Thursday, October 20, 2005

heep see

Hangable Auto Bulb
"Laughing Butane Bob"

Has it really been ten years? Not exactly, as I don't think I was enthralled enough with the Warp label and the enigmatic Aphex to seek out any and all Dick James records I could until late college, so perhaps I mail-ordered both of these twelves back in 1998. I also wound up with weird twelves by Woodenspoon and Rubber Johnny, who I'm told are not actually the man himself, but I'll be damned if it's really JP Buckle twisting and tightening up that taut snare flurry.

Simon Reynold's recent Aphex Twin piece puts his prime output only up to "Alberto Balsam," but these are my favorites sides, falling as they do between my two favorite Aphex albums. At the time, this was impossible music, delirious to spin and imagine the future possibilities. Friends of mine, excellent musicians in their own right, would marvel at similar tracks, like Squarepusher's "Port Rhombus," its melancholic melody entwined with knotty rolls and rubbery basslines, trying to figure out a way to make all those changes in real-time and finally giving up. A shame that most proponents of this music went up their own arses soon after and that if I really want to hear drum and bass, that now means the new Lightning Bolt.

I also discussed these "Hangable Auto Bulbs" (along with topics ranging from Revenant to reggae) for one of them Stylus Magazine podcasts, y'know, Stycast.

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom
The Days of Mars
"Rise (DFA Remix)"

Matos's disavowal (near the bottom) of this record only confirms my suspicions that this is the aural equivalent of Ritalin. While to his ears, it just sounds like they set up some presets on their gear and left the room (which is sorta what they do for some of their pristine installations), there's a ridiculous amount of arpeggial weaving at work here. Of course, I am into what they do, and I find myself getting stuff done while spinning it, such as hitting deadlines, oiling floorboards, alpha-beta-izing white labels, or checking my thread count. Tom Breihan's comment about this being the perfect album to look at NYC skyscrapers is spot-on, whether he realizes it or not. This drawing on their homepage is from some Nazi architecture sketches.

Dominik Eulberg
Flora & Fauna
"Die Invasion der Taschenkrebse"

It's tough to mention Eulberg without referencing Phillip Sherburne's worthy piece. I still have yet to scope the bio, much less translate the deliciouly elongated titles for his tracks (maybe I should make my German friends translate for me? Or else find the nicest way of putting the above title as "Invasion of the Cancerous Sacs"), and when I did a Stycast recently, I played one of these Eulberg tracks just to make Todd Burns tell me what he knows. A biologist or horticulturalist that makes such the case for intelligent design in nature's patterns? Ja.

"Face B"

I don't know if I've ever worked harder to keep an album on my radar this year and in my sightline than I have for Isolee (yeah, more Sherburne links, I know). Sent to me in one of those little slipcases, I generally lose such wafers the moment they're out of the mailers, and have dozens stacked up that will never ever see the laser-light. And after months of forgetting about it on my iPod or forgetting to dig it back out from under that pile, it's finally paid off for me. It's hard to pick just one track out of it, as each one tucks so many pleasures in so many pockets (sorta like that thing I do every year at the end of winter, where I tuck a few bucks in a coat, so that next time around, I'm nouveau riche), and what may not sound like my favorite the first minute in, unzips and stacks up to reveal its treasures (mega bucks). Juxtapose the way that he uses guitar textures here versus how Boards of Canada listlessly do and it's easy to see who among them is really moving things forward and which one will place in my Top Ten at the end of the year.


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