Texas is one of the 50 states that constitute The United States of America, a complex and bewildering political entity that presides over an enormous region of the Northern American subcontinent and systematically intervenes in the affairs of the rest of the world, and which was caught up in political turmoil as this album was being created. While the name "Texas" is associated with deserts, cowboys, oil tycoons and conservatism in the global imagination, the state is a place of great diversity and has always had a thriving, creative urban culture, having been home to many unique acts from sixties and onwards, such as Red Krayola, 13th Floor Elevators, The Reverend Horton Heat, Pantera, Butthole Surfers, Charalambides and Jandek. Today, the depths of the music scene of the state remains undiscovered by the global audience, or even by the general American audience itself, due to the extremely competitive nature of the country's vast music scene and tough financial conditions the system presents for musicians.
"Oily Underground: A Compilation of Exotic Music from Texas" was compiled in 2016 by Işık Sarıhan seated at the Inverted Spectrum Records headquarters in Budapest, Hungary, and released in January 2017. The collection presents ten pieces of music contributed by contemporary musicians from Texas. However, it was not put together to provide an exhaustive overview of the state's non-mainstream music scene. Rather, it came into existence as a result of the fact that the compiler happened to have quite a few personal contacts from Texas and wanted to turn this coincidence into a digital boutique album. Four bands presented here are friends and acquaintances of the compiler, four others were recommended by these friends and acquaintances, one was discovered on an online mixtape put together by one such recommended artist, and one was randomly discovered in an article about alternative bands from Texas. The selections include experimental synth-pop, carnivalesque post-punk, globally-informed psychedelia, feminist punk, instrumental sludge, Zappa-esque guitar stylings and free collective improvisations with jazzy and droney flavors.
released January 22, 2017
(01) "Weird Life" by Slugbug (3:06)
Originally released on Slugbug/Pataphysics split 7'', 2011.
Produced and engineered by Paul D. Millar at BUG SOUND.
(02) "Why Even Try" by Attic Ted (5:23)
Originally released on "Parade Dust Mischief" LP/cassette, 2016.
Recorded by Paul D. Millar on 16-track analog tape without computers.
Attic Ted: Created by Grady Roper (organ, vocals, guitar, clarinet, weird noises) with Coby Cardosa on drums, Wade Driver and James Roo on guitars, Sayre VanDelinder on noises.
(03) "Levitation" by Sailor Poon (3:35)
Originally released on "YEAST PIGEON" ep, 2016.
Song written by Sailor Poon.
Recorded by Travis Beall at Sweetheart Studios in Austin, TX
(04) "Ghosts of Phi Am" by Ak'Chamel (5:10)
Originally released on "Lowlands of Hteklum" cassette, 2015.
(05) "fuckitdry" by Bludded Head (4:07)
Originally released on "Reign in Bludd" EP in 2014, on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia (Sgg-036). Recorded by Matthew Barnhart at Electrical Audio (Chicago).
Nevada Hill (R.I.P.): Baritone and vocals
Ryan Williams: Upright bass
David Saylor: Big drums
(06) "Whhhne" by How I Quit Crack (1:37)
Originally released on "Dystopian Gift" cassette on Handmade Birds, 2013.
Tina Forbis: Voice, organ
Chris Cones: Guitar, organ
(07) "Driving" by Ősz (3:16)
Home recording (circa 2013), previously unreleased.
Written, recorded, performed by Ősz.
(08) "I'm Gone Away" by The Ether Allen Trio (6:20)
Previously unreleased. Recorded circa 2005.
Written by Evaristo Castillo.
Evaristo Castillo: Guitar
Rick Fisette: Bass
Mike Maggio: Drums
(09) "Esrom" by Fist of Kong (44:09)
Originally released on "The Finley Sessions" digital album, 2010.
Performed by Dan McMahon and Charlie Naked with James Arch-Savage, Ben Lind, Chris Lopez, Andrew Martinez and Jim Otterson. Recorded at Digital Warehaus Studios with Stephen Finley.
(10) "Sermon002" by Discordian Popes (9:01)
Originally released on "Discordian Popes" digital album, 2015.
Discordian Popes was a short lived collaborative project between :::kai/ros::: and Rotten Piece.
Performed by Shaun Kelly, Aaron Mills, Carol Sandin Cooley, Amanda Loftin-Mills, Adam Butera.
Thanks to Jonathan McCombs, Frederick Schulze, Dan McMahon, James Arch Savage, David Saylor.
Compiled by Işık Sarıhan, Budapest 2016.
Released digitally on Inverted Spectrum Records, January 2017.