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    The Newt Hounds – The Poignant Device

    January 23rd, 2008

    The Newt Hounds - The Poignant Device

    The Newt Hounds is a fictional Nurse With Wound-inspired group comprised of a core duo of British brothers Alan Freeman and Steve Freeman, authors of a book on krautrock called The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and the publishers of Audion, an experimental music magazine. The Poignant Device offers up a full 70-minute program of slightly organized chaos. The CD’s 22 tracks, released in the year 2001, range from grainy, murky ambience to silly, amateurish outbursts to dense sound collages full of delay and echo. Plenty of feedback electronics, sampled voices and even a bit of live drumming can be found peppered throughout.

    Sometimes, there’s not a whole lot of subtlety at work, though, what with slightly embarrassing sounds like flushing toilets, cartoon-like sound effects and a breaking glass sample on repeat making themselves heard loud and clear. At other times, Alan and Steve’s efforts occasionally amaze when, for example, some understated and heavily reverberated violin makes a brief appearance, or when the proceedings coalesce into a thick, pleasant and impressive aural blast furnace. But, in the end, who cares what I think? As the press release claims, this music is “dada in almost every respect imaginable,” which leads me to believe that Alan and Steve have, in essence, already told me to fuck off. Right on! Fans of Nurse With Wound, who this CD is dedicated to, may want to give it a try.

    Label: Ultimate Transmissions Catalog Number: UTCD 008 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 22 Total Time: 70:00 Country: England Released: 2000 Related Artists: Alto Stratus, Endgame, Zircon and the Burning Brains


    Alto Stratus – Psychosis

    January 21st, 2008

    Alto Stratus - Psychosis

    Forming in the early 1980s and still active in 2008, Alto Stratus is one of the many musical outlets of British brothers Alan Freeman and Steve Freeman, authors of a book on krautrock called The Crack in the Cosmic Egg and the publishers of Audion, an experimental music magazine. Released in 2002 on the band’s 20th anniversary and clocking in at 76:22, Psychosis seems to favor the number two and stretches the limits of CD length. (Although the format’s ultimate boundary is 80 minutes, a program duration of 74 minutes or less is normally advised by pressing plants.)

    These eight lengthy minimal-yet-maximal tracks are chock-full of deep, droning ambience by way of multiple layers of reverb-drenched cello, looped sound fragments, murky fuzz guitar, eardrum-piercing cymbal scrapes and about a baker’s dozen of other aural scalpels that will not hesitate to do a nasty number on your knoggin. And it comes all wrapped-up in a nice, three-panel, four-color booklet with a unique twist: each track is visually represented by its very own psychedelic artwork! Very nice. Recommended for insomniacs who enjoy smoking dope all night. *Alto Stratus also records secretly as The Newt Hounds, but please don’t tell anyone!

    Label: Ultimate Transmissions Catalog Number: UTCD 011 Format: CD Packaging: Jewel case Tracks: 8 Total Time: 76:22 Country: England Released: 2002 Related Artists: Endgame, The Newt Hounds, Zircon and the Burning Brains