10) Keith Fullerton Whitman, “Rythemes Naturels”
11) Leboeuf et Laviolette, “Crystale”
12) Tim Hecker, “Analog Paralysis, 1978,” Ravedeath, 1972 (Kranky)
1) Afghanistan, “Cicada Song,” And Bide Your Time
2) Mister Matthew, “Innerspaced (excerpt),” Telecut Powers (Gift/Draft Tapes)
3) Digital Dog Party, “Life’s Intermission,”
4) Steve Baczkowski and Nola Ranallo, “Marrow Bird,” Live the Soundlab
5) Rust Worship, “Side A (Excerpt),” Terrerestial Society (House of Alchemy)
6) Parashi, “Undulate,” Parashi/Chapels Splits (House of Alchemy)
7) Venn Rain, “The History of Things to Come,” Bioharmonics (House of Alchemy)
8) DeTrop, “Four Stages Apostasy (excerpt),” Man, Woman & Beast (House of Alchemy)
9) Mama Baer, “Track 1,” Perverted People Girl Fuckers (House of Alchemy)
10) Scott Valkwitch, “InfraRed Black Haze,” TBA (House of Alchemy)
11) Jason Lescalleet, “Accidental Orriental,” Electronic Music (RRR)
12) Hive Mind, “Side 1 (excerpt),” Elemental Disgrace (Spectrum Spools)
13) Yek Koo, “East Hollywood Studio,” A Plea for a Night Desert
14) Clay Cantrell, “Late Aster Girl,” The Tree Farmer (House of Alchemy)
15) Transplant Mountains, “So Shines a Good Deed in a Weary World (excerpt),” Transplant Mountains/Chapels Split (House of Alchemy)
16) Mundkrach & Kommissar Hjuler und Frau, “Track 3 excerpt,” A/N/T/I/Z/I/P/A/T/I/O/N (House of Alchemy)
17) Sheldon Siegel, “Side A excerpt”Midden (House of Alchemy)
18) Rambutan, “Midpoint (excerpt),” Rambutan/Fossils from the Sun Split (House of Alchemy)
Clarinets can be one of the evilest sounding instruments, emitting warped sounds, squeaks, and squawks of a tortured variety. Cruudeuces, the project of Ghetto Naturalist Series label owner Nathaniel Brennan, capitalizes on these coerced sounds from the clarinet on his newest release Various Skin Figurines. Brought to us by Albany-based label Skell Records LLC–run by Mike Griffin, who also makes his own rather tortured sounds under the Parashi moniker—Various Skin Figurines is unconventional music with an organic edge, making it highly introspective on the human condition in ways one does not always encounter with noise.
Starting with the B side, “Every Dot That Passes” is an exhibition of the gut wrenchingly visceral sounds that Brennan is able to call forth from his clarinet. The track has the feel of a methodically slow ritual sacrifice where something–or someone–is dismembered while you are forced to watch. Brennan creates an atmosphere that hangs ominously overhead like an oppressive crimson sky, with drums sounding in the distance only to impress upon you the passing of each grating moment but never helping to speed up the process.
Brennan’s clarinet wails for a hair-raising fifteen minutes with uncanny voicing that sits uncomfortably in the mind of the listener, coming too close to sounding like something living for it to be easily ignored. Those relentless piercing cries put the listener on edge for the entire duration of the track without ever letting up, even for a moment. By the end the listener is left to beg for some sort of climax to relieve the insurmountable tension that has built up over the course of the track, a vain plea that is left unfulfilled as a climax never arrives.
While the B side is a study on the inward depths of one’s self, one’s limits as a human being, the A side, “Philadelphia Thieves,” takes things in the opposite direction outward into space, allowing the listener more room to contemplate their existence. The clarinet is not featured so prominently in this track (if it is used at all it is treated beyond recognition) with Brennan looking to electronics instead. With them he creates a distinct sense of place that is worlds away from the other side of the cassette. Brennan uses electronics to build an alien static that drifts by as the listener floats through the vast expanses of empty space while an enormous churning low end spills out from massive cosmic objects filling the mind with a sense of dread.
Listening to the track is like coming face to face with the electromagnetic Galaxy Being from The Outer Limits. The electromagnetic radiation emitted by the extraterrestrial squiggling and hissing throughout the track fills you with a sense of fascination from meeting a creature from an unknown world. The bass serves as a ever present reminder that you are very small in a infinitely large universe filled with things that you will never understand or control; a troubling idea to many.
Complex and at many times through provoking, Various Skin Figurines is a fascinating listen for the ideas it conveys and the places it creates. It is a great release for Cruudeuces to start the year off with.
Review by Andrew White
1) Parashi vs. Fossils from the Sun, “Dark Matter” Parashi vs. Fossils from the Sun/Xanthocephalus Split (Skell)
2) Nonhorse R&D, “10-Inch Eye,” Rebuild the Silent Barn
3) Rambutan, “Meridian Hill”
4) Continents, “Nothing Under Sand,” Continents (Lo-Fi Kabuki)
5) Century Plants, “Regaining Consciousness”
6) Ay Fast, “Floor Guide,” Crimson Knight EP (Schematic)
7) Com Truise, “Slow Peels,” Cyanide Sisters EP (Ghostly International)
8) Jerk, “Noon,” Death Testament (Factotum Tapes)
9) Crispin Helion Glover, “Selected Readings from Oak Mot Part 3,” THe Big Problem?The Solution. The Solution=Let It Be
10) Performance of John Zorn’s Cobra at Brown University November 20, 2010
11) Leather Tongue, “Season of the Nerves”
12) Chris Borkowski, “Prussian Blue,” Out of Nowhere: Electro-Acoustic Music from the Upstate Fringe
13) Scott Valkwitch, “Echo I (Bell Ambiance)”
14) Jacob Gotlib, “Year Without Summer (Daumenkino)”
1) SlowPitch, “No Turning Back,” REPLCMNT
2) ProEf, “Fading DeLights,” All Eye Know
3) Beta Cloud, “Crystaline,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
4) VWLS, “Maurauder Water,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
5) Alfred Brown, “I’m Not a Fox for Nothing,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
6) Mutus Liber, “Hesitation Resources,” Glossy Eyes Vol. 1 (Bad Drone Media)
7) Grasshopper, “I Sang a Sad Song Today,” Miles in the Sky (House of Alchemy)
8) Parashi, “Car char odonto saurus,” Parashi/Granitkorridor Split (Stunned Records)
9) Benoît Honoré Pioulard, “A Land Which Has No End,” Plays Thelma (Desire Path Recordings)
10) Claymation, “Solidarity,” The Dolphin Key (Magnetic Eye Records)
11) Richard Lainhart, “Live @ Alfa Art Gallery 4.9.11”
Stunned Records announced earlier this year that it was discontinuing its practice of releasing otherworldly tapes and CD-Rs that greatly appealed to the musically maligned. There would be one last batch, however. And within that last batch was a tape, and on that tape there was the A-side that featured Upstate artist Parashi.
Hailing from Clifton Park, NY (in the Albany region) Parashi–who also runs the Skell label–has released under Stunned before with Troika (Stunned no. 115). The folks at Stunned warned upon Celadon‘s release, however, that Parashi was “not treading the same ground” with this new cassette.
Celadon crackles like a severed wire, still live but sometimes merely gurgling along as if the electric juice could run out at anytime. Incessant feedback-like sounds are channeled, chopped, and then clobbered into a form of its makers choosing. Parashi’s electronic tools, tuned to frequencies in the lo-fi dimension, spurt to life at unpredictable moments then wail about until they are mercifully silenced by their creator’s invisible hand. The reprieve which allows your ears to breathe never lasts long though.
These recordings are disquieting in the way that the paths of least sonic resistance are rarely, if ever, taken. Instead, Parashi patiently hovers, sometimes squirms, awaiting the moment to come to him, like a hunter awaiting prey to stumble into a trap. Then, just at the right moment, Parashi pulls the trigger and unleashes a sonic shit storm that will make you wonder if your headphones are broken.
With Celadon—which is a ceramics reference–Parashi helps to send one of the most revered micro-labels of the past few years out on an appropriate note.
Review by Cameron Alexander
1) Parashi, “Broken Element,” Counterweight (Tape Drift)
2) Location Ensemble, “Diversion # 3,” Live in Saratoga 11.12.11
3) Christian Marclay, “Neutral,” Records, 1981-1989 (Atavistic)
4) John Cage, “Imaginary Landscape No. 1,” The Works for Percussion I
5) Steve Baczkowski, “Side A,” Tone Arm (cae-sur-a)
6) Otomo Yoshihide, “2*10′,” Re/cycling Rectangle: Complete Works (Rectangle)
7) Janek Schaefer, “Tone Arm Two,” Above Buildings (Fat Cat)
8) Phillip Jeck, “Now You Can Let Go,” 7 (Touch)
9) DJ Sniff, “Live Improvisation,” Recorded live at WORM, Rotterdam, 9.9.11 for the presentation of Gerco Hiddink & Rutger Zuydervelt’s ‘Bridges’ project
10) Indignant Senility, “Untitled – Part Seven,” Plays Wagner (Type)
11) Borful Tang, “Herd and Unherd,” Herd and Unherd (Gigante)
12) Rust Worship, “Repressed Memories,” Deposits of Despondency (Tape Drift)
13) Ignaz Schick and Martin Tetreault, “6-p45 six,” Live 33 45 78 (Ambiances Magnétiques)
14) Pierre Schaffer, “Etude Aux Chemins De Fer”
15) DJ Sniff and Burkhard Beins, “Live Improvisation,” Recorded live at WORM, Rotterdam, 9.9.11 for the presentation of Gerco Hiddink & Rutger Zuydervelt’s ‘Bridges’ project