Eat Tapes: Dinosaur Days
Community Library

Nudge: Stack
Community Library

Strategy: World House
Community Library

Portland, Oregon's Paul Dickow inaugurates his Community Library label with three audacious 12-inch releases: the first, his own aptly-titled World House EP, issued under the Strategy moniker; a two-tracker from Nudge, Dickow's trio with Brian Foote and Honey Owens (expanded to a five-piece on these pieces); and three wild cuts by Bay Area duo Greg Zifcak and Marijke Jorritsma aka Eats Tapes.

Lasting almost ten minutes, Strategy's title track is a massive polyglot throwdown of dub, house, techno, and jazz that begins innocently with a dubby tabla- and handclaps-driven rhythm but quickly ventures into deep African territory with the emergence of hypnotic kalimbas and ringing guitars; eventually, an electric piano nudges the piece into jazzier climes with the mix growing ever denser, its groove stoked to ever dizzying heights. Equally entrancing, the B side's “I Have To Do This Thing” oozes a summery soul-dub Detroit vibe with silken strings arcing over an oceanic mix of minimal funk bass, burbling keys, and disco rhythms. Put simply, more incredible Strategy material that matches the high standard of Drumsolo's Delight.

What do you get when you cross King Tubby with On the Corner? In all likelihood, something much like the dub-soaked jam “Stack.” Occupying the music's center, aggressive drumming burrows a tunnel through a thick jungle of bass and electronic chatter, with the bright tones of a melodica piercing the dense mass. “Div” explores darker and spacier galaxies, the Nudge shuttle in this case navigating a route through spectral atmospheres of grinding haze. True to its explorative nature and much like the recent Cached, Nudge's disc embraces a loose improv feel.

A spirit of Sonig insanity infuses the three noisy tracks by electronic outfit Eats Tapes (formerly named Boom de la Boom) who recorded the cuts in Portland with some help from Solenoid (who contributed 303 programming to a couple of tracks). The flailing monster “Dinosaur Days” drags distorted voice strangulations and psychotic writhings across squelchy acid-techno beats. Though the electronic howls and voices remain, the jittery “Ptery D” takes the machine out for a faster and funkier synth-heavy ride. Weirdest of all, the bleeping techno of “Animal Minded” features alien feline babble that suggests an aural showdown of dentist drills and mechano rhythms. No matter how broad your listening history or taste, you've probably never heard anything quite like it before.

September 2005