‘Modern Duets‘ flexi disc
In an effort to transcend the stale tradition of location- and genre-based compilations, here is a Flexi Disc collection of one-minute instrumentals inspired by famous Modern sculptural busts. The pairings here are hilariously appropriate: Control Unit (Italy) blast open Jean-Pierre Dantan’s bust Victor Hugo. Hugo being, of course, the great Romantic noise band of the 1830s notable for works of industrial disaffection. Sea Urchin (Germany) evoke Amadeo Modigliani’s Primitivist La Saggezza with a wobbly dub-inflected burner. Modigliani, an important champion of early Dancehall. Half High (Australia) project dark ambient Surrealism on Elie Nadelman’s Head With Bowler Hat. Soviet Pop (China) play minimal electronics against a sharp, plaster study by Constantin Brancusi. Primitive Motion (Australia) yoke Jean Arp’s Bird Mancaricature with a playful Casio doodle. The Disc is bound into a booklet with reproductions of said sculptures. Includes a DOWNLOAD code.
Chicklette – ‘THE LONELIEST BITCH’ $6
Recorded to 4-track at Tong-Yi Studios. Keyboards, radio, karaoke. Six tracks of industrial love here. Chicklette sings for Angels in America. She sees personal trauma where I see vanilla ice cream and sprinkles. Lana Del Rey and Katy Perry become agents of dark fantasy and self-flagellation. Hello Kitty, an emblem of humiliation and disgust. Chicklette’s not upset, though. She talked about splashing in the local pool between cuts, feeding her fish Rex, eating popcorn. There’s no willful fuckedupness here. She’s just soundproofing the basement with oilies.
SON OF SALAMI – ‘SONTAVA NIGHTS’ $6
Recorded to tape in Vermont. Musical instruments, internal microphones, American snack satire. Son of Salami aka Joey Pizza Slice makes radio-pop singles on slim line tape players. Sontava Nights is like an old bag of Cheetos: crusty, bite-sized, miscellaneous, and oddly palatable. Son of Salami records songs like he eats said snacks: quickly, reclining, alone, and with the flicker of habitual regret. This isn’t some marchy, robotic jingle. J.P. Slice is an American songsmith of great sensuousness. The renditions are sultry, even moody. “Poutine Skies,” a wistful account of some greasy diner crap. Not unlike 711, there seems to be something for everybody.
BANANA HEAD – ‘GOON HOUSE’ $6
Recorded sitting down at Steve’s House. Sad tremolos, romantic refrains, sexual deviancy. Originally released on Lexi Disques in Brussels. Goon House offers midtempo crush joints for suburban daters. But the positive vibes are offset by flashes of melancholy, lewd whispers, gloomy intrigue. “I made you a promise,” says Banana Head, “and I broke it.”
YONG YONG – ‘MEET LORD PRINCE ‘I’ INFINITO’ $6
Yong Yong tap into some “Torraye Braggs shit.” Downtempo signals, ghetto tech jibber, skull caps under knit beanies, hacky sack. A kind of pan-ethnic cooking analogy comes to mind: a plume of brown spices, melodies like foreign legumes. Fire up Dr. Sammy Sample and reappropriate whatever, basically. Smoothness is definitely not a priority – don’t save this for your BeatsByDre. I use cellphone speakers and let the bass snap like a baby carrot. B-side trades in ADD groove splicing for an extended trip. Less cut-and-paste here; more long-form four the floor. Things melting into other things. For the dancefloor in your day spa.
HARMONY MOLINA – ‘HAPPINESS THIEF INSIDE’ $6
Recorded to Tascam 4-track and to computer in Hasenheide Park and Elsenstr. 74, Berlin. Second floor, ring “carlos”. Guitar, singing, talking. Harmony Molina, Chilean reality star, poolside voyeur, connoisseur of alternative women’s haircuts. “I was very focused,” says Harmony about the sessions on this tape. Half of this is actual music – guitar leads, choruses, bridges. The other half is gossip, shit talk, slices of Harmony’s reality filtered through shame and conceit, triumph and heartbreak. Says Harmony: “I’m very grateful of the mistake I did, so i can discover day by day, what kind of artist i am.”