Sunday, December 31, 2017

Fickle Daubing...

Not that it matters much in a world so riven by tumult, anxiety, violence, authoritarian stupidity and inequality, but our wee protest meow, Approach to Fear: Regeneration, was selected as the Best of 2017: Noise by Raymond Cummings and the generous humanoids at Magnet. (Link: here.) This is such nice news - I just wanted to get some of that intense post-election ANGER off my chest. Sixty-eight friends joined in, et voila. A hearty high-nine to all the contributors. Huzzah KSV!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Fetal Missilry...

Howard Stelzer posted this appreciation of Peach of Immortality's newly issued nine-disc compilation Surrealismus: Paris Prag Rockville earlier today on social media. We are in turn appreciative of his kind words...


If Surrealismus arrived any sooner, it'd be on every worthwhile reviewer's "Best of 2017" list, not that I believe Tom Smith cares about those damned things... I only mention it b/c this monstrosity, in the works for longer than Facebook has existed, is an unquestionably MAJOR thing and you do need to hear it.

It's not even Tom's best work... after 1992, his music grew exponentially in depth/complexity/etc and continues to do so... "best" is a tough distinction to make in the face of ongoing best-ness. However: the music compiled here literally changed my life. If I didn't run into this tanned weirdo making tape loops in Rat Bastard's Miami Beach studio when I was a high school goofball just beginning to ignorantly bang cassettes together, I would not be ignorantly banging cassettes together today.

So what is this? It's a 9xCDR (!!!) set collecting music both released and (more frequently) not by Tom Smith's 80's/90's band Peach of Immortality. Some of it sounds, to 2017/18 ears, a lot like the genres that Smith has since broken free of: noise, improvisation, 'industrial' etc... but the singular blood & passion is audible. Listen to the glorped tape fog in The Baptist Hymnal, REM = Air Supply, Talking Heads '77, or that remarkable 1986 live recording from TT the Bear's Place and tell me that, if you encountered any of it unprepared at 16 years old, your face would not also have melted clean off.

I've told the story before, but it's worth repeating: after uncomprehendingly watching/hearing Tom record some loops taken off a Misfits bootleg in Rat's studio one school-night evening in 1990 or 1991, I asked him what exactly he was doing... his pithy reply: "I'm trying to make a tape deck ROCK". And that, friends, is why I make music now. Buy this album, then listen to the rest of Tom Smith's work to find out what it was merely a prelude to.


Here's a link to the album. Merci, Howard.

Happy Birthday, Mom (Or. Stoic Halals)...

Hi Droogs,

I was gobsmacked when I found mother's secret stash of photos from her teens and early 20s - her allure was obvious. This image was particularly astounding, as she'd always been quite tight-lipped about life before my father. I imagine Eunice as a real heartbreaker, part man-crazed party doll, part calculating social mover, and thoroughly independent. All positive attributes! Today would have been her 95th birthday.

She had long since ripped at least one budding squire out of her life, but who could it have been? (I have suspicions - her high school graduation Autographs book is stuffed with variations on "Roses are red, violets are blue...") She was the queen of tiny Warwick, Georgia, but attended high school in the neighboring town of Sylvester, which must have seemed like Kuala Lumpur by comparison. Here, in 1940, she's radiant, 19, ready to take on all comers. Then, of course, she met my grease monkey father five or six years later and all bets were off - it was love at first sight for both. Thanks for everything, Mom. You were a handful.

Methinks Lamp Milk...

Promo alert: One last release for '017 from Karl Schmidt Verlag. Namely, Praha Olomouc Ostrava Bratislava: November 2016 by Smith Pelikán Klamm. This was one of the best tours of my life, raucous and deeply rewarding. The audience in Prague were well-versed, attentive, in the know. The attendees and captive prisoners at the rough-and-tumble bar in Olomouc forcefully voiced their opposition but were won over - or worn down - by our savoir faire. (Or maybe just drunk enough to let loose.) The industrial-goth event in Ostrava was a poor fit for us but we soldiered through with a tight set and choice bot mots. (At least Patrik and Jan were snickering.) We smoked at the Next Fest in Bratislava (one of my favorite cities on the planet); the organizers approached me at the end of the night, discussed the pros and cons of the various performances, and then said "but YOUR set, you guys, that was EXTREMELY experimental!" I had to laugh. All we did was walk out and do our thing. My most outré move? I spoke to the audience, looked them in the eye. A bridge too far for most, I suppose. Anyhow, it's all there, save for line hum and the like. Two recordable CDs, for your (dis)pleasure.

Follow the link to KSV Bandcamp.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Asp Tech...


Peach of Immortality's Surrealismus: Paris Prag Rockville compilation has been published. You can sniff the drapes of future past now at KSV Bandcamp. Warning: only for the deepest heads! (Or severe drug casualties.) Nine discs, 78 selections, eleven hours and fourteen minutes of dread scrape and manipulated moan. A co-release from Karl Schmidt Verlag and Adult Contemporary Recordings. Your move, hep cats / patches!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Prune of Irregularity vs. Ref Upon Uglier Rarity...

(Amended from same-day socmed post.)

Promo report: Peach of Immortality nine-disc Surrealismus: Paris Prag Rockville compilation (KSV 424). This flat-panel (as opposed to box) set will offer a glimpse into POI's genuinely manic recording regimen, excerpting segments from nineteen distinct, planned, argued over, recorded (usually under the influence of acid, or speed, or something), and, as goes without saying, hopelessly uncommercial and ultimately unissued albums. (Hopeless by mid-80s standards, that is, considering the DC locale and its predominant, hippie-hardcore norms. If we'd been in Tokyo, Berlin, the East Village, or, dunno, Milwaukee, maybe a different story.) I've just finished mixing one of the "studio" tracks issued as part of Jehovah My Black Ass - R.E.M. Is Air Supply!, and our expedient, low-tech approach to recording (a weird cassette system where we'd track one side, then apply silver adhesive to the flip, reverse the tape, and track backwards, which would be reproduced as forwards) was not perhaps to our benefit. The REM / Air Supply composition in question, "31 Jan 86," clumped Mark Shellhaas' caustic digital frippery atop my live tape manipulations (of a Corrosion of Conformity ditty), cluttering the frequency traffic and making it difficult to tell what the fuck was going on. (Which, if you were tripping your guts out, as we were, sounded AMAZING.) The flip side is far more coherent, with Lowell Ginsberg's bass gawping below Jared Louche's excellent tabletop guitar lashings. I stripped the two halves, checked and matched the intro points using a copy of the 1986 test pressing for comparison, normalized the levels, adjusted the EQ to abrade some of the mid-range clatter from the tape/digital FX track, floated the A side strip with a smidgen of verb to lift it out of the miasma, and panned the channels just so to achieve a bit more separation. It sounds much, much better than before. That's more or less what it takes to restore some of this material; other tracks are self-contained and need only a wee dollop of mousse. It should be ready by the end of the week!

Apropos of: read this post from the quiescent but no less illuminating WFMU Blog.

I Try Maggots...


To Live and Shave in L.A.'s Beyond the Wealth of Associations, the Damp - featuring our younger brother Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson - is now available for contemplation and deep layer excision from Karl Schmidt Verlag.

Go here.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

R.E.M., REO, Indigo, Chicago: Monthy Episode #2


The second monthly episode of my R.E.M., REO, Indigo, Chicago program airs tonight (2am-5am Stateside) on WGXC 90.7-FM / Wave Farm Radio. This month, hour-long tributes to both Sunny Murray and Z'ev, a half-hour curated by Miami Beach's Holly Hunt, a new episode of I Can Help (during which Prurient's interminable Rainbow Mirror is reduced to a neat and tidy thirty seconds), and brand-new music from Aaron Dilloway, Merkwürdig Riechnerv, and To Live and Shave in H.H. Plus a couple of German things (Borsig Werke, Gerhard Rühm) tossed in for good luck. Stream, wait for a rebroadcast, or remain ignorant - your choice!



Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rimming Veiled Façade...

Hannover Hauptbahnhof, 19. Dezember.

(Photo: TS.)

Tinny Shoplifter...


Apologies for being a bit lazy over at Karl Schmidt Verlag - I‘ve only been able to summon the strength to release THIRTY-NINE new and archival albums! Sloth, cruel sloth. Many of those in the latter category were thought lost in the wake of the 2015 hard drive crash which nearly destroyed KSV. Some belong to our expanding parallel series, in which long-deleted early releases are supplanted by works from emerging outsider artists. Modesty demands the truth: those of recent vintage are rather extraordinary. Or, if you prefer, “good,” especially compared to normal vanilla good. There are seven or so more to post (including a nine-disc Peach of Immortality compilation); I’ll be offering discount bulk packages for enthusiasts who want to go deep. Check back on Wednesday for info. As for now, scroll through the new arrivals at KSV Bandcamp.



Monday, December 18, 2017

Sigh... (Tangoed Honoree Goos.)

(Amended from same-day socmed post.)

Z’ev asked me to tell you that he hated all you guys.

Sleep well, Stefan.

New Vinyl! (Delve Frowsily.)

Dear vinyl collecting filth chums: don‘t snooze on the new 10“ mono lathe-cut dubplate from Hannover ensemble Merkwürdig Riechnerv. It‘s a steal at €18. (They're expensive to cut, clothe and ship.) Only fifteen were made, and it'll be available at KSV Bandcamp within the hour. Cut by Rat Bastard at Dan Hosker Studio in Miami Beach, and featuring Bianca Blob, Andreas Brüning, and your(s) sultry.



Saturday, December 16, 2017

Redbirds' Gig Tuition...

Dear Droogs,

Below, perp the five hour-long discs and packed snap-front package that make up Merkwürdig Riechnerv’s new Rigged Distribution Variations album. This limited-edition set will be sold tonight at the Sturmglocke gig and made available tomorrow at KSV Bandcamp, where you’ll find another new release and fifteen restored albums (once thought lost after the label’s 2015 hard drive crash) waiting to appraise your apathy...


Friday, December 15, 2017

New Lathes...

Merkwürdig Riechnerv: Spit It Out Versions. These are beautiful. Thanks to Rat and Karl.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Institute's Proviso...


Here‘s the double-sided A3 poster sleeve of the new Merkwürdig Riechnerv 10“ lathe-cut on Karl Schmidt Verlag. Exceptional print quality from our friends at Fösse Druck.



Creased Red...


The critical response to Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer has been a faintly damning / begrudgingly positive scrawl of evocations, but my response is the one I'm most concerned about. I very much enjoyed its stubborn, strangulated acceleration. The pink neon "Iphigenia" clue falls more than halfway into the film, five or six scenes before the crazed sacrifice sequence. The sickly resonances align, Ligeti whispers over the end credits, done. The wounds feel real.


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Adieu Sunny...

Re 8 December: I came to Albert Ayler’s indefatigable, sob-soaked, funereal roar a bit late - 1974. I was swept away, and devoured everything I could find on the periphery of ancestral Shitville.

Ghosts. Music was dead and done.

The contrapuntal immensity and unholy restraint exhibited by Sunny Murray was a massive influence on my late teen thinking. Not on my rough and tattered tape edits, mind - I was too angry to concern myself with trivialities of technique. No, Murray was a fucking Oklahoman GIANT, and his was a blueprint for total refusal. That was immediately clear.

As this supergod takes a well-deserved bow, I offer thanks to James Marcellus Arthur Murray.

Well lived, sir.

Moth Putties...

(Amended from the same-day socmed alert.)


The new Merkwürdig Riechnerv 10” lathe-cuts just arrived from Rat Bastard. The EP, Spit It Out Versions, will be on sale at our show at Sturmglocke (in Hannover) this Saturday, December 16th. It’s a limited edition of 15, so it’s probably best if interested parties don’t snooze on these yawlps of derangement. Digital doorstops will be available at KSV Bandcamp from Saturday!


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Happy New Year from the Harz...

Hello Droogs, Happy 2019! I‘m in the Harz region of Germany, enjoying a three-day getaway to cap off an eventful year, one marked by celeb...