Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The "fucking intense evil violent scary witch music" of Phantascist

The Butthole Surfers, early PiL, The Birthday Party, Pere Ubu, Flipper - heck yeah, I used to love those loonies puking up free-form psychedelic chaos. Some of the best '80s college rock, tho doomed to commercial oblivion, and unlikely to be inducted into any Rock 'n Roll Halls of Fame. A style revived, and expanded upon, by North Carolina's late Phantascist, described by former member Boogie Reverie thusly: "...we terrorized the white-bread squeeky-clean 'indie rock' scene in Chapel Hill for a good couple of years, all the while taking loads of acid, setting stuff on fire, throwing raw meat, performing nude and getting kicked out of clubs. Miss those days! ... Our albums are a bit more on the arty/exploratory side, while our live recordings are fucking intense evil violent scary witch music (no joke, we actually scared people; it became an issue)."

Lucky you, he gave us all their recordings to post. The Diamanda Galas influence listed below is for real - the female vocalist really does sing opera style!  There've been no shortage of noisy guitar and free jazz bands over the years, but throwing opera vox into the mix has got to be a first (and if there are more, I'd love to hear 'em). Anyway, Boogie Reverie lists the contents as follows:

"Phantascist was -
Sara Bloo - vocals, alto sax, percussion
Julion S. - bass, cello, percussion
Boogie Reverie - guitar/drums [at the same time!], keyboards

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'Wouldn't You Like To Know' - Our first record. It's kinda rough, playful, ugly, noisy. We were obsessed with Sun Ra, Diamanda Galas, Throbbing Gristle, Sun City Girls, The Birthday Party, and The Cows. Tracks 3 and 8 are accompanied by our friend Tom on keyboards. ["Great Freight" is my pick hit off this album - great bass line grooves along, as an opera singer loses her marbles.]
'Phantascist Live 2-19-2010' - This is a twisted raw performance we did at a house show in Chapel Hill when we started to break into the local noise/industrial scene. It was right after we recorded Wouldn't You Like To Know. The sound quality is poor, but it's a fairly accurate representation of what we were like live. [It does indeed get a bit spooky.]

'Gratitude' was our second record and really is just one 45 minute live jam divided up into three epic tracks  with freaky sound-collages weaving in and out of the music. It's meandering and noodly; not everyone's cup of tea, but it's my favorite of our two albums. It just gets weirder and weirder as it goes. At this point we were moving away from the noise-rock/punk influences and were going for a more epic post industrial jazz sound." [Fave part is 2: starts off groovy with bass melody + jazz sax skronk til the 7 minute mark when it goes into overdrive; love the bass that comes in around 10 minutes]


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To both files I've added a song from Boogie Reverie's new solo album, "Hip New Wavicle of The Unscene Star." It's "pop," not improv/noise, with song styles ranging from wonderfully retarded spazz rock to almost Beach Boys-ish vocal harmonies.


Phantascist1 - "Wouldn't You Like To Know," + 1 Boogie Reverie song

Phantascist2 - "Gratitude" "Live 2-19-10" + 1 Boogie Reverie song


3 comments:

Beef said...

I absolutely adore all these finds you post, but could you please use a site other than rapidshare?

It's very slow and doesn't allow multiple at once downloads.

Mediafire is better on both those accounts.

Mr Fab said...

Mediafire was my first choice too, until they started deleting my posts. And re-upping deleted posts is a pain.

So I went with Massmirror, but got comments/complaints about how the links didn't all work, there were too many hoops to jump thru, too much spam. Oi. Maybe I'll post an album to both Mediafire and Rapidshare, if I have time...

Beef said...

Thanks!

Pity about the take downs, especially considering many of those featured on here would literally not have an audience otherwise.

Keep up the good work!