I must admit I didn't know what to expect when hearing this, but I'm pleasantly surprised. This is the first (to my knowledge) first full-length official release from Russian sound engineer, Ivan Pavlov. Ivan is definately showing influences of a cross between Panasonic and Ryoji Ikeda, but it is definately his own. A pleasant surprise on this is the human element that has become so withdrawn from other music in this genre, his baby daughter Sasha appears on one of the tracks. I know it's nothing new, but it's something that fits well.
The second collaboration between these three, and what a fine disc it is. Low bass dub influenced music, the Mick Harris signature drum loops, and special effects by Eraldo Bernocchi. While Laswell and Harris have been mass producing music lately in the droves, the right combination always has a possibility of yielding a stellar product. Listen to this one loud.
Highly anticipated album from Digital Hardcore's first defectors. SonicSubjunkies are more musical than most of the DHR miscreants, but theirhypercharged breakbeat tirades slash through pile-ups of samples and noisein no less confrontational a manner. They can still be harder than the rest- hard as a fist studded with nails on "Das Elektrophon" and "Do You EvenKnow Who You Are?" - without ever losing the impressive control which setsthem apart from their peers. Stomping tank-tread hiphop ("Live FromJonestown" and "Welcome To Central Industrial"), Hooversonic jump-up jungle("12,000 RPM"), even the occasional low-boil pseudo-ambient interlude - arange of moods and demeanors, all stapled with rapid-fire Uzi breaks andautomatic discharges.
To the uninitiated, Blonk sounds like a madman - babbling excitedly in non-languages, spitting guttural noises and pitched burps like a Speak-N-Spell rewired by a lunatic. He's quite sane, and enormously entertaining, an avid devotee of the obscure history of sound poetry.
How much fun it must be to be able to release material like this.27 tracks of mind-warping weirdness from the heralded Masters who broughtyou the marvelous Datacide project series. This disc is quite thecuriosity! Not as similar-sounding to Datacide as one might initiallybe inclined to think, MU is a mindset prism, a refraction device for theheadphonaut's moods. Many seemingly incongruous tones and atmospheres arestrung together until anticipation and nostalgia become indistinguishable.And don't be deceived, this multitude of sonic segments continuously flowsinto 3 continuous pieces that convey the feel of the pleasantlyoverextended experimental style AND the well-seasoned and time-testedsound. And this won't be your average please-don't-peal-me-off-the-couch-manchill-out session. Only the all-terrain ambienteers will survive, as thelistener frequently deals with counterintuitive changes and sequencingcontradictions. Grinding, trickling, howling, warbling, squeezablemetallic textures will help melt down those rational thoughts and aid inthe discovery of new, more potent mental alloys! I suppose there may onlybe 2 stand-alone song-like tracks here, #18 (Backward Journey) and #23(Rather Sleep Then Dance). This latter track was also subsequentlyreleased in a slightly altered form on the Real Intelligence (RI033)compilation, and may be suggestive of both the post-partyvibe schools ofphilosophy and reality-permeating synchronicities. If you ever see this disc for sale and don't buy it, particularly ifyou're a Datacide fan, you will regret it till the end of your days when,that is if, you hear it.
I am currently engrossedin the newest DEAD VOICES ON AIR offering, a double CD known as :pissfrond:. It receives extremely high marks from me, being quite possiblythe most accesable DVOA release to date. VVV (the Pan Sonic and AlanVega collaboration) and THE CURSE OF THE GOLDEN VAMPIRE (Alec Empireand Techno Animal facing off) have also snuggled their ways deep intomy heart -- nearly far enough to make my precious ears bleed! I fullyawait the new EC8OR album, which should be fab-boo. If you get freemoments, I suggest renting the movie ZERO EFFECT, quite funny andwell-done.
Canadians can be quite boring, but this group is neither Canadian nor boring. This wonderful debut, "Music Has the Right To Children" is currently out on Warp in the UK but will make it to the US via Matador in September. A rhythmic low-cool wonderful gem, ideal for driving, working, making dinner, or downloading porn.
2 releases are out fromLow recently. The first is a mail-order only CD of a live concert fromLouisville KY, "One More Reason to Forget", the second being a disc ofremixes, "owL remix Low". The live disc is a wonderful document,recorded in a church with the microphone in the back of the hall. Theambience is wonderful, the sound is natural, and the sirens outside fitin almost perfectly. Order one while you can by emailing
After the Flood 2 is outon AE and comes as a two-disc set. The first disc contains lots ofwishy-washy vocals from Gordon Sharp while the second disc, aninstrumental disc features some great contributions from Windy &Carl and Labradford. If you can find it for a reasonable price, pick itup for the second disc alone.
Bob Mould gives us hissecond post-Sugar release, "The Last Dog & Pony Show" this week.Bob still has the gift of being a songster, and the songs are all solidon this release. "Megamanic," however gets my vote for the 'should havebeen left as a b-side' category as Mould twiddles the knobs on a'drum-n-bass' style music with Bob rapping over it (more frighteningthan amusing). If you're looking for a solid pop/rock record heavy onthe bright guitars and melody, this one's for you.
From Montreal, Canada comes my vote for best debut album of the year. godspeed you black emperor!,whose disc, "F# A# (infinity)" is the first CD issue of their debutrecord (previously on Constellation, now on Kranky). This nine-pieceband is described in their bio as drawing influencing sounds from EnnioMorricone, 17 Pygmies and Savage Republic, my impression is one of TheRachels and Angelo Badalamenti get an "spaghetti Western" soundtrackalbum produced by Steven Stapleton. There are three tracks in this +60minute disc, each song is of epic proportion with about five distinct"movements", the voices are only brief spoken-word, the otherinstrumentation consists of guitars, lush strings, bagpipes, drums andother various sound effects. Overall, a stunning debut record, by anystandards, and this is definately a band NOT to miss on their brieftour around the USA. Check the Kranky website for details.
If you've ever heard a CD by Big City Orchestra, you know just what notto expect. This disc consists of various people reading selections fromthe cut-up books of Od McUb, who, according to the liner notes (nudgenudge wink wink? or is it true?) spliced together various books whileliving in Holland in the years 1911-1918 to give himself something newto read. The Silverman, Ed Ka-Spel, and Monte Cazaza are among thosewho read selections. Ka-Spel's book describes how to gather ultrasoundsto keep in jars (be sure to have your mom pokes holes in the top first!)by digging in your backyard. All texts seem to have been recorded in asingle take, and boo-boos are left in. The Silverman, for instance,cracks up over `tri-cyclic antidepressants'. The music is quitevaried. Kan't-Spell and the Silver dude are not credited with providingmusic, and as far as I can tell, they didn't. But who can tell? Ican't. The music in some pieces adds sound effects to highlight thetext. In other pieces, the music gets Merzbow noisy and obscures thetext. The CD, as usual for BCO, ends with selections from asound-effects library. Make no mistake, this is DIFFICULT music. I'msure I won't listen often, but nonetheless, I like it.
While I'm not big ontribute discs, this one has really grabbed my attention. "A Tribute toSpacemen 3" features some wonderful tracks like Mogwai's pretty versionof "Honey", Bardo Pond's heavy sonic "Call the Doctor", along withLow's haunting "Lord Can You Hear Me Call?" and Bowery Electric's"Things'll Never Be the Same". My only real beef with this is thatthere's too many songs from S3's "Playing with Fire" and nothing fromother great albums like "Recurring", leaving me wonder how muchSpacemen 3 these bands really listen to.