Volcanic Tongue Catalogue

Various Artists
2 Million Tongues Festival

Bastet 006


Arthur-produced compilation to celebrate Chicago's second Million Tongues festival curated by Steve Krakow aka Plastic Crimewave. Exclusive tracks from Mountains, No-Neck Blues Band, Miminokoto, Tim Kinsella & Amy Cargill, Michael Chapman, Josephine Foster, Chris Connelly, Pearls And Brass, Travelling Bell, The Singleman Affair, Jack Rose, Tar Pet, Birdshow, Tony Conrad, Hototogisu, Haptic, Lux and Hardscrabble.

Robed In Verdigris

Nashazphone NP-03


Limited edition LP (500 copies and already completely sold out at source) from the duo of Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards, GHQ, UN, Zaimph et al) and Matthew Bower (Skullflower, Sunroof!, Total). This one is just totally monolithic, with deliriously over-amped guitar/electronics/vocal ecstasy building to plateau after plateau. Only their third vinyl release, this one features three massive slabs of feedback-illuminated deliverance that flatline rock modes with the most thunderous application of avant-aggression. Totally beautiful.

Hototogisu + Burning Star Core

Yik Yak 014


Beautiful looking edition of 500 copies that gathers re-worked, re-edited versions of material that previously snuck out on CD-Rs from Drone Disco and Heavy Blossom: "Hototogisu - the duo of UK experimentalist Matthew Bower (Skullflower/Sunroof et al) and New York-based-guitarist Marcia Bassett (Double Leopards/Zaimph/GHQ) - are all about impact, about taking the physical aspect of sound and hallucinating it to the point of abstraction, so much so that for all of the complexity of their music it often sounds like it's standing still, simply hanging in the air and vibrating without anything approaching a 'plot' to bring it to a point. By contrast, Burning Star Core, the trio of drummer Trevor Tremaine, Robert Beatty on electronics (both of whom also play in Hair Police alongside Mike Connelly of Wolf Eyes) and C.Spencer Yeh on violin and electronics, are more overtly propulsive, usurping 'classic' rock form via electronics and drums but still focused on momentum, on the jam as a form of structural gravity, on the unfolding of action via development over time. This all-improvised studio meeting is the perfect reconciliation of both tendencies, of Hototogisu’s obsessive layering of strata after strata of violently conceived noise and of Burning Star Core’s epic, post-Kraut thunder-punk style. Bower has long been on record about his opposition to anything approaching 'dialogue' in improvised music, favouring a senses-devouring simultaneity over anything that might pass for actual exchange, so it's no surprise that there is little on this new record that sounds even close to conventionally improvised music. Instead, it feels more focused towards the zone where energy begins to spontaneously birth form, where the monomaniacal pursuit of the nowhere zone bears fruit in the shape of a music that transcends its constituent parts while being totally based around – and rooted in - the individual response to the moment. BXC play it ginchy and garage-pop right from the start, simultaneously inverting and amplifying Bower and Bassett's vertical constructs with drums that sound like they might have been lifted straight from the most flower-power parts of the Silver Apples' back catalogue and bass patterns that are as tactile and rock-anchored as Can's Holger Czukay. To hear Hototogisu's music given this kind of injection of dynamic energy makes them seem more obviously sourced in 'classic' rock music than you might otherwise have guessed, with a dense, implosive sound that feels like a hyper-distilled take on all of rock's most outlaw aspects, the feedback that makes you feel like you could explode in a ball of electricity, the anti-gravity effect of heavy fuzz, the seductive, alien tongues. It's certainly the most 'garage band' side that either of the groups have cut to date, albeit in the form of a Gnostic, post-acid re-think where the vibration is more important than the outer forms, where energized enthusiasm makes for a more fundamental guiding principle than verse/chorus/verse and where the only direction left is out. Which is another way of saying it feels genuinely bad-ass. In an era where even the best groups seem polite, pro, participatory, democratic, this is music that is disregarding in its overwhelming power, exhilarating in it irresponsible spontaneity. And in an underground scene where self-conscious notions of avant-garde and 'free improvisation' have long displaced any concept of an intuitive rocks off-style, well, it feels like a re-connection to the source. So file this one closer to Kill City or Sticky Fingers than Persian Surgery Dervishes or The Black Album and feel the gravity of your whole record collection shift." – David Keenan.

Live Hasselt

Heavy Blossom


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.


Heavy Blossom


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.


De Stijl No Cat


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.

White Wolf

Cold Spring Records CSR-12S08

one-sided LP

Edition of only 100 copies one-sided LP from UK underground legends Skullflower: only ‘officially’ available direct from the label,  White Wolf presents a torrential side-long epic from Matthew Bower and co that takes off where Fushitsusha circa Tokyo Flashback 3 left off, with buzzing armies of transparent guitar oblivions dissolving in endless vectors of fuzz to the point that they generate hallucinatory arcs of classical string elegies, sounding a symphonic threnody w/a distant euphoric metal backbone. Bower’s recent work has been particularly amazing and the combination of classical scale and full in-the-red guitar violence is exceptionally potent here. Limited supply, obviously, comes in a white sleeve with a hand-stamped obi strip. 

Death Blooming Pleasure

No Fun No Cat


“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. 

Mail Wars

Conduit Creations No Cat


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.

Imagine Yourself Here...

Yew 01


Massive 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! 


Dungeon Taxis #27


Massive 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.