“Texas is a landlocked state” once mused an individual who was so wrong, that they now have 21 million Spotify listeners and social media run by “management”. But as the days go on, you do have to wonder if yes, on some metaphysical level, the state of Texas is indeed landlocked in its own woes and rough and rowdy ways. But that does not stop the entire state, itself a giant interconnected series of tubes and dive bars and stray stages, from concocting its own vicious brand of noise that with which the tape underground can find stray whimsy from.
Thus we turn out attention today towards San Antonio-based Ethan “Coach” Campa. Coach Campa is a frequent San Antonio drummer turned collaborator, that seems hellbent on finding peace of mind in a middle zone between Astral Spirits free noise, early 00s NYC noisenik shenanigans, and 70s Electronic Deutschland Musiks. Partnering with tactical synthesizer warfare guru Aaron Arguello, and their Weekend Satanists cassette on Already Dead Records (a return for Campa and introduction for Arguello) happens to present a complete psychedelic kaleidoscopic vision of jazzy speculative fiction for the hi-fi. It’s a rainbow blast of punk as much as a throwback to early Astral Spirits when free noise reigned supreme and felt akin to a backyard all ages show, not a jazz club.
A majority of the tracks aren’t in a template per se, but do have a sense of jamming and parallel tracks of thought: Campa finds a furious drum frill, or a cymbal rush that’s gotta be shaken LOOSE; Arguello hunts for 70s synthesizer horror shlock keys or knob twiddling cryptid themes that JUST HAPPEN to repeatedly collide with the spectacle of a demolition derby, but none of the fussy mess. Campa’s drumming is buzzing, close in spirit to the buzz of a fly who found itself saved from a spider web. It shines through and beckons to the noise freak while Arguello can often pursue a reserved mode of droning or quick bleep sensations. In the tape’s finest moments, like Santana Shoes Stay On, you can end up with the punkier, krautrock indebted sibling to Nala Sinephro’s Space 6.
Yet, it is side B’s A. Enter Sandman Pt. 2/B. Nothing Else Matters that truly captures the Campa x Arguello spirit. For both, it feels as if they’ve swapped roles. with Arguello making a most insect-esque drone buzz akin to a chainsaw as Campa’s cymbal rushes feel akin to flow state bleep sensations, finessed and bristling with radiance, not pummeling or rushing. When it finally bows out for that back half, it’s terraforms into blistering frills searching for a way out amongst a blackened drone morphing into arcade noises coming to swallow it whole. Within the 8 tracks across the tape, it’s the welcome longform that doesn’t overstay its welcome, engrossing adventure and trial for the two that suggests that they themselves may have a real match in heaven.
- Matty McPherson, full article at Tabs Out