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.