TO LIVE AND SHAVE IN LA – The Grief That Shrieked To Multiply (3CD+ bonus DL MonotypeRec.)

My German friend, very active in distributing music in the greater Berlin-area, recommended this release to me and at the same time warned me for the overwhelming content of this 3CD package. And I feel he was right in doing so as indeed, metaphorically speaking, some of its features represents a monster ; its size, its evil feel and its ugliness in many ways and the bands’ mythical proportions, as To Live and Shave in LA is to me one of those bands that seem to have been around forever, yet only very few have heard their output. TLASILA, not to be confused with Tom Recchion’s LAFMS, is the vehicle of Tom Smith and seems to be based on the same ideology of a radical freeform musical community. Roughly speaking, after a first couple of listening sessions an allowing for some reflection, the overall impression is of lengthy, formless mixes full of distorted rhythm patterns, leftish poetry poured over with morphing electronic debris.  

The first disc, entitled “My Finger Was Hooked” starts with melodic noise and continues to play as 1 long track. Though all remix-enthusiasts are name-checked, and throughout the 78 minutes enormous variation is offered, I like the idea of it being 1 track. This feeds the anonymous character of this project and therefore also the elusive character of TLASILA themselves. Great moments of shared ecstasy come in and fade out of the mix. Abrasiveness makes place for heavenly mysteries, rock is being alternated with primitive drum and bass fragments. The second disc, “I Offer Syrup”, is not less ambitious in making a wild trip. The third finally is more or less another ill-defined mixture of soft noise, distorted voices and other eclectic phenomena.  

The complete Grief that shrieked to multiply is outsider art, presented here as an overflowing horn of plenty. The Grief also is a project, TLASILA mark it themselves as an “anti-remix remix album”. A lot of underground contributors remixing TLASILA, here to form some kind of alternative society. Some names ; Dylan Nyoukis, Sudden Infant, Larsen, Carlos Giffoni, Aaron Dilloway, Kevin Drumm, and I can go on for a while. Thurston Moore does not appear in this list as he is already part of TLASILA since the collective reformed in 2004. This mammoth release comes housed in a cardboard sleeve trying to contain at least 3 discs, a 4th CD you will have to burn yourself as it comes as a Bonus Download Mix. PvdG.