Birds of Delay/Dreamcatcher - Bored Fortress Split / Heavy Winged/Blues Control - Bored Fortress Split (Not Not Fun 7"s)
Can it really be that time again? Seems like just the other day I was playing the first two installments in Not Not Fun's excellent Bored Fortress 7" split subscription series, that is to say Yellow Swans/the Goslings and GHQ/Ex-Cocaine. These came in not too long ago and it's hard to believe we're nearing the final two - Hototogisu/Hive Mind and Deep Jew/Mindflayer. For now though, let's live in the present. The U.K.'s Birds of Delay were flying (pardon the pun) low for a while but seem ready to annoy and overjoy on a larger scale, with recent releases coming on somewhat more visible labels like Troniks, Main & Disfigure, and A.A. Records. Here the duo (Luke Younger and Steve Warwick) present "Sun Pillars 2" - a pretty deelish slab of swirling electronics, reinterpreting mid-period Total splut and dosing it with a ghostly background wash a la Yellow Swans vs. Machinefabriek but far more ragged than what you're probably imagining. This one seems a bit more wilder n' other Birds of Delay I heard but maybe I'm just creating artifical memories at this point. Solid.
Dreamcatcher are another duo but they're on the other side of the Atlantic, though still not in Amer'ka. Blake Hargreaves and Katherine Kline are cooped up in Montreal, at least for the past long while, and I've had the chance to see and hear them on numerous occasions, not the least their fried LP debut "Nimbus". Their track, "A Team Come True", isn't leaps and bounds ahead of what they normally do - in fact it's almost a skeletal version of something you might here them cultivate in the live setting. Which is to say a nice-near-catchy batch of rhythmic, electro-tinged bloops and bleeps, seemingly as much influenced by 80's industrial as perhaps 80's hip hop - nobody raps here (well I don't think Blake's obscuro vocal drawls should count) but it ain't too far from what the scholars might call a "beat" either. Beats me, indeed. Towards the end there could be what sounds like turntables at work, or maybe it's just sampling, but either way it brings an alien or other-worldly (or -continently) vibe and I can get behind it, no question. Angle Records is doing a CD reissue of two of their finest hours ever put to cassette, "Eyes of Leatherface" and "Prom Night" (the latter originally on American Tapes! Oboy!) while an Bennifer Editions cassette is in the works. Whaaaaaa...!
The only non-duo being discussed today is Brooklyn's Heavy Winged, and I hope they're happy for totally ruining the insanely clever journalistic angle I had in mind for this whole post. They are in fact a trio, a power trio at that - Ryan Hebert on guitar, Brady Sansone on bass, and Jed Bindeman on drums. The first time I heard of these guyses' I was expecting some super bass-y drone based on the name alone, but the results, at least here on "Dark Spring", are rather the opposite. A real whacked out side of repeating strings/drums filth clashes that almost plays out the side till it slowly devolves into some kind of crazed proto-metal/psychedelic noise set. Definite Silbreezian tendencies on display here; I was thinking about Philip Glass leading Harry Pussy but then someone else came up with "just intonation with chainsaws" and I thought that was even better. Otherwise think of some freaked out hybrid of High Rise, Universal Indians, Lambsbread, Ex-Cocaine, Godflesh, and the Melvins. Yeah, somewhere in there oughtta do it.
Last but certainly not least is "Mashpotato", a recording from a WFMU session by Lea Cho and Russ Waterhouse, collectively known as Blues Control. The song evokes constant dreamy keyboard flutter crescending its way through the entire side, accompanied by what could be a toy piano marching tune and ever-flowing streams of guitar yawn. Everything works beautifully in time to lend that special epic feeling to what's really a simplistic track not even four minutes long - the first time I played it I thought I was going to cry or at least fall to my knees. The second, third, and fourth times, I knew it was love. Possibly the best Blues Control piece to date, and I didn't think there was nothing they could top on "Puff". Don't know if NNF are seljing these seperate like the last ones, but you should do whatever it takes to hear it.
The 7"s come housed in the usally snappy specially-designed sleeves with info inserts.