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Yip-Yip “Bone Up”

February 28, 2013 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

Yip-Yip "Bone Up"

Yip-Yip have created a synth-prog concept album about life in today’s underground music scene which is an absolute masterpiece. That’s right, I said MASTERPIECE. Though it’s ordinary album length, the sheer density of song composition gives “Bone Up” the feel of an epic double album, and should probably be thought of as such. Like other such works of singular vision, it can be a bit much to take in upon first exposure, particularly if you have an aversion to robot voice effects, synthesized whip cracks, or saxophone leads. If you’ve ever described some music as having “cheesy synths” and meant it as a negative, this might not be the masterpiece for you.

I don’t know everything about Yip-Yip, but this album seems like a departure for them. Their previous material was equally frantic and energetic, but sounded like an improvised mish-mash of crazed and zany synthesizer sounds. Many of the same sounds are here, but everything on this album is precisely composed and executed. All of the 16 songs are very short, but very dense.

The claim that this is a concept album comes from me, not Yip-Yip, but there’s definitely a theme here, and most of the songs seem to be about the band members’ personal experiences in the scene, and dealing with people as artists and musicians. “Big Dud” is about being invited to join the cool scene and finding it a great waste of time. “When I see, people networking, seems kind of weird.” The song “Copy Cat” hits on that defining characteristic of art-making today: “It’s impossible to be an original, everything that you could do has been done before, so no matter what you do, they will call you a Copy Cat.” And the last one I’ll quote is “Over It” wherein Yip-Yip sings “They’re desperate to be relevant, and they’re wondering where everyone went, now that 15 minutes has become something more like 15 seconds … we’re over it.” I suspect all this resonates within anyone who’s been making music in this decade. I really, really wish this had come with a lyric sheet.

“Bone Up” is another one of those albums that, in a fairer world or another era, would make Yip-Yip – well – much better known at least. But this era is kind to the listeners, because you can stream the whole thing RIGHT HERE, and you can download it at their Bandcamp page for Pay-What-You-Want. (!!) Glowmobile Records also put out a limited number of vinyl, but just confirmed with me that as of right now, they still have copies! Order up!

download from YIP-YIP BANDCAMP
buy vinyl from GLOWMOBILE
Yip-Yip on FACEBOOK

 

Best Albums of 2012

January 01, 2013 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

The year has ended and I now present the No-Core Best of 2012 list! Or as it may more accurately be named, the albums I should have reviewed in 2012 round-up. Despite 2011 being The Year the Noise-Rock Bubble Burst, there was a load of killer noise-rock/no-wave in 2012, including several exciting NEW bands. This list is in no particular order, and I didn’t limit myself to any number.

Mincemeat or Tenspeed “The Tower”

Mincemeat or Tenspeed "The Tower"

I keep wondering when the larger noise world will discover that Mincemeat or Tenspeed is about the best thing going on. Is it because his noise just rocks too hard or his shows are too much FUN that Davey Mincemeat has still not been on the cover of WIRE magazine or whatever? No clue, but you’d be wise to grab this free digital album. Supposedly it’s a “metal” album and I guess it does lean on the heavy sounds and seems roughly in 4/4 time, not that there are any recognizable instruments anywhere in sight, just Davey’s table of pedals spitting out this rhythmic headbanger.

Download FREE at Free Music Archive

Drainolith “Fighting”

Drainolith "Fighting"

Alexander Moskos, ex- of AIDS Wolf, doing his (mainly) solo project thing. Creepy, fractured, deconstructed rock songs. The midway point between 1st album Royal Trux and 1st album Wolf Eyes? Loose and very focused at the same time. Drainolith pulls at the loose threads of rock music and creates a beautifully tangled mess.

Buy from Spectrum Spools

Xaddax “Counterclockwork”

Xaddax "Counterclockwork"

Maybe like me, just saying this band is ex-members of Dazzling Killmen and My Name is Rar-Rar is enough to sell you on them. But if not, here’s what you get. Buzzsaw math-shred riffs, a blizzard of weirdtronics sounds, and hard, complex drum patterns. It all blows by in a whirlwind, but everything is carefully composed and expertly executed.

Buy from Skin Graft

The Sediment Club “Time Decay Now”

The Sediment Club "Time Decay Now"

These NYC (now Providence) No Wave torch-bearers have just been getting better and better. Still young dudes, and this being their debut full-length, I’m excited for their future. This album is packed with that No Wave/Post-Punk sound that feels instantly classic, even if you can’t peg them as sounding quite like any one band. There’s plenty of Contortions and Bush Tetras in there, but it’s lively and fresh with new ideas too.

Listen/Buy from Softspot Music on Bandcamp

Harry Pussy “One Plus One”

Harry Pussy "One Plus One"
A double album of unreleased Harry Pussy music? SOLD! Actually, some of this material appeared on singles which appeared on the “What Was Music” comp, but here everything is carefully sequenced into a really cohesive and listenable album. That is, as long as you love boombox-fidelity blasts of chaotic guitar anti-playing, drum pounding, and shrieking. (of course you do) Actually, this album does highlight Bill Orcutt’s very unorthodox guitar skills and the band’s chemistry and vibe. I’d call this release ESSENTIAL.

Links to Buy at Palilalia Records

Profligate “Come Follow Me”

Profligate "Come Follow Me"
Despite the haters dismissing noise people’s attempts at electronic music as “techno,” this album from Noah Anthony’s solo project (previously of Social Junk, also of a batch of stellar noise combos) has more in common with electronic pioneers like Kraftwerk and John Carpenter. It’s a dark and thrilling vibe, and Profligate nails the mood with every track. Maybe it’s the grime and grit and texture added by Noah’s second-(or third)-hand gear that makes this all sound so nice, but it is by no means sterile or clean. No matter how crisp those kick drums and handclaps are, you can tell this music is coming from a Philadephia basement.

Listen/Download from Bandcamp (follow link there for LP)

Divorce “Divorce”

Divorce album
I’ve told you before how amazing this band is, right? And how much this album was going to rule, right? Okay, just wanted to make sure I got my credit for knowing what’s what before everyone is singing the praises of Divorce. This album falls somewhere between Doomsday Student and the Melvins. Thee heaviest bass guitar sound of all time, with harsh and sharp guitar attack, some really stellar and creative heavy drumming, and vocals that go from garbled crooning to blood-curdling shriek. Well-paced with some tone-setting tracks, everything is on point, this is powerful stuff. I also must give kudos to the recording and mastering. Somehow everything sounds crystal clear and loud as hell. Please, please help this band become popular enough to justify a U.S. tour.

Listen/Download from Bandcamp

Normal Love “Survival Tricks”

Normal Love "Survival Tricks"
Ambitious No Wave chamber music rock. Live, Normal Love all read sheet music when they play these bonkers compositions. Dropping the word “math” in here would imply some kind of music that you could count to, and “prog” would imply some kind of foundation in recognizable rock. Everything is precise and composed but don’t expect a backbeat, or a riff, or a melody. This is the classical music people listen to in a parallel universe where Fat Worm of Error are The Beatles.

Buy from ugExplode

Guerilla Toss “Jeffrey Johnson”

Guerilla Toss "Jeffrey Johnson"
Let me assure you that, despite that album cover, this is not freak-folk music. It does sound like some members of this band went to music school, and I can almost imagine freaky folkers being into this, but the feel here is distinctly on the abrasive side. I’d put this halfway between the previously mentioned Normal Love and Coughs. When they do throw down in a groove, it’s gnarly and heavy, with screeched out vocals and clamorous guitars. A lurching, leaping beast of a band that’s also surprisingly nimble. Almost reminiscent of Soul Discharge era Boredoms (which really should send you scrambling for that link). I can’t tell if their claim that their next album will be on Tzadik is a joke or not…

Listen/Download from Bandcamp
Buy LP from Feeding Tube

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “Meat + Bone”

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion "Meat + Bone"
I’ve always loved this band, though I haven’t been super-crazy about every album they’ve done. This new album focuses on their strengths, which is the chemistry these three musicians have when they play together. It also leaves out all the stuff that (in my opinion) never worked for them: trying to make songs that could get on the radio or making Jon Spencer into a singer. He’s a great shouter, frontman, hype man, but just not a great singer. On this record the guitars do all the singing, Spencer is MC, and it’s all short blasts of high-energy rock. This is the album I’ve flipped and listened to repeatedly the most in 2012. That’s right, it’s rock’n’roll. I think I put the word rock’n’roll somewhere in the official No-Core description – I reserve the right to rock.

Buy from the band
or I don’t know, Amazon.com?

Curse “Curse”

Curse
If you like deep analog synth exploration and harrowing doom metal in equal measures, I think I’ve found your new jam. Vocalist/synthist Jane Vincent (ex-Abiku) is also one of the strongest singers in any extreme music genre.

Listen/Buy from the band

The Dreebs “Bait an Orchard”

The Dreebs "Bait an Orchard"
This album might not fully capture the captivating tension of a live Dreebs show, but it’s still an excellent document of their music. Violin, prepared guitar, and drums stir up a clamorous, but strangely soothing, racket – with a distinctly 80s NYC avant-guitar vibe. Reminds me at times of Branca, Mars, and “Confusion is Sex” Sonic Youth. More floating and melodic and textural than any of those, but with some rude wake-up moments. Maybe it’s time for sonic explorers to look into stringed instruments again, because the Dreebs are weaving magic with them. It’s not as if we haven’t also had multiple decades of synth knob twiddling and FX-chain slapping.

Listen/Download from Bandcamp
The label’s website seems to be down. No LP for you.

Mutwawa “Lamashtu Pazuzu”

Mutwawa "Lamashtu Pazuzu"
With this release, the samples & FX duo Mutwawa sharpen up their noise-dance chops, and turn out some music that you could almost imagine moving bodies in the club. And causing everyone to rush the DJ booths wondering what kind of weird lost classic is playing. This lives somewhere between the worlds of post-punk/funk, original Detroit techno, and ’00s electro-noise. This is alive with the energy of discovery, of figuring out how to make a new style of music for the first time. Maybe the elements have been discovered before but never in quite this way, and rarely does music sound this fresh and raw. I also choose this as best album cover art (by Joe Legzz).

Download FREE from Free Music Archive

Microwaves “Psionic Impedance”

Microwaves "Psionic Impedance"
This album I did manage to review this year, but it still deserves a slot on this list. The OTHER sci-fi avant-math-metal duo (besides Xaddax) to put out an album this year and both were amazing.

Buy from ugExplode

Trin Tran “Dark Radar”

Trin Tran "Dark Radar"
I think I did one of those cartoon double-takes when I saw that this album was coming out! Trin Tran is a one-man band featuring an ex-member of LEGENDARY 90’s Now Wave band Xerobot. This project has existed maybe as far back as 2000? but only a few songs have ever made it out to the public. Thank GOD? (“GOD?” being the name of the record label imprint that released this) for this collection of all the early Trin Tran recordings. Jerky, spazzy, robot rock that’s not too dissimilar to what other ex-Xerobotters were doing with their band Numbers. Trin Tran is onto a new, fuller and more rock’n’roll(?) sound these days, but I’m really glad these recordings got the release they deserve.

Buy from Drag City

Aaron Dilloway “Modern Jester”

Aaron Dilloway "Modern Jester"
This has been on a lot of lists, probably because Dilloway is a respected and accomplished experimentalist and this is something of a magnum opus and “best of” double album. The thing I remember most clearly from my first listen was that I kept checking the turntable to make sure this wasn’t in a locked groove. That title, “Modern Jester,” and the fact that this features a lot of loops of exactly 33 RPM length, made me sure I was going to be pranked by some trick before albums end, but no! Or – was I pranked after all? I’m not that crazy on loops, and almost left this off my own list, but gave it a couple more spins recently and discovered all kinds of weird, subtle things happening within those loops. (there are lots of other techniques employed here too) Now I feel like I have to listen again to figure out what I was hearing, and evoking that response is a big win in my book. Music to make you think something is wrong your record player – or just your mind.

Buy from Hanson Records

Lightning Bolt “Oblivion Hunter”

Lightning Bolt "Oblivion Hunter"
We all know Lightning Bolt, and we all know they rule, right? But this record is still one of the best of the year, a collection of practice space recordings that never got developed into songs – but are still some of my new favorite Lightning Bolt songs! Bands are great when they’re the result of unique and magical chemistry between members. The fact that the two Brians of Lightning Bolt simply jammed this material is further proof of what a great thing they have going on. (now I really hope I did understand the concept behind this album correctly)

Buy from Load Records

Sister Fucker “California”

Sister Fucker "California"
If you’re a sucker for harsh, lo-fidelity noise-rock, then man oh man, are you in luck! Seriously impressive heavy jams from this band, featuring members of other notables (but as I’m still confused about the lineage, I’m not going to try). Recommended if you like early Pussy Galore, Coughs, and jeez I’ve tried to avoid mentioning Harry Pussy in every review but I’ve got to play that card with this one. I’m genuinely impressed by the insane noises that are conjured with only (I think) guitar, distortion, and some crude techniques. I love everything about this band and album (except the band name, sorry).

Download FREE from Free Music Archive

Black Dice “Mr. Impossible”

Black Dice "Mr Impossible"
This is the year I checked back in with Black Dice and found them making some totally fun noise-party songs. Garbled, squelchy sounds everywhere and bouncing drum machine beats, packed into a solid batch of song-length jams. Sounds pretty good, right? Sounds a bit like what Skoal Kodiak are doing, but without the live rhythm section.

Buy from Ribbon Music

Infants “Giant Leg”

Infants "Giant Leg"
LATE ADDITION! I don’t know how I forgot this when I first hit publish, but this album was definitely one of my happiest finds of this year. The Infants were some sort of multi-national group (based mainly in England I think?) who did a single in the mid-2000s and I was really, really excited about them. Apparently they split in 2009, but this completed LP just came out! Recommended if you like: Brainiac, Melt-Banana, Pre, and I don’t know if anyone’s going to recognize this one, but who remembers Space Streakings?! Hyperactive ADD freak-out rock, with guitars, synths, noises, lots of various accents shouting over the top of one another. Hairpin turns, heavy riffs, adrenalin. Recommended!

Stream the whole thing on Soundcloud
Buy CD or Download from Tigertrap

Mentions:

I did have to cut myself off from writing about albums at some point. There’s stuff I haven’t heard. There are some other albums that ruled:

Buck Gooter “Consider the Grackles”
Ed Schrader’s Music Beat “Jazz Mind”
Krallice “Years Past Matter”
White Suns “Sinews”
High on Fire “De Vermis Mysteriis”
Dick Neff “Dork Morph”
Lazy Magnet “Acts Without Error”

Some notable singles:

Whore Paint “Menarchy” 7″
fierce Providence feminist noise rock (and side note, who thought feminism would still be a radical idea in 2012?)
SOLD OUT???

Wretched Worst “Funeral Burning” 7″
in theory a rock band, sounds like a scrap yard being demolished with an angry bear on vocals.
Buy from Husk Records

Eric Copeland & DJ Dog Dick “BYOB” 7″
That’s how it was credited on the label the record store put there. Sounds like it’s probably those dudes, but no identifying marks. This sounds like a fun but really weeeeird party happening.
Get it from … UNKNOWN!

Cellular Chaos “Cellular Chaos” digital single
3 tracks from Weasel Walter’s new No Glam band. You’ll want to hear this.
Listen/download from bandcamp

and I may be biased but…

This EP from Radio Shock came out this year and I think it’s pretty good. ;)

Tom Smith and Sightings, Fat Worm of Error, Child Abuse, Don Fleming at Death by Audio 01-04-2012

January 10, 2012 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: shows

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .9

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio

I showed up to this show and the place was, surprisingly to me, already full. Sometimes shows that are can’t-miss line-ups of legends in my mind have single-digit attendance so I’m not really able to predict these things. But I was happy to see that these bands are apparently not just legends to me.

I completely missed the first act, which was Tom Smith and Don Fleming playing together. Don Fleming is a longtime NYC avant-rocker and Tom Smith is best known as the central figure from the post-music band To Live And Shave In L.A. Tom currently resides in Germany and was briefly in the states around the holidays, playing a few select shows. So I’m sad to have missed their performance.

The second band, Child Abuse, was going on. No photos, I was in the back of the room and they wouldn’t have been good anyway. Child Abuse are a bass drums keyboard trio who play metally brutal prog. Very technical, very tight, but with very messy and grungy sounds. It’s funny actually, most of the time the keyboard sounds like a distorted bass and the bass (run through some synth pedals I’m guessing) sounds like a keyboard. They were as great as ever.

Then the anti-rock, max-confusion band Fat Worm of Error was up!

Fat Worm of Error at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .1

Fat Worm of Error at Death by Audio

Notice how it’s not even clear what’s going on in this photo? That’s how they sound, but much moreso. Of course 5 people just noodling and doing separate things would be pretty boring. Okay, maybe I’d think that was pretty cool too, but what makes Fat Worm really mind-bending is the way they have a plan and they’ve really honed their own style of playing – in a way that sounds like chaos at almost every moment. Until both guitarists suddenly play the same sequence of notes exactly together and your brain twists 360 degrees in your head in an attempt to figure out what just happened. More Fat Worm photos:

Fat Worm of Error at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .4

Fat Worm of Error after one of a few costume changes

Fat Worm of Error at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .3

Fat Worm of Error, feeling it at Death by Audio

I spent a little time chatting in the back room and realized this was almost like a reunion (to me) of people from a show waaay back – at the Polish National Home, now known as the Club Warsaw. Maybe I’ll write all my recollections from that show someday, but it’s where I first met lots of the people playing or in the audience. Anyway, with all these long-time friends and acquaintances in attendance, there was definitely a very friendly and supportive vibe going on. You could tell from all the chatting and joking and cheers, but also from the huge smile on Tom’s face between songs.

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .4

Tom Smith with Sightings at Death by Audio

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .2

Mark Morgan's guitar moves

Sightings were doing their thing, sounding as focused (yet blurred) as ever. I was told there was exactly one practice for this show but it would have been hard to guess they hadn’t been playing this set for a month on tour. Everyone seemed 100% in command, holding back or cutting loose exactly when needed with no nervous or puzzled glances. It’s a pretty perfect pairing too, Sightings and Tom Smith, as they both work in a similar mode: composed but loose, planned but spontaneous. Sightings works with sound shards and Tom works with words, both of them stretching their material to the breaking point.

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .3

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .7

Mark Morgan of Sightings, bending spacetime

Sightings w Tom Smith at Death by Audio 01-04-2012 .10

Sightings w Tom Smith (and Pat Murano!)

Oh yeah, this fellow named Pat Murano also played with these guys. You can see him lurking behind that synth in the photo above. I can’t say too much about his playing, which is probably a good thing because it means it blended right into the Sightings vibe.

The set was short but satisfying. Definitely worth catching, but if you missed it some people seemed to be videotaping and recording so hopefully that will turn up online soon. Great show all around!

Even more photos over at the NO-CORE Flickr.

 

GUTTER: Girls of Noise – internet debut!

July 07, 2011 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: news, videos

In April of 2008, Lauren Boyle toured as a member of the Laundry Room Squelchers, Rat Bastard’s free-noise band. Along the way she interviewed and videotaped a number female noise artists, including Leslie Keffer, Val of Unicorn Hard-On, Nancy Garcia, Heather Young of HNY and Social Junk, and many more. The interviews and select performances were edited down to make this 35-minute film, “GUTTER: Girls of Noise.” Lauren has kindly allowed me to be the very first to present it online. Caution: check your volume, this film starts right out with some intense Squelcher noise. Enjoy!

 

More awesome free downloadable noise/core albums

November 03, 2009 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: downloads

Realicide - Detroit 2009

Realicide - Detroit 2009

Everyone loves free mp3 albums right? So maybe you’ve already found these, but it can’t hurt to spread the good word. The gabber/noise/omni-core group Realicide have made a whole bunch of music available for you. They’re frequently compared to Atari Teenage Riot, which is not far off the mark, except they often make ATR sound like, I don’t know… Jesus Jones?

Anyway, you can get no less than THREE collections of stuff, a mega-mix of samples from the latest album with live stuff and b-sides here:

http://www.lunaticfringe.org/~schizoid/dtrashrecords/digitaldownloads/135.html

and a 20-minute tape of misc. live material turned digital release, directly linked here:

http://ia311020.us.archive.org/1/items/Wild063-Realicide/Wild063-Realicide-DigitalScraps2008.zip

and basically a whole live album, with interviews and photos! This one’s pretty awesome. Here:

http://www.digitalvomit.com/dvr048

Rose for Bohdan

Rose for Bohdan

And next up, Brian of Foot Village/Deathbombarc pointed out in the comments to another post that his band Rose For Bohdan’s last album was made available as a free download, but since I figure few people saw it there, I’m reiterating it here. 3 members of Foot Village, recently reviewed, were also in this band. Get it here:

http://deathbombarc.com/sound/r4b/creepingmoraldecay/creeping.htm

SOCIAL JUNK “Born Into It” CD

October 21, 2009 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

333Social Junk are an experimental duo (often with collaborators) originally from West Virginia and recently located to the ever-growing fun-noise capital of Philadelphia. What I admire and like best about them is how they can’t be easily pegged into one narrow niche. Sure, you could call them “experimental” like I just did, but they’ll only fit into a broad category like that. In our modern era of hyper-compartmentalization and scene fragmentation, Social Junk seem like boundary crossers.

They mash up lo-tech industrial clang, delay-loving moan-wave, organic noise-folk, Wolf Eyes-style creep and scrape soundscapes, and pin it all together with occasional white light/white heat noise-rock. The central and title track on this album, the 15-minute “Born Into It,” is what you’re most likely to get at a Social Junk show. It starts with some indistinct, watery, reverb noises and electronic squeaks. The volume builds as echoing crashes ring out. Then as that part dies out there’s a second hushed part, echoing voices joining. Screeching and howling feedback noise starts to overwhelm things and for a finale the drums roll in with the noise still rising to a dense mess and ending abruptly at the climax. Pretty much a perfect 15-minute I.N.C.-style performance. The other tracks explore different parts of this sonic terrain, sometimes harsher, sometimes more free-form, sometimes more blissful and vocal-focused.

I’ve dropped some terms in describing Social Junk that would normally make me shy away from a band, like “noise-folk” or “moan-wave.” These tags are usually applied to groups that are just a bit too cute and mild for me to appreciate. Social Junk might appeal to fans of that stuff, but haters won’t want to dump them in that crowd, because Social Junk always have an edge, the sounds are never 100% nice, there’s always some lurking tension and you know things could start sounding downright ugly. In the best possible way. These guys just finished a tour with other awesome noise jammers Dick Neff and Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, and they’ll probably be heading out on tour again before you know it.

Social Junk on last.fm
Social Junk on MySpace
Order from Digitalis

DAVE SMOLEN "Flannel Injection" CDR

March 10, 2009 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

I really admire consistency of presentation. Dave Smolen’s album is called “Flannel Injection,” the disc has a flannel plaid pattern on it, it comes packaged IN flannel, and I am pretty sure Dave himself was wearing a flannel shirt when he handed this to me.

Strangely however, I cant find anything flannel-ey about the sounds herein. In fact, I’d be far more likely to liken the sound to things metallic, electronic, or alien. This conjures up H.R. Giger settings in my mind, much of it sounding like what you’d expect to hear as you made the descent into the heart of some kind of scary, bio-mechanical mothership.

The album starts and ends with more rhythm-based tracks, the first one almost sounding like a drum machine run through effects, the last based on a fast pulsing sound that goes through some very Mincemeat or Tenspeed-like changes. (You might note that, both Smolen and MMOTS coming from the same Philadelphia scene, the influence likely runs both ways) In the middle, the album comes closer to soundscapes, filled with grinding machines, lasers, dripping goo, and mechanical reverb. Rhythmic elements still crop up throughout in the form of pulses, flutters, and very loosely looped sounds. Like the soundtrack to a surrealist, industrial, sci-fi/horror film.

I really like how this is composed as an album, many different tracks with a different sound to each, just less than 30 minutes altogether, opening and closing with the more “catchy” tracks. Makes for great repeat listening. Dave Smolen’s performance at I.N.C. was also fantastic, based on many of the same sci-fi sounds, but gradually layering them up into a complex mess.

CDR from Malleable Records.

http://www.malleablerecs.com

Dave Smolen live video!

Lazy Magnet "Why Go On?" C20 cassette

February 03, 2009 By: M*P* Lockwood Category: albums

Lazy Magnet is one of those “you never know what you’re going to get” acts, but you can be assured that it will always be good stuff. This tape is mainly drone/mood music, with some curious twists.

The first side definitely drops you into heavy drone territory with what sounds like an infinite-sustain vibrato keyboard note and some hissing/whistling that sometimes sounds like a tea kettle or a distant jet plane gradually taking off. It’s actually well-paced for the length of the side, building (or achieving lift-off) and then gently settling again just before the side is out. Then the piece starts to fade into some guitar strumming and vocals and I almost thought this was going to transition into some kind of moan-wave/new-weird-america/retro-hippie thing. But then the side abruptly ended.

Then strangely side 2 starts off sounding like it’s rewound 30 seconds and you’re still in the same drone, except instead of fading into some kind of meandering hippie jam, it (thankfully) transforms instead into what sounds an awful lots like a John Carpenter soundtrack. Gradually shifting and melodic plink-plonk 80’s synthesizer notes keep the tension at a slow boil. The knobs get tweaked a bit here and there and everything gets a little Moogey until the piece fades out. Then as a final head-scratcher, there’s some low, distant droning and what sound like the beginning of a new piece of music begins to fade in, but the tape ends before it becomes very audible.

This is definitely background or soundtrack music, though there’s a slow constant shift to everything. The mysterious end of each side also makes me wonder if my tape got dubbed wrong. Is it just a fake out, or a genuine mistake? I guess if you get a copy of this tape I can’t guarantee it will sound exactly the same as what I describe, but then that would be in keeping with the Lazy Magnet anti-aesthetic. You really do never know what you will get.


http://www.ijustlivehere.net
Lazy Magnet on MySpace

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