Saturday, May 23, 2009


A new NY-based label – GEL – has begun flaunting its tapewise wares recently. The imprint comes atcha courtesy of Daren Ho from the sadly now-defunct Iowa band Raccoo-oo-oon.

Daren and Kek inter-pen-net-pal'd a bit somewhile back and even finally got to meeting when the great Rac-posse musically ramraided Bristol a couple years ago. He's a top bloke, is Daren.

The label's named - you might guess - because of their preference for spookily bleached-out transparent acetate covers. As yet they don't have a web-presence – tho that's soon to change; more info, o data-famished ones, soon as it doth hit the airwaves.

Gotta bundle o'tapes thru the mail recently-ish, for wh/ I heartily thank Daren – so, here's one to set yer taste-buds a-singing (more laters, Kek promises, so sit still n stop fidgeting, kids): this is GEL04: "Born in the U.S.A." by Pukers (and, appropriately enough, comes equipped with a see-thru ghost-pic of Springsteins's arse n cap):

Starts off sounding like a caracature of some solemn n arcane swearing-in ceremony; an oath sworn – right hand on an old batter'd n coffee-mug-ring'd copy of Re:Search - to The Grand Flag of Retardo. But the solemnity is insincere; a template that is parodied and ignored as much as it is adhered to.

The spaz-spirits of Jim Henson and Frank Oz hover o'er the proceedings. Professional voice-artists are shot out of a cannon and hurtle thru the ozone towards the orange city-walls of some distant fuzzy-felt city, never quite impacting.

The biggest drum-kit on planet Earth goose-steps an implauso-beat while modulated feedback-vox whinge n wail and carry on something chronic. “What do you think about cops?” asks a startled passerby. The answer is incoherent, a drunk let loose in the bull-rink with a loud-hailer. "Skzzztt-fssshen-gah....cops."

A Muzak version of The Beatles' “Yesterday” puts in an appearance and this three-ringed Circus of Qualuudes tries to play along. Later, everyone puts on a brave face as another song is tackled.

On ze flippin' heck side things get kinda hysterical wid an Animal-from-The-Muppets style surf-spaz drumalong and a bruised larynx shriekathon. ”Born in the USA” is an hilariously misread quasi-Arabic take on The Boss' hymn to blue-collar disillusionment – a call-to-prayer broadcast thru a hostage-negotiator's throat-mic. Part sarcastic, part Brutalist squaaak the song soon descends into a wordless drone-howl w/ whistling, overdriven gtrs and grunted backwoods backing-vocals.

Ooooooh: smash them drums! Someone call security! A young woman's getting passed around the crowd like she's a – no wait: it's a guy.

Don't even think about snogging to this tape.


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