Aaron Diko & Friends – DDCT (8/11)

“Like the more electronically imbued facets of POW!’s sound to the most motorik of pop provocateurs both classic & contemporary—DDCT abides by a code of mind expanding electronic experimentation that illustrates an intuitive approach to the artistic process.” – Impose

Get-ting back to familiar zones for a change of scenery, Bay-area electronic musician Aaron Diko (former synth wiz in the band POW!) returned to the Circle City in his home state of Indiana to record DDCT -or- a series of solo works and collaborations with friends Landon Caldwell (Creeping Pink), Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester (Burnt Ones).

Bring the gang over. Plug them all in to one another and flip the switch. Results of recording upstairs on borrowed time with a room full of hardware and optimistic intentions. Sequencers, drum machines and hand-moved knobs clash with analog synths and crisscrossed signal paths. Direct-in guitar overdubs rub shoulders with rhythmic happenstance. If we’ve gotta do this, then let’s say it sometimes carries the pace and menace of genre milestones like Eno’s Music for Films record. Other times these tunes tread the same highways and byways once drove upon by the likes of Ralf und Florian-era Kraftwerk, early Tangerine Dream and some of the more playful kosmiche ilk of that time. Although this road is for sure more pot-hole infested, billboard-bedecked stretch of Midwestern interstate than autobahn, any day. Straight shot all the way across and looping around the more dense and busy spots.

This music was recorded to half-inch tape over the course of three humid days in a house on the near-East side of Indianapolis, Ind. and was mastered by Sonic Boom (Spectrum, Spacemen 3, E.A.R.) at New Atlantis. Aaron Diko’s DDCT is out 8/11 on cassette from Empty Cellar Records and Medium Sound.

RIYL: Harmonia, Ariel Kalma, Cavern of Anti-Matter, JD Emmanuel, Bitchin Bajas

Order DDCT here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/ddct

Music by Aaron Diko
w/ Landon Caldwell, Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester

1. The East Side Whisper Company
2. Tracks
3. Peace + Quiet
4. Sneaking Out
5. Thirst

6. Dollar Store Candle
7. Hidden Alley
8. 10th Street Drag
9. Jumping The Fence
10. Nocturnal Blanket
11. AM Drift

Music By Aaron Diko
w/ Landon Caldwell, Mitch Duncan and Mark Tester

1,3,4,6,7 AD MT
5,8,10 AD
11 MT

Recorded and mixed August 2016 in the near East side of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Produced by Mark Tester
Mastered by Sonic Boom at New Atlantis

Earth Girl Helen Brown – MARS (Cassette)

“This thing is bristling with big-credit guests (Ty Segall, Nora Keyes, Jack Name, Shannon Lay … see below for complete list!) but more importantly it’s bristling with charm, personality, originality, commitment and—because this record never stops at four things when it can try five—conviction, too.” – LA Record

Empty Cellar Records and the Earth Girl Helen Brown Center for Planetary Intelligence Band are pleased to announce the summer installment of the E.G.H.B.C.P.F.I.B. 2017 seasonal series, MARS. Featuring Heidi Alexander, Tahlia Harbour, Sonny Smith, James Finch Jr., Jamin Barton, Tim Presley, Ty Segall, John Dwyer, Jack Name, Dave Sitek, David Cousin, Warren Hugel, Dylan Hadley, Mikal Cronin, Nora Keys, and Shannon Lay. MARS is concerned with the topic of war.

Available from Empty Cellar Records on limited edition 100% post-consumer recycled cassette tape 7/28. All proceeds benefit organizations committed to the cessation of violent conflict, the promotion of peace, and the dissolution of the military industrial complex.

Order here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/mars

Track Listing:

1. Attention
2. Tommy D. & the Atomic B.
3. Vanishing Spray
4. Flower of Darkness
5. Oh! What A War

Ryan Wong – More Milk (Cassette) 8/4

Though Ryan Wong’s boyish charm might be obvious to anyone who’s seen him perform solo or with his group the Cool Ghouls, what might not be obvious about the artist behind More Milk is that he is, in fact, lactose intolerant. What’s up with that? What kind of milk are we talking about anyway?

Photo by Michael Bordelon

Well, sometimes a songwriter in a rock group has a jolt of creativity that results in some great numbers for the band (that’s the milk), and then even more ideas that might have to find their way into another icebox (more milk). While there’s a delicate acoustic sketch or two on this home-recorded cassette, don’t let Wong’s easygoing attitude or vocal style belie his ability to turn a great idea or two into a fully ambulant creature of a tune. Ryan—handling guitar, bass, and keys with a rotating cast of bandmates and roommates filling in on percussion and woodwinds—makes it happen. Just try to listen to the two-note, triple time trill that drives “Good Lovin” without imagining approaching an overcast San Francisco day with a Mr. Natural stride.

If you should stroll into a club in the Mission on a chilly evening or find this tape in your dealer’s deck, why not slow down and take it in for a moment? There’s a little something in these six songs for the deadheads, for John Cale obsessives, and for tough rockers in derby jackets and boots who like to eat mushrooms, sit in the grass and listen to the Emerson Brothers. I’m willing to bet there may even be something for you—Ryan’s probably holding and has plenty to go around.

-E. C. Wald

Ryan Wong – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Casio
Alex Fleshman – Drums, Percussion
Richard Harkins – Drums
Seth Snyder – Flute

Order here: https://emptycellarrecords.bandcamp.com/album/more-milk

Track Listing:

1. Day Dreamin’
2. Shopkeeper Rag
3. Travel Light
4. Good Lovin’
5. Milkin’ In
6. Eel River

Life With Dick by Grace Sings Sludge

Life With Dick is the new album by Grace Sings Sludge (The Sandwitches, The Fresh and Onlys). It’s the continuation of a world Grace Cooper began illustrating as one of the lead songwriters of the San Francisco band The Sandwitches, and on her previous three collections of solo home recordings (released as limited run cassette tapes). As with the other solo albums, Grace does the artwork for Life With Dick. Her delicate yet disturbing pen and watercolor creations are the perfect accompaniment for her songs, and seem as though they’ve emerged from the same troubled dreams.

“A Man Doesn’t Want” is a deeply haunted, yearning lament, Grace’s eerie, pained vocals wafting like a heartbroken ghost’s moan through rundown motel walls. – Gorilla vs. Bear

Though understated, there is a sense of urgency that permeates this record. Grace’s voice dances through the songs with a chameleon quality that’s sultry and commanding on “In Spite of Doom” and desperate, vulnerable and sharp on “Can’t Play” and “Everlasting Arms”.

Her lyrics contain the weariness of a woman giving in to a love requited, and the unsettling realities of maintaining love. In some places it seems she no longer knows where to direct her endless yearning. She observes on “Bad Timing Pt. 2”, “Two boats they don’t meet up in the night, they glide by each other and forever out of sight… they might just be the lucky ones.”

Grace Sings Sludge

The spookiness of Grace’s sound — a sound influential in some The Sandwitches’ best songs like “Joe Says” and “In the Garden” — is still present here and especially on the darker B side of this record. Piercing guitars and heartbeat drums on “Everlasting Arms” warn us as Grace gently sings, “Something’s growing in the basement,” and of something that comes “from within”. The recording quality of Life With dick is raw but it is far from being a “garage record.” It is a recording brought down from the attic, with no date and with no intended audience, and is best listened to alone.

Performed and recorded at home by Grace Cooper with Nick Russo on drums.

Track Listing:

01 A Man Doesn’t Want
02 Runaway (Bad Timing)
03 Bad Timing Pt. 2
04 Can’t Play
05 In Spite of Doom
06 Everlasting Arms
07 U.C.B.
08 Dedicated 2

Pre-order Life With Dick here.

International Street Date: June 2, 2017

New Transmissions from Earth Girl Helen Brown


Empty Cellar is pleased to announce the forthcoming Earth Girl Helen Brown release, MERCURY, featuring The Boogeyman (Emmett Kelly), Sunshine Lady (Sonny Smith), Loro Valiente (Tahlia Harbor), Ziggy Spec (Ty Segall), José Deseo (John Dwyer), L.F.F. (Tim Cohen), Jim Win (James Finch Jr.), the Former Future (Sean Smith), and Jasmine Ivanov (Jamin Barton).

MERCURY is the first in a seasonal series tributing our fellow solar satellites Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and Venus, and benefiting organizations committed to popular planetary intelligence, energy management, communicative freedom and love.

Announced today on the vernal equinox Mercury will be released April 14th on our planet in limited edition post-consumer cassette and digital (along with EGHB apparel). There will be a party and performance by Earth Girl Helen Brown and more that night at HM157 in Los Angeles

All proceeds from the sale of Mercury benefit, in equal parts, the following organizations in their commitment to the cessation of fossil fuel use, the protection of shared resources, and the preservation of physical health on Earth:

350.org, NDRC, Stand-LA


For more information on Earth Girl Helen Brown please visit her official internet site.

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