Monday, April 13, 2009

Missing Foundation history: En Esch remembers

An early incarnation of Missing Foundation in Hamburg Germany included members that went on to achieve notoriety in the band KMFDM. Below we have another installment of MF recollections compiled by Vincent Dominion. This time En Esch remembers some of the early days...

[Pete Missing- far right- in Hamburg circa 1984 with members of Neubauten and KMFDM]

I was a member of Missing Foundation in late 1984 in Hamburg, Germany. We did one gig and recording in a studio there. I am not sure what happened to the tapes. It was my first musical encounter with my ex-band mate Sascha K. He was playing bass and I was the drummer back then. I saw Peter on a few occasions back then; he used to live there for a while. The show was kind of wild, we rehearsed before but it was to a good extent freestyle. I had no crash or ride cymbals, just a pair of high hats. Pete demanded that........ That means I did a lot of tom-tom work.....tribal-esque... Florian from Hamburg was playing the saxophone and Uwe the guitar. Sascha was doing the bass and Pete was singing.......”World in Chains!!!”....... The rest of the bunch I don’t even remember. We had a few pillow cases we opened up and tons of goose feathers were flying around in the was a mess....pretty cool. The recordings were done in a proper 24-track studio and we recorded a full length album worth of material. At one point I did a metal percussion overdub and hit my thumb and lost my nail a few days later. VERY PAINFULL......!!!

So why did you split and how did KMFDM start?
Back then, Pete went back to the states and took the tapes with him....that was the end. It was a unique trip and everybody was fine with that I guess.... Sascha and I were hanging out anyway so we continued to hang and start to do stuff ourselves. In the early stage we just used a drum machine and I and Sascha’s former girlfriend became our singer (Sabine Tamsadi, now living in Berlin, I am still in touch with her). You can hear her voice on the KMFDM 84-86 cassette I put together. I already had a background in electronics doing primitive programming with a Pro-One and a Roland TR-808 drum machine in Frankfurt working with the singer of “E=MC2” on a project before I moved to Hamburg. The drum machine was triggering the Pro-One and I had to push the keys while running to get the bass melody right. It was the pre-Midi times, hard to believe.......Later Sascha and I were hanging out with Raymond Watts, who had some electronic gear in Hamburg in a cool studio set up and we started to jam with him. Some of the material ended up on the first record “What Do You Know Deutschland”.

I opened up for Missing Foundation in later years with a side project I had with Guenter Schulz in the late 80’s and early 90’s called “Svetlana Ambrosius Quartet” which was a girls name we got out of a cheesy novel.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, March 29, 2009

CROSSOVER interview

If you've wandered onto here in the past, you'd know that I'm quite keen on Crossover. They're one of those bands I'm very happy to have gotten acquainted with. I remember we first got in touch through the wonders of the inter-web while I was on a trip to Berlin where I was planning to cross paths with the Weegs on their European tour. They had just actually split from Berlin themselves and wound up in the Southwest of the US. We've kept in touch since then and have had the good fortune to work on a few things together, with Senor Ratboy himself lending his design and laying-out skills to the Mt Sims projects on
Hungry Eye and now this Missing Foundation project we've been talking up on this very blog. Truly good people, and genuine music heads, we've rapped about everything from their recent tracks to obscure metal to old hardcore bands. Their record is coming out any day now on Punch Records in Italy, and should be a mandatory purchase. They seem to have interesting stuff to say, so I wanted to do an interview with them about their travels and music. I can say they really delivered. Read on...

Throughout Crossover's career, you seem to have been located in places as diverse as NY, LA, Berlin, Portland, and all sorts of other locales in between. Where have your travels taken you? What usually prompts a move like that?

We don’t stay in one place for very long. We met in NYC back in 1998. Lived together in a basement in the lower east side and moved around to every borough before our 5 years in the city were up. From a warehouse with no bathroom or shower in Dumbo (Brooklyn) to a 3 bedroom railroad house in Williamsburg where we squatted for a year. It was at that time we created our band. We both werked together at a shop on Lafayette St. in Soho 6 days a week and after 7 to 10 hour shifts we would make music all night - every night.
Neither ov us had ever been in a band before, we jvst knew that we had svmthin’ to say and we were determined to find a way to put it together. In 1999 we started with a Dr. Sampler and a microphone which were on lend. Everything we have ever done has been by hook or crook. We had to borrow, we stole a little, but we would never beg. We began makin’ songz for our first albvm Fantasmo in 2000 and by 2001 we had a CD out. We gave every copy ov that album away.
We don’t even have a copy for ourselves. We don’t have any ov our second albvm either.
We had no idea our first albvm would have brought us where it did. Just after all that craziness happened downtown in September ov that year we left for a tour that lasted for a year and a half. We played for the first time in Berlin having never even been on a stage before. We have been to many cities in Germany, been to London a handful ov times, also Paris. We have gone to Spain and Italy few times, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, and Poland. We have lived in many ov the states in the US and played in most ov the major cities svch as NYC, LA, San Francisco. Also Canada - which we luv. There r so many places we have yet, to go, see, and perform. It’s early days for us. We have jvst begun. We have sacrificed everything for the CROSS. We go now where it tells us to.
We really want to go to the Scandinavian countries, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Japan; the list goes on and on. Having moved a lot as a kid we suppose it just became second nature. It’s like an itch. Shit gets old so u gotta split.

When the first Crossover record dropped, it sounded different than a lot of the other electro going at the time, and the band got caught up in the whole electroclash thing which was happening. How did the band get involved in that?

Oh man, this is a very long and arduous story as a lot ov ourz have been. No one waz doing what we were doing at the time and suddenly thingz jvst went nutz. We got swept vp in it yet, remained the loners by design. The media ate it vp. It’s fvnny and kinda sad cvz that whole scene waz killed as soon as it hit the streets by lovers and haters. The lovers tried to keep it underground and the haters wanted them all to die!
The players in the game were ducking and covering and disassociating any and all ties. The posers and sell outs did whatever they could to catch a ride. It became really hard to make a move without getting caught vp in svmthing lame. We had our wigz skrewed on tight and somehow made it thru the thing by making very few mistakes. Cvz we stayed trve. Then there waz the inevitable press backlash that said no kids don’t listen to that stvff cvz it’s not valid – here’s the new trend to shove down yr throat again ~ it’s called Rock N’ Roll, ever heard ov it!? It’s got dudes with guitars and drumz and stvff. Our motto has always been “More chix – More Synths!!!” The journalist didn’t really know what to make ov it and the muzik posed svm sort ov threat to their master plan ov selling magz and merchandise. Many showed the industry that we didn’t need them nor did we want the tired Marshall Stack approach or the stand around and watch-song-applause-song applause ego stroking sheep herd mentality ov yr average concert.
That is fvckin’ boring. Don’t jvst sit there – Go nutz! We have always felt that the future ov music and art is in the handz ov non-musicians and the self taught.
A lot ov really kvl bandz got thrown into the pot with a bunch ov other trash and nobody wanted to be part ov any scene. They were all too far out and recluse for that. There was no unity at all. Somehow it became like a free for all fvk fest cvz the wrong people got their handz on it and tried to label it market it. This is no new story…
However mvch people want to forget about what happened then, the fact is that is waz really fvn and stoopid exciting. The real headz from nearing 10 years ago r still doing what they set out to do to this day and kicked the doors open for so many splintered genres that exist cvz ov it. The muzik we r talking about is and waz unable to be categorized and it jvst get’s heavier and weirder. Which we think is really kvl.

On the other hand, our story waz like this: Me and my girl knocked vp svm fvked-vp trax for shits and giggles and it went off. Then there waz this crap label that ripped us off on our first albvm which still press it illegally to this day. Hear that readers!? Don’t buy records from rip-offs!!!
We had all these sleazeballz that tired to put contracts in our face. We never signed shit. Then we ended vp hooking vp with this other dude that in the end became the biggest scvmbag ov them all. Again hanging us out to dry on our second albvm. Again – Don’t Svpport Rip-Offs! So there it is kids! The muzik biz svx big time!
We were lucky or unlucky depending on how u look at it to have experienced all sortz ov dirty biz along the way. We know it all soundz like sour grapes but, u asked…

The sound for the second record then got a lot darker. What prompted the shifts in tone?

Our answers to the last 2 questions could hint to why our muzik became a bit more grim. The time after and up until now has been a period ov disillusionment and demystification. We have little faith or trvst in humanz and now we jvst wanna fvk shit vp! We also had svm time when we were landlocked in the desert. Although this was a good research period, it waz actually quite scarring.
We had no choice but to submerge ourselves in a microcosm ov inspiration to stay alive.
How soon people forget what is really goin’ on in this country once they step out ov the few hip-city pockets and enter Middle America. There r so many real problems that one faces on a daily basis. From yr everyday plastic consumerist slaves to yr extremely dangerous gun toting religious political fanatics to yr meat-head drug induced cretins. They cvm in droves and r running the program wether u like it or not. And they don’t like anything different in those parts so u better hit the road before sun down. So we dumped all ov this into our music and art and got out at nightfall before the towns people came in an angry mob with pitch forks, fiery torches, and stix.

What's the hardest part about relocating the band so often? Starting afresh somewhere must have its benefits, but are there any setbacks and hindrances you regularly encounter?

For us we always destroy to create - Out with the old and in with the new. Every time we make an albvm we start again. Being forced to make due with whatever recourses r available to us insures that the process will be exciting and demands us to werk for it. We don’t know what it is like to have endless svpport, resources, and funds so, this is an obvious set back.

SPACE DEATH waz an unusual experiment where CRSSVR took on a life of it’s own.
Everyone that waz involved on this project approached us and offered their services in the name ov the CROSS. We have taken on a new member ov the crew, werked with new artists on the layout and opted to go with a unique and dark Italian underground label.

If I understand properly, you guys record a lot of your own material. Have you set up a studio somewhere in Portland? What kind of locations do you look for to set up shop in?

Man, really we do our thing by any means necessary and always have.
The lyrix were written during the grueling summer months in the Arizona desert.
The programming was done in autumn in the woods of New Hampshire.
The final production and vocal recording was done this winter in the attic ov our house in Oregon.

The Crossover records all seem to have some kind of running narrative propelling them. What's the narrative on this newest one?

This time we r calling bullshit on all wanna be mystics. We say fvk fantasy and let’s get down to the real deal. We had a lot to get off our chests. We speak ov Sheep herd mentality, Sad virtual reality, Nuclear winter, Mental baggage, Family secrets, Black holes, and Suicide.
U know, and Misanthropy and Technology. Warm and fuzzy stvff.

How do the zines and communiques figure in to the Crossover narrative? Do they take on a separate life of their own or are they an extension of the records and songs?

The C.P.C.’s r full ov secrets and clues and act as guides to the ongoing adventures ov VEE & DEZ, EEV & ZED, Ratboy & Ratgirl. They also elaborate on the subject matter in our song lyrix and ideology. Their purpose is to give the listener and CRSSVR Svpporter svmthing more in the way ov better understanding our aim.
We have made over 5,000 foto-copies on our dime and hand stitched each ov them before shows. It adds to the stage fright and jet lag having to needle and thread hundreds ov zines before sound check. We give them away for free personally to people that cvm to our gigz.
There has been a first volume ov 6 issues and 1 issue so far in the second volume. We haven’t made one in a while but, we will probably do more. It’s uncertain. They tell us when they wanna be made.
For a moment we had the extra copies ov each rvn available for purchase but, now they r gone and the first volume is out ov print. One day we would like to professionally print the first volume in a compiled book.

You do a lot of your own videos, right? How are you able to swing all of this stuff on the move? What kind of equipment do you use to produce this multi-media stuff? Is there anything more involved or intricate you'd like to work on in the future with this stuff?

Yeah, we make everything with a no-shoe string budget and d.i.y. ethic. Again, with borrowed equipment and our laptop. We r not really tech-geeks by any means and we r not manual readers. So we jvst plvg and play, point and shoot and see what happens. It’s not like, if svm fundz were to be thrown our way, we wouldn’t know what to do with it. We would definitely put it to good use. We have tonz ov ideas. Sadly, America doesn’t hook vp the arts like they do in say Canada or svm European countries where bandz have all the time in the world and top notch equipment to bang vp svm killer trax. Or maybe we do - we jvst have never bothered to look into it. We take it day by day and evolve naturally. It is part ov our process. We dig it this way – it’s our style. Rat & real.

It's been a while since your last record and you've started working with a new label in Italy Punch Records. How did you hook up with them and through what course of events did you decide to work with them?

They were jvst first to ask and we said yes. Svmtimes all u got do is ask. Jvst reach out have the guts to believe in svmthin’ and yrself and make stvff – Pvt it out into the world. This albvm made itself. It is really important that when we werk with people that they understand our stvff. Also to honor and respect the art form. Not to meddle with it. We have a very strong vision and we never compromise that.
Our new label is behind us. That is all that matters. Not all that swarmy money biz b.s..
Plvs we wanted to make a statement ov our intentions ov keeping our stvff UG & Cvlt.

What else can we expect from Crossover in the future? More music/ videos/ travels?

There r many trix vp our sleeves. Keep a watch on our actions. Mvch is on the horizon.
We r werkin on svm sik vidz! U bet yr ass we r gunna tour. We have already begun werkin’ on the next albvm with 13 new songz cvmin’ down fast!

We will have to say this has been one ov our most revealing interviews as we tend to keep stvff in the shadows but we svppose we took this opportunity to set the record straight.


Labels: , ,

Missing Foundation history- Pete Missing interview

Below is the first in a series of interviews done with members of Missing Foundation done by Vincent Dominion, who put together a sort of oral history of MF through the words of people associated with the band. He kindly gave us permission to reprint some of these here on the blog. Missing Foundation has a storied history involving many characters, but why not start with the main character himself, Pete Missing! This interview must have been done around 2001 or 2002, right around the time Pete was in Berlin, and exhibiting his work at the Tacheles. Following this time, Pete came out of his self-imposed exile to return to the United States and ran a gallery out of a storefront in Madison, Wisconsin, if I remember correctly. It is here that we started communicating and planning for the 1933 reissue. Pete then returned to New York City for a time before splitting his time between Berlin and NYC again.

The interview is a bit short on details about Missing Foundation's history, but it's a good insight into communication with Pete. At bottom, he's a visual artist, and is most in his element with his paintings and his art, which are often strewn around him when he works. His writing is a bit like his painting; very busy, very extravagant and colorful, full of slogans and superimposed images. You can really tell how he'd be the mouthpiece of a band like Missing Foundation.

[Pete at the Tacheles in Berlin]

Can you describe your time with MF?
Manic psychotic creative destructive constructive [prophecy of the coming events we have now]

Are you still in contact with w/ex members?
Adam I just saw on tour in New York he has a kid and is working on a new band. Chris Egan is a photojournalist in Boston.

What did you think of the Spitters?
Heavy load but unlistenable, not grounded and still boring rock music in the end but stage shows were more power. The cd’s are not a good representation of the Spitters sound. A well missed band. Mark dead in New York of cancer in 2000.

I heard about a show you did at the Knitting Factory w/John Zorn and Marc Ribot. Can you tell me about that performance? What do you think of those guys and was it recorded?
Well, John and I lived on the same block and he is a friend/collaborator of improvisational music. I was happy to throw my Berlin recordings of electronic sampling live with vocal overdub. John Zorn of course is a small genius and Marc Ribot is also great noiseician and guitar player. This may be recorded but I do not have a copy.

What music/writers/filmmakers are you into now?
Only electronics but I couldn’t really pinpoint. I think.....Tricky, Squarepusher, Aphex Twin, Chemical Brothers.......I give everything a listen and there is a lot of drum & bass live instruments with electronic etc.... still coming up.

After MF why did you take off to Berlin?
Basically after the F.B.I. was at my house on a false tip and not finding anything I decided to go back to live in Berlin but this time I went into the former east and found an incredible place far from the anals of America. I was able to record and build massive installations. Check out the photos on the web site or Berlin is my dream city but maybe someone else would get lost there. It has a big underground of active people, artistically and politically. Their energy changed my life my music and my interests.

Why did the F.B.I. raid your house?
The reason the F.B.I. were at my house is because they tried to say that I started the riot in 1988 (at Tompkins Square in NY) but in the end they realized they were dealing with an entire angry neighborhood, which fought gentrification, homelessness and homesteading rights on city owned abandoned property falling into deterioration. And at that time a government that was and is not working for the people. The F.B.I. investigation fell back on the 9th precinct police department which found no real criminal actions against MF.
Basically, they would have to arrest the entire lower eastside and so I moved to Berlin to squat and make new music and leave America behind in search of a better atmosphere.

Can you explain the differences between America and Europe? The lifestyle, the food, the politics and the general awareness of everyday life?
I would say Berlin and Europe as a whole is the complete opposite way of life. America is abrasive and abusive. People haven’t learned not to hit each other over the head. Europe has more history and more information. We are making the same mistakes they made 700 years ago. The only difference is our big party is burning up the resources. Germany banned nuclear, dropped out of the war on Iraq and the green party is in power for 4 more years. Gay marriages are legal, men and women can go nude in the park, drugs are decriminalized, prostitution is legal, free medical, free dental and free education for everyone. 20 million dollars to the culture in Berlin, it’s illegal to go hungry and 67 is 76. America is pop culture, beer culture and full of decadence and violence. For sure the nature will revolt and the world is in a warning.....pharmaceutical nightmare......genetically engineered chicken......end of the food chain......cannot replant the seed......waterwars........MF.........future shock........bombs...war.

[MF logos in Hamburg, Germany]

How would you describe your current musical/artistic direction?
The new “Nature Revolt” cd was released on Maspop records in New York 2002. This is my latest drum & bass message project with artist/musician DJ Hazard. You can order it through my website. Me a Cyril were on European and American tours and the concerts were high energy gigs. In Berlin we connected with one MF drummer, Florian Langmaack from Hamburg and combined our sound. Florian is a set designer for movies but is still recording. Me and Florian recorded “Rotation” and “Low Denominator” with Binar Tobi, electro beat computer wiz from Berlin. Another electronic cd recorded in Berlin is “Cracked Ocean”.

MF was so noisy and primal. It seems that most people who start out doing that kind of music end up on the drum and bass electronic side. What took you in that direction?
After living in former East Berlin for 7 years it becomes a part of you. Berlin is the electronic central for Europe and runs a wide range. Atari Teenage Riot is great digital hardcore but there are many more. Binar was a project I worked with on ambient electro noise with digital vocal scratching that sounds like machines. The door to the future is music technology. Music is medicine.

How would you describe your life today?
Still hectic and on the road, can’t stay in one place for more than 6 months........I have to keep changing the scenario.........always searching for new possibilities to change the present course of the planet.

Anything else you want to add?
Only that America’s big party is coming to an end and the world has just cause to hate our guts but every big industrial nation makes war games and oil games. When we switch to hydrogen power, solar power and wind energy then we may be able to slow down the destruction of the planet. We are in a global warning and a war with Iraq will open the gates of hell. It is all crashing but 50 years of light might be silently good and stop trusting your government. Open your eyes and understand what’s wrong with pop beer culture, pill popping slow death, and genetically fried brain food. America the land that shits on it’s own people with pesticides, chemicals in every waterway and no medical, no dental and no education for everyone. We end the food chain for our acceptance of it and we radiate radiation kill kill kill aggressive abusive America. Fuck all your SUV’s as the environment goes up in smoke!

Labels: , ,

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Work on Missing Foundation 1933 reissue completed!!

So it's March of 2009, and I'm pleased to announce that one of the reissues we've been working on for years is finally coming to a head and will be going to press soon. When the idea for Hungry Eye started in late 2002 and early 2003, one of the things that popped in mind as something we wanted to do was reissue the Missing Foundation 1933 album. It had long been a favorite for a long while and was definitely a treat and honor to be able to work on...

It's funny to think back to those days and remember how the internet figured into all of this; I did a little google search, found something that looked like the email address of Pete Missing, and we started corresponding while he was running his gallery in Wisconsin called Recycling the Future. Eventually we ironed out a deal to reissue this thing, and started compiling all the material. While back then it was such a surprise to find folks like this on the internet, nowadays you'd be hard pressed NOT to find someone through some sort of web sources. On the other hand, looking back at the time that's past, one can't but note that the release is very overdue; 6 years wait?!?!

If we recreated the whole sequence of events, I would definitely change a bunch here and there about how the whole thing was approached. Compiling everything was a job suited to a serious production manager, and the many hours of tracking down tapes and videos, digitizing and transferring, learning as one went along, and going through some serious false starts now and again definitely took its toll on everyone. But we had committed to putting together something larger than just a straight reissue of the old 1933 package, and wanted it to include bonus tracks, a DVD and a good amount of photos and liner notes. A few people really pulled through in terms of helping get this thing done finally along the way, who we can't thank enough, and who deserve some serious recognition. Among them are: Ray Parada of the Mad Parade who stepped up and did a masterful job on editing the Cult of Rage footage along with Pete Missing's response to the whole affair, Rob of Rec'd Productions who not only shot some of the footage for the DVD, but also authored the DVD with the sole aid of my disjointed notes and dodgy sketches, and finally Dez of CROSSOVER, who promised to deliver on putting together a killer layout at a time when it came down to starting on it for the third time.

Also, many thanks to the folks who lent a hand in contributing material and answered questions along the way: Maurice Narcis, Vincent Dominion, Chris Iconocide, Seth Tobocman, Eric Blitz, Jim Waters, and many more.... and of course Chris Egan, Pete Missing, and Adam Nodelman.

Sadly, Adam Nodelman passed away at the end of the summer 2008. His help, encouragement, and enthusiasm for the project at an important time was crucial to seeing it through, and it with a very heavy heart that we won't be able to present to him the finished product. May he rest in peace.

In the meantime, we will start updating the Missing Foundation page on the Hungry Eye website, so check back there from time to time. Pete Missing has started uploading some material from the Missing Foundation archive onto youtube and the internet so as we are made aware of stuff, we will share the news with you. Also, in honor of getting this thing done, I'd like to share a series of interviews from Missing Foundation members and collaborators over the years given to us by one Vincent Dominion in his effort to chronicle MF in a sort of oral history. These interviews with start to pop up on this very blog in the coming days and weeks.

Below you will find some of the final mock ups for the artwork along with a trailer for the DVD. The end of March will see the project go off to press, so we will announce a release date once we approve the proofs and the ball gets rolling on manufacturing, but you can expect to see this out by early summer 2009. Pre-orders will appear on the website in due time.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Two records I'm looking forward to.

There's a very simple occasion for this here post: two records I'm quite keen on will be seeing the light of day shortly.

  • Crossover's last album, Cryptic and Dire Sallow Faced Hoods Blast Off Into Oblivion on International Deejay Gigolo Records floored me, and said album still gets regular play on my stereo system. That being said, it's been a good few years since that one came out and they're about due for a new full length. Lord knows, it's been long awaited in quite a few circles. Anyways, the nomadic duo in Crossover set up shop in Portland not too long ago and recorded their new album, Space Death, over there. I've had the pleasure to of working with Dez on a few projects, as he's done the layout for both Mt Sims records we released on Hungry Eye. He also pretty single-handed saved the Missing Foundation project we've been working on for years since he came in and did a bang up job on the layout after that had gotten tied up for way too long. I'm confident Space Death will just as regularly find its way onto my CD player as its predecessor. It's on pre-order now from Punch Records in Italy.

  • You don't have to look far to find my last post on Silk Flowers, written shortly after they came into town with No Age and Soft Circle. They brought along their brand new, self-released 7" on that trip, and in the meantime they've got another 7" in tow. This time it's on Dean of No Age's label Post Present Medium. Much like the other 7", this one's sporting a cover of a smashed mask, this time facing the wrath of a combat boot. (Like the Agnostic Front "skinhead" shirt? Can push that unlikely AF comparison any further??)

    Seriously, though, it's apparent that Silk Flowers is a band to be on the lookout for. Look for a forthcoming LP on PPM sometime in 2009 that will seal the deal. And you can follow the band's blog to monitor their comings and goings.

    Labels: , , , ,

  • Sunday, December 21, 2008


    A few weeks ago my pals in Silk Flowers trekked up to Montreal one unseasonably cold November evening (the 22nd, I think). They were on a northeast tour with No Age and Soft Circle and played Club Lambi. If you're paying attention, Avi and Peter might already be familiar to you from their previous band Soiled Mattress and the Springs, though in additional claim to fame, the former was also my roommate on Orchard Street.

    Silk Flowers formed shortly after the No Age/ Soiled Mattress tour in the UK when the latter decided to call it quits. Unsatisfied with not playing in a band, Avi and Peter started jamming with a fine fellow named Ethan (who sports a Neanderthal sticker on his synthesizer), and morphed SM's staccato "soft-jazz" concoctions into heavy, rhythmic synth-driven territory. They set up their three stations of keyboards, drums, boxes, and noisemakers facing each weave some noisy tapestries. Much too raw to veer into synth-pop territory, there's shade of Psychic TV in their sound. Keyboards are often used to percussive effect, and despite some of the harsh sounds cultivated, there's an imposing catchiness to the tunes. One song struck me as Human League's Being Boiled meets Agnostic Front's Fascist Attitudes. The band was psyched on the comparison. Good stuff!

    One man band Soft Circle was great that night, as was No Age.

    Silk Flowers had just picked up their self released 7" whilst on tour, which is a winner. A subsequent record is coming out on Dean Spunt's PPM Records. Be on the lookout.

    Silk Flowers on myspace
    Silk Flowers blog

    Labels: , , ,

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Omegas demo for download!

    For those of you partial to your Void, Sheer Terror, or F.U.'s records, some free music for you:

    Omegas demo
    Omegas myspace page

    A band that doesn't sound like any of the above, but if those are noteworthy names to you, you'd dig the sounds.

    Your humble Hungry Eye servant plays drums. Depending on what you expect, it might not be what you expect.


    Monday, September 22, 2008

    Steady Nerdin' Volume 2

    Hey kids – I’m back for another installment of my column. Same rules apply this time – I set my i-pizzle to shuffle, listen to the first 15 tracks that come on and write about ‘em. Simple enough, right? Please send your comments to - that’s the e-mail address for my currently-on-hiatus radio show Steady Nerdin’ – the next incarnation of that is in the works but meanwhile, you can listen to my old shows from when I was briefly on – just click on the blog and then search for the word “steady” – you’ll come up with all the broadcast days when my show was on the air including the one episode that guest MC Paul Barman insisted that we call Steady Coolin’ in respect of the fact that Paul steadfastly denies being a nerd. Also, while you’re there, make sure you check out Jason Shithead’s show The Shit Shack as our shows were on back-to-back and often bled into one another. More columns coming down the pipeline and (knock on wood,) other projects as well. Enjoy.

    Kyuss - El Rodeo Kyuss - ...And the Circus Leaves Town - El Rodeo
    From …And The Circus Leaves Town

    Most Kyuss fans seem to have a preference for their two middle albums (those being Blues for the Red Sun and Welcome to Sky Valley.) I will agree that their debut Wretch leaves much to be desired but for me, their swan song, And The Circus Leaves Town really has a lot more songwriting chops and the beginnings of the masterful sugary pop sensibilities that make Queens of the Stone Age such a combo to be reckoned with. This track's no exception - it's the heavy desert rock that Kyuss and their various progeny helped to conceive, but it's definitely betraying the start of something a little more hooky.

    KRS-1 - Brown Skin Woman KRS-One - Return of the Boom Bap - Brown Skin Woman
    From Return of the Boom Bap

    It always confused me that people consider KRS-1's "solo" career to be some tragic departure from the BDP years considering the fact that the last few BDP records were KRS-1 solo records in all but name. In defense of those people, albums like 1994's Return of the Boom Bap do have plenty of filler tracks. This is one of them. "Don't call a Black woman a ho" in patois stylee. KRS-101.

    X-Clan - Heed the Word of the Brother
    From To The East Blackwards

    Wow, my iPod is showing its Afrocentricism today (well it is black.) There's a reason why X-Clan always played second fiddle to other late 80's Afrocentric rap groups (your PE's, your BDPs.) Their jams were funky enough and their lyrical skills fresh enough, but they didn't carry the sense of sonic urgency of those other groups. They still bring back memories and flip that style better than most groups of that era though. RIP Prof. X.

    Agnostic Front - Your Mistake
    From Victim in Pain

    Not to be confused with the shitty metal version on Cause for Alarm. Ah, great fuckin' mosh part in the middle. If you don't already know this album, to quote Raybeez, "You're a new jack and a sucker."

    Pink Fairies – Raceway
    From Kingdom Come

    The owner of this here blog introduced me to the music of the two great Motorhead predecessors, Hawkwind and Pink Fairies. The latter clearly brought a lot more of the boogie rock influence into Motorhead's punked out mix. This track is pure rock goodness reminiscent of all the early 70's greats - your Blue Cheers, your Purples and a little psych. More Motorhead (and Hawkwind,) fans need to know about songs like this.

    Ill Bill - Darkness Deepens (Feat. Sabac Red and Slaine,)
    From La Coka Nostra Presents Ill BIll

    You'd think that a white rap supergroup including all of House of Pain (among others,) would be disastrous. However, with Ill Bill at the helm, La Coka Nostra have been known to bring that grimey Brooklyn shit that Non-Phixion pioneered so nicely on The Future is Now with a heavy Wu influence. There is nothing self-conscious or apologetic about these fuckin' dustheads and they're better for it. This isn't the best track I've heard from them or from Ill Bill, but if you like the aforementioned urban white boy MC's and are sick of nauseatingly sterile and innocuous suburbanite shit (you know who I'm talking about,) you should probably give these guys a listen. And Ill Bill is the fuckin’ man.

    Red Alert - Screaming at the Nation Red Alert - We've Got the Power - Screaming At the Nation
    From We’ve got the Power

    Not to be confused with Kool DJ Red Alert, this is the British Oi!/streetpunk band. I haven't listened to their album enough to give you a fair review, but great bass lines, strong pissed-off vocals, nice lead guitar make this one of those street punk records that are hard to resist. Jamie from Off Minor just put me onto these guys recently and I'm thankful.

    Opeth - The Leper Affinity Opeth - Blackwater Park - The Leper Affinity
    From Blackwater Park

    Well, considering how much black metal I've been listening to as of late, it was bound to happen - a 10+ minute track was bound to pop up. But I'm gonna be a trooper and sit through it...for you! For those not in the know, Opeth are the reigning Gods of prog metal. They come from a death/black/doom background but have always been "talented" trailblazers of one sort or another (I put the quotes in because "talented" is one of those words like "progressive" - it's got insidious undertones.) On the one hand, I can't see how you can spend ten minutes playing straight metal, proggy and experimental though it might be, without boring even yourself. Droning is one thing, but these guys are clearly different types of people from me (read: Scandinavian.) The "clean" vocals are uber-cheesy as are their accompanying acoustic guitar interludes. But there's some awesome, slow, duel guitar harmony laden heaviness right after them and I got more than halfway through this jam before I started getting impatient and if you knew how hard it is for me to sit still, you would be proud. I dunno, man. Opeth is not dark or evil sounding enough for me to put up with this long a song, but they're good enough songwriters that I can't complain. Does that help? Ugh, here comes a piano outro...

    Butthole Surfers - Gary Floyd Butthole Surfers - Psychic.... Powerless.... Another Man's Sac - Gary Floyd
    From Psychic, Powerless, Another Man’s Sac

    Ah, now that cleared the palette. The Buttholes at almost their most demented - this one's pretty tame by the album's standards as far as general acid-addled lunacy goes - it's sort of more of a send-off of feel good Freedom Rock era shit; a Butthole love-in if you will. Anyway, I shouldn't need to describe this shit for you - it's awesome and you should know about it and don't give me any of this shit like "The Butthole Surfers I've heard [i.e. their major label crap,]- sucked." NO FUCKING SHIT! When you check out an older band, you don't check out their newest album unless they're Tom Waits.

    Al Green - Look what you done for me Al Green - I'm Still in Love With You - Look What You Done for Me
    From Greatest Hits

    Speaking of shit I shouldn't have to educate you about, you can pick up pretty much anything touched by Al Green's beautiful hands and you will find that few voices are even in the same ballpark as far as range of emotion and subtlety. It took me a long enough time to get out of my Loud Fast Rules phase and embrace stuff like this, but take it from me, you can't go wrong with Al.

    O' Brother Where Out There Soundtrack - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues Chris Thomas King - O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture) - Hard Time Killing Floor Blues
    From O’ Brother Where Out There Original Soundtrack

    Am I showing myself to be a total nincompoop with pedestrian old timey stuff like this soundtrack? I don't know but it's fucking beautiful and so was the movie. Maybe you'd be happier if I had some obscure Alan Lomax shit that no one but he and Bob Dylan himself ever heard of. Well, I'm not perfect. Why don't I go kill myself? Anyway, if you're one of the five people who aren't familiar with this soundtrack, it's gorgeous.

    Organized Konfusion – Stress Organized Konfusion - The Best of Organized Konfusion - Stress
    From Stress

    OK are one of the most criminally underrated groups of hip hop's golden age. Listen to their self-titled debut for some of the most insanely frenetically fast crackhead beats and rhymes that the early nineties had to offer. This is off their second album and they used to run it on The Box video network all the time and I loved it. Composed of Pharaoh Monche (of Simon Says fame,) and Prince Po, you need to hear this shit. It's dark and crazy and ill and contains the line "Why do you choose to mimic these wack MC's/Why do you choose to listen to R&B?" Why indeed? Buybuybuybuybuy.

    Steve Earle - Ben McCulloch Steve Earle - Train a Comin' - Ben McCulloch

    For those not in the know, Steve Earle is the Dylan disciple who plays Bubbles' redneck narcotics anonymous sponsor on The Wire. Again, I'm no authority on country/folk/Americana but this is some really well-done melancholia and it seems to be made for people like me who like the darker side of said genres. Real pretty, sad song. I want to listen to this whole album and drink myself to sleep now.

    Band of Horses - Lamb on the Lam (in the city) Band of Horses - Cease to Begin - Lamb On the Lam (In the City)

    This is one of those bands that I might've passed on due solely to their name and my prejudice against almost everything. But thanks to The Sound of Young America's interview with members of the Onion's AV Club wherein they highlighted and played clips from their top albums of last year, I came to realized that they're really quite pretty, solemn and have a great air of mystery surrounding them. What is it with bands/albums with horse in the name? They all end up having a similar vibe, me thinks - 16 Horsepower, The Dirty Three's "Horse Stories," Patti Smith's "Horses," Dan and my late project Horse Graveyard, Crazy Horse...I'm not so sure about Dead Horse, but you get the idea. This is a short interlude but it's nice and echoey and evocative and leaves me wanting to hear more, and that's never a bad thing.

    The Litter - Journeys

    Early 70's fuzz/stoner rock, the likes of which I am a sucker for. Very garagey too. Got this off of Decibel Magazine's stoner rock special from a few months back wherein they provided a list of the genre's lost gems from the early seventies. This is far from mind-blowing but it's the type of thing that I can listen to in the background all night long without complaining. It's a nice way to end an overall nice mix from DJ Little Man Who Lives Inside My Ipod. Bye.

    Until next time, kids!