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Tab Out | Will Guthrie – Some Nasty

Will Guthrie – Some Nasty

6.15.19 by Ryan Masteller

Will Guthrie is probably haunted by a ghost drum kit that follows him around on a noncorporeal plane, playing itself at the most inopportune moments and freaking Will out. It won’t let him sleep, either, which is a whole other story, but let’s just say that the restless nights surely take a toll on Will’s constitution throughout the day, also making the ghost drum kit seem more real even then. It’s enough to drive a rational person mad.

“Some Nasty” pairs Guthrie with Hasana Editions, the tape label based in Bandung, Indonesia. “Some Nasty” also pairs Guthrie with the madness that’s slowly overtaking him, and Hasana has given the France-based Australian an outlet for him to turn that madness into creative expression. Nice one, then, Hasana Editions! Guthrie spreads his percussive acumen over two long tracks, one per side, like drum-based jelly on a biscuit. Among the activity we have a propulsive John McEntire–inflected breakdown, a creepy spoken-word bit, an ambient pullback, more creepiness, but this time like horror-movie creepy, and then some full-kit work, which devolves into more restrained tiptoeing, like there’s someone trying not to arouse the attention of a certain watchful poltergeist.

Through it all, we ride (get it, there are “ride” cymbals) with Guthrie through down the halls of his mind on a crazy motor scooter hell-bent on knocking over furniture as it goes. Nothing remains as it is for long, as if the mind can’t settle itself on one path forward. It’s constantly moving, constantly shifting, and Guthrie’s constantly looking over his shoulder, changing it up, having visions, not sleeping, falling asleep at the wheel of the motor scooter, and we’re all just riding pinion and shrieking along with him.

Ghosts are scary, especially drums!

Only seven remain of the original 100-tape release, so get on over to Hasana Editions now, before it’s too late!

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Tabs Out | Emotional Indulgence – s/t

Emotional Indulgence – s/t

6.14.19 by Ryan Masteller

So OBVIOUSLY something called “Emotional Indulgence” is going to be suggestive before you even press play, and that’s OK. You’re allowed to have expectations. You’re allowed to have even more expectations when you realize that Emotional Indulgence is the duo of Daniel Hill and Juliana Dieterich, who formerly released music under the moniker Ethereal and the Queer Show (EATQS), whose “Fairy Super Crystal Blue” was received quite well by yours truly once upon a time. In fact, in this case, you SHOULD have expectations – expectations that Hill and Dieterich now going to knock your socks off again, just under that different name.

This beautiful tape traffics in, ahem, “ethereal” pop and delightfully nimble electronics, and it’s no surprise that it’s released on Noumenal Loom, a “sister label” of sorts to our pals at Orange Milk. OM and NL are at the forefront of experimental electronic/pop hybrids, pushing the boundaries of rhythm and melody until they break through IRL frameworks into bitmapped 3D virtual worlds. Emotional Indulgence comes across like a non-vaporwave vaporwave act, with Dieterich’s vocals floating effortlessly above the neo-soul glimmers interpreted and output by computers trying to perfect their AI. What results is true dystopian longing, longing for the equivalent of love that is an absolute mystery. Think Future Islands, but way more subdued maybe, with Julee Cruise on vocals. I hate making comps, but hey, there it is.

These lovely tapes are available in an edition of 100 from Noumenal Loom.

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Tabs Out | Vague Voices – Гробник

Vague Voices – Гробник

6.13.19 by Ryan Masteller

Oh, I was so SCARED there for a minute! The text on this tape by Vague Voices looked like black metal text, and just braced myself for the onslaught for no apparent reason. So despite the fact that black metal certainly informed the work of the duo (Stefan Bachvarov and Angel Simitchiev), there isn’t any yelling or those infernal blast beats that get the cat all agitated so that he goes under the couch and doesn’t come out until I turn off the black metal.

Actually, I like black metal, and that’s a game the cat and I play.

I don’t have a cat.

All honesty aside, “Гробник” is still a creepy ride, just a slow and synthy one down the demonic passageways of dangerous video games. In fact, “Гробник” was commissioned for “Sofia Game Night 2018 – an even dedicated to gaming culture.” Bachvarov and Simitchiev were so taken by the result that they expanded their collaboration and dropped this nightmare of an atmospheric drone tape, synthesizers soundtracking horrifying happenings deep in the woods late at night. Or maybe it’s an alternative soundtrack to “Doom.” What do I know? What I DO know is that “Гробник” is “an old Bulgarian word meanings an elderly person approaching their death, a mythical vampire-like creature, or а grave-digger.” So probably more along the lines of the forest horror.

These ten pieces evoke nefarious dread at every moment, the level of which depends on how vile the deeds are that happen during the track. So “Гробник” plays like an anthology film, a “Black Mirror”/“Twilight Zone”/Brothers Grimm homage, but with super cool synth gear. I would suggest picking one up from Amek Collective, but they’ve sold out their run of 77 already. Looks like it’s to depths of Discogs with you, doomed pilgrim!

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Tabs Out | Dughpa – Discography: 2015-2018

Dughpa – Discography: 2015-2018

6.12.19 by Ryan Masteller

The collected recordings format is a special thing, whether it’s a greatest hits compilation or a career-spanning box set or a clean-out-the-hard-drive b-side dump (which is also often box set treatment). The placement of so much material side-by-side can offer a glimpse into the artist’s creative process, and can juxtapose one era of innovation with another. So even if you’re faced with a hundred alternate takes of “Whole Lotta Love,” you’ll know way more about Led Zeppelin at the end of it than you might ever have thought possible. You superfan, you!

Swedish electronic artist Dughpa has a superfan in Austin, Texas, label Night Rhythms, who have here packaged “Dughpa” and “II” together in a lovely little set for the discerning synthesizer music consumer out there. I mean, just listen to this effusive praise that came to me ready-to-post in the body of the email!: “Minimal retro-futuristic biology film synth… or space library musikk [sic]… or… intercepted outsider transmissions… or… some of my favorite ambient of the last five years…” That’s all exactly what I would have said, if you had ONLY GIVEN ME THE CHANCE. At least we can agree on it.

Dughpa’s headspace is definitely retro Zelda or retro Asimov or retro Herbert, even “Retro Puppet Master,” which I somehow caught the Rifftrax version of recently, but has a soundtrack vibe similar to Dughpa’s. Don’t read anything into that though – surely just coincidence. But when you’re consistently coming up with minimal melodies that could perfectly accompany the “Twilight Zone”-ish action of any thinky sci-fi or horror production, you’ll just end up with too much music to go around. Some of it will have to be wasted on the “Retro Puppet Masters” of the world.

Now – when Night Rhythms’s website is back up, you can go buy one of these. Till then, check out both albums included in the set streaming below.

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Tabs Out | The Lärmschutz splits

The Lärmschutz splits

6.11.19 by Ryan Masteller

Faux Amis records is putting their money where their mouth (mouths?) is (are?) here in 2019, as in they’re not kidding around at all when it comes to releasing tapes. The label, based in Utrecht, Netherlands, is unleashing a tape a month from fellow Utrecht-based freeform noiseniks Lärmschutz, in what is almost certainly a sign that our world is probably coming to an end very soon. But it’s not just Lärmschutz on these things, oh no; the trio’s bringing along pals for the ride, splitting the releases right down the middle, guests on the A-side, Lärmschutz on the B. In what is perhaps the most democratic use of magnetic tape since the advent of the compilation (except those ones that have like five songs by the curating act), these releases showcase experimental artists in their natural habitat: basements, hunched over vast arrays of instruments and effects.

I kid! I’m sure some of these people go out in the daytime occasionally. Don’t they?


FAUX AMIS VOL. 1: COLIN WEBSTER & GRAHAM DUNNING / LÄRMSCHUTZ

Webster and Dunning each has a vast discography, and they’ve even played together before too, most notably in the Markus Popp cover album “Oval” (I think I may have the facts wrong there). Here they run clichés through the ringer – not musical clichés, oh HELL no! I’m talking about actual clichés, like “If it’s broke, don’t fix it” (although I’m not sure they got that one right), “Paint yourself into a corner,” and “Burn that bridge when you come to it.” Actually, I don’t think they got any of that right. Maybe the idea is subversion, and if it is, then they’ve done it! Utilizing snare and objects (Dunning) and alto and baritone saxes (Webster), the duo paint deceptively mesmerizing portraits with their interplay, their intimate recordings a paragon of organic acoustic instrumentation. Lärmschutz follows suit on their side, offering restrained takes with their usual guitar/trombone/electronics setup, sounding relatively unplugged, a perfect counterpart to their A-side mates. (Also, it’s nice to see that the Dutch also enjoy “Stranger Things.”)


FAUX AMIS VOL. 2: DIRK SERRIES / LÄRMSCHUTZ

Dirk Serries plays one noisy guitar – but that’s just the “surface,” get it? As in, “Surface chord extraction…”That’s the name of his lone twenty-one-minute track. You wouldn’t get the reference unless you had the tape in front of you, I imagine. Doesn’t matter. If you play through “Surface chord extraction” one time, you’ll scratch precisely that: the surface. Repeat listens are the key, wherein you’ll unearth nuance that you missed the first time around, because maybe you were emailing your coworkers with Serries’s tidal waves of lava belching through your speakers in the background. You gotta rectify that. Lärmschutz, for their part, scale back, especially in relation to Serries squalls of feedback. “The particular sadness of February” mirrors that actual feeling, with low-tone dread punctuated by guitar and electronics throughout the track’s twenty-three minutes. It’s a nice counterpoint to Serries, and each side when juxtaposed with the other enhances the overall effect.


FAUX AMIS VOL. 3: BALAGAN / LÄRMSCHUTZ

Balagan’s almost as old as my parents! Wow, that’s a crazy thing to know. I’m gonna be honest, if my dad was a musician (he most certainly is not), he’d be worshipping at the altar of Ricky Nelson and Elvis Presley and, ugh, Johnny Horton for god’s sake. Balagan, aka Sylvain Perge, is so not my dad that it’s … refreshing. Yeah, that’s the word. Perge plays trombone, synths, guitar, and piano, and his side of the split is a delightful revelation of scattered ideas that cohere into an exciting whole. Perge darts back and forth from acoustic to electric instruments, and he’s quite adept at teasing out fascinating passages no matter what he’s playing. It’s playful and forward-thinking all at once. See Dad? You CAN do new and interesting things as you get older! Lärmschutz, relative whippersnappers that they are, take a page from the Balagan playbook and mirror the playfulness of his side. Less abstract than some of their pieces on the earlier tapes, the tracks here gallop and lurch, stutter and weave, bringing together stark experimentalism and cohesive band interplay in a single entertaining package.


Now, where’s volumes 4 and 5? Oh, they’re already out…

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Tabs Out | Googoosh Dolls – mashallah / jangal

Googoosh Dolls – mashallah / jangal

6.10.19 by Ryan Masteller

Here’s the background assumption: Iran-via-New York techno outsiders Googoosh Dolls came up with one of those great ironic double-names like Ringo Deathstarr or John Cougar Concentration Camp and couldn’t help but go with it. How can you not with something as inherently uncool as the Goo Goo Dolls and (maybe) Iranian singer Googoosh? I can’t vouch for the coolness of Googoosh. I’ve only heard of her this second.

So it’s no surprise then that the vibrant electronic samplefest on “mashallah” and “jangal,” two tracks from the full-length “technowruz ii,” filters Iranian ethnicity all throughout it. (That’s the friggin’ Iranian flag that adorns the cover, after all.) It’s a tape constantly in motion, flecked with the same type of gold audio glitter that literally coats the tape shell. “Mashallah” creeps along at a synthwave pace, with fingersnap snare hits punctuating the unravelable polyrhythmic knot. “Jangal,” on the other hand, is an in-your-face rave masterpiece, a “daf punk” late-night meltdown complete with strobe light [*actual strobe light not included]. In fact, if given a chance, Googoosh Dolls may even change some of our stubborn American minds about how to view Iran in a more-than-narrow way… They may even melt the cold, dead heart of our president, and get him to dance again!

Who am I kidding. Fuck you, Trump, you fucking carrot.

[Ed: Zing!]

I honestly don’t know how to get this tape. Maybe you can figure it out and tell me?

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Tabs Out | BBJr – Junior Nuclear

BBJr – Junior Nuclear

6.7.19 by Ryan Masteller

I’m a stupid moron loving every second of BBJr’s recorded output. It’s always so innovative and interesting! No two things sound the same! Experimental music is one of my favorite genres! And our buddy Bob Bucko Jr. here, he often blasts through free jazz/psych rock/noise improv like a white hot supernova expanding through outer space and obliterating everything in its path. He likes his saxophones, his guitars, his drums, his … Yamaha DD-20 drum pad?


OK!

We’re getting a different BBJr here, that’s for sure, and Lurker Bias was waiting to slurp up his output and release it on cassette. Weird, right, that noisy old Lurker Bias was, like, LURKING, lying in wait for Bob on the stoop outside his brownstone in a trenchcoat, just feening creepily for whatever Bob just happened to be recording up there? Or maybe not so weird. Bob was happy to oblige Lurker Bias with these four lengthy tracks of fission, atomic-decomposition-as-sound for mass consumption – or at least as “mass” as an edition of 41 (plus Bandcamp downloads!) can be consumed. Lurker Bias didn’t care. Lurker Bias slurped.

There’s a celestial groove that starts this thing, and my head was nodding for a bit (drum pad after all), and then digital haze took over. “Inarticulate Particulates” may describe the whole thing, but maybe “Random on Purpose” does, or maybe “Over and Under and Out Again,” or – heck – “Indefinite Infinite.” These four descriptors tether us to the tape, to a tracklist, but they employ the English language to open up cognitive pathways to imagination overload. Turns out BBJr’s equally as adept at that DD-20 as he is at the sax or whatever, as his visionary compositions, accidental or otherwise, still radiate weird coherence and delightful surprise.

That’s … just what Bob Bucko Jr. DOES, you guys.

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Tabs Out | Concrete Colored Paint – Free Association

Concrete Colored Paint – Free Association

6.6.19 by Ryan Masteller

More German Army, huh? OK, I’ll bite! Concrete Colored Paint is an alter ego of Peter Kris, mastermind behind the GeAr brand, and a favorite around these parts. You may have seen some posts recently on this very website touting the prolific artist, with us even going so far as to call for a “German Army” week on certain social media platforms. True, those were a Burnt Probe and an actual Peter Kris release (and then there was this German Army post on another website somewhere – dark web, I think), so I think that means we’ve covered everything now that we’ve got CCP on here. We’re nothing if not thorough around these parts.

So we’ve covered the bombed-out industrial, the post rock–inflected ambient, and the scorched techno this week, let’s take a look at some sample-based ambient, shall we? A little musique concrète perhaps? A little … musique Concrète Colored Paint? Too far. Anyhoo, these eight dense, drifting tracks are straight from the school of kiln-fried sound design, their cracked, sunbaked façades warbling gently like they’ve been left on the car seat in the summertime. Utilizing quite a bit of birdsong and the chirping of insects, not to mention faded voices, CCP adds layers of synthesizer tones to enhance the effects of his recording. The result is familiar yet alien, an often mesmerizing look at places you’ve never been or places you’ll never be.

But of course none of those places exist, but Puerto Rico and Pomona do, and it’s in these two locations that the album was realized. We can sit here all day and try to read into how much these two places played into the conceptualization of “Free Association” (beyond the field recordings, OBVIOUSLY), but in the end the only way to do this is to let the sounds wash over you like you’re sitting out in the middle of a yard somewhere letting rain or sunshine or jellied blobs cover your body. The jellied blobs are from the imaginary place that you can’t get to. Can you imagine getting splotted by jellied blobs in the middle of the afternoon? I mean, c’mon.

Park 70 at it again. Edition of 50 in letterpressed sleeve w/ heavy card stock insert. Beautiful stuff, as always.

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Tabs Out | Peter Kris – Afternoons in the Valley

Peter Kris – Afternoons in the Valley

6.5.19 by Ryan Masteller

If you’ve been reading anything I’ve written here at Tabs Out, or anywhere else for that matter (I wont tell you where – Mikes just going to redact it anyway), you’ll know about Peter Kris, member of (mastermind behind?) proto-industrial tribal-inflected sonic terrorists German Army. If you’ve also been paying attention to me (honestly, what other writer are you going to throw your unfettered devotion behind?), or, I guess, Peter Kris himself, you’ll be acutely aware that this isn’t his first double-cassette release – far from it. In fact, I even opened up my Word document for “Error Into the Sun” and used it as a template for this review! Snake eats tail.

We’re going to test your knowledge even further, because you should know by now that Peter’s solo releases are much more restrained and meditative than the average GeAr joint, more in your brain and less in your face. Still, this being Peter Kris and all, the mood never really ventures into pastoralism or nostalgia, even though the tracks are slow and deliberate. They’re more of the Kranky ilk than anything (think Labradford or Stars of the Lid), and there’s an underlying sense of instability or anxiety that forms the foundation. Again, not a weird thing with anything relating to German Army. Not in any way.

So let’s play “Afternoons in the Valley” as a postapocalyptic reverie then, shall we? (I mean, even Labradford toured with GY!BE.) Not a stretch – the cover shows a modern treehouse in the woods, a home built high above the ground and far away from civilization. The accompanying photographs depict gutted and neglected homes, and also old and decrepit mattresses and box springs strewn about the interior of what looks to be a type of cabin. I mean, sure – these images could also invoke the idea of modern waste, humanity encroaching on nature, but it’s so much more fun to think about it all after we’ve wiped ourselves mostly out, right? It would be so much quieter than it is now. I’d be able to get so much more done.

Choose a path – Peter does it justice with his guitar and bass pluckings and restrained feedback work. And Histamine Tapes does the package justice, presenting “Afternoons in the Valley” on recycled tapes in a recycled triple-cassette case, the ones you find audiobooks in at the library (the third cassette “hole” has a sticker reading “No cassette here”). Maybe this whole thing is an indictment of waste, and the postapocalypticism that I’m reading into it is the harbinger of things to come! Or … nah. I’d rather double down on processing fossil fuels and restricting reproductive rights and dumping money into walls and space soldiers. That makes more sense.

Sold out from the source. Buy from discogs, maybe, if you can find somebody willing to part with one of these for a cool hundred grand? (I mean, I do like money…)

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Tabs Out | Burnt Probe – Corresponding Exits

Burnt Probe – Corresponding Exits

6.4.19 by Ryan Masteller

I can’t keep UP with this! German Army is, like, the most prolific experimental artistic force out there, even more prolific than Merzbow probably (*Citation needed), and the sheer volume of releases is almost impossible to pin down. And just when I think I’m out, that I have time for a breather, there’s a new package at my door, a delivery of like five new things they’ve put out over the past few months. I swear to god, if the GeAr dudes were anything other than supremely awesome all the time, I wouldn’t write about them so much. I guess we’re all lucky that they’re supremely awesome.

Look at me, complaining about a wonderful gift. SMDH (Shaking Merzbow’s Damn Head).

I mean, this isn’t even a GeAr joint, although Peter Kris is fully onboard. He’s joined by Adam Bellhouse as Burnt Probe, and the two of them get to shredding every electronic component in front of them in no time flat. Scorching the earth with their industrial-bordering-on-techno rhythms and scored and blackened source material, the duo barrels through nine jacked-up, postapocalyptic tracks, most of which, surprisingly, should serve to get your booty moving in some sort of capacity. But it’s like the “Terminator” future out there, all dystopian and junk, and the psychological damage wrought by the sonic terrorism matches the carnage of our future.

Or, as a wise Black Lodge denizen once asked, “Is it future, or is it past?

Maybe it’s present. Oh crap!

I’m going down in the fallout shelter. I suggest you get to yours. Thanks, Burnt Probe, for ruining my picnic.

Buy one of these beauts from Madriguera.

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