2xLP Collection gathers pre-Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice material from James Jackson Toth’s Golden Calves project. Originally released in 1996; limited to 1000 copies.
“It was really all about The Godz, Jandek, The Shadow Ring, Strapping Fieldhands, Swell Maps and Tower Recordings. Beyond these, I had only heard the ‘classic’ and most available free jazz, krautrock and noise albums. I was a long way from, say, the second Comus album or Charles Gayle. But this music changed my life. It was a record store owner named Eric McCarthy and a man who needs no introduction to anyone reading these notes, Matt Valentine, who taught me that there was a world beyond Dischord, Vermiform and Ebullition. I went to college, met hip people, and got a job at both the local record store and the college radio station. I was taking drugs. I bought a four track and began emulating my heroes. I called the project Golden Calves. I was eighteen years old….
In hindsight, I like to think that the noise scene liked us and responded so positively to us because, in our own naïve way, we were subverting a very rigid paradigm. Touring with noise bands and moving in experimental circles but playing proper ‘songs’ is what made us weird. It was an exciting, unforgettable time.
These are not perfect records. Perhaps worse than so-called ‘naïve art’ is ‘only-marginally-informed art’ and that’s what this is. I should have let my talents marinate for a while before rushing out records that now sound to me like thinly-veiled love letters to Siltbreeze. But fuck it, man. I was hopelessly arrogant then and remain so today. Why else would I greenlight this fucking thing?” -James Jackson Toth
“Reissue of a bunch of key documents – the Golden Calves Money Band LP and Century Band 12” – from this pre-Wooden Wand/Vanishing Voice freakout jam band led by Mr James Toth and released in the mid-90s. The sound has that classically fractured post-ESP Disk Siltbreeze feel fully down, with Skip Spence style oblivion ballads further dislocated by almost Shadow Ring-styled idiot avant and drug-dazzled cultic jam blasts ala early Tower Recordings. The spirit of Jandek hovers over the bulk of the recording and Toth makes expressive use of Sterling Smith’s barbed guitar sonorities while orbiting the kind of cultic downer ballads that he would base much of the Vanishing Voice material around. A beautiful sound from a beautiful time. Comes with some hilarious in-depth liners where Toth fesses up to the multiple inspirations behind these still-magical recordings. If you’ve never heard these before then it functions as a key to a whole lot of what was to come later. Highly recommended.”- David Keenan/Volcanic Tongue