Oct 18, 2012


It’s Cosy Inside LP Reissue

I try to get errythin I can outta my listenin times, not just the grumpy rumbles and obtuse toilings strewn about the FYC hood. And while many of us folks writin on these assorted auteurs and amateurs might see “skill” or “training” as somewhat suspect, ain’t no need to ghettoize. After all, it ain’t the tools, it’s the carpenter what makes the shed stand.

The Ives brothers behind this longstanding Woo outfit are plenty adept at their wide array of instrumental plunder. They’s chops is visible from their debut missive, Whichever Way You Are Going, You Are Going Wrong, through their early 1990s output; and in the humbles they did in the post-punk pen (see Five Or Six). Their ’89 effort, It’s Cosy Inside, is perhaps their best and here gets the nudge into Expedits everywhere it done truly earned. Thru 17 interwoven tracks, Woo chart hectares of previously unglimpsed zones, quietly and carefully, wearing big goofy grins.

Surely when I drop the term “new age,” many of y’all cue up a Steve Roach feetie-pajama sleepover breathing exercise and quickly open a new tab in your browser. Well, friends, it ain’t any more dirty a word than “ambient”. And when was the last time you dug out “experimental” and gained an inch? At least “new age” can sound either cultish and menacing or gauzy and nap-inducing depending how groggy you is. To put a point on this polemic, It’s Cosy Inside is about as close to prescience in these days of rebuilt analog drones and star wipes as you’re likely to find in late-80s English music. Exceptin’ a lot of the kittens batting the “spacey” and “blissed-out” yarn-wad nowadays think irony means everything’s for sale (or everything’s terrible), and Woo took it in the literal and classical sense. The same moodiness ZNR used to cast perverse shadows over Satie on their LP Barricade 3 here likewise plays with Kraftwerk, Harmonia and Cluster. Matta fact, if’n you dropped a caper like, “Woo was really an unearthed Anglo link betwixt the Kraut and NDW eras,” you’d give me buku pause. For now, it’s just a thought.

I know you ain’t yet ready to believe something so weirdly playful like this could pluck a string in this mule-piss-pumpin’ heart o’ mine, but you will. You’ll run into a copy of it at your local record hole, or maybe the Nite Jewel split 7”* released in conjunction with this impeccable re-ish, drop the loot and take ‘er home. About 10 minutes in, you’ll put down the pipe, and notice how truly weird beauty can be.

* featuring a track from a rare Woo cassette

Oct 8, 2012


East Link
S/T cassette
Little Big Chief/Creep Dreams 2012

Imma admit straight-up, something about this tape caught me with my ass out. After 3 plays (that's 6 flips!) through in a row, I still felt I didn't know my onions enough to say or think anythang illuminatin'. Got all tangled up in tags & the strings there attached: surf, noise, psych, and on and on.
Why expose the business of this mishigas? Only to demo how dumb I am. Here I was, down on all 4s, scrutinizing a crushed Bud Light in the middle of Burgess Shale--which is to say, "This thing ROCKS." I find myself spewin such verbiage so infrequently, what with my piles of buck bin chud to munch through, it takes me a minute to pick out such anvil-sized tasting notes. Sad, really, but no discredit to East Link. Composed of Aussie fringe elements from the likes of UV Race, Total Control, Lakes, Straightjacket Nation and a handfulla others, they here set sail* in their own creaking schooner to crush shrimps and dislodge coral errywhere. Speakin' on "reefs," (ha, I think? --Ed.) these hominids pound the pebbles with an abject twang (made possible by short delays and heavy face-to-face amp screeds) that just 'bout turned my speakers into sheet pasta. Track 2, "Ansett Australia" is at least as obnoxious as the Crucifucks (emphasis on "noxious" --Ed.), without sounding a bit like em, though it do contain a slew of notebook-carved rhyming couplets and that gloriously brutal economy. Side Bummer stretches out the thudding to great effect, in an era when that's usually a bad idea. It also features a manic whistling section which really oughta happen in this green world with greater frequency. Is that man or Memorex? Don't ya just love havin' to ask? 

There's rumors of a hefty surf vibe up in here, but I can detect little resembling The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun....oh, you meant that kinda surf! You wanna tag this as the gory followup to Earle and Holcombe's work in Horror of Party Beach, you go ahead. There is certainly sumpthin to be said for the efficiency of the whole thing; the compartmentalizing of total wilderness, which you definitely get with the concussed wing of surf music. But hey, I just wrote somewhat kindly things about an LP on a smooth jazz label. What the fuck do I know? When faced with a sodium cocktail such as this, ain't much for me to do but glug it down.

A small sum stands like a hard-gainer between ye and them. I say, go! Amurricans go here, others go here.

Sure did talk to you. Here's "Wild Dog," featuring that glorious whistling treatment:

*This is Creep Dreams maiden voyage, too, as well as LBC's first foray into the People's Format.

Oct 6, 2012


Stephen Whynott
From Philly to Tablas LP
Music is Medicine MIM 9001 (1977)

Copies of this can pop serious squats on the wallet, but be not discouraged: I nabbed mine for a 5-er. I'd be foolin' if'n I told ya you was gonna get mad plays offa the whole thing. You might have to do some scanning, but herein lyeth some truly lonesome spaces. Whynott caters largely in spooked but ultimately breezy cafe folk strolls with stoned and/or psych-ed brushwork. There's some winsome whimsy to be swallowed as well ("Oh Boy I've Won the Contest At Last"), and I'm afraid the good stuff isn't at the bottom of the glass. Typically, things fizzle before they pop on those numbers. But here and there he skirts gamelan (the opening passage of "Nine Day Sunflower") and, on the particularly puzzling "Snows Edge," even blunders into Perhacs county! Never does it advance as far as, say, John Palmer's Shorelines or anything by Bobby Brown, but I weren't just imagining the fellow feeling. They's all on facin' pages in the same unfathomable book that be 1970s small press folk.
Music Is Medicine (stone lost child label of First American) eventually made good on the sucky promises that peek over the yacht club event horizon of this LP, releasing things that square firmly with the "smooth jazz" tag. But ah the early days...! I guess.

Case you need a further push toward the shores of white male monomania, here's a solid nudge. As if it don't already take an eon to load this blog! (Note it is the only Whynott track up on the Tubes of Your):