Sunday, May 31, 2009

V/A - Skull Disco: Soundboy Punishments

Shackleton and Appleblim, hauntological dubstep mavericks.

"Renegade dubstep mavericks Shackleton and Appleblim finally commit their Skull Disco back catalogue onto a shiny double CD format on what is probably going to be one of the most essential and best selling releases for us this year.. Over the past two years Skull Disco have kept us right on the edge of our seats with a timely succession of mould breaking, vinyl only releases and the odd exclusive dub to really get our bones going (read any of our past reviews for some serious gush love). I distinctly remember two summers ago having my head twisted sideways by the first Skull Disco 12", confounded as to where to slot this thunderous slice of dubstep warfare into my DJ sets, finally settling at the realisation that it was a truly stand alone 12" that deserved to be played from start to finish, on both sides. This helped me place the Skull Disco sound in a very special place, right next to my Rhythm and Sound 12"s, in front of the mutamassik 12" on Soot, and sandwiched between the first two DMZ 12"s and first couple of hyperdubs, at that time, a hallowed spot indeed. In a steady stream ever since, the Skull Disco clan have constantly upped the ante with each new installment, with the contrasting sonic personalities of Shackleton and Appleblim chasing the dubstep dragon deeper into their own personal visions, with Shackleton heading on a deeply percussive journey into the mid-East territories on 'Hamas Rule' or the pan generic, peerless low-end melancholy of the astonishing 'Blood on my hands', and belying a strangely coincidental fascination with the sonic possibilities of this turbulent part of the globe with his Lancashire counterpart Bryn Jones a.k.a Muslimgauze. While on the flipsides Appleblim continued to forge a headstrong and unique dubstep expression with tracks like 'Girder' or 'Fear' owing as much to Monolake as the Bristol and FWD sounds he is heavily involved with. This serious love for Berlin's techno dub heritage from T++ to the Basic Channel axis, a sound very dear to our own hearts, has culminated in a cross pollination with the awesome Ricardo Villalobos mix of Shackleton's biggest 'hit', in the form of an 18 minute trip into opiated minimalism given birth by one of the only characters who could really handle it. From a shared palette of sounds, influences and ideas Shackleton and Appleblim have developed a fierce arsenal of future Soundsystem weapons showcased on CD2 with the Villalobos mix of 'Blood on my hands', tracks for the excellent Mordant music crew, and the jackin stepper for HotFlush 'New Dawn', alongside Appleblim's previously unreleased 'Gold and Silver'. Adorned with Zeke's definitve artwork, this is the full Skull Disco package, brimming with character and primed for summer listening and delivering Soundboy Punishments right, left and centre. All that remains to be said is, just when are we going to see 'the Stopper' rmx on wax??? ESSENTIAL PURCHASE - KILLER!!!!!!!! *THESE TWO CD'S ARE UNMIXED*"- Boomkat

Blood on my hands

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jad Fair & Daniel Johnston - Its Spooky

I might as well.

The C86 tape.

1. Primal Scream- Velocity Girl
2. The Mighty Lemon Drops- Happy Head
3. The Soup Dragons- Pleasantly Surprised
4. The Wolfhounds- Feeling So Strange Again
5. The Bodines - Therese
6. Mighty Mighty- Law
7. Stump- Buffalo
8. Bogshed- Run To The Temple
9. A Witness- Sharpened Sticks
10. The Pastels- Breaking Lines
11. The Age of Chance- From Now On, This Will Be Your God
12. Shop Assistant- It's Up To You
13. Close Lobsters- Firestation Towers
14. Miaow- Sport Most Royal
15. Half Man Half Biscuit- I Hate Nerys Hughes (From the Heart)
16. The Servents- Transparent
17. Mackenzies- Big Jim (There's No Pubs in Heaven)
18. Big Flame- New Way
19. We've Got A Fuzzbox and We're Not Afraid to Use it- Console Me
20. McCarthy- Celestial City
21. The Shrubs- Bullighter's Bones
22. The Wedding Present- This Boy Can Wait


Swell Maps.

"Swell Maps were a British experimental rock group of the 1970s from Birmingham, that foreshadowed the birth of post-punk."

"Influenced by the disparate likes of T-rex and the German progressive outfit Can, they created a new soundscape that would be heavily mined by others in the post-punk era. Despite existing in various forms since 1972, Swell Maps only really came together as a musical entity after the birth of British punk rock."

A Trip to Marineville (1979)

They squeezed out only two former studio albums and some singles/b-sides, but their influence is unmistakable. After breakin' up, members formed part of Crime and the City Solution, and the Television Personalities.

FUCK The Strokes. There. I said it. *PHEW* I feel so much better now.

Jane from occupied Europe (1980)

Half Japanese - "Greatest Hits"

"The band's proponents saw them as the epitome of a pure, unbridled enthusiasm for rock & roll, the ultimate expression of punk's dictum that rock should be accessible to anyone who wanted to pick up an instrument and play."

"Detractors found them gratingly noisy, borderline unlistenable, and too self-conscious and willful about their naïveté. That naïveté extended to their lyrical outlook too, not just their technical abilities; when they weren't singing about horror movies or tabloid headlines, most of their songs were about girls, veering between innocent longing and wounded sexual frustration."

"Their primary influences were clearly the minimalism of the Velvet Underground and the innocence of Jonathan Richman, with some Iggy Pop angst at times."[AMG]

One & Two.

Half Japanese - Calling All Girls

Their first EP. Songs clocking in at 2 minutes. Untuned & unruly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Nels Cline & Devin Sarno - Buried on Bunker Hill

There ya go Duke.


Wendy & Bonnie - Genesis

Wendy Flower was 17 and Bonnie Flower only 13 when they churned out this cult folk album. what the fuck've you accomplished?

You should be ashamed.

V/A - Folk is not a four letter word

More from master-mixer Andy Votel. This time for the folkies, its comprised mainly by bangs sportin' vixens. mmMMmmm, my fave.
Get this shit you mopey fucks.

P.S. Wendy & Bonnie's "by the sea" is sampled somewhere, and I cant seem to remember. If someone out there in the blog-o-sphere can help a brotha out.

Nels Cline & Devin Sarno - Rise Pumpkin Rise

For the Duke. Cline & Sarno's first collaboration.

Keyboard cat plays Chopin

Friday, May 22, 2009

Black Tambourine - Complete Recordings (1999)

"Black Tambourine were one of the earliest Slumberland groups, consisting of members of Whorl and Velocity Girl, plus their pal Pam Berry on vocals. Conceived as an explicitly pop band at a time when pop bands were pretty rare in America, Black Tambourine wore their influences on their sleeves: The Jesus & Mary Chain, of course, but also folks like Phil Spector, Smokey Robinson, Love, The Ramones, Shop Assistants, The Pastels, 14 Iced Bears, Orange Juice and the list goes on

Though they only played a handful of gigs in their brief career, their two singles on Slumberland and Audrey’s Diary wielded a large influence, and were key artifacts in the birth of US indie pop. This compilation includes all the songs from both of those singles, plus two cuts from compilations and a previously unheard demo song."

tiny tigers

King Khan & the Shrines - Mr. Supernatural

You can now get this for free when you buy the "What Is?!" CD through ITunes. You can get the rest in YouTube if you check out the "Related Videos" section.
Here you go...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Associates - Sulk

This underappreciated post-punk outfit from Scotland really brings something to the table. Led by Billy Mackenzie's piercing falsetto, funk-filled bass lines and catchy dream-like disco synths. They encompass all that was happening in the vibrant UK scene of the time.
Although it is just a rumor, it is believed that Billy is THE William, in the Smith's famed "William it was really nothing."


Snakefinger - Chewing Hides the Sound

The Residents' favorite guitar player, the great Philip Lithman brought unorthodox techniques and a wicked sense of humor to the fractured, playful post-punk the group laid out for him.

"English avant-guitarist Philip Charles Lithman, aka Snakefinger, began an association with the Residents in 1969, before the group even had that name. The Residents co-produced his two albums with Snakefinger. Chewing Hides Sound from 1979 includes a cover of Kraftwerk's "The Model." This is very appropriate because both groups relied heavily on mechanical, angular rhythms and lyrics loaded with more visual metaphor than meaning, like "Jesus Was a Leprechaun." This is the peculiar and unique material of a cult guitarist extraordinaire. Each song is a quirky island in a sea of sonic oddity. "Here Comes the Bums" is hip and cool while "Who Is the Culprit and Who Is the Victim?" is tense and neurotic. A listen to this album forces consideration of his immense contribution to the Residents' sound." - Tom Schulte

Flat Faxes make a bonfire in Williamsburg

Throbbing Gristle - 20 Jazz Funk Greats

TG's most accessible work, in which the electronics and sound treatments served song frameworks and short structures. It's still a haunting, harsh piece of work, and one of their most influential in regards to future popular electronic music movements and genres.

"It's a break in the clouds from Throbbing Gristle's pummeling noise and a first glimpse at the continuing pop influence on the TG/PTV axis, but 20 Jazz Funk Greats still isn't best described by its title. If there is such a thing as a funky Throbbing Gristle LP, however, this could well be it. "Hot on the Heels of Love," "Still Walking" and "Six Six Sixties" add only occasional bits of distortion between the rigid sequencer lines. 20 Jazz Funk Greats is the best compromise between TG's early industrial aesthetic and the reams of industrial-dance and dark synth-pop groups that used the album as a stepping stone to crossover appeal." - John Bush

Crystal Castles tours the nostalgia circuit in 2029 with a cloned Air Supply

The Divine Comedy - Victory For The Comic Muse.

If Scott Walker, Bowie and Morrisey had a bukakee that sprang to life, you'd come up with something similar to Neil Hannon.
Comic Muse is the last in the repertoire of chamber pop outfit Divine Comedy. Im not going to say that this is their best record, because they have a very varied career and their share of ups and downs; BUT, this is my favorite and truly one of my most cherished pop records. Ive heard it a ludicrous amount of times.
The allegorical tune "The Plough" is a good example of Hannon's vocal range, I sing this song at the top of my fucking lungs and enjoy the hell out of it until i notice that the guy driving next to me staring perplexed. It also includes a very brave rendition of The Associate's "Party Fears Two".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

High Rise - Live

I'll let Julian Cope wax lyrical on this neck-snapping onslaught of sonic dementia.

"Cybernetic wah abuse and non-stop intensity are their trademarks; complete tonal domination their goal."

- High Rise sleevenote manifesto.

Brainiacked in Tokyo, summer '91, I staggered Godlike and beautiful off the main drag into a blazing hot park full of rows of Japanese rock bands, all set up in a long line down each side of the main thoroughfare. Sooty shorts, a 'Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow' t-shirt and bare feet - I was still almost a foot taller than those around me and weeded-out from the fine fruits of Rooster and Rizla's international drug-smuggling. The sound that greeted me was an a-rhythmic sonic guitar collage in which each band competed with many others, each just two feet apart, performing for a microscopic audience-on-the-hoof who were all, like me, mesmerised by this not-of-this-world-music. Imagine walking one Sat'day afternoon down Busy High Street UK to discover that every Gap Next Benneton shop front had been replaced with its very own rock band, each one complete with their own stage act, roadies and PA system. For this was the scene that greeted me that afternoon, and this is the sound of Tokyo's mighty High Rise live on stage.

Like watching Manchester's The Worst at Eric's in early 1977, where two band members regularly finished songs before the slowcoach on bass, listening to the musically-superb but shamanically-tendencied High Rise is like watching a magnificent road-movie starring the uninsured and the uninsurable. All three members of High Rise have twelve points on their driving licenses and do they give a fuck? Hell No, and these over-achievers have loads of albums and super-mysterious related releases, too. But the way into the High Rise trip just has to be via this live'n'glorious, live'n'uproarious live album.

But what of the songs? And what are their roots? Well, I'll tell you this - they obviously adore Blue Cheer and they love Black Sabbath, but they play faster than both of those Spanish galleons could ever muster. Yeah, High Rise have their down-in-their-boots side but they never stay down long enough to mean it. Instead, High Rise take classic 60s and 70s riffs and do them in, and do them good. One American fanzine (and I can't remember which) brilliantly described the High Rise method as "Spray-painting Obscenities across an Ancient Text." Right ON! From a British point-of-view they have that Junction 8 sound down to a T. You know that part of the West Midlands conurbation where the M5 meets the M6, and the A34 and the A4041 cartwheel over both motorways to create Spaghetti Junction? Well, that junction of roads is the High Rise guitar sound as created by Munehiro Narita's Motor Cycle Guitar (sic sic sic!!!). But searching underneath that overlaying of roads at Junction 8, you'll discover sacred hills such as Barr Beacon, and now-hidden sacred places such as Perry Barr and Great Barr1, linked by Beacon Way and the sacred river Tame.

And this splendid sacred underbelly is like the High Rise rhythm section. For underneath the spray-paint, the ancient texts that the bass and drums play are famous and time-honoured riffola. Yuro Ujiie plays drums on this live album and a mighty job he does, too. But High Rise have had every type of drummer from free jazz to proto-punk and still it all hangs together; because their riffs ride that monochromatic rainbow arcing across the ages from the Sonics and the Troggs, via the Stooges and the Five, and up through punk rock and grunge to the present day.

High Rise Live kicks off with the ancient text-driven riffage of 'Sadame' from their earlier Disallow LP, here smeared with extra-spray painted obscenities for added queaze-o-rama. The vocals are way low in the proceeding, but that's the way their leader Asahito Nanjo loves 'em. Dick Peterson he ain't, but neither does he choose to be. Instead, Nanjo uses his voice to state that 'This-is-a-song' and without those vocals we'd be listening to free rock. So it's a quiet verse and then off on another suicide excursion where no-one dies but classicism takes another one up the ass.

Ultimate High Rise has to be their ultra-rip known as 'Ikon'. First recorded on their Disallow LP, the song takes the amazing riff from the original Electric Prunes' final single 'You've Never Had It Better' and makes it better and better. Indeed, it makes me wanna take 'Ikon' and strip it down further and call it 'Nanjo' and keep the publishing for myself!

'Mira' comes on as frenzied as High Rise's sister group Musica Transonic, and freeforms its muse into your brain with jackhammers, while the God Thor tips up the High Rise stage and tries to physically eject them from the studio. Munehiro Narita falls on his psychedelic ass but he ain't never going to loosen his grip on that Bar-E chord no matter how far up the neck his hands are pushed, until Nanjo finally shakes Thor off and they launch into a joyous rebel yell, like Dust playing the Isley Brothers through the Troggs' equipment, circa 'Feels like a woman'. Right ON!

'Outside Gentiles' is a comparative pop song by High Rise standards, which means it ain't at all, but it's got clear vocals and a perceivable chord sequence. Of course, Munehiro Narita takes this as an insult and uses his solo as a high industrial platform from which to dump skip-loads of thick fluorescent wa-wa paint down on to that ancient text, which stands up to this rigorous treatment because High Rise's muse is entirely built on rock.

The closest we get to the unadulterated Blue Cheer trip comes in the slow stumble of 'Door', Yuro Ujiie's solo drum intro propelling the band into a kind of uber 'Out of Focus' dirge. Is Nanjo singing 'Call Me Animal'? I do hope so! It's my dream that High Rise will one day do a straight cover version of 'Cutting Grass' by the Caretakers of Deception and credit it to themselves, re-naming it 'Free Love' or some such iconic Western name.

'Mainliner' follows, though it's not the same song as 'Mainliner Sonic' that the other High Rise sister group, Mainliner, plays on their Mainliner Sonic LP. No, this 'Mainliner' is the live (and much faster) version of the Funhouse-like song which you'll find on their album Dispersion. Confused? I think we're meant to be! But rock'n'roll is mystery and High Rise's scene is surely that. When Dorian and I code our conversation in front of our kids, we speak in Pig Latin and the girls don't even know that it's patois. Teenagers cloak their language to exclude adults, and I find myself making up words that sound like slang to give my songs more bite and enigma. The High Rise scene has vats of this stuff lying unprocessed in their Tokyo and Nagoya basements.

This live album terminates with the ultra-cyclical 'Pop Sicle', with its looping undulating bass and splatter drums, whilst Munehiro Narita plays some kind of guitar equivalent to the 19th century Gatlin gun, you know that antique version of the machine gun which sprayed its bullets so widely that you became a victim of friendly fire unless you were standing behind it! But the High Rise scene is always like that, and there are so many sister bands lurking in the shadows that you've gotta start somewhere, and the live album is it. If you dig this record, try out Disallow for its greater use of space, but all of the Rise canon is a stone gasser, and their offshoot bands are part of a many-tentacled sonic octopus designed to make shamans of us all. For those about to Rise, I salute you!"

Sigur Ros, best remedy for constipation

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Expressway to yer cred.

My man k-punk blasting Sonic Youth.


Nels Cline/Gregg Bendian - Interstellar Space Revisited

Continuing with the Nels sweepstakes, Cline and Bendian's reinterpretation of Coltrane's revolutionary "Interstellar Space" (which I also posted a few months ago). Listen to them both back to back.


The Liar - Future Roots Vol. 2

Here's a sweet dubstep mix by NYC based "The Liar" (aka. Mike Mazzotta), one half of the duo "Future Sounds of Brooklyn". You can find more info here and pay attention to their parties poppin' in NYC.

Track list:

Shallow - Joanna Newsom (16bit RMX)
Broken - Martyn
Visions and Dreams - Landslide
Expansions - Sigha
Paradigm Shift - Headhunter
Rut - Joe
Walk Through Walls - Untold
Acquarius - Kloke
The Untitled Dub - F
Rain Mind - Giant
Action Potential - Jus Wan
Bon Feat. Zhakee - Von D
Plumes - Kontext (ReLocate MX)
93 Till Infinity - Souls of Mischief (KidLogic RMX)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hermeto Pascoal - Slaves Mass

Brazilian dementor and Total Musician Hermeto in one of his best releases.

"Hermeto Pascoal, the Brazilian multi-instrumentalist whose contribution to jazz is beyond measure ever since the short-lived Quarteto Novo and his collaboration with Miles Davis on Live Evil, surrounds himself with a stellar line-up on this long awaited reissue. With an impressive ensemble including Weather Report's Chester Thompson and Alphonso Johnson, and with long-time friends Airto Moreira and Flora Purim as producers, Hermeto opts for a collective approach.

Pascoal's flamboyance is clearly recognisable on Slaves Mass, even if in embryonic form, along with his passion for turning everyday objects into musical instruments (amazingly Moreira is credited with 'Special Effects with Live Pigs' on the title-track). His improvisational phrasing draws on the rhythmic patterns of the spoken word and sounds of nature.

One can spot many an influence. Hermeto's soprano playing recalls Wayne Shorter's (with a flair for the experimental as in Weather Report's I Sing The Body Electric). On "Cannon" (dedicated to alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley), Hermeto's speech-like flute is the principal voice. Flora Purim enriches the already eclectic vocal brew with her plastic, magnificent voice. Airto, on the other hand is ever-present both on vocal and percussion, enhancing the multilayered rhythmic complexity of the writing.

There are many delights here; the baroque bossa of "Little Cry For Him" offers a big grin of carnival happiness, with speedy, high-pitched keyboards and flute engaging in mad child-like runs. Pascoal's piano on "Just Listen" is a gurgling, improvisational bonanza.

And don't miss the blissful joy of the bonus track "Open Field"..." - L. Bellini


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Gregg Bendian's Interzone - Myriad

Gregg Bendian, one of the finest drummers in jazz/improv, leads this ensemble on which he plays vibes and glockenspiel among other things, lets Alex Cline handle the kit and puts Nels centerpiece with scorching, incandescent guitar work. The results are pretty damn good.


Brigitte Fontaine - Comme à la radio

The french Nico. With the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

"Of all the strange records this French vanguard pop chanteuse ever recorded, this 1971 collaboration between the teams of Brigitte Fontaine and her songwriting partner Areski and the Art Ensemble of Chicago -- who were beginning to think about returning to the United States after a two-year stay -- is the strangest and easily most satisfying. While Fontaine's records could be beguiling with their innovation, they occasionally faltered by erring on the side of gimmickry and cuteness. Here, the Art Ensemble provide the perfect mysterious and ethereal backdrop for her vocal explorations. Featuring the entire Art Ensemble of that time period and including fellow Chicago AACM member Leo Smith on second trumpet, Fontaine and Areski stretched the very notion of what pop had been and could be. With strangely charted arrangements and mixing (percussion was in the foreground and horns were muted in the background, squeezed until they sounded like snake-charming flutes), the ten tracks here defy any and all conventions and result in the most provocative popular recording of 1971 -- and that's saying something. For their part, the Art Ensemble hadn't played music this straight since before leaving Chicago, with long, drooping ballad lines contrasted with sharp Eastern figures and North African rhythmic figures built in. The finest example of how well this works, and how seductively weird it all is, is on the two-part "Tanka." Here, Malachi Favors' bass and Areski's percussion meet everything from bouzoukis to clarinets to muted trumpets to sopranino saxophones, courtesy of Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Smith, and Lester Bowie, who play in tandem, using striated harmonies and modal intervals in order to stretch the notion of time and space under Fontaine's vocals. The effect is eerie, chilling, and hauntingly beguiling, and sets the tone for an entire album that runs all over the stylistic map while not adhering to anything but its own strange muse. This is remarkable stuff from a very adventurous time when virtually anything was possible."

La petite mort

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Magnetic Flip

First album from Roger Miller and Martin Swope's post Mission of Burma project, along with Erik Lindgren and Rick Scott. The group was mainly trying to reconcile Minimalist pulse with Rock drive, in the best tradition of some RIO acts. Enjoy.


Herbie Hancock - Thrust

Follow-up to Headhunters, impossibly tight and brain twisting jazz funk workouts. Rhythm section's off the hook (Mike Clark replaces Harvey Mason, and he's one fucking monster).

"The follow-up to the breakthrough Headhunters album was virtually as good as its wildly successful predecessor: an earthy, funky, yet often harmonically and rhythmically sophisticated tour de force. There is only one change in the Headhunters lineup — swapping drummer Harvey Mason for Mike Clark — and the switch results in grooves that are even more complex. Hancock continues to reach into the rapidly changing high-tech world for new sounds, most notably the metallic sheen of the then-new ARP string synthesizer which was already becoming a staple item on pop and jazz-rock records. Again, there are only four long tracks, three of which ("Palm Grease," "Actual Proof," "Spank-A-Lee") concentrate on the funk, with plenty of Hancock's wah-wah clavinet, synthesizer textures and effects, and electric piano ruminations that still venture beyond the outer limits of post-bop. The change-of-pace is one of Hancock's loveliest electric pieces, "Butterfly," a match for any tune he's written before or since, with shimmering synth textures and Bennie Maupin soaring on soprano (Hancock would re-record it 20 years later on Dis Is Da Drum, but this is the one to hear). This supertight jazz-funk quintet album still sounds invigorating a quarter of a century later.- R. Ginell

Grease it

Nels Cline - New Monastery: A View into the Music of Andrew Hill

Nels exploring the music of Maestro Andrew.

"If Otomo Yoshihide can interpret Eric Dolphy and Marc Ribot can do Albert Ayler, then why not Nels Cline doing Andrew Hill -- who is still alive and creating marvelously, with his recordings in the current century clear evidence of this. As Cline describes his approach in the liner notes, this most certainly is not a tribute record or an attempt to completely re-create Hill's music. The transcriptions came from recordings rather than notated sources. He also writes that the bandmembers -- like many of Hill's ensembles -- do not play on changes (in "Dedication" and the medley "Yokada Yokada/The Rumproller" -- a bit of humor tossed in -- they do, but nowhere else). The band includes Cline on guitars, Ben Goldberg on clarinets, Bobby Bradford on cornet, Andrea Parkins on accordion and sonics, Devin Hoff on bass, drummer Scott Amendola, and Alex Cline playing drums on "Dedication" and "Compulsion." This is an unusual lineup, but then, perhaps the music, interpreted as it is here from nearly all of Hill's periods, demanded it. There are four medleys, so Cline could get as much in as possible. The opening set, which blends "McNeil Island" with "Pumpkin," is held together by the general restraint of the ensemble and Bradford's muscular cornet. In the medleys, the band is much freer, and engaging a sense of humor that has always been in Hill's work but is generally not considered -- although in the next track, "Not Sa No Sa," the free playing reaches a peak with Parkins barging through the mix with her accordion and Cline playing his fiery, distorted best.

On the medley of "Yokada Yokada" and "The Rumproller," the latter tune's harmonics are completely torn apart and reassembled. It's only a little over four and a half minutes long, but is an ear-opening delight. The longest of the medleys assembled is the third cut, which contains and is titled "No Doubt/11/8/Dance with Death." Over 20 minutes long, it showcases the modalities and striations of Hill's melodic lines as they open up into free playing and, in general, spaces for improvisers to move around and discover what's actually in them and then stretch them -- although not often to the breaking point (or as Cline states in his liners, to "find OURSELVES"). The beautiful sense of restraint and freedom the band approaches this material with is commendable. On this medley, Cline eventually takes his guitar solo into the stratosphere, but does so by examining the various tunes' spaces for doing just that. Otherwise, the composition is used to guide improvisation within its parameters. Cline has done so much of late -- from his own Nels Cline Singers to playing with acts like Wilco (and saving their ass since Jay Bennett left the ranks) and guesting with other jazzsters -- that this focused project, which required the musicians to listen very closely in his sometimes knotty arrangements, is not only refreshing but feels like new ground, new aural terrain. Hill's work does not suffer for its interpretations by Cline and company; it breathes in a new context, one that understands his own. This is a fine and important date and necessary listening for those who care about the composer or are just coming to him, or about Cline and his own development. Essential listening". - Thom Jurek


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Herbie Hancock - Headhunters


The Nels Cline Singers

It's been a while mah boys!! I've been busy as fuck but soon enough I'll be posting music on a more regular basis.

If you don't know who Nels Cline is, then here's some info. REALLY amazing guitarist and musician who's also got a thing for Fender Jazzmasters. He's the lead guitarist of the band Wilco, plus he's known for collaborating with a lot of people and has got a solo project of his own. His 2009 release "Coward" is really good! The Nels Cline Singers are a free jazz trio led by Nels Cline, following his work in the Nels Cline Trio. Despite it's name, there's no singing in the actual music. :) I encourage my fellow bloggers (I'm looking at you Ozstriker!) to post some more of his stuff. I'll try and upload more of his music later this week. Hopefully, I'll also post some Banyan which also features Nels Cline and the Minutemen's Mike Watt.


"Nels Cline (born in Los Angeles in 1956) is an American guitarist and composer. He began to play guitar at age 12 when his twin brother, Alex Cline took up the drums. Cline is not classically trained. This gives him a unique avant-garde style that many other jazz guitarists fail to match, due to their probable conventional training. He is noted for his apt use of effects pedals and looping devices, which enhances his style and gives his approach to guitar and music a distinct sound.

Cline is known for his improvisational work and for the diversity of his musical projects. He has played with jazz musicians Charlie Haden, Gregg Bendian, Wadada Leo Smith, Tim Berne, Vinny Golia and the late bassist Eric von Essen, a longtime musical companion in the L.A. jazz group Quartet Music.

Cline has also performed and recorded with punk rock hero Mike Watt in his touring bands The Crew of the Flying Saucer and The Black Gang, as well as with members of Sonic Youth and country music legend Willie Nelson, and in the jazz/punk/improv band Banyan with Watt and ex-Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins. He frequently participates in jazz projects with his twin brother, Alex, however their first actual duo together was in Culver City, California, during their 50th birthday show.

Nels’s first appearance on an album was on Vinny Golia’s 1978 record, Openhearted, and his first work as a bandleader was 1988’s Angelica. In the late 1980s, Cline formed the Nels Cline Trio, which featured his guitar playing complemented by Mark London Sims at bass and Michael Preussner at drums. The trio released several 7 inch demos and one album, before replacing Sims with Bob Mair at bass. This new trio released three albums before splitting up, featuring some of Cline’s most melodic works, before he ventured into a freer and more minimalist territory in the decade to come. Shortly before the end of the trio, Nels recorded two albums, In-Store, and Pillow Wand, with Sonic Youth frontman and guitarist, Thurston Moore. In 1999, Cline paired up with jazz drummer Gregg Bendian to record a modern rendition of John Coltrane’s 1967 album, Interstellar Space. On Interstellar Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane, Bendian and Cline boldly interpret Coltrane’s already obscure piece using their musical backgrounds and talents, and create an album whose music is written by Coltrane, but whose sound is distinctly associated with musicians who perform it. Cline’s current outfit is the improv/free jazz ensemble The Nels Cline Singers, with which he has recorded two albums, Instumentals and The Giant Pin, his most recent work as a leader. The Nels Cline Singers are currently signed with Cryptogramophone Records.

Cline has performed on over 100 albums in the jazz, pop, rock, country, and experimental music genres. He continues to expand his audience as a member of the Grammy-winning rock band Wilco, which he joined in early 2004. He was later featured in the cover story of Guitar Player Magazine for his newfound collaboration with the band."


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Black Humor - Love God, Love One Another

I've been searching like crazy for the Black Humor album "Love God, Love One Another". It was released in 1982 on Fowl Records. If anyone knows where the fuck I can get this, let us know!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Idol Wear Shop

Props to Todd at Idol Wear Shop for providing eccentric assholes like ourselves with t-shirts that fit our tastes.

Dibs on the Scott Walker one.

check em out.