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CASTLE FACE RECORDS

John Dwyer, Ryan Sawyer, Peter Kerlin, Tom Dolas, Brad Caulkins, Kyp Malone, Marcos Rodriguez, Ben Boye, Joce Soubiran, Laena Myers-Ionita & Andres Renteria

Moon-Drenched

    The same crew as the boundary pulsing improvisation record Bent Arcana has made a trajectory shift and picked up Ben Boye along the path. The aptly-named Moon-Drenched is the second instalment from these sessions and keeps a heavy-lidded late night perspective on things as it eases from the somewhat familiar liminal twilight of skittering hues of black-blue and snaking street groove, to fizzing off into the ether in pursuit of lunar prism beams heretofore unseen. The more rhythmically dialed bits here have a lysergic halo of strangeness to them, and the wispy bits between are spun of iridescent gossamer. It sounds like a frizzled message from a future just filthy with guitar hoots echoing off of neon-splattered high rises, oil-slicked waterways and skittering digital beasts. For Castle Face’s money this is the strangest slice of this last bunch of John Dwyer and his crew’s improvisations.



    TRACK LISTING

    1. Psychic Liberation
    2. X-Cannibal’s Kiss
    3. The War Clock
    4. Der Todesfall
    5. Get Thee To The Rookery
    6. Spoofing
    7. Terra Incognito

    Grave Flowers Bongo Band

    Strength Of Spring

      Los Angeles’ Grave Flowers Bongo Band’s sophomore LP “Strength of Spring” is an inverted pyramid balanced on the headstock of an acoustic guitar, a rainbow painted in campfire smoke, an endless staircase circling into the clouds. That acoustic guitar, perfectly captured here by Ty Segall’s excellently sere and close mic’d production, plays skeleton to these conjurors woolly grooves, and singer Gabe Flores’ thousand-yard moan keeps us guessing as to exactly where this wildebeest is headed. He pinions these far out tunes, which burst generously with shit-hot guitar leads, Stoogeseque sax squalls, and a gaggle of great eight-armed drum fills, with a flinty wrist-flicking heartbeat as the band turns from whimsy to nimble riffery on a dime, following that pied-piper six string jangling down many lovely rabbit-holes of melody and exploration. It’s obvious these guys play together a lot (the lineup shares two members with acclaimed space rockers Hoover III to boot) and the telepathy on display here is synapse-snappy. Coursing throughout is that note-pad filling, lighter raising, undefinable black magic that feels so rare these days….

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Lazy River
      2. Sleepy Eyes
      3. Tomorrow
      4. Smile
      5. Inner Bongolia
      6. Animal Lord
      7. VATMM
      8. Outer Bongolia
      9. Down Man

      The Fall

      Live At St. Helens Technical College '81

        "I’ve had the pleasure of being a Fall fan since I was a teen.

        I was lucky enough to have some guidance from my local record shop stoner-lords.

        They turned me on to many of my heroes, but once I heard my first slanted and barky Fall song, I was part of the army for life.

        The word prolific gets tossed around a lot.

        It almost seems like a slag-off in the press, as if they wish the artist would produce less so they wouldn’t have to do their self imposed job of judging releases for the rabble.

        The Fall is subjected to this lazy word often.

        Yet I can honestly say that I am SO thankful for any nugget of Fall that lands at my feet and in my brain.

        Live Fall performances are always a pleasure because they seem to take what already made the Fall great and push it even a bit more into the rough and bloody uncharted wasteland that is drug scorched proto-punk and heady political poetry.

        So, it is with great pleasure that we introduce this Fall bootleg soundboard recording to you.

        Recorded during one of the many strong points in the bands vast and mighty history.

        They really burn bright here and bring every ounce of what you expect from this formidable force.

        We have reached out to every surviving member of the band, the sound person, the bootlegger who recorded it and the photographer and received their blessings & help piecing it all together.

        Castle Face will be donating 50% of our profits to Centrepoint which helps the homeless in the Manchester area get back on their feet, so the local and deserving Fall fans get a little, and give a little back, too.

        Nothing but the hits here folks and as raw as you dig it.

        This one really is exceptional in terms of live sound for The Fall.

        All the stars were aligned over St. Helens that eve.

        And it wouldn’t be complete with a bit of Fall fan saltiness so, fuck you too, Jason.” - John Dwyer

        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Well look at this. It's a Fall live recording, which is obviously superb but it's also presented by Castle Face records, who have a superb reputation for bringing lovely vinyl packages that sound great. If you like The Fall, then this really is a no-brainer.

        TRACK LISTING

        Blob ’59
        Prole Art Threat
        Jawbone And The Air Rifle
        Middle Mass
        Rowche Rumble
        An Older Lover
        City Hobgoblins
        Leave The Capitol
        The NWRA
        Gramme Friday
        Fit And Working Again
        Muzorewi’s Daughter
        Slates, Slags, Etc

        EXEK

        Biased Advice

          “A weird trip of a band…the second this was playing I was immediately hooked. I initially dove in because their name was attached to Mikey Young for mastering (I have a rule with Mikey…if he had his hands on it, it’s probably worth a listen). This band exceeds in all my trials.

          “Esoteric nature, but oddly poppy and ready to prick up any ears out there. Deconstructed, but full of hooks. If I were a lazy man, and I am, I would say its for fans of PiL, but they transcend that pigeon-hole.

          “Wonderful production lends its self to this unique LP. It seems as if the room expands and contracts throughout songs. Pulling away, then blocking your field of vision entirely. Wasteland funk. Dub from the depths. Punk from the pit. “Even the instrumentation is worth mentioning: saxophone, drums (and cut-up drums), guitar, synthesizer, vocals (poetry) and general fuckery all combine to make this a very interesting and worthwhile escape from the average. And thank the Gods for that right now. Inspired and desired by the active mind. A job well done by EXEK, and there’s new stuff brewing too...

          “For fans of BEAK>, Phantom Band, PIL and general Jah Wobbleness, Magazine, short-wave radio, ESG and underground Kraut”. - John Dwyer.

          TRACK LISTING

          1. Submitted
          2. A Hedonist
          3. Foreign Lesions
          4. Replicate
          5. Baby Giant Squid

          John Dwyer, Ted Byrnesm Greg Coatesm Tom Dolas, Brad Caulkins

          Endless Garbage

            “Walk the dog. Exercise. Make art.’The mind is happy when the body is.’ Things I can potentially fill my days with if I am stuck at home for months on end…Then, one day, I hear a frenetic, free drummer playing in his garage a few blocks from me. And I think ‘interesting’. I stand outside his garage staring at the wall, like a fool, for a minute, then decide to leave a note on the car parked there. This is how I ended up meeting and working with Ted Byrnes. He wasn’t creeped out, and he ended up sending me a pile of truly spontaneous drums recordings from the carport to work with. I decided to have every musician come in one at at time and just take a wild pass at their track over the drums. None of these people had ever met or played together. I was the connecting thread. I scratched the surface initially with electric bass, saxophone, guitars, cuica, synthesizers, flute and effects, but soon realized I would need heavy hitters to make this place habitable. “Greg Coates, upright bass expressionist extraordinaire, hacked through the dense weeds, vines and frayed cabling. He lays the map out and makes breathing room. Space to swing a cat. Tom Dolas (keys), my often foil, came in and began tip-toeing through the rubble and refuse. Dotting the layout with flecks of light, flights of fancy and potential tangential trajectories. Then the finisher, Brad Caulkins on horns. As always, Brad came in like grace itself, scanned the floor for food, and huffed and puffed and blew the house down. He takes a bruiser situation and lends it some warmth and hospitality, old school. “After I spent a bit of time mixing and editing this down to a palatable offering I couldn’t help but think about human consumption. ...Endless Garbage seemed a fitting title. A cacophonous and glorious sketch of ourselves. For fans of Albert Ayler, ECM records, Gong, improvisation, sustainability and consumption” - John Dwyer.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. Vertical Infinity
            2. No Flutter
            3. Goose
            4. Four
            5. Lucky You
            6. Pro-Death
            7. A Grotesque Display
            8. No Goodbyes

            M. Caye Castagnetto

            Leap Second

              Influenced by a life split between Lima, London, and Twentynine Palms, Peru-born M. Caye Castagnetto’s Leap Second is an intriguingly personal and hard to classify debut album. The album is a thick collage of samples Caye recorded with different artists and musicians, including Beatrice Dillon and the late Aileen Bryant, that spans five years in the making. There is something in Leap Second that tracks the speed of bodies, how they approach and retreat. The ten tracks are speedy and languid, thick ruffles, and dirges. In parts it feels like one’s stumbled upon a forgotten incredible ’70s folk record but that feeling gets broken quickly by clever sleights of hand. Caye’s balladry is angular, time is elastic. Each song is a fresh cape. How dandies really mean it, so masc- that it’s fay, how the only moment is this one and it’s just passed, etcetera.

              “While it doesn’t really sound like anything else, there are moments that feel like a Latin-flavored Nico, that’s edging its way towards some of the outings of the Sun City Girls. In my opinion it checks all the boxes, by checking none of them.” —Bjorn Copeland, Black Dice. 

              “A truly interesting conglomeration of loose inspirations and conjurings. A hard to decipher sound all together which makes it worth every moment...a sprinkling of Catherine Ribeiro, Dr. John, Terje Rypdal and Nico. Far-out sun-soaked odysseys and moon-dappled woodland night creepers...” —John Dwyer.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. I Invented Disco
              2. Stopping You
              3. Slippery Snakes
              4. Mi Mentira
              5. All Points North
              6. Amor Cabra
              7. Hands On The Business
              8. Until
              9. Street Trees, Evening Green
              10. Chase Water, Blue Moon

              The newly shorn Oh Sees waste no time in racing headlong into nightmarish battle with the mighty Orc, and wouldn’t ya know it, they’ve clawed even farther up the ghastly peak last year’s A Weird Exits stormed so satisfyingly. The band is in tour-greased, anvil on a balance beam, gut-pleasingly heavy form, nimbly braining with equal dashes of abandon and menace on this fresh batch of bruisers and brooders, hypnotically stirred into to the cauldron of chaos you’ve come to expect from, ahem, Oh Sees. Fresh blood Paul Quattrone joins Dan Rincon to form a phalanx of interlocking double drums, alternately propelling and fleet footing shifting ground to pinion Dwyer’s cliff-face guitars to the boogie. Tim Hellman keeps it swinging like a battle-axe to the eyebrows. The tunes veer towards the violence of their live shows, with a few tasty swerves into other lanes… heavy to lush, groovy to stately… throughout it remains sinister in its swaggering skulk, manic in its fuzz-fried fugues… they hit all the sweet spots the heads foggily remember, and there’s plenty to sweat over if you just hopped into the sauna. Ew. More evil…more complex… more narcotic… more screech…. more blare…. more whisper… there’s even more Brigid. Less “Thee”, but more of everything else.

              TRACK LISTING

              01 “The Static God”
              02 “Nite Expo”
              03 “Animated Violence”
              04 “Keys To The Castle”
              05 “Jettisoned”
              06 “Cadaver Dog”
              07 “Paranoise”
              08 “Cooling Tower”
              09 “Drowned Beast”
              10 “Raw Optics”

              OSEES

              Panther Rotate

                Companion / remix album of art rock renegades’ latest, Protean Threat.

                “In the swirling and undulant warm mud of jettisoned reels of magnetic tape, blurps up the fog of reinvention. Every night I would parley with my pilots and run and rerun the recordings. Right up until the moment sleep slips its veil over eyes and ears and you drift back without a sound. Protean Threat dream haze becomes Panther Rotate in the other dimension. A companion LP of remixes, field recordings, and sonic experiments using all sounds generated by the him and crackle of the desert farm. “A second version of our Protean Threat if you will, but barely conspicuous in its relation. Forward, never straight! Sunrise, sunset. Two lives connected by a cosmic thread, One for your feet and one for your head. For fans of Thee Oh Sees, Oh Sees, OCS, The Oh Sees, Osees...etc etc etcetcetc…be well.” - John Dwyer.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Scramble Experiment
                2. Don’t Blow Your Experiment
                3. Synthesis
                4. Toadstool Experiment
                5. If I Had An Experiment
                6. Miz Experiment
                7. Terminal Experiment
                8. Poem 2
                9. Gong Experiment

                Population II

                A La O Terre

                  Introducing Population II

                  Blazing through the stratosphere
                  Boiling up from beneath the sea
                  Hanging in the air like smoke
                  These elemental tunes drift and fluctuate, at one with the air, over extreme heat
                  Population II has beamed out of Quebec with a mind melting debut of hard psych freckled with punk sentiment
                  Both old school and timeless
                  These young humans rip
                  They are impressive in their live actions and this album captures this raw energy on wax
                  Produced by Manu from the great band Chocolat
                  A very high bar has been set, indeed.
                  Fluid, tough, and over-saturated this album is bound to please fans of the label and new-comers alike reminiscent of Amon Duul, early Pink Floyd, Kollektiv, Laurence Vanay, Les Olivensteins, early Kraftwerk, even a touch of the Kinks.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  1. Introspection
                  2. Ce N'est R've
                  3. Les Vents
                  4. L'Offrande
                  5. La Nuit
                  6. Il Eut Une Silence Dans Le Ciel
                  7. Attraction
                  8. La Danse
                  9. ' La Porte De Demain
                  10. Je Laisse Le Soleil Briller

                  Brigid Dawson & The Mothers Network

                  Ballet Of Apes

                    Tip-top of our osmosis list is the first quiver of tunes from Brigid Dawson and her newly minted Mothers Network: wise warnings dyed in dark hues, knotted and hard-won torch songs from the edge of a turbulent sea, bittersweet balladry spun in defense against evils familiar and unknown. Lovely though it may seem from a distance, the striation of loss quicksilvered throughout provides weighty balance to her contralto lilt. Those familiar with her harmonic counterpoint from her time in Thee Oh Sees or in OCS know she can belt as well as lullaby but there’s a fresh and smolderingly heavy swing in her step on display here that we mightily dig.

                    “Ballet of Apes” tapestries together sessions that read like a who’s who from outside our own castle walls - in Australia with Mikey Young (Total Control/Eddy Current Suppression Ring), in San Francisco with Mike Donovan (ex Sic Alps), Shayde Sartin (ex Fresh & Onlys/lifetime ringer) and Mike Shoun (ex Oh Sees/Peacers), and in Brooklyn with instrumental heavy-weights Sunwatchers - and the results are spellbinding. At the focal point of this maelstrom, our lady, as if illumed by candlelight, intones, pleads, consoles - white magic perhaps but it carries with it the anodized tang of blood. 

                    TRACK LISTING

                    1. Is The Time For New Incarnations
                    2. The Fool
                    3. Carletta’s In Hats Again
                    4. When My Day Of The Crone Comes
                    5. Ballet Of Apes
                    6. Heartbreak Jazz
                    7. Trixxx

                    Eddy Current Suppression Ring

                    All In Good Time

                      It is impossible to deny no one sounds like Eddy Current. I was hooked from riff one and I was lucky enough to do a full tour of Australia with them years ago—good fucking boys, simple as beer and chips, and that satisfying live. But that’s not to say there aren’t odd complexities to their definitive sound. “You can smell Mikey Young’s guitar approach like Sasquatch rustling the bushes, every time you think you see the bend ahead, you go into a tunnel or backtrack for a moment, then back to a nice place you can call home. Rob [Solid]’s bass is pub-fuzz groove. It’s shellson- the-floor and leaning-against-the wall-with-one-hand-while-youhave- a-piss thinking: maybe you can take that guy? Only one way to find out— oh wait, he’s smiling…nice bloke! Danny [Young]’s drums are a clinic in reservedness: 4-on-the-floor. This guy’s Charlie Watts in the looking glass, every hit a necessity—solid, not flashy, like the lead street tough in a ‘70s flick. He don’t say much, but it counts. And then there is Brendan [Huntley], be-gloved lead mensch in this quartet. Singing with earnest street poet confidence, his message coming in on the weird-wire, hard to describe, best to just listen and see: a pubpunk- priest. “We are very pleased to have these boys back on the streets. It had been far too long.” - John Dwyer.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Castle Face definitely have a sound, and this newest one from Eddy Current Suppression Ring fits right in, seamlessly. Grooving guitars, frantic freak-outs and snarling vocal madness all embellish a satisfying and groove-led odyssey. Ace stuff.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. All In Good Time
                      2. Medieval Wall
                      3. Shoulders
                      4. Our Quiet Whisper
                      5. Voices
                      6. Reoccuring Dream
                      7. Vicariously Living
                      8. Future Self
                      9. Human Race
                      10. Like A Comet
                      11. Modern Man

                      Hey there, human kids,
                      Lift your face out of the feed trough and pluck that feculence from your ears. Hark! A sonar blip from beneath the pile of bodies. Boop, blip ughhh….
                      People churning like a boiling swamp. Man, this din is nauseating.
                      The screen flickers for the first time this year with a transmission from two months in the future:
                      “the internet has deemed guitar music dead and you are free to do whatever the fuck you like ….long live the new flesh!”

                      This album is Soundcloud hip-hop reversed, a far flung nemesis of contemporary country and flaccid algorithmic pop-barf.
                      No songs about money or love are floating in the ether.
                      Just memories, echoes, foggy blurs
                      Blip-blop goes the scope
                      Heavy funk
                      Dystopia-punk canons
                      Lonnnnng jams
                      Bloated solos dribbling down your caved-in chest.
                      Human cattle like a beef avalanche, right on your burned out face hole.
                      Spider legs fuzz crawling in your brain.
                      Lots of curse words for your mom.
                      You’ve gotten the over-population blues, so let’s have some art for art’s sake.
                      What else are you gonna do?
                      Stare at the sky? Please…
                      50 carbon copies of you look back at you as you walk the streets.
                      Take a breath, you’re going to need it.
                      Take drugs, you’re going to need those just to stand in line at the air and water reclamation center soon enough.
                      There’s no fruit, buddy.
                      You’re at the bleak-peak.
                      They will squeeze you till you’re all squeezed out.

                      For fans of fried prog burn out, squished old-school drool, double drums, lead weight bass, wizard keys (now with poison), old-ass guitar and horrible words with daft meanings.
                      If you don’t like it then don’t listen, bub.
                      Back to the comments section with you!
                      Easy
                      Over and out

                      - John Dwyer.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Obviously the Oh Sees had to release another album on the same week as their top competitors in the 'Who Can Write The Most Albums' game (it's a good one), and much like KG&tLW, they've smashed it once again. It's no surprise that Dwyer has formed a brilliantly heavy but perfectly nuanced mix of production perfection and instrumental devastation. Everything you'd imagine, and some stuff you probably wouldn't. Ace.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      The Daily Heavy
                      The Experimenter
                      Face Stabber
                      Snickersnee
                      Fu Xi
                      Scutum & Scorpius
                      Gholü
                      Poisoned Stones
                      Psy-Ops Dispatch
                      S.S. Luker’s Mom
                      Heartworm
                      Together Tomorrow
                      Captain Loosely
                      Henchlock

                      Just as you begin to get comfortable with something, the rug is pulled from under you. Very recently, John Dwyer and his band Oh Sees released their newest record, the monolithic psych opus Orc. This release represents the 19th album under some amalgam of the name Oh Sees/Thee Oh Sees/The Oh Sees, OCS, etc. Wasting no time, John Dwyer presents the 20th album (in the 20th year of the band's existence), ‘Memory of a Cut Off Head’ (out 17/11 on Castle Face), returning to his roots as OCS.

                      It is easy to forget (especially amidst the ringing of ears and aching of muscles after your typical Oh Sees show) that initially, OCS was a rather hushed affair. After the minimalistic brutality of Coachwhips, OCS was a diametric opposite corner of John’s musical world, quiet to the point of whispered in the wind, buffeted by the airy whirr of singing saw, soft and strange. Those early records especially had a rather contraband hush about them, as if the party has gone on all night and continues into the morning but everyone’s raspy from talking too much and gradually agrees to whisper and pantomime as they watch the sun come up over the hills. Since then of course, things got gradually louder, faster, crazier...the band evolved since then into the Oh Sees everyone knows. For the 20th Oh Sees release, 100th Castle Face title, and 20th year doing it, John re-examines the quieter roots of it all in particularly baroque and homesteadly fashion. Memory of a Cut Off Head was co-written with longtime collaborator and vocal counterpoint Brigid Dawson, recorded in total in John’s own Stu Stu Studio, and it’s lush, sumptuous in texture, but satisfyingly retains the gentle grace of the early stuff. There’s beautifully executed strings throughout, courtesy of Heather Lockie’s fine arrangements, horn arrangements courtesy of Mikal Cronin, and they even brought back the old saw - Patrick Mullins, that is - on saw and electronics. A return and a refinement of old forms, a few solemn meditations on life lived at high velocity, perhaps a respite from it…a softer side of JPD and distinguished company.

                      STAFF COMMENTS

                      says: Unveiling a mellower side to the Oh Sees output, John Dwyer revisits the OCS moniker. Co-written with Brigid Dawson it’s a beautifully lush and sumptuously hushed affair.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Memory Of A Cut Off Head
                      2. Cannibal Planet
                      3. The Baron Sleeps And Dreams
                      4. The Remote Viewer
                      5. On & On Corridor
                      6. Neighbor To None
                      7. The Fool
                      8. The Chopping Block
                      9. Time Tuner
                      10. Lift A Finger


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