V/A Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan (Sublime Frequencies) cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. I remember when the Butthole Surfers' Locust Abortion Technician came out, how blown away I was by the album. On top of all their own material, here was this totally weird song which they irreverantly looped over one word that happened to sound like an English vernacular term for female genitalia. Funny the first time through, I always wanted a copy of the original recording which the Surfers lifted that track from because I thought it just kicked ass in its own right. I know you think I'm gonna say that that song is on this collection. Sorry, it's not. But if you loved that song "Kuntz" for what it was (despite Gibby's juvenile chicanery), you'll definitely be excited by the Molam tracks on this disc. Compiled by Mark Gergis (I Remember Syria, Cambodian Cassette Archives, Neung Phak) from a multitude of sources -- LPs, 45s and cassettes -- this collection of Molam comes from a distinct window in Isan, Thailand history. Molam, which comes from the rural areas of Northeastern Thailand and neighboring Laos, was for many years generally charactarized by male and female vocals backed by the khaen (a free-reed mouth organ). Migrating rural Thai and Laotian people to the cities modernized their Molam with electric guitars, bass, drums and keyboards and the music spread like a fad to the urban population. Inevitably, through the ever changing nature of music, and the economically driven producers, the electronic keyboard surpassed the need for a band and the music was more often than not reduced to the standard pop that is ubiquitous throughout Thailand. This then is a time capsule of the glory days of molam gone electric. Fans of Neung Phak will be familiar with the track which begins this collection, as it's also the opening track of Neung Phak's debut. So those of you who thought Mark couldn't tune his bass can hear his alibi playing the original tune off key as is the style. Certainly fans of the Cambodian Rocks albums should take heed here, but will find a collection of tracks that are much more removed from Western rock. Firstly, there are no covers of rock songs, nor are the melodies here even related -- except by chance -- to Western pop. These are all traditional tunes that have merely been arranged with modern electric instrumentation (which isn't to say that you won't here any khaen on these tunes). It is the vocals though that are what really drive these songs, modernized or no. With melodies that seem utterly independent of what the band is playing, the lilting, almost yodelled, singing is unlike that of any other region in the world. Dare I say it's sultry. Oh so very highly recommended!!
KWANJAI KALASIN YUK PATANA "Chiwit Sao Molam" MPEG Stream:
GAWOW SEUNGTHONG "Ow Mai Ow" MPEG Stream:
CHAAN SIANG PHIN "Sao Noi Makaleng"
V/A Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan (Sublime Frequencies) 2lp 29.00
This long long long our of print aQ favorite, finally reissued, on vinyl!! Here's what we said when we first listed the original cd version way back in 2005: We remember when the Butthole Surfers' Locust Abortion Technician came out, how blown away we were by the album. On top of all their own material, here was this totally weird song that they irreverently looped over one word that happened to sound like English slang for female genitalia. Funny the first time through, we always wanted a copy of the original recording that the Surfers lifted that track from because we all thought it just kicked so much ass in its own right. Looped and messed with or not. And now you're probably freaking out, thinking we're about to say that THAT song is on this collection. Sorry, it's not. But if you loved that song "Kuntz" for what it was (despite Gibby's juvenile chicanery), you'll definitely be excited by the Molam tracks on this disc. Compiled by Mark Gergis (I Remember Syria, Cambodian Cassette Archives, Neung Phak, now the Sham Palace label, and loads more) from a multitude of sources - lps, 45s and cassettes - this collection of Molam music comes from a distinct window in Isan, Thailand history. Molam, which comes from the rural areas of Northeastern Thailand and neighboring Laos, was for many years generally characterized by male and female vocals backed by the khaen (a free-reed mouth organ). Migrating rural Thai and Laotian people to the cities modernized their Molam with electric guitars, bass, drums and keyboards and the music spread like wildfire to the urban population. Inevitably, through the ever changing nature of music, and the economically driven producers, the electronic keyboard surpassed the need for a band and the music was more often than not reduced to the standard pop that is ubiquitous throughout Thailand. This then is a time capsule of the glory days of molam gone electric. Fans of aQ faves Neung Phak will no doubt be familiar with the track which begins this collection, as it's also the opening track of their debut. Certainly fans of the Cambodian Rocks compilations should take heed here as well, but will find a collection of tracks that are much more removed from Western rock. Firstly, there are no covers of popular rock songs, nor are the melodies here even related - except by chance - to Western pop. These are all traditional tunes that have merely been arranged with modern electric instrumentation (which isn't to say that you won't here any khaen on these tunes). It is the vocals though that are what really drive these songs, modernized or no. With melodies that seem utterly independent of what the band is playing, the lilting, almost yodelled, singing is unlike that of any other region in the world. Dare we say it's quite mysterious and sultry. Oh so very highly recommended!!
KWANJAI KALASIN YUK PATANA "Chiwit Sao Molam" MPEG Stream:
GAWOW SEUNGTHONG "Ow Mai Ow" MPEG Stream:
CHAAN SIANG PHIN "Sao Noi Makaleng"
V/A Molam: Thai Country Groove From Isan Vol. 2 (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. I know we went on about the Butthole Surfers when we reviewed the first volume in Sublime Frequencies' Thai Country Groove From Isan series. Hard not to, considering that most of us were first exposed to Thai music via the Buttholes, and their only slightly altered version of a classic Thai track. Minus some audio fuckery, the track was presented in its almost unaltered original form. And everyone we know loved that track, as much or more than the rest of the disc. At the time, none of the folks we knew really had any idea where to find more music like that. Years later, the Sun City Girls' Sublime Frequency label, launched a totally kick ass series of compilations, gathering amazing and mysterious music from all over Asia, one of which focused on Molam Thai music, and while it didn't include THAT track, most of the tracks did sound quite similar, some even weirder and wilder... It ended up being one of our favorite discs in the ever expanding Sublime Frequencies sonic universe... until now! Volume two is simply more of the same, but more is what we wanted, every track a gem, some weird and wacked, some achingly beautiful, all awesome. Quick background, Molam is the music that came from rural areas of Thailand and Laos, dueling female and male vocals, mouth organ, but as folks moved to the city, the music was modernized, incorporating the Western style rock band lineup, adding psychedelic fuzz guitar, electronic organ, and all manner of effects. The results are of course strange and wondrous, quirky, funky and super rocking, the guitars twang and buzz, strange little curlicues of melody, over relentless, propulsive grooves, the drums, simple and motorik, over the top, keyboards drift, and guitars occasionally explode into wild overdriven leads, before settling back into their strange convoluted melodic framework, horns moan and bleat, disco wah guitars drift over reggae like rhythms, but the vocals, wow! Much like in the first volume, it's the vocals that make it, they all seem to be singing variations of the vocal line in the Butthole Surfers' "Kuntz", that particularly sing songy lilt, sometimes spoken, other times wailed, always introducing their own melodies to the already melodically complex musical backdrop... so so so so good! Can't wait for volume three! (and while you're at it, check out the amazing Ghost Of Isan: Thailand's Psychedelic Ghost Festival dvd, rife with breathtaking imagery, and more remarkable Molam sounds...)
THONGMARK LEACHA "Are You Tired of Me Already?" MPEG Stream:
PALATNOI SONGSIM "I Love Thai Films" MPEG Stream:
GROUP SOONTOON CHAIROOGRUEN "Rice Farm Girl" MPEG Stream:
GROUP KALASIN "Instrumental Lam Sing" MPEG Stream:
SODSRI & THEPPON "Community People..."
V/A Mollie's Mix (Kill Rock Stars) cd 4.98
The third in a series to help acquaint the public with the many and differing artists on Kill Rock Stars. All 3 feature a dog belonging to an employee at krs. This hella cheap sampler illustrates how great the past year or two has been at this label. Lets see here, there's the dirty rad danciness of Gravy Train!!! and The Goxxip (you may know them as the Gossip). The vintage sweetness of Slumber Party, the flawlessness of Deerhoof, I could go on and on. The other highlights are the Bangs, Stereo Total, Quix*o*tic, Unwound and the Tight Bros From Way Back When. There are a few tracks on here that are just awful, but that's sort of inevitable with most comps, altho' we're happy to report that on this here comp they're few and far between. The Gravy Train!!!, Goxxip, Sport Murphy, and Men's Recovery Project tracks are previously unreleased!!
STEREO TOTAL "Kleptomane" RealAudio clip:
COMET GAIN "Realistes" RealAudio clip:
TIGHT BRO'S FROM WAY BACK WHEN "Bless Me"
V/A Molten Strings, Train Wrecks, And Birdsong (Students Of Decay) cd 12.98
Not sure we could've come up with a better comp if we had organized it ourselves. A tribute to the buzzing steel string, featuring a who's who of AQ faves: Birchville Cat Motel, Brothers Of The Occult Sisterhood, Peter Wright, C. Spencer Yeh, The North Sea, Robert Horton and more. Each band approaches the steel string in their own unique way, so much so that instead of bands creating music to go with the theme, bands who just inherently embody the theme were specifically chosen. Either way, this is a dandy little sampler of the current crop of string slinging free sound explorers. Creaking abstract reverb drenched soundscapes, peppered with metallic buzz, thick washes of downtuned distortion swirled into near static drones, dizzying assemblages of detuned guitars, random clatter and fluttering Renn Faire flutes, minimal industrial crunch and glitch, buzzing droning solo violin skree, deep cavernous washes of warm melodic sound, slippery slide guitars nestled in abstract smears of keening high end whir, simple near-traditional Appalachian guitar strum, murky fuzzed out blurry drifts of gristly reverberations, and some ear piercing high end sine wave screech, all in some way born of the steel string. Very nice!
BIRCHVILLE CAT MOTEL "Twin Copper Hydra" MPEG Stream:
BROTHERS OF THE OCCULT SISTERHOOD "Seraphim" MPEG Stream:
PETER WRIGHT "Paralytic Sonata Pt. 1"
V/A Money Will Ruin Everything (Rune Grammofon) book + 2cd 45.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Once again, right up front, be warned. We only got twenty of these and we were already told by our distributor that we will NOT be able to get more. Pity too, because this is an amazing compilation, gorgeous looking AND sounding. This definitive document of Norwegian improv/electronica/ambient/jazz/whatever label Rune Grammofon, a full sized, full color hardcover book / double cd compilation is the sort-of-sequel to the Love Comes Shining compliation from a few years back, and celebrates 5 years and thirty releases. The book, designed by Kim Hiorthoy, includes an interview with RG bossman Rune Kristofferson, essays from Rob Young of the Wire magazine and designer Adrian Shaugnessy, and features tons of album covers, sketches for covers, photos, and design elements that will no doubt be quite familiar to fans of the labels uniquely minimal aesthetic. It's all a little self congratulatory but what the hell, it's their party! The cds contain exclusive tracks from Supersilent, Biosphere, Alog, Food, Deathprod, Jaga Jazzist, Arve Henriksen, Kim Hiorthoy, Nils Okland, Phonophani, Archetti/Wiget, Lasse Marhaug, Information, Martin Horntveth, Fe-mail, Svalastog, Skyphone, Andre Borgen, Isak Anderssen, Stronen/Storlokken, Oivind Idso, Andreas Meland and Susanna and the Magical Orchestra as well as previously released tracks from SPUNK, Maja Ratkje, Tove Nilsen, Scorch Trio, Arne Nordheim, Jono el Grande and Monolight. Really good stuff. So act fast!
SUPERSILENT "C-5.1" MPEG Stream:
BIOSPHERE "Colpa Mia" MPEG Stream:
ALOG "St Paul Sessions II"
V/A Mongolie: Chamanes Et Lamas (Ocora) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY.
V/A Montreal Smoked Meat (Force Inc.) cd 16.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Hey Matmos, when was the last time you were in Montreal? Did you lose a powerbook there? It sure sounds like the kids in Montreal must have ransacked your gear taken all of the bits and pieces that didn't make it into "A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure" or "Quasi-Objects", and each done their best to build that 'lost' Matmos track of abstract techno counterpointed with disfigured vocal samples and compressed textural elements. I guess it depends on how you look at it, either mimicry is quite the compliment; or Akufen, Steve Beaupre, Orazio Fantini, Crackhaus, Jetone, Mitchell Akiyama, Jeff Milligan, Suna, Deadbeat, Mike Shannon, Mateo Murphy, and Eloi Brunelle all need a good spanking for their blatant plagiarism.
AKUFEN "Severed Finger Samba" RealAudio clip:
STEVE BEAUPRE "Multipass"
V/A Moonfog 2000: A Different Perspective (Moonfog) 2cd 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Norway's most advanced "black metal" label has released a fairly amazing compilation here. Moonfog's incredibly elite roster contributes exclusive material: from the blackened thrash of Eibon (the supergroup containing members of Darkthrone, Mayhem, Necrophagia, Pantera/Viking Crown, and Satyricon making their recorded debut), to Dodheimsgard's mutation into the black metal techno of their new incarnation DHG, to the primitive country/punk black metal of legends Darkthrone (recorded at Necrohell Studios, otherwise known as their 4-track machine), to intense death/black brutality from Gehenna and Thorns, and more. 25 minutes on the cutting edge of Moonfog's vision. Absolutely essential to dedicated fans and adventurous newcomers (as well as the other way around), as this comp really runs the spectrum from classic raw stuff to sacrilegious trip-hop "black metal" 2000. And, as a kind of bonus, you also get a second disc collecting popular cuts by Moonfog bands, compiled by users of The Moonfog Dungeon (i.e. website). They're all previously released tracks, so this can be regarded as a handy mix of some black metal faves.
V/A More Arctic Hysteria / Son Of Arctic Hysteria - The Later Years Of Early Finnish Avant-Garde (Love Records) cd 25.00
We've said it before, but let's say it again. WE LOVE FINLAND. We know you do too. That's why we get along so well. C'mon, Circle, Pharoah Overlord, Avarus, Anaksimadros, Paavaharju, Islaja, Kemialliset Ystavat, Aavikko, Doktor Kettu, Ektroverde, Es, Lau Nau, Kuupuu, Keuhkot, Kiila, Tiermes, Worms, Magyar Posse Pan Sonic, Uton, Thergothon, Skepticism, Finntroll, heck we could go on and on an on. And that's just the music. All the Finnish folks we know are amazing, the art and the films, the places, and don't get Andee started on Finnish pizza (the best thing I have ever eaten says Andee!!). So okay, we've established that we're all a little mad for things Finnish, especially music. Which goes a little toward explaining why we all dug the Arktinen Hysteria compilation of early experimental Finnish music from the 60's and 70's (now back in print and available again, by the way!). A perfect collection to help understand where the modern crop of Finnish experimental musicians were coming from. So maybe it was inevitable that there would be a second volume, this time covering the seventies, eighties and early nineties, and drawing an even more direct line between the above mentioned bands and their sonic forefathers. A glance at the cover, a photo of the group Reinin Myrkky (featuring a young Jimi Tenor) nude, heavily made up and all sporting tubas, is pretty much all it takes to convince you you're in for a wild ride. The tracks on this second volume are a bit more musical and a lot less primitive than the first volume, but no less strange and wonderful. From Pekka Streng's haunting psychedelic spoken word soundscapes to the Sun City Girlish avant garde folk of Karelia, to the skronky abstract jazz of the Samsa Trio, to the droning free jazz freakout of the Omar Williams Experience (sounding not a little bit like the No Neck Blues Band) to the award winning electronic experimentation of Osmo Lindeman and on and on. None of these names were at all familiar to us (outside of Pan Sonic's Mika Vainio, and Jimi Tenor, who before making it big with his cheesy easy listening music fronted a noisy industrial outfit!) but the sounds are amazing and perplexing and you can definitely hear glimpses here and there of what the musical future held for Finland, swooping analog synths, ominous space drones, full on analog synth freakout, Beefheartian jazz rock, rumbling droning free jazz skree, bizarre cabaret, pusling lo-fi proto-techno, haunting abstract ambience, Schwitters style vocalizations, gritty gauzy plunderphonic cut-ups and more! Includes a huge booklet with tons of photos, extensive liner notes as well as notes on each track, all in English this time!
PEKKA STRENG "Olen Vasynyt" MPEG Stream:
KARELIA "Kahella Sarvella" MPEG Stream:
SAMSA TRIO "Kiven Poiminta" MPEG Stream:
OMAR WILLIAMS EXPERIENCE "Democracy" MPEG Stream:
OSMO LINDEMAN "Ritual"
V/A More Delicious Spaghetti Western (Dago Red) cd 14.98
Second installment of collected Western movie soundtrack music. Morricone and others. Great for your next pasta-fueled gunslinging showdown.
V/A More Delicious Spaghetti Western (Dago Red) LP 14.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Second installment of collected Western movie soundtrack music. Morricone and others. Great for your next pasta-fueled gunslinging showdown.
V/A More Dirty Laundry: The Soul Of Black Country (Trikont) cd 19.98
V/A More Favela Booty Beats (Essay Recordings) 12" 9.98
V/A More Oar - A Tribute To The Skip Spence Album (Birdman) cd 14.98
On April 16, 1999, Skip Spence, eccentric genius and former member of Moby Grape, passed away. To honor the late songwriter, the Birdman mega-conglomerate has put together this all-star tribute album of covers from Spence's inspired and cultishly-revered 1969 solo album "Oar", with such notables as Tom Waits, Robert Plant (sounding as if he's fronting Tortoise with all thoses vibes behind him), Beck, Robyn Hitchcock, Flying Saucer Attack, Alastair Galbraith, Mudhoney, The Minus 5, Alejandro Escovedo, and many more!
V/A Morricone RMX (Cinesoundz / WEA) cd 17.98
It's a good thing none of the artists involved with this project are local to the Bay Area, cos I'd have to go buy a gun and shoot them for crimes against music. And not just any music, this is soundtrack music by the acknowledged genius Ennio Morricone, the one and only. Yes, Morricone sanctioned this project, but that doesn't mean it's going to turn out good -- it just means whoever put together the comp probably pestered the poor maestro to death. It is one thing to admire Morricone's music, and to realize that his moody instrumental tracks with dramatic melodies are perfect fodder for remixing. Certainly they are. But it is total fucking sacrilege to mess with Morricone's music, not to mention a really embarrassing ego trip to think one could improve upon it. And guess what, folks, not one of the artists here delivers. Most of them do the most predictable, pedestrian bullshit you've heard a thousand times before:  start off the track untreated, getting you in the mood,  30 seconds into it, start the dumb thumping guaranteed to get yuppies jumping off their barstools,  pepper it with some dramatic breakbeats or bad scratching, etc. Perpetrators include Thievery Corp, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Terranova, Nightmares on Wax, Apollo 440, and more musicans, all of whom have lost whatever ounce of respect they might once have earned in my eyes. It's so dumb, and both you and I could've done a better job. We've heard a lot of electronic music that is this horrible, but mixing the unbelievable mediocrity heard here with the fact that it is an egregious misuse of Morrcone's music, and you have a recipe for nothing but my complete scorn. We made a couple sound clips just for those of you with morbid curiousity.
TERRANOVA "For a Few Dollars More" RealAudio clip:
COPASETIC CON VIVI E SELDA "Here's To You"
V/A Mortika - Recordings From A Greek Underworld (Mississippi) 2lp box 22.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Just when you think Mississippi Records releases can't get any cooler, along comes this deluxe 2lp boxset of Greek underground folk music, often referred to as Rembetika. What's Rembetika you may ask? Well, here's our description from a long out of print Rembetika cd collection: Rembetika music developed early in the 20th century amongst the poor habitants of Greece. Much like the American blues, these marginalized members of Greek society wrote songs about pain, death, prison (many of the rembetika musicians of this time were jailed merely for playing their music), drugs (the word "rembetika" is derived from "tekes", meaning hash den), sorrow, etc. Comparisons have even been drawn to Harlem of the same period. The music is centered around the bouzouki, a home grown lute invented by rembetika musicians, but can include baglama (a smaller bouzouki), santouri (dulcimer), lyra (or violin), guitar, oud, clarinet and vocals of course. One of the things that made their music so rich was the absorption of musical influences from around the Mediterranean. Two tragic events, both in 1922, helped add to this melange: a fire that consumed the city of Smyrna on the coast of Asia Minor forced the Greek inhabitants back to mainland Greece and the Greco-Turkish war, which caused massive shifting of populations. Both events saw a new influx of poor immigrants who added their distinctive styles and melodies to the form. By 1937 the Greek government, viewing the anti-authoritarian and Arab influenced sounds as a cultural and political threat, banned the music from being played on the radio, favoring instead the more mainstream Piraeus style of rembetika. These two lps contain an incredible selection of sounds from this important movement in Greek folk music, some of the songs are intricate and dramatic, others simple and stripped down, others festive and jubilant, the sound is a twangy gypsy folk, lilting and haunting and lyrical, the vocals are deep and crooned typically, but can slip into something much more keening, or even operatic, the music too is quite varied, often skeletal and spare, but can get quite intense and complex, but always melodic and quite beautiful and emotional. The two lps come housed in a printed box, and includes a bit booklet filled with photos, lyrics, as well as a history of the music and the musicians. So cool!!
V/A Motion: A Six Degrees Dance Collection (Six Degrees) cd 12.98
Boogie global techno style along with Bebel Gilberto, Banco De Gaia, King Britt, Romanthony, DJ Cam, and others.
V/A Motorlab #1 (Kitchen Motors / Bad Taste) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In 2000, the Icelandic arts collective Kitchen Motors began organizing a series of monthly events which featured commissioned collaborations between artists from differing backgrounds. The first production is dominated by the presence of two of Iceland's most prolific experimental / electronic outfits Stilluppsteypa (who originate from Iceland but now live in the Netherlands) and the Hafler Trio (whose sole member Andrew McKenzie has left his homeland of England for the odd Atlantic island). Stillupsteypa opens the album with a collaboration with Fluxus artist Magnus Palsson, whose monologue on banking, spiritualism, and alcohol runs amok through the Stilluppsteypa trio of powerbook digital crunch. Stillupsteypa have always had a far more bizarre and interesting take on digital errata than most of their contemporaries, and their sonic disruptions are more than welcome in comparison to the utopian purity found in the 12K / Raster ilk. Hilmar Jensson, Ulfar Haraldsson, Johann Johannsson, and the Caput Ensemble collaborated on an interesting idea of harnessing the microcurrents of the wind within a controlled improvisation for processed guitar, string ensemble, and electronics... sounding like a droning cross between Morton Feldman and Hermann Nitsch, if such a thing were possible. Hispirslausi Sextettinn offers a crawling piece of pipe fighting, and Andrew McKenzie, Curver, and the aforementioned Johannsson recreate Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting Alone In A Room" but with cel phones, shortwave, and datacrunching laptops to generate a cybernetically inhanced resonant frequency of a given room. Altogether a conceptually rich compilation that has been executed to near perfection. Hopefully the first of many interesting things to come!
STILLUPPSTEYPA & MAGNUS PALSSON "Kort Kort Kredit" RealAudio clip:
CAPUT ENSEMBLE, ET AL. "Veltipunktur" RealAudio clip:
ANDREW MCKENZIE, ET. AL. "Telefonia"
V/A Motorlab #2 (Kitchen Motors / Bad Taste) cd 15.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. The second installment from Kitchen Motor's series of cross-platform Icelandic collaborations takes a much more lively route than the previous collection of conceptual drone work featuring Stilluppsteypa and The Halfer Trio. The first collaborative effort is between Reykjavik's electronica darlings Mum and playwright Sjon. The script (all in Icelandic) is a monodrama about a housewife who longs for the intellectual prowess of an academic woman she sees on a tv chat show. Having forgotten all that she learned in school, she has to start from the beginning. If we understood Icelandic, we might offer more insight... yet it sounds promising to those who know the language. However, the Mum score is worthwhile, with more of their melancholic electronica following the Morr / Boards of Canada path, but with much more emphasis upon the richness of non-digital instrumentation (strings, xylophone, wurlitzer, moog, etc.). The Apparat Organ Quartet and TF3IRA offer the best work on this compilation, with the self-evident Quartet accompanying another quartet of shortwave radio enthusiasts. Thus, the latter pulled various hetreodynes, morse code transmissions, and random vocal elements from the airwave, while the organists (with one drummer) performed theatrical yet simple Morriconesque melodic passages. Altogether not dissimilar to a rough Sigur Ros (and thankfully without those horrible vocals). Allan's pick is, of course, the Big Band Brutal soundtracks for Huglekur Dagsson's splatter cartoons. Nicely counterpointing the Apparat Organ Quartet's keyboard sound, the Big Band Brutal's organs are heavy, caustic and sound as if they could be the Mr. Quintron score to a Tim Burton phantasmagoria. Altogether a great compilation!
MUM & SJON "She Introduces Herself" RealAudio clip:
APPARAT ORGAN QUARTET & TF3IRA "Ondula Nova" RealAudio clip:
BIG BAND BRUTAL "The Hamburger That I Ordered"
V/A Mottomo Otomo (Trost) cd 17.98
The Music Unlimited festival is a 3-day Austrian event focusing on all aspects of modern experimental music, from jazz to rock to classical. Since 1991, the festival's performers have been selected by different artists. In the past, Fred Frith, Zeena Parkins and Jon Rose have organised the festival. In 1999, Otomo Yoshihde (of Ground Zero) was the events programmer and he selected a remarkable selection of modern experimental music: Radian, the Incapacitants, Kaffe Matthews, Martin Tetreault, Novo Tono, Keith Rowe, Sugimoto Taku, Poire-Z, Hoahio and of course Otomo himself.
OTOMO YOSHIHIDE "" RealAudio clip:
RADIAN "" RealAudio clip:
V/A Mountain Music Of Kentucky (Smithsonian Folkways) 2cd 23.00
This is not *really* a new item here at Aquarius, but we realised that even though we sell tons of these on a regular basis, we have never listed it. So we thought we'd mention its existence to those of you who might not have the oppurtunity to stumble across it in our bins. Mountain Music of Kentucky is a collection originally compiled by photographer John Cohen and released as a single LP in 1960. The CD reissue comes expanded to two discs, expanding the project a full 60 minutes. The recordings, all made in 1959, document the music of rural Kentucky -- specifically, the Appalachian mountains. Whether it's solo voice accompanied by guitar or a banjo or a full blown church choir, the tracks collected here are all fucking great and guaranteed to raise the hairs on your arms to rigid spikes. And if you don't have hair on your arms, you'll think you did. Among the most well represented (track wise) of the 14 artists on these two discs is AQ fave and kick ass banjo picker Roscoe Holcomb, who gets a healthy 22 cuts. But probably the most eerie and heart stopping tracks on this disc are the two tracks (a mere 12 minutes) of the Old Baptist Church which are powerful enough to put the fear of god into the most straight laced athiest. Includes a fat 36 page booklet with notes and gorgeous photos by John Cohen. This one comes very highly recommended.
OLD BAPTIST CHURCH "When We Shall Meet" RealAudio clip:
HOLCOMB, ROSCOE "True Love" RealAudio clip:
GRIGSBY & YOUNG "Ruby"
V/A Mr. Flash - Monsieur Sexe (Ed Banger) cd 21.00
In case the title and saucy cover art of a big red-lipped mouth didn't hammer it home, there is a note on the front of this import cd that says "contains sexually oriented adult material"... meaning plenty of orgasmic moaning and gasping. In French of course! That somehow always makes things seem all the more naughty! Andee sez this album was supposedly heartily endorsed by Playboy Magazine, and whether or not that's true, it makes total sense. All of the tracks on this compilation were selected by French DJ Mr. Flash (including three of his own). Amid the heavy breathing and sporadic dialogue, there are musical interludes that bring together grooovadelic downtown funk voluptuousness, Italo-symphonics, and kooky synthesizer melodies. Un peu d'erotique pour vous!
"Interlude: Nue, Enti¸rement Nue - 1" MPEG Stream:
V/A Mr. Toytown Presents Vol. 2: Nightmares at Toby's Shop (Toytown Recordings) cd 23.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. We can always enjoy a good compilation of "Obscure Psychedelic, Popsyke & Progressive Pop 45s 1968-1974". And that's what this disc's cover proclaims it to contain. 23 obscure singles cuts by artists most of whom we've never heard of before -- except for Chubby Checker! Who blows our minds (and will blow yours too) with a Hendrix influenced psych-funk-wah gem recorded in The Netherlands in 1971, whose refrain goes: "My mind comes from a high place!" That sure ain't "The Twist". The last ish of Ugly Things had an article about Chubby's rare psych sides and here you can hear one of 'em. But there's lots more cool stuff on this disc besides, from the dramatic garage-prog of Ekseption to the "kinderpop" psych of Cyan to the bubblegum novelty of Jumbo. Whether you like your psych twee or fuzz-ee, this has plenty of both. Another fave of ours on here is the cut by Kid Rock (nothing to do with the current-day white rapper dude of course). It's got James Brown beats, cheap and cheesy keyboards, and a singer who you could mistake for Jack White of the White Stripes. Hot. The comp is pretty nicely put together: each track gets a brief bit of description/info, and the original singles sleeves are reproduced in thumbnail size on the tray card, always a nice to see. Now we've got to go back and check out the first volume of this series...if it's as good we'll let you know.
CHUBBY CHECKER "My Mind" MPEG Stream:
CYAN "Toby's Shop" MPEG Stream:
KISS INC. "Kids Are Cryin'"
V/A Muggs Presents...The Soul Assassins: Chapter 1 (Columbia) cd 15.98
A compilation of cuts by some of hiphop's biggest stars (Dr. Dre, RZA & GZA/Genius, KRS-One, various Mobbs, many others) all produced, arranged and composed by DJ Muggs of Cypress Hill.
V/A Multi-Vitamin Comp. (PNMV) cd 13.98
Compilation featuring mostly out-of-print 7" tracks from the likes of KARP, Lowercase, Thrones, New Bad Things, Mocket, Long Hind Legs, Unwound (that one previously unreleased I'm told) and others.
V/A Murder In The Company of The Vespertine (Vespertine) cd 16.98
"Mood music in a jugular vein" was the only description accompanying a list of bands: Air Wave, Bear, Bola, Cavil, Dakota Suite, Dynamite Cigar Co, I'm Sore, Lazarus Clamp, Lazerboy, M-Tec, Mus, Muma Sounds, Oneironaut, and Quigley. Without much else to go on, the clues gleaned from this odd little compilation lead to the conclusion that the compiler's motive was to create an atmosphere of moody sadness through a diverse group of sounds ranging from Boards of Canada-esque electronica to Mogwai-like heroin rock and piano driftscapes.
V/A Murder: Songs From The Dark Side Of The Soul (Trikont) cd 17.98
V/A Museum Of Future Sound Vol. 1 (Flogsta Danshall) cd 12.98
Yo droids! You wanna know what's been boomin' on Pluto lately? It's gotta be skweee. Y'know here at Aquarius we're always on the lookout for something new, the next big thing perhaps (though we're talking big 'round here, not necessarily elsewhere). Well we think we've found it! SKWEEE. Skweee? That's the self-proclaimed name for a new scene of electronic music in Scandinavia. It's basically Nordic b-boys doing DIY electro, and it's true, if they hadn't called it skweee but something less silly like, uh, "Scandi-funk" or "Vikinglectro", we might have not been as initially intrigued, though we did already have an interest in electro from Finland 'cause of that Sound Of Suomi comp we listed a while back. Something about "skweee" though just grabs us. You don't have to like bad puns to like skweee but it helps. Hey what are you doing this skweeekend? There's a skweee show Saturday skweeevening. Some of our favorite skweeejays will be spinning. Skweee you there! We kind of randomly found out about it on the internet, listened in to some online samples on the "Nation of Skweee" webpage, and were hooked. Imagine a warped crossover between old school video game music and '90s hiphop instrumental tracks, that laidback Dr. Dre style funk as if hacked on a Commodore 64, programmed by Finnish and Norwegian kids trying to stave off the boredom and depression of long sunlight-deprived winters (as opposed to embracing it like their countryfolk into black metal would do). There's an obscure but active scene up in that part of the world skweeepin' it real with the support of a couple local labels, Harmonia and Flogsta Danshall, releasing the skweee on 7" and 12" singles. We did discover this one compact disc compilation that Flogsta Danshall put out, and figured we had to get it, it features a lot of the "stars" of skweee and obviously would be a good starting point for us, and any AQ customers who wanted to get turned on to skweee. And funnily enough, the guy from Flogsta Danshall had previously been to Aquarius on a trip to the USA, so he was himself excited that we wanted to stock some skweee in our shop! Here's the artists: Mesak, Pavan, Rigas Den Andre, Beem, The Munchies, Randy Barracuda, Wizards of DOS, PJVM, Mangrove, Uday, Vakttornet, Daniel Savio, Maja Hedin, and Claws Costeau (great name!). Although each one's different, there's a definite "skweee ID" shared between 'em: elements like distorted squelching synthetic bass, computery bloops and bleeps, fractured funk beats, crazed dance logic, and what's either a playful sense of humor or just plain weirdness. Or both. Some tracks (say, Pavan) are a bit more uptight techno-rigid kraftwerkouts than others, which skweee like along with the looser, more fucked up cuts (like Randy Barracuda's which sounds like Inspector Gadget done Doug E. Fresh style or somethin'). The Museum Of Future Sound exhibits 14 trax, 54+ minutes of the finest in skweee, packaged in a thin, square, black plastic cd case, with simple, stark black & white cover graphics and a tracklisting on stickers affixed to the front and back. [2008 update: now it's in a cardboard sleeve, not plastic, a la vol. 2.] No further info is given about any of the contributors, unfortunately, so they stay mysterious... but they probably all have MySpace pages and would love to get visitors! Next big thing? Could skweee. We'll skweee.
MESAK "Popkumm" MPEG Stream:
RANDY BARRACUDA "Rick James Is Dead" MPEG Stream:
CLAWS COSTEAU "The Franzzz Connection"
V/A Museum Of Future Sound Vol. 2 (Flogsta Danshall) cd 12.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. In the time since we highlighted the original volume of Flogsta Danshall's Museum Of Future Sound (in the fall of '07), there have been literally hundreds if not thousands of records reviewed on our list. And while among those hundreds of records there have been a great many we really really liked, plenty of great music, the fact remains that NONE of it has been skweee. And that just won't do. We need more skweee!!! Thank god Flogsta Danshall has at last released "the next level" of the Museum Of Future Sound, volume two, 18 more tracks of pure skweee! Skweee, if you weren't paying attention back when we listed the first Museum Of Future Sound, is the cutting edge new Scandinavian electro-funk sound that's sweeping the globe. Well we maybe not quite sweeping. Or even skweeeping. But we're really into it, and heck it SHOULD be blowing up big, if we have anything to say about it. Why do we love skweee so much? It's both atmospheric and groovy and sorta silly (it sometimes -sounds- silly plus there's all the skweee-punning potential), it's very DIY and has that video game chip-tune retro-ness that you know we'd think was cool. It's funky, goofy, pretty much always instrumental, full of Kraftwerkian melodies, ridiculous nasty crunching bass, and glitched-up hiphop rhythms, skweeeird broken-machine beats tailor made for your most skweeetarded robotic poppin' and lockin' dance moves. It's immediately recognizable, when someone here starts pumpin' the skweee on the stereo we all know what it is. And the whole MySpace-based, internet "nation of skweee" Nordic b-boy (skweee-boy?) community, small as it is, seems pretty cool. A whole little scene (skweeene?) of skweee-obsessiveness to get into. Museum Of Future Sound vol. 2 is a good place to start (if you have vol. 1 you already know you want this, right??). There's cuts from a few vol. 1 superstars such as Mesak, Randy Barracuda, Claws Costeau, and Daniel Savio, plus tons more tracks introducing such skweee powers-to-be as Eero Johannes, Mrs Qaeda, Joxaren, Spartan Lover, Limonious, Wankers United, Rigas Den Andre, and more... some we already knew from our internet skweee-search, others totally new to us. All these museum exhibits are pretty fantastic!! Each with their own idiosyncracies (idiosyncraskweees?). Ok, stop! By the way, while the first volume came in a slim plastic case, this one is packaged in a cardstock sleeve with three skweee stickers as inserts.
RIGAS DEN ANDRE " I Am Crane" MPEG Stream:
LIMONIOUS "Swedish Pommak" MPEG Stream:
RANDY BARRACUDA "Shock The Plankton"
V/A Mush Tour 2002 (Mush) dvd 17.98
V/A Music By The Children Of Ala Costa (The Dancing Tree) cd-r 9.98
Hmm, what to say about this exactly? It's a 24-minute cd-r collecting stuff recorded by 'developmentally disabled' kids (ages 6 to 22) at the Ala Costa Center in Northern California who participated in a twelve week music workshop run by San Francisco's The Dancing Tree organization, which seems like wonderful fun for them. The kids are let loose with tom toms and kazoos and and xylophones and slide whistles and sticks etc., and these are some of the results. Funny and silly, sweet and innocent and full of creative enthusiasm (if not skill). Musically, it's primitive stuff, with lotsa playful percussion and singing. We really like all the pieces that utilize "sticks on playground structure". File with the Tangerine Awkestra and the Kids of Widney High in the untrained and/or differently-abled avantgarde section. "Trees And Whistles" is pure beat poetry, while the single-minded abandon of several of the tom tom jams outdo Amon Duul and Crash Worship. Well, maybe.
"Playground Song" RealAudio clip:
"Devil Of The Butterfly" RealAudio clip:
"Trees And Whistles"
V/A Music De Wolfe Vol. 1 (Megaphone) cd 14.98
Like a Molotov cocktail for the spy-chase set, this compilation of sixties and seventies instrumental funk and soul from the De Wolfe Library and selected by Baltimore DJ and Library music geek, Jason Willet has all the stuff you need to get your feet and ass moving. Tense chase themes are intermixed with sexy bachelor-pad space grooves from one of the best library music houses in Britain, much of it on cd for the first time. So whether you are living out your Blaxploitation Spy fantasies or facing a daunting labor-intensive task (like we are creating this list for you), this set makes it all OK! Recommended!
"Hard Hitter" MPEG Stream:
"Heavy Lace" MPEG Stream:
V/A Music for a Bachelor's Den (DCC) cd 14.98
I mean, is the title suggesting women won't like it, or that we'll find it very sexy? Arthur Lyman, Dick Hyman, Jackie Gleason, Martin Denny, etc.
V/A Music For Listening To (Bubble Core) cd 13.98
Nice comp featuring Him, Mice Parade, Rex (two tracks from an out-of-print 7"!), and the fabulous Matmos, among others.
V/A Music For Mentalists (Psychic Circle) cd 17.98
Most of the time, compilations are intended to bring you the "best" of something. This one, though, is different! The compilers have deliberately put together a compilation of the WORST. A collection of "the obscure, the peculiar, and in some cases the downright disturbing". And of course, we recommend it! Now, the Psychic Circle label is known for all their keen compilations of '60s psych pop, "instro-hipster" groove, glam rock, and other vintage obscurities. Many of their discs are compiled by Nick "Bevis Frond" Saloman, who here, along with colleague Mick Dillingham, delve into a very different, and certainly much less cool/good/valuable, section of what must be vast, vast record collections. The section labeled "incredibly strange (or daft) music"! Collectable perhaps, but definitely more as a compulsion than an investment. They're mostly flea market and junk shop finds, we imagine. Barmy commercial jingles. Novelty tunes. Celebrity cash-ins. Easy listening attempts to be hip. Embarrassing (though fairly witty) rapping by an old white Englishman promoting his darts themed TV quiz show. Disco-sploitation. Would-be exotica and/or erotica. Super sappy lovesongs. "Ethnic" oddities (including more rapping). Et cetera, et cetera. Like other Psychic Circle comps, it's stuff from from the '60s and '70s (though it's possible that the ones with the rapping could be from the early '80s), some tracks having an increased humor factor due to their datedness. The other humor factor: how terrible, terrible this music is. Quite painful some of it. But also really funny. And sometimes pretty darn catchy. Which actually is a dangerous thing - you might wind up with some really bizarre stuff stuck in your head as a result of listening to this. Don't say we didn't warn you. But who wouldn't want, ferinstance, "These Boots Are Made For Walking" as performed (for some reason) by an outfit appropriately called Balsara & His Singing Sitars stuck in their head? Certainly not you. There's an overwhelming 33 tracks here (OMG!). And immediately you'll find confusional, cringeworthy fodder for your next voicemail greeting, or something to render the next mix tape (cd-r, playlist, whatever) you make just a little bit weirder! Most of the stuff here was previously quite unknown to us (though we venture to guess that if you grew up in the UK, there's a chance you might be more familiar with some of the entries). And even if we knew the artists, such as the celebrity contingent of David McCallum, David Carradine, and Xaviera "The Happy Hooker" Hollander (performing separately, not together, now that would be REALLY crazy), that didn't really prepare us for what their tracks were all about. Or maybe it did. Bizarre stuff in any case, as are all the rest of the tracks here, which include everything from Micky Katz's Yiddish version of "K'nock Around The Clock" to a silly shoe advert ("The Weakling In Thom McCann Shoes") to opera singer Cathy Berberian's faux-classical take on the Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to a big band version of the Monkees theme to naive outsider homemade pop to discofied Pink Floyd. Just when you think it can't get any worse or weirder, it does!! And let's not forget, this starts off pretty insane, with track two being about the weirdest bit of civic boosterism ever, a song called "Energy In Northampton", commissioned by The Northampton Development Corporation and sung by one Linda Jardim, this song tells of aliens from outer space crash landing in the town of Northampton and finding it quite to their liking! It's like Saloman and Dillingham took turns one-upping each other with the most absurd, atrocious recorded artifacts they (perversely) treasure... "Oh, you thought that was bad? Get a load of THIS!" and you get to hear it all, in its awesome/awful glory. The cd booklet provides some mercifully brief details about each track along with appropriate accompanying graphics in full color (and also reveals that most of the blame here goes to Mr. Dillingham, from whose crazy collection most if not all of these records were sourced). We're sorta surprised this is on Psychic Circle, and not, say, the Trunk label. This disc seems destined to become a beloved best seller... at least here at Aquarius!
LINDA JARDIM "Energy In Northampton" MPEG Stream:
REGINALD BOSANQUET "Dance With Me" MPEG Stream:
HYLDA BAKER "Substitute" MPEG Stream:
MARVIN JAMES "Together In Iceland"
V/A Music For Plants (PerfectlfOn) 2cd 23.00
V/A Music From Saharan Cellphones (Sahel Sounds) lp 14.98
How could anyone not be obsessed with this? We originally thought the title was just a catchy turn of phrase whipped up by MISSISSIPPI RECORDS, who originally put this out on cassette, but as we did some digging, we discovered that the title was in fact literal, this is indeed a collection of songs found on cellphone memory cards in the Saharan desert. It's not nearly as strange as it sounds once you realize that in Africa, much like in the US, people use cellphones for everything, including of course collecting and trading music, often swapping songs person to person via bluetooth. So here is a sort of best of, a collection of tracks which were super popular in the African mp3/cellphone network, but have essentially never been released commercially or really heard at all outside of these mp3 traders until now. Obviously, anyone who's a fan of Sublime Frequencies, or Mississippi records is gonna go nuts for this stuff. The sound, besides reflecting a sort of African underground, also chronicles a new era of personal music production, with many of these tracks recorded in people's homes, on computers, using commercial software, synths, autotune and other things previously unavailable outside a proper studio. The sound is super varied: many tracks are classic sounding African music, with some of that desert blues vibe found on a lot of Sublime Frequencies releases, call and response vocals, warm buzzing melodies, simple skeletal rhythms, very hypnotic and mesmerizing, while others are far out takes on commercial pop, or Afro-hiphop, or African electro, all seemingly underpinned by classic African rhythms, but with way more modern elements woven in, some with super autotuned vocals, creating a strange soulful autotuned afro-pop hybrid that is pretty amazing, the record continues to slip back and forth from those classic sounds, to more modern takes on African music, some lush and layered, others super lo-fi, some obviously loose street jams (occasionally peppered with weird recording/cellphone storage/transfer glitches, which only adds to the sound), others are obviously meticulously composed and arranged, and those crazy autotuned vox continue to pop up throughout (obviously very popular with the mp3/cellphone music traders), and are definitely the strangest element. And according to the label, since the original cassette release, most of the previously mysterious artists (the original tape featured very little in the way of artists and titles) have been tracked down and now get a majority of the royalties. So totally recommended!
"One" MPEG Stream:
"Two " MPEG Stream:
V/A Music From Saharan Cellphones Vol. 2 (Sahel Sounds) lp 14.98
Second volume in this amazing series of compilations, which gathers up all manner of music from discarded memory cards from cellphones, these memory cards and cellphones collected from throughout Northern Mali since 2010, even more relevant now that extremists in Mali have banned music on cellphones. A sad state of affairs for the people of Mali, who, like everyone else in the world, use cellphones for everything - including, collecting, trading, and listening to music. Like the first volume, the music here offers a glimpse of some of the weird and wonderful music that doesn't often make it on to world music compilations, even comps on Sublime Frequencies and the like. Like the first one, maybe even moreso, the focus here is on the home produced DIY jams, heavy on the autotuned vocals, a modern hybrid of traditional African music, and modern pop. The opening track is the perfect example, sans vocals, and drums, it's a beautiful bit of deserty blues, all intricate melodies and warm steel string buzz, but then add the skittery lo-fi drum programming, and the woozy autotuned vocals, and you've got a strange bit of 'futuristic' Afro-pop. Even the songs that sound more traditional, like the second track, still display subtle elements that give the sounds a unique twist, in this case, more of that programmed Casio style drum machine, which gives the dreamy high life a strange propulsion. There's an uncredited track here, that's a sort of reggae groove, which sounds like it's sung by a child, is laced with some crunchy guitar and groovy synths, not to mention the occasional bleat of a goat! After that the comp continues to swing wildly from the groovy desert blues of Hasso Akotey, to the moody percussive club music of Lakal Kaney, replete with rapping, to the handclap driven, fuzz guitar, horn flecked high energy of DJ Mopao, even the recently deceased Koudede shows up, with a gorgeous track of that warm languid, hypnotic guitar grooves. There's more autotuned pop in the form of Pheno S.'s laid back Afro-soul funkiness, although our two favorites might be Iba One's horn driven Afro-hop banger, which weaves majestic synth horns around skittery beats and strident anthemic vox, a huge American hip hop influence for sure, but filtered through classic African pop, and the crazy closer from Cheba Wassila, another high energy groover, that has a serious Bollywood vibe, soaring autotuned vox, and wild rhythms, lots of horns, squiggle synths, even some killer fiddle solos (also seemingly run through the auto-tune for good measure!).
V/A Music From The Lost Provinces (Old Hat) cd 14.98
So named in the late 18th century, "The Lost Provinces" consisted of Ashe, Watuaga and Alleghany counties in the Northwestern corner of North Carolina. Geographically isolated by the steep passes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, all but roadless until well into the 20th century, the area became home to rugged indivualists; settlers who made do with what they could eke out of the land and brave brutal winters on such meager fruits. As such the region produced some amazing musicians -- fiddlers especially, considering that dances were the primary social and entertainment function. Stringbands grew organically out of the fiddle-centric dance music and by the 1930's, with record scouts searching far and wee for new country music entertainment, the local musicians found themselves being wooed near and far to record tracks for Okeh, Victor and Columbia. This collection brings together great tracks by some of the most influential musicans of the area, including Grayson & Whitter, Frank Blevins & His Tar Heel Rattlers, The North Carolina Ridge Runners and much more. Included is a 28 page booklet with historical notes and photos.
GRAYSON & WHITTER "Short Life of Trouble" MPEG Stream:
FRANK BLEVINS & HIS TAR HEEL RATTLERS "Old Aunt Betsy"
V/A Music Inspired By BaadAsssss Cinema (TVT) cd 14.98
Subtitled: "The Sounds Of Blaxploitation". A compilation of thirteen funky tracks from (or, perhaps just "inspired by") classic '70s Blaxploitation flicks, a sure-fire seller if we've ever seen one. Actually, this disc is apparently a soundtrack itself, 'cause 'BaadAssssss Cinema' is in fact a new documentary about the genre -- we'll be interested to see it. Here's the line-up: James Brown "People Get Up And Drive Your Funky Soul", Lonnie Liston Smith & The Cosmic Echoes "Expansions", Roy Ayers "Coffy Is The Color", Curtis Mayfield "Pusherman", Graham Central Station "We Be's Gettin' Down", Isaac Hayes "Main Title 'Truck Turner'", Edwin Starr "Big Papa", WAR "Nappy Head (Theme From 'Ghetto Man')", William De Vaughn "Be Thankful For What You Got", B.T. Express "Express", The Blackbyrds "Cornbread", Gil Scott-Heron "The Bottle", and of course Earth Wind & Fire "Sweetback's Theme" ('cause they get documentary's title, and spelling, from Melvin Van Peeble's pioneering Blaxploitation film 'Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song' -- one that's not really an exploitation film at all, but rather something much more radical than what the genre it spawned later became). Not a weak cut in the bunch. "Pusherman" (from Superfly) and some others will doubtless already be familiar, but others are a tad more obscure, making for a decent car-driving or party comp indeed.
EARTH, WIND & FIRE "Sweetback's Theme" RealAudio clip:
ROY AYERS "Coffy Is The Color"
V/A music inspired by the film 'Scratch' (Transparent) cd 17.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Okay, I totally lamed out and forgot to go see this movie, argh! Judging from the soundtrack, the film (a feature documentary about scratching) must be amazing, although I'm not sure if any of the tracks here were actually in it -- this album is billed as a Bill-Laswell-construction of music "inspired by" the film. Nonetheless, great disc. It is seamlessly put together, with no pauses between tracks, just very brief interludes where turntablists (Cut Chemist, DJ Shadow, Grand Wizard Theodore, Mixmaster Mike, Afrika Bambaataa, Qbert etc) speak interestingly about their personal experiences with scratching and its history. There are performances by the Skratch Piklz, X-Ecutioners, Faust, DJ Krush, Afrika Bambaataa and many more, and there's even an over-the-top 2002 version of Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" with a buncha DJs scratching like crazy on it. I appreciate the mix of contemporary stuff combined with a look back at the history of turntablism -- if that's what the movie is like then I really missed out. I find some of the purely turntablist albums a bit much to take in one sitting, and so might you, but this album is so well put together, perfectly sequenced, and refreshingly varied in terms of DJ scratching styles, that I really enjoyed the listen. If you've never bought a turntablist record before, this is a great place to start. And people who've already got turntablist wax in their collections should give it a go too. Recommended.
HERBIE HANCOCK, WITH MIXMASTER MIKE, GRANDMASTER DXT, ROB SWIFT, QBERT, BABU, FAUST & SHORTEE "Rockit 2.002" RealAudio clip:
CUT CHEMIST SPEAKS / CAT FIVE VS SNAYK EYEZ "Turntable Transformer"
V/A Music Is The Revolution (Zenta) cd 13.98
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Recordings of the legendary John Sinclair (manager of the MC5) and the White Panther Party, spanning 1968 to 1970. Most of the recordings on this disk were made at WPP committee meetings and feature some hilarious arguing back and forth about the revolution, guns, guitars, drugs and sex. But there's also some great solo rants from Sinclair and other heads of the WPP. An amazing document! "As we learn the language of Marxism, and the language of the Black Panther Party, we'll be better able to explain to them what our program is, in a language that they can understand, because we have trouble explaining to the Black Panthers what the differences are between our two organisations. If we can explain that difference in Marxist terms, we could clear up a whole level of communication." So the disk begins, and it just gets better from there! Why they felt this difference ever needed explaining, we'll probably never know. Yet they proceed to argue themselves into a completely opaque ball of radical nonsense. For fans of "Rock, Rot & Rule", "Raymond & Peter", "Celebrities At Their Worst", that crazy guy who's always screwing up what would otherwise be perfectly good Godspeed You Black Emperor records, or anyone who's had to suffer through endless hours of tedious consensus decision making with messed up hippies and want to re-live the days through the safety of a cd player. Also makes great answering machine outgoing messages! REVOLUTION!!!!
"Guitar and Gun"
V/A Music Of Nat Pwe: Folk And Pop Music Of Myanmar (Burma) Vol.3 (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 volume in Sublime Frequencies series of compilations documenting the amazing and mysterious music of Myanmar (aka Burma). The first volume was an intense barrage of manic Burmese pop, the second focused on guitar music of Myanmar, and this new volume is all about the Nat Pwe. You may remember the DVD on Sublime Frequencies from a while back, which visually documented various Nat Pwe's in Burma, and if you were like us, you were completely blown away, by not just the spectacle, but the amazing music as well. For those new to the Nat Pwe, Nats are ghost spirits, most often historical figures who met tragic ends, and who are believed to have the power to change lives, for better or for worse. So Pwe's are ceremonies designed to appease the Nats and occur on a daily basis, for almost any reason, health, good luck, weddings and new businesses, but like any powerful ceremony, they cam also be used for evil. The festivals are amazing. Celebratory, wild and raucous, huge floats, giant phalluses, people throwing money and cigarettes, costumes and headdresses, lots of crossdressing, lots of drinking, folks going into trances... all to the strange and amazing strains of this fantastical music. And it is fantastic, some of the wildest and most jubilant music we've heard. The root sounds are definitely Burmese, the percussion and the vocals will definitely sound familiar to fans of Burmese music, this is somehow even more manic and spirited. A dense assemblage of bells, cymbals, gongs, xylophones and drums drums drums. A gorgeously clattery percussive wonderland, dense and complex, with vocals that soar over the top, drenched in reverb. It's all acoustic, but it sounds so loud and incredibly intense. And beautiful. Hard to describe, as all great music is, it makes you want to dance, and trance out simultaneously, powerful, emotional and so wild and wonderful. Compiled from numerous live recordings, and featuring many popular Burmese songs and many famous Burmese performers. As always, tons of liner notes, and amazing photos. And if this has at all piqued your interest, see if you can find a friend who's got that now out-of-print (bummer!) DVD, as the Nat Pwe's have to be seen to be believed!
SEIN MOOTA / KYAW THET AUNG "Shwe Ku Ni Pwe Daw" MPEG Stream:
BO HEIN & BO MEIN "Master Of The Nine Cities" MPEG Stream:
BOBADIN "Di Kanar Mandut / The Hut" MPEG Stream:
BOBADIN "Mother Jhan Who Curses People"
V/A Music of the Gamelan Gong Kebyar Volume 1 (Vital Records) cd 14.98
Early on in the 20th century a new genre of gamelan emerged in Bali and became known as Gong Kebyar (meaning "to burst" or "bloom"). Kebyar is a populist form born, ironically enough, out of the Dutch supplanting of the Balinese court. Accounts as to the actual creation of kebyar are sketchy, but the most oft repeated is the story of two gamelan groups engaging in a competition to the pleasure and amazement of thousand of gathered villagers. Said to have occurred in 1914, the two groups presented a program of wild and fast paced gamelan unlike what anyone had heard before. Arguments to the story's validity aside, the genre spread like wild fire throughout Bali and has exceeded the popularity of all the island's various gamelan forms (many groups even melted down their sets at the beginning of the century to have kebyar ones built.) Many early compositions were reworked repertoires from other genres, often borrowing from the sacred, but with its growing popularity it soon worked its way into religious ceremonies. Rhythmic precision within the kebyar ensemble is of utmost importance as many of the music's parts are composites that are dependent not only on their counterpart for the realization of their role within the gamelan, but the ensemble as a whole must respond as one to tempo changes, starts and stops -- often quite abrupt -- seamlessly as even the slightest deviations can be noticeable and disastrous. Imagine playing a difficult piece on piano, but first dividing up the notes so that you only play every other note while a partner plays the others, a sort of musical three-legged race of Olympic proportions. Kebyar has continued to increase in popularity in the brief 90 years since its inception and with regular public competitions the genre has spurred groups into increasingly faster tempos and stylistic flourishes as well as challenging young composers to be constantly vigilant and innovative in creating new works. Volume one features a wide selection of pieces including the now famous dance Teruna Jaya, composed in 1914, which is the cornerstone of the kebyar style, three pieces written between 1925 and 1984 and three traditional pieces arranged for gamelan gong kebyar. The tracks were all recorded live, many of them at Bali's prestigious National Institute of the Arts (S.T.S.I.) in Denpasar, between 1982 and 1994 by Bali's top musicians. Culled from over 300 hours of recordings, they represent some of the best and liveliest performances of kebyar caught on tape.
I NYOMAN MARIA "Kebyar Duduk (excerpt 1)" RealAudio clip:
I NYOMAN MARIA "Kebyar Duduk (excerpt 2)" RealAudio clip:
PAN WANDRES & I GEDE MANIK "Teruna Jaya (excerpt 1)" RealAudio clip:
PAN WANDRES & I GEDE MANIK "Teruna Jaya (excerpt 2)"
V/A Music of the Gamelan Gong Kebyar Volume 2 (Vital Records) cd 14.98
Early on in the 20th century a new genre of gamelan emerged in Bali and became known as Gong Kebyar (meaning "to burst" or "bloom"). Kebyar is a populist form born, ironically enough, out of the Dutch supplanting of the Balinese court. Accounts as to the actual creation of kebyar are sketchy, but the most oft repeated is the story of two gamelan groups engaging in a competition to the pleasure and amazement of thousand of gathered villagers. Said to have occurred in 1914, the two groups presented a program of wild and fast paced gamelan unlike what anyone had heard before. Arguments to the story's validity aside, the genre spread like wild fire throughout Bali and has exceeded the popularity of all the island's various gamelan forms (many groups even melted down their sets at the beginning of the century to have kebyar ones built.) Many early compositions were reworked repertoires from other genres, often borrowing from the sacred, but with its growing popularity it soon worked its way into religious ceremonies. Rhythmic precision within the kebyar ensemble is of utmost importance as many of the music's parts are composites that are dependent not only on their counterpart for the realization of their role within the gamelan, but the ensemble as a whole must respond as one to tempo changes, starts and stops -- often quite abrupt -- seamlessly as even the slightest deviations can be noticeable and disastrous. Imagine playing a difficult piece on piano, but first dividing up the notes so that you only play every other note while a partner plays the others, a sort of musical three-legged race of Olympic proportions. Kebyar has continued to increase in popularity in the brief 90 years since its inception and with regular public competitions the genre has spurred groups into increasingly faster tempos and stylistic flourishes as well as challenging young composers to be constantly vigilant and innovative in creating new works. Whereas volume one featured a variety of works written throughout the genre's existence by various composers past and present, volume two focuses on one of Bali's up and coming stars, an inspired and prolific composer and performer named I Nyoman Windha. So popular are his works that it's not unheard of at kebyar competitions that two competing groups will both be performing compositions by Windha. The tracks on this disc were recorded in 1991 and 1994. All the tracks, like on volume one, were recorded live and most of the performances were connected in some way with a kebyar festival competition, either during a rehearsal or the competition itself (you can hear the audience's response to the gamelan's performance clearly on the first track.)
"Jagra Parwata (excerpt 1)" RealAudio clip:
"Jagra Parwata (excerpt 2)" RealAudio clip:
"Cendra Wasih (excerpt 1)" RealAudio clip:
"Cendra Wasih (excerpt 2)"
V/A Music! The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv 1900-2000 (Wergo) 4cd 96.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Founded in 1900 by Carl Stumpf, The Berlin Phonogramm-Archiv is a repository devoted to archiving the musics of the world before their eventual destruction by encroaching modernization brought about by global capitalism. Case in point is presented on page two of the accompanying booklet: "'Within the foreseeable future there will no longer be any day-long journeys by rowing boat, where twenty men in a canoe stand one behind the other and sing, because otherwise they would not be able to keep in time with the rhythm of the rowing..." (Albert Schweitzer, 1914) "...Because the songs of the members of the boat's crew who tow the boats along the Yangtse will have become silent forever, before these faint magical lines have worn away on the wax cylinder. Only the shrill whistle of the steamboat will be heard, and black smoke will lick away at the gruesome cliffs." So wrote Hedwig Weiss, wife of Friedrich Weiss who worked as a translator in the Sichuan province of China at the beginning of the 20th century. The two of them together took to recording the rowing song of boat crews working on the Yangtse river to preserve their songs. This is just one of the stories on this incredibly impressive four disc collection celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the Archive -- which now has a collection of over 150,000 recordings. Fans of the "Secret Museum" series should take heed, this is the shit! Some of the best recordings by pioneering ethnomusicologists are included here along with very detailed information not only about the music they recorded -- along with transcriptions in many cases -- but the stories behind the people who took to the field to make these recordings. The 100 tracks on this set are divided into four sections: disc one covers the wax cylinder recordings (1893 - 1954), disc two covers monophonic tape recordings (1951 - 1974), disc three covers stereophonic recordings (1967 - 2000) and disc four covers stereophonic, concert -- ie: not field -- recordings (1973 - 1999) and each disc is sequenced in sections by region: Asia, Oceania, Africa, The Americas and Europe. A hefty price tage yes, but well worth it.
(ANONYMOUS) NEW GUINEA 1912 "Interlocking Flutes" RealAudio clip:
(ANONYMOUS) CAIRO, EGYPT 1955 "Nubian Song" RealAudio clip:
JEGOG JAYUS "Jayan Tangis" RealAudio clip:
HAI, TRAN QUANG "Flowing Water, Equal Bars, Golden Chains"
V/A Musics In The Margins (Sub Rosa) cd 14.98
V/A Musique du dNordeste vol. 2: 1928-1946 (Buda Musique) cd 16.98
Lovely music from Northeast Brazil in the 1930s and '40s. Slightly familiar, slightly 'exotic' at the same time. Played on guitar, viola, accoridan, triangle, and zabumba (a Brazilian drum) with a charming 'old-timey' sound. From the label that brought us the "Ethiopiques" series! We also have vol. 1, but you should start with #2 first.
V/A Musique Non Stop: A Tribute To Kraftwerk (EMI, Japan) cd 26.00
THIS IS CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT OR OTHERWISE UNAVAILABLE TO US AT THE MOMENT, SO PLEASE DO NOT ORDER IT. SORRY. Japanese artists cover their favorite Kraftwerk tunes. Participants include Melt Banana, Zeni Geva, Buffalo Daughter and a bunch of others we're not familiar with, but who seem to be part of the Japanese avant-pop electronica scene. The whole thing is great, absolutely recommended.