Memory Tapes – Walk Me Home

A perfect Halloween treat, Memory Tapes has dropped the excellent longform instrumental, Walk Me Home, for our holiday enjoyment.

tapesClick the artwork or grab it here!

[right click to save the mp3]

Thanks to ARAWA, this 17 minute slice of fried gold is absolutely FREE.  Opening with eerie synth pulses and a latin-flavored rhythm section, the song shifts gears after 5 minutes into an ass-shaking robo-zombie groove momentarily until the halfway point.  This is where the epic washes of balaeric keys chime in for a relaxing setup – after this point all hell breaks loose and Memory Tapes finally drops the hardcore stuff on us.  Stuccato organ hammers and stiltwalking percussion swell and the song barrels toward its ending like a runaway freight train from Camp New Order, all quaking mass and blurred signposts until a quietly haunting outro reminds us of nighttime debaucheries and spooky old films.

Spin this monster before heading out tonight.  You’ll be well fortified for whatever strange delights the twilight affords.

White Rainbow – New Clouds

White Rainbow (née Adam Forkner) recently tore through the autumn skies to drop this bomb, blowing away expectations, surpassing anything I could have anticipated after the already-excellent 2007 LP Prism of Eternal Now.  Expanding on the warm, nebulous nature of his live jam constructions, New Clouds is an impossibly appropriate title for one of this year’s best records.


Transcendent, overwhelming, hypnotic bliss.  Building layer upon layer of drones, stretched and echoed vocals, muted tribal percussion, and gorgeous synth swells, each track is a towering confection allowed room to naturally develop and breathe.  The four tracks comprise an hourlong running time, every moment feeling palpably open and inviting.  This album inspires and propels further listening, rather than demanding it.  Songs begin focused on a singular element, be it delayed acoustic guitar strums or rubbery hand drumming, and evolve with such grace and intuitive logic that final assembly is nearly imperceptible.  This music simply happens, while the conscious mind is busy absorbing the amorphous beauty like a pillow swallowing a blissful dreamer.  Informed by a wide range of greats, from Terry Riley to Can at their most euphoric, Forkner has finally broken through to a plane where his art exists on its own terms, immaterial of time or place.  This album raises hypnagogic exploration to new heights.

[pick this brand new album up at boomkat or amazon, or directly from kranky, a label fully deserving of your support]

Neil Young – Dead Man Soundtrack

Dead Man (14)

Do you know how to use this weapon?” – Nobody

Neil Young’s score for the 1995 Jim Jarmusch film Dead Man is hauntingly evocative, an improvised set made with electric and acoustic guitar, organ, and piano, recorded as Young watched rough cuts of the film over just three days.

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23 Skidoo – Seven Songs

23 Skidoo were born skirting the fringes of post punk, industrial, funk and dub, a nearly peerless realm infrequently visited by A Certain Ratio, Throbbing Gristle, and This Heat.  Twisting these genre elements through a strangely appealing recombination act was just the beginning of what the band means; it’s a coldly academic observation neglecting the warmly aggressive, primal energy bursting through the sonic capillaries of every piece they wrought.  Honestly, the only act I could consider a true musical neighbor are the willfully radical legends The Pop Group.  This is a remarkably good thing.


First of all, Seven Songs is 8 tracks long.  That’s the first clue about the contents of this enigmatic, quintessential release – like The Pop Group, their modus operandi was grounded in subverting expectations and twisting them into something altogether surprising, thrilling, and a little bit scary.  The limitless ingenuity spread across these 32 minutes constantly pulls the rug out from under the listener, encouraging fleet feet and an open mind.  Unexpectedness, in this case, means welcome change and otherworldly juxtapositions, with the comfort of a trail guide who – despite a melange of insanity – knows exactly where he’s taking us.

Articulated noise pulls straight into a gutteral dub beat and tribal percussion stabs while the band cuts in and out with all manner of wordless vocal bursts and sheets of guitar noise on first cut Kundalini, laying the foundation for a record every bit as catchy as it is obtuse.  Next off we’re treated to a skittering drum kit and funkadelic guitar, touchstones of Sly & Robbie infused dub, and one of the most ‘conventional’ moments of the album before dropping through the trumpet accented drone abyss of Mary’s Operation, leading directly into the asterix of a track 4, Lock Groove, which is aptly titled as anything here.  This is also the reason the album is appropriately named – 30 seconds of oscillations do not make a song, thus “7” is indeed correct.  But I digress.

Picking up the scattered shards and welding them into a lumbering prehistorical Transformer, New Testament proceeds to stride right into the path of album highlight IY.  Kicking off with energetic, get-up-and-dance (or kick ass) percussion and a swaggering muted horn, it’s equally ready-made for epileptic dance fits and barnstorming runs over decaying industrial districts.  Building through a propulsive rhythm motorcade to a fevered crescendo, the track sweats out all the clap-happy energy – leaving the album in a whirlpool of dread and ennui.  Amping up the atmosphere beyond smoke-machine-and-lights-out darkness, Porno Base nearly defines the word cavernous and sets the stage for quirky closer Quiet Pillage.  All cricket-squeak guiro and steel drum swarm, the track gradually shifts toward a subdued ambient pulse and wood flute accents before dissipating entirely, like waking from a disturbing, curiously addictive dream.

Like I said, this exists on its own terms, and anyone half interested should get to know them.

[pick this up at boomkat or amazon – the 2008 reissue sweetens the deal with bonus tracks and a welcome remaster ]

Bows – Cassidy

Bows were born after the demise of brilliant post-rock pioneers Long Fin Killie, by lead guitarist and singer Luke Sutherland.  A more atmosphere- and beat-driven, nominally trip-hop associated group than its predecessor, Bows bloomed into something equally adventurous and fulfilling as the acclaimed first band.  On this album, they flew even higher.


With a foundation in the bleeding edge of  UK PostRock, Sutherland and company’s oceanic swells bleed into entirely new territories, amplifying the latent dub tendencies of the former scene while skipping right over the forefront of then-popular Bristol trip-hop sounds into a starbursting heaven of cascading orchestral waterfalls and breathy dreampop vocals courtesy of chanteuse Signe Hoirup Wille-Jorgensen and Sutherland himself.  The enigmatic low end throb provides a bedrock for the torrent of acid-bent melodic workouts embedded with a stream of sub-consciousness lyrics and oracular percussion.

Imagine your favorite deep 90’s Bristol album draped in the gauzy atmosphere of A.R. Kane or Cocteau Twins and shot through with terrifying elation and existential anomie.  This is light years beyond that image.  Leaning away from the club floor and into the fevered minds of blissed out dreamers, it’s the pinnacle of its kind.  Perhaps the only one.

[get ahold of Cassidy at norman records, lala, or reliably, amazon]

Between My Head and the Sky


Yoko Ono. Divisive to many, divine to few. And a patron saint of confident weirdness to certain odd souls, myself included.

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Begin. Again.

Libra Opal Commencement.

One.  Two.  Three.  Four.  Five.

Six.  Seven.  Eight.

Nine.  Ten.



David Lynch told me:

You have control over action alone, never over its fruits. Live not for the fruits of action, nor attach yourself to inaction.