New in 2019: Koeosaeme – OBANIKESHI

Hold on to yer butts, kiddos, cuz the hands-down best album of the summer has arrived. I’ve got one word for you, & that’s: VISIONARY. First let’s take a detour (yet again) into the cover from Keith Rankin: Seriously. Wow. How can your cranium not explode looking at that? That’s my favorite thing I’ve seen in a long time. But now for the main course: the music. I am pleased to inform you that the sounds on this record live up to the art in every way. It’s f*cking insane. The album is an absolute masterclass in how to design a brilliant record from start to finish – I just double-checked the blurb on the Bandcamp & realized I subconsciously copied that wholesale from their description, but it’s the truth so I’ll state it again. Koeosaeme caught my attention 2 years ago with 2017’s Sonorant. Now he’s on vinyl, & his sound has hyper-evolved into an absolute Laserbeast alien mutant monstrosity ready to march across the oceans like Godzilla & take over the planet. It is my pleasure to award it the coveted Golden Mike – the highest possible honor it is my power to bestow. If you aren’t losing your mind over this record, there’s not much hope for you, bud.

Albums like this come out once a year. Obanikeshi reminds me of 2018’s An Exploded View of Time by Andrew Bernstein in its utter raw mind-annihilating power. Lots of other brain-scorchers on either of these labels recently, too… kind of a golden age if you ask me. This is an album I can play on loop for hours. It’s perfectly in sync with my brain, & a whole goddamn lot goes on up there. Queue this up & write some fuckin’ C++, man. Wile the fuck out. Actually – controversial opinion – I would say this album is more like C#, because it’s actually well-designed & fun to listen to. Just don’t compare it to Java. If you want some fucking Java go to the fucking YouTube for “Miracles” or something (actually that song whips & is more like BASIC). Class dismissed. Grab this record.

Shameless Plugs: Argiflex – LIQUIDPUNK

Well, well, well… seems like this “Mike” guy has been getting a little famous if you ask me… after months of inactivity on this humble blog, I have been contacted once or twice by artists hoping for coverage. I’m happy to oblige – especially for queer trans artist Argiflex, who has been a personal homie of mine for a couple years. On a whim she contacted me for coverage on her new album LIQUIDPUNK, out now on Asura Revolver, a vaporwave-adjacent label from Norway that seems to specialize in experimental electronics. This coulda been a pre-release write-up at that time but I wasn’t ready to jump back into the game yet. I have previously owned Argiflex’s cassette Throatless on Bedlam Tapes, not least because it was yet another music grip graced with the visionary art of Keith Rankin, possibly my favorite contemporary artist – seriously, these things are going to be collector’s items some day, next time he puts out some prints you should snap ‘em up – LIQUIDPUNK is more Argiflex goodness along similar lines. Kind of a weird ‘flex, but okay.

So, first things first: Whatever I say – this thing is name-your-price on Bandcamp, so of course you should check it out. The physical (a CD) can be yours for £8 + shipping. It’s hard for the album art on any of your subsequent releases to live up to what came before after you’ve received the Rankin treatment, but I like it – & she made it herself! Nice stuff. The Yin-Yang intrigues me… this release is for people who like techno, acid house, & all that good shit. For me, the opening beat of Track 3, “SUNFLOWER DISCO”, is when things really started to heat up, & it ends w/ a trippy wall of electronics. The beats are skewed & chopped all through the album. I like it when it gets noisy. There are some really great-sounding moments that will annoy your acquaintances with no taste. Make ‘em squirm!

The music on this album was performed live, giving it parallels to the brilliant & prolific Mukqs et al. That’s enough to bump the tunes like three whole points on the vibe-o-meter for me. I’d like to see more improvisational work from this artist. The last track is a colossal 16 minutes & 18 seconds, so make sure you go to the bathroom first. Towards the halfway point it transitions into ambient, & I really like how it sounds. Then it devolves into noise, then like ambient noise for a real Dao moment as closure. Argiflex is a great person, so consider throwing a couple dollars her way. Link here.

Favorite Track(s): SUNFLOWER DISCO, BLAMOLAMBO (for the name), all of the repetitive noisy parts