Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Brian Ruryk has been making tapes for over 30 years.  He's been working away, deconstructing solo guitar and continues to be a shining light in the Canadian underground scene.

I recently caught up with Ruryk at a show he was playing in Toronto. His live performances are  intense displays of destruction often involving overturning crates of rubber balls, throwing debris, broken guitars, general mayhem. These sets are volatile, bordering on violent, Dada and not to be missed. I asked him about new releases and he reached down under some dead leaves and pulled out three cassettes. Each one was taped inside an envelope and the task of getting the cassette out meant partial destruction of the packaging. A very clever move and a finger in the face of collector scum.

Each of these tapes are 60-minutes, showcasing what Brian does best: disorienting guitar garbage cut-up scrambles.  In the age of short attention spans, no piece of sound on these seems to last more than 30 seconds - most much less - expertly collaged with all-thumbs, layered with weird field recordings and found sound. These are handmade self-releases.  I thought the label had no name, no catalogue numbers as the packaging never indicated any. However, recent internet trolling has led me to discover the label does have a name: Eyeofth Ephallus.  Also, there are catalogue numbers. However - as most information on the internet - this is suspect as the site also lists a cassette from 2002 with a higher catalogue number than those released this year...

"Trout Mask Replica" - According to the packaging this tape of "Guitars etc" is dated November 2014 and is the newest release of the batch.  Some brief vocal stutters captured and sew across acoustic strum offs. This tape has some nice quieter almost ambient moments interspersed amongst explosions. The splice of pilfered radio/TV recordings add to the aural confusion.
"Nothing But Trouble" - This tape came out at the end of October. The words "acoustic guitars in public" is scrawled on the cover and it's a pretty good description of the sounds on the tape.  A document recorded live on the streets of Ontario then collaged together by the artist captures passing planes, traffic, conversations and guitars at varying fidelity.  Weird tape warbles and sharp cuts create some great environments.
"Country Style Guitar and Blues"  - The liner notes say this was recorded at Ruryk's Toronto jam space.  The axe was clearly left in the blender.  Acoustic/electric burn outs and feedback fast-action rip this tape along at break-neck speeds. Distorted and dangled out the window this tape is weird for sure... 

Not only is the anti-collector packaging appealing in this day of mass consumption and commodity fetishism, I also commend Ruryk's working method.  When so many artists turn to rare or expensive equipment, boutique pedals and fancy post-production to polish their final product, these tapes contain the raw deal. Not to say they were not edited with care but Ruryk works with material at hand, found in the street, broken and breaking down. If you like the sound of breaking down, get the real thing:

Also check photos of some older Ruryk releases:

Interview with Ruryk from 2010:

Friday, October 24, 2014

FOSSILS, "The Cardigan Hour"


FOSSILS “The Cardigan Hour”   CDR
KSE #286 / MJC #440
a collaboration with Middle James Co. and Kendra Steiner Editions
edition of 48 copies
Fossils were T. J. Borden, Daniel Farr, Rob Michalchuk, and David Payne.
Recorded live in Brantford and Hamilton, Ontario, and Buffalo, NY, in 2014

Bill Shute of KSE had this to say...
This latest installment from the ever-evolving FOSSILS crew could be described as “chamber Fossils, ” if  such a thing is possible. If you can imagine FACE TO FACE-era Spontaneous Music Ensemble with washes of electronics woven into the fabric, you might have some idea of how this sounds….then again, it’s really nothing like that! It’s largely acoustic, with instruments being played in coloristic, non-traditional ways and with subtle electronics (and found speech—an absurd yet sad phone message). The FOSSILS emphasis on texture is primary once again, but in a way that’s fresh and unexpected….and that’s pretty much true of ANY Fossils performance or album…which is why they are ESSENTIAL to the scene.

Back during my teenage years, The Clash used to be billed by their label as “the only band that matters” (let’s not forget that this is the same label that once ran the infamous “The Man Can’t Bust Our Music” ad campaign in the late 60’s). I can’t imagine Joe Strummer approving that line, except perhaps ironically, but if there ever WAS a unit deserving of the title, I’d say it’s FOSSILS, who may make a lot of noise but let the work quietly speak for itself in the marketplace (no hype, no hipster posing, no airbrushed pics in The Wire). And if there is a DIY lo-fi independent label I admire and that is an influence on KSE, it’s Fossils’ imprint Middle James Co. They are experimental without being pretentious, their music can be both witty and jarring (simultaneously), and even after dozens and dozens of releases, I can truthfully say that I have NO IDEA what their next release will be like. With so many “art edition” labels out there, and with “underground” distributors and zines seemingly forgetting the DIY/punk/Warhol-esque basis of all we do and favoring a cojones-free artschool approach to packaging and presentation, FOSSILS and Middle James are out there keeping it honest and keeping it low budget and REAL. KSE is proud to be partnering with Fossils and MJC on another release. Get it quick….only 24 copies available from us…and 24 from MJC….

check vid from the recording sessions here
available now for $10 ppd worldwide!
paypal =

also related
flashback to 2006 with Fossils "Grave Condition Vol 3" now in digital format

thanks for your support!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Brainville by Fossils

check out side a/order a physical copy of Fossils 'Brainville' tape
on the famed Banned Production label !

Recorded live to tape 2012 MJC HQ Hamilton Ontario.
Side A recorded direct to 4-track.
Side B constructed by Daniel Farr January 2013.

Originally released on cassette in 2013.

Fossils were David Payne and Daniel Farr. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wooly Bully (NO L7)

CARDINAL RECORDS is proud to announce
two new Fossils releases in physical and digital formats
material for both recorded direct to tape december 2013-april 2014
@ mjc hq hamilton, ontario; fossils were Daniel Farr and David Payne

continuing to work with Texas poet Bill Shute and his wonderful Kendra Steiner label
co-released with Middle James Co. we have the "wooly bully" cdr in an edition of merely 40
here's what Bill writes:

So much electronic music or “noise”  is boring or academic or repetitive or stupid or pretentious—-it lacks the FEELING and EMOTION and SENSE OF PLAY WITH INFINITE POSSIBILITY that initially got me excited about feedback/white-noise/electronics/noise-improv. Thankfully, FOSSILS are around to keep it raw and real and witty and abrasive and fresh and spontaneous and ever-evolving. Remember Wile E. Coyote always trying to blow up the Road Runner with various ACME explosive products? WOOLY BULLY is the free-improv/noise/DIY electronics version of Looney Tunes Acme products….AND SO MUCH MORE.  It’s like a musical version of a Stan Brakhage film but on steroids and with banana peels on the floor of the editing room. FOSSILS are the reigning kings of sly DIY industrial noise free-improv. Therefore, we at KSE are proud to announce that we have partnered with Middle James Co. of Ontario, Canada for this VERY limited Fossils release: a stunner of a CDR album, with a total of 40 copies made, 20 copies (odd numbers) available from Middle James Co/Cardinal Records and 20 copies (even numbers) available from KSE.

order for $5 + shipping

you can also stream/download the companion-piece "NO L7" at our bandcamp page

thank you for your support!

Friday, March 14, 2014

CARD12 FOSSILS cutting heads

CARDINAL RECORDS is proud to present
FOSSILS 'cutting heads' 7-inch lathe + cdr
These documents capture the Fossils collective live in international action showcasing international players. In various forms we have our core duo of Payne & Farr squaring off with longtime sax maniac Rob Michalchuk. We hear from critical American Fossils alum Nathaniel Brennan on trumpet, clarinet and vocals;  plus joining the crew Buffalo-based celloist T.J. Borden.
Here's the breakdown...

ONE SIDE - Fossils were Borden, Brennan & Payne September 30 2013 in New Haven & October 3 2013 in Boston edited & mixed by Daniel Farr.
OTHER SIDE - ...Farr, Michalchuk & Payne March 18 2013 in Brantford.

1.  ...Farr & Payne August 4 2012 in Albany
2.  ...Farr & Payne August 11 2012 in Rochester
3.  ...Michalchuk & Payne July 6 2013 in Brantford
4. ...Payne July 6 2013 in Brantford edited & mixed by Farr

stream the entire CDR for free or download for whatever price you choose here:

Lathes cut by Graham Baldwin at 2208

Limited to 25 copies.

$20 ppd North America
$23 ppd World


&&& for an extra $5 (shipping included) !!!

we have copies of a new collab between Fossils duo Farr/Payne and Texas poet Bill Shute.
'Diesel Fallout Dixie Stampede' is an oddball cdr using only the poet's spoken words as sound source.
read more about the release here: