Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Traum/Bark Haze
Monolith: Jupiter

Music Fellowship MF-39

One-Sided Pic Disc LP + CD

Wild pairing of two improvised/destructo units – Bark Haze (aka Andrew MacGregor of Gown and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth) and Traum (Ben Hall of Graveyards and Zac Davis of Lambsbread). The deal is that both groups contribute a bunch of tracks without hearing what the other has done and then both recordings are cut onto the same side of an LP on top of each other. With each group hard-panned to the left and right channels you have the option of either listening to one of the performances by adjusting your stereo panning or leaving it right in the middle and hearing both groups simultaneously. The Bark Haze tracks – including a title, “Lou Reed Is A Creep”, lifted straight from The Dictators – are some of their most minimal drone-based moves, with thrumming electric guitar submerged in feedback and low-end violence. The Traum pieces are more spacious post Bailey/Oxley styled improvisations that veer into the more barbarous early Royal Trux style. Played together it makes for the kind of delirious headclash of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz recording, with players seemingly responding to each other across time and space and the whole thing building to a beautifully confusing knot. Excellent. Bonus CD makes for a handy way of checking out the individual tracks for when you’re too wasted to pan. Edition of 500 copies, one-time only pressing.

Our Love Will Destroy The World/Bark Haze

Krayon Recordings No Cat


Split 7” featuring a single electro-acoustic drone work from Campbell Kneale of Birchville Cat Motel’s new project - the kind of fluffy bell-tone/metal levitation previously the domain of Matthew Bower’s Sunroof! - while the flip features Thurston Moore and Andrew MacGregor (aka Gown) power-thinking their way through heavy feedback/rock moves.

The New Blockaders/Thurston Moore/Jim O'Rourke
The Voloptulist

Hospital Productions HOS-144


Dream-team hook-up between a trio of the most important free-noise theorists of the modern age, the UK's New Blockaders and Thurston and Jim of Sonic Youth et al. Hard to work out who is doing exactly what here - though the presence of drummer Chris Corsano on the second track is pretty unmistakable - but the overall feel is of one of TNB's early Symphonie X works populated by thin strings of feedback, the crackle of electronic jack-to-jack friction and a subtle ring of bone. Beautifully eerie and a little more pro-drone than the bulk of TNB's work. Second track is just unbelievable, with a slow hiss of feedback torn apart by Corsano's triumphal, spirit/energy scattershots, marching a legion of ghosts all the way over the horizon. Highly recommended.

JD King & The Coachmen
American Mercury

Ecstatic Peace E#99c


Brand new album from a primarily-instrumental avant garage group led by outrÇ illustrator, cultural polemicist and high-energy rocker Mr JD King. Back in the darkest pre-Sonic Youth years of the underground, Thurston Moore was a member of The Coachmen and on Failure To Thrive (issued by New Alliance somewhence back in time) they cut tough Neon Boys-style punk slouch with electric Modern Lovers moves and all the under-the-counter-culture brains of Television. A buncha years later and the group may have lost Thurston but they have remained faithful to a particularly suburban punk/Creem magazine take on avant rock modes. And it still sounds *Right*.

The Bark Haze
Total Joke Era

Important Records Imprec-127


Debut CD from this new guitar duo featuring Thurston Moore and Andrew from Gown. Tracks slowly spool from small sounds generated by the furthest reaches of the instrument - the crackle of jack sockets, strings clipped against pick-ups - through to the kind of slowly modulating chord barbs that launched a bunch of Sonic Youth songs circa Daydream Nation. Cover art by Bill Nace of Vampire Belt et al.

The Bark Haze

Important Records Imprec-128


Limited edition of 1000 LP, already sold out at source, from the new duo of Thurston Moore and Andrew from Gown. Featuring completely different material from the Total Joke Era CD, this sees them joined by Pete Nolan (Magik Markers/Vanishing Voice/Spectre Folk et al) on drums on Side B. Three heavy guitar madrigals scored for feedback and crunch.

Paul Flaherty/Thurston Moore/Bill Nace

Ecstatic Peace E#21e


Torrential three way free jazz/rock pile-up that tracks all the way back to Thurston’s epochal Barefoot In The Head date with Sauter and Dietrich while instant-visioning the future via minimal, psychedelic interventions, classic Sonic Youth-sounding guitar clank and explosive sax/string bulldozing. Some of the playing here is straight-up gorgeous, with the way the group build luminous form from a bed of hovering guitars and Flaherty’s bold tenor sax form sounding like a classic late-Coltrane take on devotional hymn forms. Bill Nace (Vampire Belt/Northampton Wools et al) and Thurston’s guitars are often indistinguishable, with Nace’s up-close modified guitar style pulling Thurston into gravities of microtonal detail and subtle textural invention while Flaherty takes the lead and just bleeds all over the goddamn room. A fantastic set, way more than a mere jam, and one that feels sourced from deep inside the classic free jazz tradition. Recommended.

Mats Gustafsson & Thurston Moore
Vi Ar Alla Guds Slavar

Otoroku ROKU-07


Killer live set from Thurston and Mats in an edition of 1000 copies: recorded live at London’s Cafe Oto, Vi Ar Alla... takes of where Thurston’s signal recording with Don Dietrich and Jim Sauter, Barefoot In The Head, left off, with Mats using reeds and electronics to demolish Thurston’s wild, bass heavy divebombs. Indeed, the pair get into some major gravity-defying/gridlocked drone work, with the sound of overloaded amplifiers and air raid tones giving way to long passages of lyrical feedback and levitating horns. On 180g vinyl. 

Thurston Moore/Jean-Marc Montera/Lee Ranaldo
Les Anges Du Peche

Dysmusie DYSLP-1


Beautiful three-way guitar album that sees Thurston and Lee of Sonic Youth in complete communion with the great French avant guitarist and improviser Jean-Marc Montera: two sides, two duos, with the first set featuring Ranaldo and Montera and the second Moore and Montera. The Ranaldo side is an absolute stunner, re-formulating decades of string think into a sound so beautiful it feels exactly like that Lester Bangs line about how the intro to “All Tomorrow’s Parties” sounds the sunlight climbing red brick tenement walls in New York in the early morning. The duo flit between almost Evol levels of abstract string drone and roaring aformal excess to the kind of heartbroken slow-motion lyricism of a Loren Connors. The Thurston side gets a little more barefoot in the head, with Montera ripping through the kind of bastardised blues licks of contemporary Fushitsusha while Moore uses the guitar as an electric lightning rod, w/levels of string dunt that are pure Red Transistor. Totally fantastic, one of the best ‘free’ Sonic Youth off-shoots and a great showcase of Montera’s advanced string-thought. Comes in gorgeous gatefold sleeves with great extensive sleevenotes and detective work by Philippe Robert. Highly recommended!

Cinder Blocks

Brokenresearch No Cat


Numbered edition of 100 copies CD-R in screened sandpaper sleeves on art paper from the new Traum duo of percussionist Ben Hall (Graveyards et al) and guitarist Chris Riggs. There’s an almost Eugene Chadbourne-esque gobble/dunt feel to the speed of thought exchanges, with silent seconds detonated with some gorgeous drones, steel-trap note thuds and fingers-on-skin tones. It somehow feels more ‘thoughtful’ than previous Traum outings but also more dynamic and explosive and Riggs’s playing feels most immediately suited to Hall’s time concepts and less encumbered by any kind of ‘history’ or formal models. Recommended.


Brokenresearch No Cat

one-sided LP

Numbered edition of 200 copies from the duo of percussionist Ben Hall (Graveyards et al) and guitarist Zac Davis (Lambsbread). This one is more in line with the excellent Cloudburst tape, with Zac moving from fast, zagging note runs through sheet metal chords and stops while Hall accelerates time in buncha simultaneous directions. This one has as much to do with cranky No Wave refusal as it does hyper-dynamic improv pugilism and it comes in a heavy screened wraparound sleeve.

Built For Nothing

Arbor #54


First full length vinyl outing for this aggressively nuanced free playing power duo featuring Zach Davis of Lambsbread on electric guitar and Ben Hall of Graveyards on drums. The strategies employed here – totally clean electric guitar with the attack amped all the way up and skittering, knitting needle style snare detonation – marks out the turf covered as being somewhere circa the whole Joseph Holbrooke/Ascension school of pummel and play and there’s a ton of brains to the way these guys skirt even the vaguest of lick-potential with silence, wowing harmonics and cracks of vibrating skin. Edition of 300 copies in screened chipboard sleeves, long sold out at source. Recommended.

Chris Riggs
Dead In Michigan

Pizza Night No Cat


Solo six-string abuse from Chris Riggs, the guitar slinger who usurped Zac Davis' seat in Ben Hall's Traum/Trauma set-up. This is some of the most extreme, extended work from Riggs yet, with growling, mechanical retorts that sound like steel strings being fed-though conveyor belts of metal teeth and elastic band soundings. Hard to believe the sound source is all-guitar, pretty remarkable.