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Longboards, The – “Gnarly Surf” – [El Toro Recors (Sic)]

Fine surf music from this band from Spain – classic influences can be heard, with some nice original touches. Listen for theremin and Hammond B-3; they add to the fun.
PGM: Tracks are VERY short – take two, they’re small.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on July 4, 2015 at 4:15 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Smoky Babe – “Way Back In The Country Blues” – [Arhoolie Productions]


    You’ve gotta love Arhoolie for unearthing a diamond in the rough. Unsung blues gem Robert Brown (known as Smoky Babe) recorded these unreleased tracks with folklyricist Dr. Harry Oster. They are heartfelt, downhome treasures, as are the photos and liner notes on the album sleeve. Perfect for a Fourth of July day spent with sweat rolling down your face and cool lemonade sluicing down your parched throat.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Blues
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  • Altena, Maarten Quartet – “Rondedans” – [Claxon Records]


    This is a gem from Amsterdam and contrabassist/composer Altena. The oboe of Maud Sauer shines through. The music is sometimes classical, but primarily like experimental jazz. The jaunty, happy feeling is especially found on Side B. These songs were recorded in 1984 in Bach Hall, Amsterdam.

  • Reviewed by humana on July 4, 2015 at 1:03 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Feldman, Morton – “For Bunita Marcus (1985)” – [Amirani Records/Amirani Contemporary]

    This 67 minute solo piano piece is one of Feldman’s last solo piano works. (He passed away in 1987.) It is a work that is about the moment, not needing to know what happened before or after to understand the present. Notes are repeated, like a slowed down Glass or Reich minimalism. A note is played. There is a space. Several more are played and then it repeats, takes a different take, adds some notes, pulls some out, repeats in a different pattern. Gianni Lenoci performs this piece with stunning skill. It must be a challenge, to say the least, to perform a solo piece for 67 minutes. Lenoci never lets down. Each note is played with meaning and purpose. This is transcendent stuff. Give yourself time to enjoy.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 1, 2015 at 9:46 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Chen/DeGruttola/Kaiser/Lyuh/Winant – “Megasonic Chapel” – [Fractal Music]

    Stunning, superior 80 minutes of exquisite musicianship. Henry Kaiser and William Winant went to South Korea to learn about and how to play Korean court music and Shaman music. Its effect was dynamic, bringing Kaiser to see connections to Morton Feldman. Their teacher Soo-Yeon Lyuh, a master of the Korean two stringed haegum, introduced them to many styles of Korean music. Jump to San Francisco. She shows up, they decide to put together a show and a recording. Call in Danielle DeGruttola on cello and Tania Chen on piano and the music happens. Kaiser plays a number of guitars and harp guitars. Chen starts out on piano. Winant is subtle in his percussion. DeGruttola elicits nuanced play on the cello. And Lyuh sets up a unique voice with the haegum playing against, around and with all the others. Nothing is ever dominant or domineering. It is thoughtful, meditative and simply some of the most gorgeous improvisational sounds you will hear.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 1, 2015 at 9:36 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Kemuri – “Mirai Wa Akarui” – [Asian Man Records]

    Currently active, in their 2nd iteration. From Japan,
    according to the song title, in Japanese or English accordingly.
    This is a best of compilation. The title is something
    about your future being bright, reminding me of their
    tune, Mr. Smiling. Too positive to cuss, Emo-Ska?
    Mostly light on the horn action but it is there.
    I find that the horns seem more like add-ons,
    instead of being more of a focus for driving the song.
    A5 B2) A little skankin, better and greater horns, fun tunes.
    Pauses and false endings occasionally, thankfully! All
    the quirks hooks perks of ska represented. Big difference in
    sound from say ‘Big D and the Kids Table’, or Murphy’s Law.
    Not like the Chinkees either which are more like Operation Ivy.
    Not enough like the strictly Reggae stuff, and not enough like
    the hip-hop/rock/ska stuff (like “Noise Complaint” and
    “Tryout Your Voice” from Big D, in each style respectively)
    A good festival sound but a little embarrassing otherwise.
    (maybe they should shout sometimes, anytime now?)
    Not the better band when compared to say Bruce Lee Band, but
    Ska’s dope tho, so play.
    -Dada Diogenes

  • Reviewed by Grizzly Adam on July 1, 2015 at 5:18 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Birds and Brass – “Golden Hour of – Birds and Brass” – [Golden Hour]

    Golden Hour Of Birds And Brass

    A bunch of session singers (the birds) and a bunch of session horns (the brass) collide for a cheesy hour of music. Not to be confused with Keith Roberts’ Birds ‘N Brass albums from 1970 & 1974, this 1976 album from Stan Butcher has been called inferior by those who have heard the other releases and the quality of the 60-minute playtime also doesn’t help this release.

    That being said, I do love me some cheese; and while this hunk of cheddar may not get you rolling down hills any time soon, it has a few tracks that will put a smile on your face (or maybe indigestion, depending on your inclinations). Tucked into these 24 tracks are many recognizable covers, plus a handful of original songs from Stan Butcher. My Philly raised better half was surprised to hear “I Can Sing a Rainbow”, as it was the end theme to the Captain Noah show (though not this version).

  • Reviewed by Sir Cumference on July 1, 2015 at 2:04 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,B Library
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  • Bourbonese Qualk – “1983-1987″ – [Mannequin Records]

    In the finite world of music and music genres there seems to be an infinite number of releases and rereleases being put out. This is a good thing especially when something like this Bourbonese Qualk release gets issued. Hailing from England, based in London, existing from 1979 to 2003. Anarchists fighting the good fight against Maggot Thatcher and capitalism. Taking control of their own music by having their own space,the somewhat notorious Ambulance Station for recording and what not. Having their own labels and releasing their music under their control. Using a TEAC 4 Trac originally owned by Throbbing Gristle, then given to SPK, then Nocturnal Emissions and finally ending up in the hands of BQ (I like this part), BQ definitely have their street cred. The overview on the back of the Mannequin release is thorough and should be looked at for their full history. Mannequin Records pulled songs from five albums between 1983 and 1986 when BQ was the trio of Simon Crab, Julian Gilbert and Steven Tanza. The selections tend more toward the electronic synth beat driven side of their output. It’s like early Cabaret Voltaire, though they may not like the comparison. Often electronic beat driven, with some squelch, distorted vocals (at times) either due to manipulation or poor recording, it all works. The industrial synth sound. Political lyrics that are as relevant today and forever, unfortunately. These guys weren’t afraid to shove it in your face and down your throat. They lived what they preached. These are essential recordings in the history of experimental music from the 80′s, and they still sound strong today. Pop it on. Dance around. Raise Your Fist!

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 1, 2015 at 8:44 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Mirage – “Blood For The Return” – [Olde English Spelling Bee]

    Weirdo (in a good way) label Olde English Spelling Bee have released “Blood For the Return” by Mirage. And what a release. Or, and What? A release? I have listened to this many times and am just now beginning to get a grasp of it. Sort of. It has so much going on which I usually like but this one was, at first, and then second and then third, a big Huh? I need references, touchstones. I hear Beach Boys Pet Sounds on old acid and crystal meth. I hear Panda Bear and Grizzly Bear. I hear Van Dyke Parks and 70′s prog monster groups. I hear symphonic productions and early Residents. Some other review mentioned ELO? I am so down with ELO, so yeah.
    What the hell is going on? People who hate long reviews, stop here. If you like the story, continue. Mirage is Robin Nydal (Bob Dylan… okay) a 19 year old from Los Angeles working from a garage/basement/bedroom from his possibly privileged parent’s home. Maybe. Or not. Actually, Nydal has released a number of things before under different names often listing himself as a 19 year old. There is even a story of a previous group of his opening for Roger Daltry!?!?!? There is more but you’ll need to do the research.
    The music is a one man band, using one mic and lots of production values. LOTS OF PRODUCTION. Sometimes it’s so overwhelming which I am now loving. Rhythms start up and then are distorted. Great little pop riffs on piano get stuck in your head and then it turns into a swarm of mosquitoes. Is that his real voice? It must be distorted. Things get stuck like a locked groove and sounds flood in. It’s 1970′s and early 1980′s revisionism with a dull scalpel used to pull apart the “good parts.” Twangy guitar fades away into strings. Indecipherable lyrics become clear and confusing like those of some knock off small town high school dudes trying to be Genesis in 1974. Are you confused? Welcome to the world of Mirage. This is more IN YOUR FACE than most of the noise/metal onslaught groups who try to shock. Try it in one sitting. Take your Ativan. I’m getting my prescription refilled so I can listen again.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 1, 2015 at 7:55 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • PPF – “La Belle France, 1900″ – [Eibon Records]


    French death industrial trio (from Orleans) evidently inspired by Propergol and Anzenzephalia, though less sonically nuanced than those projects. This 2003 album draws lyrically and thematically on the anti-nationalist works of fin-de-siecle French anarchist writer Georges Darien, in particular the treatise with which it shares a title. The left-wing sympathies are evidently sincere and place PPF (the acronym refers to both Parti Populaire Francaise, the wartime French fascist party complicit in the Holocaust, and ‘Propaganda Par Le Fait,’ or ‘Propaganda Through Action,’ an anarchist slogan) amid a limited company of other openly progressive industrial groups (see SPK or Sweden’s Barrikad). There are three types of track here: repetitive Control-style ‘clean’ power electronics with throat-rupturing vocal hysterics (2, 3, 5), brooding death industrial mire (1, 6, 8) and krautish beat-driven stuff (4, 7– the former of which is actually quite catchy). Treated French spoken word delivers Darien’s prose on 1, 4, 6 and maybe 7. Track 9 is just a film sample. The more I listened to this the more some of the synth work on some tracks became cloying power electronics synth shouldn’t sound like synth unless you really know what you are doing but there are very, very strong moments on this album e.g. 3, 4 and 8. Jusqu’a la mort!

  • Reviewed by Lord Gravestench on July 1, 2015 at 1:57 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Park,Han-earl/Sikora, Catherine/Didkovsky, Nick/Sinton, Josh – “Anomic Aphasia” – [Slam]

    Han-earl Park on guitar. Catherine Sikora on tenor and soprano saxophone. Nick Didkovsky on guitar. Josh Sinton on baritone saxophone and bass clarinet. Five pieces totaling 70 minutes. Each piece is a trio. Park and Sikora play on all five pieces. The work is titled “Anomic Aphasia” which is a disorder which cause problems recalling words or names. Okay. So this is actually Park’s project but actually two jazz improvisation projects. The opening and closing tracks are his trio Eris 136199. It’s all about guitars versus sax. Sax versus guitars. Sax and guitars together. They are challenging and phenomenal works with the musicians playing off of each others ideas. The guitars are each unique in approach and Sakora goes for it with her sax taking them on note for note. There is pause and space, much needed allowing the listener to appreciate it all. Cacophony to melody. The middle tracks are from an unnamed project which is the “interactive playbook Metis 9″. This may be some type of software designed to show improvisational tactics which the performers attempt. Or maybe not. It is unclear. What is clear is the stunning trio work. Now just one guitar (Park), sax and clarinet, the feeling is different but still crazy, intertwining each others notes, letting them stand, then facing off, blending, melding, challenging each other. A beautiful noise. Free jazz continuing to experiment.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on July 1, 2015 at 12:39 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Arandel – “Solarispellis” – [InFine']

    “Solarispellis” is the sophomore output of anonymous producer Arandel. InFine’, the Parisian label, has put out this interesting project which is supposedly a soundtrack to a fictions film. Completed all on analog “this album was made using a bunch of old vintage analog keyboards (elektronika em-26, teisco ps-60, crumar multiman-s, gem sprinter 49, moog slim phatty, korg monotron, antonelli electric organ 2377, casio pt-1, excel-o-tone), a stylophone, a mfb-522 drum machine, a couple of gongs, various acoustic and electronic percussions, drums, a handle of shells, a bike bell, a touch of field recordings, some analog effects, vocals, and a few samples from ?? in d ??.” Unquote. “In D” was the first album of symphonic quality. “Solarispellis” is different in some ways. Set up as sections and interludes, Arandel explores the different sonic qualities available from using the above mentioned analog tools. References abound: Eno, Krautrock, early Reich and Glass minimalism, techno light. I hear a tailored down Add N To X. It’s all good. Rich analog beats, some more ethereal, others with a focus on movin’ IT, all add to the ever changing atmosphere that the soundtrack provides. It’s fun trying to figure out what scene would go with the sounds, yet it is more enjoyable falling into the music. The hints of 70′s revisited but redone with a 21st century outlook filled my sonic soul. Play it play it play it.

  • Reviewed by Naysayer on June 28, 2015 at 2:51 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Big Daddy Kane – “How U Get a Record Deal” – [Cold Chillin' Records]


    1993 single from a legend of the golden age out of Queens. summertime boom bap with some laid back horn riffs on the production from Trackmasters. title track more philosophical and the B side more in your face. instrumentals a capella Cold Chillin.

  • Reviewed by abacus on June 24, 2015 at 10:06 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Hip Hop
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  • Zagers, Jeff – “Still / Alive” – [Wharf Cat Records]


    rural synth-pop from Savannah, Georgia’s Jeff Zagers. he has a background in experimental dance-tronica and while hints of that are peppered in here, the style is decidedly that of indie pop, with some elements of spacious psychedelia tinkering around the edges. he plays all the instruments: synths, keys, programming, drums, guitar, bass and alto sax, with layers of vocals swirling over the top. ethereal, soft spoken, and personal, with personable production and melodies. a true gem of DIY style

  • Reviewed by abacus on June 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Merzbow / Askew – “Level” – [Rustblade]

    One side long from Merzbow yes please more. Two tracks from Askew. First is cinematic and spacey and second track is more orthodox electronic noise.
    Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on June 24, 2015 at 4:59 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Granli, Gaute / Torus, Clifford [coll] – [Drid Machine Records]

    Omg so confusing wtf. After some exploration it seems the outside of the double gray line takes you to the edge of the disc, the inside takes you inside when played in the regular direction. I encourage you to experiment with it. Not for those who like to play one song at a time one right after the other. This was just released in May. Called a split on the internet. It sounds awesome. Noisey guitar and drums. GG is guitarist in Skadne Krek and Freddy the Dyke. Clifford Torus is a four dimensional geometric shape. Also a musician.
    Billie Joe Tolliver

  • Reviewed by billiejoe on June 24, 2015 at 4:57 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Squarepusher – “Music Is Rotted One Note” – [Warp]


    3rd full-length from Tom Jenkinson leaning away from the abrasive drum and bass beats of Hard Normal Daddy and towards a more abstract yet groovy jazz-fusion / electroacoustic style. interestingly, the drums and bass are there but played live by Tom himself giving the album a more live feel. some of the tracks (4,6,8,10,12,14,15) are more of spacious glitchscapes while the rest bounce along, heads bumping. musically accessible with a serious touch of decomposing. just wait for that beat to drop.

  • Reviewed by abacus on June 24, 2015 at 4:07 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Slime Girls – “Yumemi / Lonely Planet Girl” – [Phat 'n' Phunky]

    Experiential music; the expression of absorption, both Guan (observe) and Ding (stabilize).
    Definitely a mix of insular melodies of (J)game soundtrack music and auteur pop rock, with
    fleeting moments of melodies reminiscent of those explored by popular Japanese music more
    broadly. A) Has the whole band. Chiptune or synth-y instrumentation plus dirty guitar,
    bass, and drums. Everything reminds me of Virginia Dare, this included. Just a few jammy
    parts, no fake ass “movements”. B) No improv/exploration, solo composition of electro-pop
    by Pedro Silva. Not strings, not -well it is synth- but tries to be more like a rhythm
    machine. Although the record is 45, play this 33 for the nine melodies of Earthbound.
    Definitely can alienate a crowd, listen alone, for the over arrangement is quite
    embellished. Out of LA, 2nd release. -Dada Diogenes

  • Reviewed by Grizzly Adam on June 24, 2015 at 3:58 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
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  • L’Horrible Passion – “Lucidique Et Les Limites Du Bon Sens” – [Reminiscences Production]


    “A cold and rainy autumn evening. Rats in the walls. And old portrait of a deceased child hanging on the wall. An old cylinder wax playing while drinking a glass of absinthe to confront the absurd. No colours at all, only black and white is painting the room. And mnemosine torturing you incessantly…..”

    limited debut full-length from Spanish artiste and absinthe connoisseur; mournful melodies of victorian tragedy evoking lingering memories of lost loved ones and creeping uncertainties. lush harmonies in a dark, icy cold ambiance mixing old gramophone recordings with neoclassical piano and unsettling musique concrete. beautiful, beautiful nightmares.

  • Reviewed by abacus on June 24, 2015 at 12:00 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Shank, Bud & Cooper, Bob – “Blowin’ Country” – [World Pacific]

    !959 recording from this pair of alto/tenor sax players who add flute, bass clarinet and oboe to the instrumental palette of this West Coast jazz. Fine rhythm section will put a smile on your face and make you tap your toe. “Sweet Georgia Brown” track among others has a good oboe solo. Wow!

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on June 24, 2015 at 11:57 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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