Monday, December 30, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #29

The Native Cats “Cavalier” Dallas LP (R.I.P. Society/Ride the Snake)
Public Speaking “Salesman” Blanton Ravine CD (Fabrica)
Righteous Acid “Side A” (excerpt) Righteous Acid CS (Space Slave Editions)
Edibles “Midnight Movie” Other Minds Meet Inner Space LP (DNT)
DJ DJ Tanner “Untitled” Home Entertainment CS (DNT)
Row “Tinier Than Description” Strachan CS (Power Moves Label)
Jay Batzner “Near Burning” Electronic Music Midwest CD (Irritable Hedgehog)
Clay Cantrell “End of a Day” High On The Gallows CS (House of Alchemy)
Ben Von Wildenhaus “Bad Mofo” How He Performs CS (Psychic Mule)
Black Dirt Oak “Demon Directive” Wawayanda Patent LP* (Mie Music)
Peter Gutteridge “Planet Phrom” Pure 2LP (Xpressway/540 Records)
The Mausoleums “Causeway” The Tollbooths CS (Chaos of the Stars)
Astor “Side B” (excerpt) Inland LP (Kye)
G Sweems "Side A"(excerpt) Treasure Island CS (Noumenal Loom)
Von Himmel “Cyborg Kundalini” weltraumrückführungsübereinkommen LP (Sloowax)
Limbus 4 “Dhyana” Mandalas LP (Wah Wah)
Alice Coltrane-Turiyasangitananda “Rama Rama” Divine Songs LP (Tummy Tapes)
Sheriff Lindo and the Hammer “Eastern Bloc” Ten Dubs That Shook The World LP (EM Records)
Giant Claw “Frightmare” Tear In Static CS (Singapore Sling Tapes)
Marcus Rubio “On Texas Recession” Rooms CS (Prairie Fire Tapes)
Snailpoison “Ektophormatron" Live in the Hatnhimen Cave CS (Dub Ditch Picnic)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

FFFreakout #392 (Live on 12/26/13)

Lou Reed "City Lights" from The Bells
Body/Head "Actress" from Coming Apart
Bill Callahan "Small Plane" from Dream River
Butthole Surfers "Creep in the Cellar" from Rembrandt Pussyhorse
Alexander "Skip" Spence "Cripple Creek" from Oar
Fire! Orchestra "Exit! Part One" from Exit!
Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band "Click Clack" from The Spotlight Kid
Elizabeth Johnson "Sobbin' Woman Blues" from American Primitive Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897-1939)
Counter Intuits "No Computer Blues" from Sheets of Hits
Teenage Fanclub "Alcoholiday" from Bandwagonesque
My Bloody Valentine "If I Am" from MBV

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FFFavorite Albums of 2013

Here is the follow-up to our previous list of favorite tapes of the year. This is a list of twenty albums, both new and reissued works, that we played on our podcast show throughout the year that truly captured our attention and imagination. As we mentioned before, there are a number of other artists, releases, and labels that we really appreciated and strongly endorse that are not represented on this list, and we encourage you to peruse our playlists to get a sense of what we were covering and playing on our show. We listened to an insane amount of music during the year, so we feel like any release we played on our podcast show is more-or-less a "favorite" during any given month. We hope that you'll follow the links provided to find out more about each of these releases or, better yet, support some of these artists and labels by purchasing their albums. If possible, hit up your local independent record store or, if you're in the sticks, check out these fine mailorder sites: Boomkat, Eclipse, Experimedia, Forced Exposure, Fusetron, Mimaroglu, Volcanic Tongue.  As always, thanks for looking & listening.  

Rashad Becker - Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. 1 (Pan)

The most impeccable sounding and straight-up mind/ear-altering electronic album 
of the year. There's very little that compares to the strangeness and laser-sharp
clarity of this album. Despite all of the buzzing, moaning, and otherwise whirring
sounds that are darting every which way, there is something uniquely "organic"
in how this all comes together. You get the distinct feeling that some unidentified
species or objects may come flying out of your speakers at any given moment. 

Circuit des Yeux - Overdue (Ba Da Bing)

Haley Fohr has a voice that quite frankly scares the shit out of us.
Her husky vocals have the same bone-chilling quality of Nico's and on
Overdue, her strongest and most wide-reaching collection of songs to date,
she uses it to devastatingly beautiful effect.

Counter Intuits - Sheets of Hits (Pyramid Scheme)

Excellent collaboration between two of Ohio's finest D.I.Y. pop/rock 
ambassadors: Ron House (Great Plains, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, etc.) 
and Jared Phillips (Times New Viking). On their first release together, they assembled
a batch of memorable songs that melds art-damaged punk songcraft with snarky 
lyrics and the type of tape grime you've come to know and love from basement 
primitivists of their stature.

Èlg - La Chimie (SDZ Records)

Some of the material on La Chimie appeared on the In Coro tape that we
had included on our year-end favorites list from last year. This release,
however, was fleshed out with several other rarities and unreleased tracks
to form something new and fresh. Èlg's pulsing and darkened electronic
songs have a compelling otherness that we've found in few others creating
music in this realm. Check out the recent feature show we did with Èlg
a few months back to get a sense of where he's coming from.  

The 49 Americans - We Know Nonsense (Staubgold)

 Essential LP reissue of this classic from the UK avant/DIY pop supergroup, 
The 49 Americans. Given the various members activities outside of this 
group, it's still hard to believe that they made an album as ridiculously
accessible and just plain giddy fun as We Know Nonsense. 

German Army - Endless Phonics (Monofonus Press
Last Language (A Giant Fern)

We already expressed our fondness for German Army in our list of favorite
tape releases of the year, but we were also quite smitten by their recent
vinyl output, too. Endless Phonics is actually sort of a best-of collection
from their cassette output, while Last Language marks their first straight-
away vinyl release. The recordings are slightly cleaned up, but they 
still retain that dark and woozy industrial sound that German Army 
has perfected. 

Jandek - The Song of Morgan (Corwood Industries)

Nine CDs of solo piano performances seems a bit excessive by anyone's standards,
but damn if this wasn't a pleasant, and much-welcomed, surprise from a singular artist 
who continues to surprise well into his fourth decade of releasing music. There are a lot
of fond memories of Jandek's performance in Mankato tied up in hearing his sublime
piano wanderings on The Song of Morgan. A Jandek album that we had playing 
for months on end, and in the company of various folks, with little-to-no complaint.  

Peter Jefferies - The Last Great Challenge in a Dull World (De Stijl)

A timeless classic of downer rock brilliance and tender balladry from
Peter Jefferies backed by a cast of key movers in the New Zealand 
underground's Xpressway/Flying Nun circle. Though we may be a few 
songs short to date, we have vowed to play every song from this album on 
our podcast and regular Thursday show at some point because we're 
convinced that more people are bound to fall under its spell. 

Matt Krefting - High Hopes (Open Mouth)

Haunted and howlin' longform tapeworks from the skilled hand of
Matt Krefting. With High Hopes he took the ideas from his superb 
CD-R on Kendra Steiner Editions, Sweet Days of Discipline
and weaved them into engrossing sidelong pieces that come  
off sounding oddly like Victrola Concrète: never has broken 
glass sounded so beautiful.

Graham Lambkin & Jason Lescalleet - Photographs (Erstwhile)

The third and final installment of this Lambkin/Lescalleet trilogy and
undoubtedly the high-water mark of their work together so far. There's
a bit more musicality spread out over these two discs than previous efforts and 
the snatches of fly-on-the-wall audio of conversations with friends and family 
from their respective hometowns gives this album a captivating and very 
personal feel. Let's hope that the end of this trilogy simply marks the 
beginning of something new.  

Sean McCann - Music For Private Ensemble (Recital)

Easily the most ambitious and refined work in McCann's massive and already
impressive catalog. Here he plays composer of one, stacking layer upon layer 
of instrumentation to create a full orchestra sound. Sweeping string arrangements
and grand gestures abound, but injected with a decidedly avant impulse that
doesn't make this sound stuffy in the least bit. A major statement in every way. 

Michael Pisaro - The Punishment of the Tribe by its Elders (Gravity Wave)

Pisaro's compositions take a focused and patient ear with their spaciousness
and extended silences. He has a unique sense of pacing and development, 
though, that rivals Lambkin & Lescalleet's work in terms of its captivating
power. When his electric guitar downstrokes ring out in the second half 
of The Punishment . . . , you might get fooled into thinking it's 
the latest Earth album you're listening to.   

Primitive Motion - Worlds Floating By (Bedroom Suck)

As with previous efforts, Primitive Motion, the duo of Leighton Craig and
Sandra Selig, are still very much a minimalist pop group in every sense; however, the 
songs on Worlds Floating By show much more dynamic range and emotional depth. Basic 
programmed beats, cheap keyboards, and blurred vocals are still the core ingredients, 
but yielding hummable gems like "The Hill" and "Mortal Souls", which are two of 
our favorite pop songs right now.   

Rambutan - Inverted Summer (Fabrica)

Rambutan (aka Eric Hardiman) has been a mainstay on our podcast show 
since its inception. Hell, we even jacked our standard intro music from Rambutan's 
The Temple of Echo CD-R. While we have listened to loads of Hardiman's music
over the past several years, we still couldn't help but be blown away by 
Inverted Summer, his first LP release, with its gripping and well-crafted 
alien sound environments. His most accomplished work to date.

Ákos Rózmann - Images of the Dream and Death (Ideologic Organ)

Lavish 3LP reissue and re-recorded version of this beast of an electro-acoustic 
composition that was originally conceived during the mid-70's. Serene at various 
points, completely unsettling at others. This was cut to vinyl by Rashad 
Becker, whose own work might be picking up where Rózmann left off.  

James Rushford & Joe Talia - Manhunter (Kye)

At this point, virtually every Kye release is a "must have" for us here
at FFF. The Call Back the Giants, Good Area, and Anton Heyboar LPs
were all essential listening, but we found ourselves returning to Manhunter 
(a nod to the 1986 Michael Mann film of the same name) the most with its 
suspenseful ambience, mournful piano lines, mysterious found sounds, 
and plodding, yet seamless, forward motion.

Sky Needle - Debased Shapes (Bruit Direct Disques)

In the wake of Mad Nanna's visit to Mankato this year, we became
completely fascinated with all of the great underground musical happenings 
taking place in Australia. Part of this was fanned on by the arrival of the second 
full-length album from Sky Needle in our inbox. This Brisbane-based group of 
junk-punk improv jammers create an infectious blend of loosely-wound low-end 
grooves and kitchen-sink clatter with their homebuild instruments, and they 
happen to have, in Sarah Byrne, possibly our favorite female vocalist out there 
right now. 

Robert Turman - Beyond Painting (Fabrica)

A much-needed 2LP edition of a previously ultra-limited CD-R release
of Turman's gorgeous, and completely mind-erasing, loop-based compositions
and Middle-Eastern-tinged drones originally recorded back in 1990. Don't 
let that date fool you, though, this music is as fresh and alive as any 
contemporary zoner.

Von Himmel - Rock N Roll Animal/Traum Esel (Donkey Disk
& weltraumrückführungsübereinkommen (Sloowax)

This mysterious San Francisco-based group (?) are making some of the 
most amazing psych-drone-rock-whatsis right now. Somehow they seem 
to tie together every notable sub-underground ripple of activity from the 
last 40+ years: Krautrock, free-folk, noise, Dead C-styled drone-outs, 
you name it; and it's all presented in a real admirable way that recognizes 
and pays tribute to their fringe lineage. In this case, we couldn't 
choose one album over the other.    

Wolf Eyes - No Answer : Lower Floors (DeStijl)

Powerful return of the Wolf Eyes crew after a few year hiatus, now featuring 
a leaner, meaner group sound focused on tension-filled songcraft over
out-and-out noise bombast. Our favorite rock album of the year.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

FFFreakout #391 (Aired on 12/12/13)

Unwound "Mile Me Deaf" from A Single History
Adderall Canyonly "We Are Everywhere At Once" from We Are Everywhere At Once
Scraps "Walking Down the Street" from Classic Shits 2006-2009
Alice Coltrane-Turiyasangitananda "Rama Guru" from Divine Songs
Great Valley "Sandra's Rage" from Continental Lunch
3 Toed Sloth "Non Alignment Pact" b/w I Didn't Know . . . 7"
Jim O'Rourke "Get A Room" from Insignificance
Wanda Jackson feat. Shooter Jennings "In the Cold, Cold Night" from Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White
Sonic Youth "Superstar" from If I Were A Carpenter
The Breeders "Divine Hammer" from Last Splash
The Pixies "Letter to Memphis" from Trompe Le Monde
The Breeders "Bang On" from Mountain Battles
Clarence Henry "Ain't Got No Home" from The Best of Clarence "Frogman" Henry
Queens of the Stone Age "Smooth Sailing" from Like Clockwork
Los Straitjackets "Icky Thump" from Rockin' Legends Pay Tribute to Jack White

FFFreakout #390 (Aired on 12/5/13)

Blank Realm "Full Moon Door" from Deja What?
Television Personalities "Smashing Time" from Part Time Punks
Kitchen's Floor "Left" from "Deadshits" 7"
Nate Young "Blind Corner" from Regression: Between Worlds
Sky Needle "Radical Fire" from Rave Cave
Moondog "Theme and Variation" from The Viking  of Sixth Avenue
Sandoz "Higher Than That" from Chant to Jah
Beach Boys "Good Vibrations" b/w "Let's Go Away For Awhile" 7"
"Dance Along With Schweigert" 7"
The Kinks "A Well Respected Man" from Hit Parader 7"
Cherry People "And Suddenly" 7"
George Harrison "My Sweet Lord" b/w "Isn't It A Pity" 7"
Badfinger "Day After Day" b/w "Money" 7"
Dora Hall "Satisfaction" b/w "5 O'clock World"
The Tremeloes "Here Comes My Baby" 7"

Blank Realm - Falling Down the Stairs from BSR on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

FFFavorite Tapes of 2013

As we've done during previous years, we compiled a list of some of our favorite tape releases that we played on our podcast show during 2013. In the weeks ahead, we will be doing the same for our other favorite LPs, CDs, reissues, etc. Even though we listened to literally hundreds of tapes throughout the year, we decided to keep this limited to twenty releases total. There are plenty of artists and labels whose work we fully appreciated and whole-heartedly endorse that are not represented herein, and we strongly encourage you to look back through our podcast playlists to check them out. For now, though, these were the tape releases, listed here simply in alphabetical order, that we found ourselves returning to most frequently. Please follow the label links to find out more information about each release and for ordering purposes. As always, thanks for looking and listening. 

Adderall Canyonly - Between the Rays Lies Fear But Also Joy (Jehu & Chinaman)

AdCan's releases on Tranquility Tapes and Rubber City Noise were 
also exceptional. This one, though, struck me as his most concise 
statement with its strong song-like elements. Along with his other
project, Oxykitten, and his label, Field Hymns, Dylan McConnell is
unleashing some of the most consistently interesting electronic music
in the cassette underground.

Brute Heart - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Moon Glyph)

Brute Heart's original score, which was commissioned by the Walker Art 
Center, perfectly captures the eerie and ominous feel of this 1920 German 
silent horror film with its melancholic strings, ethereal vocals, and twinkling 
keys. There is a magical quality to this recording that connects, whether 
you have seen the film or not.

Cream Juice - Man Feelings (Orange Milk)

Both Keith Rankin (aka Giant Claw) and Seth Graham released some 
insanely good solo tapes this year too, not to mention the excellent work 
they do with their Orange Milk imprint, but there is something so
mind-bogglingly great about their work together as Cream Juice. 
Their barrage of electronic sounds are, on the surface, complex, 
yet their material is infused with a sense of pure fun and exuberance 
that is downright irresistible. 

Cyclops - The First Year (Goaty Tapes)

Murky basement pop from this collaboration between Russian Tsarlag
and SHV. Goaty had us sold at "a gruesome twosome of leathery 
grooves and toilet rock." 2014: The Year of Toilet Rock

Ecstatic Cosmic Union - XCU (Eiderdown)

Top-shelf psych drift and kraut groove from this transcendent Seattle
husband-wife duo, not to mention that Eiderdown has some of the 
most eye-popping artwork around. 

German Army - Holland Village (Dub Ditch Picnic)

German Army is hands-down one of the best groups to have emerged from 
the cassette underground over the past couple of years. This tape, along with 
their recent LP output, show them continuing to refine their brand of  
woozy industrial noir to more precise and emotionally resonant results. 

Headboggle - Hillboggle (Sicsic Tapes)

This tape features two of the most fascinating sidelong pieces we had 
heard all year. It has just the strangest arrangement of sounds that melds
classic musique concréte strategies with piano minimalism and hillbilly 
banjo plunk - like a hoedown at GRM studios - yet incredibly fresh 
and forward-thinking. 

Idea Fire Company & BRRR - The Terrible Comet Salt (Recital)

Mysterious soundtrack work to a short film by Anti-Natural member, 
Timothy Shortell, based on a 1902 German science fiction short story, 
here narrated on the A-side by The Shadow Ring's Darren Harris. We know 
it has been stated elsewhere that Harris could read from a damn telephone book 
and make it sound utterly arresting with his stark, baritone delivery, and that is 
most definitely the case here. The accompanying sounds are equally as compelling: 
warm electronic pulsations, mutant machine music, and crackling piano loops. 
(*Note: Legit tape photo forthcoming)   

Inez Lightfoot - Three Weaving At The Well (No Kings)

A much-needed reissue of the beautiful and otherworldly dream-folk 
transmissions of Jackie McDowell, who has now sadly put this project
to rest. Comes housed in No Kings always fetching risograph artwork.

Innercity - A Minor Princess (Goldtimers)

Expansive and fully immersive alien electronic sound worlds from
this Belgian artist who has released music on countless reputable
tape labels from around the globe. A massive blank-out trip.

Nathan McLaughlin - Karen Studies (Scissor Tail Editions)

McLaughlin's meditation on the work of Karen Dalton, specifically
her renditions of the traditional song "Katie Cruel" and Tim Hardin's
"Don't Make Promises." He completely deconstructs these songs, yet 
somehow captures the gritty texture of Dalton's voice and the timeless 
melodies of her playing with his reel-to-reel machine and banjo. One
of McLaughlin's most moving works to date.

Nite Lite - Pepper People (Tape Drift)

Phil and Myste French, formerly of Stunned Records, a label that was 
massively influential for us here at FFF, have been crafting some of 
of the most mesmerizing sounds under their Nite Lite moniker over the 
past few years. This tape picks up where their exquisite LP, Megrez, on 
Desire Path Recordings left off, blending found sounds with various
percussive elements and droning textures and an amusing wtf family folk 
closer in "Froggy". Comes packaged in the classic Stunned collage style 
replete with those memorable rounded edges and all.      

Piper Spray - Epigraph to the Bright Star Catalogue (Singapore Sling Tapes)

Hazy, retro-futuristic collage pop from the heart of Russia. Singapore Sling 
as been cultivating a distinctive aesthetic that is closely aligned with the 
excellent Orange Milk imprint.

Righteous Acid - Righteous Acid (Space Slave Editions)

These infectious, spiraling afro-funk-inspired jams came just in 
time to brighten the now long and frigid (soon to be) winter days. 
Another winner from Space Slave Editions, who put out a number of 
stellar releases throughout 2013. And Phil French artwork to boot!!

Sheldon Siegel - Three Euro Breakfast (House of Alchemy)

This tape features a handful of lengthy live tracks recorded during 
Sheldon Siegel's 2010 tour with Ignatz and U.S. Girls. This Belgian
trio moves between explosive free jazz ramp-ups and droning ethnic
folk scrabble with enough finesse and restraint to make those peak
moments sound like they're going to tear open the goddamn sky.
Powerful stuff!

V/A - Duets II (Tranquility Tapes)

Aside from the focus on duo aktion, the second installment of Duets,
much like the first, feels more like an annual report on the state of the 
experimental tape scene, bringing together a notable group of 
actively involved musicians, artists, and label heads that travel
in similar circles. If you are looking to get up-to-speed quickly,
these compilations are a great place to start.

V/A - Workers Comp. (All Gone)

A collection of blasted, no-fi pop & rock nuggets that'll leave you wondering
if the International Pop Underground has been reactivated and gone
and relocated to Detroit.

V/A - Taxidermy of Unicorns (Watery Starve)

Beautiful handcrafted double cassette edition, with zine and all, that
brings together four of the leading female voices in the international
cassette underground - all delivering their unique take on homespun 
dream-pop songcraft to form a cohesive whole. Best packaging
and overall presentation of a cassette release of the year. 

Weakwick - Neophyte (self-released)

Bad-ass noise rock pummel interlaced with squelching electronics 
from this dynamic under-the-radar Minneapolis duo.   

John Zuma St. Pelvyn - Lost Masters of the Shortwave Choir (Lighten Up Sounds

Prior to his show here in Mankato a few months back, we wrote something to the 
effect that John Zuma St. Pelvyn was a blues guitarist in some respects, 
but he was also someone hellbent on destroying the form. One of the more
original and completely underrated solo guitarist out there right now, 
Lost Masters showcases both the beautiful delicacy and hard-edged 
dissonance inherent St. P's playing style. 

Sunday, December 01, 2013

FFFoxy Podcast #28

Primitive Motion “Skyline” Worlds Floating By LP (Bedroom Suck)
German Army “Communion With Form” Last Language LP (A Giant Fern)
Glass Random “I’m A Criminal” S/T CS (Singapore Sling)
Amateur Childbirth “Pripyat” Pripyat LP (Disembraining)
Counter Intuits “Stickin Pins” S/T LP (Pyramid Scheme)
Angie “Shared Futures” Turning LP (Easter Bilby / Rice is Nice)
Graham Lamkin “Abersayne” b/w “Attersaye” 7” (Kye)
Cyrus Pireh & Honduras “Concordia” (excerpt) S/T LP (Shinkoyo)
Rashad Becker “Dance II” Traditional Music of Notional Species Vol. 1 (Pan)
Seth Graham “Cream Masters” Creaky Clumsy CS (Tranquility Tapes)
Peninsula “la socarrada” b/w “los hornillos” 7” (Love the Chaos)
MJ Guider “Two Twenty-Two” Prima CS* (Constellation Tatsu)
Trouble Books “Stacking Spheres” Love At Dusk LP* (Mie Music)
Adderall Canyonly “The Witches of Christ” We Are Everywhere At Once CD (Debacle)
Lens “TG:DG (dub)” (excerpt) Visions Meet Light in the Cult House CS (Field Studies)
Chalaque "Simple Mathematics" (excerpt) Sounds From the Other Ideology LP (Golden Lab)
Luciernaga "Land of Four Corners" Land of 4 Corners CD-R (Tape Drift)
Spencer Dobbs "Paleface" Of Texas CD-R+Chapbook+CD-R (Anahuac Editions)
The Original Flowering Earth "Side A" (excerpt) Hosshin CS (Cave Recordings)
Xiphiidae "Side B" (excerpt) Pass Hidingly Seek LP (Aguirre)
Sindre Bjerga & Micromelancolié "Side A" Anaglyph #1 CS (A Giant Fern)
The Lost Domain "A Friend of my Brother's Wife" Blondes Chew More Gum 2LP (Negative Guest List)