Saturday, June 30, 2012

Flung Far over Hills of White

Let's see. White Hills (#5, 2010)... and Farflung (#5 of 1995, #29 of 2010)?

White Hills/Farflung split
Wait, how have I gone without more recent White Hills? How have I not yet written about A Wound in Eternity (2008)? That's weird...

"Fade" by Farflung, from White Hills split-EP (2012)

I think I failt to mention this one before, because it sold out so shockingly quick. So yeah, it's a split-EP with one longsong from each band, on a vinyl edition of 1,000 only. Isn't Farflung groovy? [FB]

I can't find the magickal drone-out "To Find the Secret Door" by White Hills [tumblr] anywhere online, but you can get 3 WFMU live-on-radio sets at Free Music Archive instead. So definitely do that!

back cover
Just in case you didn't click some of those links, here are the videos that you missed!!

"Pads of Light" by White Hills, from Frying On This Rock (2012)

More recent White Hills...

"Endless Drifting Wreck" by Farflung

About A Wound in Eternity (2008)... how have I not yet written??

Friday, June 29, 2012

Russian Tropicaliambient

Just passing on something from Ad Hoc, which I don't check quite as often as I did the ol' AZ, but still...

Ou du Monde
Good album cover, good band name, good stuff!

It's Mpala Garoo, with "Vive L'immensite" from Ou du Monde (2010, 2012).

Keywords from Ad Hoc: "sweetly tropical vibes ... from Moscow, sweat dappled guitar and floating ambient headspace ... Ducktails .... float in a dreamlike trance..."

Clues from label: "Moscow multi-instrumentalist Ivan Karib ... also plays in Kon Tiki Gemini ... wondrous spaced-out and multi-layered electronics ... tropics invade Russia ... ghost guitars ring hollow, looping around endlessly..."

Some other videos over on Vimeo.

mpala garoo - open way up high by powwowed

That's the opening track. You can buy it from Bandcamp (download) or Experimedia (vinyl, US) or Aguirre (vinyl, Euro). Bandcamp also has the full stream!

Might as well tack on this one about Former Selves, with "Healing" from Telos (2012). Not from Russia, but still... They/he also has several other videos on Vimeo. (Maybe the new place to be?)

Former Selves are on Bandcamp: mostly streaming, a couple of freebies (Predictions). Also included on this Free label comp from what Ad Hoc called "the consistently exciting Bridgetown Records."

Their entire free catalogue!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Pontiacs through Bandcamp

It's Pontiacs! ... from Chile!

I've actually made two posts about Chilean artists: a Facebook trio of current psych bands, and the earlier prog of Jaivas.

"Ain't Working For a Lifetime" from Kidnapped by Natives (2010)

Some more jammin' Hippies en Sudamérica! There's plenty on Bandcamp, including this free one:

Pontiacs always remind me of Tom Waits' "The Pontiac" monologue.

Chile always reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut's anecdote about Nelson Algren: "Algren shook [José] Donoso (Yáñez)’s hand, but said nothing to him until we reached the bottom. He at last thought of something to say to a Chilean novelist: 'It must be nice,' he said, 'to come from a country that long and narrow'."

But apparently...
Pontiac's War or Pontiac's Rebellion was a war that was launched in 1763 by a loose confederation of elements of Native American tribes primarily from the Great Lakes region, the Illinois Country, and Ohio Country who were dissatisfied with British postwar policies in the Great Lakes region after the British victory in the French and Indian War (1754–1763). Warriors from numerous tribes joined the uprising in an effort to drive British soldiers and settlers out of the region. The war is named after the Ottawa leader Pontiac, the most prominent of many native leaders in the conflict.

Pontiacs??? Great Lakes?? ... amirite?

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Help A Brother Out! (Tom Carter)

Bad news via Ad Hoc, but maybe you can help.

"Bummer from Berlin-- Tom Carter [#8, 2008 and #5, 1993], one half of Texan psych/drone/folk OGs, Charalambides [#7, 1995 and #5, 1996], has been hospitalized for the past two weeks due to a mid-tour bout of pneumonia. He's currently in intensive care, his condition described as "variable and evolving" and he'll most likely be in the hospital for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. A fund is in the midst of being set up to help out Carter's family [updated link, 8/3: DONATE here], which is based in the states and will "incur a more than significant financial burden" due to medical bills, travel and housing expenses. In the meantime, Volcanic Tongue is donating all proceeds from Charalambides-associated releases to the cause. Our best wishes go out to one of the finest weirdos to grace music in the past couple of decades." -- Ad Hoc

"Dry Nod" by The Mike Gunn, from Almaron (1993)

Read more about the Tom Carter Appeal at Volcanic Tongue and at DONATION link is on that page, or easy-click here.

"Camptown Races" by Tom Carter & Christian Kiefer, From the Great American Songbook (2008)

As mentioned, Volcanic Tongue is also donating all proceeds from sales of Tom Carter, Christina Carter, the Charalambides family, and all Blackest Rainbow Recordings releases. So buy yourself something good to reward yourself for donating to the cause.

"Silvatica" by Charalambides, from Market Square (1995)

Strongly encouraged!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cosmos - Zombi (#1, 2004)
The Story So Far...

Holy shit. This post has taken me almost forever. No, seriously... the previous Top 10 of 2004 post was May 31st, 2010. Over two years ago!!

The original delay was for me to somehow get the vinyl-only bonus title track digitized and available. That never happened. Then I guess I just got psyched out by how much I really love Cosmos - it's still my favorite Zombi album. (I think.)

But now it's going in the hopper with an overall discographical history.

"Sequence 1" from Zombi EP (2001)

So it begins. This self-titled debut EP collection of secret-origin demo's is by far the most classically horror-soundtrack stylized of the Zombi albums, although they all have that DNA. All of the tracks are even named "Sequence 1" through "Sequence 8" - as was the (horror OST) style back in the days.

For a long time, I mostly read comparisons to Goblin, probably just because the band name derives from the Dario Argento-edited version of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead - titled Zombi in Italy (1978) - for which Goblin did the OST. But I've always heard more of the minimalist synthesizer tension of John Carpenter and his other devotees, rather than the often elaborate prog flourishes of Goblin. Probably by necessity, given the fact that Zombi are only a duo. (And later they would seem to edge closer to Tangerine Dream territory, but Goblin's definitely still in there - a bit.)

"DMC-12" from Twilight Sentinel EP (2003)

Only 4 songs on the 2nd EP, but the band has matured quickly. Kind of odd, in that the first track is "Sequence 8 [alt. version]" (last sequence on Zombi), and the second track is "Part 2" of a Cosmos track ("Gemini"). Then the last two songs are automotive related, because... for some reason. You might know the DMC-12 as the classic DeLorean model of stage & screen. And the great title track takes its name from a 40-year old GM light-control technology. The '60s!!

Both EP's together as The Zombi Anthology (2005) are available for download on both Amazon and iTunes. Original EP included a "hidden" bonus version of someone(s) playing Steely Dan's "Green Earrings."

Twilight Sentinel
So here we are... Zombi's 2004 classic double-album Cosmos! It's excellent. Caught between earlier growth & development and later experimention & genre explorations, the whole experience covers minimalistic mood pieces, horror-soundtrack vibe, some blown-out prog musicianship, epic synth-drone workouts, and anything else in the grab-bag.

"Orion" and "Cetus" from Cosmos (2004)

The opening one-two punch deals it out. The tight bassline in "Orion," the rolling drum fills, with the synth not really doing all that much work. Although the synthesizer is the "main" instrument, so much action takes place on the drumkit (obviously) and with the bass-work. "Cetus" rocks out so propulsive, even for "space rock." Now that we're here, I guess I should say that Zombi have always been Steve Moore (on synth/bass) and A.E. "Tony" Paterra (on drums/synth). They worked out of Romero's Pittsburgh for a long time, then it seemed like Chicago, and now I think it's from outta Brooklyn plus elsewhere.

That's my 15th video ever, from 9/25/2009. The keyhole wipe!

"Cassiopeia" from Cosmos (2004)

Set sequencer to stun. Now the arpeggiator!

"Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, who boasted about her unrivalled beauty," per Wikipedia. As you may have noticed by now, the tunes on Cosmos focus on space, the night sky, and especially constellations.

Wikipedia sez: "Orion, sometimes subtitled The Hunter, is a prominent constellation located on the celestial equator and visible throughout the world. It is one of the most conspicuous, and most recognisable constellations in the night sky." I'd never thought of a constellation having a subtitle.

"Cetus is a constellation. Its name refers to Cetus, a sea monster in Greek mythology, although it is often called 'the whale' today." Once again, from our friends at Wikipedia. Read the mythology Wiki links to learn non-Zombi factoids like "[t]he term cetacean originates from cetus."

"Serpens" from Cosmos (2004)

Cosmic vastness and kickin' beats. From here on out, Zombi mostly stretch it out to epic length. Risky, but they were up to the task. We're kinda beyond the horror thing here. Intro from the 2001 wormhole, or maybe the Imperial Vortex? The Sea of Fire? (Flash!) Many twists and turns, a building crescendo, planets collide, victory - or at least survival. (Alien!)

Check it out! Here's some demo's for three of those songs. I think I heard of a CDr release for these, but I've never actually seen it.

And "Serpens ('the Serpent') is a constellation of the northern hemisphere. It is unique among the modern constellations in being split into two non-contiguous parts, Serpens Caput (Serpent's Head) to the west and Serpens Cauda (Serpent's Tail) to the east. Between these two halves lies the constellation of Ophiuchus (the 'Serpent-Bearer')." (Wiki!)

"Gemini" from Cosmos (2004)

A little more epic now... One of the multitudinous things I dig about Zombi is how they balance the soundfield. Too much synth-oriented music occupies the ultra-higher-frequency end of the audible spectrum, which can get excessively grating. But without a bunch of non-synth instruments to get out the way of, we get a lot more deep-bass synth and mid-range, without the ear-splitting screeches. Also, drum & bass! - although not the electro genre of DnB.

Gemini is one of one two (HA!) constellations used here that also serve as an astrological star-sign. "Gemini ... love to talk! It's not just idle chatter with these folks, either. The driving force behind a Gemini's conversation is their mind. The Gemini-born are intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information." At least according to

The quite interlude "Andromeda" sounds the most like something from an actual (non-Goblin) Italo horror soundtrack, possibly of anything Zombi ever did. The Andromeda constellation contains the Andromeda galaxy - closest spiral neighbor to The Milky Way - and both are named for the mythological Æthiopian princess, daughter of Cassiopeia and sacrifice to Cetus.

"Taurus [edit]" [complete] from Cosmos (2004)

Taurus is the other star-sign. It's a bull. (Also a once-popular Ford automobile.) Wikipedia informs me that "It is one of the oldest constellations, dating back to at least the Early Bronze Age when it marked the location of the Sun during the spring equinox."

Man, I love this song! It's so ominous and stately, and eventually just bugnuts ending. That video is 2-years-old today... and that brings the album to a majestic close.

"Legacy" from Surface to Air (2006)

Zombi's next full-length record was Surface to Air (#1 Record of 2006). A much more difficult album to delve into, but well worth it. Several tunes still not on YouTube, but I just now discovered a Zombi Bandcamp - entire album streaming!!

The Digitalis maxi-single contained a couple of non-album B-sides in a more electro-space-disco vein - such as "Sapphire" (which would get its own 12" in 2009, with the non-album B-side B-side club banger "Long Mirrored Corridor").

!!!!! A little-known Zombi track appeared on Seed Records, Volume Two (2008): "Sessuale" - stream a bit and/or buy it.

"Spirit Warrior" from Spirit Animal (2009)

The rest of the #2 set of releases from 2009 included the next full album Spirit Animal and their split with Maserati. The latter had one Zombi track - here's 10 minutes of "Infinity."

Spirit Animal brought new instrumentation (guitar!), new cover artist Jeremy Schmidt (keyboardist of Black Mountain), and is by far Zombi's proggiest record. By far. Five extended cuts, with themed song titles ("Spirit Warrior/Animal", "Earthly/Cosmic Powers") - depending on your tastes, this might be the right place to jump in. Stream the whole album.

"Saturnalia" by Steve Moore, from Valerie and Friends comp (2009)

Steve Moore has also released material under his own name, under the alias Gianni Rossi, as Lovelock, and as a member of Miracle and of Titan. Plus various remixes, including one of Maserati's "Monoliths." Here's an old/outdated blog-post about solo Moore. Here's a very recent interview!

A.E. Paterra releases solo work under the name Majeure. He also filled the drum seat for Maserati's last tour (#3 Live Show, 2011).

Their most recent is the split-LP Brainstorm (2012) - stream or buy cassette, or buy the vinyl. Or check out a review...


Genre - Horror Soundtrack Synth-Prog
Official -
Myspace -
Location - Pittsburgh, PA

Review - Sea of Tranquility
Download - Amazon, iTunes
Lala - Cosmos
Purchase - Relapse Records [2xLP]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Barn Owl Landings

Awhile back, Thrill Jockey e-mailed me - as someone who had previously purchased the music of Barn Owl. They wanted to let me know that Evan Caminiti (Barn Owl member) had two new solo releases out. I simply cannot keep up with Barn Owl (#8 of 2011 and #11 of 2010), or either of their solo careers.

First up is the Night Dust LP, out May 15th on the Immune Recordings label. Very nice! Quite different than the usual Barn Owl. Also... "Video by Evan Caminiti - All footage was sourced from YouTube."

Another alias from Evan Caminiti is apparently going to be Painted Caves, and the new thing is one of those cassette releases. Limited edition of 200, self-released on his own Dust Editions label. Only 14 left @ $10 from Thrill Jockey distribution - includes digital download as well.

Night Dust
Actually on Thrill Jocket will be the upcoming Dreamless Sleep from E.C. - out August 21st according to Tiny Mix Tapes. Let's move on to the other ½ of Barn Owl...

Jon Porras released Black Mesa this year. As this review points out, that does sound more like Barn Owl! Pick it up from TJ on LP or CD.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tumblr Full o' Gnod

Everyone already knows how much I dig Gnod (#3, 2011), and I'm pretty sure that I've promoted their Tumblr before. Here's some recent stuff from there...

5th Sun
Emergency news: Pre-order Trensmat 7" and get immediate digital download. "5th Sun" b/w a dub version. This label prints super-limited runs and they sell out super-quickly. I've missed so many of these singles that I wanted... Act fast!!

I also just noticed that they've now got several old CDr releases up for sale on the right-hand edge over at Tumblr (STORE) - including many discussed in the History of GNOD post. Three Sticks a Penny (2009)?! Science & Industry (2010)?!

"Tron" live at Roadburn - Patronaat, Tilburg, Netherlands, 4/13/2012

Okay, back to our regularly-scheduled blogpost.

A great tune from Chaudelande Volume 1 (2011). I'm really hoping we get a GNODLIVE at Roadburn 2012 release at some point. I've been a big fan of the Roadburn live albums ever since the Earthless one (#3, 2008).

"Dropout" live at Kulturschiff Ms Stubnitz, Bremen, Germany, 4/16/2012

The title track from our #5 album of 2010! Not too many specifics, but here's the source club website.

Gnod-Manchester Night & Day Café Bar 12.06.12 by :::Dwellings:::

You can either stream or download this 2-song recording Live from Night & Day Café Bar (Manchester, England) on 6/12/2012. Tunes are called "1981" and "1982." Kinda low volume, but downloadable for real!

Gettin in by GNOD

Something fairly new, directly from the Gnod SoundCloud: "Gettin' In" (2 weeks ago). Haven't heard much minimalist drone from them in awhile now. 'Sounds for long distance runners and cyclists..?'

But everything else can definitely wait until you've pre-ordered the Trensmat 7", downloaded the .mp3's, and started listening immediately.

Why Can't We Live Together??

No, seriously. How have I never heard of this before?

"Why Can't We Live Together" by Timmy Thomas (1972)

From a list of 500 worst Rolling Stone reviews, #44:
Rating: Unfavorable

"To get to the point: This record is a piece of junk. It drives me out of the room when it's on the record player; it gives me a headache if I stay. Yet it is one of the top 40 best-selling albums in the country...Thirty minutes of listening to a hack organist and a metronome playing basically the same song in eight variations is one of the most abrasive experiences I've undergone in months."
(Russell Gersten, 4/12/73 Review)

I realize I'm probably in the minority on this, but I think it is kind of awesome that a song that consists entirely of a guy singing and playing an organ, accompanied only by a primitive drum machine, could reach the top ten - the simplicity of the presentation is precisely what makes this record so affecting. And I actually prefer Timmy's "Coldest Days of My Life" to the saccharine Chi-lites version.

#3 on Billboard!!

Why can't we live together?
I also love this one, on the Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin (1999), #313:
Rating: 3 Stars

"Their music isn't, how you say, universally accessible, and the weirdness gets same-y, but no one else has posited a parallel universe in which the Sixties and the Nineties exist simultaneously, allowing for a peculiarly convincing brand of monolithic robotic swirl." (Arion Burger, 5/27/99 Review)

"The weirdness gets same-y" in a "monolothic robotic swirl"?? What the fuck are you yammering about??

Yeah. The robotic swirl would come on their next album!!

You can start at the beginning of the list - he's currently up to #376 (Snooki-Riding-A-Metal-Phallus cover).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Zombicassetten (VCO)

Zombi's tape label has a new release (via Bandcamp) with a unique backstory, limited to 100 cassettes!

Here's what happened, per FaceBook...
About six months ago we received a most mysterious package. Contained within were some delightful sounds, and this little letter:
My name is Abul Mogard. I approached music in old age. I was born in Belgrad and spent most of my life working in a Serbian factory.

When I retired, I felt that my accustomed environment with all the acoustic noises I'd been listening to during my working years was gone.

Music was a way to somehow recreate these surroundings, and while not having a formal musical education, I realized that using electronic musical instruments would make this possible.

These machines could also make similar sounds to the ones I remembered. I started working with synthesizers and other devices, some of which I built myself over the past few years.

Please enjoy.

Abul Mogard

VCO listeners, do please enjoy the sounds of Abul Mogard.

Those sounds comprise the oceanic waves and floaty drift of ambient synth drone. Recommended if you like that sorta thing!

Abul Mogard
Some more info (order from Bandcamp):
Composed by Abul Mogard using Farfisa organs, a Moog synthesizer and digital samplers. Processed through various kinds of analog and digital equipment.


Despite Faith 7.41
Drooping Off 10.12
The Purpose of Peace 9.38


The Room 16.37
Android Manouvres 13.40

Pretty sweet, but act now!! Some of the other ltd-ed VCO catalogue is either gone or going fast.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Caroliner Rainbow Pick-up Overdrive

I own only one Caroliner record, Rings on the Awkward Shadow (1994 2xLP, released under the name Caroliner Rainbow Grace Blocks Used in the Placement of the Personality).

The Cooking Stove Beast
But I just picked up 6 of their LP's, for what could only be called bargain-basement prices (most at $10). So low that I'm actually considering them as investments, but maybe this post will lead me to different conclusions. Let's find out!

"Staddalakasta Vein Loom" Hous-towne Tejas, 1800's

Couldn't find anything from Awkward Shadow, but that video clip is named after a song on it. Also it references the Astral HQ city: "live from the banks of the Buffalo Bayou, circa 1883." Caroliner was an experimental anachronist band from San Francisco, and you can read more over on Wikipedia - I'm no expert.

"Mud Cup Monocle" from Rear End Hernia Puppet Show (1985)

Since the artwork is very obscure, I had to do a little research to figure out what I'd got. First up looks like their debut album, Rear End Hernia Puppet Show (1985 box, under the name Caroliner Rainbow Hernia Milk Queen). Sounds kinda Beefheartian, huh? Currently listed on eBay for $75. If my research proves correct, this is probably the big find since it's the oldest of the bunch...

"Dusk" from I'm Armed with Quarts of Blood (1986)

I also picked up I'm Armed with Quarts of Blood (1986, as Caroliner Rainbow Stewed Angel Skins) - which is their 2nd album according to Discogs. I'd actually heard of this album back into the '90s. I guess along the lines of Horse Cock Phepner by Sun City Girls, with whom I'm sure Caroliner shares some kind of history (or at least philosophy).

"Fanged Hymen Flee In Terror" from The Sabre Waving Saracen Wall (1992)

Which brings us to the apparent 4th record, The Sabre Waving Saracen Wall (1992, as Caroliner Rainbow Fingers of the Underground & Their Breakable Bones). Hey, I'm starting to think I might just keep these... weirdo stuff, yeah!

"Huge Gunset" from The Cooking Stove Beast (1992)

Also in 1992 came The Cooking Stove Beast (by Caroliner Rainbow Susans and Bruisins). This one comes with a t-shirt that has two pieces of art - on paper - glued to it. Kinda doubt that I'll ever end up wearing it.

"The Superfluous Snap Pipes The Veteran Lung" from Seal Heal Holler (1995)

The last of the true LP's was Seal Heal Holler (1995, under guise of Caroliner Rainbow Customary Relaxation of the Shale). From what I can see, Caroliner is pretty generous with spelling out all of the lyrics on their homemade insert art. But I guess if you want to read along to the internet, that's something too.

"Gut" from 'Not an LP, a 50+ Minute 7" in 12" Form, including...' (1998)

And finally, as the insert explicitly says: "Not an LP..." So this is a 2-song single (7" in 12" form), that's longer than most full-length albums (50+ minutes). The A-side up there seems pretty Sun Cityesque to me, and the B-side is called "Lower Intestinal Clocks." I'm betting it's pretty weird as well. [Oops, forgot to mention the official release artist: Caroliner Rainbow Stand Still or Fight Beans and Sunstroke.]

I also got the previous owner's list of Caroliner albums as a "folk" insert with this maxi-mega-single. Bonus!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

The Lost Tapes Cometh

Get ready for a new Can boxset of unreleased material - coming June 19th to America! 3 CD's!!

"A Swan Is Born" from The Lost Tapes (2012)

Can (#1, 1973) was possibly the greatest of the avant-garde, post-hippie era of German experimental bands. Read more & download this track over at Pitchfork. I found this other video at the Mute Records site for the set...

"Millionenspiel" from The Lost Tapes (2012)

From Das Millionenspiel, and from #8 Podcast Mix of 2010.

The Lost Tapes
I am soooo ready now!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Space Rock in Memoriam

If you've been following the LP4 blog, you've heard about the new mega-comp benefit for ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in memory of Lee Jackson. As featured recently at Foxy Digitalis and on Pitchfork...

Get it now over at Bandcamp!

Lee Jackson in Space comp
For $30, the 94-track For Lee Jackson in Space (2012) includes:
Linus Pauling Quartet (#3, 2007) - "Elven Queen" Track #10

Six Organs of Admittance (#10, 2009) - "Which Way to Townes?" Track #17

Exterminating Angels (#17 Metal, 2009) - "Opening" Track #54

ST 37 (co-#14, 2010) - "German Verman" Track #55

Charalambides (#5, 1996) - "Joy Shapes for Lee" Track #66

Christian Kiefer (co-#8, 2008) & others - "The Infinite Tides" Track #83

MV & EE with the Golden Road (co-#8 Live Show, 2009) - "Hammer > Jam" Track #87

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma (of The Alps: #4, 2010) - "The Placeless Place" Track #90

Roy Montgomery (from #8, 1996) - "Christchurch in the time of Tony Peake" Track #46

Along with tracks in a variety of styles - by SubArachnoid Space, Locrian, Volcano the Bear, The Weird Weeds, Doleful Lions, Gate, Windy & Carl, Seht, Zelienople, The Green Pajamas, Wooden Wand, Hush Arbors, and many many others...

Stream or purchase here: