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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Evol
Magia Potagia
Mego

Rating: 6/10 ?


May 23, 2005
The digital drawing of an ornately clothed knight that adorns this album's artwork speaks to this duo's affinity for video games and all matters electronic. And, as odd as it may sound, I cannot imagine artwork more telling of the surreptitious sounds housed within this works weather-beaten walls. Perched beneath a yellow Mego symbol, the stubbly, middle-aged figure is caught from below: arms akimbo, axe sluggishly strewn across shoulder, with a coquettish smirk that dares anyone to give him the time of day and it all seems quite apparent - this is going to be one demented album.

The three fledglings bred by Roc Jimenez de Cisneros and Anna Ramos are a treasure trove of corrupted digital media and raging, spluttering noise that would sit amiably alongside Florian Hecker, Merzbrow or the abstract moments of Accelera Deck. Punani Potagia, the first born of the three, is marked by a howling tubular fuzz that denotes what is awaiting - namely, an incessantly fizzing activity, a restless babble and buzz of analogue synthesizers, laptops and radios.

The sound of each piece rushes by at a torrential speed, such that the ear quickly gives up the struggle to decipher any kind of form. Contrary to efforts by Hecker, however, Magia Potagia is hedged by a tangible sense of playfulness in the spontaneity of the improvising. Although the noise-to-signal-ratio is high throughout, and the sound palette constantly unsettles itself, moving from sibilant discharges of hoarse noise to a patina of crackling dust-speckled surfaces, a renewed sense of wonder at the diversity and plenitude of sound is captured.

The final pair of fledglings spawned by Evol diverge from the approach of manipulating and layering wildly disparate sound sources found within Punani Potagia and are, in a sense, twins. Employing stochastic sound design software, further generations of sonic unpredictability are dappled across this pair, which, despite minute alterations in aggregates of pitch and frequency, entail no pertinent discrepancy from beginning to end.

The effect of false movement is witty and accentuates the shady humor in which this work bathes. One might draw a parallel to the effect crafted by Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, whereby the characters, as well as the audience itself, perceives a movement or event which never actually comes about. Be that as it may, even in their stationary state, this pair pushes toward resolutions that end in the entropic trough of atonal static. Each composition offers many a moment of tone bending and rubberizing of sounds that turn a historical panorama of music past and present into so much sonic toffee. All of which makes this a fine digital-Dadaist whose power resides in sound rather than meaning.

Reviewed by Max Schaefer
Nocturnal qualms and eyes that brim like lamps betoken slender sketches, poetry and short stories strewn alongside piano playing, a fiddling of knobs and murmured dialogue with a medley of electronic gizmo\'s. A twenty-one year old person lodged within the University of Victoria, Max harvests organic sounds on a sullen sampler, watching water unwind like two broad lengths of ribbon and nursing a book below the canopy of a cheery-tree. Max believes that the world is made present by people\'s presence in it and that art is one such way in which a distinctive disclosure might be crafted.

See other reviews by Max Schaefer

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