Thursday, October 30, 2008

throuRoof - Whale Bones

certainly have proven to be masters of psych-ambient, peppering their vibes through numerous small labels, even embarking on a few flirtations with free culture. Always creating waves that seem to hit the mark, these two lengthy excursions on Whale Bones certainly continue that trend... sounds that pulse deep inside; a slow soak for the psyche which entwines itself round every exhale…putting a tangible voice to emotional abstracts.

The first track Humpback Cemetery Blues – is a rumbling drone with aquatic bubbling and heavy kelp-like imperfections, caught in an oceanic swell…A thrashing stick breaks over the drone's back, a shamanic trance flowing through rotten synth nets, spotted with blowhole textures… curdling over in mausoleum-esque contours and breaking off into warm finger fed eddies… Hard edged piano lines flow in like harpoons, all Marie Celeste, departed, hollowed, then falling in delayed blurs… Like nibbling teeth, transposed to smashed keyboard thuds that dribble back through infinity.

Track two, Sing the Last Dream is like a slow path to extinction, the composites of a rolling drone slowly retracted until a sole strand is left teetering on the brink of oblivion. A flat lined chord that is resuscitated just in time, bathed in a wash of violin tears. Fx smears mimicking the ghosts of whale song, trapped in some majestic sweeps and fading out in the fringes of rippling water...

It's almost criminal that this release is limited to only 100 copies...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Jesus and the Magic Ghost, Team Brick, Thoughtforms, Gonga, Talibam

Cherry Picked All-Dayer - The Croft Bristol 26th October

Unfortunately arrived a little late so only caught the last trk from Jesus and the Magic Ghost – Two Drumkits pounding out a tribal mantra, guitars cutting around in tasty angles – really wish I could press the rewind on that one.

Team Brick - Snake charmer rasp mixed with devotional chants, trapped on the rebound... A cobra’s head gathering up vivid Islamic/medieval flavours accompanied by some deft guitar work... thrown to the noise secateurs, clipping it all up in congested roundabouts and giddy feedback lizards, the floor flanging around in bassy ripples, like a bed of angry ants (all red and foetus stylee) coupled with spastic guitar and attention deficit drum action… mixing up some intriguing shapes.

- Guy’s drums were immense, smashing through the chords and day-glow spillage with a clenched fist, giving out plenty of traction for the two guitars to knit together or break up around. The songs finely honed, building up the tension until everything was released into vivid fx-colours... your mind following the creases.

Sometimes Deej led then Charlie commanded the direction, tunes a plenty flowing outward… We would be so happy if... was all crystal flow and Eastern atmospheres, getting steadily more wayward, heavier, those fragile vocals finally struggling to be heard. However, nothing compared to the evening’s sign-off – Mr Steve has eaten your dog - Ooooh this was a fiery beast that ended with Charlie’s guitar resting on her head antenna-like, her fingers clawed through mangled strings… swerving to the feedback swarm. Deej echoed back in Cylon death ray lurches and other futuristic dentistry – A colouring book filled in fuzzy crayon monsters and ribboned kite trails, as if a fx face-off was on the cards… A syrupy ember light, falling slowly to inevitable demise - Simply superb...

Gonga - Really liking this current incantation, too addictive for words – you definitely couldn’t avoid abandoning yourself to those heavy soldered edges and muscular thickets – bloody beautiful. Mr Brick’s vocals gasping like aerosol hiss inside the lumbering beast, remnants of language breaking out in abstracts.

Didn’t like Serpent Cult at all, which was a pity as the initial shrieking sounded impressively scary, spent most of their set browsing through the cherry picked racks... downing some light refreshments and shooting the breeze...

Talibam! were a real comic free-form spectacle, manic drums and belching keyboards... accidentally getting all rhythmic in places then tearing up the plans in favour of more pile-ups of texture and shouty rants. Sounded for the most part like skidding car tyres and jutting curbs. Really glad I finally managed to check this duo out...

Thursday, October 23, 2008


a recent addition to the cloudboy sketchbook...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Reverse Mouth - Pearl Hidden in PigSlot

This new EP from Pan and Sofia is all slivers of guitar curling round a leaky reactor, as if Delia Derbyshire were there, bleeding out unreality and spitting elastic nightmares... A blur of distorted /filthy mirrors and awkward arabesques that shifts your head in and out of focus, as if it were party blancmange.

Seriously haunted, this two-tracker is a possession of strange shapes and broken apparitions that crawl out from under its high end pulses and engorged feedback… Seven minutes in, a crippled tune surfaces on the back of an oscillating jellyfish, thumb struck strings chewing over it’s trails, an intense soup of pure sonic evol.

The second track ups the anti, taking the motifs of the first on a fairground ride of destructive impulses, slowly strangling it with perverse pleasure...

You’ve really got to listen to this loud, fill up all available space, the optimum position to let yourself be taken hostage by its sheer darkened majesty and propelled collapse. If this is a taster of ReverseMouth’s next studio venture, then I’m definitely signing up for more...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Merge in Movement

Thursday 16th October – The Castle, Swindon

...haven’t been to the Castle for at least 10 years (probably more)... In my day, where the stage is now, drugs often exchanged hands over a game of pool, while Hendrix was constantly stuck in a magickal state of deja-vu. Now those days are gone, along with the Pachouli soaked goth-ettes and the prescription switched to a healthy dose of improv action from 'merge in movement'...

Must be the first lead bass act I’ve ever seen (apart from Rothko in their bass cubed days) …everything’s all angle-poised , pulling together in fits and starts, wrapped in slick imploding signatures and avant-slap bass, yes that’s slap bass... or more like spannered. I'm guessing the vibe is different every time they play, but tonight they're coming across like a diffused Die Haut (with the addition of yelling) , everything seemingly echoed, bounced off each other in mini 'mind flares' wrapped in brittle pasta twists... The last number was a real bender - full on howling monkey vox, verse feedback smirk-a-thon - spiky and thoroughly satisfying.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caricatures, Chipper, Gonga and White Hills

Sonic Sanctuary, Trowbridge - Saturday 11th October

...twas a great night full of juggernauts and screaming vox in darkest Wiltshire...

Caricatures – a newish four piece, were a crashing wall of sound. An overloaded powerhouse, trying to erase the growling doom butler lording over the front seats, or was it the other way round? Chippers cello unfortunately drowned out due to a dicky contact mic... Rarrrrrghhhh! screaming face and stabbed iris, halos of burning horse, all wrapped up in jaggedy guitar maggots and blunt forced trauma. Leaving my ears full of cicadas.

The ubiquitous Team Brick seemed to be seconded to the ranks of Gonga as frontman... A cloven hoofed pixie, hot plate skipping to a hungry backing full of scarecrows, and rough edgings, getting all syrupy and elastic in places, then surging off at the next exit… 'ride ride ridddde' (the only discernable words)... Mr brick all galloping legs. A convulsive set, to which flinging yerself around seemed the only antidote.

White Hills –An Alice Coopered front man all fx-ed up, incredibly focused bass and ninja drummed heart attacks completing the picture... dishing out a 70’s rocked out vibe transposed down a 90’s effects kaleidoscope... taking their album tracks on wild excursions, wavering in fantastically indulgent guitar shapes, think I could have re-opened my neck if they continued any longer...

Don’t know if another one’s planned before the New Year, maybe a pre-Christmas shin-dig will be on the cards… but this is for certain, it'll never be disappointing...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sometimes the charity shop gods smile on you

Caldera Lakes – S/T

available from the sentient recognition archive

Like this duos namesake, a serene lake that belies it’s toxicity; the haunting vocals of one siren lures you in, while the other takes your ears hostage in barb wire sonics... a sumptuous sabotage you’d expect from Eva of Kevin Shields fame. The combinations here though definitely entertain, pushing the song form even further out there, surfing a sado-erotic vibe that has plenty of textural highpoints and cross pollinations.

If you’re not familiar with the work of Eva Aguila, the sheer evilness of her sounds may have you reaching for the off button. Her physical attacks are usually pure ‘fuck you’, but coupled with fellow noise-kitten Brittany Gould, she’s reined in some of that harsh-end ferocity, balancing it out with quieter reflections and opening up plenty of opportunity for both to dip their tongues into each other's slaughter … the resulting four tracks being a satisfying circus of devastation.

The album begins with an unfolding chant that somebody maliciously spills streaks of acid over, scars of electroplated cackle literally rip out the underlying harmonics with glee. A slow gouge, then the carnage blasts a lung full; a larynx shred vox pokes its head timidly through, hopelessly struggling against the grain… the edges of the wound are a tingle with broken shells and bent nails… the aftermath an arena of tattered skin, bleached bone…

Shotgun #2 is a psychopathic lullaby (almost absent-minded so) encased in a hop-scotch of digital cross-hatch and dirty nails through varnish… loose keycuts falling in opposites… promising to freak-out, teasing you with murmurs of all out destruction. The lullaby creeps back over, this time falling through a looped music box refrain …then the goods arrive in full-on ear quakes that force soil into every orifice… in its wake, a smear of lobotomised machine left gasping for air.

Tornado, my favourite, begins with a jewelled horizon of hard edged prisms. Vocals mull over a motorized thump, slowly gathering until the operatics are force fed into sonic whips and brutal Kolllappppse... becoming an Icelandic pixie bake, buried in the machines clammer. Full of hiccupping slivers and peppered kick starts, it slips round in greasy smears, all the ingredients just falling magically into place.

The last track - We never talked about it, starts with a solid wall of harsh noise that peels away to reveal a vocal loop, wavering on fish hooks, accompanied by tarnished spurs scrubbed over with wire wool... ending all too soon with filtered out vocals crackling on the embers...

Tornado - Caldera Lakes.mp3

This is how experimental music should be... exciting, awkward, riddled in plenty of mystery... something that gets even better with every play.

Friday, October 03, 2008


my old neighbour spewing out the noise in Holland last month...