Listed: Stuart Argabright + Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase
NYC post-punk whiz kid Stuart Argabright finally got his due a few years ago with the release of Ike Yard’s compendium of works. While Ike Yard traded in a cerebral mix of deep, bottom-heavy grooves and synth-driven chaos, Argabright has participated in numerous other projects including the Futants, Death Comet Crew, and the Voodooists. His first new tracks as Dominatrix in many years were released on REC /Rapid Expansion Corp in March, while a new album is scheduled for next year. Argabright is also working with Nomi of Hercules and Love Affair, and Kent from Holy Ghost on projects that should see physical release late this year or early next year.
1. Jamie Vex’d - In System Travel
2. Christoph De Babalon - Scylla & Charybdis
3. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Out Of Noise
4. V/A - Pop Ambient ‘09
5. Fennesz - Black Sea
6. Phil Manzanera - Diamond Head
7. Live Skull - Dusted
8. Voodooists - Voodooists EP
9. Chrislo Haas & Beate Bartel (CH BB/Liasion Dangeruses) - Demos 1984
10. Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works: Vol. 2
Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase
Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase is guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Chris Cooper, who also plays in or has previously contributed to the groups Deerhoof, Fat Worm of Error, the BSC, Barn Owl, and others. Last year, AHPN released the LP Glistening Inn on the Ultra Eczema label, Cooper’s first LP under that name in about a decade. Among the "instruments" appearing in his precise and dense collages are plastic guitar, bass, clarinet, banjo, optigon/organ, egg slicer, ratchets, broken toys, fan motors, whirligigs, glasses, tape loops, etc. AHPN recently released a 7" with Bhob Rainey on the Sedimental label, and Fat Worm of Error has two albums coming out this year: a CD on Resipiscent, and an LP on Ecstatic Peace.
1. V/A - Music from the Morning of the World: Balinese Gamelan and Ketjak
My family didn’t have The Beatles when I was growing up, or even Wings. We didn’t have copies of Tarkus with leftover stems in the gatefold. I had to find Neil Diamond on my own, and it was scarcely worth the effort. I did, however, get to know every rooster (real) and frog (imitated) on this record by heart, and I feel a little less deprived for it. I’m not much fun at parties, though.
2. Tampax - Let It Shit and Bald Mermaid - Let Us Be Your Snails
You could tell me this was actually two different albums, and I suppose you’d be right (I imagine the conversation might go something like this, "Hey! That’s two different albums, you know!" "Oh, I suppose you’re right.") But never have I taped one for someone without flipping for the other. Between these 90s rock behemoths SHOULD flow every enervating stream of amplified joy, but that’s not how it was to happen. Nearly unheard, would crumble Tampax’s unfunked tape loops and charismatic gurgles (the only two people I’d gladly listen to tell me to vacuum each floor of the Sears Tower are whoever-the-Tampax-guy-is and Gibby Haynes, despite my usual hatred of both charismatic rock singers and vacuums). Entirely moss-covered is Bald Mermaid’s pinnacle of spoon-as-drumstick/narwhal-as-bass monolith. When I find the galaxy in which these are the Zoso and Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs that everyone’s sick of hearing on classic rock radio, I’m moving in, even if my single penis makes me the laughing stock of every Glixbruglian youth.
3. John Cage / Ilhan Mimaroglu / Luciano Berio - Electronic Music
Anybody who knows me knows my opinion re: Mimaroglu/motherfucker-ness. As a pesky child, I bought this for the obvious, childish reason. "Fontana Mix" is good, sure. Lotsa squiggly lines. I like squiggles. "Visage" is fine, too, though do you really want to flip the record over to listen to all of that? You’ve got Steely Dan’s "Your Gold Teeth" right over there, and it at least mentions Cathy Berberian (and has great wrong-key piano solos, but did they really need such a literal, lyrical excuse for polytonality? Yes, I suppose THEY would.) But "Agony," holy shit, that hit single defined a generation. Too bad the generation it defined continually mocks my exoskeleton-less penis.
4. Richard Harris - The Yard Went On Forever and Graham Lambkin - Salmon Run
(Such a joy, flipping through my records to find this, "NO god damn you, outta my way you foolish Harry Pussy records...Aaaah, Harris! Sweet relief!")
Melodrama is such a luxurious cruise. All the sorrows deserve the loudest of wails, and all the murders are the most foul. Such comfort in the righteously wronged. And yet both of these records fracture the hull of this decadent ocean liner, letting killer whales and perturbed fowl disrupt our cherished emotional equilibrium. I’ve never taped these back to back, but they deserve conflation anyway. Domestic mundanities isolated and repainted in florescent browns and putrid pastels, a complete re-framing of what, seconds ago, seemed to make sense about a quiet life immersed in the inconsequential joys of western culture. "Salmon Run" pulls you into the histrionic spirit of expressionist bosom-rending, providing a soundtrack for the most anguished facial contortions of the 1920s, but disrupts nostalgic, morbid reveries with modern day baths and living-room laughter...until the modern day baths and living-room laughter take on their own gauzy melancholy, one far less identifiable, and therefore more affecting. Richard Harris sings of housewives and frying pans and their ultimate destruction and loss with such an overwrought swoop that you don’t know whether you’re weeping for a poor joke or for the apocalypse. Because we only really miss cat-shaped saltshakers when they’re gone, don’t we?
5. Genesis - Selling England by the Pound
Prog is not my favorite genre. Genesis is not my favorite prog band. "Selling England" may not be my favorite Genesis album. But some combination of nostalgia and idyllic fantasies makes surf pastoral British curls every time I listen to this. As a wee one, my whimsical reveries would be distorted every time a credit card or radiophone would intrude upon the stage which I’d mistakenly populated with faeries and gallant knights. As an aged one, I’m still rather tickled.
6. Merzbow - Batztoutai with Memorial Gadgets
I’m glad I got to know this before I got to know the plundered booty from INA/GRM records and the likes. I loved this un-noisy record dearly, its gentle flow, its rich candy-coated palette, and I didn’t think to question the authorship of any squonk or flizzle...which is a much better way to listen. Because really, sure, Luc Ferrari’s good, but he’s better with a feedback loop playing underneath.
7. Donald Miller - A Little Treatise on Morals
It’s a little like the Cage/Tudor "Variations II" BUT DONE WITHOUT A SCORE! HOW CAN YOU DO THAT WITHOUT LOOKING AT A BUNCH OF SQUIGGLES? All of the best things a guitar can do, none of the worst. (I had to wait until "Buncha Hair That Long" to hear fingertapping.) No candy-coated palette. Pure rusted flakes.
8. Einsturzende Neubauten - Drawings of O.T.
My stepmother was a flight attendant. "Chris," she says to me, "Chris, someone left this on the plane. It sounds terrible. I thought of you. I don’t want you turning into some damn devil worshipper, though." It wasn’t this album. It was a gold-stickered Maxell high-bias tape with Christian Death "Only Theater of Pain" on one side and Einsturzende Neubauten’s "1/2 Mensch" on the other. I thought they were both hilarious. I’d listen and mock with my high school prog buddies, because that’s what high school is about, and that’s what prog is about. But I knew, deep down, I knew that while I was laughing about the Christian Death side, the laughter when Neubauten was playing was just a weak show, a pathetic flailing, like swatting at a dragon with a rolled-up newspaper. My old, withering self - that self which pulled me towards Neil Diamond and Pink Floyd, that self which thought rock might be real, and swore that scales and smiles could be a legitimate currency in my metropolis - it tried to fight off the devils which inhabited that tape, but I was made, from the day I was born, to worship them. "Drawings of O.T." is much, much better.
By Dusted Magazine