Unpredictable musical jack-of-all-trades David Breather has more projects and releases than I can keep up with. This latest project is a team up with rapper Mad Science. Together this dynamic duo is known as the Test Subjects. This is their second release - following last year’s excellent EP, entitled Season Premiere.
Bunny & The Invalid Singers - "Fear of the Horizon"
Dense compositions and off-center eccentricities characterize this electro sleeper-pop from UK weirdo group Bunny, listed here as Bunny & The Invalid Singers.
This record hits hard and fast right away with a thick atmosphere of oddity, blending recorded and synthesized instruments that play off of each other in strange ways. Imagine an independent film about the cannibals next door. These cannibals would have intense philosophical discussions while cooking their human foods. And delightfully weird tracks like The Positive Approach of Talkative Ron would add just the right amount of grizzly, unpredictable circus waltz, infused with synth accents.
There are vocalizations in here every now and then, but not much lyrics. Largely instrumental, moody pieces that evoke various sensations of lonliness, abandon, or madness. And while certainly telling the story with a whimsical, wry smile, the story still has plenty of solid moments of real expression and artistry.
This is one that I really had to dig into and listen to several times to get a read on, but there was no time wasted. There is a genuine power in the complex musical textures presented in each of these tracks. Take yourself on an odball ear journey today with Fear of the Horizon
Haunted Gauntlet - "OM3G4 G3N3SIS"
Lo-fi instrumental hip-hop meets warbling oddball audio in OM3G4 G3N3SIS, a new release on Cudighi Records by Omaha, Nebraska heartbreaker, beat-maker, and soul-taker Haunted Gauntlet.
First of all, let’s put our anger aside that Haunted Gauntlet came up with an artist name that’s just head and shoulders above the rest of us - he’s our cousin now, and he’s making this bizarro avant-garde hip hop that I’ve been jamming in the car for weeks.
Armed with a small army of cousins, who guest rap on the album, Gauntlet takes us through a beat-infused landscape of weirdly woven samples and oddly modulated sounds. It’s a concoction that defies direct categorization and makes it difficult for amateurs like me to explain properly. That’s why you need to be listening to this mess. I certainly appreciate the punctuative use of the Sonic the Hedgehog ring acquisition sound throughout this release. Much better than at the gas station when people redeem lottery tickets, that ring sound actually belongs in this weirdo collage of crunching beats, varied rap styles and grab bag sound effects.
It’s hard to choose a standout track. I prefer listening to the whole thing on repeat. Dusk ft. Sleep Sinatra is a great slow groove with sick rhymes and great sampling. Most Wanted ft. Keii brings us a laid back jam with a great chorus and some nicely disintegrated synth lines as a backdrop. There’s even a nice bit in Essence Pooling where the track closes with a fun sampling from a certain well-known water level. Thumbs up, Haunted.
Every track has a different, distinctive flavor - while adhering to the killer Haunted Gauntlet aesthetic that the listener will be able to pick up on right away. There is a satisfying amount of ‘wobble’ in here, an antiquated post-everything sound, like digging music up out of the rubble of a failed world and trying to figure out what it means. The rhyming voices here are powerful and energetic, lending to the living, breathing feel of each composition.
OM3G4 G3N3SIS is available in digital and cassette format, from Cudighi Records.
Yeah. Just look at that.
Used Condo - "Kiosk"
The Bumpy label presents this strange concoction of synth and sound by unusual artist Used Condo, an alias for legendarily strange Minnesota music denizen, Larry Wish. Kiosk is a videogame soundtrack for a non-existent game, (at least it doesn’t currently occupy our reality.)
The game is a psycological thriller where a character makes his way through an abandoned mall that is being haunted by a pile of monsters and ghosts, (like most abandoned malls.) As one would expect, the release is full of eerie audio and time shifting lines of electro-babble. The opening track, Receipt of Payment has a no-longer-human voice explain what the game is all about. Then the first level begins with Everybody is People with Clothing like Me. Is the main character seeing ghostly figures and identifying with them, or are they just mannequins in the shadows?
Each track seems to be a different area of the game, with varying degrees of danger and horror. For example, the track Humin Bozos is filled with creepy loops of ghostly wails and oddly swirling sounds that spiral into an abyss at the end. The Tan of Tens of Boppy Booths is a rapidly looping percussive cycle. with ragged clips from a newscast and trippy stereo spirits. The release ends with Highly Trained Agent, who is hopefully someone who is there to rescue the protaganist from the haunted mall.
Kiosk is a psychotropic ride through a hyperactively spiritual environment that had me searching for the game, only to find that it isn’t available in our dimension.