Saturday, November 24, 2007
Don Cherry ~ Orient...a live recording of two separate Don Cherry performances in Paris, 1971. One of which features madman Han Bennink on drums and percussion. This album has so many different moods and feelings that it's kind of hard to write about it properly. Things start off quite nice with a spooky rolling piano vamp and then suddenly...BAM! you're thrust into a white hot free jazz blowout with pounding cymbals, pots and pans, trumpet blaring and all kind of freakoutedness. The piece shifts suddenly again with chanted mantras and vocal acrobatics and some kinds of unusual vocal drone effect. This is one of the tracks where the vocals are utilized quite interestingly...other times on this disc ("Togetherness" for example) are less impressive as Cherry tries to get the audience to join along with his flat singing. It only seems to make it worse when he peppers his coaxing with corny lines ("God made all children to love to sing").
Never a dull moment in Paris '71, I suppose.
Second album from Japan's Haco-led avant-baroque ensemble After Dinner. Their music is at turns, beautiful, startling, off balance, and brimming with quirky atmosphere. Unique melodies interlaced within wonderful compositions. The music on Paradise Of Replica utilizes a wide array of instruments to create a complex and sometimes surprising setting. Tracks 1-9 are the original album with 10-13 being bonus tracks of remixes by Pascal Plantinga, Terre Thaemlitz, Skist, and Joshua McKay.
*Features members of Steelpole Bathtub
Released in 1998, Beneath The Surface was a compilation that served as a quirky little snapshot of some of the more adventurous underground American hip hop artists on the West Coast. These artists vary in style and technique, but they seem to share a common sense of mutual inspiration to create some interesting stuff.
Hazy, hallucinagenic background music serves as a canvas for these off-kilter rhymes that are as ridiculous as they are revolutionary. Sitars, Vibraphones, Native American hand drums collide with new age spoken word electro-proggy beats. Despite many shades of variety, the excellent production pretty much boosts this whole album to a solid level of coherence and a convincing listening experience. Plus there's a freaky 9 minute track on here called "Farmers Market Of The Beast" that features a guy named All Deadly Jizzm. That's exciting!
01. Beneath The Surface - Alien Nation
02. When The Sun Took A Day Off And The Moon Stood Still - Freestyle Fellowship
03. Who's Keeping Time? - Xololanxinco, Blackbyrd, Rakaa Iriscience, St. Mark 9:23
04. Hazerdous Curves - Sesquipedalien/DJ Mindframe
05. Night And Day - Xololanxinco, 2Mex, Circus
06. Sunny Side Up - Ellay Khule & DK Toon
07. Line Postin' In Pedro - Brothers Manifesto
08. Farmers Market of the Beast - Xololanxinco/All Deadly Jizzm/Radio Inactive/Shap
09. BustMustJustUs - Ellay Khule, 2Mex, Wreccless, Drez
10. Subterranean Service - Global Phlowtations
11. For Her Soul, Slowly, Solely - H.I.M.N.L., Tylana
12. (In)sense - Onomatopoeia
13. You Are In My Clutches - P.E.A.C.E., Kutmasta Kurt
14. To The Turn Of The Earth - Global Phlowtations/Awol One
Beneath the surface and at times, beyond belief.
Friday, November 23, 2007
Ever wonder what happened to Emma from UK shoegaze rockers Lush? She now fronts this nice little group called Sing Sing. Kinda pretty, kinda cute, kinda breezy pop done with a nod to 60's and 70's jangly stuff. Decent songwriting and swell hooks.
This is a batch file with their Joy Of Sing Sing full length bundled together with their 2 singles.
I know a few of you have e-mailed and asked for more JAM ~ so here's another blast of frenzied punky pop from the colorful Judy And Mary. The Power Source was originally released in 1997 and was kind of their breakthrough album; spawning quite a few hit singles in Japan and making them massive stars on the music scene.
Recommended for those who like a little bit of bite with their candy-coated pop.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Ok everyone, this is a big one.
The Conet Project is a massive 4 cd set of spooky shortwave radio transmissions reportedly used by underground sources during war times and beyond. I won't go into any details here, since there is wealth of deep information to be found on the web regarding this intriguing practice. For starters, try here and here.
This set has been re-issued quite a few times (I bought mine as a first pressing about 9 years ago) but has now sadly vanished again. This is pretty disheartening news considering that this is one of the most important documents of recorded audio/art of the century. It is, truly, a set of sounds that pulls you into a secret and mysterious web and sticks in your mind forever. Once you have set foot into the cryptic world of The Conet Project, you'll never forget it.
Those who appreciate the power of a good mystery should wait no further. Immerse your senses in the chilling secret world of Shortwave Numbers Stations.
Weird, spooky, gorgeous, unerving...and completely essential listening
Disc One is here.
Disc Two is here.
Disc Three is here.
Disc Four is here.
Although not a well known name within the Japanese Improv scene, sax player Katsura Yamauchi has been honing his craft for well over a decade and is known to be a close comrade/collaborator with Otomo Yoshihide. Yamauchi even went so far as to title one of his pieces after his friend (see Oncorhynchus Otomo).
Released in 2003 on the tiny Salmo Fishing Association label, Salmo Sax is a quiet marvel of solo sax improvisations. Yamauchi displays a unique touch within these pieces and his playing radiates with fluid runs and thoughtful musical phrasing.
Where were we? Oh yes, rocking out with Kurt; a powerful German band who combine the chaotic sound of early 90's bands (such as Born Against, Assfactor 4, to name a few) with a super tight punch and a knack for writing some keen songs. Ahhh...listening to Schesaplana takes me back to a time where every little 7" record came in a manilla envelope and featured a landscape picture somewhere within the artwork. Does anyone else remember the word "angular" was being thrown around constantly in those times?
Rocking, passionate & powerful stuff here.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The first volume of Essential Collection Of 80's New Wave from these Japanese jokesters is solid compilation of choice cuts which reflects some of the duo's more alternative roots and like their Vol. 2 and Vol. 3 albums, this one features a few decidedly non-new wave tracks (unless you consider Napalm Death new wave???) But it's all in good fun.
Excellent track listing...dig in:
01. SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK - Love Missile F1-11
02. JOHN FOXX - Underpass
03. VIRGIN PRUNES - Baby Turns Blue (7" version)
04. THE FALL - Bingo Master's Breakout
05. ALTERNATIVE TV - Action Time Vision
06. SOFT CELL - Bedsitter
07. CLASSIC NOUVEAUX - Inside Outside
08. CHRISTIAN DEATH - Spiritual Cramp
09. PSYCHIC TV - God Star
10. COIL - The Anal Staircase
11. INTO A CIRCLE - Evergreen
12. ZODIAC MINDWARP AND THE LOVE REACTION - Prime Mover
13. HOLGER HILLER - Johnny (du lump)
14. SUICIDE - Ghost Rider
15. NAPALM DEATH - Deciever
16. DJ ROMAN PORSCHE - I Feel Love
As promised, here is the next installment by the goofy Japanese tag team DJ Roman Porsche. Judging from their album covers, they aren't ones to take themselves too seriously; but their music selection is damn near impeccable.
This is their second volume of Essential Collection Of 80's New Wave and as usual, it contain a healthy chunk of rare and unknown music from that time period. This particular set is especially unique because it features all Japanese New Wave stuff (Boredoms...New Wave? What? oh hmm..yea? Okay). Most of these bands I had never heard of but there are some real gems here (as well as some real head-scratchers)...oh and AN EXCLUSIVE RUINS TRACK.
01. SOFT BALLET - Body To Body(インディーズヴァージョン)
02. 空手バカボン - おおもうけバカボン
03. 黒木香 - 時からの誕生
04. 戸川純 - さよならを教えて
05. RUINS - Epigonen (remix)
06. SALON MUSIC - Spending Silent Night
07. 立花ハジメ + HOLGER HILLER - Replicant J.B. (remix edit version)
08. 極虎一家 - 激!! 極虎一家なめんなよ!
09. 本田恭章 - 0909 -ワクワク-させて
10. MADAME EDWARDA - Princess Reta
11. phew - 終曲 -フィナーレ-
12. ZELDA - エスケイプ
13. 泯比佐子 & KLINA-MEN - 肉体の天使
14. BOREDOMS - Hamaiian Disco Bollocks
15. おぼたけし, 森みどり - 行け行け飛雄馬「劇場版」
16. ロマンポルシェ。- 解剖室
01. SOFT BALLET - Body To Body
02. KARATE BAKABON - Omoke Bakabon
03. KUROKI KAORI - Tokikara No Tanjo
04. JUN TOGAWA - Sayonnara o Oshiete
05. RUINS - Epigonen (remix)
06. SALON MUSIC - Spending Silent Night
07. TACHIBANA HAJIME + HOLGER HILLER - Replicant J.B. (remix edit version)
08. GOKUTORA IKKA - Gekki! Gokutora Namen Nayo
09. HONDA YASUAKI - 0909 Wakuwaku Sasete
10. MADAME EDWARDA - Princess Reta
11. PHEW - Shukyoku
12. ZELDA - Escape
13. MIN HISAKO & KLINA-MEN - Nikutai No Tenshi
14. BOREDOMS - Hamaiian Disco Bollocks
15. OBO TAKESHI, MORIMIDORI - Yuke Yuke Hyuma
16. DJ ROMAN PORSCHE - Kaiboushitsu
BUST A MOVE
Thursday, September 27, 2007
HAHAAHA--okay, first things first, let's examine this cover together. We have two Japanese guys--well past their "prime" for trying to pose like this on an album jacket...sporting a Fubu shirt, bandana, derby hat, sparkle makeup on the eyes, and...a big bottle of Coca-cola in a bag?????
But take a look at the sub-title: Essential Collection of 80's New Wave. Okay--must be another cash-in for all those 80's bands---I bet you could even guess some of the bands on here....Men Without Hats, Toni Basil, A-ha...it's all here, right?
Nope. Not a one. BUT---this is by far one of the MOST ESSENTIAL collection of 80's new wave that you are going to find. The sub-title does not lie. Witness this stellar listing of excellent (and some absurdly rare) tracks:
01. ALIEN SEX FIEND - Dead and Buried
02. THE BIRTHDAY PARTY - Mr. Clarinet
03. FRANK CHICKENS - We Are Ninja
04. SPIZZENERGI - Where's Captain Kirk?
05. FAMILY FODDER - Debbie Harry
06. MOMUS - Summer Holiday 1999 (Nostalgia)
07. GARY NUMAN - We Are Glass
08. MARC AND THE MAMBAS - Untitled
09. JULIAN COPE - World Shut Your Mouth
10. PUSSY GALORE - Teen Pussy Power
11. BORSIG - Hiroshima
12. ANDI SEXGANG - Les Amants D'un A Jour
13. THE RESIDENTS - Constantinople
14. VIC GODARD & THE SUBWAY SECT - Chain Smoking
15. VISAGE - The Damned Don't Cry
16. DJ ROMAN PORSCHE - Blue Monday
As you'll notice, the final track is a cover song performed by the lovely couple pictured on the cover, and the ones we should all be bowing down and worshiping for unleashing this totally rad compilation. They call themselves DJ Roman Porsche ( in Japanese: DJロマンポルシェ ) and they are still very active today. If these pictures of their live performance are anything to go by, they put on a show well worth seeing.
(Their utterly baffling WTF? cover of the New Order classic is well worth the download alone!)
By the way, I have Volumes 1 & 2 on deck to be posted next and Vol. 2 is all Japanese 80's New Wave!!!!!! Lots of surprises and discoveries to be made. I hope you enjoy.
For now...here's DJ ROMAN PORSCHE showing us how the 80's were meant to be immortalized!
The year was 1989 and things were looking all pastel and pretty pink within the field of "Christian Rock." Bands were basically all churning out warmed-over rehashed examples of safe music. Then along comes Vengeance and just pukes up red blood over everything with their inhuman breed of thrash and blues rock (waaaay better than it sounds on paper). When it was released, their debut album Human Sacrifice literally sent shock waves throughout the "Christian community" with a raw, somewhat stomach-turning set of lyrics barked by one of the most distinctive singers in the underground. The "secular" metal crowd got it, too; probably thinking something like "Well...here's a Christian band that I could get into."
After this first record was pressed, another band claimed rights to the name Vengeance and thus Vengeance Rising was born. Only 1000 copies were pressed with the original logo (needless to say, it has become a well-sought after collectible). But with or without the high price tag, there is no denying that this stuff has held up incredibly well over time. Like I said, it's a weird cross between thrash and blues...but not in a way like "Hey, man, let's throw a bluesy jam right in the middle of this blast beat!" But more like a seamless integration...almost like a certain level of naivety or ignorance played a part in the grand scheme of it all. Imagine, if you will, a young headbanger...and all he wants to do is make some sick fuckin' thrash metal (in Jesus' name, of course). But the guy is bummed because he can't get a proper group together. Then, one day, he happens to hear some band rocking out some weird off-kilter blues rock and he gets an idea. He plays them a tape of some fast metal and ask the band if they could write something in this vein. The band takes his offer and the result is some kind of weird hybrid sound of raw, muddy thrash with palm-muted guitar and fast beats...but killer wonky blues solos thrown in (is that a Blues Driver pedal I hear?). To make it all more absurd...our young head-banging hero gets on the mic and belts out a super scary wolfman-raping-Tom Waits voice singing things like "When they ask you to take the mark of the Beast, scream in their face: "I WANT TO BE BEHEADED!!! I want my head chopped off! You'll see my body rot - and then I'll reign with Christ, and then YOU'LL FRY!!!!!!!"
Not exactly taking a neutral stance here, eh fellas?
The band released another great platter called Once Dead (which I'll post later) and a few other records that I don't have. After a few years, things went sour and the band parted ways with Roger Martinez (vocalist and young head banging hero in my fable) eventually completely disregarding Christianity and becoming a full fledged Satanist.
I guess he won't mind getting that mark of the Beast now, after all.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
Here's another rare and unique record originally released in 1970. It features acclaimed Japanese actress Kumiko Akiyoshi on vocals and the legendary Yonin Bayashi as her backup band. The music they create together has a nice mellow feeling, with an emphasis on childlike melodies and a few influences of traditional Japanese folk songs. Much of this record is quite beautiful. Towards the second side of the record, it gets a little stranger with a few tracks dedicated to Akiyoshi's telephone conversations with people. In a few calls, she is friendly and is making conversation concerning a date or appointment with friend/lover. In other conversations, she is heard dealing with a stalker of some sort. Strange stuff...but it makes the album as a whole all the more an intriguing listen.
Fans of Morita Douji, Yonin Bayashi, Ike Reiko (and other selection from the fascinating Pinky Violence re-issue series) should find much to enjoy here. And isn't that a great cover?
Find it HERE
DMBQ - The Dynamite Masters Blues Quartet kick up an invigorating blend of psychedelic and blues that may leave your ears ringing and your head swirling. They counter their feedback-drenched, distortion pedal to hell, Blue Cheer'ed aural attack with hazy mid-paced dreamy parts that seem to stumble in and out of consciousness. If you were to witness this band live, it's safe to say that you were converted for life. Few could rock the polyester like these cats.
Give in to the Lemon!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
The other day I was trolling through an old box of stuff in my closet and I found this old CD by guitar virtuoso/maniac The Great Kat. Beethoven On Speed is The Great Kat's second album and is a collection of short, super fast, completely over the top metal tunes that attack with lightning fast guitar shredding and tons of dominatrix/S&M-themes lyrics. In addition to her wild originals, Kat also took the time to show off her chops with a few speed metal renditions of well known classical pieces.
Sadly, I would imagine that she was mostly viewed as a novelty item during the heyday of "shred metal"; but there is no doubt that she is crazy talented and I have to give her credit for completely getting lost in the identity of her art. This is some hardcore fretboard insanity with an amazing twist. Although this is nowhere near as "out there" as some of Mick Barr's projects (Octis, Orthrelm, etc.) this is recommended for those who dig that kind of spazzed out wankery....and most certainly recommended for lovers of Cacophony, Yngwie, Ludwig van Beethoven etc.
Excellent recording of minimalist/experimental music from Swedish composer Ragnar Grippe. This album flows with a very organic sound that embraces natural reverb and echo using organ, recorder, harmonica, electric guitar, bells, voice, thumb organ, and maracas. The results are serene, tranquil, mysterious, and stunningly beautiful. Ragnar Grippe's SAND album is one of those late night records that you never want to end.
NOTE: this is the Cd re-release on Streamline Records 1996
Recorded by Troum 12/12/1999 at VPRO Radio 5 "De Avonden." Sen was performed by Troum from August to December 1999 at various places in Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.
This is a limited edition of 600 copies.
Excellent drone based sound. Beautiful, mysterious and dark. One of my favorite groups.
Listen again (by request)
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Quite a few of my recent posts have been deleted. Give me time and I can re-post soon.
What a bunch a suckers. For the time being...any one else have any requests for re-posts? You can put them in the comments here and I'll try and have them up sometimes soon. Thanks In advance.
What a bunch a suckers. For the time being...any one else have any requests for re-posts? You can put them in the comments here and I'll try and have them up sometimes soon. Thanks In advance.
Here's a rare treat from a killer acid rock band from Kyoto! The name of the band is Renzoku Shasatsuma (which translated to serial killer or sniper) and the title of the record is "Shibuya Yaneura" (meaning "Shibuya Attic") and is a live recording from March 26th, 1978. This recording seems to be split into two seperate shows (on the same day perhaps?) with the first part showcasing some absolutely head-splitting psyche rock! Almost completely instrumental, this power trio let the music speak for itself (save for a few vocal lines here and there), and when their show starts off, it's notably weirder and more noisy than most rock bands were aiming for in '78. The guitar is cranked up loud as hell and is making a weird, ominous amplified power drone with phaser pedals cranked up and controls set to the heart of the sun. When the rest of the band enters the noise, they all kick into some killer mix of Sabbath and Procol Harem (yes...strange, but true). Then after some tasty soloing...they settle into some kind of Fushitsusha styled free rock vibe, with the drums scattering and stumbling all around the open spaces. Needless to say, pretty exciting stuff. As the songs move on, they continue to explore more of that lovely damaged psyche with heavy guitar soloing and some slight blues undertones. As the record goes into the second part, Renzoku Shasatsuma channel more of their inner rock beast and deliver some faster, more upbeat, and savage rock. Extended solo (mostly guitar) and long jamming makes for some good times...although, it must be said, that there are more vocals on this second part of the cd and they can be a little tough to ignore at times...but hey, it's a live recording and it's raw and unpolished. It's just rock and roll...so i suppose I can't complain.
Fans of Black Sabbath, Les Rallizes Denudes, Overhang Party, Ningen Isu, Fushitsusha / Keiji Haino, and other legendary acid rockers are encouraged to check this one out. Let me know what you think after you've spun this platter in your love den.
I'd like to dedicate this post to Dirk from Cities On Flame who sadly passed away last month as most of you may know.
Here it is, friends
Look what I found the other day in the secondhand bargain bin....Faith No More's Japan single for "Easy." I used to have the other version of this single with the rhino humping cover but this version contains 6 exclusive live tracks of songs from the Angel Dust album. Which is great, because that's one of my favorite albums and this is my first time to hear some of the material performed live. Smart, psychotic, intelligent, and inspired stuff here.
Faith No More - Easy (Japan single 1993)
1. Easy 2. Easy (live) 3. Be Aggressive (live) 4. Land Of Sunshine (live)
5. RV (live) 6. Kindergarten (live) 7. A Small Victory (live)
Lots of tribute albums posted and re-posted here lately, so I might as well throw this one out there as well. While some tribute albums are great and worth a listen from start to finish, the truth is that most of the time tributes are a mixed bag and are best enjoyed for novelty's sake. But surely, even those so-so albums make you want to blast the original songs and revel in the real thing.
While this Black Sabbath tribute has a few great moments, it falls into the patchy category. But the bright moments are pretty cool. Standout tracks are Cannibal Corpse covering "Zero The Hero" (gotta give them credit for choosing an obscure Sabs song...which they deliver a pretty cool version of), "Who Are You" covered by the awesome band OLD (featuring James Plotkin and Alan Dubin of Khanate, Lotus Eaters, Atomsmashers fame), and the criminally underheard LA-based pychadelic pop metal act The Jesters Of Destiny.
Here's the full track listing:
1. Sacred Reich - War Pigs
2. Cadaver - Sweet Leaf
3. Cords - Snowblind
4. Paranoid - The Clay People
5. Coffin Break - Hole In The Sky
6. Exhorder - Into The Void
7. Old - Who Are You
8. Jesters Of Destiny - Electric Funeral
Here's to the masters!
ESP Summer was a duo consisting of Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive) & Ian Masters (of The Pale Saints). They sometimes recorded under the names ESP Neighborhood or ESP Continent. This features acoustic songs with high pitched vocals that are a bit on the twee side; but there are some interesting little electric elements thrown in the mix once in awhile. my favorite cuts are "Golden heart Of The Year" and "No June." recommended as a nice treat for fans of HNIA or Pale Saints (obviously) but fans of Glo-worm, Velour 100 or Belle & Sebastian might also find some enjoyment in this.
(By the way, this is a different recording than the 10" record under the same name). I suppose those ESP boys like to make things a little confusing and mysterious.
Reposted BY REQUEST.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
A Japanese-only tribute album for a famous Japanese animator, Osamu Tezuka -- creator of Astro Boy, and considered the grandfather of the contemporaryhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gif manga and anime industry. Features exclusive tracks by: SHONEN KNIFE, MAKI NOMIYA (of PIZZICATO 5 fame), CIBO MATTO, BOREDOMS, BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS, SEAN LENNON, CHOCOLAT, as well as Haruomi Hosono, Kazufumi Miyazawa, El-Malo, Kinniku Shojotai, Anji, Yui Nishiwaki, You, Dimitri From Paris, Tadanobu Asano, Ken Takagi,Ikuno Takagi (Jungle Smile), Genki Hitomi, Hiroyuki Nanba, Cosa Nostra, Kiyoshiro, and Motoharu Sano.
A Japanese-only tribute album for a famous Japanese animator, Osamu Tezuka -- creator of Astro Boy, and considered the grandfather of the contemporary manga and anime industry. Features exclusive tracks by: SHONEN KNIFE, MAKI NOMIYA (of PIZZICATO 5 fame), CIBO MATTO, BOREDOMS, BLOODTHIRSTY BUTCHERS, SEAN LENNON, CHOCOLAT, as well as Haruomi Hosono, Kazufumi Miyazawa, El-Malo, Kinniku Shojotai, Anji, Yui Nishiwaki, You, Dimitri From Paris, Tadanobu Asano, Ken Takagi,Ikuno Takagi (Jungle Smile), Genki Hitomi, Hiroyuki Nanba, Cosa Nostra, Kiyoshiro, and Motoharu Sano.
This cd features wonderful packaging with metallic foil and silver ink along with die cut panels of Astro Boy's head. but unfortunately, as nice as it looks, it just doesn't scan very well. The above image is from the inside cover.
2nd time around...enjoy!
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Sort of a Holy Grail of WTF records. The A Capella Cantata by Nondor Nevai bills itself as a piece for voice, reverb pedal, and magnetic tape. Well...to put it in other words, this is a piece for microphone, karaoke machine and hilarious drug buddy. Listening to Nondor Nevai is as bit like being at some sort of wacked-out disco club where records by Stryper and Saturday Night Live are played back to back; and some madman (armed with a cheap echo pedal) has taken over the dj booth and continually rambles non-stop over every song. Saying the most inane...yet brilliantly stupid things from off the top of his head. Whether it be going through a play-by-play of a random sexual encounter, reading the thanks list from a hip hop album, or spouting off some lesbian poetry, the results never fail to make me laugh and at the same time, make my jaw hit the floor in the fact that someone actually released this as a real Cd!
Needless to say, if you are a fan of all things stupid/amazing/psychotic/wtf?...then you know what to do.
(link deleted...but check HERE)
Although now defunct, Judy And Mary were one of the biggest bands on Japan's pop rock scene of the 90's. As a collective unit, they had a knack for kicking out some of the most innovative melodic music that took hand fulls of punk, noise, pop and mashed them all together in one technicolor mess.
The noisy elements mostly came from the guitar player Takuya who as a player, shows an amazing and unique style of playing...utilizing lots of effects and toys and throwing out some tasty riffs. The other ace in the hole for this band was the charismatic vocalist Yuki, whose shrill range and onstage costumes catapulted this group into the big time. Take groups like No Doubt and Avril Lavigne and strip them of all the superficial aspects of their sound, (oops, what would be left---?) then add in a ton of insane hyper magic energy and some strong catchy melodies and you'll come close to getting an idea of spending some time with Judy And Mary.
This is a post of the band's final album and one of their best. I'll be posting more from them in the future, but for now...here's the 2000 offering Warp.
Crazed manic pop music at it's finest.
Let's JAM! (updated link)
I'm not sure if it is the summer heat or possibly the fact that i've been trying to psyche myself up for afternoon runs; but old thrash/speed metal stuff is what's keeping me sane lately. And here's a few gems from a rarely appreciated band from the UK who never fully got their due. Seventh Angel were a UK group who crafted some quality heavy music that straddles the lines of thrash, doom, and even a few folk elements. The closest band comparison one could probably connect them to would be fellow UK rockers Sabbat. Both bands seem to share the love of an epic song or two and the skill level of playing takes a backseat to inventive song craft. Even lyrically, there is that same sense of singing about "ye olden ways of the wynd", and more arcane texts that involve religious imagery and esoteric Christianity.
Seventh Angel certainly knew a thing or two about setting a mood...just take a look at the album cover for their first record The Torment. It's a swarm of bearded locust attacking people! Now, i can understand that it's cool for bugs to attack people...but whose idea was it to have these creatures bearded? Brilliant and hairy! But the strange artwork really fits with the doomy feel of this album...so technically, i can't really call Seventh Angel a thrash band due to lots of style shifting going on here. But that shifting of style never bogs down the band's style with clutter...it simply shows what great songwriters they were.
File under Atmospheric UK Christian Esoteric Epic Thrash Doom Metal, then.
The Torment is a great album that sort up sets the stage for the bands masterpiece Lament For The Weary. This is a concept album that is much more dark and doomy and crammed with amazing songwriting and loads of interesting twists and turns. The band really seemed to have up'ed the ante with this one and it pays off with some challenging, and well thought out metal...bordering on prog at many times (just as the wonderful cover art suggests)
Lovers of obscure metal...discover these treasures.
Seventh Angel - The Torment
Seventh Angel - Lament For the Weary
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Nothing to pass away the grueling summer heat than some thrashing mad metal; and here we have two absolute gems worthy of investigation.
First up, an old band from Penn. called Believer. Extraction From Mortality was this quintet's first release and stands out as not only a pinnacle of underground thrash metal from the late 80's, but also an adventurous and astoundingly cohesive album. Musically, Believer sounds like the perfect cross between classic era Metalicca combined with the speedy riffs and tight sound of Slayer. I know those are two big names to drop and expectations must be really high when listening to this now....but see for yourself! Most of the songs are not blast-fests, but endorse more of a mid-paced thrashy sound with dark hints of melody and an overall epic sound. The production is unique for this kind of style and in this era. There is a terrific low end to everything that gives it all a cool kind of mood and sense of some kind of groove. As if it weren't enough already that Believer can write insanely catchy and neck-snapping tunes; they decided to make things even more interesting with bits of off-key piano and moody orchestration! Genius!
Check it out HERE
And in this corner...from Tokyo: King's Evil! Although not as profoundly obscure and weird as Believer, King's Evil still manages to kick up a great thrash album which reminds me of classic stuff like Kreator and Sodom. Lots of catchy, fun riffs and great guitar solos here. The production here on Deletion of Humanoise (whatta great title) follows more of the typical dry sound that was common with thrash albums of the 80's. Funny thing is though, this came out in 2001. While the rest of the world was in the throes of "nu-metal" (ahem) good old King's Evil were busy belting out these real metal anthems. God bless 'em!
Experience the Humanoise for yourself
Friday, July 27, 2007
This was originally posted on the incredible (and now, sadly inactive) 194142434445 blog. A collection of live and studio work from the Kansai-based Diesel Guitar. The live stuff was all recorded outside at various temples and shrines of Japan; and there one track in particular that is enhanced by a rain shower.
01. Recorded Live At Koki-ji Temple In Osaka, June 2000 (8:39)
02. Osaka Zokei Center In Osaka, October 1998 (8:24)
03. Recorded Live At Koki-ji Temple In Osaka, June 2000 (19:59)
04. Osaka Zokei Center In Osaka, October 1998 (10:04)
05. Recorded In Niigata, June 2001 (14:35) (studio)
06. Recorded In Niigata, June 2001 (7:04) (studio)
Beautiful and compelling work on display here.
Sadly under heard and worth a resurrection.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
It's been a long time since i posted anything really funny...so here's a collection of stuff that never fails to crack me up and it's got a little bit of a story behind it as well.
When I used to live in America, I worked in the music business for a major label record company that mostly handled hard rock and heavy metal acts. The job was fun and interesting; but juggling the madness was a huge stress. It was not an unusual thing to have fellow co-workers break out in random screams to nullify the pressure. Pretty funny. The highlight of every week was checking out the demos that we received from unsigned bands looking to make it big. We would hang in the mail room and anxiously await the days that the demo Cd-r's and cassettes would come in along with some of the most hilarious/horrifying promo photos and press kits! There are few pleasures in life comparable to witnessing the non-stop parade of delusion that just oozes from these recordings. From tone deaf wannabee teen pop stars to your everyday local bar rock band that just happens to have some of the most childish and pathetic lyrics that have ever been written, to party punkers that just write the cheeziest songs. Overall, it's like one big train wreck that is impossible to ignore. The only option seems to be to sit back and laugh.
In a business where i was exposed to artists and bands that tried to ooze cool and charm to the point where it was almost an insult; it was always a refreshing listen to be exposed to bands that were just so bad that all i could do was laugh.
Of all my collection, this particular compilation has been the single most requested Cd-r burn from all my friends. Goes great for the kind of parties where everyone is too loaded too care, or for the times on your next road trip where you need a little levity. Seriously great stuff..worth a listen, and worth a thousand laughs...and some of these songs are actually so bad and unforgettable that they're guaranteed to get stuck in your head. Arrrrgggh!
Now, if i only i had those press photos...
Start the party here
As requested....the fabulous 1975 live document from John Tchicai Irene Schweizer Group. Only issued on Cd once and now gone! This is the third time up for this one and seems to be a popular request. Willi The Pig - certainly a fine album that deserves much (loud) play in your home.
Mystery album here full of some fine late-night guitar(?) solo drone. A fairly surprising amount of dynamic and shifting tones for this kind of genre. Moments of serene spookiness and a few frightening curves thrown in. Anybody have any idea who this might be?
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Quick...name all the Lithuanian black metal bands that you can think of.... nothing comes to mind? That's probably due to that fact that there only seems to be one Lithuanian black metal band...and their name...(cue thunder and lightening sound effects)...was Poccolus!
Poccolus didn't seem to make much of a dent in the spike-studded world of black metal; but they managed to release one full-length album on the tiny South Korean based Hammerheart Productions label. And what an album it is! A droney, thrashy Burzum-esque masterpiece with snatches of traditional Lithuanian folk melodies layered within all the black metal buzz. Some interesting musical choices are thrown into the mix; with steel guitar, keyboards, and a Lithuanian plucked string instrument called the Kanklės all creeping into the mix. The vocals are tortured and agonizing (as all good black metal vocals should be, I suppose)...but there are also lots of clean singing here which sometimes has a Viking sort of feel. The one standout moment (vocally) for me, however, is about 5 minutes into the first track "Vilkolakiai" and everything stops in the song except for this very haunting and repetitive guitar line. And then, the singer howls. Yes..literally, he howls. It's eerie and so so so good!
A strange, beautiful, and incredibly unique album.
Here it is again
A double slab of excellent jazz from one of the key members of Tokyo's Shibusa Shirazu Orchestra. Katayama Hiroaki Quartet offers Quatre, a beautiful album of strong melodies and strong playing. Tokai by CO2 (which also features Katayama) is a live set consisting of a more abstract approach with some electric bass and effects-laden electric guitar; resulting in some more angular compositions. Both of these recordings also feature Yoshigaki Yasuhiro (of ROVO fame) on drums, percussion; and both of these particular cd's also showcase jazz versions of Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah."
Katayama Hiroaki Quartet : Quatre
Katayama Hiroaki-tenor saxophone
Yoshigaki Yasuhiro-drums, percussion
CO2 : Tokai
Katayama Hiroaki-tenor saxophone
Hayashi Eichi-alto saxophone
Kato Takayuki-guitar, percussion
Yoshigaki Yasuhiro-drums, percussion, trumpet
I always felt that Crimson Glory were one of those bands who never really got their due when it came to Queensryche-inspired power prog metal. Great songwriting on display here with more than a handful of technical chops (which, never get in the way of the good song). Some may say this is ridiculous, some may think cheesy. others may simply lay back and bask in the cosmic rays and hairspray.
Tindersticks strikes a delicate balance between late night optimism and early morning misery. Perhaps it's the difference between three pints in and 6 pints later that follows those kinds of emotional waves. Have no fear, dear friends, raise a toast to those countrymen who can bolster such beauty within their fragile melodies and homespun tales of longing. May the morning never arrive.
To the gentlemen!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
A smattering of singles from Shéna Ringo, Number Girl, Koja Misako, and Chocolat. I've posted a few albums with full descriptions of both Chocolat and Shéna; but Number Girl and Koja Misako are both new here. NG has a fierce indie rock sound with a heavy bass-driven sound that has shades of a Steve Albini project within it's core. Koja Misako is a famous Okinawan singer who is well known for her past work with Ryuichi Sakamoto. Her "Black Rain" single is a lovely song; laced with a delicate and sad melody that reflects the unique Okinawan ballad style.
All bundled together snuggly HERE.
Which DooYoo Like?