Friday, 30 December 2011

Chin30 & Chin31: Elvis Herod "Arab Justice" and "Orson Welles' Dinner"

Two new albums from the behemoth that is Elvis Herod, one half of the mighty Plushgoolash.

This release comprises a retrospective of sorts, with previously unreleased work from 2000-2011, a wash of electronic UNart sound(e)scapes, songs about chickens, songs about dinners, obscene cover versions, micro-epics. It also contains snippets of his forthcoming opera about Mike the Headless Chicken. What more can you ask?

Another album from the king of (c)Hip (s)Hop, you say? Well then ..........

"Orson Welles' Dinner" is Elvis Herod's piano epic, with one piece of decimated piano per course of Orson's table. Recorded December 2011, and followed by a comprehensive trip to the lavatory which is best left to your extremely vivid scatologimagination.


These are the first of a slew of forthcoming Chinstrap releases for 2012. Keep those eyes and ears peeled, and your chin thoroughly strapped.

Chin29: "Chinstrap Christmas Party"

'Nuff said...

Friday, 28 October 2011

Chin28: Vulnavia Vanity & Ergo Phizmiz "BUFFETINFANTIL"

Performed on voice, electric guitar, bass guitar, organ, harmonium, mandolin, wheel, turntable, drums, digital-delay, tape recorder, in an evening of extreme decadence and a sorry, slightly painful morning. 

We like to call this music Decadence'n'Roll (thanks Christopher Lee).

With deepest apologies to everyone Vulnavia phoned during the recording sessions. And to Benny & Bjorn.

And big thanks to Lady SD.

Sponsored (unofficially) by Smirnoff Vodka.

Dedicated to Kerry Katona & Chuck Berry.

Recorded 27th-28th October 2011 at Grindia, Bridport.

"Honey honey, Lich Me Baby, aha!"

More Vulnavia here, and on Facebook here

More Ergo here.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Chin27: Vernon Lenoir "The Rites of Sausage"

The very strange, enchanted composer, sampler-meister and fez wearer who goes by the moniker of Vernon Lenoir has spent the best part of the last decade knocking out consistently inventive and entertaining music on some of the world's most delicious netlabels including UpItUp, WM Recordings, and Egotwister.

He makes uberpopinexcelsis, tearing apart his own angle on pop cultures and slapping them back into his own forms. A sort of Buxtehude of beats, there is profound and irrestible cinematic musicality to the shapes Mr Lenoir makes.
"The Rites of Sausage" is a party album for a hallucinatory end of the world, when everybody has lost their minds and all they see before them are sausages, and visions within those sausages. Inspector Gadget and the Macarena make appearances. The latter transforms by Vernon's alchemy into a Balkan knees-up, while Rome burns. Ozzy Osbourne goes wild in a shopping mall. Simeon of Stylites gives in and throws shapes atop his pillar. The world fragments all around, with joy.

The album features collaborations with Roglok, Ergo Phizmiz, and Satanicpornocultshop. The beautiful artwork is by La Roll, which you can download a hi-res copy of here (6.86mb).

"The Rites of Sausage" is also available in FLAC, right here (204mb).

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Chin26: V/A "Ergo Phizmiz 'The Third Policeman' Remixes"

Mixes and mashes of the music from Ergo Phizmiz's electronic neur-opera vaudeville machine of Flann O'Brien's absurdist classic "The Third Policeman".

Remixers are Jacques Malchance, The Superfools, Erik Bumbledonk, Oblivian Substanshall, Elvis Herod, Lezet, David Fenech, and Blax Box.

"The Third Policeman" opens at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival on August 20th-21st 2011 with more dates in the UK & Europe October - December 2011. Full details of performances (with more to be added) can be found here.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Chin25: Plushgoolash "Soup Tennis"

The absolute blinding UBERPOP legend that is Plushgoolash returns for a second Chinstrap release, following on from their eponymous slab of joy in 2010.

The brainchild of Erik Bumbledonk & Bambi Racheed, Plushgoolash produce unforgettable and superbly crafted, playful pop music, infused with the sort of mischief that has been known to take place in Mick Hucknall's jockstrap.

From the gorgeous melody of "Martin Walmsley", the ebullience of "Big Gay Water Fight", to the hilarious simplicity of "Love Song For a Caveman" and the naughty-boy-sets-fire-to-the-nursery spirit of "Fairy Tale", Plushgoolash have created a parallel universe where the laws of pop are turned upside down, inside out, chewed up, and spat out, spattered onto the wall in lovely, lovely shapes.


The Goolash boys also have a finely tuned ear for such delightful sonic desserts as "Weymouth", a gorgeous synth adventure by the sea, "What The Rabbit Said", a sort of Klezmer from hell slowly melting, and the title track "Soup Tennis", which sounds like something akin to an abominable disco falling to pieces, backwards.

So dive in to the world of Bumbledonk & Racheed, the poptastic brilliance that is PLUSHGOOLASH.

Please note: This album does feature some fucks and what-not, so if you don't like the kids to hear words like it, listen to it after they've gone to bed.....

Like this? Try Plushgoolash "Plushgoolash" (2010) , and Erik Bumbledonk's solo project Elvis Herod "Keep It Regal".

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Chin24: The Superfools "Aristophonics 1 - Sentimental Fields"

"Aristophonics" is a new series on the Chinstrap netaudio gallery of sound-works about the history of comedy, from composers, writers, and comedians around the world.

The first installment "Sentimental Fields" comes courtesy of New Mexican sampling-composer The Superfools, who serves up an impressionistic and melancholy fantasia around the great W.C. Fields.

Like this? Check out The Superfools self-titled previous release on Chinstrap.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Chin23: Nic Blu & The Travoltings "Disgrace Off"

AKA Now That's What I Call Defilement of 1990s club classics. 

A fiesta of filth made by a group of naughties.

Nic Blu & The Travoltings are, quite obviously, the greatest band to have ever existed in the known universe. 

We're sure, after listening to this party of horrible-beauty, that you'll definitely agree.

Chin22: Elvis Herod "Keep It Regal"

Elvis Herod is the towering behemoth of the fat beat, the stinking bitch of the power rhyme, the oily residue that sits atop the subtle moustache of Snoop Dogg. He presents a new dawn in hip-hop, for which his majesty has coined the apt term (c)hip-(s)hop, a stunning compendium of fat beat, bat feet, fat bass, and bat face.

So delve into hip-hops new and glorious morning, pull down the roof of your convertible, and bang the bangin' tunage of the high Lord of deep shit pimp bassfuck, Elvis Herod.

Written by Elvis Herod

Guest dentist Oblivian Substanshall

Produced by Ergo Phizmiz

Recorded at Grindia, June-July 2011.

Saturday, 11 June 2011

Chin21: Oblivian Substanshall "Oh What a Novelty"

The new album from the gentleman, poet, comic and raconteur who goes by the curious moniker of Oblivian Substanshall is resplendent with unforgettable melodies that delight in songcraft, wordplay, and the joy of subverting and playing with the English language like a ping-pong ball on elastic. “Oh What a Novelty” at once looks back to a starry-skied past of straw boaters and gramophone horns, whilst also containing a timelessness that could plonk it anywhere from the present day back to the 1920s. 

The album contains a nostalgia that is not remotely melancholy. Mr Substanshall is a genuine eccentric who revels in the creation of his own distinctive art, suffused with wit, playfulness, and an unpretentiousness that is as endearing as it is refreshing.

If you're looking for references to hang this album from, think of a gentle whirlpool, like a washing machine gracefully on its last legs, in which the ghosts of Ivor Cutler, Waring's Pennsylvanians, Spike Jones, Vivian Stanshall & Keith Moon, Kurt Schwitters, Kurt Cobain, and Max Ernst swim gently in circles on their phantom backs.

The album is produced by Ergo Phizmiz, and comes with a new video “Brilliant Bonkers” by Martha Moopette, starring the great Substanshall himself.

Pass it on, spread the novelty like marmalade!

All songs & spoken-word written by Oblivian Substanshall

Oblivian Substanshall: Vocals, Electric guitar, Bass guitar, Ukulele, Percussion

Ergo Phizmiz: Harmonium, Melodica, Glockenspiel, Ukulele, Violin, Bass guitar, Vocal on “Upside Down”

Martha Moopette: Vocal on “Upside Down”

Video and photography by Martha Moopette

Produced by Ergo Phizmiz

More from Oblivian Substanshall on Chinstrap at "Finnish...But Don't Wait Till You Stop" , "Three Elements Hiss" and "The Greatest Hits of Oblivian Substanshall, and So On".

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Coming soon .... "Aristophonics" - A new series of releases

"Aristophonics" is a new series of online releases from audio gallery Chinstrap, in which exciting composers and artists from around the world create sound-works reflecting upon the history of comedy and comedians. This series will launch very soon .....

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Chin20: "Pitman's Gramophone Course of Typewriter Keyboard Instruction"

An amazing slice of unintentional avant-garde, minimalism before minimalism, and a kind of motorik version of light orchestral music.

A bizarre audio course for fluency in typing, this recording, which comes from the first decades of the 20th century, consists principally of what can only be described as an unrelenting click track of various tempi, over which an orchestral ensemble plays rigid and tightly locked in versions of popular classical music, occasionally interjected by a tersely voiced narrator repeating the phrase "Carriage Return".

Find out all about Isaac Pitman at Wikipedia.

Discovered in an envelope amid a plethora of 78 RPM records lovingly collected from the rubbish tip by Bryan "the vinyl man" Parker.

Chin19: Various Artists "Sounds to Come"

"Sounds to Come" is the second installment of a series on Chinstrap of music and sound-design cut from public-domain horror and science-fiction films from c.1930-1970.

The aim of the releases is the reframing of digital artefacts - although the pieces have been recut and equalised, we are not aiming to present definitive versions of these recordings, we rather present the work for the possibility of further investigation into the composers, sound-designers, film-makers, and of course the films themselves, which are available, in the main, for free download at

"Teenagers Battle the Thing" - Director: Don Fields
"The Man Who Changed His Mind" - Director: Robert Stevenson * Music: Louis Levy
"Svengali" - Director: Archie Mayo * Music: Vitaphone Orchestra

"The Phantom Ship" - Director: Denison Clift * Music: Eric Ansell

"Attack of the Giant Leeches" - Director: Bernard L. Kowalski * Music: Alexander Laszlo

"Horrors of Spider Island" - Director: Jaime Nolan

Legal disclaimer: This release is made under the belief that these scores and sound-design are in the public-domain, and is intended to disseminate and raise appreciation of this film music. If you represent the interests of any of the composers and object to this release, we will willingly (though a little grudgingly) remove it.

Chinstrap is a not-for-profit music gallery.

Chin17: Pete Um "Look Sharp! and hear the difference"

Poet, composer, gentleman, raconteur, and well-dressed person Pete Um has ploughed his own particular, distinctive and very fertile furrow since the heady days of the 20th century. A master of the miniature electro-acoustic song-poem, a form he has more or less invented and crystallised himself, his work displays a sardonic wit combined with a healthy misanthropy, in marvellous micro-collages of voice, instruments, samples, and electronics.

Mr Um is, however, far too inventive and curious a gentleman to isolate himself within one proscribed way of working, all of his work across countless Cdr, vinyl releases, and performances being marked by a ceaselessly exploratory and open-ended approach. This release on Chinstrap presents a cross-section of his work in Reel-to-Reel tape music.

Rather than bang on further, we will hand you over to the responsible hands of Pete Um …

One day a long time ago, way back when I lived in Room 5, my man Loukas Morley fetched up at my door bearing gifts. The college he worked at was chucking out some of their music tech. stuff and he had a 16-track mixer and a Teac reel-to-reel machine with my name on it. My heart nearly blew up with gratitude about the mixer because I needed one bad, although sixteen tracks is spoiling me really. With regards to the Teac, I wasn’t so fussed. It looked a bit complicated, what with the fooling with the spooling and so on. Besides, I had a computer to record stuff on and fuck with etc. I almost didn’t even take the damn thing off him, but they’re such massy motherfuckers that I couldn’t exactly tell to put it back in his titchy A30 or whatever that goofy little car he had was called. Shit, I miss Loukas, and wish he hadn’t joined that damn cult. Once I left a reel to reel at a jumble sale too, which still pains me, but then at that selfsame jumbly I got a vocoder (yah!), a homemade keyboard-rhythm machine-amplifier combo (not that I ever got that to work) a decent Denon tape deck and a nice Technics amp that I still use everyday. Total cost was about ten notes, so beat that. Anyway, Loukas´16 track turned out to be a stiff, and the Teac reel to reel just sat sadly in the room untouched for a few months. Then one night, perhaps because I was having some unexplained computer problems, I decided to have a little fuckaround on the reel to reel, which was surprising easy to use. For a laugh I made
some twatty, loop-based recordings. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the birth of a NEW THING, for me at least. For some reason, probably because I’m a dumbass and I didn’t know anything about reel to reels, it took me a long time to realize that the quality of these experiments, in fidelity terms, was actually quite high. In fact it wasn’t until I recorded some of this tape stuff onto DAT, where it sat next to my PC- birthed music, that I twigged that this woggy analogue jizz had a depth and breadth of sound that I wasn’t even getting close to getting out of my soundcard. This is partly because I had no production values back then, and I was kidding myself that I didn’t want them, but that didn’t seem to matter with the Teac, because I’d recorded my stuff reasonably well almost entirely by accident. Since then I have learned that it is a cliché to talk about the warmth of analogue tape, and it bores the tits off me when people do, but they’re right. Tape is also very forgiving. You can distort something to fuck, whether you want to or not, and tape will just roll with it like a drunk getting punched. Let me tell you an almost completely unrelated story. One night I was getting a lift back from London with some guys in another band. We were listening to some deeply unfashionable rock music and digging the hell out of the stupidity of ting. At some point the guitarist described a certain woman as being ¨the type of girl that starts crying when you’re fucking her¨. I’ll never forget this comment, which seems to me to be the last word in blokeish unfeelingness, but it did kind of strike a chord. Anyway, my point is that you have to know what you’re about when recording to digital, as a certain delicacy is required, whereas tape will never cry when you fuck it.

Pete Um at Kettle's Yard Pt. 1 from pete um on Vimeo.

Anyway, you can do marvelous things with computers, and over the years I’ve tried again and again to turn all that wonderful digital functionality into something that satisfies my restless poetic soul. Most of the time I succeed, and I couldn’t live without my PC for very long before some kind of horrible REAL LIFE SYNDROME started screwing around with my head. However, it is not unknown, as you may know, for computers to give me a bit of a hard time. I have a spiritual aura that conflicts with binary operations, and no PC I use will stay in GWO for very long whatsoever. Computers die on me, and I grieve their loss hard, for without them I cannot do my ART STUFF, as I say, and my mind starts to turn on itself. That’s when I reach for my recorder (Teac A-3340S). I switch off my PC, which is probably
just a blue screen anyway, or parallel lines of various hues, or says DISK BOOT ERROR-INSERT SYSTEM DISK, or is pretending to be a statue like some irritating street performer (why doesn’t one of them paint themselves up like Windows and act crashed? I feel that people would get the joke) or has switched itself off or restarted itself fifteen times in the last hour, and I vengefully stride towards the reel-to-reel.

Fuck you world, I think, prepare thyself some fucked-up noise. It should be noted that I am typing this on Sam’s laptop because my desktop is all but deceased, and that while I’ve been doing so all the keys on her keyboard that aren’t letters of the alphabet have conspired to swap functions with one another so that they are opposites, so for instance I have to type the ? key to produce a – and vice versa, although, interestingly, the example I was going to give you now won’t let itself be typed at all.
In addition, some keys have moved their functions along the QWERTY board by one key. Suffice to say I’m struggling to relay this information to you if you feel a bit lost as to what I’m on about. This computer has given Sam no problems in the year and a half that she’s owned it, I should add. Je reste ma valise.

Pete Um Godelmingum & Gyldeforda w/ video FX from pete um on Vimeo.

Anyway, what I love about reel-to-reels is not just the quality of the sound; there’s a couple of other important considerations as well. First off, they look cool as fuck. To a music fetishist such as myself, with an evil jones for sick bollocks, the appearance of the reel-to-reel tape recorder is just about as cool as it gets. Only massive ancient synths that bring Raymond Scott and his work to mind rate higher in
the eye candy stakes. The reels themselves are mainly what its all about. They spin, you see. Round and round. And the spinning makes the music, so that when they start to spin the music starts also, and when they stop the music stops. And when they fast- forward the music goes weebleweebleweeble and when they slow down the music goes roarrrrooow.w..w…w. This is a lot better than the graphic on any CD player. This is virtually better than porn. In fact it is a sort of porn. The people that make the tape know what goes on in the heads of the people that buy the tape, which is why they make the metal reels look like the illest shit they can, with beautifully designed holes of many different types cut in them so you can see where you’re at with your tape use. You have to use the tape that requires the nab hub adaptors to fix them to your machine for maximum aesthetic appeal. I got my machine for nowt so I didn’t mind blowing 20 quid on a pair of nabs. I even videoed my answering machine playing back the message saying “Hello. This is Ian from Roll On Tapes calling to tell you that your nab adaptors have arrived.” Jesus, I get emotional just thinking about that day, and Roll On Tapes, and Ian. Whatever happened to Ian? *

So, yeah, and the last cool thing about what a reel-to-reel can do for you is to totally chuck your normal music craft MO out the window. Personally I can’t be arsed to take the time and effort to record proper songs onto my Teac, and in particular those of the verse/chorus/verse variety, with a charming meld of rhythm and melody and so on. I can barely be bothered to attempt that sort of stuff with my professional
digital set-up, so I definitely can’t doing with writing clever lyrics and learning basslines and rewinding everything a hundred times while the pubs are open. Ye Gods! I’m in far too much of a hurry to see the reels spinning and get on with the next song. So, what I do is record any old crap incredibly fast and see if it might just possibly work as art if you were stoned enough. Therefore a “song” might consist of.

1. A track of a looped snatch of audio from and old piece of tape played on another semi-defunct ReVox tape machine I have (at one point I had four reel to reel machines, but these days I have to struggle by with just the two) sampled onto my Line6 DL4 looping pedal, slowed down and reversed.

2. A track of me playing bass so badly that it sounds like someone gave a bass to a goat and pointed at a bag of rotten carrots, through echoey FX. I very rarely practice anything for too long because rewinding is a pain in the nuts, and I almost always just play the first thing that has some vague connection to what I’m hearing.

3. A track of recordings of Guatemalan bees, sped up, from my vast collection of BBC field recordings on 7” single.

4. A track of me producing noises with my mouth through a toy Fisher Price radio (with toy microphone), with the tape being randomly manually manipulated as it is recorded onto by switching the speed button from high (fast) to low (slow).

Let’s face it, it’ll all sound like dogshit, so this is where I rely on what Bobby J and I refer to as THE MICE. Mice music is just music played twice as fast as it ought to be, basically, so the vocals sound like heavy metal mice. Or of course you can slow things down. The basic rule of thumb is to play everything at the wrong speed.

Additional cheap art can be obtained if you finish recording at different points on the tape, so that at the mixing stage the audio from whatever was on the tape when you bought it cheap at Resale will suddenly leap into one channel like some demented communication from another dimension. If you’re very lucky it’ll be Madonna, backwards, sounding like a man and in rhythmic sync with the nonsense you produced yourself. Lately I’ve been experimenting with adding additional FX at mixdown stage too, and it does sound pretty sweet. OK, so when you’ve finished with your labours do you thoughtfully review the fruit obtained, just to check on what the fuck you’ve actually recorded? No, that would be folly, for it is as plain as the nose on your own face that it will sound like a random clash of harsh noises, so you just get on with the next song. Now, in the fullness of time you’ll have done a whole tape of four tracks of audio recorded at varying speeds. You will also be drunk and stoned as a motherfucker. Play the fucking tape, for this is where the gold comes. OK, chances are that it still sounds a bit like fucked-up noise, but…maybe, just maybe, it will have a mercurial quality to it that appeals to the true seeker of the one true fucked-up noise. I think this magick quantity has a lot to do with the fact that the music has been created almost automatically, so that the artist barely recognizes themself in the work. The alien and strange quality of the tape music appeals to the poet’s sick lust for surprise kicks. This can be very refreshing if you’ve ever sat listening to a loop over and over again in Cubase or whatever. Your girlfriend may not dig it, and you can’t stick it on at work, but it is a pure and unspoiled and wild sound. 

These are the reasons why I love reel-to-reel tape recorders.

So dip your toes into the tape music of a singular chap, who always Looks Sharp.

You can listen to the long-form works from which this album was extracted at

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Coming soon on Chinstrap .....

Exciting releases lined up and imminent ....

Chin17: Pete Um "Look Sharp! and hear the difference"

Chin19: Various Artists "Sounds to Come"

Also in the works is Chin18, a retrospective of the first year of Chinstrap releases, with some special treats thrown in ....

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Chin16 : DJ North by Northwest "Dan Bale"

Straight out of Cumbria, DJ North by Northwest brings an instant singalong sampladelic classic in the form of "Dan Bale (I Don't Know)", an ode to a man he transparently doesn't know.

Working the underground scene in North-West England for the past ten years, DJ North by Northwest has constantly pushed the boundaries of the club going public. For him a week without a gig is a week without breathing. Going under various aliases, DJ North by Northwest is his moniker for his sampling and mash-up work. For his other names, you'll have to hunt. The virtual B-side here comes in the form of "The Full Moon Party", a collaboration with the Ambleside based band Hot Barn.