Monday, December 15, 2008

MIXOLOGY





I made a mix for you. I hope you enjoy it. Its nice to listen to lying down.




1.Black Mountain - Shelter
2.The Spires - Everything And Nothing At Once
3.Roland Bautista - Gone
4.Undisputed Truth - Down By The River
5.Buckingham Nicks - Frozen Love
6.Total Issue - Dis-Mais-Dis
7.San Un Lin - My Soul Lies On Silk
8.Cold Cave - Our Tears Help The Flowers Grow
9.James Ferraro - untitled
10.Wavves - Spaced Raider
11.Mark McGuire - A Matter Of Time

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Circle


Review by Brian Way

Circle is a band that loves to keep its fans guessing; some of their forays into unexpected genres tend to confound, but a true fan will always find what they love about these Finnish experimentalists no matter the direction they take, be it psychedelic, noise, drone, folk, free jazz, or their self-coined genre, the New Wave of Finnish Heavy Metal. They always manage to sound like Circle, in that their musical motifs are always circular, cyclical, repetitive... and extremely hypnotic. Do not attempt to operate heavy machinery while listening to Circle! The majority of their work, be it the motorik "speed kraut" drive of the bulk of their earlier material, the prog leanings of Katapult, the absurdist experiments of Arkades, the damaged folk-blues of Forest, the dronescapes mixed with oldschool punk (?!) of Panic, or even the metallic edge of Sunrise (so sincere it's almost indistinguishable from Judas Priest!). But this diversity never comes off like a gimmick - in this case Circle has delved into a realm not far from the much-maligned genre of New Age music, albeit closer to the kind associated with avant gardists like Steve Reich, Terry Reilly or John Cage, over this expansive 2CD set. Again, the effect is trance-inducing, only instead of relentless pummeling they take the opposite tack with lengthy, sprawling, amorphous pastorals, with nary a drum kit or distorted guitar in sight. The instrumentation - consisting of tinkling crystalline keys, exploratory piano musings, spare simplistic guitar and bass lines, in addition to various samples, drones and found sounds both disorienting and soothing - is subtle yet insistent enough to fully involve the listener rather than allowing itself to be relegated to the background. And while this collection is less immediate and takes more patience than most Circle material, it is no less rewarding to listeners who allows themselves to be transported and lulled into dreamy contemplation. It's the perfect soundtrack for a couple lost hours sitting by a placid pool in an enchanted forest watching the reflective water slowly eddy and the fairy dust float through sunbeams. It's that mesmerizing. Miljard is not the best place for the uninitiated to start (that would be Meronia or Andexelt), it nevertheless suffices as yet another captivating guise for this chameleon-like enigma of a band.
Disc1
Disc2

Valerio Cosi


Valerio Cosi may be young at only 22, but his talent is undeniable. He may be mostly known for his exquisite saxophone playing, but this Italian wunderkind doesn’t stop there. Cosi composes strings of magic using all sorts of instrumentation and production tricks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rubies


Danceable folk, homemade disco, and lost love laments; these are just a few facets of California-based Duo, Rubies. The poised and dynamic range of songwriting keeps the listener excited by offering fresh and honest versions of future dancefloor and living room classics. Simone Rubi (lead vocals, keyboards) entices the crowd while Terri Loewenthal (bass) keeps them dancing. Add some shimmering guitar, the harmonies and beats provided by machine or borrowed man, and try to resist. While it could be in a crowded avant-garde discotheque in NYC, a motorik infused warehouse in Berlin, or the pine-needle carpeted redwoods of Big Sur, you will be easily moved by the conviction that Rubies offers. Both huge and intimate moments make the live show a beautifully creative experience.

For our debut album, "Explode from the Center," we were lucky enough to have helping hands from Eirik Glambek-Boe (Kings of Convenience) and his new group "Kommode", Leslie Feist, Karl-Jonas Winqvist (Blood Music), Dan Judd (Sorcerer), Lars Skoglund (Laakso, Lykke Li), Maria Eriksson (The Concretes) and a small army of other talented folks from all over the world. Simone and Terri also play in the pop group "Call and Response".

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gala Drop



Gala Drop's s/t

Gala Drop are from Lisboa. Their music has evolved into a blend of tribal/latin-American influenced rhythms, kraut-rock synthesizer jams and much more.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Flying Saucer Attack


Seemingly emerging out of nowhere following an initial single or two, Flying Saucer Attack's debut album crystallized an incipient 1990s underground as in thrall to folk music as to feedback blasts and Krautrock influences. The description the band members themselves used, also considered by some as an alternate title to this album, was "rural psychedelia," and rarely has form so readily followed function. The original duo of Pearce and Brook, with some help from friend/Third Eye Foundation mainman Matt Elliott on percussion and clarinet (thus creating an even more alien atmosphere on "Moonset"), created a thick, evocatively haunting collection of modern mind-blowers. If any one thing could be singled out about the album, it's the continual contrast between Pearce's soft, reflective singing, often sunk deep into the overall mix and treated with heavy-duty echo, and his often tremendous guitar work, electric squalls, and drones piled atop one another. Songs like the exultant "Wish" and "A Silent Tide" are the breathtaking results. Initial comparisons were made to My Bloody Valentine and the shoegazing crowd, but they're misplaced -- it's a consciously different style employing some similar elements, but with notably varying results. Two astonishing drone/tribal instrumentals are named "Popol Vuh 2" and "Popol Vuh 1," both open tips of the hat to the long-lived German experimental group. The completely out-of-left-field number, though, is the cover of Suede's "The Drowners" -- changing nothing about the pace but overdriving the feedback and relentlessly toning down the vocals, FSA turn the neo-glam piece into a noisefest beyond description. Compared to later albums, Flying Saucer Attack sets more of an immediately consistent mood -- some numbers aside, the dreamy singing, the seemingly straightforward guitar parts that get more involved the more one listens, and more continue from track to track, generally speaking. The end results, though, are more than worth it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Present


The Present is the new music project of legendary New York musician
and producer Rusty Santos (Panda Bear ‘Person Pitch’, Born
Ruffi ans ‘Red Yellow & Blue’, Animal Collective ‘Sung Tongs’). Described
by one band who worked with him as a hyper boy genius,
Rusty has always fi xed his attention on producing music that is
experimentally rich whilst remaining accessible. By attempting to
create music that arises unconsciously through improvisation, The
Present’s debut album ‘World I See’ hauls this ethos over its shoulders
as it tramples on musical boundaries and preconceptions, whilst leaving an album that is still capable of relating musically and emotionally to a wide audience.
After many years and variant modes of collaboration, Rusty
formed together with Mina and Jesse who bring a plethora of
extra dimensions to the sound of The Present. Mina’s background
in classical piano and the love of japanese traditional songs
meets at intense and imaginative levels with the expressive attitude
of the band, whilst the long standing musical partnership
between Jesse and Rusty, which began when they were in high
school together, provides the cemented sound giving the songs
one voice and the band the sound of a single instrument.
Though the instruments on ‘World I See’ aren’t necessarily new (the basic elements are piano, guitar and drums), guided by intuition the band attempt to make timeless music by using the
most minimalist methods in innovative new ways. The result of capturing and developing these sounds is the beautifully elegant yet emotionally powerful sound of The Present.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Flavor Crystals


During the coldest week of the '07 Minneapolis winter, Flavor Crystals holed up in Flowers Studio with the amazing underground producer, Kramer (Galaxie 500, Low, Bongwater) to record the follow up to their 2005 debut "On Plastic."

The entire album took shape and was completed in 4 crazy days of recording and 2 days of intense mixing. Many of the songs were captured in a primordial state. The album has a spontaneous looseness that captures perfectly what this band is about... Flavor Crystals are constantly getting lost in the moment. As its cover art suggests, "Ambergris" hearkens back to early 70's kraut and psychedelia, but the band's late 80's/early 90's indie/shoegaze vibe has not gone away. The
album is still spacey and dreamy like its predecessor, but goes deeper with an eerie intensity and insistence that is magnified by Kramer's unique approach to production and mixing. This album is filled with unrepeatable moments...it lives and breathes with spooky beauty.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Arthur Russell


Four years ago, Audika Records began releasing the exceptionally varied, long sought-after music of Arthur Russell, and in the process has succeeded at helping the beloved, late artist find the broader audience he always believed he would reach. A new generation of listeners and critics has come to appreciate Russell as a visionary and an influence upon a broad range of today's most compelling musical artists. On October 28, Audika will bring to light an as-yet-unavailable side of Russell's body of work—the most rare and, at the same time, arguably the most accessible part—in Love Is Overtaking Me, which comprises 21 demos and home recordings of unreleased pop, folk and country songs from his vast catalog.
While much critical and popular affection for Russell's music has come about well after his untimely death from AIDS in 1992, many fellow artists believed in his genius and were drawn to collaborate with him during his lifetime. The legendary producer John Hammond (Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen) recorded Russell on several occasions; a number of these recordings will finally heard on Love Is Overtaking Me. So, too, will songs recorded with various incarnations of The Flying Hearts, a group formed by Russell and Brooks whose shifting lineup included, by turns, Jerry Harrison, Rhys Chatham, Jon Gibson, Peter Gordon and Peter Zummo as well as Larry Saltzman and David Van Tieghem. Several other Russell projects are represented on Love Is Overtaking Me, including The Sailboats, Turbo Sporty and Bright & Early.
Compiled from over eight hours of material, three years in the making, Love Is Overtaking Me reaches back further to Russell's first compositions from the early ..70s and spans forward to his very last recordings, made at home in 1991. Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear contributed mixing, restoration and editing to the album, whose tracks were selected by Audika's Steve Knutson, Ernie Brooks and Russell's companion, Tom Lee. A number of the songs feature prominently in Wild Combination: A Portrait of Arthur Russell, Matt Wolf's film, which had its world premiere this year at the Berlin International Film Festival and will be released theatrically and on DVD this fall by Plexifilm.
Love Is Overtaking Me is the fifth release of Russell's material by Audika Records, whose work has proven that the music remains as contemporary today as when it was first recorded. The label launched with the disco/new wave collection Calling Out Of Context (2004) and continued with a reissue of the cello-and-voice masterpiece World Of Echo (2005); the instrumental compositions double-disc First Thought Best Thought (2006); and the hip-hop-inspired Springfield EP (2006), which includes a DFA remix of the title track.
Extensive Love Is Overtaking Me liner notes by Tom Lee provide an intimate perspective on Russell's diverse catalog, which spanned an extraordinary diversity of styles and won the love of artistic communities that would seem utterly disparate, from Philip Glass, John Cage and Allen Ginsberg to rock bands like The Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers; the pre-Studio 54 disco-party scene of Nicky Siano's Gallery and David Mancuso's Loft; and DJ-producers like Francois Kevorkian and Larry Levan, among others.

Peter Broderick


Peter Broderick is like the Swiss Army Knife of musicians; compact, elegant, multipurpose. What sets him apart is his restraint. With an arsenal of talents at his disposal, he prefers to reveal only one or two at a time.

With Home, Broderick may have performed his most impressive feat yet: breathing new life into the most pedestrian arrangement in modern music. He turns the open-mic night connotations of guitar and vocal on its ear with layers of vocal washes, x-acto finger-picking figures, and his deceptively simple compositional style.

You’d think working with as many as five different bands in recent history (Efterklang, Horse Feathers, She & Him, Loch Lomond and Norfolk & Western) simultaneously wouldn’t allow Peter to pursue any kind of solo career. Likewise, his easygoing, unassuming demeanor might lead you to believe he didn’t have aspirations being accessible and available to lend a musical hand. But in late 2007 a steady stream of solo instrumental releases on respected labels Type and Kning Disk has all but established Broderick as the young composer / pianist / string player to watch.

Home is a collection of folk songs recorded at the end of 2007 and beginning of 2008. In late 2007, Peter Broderick toured all around Europe with the Danish ensemble Efterklang, playing violin with them, and opening the shows as a solo act. His recorded work up to this time had been primarily instrumental, but as he began to play live shows, he discovered he also had a passion for singing. And so, when he had a break from touring at the end of the year, he set out to make an album that was the opposite of his other instrumental, piano and string based recordings. With Home he has made and album with neither of these instruments. The result is an album based around layers and layers of vocals, and guitars. Recorded in various places in various parts of the world, it is an album about finding a home. Written, performed, recorded, and produced by Peter himself, and mixed with his good friend and sound wizard from Efterklang, Mads Brauer.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mark McGuire



mark mcguire - "let us be the way we were"
from insane epic haunting ghost guitar to streams of pure crystalized infinity music. to be alone in the dark and guided by moonlight, searching until sunrise and forever. stunning music.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Litter


The Litter's debut album was disappointing in the sense that there are only a couple of songs that were not covers. However, they were one of the few garage bands to invest enough energy and imagination into their interpretations to make a cover-heavy LP worth hearing. "Action Woman" is here, and they go about tackling, and sometimes dismantling, numbers like the Small Faces' "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" and the Who's "A Legal Matter" (both of which were barely known in the U.S. at this point, incidentally). "I'm a Man," though based on the Yardbirds' version, gets into some pretty incredible feedback/distortion swirls in the closing rave-up section. Distortions has been reissued a few times, but the 1999 CD on Arf! Arf! is the one to get, as it includes two outtakes ("Hey Joe" and the 25-second, hardly worth noting "Harpsichord Sonata #1") and seven songs, mostly previously unreleased, recorded live at Chicago's Electric Theatre in August 1968. This was the music that the band played while filming a scene in Haskell Wexler's film Medium Cool (although none of the music was used in the movie), and it's in a heavier, bluesier hard-rock direction than their 1967 recordings, but still retains some of the punky spirit of the Distortions era.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Roland Appel


ROLAND APPEL gained recognition from his peers and from a growing audience of soulful deep-house of lovers thanks to the 3 EPs Dark Soldier / Changes (SK158), Unforgiven (SK168), Innersoul/New Love (SK178) that recently came out on Sonar Kollektiv. He is nevertheless no newcomer in the world of music production. He started spinning records and producing music in the early nineties. As a member of FAUNA FLASH with his long-time partner and friend CHRISTIAN PROMMER, he pushed his fame with 3 full-length albums, many 12“s, remixes and appareances on very famous labels such as Compost Records, G-Stone Recordings and !K7. Both of them also teamed up with PETER KRUDER and produced as VOOM:VOOM sublime pieces of electronica on the labels Compost and K7!. ROLAND’s career peeked up with the band he formed with RAINER TRÜBY and CHRISTIAN PROMMER – TRÜBY TRIO –, whose album Elevator music has been a great success that crossed over the german broken beats and dance music scene. With those music projects he made a name for himself, toured all around the world and played in the best clubs such as Fabric in London, Cielo in New York or Yellow in Tokyo. He also had the opportunity to be on stage at the biggest music festivals such as Roskilde festival, Sonne Mond und Sterne, Sunflower, Big Chill Festival, 10 days off and Montreux Jazz Festival. ROLAND gained a lot from all those team-projects but he also felt the need to work on his own.

Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/Elektrish) is ROLAND APPEL’s most intimate moment to date. As he says : „It’s all very pure, from my heart and that feels sometimes strange, especially when you are used to work in teams.“ The title Talk To Your Angel also has a very personal meaning for him : „For me it’s a picture of self-reflection. When you are working alone, you sometimes wish to talk to someone, but on the other hand you don’t want to talk to a person, because you really enjoy to be alone. At this moment when you come clear with yourself, you can talk to your angel.“ The concept behind his debut album is to find a new way to combine the rules of the dance floor and the feeling of a song. ROLAND delved deep into very diverse influences from Detroit Techno, to Folk over to Soul, Disco and House and tried to bring song structures to his music. For him there are no DJ tools and floor fillers on the album. All the tracks are proper songs carrying a strong personal meaning but with a very subtle house groove that will make your heart and your body move. ROLAND produced them all in the studio of JAN KRAUSE. JAN is a member of BEANFIELD of Compost Records fame and has a long experience in sound-engineering and an impeccable musical ear. He worked for 20 years in the studio with JUERGEN KOPPERS, the legendary engineer of GIORGIO MORODER and DONNA SUMMER. Working in a place that holds so much disco-history was very inspiring for ROLAND and it helped him to focus on his aim of making timeless musical compositions. Moreover ROLAND worked on remixes for ROBYTEK (Rebirth Records), FREDO VIOLA (Because), SIAN (Simple), YELLOW SOX (Freerange), AUDISION (Mule Musiq) and 2 BANKS OF FOUR (Sonar Kollektiv) while progressing on his own solo project. It was also very inspiring for him to try and give another dancefloor perspective to the work of other artists and it really helped him to find the missing link between the vibe that people feel on the dancefloor and their inner feelings when they listen to intimate compositions of singer-songwriters.

The result is a beautiful and all-rounder album of 9 tracks unifying perfectly the feelings of a song with the energy of the dance floor. With its soothing atmospheres, dreamy layers of pads, strings and voices and its irresistible house grooves, Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) will satisfy the most demanding deep-house lovers. Moreover ROLAND’s debut solo album will equally please all the listeners interested in soulful music that tells you a story and that carries strong emotions through the lyrics of singer ARABA WALTON and the beautiful arrangements that he created. Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) includes his masterpiece Dark Soldier and his other great numbers such as Changes, Unforgiven, Inner Soul and New Love that has been charted and chosen by DENNIS FERRER for his Mixmag mix CD in UK. ROLAND new tracks like Secret, Angel and Lost Valley also cross that invisible barrier between a house track and real song through elegant strings orchestrations, intense harmonies and tight drum parts in a very nice Chicago-Detroit style.
With Talk To Your Angel (SK188CD/elektrish) you can be certain that ROLAND APPEL has been blessed by the Gods of music. Just listen to it and like JAZZANOVA and the Sonar Kollektiv crew, you will instantly fall for it and you will give ROLAND your benediction without a doubt.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Alps

Although ‚III’ might be the third album from San Francisco trio The Alps it marks their first studio-based record and a fresh direction for the psychedelic supergroup. Made up of Tarentel mainman Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, ex-Tussle member Alexis Georgopoulos (better known as ARP) and Troll member Scott Hewicker there is a deft amount of skill on display as the three rip through eight tracks of sizzling spiritual bliss. Comparisons here are easy to bring up – Popol Vuh, Ennio Morricone and Serge Gainsbourg spring to mind for starters as the band toss and tangle through thick drum breaks and reverberating sun-drenched guitar lines.
‚III’ feels like a lost soundtrack to some crumbling Italian surrealist classic with its pounding basslines and swirling synthesizers. This is visual music, inspired by the likes of Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jordorowsky and Michaelangelo Antonioni, but what results is far more than a pastiche. Rather the trio have concocted a record which while being aware of its sprawling influences is far more than the sum of its parts. The finest excesses of progressive rock and the leanest intricacies of the psychedelic folk scene have been splashed together with a distinct dusty funk overlook to produce something which is totally out of time. Free from some half baked scene or other this is the result of three musicians doing exactly what they want.
‚III’ has taken a plethora of sounds and crumbled them into something altogether beguiling. From the distant supernaturalism of ‚Trem Fantasma’ to the Terry Riley influenced bliss of ‚Pink Light’ The Alps show us that there’s more to pyschedelia than meets the eye.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Steve Hauschildt


Steve hauschildt - "rapt for liquid minister"

Still-moving loops repeat and build themselves in deep washes of aural hallucination. steve is known for his work in ohio synth-drone unit emeralds. like the other output from the emeralds crew, it is hard to believe that today’s best synth music is being made by twenty year old dudes from the cleveland suburbs, but they seriously just have it figured out. steve’s smooth and densely layered drones, heavy in kraut influence, are as huge as any of his contemporaries and as rich as his predecessors. vocal incantations reminiscent of “way their crept” era grouper place steve’s compositions on another level. deeply thoughtful and knowledgeable zones floating in and out of reality.

Guru


Though it can reasonably be argued that rap grew almost directly out of funk and its particular beat, there are a lot of overlaps with jazz, particularly the bop and post-bop eras: the uninhibited expression, the depiction of urban life, just to name two. Jazz samples have also had a large role in hip-hop, but the idea of rapping over actual live jazz wasn't truly fully realized until Gang Starr MC Guru created and released the first in his Jazzmatazz series in 1993, with guest musicians who included saxophonist Branford Marsalis (who had previously collaborated with DJ Premier and Guru for the track "Jazz Thing" on the Mo' Better Blues soundtrack), trumpeter Donald Byrd, vibraphonist Roy Ayers, guitarist Ronny Jordan, and keyboardist Lonnie Liston Smith, as well as vocalist N'Dea Davenport (also of the acid jazz group the Brand New Heavies) and French rapper MC Solaar. While Guru's rhymes can occasionally be a little weak ("Think they won't harm you? Well they might/And that ain't right, but every day is like a fight" are the lines he chooses to describe kids on the subway in Brooklyn in "Transit Ride"), he delves into a variety of subject matter, from the problems of inner-city life to his own verbal prowess to self-improvement without ever sounding too repetitive, and his well-practiced flow fits well with the overall smooth, sultry, and intelligent feel of the album. From Jordan's solo on "No Time to Play" to Ayers' vibes expertise on "Take a Look (At Yourself)" to MC Solaar's quick and syllabic rhymes on "Le Bien, le Mal," Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1 (and what turned out to be the best of the series) is a rap album for jazz fans and a jazz album for rap fans, skillful and smart, clean when it needs to be and gritty when that's more effective, helping to legitimize hip-hop to those who doubted it, and making for an altogether important release.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Zombie Zombie

A Land For Renegades

This is the debut full-length release from Paris' Zombie Zombie. This project is lead by two people, Etienne Jaumet and Cosmicneman (from Herman Dune) using sound and rhythm to explore the feeling of fear growing deep inside of you. Listening to their music, you will go through different emotional stages, especially when they play with the analog effects of instruments like the Theremin, keyboards, or space echo tape-delay pedal. Also, the provocative drumming and the screams will make your heart beat faster, like in a horror movie -- when your car won't start, and someone's trying to kill you. These are the types of feelings this duo try to reproduce in their music, also inspired by horror movie soundtracks from George Romero, John Carpenter, and music from bands like Goblin, Suicide, Raymond Scott, Silver Apples or Can. After their first 12" release on the Parisian record label Boombomtchak Records, this album was recorded and mixed by Antoine Gaillet in their research lab, in the Paris heat of August 2006. They also invited extra musicians such as guitar players from the bands Turzi, Herman Dune and Friction. Since then, they've been playing in small clubs in Europe, and also music festivals with big names like Jean Jacques Perrey, The Chap, ESG, James Chance and Sonic Boom.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Dadamah


This Is Not a Dream is a collection of every song ever released by the Dunedin, New Zealand quartet Dadamah. kranky compiled tracks from two seven inch singles, a compilation single and one LP, placed them on compact disc and released the finished product as our second ever release in 1994. Like every group in New Zealand, the members of Dadamah had links to a number of other bands; drummer Peter Stapleton played in The Terminals, Vacuum and The Victor Dimisich Band guitarist Roy Montgomery played in The Pin Group (whose single was the first ever release on the Flying Nun label). Singer Kim Pieters and organ/synth player Janine Stagg were, apparently, the only two people in New Zealand who had never been in a band.

Dadamah only played out three times, devoting the majority of their efforts to recording on four track. At the time the group was active, the underground experimentation of the Xpressway label garnered a number of fans outside the two islands and a Dadamah track ended up on a compilation seven inch Drag City released in 1991 called I Hear The Devil Calling Me.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Snowman


One listen to The Horse, The Rat And The Swan makes itmore than evident that this is a far from ordinary album.There is a ferocious urgency here, a dark energy at play,almost to the point of obsession or mania. This is a workevidently expunged from the band's collective psyche...extracted whole, writhing and coated in a primordial slime.It's the sound of the band desperately capturing their ideasas if they fear they may escape them, as if they fear theywill never have this opportunity to seize and encapsulatethis moment again.
This is a record that expects you to engage, make an effortand stop being a passive recipient. Yes it's a busy world andfinding time to pay attention, unravel, unfold, reveal andcomprehend is difficult for all of us, but not everythingshould be pre-processed and pre-masticated for ourconvenience, should it?
Snowman have travelled some distance since their self-titleddebut album two years back. Along the way there have beensweat stained, sold out gigs, $500 videos, inferences onPitchfork that they are Australia's greatest band, WAMIAwards and kind words but all of this is now flotsam,floating in the wake of The Horse, The Rat And The Swan.
This is a ground zero moment. There is a flow here, a longhidden path to be uncovered, running through the album'sdense, overgrown vegetation.
We Are The Plague sounds like a final message picked upon the scanners of a post-apocalyptic, galactic battleship...Daniel Was A Timebomb careens on a fucked up rockabillyriff that reminds us that this is now an ancient music of adesperate, disenfranchised underclass... A Rebirth andShe Is Turning In To You are exactly what they say,transfigurations, the sound of a band mutating, breakingout of its chrysalis and taking on a new form... The Horse(Parts 1 and 2) is pure ritual; possessed and frenzied,(say hello to Mr Conrad again, deep in the heart of hisdarkness and wondering if the apocalypse is now or laterin the week)... Diamond Wounds sees Snowman finallyemerge, dwarfed by their own imposing (and dare we sayprogressive) sonic architecture, into a cavernous underworldof their own creation.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mom


Meet mom, a duo from Texas, consisting of a guy playing an acoustic guitar and a cello and a guy that enjoys playing the violin. Both of these gentlemen also make use of some small-time gadgets and electronica. Their ep Little Brite is a pleasant surprise coming out of the DFW!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Fabulous Diamonds



Adorably known to friends and family in Australia as Jarrod and Nisa, The Fabulous Diamonds' beguiling truck is a mesmerizing mix of synth, dub, and percussion, woven around honey-ache vocal stylings recalling (in spirit) past Aussie noisemakers Scattered Order or Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, as well as those of Augustus Pablo, Young Marble Giants, and Suicide. . Their one previous release was a 7-inch co-released by Nervous Jerk and Misteltone, and it garnered praise from the Blogosphere and a smattering of airplay on discerning freeform radio stations around the US. This LP on Siltbreeze has been in the works for the better part of a year; its release coincides their first American tour (along with Siltbreeze labelmates, Psychedelic Horseshit).

Yura Yura Teikoku


A uniquely Japanese hybrid of Jimi Hendrix, Les Rallizes DesNudes, the Velvet Underground, 60's Japanese pop and the 13th Floor Elevators.
Yura Yura Teikoku started as a four piece in 1989. They were fixtures in Tokyo's underground psychedelic scene - they played at the legendary hole-in-the-wall UFO CLUB in Koenji and appeared on premier Japanese psych label PSF's "Tokyo Flashback" compilations. They released a demo cassette and two CDs on their own Jigoku (Hell) label and eventually signed to Captain Trip records, for which they recorded a proper album and a live CD. Their early material was proggy, heavy-psych with lots of dueling guitar solos and bombastic drumwork. Friends who attended shows of this era recall being frightened by singer Sakamoto Shintaro, who at the time shaved off his eyebrows and wore his waist-long hair parted down the middle, traditional Japanese ghost-style. Their fan's devotion was a sign of things to come -- many audience members mimicked Sakamoto and shaved off their own eyebrows. Yura Yura Teikoku were good - Kamekawa Chiyo's hypnotic basslines and Sakamoto's piercing voice distinguished the band from their peers - but material from the early years pales in comparison to their later masterpieces.
In 1992 their second guitar player left and the band went through a succession of drummers. In 1997 current drummer Shibata Ichiro joined the group and the ecstatic psych-pop sound for which Yura Yura Teikoku would become famous was born. In 1998 Tokyo's MIDI Records released the three-piece's first major album, 333. Every music magazine in the country lavished the record with praise and their fan base exploded overnight. Yura Yura Teikoku songs popped up in karaoke booths and their shows were swamped with worshipping fans. Since 1999, getting tickets to one of their performances has been near impossible - shows sell out in a matter of minutes. What happened?
Yura Yura Teikoku are the first and only Japanese underground psychedelic rock group to have achieved "overground" success. Yura Yura Teikoku look and sound like no other band in Japan, and their widespread popularity strikes most followers of underground psychedelic music as just plain...weird. For me, what's really weird is that they've followed their masterpiece 333 with four albums of equal brilliance, inspiration and growth. They've become more experimental with each album yet continue to attract more fans.
Well if they're so good, you might be wondering, why haven't I heard about them? I've got a million Fushitsusha records, I've got my Boredoms and my Cornelius records, I even scored some Tomokawa Kazuki CDs off the Forced Exposure website, but why haven't I ever seen a Yura Yura Teikoku record in America? My response -- I HAVE NO IDEA! Yura Yura Teikoku has been criminally overlooked outside Japan.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Lost and Found Video Night #4


I stumbled upon these Lost & Found Videos and I feel i should share some of them with you.

Volume #4 is the All Music Edition and its got some hits and misses. My favorite part is the David Lee Roth scene. HaHa! I just imagine being at some of these incredible shows that are featured on this compilation of lost gems. Enjoy!

1. Bikini clad beach Go Go girls
2. Jordache commercial
3. Bridget Bardot sings Contact
4. the band Kiss in a Japanese TV commercial
5. Barbeque Killers perform
5. Dusty Springfield Live from the TV show Dusty
6. Hot Butters' Popcorn
7. The Tams perform What Kind of Fool Do You Think I am?
8. The Butthole Surfers perform on the Scott and Gary Show, 1984
9. Tom Jones performs Show Me, 1968
10. The Cramps perform at a Mental Institution
11. Marianne Faithful sings
12. The Yeti song
13. Night Flight featuring The Residents
14. A drunken David Lee Roth insults The Clash
15. The Cash Crew: early 80's rap video
16. Bill Hicks and the Rainbows
17. Throbbing Gristle, Live!
18. Scott Walker performs "Matilda"
19. Joy Division on British television
20. Hall and Oats perform "You've Lost That Loving Feeling"
21. Zacherley costume dance party
22. The Small Faces
23. The Dramatics perform on Darktown Strutters
24. Black Sabbath
25. The Kids of Whitney High
26. Jane Berkin and Serge Gainsbourg perform Melody Nelson
27. Popol Vuh, Krautrock
28. The Monks perform on German TV
29. Alice Cooper
30. Anna Karina from Anna
31. Tony Clifton performs with Dinah Shore
32. B-52's on Saturday Night Live
33. Liberache and Debbie Reynolds perform a song from Annie
34. Ornette Coleman on Saturday Night Live
35. Pink Floyd with Syd Barett, Live!

Running Time: 1 hr. 30 min
.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Silence is Better

I made a mix again.




· Voice of the Seven Woods – Solitary Breathing
· Mythical Beast – Maria Sabina
· Avey Tare – I’m your eagle kisser
· Svarte Greiner – Kobbergruve Endelig Jeg Fant
· Diamond Vampires – Forever
· Padded Cell – Are you anywhere?
· Ricardo Tobar – El Sunset
· Prince Paul – I Want You (I’m an 80’s Man)
· Harvey Milk – After all I’ve done for you, this is how you repay me
· Crystal Antlers – Parting Song for the Torn Sky
· The Child Ballads – Cheekbone Hollows
· White Denim –
· Girls - Hellhole Ratrace
· Eden Express – Ocean Samba (Tristeza)
· Tindersticks – The other side of the world
· Bersarin Quartett – St. Petersburg

Monday, June 30, 2008

Padded Cell


Richard Sen And Neil Higgins's Padded Cell has been the focus of growing speculation of late. After achieving individual notoriety as a Bronx Dog (Heavenly) and a Dirty Beatnik (Wall of Sound) respectively, their triptych of 12" releases for DC Recordings - 2005's "Signal Failure" (DCR64), 2006's "Are You Anywhere?" (DCR67), and 2007's "Moon Menace" (DCR76) - has left nocturnal creatures everywhere drooling with desire for a full length glimpse into the shadowy depths of the Padded Cell. Finally it is here! Drawing inspiration from bands as diverse as Goblin, The Velvet Underground, Arthur Russell, Material, Bush Tetras, and Carl Craig, this duo's analogue fetishism is tinged with creeping psychosis but makes for a sound that is as soulful and emotional as it is dark and narcotic. The making of "Night Must Fall" has involved a list of collaborators that hints at this rich diversity: Dennis Young (Liquid Liquid) plays percussion and marimba, Chloe Battant from London punk funk band Battant (Kill The Dj) delivers vocals; guitars and synths come from sonic necromancer Giallos Flame (Analogue Screams / DC Recordings), and Italian producers The Diaphanoids (Bearfunk) deliver strings, synths and vocals. With careers as prolific club deejays and live performers that have spanned almost two decades (not to mention remixing the likes of The Glimmer Twins, Mekon, Sly Mongoose and Big Two Hundred), it follows that these mind-bending elements have been forced through dance floor focused channels, creating the nefarious 'devils-disco' brew for which this pair have become notorious. From the 80's New York style electro funk of forthcoming single "Savage Skulls" to the John Carpenter-esque soundtrack of "City Of Lies" and the new-wave pop-noir of "Word Of Mouth", this is a journey into dance music's darkest depths that will possess listeners of all persuasions.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Father's Children


It's hard to believe that an album Wayne Henderson produced could be a total flop commercially. But then again, worthwhile albums fall through the cracks all the time. That's exactly what happened with this self-titled debut album by Father's Children, a little known L.A. band that Henderson produced in 1979. The music on this out of print LP is essentially soul and funk, but with jazz overtones -- and, occasionally, Father's Children incorporates elements of reggae and Afro-Caribbean music. Think of the jazzier funk of the 1970s, and you will know where the eight-man band is coming from on tracks like "You Can Get It," "Dance Do It," and "Shine On." Pleasure, the Blackbyrds, and Karma are valid comparisons, and one can also hear similarities between Father's Children and some of the more jazz-influenced offerings of the Ohio Players and the pre-J.T. Taylor Kool & the Gang. Father's Children also hints at Side Effect on some of the songs, which isn't surprising because Side Effect leader Augie Johnson serves as a co-producer and background vocalist. Some of the material is excellent, and some of it is merely decent -- this LP isn't perfect, although Father's Children deserves credit for taking chances. One hears a lot of potential on this record, but, regrettably, the band's first album also turned out to be its last. ~ Alex Henderson,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Berarin Quartett

With some albums, you realize within a few seconds that here you have come across something really special. It is music that touches you straight away. Music that is important, that has a story to tell – and that manages to do so without even a single line of lyrics.
The debut album by the Bersarin Quartett is one of these albums.
Wonderful orchestral pieces full of longing and melancholy. It is that certain kind of melancholy that seizes you when you are moved while following the final credits of an emotionally touching movie, remembering special moments that have faded in the course of many years and linger hazily in your memory, when you are somewhat wistfully contemplating old, worn photographs from days passed by…not a feeling of failure or hopelessness, but a bittersweet reflection.
Time and evanescence. This is the matching soundtrack.
Orchestral cinemascope sounds provide the emotionally moving fundament, wrap the tracks up in a warm coating. Graceful strings pile up, creating big moments and repeatedly ending in melodies that are simply heart-rending, cinematic and tragic. But the Bersarin Quartett does not merely rely on these ingredients. The songs are also repeatedly interspersed with suspenseful and surprising elements, be it frail electronica, hypnotic soundscapes, drums or reverbed guitars. Rarely has a melange sounded as convincing and natural as this, and rarely has it sounded so well produced.
Thomas himself calls his music “imaginary fictional filmscores“. And it is hardly possible to come up with a more apt term. 10 tracks for 10 movies that have yet to be shot. Music that radiates such an enormous and authentic passion in every single minute, that one can’t help but completely abandon oneself to it. And honestly: Can there be anything more wonderful that can be achieved through music?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Landslide!

Landslide! is something I am involved with and if your in Los Angeles next weekend you should attend. There will be lots of good music,food,art,films,and a view of L.A. that will blow you away.

Friday, June 13, 2008

White Denim


Exposion is the title of White Denim's first full length U.S. studio album.The debut record was first sold at live shows during their spring 2008 tour with Tapes 'n Tapes. The LP was distributed as an unlabeled CD-R in a paper wrapping, along with the title 11 Songs printed on the front. This "Tour LP" has finally been pressed onto 7" vinyls, and it is slated to be released before the summer of 2008 and before the release of their European debut LP, Workout Holiday. Exposion features many songs from previous releases, but most have been re-worked and re-recorded. The new album will be self-released much like the Let's Talk About EP (on vinyl and digital format only), with the band reporting that "CDs seem pretty worthless to us".

Monday, June 09, 2008

Droids


70s electro pop from The Droids -- a very cool combo who definitely live up to their name! Most of the tracks here are spare and electronic -- grooves definitely in the Kraftwerk side of the spectrum, but a bit more catchy and tuneful too -- although still never any sort of mainstream pop। Some cuts have very cool analogue electronic touches -- weird noises and sounds that bubble and bristle in between the more upbeat moments -- all making for a well-developed album with a surprising amount of depth!

Friday, June 06, 2008

2562


Over a succession of rhythm melting vinyl releases for Tectonic, SubSolo and Philpot, Dave Huismans has asserted himself as the leading practitioner of forward thinking dancefloor motions currently in operation. Under the' Dogdaze, A Made Up Sound and his revered 2562 moniker Huismans has shocked the now merged techno and dubstep fraternities with a brilliantly consistent stream of bare bones riddims encompassing brittle 2-step, lurching techno and bass driven dub with a fractured brokenbeat aesthetic that sounds quite unlike anything else being produced today. Aerial is Huismans' massively anticipated debut album and contains some of the most deadly material produced under his 2562 guise, formed into a coherent statement of ten tracks set to detonate headphoness and Soundsystems around the world this summer. This CD edition pulls together four tracks previously dispatched over the course of three individual 12"s released in the last year, plus six sparkling fresh productions primed to dub the world into submission. The set skanks into view with 'Redux' plumbing the depths of a breezing downtempo dub cut in the finest Rhythm & Sound styles, and clearing the airspace for the snaking syncopations of 'Morvern'. From here there's a run of tracks culled from recent releases, ready to educate unblessed ears with some bass stepping sanctification, but the real treats for those who've been paying close attention come in the form of the stunning 'Basin dub' composed from delicate blue chords and a double-timed rhythmic intuition that couldn't have come from anyone else, followed by the equally crushing 'Greyscale', realisng many a technoXdubstep nerd's wet dream with a sacred stylistic blend of Burial, Basic Channel and T++ that leaves us floored. Finally another new effort 'The times' signs off the album with some moody and expansive dub chords whipped into spectral plumes over a coma-slow riddim that brings us full circle and ready for repeat. This album follows in the massively revered tradition of dub experimentation and rhythm science laid down in the lineage stretching from Lee Perry through King Tubby, Scientist, Steve Gurley, Dillinja, Photek, Rhythm & Sound, Kode 9 and Burial, so all we can say is that if any of those names have remotely affected you in any way you really need to check this album out. Without doubt one of the albums of the year - absolutely mighty.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Brian Eno



by Thom Jurek
Finally bored with ambient music, a genre he pioneered in the 1970s, pop polymath Brian Eno emerged with Another Day on Earth, his first solo recording of "conventional" songs since Another Green World. From the rhythm track of opening song "This," the sound is unmistakable. A quirky hook covered in layers of atmosphere and a bouncy loop, it's a smart little tune with additional guitars by Leo Abrahams. Lyrically, Eno's process is poetic, employing not only his own strategies, but a computer generating words as well. At three-and-a-half minutes, it's a fine pop song, albeit one that would never get played on the radio. "And Then So Clear" is more evocative of Eno's work with Daniel Lanois, utilizing a very simple loop adorned with sparse guitars while keyboards pulse softly as a completely treated human voice paints a landscape both exterior and interior. "A Long Way Down," is pure mood, a tense, taut mood offered by electric piano, spectral keyboards imitating strings, and the layered guitars of Steve Jones and Abrahams. Eno multi-tracks his voice across the angular melody, and it slips and falls out more than it flows. And that's a basic problem with Another Day on Earth. Once again, despite trying to work with song forms and structures, they feel tossed off, half-baked. "Going Unconscious" isn't so much a song as an ambient soundscape with spoken word accompaniment by Inge Zalaliene. "Bone Bomb" is the same. "Under" feels like a demo rhythm track with a lyric draped loosely over it. But there are some fine moments too, such as "Passing Over" with Jones guitar cruising over the tune like a spaceship and Eno's sung lines intersecting at (mostly) just the right moments. "How Many Worlds" is almost a child's ditty full of existential questions. Another Day on Earth is a re-entry for Eno, who has the tremendous pressure of always trying to do something new. Nothing here feels new, but so what? If lightweight, it is often pleasant and amusing, if not utterly engaging. Fans will want to seek it out to see what the brainy one has been up to, but those just coming around should go to the back catalog first.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Crystal Stilts


After the first-ever Crystal Stilts show in December 2003, Hamish Kilgour of New Zealand band the Clean approached them and said: "You guys were fantastic, the most interesting of the night — it reminded me of when I went to England in '83 and bought the first Jesus & Mary Chain single." Could there possibly be a better start to a career? As Stilts bassist Andy Adler announced, after sharing the anecdote when we met the band, "it's all downhill from there." Having endured a Job-like start to 2008 (all of their gear stolen — wait, make that impounded), just a few weeks ago the Stilts were confronting whether they should even continue being a band, a notion all the more absurd after you listen to these seven songs — the bulk of the Brooklyn foursome's recordings to date. Sure, Hamish probably overstated it a bit — who knows, though, we weren't there — but there is something in these dingy recordings of minimalist post-punk pop that supersedes pretty much everything else we have heard in a long, long time. The two best songs are "Crippled Croon" and "Converging in the Quiet," their sullen, confident melodies shining brightest, their fidelity sounding the most like something post-Edison in the history of recorded sound. "Crippled Croon" is mush-mouthed and loose, an upper-register guitar line recalling everything great about Echo and the Bunnymen, early Cure and that whole bag, with Brad Hargett's vocals slackadaisical to a ridiculous — and endearing — degree. "Converging" is the better-written song, the little post-chorus instrumental bit really nice and cinematic, the whole thing extremely well put-together in a way that — and we say this with love and affection — some of their other songs are not. "Converging" strikingly intersects Hargett's buried-alive vocals, JB Townsend's shrugging guitars and Adler's gesturing bass in some awesome heroin-spike harmony. Though it didn't start out as such, it's now by far my favorite Crystal Stilts moment. There are others, too, including the really rough demo for "Through the Floor" that we drunkenly convinced the band to include (thanks guys!). Somehow, the rougher-sounding the better with these kids, and in a way that goes beyond the whole warehouses & lofts & sirens & streets & broken windows & peeling walls Brooklyn fetish. Farther down 'neath the hipster mythos, reverb topography and the band's rough treatment are amazing songs by four smart and funny people who we couldn't be prouder to support. You're gonna love this.
emusic review

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

DeepChord


Certainly the most anticipated release from Rod Modell's Deepchord project, this incredible package also marks the debut emission from the Echospace imprint, a label curated and steered by Modell in conjunction with Soultek's Steve Hitchell (Hitchell and Modell are also writing together under the Echospace moniker, with their debut efforts included here with 4 tracks and soon due for an appearance on the Modern Love imprint for a series of twelves). Apart from the fact that this album has taken several months to painstakingly put together, and the fact that it is limited to a measly 1000 copies worldwide), "Vantage Isle" also boasts a rare remix effort from Convextion, three new Deepchord mixes and five versions from Echospace - there are 13 tracks here beautifully mastered in Detroit by the legendary Ron Murphy and handpackaged by the Echospace crew with all the bespoke attention to detail you might expect from a package of this nature. The music, well, its just vintage Deepchord : kicking off with the mighty DC version of the title track, a lilting Maurizio-style killer that seems to hover over its own percussion with a million shards of space-echo and reverb breaking out of the mix - pure, hazy brilliance. The debut Echospace "Glacial" mix is up next and more or less sums up what this collaborative pairing is all about - a towering wall of fuzz and washes of delay drench the mix in a cascading variation of the primary dub sound-palette, an analogue leviathan that just blew my mind listening to on headphones - mighty, mighty stuff. On to the Convextion mix : and you get just about what you expect - the spacial hemorrhage of the original squashed into a pulsing BASS killer, sparse yet menacing, the chords taking on their own signature sound - deconstructing and re-building itself into something you could only really describe as epic. The Basic Channel continuum once again casts its influence over its legions of drooling followers, with this release finding one of their most sought-after, well-realised transmissions to date. Awesome.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Titus Andronicus


Titus Andronicus is a rock and roll band from Glen Rock. In the beginning, there were only three people in the band. At one point, there were eleven people in the band. Today, there are five people in the band. Titus Andronicus take their name from a minor Shakespearean tragedy, not, as many people believe, from some sort of killer robot from the future. Titus Andronicus formed in the spring of 2005. Titus Andronicus' debut long player, "The Airing of Grievances" was released in April of 2008 by Troubleman Unlimited. Titus Andronicus have shared stages with such noted, world-famous luminaries as Matt and Kim, Holy Fuck, Foals, Dr. Dog, Cloud Cult, and Call Me Lightning. Titus Andronicus practice at Ian's house. Titus Andronicus sometimes disagree on what is the right thing to do. Titus Andronicus like to scream and carry on at excessive volume. Titus Andronicus like songs which are fast more than songs which are slow. Titus Andronicus think slow songs are okay sometimes. Titus Andronicus never sing about love, only hate. Titus Andronicus have no hope for the future. Titus Andronicus believe only in nothingness. Everyone in Titus Andronicus was born to die. Titus Andronicus crave your approval but will settle for your utter disdain.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Slow Dancing Society


From the outset The Slow and Steady Winter sets itself up to be an epic. Clocking in at over an hour long and comprising of only eight tracks the album paints its majestic landscapes with both measure and purpose, unfolding a sound that moves from immersive ambient evocations to beatific bliss rock.The Slow and Steady Winter is not concerned with singularity but rather the totality of experience. The album is a gorgeously choreographed chronicle of a Spokane winter from the ice covered fields of ‘The Early Stages of Decline’ to the thawed warm edges of spring in ‘February Sun’. The album serves as a wonderful progression from Slow Dancing Society’s previous work both in sound and mood. In part it presents a much darker vision while still radiating an ineffable sense of humanity and heart.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tangerine Dream


Phaedra is one of the most important, artistic, and exciting works in the history of electronic music, a brilliant and compelling summation of Tangerine Dream's early avant-space direction balanced with the synthesizer/sequencer technology just beginning to gain a foothold in nonacademic circles. The result is best heard on the 15-minute title track, unparalleled before or since for its depth of sound and vision. Given focus by the arpeggiated trance that drifts in and out of the mix, the track progresses through several passages including a few surprisingly melodic keyboard lines and an assortment of eerie Moog and Mellotron effects, gaseous explosions, and windy sirens. Despite the impending chaos, the track sounds more like a carefully composed classical work than an unrestrained piece of noise. While the title track takes the cake, there are three other excellent tracks on Phaedra. "Mysterious Semblance at the Strand of Nightmares" is a solo Edgar Froese song that uses some surprisingly emotive and affecting synthesizer washes, and "Movements of a Visionary" is a more experimental piece, using treated voices and whispers to drive its hypnotic arpeggios. Perhaps even more powerful as a musical landmark now than when it was first recorded, Phaedra has proven the test of time.

Pyramids


It starts in the upper atmosphere, in that rarefied air where silence sings and time is little more than an abstraction. As it makes its way down through the tree line, to sea level, to the ear canals, elliptical windows and auditory nerves of the great unwashed, the shapes begin to shift. The sine waves become more distinct: swarming, swirling guitars, drums like a churning steam press, a chorus of celestial voices. Instru- ments collude and collide in a roiling shoal and then dissipate, leaving a cavernous hole, a ghost town, the vestiges and echoes of a brief terres- trial existence. Out in Denton and “other parts of the country,” where seemingly mild psychotropic disturbances can have vast and sinister implications for certain elements within the local populaces, Pyramids conjure the cacophonies of the great unknown, one song at a time.

Strategy


Building upon the multi-genre musical narrative established on last years critically acclaimed ‘Future Rock’ album, ‘Electric Soup’ is the latest release from Portland, Oregon based Strategy, aka multi-instrumentalist, programmer and DJ Paul Dickow.The compositions feature material initially road-tested during his whistle-stop tour of the UK and France in October 2007, which were then refined through a studio process that fuses old-school analogue equipment with modern digital sound design and manipulation. It is this blend of the old and new, combined with Paul’s own retro-futurist outlook which makes the songs on Electric Soup seem instantly familiar yet still unreservedly unique.From the Kosmiche of 'Unconventional Wisdom' through to the final theremin squeals of 'Primordial Soup' (which also features a guest appearance by Nudge cohort Brian Foote on additional guitar and synth duties), the almost dizzying array of textures, themes and musical motifs blended into the 24 minute running time provides food for the senses. Anyone for soup?

Blue Magic


The third Blue Magic LP continues to subtly refine and expand the group's approach. While their gossamer harmonies remain squarely at the forefront, 13 Blue Magic Lane features more pronounced club grooves than on their previous records, bowing to the inexorable shift from classic Philly soul to disco. Arranged by Norman Harris and Ron Kersey, several songs feature electronic textures that add surprisingly complementary muscle to Blue Magic's delicate vocals. In fact, despite the presence of sumptuous ballads like "Chasing Rainbows" and "Loneliest House on the Block," up-tempo fare like "We're on the Right Track" is even better. The times would later pass Blue Magic by, but for this glorious album, they were not only in lockstep with the prevailing attitudes but further ahead of the curve than any of their contemporaries.

OUR SLEEPLESS FOREST


Absolutely stunning debut album of ambient electronic space rock from afrighteningly young three-piece from South London - their first fullrelease, having had an early version of album track 'The Tinderbox' includedon the Type Records 'Free The Future' compilation.Having met at school, Sam Purcell, Josh Rothberger and Karl Jawara startedexperimenting with various musical instruments and sounds using software andbasic recording equipment, inspired by the music they were into and with theaim of creating their own wall of sound. After 14 months they emerged withsomething they were sufficiently happy with to allow it to be heard byothers, and ultimately that brings us to the present day - an eight-track,45-minute debut that is comparable to any in this field in recent times.Our Sleepless Forest's music is multi-layered, complex and dense, yetdedication and attention are rewarded as the intricate slow-build melodiesare revealed beneath the feedback, crackle and hiss. Reminiscent at times ofthe likes of Loscil or even Radiohead's more out-there moments but on thewhole avoiding the predictable comparisons associated with music of thisgenre, this is an album that simply has to be heard.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Extra Life


"Secular Works"
Extra Life is the new band led by New York-based guitarist/vocalist Charlie Looker (member of ZS and Ocrilim, ex-Dirty Projectors). While the music retains some of the heady instrumental abstraction of his work in ZS, Extra Life moves into a far more melodic song-based realm. The compositions are still epic, complex and aggressive, yet with a lush, personal, dramatic spirit; dark, heavy avant chamber pop with a cold Gothic beauty echoing that of Medieval chant. In addition to Looker's voice and guitar, the band includes Tony Gedrich (bass, member Archaeopteryx), Ian Antonio (drums, member ZS), Travis Laplante (keyboard, tenor saxophone, member Little Women) and Caley Monahon- Ward (violin, member Nat Baldwin band).

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Richard Davies


Telegraph offers proof positive that Richard Davies reaches new creative heights when sparked by the collaborative spirit. While by no means a dismissal of his other work, this second official solo album is far and away his most impressive record outside of the one-off Cardinal project, clear evidence that his fortunes rise and fall in relation to the company he's keeping. Davies' partner in crime here is former Flaming Lips guitarist Ronald Jones, who serves as co-producer, multi-instrumentalist and occasional co-songwriter; bringing to the table the same acid-pop grandeur which typified his Lips tenure, Jones colors Telegraph with a dreamy, vaguely psychedelic patina ideally suited to Davies' poetic lyrics and clever melodies. Tracks like the opening "Cantina," "Confederate Cheerio Call" and "Main Street Electrical Parade" are simply sublime, each a portrait of contemporary pop at its most perfect. ~ Jason Ankeny

Seam


Seam began as a three-piece in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Although Seam’s “pedigree” included Bitch Magnet and Superchunk, Seam’s reticent melodicism and subtly moving guitar washes occupy a realm quite different than the illustrious pasts of Seam’s members might suggest.
The band's third album continues Seam's tradition of sleepy, droning (but beautiful and affecting) music. The band's new lineup seems to work well with Park's musical sensibilities; Are You Driving Me Crazy? is as creative and moving as anything else the band has accomplished.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Joakim Skogsberg


The album “Jola Rota” is about Joakim Skogsberg's love for the grandiose Swedish landscapes, which has put its imprint upon his songs. On “Jola Rota” Joakim single-handedly created a minimal psychedelic and acid folk masterpiece infused with incredible soundscapes of derailed fuzzed out violins, soaring guitars, rattling hand percussion, droning vocals and pulsating bass rhythms, complimented by Joakim's “jolor”, a special singing style with roots in an ancient Swedish tradition of folk music. The album was for the most part recorded out in the woods, with a portable Nagra-reel-to-reel-tape recorder and a simple Philips-cassette recorder. Upon completion it was suggested for the album to appear on Gump Records, a subsidiary of Metronome. The reason was that the music was just too underground and weird to be in Metronome's register. Apart from Joakim's original recordings, some overdubs and effects were done in the studio during the autumn of 1971. Some of the droning sounds on the record were recorded in a tiny closet in Kärrtorp; a suburb to Stockholm where Joakim was living at the time. The album was pressed into approximately 1000 copies and only about 300 to 400 copies were actually sold. The rest of them were melted down and used in the pressing of other Gump records, making “Jola Rota” a much rumoured and sought after Swedish droned-out and mesmerizing psychedelic artefact.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Eleanoora Rosenholm


Eleanoora Rosenholm comes from Pori and is a project began by Noora Tommila, Pasi Salmi and Mika Rättö. They crafted a genius pop album with murderous lyrics inside the dark stonewalls that surround SS-Palace studio. Time came to get the show on the road and the band evolved into a full 7 piece. Mika Rättö is not a part of the band but is working as a background godfather and often watching the band as a part of the audience. With Noora’s amazing vocal work and the genius backing band they create a disco any housewife serial killer would be proud to dance to.

Vainajan muotokuva

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Monday, April 07, 2008

Principles Of Geometry


Principles Of Geometry are the French duo of Guillaume Grosso and Jeremy Duval, two bearded cosmic hippie-nerd twins who are obsessed with vintage analog synths, moustaches, NASA videos and the woods. This should already give you an idea of what you're about to listen to. Their second record Lazare is an ambitious album that synthesizes decades of electronic music: incorporating John Carpenter's dramatic minimalism, Terry Riley's smoky loops, Wendy Carlos' synthetic melodies, hip-hop urbanism and Aphex Twin-esque avant-garde electronic tweaking. Nevertheless, there's no nostalgia here - instead, you are propelled into a future where Sebastien Tellier sings Italo luv music (a new kind of slow-motion Italo disco), MCs like Cannibal Ox and Hangar18 ride wild beats towards Wagner's Walkyrie, and Jackson meets Boards of Canada on a boat. Here, songs are like pictures -- detailed encephalograms of Principles Of Geometry's moods -- complex and beautiful geometric patterns, a poetry of the infinite. But for them, the most essential aspect of music is emotion, it is the core of everything. Be it layers of melodies or beat avalanches, the goal is always to trigger an emotion, to talk to the mind more than the body. And they do so with such talent that you can always find something new within their songs, some hidden subliminal details. The artwork was supervised by POG with a beautiful cover photograph by American artist Justine Kurland.


Cloudland Canyon


You can play pick the influences if you like, but you can do that with any group. Cloudland Canyon certainly owe a debt to the German underground of the 70’s, but they have also added flourishes of baroque pop and even a tinge of the 80’s New Zealand scene into their sound. That they have ingested these influences and then delivered something as dynamic as this album without sounding like rote imitation is what impresses.

Lie In Light is anything but one-dimensional, as they traverse a wide swath of territory. From the lock down groove of the opening track “Krautwerk”, to the dense buzz of “White Woman”, through the pastoral pscyh of “Heme” and on to the gentle wash of the closer “Mothlight”, Cloudland Canyon have created an eclectic and rewarding listen.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Millennium


The Millennium's Begin can truly be described as a bona fide lost classic. The brainchild of producers Curt Boettcher and Gary Usher, the group was formed out of the remnants of their previous studio project, Sagittarius, which was preceded by yet another aggregation, the Ballroom. On Begin, hard rock, breezy ballads, and psychedelia all merge into an absolutely air-tight concept album, easily on the level of other, more widely popular albums from the era such as The Notorious Byrd Brothers, which share not only Usher's production skills, but similarities in concept and construction. The songwriting, mostly by Joey Stec and Curt Boettcher, is sterling and innovative, never straying into the type of psychedelic overindulgence which marred so many records from this era. For example, "It's You," by Stec, is as powerful and fully realized as the era ever produced, easily on par with songs by the Beach Boys and the Byrds -- and, yes, even the Beatles. At the time the most expensive album Columbia ever produced (and it sounds like it), Begin is an absolute necessity for any fan of late-'60s psychedelia and a wonderful rediscovery that sounds as vital today as it did the day it was released.