Buck Young - "Buck II: Where Do You Want It?" Rent Hike Records/Wonderland Media, 2019
With players spanning the USA, Buck Young is an experimental country project that resists geography as much as the nebulous and distant America they seek to capture. Working with perceived histories of traditional music, pushed through a turbine of cartoonish yet abysmal melancholy, the musicians involved incorporate their time served in noise and experimental projects into an oddly familiar new context, like a dream memory of many childhoods ago. Members include Zoe Burke (Sapphogeist), Jason Crumer, Joseph Hammer (LAFMS), AF Jones, Wyatt Howland (Skin Graft) Vanessa Rosetto, Rose Rae (Apologist), Richard Dunn (FFH), and Waylon Riffs (Facedowninshit). - Wire Magazine 2019
Available in 2LP, cassette and download from No Rent Records.
Special edition yellow vinyl available from Wonderland Media LLC.
Sapphogeist - "Mar a Lago" Bank Records, 2017
On her sophomore release, Sapphogeist (solo music project of Zoe Burke) plunges further into the realm of experimental pop, creating a sonic narrative uniquely her own. There are chopped and screwed Gregorian chants, police drones flying over Baltimore city, and a slew of political and personal allegories that bookend the swan song of the contemporary that is Mar a Lago. On the titular track, Burke assumes the role of the ill-fated vacation resort, and delivers a touching yet disturbing sermon to a uniquely feminine power that is too often misconstrued as weakness.
Sold out on all formats. Available on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming platforms.
Buck Young - "Proud Trash Sound" Rent Hike Records, 2018
C'mon everybody, it's the end of civilized society....so let's get a few things straight.
When the economy collapsed back in the early 20th century, the American avant-garde were driven into academic caves and its composers imperiled and ridiculed. In response, Aaron Copeland's anemic 'Appalachian Spring' eliminated America as relevant on the international stage. Until now...
It has been 74 long years, so steal a few tall cans of beer, pull up an old crate or a worn out tire and start a bonfire with your roommates' crap. Add a reasonably functional cassette player and this is the new American concert hall.
Here lies an indulgent 'program', in part memorializing a great American dead man, Murdoch. 'Murdoch' is a tender dedication signaling the end of side A, allowing you a moment to bottle up your feelings (especially if in company) as you flip sides.
In truth, it is Crumer and Sapphogeist, hiding behind Buck Young and Proud Trash Sound. There are Pig grunts, Scratchy man yodelings, Pesky guitars floating around all the time, Noise bombs, Broads singing all about their 'troubles', Gunfights, Grown men weeping into their drunk guitars, pedals and piano (Save for Crumer, these are Military men) and an Epic love story, featuring 'Linda'.Trash Sound has a little Lejaren Hiller, a little '10 notes on a summers day'. These are Outstanding Sounds Manipulated Masterfully! As society and the Art of Noise unravel, its really nice to hear a few of the good ones who give a shit play their cards on the record .....in America.
- Tom Grimley, 2018
LP, cassette and download available from No Rent Records.
Sapphogeist - "S/T" No Rent Records, 2015
Those familiar with Zoe Burke’s work may know her as “Cheetah” of Baltimore power electronics project Reverse Baptism or the creative force behind the psychedelic grotesque Sanpaku Rose comic series, but in Sapphogeist, her new solo venture, Burke takes all the nuanced strangeness, discomfort, and coldness of the world and externalizes it as industrial pop. Her debut cassette, a self-titled venture on the consistently excellent No Rent Records, positions her not only as an exciting voice, but a vital one.
Sapphogeist begins with a vocal exposition: Burke brandishes her impressive pipes like a cherished weapon in a choral greeting—both warning and invitation—before luring the listener into her world of ear worms and unflinching satire. Within the first song, she laments, or perhaps just extols, the strange correlation of success as a presidential candidate and uncanny phallic resemblance. It’s an absurd moment, surreptitiously delivered, indicative of Burke’s outlook.
Her voice isn’t the only thing she has going for herself, either. Each instrumental, expertly orchestrated and executed, has its own catchy synth melodies, bass harmonies, and tinseled layers. Though rooted in industrial instrumentation, Sapphogeist isn’t a release made for isolation, as the songs are crafted with such tight songwriting they seem cordial, familiar, and friendly. And while the tape is perfect for listening alone, frankly, it’s hard not to dance, or at least head-bob, along—not to say dancing with yourself can’t be fun. Throughout the cassette, Burke nods to pop culture, at one point appropriating a Lana Del Rey melody and at another finishing with a Frank Ocean recording. It’s at these junctions—more than elsewhere—that the listener is reminded of Burke’s noise background, but in a niche market that is over-saturated in releases by angry white men with a love for true crime, fascistic imagery, and Tetsuo: The Iron Man (which is a great movie, by the way), she turns the formula on its head.
- Jordan Reyes, March 2016
Sold out on all formats. Available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming platforms,
Reverse Baptism - "Street Business" Anabolic Dimensions, 2013
Nil-person narratives told by ultra-skeevs play out over damaged and spun electronics- at times sequenced, and others whirlwind, but always on the brink of collapsing in on itself. Rusted antique carousel songs play into the screech of porcelain
Street Business is the debut LP from Baltimore’s Reverse Baptism, who might be Ham-J, Cathy, and Cheetah. However, things quickly unravel into a much less clear delineation of who is who in the dystopian mirage the trio introduce to the listener. Confusion is the focus (or lack thereof,) Reverse Baptism employ with which to manipulate the listener, blurring power and gender roles and setting up character-driven archetypes that are quickly shattered, reassembled, and fucked back in on themselves.
horse’s thrusts before the gears finally corrode and the children start screaming. More perv than punk. More third world than industrial. The records, pressed on Hollins Market table-colored vinyl, are a triumph in the catalog of Chicago’s Anabolic Dimensions. Liner notes include psychosexual illustrations,a fold out poster of the band, and a complete lyrics sheet (earning the album’s Parental Advisory stamp.) Reverse Baptism has put forth an open-ended document that manipulates the listener into the twisted view from the gutter which they thrive. Fuck you Mom. Fuck you Dad.
- Ted Sweeney, 2013