Sunday, November 30, 2008

Faust - Faust Tapes

"The album fades in slowly in a cacophony of rainy city blues, droning synthesizers and tonelessness. An abrupt edit cuts suddenly to a call and answer vocal and drum groove and. . . bang! A savage edit into. .. a ballad. Piano, drums, acoustic guitar, Eno-ish synthesizer and voice. A ballad. Except that the vocals were intriguingly trans-Atlantic and sounded insightfully psychedelic in a badly-translated way. It was charming: "When you leave your place and walk in someone other's garden, Suddenly you see, it's a woman's colour in your mind to be."

Most surprising about The Faust Tapes is the number of truly wonderful pop and rock songs hidden within the cut-ups and experiments of the album's tangled grooves. And halfway through Side I is their most defining Krautrock riff of all. It's another of Faust's Krautrock/Family Stone/Temptations trips in the tradition of "It's a Rainy Day". A scientific German-American voice makes pronouncements over the groove and Gunter Wüsthoff's sax tears along over a loopy breakneck driving beat, as the call and answer of life kicks in: "Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz. Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz Chet-vah Buddha, Cherra-loopiz."

50,000 copies of The Faust Tapes were sold in 1973 and the night they played at Birmingham Town Hall, it seemed as though those words could become a football anthem. The Heads were taking over. Soon after, as we lay in my friend Cott's caravan listening to The John Peel Show, out of nowhere the DJ began to read out the names of the 20 or more songs from The Faust Tapes. The sleeve and label of the LP had showed no titles to any of the songs and Cott raced around trying to find a pen. It was all over in half-a-minute and all I could remember was some title about Humphrey Bogart. It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that John Peel was in on Faust's intended wind-up of its audience - that we were only meant to hear the titles fleetingly and race around like half-wits. And Faust were right.

. . it was their persistence in the Entirety of their trip that makes them so legendary now. Even better, The Faust Tapes was the social phenomenon of 1973, and it finally brought the true avant garde into everyone's living room, for a short while at least. But most of all this LP revealed just which side of the fence everyone was really standing. In April 1980, Jim Kerr, leader of dinosaurs Simple Minds, gleefully told me how he and his mates had all chucked their copies of The Faust Tapes off the roof of a Glasgow tenement. Enough Said? I'm sure that's the phrase." - Julian Cope


Einstürzende Neubauten - Strategies against Architecture '81

Discarded metal being hit, drilled, heated, manipulated. Junkyard scraps submitted to harsh treatments. Circuit bending and primitive electronics. Guitar and bass abused and mangled. This is fucking Industrial. If you can't handle it, go back to VNV Nation. These fuckers used goggles to protect their eyes from the debris, not as a ridiculous dancefloor accessory. They once drilled a hole in the wall in one of their shows and left the venue through it. They destroyed the floor of the ICA trying to find an underground secret tunnel that linked it to Buckingham Palace. They recorded themselves digging huge holes in the Autobahn. As one does. A thing of beauty.

"Einsturzende's first compilation album summed up all that was brilliant and thrilling about the young band, who perhaps more than anyone else encapsulated exactly what "industrial" consisted of -- honest-to-goodness mechanistic pummeling and musique concrete remade for a newer generation. Selections from Schwarz and Kollaps feature, along with single-only cuts and various live performances as well, giving a striking picture of the group's varying approaches. Bargeld's rasped, whispered vocals and sudden screams crawl with threat and dread in a consciously dramatic but never overtly hammy fashion, while the rough rhythms and harsh clattering which serves as a bed for his delivery touches on everything from free jazz to minimal Krautrock rhythms. That the volume often gets amped to its absolute highest is only to be expected, but silence and space between sound matters just as much, especially on a slew of songs toward the end. Guitars and bass appear more often than might be expected, but the way they're played is something else entirely, muddied deep in the mix or roaring as undifferentiated noise stabbing in here and there. It's also interesting to hear the earlier version of the band in contrast with the later, when a slightly more formal rock presentation took the fore. Given that on the recordings here the group consisted mostly of percussionists beating on metal and whatever else was to hand, it's little wonder things sound even more aggressive. Maybe for some this will only sound like the backing music on a Sprockets sketch, but the impact on any number of sound terrorists then and since from this album can't be measured. " - Ned Raggett


Movietone - The Blossom Filled Streets

Part of that exhilarating 90's Bristol scene that included FSA, Crescent, Third Eye Foundation, Amp and others, Movietone specializes in delicate, instrospective melancholia, supremely crafted and sonically challenging.

"They use strings and prepared piano like art rock auteurs, cruise sonic landscapes like Bluetile Lounge or Galaxie 500, and the ends of their songs often tumble into extended improvisations that rival free jazz. " - Stacia Proefrock

1930's beach house

Swans - Love of Life

One of Swans' most beautiful, shimmering albums. Also quite disturbing. Includes perhaps the most heartbreaking song ever written, "Her".

The golden boy awaits

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Joe Byrd & The Field Hippies - The American Metaphysical Circus

Requested by Andres. More electronic/psychedelic craziness from Mr. Byrd.

"Byrd wasted no time refurbishing his nest with another group, this time a studio-only entity known as Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies. Their lone LP, The American Metaphysical Circus, is another oddball classic. Opening with some dark, electronic soundscapes laminated with haunting, moaning female vocals that segue into an awesomely catchy, lightweight, psychedelic rock song; a parody of many musical styles then follows: ’60s pop, romantic ballads, vintage hot jazz (in one speaker only with tons of surface crackle added for authentic 78 rpm record sound), old folks' sing-along piano ditties, etc. with occasional ominous electronics bubbling up to the surface. The overall “Age of Aquarius” feel is subtly twisted by beautiful, mostly female vocals belting out some fairly mentally disturbed lyrics."

Mister 4th

The United States of America - s/t

Request by Andres. Like the Silver Apples, the USA's use of electronic apparatus to bolster the song into other planes of there made them instrumental to the development of popular electronic music.

"Joseph Byrd is a composer and music teacher who's been working since the 1950s. After starting out playing in pop, jazz and country bands as a Tucson, Arizona teen, Byrd moseyed on over to Stanford college in New York City in 1959, where he became a student of experimental composer John Cage and joined the nascent Fluxus art scene. He even debuted his first minimal music works at Yoko Ono's loft! Soon after college, Byrd accepted a teaching position at UCLA in the mid '60s, but after the music bug bit him hard, he quit to play full-time. His most well-known work appeared on two LPs at the end of that decade.

Byrd's first band, the short-lived United States of America, splashed out a unique spray of rock, psychedelic and avant-garde music. They eschewed rock's staple instrument, the electric guitar, in favor of then cutting-edge electronic devices like an early, primitive synthesizer and a ring modulator, the whoosh and bleeps of which they blended in with crystal clear female vocals and searing violin to effortlessly bake a whole loaf's worth of damaged space age pop. After the release of their one and only self-titled LP in 1968, the band played a few shows, then promptly and predictably imploded due to the usual drug problems and creative differences."


Friday, November 28, 2008

Current 93 - Dogs Blood Rising

"Having established his art on initial releases, Tibet makes a stunning declaration of purpose on Dogs Blood Rising, one of the most frightening, nerve-wracking records ever released."

This was David Tibet(Psychic TV) before he went medieval, apocalyptic folk, when it seemed like he wanted to create music for black magick ceremonies.

Tape loop sound collages with vocals ranging from: spoken word passages, monk-esque chanting, and creepy little children singing to effect laden vocals and choirs that sound straight out of hell.

Dark, harrowing, scary shit.

Get it

Fugazi - The Argument

The last album by the legendary DC band before they went on hiatus. It's probably their most experimental in terms of the new sounds they incorporate, but it's also their most accessible with certain pop sensibilities.  In time it will be regarded as one of their best.

Pere Ubu - The Modern Dance

The album that got my head rearranged, many moons ago. Did the same for many others as well. Essential.

Shoot him with a gun

Fripp & Eno - Evening Star

Their 2nd collaborative effort, and a great one.

Index of Metals

Cabaret Voltaire - Living Legends

This comp is a pretty good starting point to get into the sonic juju of this hugely influential Mancunian pioneers. It includes their best known singles and album tracks, including the fabulous "Nag Nag Nag". More info about them here.

Duce headkick

Scott Walker - 30th Century Man

I fucking love Scott Walker, I want you to love 'im too. If you're not familiar with the man here's the trailer to his documentary, featuring Bowie and Johnny Marr paying dues.

 Here's a Comp featuring some of his best work, I would've included "Mathilde" in there but thats just me. 

skeet skeet

here's "Mathilde" just for kicks:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Gang Gang Dance - God's Money

I was having trouble coming up with something to write about this album so I asked a few friends what they thought about it. Here were their opinions:

Arnaldo (AJ Davila, Maxine Hi-Fi, ext..):

"Papiii la demenciaaaaaa."

Jose (revkunin):

"Drum music for hipsters instead of hippies." (note: It may not sound like it but Rev does like the album.)

Kemuel (Sandunga Cat):

"The Residents meet Buffy St Marie on a tiki hut."

If you still don't have an idea what this sounds like just listen to it and figure out for yourself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tangerine Dream - Zeit

TD as glacial, molasses like ambient outfit, recording approximations on the sound of galaxies colliding. Check how "The Birth of Liquid Plejades" puts chancers like Godspeed You! Black Emperor to shame...and it was recorded more 20 years before those canadian pretenders ever decided to pick up an instrument.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Barracudas - Drop Out With The Barracudas

1980's garage revivalists from London

Stereolab - Cobra & Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night

One of my favorite albums of all time. I can`t even begin to describe all the musical styles and influences this album contains. The vintage sound quality of this albums instrumentation and recording is unmatchable. No other Stereolab recording sounds like this one. The harmonies are so beautiful it makes flowers grow all around you.

come play in the milky night.


Rodan - Rusty

This band was known for sharing the same stage and musical scene with Slint. The Rodan quartet only recorded one album and its been an underground hit for more than a decade. Fucking rocking riffs, spoken words, beautiful string works, ambient cozy vocals with some bursts of screaming anger makes this album travel through a load of different musical ideas without repeating anything. If you're lucky you can score some underground live performance shit.

perdy album art too huh?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Last Exit - Cassette Recordings '87

Still live, still pumping big-time improvised noise wail. This one features a take of Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man" that sounds like no other version you've ever heard. This is mighty powerful stuff, and those a tad squeamish when it comes to full-bore noisemaking and improvised energy should explore this record only with proper supervision. There's no telling what will happen if you're left alone with these guys for any length of time.- John Dougan

More sonic destruction from perhaps the loudest free jazz group of all.

My Balls, Your Chin

Friday, November 21, 2008

Robert Wyatt - Old Rottenhat

For Howard.

More Wyatt greatness. This is an explicitly political album, and altogether darker and pessimistic.


Spectrum - Forever Alien

Request from my friend Christiancillou. Spectrum is one of the main projects of ex-Spacemen 3 founder and Experimental Audio Research's head honcho Sonic Boom. On Spectrum he focuses on following the footsteps of the electronic constructions made by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and the glacial electronics of prime Tangerine Dream within a pop context, using an array of vintage synths, pedals, ring modulators, and vocoders. Still "taking drugs to make music to take drugs to", forever drifting into cosmic bliss. This is their fourth album.


Robert Wyatt - Ruth is Stranger than Richard

For Howard.

More amazing songwriting from the Seer of Canterbury, his third album. Includes Eno on "anti jazz ray gun".


Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom

For Howard.

Go get "Comicopera" and enjoy the work one of the greatest songwriters of all time. And then get this masterpiece, his second album and to me still his best. Listen to "Sea Song", with a coda that melts the sternest heart, and you'll know why it's one of my top five favorite songs ever. A monumental achievement by Mr. Wyatt.

Hit the Road

Nurse With Wound - To The Quiet Men From a Tiny Girl

A warm welcome to Pachius and huge props for posting the rare and well regarded NWW/Stereolab collab. Now more from perhaps the last true surrealist alive. "To The Quiet Men..." was their second album and the last from NWW as a lineup. This baby has been out of print for quite a bit, so cop it. More info about the great Steven Stapleton here.


The Flying Lizards - s/t

"Now this was art. And dance. Appearing at the height of new wave, Dada/Fluxus influenced music installation artist David Cunningham put together a loose ensemble to quietly subvert pop, with improvisational gurus David Toop and Steve Beresford dropping by to assist.

What made them known was Deborah Evan-Strickland's disaffected upper class monotone deconstructing soul and rock classics such as their 1979 début single Summertime Blues and its chart smash follow-up, Money, over a barrage of prepared pianos making like funky synths. Summertime Blues was actually better than Money – the ultimate attempt at teen rebellion quashed by the man is transposed here to the world of the dull. The herky, quirky jerky funk of Russia and Her Story underlined what the group was really about, away from the novelty of the singles. Vivien Goldman's pure folk voice sweetened the drive of Her Story, and the pop-confection of TV was tremendous. Cunningham's Eno influence was writ large on the record's ambient textures.

By the time of their second record, Fourth Wall, from 1981, the novelty had worn off somewhat. Patti Paladin and Love Of Life Orchestra's Peter Gordon assist on what is still a rewarding listen, certainly as Cunningham applies his winning formula to Curtis Mayfield's Move On Up.

A perennial footnote, the Flying Lizards retained the Fluxus principle of having a jolly good laugh with their art. The group were seen as some kind of novelty act; however more people heard them than This Heat. The ensemble's influence on LCD and DFA bring them right up to the modern day and here they are to download with lots of bonus material."-Daryl Easlea

The Lizards recorded at This Heat's Cold Storage Studio, as Cunningham was their studio assistant. Their use of dub and concrete techniques to infuse their songs with otherwordly sounds place them firmly in TH's cabal. Like TH, The Pop Group, Biting Tongues, On-U Sound or Thick Pigeon, they were light years ahead.

Summertime Blues

Stereolab + Nurse With Wound - Crumb Duck

Collaboration between members of Stereolab and another band named Nurse With Wound. Tom Gane from Stereolab told Steven Stapleton from NWW to produce their debut album Peng! but Steven refused because the group was ''too rock''. Whatever. Steven then agreed to do some remixes for Stereolab. So this is it, a 2 song EP that fucking ROCKS!

pffft. ''too rock''.

Hideki Sakamoto - Echochrome Soundtrack

Japanese composer Hideki Sakamoto did some incredible string quartet work for the Echochrome video game score. It`s a black & white stick figured perspective puzzle game in which you make a character walk to different destinations while you move the camera to create pathways that don't seem logical at all. Anyway, the soundtrack makes the whole game play experience a lot more relaxing and enjoyable.

Prime #

Robert Wyatt - Comicopera (2007)

This former member of Soft Machine is a fucking legend. A truly extraordinary album with a melancholic and intimate feeling. Profoundly musical in every sense of the word. This album is probably his best overall work since "Rock Bottom" and that says a whole lot.


King Tubby - Dub Gone Crazy

The title kind of gives it away. A compilation from `75-`79 full of incredible soundsystem-soundscapes in hi-fi.



Id like to welcome two new members to our camaraderie. may the schwardz be wit'ya.

Squarepusher - Just A Souvenir

Thomas Jenkinson had a crazy ass day-dream in which he envisioned a rock band playing in front of a glowing backdrop and all of the sudden things just got utterly surreal. The guitarist played some sort of time manipulating instrument that accelerated and decelerated time at will, the drummer`s kit kept changing places with one another, a river came out of nowhere on stage, there were even some kayaks involved. The he went to the studio and tried to get all that on tape.

Do it!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Archie Shepp - Blase

More top notch Archie Shepp sessions. Lineup on this one:

Lester Bowie: Trumpet
Dave Burrell: Piano
Philly Joe Jones: Drums
Julio Finn: Harp
Chicago Beau: Harp
Jeanne Lee: Voice
Archie Shepp: Tenor Saxophone


Suicide - A Way of Life

Their third album, includes perhaps their most beautiful song, "Surrender", that sounds like doo-wop's ghost trapped in a web of old transistors.

I Surrender

Suicide - Half Alive

The legendary ROIR cassette, remastered with bonus tracks.

A pounding reminder of industrial dance music's early beginnings. They produced a unique obsessively American electronic music of enormous energy and enduring influence - throbbing sequencers and "Morrisonesque" vocals: Awesome. -Trouser Press Record Guide


Suicide - Suicide

The sound of broken dreams and exhilarating drug rushes in dirty NYC alleys. Suicide WERE New York. The importance of this album cannot be overstated.

Ghost Ride

Can - Tago Mago

Absolutely essential.

To be reposted soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tangerine Dream - Electronic Meditation

If you know Tangerine Dream only by their tepid 80's movie soundtracks, approach with caution. Long before that they started as a psych skronk outfit hell bent on melting matter with insidious sound waves. One of the cornerstones of krautrock, this one is still Tangerine's wildest shit, before they turned into a majestic, monolithic glacial ambient outfit, and then a new age and film commission bore.

Burning Substancia Nigra

Electric Masada at John Zorn's 50th Birthday Celebration

For whatever reason, what Miles Davis accomplished with Bitches Brew - arguably the album that put fusion on the map - has never been matched and has rarely been emulated. Fusion and various forms of jazz-rock abound thanks to Miles and other pioneering artists, but the sounds and textures of Bitches Brew remain nearly unique - fusion artists took different directions and, for whatever reason, ended up sounding more directly derived from groups like Mahavishnu Orchestra than the free-form, spacious Bitches Brew-era Miles.

John Zorn's Electric Masada, here recorded at a gig in New York, is one of the few fusion groups that actually sounds a lot like Miles circa Bitches Brew. The group takes seven Masada compositions and turns them into raging, energetic beasts. "Idalah-abal", from Alef, here becomes a ferocious number with Marc Ribot's guitar jamming on an anchoring riff while Zorn flails away at his saxophone. "Hadasha" is the most Bitches Brew-like number, what with Ribot's wah-wah guitar, Zorn's more controlled blowing, and an open, spacious texture. The performances are inspired and inspiring; fitting for the occasion, part of Zorn's massive 50th birthday bash in New York.

Throughout it all, the percussion holds the group together and provides a consistently interesting and controlled backdrop to the sometimes chaotic improvisation (particularly by Zorn and electronics whiz Ikue Mori). With two drummers and a percussionist, the rhythms here are fascinating yet always groovy; for instance lending the last track, "Kisofim", a Latin shuffle kind of feel. With such a reliably interesting rhythm section, Zorn and his cohorts are free to jam into outer space. And jam they do.

If you enjoy fusion a la Bitches Brew - wide-open improvs anchored by a great groove and the occasionally rocking riff (and spiced up, once in a while, by an intensity that compares best to Naked City) - Electric Masada is one of the best things that's come along in the past decade. No exaggeration.

-Brandon Wu

The Lineup: John Zorn, Marc Ribot, Cyro Baptista, Ikue Mori, Joey Baron, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Trevor Dunn. Not too shabby. Amazing shit.

Mazel Tov

Mad Professor - Who Knows the Secret to The Master Tape?

One of the most zonked out excursions into the realm of echo and reverb by Guyana's premier dubmeister.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

James Chance & The Contortions - Buy (1979)

A great album by one of the best New York City groups of the late '70s No Wave scene. The Contortions were led by saxophonist James Chance a.k.a. James White. His music is described as a combination of the freeform playing of Ornette Coleman with the solid funk rhythm of James Brown, though filtered through a punk rock lens. This is a true classic you little freaks.


Fripp & Eno - No Pussyfooting

Request by the Coonie. Frippertronics start here.

Swastika girls

Monday, November 17, 2008

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds - The Good Son

More magnificent songs from Saint Nick. Includes "The Weeping Song" and "The Ship Song".

The hammer came down

Fela Kuti - Music is the Weapon of the Future Vol.2

The inventor of afrobeat and one of the most important figures of the 20th century, in music or in any other realm. Respect.


Circle - Tower (2007)

This is NOT the same Circle posted by Abe a while ago which featured Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Barry Altschul.
I highly recommend that you listen to this album WITH HEADPHONES.
Here's a review by Mason Jones from Dusted Magazine:
"Finland's highly prolific Circle are known by their fans for delivering the unexpected. Their beginnings were somewhat consistent, with several albums of loping, rhythmically convoluted and fascinatingly repetitive post-rock (for lack of a better term). Since then, the band have defied expectations with each release, not to mention the side projects. It's difficult to think of another band that has remained true to its core while simultaneously becoming both heavier and lighter on various albums. Recently adopting the acronym NWOFHM, a play on the old New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Circle have been, as they say, kicking out the jams.
Thus Tower comes as even more of a surprise than any Circle release thus far. Across six sprawling tracks and 44 minutes, the band and guest twiddler Verde (aka Mika Rintala) channel their inner spiritualists and let loose with a masterpiece of navel-gazing inner-space psych float. Despite the NWOFHM adorning the CD (which in fact says NWONWOFHM, perhaps meaning that this is an even newer wave), and despite the truly puzzling cover art, herein Circle draw from sounds like Alice Coltrane, electric Miles Davis, and Rovo with compelling results.
While the six songs do have their own personalities, they hang together so closely and make up such a cohesive whole that there's really no point in describing them individually. Suffice it to say that flowing synths, warm electric piano, gently propulsive drums, and tinkling percussion are here in abundance, all heavy on atmosphere but not too self-indulgent. The album generally picks up steam a bit as it progresses, with the 13-minute and faster-paced "Geppanen" at the center, but it closes in complete psychedelia, filled with synth washes, trippy cymbals and clattering percussion.
What's tricky is that this all sounds like it should be a bore, but that couldn't be further from the truth. In less capable hands, no doubt the album would be an insomnia cure. You can allow it to flow past as background sound, but if you lay back and focus, it's the details that make it work, that keep it from disappearing into its own navel. Sure, if you want to light up the incense and drift away, it'll work, no doubt about it. But ultimately, Circle have crafted a milestone in psychedelic-jazz-whatever, and it's certain to be one of the year's best albums."

Douche Bag

Fripp & Eno - The Equatorial Stars (2004)

Thirty years after their last collaboration, these guys are at it again. Eno, a pioneer of what was coined as ambient music, and Fripp, an innovator in all things guitar, create textural soundscapes unlike any other.
"The Equatorial Stars utilizes the same basic concept perfected on their previous works (emotionally charged liquid lead guitar tones snaking over rolling ambient loops and washes), but in the bare minimum of time. The album contains music that is less composition than artifact of the infinite permutations associated with this method of design. Although high-concept in its origins, The Equatorial Stars is saved from exceeding the grasp of its listeners by the warm, consonant and utterly engaging melodies produced by guitarist Robert Fripp. This album is a wonderful example of inward turning slow-music, but it's greatest success is in revealing the human side of these two iconic figures of the ambient music genre"

I encourage Sandunga Cat to post more from this dinamic duo.

Turd Sandwich

Disco Inferno- DI Go Pop

"The cheeky title of D.I. Go Pop could not be more misleading. Just like the band's highly tongue-in-cheek name, this music is anything but pop, as Ian Crause, Paul Wilmott, and Rob Whatley created an album so audacious, its unique beauty still resounds strongly today. Utilizing MIDI samplers which were triggered by guitar, bass, and drums, the band was able to go beyond the limitations of a mere guitar rock group (Crause once said he had six samplers hooked up to his guitar, one per string). One would expect that the end result would wind up being nothing more than a chaotic, noisy, haphazard, cut-and-paste attempt at musical assemblage, and yeah, there is a fair bit of cacophony on this album, but like My Bloody Valentine's timeless classic Loveless, underneath the din is an album of such startling beauty, and even more surprising structure, that once you notice it, it seems like a huge revelation.

Just listen to that sample of dripping water in the opening seconds of "In Sharky Water"; at first, it sounds like the kind of white noise you'd find easy to ignore, but it doesn't take long before you notice that there's a mellifluousness and a rhythm to it; on this album, the band clearly has a John Cage-like knack for hearing music coming from what would be normally perceived as non-musical sources. You hear examples like that throughout the album, ranging from crashes, glass breaking, and whistling, to samples of camera shutters clicking and a frenetically-repeated sample of children singing on "Starbound: All Burnt Out and Nowhere to Go". Aside from "In Sharky Water", actual drums take a backseat on this album, as rhythms are provided by various samples, and most notably, the bass playing of Paul Wilmott. "New Clothes For the New World" alternates from crashing sounds and chiming samples, anchored by a smooth bassline that sounds swiped from the Happy Mondays catalogue, while the more sinister, intense "A Crash at Every Speed" is driven by a low, rumbling bass vamp. "Next Year" features a melodic, upper-register bassline that's very similar to Peter Hook's work with New Order.

Vocalist/guitarist Crause, an admitted misanthrope, often served up a very bleak, Morrissey-esque worldview in his lyrics on the band's early singles, and though you do hear bits and pieces of a similar sentiment on this album ("Chameleon skin/Is what you need to be in/When nothing's as it appears/Why should you be?"), his vocals are buried so deeply in the mix, it's impossible to tell just exactly what he's singing most of the time. The plaintive, melancholy "Even the Sea Sides Against Us", one of the more instantly accessible songs on the album, revisits the Joy Division/Echo & the Bunnymen sound of their earlier material, as Crause's lyrics sound as charmingly morose as ever ("We're waiting for a future to come and sweep us away").

The album comes to a gorgeous climax on the final two tracks. "A Whole Wide World Ahead" sounds like a Nick Drake song recorded outside in a raging thunderstorm, nothing but acoustic guitar, Crause's spoken lyrics (which are almost understandable... almost), and a swirling, siren-like harmony in the background, all underscored by various whooshes, rumblings, and crashes. "Footprints in Snow", on the other hand, sounds gloriously innocent and optimistic, as you hear little crunchy-sounding samples that actually do evoke images of someone running in the snow, with a gentle bassline provided by Wilmott, more chiming samples that sound like glockenspiel, and Crause's oddly affecting vocals. Then, just like that, after 33 fleeting minutes, it's all over, save for the bizarre insertion of a recording of the band being told to be quiet by their landlady.

D.I. Go Pop sounds even more interesting when heard in context with the band's five great EPs, released between 1992 and 1994. You hear Disco Inferno evolve from the straightforward post punk of "Summer's Last Sound", to the all-out post rock of D.I. Go Pop, as the band gets more and more daring. It's also fascinating to hear the band's two EPs that followed D.I. Go Pop, Second Language and It's a Kid's World. Hearing the absolutely gorgeous guitar work on "Second Language" (arguably the band's best song) echoing The Durutti Column's Vini Reilly, and "It's a Kid's World"'s brilliant combination of the drum track from Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" and samples of various children's TV show themes, you hear the band focus more on melody, while utilizing sampling technology, and still creating some stunning pieces of work. If there's any justice in this world, the band's pivotal EPs they recorded for Rough Trade will be compiled on one CD someday.

Still, it's the band's irreverent genius and the meticulous arrangements on D.I. Go Pop that stick in your mind the longest. As current artists like Manitoba and Four Tet have the technology to assemble albums much more easily these days, the painstaking lengths that Disco Inferno went to perfect their sound in those pre-folktronica days is only occasionally duplicated today. Disco Inferno has long since departed, and were sadly overlooked by most people (including yours truly) a decade ago, but now, with this new re-release, it's high time we all gave this most innovative band the recognition they so dearly deserve. And unlike that grouchy landlady, you'll be wanting to turn this music up, not down."

-Adrian Begrand

One of the most important records ever made. Cherish it. I'll throw in the EPs and "Technicolour", if you behave nicely ;-)

Snow Laughs

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Feelies - Crazy Rhythms

One of the most underrated "college-rock" (a silly, inconclusive genre, i know) bands of the early 80's, some even go as far as to call 'em post-punk. I dunno about that, they've got a great sound, all their own. This is their debut album, one hell of a record, great songs throughout, including two covers: a spastic rendition of the beatles' "Everybody's got something to hide" and another cover i never get tired of hearing, the Stones' "Paint it Black". You'll be sure to enjoy the instant classic "Fa Cé-La" including "tuki tuki" percussion and whyning guitar solo's. Crazy Rhythms was rated #49 in Rolling Stone's top 100 albums of the 1980s, fully deserved. Anyone else notice a certain similarity with a certain weezer cover? Or is it just me?


Friday, November 14, 2008

Nomo - New Tones

Props to Abe for posting Nomo's wonderful "Ghost Rock". Here's their 2nd album.

Get it

Slapp Happy - Sort Of.../Acnalbasac Noom

Info about Slapp Happy can be found here. This group has always given me hours of utter enjoyment. The almost perfect combination of pop sensiblity, wit, irony, and experimentation with songform. For Howard: this was Peter Blegvad's second group. Collaborations with Henry Cow soon to follow.

Sort Of...
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