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Public Housing - Public Housing [Torn Light; 2014]
The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Public Housing - Public Housing [Torn Light; 2014]

The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Blackrune - Palustrine Hegemon [Furious Hooves; 2014]
Blackrune drape themselves in Southern Gothic ritual. From the ebon art work to the tactile script – even a name that burns sinisterly with its implications – but it’s all a façade into a rather spiritual and otherworldly plane.Palustrine Hegemon is the culmination of two years’ worth of home recordings and unfinished ideas that coalesce into a complete vision of retro-futurism that goes beyond nostalgic voyeurism to re-imagine a genre’s brand. Borrowing elements of space rock or post-rock (whichever you prefer), Blackrune place themselves in the mid-90s time warp that produced Hum, Jessamine, and Magnog among others. Though each of those bands had an identity and sound all their own (soon to be eclipsed by grander statements by Godspeed You Black Emperor), Palustrine Hegemon plants its own flag into the geopolitical swamp of [mis]identification and [mis]direction.
Though futuristic like their ancestors, this travels further and faster than those older crafts, powered on the ambrosia of the ancients. But to get where they want to go, they must first travel to the past. “Daylight Ritual” has a psychedelic pop energy surrounding it, and though seemingly out of place under a contemplative moon, the solar array is a much needed light to find their way back from the past. “The Freakout between Athens and Delphi” lends as much from Lee Ranaldo’s “Maelstrom from Drift” as it does the Sacred Wars of yore. “Pompeii” picks up the last of the Pink Floyd magick left.
Now fully fueled, Palustrine Hegemon can truly blast off into the infinite. Where it takes them, we wait eons to learn.

Blackrune - Palustrine Hegemon [Furious Hooves; 2014]

Blackrune drape themselves in Southern Gothic ritual. From the ebon art work to the tactile script – even a name that burns sinisterly with its implications – but it’s all a façade into a rather spiritual and otherworldly plane.

Palustrine Hegemon is the culmination of two years’ worth of home recordings and unfinished ideas that coalesce into a complete vision of retro-futurism that goes beyond nostalgic voyeurism to re-imagine a genre’s brand. Borrowing elements of space rock or post-rock (whichever you prefer), Blackrune place themselves in the mid-90s time warp that produced Hum, Jessamine, and Magnog among others. Though each of those bands had an identity and sound all their own (soon to be eclipsed by grander statements by Godspeed You Black Emperor), Palustrine Hegemon plants its own flag into the geopolitical swamp of [mis]identification and [mis]direction.

Though futuristic like their ancestors, this travels further and faster than those older crafts, powered on the ambrosia of the ancients. But to get where they want to go, they must first travel to the past. “Daylight Ritual” has a psychedelic pop energy surrounding it, and though seemingly out of place under a contemplative moon, the solar array is a much needed light to find their way back from the past. “The Freakout between Athens and Delphi” lends as much from Lee Ranaldo’s “Maelstrom from Drift” as it does the Sacred Wars of yore. “Pompeii” picks up the last of the Pink Floyd magick left.

Now fully fueled, Palustrine Hegemon can truly blast off into the infinite. Where it takes them, we wait eons to learn.

ARU/Underwater Escape from the Black Hole - split [5CM; 2014]
I’ve been in fights. There was a time when I went looking for them. Not any sort of hooliganism, mind you – just the pure, I-need-to-outwit-a-frat-hero sort of drunken stupor that happens when one too many people think you’re an easy target. I’ve taken my wallops but I also win most of the time. I was a beast of adrenaline. I knew how to choke someone out. I knew how to use their strength against them until they tired and gave up before being made a complete fool of. That’s the feeling of ARU: 21 minutes of a back and forth spar with both coming out with welts and scars. It’s a black and blue kinship that you can only experience by taking the punches to the gut, throat, and ears. Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is that nervous aftermath. Senses are buzzing, the pain has yet to settle, and you’re sharp to what’s happening around you. The world is in slow motion and for a brief moment you can see all the little details you miss even as large gaps of what just happen are slowly erased from memory. Fighting is a drug unto itself. It feeds a different desire, but it doesn’t last forever. Soon, a smashed nose and bloody lip grows tiring. There’s nothing left to prove, but should you find your honor at stake, ARU and UEFTBH have you covered.

ARU/Underwater Escape from the Black Hole - split [5CM; 2014]

I’ve been in fights. There was a time when I went looking for them. Not any sort of hooliganism, mind you – just the pure, I-need-to-outwit-a-frat-hero sort of drunken stupor that happens when one too many people think you’re an easy target. I’ve taken my wallops but I also win most of the time. I was a beast of adrenaline. I knew how to choke someone out. I knew how to use their strength against them until they tired and gave up before being made a complete fool of. That’s the feeling of ARU: 21 minutes of a back and forth spar with both coming out with welts and scars. It’s a black and blue kinship that you can only experience by taking the punches to the gut, throat, and ears. Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is that nervous aftermath. Senses are buzzing, the pain has yet to settle, and you’re sharp to what’s happening around you. The world is in slow motion and for a brief moment you can see all the little details you miss even as large gaps of what just happen are slowly erased from memory. Fighting is a drug unto itself. It feeds a different desire, but it doesn’t last forever. Soon, a smashed nose and bloody lip grows tiring. There’s nothing left to prove, but should you find your honor at stake, ARU and UEFTBH have you covered.

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - Live at Various [Palilalia; 2014]
Corsano has always been to the point, not rhythmically but mechanically. The same is true for Orcutt. Both treating their respective instruments as rote pieces of communication. Though there is always a beauty in how they reach out to audiences, there’s a metallic sting when a particular snare hit or awkward note unveils a truth into our own psyche. Together, they provide a near Jungian revelation as the duo tear through machine gun psychoanalysis via Montreal, Cleveland, and Rochester. Usually Corsano has played receptionist to the whims of frequent in-office collaborators but more than not, he’s just as tactile and forward as Orcutt. The twosome sit you on a thorny couch and proceed to turn your fears from unbiased to obsessive. It’s an unromantic process, complete with a Rorschach that makes you see Corgan and Love in bliss. At least that’s what I’m seeing, and it is upsetting me with its plainspeak. And then I began hearing pop bubble up through their double entendre and maybe I’m falling in love with what I despise. Maybe I AM what I despise!? It sinks in, the barbs and the jolts and the deconstruction of ego until all I hear is the id assault. Corsano and Orcutt: The Doctors will see you now.

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - Live at Various [Palilalia; 2014]

Corsano has always been to the point, not rhythmically but mechanically. The same is true for Orcutt. Both treating their respective instruments as rote pieces of communication. Though there is always a beauty in how they reach out to audiences, there’s a metallic sting when a particular snare hit or awkward note unveils a truth into our own psyche. Together, they provide a near Jungian revelation as the duo tear through machine gun psychoanalysis via Montreal, Cleveland, and Rochester. Usually Corsano has played receptionist to the whims of frequent in-office collaborators but more than not, he’s just as tactile and forward as Orcutt. The twosome sit you on a thorny couch and proceed to turn your fears from unbiased to obsessive. It’s an unromantic process, complete with a Rorschach that makes you see Corgan and Love in bliss. At least that’s what I’m seeing, and it is upsetting me with its plainspeak. And then I began hearing pop bubble up through their double entendre and maybe I’m falling in love with what I despise. Maybe I AM what I despise!? It sinks in, the barbs and the jolts and the deconstruction of ego until all I hear is the id assault. Corsano and Orcutt: The Doctors will see you now.

Stella - Big Table No People [New Village; 2014]
Arab on Radar and Fat Worm of Error eloped to Columbus (OH). They had a baby (allegedly pregnant with its own baby), which was adopted and nourished on the teat of New Village Tapes. They named their baby after their favorite Comedy Central program or the first memorable name from some forgotten play. Stella was an only child and felt the angst of adoption, but it grew up in a loving home that encouraged such fits. That rage soon became concentrated on music, as if the offspring was attracted to the loud and asinine by default. That asymmetrical DNA finally gave birth once more to Big Table No People, a quick wallop of all that good-riddance feistiness that was long trapped inside the child. New Village, being caring parents, has captured it all on cassette and delivered it to the world. Stella has no plans to meet their parents, crazily chanting “I-71 Forever” and “Go Away” to any transgressor toward their Ohio home. Bless their little expecting hearts.

Stella - Big Table No People [New Village; 2014]

Arab on Radar and Fat Worm of Error eloped to Columbus (OH). They had a baby (allegedly pregnant with its own baby), which was adopted and nourished on the teat of New Village Tapes. They named their baby after their favorite Comedy Central program or the first memorable name from some forgotten play. Stella was an only child and felt the angst of adoption, but it grew up in a loving home that encouraged such fits. That rage soon became concentrated on music, as if the offspring was attracted to the loud and asinine by default. That asymmetrical DNA finally gave birth once more to Big Table No People, a quick wallop of all that good-riddance feistiness that was long trapped inside the child. New Village, being caring parents, has captured it all on cassette and delivered it to the world. Stella has no plans to meet their parents, crazily chanting “I-71 Forever” and “Go Away” to any transgressor toward their Ohio home. Bless their little expecting hearts.

Jen Reimer & Max Stein - Lisboa/Skagaströnd [CS; Hula Honeys]
There was a moment when all hope was lost. It caught me in the middle of the night, snatching my breath and waking me from a restless slumber. I sucked what I could of the dead air back in and forced my eyes shut. I tried to forget the hopelessness of that millisecond but it stuck with me in what passed as dreams. It was once the sound of To Kill a Bourgeoisie; it is the hollow playground of Tim Hecker. An instance when the black and white noir of everyday life comes crashing down. It’s not as beautiful as a melting glacier or an exotic chase with a doppelganger, but it’s as real and feeling as it gets. That gnaw of whether this is the paycheck to finish off debts or must I begin new ones to continue to feed into some sort of normal stasis. Jen Reimer and Max Stein embrace all and none. “Lisboa” a slow drudge of a line between holding on and letting go. There is no vacation from this world but there is still beauty within it. It keeps away those fleeting but impactful moments of doubt. There will always be dread but it doesn’t have to weigh us down. “Skagaströnd” is the wistful aftermath – the next night when you try desperately to forget the last. It’s a calming reminder that our film is still being shot and the thrill of the chase is to find happiness in whatever corner of the world it exists. Let go of that fear. Let Reimer and Stein baptize it in their soundwash and be free.

Jen Reimer & Max Stein - Lisboa/Skagaströnd [CS; Hula Honeys]

There was a moment when all hope was lost. It caught me in the middle of the night, snatching my breath and waking me from a restless slumber. I sucked what I could of the dead air back in and forced my eyes shut. I tried to forget the hopelessness of that millisecond but it stuck with me in what passed as dreams. It was once the sound of To Kill a Bourgeoisie; it is the hollow playground of Tim Hecker. An instance when the black and white noir of everyday life comes crashing down. It’s not as beautiful as a melting glacier or an exotic chase with a doppelganger, but it’s as real and feeling as it gets. That gnaw of whether this is the paycheck to finish off debts or must I begin new ones to continue to feed into some sort of normal stasis. Jen Reimer and Max Stein embrace all and none. “Lisboa” a slow drudge of a line between holding on and letting go. There is no vacation from this world but there is still beauty within it. It keeps away those fleeting but impactful moments of doubt. There will always be dread but it doesn’t have to weigh us down. “Skagaströnd” is the wistful aftermath – the next night when you try desperately to forget the last. It’s a calming reminder that our film is still being shot and the thrill of the chase is to find happiness in whatever corner of the world it exists. Let go of that fear. Let Reimer and Stein baptize it in their soundwash and be free.

Pumice - Land [CS; Soft Abuse]
Stefan Neville is the sound of our fractured continent, even if he lives on a different one. So perhaps broken culture is more appropriate, though I think only a few cultures are actually in disrepair. What this has to do with Land is purely imaginary, though from its pristine cover art to its raw production, I think it has MUCH to do with how we view where we live, the resources we gather from it, and how we treat it and others who use it. This isn’t some politically correct jargon about greenhouses and global warming – though likely you understand them if you’re reading this – but rather shared ideas. How is it that some are so giving and others so selfish? Neville has often exhibited the former throughout his half-life as Pumice, this no different. A keen observation into the human psyche as played by distorted imagery and noisy lash-outs, Land is also contemplative in how it approaches these belches of creativity-as-commentary. Again, totally making all this up as I go along. I’m sure you’re just listening because of the rad screeches and toy-like melodies that repeat until you fall into a hypnotic state. That’s well-intentioned. Keep your nose clean, I can respect that. But I’ve long been feeding from the muddy trough and Land is my latest hard-to-chew, easy-to-swallow parable, even if it’s as made up as a talking asp.

Pumice - Land [CS; Soft Abuse]

Stefan Neville is the sound of our fractured continent, even if he lives on a different one. So perhaps broken culture is more appropriate, though I think only a few cultures are actually in disrepair. What this has to do with Land is purely imaginary, though from its pristine cover art to its raw production, I think it has MUCH to do with how we view where we live, the resources we gather from it, and how we treat it and others who use it. This isn’t some politically correct jargon about greenhouses and global warming – though likely you understand them if you’re reading this – but rather shared ideas. How is it that some are so giving and others so selfish? Neville has often exhibited the former throughout his half-life as Pumice, this no different. A keen observation into the human psyche as played by distorted imagery and noisy lash-outs, Land is also contemplative in how it approaches these belches of creativity-as-commentary. Again, totally making all this up as I go along. I’m sure you’re just listening because of the rad screeches and toy-like melodies that repeat until you fall into a hypnotic state. That’s well-intentioned. Keep your nose clean, I can respect that. But I’ve long been feeding from the muddy trough and Land is my latest hard-to-chew, easy-to-swallow parable, even if it’s as made up as a talking asp.

Attempt - “Another Night” b/w “Up to No Good” [Cassingle; Self-Release]
What happens when a fraction of Hair Police (Trevor Tremaine) gets stuck in sheen of ’80s synth pop? Not quite as lucid and lazy as Howard Jones, Tremaine’s Attempt is a rose by any other name. Despite a more accessible sound akin to the $2 bin at the record store, there are moments of disruption that seem far more familiar by the end of “Another Night.” But this ruse doesn’t let up with flip, “Up to No Good.” A more folksy pop ballad, there are moments of generalized complexity and depth that just fuck with you in the best possible way. Attempt is rather a stab by Tremaine at supposed reputation. So if you see his name (and that of Hair Police cohort Robert Beatty as mixer), you’re expecting a particular brand of noise. What you end up getting is a much more shocking revelation and one for my money that is well worth the $5 on one of 50 cassingles.

Attempt - “Another Night” b/w “Up to No Good” [Cassingle; Self-Release]

What happens when a fraction of Hair Police (Trevor Tremaine) gets stuck in sheen of ’80s synth pop? Not quite as lucid and lazy as Howard Jones, Tremaine’s Attempt is a rose by any other name. Despite a more accessible sound akin to the $2 bin at the record store, there are moments of disruption that seem far more familiar by the end of “Another Night.” But this ruse doesn’t let up with flip, “Up to No Good.” A more folksy pop ballad, there are moments of generalized complexity and depth that just fuck with you in the best possible way. Attempt is rather a stab by Tremaine at supposed reputation. So if you see his name (and that of Hair Police cohort Robert Beatty as mixer), you’re expecting a particular brand of noise. What you end up getting is a much more shocking revelation and one for my money that is well worth the $5 on one of 50 cassingles.

Phil Maguire - smll hnd/dctfl hnd [CS; Drone Warfare]
Debates about limitations on music matter not to Cerberus. Sure, the ability for as many people as possible to possess said artifact matters, but there’s also a lost art in private pressings and rare monuments of a recording in its first iteration. It carries with it a personality, and though a market has arisen to commodify and profit/prophet from the sell and trade of these rare resources, it’s ultimately up to a buyer what a personal connection/collection is worth.

I’d like to think smll hnd/dctfl hnd is Maguire’s treatise on such trivial notions. In an edition of only 50 copies, Maguire’s debut is inauspicious in its release and conservative concerning its first impression. There is no desire to make this an artifact that balloons in value, just modesty about the interest from a saturated market that is hard to tap as a new voice. But this tape tears at the very fabric of that choice, as if to say its 50 copies are truly 5 million. All those zeroes buzzing and clawing among the stacked sounds of lives being lead outside the metropolitan. The static of hard wired electricity navigating empty fields and lonely roadways; the longing of distant lovers across the world; the sine waves of incomplete thoughts feelings fighting each other over which shall prevail. Dichotomy seems too innocent an idea of Maguire’s work. Modest as it may be in size, it lacks no amount of bravado in scope. So if you cannot save up your pennies to buy a copy now, best continue to sit on them for awhile because in the future smll hnd/dctfl hnd sketches, you’re going to need them for a far greater cause.

Phil Maguire - smll hnd/dctfl hnd [CS; Drone Warfare]

Debates about limitations on music matter not to Cerberus. Sure, the ability for as many people as possible to possess said artifact matters, but there’s also a lost art in private pressings and rare monuments of a recording in its first iteration. It carries with it a personality, and though a market has arisen to commodify and profit/prophet from the sell and trade of these rare resources, it’s ultimately up to a buyer what a personal connection/collection is worth.

I’d like to think smll hnd/dctfl hnd is Maguire’s treatise on such trivial notions. In an edition of only 50 copies, Maguire’s debut is inauspicious in its release and conservative concerning its first impression. There is no desire to make this an artifact that balloons in value, just modesty about the interest from a saturated market that is hard to tap as a new voice. But this tape tears at the very fabric of that choice, as if to say its 50 copies are truly 5 million. All those zeroes buzzing and clawing among the stacked sounds of lives being lead outside the metropolitan. The static of hard wired electricity navigating empty fields and lonely roadways; the longing of distant lovers across the world; the sine waves of incomplete thoughts feelings fighting each other over which shall prevail. Dichotomy seems too innocent an idea of Maguire’s work. Modest as it may be in size, it lacks no amount of bravado in scope. So if you cannot save up your pennies to buy a copy now, best continue to sit on them for awhile because in the future smll hnd/dctfl hnd sketches, you’re going to need them for a far greater cause.

United Waters - Sunburner [Bathetic; 2014]
Funny how things tend to befittingly name themselves.

United Waters, the latest project from Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) is a retention pond of streams, rain, and sewage runoff coalescing in some forgotten submerged suburb. Sullivan’s always toyed with the conventional aspect of melodic rock and roll output, but often the filter has been to degrade the recognizable for the perverted.

Though as perverse in many aspects as the nastiest Mouthus moments, United Waters tries to drown traditional rock values rather than scar them. It’s a different type of inferred violence but far catchier in its own warped sense of morality. The drums are sinister heart beats from underneath a half-frozen earth; the roundabout guitar riffs an eerie echo from the cold overgrowth. Sullivan’s own voice is ghostly, bubbling up from the pool. It burps and belches words and melody, easy to hear but difficult to decipher.
Which is why you’ll find yourself starring at your gnarled reflection time and time again. Sunburner is an album of sloth, the hard swim among the pollutants that have mutated guitar-based rock for decades. You’ll find your guard slowly dissipating and before the cold water takes your breath, you’ll find yourself underneath and deaf to the world you once knew. You created this mess, now you must live in it.

United Waters - Sunburner [Bathetic; 2014]

Funny how things tend to befittingly name themselves.

United Waters, the latest project from Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) is a retention pond of streams, rain, and sewage runoff coalescing in some forgotten submerged suburb. Sullivan’s always toyed with the conventional aspect of melodic rock and roll output, but often the filter has been to degrade the recognizable for the perverted.

Though as perverse in many aspects as the nastiest Mouthus moments, United Waters tries to drown traditional rock values rather than scar them. It’s a different type of inferred violence but far catchier in its own warped sense of morality. The drums are sinister heart beats from underneath a half-frozen earth; the roundabout guitar riffs an eerie echo from the cold overgrowth. Sullivan’s own voice is ghostly, bubbling up from the pool. It burps and belches words and melody, easy to hear but difficult to decipher.

Which is why you’ll find yourself starring at your gnarled reflection time and time again. Sunburner is an album of sloth, the hard swim among the pollutants that have mutated guitar-based rock for decades. You’ll find your guard slowly dissipating and before the cold water takes your breath, you’ll find yourself underneath and deaf to the world you once knew. You created this mess, now you must live in it.

Demonstration Synthesis - DS7 [CS; Phinery]
Off the heels of summer cool downDS3, Daniel Leznoff heats it back up with DS7. A more energetic exercise than when we last left him, the prolific Leznoff dusts off that mid-80s soul for an instrument that seems calculating in the hands of others. I hate to run off a list of heated radio singles from a time best forgotten but there was a playfulness lost in modern pop to be found on the local dial in those not-so heydays of radio. Similar to LX Sweat, Leznoff understands the raw sexuality synth can also possess. Unlike LX, this is an album about taking one’s sweet time to make love rather than to finding the open stall in the club for some primal activity. Cerberus condones both, but it’s best not to mix the emotions of either with the wrong mood music. And despite its awesomeness, it’s probably wise not to tell your hot date that the song you’re listening to is titled “Premium Dookie” unless it’s one of the ladies from Two Girls One Cup. Then you tell her about “Behind U.” Don’t want to tell you how to live your life, just alerting you to romantic etiquette in these situations…and to the continued suaveness of Demonstration Synthesis.

Demonstration Synthesis - DS7 [CS; Phinery]

Off the heels of summer cool downDS3, Daniel Leznoff heats it back up with DS7. A more energetic exercise than when we last left him, the prolific Leznoff dusts off that mid-80s soul for an instrument that seems calculating in the hands of others. I hate to run off a list of heated radio singles from a time best forgotten but there was a playfulness lost in modern pop to be found on the local dial in those not-so heydays of radio. Similar to LX Sweat, Leznoff understands the raw sexuality synth can also possess. Unlike LX, this is an album about taking one’s sweet time to make love rather than to finding the open stall in the club for some primal activity. Cerberus condones both, but it’s best not to mix the emotions of either with the wrong mood music. And despite its awesomeness, it’s probably wise not to tell your hot date that the song you’re listening to is titled “Premium Dookie” unless it’s one of the ladies from Two Girls One Cup. Then you tell her about “Behind U.” Don’t want to tell you how to live your life, just alerting you to romantic etiquette in these situations…and to the continued suaveness of Demonstration Synthesis.

Bre’r - A.R.M. [CS; BARO]
this hollowed out tree stump will suit me fine hiding from hunters scavengers darkness light people everybody always invading my home as if it were open foot traffic rustling my hedgerow and scarring the babies i fly by foot into wood and chain-linked because they corner me but here is solace here is peace caught by ears through a wafting breeze a gentle melody that soothes in this frightful hiding spot this is not my home but this tune shall make it so in due time i will never hide again this is where i will take a stand where we will take arms and fight back though by arms i mean musically not violently we are a gentle creature though i do know of some who have used force the only force i know is that of the constant thud into wood and chain-linked i talk to foxes but they do not listen i talk to trees but they just shake i speak to humans but they cannot understand so i stay in this hollowed out stump with my music and my arms (which are paws) and i wait until this all becomes mine again for the last time

Bre’r - A.R.M. [CS; BARO]

this hollowed out tree stump will suit me fine hiding from hunters scavengers darkness light people everybody always invading my home as if it were open foot traffic rustling my hedgerow and scarring the babies i fly by foot into wood and chain-linked because they corner me but here is solace here is peace caught by ears through a wafting breeze a gentle melody that soothes in this frightful hiding spot this is not my home but this tune shall make it so in due time i will never hide again this is where i will take a stand where we will take arms and fight back though by arms i mean musically not violently we are a gentle creature though i do know of some who have used force the only force i know is that of the constant thud into wood and chain-linked i talk to foxes but they do not listen i talk to trees but they just shake i speak to humans but they cannot understand so i stay in this hollowed out stump with my music and my arms (which are paws) and i wait until this all becomes mine again for the last time

Samantha Glass - Rising Water Perception [CS; Sacred Phrases]
First off, I’m going to just come right out on a cliche and say what we’re all thinking: Beau Devereaux is just as cool a name as his alter ego, Samantha Glass. But it does seems a more fitting pseudonym throughout Surface Water Perception, which is a departure and arrival for Devereaux’s project. As brooding as any recording before it, there’s a new darkness that permeates this very post-synth pop cassette. There isn’t a lack of chasing melodic threads and abstract ideas, all of which have made Samantha Glass releases must listens in the past, but the accessibility–and that’s what this tape ultimately is to fans of the Joy Division/Depeche Mode/Bauhaus crowd–is on equal footing. As experimentation slowly morphs its way back into some skewed form of mainstream that somehow bites its tongue at being too commercial, SWP seems the best big step toward bridging the traditional and radical. You won’t throw it on the car stereo on a raucous Saturday night but after a few mood altering hours, it’s sure to be there when you need it.

Samantha Glass - Rising Water Perception [CS; Sacred Phrases]

First off, I’m going to just come right out on a cliche and say what we’re all thinking: Beau Devereaux is just as cool a name as his alter ego, Samantha Glass. But it does seems a more fitting pseudonym throughout Surface Water Perception, which is a departure and arrival for Devereaux’s project. As brooding as any recording before it, there’s a new darkness that permeates this very post-synth pop cassette. There isn’t a lack of chasing melodic threads and abstract ideas, all of which have made Samantha Glass releases must listens in the past, but the accessibility–and that’s what this tape ultimately is to fans of the Joy Division/Depeche Mode/Bauhaus crowd–is on equal footing. As experimentation slowly morphs its way back into some skewed form of mainstream that somehow bites its tongue at being too commercial, SWP seems the best big step toward bridging the traditional and radical. You won’t throw it on the car stereo on a raucous Saturday night but after a few mood altering hours, it’s sure to be there when you need it.

German Army - Social Catalyst [CS; Jozik]
Perennial Cerberus favorites, it seems it’s my turn to review the latest German Army dalliance with greatness. I would like to thank the academy for this honor, and Grantshoe and Crawfss for the privilege. I really wanted to say something different as I sit up here but I think the long list of accomplishments and adjectives my colleagues have heaped German Army are more apt. So let’s put it as simply as possible: Why aren’t you making German Army a household name? This is the sort of cold war mood music that fits the current climate of frosty Risk than it does the nuclear game of chess that gave birth to proto-sub-genres of dark, dank synthesizer music. The robotic feel of old is replaced with something a bit more fleshy, running hot and cold as determined by the time and day it is when German Army decide its ripe for recording. There’s a pulse running through these icy veins and though it rarely shows anything other than a shark’s demeanor, you know there’s a bit of fear, understanding, and soothsaying. Our world is crumbling for the 273rd time and as we tear it all down just to build it all back up like a toddler with a new set of Legos, it’s the stoic realism of Social Catalyst that calms us down. Shit’s going down and German Army has been warning us, Cerberus has been a cleric, and you aren’t listening! Why won’t you listen?

(That’s a call to action, people)

German Army - Social Catalyst [CS; Jozik]

Perennial Cerberus favorites, it seems it’s my turn to review the latest German Army dalliance with greatness. I would like to thank the academy for this honor, and Grantshoe and Crawfss for the privilege. I really wanted to say something different as I sit up here but I think the long list of accomplishments and adjectives my colleagues have heaped German Army are more apt. So let’s put it as simply as possible: Why aren’t you making German Army a household name? This is the sort of cold war mood music that fits the current climate of frosty Risk than it does the nuclear game of chess that gave birth to proto-sub-genres of dark, dank synthesizer music. The robotic feel of old is replaced with something a bit more fleshy, running hot and cold as determined by the time and day it is when German Army decide its ripe for recording. There’s a pulse running through these icy veins and though it rarely shows anything other than a shark’s demeanor, you know there’s a bit of fear, understanding, and soothsaying. Our world is crumbling for the 273rd time and as we tear it all down just to build it all back up like a toddler with a new set of Legos, it’s the stoic realism of Social Catalyst that calms us down. Shit’s going down and German Army has been warning us, Cerberus has been a cleric, and you aren’t listening! Why won’t you listen?

(That’s a call to action, people)

Evan A. James - Evan A. James [CS; Adhesive Sounds]
Remember the first time you heard “Lucas with the Lid Off”? How about “Cantaloop”? “Rebirth of Slick”? Are you just too young to remember these smooth jazz influenced hip-hop hits? Go put your ear buds back in and slink away quietly.

For those of you looking the next evolution, come to Evan A. James. Though not dance derived (or intended), the symphonic scraps of James’ self-titled tape evoke a sense of history that was barely touched upon in that quick time of jazz meeting mainstream during the early ’90s. People forget the desolate frontier it was at that time, when all musics ran to get into the door before it slammed shut and was wedged closed by alternative bands we never grew to know. But James rekindles that pioneer spirit even in a land that has grown from those shut out 25 years ago. In the tent city that followed, somehow James has found a way to grab hold of those faint wafts of soul that came back to the masses, using it as a spark for something equally inventive, yet beholden to no set form. Which is why by the time this cassette has run its course, you’ll momentarily forget about those seemingly ancient breaths of fresh air because a newer, stronger rush of pure oxygen will fill those lungs, benefited by too many people on the other side of the door sucking up all their air long ago while the tent city outsiders were left to chaste and noble lifestyles. Ah!

Evan A. James - Evan A. James [CS; Adhesive Sounds]

Remember the first time you heard “Lucas with the Lid Off”? How about “Cantaloop”? “Rebirth of Slick”? Are you just too young to remember these smooth jazz influenced hip-hop hits? Go put your ear buds back in and slink away quietly.

For those of you looking the next evolution, come to Evan A. James. Though not dance derived (or intended), the symphonic scraps of James’ self-titled tape evoke a sense of history that was barely touched upon in that quick time of jazz meeting mainstream during the early ’90s. People forget the desolate frontier it was at that time, when all musics ran to get into the door before it slammed shut and was wedged closed by alternative bands we never grew to know. But James rekindles that pioneer spirit even in a land that has grown from those shut out 25 years ago. In the tent city that followed, somehow James has found a way to grab hold of those faint wafts of soul that came back to the masses, using it as a spark for something equally inventive, yet beholden to no set form. Which is why by the time this cassette has run its course, you’ll momentarily forget about those seemingly ancient breaths of fresh air because a newer, stronger rush of pure oxygen will fill those lungs, benefited by too many people on the other side of the door sucking up all their air long ago while the tent city outsiders were left to chaste and noble lifestyles. Ah!

Public Housing - Public Housing [Torn Light; 2014]
The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Public Housing - Public Housing [Torn Light; 2014]

The Jo(h)n’s of Wasteland Jazz Unit “pick up guitars” but don’t leave behind the wasted lands of yore. Public Housing, the duo of Lorenz and Rich, deliver 34 minutes of disgusting skronk wherein you wonder how proficient they are with their instruments. But the press release name checks Dead C, and Bruce Russell never practices either and we’re all groupies on his knob, no? So what separates Cincinnati from Dunedin aside from many miles of crust and sea? This won’t go so far as the anti-music of those NZL boy toys but damned if this won’t destroy ol’ Mts. Airy and Healthy. Maybe it’ll hit US 27 and scare Oxford into repopulating WOXY with its old spirit via young punks? Let it get drunk with all the Miami kids and stumble up to Germantown and piss on Old Man Pollard’s yard. Kim Deal will let it crash on the couch. These noisy rebels, from a time and place wholly disconnected from its palatial U.S. Midwestern/NZL East Coast identity crisis. If they’re too careful, they may just end up in the same dire straits as their name implies, and THEN what would they truly sound like?

Blackrune - Palustrine Hegemon [Furious Hooves; 2014]
Blackrune drape themselves in Southern Gothic ritual. From the ebon art work to the tactile script – even a name that burns sinisterly with its implications – but it’s all a façade into a rather spiritual and otherworldly plane.Palustrine Hegemon is the culmination of two years’ worth of home recordings and unfinished ideas that coalesce into a complete vision of retro-futurism that goes beyond nostalgic voyeurism to re-imagine a genre’s brand. Borrowing elements of space rock or post-rock (whichever you prefer), Blackrune place themselves in the mid-90s time warp that produced Hum, Jessamine, and Magnog among others. Though each of those bands had an identity and sound all their own (soon to be eclipsed by grander statements by Godspeed You Black Emperor), Palustrine Hegemon plants its own flag into the geopolitical swamp of [mis]identification and [mis]direction.
Though futuristic like their ancestors, this travels further and faster than those older crafts, powered on the ambrosia of the ancients. But to get where they want to go, they must first travel to the past. “Daylight Ritual” has a psychedelic pop energy surrounding it, and though seemingly out of place under a contemplative moon, the solar array is a much needed light to find their way back from the past. “The Freakout between Athens and Delphi” lends as much from Lee Ranaldo’s “Maelstrom from Drift” as it does the Sacred Wars of yore. “Pompeii” picks up the last of the Pink Floyd magick left.
Now fully fueled, Palustrine Hegemon can truly blast off into the infinite. Where it takes them, we wait eons to learn.

Blackrune - Palustrine Hegemon [Furious Hooves; 2014]

Blackrune drape themselves in Southern Gothic ritual. From the ebon art work to the tactile script – even a name that burns sinisterly with its implications – but it’s all a façade into a rather spiritual and otherworldly plane.

Palustrine Hegemon is the culmination of two years’ worth of home recordings and unfinished ideas that coalesce into a complete vision of retro-futurism that goes beyond nostalgic voyeurism to re-imagine a genre’s brand. Borrowing elements of space rock or post-rock (whichever you prefer), Blackrune place themselves in the mid-90s time warp that produced Hum, Jessamine, and Magnog among others. Though each of those bands had an identity and sound all their own (soon to be eclipsed by grander statements by Godspeed You Black Emperor), Palustrine Hegemon plants its own flag into the geopolitical swamp of [mis]identification and [mis]direction.

Though futuristic like their ancestors, this travels further and faster than those older crafts, powered on the ambrosia of the ancients. But to get where they want to go, they must first travel to the past. “Daylight Ritual” has a psychedelic pop energy surrounding it, and though seemingly out of place under a contemplative moon, the solar array is a much needed light to find their way back from the past. “The Freakout between Athens and Delphi” lends as much from Lee Ranaldo’s “Maelstrom from Drift” as it does the Sacred Wars of yore. “Pompeii” picks up the last of the Pink Floyd magick left.

Now fully fueled, Palustrine Hegemon can truly blast off into the infinite. Where it takes them, we wait eons to learn.

ARU/Underwater Escape from the Black Hole - split [5CM; 2014]
I’ve been in fights. There was a time when I went looking for them. Not any sort of hooliganism, mind you – just the pure, I-need-to-outwit-a-frat-hero sort of drunken stupor that happens when one too many people think you’re an easy target. I’ve taken my wallops but I also win most of the time. I was a beast of adrenaline. I knew how to choke someone out. I knew how to use their strength against them until they tired and gave up before being made a complete fool of. That’s the feeling of ARU: 21 minutes of a back and forth spar with both coming out with welts and scars. It’s a black and blue kinship that you can only experience by taking the punches to the gut, throat, and ears. Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is that nervous aftermath. Senses are buzzing, the pain has yet to settle, and you’re sharp to what’s happening around you. The world is in slow motion and for a brief moment you can see all the little details you miss even as large gaps of what just happen are slowly erased from memory. Fighting is a drug unto itself. It feeds a different desire, but it doesn’t last forever. Soon, a smashed nose and bloody lip grows tiring. There’s nothing left to prove, but should you find your honor at stake, ARU and UEFTBH have you covered.

ARU/Underwater Escape from the Black Hole - split [5CM; 2014]

I’ve been in fights. There was a time when I went looking for them. Not any sort of hooliganism, mind you – just the pure, I-need-to-outwit-a-frat-hero sort of drunken stupor that happens when one too many people think you’re an easy target. I’ve taken my wallops but I also win most of the time. I was a beast of adrenaline. I knew how to choke someone out. I knew how to use their strength against them until they tired and gave up before being made a complete fool of. That’s the feeling of ARU: 21 minutes of a back and forth spar with both coming out with welts and scars. It’s a black and blue kinship that you can only experience by taking the punches to the gut, throat, and ears. Underwater Escape from the Black Hole is that nervous aftermath. Senses are buzzing, the pain has yet to settle, and you’re sharp to what’s happening around you. The world is in slow motion and for a brief moment you can see all the little details you miss even as large gaps of what just happen are slowly erased from memory. Fighting is a drug unto itself. It feeds a different desire, but it doesn’t last forever. Soon, a smashed nose and bloody lip grows tiring. There’s nothing left to prove, but should you find your honor at stake, ARU and UEFTBH have you covered.

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - Live at Various [Palilalia; 2014]
Corsano has always been to the point, not rhythmically but mechanically. The same is true for Orcutt. Both treating their respective instruments as rote pieces of communication. Though there is always a beauty in how they reach out to audiences, there’s a metallic sting when a particular snare hit or awkward note unveils a truth into our own psyche. Together, they provide a near Jungian revelation as the duo tear through machine gun psychoanalysis via Montreal, Cleveland, and Rochester. Usually Corsano has played receptionist to the whims of frequent in-office collaborators but more than not, he’s just as tactile and forward as Orcutt. The twosome sit you on a thorny couch and proceed to turn your fears from unbiased to obsessive. It’s an unromantic process, complete with a Rorschach that makes you see Corgan and Love in bliss. At least that’s what I’m seeing, and it is upsetting me with its plainspeak. And then I began hearing pop bubble up through their double entendre and maybe I’m falling in love with what I despise. Maybe I AM what I despise!? It sinks in, the barbs and the jolts and the deconstruction of ego until all I hear is the id assault. Corsano and Orcutt: The Doctors will see you now.

Chris Corsano & Bill Orcutt - Live at Various [Palilalia; 2014]

Corsano has always been to the point, not rhythmically but mechanically. The same is true for Orcutt. Both treating their respective instruments as rote pieces of communication. Though there is always a beauty in how they reach out to audiences, there’s a metallic sting when a particular snare hit or awkward note unveils a truth into our own psyche. Together, they provide a near Jungian revelation as the duo tear through machine gun psychoanalysis via Montreal, Cleveland, and Rochester. Usually Corsano has played receptionist to the whims of frequent in-office collaborators but more than not, he’s just as tactile and forward as Orcutt. The twosome sit you on a thorny couch and proceed to turn your fears from unbiased to obsessive. It’s an unromantic process, complete with a Rorschach that makes you see Corgan and Love in bliss. At least that’s what I’m seeing, and it is upsetting me with its plainspeak. And then I began hearing pop bubble up through their double entendre and maybe I’m falling in love with what I despise. Maybe I AM what I despise!? It sinks in, the barbs and the jolts and the deconstruction of ego until all I hear is the id assault. Corsano and Orcutt: The Doctors will see you now.

Stella - Big Table No People [New Village; 2014]
Arab on Radar and Fat Worm of Error eloped to Columbus (OH). They had a baby (allegedly pregnant with its own baby), which was adopted and nourished on the teat of New Village Tapes. They named their baby after their favorite Comedy Central program or the first memorable name from some forgotten play. Stella was an only child and felt the angst of adoption, but it grew up in a loving home that encouraged such fits. That rage soon became concentrated on music, as if the offspring was attracted to the loud and asinine by default. That asymmetrical DNA finally gave birth once more to Big Table No People, a quick wallop of all that good-riddance feistiness that was long trapped inside the child. New Village, being caring parents, has captured it all on cassette and delivered it to the world. Stella has no plans to meet their parents, crazily chanting “I-71 Forever” and “Go Away” to any transgressor toward their Ohio home. Bless their little expecting hearts.

Stella - Big Table No People [New Village; 2014]

Arab on Radar and Fat Worm of Error eloped to Columbus (OH). They had a baby (allegedly pregnant with its own baby), which was adopted and nourished on the teat of New Village Tapes. They named their baby after their favorite Comedy Central program or the first memorable name from some forgotten play. Stella was an only child and felt the angst of adoption, but it grew up in a loving home that encouraged such fits. That rage soon became concentrated on music, as if the offspring was attracted to the loud and asinine by default. That asymmetrical DNA finally gave birth once more to Big Table No People, a quick wallop of all that good-riddance feistiness that was long trapped inside the child. New Village, being caring parents, has captured it all on cassette and delivered it to the world. Stella has no plans to meet their parents, crazily chanting “I-71 Forever” and “Go Away” to any transgressor toward their Ohio home. Bless their little expecting hearts.

Jen Reimer & Max Stein - Lisboa/Skagaströnd [CS; Hula Honeys]
There was a moment when all hope was lost. It caught me in the middle of the night, snatching my breath and waking me from a restless slumber. I sucked what I could of the dead air back in and forced my eyes shut. I tried to forget the hopelessness of that millisecond but it stuck with me in what passed as dreams. It was once the sound of To Kill a Bourgeoisie; it is the hollow playground of Tim Hecker. An instance when the black and white noir of everyday life comes crashing down. It’s not as beautiful as a melting glacier or an exotic chase with a doppelganger, but it’s as real and feeling as it gets. That gnaw of whether this is the paycheck to finish off debts or must I begin new ones to continue to feed into some sort of normal stasis. Jen Reimer and Max Stein embrace all and none. “Lisboa” a slow drudge of a line between holding on and letting go. There is no vacation from this world but there is still beauty within it. It keeps away those fleeting but impactful moments of doubt. There will always be dread but it doesn’t have to weigh us down. “Skagaströnd” is the wistful aftermath – the next night when you try desperately to forget the last. It’s a calming reminder that our film is still being shot and the thrill of the chase is to find happiness in whatever corner of the world it exists. Let go of that fear. Let Reimer and Stein baptize it in their soundwash and be free.

Jen Reimer & Max Stein - Lisboa/Skagaströnd [CS; Hula Honeys]

There was a moment when all hope was lost. It caught me in the middle of the night, snatching my breath and waking me from a restless slumber. I sucked what I could of the dead air back in and forced my eyes shut. I tried to forget the hopelessness of that millisecond but it stuck with me in what passed as dreams. It was once the sound of To Kill a Bourgeoisie; it is the hollow playground of Tim Hecker. An instance when the black and white noir of everyday life comes crashing down. It’s not as beautiful as a melting glacier or an exotic chase with a doppelganger, but it’s as real and feeling as it gets. That gnaw of whether this is the paycheck to finish off debts or must I begin new ones to continue to feed into some sort of normal stasis. Jen Reimer and Max Stein embrace all and none. “Lisboa” a slow drudge of a line between holding on and letting go. There is no vacation from this world but there is still beauty within it. It keeps away those fleeting but impactful moments of doubt. There will always be dread but it doesn’t have to weigh us down. “Skagaströnd” is the wistful aftermath – the next night when you try desperately to forget the last. It’s a calming reminder that our film is still being shot and the thrill of the chase is to find happiness in whatever corner of the world it exists. Let go of that fear. Let Reimer and Stein baptize it in their soundwash and be free.

Pumice - Land [CS; Soft Abuse]
Stefan Neville is the sound of our fractured continent, even if he lives on a different one. So perhaps broken culture is more appropriate, though I think only a few cultures are actually in disrepair. What this has to do with Land is purely imaginary, though from its pristine cover art to its raw production, I think it has MUCH to do with how we view where we live, the resources we gather from it, and how we treat it and others who use it. This isn’t some politically correct jargon about greenhouses and global warming – though likely you understand them if you’re reading this – but rather shared ideas. How is it that some are so giving and others so selfish? Neville has often exhibited the former throughout his half-life as Pumice, this no different. A keen observation into the human psyche as played by distorted imagery and noisy lash-outs, Land is also contemplative in how it approaches these belches of creativity-as-commentary. Again, totally making all this up as I go along. I’m sure you’re just listening because of the rad screeches and toy-like melodies that repeat until you fall into a hypnotic state. That’s well-intentioned. Keep your nose clean, I can respect that. But I’ve long been feeding from the muddy trough and Land is my latest hard-to-chew, easy-to-swallow parable, even if it’s as made up as a talking asp.

Pumice - Land [CS; Soft Abuse]

Stefan Neville is the sound of our fractured continent, even if he lives on a different one. So perhaps broken culture is more appropriate, though I think only a few cultures are actually in disrepair. What this has to do with Land is purely imaginary, though from its pristine cover art to its raw production, I think it has MUCH to do with how we view where we live, the resources we gather from it, and how we treat it and others who use it. This isn’t some politically correct jargon about greenhouses and global warming – though likely you understand them if you’re reading this – but rather shared ideas. How is it that some are so giving and others so selfish? Neville has often exhibited the former throughout his half-life as Pumice, this no different. A keen observation into the human psyche as played by distorted imagery and noisy lash-outs, Land is also contemplative in how it approaches these belches of creativity-as-commentary. Again, totally making all this up as I go along. I’m sure you’re just listening because of the rad screeches and toy-like melodies that repeat until you fall into a hypnotic state. That’s well-intentioned. Keep your nose clean, I can respect that. But I’ve long been feeding from the muddy trough and Land is my latest hard-to-chew, easy-to-swallow parable, even if it’s as made up as a talking asp.

Attempt - “Another Night” b/w “Up to No Good” [Cassingle; Self-Release]
What happens when a fraction of Hair Police (Trevor Tremaine) gets stuck in sheen of ’80s synth pop? Not quite as lucid and lazy as Howard Jones, Tremaine’s Attempt is a rose by any other name. Despite a more accessible sound akin to the $2 bin at the record store, there are moments of disruption that seem far more familiar by the end of “Another Night.” But this ruse doesn’t let up with flip, “Up to No Good.” A more folksy pop ballad, there are moments of generalized complexity and depth that just fuck with you in the best possible way. Attempt is rather a stab by Tremaine at supposed reputation. So if you see his name (and that of Hair Police cohort Robert Beatty as mixer), you’re expecting a particular brand of noise. What you end up getting is a much more shocking revelation and one for my money that is well worth the $5 on one of 50 cassingles.

Attempt - “Another Night” b/w “Up to No Good” [Cassingle; Self-Release]

What happens when a fraction of Hair Police (Trevor Tremaine) gets stuck in sheen of ’80s synth pop? Not quite as lucid and lazy as Howard Jones, Tremaine’s Attempt is a rose by any other name. Despite a more accessible sound akin to the $2 bin at the record store, there are moments of disruption that seem far more familiar by the end of “Another Night.” But this ruse doesn’t let up with flip, “Up to No Good.” A more folksy pop ballad, there are moments of generalized complexity and depth that just fuck with you in the best possible way. Attempt is rather a stab by Tremaine at supposed reputation. So if you see his name (and that of Hair Police cohort Robert Beatty as mixer), you’re expecting a particular brand of noise. What you end up getting is a much more shocking revelation and one for my money that is well worth the $5 on one of 50 cassingles.

Phil Maguire - smll hnd/dctfl hnd [CS; Drone Warfare]
Debates about limitations on music matter not to Cerberus. Sure, the ability for as many people as possible to possess said artifact matters, but there’s also a lost art in private pressings and rare monuments of a recording in its first iteration. It carries with it a personality, and though a market has arisen to commodify and profit/prophet from the sell and trade of these rare resources, it’s ultimately up to a buyer what a personal connection/collection is worth.

I’d like to think smll hnd/dctfl hnd is Maguire’s treatise on such trivial notions. In an edition of only 50 copies, Maguire’s debut is inauspicious in its release and conservative concerning its first impression. There is no desire to make this an artifact that balloons in value, just modesty about the interest from a saturated market that is hard to tap as a new voice. But this tape tears at the very fabric of that choice, as if to say its 50 copies are truly 5 million. All those zeroes buzzing and clawing among the stacked sounds of lives being lead outside the metropolitan. The static of hard wired electricity navigating empty fields and lonely roadways; the longing of distant lovers across the world; the sine waves of incomplete thoughts feelings fighting each other over which shall prevail. Dichotomy seems too innocent an idea of Maguire’s work. Modest as it may be in size, it lacks no amount of bravado in scope. So if you cannot save up your pennies to buy a copy now, best continue to sit on them for awhile because in the future smll hnd/dctfl hnd sketches, you’re going to need them for a far greater cause.

Phil Maguire - smll hnd/dctfl hnd [CS; Drone Warfare]

Debates about limitations on music matter not to Cerberus. Sure, the ability for as many people as possible to possess said artifact matters, but there’s also a lost art in private pressings and rare monuments of a recording in its first iteration. It carries with it a personality, and though a market has arisen to commodify and profit/prophet from the sell and trade of these rare resources, it’s ultimately up to a buyer what a personal connection/collection is worth.

I’d like to think smll hnd/dctfl hnd is Maguire’s treatise on such trivial notions. In an edition of only 50 copies, Maguire’s debut is inauspicious in its release and conservative concerning its first impression. There is no desire to make this an artifact that balloons in value, just modesty about the interest from a saturated market that is hard to tap as a new voice. But this tape tears at the very fabric of that choice, as if to say its 50 copies are truly 5 million. All those zeroes buzzing and clawing among the stacked sounds of lives being lead outside the metropolitan. The static of hard wired electricity navigating empty fields and lonely roadways; the longing of distant lovers across the world; the sine waves of incomplete thoughts feelings fighting each other over which shall prevail. Dichotomy seems too innocent an idea of Maguire’s work. Modest as it may be in size, it lacks no amount of bravado in scope. So if you cannot save up your pennies to buy a copy now, best continue to sit on them for awhile because in the future smll hnd/dctfl hnd sketches, you’re going to need them for a far greater cause.

United Waters - Sunburner [Bathetic; 2014]
Funny how things tend to befittingly name themselves.

United Waters, the latest project from Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) is a retention pond of streams, rain, and sewage runoff coalescing in some forgotten submerged suburb. Sullivan’s always toyed with the conventional aspect of melodic rock and roll output, but often the filter has been to degrade the recognizable for the perverted.

Though as perverse in many aspects as the nastiest Mouthus moments, United Waters tries to drown traditional rock values rather than scar them. It’s a different type of inferred violence but far catchier in its own warped sense of morality. The drums are sinister heart beats from underneath a half-frozen earth; the roundabout guitar riffs an eerie echo from the cold overgrowth. Sullivan’s own voice is ghostly, bubbling up from the pool. It burps and belches words and melody, easy to hear but difficult to decipher.
Which is why you’ll find yourself starring at your gnarled reflection time and time again. Sunburner is an album of sloth, the hard swim among the pollutants that have mutated guitar-based rock for decades. You’ll find your guard slowly dissipating and before the cold water takes your breath, you’ll find yourself underneath and deaf to the world you once knew. You created this mess, now you must live in it.

United Waters - Sunburner [Bathetic; 2014]

Funny how things tend to befittingly name themselves.

United Waters, the latest project from Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) is a retention pond of streams, rain, and sewage runoff coalescing in some forgotten submerged suburb. Sullivan’s always toyed with the conventional aspect of melodic rock and roll output, but often the filter has been to degrade the recognizable for the perverted.

Though as perverse in many aspects as the nastiest Mouthus moments, United Waters tries to drown traditional rock values rather than scar them. It’s a different type of inferred violence but far catchier in its own warped sense of morality. The drums are sinister heart beats from underneath a half-frozen earth; the roundabout guitar riffs an eerie echo from the cold overgrowth. Sullivan’s own voice is ghostly, bubbling up from the pool. It burps and belches words and melody, easy to hear but difficult to decipher.

Which is why you’ll find yourself starring at your gnarled reflection time and time again. Sunburner is an album of sloth, the hard swim among the pollutants that have mutated guitar-based rock for decades. You’ll find your guard slowly dissipating and before the cold water takes your breath, you’ll find yourself underneath and deaf to the world you once knew. You created this mess, now you must live in it.

Demonstration Synthesis - DS7 [CS; Phinery]
Off the heels of summer cool downDS3, Daniel Leznoff heats it back up with DS7. A more energetic exercise than when we last left him, the prolific Leznoff dusts off that mid-80s soul for an instrument that seems calculating in the hands of others. I hate to run off a list of heated radio singles from a time best forgotten but there was a playfulness lost in modern pop to be found on the local dial in those not-so heydays of radio. Similar to LX Sweat, Leznoff understands the raw sexuality synth can also possess. Unlike LX, this is an album about taking one’s sweet time to make love rather than to finding the open stall in the club for some primal activity. Cerberus condones both, but it’s best not to mix the emotions of either with the wrong mood music. And despite its awesomeness, it’s probably wise not to tell your hot date that the song you’re listening to is titled “Premium Dookie” unless it’s one of the ladies from Two Girls One Cup. Then you tell her about “Behind U.” Don’t want to tell you how to live your life, just alerting you to romantic etiquette in these situations…and to the continued suaveness of Demonstration Synthesis.

Demonstration Synthesis - DS7 [CS; Phinery]

Off the heels of summer cool downDS3, Daniel Leznoff heats it back up with DS7. A more energetic exercise than when we last left him, the prolific Leznoff dusts off that mid-80s soul for an instrument that seems calculating in the hands of others. I hate to run off a list of heated radio singles from a time best forgotten but there was a playfulness lost in modern pop to be found on the local dial in those not-so heydays of radio. Similar to LX Sweat, Leznoff understands the raw sexuality synth can also possess. Unlike LX, this is an album about taking one’s sweet time to make love rather than to finding the open stall in the club for some primal activity. Cerberus condones both, but it’s best not to mix the emotions of either with the wrong mood music. And despite its awesomeness, it’s probably wise not to tell your hot date that the song you’re listening to is titled “Premium Dookie” unless it’s one of the ladies from Two Girls One Cup. Then you tell her about “Behind U.” Don’t want to tell you how to live your life, just alerting you to romantic etiquette in these situations…and to the continued suaveness of Demonstration Synthesis.

Bre’r - A.R.M. [CS; BARO]
this hollowed out tree stump will suit me fine hiding from hunters scavengers darkness light people everybody always invading my home as if it were open foot traffic rustling my hedgerow and scarring the babies i fly by foot into wood and chain-linked because they corner me but here is solace here is peace caught by ears through a wafting breeze a gentle melody that soothes in this frightful hiding spot this is not my home but this tune shall make it so in due time i will never hide again this is where i will take a stand where we will take arms and fight back though by arms i mean musically not violently we are a gentle creature though i do know of some who have used force the only force i know is that of the constant thud into wood and chain-linked i talk to foxes but they do not listen i talk to trees but they just shake i speak to humans but they cannot understand so i stay in this hollowed out stump with my music and my arms (which are paws) and i wait until this all becomes mine again for the last time

Bre’r - A.R.M. [CS; BARO]

this hollowed out tree stump will suit me fine hiding from hunters scavengers darkness light people everybody always invading my home as if it were open foot traffic rustling my hedgerow and scarring the babies i fly by foot into wood and chain-linked because they corner me but here is solace here is peace caught by ears through a wafting breeze a gentle melody that soothes in this frightful hiding spot this is not my home but this tune shall make it so in due time i will never hide again this is where i will take a stand where we will take arms and fight back though by arms i mean musically not violently we are a gentle creature though i do know of some who have used force the only force i know is that of the constant thud into wood and chain-linked i talk to foxes but they do not listen i talk to trees but they just shake i speak to humans but they cannot understand so i stay in this hollowed out stump with my music and my arms (which are paws) and i wait until this all becomes mine again for the last time

Samantha Glass - Rising Water Perception [CS; Sacred Phrases]
First off, I’m going to just come right out on a cliche and say what we’re all thinking: Beau Devereaux is just as cool a name as his alter ego, Samantha Glass. But it does seems a more fitting pseudonym throughout Surface Water Perception, which is a departure and arrival for Devereaux’s project. As brooding as any recording before it, there’s a new darkness that permeates this very post-synth pop cassette. There isn’t a lack of chasing melodic threads and abstract ideas, all of which have made Samantha Glass releases must listens in the past, but the accessibility–and that’s what this tape ultimately is to fans of the Joy Division/Depeche Mode/Bauhaus crowd–is on equal footing. As experimentation slowly morphs its way back into some skewed form of mainstream that somehow bites its tongue at being too commercial, SWP seems the best big step toward bridging the traditional and radical. You won’t throw it on the car stereo on a raucous Saturday night but after a few mood altering hours, it’s sure to be there when you need it.

Samantha Glass - Rising Water Perception [CS; Sacred Phrases]

First off, I’m going to just come right out on a cliche and say what we’re all thinking: Beau Devereaux is just as cool a name as his alter ego, Samantha Glass. But it does seems a more fitting pseudonym throughout Surface Water Perception, which is a departure and arrival for Devereaux’s project. As brooding as any recording before it, there’s a new darkness that permeates this very post-synth pop cassette. There isn’t a lack of chasing melodic threads and abstract ideas, all of which have made Samantha Glass releases must listens in the past, but the accessibility–and that’s what this tape ultimately is to fans of the Joy Division/Depeche Mode/Bauhaus crowd–is on equal footing. As experimentation slowly morphs its way back into some skewed form of mainstream that somehow bites its tongue at being too commercial, SWP seems the best big step toward bridging the traditional and radical. You won’t throw it on the car stereo on a raucous Saturday night but after a few mood altering hours, it’s sure to be there when you need it.

German Army - Social Catalyst [CS; Jozik]
Perennial Cerberus favorites, it seems it’s my turn to review the latest German Army dalliance with greatness. I would like to thank the academy for this honor, and Grantshoe and Crawfss for the privilege. I really wanted to say something different as I sit up here but I think the long list of accomplishments and adjectives my colleagues have heaped German Army are more apt. So let’s put it as simply as possible: Why aren’t you making German Army a household name? This is the sort of cold war mood music that fits the current climate of frosty Risk than it does the nuclear game of chess that gave birth to proto-sub-genres of dark, dank synthesizer music. The robotic feel of old is replaced with something a bit more fleshy, running hot and cold as determined by the time and day it is when German Army decide its ripe for recording. There’s a pulse running through these icy veins and though it rarely shows anything other than a shark’s demeanor, you know there’s a bit of fear, understanding, and soothsaying. Our world is crumbling for the 273rd time and as we tear it all down just to build it all back up like a toddler with a new set of Legos, it’s the stoic realism of Social Catalyst that calms us down. Shit’s going down and German Army has been warning us, Cerberus has been a cleric, and you aren’t listening! Why won’t you listen?

(That’s a call to action, people)

German Army - Social Catalyst [CS; Jozik]

Perennial Cerberus favorites, it seems it’s my turn to review the latest German Army dalliance with greatness. I would like to thank the academy for this honor, and Grantshoe and Crawfss for the privilege. I really wanted to say something different as I sit up here but I think the long list of accomplishments and adjectives my colleagues have heaped German Army are more apt. So let’s put it as simply as possible: Why aren’t you making German Army a household name? This is the sort of cold war mood music that fits the current climate of frosty Risk than it does the nuclear game of chess that gave birth to proto-sub-genres of dark, dank synthesizer music. The robotic feel of old is replaced with something a bit more fleshy, running hot and cold as determined by the time and day it is when German Army decide its ripe for recording. There’s a pulse running through these icy veins and though it rarely shows anything other than a shark’s demeanor, you know there’s a bit of fear, understanding, and soothsaying. Our world is crumbling for the 273rd time and as we tear it all down just to build it all back up like a toddler with a new set of Legos, it’s the stoic realism of Social Catalyst that calms us down. Shit’s going down and German Army has been warning us, Cerberus has been a cleric, and you aren’t listening! Why won’t you listen?

(That’s a call to action, people)

Evan A. James - Evan A. James [CS; Adhesive Sounds]
Remember the first time you heard “Lucas with the Lid Off”? How about “Cantaloop”? “Rebirth of Slick”? Are you just too young to remember these smooth jazz influenced hip-hop hits? Go put your ear buds back in and slink away quietly.

For those of you looking the next evolution, come to Evan A. James. Though not dance derived (or intended), the symphonic scraps of James’ self-titled tape evoke a sense of history that was barely touched upon in that quick time of jazz meeting mainstream during the early ’90s. People forget the desolate frontier it was at that time, when all musics ran to get into the door before it slammed shut and was wedged closed by alternative bands we never grew to know. But James rekindles that pioneer spirit even in a land that has grown from those shut out 25 years ago. In the tent city that followed, somehow James has found a way to grab hold of those faint wafts of soul that came back to the masses, using it as a spark for something equally inventive, yet beholden to no set form. Which is why by the time this cassette has run its course, you’ll momentarily forget about those seemingly ancient breaths of fresh air because a newer, stronger rush of pure oxygen will fill those lungs, benefited by too many people on the other side of the door sucking up all their air long ago while the tent city outsiders were left to chaste and noble lifestyles. Ah!

Evan A. James - Evan A. James [CS; Adhesive Sounds]

Remember the first time you heard “Lucas with the Lid Off”? How about “Cantaloop”? “Rebirth of Slick”? Are you just too young to remember these smooth jazz influenced hip-hop hits? Go put your ear buds back in and slink away quietly.

For those of you looking the next evolution, come to Evan A. James. Though not dance derived (or intended), the symphonic scraps of James’ self-titled tape evoke a sense of history that was barely touched upon in that quick time of jazz meeting mainstream during the early ’90s. People forget the desolate frontier it was at that time, when all musics ran to get into the door before it slammed shut and was wedged closed by alternative bands we never grew to know. But James rekindles that pioneer spirit even in a land that has grown from those shut out 25 years ago. In the tent city that followed, somehow James has found a way to grab hold of those faint wafts of soul that came back to the masses, using it as a spark for something equally inventive, yet beholden to no set form. Which is why by the time this cassette has run its course, you’ll momentarily forget about those seemingly ancient breaths of fresh air because a newer, stronger rush of pure oxygen will fill those lungs, benefited by too many people on the other side of the door sucking up all their air long ago while the tent city outsiders were left to chaste and noble lifestyles. Ah!

About:

Justin Spicer is a pop culture critic, writer and editor. He manages Tiny Mix Tapes' Cerberus section. He has written columns for KEXP, Ad Hoc, Impose, and SSG Music. His work has been published by The Village Voice, Brainwashed, and extinct websites and print publications across the globe. This website is a collection of many of Justin's articles, reviews, and features. You can contact him via the links in the side menu or ignore all of this completely.

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