My 2008 New Year's resolution was to stick with a strict system that would keep my record buying under control. Things had started to get a little pathological in the 07 - I was acquiring more vinyl than I could reasonably listen to or even store!
So - long story short - I'm buying a lot less music this year. One of the many positive upshots of this is that I'm genuinely excited every time a new record comes into my hands. Another is that I tend to listen to everything I buy mutliple times, right away.
My most recent purchase was the new LP from Can't - aka sound artist and instrument builder Jessica Rylan. Private Time (Part Two) is a vinyl edition of 500 copies on Weird Forest records. Considering its limited nature, the disc looks surprisingly mass market, with its "proper" jacket and printed inner sleeve (which is reproduced at the top of this post).
The cover isn't just pro, though - it's also exquisitely designed. It might even be a clever pastiche of some classic album but - if so - I'm unable to place the reference. In any case, the portrait of a mild-mannered tea-sipping Rylan does little to betray the cathartic ferocity of the music (?) contained within.
Apparently, this album was recorded at Rylan's parental home, while Mom and Pop were sleeping. In light of that, one might reasonably expect a reprise of the excellent New Secret, on which Rylan seemed to be whispering diary entries into a homemade ring modulator (which is probably exactly what she was doing, come to think of it).
Instead, side one offers up a series of wild-eyed and heavily-processed screechin' an' yellin'. It's truly hair-raising stuff and yet Rylan somehow manages to dodge the numbing cliches of much dark-side harsh noise. The sound here is chillingly sparse and razor sharp, without ever becoming thin or tinny.
Side two comes closer to the New Secret sound but with greater compositional focus and sonic clarity. Furthermore, "Hey Puritan" - which opens proceedings after the intermission - is a complete departure, being a detuned bummer folk song in the style of Jandek.
Not for the faint of heart but fucking essential for the hardcore, Private Time (Part Two) is available through Keith Fullerton Whitman's ever-reliable Mimaroglu Music Sales. Get it while you can!