Dandelion Exclusives [DnEx36]
5 May, 2013
In this lonely phase of my life, little else is more exciting than the first day of each month, when Dandelion Radio delivers a fresh batch of programs (or is that programmes?!). All this week, I've been glued to my computer, imbibing as much new tunage as I possibly can - and I've found some sweet stuff exclusive to Dandelion, all priced at even sweeter bargains. Snap up these stellar releases from their respective Bandcamp pages:
The Carbon Manual – What happens when you merge a drum machine, a synth, and some mental free verse poetry? Why, nothing other than the inimitable Carbon Manual, a trio from Bristol that recently gathered at Rocker’s pad to unravel cerebral yarns for one astonishing session. From the void comes the wry voice of Jeremy Gluck, his delivery seemingly impromptu over the pre-programmed beat, alongside sharp guitar lines and a liquid bass. What follows is mind-bending.
These spoken word pieces wax over abstract imagery and phrases, often meandering in no particular hurry. “Undarkened She Shines” merges a brooding progression with flickering light from the guitar; meanwhile, Gluck pursues the theoretical, waxes philosophical, and eventually disregards it all on the sublime “That I Would Arrive At Your Door”. This is one of the most remarkable vocal performances, I believe, balancing calm reasoning with frustrated apathy.
“Ice Sleep” channels a psychedelic sound to ponder about life, death, and poetry; the bass undulates menacingly under the unworldly “And In That Dream” (which also features a lone theramin!). The closer, however, is the most mind-numbing number, particularly with its astral guitar solo.
This session only lasts six tracks, but it’s a reality-altering experience not to be missed. Download the Carbon Manual session from Local Underground’s Bandcamp page for a mere two quid (or more, if so desire) – all proceeds go toward the care and maintenance of Dandelion Radio.
derTANZ – YEAAAAH. What we have here, folks, is monstrous, dirty, ruthless rock from Hungary. Kaktusz, their latest release, is a BEAST of an album, one that could rightly be regarded “gothic” in its capacity to alarm, captivate, and possibly even terrify the senses. With the opener “A Statue”, derTANZ grips their grimy claws upon you and drag you steadily to the gaping abyss.
Behind the most nihilistic track title, “Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow”, lies a lumbering guitar of stupefying thickness, which revs momentarily into a frenzy at around 2’24”. And I frickin’ LOVE this dude’s deep, harrowing vocals here. Crazy to believe that this is the same singer behind the cataclysmic screeches on “Terror Mirror Terror”, a heavy-handed number with a throbbing bass that lurches into a shambolic, start-stop ritual. Suddenly, derTANZ switch gears on “Estimado Carlos”, to a more subtle, yet no less sinister, crawl.
We return to their proper demented fervor, though, on “The Trap”, with its driving bass line, demonic vocals, and diffusive guitar. Elsewhere, there’s the epic of the album, “The Garden”, which builds gradually with its snaky bass from a haunting dirge into a ravaging, snarling fiend. Perhaps even more haunting, however, is the stark “Sinking Into The Floor”, a solo paean from the vocalist often accompanied by little more than a throb and the distant, swirling scratch of guitar strings. Finally, in the massive closer “Shaved Lights”, chaos reigns supreme as feedback screams over a suspended cymbal, and stalks into a diabolical finale.
Periodically, the album is interrupted by chaotic interludes: the first consisting of spiky guitar shrapnel, (“2659”), the second of blistering drums and jarring electric noise (“2660”), and the third a shambling number surprisingly supplemented with lyrics (“2699”). These disturbing bits lend to the album’s unsettling nature, as bizarre experiments concocted alongside the longer crawls of the titled tracks.
In short, if you’ve been craving a real Stygian delight, you can’t pass up Kaktusz. And you have no excuse, either, since this doozy of an album is only one buck on derTANZ’s Bandcamp page.
Council Tax Band – Swell blokes who rock righteously. Thus far, they’ve only released three tunes, but they are mighty bold tunes, with an irresistibly cheeky humor and enormous potential. Of especial note is the abrasive 1’36” “Mentioning No Names” (heard it five times this week now – still so fresh!), but the closer “Happy New Year” is quite impressive in its own manner, and a most appropriate send-off for this punchy EP.
Pay what you wish for it on Council Tax Band’s Bandcamp page here – or, alternatively, you could just lock your hypothetical dial in to Dandelion Radio, since Rocker, Mark Whitby, and Marcelle all feature at least one tune on their respective shows.