V.L.A.D. Motion Institute (Warp) cd 9.99
A new recruit for Warp records, V.L.A.D. offers four tracks of tense electro beats, algorithmic arpeggiations of bleep, and minimalist melodies quite similar to the Richie Devine material from Schematic with parts of the booty-bass squiggliness from Aphex Twin's "Windowlicker" ep.
V/A Aquarius Rock (Pressure Sounds) 2lp 24.00
What, you don't remember when our store was located on Constant Spring Road in Kingston, Jamaica? Awww, there's just no pulling the wool over y'all's eyes. You do know that Allan's initials are JAH though don't you? It is kind of a eerie co-incidence that. Honestly, Aquarius -- the Jamaican variant -- was a record store, recording studio and record label founded and run by Herman Chin-Loy, a Jamaican of Chinese and African descent. Along with having one of the hottest record shops in Kingston (picking the right name is crucial of course) he holds the claim to fame of releasing the very first dub record, Aquarius Dub and of being the man to introduce the world to Augustus Pablo and his magical melodica. Included here are 24 classic tracks -- vocal and dubs -- from Herman's vaults such as Augustus Pablo's "Aquarius Rock" and "Iggy Iggy", and cuts from Dennis Brown, Alton Ellis, Dennis AlCapone and more. It's a nice collection, the only downside being that there's an awful lot of rhythm recycling throughout. Comes with a nice full color booklet with a bio on Chin-Loy and his Aquarius enterprise.
AUGUSTUS PABLO & HERMAN "Aquarius Rock" MPEG Stream:
DENNIS ALCAPONE "Sabata"
V/A Cambodian Rocks (original version on Parallel World) (Parallel World) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Previously issued a while back only on vinyl, "Cambodian Rocks" - now on CD - presents a handful of unknown (to the point that no artist names or track titles are given) Cambodian garage bands from the late 60s and early 70s. The liner notes explain that the compiler (s/he is also anonymous) picked up a bunch of random tapes while in Cambodia and put this together of the best tracks from those tapes. For those who are entranced by the psychedelic exotica found in the "Love, Peace, and Poetry" series, "Cambodian Rocks" makes an exceptional companion. For the most part this compilation is dominated by really good fuzzed out organ / guitar garage rich with understandably crappy production. But along with the garage cuts, there's a track of incredibly unfunky James Brown mimicry that make the Make Up's theatrical irony seem even more insincere than they really are. Appropriated dancehall groove/stomps with Cambodian instead of Jamaican overtones. But the highlight is the appearance of the female led garage band who were featured on the Asian Psychedelic chapter of the "Love, Peace, and Poetry" series. Greasy garage rock not far from the Count Five or the Seeds but with reverb drenched female vocals that hits high notes rarely found even on Bollywood sountracks. Totally essential.
V/A Disco Deutschland Disco (Marina) cd 16.98
Oh how we've adored the Germans' take on various musical styles over the years, and we're not just talking about their obvious kosmiche krautrock brilliance. No, it's German musicmakers' handling of the more unexpected genres that have deepened our love affair tenfold. The hip '60s kitten heeled go-go pop of the In-Kraut compilations? The spaghetti (er, sauerkraut?) westerns of the Wig Wam Weste(r)n Weisse Wolfe collections? Yes and yes! Those two genres are unquestionably more commonly associated with French chanteuses and American cowboys, so the unmistakable German inflections that surface always make for a delightful twist on the familiar. Now Marina Records, who brought us those In-Kraut comps, takes it (or is it retakes it?) to the dancefloor with this compilation of German disco and funk music circa 1975 thru 1980. They're not messin' around. This is straight-up boogie wonderland business. Awesome. Some highlights include the 8+ minute Supermax track, a lowdown I'm so sexy unstoppable groover... the Giorgio Moroder studio band Munich Machine's classic "Get On The Funk Train"... and a disco-era hit from In-Kraut alumnus Peter Thomas and his Sound Orchestra... among 15 other mainly killer, glitterball dazzlers. Now, if the weird thing is, this isn't really that weird. Heck disco's even back "in" now. Don't go expecting krautrocky craziness, instead just get yer dancing shoes on and yer ass in gear. Seriously, this has been getting spun in the store by AQ staffers just as much or more than anything else lately, and when it's on we've been getting our work done with just a little more groove. Includes a 14-page booklet of informative liner notes, with such interestin' tidbits as that Berry Lipman's track "Sex World" was used as the theme song for an American porno film, but originated as an instrumental from the German sci-fi TV series Star Maidens...
SUPERMAX "Love Machine" MPEG Stream:
LIPMAN, BERRY "Sex World" MPEG Stream:
PETER THOMAS SOUND ORCHESTRA "Opium"
V/A !Policia! (Militia Group) cd 15.98
We reviewed the totally amazing metal-pop-punk of Fallout Boy last list and casually mentioned one of the bonus tracks, a super revved up metallic version of the Police's "Roxanne" not knowing that right around the corner was this compilation of even more Police covers by other of-the-moment emo / metallic pop punk / indie rock outifts. With compilations like this, there is so much potential for suck, but thankfully this here disc is about 90 percent cream. It helps that the Police were an amazing band, and wrote totally brilliant songs. So it's nice to hear different (some drastically) versions of some of those classics. Obviously Fallout Boy's "Roxanne" is a killer, souped up and WAY heavier, but there's also Limbeck's gorgeous and twangy countrified version of "So Lonely", a killer version of "Truth Hits Everybody" by Motion City Soundtrack, and probably the coolest weirdest track on here, Maxeen doing the classic Police b-side "Murder By Numbers", turning it into a creepy new wave epic, with fuzzy synths, high Shellac like guitar parts, and lots of weird dynamics. So good. The rest of the comp is rounded out by bands doing fairly faithful renditions (usually a bit heavier or faster) with only a few cringeworthy 'ballads' to speak of. Been listening to this non stop. As good as it is, it did have us pulling out our old Police records too!
MAXEEN "Murder By Numbers" MPEG Stream:
LIMBECK "So Lonely" MPEG Stream:
MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK "Truth Hits Everybody"
V/A 'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah (Idelsohn Society) 2cd 16.98
This double cd set hits the shelves just in the Saint Nick of time for the Christmakuh holiday season. Thanks to the Idelsohn Society, a wonderful nonprofit dedicated to preserving and illuminating Jewish history through music (they also put out the Songs For The Jewish-American Jet Set comp), Jewish people can make peace with their love of Christmas music and their desire to tinsel a tree. And why shouldn't they? Set to the tune of Jingle Bells, "The Problem" by Ray Brenner and Berry E. Blitzer lays out the holiday conundrum with campy humor: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, it's tragic but it's true / There's joyous fun for everyone, but what's a Jew to do?" (Oy!) If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, it seems. As demonstrated on Disc 2: Merry Christmas, many of the most popular Yuletide songs have been performed by representatives of The Chosen People. Mitch Miller's rendition of "White Christmas", with its all-male chorus and big band swing, easily rivals Bing Crosby's. Mel Torme's beautifully melancholic "The Christmas Song" stands among the best of Christmas tunes and can get even the most devoted Israelite roasting chestnuts on an open fire. Then dreamy Eddie Fisher romantically croons "Christmas Eve in My Hometown" backed by a chorus of angels, Bob Dylan's nasal delivery of "Little Drummer Boy" manages to stir, and the Ramones "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)" conjures the all-too-common dysfunctional family Christmas that Gentiles have become so accustomed to. As the set's accompanying booklet explains, the production of Christmas music outpaced music for celebrating the Festival of Lights by 10,000 to 1. That's not too surprising, since Hanukkah is a minor Judaic holiday and only rose to prominence in Jewish American culture due to its proximity to Christ's birthday celebration, a national holiday in the US since 1870. As a result, what we have in way of musically commemorating those eight days of candle-lighting on the Happy Hanukkah disc, are not exactly Billboard-charters, but they are just as worthy a listen. Woody Guthrie's "Hanukkah Dance" has a doe-see-doe old-timey feel for dance-y party times. Klezmer ditties include "Hanukkah Tree" by the Klezmatics and "Klezzified" by Klezmar Conservator Band. "The Latke Song" by Debbie Friedman (the so-called Jewish Joan Baez) cleverly tells the story of Hanukkah celebration from the perspective of the latke itself and reminds young listeners that it's important to feed the hungry. Ella Jenkins "Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel" is the real deal while "Dreidel" by Don McLean (possibly this release's only non-Jewish contributor) is just, perhaps, an ill-chosen metaphor for his own '70s mid-life crisis. The most stirring piece on the Hanukkah disc is a barely preserved version of "Yevonim," sung by the Russian-immigrant sensation, Cantor Yossele Rosenblatt. Greil Marcus writes in an essay contained in the set's booklet : "...the sound is distant, the surviving cylinder worn and scratchy. All that adds to the sensation that something precious is being passed on." That's a lot for one little tune to express and worth the inclusion in your holiday music collection alone!
WOODY GUTHRIE "Hanukkah Dance" MPEG Stream:
CANTOR YOSSELE ROSENBLATT "Yevonim" MPEG Stream:
EDDIE FISHER "Christmas Eve In My Hometown" MPEG Stream:
THE RAMONES "Merry Christmas (I Don't Wanna Fight Tonight)"
V/A (1.8) sec. compilation ((1.8) sec. Records) 12" 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Very high concept compilation, wherein each artist submitted a 1.8 second (!) loop to be used as a locked groove. The loops were then randomly paired up with other artists on the comp. The only limitation to what each artist could create was that their song would end with another artist's locked groove! Phew. The contributors are Taylor Deupree, Tim Hecker, Roel Meelkop, Duul_Drv, Richard Chartier, Mitchell Akiyama, Kim Cascone and 3x3is9. Glitchy and dreamy, noisy and skittery experimental electronic weirdness. Pretty cool. SUPER LIMITED to 500, hand numbered, on white vinyl and gorgeously creepy cover art.
V/A (K-raa-k)3 Festival Sampler 2002 ((K-RAA-K)3) cd 8.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Produced in conjunction with a sizeable festival held earlier this year in Belgium, this compilation features a number of exclusive / rare tracks from the artists in attendance, including Main, Oren Ambarchi, Ekkehard Ehlers, David Grubbs, Alog, Vibracathedral Orchestra, Benjamin Franklin, It & My Computer, Twine, Alog, Wio, Toss, and John David, V (who may be the same John from the AQ-favorite 26 project, and now spends his time in the new wave project Glass Candy). K-Raa-K - with their solid spectrum of avant-rock, hazy-improv, and electro-glitch etherealism - continues to be a really interesting label.
ALOG "Dogdive" RealAudio clip:
MAIN "Maelstrom" RealAudio clip:
JOHN DAVID, V "Untitled / Sixth Movement 1997"
V/A (Sic) The Broklyn Beats 7" Series (Broklyn Beats) cd 14.98
This comp collects all those super limited, super fierce 7" released on the Broklyn Beats label over the last year or so. Features tracks from AQ fave DJ/Rupture, Godspeed side project 1-Speed Bike, as well as Doily, Criterion, Rotator, Broklyn Beast, I-Sound, and Donna Summer. All over the place and all of it great, from pummeling speaker shredding dancehall to sliced and diced collage-noise to big beats and beyond.
DJ /RUPTURE "Rumbo Babylon" RealAudio clip:
1-SPEED BIKE "I'm A Pretzel On A Stealth Mission To Kill The President" RealAudio clip:
DONNA SUMMER "Popxplosion"
V/A (Triskaidekaphobia) 13,000.00 Milliseconds (Ratskin Records) cd 4.00
**SALE **SALE* *SALE** You know those Sublime Frequencies "Radio" compilations we love so much, the ones that just sound like someone sitting in a hotel room in another country flipping stations on the radio and recording the results. Well imagine a similar compilation, but in this case, the listener/recorder has an extreme case of ADD, and is flipping between some insane non existent all avant freaked out noise satellite radio station and all the strange little non-stations you discover when you're driving across the country, flipping through the dials at 4am. Little chunks of beautiful pastoral sound, bursts of ear gouging static, voices, snippets of speeches, some crazy guy testifying, some country or classical music that is just out of range so the sound is all skittery and blurred, delicate swaths of soft plinked piano, blasts of grinding deathmetal, talk radio, skittery rhythms, lots of textures and timbres, noises and melodies, most often swallowed up before they can develop into anything more than a fragment, than a partially formed musical thought, but that's sort of the point. This comp will definitely enrapturously engorge the ears of aural adventurers and noise devotees, but just might rattle the nerves of those less prepared. Despite the incredibly lengthy list of incredibly eclectic artists who participated in this brand new compilation titled (Triskaidekaphobia) 13,000.00 Milliseconds: Venetian Snares, Matmos, Thrones, MGR, I Am Spoonbender, Wildildlife, David Scott Stone (Melvins), Blevin Blectum, Winters In Osaka, Leslie Keffer, Microwaves, Sword Heaven, To Live And Shave In L.A., Wobbly, The White Mice, Skozey Fetish, Brad Laner, Rubber O Cement, Bobb Bruno, Cock ESP, Panicsville, Otto Von Schirach, Crank Sturgeon, Deletist, Drums Like Machineguns, Valerio Cosi, Eats Tapes, Evil Moisture, No Doctors, Two Dead Sluts, One Good Fuck, Leslie Keffer and about a million more.... The nature of 215+ 13-second compositions strung together non-stop without room to take a breath pretty much ensures that this cd will be catalogued in most libraries and music shops in the experimental/noise section. Unfortunate really, since while it definitely has its share of earwax-dislodging aggressive assaults, it also has quite a few shining moments of artful sound design and subtle songcraft that defy genre-fication. And somehow, the bits of noise, and the bits of prettier sound, do balance out, almost seeming to play off one another, or at the very least, slowly seep into each other, helping form what is ultimately a constantly shifting somewhat schizophrenic sonic whole. It's an overwhelming and intense listening experience, another one for the iron eared, or at least the adventure eared, and while we just listened to the whole thing all the way through, for the third or fourth time, for some folks it might work better in smaller chunks, because admittedly for some tracks the 13 seconds seems like an eternity, while others fly by all too swiftly. That said, we just started it over again from the top...
"1 (Different Dentist / Beta CLoud / To Live And SHave In L.A.)" MPEG Stream:
"2 (Migrations In Rust / Deep Fried Radio Static / Rubber O Cement)" MPEG Stream:
"3 (I Am Spoonbender / I Think I Did Something Wrong)" MPEG Stream:
"4 (Neon Leather Drip / Big Epoch Feat. Bizzart)" MPEG Stream:
"5 (Cheap Machines / Animal Hospital / Beneya Vs. Clark Nova)"
V/A ... (Edition...) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This curiously titled compilation from Edition... doesn't want to make the process of uncovering its intentions and potential meanings an easy task, by obscuring the context of how this is to be heard, read, investigated, etc. Edition... has packaged this compilation as a digipack, complete with luminously eerie photographs that are grainier versions of Todd Hido or Dianne Jones (who has shot all of the Tarentel covers, amongst other projects) and absolutely no text. All of the liner notes have been compressed onto one of those circular pieces of paper that fits behind the cd itself and is normally filled with obnoxious marketing questions, only to end up in the trash instead of the post. But it would be wise not to dispose of that enigmatic piece of paper, as there you will learn that Colin Potter, Monos, Hazard, Jliat, M. Behrens, Toy Bizarre, Jio Shimizu, and Steven Lance Ledbetter have all contributed to this compilation. Such a line-up situates this "..." within the area of dronologist investigations, transforming shortwave, field recordings, very specific frequency modulations, and organ fans into eerie drone pieces that hover between contemplative and unnerving. Interspersed within these tracks, Edition... has included straight field recordings of errata in shortwave transmissions, fragments from SETI research, and data retreived from seismic sensors after nuclear tests in India in 1998. These very specific references are tenuously linked to the realm of the conspiracy theory. Regardless of how all of these elements are supposed to appear, this compilation makes for a great listen from begining to end.
NUCLEAR TEST FROM INDIA "11 May 1998" RealAudio clip:
TOY BIZARRE "kdi dctb 066b" RealAudio clip:
HAZARD "Rotation Evident" RealAudio clip:
V/A ...E Tu Vivrai Nel Terrore (Black Widow) 2cd + book 29.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Here's the weird Italian label Black Widow's massive double cd tribute to horror cinema (Italian and otherwise) featuring an international array of psych/prog acts: Ars Nova, Claudio Simonetti of Goblin, Humus, Northwinds, the Bevis Frond, Nekropolis, Morte Macabre, Tenebre, Malombra, Standarte, Sundial, and many many more. Some bands cover movie themes, others write songs *about* favorite films... An eerie and atmospheric homage to the likes of The Omen, Psychomania, Suspiria, The Devils, The Exorcist, etc. AND, to really make the mouth water, this comes with an really nice 80 page softcover book with essays about the horror movie genre (directors, films) and details on each band's contribution. It's an Italian import, and we don't have many...
V/A .AIFF (12K) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Compiling the experimental / minimal / synthetic realms of post-techno from the more dancefloor friendly pulses of Taylor Dupree and Kim Rapatti (whose track is an exceptionally good variant of Sahko's frigid melodies of bleeps set against a skeletal structure of techno beats) to the more piercing sinewave modulations of Komet (Raster Music), Goem (Korm Plastics, Mego) and *O (whose pure tones are some of the most head rattling noises this side of Ryoji Ikeda). All of the tracks are previously unreleased.
V/A 0161 (Skam) cd 19.98
After licensing the "Skampler" to Silent Records, Skam has issued an excellent collection of Manchester's finest beat-heavy electronica. Following the leads set by Autechre (recording here as Gescom), the artists include Bola, Jega, Audiomontage, The Fall (yes, Mark E. Smith does electronica!) and more... The only e-music record in a long time that's good enough to excite Jim!
V/A 1-8 Split Series (Fat Cat) cd 14.98
Fat Cat Records has so far released 10 of their acclaimed split 12"s featuring a medley of engaging tracks from electronica technicians, dronologists, noise makers, and pranksters. This cd collects 11 of the tracks which had been featured on the series, with contributions from Third Eye Foundation, Gescom vs. Ad Vanz, Chasm (aka Robert Hampson of Main), James Plotkin, Merzbow, Foehn (who has contributed some of the finest dronework that few have heard!), Team Doyobi, V/VM, Speedranch & Janski Noise, and Req. Sadly the brilliant darkness from Anthony Child / Andrew Read didn't made it on the compilation, as was the same fate for a track claimed to be done by Pole (which turned out to be a fabrication of Pole's electronica dub and forced Fat Cat to order the destruction of the pressing, thus making the James Plotkin track pretty much exclusive to this cd).
V/A 10 Tons Heavy (Planet Mu) 2cd 13.98
V/A 100 Moons: Hindustani Vocal Art, 1930-55 (Mississippi / Canary) lp 14.98
***MISSISSIPPI ALERT***MISSISSIPPI ALERT***** Mississippi brings us another incredible collection, this time of Hindustani classical vocal music from 1930-1955 compiled from rare 78's. During the time this music was recorded, the British rule of India was losing its hold, and by 1947 India had become independent. So this is music made during much strife, from different regions. peoples and cultures that make up the population of India, a place Westerners tend to think of as a singular monoculture. Vocal music to most Indians is considered the higher musical art form over instrumentalists, because the range, complexity and connection to breath and life of the voice is the idealized standard to which all other instruments are based. In the voice, all the variants of cultures, regions and religions are represented and can be distinctly understood from each other and how they relate to the concept of a unified India. This beautiful collection of vocal music features both female and male singers both well-known and obscure (though they are mostly all obscure to us!) including Faiyaz Khan Hirabai Barodekar, Dattreya Vishnu Paluskar, and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, with instrumental accompaniment of tambouras and sarods, that is dreamy, meditative and powerful. Comes with a booklet with photos and liner notes biographical and historical background of all of the singers, written by Ian Nagoski. Amazing!
V/A 100% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
V/A 100% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A 100% Dynamite NYC! (Soul Jazz) 2cd 25.00
V/A 100% Dynamite NYC! Volume 1 (Soul Jazz) 2lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A 100% Dynamite NYC! Volume 2 (Soul Jazz) 2lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A 12" / 80s (Family Recordings) 3cd 28.00
Back in the '80s there was an abundance of dance pop 12"s coming out of the UK. Seemed that any ol' song could be hoisted up to dancefloor hit heights via the wonders of the extended mix (or if you prefer: the long version, 12" mix, long mix, discotheque, mixe plurale, dancing remixes et al). Nothing like spending a little more time spinnin' around the dancefloor (or hoppin' about in your bedroom) with your fave songs, eh? This triple cd set corrals some of the most inescapable 12"s and shows just how much of a musical mixed bag the '80s were. If you were born anytime before 1979, most if not all of these tracks will ring a bell (perhaps for some a louder, more garrish bell than others). Each disc contains twelve tracks each, which if you do the math, adds up to thirty six different 12"s (or 432 inches)! Although that barely scratches the surface, the compilation does hit the '80s nostalgia button with alarming accuracy -- from the impossibly vapid (Stephen 'Tin Tin' Duffy's "Kiss Me", Curiosity Killed The Cat's "Down To Earth" and Animotion's "Obsession" ) to the absolutely delicious (Soft Cell's "Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go" and Fun Boy Three's "Our Lips Are Sealed") to the classic (Siouxsie And The Banshees' "Spellbound", Talk Talk's "It's My Life", The Cure's "A Forest" and Bauhaus' "She's In Parties"). You also get ABC, Spandau Ballet, Human League, Yazoo, Kid Creole & The Coconuts, Propaganda, Hipsway, Aztec Camera, Tom Tom Club, The Passions, Pete Wylie, Japan, Blow Monkeys, Simply Red, Simple Minds, Monsoon, The Icicle Works, Tears For Fears, Lloyd Cole, Visage, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Jam, Black, Man Parrish, Scritti Politti and Grace Jones... did we/they miss anybody? Hmmm, the only glaring omissions we've come up with are Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, Blancmange, Wang Chung... uh oh, maybe we should stop now. You'll probably find (as we did) that some of these songs that you adored so throughly back in the day have aged far less gracefully than others. Some are downright cringe-inducing (yikes, did I really like THAT!?). For one thing, there's enough of those whiteboy soul affectations here to sink a rather large teakettle. Nevertheless, sure to satisfy even your most insatiable '80s craving! (Pssst, as we write this, Deborah 'Debbie' Gibson is taking the stage at Cafe Du Nord here in SF!)
SOFT CELL "Tainted Love / Where Did Our Love Go" MPEG Stream:
JONES, GRACE "Pull Up To The Bumper"
V/A 12k 1008 (12K) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The second compilation from Taylor Deupree's label of electronic glitch sterility features the now standard line up of Richard Chartier, *O, Tetsu Inoue, Kim Cascone, and Goem, with some fresh blood from Komet, Surge, Miki Yui, and Shuttle 358. Can't really say how this varies from last week's collection of "inaudible tones and ear-itching stereo tactics," but if you're into that sort of thing, like we are...
V/A 135 Grand Street New York 1979 (Soul Jazz) cd 14.98
V/A 156 Strings (Cuneiform) cd 14.98
Inspired by past compilations of avant-garde guitar explorations assembled by John Fahey and Fred Frith, the Bay Area's own well-known guitar experimentalist Henry Kaiser has put together this collection of acoustic solos by many of today's most amazing guitar innovators, 19 of 'em in fact: Duck Baker, Stefan Basho-Junghans, Raoul Bjorkenheim, Jean-Paul Bourelly, Nels "AQ Loves Me" Cline, Janet Feder, Fred Frith, Michael Gulezian, Richard Leo Johnson, Mike Keneally, Peter Lang, Scott McGill, Shawn Persinger is Prester John, Rod Poole, Gyan Riley, Miroslav Tadic, Richard Thompson, U Tin, and Kaiser himself (hey, why no Eugene Chadbourne?). These guys (yeah, they're all guys except for Ms. Feder, but what can you do?) hail from around the world and have unique, personal approaches to playing. Moods here range from the pastoral idyll of Brit folkie Thompson to the minimalist soundscaping of Frith, from the faux-raga like slide work of Bjorkenheim to the authentically Robbie Basho-like exotica of U Tin, from the country pickin' of Lang to the percussive melodicism of Bourelly, from the scraping drone-folk of Feder (we want to hear more!) to the repetitive trance-induction of Rod Poole, from the sprightly, jazzish jingle of Persinger to the melancholic classical playing of Gyan Riley. The disc ends with Steffen Basho-Junghan's epic, experimental, fucked up but lovely sounding "Part 1 from the Virgin Orchestra No.1", a piece that Kaiser cites as the cornerstone of this comp. And it's the pretty great finale to this gorgeous, fascinating album. Kaiser intends "156 Strings" to highlight those carrying on the work of iconoclastic instrumental steel-string guitar pioneers like Fahey, Basho and Kottke, a tradition driven underground by the more commerical, less challenging New Age guitar genre those same folks helped create. Also, funnily enough, a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this comp go to benefit H.E.A.R. (Hearing Education and Awareness for Rockers). Don't worry, there's no need for earplugs with this one!
GYAN RILEY "Eyes of Orion" RealAudio clip:
MICHAEL GULEZIAN "Plook The Asbestos Lobster" RealAudio clip:
JANET FEDER "Lightning Strikes" RealAudio clip:
STEFFEN BASHO-JUNGHANS "Part 1 from the Virgin Orchestra No.1"
V/A 19 Ways To Avoid The Draft (Airborne Virus / Mar/ino) cd 14.98
A joint release between new labels Airborne Virus and Mar/ino, an imprint of Michigan's Elsie and Jack label (they released an Aube cd and the Tabata solo record some time ago). Features tracks by 555 artists Empress, Steward and Halkyn as well as many others including Electroscope, Gang Wizard, Minmae and cLOUDDEAD. An odd collection, for sure. Be sure to check out Mar/ino's new, limited-run releases by Kawabata Makoto and Outerdrive!
V/A 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground (Sublime Frequencies) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another out of print, previously vinyl only Sublime Frequencies gem gets a long overdue cd reissue. We wanted to make this a Record Of The Week when the lp first came out, but there are still so many folks out there sans turntable, we figured we oughta just wait for the cd, and now it's here, so we can indeed finally lavish this record with the Record Of The Week honors it so totally deserves. Yet another winner from Sublime Frequencies (have they ever released a loser? We think not). And like many of the Sublime Frequencies before it, we find it hard to not think that maybe folks don't need to be making so much music, releasing so many records, when so much amazing outrageously creative music is already being and has been made all over the world, for so long, much of it never heard outside of a very few people. Maybe we should have some sort of national policy, where bands can turn in their instruments, and in exchange get a recorder, a plane ticket, and an expense account, with which they can roam the world bringing back some of that unheard and lost music. Heck, sign us up right now! Anyway, this new release is a collection of Rai music from the early seventies, from Algeria, and these particular cuts are samples of some of the sort of "outlaw" Rai performers, a modern strain that has been neglected and ignored, and takes this classic Algerian music form, and adds electric guitar, trumpets, wah wah pedal, and whips it all up into an infectious brew equal parts Ethiopiques, Bollywood and garage rock. Or something close to that. This stuff is truly hard to describe, and the liner notes, while informative, are printed on an eye popping blue on red old school 3-D colored background which makes the text swim and sway before your eyes. And offer more on the history and the players than what Rai music actually is (there's a good description on Wikipedia). But for the purpose of this review, as it should be, we'll just focus on the sound. And what a sound! Warm whirring organ drones, trumpets EVERYWHERE, really the defining sound, wild chaotic tribal drumming, crooned dramatic vocals, groovy, soulful, funky, raw and lo-fi, like a garage rock Ethiopiques, but with a strangely raw Bollywood vibe, the trumpets peppering the murky grooves with strange fanfares and jazzy melodies, here and there distorted guitars surface, wrapped in wah wah, reverb and echo all over the place, some songs super frenzied, others laid back and dreamy, Indian melodies draped over almost surfy grooves, really pretty fantastic. Hard to imagine that folks who have been digging all the Sublime Frequencies releases, or the Yaala Yaala reissues won't go crazy for this stuff. Group Doueh, Group Inerane, and now this, a pretty mind blowing, near perfect, far out world music three-fer, and that's not even counting the 30+ release that came before. ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED.
BELLEMOU & BENFISSA "Li Maandouche L'Auto" MPEG Stream:
GROUPE EL AZHAR "Mazal Nesker Mazal" MPEG Stream:
GROUPE EL AZHAR "Touedar Aakli"
V/A 1970's Algerian Proto-Rai Underground (Sublime Frequencies) lp 27.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Another winner from Sublime Frequencies. And while we made sure to stress that past "vinyl-only" were indeed vinyl only, lately, those vinyl releases have been slowly making it to cd. BUT, for the vinyl folks out there, these do disappear fast, and fetch big bucks on eBay once they're gone, so you're not gonna want to snooze on this one. Listening to this again, now, for maybe the 20th time in 2 days, it's becoming clear we'll probably have to make this a Record Of The Week as soon as it comes out on cd, but for now, even though it's only a highlight, it really couldn't be more of a MUST OWN. And like many of the Sublime Frequencies before it, we find it hard to not think that maybe folks don't need to be making so much music, releasing so many records, when so much amazing outrageously creative music is already being and has been made all over the world, for so long, much of it never heard outside of a very few people. Maybe we should have some sort of national policy, where bands can turn in their instruments, and in exchange get a recorder, a plane ticket, and an expense account, with which they can roam the world bringing back some of that unheard and lost music. Heck, sign us up right now! Anyway, this new release is a collection of Rai music from the early seventies, from Algeria, and these particular cuts are samples of some of the sort of "outlaw" Rai performers, a modern strain that has been neglected and ignored, and takes this classic Algerian music form, and adds electric guitar, trumpets, wah wah pedal, and whips it all up into an infectious brew equal parts Ethiopiques, Bollywood and garage rock. Or something close to that. This stuff is truly hard to describe, and the liner notes, while informative, are printed on an eye popping blue on red old school 3-D colored background which makes the text swim and sway before your eyes. And offer more on the history and the players than what Rai music actually is (there's a good description on Wikipedia). But for the purpose of this review, as it should be, we'll just focus on the sound. And what a sound! Warm whirring organ drones, trumpets EVERYWHERE, really the defining sound, wild chaotic tribal drumming, crooned dramatic vocals, groovy, soulful, funky, raw and lo-fi, like a garage rock Ethiopiques, but with a strangely raw Bollywood vibe, the trumpets peppering the murky grooves with strange fanfares and jazzy melodies, here and there distorted guitars surface, wrapped in wah wah, reverb and echo all over the place, some songs super frenzied, others laid back and dreamy, Indian melodies draped over almost surfy grooves, really pretty fantastic. Hard to imagine that folks who have been digging all the Sublime Frequencies releases, or the Yaala Yaala reissues won't go crazy for this stuff. Group Doueh, Group Inerane, and now this, a pretty mind blowing, near perfect, far out world music three-fer, and that's not even counting the 30+ release that came before. ABSOLUTELY RECOMMENDED. LIMITED TO 1500 COPIES, 180 gram vinyl, super thick gatefold sleeve, full color, with tons of photos and liner notes inside.
V/A 2 Many DJ's - As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 2 (PIAS) cd 21.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. This disc is so great! It's an uninterrupted one hour mix, and it's one of the best I have ever heard. Stephen and David Dewaele, the two Belgian brothers who play in the band Soulwax plumbed their record collections for everything from totally obscure forgotten tracks to universally popular ones. One of the best pieces overlays Salt 'n Pepa singing "Push It" over The Stooges' "No Fun", which you may also have heard on the (now out-of-print) Best Bootlegs in the World comp. I find 2 Many DJs better than the best Bootlegs comp, actually, because  it's a perfectly sequenced smooth mix, all the tracks flow into the next, lots of overlap, and  it's not just popular hits being mashed up, it's gems from 2 very smart music fanatics' collections. I mean, who knew that Destiny's Child's theme to Charlie's Angels would work so well over Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", or that a Peaches chord progression's secret twin is a Velvet Underground song? The endearingly simple 2 Many DJs website lists all the tracks used, along with juicy gossip about how hard or easy it was to get clearance for each one and tracks whose owners *refused* clearance. (If you're crafty you'll be able to find these tracks on the net as mp3s anyway -- I'm downloading the Skee-Lo/"Eye of the Tiger" mix right now.) This is SO MUCH FUN. Look for it to go out of print sooner rather than later -- don't hesitate. Highly recommended.
"tracks 1-2 part 1" RealAudio clip:
"tracks 1-2 part 2" RealAudio clip:
"tracks 17-18" RealAudio clip:
"tracks 3-4" RealAudio clip:
"track 21" RealAudio clip:
V/A 20 Film and Stage Classics Jamaican Style (Trojan) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. I don't know if I have ever heard a bad Trojan compilation. Classic ska, rocksteady, and reggae versions of the theme from "Shaft", "Moon River," "The Magnificent Seven," "Summertime," "From Russia with Love," and more.
V/A 200 (Planet Mu) 2cd 9.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Great dubstep comp!!
V/A 200 (Planet Mu) 2lp 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Great dubstep comp!!
V/A 200% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
V/A 200% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A 2000 Teenbeat Sampler (TeenBeat) cd 5.98
Teenbeat Records' sampler for the new millennium, featuring: Panax, The Rondelles, Flin Flon, Butch Willis & D Flat, Mark Borthwick/Holland, Versus, Phil Krauth and more. On each of the fifteen tracks here, you can definitely tell Teenbeat's kingpin Mark Robinson gave the thumbs up. Drifting laidback strumming (Versus), quirky-noisy lo-fi (Jonny Cohen & Co.), polished hook-laden pop (Panax). Indeed it may even be said that this compilation as a whole reflects Mr. Robinson's own extensive musical career. All this for a super low price.
V/A 23 Drifts To Guestling (Iham Products) cd 17.98
V/A 25 Years of Rough Trade Shops (Rough Trade / Mute) 4cd 30.00
It should be noted that this is a compilation to celebrate 25 years of Rough Trade SHOPS and NOT a retrospective of Rough Trade, the label. Having said that, this is a fine collection of independent music from the past 25 years. Featuring some rare and exclusive material, these four CDs cover the wide spectrum of independent music. Bands contributing: Buzzcocks, The Congos, Subway Sect, Television Personalities, Stiff Little Fingers, The Normal, Throbbing Gristle (!), Cabaret Voltaire, Pixies, Swell Maps, Joy Division, The Fall, Scritti Politti, Lee Perry, Cocteau Twins, The Smiths, The Birthday Party, Einsturzende Neubauten, Nick Cave, Sonic Youth, Sugarcubes, Le Tigre, Mudhoney, Coil, Stereolab, Mazzy Star, Chills, Gescom, Cornershop, Chemical Brothers, I Am Kloot, Studio Pressure, Spacemen 3, Talking Heads, Boards of Canada, Gak, Jeb Loy Nichols, Clinic, Huggy Bear, Peaches, Lemon Jelly, Ryan Adams, Tindersticks, Pere Ubu, Native Hipsters, Echoboy, Lambchop, and Young Marble Giants!
V/A 2XH vs. HHR Vol. 1 - Where Is My Robotic Boot? (Hydra Head) 2cd 14.98
This "co-operative venture" between the 2XH and Hydra Head Records labels (both divisions of the same company, in reality) brings together fifteen both relatively well-known and obscure names from both the worlds of current underground metal/grind and experimental electronic drone, spreading their darkness and dis-ease across two entire compact discs. On the first disc, dedicated to acts on the more 'experimental' 2XH imprint, we hear from Final, Shifts, Stephen O'Malley (of SUNNO))) and Khanate), Craig Dongoski, Tribes Of Neurot, Monotonos, Merzbow and Kid606. Indeed, no comp would be complete without a Kid606 contribution, so how about two? His typically crazed tracks bookend the calmer drones of the other 2XH entries, which range from ambient delay-scape of Monotonos to the heavy-duty noise of Merzbow (a good one!) to the shortwave voice sampling cacophony of Mr. Dongoski... We're pretty sure that anyone who liked that Record Of Shadows Infinite comp we reviewed last list will also enjoy these selections. Crossing over to the more metallic disc 2, Hydra Head's half of this, we enter a realm of spastic brutality. Most of the bands represented here, like Jan Michael Vincent Car Crash (who get two tracks like the Kid on disc 1), The Abandoned Hearts Club, The Austerity Program, Gezoleen, Phantomsmasher and Orthrelm -- are basically aggro, arty, ADD avant-metal, all pretty amazing stuff for those into the likes of Melt Banana and Fantomas... There's also a track from Khanate, doing "German Dental Work" live on WFMU, and though they're more of a creepy crawl than careening chaos, they still fit in there on this heavy and manic disc. So, which disc you like better may depend on your mood at the moment (or how you want your mood to be). Both are impressive and make us look forward to vol. 2 (wherein, also, maybe we'll be enlightened about this robotic boot business). Graphically, this disc's artwork is suitably glitchy, computery and dense looking, and the liner notes -- by our own Jim Haynes -- quite adequately explain the aesthetic represented by these two labels and the bands on these two discs.
STEPHEN O'MALLEY "Gui-Fang" MPEG Stream:
JAN MICHAEL VINCENT CAR CRASH "North London Book Of The Dead"
V/A 30/4 (Fragment Factory) cd 17.98
Yup, a well-curated compilation of abject sound poetry, discombobulated avant-turntablism, and thrumming noise decomposition from the German imprint Fragment Factory with contributions from some heavyweights like Leif Elggren and Aaron Dilloway, some stalwart sewer dwellers in AMK and GX Juppiter-Larsen, and a sampling from the global noise sub-underground. Joachim Montessuis hails from this latter camp, and opens the comp with a harrowing rendition of the Hugo Ball poem "Karawane", which was a piece of Dada nonsense from 1916 predating Schwitters' opus "Ursonnate" by a few years. This version is bellowed, gasped, and gargled not only through larynx acrobatics but also a scabrous array of sound obliterating devices and death-ray granular synthesis. Leif Elggren and Michael Barthel offer similar variations on the art-damaged madman, with Elggren channeling the neurotic dreams of dead queens and philosophers amidst a barrage of radio static, while Barthel takes a more classic sound poetry approach of chopped syllables and pained yelping. Of the more collage / noise / drone / fucked tracks, Krube's manipulation of rusted found objects, rocks, and bones is in a state of constant shattering, with eerie beds of crudely prepared piano drone all recalling the early creepfests from the NWW/C93 axis way back when. GX Juppiter-Larsen powers through grinding noise loops whose incessant rhythms achieve hypnosis through information overload. The Dilloway track is a bit surprising as a raw presentation of field recordings with radioactive tones and drones, with hardly any Frankensteinian overtures through lurching loops. It's a nice turn in Dilloway's aesthetic, and one that we would certainly welcome. AMK, Philip Marshall, Giuseppe Ielasi, Michael Muennich, and Michael Esposito round out this limited compendium, released in an edition of 300 copies.
JOACHIM MONTESSUIS "Karawane (Hugo Ball 1916)" MPEG Stream:
AARON DILLOWAY "Final Date With USS Urgo" MPEG Stream:
KRUBE. "Wenn Ich Die Augen Schliesse, Sehe Ich Nichts Meh" MPEG Stream:
LEIF ELGGREN "Twenty One Twenty Two"
V/A 300% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
Truly dynamite! Yes, it's sooo very true. The third volume of this Soul Jazz Records series is exactly that from start to finish. An extensive array of sounds from Jamaica: ska, dancehall, soul, rocksteady, calypso, funk, and dub. It's all here. The 15 tracks here feature the likes of Prince Buster, Lee Perry, Augustus Pablo, Sister Nancy, Byron Lee, Jackie Mittoo, and more! We also have the first and second volumes ("100%" and "200%") in the series, also great (and also $17.98).
V/A 300% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Truly dynamite! Yes, it's sooo very true. The third volume of this Soul Jazz Records series is exactly that from start to finish. An extensive array of sounds from Jamaica: ska, dancehall, soul, rocksteady, calypso, funk, and dub. It's all here. The 15 tracks here feature the likes of Prince Buster, Lee Perry, Augustus Pablo, Sister Nancy, Byron Lee, Jackie Mittoo, and more! We also have the first and second volumes ("100%" and "200%") in the series, also great (and also $17.98).
V/A 33 RPM: Ten Hours of Sound from France (23five) cd 14.98
With a government that legitimately funds the arts, France has long been at the forefront of sound art, electronic music, and experimentation in general. This tradition began with the inception of INA GRM, a pioneering institution dedicated to advancements in sound experimentation. While the most lasting contribution INA GRM offers is the Musique Concrete experiments of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henri, an impressive list of composers have passed through the INA GRM studios, including Eliane Radigue, Luc Ferrari, Bernard Parmegiani, and Michel Chion. However, the impact of INA GRM has been a blessing and a curse for French sound art, as its institutionality offers impeccable facilities and opportunities to those following the program, while marginalizing those who fall outside of its aesthetics and ideals. The historical splinters and fluctuations of French sound art has not gone unnoticed, as Laurent Dailleau organized the third co-presentation between 23five and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The result of Dailleau's efforts was a 10 hour listening room experience, presenting historical material dating back to the early 1950s. The CD compendium of 33 RPM celebrates the contemporary models that French composers have employed in response to the historical influences of INA GRM. The artists featured on 33 RPM include Kasper T. Toeplitz, Kristoff K. Roll, Jean-Claude Risset, Lionel Marchetti, Christophe Havel, Laurent Dailleau, Mathieu Chamagne, pizMO, Jean-Phillipe Gross, and Mimetic. Armed with current tools of DSP factories and Max-MSP patches, this selection of French artists tends to concentrate on the acousmatic ends of the electro-acoustic spectrum. As with the two previous 23five / SFMOMA presentations, 33 RPM is a great collection.
KASPER T. TOEPLITZ "PURR #2" MPEG Stream:
LIONEL MARCHETTI "A Rebours" MPEG Stream:
JEAN-PHILIPPE GROSS "Gris Epais"
V/A 3rd Base (Base Records) cd 16.98
3rd Base features a selection of varied works from Base Records artists such as Rehberg/Bauer, The Smiling Buddhas, Alois Huber, Schlund, The K, Swamp Swallow, Martha Hurry and Aural Screenshots with James Plotkin (Old, Phantomsmasher, Atomsmasher, etc).
V/A 400% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) cd 21.00
"400% Dynamite" is the fourth and undeniably the best in the series of Jamaican grooves as compiled by Soul Jazz Records. There's the dubbed out dancehall raggamuffin chants from Barrington Levy and Tenor Saw & Buju Bantu (whose cut "Ring The Alarm Quick" may inspire us to venture further into dancehall); the soulful rocksteady of Prince Buster and Toots & The Maytals; the classic early ska sounds of The Cimerons. Come to think of it, there's not a single track here which isn't fantastic. I don't even think we can say that about those universally loved Trojan compilations!
BUJU BANTON "Ring The Alarm" RealAudio clip:
LLOYD ROBINSON "Cuss Cuss"
V/A 400% Dynamite (Soul Jazz) 2lp 24.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. "400% Dynamite" is the fourth and undeniably the best in the series of Jamaican grooves as compiled by Soul Jazz Records. There's the dubbed out dancehall raggamuffin chants from Barrington Levy and Tenor Saw & Buju Bantu (whose cut "Ring The Alarm Quick" may inspire us to venture further into dancehall); the soulful rocksteady of Prince Buster and Toots & The Maytals; the classic early ska sounds of The Cimerons. Come to think of it, there's not a single track here which isn't fantastic. I don't even think we can say that about those universally loved Trojan compilations!
V/A 45 Second Of: (Simball Records) cd 14.98
99 artists given 45 seconds to do as they wish. It's best to think of this like an audio equivalent of an Exquisite Corpse, the Surrealist parlor game in which a drawing or a sentence would be created by a group of people, who had concealed the nature of the preceding drawings or words, and thus often resulting in absurd creations that characterized the "unconscious reality of the personality of the group." Artists include: Safety Scissors, Stars As Eyes, Lali Puna, D84 (aka Blevin Blectum), Hood, John Tejada, Phthalocyanine, Languis, Sutekh, Tarentel, Martin Rev, Kim Cascone, Jan Jelinek, DJ Spooky, and dozens more. In case anybody cares, the Coelacanth found on this compilation is not the same Coelacanth comprised of Loren Chasse and AQ's Jim Haynes. Oh well.
V/A 45'18" (Korm Plastics) cd 15.98
This is a compilation of various interpretations / performances / covers of John Cage's infamous composition 4'33," by Keith Rowe, Artificial Memory Trace, Thurston Moore, Pauline Oliveros, Jio Shimizu, Voice Crack, Clive Graham, Toshiya Tsunoda, Alignment, and Frans De Waard. Right now, you should already know your opinion of this. Our opinion: this is pretentious crap from people who should know better; and if you must know, there are a couple of tracks with sound on it, and a bunch without. What kind of sound, you might ask? Does it really matter?
JIO SHIMIZU "4'33"" RealAudio clip:
KEITH ROWE "4'33"" RealAudio clip:
PAULINE OLIVEROS "4'33""
V/A 5 Years Of Hyperdub (Hyperdub) 2cd 28.00
We have been dying for this. A double disc collection, gathering up all the bad ass-est 12" sides from the last 5 years, released on the Hyperdub label, who have pretty much single handedly transformed dubstep into something more than just a beat and a bassline, so much so, it's not entirely accurate to call this a dubstep comp, sure a lot of this will push all your dubstep buttons, that beat, the fuzzy synth basslines, but so many of these songs use those elements as a jumping off point, taking THAT sound in a million different directions. Check the list of artists, and that alone should probably have most of you reaching for that click to buy button: Kode9 & The Spaceape, Darkstar, Zomby, Burial, Flying Lotus, Martyn, Joker, The Bug, and loads more. But it's the sound, and the sounds happening on these 12"s, that have helped make Hyperdub, THE electronic label, and listening to these two discs, it's easy to see why. Dark, heavy, haunting, mysterious, stuttery, groovy, the interesting thing is how many of these jams are vocal driven, which in most cases would be a total turnoff, but instead, the vocals are seamlessly incorporated, sometimes being chopped and looped into rhythms, other times carrying the melody, in the case of Spaceape, offering a haunting dialogue, but those vocals add a pop element that make many of these songs crazy catchy. Sure, lots of the songs are stripped down dubbed out instrumentals, and those tracks do rule, but it's a measure of the label. and the artists that they've helped redefine a sound with fairly distinct parameters, and in doing so created some of the most far out and progressive electronic music we've heard in ages. From super skeletal stripped down dubstep, to skittery glitchstep, to warm languid pulsing minimalism, to block rocking big beated synth step, to loping electro future funk, to lush, almost indie sounding downtempo, to 8-bit Goblin-esque squiggle and glitch... it goes on and on. There are some serious classics, Kode9's "9 Samurai" is so evocative, like a dubstep DJ Shadow, "South London Burroughs" by Burial, is fierce and jagged and about as heavy as dubstep gets, we could probably go track by track, but you probably get the picture, this RULES. Easily the most essential electronic music / dubstep / whatever collection of the year! Comes in a cool mini, slimline dvd style case, with full color cover and printed full color booklet / insert / tracklisting.
KODE9 "Time Patrol (Featuring Cha Cha)" MPEG Stream:
SAMIYAM "Roller Skates" MPEG Stream:
BLACK CHOW "Purple Smoke" MPEG Stream:
BURIAL "Fostercare" MPEG Stream:
IKONIKA "Sahara Michael"