LP.   The rhythmic shift involves heavier use of Jon-Kyle Mohr’s snare drum, which sounds almost machined as if generated as opposed to performed.  

A truly compelling piece of music, "Once" was performed by Anenon, which is the project of saxophonist and producer Brian Allen Simon. Partnered with Mohr, "Once" is the first single from the group's upcoming new album, Petrol, which will be out in early March via Friends of Friends Music. 

You can listen to the song below.

All information on Petrol was provided by Julian T. Schoen.

Anenon shares "Once" & MOCA Performance audio; Petrol LP is out March 4 on Friends of Friends

Stream "Once" now

Anenon - MOCA x Monument Live Perfromance from January 21

Anenon - "Once", off Petrol LP out March 4 on FoF
(Soundcloud // Stereogum // Bandcamp)

Anenon, the project of Los Angeles saxophonist, producer, and Non Projects record label owner Brian Allen Simon, shares the new single, "Once", off his third studio full-length, Petrol, out March 4 on Friends of Friends Music.

"Once" exemplifies the creative synergy between Anenon and friend, drummer and collaborator Jon-Kyle Mohr, who helped develop Petrol through a number of improvisational recording sessions. From the full-bodied sound design to the whip-speed drum pattern, "Once" embraces the listener in a world melding jazz, ambient, classical and electronic musics.

In addition to the album release, Simon was invited by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles to curate and perform in a yearlong series titled Monument, in which musicians are paired with specific art pieces or galleries to bring sound & music to the visual art space, juxtaposing a new medium and creating new avenues in how one interacts with art.

Anenon x MOCA: Monument January 21, 2016
Black Mountain College

On January 21, Simon, along with drummer Mohr, violinist Yvette Holzwarth, and guitarist Sam Gendel performed the first Monument series in the Black Mountain College room. Gendel, it's worth noting, also performs as INGA, and recently shared his rendition of Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Volunteered Slavery". You can stream the performance now via MOCA's Soundcloud, above. 

(Site / Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter)

Friends of Friends
(Site / Soundcloud / Facebook / Twitter)

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

What I Heard This Morning: Bronze

Inasmuch as I'm never going to concede to the opinion that guitar music has been on its way out for the last few years, because I've heard no shortage of guitar-based bands still making relevant noise, I will say that the electro-punk buzz of ye olde Suicide-worship has really caught my attention.  The repetitious disco stress of Bronze, for instance, could cauterize wounds with the amount of sonic friction going on in this live track, "Re Enactment," which is taken from the trio's upcoming Castle Face release, Live in San Francisco.

A swirl of propulsive, anxiety-riddled styles that brings to mind the aggressive persistence of Ed Schrader's Music Beat and the dance-punk circuitry of Cabaret Voltaire, Bronze's interpretation fuzzed-out and somewhat euphoric.  So alive is the DIY feel of this track, down to the modest applause you hear following the band's performance,  that it fits well with the post-punk idiom of the late 70s without recycling ideas.

I look forward to hearing this album, which will release March 25th.  In the meantime, you can hear "Re Enactment" below.  The track was provided by Terrorbird Media.

Letters From A Tapehead

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

One of Four: Agoraphobic Nosebleed's Arc EP

Agoraphobic Nosebleed
Arc EP
Relapse Records
Released: 1.22.16

Agoraphobic Nosebleed's very complete, very ambitious new EP, Arc, is the first of four EPs slated to be issued by the band, each release being informed stylistically by the individual tastes of each of ANb's members.  Introducing this concept, Arc is 28-minutes and three tracks replete with expert misery and dynamic aggression.  Once immersed in the almost stoner-laced phrasing of "Not a Daughter,” some appreciative nods aimed toward Eyehategod added here as well, it becomes clear how heavily influences affect ANb's sound.  And, since that’s the idea, there’s room to appreciate Arc as an homage, or at least a worthwhile interpretation of the styles it aims to address.

The sludge mastery of “Deathbed,” screaming utterances from vocalist Kat Katz ripping through the track’s initial crawl, transitions into truly sweet Iommi-sized guitar phrases that carry the track to a close, jamming out a desert rock payoff.  It’s probably the most uplifting couple minutes on the release and it slowly transitions into “Gnaw,” which is an almost 12-minute slow cooker revolving around mental illness and depression.  Crafted as more of a suite, you get the sense that ANb struggle to keep the song’s pace at a drag, which inadvertently adds to its tension.  The recorded testimony incorporated into the overall design is effective without being obvious to the songs’s intent, used instead to aid the song’s transitions.  By Arc’s end, it’s apparent how dense this album is in spite of its three-song length.  It’ll be interesting to hear how this collection comes together and the varying styles the band explores.   

Letters From A Tapehead

Daughter of a Tapehead: CD Selections — Run DMC, My Bloody Valentine, The Pop Group, Carcass, GZA/Genius

She probably would've listened to this track:

* Yeah, she dug Carcass.

** Maybe in a couple years, but I figured 7 is a little young.  

Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Diminished Men: "Kudzu Mine"

"Zorn-noir" could be a thing. "Kudzu Mine" by Diminished Men, the first single from the group's upcoming new release Vision in Crime, is frantic, immediate, shrill to some extent, and possesses an old style grit that excites the ear and the imagination. It even sounds black-n-white, reverb-soaked strings and percussion envelope a wandering saxophone howl, whose movement seems desperate as if looking for a way out of the track’s initial maelstrom. Then the low end kicks in, the sticks tap the hi-hat, and the surf rock timbre of guitar strings resonates with unexpected density. From there it’s a fun ride.

Diminished Men’s Vision in Crime is being released via Abduction Records (Sun City Girls' label) on March 4th. You can check out the track below. All information was provided by Rarely Unable PR.



Ahead of the release of their third LP, Vision In Crime, Diminished Men are sharing the track 'Kudzu Mine', highly symptomatic of their sinister avant jazz correlations, and a highlight on an album that takes the listener on a frantic midnight ride on the wrong side of the tracks... 'Kudzu Mine' features saxophonists Skerik (Critters Buggin, Wayne Horvitz, etc.) &; Neil Welch (Bad Luck, King Tears Bat Trip) whipping up an atmosphere of menace and mystery, adding to the freeform movements of the Diminished Men trio and rotating around a circular, reverb-dipped hook.

Diminished Men - featuring Steve Schmitt on guitars, drummer Dave Abramson (member of Master Musicians of Bukkake, has collaborated with Eyvind Kang, Secret Chiefs 3, Climax Golden Twins, Grails, etc.), and Simon Henneman on Bass VI - will be releasing a new album on 4th March. Titled Vision In Crime, the latest record from the three piece is a feature length escapade that sidewinds through jazz and soundtrack territories, as well as the outer reaches of the experimental satellite genres, retaining the unmistakeable character of the band so far, while also evoking a premonition more sinister than ever before.

Distorted through a shattered lens, Diminished Men refocus hard boiled cinema and classic instrumental music into something entirely unique. Their jagged, hard-charging approach evokes feelings of haphazard oscillation and accelerated heart rates, all the while swathing you in a blissful claustrophobia. Vision In Crime, their third release on Sun City Girl's label, Abduction Records, unfolds like a paranormal detective story full of delinquent exotica, deranged noir, hyperventilating surf, and shortwave radio nightmares.

The opening cut, "Chamber" - an apparition of a forensics crime scene investigation - sets the tone, but this quickly spirals into Steve Schmitt's cobra-twilight guitar work on the Aegean Sea inspired espionage surf track "Oistros Dolorous". From here the band's mutant lounge carnage weaves through sinister cityscapes, plazas and kudzu infested forests on the avant spy jazz of "Kudzu Mine". Elements of lost island noir, hallucinatory Gamelan rock, and phantom radio dispatches can be found here. By the time that mickey sets in, the title track "Vision In Crime", a haunting ballad, closes out the album.

Diminished Men possess dangerous musical minds pulsing with nervous electricity, shattering Fender reverb, and gorgeous, sometimes romantic melancholy. Their distinctive vision is backed up with the quality instrumentation that is crucial to forming the lucid mirages of sound that hover over Vision In Crime.

Letters From A Tapehead 

Monday, February 01, 2016

Gritty Death Mask...

Ben Parrish of Kill Rock Stars made the following statement: Gritty should join Taiwan Housing Project ✌️ — benjamin parrish (@mrbe...