Amoeba Music has a cool YouTube! series called “What’s In My Bag?”, where they take musicians and other assorted interesting people into the back room to show us what they just bought at Amoeba. Some of these episodes are pretty fantastic, and they serve the dual purpose of both being entertaining while also sometimes turning you onto stuff you’d never heard of before. And it was while watching the Henry Rollins video a few weeks back that I first came to hear of the label Chondritic Sound. That led me to its Bandcamp page, which in turn led me to the PayPal login page as I threw a bunch of money at them for some of the crazy sounds I heard on Bandcamp. And the other day a box of vinyl and cassettes arrived at my door, making me as giddy as a kid who just got a package in the mail for their birthday, anticipating something awesome but also secretly hoping it doesn’t contain a sweater.
The Maldoror is a club/bar in Los Angeles that, once a month, does a showcase of dark electronica, and Live At Maldoror: Volume One collects nine of those artists on one tape. Stylistically there’s a thread of bleakness running through all the performances, but there’s a lot of variety here as well. Inhalt’s “Vehicle” is reminiscent of Warsaw, a sort of electronic post-punk, while Burial Hex’s “Fire Sign” is dark-goth-industrial, a bit more Bela Lugosi’s Dracula than Freddie Krueger, but still plenty frightening. As for Victor Portsmouth’s “March 27, 1895”, well, this is purely distilled nightmare juice. This tape is like a black hole, sucking all light from the room and leaving you with only uncertainty and dread as your companions.
Live At Maldoror: Volume One is available for listening on Bandcamp HERE, and you can also still pick up copies of the cassette (edition of 250) for just eight bucks – and the tape comes with a download card, so it’s definitely worthwhile.