Tuesday, March 4, 2014

ASTRAL SOCIAL CLUB - Meadow Mechanicals - FEF24

Hungry synths gulp at the fabric of the universe. Slithering spiky drones shred the veils of reality. The beat kicks in and tries to guide us through the chaos, but it's drowned out by a host of golden daffodils, all talking at once. And there you are in their midst, having undergone a Kafkaesque metamorphosis into a honeybee. 

The latest chapter in Neil Campbell's beat-driven psychedelic noise odyssey is as vividly kaleidoscopic, intense and in-the-red as ever, and more guitar-heavy than usual. Relentlessly ecstatic, urgent, and joyous.

Side 1
Descent (5.02)
Schlaffen Reshape (7.45)
Repellent (3.45)
Rolling Through the Numbers (3.39)
Masonic Lodge (4.34)

Side 2 
Making Out With the Meadow Mechanicals (4.52)
Shower Pump (2.02)
Longitudinal Celestium (5.08)
Slabgate (12.50)

THE LAST SOUND - Outer Raidio - FEF23

Barry Murphy is one half of Whirling Hall of Knives and has been active for over a decade as The Last Sound. His recent Osaka LP, Rainbow Xplode, was blissful psychedelic pop. This release has a more nocturnal feel, a fuzzed-out krauty trip that occasionally recalls Zuckerzeit-era Cluster or The Faust Tapes with skewed melodies reminiscent of Cardiacs and The Residents.

It's like burrowing under the covers with a shortwave radio and encountering a Kosmische party from some unidentifiable utopian state - almost painfully beautiful and tantalizingly distant. Then it's over and you can't be sure you haven't just dreamt it.

stream / buy

Side 1
1. Sorrow Acre (1.20)
2. Floodmaps (2.56)
3. Seed of Infininity (2.03)
4. Pink Trails  (3.00)
5. Outer Raidio  (4.09)
6. Dark Fluouroide  (8.23)
7. Wyrlywyrm  (3.18)

Side 2
1. Up On Wave Upon Wave   (2.33)
2. Dialling Respite  (2.56)
3. Passing Filth Parade  (1.05)
4. Zurück In Kürze  (5.27)
5. En Masse  (13.21)

Produced by The Last Sound 2006-2011. Mastered by Magnetize. Drums on A6, B1, B3, and B5 by Bryan O'Connell. Vocals on B5 by Maria O'Reilly. Thanks to families, friends, Magnetize, and Fort Evil Fruit.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HAMMEMIT - Morthwork - FEF22

The second FEF release from the dark master of arcane English ambience is his most minimal and purest expression yet, consisting entirely of solo guitar instrumentals (along with some avian bookending).

Recorded amid the chalk downs of Wiltshire and titled in the area's 17th century dialect, MM evokes the distant mysterious past through modern means. There is beauty and calm to be found in these woods, but the ancient and malevolent lurk there also. Morthwork is melancholy, haunted, and alluringly sinister.

Side One
1) Circeyard danse (3:41)

Beholde Morthwork, an instrewmentele recordynge bye Hammemit wych tooke playse inne the Chymbere of the Ieldran, groundes of St Marye’s Circe ande Alfred’s Towere, the Shire of Wilt, bye Master MM inne the eleventhe ande twelthe yeres of thys Centurie, whomme play’d gytarre of varyus tones. 

All musick preserv’d as sownde inne syngel taykes wythe all imperfectionnes retayn’d. Layoutte conceptte ande fotografie bye MM. All songe tytels writ inne dyalect of the chalke downes, the Shire of Wilt, Anno 1682.

100 copies. Includes download code.


Soon are a duo from Maine, consisting of Naythen Wilson (familiar from his Jandek covers tape This is a Death Dream) and Stephen Cicia.

Their bleak, doom-laden idiom combines deliberate and chance elements in raw but carefully balanced arrangements, with field recordings given equal weight to instrumental parts, cryptic-language vocals and percussion that could just as likely be the sound of manual labour as deliberate musical expression. On occasion it recalls the improvised abstraction of Pelt or the bleak rituals of Abruptum, but defies categorisation. 

Soon's music is mystical, deep and nocturnal but never vague, and maintains a profoundly mournful and cathartic emotional core. 

Side One
1) Rendered Doorless   (10:56) 
2) Straining the Form   (9:47) 
3) Worked On Both Gowns   (6:03) 

Side Two  
1) Taken By Fixture   (10:04) 
2) Was Relentlessly Holding   (8:14)  

Stephen Cicia - Cles Semitri 
Naythen Wilson - Sem Escholha
Engineered and Produced by Naythen Wilson at Bluepen Studios 

In Memory of Sama 1947-2012 

100 copies. Includes download code.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Johannes Schebler's Baldruin has emerged over the last couple of years via a stream of enchanting tapes, including several splits on the SicSic label. His largely acoustic psychedelic miniatures suggest dark fairytale stumbles across strange and spectral things in the deep woods, leaving the listener with fleeting, amorphous impressions. Comparisons are hard to draw, but there are occasional hints of Popul Vuh, or Faust's more pastoral moments.
This album consists of collaborations with 14 like-minded artists, the list of which reads like a partial who's who of the current cassette underground. From Germany: Least Carpet, Flamingo Creatures, Kolter, Hering und seine sieben Sachen, Pretty Lightning, Agnes Beil, and the mysterious Claire. From the US: [n.], Stone Baby, Karnak Temples, and Former Selves: plus Austria's Bird People, Finland's Uton, and Sunhiilow from France. 

The collaborative approach makes for the most varied and kaleidoscopic Baldruin release to date, running to 23 tracks and 67 minutes. 

Side One
1. Verschollen im Zeitloch (feat. Least Carpet) 3.30
2. Die Gestalt mit den Lavafüßen (feat. Flamingo Creatures) 2.06
3. Herz der Finsternis (feat. [n.]) 2.13
4. Grottengesänge (feat. Sunhiilow)  2.33
5. Kein Horizont (feat. Hering und seine sieben Sachen) 2.11
6. Die Reliquie von Ardistan (feat. Bird People) 1.56
7. Der lebendige Schlüssel (feat. Claire) 0.49
8. Houdinis Verwandlung (feat. Flamingo Creatures) 1.30
9. Der blinde Schleifer (feat. Stone Baby) 2.23
10. Heidekraut (feat. Agnes Beil) 3.13
11. Das rote Korallenriff (feat. Karnak Temples) 3.44
12. Impulse (feat. Kolter) 3.12
13. In der Höhle des Hypsignathus (feat. Uton)  7.00

Side Two
1. Bis zum Grund (feat. Bird People)  2.26
2. Kap der Angst (feat. Hering und seine sieben Sachen & Pretty Lightning)  2.44
3. Sonnenflug (feat. Bird People) 2.10
4. Vladimirs Zaubertrunk (feat. Flamingo Creatures)  1.41
5. Weltraumrennen (feat. Pretty Lightning)  1.50
6. Another Time (feat. Claire)  3.12
7. Fliegende Klingen (feat. Stone Baby)  3.24
8. Betrunken im Traum (feat. Karnak Temples)  3.41
9. Lichterloh war einmal (feat. Least Carpet)  3.28
10. Im Mondschein (feat. Former Selves)  5.30

Cover art by Johannes Schebler

100 copies, includes download code

BUCHIKAMASHI - Out of Body Experience - FEF19

Buchikamashi, aka Shin Buchikama, aka Ginoha label head Hiroshi Mizuno, has been refining his idiosyncratic new age style over a slew of concise cassette releases. Any crystals'n'yoga connotations of the genre are undercut by mischievous humour and sonic intensity. This blissed-out astral trip takes unexpected detours into dense passages that, like a potent psychedelic, may induce ecstasy or paranoia depending on mood. But, of course, transcendence has to hurt a little bit.

Composed and Channeling By Shin Buchikama 
Synthesizer, field recording, Tibetan bells, mixed By Mizuhiro 

Recorded between January - March 2013 

Cover art by Karen Constance 

100 copies, includes download code.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

SIKORA / O'HARA / LACEY - Arbour - FEF18

Catherine Sikora is a West Cork native who moved to New York in 2000 to pursue a career as saxophonist, improviser and composer. As well as being a prolific solo player, collaborators have included Eric Mingus, Han-Earl Park, Joe Giardullo, Karl Berger, Matt Lavelle, Francois Grillot, Ras Moshe, Art Bailey and Jeremy Bacon.

This release documents last February's trio set at the Joinery in Arbour Hill, Dublin, with trombonist Colm O'Hara (Yurodny, Thoughtfox, North Strand Kontra Band, The Dirty Jazz Club, ReDiviDeR) and drummer David Lacey (Legion of Two, Cian Nugent, Paul Vogel, among countless others).

It's a very dynamic performance, ranging from the edge of audibility to fiery ensemble playing, marked throughout by tremendous subtlety, attentiveness and focus. Sikora and O'Hara alternate between lyricism and breathy abstraction, with Lacey propulsive and textural by turns. 

The download code provides Arbour as a single uninterrupted track, and two bonus Catherine Sikora solo improvisations recorded at the same show.

Arbour pt.I   (20.06) / Arbour pt.II  (18.38) (stream)

Download-only bonus tracks: Joinery Solo 1 (6.22)  / Joinery Solo 2 (14.15)

Catherine Sikora - tenor sax 
Colm O'Hara - trombone 
David Lacey - drums & percussion 

Recorded by Will Joyce at The Joinery, Arbour Hill, Dublin 7 on Feb 1st 2013 
Mastered by Eric Mingus 
Composed by Catherine Sikora (© Sikoracat music, BMI) / Colm O'Hara (copyright control) / David Lacey (copyright control) 
Cover art: Passport to Freedom by James McCaul 
Thanks to Fergus Cullen, The Joinery, and James McCaul. 
Catherine Sikora plays Bari reeds. 

Numbered edition of 100. Includes download code.