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BERKOWITZ, LAKE & DAHMER, "CONTRACEPTION OF THE GODS"

Not to be confused with the similarly moniquered oldprog group, Berkowitz, Lake & Dahmer are certainly abit noisier, and probably don't stop at stickingknives in keyboards. Lord Pendro and Mr Oleum ofFflint Central have been afflicted by channeledrumblings from these disembodied ectoplasmic entitiesfor some time, and the only way they know how toexorcise the Satanic power of the drones and loopsthat take hold of their recording sessions when thistrio of restless spirits holds sway is to bung out aCD-R packed full of seventy minutes of what reallywent on there at the haunted red house from anotherdimension. Of course Lord Pendro has been known tobecome restless when imbibing vast quantites ofspirits of a different kind, but that is anotherstory.
The door to the frightening red and black world of BLDopens on a not particularly merry-go-round eight notechime whilst the nasty ones gurgle and gargle for abit. Next all hell breaks out with a bone shakingdrone monster on the loose in the form of 'Tones inRed', and bubbling rhythmic turmoil and rubblestrewing simple cement mixer loops keep revolving innightmarish ecstasy. In the haunted red house live thelikes of the bawling baby headed Foetor with hisabominable shuntings and the creepy big nosed NorbertH. Conduit who is damned for all time for trying toknock some sense into the Celestial Hives of Honshu...
Either that or these guys have been listening to waytoo much Non, Coil, Throbbing Gristle and Muslimgauzewhilst reading back issues of Fortean Times. Availablefrom: www.fflintcentral.co.uk

 

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4122 Hits

ukiyo-e, "inland"

While it's not my practice to review things nearly impossible to get, this CD deserves a mention. My first exposure to this Australian quintet was through their song on Fat-Cat's "No Watches.No Maps" collection of demo songs from bands they weren't going to pursue anything with at the time. What I heard can be described as somewhat derivative from an Aerial M/Tortoise/Fridge sound but their mastery of musicianship, songwriting and production skills are quite appealing. Inside the disc there was contact information listed, so I wrote to them and said I wanted to hear their album, with possible interest to send it to some friends at labels/distributors but I had no intention of writing about it.

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4808 Hits

Tigerbeat6 presents "$" vols. 1-4

It's times like this I'm happy to be a turntable owner and cackle withglee at all the dumb sods who got rid of theirs. Yes, exciting thingscan still happen in the world of vinyl. Kid 606 and a tiny assortmentof fiends have all contributed to a series of four brand new seven-inchsingles on the Tigerbeat6 label. Of the eight sides represented here,606 appears on three, the rest filled by usual castmembers Cex andElectric Company along with some newcomers Com.A, Timeblind and JosephNothing. For each track, the said artist has taken large chunks of rapand hip hop tunes, (much like the now legendary "Attitude" release) andfucked them up beyond the point of commercial acceptance. The endresult is much to my liking and would be for anybody else who prefersthe comical dementia in which the tb6 crew and v/vm hacks excel in.There's a bonus however, and here's the magic of the vinyl medium: atthe end of each side, as the main track falls into silence the needlefalls into a locked groove — in order to hear the bonus bits, you needto get up and manually nudge the needle into one of two bonus lockedgrooves per side! These grooves ain't nothin like that noise stuff Nonwas doing over 20 years ago, as quite a large portion are carefully andmathematically precise beat loops. Charming, tasty andever-so-rewarding.

 

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4427 Hits

Zoviet France, "The Decriminalisation of Countr Music"

As Glasgow's Tramway building evolved from train station into arts space, Zoviet France were present recording the ambient sounds for use in their commissioned themes for the Scottish Arts Council. Though you'd hardly believe it from the mostly non industrial nature of these very comfortable soundscapes. Five tracks range between five and twelve minutes apiece and the remaining four serve as in-between filler. In "Something Spooked the Horses" a constant warm drone and panning scratchiness are overlaid with yearning strands of pedal steel guitar. "Electron Gate" gently pulsates a bass loop as microscopic bits click and fuzz. "Pyroclastic Flow" is noisier with some possible power tool abrasion honed into layered drones. "Spiiltek" is dancing plastic chips and electronic blips which relinquish to the deep bass waves beneath. "Light Abrasion" closes with a higher pitched wall of sound and occasional cricket like chirping. All in all "Decriminalisation.." is an engaging work of auditory art. And it's as suited for busy high brow art rooms as it is lonely late night bed rooms.

 

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4137 Hits

MÚM, "please smile my noise bleed"

Did you get that last Múm release reviewed here a couple months ago? Ifnot, what's the hell's wrong with you? "Yesterday,..." was their debutfull-lengther, and without blinking or thinking twice, a new 45-minutedisc has surfaced. This time around, Morr Music in Germany brings usthe release, which consists of two band new Múm originals and sixremixes from various Morr musicians. The irresistable bliss begins withthe first moments as the group presents the opener: a delicate chiminglooped melody set against broken vocal maniplations and various otherrandom noises. While I hate to draw comparisons, the second track couldalmost be a tribute to an era which has long passed for Autechre, asthe pace picks up and the electronic glitchery becomes more prominent.From there, the remixes begin, at the hands of Styrofoam, ISAN, Phonem,Christian Kleine, Arovane and Bernhard Fleishmann. Tastefully andtactfully, the mixes on the whole expand on the original two songsenough to the point of distincion, but aren't so haphazardly assembledso the disc sounds like a various artists collection. The pace doesn'tstray and the prettiness only lends itself to the occasional creepy'Children of the Corn' child-like feel. Spooky yet attractive, like thelast disc: when it's playing in the car or in the house, friends willalways ask "oooh, what is this?" Sadly enough, that's often followed bya disappointing trip to a local shop which will come up empty-handed.It can be found, I've seen it advertised, it just takes a little moreeffort, and the rewards are worth the work.

 

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3906 Hits

shriekback, "aberrations 81-84 ( + naked apes & pond life)"

This compilation of ancient out takes, b-sides, live versions andremixes leaves one amazed as it's still stunning material, nearby 20years later. There's somehow no logical progression in the runningorder; neither chronological nor from the developing mood whilelistening. Play it on shuffle (or random) mode and you'll get the samewild mixture of all which Shriekback once where famous for;Unconventional use of all styles and instruments, sound explorations,brilliant lyrics chanted or spoken in a nearly hypnotizing manner, awhite funkiness with punk attitude and transforming the song-writinginto a track shaping (alongside The Slits, This Heat, 23 Skidoo, ThePop Group and others).
Captured here is the non-polished side of the early line up : BarryAndrews (Vocals, Keyboards), Dave Allen (Bass), Carl Marsh (Guitar,Vocals) with Martyn Barker (Drums, Percussion).From their well-know material included is only the flip side version of"My Spine Is The Bassline" with complete different vocals layered uponthe basic track, from the 15 cuts here most have never been releasedbefore and only a few in different versions.
It's by no means an alternative "best of" - there already have beenseveral, busy repacked and redesigned during the 90's ( mostlyincomplete as the rights to their recorded output are spread between YRecords, Arista, Island and World Domination ) - more an addition whichcould also serve as an introduction, especially as Marsh and Andrewswhere asked to comment all the tracks which makes it even moreinsightful.
This is actually great stuff, get it while you can as double packincluding the nearly lost 'Naked Apes & Pond Life' album (even ifyou have to search shriekback.com for further details as no bookletcomes along with it). A very unspectacular one at first but it puts adifferent spell on you after a while, not to be compared with their1992 masterpiece "Sacred City" - an album I can't recommend too much.Dave Allen got lost again and Lu Edmonds came back for Guitar and Saz.Naked Apes & Pond Life originates arround 1995 but was not finallymixed nor published until 1999 (as no Record Company ever made too muchmoney with the approach of the Shrieks) when Martyn Barker took overand got involved in label work.
You can't say it's too long clicking in with a barely traditional LPlength of 42 something and a content of just 6 'proper' songs in midst8 mostly short instrumentals, but listening to the perfect 4:26 of"Everything's On Fire", shaped with elegance, sensuality and magic youknow that very well known acts would kill for songs like these and it'snot the total length that makes a release worthwile to obtain.
Don't expect anything. Discover.

 

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6885 Hits

Nada Surf, "The Proximity Effect"

It's the same story we've all heard countless times. Band has hitsingle on MTV Buzz Bin. Band's album does reasonably well in US,selling a couple hundred thousand copies. Label wants new record tocapitalize on success. Band goes into studio, records album farsuperior to first record, but artistically more challenging. Label saysthey don't hear a single. They want a song that sounds a lot like thebig hit single. Band balks, and asks to be let out of contract. Labelagrees, but holds on to rights to album, making it hard for band torelease it. It seems the label in this story always seems to beElektra, by the way, and it is in this case. The band this time is NadaSurf, and the album is the recently released "The Proximity Effect,"originally scheduled for release in 1998. The album was available onimport for a while, as, curiously, Elektra DIDrelease it in Australia. But now, the record gets it's domestic debut,with a few changes. It's missing their cover of "Why Are You So Mean ToMe?" that was on the import, but they add an original bonus track totake its place. It also features some multimedia content. But whatabout the songs? Nada Surf's big hit, the quirky and funny butotherwise totally forgettable high school anthem "Popular," gave noindication of where this band could go musically. "The ProximityEffect" is a tour-de-force record, showing off the strengths of theband members brilliantly. From the opening track, "Hyperspace," thelistener is introduced to the new Nada Surf. More high-energy thanslacker, more melodic than speakeasy, and better songwriting thanbefore, the band is musically light years beyond "high/low." andMatthew Caws' voice sounds great. They do it all here: high speedrockers, angry tell-offs with loud power chords, gorgeous slow powerpop, and mid-tempo rockers with a message. It's a fantastic album, andwell worth your hungry ears. Since the band released it on their ownlabel, it may be hard to find, but that just makes you appreciate itmore, doesn't it?

 

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3771 Hits

Thighpaulsandra, "The Michel Publicity Window EP"

Coil fans may have been a bit taken aback when Thighpaulsandra's releases started to surface on Eskaton. The music was a mishmosh of genres from improv jazz to neo-clssical and glam rock, unpolarized over the course of an overwhelming 2½ hours. This compact extended-play single lifts the title track from its 30-something minute surroundings and extracts all overbearing drones into a comfortable well-focused 3½ minute ambiguous yet infectious pop tune which could easily be about An American Scenester in London, Miami DJ or Danny McKernan.
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4312 Hits

"[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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3856 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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3711 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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4145 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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3769 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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4365 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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4651 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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3639 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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3848 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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4098 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.

 

3806 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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4368 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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4755 Hits