Various Artists – TRUMP FUNK

artists: Various
reviewer: Spicky Lee Jones (the hamster)

Eep eep eep.
Eep. Eep eep.
Eep, eep Eep EEP
Eep eep eep. Eep eep. Eep eep eep, eep eep…
Eep? Eep eep eep: eep eep. Eep eep.
Eep eep eep. Eep.Eep… Eep eep eep; eep eep. Eep.
Eep Eep eep, eep!?
Eep !!! Eep Eep Eep Eep.
eep eep. Eep eep, eep eep.
Eep eep… Eeep eep; eep eep. Eep Eep.
Eep eep eep, eep eep. Eep eep eep.Eep eep eep, eep eep, eep eep eep.
Eep, eep eep! eep eep eep. Eep eep eep eep.
Eep Eep eep? eep eep eep. Eep Eep Eep.
Eep?! Eep eep eep.
Eep eep Eep eep eep eep eep, eep eep…
eep eep. Eep. Eep eep,  eep? Eep eep.
eep; eep eep. Eep. Eep.
eep Eep? Eep eep eep.
Eep, eep eep eep. Eep eep? Eep.
Eep? Eep! Eep eep eep eep:

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The Cryovolcano live on Floppy Totaal

The amazing Niek and friends have managed to setup another great floppy totaal festival at WORM, one with interesting floppy disk orientated workshops, incredible floppy performances and beautiful floppy artists, visitors and other floppy greatness! If you are excitedly searching for your agenda to pen it down and reserve the date; sorry, it has been done.

I was there (in chicken costume!) together with the one and only official YIKIS correspondent Johan Nederpel (with the legendary YIKIS hat) and gosh if you hadn’t been there; you have been missing out big time!

All the greatest artists had been there… from underground sound king Sascha Muller, the genius ingenius Irrlicht Project, the pancake dancing man graham Boosey aka ‘pancake Promises’ and one of the insane highlights of the nights “The Crying Volcano”. For most of the performances and floppy happenings the memory of the floppy disk powered camera had no space to capture it all, but luckily the insanely epic live performance of “The Cryovolcano” had somehow the right lobits to be able to store & capture it completely with the lobit cam!

How incredible it is & how proud I am to be able to pass on the word of it’s availability!
Oh yes! The Cryovolcano’s live performance has been mysteriously uploaded on YouTube, making this blissful moment of sharing it with you ‘a great reality!’ Seeing it will take you straight into the moment of action, with toxic green fluorescent highlights in a lucidly dark darkness The Cryovolcano sets out a set that you have not heard before! Including fantastic props and highlighting surprises!

Of course you had to be there, but like me being there might also mean that the vision might have been a bit blurry. Oh those floppy disks makes thirsty! So to me the video footage is like a joyful refreshment of the intoxicated brain, but for anyone else who hadn’t been there; a video to suck up and be blessed with:

<lobit leo>

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Psyborg Corp – Cryovolcano Terrorzone (live)

Artist: Psyborg Corp
Title: Cryovolcano Terrorzone (live)
Keywords: electronic, alternative, psyborg, video
Words by: Leo Obit

Like a total spy I was browsing the web for the one and only The Cryovolcano, but along the travels to search one of the best lobit artists out there, I had stumbled upon a video of something else… a band called Psyborg Corp performing ‘Cryovolcano Terrorzone’. I had to sit down for it and feel my eyes tumbling around in my skull from what the f-ness; it took me a while to believe what they were seeing!

Psyborg Corp are apparently a trio of psyborgs. Yes, psyborg! They seem to be tough fellows who are fully equipped in what looks like futuristic body armor (although some better than others) and to me it felt like they had stepped straight out of a modern day video game in which users use them to kill each other on spaceships and strange planets . It was as if these psyborgs had resisted, saying things like ‘hell no! I ain’t go running around shooting things on the commands of some nerdy gamer; I’ll break free and form a band to entertain the masses instead… how nice and brace!

Such a peaceful idea and the lack of guns or other suspected fitting killer weapons proof that these psyborgs have turned to music as their ways of getting their points across, instead of blasting away anything that moves. One psyborg seems to be the middle-point, occupying the electronic trance material like a robot glued to its job. The psyborg who provides the vocals is the most active, walking around like a warrior trapped behind a invisible wall it occupies the stage, blasting out his psyborg words into a human made microphone. The gear is impressive but it’s the hair on the back of his head that fascinates me the most. It looks impressive!

The third psyborg who is playing a guitar-like instrument (I refuse to think it’s a guitar, as these futuristic fellows might have something that is camouflaged as a guitar, but is actually a supersonic never seen before secret instrument)… Anyway this psyborg is one to pay great attention too! This band member is a true professional as somehow when the psyborg is playing and doing its thing, its armored crotch protector seems to malfunction. The protector of the psyborg center point is falling down and ultimately disappearing into thin air! This wardrobe malfunction might not have been intended, but it does deliver a nice piece of entertainment, really professionally lived-through and handled by this shooting game refugee. Anyway to make a long story short; I thought it was worth to share this peculiar proffesional trio and this recording of their performance with you. So here you go:

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WSCNL 24/7 music, comedy, adventure! 

“Convulsia Darklove, Max T, The Dead Heads, Voodoo Owl and several other artists YIKIS has reviewed are featured on our radio shows. We are like old-school MTV meets Weird Al’s UHF meets indie college radio. This weekend is “Purple Eggs” weekend!”

Apparently someone wants us all to know that there is a new radio station around, cause why listen to things on demand if you can listen to the radio? Exactly! Listening to the radio gives you this ultimate feel of not having to press play all the time, searching for songs you like to hear or talk bullshit yourself between those songs can be a real hassle; radio, a concept of music listening that would make your life easy listening choices ‘going easy’ again!

I’m not sure who is behind this station but looking at the page I believe it’s the Dead Heads. Why do I think that? Well there is quite a bit of artwork of these Dead Heads on the radio page & somehow their artworks are pretty much stored upon the brain when you have ever had come across them. I believe that makes me not a dead head as a dead head would probably have problems storing images into its brain.

Anyway, let’s look at the description:
24/7 MUSIC, COMEDY and ADVENTURE!! Awesome, free radio shows with diverse song choices, exclusive content and crazy-fun DJs.”

Oh goodness! 24/7 music, comedy and adventure! Who needs sleep? Sleep is for losers! Somehow 24/7 exposure to music, comedy and adventure sounds like a concept of maddening torture; a radio stream used to make prisoners confess crimes that they hadn’t commit. Can you imagine them begging?

“Oh gosh, please I tell you whatever you want to hear, but please I beg you no more endless exposure to music, comedy and adventure! Oh lord, please!”

-electric chair or 24/7 music, comedy and adventure?

“Electric chair please, I beg you; please relief me from my misery of sleep deprivation, music, comedy, and 24/7 adventures!'”

Somehow I think the electric chair is a easy way out & confining every dodgy prisoner to a life sentence of listening to WSNCL (the name of the station) is a much more life changing experience. Hairs falling out, ears growing larger in the hope to be able to close themselves and other evolutionary signs of interest might happen!

Let’s take a look at the genres;

Heavy Metal – Experimental – Rock – Comedy

A nice blend to drive even the best into a modern day fruitcake. Hmm! Apparently upon my arrival I’ve heard a song by a certain David Bowie, bauhaus (the Bella Lugosi is dead song; please give me 24/7 this song!) and comedic act ‘Radiohead’. And now I’m laughing my ass of with a track named Suicide Blond by INXS! So far the comedy has been terrific but I could tune in without a prison sentence that allows me to switch off if I wanted and I also apparently missed out on a ‘real’ show!

Yes, if you move your ass over to the WSNCL page you can see all the shows with their curious artworks and times that they are broadcasted. From ‘crazy adventures and snappy songs on asparagus street’ to ‘goth moods’ all the way to a program named ‘hard ballad egg salad’; you know, things you don’t want to miss out on.

Ah now they are playing ‘specimen’s kiss kiss bang bang’ and damn ‘I’m sold!’ If the life situation happens with the choice of being electrocuted on the electric chair or listening to things like kiss kiss bang bang and Bella Lugosi is dead’s theme song I will gladly offer my seat to the next future fried chicken! Somehow I believe it’s good not to have heard the ‘shows’ yet, as that might be the material to request a lethal injection for… who knows? But let’s keep it up, the WSNCL did provide a surprising unexpected playlist and it’s pretty much making me feel like we need to come back and check out those shows! 

Prisoners, guards, executioners, lazy music lovers and modern day brave people who are wanting to explore this station, please move on to the following link:

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The Tantric Doctors Meet Pingham Bark – A Green Ritual In Blue

The album art for A Green Ritual In Blue, by The Tantric Doctors Meet Pingham Bark, delivers varied tones of green mostly immersed in blue, which is above and beyond the kind of strange audio/visual package I tend to expect these days. You know what I mean? You could get an album called Red And Purple Seance and look at the front, see a brown and chartreuse overlay and just think, “what?”

Artist: The Tantric Doctors Meet Pingham Bark
Title: A Green Ritual In Blue
Label: Focused Silence
Cat#: None
Keywords: Experimental, Free Jazz
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

Hey! Welcome to another review!

I’m excited about this one right away, because everything I’ve heard from the Focused Silence label has been excellent. I can only hope that this album is no different, or else my opinion may forever be blemished in a slight, irreparable way. A way in that, if anyone should ever then in future ask me, “hey, how do you feel about the label Focused Silence?” I would be forced to reply, “oh, everything they’ve ever released has been utterly fantastic, but… alas, there was an exception once…” and they would see the lines of sorrow crease my face as I turned my gaze down and inward, in pained recollection of this album. I seriously doubt that this will happen, though, the artist seems pretty cool and I love free jazz music.

So, we begin here with an album that is comprised of one composition in three parts. ‘A Green Ritual In Blue Pt. 1’ starts off with some sharp, jagged guitar shards, immediately followed by trumpet that sounds like an operator on the phone line… then we head right into some jazz that feels formless, but tightly constructed. There is a strange assortment of percussion… some piano… those snares are crisp! This is really fun so far, entirely off the deep end. The way most of us get used to listening to music is to look for recognizable patterns, or when presented with something entirely abstract such as this, to try and superimpose the patterns we think we caught a glimmer of while listening, but this resists the attempt pretty well. The horn soars over the chaos, itself like an escaped canary drunk with freedom. The piano grows dark, the horn has gone absent for a moment. The color of the sounds seem to shift infrequently. Now, it feels like the sounds are hopping on toadstools. I could be in a swamp of sound at this time. The horns are a waddling duck trying to talk to me about the available food stuff to be found in their murky swamp home. The drums here are tight but clunking, like a junk motor sputtering with every bump on the road. It’s kind of a cartoon feeling I get, like with Raymond Scott, but a lot less organized. Abstract associative/dissociative imagery, Merrie Melodies acid-trip sequence from out of a derelict downtown basement. Now, it feels like the march of toy soldiers, melting before my ears… a raspy Daffy tries to sleep off a cold while a phone rings and mice bang cymbals together. A tomcat struts under moonlight, serenades a lamp post. Clocks go off in a shop. There’s the creeping malice of robbers. There’s an ineffective chase sequence. It was all just a dream! Well, I guess I couldn’t exactly escape pattern searching.

‘Pt. 2’ feels like a broken transmission at first, with waves of drums washing ashore and plucked string vibrations. It sounds like a machine falling apart… some melancholy in the piano dissipates quickly… but, then it returns, like a creepy music box, over the popcorn drums. The percussion feels like it’s on a rotary, sticks beating tin pans and small cymbals as a cylinder spins. Bicycle whistle, jumbled piano keys, saxophone scrawls on a chalkboard. Rhythms seem to be jogging, tumbling, galloping, stomping, flailing wildly. Horn squawks. We return briefly to a marching sound, without context, then any semblance of regimentation dissipates into absurdity. Then we come to a very sharp, staccato rhythmic snare, holding itself together for a time, too. The piano often sounds as if it has some kind of honky tonk saloon tuning, at least in certain registers. We’re in a kitchen, tossing plates. It sounds like a really strange moonlit waltz now!

The final part, ‘Pt. 3’ feels like it’s got a breakbeat groove with dark piano and sketches of horn sound over the top, and it’s awesome! It erodes, leaving me with the continued feeling of standing around confused and uncertain about what to do or where to go on a street corner in Louisiana. Shakers seem to point me toward a convenience store or bar with a cool fan or an ice cream truck. This is real life, though, and there is no rehearsal… even though it sometimes sounds that way. Every sound is like the repercussion of a choice made without any necessary rhyme or reason. Walk here, by a drink there… it all leads inexorably toward something, of variable degrees of meaning or lack thereof. Stranger moods surface… perhaps we’ve had a run in with someone we didn’t expect to see, or there was an altercation. This, too, passes, and we are on our way through loud streets, a hot marketplace, vendors struggling for our attention with unusual items. For some odd reason, this music makes me wanna go out and fly a kite. Guitar comes in, drums become more and more scattered, with minimal expressions…

I knew this release would be good all along! You can find copies of it for sale at the bandcamp link below:

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Ampyr – Your Punishment

Today, your punishment is to be administered by the album artwork for Ampyr’s Your Punishment… specifically, being unable to determine if the artist is going by Ampyr (everywhere on the bandcamp page) or Ampyre (according to the artwork).

Artist: Ampyr
Title: Your Punishment
Label: None
Cat#: N/A
Keywords: Experimental, Drone, Noise, Soundtrack, Weird
Reviewer: Alex Spalding

I like to imagine that Ampyr is like a cross between an umpire, a vampyre and an amplifier.

Vampyre, umpire, same thing basically.

But, amazingly, this music doesn’t sound at all like something such an absurdly terrible supernatural creature would create, but is instead, pretty good!

It gets started with something called ‘Place’. It’s not a place like any other, in that it is made of sound. It’s a soundplace. And, the way that it sounds, is like we’re at an opera in the basement of a very loud factory. It’s really lovely! There’s some static build-up… maybe it’s because the opera bunker is carpeted, and there’s a lot of electricity running upstairs. Needless to say, the opera is very shocking, and a bit charged, and our hairs are up on end. It seems at times that the whole thing is taking place on a turntable that keeps powering down randomly, so someone’s probably gonna have to call the city utility company about that. There are so many noises happening in here! I wish we had a couple broomsticks we could bang on the ceiling with, but they probably wouldn’t notice with all that racket. I think I hear a reedy wind instrument of some kind burst through the cacophony, which is really nice. We just continue rotating on the theme of everything being strange, surrounded by wild noise and ecstatic vocals, until the end.

I hope you’re a glutton for punishment, because ‘Your Punishment’ is next. It’s really not bad, so don’t sweat it. It begins like an ambient Eno composition for empty warehouses. The vocals add an eerie, almost ethereal quality to the piece. There are shimmers of feedback. Imagine a large, calm body of dark water, like a lake, filled with merpeople and faeries, but also an industrial workshop that’s been closed down, filled with turned over boxes, loose papers on the floor, and dust. It’s like… this piece is where those two worlds meet. I wasn’t paying much attention to the content of the vocals. There’s a cool sequence happening, like a synth or computer blip running on repeat. Maybe it’s a cleaning robot, sweeping through the floors of the warehouse. One of the things I enjoy about this album so far is how it is abstract and experimental, like many albums I’ve heard, but is very much carried by vocal utterances and sounds, which are woven like veins through the musculature of every piece. And by every piece, I mean just the two I’ve listened to so far, but I have a good feeling even at this early juncture that this theme will likely continue through the entire work.

Next up is ‘My Crime’. We talking theft? Larceny? Public indecency? I will stay tuned, to find out. Voices echo in a digitally void space alongside sharp bits of signal feed. A dirge breaks through occasionally. It’s pretty warped feeling, deranged. Deep in the background seems to be a strumming guitar with a bit of chorus. Farm animals. They’re in here, too. The distortion of frequencies is subtle, like a sizzle. Bit of croaking cavernous amplifier feedback.

Nothing quite like the smell of ‘Coffee and Razors’ in the morning. Yawning vocals, sharp hi-pitched tones, the percussive rattling of metal bits on grated floors, low key and Einstürzende Neubauten-esque at first, growing louder, more distorted. Formless guitar feedback. Those operatic voices. If you were feeling sleepy, this would probably jar you awake. I keep imagining someone beating amplified guitar strings across a Testla coil, recording the discharges. There’s a horn!.. or something. A goat, too, for a second. There might be a cloud of flies as we near the end.

‘Homeostasis’ is the next track, sounding like a bright, shining guitar with echoes or a harp, recorded in a room with surreal acoustics. It reminds me late Slowdive, harmonically. Whispered vocal noises, obscure. Plucking strings. It’s pretty, and swirling, and strange.

Then, it’s time for some ‘Hopeful Ghosts’! It feels at first like an exhalation… I hear traces of feedback pads beneath the surface, or orchestral tuning. Steel is ground down into powder… now, the avantgarde vocal stylings return, in agony. I decided to read the blurb on the bandcamp page about this, for a moment… “your Punishment’ is a 21st century hallucination of haunted cyberpunk soundscapes and transportational psychedelic vortices into creative realms. A sonic exorcism and spirit summoner, a psychic cleansing, a haunting vocal and guitar sonic mesh, at times distorted and at others quite clear.” Hmm, yes, that sounds about right! This musical odyssey goes into fever-pitch here, and it’s intensely noisy and bizarre. I hear a bit of bass guitar in the murk. The noise feels like a scalding hot shower of whirring mechanics, in which the vocalist is singing… which eventually begins to sound burbling, robotic.

The last track is ‘Ascending Escher’s Conscience’. Very brittle architecture of noise and feedback, dark choirs hiding in the recesses of mixspace. In many ways as ghost-like as the previous piece. These aren’t overly malicious ghosts… they’re alien, inscrutable entities, whose existence seems to involve the repetition of senseless sound activities with no apparent origin or regard. Guitar is a shadow. Machines and keys are moving like phantoms, choreographed as if by an unseen armature. This is one of my favorites here, and makes a great closing piece.

So, yeah, there’s probably very little left for me to say besides “go check this album out!”, but I thought about putting some other words here… like, “banana,” or “whadabudabbidaba,” which is a word I made up on the spot. Instead, I’ll just tell you “here’s a link to the place you can hear this album”:

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Red Plane – Red Plane

Artist: Red Plane
Title: Red Plane
Keywords: ambient russia electronic noise Buenos Aires
Label: Nebular Silence

Taking a trip in Red Plane’s Red Plane is highly recommended. It’s a bit like a fine continuation of a lovely and interesting dream. I tuned into it at the very early hours of the morning (let’s say it was six) and it gave me the perfect buffer zone between sleep state and the one of waking up into this dimension.

It also kept me rather woozy and sleepy, much better than a alarm clock that bleeps annoyingly your dreams away, or a good pall throwing a cup of ice water in your face; Red Plane just gently delivers lovable easy going mellowness, interesting experiments and enough variety to give your sleepy brain the twinkling sparkles of interest.

But don’t think of it as ambient that just plays around, there is a energy to it and even rhythmic beats will pop up at the right time and space. The electric electrifying sounds keep the release in a modern corner even if a hand-played instrument strums in to give it that human touch.

It’s foremost a experiment in music, combining originality and familiarity together to create a flight in which you could easily settle down and be bewildered in from the fearless Red Plane that isn’t afraid to explore the unexplored in such a pleasant and intriguing way. The whole release might trigger your head, but be careful as it’s not recommended to replace it with an actual alarm to wake up too; Red Plane’s title track might actually lure you back to sleep. So lovely and smooth! Jump on board and enjoy the trip:

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