Surfdrone – Surfdrone III

Artist: Surfdrone
Title: Surfdrone III
Keywords: experimental harsh noise harsh noise wall noise power electronics United Kingdom

Surfdrone is back with another chapter in this project’s busy release schedule. This time the harsh noise act had gone classical, with music that would be ideal material to play for a ballet class… nah, just joking, this is of course music for surfers! Extreme surfers that is, as this collection of material is giving the ears a fierce bite of extreme waves. In fact if they had to be surfed upon by actual surfers (even at their top of their game!) they would have probably broken some bones before drowning. They simply sound so unforgiving, not menacing or cruel, but it’s a case of ‘they are what they are’ and a ‘it is what it is’.

The first harsh noise wave is to the point, no extreme psychedelic layers, but still a difficulty degree that is far ahead in the red. It’s pretty wet compared to the second work that is rather dry and crackly. As if the actual wave had been dried out and replaced by an incredible amount of sandpaper; I mean, imaging surfing on sandpaper; once you lose balance and fall over, your are simply full of shattered skin marks.

The next one titled ‘True HNW’ must be the highlight on this release. Why? Because it is honoring its title so very well. You might think why would anyone try to make traditionally perfect HNW? But unless you steal a genre’s top HNW producer’s (vomir) track and claim it as your own – to make it as pure and true by yourself is much more difficult and challenging. But of course Surfdrone smashed it here, making that wall of stability and loudness that you might actually are able to surf upon it, yet if you fail and fall, your wounds might as be unforgiving as being driven over by a train.

At the end Surfdrone comes up with one last wave of harshness. This one is suggesting( through the title) that it is build with the help of the manipulation of a cassette. Things can be so technical, crafted and build carefully behind the screens in this producer’s secret laboratory & nobody might know how it had been established, but the result is worth to be fed to your already perforated ears. It’s the most energetic wave of harshness on this collection, it sounds like a continues grumpy growl of a speedy speedboat; one that if you are surfing, might drive over you, chopping you in your surfers gear into little pieces between its legacy rotating motor blades!

So yes, another one in the Surfdrone collection of goodies. Not a release suitable for everyone I guess, but if you are a extreme harsh noise surfer with no fear of hurting yourself – you probably will be pleased!

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Mike & Rich – Expert Knob Twiddlers

Artists: Mike & Rich
Title: Expert Knob Twiddlers
Keywords: electronic aphex twin rephlex µ-ziq United Kingdom

Listening to the classic twiddling of the expert knob twiddlers Mike & Rich is like picking it up from the bin full of half forgotten treasures, admiring your favourite funky shit with a glass of refreshing beer, dusting it off with a tissue and placing it into the ears as if it had never had been there before. Actually, it did never ever visited my ears, only the memorable artwork and title had been burned into my brain while visiting a fancy record shop way back in the day… It was one of those releases that spoke to the imagination, yet i hadn’t have the funds to grab it and pay legally for it at the counter. Being a professional shoplifter is fine if it contains bottles of booze and food stuff, but music should not be stolen!

But still, now listening to this album cooked up between these prominent figures for the first time, is exactly like listening to material that had crossed my path many times before. Even though brand new to my mind, they go in as if they are sentimental pieces that I had grown up and wiggled in my crib with when I was a pretty ugly baby. These basses, those grooves, these funny things of melodic fun are all sounding so familiar that it must have been made with some ulterior universe in mind, one that we all know, just nobody had created into music before, until these two friendly fellows came along…

It’s very friendly material, light weight, music between friends for friends that sit on the same like minded line, fiddling with each other like only true buddies would be able to do. There is simply no sign of pressure within these tunes, everything is okay, no big egos or star allures, no fear if it doesn’t sound like a banger or a hit, it is just a friendly game in which nobody is a winner expect perhaps the game itself. Oh and maybe we, the listeners are the winners, especially when these goodies got us where they wanted us to be; moving our legs and bumping our heads like those funny wiggle things that stand on dashboards and do their thing in moving cars.

Strangely the one pleasantly titled ‘Vodka’ is one of those tracks that my head did hear; was it on some compilation, a brain dance thing, a free download at the good old Napster space? a far ahead deejay set? Whatever it was, it is such a nice happening to feel completely umarmed in that nostalgia moment. Good that Mike and Rich are politely burping their music in our and each other’s faces within their Upright Kangaroo tune, as otherwise we just might take this music/album way too seriously; it’s all about fun! Friendly fun! Friends that twiddle each other’s knobs so well, that it doesn’t take long until their expertise squirts all over your face & in our ears! These friends with benefits’ and their classic work can be found over here:

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Robert Farrugia – Almost There

Artist: Robert Farrugia
Title: Almost There
Keywords: ambient drone electro acoustic electronic experimental modern classical neo classical shoegaze sound art United Kingdom
Label: Whitelabrecs

According the provided information Robert Farrugia is a composer from Malta. I believe to have been in Malta and had a nice swim in a overcrowded sea there, so it’s fair to say that just the fact of him being from Malta will of course trigger this review into a positive writing thing. I mean if my personal Malta experience had been completely shite, there would have been a big chance that I would have negative assumptions of this composer. That’s just the way it is and the way the world of journalistic twats work.

So luckily Robert Farrugia comes from Malta, which automatically brings my head in nice nostalgic moods. And yes indeed, this provided information does alter the all-round music experience, as when this album plays, I could easily see the beach, taste the salt on my lips and even feel the sunshine on my skin. Only thing missing in this music based picture is the other load of drunken tourists, tumbling around while all trashing the place up with their trashy and busy loudness. No, Robert Farrugia has only provided the good times, one without all the busy disturbances and only calm lengthy sessions of sunshine and beautiful empty beaches.

It’s funny, as looking at the cover you might not immediately think of beaches and sunshine, but more about modernism and architecture cleanliness that has been build on top of these nice natural places. But somehow even this front picture makes sense with the actual music, as somehow the serene and sterile look of it comes together with the image of a private beach without the garbage and noise disturbances hailing from drunken westerners on a holiday. It is probably just the reference that is a different way to say that this music is surreal and clean, without the things that might ruin your view, wether it’s seeable or bearable. One thinks of a pretty beach with no distractions that can ruin the experience and someone else simply thinks of a straight and stylish looking modern building. Whatever rows your boat or whatever you are into, eh?

In any case, the music sounds pretty relaxed. And whatever your mind associates with that feeling of nostalgic relaxedness is pretty much up to your own taste and imagination. Of course I should tell you how this album sounds like music wise, but I feel like refraining from that act. This pretty music is just more a captured feeling than that it is just music & I feel I would destroy that whole point by chatting about flowing synth paths and big drops of drums flowing away in the mix. So there you go; a good reason to check it out for yourself, as it’s the only way to know if you dig it or not:

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Black Swordsman – I’ve just been swinging really

Artist: Black Swordsman
Title: I’ve just been swinging really
Keywords: hip-hop/rap alternative hip-hop art rap black swordsman experimental hip-hop independent hip-hop underground hip hop Brazil

The Black Swordsman surprises with this release of multiple hip hop orientated sensible tunes that feel together like a full Length album, completely stuffed with tracks, yet if you notice the actual time it takes to hear them all, you will be pretty amazed! I guess this is a excellent album for when people want to hear something descent, but usually do not have the time to do so. People with busy demanding jobs, young parents juggling children or just basically any form of occupation that only leaves 6 minutes break time on the average day.

And yes, six minutes is basically all that takes to bring the word smith a full length sounding album to your ears, one that even though the short length, doesn’t sound rushed or hurried. It’s flow of beats and sounds are calm and warm, the hip hop vibe and style of rap sounds personal and sincere. This is the rap music David Liebe Hart would probably approve off. There is seemingly no disrespect towards the opposite sex, no cursing or calls for violence..

it’s much more close up, open minded and very personal sounding material. This is a artist that doesn’t have multiple golden chains around his neck, or sings about drive by shootings from the window of a limousine with a uzi. This is different, like sincere and mindful diary music with the art rap as the thriving medium of choice. So use your time wisely and hear this album, what can go wrong? You can even listen to it at the toilet while going for a ‘number two’!

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Matias – Blue Bible

Artist: Matias
Title: Blue Bible
Keywords: acoustic alternative electronic freak folk indie lo-fi psychedelic pop New York
Reviewer: Joe the Cowboy

Hello cowboys and cowgirls, I’m hanging out in the saloon after a forced closing time. I’ve kicked everyone out including the bartender – so I can help myself – and have a reasonable chilled out time in this post deco wooden decorated place, to chill out with the background music after a long pony ride over the prairie.

What brought me here? Of course the irresistible smell of intoxicating liquids but it was mainly the music that they had been playing in this saloon. It wasn’t rowdy as any other saloon that I have parked my horsey against, but somehow sounded like something that would go well after a winning bar fight and a couple of free cold beers from the help yourself bar.

The music was coming out of the authentically crafted saloon speakers, not too loud or too soft; just about right. It was real music with singing and songs (those two combined!) and all in this atmosphere that feels quite sedated and yet not snail-like. Feel good music for turtles and long day rewards, perfect after being tormented by all the wild actions of the day (bounty hunting, taking the cows for a stroll, mashing up all the precious customers in the saloon so I could have some peace and quiet) a necessary ideal to listen to this music.

The saloon’s barman had it tough as he refused for some time to reveal what this music was, but when he mentioned (after a few direct punches) ‘matias’ and ‘blue bible’ as he spat out a handful of teeth I was glad to let him go out of the door. With music like this, violence shouldn’t really take place, it does not only sound disrespectful for the opiated songs, it just feels like the wrong way to do.

This whole album sound like a puffy pie that had lost almost all energy, half dead yet with a stable heartbeat. Yes, It’s definitely no fighting or bar brawl music, it’s more falling into the extreme ‘pacifist’ genre. Which is a rarity to hear at a saloon as it’s mostly rowdy music with banjos and all that, which (I think) was it what made this place more attractive than all the other saloons in the valley. It just sounded more like a place to chill out, to settle down in the realm of a quiet evening without the distraction of loud vulgar bar attendees and their mates. It was a tough fight to throw the noisy lot all out, but it was worth the gun powder and bruised knuckles.

So yes, if you don’t mind to leave me alone and in peace? So I can shoot up the heroin quicker than my own shadow in this nice and silent peaceful environment… thanks. Oh and if you want to hear this music yourself that I had to fight for? Just go here, partner:

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rat seizure – chemical rights of passage

artist: rat seizure
title: chemical rights of passage
keywords: avant-garde, expérimental, free improvisation, noise, Panama City
label: fork and spoon recordings

This music by Rat Seizure gives us listeners the situation of 3 creative crazy people teaming up for some ‘anything goes’ music. It feels as if the trio had gone on a (road?) trip together and we are invited to sit in the middle of them, hearing them interact with their fine oddities. At first sight and listen you might think; oh no! insanity & improvisations ; this can’t be for me… But don’t be fooled by these ‘fools’ as it seems to be that they are out to trick unwanted listeners, as these fellows aren’t as insane as they might want you to believe.

Sure they have their weirdness, mostly all neatly concentrated at the beginning of this release. One moments in which someone is pressing children phones and try to call the operator & at others it feels as if they are very close to the ears licking it with their tongues. Poetry might be read, squeals out of bowels might be presented, whistles might be blown… over here anything is possible.

Sometimes we might just experience this starter as diarrhoea, or them on some kind of out of this mind adventure, doing impressions of aliens and what’s not.

You can say a lot about this bunch and about these people by peeking into the beginnings of these recordings, but what you can’t say is that they leave your bored. Every second seems to be filled with another creative way. Even though it is so busy, it does feel like they are relaxed and if they have it all under control, even though nobody might know what the hell is exactly going on. Perhaps a madness most Devine. But please sit through it, be brave as when they settle down in their togetherness – absolute magic happens!

Yes, they will drum with their porridge, give rusty guitar solos, seduce you with a backdrop of relentless bass. And hell yeah, They even offer you chestnuts!Their potent urge to show off their nuttiness and sweet friendliness is all there, but it is the music itself that seems to flourish the most when the polite silliness seems to become forgotten. I mean, they are obviously nice people creating a intensive togetherness session of pure friendship over here. By listening to it you feel either or very out of place, or in a safe place among them at your very own private concert!

But there is something I have to mention over here: This album of music isn’t your average Joe, Bill and Bob teaming up in a caravan to eat pot based cookies and go for a jam; this album is surprisingly good in the way that it turns out pretty much great music and entertainment at the same time. There is never a moment that you will go to sleep, that it becomes repetitive or old, the improvised music is simply always on the move, changing with sounds and rhythms and feelings, moving in directions that keeps the ears pointed and wide open. There aren’t any painful moments or bad vibes, it’s all a perfect togetherness that shouldn’t be underestimated; to get the right people together that click and make it work like this, isn’t as easy as someone might think & the result is a surprisingly great listenable album with musicality, art, fun and a feel good brotherly happiness all entangled into one!So don’t be fooled, these people might put on a cloak of insanity, their musicality is top notch!

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Martin Rach – quiet fire

artist: Martin Rach
title: quiet fire
keywords: experimental,abstract, ambient, avantgarde, jaszz, drone, noise
label: attenuation circuit

Martin Rach starts the not so quiet fire with a practice that might be unperfect, which in this case is perfect. It slowly nibbles the darkness away, like a dense air flow within a air balloon that is going up in the air until its up for all of us land creatures to see, hear and admirer. What does this balloon say? Jazz music for the mental futurists?

The music becomes like a buzzy chatter box, a goose that has so much wordless words up its sleeves that it outdoes the odd noises with its squeaky sax rattlings. It certainly got the rhythm to make love to the gassy flames of the fire, but it also makes me feel like someone who is nervously exppsed to a alien who had been attempting to make human music.

It’s fairly odd, until it hits the middle parts when Martin Rach hits a more acceptable mood. It slowly becomes more normalized, even though it might all still sound all very eccentric and strange. Maybe my ears get used to the odd alien experimental noise jazz, or perhaps my marbles are filtering it out until it becomes acceptable and perhaps even pleasurable to hang my mind in. A bit like being with a drunk alcoholic friend who can chat your ears off, but also provides you with alcoholic beverages that with every intake make the companionship more bare able and worth it.

Martin Rach transforms its alien sound into a combo of seagulls and eeky tjirpy birds, perhaps a duck that opens and closes its mouth in a rhythmic way. Somehow the noise becomes something that sits between a didgeridoo and a electric computer sound. Together they will fade in to thin air and it feels like a mission accomplished.

THe second part of this release is more up my alley, this is one that sounds very nervously as well, but it also feels much more energetic and insane (in a good way).
It’s not coming across like being with one crazy chatter box, but more like a busy orchestra of aliens that will all come at you at the same time, blasting their boom boxes in outer space from their sportive looking space ships. It’s loud, its madness, its like a full on blast that will never make a dive back into the ground. Here the Fire is simply not quiet anymore, but battling its own senses to be seen and heard not just here on earth, but probably sending shockwaves through the entire galaxy.

Hell breaks lose when the master of manipulation and experiment inserts some flubbers that fans of Venetian Snares might feel comfortable with. He adds them to his mad palette of sax insaneness and heavy electric synth bass for a interstellar plot of fine madness.

Martin Rach ends with a comfortable ending, a ‘Love Mundane’ it is called and feels utterly sweet, romantic and kind. As if all the madness had lived out of itself and had now made time to come together for a session of peaceful kindness. I imagine comets doing ping pong, everything done in slow motion while each player respecting each other in the best way possible.

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