Friday, April 26, 2013

Felipe Otondo - Tutuguri

Felipe Otondo - Tutuguri
Sargasso. CD

For a scary moment I thought I might be out of my depth here. I mean I’ve read reviews of Tuturgi that were thousands of words long written by people who’d swallowed dictionaries. Then you discover that Otondo is a lecturer at the Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts and is the recipient of several international musical awards, he’s also the author of works such as ‘Contemporary trends in the use of space in electroacoustic music’ and ‘Using spatial sound as an interdisciplinary teaching tool’. Don’t think there’s much chance we’ll see Otondo down the Wharf Chambers any time soon then, but then he has premiered in Leeds.

The four ten minute-ish compositions on Tuturgi are of such depth that I feared my humble playback devices weren’t going to be up to their reproduction. We are in electroacoustic field recording territory here and you don’t listen to something that premiered at INA/GRM and received first prize at the 2012 Quartz Radio France International competition on a boombox you bought at a car boot sale. We’re dealing in serious head music here friends.

So I do my best by donning headphones and turing up the volume. Shutting off all outside interference for total immersion I submerge into Otondo’s world and ‘Irama’. Irama being ‘the general meaning of time interval between two successive sounds or actions’ as perceived in Javanese gamelan. So what we have is a rhythmic piece that ebbs and flows at once a huge low bass gong that drones out to be met by the purest solitary struck note you ever heard. A single ringing chime that resonates so deeply and clearly, so piercingly that it seems to penetrate the very deepest recesses of your skull. Tiny scatters and flurries of notes merge to almost silence creating an air of tension thats kept in place by the reappearance of tappings that sound like thin porcelain cups being struck.

Inspiration for the second track ‘Teocalli’ comes from the Argentinian writer Julio Cort├ízar and his story of a man who finds himself in hospital dreaming that he’s on the run from the Aztecs. Street drumming from Mexico mixes with samples of interviews with Zapoteco indians, monks plainsong and human whistles all devised as a parallel running of the dreamer and the modern Mexico. Its also Otondo’s noisiest work here where the drumming becomes warped into howling jet blasts of eruption that give way to the gentlest plain song and then, by way of respite, a child’s squeal of delight.

Third track ‘Ciguri’, inspired by the writings of Antonin Artaud contains perhaps the most startling and ear popping sounds on the whole release. Centered around a peyote ritual that fascinated Artaud ‘Ciguri’ becomes an enveloping field of tintinnabulation aided by a deep drone and a piercing high end hertz tone that pierces your hearing like a hot needle. Originally developed from part of a music and dance piece that showed at the Edinburgh fringe this piece was actually played at the 2011 Huddersfield International Computer Music Association where the state of the art reproduction facilities caused some audience members serious discomfort. Played in Huddersfield, premiered in Leeds and I missed em both. Unhappy face.

‘Sarnath’ uses field recordings gathered at Buddhist pilgrimage sites in India. Bells, gongs, drums, birdsong, chatter, chanting, prayer. Ortondo phases the bells and gongs until they sound like an earthquake in a grandfather clock factory each time allowing the eruption to diminish leaving gentle Harry Partch type rhythms to sit alongside exotic birds and the sound of Buddhist marching bands blowing their Indian trumpets into a squeals of adoration.

Felipe Ortondo is a Chilean who, like most internationals composers lives a peripatetic lifestyle. Having worked in Denmark he now finds himself in England and Lancaster via a stint in York. He’s won numerous international awards for his work and has performed [and had his work played] in numerous countries. He’s written extensively on the nature of electroacousitc music, has been involved in dance and theatre, sound instillation and has worked on Radio 4 dramas. In his spare time he even finds time to paint. He’s a sense of humour too, if you get chance have a listen to his seven minute tribute to Frank Zappa   

And yes he does have a soundcloud page but I think he’d prefer it if you went along to one of his performances and experienced his work in real time, failing that you could always buy Tutuguri.

Comes in an origami like fold out sleeve which I’ve never seen before and an informative booklet. A remarkable release that demands a much wider audience.




Saturday, April 20, 2013


Totstellen - KSR
Telenautik/1000+1 Tilt Recordings. CDR
175 Copies.

Totstellen - Komaschine
Totes Format 11. 3” CDR
30 Copies.

Totstellen - Live @ Wendel [Berlin 2006]
Totes Format.12. Cassette. C22
25 Copies.

GRMMSK - Dirty Snow
Totes Format 13. Cassette.
50 Copies.

Collapsing old buildings feature in a rare outing for the video format courtesy of German based artist Totstellen. A ten minute film of various mechanical dinosaur beasts tearing apart steel reinforcement and crumbling concrete in a way that's weirdly compelling. Not auto destructive art but architectural destructive art, a 60’s tower block in Hamburg that was the last squat in the city, the images and sounds of it being slowly brought to ground via hydraulic jaws and pneumatic drills as captured by Totstellen in a bid to try and make sense of why his former home was being flattened in the name of capitalism. Some sounds are manipulated, some looped, some processed, some added to but when its raw it works best.

Working with primitive and borrowed equipment Totstellen wandered the place alone in the days before its end mixing the sounds he found there with the ones from the actual demolition; hence plenty of sawing metal, pounding drills, donkey engines puttering, the crunch of glass underfoot and at its heart stillness and the shrill squeal thats feedback teetering on the edge of rupture. Fifty minutes worth of field recordings that I feel are only slightly marred by a slightly overzealous wish to introduce industrial noise elements during the first track ’10’ [the second track being ‘8’]. Still, there’s plenty to admire here, not least the sleeve which is a rough cut from a buildings blueprint which has been overprinted with a stark image of steel reinforcing. More Einst├╝rzenden Altbauten than neubauten really. Think TNB symphony or musique concrete meets concrete.

Totstellen is the peripatetic sound artist who when he isn’t railing against the system turns up as GRMMSK who plunders dub reggae which he listens to whilst riding around Helsinki on the bus network but its under the Totstellen moniker that his best work is to be found.

On Live @ Wendel Totstellen manipulates sounds he recorded under [and inside] a motorway bridge going over the Elbe whilst playing a homemade stringed instrument with a drill. Not only does it sound good but the images accompanying it are remarkable too; a gaunt baldheaded chap, knacker bare, covered in white paint wandering around Ballardian landscapes like a cross between Blixa Bargeld and Nosferatu. This is all part of a video installation complete with the monotonous roar of traffic, clanging riveted substructure and a processed drilling sound that's the roadside equivalent of facing a dentists drill. Its a creepy listen which compliments the artwork no end. But perhaps the most remarkable release of them all is Komamachine. Sampling dialogue and music from the Quay Brothers film ‘Institute Benjaminata’ this is a chilling and eerie ride into queasy dark ambient territory courtesy of some fine moaning from manacled lost souls and the creaking of leather straps [I’ve not seen the film but I intend to, anything that gets compared to Eraserhead goes down on the to do pile round here] chuck in some sorrowful viola, throbbing industrialania and you have something that would bare comparison to Gavin Bryars ‘Sinking of the Titanic’ writ large on a screen of David Lynchian making.

Having watched the Tunnel/Brucke video on the Totstellen website I urge you to do the same. This is urban exploring with a wider remit. This is trying to make sense of your urban surroundings through sound and imagery.

The Live @ Wendel has 12 different covers, Dirty Snow comes wrapped in a Styrofoam sleeve, stick in the blueprint sleeve on KSR and you have somebody whose really thinking about what they’re doing in the packaging stakes whilst tackling some big themes at the same time.


Totes Format


1000+1 Tilt Recordings

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Muennich/Esposito/Jupitter-Larsen - The Wraiths of Flying A

Muennich/Esposito/Jupitter-Larsen - The Wraiths of Flying A
Firework Edition Records CD.
FER1102. 300 copies.

Stumbling across a BBC Radio 4 documentary examining the work of Dr. Konstantin Raudive at around the same time this dropped through the door was a spooky coincidence. It was Raudive, an elderly Lithuanian doctor, who one day in1969 turned up at Gerrards Cross with a large amount of tape recordings which he claimed contained the voices of the dead. Over 70,000 of them amongst which were the voices of Churchill, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and no doubt many a lesser well known human being. With Raudive EVP was born thats Electronic Voice Phenomena to you and me.

‘The Wraith of Flying A’ incorporates EVP and the work of a couple of American silent film actresses including Audrey Munson to whom this release is dedicated [thats her on the cover]. Munson’s success would be the inspiration for over fifteen statues in New York alone and whose demise led to her being incarcerated in a lunatic asylum for the last 65 years of her life until her death at the age of a 104. I’m assuming that its GX who has the silent movie actress fixation. The fact that her career ended with the rise of the talkies and we have EVP here has me thinking that there may be some kind of talking theme going on here.

Michael Esposito’s work with EVP has passed through here before. As an audio excursion I find it fascinating but as proof that the dead are communicating with us I find it about as positive as proof as that of mediums who say they can put you in touch with your recently deceased Aunt Ethel, psychics and the Loch Ness Monster. If the dead really wanted to communicate with us why would they make it so hard for us to decipher what they’re saying, why not just leave a note saying ‘I’m OK, the foods shit but the hours are great’?

Here we have thirteen tracks six of which are short half minute interludes which I’m assuming are pure examples of EVP, that is white noise through which, if you strain your ears as far as they will go, you can just about make out a feeble sound that may just be someone saying ‘put the kettle on’. Its the same as scrunching your eyes up to see pixilated pictures. Why the dead never say anything prophetic or that is of any use to us remains to be explained.

Of the remaining seven tracks only one is a collaboration between all three artists. ‘Heimsuchung’ [German for ‘afflicting’] is one of those boiler plate noise drones that sounds terrific with the headphones on and the volume whacked up as far as you can stand it. A growling linear low end pitch of a roar thats a B52 bomber warming up its engines, EVP comes through in parts, each voice a snatch of a sound that appears for a couple of seconds only to disappear as quickly again, the tinkling of light chains [the ghost of Christmas past perhaps?] and the rattling of Ernie’s ghostly gold tops in their crates make up the rest of it.

The Haunting of Mary Minter Miles [another silent film actress] comes in two parts and is a collaboration between GX and Esposito. The first is a short piece of swirling ‘voices’, the second a more expansive nine minutes worth of actual talking which sounds like it could have been the actress herself being interviewed over which various scattershot sounds flit in and out like bats trapped in a room.

‘Slithering’ is the work of Muennich alone. Here the whole piece has been dragged through the very dusty groove of a very old record above which vibrate tiny clocks.

So we have EVP, noisedrone, field recordings and probably some electro-acoustic manipulation too [I’m particularly taken with the tossed coins coming to rest on first track ‘The Green Room’]. An all round decent listen whatever your thoughts on EVP and communicating with the dead.

If you get the chance please do listen to the Jolyan BBC R4 documentary. Not only does Jolyan have the sensible skeptics eye he also touches on various other aspects of the phenomena and people working in the same area, including a chap in Seattle called Brian Jones who records everything from cats and dogs to pebbles being stood on, all of which he claims, like Raudive before him, contain the voices of the dead. Plus, theres probably the only chance you’ll ever get to hear both Gyles Brandreth AND Joe Banks [of Disinformation] on the same program.

Firework Editions

Fragment Factory/Muennich



BBC page re EVP

BBC R4 Jolyan Documentary

[not sure if the above works outside the UK?]

Friday, April 12, 2013

LF Records Chalmers/Cooke/Bjerga

Seth Cooke - Pneuma
LF Records. CDR

Stuart Chalmers - Daydream Empire

LF Records. CDR

Sindre Bjerga - Black Paper Wings
LF Records. 3” CDR

You only have to look at the list of influences on Stuart Chalmers ‘Daydream Empire’ to know that you’ve backed a winner: Ghedalia Tazartes, Jeff Keen, Jean Dubuffet, Jorge Luis Borges and William Burroughs … er ... OK thats good enough for me now strap me in and lets see what this Chalmers does with a cassette uh?

So thats what you can do with a cassette uh? Create whole new worlds of sonic exploration, open up new vistas of ear tickling delight, joy for the ear drums, intelligent work-throughs of sounds that taken on their own seem mundane but when mixed into a whole bring on an entirely new meaning; 20’s dance music, gamelan, plucked bridge strings, radio news broadcasts, looped computer game rhythms, bowl rings, the striking of a match, native folk songs in tongues unknown, Apollo rockets taking off, self help meditation courses and Michael Winner complaining of a ‘mediocre haircut’ [for there is humour in here too]. And thats just the merest scratching of a surface to you sir.

Of the eleven tracks on here there’s is but not one second that I would describe as unwanted or in need of further editing. This is your sound explorers motherlode, a thirty five minute joyride that you can dip in to anywhere along its line to find aural gratification of the highest order.

Track six [Maya] kicks off with about four seconds of a fairground organ before layering on the gamelan, someone hitting sticks and a mouth making whooshing sounds. Add to that a rubbed piece of wood, some bottles being knocked over and a piece of string pulled taught and plucked and therein lies the best three minutes and fifty two seconds of musical nirvana to come through the speakers this year.

But lets not stop there. Lets talk about Chalmers gift for juxtaposing sounds; 1930’s ballroom crooners that live but for two second to be replaced by Nurse With Wound parp and the BBC news. ‘Thought Patterns’ wanders into Astral Social Club territory with a looping mini dance beat thats the Galaxian soundtrack smothered with baby gurgles and sped up cassette muck. ‘Moon and a Mask’ comes out of the ether with a looped spoken word sample and a trawl of the shortwave bands.

I could go on describing each track in detail and the numberless ways in which Chalmers has crafted this release but I want you to experience this release for yourself. I am still in awe as to how Chalmers has constructed such a thing of beauty. There was more than just plain old cassette tape involved of course, I suspect synths and radio’s and the odd electro-acoustic phenomena, either way, however way this is life affirming stuff.

A pity I missed the Chalmers and Durgan gig in Bristol recently. I suspect it would have been a classic. 

Back in Seth Cooke’s house we find him suffering at the hands of workmen with pneumatic drills at their disposal. After putting up with the annoyance for long enough Cooke did the only thing that a sound artist can do and recorded the disturbance with an eye [or an ear] to using it as soundsource for future work.

But this is no Einsturzende Neubauten gig. On the first track [both running to about thirty minutes] the drill sounds as if it was recorded at the deep end of a local swimming pool. The muffled sound of the vibrating drill works its way through a series of oscillating waves, each a drowsy somnabulance that probably describes Cooke’s wishful mind during the entire episode. During the second track [both untitled] the drilling becomes more prominent in places, mutated by Cooke’s dextrous hand into something else entirely. The drones slip into the background and passages of calm appear, the drill rears its ugly head again and again until you’re glad it wasn’t you that had to put up with this ongoing set of essential repairs.

As a work of experimental nature it works perfectly and is a fine example of turning a bad experience to your advantage. And then what did he do? He moved from Leeds to Bristol. At least it wasn’t that London.

As in the last review we find Sindre Bjerga jogging in last like a riderless horse in the National. With a semi-hard-on of a drone Bjerga adds radio traffic voices, voice manipulations and jolts of capstan abuse to a low hertz hum. Coming after these last two its a little like losing a tenner and finding a fiver. I’m certain that one day a Bjerga release will arrive at Idwal Towers chock full of ear popping electro-acoustic magnificence but until that day I’m playing Daydream Empire until all the zero’s and ones fall off into the CD player.







Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Kirkstall Dark Matter / Sheepscar Light Industrial

Midwich - Single Figures
Kirkstall Dark Matter. CDR
49 Copies.

Phil Julian - Hive Work
Sheepscar Light Industrial. 3” CDR
SLI.013. 50 Copies.

Sindre Bjerga - Misdirection
Sheepscar Light Industrial. 3” CDR
SLI.014. 50 Copies.

Astral Social Club - Squeegee Anthem  #1
Sheepscar Light Industrial. 3” CDR
SLI.015. 50 Copies.

I felt tortured by having to pass the Wharf Chambers on Saturday night knowing that my chances of going in for a drink were about as slim as the bus ticket that I had in my pocket. Somebody was either playing or soundchecking and there were people stood around clutching glasses and bottles, a warm and welcoming light beckoned me in from the cold cobbled street, but it was all to no avail for I had a previous engagement the extraction from which would result in a fissure of my personal relations that I fear would become permanent.

There’s a gig at the WC on the 22nd of June and I expect you all to be there. Its being organised by Dan Thomas of Sheepscar Light Industrial and its billed as ‘The Compass Points North’. A mouth watering night lays ahead. All the young dudes [and one older one] will be playing: Aqua Dentata, BBBlood, Hagman, Midwich, Petals and These Feathers Have Plumes. A night of contemplative drone and microscopic pops and crackles eked from tin cups, thigh bones and the odd synth.

FB event

The 22nd of June also happens to be as near to my birthday as bugger it is to swearing so I’ll see you all there. Mines a small glass of well chilled Manzanilla please.

Having seen the other half of Hagman climb the parabola with his Sheepscar Light Industrial label Dave Thomas has decided the time is right to enter the fray with a repost of his own. Coming in from the other end of Leeds his Kirkstall Dark Matter label is but one release old but what better way to start than with that Leeds stalwart Rob Hayler and his well loved Midwich project.

‘Single Figures’ captures that essential Leeds cog Rob Hayler in jolly banter mode as he introduces two tracks he played recently at that other well know Leeds venue the Fox & Newt. In typical light hearted Yorkshire banter style the first thing you hear is Phil Todd demanding his money back followed by a jovial ‘gerrof’. There follows two tracks, the first of which [‘Penny Dropped’] finds Hayler expanding on the sound he found so pleasing in his kitchen one day; that of a cake tin lid rocking on a hard surface whilst slowly coming to rest. On ‘Seasonal Adjustment’ the passing traffic of Chapeltown Road becomes the accompaniment, with both, Hayler augments with the barest of cycling synth notes that bring with them that dream-like head lightening drone experience. Hayler admits to liking it loud and warns his audience that it could become uncomfortable but I didn’t hear any doors banging. Not that anybody would have to suffer for long seeing as how most Midiwch sets are done and dusted in around twenty minutes, as is the case here. A pity we’ll have to wait until June to see him tread the boards next. I’ll be down the front genuflecting away with the rest of them. Comes wrapped in pages from John Wyndham’s novel the Midwich Cuckoo in which the pages have been cleverly utilised to mark down the number of the release and in which the the words ‘the’ and ‘cuckoo’ have been erased leaving the word well you know… clever stuff. I dare say these have all gone but a good start from KDM and a label to watch out for.

Meanwhile back in Sheepscar Dan Thomas keeps things ticking over with another three of his SLI releases. Pick of the bunch this time around is London based Phil Julian whose ‘Hive Work’ shifts through various gears via a flapping mid era Whitehouse blow out to tiny fizz, rapid Gieger counter clicks and a vibrating hum thats the celestial OM vibrating at a degree guaranteed to set lightbulbs swinging. Maybe there were bees at work here too. Julian is like a steady hand on the tiller. You know you are in capable hands and this twenty minute snatch of his work is just about damned near perfect.

Astral Social Club keeps up the racket quota with a track thats built around the Charles Ives theory that if one orchestra wont work then use another one in, and make ‘em play something different. ‘Squeegee Anthem  #1’ has at least three tracks going on at once including a backbeat nicked from Hawkwind’s SIlver Machine and two separate Koassolater lines each doing their best to out spazz the other, one going forward, the other backward with a little shimmy from left to right for good measure. Somewhere within this maelstrom an electric guitar has its neck wrung so that the whole shebang comes at you like five DAB's tuned into Funtastic Radio 1 going full blare. A fine example of how Neil Campbell manages to keep ASC going forward without repetition, deviation or hesitation.

One of the most prolific artists experimenting in murk of late is Sindre Bjerga. I’ve a couple of his things here awaiting the pen but I’m finding it hard to be enthusiastic. Judging from these two tracks we can assume that Bjerga likes to wander around Eraserhead like landscapes reeling off cassette tape as decorations for the dead. This is some of the darkest tape manipulation I’ve ever heard: miserable, dank, fetid and claustrophobic. I actually think Bjerga achieves something here, in that he’s produced something interesting but which I personally wouldn’t like to listen to more than a couple of times in case I found myself gong for the knife drawer. 

And whilst I was thinking all this shit up this came through the door:

Knurr & Spell - Being Psychedelic Sounds From Yorkshire.
Memoirs of an Aesthete. MOA CD 004.

Knurr & Spell being that game peculiar to Yorkshire [and now largely forgotten] in which groups of men donned clogs and flat caps and took to the moors to belt a tiny pot ball as far as they cold with long sticks. Apart from reminding me of the game, Knurr & Spell features four tracks from Shembod, Ocelocelot, Moral Holiday and Foldhead but its only just got here and I haven’t listened to it properly yet so you’ll all just have to wait. Oh and there’s pictures of rhubarb and tripe on the CD too. Smashing.




Sunday, April 07, 2013

Mothers of the Third Reich, BBBlood, Half an Abortion, Left Hand Cuts Off Right, Bad Surbuban Nightmare, The Zero Map

Mothers Of The Third Reich
Swim Club. Cassette. C60
100 Copies

BBBlood/Half an Abortion -Split
Crater Lake. Cassette.
100 copies

Left Hand Cuts Off Right/Bad Suburban Nightmare - Split
Armed Within Movement. C60

The Zero Map - Distant Storms
Armed Within Movement. C40

So what are we to glean from these offerings? That noise is alive and well and ordering drinks at the bar? That cassettes will never die? That I will never like the Zero Map again until they, by some miracle of a career change, manage to record a really great cover of Haysi Fantayzee’s ‘John Wayne is Big Leggy’? That Jase Williams is still the most enigmatic noise maker in the UK? That the sound of breaking glass will never lose its aesthetic appeal no matter how many ways it gets interpreted? That Left Hand Cuts Off Right are still managing to illicit little squeals of delight?

All of the above statements are true. And seeing as how these four releases were pulled at random from the review pile and given a serious listening to during the last couple of weeks I can still say with absolute certainty that I’m either incredibly lucky to be getting good stuff to review or that my audience now knows me so well as to not bother sending stuff from America. Hello European micro labels celebrating noise and drone and bye-bye American teenagers with too many ‘awesomes’ in their vocabulary.

Talking of which, here we are on the Swim Club website; ‘Super stoked to be putting out this mighty bohemoth [sic] of a tape’, another annoying Americanism followed by a spilling mistok [I’m no pedant myself tho]. I have to admit that I find myself squeezing both fists until the blood appears at the very mention of that most annoying of adjectives, ‘super stoked’ comes second with the catchall ‘dude’ running a close third.

Its not a phrase I’d expect to find south coast resident Jase Williams using any time soon. Jase’s new-ish adventure into sound is The Mothers of the Third Reich. After jettisoning his long time noise project DK720, he’s teamed up with female drummer and sometime Amniotic artist Johannah Henderson to terrorize small venues up and down the country with a kind of noise that really is noise. Crashing of pots and pans, squawking sax, guitar abuse and what a guitar it is, a one stringed affair that’s Jase’s take on the Diddley Bow but without the bow. One long studio track and three shorter tracks culled from a short tour show Jase and Johannah building and collapsing with Johannah rattling the drums and Jase either doing a wayward Lisa Simpson on the sax or a disturbed Keith Rowe on the guitar. Sometimes its an all out ball breaking affair at others more subdued with only the occasional cymbal being chucked against the wall. And it is a long haul. The last MOTTR thing I got from Jase was a C120 [or at least it felt like it]. C10’s? Fuggedit, when you dive in with Jase its for the full mashing. Comes with a denim patch all ensconced within some kind of weird printed synthetic fabric.

Pete Cann likes to smash things thats why they call him Noisy Pete. I’ve seen him in action on a few occasions, be it with hammer in hand or violin or most famously in the Wharf Chambers with some clowns mobile phone. I assume that Paul Watson likes to do the same. Either side of their Crater Lake split will bring glass smashing relief but I’m betting that the noisier side is Pete’s Half an Abortion - bottles being chucked into an empty 45 gallon drum as the Leeds traffic rumbles past, perhaps the sounds being processed and looped into further destruction further along the line.

And what’s not to like about the sound of glass smashing? The permanent destruction of something fragile produced to a magnificent sound quality for our aural delectation. Both sides are marked and I could if I wanted tell you which side is which but I feel it hardly matters as both are truly magnificent in their primitive rawness. Smashing glass for aural pleasure has been around ever since people threw bottles against a wall in search of cheap thrills and the knowledge that their split second action not only made a great sound but left a dangerous footprint. Then there’s Jewish weddings, rioters and plate glass seem permanently drawn to each other and then theres the Ballardian image of crushed windscreen glass mingling with spilt semen and engine fluids in Crash. Wolf Vostell, Joke Lanz, Richard Rupenus and no doubt plenty of others [Watson dedicates his track to Lowe and Lanz but I failed to discover who Lowe was] have trod this path with much success before and long may others do the same.

Having just left Left Hand Cuts Off Right at the Must Die Records turnpike its a pleasure to reacquaint myself at so early a juncture. Here’s that Robbie Judkins again making micro drones and teeny ectoplasms of rattles and Kagel like toy noises. Especially on ‘Habiba’ which comes over like a Joe Jones machine tumbling down the stone steps in Whitby or a group of over zealous Alpine cow bell ringers on speed. Judkins uses improv techniques, radio interference and field recordings [and probably lots of other techniques which are lost on me] all on show with second track here ‘Seventy Heads With Seventy Tongues’ which sounds like a Van der Graff generator spitting sparks into an ominous drone whilst a New Dheli school teacher takes charge of her pupils.

Bad Suburban Nightmare’s Dan Hrekow tumbleweed Ry Cooder-esque ambience has met with approval before. Previous BSN releases have provided much in the way of a ‘Paris, Texas’ soundtrack and long may he continue. ‘Drone Heartbreak’ is Krekow continuing this theme but its second track ‘Alchemy’ thats shows a new direction. Here the guitar disappears to be replaced by hollow depth charges exploding in a series of muffled displays, perhaps the digestive system of a whale or the irregular heartbeat of chain-smoking fat bastard.

Back on the south coast we have The Zero Map - the Ying to Jase William’s Yang. The Zero Map do for drone what Mogadon did for creativity. Having once [a while ago it has to be said] liked a Zero Map release I now find myself finding lots of reasons not to like them.    
Its drone aboard a rudderless ship. Aimless, drifting stuff thats harmless enough but never alive enough to hold you attention for long. I await the Haysi Fantayzee cover version with much eagerness.


Crater Lake

Armed Within Movement

Swim Club

Jase has kindly pointed out to me that I've made it seem as if Johannah does nothing but drum with MOTTR. This is of course a total misconception. Johannah is of course an integral part of the band, an inspiration as well as multi-instrumentalist without whom the band would not exist. I'm more than happy to point this out and send you in this direction for further MOTTR satisfaction.