Sunday, March 29, 2009
The cover art is a fitting portrait of the soundscape captured in this album. Nautical themes throughout. I heard these fellers thanks to a Neil Young themed issue of some music mag I fail to remember, the included cd had a five-finger discount(my favorite) with Neil inspired diddies. The only ones that really stood out were them and Bowerbirds.
The album starts out with the title track, a rompous catchy outlet about waking up in a good mood(a staggering feat).
The album flows(literally) between sentimental country-tinged tunes like "stuck on a boat" and "Don't take my advice" but the real show stealer has to be "Fisherman's Son". Ive been listening to that song all week long. Extra geezy just like I like em.
It continues with some Billy Bragg-licks and "Desire"-era Dylan string arrangements. But hey thats just me. If you like the videos check out the album.
All the while I am here I’ll have some liquor and some beer and I’ll wait for another year to come.
"Back in the 80's, the Jesus & Mary Chain blasted onto the scene with Psychocandy, an aural assault of fever-drenched guitars, spare lyrics, and a knack for crafting catchy, hook-ladened anti-pop. 1987, the JMC released Darklands, to the cowsternation of some and the warm embrace of many udders. Some original JMC fans decried the "cleaned up sound" of Darklands, but in truth the pared down accoustics in this masterpiece merely pushed the Chain's drenching wall of feedback into the background, allowing the Brothers Reid to focus on moore traditional melodies."
nicolas cage's face eaten by a bunch of bees
Boris' Akuma no Uta not only continues on from the heavy rocking of Heavy Rocks but also incorporates some of the other genres the band has played with before. It sort of sets the stage for 2005's Pink. The cover is a tribute to Nick Drake' Bryter Layter.
Easily identifiable by its rather clever, Nick Drake/Bryter Layter-inspired cover art, Boris' Akuma No Uta and label mates in many ways offers a back-to-front cross-section of the Japanese trio's entire career, in all of its many stylistic varieties. Both the nine-minute, molten lava introduction and the closing title track delve in ambient drone tendencies (reminiscent of Earth and label mates Sunn 0)))), while a pair of comparatively brief submissions -- "Ibitsu" and "Furi" -- offer succinct, rudely distorted acid garage psych (think the Stooges, only cruder and heavier, or Spine of God-era Monster Magnet, but more energetic). As for the mid-album piece de resistance, "Naki Kyoku," it takes all of 12 minutes to carry out a gradual crescendo: from its mildly psychedelic, oddly "Freebird"-esque beginnings, through an extended mid-section offsetting equal parts guitar soloing and vocal chanting with fluid bass twiddling over ambient space rock sound effects, before finally arriving at a suitably shuddering sonic earthquake with its feedback-laced finale that's fit to level Tokyo. Standing out negatively amid all of this is the loose and unfocused, mid-paced jam number "Ano Onna No Onryou," which comes off both overlong and uninspired by comparison. Still, five winners out of six attempts is nothing to wrinkle your nose at, making Akuma No Uta almost guaranteed to please both longtime Boris aficionados and newcomers looking to sample a good summary of their talents.
-- Eduardo Rivadavia, allmusic
what happens when the numbers run out nicolas cage?
Forceful free jazz with ferocious rock sensibilities. With Tatsuya of Ruins on drums.
"The Satoko Fujii Quartet's debut album, Vulcan, was something of a revelation, showing well-regarded free-jazzer Fujii in full-out rock mode, backed by a rhythm section worthy of Magma, or well, at least Ruins. Minerva, their second effort, mines similar territory — free jazz with a freewheeling, bashing rhythm section — but moves into spacier and, dare I say it, subtler ground. Fujii seems to exercise her will over the band to a greater extent on this album, with her piano coming to the fore in every piece. And luckily for the listener, her playing is impeccable.
Take "Warp," for instance: while it starts like Vulcan did, with Yoshida's bizzaro vocal noodlings that give way to some long, dreamy notes courtesy of Tamura's trumpet, the piece then breaks into an odd-time trot. Hayakawa's bass holds down a catchy (and mostly static) rhythm over which Fujii drops insistent cluster bombs, with Tamura joining only occasionally with brief mid-tempo stabs at half-melodies. Fujii's playing here is adventurous, delightful, and intense, making "Warp" the highlight of the album for me.
"Weft" and "Caught in a Web" are spacier, with Yoshida laying off his usual bang-bang style, to the point that in parts of "Weft" he might almost be mistaken for a jazz drummer. In fact, discounting structural considerations this song comes closest to a more "traditional" jazz-rock fusion aesthetic, particularly in Fujii's accessible solo two-thirds of the way through. It is followed by "Caught in a Web," which seems almost an exercise in ambience at times but closes with a real bang: a propulsive blast of fuzz-bass and then a flurry of notes from Tamura. Quite cleansing.
Minerva is the least immediately accessible of this quartet's three albums to date, at least to the listener coming from a rock background. But the rewards that it hides are greater than those of Vulcan, in my opinion, and come close to the even more spectacular Zephyros. In the end, though, if you like any of these, you'll like them all, and they all stand on their own merits." - Brandon Wu
Saturday, March 28, 2009
More cream of the crop up in here.
"Although Prefix cannot unequivocally commit to an album that is "strenuously stiff," most critics have no reservations about labeling the album a classic. And MusicOMH advises, "You only get one chance to hear Colossal Youth for the first time. So if you’re not yet initiated, unhook the phone, put some time aside and revel in its tiny beauty." Dusted–and many critics–find that the material holds up quite well: "Three decades later, Colossal Youth & Collected Works still feels like the start of a brand new life." Exclaim! agrees, saying, "Colossal Youth sounds as important in 2007 as it likely did in 1980." And Treble adds, "While there are certainly many who have taken cues from YMG’s atmospheric new wave sound, their style remains distinctive and largely without peer."
Brian Eno is an oft-mentioned reference point in reviews of the hugely-respected Colossal Youth, but Dusted also hears echoes of Joe Meek and Lee Hazlewood. Like many reviewers, Gigwise zeroes in on the album’s deconstructionist nature: "What remains immediately striking is that ‘Colossal Youth’ is clearly an album of experimentation – a record of boundless artistic ambition that deconstructs song structure to its core principles." Filter hears "precise and elegant sketches" that amount to "primitivism at its most perfect." And the Seattle Weekly calls attention to the tension inherent in YMG’s minimalist style: "Because of this restraint, you keep waiting for the songs on Colossal Youth to explode, like ticking time bombs. But they never do."
As for the reissue itself (rather than just the original album), Exclaim! calls the new collection "thorough and, above all, necessary," while Gigwise deems it "essential," and The Guardian, "spellbinding." The latter publication adds that the material marks "an unassuming triumph, but a triumph nonetheless." Pitchfork notes that the extra material cannot live up to the standard set by the album: "Colossal Youth is such a bracing artifact, even now, that it begs for context; the other two discs demonstrate that the album is really all the band had to say, and the way they said it best." The Village Voice, however, appreciates the new material, declaring that "even demos of now-familiar songs can startle" in the context of different arrangements.
[Colossal Youth] is a record without genre, arguably outstripping The Slits in its disdain for rock structures or Wire in the way the songs appear to exhaust their ideas then stop dead, perfectly sated."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
For Chokabert, who loves his work. One of the greatest pianists ever.
"Don Pullen developed an extended technique for the piano and a strikingly individual style, post-bop and modern, but retaining a strong feeling for the blues. He produced acknowledged masterworks of jazz in a range of formats and styles, crossing and mixing genres long before this became almost commonplace. By chance, unfortunately for his future commercial success if not for his musical development, his first contact on arriving on the New York scene was with the free players of the 1960s, with whom he recorded. It was some years later before his abilities in more straight ahead jazz playing, as well as free, were revealed to a larger audience. The variety in his music made him difficult to pigeonhole, but he always displayed a vitality that at first hearing could shock but would always engross and delight his audience.
Although Don was able to play the piano in almost any style, (the attribute that had made him so important to the wide-ranging music of Mingus) and sometimes gave the impression that there were two pianists at the keyboard, he caused most astonishment by his ability to place extremely precise singing runs or glissandi over heavy chords, reminiscent of traditional blues, while never losing contact with the melodic line. His technique for creating these runs, where he seemed to roll his right hand over and over along the keys, received much comment from critics, was studied by pianists, and heavily filmed and investigated, but could never be totally explained, even by Don who had developed it. His piano technique can be seen on the DVDs 'Mingus At Montreux 1975' and on 'Roots Salutes The Saxophones'. But it is better not to concentrate too much on his technique, especially now that he is gone from among us, and to pay attention to his depth of feeling and the intensity of improvisations, whether these were suggested by the song itself or engendered by the moment. It is easy to forget that those who come to love his music from his records may be totally unaware of his playing method. Even at his concerts, only a minority of the audience would be fully able to see his hands moving along the keyboard and be aware of exactly how he revealed the emotional outpourings of his soul." - All About Jazz
Monday, March 23, 2009
As requested by Jorge, i'll be uploading some EN works from the the late 90's-early 00's. We start with this magnum opus.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
You can stick the bloated, gas-ridden Powaqqatsi synths up your gaping anal cavity. Or you can cleanse your ears listening to Magus Riley's magnificence. Yer choice.
"After several graph compositions and early pattern pieces with jazz ensembles in the late '50s and early '60s (see "Concert for Two Pianists and Tape Recorders" and "Ear Piece" in La Monte Young's book An Anthology), Riley invented a whole new music which has since gone under many names (minimal music -- a category often applied to sustained pieces as well -- pattern music, phase music, etc.) which is set forth in its purest form in the famous "In C" (1964) (for saxophone and ensemble, CBS MK 7178). "Rainbow in Curved Air" demonstrates the straightforward pattern technique but also has Riley improvising with the patterns, making gorgeous timbre changes on the synthesizers and organs, and presenting contrasting sections that has become the basic structuring of his works ("Candenza on the Night Plain" and other pieces). Scored for large orchestra with extra percussion and electronics, some of this work's seven movements are: "Star Night," "Blue Lotus," "The Earth Below," and "Island of the Rhumba King." - Blue Gene Tyranny
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Fuck Philip Glass, this is the real deal.
"These historical recordings were difficult to find (usually on out of print compilations) for a long time, so it's gratifying to have them readily available in one place. The two important tape pieces here from the mid-'60s, "Come Out" and "It's Gonna Rain," have their sound sources originating in police brutality and apocalyptic evangelism. Reich takes his sources and turns them into two short tape loops repeated rapidly as they gradually go out of synch with each other -- what's revealed are the intricacies of the human voice. "Come Out" takes the voice fragment and turns it into a hall-of-mirror set of voices over shuffling beat and wah-wah that are actually a by-product of subtleties of the voice and almost unrecognizable as the original vocal sample. It becomes a scary psychedelic funk piece that Funkadelic or Can would have been proud of. "It's Gonna Rain" is similarly looped and phased as the preacher's admonition is transformed, moving in and out of synch as the piece progresses with the second part of the piece especially full of fierce, terrifying swirls of noise. After taking musique concrete to another level, Reich decided to try to make similar strides with instrumental music. The two other pieces here, "Piano Phase" and "Clapping Music," represent this new direction in his work. Re-recorded here in 1986 and 1987, their intricate, layered patterns should be familiar to fans of another one of Reich's masterpieces, "Music for 18 Musicians." Early Works is a must-have introduction for anyone interested in the roots of minimalist music." - Jason Gross
It's Gonna Rain
Shining practitioners of prime Psychedelic Soul.
"Rotary Connection's psychedelic chamber soul continues to sound ambitious and progressive decades after the group's departure. Instantly recognizable from the dramatic string arrangements of Charles Stepney and the five-octave voice of Minnie Riperton, the group released six albums between 1967 and 1971 that combined rock, soul, and psychedelia to theatrical and occasionally transcendental heights. The racially mixed group never really broke out of the Midwest, a region in which they frequently played out. Their failure to become more than a regional cult act can be partly attributed to their management's decision to spurn a slot at Woodstock in order to play a more lucrative festival in Toronto. Despite some patchy albums and poor management decisions, Rotary Connection's status as an influential cult group has steadily risen since the '70s.
Marshall Chess, son of Leonard Chess, conceived Rotary Connection in 1967 for Cadet Concept -- an upstart subsidiary of his father's Chess label. Chess initially centered the instrumentalists around a trio of musicians from a rock group called the Proper Strangers: drummer Kenny Venegas, bassist Mitch Aliotta, and guitarist Bobby Simms. Sidney Barnes, Minnie Riperton, and Judy Hauf were added as the vocalists. Upon the group's formation, Barnes was already something of a vagabond; his resume as a songwriter, background vocalist, and solo artist was extensive. Riperton was a veteran of the Chess ranks; she worked as a receptionist in the label's Chicago office, had been a member of the Gems, and released material under the name Angela Davis. Chess musical supervisor Charles Stepney -- a legendary composer, arranger, and producer -- was brought in to direct the group. He would also implement the skills of studio musicians from the extended Chess family throughout the group's existence, such as drummer Morris Jennings and guitarists Phil Upchurch, Bobby Christian, and Pete Cosey.
Under Stepney's guidance, Rotary Connection recorded and released their self-titled debut album in late 1967. The group's spacious sound was leavened by Stepney's often gorgeous and lilting string arrangements. The album featured both originals (co-written by Stepney and a number of other songwriters, including Barnes and future Riperton spouse Richard Rudolph) and radical covers of the Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" and Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." This became the blueprint for what would follow from the group and, as a stunning (if flawed) debut, the album falls into that old rock trap of being viewed as the only essential one the group made. That's an unfortunate fact, because the group's key factor -- the voice of Minnie Riperton -- wasn't truly given a chance to shine until the second album." - Andy Kellman
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
They make your bones shiver and HUM.
"Skullflower was the flagship band of the Broken Flag collective, a group of experimental noise rock bands from the U.K. (most notably Ramleh, Total, and Sunroof!) that often swapped ideas and personnel. Led by guitarist Matthew Bower, the highly prolific Skullflower boasted the largest cult following of the bunch, with a sound based on sludgy, Black Sabbath-style riffs overlaid with feedback, fuzzed-out guitar noise, and throttling rhythms, all played at an ungodly volume. Always an improvisational outfit, their textured noise freak-outs grew increasingly free-form over the course of their career, moving farther and farther away from even loose definitions of "rock." Skullflower claimed a broad range of influences in addition to the aforementioned Sabbath: heavy psychedelia (Blue Cheer, et al.), Krautrock, classical avant-gardists (John Cage, Steve Reich, Terry Riley), early industrial music (Throbbing Gristle, Einstürzende Neubauten, Whitehouse), and noise rockers from the American indie world (Sonic Youth, Big Black, the Butthole Surfers). Despite a clear association with industrial music, Skullflower never employed much tape manipulation or electronic instrumentation, preferring a standard guitar/bass/drums lineup. The results often drew comparisons to bands like Savage Republic, Nurse With Wound, and New Zealand's Dead C, and were an avowed influence on bands as diverse as Bardo Pond and Godflesh.Skullflower was formed in London in 1987, growing out of guitarist Matthew Bower's previous band, Total (which subsequently turned into a solo side project). Skullflower's early core members were Bower, drummer Stuart Dennison (the only other constant besides Bower), and bassist/guitarist Stefan Jaworzyn. The lineup was fairly fluid, however, especially early on; other contributors included guitarist Gary Mundy (also the leader of Ramleh), bassist Alex Binnie, bassist/drummer Stephen Thrower (also of Coil), and auxiliary bassist/guitarist/drummer Anthony DiFranco (also known as JFK). Initially recording for the Broken Flag label, a community enterprise that also handled Ramleh and Total, Skullflower made their recorded debut with the 1988 EP Birthdeath, and followed it with the full-length Form Destroyer in 1989. Like much of their subsequent output, both releases were pressed in extremely limited quantities. Material from both was included on 1990's Ruins, the group's first release on Jaworzyn's Shock label; several tracks appeared in remixed form.The contentious mixing process for Skullflower's next release, 1990's Xaman, spelled the end of Jaworzyn's involvement in the group. Bower subsequently recruited Anthony DiFranco to take over the full-time bass duties, and this trio recorded 1992's IIIrd Gatekeeper for Godflesh guitarist Justin Broadrick's HeadDirt label; they also toured as Godflesh's opening act that fall. Two more albums followed in 1993: Last Shot to Heaven, on Noiseville, and Obsidian Shaking Codex, on RRR. By this time, DiFranco was decreasing his involvement in the group, and eventually left altogether to record as Ax; his place was filled by official second guitarist Russell Smith, formerly of Terminal Cheesecake.Hereafter, Skullflower concentrated on free-form noise improv to a greater degree than ever before. 1994's Carved Into Roses, on VHF, featured guest vocals from Philip Best (also of Ramleh and Whitehouse), plus Casio squiggles from Simon Wickham-Smith. 1995 was a prolific year even for Skullflower: Argon (issued on Freek) added horn players John Godbert and Tim Hodgkinson to the overall din, while Infinityland (a second effort for HeadDirt) again welcomed Best and Wickham-Smith, and the live Adieu, All You Judges (back on Broken Flag) captured a joint performance with Ramleh. 1996's Transformer was released on the prominent, garage-oriented indie label Sympathy for the Record Industry, and marked a quieter, more ambient direction for the band, complete with strings. It was followed later that year by the similar This Is Skullflower, which appeared on VHF and featured Godbert on piano, as well as third guitarist Richard Youngs. Following that release, Matthew Bower opted to concentrate on his other bands, the even more improvisational Sunroof! and Total, and retired the Skullflower name.Bower and Dennison resurrected the group in 2003, recording Exquisite Fucking Boredom for the tUMULt label along with guitarist Mark Burns and bassist Steve Martin; it was co-produced by Neil Campbell (Vibracathedral Orchestra, ex-Total) and Colin Potter (Nurse With Wound)." - S Huey
Like the voice of the undead, it's pure cinema, a blend of shock rock, black metal, and ambient music, and the overall effect is devastating."
For Howard, my favorite Big Star and one of the most depressing albums ever made.
"Recorded a year later in 1974, with producer and fellow Memphis musician/producer Jim Dickinson and backed with a host of friends and flunkies, the album, which has three working titles, Third, Sisters Lovers, and Beale St. Green, wasn't released until 1978 when it sold fewer records than probably Skip Spence's Oar, an album it resembles. Sister Lovers was re-released on CD by Rykodisc in 1992 to near universal acclaim (except in Afghanistan. Humorless Taliban shitheads, they would have dug the misery). If the first Big Star album is the greatest pure pop album of the last thirty years, and if the second is the finest record made between Exile on Main Street and Hüsker Dü's New Day Rising, Sister Lovers is one of the top twenty albums of all time. And don't care if it's predominantly a solo or band venture; I look at the label and it says Big Star, and in the same way that the Byrds, Yardbirds, and The Move radically changed personnel, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and is called Big Star, then it's a god damned duck.
And it is a very strange duck. To start with, it prefigures some of his solo albums in its self-absorption, disturbing solitude, sloppiness of musicianship, lack of a coherent song placement, and in its brutal disregard for convention or commercial prospects. Half the time, I want to sell it right after playing it, but then I proceed to drive a steak knife into my lower colon and play the album again. Most of the songs lack an introductory phrase: not merely in media res, but more like in the middle of hell, Chilton's songs are the songs you'd hear as Charon ferries you across the River Styx. And instead of money stuffed in your mouth to pay for the ride, your ears are stuffed with bleakness, radical song structures collapsing upon themselves, and relationships that end worse than the Holocaust: in Holiday Inns; on downs; or simply wishing to "shoot a woman." To be sure, as a singer/songwriter album full of quirky asides, declarations of hopelessness, and dark ramblings on the failure of America, Sister Lovers shares a similar greatness, ethos, and virtuosic intensity with other albums of the period, several of them nearly as great and dark as this one: Mayfield's Roots, Gaye's Here, My Dear, Wyatt's Rock Bottom, Young's Tonight's The Night, Cale's Paris 1919 and Hazelwood's Requiem For An Almost Lady. But Sister Lovers documents a great mind and a great talent at both the apex and the nadir of his career/life and, even if he begs "I want to white out" himself on the scary opening track, 'Kizza Me', he doesn't mean it – he is as proud to be our Cassandra, self-accused and accusatory, his fingers chained to a guitar of shimmering beauty. He proposes confessions here hoping for forgiveness. He is wrong. It is we who are sorry, guilty, miserable, former believers no longer living with certitude." - Michael Baker
Here's George Antheil's score to Fernand Léger's experimental, dadaist, masterpiece Ballet Mécanique. The film is insane and the score is just as insane with the use of pianos, airplane propellers, sirens, electric bells among other things. This shit was way ahead of it's time and can be seen as the precursor to more experimental stuff that came out later.
One of Brooklyn's finest.
"Oneida have become one of the more rewarding groups in experimental music in the mid-2000s, since they're so unfailingly curious about all their detours. Catatonic psych-rock, heavy blues dirge, post-punk, garage, the anxious blipping of a vintage keyboard -- it's all fair territory for them. 2005's Wedding is no different. Hanoi Jane, Kid Millions, and Bobby Matador drop some inventive pop with "You're Drifting" and "High Life," two songs with real melodies that still manage the unlikely instrumentation and the misdirection you've come to expect. A violin punctuates an exalted ending chorus, blurry organs wail, and -- of course -- someone pisses in Prospect Park. Both songs are like more lucid versions of those Eric Gaffney contributions on Sebadoh's old albums. ("Holy Picture" on III being just one example.) But that's only one facet of Wedding. Speaking of violins, the album begins with "Eiger," where the Swiss mountaintop becomes a place for proclamations to pretty German girls and a full chamber quartet. "Run Through My Hair" matches a brittle mandolin to electric guitar stabs and treated drums for some great psyche weirdness, while "Heavenly Choir" is some clammy sewer drain version of 1970s boogie rock, like an alternate universe Edgar Winter Group. None of these tangents sound forced, or made for the sake of being screwy. Instead they're twisty vines off a central root. So when Oneida opens the nearly eight-minute "Beginning Is Nigh" with a light saber warble and some steadily building organ, you know you're in for a ride. Unfortunately, you're not -- there's a guy mumbling, and a guitar making some noise, but nothing really happens. That's okay, though. Oneida come right back with "August Morning Haze," which brings the strings back to match wits with the liquid tones of a Rhodes and some more impressive vocal harmonies. Wedding might not be Oneida's most way-out album, but it's as satisfyingly restless as anything in their catalog. " - Johnny Loftus
For Sean: Essential listening for Teenage Fanclub & Elliott Smith fans.
"The quintessential American power pop band, Big Star remains one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock & roll. Originally led by the singing and songwriting duo of Alex Chilton and Chris Bell, the Memphis-based group fused the strongest elements of the British Invasion era -- the melodic invention of the Beatles, the whiplash guitars of the Who, and the radiant harmonies of the Byrds -- into a ramshackle but poignantly beautiful sound which recaptured the spirit of pop's past even as it pointed the way toward the music's future. Although creative tensions, haphazard distribution, and marketplace indifference conspired to ensure Big Star's brief existence and commercial failure, the group's three studio albums nevertheless remain unqualified classics, and their impact on subsequent generations of indie bands on both sides of the Atlantic is surpassed only by that of the Velvet Underground." [AMG]
Tell him what we said 'bout 'Paint It Black'
Thursday April 2nd
DJ Spik Jagger
@Nuestro Son, Rio Piedras
Friday April 3rd
Saturday April 4th
El Local, Santurce
"Only one of the Screaming Females is female, and she generally sings as much as she screams. But truth-in-advertising standards generally don't apply to punk bands, so these discrepancies haven't slowed the trio on the road to underground popularity.
The star of the band is guitarist Marissa Paternoster; aside from being the designated screaming female, she pulls out the stops on scorching guitar solos in nearly every song. She's not afraid to get down and toy with her effects pedals, at times making a cacophonous clatter a la Sonic Youth, but ultimately her trick is straight-up guitar-hero stuff. The Females' rhythm section consists of bassist Mike Rickenbacker and drummer Jarrett Dougherty, holding down danceable post-punk beats behind songs that range from blues-derived to nearly disco-like, echoing The Slits in their more dub-influenced days." -ANDY MULKERIN
Im pretty excited about this.
Dont tell Eloy.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
For Felix, second album by these Northwest psychonauts.
"The title of Hovercraft's second recording for Mute is wholly appropriate, given their tendency to treat the recording studio as some kind of laboratory. Nearly impossible to describe, the instrumental sounds here are never soothing, even though Sadie 7 (aka Beth Liebling, aka Mrs. Eddie Vedder) certainly is capable of playing a lush bass guitar. But the screeching, scratching sonics of Campbell 2000's guitar takes her lullaby rhythms and turns them inside out. While not a sign of conformity by any means, Below finds Hovercraft offering up more structure, orchestrating stronger dramatic climaxes than their previous work and knowing when to pull the plug on the atonal moments. Some songs, like the ghostly "Phantom Limb" or the static-embraced "Transmitter" even cry out similarities to the blackened spirit of Joy Division in their most saddened state. This is challenging music that certainly has its rewards for those patient enough to hang around." - Jason Kaufman
One of the best albums released in the 80's, an almost seamless mixture of industrial dissonance, ethnological sorcery/forgery and the most beautiful pop songwriting. Just listen to "Stolen Kisses" and "Catalan" (with guest Jordi Valls) back to back and you'll see what I mean.
The story of Psychic TV is a very long and consistently fascinating one. I remember an old PTV site that had a huge amount of PTV paraphernalia and documentation, an impressive effort at preserving this group's assault on mass media and 20th century communications. Sadly I can no longer find this site, but If you do please drop the link in the comments. Meanwhile there's a little info coming from the head honcho here.
"The first Psychic TV album in many ways remains its best, a double album worthy of the space needed that's readily comparable to the best efforts of the World Serpent circle of acts like Current 93 and Coil in its variety, dark power and very English take on things. Admittedly the Coil (and therefore Throbbing Gristle) connection is further heightened by the participation of Peter Christopherson throughout, while Alex Fergusson's re-emergence after time spent with Alternative TV further heightens the overall musical excellence of the album. Add in some fine guest performers -- most notably Marc Almond, who appears on the winsome pop of "Stolen Kisses" and the slow burning, threatening mood piece "Guiltless" -- and Genesis P-Orridge would have had to work damn hard to screw everything up, which he certainly didn't. The opening track alone must have confounded more than a few Throbbing Gristle fanatics -- "Just Drifting (For Caresse)" is a slow folk song with gentle string backing written for and about P-Orridge's newborn daughter. The musical references throughout the album refer to everything from Ennio Morricone-styled spaghetti western twang and doom ("Terminus-Xtul," which eventually transforms into a grinding howl of feedback and a calm acoustic coda) to post-punk dance grooves ("Ov Power," in a "radio promo mix" that's still not entirely American Bandstand material). Bachir Attar and the Master Musicians of Jajouka get a direct salute with "Thee Full Pack" which, while not representative of that collective's music, still sets a haunting, mysterious mood. The Temple ov Psychick Youth coterie doubtless still gets a kick out of "Message from Thee Temple," in which an authoritative but warm voice quietly delivers some philosophical strictures against a rich, sorrowful combination of strings and low key beats."
"Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.
The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth."
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
"Perhaps everyone and their mothers -- assuming the moms were into such things -- were indeed raving endlessly about post-rock in all its supposed forms throughout much of the '90s, instead of that seeming like an involved indie rock dream. Where Hovercraft fits into all this isn't so much in style and scene as it is in direct participation -- if not quite as freaked out as, say, Main -- the trio on Akathisia did a fantastic job of whipping up five dark, engrossing instrumentals that avoided any pretense of commercial acceptance. The inclusion of drummer Dave gave the group a touch more traditional rock punch without otherwise sounding too traditional, though he does have an ear for the steady post-psych tribal drumming doom approach that must have scared a few folks taking bong hits in 1972. One can almost audibly hear the three members testing each other out with their experiments; jam sessions turned into creepy alien soundtracks, the end descendants of everyone and everything from Ash Ra Tempel and instrumental Pink Floyd to Joy Division, and even Wire at its most unsettled-but-calm. Perhaps by default Ryan is the most openly exploratory member; while the rhythm section finds its own paces and subtle rhythm shifts, Ryan freaks out in his own way, wailing guitars shooting up, down, and all around, with mixed brief, repetitive parts that obsessively focus on rhythm as well. But he doesn't dominate, and indeed Beth Liebling and Dave are often the most prominent in the mix -- consider "Angular Momentum" and its steady, just doomy enough crawl forward towards the end. "Haloparidol" plays around with some Arabic scales here and there to attractive effect, while "De-Orbit Burn" is a killer ending for the album, with some seriously noisy feedback damage from Ryan and Liebling throughout." - Ned Raggett
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A small but significant example of the inscrutable genius of IX.
"This is a collection of compositions from electronic music pioneer and 20th century legend Iannis Xenakis, deceased in the early half of 2001 after a lifetime creating one of the most significant bodies of European art. The great Greek-born Frenchman's extraordinary work covered early electronic music and post-serialist composition, architecture, and mathematics, and his mastery of diverse mediums informed his work in music composition, securing his place as one of the most important composers of avant-garde classical music. Those familiar with Xenakis the architect will know him for his pavilion at the Brussels World's Fair (1970), while instrumental classical musicians will know of his complex and abstract percussion and string works. In electronic music he is known not as the inventor but as the composer who shaped the medium into one of the most progressive and complex mediums of the late 20th century. Hence, New York's Electronic Music Foundation released this compilation of his works dating from the late '50s, when at a Paris studio he produced these artifacts that take the primitive electronics of the time into stunningly sophisticated realms. On hearing this CD in the new millennium, it is hard to believe that these abstractions were not made in the late '90s, judging from their futuristic use of electronic effects. Xenakis' work was always considerably more abrasive than that of his contemporaries, and is comparable only to the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, who was similarly interested in noise and sonic phenomena during the '60s. The works on this CD such as "Polytopes" and "Concrete PH" are concerned with "clouds of sound" where the density is extreme, giving these tape works complex textures that can be examined for hours and at different volumes, presenting effects from curious ambience to engaging and rigorous sound worlds. This archival collection comes highly recommended. It is more than a footnote in the history of electronic music, as many reissues can be; rather, this is a vital document in the shaping of late-20th century music." - Sylvie Harrison
Monday, March 9, 2009
FUCKING AMAZING ALBUM! This band just fucking rocks. Deniz Tek's guitar work really inspired and influenced me as a guitarist. Get this NOW!
"Early Australian punk band Radio Birdman formed in 1974 and began recording in 1976 when the single ”Burn My Eye” was released. They took their name from a misheard lyric in Stooges song, ”1970”. (The actual line is “Radio burnin’”) Their first LP, Radios Appear, showed diverse influences, including Detroit bands of the late 1960s, such as The MC5 and The Stooges. The album was totally ignored by commercial radio but was championed by Sydney station 2JJ (Double Jay) and became sufficiently successful in Australia to lead to a contract with Sire Records (US label, home of The Ramones), who released a different version of Radios Appear internationally. It took three years to record a follow-up, Living Eyes, and by then, the Australian punk scene had diversified and the band broke up before the LP was released.
The band’s lyrics reference US-born guitarist/main songwriter Deniz Tek’s home state of Michigan, with lyrics from tracks such as “Murder City Nights” referring to Woodward Avenue in Detroit:
“Cruising down Woodward gotta find me some action/Looking for a lover with a power reaction.”
Many of their other songs, such as “Hand Of Law” & “Descent Into The Maelstrom” deal in apocalyptic images of war and violence, but these are more than balanced by the lighter pop culture references of tunes such as “Aloha Steve & Danno”, an ode to the TV show Hawaii 5-0."
the hand of law is coming down
I fucking love this album by one of my favorite bands.
"Recorded with a full orchestra on a cold, rainy day shortly after the release of their second record, Portishead, the project doubled as a live album and the soundtrack for a BBC documentary. In addition to being economical and perhaps lucrative, the disc demonstrates how sampled and sequenced music can be re-created in concert without losing any of the charm or dynamics of the original recordings. All it takes is a 22-piece string section, some horns, and a band whose tightness is exceeded only by its creativity. At times the performances on PNYC sound even more breathtaking and cinematic than Portishead's original recordings, as humming theremin, skittery scratching, and gliding strings mingle with stealthy guitar lines and sultry vocals."
Here's some background info on Portishead for those who are new to their music.
"Portishead are a band from Bristol, England, named after the small coastal town of Portishead, twelve miles west of Bristol in North Somerset. They were initially known for their use of jazz samples and some hip hop beats along with various synth sounds and the hauntingly beautiful vocals of singer Beth Gibbons. Their current sound drops the samples in favor of a harder, more abrasive edge, but retains Gibbons’ vocals.
The band was formed in 1991, by keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barrow and singer Beth Gibbons. Barrow had previously worked with two other bands from Bristol, Massive Attack and Tricky, and decided to name his new endeavour after his hometown.
After releasing a short film (To Kill A Dead Man) and its accompanying music, Portishead signed a record deal with Go! Beat and their first album, ‘Dummy’, was released in 1994. It featured heavy contributions from guitarist Adrian Utley. In spite of the band’s media-shyness, the album gained universal critical acclaim and was successful on both sides of the Atlantic, spawning two hit singles, “Glory Box” and “Sour Times”. The album won the British Mercury Music Prize in 1995 beating albums such as ‘Definitely Maybe’ by Oasis and Leftfield’s ‘Leftism’.
Their second album, ‘Portishead’, was released in 1997, and featured the single “All Mine”. A live album featuring new orchestral arrangements of the group’s songs was recorded primarily at Roseland in New York City and released in 1998, as well as a DVD of the Roseland concert."
but don't despair
I discovered this band in 2002 and have been enjoying and recommending it to all my friends ever since. It's only fair I share it with all of you as well. Unfortunately, I sold my copy of this CD along with a bunch of other fine h/c punk and punk classics when I found myself in need of some money. Hopefully I'll get the original LP again some day.
"Rudimentary Peni (1980 - present) emerged from the anarcho-punk scene in the UK in the early eighties as one of the most novel and recognizable acts of the era.
Lead singer/guitarist Nick Blinko is notorious for his witty macabre lyrics and dark pen-and-ink artwork, prominently featured on all of Rudimentary Peni’s albums. Blinko is also rumored to have written the band’s Pope Adrian 37th Psychristiatric album whilst resident in a psychiatric hospital, having suffered from mental illness most of his life, as such, the subject matter of the album relates to the delusions Nick was experiencing at the time, particularly the idea that he was said Pope. Nick’s subject matter has been influenced by the work of H.P. Lovecraft who he had studied after having delusions of the macabre element of life and hereafter. Bassist Grant Matthews has also written a number of songs for the band, though his lyrics primarily focus on sociopolitical themes. The band also features drummer Jon Greville.
Very few photos exist of the band, as their albums feature Blinko’s drawings, but artist and record label owner Pushead published a few photos of the band in an early edition of his magazine.
The band had early connections with Crass, and released their Farce EP on Crass Records. Though they stopped performing in the 1980s after bassist Grant Matthews was diagnosed with cancer, they continue to record and release material today, though they rarely give interviews."
Argentinean pharmacy employees and dementors of the best sort.
"We all agree here at AQ that this is a really amazing disc. We also all agree that it's tough to describe! Which is maybe why we didn't manage to review it right when it first appeared a few months back. But now we'll try, since we like it so much and want you know about it. Simply put (which is impossible), Farmacia from Argentina straddle the line between minimal dance music and rhythmic noise. Crucial Sky In The Land Of Premonitions At Lorenzo's Weekend (there, doesn't that title tell you all you need to know? no? uh, yeah, you're right) is the work of a trio who are making their OWN original music first and foremost, not something we hear everyday. There's an experimental, home-brewed, kit-bashed approach here that possesses some of the charming weirdness of Argentine AQ faves Reynols without sounding like them... much more user-friendly, these guys! It's a sort of playful industrial/electro music, part Throbbing Gristle, part Aphex Twin, part Mouse On Mars. One track even reminds us of Itavayla, or Trans Am. There's bopping abstract noises, wordless vocals, distortion and drone and disco-friendly beats. Surprisingly beautiful, beautifully surprising. The three members are credited with the use of plenty of analog synths, samplers, computers... an array of ethnic flutes... eggs, noises, and "atmospheric crucial voices"... y'know, the usual stuff. And the results are, as we said, tough to describe. But we figure it's got a wide appeal, to fans of Kraftwerk and Cluster back in the '70s... to fans of Lindstrom yesterday. Totally recommended." - Aquarius
Sunday, March 8, 2009
"Lorca took this lilting, jazzy aesthetic further in, and further out: Buckley elongated his songs into monumental, leisurely trajectories, expanses of Song, whose emphatically simple laments take on the cyclical, hypnotic quality of something like Pibroch. Buckley (and the trio of Underwood, Colins and bassist John Balkin) eschew facile solo-ing or fancy improvisation for a taut, sensual exploration of tempo ... Tempo as texture, and texture as mood ... A transcription of late night intimacies, of sensual surety, a hushed and hallowed pulse. These are conversational songs. These are adult lullabies. These the sort of songs, as Lorca once said, that demonstrate that a moonlight night of one hundred years ago is the same as a moonlit night of ten years ago.
"Songs which were only a song still to come ... they guided the sailor towards that space where singing would really begin."
- Maurice Blanchot, The Song of The Sirens."
- Ian Penman
Friday, March 6, 2009
For Uzi-El descendant of Krypton:
"The Austin, Texas-based Spoon began as an indie rock band heavily influenced by the jarring melodic dissonance and loud-soft dynamics of the Pixies, but by the early 2000s had developed its own sound and style owing as much to angular British punk-era bands like Wire and Gang of Four as to the music of the Nineties alternative boom. The band is known as much for its heroic perseverance in the face of major-label abandonment when it became a mainstream success after moving back to an independent record label." -[Rolling Stone]
A Series of Sneaks. ('98)
Girls can tell. ('01)
Kill The Moonlight.('02)
Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga ('07)
Theres a reason why I skipped gimme fiction.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
"DESPITE ITS STRANGE time-signatures (‘The Healing Festival’ was in 10/4) and unusual instrumentation (flugelhorn, pipe organ, alto-flute), Starsailor still rocks, in its own singular and unorthodox way, thanks to the internal combustion engine stroked by Lee Underwood's scalding rhythm guitar, John Balkin's lunging and twisting bass, and the elegant frenzy of Maury Baker's drumming. Riding the group's implacable drive, Buckley's abstract expressionist ballet-for-voice is at its most untethered and gaseous. On the solo voice ‘Starsailor’, the singer multiplied himself into an astral choir. Sixteen strands of Buckley's eeriest vocal goo – overdubbed, but amazingly not treated with effects in any way – ooze and extrude, striate and shiver, forming a multi-octave meshwork of rippling filaments and quivering tentacles. It's like you're somehow inside Buckley's body – exploring its labyrinthine architecture of erotic energies and pre-verbal intensities, an inner-spatial honeycomb of bliss and dread, attraction and repulsion.
The only parallels for what he was doing on ‘Starsailor’ – and the most gravity-defying and ectoplasmic vocal manouevres on ‘Jungle Fire’ and ‘Healing Festival’ – are Gyorgi Ligeti's hair-raising choral music on the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey, or Diamanda Galas' Litanies Of Satan. The Ligeti comparison is all the more astounding given that Buckley had no formal knowledge of music theory, harmony, et al, and had never even taken a single voice lesson.
In rock, only Iggy Pop (the un-human snarls and expectorations of ‘TV Eye’) and Robert Wyatt (the muezzin-wail-meets-scat falsetto altitudes scaled in the final minutes of ‘Sea Song’) have taken the human voice as far as Buckley did on Starsailor. Weirdly, given that the album seemed to represent Buckley's final push to break free of being "a slave to the lyrics", the words were among his best ever – a sort of erotic-mystic Fauvist beat poetry, all "baited moans" and "I love you like a jungle fire". Larry Beckett, back on board, also came up with some triptastic imagery, like the title track's "Though I memorised the slope of water/Oblivion carries me on his shoulder/Beyond the suns I speak and circuits shiver." Starsailor was critically hailed, receiving a five-star review from jazz mag Downbeat and inspiring purple praise galore (Idris Walters described Buckley as a "vagrant in the void" and a "multioctave drifter in the oblivionosphere".) But the record bombed commercially, and the efforts at live translation went down like a cup of cold sick with audiences baffled by Buckley's forays into Dada-style bruitismeor sound poetry – snoring, yodelling, barking. Devastated, Buckley sank into depression, drowning his sorrows with barbiturates, booze, and, when it came his way, heroin.
For a couple of years, he retired from the business, legendarily chauffeuring for Sly Stone and working in the ethnomusicology department of UCLA on the notation of Japanese and Balinese music. (Both these activities may actually be more of Buckley's tall tales.) He did a bit of acting, co-starring with OJ Simpson in a never-released movie called Why?, and writing equally unsuccessful screenplays like Fully Air-Conditioned Inside, the story of a struggling musician." - Simon Reynolds
Long live Branca.
"If one chooses to categorize the music on this recording as "rock," this is surely one of the greatest rock albums ever made. But there's the rub. While sporting many of the trappings of the genre -- the instrumentation (electric guitars), the rhythms, the volume, and, most certainly, the attitude -- there is much about The Ascension that doesn't fit comfortably into the standard definition of the term. Not only does the structure of the compositions appear to owe more to certain classical traditions, including Romanticism, than the rock song form, but Branca's overarching concern is with the pure sound produced, particularly of the overtones created by massed, "out of tune," excited strings and the ecstatic quality that sound can engender in the listener. Though his prior performing experience was with post-punk, no-wave groups like the Static and Theoretical Girls, it could be argued that the true source of much of the music here lies in the sonic experimentation of deep-drone pioneers like La Monte Young and Phil Niblock. Happily, the music is accessible enough that one can jump right in, regardless of one's direction of approach. Branca's band, unlike some of his later enormous ensembles, is relatively modest (four guitars, bass guitar, and drums), so the sound is comparatively clear and each member's contributions may be easily discerned. The chiming notes that begin "The Spectacular Commodity" are allowed to hover in the air, awash in overtones, before being subsumed into a rolling groove that picks up more and more intensity as guitar chords cascade one atop another, threatening to, but never succeeding in, toppling the whole affair. "Structure" plays with sonic torque, whipsawing between two differently stressed voicings of the same theme, pulling them back and forth like taffy. But the title track is both the consummation of the record and the surest indication of Branca's direction in later years. It begins with a marvelously dense haze of ringing guitars, feedback, and percussion, with a foreboding bassline contributing to the strong sense of disorientation. Midway through, it abruptly shifts to harsh blocks of sound over a rapid rhythm, the blocks differing in texture but played in alternating sections, smacking into each other and further heightening the tension. These disparate sounds eventually coalesce into a pure, ringing tone that, over the last minute of the piece, explodes into a spectacular cacophony, a seism of bell tones, microtonal eruptions, and near orgasmic guitar bliss. An absolutely stunning, jaw-dropping performance. Branca's music has served as a major inspiration to many alternative rock bands that surfaced in the '80s and '90s, notably Sonic Youth; both Lee Ranaldo (who plays on this recording) and Thurston Moore were regularly members of his early ensembles. The Ascension, in addition to being an utterly superb album on its own merits, uniquely invites listening from both adventurous rock fans and aficionados of experimental electronic music. For years, the vinyl release on 99 Records, with its stunning cover illustration by Robert Longo, was a highly sought-after collector's item. It was finally issued to compact disc in 1999 by New Tone." - Brian Olewnick
"Ruins are the brainchild of drummer Tatsuya Yoshida, one of Japan's most original and fiercely independent musicians. He formed the band in the summer of 1985, originally intending to be a power trio, but when the guitarist didn't show for their first rehearsal, he bumped Ruins down to a rhythm-section-only duo.
Ruins produce a unique fusion of punk and progressive rock. Yoshida has stated that while he admires punk's energy, he has no desire to play pure punk, and in fact grew up on a steady diet of prog bands such as Genesis, ELP, and Gentle Giant. However, his true inspiration came from France's Magma. Magma's trademark odd-metered motives, faux operatic signing, and especially Christian Vander's extroverted drumming have certainly made their way into Yoshida's consciousness, although the jazzy undertones and relatively atmospheric group sound did not. From an early point, Ruins appealed to the avant-garde and punk listener more than the more traditional 'progger'. On their first recordings, they teamed up with NYC experimental sax-icon John Zorn, and would later put out albums on his Tzadik label. The Ruins sound is dense mix of hardcore punk, prog theatrics, and free-improv. Some critics have used the term 'jazzcore', but that seems inadequate. There really is no describing the duo's sound."
throw out your hella & lightning bolt cd-r's
They threw us all in a trench and stuck a monument on top.
Drum's not dead.
They were wrong, so we drowned.
"Liars were conceived in November 2000 after two friends and ex-Los Angeles art students, Aaron Hemphill and Angus Andrew, reunited in New York City. They responded to a "musicians wanted" ad posted in a local record store by two Nebraskans, Pat Noecker and Ron Albertson. The lurching Aussie Andrew took on the vocal/frontman duties while Hemphill became their guitarist and drum-machine programmer. Bassist Noecker and drummer Albertson make up the Liars rhythm section. Combined, they write music -- surprisingly formulated after the beats are laid down on the drum machine -- exhibiting fundamental elements of punk rock. Synthetic keypads, vocal modulation, and interspersed prearranged compositions, mixed with their guitar-bass-drums equation, create angular yet melodic songs. Liars are reminiscent of U.K. groups that embraced dance music during the late '70s/early '80s (A Certain Ratio, Gang of Four, the Slits) -- bands that are all known for insidiously adding danceable rhythms to punk.
Only months after forming, the group played its first show. Liars' debut album, They Threw Us All in a Trench and Stuck a Monument on Top, was released on independent Gern Blandsten Records in October 2001 and was later reissued by Blast First/Mute. The album was recorded in just two days by producer/engineer Steve Revitte, who's best known for this work with the Beastie Boys and Lee "Scratch" Perry. Late the following year, Noecker and Albertson left the band and percussionist Julian Gross was recruited as a replacement. The trio began recording the second Liars album at Andrew's house in the forests of New Jersey with friend and co-producer Dave Sitek. The results, They Were Wrong, So We Drowned, which was inspired by experimental electronic music and German legends about witchcraft, arrived in early 2004. After moving to Berlin, Liars got even more ambitious on Drum's Not Dead, a concept album revolving around creativity and doubt accompanied by short films by the band and other filmmakers. The band took a much more stripped-down approach for 2007's self-titled album, which featured more structured songwriting and a harder-edged sound." -[AMG]
One of my favorite bands.