Tuesday, September 25, 2007

6Majik9 - Sinister Kindness

6Majik9 is a musical project that comes from the owner of the Music Your Mind Will Love You imprint from Australia and one half of Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood, needless to say, but this record is pretty good and follows an impressive body of previous work. The first side of this tape is very haunting at times but also features the use of random wind instruments and a zither-sounding instrument to open the sound. The music is generally very free and meditative with a clear understanding of the concepts involved.

The creative use of feedback and delayed vocals add a chilling sensation to the music. Interestingly enough, about halfway into the first side, the group brings in some welcome variance with an almost Mars Volta-esque section, followed by more free drones and percussion that plays a big role through the end of the side. The second side is also very well done, but doesn't contain as much interest as the first. The side starts out pretty mellow and develops into a slightly chaotic montage with concentration on very harsh, high frequency sounds.

8.5/10 more information and ordering at abandonshiprecords.com

Capricorn Wings - Precenc

Capricorn Wings is a duo that falls into the same musical vein as (VxPxC) and The North Sea. They could very easily be lumped into the psych-folk genre and said to be more of the same, but there is some really creative music being made by these two musicians. There is an obvious drone/raga influence that permeates most of side A and a knack for using alternate sources for sounds such as vinyl and microphone feedback. The development of this side of the tape is very well paced and demonstrates a musical patience that is pretty uncommon in western music.

The second side of this tape is much more mystical sounding, and gets to even be a little ominous. The organ textures are extremely effective and add an interesting element to the mechanical sounding drone that dominates the mix as the piece develops. Overall this tape is pretty well recorded and contains some really good material. Definitely worth checking these guys out.

7/10 more information and ordering at abandonshiprecords.com

Monday, September 24, 2007

Thousands - Skinless/Boneless

Thousands is a self-proclaimed psych-folk supergroup centered around members of LA trio (VxPcC). This release lives up to their claim, building impressively to their already strong catalogue. This tape from Abandon Ship Records features two side-long pieces that demonstrate the versatility of this group in an improvised setting. This is one of the best things these guys have put out so far, its a little bit less free than some of their past work, but the focus is a welcome change.

Both of the pieces on the album are excellent, but "Boneless" is especially compelling with its creepy whistling and distant vocals that permeate the various sounds contained within the music. This album is definitely worth picking up if you've had any exposure to their earlier work or any of the related bands.

8.5/10 more information and ordering at http://abandonshiprecords.com

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stone Burner - ABYDOS

Stone Burner is a collaboration between both members of Agilvsga and Grant Capes from (VxPxC). The result is a very focused collection of music that has been released on Abandon Ship Records. "ABYDOS" features some of the better work of all of those involved, possibly even raising the bar for the oodles of drone tapes out there. This music uses a lot of drone, but luckily the players involved have mastered the art of dynamics, often letting a softer drone highlight a different element in the music.

The tape is exceptionally well planned-out with the more percussion dominant tracks comprising side A and all of the guitar and noise pieces on the other. The recording quality, while not crystal clear the whole time, matches the music very well and complements the tape format as well. This tape is a solid release for any new musical venture, this trio certainly has a way of kicking things off.

8/10 more information and ordering at www.abandonshiprecords.com

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Orangeyellowred - Make an Ugly Friend

Orangeyellowred is a singer-songwriter from Marion, Indiana that started his recorded career late last year with the album "Make an Ugly Friend". Listening to this album for the first time, the opening track, "Vacation" will catch pretty much anyone who is used to the dime-a-dozen songwriter rather off-guard. His playing is solid, but his voice is what makes him stand out from most others. His singing style is unique and actually different, which is pretty rare these days. If you make it through the first track, which might be the weakest one on the album, the listening experience becomes very rewarding, the unique sound grows on you in a way only a few records have ever done.

Every song is well written and the album gets better the longer you listen, simply because you forget the weirdness of the voice, actually grow comfortable with it and by the end of the album, you begin to wonder if you always haven't listened to music this way. I cannot stress enough the truly rewarding nature of the listening experience attached to this album. Definitely a great album to pick up if you're not afraid of owning a singer-songwriter album that doesn't sound like another damn Jack Johnson album.

9/10 more information and ordering at www.crossroadsofamericarecords.com

Away With Vega/Husband & Wife - Split EP

Another release from the prolific Indiana indie rock scene features two bands from the southern half of the state, Husband & Wife from Bloomington, and Marion heroes Away With Vega. This one is a bit older, but definitely still worth picking up. The songs featured on this release are some of the best from each band and is either unreleased or a completely unique version to the EP. Away with Vega has two songs, "A Baby Boy Sleeps", originally from their album of the same name, and "Make your Muscles" a track that was originally for their full-length "Recovery". Husband & Wife offers two tracks originally from their album "Operation:Surgery", "Battlecab Dramatica" and "The Irons, New Lion" as well as a cover of Away With Vega's "Aurora and Tithonus".

This release is definitely a solid record and would serve as a great introduction to either band. The bands complement each other in a way that is rather uncommon these days, bearing the musical benefits that bands get from long associations and many nights sharing the stage. The vibe from this record is infectious and will have a spot in your head, replaying a maddening number of times, but really with this music playing in your head, going crazy doesn't sound so bad.

8/10 more information and ordering at husband-wife.net

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Husband and Wife - Operation:Surgery/Tour EP

Husband and Wife is a band from Bloomington, Indiana that has been playing emotive, driving rock for some years now throughout the Midwest and beyond. Their sincere sound and captivating live shows have earned them quite a name among the strange and sheltered scenes around Indiana. They have been very busy over the last year with two releases on the label Crossroads of America, run by the band's singer. They released their latest full-length, "Operation:Surgery" late last year and this year released a tour EP with some reworked versions of earlier material.

Both of these releases are dense in a way that there is just a huge amount of emotional force going into these songs without making the listener contemplate an early demise. Songs about life, love, sadness, and happiness are complemented by some very talented instrumental work from the entire band. Operation:Surgery not only offers great songs, but has some complex musical figures that give testimony to the fact that these guys can play their instruments quite well. For fans of rainy days and colored leaves in the fall.

9/10 more information and ordering at http://corssroadsofamericarecords.com

Igor - Solo View

Igor Grigoriev is a Los Angeles-based composer who s a member of the free jazz ensemble, The OGOGO. He has been very active in the Avant-Garde scene there for quite a while and is also an avid soloist, blending elements of jazz and classical with a significant amount of atonal chaos. His latest effort, "Solo View" is a collection of compositions that range from chaotic noise pieces to a few more tame guitar works.

Listening to the album straight through, the first half seems to be significantly more chaotic and much harder to listen to than the second half, which is much more coherent in nature and more clearly shows Igor's talent for composition. The tonal side of his compositional style lends itself much better to his impressive chops while the atonal chaos sounds forced from the screaming amp. However, Igor does do a really good job of making his instrument emulate other instruments throughout the disc. Overall, this would be a good addition to any collection of guitar-based art-music. He certainly pushes the limits with what is sonically possible, albeit at times sacrificing some elements of musicality.

7/10 More information and ordering at www.myspace.com/ogogoigor

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Dirty Projectors - Rise Above

The Dirty Projectors are a band that recently signed to Dead Oceans, a new label from Bloomington, Indiana. Their new album "Ride Above" drops tomorrow. After a couple of releases on some smaller labels and a ton of touring, this band is starting to make a name for themselves and this album will serve to grab some serious attention in the music world. Their unique blend of spastic guitars and hyped-up group vocals is a sound that is both fun and mind-bending.

About ten seconds into the first track on this album, it becomes apparent that you are listening to something significantly different from the current indie-pop mantra. With a healthy dose of dual guitar interplay and creative percussion, The Dirty Projectors have created a diverse collection of musically engaging songs. It takes quite a songwriter to get polyrhythms and musical lunacy stuck in your head for any extended period of time, but this is exactly what they have accomplished with "Rise Above". this album is bound to be loved by previous fans, and fans of Hella and Animal Collective as well.

8.5/10 More information and ordering at www.deadoceans.com and www.myspace.com/dirtyprojectors

Monday, September 3, 2007


Rodeo Ruby Love is a prolific group from Bloomington, Indiana. Driven by the songwriting ability of guitarist/vocalist Zachary Melton, and complemented by a varying ensemble of musicians that both flesh out the musical arrangements, and bring the ideas to life, this group has put out a trio of discs over the course of late last year and early this year that demonstrates the progress of the musical Midwest. The songs are as endearing as they are catchy, and as honest as they are fun. There is an unmistakable tone of the genuineness in the words on each of the albums, leading to a refreshingly simple listening experience.

Rodeo Ruby Love has a lot of potential going for them, both musically and geographically, with the scene in Bloomington really thriving these days. This group is bound to go as far as they really want. Its really only a matter of time.

Select Discography and quick ratings:
"Your Love Has Made Everything Beautiful" XRA 002 8/10
"What Loneliness can do to You" XRA 007 8.5/10
"Honest to God" XRA 008 8/10
more information and ordering at http://crossroadsofamericarecords.com