Joke Lanz has been a constant in the worldwide noise scene for over two decades and has always stood alone as a unique and inventive artist, impossible to pin down but always innovative. This book presents the history of the project, as well as a massive documentation of Lanz's life and prolific performance art career, of which I was less familiar, but found captivated nonetheless.
While 2010 was an insanely productive year for Chicago's Locrian, 2011 has been relatively quiet: other than the two releases with Horseback, this single is the only thing that‚Äôs been released. Mixing a Popol Vuh cover on one side with an original piece on the other, the result is an all too brief example of the band excelling at what they do best.
Having a few collaborations out there with Anthony Pateras and David Brown, Australian percussionist Sean Baxter uses only drums on this single, with two distinctly different approaches to playing them. While the results are rather consistent with the world of free jazz, the microscopic elements of sound that shine through add an entirely new layer of depth to the recording.
It is with great sadness that Brainwashed recognizes the passing of Conrad Schnitzler, 74, on August 4th of complications from stomach cancer.¬† Schnitzler was an early member of Tangerine Dream and Kluster, as well as a pioneer in the realm of electronic composition.
With its heavy letter pressed sleeve and short duration, this does feel like the digital equivalent of an old punk 7". Consisting of Dan Colby and Ryan Francini (formally of The Cignal) handling the rhythm section and Fates‚Äô PJ Norman on guitar, these two songs gave me an instant feeling of nostalgia for the early to mid '90s "alternative" scene, before it became known as "indie" and consequently a maligned, pejorative label.
From its opening gated reverb drums and spacious guitars, it's clear that this Ohio band‚Äôs debut is wearing its early '80s post-punk roots on its sleeve. While it's hard to totally gauge the band on this short record, anyone who likes the era would probably welcome giving this a spin.
As my reviews of both of these projects over the past few years surely indicates, these are two of my favorite artists working in the post-post metal field, approaching the genre from a conceptual, almost academic mindset rather than a traditionalist one. It was perfectly logical for them to work together, and this 7" makes for a tantalizing teaser for their upcoming collaborative EP.
Considering that both sides of this brief single are sourced from recordings of cymbals, I couldn't help but feel a bit of parallel with early Organum, at least in concept. The actual music though is something entirely unique, and is two different takes on the same source.
Recorded six years ago, but just released this year, this is a three way collaboration with some of the biggest names who inhabit that gray space between musique concret and harsh noise. The result is an all-too-brief work that covers the strengths of both scenes quite nicely.
After recently loving the Sun Splitter cassette on Land of Decay, I had high hopes going into this split and they most certainly came through. Their half here stands up proudly with that tape, which is no easy feat, and the Bridesmaid side is no slouch either.
While many (including myself) associate the Prurient moniker with Dominick Fernow's abuse of distortion and feedback, the project has been shifting more and more into some hard to define realm that has slowly engulfed more "traditional" musical elements. Here that has taken hold even more, putting less of a focus on the harshness and bringing out a different beast of equal darkness.
In its fourth iteration (including the Gristleism special edition), the duo of Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian have once again created a small box of rudimentary loops that, in its increased technological capacity, has somewhat diminishing returns.
On this beautifully presented little 7", Japanese artist Sawako Kato uses a variety of found sounds to create an audio representation of what are or will become fossils, either literally or conceptually. With one side sourced from handmade crystal radio recordings and the other being field recordings of a then-abandoned amusement park, the sense of emptiness and decay is clear among the subtle sounds presented.
Clocking in at a meager 20 minutes, these two tracks mix ambience, noise, and traditional instrumentation into a fog that is sparse, yet complex, and has moments of arid beauty as well as dark, sinister passages. More than a few times this young composer reminded me of some of Organum's best moments, which is a massive compliment.
The title and content of this EP could be interpreted many different ways. For one, the seven short tracks were all built using a single household implement, such as a rubber band or metal pan. Second, the sparse, short pieces are prime sampling material for DJs and other artists, making the disc a "tool" for recycling. Regardless of its potential uses, the material makes for a compelling example of Ielasi‚Äôs ability to turn the mundane into the extremely listenable.
Following up their four track debut (originally titled 4), here are two additional tracks from the former Clockcleaner vocalist's sideproject. Again, it is an exercise in unabashed goth revivalism, encapsulating the sensibilities of the genre without sounding like a tribute band or an overly derivative project. Here is simply two additional songs, following the mold set forth on the previous EP, of quality death rock with a modern influence.