Saturday, May 30, 2009


Local noise aficionados have probably noticed a dip in production from the once busy bee that is Rundownsun. Due to the expensive and time consuming effort that was the Tunnel Canary Re-Issue (everyone has that now, right?), Rundownsun had to take a breather. An email launched out today announced that the nose is back to the grindstone and there will be plenty of new releases coming soon. Also announced is the arrival of Critiscum Internationale, a local "punk/power" label that will be exclusively distributed by Rundownsun. Below is the update from the head honcho himself...

"As many of you may or may not have noticed the label and I have been keeping a pretty low pro-file this past year or so. I'm not going to go into the details of my personal life, or personal finances, but I will say it's been in no small part due to other motivations/projects(including a bank breaking forey into the reissue market) and a general loss of interest in further saturating the already saturated noise "scene"(read: market), and a lack of confidence in the quality of my product(not in the content but the material product itself). Thing is, I haven't packed it in, and have no intention to do so. RUNDOWNSUN is still in business, and my energy level is high, and a number of other responsibilities have been shed so the time is right to ramp things back up.

A few reassurances and changes first: every release I have on the books at the moment WILL SEE RELEASE! However, due to supply changes in vancouver in regards to cassette materials, after the currently slated cassette titles I will be halting the release of tapes on rundownsun; if I can't make them exactly the way I want to and for the price I want to, I won't. The good thing is that means more vinyl!

bottom line is: RUNDOWNSUN is in business, has lots of titles currently available, will be building/expanding it's catalogue and roster steadily over the next year, and has lots of plans for the future.

your continued support is much appreciated.

currently available (NEWEST RELEASES FIRST):

BT.HN. (Le Bete Humaine) "rawmada" rundownsun No. 43 lake shark harsh noise #04 (available next week)

previously solicited by LAKE SHARK HN, and now sold out from them. live recordings from inside and underneath the Ramada Inn at New York's JFK terminal. warm, moist ventilation feeds the sex stench of one room to the next, under the buzz of broken-ballast florescence, sodium flood, and incessant, roaring flyover. bitchy unsatisfied wives of meek men, unsupervised teenage girls, cable tv., the mentally retarded, the mini-bar, everyone and everything is implicated. vice fantasy on the airlines dime. limited edition. low-bias c10. offset-printed cardstock cover in italian style ziplock bag. rundownsun copies will come with an additional exclusive paste-on cover collage of materials collected while in NYC in 2007. $6.00usd + postage.

Rough Nobel "s/t" c42 rundownsun No. 46 (released may 2008)

deconstructive cassette and acousmatic music from internationally renowned improvisational percussionist Jeffery Allport and multi-instrumentalist, long time Allport collaborator, entrepreneur, and rundownsun ally Robert Pedersen. disposing of the "Tape" completely and focused solely on the mechanism; on a 100 year program to refine their practice as improvisers and composers. much more rough nobel on rundownsun to come. limited edition. hand-numbered. high-bias c42. gold offset-printing on colour paper. $6.00usd + shipping

Ian Gregory James "castle" c92 rundownsun No. 41 (released may 2008)

a minimal, temporally deceiving, and challenging new work from young composer and sound artist Ian Gregory James. two distinct but intertwined compositions constructed over a year or more from raw electronic sound and field recordings. visceral but intangible, with mirage-like yet enduring presence. with evidence of influence from the transcendental works of Terry Riley, and Eliane Radigue but stripped of their real or faux asiatic spirituality and instead an embracing of the universally absurd. limited edition. hand-numbered. high-bias c92. green offset-printing on quality paper. $6.00usd + shipping

Workbench + Magneticring "live in a room with all the windows" 2xc36 rundownsun No. 38 (released may 2008)

Michael Bernstein (double leopards, heavy tapes, religious knives, etc) and Joshua Stevenson (ex-jackie-o-motherfucker, caste exotic, staked plain, far too many projects to name here, etc.) captured live, direct-to-tape, in march of 2006 somewhere in Brooklyn NY. a collection of musical fragments and motifs ranging from sparse, abstract electronics to pulsating synth chill-out(think KLF?), to cluster & eno-esque ambient, oozing drone, and even some moments of abrasive rhythmic/synth driven industrial. all material culled, edited, and mastered from the original tapes by Joshua Stevenson. limited edition. hand-numbered. high-bias 2xc36. black offset-printing on textured paper. side-by-side style double cassette box. $10.00usd + shipping.

Black Jesus and The Cosmic Prayer "my mind is a fruit farm" cdr rundownsun No. 19

indefinitely shelved cdr version of this obscure, criminally under-distributed, spacey, neu-cosmiche cassette originally released on blakk wainbow records a few years back. the light has come. ultra-minimal electronic waves lap at polished shores of crystalline drone. a curling fog of ritual noise and distant voices smokes your soul out of your skull, set free to cruise the inner-spaceways. cosmic devotional music. possibly one of the most striking and fully realized albums i have had the pleasure of releasing. edition of 50 copies. screen-printed high quality cdr, packaged in a screen-printed, hand-made digipack-style case with paste-on insert. $10usd + shipping.

BT.HN. "black mirrors and dark planet alignment" one sided LP rundownsun No. 20

over a year in the making, and well worth the wait. BT.HN. (LA BETE HUMAINE) brings you to a place where profane ritual meets barbaric violence! domineering waves of crushing bass and crackling electronics bury slithering spoken rites, and crest in thundering commands. a steady, measured rumble peppered with heavily effected vocals breaks into volatile metal abuse. vocals shift from paced incantation to frantic possession! similar to the abrasive works of TAINT, ATRAX MORGUE and IUGULA-THOR, but underpinned by a raw, ritualistic violence.
2-sided black and white offset-printed cover on heavy paper. one-sided 12" 33rpm vinyl record with silk-screened b-side. housed in a crystal-clear, heavy polyvinyl sleeve. featuring art and layout from the artist. $12.00 usd + postage. wholesale available.

Wapstan "of zero and the void" c30 rundownsun No. 24

no howling abyss. no death-silent vacuum. just the ever present anti-presence of 60 cycles. hardly above perception. life between high voltage power lines. you're living it every day. no sounds, just pure, harnessed electricity. from canada's reigning underground drone lord. spray painted high bias tapes. xeroxed and hand inked artwork on recycled paper. numbered edition of 100. $6.00usd + shipping.

Taskmaster "get dead" c30 rundownsun No.29

a hissing, spiting, white noise sandstorm with bass like a dirty drag though the mud. rushing-water sound for restroom line-ups. edition of 100. offset-printed 3 panel j-card. xerox insert. spray-painted high bias cassette. $6.00usd + shipping

Flatgrey "xxxxxx" one sided LP rundownsun No. 30

long-awaited vinyl debut from vancouver underground noise legend flatgrey.industrial noise. harsh, industrial noise. pure sound. mechanical, electrical, valve and tube. scrounged, rescued and resurrected. filtered through obsession. menacing roars of bass pushed along grinding mechanics, like millions of rows of pneumatic teeth. heaving, gnashing. compressor hiss, and blast furnace tongue. incendiary atmosphere, superheated, and forced through junked magnets and shredded cones. a nameless exercise.
1-sided gold offset-printing on heavy black paper. one-sided 12" 33rpm vinyl record with silk-screened b-side. housed in a crystal-clear, heavy polyvinyl sleeve.featuring art and layout from the artist. $12.00 usd + postage. wholesale available.

Werewolf Jerusalem "surrounded by fangs" c26 rundownsun No.31

new material from the legendary richard ramirez. a stripped frame of narrow sounds forced from discrete locales, and oblique devices. organized into sonic terraces; plateaus of hiss and crackle abruptly transition. 2 tracks of dense static and drainpipe howl that exemplify richards meticulous, source-driven investigations of textured sound. edition of 100. offset-printed 2 panel j-card. spray-painted high bias cassette. $6.00usd + shipping

Black Leather Jesus "wild" c34 rundownsun No. 36

consistently active since 1989 black leather jesus should need no introduction. their debut for rundownsun offers a focused, three-round burst of pure, speaker-shredding distortion. convulsive emissions, and aggressive blasts in an ecstatic/chaotic convergence. explosive. concussive bombast, screeching feedback, and heavy electronics from this truly seminal american noise unit. edition of 100. offset-printed 2 panel j-card. xerox labelled high bias cassette. dipped in rubber with stamped catalogue tag. $8.00usd + shipping

Eli Bornowsky "untitled" c40 rundownsun No. 37

first available recordings of vancouver visual artist eli bornowsky's tape, and electronic compositions. the first time i became aware of eli was when i was participating in The Western Front Gallery's open call for new musical works. i was lucky enough to catch eli in performance with sam mckinlay of THE RITA, and christian nicolay of THE REV. my face was thoroughly melted. i soon after attended a solo performance of eli's at the now defunct Blim gallery in downtown vancouver. i was immediately confronted with something quite different from the collaborative performance. humoristic juxtaposition, kitsch-culture/noise-culture referencing, caustic frequencies, concrete technique, primitive fourtrack manipulations, and effects pedal tweakings all expertly executed in a mesmerizing albeit abrasive 15 minutes. from those experiences and other like them eli was immediately at the top of my list of artists to approach when i started rundownsun. 2 years on and a release has finally materialized. like his visual art eli's sound work "address[es] perception in a formal psychedelia". total rainbow electronics. colour xerox artwork by eli bornowsky. spray-painted high bias cassette. $6.00usd + shipping

Tunnel Canary 'jihad' / 'live at the ECCA 1980' LIMITED EDITION 2LP (and 1LP) rundownsun No. 44 / No. 49

Formed nearly 30 years ago at the height of Vancouver BC's early punk scene, amidst Canadian HARDCORE progenitors like D.O.A. and SUBHUMANS, TUNNEL CANARY emerged with a sound more in common with the then still incubating UK POWER ELECTRONICS scene and a militant attitude/lifestyle more in-line with straight edge hardcore or east-asian asceticism.
Influenced by avant-garde guitarists Fred Frith and Keith Rowe, contempory electronic composers like TUDOR, STOCKHAUSEN, and CAGE, and NO WAVE bands like MARS and DNA, TUNNEL CANARY produced a volatile and often violent mix of pure-noise, synthesizer music, free-improv, and confrontational performance art. Centered around the chaotic guitar antics and synth compositions of guitarist Aleh Kaheen(now: Nathan Holiday) coupled with the accusatory and often absolutely-hysterical caterwauling of vocalist Ebra Ziron, and supported by the tasteful and powerful bass punctuations of David Sheftel, TUNNEL CANARY’s unique sound sits somewhere in the spheres of POST-INDUSTRIAL, PROTO-POWER-ELECTRONICS, and NOISE.
This 2LP set represents the definitive TUNNEL CANARY document&183; Culled from material recorded between 1980 and 1983 representing the bands most prolific and powerful period. Included on the first LP is the bands sole released work ‘JIHAD’. Edited and re-named “Erdang” and released on the cassette compilation “Stitching Small Tears” in 1981; here ‘JIHAD’ has been restored to its complete length and original title. Flip of ‘JIHAD’ is a recording of TUNNEL CANARY’s extravagant multi-media live performance of ‘BEAUTY SECRETS’ from 1983. LP number two is a raucous performance from 1980 recorded at the Emily Carr Center for the Arts.
American Noise Legend, and early TC ally GX JUPITTER LARSEN remembers the TUNNEL CANARY live experience:
“A Tunnel Canary show had layer after layer of racket fragments bouncing somewhere between the back of your teeth and your inner ear. They were the classical complaint against calm, and the archetypal battle against boredom. They made you realize there was more to punk than just safety pins and leather. I remember seeing them open up for a William Burroughs reading in 1981. They blew the PA in seconds! Nathan I know doesn’t care much for that one, but I remember Burroughs telling me how he loved it. We all loved it. Tunnel Canary was a wake-up call for those of us fortunate enough to catch them live in those early days. When we heard them we heard the future, and the future was going to be loud!”
Absolutely no expense has been spared in the manufacturing of this record: expertly mastered by Joshua Stevenson (magneticring, samara lubelski band, caste-exotic archives, etc). Cut twice for quality assurance. Imported black paper poly-lined inner-sleeves. Quality offset printed, double-sided, 2-panel heavy cardstock covers. A HUGE 25.5" x 34" offset printed poster! And a beautiful vinyl-ink screen-print on the b-side of the live LP.
sound clips at:
2LP $25.00 usd + postage(limited quantaties)
1LP $16.00usd + postage(please e-mail for rates as they are different from those for the 2LP version)

please add $12.00 usd for postage in North America, $29.00 usd (AIR SHIPPING) for postage to Europe and Japan.
other international customers please send e-mail for postage rates.

also introducing vancouvers newest punk/power label CRITISCUM INTERNATIONALE exclusively distributed by RUNDOWNSUN.

Blouse "s/t" c20 60%236315a

two tracks of idol worship, parody, and confusion from vancouvers only real power electronics group and "NEW SAVAGE" pioneers. 2 synths, vocals. simple. cut short in their prime by an untimely death. RIP. more post humous releases to come. $4.00usd +postage

SH. PX. (shearing pinx) "ruinator" c10 61%969472a

14 racks in 7 minutes. blistering punk/post-hardcore/noise rock from the now famous vancouver trio who's output is sounding more and more like Pink Floyd with every release. this is 100% no bullshit, real punk rock. $4.00usd + postage

Black Mage "some level 1 spells" c10 61%924175a

blackened, encrusted fantasy metal (equal parts sword and sorccery and fantasy baseball). low-brow punk/metal absurdity. but seriously. they mean it. $4.00usd + postage


all CRITISCUM INTERNATIONALE cassettes come in cassette boxes with 4-5 panel black and white xerox j-cards.



JTCR josh rose
rundownsun the accursed share
apt.#1-675 salsbury drive
vancouver BC canada V5L 3Z8."

Drop the man an email and pick up some of Vancouver's finest in noise/punk/soundart and general sonic havoc.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hip-Hop Fridays: Polyrhythm Addicts "Rhyme Related" (1999)

Continuing on with the goodtime summer hip-hop albums, the debut by Polyrhythm Addicts definitely ranks pretty high in that category. Comprised of 3 MCs--Shabaam Sahdeeq, Mr. Complex, and Apani B. Fly, and producer DJ Spinna, the crew came together after guesting seperately on other hip-hop albums. I'm feeling a little lazy, so I'll let Allmusic describe the MC's styles...

"Each of Polyrhythm's emcees brings different styles, but nevertheless mesh them cohesively to fit a group environment. Shabaam is your quintessential NY battlerapper, full of confidence and skills. Mr. Complex switches personalities and flows mid-verse, and his witty repartee's add another dimension to the groups diverse chemistry. Apani B is the X-factor, a polished female emcee who hands out lyrical beatdowns. Her flavor speaks volumes, as her verses are devoid of sexual overtones, or the materialistic references many of her fellow female counterparts partake in."

The standout in the group, however, is DJ Spinna's dense production. After doing dozens of remixes prior to signing up with the Polyrhythm Addicts, DJ Spinna seemed to save all his best work for "Rhyme Related". The album would've fit nicely along side Tribe's "Midnight Marauders" back in 1993, and almost seemed out of place back in 1999. Another great aspect of the album is it's brevity: 10 tracks (9 if you exclude a brief intro) in about a half hour. Far from the bloated, 80 minutes albums that were popping up everywhere.

The group is apparently back together, though they replaced Apani B. Fly with, yup, a different female MC. You can check their myspace to hear a few dismal tracks. Well, at least we'll always have "Rhyme Related".

Great interview with Mr. Complex here.

Interesing info on Apani B. Fly on her Wikipedia page.

And a great interview with her here.

Best track: 'Big Phat Boom'

Check Shabaam Sahdeeq's finest moment with Arabian Knights on "The Soundbombing" comp.

Apani B.'s excellent duo with Doom.

"Rhyme Related" comes with my highest recommendation possible. It's long out of print and hard to come by used. Snatch it up, people.

Download "Rhyme Related" here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pop Drones: Episode 3

Third show in and probably the least amount of nerves/dead air so far. Highlights include some of my favorite tracks from the second batch of Captured Tracks material (seriously can't get enough of The Bitters' 'Warrior'), my favorite track from the new Modern Creatures LP (front runner for my favorite local release in 2009), some nice jams from the last batch of Sacred Bones 7"s (Pink Noise...keep it comin'), and an excellent track from the Cometa Fever one-sided 12". Anyone who tuned in and thought they heard the Jesus and Mary Chain probably caught that Cometa Fever track. Thanks to the always amazing Mimaroglu site I snatched up one of the 112 copies that What The...? Records pressed of the Berlin via Italian male/female duo. Check the myspace link below to get an earful. I also jammed a track off the Fresh and Onlys debut LP, which just about has to be my favorite release of any genre from 2009. Locals should try Scratch or Dandelion to get a copy, or you will probably be able to nab from the band when they play Pat's Pub June 21st with thee mighty Sex Church. The next night they'll apparently be backing up Rodriguez when he plays Richards. That's it for this week...

The Bitters "Warrior" Wooden Glove 12" (Captured Tracks) 2009
Mayfair Set "Already Warm" s/t 7" (Captured Tracks) 2009
Fresh And Onlys "Peacock And Wing" s/t LP (Castleface) 2009
X-Ray Eyeballs "Four" s/t CS (Night People) 2009
Golden Triangle "Prizefighter" s/t LP (Mexican Summer) 2009
Love Tan "This Land Is No Good" s/t 7" (Sweet Rot) 2008
Modern Creatures "Becoming A Lizard" s/t LP (Grotesque Modern) 2009
Cometa Fever "Crash" Dead Light one-sided 12" (What The...?) 2009
Real Estate "Suburban Beverage" s/t 7" (Underwater Peoples) 2009
Pink Noise "Gold Light" s/t 7" (Sacred Bones) 2009
Ganglians "Lost Words" split w/Eat Skull 7" (Dulcitone) 2009
Hunches "Ate My Teeth" Exit Dreams LP (In The Red) 2009
Hole Class "Mansions" s/t LP (Meds) 2009 re-issue from 2006
The Intelligence "Moody Tower" Fake Surfers LP (In The Red) 2009
Shearing Pinx 7 tracks off of Ruinator CS (Critiscum Internationale) 2009
Mountains "Choral" Choral (Thrill Jockey) 2009
Belong "Same Places (Slow Version)" Same Places (Slow Version) one-sided 12" (Table of the Elements) 2008

Pop Drones is on CiTR every Wednesday from 10:00 Am to 11:30. Podcast from this week's episode should be ready for tomorrow.

OK. Finally figured out this podcasting thing.
Listen to the show here.
Check here each week for the new episode.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hip-Hop Fridays: Artifacts "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" (1994)

Welcoming the rays of sunshine we've been receiving here in Vancouver, Thee Expressway is uploading one of the best summer hip-hop records. The Artificats, made up of New Jersey MC's El Da Sensei and Tame One, started off as graffiti artists before they made their debut with "Between A Rock And A Hard Place." Production here is courtesy of T-Ray and Buckwild, with the latter being on quite the roll (earlier he produced OC's classic "Word...Life" and would later produce some tracks on the Organized Konfusion's "Stress: The Extinction Agenda" and Big L's "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor And Dangerous.) The beat on 'Wrong Side of the Tracks' was so good that Madlib (via Quasimoto) would life the beat for a track, which is about the best compliment you could get for a beat nowadays. The rhyming is just as top notch, especially considering that these two graffiti kids from New Jersey hadn't done much at all before their debut. If you're into early 90s hip-hop and haven't heard this yet, please, do yourself a favor and download the album below.

Download "Between A Rock And A Hard Place" here.
Download the Instrumentals here. (via Tuttsu Fruttsi Icecream)

'Wrong Side Of The Tracks' video

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pop Drones Episode 2

Plenty of killer new jams this week, including the Golden Triangle spin-off X-Ray Eyeballs, which is probably my favorite new cassette out of the last batch that dropped from Night People. Also some new Teepee action, which is quite different from the punk-styled jams we've come to know and love. The re-issue of the Beth Murphy (Times New Viking) and Ron Enbom (Eat Skull) collaboration, dubbed Hole Class, has been getting plenty of spins and I'll probably be playing some more jams off that next week. Did a bit of a spotlight on Philadelphia's Richie Records, who just released the top notch new Kurt Vile 12", which, I have to mention, is now out of print from the source. Keep your eyes glued to the small distros out there, as they'll be the only ones with copies left. I wouldn't wait too long either, the Kurt Vile LP that Mexican Summer recently released has been going for an average of $60 on you-know-where. In the meantime, however, you can still snatch up the Woodsist re-issue of Constant Hitmaker.

This week's show was opened up with the album opener off of Grouper's wildly acclaimed LP from last year, and, like I mentioned on the show, she will be making an in-store appearance at Zulu Records this coming Sunday (the 24th) at 3:30PM. Should be a nice intimate performance, which will be hard to guarantee at a sold-out show at the Commodore where most of the people in attendance will be wetting themselves for the headliner, whoever that is...

Podcasting for the show should definitely be set up for next week. So, until then...

Grouper "Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping" Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill LP (Type) 2008
Teepee "Satisfied" Woodnoise CS (Self Released) 2009
Jackson Vanhorn "Grey " s/t CS (Jerkwave) 2009
X-Ray Eyeballs "Fake Wedding" s/t CS (Night People) 2009
Hole Class "Wrong Mirror" s/t LP (Meds) 2009
Eat Skull "Double Wasted" split w/ Ganglians 7" (Dulcitone) 2009
Eat Skull "Leave The Universe" split w/ Ganglians 7" (Dulcitone) 2009
Watery Love "All Night Long" Debut 45 7" (Richie Records) 2009
Clockcleaner "Early Man" Frogrammer 7" (Richie Records)
Kurt Vile "Good Lookin' Out" Hunchback EP 12" (Richie Records) 2009
Pocahuanted "Veil" Passage LP (Troubleman Unlimited) 2009
Sun Araw "Hey Mandala!" split w/ Predator Vision (Not Not Fun) 2009
Emeralds "Quaking Mess" Solar Bridge LP (Hanson) 2009 LP re-issue
BT. HN. "Valastro" Valastro CS (Cipher Productions) 2009

Pop Drones is on CiTR 101.9 FM every Wednesday from 10:00AM until 11:30AM.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Hip-Hop Fridays: Krown Rulers "Paper Chase" (1988)

Made up of DJ Royal Rocker and MC Grand-Pubah (not the one of Brand Nubian fame), this duo sprang from the legendary late 80's posse Tuff Crew, and "Paper Chase" is their debut. Well, it may as well have been their lone album, but the duo decided to get back together in 1997 to release the dismal "Back On The Throne". It's no matter because "Paper Chase" is a classic of old school late 80s hip-hop, and their status remains no less damaged for it. The production on this is exactly what you'd expect from a hip-hop album from 1988--booming drum machines, short samples from classic R&B, soul, and funk tracks, and some bragadaccio lyrics. Some of the production here is courtesy of Ced Gee, who was also doing time in the ultra-influential Ultramagnetic MCs. The rhyming here is actually top notch, and I would have to say, at least speed-wise, Grand-Pubah was up there with the almighty Rakim.

Anyone out there who loves that classic minimal hip-hop vibe is recommended to peep this record.

For an incredibly in depth look at the album check out the Rap Reviews post here.

For your own analysis, download "Paper Chase" here.

'B-Boy Document'

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Radio Show Debut! Pop Drones on CiTR

It was a long time coming, but Thee Expressway is now on the radio. Every week on Wednesday mornings you can tune in to CiTR 101.9 FM from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM to hear me babble on about the music that keeps me afloat. Genres covered will be bedroom pop/garage, drone, noise, local action, and, of course special attention will be paid to the cassette underground. Podcasting has not been set up for the show, but should be ready for next week's show. If your radio doesn't pick up CiTR or you just live out of the city, you can tune in live on air by following this link. Every week on the blog I'll be posting the artists, songs and albums I played along with plenty of links. Anyone interested in sending me cassettes, CDs or, hey, even vinyl, to be played on the air, as long as it suits the general theme of the show, please get in contact with me.

Pop Drones: Episode 1

Peaking Lights "Silver Tongues Soft Whispers" Imaginary Falcons LP (Night People) 2009
Jeans Wilder "Black Out" s/t CS (Night People) 2009
Dead Luke "Running Scared" Running Scared 7" (Sweet Rot) 2008
FNU Ronnies "Golem Smoke " Golem CS (Skrot Up) 2009
Shearing Pinx "Smarts" Ultra Snake CD (Endless Latino) 2008
N. 213 "Hair Respect" Special Love 2xCDR (Isolated Now Waves) 2009
Nu Sensae "Raven Tussle" s/t One-Sided 12" (Isolated Now Waves) 2008
Emaciator "Perserverance" Coveting LP (Not Not Fun) 2008
Earn "Please" Down The Well CS (monorail trespassing) 2009
Valet "Angels Can't Stop" False Face Society LP (Mexican Summer) 2009
Wwhite Cloudss "untitled" Before and After Everything CS (Smoke Filled Casket) 2009
Sutcliffe Jugend/Prurient "End Of Spring" End Of Autumn LP (Troubleman Unlimited) 2008

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Robe And Allied Last Show Ever! or How I Learned To Hate Ian Gregory James and His Destruction Of Vancouver's Best Band

Yup. That. Is. It. Robe and Allied are to play their last show ever tonight at the Astoria. Over their brief time in Vancouver, the trio had become not just one of the best bands running in this city, but one of my favorite bands currently playing music...anywhere. The trio had tapped into some influences that were not easily discernible, though names like June Of '44, Steve Albini, Slint, and the Louisville, KY scene in the early 90's were decent starts. The group, however, managed to tap into the primal energies of these groups and distilled a much more simplified yet wholly powerful force from them. Do not miss this show.

Where: The Astoria

When: 10pm. May 9th.

Why: Read the above.

Womankind will be opening up. Another potent new band that will hopefully last longer than R&A.

Check some video/sounds here and here

Friday, May 8, 2009

Hip-Hop Fridays: A Visual Histroy Of Rap

Instead of an album upload this week, I've decided to link to this amazing poster that illustrates the faces that shaped hip-hop. A copy of the poster was sent into Zulu late last year and I took it home but have yet to find a suitable spot for it. After stashing it away with the intent of finding a spot for it, I came across it the other day and figured I would pass along some info on this amazing piece. Now, not only are their detailed images of everyone from Cab Calloway to Edan, the back of the poster also has brief write-ups on everyone and their contributions to rap. You pretty much have to buy two copies to justify hanging it up. The poster was actually drawn up by Toronto native Kagan McLeod, and he's garnered much attention for the piece.

Check these two interviews here and here for more info.

Buy it here.

Click the pic at the top of the posting for greater detail.

Check Kagan McLeod's own website here.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

New Batch Of Captured Tracks

Yowza! It looks as if Captured Tracks is the label to beat this year. With 10 smash hits under their belt already, they've just dropped another 7 new burning hunks o' plastic. Figure I might as well keep the regular readers updated on this label as it's pretty much the best thing goin' right now.

Don't have the time to do a run down on everything, but here are a few I'm excited about...

First up is the debut 7" by Toronto's Little Girls, which features both the 'Venom' and 'Youth Tunes' tracks that I've been playing on their myspace non-stop since I heard 'em. I gotta say it's about time that Toronto has picked up the slack though, because Vancouver here is sick of holding down the fort for decent Canadian underground bands. The Bitters, also of Toronto, were the first out of the gates with their amazing "cave pop" 12" that came out in the initial batch o' Captured Tracks releases. Check their myspaces and get into it, kiddies.

Next up is the debut 7" by Roman Soldiers, which is a collaborative effort between kindred spirits Gary War and Blank Dogs. The results are an even woozier and darker affair than you'd think. Two songs up on their myspace right now, but I'm not sure if these will be on the upcoming 7". Very exciting stuff, either way.

These guys didn't really do a lot for me at first, but after several listens to The Beets' full length LP (also on Captured Tracks, duh) their lite garage pop has sunk it's teeth in and refuses to budge. The 7", I'm sure, will be a continuation of their vibe. Bring on the summer!

Ok, one last one to hype up here. The German Measles will also have their debut cassette release on CT, and, after a few spins on the old myspace, they sound like they should be a great addition. The gist here is a group o' kids doin' early rock and roll but givin' it a little ol' dash of dumb. Check this WFMU page for some live action.

The rest of the batch contains a new 7"er by punk deconstrunctionists Der TPK, a 7" by Kid Romance, and a spankin' fresh new jam by Mr. Blank Dogs himself.

First 300 to order the new batch get a T-shirt, a CDR mix of CT bands, and a bonus cassette that comes with the Kid Romance 7". What the hell are you waiting for?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monthly Cassette Reviews (April Edition in May!)

Super Minerals “Clusters” (Stunned)
New batch of Stunned cassettes and CDRs are proving that this tiny label from California (run by Phil of Magic Lantern and Super Minerals) is clearly digging deep, far and wide to bring you some of the more bent sounds cooking underground. The label's releases tend to last no more than 2 weeks before selling out, so you'd be wise to keep an eye on their blogspot page to keep up. Oh heck, 4 new releases just dropped. See? Already behind on this one. Anyways, first up in the new batch is the newest from Super Minerals, who've managed to squirm from one vibe to the next so's not to be pigeonholed by pesky bloggers like myself. This time around the duo are going for a Terry Riley or La Monte Young piano driven arpeggiation that is dizzying. Two side-long pieces with the first being the dueling pianos and the flip taking a flashback into the tropical jungle morning. Quite unlike anything else I've heard from this confounding duo. Check out Stunned Aside.

Warm Climates “Edible Homes” (Stunned)
Stunned indeed! Second Stunned release here is an incredibly strange folk-ish effort from this LA native. This is my intro to the man, but he's apparently been releasing CDRs for close to a decade now. How the hell did I miss this guy? It's no matter becuase we found and we do likes 'em. The vocals on 'Edible Homes' brings to mind the twisted prog folk of Comus but he's tending a much gothier patch here, maybe more along the lines of early Legendary Pink Dots. The folk angle pops in and out, fighting for space alongside droning organs, fuzzy field recordings, garbled electronics, and even some wild, almost free jazz-style drumming. There are also some great blips of programmed electronics that bring to mind the spazzier moments of Aphex Twin's "Drukqs". Yessum, real mixed bag here, but sewn together well enough to convince me to start paying attention.

Dead Luke “The Black Plague In Mono No.3” (Jerkwave)
Can't get enough Dead Luke round these parts, and even though the man is calling it quits, he still has a fleet of new records dropping this year to keep his name floating around for a bit longer. Apparently there will be LPs coming from Night People, Florida's Dying, Sacred Bones, a split LP on Aurora Borealis, where he'll be joined by Zola Jesus, and a cassette coming out on Bathetic Tapes, which is a label I cannot find much info on. Possible interview with label head here? Where was I? Ok, Dead Luke. This one may only be recommended to the hardcore Luke fans, as the pop that's bubbled through to the surface of his other releases (the best being that 7" on Sweet Rot) is not really present here. This one runs from the bouncy goth synth of those earlier releases all the way to droning sitar bliss-outs. Also some Cramps-style boogie jams for good measure. This is part 3 of Jerkwave's ongoing 'The Black Plague in Mono" series, so I'm sure we can expect some more bent pop on the upcoming full lengths.

The Elks “The Black Plague In Mono No.4” (Jerkwave)
Outside of the black and white cover art adorning the cassettes in 'The Black Plague In Mono' series, and a general bleakness in the music, there's not a whole lot connecting these releases (Hanging Coffins and Absinthe Minds did the first two). Not a concern, just a thought. The Elks are running the same line of gnarly/blown out garage sickness that the likes of The Hunches, Lamps and The Hospitals have already traversed. If yr worried that this is a mere aping then rest at ease, The Elks take things to the next logical extreme by turning up the static, amping up those harsh metallic drums, and even adding in some droning synth. The vocals are especially effective here, flipping from a lock-jawed hiss to ferocious barks. Highly recommended shit here. Check out an earlier CDR the band released here (courtesy of The Elks).

BT. HN. “Valastro” (Cipher Productions)
First of two new collaborative efforts by Vancouver's Sick Buildings and THE RITA. This cassette, which was released on the Australian label Cipher Productions, starts off with a jarring shot of white noise that fire out like a cannon (this writer actually flinched) and is followed by what sounds like a a gathering street mob. Later, a man speaking French for several moments is interrupted by a familiar blast of harsh noise that could only be the doing of THE RITA. The speaker's voice is then interspersed with the same shots of noise that started the tape off, sounding like speaker happens to be under siege. The explosions are eventually wrenched into blow torch-like blasts and are backed up by violent feedback and teethgrinding vocals. This is perhaps the most visual release I've heard from either of these fellers, and brings to mind urban warfare happening well out of ear shot from these cozy Canadian shores. Apparently it has more to do with dynamite fishing than anything else. Go figger.

Lake Shark “Harsh Noise” (Lake Shark/Rundownsun)
Second collab between these two was recorded in a hotel room in NYC while the two were waiting to attend last year's No Fun Fest.
This is a real quicky and was reportedly recording using materials found in the room. There is a low bass rumble that acts as the river bed for a harsh electric trickle to weave its way atop the bass-y flow. Short and well to the point. Nice oversize packaging on this sucker, too. Thick cardstock flap with a nice print job. There's also some nice smut thrown in there for yr viewing pleasure.

Silver Futures “From The Swamp Rot Rises My Baby’s Dreams” (Future Sound Recordings)
Newest release by Future Sound Recordings, who are also responsible for those early Ducktails cassettes, is a duo featuring Mark McGuire (Emeralds) and Etienne Pierre Duguay, who is the drummer in Predator Vision. This effort definitely leans more towards the Emeralds end of things here with a cascade of twilight synths, dream sequence guitars and hushed xylophones (I think). Everything is wrapped in a warm tick-tocking swirl of ambient hum that gives this release a comforting new new-age vibe that I just can't get enough of these days. I've seen the future. It is silver.

Jeans Wilder “Antiques” (Night People)
Night People, who have always been dependable for their quality releases of disparate new sounds, have unearthed a gloomy pop cretin from somewhere along the US West Coast. Yup, another avant bedroom composer that seems to have dropped out of nowhere. Well, this one is gonna go in the pile that is already occupied by Night Control, Blank Dogs and Kurt Vile, though this doesn't really sound like any one of those. There are a few similarities, however, including warbled keyboards, echoed vocals, and some b-movie synths. What does separate him is his use of the acoustic guitar, giving this cassette a much more intimate feel while still remaining distant and out of grasp. Upcoming releases include a split cassette on Bathetic (seriously, someone wanna get me some info on this label) with the brooding a gal out of the UK, and a few 7"s and 12"s on tba labels.

Peaking Lights “Two Songs For Ceremony” (Night People)
Freshest, newest jams from one of my personal favorite groups running right now. Two songs, two sides, silkscreened covers, and 100% quality from Night People. Unfortunately, my wholesale copies vanished like a Record Store Day 7", but it looks like the label still has copies, so get's 'em while you can. Anyways, those who've heard their fabulous full length LP/CS on Night People/Not Not Fun can expect the same hazy head rush. Repetitious guitar waves, post-war electronic squiggles rising like fireflies, a lightly thudding drum machine, and those dreamy and distant vocals wrap around yr skull like a thundershot of THC. A brilliant cocoon of gauzy lo-fi dreamadelica. Oh so recommended. The duo seem to be outta merch right now, but hopefully they have some new material dropping soon. In the mean time, we can expect a new collaborative effort between Aaron of Peaking Lights and Luke of Dead Luke. They've dubbed themselves Bone Patrol and will have a cassette on Luke's own Jerkwave sometime soon. Couldn't be more excited 'bout that one. Check Peaking Lights blog here for infrequent updates. There's even a photo of Temptation from their opening slot at last year's show at the Sweatshop (RIP), which was stolen from yours truly! That one's on the house, guys.

Knitted Abyss “Winter Barn” (Night People)
Ok, one more from Night People, and it sure is on the same dub tip that Peaking Lights are rockin'. Knitted Abyss hail from New South Wales in Australia and consist of two members, one of whom calls Naked On The Vague home. That's right, we have a bonafide NOTV side-project here. Not exactly on that tip, but NOTV aren't exactly the kinda group you wanna even bother trying to replicate. The front end is chock full o' echo canyon drum machines and low end throbbing bass that brings to mind that overlooked Siltbreeze LP from fellow Australians Fabulous Diamonds LP. There are also some intense but muffled vocals which must have caught the ear of Shawn Reed, Night People's label head who also rocked the same style with Raccoo-oo-oon and continues the tradition with Wet Hair. Though this release tends more towards the hypnotic end of the spectrum rather than going for the full freak. The flip is a little different and see's the group heading into some groovy kraut blues that eventually gives way to rolling hits of noise. A mighty debut effort.

Treetops “Deep Purple Infinity” (Taped Sounds)
The never ending train of Treetops cassettes continues on, and thee Expressway is here to make sense of the mess. First up is a new one on the mysterious and plainly-named Taped Sounds, of which I have no information about. The recording here is a mid-pace drone creaker that's got a nice tapestry of wave-y synths that are layered up until it reaches an almost Tim Hecker-like ambience, though of a much more lo-fi quality. The flip is crammed with shaky, crystalline synths that are accompanied by cymbal rushes, which creates a nice underwater-with-the-sun-rippling-through kinda vibe. This would be a top notch release if it wasn't for the crap taping job. Must be low quality cassette used or just a crappy tape deck. Check out the Tomentosa site here for some other releases by Taped Sounds.

Treetops “North” (Arbor)
A nicer fidelity is achieved on "North", most likely due to the pros over at Arbor. More synth work here but of a dreamier, alien vibe. A lo-fi and gentle humming drone accompanies this side, creating a dream-like atmosphere that is easy to drift away in. The flip is another bliss-dream exercise that features some of those nice cymbal washes we heard on the above-mention release. Midnight beach soundtrack complete with whisps of ghosts drifting off the rolling tide.

Treetops “Melancholy” (Arbor)
Up there right alongside the guitar drones of Expo ‘70 (more on that below) is the most recent cassette release by my favorite droner Treetops. The flip begins with a slow mo windmill blast from the ray gun guitar this one man jammer before fading into the darker low-end buzz drone we’ve come to know and love. The flip is a short little come down of twinkling synth drone.

Treetops “Eternal Sky” (Monorail Trespassing)
Finally, we come to the newest Treetops cassette, released on the ever-improving Monorail Trespassing label. This one's a little darker and night nearly as meditative as those above mentioned cassettes. This one starts off with a slow encroaching bass rumble that rides underneath a slow cycling synth drone. The bass eventually outpaces the intensity of the droning synths, but eventually both fade out and give way to a dark piano (keyboard maybe?) lament that resembles some early Stars Of The Lid material. Beautiful drone/bliss territory covered here.

Earn “Down The Well” (Monorail Trespassing)
Another great cassette on the label comes from the mysterious Earn, whom I cannot find a lick of information on (privy parties please drop a comment). Whoever this is has dropped one of the finest tapes so far this year (truth), and I cannot stop flipping this (double truth!). The cassette starts off with a slow droning, plaintive cello that's apparently played by Scott Reber (of Work/Death infamy) before veering off into a warm swarm. The warmth is eventually subdued by a sharp wall of shoegaze noise that goes from calm to frighteningly shrill. Earn is definitely exploring the depths of shoegaze noise here, in fact, it almost feels like walking in on My Bloody Valentine as they perform the "bridge" of 'You Made Me Realise'. Not quite as damaging as that, but you get the idea. Brand spanking new tape on Ekhein sounds promising too. Check the samples on Mimaroglu, and, while you're there, pick up a tape or two. One of the best distributors online right now.

Expo ‘70 “White Ohms” (Peasant Magik)
One of a slew of new releases by this one-man guitar drone overlord, White Ohms is another advancement of the man's sound. Not quite as bleak as "Black Ohms" but still immobilizing and works as great companion piece. Though their influence is deep and their name gets tossed around a little too often, the Sunn O))) vibe is strong here. But, rather than the weigh of the recordings focusing on the deep tone of the guitars, Expo 70's approach, particularly on a few tracks here and elsewhere, is more about the volume of the buzz his guitar can conjure. Though the entire cassette here isn't strictly amplifier worship, there are a few moments of deep canyon guitar echoes and donging guitar ambience to bring some balance.
Not sure if there are copies left, but Expo 70' has just dropped an excellent LP on Fedora Corpse. Also worth investigating is the Evenings LP on the same label, another artist plunging the bottomless depths for dark ambience. Check an Evenings sample here. There is also a new LP to look forward to, which will also be released by Peasant Magik. You can pre-order that sucker here and even get the "White Ohms" cassette tossed in there.

FNU Ronnies - Golem / BLOOD! - Evacuted Materials (Skrot Up)
After kicking out the harsh garage jams on their debut 7" last year (on the up and coming Philadelphia based Richie Records), FNU Ronnies turn in another hellish trip through gnarly industrial/kraut/garage territory. The group's rhythm section find a deep groove to ride out while the keyboards screech, the guitars shred and scrape, and the seething vocals come out in wavering assaults. This is heavy on the Chrome vibe here. BLOOD, who take over on the flip, are almost indiscernible from FNU Ronnies, which is fine by me, because, outside of Six Finger Satellite, no one has taken the Chrome essence and roughened up the edges quite like these two. The FNU Ronnies side has just been released as a one-sided 12" on Night People, which seems like an odd pairing, but the who the hell am I to argue? As a side note, there are some upcoming releases on the Danish label Skrot Up by some groups that I know shit all about, including Balaclavas, SFHHH and Thetlvmth. After an hour of myspace "research" I have deemed these groups to be the new breed of damaged art punk, and This appears to be just about the most exciting new cassette label happening right now. New releases are in the mail and will hopefully be devoured in time for the next monthly issue. Until then, keep diggin'

Friday, May 1, 2009

Hip-Hop Fridays: Main Source "Breaking Atoms" (1991)

Quite possibly one of the most influential, yet largely ignored, hip-hop records of all time. 1991 saw the release of Main Source's "Breaking Atoms", which introduced Large Professor and Nas to the world. Nas would obviously go on to become one of the most well known MCs of all time, but it was the Large Professor who would tinker away in the shadows, producing some well loved tracks from the early 90s. In fact, Large Professor went on to produce three tracks on Nas' "Illmatic", including 'Halftime' and 'It Ain't Hard To Tell', with the latter being my favorite beat on the record. Large Professor went on to produce tracks by Kool G Rap, Tribe Called Quest, Mobb Deep, Common, and Organized Konfusion among many others. Compared to his mid 90s production, which was definitely during his peak, the tracks on "Breaking Atoms" are fairly simplistic: drum break, jazz/soul loop, and a few other odd samples layered atop taught beatwork. Easily digestable now, but it was rather groundbreaking at the time and influenced many up and coming DJs and producers.

Download "Breaking Atoms" here.

'Live At The Barbeque' (feat. Nas)

'Just A Friendly Game Of Baseball'

'Fakin' The Funk' (not on the original release)

'Lookin' At The Front Door' (personal favorite track)

Snatch up all the Main Source 12"s here. (via Nation Of Millions)

'Fakin' The Funk' video

'Lookin' At The Front Door'

'Just Hangin' Out'