Ken Clinger CD 30 titles published by hyper-productive Ken Clinger over 26 cassettes between 1983 and 1988 and carefully selected for your greatest pleasure. Mutant songs, hypnotic spoken words, obsessive synthesizers.
Eryck Abecassis – ‘Siamoises’ CD “Siamoises” is the 3rd solo album of the French-Algerian composer and sound artist Eryck Abecassis (b 1956) and his 2nd contribution to the FF label catalogue (after “La Gueule Du Loup” w/ Francisco Meirino, 2017). Composed and recorded in Paris 2018, “Siamoises” is the pairing of Eryck’s instrument of choice, an Ibanez 2404 double neck e-bass/guitar, with a modular synthesizer. Abecassis has composed for Radio France, INA GRM and Grame (among others). His music has been performed internationally at various music festivals such as Présences, Les Musiques-Marseille, Musiques en scènes-Lyon, Computer Art Festival Padova and more. He is living and working im Paris since 1976. This CD was released in an edition of 200 copies in a 6-panel fold out cover.
Nital Etch – ‘Simulacrum’ Nital Etch is a project out of Washington State, from a town considered by many to be a truly dreadful place. It is a morally, spiritually, and economically desolate landscape. The sound of Nital Etch seems to confirm that: One man with strings and some pedals creating the soundtrack to a nonexistent film, probably envisioning an unidentified rotting corpse lying dead in a ditch, only to be discovered months later because no one missed them. Hyperbole aside, I honestly think that this project would be doing movie soundtracks if it weren’t for all of the schmoozing involved. Incisions or Obsolescence are pieces that could have been used for the score to the Joker movie. The avenues of (dark) ambient, classical, and experimental electronics explored here can carry the rawness for a noise show, or the aptitude to present as an opener for Pamelia Kurstin. Simulacrum is a collection of highlights from previous recordings to date, all of which have yet to be released into the physical realm.
Credo In Deum – ‘Blood Soaked Sand’ Credo In Deum is the current chosen project name for one Massachusetts native Robert LaBarge, formerly known under the moniker “Buddhist on Fire”, among others. Buddhist on Fire was active at least from 2007 to 2011, although some of the audio files from his now defunct SEAM label, on archive.org, are dated as early as 1997 within the metadata of the ID3 tags. There is an admittedly obvious influence from the work of Muslimgauze throughout my excavations, and similar to Muslimgauze, Buddhist on Fire was wildly prolific, having at least 260 releases during a relatively short period of time. Another thing that occurred to me, was that there’s an apparent series called “Hell 365”, with each entry numbered “HELL-015” and so forth. This is to suggest that an “album”-length release was published every day for evidently at least one year. Of those that I saw, all of them were exceeding 60 minutes in length. Many tracks by Buddhist on Fire were percussive in nature, and it was this quality that I first found strikingly hypnotic when I discovered the project on a recycled tape from RRRECORDS around 2012. However, when I explored that vast catalog of works by this artist, I found a significant amount of work that was much more expansive, textural, definitively noisey, and generally experimental than what I’d expected. I initially wanted to include some material by Buddhist on Fire as part of “ESCHATOLOGY”, a 24 way split box set across 12 tapes that NO PART OF IT label was doing, but being that those cassettes were all limited to 20 minutes per side, and since many of the chosen tracks that I’d liked most were longer than 20 minutes by themselves, it became necessary to edit extensively. I came to learn (and this came to me from LaBarge himself) that all of these releases are not only available for free on archive.org, but they are also available to publish freely within the public domain. With that kind of freedom, and with LaBarge apparently AWOL after his one single illuminating reply to me, I meddled with some of the tracks, and I edited excerpts as best I could. I tried to cram the essence of what I thought would be the most representational tracks by Buddhist on Fire into 20 minutes of condensed and focused sound. You’ll find herein what I considered and chiseled down into a CD length release, including what I’d decided on for the ESCHATOLOGY compilation . It could have easily been two, or even three times as long, considering what I’d culled from several hours of listening. Here is a little sampler of the pieces I’ve found with what I think is that glaring creative “spark” that I think some of us helplessly gravitate towards. By the way, Robert LaBarge has since converted from Buddhism to Catholicism, and wishes for any future releases of his work to fall under the name “Credo In Deum”.
Trou – ‘Grjòthaugr’ “TROU” (meaning “hole” or “void” in French) is a project which has been active for around ten years. Grjòthaugr has been reissued from a lesser known cassette back in 2017. Like another favorite TROU tape, “Nebelsturm” (2012), Grjòthaugr is a hypnotic, loop-based, trance-inducing industrial noise/ambient release like no other I’ve heard. It’s hard to tell for sure what makes these three lengthy tracks remain compelling for 15 to 35 minutes each. It could be Reichian phasing, moderate adjustments of effects, very careful layering, or maybe some other methods, but whatever the case may be, these loops of unknown origin take us on a journey. Much like locked grooves, Grjòthaugr’s three simple loops welcome us into a void, where sounds change and mutate with the listener’s engagement, and can appear to transform dramatically with slight changes in positioning. Much has been said about minimalism in art, and many a minimalist risks more than others the stigma for falling short of anything beyond mediocre. Here, whether it is sourced from tape loops or direct signals, we have a glaring example of compelling minimalist experimental music and noise. TROU is also known for creating exemplary harsh noise and HNW, and their releases are often diverse and wide-ranging, but Grjòthaugr, one of the outliers in the project’s vast catalog, stands as a crowning achievement, obviously worthy of a wider audience.
Blood Rhythms – ‘Zerrissenheit’ Mainly what Arvo Zylo did with recording sessions playing on John Cage’s first prepared piano! It is worked over in his signature style of excessive layering and looping, and also features contributions from Dave Phillips, Bruce Lamont, and Blake DeGraw.
Thirteen Hurts – ‘Threshold’ THIRTEEN HURTS is the chosen project name of one rather elusive character who calls himself One-Eyed Zatoichi. Active for many years, and having released the well-received “UVB-76” on NO PART OF IT label before, we were given the go-ahead to release two prior full-lengths under the THIRTEEN HURTS moniker. Enthralling, almost soundtracky, heavy electronics with no noise swashes or synthesizers to speak of, listeners will no doubt enjoy the very unique and compelling work here, which was released in digipak CD format with almost no promotion.
Modern Technology – ‘Service Provider’ Introducing the debut album for UK duo Modern Technology, which builds upon 2019’s critically acclaimed EP. As with the EP, ‘Service Provider’ was recorded by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse Studio, harnessing the intensity and energy of their stunning live performances. Modern Technology formed through a shared frustration of a post-truth society and political unrest that is currently suffocating our global conscious. Chris Clarke (bass & vocals) and Owen Gildersleeve (drums) confront these issues head-on, tackling themes of political injustice, social anxiety, austerity and inequality. Proceeds from their work are channeled to charitable causes via their not-for-profit organisation, HUMAN WORTH.
[mt129cs] Grant Evans – ‘Albatross’ C30 Americana-concrète. Tape-pitched elements — organic, synthetic and mechanical — weave in and out, blurring reality with dread and unease. Buzzing, scraping, swelling; dying voices in the cirque of tape-delay. Through the projects Nova Scotian Arms, Quiet Evenings, Ornamental Hairpin and labels such as Hooker Vision, VAALD and Adversary Electronics, Evans should need no introduction; he, along with partner and collaborator Rachel Evans have been a consistent, prolific force in the South for over a decade. 100 copies.
[mt130cs] Lapse – ‘Nothing Feels Right’ C40 Blown out and massed patterns of red-line scrape and abrasion; cyclical and blaring, a thunderstorm of gutter-nihilism emanates from the streets and sewers of NYC. 40 continuous minutes of rugged and ripping sound that never relents. Sensation of Living b/w Get Fucked up and Die. 2020’s definitive spirit. 100 copies.
[mt131cs] Jackson-Pratt – ‘Skullcutter Herringbone’ C40 Right through the center like an icepick headache. Direct, imposing and saturated, with abrupt shifts, quick edits and instantly piercing shards of feedback. Second MT tape for Seany and certainly not the last. Includes an epic tribute/cover/re-interpretation of The Replacements on the B-side. 100 copies.
[mt132cs] Scald Hymn – ‘Balming Mechanism’ C40 Four untitled tracks of brutish, inspired and primitive organics, recorded at the Western Massachusetts pillar Cold Spring Hollow throughout 2019 and early 2020. Bowed, scraped and clattering metals obstructed with patterns of tense electronics that at first threaten to engulf before conspiring to mitigate. Employing only the principal tools to their full potential. A distinctly New England touch. 100 copies.
[mt133cs] Blind Date – ‘Judy Garland Pavilion’ C30 The requisite principles of 1990’s metallic burl distilled through layers of aggressively employed junk and sharp 2000’s-era hyper-cuts are merged with skill. Crisply engineered and moving around the stereo field in a forward motion. With a steady and consistent series of releases via Dead Gods, New Forces, White Centipede, Angst and Oxen, Blind Date should need no introduction at all as an established institute for well-crafted harsh noise. 100 copies.
Lunaria – ‘Asphodel Meadows’ $8.5 Daniel Guillén guides us through the shadows on an album that is striking in how it mirrors the world’s present anxieties. Distinct proof that there is no line between light and dark, but that gray is where the beauty lies anyway.
Cloudsound – ‘Tempus of Diminution’ $8.5 Otherworldly crystalline structures vibrate on long waves as if telegraphed from deep space. Physical purchases include Air is Sky, an equally gorgeous digital bonus album recorded around the same time in 2012.
Jeph Jerman – ‘Grayware’ CS Jeph Jerman is a notable sound artist of the American experimental/noise music scene, a curious sonic explorer of the different qualities of sound. He started practising with recording and performing from the mid-80’s, improvising with natural found objects and constructed crude sound-making devices which play on their own. He experiments with various recording techniques, using stereo digital recorders, old analog tape machines, contact mics and hydrophones. “Grayware” is summarising his recent multidisciplinary approach of his sonic material. Jeph Jerman’s archival recordings distressed in various ways and recomposed here, producing convincing sounds the origins of which are unknowable. Abstraction of the music form turn listener’s attention ever toward the sounds themselves, which are occasionally interrupted by sound events that change the structure and the flow of the composition.
Baingan Bharta – ‘Bëblex α’ CS/DL Bëblex αlpha is the third album (and first cassette release) from Oakland-based Baingan Bharta. Surfing on sine waves as they fold in on themselves in morphing mise en abyme recursions and flowing fractal bursts — Baingan Bharta channels complex timbres and propulsive rhythms radioed in from a rave at the end of time. Across the ten tracks of Bëblex α the hockeymasked braindancer deftly balances noise and experimental techno alongside washes of ambient, drone, dub, industrial, and other electronic musics ranging from synthesized analogue bubblebaths to deep concrète realizations and computer music machinations. Bëblex α is presented as an edition of 75 full-length cassette albums, professionally duplicated and imprinted. Available as cassette only or as Bëblex αlphaβeta combo of cassette & floppy disk (edition of 20) w/ exclusive track “Bëtablex” + bonus digital EP Bëblex β.
Baingan Bharta – ‘Bëblex β’ floppy disk/DL Bëblex βeta is a floppy disk + digital EP presented as a companion piece to Baingan Bharta’s full length cassette album Bëblex α. Presented as an edition of 20 floppy disks w/ exclusive track, “Bëtablex” available nowhere else + a download code for the digital EP Bëblex β. Available exclusively in ‘Bëblex αlphaβeta’ combo of cassette, floppy disk, & digital downloads.
Eucarya – ‘Brutal Forest’ CDr/DL Four new works by Eucarya. Three short, one long. Strange primitive folk ways and mystic dronescapes using acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, piano, voice, and electronics. Released as a limited CDr with vellum printed art. Recorded 2019 at Mills College Center for Contemporary Music (CCM) in Oakland, California. Mixed and mastered by Eucarya (eucarya.net). Brutal Forest is presented as an edition of 23 CDrs w/ vellum printed artwork.