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Index Of Releases

Ava Mendoza & Nick Tamburro Quit Your Unnatural Ways CD
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WEIRD-082 Ava Mendoza & Nick Tamburro - Quit Your Unnatural Ways CD

No doubt Ava Mendoza's star is on the rise and deservedly so. Her technical virtuosity and broad artistic vision defies easy genre classification. Guitar World magazine recently spotlighted her to its shredhead readers while a recent collaboration with tUnE-yArDs brought her to the attention of indie rock fans. While the music world is just beginning to learn about Mendoza, I first jammed with her over a decade ago and knew straight away how amazing she was. Since then, she's graduated from Mills College vaunted music program (graced by the likes of Fred Frith and Pauline Oliveros) and gone on to work with such diverse artists as Carla Bozulich's Evangelista, Nels Cline, Weasel Walter, Liz Allbee, Henry Kaiser, Mike Watt and many, many others.

Mendoza's musical diversity extends to releases under her own name as well. For someone so steeped in San Francisco's free music scene, her first album was a bit of a surprise, a CD filled with intimate solo guitar pieces, a selection of covers and originals influenced by old fingerpickin' bluesmen and a touch of American primitivism. Quit Your Unnatural Ways goes nearly 180 degrees in the opposite direction. First off, there's the addition of drummer Nick Tamburro but it goes beyond instrumentation. Quit Your Unnatural Ways is all fire and brimstone with Mendoza and Tamburro accomplishing a rare feat -- marrying the intense energy of free jazz to instantly memorable tunes anchored by Mendoza's monstrous riffs. While most songs here follow the familiar head-solo-head jazz structure, the album feels closer to a marriage of free jazz and metal. Every song, save a brief musical interlude, features a heavy, glorious riff serving as a springboard for Mendoza's dazzling guitar pyrotechnics. While Ava's guitar is at the center of proceedings, Tamburro's contribution is essential as his drums provide much of the ecstatic energy, somehow propelling the songs forward without losing the beat and going completely free. The end result is a wild, exhilarating ride that's sure to appeal to music fans of all stripes.

Mastered by Jake Rodriguez. Artwork by Christina McPhee with layout by Suzanne Shaffer.
Deluxe CD digipak edition. Digital version available at online retailers.
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Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love , Mats I Love It When You Snore LP+7"
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WEIRD-063 Gustafsson & Paal Nilssen-Love , Mats - I Love It When You Snore LP+7

Mats Gustafsson is perhaps the pre-eminent saxophonist of this post-free jazz/improv era. A perfect combination of Peter Brotzmann's fiery passion, Evan Parker's extended technique and Ken Vandermark's willingness to explode genre boundaries, Gustafsson's discography spans over two decades and sports numerous must-hear recordings with a long laundry list of collaborators, including such luminaries as Brotzmann, Vandermark, Joe McPhee, Jim O'Rourke, Derek Bailey, Sonic Youth and The Ex. Illustrious company to be sure but one of his most important musical partnerships throughout his career has been with Norwegian drummer, Paal Nilssen-Love. The pair have collarborated numerous times as a duo and in larger ensembles, playing music ranging from paint-peeling free improv to more accessible rock arrangements. Here at Weird Forest, I Love It When You Snore has always been a favorite album of the duo (CD 2001, Smalltown Supersound) and we are proud to issue it on our preferred vinyl format, along with a special bonus 7" chronicling the first ever musical meeting of Gustafsson and Nilssen-Love. It's rare that such historical moments are preserved for posterity so we are beyond pleased to have this opportunity. Here are Mats' thoughts on this release:

I found something really spectacular in my archive -- the very first recording and the first music I did with paal ever from 1998! It is a recording with some Swedish musicians but also includes a separate duo track of 6 minutes length -- music is freakin BURNIN!!!! It also has some amazing conversation in the beginning of the track, a dada-like exchange between the great drummer Raymond Strid and legendary sax player Bengt Nordström, the guy that produced Albert Aylers first LP, Something Different!!!! on his own label Bird Notes. Bengt died 10 years ago but he was like a master to me. I totally forgot that he was at this concert. We are really happy about this release -- its a very special recording for both of us. I Love It When U Snore is one of my all time faves. Extreme dynamics and very well recorded, seriously it's insane. There's a great story about this specific CD being used to empty a bar in Oslo at closing time. It's a really great bar, very noisy and a lot of musicians and artists go there. But when the owners really want to empty the bar quick, they just put on I Love It When U Snore and the place is empty withoin seconds. We are very happy about this fact. I'm very very happy that it will be on vinyl now.

Layout by Sean Johannessen.
Includes bonus 7" archiving 1st ever meeting between Mats & Paal.
$19

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Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky split Tape
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WEIRD-081 Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky - split Tape

Special tour edition tape of Mendoza's upcoming CD release on Weird Forest. Joined by Nick Tamburro on drums, the duo meld heavy metal riffage with free jazz energy for a spectacular musical eruption.

Helmed by Sean Johennessen, Mucky the Ducky is definitely a collective of the 21st century. Raised on a bevy of underground musical influences, their side of the split finds the group seamlessly blending free improv, drone and drummer Jon Bafus' propulsive rhythms into a coherent, compelling listen.

Special tour edition release limited to 75 copies.
Ava Mendoza / Mucky The Ducky - split Tape

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Roped Off / Garrincha split Tape
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WEIRD-080 Roped Off / Garrincha - split Tape

Channelling the ghost of Carl Sagan, Roped Off rip through the space-time continuum on their return to Weird Forest. On their side of the split, Mike Haley and Dave Doyen deliver a moodier piece than was found on their first Weird Forest tape.. This time out is all grimy atmospheric sci-f soundscape that focuses on mood and develops at a leisurely pace.

The other side of the split finds Garrincha dropping their first sounds since shortening their name. After a brief encounter with the supernatural, Garrincha present a travelogue of sorts, with two pieces built around field recordings from their July 2011 national tour.

Special tour edition release limited to 75 copies.
Roped Off / Garrincha - split Tape

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Iibiis Rooge Hespherides LP
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WEIRD-078 Iibiis Rooge - Hespherides LP

Iibiis Rooge is the high-powered collaboration of Neil Campbell (Astral Social Club, Vibracathedral Orchestra and A Band) and High Wolf (releases on Holy Mountain, Not Not Fun, and his own Winged Sun label). Their new album, Hespherides, is a welcome development in the duo's trajectory, with its immersive propulsion more refined and synthesized than their 2009 self-titled debut. That earlier effort showcased the possibilities and capacities of the two artists' collaborative spirit, each track exploring the individual aspects of a shared sense of sound with discernible cues from either Campbell's or High Wolf's discography. In contrast, Hespherides is a meticulously sculpted document that embraces a total sound -- one that denies prominence of each contributor by melding the psychic duality of the pair. Shifting industrialized ethno-polyrhythmic structures are transformed by droning, blissed-out textural threads that seamlessly coexist and contradict one another; Through two side-long process-driven mechanical meditations, a shared space is constructed, one that satiates anyone willing to gorge on the global, post-acid house, rainbow hypnotism that is Iibiis Rooge.

Mastered by Pete Swanson with artwork by Jamie Potter and layout by Sean Johannessen.
Limited vinyl edition. Also available for digital download.
$14

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Excavacations Object Permanence CD
WEIRD-079 Excavacations - Object Permanence CD

What to make of Excavacations? Are they a pop band? Perhaps, except they spend as much time zoning out and embedding weird sounds into extended soundscapes as delivering infectious payloads loaded with hooks. Are they drone? If so, this is the catchiest drone you'll ever hear. Are they rock? Maybe -- they rock hard at times but not often. Are they bad spellers? Probably (don't miss that extra 'ca' in the name). But if we live in a post-post-everything world, then Excavacations is simply music for the 21st century.

Object Permanence is one of the catchiest releases in the Weird Forest catalog but this isn't empty-calorie Diet Mountain Dew for the ears. The hooks will stand out initially but repeated listens reveal nuances embedded in the music and the care that went into creating these compositions. The boys aren't afraid of big hooks and choruses but they warp traditional song structures and abandon verse-chorus-verse. Indeed, Excavacations don't write songs as much as they craft delicate sonic vignettes, song miniatures that ebb and flow, often interweaving and bleeding into each other. Maximalists by nature, nearly every track incorporates overdubbed layers and unusual sonic elements into its core but somehow it all just works -- the songs never sound overcrowded or weird for the sake of it.

Object Permanence comprises of songs culled from a string of underground cassette releases on the venerable Stunned, Avant Archive and Paramita labels plus 4 new exclusive tracks but the album sounds like a cohesive statement. Partially re-recorded, mixed and mastered specifically for this release, these songs have never sounded better.

Excavacations - Object Permanence Preview by Weird Forest
Exquisite color pencil art by Phil French of Stunned Records.
Deluxe CD digipak edition.
Excavacations - Ojbect Permanence CD

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