V/A : Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos (BS029)
17 artists that evoke the spirit of early Foetus, the clamouring clatter of Cabaret Voltaire circa ‘Nag Nag Nag’ ‘Tomato Sauce Lasers...’ is as inspired as it is strange and as surreal as the title suggests. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from Bearsuit, and if you’re on the market for something a bit different, then this is it.
[“Whisperinandhollerin” - Christopher Nosnibor]
Neither fully electronic nor fully instrumental is Bearsuit’s eclectic compilation, “Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos” including tracks from Whizz Kid and 0point1. The album highlight is Harold Nono’s “Tahiik”, which comes across as a twisted blend of Murcof and The Caretaker.
[A Closer Listen]
Not always for the faint of heart agreed, but guaranteed packed to the rafters with ingenuity and precocious – even if that does mean skedaddled and skewiff – artistry.
[The Sunday Experience]
Gorgeous stuff there! A round of applause for Bearsuit Records! Played this [“Mock Progukurere” by Hayato Takeuchi] on yesterdays show. Brilliant tune!
[Phil Vickery - “In-Tune”]
A very fascinating album from Bearsuit Records called “Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos” ...you're not going to forget that in a hurry!”
[Simon Raymonde – Amazing Radio]
Those wonderfully wacky folks at Bearsuit have compiled another cross pollination of international tomfoolery, glitch click tracks, electronic mayhem, library music, and the odd pop tune or three. Unlike previous label comps, this one expands its reach outside the roster to give us an even greater sampling of what’s happening in the avantgarde world of outsider/noise/skronk music. The whole enchilada is recommended to fans of adventurous sounds that don’t always (OK, rarely) follow a straight linear musical path from intro to coda.
[It's Psychedelic Baby]
Excellent compilation, love everything on it... Really entertaining!
[Mark Corrin – Salford City Radio]
The wonderful Bearsuit Records with the deceptively cool title, “Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos” - and it's a brilliant album as well! Whizz Kid [“Clones”] – a really interesting band. I don't know what's going on towards the end – sounds like a one man band falling down the stairs! This is superb! A fantastically put together slab of extreme weirdness! Absolutely brilliant!
[Keith Whitham - “Wired”]
Excellent one from Bearsuit Records - who very rarely put out anything that's less than excellent.
[Mark Whitby - Dandelion Radio]
[Tom Byrne - Primal Radio]
V/A : "Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos" (BS029)
If I quietly mention ‘got something new from Bearsuit Records’ then I’m sure regular readers will be in no need of introductory passages. However for the slackers among you either several pages behind the rest of us or else found stumbling across this web page thinking it was some sort of religious retreat and in abject fear and worryingly wondering what hell is this ungodly place you’ve managed to find yourself in, then perhaps step forth, read on and get yourself a musical education – it won’t guarantee a safe passage into the next life but it’ll least make your listening experience a lot weirder and all the more better than the manufactured follow the leader pap pop that day time radio rot their heads to. Edinburgh’s Bearsuit Records are your original weird ear kids, is it coming up to a decade now that they’ve been mischief making, warping the headspaces of the curious minority operating on a diet of Dadaist, keytronic, surreal, abstract, electrified loon pop – often procured from Japan or thereabouts, taking the baton of Scottish label cultdom from the likes of Creeping Bent and Benbecula they’ve coasted the far edges of outsider pop.
Sometimes demented, often deranged, indelibly impish and blatantly skewed, Bearsuit have over the years cultured for themselves a brand name in forward thinking non pop. Ah pop. I wondered when we’d get to that. The fact is Bearsuit do pop, it’s just that their idea of pop might not necessary conform to your tried, tested and frankly tired – verse – chorus – verse template, instead it’s an eclectic taste reserved for those who prefer seek out their sound loves rather than have them easily served at your advertisement hounded media outlets.‘tomato sauce lasers, sausage lassos’ as the title might well hint, is a satisfyingly strange selection gathering together 17 ensembles /artists unified with a common intent to fry your headspace and send you on your own journey along the yellow brick road to musical taste acquirement where moments of bliss kissed sounds sit uncomfortably aside the frankly fractured and goofed out, not always for the faint of heart agreed, but guaranteed packed to the rafters with ingenuity and precocious – even if that does mean skedaddled and skewiff – artistry.
Senji Niban opens the ‘tomato sauce lasers’ account with the clearly zonked out ‘boogiewoogie tokyo’ – a slice of skedaddled powerhouse dementia of pre electronic boffin Raymond Scott proportions from a time when he was still band leading and not near bankrupting himself building a humungous sound laboratory to house electronic devices so big they had their own zip code, this frazzled dandy sounding not unlike some lost ident for a seriously skittish slab of Cartoon Network surrealism.
Up next Haq serve up ‘antics in a maze’ – an indelibly crafted slice of disorientating dream pop ghosted in ethereal whisper tones and very much teetered with the kind of off centred romantic dramatics that oft spirited the grooves of Takako Minekawa. Emerging from a strangely kaleidoscopic haze appear the pretty pop posy that is like this parade whose sweetly dimpled and 60’s sprinkled candy confection ‘nearby reality save our soul’ sits somewhere on a sun bathed fence between the new seekers and free design. I’m fairly certain we’ve mentioned Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shima Shimai’s ‘of / trying to teach someone to whistle’ in previous dispatches at some point, what first appears as a cold steel slice of isolationism a la elemental sumptuously abruptly turns on a coin and in the splitting of a second what was first monochrome is deliriously coloured in bitter sweet euphoric swathes – utterly adoring stuff.
Proving to be no slouch in the affection stakes, Ryota Mikami’s ‘buddha jumps over the wall’ might well be in a parallel universe an insanely skewed and oddly deranged half cousin of the Go Team, a demented carnival of sonic waywardness whose lineage crookedly traces itself back to the outlandishly goofy pop off Tuesday. Bunny and the Invalid Singers do a neat line in shoe gaze though I expect it’s probably not the kind of shoe gaze you’re probably attuned to if you’re a patron of all things rocket girl / club ac30 – rather more ‘ask the man inside your head’ applies the vapour trailing effects pedals to maxima before pulling back on the brakes and marooning itself on some idyllic desert island outpost to rest awhile lazily spun amid the mellowing haze of Mancini / Grainer musical mosaics.
Gluid’s aptly titled ‘weightless traveller’ is a suspended moment of tranquil pastoral lounge-tronica that’s temptingly phrased in the kind of richly warm and affectionately far away drifting away tonalities that at one time or another used to grace the grooves of releases by ellis island sound. I think I’m right in saying that Greguy have / has featured in these musings previously, accompanied by fond words which if I’m recalling rightly might well have centred around this very track. ‘minor injury’ is a chicly caressed slice of suave electro pop that smokes seduction and may well have a few older more attuned listeners recalling in an instant Le Bleu from a few years back.
Once emerging from the dreamy haze Hayato Takeuchi’s ‘mock progukurere’ proves itself as a gorgeously lilting spectral folk cutie dissolved in ethereal flurries. Okay granted it’s a bit cuckoo in its apparent ignorance or perhaps avoidance of time signatures preferring instead to go off in tangents and follow its flights of fancy barely without a scarce warning, hint or indication. Now we here adore Whizz Kid, fried alchemists with a want for the bizarre, surreal / abstract and skedaddled and well, ‘clones’ we are happy to say does not disappoint in the peculiarity stakes, that said fairly normal and playing to the rules on this occasion and, unless our ears do deceive, sounding not unlike an inebriated marching band of toy soldiers on a Sunday parade. Those of you much appreciating and indeed missing the wired happenings that at one time used to fall out of the Tigerbeat6 imprint with worrying regularity might be minded to hook up to 0point1’s fried ‘infants gathering storm data’ who appear to be so fluid and brimming with ideas that they’ve cobbled the pesky blighters together and thrown them in a sonic washing machine and tuned the settings to a kaleidoscopic hot wash.
Shinamo Moki on the other hand prefers something a little more ice sculptured and lullaby-esque in texture with the shy eyed ‘Zeal’ thawing seductively much like an orbiting starry eyed ISAN. Another who should prove no stranger around these here parts is Harold Nono here with ‘tahiik’ – a bit of a gem ghosted in shadowy noir trimmings and spy themed mosaics all presided over by brief moments of the kind of sinister edgy chill that recalls Budd and Barry. LTPimo on the other hand condense everything for a brief firefly visitation on ‘mimmoriotones’ which aside only hanging around for a minute we here are sure that beneath the hectic and chaotic channel changing glitch-a-rama at play the hints of something translating as pure pop perfection sits subdued and buried deep beneath the kooky melee.
‘Of course we weren’t always superstars’ – Jikan Ga Nai’s offering to the table is a lulling ethereal buzz bomb suspended in flotillas of dreamy star kissed collages while Annie and the Station Orchestra’s ‘nearer my God’ is a most disorientating though strangely demurring affair blending and fusing light and dark tonalities whilst arrested in sepia traced operatics and oceanic dronal swathes. Ageing Children are left to wrap up matters with ‘slow motion stampede’, an ominous sleepy headed moocher which if I didn’t know any better sounds not unlike the Grails totally out of it on industrial strength tranqs marooned amid the cold minimalist landscapes of New Order’s ‘movement’.
[Mark Barton - The Sunday Experience]
V/A : "Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos" (BS029)
Those wonderfully wacky folks at Bearsuit have compiled another cross pollination of international tomfoolery, glitch click tracks, electronic mayhem, library music, and the odd pop tune or three. Unlike previous label comps, this one expands its reach outside the roster to give us an even greater sampling of what’s happening in the avantgarde world of outsider/noise/skronk music. And nothing could be more outside the mainstream than SenjiNiban’s opening looped drum solo ‘Boogiewoogie Tokyo’, which sounds like a night on the Ginza strip under the influence of psychedelic pop rocks with a neon chaser. Things get really weird when he kicks the piano down the stairs…. Fans of syncopated noise a la Art of Noise will love it.
The faint of heart may find Tokyo’s Like This Parade more to their liking – Masanori Misawa’s project offers the sweet confection ‘Nearby Reality Save Our Soul’, which is part cartoon soundtrack, part giddy schoolgirl and totally fun. The label’s own
AnataWaSukkariTsukareteShimai offer ‘Of/Trying To Teach Someone How To Whistle’ from last year’s The Lost Charles Underscore debut. It combines spoken word segments with soaring, cinematic escapades that only hint at their modus operandi. Check ‘em out.
Surreal operatic insanity, kitchen sink instrumentation and looping, laughing hoot owl are only a few of the sounds emanating from RyotaMikami’s ‘Buddah Jumps Over The Wall’, which if it were about Mohammed would probably start a war somewhere. Guess Buddhists have better sense of humour. The enigmatic (as opposed to Energizer) Bunny is up next with a track off his latest Bearsuit release, The Invalid Singers, and I’ll just repeat what I said before about ‘Ask The Man Inside Your Head’: “electronic, glitchy, anarchic cacophony marrying the abrasive industrialization of Faust or EinsturzendeNeubauten with catchy tunes from the Depeche Mode School of Dance. But just when you thought it safe to head out onto the dancefloor, he pulls the rug out from under you and morphs into delicate library music like the groovy soundtrack efforts of Fitness Forever or Giorgio Tuma.”
Dutch electronic glitch artist Bram Van Den Oever (aka Gluid) offers the self-explanatory ‘Weightless Traveller’ which sounds like it should accompany visuals of Raquel Welch floating through a human bloodstream in Fantastic Voyage, while the dreamy title track to Greguy’s “Minor Injury” EP benefits from LéaCervini’s ethereal, breathless (French) vocals, which perfectly compliment the elegant viola and synth backingon this a snappy little toetapper.
The comp’s softer side is further explored with the intimate whisperings, pluckings, and water sounds of Hayato Takeuchi’s elegant ‘Mock Progukurere’, which sounds like it might be a satirical prog put-on, but transported me to my favourite Japanese restaurant awaiting the sashimi dinner special. A wacky guitar solo suggests there’s more than meets the ear on first listen. Whizz Kid’s ‘Clones’ comes from last year’s Bearsuit release There’s Conjuring To Be Done, a perfect sampling of the psychedelic circus of tunes that’ll turn those frowns upside down and send shivers of joy up and down your spine. Toy pianos, glitch electronics, snappy percussion and the ever lovely vibes run amokthroughout.
I also enjoyed the eastern-flavoured electronics and samples of ShinamoMoki’s soothing ‘Zeal’. Unlike the other Japanese acts in the comp, this trio emanates from the South East village of Uckfield, but this meditative tune rates high among the Spangle Call Lilli Line style of relaxing contemplative music. We’re also treated to a teaser from Bearsuit regular Harold Nono’s forthcoming album (Ideeit) with the Bernard Hermannesque ‘Tahiik’, a serpentining cinematic exercise in library-style music that would sound great behind some Hitchcock visuals or alongside your Laurie Johnson Avengers soundtracks.
The remaining tracks span the electronic spectrum, from found noises to upbeat techno moves (Jikan Ga Nai’s ‘Of Course We Weren’t Always Superstars’ is particularly light on its feet) and the whole enchilada is recommended to fans of adventurous sounds that don’t always (OK, rarely) follow a straight linear musical path from intro to coda.
[It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine - Jeff Penczak]
V/A : "Tomato Sauce Lasers, Sausage Lassos" (BS029)
While downloading my digital review copy via MediaFire, I was assailed by adverts for eBay and the upcoming tour by Mumford and Sons. I wouldn’t exactly call it irony, but if ever a label was less about the kind of turgid crap that Mumford and Sons represent, it’s Edinburgh’s Bearsuit Records.
Their latest compilation draws together 17 tracks by 17 artists that evoke the spirit of early Foetus, the clamouring clatter of Cabaret Voltaire circa ‘Nag Nag Nag’ and obscure underground acts like Murder the Disturbed.
The percussion-led industrial clatter of ‘Boogiewoogie Tokyo’ by Senji Niban gets things off to a suitably strange start, with dubby basslines and tinkling chords wafting around an insistent rhythm. It sets the tone, and then some. At times painfully warped and utterly crazed (‘Bhudda Jumps Over The Wall’ is a genuine headfuck, and the industrial jazztronica of Harld Nono’s ‘Tahiik’ is seriously far out, while the multi-faceted ‘Infants Gathering Storm Data’ by 0Point1 is truly something else),
‘Tomato Sauce Lasers’ is as inspired as it is strange and as surreal as the title suggests. Of course, you’d expect nothing less from Bearsuit, and if you’re on the market for something a bit different, then this is it.
[Whisperinandhollerin' - Christopher Nosnibor]
released September 28, 2015
Thanks to Isaac and Louis for the Lasers & Lassos...
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