Friday, December 27, 2013

Anthony Braxton- 3 Compositions of New Jazz [1968]

A friend of mine once astutely noted that Anthony Braxton was the Modern Classical equivalent of the jazz world (which would make Art Tatum the Classical Era equivalent, if you enjoy extending analogies too far).  Graphical notation and a penchant for unique instrumental combinations that lead to slanted, atonal eddies of sound adequately sums up most of Braxton’s career, although such a superficial description is a disservice to the iconoclast.  His first release before the solo improvisational For Alto, 3 Compositions of New Jazz finds Braxton arriving at the logical conclusion of the then blossoming free jazz movement.  Ditching the archetypal rhythm section for the occasional expressionist drumming and atmospheric accoutrements, Braxton and his fellow musicians create a complex web of conversation amongst one another.  The indecipherably named first track revolves around the lovely vocal melody laid out at the beginning of the record, yet quickly spirals into a display of raw instrumentation and interplay.  Braxton’s music is as free as free jazz can get, yet still possesses the mathematical intricacy of the Modern Classical music he often cited as influence.  But don’t be misled: Braxton’s jazz is still visceral and mysterious in its outré display of emotion.  Much like his cryptic composition names, this music possesses depth that reveals itself only after intense scrutiny, and even then still might come off as obtuse.  A must-listen for anyone who is a fan of boldly unique music. 


Lost Flood - Lost Flood [2011]

Lost Flood’s eponymous cassette brings together some filthily lo-fi black metal that borders on noise. Sloppily recorded drums crash on in the background over needle-thin walls of guitar noise and tortured howls from Peter McGee, who wrote and played all the music on this tape. McGee manages to bring together the repetitive drumming of atmospheric black metal and extremely noisy tremolo guitar riffs that combined create a truly dark and haunting atmosphere that is only exacerbated by the layers of noise obscuring the music .“Hunter’s Eyes” is among the best tracks here, devolving from Lost Flood’s hellishly raw and low-fidelity black metal into bursts of feedback that die out slowly as the track fades out. It's not a particularly long tape, but well worth checking out for those interested in some of the most abrasive and gloomily atmospheric blackened noise on offer from the british isles.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Deep Freeze Mice - My Geraniums are Bulletproof (1979)

Some blissfully sarcastic and cheerful post-punk. Self-published band, The Deep Freeze Mice, made and released this incredibly solid and staple post-punk album for just £500. The album sums up post-punk as a genre really well: It's just a crazy deconstruction of the punk rock genre. The last track is also worth mentioning, it's a peculiar 27 minute long track that just goes all over the place, it's probably my favorite song off the album. It's a great album for anyone trying to get into post-punk, but because of it's relative obscurity it's a great gem to listen to if you're already a fan of the genre.

I can see both sides
But I can't see which is real
I can see both sides
But which is real

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society - A Very Scary Solstice (2003)

An album consisting entirely of Lovecraftian parodies of classic Christmas carols. Do I honestly need to say anything else I mean the album already sounds perfect doesn't it?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Simon Finn - Pass the Distance (1970)

Exquisite psych-folk gem right here. Finn has a really great gravelly voice. This album is really fantastic, I mean I'm going to be the thousandth person to say this but Jerusalem is such an amazing track, Simon Finn just loses it on that track. The whole album is nuts, I mean that in the best way possible of course. I really just can not stress enough how much I love this album, one of the best psych folk albums ever created, and if you think otherwise you're just silly, that's just my ~very~ humble opinion of course. Every second is gorgeous and the whole album is like one big acid-laced stick of cotton candy.

You are no more evil now
Than you were when you when you began

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sun Ra - Of Mythic Worlds [1981]

“Mayan Temples” is a great slow-burner of an opener that sees some beautiful flutework weaving its way through Sun Ra's keyboard melodies and the fantastic percussion work, ending with some well deserved applause. It leads into the extremely jaunty piano-led “Over The Rainbow” sees Sun Ra at perhaps his most whimsical, witH the beautiful piano melody meandering along over the steady drumbeat - Sun Ra’s interpretation of this Wizard of Oz classic is easily my favourite that I’ve heard yet, even outdoing the version on Ra’s “Disco 3000 “Inside the Blues” again sees Sun Ra’s piano as the focal point of the piece and sees some passionate soloing from Ra over the infectious handclap rhythms. However, things take a turn for the weirder with “Intrinsic Energies”, as Ra’s keyboard takes on a far less conventional sound alongside the far looser percussion and odd, low electronic sounds floating around in the background and the cacophonous trill of the Arkestra’s horn section. The titular closer is easily the best piece here, clocking in at almost 13 minutes: It starts off with a groovy percussion jam between Arkestra members before Gilmore’s [?] saxophone kicks in over Ra’s plodding keyboard melodies. As the saxophone soars with spiritual fieriness, Ra’s keyboard stabs into the foreground, running through lines at a crazed pace as the saxophone melody starts to sound even more desperate, almost strangulated, as the percussion players bang on in the background, being drowned out by the frenzied saxophone playing. The saxophone eventually fades out as Sun Ra’s otherworldly keyboard melodies take centre stage, swirling around, spaced-out over the increasingly frenetic drumming, before the saxophone returns in triumphant ecstasy, with the track ending in beautiful cacophony.

Dig It

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Family Fodder - Playing Golf (With My Flesh Crawling) / My Baby Takes Valium (1979) and Boris Policeband - Stereo / Mono (1979)

Other than the year they were released these two singles have nothing in common. It's just that I'd just feel bad if I dedicated an entire post to just one single

Good ol' Family Fodder. This is their first release, a fantastic, synthetic, scrambled post-punk single. It's a lot less clean and sharp than their later releases. But a fantastic single nonetheless. Great songwriting, catchy and adorable instrumentals, it's an all-around great single really.

I'm so happy with my life
Theres times I feel fungus growing on me

Now this is a real hidden no wave gem. The album is basically a critique of New York police in the late 70's. And it's done in such an interesting manner. The single consists of a bunch of very short, noisy, spoken word songs. It's almost like a really early power electronics album. Just noisy, demented, and raw. The album is so to-the-point. It's like a deliberate and organized kind of chaos, which is incredibly interesting. The album is a hypnotic subterranean gem.

Yeah I know the beat
Full of surprises
Don't feel safe on these streets with just a gun, a fuzzbox, and a stick
My wife can't sleep

Monday, December 16, 2013

Natural Snow Buildings - The Dance of the Moon and the Sun (2006)

Well first off, happy 100th review everyone! I don't really have words to describe how thrilled I am that the little blog that me and a few friends started together for fun grew and grew and now (after a brief hiatus albeit) we've managed to reach 100 posts and well over 30,000 page views! On behalf of the whole crew, thanks everyone! So I decided to review an album that's near and dear to me for the 100th review, it's near and dear to a lot of the writers here in fact. This album is honestly a masterpiece. A combination of beautiful, layered, intricate drones, gorgeous folk tracks, and some fantastic and hypnotic more tribal sounding freak folk tracks. It's just an album that I think everyone should listen to. As long as it might be Twinsistermoon and Isengrind make every second worth hearing. The french duo originally only released 50 copies of the album, and I am lucky enough to own one of those copies, and I ripped it just for this occasion. Thanks for staying with us and expect to see a lot more great content in the future!

The Moon and the Sun
Will dance together
And deploy their arms
To grab the earth

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Heratius - Gwendolyne (1978)

Quite an interesting album. This album is a fantastic under the radar avant-prog gem from France. It's real out there, just a really strange album. Heratius play all over the place, from really relaxed tracks to spastic jams, the whole album is a real non sequitur. It's just a beautiful kind of nonsense that makes for a great listen. The group is immensely underrated if you ask me, France just never seems to get as much credit as it should for being home to a lot of amazing musicians. All in all this is an off the rails prog gem that I would definitely suggest checking out.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

God Is My Co-Pilot - Speed Yr Trip (1993)

So apparently Queercore is a genre of music. It's actually pretty good too. Well it was more of a scene and a movement, occurring it a lot of mediums, journalism, art, music, etc. but this is just a music blog so let's talk about it like it's just a genre. God Is My Co-Pilot was a great little gem from the music side of it. Best described as noisy, unorthodox, anarcho-punk. They were spastic and all over the place in the best way possible. This album is full of short, blunt DIY punk songs. It's such an in-your-face kind of album, like a big musical revolt against mistreatment of the LBGT community. It's a splendid politically-fueled album that's definitely worth a listen.

Anywhere but here
With anyone but you

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Monoton - Monotonprodukt 07 (1982)

Monoton as certainly an interesting group, formed in 1979 in good ol' Austria, whose music scene always seems to get slept on because most people are too busy idolizing Germany. Anyway the group makes some very chilling minimal synth. They offer such a textured sound and create such a spooky soundscape for being so repetitive. The album reminds me almost of a more minimal 20 Jazz Funk Greats, the two certainly have the same sinister atmosphere to them. It's just a great, hypnotic record, that needs to be heard to be understood, the album was so ahead of it's time, and it's definitely worth a listen if you ask me.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Double Leopards - Halve Maen (2003)

Now, I'm not a humongous drone fan, I was never super into more conventional Drone or Ambient albums. But I can surely say that, without a doubt, Double Leopards are definitely a solid act. They really create such a bleak and dark soundscape that can totally immerse the listener. The length of the album might seem a little daunting (to someone who doesn't listen to any Drone or Ambient that is) but it's definitely deserving of your time. The whole album just has such a great atmosphere. It's dark and cold and beautiful at the same time. It's an excellent starting point into the genre if you ask me, and it's worth a listen for sure, even if you don't know anything about the genre.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Various Artists - New York Noise Vol 1, 2 and 3 (2003, 2005, 2006)

The New York Noise trilogy. These three compilation albums, ironically enough published by a London-based label, are definitely the best albums to showcase New York's infamous No Wave scene, a kind of sarcastic deconstruction of New Wave, which was insanely popular at the time. This album really shows a different side to No Wave though. It wasn't as one-dimensional as some people seem to imagine. There was more to No Wave than just Swans or DNA, there was another side, seemingly influenced by disco and funk, just as crazy and spastic as a lot of other No Wave, and this comp does an amazing job tying everything together. There are more danceable tracks, there are songs more in the style of DNA (hell there's even a DNA track or two on these comps), and interestingly enough there are even some pretty early Hip Hop tracks on here. It's amazing how these albums manage to bring Post-Punk, No Wave, and Hip Hop all together seamlessly. The whole album is energetic, spastic, and crazy. It perfectly sums up No Wave, and it's pretty much an essential listen for fans of the scene, or even for people who want to get into No Wave, there's no better entry point than this in my opinion.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Lemon Kittens - We Buy Hammers for Daddy (1980)

Lemon Kittens were a really far-out Post-Punk who emerged from Reading in the 80's. The duo is really just all over the place on this album, ranging from bombastic and hyper tracks to song that are more slow and morbid. It definitely seems to me that these guys were influences by the No Wave scene going on in New York at the time. I also pick up an early-industrial kind of sound, which is great to see because I can't actually think of too much Industrial Post-Punk groups. They're like the bastard child of Throbbing Gristle and Y Pants, I mean that in the best way possible. Intriguing, unique, spastic, and demented, overall this is a really solid album that can do nothing but grow on you over time.

And we take time to dance

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Tangerine Awkestra - Aliens Took My Mom (2001)

Free-Improv by kids ages 3-7. Do I really need to say much more? No this isn't a joke. It's incredibly interesting in concept alone and these kids actually manage to make it work in reality. It's not just a bunch of preschoolers fucking around on their father's keyboard, it's a bunch of preschoolers making full-fledged Free-Improv that's genuinely good. It's not overdone, it's pretty subtle in fact. It's honestly a solid Free-Improv album and the fact that it's made by people who don't even know their ABCs yet makes it even more interesting, because let's be honest, music doesn't really exist in a vacuum. I highly recommend it.


Friday, December 6, 2013

Chris Knox - Seizure (1989)

Seizure is only what I can describe as an odd mix of Punk Rock, Indie Rock, and Post-Punk that somehow manages to work perfectly. Another one of the many great releases from the Flying Nun label. The seasoned New Zealand musician Chris Knox makes this interesting combination of styles flow perfectly into an album that's surreal, dreamy, and snide all at the same time. The whole album feels diverse and it doesn't fall into the pointless samey-ness that Indie Rock albums are generally susceptible to. I think it's mostly because Knox incorporates a lot of other genres into his music, some of the songs are more Punk influenced, while some even seem like a nod to Rock 'n' Roll, it's enough to keep the album constantly changing and make it insanely captivating. All in all it's just a really fun and energetic album that's really worth a listen.

But you know you wanna see
All this pain an misery

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Broadcast - Extended Play Two (2000)

Broadcast is an elusive tropical orchid obscured by olivine shrubs stealing the ecosystem’s sunlight; they had everything needed for cult recognition, but faced the inescapable, “wrong time, wrong place” clause. The expressive talent in the group’s work flourishes through chemically fusing their influences as though a magnify glass is needed to explore their stylistic heart. Without being psychedelic or hazy, Broadcast boldly layers their adapted sound in stark melodies jumping through hoops together. The Joy Division qualities are there, the Velvet Underground sound, the Stereolab, and The Focus Group, but all of which are so precisely refined, Broadcast stands as a rarity against its derivative roommates.

What’s so special about their pallet of influence? The particular artists that are so beautifully reminiscent in their music juxtapose as colors all belonging to a unifying aesthetics, but refrain from bringing the same hues to the table. Joy Division adds a distinct production value, and clarity. The Velvet Underground, notorious for bridging post-punk with the pleasant baroque pop of the ‘60s, contrast the sinister with the playful, accumulating as a foundation to the dark/joyful duplicity of Trish Keenan’s  lyricism and gorgeously #retro #vintage voice. The harmonic fluid piling on the ethic is delivered by Stereolab’s fusion of synth based sounds in rock orientated songs while adding an entirely updated array of equipment. With their high caliber technical ability, Broadcast manages to never abuse their understanding, but play with it by dabbling in improvised sound manipulation much like The Focus Group. The rainbow of melodic interplay feels open to interpretations of synaesthesia. Broadcast are a band that truly match their strengths with their name. A spectrum of dancing colors, a posh English fashion designer, a rain puddle glowing with oil.

The band’s early discography that built the sound relatable today started typically strong, and contains, what I feel, their strongest release, Extended Play Two. It begins with Illumination, an emotionally atmospheric cluster of synths guided by gentle vocal overtones that lead into rest of the EP charmingly. Unchanging Window, a track that reappears watered down on their full length album, The Noise Made By People, enacts Broadcast’s very essence. Four minutes of strophic whirling around breakneck percussion that intensifies into a controlled yet spontaneous jam flurries into the next track. From this point, the popular mechanics continue to reoccur but are clouded magnificently in a dissonantly sharp musicianship that can really only be encountered as an existing dynamic on this collection of work alone. By Drums On Fire, the krautrock arrangements relentlessly die with the very ending of the sound. Short in length, and massive in mesmerizing content, should be FUCKING listened by you, if you even like music.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dog Faced Hermans - Mental Blocks for All Ages (1991)

Dog Faced Hermans, wacky, crazy, hyper, epileptic post-punk, what more could you even want? This Scottish group really just brings such a memorable sound to the table, what could best be described as a unique blend of post-punk and anarcho-punk. And along with that their unconventional instrumentation and sweeping female vocals, that are almost operatic at times, really make them a band that doesn't lose their appeal after a few listens. Dog Faced Hermans is one of the few bands I can honestly say has not released a bad album in my opinion. And this particular album just seems to perfectly sum up the band's hectic sound, and it's definitely my favorite release by them, and even one of my favorite albums of all time. Fun, noisy, quirky, and enthralling all at the same time, it's a really hard album to pass up.

Fortune has a double edge
Sometimes I think it cuts
Today you've got enough
And others not too much

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Y Pants - Beat It Down (1982)

Y Pants were a short lived No Wave trio from New York City (obviously), they weren't that much like a lot of their other, more successful, contemporaries, such as Swans, who were dark and violent. This all-female group made No Wave that was more choppy and more bouncy than a lot of other acts, almost blurring the line between Post-Punk and No Wave. They basically made cute, fun No Wave, which is something a lot of people don't seen know about, they don't seem to know that No Wave wasn't all just angry, brooding music like Mars or DNA, but there was also a brighter, almost Disco-influenced side to the scene. And this album shows off that side of the No Wave movement quite well. They still have the dark undertones and almost satirical parodying of New Wave in the songwriting that's characteristic of No Wave (the last song on this LP is one of the darkest songs I've heard as of late) but on the surface they just appear very happy and carefree. It's cheerful and adorable No Wave that can be dark and hypnotic at the exact same time, and an album like that is definitely worth a listen.

Got this feeling for you
Got this feeling for you
Got this feeling for you
Gonna beat it down

Friday, November 29, 2013

Destroy All Monsters - 74 76 (1994)

Destroy All Monsters were quite an interesting group. Emerging in Ann Arbor in the early 70's, their sound could best be described as an extremely noisy and hectic proto-punk group. The band, however, is very eclectic and it's difficult to define their sound with just a genre or two, and this album, compiled by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, definitely shows it. They were certainly ahead of their time, and quite out there too, with songs that are full-on improvisational freak outs, to really droney songs, to songs that seemingly signal and hint at the Post-Punk, Punk Rock, and Anarcho-Punk movement that were soon to come. I definitely feel they had an influence on all three of those genres. Although the album is quite intimidating, clocking in at just under three and a half hours, its definitely worth it and I highly recommend giving this album a chance. It's a great look into one of the many (but in my opinion one of the best) precursors to the Punk movement.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Throbbing Gristle - D.o.A: The Third and Final Report of Throbbing Gristle (1978)

This is probably one of the most demented album I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. And I mean that in the best way possible, Throbbing Gristle was one of the most influential groups of Industrial music, and they did it by making some very sick, hypnotic, and fantastic albums. Eons ahead of their time, they really just didn't have any contemporaries, they were raw, unadulterated, and grotesque. And Throbbing Gristle have the ability to be great at crafting songs that are up-in-your-face-violent and psychotic, while being equally good at writing songs that manage to build a subtle sense of dread, songs that really have the power to leave the listener uneasy by the end. This is my favorite release from them by far, though their most accessible is probably the legendary 20 Jazz Funk Greats. It's unique, hypnotic, and just plain spooky. While it's not the best starting point for the industrial genre, but it's a fantastic listen for those already accustomed to the abrasive genre.

You didn't see me on the floor weeping
You didn't see me lying by the door
You didn't see me swallowing my tablets
You can't look inside my eyes no more

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

R. Stevie Moore - Clack! (1980)

Stevie is singular -- the concrete universal embodied. Stevie is the patron saint of radical alterity -- and in this way he is far from alien. Stevie is the proper exegesis of pop -- and he knows it and we know it. Stevie has reached the position of absolute knowledge -- and is it now the time, maybe, for our interesting results? Here is the lesson: Stevie serves /his/ intentions rather than those of cultural capital and the endless circulation of genre. You can't transcend the dialectic, cuz whenever you think you have you're deeper in it than you ever thought -- so get inside it enough to get outside; let's see you try. 

Mass - Labour of Love (1981)

Wonderful little gem from 4AD, one of the best albums to come from the label in my opinion. Mass can be quite out there at times, and pretty ahead of their time if you ask me. To describe the album briefly, it's like a looser, angrier, and more demented version of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures LP, that doesn't quite do it justice though, it's really worth a listen. And I'd say that it's definitely a required listen for big fans of This Heat, as the two, to me, are very similar. I honestly think anybody who likes Post-Punk in general should check this out. It's definitely one of my favorite albums of the genre.

Clap your hands
We're doing handstands for fun
Can't win
We're rolling around on the floor

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Wooden Wand and the Vanishing Voice - The Flood (2005)

Wooden Wand is the moniker of James Toth, a free folk artist from New York. He's remained quite under the radar, creating quite a few hidden freak folk gems since the dawn of the New Weird America movement of the early 2000's.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Maude Maggart - Maude Maggart Sings Irving Berlin (2005)

Maude Maggart - Maude Maggart Sings Irving Berlin (2005)

Fionna Apple's sister preforming a fantastic selection of songs from the oeuvre of Irving Berlin. Maggart's selection from the songbook of Berlin has some fantastic variety, covering the wide repertoire from Berlin's surviving work,from the jaunty and upbeat "Pack Up Your Sins & Go To the Devil" to the lovelorn reminisces of "What'll I Do", offering a fantastic introduction for those new to Berlin's work.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Robert Millis - Leaf Music, Drunks, Distant Drums

As music fans, we're all aware of the myriad functions music -or even more basic than that, sound - can serve, from pure entertainment to a transcendental spiritual experience, passing down religious tenets, affirming racial or gender identity, or simply offering escapism. "Leaf Music, Drunks, Distant Drums" presents the multi-faceted nature of music and field recordings from all around South-East Asia, and provides a wonderful snapshot of the cultures of the region: As much as a documentary or travel show, Millis brings the streets of Thailand and villages of Burma alive, showing the insight that even abstracted sound taken out of context can give about the cultures and people of a region. As labels like Mississippi or Sublime Frequencies have shown, we can gleam so much from music and field recordings, even taken from our outsider perspective: the sounds of the elephant mahout leaf improvisation might sound alien, and the talking in Thai might be incomprehensible to most, but the earnest and intimate nature of these recordings make them feel so special: free of the pretense of commerciality, this is simply the world as presented through Millis' microphone. Millis' expert ear provides such a wide variety of sounds, and even insects and frogs provide such an interesting experience, and even without understanding the prayers and speeches, the raw emotion of these pieces makes for an experience that truly transcends the language barrier. In fact, many of the musical pieces may seem simplistic or at least very alien to those with more western sensibilities, but the heartfelt nature of some of these pieces, from the desperation of the blind street singer and the jeans salesman to the religious fervor of the sermons is simply undeniable. With the compilation, Millis has provided a different, and far more varied, experience than the ones I've had traveling in Thailand and Cambodia, but even though it lacks the visceral impact some of the sights may have, Millis more than makes up for it through the transcendental, universal world of sound


Monday, July 8, 2013

Charlie Haden - Liberation Music Orchestra (1970)

There are very few musicians that play for a cause as noble as liberty, and ever fewer are those that have managed to encrust strong purposes into music oh so correctly and imaginatively. Charlie Haden is a lotus in the grass that bursted in the name solemnity. By creating the large jazz ensemble Liberation Music Orchestra, Haden has consecrated such heroism into the history of jazz music and into the veins of creativity for "Liberation Music Orchestra" is not just another jazz record.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Jaki Byard - Blues for Smoke

Jaki Byard - Blues for Smoke

Arguably the most versatile pianist in Jazz, Jaki Byard is shamefully underrated and unknown. Born in 1922, he was able to live through and skillfully adapt to all the changes Jazz went through, playing with both Earl Bostic and Eri Dolphy. Most importantly, he was a member of Charles Mingus' band. All of these experiences helped Byard develop his own unique style that he showed throughout his many releases until becoming a music professor at various elite colleges.

Blues for Smoke is Byard's debut as a leader. Criminally unknown due to it not being released domestically until almost 30 years after its original release, Blues for Smoke comes with nine original compositions that look at both pre-bop styles ("Aluminum Baby", "Flight of the Fly") and the avant-garde ("Spanish Tinge No. 1", "Pete and Thomas"). "Jaki's Blues Next" has Byard alternate between stride and free form á la Cecil Taylor, and by the end of the track he plays both at the same time. Thus, Blues for Smoke is an exciting and unusual piano Jazz record that has a mix of different styles all played well by the genius of Byard. 

Blues for Smoke.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Nuclear Sex Addict - Seminäål Fuckkwït (2011)

This is, to my knowledge, the Australian group's only release before breaking up, although members of the band preform in acts like Pisschrist. And it's a damn shame, considering this noisy, raucous and sloppy EP is one of the best punk releases from Australia. Anyway, they play extremely noisy and harsh hardcore in one of my personal favorite styles, raw punk. The production is far from crystal clear, but it does add to the charm of the record: the screamed vocals, incomprehensibly distorted guitar riffs, buzzsaw bass melodies and trashcan drums come together in an assualt of sound that just hits you in the chest like a chainsaw, as the cover fittingly depicts. If you're a fan of bands like Disclose, Krömosom or Nerveskade, you'll probably like Nuclear Sex Addict's wall of sound approach as well.

A house divided (by a chainsaw) against itself cannot stand

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Various Artists - Back to Peru: The Most Complete Compilation of Peruvian Underground '64-74

Various Artists - Back to Peru: The Most Complete Compilation of Peruvian Underground '64-74

The magic of compilations like this resides in their ability to to transport the listener to their era of choice, or at least give him/her an idea of the period. In 22 tracks, VampiSoul recordings takes us back to a period in Peruvian underground music in which psychedelia was recognizable everywhere. American influences are seen not only in the style of music played, but the language and image of the musicians themselves. However, as it usually happens, Peruvian musicians put some of their own influences on psychedelic rock, which makes this compilation a fun listen.

There are very few dull moments in which it may feel as if the performers are trying too hard to be American. Whether it's Los York's hazy atmosphere in "Abrazame Baby" or El Polen's take on Andean folk in "Mi Cueva", there's something distinctively Peruvian about the music on here, which can actually lead to non-Peruvian listeners or non-Spanish speaking listeners to miss some of the charm, especially in the lyrics. However, the compilation does not alienate anyone: A lot of the songs are in English and none feel "too Peruvian".

Back to Peru is essential for anyone interested in how American music influenced the South American underground, interested in garage rock, or anyone who wants a new take on psychedelic rock.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sun Ra - Deep Purple (1973)

According to himself, Sun Ra was born on an unknown date, in an unknown location on Saturn. According to some far more boring people, he was born Herman Blount in 1914, in Alabama. Regardless of his origin's, Sun Ra's music was undeniably otherworldly  and in his roughly 35-year career, Ra changed the face of jazz music, embracing a style far more bold, challenging, and fittingly extraterrestrial.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Biota- Invisible Map

From what I’ve gathered listening to an infinitely small sampling of all the music out there, all genres have their highs and lows.  Whether it’s a specific moment or scene, or just a handful of artists and albums, every category (save for an anomaly or two) offers both great and horrible music.    However, for me personally, the range of quality is never as extreme as with progressive rock.  At its best prog is both complex and evocative, offering varied and intricate instrumentation that can still stir up abstract yet potent emotions.  Conversely, emotions and an artistic focus are often eschewed for technical wankery, pseudo-intellectual concepts, and general soullessness.  Whenever I hear an album described as 'progressive rock', I get both excited and nervous, as the potential for both success and failure is massive. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Simply Saucer - Cyborgs Revisited (2003)

Simply Saucer was a Canadian rock band formed during the late 70s. Though the proto-punk scene wasn't the talk of the time at the moment, Simply Saucer still managed to create a record that would defy all punk records that came before it, by showing a clear and worthy apprehension of the history of rock music. They leaped from style to style, from noise to noise, exemplifying what rock music is all about. Noise, sweat, dirtiness, and rawness, all into one package of free-form rock jams that fall under hard-to-classify.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Art Ensemble of Chicago- BAP-TIZUM (1972)

The Art Ensemble of Chicago is a jazz collective from, well, Chicago that rose to prominence at the latter half of the free jazz movement during the late 60s and early 70s.  Gaining prominence with their soundtrack for the French film Les Stances a Sophie, the ensemble went on to release BAP-TIZUM, a live recording from the Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival in 1972.   While the group would go on to release many more albums over the next few decades, and though they are still active to this day, BAP-TIZUM still stands as one of their crowning achievements:  a vibrant recording that still sounds fresh and inventive today. 

Albert Ayler - In Greenwich Village (1967)

The Village Vanguard, New York City, 1966. We was sittin’ there watchin’ the stage. Waitin’ for the man they called Ayler to come out and do his thing. It was me and my four droogs. Them bein’ Sanic, Finn, and Dim; Dim being really Dim.
‘Round an hour’d passed and the place was packed straight through to the back. I’d just dropped some dollars for Ayler's Spirit's Rejoice six months back. Now was the time, this was the place. The Village Vanguard. New York City. 1966.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Th' Faith Healers - Lido (1992)

Th' Faith Healers were along with Stereolab and PJ Harvey one of the most prominent Too Pure landmark bands. Like Stereolab they also received notable influence from Germany's stellar 70s Krautrock scene, though unlike Stereolab, Th' Faith Healers were more along the raw veins of Can (especially Can) and Brainticket than from the minimalistic complexions of La Düsseldorf and Neu!. Even so the Healers' sound is still hard to classify since it ranges from noise rock to dream pop and from shoegaze to alternative rock, yet they are always exploring different territories in the wide spectrum that is rock songwriting. They never seem to conform to one specific style, one moment they can be totally tame and then another moment they're jamming off to some of the most viscerally overdriven riffs Too Pure has ever produced.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.- "La Novia" (2000)

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. are an extremely large "spirit collective" from Japan who stand as monoliths in the current experimental rock scene as one of the most prolific and varied bands around, going from ephemeral noise rock blasts to strung-out psychedelic droning.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ghosts of Television - Forsaken Empire (2009)

Ghosts of Television are a group from Sydney, Australia who produce some music quite contradictory to a lot of unremarkable music it seems Australia has been giving us lately, they offer us a tossup of several great genres and work to provide an amazing listening atmosphere. Unfortunately since releasing this album the band has broken up and very little information can be found on them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Eduardo Rovira - Tango Vanguardia (1963)

Eduardo Rovira was an Argentinian composer, bandaneón player, and musical arranger best known for expanding El Nuevo Tango to unpredictable lengths. If it weren't for the Lanusian composer, tango would have probably never met with such intriguing composition techniques like twelve tone and counterpoint.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Andre Popp - Delirium in Hi-Fi (1957)

There are two types of avant-garde music, segregated not by a link to any one tradition but by why they are classified as avant-garde works. One group pushes the boundary of what we consider enjoyable art music - for example, Arnold Schoeneberg, Faust, or John Coltrane's free jazz era. The other group pushes not sonic boundaries but maintains innovation by presenting familiar sounds and melodies with a twist - for example, Charles Ives, or The Books. While this group is less immediately recognizable as avant-garde, it is no less enjoyable. Andre Popp's excellent 1957 space age pop album, Delirium in Hi-Fi, falls squarely into the latter group.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Sparklehorse + Fennesz- In the Fishtank 15 (2009)

Indie rock namesake Sparklehorse, led by the late Mark Linkous, and glitch artist Christian Fennesz combined their disparate sounds to an amazing effect for this installment in Konkurrent’s Fishtank series. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

LCD Soundsystem - Sound of Silver (2007)

James Murphy's second album with LCD Soundsystem, after starting the group in his 30s, disillusioned with the current music scene, feeling old and out of touch - and then going on to make some of the best dance and pop music of the 00s that's as witty and fun as it is danceable and upbeat, being able to go from heartfelt ballads to caustic critiques of society, never missing a beat.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Edith Hillman Boxill - Music Therapy With The Developmentally Handicapped (1976)

Folkways Records has been a constant source of music (mostly of the folk and traditional variety) for both enjoyment and educational purposes for most of the 20th century and into the 21st, with its catalogue forever to be kept in print at the request of the founder, Moses Asch, after the Smithsonian Institute acquired the label after his death. One can explore the Folkways catalogue and find endless amounts of music to be enjoyed and appreciated, as well as learning a thing or two not just from music, from spoken word lectures, poetry, speeches, field recordings and much more. Music Therapy With The Developmentally Handicapped, arranged by Edith Hillman Boxill, is a combination of education, enjoyment and something else.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea (2006)

The Fiery Furnaces, consisting of brother/sister duo Matthew and Eleanor Freidberger, spent most of 00's proving just how ambitious, inventive and varied pop music could be. The two started attracting attention after the release of their debut, Gallowsbird's Bark, but that was primitive, at least relative to what the duo would produce later. 2004's sophomore release, "Blueberry Boat" showed just how ambitious they were in terms of song structure and lyricism - the album played out like a series of schizophrenic operas, Eleanor's pinpoint enunciation ringing clear over Matthew's oddball synthesizer melodies and constant changes in rhythm, tempo and style that made their music seem so irreverent and unique, and as an album, really showcased how talented the two were, and lay the foundation for their later work - including this, which in my opinion, is truly their magnum opus.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

João Alegria Pécurto - Une Autre Mer (2013)

This is a cold, stark record. The album cover spells the music. 
Mr. Pecurto really detaches himself from the stigmas of the genre he inhabits, for the minimalistic string-based experimental sound has been overwrought with stale, nondescript efforts over the course of the past couple years. Hence my personal scepticism in even listening to this record.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Nat Adderley - Work Song (1960)

Nat Adderley, the second half of the legendary Adderley brothers, draws us the stellar 1960 Hard Bop "Work Song" album. "Work Song" is ,without the slightest doubt, lyrical and moody in its essence, showing that a breath-taking line-up (both in players and composers) can go a really long way. Though instrumentation can feel a tad grotesque at times "Work Song" never looses or overhauls its charm, its utterly dainty and articulate nature.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Grant Green - Green Street (1961)

Grant Green is a Jazz guitarist who, unlike most of his kind, derives his influence and method of playing from horn players (namely Parker and Davis) and not guitar players. This, and the fact that Green was a superb blues interpreter, makes his playing indistinguishable. It is rare that a guitarist avoids chordal playing and instead uses a kind of single-note linearity, but Green's technical skill makes it work. To me, a lot of Green compositions and performances would not sound very different if played by a trumped. More importantly, Green's playing is just cool. It's the perfect soundtrack for a lazy afternoon-- and Green Street is one of the albums that better reflects this characteristic.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The 6ths - Wasps' Nest (1995)

Before he decided to abandon synthesizers, before he decided to spend an entire album trying to be the Jesus and Mary Chain, and before everyone fell in love with "69 Love Songs", Stephen Merritt was just content to write charming and witty synth-based pop songs. While the Magnetic Field's first five albums (from 1991's "Distant Plastic Trees" to 1995's "Get Lost") are almost unparalleled in terms 90's Indie Pop, Merritt was extremely prolific, not only working with the Magnetic Fields, but also with Future Bible Heroes, the Gothic Archies, and this project - the 6ths. While most of the Field's albums post-"The Wayward Bus" featured just Stephen singing, up until 1999's "69 Love Songs", the 6ths takes a markedly different turn, with Stephen still handling all the lyricism and songwriting, but recruiting some veritable indie greats to handle the singing - Mary Timony of Helium, Lou Barlow of Dinosaur Jr, Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo, and probably my favorite feature, Amelia Fletcher of Talulah Gosh and Heavenly!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Kitchen's Floor - Loneliness Is a Dirty Mattress (2009)

Kitchen's Floor 2009 début album "Loneliness Is a Dirty Mattress" is a statement of art as a form of fun, destruction and instantness. These Australian mini-jam masters have contributed to both the modernization and revival of lo-fi garage punk. All of the songs on this album clock under 2:30 and all of them are nods to the 80's post punk scene, 90's garage-rock scene and the 60's underground proto-punk scene. Kitchen's Floor collides these influences with some bleak irony to overhaul the charming inconsistency of their simplistic song-writing. The vocal-guitar chemistry is the essence of this album.