Obsolete Units

Phil Julian – ‘Transcript’ C30 $7
Under both the Cheapmachines alias and his own name, England’s Phil Julian has been venturing across various strains of unorthodox sound over the past decade or so, with his prolific output encompassing sonic textures that run the gamut from harsh squalls of decaying cacophony to humming spectral tapestries of melodic drone to patiently constructed compositions of hyper-minimalistic timbres. On Transcript, Julian sources tones and reverberation from blank cassettes as well as the actual cassette decks used in this particular process. Allowing the hissing, fuzzy, and clicking mechanics at work in this aural realm to traverse effortlessly across a half hour of ethereal space, Transcript stands as a remarkable work of foreboding and atonal constitution that stands confidently alongside the best works of similarly inclined sound sculptors such as Francisco Lopez and Joe Colley. This is warmly eerie listening that sounds especially exquisite coming from a cassette itself. Pro-dubbed/pro-printed edition of 100.

TwistyCat – ‘Solar Plexus’ C34 $7
When last we saw Brooklyn-based bass clarinet/baritone saxophone duo TwistyCat on Obsolete Units, they provided a deeply hypnotic and extremely limited loop cassette showcasing three immaculate minutes of their beautifully stark and patiently composed agglomeration of drone-infused improvisation. Taking noticeable cues from this previous release, Ed Bear and Lea Bertucci erupt on Solar Plexus both with pieces of meticulously realized minimalism as well as more comparatively dissonant waves of contemplative and ominous themes. The first side distinctively adds a veneer of found sound (from radio and elsewhere) to the mix, building upon these unfamiliar modes into a great wash of unrest before giving way to their distinctive command of woodwind-derived subterranean melodicism, whereas the flip presents in explicitly unblemished detail two pieces of slow-burning improvisation where the loops and electronic manipulations wavering in and out of the mix controlled with the utmost subtlety for further bewilderment. Includes special transparent liner-notes. Pro-dubbed/pro-printed edition of 100.

Whales – ‘Seibutsu Shigen’ C26 $7
A blistering set of impressively reckless and spastic hardcore, Kyoto, Japan’s Whales craft an attack exhibiting forces both distinctively ferocious and ardently uncompromising. Drawing significant influence from numerous legendary purveyors of power-violence (Spazz, Dropdead), the trio shoot through 6 minutes of absurdly accelerated blasts of song before ending this treat with another 6 minutes of the most blistering Incapacitants/MSBR-style walls of noise. The same program runs on both sides, and you’ll probably need to listen to both in one-sitting just to catch-up with what you’ve just heard. Seibutsu Shigen strips bare this expeditious punk template to its most cathartic core; this is no muss, no fuss, and no bullshit. Whales includes on guitar Takahiro Yorifuji, who has released numerous ambient/drone releases as Hakobune on a variety of different labels (Install, Ghetto Naturalist, Tobira). Pro-dubbed/pro-printed edition of 100.


Comments are closed.