KID SHIRT

Saturday, November 11, 2006

EAT THE SUN/RAT KING COLE

Word up! to Ernesto González, the Venezuelan psychojam wunderkind who exited our universe via The Black Sun and found himself in Waterloo, Belgium...

I first encountered 'Nesto via my recent incursions into the Belgian sub-underground. Thanks to him for sending me some recent output from his triffik Eat the Sun label...

This is is kinda topical, I guess, given the amount of money a Pollack original recently went for:



And lovin' what he's done here w/ cardboard and some carpaint:



"Unfrozen by The rays" by Bear Bones, Lay Low is a fistful of beautifully messy, transtemporal gtr/fx/loop-driven timehymns: 3rd Bardo soundtracks...slo-motion films of yr crown-chakra at the moment of death...

The track "Black Bubble II" is like pot-holing thru a tunnel full of scissors whilst high on Meth, chased by the ghosts of yr angry ancestors: remember that 50p you nicked from yr auntie's purse in 1971? Well, the bitch wants it back. This is "The Evil Dead" remade by Ira Cohen. Filmed in an abandoned mineshaft w/ blacklight skeletons painted on the coalface n tiny birdskulls embedded in the walls. Lights crackle on and off; distant drillnoise; zombie miners w/ red lights in their helmets...

The music on this CD hints at a sinister ecstacy: the forgotten play-list of ghost radio-station WMX-69; music for leaking iron-lungs; abandoned subway stations converted into low-ceiling'd cathedrals; a star-map of the Lobster-Claw Constellation: louder...LOUDER...until you're a plaything for rats...

Why do people go on about fucking Kevin Shieldsblahblahblah when there's people making music like this?

Ernesto also records as Hatanaka Creatures. There's an album due soon on the mighty Funeral Folk label. He says:

"Well, Hatanaka Creatures is basically just me playing a bunch of instruments + effects to make short psych songs. Most of them range from 1 to 5 minutes tops, at least for now. The Funeral Folk dudes liked what they heard and they're gonna release the first Hatanaka Creatures cd-r as soon as I finish it. Per (from FF) says that these songs have a "doomy" feel to them...

I have a Myspace page for my micro-label Eat the Sun; it's a shared profile with another micro-label from Venezuela called Hormigon: there's a Hatanaka Creatures song there, along with a Bear Bones, Lay Low track (which is a drone-noise project that I have)...

About those three tracks on the profile:

The first one is Bear Bones, Lay Low which is my noise baby. I try not to play with a lot of pedals, but, yeah, I mainly use delay, fuzz and a crappy multi-effect. But the BBLL set up is usually pedals, mixer, cassette player, guitar, a cheap keyboard and a mic. Gaahhh, I wished I was more analogue, you know using typewriters and stuff, but I'm actually more digital than I sound. Pedals, mixer, cheap keyboard, guitar, mic and cassettes make up my set-up, which isn't very analogue indeed (no ancient delay machine, nor big ass tape-reels for me :( )...

The second track is by a Venezuelan noise-dude who plays under the name Die Ursache. I met him when he was starting his Hormigon label and we've been playing together and working on the labels ever since. He uses a lot of pedals and makes really loud doom-noise. And the last track is Hatanaka Creatures...

Right now, I'm only doing shows as BBLL and when I go to Venezuela I play with Die Ursache under the name Floot. Maybe some day I'll get to do Hatanaka Creatures shows, I hope..."

Ernesto also sent me a really cool 3" Cd-r by Rat King Cole (grrrreat name!)...



In places, this is like a sloooow astral wind blowing in from The Outer Reaches...elsewhere, there's vague hummmm n buzzz comin' from inside the sock-drawer under yr bed: something that sounds like a telephone calling itself...tiny microsound vignettes that remind me of early Chris Watson era Hafler Trio: small jetplanes circling yr bathtub; phased microscopic waterspouts; liminal smears of sound hunting for ears to infect as they dopplershift between freq-ranges; little living-machines moving around yr house late at nite, feeding on dustmites; the sound of televisions switching themselves on...

'Nesto sez: "Oh yeah, Rat King Cole is a British friend of mine. He's living in Belgium for the moment, but he'll move back to Newcastle by the end of the year. His main project is Chalfont and you can check out some mp3's here. He's playing a show in London this week (back in Oct - sorry for not plugging it! - Kek). His stuff is really calm and more thought-over than mine. I really dig it..."

"I'm glad you liked the packaging and all of that," he says, "Because I tend to spend a lot of time doing each and everyone of the little fuckers, hence the slowness of my output. But that's something that's really important for me and plus it's fun, especially if you do them with friends and shit."

EATEN BY HIS OWN HAT

"The Hand is Molten Thought": oh yes, indeedy...

Many thanks to Cloudboy for this splendid rendition of, uh, me (no-one's ever *sob* done a portrait of me before...):



All done from a photo he took when we hooked up at the Sunburned Hand gig back in Aug...note Acid King badge detail. (Wow: see how this blog effortlessly self-referentially interweaves and interlocks with its own meta-history?)

Anyway, cheers, man, for tranforming me from my usual rent-a-geek personna to a louche bohemian freak-around-town w/ a just a smidge of Kevin Ayers: I am both chuffed and flattered, and this will soon hopefully be framed and take its place on the walls of 1973's Hall of Shame...

Unfortunately, I don't have an A3 scanner, but here's a zoom-in on the sheer unbridle'd psychedelic carnality that is growing from my unwashed old rave-days tam (wh/ got dusted off for a few shows this summer...). My wife Chris laughed when she saw this:



Apparently, it's an extremely accurate rendition of the neural ooooze that flows from my skull. She tells me that everyone can see this stuff, apart from me!

But just to fool my critics and the Zionist fascisti-spookdog lackeys employed by The Forces of Oppression tm I have cut off my hair and am currently sporting a microbeard (tho this is mainly because the central-heating has been on the fitz for the last week, thus no warm water: smell ya later, man!)

CB and I are collaborating as the soon-to-be-legendary Ice Bird Spiral: which is coming together pretty well, I reckon...not sure how to describe it: freeform psychedelic noise, maybe...but there seems to be more'n a hint of Concrete mayhem in there too; unexpected snatches of Henri Chopin/Berio influences; murky folkskree n allsorts of stuff...but despite his hectic, jet-settin' Renaissance Man life-style, CB has a work ethic that would make a Protestant blush. I think the album cover-art is in safe hands there...

Cheers, man!

UNTITLED



MOUTHUS: FOR THE GREAT SLAVE LAKES

Listening to Mouthus is like being gang-banged by cats; they leave yr body covered in tiny little love-bites...incisor-shaped bruises and puncture-marks...not, as you might expect, from any sense of maliciousness or spite, but because they're, y'know, different.

At points, it sounds like this band exist at some sort of cack-handed interface between Metal and Tribal murk: an after-business knees-up at a pall-bearers conference...gatecrashed by a busload of overly enthusiastic drunken carpenters.

Guitars bob on a fast-running river of liquid mercury, furred-up w/ iron filings. They're prone to rear up suddenly, like horses being ripped or Bob Fripp being hung, mid-solo, for crimes against Ambient.

This is part of 3-Lobed Recording's excellent Modern Containment subscription series:



(On track three ("Crosses Shape") percussion twitches and rattles like a dying man's throat: guitars (and electronics?) give him an unwelcome preview of the Afterlife; an eternity under a howling, blood-red sky. The modulated noise piles up until it sounds like it is talking; a vowel-less, inhuman voice created by a random car-crash of frequencies that seems to speak the secret names of The Forbidden.)

Where does music like this come from? Did anyone make records like this before "Metal Machine Music" (in the 'Rock' idiom, I mean)? Who opened the doors and allowed these monsters to escape?

It's like having amnesia: I can't exactly remember or imagine a time, a point in history that stuff like this might have come into being as a genre. Who were its parents, its progenitors? I'm trying to mindsurf my way backwards...there's hints and snippets of a possible ancestry in the bits of Pere Ubu that were shoehorned inbetween the songs...the ugly, noticable grafts where it sounds like they were building a car or were lost in a steel foundry: snapshots of America's blue-collar 70s industrial heartland...and Swell Maps: the B-Side freakouts where they collapse into noiseswarf: yeah, yeah, I'm talking Rock Music here (or some inbred cousin thereof), not TG...tho', wait! What was industrial music before Industrial existed...if not some form of extremist art-rock with its aspirational ambition lipo-suctioned out: TG sounded like they didn't care if they could 'play' (whatever that means), and the usual sex/drugs/life on the road tales were replaced by deliberately morbid/provocative reportage.

But where did Mouthus and their peers (who? what? huh?) come from? This strand of music is too edgy and frazzled to have come from Kraut...though one ancestral strain might have easily been Kluster/Conrad Schnitzler...it's psychedelic, but it's also got the itchy restlessness of Punk, or more accurately No-Wave, but there's something sullen, doomy and portentious about it, as if it has the Rock of Ages sat on its shoulder, not a chip.

Surely, all this stuff doesn't just track back to VU and their NY brethren, does it? I can't see the road-map any more; there's too many tangles...

There's some Metal tendencies surfacing here, I'm sure: the monkish chanting has a resonance that invokes Sabbaff amongst others, but it's totally devoid of post Blue Cheer Power-rock posturing unless it's somehow been melted down and recast into something more lumpen and misshapen.

An interesting hybrid, indeed. And one that has a twisted provenance: a mottled hellfruit from a half-forgotten side-branch of Rock's tangled, mildew-speckle'd tree.