Bread and Animals or Whatever You Want to Call Them Cassette Round-Up
Bread and Animals are the shapeshifting label outta Belgium who be dubbed Dreamtime Taped Sounds on the following four cassettes but every batch bares a different brand so I'll just stick with Bread and Animals. They did a great brigade not too long ago featuring recordings from the likes of Uton, Fricara Pachu, Fossils, and others, so I've been looking forward to any new drubbings from them with baited breath. And they did not disappoint. I barely knew spit about any of these cats before coming into contact with these (and I still don't know one but there's a good reason for that, keep readin) but they took me on a voyage to skirt supernovas I can't even say I've dreamed of they're so far a ways out. And that's a plus.
Quintana Roo is a name I'd at least heard before and I want to say I've heard their music before too but that could just be a created memory. What I do know if that they're a cult gathering of some possibly young, potentially restless Americana elite, which is to say it's Britt from Not Not Fun/Robedoor, Amanda from Pocahaunted and Roy who moonlights as Changeling. Their offering is the excellently-titled "Temple of Self Decapitation" and includes two side-long pieces, also with excellent titles: "Young Eclipse" and "Blood of Kings". "Young Eclipse" is just the bees knees - a supremely sloshy kraut/punk trawl via somnambulist, mechanical cymbal/percussion strikes and upward-reaching star-scraping elecro-muzz, possibly even wrangled out of some hideously abused plugged-in six string but who's to say. There could even be some animalistic vocal wails down in there and I couldn't confirm/deny. Let's just say I think it's a possibility. "Blood of Kings" sorta works in reverse gears, building up a totally shaking synth/reverb barf yearn before leaning in with stony, sparkled drums and a nary distinct riff that grows ever more meaty, like a vocalless OM teaming up with a vocalless Double Leopards and it's every bit as sweet as it sounds. The end of side B winds up sounding like the start of side A which is a rad enough trick. You could pin this down alongside other current rock-destroyers Mouthus, Magik Markers, Sunburned Hand of the Man and give it a decidedly Faust-like slant (which it possesses) but it's way better than that and way above mere imitation. And way, way recommended.
Next up is a tape I'd like to tell you about but I'm kinda handcuffed because there's absolutely nothing on it to tell me who it is or what it's called or anything of that sort. The cover is a Xerox of a dolphin with a planet and some stars. So it's kinda hard to get a handle on the proceedings here, especially since the tracks are all over the realm. With an array of discernable and varied tracks dotting the landscape here, this could even be a compilation, but I have my doubts. But what you've got here, for example, is a cold synth drone warble what introduces everything and sounding like a chance meeting on a dissecting table of a Spencer Clark and a Conrad Schnitzler, and I'm especially reminded of Clark's activity with all the harsh tape cuts that bring more than a few tracks to their unexpected close. Also to be heard are raucous ping-ponging techno tones on the flip and the bubbling lava-birthed Menche-ian dribble that precedes it, or the ghastly atmospherics of what sounds like violin strings bent and dragged and tortured, soaked in an alcholic tape fuzz fog. Another cut somewhere along the first side sounds like a turntable scramble (it ain't, though) akin to a Gum record. I wish I knew who this was, there's lots to like in this here mysterious cluster. Any help?
When not inventing Daylight Savings Time and flying kites, Benjamin Franklin records music, sometimes solo and sometimes as a member of Buffle, R.O.T., and many more no doubt. "Takes Time" is a solo excursion, and appears to be comprised of four tracks, but it's kinda hard to tell em apart. It opens with a few deftly wrangled acoustic passages, sounds like a guitar prepared in some kind of fashion but I won't rule anything out here. B. Frank attacks it in a kind of way that speaks to me in tongues of Django Reinhardt but also Piotr Panin and Derek Bailey so who the fuck is to say. Later tracks introduce astonishingly powerful celestial synthesizer swoops to decorate Franklin's ominous string clanging, like a Robert Fripp Mellotron adventure. Most interesting however is the live recording "17 Min", with stretches of near-silence punched with occasional flinchings of sound that I spoze is more guitar and effects but it's so muted it's hard to say...almost out of nowhere the whole thing turns into a deeply resonant, buzzing, feedbacking affair which in turn morphs into an extended organ/harmoanium bleating, it too skewed by the grainy hissing of its original, untouched source material. Almost everything on this tape sounds totally alien or at least transmitted from alien muses through a human vessel, and that's what makes it so fascinating. I could never tell you exactly what happens or why and that's exactly why you have to hear it for yourself. So get it.
Lastly is a curious emission from Charles Balls, aka Andrew Zuckerman, he of Toronto's Gastric Female Reflex. "Love Affair with Lieven's Sweaters" is a collection of tracks with varying degrees of, shall we say, musicality to them. Each seems to consist of junked electronics crashing against found-sound snatches, loops, film and music samples, and a multitude of other glitches. They've all got their own names and they're all listed on the dynamite brain-impaling markered insert, but they're about as hard to hear on their own terms as they are to read off the sheet. If that makes any sense and it may well not at this point. Why, I couldn't even pick up the guest appearance from acquaintances Crank Sturgeon on piece number four or Zoe Barcza on piece number seven! Ah well, them's the breaks. This one's not so much my bag, but the moments most reminiscent of LAFMS/Rick Potts/Smegma nosedrip stroke me fine. Elsewhere I hear early 90's Japanese sentiments a la Ground Zero and the Hanatarash, Mike Patton's solo records for Tzadik, and a whole lot of RRR-bred weirdosity. Something nice is that the tape comes with basketball cards, and I pulled in quite a haul: Craig Ehlo, Mario Elie, a Dallas Mavericks logo card, and Michael fuckin' Jordan. Fleer '95-'96 styles. Buy your own so we can swap, but only if you're already into the whole brand of GFR goofiness or you might be a touch put out by what you hear. There, there.