Monday, January 28, 2013

Lumpy and the Dumpers - Demo [2012]

Continuing my series of "favorite tapes of 2012" posts, I present to you Lumpy & the Dumpers. Coming from the southwest corner of Illinois (in the vicinity of St. Louis), they exude all the boredom and disgust you'd expect to be felt in such a place. When they played in Champaign with Dirty Work last month, the singer (and a couple punks in the crowd) were flinging themselves around wearing nothing but diapers made of tissue paper. Needless to say the ensuing crowd action resulted in said diapers dissolving in to fine flakes of confetti.

Anyway, onto the tape itself: it consists of three zit-poppin' punk songs in a mid-tempo KBD style, so get ready to dance like an idiot with snot hanging out your nose. They're all jams but the standout to me is the first song, about getting addicted to huffing eel goo. Oh, the humanity! Do yourself a favor and get this tape for cheap, or on Lumpy's bandcamp for free

Lumpy & the Dumpers will be playing in Urbana on Feb 22 and Chicago on February 23. Both bills are pretty stacked, so come rock out and rub puke in yr eyes.

Contact Lumpy:
Lumpy and the Dumpers
21 W Garfield
Belleville, IL 62220
"Please send teeth, nails, slime, mulch, or rubber cement."

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hintergrund - Nemesis [2012]

Hintergrund is responsible for some of the haunting, art-damaged noises currently emanating from Columbus, Ohio. Undulating tones that drift along for light years, punctuated at times by more rapid cosmic radiation. This is some quality drone-y, noisy stuff utilizing loops, prepared saxophone, and circuit bending. No songs shorter than six minutes, titles like "As the Elk Lays Down to Die" (an eleven-minute séance with synths and gods-know-what-else overlaying each other to form chords that are simultaneously unnerving and musical) -- those of you who will like this probably already know who you are. For ambient music, though, it really does reward active listening as there is a well-executed sense of dynamics throughout. Compared to the dark, brooding mood intimated by the album title, for example, the galactic-scale disinterest of "Empty Space" or "Circuit" sounds practically joyful.

This would appeal to folks who are into stuff like Barn Owl or Hanetration. You can stream Nemesis on soundcloud, or snatch it here. Get comfy, pack the pipe, and prepare to explore the dark expanses of yr mind.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Dirty Work - Tour Tape [2012]

In case it was not yet clear to you that Kansas City harbors some of the wildest hardcore around: enter Dirty Work with an elbow to your gut and cinderblock flying dangerously close to your face. Seriously, each of the three times I've seen these guys since last September has surely ranked among the more chaotic and violent shows of 2012. But too often bands hide weak songwriting behind their live antics; not so here. I defy you not to get "Bloody Concrete" stuck in your head. You won't be able to resist strutting around your room and jumping off your bed into the wall. Its lyrics are insufferably juvenile and full of self-loathing, which suits the music perfectly. The rest of this tape keeps the madness at cranked up through its five minutes, leaving you reeling in a manic stupor with bruises you'll be discovering for days.

Chicago DIY label Eat the Life put out both the tour tape and the Dirty Work demo. You can hear/download both on bandcamp. And stay tuned, because EtL will be releasing Dirty Work's vinyl debut sometime soon!

HURE - EP [2012]

I got an email some time ago from one of these maniacs asking to share their EP, so here you go. This is also from Berlin, but it couldn't possibly be more different from the Faurholt stuff I posted yesterday. Bludgeoning, relentless, hate-filled noise attack by dudes who wrap themselves in duct tape to play live:

So about three seconds of that video should give you an idea whether or not it's for you. Ever been to a show where a noise group comes on and half the room clears out? This is something like what we've got here. I like losing my mind to noise stuff like this, because i.) my ears have a masochistic streak; and ii.) after being subjected to screeching feedback gusts and blunt drum-machine beatings for an extended length of time, anything resembling 'conventional songs' sounds positively refreshing. Anyway I'm down with the madness that is Hure, and perhaps some of you are too.

You can hear the EP on Hure's soundcloud page, and order a copy of the EP on cassette here.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jacob Faurholt - Geek Love Is the Best Love [2012]

Take a listen to Jacob Faurholt's music and you'd probably assume he's holed up in some medium-sized town in Ohio, laying down finely-crafted Americana in a bedroom. You'd only be half right, because it's beaming to you from a Dane in Berlin. Anyway, regardless of location, these songs are real well-realized, mostly wistful ballady tunes of past lovers and their associated nostalgia -- you know, music for when yer feelin' down and want to stay there a while. Hints of Daniel Johnston and the whole Dylan/Young school of singer-songwriters are apparent (when he sings "I'm guided by voices, not the band" it sounds like he's channeling the capital-B Band as well as Robert Pollard's group). I've been spinning this EP quite a bit the past couple months, and it definitely rewards repeated listens.

Geek Love Is the Best Love was released in association with Raw Onion Records. It's up for free on bandcamp, along with a slew of releases going back to 2005. So if this is your kind of thing, dive on in.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ooze - Tape 8/9 [2012]

I got the chance to pick up this tape in Chicago over the holidays, at their show with Poor Choice (whose 7" I wrote about in my end of 2011 list) and Kansas City's Dirty Work (more on them later). Ooze have been playing together quite a while without releasing anything, honing their craft in the basements of Chicago and Northwest Indiana. So it's no surprise that the songs on this cassette pierce the mind like a fine shank. Seven ripping punk tunes in five minutes that will have you singing along dumbly to the 'do-do-do-do-dodododo' vocal track low in the mix. The songs are hardcore pace but in contrast to many hardcore bands' tendency to channel rage and no other mood, Oooze lays out some chord changes on side 2 that sound fucking triumphant. One of my favorite tapes of 2012. Ooze roolze.

These files aren't my rip, but I did attach song titles to them. Really, though, you should pick up a physical copy, 'coz there's more sounds on the tape than what's on this digital version.

the lunar crooner

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Harshist - Mythologies CS [2012]

This here is one of my favorite tapes of 2012, hands down. Truly I have waited too long to post it. Ten minutes of psych-punk tunes that reek of societal anguish. The music carries vibes shared by post-punk types like Shoppers or the Pop Group. I hear the latter band's influence especially on the last song, "Poison God," which opens up with a chord straight outta "She Is Beyond Good and Evil." Seriously can't recommend this band enough, and if they're any indication, there's some radical stuff happening Hawaii these days. Peep a couple of the songs in this live video from last summer:

Go to their bandcamp to listen to/buy Mythologies as well as an excellent radio set just released this month. Once you've heard the tape you'll need to hear the full set; the stretched-out noise passages really complement the groovy punk stuff. Do not sleep on this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bernays Propaganda - Igraj Slobodno! [2012]

Bernays Propaganda are a band from Skopje, Macedonia. Since 2007 they've been creating post-punk music you can -- gods forbid -- dance to, with words you can -- if you know Macedonian -- raise a fist and get pist with. Any band that names itself after the dude who applied psychoanalysis to marketing in order to transform propaganda into the public relations industry is going to have a fairly up-set view of politics; but few things are as aggravating as a political band whose lyrics don't go beyond lazy sloganeering. Thankfully these folks write more from a perspective of personal struggle in the context of social and political relations, and are much better off for it. Musically, they are punk rock for the Club, weird as it feels to say; they lie somewhere among LCD Soundsystem, early Liars, or Soviet rockers like Kino.

Igraj Slobodno! is an album of remixes, collaborations, and covers of Bernays Propaganda songs from their previous two full-lengths. The people sitting in on this are as varied as they are esteemed. My favorite track is the version of "I Care Not to Know" by cult breakpop act ZEA (aka Arnold de Boer, lately also singer of the Ex): a glitchy, acoustic skeleton of the original which underpins the paranoid vocal. Other highlights are the two versions of "Buldozer" by Gang of Four's Mark Heaney and "the oldest active Macedonian jazz band," Sethstat. Each take the tune to very different places: the former makes it into something you might hear at a rave, the latter a stomping jazz number with cool vibraphones and a brass section. Overall a real great set if you aren't instantly averse to dance floor stuff.

This one is available from bandcamp for free, as hinted by the translation of the album title: play freely! Check out the original versions of the songs on the other two albums up there, as well as a song from their forthcoming third full-length, Zabraneta planeta.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Ø+yn - He resucitado en la montaña [2011]

I've sat on a lot of submissions over the past year, so over the next week I'll be trying to get them posted with some sort of regularity. The music that people have thought to send me in 2012 runs he gamut from downer bedroom pop to raging basement punk with much noise, electronics, and general freakiness in between. So without further ado:

Okay, so this one actually came out in late 2011, but it was sent to me back in August of 2012 so it fucking counts. Ø+yn (pronounce it 'Omasin') play music for you to get weird to in the Sierras de Córdoba. Combining acoustic instruments and percussion with electronic drones, these freaky Argentine folks conjure up Hindustani-influenced raga jams punctuated by the holy howls of their (and your) ancestors. The album has a globe-searching, improvisational vibe not unlike some of This Heat's stuff, but Ø+yn take it in wholly different directions. I especially dig the shamanistic interpretation of acoustic/electric violin, with its haunting melodies that dissolve into drifting feedback wisps. The songs are in the six- to eight-minute range, giving you plenty of time to explore. Drink some ayahuasca and get into this!

He resucitado en la montaña was released by Winebox Press, with some pretty-lookin' wood packaging. Get at them to see if they have any copies still available. Catch Ø+yn on soundcloud and bandcamp for more freak folk jams.

Murmullo de cascada abrasiva