Out Now: Bungler – Light In The Corner (SM049)

Out Now: Bungler – Light In The Corner (SM049)

Strange Mono is proud to announce the newest album from Philadelphia’s Bungler. Light In The Corner  Bungler is the brainchild of Paul Hewes (Snoozer, Idiot Forever), a multi-instrumentalist and individual new to the field of historical research. Fueled by anxiety and depression, motivated out of fear and frustration, Bungler pours these emotions into their sonically shaped landscapes in the hope that some level of alleviation can be achieved. Typically found in a graveyard or in someone’s back garden, often traveling alone and never brimming with a sense of self confidence, Bungler is adaptable in any live setting and doesn’t require much preparation. The album features collaborations with drummer Dan Angel (Gunk, Nyxy Nyx, Ugh God) Sam Kassel (Sandcastle) and Kieran Ferris (Joy Again, Snoozer).

Proceeds from sales of this album are being donated to Savage Sisters Recovery. A harm reduction organization in Philadelphia dedicated to providing thoughtful, trauma-informed resources for those recovering from substance use disorders.

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Sun 13: Can you tell us about the process behind Light in the Corner?

Paul Hewes: “Most records I make just seem to happen. There’s never really any plan or process so to speak, it just happens to be that at a certain point I notice I have x number of songs written out and recorded that I put them together and say look an album. Light in the Corner, was kind of a title referring to hope, I suppose? As in it might be dark and shitty all around but there’s a light in the corner so head that way. I keep writing and recording because much like a shark if I stop, I will die (A shark that makes music that is, you know, those special species of shark that circle the depths of laguna sound).”

S13: What was the main aspect you wanted to achieve with the album?

PH: “I don’t know. I hope people enjoy it. I just have fun making records, and its better way to relieve stress as opposed to excessive drinking or whatever people do to get through it all.”

Read the full Interview HERE

Out Now: Kenny Basil Sound System – Dick Pics Vol.5 “Man At His Best” (SM0KB2)

Out Now: Kenny Basil Sound System – Dick Pics Vol.5 “Man At His Best” (SM0KB2)

Kenny Basil‘s unique sonic experiments persist with his newest volume in his long running “Dick Pics” series. Volume 5 “Man At His Best” is three tracks of severely whacked out psycho-techno delivered in pure mono via 7″ Lathe cut vinyl.

The A side features tracks “Pure” and “Money”. Pure is a swirling sample of what we can only assume to be a completely off the rails John Frusciante sharing his views on the “Fourth Dimension”. This intro sets the listener up to receive Kenny Basils mono transmissions. By the time the subtle synths and kettle drums(?) of the second track “Money” begin to ramp up the listener is primed and ready.

The Records B Side “Lust” is a singular experience, casually dropping an amen break and naturally escalating in tempo and pitch into a frenzy of distortion until the crescendo melts away into a borderline beautiful simple piano melody accompanied by a glitched out break.

The Kenny Basil Sound System has a unique and distinct style influenced by everything from RHCP to Philip Glass. We are extremely proud that The Sound System has made a home for himself here at Strange Mono and we look forward to Volume 6.

Proceeds are being donated to Homies Helping Homies to benefit their mission to provide food security to the people of Point Breeze in Philadelphia.

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Out Now: Rrose Defoix – Idiot Wind (SM046)

Out Now: Rrose Defoix – Idiot Wind (SM046)

Strange Mono is proud to present the debut album from Rrose Defoix. Idiot Wind is a collection of six electronic compositions by Sophie McGilloway (Ex Greg Electric). Sophie describes the creation process for Idiot Wind as “Late nights playing with electronics, mapping out harmonic ideas, arranging things into a structure to achieve a desired effect, guiding the process of change from one idea to another.” and “Once I figured out what I wanted to do I would record live performances until I was satisfied with a take.” The result is a beautifully discordant EP. Idiot Wind will be available on Cassette and Digitally October 10 2023 through Strange Mono.

The opening track  “Pristine 2023” draws the ear into a false sense of security, with its ethereal delayed guitar warmth  like a heavy blanket. The EP moves through rhythmic noise and grazes the surface of early industrial music on tracks like “Blurb Flu” and “Big-League Aura”, Idiot Wind ultimately resolves in the return of an almost Binaural guitar sound in “Ah” guiding the listener back to a space of relative comfort. Present throughout is an ominous undercurrent of change. Cultivated listeners will delight in the struggle to anticipate each twist and turn in this pensive debut from Rrose Defoix.

“I started this project around a year ago after a long break from working on music (which I mostly spent reading and writing). It’s meant to be a kind of rebellion against the increasingly thoughtless and predetermined nature of music and art in general.” – Sophie McGilloway

Proceeds from sales of this album are being donated to the Philly Bail Fund. “Ending the injustice of money bail requires shifting Philadelphia’s bail system from one that is based on wealth to a fairer and more effective system based on a presumption of release before trial, except in the most exceptional circumstances.”

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Out Now: Be Nothing- Be All The Nothing You Can Be

Out Now: Be Nothing- Be All The Nothing You Can Be (SM045)

Strange Mono is announcing the release of Be Nothing’s second full length album “Be All The Nothing You Can Be” available September 15. This follow up to the trio’s 2020 Self Titled Album offers more of their signature riff heavy, sarcastic punk. Be Nothing–west philly punk stalwarts Brian Nothing, Alexi Papadopoulos, and Alexei Korolev– Have a sound somewhere between The Butthole Surfers, Devo, and The Ramones. Short tight songs, deadpan lyrics, and riffs that’ll worm their way deep into your frontal lobe. Tracks like “Vincent Van Gogh” and “Battle Of The Billionaires” play out like stadium anthems while “I Am A Napkin” and “Born Again Bible Burner” drip with attitude.  

Frontman Brian Nothing (Urine Trouble, Beer Breakfast Dungeness Crab, Syzlak) has an unmistakable style. As soon as you hear his voice you know it can’t be anyone else. With bassist Alexi Papadopoulos (Stinking Lizaveta) and Drummer Alexei Korolev (The Company Corvette) Be Nothing epitomizes the power trio dynamic.

An accomplished painter, this album features original artwork by Brian Nothing. Recorded by Bruce Howze Jr at Red Planet Studio and mastered by James Plotkin. This album is a perfect showcase of the band’s unhinged vibrations.

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Out Now: Sutras – D​ā​na

Out Now: Sutras – D​ā​na (SM044)

Strange Mono is announcing the release of Dāna by DC based solo instrumentalist Sutras. Available September 1st. Proceeds are being donated to Bread For The City a mutual aid organization providing food, clothing, medical care, and legal and social services to reduce the burden of poverty for residents of D.C.

An intense spate of personal turmoil led Tristan Welch to Buddhism. In 2020 and 2021, the veteran musician was navigating a recovery from addiction and going through a painful divorce. He found solace in two things: Buddhist teachings and creating music. 

With his new solo project, Sutras, Tristan brings these two interests together, crafting gripping instrumental compositions that ripple with emotional catharsis and bridge the gap between post-rock and ambient. Heavily influenced by the widescreen sensibilities of post-rock staples like Explosions in the Sky, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and Bowery Electric, the artist aims to create music that brings the peace he’s found to anyone who takes a listen. 

The four compositions that comprise Dāna are hypnotic, textured slow-burners that reflect the musician’s deep interest in minimalism and repetition. On standouts like the post-punk-flavored “Rosa Lila Dance” and the Jesu-inspired “Seven Suns,” molten waves of guitar build to stirring climaxes buoyed by heavily treated drums. The most intense number, “Spiritual Bypassing,” shudders and shakes with psychic unease, harnessing the pounding tumult of a trip-hop drum loop.

“I’ve found refuge in the teachings of Buddha and shelter in Bhakti,” Tristan explains. “I feel at peace when art is a gift and nothing more. I’ve created Sutras to help myself and others refrain from the attachment that creates our suffering.”

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Out Now: Sandcastle – Wild Legend LP

Sandcastle – Wild Legend LP (SM034)

Strange Mono is announcing the reissue of Sandcastle’s defining  2012 album Wild Legend available for the first time on Vinyl and streaming platforms. Sandcastle has been a staple in the underground circle for over a decade. Defined by his clever lyricism, distinct vocal style, catchy melodies, and relentlessly addictive songwriting. Sandcastle is the moniker for songwriter Sam Kassel, who records the majority of Sandcastle’s output on his own.

Self produced in south Philadelphia between 2011 and 2012. Wild Legend is Sandcastle’s first attempt at creating something that he viewed as “normal” Pop music. Taking inspiration from Greek tragedies, classic literature, mythology, and his time living alone in a yurt in the mountains of Arizona—Without any pretension. Sam’s lyrics are delivered sincerely and take on a mystical Melville-esque tone hinting at truer meanings lying deep within the sub text. It can take time to delve into the depths of Sam’s lyrics, but the accessibility of the music helps cultivate the listener to make the effort.

Standouts include the minimal bass centered “ Vision Of The Future ”, the ultra-catchy hooks of ” Skull Valley ”, and the hypnotic “ Soldier Of The Light ”. This reissue LP includes a previously unreleased bonus track “Different Kind Of Paradise” which was recorded shortly after and is finally seeing the light of day.  Wild Legend is the kind of album that can be enjoyed over and over by the cultivated listener with increasing pleasure.

Delivered on vinyl for the first time. Proceeds from records sold through Strange Mono are being donated to mutual aid organizations in Philadelphia. This will allow us to stay flexible and distribute aid where and when it is needed the most.

Out Now: Bail Fund Benefit C60

VA – Bail Fund Benefit C60 (SM038)

We are excited to announce the release of this massive collaborative effort with some of the most interesting experimental musicians Philadelphia has to offer. The seventeen tracks that make up this C60 showcase the impressive scope and fluidity of the modern experimental scene and the broad range of electronic art as a whole. Featuring Artwork by Holly Firesheets.

All proceeds are being donated to Philly Bail Fund. “Every day, hundreds of Philadelphians languish in the city’s jails awaiting trial simply because they cannot afford bail. Deprived of their freedom, these individuals’ lives are severely disrupted. They risk losing their jobs, housing, and custody of their children without ever first being convicted of a crime. Like many other aspects of our nation’s criminal justice system, people of color are disproportionately subjected to this unfair penalty. The result is a system that criminalizes poverty, strips people who are poor of their presumption of innocence, and insults their right to a fair trial.”

A1 APOLOGIST – A BAD PLACE
Apologist got its start in 2015 when Rose found her mothers Prophet 600 in the attic of her family’s home, and started the three year long process of recording her first release “Houston”. Rose has been touring and performing live since 2018

A2 RROSE DEFOIX – DIRTY MU$IC
Rrose Defoix twists and turns between beautiful spacious soundscapes and pummeling rhythmic noise. A relatively new project we are excited to hear more from this emerging artist.

A3 QUAGGA – B.S. HASSLEMAN
Philly multi-disciplinary artist QUAGGA is a curator of aural experiences. From emotionally charged improvised performances to meticulously crafter compositions.

A4 DPH – ELSEWHERE
DPH’s hypnotic and lush compositions always leave us with a bittersweet feeling. Reminiscent of a sunrise after a long night of thunderstorms.

A5 FOAM – PROCESSIONAL
Airy synths lend a mysterious feeling to Foam’s meloncholic ambient work. Deft and engrossing we hope to see more from this artist in the future.

A6 ACTUAL PEARLS – TOM GRAVE
We love the clarity of Actual Pearls. Composed with MIDI on “Obsolete” hardware there is nothing else thank resonates in the way Actual Pearls can. Minimal, direct, honest with a distinctive style.

A7 DLMG – VOX_JAGUAR_FX’TED
Legendary, Drums Like Machine Guns never fails to impress and push the needle. Philadelphia’s finest.

A8 SOUR SPIRIT – LIVE AT CENTURY
Sour Spirit, free jazz punk known for their ecstatic live performances and free for all energy. An absolute must see if you are lucky enough to get the opportunity.

B1 EMBARKER – MODERN ARCHITECTURE ENTHUSIAST
Explosive experiments with sound and texture. Stimulating in every aspect but never overwhelming. An absolute powerhouse performer.

B2 SHUNT – DANDAN (RECORDING 34)
Shunt is the Modular synth Brain child of noise artist / engineer Nate Lapinski. Based in LA Shunt is constantly evolving as Nate refines his processes, innovates, experiments with his machines design.

B3 PISS WHISTLER – NICE
Piss Whistler is an anonymous composer who graciously broke out of their shell and allowed us to feature one of their works.

B4 LISP WHISPERER – PEELING
Lisp Whisperer is the solo project of bassist and Strange Mono Co-Founder Jess Kramer. Performed on upright Bass.

B5 GREY0 – HARLOOP J2M
grey0 is the electronic solo project of Eric Anderson. Using a modular synth and sampler in tandem, they reach for timbres and phrases that hope to induce a positive trance. A constant process of learning and unlearning. Here/now/this is paramount.

B6 PINK SKULL/COMPANY CORVETTE – TED TEDDER
Pink Skull is known for his genre bending style of electronic music, we are delighted to be able to share this remix of one Philly’s finest stoner rock bands The Company Corvette.

B7 MICKEYS KIDS – 3 DRUMMERS
“Two good boys”

B8 FORGE THE CHAINS – MELTED
Cryptic harsh noise artist Forge The Chains breaks out of their usual mold for this track layered with samples.

B9 TFFNI – LIVE AT KHYBER
Performance artist and sound explorer TFFNI is absolute art. Serendipitous sounds never to be repeated.

Out Now: Big Burly – Tumors 7″

Big Burly – Tumors (SM014)

Philadelphia’s Big Burly is releasing their debut 7” with Strange Mono on July 18. Big Burly, described as “Powerviolence Jesus Lizard”, is the long awaited side project from members of Spesimin, The Company Corvette, and Programmed Hatred. Big Burly’s signature sound puts bassists Jess Kramer and Ross Pritchet front and center. The guitarless band is balanced perfectly by Ian Dykstra’s pounding drum style while Dan T’s deranged vocals serve up relentless energy. Big Burly aims to remove the preconceptions of how Punk  is supposed to sound. Wry humor, blisteringly short songs, and non-repetitive structures all combine to make something truly unique and fun to listen to.

“Inspiration for the lyrics largely came from my childhood experiences. Growing up in a rural area and playing with my friends in the trailer park. Observing alcoholism, violence, ‘Christian values’, and generally abysmal states of being that seem totally normal because you’re a kid.” – Dan T

“One night while hanging out in a warehouse full of moving trucks I admitted that I’d always wanted to be in a band with two basses and no guitars. Well, it was a good thing I did because as it turns out Big Burly is my dream band. Ross immediately said yes and a few months later we started playing with Ian , who was down to get weird with us. Every song we wrote as a group and we only played when we could and never forced a thing. I admit some of the licks I wrote were wonky as hell but somehow Big Burly made sense of them all.” – Jess


Proceeds from sales of this album are being donated to the Philly Bail Fund. “Ending the injustice of money bail requires shifting Philadelphia’s bail system from one that is based on wealth to a fairer and more effective system based on a presumption of release before trial, except in the most exceptional circumstances.”

Out Now: Strange Mono Benefit For Prevention Point 7″

Various – Strange Mono Benefit For Prevention Point (SM031)

Strange Mono is announcing our Benefit For Prevention Point 7”. This compilation features six of Philly’s best Punk / Hardcore bands and marks the first vinyl release for Strange Mono. All proceeds are being donated to Prevention Point, a harm reduction charity serving Philadelphia and the surrounding area.

Mesh “Potato Head”– Philly based four-piece punk band Mesh released their well-received self-titled tape in the Summer of 2020, and haven’t released new music until now! This opening single titled “Potato Head” is a brief, explosive homage to classic synth skronkers Devo. The song features entwined angular guitar-duo riffing, mid-tempo, motorik drums, and intermittent synthesized bleeps and bloops all propelling a single verse and chorus chanting in monotone about the dismemberment of nostalgic childhood toy, Mr. Potato Head. “Potato Head” is a dizzying, frenetic, catchy song that will get your head bobbing and your feet dancing blissfully into an open manhole.

Added Dimensions “Time Blind”– Sarah Everton, formerly of Blowdryer and Bleeding Rainbow, returns with her newest enclave, Added Dimensions. Added Dimensions is an exploration of New Wave and classic punk peering through a distorted, dystopian kaleidoscopic lens. Sarah released her debut self-titled tape in 2021, receiving much acclaim from the DIY community and the journalists over at Maximum Rock N Roll. This single “Time Blind” explores feelings of malaise and existential exile delivered with an effortless-feeling catchy melody. The sound is electric and metallic, like licking a battery. The perfect soundtrack for smoking cigs in space.

Shitty Wizard “Bust Through The Crust”– Philly’s Shitty Wizard are masters of comically perverse and nihilistic hyper-infectious party punk. Taking cues from bands like Mondo Bizarro era Ramones, GG and The Jabbers, and The Dead Boys, they deliver explosive rock n roll that prods the listeners with sardonic beer-soaked unbridled earworms. This track “Bust Through The Crust” takes its audience on a jet-fueled, powerful odyssey of kicking dicks and, well, busting through the crust. Hot licks, caveman drums, and guttural catchy vocals make “Bust Through The Crust” every hesher’s wet dream. One listen and you’ll be drinking gas and pissing fire like a real psychedelic cowboy.

Nothing Is Over “Think Long and Hard”– Hardcore punks Nothing is Over deal in unrelenting thrash and hardcore crossover that is equally pummeling and enlightened. On their single “Think Long and Hard”, the group hammers the song into your skull with dogged, chaotic yet dialed drums, powered by 80’s hardcore riffs which lay the foundation for clear and powerful primitive vocals. The song’s arrangement is well-plotted and has incredible structural dynamics. Thematically, the lyrics convey feelings of visceral contempt and foreboding revenge lust. Throw in a ten second absolutely insane shredding guitar solo and you’ve got local crusters pulverizing each other in the pit like its Black Friday at Walmart. 

Programmed Hatred “Power and Control”– Half man, half machine, Philly’s Programmed Hatred are a grab bag of power electronics, hardcore, powerviolence, and cyber punk inundated with samples and a heavily anti-capitalist, anti-police ethos. Their newest single “Power and Control” is a forty-five second nuclear war. This song takes a bleak, spastic yet memorable jaunt into a digital hardcore hellscape. Its sound is cohesive and congruent but fresh, unpredictable and unhinged: a post-apocalyptic hallucination. Prepare to be uploaded, assimilated, and annihilated by the next generation of heavy music. 

Concrete Caveman “Doom Scrolls”– Concrete Caveman take a calculated, sadistic, yet artful approach to heavy music. They are masterfully-versed in punk and metal, and their songwriting is a brutal blend of these genres. Their newest single “Doom Scrolls Master” is a mid-tempo, heavily-textured, expansive composition. The guitars bleed metallic dirge over pulsing, stompy drums in a focused and controlled arrangement. The vocals are largely influenced by toothy classic American hardcore, feverishly barking and snarling. Nothing is overplayed, creating a sense of tension and control. “Doom Scrolls Master” is a raw and feral conceptual beast, untethered, free-falling, and decimating everything in sight.

Out Now: Truculent – A Workers Guide To Transfiguration

Truculent – A Workers Guide To Transfiguration (SM035)

Truculent is the moniker for Philadelphia guitarist Dan Timlin. Since 2016 Truculent has developed his sound by blending melodic rhythmic guitar compositions with field recordings and found sounds to create atmospheric soundscapes. Truculent began as a therapeutic exercise to connect thoughts and trauma with positivity through music.

A Workers Guide To Transfiguration is made up of 18 field recordings from 2020 through 2022. Bleeding from fully improvised tracks like “Bride Of Thee“, “March Rain” and “Hexaemeron Of Doubt” into the meticulously composed “Dolor In Pyxides” and “Plastic Bags Like Sirens On The Shore“. The Album also features two, freeform audio interpretations of poems by Steve Evans.

Dedicated to:
Mike Parry (1985-2021)
Abel Warhound ( 2014-2023)

Proceeds from the sale of this album are being donated to Homies Helping Homies