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.