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"Paris Vu Par"

"PARIS VU PAR"
A compilation from Cherry Orchard's record label in France. Like Bambini's 'Mystery Date Game' and 'Voyage Romanesque' and Invicta Hi-Fi's 'Special Skool' comps this record attempts to create the cool atmosphere that Siesta and El Records have done on their international pop compilations, with just a dash of the electronic pop that J-pop specializes in so well. Every band wrote a song about Paris just for this compilation. For me the 2 standout tracks are the Baxendale cut "The New Parisienne Pop And Soul" and The Cherry Orchard's "We Could Fall In Love". These 2 tracks are classics of each of the bands that are exclusive to this disc. Baxendale remain one of my very fave bands of 2000. Le Hammond Inferno sound very J-pop on the instrumental "Stylostumpt". The track sounds very familiar though I can't place from where. It is very energetic and catchy. Merrick's (from Munich) do a pretty good song "Fur Paris gilt das Nicht" that is nice even though it's not one of my faves. It almost sounds like a mellower Francoise Cactus (of Stereo Total) singing. She even says "Crazy Horse" (the title of a Stereo Total song from 'Juke-Box Alarm') in the lyric of the track.

4295 Hits

Pan(a)sonic, "Aaltopiiri"

PAN(A)SONIC, "AALTOPIIRI"
Ilpo and Mika have come a long way from their beginnings as Panasonic. The music which at one point utilized a minimal amount of effects and sources, creating an aggressive and direct mixture has become a more resourceful blend with a deeper understanding of variety and reflection, sonority and permanence. Their fourth full-lengther together is once again rather chunky to swallow all at once. With 17 new tracks totalling over an hour's worth of music, I must admit I wasn't a big fan at first. Further listenings have unearthed what appears to be both organic and synthetic sounds, a production approach which is very matured in comparison to 1997's 'Kalma,' and a distinct identity between songs. Minimalism, this isn't. It's not all subtle and introspective, however. Unlike 'A,' this album does indeed reach a climax. Towards the end of the disc, the energy builds up to a monsterous roar, good for some wall-shaking needs, which leads me to believe they might be storing an arsenal of more beefy 808-kick tracks for another 12" release as stellar as 'B' was.

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4721 Hits

Shipping News, "Very Soon, And in Pleasant Company"

Jason Noble and Jeff Mueller's musical collaborations first manifested on the only release from Rodan back in 1994. Following the split, Jason went to the Rachel's and Jeff to June of '44 but the two came together along in 1996 to record with for the PBS program "This American Life." Kyle Crabtree (from Eleven Eleven) joined in 1997 and a debut album, "Save Everything" was released. Four years later, a second album has arrived with help from Christina Files (Mary Timony, Victory at Sea) twiddling knobs.

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5044 Hits

Sybarite, "Music For a Film"

SYBARITE, "MUSIC FOR A FILM"
Synthetics and organics coexist in harmony on this full-length release from multi-instrumentalist Xian Hawkins. Some might recognize his name from the Silver Apples reunion assembly as the "other guy" than Simeon, but this New Yorker has an identity all his own. This music originally served as the score for a 1999 independent suspense/thriller film by Patrick McGuinn, "Killing Me Tomorrow," and is composed of 14 tracks which total about 41 minutes-worth. The songs are short, sweet and waste no time, with shimmering guitar melodies, subtle string sounds and low-tempo electronic beats in parts. The unobtrusive mix makes it perfect for a film score, with fade-outs it has obviously been slightly tailored for the commercial release. I'm now looking forward to finding out where Hawkins' career is headed next.

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5197 Hits

Pan•American, "East Coast Bugs"

The latest release from Labradford's Chicago resident, Mark Nelson takes the form of 12" vinyl from BSI Records of Portland, OR. This 12" (limited to 2000 copies) provides 24 minutes with 2 exclusive tracks mastered by BSI's mix maven Sound Secretion. Unlike his superb full length albums on Kranky, Pan•American singles (including the 10" on Kraak and 12" split on Fat-Cat) are truly solo efforts devoid of contributions from other players.
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4749 Hits

The Walker Brothers, "The Singles +"

From a small label in Holland comes this amazingly priced double CD set, a singles compilation from Scott Engel, John Maus and Gary Leeds, who are most commonly known as Scott, John and Gary Walker. The collection grabs 45 A-sides and popular hits from the trio both together and in solo form, stretching from 1965 through 1981.

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5005 Hits

Muslimgauze, "Fedayeen"

Bryn Jones passed away 2 years ago last week and his music lives on.Originally released free of charge as mp3s, "Fedayeen" returns as aproper limited edition on compact disc via Russian label TantraHarmonies. It comes in 2 flavors, collectable and uber-collectable: 850in color gatefold sleeve and 150, numbered, in lion logo green slipsleeve. Being around $20 and $25, respectively, and the fact that themp3s are tucked away on many a hard drive and cd-r, this disc isessentially for the must have everything folks. Jones was at anunprecedented level of prolificness in 1998-9 with 35 or so releases.The 8 tracks here (most in the 10 to 12 minute range, 61 total) sharethe same repetitious characteristics: hand percussion and crunchyelectronic loops, sample cut and paste (dialogue, bird calls, water),strings, etc. in a variety of styles: 'traditional', drum 'n bass,techno and overdriven glitch-hop. The length of these tracks makes themboth hypnotic and tedious at times but, nonetheless, qualityMuslimgauze. Of special note are "Mustafas Cassette Market Marrakesh",a blurred d 'n b blend, "Abu Salim, Tripoli", a slower techno journey,"Bharboo Of Pakistan Railways", an electro-bleep loop and "Old ArabRecord Not On Compact Disc" which regurgitates bits from old slabs ofscratchy arabic vinyl. And yes, this does sound better in cd ratherthan mp3 quality. "Melt", the sister mp3 release from 1998, will alsobe re-released as a 12" EP via BSI Records next month .

5442 Hits

Ammo, "The Age of Terminal Irony"

This Belgian duo consists of John Sellekaers and C-Drik, whose production and performance has appeared on releases from Torsion, Ambre and Snog. The debut release has taken three forms, but the one in my hands is the German CD edition. It starts off being a rather powerful foray into aggressive modern dark drum and bass.

 

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4882 Hits

In The Nursery, "Hindle Wakes"


There are certain thingsyou can always count on when purchasing a release from In the Nursery.The melodies are always emotionally charged, the production shines witha signature decadent brilliance and the sounds do an excellent job ofimitating a full orchestra.

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5266 Hits

Opium Jukebox, "Music To Download Pornography By"


Opium Jukebox is MartinAtkins (Pigface, The Damage Manual, Invisible Records) and BobdogCatlin (ex-Evil Mothers, Pigface, Pseudo Buddha) and a dozen othermusician friends. This cd is a contemporary covers album: Nirvana"Smells Like Teen Spirit", NIN "Head Like a Hole", Gary Numan "Cars","Ball of Confusion", Jane's Addiction "Been Caught Stealing", EMF"Unbelievable", "Tainted Love", Devo "Whip It" and Dead or Alive "YouSpin Me Right Around".

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4788 Hits

Antony & The Johnsons, "I Fell in Love With a Dead Boy"


Three days in mypossession and I can't stop playing this three tracker over and overagain. For those who have been fortunate enough to witness Antony &the Johnsons live, this provides an excellent souvenir of favorites noton the debut album.

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5212 Hits

Blacword, "Subduing Demons In South Yorkshire"


 I am amazed at the madgenius that is Richard H. Kirk, once again he manages to blur the linebetween music and noise as entertainment in a very thought-provkingmanner.

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5301 Hits

Tricky, "Mission Accomplished"


Remember Tricky? Theformer music media darling amicably parted ways withPolygram/Island/Def Jam in 1999 and now calls Epitaph branch Anti homealongside Tom Waits and Merle Haggard. Mission accomplished? This UK EP(also due out February 6th in the States) gives us a little over 16minutes with 3 new songs and 1 previously unreleased old one.

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4434 Hits

!!!


Slammin' mutherfuckingballsy-ass shit. This debut CD release is probably the most excitedI've been about a new rock-genred band in as long as I can remember.The energy is fierce, the music is fast, funky and full of wakka wakkaguitars, crazy effects, beefy bass chops, electronic and organic drums,wild cheering, hoards of percussion and a splash of horns.

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5087 Hits

HEFTY'S "IMMEDIATE ACTION SERIES"

Barrelling forward with releases, John Hughes' Hefty Records has boldly issued a series of stellar limited edition 12" singles.

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4613 Hits

"PUTTING THE MORR BACK IN MORRISSEY"

From Morr Music inGermany comes a wonderful offering of many of their fine artists. Don'tlet the title fool you, there's nothing to do with the former Smithslead singer on here. In the last few years, the electronic instrumentalrock hybrid scene in Germany has grown exponentially from what once wasonly a handful of acts who used to share loads of members. Collectedhere are some of the more prominent groups like The Notwist, Arovane,Lali Puna, Flowchart and the Tied & Tickled Trio. Disc one featuresfourteen new and exclusive cuts while disc two features fourteenincestuous remixes of many of the first disc's artists trading mixeswith others. Solvent remixes Kevin & Paul, Schneider TM remixesMicha Archer & Ms John Soda, while Kandis and the Tied &Tickled Trio remix each other. This provides a great introduction toMorr, which appears to be sort of taking off where Kitty-Yo decided toleave off when they pursued trashy cash cow kitch like Peaches andGonzales. Kudos to Morr for keeping the artwork alive.
5240 Hits

"WIR"

In an almostanti-post-kraut movement, Ladomat (who gave us the compilation 'L'ageD'or' earlier this year) has unleashed a two-disc compilation of theirown, showcasing their artists like Sand 11, Egoexpress and CommercialBreakup. Flying in the face of the instrumental movements (like theMorr comp exposed), these groups are clearly pop-minded. The groupssing (frequently in English) and bring a jovial bounce and step totheir brand of futurism without going completely off the deep end intosomething that would wear thin after the novelty is gone. Germans canrock as they proved earlier this year, now they're telling the worldthat Germans can smile and make fun artistic music without beingstereotypically overly serious stiffs or churning out disposablecartoon techno.
4868 Hits

RED SNAPPER, "OUR AIM IS TO SATISFY"

The disc starts off verypromising. The rhythms are sexy and the music is rich in texture.Driving beats set the disc in motion from the start, but all of the funsoon begins to fade. What spoils the disc for me is when a guestvocalist either raps or sings. The rap is never interesting enough tohold my attention and the lyrics are rather embarassing to listen to.It's almost as if Red Snapper use vocals as a crutch for songs theyfeel need a better lead instrument, but when they keep them out, theintensity of the music grows to epic proportions. Going forward on thedisc, Red Snapper do however make some choices to keep other tracksinstrumental. A very nice option for tracks like the album closer,"They're Hanging Me Tonight," a wonderful play of overprocessed drums,guitars crying backwards and drone-like string samples.
5512 Hits

HRVATSKI, "RÄUME"

From Tonschacht inCologne, Germany comes this heavy slate, cleverly disguised as a 7"single. I honestly don't think I own a 7" record pressed this thick.Anyhow the three tracks which compose this single bring together bothHrvatski's technical expertise of precision electro-meddling and afondness for outside sources laying down constant voices to be carriedthrough with each composition. Keith Fullerton-Whitman makes songs andsomething like this is a tease to his fans out there waiting foranother full-lengther from the boy. Look for a remix project due outsometime in January. The single's limited to 500 numbered copies buthas seemingly had an easy time making the distribution outside ofGermany.
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JESSICA BAILIFF/THE.DITHERING.EFFECT 10"

With every new song thatcomes from this team of people named Jess out in Ohio, my interestgrows. Jessica Bailiff and Jesse Edwards have been collaborating ontracks following last year's full-length from Bailiff on Kranky, 'Hourof the Trace.' The result has been quite expansive for only a handfulof tunes - Bailiff has almost come out of hiding behind the guitardistortion for singles and compilation appearances, but on this single,more electronic space is being explored. Both sides of this limited 10"single average around ten minutes, each being two songs which flow intoeach other without distinct traditional breaks. Looking at the titles,the impression I get is that this release might actually be tributal innature, "Maybe Tomorrow" on the first side is a spacious interplay ofechoed voice, guitar wash and drum machine, "Amethyst Depression" isn'ta Coil tribute but is instrumental, beat-less, pretty and sweet. Sidetwo opens with a looping guitar riff which could have easily beenlifted off of the first godspeed record. "Rene?" is the first time Ithink I've heard Jesse sing himself and the song is rounded out with adrum machine sounding loop which eerily doesn't sound like it's loopingcorrectly. Rounding out the end of the side is "Your Sounds MakePatterns in My Eyes (for SOTL)," which is undoubtedly a nod to Stars ofthe Lid. Unfortunately it's all too short and the gorgeous soundscapeof that gem lasts around two minutes. If we saw the two expand on this,make it a full 20 minutes long and include it on the next JessicaBailiff full-lengther, that release is bound to become a classic.
4579 Hits