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pram, "somniloquoy"

Taking a stopgap between full-length albums, Pram deliver a nine-trackEP featuring some new stuff, an old tune and some mixing going on. Thedisc opens with the insanely frisky "Mother of Pearl," which ironicallywas my fave pic from last year's 'Museum of Imaginary Animals'long-player. The three new songs which follow are notably moreadventurous than the cuts on the album, incorporating much more of aimprovisational feel, even with the pop song "Monkey Puzzle" and thesurrealistic dreamery of "Clock Without Hands" which could easily echosome of Legendary Pink Dots' most carnival-esque moments. The EP isrounded out with five remixes, thankfully all of different songs and bydifferent remixers. Hint to groups: do stuff like this if you can - tenremixes of the same song on one single gets embarassingly dull. Guestknob-twiddlers include Plone (whose remixes always sound awesomedespite their albums sounding like bad 14-yr old musicians demos), AndyVotel, Sam Jones, Terry:Funken, and Sir Real. While I have admired Pramfor years, I have to confess that I can't always make it through acomplete album, but with the mix-up of styles presented here by thevarious DJs and friends I'm quite satisfied. Old fans might scoff atremixes but I'm confident these are tasteful enough to avoid pissingoff the purists and inviting enough to attract new friends.

 

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4003 Hits

BOWS, "Cassidy"

The first Bows album, "Blush" surfaced in 1999 — a collective ofmusicians and singers helmed by former Long Fin Killiemulti-instrumentalist Luke Sutherland. This year's swirly, well-craftedfollow-up once again showcases a diverse ensemble of talented musiciansand singers, resulting in a lush, oneiric symphony. Sutherland, who hasjust completed his second novel, is as masterful as ever with hisunabashedly poetic lyrics, beautifully worded even when the imagery isat its most violent. "Cuban Welterweight Rumbles Hidden Hitmen" is aperfect example: stripped down to nothing more than a gauzy guitar andDanish singer Signe HÀirup Wille-JÀrgensen's airy vocals while thelyrics honey-coat a melancholy tale of a boxer's run-in with a gang ofthugs. Ruth Emond's voice on other songs like, "Wonderland," provides aremarkable contrast as her style is deep, dark and breathy. Sutherlandis doubtless at his most versatile on Cassidy. His own delicate vocalsfeature prominently on several tracks, as does his guitar, piano andviolin playing (which also received some exposure recently on his stinttouring with fellow countrymen Mogwai). Credits on the songs "Uniroyal"and "Luftsang" list Sutherland's instruments among others as "gizmo"and "machines." In constrast to Bows' previous effort, 'Cassidy'abounds with more live instrumentation, but lacks much of the drum 'n'bass hooks of 'Blush' (and their presence is somewhat bemoaned by thisreviewer). Sutherland has truly demonstrated maturity and progression,a graduation from the realm of 90s trip hop.

 

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4425 Hits

Godflesh, "In All Languages"

There are two types of people that will buy this 2-disc set: those who have every single release Godflesh has ever thought about putting out and those who don't have any Godflesh at all. The first disc, subtitled 'flesh of god', is a best-of collection (not my personal favorites, but hey, what can you do?) the 'Slavestate' and 'Pure' album tracks are remastered by Justin Broadrick, but otherwise the first disc's tracks are just selected album tracks from their first album (1988's "Godflesh") to their most recent (2000's "Us & Them").

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4714 Hits

techno animal, "the brotherhood of the bomb"

Justin Brodrick has obviously been busy reinventing his aggressive side(anybody who's half of Godflesh are legally obliged to have aggressivetendencies), with the collaborative singles "Dead Man's Curse" (withAnti-Pop Consortian, Roger Robinson) and "Megaton" (with Dälek) overthe last year. Along with partner Kevin Martin, the duo's 'Brotherhood'is an all-out sound war, with heavily distorted beats andearthquake-influenced bass frequencies. The sound is thick and chunkylike some of the best Panacea ball-crushing bass sounds and never flatenough to be birthed from a laptop. Fans of the ambient deathscapesfrom 1995's 'Re-Entry' or the collaborations with Alec Empire andPorter Ricks should probably exercise caution before picking this oneup, as it picks up more from where the ICE (collaboation with El-P)album 'Bad Blood' left off. As far as Techno Animal proper records,picture 'Radio Hades' with an exponentially increased intensity. Guestrap from El-P, Dälek, and members of Anti-Pop Consortium vocalize therage but thankfully don't detract any vigor from the music nor litterevery track on the disc. Elements from Techno Animal's dub affinityshine through in some of the more instrumental tracks on the disc butfor the most part, this is one fierce fucking beast.

 

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5068 Hits

FRANKIE SPARO "ARENA HOSTILE"

Frankie Sparo toured with A Silver Mt. Zion throughout Canada andEurope as an opening artist following the release of last year's "MyRed Scare" album. During his performances, he was accompanied byThierry, Sophie, Jessica, and Ian of the Silver Mt. Zion live band.This EP, which acts as a document of Sparo's performances during thetour, was performed live in session at VPRO Radio. The first threesongs are new arrangements of tracks from the "Red Scare" album."Diminish Me NYC" opens the CD; this new version features the additionof minimal electronics and violin that emphasize Sparo'smore-tattered-than-usual voice. "The Night That We Stayed In" is madedarker by the addition of Thierry's double bass and a pair of violinlines. The addition of tremolo violins gives a soundtrack feel as well."Here Comes the Future" features reworked drums and the addition ofelectronics and violins, which make it a much fuller composition.However, there's a drum machine clap noise that appears several timesthat sounds a bit out of place. The EP ends with a stripped down coverof the Rolling Stones' "I Am Waiting," performed solely by Frankie andhis guitar. I really hope this is a sign of things to come, because theguests on this recording add a lot to Frankie Sparo's already amazingsongs.

 

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4378 Hits

DETENTION "WARP & WOOF"

Detention is the improvisational duo of guitarist Sam Shalabi (ofShalabi Effect) and drummer Alexander MacSween. Normally Mr. Shalabi'simprov recordings are quite beautiful in their energy, but this onefalls flat. There are 8 tracks to the album, each with two names (I'mguessing Sam and Alex each gave the songs their own titles). After thefirst track ("Yehudi Messerschmidt / Ground)," the album is almost nolonger interesting. The two musicians do not play off of each otherwell enough to keep the music interesting, partially because of thesmall size of the band. To make matters worse, the music becomes verysloppy in places, especially on "Slow Dance / Shey," where it feelslike the band is just warming up before the rest of the quartet showsup. The album peaks with the sixth track, "Big Thighs / Ginger," whereboth musicians seem to finally be in touch with each other for a fewmoments. However, with the last two songs, the music loses all meaningand the album simply seems to die. If you want to hear Sam Shalabiimprovise and shine, I suggest you check out the Kristian / Shalabi /Saint-Onge album from earlier this year.

 

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4201 Hits

maya shore, "farewell to introductions"

Have you ever had a longing that could not be satisfied? Not thelonging for a beer or a pint of ice cream, mind you, but an intenselonging of such emotional stakes that you weren't sure you couldsurvive if the need wasn't satisfied? Believe me: maya shore knows howyou feel. "farewell to introductions," in fact, is like an homage tointense desire. Never have I heard a band that could so easily -- or soit seems -- capture the exact soundtrack of plaintive longing. It's allvery spine-tingling and wonderful, like the first time Glenn Miller'swife heard his trademark sound and she reached back to feel the hairson her neck standing up. Singing appears sparingly, and on tracks whereit is used, it's almost a secondary instrument; but the guitar gloryKelly Chambers exhibits with its melodic and harmonic beauty ensuresthat you won't miss the lyrics so much when they aren't there to guideyou. dj suede also adds texture to the proceedings with fieldrecordings and well-placed atmospherics and recording/mic techniquesthat serve the music well. This band is very tight, and they makebeautiful music together. Where the songs may have the same generalfeeling of longing hanging over their heads, the are different insound, feel, and tempo enough so that the listener is never bored. Iwas driving down Highway 1 listening to this CD and right at a gorgeousguitar passage on the second track, "july eleventh nineteenninety-seven," the sun shot through the trees. I will remember that foryears to come. This release, if you're not careful, can almost be tooaffecting for its own good and yours. But trust me: maya shore are aband that will only get better, and "farewell to introductions" is anexcellent first effort. Aren't you longing to hear it now?

 

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6936 Hits

landing, "circuit"

this week, i'm reviewing two bands from music fellowship, both playpassionate music, and both use only lowercase letters in their bandname and album titles. i am almost convinced it is a label thing, asother releases i've seen on music fellowship use the same standards. Atany rate, landing is a hypnotic four piece with a great love of delayeffects on guitars, distortion and lovely interplay betweenmale/female-sung vocals. "circuit" is their first proper album, aftertwo EPs, one of which, "centrefuge," was released on Music Fellowshipearlier this year. Those of us who heard "centrefuge" liked it, but Isuppose were expecting more on "circuit" in terms of musicaldevelopment. Since "centrefuge" seemed more like an EP than an album,maybe we were expecting an expansion of theme, or an extension of themajor tenets of the landing theory on music. I must say "circuit" is afine release if you've never heard landing. However, it seems to trodon some of the same ground present on "centrefuge." When I say thisband loves delayed guitars, I mean they LOVE delayed guitars: they'represent on almost every track. It almost gets to the point where thelistener is tired of that effect, and would like to hear another, butit never picks up enough to get there, even. I liked the music, but Ialways felt like it was moving towards something it never achieved.landing are a band to watch, as "centrefuge" and "circuit" show, butI'd like to hear a variation in the feel and sound of the music. Thesetracks blend beautifully together, almost too much so. Still worth aconcentrated and heartfelt listen.

 

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4071 Hits

Symptoms, "Apathy"

Imagine you're stranded on a rooftop in the middle of a city with cloudy skies above and nowhere to go. Cars buzz past on their way to nowhere in particular and as the day slowly passes, their exhaust fumes fill the air. Time goes by but you know it's an illusion. The world is moving but you're still waiting, watching. This is the feeling imparted by this follow up to Symptoms' rather more varied and up beat self titled debut.

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8770 Hits

"OR SOME COMPUTER MUSIC 2"

This compilation, described as 'difficult listening' in the pressrelease, could be fuel to claims that much computer music is barking upseemingly generic alleyways since this could all quite conceivably bethe work of just a couple of artists. However I see this more as anindication that compiler Russell Haswell has fairly consistant tastesand has done a pretty good job of sequencing the tracks.There seems to be a fairly equal footing for the highly seriousacademic side of computer music and the perhaps more frivolous rockpopsside (Jim O'Rourke, Tom Wallace, Farmers Manual, Phoenecia). Theacademics all provide ample detail on the concepts steering theircompositions, whereas the digital rockpops laptop fraternity provide afew screen grab pictures or in the case of Tom Wallace, no informationat all. Perhaps the 'fuck off' finger on the farmersmanual desktop sumsup the attitude.Farmers Manual open and close the compilation, and their unassuminglittle digiglitch flutter fanfare starting snippet gives hardly a clueof the awesome low floor shaking rumble of the monstrous live recordingthat rounds things off. This track alone makes it a worthwhilepurchase, but the rest is enjoyable too.Jim O'Rourke, Tom Wallace and Phoenecia all pull similar tricks withvarying degrees of daftness. Phoenecia place relentlessly mouseshifting bubbles and cracks over intermittent drones. O'Rourke throwssome tropical Ai yi yi ya singing into his fluttering stew of rockglitched to death and Tom Wallace mixes the sounds of breaking bottleswith what sounds like a rock band trying to start a song and cuttingoff sporadically. It's really quite silly, with silent stretchesencroaching latterly making the sporadic bursts of noise all the moreridiculous.Rather more serious is Super Collider 2 workshop lecturer Alberto deCampo's synthesis of a pleasantly atmospheric droning green and blueworld. He processed sound sources which have a 'rich symbolic aura',such as nightingales, meditation bells and cymbals, ritual mantras andchanting. None of these sources are readily identifiable but their auraremains in this eerily evocative foray that certainly avoids the 'NewAge' alarms that the accompanying article might set off.Fellow academic Curtis Roads espouses the exploration of 'soundparticles', microsound 'beneath the level of the note' and he even hasa picture to prove it! And well he might, but his cut up computercollage isn't drastically removed from the soundworlds of Phoenecia orTom Wallace. Maybe laptoppers have been exploring the realm ofmicrosound for years without actually knowing it!Atau Tanaka and Eric Wenger created 'Bondage' using software that turnsscanned photographs of Japanese women tied up in knots into sound, andit's a detailed suite that shifts moods rapidly from intensity torelief. What they did with the photographs after they finished makingdeep dark dungeon noises isn't mentioned in the booklet, but they didhave the permission of the artist.

 

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5166 Hits

"staubgold"

This compilation, which shares its name with the Cologne-based recordlabel who released it, is their first artist showcase and the release Igot hold of. The disc is nearly one hour long and comes neatly packedinside a cardboard sleeve showing a record store's file. It wasinitially made available at shows during the last weeks of the labeltour, but will soon be made available to the public who couldn't makeit (see staubgold.com for details). Staubgold's spectrum ranges frompost post anything electronica to an alternative version of what oncewas called techno pop (but lately seems to have developed into laptopblues). 'Staubgold 20' collects an interesting selection of theirrecent releases, coupled with a few yet unreleased tracks and mixes(from Institut FÙr Feinmotorik, Sack feat. Joseph Suchy andSchlammpeitziger). Familiar names include Alexander Balanescu, ToRococo Rot and Groenland Orchestra (also featured with an additionalMPEG video). A name that should be more familiar is Reuber, alsoworking with Markus Detmer as Klangwart, with his minimalist butimpressive solo synthesizer work he explores live even further.Even though a few contributions (Oren Ambachi & Martin NG,Mapstation) are a bit too pointless for my taste, it serves well as agood introduction to this label and the more unknown artists workingalongside A-Musik and Mille Plateaux releases.
Not equally glorified with the current avant-garde stamp yet, Staubgoldspreads a sympathetically unobtrusive "home made for home listening"attitude without wasting energy on label conformity.If individualism is their goal, they're on the way.

 

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4474 Hits

"lush life electronica"

...And the winner for the WORST album covers of the year goes to,.... QUANGO! Who have also came close to winning for most pointless compilations but were beat out by Mille-Plateaux, whose Clicks + Cuts volume 746 is a 23-CD compilation of bald Europeans exchanging emails.

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5420 Hits

coil, "love's secret domain"

You've either got it or you've heard about it. Maybe you downloaded allthe tracks online, paid tons on an auction or found it kicking aroundused or some cut out bin. Any way you slice it, this album cannot beignored. Now, ten years to the month after its original release, one ofmy favorite albums of all time is back in print. (With a few minoradjustments of course,...) The cover is the first difference I see: thefront shows a little bit more of the legendary painting StevenStapleton did on his outhouse, including his signature down at thebottom right corner, never before seen. The back is amazingly morelegible than the original release — which simply blew up a bit of thecover and used gold text — black background, gold text and a previouslyunissued image. The back of the booklet is graced by the backphotograph of the LP edition, but open the booklet up and sadly, thereare no lyrics included this time around.
The most noticable musical difference is about four seconds missingfrom the opening chopped up sampling bit, but those sounds do getrepeated over a few cycles however,... Enough of the nitpicking!
The recordings contained were completed in 1990, pulled from over twoyears of studio work, which is quite noticable. Back then, electronicmusicians didn't have anywhere near as much software, Coil had to domuch of this by hand. This is observed right from the opening secondswhere a cut-up mishmosh of samples were tossed into a bucket and tapedback together. Over the course of an hour, the group pummels thelistener with whacked-out stereo separation, mind-bending low-endfrequencies and ghostly voices which move in three dimensions aroundthe room -without- the aid of a 5-point surround system! It'sgenre-defying, electronic based with dabbles of jazz, techno, withflamenco guitars and orchestral arrangements. Guests on this recordinclude vocal contributions from Little Annie Anxiety Bandez, MarcAlmond and Rose McDowell, as well as Charles Hayward on drums, and MikeMcEvoy's trippy 'ecstatic keyboards' on "The Snow". While songs like"Windowpane" and "Love's Secret Domain" are instantaneously catchyfavorites, tracks like "Further Back and Faster" are so amazingly aheadof their time in terms of sound and structure. The multiple layers,samples and sections must have taken many late nights in the studio,the result is a mindfuck which has taken many listens to truly get.People accuse this record of being a techno record, but in actuality,"The Snow" is really the only fast-paced techno dancefloor anthem, andnot a bad one indeed with incredible playing, sampling and subliminalvocal manipulations. The record is multi-climactic, and builds a coupletimes before the end, with the calm and disturbing "Titan Arch"featuring Marc Almond's guest vocals over a chilly throb, "Chaostrophy"where an orchestra fights for center stage with a barrage of whitenoise, the explosive flamenco guitars of "Lorca Not Orca" into thefinale, the title track, snaking lines from William Blake and RoyOrbison.

 

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5634 Hits

Einstürzende Neubauten, "Berlin Babylon"

Who better than Einstürzende Neubauten to do the soundtrack for a post-Wall Berlin documentary (by German director Hubertus Siegert, see berlinbabylon.de)? This 37 and 1/2 minute disc is the latest in their color coded, digipacked soundtrack series on Ego/Our Choice, this one lavender in a photographic slipcase. Borrowing from last year's "Silence is Sexy", three versions of "Die Befindlichkeit des Landes" (The Lay of the Land) serve as the anchors and centerpiece while "Beauty" appears in a differing instrumental form. The themes of status and transition within "Landes" likely match those of the film. The remainder are mostly brief, Sexy style tracks or sound pieces requisite of many a soundtrack: whirring helicopters paired with orchestral overture, industrial debris and percussion workouts, snatches of Beethoven symphony, a cacophony of broken glass, a woman reading a German text in a storm, a bit of piano, etc. "Architektur ist Geiselnahme" (Architecture is Hostage Taking) is the one exception with Blixa singing in German. A lengthier version will appear on the soon to be released "Strategies Against Architecture III 1991 - 2001" double disc collection. "Berlin Babylon" is essential only for the most completist of Neubauten fans. I'm not so sure a CD was even necessary, I'd rather just hear it within the context of the film. And be forewarned - this is the first disc I've come across that uses a padlock technology to make it uplayable on a CD-ROM.

 

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4432 Hits

Little Annie, "Diamonds Made of Glass"

Little Annie, aka Annie Anxiety Bandez, is best known to me for her neurotic stream of conscious performance on "Thing's Happen" from Coil's 1991 masterpiece Love's Secret Domain. But, her extended discography stretches back to the mid '80s with several solo singles and albums including collaborations with Penny Rimbaud of Crass, On-U Sound, The Wolfgang Press, Current 93 and COH. She also paints (see cover) and participates in poetry readings in the NYC area. This 3 track disc pairs her words and voice with Joseph Budenholzer of Backworld and one Larry 'Super Model' T.

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4243 Hits

"2 remixes by afx"

So, V/Vm releases 2 CD singles of Aphex Twink remixes and all the nerdyRicky James worshippers go insane that this happens. People startposting to newsgroups saying how much of an "outrage" this is withoutknowing the truth behind everything. Now we've got this, the Twinkhimself remixing an 808 State classic, "Flow Coma" (from the 1988 album'Newbuild') and DJ Pierre's "Box Energy", yet neither are credited onthis coverless release, issued by Men Records, a sub division ofRicky's Rephlex label. Where's the outrage? The funny thing is, thiskicks ass over much [if not all] of his original output over the lastfew years. I do love the retro-style cut-up collagery of the 808 track,created entirely from analogue gear in perfectly square 4/4 beats, nowmimicing much of the broken beat stuff James excels in. His remix of"Box Energy" also relies on the original's analogue 303-saturated acidnoises. The last track, "Bonus High Frequency Sounds" is a ratherunnecessary 2-minute tag to the remixes, no doubt a toss-off from AFX'smuch anticipated, much downloaded forthcoming full-lengther. Overall,it's a great little package for those who like to have fun with theirelectronic. Aphex fans do need to come to grips with reality, however:Ricky's a hack, quite admittedly good at it, but his best stuff isn'tnearly original. I know I'll get tons of hate mail for this one, but Ihave faith those hero-worshippers will eventually come around tolearning more about original music.

 

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5309 Hits

BLACK FACTION, "INTERNAL DISSIDENT PART 1"

Manchester-based sound designer Andrew Diey has already shed theForeign Terrain moniker in favor of Black Faction after just threeyears and a handful of discs. Last year's stunning FT debut "LP 1" wasa soothing global audio travelogue comprised of over two dozen piecesof mild electronic ambiance and beats. "Internal Dissident Part 1" ismuch the same but does so with a lesser number of longer tracks (mostin the 6 to 10 minute range, 70 total) as sound effects, atmospheresand melodies are applied to relatively simple, yet very effective,electro beat box grooves. The dissident's journey parallels that ofDante's epic passage through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven, "The DivineComedy". We begin in Diey's hometown but time and distance soon becomeirrelevant as we smoothly shift into other mindsets and geographiclocations. "Manchestique Concr³te" is a respectful head nod to thethriving local electronica scene, past and present. An early '90s IDMmelodic sensibility provides a lulling warmth as a slightly unsettlingverbal tick is conjoined to the rhythm. With "Virgil's Bridge" Dieyputs his commercial sound design skills to work with a virtualenvironment of otherworldliness and demonic voices. Most of the latterhalf of the disc once again pays homage to fellow Mancunian and friendBryn Jones, suffusing some of the trademark Arabic and electronicovertones and politics of Muslimgauze into the mix. In particular,"Sepia Indate" wails with regional instrumentation and "Afghan Frontv1.1" features sound bites of President Carter's condemnation of theSoviet Union attack on Afghanistan. "Widow Maker" brings the journey toa heavenly end as beautifully understated string/key melodies and beatsgradually build and break upon a sizzling canvas of static. Nice. Verynice. A 12" for "Manchestique Concr³te" will be out soon via Dal Riadaand Part II will be a live version of the album released as a limitededition LP, also by Soleilmoon.

 

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4486 Hits

ARANOS/MUELLER/ROSENAU, "BLEEDING IN BEHIND PASTEL SCREENS"

Aranos has been a very busy Bohemian bee the past few years havingreleased a 7" on Klanggalerie, a 10" on Beta-lactam Ring Records andseveral albums including art/music collaborations with Nurse WithWound. Here the Ireland based multi-instrumentalist mixes it up withMilwaukee's Jon Mueller and Chris Rosenau of Pele and Telecognac amongothers. Seven oddly titled tracks make up the 45 minutes on thisedition of 500 on Crouton Records (croutonmusic.com). "The Other is Bflat" sets into motion a hypnotic lullaby of small metallic objects,electronic swirl, delicately plucked guitars and long, bowed violinnotes. The next four tracks continue the flow with a background becomesthe foreground sort of mellow surrealism: orphaned snippets of ambientwash/drone, the clanking of clutter, mildly distorted scraped electricstrings, minor electronic discharge and brief piano flutter. Inparticular, "Thinking of Penis and Vagina" makes me think of a lightbreeze propelling a rusty swing in an empty park just barely withinearshot of a train yard. "Now Sparkling Ice" is apparently all Aranosand it sounds that way. It's a peculiar yet warm vocal and violin piecein which he accompanies himself both vocally and musically. The firsthalf of the final track "Boiled Pear" violently churns through binarygarbage over stray piano/banjo notes and a floating backgroundpresence, then quietly settles through the latter five minutes. Farfrom random and abrasive, "Bleeding.." is accomplished and verypleasant indeed. The sort of disc that demands to be played from startto finish and you lose yourself in. The packaging is a pretty fold-upwith equally surreal poetry upon the flaps. Get this while you stillcan.

 

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4201 Hits

Thalia Zedek, "Been Here And Gone"

Those of you looking for Thalia to continue in the sound set forth byher former band, Come, are either going to be pleasantly surprised ormiserably disappointed in her new direction. I'd lay my money onsurprised. Listening to this record there was one immediate thoughtthat repeatedly came to mind: it's a shame this release will notreceive the great fanfare and praise and record sales it deserves.Thalia Zedek has a voice all her own. Throw out your Patti Smithcomparisons, as they're neither creative nor warranted. Thalia has thevoice millions would kill or die for. It's there, in its gorgeousscratchy beauty, in full effect on this, her first solo collectionwhich contains eleven tracks, three of which are covers (includingLeonard Cohen's "Dance Me to the End of Love" -- a wonderful choice andexecution). Where you think you've heard Thalia before, think again.This release, if nothing else, proves that no one really KNOWS Thalia,nor what she is capable of. Chris Brokaw is along for the ride, but heis not at all in that classic Come form. Very subdued is this music,and rightfully so. That voice demands it. But the best part of "BeenHere And Gone" is hearing Thalia the songwriter move to the forefront.By the time you reach "Back To School," the second track, mind you,you'll almost be haunted out of your skin by this music. Then you hearthe lyrics, and it breaks you. "Can you tell that sometimes I can'tforget that I'm alive?" Incredible. The arrangement is also fittinglyspooky, with viola and trumpet in the most amazing places in the sonicpalette. Sure, it's a far cry from Come, but it sort of had to be,didn't it? In bringing the sparser, quieter instrumentation to thesesongs, Thalia reveals herself for more than she ever has before, andthe listener is blessed for the experience. All in all a fine release,so listen for yourself, already.

 

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5337 Hits

Pullman, "Viewfinder"

It's simply amazing to me some bands can be solely instrumental — which, to a certain extent, limits them — but still sound original, and capture a beauty that few bands, instrumental or otherwise, can even approach. Pullman's last release, "Turnstiles and Junkpiles," was a beautiful pass at acoustic guitar arrangements for this quartet, with no other instrumentation like percussion or keyboards present. The songs were stunning in their beauty and collaboration: a real triumph for these four musicians from such diverse backgrounds. This time around, Tim Barnes joins the core group of Doug McCombs, Bundy K. Brown, Chris Brokaw, and Curtis Harvey, which means there are drums on a lot of tracks, and a general nod towards more atmospheric explorations.

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5534 Hits