Hard to believe this was so many years ago. This was up on bandcamp for a while. It’s recordings of the first Zeitgeist fest, held in Boone, IA in 2012.
I’ve a thing for 1990s noise-tape comps, and here is one of my favorites, only partly so for the fact that I’m on it. Shroud, like the Zyon label itself, focused on ambient noise rather than noisecore, and was also one of the best-produced examples of its genre; the copies were home-dubbed but still cleaner than usual due to some semi-professional production work, and the inserts were color photocopies! Zyon was run by a guy known as Moth, based in Spokane, WA, and put this thing out in 1996.
There’s a disproportionate amount of material by some outfit called Hun-Tun (two tracks, one of them 12 minutes), I presume this is because the guy behind Hun-Tun was also responsible for the aforementioned production help, but it’s good stuff, sort of tribal electronic drums interwoven with ambient industrial sounds. Besides Moth himself there three other Zyon acts which for all I know might just be alter-egos of Moth. Not Breathing also gets an unusually large chunk of tape time on two tracks totaling near 16 minutes.
There are plenty of other notables, as well. The opening track is by Stone Breath, and is allegedly also the very first Stone Breath recording, and there are are also tracks by E H I, The Gynger Effect (an alter-project of Charlie Alien, better known for The Earwigs), Sonic Disorder and Aeons Of Agony (which was possibly also Sonic Disorder’s Erik Adams, at least the contact info is the same), Nosklplakia (a collaboration of Texas noise artist Richard Ramirez, better known for Black Leather Jesus, and Donna Mikli), and, representing Wheelchair Full Of Old Men is Dog Jovula.
And then, inexplicably, there’s me, a relative nobody from nowhere, otherwise known as Flight Attendants, represented by a five-minute excerpt of a very lo-fi twelve-minute track I submitted that was built around a jam I recorded on a karaoke machine with drum pads and a guitar at my friend Tim’s apartment at 4 AM while we were both coming down off some acid and Tim was sleeping, to which I later added some droney Casio keyboards on a 4-track. I received a very complimentary letter from Moth about it, in which he said it reminded him of multi-colored interlocking legos.
Another innovative aspect of Shroud for the time and scene it came out of is the way the tracks are cross-faded with each other so that the sound is continuous with no breaks or pause-button noises. This made for a cool listening experience, but was a bit of a challenge for me in digitizing it since I wanted to break it into separate tracks, and also because there is a lot of volume fluctuation from one track to another that I felt the need to address with some normalizing. I think overall, however, the results hold up well if you stick them in a playlist.
A compilation of lo-fi noisish stuff from circa 1997 on E.F. Tapes, featuring Hornswaggle, Bludy Noz (involving yours truly), Wrong, MJ23, Oskrin S. Cassot-Bout, Ashtray Navigations, Doug Harrison, Children At Play vs. Emil Hagstrom, Into Temptation, Coits, Tetsuya The Lo-Fi Man, e, Malta, Flux, Target Shoppers, Elft Kazbek, Teenage Kicks, and Seth Roback.
Another C-90 compilation, but much less on the heavy side than those I’ve posted recently. This is from 2011 on a label called Greentape and is more in the realm of bedroom lo-fi, casio, folky, acoustic, and the odd experimental track. It has a good bit of that ’90s DIY lo-fi indie vibe. Names I recognize from elsewhere include Teaadora, Office Park, and (D)(B)(H). A nice mellow listen. I tried to even out the volume levels a bit but I didn’t try very hard.
More of the bedroom goofball outsider casio vibes that characterized the early days of The BassTurd, before the hip-hop influences and overall cool-funny-guy persona he would eventually become known for. Songs with titles like “I Puked On Your Love Seat”. Overall pretty much along the same lines as “131 Songs”. Wesley Willis does backup vocals on “You’re A Fucking Asshole”.
Legendary, ridiculously prolific Austin goofball songwriter/rapper/electronicist The BassTurd a.k.a. Danny Ugly got his start in Iowa City with a few homemade cassettes and basement shows. There is nowhere near 131 songs on this one from 1996; actually only 50. They are all weird as fuck. There’s a They Might Be Giants cover song too. Strap in and blast off for Planet Homo.
Anti-vivisection/animal-testing compilation put together by some Canadian I don’t know anything about. Some of the preachiest stuff I’ve ever had in my collection. A time capsule from that time in the 1990s hen the punk scene decided music wasn’t for self-expression but rather for political causes. Side A has mostly a hardcore, d-beat, oi kind of vibe; side B goes more peace-punk with poppier and folkier sounds. Political Asylum are particularly good and get five normal-song-length songs, and they remind a bit of early Midnight Oil or late D.O.A. with some tasty guitar work. The last and best track is by Chumbawumba, yes that Chumbawumba. It’s actually right in line with what they were doing at the time. I remember when “Tubthumping” came out racking my brain to try to remember where I’d heard that band name before.