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?
Holy Hell! Seems as if the first 6 songs were missing from the Shock City Shockers. Far be it from me to deprive any of you Boredoms fans of Magic Poopers! Check the link again and notice that it's all there this time. How did those first 6 tracks escape the initial upload, anyway?
here's an updated link.
here's an updated link.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Shock City Shockers is a collection of tracks cooked up by Boredoms honcho Eye and the usual suspects. If you're a fan of later day Bore-stuff, then this will be pleasing. I'm actually not exactly sure what this album is...but it sounds like a collection of just random studio tracks that were made just for the hell of it. Perhaps a way of testing out some new studio toys, perhaps? Ah well...no matter, the mood is fun and most of the stuff here is colorful and focused. Space rocking jungle vibe with a few mega blasts of distorted hardcore punk providing some nice distorted interludes amongst all the "bleeip-squiggly-flab-bleeipbobo-beeeechi-chi-'s." Know what I'm sayin'?
Shock it Up! (updated link)
And here's SHOCK CITY SHOCKERS 2; which is an OOIOO remix project. Features re-workings of Yoshimi P-We's cosmic female ensemble by the likes of Zak, Chari Chari, EYE, Woodman, J.A.K.A.M. (Juzu a.k.a.Moochy), Tatsuki Masuko (Asln / Dub Squad / Rovo), Kiyoshi Izumi, Nobukazu Takemura, L?K?O, Moodman, Mt. Yamar, and Kan Takagi & K.U.D.O. As well as a bit of a sketchy track of OOIOO covering Chick Corea.
be sure to loop
The process of setting up and conducting field recordings in Antarctica is one of the most difficult of tasks, seeing as the region's temperature and climate pose so many complication to both the recording personnel and the equipment. Legendary recorder Douglas Quin decided to brave this journey and managed to attain some of the most astounding and bizarre audio treasures ever heard! Armed with an array of ice-resistant microphones (including some multi-headed underwater mics called hydrophones); Quin managed to capture the sounds of Weddell Seals singing their strange songs in sub-zero temp. waters! Other massive highlights include the haunting strains of the Wind Harps from the Taylor Valley and the sounds of a giants glacier as it floats along creaking and cracking out one big ominous ice-drone.
As the hot, humid sweltering summer heat begins to creep in, turn this one up loud and bask in this fascinating and (at times) otherworldly sound world of Antarctica.
One of the best field recordings ever! Highly recommended!