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LTJ-30 The Skaters: Palm Shaper


The Skaters: Palm Shaper The Skaters: Palm Shaper



1. mount amongst mountains (14:45)
2. "here a scarf flies, there an excited call is heard" (10:55)
3. muddflaps flagellations (8:42)

Released 28.11.2004. Dark psych improv, includes an insert, sold out.

"We shake the chain that protrudes from spheres above us that present avenues, and with a subtle alteration of tone, one grabs anew. Reaction for muddflaps become flagellations of rythmn to cut into a steady pulse. The shaping of tones for the completion of a message."

Nature Tape Limb

"primitive ecstatic clatter and howl and feedback. gloriously lost-in-itself sound of ecstatic howl and mesmerizingly insistent strum, all swimming in acres of reverb and murk" Boa Melody Bar

"Yeah, I know: The Skaters. Sounds like they should be playing 3rd stage on this year's Warped tour, doesn't it? Don't be fooled. Despite the dubious moniker, these noise monkeys are the vanguard of "the New Electrical Sublime" (thanks, Jeremy). Combining the lysergic grit of early Butthole Surfers, the ear-shredding power electronics of Whitehouse and other proto-Industrial pioneers, and the quaint intensity of Inuit shamanic rituals caught on wax cylinder circa 1930, the Skaters sound like no one else. And oh baby, what a sound it is!

Though perhaps not apparent to the novice listener, those familiar with the Skaters' CV will immediately recognize that Palm Shaper holds the distinction of being their cleanest recording thus far. While previous efforts marinated in lo-fi hiss and hum, the relative clarity of this release allows the distinct sounds of chimes, drum, autoharp, voices, electronics, mic feedback, and Lord-knows-what-else to echo and collide in a manner that elevates their sound to new levels of claustrophobic extroversion. Whittled down to the duo of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark for this effort, at 3 tracks in 35 minutes Palm Shaper is the purest and most concise distillation of the Skaters' oeuvre to date.

"Mount Amongst Mountains" opens the show, 14 minutes and 44 seconds of the quintessential Skaters sound: keening vocals, embedded drones, electronic whine, intermittent tattoos of one-handed percussion, slashes of autoharp, and other unidentifiable voices that work in tandem to produce synesthesiac arrest. Track 2, "here a scarf flies, there an excited call is heard" is a disturbing pseudo-ethnographic foray straight out of Lovecraft. Are the Skaters worshippers of the Fungi from Yuggoth? At the very least they ingested it before recording this track, where drums, autoharp, and other instruments play out a pageant of possession over a sickly tapestry of screams and chants. 'Muddflaps Flagellations' closes the album, in which some twisted imam gibbers feverishly while riding a crushing avalanche of feedback and raw electricity. Once you've heard Palm Shaper, you'll be compelled to go write your own Necronomicon.

God bless the Skaters and all who drool upon them."

"Returning to the possessed forest from where they came, The Skaters unload a feedback dirty bomb. These three tracks will split every atom in your skull, dump it in the icy cold rivers of the arctic, and turn your teeth into instant fossils. It's a heavy, intense blitzkrieg of sound. Some music is primitive, but this shit is prehistoric. Cro-magnon man beware, The Skaters are coming for your species with only one intention: annihilation. With their phases turned up to 10, this psychedelic romp through space and time is nothing short of breathtaking. Literally. These tracks are claustrophobic to the point of feeling like you are being buried alive. But it's appropriate as one easily imagines The Skaters drenching themselves in mud and stomping around in a ritualistic fervor. "Mount Amongst Mountains" is the sound of Mother Nature battling through the earth into the depths of hell. As she mangles and spits out trees, complete terror is left in her wake. This song is 15 minutes of per monolithic oppression. "Here a Scarf Lies, There an Excited Call is Heard" plays out like a Machiavellian drama. Nothing is what it seems, and as the jangling chimes try to poke their head above the sea of swirling, menacing guitars and vocal incantations, every inclination of hope is drowned. Only a sucker would think there was light on the other side of this composition. "Palm Shaper" ends with the howling exorcism of "Muddflaps Flagellations." Ending in the same manner which this album begins, "Muddflaps" is another all-out sensory assault. Take nothing for granted and watch your step, because these psych land mines are ready to blow your fucking mind. 8/10" - Brad Rose, Foxy Digitalis

"...a blurry snapshot of a peripheral vista somewhere in the middle of a fuzz-drenched triangle including the Dead C, Avarus and Angus MacLise" Mats Gustafsson, Broken Face

"Take your typical feedback-drenched noise band. Then add Leatherface roaming around. Chainsaw-like sounds emanate from the amps. The boys squeal in terror as they are ripped limb from limb, their instruments broken in the process leaving wails of buzzing feedback to accompany their souls during the ascension. That's what The Skaters' Palm Shaper sounds like to me. The sound is a feedback freakout with multiple layers of hollering and wailing vocals. Electronics (or maybe just low rent recording equipment) distort the vocals into spooky muted cries, giving the songs a very disturbing aura. Pulses of hand drums and chimes try to calm down the chaos, but then another soul embodied by feedback bursts out with tortured moans of agony. The music is a btit too formless for my ears, but the duo finds the mark in a few places. Towards the end of "Here a Scarf Lies, There an Excied Call is Heard," alarm-like waves of jet engine-sounding guitar feedback form a repetitive, droning riff. Towards the middle "Mount Amongst Mountains," the distortion creates a shakey, shimmering theremin-like sound which grabs hold of your ears through the rugged backdrop. Moments like these are similar to the more droning, meditative feel of their previous release, Rippling Whispers, that I found so compelling, but they're not the focus of Palm Shaper - it's the tribal, primal, freeflowing assault. 8/12" Jim Steed, Fakejazz

"Monolithic vocal-based assemblage from the duo of James Ferraro and Spencer Clark who work all sorts of inspired epiglottal strategies into whole new vectors of dense psychedelic sound. Somewhere between Double Leopards, Coil circa Moon's Milk and Vibracathedral Orchestra on paint thinner. Totally ecstatic." Volcanic Tongue

"Another great one from the much hyped San Fransisco duo The Skaters aka James Ferraro and Spencer Clark. The Skaters sound is centered around vocal howls and chants blasted through broken/modified amps and analog effects at great volumes. On Palm Shaper their voices are accompanied by a whole range of tribal percussion, piano and cracked guitar howl creating some of the most blistering psychedelic music your likely to hear this year. Awesome stuff." Second Layer Records

"the truth is that for 267 lattajjaa i haven't paid much attention and is something to regret for... however via eclipse i checked the skaters cdr hannu did and gosh is 34 min of mantra like droning lunacy... to taste..." Absurd

"Yet another great release by The Skaters, this time on finnish label 267 Lattajjaa. The sound is much crisper then on other releases for this album. Plenty of undistinguishable vocals, distorted beyond recognition. The background drones seems to play a second role during the quieter parts (but when things get noisy - and they do - get ready for a bumpy ride). Some of the vocal parts are again very similar to Derrière Le Paravent by Fille Qui Mousse (check out the notes for Gambling In Ohpa's Shadow). Only when instruments and loops are added does The Skaters' originality become evident. On "Here A Scarf Flies [...], there is a wonderfully fucked up loop which plays during the beginning and end of the song. Without a doubt the best track on the album. There are some fun Residents-styled vocals on Muddflap Flagellations with really strange lows along the way. A must!" MyRecordCollection

267 lattajjaa