Friday, June 3, 2011

6/14 @ J & J's Pizza: Swanox, Sudden Oak, Zanzibar Snails, Kwjaz

Tuesday June 14
Sudden Oak (San Francisco) (lap-guitar & amplified sax duo)
Swanox (San Francisco, Not Not Fun) (hypnotic cavalcade of swirling textures)
Zanzibar Snails (TX TX, Ikuisuus)
Kwjaz (San Francisco)

J & J’s on the Square
118 W. Oak
Denton, TX 76201
Swanox (San Francisco, Not Not Fun)
“long-form new age ritual electricity before slowly dissolving into a patchwork of mumbly, loner drone-folk and hypnotized dusk hikes through fields of wet ferns.” – description of last year’s “Dawnrunner” cassette on Not Not Fun

swanox at enemy (chicago) june 7th, 2009 from acid marshmallow on Vimeo.

Sudden Oak (San Francisco)
“Sudden Oak slop toxic gunk that hashes tones i

nto a full cranum rinse. A duo, they batter shards of broken guitar through a teargas sax haze. Scrawling maniacally in hot reds that bleed together a shimmering blend, Sudden Oak are harsh, and they burn.” – LA Weekly

sudden oak at enemy (chicago) june 7th, 2009 from acid marshmallow on Vimeo.

Zanzibar Snails (Denton, Ikuisuus)
Drone in, flip out – a long-standing collision of the organic and electric – of late featuring collisions of clarinet, bassoon, violin, Tibetan bowl, modified skateboard, electrical tone generators, shortwave, and other toys. Harsh to sublime, and sidereal pathways in-between. New release “Caveat Emperor” on Finland’s Ikuisuus has been compared to Organum, Nurse With Wound, and Sandoz Lab Technicians.

Kwjaz (San Francisco)
Falling somewhere between outsider instrumental pop and dubbed-out psychedelic ethno-jazz, SF mastermind Peter Berends leads a colorful excursion into the astral unknown. Moments of cool jazz tranquility unexpectedly morph into trip-hop fantasy ballads, long-tone new age bliss suddenly shifts into West African romps, and somehow all these tangents seem impossibly and seamlessly linked. Fans of Hype Williams, Rangers or Ducktails will not want to miss out on this lysergic masterpiece." - Aquarius Records (review of s/t cassette)


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Slow Pump dronefest - 3/15 SXSWtime Austin


united states art authority
2906 fruth street
Austin, TX


EXPO '70 - Kansas City - 12:00
ZANZIBAR SNAILS -Denton,Tx -11:00
QUIET EVENINGS - LaGrange, Ga -10:00
WHITE CREEPS - Little Rock - 9:00
SUNGOD - Austin - 8:00
WOODSMAN - Denver - 6:00
NUDE SUNRISE - Chicago - 5:00
AMASA•GANA - Austin - 4:00

KEVIN SHIELDS - Portland - 12:30
TOBY ARONSON -Burlington, Vt - 10:30
HUBBLE -New York - 9:30
UNMOOR - Austin - 8:30
SPECULATOR - Los Angeles - 7:30
MATTHEW DAVID - Los Angeles - 5:30


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Zanzibar Snails March 4 w/ nmperign + jason lescalleet, Shawn David McMillen

Mayyrh & Womblife Productions Present:

nmperign + jason lescalleet
w/ Shawn David McMillen, Zanzibar Snails
Friday, March 4
Oak Cliff Cultural Center
223 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Dallas, TX

The Cultural Center is located right next to the historic Texas Theater. Free alcoholic refreshments will be available inside (tips welcome). Limited parking in front, but there's plenty more round back of the building.

Admission: $10 at the door
Show Starts: 7:30

...Thanks to Evita Cortez for her fantastic artwork on the flier!

Nmperign and Jason Lescalleet:
The trio of Nmperign [Greg Kelley and Bhob Rainey] and Jason Lescalleet made its first recorded appearance in 1999 on This is Nmperign's 2nd CD (Twisted Village Records), which was followed immediately by In Which the Silent Partner-Director Is No Longer Able To Make His Point With the Industrial Dreamer (Intransitive Recordings). But it was 2006's double CD Love Me Two Times (Intransitive Recordings), a five-year endeavor encompassing a stunning range of styles, fidelities, and emotions, that solidified this trio's reputation as a genre-crossing juggernaut operating in its own league of contemporary noise, improvisation, and electroacoustic composition. Praise for Love Me Two Times was nearly universal, and it continues to be cited as a benchmark recording in experimental music.

Live performances by Nmperign & Jason Lescalleet are rare but always significant events. Their 2010 performance at Chicago's Neon Marshmallow festival was hailed as "The best of the fest…. left jaws on the floor. Probably in my top 5 favorite performances ever… The triumph of craft and deep listening" (Chris Sienko - Gapers Block). They similarly shook the fillings out of teeth in Glasgow at Instal 06, and in Somerville, MA, at the Brainwashed Festival 2008.

More info:

Shawn David McMillen:
Shawn David McMillen's music burrows deep into dark and disturbed mental corridors. Dashes of dusty blues and flickering acoustics scatter across his music, giving it a somnolent, cloistered sense of time and space. Back in 2006 in the Wire, Jon Dale described McMillen's first solo album, Catfish, as "sharing the peculiar sense of temporal and topographical resonance that exemplifies the soporific, glazed music created by artists from Texas," and that same eerie intimacy pervades his latest release, Dead Friends, which came out last year (excerpt taken from McMillen will be accompanied by Austin musicians Josh Ronsen (Gates Ensemble, Frequency Curtain) and Carolyn Cunningham (Woven Bones).

More info:

Zanzibar Snails:
Denton's Zanzibar Snails is performing as the trio of Michael Chamy, Nevada Hill and Nick Cabrera, hot on the heels of the release of its new album, Caveat Emperor, on Finland's revered Ikuisuus label. Here's an excerpt of a review I wrote for a house show they played last Summer at the Leisure Womb in Ft. Worth: "...just in time for the Zanzibar Snails' trio set, which offered up an undulating soundbath that spiraled through the industrial/drone/noise multiverse with intergalactic grace. Rising tonal tides brush up against distant clarinet, radio crackle and low end guitar groan. Was really struck by Nevada Hill's work on guitar here, alternating between almost doom to more lowercase hum and crackle straight out of the Kevin Drumm handbook, but every member (including Michael Chamy and Nick Cabrera) brings something compelling to the table. Hope they recorded it. Hope they release it."

More info:

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

ViTiLiGo review - Ear Conditioned Nightmare

Forgot to share this review of Zanzibar's Tape Drift release ViTiLiGo from the Ear-Conditioned Nightmare blog:

Zanzibar Snails - Vitiligo (Tape Drift CD-R)

Got a batch a bit back from these dudes and haven't gotten around to it yet, but Eric sent me one from his own label and I figured I'd at least cover this one before I get around to the others. Gotta mention as well that Eric's got another new batch out (what a pace...) that looks totally KILLER, so that's surely one to scope. Anyhoo.
Zanzibar Snails are a unit from Texas who serve up a strange brew of improv/drone/experimentalism that finds some nice pockets of madness in their realm. Pretty destroyed stuff from the get-go, with spaced out drones writhing beneath kitchen cleanings and shower songs hummed by people living domestically around the corner. Halfway between a field recording and an Emeralds track at first, but soon veering more toward the drone side of the tracks. Odd though, celeste popping in and out, unexpected little details... like a zoned out Caroliner record maybe? Knaw. Not defunct enough. Like a dream played backwards over a nightmare played sideways? Sure. Track two sounds like a bunch of howler monkeys in a whale kingdom thirty-two leagues deep. Strange string strangles and hums abound before the winds pick up and the waters part. Weirdo stuff.
More or less it's this vibe throughout. The strange mixture of drone and off-the-cuff cram-it-down-your-throat mayhem is a nice one that's surprisingly a rarely employed tactic. Keeps things from getting stale/sounding the same all the time, and apparently even keeps it lively enough for the crowd over at J&J's Pizza, where about two thirds of this disc was laid down. Seems like they like their pizza fried in Denton. Good stuff, and beautiful artwork to boot--layer on layer on layer of screen print so it's thick as ox tail. More to come from the act and of course the label as well.

Foxy still loves D & N 2

Foxy Digitalis thumbs up D & N "2", the full-length debut of the avant-pastoral Nevada Hill and David Lee Price field-trip project. This on the heels of the 9/10 they gave the D & N debut 3-inch:

D & N
D & N 2 CD-r

December 15, 2010
By Tim Gentles

“D & N 2” is most striking at first glance for its packaging. Wrapped in some kind of “mysterious sebaceous animal fleece,” I frankly avoided having anything to do with this disc so as not to have to come into contact with the thick, wet smell of sheep’s (?)wool.
It’s a pity I left the CD and its animal fleece stewing on my shelf for such a long time, though, as this full-length debut of the collaboration between Nevada Hill and David Lee Price, both of Zanzibar Snails, is delightfully, ahem, earthy.
A rustic, outdoorsy vibe prevails throughout the disc. The sound is very dense and multilayered, a quality that presumably owes something to its mixing method, in which after it was recorded and mixed the first time, the mix was cut in half and the two halves were placed on top of each other. As a result the disc is never without a busy moment, but never without a dull one either. This is improvisational stuff very much in the vein of other woodsy experimenters such as No-Neck Blues Band or Sunburned Hand of the Man. A variety of unsettling, fractured sources of percussion come and go, as do mournful and quite beautiful melodica drones and some acoustic guitar. All of which is softly undergirded, a lot of the time literally but definitely spiritually, by the lonely sound of rain falling on a tin roof – perfectly evoking the North Texas landscape where it was recorded.
They got a 9/10 from Foxy Digitalis, and this is very good, so why not.

Amazing Caves, Age of Disinformation in Sound Projector

We love the U.K.-published Sound Projector, which really is the best challenging music mag out there, going a step beyond The Wire and its ilk into the true underground.

Happily, the Sound Projector loves us too, evidenced by this, published in the latest, greatest, and highly recommended issue #19 (2011):

Zanzibar Snails
Journey Into Amazing Caves!

Zanzibar Snails are the noisy improvising crusaders built around the core duo of Nevada Hill (guitar) and Michael Chamy (oscillators and tone generators), well represented on this "concept" CD + DVD double-pack. The music disk, where they're joined by percussionist David Lee Price and sax player Mike Forbes for one track, presents their distinctive brand of uglified electronic feedback and oscillating spillages recorded in 2006-07, producing slowly swelling sounds that are every bit as craggy as the stalactites they purport to depict. Not since Stockhausen descended into the caves of Jeita in 1969 to give his infamous live concerts has avant-garde noise exhibited such an intimate relationship with the world beneath the ground (excepting of course the famous 1974 LP by Rick Wakeman). It's quite a sprawling listen - the title track alone is 20 minutes long, with a three minute coda following directly afterwards – but it's good to hear the Snails stretching out and giving themselves sufficient leeway to thoroughly explore this imaginary interior space. My initial impression, especially on the opening cut, is that it's Hill's guitar that makes most impact, where his characteristic restraint allows him to punch home every discordant note with the assurance of a skilled riveter. Minimal figures, odd shapes and droney strums slightly enhanced with robust echo and reverb effects are thrown off from his freeboard; his stabs and swipes act like shards of light from the helmets of this spelunking team, occasionally illuminating the wonders of the cave world. As for Chamy, it's his task to create the virtual walls of said cave, and he provides a very convincing simulacrum with his incredibly heavy analogue tones, effectively summoning up not just the sheer weight of the rock pressing down upon us. but a clammy, claustrophobic atmosphere that almost seeps into your very lungs. This is a slow, abstract and relentless journey, and if played in the dark will probably induce very oppressive effects in your mind, causing screams and helpless gasps for air.

'Gilded Stars & Garters' offers us a breath of fresh air above ground for some 6-7 minutes, unless we've simply entered a volcanic grotto where the phosphorescent glow of microbes clustered on the rocks is creating an eerie impression of daylight. The subtly-filtered electronic tones shift up and down, gradually thickening the air, and the performance is darkened further by the snarly uncertain saxophone effects from Mike Forbes. Then it's back to the lower depths once again, with a 23-minute version of the theme, this time with added violence and paranoia - fragments of scrabbly noise, discordant guitar attacks and volcanic electronic bursts that suggest the whole expedition is taking a turn for the worse. Much more variety across this version of the 'Caves' saga (with added "pepth derception", according to the subtitle), which still sustains the grim and bleak mood of this place where danger lurks in every tunnel. You'll emerge from the experience to find you have adopted all the characteristics of a mole: little slitty eyes for seeing in the dark, body structure like a spade, and powerful claws for digging. Dig?

The release comes with a DVD called Carbage Goma, a more recent musical performance by the Snails enhanced with wild visual additions from David Lee Price; Seth Sherman brings his acoustic guitar, and there's also a welcome return from Josh McWhirter and his diabolical viola. You won't see much of the band on this mind-murking visual explosion from Price, but you will see plenty of dazzling computer effects, colour-field experiments, and surreal close-ups of ill-fitting objects that produce a memorable psychedelic broth.

Age Of Disinformation
Age Of Disinformation
Nothing to do with the English art project Disinformation, Age Of Disinformation was a onetime collaboration between six Texan players from similar-minded underground music ventures, The six calling themselves a 'lucid nightmare supergroup'. Michael Chamy, from Zanzibar Snails, is one contributor; the others are Aaron Gonzalez, Mike Maxwell, Jon Teague, Kenny Withrow and Kim Corbet, members of marginal groups around Fort Worth, Denton, and Dallas, all of them playing many electronic instruments, keyboards, percussion and guitar; wherever possible doing so quite intuitively and all at the same time. Voices, both narrated and sampled, also form part of the dense infusion. At the instigation of Gonzalez, these six gathered to play at a certain locale in 2008, and issued with vague and stark performance instructions by the leader, whose aim was to make a subconscious statement about the contemporary problem we all face in society: information-bombardment, and the damage this saturation of data may be causing to our collective spiritual condition. These seven tracks may have been edited down from a much longer continuous session of ambient free-form spiraling and spinning. What results from all the above is a slowly rotating whirlpool of over-filled musical and verbal gibberish, with no clear guidance to the listener about how to navigate around this swamp of vaguely unpleasant fetid noise.There is, I think, some benign intention to improve mankind's lot through this experiment; one hoped-for outcome is "the formation of the eternal Unimind", which may sound a little Mr. Spock, but at least it's more constructive than wallowing in a pessimistic state of anticommunication, or plotting destruction of the world through harsh electronic noise. The intended sensations of confusion, jumblement and disarray are further expressed in the colourful collage sprawl on the front cover, and the curlicued, nigh-unreadable texts on the interior.
Quite compelling.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


So, Zanzibar's new "Caveat Emperor" is now featured on the Ikuisuus site (with song samples) .... and we've also posted one track in full here.

And, a PayPal button has been added below in case you don't want to mail order from Scandinavia.