Monday, 29 September 2014

Dysthymia - those silent thoughts (cassette)

This is the second time I get my greedy hands on a Dysthymia release. Dysthymia is  an American project of depressing and noisy analogue and industrial works. To be honest, I don`t find thid depressing at all. I find this noisy and times but not like an all out wall of noise assault ( MSBR anybody?). there`s six tracks on this sixty minutes long tape. And what does it sounds like? Well, here goes;
1 - The formation of illogical thoughts patterns: short noise bursts mixed with rhythmic noise.
2 - Recalling my every failure, a sick amusement: noise drones which generates a cold and desolate atmosphere.
 3 - My composed and stoic persona is a convincing lie: self generating / regenerating noise burst / drones.
4 - A compulsion for self-inflicted misery: grinding, grating ambient noise with mucho dark undertones (now that`s why I came here for).
5 - An ominous knell pervades past,present,future: a scary atmosphere simply done with a good dosage of short noise bursts (doing more with less).
6 - Calmly drifting out of orbit- A requiem: claustrophobic, spacey ambient noise (in space no one can hear you scream folks). Contact:  
Self Abuse Records  
PO box 87 

Friday, 26 September 2014

Shy Rights Movement - a lifetime in the shadows (CD)

I listen to various styles of noise / music. Shy Rights Movement is Mark Ritchie`s solo musical outlet. There`s eleven tracks and a total running time of 44.17 minutes of material.  The music is really basic i.e. stripped down. It consists of acoustic and / or fuzzy electric guitar mixed with Mark`s personal / peculiar signing. I like this CD it`s a nice mix of relaxing, minimal, lo-fi, foreboding, melancholic somber melodies / ballads for rainy days. Or perhaps, when you wake up in the morning after an evening of too much drinking / partying. I recommend this if you like, in no particular order: Terry Lee Hale, Neil Young, Johnny Cash, Eric`s Trip and the lighter side of the Jesus and Mary Chain (if that`s a possibility). I would highly suggest sending  Mark a trade in case you would like to hear some Shy Rights Movement material, or a polite letter / request. Mark didn`t mention the price of his albums. Better be safe than sorry. More information here: 
Mark Ritchie
94 Main Street
ML11 8AB

Horishima Yeah! # 115 (September 2014) (zine)

I just love this 8.5 by 11 inches cut and paste, black and white, monthly six pager zine. Cover picture stars of this issue: Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. Big Daddy was an English professional wrestler famous for his record-breaking 64 inch chest. Giant Haystacks aka Haystacks Calhoun was a 6 ft 11 in 685 lb English professional wrestler. He laid the groundwork for future ring behemoths like: André The Giant, Big John Stud, King Kong Bundy, The One Man Gang and Vader. On the front page there`s also `bloodshot and trembling` poetry section. My favorites this time around are:
Found out
All my life,
In so many ways,
I`ve been waiting
To be found out.
Coaches & horses
They ruined it
Like they ruined
So many other things,
Trendy bar staff,
Cool music,
Modern décor
But zero soul.
Francis, Jeff and Norman
Wouldn`t even bother
To haunt this place.
There`s `1.5 years on probation `Gary Simmons monthly, vulgar, intense, in your face, funny as heel episodes of life in jail. I just love this stuff! Nest in line there`s a couple of music and concert (Mark Eitzel) reviews. There`s `Hiroshima Yeah! O`er London `which are various text messages Gary Simmons send and receives (what can I say? To each his own). Mark Ritchie writes `Trouble` a non-politically correct way of dealing with pricks in a bar. Man, I can definitely relate to that one. We end this zine with  `Doctor Thornaby chapter 2` (by: A Willshaw). I think this is a serial. It`s interesting, bleak at times definitely not an easy read folks. Contact: Mark Ritchie
94 Main Street
ML11 8AB

Horishima Yeah! # 114 (August 2014) (zine)

HY! Is a 8.5 by 11 inches cut and paste, black and white, monthly five pager zine. There`s a picture of Bob Hoskins on the front page. He was a famous English actor who starred in classics like: The Cotton Club, Brazil, Pink Floyd The Wall, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Nixon, Super Mario Bros (not a classic but I liked it, hey, I`m weird, sue me), Enemy At The Gates, and Hollywoodland. There`s `the promise beauty` poetry corner. Favorite poems include:
Thinking too much
Thinking too much
Doesn`t help you
Get through life
Most of the time.
The feeling doesn`t reach me
People keep telling me 
How great I am,
How capable I am,
What a good friend I am, 
I hear the words,
Believe the intention,
Yet still the feeling 
Doesn`t reach me.
I always enjoy reading those poems it`s definitely potent stuff.  We also have `The Great Rock Tolchock`, Gary Simmons monthly installment of life in jail. This is weird, hilarious, crazy i.e. not an easy read that`s for sure. There`s some music and concert (Neil Young + The National Park) reviews. Mark Ritchie writes `a dog named tofu`. A short story  about what happens when you ingest unknown pills and drink too much at the same time, We end this zine with `Doctor Thornaby`, written by A Willshaw. Man, you have to read this to believe it. Now for the next step in evolution, write Mark a nice letter to get a copy of `Hiroshima Yeah! `. Contact: 
Mark Ritchie
94 Main Street
ML11 8AB


Saturday, 20 September 2014

Karsten Hamre – broken whispers (CD)

I got this CD as a trade item. Never heard of Karsten Hamre before (he`s from Norway and is a prolific artist).  There`s seven tracks with a good running time of 51.39 minutes. I look at the cover and I`m thinking that this album could be punk, noise or probably some type of boring new age gothic crap. Appearances are deceiving indeed. It turns out that this is extremely well crafted music. The pieces are organic, brooding, sometimes atmospheric (dark soundscapes included), gloomy ambient electronics with soundtrack qualities. I am highly impressed. This is good really good. I would mix every song on this here CD with a segment from a movie. Then again, why not? Here goes:           
A – abandoned glory: Maniac (1980) = the scene where the girl gets offed in the subway station.
B – fortuna synapsis: the Ninth Gate (1999) = the end credits.
C – the black waves: The Thing (1982) = when they discover the spaceship buried in the snow.
D – enshrouded lands: The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) =  when FBI cadet Clarice Starling meets Dr Hannibal Lecter in prison (the first time).
E – an ominous serenade: The Tenant (1976) = before every creepy scene (there`s lots of them) in this movie.
F – dioxide universal: The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) = the spaceship lands, and we see Klaatu and Gort  slowly coming out.
G – when darkness falls: Revenant (2012) = Paul`s first encounter with the ghost which haunts the house. 
More information here:

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Music update

As I said in a post a while back I found a lot of old `Leper Collective` stuff on my laptop. Upon closer examination, I discovered raw material for our third album which was going to de titled `dinosaurs`. The concept behind this is simple. There`s one 80 minute long track divided in four parts:
A – noise (20 minutes).
B – ambient (20 minutes).
C – noise (20 minutes).
D – ambient (20 minutes).
Part one and two where already completed. There was a partially finished noisy part three. I started recording some raw noise bytes, processed them and mangled them beyond recognition (Flesh For frank territory anybody?). I assembled all of these noise parts together, thus creating a twenty minutes track of experimental noise. Next step is recording ambient material. I started messing around, doing live jam sessions with my STS-24 VST. The STS-24 is an amazing piece of virtual synth it can generate various types of ambient, minimal, dark wave ambient and spacey music. I could play with this all day long. To make a long story short I created a twenty minute piece of weird / evolving / spacey / ambient music. Then I glued all four parts together using another great freeware named `WAVGLUE`. The end result is a 82 minutes long track. I had to edit it the thing was way too big for a regular CD.  I managed to edit and burn it on CD-R.  Now it`s a 77 minute mix of noise / ambient/ noise / ambient. I also have to say that at this present time and space that `Leper Collective` was mostly me. Maim Paterson provided me with some raw audio samples / jam sessions. But I was the one recording 97 % off all tracks on our two albums (Of Toasters And Burnt Toasts and Channel Zero). He recorded only three tracks. That`s why I decided to call it quits. So the next `Leper Collective` albums (I plan on recording two or maybe three at most) will be named `LPR CLLCTV`.  The first one titled `Dinosaur noisers` is completed and will probably be released on Wreck Age Recordings. The second LPR CLLCTV album is named `The final chapter`. I recorded recently four pieces, which are:
A – defective detective.
B – uct – 1.
C – cosmic needle.
D – testosterone apple pie.      
                Now why am I working on an old, forgotten, unknown experimental noise project? My laptop is full of raw audio material (tests, jam sessions, samples, nearly completed tracks and audio madness). I need to make some room. I also want to end anything connected or remotely connected to Leper Collective and / or LPR CLLCTV. Those projects are dead (nearly dead right now) and I want to move on and do something else, like working on more Minimal Frank material, or perhaps some long overdue Flesh For Frank stuff.       

Tim Collapse interview

1 – How are you and who are you?
I am well thank you! My name is Tim from Altamahaw, North Carolina in the United States Of America. I am responsible for the noise / ambient / sound collage project known as Animals Like Earthquakes. 

2 – You seem to be into collage and mail art as well, can you give us more information regarding those activities?
In addition to my audio project I am also very involved in mail art. My collages are largely text-based, but in a purely visual (as opposed to literal) sense. I don`t think my work falls under poetry concrete, but people have made the comparison and I don`t know enough about it to debate them. Most of the elements I use in my work comes from scraps of paper, grocery lists or notes I find lying around at work. I like using deteriorated and imperfect things like fade letters, misprinted text and blurry stamped text and graphic like you find on fruit and vegetable boxes. Not for any deep or meaningful reason, I just find that sort of thing beautiful and charming to look at. Most of these collages end up as black and white photocopies that I send  out on a pretty regular basis, others end up as the basis for ink drawings and some end up as large scale paintings that couldn`t realistically mail anywhere and are taking up far too much room in my house.

3 – Where does the name `Animals Like Earthquakes` come from? Do you define `ALE` as a solo project, a band, a duo, a collaboration, a collective?
Animals Like Earthquakes actually comes from the liner notes from the Talking heads album Stop Making Sense. I don`t know why that particular phrase stuck with me like it did and I can`t really remember the context in which it was used, but I just liked the sound of those three words together. I really don`t even too much of an affinity for the Talking Heads. Some of their stuff is o.k. Fear of music was a good record.
     Animals Like Earthquakes is a solo effort in that it is just me doing the recording and performing, but since my work uses a lot of found recordings, answering machines specifically, I like to think of the people on the tapes and machines as collaborators in a way. I like thinking of it like that.

4 – Now, regarding your solo experimental noise project (if I could use such a term). What`s the sound of `Animals Like Earthquakes `sounds like?
I wouldn`t call  Animals Like Earthquakes `music ` even though it has some musical elements, but I hesitate to call it `noise `also because it`s far too structured. `Sound Collage `seems to be the description I feel most comfortable with. Most pieces have a score, believe it or not. Some are rigid and some are not with many having huge room for improvisation in the structure. The track `if you`d like to make a call `for example has a general structure that stays constant from performance, but many of the other elements change each time, resulting at times in a total change in the feel of the piece. It`s a piece that I couldn`t possible perform the same way twice, which is a lot of fun. I think atmospheric would be a good description of my work. A lot of people find it dark and creepy, but I don`t see that at all. I am definitely not a dark or creepy person at all.

5 – When do you record music (early bird, day bird or night owl)?
I record exclusively at night after my children are asleep. Doing anything that involves any level of concentration while they are awake and running is an exercise in futility.

6 – What kind of gear / equipment are you using?
For recording I use of bunch of analog tape recorders and microcassette machines. I have a really nice microcassette transcriber that is great for pitch and speed control. For effects I use a Johnson J-Station and a Behringer Reverb Machine.                                 I record onto a Tascam DP-02 Digital 4-track recorder and do editing and very minor manipulation on an increasingly unreliable computer that will barely run Audacity. I rig up other stuff like contact mics and such as needed. For live performances I usually only bring tape decks, answering machines and effects, but have started experimenting with heavily manipulated guitar as well, if for no other reason than to give me something to do while the answering machines and tapes play. Sometimes I don`t even use and amp, and even if I do I`m usually pretty quiet live, which I like because it forces people to sit very close to hear me. Very intimate. 

7 – What inspires you and what are your influences?
What inspires me is the simple but cosmic beauty of everyday life and everyday situations and how precious both of these are. The people talking on my recordings are real people and these are genuine glimpses into their personal lives. I find their messages and conversations very poignant, and the fact that these completely utilitarian recordings have survived and exist to inspire me is pretty overwhelming at times and I feel a particular responsibility to share them all. For the record I always edit out telephone numbers, and usually surnames as well to protect the privacy of these people. I struggled with that decision, but ultimately found it made me feel more comfortable to do so. I am inspired by Godspeed You Black Emperor , although I sound nothing like them. Their work has really caused me to look at bits of samples or dialog as important elements of composition. As far as the distribution of my music I find Erik Disorder and Stan Boman to be insoirational as well. Those guys have stuck to their guns of mail only distribution and kept those values intact for multiple decades now. Every time I start to even consider setting up a Bandcamp page I think of Erik and Stan licking stamps for 20 years and I`m over it.

8 – Besides your mail art projects and `Animals Like Earthquakes `do you have any other music and / or artistic projects?
I write reviews and comments on papernet culture in Paper Trails, my contribution to Cuneiform, an A.P.A. that I participate in. I`m working on a standalone zine that`s coming along but moving slowly. I used to be pretty active in the zine community, and hope to get more involved in the future.

9 – Do you perform live?
I perform live some, but there aren`t many places to perform the type of material I do around here and I`m not particularly interested in traveling more than an hour or so to perform. My friends Zach and Denny Corsa from the amazing drone band, Lost Trail used to have shows at their home (side two of my first release was recorded there), but while we had some great times there, attendance was usually poor and they aren`t doing them much anymore. I do the odd opening spot and have opened for some great artists (T.J. Borden, Kevin Greenspon, Big Waves Of Pretty, Al Riggs and The Inconveniences, etc).

10 – How`s the noise scene in Altamahaw?
There is no noise scene in Altamahaw. It`s a very small farm (and mostly closed) textile mill town. There`s some experimental stuff going on in Greesboro about 30-40 minutes away and a good bit in the Raleigh / Durham / Chapel Hill area, but as far as I know Lost Trail and myself are the only folks doing experimental work in the county.

11 – What type of music are you into? What about movies, television, radio maybe?
I like all kinds of music, but rarely seek out new music on my own anymore. I prefer to listen to whatever my friends give me or stuff I get in trades. I like radio too. From pop and rock on FM, to talk religious, and sports broadcasting on AM,and all kinds of bizarre and interesting stuff on shortwave. I like Godspeed You Black Emperor, and related side projects well as stuff like Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Sonic Youth, etc. I like noise. Novasak, I Died, Sonic Disorder are all great. There`s a guy in Pennsylvania named Henry Rial who sent me a bunch of CD-R`s a while back that are some great noise. I love jazz and bossa nova. I think Thomas Dolby is one of the most underrated songwriters and musicians ever. I like a lot of ambient and electronic music like Boards Of Canada and Aphex Twin. I like primitive (20`s and 30`s) blues and country, western swing, 90`s alternative and elevator music. I even like some of the radio pop stuff my kids listen to. Not a music snob by any stretch and I have no guilty pleasures. Just whatever sounds good to me.

12 – Please give us some contact information?
You can contact me through my post office box: 
Animals Like Earthquakes
P.O. BOX 72
North Carolina

13 – What is your opinion concerning modern technology like computers, internet, cell phones or intelligent phones?
My opinion on techno culture in general would take another 10 pages so I will just discuss it in relation to my art for now. As far as technology applies to my music, I`m not interested in having my art or music online or distributed online. It`s just not the venue I feel is appropriate for what I do. To hear or see my work you either have to meet me in person, receive a flyer, get my info from a review or interview, or have a friend make you a copy (which I strongly encourage). In other words, you have to have a one-on-one experience with someone else. I am completely unreachable except for my post office box. I have no interest in the wider audience I am sure being on the internet would entail. I am only interested in sharing my work with adventurous people who get what I`m doing and aren`t afraid to take on putting a stamp in the mail. The distribution of my work is part of the aesthetic almost as much as the work itself, if that makes any sense. Getting an order or letter from a flyer I set out is so much more rewarding than just seeing one more mouse click. I think the internet and it`s unlimited choices for finding music tends to actually limit people`s exposure to some of the more challenging work happening because when you can always find what you`re looking for whenever you want it takes the element of chance out of growing your musical taste.

14 – Any closing comments?
I have gone too long already! Thanks you for finding my work worthwhile enough to interview me!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Found pictures of the day

The following two pictures where inside a small parcel that mister Node Pajomo himself sent me. They're pretty nice, Here goes:

This one would make a great cover for my next Flesh For Frank album. What do you think?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Hal McGee Vs Black Beast Of ARRGHHH (cd-r)

A postal collaboration / construction / deconstruction  where each artist records stuff on a 30 minutes micro-cassette. Then they mix up both recordings, creating a 15 minutes long piece of sonic mayhem. Upon close listening I managed to recognize (inside that track of murky noise / music stew) a couple of things: dog squeaky toy, noise / semi-noise bits, found sound, field recordings and processed sounds from everyday life. The end result is a weird sonic voyage with meditative qualities, an almost ambient adventure. Dare I say `minimal ambient with experimental undertones`? You be the judge. Contact:

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Art is everywhere part 20

Once in awhile I get small packages courtesy of Nick Johnson. No letter, no notes but the parcel is crammed with various goodies: stickers, alien collages, unknown junk, you name it baby!!! This time he gave me these incredibly beautiful, homemade collages. I had to scan them and post them online. I mean look at them. What else is there to say...

Nick Johnson
P.O.BOX 21635