Magoo has always been the underdog of the Chemikal Underground roster, which includes Bis, Delgados, & Mogwai. Their sound always reminded me of something modernized off Led Zeppelin 3. This is their third full length, and they have both remained true to their vision, and not rewritten albums before. I don't expect them to gain lots of status with this release, but I do expect discerning DJ's to find songs they love playing on this disk, which will not be released in the US.
January 4, 1999
Radar has reisuued the first record with the "She is Beyond good & Evil" single added. This is their latest reissue of the Pop Group. We Are All Prostutes was originally a 7inch. Both sides of that single, the Pop Group side of a split 7inch they did with the Slits ("Where There's A Will, There's Got To Be A Way"), a song from their We Are Time live record ("Spanish Inquisition"),and select cuts from the "How Much Longer Do We Tolerate Mass Murder" LP (their 2nd LP) are included on this disc. The Pop Group are not Pop at all. They were an English version of the NYC band The Contortions crossed with The Slits. They were very political, and their funk was as spot-on as anyones. What made them unique was the insanely over the top lyrics/on-stage antics of Mark Stewart and Gareth Sager (vocals and saxophone/noise guitar respectively). This disc only has 10 songs, but they are still VERY listenable in 1999, and pretty crucial if you like agit-prop music.
We have a previous sigle from Cha Cha Cha. This one represents a new sound for them. In the past they did female vocal pop, now they do instrumental electronic club-pop like Volume All-Stars do. The A-side sounds like Africa Bambatta's "Planet Rock" / Giorgio Moroder Electro. At first I didn't like this single because of expectations tied to the last one (I expected it be pop), but when I played it without looking at what I was playing, it became a great single I had to look at to see the title of. That said, there are 2 instrumentals, and one neat piece (which starts side 2) which has a 50's sounding voice-over introducing the instruments as they come in, explaining the building of a song with beat. That song ("The Ultimate Rhythm Machine"), will be your instand fave. The second song on the B-side sounds like 70's soundtrack funk. The song really builds into a nice grooving slide.
This single is cheaply recorded but as great upon repeated listenings as you would hope. The first song on the A-side is poorly recorded (though probably well recorded for a live song), but the 2nd song on the A-side ("in-out") is great with Brexel's vocals leading Francious's. The B-sides are versions of "Baby You Can Drive My Car" and "California sun" sung in other languages. Both B-sides are great too.
Both of these highly respected twee bands feature Verna Brock, a well known name to fans of The Cat's Miaow and female vocal indiepop bands. The 4 songs on this EP show why people hold her in such high regard. Everything feels "just right" with the songs.
Infinite Chug is a small UK label that has put out several I'm Being Good 7inchs, and put out the Bald Mermaid LP, which was a solo project by one of the members of I'm Being Good. This split is natural, as I'm Being Good sound like an Essex (UK) version of San Diego's Truman's Water. On this release I prefer to listen to I'm Being Good.
Piano Magic have out lots of releases, including a Darla "Bliss-Out" LP released domestically. The best stuff from the band has always been thier import singles, and this is the newest. Usually the songs have a faint female vocal, but both songs here are instrumentals. The A-side is very listenable, like upbeat OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), and the B-side is quieter and more experimental, reminding me of Pere Ubu's "Voice Of The Wind" crossed with a swiss watchmaker taking apart a watch.
Reminds me of Appliance, and Electric Sound Of Joy. Much more vocals than their other single that we have ("Screen"), and really strong. I like this one much more than I expected to. This band has the same sensibilities as the UK band Elephant, but not as loud. Spacy, but not at all a lost drone.