The A-side is "Megamix 2001", a collage of many different parts of songs made to seem like one big song, put together by Breakin' Records boss Ed DMX. You may recognize some of the sampled sources, but the only one I know is G.D. Luxxe's "Geisha Girl", which features guest vocals from Chicks On Speed. It's really not such a stretch to find that song blended in here, as Gerhard Potuznik and Ed DMX are friends, and the G.D. Luxxe record 'Submission' came out on Breakin' Records. The B-side has 2 new DMX Krew songs. "Night Visions" is sharp electro with robotic male vocals. The special bonus track "Blimp Beats" is an instrumental that is completely artificial sounding (no natural sounds) and makes you want to dance like a robot. DMX Krew have perfected their sound over 3 full lengths and many singles. They have a really together sound that probably influenced many songs I like, including the Hi-Posi song "We Love You".
May 8, 2001
A compilation of both Famous Boyfriend LPs. The Famous Boyfriend were Andrew Johnson and Craig Tattersall after they left Hood, and before they formed The Remote Viewer. The first Famous Boyfriend full length came out only on vinyl on the Paris label Orgasm Records, a great tiny label which puts out 'worth finding' singles and records - all vinyl - by many bands before they become well known, usually under different names. The second full length was a mail order only release put out by 555 Recordings. Much of the recording on this is somewhat lo-fi, but the ideas are worth the effort, as this is the period of their creativity when they had not fully bridged into bedroom electronica, and when they had some incredible songs with vocals like the amazing "Your Hearts Not In It" (#4), worth the price of this disc alone, sounding very 'Trembling Stars'. Add to that the other 6 songs I love and you have a great 25 song disc here, many of the songs sounding a bit like Stewart from Boyracer's stuff recorded as Steward. "I woke up this morning and remembered what you'd done" (#2), "Taller than the tallest tree" (#8), & "It's starting to become a habit" (#10) were all from the 555 CDR 'Making Love All Night Wrong' (the second full length). "It's starting to become a habit" uses another record playing as the bottom of the song, only a slight guitar and a roughly recorded vocal running on top. "I Regret Everything" (#18), "The only sad sight on a beautiful day" (#19), and "I could lie to myself again" (#21) are my faves from the self-titled full length that came out on Orgasm Records. For me this CD is a pick and choose affair, but the songs you will find justify any effort put in to uncover them. Faves: 2,4,8,10,18,19,21
Honeyrider are a San Diego band who carry on the type of summery roughly hewn pop that bands like Further or The Summer Hits used to excel at. They have 2 full lengths and 4 singles on Damaged Goods. This 7" has two new songs. "California Dreams" is an original that has melody and optimism in a Beach Boys styled rock song. The B-side is a cover of the Beach Boys song "Surfin' Safari".
Look Blue, Go Purple were an all girl band from Dunedin New Zealand who recorded from 1985 through 1988. Two Boston bands I can think of from the same mid 80's period sound very much like them. The Neats sounded like a male vocal version of Look Blue, Go Purple, with the full bodied guitar strum sound and organ. The wonderful band Salem 66, fronted by the amazing Judy Grunwald also sounded like Look Blue, Go Purple. My favorite songs on this CD, which compiles all of their original releases, are "Safety In Crosswords" (#1), the song that sounds most like The Neats, "Grace" (#5) which has a really catchy melody and great vocals, and my fave from the disc, "Cactus Cat" (#8). "Cactus Cat" reminds me on an early 90's band Zuzu's Petals that I liked a lot at the time, or even Vomit Launch, another Salem 66-type band that sound nothing like their name would lead you to believe. The one embellishment that sets apart Look Blue, Go Purple from other bands is the use of flute. Flute is a tough instrument to use 'just right', and this band score very high on the scale. Faves: 1,5,8
"Future dub breaks - Tokyo style meet clubbed up subsonic vibes" claims the CD booklet. What attracted me to this was the Takayuki Shiraishi (see April 10 gullbuy) track, though what ended up being my ultra-fave was the Maya track, sounding almost like OOIOO. 8 of the 12 songs on this comp are from Japanese artists (Quiro Pro, Quante Jubila, Takayuki Shiraishi, Khuv + Harvik, Spirit Jack, Maya, Tsutchie, and Natural Essence). The other 4 artists come from Europe and even the US. Thievery Corporation include "Guide For I and I" (#4), also on the ESL compilation 'Modular Systems' . The Mighty Quark is from Stockholm Sweden, and the UK offers Depth Charge and Subculture Soundsystem. This is the first release of Play Records, who list addresses for two offices: one in Kent and one in Tokyo. I like several of the songs on this compilation a lot. I am far from an expert at electronic dub, but I know that I like all these cuts as much as anything on Macro Dub Infection (added with joy in the February 6, 2001 gullbuy). Of sublime quality are Quante Jubila's "Resurrection Shuffle" (#3), Spirit Jack's "Gate No. 18" (#8), The Mighty Quark "Keep That Money for Us" (#9), and Maya's "Crazy Clocks" (#10), though none of the songs at all send me running for the 'next' button. Faves: 3,8,9,10
I don't need to go into the nuances of Tindersticks sound. Stuart Staple is one of the most distinctive vocalists of our generation. He has taken the cool of Bryan Ferry and made it his own in the understated setting of the Tindersticks. This CD compiles 12 cuts which are either singles, rarities, or unreleased recordings. My favorite tracks are "Marbles" (#2) which was a single from 1993 and the original version of "Her" (#3), also from 1993. I also like "Bathtime" (#10) which was a single, and the orchestral version of "For Those" (#12), both from 1997. These are the most upbeat songs from the disc. If you love the slower songs that Tindersticks excel at, you may have an entirely different view of what songs are best on this comp. Although not one of my faves, I was interested in the orchestral song they did with Isabella Rossellini singing a duet with Stuart, "A Marriage Made In Heaven" (#11). Faves: 2,3,10,12
Bent are Nail Tolliday and Simon Mills. 'Music For Barbecues' has 4 songs, none of which are on the 'Programmed To Love' LP. "k.i.s.s.e.s" (A1) is a downbeat number with female vocals sung in German, sounding quite exotic. The second song "Exercise 2" (A2) is a musically unrelated companion piece to "Exercise 1", the opening song from the LP. "Exercise 2" is an instrumental that has electronic sounds in a somewhat OMD setting. I like this song and the second song on the other side best on this 12" because they are perky, happy, and sound very distinctive. "Duke Thing" (B1) samples piano and strings records which it spins into a Tim 'Love' Lee styled collage of easybeat with one verse of torch-like female vocals singing "good morning heartache". "People" (B2) uses the sound of dial up modems (done much better than I've heard before) as the source tone for a melody that backs up this percussive track with a child saying "I hate people" really slowly and clearly (as if she was being taught) in the background. Faves: A2,B2.
Easy to write about this CD - I don't have to remember what I liked about it: Song 1. "Clearcut" (#1) is an incredible cut that blends together many different ideas seamlessly and wonderfully. To me this sounds like a 'post-Chicks On Speed' type song. The vocal has the same type of delivery that makes COS "Eurotrash Girl" sound so right even after hundreds of listenings. But the song doesn't stop there. It also has a very different styled female vocal within it, and modern sounding electronics in a song based structure. It is just a jewel of a song. To me it stands out as the best cut on this 5 song EP. The 4 other songs are remixes of "Clearcut". Herrmann & Kleine accent the electronic percussion and spacey aspects of the song, completely leaving out the COS styled vocal and making it a more IDM styled piece. Opiate makes the song sound very Donna Regina. The vocal is clear in it and up front enough that you can even hear her accent. The COS styled vocal is left in, but is mixed very low and even echoed, further de-emphasizing it. This mix again focuses on the skittery percussion, but keeps the vocal right up front as the anchor. Arovane's mix is light and completely passes by any percussion trickery. It is an almost trip hop type sound that uses all parts of the original track, though the vocal is chopped up into mono syllable chucks which flow quite smoothly, thank you. The last mix is by half of Herrmann & Kleine, Christian Kleine. This is the mellowest of the mixes, a few steps down from Arovane's. Effect is applied to the voice to make it sound like a keyboard sound itself, and echo is given to the drumbeat. Fave: 1.
Named after a tourist centered island Helgoland are a German band who play manic avante garde pop. There are short/crazy brass and woodwind songs that remind me of the Flying Luttenbachers. One song "Much Too March" (#9) sounds like Frank Zappa in the music and vocals. Two of the songs are hardcore like Cambridge band Fat Day play. They are "Sincerely Yours" (#23) and "Zombie Tammilehto" (#28). A few of the songs on this full length first appeared on the compilation 'Psykoscifipoppia' on Felix Kubin's Gagarin Records. The band mixes their sound between jazzlike hardcore spazz and electronic technopop. To me, the best song on the disc is "Portamento Splendido (Insert Coin)" (#24). It is not extremely short, which many of the songs are, and has a feel almost like instrumental Jpop with it's crazy hyper pace and use of 'easy' styled samples. But by far the most prevalent reference point for this CD would be Der Plan http://www.atatak.com/Eplan1.php . Faves: 8,10,11,20,24,25
The EP where Isan infamously go 'Vangelis' on us. Yes, I can definitely hear that signature synth sound on this disc, but to be fair I'd have to say that it is as much Orchestral Manouveres In The Dark (OMD) as Vangelis, particularly on "Serene Driver" (#6). Although 6 songs are listed there are really only 4, as the other 2 are each less than a minute long. the centerpiece of this EP is "Days & Later" (#1), though the other 3 songs work equally swell with me. Isan have grown up a bit and have much more command over their technology than they did in their early days. They have been together quite a while and to me will always be one of the very first 'bedroom electronica' pioneers. Morr Music put together a fine write-up about this disc and isan. Faves: 1,3,4,6
WMF is an electronic music club in Berlin. A year ago they put out a super compilation called 'Nighteffect', christening their record label, appropriately enough called WMF Records. This mix CD is the second release on the label, and features a set of 12 songs spun together into a continuous mix broken into 14 tracks (an intro and outro are added). Nils Oekland's "Skynd Deg, Skynd Deg A Ta Guds Rike Imot" repeatedly appears in the mix in the same way that Vladislav delay had a Sean Penn movie running in the background mixed deep into his latest full length 'Anima'. I like this disc very much. It was compiled and mixed by Stefan Betke (Pole, and owner of ~scape records). I had been warned that it was very one dimensional and samey in it's sound - that it was like a Pole CD. I find the disc to have some great highlights, and to work as a complete listen as well. I don't think it sounds like a Pole CD that much at all, it just starts off a little weak and doesn't really kick in till the 4th cut. My favorite songs are Process "SMP-K Option 2" (#4), Maus & Stolle "Taxi" (#8), The Private Lightning Six "Baby FM" (#11), and the mix he does of his own Pole song "Rondell 2" (#12). While I still infinitely prefer the 'Nighteffect' compilation, komfort.labor is high quality stuff that will entertain you throughout most of it's 58 minute length. There is no way anyone could say that it sounds like Pole while listening to his mix of Flanger's (Burnt Friedman and Uwe Schmidt) jazzy "Quicksilver Loom" (#9). Faves: 4,5,9,11,12
The third in a series of compilations NYC/Berlin event extraordinaire DJ Franco has put out. Although entitled 'Nymphomania' there is nothing on this CD that would offend anyone (except the racy sleeve). The music just has a sexy beat. This volume is mostly comprised of instrumental go-go style songs with organs, brass, and a big bass sound. The comp starts off strong with Soul-organ-isation's instrumental version of "Ode to Billy Joe". It has a great Fender bass part that makes you want to move. Andre Brasseur's "Pow-Pow" (#2) is a female wordless vocal song I like a lot too. Besides "Pow-Pow" there are only three other vocal songs. Antoine's "Tu Nu Devant Ta Glace" (#5) and Les Charlotte's "Necro-Bossa" (#6) are both French male vocal songs. The last of the vocal songs is my favorite cut on the whole comp. Pussy Cat's cover of Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good", now called "Mais Pourquoi" (#14) has the same type of vocal I love so much on France Gall or Stereo Total records. Hugo Strasser's version of "Indian Reservation" (#11) comes out kickin' and stays in the beat throughout. I'm a sucker for car sounds in songs, so the second of Andre Brasseur's songs on this comp "Special 230" (#15) with European Sports Car sounds must be included on my list. Faves: 1,2,11,14,15