Purchase La Guerre Est Meurtre CD

La Guerre Est Meurtre is still available for free download here .

“…and I’m sure there will be lots of Elephant 6 trivia…”

So mockingly says an unidentified voice in the middle of Von Hemmling’s magnum opus, La Guerre Est Meurtre (”War is Murder”), an experimental collage of sounds, voices, and music now available from Royal Rhino Flying Records. The album itself is automatically a piece of Elephant 6 trivia, since Von Hemmling is one of the first bands to emerge from the label; the author of VH, Jim McIntyre, was once a member of The Apples in Stereo, and in addition to co-writing some of the early Apples tunes also worked a great deal with The Minders, another Denver-based pop powerhouse. From this pedigree you wouldn’t necessarily expect VH to sound the way that it does. It’s a sweaty-palmed, intensely personal avant-garde creation, whose songs and sounds–frequently about lust, impotence, and fatigue–are meant to make you shift uncomfortably in your seat. He’s a little Frank Zappa, a little John Cage, and very hard to find. His first CD, Wild Hemmling, was self-released just a few years ago, compiling a giant chunk of vinyl and cassette obscurities but only then, with its limited distribution, becoming a rarity of its own. La Guerre Est Meurtre fills in Wild Hemmling’s gaps, essentially providing the murky underbelly of that album. If Wild Hemmling presented McIntyre’s song craftsmanship–albeit a craftsmanship deliberately submerged below a pane of foggy glass–then La Guerre sets him free of any reins of conventionality. It’s an aural mosaic, constantly shifting from one idea to the next. There is a flow–or so McIntyre asserts–but you will need to discover it for yourself. It’s meant to be listened to straight through, not divided into digestible iPod pieces, although there are six tracks, the major movements of the work; the longest is 21:31 in length. These recordings span 1984 to 2001, and consist of field recordings, otherworldly sound effects, hollow-sounding percussion, voices original and stolen (a little George Carlin, a little CSN&Y at Woodstock–even a little Music Tapes, E6-trivia-seeking fans take note), general distortion and noise, prank calls, and some songs. You can hear McIntyre fronting the Apples in Stereo on “Stripes and Buttons,” but the real highlight is an exotic, glistening recording of The Lilys covering the VH song “Vegetable Reefer.” (The VH versions of both songs can be found on Wild Hemmling.) On the whole, however, this is a densely layered record that resists categorization. It isn’t nearly as daunting as I might make it sound. It’s open-ended, restless, occasionally inspired sonic mayhem. Listen to it while creating something.

reviewed by opticalatlas.com



Purchase You (Being My Body Whole) Cassette

You (Being My Body Whole) 60 Minute Cassette

Much of the material has been made available elsewhere, either on singles, other cassettes, the VH website, or the out-of-print Wild Hemmling CD. These include “A Fine Appleseed,” “China Star,” and the excellent title track. But mixed in are plenty of different (new?) selections which I had never heard before, and which are quite good, in fact the best he’s ever done, such as the poppy “Intimacy Revealed” and “Dead End Suffering.” McIntyre’s material always seems to be in the demo stage, which is just fine when you’re a fan of that sound and the atmosphere it generates in a recording–that quality of someone playing with a 4-track in their bedroom. Almost every track begins with the preemptory tapping of drumsticks, followed by quavering vocals and guitar, and that’s about it as far as adornment goes. This seems appropriate for McIntyre, who recently released a CD consisting of 99 song ideas, some just a few seconds long; his work has always sounded stuttering, stumbling toward being born–and the songs themselves, appropriate to the style, often tackle themes of insecurity, hesitation, impotence, fatigue, or disappointment. Von Hemmling happily subverts pop expectations by using a soundscape choked with a feeling of thwarted fulfillment, and what better vehicle for thwarted fulfillment than an audio cassette released in 2009? VH’s recordings also sound, to me, like 1992, and that’s partly because of how McIntyre records, as though he were still trading Elephant 6 Recording Company tapes with his friends and fellow E6'ers.

reviewed by opticalatlas.com



Wild Hemmling CD - Out Of Print


Available for free download here .

VON HEMMLING   Wild Hemmling (Independently released CD, Skewed underground pop)
This is the first and only CD featuring material recorded by Von Hemmling, one of the founding bands in the Elephant Six Collective. This anthology features material recorded between 1995 and 2004 at the Pet Sounds Studio. There's an incredible amount of material to digest here...26 tracks in all. Recorded in between various recording sessions with Elephant Six bands, these songs are obviously meant to be appreciated by a small, esoteric audience. Von Hemmling's tunes are strange and often fragmented...and the instruments in many cases sound as if they were recorded spontaneously. Created as a pure artistic endeavor, the songs on Wild Hemmling are almost certainly destined for obscurity. And that may have been the songwriter's exact purpose to begin with...to create truly underground music. We aren't even going to begin to try to rate this...what can be made of tunes like "That's What You Get for Praying 1997," "Peanut Butter Lymphoma," and "Suck, C*nt, Cock, F*ck, and Prick 1997"...??? (Not Rated)

reviewed by  babysue.com                    

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