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Shearwater Records release

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Shearwater Records release

Postby stormo on Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:42 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the first in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

The Pulgosers: OCF 01
Aficionados of the Pulgosers’ intense live shows may be surprised the quiet nature of much of this release, the last recording that they made before the departure of key member, Brian O’Connell, for Europe. O’Connell’s typically art brut bass part for ‘Notorio’ stirs up this menacing journey through otherwise small, carefully controlled events which occur just at the edge of perception. A dark, disquieting little record.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16562354-6d3
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Postby stormo on Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:33 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the second in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Dave Able: OCF 02
Yes another missive from the reliably prolific Dave Able. Now an art school lecturer, in the late eighties Able was a member of the notorious ‘Artkore Kollektiv, whose antics involved such performance art pieces as “100xKuntz”, a day-long interpretation of the Butthole Surfers’ classic by a hundred-strong choir, and “Burning My Bridges”, the arson of an unpopular local dealer gallery. This release is typical of his current output: objets sonores of the most minimal of components, flickering into and out of life on a thickly fogged sonic plain, to strangely emotional effect.

These tracks will also appear on Able’s next album, to be released on Dissolving Sand Network in late 2012.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 12.25 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16607336-1ea

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:17 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the third in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Live At The Chamber Of Commerce: OCF 03

An eccentric and mystifying chunk of electro-acoustic oddness from Scandinavia. Apparently these two tracks are excerpts from the same gallery performance in Oslo by a group who barely knew each other, sometime in the early 2000’s – although to be honest, it could be any city with a decent art school in the last forty years. But what do you expect from a band who apparently take their name from a little-known Nam June Paik piece? And in fact a Fluxus, Cagean air permeates the whole affair. A soprano mutters away in one corner, heavily treated wind instruments are abused, other random instruments are stroked or plucked, and then suddenly, half way through the second side, the most edifying outsider/Krautrock drumming I’ve heard kicks a groove in and draws it all together so that it slithers, Ouroboros like, up its own [american bottom], only to reappear suddenly from an entirely different orifice. Coleyisms abound as a result… It’s really very good. And strange. And good.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 14.0 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16655192-33b

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:18 am

ah, American bottom! hilarious
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Postby stormo on Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:55 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the fourth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

In the early 2000's, Martin Field was the driving force behind Sydney’s Don’t Send Me Back To Art School. Long before morally dubious young women with fringes and their mums made ukuleles hip, Don’t Send Me Back To Art School were responsible for a series of cassette-only reinterpretations of New Zealand noise music classiscs, such as “Killing Ukuleles With Ukuleles”, “Inner-city Ukulele Perspectives”, and – one of my own desert-island disks – the hilarious and strangely affecting “Ukulele Kills”.

During the recording of “L’Ukulele Non”, Field was diagnosed with a rare blood disease which necessitated complete inactivity. He documented the move back to his home town of Hawera and the physical and emotional tribulations of recovery in his zine, “A Period Of Ill Health”.

Over the last couple of years Field has re-emerged as a recording artist under the moniker Overhead Underground, eschewing his former pranksterism for a more serious, studied approach. I’m honoured to be able to release this, his most recent recording. Like all good experimental music, it sounds just as good playing quietly in the corner as it does if you play it ridiculously loudly. Huge blocks of sculpted noise alternate with tangled webs of speech, alluding to Don’t Send Me Back To Art School’s first cassette, “I Am Sitting In The Gloom”. It may sound simple, but in fact Field is able to wring surprising sonic complexity from these basic materials.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 14.6 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16705382-c3f

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:09 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the fifth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

bLOWFLY were a notorious “art-terrorist” band in the late 80’s/early 90’s Auckland scene, who, after starting life as an E.N.T. inspired grindcore unit, morphed into a full scale Industrial Goth performance art bloodbath, with music coming second to on-stage rituals of sado-masochism, abjection and body fear. I was lucky – or unlucky – enough to be present at their last gig in 1992. A few dozen of us were scattered across the floor of the Gluepot, and we were pelted with rotting meat, faeces, used tampons and light bulbs filled with animal’s blood before witnessing the band imploding while their drummer administered himself with what proved to be a fatal dose of heroin.

The band were apparently deeply traumatised by the incident and went their separate ways. Bassist Harriet Palmer went on to run the excellent label Vile Stories and to play, as DJ Tantrum, an important part in establishing jungle and drum and bass in Auckland. Under a bewildering number of pseudonyms she has also released a steady stream of her own music, much of it influenced by the long period she lived in Kyoto.

This release, as International Conspiracy of Scientists, is typical of her challenging oeuvre. Two lovely, beautifully textured pieces of digital musique concrete lull you into tranquillity before you’re presented with the kind of piercing drone that inhabits the outer realm of Japanese experimental music. Apparently it’s generated by the unprocessed signal from a faulty delay pedal, and, like all of Palmer’s work, it makes you glad to have lost the edge off your hearing in such elegant and blessed-out style.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 11.2 Mb

http://www.divshare.com/download/16750740-c16

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:52 am

OCF 06 – Smith vs Brown

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the sixth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

I don’t think I’d be exposing any prejudices unshared by anyone reading this if I said that (Radiant Records aside) I’d always assumed that the musical scene in Timaru would be a hotbed of Top Forty pap and Classic Rock.

Not so. There seems, in fact, to be quite the active nexus of radical music hard at work down there. Smith vs Brown, brothers Andrew and Paul Jones and an assortment of friends and family, are one of its leading lights, combining cerebral rigour with an impressively aggressive sound. They’re responsible for a handful of excellent lathe-cuts, cassettes and CD-r’s, including the genius ‘Breath of the Volcano’, and Andrew writes the zine ‘Pudgy Doll’, the main source of documentation of their small and vital scene.

These two tracks display the complementary sides of their musical personalities. ‘Another Time, Perhaps’ is a collage of clattering sound effects, sine bass, a queasily panning drum loop possibly quoting the middle section of ‘Saucerful of Secrets’, and a primitivist guitar line that sounds as though the guitarist is imagining himself throttling a chook. Its companion, despite its flippant title, is a monolithic thumper that shows why Smith vs Brown have earned a reputation for bone-shakingly ferocious live performances. Distorted drums and lolloping bass provide a Krautrock schema across which is stretched a network of heavily effected post-rock squeals, scrapes and drones, sounding like nothing so much as a desperate robot trying to escape from a burning building. It’s great stuff – a Wagnerian counterpoint to the dross of everyday life.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 11.39 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16805401-394

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Mon Feb 27, 2012 9:48 am

OCF 07 – Glass Aspiedel

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the seventh in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Glass Aspiedel is a one-off mail art collaboration between Timaru’s Glen Farmer and Australian producer Simon Bell. Farmer’s work consists of chopped and screwed manipulations of track from sound effects cds, and he has contributed to several key works from the Timaru scene, including Twelve Dollah’s ‘12Bux’, Moley’s ‘Buttercamp Don’t Melt’ and Smith vs Brown’s ‘Breath of the Volcano’. Simon Bell is best known as the only member of the charmingly named suckcore group MONG who doesn’t have Down Syndrome – their two albums, ‘Men Of New Guns’ and ‘My Only Night Garden’ are possibly the most [forking] unlistenable things I’ve ever heard, like Hanatarash on crack. His solo work, on the other hand, is extraordinarily pretty, huge fields of Max/MSP loveliness.

Farmer and Bell met through an on-line gaming forum, and OCF 07 is the result. Farmer’s contribution will possibly be familiar to Shearwater Records aficionados – another version is a component of Smith vs Brown’s ‘Another Time, Perhaps’: an industrial nightmare of railways and factory noises, [&*^%&$] up and dubbed out on an old four-track so that the trains seem to run across the ceiling, Escher-wise. (As a side-note, I assumed when I first heard this that it was an allusion to ‘Étude aux chemins de fer’, but to our mutual surprise, when I brought this up with Farmer, he’d never heard of Schaeffer. A quick point to ubuweb sorted him out nicely).

Smith then disorientates the listener further with three successive iterations of granular synthesis, abstracting the final product increasingly far from its original source. Apparently it’s inspired by the time lapse interludes in ‘A Zed and Two Noughts, and it’s terrific, finely detailed stuff, a study of the beauty of the processes of breakage and decay.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 13.7 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16888727-bd9

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Mar 09, 2012 12:52 pm

Conni Stadft – OCF 08

People who used to know me in Auckland will probably remember my friend Theresa Stadft – she lived round the corner from our house in Ponsonby and came with us to the first Big Day Out. About the same time, she formed the duo Conni Stadft with her girlfriend, Jane Conni, and fifteen – no, Jesus, eighteen – years later, they’re still going strong. I’d actually lost touch with the two ladies after I shifted to Mt Eden – the last time I saw either of them was at the party at their house in Tutanekai St which made it onto the front page of the Herald – and it was with real pleasure that we found each other again through that most 21st century of social interactions, the Facbook reconnection. Since then, Theresa has been sending me a steady stream of cd-r’s of their past work, and it’s really cool. Most is sadly unreleased, and it ranges from completely immature Casiotone jokes albums with titles like, ‘Songs about Farting’ – through to heavy chunks of plunderphonics and tape music. Their four-piece psychedelic off-shoot, StarCat1000AD, had a couple of student radio station hits in the mid 200’s.

In the last few years, Jane and Theresa have been producing more serious, electro-acoustic based work which explores the tension between contemporary music’s origins in the body and its movement, and its status as the end-point of a mechanized process. If this sounds too rigorous and academic for listenability, the reverse is actually true. Their present work – and OCF 08 is a great example – is sparse, elegant and moving. In fact, I’m pleased to able to say that I actually appear on this one. A few months ago they asked me to send them a couple of recordings of the most organic sounds I could manage that were not connected to urinating or defecating, or were sexual in any way; so, the samples of breathing and (I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this) toe-nail clipping on the first track are me. It’s set against a background of pure sine-wave prettiness, as are the heavily effected Eastern European vocals on the following two tracks. A lovely, atmospheric release.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 15.37 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/16986953-3a9

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:46 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the ninth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Cloaking Device – OCF 09

I fricking love this gorgeous records, which makes it even more frustrating I know next to nothing to tell you about the band that made it, other than that they’re a couple of chaps for work for a West Auckland IT company and who are clearly big fans of Oval and Flying Saucer Attack. Well, what else? West Auckland seems to exist in the popular imagination as an extension of Australia, a working-class paradise of beer, mullets and James Hetfield’s vocalisations of his constipatory problems. It has a whole other history, of course, and a winter’s drive through the back end of the Waitakere ranges will take you through a seemingly endless palimpsest of mist and hills, behind which are hidden ghost houses, high-walled compounds of esoteric cults, apparently purposeless giant metal structures, secret railways, rail tunnels, secret pits, secret ‘storm-water drains’ that lead to nothing or to enormous underground silos, abandoned half-built housing tracts with signs in strange languages, abandoned air-strips… If you stopped at a particular point near the end of the Scenic Drive, you used to be able to see a huge concrete wall in the middle of the bush, and behind it a group of office buildings, lights and satellite dishes. Cloaking Device provide the soundtrack for this moment….

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 11.83 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/17044463-06d

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Mar 30, 2012 3:20 pm

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the tenth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Alfriston Spires – OCF 10

Anyone who lived in central Auckland in the mid 90’s will remember the D3kkB1tchz, a notorious group of, frankly, wigger university students who spent their time tagging, posing, organising terrible house parties , and trying to start turf wars with the local KC’s. David Morton, the man behind Alfriston Spires, was one of those guys. The others have gone on to become tattooists, managers of barbecue reggae bands, gallery curators and small-time drug importers: Morton is now a counsellor in Wellington. He’s been in a wide range of bands over the years, from bad taste rock (the Bruce Lowell Motion), dubby psi-trance (Psilent Canister) to creepy proto-hauntology (the Wait-for-Me Kitten), and is also the author of several books on the life experiences of people with various mental conditions: bipolarity, autism, OCD. His best known book is ‘The Idiot’s Guide To Global Developmental Delay’.

So, a clever man, multi-talented, something of a smart-arse.

In mid-2010 Morton received a Foster Award to fund working for six months full time on his solo sound art project, Alfriston Spires. What eventuated was ‘The Extra-Ordinary Ear’, an attempt to replicate, for the average listener, the experiences of a sufferer of the aural variant of Dabrowksy’s ‘overexcitibilities’. This is a controversial, little-known but not uncommon condition, in which a particular sense is heightened or magnified to a degree which is often overwhelming, sometimes debilitatingly so, most often found among the autistic and the gifted. Ever the over-achiever, Morton, who identifies as having tendencies toward the visual and tactile variants of this condition himself, produced an abundance of material, much of which is unreleased.

Here are three examples of his work. Morton’s straight-forward titles reflect the plain, unvarnished sound of close-miked ordinary objects – cd cases, screws, knives, bottle caps – which drone, mutter, screech and mumble and rattle as though they were acting in a Greek tragedy. The ‘extra-ordinary ear’ is the microphone which catches their cries, and which is bowed directly as well, producing a sound exactly like burning harpies flying up the cable and out your speakers. Suddenly, you can hear the voices of the world of sound that constantly occurs just beyond the nerve-ends of our hearing.

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 11.9 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/17176608-13d

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:21 am

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the eleventh in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Digital Edit – OCF 11

In the year 1998, notorious Wellington record collector Simon Mossman gave his autistic younger brother Julian, who was still living with their parents in Levin, a computer with some cracked audio software and a soundcard. Julian immediately began to experiment with making loops of whatever came to hand: found sound, advertisements, commercial radio, TV themes, his parents’ Boston Pops Orchestra and Gilbert and Sullivan records. Simon hooked him up with French label l’Elefante, who released two albums of Julian’s material, ‘Songs of Sincerity and Pain,’ (2000), and ‘Unpardonable Regret’ (2001).

Hans Grüber was a guitarist in a decade’s worth of Dusseldorf punk bands, the best known of which was Die Elektrische Haus. Around 2000 he did what many of us were doing back then, and made the big shift to improvised music, employing a style heavily influenced by Derek Bailey’s ‘non-idiomatic’ guitar playing. In 2001 Die Elektrische Haus disbanded after the tragic death of their charismatic singer in a car accident. At the same time, Grüber bought a copy of ‘Unpardonable Regret’, and, seeking a new music project for his attention, realised that Mossman’s sparse, hiccupping cut-ups would fit exactly with the sharp, semi-random attacks of his new-found technique.

Grüber wrote to Mossman, asking him if he’d like to collaborate, and include a cd-r of three tracks which Mossman immediately sliced to pieces. The Digital Edit sound was born, which the pair have pursued ever since with monomaniacal intensity. They’ve become something of a minor legend, famously having never met in the flesh – in fact, still knowing next to nothing about each other on a personal level. Grüber, for example, only discovered that Mossman is fifteen years his junior when he read it in the Wire article about them, and they only realised that they’d been living ten minute’s walk from each other when in London for two years when Mossman casually mentioned in an email to Grüber that he’d moved back to New Zealand.

Over the decade of their existence, Digital Edit’s sound has remained entirely unchanged. They are what it says on the box: Grüber hacks and slashes at his long suffering Ibanez, and the result is digitally edited by Mossman chopping and slicing the notes in virtuoso displays of the audio knife-master’s art.

Here are two examples. The first dates from 2001 and is an out-take of their first album ‘The Return to Torque, Mistaken’, and the other
was completed by Mossman only three weeks ago. Feel your ears re-opening.


Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 12 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/17441280-957


This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Mon May 07, 2012 5:20 pm

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the twelfth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Another Ordinary Day – OCF 12

Now, if you’re reading this you most probably know all about the supergiant ‘Improvised Music from Japan’ collection, and you may be interested to know that the germination of the project that has blossomed as Shearwater Records occurred when I illicitly obtained a copy it in digital form six or seven years ago. Flash forward to the present time and many, many iterations later, I can only hope that the results have been decorating your hard drives and aural cavities.

Why is this relevant? This week’s release is by two genuine Japanese musicians, who have genuinely been in Japanese bands – and now they are resident in a crazy Stepford Wives gated set-up in suburban Raumati.

Their names are, apparently, Yoshimi Youthcult and Akira Youthcult, and they met – I love this – as teenagers on exchange to Australia at a Birchville/Sandoz gig in Sydney. Akira Youthcult comes from Japanese avant-garde aristocracy (his father having played in Group Ongaku), and he’s been a key player in such bands as 10 Lips Strike, Xerokillerx and Pig [fork] Pig. Yoshimi Youthcult was a member of Alice Sister, a group of young women who rejected the machismo-bound nature of experimental music gigs in their home town and preferred instead to make home recordings and play in small, salon-style situations in each others’ living rooms and apartments. (Pundits may note that one of my favourite artists, Yuko Nexus6, comes from a similar scene).

The two have played together as Another Ordinary Day since meeting, and have received very strong reviews for their previous self-releases on their label 2 Plum Dogs: this is their first release on another label, and also their first one since moving to New Zealand in 2010. Their earlier work combined Yoshimi’s manipulations and reworkings of 80’s pop tunes with Akira’s aggressive Gameboy-generated Techno: this sound is now long-gone. Instead the couple have consciously attempted to place themselves in the tradition of Japanese experimental music. A spinning coin introduces a gorgeous, shimmering field of sine tones, underpinned by off-kilter percussion, mysterious bass pulses, Kaosilator blips and heavily vocodered vocals. It’s one of those great recordings where time seems to stop and the sound floats out of the speaker and pools in the corners of the room. A lovely little release by a band destined for great things.


Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 12 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/17580935-9b3

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Tue May 08, 2012 2:25 pm

Here you go, to make up for my slackness recently in getting Shearwater product to your hard drive: ‘37.2 degrees le matin’, an entire album by Conni Stadft. You may remember that they’re a duo from Auckland who have been making small scale sound artefacts for a couple of decades now. Until recently their work was split neatly into two – what they called ‘poohbum’ music, scatological satires on a range of alternative music styles, and plunderphonic collages called, after Nerys Treacy, ‘innappropriations’ – the theft of art of dubious nature detourned to your own purpose.

This is in the second group, a melancholic, atmospheric re-imagining of the soundtrack to that early 90’s shocker of French art-film misogyny, Betty Blue. Apparently the pair would, as pseudo-Bohemian early twenty-somethings, obsessively play the oriiganl after imbibing industrial amounts of poppy tea. Stadft freely admits that they had an ‘unhealthy identification with the self-harming and extremely shaggable female lead. Oh well.’ Some considerable time later and after finding a copy of it in a thrift store, they were disappointed to discover that, straight and as adults, the music is actually diabolically banal. Hence this, an attempt to regain the wasted beauties of their early youth.

You can download it here: http://www.divshare.com/download/17587309-94a

And it’s on the website, here: http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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Postby stormo on Fri May 11, 2012 3:51 pm

Shearwater Records is pleased to announce the thirteenth in a series of weekly – more or less – releases in their virtual seven inch “OCF” series.

Obsidion Gaze – OCF 13

Remember when your noise friends went metal? We grew beards, dressed like Ringwraiths, and were in bands that sounded like burnt tree stumps slowly being lowered into pools of lead. Those days are gone now, and the rate of cultural change has accelerated to the point where the memory of them is only faintly distant...

Well, some of us have remained true believers, and here’s something for those of you who are sick of being fed with that happy clip-clap yip woot crap…. Because, frankly, there’s nothing more satisfying when winter finally breaks and the weather is pleasingly grim than providing it with a commensurately grim sound track. For your severe weather warning, I give you Obsidion Gaze. The band formed in 2007 when founding members B. and M. met in Christchurch and bonded over M.’s Metallic Corpses t-shirt. A few years later they followed the gold dollar to Perth, where the weather is not grim exactly, but still unendurable. Since then, they have also played, together or separately, in a host of such other bands as From The Mouths Of Ill Men, Snake Priest, Blasted Exhumations, Bloodraven and Purity Raised From Ashes, but, along with the addition of Malaysian guitarist R., it’s as Obsidion Gaze that they’ve become mainstays of Perth’s virulently unhealthy Doom scene. They have toured Europe and South Asia a couple of times, playing Dutch squats, Filipino tea-houses, and once in an otherwise empty soccer stadium to a small group of enthusiastic Basque skater punks.

Despite all this activity, they have until now remained unrecorded, so I’m very pleased to present this, their first official release. Huge swathes of black despairing guitar and synth are layered over your ears for eternity. I don’t know about you, but I love this kind of thing: there’s always something gratifyingly calming about borne along by music which is so stripped of everything except its essential intent. This is great stuff – for [fork]’s sake, someone call Southern Lord now!

Available for free from the DivShare link below. Size: 12.8 Mb.

http://www.divshare.com/download/17635185-908

This and previous releases are archived at http://shearwaterrecords.blogspot.com/
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