Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Kommissar Hjuler und Frau
Jacob und Wilhelm Grimm

Feeding Tube Records FTR-043

LP
£8.99


Kommissar Hjuler and his Frau, Mama Baer, have single-handedly reinvented sound poetry with a wild performative style that confuses arguments, vocal hysteria, power politics, goof-offs, Zappa covers and generally disobedient art while minting a style of vocal performance that is totally unique. Been looking forward to this particular release for some time, described by the duo as a series of folk tales from the Brothers Grimm re-worked in a way that is “not suitable for children”! But really, I gotta say, this might just be the best thing they have ever recorded, eclipsing even their amazing Ultra Eczema album. Their approach ranges across a bunch of styles. There’s the wild argumentative attack w/Mama weeping and singing while Kommissar shouts and howls in the background, the minimal almost Rev/Vega or even Meredith Monk approach with tense vocal atmospherics over a minimal, repetitive pulse, hypnotic sequences of breath and broken guitars and even some wild post-Junko eviscerations of lung power. In some ways it’s their most ‘musical’ release to date but it’s also completely fucked, especially when Mama Baer starts singing children’s nursery rhymes and blowing folk primitive melodies to shreds with alla the atomic power of the late Donald Ayler. Seriously, an amazing side by two of the freest spirits in the underground. Great sleeve art too, hand-numbered edition of only 200 copies. Another candidate for record of the year! Highly recommended. 

Smegma/Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer
Split

Psych.KG HGA-2

LP
£10.99


Inspired split LP that pairs feral European art soundists Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer with the avant garage surrealism of LAFMS stalwarts Smegma. Numbered edition of 177 copies with colour paste-on sleeves. The Smegma side bundles an eerie track from 1975 with two pieces from 2008/2009 that use loops, electronics and waves of extended muzzy tone to confuse time lines completely. The Kommissar side is less about outlaw sound poetry and more plugged into their destructo rock style as documented by the sides that came out via Alga Marghen last year, with simple two/three note melodies and crunching fuzz submerging one of Mama Baer’s hypnotic nursery rhymes.

Kommissar Hjuler/Medium Medium
Split

Der Schoene-Hjuler Memorial Fond SHMF-222

Art Edition LP
£16.99


Limited new split LP with over-the-top handmade artwork, every single copy features an entirely individual piece of art from Hjuler and Mama Baer. Been a bunch of consummately weirdo splits and collaborations from Kommissar and Hjuler of late but this has got to be the most inexplicable, with a side from re-formed UK post-punk/DIY group Normal Normal, who play agit-funk in a kind of relentless Pop Group/The Ex style, coupled with a side of some of Kommissar’s most out vocal ravings. There are snatches of hypnotic spoken word, degraded piano abuse, even some weird keyboard loops that could almost be out-takes from Goblin’s Suspiria soundtrack, all cut-up with domestic ravings and variously abused small instruments. I’ve said it before but no one has re-thunk sound poetry quite so radically as Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baeer. But what were Medium Medium thinking? Is this some kind of weird Trojan Horse move by Hjuler? Will we ever know? Each LP looks amazing too, with over the top original artwork on each, inserts and your own individual number. 

Kommissar Hjuler/Mama Baer/Ninni Morgia/Silvia Kastel
Live In Edinburgh

Ricerca Sonora RS-4

LP
£6.99


It’s no secret that at VT we dug the hell out of the live hook-up between German art terrorists Kommissar Hjuler and Mama Baer and Italian actionists Ninni Morgia and Silvia Kastel when they blazed a trail across the UK back in 2011. Well, here’s another document from that amazing run of shows and it’s a doozy. Live In Edinburgh comes over like an unreleased Industrial ritual brainstormed by Lisa Suckdog, with a wild exuberant atmosphere and plenty of cracked vocal disobedience. Mama takes the lead here, mis-remembering and variously dismembering pop and rock effluvia, joined by Kastel and Kommissar at points, the latter of whom barks comments and instructions via a microphone attached to a cheap keyboard. The music is feral free improvisation w/nada in terms of sophistication, just tearing guts and circuitry from various electronics while massed vocals build to peaks of mutual hysteria. Exuberant, funny, challenging and curiously life-affirming, this is another blat of whu from a buncha thinkers who don’t. Edition of only 180 copies, highly recommended!

Up-Tight/Mama Baer
Split

Der Schone Hjuler Memorial Fond DVR-HGA-9

LP
£12.99


Hand-numbered edition of only 177 copies split LP between Tokyo psych monsters Up-Tight and German actionist Mama Baer: long time since we heard from Up-Tight and this is a major addition to their catalogue, a side-long suite that marries almost Berlin-era Lou Reed piano with epic arcs of feedback, fuzz and triumphal acid rock. “Etude In Black” passes through four movements that trade decadent cocktail jazz-isms for full-on ferocious Rallizes style flamethrower rock and presents the Up-Tight sound in widescreen. Mama Baer – of Kommissar Hjuler und Mama Baer fame – presents a similarly studied work, forsaking the vocal hysteria for a side of inchoate and haunted electronics, heady breath work and unidentifiable sound manipulation, with a feel for avant garde composition that trumps her contemporaries while still sounding completely singular. Something about this makes me think of Karen Constance’s more long-form works, with a feel that is as tactile as it is spectral. Paste-on sleeves, highly recommended. 

Harappian Night Recordings/Kommissar Hjuler
Split

Shamanic Trance #3

LP
£6.99


Numbered edition of 300 copies split LP: Harappian Night Recordings contribute some mutant psych/jazz/fourth world rock that somehow confuses 70s Miles with primitive folk ritual and the aesthetics of the free-from freakout as practiced by The Familiar Ugly, NNCK et al. On the flip Hjuler’s idiosyncratic reading of Hugo Ball’s Karawane poem highlights common cause with the Dada concept of ‘meaningless’ sound using vocals, F/X and junk percussion in a series of songs about nada. Excellent. Paste-on sleeves with insert on coloured vinyl.