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Workshop “Yog Sothoth” [Sonig]

Germans Kai Althoff und Stephan Abry have been Workshop for a
number of years, this is their seventh release. Althoff is
also an artist (canvases) and thus this by defintion is art
rock, but it’s also damned diverse. His singing is often
on-the-fly pitched and glitched, but it’s still singing. This
release plays like a band, men more than Matmos. (Although
the mysterious Rath may be a woman.) Workshop looks to its
electronics without overlooking more human elements. Like
beats dropped in at less than precise moments, and good
punch-drunk guitars on #2. They list a lot of collaborators,
depending on which track/door you come in, this album will
look like an entirely different house. Beat palace, prog
cubicles, broken pop stand, reggae shack. The processed vox
at times crack me up (not that I understand the German) but
that zippling effect has been used in really cheezy R&B in
the past. There’s Fodder for the whole Family here, all

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 27, 2004 at 2:48 am
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Pharoah Sanders “Izipho Zam” [Strata-East]

    Pharoah Sanders remains a regal presence, here we hear him
    ascending the pyramidal throne with a throng of amazing
    musicans. Sonny Sharrock is on here with bubbling guitar,
    dual double bass quadruple soul are laid solid by Sirone
    and Cecil McBee. Leon Thomas steals the show with a baritone
    yodel that is deeper than the soul…much of this album
    despite fiery flourishes, has an R&B skeleton. Sturdy yet
    flowing. “Prince of Peace” comes with bells of peace and
    sweet washes of sound. “Balance” has be-bop chops and
    Sharrock gets more turbulent on this. There’s a nice dry as
    a rattlesnake’s skin percussion break as well. The big
    payoff is the title track, all 28:50 of it. Thomas’ jazz
    yodel returns, transplanted from the river of “Prince”
    to a garden of sounds galore. Branches of percussion sway,
    thumb piano ferns wave and flutebird moves in and out
    of the growth. Free jazz, fire music in its most deceptively
    cool environs. All done in 1969…this along with “Tauhid”
    are essential Sanders. Towering.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 27, 2004 at 1:37 am
  • Filed as Format,12-inch,Jazz
  • 1 comment
  • L.A. Drugs s/t [Twisted Village]

    Three piece suits themselves to the pleasure of panic attacks
    and heavy doses of teenage sexual frustration (the lyrics
    are copped from singer Sandra’s diary.) Tinny but not tiny
    punk with sloppy joe guitar from Ryan, who just as he starts
    to master the six-string halfway through this one-sided
    monomaniacal hormone-laced vinyl release dumps the guitar
    for his true love, synthesizers that make Quintron sound
    like Lawrence Welk. And oh yeah, that’s Paul drumming at gun
    point…and just as sure-handed as you would expect. This
    album screams for attention, but it also just screams for
    the sake of screaming. Fiesty fits of songs get bored with
    the listener before vice-versa…repetition of lyrics keeps
    the insistence levels high, the insolence meanwhile is
    bubbling out of your pancreas as these L.A. Drugs detune
    out, turn on you and drop their drawers. Music to scratch
    scabs to…not necessarily your own. Purely puerile!
    PS A locked groove to *start* and *end* this…

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on July 13, 2004 at 4:03 pm
  • Filed as Format,12-inch,A Library
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