Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Webster Lewis In Norway - The Club7 Live Tapes

Thank you, IG. During a long drift of scrolling last night, I came upon a post for a copy of this record, saw the cover and recognized an image I'd remembered for about 10 years without accompanying context, just the beauty of a man in mid-performance reverie, black and white.

Now I know what it is! And it sounds beautiful!

Webster Lewis was born in Baltimore, my sort-of hometown, to improve on a good thing. I'm only 3 cuts in, but this thing grooves, breathes and RAGES. From the contemplative to walls-of-sound, this is a killer recording. 

Seems pretty rare, so...

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2018: Change is Good

C'est ça the mantra of IRS (the chilling acronym of this here blog) in the new year. Big things happening over at HQ: most importantly, I've started a tape label! You can check things out over at kman925.bandcamp.com or on IG @kman925tapes. Or, email us at kman925tapes@gmail.com with demos, event proposals, etc.

That will be the main focus for me musically in the coming months, as well as getting a monthly concert series off the ground (wish me luck/plz help!!!) and playing shows/recording as a solo act, but I'll still be posting here. The emphasis will be a little different, though - less album grabs and more reviews of local/independent artists with links to listen on bandcamp/buy physical copies. See below for a sense of things, the review of Julia Bloop/Sunset Diver's recent tape.

Of course, this is all anticipatory/to come/etc., and I'm always open to new ideas from longtime/new readers! LMK in comments.

<3 R

Review: Sunset Diver, "SD" (Patient Sounds, 2017)

A friend recently asked me to characterize my taste in music. I didn't have to think too long: "Repetitive, but not boring." As I type this now, it still rings true, on an aesthetic and on a political level; I could listen to Steve Reich or William Basinski records all day long, but I had vague, nonetheless violent fantasies at a certain point this mandatory "grow the economy" season after the 10th or so take on "Santa Baby." To stress a belabored point, guns DO kill people, and so do, slowly, bad sounds ad nauseum.

Good sounds are a different breed, however. Julia Bloop, a.k.a. (or is it f.k.a.?) Sunset Diver, knows about these, and about repetition. Sunset Diver's 2017 "SD", out on Patient Sounds (ohboy whatta label!), reinforces this. "Sailing" opens things with a two-chord guitar loop, vaguely punched through with two loping single note lines and something like the creaking of a boat or a smatter of waves. Of course, the name of the song and project could be suggestive; throughout, evocative yet ambiguous crunches and clusters give texture to things. 'Cabiria' is a slow fog of whispered amorous correspondence from the bottom of the ocean. On side B, 'Pavlava' gives us a strikingly poignant piano melody held aloft by wind chimes and jovial but ominous laughter.

These songs emerge fully formed, all the more strong for their distance, for the most part, from anything resembling a con-ventional drum part, bass line, etc. The force of Sunset Diver's choices and their curation together is all that's needed.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Resplendent in Divergence: My Year in Vinyl, 2017

Another mix. Got a 2nd turntable for a steal and decided to close out the year with an all-vinyl mix, limiting myself to what I've picked up over the last 6 months or so. Enjoy! Thanks for checking in and listening this year and all years. 2018 will be a good one for the blog. See you then!


1. Linda Cohen - In Just Spring (Lake of Light)
2. Tonto's Expanding Head Band - Aurora (Zero Time)
3. John Fahey - Stage Banter / The Return of the Tasmanian Tiger / 
Funeral Song for Mississippi John Hurt (Live in Tasmania)
4. Dudu Pukwana - Madodana (The Young Ones) (Diamond Express)
5. Le Mystère des voix bulgares - Mir Stanke Le (S/T)
6. The Camberwell Now - Know How (Greenfingers EP)
7. Scritti Politti - Jacques Derrida (Songs to Remember)
8. The Flying Lizards - Her Story (S/T)
9. Bitchin Bajas - Marimba (Transporteur)
10. Chuck Johhnson - Calamus (Balsams)
11. Robert Fripp - Under Heavy Manners (Network)
12. Barry Cleveland - Abrasax (Mythos)
13. Malcolm Dalglish - New Waltz (Jogging the Memory)
14. Ryan Power - Transition Possible (I Don't Want to Die)
15. Arthur Russell - Being It (World of Echo)
16. Steve Kuhn Trio - Mr. Calypso Kuhn (Life's Magic) 

email me if you want me to send you a link!

Friday, December 1, 2017

If you don't know... Nerftoss

No album for grabs, just repping John Jones from the... er, 21218? Anyway, Baltimore, where he's been cranking out mixes, records and tapes as Nerftoss for the past few years (before that he made music as Eachothers, whose back catalog I highly suggest you peruse, maybe on slsk 'cause I can't find it on discogs, pure guitar bliss).

Nerftoss runs the gamut from exotica repurposing to field recordings to kosmische ambulation and everywhere in between. He's consistently been putting out high-quality sounds that put your head and body in a good place. I'm currently driffting off with Prospect Endless, his 2016 cassette on O&E, so I'll put that below for you to sample and also link you to his discogs page

Please support this artist and snag some of his rad tapes!