Peasant Magik cassettes are always pleasing – both visually and aurally. This relatively short tape from Brooklyn's Christian Science Minotaur (sweet name, by the way) is no exception. XSM is a duo comprising Little Fury Things label head honcho Nat Hawks and his partner in electron-flinging crime Leo Goldsmith. Third in a series of 9 EPs (and the first of the series to be released outside of the LFT sphere of influence and available on cassette), “Map 3” charts a course across an unusual landscape rife with piles of synthetic carnage and expansive fields of drone.
Listening to opening track “Daggoo” is an experience that can be likened to traipsing through a jungle on the Holodeck. What sounds like robotic animals – both insectoid and quadrupedal – howl, chirp and buzz while strange percussive elements venture in and out of earshot. Are we being chased by the holographic natives, or are we about to stumble upon some strange ritual?
The electro-rhythm that introduces “Tashtego” quickly dissolves into a complex, droning cascade then reappears in a more ragged form before the music abruptly disappears with the end of the A side. Recommencing on the B, the song dissolves into the amorphous “Queequeg.” A miasma of organ drone and random punches of grainy noise, this final, intimate piece of music is perfect for early morning reminiscing about the previous night's outrageous adventures. 8/10 -- Bryon Hayes (1 May, 2009)