New Batch – Unifactor

6.30.19 by Ryan Masteller

Well hey, everybody, thanks for showing up. They say the written word is dying, that it’s on its way out, but I’m here to discount that notion with some old-fashioned text on your screen that you’ll have to read with your eyes and comprehend with your brain. I’m not one to talk into a microphone and make jokes and trigger fart noises for an hour and a half to satisfy your every disgusting whim. I take my job as an investigator into the sonically artistic so seriously that you wouldn’t believe it if I told you how seriously. Trust me – it’s an intense calculation.

So you WILL take my word for it – or words – literally – because you have chosen to read about the tenth batch of tapes from hardcore Cleveland label Unifactor. Don’t misread – Unifactor isn’t releasing hardcore tapes. They – and by they, I mean Jayson Gerycz, purveyor and sonically artistic (hey!) guru behind the label – are simply hardcore, meaning intense and serious, about releasing what they release, and these new ones are no exception. So strap in, friendly neighborhood audience, and listen to my tale of woe and regret in relation to these three missives from the passionate jaws of expression. Or tales of joy, maybe, who knows.


This is all bowed upright bass and harp. Not kidding. You don’t kid around about that sort of intense and serious minimalism, not while there’s tones to discover. The duo takes their time occupying the space they share, letting the vibrations of the two instruments mingle in the room, in the atmosphere, filling that space, creating more space, expanding the walls of the room, and the ceiling too, and the floor, everything bowing outward along with the sounds their bows are making. It’s like they’re making their own pocket universe here in “Nowhere,” which turns out to be actual nowhere, a swirling vortex of vibrating strings and clouds of rosin dust. It is birthed from the frequencies of the molecules that Donovan and Kasten-Krause are agitating all up in this piece, the friction and force becoming sonically resonant and decipherable by the human ear. Got all that?


I’ve covered Marie e le Rose’s work before, as MonoLogue, in fact, right here on Tabs Out. And now she’s back as Moon RA with “mUSICA iN dIFFERENT iNUTILI sERVICES Vol. 1,” a trance- … er, trans-Europe excursion through the influence of “Tangerine Dream, Nono, Kraftwerk, Webern, and other electronic pioneers.” And, like me, Moon RA was transfixed by what she found. Honestly, I could listen to music inspired by all these artists (even “other electronic pioneers”) until you came in the room and ripped the headphones from my cold, dead ears, or even until I realized that I needed food and exercise and sunlight to live and took the headphones off myself for survival purposes, the zones are just that deep. Moon RA’s got the touch, the golden touch, twiddling the golden knobs and teasing out the golden tones from solid gold synthesizers. She turns your mind into a planetarium and puts on a laser light show that slowly and surely builds in intensity until it’s bursting out your eyes as if your eyes were the projector onto the screen of the universe, and you could share that laser light show of wonder and awe with all the people of the world, and everybody would just be like, “What were we fighting about, anyway?” That’s how “mUSICA iN dIFFERENT iNUTILI sERVICES Vol. 1” works – it’s insidious.


Arian Shafiee zones to a different vibe, this one light years ahead, behind, beside, in addition to the vibe you’re tripping to in the present tense. So switch over, quick, to opt in to future sounds of “Arabic Voice,” a deconstruction of a cappella Arabic music run through every technological permutation Shafiee could imagine before ICE came for his loop station (not in country legally) and his Garageband license (not valid form of ID). The erstwhile Guerilla Toss geetar slinger discovered the inspiration for this record in the form of the local bodega’s PA emanations and a YouTube playlist pointed out to him by said bodega proprietor, and he sampled and mangled the holy bejeezus out of all that stuff. The result is a processed extraterrestrial head trip of indeterminate origin, an Orange Milk release that somehow slipped through the label’s cracks and ended up on Unifactor. That’s outstanding work if you ask me, and outstanding reporting on it, if you also ask me.