bigover.gif At the temporary AmbiEntrance HQ, it's HOT... godawful hot, and so humid it's like your entire body is being smothered with a wet superheated wool blanket. So, it's been a pleasure to soak in the A/C, listening to these various eclectic ends and odds from all over.

ashfelt: the butterfly chair ep   (Iris Light - 2001) (8.2)
Previewing their upcoming Iris Light release, ahsfelt tosses out four wacky, genre-mixing tidbits to whet your appetite... Ecstatic drum 'n' bassisms collide with warped electronica and a load of retro samples as Trumpet Funk (4:38) explodes upon impact.

Zion Train's remix of Fat Space Acid takes an FSOLish eartrip through electro-organic mutations, subharmonic basslines, choral drifts and rock-steady beats. Topped by (variously altered guises of) spoken discussion of the "I-wanna-dance-feeling", Klik (6:51), as reinterpreted by Pantonal is by turns spunky and hypnotic. The 'Ayin reworking of Trumpet Funk smears that track ino an almost ambient expanse of bleepy buzzyness, spoken fragments and spattery percussion, quite unrecognizable as its source.

Koji Asano: Autumn Meadow   (Solstice - 2001) (8.1)
Obviously, one unfamiliar with Koji Asano's work might assume that Autumn Meadow is a sonic painting of some boringly tranquil nature scene with fall colors... nope. The 68'21" soundscape defies such a simple description and certainly defies the falling-leaf serenity associated with the autumnal season. Continual gritty rumblings and feedback-like squealings course throughout the lengthy textural exploration, occasionally ebbing to a (somewhat) more-subdued growling laced with little pips of static. Noisy to be sure, but prolonged exposure to the gentle-despite-being-so-rough currents can lead to a transcendental state (or a numbness of the brain, whichever comes first).

Dissecting Table: Memories   (Triumverate) (7.7)
Ahhh... memories. Like, remember the time the demonic grunts and screams erupted from horrendously squawling power surges and death metal riffs of Memory I (8:35)? Or what about the time Ichiro Tsuji bellowed so gruffly during the frenzied outbursts of Memory II that it sounded like he was going cough up a vital organ? And how can you ever forget those bizarre stomach-churning sonic contortions of Memory IV (13:48) or the roaring guitars and the ominously pounding drums?

The more-sensitive listener will have to seek therapy to get rid of the horrific noise of these violent Memories. Stout stuff ranges from hard electrometal to turbulent organic explosions (and expulsions). Triumverate has your noise needs covered!

Dissecting Table: Power Out Of Control   (Triumverate) (8.0)
Though occasionally dealing in actual bits of "music" rather than just caustic grind-and-squeal, the four long tracks of Power Out Of Control will scour out your ear canals quicker than (but not as gently as) a steel-wool Q-tip attached to a power drill. Beneath the bellowing lows and screeching highs of Uncontrollable, a cool spy-jazz interlude weaves and bobs, even coming out in the clear for awhile.

The blistering noise-with-a-beat strains of Bottom (13:37) reveal techno styles and free-form electronics which are then buried again under massive assaults of distortion and metallic thuds, etc. etc. in its all-over-the-place meanderings. Monstrous demon-grunt vocals roar into the funkily rocking beatronics of Naturalism. Discover more about Japanoise-master Ichiro Tsuji at the Dissecting Table homepage.

Alex Keller: The Four Hundred Boys   (Mictlan Recordings - 2001) (8.1)
Alex Keller is serious about his sonic manipulations, presenting several pieces he's devised over the past few years. The disc opens on And the walls became the world all around; the title comes from a quote from "Where the Wild Things Are" and the bizarrely droning/sputtering sonic mutations are created/processed in MetaSynth. Based on ancient Mayan Popul Vuh, the fifteen-minute title track involves multi-reversed piano phrases (though you'd never know it) in its start and stop tonal blurts. Ringing tones swelter around Landscape: still life with bug lamp (3:46), a smeary layered blur dating back to 1995.

Spastically exploding with media-samples and static, Cosmetic (soundtrack) (19:54) changes gears several times... to big rippling soundwaves, then squealing streams of starkly wavering scree, then to murky beats, Space-Invader bleeps, thunderous assaults and more. Less-aggressive All of these things is often quietly percolating with unknown organic activities and muffled voices. The closing piece, Gun, features a fragmented spoken dream recollection. Though the intent of Keller's experimentations aren't always clear, the results are always unpredictable.

Larry Gaab: Peripheral Visions   (Morphosis Music - 2001) (8.5)
More amorphous symphonic stew from Larry Gaab... with slurry wafting motions within its glimmering golden haze, the opening title track sets the pace for Peripheral Visions. Wavering soundscenes as viewed through Unfocused Eyes (11:08) reveal more warm-though-foreboding swirls of deep gaseous tones.

The soft currents of Time Distortions are temporarily infiltrated by starker, aggressively furling curlicues. Ambiguous-yet-evocative Subliminal Edifications (4:41) swelters beautifully in moodchanging movieola scenes for the ear. Releasing his own sounds for awhile now (for instance, Resurrections), Larry is getting pretty good at this stuff. We'll hear more next month.

oleg kostrow: the great flashing tracks from ivona   (Storage Secret Sounds - 1999) (8.1)
The first of a series of short-playing (less than 1/2 hr.) CDs from Storage Secret Sounds... Kooky retroinstrumentals are laced with wacky effects... as if a lounge-revival act (remember Combustible Edison?) stepped in a pile of Looney Tunes sounds. skilauf for instance would be a perfect soundtrack for one of those early '60s Jerry Lewis movies... Xylophones, accordians, femme choruses and duck calls all find a place in the lite and lilting toe-tapper bie hofe.

Al Jolson is resurrected, his "Mammy" dialogue disintigrated and strewn about the jazzy space of todesvision. A hodge-podge of spoken bits are woven into the moody flute, drum and piano mix of der sack und das messer (7:35). Tribal patter and womanly whispers add a moody (though still quirky) touch to iwona's strip (1:11). I can't say this stuff isn't fun.

Mikron 64: sys 49152   (Storage Secret Sounds - 1999) (8.6)
Kraftwerk could eat their hearts out... they only sound like machines, whereas the "lead singer" for Mikron 64 is a machine... I'm entranced by the unfortunately-only-22-minutes-in-length, software-voiced rocktronica. Bippy, boppy computertunes burble in crystalline catchiness, for example, Somnenuntergang with its Germanic lyrics and blippy-though-warm delivery.

Damnably-hooky WGZ soars on old-school e-chords and digital rhythms. Buzzy "vocals" are lifted by the plinky notes of Etwas Zeit (5:11). Über-perky Allein Im Herbst (2:43) infiltrates my system almost as much as closing number Schwitzen... It's amazing how these inhuman entities can deliver more emotive material than most pop stars. Extra points for sheer fun.

nova huta: at babmij robot's nonstop datscha   (Storage Secret Sounds - 1999) (8.2)
Not quite as overtly quirky as the other Storage Secret Sounds discs overviewed here, but the eight tracks are still on that side of the fence... Jangly keys swirl around the rambling a day in nova huta (7:12) joined by a miniature theremin-style warble, warm organ drones and light beats. die radarfallenbande is a little goofier, sounding like kooky electronic circus music, while smooth soft end (instr. version) is lighter in mood and delivery.

Vibes and light beats briefly stipple the glowing radiance behind dr. jeckyll & mr. hyde (0:59). Rhumba-licious amazing tante diwan blurps around briefly with cheesy lo-fi electronics. The almost-28-minute disc closes on the the beat-impelled organ tones and twitters of babsie me (instr. version). Good natured strangeness.

v/a: Le Sacre Du Printemps   (Gonzo Circus - 1994) (8.3)
Hovering atmopsherics are impaled by a churning rhythm inDeutsch Nepal's "Twenty-Nine Needles" (7:28). "Blue Dust And The Tremor" is a didge/drum/drone piece of Vidna Obmana's most arid desert explorations.

Shimmering amongst a dusky twilight of sedate ethnobeats, "Khan Younis" is a relatively smooth offering from Muslimgauze. Several tracks in the disc's middle feature spoken (well, sometimes shouted) word passages in various languages; hard-hitting "Anthony's World" from Starfish Enterprises blends audioclips from child-molestation victims/cases with a churning guitar and drum expanse. Amongst vaguely-recalled artists like Morthound, Etant Donnés and Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo are several in the "huh? who?" category, like Elvis Peeters and Fred Angst and Budha Building..... Everything is Slow delivers a darkly cinematic turn of the neo-orchestral/tribal/choral variety with the impressively-climaxing "Dragger part three". Subtler awe is inspired by the moody closing numbers from Anna Homler and Budha Building. Certainly worth checking out if you can find it.

Posted July 31, 2001 | 1999/2000 Overviews Index

AmbiEntrance © 2000-1997 by David J Opdyke (except CD cover art, rights retained by original owners).