05 March 2018


root strata 2011, edition of 120

"Originally released on Root Strata as All Ahead Now, I've restored the original title of Naked, Stoned and Stabbed (originally rejected because someone else used it. Now it seems silly to care). Wholly Other mail-order description: 'It ain't from the streets but i could spit out the window and hit the J train (Z during rush hours). two long tracks recorded in the loft around the same time as the 'Dance From' LP. // Best known for his work with iconoclastic acid-folk improvisers Charalambides, Carter currently focuses on solo performances and recordings" - TOM CARTER bandcamp

"Metallic raga for electric guitar. Dark bliss of feedback and harmonic brick layering feed from the streets of NYC." - ROOT STRATA

"sounds like Terry Riley's A Rainbow In Curved Air re-imagined by Sonic Youth, a dense, druggy feedback meditation as melodic as it is severely face-melting." - BOOMKAT

one of only about a dozen tapes or so thus far courtesy ROOT STRATA, so from inception an exception to the rule, on the surface channeling the "noisy" side of "guitar music" as heard as the 2000s gave way to the 2010s - just look at ROOT STRATA contemporaries - BARN OWL (and HIGUMA and JON PORRAS), JEFRE CANTU-LEDESMA, THE NORTH SEA, and probably no more perfectly embodied than PETE SWANSON's FEELINGS IN AMERICA out just a few months and a couple catalog numbers ahead of ALL AHEAD NOW - but none of that stuff is as good as this

ALL AHEAD NOW didn't hit me dead on at first, it landed in my year end honorable mentions alongside excellent company including the likes of ETERNAL TAPESTRY's BEYOND THE 4TH DOOR, HIGUMA's PACIFIC FOG DREAMS, SEAN MCCANN's SINCERE WORLD, STEVEN R. SMITH's FLOOR OF THE SKY and WEYES BLOOD's THE OUTSIDE ROOM --a rather impressive list looking back-- i won't bother to hash out a then-and-now review of 2011 top to bottom, but i had CHARALAMBIDES' EXILE in my top ten, and i'd likely keep it there, but i would surely find a way to get AAN in there now, which wouldn't be easy because 2011 was loaded - strictly considering tapes that year, only LEE NOBLE's NO BECOMING outright tops it, goin up against other all-timers like DAVID ANDREE's IN STREAMS, EXPO 70's BLACKOUT and DEREK ROGERS' INFORMAL MEDITATIONS - good lord, all five tapes are legendary

so i clearly underestimated ALL AHEAD NOW at first - perhaps it just needed time to work on me - clearly something stuck as it kept creeping into rotation, and with each play it sunk in deeper and deeper until it became apparent to me that what i had here was a masterpiece - or perhaps more likely, i just needed to finish (d)evolving more or less into my present state of sound-mind, which was finishing up right about then i suppose, and then there it was just waiting for me to naturally conform to -it- because expounding on it now, it crystallizes and epitomizes PSI LAB, at least how i see it, to such extent that i suppose one could argue -which i might- that PSI LAB wouldn't exist without AAN's form -and- function influence

right out of the gate, AAN threatens to destroy your tape deck with white hot searing bliss of "go to the mirror boy", unbridled amp melting ecstatic shredding, buried in the red, rapturous in its ecliptic third eye gazing, pushing the limits of the sonic parameters CARTER sketched out via live improvisations captured on 2010's NUMINOUS tape on PRAIRIE FIRE, in turn laying the foundation for the intense sides of his magnum opus LONG TIME UNDERGROUND [REC #74] - but for all its glory, i must say that AAN side one doesn't hold a candle to side two

"gonna tune right in on you" adds an entire dimension to CARTER's wailing guitar, intertwines elevated emotional intensity and immersed anticipation, coalescing suspense and mourning - in one fell swoop he brazenly one-ups NATURAL SNOW BUILDINGS and STEVEN R. SMITH - for all the CHARALAMBIDES and solo stuff out there, there's not enough of -this- to be found - four years before FIVE GUITARS FOR TONY CONRAD [REC #88] came along (and blew my mind in its own singular way), CARTER had already been there and lowered the boom every bit as righteously and exponentially more boldly

recently available digitally courtesy CARTER's bandcamp page, retitled NAKED STONED AND STABBED as originally intended - i don't know, i'm much too partial to "ALL AHEAD NOW" now - either way i definitely prefer the original cassette's dot matrix lookin artwork - either way any fan of this blog should either already have this or else bump it to the front of the line