Wednesday, March 29, 2017

“Reasons for Balloons” C22
(Dinzu Artefacts)

End-of-the-Line Folk. Some Welsh. All Female.

Me, Claudius in a descriptorific nutshell, and I have nothing to add. And anyway, who needs reasons for balloons? Nobody. Balloons all the time, I always say. But who needs Reasons for Balloons? Oh, that’s a different answer. That answer is everybody. Everybody needs to get in on this one.

Reasons for Balloons is immediately different from everything in the first Dinzu batch. “Heartbreaking Shuffle and Statuesque” is chock full of samples, twisted bass grooves and jazz inflections, filled to overflowing with masterful use of spoken word snippets. “Safari. Church Style. (‘I, the people. Cut into squares’)” is chock full of samples, twisted bass grooves and jazz inflections, filled to overflowing with masterful use of spoken word snippets. Yes, thank god, yes, this becomes a new revelation, the new standard for experimental music. It’s wickedly calculated and expertly crafted. It’s essentially the very definition of kinetic energy, but applied with a nuance that is but should not be surprising. Get off your Norelco shell high horse and live a little! What, you think someone else is going to make all your decisions for you? Actually, if you don’t mind, I will make this decision: you will buy this tape. Enjoy, and tell your friends, and remember that I’m here for you.

Hey, whaddya know, I didn’t even do the whole I, Claudius thing. I restrained myself.

--Ryan Masteller

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

“I Do Not Want What Heaven Gave Me”

I don’t want it either. And what is “it,” exactly? Is “it” some sort of divine blessing, or a message, or a power? How am I supposed to use “it”? Dino Spiluttini doesn’t want “it.” And yet, I think he yearns for something “other” from a supernatural source, something more real and tangible than what we experience in our fast-food religious culture, with its manufactured praise bands (triple yuck!). That’s how it is in America, anyway. I don’t know how it is in Vienna, where Spiluttini is from. Still, the seven songs that comprise I Do Not Want all point to the past and unearth complex emotions about love and loss, life and death. The permanence of history, of time, the passing into the future, or beyond life. They read like a hymnal: “Praise,” “Psalm,” “Chant,” “Requiem,” “Hymn,” “Prayer,” “Mass.” Indeed, Spiluttini was inspired to compose these pieces after his mother showed “him the place where their ashes would be interred after their deaths.” The music was culled “hours of organ recordings from that very church,” adorned with additional piano, and unleashed unto us. As he copes with mortality, he allows us to read into his work the importance – how important depends on the individual – of cultural history and how much it impacts personal history. But then, what do we do we do with that? How do we process an “it” or an “other,” clearly something being grappled with in this music? Even if we can’t come to terms with “it” ourselves, we can use art like this to turn our magnifying glasses outward, to see what’s happening out there in the world today, to react to policies and actions that do not allow all people the luxury of introspection or personal history. We are leaving old legacies behind us, beginning new ones. When we’re ready for reverence, though, we’ll call on Dino Spiluttini.

--Ryan Masteller

Monday, March 27, 2017

"On Hold, Hold On" C17

“Eggs on Mars” is a very DIY, feel-good rock band straight-outta Kansas City, Missouri. This album, “On Hold, Hold On”, is their 4th recorded offering via bandcamp. It sounds fun. It will inspire you to play music with your friends. When they engage in falsetto singing, it sounds even more fun.

-- Jacob An Kittenplan

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"I Could See the Smoke" C23
(Lost Tribe Sound)

“Music for Octavio Paz” meets “the Glass Bead Game” in this drop-dead-fucking-gorgeous exercise for attacking and caressing a plethora of trembling, sympathetic strings. Is he bowing a cello, or that very same 12-string guitar? &How’s come so many wildly differing timbres, expertly culled from steel, nylon, & paired octaves, fit so perfectly now, where they’ve always otherwise sounded competitive and distracting?

Organically recorded and produced (well, pretty much), this EP is a brilliant taster for what could very well be the torch-passing from Ben Chasny and James Blackshaw’s former Psychedelic/American-Primitive feats to this UK newblood, Andy Cartwright, aka Seabuckthorn.

The physical tape is (rightfully) already sold out, so keep an eye out for anything in the works.


-- Jacob An Kittenplan

Saturday, March 25, 2017

“Rebels & Romantics” (self-released)

I’m not an internet troll. I’m a nice person. I want to like your music. I really do. That’s why I do this.

But I’m not really sure I like Courtney Love’s new direction, you know? It feels like a step backward. I tell this to Tad Doyle all the time: you guys, you B-level 1990s Sub Pop stars, you know how it feels. There’s just not enough respect to go around for those who are toiling away. But still, you have to deliver. I deliver. Not so much music anymore. More wrestling and tea and synthesizers and lawsuits, but whatever. If Courtney wants to record as “Omega Sirius Moon,” more power to her. I just wish it didn’t sound like she was still in the practice space. Oh well.

Oh, this isn’t Courtney Love doing a new thing but sounding like she’s doing an older thing? Wow, my bad.