LOW STOCK LEVEL
"With no discernible connection to any current micro-scene or music-making community, Howlin' Magic, aka California free-blues guitarist Jesse Rakusin, works in relative isolation, laying down impossibly heavy blues licks, amp noise, and expressionistic drum tracks at a breathless clip. In early 2006, Rakusin began circulating a self-titled CD-R of twelve private, four-track recordings. Those fortunate to hear it were fairly astonished. This was the sort of record that might have emanated from Siltbreeze or PSF in the early '90s, a devastating set of home-recorded, white-hot splatter-blues, at once formally way-out and ultra-primitive in its execution; and its chief 'architect' was this kid from Santa Cruz whose influences included Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Simply Saucer, White Heaven, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Holy smoke! Rakusin's command of the blues, combined with his seemingly insatiable appetite for psychedelics, has yielded one of the most scorching records to issue from the U.S. underground in years. There's nothing ponderous or 'searching' here -- the hippie affectations and inchoate mysticism that infect our current cultural environment are all but absent from Rakusin's purview. Instead, what we've got here is a successful marriage of raw garage-psych and highly advanced freeform noise."