Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Antler Piss "Swamp Picnic" CS
Dave Smolen "Threshold of Stranded Masses" CS
Marc Zajack "Concrete Sickness" CS
Beastie Boys "Ill Communication" mp3s
Grateful Dead "Birth of the Dead" 2CD

New batch from the Philadelphia label Deep Fried Tapes. The plastic tape boxes and simple paper j-card inserts are standard, but the artwork/design is excellent, strong usage of simple silk-screening and color, very solid typography, stuff like that. (No spraypaint - I actually still love almost all uses of spraypaint - but its absence here seems like the right move.) Side A of the Antler Piss brings a thick/sick low-end grind that hovers and devours. This is a C13, basically a cassingle, and the track is over too soon, something I feel about maybe 1 in 20 (non-vinyl) releases. Side B is more active and moving, in-your-face, more about attack than presence. Not as stunning as the A side but this is a good tape. Dave Smolen is a name I do not know but the tape has nice art and I like his titles in a post-Michigan kind of way: "Threshold of Stranded Masses," "Visceral Laminates," "Scream Ascension," and "Primitive Gate." Side A is "Visceral Laminates" part one, and musically it leans on a relentless high-pitched tone that is worked underneath with various grinds and tape-mutter and gut-noises, and then....I lost track, not exactly a grabber, but side B kicks off with "Visceral Laminates" part two which is downright gut-churning - and over too quick (once again). "Scream Ascension" gets back into that relentless high-pitched tone and does more interesting things with it, maybe helped along by the title imagery....but the tape loses me again before its over. Not a grabber but it does look really cool. Marc Zajack is I think the proprieter of Deep Fried, and I think he's Antler Piss too. One thing for sure, he played on that Church of Yuh burner by the George Steeltoe Ensemble. Only caught one side of his tape before the work crew showed up and wanted something a little more....normal? It was a weird side, definitely different than Antler Piss, a C60 for one, a long stretched-out minimal/static grinding thing. Pretty quiet. I'm gonna have to get back to you on it. Co-worker put on Ill Communication by the Beastie Boys. I love the Beastie Boys. Standout track this listen was the one with Q-Tip. "Get It Together." These guys are just goofing off, especially Q-Tip with some of the best/worst freestyles ever. Reminds me of seeing Tribe Called Quest live twice in the early 90s - they were awesome. Q-Tip was one of the best performers I'd ever seen, totally loose and funny but still nailing all the lyrics. Ali Shaheed Muhammed was having some technical difficulties at one show and Tip said, "That's alright. We're pretty good improvisers, so we gonna kick it like this," and he and Phife did an a capella freestyle for a few minutes. Totally casual, no stage seriousness or discomfort. Does anyone else think Q-Tip lost it when he grew dreadlocks? I could be totally wrong, but that's when I stopped listening to him.

No comments:

Blog Archive