Friday, March 7, 2008

GHQ - Hea CDr (2005, Arbitrary Signs)

Appalachian ragas for the drone set by Double Leopards/Hottogisu/Zaimph’s Marcia Basset and Steve Gunn on Pete Nolan’s Arbitrary Signs label. This limited edition of 100 CDR is apparently a teaser to a forthcoming Time-Lag release. Beautifully packaged in a silk-screened faux neon snake scale cover, this CDR contains some of the most pleasing back porch howl and moan ever to come from the rural backwoods. Marcia Basset is obviously one of the most highly regarded and accomplished noise artists working in the underground today, and this collection of lonely backwoods psychedelics only further illustrate her ability and diversity in committing to tape what others only imagine or wish to attempt. These full on repetitive droning string raga’s transport the listener into a full on ecstasy over four long tracks. Sometimes venturing into a Six Organs of Admittance/Fahey eastern romp complete with crashing bells and voice modulations, creating the most trance inducing modal music that ever came from the Smokey Mountains of the East. This disc is definitely a high light in the already stellar body of work that has been forged by Marcia Basset, illustrating her obvious ability in creating mind melting psychedelic music. It’s apparent from listening to these recordings that this work deserves greater distribution and investigation even by those who are not obsessed with the fevered nightmares of Double Leopards or the metallic green metal of Hototogisu. For those lucky enough to get there hands on this beautiful backwoods neon psychedelic CDR rejoice, for other’s not so lucky hopefully the upcoming Time-Lag release will bless your fevered skulls with more of this beautiful rural drone. 9/10 Description from Digitalis.


Bonecloud - Drawing Spirits In Crystals CDr (2007, DNT Records)

‘Drawing Spirits into Crystals’ is a 40-minute epic by Irish couple Bonecloud, from my vantage their best work to date. Front to back the track is veiled behind the static of disintegrating tape reminiscent Basinki’s ‘Disintegration Loops’, though with spacious improvised drone/spirituals replacing those tightly wound little loops. Accompanying a shifting array of metallic instrumental-weaponry, a vast howling mediates each leg of this track with regional vernaculars to identify the terrain like a map. Whether spooked or stoned from this way-out voyage, the high notes of the track’s last quarter begin to resemble horns playing some dust-laced jazz with the growling menace of electric guitar beneath the heavy fog leading to the question, where am I? Well, that’s what love songs often do. Sprayed and stamped CDr comes bagged with nice paper insert. Limited to 100 copies. Description from Animal Psi.


Red Temple Spirits - 2 LP's (1988, 1989 Fundamental)

Los Angeles quartet Red Temple Spirits skillfully mixes tribal post-punk influences mid-period Cure, Savage Republic, early (Death) Cult with a loving dose of lysergic psychedelia (Syd Barrett and Roky Erickson are particular touchstones). Bassist Dino Paredes (formerly of Psi-Com, with Perry Farrell) and guitarist Dallas Taylor coax entrancing drones and pulses from their instruments with judicious use of echo and other effects, while shamanistic frontman William Faircloth (a colorful immigrant from Britain's original '60s psychedelic movement) delves into mysticism (Native American on the first album, Tibetan on the second) with a grace and passion rarely seen before.

Dancing to Restore an Eclipsed Moon is an astonishing debut. The luxurious packaging (double LP/single CD) mirrors the care put into the music, which tastefully incorporates flutes, bells and natural sounds (water, birds) to create a heady atmosphere of ritualistic ecstasy. Short catchy compositions like "Dark Spirits" and "Dreamings Ending" alternate with several long and complex pieces.

The follow-up, "If tomorrow I were leaving for Lhasa, I wouldn't stay a minute more...," is far more direct, both in the melodic music and the lyrics, which turn towards external/environmental stimuli. As crystallized by the gorgeous "Dive in Deep" and an incandescent cover of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," the theme of hope for the magic and beauty of life in the face of despair remains. Description from Myspace.

Download Dancing To Restore An Eclipsed Moon

Download If Tomorrow I Were Leaving For Lhasa, I Wouldn't Stay A Minute More...

The Skull Defekts - Rotating Feedback & Save The Skulls CD (2005, iDEAL Recordings)

The Skull Defekts was formed in early 2005 after the death of the Swedish avant rock outfit Kid Commando. Together with Henrik Rylander of the infamous garage rock monster Union Carbide Productions, Jean-Louis Huhta (known from Cortex, Anticimex, Lucky People Center, Stonefunkers etc) and experimental turntablist Henrik Grevesmuhl, Eric Olofsson and Joachim Nordwall (curator of the iDEAL Festival and label) of KC formed a band that goes further down to investigate the outer regions of rock music & experimental sound & noise.

But here - on the first full length album of TSD, we meet a duo consisting of Rylander and Nordwall only, dropping a 38 minute-long dark atmosphere mindphucker that will slay your soul. Here they use the very minimal equipment of feedback though mixing desks and a contact microphone. But it is surprisingly vital and changes in sound make slow melodies, almost hidden to the listener.
Description from Dotshop