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Fursaxa – “Madrigals in Duos ” – [Time-Lag]

Fursaxa is the (mostly) solo project of Tara Burke, a Philadelphia resident
who has been intriguing us for years now with her efforts in a number of
groups, most notably, Un. On ‘Madrigals In Duos? , her third full-length
release, she displays all the required skills to earn her ‘acid folk? merit
badge. Some tracks are more straightforward, in a lo-fi folk-psych vein,
featuring mainly acoustic guitar and vocals. Other tracks shoot straight
for the heart of that 3AM vibe, combining cosmic organ drones with
ghostly, wailing vocals. Finally, there are a couple of noisier tracks, with
dissonant electric guitars and repetitive, driving, hand percussion.
Beautiful and otherworldly music. Mandatory for play on late night shows. DL

  • Reviewed by Daryl Licht on February 23, 2004 at 11:56 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Trans Am – “Liberation ” – [Thrill Jockey Records]

    ‘Liberation?, the 7th full-length release from Washington D. C.’s, Trans Am, finds
    the band continuing to feature a familar mix of sonic elements – Krautrock, 80′s
    Synthpop, Electro-Ambience, Punk, and Post Rock. Despite its similarity to their
    previous work, however, this album represents a new pinnacle of acheivement
    for the band. On ‘Liberation?, which features a strong theme of opposition to the
    policies of the Bush Administration, the band has a acheived a nearly perfect
    synthesis of cover art, ‘lyrical? content, and music. The cuts on this album (most
    of which track) flow almost seamlessly from synth-driven Krautrock grooves to
    danceable synthpop to late-night, electro-ambient pieces and driving rockers.
    The combination of political soundbites/synthesized vocals and ominous
    analogue sounds works perfectly to convey their damning indictment of Bush’s
    war in Iraq and evoke fear of Big Brother’s ever intrusive gaze/grasp. A beautiful
    record – sonically diverse and conceptually complete. Highly recommended! DL

  • Reviewed by Daryl Licht on February 23, 2004 at 10:30 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Parts & Labor “Groundswell” [JMZ Records]

    Brooklyn trio tapping into that Lightning Bolt voltage.
    Whip-ass drummer Jim Sykes (ultimately replaced by
    Joel Saladino) and buzzneck bassist BJ Warshaw create
    furious instro flurries. What helps these stand out from
    other Bolt babies is keyboardist Dan Friel, he adds a
    sense of *disobedient* electronics. Notes pitch-flip up
    octaves at a time, wires get crossed, no glissando
    all blitzando. Actually all members are credited with
    electronics, so it could well be a group effort. The
    key is that sense of abandon over both monolithic and
    manic rhythm cores. Track #4 features something like
    a theremin in desperate need of ritalin. This is their
    debut from Feb 2003, since then they’ve evidently
    braved vocals. It would be cool to hear them hook up
    with a Alan Vega lyric-droner…or maybe lace some
    NYC saxaholic in their melee.

    NOTE: Last track ends at 3:32 (then a slow drone that
    ultimately reprises #1′s short wash for “closure”)

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 18, 2004 at 1:31 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Mahjongg “Machine Gong” [Cold Crush]

    A long time ago in a galaxy far away, before teenravers
    ruled the technomatic dancefloor in e-induced dehydration,
    kids used to dance to rock music. This clumsy collection
    of five freaks recall that time and stumble to the beat
    on this dance rock set of songs. I dig the 8-bit eq on
    the first three “songs” (track one is something like a
    cassette recording of an airplane?). Most of the songs
    feature some sort of choppiness to an instrument or
    voice or Atari console in the mix… Yeah if Guided by
    Voices had been raised on a strict diet of the Bush
    Tetras then your Mom and Dad would never have met and
    so forth. I think this band will prove to be more
    wonderfully fucked up over time, allegedly they are
    a tri-state affair from Chicago, Missouri and Oregon.
    This release does not cover nearly as much territory.
    Percussion percolated to your taste.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 11, 2004 at 4:19 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • New Circle Five “Dreaming Wide Awake” [Deep Listening]

    Wonder women Pauline Oliveros and Susie Ibarra create a
    five-pointed circle rounded out with vocalista Kristin
    Norderval, Rosi Hertlein on violin (some voice too) and
    Monique Buzzarte on various deeper winds. Operatic scat
    will leap out at your ears somewhat but Norderval and
    Hertlein are grounded in the texts they are breathing
    life into. Ibarra is subtle but strong, opening beaded
    percussion doors into songs…high chimes, soft cymbals,
    distant thundertom rumbles. Oliveros’ accordion sets
    up plenty of sonic fields, droney vortices, but she is
    also suprisingly nimble in other parts. This is on
    Oliveros’ Deep Listening label (and way of life); true
    to form the performers do listen deeply, the sound is
    both light with space between players/singers and
    heavy with tension from drones augmented by Buzzarte’s
    clouds of thick trombone, and from Hertlein’s anxiety
    violin attack. Polyglot sotto vices.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 4, 2004 at 1:11 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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