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Reviews
To Live And Shave In L.A. 2 - The 300 Dollar Silk Shirt
Sunday, February 01 2009 @ 01:00 AM PST
Contributed by: Vargr Wulf

The 300 Dollar Silk Shirt

Artist: To Live And Shave In LA 2 United States

Title: The 300 Dollar Silk Shirt

Label: UgExplode United States

Genre: Noise / Improvisational

Track Listing:


1 Belatedly Embroilment Of The She “She” It-It
2 Rose Holding Wench
3 March “March” The Yoghurt, And
4 Bandeth A Current Eyeliner
5 Live In Rochester
6 Duet: Laser Printer/Analogique “A” Dialtone
7 Forsooth Defenstration
8 The Saddest Song In The World
9 There Is A Dishonest Record Label
10 Flarn, Filth, Flarn (And Sampl'd)
11 The First Album Best?
12 Reprise
13 Shub Ishnigarrab
14 Ereshkigal
15 Ustur
16 Vermis Mysteriis


This compact disc contains the only studio recordings of the California ensemble called To Live And Shave In L.A. 2. Seemingly an offshoot of the group To Live And Shave In L.A., this is actually a completely unique and fully realized project. The group is best represented via the first twelve tracks, which make up TLASILA2's 2001 masterpiece “The 300 Dollar Silk Shirt.” Led by the time-stretched digitations of a mostly electronically bent Weasel Walter, the percussive genius responsible for the conundrum known as the Flying Luttenbachers. The group becomes a truly fluid entity that works as a sum greater than the parts throughout the many varied tracks. The electronics are always fresh and unique, as on the Luttenbachers album “Systems Emerge From Complete Disorder,” and this alone would be enough to merit attention. If this release were a collection of just the Weasel Walter electronics, it would merit a place in your library for that reason alone. Weasel has a gift for bringing together disparate energies that tell the same story, such as the free jazz of later Coltrane with the death metal of Deicide. He has a gift of skillfully translating these influences into his own ideosyncratic language, and here it blends seamlessly with a group of talented and like-minded fellow travelers.

However, a gentleman by the name of Nondor Nevai makes sure that you will have to deal with a lot of dark and hidden parts of yourself before the duration of this recording is finished. Contributing his distinctive voice and trombone, as well as other unknown manipulations, Nevai channels the Spirits Of The North through his distinctive tonal war bleats. The genuine blackness and hermetic power of Nevai's contributions cannot be ignored on this release. Also of note is the presence of Nevai collaborator Rat Bastard on assorted percussions and his trademark “violin sound.” Topping things off is the very lovely and talented Misty Martinez, who adds an atmospheric element of ethereal femininity with strangely manipulated mutterings. Never does any one particular element outweigh another throughout this release, songs seamlessly transfer between experimental power electronics, aborted/lysergicized/stoned verses and choruses, and literal free jazz (people who intuitively know what they are doing freaking out on horn and percussion instruments). All of the vocals are geuinely disturbed and add an important storytelling dimension.

The final track is titled “Reprise,” however we are not informed of what. It is a mind-bending and exceptional closer, blending together a modern update on Stockhausen that is infinitely more entertaining than Stockhausen's actual work, or his architectural commentary for that matter. Oddly, the proceeding track is titled “The First Album Best?” which is not the case for To Live And Shave In L.A. 2. Appended to this release is an album from the previous year, “Kill Misty: Threnody/300 Dollar Silk Shirt.” The band is on point, but they are unfortunately joined by a Lux Interior impersonator known simply as OM Myth. The band would be far better suited having the voices of Martinez and Nevai rather than this fellow's rather tired renderings. There are some amazing musical moments on this addendum release, and it is definitely worth inclusion for historical reasons. But “The 300 Dollar Silk Shirt” is where it's at. Highly recommended if you are looking for something new. This music will free your soul.

     



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