I know little about Audio Arcade Assault System except that they are from Oslo and now living in London, and that this 7" was released in an edition of only 300. This is the second release on Unbearable Recordings, a label with 5 7"s out so far. This from their website: "SPLIT YOUR CEREBRUM - unbearable actively encourages the diffusion of multitempo possibly dequantized music. single bpmed music has had its days so split yourself and get loose in the opposite flowings." The sounds remind me of those I heard on the recent Kolo CD released on Boston label C-FOM Records http://www.c-fom.com/. I think that both Kolo and this single remind me of the Morr Music bands (as heard on the recent 'Putting the Morr Back Into Morrissey' compilation) as well as recent Metamatics material.
December 5 2000
This past Summer I started listening to the 60's band The Millenium. Poptones have just released CD's by 3 of the 5 writers in The Millenium, Curt Boettcher, Sandy Salisbury, and Joey Stec. I culled the following info from a Japanese website, the site I linked to Curt's name on top of this review: "This is a new compilation of previously unreleased Curt Boettcher recordings. It's a legitimate release of recordings made by Boettcher up to around the time of Sagittarius' Blue Marble album. This album is sure to please every Sagittarius/Millennium fan. There are some magical moments. The first track, Tumbling Tumbleweeds , is absolutely brilliant. A dreamy, kaleidoscopic take on Sons of the Pioneers' 1934 hit song, featuring swirling layers of Curt's trademark high tone vocal chorus work. The CD features Curt's never before released versions of I Just Want To Be Your Friend and The Know It All (Millennium), You Know I've Found a Way and Another Time (Sagittarius), Misty Mirage and Astral Cowboy (Michele) and That's the Way It's Gonna Be (Lee Mallory). The only two tracks on the CD that have been previously released are Share With Me and Sometimes, both sides of an obscure Boettcher 45 on Together (co-produced with Gary Usher). The CD is rounded out with a couple of Levi's commercials and studio session outtakes.
A re-release of the 1977 4 song EP by the band Jeff Connaly fronted before he formed The Lyres. This single is a definite part of Boston rock history. "Lift Up Your Hood" starts off the EP sounding like La Peste (Boston punk band of the same era) when Peter Dayton fronted them. The second song "Busy Man" musically sounds just like The Stooges "1970" in it's main riff. The B-side starts off with a cover of Roky Erikson's "You're Gonna Miss Me". I'm reminded of an EP I just saw today at Newbury comics. Pauline Murray, who used to sing in the UK punk band Penetration, has a 3 song EP of all Roky Erickson covers. I'll bet anything that Jeff Connaly understands and interprets far better than she... The last song on the EP "When I Get Off" sounds like it could have come off of Iggy and The Stooges Raw Power with his vocal and with the lead guitar line. Is this neccessary today? I'd say yes, particularly here in Boston, where Jeff can be found cruising the record stores just like myself and many of you. Also Jeff is a bird type guy. I was once told that you could spot his pet parrot in every Lyre's sleeve. I've not been able to do that, but I salute anyone who loves parrots. Jeff Connaly is such a man plus a person who has made a lasting contribution to music which continues in his performances to this day.
From a fan site "Formed in mid 1993 as a four member band, Gentle Tuesday began their first tentative steps towards attaining "Some kind of wonderful" when guitarist Peter Gustavsson asked his longtime friend to sing in, his mind, the best band ever to be. When Totte Almström, foppish young lad with a acquiring good taste and a lovely voice of his own, opened his mouth to sing, Gentle Tuesday knew their musical directive, possible five seconds after forming. Writing songs and getting their live set together 1994 was the year it all came into fruition. The best elements of Style Council, Smiths, great melodies, Beautiful South, Easy Listening, Swedish fresh colour and excitement described the sound of Gentle Tuesday, With Organ, Piano, Vibes, Cello and horns their live set different from other bands and very shortly Gentle Tuesday was to be a real force to be reckoned with. In the beginning 1995 they worked on their debut e.p "Chanson De Geste", a double A side red vinyl single with 3 songs. 'Chanson De Geste', 'I Like You A lot' and 'Prankish Me' was released Independently on their A Boy Wonder Release label in September. Swaggered with self confidence they had everything a great pop band should have and performed an stunning Christmas show at the end of the year, "It is a remarkably lovely band that manages to transcend it´s blindingly obvious influences just by being so damned good and the songs are brilliant, particularly I mostly enjoy the hedonistic atmosphere and those adorable vocals flying over the trumpets" as someone said. In 1996, Gentle Tuesday reformed as a duo, Guitarist Peter Gustavsson and Totte Almström on vocals, but they still are a strong 8 member band live". Back to my words. That was quite a mouthful, but I've got to tell you that the song "I've Never Been So Poorly Insulted In My Life" is worth it all. It is really great. To me they sound like a blend of Orange Juice and Spearmint. I could picture local artist Don Lennon getting into this band a lot. My second fave of the three songs here is the mellower "Love Theme", which is a full original song with vocals, despite it's soundtracky title. In the end though it's "I've Never Been So Poorly Insulted In My Life" that you just have to hear.
Melys are a Welsh band that have been quietly putting out great EPs on Ankst Records (the label both Groky's and SFA started on) for several years now. They have 8 EPs and 2 LPs so far. Melys really have their sound together and are a thing to behold. They sing in both Gaellic and English, and really know how to build a tune. They use great production without sounding mainstream, and manage to surprise with every single release. "Un Darllenwr Lwcus" is a killer song, almost like a female vocalled Mo*Ho*Bish*O*Pi (another Welsh band). Despite the Welsh title it is sung in English with both male and female vocals and lots of dynamics. It rocks! "All Played Out" is much softer and has vocals that sound like Betwixt/Turkish Delight's Leah Callahan. Most Melys EP's have on really long song. this EP's "Beautiful Breakdown" is 7:08. There is lots of stuff crammed into those seven minutes. It is a good song, but my fave from this EP remains "Un Darllenwr Lwcus".
"Part of the 'Atom Series', a series of limited vinyl only releases by Atomic Recordings favourite new artists from around the globe" informs the website. Atomic Recordings is a Belgium label, The Remote Viewer is a Leeds UK band formed by 2 ex-members of Hood who also used to record as The Famous Boyfriend. The music is 4 instrumentals that are electronic and slightly somber in tone, kind of like an early morning/late night ISAN. Atomic Recordings was also associated with 'In The Fishtank', the series that released the collaboration between The Ex & Tortoise, and a Guvner disc as well. 'In The Fishtank' captures exclusive Amsterdam recording sessions by touring bands. 'In The Fishtank' is run by their dutch distribution company 'De Konkurrent' with Atomic Recordings taking care of the vinyl. The Remote Viewer also have a new 12" out on Domino Records as part of their resusitated 'Series 500' 12" line.
This is the Sandy Salisbury album which was recorded for Together Records but never released. This album has attained legendary status among fans of Sagittarius, Millennium and Curt Boettcher. The original recordings were produced by Curt Boettcher and Keith Olsen except track 7,8 by Curt Boettcher, Keith Olsen and Gary Usher. Engineered by Keith Olsen. It was recorded 1969 at Sound City, Van Nuys, CA. The record starts off with what sounds exactly like "My Little Red Book" by Love. the song quickly turns into a different riff, but the refernece is a good one. This is by the book Sunshine Pop before there was such a term. It is written and delivered with strength and immediacy; the 'formula' is still fresh. There are noticible touches of steel guitar that bands like Poco would mine to great effect in a few years after this recording, and that LA's 1984 Paisley Underground bands would use. There are three songs on this disc that completely justify it's existence today. They are the second song "Spell On Me", "Do unto Others", & "Goody Goodbye". Each have a real pop bite that you can trace straight to modern bands like Modesty Blaise.
Cubismo Grafico is Matsuda Gakuji: DJ, remixer, and musician, born Feb. 12 1970, known to his friends as Chabe. He lives in Tokyo and is one of the top male J-pop artists around today, along with Pizzicato Five's Konishi Yasuharu, Mansfield's Masanori Ikeda, and Losfeld's Masashi Naka. Pizzicato Five have been around for a long time and are the modern fathers of this sound, but it is only recently that male vocalists are breaking out into popularity. Until recently artists like Yukari Fresh and Takako Minekawa were the new faces and voices. Cubismo Grafico, Losfeld, and Mansfield are almost a united force to me. They have similiar palettes and are all very classy and clever without being pretentious. Pizzicato Five's Maki Nomiya has just put out her first solo album on Readymade records. Soon Konishi Yasuharu's first release as Punch The Monkey will come out. He may join this group of J-pop artists and take his rightful place on top of it all - we'll have to wait and see. Meanwhile, there are some great releases to enjoy at home, and this is one of them. I really love the song "Trip To Rio". It is not a bossa or samba song like it's title would imply. It is super upbeat with a female Japanese "rapper" doing the type of vocal I like best in J-pop. It is a non-threatening "Yo" type street tough that reminds me of a miniature dog yipping. Of the 15 songs on this CD 9 are less than two minutes long. On one of the short songs ("Ya-Ya!") Yukari Fresh guests, on another ("Tonight You Belong To Me") Hideki Kaji. The 6 longer songs pull their weight completely though. The song "Fairytale Of Escape" is the acid test to tell if you like this whole sound at all. The song is so perfect that if you do not like it you can rest assured that you need not check out any of the other J-pop I'll ever mention. It is an awesome song that Chabe must be very proud of. I can't wait till he tops it on future releases!
An 18 song compilation that has bits of everything that make me love Escalator Records so much. There are songs that remind me of something you'd find on a Blow Up compilation (Lee Buddah's "Easy Baby" is major league go-go), but mostly it is J-pop galore. J-pop in my opinion is a technological pop that uses samples in the same way Belle And Sebastian used background playground sounds on the title song of their "If You're Feeling Sinister". You can hear such sounds, in fact on Fonda 500's "Snowball" on this compilation. I remember when I first read about Fonda 500 a year and a half ago on a Rough Trade update, which described them as lo-fi Beach Boys inspired casio wielding mayhem. That particular description sounds an awful lot like Norway's Remington Super 60 now that I think of it... I like the Scafull King song "Yukari n' Bass". It uses a ska sound, something Japanese bands such as Hi-Posi have done a lot of already. Scafull King to my ears are a take on the US sports metal bands (which I do detest). When they break into their metal-ish chorus I'm not thrilled, but the song almost holds its own due to the strong ska parts. The comp closes out in the same way it opens: with a song by Yukari Fresh. She is really great, and has almost defined J-pop for several years already. The comp starts with "3 Beats" from 'New Year's Fresh' (her second of three full lengths) and closes with the song that broke both her and the J-pop sound several years ago - "Yukarin' Disco". Germany's Bungalow Records had even put out that song on a split single with Stereo Total at that time. My fave songs on this disc are the Tahiti 80 remix of Cubismo Grafico's "Mississippi One" (the original version is on the 'Tout!' CD also added this week), the Montparnasse song "Atlas", The Le Hammond Inferno song "People Pop" (not on the CD by them added last week), Nicolette's "Nothing I Want You To Do", and the Losfeld song "Le Erotique du Losfeld".
Mansfield aka Masanori Ikeda has put out records on Escalator as Montparnasse and High Yummies, as well as a DJ-mix album under his own name, called "Spinout". This is his first release under the name Mansfield. Nori-kun has put 6 songs on this disc that are all so fine. On the 'Tout!' CD reviewed above Cubismo Grafico have 15 swongs, but only 6 are above 2 minutes. Every song on this disc is at least 4 minutes long, most longer. As for the sleeve, do you remember Guy Peellaert? He had the most classic coffee table rock art book (lets forget about Roger Dean) in the 70's with his 'Rock Dreams' book. In it he had airbrushed drawings of rock icons in stupifyingly appropriate interpreatations. In fact he did the cover art for David Bowie's Daimond Dogs after the book was released. Anyway, the cover art for this EP is from "Pravda / Guy Peellaert's Flipper Comics". This disc in on the label run by Konishi Yasuharu of P5. The label is known by ********* Records as well as by the more regular name Readymade Records. Along with Escalator and Trattoria, Readymade is putting out the stongest releases (in this genre) in Japan. There is a pretty neat cover of Beck's "The New Pollution" (with Yukari Fresh singing) on this EP. She also songs on "Groove Room" as well. My fave song is "Mansfield Theme" which sounds like some kind of a crazy take on the theme from 'I Dream Of Jeannie'. My second fave song is the first song, "Atelier 507". It is so rich sounding! 'Berry Dance Rock' is a sitar centered instrumental, "Especially For Espagnol" has a bit of the sound that Comoesta Yaegashi has been exploring in his ComoEstas project, who have an EP on Readymade. Comoesta used to front Fifth Garden. He has become the Japanese expert on Mambo (listen to his great 'Last Mambo In Tokyo' EP) as well as putting together the Midnight Tokyo compilation of 60's and 70's Japanese jazz for Readymade Records.
The first release of Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM) since his 'Moist' full length was licenced for UK release by Mute from Germany's City Slang Records. He has made this 6 song mini-album in collaboration with KPT.michi.gan aka Michael Beckett (who usually joins schneiderTM as part of his live band), and incredible Japanese artist Hanayo (her site has a lot of fun things to look at). Hanayo is a very interesting person based on a look around her site. She provides the vocals (another first on any schneider TM release) on 2 songs" "Onnanoko" and "The Light 3000", which is a cover of The Smiths song "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out". Pretty neat, huh? In fact it is. I loved the Moist album and I like this a lot too. The first song on each side are busy instrumentals, the second song on each side are quiet instrumentals, and the last song on each side are the vocal tracks.