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Collection gathers pre-Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice material from James Jackson Toth’s Golden Calves project. Originally released in 1996; reissue is limited to 1000 copies.
“It was really all about The Godz, Jandek, The Shadow Ring, Strapping Fieldhands, Swell Maps and Tower Recordings. Beyond these, I had only heard the ‘classic’ and most available free jazz, krautrock and noise albums. I was a long way from, say, the second Comus album or Charles Gayle. But this music changed my life. It was a record store owner named Eric McCarthy and a man who needs no introduction to anyone reading these notes, Matt Valentine, who taught me that there was a world beyond Dischord, Vermiform and Ebullition. I went to college, met hip people, and got a job at both the local record store and the college radio station. I was taking drugs. I bought a four track and began emulating my heroes. I called the project Golden Calves. I was eighteen years old....
“In hindsight, I like to think that the noise scene liked us and responded so positively to us because, in our own naïve way, we were subverting a very rigid paradigm. Touring with noise bands and moving in experimental circles but playing proper ‘songs’ is what made us weird. It was an exciting, unforgettable time.
“These are not perfect records. Perhaps worse than so-called ‘naïve art’ is ‘only-marginally-informed art’ and that’s what this is. I should have let my talents marinate for a while before rushing out records that now sound to me like thinly-veiled love letters to Siltbreeze. But fuck it, man. I was hopelessly arrogant then and remain so today. Why else would I greenlight this fucking thing?”
—James Jackson Toth, Lexington, KY, Summer 2010
#1 In the Centre of the Ring They Are Torturing a Bear
#2 Seraphim Radar Rallies
#3 Hollow Earth Worship (The Ouija Machine)
#4 Rideshare Infiltrates (For Jim Shaw)
#5 Pocket Organ Grinder (For Jocy de Oliveira)
#6 The Haunted Cabaret of Nordic Nymphs
#7 Panoramic Corporate Lobby Shots, Pts I and II
#8 Meet the Airhearts
#9 Psychic Console II
#10 New Intrinsic Worth and the Quality of Judgers
#11 The Karmic Disenchantment of the Evil Leaper Neighborhood Watch
#12 Machine: Measurer of Man (For Jean Claude van Itallie)
#13 The Hangman's Hideous Son
#14 Calves Heavenward
#15 Equinox: Neon Spotted Owls
#16 Consciousness for Juju (Negotiating the Plastic Infant Reel)
#17 Mod Bacteria (For Fred Neil) / Alchemy Interlude
#18 Atrium 5: The Absinthe Labyrinth (For Theo Angel)