Thursday, October 1, 2009

High Wolf, Niao and Talibam!

High Wolf
(2009, Winged Sun)
RIYL = Stag Hare, El Guincho, Ducktails

The looped, flowing tribalism continues to trudge forth from the High Wolf camp like a beckoning call, entrancing young villagers into the woods. And so it goes on Incapulco, the latest CD-R offering from the increasingly productive sound manipulators/collagists. I think High Wolf, along with other bands like Caboladies and Emeralds, have really kick started a little lo-fi texture-drone flood that has, for the most part (especially when considering the bands previously named), been very highly enjoyable. And so, Incapulco is recognizably High Wolf in both aesthetic and quality, but for those who like to limit themselves to one album when dealing with prolofic bands like this, I would say that this release is the most consistent and complete for the band, and therefore the most important. Grab it while you can, these guys’ (assuming they’re guys) releases seem to slip away quickly.

High Wolf on MySpace

Clenched Fist
(2009, Sailing Records)
RIYL = Au, Wet Hair, Raccoo-oo-oon

Some albums build their world slowly. Clenched Fist, a CD-R release from the band Niao is just that kind of record. In fact, it takes a good third to half the record before things really get mobilized. However, I don’t want to imply that the journey to that mobilization and subsequent release isn’t a necessary part of Clenched Fist’s success. The album works as a complete document and could operate pretty aptly without any track breaks at all. Clenched Fist is an animal that must be consumed as a whole. And don’t take that ‘animal’ part lightly - despite its continuous vocal presence, the non-verbal, vowel heavy coos are those of a majestic, primal and pre-human beastliness. I could go as far as to say ‘tribal’, but I think that only gets you halfway there. The backbone to Niao’s success on this record falls squarely upon the ‘tribally’ sounding, yet free-jazzish experimenting percussion. There is no great description for it (at least in my vocabulary), but those drums are the great mobilizer. Patience is a requirement on this album, but the rewards justify a willing ear. All together it is an interesting, weird little album that definitely has me excited about the prospect of more Niao goodness in the future.

listen at Sailing Records MySpace

Boogie in the Breeze Blocks
(2009, ESP-Disk)
RIYL = MoHa!, Snacks, Zs

There are probably two likely places where you will find Talibam!’s latest album categorized in your local record shop (if it is there at all). The first is under the Experimental Free Jazz Bombardment section (oh, if only this section existed!) and the second is under Comedy. That being said, Boogie in the Breeze Blocks is doubly ridiculous. As always, Kevin Shea and Matthew Mottel’s aural blitz is just mind altering. Spanning multiple genres and creating a few new ones along the way, the Brooklyn duo’s frantic, morphing, turn-on-a-dime aesthetic is invigorating and wonderfully awe inspiring in the most bizarre way. Shea’s drumming is as wildly octopus-like and smartly inventive as ever while Mottel’s pretty-much-everything-else accompaniment is everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I shouldn’t say that Mottel has done everything else though, because the album has a hefty amount of contributors, but this hasn’t altered anything about the band that we’ve already come to know and love. So, along with the obvious instrumental ridiculousness is the consistently cheeky samples and lyrics. Yep. I don’t really know what to say about it because normally I only consume such heavy amounts of corn when eating food from the super market (admittedly unfunny, but possibly just as funny as some of the stuff on this album), but somehow Talibam! makes it all fit. Boogie in the Breeze Blocks is just more glorious goodness from the doubly fantastic duo.


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