Lord Pusswhip – “Stationz Ov The Puss” Cassette (2018)

All rise for his majesty, the Count of Codeine-Infused Beats, the Earl of Electronica, the Duke of Downtempo.  All hail his royal highness, Lord Pusswhip.  Long live Lord Pusswhip.

Dilly dilly.

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Iceland’s own electro hip hop royalty Lord Pusswhip is back at it again with another another new cassette release, this one on Reykjavik’s own Lady Boy Records label.  Stationz Ov The Puss offers a further evolution of Pusswhip’s signature liquid beats, languid sonic streams that sound like they’re coming to your ears underwater, or from a bubbling pool of thick codeine-infused cough syrup.  His highness blends the beats and samples seamlessly making each track feel like that sensation you have when you’re truly exhausted, just as you slip from consciousness into REM sleep, those transitional moments that seem like watching some bizarro movie that is a continuation of the last thing you saw just at the moment your eyelids closed.  Viscous and sticky and trippy like some smooth soul music floating in the air and punctuated by deep bass.  Some great headphone music.

Stationz Ov The Puss is available as a limited edition (of 50) cassette or download from Lady Boy Records HERE.  You can also listen there for free -I particularly recommend “Fan of Yours”, “U Know We Like 2 Swang”, and “ÆSINGUR”.

Rattofer – “Nineteen Eighty Floor” (2017)

rattofer1I can’t tell you much about Rattofer other than that he’s based in Reykjavik and his new cassette on Lady Boy Records kicks all kinds of electronic ass.  I’m a sucker for steady beats and vocal samples and Nineteen Eighty Floor is right in my sweet spot, slightly faster than mid-tempo beats, the occasional flourish, and samples from Star Wars and Mortal Combat (both on the jamming “The Force”, my favorite track on the tape).  There are some  chiptune elements at times as well, and the whole thing has a very “modern retro” feel to it – harkening back to 80s and 90s stylings, but with more contemporary beats.  The best example of this is “Magnum” with its various bloops and beeps making me feel like I was back in an arcade in the mid 1980s, walking from the bright natural light and into the dark, air conditioned hall of fun, with a pocket full of quarters and the CRTs giving off a cool glow…

Nineteen Eighty Floor is available for streaming HERE, and there’s even more stuff available on Rattofer’s Soundcloud page HERE.  Both are worth a visit, but only if you feel like getting yo groove thang on…

Madonna + Child – “All Around U” Cassette (2017)

If you were to ask me, “Hey Jeff, should I pick up the new Madonna + Child tape?”  I’d probably reply, “Well, that depends on how you feel about cats.”

Madonna + Child are a new electronic duo from Iceland, a pair of ladies who are doing their best to keep their true identities (and therefore their superheroine powers) under wraps.  Our friends over at Lady Boy just released their debut, a six song tape of trippy beats and, well, cat sounds.  Now, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the cat played as an instrument before (although it seems like something dj. flugvél og geimskip may have done), but the opening track “Kisulagið” is feline forward and includes a male voice occasionally saying “meow”, a weird yet appropriate touch.  Needless to say, this generated a few raised eyebrows from our dog, but wasn’t enough to make him get up out of his bed.

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That’s the only cat jam on the tape, and as near as I can tell there are no animal noises on the rest of All Around U, only slow beats and dreaminess.  It wouldn’t be right to call Madonna + Child ambient – there’s too much beat and bass here; but they’re definitely out there in the spirit world, floating about with vocalizations that often flow under the surface. “Cutboy” represents the apex of their style, a soft, deliberate piece that creates an environment of mild anxiety – it’s not scary here per se, more perhaps unsettling.  At least until towards the end when it turns into sheer terror for a few moments, jarring you awake and covered in sweat before it eases you back to dream land at the end.

As usual, this is available physically in a limited edition (of 50) cassette and/or as a digital download at the Lady Boy Bandcamp page HERE.  As for me, I’ll be looking for Madonna + Child at Airwaves and will hopefully get to catch them perform live later this year.

“Lady Boy Records 018” Compilation Cassette (2017)

Exactly a month ago I got a Facebook message from Lady Boy world headquarters’ top secret Reykjavik hideout, the one hidden in Kolaportið underneath the table of the old guy selling fermented shark meat, letting me know that the latest Lady Boy release was coming out soon, a comp that was their best ever.  That’s right.  Best.  Ever.  Now, to be fair, I get emails from a number of labels and distributors, and I have yet to see one that says “Hey Jeff, our new release is coming out soon.  It’s total garbage, but please listen to it.”  So I take everything with a grain (or the entire rim of my glass if I’m drinking tequila while reading my email) of salt when it comes from a label.  But Lady Boy… Lady Boy is different.  I own all of the non-edible prior Lady Boy physical releases. (♠)  They get all the best, or at the very least the most interesting, Icelandic bands for their comps.  They’re the label that helped us connect with Farmacia on our recent trip to Argentina.  So when they send me secret communications, I listen.

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Lady Boy Records 018 opens strong with the incomparable dj. flugvél go geimskip, the world’s seemingly most innocent practitioner of psych electronica and a woman with amazing taste in leggings.  “Geimurinn er Allt of Stór” reminds me of the first time we saw her live, a total trip-fest of psychedelic craziness about cats and outer space that made me wonder if someone slipped something in my drink. (♣)  And it just gets crazier from there.  About half the bands are new to me, and I don’t have words enough to express how impressed I am with WayFresh & Gipsy Sailor Jerry (“Ball Game”) and Sindri Vortex (“Svona Dafna Blómin Best”), a pair of electro beat-mosters that even Mrs. Life in the Vinyl Lane gives two thumbs up and two feet tapping. (♥)  And let’s not forget Pseudologia Fantastica who just slay it with some intense techno action, a beat assault on your synapses that leave behind aural tracers like some kind of weird sonic acid trip.

While the first part of the comp is weighted heavily towards electronica, things take a turn for the rock when Singapore Sling kick in with “Sonic Haus,” spinning the whole thing into a high octane psych-rock feeding frenzy bound to melt your brain.  Then things get heavy.  As in really, really heavy.  I’m not familiar with Skelkur Í Bringu, but they bring a lot of pure mass to the party, like one of those huge weights that Roadrunner used to drop on Wile E. Coyote.  “Dýragarður” is like some lost L7 track that just punches you in the face over and over and over again, leaving you smiling and spitting out a couple of teeth afterwards.  From there the Lady Boy crew bring it down a notch, showing they understand the physics of making a mixtape and hitting us with the holy four-pack of Kuldaboli, Andi, Aska, and Harry Knuckles (“New Leans” is one of the comp’s best jams)… this might be a near-perfect mix.  Throw in the surf-western stylings of Notorious Wave Slicers and the very Adam-West-Batman-esque “Rautt Ljós Feat. Axon Bronson” by Skrattar and you have the icing on the cassette cake.  So good.

Go check this sucker out HERE and bask in its pure glory.  As usual, it’s also available on a laser-etched limited edition (of 50) cassette as well.

(♠) Lady Boy 03 was a download laser-etched on a tangerine.  Due to the difficultly of importing fruit into the US, I do not own a copy of this.  Plus it came out a while ago and is probably pretty gross by now.

(♣)  They had not.

(♥)  Mrs. Life in the Vinyl Lane:  “Do we have this on digital?”
Me:  “Yeah, the tape hasn’t arrived yet.”
Mrs. Life in the Vinyl Lane:  “Whatever.  The tape does me no good.”

This is how our evening sofa conversations go.  Really.  I’m a lucky man.

Farmacia – “Suero” Cassette (2017)

I was excited when I heard that the newest release from Reykjavik’s Lady Boy Records was for the Argentinian electro-duo Farmacia, not because of any familiarity I had with their music but because I’ll be making my first ever visit to South America later this Spring, which will include some time in Buenos Aires.  I haven’t started doing my music research for the trip yet, so this brand new album called Suero is a nice appetizer.

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Suero starts strong with “Yello,” a track built around some very old-timey sounding beats that combines the old and the new in interesting ways.  But don’t be fooled – this isn’t a retro-futuristic album, as I quickly discovered on the next tune “Adan de Adan,” which builds it’s soniscape around backwards masking.  This gave me some flashbacks to sitting in my room back when I was in high school, recording Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd albums to cassette and then manually flipping over the tape innards so I could play them backwards and look for those infamous “Satanic messages.”  I’m not certain if Farmacia are trying to get me to worship the Dark Lord on “Adan de Adan,” or perhaps just encouraging me to eat more fiber.  To be honest, I rather like not knowing.  That and I’m too lazy to bother playing it backwards, even though technology has made that super easy to do.  Too easy, really.  The kids today will never understand how hard we had to work to listen to backwards messages on albums back in the day.  Uphill.  Both ways.  The struggle was real.  Stupid kids today.

ANYWAY… back to Suero.  At the risk of sounding obvious, Farmacia use a lot of repetition within their compositions, and that sticks out because they utilize unusual sonic elements.  Plus they seriously mix it up, bringing a broad range of styles to Suero‘s nine songs – you’ve got stuff that approaches EDM, but other pieces that are more like electro versions of the Butthole Surfers (I’m thinking “Gangrena (Versión II)” and “Sábanas (Live Only For Us)” here), and even pure ambient (“Espiral”) and an acappella track (“La Cifra”).  There’s a little something for everyone.

As always with Lady Boy, Suero is available as a cassette in a limited edition of 50 copies. (♠)  You can listen to the whole thing HERE for free and to your heart’s content as well.

(♠)  Lady Boy has put out 17 releases so far, and while most are on laser etched cassettes in limited runs of 50 copies, they’ve also put out a couple of “records” engraved on lucite, a CD, and a tangerine with a download code etched onto it.  I’m reliably told that Nicolas from the label still has one of these in his refrigerator.