Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saviour Self/Grab Ass Cowboys split c30 (Skell 014)

This split tape features two of the Albany/Hudson area's most vital noise crews. Saviour Self is a duo from Hudson NY that works with mixers and pedals and various sound sources; the resulting sound is a distinct amalgam of patient dynamics and harsh textures. Albany's Grab Ass Cowboys use tape recorders, home-rigged microphones, percussive devices, and an array of pedals to create their sounds. This live piece from May 2012 is a killer example of their style, explosive and cacophonous in some parts and restrained and almost pretty in other parts. Each side smokes, can't wait to see where both these crews are headed next..... Edition of 50, SOLD OUT. Image manipulation/design by Julie Watts.

Skullorian Sound Sculptures--Keseruseg c60 (Skell 013)

Skullorian Sound Sculptures' Thomas Gerendas has been a busy man this year. While handling the artwork for Ghetto Naturalist Series (the outstanding label that he runs with Cruudeuces' Nathaniel Brennan), he's also managed to drop a solid collab tape with Sicsic Tapes headman Daniel Voigt. Here Gerendas returns under his more familiar alias of Skullorian, bringing forth 60 minutes of his trademark murky, scuzzy noise trickery. Sounds appear and disappear, they float and stumble together, and it all flows like liquid concrete. Before long, the tape is finished, and all that's left are the questions.... Edition of 50, pro-dubbed. $7 ppd. US, $8 rest of world. Image manipulation/design by Julie Watts.

Kraken Mare--Iapetus Ocean c30 (Skell 012)

Adam Harris is the man behind Kraken Mare--he also plays in Den and runs the excellent Retrograde Tapes label out of Chicago. Last year's self-titled gem on Retrograde was fashioned from huge, dark, and abyssal synthesizer tones. "Iapetus Ocean" offers up a bleak and stark collection of noises, patiently sculpted into massive structures, equal parts material and space. The waves of the ancient oceans are heavy with dread and the bloody memories of prehistory. Edition of 50, pro-dubbed, $7 ppd US, $8 rest of world. SOLD OUT. Image manipulation/design by Julie Watts.

Mortuus Auris and the Black Hand--the Transit of Venus c40 (Skell 011)

Peter Taylor's Mortuus Auris and the Black Hand project has been responsible for an intricate and unique body of work over the last few years. Outstanding releases on fine labels like Stunned and Reverb Worship have shown Taylor to be a clever and thoughtful manipulator of sound. On "the Transit of Venus" MABH creates an extended sonic ritual for the planet Venus that blends elements both old and new, giving the listener a deep look into a challenging, blissful, and well-ordered musical system. Accordion and warped vinyl and pitch-shifted tapes and electric organ all combine in forms that confound all expectations and yield a deeply meditative listening experience. Edition of 50, pro-dubbed, $7 ppd US, $8 rest of world. SOLD OUT. Image manipulation/design by Julie Watts.

Urkas--Desert Shapes c34 (Skell 010)

This is Urkas' third release, and on it the duo of Russ Alderson (Xanthocephalus) and Mike Griffin (Parashi, Burnt Hills) continue to improvise dense, abstract soundscapes generated from bass, a variety of junk percussion, and modular synth. Within these pieces desolate areas expand and open up endlessly, only to suddenly contract and reveal themselves as labyrinths of mysterious design. Edition of 50, pro-dubbed. $7 ppd US, $8 rest of world. SOLD OUT. Image manipulation/design by Julie Watts.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Toning Paranormal Romance c42 (Skell 009)

Cody Brant is the man behind Toning. After outstanding releases on labels like the late great Stunned Records and Eggy, he brings his soundworld over to the East Coast with this release on Skell. Paranormal Romance finds Brant continuing to tinker with miniature musical forms, preferring distilled and focused pieces to sprawling side-long jams. Guitars and synths make most of the sounds, but it is Brant's imaginative treatment of these instruments that separates him from the ranks of the arpeggio-istas that litter the current synth scene. He is scheduled to be touring in the spring of 2012 with synth pioneer JD Emmanuel.

Pro-dubbed, color covers, a gift of peace to those who need it, a gift of bliss to those who don't. Edition of 50, image manipulations by Julie Watts. $6. SOLD OUT, check Tomentosa or Flipped Out for copies.

Fossils from the Sun vs. Parashi/Xanthocephalus split c34 (Skell 008)

As a member of Burnt Hills and Century Plants Ray Hare's journeys into the deepest realms of guitar and vocal-based noise psych have inspired and impressed; while his long-running solo project FfrtheSun has released material on labels like Reverb Worship, Digitalis, and Peasant Magik. Parashi's Mike Griffin unleashed a slew of material in 2011, on labels such as Stunned, Tape Drift, and Ghetto Naturalist Series before joining Burnt Hills midway through the year. Their soundclash uses guitar, synth, and voice to brew an amalgam that drones, scrapes, and creeps its way through a side-long 17-minute ride.

Xanthocephalus is helmed by Brooklyn's Russ Aldertone, who released outstanding material on Kendra Steiner Editions and Ghetto Naturalist Series in 2011. He combines elements of harsh noise, field recordings, and occasionally furious bass playing, mixed together with a healthy sense of restraint amidst the chaos. COYE is a molten slagheap of sonics, powerful, menacing, and unique.

Pro-dubbed, color covers, lurking in the unseen matter of the universe. Art manipulation by Julie Watts.
Edition of 50. $6. SOLD OUT.

Cruudeuces--Various Skin Figurines c30 (Skell 007)

Cruudeuces' Nathaniel Brennan is a conjurer; utilizing tapes, percussion, clarinet, and various bits of electromagnetic interference, he creates cleverly detailed and utterly bleak zones of sound. After a slew of releases on labels like Kimberly Dawn, Tape Drift, his own Ghetto Naturalist Series imprint, and Existential Cloth, Brennan has a large and impressive body of work. On Various Skin Figurines, he uses a subtle palette, with thick and crunchy low-end tones balanced by swirling clouds of tape noise and darkness--the results are astounding. So happy to put this one out!

Pro-dubbed, color covers, ready to disturb sleep cycles and create vague feelings of dread. Art manipulation by Julie Watts, edition of 50. $6. SOLD OUT.