Bobb Bruno – ‘Black Gel’; Uton – ‘Kun Korallit Puhuvat Pilville’; and DJ DJ Tanner – ‘Home Entertainment’ [Review]

I regret not arriving sooner to welcome home Tynan and his Doris Nordic Tribute records. Let’s take a look at what he’s brought back with him: 

dnt064_400wAn apt ambassador, Bobb Bruno (The For Carnation, Goliath Bird Eater, Best Coast) returns with ‘Black Gel’, which accompanies the re-issue of his ‘Clown’s Castle’ CS, also on DNT. The short-to-medium pair of sides span Bruno’s synthetic sounds from left pocket to right, where the title track drones and raves in the near-field with both rhythm and ambience, and the b-side “Year2” burns like a Krautrock blue flame with searing guitar by Cameron Stallones and a steady expansion by Sheridan Riley on drums. Certainly an odd pairing, as opposed to more coherent releases like ‘Dreamt On’ – however, the tape more so resembles the scope of Bruno’s solo creations, and in turn only reaffirms the commitment by artists like Bruno and labels like DNT to preserve the space for abstraction, demonstration, and open expression in an ever weirder music economy. 100 copies pro-pressed with hand-numbered cards.

dnt066_400wBridging DNT’s before and after, ‘Kun Korallit Puhuvat Pilville’ by Uton (Finland’s Jani Hirvonen) was originally slotted as a bonus to the label’s long-player, but has been refigured as its own release. Not a bad managerial decision. The tape is bold enough to stand on its own as seven tracks of cosmic concrete – though it too carries with it the original sin of bonus material, which by its lonesome evokes an alien and alienated soundtrack, full of sci-fi abstractions and organic drones. Across these cold expanses we encounter tendrils of music – human music – though the mysteries of this place are never revealed. Edition of 100, hand-numbered, on purple tapes.

dnt068_400wIf writing about tapes can be called a trade, we can say that every so often in this trade, you come across an album which immediately signals its rerelease in a more elaborate format. That format is often vinyl, and today that tape is ‘Home Entertainment’ by DJ DJ Tanner. In spite of a name which will never not be ridiculous, the tape is never not engrossing, thrilling, emotive. These twelve or so tracks come tribute to the sample-based methods of hip hop as an oral form – orality here pertaining to the form, and less the individually-voiced content of storytelling – where a certain ear for lost sentiments expressed through music can recapture a human moment in sheer aesthetic terms otherwise unrepresented by the musical structure which carried it forth. Drawn purely from the crates, we hear bebop and early vocal hits, ballroom staples and seedy funk soundtracks – all looped into new, crystalline figures which refract with a mathematical wit the simpler geometries of the originals. In this regard, the editor joins other archivists, such as Black Swan, The Caretaker, and most specifically, the fantastical Lilacs & Champagne. Similar in spirit is the nostalgia-tinged rock of Zoo Kid/King Krule, Lower Dens, and certain Grails projects (indebted to the same pairing of Lilacs & Champagne). All this, and wrapped in a self-erasing punk swaddle which one need respect, but also lament without the radicalized portions of one’s brain screaming “fetish!” Limited to 100 copies with paint spattered inserts. Highest recommendation; my new prized possession. I look forward to the pressing.

DNT cassettes

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