Sunday, April 29, 2007

Good Night Loving Trail:

Here's a very rare Tom Waits live album that was put out by the Burning Airlines record label as a legitimate release. In other words, not a bootleg. However, the folks at Burning Airlines forgot to confirm clearance with Wait's music publishers and as soon as the record came out, it was almost instantly withdrawn due to the publisher's threat of impending lawsuit. All Cd copies were destroyed and any one who manages to score one these days is lucky indeed. Being a big Tom Waits fan, I bought The Dime Store Novels Vol. 1 on the day it came out, unaware of all the drama surrounding this disc.

It's a 1974 live show; supposedly recorded at Ebbets Field (but it sounds more like a local dive bar with a small crowd)...and a few times, Tom mentions about this show going out live over the radio. But I don't have any further details about that. Once thing is for sure though, Tom was very drunk that night and he stumbles and mumbles through his performance. Slurring his words and getting a bit lost in his on-stage stories. He even burps a few times during his songs and at one point in time tells someone in the crowd to "hush up, I'm tryin' to sing this damn thing!" But for the Waits fans out there, this is a very cool little document for a few reasons; one of which is the fact that this live set contains one of the few times that his version of Utah Phillips' "Good Night Loving Trail" was captured on tape. Also note the cool blues-y version of "Better Off Without A Wife."

Here she is

Seven Year Glitch:

Shojo Toshi is a long out-of-print full-length Cd from Japanese laptop artist Noriko Tujiko, who presents a delightful selection of light, playful, electronic pop. Her slightly off-kilter approach to music making allows her songs to occupy a strange little place. Miniature melodies drift in and out of a makeshift labyrinth that is sometimes swathed in a hazy, misty ambience. Small patches of noise and fuzz decorate her landscape and pinpoint some shades of Haco, Bjork, or even some of Thom Yorke's solo material.



Hands down, one of my all-time favorite record covers. A baffling day-glo abomination of big butts, bikinis, and mysterious fumes(!!??). The artwork straddles the line of adolescent goofiness and sheer brilliance.

The music on Now Thing is hardcore dancehall stripped down to the bare bones...skeletal booming beats, repetitious synth patterns, crazy hand clap riddims, distorted robot samples. It's almost like some sort of weird alien form of dancehall beamed from satellites in space and designed to keep listeners deep within the trance of the dance. Raw and exhilerating stuff!


Saturday, April 28, 2007

Moz Fans Unite & Take Over:

Two big sets of Morrissey b-sides and a few rare unreleased tracks thrown in for fun.
This is for my brother who is on his way to a Morrissey live show later this year.

Oh Well, I'll Never Learn/Let The Right One Slip In/I Can Have Both/Heir Apparent/There Speaks A True Friend/The Public Image/I'm Playing Easy To Get/Alsatian Cousin (Live)/I've Changed My Plea To Guilty/You Must Please Remember/Get Off The Stage/Whatever Happens, I Love You/Interlude (w/ Siouxsie Sioux)/The Edges Are No Longer Parallel/Sweet & Tender Hooligan (Live)/Jack The Ripper (studio version)/Why Don't You Find Out For Yourself (alternate version)/The Slum Mums/You've Had Her/Now I Am A Was/Suedehead (Live)

Moon River (short version)/The Loop/No One Can Hold A Candle To You/Playing Easy To Get/Nothing Rhymed (Live)/Skin Storm/Have-A-Go Merchant/Pregnant For The Last Time/Honey You Know Where To Find Me (rough take)/There's a Place In Hell For Me and My Friends (Live)/East West/Journalists Who Lie/I've Changed My Plea Yo Guilty (Live)/Cosmic Dancer (Live)/Disappointed (Live)/My Love Life/Know Very Well How I Got My Name/Pregnant For The Last Time (Live)/That's Entertainment/Lost/This Is Not Your Country

All driller, no filler:

Percussion-heavy soundtrack to the insane cyber-nightmare movie Tetsuo The Iron Man and the rather tame (in comparison) sequel. Lots of klang-klang and bang-bang...but in a synthesized sort of way. Certainly doesn't come close to matching the feel of the movies, in my opinion, but an interesting audio treat for fans of the films and the works of Chu Ishikawa.


Re-up:The Unbridled Materiality Of Sounds:

As requested, here's a re-upload of Philip Jeck's Vinyl Coda IV album.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spiritual Quest:

This is sort of a confusing release filed under the joint names of John and Alice Coltrane with two tracks lifted straight from Alice's A Monastic Trio album and the other two tracks coming from a 1966 John-led San Francisco recording session that was engineered by Rudy Hill.

The John Coltrane '66 sessions (tracks 1 & 3, respectively) are fiery gems of free jazz perfection and display the musical telepathy of the Pharaoh Sanders/Alice Coltrane/Rashid Ali/Jimmy Garrison lineup (with Ray Appleton on additional percussion).

The first track "Manifestation" displays an absolutely huge sound of aggressive blasting and fierce percussion that just explodes into orbit from the beginning and doesn't let up. The other piece from this session is entitled "Reverend King" and is a bit more tranquil but very sublime in it's perfect beauty.

This CD reissue is long out of print and unfortunately has never seen a proper worldwide release.

Definitely Recommended!

Three to get ready:

Tribute to Jazz legend, Dave Brubeck. Some of this album is hit and miss (as most tribute compilations are), but i thought this one was especially notable for the rare Ruins track. Japan only 2000 release.

In His Own Sweet Way : A Tribute To Dave Brubeck

1. Blue Shadows In The Street - Dave Slusser
2. Far More Blues - Uri Caine
3. In Your Own Sweet Way - Pachora
4. Summer Song - Bill Frisel
5. Blue Rondo A La Turk - Ruins
6. Tokyo Traffic - Medeski, Martin & Wood
7. The Duke - Anthony Coleman
8. Calcutta Blues - Eyvind Kang
9. Sixth Sense - Slowpoke
10. Winter Ballad - Erik Friedlander
11. Jumpin - Sex Mob
12. Nomad - Dave Douglas
13. Three To Get Ready - Joey Baron
14. Golden Horn - David Krakauer

try it on

Divine Inspiration:

It's difficult to express in words how much Malignus Youth means to me. Their unique take on pure and passionate music is both impressive and awe-inspiring. It was back in the summer 1992 (or so) when a friend of mine had sent me a cassette tape of bands that he had been getting into recently. We usually traded tapes back and forth through the mail, exposing each other to new bands, most of whom were underground and got little recognition in the magazines or fanzines of the times. One day he sent me a really long tape (120 minutes!) with a whole side devoted to one band. A strangely named group called Malignus Youth. I grabbed the tape and my walkman and headed out the door to work. At the time, i had a job where i was allowed to listen to music on headphones while working. Within moments of listening to the cassette tape on my shift, i knew that i had a new favorite band.

I can't compare Malignus Youth to any other band that i know of because their approach and their sound stands on it's own and is far above any reference point that would unjustly cast a pale comparison to these superior sounds. Malignus Youth sounds like a band influenced by melodic punk and hardcore bands...perhaps groups like Descendents, 7 Seconds, Bad Brains, Subhumans, Circle One. But the style of those bands seems to have only left minor marks on the sound of Malignus Youth, with it's members forging along and trusting in the power of their own personality to create their songs. They combine very fast playing that is surprisingly catchy and distinct; full of weird melodies and stop-start dynamics, with high pitched vocals that seem to embrace a barbershop quartet-style of harmonic quality. Most of their songs are short little bursts of divine inspiration that sound like a celebration of life and love. Where most bands of this ilk place their emphasis on aggression and anger, Malignus Youth's music envokes a sweet sense of childhood innocence that is charming and a breath of fresh air from the macho posing that they contrast.

The band recorded a few select 7" inch records in the early 90's that probably had a press run of no more than 1000. Both of these records are on this Vinyl CD as well as the band's amazing full-length album titled More To It; in which the band truly hits their stride, punching out their brand of ultra catchy song after song and always showcasing unique songwriting skills and very impressive playing. All of these recordings were recorded in the guitar player/vocalist's bedroom, probably on an analog 4-track machine. Those requiring hi-fidelity might frown on this sort of thing, but i think that the homemade quality just enhances the sincerity of it all.


Missa Brevis/Ephemeral
is a collection of two distinct periods of Malignus Youth, the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. The first seventeen tracks are a grab bag of unreleased songs recorded at different times during the band's existence. Tracks 1-10 are taken from bedroom recording sessions dating back to 1989, a few live songs from '92, and some select studio cuts that took place in 1994. The material is amazing from start to finish and growing improvement and band growth is a treat to observe. The later material really shows the group pushing into unknown territory and taking chances that are surprising and on the jazzy pull of "To Fulfill A Dream."

The final songs are reserved for the band's magnum opus, A PUNK ROCK CATHOLIC MASS SUNG ALMOST ENTIRELY IN LATIN and bursting at the seams with ultra-speedy songs full of harmony and breathtakingly beautiful acoustic passages. It is a work of art and takes this band's brilliance to a whole new level of maturity. It is one of the few recordings that never fails to break me out in chills every time i hear it. A true masterpiece on every level. It's really as close to a religious experience as punk rock is ever going to get.

Personally, I consider both of these recordings as timeless testaments to underground bands striving to go out of step and create some truly memorable art. Very highly recommended!

get the Vinyl CD here
pick up Missa Brevis/Ephemeral here.

As always, your comments are always appreciated.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Wild Is The Wind:

Attention Philip Jeck fans! Here's another entry into some superb record crackle/drone; this time from American sound artist Loren Chasse. The splendidly titled Hedge Of Nerves is a stunningly beautiful album that doesn't just utilize source sounds from a 78 rpm record; but also natural sources. Fire, surf, and wind in juniper and aspen branches are all credited for these mysterious late night drones. One very notable aspect of this record is the gentle, subtle dynamics that are masterfully crafted within these pieces to enhance shifts in natural tone, color, and buried hints of melody. Hedge Of Nerves is the work of a master of the craft.

Highly recommended!

Here 'tis

Real Rock From The Rock:

Ruins. Stonehenge album. 1990

Yoshida Tatsuya - drums, vocal
Kimoto Kazuyoshi - bass, vocal, violin

What more needs to be said?

Let the insanely calculated, stop/start on a dime, hyper spastic ridiculously over the top ultra prog begin!

Live like a hurricane:

Here's another blast of hyper progged-out Japanese spazz from Ruins. Fifteen tracks of live mayhem from Yoshida Tatsuya and co. These songs were recorded at various live shows in Japan from May-Oct 1992 and released in a super small quantity of 100 copies on cassette from San Fransisco's Enterruption label. I think it was also re-released on a 500-run vinyl edition...but these songs are from the tape.

Don't hurt yourself air-drumming

Sunday, April 22, 2007

There Is No Dream:

When one thinks of folk music, images of a bohemian drifters strumming a guitar singing of flowery tra-la-la's fills the mind. Well, it's not always so pretty in the world of renowned Japanese artist Kan Mikami. He has been swinging his raw and ragged folk for over 20 years and still goes strong to this day. He peppers his songs with his unique voice that is rough and uncompromisingly broken, and revels in dark visions and sorrow. At times, he even screams out his words with a spitting sense of rage. This album is one of his more famous recordings. It's from the 70's and is titled Hiraku Yume Nado Arujanaishi; which means "There is no dream that I want to pursue."

Kan Mikami has been a huge influence to many modern day psyche bands on the Japanese scene (among them would be the black-clad Keiji Haino, who has collaborated with him on a few projects, including the Vajra album which I posted earlier on this site).

Dark, haunting folk talent that demands your attention...
and Jesus...what an incredible cover!


Philip Jeck~Tokyo Live:

By request, here's some more Philip Jeck. This is a live recording that took place on February 20th, 2000 at the ICC in Tokyo, Japan and was issued in a super limited edition on Cd-r from Touch Records. Jeck seems to be playing many of the same records that he used in the Vinyl Coda IV album that i posted last month and it's kind of fun to try and pick out his sources here.

Philip Jeck works with the precious sounds of crackling of vinyl and sampling bits and pieces of music that he layers into some impressive sound sculptures. The result is quite lovely and sometimes eerie. Probably best if played loudly in a dark room while watching Twin Peaks on the television.


Blue Blue Circles:

Nice to see some interest in the works of Philip Jeck from viewers of this site. I'm always interested in good, meditative music that requires a certain appreciation of time and space. Call it deep listening. Call it drone. I call it night music. And Shenzhou, from Norwegian resident Geir Jensen (aka Biosphere) is a prime candidate for some nocturnal exploring.

Great care and attention seems to have been put into every tiny microcosm of this recording to make it's soft, subtle beauty stand out. This is not the kind of album that jumps out and says "hey, let's be ambient...let's chill out!" instead, it slowly creeps into your subconscious like a ghostly vapor that wraps you up within it's mystery and blends in deeply within your memories.


Circuit breaker:

One thing that keeps me at a distance within the techno/electronica field is the fact that most producers and artists seem to be creating music for the masses with little regard for issues of quality control. This was no more true than back in the late 90's when practically anybody could become an "electronic artist" overnight. So it was a great surprise to hear this recording 10110101=(rec + play) from Datach'i. It's a wild and unsettling journey through broken beats, childlike melodies, and some fairly challenging atmospheres. It's not quite as off the wall as many of the underground electronic artists of today (or from select figures from the avant-garde electronic underground of the late 60's/70's), but it does seem to be a bit of a pivotal record for bringing in some rather insane ideas into, what was, a stagnant period for this kind of stuff. drill'n'bass anyone?

sound on

Sound Pollution:

Probably my favorite grindcore band of all time... the legendary Assück! While most bands of this genre just don't hold my interest for very long, something about Assück just grabbed me from first listen and never let me go. It must have something to do with their technique. While most grindcore ensembles just seem to sort of "hash it out" and aimlessly blast through anything in their path, Assück digs deep to find a perfect combination of impressive political lyrics, ultra-technical instrumental prowess, and a masterful sense of control, all wrapped up in a no-hold-barred crusty blast fest. It's almost as if each song is a "Reign In Blood" compressed into 50 seconds!

let's destroy

In the Red:

THE Japanese power pyche rock metal trio of all time! here's the lineup for this one:
Kawabata Mokoto (Acid Mothers Temple) on guitar; Yoshida Tatsuya (Ruins, Koenjihyakkei, etc.) on drums, and Nanjo Asahito (High Rise, Mainliner) on bass.

This record is called Orthodox Jazz and it's basically sounds like the band has sharpened all their instruments to a point and are slicing open the air around you and letting their audio carnage just bleed and bleed. it's absurdly loud, distorted beyond belief, and frequently jarring in it's power. Some could easily draw lines between Musica Transonic and some of the blasting rock albums of the mighty Boris. It's the kind of rock album that tends to clean the wax out of your ears. Utterly insane.

Released on the heavy PSF label in 1997

Let it bleed

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hangin' around Part I:

Very RARE live disc from Japan's psyche lords OVERHANG PARTY. This was originally released on Pataphysique Records and is long gone. Astounding, feedback-drenched modern Japanese psyche that is heavy, wistful, dreamy, and very beautiful.

go within

Hangin' around Part II:

Excellent fourth full length album from Overhang Party, one of Japan's well known modern day psyche acts. Lots of drawn out jams laced with simple melodies, feedback, some nice piano bits and an esoteric droney pop feeling throughout.


Zombies for Hedonism:

Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of later day Stones material, but here's a rare Cd that could be of interest to someone. Keith Richard's band, The X-pensive Winos, live at the Orpheum Theater, Boston Mass. December 5th, 1988.

12. LITTLE T & A

get get get

Creature Feature:

Orchestral soundtrack from one of the more revered Godzilla films of recent history. This came out in 1991 and features all the dramatic composition that one giant green lizard and one huge bubbling mass of biological madness require to stomp each other's brains out on the streets of Tokyo.

Unleash the Beast

Hair today, gone tomorrow:

One of the last hair metal bands standing, here's a little ep of cover songs from Skid Row. Among the choices: The Ramones, Hendrix, Priest, and others. I always dug the MAD Magazine style artwork for this one.

Bach that ass up

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Re-post~straight eggs:

By request, a re-posting of the hilarious and awesome straight-edge hardcore spoof of Crucial Youth.

come hither

Hair & Smoke, baby:

Great stoned-out jams from this Tokyo music legend, Shinki Chen (of Speed Glue & Shinki). This was a long lost artifact of the Japan psyche scene for years and was issued on Cd for the first time in 2000 in a surprisingly low run of only 500 copies. If you're big on fuzzed guitar, bolting bass and drums, doped up vocals, and an overall hazy, smoke-drenched atmosphere, then you really have no excuse not to listen to this one!

GO get IT!

Stage Left:

J.A Caesar (aka J.A. Seazar) is a name that should be well familiar to those who are already head over heels into Japan's musical avant-garde. He has directed the music for numerous stage shows, movie soundtracks, and has been long associated with the long running experimental group Tenjousajiki, as well as the amazing Tokyo Kid Brothers group.

This is a live recording from one of Tenjousajiki's mixed media plays from the late 70's. Like many of J.A. Caesar's other productions from this time period, this recording contains elements of a few different styles. Hard heavy rock, soaring operatic vocals, gently plucked traditional Japanese instruments, and bizarre balladry all intertwine with the spoken dialogue of the play.

The name of this particular production is entitled Shintokumaru which doesn't really translate into a tangible phrase; but broken down it could be communicated as BODY/POISON/SHIP. It's tough for me to gather exactly what the play was about but it seems to have some sort of religious connotations and some themes about a preacher and a mother and child.

This is fascinating stuff and a unique work of dramatic art. Fans of Magma, Koenjihyakkei, or any of Toshi Ichiyanagi's early works should be intrigued.

Shintokumaru was recorded live at Kinokuniya Hall, Tokyo Japan on July 24th, 1978.

High Recommendation for this one!


Into Glory Ride:

More majestic Norse metal from Enslaved. The whole album is a masterpiece but the focal point is the first track, a 16 minute blackened journey through folk melodies, crashing waves, violent battle scenes, progressively-minded metal, and an inspiring and intelligent level of storytelling.

Epic in every sense of the word!

Onward to Victory

Queen for a day:

Anyone remember the band Daisy Chainsaw? They had a fairly big draw within the 120 Minutes circuit. Their singer and guitarist have been in this new band called Queen Adreena for quite a while and they kick up a hazy storm trashy, gothy-glam rock. Traces of The Birthday Party, Siouxsie, and T.Rex can be spotted within these songs, but Queen Adreena has enough of their own flesh and blood tied into their sound.

This is a few singles that were released by Rough Trade in 2002.

TRY them ON

Re-post~grin and bear it:

By request: a repost of Huggy Bear's mini punk poet manifesto

here it is

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Still kickin' it:

Keeping in the spirit of live recordings from some of Japan's more adventurous acts, here's a 2001 release from the French Sonore label that features the big names. Just take a look at the track listing:

1 Satoru Wono - Allegro (4:34)
2 Yuko Nexus6 - N.S.K.K. Coming Soon (3:03)
3 Keiji Haino - Voice and Electrik Percussion (5:19)
4 Harpy - Sash (1:38)
5 Gaji - Trippin' under a Changin' Sphere (4:35)
6 Hoppy Kamiyama - Fantasm*B (4:36)
7 Tetsuro Furudate - La JetŽe (5:07)
8 Hair Stylistics - Impression of Nasty Dread (4:21)
9 KK Null - BDDM (3:18)
10 Toshimaru Nakamura and Sachiko M - Live in Bordeaux (4:31)
11 Kangaroo Paw - Osusowake (3:40)
12 Jyoji Sawada - Enfant terrible (2:35)
13 Haco - Moonlight in Glory (3:32)
14 Bondage Fruit - Prayer (6:32)
15 Ruins - Guamallapish (4:20)
16 Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.
-Hello Eskimo or Polyhedric MU (6:13)
17 eX-Girl - Zozoi (4:30)
18 The*Saboten - I.K.U. (3:49)

This particular disc was a Cd companion to the book of the same name, which is now out of print. I'm not sure if any of these audio tracks are still exclusive to this compilation, but there's plenty here to dig if you didn't catch these the first time around.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Re-post~Pig Crossing:

As requested, the fabulous 1975 live performance from John Tchicai~alto & soprano saxophones, piano, Irene Schweizer~piano, Buschi Niebergall~bass, and Makaya Ntshoko~drums.


Monday, April 16, 2007

Maboroshi No Sekai:

Excellent 1995 compilation of live performances from many great Japanese avant-garde/improv bands. some real heavy hitters here, among them: Bondage Fruit, Black Stage (featuring Keiji Haino), Melt Banana, Painkiller. Probably my absolute favorite of the bunch is the twisted prog folk stylings of Ausia.

Here's the full track listing as well as player information:

Maboroshi No Sekai Samples:

1 Jesus Vs (2:54)
Bazooka Joe:
Jin Harada: bass, vocal
Shuji Soh: drums, vocal
Recorded at Silver Elephant in Tokyo on December 30, 1994

4 Idiot's Delight (3:18)
Ryusuke Adachi: guitar
Sosuke Adachi: guitar
Yukihiro Isso: no-kan
Masaki Yoshimi: tabla
Keisuke Ota: violin
Recorded at Shinjuku Pit Inn in Tokyo on January 15, 1995

5 Ononoki (5:06)
Black Stage:
Keiji Haino: vocal, hurdy-gurdy
Yuji Katsui: violin
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Recorded at Manda-la II in Tokyo on December 8, 1994

6 Fairy's Fable (3:09)
Yuki Saga: vocal, percussion
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Recorded at Livre in Ichikawa on October 5, 1994

7 Mt. Kairas (3:54)
Yoshinori Motoki
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki
Yuji Katsui
Recorded at Minoya Hall in Osaka on November 7, 1994

8 Take One (5:24)
Yutaka Fukuoka: vocal
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Recorded at D K Studio on February 4, 1995
Mixed by Yoshio Gomi and Hisashi Nagayama

9 Complex (2:12)
Hiruma: vocal
Yokota: guitar
Kuroiwa: bass
Itoh: drums
Recorded at Studio Sun in December 1991

10 Octopus Compound Live (7:28)
Bondage Fruit:
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Yuji Katsui: violin
Hirohiko Ohtsubo: bass
Kumiko Takara: vibraphone
Yoichi Okabe: percussion
Yuki Saga: vocal
Aki: vocal
Recorded at Fandango on January 26, 1995

11 Ayurveda (3:48)
John Zorn: alto sax
Bill Laswell: bass
Mick Harris: drums
Recorded in Nagoya on November 24, 1994
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Oz Fritz

12 Byzantine (4:25)

Tatsuya Yoshida: keyboard, drums
Yuji Katsui: violin
Recorded at Livre in Ichikawa on November 9, 1994

13 Techno Jerky Karaoke Version (3:08)
Osamu Isoda: guitar, computer
Nobuko Hasebe: voice
Recorded at Kebunta Studio on January 29, 1995

14 Swain (3:24)
Kenji Ito: percussion, guitar, violin
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Recorded in January-February 1995

15 Welcom to the Zoo (4:08)
20 Fingers:
Dennis Gunn: vocal, guitar
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Recorded at Glass Brain Studio on February 10, 1995

16 Havana (3:32)
Kyoko: vocal
Toshiei: stick bass
Ito: drums
Recorded at La Mama in Tokyo on November 19, 1994

17 France (4:50)
Live Under the Sky:
Seiichi Yamamoto: guitar
Hiroaki Fujikawa: bass
Futoshi Okano: drums
with guests
Kazuhisa Uchihashi: guitar
Junji Hirose: sax
Yuji Katsui: violin
Recorded at Old Time on December 13, 1994

18 Paku Chon 3 (3:07)
Yuji Katsui and Ponchi Kyodai:
Yuji Katsui: violin
Yasuhiro Yoshigaki: percussion
Hirohiko Ohtsubo: bass
Natsuki Kido: guitar
Junji Hirose: sax
Recorded in December 1993
Recorded and mixed by Takao Akimoto

Get it HERE!


Another gem from the golden days of Italian prog rock! The band Il Rovescio Della Medaglia is perhaps best known for their amazing Contaminazione album; but this record, entitled Io Come Io is also a thrilling listen. The opening track alone is one of those great spine-tingling moments in music...the drummer bangs a giant gong to make a dramatic entrance, then a few pounding of the toms and the band blasts into motion with some raw, proto-heavy metal melodic prog. There is a great ragged edge that enhances this recording and makes it stand out from their body of classically-influenced rock that they would go on to create in later albums. One more thing i should mention regarding Io Come Io is the astounding work of the bass player. He has an killer buzzy fuzz distortion sound that just sounds amazing...and the guy plays like a madman; almost over-playing at times...but adding a very great edge to this astounding record!


Welcome to Violence:

This Virginia based band wore the crown of dirty, hate-fueled, down tuned, dirty sludge. Aggressive, angry, and buzzing with a dislike of society and a love of marijuana. There's a lot of negative energy channeled here with impressively pummeling results. The use of creepy samples adds a particularly nightmare-ish effect. Whenever you play this, a thick, hemp-stricken, hungover haze just sort of permeates the air. Especially recommended for fans of Fudge Tunnel, Electric Wizard and Ufomammut.


Date with Larry:

Hypnotic and powerful blast of spacey, set the controls to the heart of the sun-style funk/free jazz from the master of the hammond b3 organ, Larry Young. Most of the album occupies a kind of warm, droning, yet aggressive style that burrows a tiny pinhole in your brain the more you listen to it. The landmark of the album is the second track entitled "Khalid Of Space Part Two - Welcome" which is an extended jam that jumps into hyper space from the get go and doesn't let up with the cosmic groove until past the 12 minute mark.

Originally released in 1973, this album has been a long lost artifact of the 70's free-jazz/funk era and was issued on compact disc for the first time in 2002 in very small quantities (i should know, i used to work for the record label that reissued it). It has since gone out of print again.

Experience it here

I Love A Rainy Night:

It's a been a rainy, grey day here in Yokohama. What better way to soak up some time at home on a day/night like this than to listen to the beautiful Dødens Triumf album from Denmark's Savage Rose. Out of the entire Savage Rose discography, this particular album stands out as a unique effort. It's basically the score for a ballet written by the band's keyboardist, Thomas Koppel. Now, i know what you're thinking: "Music for a ballet written by the keyboard player from some old 70's Danish art rock band? Ha!" well, laugh if you must, but those who have an ear for quiet subtle beauty will find a lot to enjoy on this record.

The melodies are very folk-influenced and carry a melancholy air throughout; the pieces are very well thought out and expertly composed; yet they never stray far into unusual or experimental territory...choosing instead to reside in this dark, somewhat gloomy, yet always melodic meeting place.

Dødens Triumf is an all-instrumental album, except for the final song, which features the gorgeous and chilling vocals of Savage Rose singer, Annisette.

Triumph Of Death

Friday, April 13, 2007

Wild tongues:

An audio document of the truly bizarre world of the ultra-conservative, new age North American cult, The Church Universal And Triumphant; and it's leader, Elizabeth Clare Prophet. There's a long sordid history within this group involving guns, bomb shelters, kidnapping accusations, and strange paranoid behavior.

This is a privately made recording of one of the church's services. Apparently, this particular communion was focused on conjuring up enough psychic and spiritual energy to combat the evil of rock music ("the great anti-freedom force of the planet" as they describe it here). Among the targets: Billy Joel, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Huey Lewis & The News, Herbie Hancock, Weird Al, REO Speedwagon, Big Country, and uhhh...breakdancing.

Atonal chants channeling a host of saints and spirits (Jesus, Buddha, Kumara, Shiva, Hercules, Pope John XXIII, and more!), insanely complex call-and-response workouts between speaker and crowd, creepy vocalizations that sound like a cross between auctioneering and a Fascinating, creepy, bewildering, and highly impressive stuff that should appeal to cult fanatics, those interested in weird droney vocal techniques, and fans of that crazy Ex-Girl Cd that i posted a little while back.

From the LP record Sounds Of American Doomsday Cults Vol. 14 released on the Faithways International record label.

Cult Classic

Ork Alarm:

Magma is not an easy band to describe to people. in fact, i feel like the term "band" is not adequate and is misleading. the same goes for labels and genres like "prog" or "fusion." sure, there are plenty of those styles represented within Magma's core sound; and their influences are easily felt in their music. but Magma, to me, are a force...a gigantic, almost monstrous presence that cannot be ignored. their sound is huge and massive, filled with moments of terror and beauty. stark minimal rhythms give way to colourful audio explosions, drenched with harmonious voices and thundering bass and guitar. and the well, the drumming is just brilliant. this French group has enjoyed legendary status for decades, and has been highly influential (spawing many Zuehl obsessed bands...Ruins, Guapo, The Flying Luttenbachers...just to name a few), but yet their overall appeal is quite limited. probably due in no small part to their choice of language to sing in (a language called Kobian, which Christian Vander, drummer and mastermind behind Magma, has invented in order to explain the concepts behind his group's music and lyrical stance). there pieces are long and full of complexities and brilliant twists and turns...dark, treacherous, disonant avant-prog with intense crescendos that bubble and boil with an electrifying power and joy that is both familiar and strangely alien to the senses.

Köhntarkösz has sadly gone out of print and it demands to be heard. Four tracks of spellbinding music that seems to open a crack in the fabric of reality and threaten to swallow the universe whole. The first two tracks take their time to make their statements, both clocking in around the 15 minute mark. They are deep, dark meditations on the plight of the people of Zeuhl Wortz preparing for battle. The final track is a solemn and beautiful melody to commemorate the life of John Coltrane. whose music Christian Vander has a lifelong obsession with (as do I, myself).

Sound The Ork Alarm!

time vs. texture:

Marble Sheep are one of Tokyo's shining lights of modern psyche. Having a member of White Heaven in your ranks is no small thing, but teaming up for a musical meeting with Tokyo underground street performers/free music legends ○△□ (MARU SANKAKU SHIKAKU) is a landmark worth taking note. Spacey, rocking, strange, and entrancing rhythmic workouts. This is the special limited edition which contained a bonus disc with one long extra track.

shape up

On a "scale" of 1-5:

What happened to The Stalin here? What was once Japan's craziest and most infamous hardcore band hook up with Bill Laswell (surely not a good sign); who brings the band to NYC to record their Fish-Inn album. By some weird coincidence, Mr. (everything I touch turns to audio mush) Laswell manages to get free-jazz guitar hero Sonny Sharrock to sit in with them for the jam session. Now, think of the!

So...what happened here? For some reason..."COUGHLasCOUGHwell" this record just doesn't come close to matching the expectations of what could have been a head-bursting collaboration. Taken for what it is, Fish-Inn is an interesting artifact of a band that seems to have lost the plot, but still manages to pump out some interesting sonic ideas.

hook, line, sinker

Epicus Cephalicus:

These hemp-fueled crazy grindcore guys slow the pace down to a brutal crawl for this 19 minute doom metal masterpiece. It's not all pounding toms and the E chord though, this is actually very inventive and creative stuff...filtering a lot of different moods and upholding a unique and impressive atmosphere. Epic all around.

Cephalic Carnage? hmmm...sounds serious.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wicked Game:

Say hello to Kathy McGinty, a Yamaha SU10 sampler loaded with a female voice saying sexy comments and a few other decidedly non-sexy samples. Here's the basic set-up, go online and find helpless, horny men who are looking for a little bit of phone sex fun. Once on the phone with these guys, Kathy's sampled voices begin the game. As the phone call progresses, Kathy's comments quickly change from "Oh baby..get your cock inside of me!" to "Taco Bell tastes soooo good" or "Satan controls my robotic vagina." The confused callers are struck dumbfounded and at times, unfazed by Kathy's absurd comments. One of the most genuinely funny/bizarre/disturbing pranks phone call projects you are ever going to hear.

ooh yes, baby

The Dream Team:

Most fans of modern psyche rock should be well familiar with this line up: Keiji Haino (guitar), Kan Mikami (vocals), and Toshiaki Ishitsuka (drums). Together they are Vajra...a lean, mean improv-rock machine. Fans of Haino's Fushitsusha's wild guitar skree will be excited to hear this, the trio's third album, Sichisiki. The band's sound ranges from wild spazzy outbursts to long abstract musical sketches that harness creative power and the personality of all the players. Mikami's throaty vocals are a big plus in defining this band's ragged and raw sound. Frightfully good and at times, strangely emotional. The dream team does not disappoint!


The Naked Jazz:

Wonderful document of the free jazz sound of the late 1960's. This Danish four piece manage to stir up a very unique and singular expression within their music that even modern contemporaries have yet to fully touch upon. This is not a no-holds-barred blowing session, but it is a carefully plotted sketch that allows each player to add their own individual choices of color and sound to the palette. The musicianship here is quite stunning; not for the flashiness of the playing, but more for the observation of how each player plays their role within the piece. These are bold, naked sketches of jazz that must have been a challenge for the band and a challenge for the listener. This require a bit of patience and time to fully get the plot...but if you can manage to stay on board, it's a compelling journey.

I'm game!