Thursday, June 18, 2015


The maestros of electrical fizz & fuzz last graced FEF with the studio jams of WHOK Lab Emissions Vol I. Here they return in full  "proper album" mode: somewhat more considered, but no less incendiary.

As ever, the tracks seem to have formed via unspeakable methodologies of igneous violence and alchemical obscenity. This might be the duo's most punishingly beat-driven release to date, but they still find time for slack-jawed ecstatic droning noise oblivion.

The title refers to fever visions of biomechanical swine experienced by the artists. It's a fitting analogy for the calculated unruliness of this release.

Side One
1) P!!ggz (6.01)
2) Setablaze (3.32)
3) AV Flux (4.54)
4) Endless Bucolica (5.10)

Side Two
1) Noumenon (4.21)
2) Faulterkammer (5.11)
3) Clipd Scene/Blowback (5.50)
4) Permafroste (3.59)

Listen / buy

Whirling Hall Of Knives is: Magnetize + Barry M

BLOOD ROOM - Mazikeen Scheme - FEF39

Currently based in Portland, Oregon, this is the second release from nomadic UK producer Blood Room (Seagrave Records, IXTAB), following the Habitus cassette on Indole Records back in January.

The title references mischievous demons of Jewish mythology, and matches the music's playfully sinister tone, which suggests indefinable dread in haunted post-industrial spaces. Disturbed sonics and gritty beats are set in a spacious mix, and worm their way into the listener's consciousness regardless of consent. A tape of bangers for the agoraphobic. 

Side One
1) N A S (5.54)
2) K'K (6.00)
3) H (4.48)
4) O P (2.50)

Side Two
1) QUELL (5.32)
2) STRAY (5.20)
3) JUBAL (3.38)
4) BARIUM (Ovis Aurum remix)* (5.00)

Listen / buy 

*Remix by Gary James Geiler
Cover art by Stuart Munro


Arma and Refusenik are both solo artists based in Vilnius, Lithuania. This release captures a single 18-minute collaborative improvisation on synths and electronics (repeated on both sides of the tape). Sparse abstractions gradually coalesce into plaintive Kosmische harmonies before an eventual dissolve into nothingness. It remains decidedly in the proverbial Zone throughout. 

Kol Kas (18.23)

Listen / buy 

Recorded in Vilnius using various synths and electronics 
Mixed & mastered by Arturas Bumsteinas aka Refusenik 
Cover art by Declan Kelly:

GERMAN ARMY - Chigwe - FEF37

This recent interview shed some light on this mysterious California-based project, but it remains harder to fathom their unusual combination of prolificness with a rich, complex style.

Chigwe is a disorienting yet potent mashup of exotic samples and rhythms that may or may not amount to a dream-logic rumination on neocolonialism and orientalism. If any subtext is ambiguous, that's not due to vagueness, but the dizzying collision of vivid, evocative sounds - like shortwave-era Holger Czukay jamming with Lee Perry.

The accompanying digital download includes both sides mixed as they appear on the cassette, as well as the separate individual tracks. 
Side One
1) Mining Consent (2:09)
2) Royal Gold (2:26)
3) Prince of Instinct (2:36)
4) Decorated Hands (3:32)
5) Bedouin Land Claim (1:30)
6) Dark Suit (1:08)

Side Two
1) Contested Grounds (1:25)
2) Bagualeros (2:31)
3) Cross Current (2:57)
4) Trauma Group (2:54)
5) Treacherous Support (2:13)

 Listen / buy

German Army is Peter Kris and Norm Heston. 
All songs recorded in San Bernardino, Pomona, and Riverside areas.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

CLAIRE POTTER & BRIDGET HAYDEN - Mother to No Swimming Laughing Child - FEF36

Merseyside artist and writer Claire Potter works to blur the line between the written word and performance. Here she performs readings from her book Mental Furniture (VerySmallKitchen, 2014), framed by noise and treatments from Bridget Hayden (Vibracathedral Orchestra et al). Tensely-delivered, visceral monologues referencing violence and sexual abuse with morbid humour, and a raw, harsh sonic setting makes for an intense, uneasy but compelling listen.

Side One
1) Ste's Face is Full (3:02)
2) Still Woman Cold (5:01)
3) Brendan Brady (4:58)

Side Two
1) Picking (3:54)
2) Wild Water Pigeon (4:14)

Extracts from Mental Furniture written and performed by Claire Potter 
Production and additional sounds by Bridget Hayden

Edition of 100


Andrew Fearn is best known as the can-supping musical half of Sleaford Mods, but his minimalist stage persona belies a prolific if low-key musical history, notably including a pair of electronic albums under the name Infant in the early '00s. This current solo vehicle has been represented by a diverse slew of digital releases, and more recently, the Just Tracks double CD and Unttld 10" (both on Fourth Dimension Records).

By compiles conceptually and stylistically related material from 2011, most of which previously appeared on a pair of similarly-titled Bandcamp albums. The mood is depressive and downbeat, evoking bad comedowns, paranoid dread and urban isolation, via fractured beats at creeping tempos, spacious atmospheres, and forlorn fragments of acoustic melody. It's like an insular, non-verbal flipside to the eloquent rage of Fearn's "other" band.

The accompanying download includes four bonus tracks.

Side One
1) Lay By (4:21)
2) By Hand (5:42)
3) By Arrest (5:26)
4) By Day (4:30)
5) By Working (7:15)
6) By Half (6:53)

Side Two
1) By Myself (3:43)
2) By Eye (4:30)
3) Death By (5:40)
4) Let By (3:51)
5) Lost By (7:09)
6) Stand By (4:39)

Download-only bonus tracks:
1) By Default (1:49)
2) By Harm (5:47)
3) By Now (7:28)
4) By Storm (9:10)

Produced some time in November 2011 
Thanks to Simon (Baselab)
All music by Andrew Fearn

Edition of 100

Thursday, November 27, 2014

THE RESTLESS DEAD & BIRD PEOPLE - Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence​-​of​-​the​-​Nile - FEF34

Chris Joynes: "The source recordings for this project come from around 3 hours of field recordings made in November 2004 at the weekly Sufi Dervish 'conference' that takes place every Sunday in the centre of the main cemetery in Khartoum, Sudan, which rests near the point of confluence between the White Nile and Blue Nile. 
The recordings sat gestating until spring 2008, when they were used as the basis for a Restless Dead event. On this occasion, the Restless Dead featured members of Jupiter Dogs, an improvising collective that operates as part of a small commune that has existed in East Anglia on an on-off basis for about 10 years, living on some land outside Soham. The commune is formed along religious/spiritual lines, specifically engagement with the mystic traditions of early Christianity as set out in the 1st-2nd century Gnostic Gospels discovered in Nag Hamadi in 1948, and also Islamic gnostic texts dating from around 800AD. 

This event involved playing an edited and sequenced version of the source field recordings on a loop though a small PA at Blue Arc (then based in a room above H Gees' on Mill Road in Cambridge) which the ensemble improvised along to continuously for about 7 or 8 hours, recording the results to minidisc through a single stereo mic placed in the middle of the room. This material was then shaped and edited down over the following three or four years, usually during empty periods spent in hotel rooms and airports, resulting in the 23-odd minutes of Side A. 

In 2013 this piece was sent to Feathered Coyote as a potential release, and was followed by the idea of recruiting Bird People to do a 'dub' version. However, on investigation, it was found that the 7 or 8 hours' of recordings from the Restless Dead event had been 'lost'. Since the original 2004 field recordings were still in existence, these were sent instead, and so, when Bird People went on retreat to Waidhofen/Ybbs, the field recordings were used as the starting point for their piece. There was little discussion over what would be produced, although some basic operating principles were agreed: 1. the recording should be made as part of one single event, rather than a series of 'takes' or overdubs; 2. all instruments should be wholly acoustic, although processing could take place after the event; 3. the final Bird People piece should be exactly the same length as the Restless Dead piece. The results are the 23-odd minutes of Side B."
Side One
The Restless Dead Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)

Side Two
Bird People Meet the Dervishes of Khartoum in a Confluence-of-the-Nile (23:11)

Recorded, edited & produced by the Leith Hill Recordings Mobile Unit & Bird People November MMIV-April MMXIV
Khartoum, Histon, Cambridge, Asmara, Vienna, Waidhofen / Ybbs

Edition of 75