Friday, May 23, 2014
dugoutcanoe // Juxwl - Split c42
Landlocked into the growth cycle of the seasons. The artic blasts drifting down from the mountains by the calendar turn, obliterating life so it can always start anew every year. It’s reflected in the synthetic swells and budding beats, hardly managing to peak through the weight of the dirt. Both sides of this split between Iowa artists dugoutcanoe, from Fairfield, and Juxwl, from Ames, grow and bloom through a strange kind of organic electronics, replacing the glow of electricity with natural colors.
Kamrar - Glullings c42
I remember reading an article about Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox doing some early tape loop recordings on a rooftop somewhere. I don’t remember very many of the details, and I also completely misidentified the concept of “tape loops” when approaching the recording of Kamrar material, which starts with a cassette tape player, passes through an enormous string of effect pedals, and ends with a loop pedal, with the source material being pulled almost entirely from used new age, instrumental, and self-help cassette tapes, thrifted from junk stores around the Midwest. The result is a kind of improvisational DJ set, wherein meditative tones, world music, and inspirational speakers are juxtaposed into a wall of layered tones, untethered by time, melody, or rhythm. Glullings is the sound of forfeited musical history bubbling up beneath its own timeline, like magnetic tape melting in a fire, the sparks rising in patterns before disappearing into a night sky the color of the tape in which they rose from.
Skyscraper - K & L c42
“I spliced my sampler into the timeline of a world filled with religious traditions and listened to too much gritty hip-hop to keep it from sounding pretty. Then, I started having these perfect dreams about a tall, dark-haired girl named Luney, who came to represent the line I drew as a guidepost for judging both my sanity and the state of my soul. And then I stopped having the dreams and let the samples ride out toward infinity, unchanging in search of eternal youth.”
DJ DJ TANNER - TOWNIE c42
Another one in the DJ DJ TANNER ongoing series which will, someday, total twenty-four in all, this tape follows the drunken townie, stumbling out of morning mass and into the city streets filled with storefronts, every other window covered with cardboard and FOR LEASE signs. It's a simple city, and its calmness is reflected in the source selection of the album's loops, pulling from dirty old thrift store 45s.
It’s a kind of surreal parade of used-up small-town offerings, celebrating the shortcomings of a city too small to satisfy its citizens, and just large enough to keep anyone from leaving. TOWNIE follows the movements of its people like researching the repetitious trends of an ant farm, as the experiences of each character fade into and out of the whole picture, looping endlessly, generation after generation.
Curt Oren - I LOVE MY DOG c22
Iowa City-based avant-saxophonist Curt Oren has been ripping down the walls of any kind of woodwind tradition and stuffing the new space with the always untraceable habit that noise has for communicating the soul, raw and revealed. Like jazz for the unbridled pace of the internet age; each of the album’s seven tracks quickly building and tearing down arpeggiated peaks of brass fingering while the sound that the soul makes claws its way to the surface to scream and disappear behind shifting tectonic plates of sound.
SEEZUREFACE - Moon Moan Hymnal c32
The third SEEZUREFACE tape on Warm Gospel finds the Iowa City musician reaching a new foothold of fidelity and scope, beyond the land-locked viewpoint of Midwest experimentation. When it’s dark and you are surrounded by trees, the only place to look is up. What you’ll find up there is otherworldly colors communicated aurally via maximal synth cuts roaring out over staticy radio signals from stations along the Earth’s surface. Broken drum rhythms tuning in and out as voices from years of media echo between through the tradewinds, obliterated by the atmosphere, and into astral territory suddenly filled with sound.