Monday, July 30, 2007

Sweat From The Lungs

Ok, so I am still in the USA post-Whitehorse tour which was a wild and crazy time. I have been meeting plenty of great people and seeing many a killer band.

So the great man that is Scott Slimm over at Archive CD now has stock of all the Sweat Lung releases as does Aquarius Records in San Francisco. You may also find copies of select releases via Misanthropic Agenda and Blossoming Noise.

Sweat Lung has a couple of releases in the early stages of planning check back for news over the next few months, with any luck the second half of the year will see releases by Pig Heart Transplant from Seattle and Riververb from San Diego and maybe even the Malakat CD!

Another couple of great things you should check out are Rahdunes who totally rule and 1/16th Headed which is the works of the lone sheriff Simon Taylor.

Aquarius Records threw up a review of Justice Yeldham "Cicatrix" this week and recently the Chris Smith Justin Fuller CD (see below) they also mistakenly labeled a review of the Blarke Bayer / Black Widow "Arctic Blast" CD as the Blarke Bayer / Bone Sheriff "Split" CD I recommend buying both. The Black Widow split was released by Heathen Skulls (McManus of Grey Daturas) and is a great release:

YELDHAM, JUSTICE (Sweatlung) cd
What initially sounds like a super distorted overblown recording ofHendrix playing his wild "Star Spangled Banner", or a super grinding fuzz drenched synth noise psych rock blow out, or some insane ultra processed Japanese psychedelic solo guitar freakout, is in fact, a 40 something man, covered in blood, holding a huge piece of contact mic'ed broken glass in his mouth. Huh?
Such is the musical world of Mr. Justice Yeldham. We weren't sure what to expect actually, conceptually we were definitely intrigued. A guy who records himself smashing his face against panes of glass, moaning and humming into the glass resulting in all sorts of bizarre alien sounds, and often ending up with the glass shattering and much blood being shed. He had us at glass and blood. The cd sleeve is even a patchwork of bloodied band-aids (euwww).
But when we finally got the disc, the sounds were just as amazing, maybe even more so than the process, which is definitely a rare occurrence. How many records have we gotten, where the story of the recording was way more fascinating that the resulting music? Way too many. The thing with this Yeldham disc, is it's actually quite listenable as well. Ostensibly a noise record, the sounds here are anything but run of the mill noise, they range from strange fuzzy drones, wailing streaks of coruscating feedback, crumbling synth like blasts (parts of this almost sound like samples from the Justice record!), grinding gnarled squalls of super distorted buzz and every strange fuzzy buzzy stop in between. And every once in a while you have to remind yourself that THIS IS A GUY WITH HIS FACE PRESSED UP AGAINST A PIECE OF GLASS! A piece of glass that just may shatter at any second. And the more feverish and frenzied the sounds become, the more strain is placed on the glass, and the more imminent shatter and bloodshed becomes. So weird, and so goddamn awesome.
Comes in a cool velour lined cd sleeve, adorned with images of band-aids and blood, inside a full color booklet with tons of photos of Yeldham performing live, amazing and intense, some weird, some strangely beautiful, some super disturbing, most of them really bloody!!

We're huge fans of Australian guitarist Chris Smith, but until now had only ever been able to get a hold of the split 12" he shared with the Ivytree. There have been plenty of other releases, but the only proper stateside release has been out of print for ages. So finally, we managed to get a bunch of these, Smith and fellow countryman Justin Fuller's first full length collaboration, a full 7 years in the making, and it's quite nice.
Hard to discern exactly what the instrumentation is, there are most certainly guitars, and according to the liner notes there is also piano and accordion, but with records like this, it's not what you're playing, it's how you play them and what you do with the sounds once you've made them. These two wrangle the various sounds into long stretches of slow shifting ambience. Some tracks are delicate and dark, barely there shimmers of crumbling low end and distant glimmering high end, while others are massive walls of guitar, churning chaotically, but smoothed into warm thick whorls. The heavier tracks definitely remind us of Sunroof! or Vibracathedral Orchestra or even a less mangled Wolf Eyes or a way prettier SUNNO))). The prettier tracks have a bit of Tim Hecker going on, all blissy and fuzzy and beautifully blurred. The whole record is quite dreamy in fact, whether buzzing malevolently, or drifting languorously, a gorgeous chunk of blissed out guitardrone. The usual suspects will definitely need this...