Pasalymany Tapes Round-Up
I love brevity and Carlo delivers it in spades on his new batch of Pasalymany Tapes (and one non-tape). Three new items, sure, but none topping thirty minutes in total length. That's how it's done: leave em wanting more, go out on a high note, "stick a pumpkin under its arm and call it the Headless Horseman", etc. Pasalymany always manages to dredge up and bring to light the raddest, baddest sounds of Montreal's local what-have-you scene and this batch is no different, repping three generally-new and underdocumented formations and projects.
Death Drive is the duo of Katherine Kline (Dreamcatcher) and Leyla Majeri (Yomul Yuk) and this self-titled cassette of theirs was originally released as a CD-R some time ago. This new issue tacks on a recording from a 2006 gig dubbed "Strawberry Jam Slam Strong 2006" that I may have seen with mine own eyes, because I know I saw em play at least once in my life. It was pretty good, and the track is pretty good, so maybe it's it. Whatever man. There's three songs on the first side with names and all but they kinda bleed into one another and I'm hardly astute enough to divvy them up so I'll just tell you you can expect shaky electro/synth dissonance married with tribalistic drum plod. 80's Wahrnehmungen industrial destruction meeting the Not Not Fun roster circa oh-seven plus additional circuit board damagery a la '00-'02ish Wolf Eyes/Nautical Almanac puke. There's the odd clip that comes out sounding like what's injected into Dreamcatcher tunes every now and again but for the most part that funk (I said funk) is totally absent. No mosh no core no trends no friends but you can get away with that when you call your band Death Drive. Second side (incl. the aforementioned live session) is more noise-based with only occasional percussion jumps and rattles, all in all a very enjoyable slice from the no-wave/noise DIY basement scuzz, and a very quiet one too...I had to wind my volume knob up to, like, fuckin', 18 before I heard anything. And then I spent the rest of the tape worrying if they were gonna explode outta nowhere and send me to an early grave. I was spared. As you may have guessed.
Metis Yeti is a guy named Fred Savard whom I only recently had the pleasure of meeting, and actually this is the first thing I think I've ever heard with his name attached to it, though I'm eager to get on this Sunken Skulls deal he has going with Carlo and other local area cellar-dwellers. For now I'll settle with "Dear Despair", a cassette he cut live in Verdun that has me chompin' at the bit for more. First side is "Iranium Uranium", a good side of trashy synth noise skree and general amplifier inferno that makes the jump from good to great when this weirdo chanting/singing female (maybe?) voice is dubbed in right near the end, lending a sense of alienation and intimidation to an otherwise downright mean piece. "Smoking While Pregnant" is the B-side and it's more hellish electronics burn with super-slogged processed vocals dragging the sludgy noise stew down further into the mud. Somewhat reminiscent of Prurient's "Pleasure Ground" record though less harsh and more...obfuscated. Worth whatever penny you're paying for the awesome first side alone.
I always have a hard time putting into words any of the insanity the Rivers and Mountains/ Ste-Sophie/CD Esoterik (that last one is not a band name but imagine if it was) crew dole out and Le Sentier Lumineux's self-titled CD-R is no exception. LSL I think is Francis and Jacob primarily of Ste-Sophie but also many other units, with Francis playing sax and Jacob on drums (according to the picture on the back), but it's really not what you think. And when I say it's not what you think and you think it's something else, it's not that either. Apparently this 20-minute jam was recorded live on Quebec City radio, but it sounds like this version was picked up by alien satellites and re-encoded before being flipped back down to earth. First of all, the sax doesn't even sound like a sax. I've played it three times and I can't figure out if it's the fidelty of the recording making it sound so skewed or if it's actually being processed. Or if it's being played through one of those long tubes and filled with water like Sauter/Dietrich styles. It sounds like someone's strangling a puma, basically, while Jacob beats the everloving tar out the kit pretty much non-stop...every time he comes around to the snare (three hundred times a second, appx.) it sounds like how being hit in the face with a boxing glove feels. Special mention must be made of the shouting match that occurs between the two when the instruments go full stop, which just fucks you up even more since you're still busy trying to dig through this overwhelming assault in the first place. Post-jazz, post-fire, post-heavy metal thunder, this is on a whole 'nother plane. Also, there's birdsong pretty much throughout. What? Yeah, me neither. 'Scuze me while I kiss the sky.
If you still haven't taken my advice and stocked up on Pasalymany goods yet, you really don't have an excuse anymore. Quantity and quality abound (and I assure you I have no vested interest in any of these cats, they can rot on the street for all I care! But they make good records). There's even a new Cousins of Reggae CD-R for you to get a claw on before it's Tip of the Tongue fodder and keep your eyes peeled for Rivers and Mountains, Sunken Skulls, Nonhorse and Wapstan later in '07 (maybe).
Click here to listen to MP3 samples from the Le Sentier Lumineux CD-R (Death Drive and Metis Yeti samples available through the Pasalymany Tapes link to your right)