With a tune that starts off sounding like The Misfit's "Attitude", The Aislers Set have a cooker of a song in "The Red Door". It is a loud rock song with feedback, punk rock guitars, farfisa, and action aplenty. For me this is the best Aislers Set song ever. Somehow they have never fully hooked me in to their sound till now. In the past they always reminded me of Vibralux's Jenny Mae, or even the short lived band Vinyl Devotion - both of which anyone who loves The Aislers Set would do well to check out. But this 7" on Fortuna Pop! (one of my favorite labels for vinyl) strikes them into my heart once and for all. The B-side starts with "Summer Reprise", a much calmer song that "The Red Door". It is the favorite song on the EP for one of my friends, but not to me. It has the sound that never quite struck me for Aislers Set in the past, with a Ladybug Transistor -like trumpet hook. The second song "Warm Girls" is a live cover of a Girls At Our Best song recorded (roughly) in Santa Cruz. Fave: A
May 22, 2001
From the motion picture Alternative 3 which is a tribute to the 70s "documentary" British TV show Brain Drain. The CD has Jon Tye of Hairy Butter (who record for Lo Recordings) collaborating with Tim Gane and Andy Ramsay of Stereolab on tracks 2,9,18,and 18, and with all three members of Add N to X on all the other songs. Two of the Stereolab collaboration songs (# 2 & 9) sample Roy Budd's Get Carter soundtrack. None of the songs are sweeping ambient pieces designed as background music. The sound is fairly abrasive, and not just noodling on the synthesizer either. All the cuts are instrumentals. It is a very listenable set that has 5 songs I would advise checking out. They are: 2,7,15,16,18
This first Bristols CD is just as good as the second one, which was added last month in the gullbuy. Hearing this debut disc I can see that little changed in The Bristols sound when they released the second CD. Like that disc, this CD is filled with cooking beat crazy covers that remind me (musically) of the Beatle's song "I Saw Her Standing There". It is Fabienne's vocals that give The Bristols their special flavor. Her French accent adds a cool twist to all the tunes. Continuing the Beatles tie in, The Bristols cover the Lennon-McCartney song "If You Got Trouble" (#11). It is my favorite song on the disc, almost reminding me of the poppiest moments of The Buzzcocks. The CD starts off strong with "Can't You See He's Mine" (#1), which starts a march of favorites continuing with "Hey Baby" (#3), "Touch" (#5), and "True True Lovin" (#6). I still stand my by Miss Mary and Ivy comparisons (made in the April 24 gullbuy), and I still say that The Bristols have got one cool sound! Faves: 1,3,5,6,12
This Cinerama single has three songs. "Superman" did not strike me at first, though now I am having it's "that's a job for Superman, not the lazy slob that you think I am" chorus stick in my head. The lyrics make you smile as David Gedge tells a tale of how he fails to meet the expectations of his lover. He tells us "the wine goes in, the truth comes out" as she lets him know she does not think him capable of fulfilling her expectations. The second song is "Starry Eyed". In it you can really hear the Tse Tse Fly sound brought by the Cinerama member who used to be in that (super great) band. It has the cool MBV guitar sound used so well by bands like The Swirlies, Further, and early Lilys. The final song is a cover of The Carpenter's "Yesterday Once More". It is a great interpretation of that amazing song, and my favorite track on this EP. Fave: 3
Not far in sound from their 7" on GSL, this single just further shows that The Pattern have a happening Mod/Punk sound that is fresh and old school at the same time. Once again the main reference point that I would make is the double guitar work on the 80's UK Mod band The Chords. The vocals in The Pattern are much snottier than any Mod band though. I like both sides of this single, but think the A-side "Breakfast" is a monster. Fave: A
I had always wondered about this DC area band with a bunch of singles and a CD on Thievery Corporation's Eighteenth Street Lounge Record label. They put out a full length last year that I have never heard. They are due to release a new full length called 'Scorpio Rising' shortly. This 10" has 2 exclusive songs written by Steve Raskin and Sid Barcelona, who comprise Thunderball. After listening to this 10" I can say that Thunderball sound and look very similiar to Thievery Corporation. The A-side "The Cobra Connection" has reggae-like vocals by a fellow named Hutchy. He sounds exactly like the person who sings on many Thievery Corporation dub type tracks. The music is well produced and every bit as good as Thievery Corporation. The B-side is called "Getaway". I like this song best because it has a beefy Fender bass part that has that 70's Cop show TV chase sound to it. The song has no vocals, but it rises above imitation or derivation and sits well as a track to be enjoyed by any fan of downtempo.
The second compilation in this series. I'll run it down band by band.
I Am Klootstart off the comp with the song I like best on this record, "Over My Shoulder" (#1). It has a great sound and is as good as anything on their full length.
- The Bees have a falsetto sung track called "Angryman" (#2) that is pretty good. It is not like the "Trophy" single (also on We Love You) I had heard from them which was reggae complete with a dub styled B-side. It is more like the take on Curtis Mayfield that Edwin Moses did on their Siesta Records full length.
- Next is Alfie and "You Make No Bones" (#3). Alfie are one of the Twisted Nerve (Badly Drawn Boy/Andy Votel's label) bands who have put out a handful of singles, recently compiled onto CD. The vocalist has a nasal voice which reminds me of indy bands of the mid 90's.
- Tahiti 80 do a 'long version' of "When The Sun" (#4). The song starts off acoustic with the Zombies-styled vocals Tahiti 80 do. It just sounds a bit much though, and the voice ended up annoying me. To it's credit the song does end strongly after the cellos and violin come in and the bass and drum appear.
- Frenchman Tommy Hools does "Le Maire De Venise" (#5). I have always been curious about him from reading about releases in the Rough Trade list, but have never been able to find his stuff. This song is one of my favorites on the CD. It uses a lot of samples for vocals (do I hear Steve Miller's 'do-doo's'?) in a patched together song that sounds good, almost like a more organic version of what Thomas Brinkman does in his Soul Center project.
- King Biscuit Time use 80's sound with "I Walk The Earth" (#6) which sounds like The Police to me. I don't like this track. I think this is a Beta Band spinoff project.
- Bomb The Bass featuring Shawn Lee do "Fast", a track I don't care for much due to Shawn Lee's vocals. They are the kind of mainstream voice that Benjamin Diamond superceded so well in the disc I reviewed last week.
- Bertrand Burgalat does "Serpentine", which comes like a hint of freshness after so many bland tracks.
- Rob play "Don't Kill" (#9) which sounds like (80's band) The Fixx.
- Ladytron 's song "Another Breakfast With You" (#10) appears here, though it is also on the '604' full length and the Japanese 'Miss Black and her Friends' CD before that.
- Zoot Woman 's "Chicago Detroit LA" (#11) has the Steve Miller styled vocal down pat. It's a pretty decent track, though not as good as their "You & I" single.
- J. Xaverre 's "Wild Weekend" (#12) is kind of like the recent Lali Puna / Bomb The Bass single. It is somewhat dreamy electronic female vocal tuneage that I enjoyed.
- Hooper 's "Milky Lychee" (#13) was a favorite of mine last year when it came out as a 7" on Poltroon Recordings. The vocals sound like the woman who records as Milky, though I don't think it truly is.
- Hour Musik do the great track "Love You" (#14), a female vocaled post-Stereolab song which sounds like it could have been on the Cafe Superstar Beat compilation (reviewed in the February 20 gullbuy).
- Safariari (who in fact WERE on that compilation) close out the CD with the bouncey guitar/keyboard instrumental "Kiwi Airlines"(#15). Faves: 1,5,8,12,13,14
The Action were a first wave Mod band from England that recorded between 1965 and 1967. Paul Weller (who wrote the intro on the CD insert) always has said that they were a major influence on The Jam, and I can see that their look and sound were an influence on many others as well. They were peers to Johns Children (who had Marc Bolan as a member for a spell), The Creation, Artwood (Ron Wood of the Small Face's brother Art's band), and The Eyes. They recorded five singles, but never released an album, though reportedly they recorded one. Among the cuts on this disc they cover The Marvellette's "I'll Keep On Holding On", which was later covered in 1980 by The Chords, and Mickey Lee Lane's "Hey Sah-Lo-Ney", which was more recently covered by The Headcoatees. This band is a classic if you like the Mod sound, which combines the US Tamla Motown sound with the group structure of Beat bands. My favorite songs on this disc are "In My Lonely Room" (#2), "Harlem Shuffle" (#3), "I'll Keep On Holding On" (#5), "Hey Sah-Lo-Ney" (#6), "Wasn't It You" (#8), "Baby You've Got It" (#9), and "The Place" (#13). Each have bounce and a lot of soul. Faves: 2,3,5,6,8,9,13
A superb compilation put together in France by Katerine for exclusive release in Japan.
- The set starts out with The Little Rabbits "Yeah!" (#1), probably my favorite track of all. Their playfulness reminds me of a French version of Charles and Pumpkin of the NYC band Guv'ner. "Yeah!" has a male/female role call of people and things that is amazing. It almost sounds like a beatnik styled track with the cool bass and use of sax.
- Pierre Bondu sounds a lot like Katerine on "Raisonnable" (#4). The track is a duet with Julie Bonnie that is upbeat and really fun.
- France Cartigny 's "Un Jour, Je" (#6) is the track that I bet gets the most play. It sounds very much like a Blonde Redhead song with Kazu singing, except it is in French. It is a really cool track that is exteremely likeable throughout every second of it's 6:33 length.
- Navis 's "Pretty Enough" (#10) sounds a bit like Mansfield, Miniflex, or Losfeld J-Pop. It is a female vocal track that is very slickly built, packaged with style.
- Julien Ribot 's "Le Chapeau" (#11) is another Katerine soundalike. Both Julien Ribot and Pierre Bondu are no mere imitators though. I like their cuts every bit as much as any track Katerine has every done.
- Julien Baer plays "Derive" (#13) which is Brazilian in sound. He sings the song and makes it rise above the legions of others dabbling in this sound.
- Holden 's "La Machine" (#14) is an upbeat cut with Stereolab styled vocals. Despite the saturation of bands with Stereolab styled songs this cut is superfine.
- The final of my faves is Mister Quarks "Am I Really Different?". I have loved the two 12"s of his for quite some time. This cut is from one of those 12"s, both of which came out on the tiny Paris label Orgasm Records. He is a turntablist in the style of Kid Koala who puts vocal and music samples together in a very original style.
I have only gone through my favorite cuts on this excellent compilation. There are songs by Diabologum, Francoiz Breut, and Bosco that I liked but did not make my list of faves. Katerine himself has never come close to putting out a set of tunes as strong as these. A great thing to buy, should you be inclined. Faves: 1,4,6,10,11,13,14,16
This CD almost seems like a companion piece to the Helgoland disc added a few weeks ago. Like Helgoland, Groenland Orchester are from Germany and are in some loose way associated with Felix Kubin. Like Helgoland their sound can be traced back to Der Plan, but Groenland Orchester tend to have longer songs that are instrumentals and less frenetic than Helgoland. That is not to say that this band's stuff is any less bizarre - there are touches of dissonance just about everywhere. The disc starts with "Hay" which could be a cut from Helgoland's CD. It is wild - the sound reminds me of strong waves in the ocean, they just keep coming and they try to drag you out into the surf. "Hay" has a snare based drum part that accelerates the pace of the see-saw sound. The only reason "Hay" isn't on my list of faves is that it feels more like an intro than a song. It takes one idea and runs with it for it's 1:40 length. "Ballistik" (#2) is where it really starts getting interesting. This song rules! For some reason it makes me think of a submarine. It has the Der Plan feel, odd percussive ticks, and a steady beat with the steadiness of sonar. My favorite track on the disc is "Lotti's Pearl" (#3). It has this really strange persussive part that reminds me of a 'mousetrap' like machine going through it's series of motions. Amazingly cool. "Y-City" (#5) has a sound like a Carribean steel drum treated by software, and a calliope song composed by Pennywise the clown in Steven King's 'It'. Quite bizzare, and thoroughly enjoyable. "Kopulentia" (#8) feels like a robotic wire dancer on a taut string. Faves: 2,3,5,8
A 6 song EP that has the dirty electronic sound that has characterized Shitkatapult releases so far. All I can say for sure is that Magnum 38 is Oliver Greschke. One of his other pieces is being used as a demo for Virsyn Software Synthesizer. "U-Mann" (A1) seems to combine all the ideas of the other tracks into one. As a result it is a very busy piece which sounds pretty fine, but is not one of my faves. "Auf Streife" (A2) reminds me of the sound Amon Tobin was getting on his 'Supermodified' record. It has a metallic knocking sound that reminds me of someone banging from the inside of a tank. "Ruhe Vor Dem Sturm" (A3) uses a pulsing sound which contrasts with the clipped sounds in and around it. Although I like every song on this 12", the two songs I will call my favorites are on the B-side. "Nachteinsatz" (B1) has Squarepusher styled percussion running riot on top of a rather peaceful ambient base. My ultimate favorite song from Magnum 38 is the second song on this side. "Abrechnug" (B2) has sounds that remind me of a horror movie soundtrack (the part where the starlet walks into a room where something will happen yet she doesn't realize it yet) on top of really sharp sounding electronic bottom end. It is a killer track that defines Oliver Greschke's sound to me. "Heimfahrt" (B3) starts off sounding quasi-classical with strings, then takes off on a breakbeat topped with a tone that floats, before being dragged to ground by an electric bass. Faves: B1,B2