Tuesday, May 29, 2007


OK, we're not actually despairing here at Noiseweek, and not even lost anymore...just busy as hell and way too tired to post another half-assed entry. Instead, we're gonna take a week to recharge and promise to bring you something you'll like (and maybe will not even have heard of before) by next week...we can at least tell you that we made an official company appearance at a recent installment of the great Sightings tour that is still going on and that you must attend. The band is rejuvinated as hell and I have to say this is the best I've ever seen em...running all over the stage, w/Mr. Morgan's vocals way more out front and a combo of guitar screech, boweling bass rumble, and skull-slapping drumming that's really unparalleled right now (it didn't hurt that Mr. Axolotl opened with two short, sweet pieces of lightly-dusted drone). So for now, why not enjoy a Sightings out-take that didn't make it onto Fun From None (and buy a copy of that new Sightings DVD-R if you see em), and we'll see ya next week....

Monday, May 21, 2007


The Noiseweek Company Retreat has been extended indefinitely due to us not knowing how the hell to get out of wherever we are. We're compass-less, and the only thing we can tell about exactly where we might be is that there are trees here, and noise doesn't grow on them. Hence we have to beam out some digital smoke signals to make another quick post, and have had to search through our knapsacks and portable toilets to find something to spew about...we were gonna add some blather to the Air Conditioning fandom we've been hinting at lately, but that rec's been out a while, and all your friends already know about it, right? All your friends know about Jessica Rylan too - we've even blabbed about her before - but they may not know about Interior Designs, which has been out a few weeks at least, but somewhat ignored, maybe due to the incessant Important Records avalanche that seems to bury its own releases like fallen skiers who haven't even had time to stand up before other skiers land on top of them (sorry for that weak metaphor, we're tired).

Anyway, I've had minor quibbles with Jessica's records here and there (like the singing on the Ultra Eczema Can't LP), but for the most part I'm a true believer, and I'll happily defend each second of Interior Designs as the kind of Kool Aid everyone with an ounce of noise interest should be constantly chugging. Pretty much everything Jessica does well is done well here - the Raymond Scott-ish absurdist sound-effect belching (opener "Extroardinary" hits that Scott combo of surreal humor and well-considered science perfectly), the morse-code-ish / transmission-esque sort of Ham-radio art, filled with transistor squiggles and oscillator-speak ("Phantasia"), and the obligatory unexpected wild card (in this case, a really fascinating title-track that drops a trudging drum machine beat under a slightly-untuned acoustic chord strum/meditation that's kinda Jandekian and even D. Bailey-esque at times). Oh, and also the static-y loop/drone/wave thing, here done to near-perfection on "Timeless" (linked below), which uses a tactile cycle of gravelly noises to build a standing wave of sifting hum. Especially dig the way the climactic sound is both powerful and mellow, like the soothing cut of a butcher's knife through one's temporal lobes (we'll work on the metaphor issue once we're outta these woods, we promise...)

JESSICA RYLAN: "Timeless" from Interior Designs

Monday, May 14, 2007


The Noiseweek staff is on an annual company retreat this week and though we remembered to water the plants, turn off the lights, and leave a copy of our Bible playing at max volume on the turntable, no one bothered to actually take care of this week's post. So we hafta do a quick one from the road, w/out even the ability to provide our loyals a full mp3 (will rectify that upon return to the HQ)...but luckily there are already some online samples up from a rec that's been tearing our ears out lately, namely the beautifully self-indulgent, unashamedly derivative lo-fi wah-damage of Zodiacs. Presumably a spinoff from Zodiac Mountain, this is a trio of relatively well-known alias-addicts sporting yet another set of wacky pseudonyms (I'll spare you the hilarity here, just check their Holy Mountain page for details), and cranking out aimeless overloaded psych-noise in the collapsed vein of, well, way too much stuff to list, but my tastes in the category run to HM gods Davis Redford Triad and the most poorly recorded Marble Sheep epics, and the Zodiacs hold up on that scale pretty well.

This type of stuff is pretty simple - guitar wank full of effects, backed either by nothing or a loping semi-bluesy, uh, "beat" - and, most essentially, recorded in a manner such that everything sounds like a big pile of distortion quicksand sure to suck even the smallest iota of clarity down into its man-eating muck. I'm a sucker for anything committed to tape in such a manner, but it especially works well for guitar wank, which only really clicks if it's folding in on itself, each note/sound/whatever being muffled and overlapping and catching communal fire like a California forest. Zodiacs have this all down perfectly - of the four tracks on Gone, two are more solemn, vaguely mellow meditations that still breath smoke and static, but two others - "Born Free" and "Get Off/Come Together" (the latter being covers maybe? I don't really wanna pay that much attention - close focus defeats the purpose of noise like this) - are pure fireballs of unfettered, unembarrassed pedal pushing - big red skies of rock/noise pud-pulling that reach the highs of that one great Marble Sheep record that rarely sits more than five feet from my stereo. All in all, Gone is a prime example of the kind of gunky dreck that, were it the literal mudpit that it sounds like, I'd happily drive a brand new car right into and accept it as my best possible grave.

mp3 (samples - see bottom right of page - full mp3 to come!):

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Dunno if I've been craving order, or just that I've been listening to the first few Glenn Branca Symphonies repeatedly, but lately I've gravitated toward improvised noise that includes some semblance of acoustic drum beats and/or identifiable percussive rumble. Obviously that's a pretty vague description that can apply to tons of stuff, but it's the best way I can describe the thread that seems to bind some of my fave recent recs together, from the bombastic drum blasts on Mike Tamuburo's Ghosts of Marumbey to the rolling waves of beat on No Quarter's Burning Star Core slab I talked about last week to the crashing slobber on the dauntingly excellent Air Conditioning disc to even the splatter on the surprisingly aggressive Sunburned (no Hand of the Man anymore, for some reason) CD. Not that I don't still love a beat-less mess of abstract noise, but something about a drum pounding up through a pile of wreckage like a reanimating Terminator is really hitting my cranial sweet spot lately.

Now, by no means does everything on the perpelexingly-titled Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, the Bottled Smoke entry by Alligator Crystal Moth, qualify as noise with a beat. In fact not much of it is "noise" in the strict sense at all, but rather hippified free-jams - really good hippified free-jams, but still, closer to the drum-circle rattlings of Sunburned back when they did have the HOTM trailing behind them, or maybe a less droney Pelt, or maybe even an abstracted version of Tower Recordings, than pure noise - good company to be in, no doubt. But, you know, it has lots of flutes and rattles and acoustic detunings and distant half-vocals and wisps of electric wah etc. And more power to it.

One track in the middle, though, aims directly for my brain-bullseye, and sticks an arrow right through that mental apple. The beautifully-titled "Climactic Waste" is dense, cavernous noise that employs of all kinds of insistent, bluntly bold percussion - hard doses of rhythmic cacophony behind its gauzey curtains of distortion of feedback drone. I'm particularly enamored of a section about 2:45 in, where the bassy wind of the noise gathers into a gale and the percussion rises up to ride the wave; the first time through it had me imaging an alternate-universe version of A Handful of Dust with Robbie Yeats drumming. Overall, it's an oddly mellow piece for how noisy it is, with tons of stuff going on but nothing feeling rushed or frantic, a neat middle point between raging agression and back-on-the-ground cloud-staring.

I'm kinda perplexed by how all this sound could be coming from a duo, but that confusion is lessened by the presence of Digitalis overlord Brad Rose (erecting sonic mountains here with Michael Donnelly), who's done enough different stuff that no sound he makes should surprise me or anyone else. If you haven't sent any cash his way lately...well, you can't buy this from him since it's part of a now-sold-out subscription series, but you can still buy a ticket to the festival this series is supporting, and/or snag the Foxglove CD-R these two behemoths made a while ago...so, do so...

ALLIGATOR CRYSTAL MOTH - "Climactic Waste" from Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia
Site Meter