Listed: Growing + Burning Star Core
The minimal tones of Growing come on far stronger than a cursory listen would suggest. Their from-out-of-nowhere debut, The Sky's Run Into the Sea (Kranky) combines elements of Kranky mainstays Stars of the Lid, Labradford, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor to create a sound that is both numbingly ethereal and violently abrupt. Members of this west coast ensemble explain that "right now, we're working on a bunch of recording projects. We're sketching new songs for a follow-up record, and starting work on three separate video soundtracks, for friends Lisa Darms, Brittany Pisano, and FIELD & STREAM. We'll be playing some shows along the west coast in September. Info: www.growingsound.com."
1. Hermann Nitsch Harmoniumwerk - Organ studies of the stars by one of Europe's premier actionists. Up to 40 volumes available, somewhere, somehow.
2. Skinny - Member of #1 species on the planet. Lives with us, is incredibly handsome and knows it.
3. Werner Sobek R 128 - Sobek is a German architect/engineer, and R 128 is the house he designed for his family in Stuttgart. Inspired by Yemeni mafraj structures, R 128 is a glass house like no other. Four levels, no emissions, touch free everything, UV blocking/heat insulating triple pane glazed glass, and a moveable bathtub. How come only the rich get to live in the future?
4. Village Music of Bulgaria - A Harvest, A Shephard, A Bride - Featuring Valya Balkanska singing Izlel je Delyo hajdutin, this record documents (among other things), that particular type of singing so unique to Bulgaria's geographic amalgam of east and west. This singing is a rawer version of what would later be organized into The Bulgarian Women's Choir, subsequently released as Les Mystere Voix de Bulgares. But this features a closer version to what it would have been like to hear it in the fields, with gaida accompaniment.
5. Barnett Newman - Obsessed with horizon, perception, and genesis. Standout original of the "New York School" of painting during the 40's, 50's, and 60's. Large scale work widely considered devoid of "appropriate formal content." Challenged accepted ideals of picture painting and created a new painting/viewer relationship.
6. Syntonic Research - Environments - Series of psychologically tuned recordings by Syntonic Research. Intended for personal meditation. Many tracks offer field recordings of a SUMMER CORNFIELD or a CARIBEAN LAGOON, for example, but some like INTONATION (Disk 7) are elaborate layers of studio-recorded vocal drone.
7. Michel Siffre - In the early 1960s, at the age of 23, this French speleologist spent two months alone in a glacial cave with no reference to the physical earth days going on above him. Ten years later, he spent 6 months in a cave in Texas under similar conditions. Both experiments shed light on the random nycthemeral rhythms of humans who have no reference to sunlight. Results also include a near-hibernation rate of metabolism, lethargy, almost complete loss of short-term memory, and some suicidal tendencies.
8. Popol Vuh - A mountainous discography, every heard example of which we've enjoyed. There is no sweeter soundtrack than theirs of Herzog's Nosferatu.
9. Gentle Breeze / Swaying Foliage - These two in combination have provided for maximum reverie and respite in recent clear northwest months.
10. Bainbridge Bishop - "Much might be written in favor of taking red to represent F in the musical scale, for the reason that the great fundamental sounds of nature seem to be in the key of F, or very near it. A person may test this on piano or organ during a thunderstorm, and do the same in regard to the sound of heavy winds, surf, or waterfalls."
Burning Star Core
Burning Star Core began in 1993 in Cincinnati, then Chicago, then back to Cincinnati, where it currently resides. After years of small-run cassettes and CD-Rs (many on the Dronedisco vanity imprint) the debut vinyl full-length A Brighter Summer Day dropped via Los Angelese label Thinwrist in the beginning of last year, followed by various dates and mini-tours here and there around the country (including very lucky dates with legends the Dead C, Caroliner, and Acid Mothers Temple, as well as a ton of other great bands). Earlier this year BxC toured during Spring Break with Hair Police and Monotract, and is currently getting ready for an appearance at the massive DeStijl/Freedom From Festival of Music in Minneapolis, Minnesota in early October. Recent releases -- comps: the "Soun" 7" on Gameboy, the Grain CD comp on dotdotdot, the Hurts So Good Cock ESP remix disc on V/VM, and a forthcoming Cock ESP axis-related comp, Breathmint 100 comp, and Neon Hunk remix disc on LDR-HPR. Tapes from Gods of Tundra and Imvated are forthcoming, a CD-R "retrospective" on Tokyo Rose, as well as a bunch of other stuff. A followup to the first LP for Thinwrist is slated for early 2004. Collaborations with Sudden Infant, Scorces, and Hair Police are in the works for the future as well. Outside of BxC, Yeh also currently plays in moonlight rock band Death Beam, and free-music ensemble Gordy Horn, led by Wolverton Brothers' Tim Schwallie and currently fronted by Clayton "Chiken" Gunnels of JBs/Funkadelic fame. Sometimes Yeh joins hiphop/free jazz group Iswhat on electronics and voice, as well as the occasional "improv" meeting and who knows what else. There is also the possibility of touring as a guest member of Rochester, NY's mighty Pengo this fall. for more information: www.dronedisco.com/bxc
C. Spencer Yeh of Burning Star Core
1. Viki/Hair Police - Split (Load) - Gotta totally kick off with this one. Sounds great and art is rad too. Haven't seen the vinyl yet though. One "gripe" is that I wish some of the Viki jams (esp. the first track) were longer -- they are total workouts in the club setting and prime the kids for one of her patented "noise boners." Hair Police side literally jumps outta the speakers -- the energy of "Blood" but showing more "Mortuary" dimension -- third track is the jam, sick sounds of eaten canteloupes with robot flippers. "Night Visitors" reminds me of this one Ramleh track. Oh yeah this reminds me -- I helped shoot, edit and author this wylde Hair Police DVD; anyone wanna put up the funds to properly put it out??
2. The Curtains - Flybys (Thinwrist) - Weeird followup to their haunting debut. If the first record was the demon baby being born, this record's all about the discovery of cruel powers and the onset of hellish puberty. I imagine the followup to center around the young adult's budding political career. Seriously though -- I take the Curtains music to be total "horror" soundtracks -- very mysterious and "awkward," but incredibly emotional. The fourth track "Bummer With Cakes" will be everyone's favorite new song. Couldn't stop humming it after seeing it played live, like, the second time.
3. Open City - Birth of Cruel (Thinwrist) - Open City release which should be hitting any time now. Got the fancy advance CD-R -- totally monster restless workout; has more "guitar-ish" tones in the mix since the first LP. The near-subliminal frequencies from the second LP still there. This is comin on CD too, so you can buy it for the boss. Let me add that Open City are totally scary in the live setting, often with these crazed android moves of utmost intent and calculation.
4. Guignol - Angela, David, & the Great Neopolitan Road Issue (Cenotaph Audio) - Collab b/t members of Volcano the Bear, A Hawk and a Hacksaw, Neutral Milk Hotel etc..? Never really bands I have investigated into too too much I haveta admit; sounds like it's made by people who know what they're doing, know what they want, and how to pull it off. Fancy and loose, aged, like it owes a lot to that Englishey-Soft Machine/Faust "So Far (With Whiskey and Percosets)"/Eastern euro/etc. prog class vibe, or something not even near that.
5. Deathpile - G.R. (Hospital) - Maybe I've been out of the loop w/ "orthodox" PE (you know -- straight-up harsh electronics and vocals with particular subject matter and intent) for a touch (save the Whitehouse, who've by the way been forefronting their superb subtlety of late), but I haven't been able to stop listening to this one at all -- absolutely awesome and absurd and everything; "She was LUCKY -- but I've LEARNED!!" Connelly from Hair Police and I find it to be as party-quotable as The Simpsons or Austin Powers; great artwork and aesthetics around this CD too, which is to be expected with anything within spitting distance of Mr. Prurient.
6. Guam River Yellow Philharmonic - Underwater Caverns (American Tapes) - Haven't really listened to this one; mostly just been sittin there on the "drone couch" and staring at it, talking to it occasionally. Got a buncha other sharp-lookin tapes surroundin it in the pile that J. "Crowd Bulldozer" Olson hooked me up with, but we know who's the big brother in there right now.
7. Tony Allen & Afrika 70 - No Accommodation for Lagos/No Discrimination (Evolver) - Been a Fela dipper for a bit (esp. of course, the Expensive Shit reissue), but got this two-fer recommended to me by the Prof. Canteloupe dude while talking about indescribably sick air-slicing minimalist funk. And that's exactly what it delivers. Need more of this very soon...
8. Henry Flynt - C Tune (Locust) - This shit, along with Takehisa Kosugi "Catch Wave"/solo violin/Taj Mahal Travellers transmissions, recent Coil droney stuff Time Machines/Astral Disaster/Solstice EPs -- total indulgence and obvious choice to reach for when in search of deep times.
9. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks (Warner Bros.) - Had this recommended to me many times in the past and finally checked it out a while back, now tryin to pay it forward onto others. Van Morrison reminds me of Ja Rule -- total howling voice through ballad or rocker, switching between ruminations on assassination and thuggery, and lamenting the falling leaves and lost love. Long workouts that do better than the E Street Band to these ears. The Boss + Jah Rule = Van Morrison. Pulled this out recently for a fog drive through Kentucky -- the part where the upright bassist just starts mauling his strings towards the end of this song, and the band fades off into splatter -- got me thinkin my car was falling apart (and maybe butterflies shooting out the tailpipe, who knows).
10. Previewed various recordings recently that are on their way to a format soon:
-Girltalk - "Strictly 4 Tha Clubz" - great addition to developed plunderphonica that speaks in songs and emotions; dude's the first person I know of to address the "laptop performance issue" with a dance squad and basketball drills...
By Dusted Magazine