(Lost In A Sea Of Sound) LSJ, an acronym of the first initials for Lisa Cameron, Shawn David McMillen and Josh Ronsen. Misty Nights is a recording of their creative consciousnesses, combined and tangled with ends frayed. Traditional music is absent, pure sound has found friendly compatriots, we listen in. If sonic components could relax drinking coffee and have a conversation, Misty Nights might be a product of this meeting. There is a direct connection to early industrial music being emitted by LSJ. Rattling, creaking, clanging, static feedback, bass, human voices, all are present. The difference from artists like SPK, stretching the length of time to LSJ, is nothing seems rushed or manic, like it did in the past. What ever term used to describe it, evolving, loss of cohesion, the "change the world industrial hammer pounding" has subsided. Misty Nights possesses impressive patience, the aural world unfolding before our ears. This is all just on the first side. The flip changes tone starting with what sounds like saxophone played in some abandoned sonic test facility. Spirits have lingered and psycho-kinetically manipulate old equipment, adding to the eerie symphonic movement. An analog magnetometer continually pins red, the echoing clatter filling the emptiness with old life. Maybe this was a past venue for late seventies harmonic uproar, now breathing in a future time. Releases on eh? Records out of Richmond, California. Number ninety eight in the eh? Records catalog. LSJ is a long time project from Austin Texas.
(The Wire)First release by this Austin, Texas improv trio, made up of drummer Lisa Cameron, utility player Josh Ronsen and guitarist plus etc Shawn David McMillen. My suspicion is that there’s more electronics being done here than not. Ronsen and McMillen have both been known to bend tones, although it sounds as though Cameron usually is maintaining a percussive base for whatever else is going on. Pretty sure I hear some tooting (maybe clarinet and wood flute?), some electric guitar and lots of ‘various’. There are several parts where things really cohere, but much of the set feels determined to be abstract and difficult for the brain to corral. Which is always a good idea. - Byron Coley
(Chain DLK) LSJ is the mane of the band, consisting of the initials of the artists involved: Lisa Cameron, Shawn David McMillen and Josh Ronsen. Like many of the artists on Public Eyesore, I was unfamiliar with these artists, but the label always ends up taking the listener on an interesting ride. The first thing to mention is the insert with an amusing story about the artists trying to capture a snake, and then eventually playing music to it. It made for fun reading while listening to the opening tracks. “Rayon Gingham” starts us off with some heavy bass and sparse improvisation that jumps around like a child on rocks in a stream. Suddenly, we hear a bit of vocals, but before we have a chance to register what happened it suddenly unloads with a ragged, droning torrent of sound. Then, as suddenly as it began, it quietly slows down, and then ends. “Video Pirate” opens up with a nice bit of dissonance and rhythmic scraping. This is a slow, methodical piece that slowly drags you along with bits of bass and guitar along with a metallic rhythm. It winds down becoming more and more quiet before ending. “SVU in SUV at SVT” opens with some clanking metal and low bass drone. This track feels less put together and more random, like field recordings at a junkyard layered over bass drone and feedback. It is pleasant listening with enough going on to make it interesting, but it does feel like it goes on a bit longer than it needs to as it dissolves into droning improvisations. Turning the tape over, we begin with “Pants with Shit-ton of Pockets.” This opens with a snippet of conversation, followed by deep woodwind that recedes into the background to make way for thudding beats, like someone pounding on a wall in an abandoned basement. There is a lot going on here, and this feels like it could make an interesting soundtrack to an art installation. “Dead Fog” lives up to its namesake, with very sparse sounds quietly seeping through your speakers. Where “Pants” was much more in your face, “Dead Fog” takes a more minimalist approach as it slowly adds layers. It envelops you over time as it surrounds you. Things take a sinister turn, however, as this moves into “Dead Fog II: The Chirping,” with its ominous bass and warbling tones. If “Dead Fog” was the peaceful fog over a beautiful meadow on a cool spring day, “Dead Fog II” is the fog that obscures your vision in the woods at dusk when you know that there is someone – or something – out there. You can’t see it, but you can feel their eyes on you as you helplessly look around you, frantically hoping to see something in the dwindling light. But all you see is fog. Nothing but fog. Overall, this is an enjoyable album, and if you like a lot of chaos in your experimental music this is one worth checking out. - Eskaton
(Cassette Gods) LSJ embody pretty much every explorative element that Eh? Records specializes in promoting, blending multiple field recordings of ambiance and percussive toil, electro-acoustic feedback, disassociated sound clips, and tape processing, all without ever showing the head or tail of any one beast, resulting in a robust sound ecosystem to get lost in, in different ways, with each listen. On “Misty Nights”, a series of sonic vignettes is patiently strung together. Hazily, slippery, an atmosphere of comfortable solitude in post-apocalyptic emergency room scavengings reveals itself. Impervious to superficial drama, the search wades through minor disturbance and rubble with clinical, practiced ambivalence. - Jacob An Kittenplan
First release by this Austin, Tx, improv trio, made up of drummer Lisa Cameron, utility player Josh Ronsen, and guitarist plus Shawn McMillen. My suspicions are that there's a lot more electronics being done here than not. Ronsen and Mc Millen have both been known to bend tones, although it sounds as though Cameron is usually maintaining a percussive base for whatever else is going on. Pretty sure I hear some tooting (maybe clarinet and wood flute?), some electric guitar and lots of "various". There are several parts where things really cohere, but much of the set feels determined to be abstract and difficult for the brain to corral. Which is always a good idea. - Byron Coley