Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A review of "False Teef" on Auxillary Out!!

One of my favorite things about Stunned is their A&R work. They are always bringing great artists I've never heard of to my attention. This Portland duo is one of those names on a very long list. The duo employs (brace yourself) analog synthesizer, reel to reel tape loops and manipulation, tenor guitar, 5 string banjo, trapset, electric guitar and Hungarian flute captured live and analog to 1/4" reels. The sounds of the tape are suitably varied as well. Starting off with a sidelong piece, "Yucka Drucka" is a weirdly pulsating bed of synth and banjo and whatever else. It sort of reminds me of Sean McCann's tape on Stunned but if a section was chopped, stretched and looped or whatever. It's pretty infinitely fidgety. That section of the piece slides into another with someone going wild with slide guitar. At some point, some weird ass cricket noises crop up and I don't know if it's a tape loop or synth or guitar or what. That Hathor included an instrument list is a reviewer's dream cause I can say with some confidence, later in the track Hammer of Hathor whips out a Hungarian flute and goes to town. Everything drops out save for the flute and some pervasive cricket noises. Drums show up with authority and they're soon joined by a really zonked guitar riff. Totally gong-like cymbal hits definitely put this section over the top making it my favorite part of the piece for sure. It's a slammin' piece of work and they just ride to the end. As they damn well should.
After a creepy, spoken intro sample Hammer of Hathor unleash my favorite track of the tape, the unruly "Bee" brimming with wigged out percussion. At the heart of the track there is a lot of shit being banged on but it's all clouded and garbled with effects, tape loops and whatever the mighty Hammer are doing here. It's relentless, confusing and excellent. I'm a big fan of weird percussion acts but I've never heard anyone do fucked percussion quite like this. "Left Foot, Right Foot" is the final jam and there's another radical aesthetic shift. A pair of stringed instruments, banjo and tenor guitar I think, partake in one of the friendliest duels I've ever witnessed. It's a really simple track, the two instruments keep grooving on the same basic melody throwing in odd little improvisations where they see fit. It's sort of cleansing to find something pristine and gentle like this at the end of the tape after all of the hectic, bizarro manipulation of the previous jams.
The tapes are definitely out of print like just about everything with the Stunned brand. Check the distros? (shrug)

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