Sunday, 12 December 2010

Chin15: Albert Glasser "Confessions of an Opium Eater"

A new projected series of releases on Chinstrap is music & sound-design of interest extracted from public-domain films. Not claiming to be the definitive packaging of the music and sound enclosed, we rather present the work for the possibility of further investigation into the composers and sound-designers featured.

Albert Zugsmith's "Confessions of an Opium Eater" is a strange, flawed, but ultimately fascinating film, a truly weird adventure story which sees Vincent Price attempting to free trafficked women in Chinatown, smoking a healthy dose of opium along the way. The score, by incredibly prolific B-movie composer Albert Glasser, combines classically-tinged orchestral music with elements of jazz & rock'n'roll, traditional chinese music, electronic polyrhythmic pulses, and theremins. We are also served up some delightfully strange monologues from the dulcet tones of Vincent Price, in the midst of a very, very bad opium trip. The sound design is equally peculiar and disorientating, awash with ear piercing screams of smuggled Chinese ladies, squawking parrots, a myriad crashes and bashes, running water, and creaking ships.

You can download Zugsmith's "Confessions of an Opium Eater", starring Vincent Price, as an AVI here.

Legal disclaimer: This release is made under the belief that this score and sound-design are in the public-domain, and is intended to disseminate and raise appreciation of this film music. The Albert Zugsmith film "Confessions of an Opium Eater" is, to the best of our awareness, in the public-domain, and we are proceeding on the presumption that the score is also. If you represent the interests of Albert Glasser and object to this release, we will willingly remove it.

Chinstrap is a not-for-profit music gallery.

Edited & Mastered by Ergo Phizmiz

Monday, 6 December 2010

Chin14: Vulnavia Vanity "Worse Things Happen at Sea"

Chinstrap are delighted to present the debut single from young philanderer, explorer and hedonist Vulnavia Vanity.

"Worse Things Happen At Sea" is one of the catchiest coming-out songs ever to pop out of the proverbial musical oceans. Complete with a very blue video by Martha Moopette, "Worse Things Happen At Sea" is the first will and testicle of a young wizard of songcraft, a magnetic performer and surely the sexiest unknown Pop Star to grace the obscurantist seas Chinstrap sails. *

This single is presented alongside remixes by Oblivian Substanshall, Ergo Phizmiz and The Superfools.

Written & Performed by Vulnavia Vanity. Video by Martha Moopette. Produced by Ergo Phizmiz.

* Here at Chinstrap we believe, wholeheartedly, that the greatest pop stars in the world are generally unknown and working under the pretence of being experimentalists. The culture spearheaded by Lord Simon of Cowell has destroyed the genuine pop star. A true, born pop star is, by nature, a maverick, a vagabond and an outsider, and wouldn't consider appearing on a talent show to be judged and put down by a bunch of idiots who can't hold a tune themselves. That's why all pop stars today appear to be pretending, because they are pretend. They want to be pop stars, rather than naturally just being pop stars. Vulnavia Vanity is a pop star. Simon Cowell's eyeballs and testicles would disintegrate if he sat and watched him for more than a minute.*

* How's that for a press release that uses the world "testicle" twice?

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Chin13: Oblivian Substanshall "Finnish....But Don't Wait Till You Stop"

Surrealism as a method of art has become almost synonymous with advertising over the past 20 years, the original movement's power to disturb and shock eaten away by the overuse of images of talking fish, lobsters in spats, and coat-hanger headed people to sell Tampons, Baked Beans and Spandex trousers.

One area of artistic practice where Surrealism has remained relatively undisturbed by the influence of advertising, however, is sound and music. This is fortunate for us, because the artist who goes by the curious monikers of variously TOSS, Tengemort, and Oblivian Substanshall is undeniably a dyed-in-the-wool Surrealist. A hugely prolific artist in radio, music, cartoons and painting, he has developed, through his regular broadcasts on Soundart Radio and releases on Chinstrap, built an aesthetic that is as singular as it is unpredictable.

The Surrealism of the mysterious figure of Oblivian Substanshall, who is sometimes seen talking into biscuit tins, is not the Surrealism of advertising, but closer to the comic and disturbing imagery of Max Ernst, whilst also harking back to the English nonsense tradition of Lear & Carroll.

His latest release on Chinstrap "Finnish But Don't Wait Till You Stop" is his most diverse and accomplished release yet. A veritable treasure troves of ideas and creative avenues, Mr Substanshall is just as adept in whipping out an unforgettable pop song as he is in weaving a nonsense narrative or a clanging, Beefheart-esque guitar driven opus. The diverse nature of this release is unified first of all by his distinctive aesthetic, and secondly by his voice, which is instantly recognisable, simultaneously as warming as a cup of tea and disturbing as a naked, wizened, bleeding dog-lady turning up in your bed.

So sit down, pour your favourite beverage, and immerse yourself in the barmy and beautiful world of "Finnish...."


This album comes with a new video from Chinstrap's resident film-wizard Martha Moopette, using elements of every track on "Finnish...." to create an intense, strange and hilarious film collage of death and digestion. Featuring Amie Willingale, Talulah Lotus, Autumn Poppy, and a range of dead animals from the streets and fields of Bridport.


Cover photography by Martha Moopette. Cover design by Ergo Phizmiz.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Chin12: Talulah Lotus "Robot Sun"

Improvised, multitrack improvisations by a six year old girl called Talulah Lotus. "The Robots" is a cover of the Kraftwerk classic; "Lullaby" a gentle whirl with melodica and euphonium; "Horrorphone" is an instant punk classic; "Spooky" is an ode to Hallowe'en, shot through 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'.

This is the first of a regular series of releases of improvised music by children on Chinstrap. Here at Chinstrap we are very interested in the mechanics and construction of music, how music works - one of the most direct ways to access the heart of music is through the "untrained" performances of children, who create and conceive music in completely different ways to the more "trained" adult ears.

Look out soon for further releases of children's music on Chinstrap, including a compilation curated by Soundart Radio's director Lucinda Guy, and recordings made across years of workshops in schools and home-education by Ergo Phizmiz.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Coming soon....

Musical hedonism imminent on Chinstrap includes "Rites of Sausage EP" by sample master Vernon Lenoir, "Worse Things Happen at Sea" by Vulnavia Vanity, and "Finnish But Don't Wait Till You Stop" by Oblivian Substanshall.

Also on the way is a series of music improvised by children, including a compilation curated by Lucinda Guy, and an album of multitrack improvisations by Talulah Lotus, Ergo Phizmiz's 6 year old daughter.

We are also in the process of arranging a compilation of music from contemporary puppet-theatre productions.

Casual Calisthenics

Casual Calisthenics from Chris Koelsch on Vimeo.

Chris Koelsch recently created this video "Casual Calisthenics", using a track from the most recent Chinstrap release by The Superfools.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Chin11: The Superfools

16 directions in sample music by James Melendrez, AKA The Superfools....

"There's nothing wrong with emulation", as the track goes. Emulation has become, to a degree, almost inevitable in the world of sample music, where recurring stylistic motifs and juxtaposition techniques have settled into a recognisable, and effective, language. The plunderphonics movement and associated artists created and developed this language through the 1980s-1990s, stylistic innovations often running parallel to technological developments.

The German sample composer Vernon Lenoir (who will also release shortly on Chinstrap), once described the contemporary approach to sample composition, with reference to the effect of versatile sequencing technologies, as "music without limits" - that's to say, music that can be constantly shapeshifted, seamlessly transformed, with endless possible permutations not allied to any stylistic school.

The music on this album, by James Melendrez AKA The Superfools, sits on the border of "traditional" plunderphonics style sample music, and something altogether more personal and idiosyncratic. The "Exercise" pieces are comic juxtapositions of work-out records with easy-listening, but achieved with a grace and finesse that renders them hugely listenable. "Mary's Popins" takes a nostalgic conversation between Julie Andrews and songwriter Robert Sherman and delicately cuts it into a subtle absurdity. Vitally, all of The Superfools recordings hum with the crackle of dusty vinyl.

Altogether more strange and personal is the epic "Getting Along With The People You Love", which takes a field-recording of a language lesson and layers it with circular, melancholy Spanish guitar loops, with occasional interjections of colour from a dizzying array of sources. "Fever (Flu Shot Mix)" slows down an acapella of Peggy Lee's finest moment, combines it with slow delayed, reverb-laden electronic drums, and through these simple means creates something wrought with tension and highly effective as a piece of music.

The Superfools are also adept at the construction of new and interesting melodic material through the processing and juxtaposition of samples, transforming the sources into something unrecognisable. In these areas, the sample music becomes something more abstract, purely "Musical" and not connected with "Context". Vitally, The Superfools is not a particularly satirical samplist - which is what separates this from a lot of plunderphonics. This is music for the sake for music. Which is, of course, no bad thing.

So sit back, pop a bottle of wine, and immerse yourself into some super foolishness courtesy of The Superfools.

Read an interview with The Superfools at Some Assembly Required.

Like this? There's lots more where that came from...

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Oblivian Substanshall "Three Elements Hiss"

The new release from Chinstrap regular Oblivian Substanshall, "Three Elements Hiss" is a genuinely mad and scattershot collage of techniques, games, riddles, and wordplay. Fragments of songs bounce off ludicrous puns, instrumental music crashes into musique-concrete and audio-verite. Mr Substanshall is one of the most intriguing and prolific artists working today, his work, like all the most interesting contemporary art, is difficult to pinpoint, simultaneously with the potential to be hugely popular and also fiercely avant-garde.

From the man himself....

"Suddenly, or thereabouts, James Joyce meets Edward Lear in a dream instigated by a whole bunch of surrealists set inside the mind of a man by the name of Avida Dollars. Viv Stanshall is busy arm wrestling Spike Milligan for a sausage suspended by strings attached to a liver and an avant -garde hat with mute bells, and reference points to Freud and Wittgenstein."

Monday, 5 July 2010

CHIN09 - Plushgoolash

Chinstrap are delighted to present the first release by the genius pop-music-machine that is Plushgoolash. Recorded over almost ten years, and selected from a massive archive of uberpop, this album contains some of the most finely crafted songwriting of recent times.

It is also very, very funny. Plushgoolash are living proof that great pop music needn't be po-faced and self-importantly earnest. Here are superb songs about dogs, cats, testicles, monkeys, Michael Jackson, terrible Lions, and brown rainbows. By turns dreamlike, scatological, hysterical, and suffused with a strange melancholy, every song has instantly hummable ear-worm potential.

Plushgoolash is the collaborative project of Erik Bumbledonk and Bambie Racheed. Those familiar with Ergo Phizmiz's work will be no stranger to Mr Bumbledonk, writer, raconteur, film-maker, songwriter, comedian, actor and prostitute. Mr Racheed, film-maker, musician, sensual escort for animals, and actor, is a long-term collaborator with Mr Bumbledonk, through Plushgoolash and the acclaimed comedy troupe Smuglybeige, who recently opened Prague Fringe Festival, many of whom guest in elegant castrati stylings on the final track of this album.

This is the first of a series of projected Bumbledonk releases on the Chinstrap label. Look out shortly for the MNJ Club, and an Erik Bumbledonk solo album of songs, comedy and spoken-word.

And don't forget, cannibalism is illegal, Bobo...

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

CHIN08 - Angela Valid - (1) A ball. The invention of a ball. (2) For the home or for the body

Chinstrap are delighted to present a new piece from Angela Valid:

"Iain Chambers and Alexander Jones have been working under the name Angela Valid since 2002.

At irregular intervals.

Additional, somewhat regular members are often drafted in to collaborate in a live environment.

Their most recent activities include a blah blah blah soundtrack, a session on a radio show, a couple of blah blah blah (Arts Council funded) releases and blah fuckin blah piece for Ergo Phizmiz's Faust Cycle.

More info on the internet (link to something)."

And if that's not exciting enough, look how beautiful these two gentlemen are....

Obviously both liberally sprinkled with finest Layamon's Brut....

Saturday, 13 March 2010

CHIN07 - The Travelling Mongoose "Amusements"

Edited field-recordings of English amusements arcades by The Travelling Mongoose.

CHIN06 - TOSS "Fran Ken & Stein"

From the same warped brain that brought Oblivian Substanshall, we are jolly well stoked to present a mutant of sound-artertainment ....

"I would describe the seven works on the album as a kind of manic hybridisation of styles where one attempts to embrace an avant-garde sensibility expressing immediate and spontaneous concepts with feelings of chaos, psychedelic interpretation, punk energy and noise, alongside large doses of nonsense and surprise. The title of the album is also a play on such ideas, hence the fractured treatment of the albums title FRAN KEN & STEIN. I set out to treat all the tracks on the album as a kind of audio monster of several different parts, dynamics, intensities, colours and moods."

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Chinstrap - January - March 2010

All the first Chinstrap releases, in one convenient post....

CHIN05 - Various Artists
"Cyclic Bits : The Raymond Scott Variations"

Remixes of Raymond Scott by some of the most inventive composers around.

CHIN04 - Oblivian Substanshall "The Greatest Hits of Oblivian Substanshall....and so on"
Pop songs, spoken-word, radio-art, and drawings from a unique purveyor of timeless English nonsense abstraction. Triple album.

CHIN03 - Martha Moopette, Heather McCallum & Rosalind Noctor "Hedgehogs & Honeybeads"
Electroacoustic soundtrack to award winning dance & animation film.

CHIN02 - Various Artists "Windpipe Moods"
Re-issue of sound-poetry compilation, first released on Mukow CD 2004.

CHIN01 - The Travelling Mongoose
"Singin' In The"
Field-recording sound-collage from a Mongoose who perpetually travels with a sound-recorder.

Monday, 8 March 2010

CHIN05 - Cyclic Bits: The Raymond Scott Variations

"Cyclic Bits" is the first remix album of the music of remarkable composer and inventor Raymond Scott.

This album is a series of reinventions of the work of a true musical maverick, remixed by a host of today's most inventive musical mavericks. The diversity of the release reflects the profound influence Scott's work has had on composers working across the board of styles and approaches.

Originally created as a special for Ergo Phizmiz's Phuj Phactory on WFMU, a projected release never happened. This, at last, is it.

Although this work is FMA licensed, please contact the individual artists regarding any usage permissions.

More Chinstrap releases at

More Raymond Scott at

Tracky Birthday

Bebe del Banco / Satanicpornocultshop

4,000,000 Telephones


Listen With Sarah

David Fenech

Fireworks Ensemble

Ego Plum

Vernon Lenoir


Automated Acoustics

Felix Kubin

Curator: Ergo Phizmiz

Big, big thanks to all the contributing artists.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

CHIN04 - Oblivian Substanshall "The Greatest Hits of Oblivian Substanshall, and So On"

Chinstrap proudly presents "The Greatest Hits of Oblivian Substanshall, and So On", three versatile volumes of audio delight from a fine gentleman's imagination.

Volume 1: "If You Can't Help It"

Twelve slices of off-kilter pop from Mr Substanshall's prolific oeuvre. Imagine the worlds of Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear & Vivian Stanshall colliding with the spirit of 50s rock'n'roll, who's just taken a crash course in musique-concrete and sound-art. This brings us somewhere close to where Oblivian Substanshall is leaping off from, let's complete the picture with words from the man himself...

"The so called pop and cutting-edge cultural approach I most definitely give a good straddling too. Indeed, it gives me a lot of freedom to exploit and play around with these idioms to my hearts content. And like you pointed out, it's the fragments of these styles of expression which one can re-work, and try and achieve something fresh and amusing with, and hopefully interesting to listen to, or view. It's this looking back to move forward app
roach that I enjoy or, perhaps that's all there is anyway. It's nostalgic to some extent with a hint to the homage with an idiosyncratic slant. Some people may call this approach post-modern, but I see it as, yes, mixed up alright, and a little schizophrenic, but at the same time, entirely 'contemporary' in its make over, boasting no actual and definite rules to hold you back... It's an elastic art form that can be stretched and stretched and so on... But in saying all that, I don't really like to analyse things too much, I think its better to just get on with it and play,play,play, happily immersing oneself within this 'contemporary landscape', and to be as creative and as inventive as one can possibly be within it."

And .... download a PDF of Oblivian Substanshall's rather smashing drawings, selected for the "If You Can't Help It" release RIGHT HERE.

Volume 2: "Tengemort & Other Absurdities" - Monologues by Oblivian Substanshall

Volume 3: "Let's Talk Art" - Oblivian Substanshall takes on the history of 20th century art

And if that all wasn't Substanshall enough for you, find out more at ....

Monday, 15 February 2010

Chinstrap / Automata Recordings : Invitation for Participation

You are cordially invited to join the Chinstrap Automata Recordings project, an ongoing Creative Commons licensed archive of unprocessed recordings of automata, machines, mechanisms, mechanical musical instruments, mechanical toys and music-boxes.

The recordings will comprise a series of Chinstrap releases, and we anticipate putting out a series of albums made of sounds from the archive.

If you fancy joining the mechanical fun and submitting some recordings of anything you might have lying around, from Dancing Ballerinas to Dot Matrix Printers, drop us an e-mail on ergophizmiz at gmail dot com, and you shall be furnished with upload details!

CHIN03 - Martha Moopette, Heather McCallum & Rosalind Noctor "Hedgehogs & Honeybeads"

"Hedgehogs & Honeybeads" was a collaboration with film-maker Martha Moopette, musician Heather McCallum, and choreographer Rosalind Noctor, crossing film, sound-design, dance, and installation art. Created in 2006, the project went on to acclaim, most prominently at Motion Plymouth Film Festival (where it won Best Artistic Merit), and Art-Bereg film festival, St Petersburg.

This release, the third on Ergo Phizmiz's netlabel Chinstrap, comprises a remastered version of the film soundtrack, and four alternate edits created for simultaneous looping in installation form.

The project was devised and created by Martha Moopette & Rosalind Noctor

Flute & Guitar improvised by Heather McCallum

Edited & Produced by Martha Moopette

And here is the film ....

Thursday, 28 January 2010

CHIN02 - V/A "Windpipe Moods"

"The compilation eventually passes on a feeling of distanced unreality, of dreams coming true before your very eyes .... this comp is so vital and alive it's practically raw and bleeding. Impossible to package it, put a spin on it; it doesn't seem to represent a single 'scene' that dumb Sunday Times journalists could figure out; sometimes it's impossible to understand. Potentially, this could make you see things anew, renew your own world." - Sound Projector Magazine

A compilation of contemporary sound-poetry and voice/text/phonetic based sound-art, featuring otherwise unreleased tracks by some of the world's leading practitioners, including Jaap Blonk, C Spencer Yeh, Sue Tompkins, Erik Belgum, Penn Kemp, Joerg Piringer, and many more.

Originally released on Mukow CD in 2004, this Ergo Phizmiz curated compilation is available now, free, Creative Commons, 320kbps mp3.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

CHIN01 - The Travelling Mongoose "Singin' In The"

An evocative collage of sound-recordings made during 2009 by UK based sound-artist, filmmaker, and designer The Travelling Mongoose. A multitracked journey through natural and artificial sonic environments, the juxtapositions produce a strange narrative through subtle incongruities, with compositional sense of movement and reflection. "Singin' in The" is an almost theatrical, "mood" piece of sound-art, containing a very quiet Surrealist edge, creating an audio picture of the natural world that doesn't quite behave how we expect it to.

The Travelling Mongoose produces field-recordings, electroacoustic music, electronic music, foley, radio, and rock'n'roll, who has worked extensively across a wide range of contexts across the past fifteen years, including short films, children's animations, rock'n'roll bands, live sound-collage, and mash-up radio.

This is the first release on Chinstrap, the new netlabel from Ergo Phizmiz.

Download album (

Download album artwork:
CD cover - Print 1 - Print 2 - Print 3 - Print 4