September 12, 2011
Grasshopper – Miles in the Sky
With its insane trumpet/electronics combination and its numerous spaced-out long-form improv recordings, Grasshopper has become one of the most delightfully singular “Free Jazz Drone Noise” acts to emerge from NYC. There have already a been handful of essential Grasshopper albums released this year (including this particularly fantastic one). But lucky for us, omnipresent tape label House of Alchemy has just reissued one of their dreamier sets – the totally-not-a-tribute-album Miles in the Sky - onto 100 glorious blood-red, high-fidelity cassettes. The intensely blown-out a-side and the whimsical but more subdued b-side result in just two more reasons why Grasshopper is an act that can not be ignored.
The Circle and the Point/Sleepwalkers Local/Chapels – Split c30/c40
If the sign of a good drone release is its ability to give the listener an epic experience without testing his patience, then this triple-split double-cassette released by monolithic tape gods House of Alchemy might be among the greatest releases of its kind. It’s undoubtedly an immense and time-consuming journey but every second of it is so powerful and awe-inspiring that, once it’s over, you will more than likely find yourself begging for more. Each of the three acts is just totally on its A-Game – especially The Circle and the Point, who divide and conquer two sides’ worth of gut-wrenching darkness. Utterly essential- you can think of this one as an investment.