"[KOMFORT.LABOR] PRESENTS ~SCAPE" & "STAEDTIZISM 2"

Here we have a digipacked pair of ~scape label related various artistsdiscs. Both feature many of the usual suspects (and several lesserknown ones) who labor in the labs where electronic, jazz and dub musicscollide and coagulate.
"Komfort" is a 58 minute mixer by Stefan Betke, aka Pole and head of~scape, for WMF Records. Betke doesn't transform everyone into Polewith his mix, but he does seem to dull down much of the sharp edgeswith an odd murkiness, as well as weaving in barely discernible tracesof a Nils Oekland string melody throughout. Lazily progressing throughalmost indiscriminate glitch-click and bass by the likes of VladislavDelay, Kit Clayton and Process, it slowly builds a head of steam upinto the echo chamber house of Maus & Stolle. The mid-section ofFarben, Dr. Rockit and Cinematic Orchestra mellows things out againwith some diffusive pads and slow motion jazz rhythm. Flanger continuesthe jazz tip with erratic beats and keys, gradually simmering down intothe sax augmented deep dub of The Private Lightning Six. Pole's owndigi-dub "Rondell 2" comes leaping out of the speakers, almost as ifBetke intended for his own composition to overshadow all the others. Asolo performance on a stringed instrument of some sort by Oekland wrapsit all up, oddly enough, and oddly enough, it works. But altogether,despite the talent involved and effective track selection, something isstill lacking. Clarity perhaps.
On the other hand, "Staedtizism 2" resonates with digital precision.And same as the first volume, this one has only a few artists actuallyfrom the label's roster - Jan Jelinek, Burnt Friedman & The Nu DubPlayers and Kit Clayton - along with System, John Tejada, Process,Nolte, Bus, Beige, Sad Rockets, Headset and Low Res. While there'sstill some glitch, it seems to no longer be as in vogue these days asthese tracks refer more to easy listening jazz and dub, electronicallyof course. Jelinek's "The Village Vanguard" churns through microscopicbits of old jazz records while Headset's "Dustmite" uses passages ofsquawking horn. The liquid keys of Nolte's "21st Century SchizoidMan.." remind me of the jazzy runs in Coil's "The Snow". Tejada's "AWorld So Wide" is bright and airy, coupling easy going bass and cleanguitar melodies. Bus' "Tamed Lion" and Friedman's "Xyz (Our Version)"dip furthest into the dub end of the spectrum while Clayton's "PaintingBetween Numbers" is probably the most experimental, looping andlayering electric piano notes into oblivion. Though all these artistsare of a similar mindset, they also remain on separate if not paralleltrajectories.

 

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3914 Hits

US Maple, "Acre Thrills"

Any band that sets out to deconstruct rock on its releases isimmediately going to turn off some listeners. US Maple don'tnecessarily turn off listners, they lambast them with their loud guitarattack and, sometimes, annoyance, and yet dare them to listen more. Itstill turns some listeners off. I'm still on the fence. Don't get mewrong: this is the best US Maple release yet. If you were going to buyone, make it this one. Previous releases have seemed disjointed, tooimprovisational, even, with moments of brilliance. "Acre Thrills" islike the band's mission statement. They are here to break the rules ofrock. They are here to lead the way. And every moment is well executed.The start of the album with "Ma Digital" shows us the familiar twoguitar whine assault and what Spin magazine once called the "UnholyWheeze" -- Al Johnson's voice. It really is original in its completedisregard for a unifying structure, and the collective band members areproficient, even deadly with their respective instruments. And it'sheavy, menacing as all get out on some tracks. The Wheeze even soundssexy, if you can believe that, going from low growl to CraigWedren-like vocal magic. One song even features the most fascinating ofscientific myseteries: real cat purrs. And Brian Paulson, that indierock king of clean, loud sound, does a great job bringing the band'ssound out to play. It's just not all that thrilling to me. It's a goodthing that the lyrics are in the book, too, because I sure as hellcouldn't tell what was being said on some songs. But it works on manylevels, creating a soundscape that is worth listening to, even if itdoesn't grab you all that hard. US Maple succeed in deconstructingrock. But if it's deconstructed rock, what is it, exactly? And will youlike it? Give it a try, especially "Acre Thrills," their best effort todate.

 

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3784 Hits

Somatic Responses, "Augmented Lines"

"Augmented Lines" is Somatix's second CD album after more than thirtyvinyl releases on labels across the globe. Originally coming from thebreakcore/hardcore techno scene, their debut on Hymen, "Circumflex,"garnered them lots of new fans and a much more broadened knowledge oftheir sound. Therein lies the album's problem. "Their sound" is sospecific that one can recognize a Somatic Responses release easily,regardless of which it is, and to my ears, it ends up getting stalepretty quick. "Circumflex" was great because it was polished, evil, andit was the first Somatix I had heard; it filled the gap that had beenleft by the steadily-increasing-inanity albums Panacea was putting outafter "Low Profile Darkness." I gradually picked up a couple more 12"sand although they were good, I found them to be little different fromeach other. "Augmented Lines" plays out like, well, Somatic Responses.To their credit, it is more mellow and features some different moodsthan "Circumflex," but if anything, I'd have preferred them to goharsher and noisier. Though it's not a bad album, it is far from beinganything new, and this is Somatix's greatest downfall. If you're new tobrothers John & Paul Healy, purchase "Circumflex" and decide fromthere if your thirst is quenched: if yes, stop; if no, purchase some12"s and this second album and see how you feel.

 

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4193 Hits

MATT WAND, "1½ VOLT MUSIC"

Was that Kosmik Kommando? Merzbow? Pan Sonic? No, it was twelve littleold gameboys strung up on gallery walls and singing their scoredbattery powered noises through cheapo cheapo speakers. Matt Wand, he ofStock, Hausen & Walkman and Hot Air records, has been performingsolo recently on gameboys and has been collecting the old machines fora while. Like Philip Jeck's 'Off The Record' installation with racks oflooping record players, part of the idea was to walk around and hearhow the sounds shifted and crossed and complemented and deadened eachother as they burbled, squealed, whooshed and crackled. Mr Wand hasmade available a souvenir of this event in the form of a tiny little 3"CD with 21 minutes of edited highlights. He's known for his humourousapproach to music though, and even after going to a private view of thegameboy orchestra after this was recorded, I can't work out if thenumbered sequences on the insert really relate to the score or if he'spulling our legs. Apparently the game Tetris was an inspiration for theinstallation. Whatever, the results here make strangely compellinglistening and don't sound like anything else he's done before.

 

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3811 Hits

Propergol, "United States of..."

Loud. Before I describe or review this CD in any length, one word can describe it perfectly: loud. This is probably the loudest album I've ever heard, and certainly raises the bar on intensity more than any other power electronics album I've ever heard.

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4415 Hits

queen of japan, "nightlife in tokyo"

I honestly don't know what Austrians find so amusing about pretendingto be Japanese. The humor wears incredibly thin on the current releasefrom Hans Platzgumer and friends on the Angelika Köhlermann label. Thedisc features ten cover tunes, in an effort which seems to imitate afictitious Japanese karaoke group. Included are versions of Kiss' "IWas Made for Loving You," Soft Cell's "Seedy Films," The Who's "AcidQueen" and Frank Zappa's "Bobby Brown." While it begins on a mildlyentertaining note, by track 6, the disc actually becomes painful tolisten to and screams to be ejected, as their version of "Get Down MakeLove" mimics the NIN version moreso than the Queen original. Even moreirritating is the inclusion of their take on Olivia Newton-John's"Let's Get Physical" — something I never ever want to hear again, notfrom Goldfrapp nor fucking Revolting Cocks. Platzgummer has worked witha whole host of others including Gerhard Potuznik, who has mastered asimilar genre of Austrian camp with his G.D. Luxxe outfit. Queen ofJapan, however, fails. I mean, come on, who buys this crap? There'sbetter cover versions circulating around on childrens discs and moreentertaining jokes on the V/Vm records.

 

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4703 Hits

MARC ALMOND, "Stranger Things" & "Glorious"

After various collaborations, guest appearances and the spectacularSoft Cell shows here's finally the new album by this remarkable Artistwho's always somewhere over the rainbow, caught between pop stardom andthe underground around midnight. The second release on his own labelBlue Star but with proper distribution settings now hopefully morewidely available.
"Stranger Things" has a more light and polished production, compared tothe preceding "Open All Night" and provides an overall glossy feel asthe Trevor Horn produced "Tenement Symphony" did.
No cover versions of well known songs he's so famous for are includedthis time, instead two songs are taken from an album by JohannJohannson; "Love In The Time Of Science" and "Come Out" which seem tobe written exactly for him.
Surprisingly only four songs are co-written or feature his maincollaborator since "Fantastic Star" - Neal X (of Sigue Sigue Sputnik?fame'), all the others where co-written with his Icelandic Team;mainly J.Johannson who also produced the album, Siggi Baldurson (of"Sugarcubes" fame) and Sara Gudmandsdottir (Backing Vocals).
The opener and single "Glorious" is a fine piece of Almondesqueoptimism, but the non album pieces "Fur" and "Give In" which give hisvoice more room to illustrate the lyrics hit the listener between theears and are the real bonus - as so often with his singles. There areno techno remixes of "Glorious", just a radio edit included, if youwant to hear him more discoid there's "Soul On Soul" with System F.around, nearly simultaneously released in various versions.
The album itself demands to be heard completely, it's one flow of allhis tasteful and well known obsessions; love, desire, dark sinfullongings, haunted loneliness, melancholy and the will to survive. Thegroove of "Dancer" reminds me pretty much of Elvis' "Fever" and isbesides the hypnotic "Love In A Time Of Science" and the heart tearingepics "When It's Your Time" and "Under Your Wing" a bit outstanding,but there are no misses, maybe some songs could have been longer orshorter, the lyrics (not included this time) a bit more twisted but whocares if it's Marc Almond and the "feeling's wider than the sky".
There's a beautiful 1st edition of the CD with engraved Cover, alsofeaturing as bonus cut the duet "Amo Vitam" , sung with the Germankitsch duo Rosenstolz (some might recall the cover of Klaus Nomi's"Total Eclipse" he did with them lately), which is a fine addition andending for "Stranger Things".

 

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3691 Hits

Migala, "Arde"

I'm a sucker for cowboy films. The kind of south of the border,gun-running, robbing banks, poor luck, cactus and tumbleweed epics thatSam Peckinpah and John Wayne used to make. Migala, though they may notknow it, write perfect soundtracks to modern westerns. I picture a bandof cowboys, running from the law and some grave mistake, staking it outin some dirt town everytime I put on "Arde," their first US-releasedfull-length. It's like Latin post-rock, but that's generalizing, and Ihate to generalize. Easily the greatest thing Belle and Sebastian'sStuart David is responsible for (he championed the band to Sub Pop),Migala create gritty soundscapes with twangy guitars and, sometimes,Leonard Cohen-esque vocals. "Arde," meaning "it burns," has a tragicflair to it, as each song seems to highlight some tragic moment intime. The album cover even features the end result of a tragic carwreck. As flavorful as this music is, what makes it stand out and grabthe listener is the sextet's use of ambient noise. Static, distortedguitar, xylophone/vibes, and keyboards add great range and depth towhat may easily become a tired sound after a few tracks (I lovewesterns, but do I own the soundtrack to "Stagecoach"?). Migala don'tstay too long on any one idea, and they don't ram their music down yourthroat. As dark as it may be, these songs have a playful quality tothem, bringing forth an inherent dichotomy I love to listen for. Letthere be no doubt: Migala are magical, and "Arde" is a whollyworthwhile listening experience.

 

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3895 Hits

Bochum Welt, "Fashion" EP

Errr... hmmm. Italian electronic musician Bochum Welt's latest offeringis quite a departure from the usual Hymen fare. Although Hymen isbilled as the "technoid" subdivision of Ant-Zen (little differencebetween the two these days), "Fashion" fits right in with all the otherC64/Sidstation/Amiga "videogame" music that seems to be coming indroves out of Finland these days. Clocking in at somewhere around tenminutes (four two-and-a-half minute songs), this 3" CD offers little inthe way of content or length. If you're familiar with the new wave of"retro IDM" that's popular these days, you've heard this CD before; ifyou're not, it's basically light techno constructed from very simple"bleeps and bloops" - you know, Amiga, Gameboy, etcetera. The inclusionof atrocious "vocals" by the Italian-accented "Andy" only makeseverything worse, and removes any possible enjoyment that may have beenhad. I can't recommend this at all, honestly - it's short, boring, andthe whole "retro video/computer-game" thing has been done several timesbefore with much better results (8 Bit Rockers, Atom Heart, etc.)

 

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4148 Hits

FANT?MAS, "Director's Cut"

Mike Patton's band, Fantomas, has released another album, this time acollection of theme songs from various movie soundtracks. The majorityof the movies are in the suspense/thriller/horror genres, which fitsFantomas' schizoid attention span. I liked this record a lot more thanthe first Fantomas album ("Amenaza al mundo!"), it seems more cohesive,and it seems like the band is getting more comfortable with itself. Thesongs' veer into the familiar, such as "Theme from Godfather" and theobscure, such as the excellent "Der Golem" although even those familiarwith these songs will find something surprising in the band'sinterpretations of them: "Godfather" starts off with the accordion(played on melodica, I think,) motif so familiar from the movies andsuddenly breaks into a full on assault of crashing drums and poundingelectric instruments. Drummer Dave Lombardo's (ex-Slayer,) playing is ahighlight of the whole disc. Patton's yelps and screams are stillpresent, though not as annoyingly or pervasively as on solo material;here he's using his voice as an instrument, with a lot of melody. Someof the material has got me intrigued enough to look for some of thesefilms (still trying to find "Der Golem"). So what's the disc soundlike? A jazz-metal band doing covers of movie themes while trying tobranch out from jazz and metal to avant-guarde noisescapes, with some"California"-esque vocals. All 39 minutes are highly enjoyable andrecommended.

 

3850 Hits

JARBOE, "DISLOCATION"

As if 4 separate volumes of the "Disburden Disciple" album weren'talready enough, here is an extra CD-R's worth of 'work in progress'tracks to tide the more rabid fans over in the downtime between the 1stand 2nd installments. Jarboe has long made her unfinished workavailable to the public to further reveal her creative process overtime and, perhaps, to help finance her life and future projects. Whatimmediately strikes me about the music on this disc is how wellproduced the tracks are even in a demo form. And though theinstrumentation is somewhat skeletal - some guitar, drum/bass loops,keys - it's not too terribly far off from finished product. Backworldguitarist Joseph Budenholzer and James Izzo, aka Thread, help providemusically while lyrically Jarboe continues to heal and grow. "ToForget" and "Lost" couple sweet vocals with pretty guitar melodiessplit across the stereo field. On "Feral" Jarboe unleashes severallengthy, cathartic bellows over spooky piano chords and atmospheres."Angel" and "Real Life" feature the electronic bass and beatprogramming, presumably by Izzo, that works so well with Jarboe'svoice. "Penance" specializes in gorgeous breathy vocals, outstretchedbass notes and pretty piano twinklings. "Notebook Fragments" and "W/outWords" are a bit more 'artsy' and dramatic, the latter expressingitself vocally with no words. The next "Disburden Disciple" looks to bevery promising judging from these supposedly rough sketches, possiblybetter than the first album which was also very good. "Dislocation" isavailable from The Living Jarboe web site for $15 signed .

 

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4416 Hits

"a rocket girl compilation"

For the last few years, an amazingly dedicated girl with great taste inmusic has been building her London-based operation Rocket Girl into asmall empire of a label and mail order shop. "A Rocket GirlCompilation" collects tracks from the first handful of 7" singlereleases along with an entire second CD of unreleased and rare tunes.Contributors include Silver Apples, Windy & Carl, Fuxa, RoyMontgomery, Experimetnal Audio Research, and the precious collaborationbetween Low, Piano Magic and Transient Waves, "Sleep at the Bottom."While it's a great addition to a collection of anybodys who includesthe aforementioned artists, it serves as a fine introduction tonewcomers Loopdrop, PS. I Love You, and Pluxus, all who have otherreleases on Rocket Girl. While styles vary from quiet rock, dream pop,instrumental bliss and electronic ear candy, the quality remains high.The flow from track to track is perfect, and it makes me personallyache to hear the full-length releases from Loopdrop and Pluxus. Fans ofDarla, Kranky and Bedazzled labels be warned, you may become hooked ifyou aren't already.

 

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4807 Hits

Radio Birdman, "The Essential (1974-1978)"

I had never heard of Radio Birdman before hearing this CD. In fact,before I read the liner notes, brilliantly written by David Fricke ofRolling Stone fame, I thought that Radio Birdman might be a new bandtrying to create that hype machine around them by getting a whole bunchof people to say "No, they were contemporaries of the Ramones and theStooges. Yeah!" It all had a very Spinal Tap backstory to it. Then Iput on the CD. All I can say is it ate my words and thoughts right up.David Fricke says it beautifully in the notes: there hasn't been since,and there probably never will be, another band like Radio Birdman. Soit's good that Sub Pop is releasing this "Essential" collection, mostof which hasn't been available in the United States in 23 years. Theirfirst EP, "Burn My Eye" is included in its entirety, plus songs offboth their studio albums, and a few live tracks to give the listener anidea of what this band could pump out live, as many in America nevergot a chance to see that. From the opening notes of "Aloha Steve &Danno," which follow the sounds of the waves flowing in to shore, youknow you're in for a treat. This is almost surf punk: highly energetic,with snaky guitar lines and driving drum beats, and forceful,commanding vocals. It's all incredibly ahead of its time, from the teenrevolution cries of "New Race" to the sheer majestic glory of "DescentInto The Maelstrom." It's a shame they didn't release more. It's also ashame I've never heard of Radio Birdman. The time is now to spread theword, as Radio Birdman deserve their rightful place in the annals ofRock history.

 

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4770 Hits

MARTYN BATES, "DANCE OF HOURS"

Martyn Bates is a founding member of the eclectic '80s duo Eyeless inGaza and a prolific collaborator and solo artist. "Dance of Hours" is a27 minute mini album that is essentially a continuation of his solowork "Letters Written" begun in 1982. Bates plays most everything here:piano, organ, bass and electric Hawaiian guitar plus additional vocalson 2 songs by Elizabeth S. and co-production by former Gaza partnerPeter Becker. But, most importantly, is the voice. To say that Bates'voice is heavenly is still an understatement. It is undeniably thefocal point of these richly melodic, poetic songs. In fact, the moreminimal the musical accompaniment, the better. "Poems Pennyeach" and"Alone Reprise" (which are pretty much the same James Joyce piece, bothless than a minute apiece) and "The Heart Song" showcase only Bates'golden throat within a reverberated cloud or intermittent backgroundvocalizations. The rest effectively couple the voice with flickers ofnotes and drone. Though this album is brief it's still a very welcomeaddition to Bates' catalog. And the insert thoughtfully contains all ofthe lyrics, pure poetry in and of itself.

 

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7056 Hits

Synapscape, "Positive Pop"

The latest offering by seminal Ant-Zen "powernoise" favoritesSynapscape is an interesting one. Although "Positive Pop" is moretechnoid than anything released recently on Ant-Zen save for PAL's lastRebirth-rife album, it manages to sound quite fresh and interestingwithin the constraints of the genre. The first track, "Ammunition," isa test of your patience, however - atmospherics accompanied by apiercing frequency which slowly raises makes for an interestingintroduction. The track that follows, "Thirsteater," is classicSynapscape, while "Smogue" is a beatless piece with a fewhigh-frequency injections like the first track. "Dubforce" is aptlynamed, using reverb and a slower tempo to create a very interesting,dub-like feel for a Synapscape track. Reminds me of Nine Inch Nails.The album continues as expected, not varying much from Synapscape'stried-and-true (or not?) formula. If you acquired the box set, you'rein for a very special treat - three (yes, three!) ten inch slabs ofvinyl accompany the album, and the remixes and extra tracks featured onthese records are (for the most part) golden. Disc one is newSynapscape tracks, whose standout is "Bizarre Vinyl Junky," with itsskittery, up-tempo beats. Discs two and three are remixes, and here arewhere things get interesting. The remixers are varied, and whileseveral of the remixes are formulaic and predictable (Converter, Asche,Somatix), some of the results are downright surprising: Savak'sreconstruction of "Thirsteater" begins with melodic synths straight outof your favorite IDM track. Hell-G's "Notorious" is a dancefloorbreakbeat track reminiscent of good-ol' Position Chrome, and ImminentStarvation's remix borders on glitch-techno, with miniscule hypnoticbeats ripped right from Panasonic. Yes, the box set is most definitelyworth your money. Overall, not a bad album, but "Positive Pop" onlyreinforces Ant-Zen's latest direction: to be the next "stepping stone"for those getting tired of EBM and looking for something just a tad bitless friendly.

 

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4994 Hits

27, "Songs From The Edge Of The Wing"

There are times, when listening to a particular release by a particularband, you feel very sorry for the musicians. Not because they aren'tplaying their music well, mind you. The music is luscious, hypnoticeven, and they play it with fervor, energy. But it seems no matter howhard they try, they are a vessel for the voice that sings over them.Luckily, 27 doesn't really have that problem. The music is compellingenough to keep you there before the voice comes in, and then itimproves. Sparsely arranged, and melodically playful despite a slowertempo on the majority of the songs, "Songs From The Edge Of The Wing"is an excellent first release from 27, defining in its beauty. Thesesongs are captivating, even without Maria Christopher's sensual vocallines, but her presence is what takes 27 to the next level. She weavesin and out of the songs with the skill of a siren, singing about thetroubles and trappings of human relationships. And the variation ofstyles not only speaks well for future releases by 27, but also gives ahint of their influences and pasts. With ex-members of Dirt Merchantsand Spore present, one might not be expecting music of this subtlety.Loud moments of guitars are present, but they are few and far between.Mostly, these songs are lush, languid, the soundtrack to a dream youwait every night to have. The only seemingly awkward moment (no, theNeil Young cover of "Danger Bird" is brilliantly executed, thank you)is the latin-flavored "Lone Mariachi," where Christopher's vocals areintermingled with spoken word by someone else, who sounds frighteninglylike Mark Sandman of Morphine in areas. What do you expect from a bandfrom Boston, though? A fine release, and I wait for more...

 

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4048 Hits

orchestral manoeuvres, "navigation: the omd b-sides"

While CD singles can be interpreted as collectable, tradable fun littlethings, they arguably killed the art of the b-side in the late 1980s.After much pressure, Virgin finally honors OMD with a collection oftracks from the other side of the hits. With two-sided singles, groupsoften went wild since their albums were scrutinized by the press undera microscope and their singles had to grab enough public attention tosell. Some of OMD's finer moments can be heard within the earliergrooves, now collected for the first time on compact digital audio. I'mthrilled mainly because I had all of these songs on crummy-qualityvinyl, and now can listen to a beautifully restored mastering job.Thankfully for people who were never impressed by the watery pop phasesof OMD, this comp is heavy on the early classics. Vocal songs like"Sacred Heart" and "I Betray My Friends" showcase an undeniable masteryof songcraft, while instrumentals like "66 & Fading" and theuber-anthemic "Wheels of the Universe" are emotionally chargedmasterpieces, years ahead of their time. The group pays tribute toinfluencors Velvet Underground with their cover of "Waiting for theMan" and Neu! (in title alone as far as I can hear) with "4-Neu" whilethe inclusion of early alternate versions of "Almost" from the firstalbum and "The Romance of the Telescope" from Dazzle Ships are certainto please the completist fans. If you avoid the expensive chainretailers by buying direct from omd.uk.com,you'll get an autographed booklet and additional booklet of moreextensive liner notes. My only beef with this and the web site is theincomprehensive 'Brit-centric' qualities of each, which ignore the factmost people only know OMD by "If You Leave" outside of their tinylittle island, omitting it from the booklet discography.

 

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4241 Hits

THE YOUNG GODS

After taking several years off from the road - except for the occasional performance in their home country of Switzerland, or nearby France - The Young Gods returned to European stages to do a short tour. I went to see them on their stop in Hamburg.
The concert was poorly promoted, the only poster announcing the show was put up in front of the venue while we were waiting to be let in. Regardless of that, quite a few people showed up, I would say about 150 to 200 give or take a few. This was a good amount of people for the size of the venue, it wasn't too crowded, but neither too empty.
When listening to The Young Gods' music, they may at first sound like your typical Industro-Metal band, with distorted guitars and everything. The bigger is the surprise when you see them live, and the only guitar used on stage is an acoustic one used to generate some feedback. Everything else is sampled and put to good use by keyboard player Al Comet. Add a drummer and singer Franz Treichler with his irresistible french accent, and you end up with The Young Gods.
I kind of pity the people who live next to or above the venue, the Westwerk. The amount of volume and noise The Young Gods put up on stage for the next 90 minutes was just insane. One of the loudest concerts I've ever been to. You wouldn't think that three guys can pull off noise like that and enjoy it. Apparently they do, as you could see that they were having an excellent time up there on stage.
During the show, the emphasis was on their current release "Second Nature". They played most of the songs from that album, mixed with some old classics. The slower songs like "In The Otherland" or "Laisser Couler" definitely benefited from the intimacy of the small venue. I can't imagine these songs would come across that well when being played in a big concert hall. Highlights of the concert were "Skinflowers", the stomping "Astronomic" and "Kissing The Sun". The performance was well received by the audience, so the band had to come back on stage twice before the lights finally went on. The show ended with one of the Kurt Weill cover tunes they do so well, which put a nice end to a fantastic show. Make sure you catch them live if they ever play a show near you.
6724 Hits

Bonnie Billy, "More Revery"

Will Oldham is an odd fellow, and a bit of an overrated one, if you ask me. He's the musical equivalent of Miramax: releases a bunch of product, hopes that one connects with an audience, but if it doesn't, so be it. At least Oldham has some artistic integrity, though, as he's displayed in the past. And you'd know it from "More Revery."

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4926 Hits

Chicago Underground Quartet

This self titled release is the first official Chicago Underground as a quartet, although Tortoise/Isotope 217 guitarist Jeff Parker has appeared on previous trio discs including last year's 'Flamethrower' as the fourth member within what was described as shifting trios within the quartet.

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3931 Hits