Thursday, July 5, 2007

Two Stunning Releases from Peasant Magik

These two releases are some of the first I've heard from the Philadelphia label Peasant Magik. The first thing that one willl notice with these two cassettes are packaged very nicely. Salvatore Giorgi, the brain behind the whole operation, has put a lot of effort into presenting his label's music in a professional, sharp-looking way. Okay, onto the music;

The first tape with which I started was Gallows "The White Lodge". This is the first music I've heard from this band and I must say that I'm pretty impressed. The tape opens with a piece that incorporates elements of 50's sci-fi soundtracks into an otherwise average drone/noise piece. Luckily, Gallows sticks to noise that is largely musical in nature. The intrigue of the first track and the gentle swells of harmonic feedback and other unknown sounds played in reverse on the second track are more than enough to keep me interested to the end of the tape. The third track is not a let down either, it serves as a kind of capstone to the rest of the release. The ominous sounding drones on this piece are complemented with more beautiful swells of harmonic bliss and a repeating rhythmic loop that at times serves to give the listener a more grouned feeling of movement and direction. Overall, i would encourage anyone even remotely interested in experimental music to give this tape, and band a try.
8/10 This release is in an edition of fifty and my be ordered from

The second tape I delved into was a self titled tape by Blown Doors. This release is a bit darker than the Gallows cassette but falls into roughly the same noise/drone genre, although genres never seem to do music justice. The vein of noise this group chosses for the first side is mostly static, even organic drones and noises. The band creatively uses reverb and other effects to create a nice sense of space within a relatively dense soundscape. Toward the end of the first side, there are sounds that can be vaguely recognized as guitar and maybe even a bass as well, run through a cornicopia of noisy pedals and placed against other harsher noise. At the very end of the track, the noise reaches its harshest and ends in a cacophony of sorts. The second side begins with a handclap and mysterious, almost industrial type drone that contrast nicely with the static bombast of side A. This side of the tape definitely conveys a sense of urgency not present in the other piece, or in many noise recordings in general. The haunting harmonies of the feedback are very effective and even catchy, especially if you've been listening to noise recordings for a period of time. This piece seems to be riddled with organ and most certainly guitar, which could be the main culprit behind this entire tape. The swells in Phobos, the title of side B, are nearly stunning in their music breadth and depth.
8/10 This release is in a sadly small edition of twenty-five and may also be ordered from

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