BROWN, BOBBY The Enlightening Beam of Axonda (Akarma) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The minute we first heard this we knew it was something weird and wonderful. Not to be confused with the Bobby Brown of "My Perrogative" and Whitney's boy-toy fame, this Bobby Brown was a Hawaiian surfer dude (check out his hair / shirt / puka shell necklace on the cover as well as song titles like "My Hawaiian Home") who in 1972 decided to share his "Universal One Man Orchestra" as well as his bizarre personal message of physics and religion (that's the Enlightening Beam Of Axonda, dig?) that his one man orchestra was designed to accompany. Confused? The Universal One Man Orchestra was a homemade percussion / string instrument incorporating elements of various instruments as varied as the Irish harp, sitar, hammer dulcimer, thumb piano, flute, koto and more, with a total of 311 strings in all, some of which were adapted to be played with the feet. The whole contraption designed so Brown could perform all of these songs live, as a one man band. As weird as that all sounds the end result is gorgeous, and darkly romantic, and not on the surface noticably 'weird'. A rich bed of buzzing sitar strings, throbbing bass and keening distant sonic wails, over a complex rhythmic framework, sort of African, sort of tribal, but very subtle and simple. Brown's voice is probably the most distinctive element, a thick, rich throaty croon, sounding at times quite a bit like Nick Drake. Supposedly Brown had a vocal range of six octaves (!) but the only time it's really noticable is when he pitches down to a chest rattling rumble, before soaring right back up to a tenor or almost-falsetto. These dreamy, slowly developing songs are scattered with all sorts of bizarre sound effects, presumably also produced by his home made orchestra, but sounding remarkably like some primitive synthesizer or ring modulator. In addition to creating the 'orchestra' he also built his own electronic pickups from discarded computer parts! If it weren't for the instrumentation and the bizarre lyrics, The Enlightening Beam of Axonda is so sweetly melodic and darkly beautiful, it definitely sounds like it could have been really popular outside the trippy hippy folky crowd that dug it at the time. There's even testemonials in the liner notes from Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys and Kenny Loggins! Here's a description of the record in Brown's own words: "An original contribution to the field of Religion And Science -- based on physics -- to my knowledge not yet discovered by other humanoids -- more Evolutionary than Einstein's revelations of Newtonian physics -- the application of this physics will perhaps (in fact) lead to the most significant change in the history of humanity (plus total religious unity.)" Wow. Not so sure about that. But we can guarantee that this will find a perfect home amidst all of your other wild and weird, folky and freaky cds. Note: this is an Italian import and everything's closed there for the month of August, so if when we run out we won't get more 'til September, so act fast or please be prepared to be patient.
"I Must Be Born" MPEG Stream:
"My Hawaiian Home"
BROWN, GLEN & FRIENDS Rhythm Master Volume Two (Hot Pot) cd 16.98
Now that Byram, our resident reggae / dub expert has moved on (he's in Poland now, teaching English) we are left to fend for ourselves and review all the reggae and dub he used to handle so deftly. We all love this stuff, but unlike Byram, we don't have nearly the encyclopedic knowledge of studios and Jamaican history, so we go pretty much on the sound and the songs, and what little background information we can dig up. So here we have yet another amazing archival release from relatively new label Hot Pot. These recordings are all from the early seventies, and while Brown often worked with lesser knowns, often helping them get the exposure they so richly deserved, Rhythm Master Volume Two features plenty of reggae legends like Tommy McCook, Prince Jazzbo and Big Youth. Brown ran multiple labels in Kingston before moving to NY in the eighties. All of his releases were clouded in mystery, due in no small part to random addresses, confusing acronyms, and liner notes that often bore no relation to that actual release. Another element that added to Brown's mystique. The music here is thick and lush, with warm warbly hammond organ, dreamy wheezy melodica melodies, throbbing bobbing loping rhythms, cool, distorted blues guitar, all wrapped in that gorgeous Glen Brown production, and occasionally topped off by amazing vocals, from traditional reggae almost-toasting to haunting soul style crooning. So nice.
"2 Wedden Skank" MPEG Stream:
"Do Your Thing"
BROWN, JAMES I Got The Feelin' (Shout Factory) 3dvd 42.00
BROWN, JAMES James Brown's Funky People (Polygram) cd 11.98
BROWN, JAMES James Brown's Funky People Part 3 (Polydor) cd 11.98
The first two volumes of "James Brown's Funky People" (collecting tracks recorded for Brown's early '70s People Records imprint by his revue's various sidemen and associates) have long been essential funk must-haves, and now we get a surprise third volume! These tracks have never before been released on CD, it says here. Featuring the likes of Bobby Bird, Hank Ballard, The Believers, Sweet Charles, Beau Dollar, Fred Wesley & The J.B.'s, Lyn Collins, Vicki Anderson, Marva Whitney, Dee Felice Trio, and A.A.B.B.
BROWN, JAMES Live at the Apollo Volume II (Deluxe Edition) (Universal) 2cd 28.00
Ok, we didn't make this record of the week or anything, but it would be hard to argue that this package doesn't contain two of the best musically-impregnated plastic and aluminum discs reviewed in this week's list! Heck, the 19 minutes of "It's A Man's Man's Man's World" served up here destroys countless hours of today's attempts at emotion-laden music-making with every "ungh". Sweaty soul music from the master! This is a "Deluxe Edition" (remixed, remastered, restored) of what's always been a classic album, documenting the James Brown Show live at the Apollo Theatre, June 24-25, 1967. Now a double cd, with an extra half hour of music. James Brown and The Famous Flames are in fine form (I don't think James handed out too many fines to his band on these nights) and Marva Whitney and Bobby Byrd, among others, also appear.
BROWN, JAMES Motherlode (Universal) cd 12.98
Can't go too wrong with early '70s JB funk, now can you? This compilation of unreleased (live and studio) tracks circa 1967-1973 was first issued in 1988, now it's been reissued with 2 bonus cuts. Though these 13 tracks didn't make it to wax back in the day, that's only 'cause the Godfather was so prolific, and like it says in the liner notes: "he sometimes released forgettable recordings and forgot releasable tracks". Tracks here include a live "There It Is" from the Apollo, 1972, a nine-minute extended version of "People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul" from the 1973 soundtrack to Slaughter's Big Rip-Off, also the full-length version of single-only cut "I Got Ants In My Pants (And I Want To Dance"), and a couple instrumentals, one untitled, certainly funky but with uncertain personnel, and eight others. James Brown fans may recognize vamps and lyrics used elsewhere in the JB canon, as Brown was often re-recording, re-using, re-arranging, re-forging the funk, so that a 1956 composition, radically altered, could become a 1974 hit, that sort of thing. For instance, the bonus track "You've Changed" (1969) uses the words to "What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You" as previously sung by Brown diva Marva Whitney. This collection IS definitely a motherlode (stress on the word mother) of unearthed funk. Get down and check it out.
"There It Is (Live)"
BROWN, JAMES Revolution Of The Mind (Polydor) cd 11.98
BROWN, JAMES Say It Live and Loud: Live in Dallas 08.26.68 (PolyGram) cd 12.98
Okay, in case the "Live at the Apollo Volume II" deluxe 2cd set that we listed in AQL #118 wasn't enough for you, here's a special anniversary edition of this previously unreleased 1968 James Brown concert extravaganza (which means it came out in 1998, but we haven't listed it before). Simultaneously totally tight, yet seriously off the hook and quite unhinged... to put it lightly. Includes liner notes by Public Enemy's Chuck D. Totally rules.
BROWN, JAMES Soul On Top (Verve) cd 17.98
2006 ended on a sad note for music lovers everywhere as the Godfather of Soul passed away, but in true JB style he picked one of the highest profile days of the year (Xmas morning) to make his grand exit. It was a pretty fitting way to go out, as his whole life was about exclamation points, fierce grunts, dynamite dance moves, hard earned sweat and full throttle expression. Since his passing we have been digging in our record collections pulling out all his recordings and listening in awe to what the amazing legacy he left behind. There is no doubt that he was one of the greatest songwriters and performers of the last century! With that in mind we wanted to highlight a record of his that maybe not everyone was familiar with but we think shows the range and undeniable power of his presence. Reissued a few years back, Soul On Top was recorded in Hollywood in 1969 with the Louie Bellson Orchestra conducted by Oliver Nelson. And wow, what a standout performance... Brown belts it out with a conviction that shows his long running love of jazz jammed right up next to the soul and funk spirit he helped cultivate. Soul On Top is so over the top in all the right ways! Huge drums and horns creating such a big sound that JB then slams right out of the field with his voice, sounding as strong as ever, radiating in its prime. Almost like some magical version of James Brown doing a Vegas show but not as a bloated lesser version of himself as most Vegas performances tend to be but at the very peak of his performing prowess. This has some of the best howls and screams ever to come out of that man's mouth for sure, and it also shows the great range and versatility he had as we works his way with some big band and pop standards, a totally smoking version of Hank Williams "Your Cheatin' Heart", as well as reworking some of his own classics. While it's unlike most everything else he did, we think Soul On Top is one of his most shining and captivating achievements!
"Your Cheatin' Heart" MPEG Stream:
"It's A Man's, Man's, Man's World [Unedited Version]" MPEG Stream:
"Papa's Got A Brand New Bag [Unedited Version]"
BROWN, JAMES The Payback (Polydor) cd 5.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** This could be the funkiest five dollars you ever spent. Payback came out in 1973 as a double album, making the most of those four sides of wax, its eight tracks for the most part consisting of sprawling, seemingly endless grooves that run for like 7, 8, 10, even 12+ minutes. There's a couple gorgeous soulful slow jams ("Doing The Best I Can", "Forever Suffering"); the rest are hard-hitting, extended, mesmeric funk workouts. All crammed full of oohs and unghs and squeals from James Brown, as he preaches it, rasping and rapping about real-world subjects like jobs, poverty, hunger, and inequality. And, of course, "Payback"! Also "Mind Power". What it is, and what it is. He gets immediate support, whenever he asks for it, from the funky horns of Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker and the rest. He's got a call-and-response thing going too with a bevy of sweet soul sister backup singers. Not to mention the always crucial drumbeats of John "Jabo" Starks. It's a groovy tour de force, 73 minutes of pure funk with the Godfather in charge. Payback was originally conceived as the soundtrack to the Blaxploitation film Hell Up In Harlem, but was rejected (!) believe it or not. Released on its own, it was a big success, and it's now a classic in the JB canon.
"The Payback" MPEG Stream:
"Take Some...Leave Some" MPEG Stream:
BROWN, JAMES There It Is (Polydor) lp 12.98
BROWN, JAMES There It Is (Polydor) lp 12.98
BROWN, LEROY Color Barrier (Makasound) cd 17.98
BROWN, MARION Geechee Recollections / Sweet Earth Flying (Impulse!) cd 16.98
We haven't listed too much Marion Brown before, save for an early ESP label release, though his name is often spoken of in the same revered tones as Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, and John Coltrane. We loved his playing on Harold Budd's Pavilion of Dreams, and he had famously played on Coltrane's Ascension (two very opposite sides of the alto saxophone spectrum and really the only extremes of that instrument we dig) so we were very excited to get this latest entry in Impulse's "two-fer" cd reissue series to see what Marin Brown as a bandleader is all about, and this doesn't disappoint. Brown, who died in 2010, was a more understated (and underrated!) player than his better known contemporaries, often marking his playing with noted hesitations and tentativeness that most jazz giants readily avoided. The influence of poetry, ethnomusicology and southern folk tropes also took him into stranger and less popular directions than most jazz at the time. Geechee Recollections and Sweet Earth Flying from 1973 and 1974 respectively, are the second and third installments in what is considered the "Georgia Trilogy" (the first installment, Afternoon of a Georgian Fawn, from 1970, was recorded for ECM), based on the tone poems of Georgia poet Jean Toomer and Brown's Georgian upbringing. Both records are largely built around suites of songs, with Geechee Recollections more horn based and Sweet Earth Flying largely based around piano and fender Rhodes compositions. Geechee recollections starts with the loping bass groove of "Once Upon a Time (A Children's Tale)" propelled by ethnic percussive rhythms and energized alto sax playing. Toomer's poem "Karintha" is recited by Bill Hasson over an avant backdrop of intersecting violin, sax, kalimba chimes and other percussion. Passages of martial New Orleans style jazz open up into soft abstract spaces in the Tokalokaloka suite, that have a slow languid heat full of humid tropical associations. Mostly sheets of metallic percussion and tinkling bamboo surround Brown's intuitive and often introverted horn improvisations in fertile bursts of sound. Sweet Earth Flying may be more satisfying for those looking for a deeper, more inviting, immersion. Focused on two suites, the title one, along with one called "Eleven Light City", "Sweet Earth Flying" begins with a soft and graceful solo on fender Rhodes before jumping full flight into a percussive free jazz excursion. Part 4 of that suite features a swirling recitation by Bill Hasson of an invented hybrid language drawn from a variety of Latin, Afro-Caribbean and regional American vocabularies. "Eleven Light City" has a more late-night low-key feel, slightly noirish, but not foreboding. It has a spacious genteel quality that belies its more muscular undertones. But the chief beauty of this record is the genius pairing of Muhal Richard Abrams and Paul Bley on acoustic and electric piano that make this a truly exciting listen. This is the first time both records have been released on cd, and it's about time! So good!
"Once Upon A Time (A Children's Tale)" MPEG Stream:
"Tokalokaloka (Part Two)" MPEG Stream:
"Sweet Earth Flying (Part Four: Prince Willie)" MPEG Stream:
"Eleven Light City (Part Two)"
BROWN, MARION Why Not? (ESP Disk) cd 14.98
Another essential ESP reissue, this time from Marion Brown, who was an integral part of sixties free jazz, having played on Coltrane's 'Ascension' and collaborated on Archie Shepp's 'Firemusic'. This record features the legendary Rashied Ali on drums and the equally legendary Sirone, who did time with various Art Ensemble of Chicago members and several tangential groups. And unlike a lot of ESP reissues, this one is downright easy listening (not 'easy listening' but easy to listen to), heavy on the melody and light on the 'free' if that makes any sense. Very lovely and melodic and almost dreamy, with very little skronk or skree. Perfect late night jazz.
BROWN, MARION QUARTET s/t (ESP Disk) cd 14.98
BROWN, MARION QUARTET s/t (Get Back / ESP Disk) lp 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
BRUCE ACKLEY TRIDO The Hearing (Avant) cd 18.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Rova Saxophone Trio founding member (and former AQ-er) Ackley's debut as leader, with Masada members Greg Cohen and Joey Baron rounding out the trio. "...moves from conceptual improvisations to lovely ballads and straight-ahead swingers, showcasing one of the great soprano saxophone jazz soloists around." Truly.
BRUCE CARKISS Slaughter Haus Definitive Edition (Skulls Of Heaven) cd-r 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Found a little handful of these tucked away in the closet, way out of print, last copies ever of this chunk of heavy noisy weirdness... A greatest hits of sorts from these Wisconsin noisemakers. After several outrageously limited self released albums, mostly given to friends over the course of 4 years, this psycho redneck power electronic duo have remained almost totally unheard until now. You did see the words power electronics above, so you know this ain't gonna be no easy listening, in fact, this is some seriously difficult listening, but surprisingly enough not in a harsh noise sort of way, this isn't just a continuous wall of Merzbowian white noise, the sounds here are surprisingly listenable, warped and cracked and damaged and fucked up, but for the iron eared, surprisingly pleasant. Jagged shards of fractured synths, chopped into strange rhythms, radio broadcasts buried in effects, loops colliding and overlapping, dense clouds of detuned instruments, amp buzz and tape hiss, howled distorted vox, some almost songs, tons of melting tones, babies crying over throbbing low end rumbles, thick billowing sheets of pulsating distorted crunch, tangled melodies so dense and blurred they become one huge squirming amorphous lump, distorted percussion, damaged tape player rehearsal tapes, and whatever the hell else these guys could come up with, all pulled apart, and jammed back together into heaping piles of thick droning, fucked up free form percussive and FX laden noise. Definitely cool stuff, and for folks averse to truly harsh noise, Bruce Carkiss might just be your entree into a filthy, grimy, crusty soundworld you only dreamed about.
"Track 1" MPEG Stream:
BRUCE, LENNY Live In San Francisco (Koch) cd 14.98
BRUCE, LENNY The Lenny Bruce Performance Film (Koch Vision) dvd 16.98
BRUCE, LENNY To Is A Proposition; Come Is A Verb (KnitClassics) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Never before released on cd recordings "from Lenny Bruce's private tape stash."
BRUCE, MICHAEL Lo Snap b/w Fiskemelk (Poisonous Gases) 7" 5.98
Two new, 7"s of delicious skweee here folks! From the same Portland label, Poisonous Gases, that previously brought us Lazercrotch. Now they've gone and signed up a genuine Scandinavian skweeer, Daniel Savio from Sweden, as well as Portland's Michael Bruce (NOT the guy from the Alice Cooper Band we're pretty sure). Bruce's 7" is squarely in the skweee tradition, dropping the bass and the blip-bloop of 8-bitty sci-fi video game SFX across two groovy instrumentals. Very cool, glad to see US skweee making a showing. Too bad Bruce didn't come up with a catchy monicker like Lazercrotch though, we've probably be guaranteed to sell more of 'em...
BRUCES, THE The Shining Path (Misra) cd 14.98
The plurally named Bruces is actually lone gent Alex McManus. If his name doesn't immediately ring a bell, the folks he's played with sure will -- Lambchop, Vic Chesnutt, Bright Eyes. The multi-instrumentalist McManus has crafted a mesmerizing album of hushed, earthy folk. Very haunting and atmospheric, especially on songs like "Pilot Light" and "Nerviosa". Fans of the above mentioned artists as well as Mountain Goats and Will Oldham should certainly lend an ear to The Bruces. Wonderful!
"The Electric Halo" MPEG Stream:
BRUCES, THE The War of the Bruces (Misra) cd 14.98
Alex McManus -- longtime member of Lambchop, musical collaborator with Vic Chesnutt, and touring member of Bright Eyes -- releases a second solo album under the moniker The Bruces. Super sincere, quiet, singer-songwriter material in the vein of the aforementioned acts, plus Wilco. McManus' voice has depth, somewhere between Jay Farrar and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
"Do Si Do"
BRUCKMANN, KYLE Entymology (Barely Audible) cd 12.98
Solo improvisations for oboe, English horn, and Chinese suona by the frontman of Chicago's Lozenge. Pieces range from ear piercing sonic attacks ala Peter Brotzmann to calm, intimate gestures reminiscent of Kaoru Abe or Evan Parker. The liner notes claim that Entymology was recorded in a living room, quite convincing given the personal nature of these pieces. The lo-fidelity of this recording is quite charming as you can hear the gasps for air between notes as well as the clanking sound of the keys of Bruckmann's instruments as he renders them unrecognizable!
BRUHIN, ANTON In Out (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Using very lo-fi technology (mostly just broken tape recorders), Anton Bruhin has constructed a stunning musique concrete album of geometric irregularities, natural delay effects, and spiralling acoustic layers. A great example of lo-fi creativity.
BRUHIN, ANTON Orax / Rotomotor (Alga Marghen) cd 16.98
An archival release of '70s cassette-tape works by this odd Swiss sound artist, consisting of environmental sounds, ping-pong recording techniques, and other spatial / audio experimentation. Byram thinks most of this is the sound of good European arts funding gone to waste, except for the last piece, which is an absolute mindnumbing half-hour palindromic recitation of German words arranged by their similarity in sound. Makes the disc worth owning for this track alone. Allan agrees that "Rotomotor" is the best track, but he finds the rest of this at least intriguing, especially through earphones. On a side note: If you come into AQ fairly frequently you may have observed this customer we have that is always knocking shit off the counter. We want to say something to him but we're too embarrassed to confront his hamfistedness, so we're passive-aggressively mentioning it here, for 6000 people to enjoy. Well, said customer has acquired a young apprentice now, and one night the two of them came in together to polish up their anti-social skills. Anyway, the younger fella comes up to the counter to ask about this cd, if we have two of them -- cuz of course these guys must be peas in a pod -- so they can both get one. Well, turns out that the nicely sealed copies we showed 'em both had ever so slight dimples on the upper right hand corner (like a light impression made by a pointed object, so slight as to be practically invisible). Because of this, annoying apprentice desired the display copy instead. But if YOU can deal with the "invisible dimple", we've still got a couple copies.
"Orax" RealAudio clip:
BRUHIN, ANTON Vom Goldabfischer (Algamarghen) cd 21.00
BRUJERIA Brujerizmo (Roadrunner) cd 15.98
Mexican drug-lords playing metal? Ok, nobody believes that anymore. But will you believe that there's members of Cradle of Filth and Dimmu Borgir on here? Well, apparently that's drummer Nick Barker. Anyhow, the mysterious metal might-be-Mexican supergroup known as Brujeria have a new record.
BRUJERIA Mextremist Hits (Kool Arrow) cd 16.98
Greatest hits record from the only metal band made up of Mexican drug lords on the run. Or not. This band of extreme metal bandits may or may not contain members of Faith No More, Fear Factory, Cradle of Filth, and Dimmu Borgir. But they most definitely spit out some of the vilest, heaviest splatter metal this side of the border. Noisy, heavy, sloppy and mean. You like this record. Trust us. You don't want to end up like the dude on the cover. Includes a different mix of their deadly serious 'Marijuana' (played to the tune of the Macarena!)
"Machetazos" RealAudio clip:
"Brujo Cirujano" RealAudio clip:
BRUJERIA Raza Odianda (Roadrunner) cd 15.98
BRULLEN Schatzitude (Buback Tontrager) cd 14.98
BRULVAHNATU Last Living Dream (Eternal Obscurity) cd 9.98
Another strange sonic missive from this mysterious (black? doom?) metal outfit, whose first record was a big hit around here, the strangely monickered Uterine Acid Swishes, a confusional sprawl of clean post rock guitar jangle, downtuned noise drenched doomic dirgery and grim blasting blackness, all wound up into a seriously twisted chunk of outsider blackdoom metal weirdness. Like Uterine Acid Swishes, Last Living Dream is made up of three ultra long songs, the shortest about 15 minutes, the longest nearly 27 minutes, and that half hour jam just so happens to be the opener, and begins with some spidery skeletal guitar (some slide guitar too it sounds like), a little piano, all wreathed in echo and reverb, melancholy and minor key, before the sound of birds leads us into the song proper, and explosive blast of frenzied riffing, pounding drum damage, and some seriously gurgled demonic growls, the melodies insectoid and buzzing, the track slipping from blown out and dense to more muted and melodic, but fierce at all time, lurching from frantic blast, to midtempo pound and back again. Dizzying and chaotic. About 7 minutes in, the track peels back in a chorus of shrieks, leaving some atonal clean guitars to drift over the echoey drum crunch and guttural vocal bellows, the vibe sort of twisted and poppy, but still blackened, leading into another blown out blast of black buzz, before finally stumbling into a funereal ultradoom plod, the distorted guitars dissipating, leaving just weirdly recorded drums, distant jangle and those vokills, only to burst into another wave of pounding fury, and finally unfurling with a weird abstract post rock jangle meander. "Where Ghosts Go To Die (The Swamp)" is almost like a second part of the first song, a pounding churning blackness, laced with mesmerizing melody, the drums boomy and low fidelity, their strange sound only adding to the already strange vibe, this track too slipping from relentless blasting, to lumbering sonic death march, to cool tangled midtempo mathiness, with plenty of chug and grind and pound, finishing off with some creepy classical piano, before finally slipping into the final number, "Through A Tunnel Of Trees", swirling winds, strange percussion, spidery guitars, a tangled haunted ambience, almost militaristic sounding with those drums, the heaviness creeping in, a super sludgey doomy drift, the vocals and guitars spreading out in a black fog, over the pounding drums, minor key melodies drifting up from the deep, a few bursts of black blast and a few twisted bits of blurred fuzzed out guitar churn later, the track shifts gears and settles in a spaced out, Hypothermia like outro, all booming drums and chiming, crunchy guitars. The whole thing more polished and songy than the last record, but no less grim, twisted and doomy... black, bleak and HEAVY.
"Misshapen White Hand" MPEG Stream:
"Where Ghosts Go To Die (The Swamp)"
BRULVAHNATU Uterine Acid Swishes (Eternal Obscurity) cd 9.98
Another mysterious metal missive from the fringes, a record recommended to us by our customer Logan, from the strangely monickered Brulvahnatu, and an even more strangely titled album, Uterine Acid Swishes. We weren't exactly sure what to expect, even after we threw this on, the opening is all chiming reverbed jangle guitar, we knew it was metal, but beyond that we were ready to be surprised, and surprised we were, the band kicks in and it's all epic majestic and melodic, haunting melodies over doomic crunch, and then the band switch gears again, and we're off, buzzing, blasting, a flurry of muddy, murky, frenzied riffing, the low end monstrous, wrapped around everything like a black cloud, the vocals a deep monstrous growl, the sound some warped black metal / funeral doom hybrid, slipping from spare, skeletal slo-mo melodic drift, to classic sounding melodic metal, to fierce grim buzz and back again, and that's just in the first song. The tracks are looooooong, none shorter than 17 minutes, the longest a whopping 26 minutes. The other two tracks tread similar ground, although "Autopsy In Mourning" gets WAY doomy, crushing, and heavy, before stumbling into a more stripped down murky plod, super moody and mournful and miserable, building to a chaotic climax, before lurching back into a sludgey death march. The final nearly 30 minute track "Suffer Long", begins with just piano (or maybe it's dulcimer), haunting and melancholy, a funereal creep, with cool tangled guitar leads over the top, eventually launching into a lumbering doomic crush, and over the next half hour, the song drifts from weird sample laced dronedoomdirge, to pounding almost classic sounding doom, to abstract ambience, to churning riffage, ultra doom obsessives will be in heaven (or is it hell?!). Killer stuff, and according to the back cover there are 7 more releases in the Brulvahnatu series, all released in the last 3 years, so if this pushes your black doom buttons, there's plenty more where this came from!
"Cleaning Your Womb" MPEG Stream:
"Autopsy In Mourning"
BRUME & ARTIFICIAL MEMORY TRACE 1st Encounter (Alien8 Recordings) cd 14.98
BRUMIT, JON Piledriver: Recordings From The San Francisco Dump 2002 (self-released) cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Oh how we fancy field recordings here at AQ - of both the unaltered, pristine kind and the modified, manipulated variety. This one particularly perked up the ears of Andee. The man behind it is one Mr. Jon Brumit, and as the title states, he captured these sounds at the city dump. In the liner notes, it is specified that no effects processors were used. Sound sources and equipment included minidisc recorders, a dr sample, a cheap microphone, a full drum kit, a Mac G3 computer and the impressive array of stuff that the dump had to offer... among them were a Nerf Ballzooka, joggin trampolines, a Hello Dolly soundtrack lp, an espresso maker, a mint children's drumkit, bowling balls, a 16mm projector with a silent cowgirl film, a marquee sign, a 100' tape measure, a chandelier, a wetsuit and an assortment of boom boxes and clock radios. Very cool!
"Dawn Of Time" MPEG Stream:
"Chasing Kegs For Gong Show"
BRUMIT, JON Vendetta Retreat: Motion Picture Soundtrack (Edgetone Records) cd 10.98
Jon Brumit's last audio outing was a a sonic tour through the city dump, a dark delirious soundscape of found sounds, rickety malfunctioning equipment, all manner of scratched records and discarded tape decks, broken down computers, all cleverly and gorgeously woven together into one of the coolest weirdest records we've heard. On Vendetta Retreat, the soundtrack to a yet to be released film, Brumit seems to have honed those already impressive organizational and compostitional skills, resulting in a record that had both Allan and Andee running to the front of the store to see what the heck was playing. In fact everytime we play this in the store everyone wants to know what we're playing as well. Vendetta Retreat starts off as a super minimal slab of "skipping cd" style plunderphonia, a super intense and spare soundscape of ultra brief fragments of found record, bursts of electric guitar, the briefest snatch of a vocal line, tiny frgaments of record crackle -- not sure if Brumit's sound source is still the junkyard, but it definitely sounds like maybe it is. These sparse musical fragments create a strange disembodied melody, jagged and compellingly imprecise. Eventually, the empty space behind these bursts and shards fills up with a darkly propulsive electronic framework, minimal and murky, a distant framework for the Brumit's strange Jeck-style broken turntable workout. The second track takes the rough edit sound collage of the first track and fills it out with wild octopoidal tribal drumming, massive swells of cymbal sizzle and percussive bombast and wave after wave of layered drones, guitars thick with distortion and other effects, hiccupping loops buried beneath, barely audible, adding more texture than anything else, a huge swirl of rumble and whir like a noisier more abstract Growing, or Finnish hypnorockers Circle at their most unhinged and densely ambient. The final track is the logical extension of the track before, taking a dense swath of droney dirge as its fundamental loop, a repeating hypntotic stuttering krautrocky groove, that goes on and on and on (and if we had our way would keep going on and on forever). Imagine your favorite Circle record or some classic Faust track, with a scratch right in the middle, so it skips repeatedly, an unintentional loop, the perfect pulsing hypno riff, the best chunk of hazy repetitive riffing you can imagine, then over the top drape bits of gentle guitar filligree and clouds of disembodied notes. So amazing. One of those tracks that need never stop, we'd be happy to just drift off and bliss out until the end of time. The track evenutally falls apart, the riffs fade and dissipate, the jagged bursts of sound fragments return, this time even more strangely obtrusive, and wreathed in dense halos of echo and delay that send those shards reverberating into the ether, while underneath, the original minimal groove returns, also a bit more affected and damaged, until the whole thing fragments into its constituent parts before finally blinking out with one final blast of disembodied sound. Wow. Can't wait to see the film. And actually the film will be a compilation of clips and shorts collected over the next year, there's information on how to submit footage inside the cd. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
"Invisible / Hu / Man" MPEG Stream:
"Geography / Nowhere"
BRUNER Songs For A Friend (Numerophon) lp 15.98
One-sided lp of fragile loner folk by Linda Bruner, the female singer of recently discovered sixties psych band, Pisces. One original and five covers. Just her voice fraught with sadness and a guitar. Spare and lovely. The B-side features an etching of the cover photo.
BRUNETTES, THE Structure & Cosmetics (Sub Pop) cd 13.98
On the opening tune of their debut album The Brunettes defied our expectations that they were gonna sound something along the lines of cute-as-a-button sweetheart couples pop a la Mates Of State. Somewhere between the musical gangs The Polyphonic Spree and The Go Team, this new duo's song "Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth" is sitting pretty. That said, after the song's swirling bright chorus singing ends, the rest of the album settles into a more compact boy'n' girl presentation with tasteful orchestral pop flourishes here and there. It's definitely on the dreamboat Beatles-y side of the pop meter. Lyrically they sing about the frilly, the frivolous, and the strangely mundane. On the fourth song "Her Hairagami Set" and the fifth "Credit Card Mail Order", they sing about, you guessed it, hair accessories and credit card mail orders. Yeah, we know, we get it, they're metaphors, but still... Embedding social commentary in pop song lyrics can be a sticky business, easily coming off heavy handed, bluntly obvious, or simply awkward. Although they get props for the effort, The Brunettes haven't quite got that side of things down...
"Brunettes Against Bubblegum Youth (B-A-B-Y)" MPEG Stream:
"Credit Card Mail Order"
BRUNO, BOBB Mellowdramas (Sleeping Giant Glossolalia) lp 14.98
Most folks probably know Bobb Bruno as the guitar player in sunshiney retro poppers Best Coast, although some aQ-ers no doubt know him as the man behind ultra heavy guitar/drums duo Goliath Bird Eater, and still others might remember him as a member of late great nineties indie rock weirdos the Polar Goldie Cats, so with all that in mind we weren't sure what to expect from this long in the works solo record, on which Bruno plays everything, but has some notable guests along for the ride (including Nels Cline, and Josh Klinghoffer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers!). The title is your first clue, as these are in fact mellow sonic dramas, the opener is a dark, dreamy gloom pop gem, all murky chordal whir, shimmery organs, and some gorgeous torch song vocals, courtesy of Kandyce Lynn Crane, the song smolders and slithers, peppered with pizzicato strings, sounding a bit like a moodier creepier Best Coast actually, the music could maybe be a Best Coast 45 spinning at 16rpm, but regardless it's so lovely. The second track is another dark pop gem, this one more orchestral, sweeping and grand, a dreamy softly fuzzy epic, laced with some cool droned out buzz, it's the sort of sound you might have expected from Cardinal back in the day. "Loveletter" is another symphonic pop number, all swirling soaring strings, swaddled in mysterious electronic chitter, the melody theremin like, hazy and lush and again so lovely, the guitars warm and buzzy, and when the drums finally kick in, the song slips into a Mazzy Star like shoegaze drift, all dreamy slowcore, and again, the song features a cool, weirdly effected super melodic guitar solo. The vocals return on "We Know You Know" which is all low slung, electro-skitter, which quickly blossoms into a sort of dubbed out Portishead-y downtempo shuffle, but with lush squalls of super distorted guitar and some gorgeous wordless vocals, the sound dark and dramatic and a little bit gothic, sounding like a more post punk shoegazey Zola Jesus, which is not at all a bad thing. "Loners" is all murky lysergic slow jam, with James Blake like distorted slo-mo soul vox, the sort of track Balam Acab or Clams Casino might conjure up, woozy and washed out, warped and warbly. "Near Ecstasy" starts off all minimal and fuzzy, with some sweetly crooned vox, again sounding very goth, almost Kate Bush like at times, all over an almost krautrock sounding groove, wreathed in flanged synths and swirling gauzy thrum, and then finally, the record finishes with "Over", a strange bit of experimental synthscaping, that sounds like it was modeled after some Beach Boys outtake, pounding chords, overlapping, all over a hushed shimmer, finally coalescing into a fuzzy chunk of dream pop, with a sweet tinkling chime melody, only to seemingly melt into a warped stretch of druggy murk, that sounds more like the Skaters than anything, but a gorgeously tripped out finish to a pretty fantastic record. Not at all what we were expecting, but all the more exciting for that. Definitely for fans of dark, lush pop and hazy electronic dreaminess, we're actually digging this like crazy! Cool bloody panda bear sweat sock cover art!
"Building" MPEG Stream:
"Look Out The Window" MPEG Stream:
BRUNO, BOBB The Shy Tuff Bunny Runs Away (Transparency) cd 14.98
Bobb Bruno plays in the quirky, instrumental LA post rockers the Polar Goldie Cats as well as in The For Carnation, but that might not prepare you for this, his *very different* solo disc, an instrumental electronica thing kinda in the Aphex Twin mould (also we'd compare this to: Lesser, Concentrick, Matmos). Weird, crunchy, noisy mad scientist soundtrack stuff with beats and sometimes melodies amid abrasive spastic metallic outbursts. Very frenetic and constantly in flux. Unlike a lot of current computer jockeys, it doesn't seem like Bruno's trying to hard to be cool or trendy, and he's into guitar as well as electronics -- indeed the ubiquitous (but always great) Nels Cline shows up playing slide on one song. We like.
"Jmic" RealAudio clip:
"Last, Lone" RealAudio clip:
BRUNO, FRANKLIN 33 1/3 Series: Armed Forces (Continuum) book 9.95
Nothing Painted Blue frontman and Extra Glenns member Franklin Bruno digs deep into the making of Elvis Costello's classic Armed Forces. You think Bruno's lyrics are dense and wordy, wait until you have a look at his prose!!!
BRUNO, FRANKLIN A Cat May Look At A Queen (Absolutely Kosher) cd 13.98
Though we all believe Franklin Bruno a great songwriter, he's taken off on a journey all his own and I'm having trouble following along. It's a lot of "showtunes"-style adult contemporary, and at times sounds like he's trying to be, um, Gilberto Gil...or Wayne Newton. I tried, really I did, but I don't like this at all. Your mileage may vary, though, and given Bruno's past stellar work, I highly recommend you check out the soundclips yourself. Hokey, goofy and happy with twangy, irritating guitar, and cheesy horns. This is the lead singer of Nothing Painted Blue, whom we all think was great and half of the Extra Glenns, also highly regarded. This is his third solo album, with nice production values, half recorded with Dave Trumfio (Wilco, Mates of State, Handsome Family) and half with Craig Schumacher (Calexico, Giant Sand, Brokeback). Guests include members of Calexico, Nothing Painted Blue, Refrigerator and Jonathan Richman's band.
"Dashboard Issues" RealAudio clip:
"Lies On Your Lips" RealAudio clip:
BRUNO, FRANKLIN A Sand Dollar Relief Map (Shrimper) 7" 3.50
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
BRUNO, FRANKLIN Kiss Without Makeup (Absolutely Kosher ) cd 14.98
The indie-rock darling of loquacious eloquence turns from the smarty-pop of Nothing Painted Blue to the lounge stylings of the bittersweet crooner.
BRUNO, FRANKLIN Transubstantiation (Dark Beloved Cloud) 7" 5.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Crystal-perfect solo recordings by one of the most eloquent phraseturners around, Franklin Bruno of Nothing Painted Blue. Pressed onto clear vinyl on New Zealand's famous South Island manually-operated (?) lathe (meaning small print runs only), this single is strictly limited to 100 copies and is *only* available at 2 stores worldwide, Aquarius Records and Other in NYC.
BRUSH!? s/t (Shadoks Music) cd 15.98
Kudos to Shadoks for searching this one out! We'd never have heard it otherwise, and we're glad we did. Dude from early '70s Japanese psychedelic proto-metallers Flied Egg (who sounded a bit like Blue Cheer, and recorded for Vertigo!), by the name of Masayoshi Takanaka, made his recording debut in 1971 (yup) with this rare rare rare album of underground hippy conceptual weirdness, called Brush!? (punctuation theirs, but deserved). Quite a few other Japanese psych scenesters of the day participated as well. Results? There's some truly freaked out shit here, and some really lovely, folky parts too. It's an eclectic mix of the following ingredients, and more: acid fuzz guitar rockin', atonal electronic experiments, gentle pop grandeur, organ drones, raga-like jamming, avantgarde piano improv, Velvets/Dylan balladry, and West Coast/Woodstock Nation psych. In other words, all over the place, and pretty darn tripped out!! Hearing reissues of interesting '70s Japanese psych acts like Brush!?, Flied Egg, Far Out, Food Brain, Strawberry Path, Les Rallizes Denudes, etc. etc. it's clear that all the great psychedelic underground outfits active in Japan today, from Acid Mothers Temple to LSD-march to Green Milk From The Planet Orange to (of course) the Boredoms, are keeping alive a grand tradition begun some 30+ years ago! Includes 20 page cd booklet full of all kinds of cool photos and drawings and lyrics (many of 'em in English). Seriously, we're pretty sure that if you could just take one look inside this cd booklet, you'd want to hear the album! On one of the tracks, in addition to musician credits for sitar and tabura [sic], we see this: "Lafing [sic]: Elf, Fairly [sic], Goblin." and "Effects: Crow, Raven, Fowl, Triton." WTF?? The song titles are good too: "All Most Cut Your Hair (including) I Did Cut My Hair", "Die A Dog's Death (In Vain)", and "Tomb Stone".
"The People Of Glass" MPEG Stream:
"Foolish Guy" MPEG Stream:
"Die A Dog's Death (In Vain)"
BRUSSELER PLATZ 10A-MUSIK/HAJSCH 1000 Fehler (Suppose) cd 16.98
"1000 Fehler" (translated as 1000 Errors) is a fusion of the spoken theory-fragments by Adilkno (Foundation of the Advancement of Illegal Knowledge/Amsterdam) and gossamer electronica-concrete pulses by Brčsseler Platz 10a-Musik - a Cologne collective with Georg Odijk, Jan St. Werner (Mouse On Mars), and Marcus Schmickler (Pluramon). Bored of academic culture pessimism, the authors of Adilkno are "dedicated to illegal knowledge and research degenerated tendencies of the roaring every day life in media." Along with the spoken text (which you should know is in German), the ghost of Thomas Brinkmann's phase patterned techno haunts the musical contribution.