EC SPLIT 1
by Girls On Fire and Hal McGee
an Electronic Cottage release
Confessions of An Emoji Addict
18 songs by Girls On Fire
Leslie Singer's first collection of new material since the 1980s
Her music and films of the 1980s prefigured Harsh Noise
and Riot Grrrls
All music and lyrics by Leslie Singer
Recorded between April and August 2020 in New York City
Vocals: Leslie Singer
Instruments: Fender Squire Stratocaster, Black Russian Big Muff Pi, Roland Street Cube Amp, Monotron Duotone, Teenage Engineering Pocket Operators: PO 12, PO 24, PO 35 and PO 137, and KQ Unotone Duo and John Cage Prepared Piano apps.
Recorded with Sony ICD-PX 470 Stereo Digital Recorder.
Thank you Hal McGee for sending me that email back in May 2018 and for encouraging and keeping the Girls on Fire flame alive this past 35 years. Many thank you hugs and kisses to Colette Parisa. And a special shout out, of course, to all my friends in the Electronic Cottage community.
Girls on Fire Photo by Laura Cottingham
Visit the comprehensive Girls On Fire historical archive site:
Wide Open Spaces
a 30-minute audio folk art dictaphone assemblage
by Hal McGee
recorded August 1-12, 2020 in Gainesville, Florida, USA
with Sony ICD PX-470 stereo digital dictaphones
sounds of daily life, spoken words, and electronics
thanks to Stanley, Lumen K, Rafael González, and Leslie Singer
for words, inspirations, and ideas
Hal McGee played:
two-string pink dumpster guitar
KQ Unotone iPhone synthesizer
Yamaha Reface CS synthesizer
Casio CT-S200RD keyboard
EC Split 1 Review by Jerry Kranitz
The first in the growing EC Split series is not only online, but is also available as a CASSETTE tape, which can be ordered from the Fire Girl herself, Leslie Singer. I’m so pleased to have this gem in physical form that I’d like to share my thoughts with the group.
Side A of this C60 is a Girls On Fire roller coaster ride through 18 (with one exception) 1+ minute vignettes. This is especially notable for being the first collection of new material from Leslie since the wild west heyday of the 1980s homemade music/cassette culture underground.
I love Leslie’s spoken word delivery, lo-fi synth jams and bleepy blurpy noisy radio signal effects that bring to mind William Burroughs teaming up with an Industrial version of Kraftwerk. Leslie’s delivery can be intense when doing spoken word and it’s good joyous fun when she sings. I like how she uses her lo-fi sounds to create choppity beats. It often feels like we’re ROCKIN’!
Among the individual tracks that caught my attention, ‘Chainsaw Accident’ is a cool country fried radio effects rocker. ‘Freezer Burn’ sounds like Leslie is casting an evil spell in her cavern domain while some poor slob is eaten by her minions. ‘I Did My Laundry Today’ is a zany, electro and sound delirious, punk poet ranting lo-fi song. The more I hear these tunes the more I’m loving the music that sounds like a sci-fi Saturday morning cartoons brand of kiddie tune. When I was very young I remember this toy that was circular and ringed with animals. You’d pull the string and it would play this crazy kiddie music before landing on an animal and hearing the sound it makes. ‘NYC Got The Neutron Bomb’ is another stand out on which Leslie gets down with her bad Punk ‘n’ Roll self.
And at nearly 9 minutes, ‘Darling, I Love You’ is the one lengthier track of the Girls On Fire set. Leslie’s spoken word shares the spotlight with a robotic virtual voice and crazed laughing samples. I love the tinkling melodies, electronic blasts, and bits of song that make this a free-wheeling collage/song/effects mash up, like some whimsical industrial, ranting poet, Romper Room cut-up. At the end I hear…. Was this recorded live at one of Hal’s apartment gatherings?
I’m sure everyone in the EC group knows this but I’ll point out that there is detailed Leslie Singer/Girls On Fire documentation at Hal’s web site. Spend some time there: www.haltapes.com/girls-on-fire.html
The B-side is one continuous trademark Hal McGee audio collage diary. I never tire of these. This is surprisingly musical, with multiple contrasting melodies throughout. Hal is conversing with someone, going from ranting about how the world is filled with idiots to cheering the best cake he ever had to a bit about the ‘mask test’ in moments.
Damn, I’m diggin’ the music. A bleepy synth, a stringed instrument that must be the ‘two-string pink dumpster guitar’ (a pic in the Comments please Hal!), a tab dosed Mr Roger’s Neighborhood styled melody, keys that sound kinda jazzy, a noisily fuzzed avant trip out jam that sounds like Soft Machine’s Mike Ratledge for the lo-fi set, spacey atmospherics, and more. At one point we hear multiple hallucinatory Hal voices amidst a lovely space-pastoral noodling melody, and crazed synth jams. I like the cool tribal percussion orchestra bit that Hal freeform speaks over too. All in a day in Hal’s life…
I did mention Stanley is on here too, didn’t I? I mean, goes without saying…
released August 13, 2020