Fricara Pacchu - Space Puppet / Maniacs Dream - Zanzibar (Lal Lal Lal CSs)

As promised, part two of my Lal Lal Lal weekender feature - the cassette edition. Both these artists were part of all those tapes I ordered last time from the label, and in case you needed a refresher the Fricara Pacchu one killed and I still haven't played the Maniacs Dream one but I hear really great things. I guess I probably don't need to talk up the Lal label anymore after yesterday's exhibition, but I'll just let the two album covers speak for themselves. Aren't those beautiful? Wait till you get the Maniacs Dream one and fold it all out. Let me tell you it's a doozy. And it also comes with an insert too! I don't know how limited these tapes are but the answer is most likely "very" so don't sleep. Seriously. You won't want to.
Fricara Pacchu is actually the solo project of a dude by the same name what plays in Maniacs Dream. So, there's some six degrees of seperation there...actually it's more like one degree...but still. The other tape I liked so much was called "Waydom" and it was a severe dose of one man gang psych-rock sounds like nothing I've ever heard before. Where do you go after you've singlehandedly destroyed the entire canon of recorded psychedelic musics? Into techno, apparently. Okay that's kind of a misnomer but the best "band blender" description I can come up with for "Space Puppet" is Coil crossed with the Boredoms mixed with Aphex Twin. Playful Casio/toy-sounding looped samples, effects, brutality and sleazy electronica/techno. Lots of tape manipulation (according to Lal Lal Lal this was recorded with a four-tracker made of Pacchu's nails; don't ask). All these tracks have different names but they bleed together and there's no real point in trying to differentiate them all, but they do have great names: "Strobo Fields Forever", "Megasolar Bodyslam", "Stoneage Waydream"). These two sides of magnetic love are coated with space, the cosmos psychedelia, ur-noise, synthesizer, keyboard and sometimes a surprisingly intimidating percussion stampede. And everything up and down and in between. Heavily processed childish beats, rhythms, squelches, sound effects...it's like IDM without the so-called "intelligence" and it's all the more glorious for it. Kinda like a retarded AFX or Venetian Snares at their least solemn. Yeah. The first two tracks on the second side smacked me particularly daintily; the first one being a load of Boredoms-type swoosh that you might be inspired to tag as trip-hop if that wasn't such an absurd term in and of itself. More like: Trip. Hop. Dig? And the second one is a heavier, more rock-ish beast with all different kinds of flailing limbs attacking cymbals and strings and anything else at hand. "I will not attempt to further define pornography here today, but I know it when I hear it" -Potter Stewart. What a hep cat.
Better still is Pacchu's formative unit, Maniacs Dream (I wonder if the omission of the apostrophe is intentional and the band's name is supposed to be thought of "maniacs who are dreaming"?). MxDx are really all over the place but dip their toes most frequently in hippie stew, psych rock/pop, garage jams, and good times. But it's all instrumental. And it's all great. They come lurching out of the gate with an opening track (there's a few different tracks but they're not given titles) that straight up punishes, heavy psych/noise rock jams that would probably feel right at home on Load Records if they added a lame vocalist, lame costumes, and major Arab on Radar worship. Thankfully they don't. This tune goes on for awhile, piling on a hulking drum beat below guitars (I think), keyboards, tape machines and the almighty slide whistle which eventually takes over and plays a disturbingly loopy drone set that'll pin you to the ceiling in seconds flat. Awhile later a piano comes in and more free gypsy jamming start up and continue on into the night in varying forms...often noisy, cluttery, dusty and dirty...just the way it should be. I can't even come up with any decent comparisons for this tape, it's like everything good and decent about "weird" underground music in the past while packed into fiftyish minutes. Imagine your mom running you a hot bath and preparing you some crackers with peanut butter spread on top - that's how sweet and warm these sounds are. Highly and hugely recommended, one of the best releases all year that many people are going to miss out on - don't be one of them!
I was thrown for a loop yesterday with those 7"s, but these tapes reeled me back, took the hook out of my mouth, and fried me right up. Lal Lal Lal are hands down one of the most interesting and impressive labels currently functioning, and if you think you can do better...well throw yourself off a bridge right now because you can't. Best thing about it is all their releases are dirt cheap - like, unfairly cheap. Instead of dropping thirty bones on that Religious Knives Heavy Tape like I know you will, take those dimes and bring them over to LLL and buy up their entire available back catalogue and get learned! I guarantee it - trust me. When has the internet ever lied to you?


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