The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Gig #157: Mai Mai Mai, Carl Stone, Destroyer, 700 Bliss, Treasury of Puppies, Tim Brady/ Instruments of Happiness, Loop, Andy Cowling, Helms Alee, JWords, Machinefabriek, KMRU & Aho Ssan, Guided by Voices, Les Dupont feat. Jean-Luc Verna

 

Mai Mai Mai
Carl Stone
Destroyer
700 Bliss
Treasury of Puppies
Tim Brady/Instruments of Happiness
Loop
Andy Cowling
Helms Alee
JWords
Machinefabriek
KMRU & Aho Ssan
Guided by Voices
Les Dupont feat. Jean-Luc Verna

 

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Mai Mai Mai Secondo Coro delle Lavandaie
‘Repossessed by the past, bitten once again and forced to relive drama, history, memories, tradition and roots. A past that needs exorcizing, bending and re-imagining in order to move forward and depend on. This is ‘Rimorso’, Mai Mai Mai’s colossal mediterranean gothic album, turning absence into presence, dismissing nostalgia for consummation, an immersion into the temporal disjunction we are experiencing through the essence of human fabric.’ — Swamp

 

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Carl Stone Rikido
‘Carl Stone continues his late career prolific renaissance with a new album of sculpted, tuneful MAX/MSP fantasias. Stone “plays” his source material the way Terry Riley’s In C “plays” an ensemble – with a loose, freewheeling charm connected to the ancient human impulse to make sound, melody, and rhythm from anything. Stone’s unique technique simultaneously focuses and sprays sound like a symphony of uncapped fire hydrants. Is this techno, avant-garde, sound art? It’s simply (or rather fantastically messily) Carl Stone.’ — Unseen Worlds

 

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Destroyer Tintoretto, It’s for You
‘Daniel Bejar has been making oblique, urbane pop symphonies as Destroyer for 13 albums and nearly three decades now, but Labyrinthitis is among his best. It pulses with dance rhythms, bristles with literate asides, unspools a hypnotic stream of film-like imagery, hazards a long, rap-inspired spoken word interval, and, once or twice, rocks unabashedly. It’s the kind of album, you can get lost in—or perhaps a little dizzy from. You don’t know quite what’s happening from moment to moment, but there’s a swirl and a sweep and an urgency to it that propels you ever forward.’ — Aquarium Drunkard

 

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700 Bliss Totally Spies
‘700 Bliss is the forward-thinking duo of DJ Haram and Moor Mother. Their first full length for Hyperdub is an album of noise rap that ties together the raw edges of club music and hip hop with punk energy, jazz, house-party catharsis, percussion-heavy analogue sound design, and cheeky skits, ranging from experimental rap tracks with rolling hi hats and lyrical bravado, to poetry set to noise and sound collage.’ — Hyperdub

 

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Treasury of Puppies Bränna, känna
‘Treasury of Puppies is the Gothenburg-based duo of Charlott Malmenholt and Joakim Karlsson. Like many of the other projects from the geographical scene to which they belong, Treasury of Puppies is particularly striking for its incorporation of DIY tactics, and its playful and irreverent approaches to the aesthetic dogmas often attached to experimental music. The resulting sound, a fascinating hybrid at the juncture of punk infused folk, handmade electronic music, and text-based sound poetry, channeling everything from Delia Derbyshire and numerous touchstones from the ’80s cassette underground, to early Shadow Ring.’ — soundohm

 

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Tim Brady/Instruments of Happiness Virtual Concerto in an Imaginary Space
‘Tim Brady and Instruments of Happiness are well known for musical innovation, presenting works for 4, 20 and 100 electric guitars across Canada to thousands of listeners. “Virtual Concerto in an Imaginary Space” brings together 62 socially distanced guitarists from across the globe to create a work of music and video art.’ — collaged

 

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Loop Halo
‘Robert Hampson and Loop crafted a darker and heavier sound than their contemporaries in Spacemen 3 and My Bloody Valentine – a swirling abyss of motorik Krautrock rhythms and post-punk urgency – which is found in all it’s glory “Halo”, the first track released from the new album. Few artists can do as much with one chord as Hampson, and in typical fashion he turns a pebble into a massive sonic snowball barreling down a mountain, though in this case the pebble was a boulder. “Halo” is big, heavy and bright, and sounds better the louder you play it. In other words, it’s Loop.’ — Brooklyn Vegan

 

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Andy Cowling ur simpin_ too hard
‘Slow developments in music are often in the service of a gentle and reformist deceleration. But what is the purpose of this prominent technique of time-stretching in ‘star of the west’? It is clearly to another effect. Pop, political chatter, weapons of war, mass hysteria, varied forms of entertainment – spectacles par excellence are stretched out until their soundscape condenses into noise. A procedure which reminds us of those methods of torture, which by prolonging the pleasurable turn it into unbearable torment. Through elongation, the spectacles reveal themselves as always the same and become insufferable.’ — Mille Plateaux

 

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JWords Real Me
‘JWords is a producer from New Jersey who has been releasing music for the past three years. She’s done this as part of the group H31R, alongside emcee Maassai, working with Nappy Nina on the album Double Down, and as a solo artist. Her last solo release came at the end of 2020, when she dropped her Sonic Liberation EP. Now she is back to drop another solo project, Self-Connection.’ — Scratched Vinyl

 

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Machinefabriek Texturalis 11
‘If Texturalis was a real word it might have something to do with the density or porosity of organic compounds. In the case of Machinefabriek’s Texturalis, the word fits the sounds on this album. Sounds indeed, not songs. Anyone familiar with Machinefabriek knows his interest in anything crackling, fizzling and buzzing. For Texturalis, Machinefabriek choose to work on just that; not to be bothered with creating elaborate compositions, but to focus on creating intriguing textures.’ — soundohm

 

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KMRU & Aho Ssan Resurgence
‘Growing up in Nairobi, Kenya, Joseph Kamaru was accustomed to noise. Then, as a teenager, he moved outside the city, and the din eased; the sounds of traffic and souped-up matatus gave way to birdsong, and he began carrying a handheld recorder, learning to navigate the world with his ears. His eureka moment as a young artist was discovering that he could channel the sounds of a rickety old passenger train into looping rhythms; that was the birth of the musical style that he has developed under his KMRU alias. “Resurgence,” based on an installation they created for Berlin Atonal’s 2021 edition, opens with what sounds like an orchestra tuning up in a burning theater, static crackling at the edges of thickening drones; it’s somehow harsh yet lulling. Three and a half minutes in, the first real motif appears: a mournful lead melody somewhere between a trumpet and a table saw that sounds more dramatic and more regal than anything in either artist’s catalog. The bass rumbles volcanically; the edges of the soundscape are a sustained paroxysm of sharpening knives and sandblasting guns.’ — Philip Sherburne

 

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Helms Alee Tripping Up The Stairs
‘Helms Alee’s dense, complex, and grandiose sound has reached a cavernous new depth on this album. It’s detailed, moving, and intense. It is even theatric at times, through their layered vocals and neoclassical approach to composition, and structure. There are so many intricacies in this album that every listen reveals a new flourish or touch that only adds to such a dramatic atmosphere.’ — Nat Lacuna

 

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Guided By Voices Black and White Eyes in a Prism
‘Back once again with the renegade masters. I used to think The Fall were prolific with their working class based policy of an album a year, and they were more-or-less professionals whose sole job it was to entertain the masses. Robert Pollard, main man with GBV has written and recorded thousands of songs, and released a fair few of them, sometimes as GBV, sometimes under his own moniker, not to mention a myriad of other band projects, all while holding down a full time job as a teacher and a father, not to mention husband and heavy drinker! And apart from the occasional low point, manages to maintain the focus and the brilliance that marks his 30 odd year output. Like The Fall, everyone has their own favourite period or album and they nearly always deliver the goods, always changing, always the same, and also like the Fall they operate a swinging door policy on membership, but with one man remaining throughout.’ — JoyZine

 

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Les Dupont feat. Jean-Luc Verna Smile
‘Les Dupont is a French electronic music group, considered to be one of the founders of the IDM genre in France. Directed by Bride Dellsperger, ‘Smile’ is a new track featuring French visual artist and chanteuse Jean-Luc Verna’.’ — collaged

 

 

*

p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, So true enough. ** Ian, Hi. I’m between systems too. I want a Switch badly, but, knowing me, I’m afraid it’ll eat my time alive, but one of these coming days I’ll find the right suicidal state and just spring for one. Oh, man, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through some darkness. For me, the 30s were awesome. I didn’t even publish my first novel until I was in my late 30s. If that helps. The page will turn because it does, always, one way or another, but I hope the shift is swift for you. Hey, but awesome that your story is up! That’s gotta be a very good sign. I’ll go read it as soon as I finish this p.s. business. Everyone, Ian Townsend better known maybe in this hood as Nightpain has a new story up and readable @ ZvonaiNari. Clicking this and reading it aka ‘Fine Art’ is very highly recommended by yours truly, and you will see why. I don’t have a lot of cheeriness the moment myself, but I’m transmitting what I do have to you via vibes. ** Sypha, Hi. Wow, ha ha, you are so thorough! Yeah, well, my tastes evolve, thank god, right? I love Bret’s stuff, as you know, but I guess it’s not situated in the favorites realm at the moment for whatever reason. Your list love is an impressive wonder to me, being a list guy myself, although not at your level. *bow* Thanks, pal. ** Kyler, I don’t believe in soul mates, or I don’t think I do, although I did throw that term out there, didn’t I, so I guess I do see that term as one of the big superlatives at least. I will try ‘My Name is Asher Lev’. You’re not the first person to speak very highly of it in my earshot. Take care, and enjoy what’s left of the spring. ** Nightcrawler, Oh, hey, good to see you again. ‘Siikala’ is from Infinity Land? Strange that I don’t know it. Maybe it’s sitting here in a pile. IL often kindly sends me their books. In any case, I will definitely get my eyes around it. Ooh, ‘Merzbox’, what more do you need? Uneventful summers can have all kinds of unexpected secret passages, and I hope the entrances in yours make an appearance. Wow, weird sentence, sorry, I’m not completely coffee-d up yet. Anyway, awesome to speak with you, and, yeah, whenever you feel like hanging, just do, no pressure. Take it easy. ** Dominik, Hi!!! Oh, uh, I’d need to watch ‘Lost Highway’ again to tell you. The last time I saw it, I had this revelation about specific scenes that could be removed, causing the film to be perfect rather than fantastic but not perfect. I  remember it seemed super clear to me, just a few snips. I can say that the Marilyn Manson scene would definitely not be in my version. Total stumbling block for me, that scene. That I do remember. There should be a pill that simulates every experience in the world. Back when I used to take LSD, I used to think that was possible. But alas. Love extracting all the bullshit from Zac’s and my film’s producer, which, because he is so extremely full of shit, would turn him into the human equivalent of an uninflated raft, G. ** politekid, It was substance incarnate, my literate friend. That does really sound stressful. Oh, man, you deserve a bone the size of Jupiter. If I come across one, I’ll use one of my three wishes to give myself Hulk-like arms and high-precision eyesight then hurl it at you. Getting your proposal accepted would be imbedded in that bone, but surely its recipients are wise enough without the extra incentive. I’m excited by your jones to start a big fiction project. How can I help and inspire and induce crystal meth-like determination? Say the word. Things majorly suck for me at the moment, but I am doing my best to keep dog paddling in the sea of despair and gloom. ‘Viva Piñata’ is, or at least was, wack. And ‘Conker’s Bad Fur Day’ is kind of god. And ‘Banjo Kazooie’ inspired my ‘God Jr.’. So I’m Rare-beholden. All the ultra-best, and let me know if can do anything, and see you again really soon, I’m hoping. ** Bill, I, of course, give a big up to everything on your list that I know, which is actually quite a number. Amongst the unknowns, I’ll seek out the Stanley Crawford for one. Thanks, man. I feel like I’m hearing about almost nothing else but ‘Crimes of the Future’ at the moment. ** Ricardo, Hi, Ricardo. Welcome! Oh, I would love ‘I Wished’ to be translated into Spanish. There was a publisher that expressed interest in publishing it there, but maybe that never happened? Basically, the publisher chooses the translator, as far as I know. If something happens, I would love for you to do it. And that’s awesome of you to offer. Thank you! I hope life is treating you royally. ** Okay. I made another gig of musical stuff that’s been making me intrigued or excited or happy in recent days, and there you go. I hope you’ll fish amongst the offerings and find thing(s) that do the trick(s) for you as well. See you tomorrow.

8 Comments

  1. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Thanks for that about me mum. So, she went to the ER and the problem is that the dentist didn’t prescribe a high enough dose of her antibiotic. The doc at the ER doubled it and she’s feeling better already. Ergh. It’s the Wines curse re: doctors and dentists.

    Kayla’s back from that music festival. She had a great time.

    I can’t believe I forgot ol’ Cormac in my list. Erp. Stuff happens. I’m looking forward to his two new ones this fall/winter. Dude is like 88 and still pumping ’em out.

  2. _Black_Acrylic

    I’m into the Machinefabriek sounds, kind of like microwave popcorn popping in a nice way.

    A couple of big albums coming out in the next few weeks: Cut Hands – Sixteen Ways Out on vinyl and also Dopplereffekt – Neurotelepathy that I’m very much looking forward to.

  3. Dominik

    Hi!!

    I’ve seen Lost Highway, but for the life of me, I couldn’t recall the scene with Marilyn Manson. I had to look it up. It probably says it loud and clear enough that I wouldn’t mind if you removed it, haha.

    Maybe you’ve already discovered the key to those pills way before my LSD-virgin love!

    Oh, no… Oh, fuck no. What’s going on with your producer?

    Love telling me why there’s no hot water in my apartment and (even better) bringing it back as I’m writing these words, Od.

  4. Steve Erickson

    “ur_simpin too hard” is not a song I expect to return to, but that was an intense collage.

    So far, I’ve enjoyed Carl Stone, Mai Mai Mai, Les Dupont, JWords and KMRU.

    Black Dice drummer Hisham Akira Bharocha’s ep of rhythmic drones, released under the name Yokubari, is a nice complement to the spirit of this day.

    If you’ve mostly been watching documentaries, which ones have you seen lately?

    I’m off to see CRIMES OF THE FUTURE in a few hours!

  5. Ian

    Hey Dennis. Thanks for the kind words. I was back to work today and it was a major help. Life is looking up. Ps: I read the book of lies trilogy and it was really great. The first book was my favorite but I enjoyed all three. It was very interesting and I was never really sure what was the real timeline, or if all three were real and different but made similar through the war. Either way it was a wonderful recommendation. Thanks a million.

  6. John Newton

    Hi Dennis insomnia for me is not a curse or hell. I use it to get reading, work, research, and cleaning done. How do you distract yourself or your mind when things stress you out?

    Do you travel to Germany often? Do you speak or read/write German at all?

    The rare videogames for N64 brought back lots of fun memories of playing them at friend’s places when they were new. I didn’t own an N64 I would sometimes play Zelda 1 and 2, as well as other games on the original NES or on an NES emulator on my computer.

    This is a link to an article about Larry Stanton. I emailed you more information.

    https://www.poz.com/article/aids-took-larry-stanton-1984-gay-hiv-male-portraits-remain-forever-young

    Why do things suck for you now? I hope everything is alright. It is like this for many people now with covid restrictions and how everything is now super expensive.

  7. RYYYY

    Dennis!

    Hello!

    Got some positive news, I got a raise at my part time job! I am usually contracted 7 hours in the week split between 2 days but i usually get overtime too, but my new responsibilities – just opening and closing the store and keeping an eye on like 2/3 people – means they will move those 7 weekly hours to a single day (sunday) so it means the rest of the week I will have to do music and such! And i will be paid more so i’ll be able to fund stuff. Exciting, also collecting outfit stuff for my big show, my manager at work is giving me a NFL jersey to wear hahah, and im gonna buy one of those wrestling singlets. The costume change will be layered so on the first layer will be the singlet, the second a t-shirt and whistle (the t-shirt will have some sort of statement written on – im trying to think of what I should write, I did think of scrawling ‘GEORGE MILES CYCLE’ on the back actually hahaa – then the top layer will be shin pads, and shoulder pads ala american football outfits, with perhaps either a football helmet or wrestling helmet too, then through the set i remove the layers until I writhe around in the sand in a wrestling singlet hahahaha

    anyway yes! how was your trip friend?

    lots of love

    Ryan

  8. politekid

    your generosity is of course unparalleled — i hope you keep some for yourself. at any rate, with you in my corner the universe is sure to provide. i’ll keep a special eye out for planet-sized bones coming from your direction (thanks in advance ofc). as for inspiring and inducing the fiction project, your blog is already a constant helluva inspiration. and i now have a whole load of top-recommended books to chase down and devour to help me on my way. once scientists work out how to mainline websites, i’m first in the queue to inject yours. i can’t ask for much more than this, tho if i do think of anything more specific i will knock on your digital door. i think the fiction jonesing is in part a kinda frustration, maybe moreso than an inspiration — i’ve spent so much time reading/loving/getting annoyed over books, and wanting to write them, and always being hesitant to do so for the usual dumb reasons, and that hesitation is getting boring now.
    thanks for the music today! obviously i hate to hear that you’re stranded in harsh realm right now, and if i find any universe bones addressed to you over here, i’ll give them the biggest, most accurate lob i can muster.

    p.s. another slight Rare anecdote i remembered: there was a small period of time, maybe eight years ago, where it was very popular in clubs to put split-screen multiplayer Goldeneye on CRT TVs in some corner or another. no-one was really fooled by it but it’s a pretty good gimmick as gimmicks go.

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