Non-Horse - Rigor Lore (Not Not Fun)
Here Gabriel Lucas Crane spews forth a massive
Apples and Heroin
Nonhorse "Xol Mic" (Abandon Ship): Psychotic LAFMS-style cut-ups, moaning and plodding highlight this lengthy cassette. The ever-prolific Vanishing Voice member conjures an epic score to a lost silent film revealing the spiritual world within Monster Truck rallies. In parts, it sound as if Nonhorse rescued the decrepit reel-to-reel from decaying in storage. Surreal occult jazz with touches of Bobby Beausoleil psych.
Nonhorse is the work of one Gabriel Lucas Crane who
Nonhorse is the solo incarnation of Gabriel Lucas
Outer space gamelon
Matthias Andersson must be a glutton for punishment,
scene point blank
Someone beats on sheet metal. A phone rings? White noise and feedback. Sounds from a long lost sci-fi B movie… I think. Someone recorded the sounds from an alien spaceship's motherboard. A saxophone goes completely fucking berserk. An eerie, unrelenting din pervades everything. This is what I hear as I sit down to review Nonhorse's compact disc. Enter Haraam, Circle of Flame.
Do me a favor. Go to Wikipedia and type in “Haraam.” Read the first couple lines and tell me that's not intriguing. An album named after that? Spooky, right?
So, exactly who or what is Nonhorse? A man by the name of Gabriel Lucas Crane found “piles of mysterious old cassettes,” called himself Nonhorse and produced the most bizarre, enigmatic album I've heard in a very, very long time. He samples a potpourri of noises from “manipulated voices” to “train signals and animal sounds.” If this isn't arcane, I don't know what is.
Do you know those nature tapes? You know, the ones used to make the listener relax and feel completely calm? Nonhorse's Haraam, Circle of Flame is the exact opposite. I'm confident that this album would send anyone under the influence of a psychedelic drug directly into a bad trip. I mean a really bad trip. Hell, I even feel paranoid listening to it and I'm entirely void of drugs at the moment.
This could be haunted house music. I can see it now: walking down a hall in complete darkness, your heart rate elevates as your senses become disoriented. Just then, “Track Five” of Haraam, Circle of Flame comes on and a man wearing a Jason mask sprints out of the room at the end of the hall wielding a noisy fucking chainsaw. Of course, the chainsaw has no blade on it, but you're horrified nonetheless.
If you're psychologically unstable, do not listen to Haraam, Circle of Flame - it might put you over the edge. Give this album to your stoned friends and watch as their pupils dilate and contract uncontrollably. Nonhorse gives us one hell of a psychoactive experience. Disregard my score, as I have no way of truly rating this cacophonic creation. See for yourself.
It’s not a horse. That is evil. It comes on like one. See that word 'horse' at the end there, after the 'non'? that’s right: 'non'. That means ANYTHING BUT A HORSE. But no. horse hits the brain more. First. Most. Better. Noun vs. qualifier. THIS IS THE HEART OF ALL PROBLEMS.
Whoever writes a biography like this about himself should be given a statue and be called a saint. Gabriel Lucas Crane, yes the tape guy from wooden wand and the vanishing voice, brings you his very first solo album which was first released on tape but re-released on cd by my top 5 favourite label: Release the bats. Crane seems to be telling one of the most frightening bedtime stories I've ever heard, mixing gloomy weird tape compositions with utter doom. It's like Tim Burton pissing his pants on Acid. It's like Stockhausen having cold sweat on acid. It's like everybody's scared on acid and GL Crane just keeps on vomiting his tapemixes on the masses, letting it stop at exactly 3.14 minutes (the number PI?), so they start screaming from the abrupt silence that follows.
Why to I say Tim Burton? Because the nightmare is beautiful! Why do I say Stockhausen? Because the composing sounds innovating to me. Why do I say everybody? Because there's a lot of things to listen to in these tracks. 2000 songs pressed in 13 ones. And it all sounds frightening. If I should file this in a cd store, I'd file it under: That story from Kafka about a guy who turns into an insect. Oh yeah, and Pete Swanson (Yellow Swans) mastered this cd-version.
"Only honest music is half an accident." Thus Gabriel Lucas
Side one starts with an old style data run flowing through your fingers, splashing on the floor like an inverted brolly graveyard of broken winged fairies. Sounds roasting on the spit plate, sizzling strands travelling between the ears. Séance like shapes n shadows blossom, greedily gobbled back down feedback throats, leaving raspy belches in their wake, gaseous clouds buck shot peppered, tattered and singed. Staring into the vortex leaves you feeling queasy (in a good way) all those half buried sounds curve balling your cranium, as the unholy stink is cauterized by insect-o-cute blue laser zaps and warped Japanese lullabies.
Side two starts off in reverbed and echoed clanks and pulses, the inklings of a tune suffocated in debris and guitar reek. Co-conspirator, Foxy Pink Gloves shoots poison drenched darts of clarinet through the murk, sax-like squeals with flanged tail feathers, excreting ghostly smears. The machines loop over themselves like Escher drawings, fx-ed to fuck, drizzling some crooked gamelan, as monstrous faces creep nearer…somewhere a cattle-prodded monkey is spasm-locked within the circuits. Shit this sound is so blissfully over-crowded, it’s unreal... Then everything cuts away to silence, but just as you think the action is over, a simple looped phantom rasps your ears so faintly the darkness threatens to extinguish it. This grows into some pleasing repetition before the sound is kick started again with a violent gyroscope coughing and spluttering - some mutant techno candy...
The best way to describe the music would be apparitional, a slow machine wrought nightmare you just can’t wake from. The sound effects from some self perpetuated ectoplasmic fall-out, or the simple product of delirium. Its rough edges may not appeal to some, but for me this gritty 80 minute plus improvisation is just the ticket.
One true dead angel
Gabriel Lucas Crane (from Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice) makes his solo debut on this noisy album (mastered by Pete Swanson for maximum sonic punishment) of thirteen tracks using old cassettes and a lot of gruesome sound processing to create layered epics of tortured sonic devolvement. Name your sound, it's here somewhere -- from wailing white noise to heavy reverb abuse, the album is a mausoleum of eccentric sounds all fighting for supremacy in the listener's ears, and most of it is of unidentifiable origin. Squealing tremelo sounds, damaged calliope and toy piano, backwards music, bell-like tones, rippling sheets of distortion, rhythmic grinding, bursts of static, and above all, lots of reverb abuse... all of these things and more (much more) are stacked up in shifting layers like crumbling sonic strata, with a level of density that ebbs and flows as the sound increasingly resembles agitated audio ghosts battling to free themselves from their invisible prison. The sound is often violent, sometimes even harsh, but more often is more eerie and ghostly, the sound of possessed machines and electronic gadgets switching themselves on and off at random for a mysterious and considerably more atmospheric feel than found on most noise albums. Think of it as a the soundtrack to a disintegrating psyche whose final scenes are played out in burned-out churches, cemeteries filled with emptied graves, and a towering heap of discarded junk brought back to terrifying electronic life. Strange, exotic stuff, limited to 500 copies.
"New solo tape/electro-acoustic abstractions from Gabriel Lucas Crane of Wooden Wand & The Vanishing Voice. Gamelan sonorities give way to a brain-confusing swamp of alien bog sounds, cracked, subliminal vocals, fugs of tone-smoke and some beautiful drone and percussion work in a way that mimics what a Beefheart tribute from Tom Smith's To Live And Shave In LA might've sounded like had it been slowed down to suitable glue-huffing levels. Weird as hell." volcanic tongue
Non-Horse is the sound of Gabriel Lucas Crane (from
-Jeffrey L. Ouch
Paper Thin Walls
Cassettes Will Listen
Skzzz is a column that focuses on sound art, installations, field recordings, homemade instruments, anti-music and other unmanageable sounds. This is probably the last one for a while.
column by Christopher R. Weingarten
“New York City is really choked with information,” says NYC native and cassette-tape manipulator G. Lucas Crane. “I don’t have to expend any effort to find out the plots of popular movies; it’s just on the sides of buses. The world throws so much shit at you and asks you to process it, so what I’m doing is this anxiety response.”
As Nonhorse, Crane creates his own competing swirls of anxiety by colliding the mysterious, untraceable sounds from his colorful arsenal of cassette tapes. Slowed-down symphonies, prepared noise, found objects, field recordings—just like a muddled urban reality, pretty much anything can end up a part of his his clicking, woozy encounters. His unique set up allows him to mix and loop gnarled C-16s like the Grandmaster Flash of pause-tapes, his live shows a frenetic mix of hissing and clacking. In his mellower moments, he adds gauzy tape textures to bands like Vanishing Voice, folk-drifters Castanets and krauty dubwonks Shepherds.
“People have been churning out all these machines, all these boxes with knobs and switches that basically do the same thing. You wanna make a song? You can record it on GarageBand, you can record it on a cassette tape, you can record it on the most beautifully hi-fi system, whatever you want. Now it’s like an aesthetic decision to pick what you’re gonna record with. I just happened to land on one that speaks to me.”
Tell me about how you use cassettes as a response to anxiety and confusion.
What were your earliest experiences with tapes?
How do you organize your tapes?
What are some of your favorite field recording stories?
One of the other lost tapes… I was in England in some second-hand store and [found a tape that said] “International Karate” on it. It’s printed. It says “International Karate: Perfection is the only accepted standard.” I take it home and it’s this incredibly crazy super-industrial digital weird beats. Tkk-kk-kk-kkKZZKAAA. Really overblown, a super weird rhythm noise tape. And I’m like, “This is crazy music, this band International Karate.” I had a friend come over after I’ve been using this tape for a while and he’s like, “You know this is just a computer tape?” There’s this whole species of tapes, back when Commodore 64 and the beginning of computers, tapes were actually the discs. Programs on tapes. International Karate wasn’t a band, it was some fucking program for a computer. The ribbon broke on that tape so I don’t have that tape anymore.
Years ago I ran into a friend of mine in Manhattan. She was like, “My friends are all in that market right now. I’m taking care of them. I’m their chieftain today. They’re all tripping. And I’m the one who’s not tripping so I’m taking them around. I promised I would do this.” “Oh, here, you should just hang out with this tape recorder all day!” I get this tape back and I write “chieftain” on it. The whole thing is just these fucked-up songs. All these people singing all the time and my friend just being like, “Fucking idiot, get back here. Get back here!” Wrangling these psychedelic weirdos. But I lost that tape when I moved.
What’s the best story behind a tape you used on the Castanets
Kid Shirt review
Yeah, so anyway, I set CD-player on Random.
One: Some sort of mid-60s electro-accoustic drug-binge is in progress. Muffled, yet somehow also sonorous at the same time. Dull bells and the battle-drums of Tribe Limbless. They're eating Bob Dylan!
Two: A hellish kill-machine from the Warhammer 4000 universe lurches into action, mowing down legions of armoured ghouls with some sort of blue-pulsing death-gun, electric whips and rapidly spinning razor-scythes that eviscerate everthing in their path. The sky rains bloody hands.
Three: Haunted organ music from an evil, old well. Some sort of Japanese computerised goblin lives down there spinning a web from dark green shit. Alt.soundtrack to "Hideo D: HellBitch Dead Stalker."
Four: I really don't want to talk about this one; it's too fucking disturbing.
Five: A dense, roaring cloud, malignant and unfathomable, falls upon the listener. Distant fire-engines. A machine wants to eat us. We fall into a dark purple vortex made from our own memories.
Six: Tape-transports stutter and howl. A murderous toy-robot limps around a 1960s amusement arcade on broken caterpillar-tracks. We fall into an arcane, automated mechanism that uses knitting-needles and rotating sanding-disks to progressively strip us of our skin. The soundtrack to yr own eventual demise.
Seven: 70s Biker Flick on ultra-fast-forward filmed by Jeff Keen. They Kill/rape/fight/drink/make music at 270mph. Alien cops kill them at the end. Credits in sickly black neon typefaces.
Eight: tape-crumpled 4-bit drum-machine over oil-drum gtr-line and the sound of faces scraping against granite.
There's loooooads more, but why go on. This astonishingly inventive CD fucks with yr head on a whole bunch of levels - it succeeds in somehow being both pyschedelic and post-industrial, invoking a series of unflinchingly raw soundworlds that are as original as they are unexpected. A mad mulch-up of primitive electronics, gtr meltdowns, found sound, cassette-deck abuse, live jams, circuit-bend-outs, thuggish beserko percussives, Brut Concrete - sometimes all on the same track! To be honest, the jams on this CD have blown me away - I'm sooo gonna have to raise my fucking game. It's ages old, I know, but I live in a cupboard-sized micro universe that's forever 6 months outa synch w/ The Spectacle.
Non-Horse (or NonHorse) is G. Lucas ('Glucose') Crane, better known for his antics with Vanishing Voice - I'm pretty sure he played on their fantastic "Stone Tablet" album, which you really do need to buy fucking pronto.
Of the Haraam CD, G. Lucas says: "Its basically a dream description. I was lost in a desert maze and I kept encountering small rooms and situations vibrating with hidden alien pitches and molded rules. A small alter, a reflective bowl, a spear shaped candle. I was trying for a crystalline structure with the tracts the same length like the facets of a large jewel. The desert was long and ponderous, and I had to speak to enemies and old kings to gain my freedom. This was while i was living in a blackmoldy basement after traveling for a year, so I was psychically unmoored and traumatized by New York city. The source material tapes were mostly stuff I recorded in America on tour, moments with other musicians in hotel rooms and backyards."
Available thru Release The Bats, you lucky fuckers.