blue sixteen: Stillsuit/Map 71


C35 + download

When we discovered Stillsuit they were a frenetic 2-minute blasts-of-treble punk trio from Oakland, California. They still are! So we said: instead of doing a 2-minute song, do a really long one, like a prog song. And they did it!

Map 71 feature drummer/noisemaker Andy Pyne of Kellar (blue six) and poet and artist Lisa Jayne. They come from Brighton, UK, and make a genuinely confrontational, mind-expanding noise between the two of them. These edited improvisations - stream-of-consciousness drums, instant poetry, intuitive electronics - are the definition of punk, Blue Tapes-style.

There are all and no feelings in this split. Rage is abstracted into nonsense, ferocity transmuted into poetry. Rather than neutering the energy and intelligence of these incredibly locked-in musicians, it frees it.

Admission: I kind of hate punk. It’s dogmatic, annoying and over-literal. Instead of asking questions it speaks only in the bullet points of prefabricated answers. It makes overtures of challenging and corrupting the status quo, but actively reinforces it through bland conservatism and the prioritization of tradition over adventure.

Punk has a fractious relationship with the ideologies that have occasionally intersected with it. It has been outmoded by feminism, which is an evolving social dialogue that responds creatively to the challenges faced by 52% of the Earth’s population as those challenges mutate in parallel to the shifting agendas of society.

It finds solace in anarchism, or any doctrine that paints the world in binary. There are no shades in punk - there is only good and bad, enemy and friend, ‘authentic’ and ‘fake.’ It is the doctrine of the fanatic.

Blue Tapes isn’t a punk label, but if it were, this is the music we would release. All of the time.

Praise for Stillsuit:

“Oakland’s Stillsuit mix experimental noise rock with punk politics, creating a feminist soundtrack to the confusion of sex and violence in a gendered world. Loud treble guitars in weird tunings duel while drums pound away in another time signature. Their live show lays waste to squares who cover their ears, clear the room and even pull the plug.

Stillsuit is the best band in America, and their legitimacy is not predicated on outside approval. Like all great underground groups, they make up their own rules. Listen and learn.” - Wondering Sound

“Chaotic sound born out of art and expression that bows to no rule (and seems to write no riff). The Bay Area's STILLSUIT are a veritable explosion of sound, treating classifications with about as much kindness as they do their instruments… a mesmerizing sonic experiment…” - Terminal Escape

“Three women positioned in Oakland, CA (including one who was in that great Chicago band Coughs) lay out increasingly aggressive strategies for drums, vocals, and two guitars, the latter of which are played in a confrontational, non-melodic style that suggests a self-taught language, skronky and ritualistic, that makes for some of the more exciting music that’s darkened this doorstep in a good long while… I haven’t heard anything this year so untraditional yet so memorable from song to song. It’s the most refreshing experience, listening to a band jumping completely out of line and doing their own thing.” - Still Single

“16 is a frantic and idiosyncratic sound-saga... [bringing] more forceful and assertive tones to the foreground than, say, a band like Ponitail, even matching the ferocity of early Melt-Banana at times! The band utilizes unusual time signatures and syncopated drum sequences to create the effect of disorientation around occasional breakdowns led by the screeching treble guitar work of Marissa Magic and Vanessa Harris." - Boston Hassle

Praise for Map 71:

"Brighton's Map 71 pull off one of the festival's most simultaneously baffling and banging sets. A drummer, a backing track and a poet doesn't sound like the ingredients for an on-one night out, but everything coalesces into a furious stream of drums and invective, with no one element ever being allowed to dominate. The result is furious and fiercely funky. The kind of mix that one senses couldn't be imitated by anyone else attempting the same. The total product of the sum of its parts: a twin motherfucker, poesy driven Voltron. "Fuck fucking Sleaford Mods!" yells one wag in response. Well, quite." - The Quietus

"Jayne is one of the most physically arresting performers of poetry in Brighton, with a stage presence informed by visiting London strip clubs and observing strippers at work: a persona at once both provocative and absent; lingering eye contact and gyrating hips behind a wall of cool Perspex charisma.

As can be heard on Map 71's tape on Blue Tapes, Pyne's primal approach offers the perfect backing for Jayne's stark confessions, delivered in a thick Essex accent like apocalyptic proclamations from some piss-stained midnight car park of the mind. It makes perfect sense that Jayne cites Vi Subversa as her key influence - the radical feminist frontwoman of punk group Poison Girls, who found her voice as an artist at the age of 45." - The Wire

"Following the tradition of industrial champions like Throbbing Gristle and Einstürzende Neubauten, the group blend spoken-word poetry with the shrill clanks of metallic objects and cavernous thuds. The impression of spatial anxiety and an awkwardly haunting sub-narration of Jayne’s screaming moans make this a deeply rich progression that follows ebbing patterns of physical and verbal expression over a single percussive pattern. If bands like The Fall, Y-Pants, Suicide - or even some of John Zorn’s work - strike your fancy, Map 71 play off a similar vibe that delivers a truly distinctive flavor of industrial noise-rock." - Boston Hassle