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monstre, "sucre 3"

The debut full-length release from Montreal's one man group known asMonstre fades in like a slow train coming into the station in themiddle of your nightmare. Punchy vocal samples obscure the views in ascary dreamlike state, fading in and out with distorted percussives.Before long, barking voices take over the role of percussion while basslines or toy pianos move the music forward. Abstract, surreal,hardcore, evil. It's taken a long time to actually verbalize how thisrelease can be both nauseating and captivating at the same time.Thursday night I saw a double feature of classic Italian suspense,1971's "Schizoid" directed by Fulci and 1970's "Bird with the CrystalPlumage" by Argento. Listening to 'Sucre 3' again the day after thesesilly yet haunting films seems to help me understand the music a littlebetter. Monstre could very well be providing the score between songs,the stuff that never makes it onto the soundtracks, the bits and piecesbetween Ennio Morriccone's themes, things which are usually some of myfavorite parts of a film's score. Further along, the instrumentationgets weirder. Explosions are created inside the mouth, the percussionrole becomes taken over by baby toys, ambience is provided by bubblingbath in the background, school children dance and sing unintelligablesongs while creepy melodies ring out like a demented jack-in-the boxwaiting to spring out. Oh my god, there's been a car accident outside,the horn is stuck a solid blare, is my microwave oven's dinger soundingoff over and over again? I want to wake up now! Okay, things are chillagain, the kids are happily playing outside my window and the sun isshining as the credits roll and it was only a dream. I think I'm gonnabuy the Brattle Theatre a copy of this disc so they can play it betweenmovies instead of that awful crap they had that night.

 

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4687 Hits

CEX, "STARSHIP GALACTICA"

Young Ryan Kidwell of Baltimore, MD has recorded for Underscore,Tigerbeat6 and 555 Recordings and is pals with Kid606, Lesser, Hrvatskiand Electric Company. On this 22 minute, 8 track EP Cex continues tokeep it real in a variety of sexy styles, namely a hip hop informedIDM. Tracks such as "Cal and Brady Style", "Cex Can Kiss My Soft,Sensuous Lips" (which perpetuates the '*insert artist here* can kiss myass' joke begun by Lesser and Kid606) and "Your Handwriting When YouWere a Child in the Winter" feature playfully impressive Autechre-ish(has this word made Webster's yet?) melody/glitch programming. "Get inYr Squads" adds clean guitar to the mix while "Tattoo of a Barcode"foregoes beats altogether for a couple minutes of drone and crackle.Other than the brief spoken word/beat box intro, there are two morehumorous tracks. "Hi Scores", probably a poke at Boards of Canada,creates the auditory illusion of Cex in the act of sex. The title trackbrings the disc to a close with a rousing, lo-fi sing along by Cex andfriends over generic, pre-programmed riffs from a cheap keyboard. Youcan't help but smile from all the fun these guys are having. Cex iscurrently touring Japan and will hit various North American locationsthroughout the summer.

 

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4846 Hits

Pele, "The Nudes"

How is it that a band can make a record that doesn't do anythingparticularly new, but still sounds incredibly fresh? It's all in thesongwriting. Melody, interplay, musicianship: these should bewatchwords for any band. Too often it sounds derivative, or bandsresort to gimmicks to distinguish themselves. Milwaukee-based trio Pelecraft a sound that explores familiar indie rock territory in that theyare primarily a guitar, bass, and drums rock band. Through fresh tones,melodies and spirited rhythms, Pele separate themselves from the packby not dragging everything to a slow crawl or halt. "The Nudes" isinfectious in its simplicity, but there are tricks up this trio'ssleeve. In moments that must be formed on improvisation, like on "VisitPumpy," Pele, well, rocks out to great effect. Elsewhere, skill withtheir instruments shows through and Pele take on a very rigid rhythmicstructure ("Total Hut") that depends on their playing extremely well asa unit. This being their fourth release, and second in this formation,it's obvious that these musicians have played together a while, andthat they can almost sense each other's next move. I'm amazed, andsomewhat disappointed, that I've never heard of this band before this.They're that good. Dammit. Now I'm going to have to buy their wholecatalog, too. I hate this.

 

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4895 Hits

aranos, "magnificent! magnificent! no one knows the final word"

At first listen, I was a bit disappointed by this Aranos release,mostly because of the repetitious string sounds which commonly openseveral tracks. But it definitely is one of these albums which grows onyou, as a unity of sound and theme, emerging from a well-balancedtracklist. At times it reminds me of his first collaboration with NurseWith Wound, 'Acts of Senseless Beauty', with unexpected sounds jumpingin the middle of bass, cello, viola, violin, guitar, or mandolinlayers. No surprise, you'll probably not dance on every track, but maycertainly nod on various songs, thanks to colorful rhythms which leadback to the cello or piano chords pulsing all along the record. Morethan strings or piano, the side elements are the most efficient — awide variety of gentle percussions, and the haunting voice, which Ifind even too scarce. "Spirit Fragrance" arrives like a big surprise —a faster-paced song in a style reminiscent of Emir Kusturica and the NoSmoking Orchestra. It's tracks like these where it becomes obvious thatAranos isn't lying on the resume about his extensive musicalbackground. A complete contrast to this, the disc's closer is a long,minimal piece of meditative music, consisting of lengthy tones oftenmade out of percussions with subtle crumpling sounds in the background.
More surprising than the music itself is its "experimental anarchydistribution" system. It will quickly be shipped to you from Aranoshimself, under conditions that I'll let you discover on his website. Itcomes in a beautiful hand-made paper cover (made in Nepal underfair-trade agreement) with bamboo strip details and a hemp tie. Thiscan sound strange, but really makes it.

 

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4132 Hits

The Comas, "A Def Needle In Tomorrow"

For a while in the early to mid nineties, Chapel Hill, NC, was beingtouted as the new Seattle. In the Raleigh-Chapel Hill areas, fifteenminutes apart at the most, there co-existed some twenty-five bands, allof which wrote their own brand of energetic pop-based music. Some werethe flagships for their particular brand of music (Squirrel Nut Zippersfor hot jazz, Whiskeytown for "alt-country," etc.). Others weretrendsetters with no real brand to speak of (Ben Folds Five, Archers ofLoaf). Still others were just a reaction to what was going on aroundthem at the time. The Comas formed as a joke, hoping to make music thatmade fun of the alt-country scene. When they realized they might havesomething that could work better than the joke they had in mind, theystuck with it. "A Def Needle In Tomorrow," their second album, is apure pop treasure. Don't expect to bounce around at their music,however. This is laid-back thinker's pop. The melodies are gorgeous,the songs lush and expansive (producer Brian Paulson is to be thankedfor this, I'm sure), and the lyrics are more fun than a barrel full ofemo bands (pun intended, but probably not achieved). On "Arena," thealbum opener, guitarist/vocalist Andrew Herod sings of Princess Leiaand fastest ships, and on "Tiger in a Tower" he works "Pissing on aplastic flower" into the rhyme scheme. The vocal harmonies are what ismost interesting about The Comas, and this release in particular, asHerod, bassist Margaret White and second guitarist Nicole Gehweilersound wonderful together. Little flourishes here and there add to thesound, as no band member plays just one instrument and drummer JohnHarrison works in samples and turntable work. Lagniappe ("a littlesomething extra") seems to be the order of the day, as there's even avideo for album track "Sister Brewerton" on the CD. Overall, a fine poprecord that proves The Comas trendsetters in their own right.

 

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4688 Hits

nurse with wound, "funeral music for perez prado"

Admittedly, 'Yagga Blues' and 'Soresucker' are not my favorite singlesfrom NWW, but if you're developing your collection of Wound music andhave yet to pick the two up, this disc will fill that gap conveniently.Unfortunately if you're a die-hard and own these two already, theextended versions of both the title track and "Journey Through Cheese"are a mild annoyance. "Funeral Music" is perhaps one of my fave NWWtracks. The music embraces beauty through layers of lengthyharmonically compatible samples, 'centering around a shakuhachi phraseplayed by David Jackman in 1987' (according to the original linernotes). On this collection it lives lavishly in its full form,stretching well over 35 minutes, as opposed to the 9+ minute versionwhich originally appeared six years ago. "Journey Through Cheese" isalso bigger, stretching to about 25 minutes, but the extra 15 minutesto me just drags the song out far longer than it needs to go. "YaggaBlues" of course is a classic tune, incorporating primitive rhythmicloops with sound effects and a haunting echoing vocal track. The beatsand themes were completely exhausted however on the full-lengther 'WhoCan I Turn To Stereo' from 1996, the versions here are nice andcompact, with a slightly abridged break time inbetween tracks (30seconds on the previous release, down now to about five).

 

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4451 Hits

coil reissues: Stev√∏, pay us what you owe us!

Hard to believe 1984 was seventeen years ago. At the time, Thatcher andReagan were in power, Cabbage Patch kids were in style, Duran Duranwere selling out arenas all over the world, researchers publishedreports on the link between HIV and AIDS, Indira Ghandi wasassassinated and Apple introduced the Macintosh. Coil also releasedtheir debut album, a record at the time which was embraced by thepost-industrial scenesters, yet over time has become regarded by manyas somewhat of a cult classic. The music contrasted the trends: wherePsychic TV and Chris and Cosey were softening up — heading down a moreeasily digestible pop route — Coil were summoning pan, waking Maldoror,digging up sewage and turning shit into gold. The album, produced byJim Thirlwell features guests like Marc Almond, Gavin Friday, AlexFerguson and a new third member, Stephen Thrower. Coil weren't afraidto push the boundaries of the genres, using varying sounds fromelectric and organic instruments and collected samples from all overthe world. Why can't they get the CD release correct however? The firsttime around was an unauthorized issue circa 1990, the original releasewas issued with a running order inconsistent with the sleeve and ahalf-assed mastering job. This time around the running order wascorrected, but there's a brand new typo on the booklet and themastering job is worse. Louder doesn't necessarily equal better, theequalization was tweaked to make certain things sound clearer, but thevolume was beefed up to the point of clipping on the really bombasticsounds all over the disc. Here I was originally thinking this would besomething wonderful but when compared to the original vinyl edition,I'm severely let down. For those curious, the same bonus tracks fromthe first issue of the CD are here: Tainted Love, Restless Day and thelonger version of Spoiler.
Originally titled 'Funeral Music for Princess Diana,' Coil's secondfull-length album surfaced in 1986. While the album was more consistentin its theme (various perceptions of death) it was recorded in variousstudios with various producers at the knobs. While the production mightsound dated in parts, the songs themselves are once again timelessclassics. Like 'Scatology', 'Horse Rotorvator' splits genres with thevarying styles - a beefy opening dance track, punchy post-indusrtialsound collages, creepy sequenced melodies, loud guitar riffs, bigbands, bugs and guest speeches. Fortunate concert-goers over the lastyear have paid witness to Coil's revival of "Blood from the Air" whichsounds as fresh now as it did 15 years ago. Unfortunately, once again Ihave issues with the mastering job. Like the other reissue theequilization has been tweaked, this time beefing up both the low bassand high end, coupled with a volume increase. The main result isn'tclipping this time (except for the track "Ravenous") but acassette-like hiss sound, much like that out of place thread in thecurtain - once you notice it, you can't ignore it. The track listinghas been corrected where once again the first issue of the CD wasinconsistent. The artwork includes the cover picture from the originalLP and previously unissued photos inside the booklet. Fans who alreadyown the original issues and are quite satisfied with their versionsneed not worry about the reissues. Obsessives with moral obligationsand relatively new fans shouldn't waste time however. Coil are gettingpaid for these versions, and at $13-15 USD a pop, they're more thanworth it.

 

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9678 Hits

Fuck, "Cupid's Cactus"

Note: My review could have read entirely like this: "What the Fuck isthis? It's fucking Fuck that's what the fuck it is, you fuck. Oh, Fuck,this is good. It's fucking so good Fuck is 'Fuck-ing' again." Somepeople think that sort of thing is clever. Luckily, I don't. Okay, nowto the real review. It's interesting listening to any band with a namedesigned to incense. Crunt, for instance. 1,000 Homo DJs, for another.However, what seems to be the most interesting part is that none ofthese bands set out to incense people with their music. It must be alet-down, in fact, when some people set out to play a naive practicaljoke on their friend by buying them the record with the "F-word" on thecover, actually listen to the record and realize two things: 1) Themusic doesn't really match the name of the band; 2) The music isn'thalf bad. And that's exactly what I'd say about this current effort."Cupid's Cactus" finds the band with their most laid-back release todate, and that's saying a lot. Fuck has always been this way: one shortstep away from a country western band with folk tendencies, determinedto rock you, just with subtlety. It's one of those records you put onat a party when everyone is having deep intellectual conversationsanyway. It's perfect for your cocktail party. Songs labor on, buildingsweetly and deliberately, piling on the histrionics until they stop,then start again as before. It's a great sound. Sometimes it's enoughto make you want it to just explode. It never does, thankfully. It'snot the best thing ever. It's not going to change your life.Occasionally it's good to hear this kind of record. Something originalenough to be daring, but not complicated enough to make a fuss about.It's just good, laid-back, and easy to listen to. You'll find yourselftapping your toe repeatedly. Just subtlely.

 

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5478 Hits

to rococo rot and i-sound, "music is a hungry ghost"

Fans of To Rococo Rot's last full-length release beware, click/glitch fans beware, both worlds share the car ride here on a disc which (consistent with other TRR releases) has taken a few listens to be completely appreciated. I must start by admitting a scary realization: I sometimes get the feeling that there's too many clicks in my music collection right now. This whole click/glitch trend is rightfully doomed if it continues to go nowhere. To Rococo Rot have probably realized something similar and decided to actually go somewhere.

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5010 Hits

Mellow, "Another Mellow Spring"

It's pretty much a common rule that the first track on the CD is themost important. It's the first paragraph in a manifesto, the first linein a love letter, or the first scene in a really good play. It sets thestage for the whole release. If the first track is not to your liking,chances are you won't like much or all of the CD. Mellow start off"Another Mellow Spring" with "Shinda Shima," a track that changesapproaches twice before actually arriving at the meat of the song. Andwhat fine tasting meat it is. References to Pink Floyd are consistentlyversed in press about Mellow — their bio even says they're "checkingBeck's head through Pink Floyd's stethoscope" — and not withoutjustification. "Shinda Shima" settles into a very Floyd-esque vibe. Andthat's when the vocoder comes in. Suddenly the soundscape has changed.Seems that's the order of the day for Mellow, as the second track,"Paris Sous La Neige," sounds vaguely Brit-pop. And then things shiftagain. This is one of the most viscerally satisfying releases I'veheard this year, for that very fact. Styles shift, weird sounds emerge,and the whole time the trio of Stephane Luginbuhl, Pierre Begon-Loursand Patrick Woodcock sound like they're having the time of their lives.They should be: it's exciting stuff. The only complaint I have is theinclusion of several versions of "Mellow," their debut single,including a Fila Brazilia mix. It almost always signifies a lack ofmaterial to justify a full CD instead of an EP. Mellow show promise,though, and I definitely look forward to hearing where they go fromhere.

 

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5034 Hits

ovalprocess, "ovalcommers"

Ovalcommers starts and ends with high marks, with theanti-compositional composer incorporating new sounds into the audiosoup. The pulse is strong and the noise is multi-dimensional, dynamic,mobile and emotive. This eventually fades however, into the proverbialarray of untitled tracks packed with multi-tonal scratchy hums. By themiddle of the disc, the music has become ambience, eyelids sink, andother activites win attention until it nearly ends. But before it quiteends, Popp has sadly chosen to do one of the most irritating trends inthe past ten years: he leaves 25 minutes of silence on track 11 beforea new unexpected (de)composition jumps in. The music that arrives afterthis silence is phenomenal. The first song is an excellent match ofbombastic low end, drifting harmnoics and captivating high pitches, thesecond pursues the more typical Oval sound with scratching rhythmicsounds, yet adds more fluid melodies and song structure. This portionof the disc is so much more exciting and unpredictable than the rest ofOvalcommers that I wonder what's holding him back fom making aphenomenal album. I honestly can say I like his stuff, but does hereally want to keep releasing the same album over and over again? Is heafraid to explore new grounds as Oval? To me, the process is gettingrather tired and the journalists who herald this stuff over and overagain are merely chasing their tales. You've presented the process,perfected the process, now do something with it.

 

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5155 Hits

M√∫m, "Yesterday Was Dramatic, Today is OK"

When was the last time you got a CD and went screaming to your friends,calling them and playing stuff through the phone receiver, emailing allyour pals on [insert band name here] emailing list saying "OH MY GODYOU HAVE TO FUCKING HEAR THIS!!!!" Was it with 'Confield'? No. Was itwith 'Kid A'? No! Maybe the last time was a few months ago when you"discovered" another Icelandic group (who ironically was raved abouthere on THE BRAIN months before The Wire, Rolling Stone or Spin; monthsbefore the Fat Cat UK release and over a year before the MCA US releasebut you didn't pay attention or listen to the sound samples then). TheIcelandic Múm have just released an almost completely instrumentalalbum — whose cuts always trigger numerous phone calls whenever playedon my piddly-shit radio show here in Boston. The question is always,"who the hell is this amazing music from??!!" Why do I find these guysso special? It's not what they do, it's how they do it. The grouphasn't broken any grounds with breakbeats, electronica, clicking orlaptop fuckery. They have found a way to make it simply fuckingbrilliant and I can't stop talking about this disc. While I hate makingcomparisons to other groups, try to picture if Autechre could write amelody. Imagine if Heaven existed and angels were experimentding withelectornic music. Imagine lying in the soft grass on a summery morning,fresh with glistening dew drops sparkling, and the tunes of thousandsof hand-wound music boxes playing in harmony. This is only thebeginning. Beefy breaks and low humming basslines are added but neveroverbearing or upsetting the gentle balance. Sure I can buy a thesaurusand have it sitting next to the computer for whenever I write reviewsand come up with other words for stunning, gorgeous, magnificent,clever, thoughful, ingenious, delicate, beautiful or compelling but I'drather you sit back and listen to the samples and let the sound speakfor itself.

 

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4754 Hits

HAZARD / FENNESZ / BIOSPHERE, "LIGHT"

As a taster cum sampler for the current Touch UK tour featuring thesethree audio explorers in cahoots with three different visual artists,this works up an appetite. It's just a shame it's missing Manchester bysuch a distance as the Fennesz track here is particularlymouthwatering. The Viennese maestro has surpassed himself again. Wherehis previous excursions into sampled guitar noise sculpting have maybehad precursors in the shape of Bruce Gilbert's seismic groundshifter'Ab Ovo', the overloaded sensory bombardment of prime My BloodyValentine and the digital lock skips of Oval, Christian Fennesz iscertainly carving out a distinctive niche. This track his perhaps hismost evocative evolution to date and is subtley emotive in a candlelitmemory haze reminiscent atmospherically of Labradford's 'Mi MediaNaranja' peak, but as if the whole album had sped by in a heat hazedfive minute blur. Hazard specialises in bleak ambient drones with snowyclose miked rumbles suggestive of vast deserted frozen expanses.Biosphere seems quite ordinary and inorganic in comparsion, presentingtwo remixes of precise clinical beat politeness underpinning sampledspeech. The cover is another nice bit of Touch co-conspiritor JonWozencroft's conceptual photography. Three images of trees at differentangles and diurnal illumination make apt visual accompaniments for thethree sonic experimenters.

 

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4209 Hits

RYOJI IKEDA & CARSTEN NICOLAI, "CYCLO"

Like-minded minimalists Ryoji Ikeda and Carsten Nicolai first performedtogether in 1999 as part of the Raster Noton 'New Forms' series. In theyears since data was exchanged back and forth between the artists,resident to Japan and Germany respectively, to create the Cycloproject. The purpose of their work is the same as much of modernminimalist composing: seeking out and embracing the (oftenmathematical) errors. Ten untitled tracks ranging 1 to 8 minutes makeup the 41+ minute, 'Vario Pac' encased disc. As would be expected, allthe usual sort of clinically clean and precise digital sounds from eachof the artists repertoires are present: high pitch signals, staticnoise, clipped tones, sine waves, sub bass pulses, snaps, crackles andpops all dance about the stereo field. The most notable sound lackingis no sound at all, i.e. silence. These are songs, very active andoften rhythmic and climactic, leaning more toward Nicolai's work asNoto than Ikeda's pure frequency drones. And as with Noto CDs, thevariation across the duration of the disc is noted and muchappreciated. Minimal excess for minimal success

 

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4883 Hits

KINGS OF CONVENIENCE, "QUIET IS THE NEW LOUD"

Norwegians Eirik Glambek Boe and Erlend Oye have made a remarkabledebut with this 45-minute modern acoustic gem of an album. Some of theinfluences are apparent in the vocals — from Nick Drake to Pink Floyd'smore quiet moments. They manage to capture an air of romanticism inbeautiful tones that can either uplift you or bring tears to your eyes.The disc as a whole is quite mellow — a perfect lazy summer album.Their lyrics (such as "...there are many places that I would like to gowith you / but I can't find the key to open my door...") are excellentto the point where even Mark Kozelek couldn't have said them better.Their chord progressions range from sounding somewhat Tortoise-esque todefinitely Belle-and-Sebastian-like, though there is a level of uniquestyle that blends them and produces peaceful daydreamy feels. Lately,too, they have been known to hang with the Badly Drawn Boys, and evengot their Ken Nelson to produce "Quiet is the New Loud." This album isthe perfect example that music does not have to be ground-breaking tobe simply beautiful.

 

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4452 Hits

third eye foundation, "i poo poo on your juju"

Over the last few years we have listened to Matt Elliott develop hissound under the Third Eye Foundation guise. One of Bristol UK'sfavorite sons has come a long way from the early days as a supportingcast member of Amp and Flying Saucer Attack. As Third Eye Foundation,he has progressed from the early days of organic sounds cleverlycoupled with electronic breaks to being one of the indie electronicscene's premiere technicians, composers and constructivists. With thisrelease, Elliott has made hints that it will be his own rather quietcurtain call, as he either ends this mission only to start new musicalventures, or turns to devote his full time to fatherhood. Theeight-track 18-minute slab is a collection of a couple collaborativeefforts as well as remixes of music from Blonde Redhead, The RemoteViewer, Urchin and Tarwater. Surprisingly enough for a collection ofthis nature, this disc flows with a keen sense of continuity —consistent with itself, like many albums of original material. From thefirst track, a piece noted as a 3EF remix of Yann Tiersden,breathtaking is the only word I can use to express my personalfeelings. The man who was once described to me as combining drum andbass elements with distorted guitars delivers something with neitherdrums nor bass, filling the room with accordion, swirling piano andsoft vocal samples used in the last album on the track "List". Movingonwards, the rest of the disc screams more of more recent Third EyeFoundation than any of the other names credited to each track,incorporating a fine blend of organic samples, strong foundation andhypnotic beats, admittedly constructed from others' songs. Intoxicatingare other offerings like the Blonde Redhead mix and collaboration withChris Morris. The music community doesn't know what it's missing fromElliott if he indeed chooses to retire at this point. I'm saddened tohear this news given his incredible progression from his beginnings.With any luck it's simply a rumor and he'll be able to find timebetween baby feedings to tinker with more captivatng ideas.

 

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6585 Hits

Chicks On Speed, "Euro Trash Girl"

From the quiet opening "Damned for a bribe!" you know there's something fun coming up in this club remix of the Chicks hit. And when those beats do kick in, you know that this song is meant to be heard full-blast amongst flashy lights and jumpy speed-induced clubbers.
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5310 Hits

mark eitzel, "the invisible man"

There was a time in the late 1980s/early 1990s that American Music Club would release albums which would cut through the trendy indie rock scene like a rusty knife. The group meshed an influence of introspective artistic post-punk with American twang long before Bedhead and Low were recording Joy Division covers, or Ida and Red House Painters were releasing albums.

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4410 Hits

Portastatic, "Looking For Leonard" Soundtrack

Mac McCaughan is just one of those guys. He's the guy who runs therecord label (Merge). He's the guy that plays in Supechunk. Now, he'sthe guy that scores films. McCaughan returns as Portastatic for thislovely instrumental soundtrack in an almost spaghetti-western style,although variations abound. Through most of the release, reverbedguitar lines and whistles are complemented by kettle and brush drumsounds and occasional strings and keyboards. Elsewhere, simplesynthesizer and organ lines are forged with thumping beats and snaredrum. The only vocals appear on one track ("Do You Speak English?")that sounds like dialogue straight from the film. Lush, poppy andmoving, this collection probably has a much greater effect whilewatching the motion picture the music is featured in (as manysoundtracks do), but on its own the record is a fine piece of work.Things get a bit repititious on a few tracks, and there are a few"throwaway" tracks — and at just over 34 minutes total, that's a shame— however the sheer variety of sounds makes it an extremely pleasurableand worthwhile listen. There is nothing more inherently hummable thanthe "Looking for Leonard Theme" while walking down the streets of yourtown. I know nothing about the movie, mind you, but it has a glory andtriumph in it that make you want to carry your head high and strut. Ihope it's the theme for that reason, and I look forward to seeing thefilm for that extra emotional impact. All in all, a release well worthchecking out. It's at least enough to keep you engaged, and prettyenough to move you.

 

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3978 Hits

low/dirty three "in the fishtank"

My first impressions were "there's no suprises here." Take two of myfavorite bands and combine their elements: mesh the shuffling drums ofJim White, sparse guitar work of Mick Turner and gentle violin of andcombine that with the wonderful harmonies and obscure references fromLow, the world's premiere songwriters/singers and hear two greatentities together. But upon deeper subsequent listenings, the whole is,in actuality, more than the sum of its parts. Recorded in Holland, inbetween performances and airport arrivals this edition of the "In theFishtank" series is once again about a half hour of bands taking abreak from their regular schtick to do something they enjoy doing. TheEP on the chopping block encompasses the finer elements of both groupsand brings them to a different level. It's strange how a trio ofAustralians make a trio of US Americans sound more in touch with theirAmerican heritage while vocals and harmonies gracefully compliment analready impressive canvas the Australian trio have been painting foryears. Included here are six tunes, including a haunting cover of NeilYoung's "Down By the River," sung by Mimi Parker and completelyunrecognizable until she begins singing, approximately five-minutesinto the track. With this, neither band are gonna win new fans,die-hards will buy this no matter what they hear, so my message is tothose fair-weather listeners: this is good for you and won't disappointyou like the Tortoise/The Ex EP from the same series.

 

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4731 Hits