(Chocolate Monk - choc.519) CDR $7.00

The Forrest Friends emerge from 2020 and show how the old passing-an-eight-track-back-and-forth can get you to some strange places. Imagine Angst Hase Pfeffer Nase doing some alien gas-huffing wangers or one of the dribblers from Caroliner getting their drool on to insectoid funk-a-gunk puzzle muzak. Devolving righteously into a mish mash of mood musics. There are plenty of little creepers, too, wee sonic plucks matured just right to deliver that all-important ear larva, so pull up a chair to the blown-out tables and let the psych-colored world seep through the window. “All’s I can say about it is that we had never done things this way before,” says Garrison Heck. “There’re hip-hop beats, maybe some alien dub. Not what I initially thought we’d be coming up with, but here we are. Blur your ears and it’s just cowboy soundtracks, dancefloor bangers, goth-industrial lullabies, rural land-lubber sea-shanties, ’80s sax-laden jams, etc. Or maybe that’s not what it is at all? Ugh, honestly, I’m really confused by this thing that we have birthed from our aural womb, and not the Wordy Rappinghood with describing this particular thing. But a straight-up pop album for sure, the closest we’ve come to such a thing, anyway.” Edition of 60



(Chocolate Monk - choc.429) CDR $8.00

In an old issue of a London-based porn mag, the one with Funko Geräte on the cover, an essay attempts to recast Esplendor Geometrico as a Massachusetts freak-folk band. With the appropriate dosage, anything’s possible. Probably. Maybe they changed their name and emigrated from Spain and due to a translation error ended up in Seattle. Who knows what’s real and what’s made-up with that publication. From Forrest Friends’ opening herald announcing the commencement of a marathon sweat lodge cotillion, where consensual flora gropings and various pagan engorgements run their respective courses until the inevitable dousing of the nethers with ritual electronic ooze, to the spent, post-credits vibe of a homemade horror movie, this album resembles little in the Chocolate Monk catalog. The duo’s debut release for the label was recorded by the side of the road in the middle of the night, naked but for banana-leaf loin cloths bound together with twine, crouching in the mud, staring intently at a nematomorph exiting the used-up husk that had been a typically happy-go-lucky praying mantis before the zombifying parasite took over its brain. This thirty-eight-minute disc’s high-primitive hoot coaxes spirit lizards out of a secluded northern-facing lichen shack and forces them to march on an infinity-symbol-shaped path, invoking visions of communion with First Nations spasticity. Patches of impaired fidelity, damaged by overdriven sound, smear the otherwise intimate recordings with heavy whiffs of opium cinders and Wiccan-roasted genetic structure that’s mustier than an old towel full of three-day-old phat si-io. Everybody loves the idea of a lost world. Well, here’s one with hypnotic yelping, otherworldly accordion, dreams of the pipe, and processions of re-animated wooden children invoking the great drillbit in the sky to exact vengeance on the new president of Brazil. Edition of 60