Monday, July 14, 2008

Workday/Schoolnight - Electronic Trash (2008)

1. radio w/s
2. The Children
3. What I Want
4. Square Music
5. the Representative
6. Electronic Trash (Refuse)
7. Train to Sleep
8. Michael
9. Going to Work, Working
10. Rewire
11. The Other End. July 19, 2001
12. Immunity
13. Inmemory

Download album for free here

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Kaleidoscope Death - Kaleidoscope Death's Odyssey in Confusion and Contemplation (2007)

Kaleidoscope Death is probably best described as experimental lo-fi rock played mostly on acoustic instruments.  (At least as far as this album is concerned.)  Recorded on a 4-track in his hometown of Greensboro, Chuck Chambers has been putting out tapes and cds under the name Kaleidoscope Death since 2004.

What at first seems like a collection of simple chorded songs with verses and choruses quickly becomes a washy aural dream, not unlike listening to shoegaze music.   In fact I'd say that Kaleidoscope Death exists somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and the more lo-fi side of the Sebadoh incarnations.  True to shoegaze, the vocals are often lost in a sea of instruments. On KD's Odyssesy in Confusion and Contemplation more often than not, percussive acoustic guitars dominate the space as the mostly unintelligible vocals float around in a muddled mess of warm tape analog earnestness.  Unlike many shoegaze bands, there isn't any sense of grandiosity going on here - in that regard Kaleidoscope Death is a lot like Lou Barlow recording whatever diddy happens to be on his mind at that (possibly stoned) moment.  

Made for no one except himself, Chuck seems to put out an album every 6 -12 months.  Like many of us, his solo project is not his only musical love affair.  He is part of the charmingly incestuous Greensboro collective known as the Subjective Collective , where he plays in several different projects (Blank_Blank, Secret Message Machine.. ).  The words "subjective" and "collective" not only rhyme, but are an obvious statement of purpose: The music made by those individuals and groups is about their subjective experience, nothing else.  They're making music only because it feels really fucking great to make music.  That's rock-n-roll—Even when it's folk, synth pop, noisetronics, death metal, psychedelia, (especially psychedelia), or beach music.  (Okay, not beach music.  gross.)  Although I'm not officially part of the Subjective Collective, I'm friends with many of those fine young men and women, and share the same mission statement that's kind of half-assedly hidden in their name. 

What you will find on Kaleidoscope Death's Odyssey in Confusion and Contemplation is an array of passionately strummed acoustic guitars, haunting whistling, drunk tambourines, fuzzed out electric guitars, creepy voice samples and backwards feedback.   Chuck's welcoming murky vocals surface through the acoustic noise and radiate his modesty.  

Oh, and I almost forgot, (as it is easy to forget), that Chuck only has one hand.  I think it's always been that way, but I've never asked him or anyone about it.  Because it doesn't slow him down in the least, it is easily overlooked.  When he plays drums in the slacker college rock group Blank_Blank, he uses electrical tape to attach a stick to his handless right wrist before beating the living hell out of his drum set.  

Chuck is a talented, shy, multi-instrumentalist introvert, with only one hand, who will stop at nothing in his quest to play music forever.   

To learn more about Kaleidoscope Death and become his really real true friend, go to

To hear more about the Subjective Collective visit one of their sites.  New   and   Old.

There are some pretty funny names here.

1. heading off pts. 1&2
2. someone else's relic (headed off)
3. on going into town
4. matter of consequence
5. somanyroadsbluescelebration
6. cautionary little village
7. confusion suite
8. i want no place in your world
9. (what's so fun about) normal people
10. contemplation suite
11. one man homecoming precession waltz
12. somanyroadslbuesshuffle
13. the first stone
14. the first stone's throw
15. routine
16. death dream
17. somanyraodsbluesrelief
18. never to old to fuck shit up
19. last song
20. heading off pt. 3

get Kaleidoscope Death's Odyssey in Confusion and Contemplation here

Monday, July 7, 2008

Miso Skitzo - Songs: for an old boy (2008)

Songs: for an old boy is a companion piece to a film titled Old Boy, (which admittedly I haven't seen)—but according to my sources, it is from 2003, by South-Korean director Park Chan-Wook, and won much critical praise.

Miso Skitzo is Dan Kaufman.  Dan has played in numerous punk, experimental and electronic groups over the last decade or so: Sugar on Shit, Vacation, Verboten Jogen, Penfield-88 and Invisible (the latter two with me).  Dan is all about some home recording and has put out many noisy electronic releases on cds and cassettes under his solo project name, Miso Skitzo.  Dan currently resides in Chicago where he and his partner run the "lazy CDr/tape label", Dirt Road Technologies.

Skitzo's album is an instrumental collection of dark noisy samples,  screeching overdriven tones and warm washes of industrial frustration.  A few electronic beats surface here and there, as well as some pleasingly minimal synth lines.  For every chaotic or abrasive moment, there is an equally delicate down-tempo counterpart.   Honestly, there is a lot going on on this album.  As Dan's moniker suggests, the music comes across as if it was made by a crazy person.  Then again, the movie it is based on is about a man who was trapped in a hotel room for 15 years and then seeks vengeance on his captors.  The emotions the character of the film must have felt in are certainly represented in this music.    (That's all I can say about that, considering I haven't seen the movie.   Yet.    I probably should, huh?)

If you took all the synthesizers, beats, scream-singing, and spoken clips away from a Ministry album, and left only the khooorrrrrrooohhhhrrrrrhhhhhzzzzzzzz sounds, then added the delicately played sparseness of the end of a Nine Inch Nails song, you'd have a Miso Skitzo album.

1. the gas
2. octopus part 1
3. for those that cut
4. exoskeleton
5. we eat the living
6. octopus part 2
7. on the bridge
8. old boy
9. why
10. song for a little dog
11. octopus part 3
12. haircut
13. snow in the blood

enjoy it here

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Penfield-88 (2007)

Penfield-88 was a one-off kind of project.  1/2 of Invisible (Dan Kaufman -aka Miso Skitzo and Bart Trotman aka Workday/Schoolnight) improvising on electronics; small yamahas and casios, samplers, a loop pedal, a bass and a guitar.  We (Dan and I) played together in this arrangement only three times.  Once to record this 5 song cd and two shows.   The music at times has a lightness to it -- strange samples floating in and out with minimal guitar over looped electronic beats.  Other times things are more industrial, like on track 2—which sounds like some sort of synth saw cutting through a piece of space trash.   Tracks 3 and 4  drift atmospherically in small puddles of delay and swells of warm clouds of static.  

The name of the project came from the Philip K. Dick book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.  The Penfield was a machine that allowed the user to dial in their desired mood.  Setting 888 would cause the user to have a desire to watch TV regardless of what was on. 

The five songs are simply titled #1 - #5.  

Enjoy it here (It's free to download.  Just enter the 3 letters it asks you to, wait a few seconds, then click the download tab)