Sunday, July 19, 2015

In Brief #8: The Slashies

I'm grouping these cassettes due to their excessive back/s/lashes in their mon/i/kers. In a welcome bit of serendipity, they aren't so far off sonically either.
Q///Q - Azores Azul [Skrot Up]
Q///Q - Jardim [Self-Help Tapes]
Q///Q - Crude Gourds [Singapore Sling]

Q///Q is the project of Peter Kris (of German Army infamy, not Kiss.) Q///Q is slightly more clear-eyed than its Germanic brethren. The first two tracks on Azores Azul are charming, Casio-style jams. The second titled "Whimsy" is particularly rad. It's the kind of song that transforms a routine walk somewhere into something cinematic. The third track "Intuit Nature" would blend in imperceptibly on a German Army tape. It doesn't have the same dingy, dirt-caked atmosphere, but sloshed vocals reign over a cleaner-toned tangle of synths. "Forms" bops along with layers of sequenced blips--not totally dissimilar to the types of interludes Devo would create.
The first track off of Jardim, "Gom Gom," embraces both the dance club and vocal slobber factors present on Azores Azul. "Tamarisk" continues this and puts a driving beat behind the slow synth glisten. Perfect distillation of skewed, minimalist dance-pop. I can't confirm this due to Self-Help Tapes's habit of including no info aside from artist/album and track list, but I'd guess this was recorded after the other two tapes in this discussion as there seems to be a little more refinement or comfort in its own skin.
Crude Gourds comes to us via Singapore Sling and any label named after a cocktail is a-okay in my book. Like "Forms," "House of Exile" features roving, percussive melodies via sequencer. "Cake Walk" also recalls Devo, but stripping things down to such a point to exclude guitars, bass or live drums--any human touch save for voice--truly a man and his machines. The title track paraphrases "My Sharona" via propulsive sequencer creating an unexpected John Carpenter-like soundscape. Synths reinforcing the fatalistic, infinite nature of whatever predicament our protagonist finds him- or herself in. No escape until the clock strikes zero.
Any fans of German Army (and everyone should be a fan) that hasn't checked out Q///Q ought to. It's simple but imagine one of the two warped minds behind GeAr striking out on his own and you got a strong approximation of Q///Q, now it's time to listen and discover the nuances for yourself. The quality of each tape is pretty much uniform, pick any or all. You can't make a wrong move.
Buy Azores Azul HERE
Buy Jardim HERE
Buy Crude Gourds HERE (cassette sold out)

D//VV/D - Terminal [Chaos, Sex & Death]D//VV/D (apparently pronounced "Devoid") may sound like a thrashy 80s hardcore band but that presumption would be incorrect. The project, hailing from the Netherlands, instead trafficks in crusty grooves and the occasional sample. Rhythm is central to the affair. D//VV/D's main objective seems to be to get your head nodding. Though instead of smoothing things out, sanding down the rough edges, D//VV/D tweaks the gain a little higher than necessary, samples shards of feedback and emphasizes any bit of saturation. "Sex on TV" is a perfect example of the tape's sound. Thick grooves rolling in the gutter. The grooves on "Phantom" are a little more chill but echo-laded keyboard plinks and delay pedal oscillations skirt over top. In contrast, the final track "Burnin" spreads the deep bass fuzz on thick. For fans who prefer their grooves dank and lo-fi.
Buy it in cassette or CDr format HERE

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