Three Rotary Roggmins

Split cassette (DSCRMNTO1052012) by Jason E. Anderson and Matt Carlson is in fact Bonus Tape #5 and part of a series which the label Discriminate Music calls “bonus cassettes”…in the years 2012 and 2013, some four-and-twenty musicians were invited to contribute five minutes of music or sound art, resulting in nifty lunchables such as this which were intended to be given free to discerning customers who dig into their Bitcoin purses to buy things from the label. Of 100 copies, only 70 made it out into the public arena, mainly for the purposes of publicity and to “promote the great music that’s happening in the current underground”. Hereon, ‘The Phantom Words of Explicit Memory’, a piece of randomised electronic material by Anderson which bubbles through the mind like a semi-lethal form of soda-pop, before arriving at one of those robotic voice samples that conveys a 1960s view of what we thought the future would be like. Matt Carlson’s ‘I Can’t Find My Body’ is not dissimilar in form, utilising some sort of pattern-generating device to create an impossible sequence of semi-musical notes in a complex array, conjuring up a vaguely pop-art vision of a non-existent World’s Fair Pavilion from the mid-1950s. Anderson is a Seattle musician who runs Gift Tapes, while Carlson is based in nearby Portland, Oregon, and they previously appeared together on a split LP called Dissociative Synthesis. (28/01/2013)

On Black Nature (HUM #1), we have the very able Oscar Martin who also goes under the soubriquet Noish. This is also a cassette of fiercely experimental electronic music, but compared with above it sits much more in the area of “performed” music, by which I mean he appears to be playing it in real time. Then again, to what degree it is in fact possible to play live music using SuperCollider and Pure Data is something I have no direct knowledge of, but the untamed musical fugues which reach our ears indicate a very spontaneous and warm hands-on methodology from our friend Oscar M., as he generously fills the air around his metallic body with bizarre sweeping tones, odd billowing clouds of silver digital pus, and brittle non-descript cracklings sawn from the hide of a large hog. Noish know no bounds of restraint; his powers of invention are such that he delivers continuous layers and streams of energetic electrical passion, leading many across Europe to dub him the “Maserati MC12” of the digital music genre. I’m also quite impressed by the clarity of these sounds, never once lapsing into foggy drones or meaningless distortion, and remaining hard-edged and punchy throughout – even when the compositions themselves are deliriously insane in their pursuit of the illogical. The graphic art on the cover suggests something of the teeming musical information which must occupy his fervoured brain by night and by day, even in the pictured Arcadian setting when he tries to get some rest and finds his sleeping hours beset with odd aural manifestations. We really must hear some more of this rum fellow, but I think we only know his work through a team-up with Xedh, the cassette rlhaaa to from 2012. (25/01/2013)

Horacio Pollard is an overlooked genius of experimental noise, and I’ve had a soft spot for everything I’ve heard by this English-Argentine fellow who sometimes lives in Berlin ever since a copy of Acorn Bath first assaulted our sensibilities in 2010, with its adorable squirrel cover art. I don’t really have enough artefacts produced by his raving hands, even though we have received some small-run items from his own Neigh Percent label. So it’s a pleasure to be sent The Words Came Through The Bung (ALTERED TAPES ALT001), a highly limited release on Altered Tapes which we received in January 2013, and it’s a truly remorseless meat-grinder of nasty guitar rock noise. Effortlessly doing the one-man band thing, Pollard turns in five juicy cuts of quivering freshly-carved flesh, each of them situated in some cross-dimensional warp area that blends angry punkified-stoner-rock with distorted noise and feedback and brutal avant-techno beats. In the midst of these primitive riff-heavy churners (his bass guitar work is especially manic), Pollard grunts out his simplistic one-syllable lyrics, as though he were speaking bullets and using the language of the rubber truncheon 1. Uncanny; we haven’t heard the like since we dug Pollard’s crazed guitar contributions to the scorching tape by Clifford Torus (see October 2013). Unlike some inane noisy types, Pollard doesn’t neglect the structure – and he keeps his poisonous eruptions very listenable through use of simple repetitions, arriving at a very economical species of guitar riffage that makes this tape every bit as entertaining as a Led Zeppelin LP. He makes it seem so easy, but I imagine it takes some pretty formidable musical chops to keep all of these instruments ticking over like the well honed death-dealing machines he clearly wants them to be. That’s to say nothing of his studio craft; he is capable of achieving a delicious “big” sound, and makes you wish this little powerhouse beaut were available on a slab of vinyl. File this alongside your Caspar Brötzmann Massacre LPs…

  1. This phrase is pretty much lifted from a George Orwell novel I happen to be reading just now.