"cambodian rocks"

So while there's this movie out now called "the Songcatcher" by somelady who found it necessary to exploit music of the Appalacians, thisCD does a good job of exploiting Cambodian rock music. It's a 70-minute22-song collection of late 60s/early 70s pop songs brought back fromthis guy's trip to Cambodia. Whatta trip it is - these songs (whichimitate popular western-world music of the late 60s) sound like that'veaged much better than stuff that would imitate popular music of today.There's absolutely no track listing, however, no idea who's doing what,but some record label in NYC seems to be making money off of it. No,it's really fun, but completely sketchy.

 

4068 Hits

kid 606 (remixed), "p.s. you love me"

While we patiently await another full-lengther from 606, the materialfrom the Mille Plateaux release from last year gets treated on this fundisc. While it's not as campy as his latest live experiences where 606butchers Missy Elliot or the "Sandwiches" song, it is entertaining withcontributions from Matmos (originally on the Twirl EP) who remix aphoto shoot/interview with Miguel himself. Atom TM's contribution is agoofy butt-shaker, Pan American patient piece sounds like upbeat PanAmerican stuff, Twerk is fucking cool and I hope to get their new albumsoon, and the rest (which even include some 606 tweaks) have much morepersonality than the original album in its original form. 606 hasprobably gained more respect in the artful critic circle with his moreintrospective releases but it's really incredible to hear him let loose.

 

4064 Hits

twilight circus, "volcanic dub"

If you like dub and own no Twilight Circus then you're a fucking tool.Ryan Moore has delivered an astounding number of albums over the lastfew years exploring the sound of old school (late 70s/early 80s)organic instrumental dub. This is the real shit, not dub-style glitchylaptop stuff, but a real person playing the drums, bass, guitar andorgan. While the albums don't evolve in style, Moore is most certainlysteadily evolving in the production and writing aspects. Volcanic Dubis 12 new dub tunes, 45 minutes of bliss. This edition is less amake-out album as the other releases but is no less wonderful. It'sindeed volcanic, baby.

 

4174 Hits

Neu!, "Neu!" & "2"

There's two types of people reading this electronic magazine: those who have heard of Neu! and those who actually own the bootleg CDs. If you're one of those who have heard of them and claim you don't know their music, you're most likely already familiar with their sound as it can be heard quite clearly in Stereolab, Echoboy, Legendary Pink Dots, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nurse With Wound, OOIOO, Couch, OMD, Wire, even early Smashing Pumpkins and the Blue Man Group, etc,... After two decades of compact disc technology, the timeless original three studio albums are finally officially available on CD. For those who own either the boots or the original LPs (heh), the treatment on these issues is well worth the wait.

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4965 Hits

Neu!, "75"

For those of you who own the bootlegs and are wondering if the upgrade is worth it, there are noticeable differences to consider. The overall sound of the reissues is much brighter and a lot of subtle nuances are more perceptible: voices and instruments are now apparent that weren't before.
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4165 Hits

The Moldy Peaches

Some call it skank rock. I call it lo-fi fucked-up laidback slackerrock. And it's brilliant. The Moldy Peaches are the best band you'venever heard. This album made me elated beyond all hope of coming back.It was a journey I'll gladly repeat if I should ever find my way home.Like the lo-fi Belle and Sebastian, Kimya Dawson and Adam Green craftjuvenile songs that are strangely catchy with great melodies andtwisted lyrics. And they're fun-filled, too! Mostly acoustic guitar anddrums with vocal trading and intertwining between Dawson and Green, allbadly recorded with lots of static, the Moldy Peaches' album ischock-full of youthful exuberance, adolescent angst, and bizarrehappenings. Songs end abruptly because the recording just stops. It'sjust a strange listen. There's even a ridiculous rap moment. And theycover "Little Bunny Foo Foo." It's just plain great. Often I laughed,because of the ridiculousness of the lyrics, but it's all incredible.It's a bit like the car accident you can't help looking at, but moreentertaining. There's really not much more to examine than that, thoughpsychologists would have a field day with those lyrics. Here's asample, from the album opener "Lucky Number Nine": "Bloody Mary Motherof God/Grampa's on the hobby horse again/Dampened broken pantschaffing/I'm running out of ethnic friends." Even when they approachoffensive material, like on "Downloading Porn With Davo," it just comesoff sounding like people singing about things just to try and provoke aresponse, or nonsensical gibberish set to music. Either way, you'lllove the result. If you don't, then who cares? These burgers are crazy.

 

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3928 Hits

Alec Empire and EL-P, "Shards of Pol Pottery (The 2001 Remixes)"

Teutonic riotmaster Alec Empire rears his ugly head again on thisrelease, throwing down a new bag of tricks far removed from his bestknown work as titular head of teen-noise-pop-sensations Atari TeenageRiot. Here he dips into a grab bag pastiche of studio tricks to producea 62-minute slab of chunky hip-hop beats, some atypical noise guitarand the vocal stylings of MC El-P. Then again, since this release is 12mixes of the same song, it's better geared towards completists and DJ'sthan the general consumer public. The track itself is hard hitting asexpected - funky, menacing keyboards reminiscent of ATR's 'Waves ofDisaster', a nice cold feeling permeates this track even asunidentified electronic squee warms the brain and much head bobbing isinduced. The other tracks are all variations on this one theme:'Accapella mix', 'Hard Beats', 'Hard Beats and Voice' - you get theidea. The only real remix here would be the excellent 'No Wave Mix' - asubdued bit of tone generations, casio-style drums and squiggly 404action; and the 'Black Moon Mix' which is an excellent fucking mess -both of which would be great for those 3AM crank burnouts I'm sureyou're so fond of. Released in both the UK and the US so buy domestic.

 

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4106 Hits

mitchell akiyama, "hope that lines don't cross"

Newcomer Mitchell Akiyama is the first release of Alien8's newsub-label, Substractif. On this, his first 'proper' album release, theMontreal-based Akiyama has assembled a library of field recordings, andprovided a complimentary score, at times with sampled, rhytmically andtonally restructured manipulations of the recordings. It's an excercisein a laptop-driven ambient dub soup, and at times the sounds have beenso far removed from their original state, that the toil in the processis almost entirely unnoticable. Don't take that the wrong way, however,it's a wonderful disc which has certainly grown on me incredibly. Thereisn't a piece of work on this album that doesn't take a fair amount oftime to evolve, however, so patience is essential to a listening.Akiyama is another case for my argument that greatness in electronicmusic can come from a understanding of organic music and composition,in that he allegedly comes from a jazz background. 'Hope' could easilybe like what a Pole album would sound like if Stefan Betke changed someof the stinking preset sounds for every track. It plays mind tricks ontracks like "Concentrate On One Leg" when the established beat breaksup at random places while a hypnotising throbbing tone never backsdown. Its unobtrusive beats, lengthy delays and a keen sense ofcomposition combine to make for a charming listen late at night withthe lights off and windows open while a cool breeze passes through onoccasion.

 

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4015 Hits

The Fall, "Live in Zagreb"

This is the latest in a series of CDs presenting one live performance from each stage of the Fall's more-than-25-years-long career. Most of the tunes on "Live in Zabreb" come from the "Extricate" album of 1990, a point in the Fall's life when they were past the angular, percussive post-punk scream of their classic albums (such as "Hex Enduction Hour") and were moving ever-closer to repetitive techno-rock.

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5268 Hits

the b-sides, "Yes, Indeed, the b-sides, Quite!"

What a great influence Weezer have had on the youth music scene. Their fun-sounding geek rock was almost revolutionary to most kids (who unfortunately had heard nothing like Weezer before) when "Undone: The Sweater Song" hit the radio and television airwaves. And now the kids influenced by Weezer and the like are starting to record music.

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4178 Hits

squarepusher, "go plastic"

The first track on Tom Jenkinson's new album, 'Go Plastic' seems to dojust that. "My Red Hot Car" begins like a soft-core porn featuringraver-style actors.The stars would spend a lot of time fucking with the compostition ofnaked break beats, use a lot of pitch bending for flair, and maybe evenshow blatant disregard for melodic structure that pleases one's ears oreven that which exists at all.This disc is rife with thin beats and whack bass sounds (that's rightacid basslines reprasent in 2001!! yea-eah. no). When listening, watchout for unfulfilling "break" sections and boring melodies that soundlike the portamento-style hijinx of DR. Dre a la 'The Chronic', minusthe "it being good" part. A few tracks on the CD are decent, like thethird track, "Go! Spastic". Tommy gets into a really nice breakbeatmashup but you may end up turned off as I was by the acid bass thatbegins the track and the thin, icky breakdown at around the two minutemark. I'd like to dance to this track at its finest moments but aroundfour mnutes, there is a gross reverb used and it detracts from mereally feelin the track as a whole.
A lot of places on the album turn me off because the sounds mimic thoseripped off any old groovebox or Roland synth. I guess there's somethingto be said for old school sounds but I am not going to say it nor willI hear that.Most of the tracks can be broken down like this: they have their kindof nice places, then more bad parts, and then the awesome atonalcomposition that seems to be taking electronic music by storm!!I guess my issues with this album is that the chosen sounds could havebeen better and the melodies could have made sense or shown an emotionpresent on the any other full-length releases by Squarepusher.

 

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10377 Hits

ida, "the braille night"

Don't let the sticker on the front steer you away, just because thisdisc might be 'outtakes' from their last album's sessions, in no wayshould it -not- be considered a bonafide Ida album. In fact I'm goingto step out on a limb and say I even like this better than 'Will YouFind Me' as it almost speaks more direct and honest, with lesspost-production coloring and more in-studio risks taken. Low on the popsongs and high on the personal stories, the opener "Let's Go Walking",along with "Arrowheads" and "So Worn Out" cut right to the chase whilethe delicate beauty of "So Long" and "Ocean of Glass" are nothing lessthan heart-melting. Whether it's the girls or the guys taking the leadvocal tracks, the pitch perfect melodies and harmonies are alwaysstrong. Typical Ida, right? But then there's instrumentalimprovisational gems like "Ignatia Amara" and "The Braille Night" thatremind us Ida aren't just some of the better singers/songwritersaround, but are also quite diverse player/composers. My fave trackremains "Blizzard of '78," for both the power and drive but thesentimental historical value for a Bostonian like myself. Strangelyenough the lyrical content of that track (listed as "Blizzard of '78")makes more sense to be named "The Braille Night" (listed as track 7, ableak instrumental track which would be more suggestive of the blizzardthat seized the nort east 23 years ago). Either way it's a mighty fineoffering, which, as an 'outtake record' flows together better than manyalbum releases by others. Now let's get that f'ing Insound tour supportCD back into print.

 

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4973 Hits

sonna, "we sing loud sing soft tonight"

Sonna are addictive. Extremely so. After hearing the first track onthis release, "The Opener," I immediately had to hear it again. Andagain. Five times later, I hadn't even heard the second track and Iwanted more of the first. Bizarre. I'd never heard Sonna up until now,and I can say if this album, their debut full-length, is highlyanticipated, I can see why. This is music you put on when you have workto get done that absolutely can't hold off on it any longer. In thesesongs you hear both the yin and yang simultaneously, so while workingyou are constantly stiumlated to finish your goal because it isnecessary, all the while thinking about the doom of failure. It's afascinating listen. A friend once remarked to me, "How can you listento all of these indie-rock instrumental bands. They all sound the sameto me." Recently at a party I hosted, I played Sonna in my room and heheard them, immediately remarking how different they sounded from allof the other bands I listen to. This is a testament not only to howunique Sonna are, but how easily one can grow to love them. Variedtempos, instrumentation, and levels keep the listener guessing, but notenough to think it a different band entirely. Tracks are on the longerside, but not too long that they bore the listener. I found the buildon the second track, "Low and to the Side," to be one of my favoritemoments on the record, as the cymbal crashes get louder and louder andlonger and longer. Then they stop suddenly as the guitars play the lastfew notes of the song. And what little vocals are present complementthe music wonderfully, adding to the charm of the record. The pressrelease says this band will certainly grab fans of Tortoise, Papa M,Codeine, and Yo La Tengo. I couldn't agree more. I am a fan of allthose bands, and now I'm a fan of Sonna. Worth a listen or twelve.

 

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4107 Hits

retina, "volcano.waves,1-8"

For those who first heard Retina on Hefty's 'Immediate Action' seriesand fell in love like I, a full-length is now readily available. Whilethere's a sea of electronic piranhas trying to out-chomp each other interms of experimentalism, in turn stretching technology beyond alistenable threshold, a certain amount of composition and structure hasbecome compromised. Thankfully labels like Chicago-based Hefty havebeen focusing on releasing musicians who aren't necessarily pushing theboundaries, but doing an awesome job at the music they're doing.Retina's full-lengther pulls in some supersonic high pitched elementsand swirls them up in an effective dub-influenced mix combining awonderful serving of low-end bass, and attractive head-bobbing beats.Picture 90s-era Richard H. Kirk that doesn't bore you for 8 minuteseach song or stretch far longer than an hour. Not coming clear yet? Howabout a true intelligent dance music act who at loud volumes causesuncontrollable hip and brain gyrations? Yeah, it's pretty damned cool.

 

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4079 Hits

BBE presents Jay Dee and Pete Rock

6 yrs ago Peter Adarkwah and Ben Jolly graduated from their legendary,free-form turntable exhibitions in London (known to include a mixtureof brazilian grooves, hip-hop, funk, disco, techno and the like) toembark on a progressive mission. Their label, "Barely Breaking Even",has laced us with the rare jems of those genres and more since. Thelatest BBE releases, housed 'neath the "Beat Generation" umbrella, areno exception. Hold tight as I mention Marley Marl, Jazzy Jeff, DJSpinna, and my personal favorite, 88 keys in the same sentence. Nowimagine that same list to include King Britt, Pete Rock, and Jay Dee;then give them the freedom to do whatever they want. Sound sick? Well,the first two presents from this series are just that. Jay Dee's'Welcome to Detroit' and Pete Rock's 'Petestrumentals' offer, rather,pave us a new direction in hip-hop, while raising the bar in productionto a stellar level.
'Welcome to Detroit' is like a warm pot of gumbo, that includes abeautiful blend of raw emcee talent and dirty, minimal breakbeats,tweaked to perfection. Jay Dee successfully mixes R&B, Hip-Hop, andwhat can only be called Experimental, into a concoction that creates aninfectious vibe leaving you wanting another. The opening track is a 5/4masterpiece. Other highlights include 'The Clapper', a start-stop headnodder your rewind button had better be ready for, and 'Featuring PhatKat', which does for obvious reasons. The kid is nice. This isdefinitely one to play for your friends; but don't let this album outof your sight, for it might disappear. With 'Welcome to Detroit', BBEhas set a clear standard for quality product, and the second releasefrom the "Beat Generation", composed by the Chocolate Boy Wonder, PeteRock, is no exception.
Pete Rock can be credited for creating the smooth, jazzy, downtempofeel, that others like Jay Dee are perfecting today. 'Petestrumentals'is like an educational pamphlet, detailing the proper way to constructan emcee canvas. It refrains from becoming a cluttered, "over-the-top"production effort, and leaves room for vocal compliments. For instance,'The Boss' sultley shows his fine sample manipulation by initiallyusing a simple piano loop for the songs first few bars. It then beginsplaying backwards, all in timely fashion. 'Play Dis Only at Night'takes the very familiar bass line in 'Check the Rhime' and almost makesyou forget that someone else tried to use it previously.
'Petestrumentals' is a stark deviation from his prior solo release,"Soul Surviver", which included a guest artist on every track. Thisalbum only invites members from UN to grace three of its tracks, therest are perfectly designed to allow budding emcees a chance at rockinga groove from the legendary producer. This album is yet anotherseamless fusion of Reggae, Jazz, Pop, Soul, Rock, Folk and Other forPete Rock, making it an instant classic for your shelves. Those whopurchase this record on vinyl will have the added pleasure of listeningto it a 45rpms. My hopes are that this series will change the stagnantdirection in Hip-Hop production today, where it seems as if every trackis a remix of a previous Timbaland or Neptunes project. So far BBE is 2for 2 and batting 1000%. Stay tuned.

 

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5324 Hits

spring heel jack, "masses"

Those who have followed Spring Heel Jack's evolution from day one through last year's collaboration with Low and the Disappeared LP think they might have been prepared for what was next, right? Perhaps. Last year the Blue Series from Thirsty Ear surfaced with The Matthew Shipp Quartet's album, 'Pastoral Composure', this year Shipp and an extended family have been paired up with the former early drum 'n bass champions, Spring Heel Jack for the continuum of the Blue Series.

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4726 Hits

ZAMMUTO, "SOLUTIORE OF STAREAU"

Nick Willscher is a New York City-based sound sculptor whose ambitiousCD-R trilogy "Solutiore of Stareau" probably slipped beneath your radarlast year. Well, don't worry, it did mine too. Now disc one isavailable as the debut release from Infraction Records, the new inhouse imprint of music retailer Riouxs Records, following up on thereissue of disc three as "Willscher" by Apartment B Records. This 70minute continuous piece (indexed at the noticeable transitions everyfive minutes) is a fairly minimal, malleable mass of low volume sound.Tones and soft fuzz abruptly flicker on/off to give a cut-up pulse tothe otherwise lukewarm haze. Unidentifiable fragments surface and sinkhelping to create an otherworldly effect. Meanwhile, a beautiful,recurring drone signature slowly swan dives in and out of a handful oftracks. But perhaps the most beautiful moment of all is thedeconstruction that takes place within the final track, the previoushour plus gently fading from short-term memory in crackles and signalnoise. Altogether it makes me think of what a Vladislav Delay trackre-processed by Kurt Ralske might sound like: soundscape bliss, though,not quite as breathtakingly so as Delay's "Anima". Regardless, keep anear out for this guy (as well as Infraction) 'cause he's definitelyonto something. Zammuto has since appeared on numerous compilations andthe drastically different "Full Martyr Status" remix EP is availablefor download from notype.com.

 

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4808 Hits

FOETUS, "FLOW"

Veritable one-man-band J.G. Thirlwell returns with his first fulllength as Foetus proper since 1995's somewhat misguided major labeleffort "Gash". Holed up in his well-stocked NYC-based studio, theself-proclaimed 'Master of Disaster' learns and uses whatever he needsto forge his unique brand of industrial-jazz-swing-big-band-rock. With"Flow" he hasn't reinvented the wheel but he has built a better mousetrap. The over-saturation of heavy guitar that plagued "Gash" has beentastefully restricted to let the underbelly of sound flourish. Poundingrhythms — often constructed of jackhammers, shattered glass and metalon metal — lay a solid foundation for dense arrangements of horns,strings, bass, guitars, synths, samples and the one and only caterwaul.It could very easily be a giant mess, and in a way it is, butgloriously so as Thirlwell's composition skills are the glue that holdsit all together. And lyrically he's as clever as ever with numerous andhumorous insights, clich³s, puns, and pop culture references. "QuickFix" and "The Need Machine" are fun to sing along with as they knockyou down. "Cirrhosis of the Heart" draws a parallel between love andalcoholism over a lighthearted cocktail jazz jaunt. "Mandelay" and theepic, near 13 minute "Kreibabe" juxtapose quiet and simply brutalpassages. One of my favorite lines from the latter - "I wanna whisk youaway with me / I'll be the whisker / you be the whiskey". "Suspect" isa film noir joyride while "Heuldoch 7B" is pure big band bombast."Someone Who Cares" is foetal pop, featuring lovely horn and guitarsolos and female backing vocals. Yep, "Flow" is quintessential, classicFoetus. Other projects in the can: Manorexia "Volvox Turbo" (availablenow at the shows or foetus.org) and the companion album "Blow"(September 16) with remixes by Panacea, Amon Tobin, DJ Food, FranzTreichler of The Young Gods, Kid 606, Jay Wasco, PanSonic, CharlieClouser, Phylr, Ursula 1000, Kidney Thieves/Sean Beavan and Thirlwellhimself. Foetus are currently on tour in the U.S. through July.

 

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5479 Hits

MANOREXIA, "VOLVOX TURBO"

Manorexia is J.G. Thirlwell, aka Foetus, and he is the sole person toblame for this 64 minute instrumental suite. "Volvox Turbo" is asoundtrack for ... something. A psychodramatic thriller? A good/badnight's sleep? An acid trip gone horribly right/wrong? All of theabove? Yes. Here Thirlwell engages in experimental territory similar tosome of the work of former collaborators Coil and Nurse With Wound,merging together 14 varied and indexed movements. Excepting a handfulof prescribed panic attacks, much of the journey is a surreal sort ofsubdued ambiance comprised of strings, horns, flutes, tinker bells,drone, line noise and found sounds. Juxtaposed within are bits ofethnic travelogue such as the gypsy swirl of "Helicobra", Hawaiian firedance of "Tiki Envy" and rain forest atmosphere intro of "TubercularBells". The mood gradually shifts gears multiple times from smooth andsoothing to tense and climactic, artfully amusing to deadly serious,cherubic to downright menacing. It's really a rather stunning piece ofwork, an antithesis of the latest Foetus album "Flow" but equallyinteresting, and more proof of Thirlwell's multifaceted abilities."Volvox Turbo" is available at the Foetus shows through July orfoetus.org.

 

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4240 Hits

beneath autumn sky, "enki-dus mono" ep

This debut Beneath Autumn Sky EP on Hefty is five tracks of phat beats, wondrous melodics, and fulfilling bass. While it's noted that B.A.S. have come from a lifestyle of B-boyin, squatting, and living outside the boundaries of normal society, they have created what seems to me like a beautifully crafted mixture of old school sounds and new-school technique. It "keeps it real" on every level I could think of, and while I listen, the world around me seems to shapeshft into a land of wild landscapes and infinite possibilities.

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4320 Hits