Intermittent D.I.Y. music / art / life writing projects.

Month: September, 2013

Justin Marc Lloyd – Year of the Water Dragon Vol 2 &3 C40 + C45 + zine (Rainbow Bridge) –



There is an odd psychedelic quality I perceive. I think it’s somewhere between the inclusion/illusion of tonalities, and the usage of delays in this noise music Justin Marc Lloyd has put on these tapes. This is definitely in the category of noise music that I enjoy the most. It’s dingy analog overload intensity is warmly welcomed by my imagination. I enjoy the many different directions the sound takes, which are not easy to predict, but take a course that doesn’t seem completely random. I can’t see so clearly how a lot of the sounds would be made, what the source material would be, or what kinds of manipulation are taking place. I can pick out a few tricks here and there, and without demystifying them I’ll just say that I think some of the techniques used are interesting. There are odd drone-out segments that spiral in or outward into the next wave of heady distorted weirdness, bringing out the transporting, psychedelic feel that I get from this recording. If there weren’t any troughs in the intensity, the overall impact wouldn’t leave so much room for mental travels. There’s a piece of plundered music, slowed down and distorted, muffled under a blanket of static at the middle/end of side b. Strange. Kind of demented, showing maybe a humorous vent. Lots of blasting, gurgling and scraping wound in neon gauzes of overdriven tape.

This is some very well done, spur-of-the-moment noise work. The zine that comes with it, which is made up of various trashed images manipulated by a b/w copy-machine, is pretty fun, too. Artwork overall is fabulously colorful and explosive, as is deliciously par for the course for Rainbow Bridge. I enjoy the introspective and emotional injections that JML posits in his work, whether in his descriptions, titles, or artwork. His is a unique and enthusiastic take on noise experimentation that I view as a valuable contribution to the stew of home-recordist noisists.

Geoffrey Sexton – 197 black pendulums / athousand rattlesnakes in the trees C33 (Hooker Vision)



Geoffrey Sexton is a video and audio artist grown in Tennessee and now situated in Los Angeles, California, who has been publishing his video experiments in abstraction through his Univers/Elementum label since year 2009. The audio element of his beautifully-lush-with-aesthetics-of-decay video works has included music by Clearing, Sparkling Wide Pressure, Pink Priest, Lee Noble, Horsehair Everywhere, Coupler, Trabajo. He has released a few of these short musicfilms in gorgeously packaged limited quantity 3” dvdr pressings in partnership with friend label Kimberly Dawn, and also self-released a full length film on dvdr in a slim full size dvd case which is also slickly packaged. These are all wonderful documents of visual and aural textures, often featuring decaying matter; rust, grime, filth, colorful fungus, crumbling buildings, etc. He includes in his dense, intricately layered video work most anything that has a colorful, textured surface. His video work is obsessively of this deep-seated tactile nature, as is his audio work on his own and with The Old Rig and Horsehair Everywhere. It seems he claws at these colors and textures through his creative work, trying to break through the finest fibers of the reality they represent to him, seeking the gush-through of secrets beyond the threshold? There is also rumination, poetry, and dancing in the images, which displays and discusses the many facets about which he is fascinated. His work has deepened in complexity and adeptness of editing/visioneering over the last few years, and the direction he is moving in proves to be more interesting with each deposit.

The present tape, one of a 6 tape batch from Hooker Vision all having a sort of classic black and white xeroxed artwork of collaged/torn paper elements, was my second favorite of the 6 – my favorite being The Kevin Kostner Suicide Pact. That was a good one. Yes sir that was a good one right there.

The present tape, previously described as second favorite (though excellent), is of two side-long pieces:

Side A – “197 black pendulums”

…is a slow building tide of grim and oppressive tension, beginning and ending with oddly metallic plinks resembling the highest keys of a tuneless toy piano, or the tiny segment of strings of a guitar between the bridge and tailpiece – and this guitar would be a pretty junky acoustic one to make this harsh of a sound. It’s sort of violent and cold feeling; disinterested, automatic, like rain drops. There’s a vague similarity to the feel of some of Glenn Branca’s music. The restless din builds slowly, eventually holds at an anxious plateau that shifts and undulates like windblown sand, though the sound here is more like an ocean of metal parts and stretched wires of different thicknesses all rubbing against each other like glacier walls. There is a low droning pitch in the din that wobbles and changes forms, but for the most part it remains constant, with refracting tonal dissonances and consonances taking place in higher registers. Chords of various colour are formed and disappear in this chorus of slow motion bomb siren wails. Eventually the glacier-ocean of ancient metals melts away again revealing bare the aforementioned plinking raindrop soundform, which is abruptly stopped in its shallow pool of visceral earthtone reverb.

Side B – “athousand rattlesnakes in the trees”

…is, when taken at face value, decidedly more bleak than side A, and to me continues to be comparable to and/or influenced by some of Glenn Branca’s work with tons of alternately tuned, detuned, prepared, and treated guitars, or some of Sonic Youth’s weirder atonal segments (“Lee is free”) from Confusion is Sex/Kill Yr. Idols. This is all of an other-worldly, dramatic strangeness that I love; reminding me of Tarkovsky’s Solaris, of drooping plantlife and deferred contentment seen and felt during obligatory vehicle-driving on grim rainy mornings.

I guess what I glean from this release, and all of Geoffrey’s work so far is predominantly an awareness of mortality; of “all things must pass”. One day all of the structures and fancy objects around us will be strewn in heaps, covered in cobwebs, rust and fungus; far away from any cleanliness, vibrance and functionality we see in all of it as we’re living presently. This is an existentialism I feel from these composed sounds; speaking of the breakdown and digestion of the present into some future which will then become a distant past known only through relics. I feel there to be too much wonder in it to think it’s nihilistic, but a lot of it is dark, which directs me toward thoughts of death or at least impermanence of vibrancy. In his audio work and more prevalently in his video work he seems to be honing in on and strengthening a subliminal signal, something like the hidden signal of Videodrome, but not sinister. This signal is of the ineffable insights of fungi, sediment, stones, time-coagulated matter, elements in phases of breakdown and reformation.

Groovy (*Dan Burke*) – Groovy (The Rebirth of Retro-cool) (Extreme – released 1995)


Earlier this year, this disc was repeated endlessly in my to-and-from drivings for at least one whole month with great pleasure, and recently it has bubbled back up to the surface of my pool of aesthetic lusts.  Hereby I pronounce full seal-of-approval and earnestly encourage the uninitiated to seek it out.

Dan Burke is Illusion of Safety. At times with added collaborators (including James Johnson, Chris Block, Kurt Griesch, Mark Klein, Mark Sorensen, Mitch Enderle, Thymme Jones, and Jim O’Rourke), under this name he has more than 40 releases since 1983, when he began participating in the underground cassette culture. I’m fond of Illusion of Safety, and when I was informed of this weird one-off project my imagination gushed in anticipation, subsequently to be more than satisfied by its magical contents of funk-noise-art. Apparently along with being a great admirer of experimental audio, Dan is a great lover of, well, a lot of different types of music , notably including funky/groovy beats. Check out his radio program VOICE OF REASON if you please,  linkable from his site, which houses plenty of info about him:

An aptly chosen title of course this is. It is what it says. On top of being thoroughly groovy, it’s also freely woven in magic pattern-patchworks of what I would describe as an avant-jazz-cum-80’s-tape-culture-ambient. Burke made this album in 1995 out of his love for raw funky beats. His experimental found-sound tape-head aesthetics are added, which ferments an album of unique taste blendings. The beats (including a Silver Apples snip) are in similar territory as some of James Brown’s most magically groove-potent genius strokes, and much of the primary loopage is sucked from grooves of wisely chosen old disco-funk-type vinyl, then expounded upon by other sounds, voices, rhythms and tonalities from such sources. He adds some excellent synthesizer, noises and flourishes of free form manipulative joy-gnosis here and there, compounding the wonderfully unique sensibilities of the music.

To imagine the hexagon of musical love: Illusion of Safety loves DJ Spooky loves Negativland loves loves Big City Orchestra loves groovy-trash-hip-hop loves Psychic TV? Such free love has given birth to the secret beautiful mutant life of this recording.

On a few pieces there are female vocals in the forefront, perhaps mixed a bit too hot. I think it’s 3 tracks that feature this vocalist, who performs well, but in my opinion can momentarily distract from the weirdzone. This is the only aspect of this album that I perceive to be superfluous, mostly due to the delivery being pretty straight (in a 70’s disco-pop sort of style?) in contrast to the freakyness of the rest of the stew. I alternate between feeling like the lyrics and the delivery are either a little dose of quirky subversion of hip-snobness, or just the creators having carefree fun. Unless there is a tongue-in-cheek or a wink somewhere that hides from me, I lean toward thinking that the artists were doing this obscure thing that not enough artists do; creating and performing without overt concern for how high-minded and/or HIP the creation or performance will be perceived. On various listens I find myself perceiving the voice and lyrics to be highly complimentary to the oddness; another shovel-load of kamikaze art quirkiness buttercream icing on top of a delicious, vibrantly neon spaz colored 12 foot tall kamikaze art quirkiness wedding cake. Congratulations to me. I have paid my oldest dear friend Shawn dressed as a demented dada priest version of Fred Flintstone to marry me to this album.

The album has an excellent cohesiveness; flowing smoothly to many different places, all within a dark, funky dance party vibe. To my knowledge this is the only recording of this groove-type that Dan Burke has released. I hope for the soon birth of a long gestating sequel.