S2K is less a "one man band" than a true mad scientist. We'll also accept eccentric sorcerer and - real talk - genius. An avant/noise formalist, his legit cacophony is founded upon an arsenal of homemade gadgets and mind-bending/endurance-testing parameters. An illuminative example would be his recent set at the 2009 edition of Bloodfest (as presented by Kinky Noise and Ted Records, and pictured below), during which he generated audio from triggers hooked to muscles. Apparently, each sound came with a corresponding shock to his torso. So there's your background/context. Head Cleaner is S2's first "widely available" release and is a tracklist-less collection of excerpts from a marathon 9 hour keyboard/homebrewed 'tronix jam sesh with himself. The editing gives the sequencing a creative cut-up / collage effect for the expansive spectrum of styles collected therein. Blasts of static give way to gurgles which give way to buried, damaged nearly-dance-music, and then every now and then there are waves of friendly/melancholy keyboard melody. There's a clipping that runs throughout that often acts as an effective means of percussion and also seems to be connected to various effects turning on and off. Head Cleaner comes off as a bludgeoning sequence of (sometimes rambling, sometimes startlingly brief) non-sequitors (especially at first) but as the tape progresses it starts to sound like certain excerpts may have been dispersed throughout the sequencing of the tape, adding a compositional cohesion. Who else but Cephia's Treat would release something this ahead of the game?
Next up we've got twin cassettes from White Moth,a Miami-based one-man powerful electronics act. The first tape, Journey of the Magi (pictured above) is short, sweet and dynamic. The A-side opens with a loop and cleverly timed blast of hot white noise. This fades into an ostensible "track 2" comprised of what sounds like field recordings of some sort (knives being sharpened, a bag of pebbles or marbles being shook) processed/looped/reverbed. Cool. Definitely over before you're ready for it to be, which is a good thing. Onto Side B, which progresses with stately, layered poise: train tunnel echo action gets smothered beneath some righteous churn-fuzz both of which fall victim to a heavy, menacing, industrial drum track. One pay-off after another.
The second tape has no title but the sides do - "Denial" and "Exempt." Each opens with a chewy synth drone that becomes the foundation for a gradually assembled sonic tower of static, screeching, undulating tones and distant spoken vocals. Between these two brief cassettes (5 minutes a side?) you get a wider sample of industrial-styled noise than is often released on whole record labels dedicated to this sort of thing, so we're excited to see what White Moth will do next.
This Dino Felipie cassette sounds like cotton candy compared to those last 3, but it's still not the sort of thing you want to bust out at family gatherings; best to save it for the cool Uncle who was getting skeezy in the Bowery circa 197whatever. Onhcet displays the brilliant schizophrenia of Dino's No Fun Demo: both albums sound like compilations rather than material by the same artist. In the grab bag: colorful/warm drones (as opposed to White Moth's blasts of sewer stench), blown out rock/pop (mostly what we've seen him perform live), synth heavy echo dreams and noisier mumblers that sound like spooked out versions of some of his Schematic material. Another excellent release from Miami's Senzei. Speaking of which, if you haven't picked up the masterful new Teepee LP yet, you better hustle as they're going fast.