On the Download

Jun 4, 2008 at 12:00 am

A few years ago, I happened luckily on the recordings of two fine folks who call our fair city home and fed my itchy noise-loving side with their creations. I decided to check in with them online, found them in finely evolved form — and I'm all the happier for it. Do check out the adventures in sonic (and visual) skulduggery these two label mates are creating.

First up...

"Wild Cheetah"

Dearborn's Gary Beauvais is Mammal, and creeping, crawling, crushing, liberating and darkly noisy buzzed-up compositions are his raison d'être. His latest manifestation of his 12-year run as Mammal is a demo version of a jam titled "Wild Cheetah." A tentatively grandiose overdriven guitar riff and Echoplex'd drone vocals amble down dark alleys seeking dim-lit sunsets over brown field open spaces. The prolific and sonically mercurial (though always heavy) Mammal might just take this demo and turn it into something large and monstrous, but the sketch provided here is further evidence that sonic evolution sometimes emerges from the sludge.

"Cadillac's On Fire" Loops
Mammal's label mate, Viki — the same lady who brought us the sassy hiccup-y electro misanthropy of "Perfect Strangers" lo those many years ago — is now creating super-awesome and hypnotic video and sonic loops of found and captured visuals and sound, sort of gorgeous moving Rorschach tests. Background noises hum, amplified and feedbacked, accompany trucks, billowing smokestacks and snatches of sky blue sky. Menacing pillars of fire seemingly incinerating the detritus of some forgotten outworld (appropriately, the footage was actually snatched in our own Delray neighborhood) stretch and burn over an agitated sound.
(or purchase the DVD at same site!)

American Mars
Yeah, we know it's been out since, like, January, but now that summer's road trips are upon us and the gas prices are making free jams sound even better, American Mars' Western Sides (on American Mars/Blanche/Tempermill honcho Dave Feeny's Gangplank Records) should be finding your ears in a better mood than slushy January. They're playing the Detroit Festival of the Arts June 6, and the Midwestern beauty, ache and guarded optimism and poetry of jams like "Who Here" and "Better Angels" should play even better off the architecture and atmosphere of the urban surroundings than my typing room wall and earbuds.