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Azusa Plane - Where the Sands Turn to Gold

  by Andrew Carver

published: 9 / 1 / 2012

Azusa Plane - Where the Sands Turn to Gold
Label: Rocket Girl
Format: CD Box


Compelling two CD and a DVD retrospective of the Azusa Plane, the nom de plume for Pennysylvanian home-recorder and drone/noise guitarist Jason DiEmilio who died in 2006

The Azusa Plane was the nom de plume of Jason DiEmilio, a Pennsylvanian home-recorder who produced a slew of releases for an extraordinary range of labels, magazines and benefits of drone and noise guitar music before committing suicide in 2006. The two CDs of the ‘Where the Sands Turns to Gold’ collects a nice sampling of hard-to-find works from the Plane’s diverse and widespread discography, which was spread over a bewildering array of split singles, compilation tracks and cassettes, while the DVD, in addition to a 26-minute live performance by Azusa Plane’s incarnation as a trio, contains another six hours of music in MP3 form that covers the lion’s share of DiEmilio’s output, starting with his debut cassette on Shrimper. The two CDs offer a more condensed look at the Azusa Plane’s discography. They don’t appear to adhere to any particular chronology (aside from putting both sides of his ‘Cheltenham’ 10-inch back to back), instead opting for a musical flow that takes advantage of the wide range of jangle, buzz, shimmer and coruscation to be found in DiEmilio’s body of work. It kicks off with ‘Two Views of the New Zealand Landscape’. Undoubtedly inspired by Roy Montgomery it both takes its name from its inspiration’s homeland and draws on much of his trademark echoing sound before fuzzing out into DiEmilio’s beloved feedback. It is followed by ‘Meander’ a track from his first 7-inch in 1995, also the debut of DiEmilio’s Colourful Clouds For Acoustics label. Also on offer are such delights as his My Bloody Valentine dreamfuzz excursion ‘Every Wave has Its Own Integrity’ from a 1996 split with Connors and the Bristling ‘Eric Gaffney’ from the 1997 Angelfoods 2CD comp on Kake Mix. Magazine comps also provide a few tracks, starting with ‘Tokyo Guitar Flashback’ (no doubt inspired by the influential Tokyo Flashback PSF label comps admired worldwide by fans of damaged fretwork). The meandering ‘Death of a Microphone’ (taken from a Transmissions benefit comp) introduces some jangling, meandering percussion and cymbal strikes as the guitar erupts like a distant storm underneath before overwhelming all else with stabs of feedback. The next two tracks pay tribute to the Velvet Underground with ‘Shooting Speed With Lou Reed’ and ‘Lou, Nico, Sterling, John and Maureen’ (what, no Doug?), from a comp of Philadelphia acts and a 7-inch and Burnt Hair, respectively. On the noisier side of the spectrum, the threatening rumble of ‘You Said I Could Bring My Guitar’ is neatly juxtaposed with the sound of jangling bells. Other tracks go on to name check Belle and Sebastien, psychedelic guitar supremo Wayne Rogers, K Record/Beat Happening mastermind Calvin Johnson and Texas alt-folkies the Mountain Goats though, like ‘George Harrison Plays Sitar’ on the second disc, any actual connection between the song and its inspiration may be hard to detect. ‘Where the Sands Turn To Gold’ is an essential purchase for any Azusa Plane fan, and just as vital for fans of such acts as Loren Mazzacane Connors, Roy Montgomery, Flying Saucer Attack, Fuxa, Bardo Pond, Eternal Tapestry and other experimental guitar combos.

Track Listing:-
1 Two Views Of The New Zealand Landscape
2 Meander
3 Every Wave Has Its Own Integrity
4 Eric Gaffney
5 Tokyo Guitar Flashback
6 Death Of A Microphone
7 Shooting Speed With Lou Reed
8 Lou, Nico, Sterling, John And Maureen
9 Live At Leeds
10 Fender: Six Strings Of Tonal And Atonal Vibrations
11 You Said I Could Bring My Guitar
12 United States Direct Investment In Other Countries
13 A Magnetic Breakthrough
14 Ode To The Mountain Goats
15 George Harrison Plays Sitar
16 Beyond Infinite
17 This Is Not Spacerock
18 Calvin Johnson Has Saved Rock For An Entire Generation
19 Cheltenham 1
20 Cheltenham 2
21 She Was Into S & M And Bible Studies
22 The Last Of The Famous Electronic Playboys
23 Me And Wayne Rogers
24 Mechanical Sound Construction

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