10.24.2006

Black Chicklets - Slow Quease & Shoebomber - For the People of the Valley Tonga (Pasalymany CSs)


And while I'm on the subject of addenums, here's the final entry to the quartet of recently-released Pasalymany Tapes, the first three of which I reviewed here, that being the Black Chicklets tape. I was originally going to review just that but I didn't realize it was one 15-minute side so I added in a more recent Pasalymany release, Shoebomber's "For the People of the Valley Tonga". If you're not knowing, Carlo is the brains behind the whole operation and has been hard at work (legitimately hard at work - did you see the art for the new Kolumkilli 3"? Are you kidding me?) documenting the best, weirdest, and weirdly best sounds of the Montreal subterrane. The releases are beautifully rendered and painfully limited so I highly recommend not wasting any time and sending Carlo suitcases full of money - you can do so by visiting right here.
Black Chicklets is an offshoot of the shapeshifting Rivers & Mountains collective, and it's an archival document at that, culled from a 2003 performance at the now-extinct Pasalymany Bar. Three short years ago but still before my time, but I can fake like I was hip to the whole scene anyway. There's a list of players printed on the cardstock liners but it wouldn't do a bit of good to reproduce it here since there's a good chance that if you recognize all of the names, then you were in the band the night this was recorded. Anyway the (only) side opens with a woozy, fading sax/guitar/harmonica sounding jam that's kinda No-Neckian or what have you, but with a really nice melodic underwebbing. Shame it lasts for like three minutes then. The rest of the recording is built around this insanely bonked, free percussion raving...sounds like more than one pair of arms to my ears but I've been wrong before. Anyway the R&M dudes often take a kind of "play it if you've got it" approach to whatever's on the stage at the time and I'll say with the utmost respect that it sure ain't Milford Graves on the kit here...and when the drumming's joined by a flute or a sax or both, well it ain't Coltrane/Ali either, but there's a whole lot of hooting and hollering from audience and/or band members throughout so evidently someone somewhere's having a good time and that's what counts in the end. I tell you though, I don't know if I could take much more than ten minutes of that brand of confusion. My ear has never felt so molested. Well except for that one time when I met this clown behind the gas station and - nevermind, not the right time for that story. Or for those memories.
The Shoebomber tape isn't any easier to get a read on, but that's to be expected when it's the responsibility of one of Dead Bush's co-founders who I believe is a scholar by the name of Nim but I can't be sure, too many names and aliases to keep track of. Correct me if I'm wrong, by all means. So the first half of side A is a bit like those Golding Institute records only not nearly as stupid/unfunny, but what I mean is it sounds like a wiggy remix of a relaxation tape with the softly-urging omnipresent male voice kept intact. There's some other vocals and samples in there too, at first I thought one was Jesse "The Body" Ventura rapping which would've been the hippest shit around but I think it's just KRS-One. All that takes place over a gently looped electro-near-techno rhythm, too laid back to be fucnky but too catchy to not take up immediate occupancy in your cranium. The other half of this side is even tougher to describe but there's some more loops like a violin and some tapped glass percussion, closest thing I could come up with was Reich through a Nouvelle √Čtrange Canadienne scope but I was doing a crossword puzzle at the time (what's the capital of Tibet anyway? Lhasa?). The flip is even bester, starting off with a sort of chant and weaving into an intensely dense analog drone raga, which is surely deserving of more complimentary words than I can come up with now because it truly is a fine slice of attuned nod-out raga bliss. Kinda in a similar vein with Growing, Dialing In, Lamp of the Universe, etc. There be another drone later on, more staticky and coupled up with some illegible wordal transmissions which closes off the set. Super nice. Totally belies the retina-detaching cover art which definitely hints at a punk/noise rock sound within, replete with titles like "Harry Smith Singing Convention" and "Our Generation Died When Our Fathers Were Born". Heavy.
Almost as exciting as hearing these rectangles is reading what Pasalymany's planning next: Death Drive (!), Metis Yeti, more Rivers & Mountains, Emerald Cloud Cobra (!!), and a split c92 compilation with the other heroes of the town, Fluorescent Friends. Sure these names might only mean something to you if you arrived early to a Montreal show and caught one of the opening acts but oh man what names they are. If you're an out-of-towner looking to get on the up-and-up then here's your golden ticket Charlie fucking Bucket.

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