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The Call to Prayer and Straight Outta Bangkok by Daniel Mahoney

Artist: Hemlighter
Album: s/t
Label: Tripwire (UK)
Out of a whirlwind of overblown guitar harmonics and sixties song structures stretched across slaughtered walls of sound and rolling distant drums comes forty minutes of crush and ravish. This is Brooklyn’s Hemlighter. Sonically sodden fluxus melody textures and aching boy/girl sampled vocals mix in frogless chambers of supervast. Andy Warhol himself once declared entire eras should be transfusive, and then the jilted hierarchies, the washes of feedback drifting into soft lilts of vocalcosmic eddy: it came to pass. Pitchfork blessed Hemlighter with as a perfect “10” and the news flowed like manna to the despondent ever-wandering desert-jews of Indiehip and they gathered it unto themselves. And they multiplied it at the afterparty. And those who listened to Hemlighter found them like a recipe chuzzled down, familiar as bread and water, salt and parsley. And so they brobacked and they tweeted and they liked. And nowhere would one find the meat of twee and geek as they thronged round the hems of Hemlighter. And it was sick; and, being sick, all the more sweet. And the boys came quickly, being boys. And they wore their tee-shirts too tight. And they pitched their tents in Williamsburg and Fort Greene whereby they stood erect in squares, staring at their shoes, together, in awe.
Artist: V/A
Album: My Thai: An Imbibcation Celebration
Label: (OM)
This is one massive My Thai Imbibcation Celebration for sure! Dark wine laden spirits, meline painted doors and azure dyed cornmeal balls color the entire region of Isan, Thailand for the week-long party known as Khon. The festival dates back centuries and the only thing that remains constant is the amount of drinking, music, and phalluses involved. Now OM has brought out My Thai: An Imbibcation Celebration, a double disk recording (with full color booklet & extensive liner notes) documenting last year’s event. These disks are the closest things to being there that being there would be. This is a world away from the worlds of Smith and Lomax, the cover of the disk says it all: creepy ghost painted raccoons yodel through massive wooden phalluses and anoint foliage placed upon them in bombastic shapes, thus signaling both the unbent sheer thrill of phallocentricity and the hopes for a fertile growing season. In other regions of Isan, entire villages paint phantasmal animal masks for months in advance then toss them into the river for the beginning of Iinu, or feast night. Young initiates, both male and female, dive into the river and retrieve the masks that are then brought to the central square and set on fire along with several drugged hummingbirds, a Brahma rooster and the right hand of a gibbon. Fucking savage! Red-banded statues surround villages for five nights of music, theatre, and hallucinatory spectacle. The shows include an array of fantastic kabuki beatings coupled with throbbing musical accompaniment of drum and over amplified feedback saturated khaen (free reed mouth organ) blasting through ancient metal loudspeakers. The challenge to musicians participating in the all night sessions is to make music elastic enough to carry through an immense variety of transpsychic cultural fabulation. After a couple of hours, the sounds do become unearthly narcotic.
Daniel Mahoney has been writing music reviews for bands and albums that do not exist… or exist only in his head. Other imaginary music reviews can be found at Hobart, The Fiddleback, The Vehicle and Bad Robot Poetry. Non-imaginary reviews can be found in Bateau Lit Magazine where he is a contributing editor. If you’re into analogue scenery, visit him in Maine where the terrain is amazing but the tacos are scarce. If you’re more into digital vistas, visit him virtually at rusticator deluxe.