New Reviews at Still Single, December 14th

Still more reviews I’ve written for Still Single have been added to the tumblr site. And here they are:

Jen Paul/Jeans Wilder — s/t split LP (La Station Radar)

Jen Paul dials in some heavy reverb guitar, with occasional singing and percussion – that is whenever he/they bother to write a song that lasts longer than 30 seconds. Nothing special, at least nothing that you haven’t heard tried in the past decade or two since Loveless. The Jeans Wilder side is some poorly played, out-of-tune, lower-than-lo-fi grit that even Kurt Vile wouldn’t release as a b-side on some sub-sub-sub-“hip” label. Wait, did I write that? Limited edition of 300. (http://lastationradar.com)

Oneohtrix Point Never — Zones Without People LP (Arbor)

Oneohtrix Point Never is a project by Daniel Lopatin, who seems to be upping the ante in the retro-synth sweepstakes. Zones Without People begins as a pretty fantastic set of deceptively-simple melodic pieces set somewhere between the futurism of early ‘70s Cluster or Tangerine Dream, the pastoralism of Boards of Canada (without the beats), and the looking-backwards-yet-forward sensibilities of current peers such as Emeralds. On the second side, Oneohtrix Point Never shifts further into overdrive, as the melodies are occasionally dispersed with shrill stabs and ominous minor-key rumblings. Whether you’re into music as blatant about its influences is up to you, but personally I can’t get enough of well-done synthesizer music, which Zones Without People most certainly is. Limited to 500, first edition already out of print. (http://www.arborinfinity.com)

James Ferraro — CITRAC 2xLP (Arbor)

Some pretty strange stuff on this mishmash of a double album from James Ferraro, who you may also know as one-half of Skaters. The first album, subtitled Left Behind: Postremo Mundus Techno-Symposium (and previously released elsewhere), is some sort of meditation on the creepy Christian Left Behind series of books and movies, Kirk Cameron, tribal tattoos, homoeroticism, one-world order conspiracy theories, and some other nonsense. Music-wise, the first LP is filled with the sort of warped noisy kling-klang you’d expect (unfortunately beset with some strange moans and groans), oblivious to whatever the underlying concept may be. The second album of the set, subtitled Wired Tribe/Liquid Metal Excerpt I, is musically more straightforward, but less satisfying, as Side C begins with some throbbing industrial noise, quickly giving way to what sounds like bleed-through from someone listening to a 1980s porn soundtrack in another room. As the side progresses the cheese continues, as some very 1980s electro-ish sounds filtered through cheap equipment dominate the proceedings, occasionally interspersed with jarring edits, and then rounded out at the end by some more moaning. Finally, the last side is made up of two recordings Ferraro previously released under his Liquid Metal moniker, and these are also filled with some twisted ‘80s cheese, much like the side before them. Frankly, it’s a bit of a mystery why these pretty disparate projects were lumped together in one release. (http://www.arborinfinity.com)

Eleh/Nana April Jun — Observations & Momentum split LP (Touch)

For the first three, maybe four years of this decade, the Touch label couldn’t really do wrong when it came to releasing some spare-ass music. From the first non-Mego Fennesz releases, to Ryoji Ikeda’s primary forays outside of Japan, to a million other fantastic yet stereotypically dry recordings, Touch seemingly had the finger on the pulse of post-academic, post-minimalist electronic music. However, there are only so many austere-yet-expensive imports of relatively minimalist stuff one can own. Catching back up with the label, this release, one of a series of split LPs, renews faith that Touch, while not really releasing records that are that different from each other, might still be worth investigating. Though the liners namedrop La Monte Young, Pauline Oliveros, and Charlemagne Palestine, what the Eleh side really seems like is homage to an important ‘90s contribution to the minimalist oeuvre, Thomas Koner’s Permafrost. The Nana April Jun side is more of the same bleak winter sounds, but instead of being stuck under ice, you’re stuck on the side of a mountain, enveloped in a blizzard. Either way, it’s hopeless, so just give in. (http://www.touchmusic.org.uk)

Dialing In — The Islamic Bomb LP (Music Fellowship)

There’s something about this release by Dialing In, the solo moniker of one Reita Piecuch of Seattle, which rubs me the wrong way, and it’s not just the semi-offensive title. Basically, the album is a collage consisting of street sounds from a trip Piecuch took to Pakistan, cut up and made into her own brutally tough music. However, the methodology isn’t the problem: it’s the end result, which ultimately isn’t that pleasant to listen to. It’s not unpleasant in the sense that most noise music strives to be (and usually isn’t), but rather it’s unpleasant in that Piecuch’s finished compositions don’t seem to add very much to the found material. Instead of illuminating that material by extrapolating, say, a strange melody out of some anonymous voice, Piecuch instead adds layers of expressive, yet empty sonic murk on top of what otherwise might be pretty interesting field recordings. Jade green vinyl, limited to 500 copies. (http://www.musicfellowship.com)

Big Nurse — American Waste LP (High-Density Headache Records)

It may not be obvious to you lucky people who live on either coast and can walk/run/take public transportation to whatever good record store you happen to live by, but living in a flyover state, much less a red state, can be rough, music-wise. For every gem-in-the-rough such as Big Nurse one might uncover, one still has to endure a fair amount of friends who still want to express how “cutting edge” Vampire Weekend is. Whatever. Anyway, Big Nurse is the real deal. They’re a four-piece, underground rock racket from Nashville, and from what I hear on American Waste, they might probably be the pick of the current lo-fi litter. Seriously, this record smokes in a way that only twentysomethings with no hope of ever being heard can smoke. Humorless record nerds all across the Midwest will want to figure out how they can get a copy, once they figure out years from now that the shambolic retard-rock bordering on Kraut-style bliss in these grooves is pure genius. Did I mention that the ridiculously over-the-top super-long first side is entitled “Runnin’ With the Devil”? Well now I did. Limited edition of 200. (http://highdensityheadache.blogspot.com) (http://www.myspace.com/bignurse)

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2 thoughts on “New Reviews at Still Single, December 14th

  1. jeblack

    maybe I have some shit in the ears (maybe 20 jazz funk greats too because they love this split),because I find this split jen paul/jeans wilder really beautifull. but your review is fucking disgusting, you don’t talk about the music, it’s just hate…
    You can put your review deep in your ass.

    Reply

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