Sunday, March 12, 2006


One of the many amazing artists I sadly lack full knowledge of is Miami-based speaker-destroyer Dino Felipe. I dig his band Old Bombs with Carlos Giffoni, and I really really dig his duo Felipe & Forte (with Nick Forte of Christmas Decorations), who put out a mindblowing full-length of mail-exchanged concoctions last year called Shaggy Black on Soft Abuse. But I need to catch up on Felipe's solo stuff (including a new online-only thing) on Schematic, so I guess I'll be depositing e-coins into sometime soon.

Until then my skull is buried in the quicksand of St. John, a new Felipe CD-R on Chicago label XDiedEnRouteY. There's a good N. Sylvester review of Shaggy Black that's a tad hep/cutesy for my tastes, but its overall point - that Felipe's work hems to no patterns and provides no graspable context - is right on, and applies equally to St. John. I've listened to this about 15 times in the past week and I still can never remember what just happened or predict what's about to. Shrieking noises divebomb over viola drones, test-tone whines pierce through percussive screams, video game samples get dipped in liquid nitrogen and shattered against sharp rocks of feedback. Everything happens fast and little gets repeated, yet a thick consistency coats each millisecond, as if Felipe's bloody hands are painting everything bright red.

Still, best thing about St. John is its weird mix of moods. A lot of it is actually kinda hilarious, with absurdist turns and cartoonish swings that feel like a laptop-era update on Raymond Scott's goofball innovations. Yet all this nervous aural activity has an eerie drama, in the same way that John Cage and David Tudor's Indeterminacy can inspire chills and laughs simultaneously. Ultimately St. John is a hyper-barrage of sound that rewards both focused attention and passive acceptance, and an early candidate for 2006's Top Whatever.

Watch out for more Felipe action to come, including the awesomely-titled Album Title Ideas on Rolax, and a contribution (alongside Giffoni, Ariel Pink, Keith Fullerton Whitman, etc) to a subscription 12" series on Melted Mailbox that looks beyond awesome.

DINO FELIPE - "003" from St. John


Blogger Dat RoRo Kid said...

Yea, man, Dino is amazing. I'm consistently totally FLOORED by the material he makes...and he's ridiculously prodigious. Makes you want to totally give up music sometimes cuz there's no way you can match up to the quantity and quality he puts out there...

Dino was the original Monotract drummer back when we first started in 1997...back when we were more rock-steady. Vanessa (also in Fukktron) was the bassist with Nancy and I doing the guitar duties...only local popular band I was ever in before they moved to ATL. I miss those guys all the time...they're like family.

2:15 PM  
Blogger jahbrowski said...

so cool you reviewed this cdr. i just got a copy myself a few weeks ago. love it! J

10:34 AM  
Blogger MM said...

cool thanks for the Dino bio - are there any recordings from the Dino Monotract days?

4:53 PM  
Anonymous leslili lala said...

dino rawks... makes me want to be funky... you gotta buy some of his own CD-R's from his own LABEL RANCHH Recordings...

I have a couple that live with me and I love em::
Cassette:Compile, and "We're Always Here"

he's way wonka riffic creative off the HOOK--

CHECK OUT Album Title Ideas coming out with ROLAX Records... kick ass Parisian Label...

Great Review still gotta get this one, and I'm glad you've written it up..!!! Wooohooo

4:47 PM  
Anonymous leslili lala said...

here's the url...
party on peeps.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Dat RoRo Kid said...

actually, yea..there are recordings from when he played with us but we usually just keep it to ourselves. Rat Bastard recorded us in his South Beach's an e.p. of rock tracks Nancy wrote.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Dat RoRo Kid said...

incidentally, aside from ranchh recordings there's stuff he does with his sidekick, Melva, called Finesse and Runway which is total electroclash fuckdom but really good...she sings some shit about boys in a locker room. dudes get stoned and make dope tracks...'nuff said.

9:13 AM  
Blogger DinoFelipino said...

miss you too mr. rogelio!!!
leslie,,,thanks for all the plugs...& mr. reviewer thanks for the kind flabbergasted.
i think this is the FIRST "st. john" review ever!haha!

10:13 AM  

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