Violent Squid – Landline Phone Calls From The Kitchen in 1992

7/10

From Austin, Texas, experimental project Violent Squid unveil their latest release Landline Phone Calls From The Kitchen in 1992. It’s been six years since their last album Day Wants Empty, a collaboration between Violent Squid’s main visionary Ty Stamp and more than a dozen other musicians from the Austin scene. Violent Squid’s newest five-song EP, however, was recorded by Ty Stamp alone in his kitchen, fiddling around with his hardware synths and his BR-1600.

Violent Squid’s music is all improvisational, building up from a basic house beat, adding in bleeps, sweeps and creeps (I just had to squeeze in a Spaceballs reference), taking inspiration from electro, free jazz and krautrock. It’s all very ambient and doesn’t require too much concentration from the listener. It’s like a glitchy soundtrack to an NES video game. Hell, Ty Stamp could have been frying an egg as he was recording this.

The only voices you’ll hear in this EP are in the clip at the beginning of the opening track “Phone Book Ballet,” and in the distorted words on “Z-93 Radio Phone Party,” though it’s hard to make out what is being said under the layers upon layers of strange and wonderful noise. There’s a choral swell in “AmaChron Disco,” though that sound can easily be replicated by a synth.

I’ve never been that big on electronic music, so I don’t think I would voluntarily listen to this in my free time, nor would I have the patience to listen to tracks with runtimes ranging from 6 to 13 minutes. But I do appreciate Ty Stamp’s creativity and playful nature. There’s nothing really violent about Violent Squid’s music. If you’re looking for something that’s quirky and, at times, soothing, something that you put on in the background as you clean your house or during a casual hang with friends, then you might want to throw this on.

Written by Chris Aitkens
*Edited by Dominic Abate

About Chris Aitkens 69 Articles
Chris Aitkens has been writing about music since the tender age of 16, getting his start writing reviews for Vermont-based zine Verbicide. More than a decade later, he has dedicated his life music. Having graduated from Concordia’s journalism program, he is now working graveyard shifts as a board operator at Virgin Radio, CJAD 800, and occasionally, CHOM. He also hosts his own radio show on CJLO 1690AM called Sewer Spewer, a weekly guide to Montreal’s punk and extreme metal scene. In the little free time that he has, Chris sings in a shitty punk band called Gutser, and from time to time, writes about horror movies for Nightmare On Film Street. None of these ventures have made Chris wealthy at all. In fact, he’s more broke than ever. But it’s all worth the sacrifice to live a life filled with art.

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