Wednesday, February 03, 2016


"Trip metal aims to capitalize on confusion as a means of connection, rather than a threat to authenticity."

Trip metal is not a joke. Trip metal is always a joke. 

"It is not really any one idea — it is every idea at once. This concept is similar to noise. Noise is every frequency at once, and by filtering, you can in theory make any sound possible. Trip metal can be used as carrier signal that modulates and decodes life in the same [way] a ring modulator multiplies two signals and typically creates a bell tone." 

These quotes are from today's feature on Trip Metal Festival in the Detroit Metro Times. The interview with the festival organizers is highly recommended, as is the festival, which will take place in Detroit during Memorial Day Weekend 2016, and will feature "Morton Subotnick, Hieroglyphic Being, Wolf Eyes, AWK, Aaron Dilloway, Nautical Almanac, Drainolith, Viki, Magas, Lexie Mountain, DJ Dog Dick, Pengo, Rubber O Cement, Panicsville, and many, many more. All the Michigan Underground Group crew will be jamming in different duos or trios as well."

MT: What is the least trip metal thing in the world, aside being interviewed about trip metal?
Trip Metal Fest: Tow trucks.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016


"Here is a group owned compilation made by bands and artists originally brought together by the eclectic underground of New Brunswick, NJ after the turn of the century. A collective spirit brings forth new tracks from each unique artist/group." Indeed, this is like a trip down memory lane for me as well, as all of these New Brunswick bands & artists have been sending stuff to Blastitude dating back at least ten years ago. There was also the Bone Tooth Horn label, and the artist formerly and currently known as 2673; yes, the New Brunswick scene has been interesting for awhile now, and would have been more than worthy of a scene report in The Wire circa 2006 (if one didn't in fact happen). I kind of did one myself back on The Day of the Mushroom, 2007, and though these players seem to have dispersed somewhat from that central hive of activity, this 7" EP is a very nice "where are they now." (I also really like the 4-band 4-song 7" comp EP format for some reason.) The Shadow Band is fronted by Mike Bruno, who I was introduced to via a release under his own name back in 2009 called The Sad Sisters. That was in a striking semi-gothic progressive-folk kinda style, but the Shadow Band sounds a little more classically pop/folk/rock, with a real nice lilting Sunday-morning melody and a sweet guitar/organ arrangement on this song "Blue Dreaming." King Darves first came on our radar back in 2004 or so, first as a weirdo solo noise artist, then suddenly emerging as a some sort of medieval/futuristic also-progressive deep-voiced folk troubadour, most notably with a 2008 full-length for DeStijl Records called The Sun Splits For The Blind Swimmer. His song here is in that style; I know some people have had a visceral reaction to King's distinctive sound & voice and simply can't hang; I've always admired his work but even so was slightly nonplussed by the off-kilter banjo-driven dare-I-say-gypsy-punk musings of this song "yoke/sightline" (actually these are two separate songs as I learned from reading this interview), especially after the elegant smoothness of the Shadow Band, but on 2nd through 5th listens the appreciation is growing and Mr. Darves always gives you a lot to chew on. So, side one is kinda the 'soft' side, and side two is where the volume gets cranked up. It leads off with a track by a band called Quit, who I don't believe I know anything about except that the insert says their label is Log Cabin Recordings; their track "bleeding" is a bit of a wound-up slow-drag somewhat-U.S. Mapley instrumental scorcher and may be my favorite thing on here. The comp ends with the long-running Human Adult Band, who have always been in the Flipper tradition of slow sludgy weird punk but with their own voice/twist that I've never quite gotten a handle on, in a good way; on here they're still leaving my head scratching after two heavy/catchy/confusing minutes called "(If You Got) Worms On The Brain." Human Adult frontman/bassist/founder/CEO Trevor Pennsylvania recently published a book called Lazy Determination that is apparently some sort of band discography/memoir that I would like to read but it seems out of print and hard to purchase, let alone google. Anyway, their song here ends abruptly, as does the comp, which makes it very easy to replay, which I've been doing again and again; long may the Spirit of New Brunswick fly on. You can purchase your own copy for $5 (postage paid in the United States!!!) at

Monday, February 01, 2016


A friend of a friend (who has a couple thousand friends on a popular social media website) recently mentioned (on said website) that he had been good friends with Jerry Garcia (in real life) and he shared this tidbit:

"First thing that I ever did hanging out with him was we got REALLY stoned & went & saw An American Werewolf In London @ The Roxy."

Saturday, January 30, 2016

TEIJI ITO "Axis Mundi"

Been awhile since I've listened to the music of Teiji Ito; might even be since the last time I watched a Maya Deren film, which I haven't done since at least the year 2000. (It's okay, they're pretty etched into my brain.) Right now I'm listening to Ito's 32-minute piece "Axis Mundi," and for the first time I'm listening to it from a post-Don Cherry/Organic Music Society perspective, as I had not heard that particular Don Cherry music until the mid-2000s. This is a very interesting perspective; I think Teiji Ito is one of the very few people even close to being on Don Cherry's level as far as what became 'world music' concepts go. Plenty of evidence on the CD Meshes: Music For Film and Theater, which was released in 1997 by the ¿What Next? label. And right now, you can get the damn thing for under $10 on Discogs. CDs are still cheap, so go buy it, because why on earth would you want a 32-minute track released on vinyl instead of CD? Broken up into two sections, separated by a record flip, when you can just sit back and hear the whole thing uninterrupted? In addition to all 32 minutes of "Axis Mundi," which was composed and performed for a 1982 theater production in Baltimore (Mr. Ito sadly passed away later that year at the young age of 47), it includes his late-1950s soundtracks for two classic Maya Deren films, Meshes of the Afternoon and The Very Eye of Night (the entirety of the former and beautiful scenes from the latter handily embedded below via YouTube technology, with Ito's music in full effect).

Ito went on to marry Deren in the year 1960, but unfortunately she passed away in 1961 at the tender age of 44. It is worth noting that the music Ito was making for Deren's films predates Don Cherry's similar music by basically a decade. Of course, the very Cherry-like "Axis Mundi" was recorded almost 10 years after the Organic Music Society album, so it goes both ways. At the same time, Ito's music is also very Sun Ra-like in the late 1950s, at a time when Ra was just starting to scratch the surface of non-canonical instrumentation and open-form improvisations utilizing Asian concepts of silence. (Mr. Ra appears to have been paying attention to Deren & Ito, as his 1973 film Space is the Place drops a huge reference to Meshes of the Afternoon within its first 5 minutes.)

This is another YouTube of Ito's music, not for a Maya Deren film, but recorded in 1964 for a Japanese film production that was never released. In 2007, Ito's score was released on CD as Tenno by the Tzadik label. (That one goes for a little more money, a whopping $11.99!) It's a little more similar to the "Axis Mundi" feel than the Maya Deren works:

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

HASTÍO La Ofensiva Interior CS (NO LABEL)

Limited run of 20. Entire run pictured above. Bottom row center is the copy now sitting in my house! 

Hey, it's another #softunderground tape release from the American soft underground! In fact, this tape is by Hastío, aka PN of Seattle WA, the only other person to ever use the term #softunderground besides me, and of course radio and Twitter's own Jeff Conklin, who actually coined the term and then promptly stopped using it as soon as he noticed a couple of other goofballs had joined in. (Hey, can't say I blame him!) Thankfully, Mr. Conklin still plays lots of music in that style and several others on his weekly radio show on the Best Radio Station in the World, New Jersey's WFMU. He has in fact played this very Hastío tape. It features acoustic & electric guitars, electronics, spacey percussion, and wordless lost moaned vocals. You may have heard combinations much like this before from the post-2000 psych underground, but this one really leans heavily on the guitar. In fact, it's often unaccompanied, with a distinct Latino/Spanish melodic sense which is reflected in the Spanish-language album title and track titles like "Un presentimiento vago y pasajero de triunfo..." Throughout, there is lots of space, lots of silence, lots of pause for reflection, and even a few sections that could pass for a flamenco record on 16 RPM next to a healthy water heater. My favorite track is side one closer "El trueno en la ciudad," which eschews the atmospheric overdubs in favor of simple one-take lonesome zonesome heavy folk strumming. (The title means "Thunder in the city." Which is heavy.) []


Almost absurdly beautiful new music in a soft underground (aka #softunderground) psych/folk/experimental style. No vocals, two side-long tracks; on side A, delicate acoustic guitar eventually emerges from long slow-river washes of electronics; on side B, both the guitar and the washes are on equal footing, blended and interwoven, almost as if one is triggering the other. The Geology label is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Dura is the work of someone named Mattson Ogg, who could live in Milwaukee, or could live in Scandinavia, or could live somewhere completely different. Point being, there's no info about the guy anywhere in the very nice cassette packaging, or on the Geology Records bandcamp page. (UPDATE: It appears that he lives in Brooklyn, New York just like everybody else!)

Sunday, January 24, 2016


A person on the internet just said:

"It's a favorite for me because it's always inviting the listener in to discover new things about both the record and your own mind. This LP is intergalactic and wants to commune with humans."

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


It might be true that everything is now on the internet, but that doesn't mean you're going to find out about it any faster. Way back in 2009 I was sent a tape of free-improvised acoustic guitar folk music by Cooper/Jones/Nichols, aka Sophie Cooper, Kelly Jayne Jones, and Pascal Nichols. I really dug it and was always interested in more from those responsible; next thing I know it's six years later and I hear about a new solo album by Sophie Cooper called Our Aquarius. I find it on Bandcamp and start listening obsessively, eventually noticing that it was released over a year ago. Oh well, better late than never; this is a fantastic album. As much as I loved the ramshackle homemade goodness of Ms. Cooper's earlier cassette, this solo work of hers is waaaayyy beyond. Those were improvised and cheaply recorded acoustic guitar & percussion room-jams, where these are songs and experimental instrumentals that are built up from carefully layered overdubs that are very well-recorded indeed. The result is what might be called a 'psychedelic folk' album, and sometimes it totally is, but it's also sometimes a noise album and/or a drone album, and sometimes it's a sui generis album, which is the best generis of all. The tracks have many layers and each one carves out its own deep territory. It's not until the 3rd song "Klias Wetlands" that we get true femme-sung psychedelic folk, and it's a doozy, a haunting number sounding like something the lady (ghost?) (hallucination?) across the lake in The Innocents might sing. There are two more relatively 'normal' folk songs on the album, the three of which would make a great EP/single release in themselves, but they sound even better surrounded by her deep instrumental work and heavy tone poems. Released as a CDR, in a beautiful possibly-hand-made wallet-thing with lyric insert, on the Wild Silence label, which is run by French musician Delphine Dora, whose work is worth serious investigation as well, among it a haunting collaborative release with Ms. Cooper.

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