Tag Archives: already dead

mchtnchts – “.a….i….” [free download]

If you head over to onyudo.com right now you can download the first batch of analog noise from mchtnchts. The album is called “.a….i….,” which is good, or at least consistent because now both the album and artist names are rendered unpronounceable. But, worry not, the album still gives us plenty of stuff to talk about.

A few years ago mchtnchts released “The Spoiled West and its Freshly Minted Infants” on Already Dead Tapes.  That tape went the direction of a more desolate soundscape that aimed to completely redefine, or re-examine what musical expression could be using analog electronics.

“.a….i….” takes a similar approach, but at times uses older, tried and true forms for their musical expression. Opening track “…o..i.. ..i…e” is a riff on a simple gesture in repeated rhythm and contour. The simplicity of the sound components here is what is most striking to me. The clear buzz of the sawtooth wave alternating with an extremely high, clear sine tone effectively opens up the tessitura to create space for a broad, and varied tonal palette.

It’s the rhythmic elements here that hold most of the tracks together. A steady pulsing that grows and fades becomes the premise behind “.ui.i.e” The song, of course, like much of the rest of the album, is a steadily developing work. By its close we are in fairly ambient territory, with the pulsing becoming smoothed out to a dulled hum.

The sounds generated by mchtnchts approach the same realm as what can be heard across the work of Mincemeat or Tenspeed, whom I covered a few years back. Where Mincemeat or Tenspeed’s brand of electronic noise tends, at times, more toward thrash antagonism, mchtnchts prefers to work in subtleties.
Download mchtnchts’ “.a….i….” and “The Spoiled West and its Freshly Minted Infants”
“.a…i….” is available as a free download at onyudo, and their follow up, the even more spacious and noisy “The Spoiled West and its Freshly Minted Infants” is sold out in its physical form, but can still be downloaded from Already Dead Tapes here.

The duo is planning to release more music in the very near future, so keep an eye out. You can get updates from Kyle Bruckmann over at his website (and check out all the other great stuff that he’s doing).

Coastal Car – “Lossless”

I’ve had Coastal Car’s “Lossless” on repeat for the past couple of weeks now and I don’t think that I’ll be getting sick of it any time soon. “Lossless” is an album full of perfect bedroom pop tunes. Think Yuck crossed with Carseat Headrest and that will put you pretty close to what is going on aesthetically here.

There’s more than that though. The harmonies and guitar work on “all i wanna do” shows a hint of Pixies, while the guitar harmonies on that track and “trade centre way” are reminiscent of Rogue Wave. Every song really captures a relaxed approach to songwriting; with one part flowing seamlessly into the next, effortlessly.

The latter half of “Lossless” moves from the folk-ish “halfway” to the layered, delicate guitar work of instrumental “belong reprise,” one of the album’s highlights. That track seems to beg for lyrics, while simultaneously sounding like a song that you can’t quite place. It’s like the interwoven melodies are lodged in the collective unconscious, begging to be let out yet not being able to quite come to fruition.

Album closer “f u n” perfectly encapsulates everything presented throughout the album. It’s another perfectly crafted, and catchy-as-hell bedroom pop song. Like the words that don’t exist on “belong reprise,” I can’t quite put my finger on what images are being conjured up in my mind as I listen, but they do seem like fond remembrances. I’m just going to have to continue listening until I figure it out.

Lossless” is available digitally, with a limited number of cassettes still available from Already Dead Tapes & Records. You can check their bandcamp for this and a whole slew of other great albums.

 

 

Stream: Deep Waters – “Visions in Flame”

I’m going to start the week on a much more relaxed note than I usually do. The latest release from the small-batch vinyl and tape label Already Dead released Deep Waters’ latest six-song EP offering as a limited cassette, as per usual, but has also made “Visions in Flame” available as an even more limited (only 25 produced) cassette bundled with a full color, hand-made book. You can check out the detail of the book in the video preview below.

The limited edition book looks to truly be an extension of the music. As a companion piece the design, with pictures of the American landscape deepens the country inflected folk that Deep Waters presents us with throughout “Visions in Flame.”

Specifically, the songs create a laid-back atmosphere that takes equally from the sound of Jason Molina and Canadian country-folk-rock band Cuff the Duke. The up-front vocals, somehow both perfectly mellowed and rough around the edges, are nicely contrasted with lush reverted lead guitar lines that emerge from the arrangements organically. The mostly instrumental “Holiday” opens up with co-mingled lead lines from steel string acoustic and reverbed electric before the vocals and ubiquitous supporting vocals enter, building up the texture little by little across the brief song, clocking in at just under two minutes.

The highlight across the EP are the perfectly executed harmonies. Take, for example, the opening track “Golden Flame;” the interludes interspersed between the verses add an affecting lift to the underlying rhythmically active foundation. The entire release seems to focus around these guitar breaks, maintaining a timbral similarity throughout. Such a focus is always something that I appreciate, it never fails to help an album to cohere, and this album is no different. The ambience curated across these six tracks, with the guitars and understated backing vocals occasionally backed with a delicately played piano, evokes the image of an intimate setting, perhaps in a small performance; or listening to the car radio on a cold fall day early in the morning down a quiet back road.

“Visions in Flame” is currently available from Already Dead tapes. You can listen to the entire album above and head over to Bandcamp to pick up the limited cassette with or without the special edition book.

The Binary Marketing Show – “Anticipation of Something Else”

It’s not too often that a release catches me off guard. Usually by about halfway through the first track I know exactly what to expect, for better or for worse.  Not so much with this latest tape from Portland’s The Binary Marketing Show. As the first track unfolded I was expecting an albums worth of slowly unfolding synth ambiance and atmospherics, but every expectation set up by one song was dashed as the next entered.

I’m not saying that every single track is a hard left-turn into unexpected territory, but the soundworld in which they are operating lends itself to so many different approaches, and infers much more than any one track could ever hope to capture. Sure the opening track is pretty atmospheric, but as “Picnic On Makemake” begins we can hear some guitar peeking out through the synths, and most jolting of all when compared to the first track, “I Could Live Without a Hand,” is the intense bass rumble and dual vocals. The thick low end that enters, and the way that it combines with the vocal is very reminiscent of Baths’ “Cerulean” album. Definitely a good album to be reminded of.

Midway through the album “Lost After Nightfall” takes us into yet another direction with something that starts out sounding like  Boards of Canada though eventually that fades to the background as a warped  undercurrent takes over. “Weather Balloon” immediately pulls in a different direction with buzzing synths, a bit of rhythmic crunch and a more standard song structure. “Out of the Void” brings things toward Starfucker territory, with a guitar more or less front and center at the outset, though it eventually fades back into the texture.

This is probably one of the most interesting tapes that I’ve heard in a long time. Every track is brimming with different ideas, unexpected twists, sometimes some catchy hooks, and a lot of experimentation. What more could one ask for?

Find them around the internet at the links below. They also have a show coming up on May 1st if you are near Portland, check their site for details. And check out some of their other releases as well.

Web//Buy “Anticipation of Something Else”//Facebook//Twitter//Soundcloud//Bandcamp//

New Release: Britches – “Demolition”

Some pretty dark sounds are emitting from this tape. I know that I probably use the word “sinister” a bit too much in my reviews, but I need to use it again today because the music contained on Britches’ “Demolition” can’t be better described with any other adjective. If you read my post a while back about Chat Logs, then you know where I’m coming from here.

Primal drumming behind guitars that are just sludgy as hell and broken up by screeching noise all through the opening tracks “Nice Ending” (heard above) and “Go Out.” That sinister darkness is captured within the realm of this barrage of guitars and a distorted, mostly cryptic vocal.

The opening of “Forever Now” begins beautifully, creeping out of the echoed darkness into a warm ambience that swells into view. Soon the atmosphere is enveloped in sound, though the background sounds of approaching sharp and high pitched sounds soon takes the sound from calming and contemplative to fearful. Obscured, heavily affected vocals slowly come into focus sounding like a buzzier “Fitter, Happier,” but with the noise of Women’s harshly bowed guitars on “Can’t You See.”

The latter part of the tape brings back the noise with “Antonyms,” maybe summoning the sound of Scott Walker if he was influenced by No Wave; and finishing out the tape is the 9 minute ambient slow burn of “Take it for Granted.” Probably don’t listen to this one in the dark. Definitely listen to it loud.

“Demolition” is currently available and limited to an edition of 100.

Stream: Video Daughters – “Whiteness Where the Water Was”

I’ve already written about my love for all things that come out on Already Dead Tapes, so now it only seems appropriate to continue reviewing everything that I’ve heard from them. Maybe my mission is to keep listening to their output until I find something that I don’t like. We’ll have to wait and see when that happens.

Today we’ve got Video Daughters, out of NYC. Their latest, “Whiteness Where the Water Was” from this past October, is a blurry amalgam of no-wave sensibilities that find a way to combine noisier elements of avant-garde performance with psychedelic pop songs. Take, for example, their track “Winter Skies Smell Like June” with its weighty bass line slogging through the intro while guitars explode in every direction, barely harnessed. “January Sun” continues, with a persistent warped looped effect underneath a denser layer of guitars that slide in and out of key without making room for the vocals. Everything is sliding around by half-step, creating a really unsettling backdrop. There are instances where the anarchy breaks down between sections where the song hints at an obscured hook that never quite materializes.

Video Daughters is Mike Green and Scott Townsend covering all the instruments, and samples with vocals that cover a lot of ground from atonal screams to singing reminiscent of Tim Kinsella in the track “No Hot Coals.”

The tape is currently available on Already Dead Tapes limited to 50 copies, as well as from the band’s own Bandcamp as a download or a CD-R with handmade packaging. If you head over to the bandcamp page you can find some earlier releases from the band as well.

Video Daughters can also be found on Facebook.

Week in Review: February 17th-21st, 2014

Here’s what went up on the blog this past week, in case you missed it:

Monday: The 13th part of my continuing trip down Sonic Youth memory lane. This week’s post focused on “Sonic Nurse.” Only a few more to go.

In Memoriam Sonic Youth XIII: “Sonic Nurse”

Tuesday:  More music from the endlessly prolific Ty Segall. This tune coming from his latest project, Fuzz. The 7″ single also features a track by CCR Headcleaner with all proceeds from digital download sales going to help music education programs in schools.

Stream: Fuzz/CCR Headcleaner 7″

Wednesday: Purling Hiss is re-releasing their debut album on a very limited number of LPs and cassettes. Grab ’em while you can:

Stream: Purling Hiss s/t 2009 limited edition re-release

Thursday: Stream latest from Chat Logs. Their EP “Am I Right, or Am I Right?” was released on Already Dead Tapes and is definitely worth a listen.

Stream: Chat Logs – “Am I Right, or Am I Right?”

Friday: Squarepusher writes music and has it performed by robots for some reason.  Check out the video.

Video: Squarepusher w/Z-Machines – “Music For Robots”