Sunday, 24 May 2015

Why Would You Be A Blood Sister, Man?



The Ganglians/Night Manager (RIP *sigh*) conglomeration Blood Sister has brought forth a lovely lil 7” through Unpiano Books (in only their second vinyl release) which is a pretty exciting listen. The giddy cantankerousness of the guitars buzzing through ‘Why Would You’ is offset by a sugar-rush of synthesised fallacy that is then pulverised by the omnipresent bassline. All is deep fried in a fuzz-laden crunch, with the gnarled vocal barbs sprayed over the top like Srirachi sauce (which I am fully addicted to incidentally – I go through a bottle a month. ANYway…) Then there is ‘Bart Simpson’ which comes with the same energetic propulsion underscored with a darker angular bent. Vocals are more soothing here, like putting clove oil on an angry tooth nerve ending, but like troopers the smile stays intact, if a little skewed. Get it here.

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Fawning From A Safer Spot


I only heard of York trio Fawn Spots when I heard their side of the split release they did with Scott & Charlene's Wedding last year - and I really liked what I saw. I'm also a massive fan of comedian Stewart Lee, so when I heard him compare them to Husker Du and Guided By Voices, I was in. From Safer Place is their debut record (out through Critical Heights earlier in the year). It’s a funny one. Not funny haha; not even funny peculiar. It’s just that I have had this album since February, and have listened to it a fair bit on and off since that time. It isn’t as melodic as I was anticipating – there is more angular attack and vitriolic caterwauling here that at times comes to be overbearing (even if the album only scraps over the thirty minute mark). It’s that mixture of …Trail of Dead freneticism and Thrice post-hardcore earnestness that walks a fine line for me. In fact it is the latter that From Safe Place most reminds me of – its highs and its lows. But it’s in the melody of the title track, the high-octane energy of ‘I’m Not A Man – I Never Will Be’ that grinds down then marchs forward, all in just over sixty seconds; the atmospheric ‘In Front Of The Chestnut’. The spit-flecked angst here is something I would have gravitated towards ten years ago; and yet here I am, drawn once more to their cathartic flame. I am yet to see these guys live – I think I would become one of the converted masses then.

Going Full Tramp On Dirty Fences


I do love me a bit of Marc Bolan glam rock. Mix that with some Ramones deadpan passion and I'm sold. That’s where Full Tramp comes in, the new LP from Brooklyn’s Dirty Fences (out now through Slovenly Records, get it here). I love the way how on a song like ‘Give Me A Kiss’ you can have swagger, melody, rockin’ riffs and sweetness underneath the sleaze. ‘Deep In Your Heart’ is still probably my favourite track here for its unadulterated 70s rock drive, but the quality on show (the sing-a-long of ‘Judy (Don’t Go)’, the American rock spasms of ‘These Freaks’, the punch-drunk ballad ‘Rain’) means that going full tramp is an attractive proposition indeed. This is what JEFF The Brotherhood wished they could be – influences brazenly stitched into their sleeves, but with the guttural grit and ballsy braggadocio to pull it off. Bring on the weekend – not that I’ll remember much of it…

Friday, 22 May 2015

FRIDAY COVER UP - Sketched Tempos


Oakland duo Tempo House have released this downer cassette, Sketches, that embraces the goth crawl of SM stablemates Gazar Strips, yet is pitched from the bowels of a well. Featuring a member of Bicycle Day (who we wrote about here), Tempo House offer monochromatic sound, faint static washed over acrid white smoke, dealing out bruised discomfort and brooding disquiet. There is even a whiff of Merchandise in their earliest days, crafting no-fi droning ballads on the roughest of equipment. It breaks into the slightest of downer garage with ‘Regression’, the plodding repetition a narcolept’s swamped-out fever dream. Then there is 'Burning Airlines Give You So Much More', a more unashamed pop offering that shuffles to its own tempered elliptical beat – no surprise seeing as it’s a Brian Eno cover. ‘Underground’ takes us back into some more familiar Joy Division territory, but the different throughlines that have come to pass earlier in the EP makes the song feel less derivative as pleasantly recognizable. Sketches seems to be exactly that – sketches from a duo just tentatively pushing out the feelers, getting a taste of the dark. A lot of promise here.

You can buy Sketches on incredibly limited supply (50 cassettes in total) through Digital Regress here.


Thursday, 21 May 2015

Old Mate's Under Pressure

It's so great to have a new Old Mate track. It Is What It Is was such a surprising gem from last year, its schizophrenic laconicism and downer aesthetics somehow combining to create something wholly inexplicably wondrous. They are slipping this first taste of new album Maraby (to be brought out through Format Records) right under the radar - as they are wont to do - and the maudlin gospel western 'Atomspheric Pressure' plays like the vocals (featuring Joel Carey) has been mastered at the wrong speed - or if Jack Ladder took a handful of Diazepam and covered Charlie Pride. That sax though - Australia has been killing it with effective solos in their tracks over the last few months. Its abnormally addictive - my girlfriend heard me playing in the kitchen and asked why I was playing "shit in slow motion" but after a few plays said "what the hell is with this song? This shit is getting stuck in my head." I think that says it all - no more reviews necessary.

EVA Zones


EVA (Extravehicular Activity) is the new sonic cloak for Brisbane artist Amelia Paxman. I know Amelia; I didn't know about EVA. Which makes me sad, because EVA is just as beguiling, as five-track EP Zeroes attests. Everything throws you off balance, from the cover art (the cartoonish lost astronaut design from Amelia's sister Eleanor) to the synthesised mantras into the middle space of altruistic daydreams. But the connections are there - each track floats, spindrift, no tether, loss of control. But it isn't dire drone - this is aural cryogenics, a sleepless dream in stasis that leaves you in another world, another state, recharged, rezoned, reconfigured, refreshed.  Then at the end of the journey you hit 'Deja Vu', a cold anthem that is oddly euphoric, and the journey starts anew. Grab Zeroes here.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Julia Wheel


I’ve written about Sydney trio JuliaWhy? before, and have even reviewed their album Wheel a few months ago (you can read that over on The Music website here), but thought I would give it a little lip service today seeing as the band are really getting some strong footholds this year, what with their Canadian Music Week shows and supporting hyped degenerates Fat White Family.

Anyway, Wheel is pretty solid. Maybe it’s the main riff throughout opener ‘Turntable’, but I am reminded of Joy Division, although the sound is more akin to fellow Sydneysiders Mere Women (with a few extra streaks of sunlight and a few extra tears of gutter punk). The gritty riffs that kick off ‘Bride To Be’ are certainly at the forefront of Aussie rock circles thanks to Courtney Barnett’s garage conflagrations, yet this is more aggro in the rolling drums and shouted vocals, which slides into the pastel abrasion of ‘Painkiller’. To flail from post-punk machinations to garage chugging to raucous punk implosions over three songs and five minutes may seem schizophrenic on paper, but the sonic throughlines are held firmly together by Julia's energetic vocal delivery and a tight engine room. ‘La La Love’ fucks with the formula some, highlighting a proclivity for doo-woop garage that explodes into more serrated fare without a second glance, whilst ‘Just One Night’ is the closest the band comes to a straight-up mainstream hit, a power-pop trip that keeps it strong and simple, stupid. ‘Flowers’ is the kind of song Frente would have thrown out if they were more hedonistic; ‘Im Not Gay But Your Boyfriend Is’ grunges things up and brings the tone down even further. Yet for me the propulsive closer ‘What You Want’ is the clincher, a Sleater-Kinney echo down the line, showing serious chops amidst the gurning. A lot of fun indeed.

Get Wheel now through Exxe Records.

40 15



Its been 15 years since Lawrence English started his now global iconic label Room40, which now encompasses a cassette offshoot (A Guide To Saints) and Someone Good. Over the course of a decade and a half the institution has highlighted the gamut of aural exploration and sonic viscera, from Tenniscoats and Tim Hecker to Ben Frost and Bee Mask. The celebrations are resonating far and wide this year, with global gigs and tours underway (I was lucky to catch the end of English’s set at CafĂ© Oto in January, which also showcased John Chantler and Rafael Anton Irisarri, while he also just finished up playing Adelaide’s Unsound festival in March). The Open Frame shows have been massive - the Robin Fox lightshow looked goddamn amazing, while the Sydney Carriageworks show in July is huge (Jim O'Rourke, William Basinski, Grouper, Chris Abrahams, Austin Buckett...the list goes on)). But as always, the releases keep a coming. Here are a few from the year thus far.


Sydneysiders Marcus Whale (Scissor Lock, Collarbones, Black Vanilla) and Tom Smith (AKA Thomas William, fixture of Sydney’s experimental music scene) come together to Localities, one of a few excellent cassettes to come out recently on A Guide To Saints. The four track tribalistic alternamarch is their interpretation of journeying through neighbourhoods that are seemingly familiar yet remain unseen, the slight overlapping of parallel worlds that only the chosen few may experience. Rather than this be a Clive Barker urban S&M nightmare, however, Localities becomes a sinuous, propulsive heartbeat, palpitating synthetic jungle rhythms that are both sinister and jubilant, a neon necropolis of dead loves and living loathes. All abrasion and anxieties, and indeed tremulous triumphs, are washed away in the warm hum of closer ‘Kynemagh’.




Daniel Rejmer produces his own brand of frigid magnetic hell in the noise vibrations of his release Smedje. The cover art of the cassette is black with a fuzzy Xerox of a tooth – and that is pretty much all you need to know before submerging yourself in the electrified black seas of white static and wavering obliterations that exist within this 40 minute downward spiral. Yet it is fidgety, tetchy, forever restless – a constant battle for supremacy between myriad sinewaves of exacting strength and scrape. I listened to this tape for the first time some months ago after listening to Melbourne aural marauders Exhaustion’s experimental mind warp with Kris Wanders, and they melded into an hour of noise that was at once hypnotic, enervating and ecstatic in nature. Probably not for the faint of heart, but there is sonorous method beneath the abrasive madness.




Mirko Vogel is one of many Brisbanites who have found themselves tethered to the darker, colder climes of Europe. Going as Mirko, he has a rather colourful musical history, starting out as one third of Sekiden and having spent the past few years as an unofficial member of Cut Copy - but it is these brooding textural imaginings that are cobbled together in the niche moments of life (planes, trains, backs of touring buses) that signposts his real sonic bearings. There is a stillness inherent in Mirko's work that holds one in thrall, a frozen second forever caught in crystalline amber. He has a full album due out this month too - very excited about this one.






Opening Lawrence's show at Cafe Oto back in January was sound artist and producer Rafael Anton Irisarri. His method of oscillating drone majesty is probably better known under his The Sight Below moniker, but here he goes under his own name. Will Her Heart Burn Anymore is a burnished reflection of that. The EP was recorded in its entirety on New Years Eve of 2014, a sonic cleansing of what had been a turbulent year for the artist. It is the aural equivalent of being caught in a tractor beam in slow motion, the wind whipping clothes and hair, all noise - screams, sighs, moans - drowned out, with only white noise remaining, a choral epiphany of ambiguous temerity. Is this the Ascension, or the Apocalypse? Neither  matters - all is burnt to ash in the end.



The Spaces Contained In Each is the exploratory collaboration between sound artists Steve Roden and Stephen Vitiello. Roden brings a rounded aestheticism to Vitiello's atmospheric sound sculpting, giving an organic, breathing environment that is both febrile and moribund, with a dormant danger lying between the two. It's both lulling and tense - the truest feeling yet to being on the cusp of undiscovered territory, where the breathtaking beauty kicks the endorphins into action, but also cuts the leash of control to the quick. Let go.

Stephen Vitiello and Steve Roden: The Spaces Contained in Each from BOMB Magazine on Vimeo.


And finally (for today at any rate) there is Variations Of Weeds, a eclectic work from Tenniscoats affiliate Ueno Takashi. The suite of ephemeral guitar platitudes is almost childlike in its tentativeness, innocence and curiosity - an ambient sojourn through the fast-forward of childhood discovery in a rainforest stillness.


You can pick up all of these, and many many more, right here.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Blankets Of The Yung


Danish punks Yung are playing the Stag’s Head in London in a few hours – you should make your way down there (if you aren’t off to the Twerps show down in Brixton, that is…). They are following up ‘Nobody Cares’ with new single ‘Blanket’ (which is going to be on a 7” release through Tough Love Records, although it won’t be out until the tail end of July – pre-order it here to get a white vinyl version, there are only 100 available). They are young, having formed as teenagers and now only climbing into their twenties – which of course is perfect blasting grounds for mauled aggression and flayed tensions. However ‘Blanket’ also underlies the strength of this four-piece, as the melodies and songwriting are tempered and measured, the crystalline production perfectly molded to contain the fire until the glass is broken and all hell can break loose.

Nothing Gruesome About Peanut Butter


English twee noiseniks Joanna Gruesome are becoming a stronger band every time I hear them. Their gig at the Dome with Perfect Pussy was quite frankly one of the most fun, exuberant and loud experiences I’ve had in the past eighteen months – and I still feel they haven’t hit top speed yet. They are on the cusp of launching second LP Peanut Butter onto the world (through Fortuna Pop!, Slumberland and Turnstile worldwide). The band somehow manages to imbue their innocent pop hooks with angular aggression and possessive punk trashiness, a concoction that I would have thought impossible had these guys not been in existence. Peanut Butter is a curt, abrasive, yet sunny bolter, out of the gates and over the horizon after twenty-five minutes. The ten songs here are stuffed so full of hooks, hilarity and hellion yells that they each feel like individualised muffins that pulsate from within, ready to detonate in sugary destruction at any moment. ‘Honestly Do Yr Worst’ is the best example of this – the ambling amiability of the majority of this hook-laden is cut with some abbreviated screaming scuzziness, which just further underscores the warmth inherent within. The sweetness of ‘Jamie (Luvver)’ takes one by surprise, being one of the most straightforward pop songs you can expect to hear from these guys. But the acerbic nature of the gang hasn’t dried up – the sardonic serration of ‘Crayon’, the thumping intro to ‘I Don’t Wanna Relax’ and the explosive ‘Psykick Espionage’ kick arse.


Pick up Peanut Butter here. Joanna Gruesome are belatedly launching the album around the place in September - more on that closer to the dates.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Metallic Acronyms



Everyone loves an acronym. Well, most people do. I think. Melbourne idiosyncratic bruisers TTTDC are one living enigmatic acronym. Id like to think that not even they know what T, T, T, D and C stands for – or that they change its inherent meaning from set to set. This is probably not the case – but the band knows how to latch onto the confusion the moniker brings, naming their new record Acronym.

Describing the trio’s band is a tough one – and it is a sound that I struggle with at times also (although seeing that band members are also in Wicked City, there is some signifiers already laid in place here). It’s a prog-heavy sunblasted sojourn through the desert during the day, and the psychotropic devil drive through the night. Songs like 'Biblio Magistrate' reminded me of Alice In Chains if Jerry Cantrell was more interested in Hawkwind tangents and warped licks. The two downtuned guitars give a heavy blast that is always a focal point for the band, transforming these tentacular songs of sinuous psych and pomp into heavy hitting riff beasts (they have supported a few Tee Pee Records roster including The Atomic Bitchwax – that pretty much lays it out for you). The brilliance of Acronym is the pure energy exuding from this gargantuan exercise in rocking out – there is no audience greater than the three in the control seat. The album has been recorded live too, so the brutality of a track like ‘La Chubacapra’ is the real deal.

Acronym is out through We Empty Rooms now – go order this with its gold sparkle ink on the knuckle-duster, looking both gauche and devastating – TTTDC in a nutshell. They launch the album at The Tote this Saturday with excellent support from Zeahorse and Spermaids.



A Perfect Uniform


We here at Sonic Masala have always been massive fans of everything Ben Greenberg has put his hand to. Obviously we are Men acolytes (my cousin Greg and I are huge fans of this latter-stage Springsteen fixation too, although for fluctuating reasons – there’s a post in there somewhere, but that’s for another day). I also really like Greenberg’s solo stuff, a wild guitar exploration as Hubble. And of course there is the excellence of Pygmy Shrews… So when I heard he was in a new outfit called Uniform (no pun intended – geez, two in one day!) I was very excited. But not as excited as I became when I heard who the other dude was – Michael Berdan. The dude from Drunkdriver. An incredible band blighted by the heady fog of controversy. I'm not going to talk about that here today either – enough lip service has been paid to it, and I have had enough long, rambling, drunken conversations with my brother-in-law about this that I can’t bother to put it into print. Suffice to say I am glad that we have something new coming to the fore – and their album, Perfect World, is all I wanted and more.

It’s decidedly no-frills, rough as guts, sneering, diseased proto/primitive/industrial punk spitting forth from the maw of Time's beginning, somehow both dangerously regressive and deliriously futurist. Berdan’s vitriolic snarl echoes out from the ether, a discombobulated voice without a source, the Id of a nihilistic civilisation destined to thrive in the grave. All the anger, anguish and torment, both real and perceived, doesn’t bubble over rather than ejaculates that pent-up emotion, an expulsion of base forces at once purifying and scarring. Greenberg’s guitar hasn’t been this scabrous since early Men, and the bass synth and drum machine adheres to a militaristic deathmarch that refuses to halt, a constant funereal dirge into a dystopian Nirvana. The basic streamlined gear used vibrates from the strain, but therein lies the allegory – the primal emotions can threaten to tear us apart, but channelled just so and you are acidly cleansed. Long live the Perfect World.

Perfect World is out soon through Alter/12XU – grab this great record here.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Surfing Still


Tonight NZ band Surf City hit The Stillery in Camden Town as a precursor to their shows as part of The Great Escape festival down in Brighton. They have just released their new record Jekyll Island (out through Fire Records), which alongside Melbourne band Chook Race’ s About Time has been the first “summer” record to spin incessantly at my house. The album seems more indebted to reverb wash and psych inflected tangents than their last sojourn We Knew It Was Not Going To Be Like This (at least in my opinion), it is clear that the four-piece is solidifying this approach and becoming a stronger unit because of it. What I like the most though is that there is unashamed attraction to the traditional pop structure aesthetic, as it is with a country of talent that are consistently indebted to the Dunedin years, and of which I am eternally grateful. When looking for gnarled and diseased subversion of such an approach to an electric guitar led son, it’s easy to forget why guitar pop is popular in the first place. Putting out Dollar Bar’s third album Hot Ones this year (with their avid love of all things Robert Pollard) alongside living with one of the world’s greatest fans of Stephen Malkmus last year has really hammered that home to me – and I warmly embrace Surf City with open arms (plus their penchant for Krautrock aspersions is truly present and accounted for on the album, which everyone knows is one of my many vices). You should too.

Useless Children Stay Single


A quick post about the collation of out-of-print Useless Eaters singles that has come out through Slovenly Records. Singles: 2011-2014 is everything you might expect from this garage punk miscreants. There are initial versions of tracks that made it onto other longer formats (I actually like the slightly more muted ‘American Cars’ here, for example). Personal favourites is the leather-strapped slap in the face that is ‘The Moves’; the sandpaper blast of ‘I Hate The Kids’ (which also features the inimitable Ty Segall); the muted sneer of ‘Bloody Ripper’; and the dark electroglam smash-and-grab that is ‘Starvation Blues Number Two’. The fidelity is all over the shop, which at first irked me, but it is emblematic of where Seth Sutton and crew were at with each recording process (and the cover art of the wavy nails seems to hammer that home – sorry about that pun, but it’s true nevertheless). And the tinny fuzz of the New Wave futurist punk of ‘Integrated Circuit’ seems custom-made for such a shitty production. There are a few vinyls left in yellow and red splatter here - get on it!

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Cold Crepes Work In Summer


The sun is getting long in the tooth around this time in Melbourne, but over here in London the light hangs around later and later, so that even taking a late-night leak feels festive. Summer is knocking on the door, so it's not a bad idea to crack out Cold Summers, the new EP from Crepes. The title track that opens up proceedings has that ebullient eloquence that Statesiders Real Estate hold in thrall, while 'Ain't Horrible' goes into its shell a little - which turns out to be a cavernous pop chamber, floating easy on synthetic smoke and bleary grins. The slight chug to 'Stages Of Fear' is underpinned by a cheeky garage pop malaise with enough of the 60s pastoral psych embellishments to throw a Mac DeMarco level of knowing devilishness into the mix. My current favourite here is the aptly titled 'Moon Dancer', the dappled drift seemingly perfect for drifting off into a kaleidoscopic netherworld of garish dreams (which also befits the album cover). The Beatles comparisons need to be sized up on closer, 'Size Of Your Town' - a piano-led number that saunters unhurried down the nostalgic twilight of memories. For a five-piece that look like they would be up to no good (and they probably still are), there is a great degree of tempered nuance to Cold Summers that surprises and delights. I expect Ill be sparked up, chilled out, and cranking this one a bit over the next few months...

Revelling In Lehmann's Body


I was just saying to a friend of mine the other day that I missed Lehmann B Smith. The Melbourne multi-instrumentalist is a criminally underrated composer of pop ingenuity - his Girlfriends and Roominations records are stunning (and his contribution to the still-dormant Sonic Masala compilation is breathtaking - I hope to get it out into your ears soon...) Plus Lehmann is one of the loveliest, and funniest, guys I have ever met - and I've only met him a handful of times. He hasn't been quiet either - his work doing cameos with the likes of The Ocean Party and especially Totally Mild has seen him around the traps. But it's the fact that his solo stuff is finally about to hit the spotlight (hopefully, probably not, but it bloody well should) through new record Thank God For My Body out through Special Award next month. "Time' has a honky hoariness to it, like Lennon channelled through other Smiths who also are no longer with us; while 'No Such Thing As A View' is so heartrendingly beautiful that the eyes mist even without the family visuals of the film clip below. Pre-order the album here. I cannot wait to hear this - a truly talented treasure.


Tuesday, 12 May 2015

This Chook Race Took Its Sweet, Sweet Time...


I know this has been out for a while, but About Time, Chook Race’s debut LP, has been haunting me. It’s been my go-to album this week at work, whether it be marking, filing, reporting, hating (there is a large degree of hatred at my day job…), and there is something about these jaunty, jangly, jagged gems that has burrowed under my skin. ‘Dentist’ is the opening salvo, and it honestly feels dated in the right kind of way – like stumbling across a shoebox of those Kodak photos that had curved edges (do you remember those? Or am I making them up? Whatever…) filled with snaps of your parents in their authentic punk regalia, in some sunny, drenched-in-freedom backstreet of your birth town that never existed in your memory of your childhood. The familiarity continues all the way through the album. Now I must admit that I always liked About Time (I reviewed it for an Australian magazine some months ago), but the pleasantries barely extended beyond that surreptitious admission of acknowledgement - ‘like’. But other nuances seep through the second, third or (in my current case) thirty-fifth listen, that imbues the trio’s no-frills laidback approach with a heady dose of gravitas.

‘Always On Time’ feels like Electrelane as a further stripped back beach band, eschewing frenetic metronomic spikes of aggression for a sepia-tinged narcoleptic speed; ‘Cleve’ bleeds out of the Eddy Current Suppression Ring rabbithole, a twitching yet laconic blast that features angelic lyrics for only twenty seconds of its running time. ‘Outbound’’s bassline fits into that ECSR tone too – it reminds me of the summers I have in my mind, forever drinking in the temporal twilight of a forever setting sun over my favourite beer garden, back porch, or beach, my schooner neverending. ‘Relax’ could slip into the laconic slipstream of a thousand other dolewave-affiliated acts yet still has its own wily charm; closer ‘Tables Turned’ is a hangover dancing under the rusted and lopsided Hills Hoist charmer, with a delightful fade-out that doesn’t exist on albums all that much anymore.

Softcore Pjaro


Ruined Smile Records continues to open up the channels between Australia and small, hitherto unknown bands from around the world. One of their most recent releases has been Soft Core, the three track EP from Sheffield melodic malcontents Pjaro. The EP is bookended by two raucous numbers: 'Passed Out, Covered In Drugs' a jumped up racket, at times feeling like two different bands playing at once before the lyrics "When you look in the mirror/Do you smile?" comes out, akin to a hundred beer swilling post-hardcore heathens venting their spleen; and 'Goodnight Sweet Prince', a brooding math permutation that explodes in wanton fury, the deep dissonance a brilliantly welcome, cleansing release. But it is the eight minute middle track 'Car2003' that really got me - the hum of a poor recording of a pub conversation that fades into a slowly coalescing anthem, an instrumental behemoth of calibrated emotional manipulation until the rhythms take is into a euphoric canter a la American Football at their most ebullient. Great stuff.

Monday, 11 May 2015

PREMIERE - Yaws' Candy Will Undo U


Back in April Sonic Masala put on its first show north of the Equator, jamming in Power Lunches in Dalston, London, for what was a spectacular night of noise. Kicked off with the light, sepulchral guitar-looped meditations of TOOMS, things were cranked into a frenzy by one-man disco doomsayer mnttab and white noise nihilists Giant Swan. In there too though was the first set of Yaws (AKA Dom Stephens), who managed to entrance the audience with his set, with the tiny space in pitch black outside of the white static of a flickering television screen, starting off with undulating rhythms and pulses before building to a darkly euphoric tantric release - ear bleeding voodoo disco.

Today we are lucky enough to premiere Yaws' first release, a two-track cassette through English/Italian hybrid label WorkinKlassNoize. The A side, 'Undo U', is a seven minute static crawl through the inert temporality of relationships both organic and synthetic - there is a mewling vocal underneath the scored beats that feels alien yet also mundane. The repetition that Yaws showed was his centrifugal foundation is evident here too, and while not as darkly affecting as 'The Seventh Continent', it's a sordid slice of cyberstatic sluicing around the veins.



Then there is the B-side, 'Candy'. Stephens has stated that these tracks look at the hyper-intense nature of contemporary life, highlighting the role of sex in mainstream culture. Yes, the echoed taps, drips and distant manipulated moans that crawl out the back end of 'Undo U' show shadows of this, but the pent-up grind of 'Candy' is more emblematic of the simultaneous coarse/silken desire of hardbodies. The repetition here is more muted yet more feverish, a heat inherent in the roiling rhythms that quickens the heartbeat and holds the mind in delirious sway. The sexual build up of tension and pulse rate is a dangerously alluring amalgam, one that bottoms out in a drone that swallows you whole.



The cassette will be available June 12. Yaws is playing Thursday week (May 22) at Hackney Picturehouse, alongside Simon Frank and Elephant House - will be killer.

Vintage Angie


One of my favourite albums of the past couple of years, coming out at the tail end of 2013, was Turning, the debut solo offering from Circle Pit/Southern Comfort/Ruined Fortune/Straight Arrows firebrand Angie Bermuda (as Angie). She is bringing out her second record, Free Agent, soon (through Rice Is Nice), and first cut from it 'Out of Age' is a fuzzbox blast of atonal wildness within a harmonic frame. Angie has always played the metronomic guitar between garage abandon and Branca-era deconstructed destruction, yet here she somehow manages to do both here, with her vocal delivery monotone and deadpan. A great opening salvo - can't wait to hear this one (it's not out til September though, so play the hell out of this in the meantime).