Touch of Poison – ‘Moat’ $6
Recorded in Gent near Sint-Pieters train station. Casio & Yamaha keyboards, tapes, spoken words, pre-set beats, free downloadable software & four-track. Dark melodies, terse lyrics, fours on the floors. Matthew Hopkins and I knew each other from USA/AUS. We ended up in Belgium at the same time. March 2012, it was particularly cold and dark quite early. Matthew was not interested in hanging out with University coeds. We ate frittes and watched The Raven. We liked the quiet, medieval inertness of the city. We also liked the goofiness of the old castles and stone streets. There was something not believable, almost comedic, the Atlantis Pavilion at Sea World. I don’t think we really understood. The recordings took on these dimensions: dark, still, a little ridiculous. The nacht winkel (night shop), tourists, guillotines, talking birds, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.
Standard Premiums – ‘Check Reality’ $6
Check Reality is not about social welfare; it’s a byproduct. Americans think the Dole is a kind of banana. Australians think the Dole is a reason to make music during the workday. What happens when people stop getting real and start chilling out? These are important political questions. Recorded in Northcote, Victoria near the 86 tram stop for Town Hall. Snare drum, guitar, bass, odds and ends, microphones, occasional laughter. Songs of laziness, melancholy, social (in)security. Recorded to four-track and dictaphone. “Got the dic”—Michael. September, 2011.
Anthrax Frankenstein/Chang Rider $6
Two collaborations from Yogyakarta and Bandung. Anthrax Frankenstein play slomo pop songs, overamplified and underperformed. Guitar, vocals, noise. Sometimes the guitars sound despondent. Sometimes the noises “twinkle.” There’s a lotta caveman here—indecipherable passages, volume fluctuations—a D.G.A.F. attitude with the middle finger in the extreme foreground. At some point the singer starts dissing harsh noise. But the songs are so forlorn and reticent that you end up commiserating with these guys. Are they pissed or just depressed? Chang Rider play marginally faster, marginally cleaner rock/pop songs with marginally more sophisticated instrumentation. Snare drum, floor tom, microphone, synthesizer, and piano. Sometimes the singers change, sometimes the piano sounds “jazzy.”
苏维埃·波普/ Soviet Pop – ‘Record of Adventures in the Spider Hole’ $6
Recorded by Li Qing & Li Weisi at Rose Mansion Analog, Beijing. Inside the first Ring Road. Korg MS-20, modular synthesizer, floor tom, microphone. Soviet Pop let you choose between compositions and songs. This is a tape of songs, dark, minimal, and pedestrian. They even have names like “Worldview Song” and “Samurai Song.” Li Weisi does simple, groovable bass passages and stoic baritone vocals. Li Qing does rhythmic static, noise-generator backgrounds, timbrel burps. Coco Chanel used to say, “before you release your tape, look in the mirror and take three things off.”
‘Public Limits’/’Personal Limitations’ $3/$5
Two accordion booklets printed at Dawn Press. Public Limits navigates the boundaries of suburban spaces. Walls, fences, cones, tinted windows, physical and visual obstructions. Personal Limitations gawks at the ways that some people impose such things on themselves. Perforated for tearing and sharing.
R. Walker – ‘Legendary Sleeves’ $4
Legendary Sleeves is Russell Walker’s first published collection of poems. Walker sings for the Pheromoans, a “punk” band from “London.” I remember laughing out loud to some of his lyrics, something about a Dutchie and a Danish. I thought that perhaps Walker knew how to party. These poems are short. Sometimes narrative, sometimes abstract, but always mundane. Walker doesn’t find magic in the ordinary; he renders ordinary anything that promises magic. Affection, popularity, musicianship, all won out by domestic boredom and regular drinking. But somewhere in the kerning there’s a dry melancholy that threatens to pull the tongue away from the cheek. I think Russ would call that “humour.”
Mole House – ‘Demo’ $6
Early demo recordings from Melbourne’s Mole House. Some real songs with drums and guitars and singing. Some fake songs as well.