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

Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday (Pre-Order Extravaganza)

The cover art for a new release of mine, by the artist, Tiny Little Hammers. I think it balances intricate with dynamic very well, and is a perfectly abstract/conceptual fit for the audio.   TLH does concert posters along with a number of other diverse, quality works, and is the exclusive cover artist for the new label Tymbal Tapes, headed by Scott Scholz, who also runs the podcast/review site Words on Sounds.  It is to be my first full length release of entirely "Upheaval" versions.  For those that don't know, "Upheaval" was a track I did in 2005, based entirely off of several samples of various divas holding long notes.  It was proposed for a compilation, but was rejected because of possible copyright infringement.  Since then, whenever I am given an opportunity for a compilation track, I rework a version of "Upheaval".  There are over 80 versions in existence at this time.  You can hear the original version Here.  Tymbal Tapes seem to have sold considerably well, considering the label started less than a year ago, with several reissues of releases coming and going quickly.  Interested parties would be advised to keep an eye on their bandcamp page. Ombrelli Sciolti and The Dept. of Harmonic Integrity are among my favorite releases of the year so far. J-cards are printed on "luxurious linen".  This one is printed with rustic blood red ink.   Grab the tape (pre-order) and check out chewy morsels in the rest of the "batch" of somewhat darker new artists on this incredibly discriminate and flavorful label  here.  I remember discussion about Bran (...) Pos, IXTABI (I think) and a Romanian band who doesn't communicate directly on the internet at all, but they have a "handler".  This goddamn label is important.

Experience Upheaval in full analog glory with this gorgeous C40 cassette. J-card printed in rust-red ink on luxurious linen paper. Edition of 50.

Cassettes begin shipping on 12/12/15. 

Includes digital pre-order of Upheaval. You get 2 tracks now (streaming via the free Bandcamp app and also available as a high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more), plus the complete album the moment it's released.

Arvo Zylo's work is often the product of literal years of toil, the potent result of countless hours refining, perfecting, and focusing wild energies. Projects like his "333" and "Assembly" feel more like they've been finished in a metal refinery than a mastering house, their labyrinthine vertical layers chosen and fixed in place with firm force.

These Upheaval versions, each created in a single sitting from one block of material, act as industrial etudes, a peek behind the curtain at Zylo's unique approach to sound, space, and the art of the edit. Enjoy these fluid sessions of extemporaneous work from a master aural sculptor. 


releases December 12, 2015

Production Notes:
Recorded in May 2015. Created from samples of divas holding sustained notes. Each version of Upheaval must be completed in one sitting. 

Split tape: These just happen to be coming out around the same time:  I did a split with Critter Piss featuring even more versions of Upheaval.  My side is pretty harsh material, with heavy machine loops and extreme layering.  This is a c60 with printed labels, and cover art by yours truly.  CP has a deceptive name, but his work sways around the hardened veins of dark ambient, of the inspired horror soundtrack by-way-of-noise variety.  A bonus piece of information:  I was sent   a bunch of unreleased tracks and was given the liberty to choose my favorites of this artist's material for the split.  I aim to please, and I wouldn't steer you wrong.  It is limited to 30 copies on Ka-Rye-Eye Tapes.  As I write this, I'm told that many of the copies are dubbed and labelled, but the printing of the covers isn't quite sorted out.  I don't expect these copies to be around for long, so feel free to secure yours now.  The label is accepting pre-order inquiries.  I'm sure it will be ready in the next couple weeks.  

Also on the brink from KRE Tapes: a pro CDR from Blood Rhythms titled "Skin Flint".  This time it's Arvo Zylo & gritty industrial noise filth veteran Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft, SK SK, Blackfire, Dead Peasant Insurance), high speed drunk-driving with no headlights.  Car alarms going off everywhere.  Leaning on the horn and accelerating instead of stopping at stop signs.   Two lengthy tracks (and a 19 minute "bonus track") of the dark, rhythmic, and heavy variety.  Recorded/improvised live together at SKSK studio in Cleveland, and refined/assembled/edited/revised by Arvo Zylo several times.  Most of the editing was done to keep the overall outcome minimal and to-the-point, but I still ended up layering the hell out of some areas.  The title track was originally 62 minutes long.  Approx/ 52 minutes running time total. Listen loud or not at all!  I'm confident that if you contacted the label, and allowed 2 weeks for delivery, they'd be ready in time, and you'd be a satisfied customer.    kretapes at gmail.

I've been active a lot on the Undressing Underground Podcast.  I was interviewed about influences and reasoning behind what I do, at length here.  I also contributed a bit about my involvement in a collaboration with Bryan Lewis Saunders, to follow his interview on there.   It is a necessary listen.  Hear him talk in a thick southern accent about torturing himself on stage with veteran sound artist John Duncan, and about training himself to talk in his sleep, the world population problem, and other mostly vulgar and disturbing, illuminating subjects.  The man is extremely bright, and a total character.  There is also a soundtrack provided by me, from a gallery installation called "Grand Guignol"
some years ago.

If you didn't catch my forewarning, Undressing Underground Podcast aired my old interview with travis from ONO, from my old radio show.  I initially spoke on the phone for about 15 minutes about my deep admiration for the subject, quite eloquently, I might add, as travis is  a dear friend and collaborator, but it was accidentally erased.  I have also interviewed the whole band prior to this, for the record.  ONO has been a savior to Chicago's music scene as far as I'm concerned.  Nevertheless, ONO has a new double LP out featuring Al Jourgensen of Ministry, and the recent addition of the extremely talented Ben Billington (Tiger Hatchery, Quicksails) as drummer (one of many on the record, among numerous other members and guests, remote or otherwise) and Brett Naucke, Chicago synth darling and head of Catholic Tapes.  They are touring as I write this.  I'm genuinely happy for them.  Core members travis and P. Michael show the age of entitlement virtual octogenarians a thing or two about vigor and resilience.  

The new ONO record (released on Devil's Night 2015) deals intimately with racial elements and obviously other personal subject matter, as if it were a shootout in the old west; tenderized into abstraction, funereal utterings and frenetic outbursts that communicate resignation almost as eloquently as nagging historical conflict.  travis once had me over and explained to me how he writes.  A 5 line poem can be a distillation of several characters and stories.  I'm pleased to have periodically seen the development of this record live (even though the recorded versions are dramatically different from what I remember live) and I even marched with them as travis lead a crowd through Pullman district introducing himself to onlookers as "The Nigger Queen" in a full-on wedding gown.

 Taken as a whole, "Spooks" is like an elaborately woven and thoroughly disorienting allegory, which will reveal new and surprising elements at each listen. I've always admired travis' ability to sound like Arthur Brown and George Clinton at the same time (I still wonder if he knows what Arthur Brown sounds like).  Multiple drummers and other scrawling synths, feedback, guitar skronk, reverse speech up the wazoo, skittering drum machines, and paradoxically laid back, cool bass lines roll through a lot of sort of speak/sing delivery, which punctuates even more when travis kicks on his baritone gospel surrealism or his screeching southern drawl sermons.  There's such a reeling-in-and-casting-out feeling going on here.  It feels like once a rhythm gets going, and it seems the listener can settle into any level of head-bobbing (or headbanging), something so dissonant or damn near absurd kicks in to remind you to either listen with your throat, or sit your head back aghast.  An element of controlled madness is afoot, and you can ride its coat-tails all the way through the tunnel if you try.

The record doesn't quite capture the over-stimulation and total environment that a live ONO set casts (but how could it?); leaving fans uninhibited enough to dance and scream, but not so unconscious that they aren't still confused by all of the things that are going on.  However, this record does take their process of recording to another level, where the listener is able to almost picture how free and spirited the band must have been in the studio; an element that I find to be extremely rare in contemporary records.  ONO's performances are never the same.  I've seen them perform the same song three times in one day, and it was always very significantly different.

I really have to commend Al Jourgensen for taking part in this project, they've been friends with him to some extent since high school.  I can only imagine how disappointed some industrial/metal heads might be, if they were to frollick into this forest.   It is a thing of beauty in the sense that it is unlike anything I have ever heard or will ever hear again.  At moments, it is more compelling than CAN or any other kraut-rock band.  At other times, it is like a sort of fractured synthpop sci-fi death opera, maybe almost bringing to mind David Bowie's "Outside" album, or a derailed Vaudeville play gone wrong.   In terms of "sweetness of sounds", it is not a thing of beauty; it is largely a chaotic and free-flowing mess in terms of traditional "songwriting".  Players seem to start and stop when they feel like it, and they also seem to go as hard as they want regardless of sonic balance or dynamics or well, balance.  At the same time, the whole 54 minutes of the album seem to have the structure of a play with three acts, a prelude, an overture, and everything else.

With all of the delightful, versatile female vocals (Rebecca Pavlatos and Shannon Rose Riley provide lead and backing vocals throughout) and lovely little orchestral keyboard (and synthesizer) nuances, the over-arching impression of Spooks comes off as an absolute train wreck and a disaster, debris and shrapnel everywhere, and I think that's precisely the point (a good thing).  One can't help but marvel at it. A song will sound like Diamanda Galas one moment, and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult the next.  Like certain poetry, the conscious may not understand it, but the subconscious does.  There are certainly very epic moments of beauty, like that of "Ma Laveau" and "Invocation - The Nigger Queen", but they almost seem as accidental as they did natural.  "Punks" starts off with a nice little bar-room piano melody, the segues into throat singing, then it bursts with extremely dense synth funk with so many goddamn layers of instruments, it simply must be unraveled with some dissonant bass lines, and then come to an abrupt and premature halt.  There can never be too many cooks in the kitchen for ONO, the more the merrier!   The best way I can summarize the album is that of a runaway ugly stepchild zooming through the dark woods in an attempt to escape to new frontiers, amidst the fallen trees, thorns, and the dead leaves blowing in the heavy wind.  No looking back.  This is not for superficial listening.  With deep listening, it is a dancing, haunting masterpiece.  I'll return to SPOOKS again and again, and like ONO in general, my thoughts on the subject will always remain somehow satisfyingly unfinished.

 The interview here was done only a couple years after they reformed from a couple decade long hiatus, before any of ONO's old records from the early 80s were reissued, and certainly before they ever toured AS A RULE (they used to say they'd never go on tour, but they did honor me by playing my final tour date of my first tour, in Columbus Ohio, buncha sweethearts that they are).  Much has changed, but the core of the interview is based in layers of development, and it's rife with timeless insights and wild stories.  As Rob, the podcast maestro says, "Amazingly Interesting!".

In other news:

The title track from my collaboration with Dental Work entitled "Velcro Bismol" was aired on Otomo Hava's "Notes From Chaos" podcast along with a lot of fledgling artists I haven't heard of, and also Social Junk!  It's pretty good, give it  a swirl.   I did a guest podcast for this show a while back, check it out here.

My project Blood Rhythms was on a tribute to Little Fyodor a while back, from a live set that was recorded at Denver Noise Fest 2011.  The live set featured GX Jupitter-Larsen, Elizabeth Floersch, Clayton Counts, Bryon Tenebra, and a lot of other people throwing around boxes full of broken glass and wielding belt sanders against sheet metal. At the end of the set, there were broken lamps and mirrors in abundance.   The Aural Innovations website did a review of the tribute, wherein Blood Rhythms was mentioned.  The Cd is still available and recommended.  The new 7 inch by Little Fyodor and Babushka is also recommended.  8 tracks of new material, including covers of the Ramones and the Beatles.

AND :  The cat is out of the bag!  As many of you know, NO PART OF IT operated outside of the internet for two years.   There were some releases that still have no representation on the internet, of any kind. If you did not get my newsletter or come to my show, you blew it.  One such release, up until this point was "T.A.Z." - "Communique #2", an anti record that came with sun-dried ink printed covers in an edition of 25.  It is a conceptual side project of members of T.O.M.B. and Dreadlords.  Wm. Berger aired it on his My Castle of Quiet radio show (I don't know/recall how he acquired a copy) alongside Container, Pregnant Spore/Torturing Nurse, The Birthday Party, PIL, and a whole bunch of other cool obscure shit.  I have 2 left, and I'm not selling them online, wink wink.

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