Volcanic Tongue Label
First release on the new Volcanic Tongue imprint is the second solo album by Heather Leigh (Charalambides/Scorces/Taurpis Tula et al), the follow-up to her widely acclaimed Cuatro/Vocal. This is all petal steel/vocal improvisation, one long, extended blow-out that tears chunks from the sky with harsh high-end feedback and moments of helium tone-float that'll unanchor yr skull. Wild passages of Haino-esque ferocity go up against long runs of barely-there subliminal song. Comes in an oversize hard card gatefold sleeve with full-colour cover and obi strip, with hand-stamped credits and logo and stamped black-bottomed discs. All packaged in hard plastic sleeves. Hand-numbered edition of only 121 copies then gone forever.
Brand new album from Heather Leigh and David Leigh, the follow-up to their Sparrows LP on Eclipse, released on their own Volcanic Tongue imprint. One extended, spooked improvisation that navigates a gulf of silence with choral vocals, a fug of distant percussion, bowed tones, a dense accumulation of acid guitar and some long lunar notes. Heather plays petal steel and vocals, David plays guitar. Comes in an oversize hard card gatefold sleeve with full-colour cover art and obi strip, with hand-stamped credits and logo and stamped black-bottomed discs. All packaged in hard plastic sleeves. Hand-numbered edition of only 121 copies then gone forever.
The follow-up to last years Give The Ashes To The Indians, this is the third solo blat from Volcanic Tongue’s own boss lady, Heather Leigh Murray (Taurpis Tula, Babes On The Loose, Dream/Aktion Unit, Scorces, Charalambides et al) and the third release on Volcanic Tongue’s own label. Originally assembled to coincide with her joint UK tour with Zaimph (aka Marcia Bassett of GHQ, Double Leopards, Hototogisu et al) in early March 2006, this is definitely Heather’s most sonically obliterated solo release to date. Limited to 121 hand numbered/ hand stamped copies all with individually hand pasted gatefold sleeves featuring a hot as hell Heather Leigh sat sooth-sayer style in a super mysterious turn of the century log cabin with a giant gas bottle pumping propane in through the smoke stack (photo by David Keenan). The over-saturated colours invest the whole thing with a totally weird, hyper-real/ hallucinatory quality, which is definitely echoed in afuckingbundance in the music. The first track is baked in the kind of throttled digital deterioration that characterised much of Taurpis Tula’s Steel Rods Bruise Butterflies album, as Heather starts out with gorgeous repeated three note fractal patterns eternally spiralling in on themselves like Maurizio Bianchi’s gigantic lullaby moves screaming Elkka Reign Nyoukis to sleep. Heather’s voice sounds so gloriously drowned in a sea full of so much liquid ketamine as the slap delay aids huge arcs of floating, throated utterances like Bruno Nicolai reworking Hildegard von Bingen’s ‘Symphony of the Harmony of Heavenly Revelations’ on yage. Pot Baby also really showcases Heather’s intensely beautiful harmonica playing, which has a profoundly American Primitive vibe; marrying avant folk forms with a deeply personal bent as effortlessly as marching saints like Bob Dylan, Albert Ayler, Little Howling Wolf or Jandek. Her pedal steel playing is immaculate throughout too. Switching from a rush of quick fire staccato stabs on the highest register of the instrument to divine slabs of ever unfurling, multi layered tonal miasma. Highly recommended, baby. – Alex.
Volcanic Tongue is proud to present the first ever release by the Dream/Aktion Unit, a free-thinking avant garage Ur-kestra based around the central kernel of guitarist Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), saxophonist Paul Flaherty and drummer Chris Corsano (Six Organs Of Admittance, Sunburned Hand Of The Man et al) and featuring Heather Leigh Murray (Taurpis Tula/Jandek/Charalambides) on pedal steel and vocals and Matt Heyner (No-Neck Blues Band/Test/Angelblood) on upright bass.
The Dream/Aktion Unit were originally birthed as a side-project to allow Thurston Moore and Jim O'Rourke to fully explore the kind of ecstatic power blues that their work in Sonic Youth repeatedly implied. The addition of legendary New England saxophonist Paul Flaherty and powerhouse drummer Chris Corsano provided them with an umbilical connection straight to the source of modern musical freedom, while working to liberate them from previously articulated modes of known rock-speak. As a quartet, the group tore through a bunch of the USA's most winning festival spaces - their ground-levelling F/X pedal assault at the De Stijl/Freedom From bash in Minneapolis in 2003 being a particular landmark - with both guitarists drawing creative sustenance from the kind of ego-obliterating drums/horn interaction previously articulated by players like The Reverend Frank Wright, Glenn Spearman, Denis Charles and Albert Ayler.
Come 2005 - with sub-underground modes enjoying a particularly unlikely shot in the sun - The Dream/Aktion unit began to take on the role of some kind of spontaneous think-tank, with a revolving door policy towards membership and a commitment to the demands of the moment resulting in almost orchestral incarnations featuring members of Burning Star Core, Hair Police and Vampire Belt all pushing the hell out of the envelope.
In May 2005 Moore, Flaherty and Corsano brought the Dream/Aktion Unit to Stirling, Scotland, for the final Le Weekend festival to be curated by David Keenan/Volcanic Tongue. With O'Rourke permanently out of the picture due to various film and musical commitments, Matt Heyner aka Count Hejnowski of NNCK and Heather Leigh of Taurpis Tula stepped up. The results were mind-blowing, with the quintet tearing through a non-stop gush of energy/ideas without resorting to base musical concerns like dialogue or listening with your ears. This was pure simultaneity at some kind of peak of flux. Moore's role was key. He would move from these kind of suggestive, shepherding chords that would work lubes of motion into the back line, where Corsano and Heyner hooked up to such a degree that it was hard to separate their individual tonal and percussive points. They sounded like a friggin combine harvester. Murray and Flaherty were floating on their own particular plane, one that worked to reconcile the insane pulse of blood from the base of their spine with the juice of pure vision. Flaherty's sound touches on a whole bunch of jazz modes while re-situating the tradition somewhere way upwind of contemporary sound-as-thought while Heather Leigh's exquisitely violent pedal steel stylings and free vocal improvisations seemed to touch on aspects of both Patty Waters, Lydia Lunch and Keiji Haino's flesh-extensions while resolutely refusing anything approaching previously-articulated tongue. The whole thing was recorded and mixed straight to 24 track and the results are what you have in your hands. The first ever document of the collective thought of what's easily the cream of the subterranean cup. Packaged in deluxe hard card gatefold sleeves with specially-commissioned eye-gouging video nasty-style artwork from Miss Karen Constance of Brighton aka Karen Lollypop of Blood Stereo/Smack Music 7/Chocolate Monk this is the first ever 'real' CD release from Volcanic Tongue after a run of limited and highly collectable art-edition CD-Rs.
Brand new release on Volcanic Tongue, the long-awaited new album by free Japanese saxophonist, pianist and vocalist Mochizuki Harutaka, his first ever non-Japanese release. Pressed in a run of 121 hand-numbered copies, the disc is packaged in card fold-out sleeves with obi strip, stamped inners, printed discs and inspired liners from Mr Dan Ireton aka Dredd Foole. Two piano/vocal tracks bookend three excruciatingly nuanced alto sax performances where he draws on the whole Abe/Urabe/Gustafsson school of overwhelmingly physical reed traumatism in order to mint a new, personally lucid energy-language that incorporates phantom register shrieks, sudden, lung-rending bellows and long passages of silent prayer. The two piano and vocal performances seem drawn from a parallel spirit-pot, referencing both the death-decadent atmosphere of Lou Reed's Berlin recordings and the torch songs of Scott Walker, Jacques Brel, Jandek and Baby Dee across a series of emotional, high-wire performances that match spare piano melodicism with frail-to-the-point-of-collapse vocals and beautiful unarmoured song. A truly singular disc, a portrait of a soul and - according to Harutaka himself - his best to date. We're proud as all hell to release this. Highly recommended.
There's A Brunette Up In Tulsa That Cries For Me
Volcanic Tongue VT-009
OUT OF STOCK!
Long out of print CD from Heather Leigh of heavy-metal minimalists Scorces/Charalambides/Taurpis Tula/Jailbreak et al. This one creams the most mind-flaying assaults from her recent Euro-tour with Tight Meat and The Skaters alongside some spontaneous audience actions as documented on the Elvis-in-prison cover shot that extends the whole Jailhouse Rock ethos of her recent Fag Tape into new vectors of then. With just electrified pedal steel and vocals Heather takes the whole Keiji Haino/Munehiro Narita school of protesting strings into the kind of primitive folk-doof environs that nurtured both Donald Ayler and Abner Jay and folds them in on each other to birth a music that feels as primal as it is sophisticated, as physical as it is phantom. If you like your energy hand-made and with a feel for the full interaction of flesh with hallucinatory power sources, then this is the place to plug in. Limited hand-numbered run of only 121 copies with printed discs and stamped sleeves in high quality plastic slipcases. Highly recommended.
Zaimph is working cover for the solo experiments of Marcia Bassett, formerly of Un and Double Leopards. The Undetermined Dyad functions as the fulcrum of her career to date, looking back towards her experiments in group levitation with Double Leopards while extrapolating on her recent solo work. Most of all it's a *guitar* record and one that sits comfortably alongside previous six-string monoliths like John Fahey's Days Have Gone By, Donald Miller's A Little Treatise On Morals or Masayuki Takayanagi's Live At Zojoji Hall while sounding quite unlike any of them. Bassett's re-imagining of the instrument pushes it to the point of almost-translucence, where the physical fact of the guitar itself is almost completely subsumed by echo, F/X, loops and the kind of improvisatory logic that prizes infinite expansion and organic growth over repeated tropes or riffs. Aspects of the first side - the eerie ghost voices, the deep space echo - recall the electrified ritual of nomadic Japanese avant gardists Taj Mahal Travellers but more immediately it sounds like a magnification of her individual contribution to Double Leopards, generating towers of electricity that move from malevolent arcs of anti-gravity and spumes of throttled single notes through to deep wormholes that do violence to feeble notions of time and space. The B side is a little more aggressive, with the tactile sound of strings on pick-ups anchoring a gorgeous wash of all-consuming drone and garage band fuzz before Bassett cranks the tone into realms of total sonic reducer. If your concept of the guitar begins with Jimi Hendrix setting the fucking thing on fire and ends with the sound of voltage completely liberated from any kind of tonal or harmonic anchor whatsoever then this record may well be the girl you've been praying for. But you won't wanna introduce her to your parents. Edition of 300 copies, with jackets featuring original artwork by Marcia Bassett, all silkscreened by Alan Sherry of SIWA and with a full-colour insert wrapped in a Japanese plastic sleeve. Expertly mastered by Tom Carter of Charalambides.
The first new Scorces release from the duo of Christina Carter (Charalambides) and Heather Leigh Murray (Charalambides/Taurpis Tula/Ash Castles On The Ghost Coast et al) in over four years and a taster for their forthcoming double LP on Not Not Fun, Dreamers Of Decadence presents an album’s worth of new material recorded in the Folk & Cinema Basement in Northampton, Massachusetts, in late 2007. Christina plays electric guitar and vocals; Heather plays pedal steel and sings. The sound is extremely eerie, with distant far-away sounds and hallucinated almost-melodies forming gorgeous, spectral matrices of folk-tone and sanctified steel in a way that feels quite unlike anything even remotely contemporary. The playing is pointillist in the extreme, building song constructs from the delicate interactions of single steel notes suspended high in the air, giving the whole album that weird, Venusian quality sometimes associated with fellow instrumentalist Loren Mazzacane Connors. There’s an evocatively refracted acid-rock feel to some of the more wailing passages, with Murray and Carter cranking their axes like hogs and spitting feedback and fuzz in luminous, melodic arcs. The vocals feel even more disembodied than usual, like voices through clouds, with words and sighs propelled on heavy gravities of breath. Just don’t mention fucking sirens, okay? The disc is a limited edition of only 200 hand-numbered copies and comes with hand-stamped sleeves and discs housed in a printed transparency film cover over gold card and wrapped in high-quality plastic slipcases. Highly recommended.
A while back we asked Richard Youngs to record an album especially for Volcanic Tongue, bearing in mind VT’s nebulous but still somehow specific musical aesthetic. We didn’t hear anything for a while, until one day Richard turned up at VT HQ with a CD-R in his hand. I’ve recorded the perfect VT album, he said. We took it home and it damn near took our head off. He was right: Inceptor is the perfect Youngs album for VT. Imagine Richard’s feel for soaring Celtic melodies and spontaneous composition married to PSF-style guitar excess and you’re close to Inceptor’s brain-razzing appeal. Indeed, if Youngs hadda cut an album for PSF Inceptor would undoubtedly be it. Scored for vocals and overdriven electric guitar, Youngs tears raging, iconoclastic solos from the guitar, peaking in glorious folk melodies and clouds of thick overtone that at points sounds like a fleet of Aylerised berserkers playing bagpipes. He sings over the top in a style that reconciles the wordless chants of “Goat”-era Youngs/Wickham-Smith with the electric Albion stylings of his Jagjaguwar recordings. Possibly the wildest and most euphorically beautiful album of Richard’s career, Inceptor is a dazzling slab of peaking psychedelic rock and soaring folk-simple melodies. The LP comes in an edition of only 300 copies, with stunning individually silkscreened sleeves from Alan Sherry of Siwa and packaged in high quality Japanese plastic sleeves. Pretty much your dream Richard Youngs release. Highest possible recommendation!
Very special art edition version of Richard’s staggering psychedelic rock album in an edition of only ten copies. Comes with black sleeves featuring an original inserted section of the cardboard rocket that adorns the sleeve of Inceptor complete with the track listing and a unique sentence taken from the lyrics (every one different) handwritten by Richard himself.
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