Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Akira Sakata/Johan Berthling/Paal Nilssen-Love
Arashi

Trost TR-130

LP
£16.99


Excellent new trio set that unites long-term Japanese free saxophonist/vocalist Akira Sakata with the rhythm section of bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love: this is a truly wild and unexpected set, especially for the 6 minute “Rower’s Song Of Ondo” where Sakata doesn’t even play saxophone at all but instead sings in a furious, possessed style ala Kan Mikami over a thundering rhythm section. When he does pick up the horn he is on equally devastating form, playing in a fast speed-of-thought style that barely pauses for breath while crossing fat, almost David S Ware-esque tattoos and peaks of testifying soul power with all out balls-to-the-wall joy. Best Sakata side of recent years? Recommended. 

Hollywood Autopsy
s/t

Little Big Chief Records LBCR-012

LP
£16.99


Officially licensed edition of 500 copies reissue of this lost art punk gem from Wisconsin: coming out of an early 80s hardcore obsessed scene Hollywood Autopsy come over like “Hurricane Fighter Plane”-era Red Krayola play King Uszniewicz’s “Surfin’ School” after having their garage re-tooled by Pere Ubu. Imagine if the 70s void that birthed the whole post-Velvets Simply Saucer school and the goofball American hobbyist LAFMS cabal had somehow infected suburban hardcore with a freeform freakout agenda then cross-breed that with ultra-keen UK DIY optimism and glee-in-creation and you’re close to the kind of spiked suburbia these guys were coming out of. They also get into the kind of slow-spinning euphoric jangle pop minimalism of their Kiwi kin, marrying implied motorik rhythms and endless chorus/reverb guitars to downer mumbled vocals in a way that will have you scratching your head and thinking, what, Kiwi Animal? Josef K eviscerated by The Spies? The Clean play Department Store Santas? Public Image Ltd w/The Cowboy Song as the central touchstone? Right there, you get a feel for the range of this wild, profoundly out-of-time side that exists somewhere upwind of 70s wasteland sounds of classic no-counts like Victoria Vein, Debris et al while sounding approximately *something* like them. A great, puzzling, triumphantly out side of fully infected art punk excess, beautifully rendered, highly recommended!

Matthew Shaw
Silences Of The Night

Sonic Oyster Records SOV-004

7” EP
£7.99


Edition of only 250 copies four track EP that bundles songs by Matthew Shaw for the first time under his own name: this is a striking set that combines acoustic guitar, deep, deep listening fields and Shaw’s poetic vocal reveries that take in the kind of microdot visions of sacred map-points and daffy floral Albion-isms of a Mark Fry while connecting with the psychedelic English folk sounds of a Current 93 or Michael Cashmore as well as the loner guitar of a Six Organs Of Admittance. Lush, drone-infused acoustic psych, angelically scored. 

Peter Brotzmann & Sonny Sharrock
Whatthefuckdoyouwant?

Trost TR-124

CD
£14.99


Stunning previously-unreleased live Luxemburg 1987 duo set from these two titanic free music figures, uncovered in Peter Brotzmann’s personal archive:  with Brotz on reeds and Sharrock on electric Les Paul, the set barrels between teeth-rattling blues dirges, massively free breath/muscle exchanges and that classic, revenant gospel sound that spans continents, cultures and personal histories in a blur of spontaneous, simultaneous form. Anyone who digs The Blue Humans, the Kaoru Abe/Masayuki Takayanagi duos or the blurry sound of speed-of-thought metal on metal oughta dig it but there are also some gorgeous, sparse passages here where Brotzmann orbits Sharrock's F/X guitar forms with genuine melodic grace. So great to hear more from this inexhaustibly creative duo – very highly recommended!

Ragtime Frank
I’m A Rocketship For My Lord

Little Big Chief Records LBCR-013

LP
£16.99


Stunning new avant blues rip up from the Oz underground duo of Ragtime Frank on vocals and guitar and Leighton Craig (Primitive Motion et al) on drums: was hearing comparisons to the Ascension duo of Stefan Jaworzyn and Tony Irving’s classic Five Titles recording and it’s true that the combination of convulsive/collapsing hypno guitar, fully in the red deadtone feedback production overload and scything drums comes over like a blunt post-Bailey boogie session cut by UK thugs but imagine that cut with a one-chord Sister Ray style hillbilly hump that was mainlining the ghost of Reverend B way the fuck past even the reducto distorto hunch of a Tetuzi Akiyama. Ragtime Frank lurches and hee-haws all the way over the top like he’s doing the goddamn crusher over post-Billy Childish no-chord ugh. Craig keeps the whole thing lurching drunk from start to finish, coming over like Abner Jay’s dysfunctional sons jonesing for a reformed Red Transistor. Fuck what The Cramps taught us, it’s time to re-learn the goddamn songbook. Insane and very highly recommended!

Sweet Kelly
Fed Through The Garbage Disposal By Spaceman And Jake

Zedikiah Records #1978FN

LP
£39.99


Original copies of this impossible-to-locate private press LP out of Detroit 1997 issued in a hand-numbered run of 500 copies, all VT copies straight from the Nicodemus archive (!): this was produced by legendary scuzz/biker outlaw Nicodemus and issued on his own label and has a similar avant-drug-rock/mysto- mind-blotting style to much of his own work. Imagine an LAFMS project cut by drug-damaged back street survivalists with access to workshops of cracked tape reels, rudimentary rock instrumentation, PCP and gasoline and then imagine a vocalist who is committed to bearing his soul all over the top of alla this at the kind of hysterical vocal peak that often erases the backing track completely before jump-cutting into what sounds like a New Blockaders re-mix of the engine sounds from Mark Tucker's Batstew album. Or think of a bunch of greasers coming off the whole Up/Stooges/Amboy Dukes/SRC Detroit sweat trip and suddenly transposing alla that energy into all-night basement flights into cultic, almost-Monoshock/Rayne/Vertical Slit-esque basement prog action recorded with less fidelity and a more fucked up mix than even The Dead C. Story goes that Nicodemus bumped into these guys – Radar, Derek Springer and Robert Lize - at a Kinkos when they were still a high school garage band with a heady Floyd/Sabbath feel and he was so blown away by their raw sound that he took it upon himself to produce them and get them out there. This self-titled LP, although these days better known as Fed Through The Garbage Disposal By Spaceman And Jake, remains one of the most beautifully damaged and peerless out rock releases from the deepest strata of the 90s underground. Front sticker reads "Absolutely the closest you can get to being at the rehearsals of the 1st tri-mester in the birth of DETROITS champions of white noise philosophy Sweet Kelly". A unique opportunity to pick up Mint Unplayed warehouse copies straight outta the Nicodemus archive. Highest possible recommendation! 

Talweg
Nos Doubles Errent Dans La Nuit Duelle

Up Against The Wall Motherfuckers!/Up Against The Wall Motherfucker! UATWM-004/UATWM-004

LP
£16.99


Last copies: More new moves from the contemporary French underground: Talweg is a duo that features one third of big VT faves La Morte Young and they describe themselves as a “free metal duo” influenced by “black metal, free jazz as atomised/energized by Tight Meat Duo and Borbetomagus, the crude sound of Le Rock Non as played by a lot of New Zealand sociopaths... and Bruce Russell’s writings”. It’s true: Talweg take the black slow-motion electricity and garbled vocal incantations of Euro death/doom and bisect it with swathes of thrifty free jazz percussion and nod-out flat-lined drones, conjuring the kind of hallucinatory end-of-the-world drone of Sandoz Lab Technicians in corpse paint and with a fleet of Rashied Alis on percussion. Indeed, the tortured, throat-shredding vocals and the moments of simply gorgeous tonally complex distant melodies surging straight out of the void ala classic 20th century minimalism make this sound most like a cosmic dub/doom visioning of massed battlefields as broadcast via celestial shortwave and received in a small cave near Qumran. A stunning set that blends radical avant stylings with pure Cro-magnon grunt and communal/cultic energies to birth something deep in the heart of the wood. Beautifully packaged too in gold sleeves and pressed on heavy vinyl. Recommended. 

Talweg
Untitled

Anarcho Freaks Production AFP-054

Cassette
£4.99


Brand new cassette on a French label from this  excellent “free metal duo”: massive ritual feel to the first side here, with what sounds like a Toshi Ichiyanagi opera or JA Seazer happening scored for throat-shredding vocals, fleets of devouring wolf calls, sheets of harsh, foggy feedback tones and martial machine gun percussion. Flip is even more bizarre with fast pugilistic rhythms and droning bottom end beneath almost Third Ear Band-style whistles and dulcimer phasing into almost an almost d-beat take on electronic Richard Youngs circa Festival. Great stuff. 

Wizard Ashdod
s/t

No Label No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Out of nowhere self-released edition of only 50 copies cassette from this “romantic drone musician” and freakzone head Wizard Ashdod, every cassette with original artwork by a different artist and free download: Ashdod makes hypnotic miniatures that rip deep DIY wormholes into time/space and that are cut with all sorts of liminal subterranea. Using guitars, loops, tapes and a foggy, profoundly lonely recording style Ashdod makes sound works that blur the line between solo edge-of-the-bed primitive power crying ala Christina Carter and the kinda warped drone work that would marry Industrial-scale Fripp and Eno-isms or even the organic electronics of a Maurizio Bianchi or an Angus MacLise to the kinda home-burned tone sorcery of a Magical Power Mako or one of those Subjective Spirit Sound cats. Indeed, some of the tracks bleed straight into full-bore minimal electro-threat techno, almost, just fogs of miasmic, pulsing third ear tone and distant organic tectonics. Totally weird, massively extended, very psychedelic, one of the out of left-field tapes of the year at VT. Highly recommended. 

Graham Lambkin
Abersayne/Attersaye

Kye #706

7”
£8.99


ONE OF VOLCANIC TONGUE'S RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2013!


First ever solo 7” from Graham Lambkin of The Shadow Ring: the warped application of guitar, tapes and vocals make for an amazing psych/folk bomb that somehow channels the same kind of hermetic backwoods appeal of the more cryptic Joshua Burkett sides while matching the kind of intimate diaristic appeal of those weird Jack Kerouac straight to tape songs from Reads On The Road before the whole deal phases out into waves of endlessly lapping Ethiopiques-style hypnotism and minimalist tape/textural confusion.  Flip is even weirder, pushing out into the kind of homemade Death Blues of a Jandek or Pip Proud as refracted through an old victrola talking machine and broadcast backwards via a heavily encrypted numbers station. Totally amazing, could go a full LP of this style, and very highly recommended! Already sold out at source. 

Marc Barreca
Twilight

Palace Of Lights POL-05/3000

LP
£14.99


Warehouse find of original, sealed copies of this amazing 1980 private press underground side by Marc Barreca: Twilight has been characterised as a ‘new age synth’ private, alongside titans of the form like JD Emmanuel’s Wizards, but it feels like a fairly cursory description of the jaw-dropping range of sonics within and might have more to do with the cover art by Rosalie Barreca than the actual music. Barreca does make extensive use of synth stylings but he also uses a lot of ‘incidental’ instruments and treatments as well as guest spots for saxophone and prepared guitar.
So what is it really like? Think a low-key doom-laden Charalambides/Scorces session where they were using brokedown beatboxes ala Tolerance and dead synth tones in order to more effectively channel the sound of the American night. There are aspects of Jim Shepard/Vertical Slit’s bloodyminded basement noise, swooning sliding strings and lunar treatments that touch on Ash Ra circa Schwingungen or the Fripp/Eno jams, zoned chains and drones sections that come over like a hyper-tactile Aube before we move into the kind of interstellar sax/keyboard work that touches on the Riley/Baker flights. On the flip there are loops of haunted subliminal vocals and cries of joy slowly fed into a phasing black hole (think a more heavens-focussed Nord or even Gary Kail/Slava Ranko) while almost Ora/Mirror style field recordings vibrate in the distance. Add in some genuinely lonely synth chorales and vague, distant guitar instrumentals and the satellites are truly spinning. The final track, “Industrial Landscape”, does exactly what it says on the tin, channelling metal automata and smokescreens of heavy drone in order to birth the sound of the future. Supremely lonely, out of time, with a classic basement weirdo atmosphere and some truly malevolent instrumental stylings, this is the black nightmare sound counterpoint to Wizards and one of the off-the-map classic of the early 80s private press scene. So make your move, very highly recommended, won’t see these again!

Christina Carter
Character Study

Drawing Room Records No Cat

LP + Chapbook
£14.99


Stunning new conceptual work, long time in the making, from spectral songwriter/guitarist Christina Carter of Charalambides: accompanied by a chapbook that crosses poetic musings with interrogative enquiry, Character Study puts the soul of the 21st century artist on trial across two side long meditations for electric slide guitar, tambourine, bells and dark, miles deep F/X. Hypnotically subdued, with an uncanny feel of being directed, Carter power moans and shivers her way through two ghostly blues madrigals that pin your heart to the floor, transposing the ‘weight’ of Patty Waters College Tour to the kind of parched soul terrain of a Jandek or even a Skip Spence. Stunning, late night soul poetry, highly recommended. 

Ian William Craig
A Turn Of Breath

Recital R-8

LP
£13.99


Heavenly psychedelic/baroque/choral fantasias scored for vocal and reel-to-reel tape by Craig, a trained opera singer, on Sean McCann’s private Recital imprint in an edition of 375 copies: this is a stunning set, channelling the hallucinatory heavens of Cannaxis via the automating music of Fripp & Eno and the decaying tape compositions of a William Basinski. Craig uses mutating loops of massed choral song and treats it with mile-deep drone setting, unearthly shortwave and sudden euphoric rushes of celestial tone, combining a devotional Grouper/Popol Vuh/Arvo Part appeal with what could almost be an Industrial tape evisceration of Palestrina’s Allegri, using noise, fuzz, tape flutter and in the red signalling to generate a form of modern holy music that takes the tradition out into full-beam cosmo drone territory while locating it in the sounds of the body itself. If the sound of angel vox suspended over voids of malevolent tone while tape loops mark cyclical time appeals at all then this is your evening shuttle, with the whole deal floating slowly and serenely into great gulfs of static oblivion.  A striking vision of the sound of modern holy music, can’t stop spinning this, comes with a download, very highly recommended!!

Karen Novotny X
3 Minutes Over Brussels

Deep Distance No Cat

Playable Picture Postcard
£3.99


Major archival uncovering by GPS following on from a killer LP and 7” of some classic early Industrial/DIY UK synth on a bizarre massively lo-fi stereo-playable audio postcard that features Novotny’s acclaimed collage work: KNX were led by Cy Levene on vocals and synth with Anna Bloom on vocals and electronics and Niko on tape and rhythm machines. Due to fractious inter-band relations the group never released anything at the time but this is another shot of their future vision, a solo archival instrumental that combines occult radiophonia, TG style death disco and almost Silver Apples-style psych. Edition of 500 copies in sealed and stickered packages. 

Matthew Shaw
Light In Extension

No Label No Cat

chapbook
£6.99


First ever self-published collection of poetry and photography by UK sound artist, songcrafter and occultist Matthew Shaw: the poems collected here all have visual counterpoints using Shaw’s beautiful black and white portraits of centres of power, sacred alignments and open air temples, while his poetry - spare, short, almost haiku-like soundings of area sonorities and energetic translations - combine a ringing, bell-like quality with a feel for the stuff of the earth and the curve of the heavens. Written between 2010 and 2014, this 30 page paperback features 13 poems for the 13 lunar months along with 15 original photographs and is released in an edition of only 70 copies.

MV & EE
Alpha Lyrae

Child Of Microtones COM-41

LP
£21.99


Historic first ever LP release on one of the premier private press imprints of the era, Matthew Valentine and Erika Elder’s Child Of Microtones: in many ways COM was the first imprint to ever grok to the artistic and documentarian possibilities of the CD-R format, releasing lovingly crafted limited runs back when home burning meant little more than getting smoked up. So it feels nothing short of epochal to be welcoming this gorgeous slice of heavy wax to the catalogue. With a revolving cast of players that includes contributions from Mick Flower, Doc Dunn, Tim Barnes, Rafi Bookstaber, Jeremy Earl and Coot Moon, Alpha Lyre has the feel of an obsessively worked over and long-time coming ‘statement’ and it somehow manages to be the most brain-dazzlingly complex COM to date – something in the way the matrices of strings float and get entangled and the feeling of cosmo-drift between one song and the next, not to mention the kinda higher fractured logic that takes the drug ballad way beyond the reach of simple west coast trips – while amping up the crunch with some of the duo’s most raging full on group work. Indeed, side two’s opener, “Roll On>Mayan Feedback” rivals Lou Reed’s ostrich showcasing on The Legendaly Guitar Tapes as they tear through what sounds like a proto-Kaneko take on “Run Run Run” or “I Can’t Stand It”. “Boo Woe (When It’s All Gone)” presents a tragic scenario that we can all relate to while “Return From The Stars” mines a whole other Albion for some beautiful Canterbury-esque paeans to a smarter stone. “You” comes over like a Moebius strip eternal music take on the most dosed outward bound soft-focus psych, reaching its apex with the epic candyfloss dissolve and expiring space-whisper vocals of “Starchild”, which might just be the most erotic slice of pure floating non-body gnosis of their entire catalogue. Produced in full Spectrasound and strikingly packaged with heavy duty vinyl and printed sleeves with deep denim blueblack and metallic silver ink by VGkids in a one-time edition of 600 copies, this one looks and sounds amazing and is very highly recommended!

Razen
Reed Bombus

Deep Distance DD-14

Picture Disc LP
£12.99


Excellent set of psychedelic early music jams from this Brussels-based duo in a hand-numbered edition of  300 copies on a trippy picture disc: using santur, bombus, bouzouki, psalterium, bagpipes and hurdy gurdy Razen channel the kind of ancient>future atmosphere of ritualists like Third Ear Band by way of contemporary psychedelic heads like Toho Sara and Ghost, building grand droning orchestras, flashing ragas and sad madrigals from sawing strings and cranky, microtone-thick dervishes. The duo navigate extended jams via jump-cuts through sudden blats and snippets in a way that mirrors the fragmentary logic of The Faust Tapes or even Vibracathedral Orchestra. With a dedication to the late Conrad Schnitzler, this is fantastic. Last copies anywhere, highly recommended.

Rory Storm
Low Fidelity Electronic Music

Epic Sweep Records No Cat

CD-R
£10.99


Ultra limited CD-R from New Zealand’s Rory Storm from the same label that brought us the great Maxine Funk LP: Storm has cut a buncha dazzling sides over the years, often in the company of Jon Chapman, ex of Double Leopards but this something else entirely, a massive side of euphoric industrial electro, with tight complex breaks and the kinda flesh/metal confusion of a Black Sun Roof.  Think a more flight but less thudding Henry & Hazel Slaughter and then cut it up with post-TG cyborg moves, chopped and screwed beats, heavily phased electricity and some of the momentum of your favourite jungle pirate, all rendered with a post-Hototogisu/Sunroof/Astral Social Club intensity. Recommended. 

The Coolies
Punk Is Bread

Epic Sweep Records ES-035

7” EP
£10.99


Excellent six-track EP from this Auckland, New Zealand underground destructo psych/fuzzy DIY girl/boy unit that features Stefan Neville of Pumice et al in an edition of only 100 copies: The Coolies move from amazing, almost Suckdog-esque hysterical pre-teen disobedience with spontaneous vocals, Shaggs playroom rhythms and random keyboard bleeps before dropping into hazy Shop Assistants-play fuzz pop from the edge of the world. An instrumental track like “Punk Is Bread” is completely deformed, sounding like an afterimage of a bootleg Crime cassette assaulted by Robbie Yeats and the Corpus Hermeticum Orchestra. Then we get a simple, two chord pop songs like “Mothers In Mantis” that combines alla the above. Touching on alla the bases that we have come to love from NZ, this is a classic shot of out-of-time avant garage pop and free noise that makes for an ultra-exhilarating listen. Plays at 33, very highly recommended!

The New Blockaders & Creation Through Destruction
Negative Mass

4iB Records 4iB-007

12”
£11.99


Mind-blotting new collaboration that takes the TNB sound to new levels of aural savagery in collaboration with Serbian harsh noise actionists Creation Through Destruction in a numbered edition of 250 copies with insert: this is one of the darker, more atmospherically occluded of the TNB releases, recalling, in its use of subliminal voices and vocal tone, their incredibly disturbing set at Thurston Moore’s Nightmare Before Christmas in 2006 that came out on Blossoming Noise as Das Zerstoren, Zum Gebaren. The ‘wall noise’ attack of Creation Through Destruction provides a second veil of dense, semi-permeable electronics, making this one of the most of the spectrally brutal of the TNB collaborations. 

Bill Orcutt & Chris Corsano
Square Cunts/Live At Various

Palilalia Records PAL-030

Cassette
£10.99


Last copies of this killer ‘tour only’ self released cassette from Bill Orcutt of Harry Pussy: Square Cunts makes for one of the most hands-down thrilling documents of Orcutt’s recent return to form, with Corsano playing in a wild, non-flowing temporally disruptive style, nudging, undermining and caveman-ing Orcutt’s grunting electric blues, as Orcutt makes lightning darts on rabid Beefheart-isms, blats of electric Sharrock, Kousokuya-style Crazy Horse assaults and some of his most devolved hardcore punk since the heyday of goddamn Harry Pussy. Like this even more than the fantastic duo LP, very highly recommended but very limited supply!

The Blue Humans
Incandescence

Shock SX-028

CD
£8.99


Unlikely warehouse find of this all-time classic mind-erasing avant/free/rock/noise monster: Incandescence sees legendary post-Sharrock/Russell guitarist Rudolph Grey dream-teamed with Borbetomagus saxophonist Jim Sauter and Albert Ayler drummer Beaver Harris live at CBGBs in 1998. Rudolph Grey’s Blue Humans – who also featured Arthur Doyle and Alan Licht – single-handedly joined the dots between high energy free jazz and wild psychedelic rock excess, tearing free form instants of hurricane guitar tone and throat-shredding reed violence straight out of the air. Beaver Harris is on startling form, levitating the group with all the force and vision of ’66 Truth Is Marching In. Think Eight Miles High played live at the Pan-African Festival by a post-metal orchestra of newly freed men and you are at least close to the overwhelming power of this definitive side. The fucking blueprint, right here, highly recommended. 

Various Artists
Wayfaring Strangers: Darkscorch Canticles

Numero Group Numero-048

2xLP
£28.99


Astounding collection of unknown teenage post-Zeppelin/Sabbath occult metal from 1970s USA: this is such a great package, with classy teenage Dungeons & Dragons style graffiti on lined notebook paper for artwork and specially re-visioned metal school-room style ‘logos’ drawn by Robert Soden: if you dug Medusa’s amazing First Step Beyond LP out of Chicago in the 1970s then this shit is the next level, with OTT doom metal epics married to classic fighting fantasy, sword and sorcery lyrics as well as dedications to Lucifer, lakes of fire, pagan hostilities and necromancy. The level of Bonehead RPG-isms is almost overwhelming as bands like Air, Wrath, Stonehenge, Triton Warrior, Junction, Stone Axe, Wizard, Stoned Mace, Arrogance, Sonaura, Dark Star, Inside, Space Rock (!), Medusa, Gorgon Medusa and Hellstorm conduct proto-punk séances in the name of the dungeon master. If you’re a fan of thud and you like it all wrapped up with a teenage metal warrior ethos w/doofy nods to the occult then you’re in the right place. This is the sound of the true teenage wasteland. Beautifully packaged with heavy vinyl, chunky gatefold sleeve and a massive booklet with great liners and pics, very highly recommended. 

Bremen
Second Launch

Blackest Ever Black BLACKEST-003

2xLP
£18.99


Killer new double LP of hermetic Kraut-inspired prog/crank from two members of thug-metal minimalists Brainbombs: long, dunting organ/guitar/bass tracks that summon the kind of cold war basement mesmerism of a German Oak or an Archaia while boasting the kind of flashing/third eye blinding production style of the goddamn Marble Index. Indeed, imagine Spacemen 3 circa Sound Of Confusion given a Cale/Eno makeover in Berlin circa Low/The Passenger played by sociopathic teenage metallers strung out on boo and you have pretty much a fantasy VT spin. The keyboards are just the right side of the Swiss mountains while the moody piano-led tracks take “Janitor Of Lunacy” to the edge of Neu’75 w/creeping atmospherics and a Bonehead/psych aspect that is extremely invigorating. A stunning out-of-time set of zoned basement Kraut from a pair of heads that know everything there is to know about monochord confusion. Comes with a download. Recommended.

Ferial Confine
The Full Use Of Nothing

Siren 021

CD
£14.99


Necessary deluxe CD upgrade for one of the key founding documents of the UK underground: Ferial Confine was the early solo project of Andrew Chalk, who at the time had connections to fellow avant travellers like Ramleh/Broken Flag and The New Blockaders. The Full Use Of Nothing was originally released on cassette by Chalk in the mid-80s and later briefly issued on vinyl. It parallels the early TNB recordings in its use of all electro/acoustic soundings, primarily metal and even the sound of cupboard doors banging in Chalk’s parents’ house while long-term collaborator Darren Tate appears on bowed autoharp (indeed Tate also gave the album its title).
The sound is sensual, textural free noise but with none of the harshness associated with TN, Ramleh or Whitehouse at al. At points the crawling/bubbling tectonics border on a form of metallic eroticism, cushioned by the kind of distant soft drones that Andrew would later amplify and expand on in his solo work. There are sections of forlorn classical piano bisected with dizzying laminal drones that give the music an undeniable feeling of haunted nostalgia, making for some of the most striking – and strikingly melancholy – UK noise music of the age. Very hard to extrapolate from the ‘base’ materials and process involved in its creation to the grandeur and complexity of its final form but this new edition sounds better than ever, allowing you to dive deep into the complex contours of this radical set of DIY compositional beauty. Long a secret influence on the whole of the UK underground, parts of this recording were later plundered by The New Blockaders on 1995’s TNB Est Mort! Comes in a gorgeous hard card slipcase with Japanese obi strip. Highly recommended!

Idea Fire Company
The Island Of Taste

Swill Radio 026

LP
£14.99


Excellent album from Scott Foust and co that feels more barren and emotionally adrift than the previous two entries, with the bulk of the racks based around piano and tape elegies that seem to exist somewhere between Neu ’75 and Henning Christiansen circa Abschiedssymphonie. Very beautiful. “IFCO follows up our conspicuously ignored Stranded LP with an equally, if not more so, strong statement. Core members Karla Borecky and Scott Foust are joined by an all star cast: Meara O’Reilly and Jessi Leigh Swenson from Stranded, as well as Frans de Waard, Graham Lambkin, and Dr. Timothy Shortell. The Island Of Taste depicts a manoeuvre in which the beauty becomes more beautiful as the desperation becomes more desperate. A stark and romantic mission to the rocks. Lavish package featuring an excellent Karla cover painting as well as a booklet presented as a set of 5 x 7 art cards with another Karla painting, band photos, and an essay of mine. Perhaps The Island Of Taste is the first LP to make explicit a certain nostalgia for itself. Along with The Shadow Ring’s Swill Radio trilogy (Lighthouse, Lindus, I’m Some Songs), I’d put IFCO’s trilogy (Anti-Natural, Stranded, The Island Of Taste) up against anyone’s three LP run. We’ll see…” – Scott Foust.

Mixed Band Philanthropist
The Impossible Humane

Staubgold #129

LP
£16.99


Inspired reissue of one of the all-time oddball UK Industrial/experimental underground classics, Mixed Band Philanthropists’s legendary The Impossible Humane. MBP was a pseudonym for Richard Rupenus of The New Blockaders and pals who put to together this insane LP in 1987 with the help of a bunch of cassette contributions from a veritable who’s-who of DIY/avant gods. MBP then dredge the whole thing through several layers of impossible aural logic until you have one of the most spectacularly grid-locked and obsessively dense sides of scattershot/ plunderphonic noise/drone never released by United Dairies and this side of Orchid Spangiafora. Includes appearances from Nurse With Wound, Andrew Chalk, Nihilist Assault Group, The New Blockaders, Organum, Asmus Tietchens, Smegma, Tom Recchion, Merzbow, The Haters, Giancarlo Toniutti, HNAS, P16.D4, Vortex Campaign and more. Obsessive, endlessly intricate and inspired in its construction, simultaneously crude and sophisticated in its unfolding, pretty much the apex of underground/DIY collage tape work. Highly recommended!

Aster
s/t

Rel Records REL-008

LP
£10.99


Another stunningly beautiful package from Eli Keszler’s Rel Records. This one is the debut duo release from Keszler and Ashley Paul. Here Keszler plays bowed percussion and cymbals while Paul tears wild altissimo sustains from saxophone and clarinet, confusing the kind of static jazz minimalism of the Tamio Shiraishi/Sean Meehan duos with the sound art of Ikuro Takahashi and Harry Bertoia. The way Paul strains to modulate high, lonesome pitches has some of the melancholy grandeur of Kaoru Abe though the overall feel – constant high-tones spinning in clouds above subtle scrapes and roars - makes it feel closer to a more tactile take on eternal music than anything approaching free jazz. The dynamics of the flip are a ‘little’ more conventionally reed/drums, though Paul opts more for weird, inflating tones than anything approaching runs, while Keszler is more focused on expressive texture than time. The final track crosses strings with thuds of percussion that feels like a more improvised take on the electro-acoustic confusion of the first New Blockaders LP. Pressed on 160 gram copper plate pressed virgin vinyl, the record is housed in a black inner sleeve. The textured paper cover features a layered silk screened drawing while the inside contains grey pasted notes with an attached 8x24 inch three part multi-tone picture printed across a fold-out frosted vellum book. All silk screened, hand assembled and drawn by Ashley and Eli. The record comes in a limited hand numbered edition of 300 copies.

Good Area
Cubic Zirconia/Bad Karlshafen

Kye #707

7”
£8.99


Edition of 300 copies 7” from this amazing Philadelphia-based avant/WTF duo: building on their debut Kye LP and recent cassettes, Cubic Zirconia crosses domestic field recordings, intimations of bedroom space and an approach to form/fidelity and collapsing universe dynamics that could almost be The Decayes. Amidst the sound of DIY trash rituals and classic clanging guitars ala Slugfuckers/Shadow Ring there is some twisted brass that sounds like someone swallowing a Donald Ayler solo while six strings re-think Rudolph Grey’s roadblock axe style. But the whole thing is squoze through the kind of blunt/blurry fidelity that makes it seem almost hermetically loaded. Still, nothing remotely like these two, ultimately, and this is another premier side of outward bound sound. Very highly recommended. 

Idea Fire Company
Rags To Riches

Recital #4

LP
£15.99


Vinyl edition of what was originally a cassette-only release documenting the short-lived quartet line-up of Idea Fire Company: recorded between 2003-2004 here Scott Foust and Karla Borecky are joined by Jessi Swenson (Believers/Duck et al) and Meara O’Reilly as well as on one track by Matt Krefting. This LP edition gathers the best of the cassette, including trio, quartet and quintet line-ups, live art brut rituals, some of the crudest most cranking machine noise this side of The New Blockaders and a massively zoned/psychedelic deconstruction of The Shadow Ring’s “Some Of Us” single. The quartet line-up was truly one of IFCO’s best, combining a kind of sophisticated trash-glam appeal with a radical DIY approach to punk-concrete and some serious smarts. On Sean McCann’s own imprint. 

Nihilist Assault Group
Silent Movie

Hospital Productions HOS-142

LP + DVD
£10.99


Wild document of classic noise action from this alter ego of The New Blockaders featuring Richard Rupenus alongside Dominik Fernow (Prurient) and Ron Lessard aka Emil Beaulieu. Recorded live at the No Fun fest 2006, Silent Movie also comes with a silent DVD of the show that makes for pretty surreal viewing when viewed without the record spinning in the background. DVD also comes with a commentary by G.X. Jupiter-Larsen. Edition of 500 copies.

Radiant Husk
Micromegas

Recital #2

CD
£10.99


Hand-numbered edition of 200 copies on Sean McCann’s new Recital imprint that sees Radiant Husk aka Matthew Erickson of Sudden Oak laying out a series of wild overdriven saxophone drone pieces bookended by a pair of stately, almost Nitsch-esque chord organ works. Erickson works by looping and overdubbing saxophone lines that range from single Industrial fog-horns to smoky blasts of vibrating brass in a way that comes across like Barefoot In The Head as re-worked by Terry Riley for maximal all-night flight potential while at points recalling the composer Ingram Marshall’s eerie recordings of San Francisco in the fog. Imagine Roxy Music reduced to nothing by Andy Mackay and Brian Eno or the Sauter/Dietrich frontline after way too many psychedelics recorded in a natural amphitheatre several miles beneath the surface of the earth and you’re close to the kind of fantasy territory this major side traverses.

Small Cruel Party
Unroof The House Of The Fishes

Harbinger Sound Harbinger-114

LP
£13.99


Reissue of an amazing cassette, on vinyl for the first time, from one of the most enigmatic of American underground group’s Seattle’s Small Cruel Party: Key Ransone was the brains behind SCP who released a slew of multi-format releases between the years 1989 and 2002. The sonics were always somehow occluded, minimal sound environments that touched on small sounds, a piano, a repeating single note melody, the scutter of low-level improvised activity, almost voices... cohering to make something that was both compulsively listenable and bewitchingly weird. Every track feels like a puzzle, or another cryptic angle on an impossible scene.
Unroof The House Of The Fishes was originally released in 1993 on the Japanese G.R.O.S.S. label run by Akifumi Nakajima aka Aube and it still sounds completely unparalled. It’s a striking recording, with aspects of Andrew Chalk’s early noise and field recordings work circa Ferial Confine as well as hands-on DIY noise ala The New Blockaders. But there’s also a rigorous, eerie compositional feel to the unfolding of the piece, with inchoate shapes and odd, grating sonorities inserted into the two side long tracks in a way that is quite uncomfortable, undermining the piece’s sense of space and somehow constantly forcing you to re-think or re-process your perspective.
Indeed, imagine an extended Dreamweapon ritual featuring Genesis P-Orridge on tortured/no notes violin or the Holy Mountain soundtrack as recorded on a cassette recorder during an electrical storm and you’re close to the abstruse elemental/ritual appeal of this side. A bedroom/noise take on Takeshisa Kosugi’s Catch Wave? Either way there’s something transcendentally odd and strangely moving about this piece, blurring the line between classic noise, timbrally aggressive improvisation, laminal tape work and homemade minimalist ritual. Still one of the most intriguing units on the planet, this one pushes alla the VT buttons, almost at once, and makes for a hell of a long strange trip. Limited and very highly recommended!

Cassis Cornuta
Mag Ik Eens Even In Uw Broek Pissen?

Ultra Eczema #69

LP
£11.99


Excellent collection of recent work from Antwerp’s Daniel Renders aka Cassis Cornuta, a European thinker who took a similar aesthetic stance to early Nurse With Wound and The New Blockaders way back at the dawn of the 70s, making anti-music, noise and art-prank statements using broken turntables, Korg synths, vacuum cleaners, fucked-up pianos, microphone feedback, primitively executed sound poetry and industrial debris purloined from Smegma. Cornuta’s story makes for a fascinating secret history that sheds further light on the culturally decimating power of avant garde theory in the hands of punk primitive kids, documenting a dramatic cultural engagement played out across countless long-lost cassettes and private performances. This new Ultra Eczema collection gathers material recorded between 2005 and 2009 and it’s dominated by lonely/minimal analogue keyboard work that comes out of the same solitary universe as Edmond De Deyster (indeed one doughball has already suggested they are one and the same person) while combining cracked drum machines, gurgling melodies and that classic fried middle-European avant punk appeal. A fantastic collection, edition of 300 copies with inserts and with multiple holes punched in the centre, should you want to skew the sonics even further. Highly recommended.

Good Area
French Antarctica

Kye #24

LP
£16.99


ONE OF VOLCANIC TONGUE'S RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2013!


Beautifully perplexing debut album from this Philadelphia-based duo on Graham Lambkin’s Kye imprint: Lambkin compares Good Area’s endlessly wayward guitar/beatbox/cornet/room sound jams to “bastions of shoe-box cassette culture” and NWW-listers like The Decayes and Semool as well as Vanity recording artists like Nishimura Alimoti and they certainly orbit the more cracked ‘beyond technique’ modes of the sub-underground. French Antarctica consist of one constantly mutating jam across two sides of wax that combines the kind of fractured atonal guitar and room sound riffing of one of Derek Bailey’s letter-cassettes with heroic non-musicianly chops that are somewhere between Royal Trux circa “Strawberry Soda Pop” and Slugfuckers. The mangled cornet is resolutely ‘post’ Cosey Fanni Tutti while the crude beatbox-isms give it a weird sci-fi appeal that is true teen scientist. As the piece unfolds the guitar gets into some wilting six string barbarism before its interrupted by an advert or a public information broadcast or some kind of television overspill before the microphone pulls back and the sound of the room comes flooding in. Suddenly you’re perched on the end of a bed, in a small room in nowhere USA crying straight to tape in the dark. Nothing remotely like it, with an equally confounding sleeve and insert, feels entirely appropriate that it would have some kind of historical link with The Shadow Ring. One of the premier left-field releases of the year – highly recommended!

Sean McCann
Music For Private Ensemble

Recital #5

LP
£15.99


New album from Sean McCann on his own Recital imprint: here McCann brings together a bunch of aspects that have orbited his back catalogue but that have never been fully articulated. The first piece is especially ambitious, using strings and keyboards to birth a form of devotional modern classical music that tips the hat to the early viol music of William Lawes as much as the continental-scale compositions of a John Adams or Aaron Copland while still coming out of a modern avant/drone aesthetic. There’s a similar sense of scale and of American invention as in Tony Conrad’s Four Violins but with less dissonance and more focus on orchestration and timbre. On the flip the feel is a little more hallucinatory, with an almost Basil Kirchin/Nurse With Wound-esque use of slowed down tapes over Partch/Moondog-style orchestrals before the whole thing blooms into fractured swells of sweeping strings and a final track that features the heavenly vocals of Kayla Cohen aka Itasca. A major statement from McCann. 

Colin Potter
Entering Again

Sacred Summits SS-002

LP
£16.99


Beautiful new archival LP with silkscreened sleeves, hand-stamped/hand-numbered in an edition of 500 copies: Entering Again gathers a bunch of amazing early Krautrock/synth/Industrial experiments from Potter, best known for his work w/UK underground legends like Monos, Ora and Nurse With Wound. Five tracks recorded at his home studio in York 1979-1983, Entering Again is fantastic, with a crude, spontaneous aspect that is cut with an austere Euro industrial feel, meaning that it flits around in a vortex that is almost high gothic teenage. Potter blows beams of keyboard straight into the void like he’s attempting to resurrect Conrad Schnitzler before the whole thing explodes into euphoric form with arpeggiated keyboards and the kinda endlessly mutating bottom end of a Heldon or a Monoton. Indeed, imagine Con’s classic Gelb side as played by your favourite UK DIY pluke, hot on the heels of love. A brilliant unearthing of classic early bedroom-style Industrial kraut/trance – more please! 

Colin Potter
I Couldn’t Agree...

Sacred Summits SS-001

7"
£8.99


Edition of 400 hand-stamped and numbered 7”s that rescue some classic early DIY/Industrial/electronics from Colin Potter of ICR/Ora/Monos/Nurse With Wound et al: I Couldn’t Agree... rescues two tracks that originally appeared on a 1981 ICR compilation, We Couldn’t Agree On A Title. The A side comes over a hyper-amphetamine DIY electro pop masterpiece that is as keen to get it across as The Instant Automatons while cutting the drum machines and flashing synths with some deadpan vocals that give the nod to The Normal while the B side has some massively dysfunctional drum machine loops leading into the kind of moody post-punk weirdo raunch more associated with the Manchester Musician’s Collective. A great uncovering for this new label that is bringing some key archival Colin Potter/UK underground sounds to light. 

Junko/Michel Henritzi/Rinji Fukuoka
Billion Years Of Sighs

An'archives An’07

LP
£18.99


Beautifully assembled limited to only 150 copies LP with silkscreened sleeves and obi strip: Billion Years Of Sighs features two duo workings by French avant guitarist Michel Henritzi, with Henritzi playing infinite tones on an aggressively articulated lapsteel. The A side is a duo with Junko, vocalist for Hijokaidan and it kind of has to be heard to be believed, with Henritzi combining long, doomy, pregnant drones of malevolent steel strings alongside some tactile, percussive fist assaults while Junko makes with some of her most emotionally chilling and hysterically disruptive free vocal shrieks and imprecations. It’s hard to believe that such a frail frame can generate the kind of high phantom electric tones of Junko without permanently damaging herself and somehow Henritzi’s more minimal (though still explosive) style brings out a quality of terror and despair in her vocals that sound like deep post-Patty Waters body sound blues. Incredible. Over on the flip Henritzi is joined by Rinji Fukuoka of Overhang Party/Majutsu No Niwa on violin, voice and percussion and the sound is closer to the amazing split LP Fukuoka cut with the late Jutok Kaneko back in the day, Searchin’ For My Layline, with Fukuoka’s dark, distant vocal drones and fuzz-punk eternal music stylings creating void-gargling zones of pure black tone that Henritzi blows apart with almost Charalambides-scale desert blues assaults and walls of pure Velvet thunder. Totally fantastic, beautifully packaged, highly recommended. 

Oren Ambarchi/Neil Campbell/Michael Flower
Live At Tusk Festival 2013

Tusk No Cat

LP
£13.99


Mind-blowing new trio LP from this one-off grouping, raising the skies with the stream of their music for a raucous performance at Newcastle’s Tusk festival in 2013: of course the tag team of Neil Campbell on electronics and Mick Flower on ragged guitar glory is one that has been responsible for some of the heaviest psychedelic alchemy to come out of the UK as part of the world-beating Vibracathedral Orchestra but the addition of Oren Ambarchi brings almost Nazorani-style thunder to the table, as the trio cut floating electronics and wailing/blasted raga guitar into thudding almost Parson Sound-levels of devotional drone rock. If you dig Baby Grandmothers but your stance is 100% post-Skullflower when it comes to your choice of microdots, then this is the full damage deal, modern holy music in the hands of three masters. Glorious full colour cover art by Karen Constance too, highly recommended!

The Velvet Underground
The Legendary Guitar Amp Tapes

Tummy Tapes No Cat

LP
£21.99


Unbelievable new ultra-limited LP from the label that brought us the Alice Coltrane Divine Songs LP with classy paste-on sleeves: this is a vinyl edition of what has become the most whispered about of the legendary Velvet Underground recordings, namely a residency at The Boston Tea Party in March of 1969 when a fan recorded the band through a microphone that was set up directly in front of Lou Reed’s guitar(!). The results are devastating and make for the final proof that Lou Reed single-handedly invented underground music. The rest of the band are effectively eclipsed by Reed’s incredible post-ostrich/post-Ayler feedback worshipping ascensions and alla that boo-ha about whether Reed really was influenced by free jazz can be put to rest here as he pulls the kind of wailing hallucinatory shapes from the guitar that it would take the goddamn Blue Humans to decode a couple of decades later. The version of “Foggy Notion” (which is actually drawn from an equally insane recordings made at the Boston Tea Party in ’68) becomes a dense matrix of wounded notes and overloaded raga electric as Reed takes almost Rallizes/Sharrock scale electric iconoclasm into new realms of post-Diddley hunch, an approach that he extends into a blistering endless jam assault on the most barbarous take of “I Can’t Stand It” ever beamed into the brains of live teenagers. Even a previously quiet hymnal like “Jesus” comes over like a heavy metal Loren Connors here, with Reed welding feedback and fuzz onto every tactile note. On the flip its two monsters, “Beginning To See The Light” and “Run Run Run” (from another Boston Tea Party show in July of 1969) which features Reed’s ‘mind splitting’ white light style extended to lengths of hypnotic, narcotic violence. Pretty much the greatest guitar side from the greatest rock guitarist of all time. This is the kinda monolith that casts a shadow over your entire record collection and makes you realise that by 1969 The Velvet Underground had pretty much laid down the blueprint for every rock possibility that would manifest in the next goddamn how many decades. Wrap it in sandpaper and let it destroy the rest of your collection. Can’t believe this has made it to vinyl, limited supply, obviously, but this gets VT’s all-time highest possible recommendation! 

Various Artists
La Psicotropia

Was Ist Das? Was-3

Cassette
£8.99


Excellent new compilation from the people who brought us the recent Isengrind cassette that surveys the sounds of the new psychedelic music coming out of South America: this is blast from out of nowhere, with a bunch of groups, working in relative isolation but channelling the ghosts of precursors like the sainted Traffic Sound and Los Parajos via contemporary technology and DIY garage band formulas. Much of the music seems to connect at a tangent with the experiments of James Ferraro, Spencer Clark and Jan Anderzen, with small instruments, druggy/dubbed beats, extended cultic nod-out jams and an overall nocturnal 3am vibe but there’s also a heady bedroom Krautrock vibe, with an endless, open space feel and the kinda fidelity that makes it feel like it is being broadcast via massed third eyes. Groups featured: False Sir Nicholas, Efrain Rozas, Tomas Tello, Titanik, Panchasila, Los Siquicos Litoralenos, Chico Tropico, Diego Bodego, O+YN and Brayan.