Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Basalt Fingers
s/t

Three Lobed No Cat

LP + CD
£16.99


Huge walls of psych guitar imbalance from a trio who know how to chew an axe: Elisa Ambrogio of Magik Markers, Ben Chasny of Six Organs Of Admittance and Brian Sullivan of Mouthus. Miasmic destructo-rock moves in a derelict post-Dead C style. Pressed on 180 g vinyl and housed in classy wraparound silkscreened sleeve by Alan Sherry of SIWA. The LP also comes with a pressed CD featuring bonus jams from the same session. Edition of 845 copies.

Magik Markers
Baltimore Trust

Arbitrary Signs

CD-R
£8.99


Excellent quality archival live recordings of the classic trio line-up of Magik Markers – Elisa Ambrogio, Pete Nolan and Leah Quimby – recorded in Baltimore in 2003. Never got to see this line-up of the band as much as I would have liked to as they were a ferocious and unpredictable spectacle every night. Here they’re playing at some kind of tortuously down-tuned peak, with blunt guitars steamrolled by Nolan’s drums and Elisa’s inspired stream-of-consciousness performance style channeling Patti Smith as much as Lydia Lunch. Comes in the usual hand-screened envelopes.

Magik Markers
Balf Quarry

Drag City DC-376

CD
£10.99


“Balf Quarry, an old stone pit just outside of Hartford, Connecticut, represents a central place for Elisa Ambrogio and Pete Nolan, the duo who call themselves Magik Markers, and is the apt title of their forthcoming May Drag City release. Unearthed from the mines of Connecticut in 2001, Magik Markers have been brutalizing audiences with their shattering live appearances and recordings since the first part of this century. They are now living and creating on opposite sides of the country. Elisa Ambrogio recently moved to Seattle from San Francisco and Pete Nolan resides in Brooklyn, but they came together in Elisa's new city to record Balf Quarry with Scott Colburn (Sun City Girls, Animal Collective, Sir Richard Bishop). Balf Quarry has moody space in its soul, and on this album you'll find Elisa and Pete locked together, beating it out, listening to and feeling the sound of their earth quake. And slicing through all the atmosphere, Elisa's voice is a spear of light, splashes of mud, and an acid purple flashback. Listening to Balf Quarry is like immersing yourself in a great horror film, complete with mental dissipation, catharsis for the ears, and the most satisfying psychotic listening experience you'll have this year.” – DC.

Nolan/Ramirez
s/t

Killertree Records KTR-10

CD-R
£6.99


New duo jams from Pete Nolan of Magik Markers and Bryan Ramirez of Ex-Cocaine/Plants et al. Aspects of this sound like some of the post-Trapdoor/Harsh 70s feel of The Dead C in terms of confused electro-acoustic improvisation and the kind of degraded garage rock most immediately associated with the sound of the Mouthus universe.

GHQ
Heavy Elements

Three Lobed

CD
£9.99


Live album from the American Psychotropic trio of Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards/Hototogisu/Zaimph), Pete Nolan (Magik Markers/Vanishing Voice/Virgin Eye) and Steve Gunn (Moongang). Recorded at Goodbye Blue Monday January 27th 2006, this one ditches the more rural/raga bent of their earlier recordings (tho still scarred with that devotional/Popol Vuh feel) for a deep smoke of eye-lolling choral vocals, heavy psychedelic guitar solo and a murk of drone. Very beautiful and possibly their best set to date.

John Truscinski
Ash Tree

Open Mouth No Cat

Cassette
£4.99


Limited solo cassette from Truscinski, drummer with GHQ/X.O.4/Slaughterhouse Percussion, Steve Gunn et al, touches on the detonating Industrial rhythms of Einsturzende Neubauten, Z'EV et al while incorporating great blats of liberated Afro-American fire moves, passages of bowed and scraped drone and some grimy, distorto-primitive punk stratagems. On Bill Nace of Vampire Belt's own label.

Zaimph
Live Hasselt

Heavy Blossom

CD-R
£6.99


Limited edition of 100 copies documenting a live solo show from Marcia Bassett that took place 6/6/06 in Hasselt. 28 minutes of thick, frozen air, slow brain-bloating highs, and thunderous ecstasy peaks. One of the darkest/densest blats from Marcia to date and highly recommended. Comes in wraparound colour pro-printed sleeves.

Steve Gunn/Ilyas Ahmed
Split

Immune No Cat

7”
£6.99


Edition of 800 copies split 7 Record Store Day release from two of the most consistently wowing contemporary guitar slingers. Gunn’s side is a gorgeous meditation on American steel string modes that has a heady Fahey atmosphere while Ahmed’s is a little grainier and more downer/drone fixated, more focussed on the lonely aspect of his first two albums. 

Central Living
Dune Church

Blackest Rainbow Recordings BRR-231

LP
£13.99


New project from guitarist Steve Gunn, a member of GHQ alongside Marcia Bassett: Central Living is the duo of Gunn and Manuel Padding. Padding provides electronic accompaniment to Gunn’s guitar, birthing a hybrid of American Primitive string-think and otherworldly tone poetry. The A side sees Gunn playing in a beautiful cascading style while Padding dissolves tones in coronas of translucent F/X. The flip is a little wilder, with Gunn working a striking almost Bola Sete-inflected melody between high feedback tones before the pair settle into an ominous deep drone piece illuminated by shards of steel string. Indeed, this beautiful side feels closer to the experimental aesthetic of John Fahey circa Days Have Gone By/Voice Of The Turtle than any pale Guitar Soli copyist, factoring in aspects of 20th century avant gardisms as well as a minimal, compositional aesthetic. Play this back-to-back with the last Glenn Jones album for an object lesson in the contemporary vectors of modern string thought. Edition of 300 copies on virgin vinyl. Comes with a download. 

Black Dirt Oak
Wawayanda Patent

Mie Music MIE-024

LP
£14.99


Massive supergroup underground session coming out of the NNCK-affiliated Black Dirt Studios: Black Dirt Oak sees members of Pelt, The No-Neck Blues Band, Pigeons, Desert Heat, GHQ, Psychic Ills and more coming together for a classic Kraut/Americana-inspired séance. Indeed, the title seems to give the nod to the legendary Kraut bunker jams cut by German Oak, albeit transposed to a rural American basement with a bucket full of strange strings. The instrumentation is rural and electrified but with a tonal complexity and an odd feel for clanging sonorities and singing lunar notes that would combine the complex percussive matrices of Harry Partch or Harry Bertoia with slide guitar, gut bucket blues and classic hillbilly eternal music. Indeed, at points the whole deal comes over like an American Primitive take on the early Velvets sound, with that slow-rising-sun-on-tenement walls feel of the opening of “All Tomorrow’s Parties” given a protean, folk blues overhaul that focuses even more on its initial genesis in hijacked raga and drone musics. Indeed, when the vocals kick in and the group cohere into almost-songs the closest comparison is nothing but Popol Vuh offshoot Gila’s stunning hymn to the fate of the American Indian nation, 1973’s Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. A spectacular outing, recommended. 

Workbench + Black Quarter/Cornucopia
Live In San Juan

Heavy Tapes No Cat

Cassette
£6.99


Mike and Maya Bernstein (Double Leopards/Religious Knives et al) live at the San Juan noise fest, with a wash of sandpaper-toned judder giving way to what almost sounds like one of John Fahey's concrete ragas for locomotive, helicopters, angel vox and eerie wide-open space. B-side features a set from renowned Puerto Rican noise outfit Cornucopia. Comes in the gorgeous new Heavy Tapes (run by Mike and Maya of Double Leopards, Religious Knives et al) packaging with letterpressed custom fabricated cardstock tape covers which wrap around and tuck into themselves and black ink on white cardstock artwork by Maya. Just about the most beautiful run of tapes you're ever likely to fondle.

Religious Knives
Bind Them/Electricity And Air

No Fun Records 03

LP
£14.99


Very heavy Middle Eastern/Popol Vuh-vibe on this new LP from Religious Knives (Mike and Maya of Double Leopards further bolstered by the presence of Mouthus drummer Nate Nelson). A wash of ritual hand percussion vibrates beneath beautiful monolithic synth patterns from Maya that recall the tranquilised downriver grandeur of parts of the Aguirre soundtrack or the full fathom force of In Den Garten Pharaos as you feel the meat of your mind slowly part beneath the gush of extended time-warping drones. Mike's vocals sound as if they're being squoze through an outdoor tannoy system and his feedback guitar gives the whole piece a black, ominous aspect. Second side is even heavier, with Nate's thud-bobbing drums forcing the group into whole new vectors of damaged lurch. Mixed by Brian Sullivan of Mouthus. Comes packaged with white stuck-on sleeve art and fake liners, both of which give it that all-important ‘private' feel. Limited to only 300 copies and highly recommended.

Co., Inc.
Nerve Pluck Game

Sdn Rex 05

CD-R
£6.99


“Switched-out surge-and-spike, drum-and-treble, thrum-and-tremble from Co., Inc. (Jon Chapman: ex-Double Leopards, Rory Storm and the Invaders, Ray Off, Sinking Infinities). Unvarnished digital and vintage analog constructs: solo improv dissected and interleaved upon solo improv; all hard-/ no soft-ware. Covers hand-built of cotton rag matboard and gummed linen tape, with woodcut-printed titles, and artwork of shaved willow charcoal and archival book-repair tape. Numbered edition of 100.” – CI.

Double Leopards/Sunroof!/Mouthus
Crippled Rosebud Binding

Music Fellowship LPDOUBLCRIP

2xLP
£15.99


Much anticipated hook-up between these three trans-Atlantic monsters. One-side each and then a third monster inter-band jam. Leopards side is a classic haunt, with wraiths of hovering drone peaking in eye-rolling vocal confusion, while the Mouthus track is a fabulous punk trouncing of fuzz-impacted guitar and clattering electrified skin. Sunroof! jams are the real highlight though, especially the doofily-named “Cortez Tha Killa” that features Matthew Bower on repeat-riff nirvana while Mick Flower of Vibracathedral Orchestra lets his wrist fly with some of the most insane and righteously piloted post-Young acid delirium of anyone’s career. Too fucking much. Final big-band side presents a beautiful void of spooked eternity, with shadow forms moving in and out of earshot like so much hallucinatory cumulus. Comes in a full-colour gatefold sleeve, already sold-out at source, so move it.

White Rock
The Exploder

Our Mouth #7

CD-R
£8.99


Self-released album from this Mouthus/Double Leopards supergroup featuring botha Mouthus and Mike and Maya from Leopards. Sound is as beautifully Euro-fixated as the recent Religious Knives stuff, with soft oceans of glazed 1970s synth patterns washing across the backs of yr eyelids like the Cosmic Couriers play the brain scores of Terry Riley and Klaus Schulze. A beautifully pink stone and highly recommended for fans of soft dopey muzz.

Religious Knives
Blackbird/Wax And Flesh

Heavy Tapes

7”
£6.99


7” vinyl from Mike Bernstein and Maya Miller of Double Leopards’ Heavy Tapes imprint bundles two ecstatic DIY drone shots from Religious Knives beamed straight from a windowless bunker. This whole current European/devotional/cult synth edge that the duo have developed is beautifully electric and extremely personal and these two tracks – chronologically their first experiments in this style - make for some of their best reconciliations with song form to date. Mike and Maya play bells, guitar, percussion, synth, and vocals. Limited edition, comes in screened hard card fold-around sleeves. Highly recommended.

Zaimph
Sexual Infinity

Hospital Productions HOS-162

CD
£6.99


New solo album (first ever 'real' CD release after a bunch of limited CD-Rs) from Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards/Hototogisu/GHQ et al, released on Domink Fernow of Prurient's label. A real departure from her last few releases, Sexual Infinity has a darker, almost documentary-style atmosphere, with the low malevolent hum of late night, neon-illuminated streets (a hint of William Bennett's Bradford Red Light District in some of the more nocturnal 'field' style passages) cut up with the roar of jet engines, seedy, auraless orbits of cracked drone-tone, lurching blown-out synth violence that could almost be a field-recording of the aftermath of a Suicide riot and the most evocatively placed globes of murky drone. All held together with almost Haino-esque stabs of epic repeat chord runs. Highly recommended.

Zaimph
Death Blooming Pleasure

No Fun No Cat

LP
£14.99


“When spinning this dark velvet cloak a door opens to clouds of smoke shooting out the windows sills of the shell of old library like ink plumes while smokes leaps like black cats between the curtains. Stone and concrete crumble and fill the air with gray gas showering the maze of shrubs in the courtyard with a dark veil of soot. Marcia Bassett has tread the waters of noise psych drone and continues to defy the categories. A dark psychedelic guitar wash peaks its head out of the smoldering coals that could have been released on the mighty slaughter productions death industrial temple from Italy. Further morbidity croaks from the slicing vocals of a distraught entity being ripped from one dimension to the other... and rather enjoying her ordeal. Light the candles and burn the incense....Limited to 300 copies.” – NFP. Long out of print. 

Hototogisu
Green

Heavy Blossom

CD
£7.99


The first ever release from the Hototogisu duo of Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Total/Sunroof) and Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards) that even approaches being ‘generally available', Green is a real CD - not a CD-R - pressed up for the group by the sainted Ed Hardy of Eclipse records and available in an edition of 1000 copies complete with a suave full-colour booklet reproducing a bunch of the duo's art. Anyone whose mind was blown by the vision of this pair powering their way through one of the most magical/unforgiving sets of Subcurrent 2005 will find plenty to drown in here. Tracks are shorter than on previous releases, though even more obsessively detailed. There are points where the cacophony is so insanely oversaturated that the noise starts to sound as if it's spontaneously giving birth to language: you start hallucinating words and sentences, almost as if the film protecting you from a constant bombardment of information-heavy environmental radiation has been blown apart. Green also features some of Hototogisu's most straight-ahead death/doom metal moves. Although they're not quite Skullflower, the first track features snatches of classic death metal riffs alongside the stomach-punch of a cheap drum machine and on their theme song, the beautifully ferocious “Heavy Blossom”, Mick Flower of Vibracathedral Orchestra plays drums. Alongside all the iron first action, there are some beautiful moments where Marcia and Matthew's voices melt into ribbons of pure white light and the whole thing floats to the ceiling. A modern classic, and possibly the best Hototogisu album to date. Highest recommendation.

Hototogisu
Chimarendammerung

De Stijl No Cat

CD
£8.99


Brand new full-length recording from the duo of Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Total/Sunroof et al) and Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards/Zaimph/GHQ) features a more rock-reverent take on the kind of vertical screens of impossibly detailed overtone that defined their earlier albums, with Marcia's viola slow-burning fluttering afterimages of neon spirals deep into the air while Bower's guitar/microphone worship generates repeat-ascensions of overloaded ecstasy tone. Something grittier, more immediately tactile, that makes this their most dramatically meat-based orbit of hallucinated space/time vectors to date. Highly recommended.

Marcia Bassett & Margarida Garcia
The Well

Headlights IPH-14

LP
£21.99


Hand-numbered edition of 200 copies LP on Manuel Mota’s private Headlights imprint documenting a heavyweight duo set from Marcia Bassett of Zaimph, Hototogisu, Double Leopards, GHQ et al and improvising Portuguese bassist and guitarist Margardia Garcia. Garcia is one of the major new generation European free players, coming out of the same scene as Mota, and she’s just as capable of generating Swans-style Industrial entropy as she is playing explosive fire music. Here Bassett uses keyboard and guitar to create austere arcs of Industrial-strength drone that Garcia anchors with tactile, questing strings, giving the whole thing an odd avant-classical backbone. 

Zashiki-Warashi
Mail Wars

Conduit Creations No Cat

LP
£15.99


Limited edition of 550 LPs from Carter Thornton compiling a few years worth of mail collaborations with players like Burning Star Core, Alan Dubin (Khanate, Gnaw, OLD), Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards, Zaimph), David Shuford (NNCK, Enos Slaughter), Pigeons, Kuwayama Kiyoharu, Marshall Avett (Zandosis), Greg Wildes (Gas Tank Orchestra), Carl Smith / Derek Phelps, Darwin Smith, Smith Harrison and Dr. Mijin Kim. Buncha styles devoured and regurgitated, from scattershot drone explosions and spare percussive strategies through laminal flashes of rainbow electronics. Plus it’s all compiled and programmed in a way that is totally maximalist, giving it the feel of some weird Euro art/rock obscurity in the orbit of Futura/Red et al. Excellent.

Zaimph
Imagine Yourself Here...

Yew 01

LP
£16.99


Massive new album from Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards/GHQ/Hototogisu et al) aka Zaimph, the debut release for her new private press imprint Yew: Imagine Yourself Here... moves away from Bassett’s previous post-Taj Mahal Travellers-style outer-space drone and into a more rigorous, compositional zone that factors in aspects of occult geometries and psychogeography, mapping the night-time spaces of the city via two side-long pieces. The first side consists of a collage of many different recordings which came out of a period of working on a soundtrack to a film and that utilises ExiTrip, an obsolete transmitter for iPods. The feel is of a city under surveillance, paranoiac, with a nexus of ghost voices and virtual sonic environments conjured from straight out of the air. Strafing neon drones cut-through the fuzzy darkness while inchoate electronics jump-cut between time-lines. There are aspects of Peter Christopherson’s ambiguous tape work in Throbbing Gristle and Coil as well as Alan Lamb’s alchemical translations of faraway wires before the second half opens with Marcia breathing wordless angel vox over skittering electronics and various low-level percussive sounds while the crackle of pure current feeds into a high keyboard  mass and arcs of torrential fuzz, with the disembodied voices providing a psychotic, mind-loosening finale. It’s a stunning work, a complex and deeply atmospheric soundworld that has little parallel outside of perhaps the tape-work and hermetic nocturnal soundings of New Zealand’s Omit, especially Quad, the monster three CD set that Bruce Russell put out via Corpus Hermeticum. Over on the flip there’s the most profoundly alien of live one-take solo guitar pieces of Bassett’s career, arcing with all of the lunar majesty and outer space energies of Solstice/Musick To Play In The Dark-era Coil, with six strings processed until they sound like an orchestra of backwards harmoniums hymning the heavens. Imagine Yourself Here... represents a major evolution of sound for Zaimph and comes very highly recommended! 

Zaimph
Evolucao

Dungeon Taxis #27

Cassette
£7.99


Massive new side from Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards/Hototogisu et al: this continues in the dense, paranoid, late night cityscape style of her recent releases, with a broken Rhythm Master sounding weird dunting sub-aqueous tones while circuit boards pull voices straight out of the air, with the feel of scanning nocturnal airways and picking up snatches of barely decipherable conversation or machine noise. Later tracks go heavier on the electro rhythms with a weird Coil/Thought Broadcast appeal that says Vanity Records like nothing else. Loving Marcia’s recent form and this is another major instalment. Instantly sold out at source.

Steve Gunn & Mike Cooper
Cantos de Lisboa

RVNG #11

LP
£19.99


Latest in RVNG’s inspired series of one-off hook-ups is a drooling six string treat that sees legendary improviser and radical primitivist Mike Cooper recording in Lisbon, Portugal with Steve Gunn of GHQ/Central Living/Magik Markers/Desert Heat et al.
Guitarist and free-improviser Mike Cooper has been following his own star since the mid-1960s when he first began his gradual migration from folk blues formalism to free folk gush. Well before anyone had joined the dots and articulated a model that reconnected folk’s ass with the instant satori of improvisatory elbow Cooper had a pair of sandals planted in both the post-folk/blues camp inhabited by Davy Graham and the Incredible String Band and the LMC axis of Steve Beresford, Keith Rowe and Eddie Prevost. Recent years have seen him hook-up with NNCK for a haul around the US while releasing a bunch of CD-Rs that combine American primitive modes with hallucinatory exotica, whorls of doctored wow and some inspired improvising. Here he plays in a parched, modal/blues style that combines liminal tonal spectra with an almost Loren Connors ‘feel’ for tone poetry and an approach to improvised satori that feels closer to instant composition. Gunn is pretty much at the peak of his powers at the moment and his cascading raga/psych style here is in full effect, embracing Cooper’s weirdo fourth world/exotica/flamenco nods with slow sheets of almost Coltrane-style notes and sad chord laments that touch on the emotional gravity of Fado. Love this, recommended. Comes with a download.