via Jeff Daily @ Ca the excellent Cassette Gods blog
Raw Thug - "Black Walmart" (Loin Seepage)
and another over at Gumshoe Grove
"I always used to say to my sister, “You have to find something you’re passionate about; until then, you’ll always be unhappy.” I review music in order to have passion myself, and my reward? Fucking cassette tapes, fucking shoved inside a tube sock like a schoolboy’s nutt. What has the world come to?
Come to find out, actually, that Raw Thug truly comes out on “Black Walmart,” a series of ghostly non-interactions with nothing: location nowhere. So spare you can drop a pin and disrupt its axis, so dim/dark/distant you need to shine a light on it just to see a quarter of what’s going on, so personal it’s as if he’s playing in a room upstairs. Convenient, because that’s about the fidelity we’re working with here, a ghost of a shadow of a memory. I tried eating a sandwich while listening and realized I was missing it all; well, I’ll miss that Reuben!
What really gets my attention is the spirit hovering by the microphone at the beginning of Side A. It’s creepy, and fascinating, to try and figure out what’s happening there. As our tour through this special breed of “Walmart” continues that mood, that ghostly, shudder-inducing feel never lets up. It’s like listening to a radio flip between stations that don’t exist, sometimes slowly, sometimes instantly, themes coming and going with little regard to how they mesh together. A brief cheese-board interlude threatens to blight the atmosphere, but it is soon absorbed into Raw Thug’s vision (not the kind you can see but the kind you can’t) and, aptly, discarded with nary a warning.
The flip conjures the same demons that haunted me at the beginning of the front-side. It’s fucking gorgeous. As far as I know it’s just a dude getting all gay on an unwitting microphone, and that’s fine as long as it works, and it does. It’s like Babe, Terror suspended in space, looking for something to grab onto. He knows nothing will save him, but he must cling to hope because that’s all that’s left in these parts. Life is a cruel bitch-mother, I think we will all agree, so don’t leave anything out on that stage and never, EVER listen to music that doesn’t thrill you.
The lazer show halfway through Side B, indebted to Wired Open 2009 as it is, is another awe-inspiring sound for sore ears that makes you feel like you should be witnessing it from a sleeping bag in the woods with you friends and family. And it’s 1989, and you’re 12, and some older chick wants you to get in her sleeping bag and you’re scared (this actually happened).
It’s all so well-considered. A slight compliment, on the surface, but that’s really what makes all the difference to jaded blokes like myself. Anyone can fuck-blast out 10 tapes a month of total shit and maybe even find a home for it all; very few abandon the shortcuts complicit in drone altogether and just wing it. And if they do, they often seem lost, like a little kid at an amusement park with a wristband and no mommy or a newscaster without his cue cards. So many artists can’t handle the freedom of 60 minutes of tape; they go crazy, they worship Tangerine Dream until it’s not fun anymore, they start side bands when no one likes their real band; it’s fucked up.
As I get ready to shut this review down like a full parking garage a whistling sound cascades over meandering saxophones … These instances I foreshadow for you sound so much more meaningful than they read that I hope you’ll seek this title out and listen to it in a dark room in your boxers with your belly hanging out for the world to see just as I am right now, the ear-art snaking through your brain, bleaching away the impurities of the day preceding. It’s worth it to get 25 SHIT-ASS tapes just to get one like this that captures my imagination like a bear trap and never loosens its grip go no matter how many minutes and precious tape-twists pass by like audio milemarkers.
If some random dude were to knock on my door and ask about time travel casually, and if I knew anyone who could accomplish such a thing, I would probably refer him to Raw Thug and hope that they wouldn’t change the fate of the human race by the time they’re done. That’s actually true, not just a plot device. Though, as plot devices go, it’s a damn ripe one. Fuck life is all carrot-juice and steak-slaw, I tell you! Embrace it, and me."