Witch

Speaking of spooky music of mysterious provenance that you won’t find on discogs (referring to yesterday’s Dust Black Polish post), here’s something interesting that came out a few years ago by someone allegedly local to Des Moines. Apart from song titles however, there’s absolutely no information on it about the persons involved, the year it was made, or even whether the record is supposed to be played at 33 or 45 (33 seems most likely and what I digitized it at, but some tracks sound pretty good either way). What kind of people go to the trouble of putting out an 12” EP on glow-in-the-dark vinyl and purposely neglect to identfy themselves? Well, I’m fairly sure I know who was behind this, and if you ask me nicely in private I’ll tell you whom I suspect, but on the other hand the prospect that someone would release a record called Witch while certainly knowing full well of the existence of another band by that name (J Mascis plays drums in it for chrissakes!) gives me some doubts.

Anyway four of the six tracks are ambient pieces, and the other two are sort of punky sludge/doom not terribly far off from what, say, Glass Ox do, but with the vocals all pitch-shifted and fucked up. All in all it’s the sort of thing record collector nerds would put together for the delight of future record collector nerds, but not a bad listen either.

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The Poor, The Sick, & The Ignorant (Twentieth Anniversary Edition) compilation

I believe this 2012 release may be a reissue in honor of the 20th anniversary of the legendary E.F. Tapes label. A ton of great stuff from projects likely long forgotten about and also a couple tracks from Cock E.S.P.

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OK Putrid / Silver Moult split tape

If you think Angel Marcloid (of Fire-Toolz fame) is a prolific artist now, you ought to have seen the volume of material she was putting out in the early to mid-‘10s on her Rainbow Bridge label and elsewhere. Somehow the obscure duo OK Putrid lists no less than 9 releases in 2011-14, and Silver Moult (Scott Kindberg of She Walks Crooked) isn’t far behind. Here we get just five minutes of colorful, heavily textured noise from each.

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Nothing Good Ever Comes From Milwaukee: A Midwest Noise Compilation

How about another compilation from E.F. Tapes in 2012? An all-star cast of Midwest noise artists.

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Dust Black Polish - Jane

Ah yes, you know some shit is kvlt when you can’t find anything to do with it on discogs :D I’ve had this 5 song cassette EP in my collection since shortly after its 1994 release - I’m guessing it came my way as a promo when I was doing a zine - yet despite the apparently professional production values of its media, design, and printing, to this day any further information on the band, the members whose names are listed, or the Uranium Records label it purports to be the inaugural release of, completely eludes me. I did unexpectedly come across a rip of it on Soulseek once a few weeks ago (it had been on my wishlist) but nothing more. I made this rip from my own copy.

Musically it’s quite apart from the usual noise and DIY fare I’ve been posting here, a sort of gothy-witchy indie rock that vibes nicely right about now as we head toward the upcoming holiday and deeper into the fall season. The dirty-jangle guitar tone tickles a 1980s musical memory that I quite can’t place; the opening track is introduced by a Neu-ish motorik drum beat fading in, and the drum sound is muffled in that kind of way where you can’t tell for sure if there are any cymbals. There’s a folky acoustic number followed by a song with no apparent words (except for a sound that could be the song’s title, “Hide”, being whispered, but could just as easily be a china cymbal). Even the bass is sort of ghostly and barely-there. The singer has a sort of ethereal Kate Bush/Natalie Merchant thing going on with a bit of that overenunciation that adds extra syllables to words. Even without the mystery around its origins, it would be pretty compelling music.

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Dead Body Collection / Phantom Rib split

Speaking of 15-minute noise chunks, here’s a double-C30 split release of bleak, desolate harsh noise wall.

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Crank Sturgeon - Lasting Whip

2010 release from the excellent Ratskin Records. Tape came wrapped in an A4 sheet of cover art, with stray strands of unspooled tape wound around it. Quick-moving collages of distorted contact mic clatter and spoken semi-gibberish like Crank Sturgeon aficionados have come to expect by now.

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Arvo Zylo - A Prayer For Powerful Hands

In another pair of circa-15-minute pieces on cassette, Arvo Zylo presents heavily delay-loop-layered sound collage on a religious theme. The tape is packaged in a box along with a liner note card, a prayer card, and a plastic rosary that maybe I should have included a photo of.

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Tigre Merde - The Beast In The Cave/The Cats Of Ulthar

Two low crumbly 15-minute slabs of noise on this Lovecraft-inspired tape from 2012.

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8ALLZ / Betch N' Turd live split tape

Since I’ve recently posted the Form & Void and Austin Noise 2015 compilations it seems like the next theme to work from might naturally be more releases from the same label, Ram Horn Records. This 2012 split pairs up short lo-fi live recordings from two noise duos both featuring Liz Gomez of Dromez - one with Breakdancing Ronald Reagan’s John Cash, and the other with Alexandra Pharmakon.

Incidentally, I would post Dromez’s 2013 Machiavellian Consort tape on Ram Horn here as well, but as it happens they seem to have neglected to dub the B side on my copy, so instead of the three Dromez tracks that should be there I get three songs of some band called Speaking In Tongues that they were taping over. If anyone has a non-faulty copy of this please get in touch, because the A side rips.

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