Stars As Eyes, various, ova looven, Anne Heller, and Creeperweed
Reviewed by Michael Chamy, Fri., Sept. 12, 2003
Stars as Eyes, we hardly knew ye. Jetting for Brooklyn after two years in Austin, the duo leaves as a parting gift their third release on Kid606's noise-tronic stronghold, Tigerbeat6. Loud New Shit is four new tracks tacked on to eight remixes by the likes of Brad Laner's Electric Company and Iceland's Múm, plus a gripping piece by legendary British isolationist composer Robert Hampson, aka Main. The new cuts further SAE's slash-and-burn terraforming of the vast gulf between IDM and garage stomp, as occasional processed vox cruise behind warm analog propellers and mangled uprock ticks... Out with the old, in with Notenuf Records, a start-up Austin electronic label whose first release is the Winter 2002-03 compilation, culled by former KVRX all-star engineer Erik Wofford. Included are familiar Austin denizens the Buddy System and Jacob Green, whose sculptures are equal parts Boards of Canada and Eno ambient, and Inkblot, whose dub hypnotism is slightly more rhythm-oriented. Also on board are atmospheric Aus-rockers A Tiger Named Lovesick, Dead Whale Tide, and the Gingerbread Patriots, an enticing My Bloody Valentine sound-alike from New Mexico... Emo's co-booker James Minor, guitarist for nomadic soundscape popsters National Skyline, resurfaces in ova looven, a coalition with two ex-members of Philadelphia's Antarctica. 58:34 (Artikal) is a product of the recent New Order/Factory Records fever. The mood is black-on-gray, circa 1983, but the rhythms are updated, occasionally veering into the Ninja Tune beat kitchen. Elysium and Le Privilege refugees will want to hit their Sept. 19 Emo's gig with Faint spinoff Broken Spindles... Anne Heller, co-CEO of ethereal-noise shamans Aurora Plastics Company, sits under the aboriginal Bobo tree on her second album Wild Yams (Crunchy Food). Her short, image-inducing quilts of squealing recorder, clarinet, and theremin; vaguely ethnic field recordings; and unidentified background radiation form a more sedate hearth than the frenetic Plastics Company meltdowns... One of the fun rock names in town, Creeperweed, has released its debut, Auditory Flicker Fusion Threshold (Three Little Pigs/Sweatbox), recorded by the band's own Bryan Nelson, captain of Sweatbox Studios. Thickly distorted, psychedelic tube steaks play out like Helios Creed on Valium, with surprisingly tuneful vocals reminiscent of Brian Eno.