Thursday, March 6, 2008

Abuse Report – El Diablo Está en Casa [Pendu Sound]

So I’ve been sitting on a pretty killer cache of analog goods from Pendu Sound for a long while now, and it is way past high time I get to talking about them. For those unfamiliar, Pendu Sound is the music arm of the larger Pendu Org which triples as a gallery and bookshop in addition to being a label. So that’s intensely awesome. Abuse Report, the author of this tape, features Todd Brooks, who runs the label, writes for Foxy D and plays in Ghost Moth as well, Cassette Gods scribe Max Gudmunson who also plays a part in K.P. and Matt Folden who I know nothing about.
I don’t really know too much about this c40 either. Though it sounds like the trio rolls in the electronics department, with probably some guitar in there somewhere too. They have a noise drone thing going that’s vaguely sinister but not really harsh or intentionally ominous sounding. It doesn’t feel like Abuse Report is trying to scare me, like some bands do, and I like that they don’t. There’s slurred vocals against a fuzzy bog of sustaining tones and synth sputters. It reminds me a little of the way Family Underground does things but with much less emphasis on guitar. Some of the best parts of the tape are when things break down a bit and there’s a simple echoing rhythm repeating against a few cascading swells of fuzz. To go back to the sinister-ism point, the first side on here is like “leisurely sinister”, the dudes manage to sound slightly off-kilter and menacing without even trying. Whenever I listen to this tape it makes me miss drone trios and quartets, well “miss” probably isn’t the right word because there’s still a fair amount around but, as much as I love duos and solo acts, it’s great to hear 3 or 4 people totally locking into the same imagination and weaving together a piece music like on this tape. There’s just something about having more people that adds another dimension, a kind of looseness that sounds tight anyway. Or maybe put more accurately it is even when a band sounds tight there’s still a looseness, where all the pieces float magically into place. Anyway, this tangent has lead me to the first sides second track “Outer”, though if you weren’t paying attention it may seem like a sidelong track. There is a clearer sounding drum thing going on, still echoey and distorted but you can tell they’re drums (or at least I think I can tell they’re drums). The track’s a pretty short one, it builds to a glistening, if slight, crescendo before dropping out.
“Exo” takes up the entirety of the B-side and it has a more extended feel to it. The guys create a fuller, more “drone” sound I guess is how you would describe it. It has got an odd pseudo-propulsion to it which I think is the result of dirty loops buried way way down. The first good chunk of the track is lead by hi-pitched sounds, probably from a guitar or synthesizer, but by the end the tracks gets pretty heavy and monolithic. The track despite its twenty minute length actually feels like it’s over pretty quick. It’s one of those that you discover more when you listen with headphones, lots of buried layers to excavate.
Pendu has a couple of killer LPs worthy of your attention as well (a newish Talibam! one and a comp called Getting out the Glue), but since this tape is only limited to 25 copies (eek!) I figured I better get the word out on this one first so you can snap it up before it’s too late. El Diablo Está en Casa is available from Pendu and has a color-printed 3-panel fold out and a black tape with a silver Abuse Report logo drawn on. Definitely worth checking out if you were into the 3 man drone/noise sound.
czech out this interview with Mr. Brooks about Pendu

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