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Author Topic: Damion Romero  (Read 1580 times)
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« on: November 16, 2018, 06:20:32 PM »

Today listened through Astromero "2" 3 CD set. 
Set consists 5 live sets from 2006 USA tour. Sound is clear and nice airy, yet not too distant feel to it. If you think of Astro, or Hasegawa's past as member of CCCC, and then think Romero's drone works and old works as Speculum Fight, this live collaboration work is pretty much what could be expected. If recording quality was more lo-fi, you could probably be convinced it is CCCC. Yet, of course it could be either Astro or some Romero's works. So well it all blends in.

Theoretically simple and easy. Two guys, oscillating synth/electronics, some effect driven objects. Never loud or ripping, but neither "drone" nor "ambient". You would assume "anyone can do it", yet knowing how many these days happen to have all the modulars, re-make analogue synths, boutique gear, euroracks filled with stuff... and it's not so often I'd hear material that lures me for near 3 hours session of... cosmic noise?! So, I think there must be some hidden quality, I can't really put in words.

Damion Romero "Negative" ‎CD, another disc in recent listening. 30+ minutes drone piece, which gets noisy occasionally, and here and there levels jump so high it has glitchy break in sound before mixer or recorder is able to handle incoming signal. That I do not like, but I assume it is "unedited live take", published as is. Small editing to remove the glitches would have made disc better, but overall good proof that you don't have to make 60-75 minutes albums of this type of stuff. 30 minutes might leave you hunger to listen more.

After listening Negative - I could conclude that this is good, but perhaps not among his best. Should dig into my collection and see what else is there and refresh memories. Perhaps make some new purchases...

Any Romero favorites. His solo works, of projects or collaborations?
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2018, 06:22:47 PM »

This is full "Negative" CD. Disc still available from Troniks as well as distributed in europe by Freak Animal at the moment..

It's good for those looking drone sounds combined with tasty physical / field recordings / odd textures:

https://youtu.be/imP79oAC7_Q
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2018, 06:43:46 PM »

This is full "Negative" CD. Disc still available from Troniks as well as distributed in europe by Freak Animal at the moment..

It's good for those looking drone sounds combined with tasty physical / field recordings / odd textures:

https://youtu.be/imP79oAC7_Q

Enjoying this a lot, thank you!
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« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 04:33:19 PM »

This is full "Negative" CD. Disc still available from Troniks as well as distributed in europe by Freak Animal at the moment..

It's good for those looking drone sounds combined with tasty physical / field recordings / odd textures:

https://youtu.be/imP79oAC7_Q

Enjoying this a lot, thank you!

For whatever reason I always skipped over Romero. This is perfect.
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2018, 11:20:03 PM »

i really enjoyed "negative"! thanks for the recommendation
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« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 09:05:25 PM »

Damion's live performances are incredible and can never be fully replicated on disc. His bone-shattering bass frequencies are SHEER POWER. That said, I've enjoyed all of his recorded output and most of it is quite inexpensive on Discogs.
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« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2018, 11:33:29 AM »

The only release I know by Romero is the Fade To Useless tape. I must say it’s quite, well, useless. There’s indistinct muffled rumbling on both sides, while in the background, very faintly, there are sounds of car racing on side A and a recording of lots of people talking (like in a crowded hall) on side B. The whole thing just comes off as really uninspired to me.
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Andrew McIntosh
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« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2018, 02:32:51 PM »

The only release I know by Romero is the Fade To Useless tape. I must say it’s quite, well, useless. There’s indistinct muffled rumbling on both sides, while in the background, very faintly, there are sounds of car racing on side A and a recording of lots of people talking (like in a crowded hall) on side B. The whole thing just comes off as really uninspired to me.

Just listening to it on Bandcamp right now. Sounds alright to me, but I like this kind of thing, albeit I prefer side one to side two. Cheers for the tip.
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2018, 05:50:38 PM »

If you're interested in some highlights of Damion's old project, Speculum Fight, Erik Nystrand wrote an excellent overview of Speculum Fight in the final issue of Fordamning zine (#15). It doesn't cover every single Speculum Fight release (some of it is quite rare, and Erik even hints that he didn't review everything in his collection, finding some pieces "too similar to others I reviewed"), but it gives you some highlights to seek out.

As Mikko noted above, a lot of Damion's best work, either solo or as SF, can still be had for almost nothing -- the "Swimming Pool" LP and the "Highball" CD are two of the highest ratios of amazing sound to low price out there, with both albums still go for less than $10 regularly. His collaboration with Zbigniew Karkowski ("9 Before 9" CD on Blossoming Noise) is also a good way to test the limits of your speakers' bass function. And I really liked his "Twins" double LP on Anarchymoon as well. Oh! And if you like field recordings of irregular machinery, the "Idle" 3-inch CDr is untreated recordings of his car (which he built himself!) idling in the driveway. A steady, unwavering drone it is not. Sounds like it's on the verge of collapsing for 18 minutes. A great, tense listen.

As Phil noted, hearing Damion's work live is the way to go. A set I saw in Chicago (in a chapel) was so enormous and monolithic, my eyeballs were vibrating.
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2018, 12:16:18 AM »

excellent overview of Speculum Fight in the final issue of Fordamning zine (#15).
Glad you liked it!
Apart from leaving some works out due to sounding too much alike, I also skipped some simply because I don't fancy them. Such as Neutrophile (Banned Prod, 1994) for example. Neutrophile really stands out in the Spec Fight discography. It's industrial rock with a spaced out vibe, basically. It's not that I don't like it, but it has me scratching my head rather than zoning out blissfully/clenching fists. But then it most likely was the first Spec Fight recording, and probably colored by his involvment in the sludgy band Slug. It took off in many other directions after that one. It's quite astonishing to see the wide scope of styles he adapted over the few years he had this project, and I can't think of many other projects that changed and expanded soundwise the way Spec Fight did. From the mentioned industrial rock, through booming semi harsh noise (Glass Giant), via restless sounding no input feedback experiments (the split w/ Lab Rat + Electronic Air Purifiers), to heavily layered almost CCCC:ish noise (White Elephant) and all inbetween, all in just five six years. The later albums like Highball (WIN, 1997) and Medium (P-Tapes, 1997), with their more stripped down droning approach, both hint at where he went under his own name a few years later.

The Speculum Fight highlights for me are:

Glass Giant C46 (GROSS, 1994)
Enormous recording, almost in harsh noise territory, but perhaps harsh drone is more accurate. Spec Fight is easy and cheap to collect in general, but this will set you back I think. Needs a reissue!
https://youtu.be/E4OLVRrnA9Y

Split w/ Lab Rat C60 (Anomalous, 1994)
Very engaging and wonderfully buzzing recording. It spits and jumps and slithers for almost half an hour. Not a dull second! And what a sound! Roomy, yet still hitting hard.
Lab Rat's side ain't bad either, but I don't envy poor Mr Barber for ending up competing against Romero's juggernaut of a track here.
https://youtu.be/R3i3YQBONgo

Swimming Pool LP (Volvolo, 1996)
Such a strange and brilliant album. It has a little bit of everything he's known for. There's drone, weird tape stuff, wild noise, found sounds etc, but it all sounds like it might just collapse any moment. Amazing looking LP, too. The track on youtube below is probably lifted from the version of the album that's on iTunes, which differs a bit from the actual LP. Some segments are only to be found on the vinyl and vice versa.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9EcpFxW7bA

Highball CD (WIN, 1997)
As mentioned by both me and previous speaker, amazing record, and still available for next to nothing. You'll get a great scope of Romeros many moods on this one as well, but with a heavier focus on calmer and layered drone than on previous efforts. Worth getting for the opening track alone, but the whole album keeps on giving.
https://youtu.be/b8tFig3aNpA
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 01:33:35 AM »

Damion's live performances are incredible and can never be fully replicated on disc. His bone-shattering bass frequencies are SHEER POWER. That said, I've enjoyed all of his recorded output and most of it is quite inexpensive on Discogs.

Ive had the privilege of seeing him 3 times now, great guy also! Should play more often.


Damion Romero - Idle
Real time recording of a car engine idling for 20 mins.
Great!
I recently learned this is of his actual car he owns.//

Negative is a good representation of Romero's capacity for composition but drone is his main focus. Missing Link Hanson Tape,Twins LP, You Can Tell By The Blur, and California compilation track is a good representation of the character sound.

P tapes website has literally no information(?)

http://www.poweracoustics.org

full support



 
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2018, 07:26:47 PM »

His collab with The Rita is a fucking face melter.
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2018, 10:23:22 PM »

negative is good.... astromero collab is interesting, but a bit kinda "unedited jam" if you like dogma
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