N O   P A R T   O F   I T
Far more important than baking bread is the urge to take dough -beating to the extreme - Otto Muehl

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"333" Reviewed at Auxiliary Out Blog

Mister Fuckhead - 333 [No Label]

A while back I reviewed a hulking 93 minute beast by Mister Fuckhead and Company, where Arvo Zylo and a series of collaborators ran the gamut from forming live junk noise brigades to 7 or 8 piece meat locker brass sections. Zylo a.k.a. Fuckhead (though he recently dropped the moniker and now plays as just Arvo Zylo) is back but this time solo, apparently with only a sequencer in tow, with 333, with a cassette seven years in the making.
Zylo is up to something very different here, it's still a beast at 3 tracks spread over a c66 but Zylo throws plenty of curveballs. For instance, the first side, "Quicksand Eggs of a Beaten Pathos" rolls to a start with surprisingly mellow looped toms. If he wanted to head in a powwow direction he could have, but instead he launches this queasy synth beat and furthermore throws barroom piano over that! The beat lurches/grinds/limps along in a bizarre mess of a beat. Flaming barrages of noise drop in and things get harsh. Heavy torrents of feedback all but subsume voice and the deep throb of the drum programming. The tape continues to singe your eyebrows for a long while with screaming frequencies. It drifts out of the cloud enough for some heavy piano and drum hits though. Sequenced synth tones spread like an infection and morph into an electric organ bit. There's some thunderous crushing drum hits quickly after before slowing into a mid-tempo beat with oscillators puttering all around. The beat gets syncopated and lurches forward. Zylo breaks it down mixing up the beat with a programmed drum solo constructed from live drum samples I think. Around halfway through, the carnage seems to cease. A quiet drum pounds slowly in an empty room until corroded by pervasive scratchy static, atonal panned piano slams, hyperactive squelches and what sounds like a cut-up keyboard demo that morphs into a weird house rave-up. A new agey synth makes a surprising but welcome appearance as the piece jettisons deeper into its technicolor nightmare. My favorite beat from the side emerges pretty late in the game and it's fleeting too as it gets slowed down pretty quickly. The tape lurches and grooves relatively "un-noisily" for the rest of the jam until it evaporates in a cymbal crash. It's a dense and burly side to be sure.
Following it is the first track on the second side, "Deadbeat Deluxe," which continues the onslaught of noisy beats. All manners of bzzsh's, krshff's, and mhmffm's make their way along plenty of loopy electronics into a cyberpunk thrill ride. Fast drum machines, heavy reverbed thumps, repetitive synth parts; no one would mistake this as being uncomposed but it still hangs together by a thread. Zylo keeps piling on more and more sounds/parts/whatever until it makes up a cacophonous layer cake of destruction. The track achieves an interesting feat in that it's totally assaulting music without actually relinquishing the conventional rules of what music should be. The piece breaks down into a section of rare sparseness and Zylo marches along with a beat that sounds like a whip being cracked along with an array of strange noises. The beats kick back in with a bit of a vintage video game vibe. The soundtrack of Mario getting his ass tortured to death in Bowser's dungeon? Don't know what the inspiration was here, but I suppose that's as good a guess as any. The frequencies continue to heave, the jam gets progressively noisier and more confrontational. The steam engine continues to roll until its yanked out by the neck and replaced by a new beat that quickly peters out. The final and shortest track "Plasma/Asthma" is by far the noisiest jam, and I mean that literally cause of how saturated, blown out and grainy it sounds. The sound doesn't lose any definition because of it though which is amazing. Kudos to the masterer, Clayton Counts. Underneath the six feet of fuzz are pounding percussive loops like a muck raking hip hopera from hell about a factory workers' uprising. Gears grind, seize, stop and lurch forward again in bizarre poly(a)rhythms. Shifting into a machine gun synth melody, things get progressively zanier. In what, in all likelihood, is my favorite part of the tape, Zylo launches into a heady haunted organ jam. It's excellently composed with various layers of melodies and manages an absolutely seamless transition from all the head smashing that came before. The whole tone of the piece is difficult to describe as it manages to be a little uplifting but in a very unsettling way. It's perplexing, but I'm gonna take the sublime whenever I can get it.
This is a hefty hour of music, and not everyone will be down with it, but whether someone is or not shouldn't cause the listener to hold back any respect for Zylo's painstakingly put together and singular vision. Fuckhead and Company will probably end up getting more plays in my deck, but 333 takes you on a journey that the former can't match.
The packaging is cool as is typical with Zylo's releases, 333 has a purple vellum cover with a double-sided, fold-out color j-card on the inside. The tape is still available from the artist and there is also a pro-duplicated, shrinkwrapped CD-r edition too if that's your preference.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mini Tour Highlights

Live Excerpt Thanks To Emil Hagstrom

In Minneapolis I was fortunate enough to record and do a show on the same bill as Cock E.S.P. . Their performance was in total darkness, with whatever light that came from someone's hand held camera illuminating naked/half naked bodies covered in glitter writhing around, with amplified tire rims and a trampoline bouncing around in the background. The combination of finding a belt sander in a Minnesota thrift store and being enabled by Emil Hagstrom in a few ways made my little mini tour astronomically better than I'd thought it would be. There was also some technical help given by John Vance that ended up saving me from a drastic tour setback on day one.

Columbia saw our show getting relocated to a venue with much more traffic, to a party kicked off by a large circle of people square dancing. My time spent with Dominick Dufner/ Sigulda and his girlfriend Michaella nom de plum was super fun, good people. Michaella gave me a hand stenciled T. Rex shirt, I will never forget it!

In St. Louis I made it to Apop Recordsearly and was fortunate enough to get my tapes into that store, while also buying what I could with my meager budget. You have to commend a store that is carrying cassettes that come with rotting, moldy pig ears, or mini CDs mounted on broken shards of glass. That is a damn good record store. The Show Was At Wayout Club, a bar owned by a couple who share duties of running sound, door and bartending between themselves. They shared food from their picnic earlier that day and were very nice people. All sets were great, Sigulda, N.N.N. Cook, and Desoeuvre Bruits, a project by a man long involved in the noise scene for over 10 years, collaborating with many people around town, he shared his debut as a solo act on this bill. I also met Mark and Sasha from Luftwaffe and had some good conversation before getting whisked off to the bus station.

When I get the chance, I will be sending a few gift baskets. It was a lot of fun.

Highlights from Columbus and Cleveland are: Getting to share a bill withFluxmonkey, hanging out with Andy Slater/Velcro Lewis before my show at Bela Dubby, making it to Cool Ranch afterwards to meet/see Irene Moon for the first time, reuniting with an old and dear friend, hearing stories about collecting Indian Artifacts from Rudy Gerdeman and seeing him swallow a piece of his broken mic and continue playing. In Columbus I was fortunate enough to hang out with Zac Szymusiak at his house built in 1870, and hear stories about having Mark Gunderson of The Evolution Control Committee as a landlord. I was also glad I got to meet/see Jonathan Enrique Barajas/I AM FORESIGHT perform and meet Luke Tandy/Skeleton Dust/Being. Many thanks to the people who made it good!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Photos for cassette editions of "Hello Walls" and "Saint Street"

Hello Walls at Bachelor's Grove Cemetary:

Hello Walls at the "Bird Sanctuary":

Saint Street view 1:

Saint Street view 2:

Dead Bird:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July Mini Tour

happening soon!


Now available: "SAINT STREET" pro shrink wrapped CDR (or pro duplicated, imprinted smoky black cassettes with double sided 5 panel inserts; preorder also available, shipping later this week). Digital harsh noise work from 2003 - 2010, in some cases written before a formal introduction to harsh noise was made, out of explorations with failure at making structured electronic music. More musical elements than a usual harsh noise release can be expected. A raw track from this release can be heard here: UNDULA.

Shipping Options

Saturday, July 3, 2010


The impetus that spurred this album happened when Ed End, curator of the yearly comp series, "Necktar", asked me to contribute something based on "perception". I immediately came up with an elaboration from Willie Nelson's song, trying to evoke the idea of human imprints on inanimate objects existing within a room, or the anthropomorphic characteristics of them, without the implication of love or loss. This is from my experience of spending a lot of time in old and abandoned buildings, as well as cemeteries, desolate plots of concrete along the lake, and especially in the flooded, moldy basement of an incredibly old church around Augusta and Noble, Chicago circa 2003. I also wanted to use musical and visual imagery which suggested a sort of euphoric feeling of submersion that comes with the choice of complete solitude and being influenced solely by one's own thoughts/actions within a set location for long periods of time. Originally issued on the now defunct Enemata Productions in 2008 (headed by Rick from Infirmary), this new edition comes with 3 single sided 3x5 cards, a yellowed, crumbling page of a book from 1938 with old English text in German, and a generous amount of soil from either "The Bird Sanctuary" along Montrose area lake grounds, the Morse beach, or Bachelor's Grove Cemetary, reputedly the most haunted place in the country. Select copies come with worms, bird bones, and garbage. Cassettes are black Type II High Bias, duplicated by Andy Ortmann with full color labels inside of a smokey poly case, all contents come in a black 4x6 poly bag. Specific soil requests are not available. Run time is approximately 68 minutes. Limited to 84 with a small amount set aside for a special edition packaging later this summer. More pictures to follow.