Various Artists - Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos (Bearsuit Records, 2015)
Those wonderfully wacky folks at Bearsuit have compiled another cross pollination of international tomfoolery, glitch click tracks, electronic mayhem, library music, and the odd pop tune or three. Unlike previous label comps, this one expands its reach outside the roster to give us an even greater sampling of what’s happening in the avantgarde world of outsider/noise/skronk music. And nothing could be more outside the mainstream than SenjiNiban’s opening looped drum solo ‘Boogiewoogie Tokyo’, which sounds like a night on the Ginza strip under the influence of psychedelic pop rocks with a neon chaser. Things get really weird when he kicks the piano down the stairs…. Fans of syncopated noise a la Art of Noise will love it.
The faint of heart may find Tokyo’s Like This Parade more to their liking – Masanori Misawa’s project offers the sweet confection ‘Nearby Reality Save Our Soul’, which is part cartoon soundtrack, part giddy schoolgirl and totally fun. The label’s own AnataWaSukkariTsukareteShimai offer ‘Of/Trying To Teach Someone How To Whistle’ from last year’s The Lost Charles Underscore debut. It combines spoken word segments with soaring, cinematic escapades that only hint at their modus operandi. Check ‘em out.
Surreal operatic insanity, kitchen sink instrumentation and looping, laughing hoot owl are only a few of the sounds emanating from RyotaMikami’s ‘Buddah Jumps Over The Wall’, which if it were about Mohammed would probably start a war somewhere. Guess Buddhists have better sense of humour. The enigmatic (as opposed to Energizer) Bunny is up next with a track off his latest Bearsuit release, The Invalid Singers, and I’ll just repeat what I said before about ‘Ask The Man Inside Your Head’: “electronic, glitchy, anarchic cacophony marrying the abrasive industrialization of Faust or EinsturzendeNeubauten with catchy tunes from the Depeche Mode School of Dance. But just when you thought it safe to head out onto the dancefloor, he pulls the rug out from under you and morphs into delicate library music like the groovy soundtrack efforts of Fitness Forever or Giorgio Tuma.”
Dutch electronic glitch artist Bram Van Den Oever (aka Gluid) offers the self-explanatory ‘Weightless Traveller’ which sounds like it should accompany visuals of Raquel Welch floating through a human bloodstream in Fantastic Voyage, while the dreamy title track to Greguy’s “Minor Injury” EP benefits from LéaCervini’s ethereal, breathless (French) vocals, which perfectly compliment the elegant viola and synth backingon this a snappy little toetapper.
The comp’s softer side is further explored with the intimate whisperings, pluckings, and water sounds of Hayato Takeuchi’s elegant ‘Mock Progukurere’, which sounds like it might be a satirical prog put-on, but transported me to my favourite Japanese restaurant awaiting the sashimi dinner special. A wacky guitar solo suggests there’s more than meets the ear on first listen. Whizz Kid’s ‘Clones’ comes from last year’s Bearsuit release There’s Conjuring To Be Done, a perfect sampling of the psychedelic circus of tunes that’ll turn those frowns upside down and send shivers of joy up and down your spine. Toy pianos, glitch electronics, snappy percussion and the ever lovely vibes run amokthroughout.
I also enjoyed the eastern-flavoured electronics and samples of ShinamoMoki’s soothing ‘Zeal’. Unlike the other Japanese acts in the comp, this trio emanates from the South East village of Uckfield, but this meditative tune rates high among the Spangle Call Lilli Line style of relaxing contemplative music. We’re also treated to a teaser from Bearsuit regular Harold Nono’s forthcoming album (Ideeit) with the Bernard Hermannesque ‘Tahiik’, a serpentining cinematic exercise in library-style music that would sound great behind some Hitchcock visuals or alongside your Laurie Johnson Avengers soundtracks.
The remaining tracks span the electronic spectrum, from found noises to upbeat techno moves (Jikan Ga Nai’s ‘Of Course We Weren’t Always Superstars’ is particularly light on its feet) and the whole enchilada is recommended to fans of adventurous sounds that don’t always (OK, rarely) follow a straight linear musical path from intro to coda.
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015
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