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Dust-To-Digital is a one of a kind label, focusing not only on quality collections but making sure packaging and information is as exquisite as the sounds. “Longing For the Past, The 78 RPM Era in Southeast Asia” continues this tradition. 78 recordings from the early 1900′s through the 1950′s, taken from Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam cover all ranges of music and styles from these countries at these times. Court music, wedding songs, instrumental pieces both solo and groups in all configurations, folk songs, known and unknown performers, village music, leaders chanting and on and on. So many sounds caught on 78′s and still intact to preserve a selection for us to hear on 4 CD’s. Initially this music was recorded merely as a means to sell Victrolas to a new market. You won’t buy it if there is nothing there to hear. European salesmen went out and recorded just about anything that moved. The selection in incredible. The accompanying book is a comprehensive review of how this started, who did it, where they went, the types of music and their history, notes on instrumentation and history of instruments and artists. Each song has three to five paragraphs of thorough explanation. Dive in, learn and enjoy.
Hoosier Hot Shots ??? ???Everybody Stomp/Hot Lips??? ??? [Proper Records]
The Hoosier Hot Shots were a four piece swing, jazz, corn pone, hillbilly country outfit from Indiana. Steeped in the tradition of vaudeville, the group took parts of the U.S. by storm with their weekly radio broadcasts, their stage presence, their prolific recording career and their continued appearance in Hollywood westerns. This collection, ???Everybody Stomp??? is a 4 CD set of 100 Hoosier Hot Shot delights. The guys were multi-instrumentalists, playing a variety of brass instruments as well as guitar, string bass (various), clarinet and some unique handmade instruments including the Zither and the Wabash Washboard. It consisted of a corrugated sheet metal washboard on a metal stand with various noisemakers attached, including bells and a multi-octave range of squeeze-type bicycle horns???. Also, slide whistles are in most numbers. The Hoosiers selected many standards and familiar songs of the time to cover with a jaunty, silly twist. Vocals include conversation between the musicians, with some of the singers using this high pitched kind of hillbilly accent. And don???t forget the penny whistles. Once beyond the goofiness, though, take a listen to the amazing musicianship between the members. It???s quite impressive. A fun addition, fitting many of the styles of our station???s shows.
WOW. 4 CD’s. 103 tracks of protest in early American blues and gospel. Time period: 1910′s to the late 1930′s. We know the sound. No need to restate. So many artists, some well known and others obscure. Solos, choirs, groups, bands. But this is music of protest, some stated blatantly, others sung with humor, many layered with symbols and meaning to hide the target. These are songs, angry songs, desperate songs about abusive and oppressive conditions created and maintained by the white population relentlessly directed toward the black population. Despicable working conditions, police brutality, forced labor, prison horror. Continuous abuse and exploitation of one group of people by another. The variety of reactions to this oppression are as varied as the artists performing the songs. From thoughts of suicide to attacking and killing “Mr. Charlie”, from looking for the fabled promised land to all out revolution. The conditions and situations today of mistreatment and persecution are frighteningly and disgustingly no different then they were 100 years ago. These are essential tracks to play. Utilize this superb collection.
Mezzetin still is a mystery. Who is He/They? Where from? Where is the label from? Possibly a one man project. “Odd Scene” might be Mezzetin’s 3rd release. It’s all great outsider rock. One of the more distinctive voices around, still off-keyish and repetitive. Lyrics of love and memories and lost things. Mezzetin is diving into more experiments in sound this time, which makes it all the more interesting. Jangly guitars abound, still off. Infantile drumming, but in a good way. Track 9, “Mingling Haus” is 4 minutes of one note strummed on the guitar with wank drums and no vocals. If this was being done by a female Japanese noise performance artist, we would all be losing our shit. He’s not that. You still should be losing your shit.
Holy f..in sh#t! Trying to find my head to reattach to my body after listening to this one. I feel like I should go smoke a cig or get electro shocked. Tom Jenkinson, aka Squarepusher, is a major player in IDM/EDM/whatever. I don’t need to tell you. He’s brilliant. And so is this album from 2001. It marked a change for him, a move away from the use of actual instruments and an experiment with digital, all digital. No computers on this album, though. It’s hardware: it’s samplers, sequencers, synthesizers and digital effects processors. All put to their amazing 2001 use. Many pieces are FAST: sounds reverberate back and forth and through so fast you would never be able to catch them. But the few “slow” pieces are equally sonically exciting. Effects come and go and then the drill and bass starts. Yes Yes Yes! Oh hell yes!
Crow Crash Radio are a Bay area group that combine extended psychedelic jams with surf influences and drone. With Mark Pino on drums, Andrew Joron on theremin and Brian Strang on guitar, these musicians create a soundscape that is hypnotic and repetitive in a good way. Pino’s constant beats guide the listener while Strang puts down layers of guitar sound, filled out by Joron’s theremin drone and warble. An exceptional take on a unique mixing of styles, going to show there is always a new way to interpret genres.
An exceptional talent, frighteningly underrepresented in our library, Terry Callier was a prolific musician and singer, performing blues, soul and folk songs. This 1964 recording live at Chicago’s Mother Blues folk club, offers an intimate performance of Callier, singing eight quiet yet moving folk tunes accompanied by his guitar playing and two acoustic bass players. The moment he starts to sing the audience goes quiet, except for the random plate or cup being moved. His voice is rich and powerful with so much emotion. It kind of makes you melt. It’s like loneliness and sex and strength and pain and kindness and sadness all wrapped up into one. Folk singers were true story tellers and Callier is right up there with the best, weaving his tales with assuredness and power. Your knees will buckle.
Holy crapola. Power punk is alive and well, thank the gods. My neck still has a kink in it from flipping my head around so much to this album by the Uranium Club (a.k.a. Minneapolis Uranium Club). Eight cuts of right on, 21st century nihilist punk songs filled with snark and futility due to the world’s current situation. Smart, young dude intelligent lyrics about god, earth destruction, messed up relationships: we are living the dream. May I state my references/what I hear when playing this for the fifth time: early fast Buzzcocks, early Devo, Steve Albini/Big Black, Gene Wilder Willie Wonka. Great guitar work. Strong bass lines. Powerful straight ahead drumming. Three of the four guys take on vocals. Track one is spoken word “ad” about the band. Track eight is a quick instrumental. Play it LOUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Der Plan Der Plan Der Plan. Du bist wunderbar. Considered to be the originators of Neue Deutsche Welle, Der Plan, from Dusseldorf, began in 1979 as more of an industrial band but moved into the electronic beats that make them famous. They incorporate puppets, masks, wild costumes, home made sets, all looking like a kindergarten class taking on “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”, along with the angular, electronic driven “simplistic” synth sounds. In 1984, they made a video and LP called “Japlan” which led to a successful tour of Japan. The album did very well there but was not released in Germany. Until 2013.
Hypnopazuzu is a newish project by legendary David Tibet and Youth (Martin Glover, bassist of Killing Joke and other projects and producer). Supposedly this project was in the works for years, at least on a conversational level. Youth and Tibet are highly intimidating men so it is interesting on how to approach this big work. Musically, it is lush, rich and full, with stunning orchestrations combining strings and moog, synthesizers, guitar and percussion. All pieces are slow but never dull. Always moving, flowing, changing from quiet to full sound, contrasting and playing with Tibet’s vocals. Tibet has a unique, distinguishable voice, known immediately by those who are familiar with his work. His singing style is reminiscent of ancient church choral work, sometimes chant-like, always captivating. The songs are about… the hell if I know. Even reading the lyrics lost me. Which isn’t bad, they are just deep. Tibet is influenced by or follows and studies esoteric Christianity as well as sects of Tibetan Buddhism, ancient literary texts, gods and Gods both light and dark, magick and themes of apocalypse. Mix that up with older children’s tales, experimental sexuality, and selections from Gilgamesh and you have an idea of the range of topics being sung. Intimidating but heartfelt and sincere. This CD is a stunner and would work on almost every show at the station. Don’t be intimidated.
Josef Van Wissem is a Dutch minimalist composer and lute player who won the Cannes Soundtrack Award for the score to “Only Lovers Left Alive”, the second film collaboration with film maker Jim Jarmusch. “Concerning….” is his first collaboration with Jarmusch, who also plays guitar on the five track album. Five quiet, mostly somber extended pieces of truly minimalist lute playing. Simple repeated plucking of several strings, with repeated chords against a backdrop of Jarmusch’s guitar feedback and wall of drone. Lushly contemplative, moody and dark. Track five is a minimalist lute solo with the title spoken as lyric at the end of the song. Gorgeous alone or perfect for mixing: I hear wind, the sound of children, waves, someone crying, laughter in the distance, power tools. It all works.
A one woman band possibly named after Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film about the opening up of self-understanding through sexual encounter, sung in French, using post-post punk instrumentation and monotone speak singing? Sign me up. Track 1, “Let’s Start”, begins with a sound clip from Fela Kuti inviting someone, us, in to do what we came for. Sexual and more, almost revolutionary. And then the fun starts. Maisa D., who is Theoreme, sets up 9 tracks that are just discordant enough to be disturbing but beat driven enough to not necessarily make you dance, but make you stand sullenly in the dark club bouncing your head. Each piece is buzzy, as if the volume is up too high, or the cheap speakers can’t handle the bass. Very nice, like rusted wires scraped on your skin. It’s wonderful to hear something new, that references the past but sounds 21st century.
Idelsohn Society For Musical Preservation (or in this case, Reboot Stereophonic label) continues to amaze with its focused and in depth look at American Jewish music and its influence on others. This release, “God Is A Moog” is a full collection of “the electronic prayers of Gershon Kingsley”. Kingsley is best known for bringing us the electronic pop culture AM radio wonder “Popcorn” as well as co-writing, with Jean Jacques Perrey, “Baroque Hoedown”, the theme of Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade. But like many intensely creative people, he is much more than the sum of his parts. The book included in the double CD package gives incredible depth and insight into Gershon, his influences, his knowledge, his expertise, his values, his politics and his drive. “God Is A Moog” is heavily driven by all of these things, but with a uniqueness of character that makes these pieces so entertaining. Mixing his love of Moog and his love of Jewish prayer and holiday ritual, Gershon creates a Moog modern take on prayer and worship.
The Hoosier Hot Shots were a four piece swing, jazz, cornpone, hillbilly country outfit from Indiana. Steeped in the tradition of vaudeville, the group took parts of the U.S. by storm with their weekly radio broadcasts, their stage presence, their prolific recording career and their continued appearance in Hollywood westerns. This collection, “Everybody Stomp” is a 4 CD set of 100 Hoosier Hot Shot delights. The guys were multi-instrumentalists, playing a variety of brass instruments as well as guitar, string bass (various), clarinet and some unique handmade instruments including the Zither and the Wabash Washboard. It consisted of a corrugated sheet metal washboard on a metal stand with various noisemakers attached, including bells and a multi-octave range of squeeze-type bicycle horns”. Also, slide whistles are in most numbers. The Hoosiers selected many standards and familiar songs of the time to cover with a jaunty, silly twist. Vocals include conversation between the musicians, with some of the singers using this hight pitched kind of hillbilly accent. And don’t forget the penny whistles. Once beyond the goffiness, though, take a listen to the amazing musicianship between the members. It’s quite impressive. A fun addition, fitting many of the styles of our station’s shows.
Florence Price is an early, lesser known 20th Century composer of classical music, whose style is often referred to as being in the nationalistic style. This recording, by The Women’s Philharmonic, shows off three of her works. At times sounding like Aaron Copland and Tchaikovsky, with hints of southern spirituals, these pieces offer a full symphonic range of sound and feeling. At times there are melodies that seem like they could be used as early soundtracks to cartoons, where the tunes do not flow quite so simplistically. Why she is an important addition to our collection is because Florence Price was the first African American woman to gain acclaim nationally for her music and to have it played in symphonic halls. At a time when racism and sexism held back and destroyed millions of people, acceptance and appreciation of her and her music was a profound action by a country divided. Listen and celebrate our elders.
Hangouts come and go but nowadays someone always has a recording to bring back the memories. Between 2006 and 2012 in New York City’s downtown, the restaurant/bar/hangout Mangiami (Eat Me) was THE place for clubsters, models, cool neighbors, freaks. losers and those in the know to hang out. On Monday nights local and international dj’s would spin records on the old Technics turntables set up at the bar and the place would supposedly ignite. This compilation of 8 tunes gives the listener the feel of what it was like. Dance tunes, some with simple vocals, create a constant beat to help you slug down the drink of the moment. Hinting at futuresynth ideas, also pulling from dance rhythms of the 1980′s and 1990′s, infused with a contemporary sensibility, this was the sound. The constant thump gets under your skin and soon your head starts rocking side to side. It’s a medium cool kind of beat, no HI-NRG here. Drop ins of electric piano riffs, vocal samples, bells, high hat. A little too slow for a jog around the reservoir, but perfect for strutting through the Village. On canstant play in my 1997 Lexus.
Tender Buttons is the exquisite project from Tania Chen, Tom Djll, and Gino Robair, three masters in the field of experimental electronic and acoustic improvisation. “Forbidden Symmetries”, their first full release, on Rastascan Records, are two full side pieces of electronic exploration. Influenced by Gertrude Stein, Fluxus, Kling Klang studio, among other things, Tender Buttons’ improvisational style is filled with electronic blurbles and bleeps as well as subtle hums, reverberations and echoes. Playing alongside piano, the trio is not afraid to use space and silence as an integral part of their performance. So John Cage is also an inspiration. Each piece is a journey of sound eliciting visual and auditory memory, carrying the listener to a variety of places guided by the interplay of piano and electronic noodling. Like the gorgeous cover of guidelines and map design and directions exploded, the sounds fly around, stop, pause, restart, continue, redirect. A glorious auditory journey.
John Gibson is many things: musician, composer, multi-instrumentalist, professor, winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship among many other awards, academic. He is interested in electro acoustic sounds and their interplay. “Traces” is his recording looking at 12 years of his work and ideas. The seven selections are like listening to a kaleidoscope, if that was possible, with shards of sounds flashing past or gently merging into one another. At moments it may pause, affording a look, a listen to grasp what is heard. Then it moves on again, unique but with a connection to what was heard before. The selections use a variety of sounds, some from piano, trumpet, strings, trombone, the electronic manipulation of these sounds and fragments of these sounds or fragments of sounds interplaying with the acoustic instruments, electronic glitches and swooshes. There are samples from nature and from urban settings mixed in and played along with. It is all so very complex, sharp, crystal like. Pristine in its haunting beauty. Superb.
Italian music is strange. From giallo soundtracks, to Italdisco, and mondo soundtracks, things are always just a bit off center. “Collezione” from the label Edizioni Mondo is a collection of four artists/groups who are playing a 21st century type or style of electronic experimentalish cocktail lounge music, some with the sounds of animals howling and birds chirping as well as ocean waves gently crashing. Electronic beats guide each piece while background sounds fill out the lounge quality. It’s very chill, but Italian chill. It reminds of this Italian disco I went to in Firenze in the mid 1980′s. The Italdisco beats were pounding, fog machine was on, VERY chic well dressed Italians sat around sipping cocktails until it was time to dance: a very controlled, stylish sweatless dance. So amazing to watch. Like this. Great to listen to. Great for beds or just kicking back. Sweatless kicing back.
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