Grapes and Snakes is the first collaborative work of two of the most respected American underground experimental/noise artists, Aaron Dilloway and Jason Lescalleet. Using purely analog synths and tape manipulation, they build a foggy psychoacoustic mass that lies between dynamic yet patiently treated tape-music and industrial howl. Aaron Dilloway has been releasing and recording music since the age of 16. He was a member of experimental bands Couch, Galen and Universal Indians. He is a former guitarist and tape manipulator for the experimental band Wolf Eyes, which he left in 2005 to live most of that year in Kathmandu, Nepal. While his wife did her graduate work there, he roamed the streets recording every sound he could, many of which are used in his recent recordings and performances. Currently he runs the noise record label, record store and mailorder Hanson Records, which he began in Brighton, Michigan in 1994. Hanson then moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan for several years, before finally settling in Oberlin, Ohio, after a brief return to Ann Arbor. He performs solo using eight track tapes and vocal sounds, and records modular synthesizer music as Spine Scavenger. Recently, he has played with an ever-changing cast of sound artists under the name The Nevari Butchers. Jason Lescalleet’s sound world occupies a space between noise, contemporary composition, and minimal electronics. Using decidedly primitive tactics and equipment (e.g. antiquated reel-to-reel recorders, damaged tape, etc.), his work focuses on extreme frequencies and microscopic audio detail. He’s been a member of Due Process, performed and recorded with Keith Rowe, Joe Colley, Jason Kahn, John Hudak, Bhob Rainey and Greg Kelley (both separately and as Nmperign), and most recently Graham Lambkin in their Breadwinner project which has yielded unprecedented and glorious results in the electroacoustic music of today. He lives and works in the state of Maine. The LP is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, pressed on 140 gram vinyl and it is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silkscreened PVC sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas. Aaron Dilloway (synth and tapes); Jason Lescalleet (synth, tapes, and Dell XPS).
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Impossible Symmetry is the third full length record by Helm, the project of London based artist Luke Younger. It marks a new chapter in the artists’ canon as it’s his first to be informed by live performance rather than studio experimentation. The recording and engineering was primarily a solo venture, with some technical assistance from John Hannon on a few tracks. Most of the compositions were created out of ideas / improvisations that were conceived in a live context and then fed back into the studio work. The album was recorded over the duration of a year in London with source material culled from acoustic sound sources in a similar methodology to his previous album ‘Cryptography’, whilst also simultaneously incorporating more extensive use of electronic elements and moments of rhythmic dark ambience recalling the outputs from early Coil and Cabaret Voltaire to even Traversable Wormhole’s industrial minimalism.
Helm is Luke Younger – a sound artist and experimental musician based in London, working with a vast array of revolving instrumentation and abstract sound sources. Younger’s compositions build a dense aural landscape that touches on musique concrete, uncomfortable sound poetry, noise, and hallucinatory drones. His most last LP Cryptography, presented a five-part suite of expertly rendered electro-acoustic study which uses processed piano, Casio MT-40, cymbal and broken guitar strings. Younger creates a world where these instruments morph into spectral rust, a shimmering klang swims alongside passive noise and the relationship between acoustic and electronic derived sounds forms a solid foundation. This sound is steered through a melange of fringe territories: glacial drone meditations, reconfigured gamelan clusters, and howling walls of organized feedback, all coalesced in a post-industrial fashion with a commitment to homemade exploratory zeal. For the past ten years, Younger has also performed extensively in Europe and the US with Steven Warwick as pioneering avant-drone duo Birds of Delay.
The LP is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M, pressed on 140g vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silkscreened pvc sleeve with photos by Traianos Pakioufakis & artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.
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If “Dream Tennis” was any indication, Heatsick has struck a nerve with his singles that stretch preset washes of polyphony through sunset-hued landscapes of disco and house. Equipped with only a Casio keyboard, he has played alongside everyone from Omar Souleyman to DJ Harvey, Daniel Wang and Legowelt, and has demonstrated his ability not only to extend his keyboard to its limits, but to transcend its musical territory, opening up a diverse range of styles, genres and gestures to his dance-addled mimicries and musings.
“Déviation” marks Heatsick’s most expansive dance release to date, featuring four tracks of kaleidoscopic house that combine a lo-fi aesthetic with clear, textured structures akin to wandering through a densely gridded, sultry urban environment. With influences ranging from Fela Kuti to Todd Terry, the EP revolves around as much of a disco aesthetic as it does a leisurely soundtrack to a casual day of hanging out.
The dub-influenced title track begins with a rhythmic, Latin-oriented introduction that delicately deviates towards its shimmering second half as the pitch spirals in a locked progression. The climax refuses to come quickly, however, and a flow of excitement frames the track until it finishes in step. The EP’s subdued second track, “C’était un rendez-vous”, presents a sort of chill-out vibe with a cinematic consciousness. This track features backing by the prodigious saxophonist André Vida, whose snippets of smooth to free jazz are seamlessly interlaced within the last two tracks as well.
On the B-side, the B1 track “The Stars Down to Earth” is overlaid with a vocal sample and brims with a frenetic energy that calls to mind an ebulliently bassy, Bristol mentality. The concluding track, “No Fixed Address”, takes the territory of the B1 and introduces it to a 90s Todd Terry treatment, providing a jacking conclusion to this varied, densely-packed release worthy of multiple listenings.
The 12″ was recorded by Mauro Martinuz & Luca Sella at Transfert Studios and mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at D&M. It is pressed on 140g white vinyl which itself is housed in a silk screened pvc sleeve with artwork by Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.
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Intersex is the debut LP by Steven Warwick aka Heatsick. The title references the work of German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, looking at how music and sexuality can operate in flux on a constantly sliding scale. Executed on just a Casio keyboard and manipulated loops via guitar pedals, Intersex deliberately evokes “ersatz” notions of electronic dance music and early electronics in the line of Roberto Cacciapaglia’s Ann Steel record, the work of Warner Jepson and the kaleidoscopic sound of Ron Hardy, pushing dance/body music through a saturated psychedelic lens. Steven Warwick is a Berlin-based performer, also known for his work in the electronic duo, Birds Of Delay. His approach is one of carefully thought-out loops which are then sent into varying interactions and play. Active in the club, art and music scenes, Warwick’s work is one existing in a luminal space, meditating both at once in real time and the “just past.” The LP is mastered and cut by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering, in a limited edition of 500 copies, pressed on 140 gram vinyl and comes in a poly-lined inner sleeve. It is packaged in a pro-press color jacket which itself is housed in a silk-screened PVC sleeve with artwork by Steven Warwick, Kathryn Politis & Bill Kouligas.