Tabs Out | Premiere: Adam Gnade & Demetrius Francisco Antuña – Voice Mails From The Great Satan

Premiere: Adam Gnade & Demetrius Francisco Antuña – Voice Mails From The Great Satan
1.25.18 by Ryan Durfee

America’s most troubled troubadour Adam Gnade is at it again, prepping another slab of post apocalyptic talking-blues via the venerable Three.One.G with the help of musician Demetrius Antuña.

“Voice Mails From The Great Satan” is broken up into two sections, Nighttime Suite / Daytime Suite, and explores living in America during Tr*mp’s presidency through the lens of Agnes, a character we were introduced to in Adam’s novella Locust House. Side A (Nighttime Suite) guides Agnes through the darkness of a heartbreak not known since businessmen threw themselves out of windows back in ’29. Ominous bowed guitars & clanging drums, at times sounding like a rough Sunn 0))) (wouldn’t a collab between Gnade & O’Malley be dreamy?) mesh with some gorgeously doomy post rock. It leads us to a question: Is this the society we want to be living in? One where profit motive is placed before the welfare of the have nots. One where greed lays waste to the last dying gasps of a beauty we are so desperately grasping onto. Makes you want to run to the hills. Side B (Daytime Suite) brings more gloom while spiraling further and further down the rabbit hole. The influence of Dean Hurley’s sound design on the latest season of Twin Peaks can absolutely be heard in the distorted field recordings and electrical hum that sound like the ground is being torn asunder.

“Voice Mails From The Great Satan” has a release date of February  16th. Preorders for the tape are open now.

Track 1: Nighttime Suite (11:48)
I Blood in the Parking Lot
II Voicemails From The Great Satan
III Ghostship

Track 2: Daytime Suite (13:57)
IV Interlude
V Sunday Afternoon in the Sun
VI Summers End/Summer’s End

Tabs Out | Cloud Tangle – Pocket

Cloud Tangle – Pocket
10.17.17 by Ryan Durfee

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Cloud Tangle is the recording project of Amber Ramsay, who released this gorgeous short EP through Valley Heat Records outta Brisbane. It also happens to me my introduction to both these Aussies, and what a pleasant treat both turned out to be!

I’m glad this tape appeared in my mail box when it did, when Seattle is getting cold and gray again for the next ten months. “Pocket” is perfect for sitting by the window while listening to the rain fall with a nice cup of tea. The A side of the tape, which the label lists as the feature of the EP, is absolutely fantastic. The first song, “Always Falling,” starts out with reverb’d out organ until Ramsay’s haunted vocals float in. With the appearance of drums, the song gently morphs into a beautiful post rock tune. This first side of the cassette is highlighted by “The Feeling Of You,” an exquisitely evocative song built off of dreamy guitar chords riding a hypnotic loping beat while Amber’s lyrics about missing someone just sends chills down the spine in the best way possible.

The B side is a collection of instrumentals (including “The Feeling Of You!”), an exclusive to the tape release. Unlike many a instrumental/remix/etc B side affairs, these are definitely not throwaway songs. Each compliment the flip side wonderfully, and I find myself rewinding it constantly to hear the track “The End Of You.” My only qualm with this EP is that, well, it’s an EP! Too dang short, it is! I’m really excited to see what Amber Ramsay does on her next album as Cloud Tangle.

This tape has been stuck in my player for about a week, so you can’t have my copy. But you may cop one of the other 49 copies here.

Tabs Out | Adam Gnade And Planet B – Life Is The Meatgrinder That Sucks In All Things

Adam Gnade And Planet B – Life Is The Meatgrinder That Sucks In All Things
7.10.17 by Ryan Durfee

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“Life Is A Meatgrinder That Sucks In All Things,” a collaboration between prolific author Adam Gnade and Planet B, which consists of Justin Pearson (Struggle, Swing Kids, Crimson Curse, Locust, …) / Gabe Serbian (Cattle Decapitation, Holy Molar, …) / Luke Henshaw (producer extraordinaire), is a prequel to Gnade’s last book, Locust House. It documents a time and place which folks in my age range look back on very fondly; a golden era, pre 9/11, pre internet boom, when life seemed simpler, more primal, more dangerous. Being fed by oil stained hands into the maws of the military industrial complex fueled by late stage capitalism. Adam’s writing exudes a wholesomeness, a lightness of being, a way of cutting through the external bullshit to shed light on who people really are at the core of things.

This tape, in an edition of 100 copies, focuses on Joey from Gnade’s excellent Caveworld book and San Diego at the turn of the century. A time when one could catch The Plot To Blowup The Eiffel Tower playing with Terror at Che Cafe, people watch at Pokez, and go to a house party at the mythic Golden Hill House. He recites the story in a post-apocalyptic tone, reminding me of the best of the beats, while the music backing Adam is skronky, minimal synth jazz, like Delia Derbyshire jamming with Pharoah Sanders. The B side of the tape are songs that Adam recorded on his own with a homemade four string guitar at the Hard Fifty Farm, a small Kansas farm of rescue animals he works along with others at Pioneers Press.

I can’t say enough good things about this tape, how life affirming Adam’s stories are, how they buoy you up during dark times like that 45 you played over and over again during your first major heartbreak. Buy this tape and then go buy everything that Adam Gnade has released. You’ll be thankful that you did.

Tabs Out | Robert Turman – Veiling Reflections

Robert Turman – Veiling Reflections
6.13.17 by Ryan Durfee

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Where to even begin?

Robert Turman is easily my favorite musician, and someone I would consider the most important living American artist. He deserves much more praise than he has received and it is a shame when we talk about paramount outsider musicians, his name is not one of the first mentioned. Robert’s albums sound just as fresh and as enervating now as they did when released in the 80’s. If you have never heard of Robert Turman or his various projects before, “Veiling Reflections” is a great introduction to his body of work.

Turman recorded “Veiling Reflections” for a RBMA event held in Zurich in late 2016. It is seeing release on tape through Präsens Editionen [CDr version from Turman’s own label, Actual Tapes]. The recording is meant to be an exploration through the realm of sleep, described as sleep/dream inducing hypnotica, so I have used it to drift off every night for the last three weeks. In sound it is closer to his work on “Flux” than other albums, but it’s a new and further exploration of a soundworld he created many years ago. You’ll hear one hour-long song. A gently loping loop which minutely evolves to incorporate soft pings of noise and softly whirling synths stretches for a dozen minutes until a guitar-based piece is introduced. An element that fades into the original loop as quickly as it appeared. If we’re using this as an analogy for sleep, this would be where you start to doze off, the warm waves of sound engulfing and lulling you into a deep repose. The song really starts to pick up speed at about thirty six minutes in when a swell of noise threatens to consume the entire piece, the environment becoming louder and a little messier, which makes me think of the oneironaut, eyes fluttering as they are pulled into the darkest depths to fight the chimera of the psyche. The song ends on a gentle note, bringing the dreamer back into the cold light of the anthropocene.

Grip the tape from Präsens Editionen, or a signed and numbered CDr edition direct from Turman.

Tabs Out | Anders Brørby – Mulholland Drive, 1984

Anders Brørby – Mulholland Drive, 1984
5.22.17 by Ryan Durfee

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Released by the always excellent Hylé Tapes in a now sold out edition of 50 copies, Anders Brørby‘s “Mulholland Drive, 1984” is a perfect album for the late spring, with it’s ominous tones bringing to mind mist enshrouded forests and decaying cities. The title of course is a David Lynch reference, something you can hear that in the DNA of the album, but what this cassette most brings to my mind is J.G. Ballard’s The Drowned World. I can picture the second track, “Black Room,” playing as the men touch down in the deep jungle, it’s watery tones mirroring the submerged landscape. Another choice cut is the six and a half minute “Persuasion of Existence.” Clattering accents reflect the unease felt by Dr. Kerans while trying to navigate the emotional malaise brought on by the humid jungle – And maybe a tinge of Tim Hecker.

One of the few missteps on an otherwise excellent album would be “Defeat.” While still a good song, it throws off the smooth flow of the album with the vocals. A flow Anders immediately brings back with the haunting synths of “Room With A Different View,” soothing as you begin to formulate a way to escape from the waterlogged city. In what will most likely end up as a personal favorite from this tape “A Sudden Sense Of Loss” incorporates some Angelo Badalamenti-esque horns to augment Anders’ crackling, seasick background sounds. Listeners are left on an unsettling note, wanting to hear his project unfurl. I for one can’t wait to see what Brørby does next.

Cop a digital version of “Mulholland Drive, 1984” here, and scope the usual suspects for a analog version to pop up.

Tabs Out | Pyramidal – Come Home

Pyramidal – Come Home
5.4.17 by Ryan Durfee

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I have spent a week or two listening to “Come Home” three or four times a day, but I still feel as if I don’t have the right words to praise it. I’ve thrown about comparisons to Bonobo and Boards of Canada, and while they do seem apt, it’s only because of Pyramidal‘s penchant to draw from the deep wellspring of late 2000’s downbeat electronica. Still, that doesn’t go far enough for what may be my favorite tape from the always on point Already Dead. There are also definite nods to hip hop (I wanna say trip hop, but is that even okay in 2k17?), warm, lush, and rounded synths, snaps that are perfectly dusty, and bass that hits just right.

This cassette was released back in November of 2016, but came to me in February, just in time for the constant deluge of rain that Cascadia is famous for. The weather provided plenty of time to sit around my apartment taking it’s sounds in, windows open, a soft patter outside, while smoking a pre roll. As a matter of fact, that may be the best time to list to this tape. “Come Home” is an album to be heard to from front-to-back, as each song propels the next forward. The album starts out on a park bench, with a field recording of a siren wailing and feet crunching on pavement. Voices chatter in the background, giving way to dark, drafty chords swathed in reverb. The second song, Life And Upbringing with it’s lovely sampled harp, lends the feeling of sitting in a brightly lit corner of a room with sun shining and dust motes floating around while Love Should Be Easy, is full of beautiful night tones; Walking under streetlights, enshrouded in a dark sky’s drizzle. My Old Cassette, the most straight forward nod to late 2000’s hip hop, doesn’t sound out of place against those tunes or older Brainfeeder releases. “Come Home” covers much ground, rounding things out with sumptuous synth swells (and what I -think- is marimba?).

This C46 is fantastic and available in an edition of 60 copies from Already Dead.

Tabs Out | Phern – Cool Coma

Phern – Cool Coma
4.11.17 by Ryan Durfee

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I was really excited to check out this tape by Montreal’s Phern after finding out a member of Each Other was involved. I absolutely loved their “Being Elastic” album from 2k14. The story goes that an unemployed Hélène Barbier (who also plays in the excellent Moss Lime) invited Ben Lalonde over one afternoon to see what they could jam out. They invited a veritable who’s who of Montreal weirdo rock to round out the arsenal and created a supergroup greater than it’s individual bands.

“Cool Coma” is a wonderfully off kilter pop record full of angular DC hooks and slack art rock quirkiness. You’ll hear influences of Deerhoof, Rapider Than Horsepower, Ulysses Hellier, or any of the lineup’s daytime bands. Phern recorded the album over the course of a year, and the songs appear in the order in which they were written. Opening with the insanely catchy Excavator, “Cool Coma” immediately makes it’s agenda known with Curtians-esque guitar lines lazily chiming, allowing ample room for Hélène’s surrealist poetry to run rampant. The track Moving Boxes pulls in Elephant 6 sensibilities, refracted through Dischord-iscisms. One of my favorite songs on here is Crosswalk Talk, exuding 5rc cool with it’s fractured poly-rhythms & nods to the dancefloor. The whole album is a fantastically fun record and gets me really excited about what these cats will put out in the future.

Cop this from Fixture Records.

Tabs Out | Hantasi – SQUID

Hantasi – SQUID
1.4.17 by Ryan Durfee

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Hantasi is a [hard]vapo[u]rwave (ya never know how one might identify in 2k17) producer out of California who released “SQUID” on the always swell Bedlam Tapes earlier in 2016.

This was my first time listening to Hantasi. Much like bearded beat dudes, there are A LOT of vapo[u]r people out there, and it can be exhausting trying to keep up with every microniche that is happening on Twitter. While listening to this I’m reminded that the colossal squid is the largest invertebrate in the world, and it’s only only predator is the sperm whale [fun fact]. I’m pretty certain that the song SEA ♫࿏ CARNIVAL is about a big fin squid (which surprisingly have ten arms while all the others only have eight) [fun fact #2] robotriping it’s way through an underwater ball in the beautiful briny lagoon. A ball where a band of fish play to dapper chappies in bowler hats who dance upon the sun dappled sea floor, which turns into a nightmare when King Leonidas drags all of them out with a trawling net so he can sell some fishsticks to Iowa. The track ્ POISON ્ ્ WATER PARASOL sounds like swimming through a cloud of Heteroteuthis dispar’s cloud of inky light before being torn asunder by it’s beak, while ☭♣ CLUB HOUSE ☭♣ reminds me of listening to a skipping CD of Cameo blasting from my downstairs neighbors, who always play the same three things over & over again.

“SQUID” came out in a few different editions, all of which are sold out, but you can pick one up on Discogs 😉

Tabs Out | Ben Lawless – Other Motions

Ben Lawless – Other Motions
12.18.16 by Ryan Durfee

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“Other Motions” by Atlanta, Georgia’s Ben Lawless is a 55 minute long paean to all things beautiful about rock and roll. It reminds me of the jam band I lived with in my old house that would get together every Wednesday and fuck around for a couple of hours. I joined in a few times, playing organ, but there was never a real direction. Ideas would float in and out, then start to take shape in a haze. We’d reach heights of heavy psych rock or post rock vibes that would then devolve into dark and menacing blues. Basically whatever felt right at the moment.

This tape sounds like some of our best cuts. All the songs I wish I had recorded while still living in the house. Especially it’s second track, Stick & Move, with it’s lazy blues riffing and shambling drums. It sounds like an epic jam we had going on one summer on one particularly hot and humid Seattle night. Listening to it, all I can think of is sitting on a porch, drinking brews, and sharing cigarettes with buddies. Smiling ear to ear and basking in the afterglow of a solid jam.

Ben (who I am 73% sure played in Prefuse 73’s backing band, but can’t confirm it) recorded every single sound you’ll hear on “Other Motions” himself, which is amazing to think about when venturing on a deep listen to the album. At times it reminds me of The Advantage or The Curtains, with heavier threads of burnt out, desert psych funk blazing through sun-blasted blues runs. Take the song Sick As A Dog for example. It sounds as if it was lifted from some late 70’s Jean Rollin movie where bikers, riding off into the steamy French sunset, encounter a coven of vampires and have to fight for their lives. To no avail of course. Ben also dips into charming, sugary melodies that peek out of the warm tape hiss like the three and a half minute Purse Snatcher; A tune that channels Contra and your kid brother’s manic garage rock band.

OSR Tapes is closing up shop at the end of the month (which is a total bummer!), so grab this one while ya can!

Tabs Out | Erasurehead -Yauhtli

Erasurehead -Yauhtli
11.30.16 by Ryan Durfee

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A. Cooper Reid, recording here as Erasurehead, makes the kind of woozy~hazy bedroom pop that has a really special place in my heart. I’m immediately transported back to the summer of ’09, discovering Dayvan Zombear, Chocolate Bobka, and downloading shitty, 128 bit rate rips of Rangers and Grippers Nother Onesers. It was a treasure trove of weird guys held up in their bedrooms with a Tascam, making beautifully gnarly, in-the-red, lo-fi hypnagogic pop. “Yauhtli”, released in an edition of 80 copies by Plume Records, continues in that fine tradition laid down by Not Not Fun & Underwater Peoples.

“Yauhtli” is named after an Aztec incense made from the Mexican marigold, which was blown into the faces of those about to be sacrificed, or used in combination with peyote or other hallucinogens to induce clearer visions. Someone was kind enough to include marigold seeds, along with directions on how to plant and take care of them, with the tape. You will definitely hear some Ariel Pink, early Ducktails, Sam Mering, and Elephant 6 throughout “Yaugtli.” The whole album is a really solid listen the entire way through, my favorite jammer being Ceremony Of Friendship, all soft smeared synths and languid, reverbed out guitar on top of garbage can snares. My only real complaint is that it’s so short. When this guy gets signed by Captured Tracks and is played on Gorilla vs Bear (that’s still a thing right?), I hope he doesn’t lose his lo-fi aesthetic. I think when all of those people started getting budgets, they began to lose some of the magic and made really bright, overly produced albums that didn’t have the same ramshackle warmth about them. Anyway, I’m rooting for A. Cooper Reid a million percent and looking forward to hearing his next album! I’ve also gotta say that his website is a delightful mindfuck that totally channels that mind gunk OESB was peddling back then. And his videos, especially Rainy Day Thoughts (which is a pop masterpiece), are just something you need to see.

Pick up a copy of this tape, while you still can, from Plume.