Monday, June 27, 2016

Daughter of a Tapehead: Deerhoof at Union Transfer — 6.25.16

Kill Alters
Blank Spell

Union Transfer, 6.25.16

Isabella, a.k.a., Daughter of a Tapehead, attended her very first concert on Saturday.  She wrote the following:

P.S. — I would personally like to thank the very accommodating people at Union Transfer.  When we arrived Saturday, my daughter was treated almost like royalty.  She was given a reserved seat very close to the stage so she had no issue with obstructed views, the venue manager stopped by to greet her and ask if there was anything we needed, and the patrons were incredibly sweet to her.  As a first concert experience, Isabella's couldn't have been better.

I would also like to thank Deerhoof, who took the time to sign Isabella's ticket stub and chat with her a bit at the end of the show.  With us, you have a family of fans for life.
Letters From A Tapehead

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Shopping For Records: Spazz, Hex Horizontal, Pentagram, Naked Lunch

I haven't pulled one of these together in a while.  Mostly reissues...

Sweatin To The Oldies & Sweatin' 3: Skatin' Satan & Katon
Reissued: 3.2016

As compilations go, few overwhelm as easily as Sweatin’ to the Oldies and Sweatin’ 3: Skatin’ Satan & Katon, two of the three volumes of rare, obscure or out-of-print material from the powerviolence band, Spazz. Originally released in 1997 and 2001 respectively via Slap A Ham Records, these Sweatin’ collections are packed with aggression, their contents numbering well past the 60 mark in terms of track length. These CDs were my driving soundtrack for a solid month, Spazz’s growling, thrashing chaos appropriately scoring my day-to-day on road interactions with fellow commuters. This isn’t a collection meant for easy listening in an environment designed with relaxation and meditation in mind. Spazz is music, a term many may cite as loosely applied, for upsetting crowds of kids in shitty, underground venues and it's all back in print.

Both CDs are on sale via the good people at Tankcrimes, who were kind enough to introduce Spazz to a new decade.

Spazz: Sweatin' to the Oldies

Spazz: Sweatin' 3: Skatin' Satan & Katon 

Geweih Ritual Documents

Hex Horizontal
Act Natural
Geweih Ritural Documents
Reissued: 12.2015 (Cassette reissue)

I’m late on Hex Horizontal’s Act Natural, which had been originally released in 2014. I happened upon a video for the lead track, “Electric Fence,” which I enjoyed enough that I wanted to procure a copy of the LP. And, while searching for a physical copy of the album, it turned out that the band’s label, Geweih Ritual Documents, (a label I’ve discussed before), had released Act Natural as a limited edition silver cassette, packaged in a flip top box with foil stamped type at the end of 2015. The packaging was cool enough that the graphic designer portion of my brain was sold.

If a well-designed cassette featuring avant instrumental abstractions is your thing, you can find the Act Natural here. The release is limited to 50.

Relapse Records

First Daze Here
First Daze Here Too
Relapse Records
Reissued: 6.17.2016

First Daze Here and First Daze Here Too are compilation LPs by proto metal band Pentagram that were recently reissued by Relapse Records. The albums feature very early recordings from the band, including unreleased studio performances and live rehearsals. I ordered the albums as a package deal, so I was able to get custom versions of the vinyl and acquire the Macabre 45, an early single from the band when they were going by another name. They're very pretty packages and they sound really good. I got a huge kick out of Pentagram’s rendition of The Rolling Stones’s “Under My Thumb.”

The reissues can still be purchased through Relapse, though the package deal is no longer available.

Death Waltz/MONDO

Howard Shore & Ornette Coleman
Naked Lunch (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Death Waltz/MONDO
Released: 5.25.16

For the sake of Ornette Coleman and some beautiful illustration, I pulled the trigger on the newly issued motion picture soundtrack for Naked Lunch, recently issued by Death Waltz Recordings and Mondo.  A heroin-induced otherworld both sophisticated and brilliantly hallucinatory, this bugpowder yellow double-LP is absolutely gorgeous.

Letters From A Tapehead

Saturday, June 04, 2016

"Gotta Read the Labels:" Silber Records

For twenty years, Brian John Mitchell of Silber Records has been independently releasing ambient and drone projects from numerous performers and bands while publishing zines and comic books and holding down paid gigs in the real world.  While I have written about some of Silber's releases in the past, I thought I'd take the opportunity to throw a spotlight on the label by posting about three new releases for June.  If you like what you hear, I encourage you to head over to the site and spend a couple bucks.  

Silber Records
Released: 5.30.16

See that cover?  That's exactly what Yellow6's two-track Springsun/Conrad#2 release sounds like.  Gorgeous and vast, it's the type of lush and ambient arrangement you want to hear as dawn transitions into morning.  You can purchase the album digitally here.


Chvad SB
Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20
Silber Records
Released: 5.30.16

Chvad SB's Phenomenalism, Cartesian Doubt and Bomb #20 was apparently two years in the making and was constructed without the aid of a computer or a human to manipulate or arrange the sounds. How? I'm still not quite sure I understand how, but the music you hear was built from a self-playing modular synthesizer programmed to take repeating phrases and make them non-repeating. The result is a very robotic and, on the surface, calculatedly random array of sounds that successfully demonstrates its reverence to Chvad SB's sources of inspiration, namely the film scores of Forbidden Planet and Dark Star, while conveying his own understanding of how those sounds can still emote and construct something imaginative and tangible.

There is a video companion to this piece as well, which was created by video artist William Laziza.

I'll admit, though, that, at one-hour and thirteen minutes, this isn't the easiest listen.  Links for purchase can be found here.

Anda Volley
Paper Moon
Silber Records
Released: 5.29.16

Silber Records has an ongoing EP series called "5-in-5," which means that you get 5-track/5-minute albums.  Anda Volley's Paper Moon is one such release and I do think it suffers a little bit from the time constraint, simply because some of its contents do consequently sound unfinished.  That being said, Volley's electrically dark musings find some interesting commonalities with Jarboe or Insect Ark.  I especially like the unsettling motion of "Wolf Meet."

Letters From A Tapehead

The Mon: "Doppelleben"

Acting somewhat contrary to his normal work with the doom metal colossus Ufomammut , vocalist/bassist Urlo performs as The Mon , whose new...