Hiss & Hum/S.C.O.A.M. – ‘Lately I’ve Been Thinking About Death/Hypnagogic Head Dreams of Teenage Heaven’; Babe, Terror – ‘Preparing a Voice to Meet the People Coming’; and Great Slave Lake [Capsule Review]

A new one from Ohio’s always engaging Teen Action Records, and somehow a “Presentation” by Seven Lies About Girls, the C62 split between Hiss & Hum and S.C.O.A.M. is a hulking collection of sounds as diverse as they are long(form).  By Hiss & Hum, ‘Lately I’ve Been Thinking About Death’ is four tracks seemingly united by titles yet spanning a run of sonic collages entailing Gown guitar mantras to red-lining noise ala Kevin Shields to the lethargic drones of En or Horseback.  A different solo project, S.C.O.A.M.’s ‘Hypnagogic Head Dreams of Teenage Heaven’ is more about breaking apart abstract sound at the molecular level and in effect casting long shadows as landscapes of suspense verging on terror.  Made almost entirely of murky synthesizer, these tracks are far more coherent, and unpleasant for it.  A menacing lot in good company with the coldest studies of Phaserprone.  50 copies.  $8 HERE.

L.A. label Glue Moon offers a C30 from Italy’s Babe, Terror called ‘Preparing a Voice to Meet the People Coming’, a collection of screwy, roughened beats and textured non-rhythms like a less obsessive Alva Noto for a less clever Raster Norton.  Similar to Ben Frost’s epic for its use of noise in dramatic flourish and uni-direction, though all around more stripped-down and lower fidelity, not unbecoming on it.  A fine headphone listen.  Thematically similar as well, the tracks take on a godless, futurist air in tone and title, calling themselves OPN-ish things like “Poolport”, “Transplanted People”, and “Basement Practicing”.  The tape is a welcomed example of something sonically quite serious without too serious extraneous formality.  Pick it up for $8 HERE

Also from Teen Action, Great Slave Lake is a pair of side-long monsters of hot electric drone and cluttered occult overlays.  Dark ambient drone jams.  “These Storms Could Have Been Avoided”: a quasi-mechanical workshop of twists and chirps makes a weird campfire of suppressed drums and harmonic gusts, the crowding of which palls in the regular overcast of guitar drones which wash over top.  “Ignorance Has Been Our Downfall”: high-strung and all tangled up, the strings pang and pop in off directions while waves of drone crest and fall in the deep background.  The pessimism and doom so overtly cribbed from Clay Ruby and his ilk is in fact nullified as both are presented in a mode of retrospection which distances the listener from any immediate dangers, and works simply as a meditation on sound and theme.  Hand-numbered to 50 copies, available HERE

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