Chris Schlarb

This category contains 6 posts

ellul- s/t (SAA1141)

3C8FC924-D862-4666-97F0-3CC4C121F693.jpg Recorded in vaulted hill top church, an industrial warehouse, a community center and a living room, up and down the California coast, over the course of five months, ellul’s self titled debut is surprisingly established. Produced and engineered by Chris Schlarb the group added his electric guitar to contributions from Adam Garcia (Timonium, belltower) on drums and Anthony Shadduck (Nels Cline, I Heart Lung) on bass. Dueling live/programmed drum patterns, shimmering guitar distortions and stunning choral harmonies are unearthed upon repeated listens. ellul have crafted a stunning debut album that reveals heavy doses of progressive electro-acoustic musicianship with each spin.


4080.jpg THE DOCUMENT OF THE NEW L.A. MUSIC SCENE! One night. Forty bands. Two minutes to make their mark. In the tradition of underground rock movies like THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION and URGH! A MUSIC WAR, comes an instant cult-classic: 40 BANDS/80 MINUTES! On one night in Hollywood, over forty of Los Angeles’ most amazing, experimental and eccentric bands join together with one daring goal: to present their uncompromising musical visions to the world in two minute blasts! Using shared equipment, each band has only one chance to get it right. No second takes allowed, everything captured live with multiple cameras and audiophile-quality sound! These bands fuse electronic, rock, dance, metal, jazz, noise and punk within one amazing community. This is your glimpse into the future of music… This is 40 BANDS/80 MINUTES!

I Heart Lung- The Kannenberg Sessions (SAA1136)

71C566F6-AE17-4A80-BB22-A7741A6773AF.jpg A long distance run-around recorded in Paris, Long Beach and London. Field recordings by Chicagoan John Kannenberg were provided to I Heart Lung who treated them as another improvisor. Without listening to the recordings the group, joined by bassist Anthony Shadduck, mimiced, goaded and otherwise played with the pre-recorded sounds; somehow changing the static to the fluid. Recorded in Long Beach immediately following the return from their 2005 tour with Castanets and Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice.

Bizzart- Bloodshot Mama (SAA1134)

C4C0844D-6657-46F5-95DD-E6C43313ABBF.jpg Between 2003’s Ear Drung and 2006’s Bloodshot Mama, Bizzart became something altogether new. Once a spoken word artist turned M.C. turned abscratch expressionist Bizzart now occupies a circuit-bent performance art hip-hop space that none before him have occupied. A reformed poet who has lost faith in words alone, Bizzart has tucked Alkalyne’s boom bap into bed with Accident’s live noise comprovisations and together they dream of childhood and pray to a distant God. The album features contributions from a staggeringly diverse group of artists including I Heart Lung, Awol One, Yarah Bravo, Justin Vollmar and Dulok Shaman.

Nichole and the Dreamcatchers + Various Artists- Krismus Karuls (KK01)

5AB83900-4A5A-4ECA-9EE8-F19A346AFF4B.jpg Originally released in 2003 on Konstrictor Productions this fantastically bizzare record features both a 7 song Christmas EP from Nichole & The Dreamcatchers, whose lead singer, Nichole, is in full command of her twelve year old voice shaped at the hands of Gary Gooper. Amazing stuff. Then the full on extravaganza. Two tracks from Half-Handed Cloud, The Mary Hamhocks (Liz Janes and husband- erstwhile Slowly Rotating Fan- Michael Kaufmann) and Mary Krismus. Probably the prettiest thing Create (!) has ever recorded (”Hymn for St. John of Shanghai”- bonus points if you know what he is the patron saint of…), a great lo-fi, fun instrumental from elusive My Marathon and a simply astounding piece of music from Joel Pickell (drummer and musician in the travelling Half-Handed Cloud circus). What is Christmas without kids!?? Childhood tape recordings from 1978 and 87 bookend the tracks and the album tops off with “Red & Green” from themorningcall featuring some sweet baby chatter.

Castanets/I Heart Lung- split 12″ (AS002)

33ECEE8B-EFE6-494E-A921-7C317CC2795F.jpg This limited edition 12″ features two unreleased cuts from Asthmatic Kitty recording artists Castanets and three all new pieces from Sounds Are Active’s I Heart Lung. Set to a limited edtion run of 400 copies these rare marbled vinyl LP’s will be going fast. And once they’re gone, they’re gone. Pressed and sold on the recent Oort Cloud BBQ/Sainthood Now tour which saw I Heart Lung touring along side Castanets and Wooden Wand & Vanishing Voice. One long-form Castanets composite along with a shorter piece make up Side A. I Heart Lung contributes one rapid-fire free jazz romp on “Speedboats For Breakfast”, one ballad and the near 8-minute “If I Were A Young Man Now.” Delicious droney stuff from all involved.

Create (!)- A Prospect of Freedom (SAA1126)

5B665AD5-142D-48A7-BA1E-A60A4D99AC30.jpg On the 19th of December, 2004, Create (!), augmented by Raymond Raposa of Castanets, Lynn Johnston and Kris Tiner, recorded its first full length album since 2001’s Patterns. A Prospect of Freedom is a beautifully dense album that birthed equally stunning musicianship over the album’s eight tracks. This music surprises and seem to bridge the gap between Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians and Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz. Coupled with their collaborative release with Liz Janes on Asthmatic Kitty, released in September of 2005, Create (!) have entered another phase of hyperactivity. Their long-awaited, rumoured and beloved studio full length looks to be their next chapter.

Strata- A Young Person’s Guide To Experimental Music (SAA1125)

3379F1D0-05C4-49BE-94BA-B9A6AB1299BB.jpg An ambitious compilation of noise, electronic, hip-hop, free jazz, prog and experimental music, Strata- A Young Person’s Guide To Experimental Music is a primer for those of any age. Featuring rare, new and unreleased tracks from: Create (!), Bizzart, Melk The G6-49, Lafcadio, Soul-Junk, MakeShift:Shelter, Manners For Husbands, Receptor Sight, Electric iLL and others. Collected from the Sounds Are Active and Joyful Noise record labels, Strata- A Young Person’s Guide To Experimental Music, presents both previously unreleased and downloadable tracks with album cuts.

I Heart Lung- Blood & Light (SAA1121)

ADA0EA10-9C92-4E9D-AE27-A858468B223C.jpg Recorded in a single three hour session at a now abandoned rehearsal studio, Blood & Light is the result of long-simmering mutual admiration and a strange turn of events. The recording session that produced this album wasn’t even supposed to have taken place. However after an aborted performance and with newfound time on their hands Blood & Light became. The sounds, textures and improvisations collected here were created without premeditation. Recorded with no overdubs or effects Blood & Light tells stories of subway trains, angels, gnomes, drones, miracles, hopes, glassy voices and fears.

Sounds Are Active/Asthmatic Kitty Sampler (AS001)

B7EB3DC1-F4D7-43D1-BA86-6E45BAAFFF2E.jpg Sounds Are Active and sister label Asthmatic Kitty have pooled their collective talents to put something beautiful into the world: the 2004 Sampler. Over over 74 minutes of music from these two unceasingly original record labels. The Asthmatic Kitty “Side” features songs from Sufjan Stevens’ first three albums, as well as three tracks from the unrelentingly joyous Half-Handed Cloud. Songs by Liz Janes, Castanets and Viva Voce round out the 11 tracks- 3 heretofore unreleased. The Sounds Are Active “Side” teems with spastic new work from Melk The G6-49, Bizzart and Deneir. New and unreleased tracks from Soul-Junk, Vla Hemia and Create (!). Softer pieces contributed by Xn. (featuring a slick remix from hip-hop producer supreme Omid) and the brooding “Two Planes for Elliott Smith” by the Constantine/Levin/Phillips/Schlarb/Shadduck quintet.