Gordon Ashworth has spent the better part of his musical career making sounds that feel like they could liquefy your lower intestines if the volume was just so, either by himself as Concern or as a member of groups like Knelt Rote or Vile Horrendous Aerial Bombardment. For his latest trick, he is re-releasing his limited run cassette s.t.l.a. on vinyl and digitally via Chicago label Orindal. The music on it is, in some ways, his most terrifying work yet, stretching out piano chords and long drones to their breaking point and wrapping in recordings captured during his day job as a taxi driver. This track is an equally creepy ode to American Primitive guitar stylings, with steely melodies ratcheted up in volume until the become almost unbearably fuzzy, each one drunkenly stumbling over the other and fighting for dominance.
The oddball, rarely-used keyboard key title of this EP should give you Autechre/Aphex Twin fans an idea of what’s in store with its three tracks. The jitterbugging beats and slushy electronics that Sun Hammer trucks feel positively life-giving, sort of like Ed Harris breathing liquid in The Abyss. Just heavy enough to feel strange upon your first inhalation, but then it becomes so much easier to let sink into the bronchi. Okay, it’s a strange metaphor, but that’s exactly what I envisioned when spinning these tracks the first couple of times. Give it a listen and tell me what images it dredges up in your mind.
Another PDX Jazz Festival has come and gone, and just as it is most every year, it left me both elated and deflated. The big ticket concerts that I was able to see as part of my day job were, for the most part, just good enough with moments of brilliance sparking up among a lot of lukewarm expressions. With a lot of festivals of this kind, the real moments of inspiration were found in the small shows sprinkled throughout the event – like this stunning avant jazz set by the duo of Elliot Ross and Scott Cutshall. This all improvised performance was captured for posterity at the unusual venue of a hotel bar in SW. See if you can hear the audience getting restless as this pair creates dark tapestries of often-Middle Eastern-inspired guitar, electronics, and marimba.
Here’s a nice treat I tracked down just yesterday – a collection of tunes that sound like the broken remnants of a pop song trying to reassemble itself before getting stomped back into pieces. It’s the creation of a gent named Peter Falkson, about whom I know absolutely nothing. And as a longtime fan of Jandek, I’m very much okay with being in the dark on this. Especially when the music is this good.
Speaking with Daniel Schultz about this project the other night got me terribly excited for its future and its impact on the noise scene. An unapologetic and heartfelt exploration of religion in the modern sphere through the lens of noise music. Schultz, who is the voice and spirit behind the label Apneic Void and the experimental project Troubled By Insects, debuted this project at last month’s Eugene Noise Festival and just unleashed its debut cassette for all to hear and purchase. I suggest you do both.