Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sloow Tapes - Kerst tape

Orphan Fairytale
Twilight Time
Sloow Tapes – Kerst tape
One Sided CS 60

Looping casio keyboards inhaling magic dust and blowing it out into bright dancing psychbubbles. Lost star heaven of 100 copies.


Another magical cassette from Belgium's Orphan Fairytale, also a member of Frozen Corpse. Clanging drone-melodies wrung from casios, toy instruments and a whole load of pedals. Weird nursery rhymes from a warped imagination. Recommended. (Boa Melody Bar)

New tape from this Belgian art brut spirit with keyboards, loops, toys and helium dreams. (Volcanic Tongue)

orphan fairytale is belgian eva van deuren. she's also in frozen corpse and hardline elephants, both with carlo of audiobot fame. i think i can use fame there.i probably wouldn't even have heard of orphan fairytale if it wasn't for tinnitustimulus' post in my last.fm group about nff's '07 line-up. that prompted me to dig up some info resulting in my coming across an asinine review of eva on stylus: "On the one hand, a load of derivative pablum sees the light of day only because of its resemblance to another, better act. On the other, the common template injects some welcome familiarity into a genre characterized by the alien and other, while remaining versatile." i hate shit like this, what the fuck is that supposed to mean? you don't write for the new york post, keep it simple stupid. regardless, i soldiered on and tracked this release down.while my reading comprehension could probably use some work, i feel like my ear for good music is just fine, and this sounds great to me. eva's instrument of choice is the keyboard, which i tend to associate with a cheap sound. so very wrong of me, i wonder why i think that...anyhow, orphan fairytale overcame my initial hesitancy and won me over with a terrific tape of experimental sounds as well as plain ol' musical ones. as a matter of fact, the only part on twilight time that even sounded overtly keyboardish was one my favorites. go figure. twilight time's half hour length seems to be broken down into four compositions. the first piece is its most noise-based, i say that because it lacks the musical focus shown later on, not because it's difficult to listen to. it starts off slowly with some drones and nice feedback before some percussive noises come in a few minutes later, centralizing the sound a little. the next song that transitions in focuses around a loop of whimsical music box chimes. it's a memorable stretch of time that ushers in eva's more musical efforts. the third song is the keyboard one that i mentioned before and outside of a bit of vocals in the beginning, it's really just eva tickling the faux ivory and doing a great job of it. the final nine minutes of the tape has her in all out drone mode, aided by some vocal wailing in the background.i'm quite happy that i found this little gem. i was really impressed with not just the variation shown, but by how adept eva van deuren was at each foray into a new direction. her experimental/noise pieces were excellent, her ability to play actual music was great and she showed a clear knack for melody and being able to create something that really grabs you. well done. (Smooth Assailing)

Okay, so Twilight Time has also been sold out, from the source at least, for a while now. I still can't help but sing the praises of this and urge any prospective listeners to shell out some clams for anything that Eva Van Deuren (half of Frozen Corpse) touches. Like the strangest Folkways recording that never happened, this is pure European folk clanging in a haunted toyshop. Rickety contraptions and creaky floors abound. The first section (about 20 minutes out of a one-sided CS60) is so good that when Van Deuren moves aside the percussive elements for a long ambient closer it's kind of a letdown. Whatever, just rewind and start over. Great color scheme on the j-card, which is normal for Sloow Tapes. If Twilight Time is any indicator, Orphan Fairytale will be one of the many must-see performances if you show up to Brooklyn's No Fun Fest this year. (Cassette Gods)

Belgium’s underground is a fertile swamp. Centred around labels like Ultra Eczema, Veglia, Bread and Animals, Funeral Folk, Audiobot and Sloow Tapes they match their U.K. and U.S. brethren in sheer freaked out madness. They also have some great musical projects going. Like lo-fi fascist Ignatz, up and coming apocalyptic folk hero Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat, satanic goat worshippers Silvester Anfang, cut up whatever whatever R.O.T.. And Orphan Fairytale, which is a girl named Eva van Deuren, also part of junk-fi drone pirates Frozen Corpse, together with Carlo Audiobot, limited to two corpses which come in cold Belgian skin with art by the Man himself.Orphan Fairytale’s main instrument of choice is the keyboard but she manages to make every sound a seemingly unique one. “Twilight Time”’s sixty minutes start with a rhythmic, industrial sounding drone piece, blocks of clanging beats that sound like they’re stuck together with cheap glue. Not the best opener to start this tape off with but it shows her range as far as the keyboard goes. The second piece has her toying with broken music box sounds that come off as totally twisted and somewhat crude, a weirdo sound world full of hiccuping loops and distorted vocal stardust underneath it all. All those sounds she cooks up have this somewhat dusty quality to them, as if they were sampled from a lost teenager Klaus Schulze demo. The last and longest track on “Twilight Time” is Orphan Fairytale at her most zoned out and convincing. A dense, brooding drone eclipses pretty much any sound she got going on as well and it keeps on like a damn key on her board got stuck or something. Slowly there are traces of vocals to be heard and the piece completely takes off after it’s one minute mark. Out of this world and so good to immerse yourself in. All these Sloow Tapes sell out like crazy but I’m sure some of your bookmarked mailorders still have a copy hanging around. It’s worth the hunt so check it out. 8/10 (Foxy Digitalis)

Sloow Tapes - Decembre

Friday Group Universal Illumination Orchestra
Meat Science
Sloow Tapes – Decembre
CS 30

Extended late-night improvisations of passed-out fuzz, coughing, sneezing and the occasional slow motion drone. Line-up includes Tom Carter, Shawn McMillen, Brian Smith, Sandy Ewen, Glen Nuckolls, Stephanie Demopolus and Jonathan Home. Edition of 100.

Sold Out

Shadowy drones, based around an asthmatic chord organ, featuring an extended line-up including Sandy Ewan of Spiderwebs. (Boa Melody Bar)

Sounds pretty good to my tin-plated cloth-ears. Face front, Troo Believers!Tom Carter assembles a bunch of Merry Free-Form Trixtahs in the back yard and hands out toys, kitchen implements, guns etc. Someone puts their elbow on an organ, which pulses innnn-n-n-n-n an-nn-nd out of the mix. People talk, tell jokes, mutter into their soup somewhere in the distance. A cat gets stuck in a tree. Someone builds a small boat. Pixies visit. An old piece of furniture gets sanded down. The organ continues to play well on into the night.Bumps. Bangs, scratches, scrapes. The soup gets stirred. And drunk. An animal roar builds below the surface, slowly emerging until it dominates the mix. I close my eyes and see a large ball rotating slowly in space-time: there are flashes of sandpaper-textured surface, windsmear, animals fighting in slo-motion. The listener loses skin. Ghosts chase each other at impossible velocities. Malignant imp-voices ripping holes in the air. Spectres spinning and twisting past me like curtains flapping in a gale. And still the fucking organ plays.Ghastly church interiors: I can almost smell the pin-mould. Worshipers gossip in French while the organist finds a chord. No, wait, it's a French minstrel levitating over the altar; a solarised Parisian singer from the 60s trying to find his way back to the world of the living, his face horribly scalded by hot coffee. (Someone strums n picks at a guitar, then thinks better of it) The sun goes out and he glows in negative. People leave the church, complaining, and it's like an old TV program that I can't get out of my mind. Static drifts on a brittle breeze.A gang of horrible children, almost feral, follow us up to the corner-shop. We throw them scraps of food.A looped woman's voice repeats, mantra-like, over and over and over again: "A wobbly cunt...a wobbly cunt...a wobbly cunt..." Burial didn't invent hiss, y'know.Elsewhere, the chord-d-d-d-d-d-d-d-d grows ever larger, yet it now sounds unaccountably furry. Animal hair on the keys, y'see. The unbearable crimson squawk of the living. It's like a bad dream. Layers of sound fall away, suddenly; aluminium blinds clatter on the floor. An ape-like creature scratches its claws on marble while the tape bends and bow and breathes.It ends as suddenly as it began. But in tears. (Kid Shirt)