The followup to the 2 other "Exclusive Blend" volumes, and the "Blow Up A-Go-Go" compilation. This volume has stuff from the Telemusic library in France. It is centered on late 60's and early 70's, focusing on the dancefloor element of Telemusic's Jazz and Rn'B recordings with some Gallic soundtrack vibes thrown in for good measure. Comprised of mainly instrumental compositions that vary from session bass player extraordinaire Guy Pedersen's funky wah wah workout "Les Copains de la Basse" and the smokey sitar haze of his "Indian Pop Bass" to Paul Piot's sexy girly ohh la la "Virtuese Reveuse", this album contains contributions from some of France's greatest Jazz/Rn'B/Pop writers, arrangers and musicians of the time including Bernard Estardy and Raymond Guiot.
November 28, 2000
This is the debut release of Drowsy Birds, and it is quite good! There are 6 songs. The sound is like an experimental electronic band playing IDM. There are really clever sounds and touches that make this sound really fresh. It's great to see US bands rising out of the stale US music environment to create fresh new sounds. Drowsy Birds are from Chicago. One of the guys used to do the project called Rome, who put out a CD a few years ago.
The Unutterable comes as a pleasant surprise, that is; two great new Fall albums in a row. 15 new songs. One of them ("Dr. Bucks Letter") is my fave Fall song right now. "Octo Realm/Ketamine Sun" is really great too, as is "Cyber Insekt". The songs on this disc really combine 25 years of Mark E. Smiths experience in a very individual way. Part of Ketamine sun sounds like a cassette poetry reading, while two minutes later the same song has great production and thoroughly modern instrumentation. Mark e. smith has never tried to keep a steady band. The only things he keeps is a steady vision, which he uses players to flesh out. There was such a long period that I considered The Fall to be way past their glory days that I am especially amazed at how great this (and the last) LP sound. In a way Mark E. Smith is like Billy Childish. Their musical visions are in no way the same, but both have remained very much in touch though out their 25 year careers. The title track of this CD is a one minute spoken piece that made me think of the comparison. The song after that track ("Pumpkin Soup and Mashed Potatoes") is pretty different too. It has warped brass and flute in it that remind me of the Boston 'orchestra' Jumbo which provided an outlet for many Boston musicians to play instrumentals they played in High School bands instead of the usual Rn'R instruments they play each night. "Hands Up Billy" is strange too because it has someone singing lead vocal instead of Mark E. Smith. In fact out of the 8 people in the Fall, 3 are created solely with vocals: Mark E. Smith, Steve Evets, and Kazuko Hohki. "Devolute" makes great effect of the multi-vocalists and is on of my 5 fave tracks on the disc as well, along with the aforementioned "Dr. Bucks Letter", "Octo Realm/Ketamine Sun", "Cyber Insekt", & "Serum".
When a used copy of the out of print 1991 reissue of Redd Kross's 1981 debut record appeared at Newbury comics, it didn't even make it out onto the floor before it was snatched up for WZBC. 16 classic songs from the teenage McDonald brothers out of LA, CA. They took the sound of Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers & OCHC (Orange County hardcore, the poppiest of LA's HC scenes) and applied it to a healthy adolescent view instead of Johnny's NYC hellife. Anthems to "Linda Blair", Lita Ford "St. Lita Ford Blues", Tatum O'Neal "Tatum O'Tot and the Fried Vegetables", and probably a few more specific people that are sung about but not named are all here. Redd Kross have put out so many releases, but this and their covers EP which came out after this are probably the ones which are the most relavent today. I love their original (almost) cover of the Motown song "Shout" which they call "I'm alright"
From Forced Exposure's site: "Four tracks of pure abstract opposition...think throbbing gristle meets cibo matto... really...yeah really...sexy female vocals laced up over ill computer dsp discord, a must for all mad max fans and real music listeners. Track listing: You Know What I Mean! // Champagne On Ice // Scoota 11 // Kista" Here's my views: "Champagne On Ice" is an instrumental (well, it has some German talking mixed in at the end) that probably served as the 'Throbbing Gristle' inspiration in the FE writeup. "Scoota 11" has a similar percussive keyboard sound which could provoke Throbbing Gristle comparisons. "Kista" picks right up with more electro-styled vocals, an India sounding wailing voice, and a male numbspeak vocal all in a very electronic song which again could provoke Throbbing Gristle comparisons. Onto the centerpiece: "You Know What I Mean!" is a long song which could be a deadened runway anthem for heroin-chic models to sashay around to. But it has it's beauty; it works it's charm precisely and accurately.
Saul Kane (Depth Charge) runs the label DC Recordings. Besides putting out his own stuff his label has done neat reissues like the soundtrack of The Hanged Man by Bullitt. Now in conjunction with the London Portabello Road Record store Intoxica has released the soundtrack to this French 1973 animated film. This soundtrack has been sampled by many, most recently by the SF artist Quasimoto. My fave tracks are "Ten Et Medor" which has keyboards which remind me of Stevie Wonder's "Superstitious" of any classic Billy Preston lick, in an instrumental fender bass soundtrack mode that would make Serge Gainsbourg proud. "La Femme" has Get Carter styled harpsichord and a little bit of "Oooh, Aaah"-ing by la femme of the title. Even though "Mort Des Draags" is only fifty two seconds long it ranks as one of my faves due to the rocking start which builds to the signature coda, a phrase which must be used a zillion times throughout this soundtrack. All the tracks that are my faves do not use the phrase except this one. If you want to play a track which uses the signature music, "Deshominisation (I)" is the best. It has a regular song length (about three and a half minutes as opposed to the oodles of fifty second pieces which make up this 38 minute long 25 song soundtrack) and works well as a separate piece on it's own. I suppose a DJ could play several songs in a row on air to make a reasonably lengthed piece out of several smaller ones. Back to my faves: I also like the 2 minute "Ataque Des Robots" which has hushed tension, evoking the feeling of sneaking around trying to avoid detection by the rogue robots. I have no idea if that is what is going on in the flick actually, that is just what it SOUNDS like to me. "Strip Tease" is not a go-go plugger like it's name suggests. Instead it sounds like a 'discovery' song you would hear when you walk into a giant cavern and look around in wonder. The smoky sax in it leads me to think that maybe the discovery which is going on in it is less innocent that that which I've envisioned.
Sonovac and Sylvester Boy share rank as my favorites of this weeks Other Music adds for WZBC. That's not because I can't make up my mind between them - it's more because they ARE the same thing stylistically, and they both succeed quite well. Fact is, if you buy one of them and like it, you've simply GOT to buy the other. They kind of complement each other too, as Sonovac have female vocals and Sylvester Boy has male.
Described on the Bungalow website as "style: lofidubhousediskopunknoise, bigbeat, stomping house, absurd samples, looped dialogues, glamour pop. Framed by the beautiful intro and outro you are drawn into a different world." The intro and outro they refer to are mock Holiday Inn style lounge act audience introductions that I prefer to skip over. This is Bungalows last release of 2000. The website tells us "Bungalow will change its structures and start a new partnership from next year on". I wonder just what that means. Bungalow introduced what they called 'clubpop' in the mid-90's. The sound was perfected in Japan on labels like Escalator, Readymade, and Trattoria. The 'easy' side of Bungalow found a home in Spain's Siesta Records, and the offbeat pop in Spain's Elefant Records. That has left Bungalow in some sort of middle ground - a little bit of this, a little bit of that, which I do not believe was the labels intention. I remember their early manifesto stating that Bungalow was to be a style as well as a sound; it was to be a gathering place for a world community of people who love technology, are not afraid of dance music, think Combustible Edison were way ahead of their time innovators, and still thrill to the sound of a good pop song. I'll be curious to see what the 'new structure' they speak of entails... As for this record, nothing on it is as good as their side of the split 7" Bungalow released with them and Ursula 1000. Stereo Deluxe's song from that split ("Groovy Boy") is not on this debut full length. The second song is their current single "Soul Sauce", a horn infested big beat dance instrumental. There is a second version of the song later in the disc as well. Both are competent, but neither offer anything you haven't heard many times before. "Lincoln Continental (feat. Lato)" sounds a bit like Two-Tone ska by The Specials or Fun Boy Three, though not as magical as they are. "Riddle Me This" is one of my faves with it's (Batman TV series) Riddler samples, though they are not used as creatively as even I could imagine. In fact, much of this album to me does not take full advantage of the source samples they've used. Where I really expected to love this album I just find myself thinking that it is OK.
Like a mixture of Sigue Sigue Sputnik & The Fast. Totally new wave, as if I didn't just tell you that comparing him to those two. Sigue Sigue Sputnik was Tony James band after he played bass for Generation X. Tony James was responsible for the atrocious mix of The Heartbreakers 'LAMF ReVisited' when he and Johnny took the mix money and played Doctor instead of making that record "big sounding" like they were supposed to. They just washed the masters in reverb and trashed a legendary album until the original mix was reissued several years later. Despite this judgment glitch Tony James was an incredible showmen and creative force. Sigue Sigue Sputnik were reviled for their "Love Missile F1-11", though it became a classic of its genre. The Fast were a way ahead of their time band from NYC that combined a love of Sparks into a punky power pop that predated 'new wave' by a few years. You'd do well to check out another NYC band The Speedies as well. Their "Let me take your Foto" 7" is still 10/10. The Fast and The Speedies were peaking around 1979. The Fast have songs on both Max's Kansas City compilations, plus some great 7"s and an LP. Back to Sylvester Boy. There are a bunch of songs on this disc that are just so fine. Sonovac and Sylvester Boy are doing almost exactly the same thing, and the two of them are my picks of the week from the Other Music section of this weeks gullbuy. This CD is the first non Chicks On Speed release on their label. It is the third release of the label.
A very listenable 7 song EP with a Hawaiian theme. Each side of the bright yellow 7" starts off with a luau-styled instrumental that almost sounds 'easy'. The second song on the A-side is a version of the cliché Hawaiian song "Hula Hula". The third song is a version of Elvis' "Blue Hawaii" that is my fave of the EP along with the first songs on each of the sides. Elsewhere things are warped up a bit in the V/VM fashion, but never to the point that listening to the track is an act of art appreciation. This is a great EP to buy if you don't have anything from them and would like to check them out, though their 2 CD "Aural Offal Waffle" 52 track set remains my favorite and most recommended V/VM disc.