BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

A Real Nice Clambake

(Butte County Free Music Society - 35) CDR $8.00

Recorded at a confusing and ambiguous event in 1987 at Wooj, where pockets of inexplicable activity included the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble applying their singular style of awkward to guitars, bass, Casio, wooden recorders, mandolins. Cassette players throughout the house were recording, while others played loops, telephone answering machine messages, and field recordings. Numerous television sets broadcast anything from The Brady Bunch to cornball noir, while radios broadcast The Isley Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, XTC, Paper Lace, Malcolm McLaren, and The Archies. Hours and hours of material was edited into four tracks totaling 51 minutes in length. The incidental, the involuntary, the unintended and the accidental take the lead on A Real Nice Clambake, which captures and repeats sneezes, coughs, burps, mumbles, grunts, moans, clicks, clacks, and clunks, the obnoxious zont of cables getting plugged in, tape hiss, bottles opening, keys and bottle openers rattling on tables, silverware scuttling on porcelain plates, and doors slamming. Mics are jostled and papers are shuffled, amid the spastic xylophone–windchime hybrid of coffee mugs getting stirred with strange vigor. The motor of one of the tape recorders wheezes so loudly that its own microphone picks up the sound. The group’s magical ineptitude perseveres through abrupt left turn after abrupt left turn, dizzying in their constancy, and through stretches of meandering guitar-playing, repetition, interruption, and the peculiar declarations of those present. Released to coincide with Bren't Lewiis's performance at Colour Out Of Space, November 2011. Includes an Industrial Expressionist collage made of hand-painted screen, fragment of found photograph, and defective scrap from commercial print shop.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

At The North Pole, Easter Day, 1982

(What The ... - WHAT012) LP (one-sided) + 3in CDR $14.00

In comparison to the only other available 1980s recording of a complete live performance by the BLE (the side-long “Industrial Barbecue,” on the BUFMS boxset), At The North Pole, Easter Day, 1982 is starker and more minimal overall. Performing as a quintet at an open mic night in a student cafeteria, the group had played live only once prior and had yet to amass the collection of ubiquitous tape players and answering machines that accompanied most subsequent performances and recordings. The absence of overt forward progress in some parts gives the performance an incidental resemblance to those tense moments in grim power electronics just before the singer goes berserk, but then ridiculous verbal repetitions and Top 40 references come out of nowhere like nerdy Fluxus rehearsals in the middle of a New Orleans funeral. Other segments highlight the difference between aboriginal metal percussion and pots ’n’ pans getting banged together by people with a remarkably spastic sense of rhythm. Visually, Bren’t Lewiis were like a cross between the jackets of early Nurse With Wound albums and a bunch of hicks impersonating Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Television sets flickered throughout. Doug Roberts brought his bicycle onstage. Dressed in a labcoat and white wool-felt USAF boots, howling into his signature plastic lawn flamingo, Lucian Tielens stretched the limits of publicly acceptable intimate congress with inanimate objects. Tim Smyth wore a bunch of Christmas lights attached to a Civil Defense helmet. Amoeba Man had a garbage bag filled with helium balloons taped to his head and toilet paper wrapped around his face. As some sort of oblique Day-Glo homage to Carmen Miranda, Gnarlos wore a handmade upside-down sweatsuit. The amplified 21-foot aluminum sailboat mast, the undisputed star of the show, was so unwieldy that use of a special freight door was required just to get in and out of the building, and yet a single, lonely metallic “ploong!” was pretty much the limit of its sonic palette -- appropriate testament to the methodology of this absurdly inefficient group. Includes insert printed with glow-in-the-dark ink, and a reproduction of the flyer advertising the show. Edition of 129. All orders placed here include a 3-inch CDR of previously unreleased hoot, not available elsewhere.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Being Happy All The Time Would Be Extremely Depressing

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS77) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

Understated and skeletal arrangements, but still chock full of unsettling mixing and weirdos voicing peculiar narratives, sort of like a bizarre misreading of ASMR.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Bygone Baguette Mailboxes Of French Polynesia

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS88) 3-inch CDR $4.00

A single 18-minute track of synth yarng and woon, electronics, and messed up turntablism. More pleasant than watching a puppy try to hump a seahorse’s face. Includes a wallpaper swatch courtesy of Michael Morley. Edition of 25

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Cavoli Riscaldati

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS63) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

The first of two warm-up prequels to the group’s upcoming reimagining of Live at Pompeii, “Squat And Elevate The Perforated Cylinder” sweeps swatches of ring modulator grit across expansive Herbertian wastelands like second-hand, moose-befouled flying carpets. Lucian Tielens and Gnarlos attack the fetid void by cacking together spritz mosaics sourced from an interstellar vinegar bath. The newest member of the group, Count Darkula draws on previous experiences within the cold hard swamp and fires off volleys of epic woont, diseased mastication struggles, and mechanical flutters. Picking up on the intrusion of turd-nourished car alarms (because Bren’t Lewiis always records with the windows open), The City Councilman counter-attacks with fractured yelps from bio-chimerical slaughterhouses and a black yoga move known as “upward oozing glue gun.” Fragments of his electric guitar fwa-garnk seep into the obstacle course from all corners, deflecting mushy roars as they deep-throat throbbing and discordant echo. The second one “Plummeting Blobs Of Unguent” is slightly more low key but every bit the exercise in weightless, animalistic flailing. Pre-recorded reel-to-reel tape yoink passes through layers and layers of distressed transmissions. The edges of unidentified blocks of congealed fluids crackle and crumble. Fur-choked warbles pulsate from the intestines of a lunatic grizzly sickened by the irresistible sweetness of blood berries and lead paint. The distant screeches of metallic fruitflies gnawing the mold off the sides of a dumpster become the sickening threat-assessment howls of cats with telephone abdomens. Bracketing the twin epics are: a sullen invocation by gargoyles forced to navigate insectoid percussion, the luminescent yawp of Babuna Virus, belligerent gurgitations, and acid reassurances; and Limphoma’s impromptu, heckle-based “My Down Booties Were Eaten By Pat’s Dog,” recorded live opening for The Tenses, ending the album in a mangle of stomped-upon slurry.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Complete Implant Solution

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS94) CDR $8.00

During innumerable hours isolated from each other and the world at large, and having undertaken a variety of new hobbies (such as breathing, binge-watching Ozark and Locked Up, and scraping skin off their shoulders), Bren’t Lewiis dives into this new go-crazy with their customary zeal and willful wrong-headedness. Each individual member of the group exploits assistance from consciousness-depriving substances in order to achieve isolation from him- or herself, an endeavor both effortless and far more difficult than it seems. If nothing else, the practice affords opportunity to consider that Tiffany’s version of “I Think We’re Alone Now” is actually about getting buried alive. Likewise, the despondent wail of Lee Moses in his 1971 cover version of “California Dreamin’ ” reminds us that mere gray skies and brown leaves are nothing to worry about compared to dodging pestilent spittle huffed by joggers as they prance maskless through the opaque silver morning air of West Coast fire season. Probably imminent are dead-frog hailstorms and a slurry of pig blood and bone marrow bubbling up from storm drains. Indeed, our current era may well be remembered by those who survive it as one that not only enshrined bad, vanity-based decisions but immortalized them — from face tattoos and psychedelic dentistry to any online comments section relating to public policy — an expectation hinted at by Karen Constance’s cover art depicting a rogue Moai apparently constructed in a DIY enthusiast’s garage using raw chicken, reclaimed wood, and a kilogram’r two of hijiki congealed in rubber cement. Under a rainbow of red roses, clad in a ballgown of purple roses, the monstrous head either spews celebratory streamers from its sourdough lips and tin pupils or else passively accepts the inevitable penetration of its body by aggressively parasitic space eels. Excerpts from numerous improvised sessions where life itself was squeezed into and out of guitar, synth, turntables, tape players, theremin, radio, thrift store cassettes, and laundry baskets filled with toys and objects have been sutured together tidier than the aftermath of a shopping mall massacre. Several tracks contain grafts courtesy of back-alley amputation of the more psychotic blobs from an old-timey promotional cassette starring Ronald McDonald, while others still attempt blood transfusions served in shot glasses by Stumpo (a duet for passing train and Black Sabbath, and a duet for seagulls and the spacy part of “Whole Lotta Love”). Smart discount shoppers will spot good deals on helium mice, Waylon Jennings versus carpentry, throat crackles, Lucy N’s signature gurn, the now-ubiquitous low-bit ambience of Zoom meetings, low drollery by early ’50s wise-gal Anna Russell, corrupted fife-and-drum loops strong-armed away from slack-jawed antebellum re-enactors, a hypnotism reading, screeching bigots, operatic warbles, and Inger Nilsson croaking the theme to Pippi Långstrump at 16rpm. So here it is, another pestilence-inspired, plague-mandated black hole in which the density of withholding surpasses the atomic structure of the source impulses of the refuseniks-in-chief. Cover by Karen Constance. Includes 16pp industrial expressionist collage.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE / THE TENSES

Daughter Of The Boot

(Chocolate Monk - CHOC.352) CDR $6.00

On a gorgeous spring afternoon in the PacNW, there is no better way to spend it than inside a 420-square-foot windowless room rattling sleigh bells with your foot, dropping rubber balls onto a broken old bongo drum, spinning scratchy records backward by hand, and sputtering into a shenai steadily and slowly so that it sounds like you’re pushing a desk across the floor. Here is sixty-five minutes of spontaneous sound collage, bent improv, non-musical weirdness that resembles injured mammals on the verge of giving up, surprisingly delicate noise, and general quasi-cinematic clatter by LAFMS royalty The Tenses (aka Oblivia and Ju Suk Reet Meate of Smegma) and two of the many goons (Lucian Tielens and Gnarlos) from the BUFMS spazolopolis Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble, with field recordings contributed astrally by Silvia Kastel and Leroy Tick. The two pieces delivered here by these clunkmeisters -- recording together for the first time -- are rusty, crusty, dusty and musty epics in the tradition of groups such as Morphogenesis, Solid Eye, Taj Mahal Travellers, and early Zoviet-France. Cover art by Ace Farren Ford. Numbered edition of 80

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Dreamhouse Prison Of The Pastel Mafia

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS66) CDR $8.00

With as many lop-sided bleats per minute as L. Ron Hubbard’s third annual vivisection of one of Anton Lavey’s goats of Christmas past in the parking lot of Dismaland, The Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble’s cave noise conniptions get spinal-tapped by indelicate incursions of raw, untamed electronic thrusts and stabs. Toys, scratchy LPs of old Vietnamese showtunes, various nube-tubes, the forced laughter of a little person courtesy of Werner Herzog, and kitchen objects are some of the reassuring soundposts in this chiaroscuro dungeon, blinking between the cavernous scrape of dejected janitorial tasks, the feeble thuds of someone or something getting dragged across cobblestones caked with layer upon sickening layer of effluvia, and tiny metallic splats scurrying like immortal tapirs from one corner to the other. Disembodied voices speak not so much to communicate but to keep the creeping dread of the speaker at bay. The damaged soliloquy of the permanently distracted gets a thorough examination here, bolstered by the weirdly spirited yelps of the doomed and murmurs from a decomposing mule born under a wandering star. Throughout their patched-together network, spastic clunks engage in intimate congress with mechanical gasps, chokeholds, grunts, and the struggles of the restrained, rising and falling in parallel with irrational wheedle pulsations and hopeless density. Remote controlled drones buzz in and out of view, according to the trajectories of nonsensical flight-paths. Peculiar grinding from homemade spirit-breakers (known in the trade as aluminum maidens) morph from dispassionate sketches of abscess-befouled meadowlands to up-close chakra punctures and hi-sheen abscess pierce to collapsed thunder from failed Russian barge maneuvers. Includes industrial expressionist collage.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

External Organs

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS74) CDR $8.00

Simian incantations made of over-saturated squelch clangs and reptile-friendly textures that are smooth as a cheese grater to the back of the head. Hiding under asynchronous grinds and competitive echo sharpness, the five long tracks here seem to recede unnaturally, like reverse footage of a smoldering grease fire, or a predatory ballet choreographed for It Had Been An Ordinary Enough Day In Pueblo, Colorado. The ensemble feels cooked alive on External Organs, maintaining a rhythm throughout comparable to extras from Night Of The Living Dead bonking into a wall over and over again as if trying to memorize the bloodstains on the sheetrock.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

F.A. Henderson's Casino Sordide

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS61) CDR $8.00

Recorded in Portland, Oregon, under the influence of King Tubby, The Frogs, and shared fantasies about a 30th Century interpretation of Grey Gardens, the foundational spwahaohao of F.A. Henderson’s Casino Sordide could easily pass as the soundtrack for a demented, Justice-Schanfarber-hosted straight-to-public-access travelogue. The ingredients manifest includes: jumbush; damaged sitar; shamisen-type thing; kalimba seemingly custom-made for Richard Keel; suitcase zipper; messed-up log with big lead bolts, wire, and sounding gourd attached (like a Gambian ko that could double as a cudgel for a midget Viking); metal lid from tea canister; ScratchBox; air mattress pump; acoustic guitar; toy ukulele; flutish wind-instrument made of wood; Velcro; big exercise ball; bells; lychee-shaped keychain; metal ruler; plastic lid from a bottle of hot flash pills; homemade zither; cat toy; aloe vera gel; mild dyspepsia; and wood scraped with pushpins. These quiet, understated recordings are considerably gilded by overdubs of loops, tape manipulation, found noises, remote individual performances by farflung members of the group. Two mid-’80s tracks previously released on their debut cassette Make It Stop, along with new collage pieces, cast this album as the red-headed stepchild of Pork Queen’s Strang geeking the sort of quasi-shaman visions present on Buffy Saint-Marie’s Illuminations, covertly harassed by parasitic sociopaths, temple desecrators, and a language-impaired tribe locked in a basement long after the tornado has passed.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE / SILVIA KASTEL / NINNI MORGIA

Fix It Again, Tony

(Butte County Free Music Society - 45) LP $20.00

This first-time collaboration by avatars of the new generation of European improv and blue-haired spazimodo mutants is something of a gloriously awkward thwack marathon of crumbled guitar noise, otherworldly howls, and stuff falling down stairs. The spontaneous recordings, performed in a single 90-minute session, are cut-up, multi-tracked, looped, and reassembled into thirty-two pieces that are more scrambled than the unrealized fears of an acute entomophobe, and, according to Morgia, “sometimes sound like Twin Infinitives chewed by Polyphemus.” Cover art by the amazing Todd Emmert. Edition of 175.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE / SILVIA KASTEL / NINNI MORGIA

Found On Road, Dead

(Butte County Free Music Society - 46) CDR $8.00

A single track, just over sixty minutes long — the companion piece to the quartet's LP Fix It Again, Tony, using the same material from the same session, completely different mix and edit. Covers are hand-cut from discarded rejects rescued at a print shop. Insert has small metallic medallion glued to it. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Gloria

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS49) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

What The Red Dragonfly calls “the well-mapped out, but slightly unmeasured, off-kilter nature” of Bren’t Lewiis’s (ahem) music welcomes overmodulation, sound saturation, tape hiss, tape decay, tape damage, room noise, and many an audio defect aided and abetted by AM radio, cell phones, police scanners, weather-damaged microphones and speakers, and anything else that could impinge signal fidelity. Massive tape collages dejectedly shuffle through hopelessness and despair. Percussion-only pieces seem to be aiming for regal, yet achieve debasement. Slowed-down, amplified voices reinforce the feeling of beaten exhaustion. Tempos come from objects getting dragged clumsily across the floor and field recordings of children, machines, and workers. The same mound of objects, electric gizmos and detritus from Rapture Piles is here (as well as some of the same tape loops and answering machine microcassettes), along with new recordings of throat-clutchingly spastic electric guitar noise, claustrophobic violin, plainly declaimed words, reel-to-reel tape, and more decrepit toys. Scandalously repetitious, enthralled by the arbitrary, and peculiarly deadpan, Bren’t Lewiis does all three in a minute and a half and makes it seem like a month. Comes with a reproduction of one of the original 24 tickets to the never-performed theater piece. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Hard Molt

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS58) CDR $8.00

On the duskiest and murkiest album so far by this group of noise hillbillies, looped excerpts from studio improvisations form the congealed muck where chunky ashes of cacophonous live recordings embed and dissolve like wilted arugula paste. The album’s opening and closing tracks tear off their own feathers and hurl themselves down an embankment, choreographed by Tom Timpson’s eBay-worthy 45s on the turntable. Corrupted technique is on fine display here — a cross between Aufgehoben with lobotomies, a tourist hotel band attempting to cover The Starfuckers, and the Christian folk trio Jandek once played accordion with during his days in the military. Defeated-sounding whine’n’wheeze is the order of the day, as are Nyoukis/Constance-influenced collisions of the preordained and the spontaneously erupting, in which cut-up, looped noises and purposeful soliloquies compete with one another and sickeningly abstracted content. Lucian Tielens, wielding guitar and antique potato masher, wreaks King Guillotine-like depuration upon the unclean. Among the dark guitar extrapolations, dense processing, no-instruments montages, field recordings, live performances, and zero tolerance for finesse, warmth, or stylishness, highlights include “Baked Alaska,’’ the score for immobilist filmmaker Melvin John Addington’s Vast Expanse Of Rock And Snow, performed live by Tielens and Gnarlos at Colour Out Of Space in 2011, using nothing but toys and objects purchased at 99p shops in Brighton, England; and a centrally located duet by Tielens on Fisher-Price turntable and Silvia Kastel on electronics and voice, burbling like a mudpit underneath a crimson haze with more grace than typically dared by BuFMS mutants. With three inserts, including flyer reproductions and an industrial expressionist collage. Edition of 100

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Harvester Of Eyes

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS57) CDR $8.00

A year in the making and largely informed by the Ensemble’s roots and experiences in the level of DIY broadcasting that SCTV once lovingly parodied, this 56-track bucket of stovies is Bren’t Lewiis’s most thorough homage yet to vox populi media: call-in AM radio, YouTube, public access TV, infomercial fails, obsolete instructionals, and amateur self-help cassettes that offer guidance of dubious utility. You get several meanings in the blink of an eye (to paraphrase Olivia Tremor Control) in this 69-minute rationality-flouting obstacle course. Assertions and their opposites contain veracity and patent untruth. Cyclical repetition meets the deliberately deployed and the gloriously arbitrary. Electric guitars and toy instruments and maniacal grunts careen across layers of grinding reel-to-reel noise and compromised cellphone transmissions. Looped fweeps and saturated hornk keep time throughout stretches of impromptu stress tests, insect percussion, anonymous background rumbles and rustles, pizza cutter schwing, and the crackle of scratchy old thrift store records. Sing-song chirps from skewed pop and cult memories meet hacked and damaged recordings of insufficient improv and anthropomorphized household objects. With two inserts. Edition of 100
All Tedium House orders of this item include the bonus three-inch CDR Translation Of The Dress, with twenty-two tracks in twenty minutes.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

I Have No Idea What You’re Talking About

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS75) CDR $8.00

Percussive noises are a constant menace on I Have No Idea What You’re Talking About, familiar in style and purpose to crank-addled crutzers with guinea worms freaking out about dive-bombing bats that aren’t really there. Off-kilter loops and crossfades seem derived from a Waza Ensembles competition held during a calamity on a construction barge. There are more roadblocks in this twitching, raw-fi mess than would be present if Scrantonicity covered Joeboy In Rotterdam, it was filtered through Ichiyanagi’s Extended Voices and then re-imagined by Edith Hillman Boxill as an instructional music therapy album. Includes inserts.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE / GERONIMO ARAFAT

Intro To Owl Tranquilizers

(Coma Kultur - BUFMS89) CDR $8.00

An hour of janking and detritus decimation in which this noted Los-Angeles-based moogalator and unrepentant synthophile lures the Sammy Davi of freeform sound collage out of their hall of mirrors and ensnares them in a cactine swamp of prickly, modular screech. With silkscreened folder. Edition of 40. The Tedium House sucker edition includes complimentary Tootsie Pop

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Keystone Cyclops

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS95) CDR $8.00

Kinda-sorta but not really a concept album, noise opera or what-have-you, the final 2020 release by Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble is named after a one-eyed turkey from one of the many unreasonably vivid and detailed dreams that tiger-lily their way out of the subconscious of Gnarlos and make a grab for life on the material plane. While the album is free of all reference to Les Nessman, it instead jumps across time and space, logic and proportion, and intersects with scenes of obliquely rendered insurrection led by the titular character who, in addition to being that most ill-tempered of the class of land fowl known as “delicious,” also happens to be a superhero. His accomplishments in that role remain undetermined, as do whether they have any effect on anything, and if they do, whether it’s good or bad. No, it doesn’t make sense, just leave such hopes in a paper bag somewhere and move on. The group keeps things moving at a zippy pace, layering objects-only jam sessions, field recordings, guitar treatments, tape manipulation, and primitive electronic garnk that drops through the ceiling like a fat man stepping off the beams on the attic floor. You might actually omg aloud once immersed in this loop-saturated, collage-heavy snart-nado of dystopian pop culture and sci-fi, where Wanda Jackson, Lenny Bruce, Mr. French, and an ugly bag of mostly old hotdog water masquerading as a talk radio host enhance the spectrum. Not surprisingly, audio boosted from homemade internet videos, persistent voicemail scams, silverscreen classics, cornball commercials of yesteryear, old sound effects libraries, and thrift store cassettes abounds, while on the other hand, no one foresaw cover versions of Destroy All Monsters’ classic nihilist anthem, Edward Alderson’s delirious visions of revolt, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s gavotte-slash-inexplicably-affecting-lullabye-dirge (voiced with maximum creep factor by newest Ensemble inductee Commodore Slaiman and Jon The Baptist). Overall, it’s a screwball empire-toppling as heard through a cellphone infected by nano-parasites that are eating the transmission. Cover photo by Toni Smith.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Live At Pompeii

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS60) CDR $8.00

Anyone whose mind was sawed in half by The Stallion’s liberties-hogging interpretation of The Wall released by In The Red stands a chance of not hating what The Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble does to the soundtrack to Pink Floyd’s legendary concert film (plus a couple tertiary Floyd-related pieces), finally joining us all in the noxious haze of daylight after a fitful four-year gestation. The hairless apes don’t come at it sideways so much as burrow through the dirt underneath and pop their heads out in various places like moles trying to ambush a housecat. Hands with no arms. Torso like a leftover chile relleno. Vulcan autoharp. Alpacas recovering from the effects of tainted codeine. A cameo by Darksmith of California. You know how it is. Edition of 50, the first 25 of which include a tardigrade air freshener, because prog rock.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Loose Meat

(Butte County Free Music Society) CDR $8.00

Over an hour of viscera untethered! A cephalic card-counting snuffler memorizing the dress-code for visitors published by the Commonwealth Of Virginia’s department of corrections. Cranksters rutting through the neighbors’ storage shed and trying to power a homemade UFO with an aquarium air filter. Miscegenation of texts by John Steinbeck and Led Zeppelin. Foul seepage and damaged percolations. Toys-and-turntable spasticity recorded live on KXLU. Heat massage grimness. Gelatinous conflagrations. Brittle geekiopathy. A spontaneous gurnathon recorded at the fire pit behind The Dome. Lily McBilly’s WTF mash-up of the go-go-boot morality ditty “Teenie Weenie Boppie” by France Gall and Play It Again Sam’s failed-pick-up-at-the-museum scene. The 21-minute “Boiling The Grackle That Killed Suzanne Pleshette,” a live recording from The Handbag Factory in Los Angeles that delivers twice the juddering oomph of sleep-deprived space cats overdosing on bovine tranques dreaming of a laser battle with a hot water heater.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Make It Stop

(Training Bra) 7-inch $6.00 (Out-of-stock)

The debut vinyl by this early ’80s free-improv, Smegma-influenced outsider collective of Butte County-based freaks. Found objects, homemade instruments, prerecorded tapes and vinyl, psychotic cover versions of AM fodder, and a resolute lack of music skills abound. "Deeply peculiar," Weird Record of the Week — CMJ. Members went on to play in Vomit Launch and Glands of External Secretion.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Map of Something?

(Butte County Free Music Society - 51) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

Two long, trigger-word-dominated tracks composited from a grim live set at The Terminal in Oakland and a hotel room recording. Kitchen-based shenanigans, inbred instrumental passages, pre-recorded voices and sound effects, live noise, samples, loops, electronics, home-made devices, field recordings, and fractured readings derived from DVD liner notes and hospitality literature. Students of veterinary medicine will find much in common here with their study of digestive disorders of livestock. All feel-good grooves are dead on arrival, put out of their misery by the lethal anti-suave of this ensemble with a perpetually rustled hive mind. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Moose

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS86) CDR $8.00

Pointedly undignified improv is Bren’t Lewiis’s consistent tripping off point, the elements of which swap bacteria indiscriminately and form mutant heaps of questionable awareness. Fragments butchered from recording sessions — electronics, guitars, objects from kitchens and garages and toolsheds, turntables, loops, nonverbal vocalizations, and a variety of accidental and/or unintentional activities — spiced with nuggets plucked from the public domain (because any recipe with mayonnaise is not complete without raisins) are reconstituted with compositional prowess easiest described as unkempt; many of the tracks on Moose don’t fade out so much as wander at a leisurely pace toward silence. Highlights from the department of field recordings include the idiot neighbors playing their idiot drinking game, arguably gongable street musicians, and a time-lapse document of Warvette’s bullfight against the GPS in his pick-up truck. Gnarlos delivers the vocals on a cover of Peter Hammill’s “A Ritual Mask” with a level of passion rarely heard beyond a police scanner dispatch operator, while the reincarnation of Stentor himself, Lindy Lettuce, bellows and gurgles through a mash-up of words to the Christina Aguilera hit “Beautiful” and “The Light, The Sound, The Rhythm, The Noise” from Flipper’s second album. Lucian Tielens grins and bears it on a reading of execrable lyrics to an antique show-tune written to enhance the rich fantasy life of Coca-Cola salesmen. Thus, the end result is an album that’s one part stoned teenagers sloshing around the back of a station wagon taken off-road without permission, one part long-winded recollection of an erotic Tardigrade cosplay party, and one part endless loop of Linda McCartney’s synth solo on “Jet.” Artwork by Steve Marquis.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Noncanonical Gospels From The Cult Of The Immortal Tapir

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS67) CDR $8.00

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS67) CDR Deluxe Edition $30.00

Bren’t Lewiis’s after-hours guerilla performance at a Sacramento playhouse was the site of their latest maculate conception: desert-blind tales and sun-scorched allegories expunged from The Ongoing Dialogue during the greasy, soothing Council Of Nivea. Imagine an old-time radio broadcast of a pagan tent revival interrupted by shortwave transmissions from an isolated and weather-beaten theater where Swell Maps are stage-managing an all-nonmusical-interstitials Kubrick-inspired variety show. The bizarre compendium of revelations include a beastiary by an unreliable ornamental horticulturist, a sampler inventory of treats-centered Eucharist self-abasement, a postcard texticle, ersatz Beat poetry, idealized warrior vows, shattered testimonials from addled pitchmen, and faith-based texts about: limbless lizard infestation; inter-dimensional chonch worship; the personal toll of crimes against humanity; the banality of insane self-pity; pepper abuse; autobiographical cannibalism; hemoglobin-and-fur-based cocktails; false Elvis resurrection and messianic flim-flam orchestrated by the pastel mafia; compulsions of infectious diseases camp prisoners; the psychic struggles of a pilgrim getting telekinetically bombarded by epistles from spiteful, sentient mass transportation; interspecies organ transplant; and heavenly expectorant. The ramshackle performances and sound design display a pattern consistent with questionable Sudarium stains. Created using toys, tools, objects, instruments, and found voices, some details about audio events bleed through time and space while others fade into dust and ash. Artwork by Ace Farren-Ford. With two inserts and dried-tapir-blood tea. Includes three bonus tracks from Refreshing Hemorrhage. Co-released with Coherent States
Deluxe version in fur-covered jewelbox, hand-numbered edition of 35.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Noncanonical Gospels From The Cult Of The Immortal Tapir

(Coherent States - CS28) Cassette $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

Bren’t Lewiis’s after-hours guerilla performance at a Sacramento playhouse was the site of their latest maculate conception: desert-blind tales and sun-scorched allegories expunged from The Ongoing Dialogue during the greasy, soothing Council Of Nivea. Imagine an old-time radio broadcast of a pagan tent revival interrupted by shortwave transmissions from an isolated and weather-beaten theater where Swell Maps are stage-managing an all-nonmusical-interstitials Kubrick-inspired variety show. The bizarre compendium of revelations include a beastiary by an unreliable ornamental horticulturist, a sampler inventory of treats-centered Eucharist self-abasement, a postcard texticle, ersatz Beat poetry, idealized warrior vows, shattered testimonials from addled pitchmen, and faith-based texts about: limbless lizard infestation; inter-dimensional chonch worship; the personal toll of crimes against humanity; the banality of insane self-pity; pepper abuse; autobiographical cannibalism; hemoglobin-and-fur-based cocktails; false Elvis resurrection and messianic flim-flam orchestrated by the pastel mafia; compulsions of infectious diseases camp prisoners; the psychic struggles of a pilgrim getting telekinetically bombarded by epistles from spiteful, sentient mass transportation; interspecies organ transplant; and heavenly expectorant. The ramshackle performances and sound design display a pattern consistent with questionable Sudarium stains. Created using toys, tools, objects, instruments, and found voices, some details about audio events bleed through time and space while others fade into dust and ash. c50

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Occupy Infantry

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS62) CDR $8.00

In abundance here are excerpts from a March 2016 appearance in the Creative Music Guild’s Outset Series at Turn Turn Turn in Portland, Oregon -- plastic egg stomps and solitary hockey ape by Gnarlos; ecto-synchronous screech from cassette players left under chairs and tables, pre-recorded by Babuna Virus, Lindy Lettuce, and The Viper; and Lucian Tielens in DJ Bruce Haack mode with his gigantic all-in-one toy console. Highlights from No Spray 205 sessions include a marvelous solo by Tielens on popcorn box, bent Memorial Day ragas with mammoth curls, and a cut-up of a clutzy failure’s stammering death spirals sourced from a found self-help cassette. But it’s the 26-minute storage closet recording “Erika’s Last Day” that is the centerpiece of the album. From Tom Timpson on the credit card machines to newest ensemble member Count Darkula raking a window to nowhere and working cardboard tubes like Paul Lynde dry heaving into a didgeridoo, the only other source for such extended anxiety and astonished dread would be a psychic battle between a levitating junior high school shop class and a home-ec class rolling around the kitchen blind-folded. One part guerilla confinement test, one part circular firing squad, the no-instruments track boasts the wince-inducing weeent of metal clothes hangers getting dragged across a metal dowel, old doors opening and closing, the hoarse scrape of porcelain mugs and bowls grinding on a nail sticking out of the wall, the brittle clink of jars and vases rotating against one another, and the insane helium whine of sticks making frantic scribbling gestures on cardboard boxes. Slats on doors of wooden cabinets and plastic hangers are clacked; boxes of nails and screws are shaken; cans of paint, vacuum cleaner tube, metal rods and anything else that could be held onto are dropped on the floor and kicked back and forth. So, yeah, it’s a very percussive odyssey, in the same sense that a hornet’s nest thwacked moments ago with a tennis racket could also be considered percussive. Using enhanced cross- pollination techniques such as running the water in the sink and molesting components of half-built mannequins, the group passes an important milestone in their self-imposed primal grunt therapy.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Out Patience

(Butte County Free Music Society - 33) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

Performed inside a darkened, cavernous student union on the evening of April 28, 1984, this after-hours guerrilla action corrupts the thirteenth text from Aus den Sieben Tagen in a barn where damaged minotaurs are stabled. Lucian Tielens, Tim Smyth and Gnarlos were in constant motion, re-positioning themselves throughout the building, possessed by plastic flamingo, goink visions, and the compulsion to insert their heads into buckets and howl. Four excerpts totaling eight minutes in length appear on Three Christs of Ypsilanti (Siltbreeze 2010), but this is the first and only time the recording of the complete, uninterrupted 47-minute session has been available. In addition to "hurled cafeteria cutlery, defective boomboxes and answering machines blaring prerecorded tape, the public piano, and a variety of unidentified flailing objects," brentstrumentation includes The Nube Tube (a corrugated hose from a hair dryer swung like a bullroarer), harmonica, metal remnants of antique armaments, hula hoop, socket wrench, aluminum bicycle crankset, toy guitars, toy pianos, bongos, glassware, marbles chucked off the balcony, the staircase, aluminum cans (kicked), pie tins (spun), metal coils, jewelry, Star Wars pinball machine, moans, gurns, chants, sneezes, whistles and insectoid heralds. Includes an Industrial Expressionist collage made of hand-painted screen, fragment of found photograph, and defective scrap from commercial print shop. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Rapture Piles

(Butte County Free Music Society - 48) CDR $8.00

Another transmission from the pataphysical intersection of surrealist cabaret, show-tune bombast, enhanced dementia, and vintage Caedmon Records, recorded live in San Francisco, October 2012. No instruments were used in the rendering of the ensemble's emerald-colored darkness, jagged with alien corrosion and haze that befouls the synapses, just mounds of thrift store objects and yard-sale treasures. Highlights include a quintet for lettuce spinners, and covers of Rodgers and Hammerstein, Klaatu, Magazine, and A.M. Baggs. Freeform weirdness from beginning to end. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Refreshing Hemorrhage

(Butte County Free Music Society - 44) 7-inch $8.00

Both versions of “People,” the aloof masterpiece by Mancunian iconoclasts Gods Gift, are covered simultaneously on the A Side, as Bren’t Lewiis shambles along on fuzz guitar, warped keyboards, and Colour Out Of Space field recordings, while the imperious Silvia Kastel intones her dispassionate but resolutely negative critique of mankind. The B Side continues with a severely bent cover of both versions of “O Jackie O,” itself a damaged charm song by Chicago trio ONO, here performed on messed-up kazoo, holiday wrapping paper tube, and tape-manipulated field recordings from the swamp where Annette Funicello’s head was buried by The Allman Bros. An unhealthy tape piece brings the record its queasy conclusion. Overall, totally appalling, but in a good way, like the talent show scene in One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Edition of 100.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Soiled Gas Mask

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS84) CDR $8.00

“Sugar brings nice sweetness to the sauce” says an accented voice a few minutes into the group’s third album of 2019, one heavy on the fevered claustrophobia. Disturbing froth and gothic Mommie Dearest shame dissolve in a dark woont piece named after Alan Wagner’s legendary milk-bath poster (a Freakdom meme-of-the-year finalist). Joan Of Art — in surgery recovery mode, deluded and paranoid from the opioid painkillers — wanders out into traffic muttering the words to The Fall’s tale of sinister government agencies. Turntables and contact mics scrape layers of hardened parrot mucus for nearly twelve minutes in an epic examination of the difference between phlegm and sputum. There are two field recordings from The Dome in Scappoose, Oregon, made at the end of BLE’s August 2018 tour (one piece came about when The City Councilman’s phone was accidentally recording while stuffed into his pocket, and the other documents Gnarlos throwing balls of goat dung at a poster hung above the dumpster by the garage depicting President Shiklgruber cradling a baby dinosaur rescued from the twin towers on 9/11). Lucian Tielens dodges golfball-sized blobs of toxins and revelations that flicker across the bottom of an apocalyptic bucket, propelled only by grunting and orally expressed distress. A freeway execution narrated by a helicopter-bound ghoul. A jaunty celebration of urushiol. Cthulhu crèpe. Hemotoma. “The Funky Chicken” as fetishist’s instruction manual. So much dirty. So much unclean.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Stop Yelling At Me In Neon Braille

(Butte County Free Music Society) CDR $8.00

The first Bren’t Lewiis album of the New Year arrives on Inauguration Day, on purpose, even though there are no illusions that it will have any more of an impact on the nature of the nation’s venomous collective consciousness than the event it commemorates. Still, as part send-off, part retrospective obstacle to wound management, this screeching, undulating psychocosm is dominated by four shrill, seemingly interminable portraits of noxious invisibility. Dissonant synth pulsations; loops of unpleasant contact mic scrape; atmospheres that resonate less than the aftermath of a collapsed parking garage; incessant electric guitar fractures; keeko-bleeko theremin scribbles; lost transmissions of PBS documentaries that resurfaced in a desert trailer park; unnatural congress with the inanimate populace of that rich musical wonderland, the suburban garage — screamin’ babeh jazus, what building blocks! Accompanied by production values that are both supportive and antagonistic, Lucian Tielens reads an account of a husband and wife forced to slaughter a sea turtle as published in their autobiographical 117 Days Adrift. The group’s minister of psychological effrontery and textician scrambler-in-chief Tom Chimpson navigates a cactus labyrinth of construction site field recordings, mad radio, turntable aliens, and Jon the Baptist’s murble-possessed guitar. His matter-of-fact message — about insurance, maritime infestations, messianic origin stories, and fragments that seem to say “no idea, you tell me” — arrives more garbled than perjured testimony in a kangaroo court where Masons are getting persecuted. One of two very brief tracks, Lala Lu’s confessional / plea / accusation / state of the union opens the album. And then, functioning as an oasis at the midpoint, a short mashup where Kristin Anderson’s boat slip sonata field recording rests on top of the gleeful self-pleasuring of Nixon, the rhino-hound sculptor owned and operated by Glub Pasha and Stanley Zappa. Stop Yelling At Me In Neon Braille could be a rare MRI that ends up providing no useful diagnostic assistance; fortunately, an hour-plus of your time that drops an extra smidge of stress, discomfort, and claustrophobic panic into the skull is your idea of a prized resource. That’s what it says in your file, anyway. Cover art by Steve Marquis

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Taxidermy Frogs Copulating

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS72) CDR $8.00

Over an hour of primordial muck extracted from the squishy lobes of these rurality-damaged urp-meisters. Bendier and more musk-slathered than a nudist farm trampoline, this Eros-preoccupied companion to the group’s upcoming Thanatos-exploiting The Inevitable Typo On Sheila Ostrich’s Tombstone applies electronic yeem to backward Marx Brothers opera, the voices of slimy novelty degenerates, and everything writhing on the tiles in between. Ample time on their first release of 2018 is allotted to reimagining several of fiction’s great lotharios -- Dwight Shrute, Ernst Blofeld, Mr. Magoo, and Rod McKuen -- as a cross between fascistic playboys and sex Nazis. Bug-eyed gurgles and clacks advance and recede with satyriasis-enriched determination worthy of a home-made installation of Rauschenberg’s Mud Muse. All buttons on the cookie machine are pushable: Moistened sputters, lascivious fwaps, cascades of dirty corn popping, weird grunting, perv huff, dejected shuffling of objects unaccustomed to the attention, and primitive electronic wub from toys and gizmos and manipulations. Salacious alien screeches serenade the reluctant, propelled by the percussive fiddle-faddle of incessant gorge harassment and creepy shoulder rubs. In master suites where violins get sawed in half by morning-after dental floss spat out of inflamed urethrae, Thundertubes and Stylophones grapple like surreal Greco-Roman tadpoles. BLE’s confusing, heavily mirrored demimonde, where everything and nothing is disturbing and inappropriate, allows the sound of children’s toys to infiltrate the needlessly elaborate hideouts of villains and make everyone uncomfortable on several levels. Keeps things spicy.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Thank You, L.A., It’s Been A Great Test

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS00) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

Absolutely live recordings of “Waiting For The Dumpster,” “Elevators — How The Hell Do They Work?” “You Shoot Heroin, I’ll Wait Here In The Dark,” and “110-Degree Vulgar Tambourine Phantom.” Not as legendary as Springsteen defacing a billboard, but in the same intoxicating spirit. Thank You, L.A., It's Been A Great Test pumps the sump like no other album in Bren't Lewiis Ensemble's catalog, resembling a no-audience Fluxus document based on impossible actions never to be completed, crossed with an omelette made with eggs long after their sell-by date, stuffed with microscopic plankton and unpalatable, Pynchon-esque candy known as completist’s nightmare. Their lower-than-lowercase electroencephalography digs into a realm one might call post-reactionary, where meaning itself is a cosmic ugh, wasteful of time and space, sight and sound. Whenever one observes others gazing into an unmemorable void, it is never immediately clear if they’re dispassionate or dumbfounded, but given that they’re dissolving and the resultant grit is melting and the subsequent blobs are evaporating, and the atmosphere is an ur-destructive vacuum withholding all possibility of transcendence, it doesn’t matter. What madness it would be were this any different.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

That’s My Deathbed

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS96) 3-inch CDR $4.25

For the third installment of the group’s Dumb Tangerine Dream series, Lucian Tielens extracts from underneath a waterbed in a ’70s skin flick bendy slide guitar wheem (bejeweled with a tasteful quantity of froth, and devoid of exaggerations about length), while loops of cheap electronic burble peer in through the slats in the closet door, rise to the surface and collapse in a haze of lo-fi turntable-and-toys clack-off. Cover art by id m theft able. Includes upholstery swatch courtesy of Kristin Anderson. Edition of 25

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

The Armless Marvel

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS59) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

This supplementary hit of the dark, bad acid that birthed Bren’t Lewiis’s Hard Molt (via elagabalusian section, according to the doula) wallows in a comparably jagged dead-end of monolithic schmutz. Skull-bending free improv waterlogged by tape manipulation, body-snatched sound collage, and gaseous disorientation; off-center guitar wobble impaled on spikes of fuzz; relatively meditative spaz-outs, household objects, tape noise, waves of fweemp; apocalyptic, maniacally saturated and self-engorged Echoplex; lascivious caliph vocals, the moist fwapping of a bicyle-powered chicken-plucking machine, field recordings, and disturbing phlegm loops; murky, impaired fidelity. More inscrutable than a murder at an old-fashioned smorgasbord. Includes industrial expressionist collage insert. Edition of 100

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

The Inevitable Typo On Sheila Ostrich’s Tombstone

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS73) CDR $8.00

In Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble’s latest reportage from the front row of a nightmarish debacle no one would want to stage, Thanksgiving is a revolting feast of Pynchon-inspired cuisine on the front edge of an exploding dirigible, yoga mats double as coffin liners, heavenly choirs are replaced by glitchy, private-press inbreds howling themselves sick in vortices of serrated cubism, and people who don’t know they no longer exist are the only ones who cry “Mortality as home entertainment? This can’t be the future. Can it? Can it?” Harmonic disarray and sour electro-splat seep upward and outward like a disturbing organ meat experiment going horribly awry. Dense electronic processes mingle with field recordings of machines defective and dying of old age. Alarm klaxons and calls to arms do not overpower the soundscape so much as wanly ooze from some anemic sky sphincter worthy of an Arch Oboler thriller. The forty-minute “The Flesh Is Already Engulfing The Guns” crawls into view like a family of zombie executives exiting a fallout shelter. Nauseated screeches dry-heave at strings of metal scraping marrow-less bones into bite-sized chunks. Swarms of clinking locusts disperse above fields of plastic thrift-store detritus getting overrun from all angles by locomotives locked in emergency deceleration mode. Flightless birds elongate their synchronized death squawks and amplify their internal doom. Molecules of electronic corruption wheeze complaints to no one. Violins groan with the vigor of an old rocking chair where a corpse has been dumped. Unattended radios transmit useless advice. Drones and pulsations slowly fall apart and atomize, a mirror image of decay and putrid nothingness enveloping untethered astronauts. A portrait of the void, disembodied space globules and all. The ensemble's version of Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “Assassination Raga” embalms all the stripes of the rainbow that is America’s creep-show optimism with congealed blood. That the album is released on the poet’s 99th birthday is not a coincidence.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

The Thirteenth Century German Poet (And Who Can Forget Him)

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS55) CDR $8.00

Rampant gaping immensity and pathologically polychromatic hoot from the BuFMS wing of Saint WTF’s Asylum. Micro-episodic tape pieces (with a head-spinning variety of appropriated voices, noises, electronics, music and sound effects) merge with field recordings, cut-ups, loops, improv, live performances, and a range of cover versions that includes a Korean plastic surgery infomercial, bona fide poetry, a book review, a YouTube waif, and Van Morrison. The group delivers pastoral yet alien meander à la The Way Out by The Books, spots of electro-creep worthy of Ruth White’s Flowers Of Evil, entertainment at a LAFMS barbecue, and a variety show extrapolated from the A.M. radios in the background of Firesign Theatre’s Everything You Know Is Wrong. A dazzling and peculiar assemblage. Edition of 50.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Three Christs of Ypsilanti

(Siltbreeze - SB131) LP + 3-inch CDR $15.00

The first post-BUFMS-boxset disgorgement of ramshackle outsider clatter and howl from one of California’s many rural nowheres exposes previously hidden, 25-year-old whack-off (à la Smegma and other bent LAFMS trippers, the UK’s A Band, 5 Starcle Men, Yximalloo, Gastric Female Reflex, Id M Theft Able, and the sort of visionaries currently promoted by labels such as Chocolate Monk and Beniffer Editions). The murky “Take It Out And Kill It” whirls around in conflicting directions in a manner one critic long ago described as “schizophrenic muzak.” “Dark Surprise,” a 1986 recording from the crossroads of DIY autism and darkened psychedelia, is previously unreleased (the first playback of the master tape didn’t happen until 2008). In contrast to the group’s usual embrace of any and all kitchen sinks in the immediate vicinity, this recording was made solely with electric guitars, voice and prerecorded audio frottage. Book-ending both sides are excerpts from an after-hours, no-audience, guerrilla action recorded in a multistory, split-level university student union, using hurled cafeteria cutlery, defective boomboxes and answering machines blaring prerecorded tape, the public piano, and a variety of unidentified flailing objects. “[As] secretive as a posse’ve Masons bidding in a goat auction … a weird , befuddlin storm comin’ outta the night … tryin’ to charm you into the muddy arms of the undertow.” –Roland Woodbe, Siltblog NOTE: Copies of this LP purchased here include a 3-inch CDR of previously unreleased bonus tracks.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Time Lady Rangoon

(Chocolate Monk - CHOC241) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

The second volume in Chocolate Monk’s Well Spliced Breath series of “sound-tape collage, text-sound, radiophonic, horspiel-type muck.” Above a hazy razzle dazzle of simultaneous background music and spoken word records typical of The Sidney Africa Safari (the KCSC radio show where the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble were regular guests in the early 1980s), skull-crushed revelations about human anatomy and reproduction are expressed, interspliced with surreal texts, fractured word association and a climactic go-crazy. Peculiar sound effects and dusty music come and go amid an ancient Asian circus from the afterlife, a nonsense raga, spastic in-studio percussion, tape collage, loops and excerpts from damaged audio- and videotape, haphazard turntablism, and the unbridled yelps of milk-deprived semi-mechanical gargoyle pups. Edition of 60.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Toupée Made Of Weather

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS98) CDR $8.00

Eventually the spring-breakers who survive their pandemic-era bacchanals are going to discover nostalgia, and Toupée Made Of Weather hereby provides many options for the inevitable retrospective anthology Befuddled Goobers of Shartwave with which all Jersey Shore wannabes worth their anti-viral cream will soundtrack their fevered reminiscences. In addition to sentences from thrift store cassettes, near constant field recordings of indecipherable voices in the background, collages of suburban VHS psychosis, and fragments of guitar and electronic flubba dubba from Fluxus Enigma and Hazel’s ’Lectric Washhouse sessions, lots of processed loops grabbed from various coordinates within the audiosphere are present — an instructive percussive vamp from Art Blakey here, disco hits by KC & The Sunshine Band and Kool & The Gang there, a little fortune-telling from Jan & Dean’s inexhaustible supply of face-palmistry, bluesman Jimmie Revard’s alien doink, weird shit by Steely Dan, yogurt-slathered sitar from a Carnaby-era Marianne Faithfull, and glitches sourced from a Paul Bowles album uploaded to Spotify (proof that the death of quality control is the noisician’s librarian card). “Dead Mackerel and a Bucket of Flaming Housepaint” is a demo submitted for consideration as the band playing in the foyer at the ceremony when guitarist Brian Ruryk earns his Lifetime Achievement Award. The Ensemble’s cover of a French black metal song relies on a phonetic mistranslation of the lyrics of the original by a wiseguy YouTube user and is also loaded with enough backstory to fill an escape pod (“you get 3-D pictures of space porn!”); in the hands of Bren’t Lewiis, it now reads like a dystopian travelogue penned by an incel from the future visiting the past to impregnate baby Hitler. Other highlights include their transformation of lyrics lifted from Daffy Duck and The Groovie Ghoulies into pathos-rich nightmares, Lala Lu’s baby-doll-off-her-meds multi-track soliloquy, and the deliciously anticlimactic finale when Stanley Zappa and Glub Pasha spend some time between two ferns.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Toxic Beard

(Butte County Free Music Society - BuFMS92) CDR $8.00 (Out-of-stock)

As with any improbable object that can’t help but be era-specific, especially during a time when the relentless strobe of an unpleasant glare makes the grime and pestilence smeared every place all the more opaque, when Civil War 2.0 often seems more imminent than not, when you have to wonder if you’ll get in trouble because your browser history shows that you were looking into getting a permit for a bow-and-arrow, Toxic Beard stews in disgust-suffused withdrawal. Many of the recordings feel remote, bordering on apathetic, a series of tosses-and-turns across the bow in the softness wars. A corny advertisement prattling fake bonhomie jive launches the album, and Lucian Tielens immediately annihilates it with “Blood Clot,” a solo turn on cornetto (as seen on episode number two of the Colour Out Of Space series Plague Time Television). For just over three minutes, he studiously avoids producing a single note in any key, opting instead for a tonal palette more common to slapping a disembodied lung left unattended on a stainless steel gurney in the hall. Tom Chimpson’s flat caroling dissects institutional text from the world of religious scolding on “Scuttlebutt Within Our Bubble.” Later in the album, on “Hoopo Koomkl Inheritance: Discuss,” he locates encrypted data worthy of espionage, as only a master textician and minister of psy-ops can, in toddler brainwashing narratives. It’s like The Conet Project produced by Up With People. New voices making themselves heard for the first time here will attract a decent audience on the steps of the gackolopolis, plentiful though the group’s stock-in-trade vocalizations barely more coherent than slurred vowels delivered supine on the floor may be. With Count Darkula as his missionary wingman, Vishnu Richelieu makes his first public appearance since The Date Fork Seeps The River (Nauscopy 2003) on “The Hardy Boys Meet Reverend Werewolf,” where he reads, in the style of a pro wrestling announcer, an apocalyptic email written by none other than Maurizio Bianchi himself. Lala Lu, the second of four new ensemble members making their debut on Toxic Beard, gets her diaphanous poet laureate on during the front end of “Reptile In Name Only” (with words penned by that president, our diarrhea nutsack sculpture), while Joan Of Art and Asskicker Bob jank the back end’s zarnt-scape with lyrics by noted pro-rape deer-piss salesman The Nuge. For the three-part suite by The Experimental Artists — an obscure Hayward-based trio of suburban creeps who directly catalyzed the formation of the group in the 1980s — they recruited Lacie Pound of Birmingham, England, to ensure the track pulsates underneath the gray matte non-sheen it deserves. The monolithic “Lateral Incisor At The Bottom Of A Swimming Pool” is more rickety and cartilage-deprived than a near-eight-minute track requires in order to survive, but Lily McBilly and our final noob Amferz commit to the plastic hysteria and zealous dealth-cult patriotism as if pitching an Annie Graham theme to Ari Aster. The thing shimmers hard with Hereditary-adjacent menace and otherworldly apparitia of pyromaniacal squirrels trying to set your feet on fire while you sleep. Consider yourself trigger-warned. Regular listeners do not need to be reminded of Bren’t Lewiis’s views regarding the interchangeability of features and defects. From the warble of kitchenware to the chatter of inane neighbors and ascended-master pretenders ostentatiously gasping for air, urban field recordings, elusive turntablist chirps and ping-ponging decontextualized voices, defective electronic fragments, faraway and backward everything, mumbles, clacks, grunts, loops, and cut-ups, this album rolls in the short’n’curlies on the floorboards of a schizophrenic harmhouse.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Tremendous Pace Of Melt

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS91) 3-inch CDR $4.25

The second in the Dumb Tangerine Dream series delivers a single eighteen-minute track of spoon-bitten synth murb, irregular guitar noise pulsations, dry-rubbed crackles, clunks of indeterminate provenance, and a warped children’s record or two. Constructed of stellar foam and layers of drone-toasted loops, organized into abruptly shifting episodes that mimic a series of Julius seizures at subterranean laundromats, this amorphous-adjacent block of charred goo is sicker and sweeter than a midnight s’mores fail. Includes a burlap swatch courtesy of Yvonne Lovejoy. Front cover by Shalimar Fox. Edition of 25.

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Unable To Suppress The Twitching

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS) CDR $8.00

Exploring the intersectionality of spooky chamber music and the failures of profane janitors, unnecessary announcements from the futuristic lair of a James Bond villain, and bones of the southern skull. Guests include Dylan Nyoukis and Warvette. Studio material and live recordings from Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland and KXLU in Los Angeles

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Worst Utopia Ever

(Butte County Free Music Society - BUFMS76) CDR $8.00

On their fifth full-length album this year, the Bren’t Lewiis Ensemble charges into a blood-snake melee like public-access heroes the Ill-Advised Mutants Of Wrestling. Psychedelic euphoria and dread-poisoned torpor grapple all over landscapes smeared with swirling scrape bubbles and the post-hypnotic wobble that cleanses residua from an overdose of personality suppressants. “Very smooth,” as one disembodied and uncertain and completely inaccurate voice describes hopefully, “And somewhat spooky.” Punctuated by phlegmy coughs and metallic chirps, phasing in and out of common-area ambiance, this slow-moving travelogue through between-station grinds, animalist crunch vistas, and long-form dissection of beige respiratory gack rises and falls inside an onslaught of sinister machine drones that flay and smother everything with placid steadiness. There are multiple screech havens embedded throughout Worst Utopia Ever, where ghosted rescue attempts suffocate under the hairy mud of cross-eyed tape manipulation, mushy expressway pile-ups, and out-of-control clang orgies.