RETRO NOISE MONTHLY (APRIL EDITION)
THE CUTEST PUPPY IN THE WORLD - Apotrope 2CD (New American Folk Hero)
I think this is the first long-form type thing from this duo since last year's Finfolk, and as much as I loved that one, this sprawling double disc is a huge improvement, a real massive hunk of unfettered sound explorations. Six tracks, three of them over a half-hour long, and all filled with an impressive array of moods and sounds - everything from ambience to noise to rattling improv to mechanical clanking to silence. Finfolk had some impressive variety too, but I think Apotrope flies higher because the variety is more organic and natural - everything bleeds, melts, and pours into everything else, making it a rare record that justifies long, uncut tracks. This stuff would really suffer if chopped up into smaller vignettes, because the transitions are even more fascinating than the excellent sounds those transisitons serve.
FRANCISCO MEIRINO & TIM OLIVE - Eagle Keys (Even Stilte)
Since I last spewed about Tim Olive, he's put together the great Supernatural Hot Rug And Not Used (and a great self-titled album) with Nisikawa Buhnsho, which I implore you to seek out if you haven't. This is his new project with computer/acoustics artist Francisco Meirino (aka "Phroq"?), and it's the standard kind of high-level, attentive improv that Olive has trademarked. Lots of minimal, reductionist bites of noise - rattling static, small whines, crunching blips - mixed with solid columns of heavy sound. As with SHRANU, I'm not sure who's doing what here, but I am sure that Olive knows how to coax smart shit out of his equipment and his colleagues, and Eagle Keys is perhaps the best example of one of his most unique talents - the ability to mix and match sounds so that nothing ever sticks around too long, but no contrivances or artificial shifts ever emerge.
POOR SCHOOL - Voor Niets In Zijn (Cut Hands)
I'm not sure what more I can say about my Montana free-rock heroes Poor School - I've splurted about them enough here and elsewhere that I might make the few people who will listen sick of hearing it all. My guess is that we'll all have to get used to it, though, cause whenever their proposed Ecstatic Peace release finally emerges, I gotta think it'll be hard for lots of other people not to be as droolingly smitten as me. The limited (edition of 61?) Voor Niets In Zijn is another great exhibit of these guys' ability to mix riffs with shattered rock rhythms and penchants for dissonance, blare, and outright noise, without ever abandoning the loping swing that glues it all together. This is pretty similar to the slightly greater Holy Master, but for some reason I smell more Japanese influence here, as in Fushitsusha, White Heaven, or even a stoned version of High Rise. Either way I bet these guys have reams of this stuff sitting around in their smoke-layered basements and I can't wait until it's all sent skyward for the rest of us to inhale.
(Since all of these recs feature too-long-to-post tracks and not that many of em (hence posting full tracks would be like giving half of each record away), I've made a clunky Noiseweek mix of excerpts from the three with 5 sec of silence between each - now go buy em all)...