Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Card Crew is now holding copies of this beautific vinyl endeavor on Graham Lambkin's KYE label, Million Year Spree.

Million Year Spree LP (Kye 14)

Million Year Spree is the first in an occasional series of shared LPs where two like-minded souls meet under one umbrella. Hamilton, Ontario's Fossils have long been the reigning kings of no-fi acoustic sewage, producing an endless stream of outstandingly dire handcut confusion. Calfornia's Darksmith came to public attention last year via their peerless Total Vacuum LP (Hanson). Wilting electronics, floppy turntableism and sun-baked cassette protocol are combined and destroyed in a claustrophobic void. With additional mixing by Graham Lambkin and mastering by Jason Lescalleet Million Year Spree is the last word on being and nothingness. Hand-numbered edition of 400.

Hear excerpts from Million Year Spree:

words from womblife.blogspot.com
This recent split from Graham Lambkin's Kye label brings together two of the more interesting dark-weird-noise projects of recent times onto one platter of found sound scrape and drone. With literally dozens of releases under its belt, Hamilton, Ontario's Fossils specialize in a handmade abstract noise that creeps and crawls its way into the listening space like a viral contamination. I'm thinking very early Sandoz Lab Technicians gone trash ambient or the Shadow Ring at their most minimal; but where both those ensembles are more concerned with structure vs. anti-structure, Fossils is all about jagged textures and surging post-industrial landscapes, or perhaps more accurately, pre-human landscapes.
The source of all these strange sounds is questionable at best, but that's part of the fun. Wind blows and distortion crackles throughout "Wider Knowledge of Man I-III" as post-industrial rhythms clank and groan beneath a surging tone that sounds like some sort of archaic engine revving to infinity. Things get more sinister with the subterranean excavations of "Snared On Broadway," which opens as a piercing high pitched whine that slowly dissipates to an inevitable drone death. It's the best thing found here, though too short. Graham Lambkin mixed both tracks, and his fingerprints are evident to anyone who's spent some time with his work with Jason Lescalleet or his recent solo outings.
The Darksmith side is a good bit subdued compared to the excellent Total Vacuum, which dropped on Hanson last year, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Its tense sheen of low murmurs and metallic scree invokes the quieter side of The New Blockaders one moment, the ambient bass hums of an interstellar trash compactor nestled away in the deepest reaches of space the next. It's less intense than what I've come to expect from Tom Darksmith but no less dramatic and requires maximum volume for proper sonic submersion. Mastered by Jason Lescalleet and highly recommended for fans of the rougher side of electro-acoustic sound art.

words from Scott Foust from Swill Radio
Split LP by these two masters of unidentifiable junk recordings. The Fossils side is highlighted by an absolutely ridiculous rising and falling tone that appears halfway through the first track. I never heard anything quite like it before. Tom Darksmith is as good as anyone at this sort of music, and his side shows why. His music has a subtle and organic sound that really pays off close listening.

words from yellowgreenred.com blog
Kye has got to be the cure for something… maybe not the common cold, or the blues, but some sort of physical or mental ailment that requires a complete brain flush. Think of the label as a sonic neti pot. This record pairs two like-minded non-musicians, offering a particularly confusing jumble of audio detritus and sounds left out on the curb by careless neighbors. The first Fossils cut sets Million Year Spree in motion with a slowly rising hearing-test tone that must be what it’s like for canines near a dog whistle… this single tone floats directly into a part of my brain I don’t often exercise, like eating a finely-prepared Szechuan meal that burns entirely different parts of the tongue. I’m not sure where one track begins and the next ends, but that tone is followed by a tumbling of mud and cardboard in a washing machine, real thick and chunky, and impossible to place in our natural realm. I could go on, but let’s flip over to Darksmith, a glorious sound-collagist in his own right. Darksmith goes for a subtler approach, doing that “sifting through the wreckage” thing that I enjoy so much, like metal detectors scanning a destroyed city for scraps of copper. I figured I would enjoy Darksmith more, but even as I found myself shaking my head more vigorously during the Fossils side, all of Million Year Spree is wonderfully disconcerting. Demand nothing less.

words from Keith Fullerton Whitman from Mimaroglu
september 2011 release ; ... a split release, offering a pair of pairs of lichen-coated, rusted-out electronics from fossils (a crossing of the high level bridge as recorded through the hole below the floormat of a 1986 datsun 300zx - oscillator goes up - car falls of bridge - slowly - goes underwater - drowns - extremely slowly - ... - ring-modulated tape loops as proof whole incident was in fact a fever-dream) & “tom” darksmith (hell freezes over - water set to boil - generators are started - thawing begins - apparitions are released - assorted biblical shamanry - mental wall of hysteresis converted from ethereal to actual by sublimation - break for lunch - cleanup - 6rpm dance party / digestion aid ... listen to the sound-sample for the last 4 of those things) ...comes in a striking negative-space addled sleeve ; best work i’ve heard from either party yet ...

words from Aquarius Records
The first in an occasional series from Graham Lamkin's Kye Records of split releases by like-minded noiseniks. Fossils are an outfit from Ontario, Canada, mostly content to release editions of 5-10 cassettes to their friends, amassing a discography that rivals that of Phil Blankenship or Aaron Dilloway. It's a horrific blackened noise that Fossils muster, with something that might resemble a band trying to break through the 10,000 year old tarpit of tape hiss that everything is buried in. It's either that or a tin can getting kicked around an alley. As those gritty noises settle onto the horizon, Fossils articulate an undulating sinewave that ramps up and down at a slow-motion cycle. This is smashed up in a noise-junk assault with some atonal blurts and alarm sirens screeching behind a smoldering aktionist pipe-fight. The Canadians finish things off with a desolate chorale of bowed metals, smashed radiators, and thumming engine noise, that all pitches into a grim stupor.
Tom Darksmith hails from San Francisco and has one fine piece of obliterated tape-music released on Hanson. He follows the tradition set by a generation of California nihilists (Joe Colley, Scott Arford, John Wiese, etc.) of creating the antithesis to fun-in-the-summer vibes. His hand-off, neurotic-ray-gun synth crawl is one taken right from the Maurizio Bianchi playbook with looping sandpaper textural scraping and EVP-like thumps in the night. This seance of dark electronics snaps to a hiss-laden recording of various rustlings, metallic scrapes, and strange emanations of vibrating ectoplasm. A halo of midrange feedback slowly blossoms across the activities, which collapse into the final episode of slumped activity that could be some nocturnal loop caught from failed demagnetization of tapes run through a 4-track a couple million times. Here lies the negation of sound. Dig it.

words from Weirdo Records
David Payne (aka Fossils, from Hamilton, Ontario) gets a great gray crumble going on, with interpolations of a clean sine wave or two, some fugly feedback & a bit of background clank-n-drag. On the b-side, Tom Darksmith rattles & spits fissures with lots of cassette-style hiss. Makes you think he was spying on some sort of evil factory with all the attendant rumbling across conveyor belts, empty rooms & unseen machinery behind the walls.

words from Metamkine (via Google translator)
Excellent first volume in a series of announced split. Fossils appear to manipulate the playback speed of disks or tapes and oscillators in their entire frequency range, if not cobbled guitars. This evokes a car chase that would end in a landfill but saved from the spare wheel stuck in the trunk. Darksmith gets stuck in the slow grooves of unhealthy fats and dusty appear before the hiss of cassettes poorly erased. Dark, claustrophobic and promising. Graham Lambkin and manager of the label has mixed the face Fossils and Jason Lescalleet has mastered it all. Limited to 400 copies.

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