“Buddy’s News” sells Maxim, poppers, National Review and Goat Weed Extract. It sits in a kiosk at the corner of urban sleaze and suburban bleach—a fertile arena for Siobhan’s demented electronica. In this arena, Siobhan’s sound shifts ever so slightly. Monster-guzzler machismo is curbed in favor of something subtler and more colorful. Beats bleed out into textures; kick-drums give way to hi-end melodies and purring synths. The snare drum gets so mushy it spreads like Blue Bonnet at room temperature. There are still headbangers, but the palette is attenuated, washed out, bongripped. Buddy’s-News-and-chill is the order of the day. Covers are letterpresses and splatter-bleached.
What makes this tape different from all other Ignatz tapes? Not much really. The hermitic constancy of Ignatz’s songs is part of his greatness. This is Belgium’s finest guitar loner doing what he always does—sending chills down spines by way of the minor pentatonic.
There is, however, something distinctly “at ease” about these recordings. They are longer and dreamier than previous ones. Ignatz’s voice is softer and rounder. What once were funeral songs now sound hymnal; some almost have an Americana pietism. Perhaps the move from Brussels to the small town of Landen gave license to Ignatz’s solitary tendencies. I’m inclined to believe in the album title’s joyousness (the last one was called “I Hate this City”). I guess this is Ignatz when things are going pretty well.
“Post-Body” is a four-part suite that plots a psychological breakdown—a “depersonalization episode” wherein the subject no longer believes that he is real. Our protagonist is Wormhole, a suitable name for one who does not exist. And the tracks on this tape follow the evolution of his strange condition. First is “I’m Wormhole”, a fall into psychosis conjured through minimal Kosmische. Then “U Failed Me” and “Jacked In”—two prowling electro instrumentals that mark the heat of Wormhole’s vision. Finally, “Wormhole’s Departure”, a drifting synthesizer denouement in which our protagonist withdraws from hallucination. Magnetizer’s finespun keyboard runs throughout: staccato baselines, delicate swells, and melodic counterpoint dosed with finesse. The album remains a twisted vision of the lowliest wastoid, but nimble fingers and compositional tact render this vision with cinematic effect. Magnetizer locates the sweet-spot of outsider bonehead and measured instrumentalist, thwarting each one with the other.
Club Sound Witches is Matt Earle and Nicola Morton from Breakdance the Dawn. They mine keyboards and mixers for errors, glitches, distortion, and compression, chewing and macerating beats until something pastelike pushes out the other end. The signals are blurry and pulpous—almost gastronomic, like sound waves passing through so much digestion. By teasing out mechanical lapses, C.S.W. make something disturbingly corporeal—almost profane. This electronic palette does not so much elicit bodily movement as evoke the body’s movements.