Hototogisu & Burning Star Core - II (Heavy Blossom CD-R)
"II" being the second volume of a Hototogisu & Burning Star Core union, with the first expected to be released sometime soon on C. Spencer Yeh (of BxC)'s Drone Disco label. Hototogisu is of course the duo of Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards) and Matthew Bower (Skullflower, Sunroof!, et al.) while Burning Star Core this time around consists of Spencer Yeh alongside Robert Beatty and Trevor Tremaine (Hair Police, Eyes and Arms of Smoke). It's a live set recorded from a gig in November 2005, displayed here as two half-hour jam trax.
The first second of track one sets the tone for the entire disc. Shrouded heavy spectre-whispering drones, all buzzing and creaking and warbling. There's a floaty and weightless yet beefy and weighty schism at work here. Think Hototogisu's more blown-out freee affairs circa latter-day releases "Sardonic Wooden Moonlight" and "Prayer Rug Exorcism" teamed up with Sunn O))) on a kraut-filled diet, with less riffage and more formless oomph. It gets a lot more interesting as it wears on, and slowly you can detect cracks forming in the primordial ooze until it becomes clear there's a power struggle between two levels...Tremaine (whose free jazz percussion nod-outs do a whole lot to take the piece to the promised land)'s cymbal-rapist clattering and Bower/Bassett's high-pitched feedbacking guitar flailings doing battle with the murky, deep-blue drone undercurrent. There's also some delirious, dentist-drill excavation fireworks towards the end giving this one a highly psychedelic taste ala chewing on tinfoil.
Track two opens with intermittant psycho blasts, rippling through the wavy, slipshod din. It's slowed-up and calm space-slosh in comparison to the first one, more single-minded and unified. Like a mechanical meat-grinder blotting splotches of paint on the four walls inside your noggin. Not as wild and free-based as the first one, instead it's more like the come-down thereof. Finally the group show signs of fatigue and the music starts falling apart until all we're left with are debilitated spurts of junky noise rattling.
It's easy to grow cynical of the new weird CD-R scene, because I can recall a couple of seperate occasions where I picked up some so-called "full-lengths" from these kindza outfits only to find the action bottoms out and my CD player shuts off at the 23rd minute. But at over an hour, there's plenty of gristle on this (sexy, thermal-printed) CD-R for you to wrap your lips around. A tower of strength from two of the more interesting outfits from the day, but it's limited to a hundred so you better move it (or wait for volume one).