Nothing Playing!
Loading...
00:00
/
00:00
 
 
Click to enable notifications

Musical Family Tree Store

Speading Indiana Music
 
Loading...
Review: NO! Record Label Compilation Vol. 1
Posted April 29, 2014 by Taylor Peters
WRITTEN BY
Taylor Peters
ON
April 29, 2014

Listen to the compilation while you read:

Last summer, to minimal fanfare the Terre-Haute based NO! record label willed itself into existence with a glorious ouroboros of a collaboration between Drekka and Assimiliation (both of Bloomington) entitled Drekka <--> Assimiliation. The release grew out of an installation helmed by Drekka's Michael Anderson at a house show in which he posted up in a bedroom closet, with microphones spread throughout the house's air vents picking the sounds of other performances, and of people just going about the business of, you know, being at a house show. Drekka's side of the split consisted of his live remix of Joseph McGlone's performance under his Assimiliation moniker at that very show, and Assimilation's side consisted of a re-working of Drekka's performance from that night. 

 

Full disclosure: the above-described type of stuff is thoroughly my jam. If you, reader, would also slot Drekka and Assimilation's audio shenanigans under the category of "your jam," and if you, like me, are overcome with regret at missing a house show you didn't even know existed until like three months after it happened, then I would suggest you go ahead and visit NO!'s Bandcamp and snag one of the remaining copies of their latest release, a compilation featuring six artists perpetrating audio that is, as we have established, both your jam and mine (if you need more convincing, it's also the tape I'm going to review here, so maybe stick around for a couple more paragraphs). It's unfortunately too late to get NO!01 a.k.a. the Drekka <--> Assimilation tape, as its small run is sold out, but NO!02, the compilation at hand, is still ripe for the gripping (there are, of course, still digital versions available for each release). 

 

 

The compilation at hand features six artists, all of whom represent some connection to what the label describes as the "loose circle of musicians that play weird electronic music together in basements, coffee houses, and bars in the Bloomington, Indiana area." In addition to Drekka and Assimilation, the compilation features John Flannelly, NOON, Canid, and Agakus, each of whom bring forth diverse explorations of a sort of grim ecstasy. To be sure, there's a dark tension hanging over each and every one of these tracks (depending upon your disposition you are either strongly encouraged or strongly discouraged to bring them with you somehow on your next trip down a pitch-black alley or a deep-dark wood). However, there is as well a pulse of excitement, the thrill of shouting "No!" in the face of any and all rule-bringers, that small charge that comes with every time we remind ourselves that there is literally no reason beyond the lamest of conventions that music has to be anything but mountainous texture and mood. "PLAY LOUD," the label commands on their blog. 

 

Drekka opens the compilation with "HTFC," a piece that slowly, beautifully accrues on the back of a distant-sounding drum machine. It is an almost always bursting monstrosity, but it never quite explodes. Nearer to the end distorted toy piano and cut-up humming start to enter as if to hint at and then immediately double back on the promise of any melodic resolution. "HTFC" is all high-wire balance. 

 

 

Next is NOON's "Fits," which whoops and wails from a cavernous depth, followed by John Flannelly's "UFO Tofu." Flannelly's work has an everything-at-once quality here, a euphoric feeling of constant climbing. It is the sound of that stomach-feel you get at the peak of a steep country road, just before speeding downward. (Also be sure to peep Flannelly's recently release MFT-exclusive Music for Excitable Hikers above via the MFT player). 
 

 

Canid's live-recorded "2010.26.10" is the most physical piece of music on this tape, a near palpable wall of slowly stacking drone. Play it, if nothing else on this tape, as loud as you can bear (you can also hear it as well as one additional live on Live Recordings viat the MFT player below). Assimiliation's live recording with the unknown title is perhaps my favorite piece on the entire compilation. There is something about its protracted build up from buried clatter to these distorted and fed back shrieks and moans that feels so eminently thrilling each time I re-listen that I hardly notice its nearly 17-minute length. 

 

 

Agakus' "Last Reichs" closes the compilation. Consisting for the most part simply of the sampled sounds of warfare, a partially obscured monologue by (I think) the psychoanalyst Willhelm Reich, and long synth tones, "Last Reichs" is nevertheless perhaps the most outright terrifying piece here. Listen to it loud and in the dark and you might find yourself beset by something unnameable. 

 

NO! Records has NO!03 and NO!04 tentatively planned: tapes from Bloomington's Ray Creature, and "reclusive industrial freaks" Dry Socket. They were originally slated for release in late March of this year, which has unfortunately already passed. Nevertheless, I personally cannot wait to hear whatever is next from this label whenever it comes. You'll no doubt hear from me when I do. 

 

comments powered by Disqus

Welcome to MFT!

Supported By

With support from: Arts Council and the City of IndianapolisIndiana Arts CommissionNational Endowment for the Arts

Recent Blog Posts

10/12/17
by Brett Alderman
Dave and Rob's Sweet 16 at the Melody Inn
On Friday night, the historic Melody Inn is celebrating their Sweet 16 with Dave Brown and Rob Ondri...
10/11/17
by Brett Alderman
Interview: Pillars
Founded in 2015, Pillars, Indy’s genre-blending four-piece, is on the cusp of releasing their ...
10/5/17
by Seth Johnson
Playlist: A Taste from the Tree by Seth Johnson
“The Shelter” – Everything, Now! “Summer Dresses” – Gentleman C...

Donate to MFT

Help us spread Indiana music, and we'll give you special rewards as our way of saying "thanks!"

 

Recent Blog Posts

10/12/17
by Brett Alderman
Dave and Rob's Sweet 16 at the Melody Inn
On Friday night, the historic Melody Inn is celebrating their Sweet 16 with Dave Brown and Rob Ondri...
10/11/17
by Brett Alderman
Interview: Pillars
Founded in 2015, Pillars, Indy’s genre-blending four-piece, is on the cusp of releasing their ...
10/5/17
by Seth Johnson
Playlist: A Taste from the Tree by Seth Johnson
“The Shelter” – Everything, Now! “Summer Dresses” – Gentleman C...