Thursday, December 31, 2009

RIP Rowland S. Howard

Rowland S. Howard, guitar player for the Birthday Party, Crime And the City Solution and These Immortal Souls and also a solo artist, died on December 30th waiting for a liver transplant. He was an enormous influence and inspiration for me and many others around these parts, as close to an idol as we could have. Rest in Peace Rowland, we'll remember you always.

Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc w/ Dead Men Tell No Tales (with Nikki Sudden)

Teenage Snuff Film

Also my man Grumpy has posted the entire These Immortal Souls discography in his blog, cop it and check it out.And some more Rowland related goodness here and here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Triosk meets Jan Jelinek - 1+3+1

The Australian electronic/jazz trio's debut album (2003). Jan Jelinek is a german electronic musician mostly associated with glitches and sampling. The electronic and jazz elements seem somewhat separate on this album, like jazz musicians experimenting within the borders of jazz form with electronic sounds in the background, as opposed to the integration demonstrated in the following albums, this is mostly due to the free drumming technique which was developed after this album. Moment Returns (2004) was released just one year later and already showcased a lot of progress in the concept of time and composition .

This album showcases good musicians interested in evolving and expanding their sound palette, it's a great step in the growth of these musicians, as demonstrated in the following albums.

Triosk meets Jan Jelinek - 1+3+1

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

gzus christ.

Le quiero dar las gracias a todos mis amigos por venir y gozar conmigo, los quiero a todos! Gracias a Kristen y a los bartenders del Cafe por dejarnos hacer escantes, Pandy, Raul y Dax por motivar con los crowd-pleasers, Samson por extender el pari poniendo de la gorda y al cumpleañero camuyeyo Kemuel por caerle, felicidades negro!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come

For Howard, Arthur's group after the dissolution of The Crazy World. Wonderful and demented prog/psych excursions of the highest order. Enjoy and more to follow from this band.


Monday, December 21, 2009

The Meters - S/T

Ive been on hiatus for far too long, here's a funkalicious offering. The seminal New Orleans outfit The Meters, their debut: an instrumental funk record thatll get you shakin and groovin, unless you're a nazi or dead.

git down.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oren Ambarchi - Suspension

A great way to start enjoying the work of this magnificent Australian.

"Oren Ambarchi is an electronic guitarist and percussionist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. Born in Sydney in 1969, he has been performing live since 1986. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it’s no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it’s a laboratory for extended sonic investigation. He has performed and recorded with Martin Ng (Australia), Christian Fennesz (Austria), Otomo Yoshihide (Japan), Pimmon (Australia), John Zorn (USA), Voice Crack (Switzerland), Sachiko M (Japan), Keith Rowe (UK), Phill Niblock (USA), Günter Müller (Switzerland), Evan Parker (UK), Toshimaru Nakamura(Japan) and many more. He recently toured with sunn0))), also contributing to their 'Black One' album from 2005."

"The brunt of Ambarchi’s work consists of gracefully looped guitar tones that, although often heavily processed so as to render their origins unrecognizable, are touchingly direct in their subtle shifts and warm, soft aura. This reissue of Suspension, then, serves to reassert Ambarchi’s ability to work with a darker, more sonorous palette. As with his more recent works (such as Grapes From The Estate), tracks still brim with energy, but here it is channelled in a more singular fashion; into more pensive – though also pretty – moods that are then captured from numerous angles.

Compositions hinge upon a simple superimposition of textures – a process which allows Ambarchi to shed a reliance upon complex and often distracting processing techniques and, in a rather precise manner, sharpen the angles and edges of these tones into dense, radiant drones that challenge as much as they engage.

In the early works, one often finds minor sixth drones accompanied by delicate metallic ricochets and other faint flurries of percussion that are hypnotic and even seductive in their elusiveness. Later, however, the lengthy stretches of prowling bell-like tones and the distant sputter of amplifier buzz seem no longer subject to gravity and linger in an orbital realm where notes hang, dissolve and reform in a variety of permutations. With “This Evening So Soon”, for instance, the miasma of shifting guitar drones float freely in a sensuous austerity, where each subtle alteration in timbre or momentum works to heighten the suspense laced in between the threads of these finely woven tapestries." - Max Schaefer

Fina China

Monday, December 14, 2009

Triosk - The Headlight Serenade

the third and final album of a great trio with a unique sound that makes any moment an epic moment.

do it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Triosk - Moment Returns

Triosk was from Sydney, Australia. Born 2001, died 2007. This trio comes from two musical persperctives, jazz and electronic music (not trance or house, but as in sampling, resampling, and digital signal processing, etc.) and they were definitely good at both. Moment Returns is their second album.

This album has intense textures and fades in and out of beats that can actually be followed, most of the samples aren't in sync or quantized, add to that Laurence Pike's (drummer) ability to play without a time signature (perhaps inspired by Ornette Coleman's free jazz movement) and you've got no back beat to hold on to, it's great. On the other hand, songs like Love Chariot, Two Twelve are heavily rooted in the beat, balancing it out nicely.

Sit back, dim the lights, listen.

Triosk - Moment Returns

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Last night's party was super fun.
Thank you to everyone who showed up and got shit-faced with us.
Here's the mix that was played.

Howard Roark
Sandunga Cat

Friday, December 11, 2009

Anniversary Party!

Celebrating a years worth of interwebz debauchery.
We'd be delighted if you'd join us while we put on some tunes & down some brews.

Tonight at 8:30 @ Cafe 103, Rio Piedras

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Robert Ashley - Automatic Writing

One of the most important American composers of the 20th and 21st century and some of his most disturbing, powerful works.

"A 1996 CD compiling three early Ashley works from the years 1967-79 -- some of his most experimental and out-there works. A classic electronic music collection and an ideal intro into the somewhat foreboding oeuvre of Robert Ashley's recorded works. The title piece is a 46-minute classic from 1979, which rather famously formed the basis for Nurse With Wound's A Missing Sense. Steven Stapleton's commentary upon this summarizes the intense vibe of this recording: "A Missing Sense was originally conceived as a private tape to accompany my taking of LSD. When in that particular state, Robert Ashley's Automatic Writing was the only music I could actually experience without feeling claustrophobic and paranoid. We played it endlessly; it seemed to become part of the room, perfectly blending with the late night city ambience and the 'breathing' of the building." The piece features the voices of Ashley and Mimi Johnson, with electronics and Polymoog backing, with a switching circuit designed and built by Paul DeMarinis. A fascinating and mysterious work focused on "involuntary speech". The second piece on this CD is "Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon" from 1968. It features the voice of Cynthia Liddell, backed by singers, bells and crackle. Originally issued on the Mainstream label, as an excerpt for a theatre work for amplified voices and tape. The final piece, "She Was a Visitor" is from 1967, originally issued on the infamous electronic compilation Extended Voices (CBS Odyssey), featuring experimental vocals works. Performed by the The Brandeis University Chamber Chorus, directed by Alvin Lucier. " Forced Exposure

El Seto

Monday, December 7, 2009

Techno Animal - Ghosts

More Techno Animal (you can find BOTB here). Kevin Martin and Justin Broadrick, pummeling your frontal lobes.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sandoz - Chant to Jah

Sandoz is Richard H. Kirk (Cabaret Voltaire, Sweet Exorcist et al) in righteous massive dub mode.

"Sandoz is the solo moniker of Richard H. Kirk from Cabaret Voltaire. Inspired by twenty years of listening to Jamaican music, Richard H. Kirk has now mixed contemporary electronic dance music with Jamaican reggae and dub styles on Sandoz In Dub-Chant To Jah. As a founding member of Cabaret Voltaire, Richard H. Kirk has been a pioneer of electronic music for more than twenty years embracing all the new developments in electronic dance music: In 1978 Cabaret Voltaire signed to a fledgling Rough Trade records releasing experimental electronic/post-punk classics such as 'Nag Nag Nag' and 'Do The Mussolini.' Ten years on and Cabaret Voltaire were sharing musical ideas with Chicago house pioneers such as Frankie Knuckles and Ron Hardy as well as their counterpart Detroit techno stars such as Derrick May and Ritchie Hawtin. With Sheffield's Warp Records acknowledging the debt that local group, Cabaret Voltaire, had played in defining electronic music, it was fitting that Richard H. Kirk started his solo project, Sandoz, on Warp's seminal Artificial Intelligence series. Twenty years on and Richard H. Kirk has made the logical link between his twenty years of experiments in electronic music and a similar process that Jamaican dub pioneers such as King Tubby, Lee Perry and Augustus Pablo were making in the 1970s. Sandoz in Dub -- Chant To Jah also makes the connection with contemporary Jamaican dancehall styles -- mixing elements of ragga, digital drum and bass and steppers into the equation." - Forced Exposure

Atenolol 50 mg

Friday, December 4, 2009

Jarboe - Disburden Disciple

Pops request. More Jarboe to overwhelm you body and soul.


Julian Priester/Pepo Mtoto - Love. Love

For Pandy. An electric jazz masterpiece, featuring almost the complete Mwandishi band and the amazing drumming of the unregarded Kamau Eric Gravatt (Weather Report's original drummer) and Nudgu Leon Chancler (who Miles sacked from his group for not fixing his bass drum).

Personnel: Julian Priester: trombones, baritone horn, post horn, whistle flute, cowbell, small percussion, ARP 2600 synthesizer, Proto-type ARP string synthesizer; Pat Gleeson: ARP 2600 synthesizer, ARP Odyssey synthesizer, Moog III, Oberheim digital sequencer; Hadley Caliman: flute, saxophones, bass clarinet; Bayete Umbra Zindinko: fender rhodes, piano, clavinet D-6; Nyimbo Henry Franklin: fender bass, acoustic bass on all except �Love, Love�; Ndugu Leon Chancler: drums on all except �Love, Love�; Mguanda David Johnson: flute, soprano saxophone on all except �Love, Love�; Kamau Eric Gravatt: drums, congas on �Love, Love�; Ron McClure: fender bass on �Love, Love�; Bill Connors: electric guitar on �Love, Love.�

Let's not beat about the bush. Love, Love is a monster of an album. Despite its age (30+ years), it's a must for anybody interested in living, breathing, unexpected music. Julian Priester was an alumnus of Blue Note, Sun Ra and most importantly for this record, of Herbie Hancock's revolutionary Mwandishi group which recorded only three albums in its all too brief lifetime.

Each of those Mwandishi albums was a brilliant melding of the cosmic and earthy, extemporisation and groove. Love, Love was recorded after Hancock dissolved his sextet in order to explore an avowedly populist angle with the hugely successful Headhunters. Together with trumpeter Eddie Henderson's two post-Mwandishi albums, Realization and Inside Out, Love, Love represents one of the late masterpieces of a style later christened "Kozmigroov".

Although comprising two lengthy slabs of music clearly intended to be heard as a suite, it's side one (as it was in the days of vinyl) that grabs the listener by the lapels and proceeds to groove remorselessly for a full nineteen minutes. Love, Love however is no feelgood piece of happy-go-lucky frippery. Rather, its relentless bass vamp is likely to plough a deep furrow through your consciousness. Spine tingling shaken percussion presages the arrival ofNyimbo Henry Franklin and Ron McClure's basses which well up and sweep forward, singularly intent upon adhering like superglue to the groove.

For the next 18 minutes, a host of players appear and disappear like spacecraft attacking offworld teflon-coated targets. synthesist Pat Gleeson, saxophonist Hadley Caliman, guitarist Bill Connors and drummers Eric Gravatt and Leon Chancler are among a host of star contributors. As hypnotically repetitive as Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder's "I Feel Love", as deep as Parliafunkadelic or Miles Davis's Dark Magus band on their darkest days, it's also difficult to resist associating the title track with the deliberate hypnosis of longform techno.

Side two, "Images/Eternal Worlds/Epilogue" is an ambitious medley that sucks cataclysm, spookiness and melody into close orbit. Less single-mindedly cohesive, it's still a stunning piece of electric jazz, a thrashing, roiling beast that serves to remind how brilliant this shortlived period of hothouse innovation was. It's taken ECM far too long to issue this on CD, but thank goodness they've finally done so." - Colin Buttimer


Andrew Hill - Compulsion!!!!

More Blue Note greatness, this time's one of the greatest pianists ever in one of his 60s masterpieces.

Personnel: Andrew Hill: piano; Freddie Hubbard: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Gilmore: tenor sax, bass clarinet; Cecil McBee: bass; Richard Davis: bass (3); Joe Chambers: drums; Nadi Qamar: African drums, thumb piano, percussion; Renaud Simmons: congas, percussion.

The five exclamation marks following the word Compulsion are completely appropriate for a title. Of all the distinguished albums of Andrew Hill's career as a pianist/composer, this is arguably the most passionately executed. The monumentality of this recording can best be realized by looking at its recording date of 1965. Coltrane was leaving his classic quartet and experimenting with multiple drummers. Archie Shepp was likewise experimenting with heavily augmented percussion sections. Art Blakey's earlier recordings with various African and neo-African drummers were popularly circulating in jazz circles, as was Babatunde Olatunji's popular and influential Drums of Passion. Into this drum-laden time stepped Hill.

What makes this album sound so fresh after decades is the consistently intricate and emotionally galvanizing interplay between Hill, his polyrhythmic rhythmic section, and the horns. John Gilmore, here on bass clarinet and tenor sax, always had an astute way of pushing Hill into playing at the top of his intelligence, making me believe that the best Hill recordings were those with Gilmore contributing. As for trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, this was the kind of session that also challenged him deeply, as his freely searching and scorching solo on "Premonition" illustrates.

As for Hill, you can sense that this was his moment of heeding Cecil Taylor's dictum that a piano consists of eighty-eight tuned drums. His percussive attack on the title track is a furiously rhapsodic soundtrack to the mid-1960s. The four compositions tend to run together with repeated listening as if this is one suite of sound and fury, with "Premonition" as a pensive, meditative interlude.

This long-overdue CD reissue helps heighten the presence of the superb contributions of bassist Cecil McBee, and drummers Joe Chambers, Nadi Qamar, and Renaud Simmons. I recall my original vinyl copy had a murky sounding smear of bass drum sounds, not that it stopped me from wearing out the grooves quickly. This recording is a core document of 1960s jazz." - Norman Weinstein

Rabo e Gallo

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wayne Shorter - The All-Seeing Eye

I'll be posting a run of Blue Note underrated classics, starting with this Shorter gem, one of his most difficult and dense efforts.


Wayne Shorter (Tenor Saxophone)
Freddie Hubbard (Trumpet and Flugelhorn)
Grachan Moncur III (Trombone)
James Spaulding (Alto Saxophone)
Herbie Hancock (Piano)
Ron Carter (Double Bass)
Joe Chambers (Drums)
Alan Shorter (Flugelhorn)

With hindsight, this challenging and highly rewarding album appears to be an anomaly in Wayne Shorter's career -the largest acoustic ensemble effort to appear under his name, and the most open in structure until the beginning of his electric period with Super Nova nearly four years later. At the time of its release, however, many people heard this music as a logical extension of Shorter's previous work and a characteristic statement from the more explanatory wing of the Blue Note family. Both the future progress of the saxophonist/composer's career and then unheard contemporary works that have since come to light reinforce the exceptional nature of this music.
Shorter had been uncommonly prolific during 1964, his first year as a Blue Note artist. Three classic albums of his playing and writing were recorded in that year - Night Dreamer, Juju and Speak No Evil. Even though The All Seeing Eye was the next Shorter album issued by the label, we now know that two additional sessions had been recorded earlier, The Soothsayer and Etcetera, which means that Shorter had completed six albums in a mere 18 months! While The Soothsayer and Etcetera are both worthy statements by one of the period's most important artists, producer Alfred Lion clearly felt that the freer use of tempo and structural daring of the present collection made it more indicative of where Shorter was heading. That the music here is more of an emotional piece with the incredible tenor sax work Shorter contributed to the Miles Davis Quintet Plugged Nickel recordings from the end of the 1965, is a judgement borne out by The Soothsayer and Etcetera.
The music should also be heard in the context of other Blue Note recordings from the period such as Bobby Hutcherson's Dialogue and Components, Tony Williams's Spring (featuring Shorter) and Andrew Hill's Compulsion. On these albums, modal and free improvising appeared to be merging, with rhythmic continuity loosened up without totally abandoning familar notions of swing. Larger ensembles than the typical quarter or quintet were often involved, although the energizing muscle of the rhythm section players proved to be just as important as the flexibility of the front-line soloists. As far as the rhythm section goes, little need to be said regarding Shorter's Davis Quintet mates Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter, while the equally brilliant Blue Note house drummer Joe Chambers reflects the influence of Tony Williams as well as his own composerly slant on the music.
The five horns present a tale of two cities, Indianapolis and Newark. Hubbard and Spaulding are the Indiana contingent, with the trumpeter, a longtime familiar of Shorter's from the tenure the two shared in Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. Spaulding had played Shorter's music before, at The Soothsayer session of the previous April, and would play it again (on flute as well as alto sax) on Schizophrenia in 1967. Trombonist Grachan Moncur III had worked with the Shorter brothers in the reportedly precocious Nat Phipps band that Amiri Baraka recalled hearing at high school dances in Newark during the early 50s. The trombonist also used Wayne on his Some Other Stuff LP for Blue Note.
This was the sole Blue Note appearance for Wayne's older brother, the late Alan Shorter, who is otherwise best remembered for his work on Archie Shepp's 1964 Four For Trane and his own 1968 collection Orgasm. Baraka, writing as Leroi Jones in a 1959 Jazz Review piece that was the first article on Wayne in a national publication, reported that the pair were known as "the two weird Shorter brothers" in their native Newark, and the familial iconoclasm comes through clearly in the writing and flugelhorn solo on "Mephistopheles".
Given the subject matter of the program here, a final connection might be noted to "A Love Supreme", which the John Coltrane Quartet had recorded 10 months earlier. Shorter, like Coltrane, possessed the unique inquisitiveness and focus to address such infinite subjects, though typically the resulting music here shows greater ambivalence and eccentricity. It also marked the penultimate product from a period that produced a deluge of music under Wayne Shorter's name. He was back in the studio with Hancock, Chambers and Reggie Workman four months later to record the tracks for Adam's Apple, then allowed 13 months to pass before recording Schizophrenia and another 30 prior to Super Nova. By then, the young man that Leroi Jones had recalled in 1959 as "rather distant" with a "secret smile" had begun moving toward a persona that would make him the jazz world's version of the Cheshire Cat."- DK


Sun City Girls - The Dreamy Draw

Another installment of SCG's Carnival Folklore Resurrection Series. Dementia In Excelsis.

Cabo Rojas

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gentleman Jesse & His Men in Puerto Rico.

Nos visitan Gentleman Jesse & His Men, "Power Pop" de Atlanta, junto a The Barreracudas

Miercoles 2 de Diciembre
Taller Ce, Rio Piedras
Davila 666 y Las Ardillas

Viernes, 4 de Diciembre
La Respuesta, Ave. Fernández Juncos 1600, Santurce
Davila 666 y Los Vigilantes

El disco cortesia de Borrate Este

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - The Spotlight Kid/Clear Spot

Raoul Duke posted "Trout Mask Replica" awhile ago (here) and now I give you one of my personal faves from the Cap, the twofer of "The Spotlight Kid" and "Clear Spot".


The Royal Family And The Poor - The Temple of The 13th Tribe

Mike Keane's occultism-preoccupied outfit was one of the most mercurial, distant acts in Factory's roster. Closer in spirit to Current 93, Coil or Zos Kia, nevertheless they show the relationships betwee those acts and groups like Biting Tongues, 23 Skidoo and The Pop Group.

"Although The Royal Family And The Poor formed in 1978 it took six years for an album to be released. By that time the band consisted of Liverpool's Mike Keane; an uncompromising talent who obviously benefitted from having Peter Hook on hand for production duties. The 1980 releases included here as bonuses are uncontrolled noise; rallying cries against politics set to industrial background which made Cabaret Voltaire's early material sound like easy listening. The album itself - entitled 'Temple Of The 13th Tribe' was of an altogether higher standard with Keane even verging towards melodies on 'Discipline' and 'Motherland'. Keane is in most impressive form on 'Voices', 'Moonfish Is Here' and 'Radio Egypt'; each one an outstanding cut of nightmarish, post-punk brilliance; building up slowly and irresistably to a sinister conclusion. Also worth a mention is the depressing love song 'I Love You (Restrained In A Moment)', 'Power Of Will' where the arrangement mirrors Hook's work with his New Order day job and the Department S-aping 'Dark And Light'. Keane's work might prove to be a little too insular and dark for some but there are rich rewards to be had for the persistent." - LL

adobo bohio

Jarboe - Anhedoniac

Swans' own siren of despair transmits her implacable beauty through this powerful set.

The rest of the album is a journey through myriad musical styles and human emotions. The title track evokes medieval Europe in its instrumentation, while the lyrics and twisted singing evoke intense despair, through imagery like "a velvet box of his disease" and "fishes eating up to my skull". "The Cage" is repetitive industrial dirge, all droning guitars and sparse percussion. "Sinner" is gentle folk guitars giving way to orchestral doom and gloom. "Not Noah's Ark" is a collage of guttural groans and ear-piercing screams, punctuated by a short, disturbing narrative at its end. Perhaps most telling is "Circles in Red Dirt", a spoken-word piece with a protagonist named "Michel" (French for, what else, "Michael"), a tale of an intimate relationship always tinged with knives and hues of red. Various noisy bits provide transition, giving the album a cohesive, if slightly schizophrenic feel.

Anhedoniac is an intensely personal work of art, the sort of album that serves as something of a diary of its creator. In fact, it's personal to the point of being awfully close to uncomfortable to listen to; the musical ideas are always original and often very well-done, but they invariably take a back seat (we're talking third row here) to the various manifestations of Jarboe's voice and lyrics. It's an incredibly difficult, yet largely fulfilling listen, the sort of album that's bound to leave its target audience exhausted and satisfied. If you're the type of listener who values human emotion over things like beats and melodies, Anhedoniac will be intensely rewarding. For anyone else, caveat emptor." - Mike Schiller


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kevin Ayers - The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories

More Ayers for Mr. Antojao. Enjoy.

"In 1973, or thereabouts, Nico, Mike Oldfield, Mike Ratledge (from the Soft Machine), Michael Giles (ex-King Crimson), Geoff Richardson (from Caravan) and many others lined up to help Kevin Ayers with his final stab at greatness, THE CONFESSIONS OF DR DREAM, which was released in 1974.

Until that time, Ayers' solo albums had been a mixture of cheerful pop ditties, psychedelic experiments, and sultry ballads that particularly suited the artist's deep bass voice. But DR DREAM turned out to be a different kettle of fish.

The A-Side contains as perfect a sequence of songs as you can imagine. 'Day by Day', the funky opener (with superb backing vocals by Doris Troy and other soul singers), is followed by a brief (but philosophical!) acoustic mini-song, which leads straight into the album's rocking tour de force, "Didn't feel lonely till I thought of you", one of Kevin's all-time classics, with fiery lead guitar by Ollie Halsall. Poetic relief is then provided by a dreamy blues song with a terribly long title (typically Ayers) and with a crystalline guitar solo by Mike Oldfield. I'm not an Oldfield nut, but I guarantee all prog freaks that this superb solo alone warrants purchase of the album. The best is yet to come, though, for Ayers (almost) concludes the A-side with a souped-up version of his signature tune, "Why are we sleeping?", the original of which can be found on the Soft Machine's debut album. Utterly bombastic, by turns scary, furious and funny, this track contains a louche night club interlude (with sax provided by Lol Coxhill) and a grandiose church organ-driven climax. To reduce the horror, and send the listener to bed with a smile, Ayers has it all followed up with the brief but unforgettable "Ballbearing blues".

It's on the B-side, however, that the nightmare really begins. Intertwined acoustic guitars, eerie sound effects, Michael Ratledge's fuzz organ and Nico's spooky vocals dominate the first section in a multi-movement suite that can be interpreted as a warning against the self-delusion of young lovers, the dangers involved in taking too many drugs, or both. The middle section of this suite is dominated by some delightfully jazzy electric piano, and the final riff is so dark, long drawn-out and menacing that it will haunt you for days. But once again, Kevin refuses to leave the listener with a curse, and he concludes the album with "Two goes into four", one of his loveliest acoustic ballads.

Anyone interested in the so-called Canterbury Scene, or in British psychedelic rock, will find this album invaluable. Everyone else will find it an excellent addition to their collection." - Fuxi


Kevin Ayers - Singing the Bruise: BBC Sessions 1970-1972

For Howard. Ayers and group in top form.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Opal - Happy Nightmare Baby

Opal was: David Roback (Rain Parade, Mazzy Star) and Kendra Smith (Dream Syndicate, has also recorded a couple of great solo albums).

"At once drowsy, psychedelic, entrancing, and possessed of a sinuous spark, Happy Nightmare Baby may have been Opal's only album but deserves more attention than merely being a blueprint for Roback's later work in Mazzy Star. For one thing, Opal was very much its own band, with Kendra Smith's particular lyrical visions of mystic power and universe-scaling dreams and nightmares its own entity. As is her singing, though she's got less of Hope Sandoval's wistful drift and more focused control — check out the brief "A Falling Star," where the comparatively stripped-down arrangement places her singing in the foreground, notably without much in the way of echo. Roback's playing certainly won't surprise anyone per se who backtracks to this group from albums like She Hangs Brightly, and the atmosphere of textured, moody power is evident right from the start with the wonderful early T. Rex tribute, "Rocket Machine." The compressed string swirl and steady stomp is pure Marc Bolan-via-Tony Visconti, though Smith avoids Bolan's style of warble for her own cool, something also quite evident on the slow-groove stomp of the great "She's a Diamond" and the concluding "Soul Giver." Meanwhile, other familiar elements Roback would later use are present aplenty — very Ray Manzarek-like organ lines on the mantra-chugs of "Magick Power" and "Siamese Trap," compressed acid rock solos and lots of reverb. The title track itself stands out a bit as being a bit more of a '60s Europop confection in a stripped-down 1968 setting — Roback's electric guitar adds some fire, but it's the slightly jazz-tinged rhythm and easy delivery from Smith that helps establish its own character. It's a release that stood out both in time and place (a 1987 release on SST Records, of all places!), but it stands up to future years and listens darn well." - Ned Raggett


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bush Chemists - Raw Raw Dub

"Dougie Wardrop and Paul Davey, the Bush Chemists, serve up some Baba Root with this one. Dub so potent and organic, if you didn‘t know it was edited on a computer you would think it came from the genre‘s golden age. A practical tribute to all that is dubby, "Higher Heights" reaches for Mt. Zion and makes it, while "Oriental Style" recalls the best of Lee "Scratch" Perry and "Symphony Of Dub" contains faithful flourishes of Aswad‘s "Love/Dub Fire." - Daniel Siwek


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ghost - Tune In, Turn on, Free Tibet

More from these Japanese psychprog dementors led by the larger than life Masaki Batoh.

"Conceived as a companion release to Snuffbox -- the two albums were released within a few weeks of each other and share some art -- Free Tibet is definitely much more the socially forceful flipside to that lovely album. The same core five-person lineup records here, but as photos and an impassioned essay from the liaison office of the Dalai Lama demonstrate, the goal is what's stated right in the title. Given Batoh's open inspiration, spiritually and musically, from that region, recording what amounts to both a celebration and call to action makes perfect sense. Certainly Ghost aren't interested in simply recording a tribute to Tibetan music -- while the opening track "We Insist" starts with various Tibetan wind instruments, the focus is on Batoh, who speaks rather than sings, his words distorted heavily, the effect almost that of a government official dictating one's fate. The same sense of beautiful serenity that so often pervades Ghost's work is more than clear here -- all it takes is a listen to the grand "Way of Shelkar" to show that, its blend of Batoh, guitars, keyboards, and other instruments achieving a wondrous calm. Other songs like "Lhasa Lhasa" and "Change the World" deliver the key message with the same sweet grace. The album climaxes with the mind-blowing title track, the longest thing the group has ever done at over half an hour long. Whether it was carefully planned or a jam session, it's a stunner, ranging from acoustic gentility to percussion craziness to nuclear-strength electric roars, sometimes switching from one section to another on a dime. There's one interesting link to Snuffbox in terms of music -- as on that album, Ghost here salute a musical forebear, in this case Tom Rapp. His Pearls Before Swine track "Images of April" gets a stripped-down, softly whispered cover here, both a worthy tribute to the original and a showcase for Batoh's own considerable work."- Ned Raggett


Cul De Sac - Ecim

Formed by John Fahey acolyte and Throbbing Gristle enthusiast Glenn Jones in the early 90s, Cul De Sac specialize in a concoction of surf rock, musique concrete, ghost blues, eastern trance motifs and heavy psychedelia with prominent electronics. This is their first album, from 1992.

"Soundscapes that inspire a riot for the mind's eye."- Simon Reynolds

"Their sound exists at a nexus where kraut rock, American primitive guitar, Gong-style UK drug-space, Stockhausen, and the experimental wing of the avant-garage all meet w/ a splat." -Byron Coley

La china de Bairoa

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bibio - The Apple & The Tooth

a brand new ultra-funky-fresh production by Stephen Wilkinson aka Bibio. coming directly out of Warp, the label with the most. this album contains 4 tunes that never made it to Ambivalence Avenue and a bunch of remixes of his own tunes by other artists.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Boards Of Canada - Hooper Bay

some obscure hard to find stuff from the Scottish duo. it seems to be the soundtrack for the British TV series 'Look Around You'.

very scientific.

get it here!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rothko - Eleven Stages of Intervention

Rothko started as a three bass group playing low frequency hymns to meditation and solemnity (albums with that lineup forthcoming). In this album the lineup changed, with leader Mark Beazley adding Caroline Ross (of Delicate AWOL, another awesome group you should check out) and adding a more diverse instrumental palette, but still keeping that nebulous, melancholic sound. Just two basses on this one though. For shame!

"Rothko are one of those bands that whenever I play their albums I wonder why I don't play them more often. They have a very specific, very unique sound - probably coming from the fact that they have two bassists, and now on their fifth full-length they have honed this sound into a quiet perfection. We all had a real soft spot for the incredible collaboration with vocalist Caroline Ross a few years back, and this is the band's next step and takes their sound into deeper and darker places. There's something almost religious about the band's take on music - there are hints of post rock in there, hints of modern classical, hints of classic soundtrack music, but it feels like the London-based band are playing the whole thing in a church, with all the sounds reverberating and swirling into a reverential haze. It's like a more melancholy, more muted Godspeed You! Black Emperor, without the hint of post-rock cliché, or at times even like Southern Lord's slow rockers Earth without the metallic subtext - this is cinematic and evocative music in the best possible way. Okay so the band might not be doing anything particularly new, especially in regards to their already bumper catalogue of quality releases, but what they have done here is hone their sound and keep it gloriously economic. There's little fat or filler on offer here, just forty minutes of low-slung, bass heavy instrumental goodness - and what more can we ask than that? Fans of Deaf Center should also take a closer look here, Rothko share a similar taste for the dark and the surreal, and frame it in a beautiful mist of graceful, measured restraint. Quite hauntingly beautiful... recommended!" - Boomkat

Rod Carew

George Russell - Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved by Nature

George Russell was a composer, arranger, bandleader, pianist and author ("The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization") of considerable renown and influence in the world of jazz. While less known than Gil Evans, his work was much more diverse and challenging. Proof of that is this composition, in which jazz and other musical elements mingle with electronics to create a work of tremendous power and beauty.

"Composer, theorist, arranger, and pianist George Russell debuted his 14-part master composition "Electronic Sonata for Souls Loved By Nature" on April 28, 1969, at a concert in Norway. The ambitious, elaborate work blended bebop, free, Asian, and blues elements, as well as electronic effects, and mixed live performance with tape and vocal segments. It was a testimony to the prowess of trumpeter Manfred Schoof, tenor saxophonist Jan Garbarek, guitarist Terje Rypdal, bassist Red Mitchell, and drummer Jon Christensen that they weren't overwhelmed by the sheer weight of the experience. The digital mastering enables listeners to fully hear the disparate styles converging, and understand just how advanced Russell's concepts were, particularly for the time. The composition ranks alongside Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz" as one of jazz's finest, most adventurous pieces." - Ron Wynn

Carlton Fisk

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Twilight Circus Dub Sound System - Dub Plate Selection

Ryan Moore is a Canadian expatriate living in the Netherlands, part-time Legendary Pink Dots and Tear Garden member, and total dub-obsessed fanatic who indulges in it in his project Twilight Circus, which has released quite a few albums and collaborations with Jamaican and English deejays and singers over the years. This is one of his heaviest offerings. The legendary Sly Dunbar plays drums on a few selections.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Black Mold - Snow Blindness is Crystal Antz.

Side project by artist/animator/musician/allaroundcooldude Chad Vangaalen. Instrumental & electronic goodness.

Gettysburg address.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Klaus Nomi - s/t

Kraut countertenor dementor, part of the thriving 70's nyc art-rock scene.

Will they know me?

Dali's Car - The Waking Hour

For Popu. Mick Karn of Japan meets Peter Murphy of Bauhaus in this skeletal, haunted song collection.

"Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Mick Karn of Japan and Paul Vincent Lawford came together to produce one record as Dali's Car in 1984 called The Waking Hour. Simultaneously haunting and charming, they stir up the bittersweet melodies of a broken down carnival caravan. Karn's unmistakable, tense bass pops contribute a clammy chill to Murphy's staidly playful words and regal groaning voice. Their songs are without vaults or embellishments, but maintain the elegant dignity of harmonious repetition, never straying far from hues near gray." - Marc Kate


Friday, October 30, 2009

Sao Paulo Underground - Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres

Rob Mazurek moves to Sao Paulo and starts collaborating with forward thinking motherfuckers there, led by Mauricio Takara (Hurtmold). The results are excellent. Featuring members of The Eternals, Tortoise, and Town & Country.

"Even today we are just coming to accept the innovations and constructions of Teo Macero and the man who was credited with and blamed for Macero's snip and paste collage work, Miles Davis. In today’s digital studio it is certainly easier to manipulate sound, and few artists do it as well as cornetist-turned-scientist Rob Mazurek.

Mazurek has been at it since 1997 with Tortoise, various incarnations of Chicago Underground bands, and Isotope 217. His technique has continued to be refined and sharpened. But even more importantly, he has allowed the manipulations to become more organic, even as he reveals the DNA of the computer.

Mazurek also moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil a few years back, and his interactions with local artists spawned the latest incarnation of the Underground with trumpeter and electronic musician Mauricio Takara. Their music is part soundscape, part science fiction. Mazurek has become so adept at the technique that he can assemble a seamless recording and more importantly, interact with others within that presentation.

The disc opens with a shortwave spin of foreign voices and samples of electric errata. As you attempt to get your bearings, the pair brings you back to the trumpet and the ever-present drums of Brazil (and Chicago). And you're off.

Mazurek is comfortable in Don Cherry's world music shoes, Miles' wah-wah trumpet, and Sun Ra's processional music. The two musicians create a quilt of cross-cultural, crossed-sampled electronics that pours percussion over every dish they serve up. The beats can be heavily urban or strangely unbalanced, all tossed by plan.

Track listing: Sauna: Um, Dois, Tres; Pombaral; The Realm Of The Ripper; Olhossss...; Afrihouse; Black Liquor; Batão de Gáis; Numa Grana.

Personnel: Rob Mazurek: cornet, electronics; Mauricio Takara: percussion, electronics; Marcos Axe: percussion, voice, samplers, guitars, synthesizers; Tiago Mesquita: percussion, voice, samplers, guitars, synthesizers; Wayne Montana: synthesizers; Damon Locks: synthesizers; Josh Abrams: electric bass; Chad Taylor: drums." - Mark Corroto

Baby Shabba

Thursday, October 29, 2009

La Sonora Ponceña - Algo de Locura

More Salsa Gorda de la mata la raiz shit, this time from the legendary ensemble founded by Kike Lucca and directed by his son the almighty Papo, from 1971, one of their better known efforts and one of their best.

Yuca al mojo

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tony Allen - Lagos No Shaking

Another scorching effort from the backbone of Afrobeat. You can also get more from him here.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mocky - Saskamodie

Seeing as we've pretty much covered Jamie Lidell from all angles, here is Saskamodie which features Lidell's soulful stylings. Mocky also produced several tracks on Lidell's album Multiply. This hillarious mockumentary introduces you to Mocky much better than I ever could.

This album is extremely pleasing, definetly one of my favorite releases from this year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

V/A - The Harder They Come

This one's for Pachist.

The classic soundtrack to the film "The Harder They Come", this is one of the most legendary reggae albums ever. It helped popularize reggae and Jamaican music in the United States and abroad.

It features a number of songs from Toots & Maytals, Desmond Dekker, Scotty, among others along with 4 tracks by Jimmy Cliff. Pretty much every song on here is a classic and they've been covered by artists as diverse as John Lennon, Keith Richards, Joe Strummer, Johnny Thunders, Willie Nelson, ext...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Matching Mole - Little Red Record

Second album from Robert Wyatt's post-Soft Machine outfit. Sheer Canterbury goodness.