Friday, January 16, 2009

A.M. Shiner - Bananarchy (Stunned Records CS)

Despite the fact that I (this time anyway) have an excuse for the lack of recent reviews--I just got hooked up writing with Brainwashed, so I've been making the necessary adjustments to the ol' routine--still, it's been a bad scene review wise, so once again sorry. I hope your patience is greater than my will.

The good news is that Stunned has released a bunch more things, which surely means that the label will continue blowing my mind. This one's from the previous batch though, put out by the "young and troubled" Andrew Michael Shiner. I don't know what "troubled" references, but the music only deepens the mysteriously fearsome vibe surrounding this lad. If its length weren't enough (the things a pretty fat stack of noise at 100 minutes...), the sheer grinding of Shiner's sonic palette would surely do the trick. Starting off with this murky pot and pan clanging (or, as the title seems to suggest, "Clocks Crush"...) beneath static lurching, these tracks just go and go, moving into realms of lo-fi fuzz rarely achieved by even the most savage sewage dwellers. Thick walls of grays and blacks co-mingling in some weird realm of volcanic heat. Real go nowhere attitude on exhibit here too, sometimes sounding even a bit like some weirdo Fag Tapes meets Brokenresearch excursion. Totally burnt out rust covered sounds slink along for such huge stretches you can't even keep it up front and center in the noggin--just keeps plugging along before it gets back in the cranium to nestle itself down.

The first side is apparently comprised of seven tracks, but at 50 minutes in length it might as well be its own album--it traverses so many spaces, each distinctive and wholly submersive. Really intimate situation too, very stripped down sound that really takes one sound and milks it for all its worth. And if that weren't enough, the second side is even more minimal! Way long drones just glide across these barren landscapes of binary code. Totally zonked shit that's really capped off by the closing half hour, "Holy Ghost Smoke Music," which is basically comprised of one soft tone just going and going.

As junked out as they come, but totally effective. Hell, I'd even say it's borderline meditative. Just check out the instruments used... yeah, there's your standard mic, mixer, tapes, etc... but there's also a whole Cagean thing going on with the metal and even a blowtorch! Crazy beautiful sounds though, and enough of them to start finding which movies match up best Dark Side of the Moon style. Also, special mention must be made of the black on white doodle cover compiled from Shiner's own sketches at work. The clear liner notes only further seal the deal on this wild package.

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