RIYL: Pink Floyd, Hawkwind, King Crimson, Tangerine Dream, Popol Vuh
C30, real time pro-duped high-bias cassette, urine tinted shell, insert card, dimebag of genuine pet hair to sniff whilst listening.
6$ CAD (+ region shipping). Order HERE.
Styles: Psychedelic, sound collage, left-field hip-hop, trip-hop, musique concrete, cut-up, sampladelic
RIYL: De La Soul going lo-fi folk rock, Sunburned Hand of The Man with two turntables and a sampler, The Beatles’ White Album and Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds playing at the same time in different rooms, DJ Shadow falling far down a DMT rabbit hole
Periodically, Vancouver Island librarian Partli Cloudi emerges from the periodicals stacks and offers up another cut-up, broke-down, sideways look at the world through the textual magic of sound. Pet Smells finds PC stretching his muscles a little, in his words:
“I was purposely trying to tap into more of a Three Feet High and Rising meets Smiley Smile type of record, and questioning if humour and joy can have a place in music versus more ‘acceptable’ emotions like angst, sadness, and ironically… melancholy. I guess when i said ‘music’, i meant like boring indie/underground/experimental music… putting the mental back in experimental. Don’t quote me on that tho.”
Oops, quoted indeed, but we couldn’t have described this aural trip better ourselves.
“GAD WHIP are a quartet of non-hairy and also hairy freaks from various northern shitholes who present an ungrateful world with a very pleasing hodgepodge of high-energy, low-fidelity punky psychedelia and post-industrial musique concrète...” ~ Expletive Undeleted (read full story HERE)
Trapped In A Pin Hole Camera features the core trio of Amos, Bolam and Davies aided and abetted by Neil Campbell (Vibracathedral Orchestra, Astral Social Club etc), Paul Walsh (Smell & Quim, Foldhead etc), Jimbo Baxter (Freaks Union, The Fuckin’ Glorious etc), Eva Davies & Ryan Walker (both on extra guitar & bass duties). Recorded in several kitchens throughout the summer of 2017 in West Yorkshire, UK, with “one mic and a busking amp” the band claims, though the recording is by no means the lo-fi shambles that implies.
Gad Whip formed in the summer of 2014 and have since put out 4 tapes and a couple of EP’s (one of those being a 12” on ever/never records). Named after a murkily arcane North Lincolnshire ‘old religion’ ritual involving a long cattle whip being shaken above a priest’s head on Palm Sunday or something, Gad Whip are old enough to know better but they don’t.
Split Infinities ,Volume 13 of our split tapes series, features two improvised, mind-melting, long-form psychedelic and kosmische odysseys by Toronto-based cosmic rockers MOONWOOD and STARGOON on sides 25 and 26 respectively.
Order HERE. $6.00 CAD (+ regional shipping)
Toronto psychedelic space-rock jam band MOONWOOD have been playing as a quartet since 2013 (husband and wife team Jakob Rehlinger, guitar/synths, and Jacqueline Noire, vocals/synths, backed by Matthew Fava, bass, and Luca Capone, drums). Their live shows consist of a few songs with standard verse/chorus structures, but also at least one extended mind-expanding and face-melting improvised jam. Though they’ve released some of these instrumental freak-outs on live mixtapes, “Cosmic Ghosts” is their first attempt to capture one of these singular experiences in the studio. Nine months pregnant with their baby, Jacqueline’s water actually broke while recording her overdubs for the track. Once her synth parts were duly completed, they called the midwife.
Named after an imaginary paint colour created by a neural network (it’s the same banal beige featured on the cassette’s J-card), STARGOON began as a collaboration between ambient droner Heraclitus Akimbo (aka sound archivist at the Mechanical Forest Sound blog, Joe Strutt) and Moonwood drummer, Luca Capone (who also records sound-collages as Radio Samson di Maria). On this 20-minute track, cobbled together from an hour’s worth of improvisations, they’re joined by Moonwood guitarist Jakob Rehlinger on bass who also recorded the session. Like the name STARGOON itself, “Bylfgoam Glosd” is taken from Janelle Shane’s AI’s list of paint names.
This year we released Eiyn Sof‘s acid-folk tour de force Meadow Thrum on CD. It quickly sold out and we were pretty happy about that. But over the following months the nagging feeling that the album is too good to not be in print got to be overwhelming. Thus this new deluxe reissue was born. Limited to 50 copies, it comes in a special printed envelope with a full colour insert card.
You can order it HERE. ($6.00 CAD + regional shipping)
“… an album pitched equidistant from full-out folk and mind-melting psychedelia. Meadow Thrum is a consistently riveting, occasionally confounding collection of escapist sounds and musical textures. File Meadow Thrum next to the most verdant and lush folk records or the most transcendent of alternative records in your collection; Eiyn Sof sits comfortably in both worlds.” ~ Dominionated
Nanaimo BC’s Sister Ray were a band that shouldn’t have existed and shouldn’t have ceased to be. Circa 2007 the local underground scene was, as so many such scenes perpetually are, obsessed with loud, fast, punk-inspired indie rock. Mel Mundell and Jakob Rehlinger were both in reasonably popular loud, fast bands (The Sheds and The Clap respectively), and wanted something different. Something slow and quiet. Something the audience could lay down on the floor and nod off to. That is, if they dared lay on any of the grime-covered, pre-gentrification floors of Nanaimo’s decaying downtown venues and DIY spaces. Intended as either a challenge or an affront to their audience, Sister Ray’s somnolent tempos and soft-spoken whispers tamed the beast for a short time, earning them a loyal following and respect as one of the city’s top talents, destined for greater things. Like many bands full of promise, they broke up too soon when life tore the duo in opposite directions and different parts of the continent (Jakob to Toronto and Mel to Portland). Sister Ray left behind one album, several unrecorded and forgotten songs, and a lot of unrealised plans as their legacy.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary expanded reissue of their seminal album on Arachnidiscs Recordings, Jakob and Mel reconvened via Facebook to reminisce about the rise and fall of Sister Ray.
Jakob: It was ten years ago we started the band in Nanaimo [a small city on Vancouver Island]. What are you memories of that time and place?
Mel: I remember us both having Internet girlfriends that we were pining over. I remember walking to your apartment for practice and Nanaimo feeling vaguely desolate.
Jakob: It was a wasteland we both wanted out of. Those were the peak meth epidemic years. So much boarded-up commercial space. Between the skeleton of the abandoned Malaspina Hotel and the giant pit that would become the convention centre, downtown looked like Syria.
Mel: And I remember us playing a show at the Queens and the stage seeming ridiculously high up for some reason and it altogether being a ludicrous venue for us.
Jakob: Yeah, the Queens show was ridiculous. Probably a Tuesday or something too. I think only Adrienne and Breen showed up?
Mel: Yes, we could always count on Adrienne and Breen, our super supportive fans. I remember you being in lots and lots of other music projects, ha. Is this the case still?
Jakob: I am still in a bunch of projects. I actually just put an end to BABEL which I guess was becoming my main solo project back then. I’m in Moonwood with my wife and two nice dudes and somehow I might be currently playing bass—the one you used in Sister Ray!—in a band called Stargoon with some of the same people. And I always have too many solo studio projects, like King Pong Dub System which is credited with one of the remixes on the reissue. What about you? Have you been keeping up with music?
Mel: I played in a surf-y low-fi band Bushtit for four years or so but members moved away and I haven’t done anything since. Yikes that was like three years ago! I miss it but I don’t drink and smoke anymore, a.k.a. go to bars, so I tried joining a community choir as my new band last year. And then we sang Grease songs and I had to leave.
Jakob: Ugh. No doubt. I’d heard of Bushtit. Though did I know you were even in Bushtit? Anyway, you guys were great! I don’t actually remember how Sister Ray even came into existence. Despite being fond of each other, the idea of us just getting together to make music seems absurd to me in a way. Yet, it was a serendipitous, magical pairing. Do you remember how it came to be?
Mel: Once we formed Sister Ray I wondered why we hadn’t played music together sooner. But when did we make a set plan to do so? I have no memory of the actual logistics and I too find it hard to believe. Did someone else suggest it? Did we connect over a particular band?
Jakob: Well, Nick Cave was big for both of us. Huge. The first Grinderman album had just come out and we liked it. But, no, I think that came out well after we were playing together. We were both into Swans, I think. You got me more into Teenage Jesus at the time. But nothing that really sounded like Sister Ray, exactly. We never talked about Low or slowcore bands I don’t remember. And I don’t think we were like, “Hey what if Kim Gordon or Lydia Lunch had fronted Mazzy Star?!” Do you remember being into any bands like what we were doing?
Mel: Not really. I was definitely into all of the above, including Low to some degree, but the darkwave-y stuff much more. I think Sister Ray was derived from the mood of all the music we liked in common stripped and slowed way, way, way down.
Jakob: Way down. One of our initial intentions was to be slow and quiet, which we definitely were, at least compared to what everyone else in town was doing at the time. I think I wanted to chance to play guitar a little more atmospherically than my other bands had allowed.
Mel: I agree, the goal was to play music as slowly and atmospherically as possible. I wanted us to play shows where the audience was laying on the floor, I wanted us to play while laying on the floor. I wanted to be able to take a complete deep breath in between notes. I remember feeling a deep sense of calm after our practices.
Jakob: I remember us both almost falling asleep by the end of practice. We’d rate it as a success if one of us was nodding off. I’ve played a few Moonwood and BABEL drone sets that almost achieve that. In some ways I keep trying to go back to Sister Ray. Have you listened to the songs recently?
Mel: I hadn’t listened to the songs recently, but I listened to the reissue all last night finally and although I cringed at times at my own timidness, it sounded better than I remembered.
Jakob: Ha! Yeah, I think you we purposely trying to not scream like in The Sheds. I guess it could come off as timid, in a way. But I hear more tender or delicate or… a better word I can’t quite place.
Mel: Ha, it’s true! There is an understated quality to the whole project that allowed for a lot of intensity I think. The bass playing is basic beyond belief, but l hope I’ve improved since then.
Jakob: I liked the super basic almost brutalist quality to the bass playing.
Mel: I’m glad. I liked it too just think it needed to be rougher and more defined with effects maybe. Playing with you was a dream come true. Sister Ray is my favourite project I’ve ever been in. It’s the music I’ve always wanted to make.
Jakob: . It’s one of the most pure things I’ve ever done. We were really making music for ourselves, no concessions to genre or popularity, almost throwing two fingers up at everyone else at the time playing uptempo punk-inspired music. But everyone loved it. I often wonder if we’d have kept it pure or what would’ve happened if we’d carried on. I know you wanted to put down the bass and start playing guitar and I was really nervous about that. I think now, it’d have been the right choice. Get rid of the drum machine too. But will we ever know?
Mel: I wonder that too. Sister Ray was a very healing project for me and playing that way did feel more about a personal need and a lot less about popularity or accessibility. In terms of where it could/would have gone? I honestly feel like we had 10 more albums in us, ha. I can hear the drum machine holding us back at times, but I also think it kept us awake at others. I think more confident bass playing or guitar on my part would have worked. Your playing, for me, is guitar at its best and we would have needed to keep that. Reunion show! I need a project like Sister Ray in my life again. Now wish me all the luck finding a Jakob in Vancouver.
Jakob: Good luck. I’m one of a kind! As are you. Hopefully we can work together in some capacity someday.
The reissue of Sister Ray releases on 9/11 2017.
C30, home duped, hand-stamped shells, $6 CAD (+ regional shipping)
Styles: Sound collage, cut up, vaporwave, noise, chiptunes
RIYL: 8-bit video game soundtracks, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s TV reruns, ADHD YouTube surfing, Throbbing Gristle doing Revolution #9
There is very little known about Radio Samson Di Maria, except that its “legend” is shrouded in mystery.
The only information ever found was found in an article*, written by Rubens Santiago, originally printed in the June 1993 edition of Lo Specchio Rotto, an underground horror/sci-fi/experimental music fan zine based out of Woodbridge, Ontario in the early ‘90s.
The story of Lo Specchio Rotto, whose name itself was considered to be a parody of Lo Specchio (an Italian-language weekly newspaper also based in Woodbridge), is something of a puzzle itself.
The zine lasted for only seven issues, focusing almost entirely on reviews on Italian horror films and prog rock, along with articles written about apparent “haunted houses” in and around the GTA, as well as reader’s letters detailing stories about strange oddities, supernatural encounters, and a recipe, a surprisingly good one at that, for Fegato alla Veneziana.
Lo Specchio Rotto vanished without explanation, with back issues nearly impossible to find. Coincidentally, the last issue printed is the same issue which featured the article on Radio Samson Di Maria…
“WHO IS RADIO SAMSON DI MARIA???
Pirate radio station suspected of interfering with signals, graffiti, and possibly breaking and entering.
By: Rubens Santiago Local News
After multiple complaints were made in recent weeks by listeners and radio station employees around Toronto about the interruption of radio signals with indiscernible speech, peculiar instrument noises, and distressed animal sounds, there appears to be evidence pointing towards the culprits.
Graffiti has been found on the walls underneath the bridge overlooking the Humber River, connecting Islington Ave. with Woodbridge Ave. The words “TUNE IN TO RADIO SAMSON DI MARIA” & “LISTEN EVERYWHERE, LISTEN FOREVER”, along with the call signs of several radio stations around the city (many of which had made complaints), were found printed in large, elaborate, gothic designs.
The unusual slogans haven’t been centralized to Woodbridge Ave. and Islington Ave. The appearance of similarly styled graffiti has been found inside churches, businesses and schools around town, though not depicted as flagrant as the graffiti underneath the bridge.
Citizens and police are completely baffled. The only possible link that can be connected is of recent reports regarding strange, static-sounding “music” coming from forested/ recreational areas scattered in different neighbourhoods around Woodbridge, including Airdrie Park, Boyd Park & Torii Park.
Time will only tell if the signal interruptions and graffiti will continue to appear.”
This was the first and last mention of the Radio Samson Di Maria until 2016, when local community radio aficionado, Curly Costinha, unearthed a cassette tape in the library of CJRU 1280AM, formerly CKLN 88.1 FM.
Labeled Radio Samson Di Maria – Danger Everywhere, this is a collection of sounds that possess a cultish devotion to blended layers of distorted news/cartoon samples, television/radio interviews, public broadcasting, and live music/field recordings. Cryptic overtones are aplenty; a deeper inspection of this cassette should be undertaken at your own discretion.
*As of 2017, multiple Toronto radio stations have denied any of the reports regarding signal interruptions in the summer of ’93. No photographic evidence of the graffiti was ever found, while the existence of Rubens Santiago is also completely limited to this singular article.