MARTÍN ESCALANTE / YOSHIHIDE OTOMO

Soto

(Sploosh) LP $18.00

Three tracks recorded in Kyoto — one guitar-sax duet and a solo by each. All three feel like getting trampled by psychotic mules. Just lay there and take it.

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Birdsong From The Lower Branches

(Hypnagogic Tapes) 2xCassette $17.00 (Out-of-stock)

COMING SOON. This international collection of work by what Noise Not Music refers to as “babble-stalwarts” is “wildly successful.” Highlights include “jarring tape-switch enjambments [on] a speech-only track from Eric Mingus, James King’s humbly introduced and spectacularly executed “distillations,” a duet for emergency services siren and a cappella Irish folk song by Mabel Chah, an anxiety-soaked onslaught of gasps and groans from Rising Damp, [and] a surreal, post-Super Saturday broadcast from Ali Robertson….” Also: Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Ludo Mich with Christophe Clebart, Seymour Glass, Id M Theft Able, Karen Constance, The Doll, Natalia Beylis, Jonida Prifti, Roy Clare Potter, Sharon Gal, Jennifer Walshe, and Fritz Welch. Cover art by Karen Constance

BREN’T LEWIIS ENSEMBLE

Keystone Cyclops

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

COMING SOON. 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. What his accomplishments in that role are remain undetermined, as are 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.