Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pyroclastix - Stripped

When I found my Pyroclastix tapes, I remembered liking this one the best. Listening to it over ten years later, I know why. These two tracks are well thought-out and excellently executed, but harsh, violent, dark and disturbing, especially "Burn," a 36+ minute noise collage that's a truly impressive work of art.

Stripped is a true classic of underground DIY noise and it makes me happy to post it here for you.

The images and music were uploaded with Brian Magar's full consent. Thank you, Brian!

Stripped CS

01. Flow

02. Burn

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nightmare Mode - Sally

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd post some wicked, hateful anti-hippy music.

Nightmare Mode were great live, as was their CDR, The Eht (download it here), but Sally was a whole new level of intensity. Read the review I wrote for The Big Takeover #62:

I thought Nightmare Mode were amazing when I heard their demo, The Eht, but right now, I'm feeling bruised, bloody and beaten, and I can barely catch my breath because their new EP is intense!!! Imagine if Damaged-era Black Flag had been informed by Carcass instead of Black Sabbath. They're not exactly hardcore punk, and they're not really thrash metal, but they are somewhere in between and wholly original - which is entirely befitting a band from Cleveland. Guitarist/vocalist Ammo riffs twisted punk metal while wailing like a manic Gibby Haynes doing a Rob Halford impression. Meanwhile, bassist Danny Desolation and drummer Nikki Nightmare propel the rhythm with blast beats, odd timings and lock-step syncopation, adding dual, sometimes triple vocals into the schizophrenic mix. It's sheer uncontrolled insanity - rabid bliss.

I've since learned that there was recently a split in the band and Dan and Nikki left. That didn't deter Ammo - he quickly found replacements and he continues recording and touring as Nightmare Mode.

The images and music were uploaded with Ammo's consent. Thank you, Ammo!

Nightmare Mode
Sally CD
(Nightmare Mode)

Sample tracks:

Nightmare Mode

Hot One

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eckankore - Mereology: The Raw Sessions

Announcing the first "official" release on MPAE online!

Mereology: The Raw Sessions is a two disc compilation of previously unreleased tracks recorded by EJ Nervo and Ron K during the latter half of 1997, when the duo were at their peak.

These soundscapes are as harsh and dissonant as they are cold and distant. All tracks were mastered by Chuck Foster from the original master tapes. Experience some vintage "ice wave" from one of the best unknown LA noise bands in history!

Mereology: The Raw Sessions MP3

Disc 1:
01. 7/97 A
02. 7/97 B
03. 7/97 C
04. 8/16/97
05. 8/30/97

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Noise Jazz Ensemble - John Lydon

(Mr Phreek circa 1999 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

How about something that's REALLY obnoxious?

By the summer of 1999, free jazz had become a very serious passion. I was enthralled by the loud, noisy, chaotic sounds of Sun Ra, later Coltrane and Peter Brotzmann. My recording equipment was set up for recording any time, so I decided to do my own free jazz album.

I randomly hit buttons on my drum machine, beat on the keys of my Rhodes like a spastic Chick Corea, played crazy Greg Ginn-style solos on my guitar and blew as hard as I could into a trumpet that I never learned how to play. Needless to say, it's really just a bunch of atonal racket. If The Two Felipes made jazz, it would sound like this. Perfect for getting everyone to leave the party after they've overstayed their welcome!

Honestly, though, it's so sloppy and so completely ridiculous that I can't help but find it hilarious. Seriously, I crack up every time I listen to this stuff. Hopefully, you'll download these tracks and laugh along with me.

(Mr Phreek circa 1999 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

About the songs:
(note: it's only two tracks so they're linked individually)

01. What You Are Listening To - The mercifully shorter NJE track. Dig my out-of-breath trumpet solo in the middle!

02. John Lydon - I put on a video of The Sex Pistols live while I recorded this, hence the name. The first 30 seconds actually sound like the beginnings of something, but then it quickly slides into the typical NJE "groove." All four instruments take a solo here.

Noise Jazz Ensemble
John Lydon CS

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Goatfish - The Goatfish Oratorio

(Mr Phreek circa 1998 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

Okay, so maybe I was a little too harsh on my first Goatfish release. I've listened to it a few times and I've realized that it's a lot better than I thought it was when I wrote that post, so if you like what you hear here, download the first release here.

This is the unfinished, unreleased, unheard second Goatfish album, which would have been the fourth release on MPAE, the cassette-only noise label. I hadn't heard this stuff for over ten years until I finally burned it to CD.

At this point, I was using my 4-track as an instrument. I'd record a core sound onto all four tracks, and then overdub various sounds through various effects, while twiddling knobs, onto three of the four tracks. All the tracks with German language titles (possibly taken from Rainer Maria Rilke? - I can't remember now) were recorded this way. I really like these.

The tracks labeled "Billy," on the other hand, were recorded in 1996 for my weird homemade short film, When Billy Said, "Maaaaaaah!" It was shot on a Hi8 camera and I recorded the guitar noise live while I shot portions of the film. For some reason, I wanted them on this album, so here they are.

About the songs:

01. Billy 1 - The first bit of delayed guitar noise that I did for the short film. I like how the first few seconds are static-y noise. It's a good opening.

02. Untergehen - I began with the sound of a train moving on railroad tracks and went from there. One of my favorite noise tracks ever.

03. Billy 2 - Lots of playing with the knobs on my delay pedal while I made noise on the guitar.

04. Ubergang und Untergang - The rare "rhythmic" noise track. I forgot what the core sound was (something from a white noise sleep aid machine), but I basically overmodulated it and twiddled knobs. It came out really well. Sounds a little like Non.

05. Billy 3 - Probably the most controlled of all my Billy tracks. This actually sounds like a creepy B-movie horror soundtrack, like from a Roger Corman Poe movie or something. The wind-down at the end is perfect.

06. Rede Vorrede - Another excellent use of the 4-track as instrument. Damn, I wish I had released this tape.

07. Billy 4 - More creepy horror movie music.

08. Brecher Vorbrecher - I either never recorded this track, or never mixed it down, so while I was burning the tape to CD, I boosted the levels at the end of When Billy Said, "Maaaaaaah!" and made it the final track. I think it works as an end to the album.

The Goatfish Oratorio


Monday, April 13, 2009

Mr Phreek - Summer 99 Rhodes Electro Punk

(Mr Phreek circa '98/'99 - Photo by Ackronomicon)

It was the summer of 1999 and Ack and I were living in my mom's house in Van Nuys, CA while she was in NY. We had turned the living room into our permanent recording studio so we could walk in and hit record whenever the mood struck us. Most of the recordings centered on Pope Goat VII, but I got home from work a few hours earlier than Ack so I squeezed in some recordings here and there.

By this time, I was fully steeped in Iggy Pop's The Idiot, Throbbing Gristle, The Birthday Party and free jazz, especially Sun Ra. All those influences can be heard here, though I was really trying to do my version of The Idiot using Indian beats described by Don Cherry on Actions. I used my drum machine, Fender Rhodes electric piano and bass.

I ended up sending a copy of these songs to Michael Dean from Bomb. He said it reminded him of Suicide, certainly a high compliment.

About the songs:
(note: songs that are linked can be downloaded as samples)

01. Hibernation - I guess this was my attempt at doing something like "Mass Production" from The Idiot. You can hear that I'm trying to do my best Iggy Pop impression in the vocals. Haha.

02. Friday - I programmed one of those Don Cherry beats into my drum machine and jammed this one out. It ended up sounding kind of industrial. I like the way it turned out, especially when it changed 2/3 of the way through.

03. Drunken Battle - Another Don Cherry beat. This one has Iggy all over it, even stuff from his first two Arista albums.

04. Desert Song - Probably the darkest song from these sessions. I really like the way this turned out.

05. Crossing the Line - This song ended up being pretty prophetic, as I was sinking deeper and deeper into drug use. There's much more of a Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard/Stooges thing here than on the previous tracks. You can clearly hear me smoking pot at the end.

06. Factory Man - The Stooges/Birthday Party/Jesus Lizard sound comepletely took over here. Maybe it was a good thing that I stopped when I did.

Mr Phreek
Summer 99 Rhodes Electro Punk CS

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blackout Shoppers - Used Cars

Here's some more Blackout Shoppers for all you BS fans!

In The Big Takeover #60, I reviewed this and the previous EP, Smash & Grab (which you can download here). Here's what I wrote:

The Blackout Shoppers have been insulting audiences since 2004, and with these two releases, they plant their scum-encrusted boots firmly up the ass of Lower East Side New York City Punk Rock. Vocalist
Seth Amphetamines spews his hatred for humanity with the vengeance of a young Dave Insurgent. Mike Moosehead’s guitar growl recalls the bar chord attack of Negative Approach. While a lot of Hardcore bands simply ape their heroes, the Blackout Shoppers “keep it real” with integrity and a strong passion for what they are doing. In particular, “No Decision” on the two-song “single” shows a strong progression in songwriting with changing tempos and a breakdown reminiscent of Victim In Pain-era Agnostic Front. Fast three chord songs will never die!

Make sure you check out their new full length CD Pass Out!

The images and music were uploaded with Blackout Matt's consent. Thank you, Blackout Matt!

Blackout Shoppers
Used Cars CDR
(Blackout Shoppers)

01. Used Cars

02. No Decision

Visit Blackoutshoppers.com!

Visit Blackoutshoppers on MySpace!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Pope Goat VII - The First Book of Pope Goat VII

(Sir Ackronomicon and Sir Billy the Phreek performing a mass at Al's Bar.)

In honor of April Fool's Day, I thought I'd post the beginning of what became the single most significant aspect of my entire musical "career."

In the summer of 1999, I was 20 and Ack moved into my mom's house with me. She went to the east coast for a few months, so we had the house to ourselves. One day, I asked him if he wanted to record, and we turned the living room into our recording studio. I set up my Fender Rhodes electric piano, my four-track and we just improvised. It was a way to do the Karp/Melvins thing that we always wanted to do.

Recording became an obsession for us. I suggested the named Pope Goat VII and Ack liked it. We transformed into Sir Ackronomicon and Sir Billy the Phreek and we came up with a whole history - we were nights from the middle ages sent into the future by His Holiness Pope Goat VII to teach the modern people how to make music without any strings attached. Have fun, make noise - that's all that counts. People who take themselves too seriously are pompous assholes.

The Pope Goat became our musical deity, and we recorded five albums in that living room before we moved into our own apartment. This is the first, hence the name.

We went on to record over 50 albums and perform something like seven "masses" in honor of His Holiness Pope Goat VII. We knighted people along the way, too, bringing them into the ways of The Goat. The Pope Goat is real in our minds, and he stands behind us with his hooves on our shoulders in everything that we do.

All songs on The First Book were completely improvised. We recorded the music first and then overdubbed the vocals. Sometimes we had a song title and a riff to work from; sometimes we just hit record and let the Goat guide us.
About the psalms:

01. Flies - This was the first psalm we finished with music and vocals, so it had to open the book. I had forgotten to empty the trash and one day I came home to find the house infested with flies. The vocals were recorded while yelling at the flies buzzing around us.

02. Plants & Girls - My mom made us pick up these huge, heavy plants from the place we used to live and Sir Ackronomicon was having female problems. This was our frustration. The Goat works in mysterious ways.

03. Korean TV - We had the TV tuned to the Korean station for this psalm.

04. Wuss - The first music that The Pope Goat ever channeled into us. The vocals were recorded later. This is The Pope Goat's commentary on wussy emo indie pop.

05. Kennedy Crash - JFK Jr. had just flown his plane into a mountain, so we recorded this. This was a pretty accurate precursor of what was to come on the next two Pope Goat VII albums.

06. Stupid Fucking Ugly Bitch - About someone I worked with.

07. Memento Mori - "Remember that you must die." Sir Ackronomicon suggested the title. It's a hedonistic celebration of mortality.

Pope Goat VII
The First Book of Pope Goat VII CS/CDR
(MPAE/Hummer Productions)


Visit Pope Goat VII on MySpace!