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Triosk – “Moment Returns” – [Leaf Label Ltd]

triosk – “moment returns” – [leaf label]

triosk administers measured yet delicate doses of minimalist meanderings and moody muses to create an aural tonic that is smooth, sensitive and sophisticated… no bitters here. “moment returns” mixes well with both psychoacoustic sound clash and downtempo acid jazz with equal ease. sparse sound samples form an interactive organic environment which complements this contemplative piano trio nicely.

mad hatter

  • Reviewed by Funkminsta Fulla on November 30, 2004 at 10:54 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Tinariwen “Amassakoul” [world village]

    Founded in the late 1970′s by guitarist Ibrahim Ag Alhabib,
    Tinariwen has been a loose collective of soul soldiers and
    guitar shamen ever since. If blues is born of pain, then
    these Tamashek men and women, driven from their native Mali
    for a stretch, still feel that sharp emptiness…it’s built
    into their name which allegedly translates as “desert” or
    “empty spaces.” The burrowing guitar is a striking signature,
    present on all cuts here except the floaty flute and chant
    drone that closes the CD. The guitar is usually under chatty
    call-and-response vocals that are infectious enough to sing
    along with despite no clue what is being said. While the
    guitar can recall the pluck of the Ex, and the electric zap
    of Junior Kimbrough, it really is a unique flavor to savor.
    Elements of sauntering reggae rhythm, gnawa loops, french rap
    are captured as well. Dig that mod mad nomad sound!

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 23, 2004 at 2:35 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,International
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  • Theramin “We Were Gladiators” [Psychotica Records]

    Solid battering-ram rock from Italy’s Theramin targetting our
    shores with english lyrics… and “talks” too, as featured
    on “Near by the Saint Leonard river” which wisely tells us not
    to think too much. Drummer Sacha Tilotta offers said talks,
    and when he’s not a ponderer, he’s a pounder. Drums on this
    album sound great and fight for life. Tracks often go through
    stark passages where either Sacha’s drums or Stefano Garaffa
    Botta’s guitar drop out for a few bars before dynamics damn the
    torpedoes and full boar ahead. Good yelping female guest vox
    by Giovanna Cacciola on “In My Place.” String suite sweetens
    “To Be Away” which like much of the album features prominent
    and vital basswork by Michael Herman, a key to heavy-hitting
    rock. And this here is some kinda Italian Kung Fu which lands
    every punch.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 23, 2004 at 2:32 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Zu “Igneo” [Amanita]

    Igeno ain’t bliss, but it is burnished and blistering rock
    done as if by magic without a lead guitar. Black magic indeed
    with smoke coming out of Luca Tommaso Mai’s saxes, on two
    tracks Ken Vandermark doubles that damage. Additionally two
    other Chicago Brotzworkers join in the fiery festivities,
    but Zu really needs no assistance. The rhythm section of
    Massimo Pupillo on bass and drummer Jacopo Battaglia, they’re
    sort of an Italian answer to the Ruins. They provide an
    infernal (lower-case m) magma of sound. Pupillo’s basswork
    is active, with chord flashes and quick fingerwork to make
    one almost swear that guitar is present. Or maybe that’s the
    contribution of live soundman Alberto Mattaroccia. Crunch
    and feedback whinny fit so well with the angry horn work.
    A powerhouse release, with unquenchability.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 21, 2004 at 5:24 am
  • Filed as A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Panicsville “Imperfections of the Organism” 33 [Nihilist]

    Panicsville “Imperfections of the Organism” 33
    Transmission jamming frequencies emanating from Chicago, with
    Andy Ortmann the main dialer/dealer of this sordid sound.
    Wet whispers, geiger ticking, round bouncing waves supplying
    secret rhythms. Pseudo-stuck scratches, laboratory alarms,
    turntable twists, faulty ignition sequences, all systems
    are gone, way gone. Atari games to the death? Robovox gets
    passive aggressive in the middle of the socket stew of “Radio
    Wizard” leading up to warped discharge on women’s periods at
    the end. Chaotic but never a cacophony…really a diverse
    delight for tired ears. Occasional human yelps, duck calls(?)
    and other swiped sounds, but ultimately the hero of this story
    is electronic equipment, with its own many flavors of stunning
    imperfections. The band name is taken from Patty Duke’s
    exclamations (where does her empire of influence end?). Aside
    from the split 7″ with John Wiese, this ought to really put
    Panicsville indelibly on KFJC’s map. Visit often. -Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 17, 2004 at 11:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library
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  • Bettye Swann – “Bettye Swann” – [Honest Jons]

    This collection by Honest Jons covers semi-obscure soul singer Bettye Swann’s career with Capitol from 1968 and 1970. (Her work with Money Records was recently released on Kent Records.)

    This is country-inflected soul music that will have you singing into a hairbrush or crying into a beer, depending upon your disposition.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on November 10, 2004 at 1:05 pm
  • Filed as CD,Soul
  • 1 comment
  • Chris Joss – “You?ve Been Spiked” – [ESL Music]

    ESL Music has re-released sound engineer and Frenchman Chris Joss’s 3rd album and added two tracks from his 1st album The Man With A Suitcase and a Flash video of the single Discotheque Dancing.

    This album is paying homage to the 70′s with its waka-waka guitar, disco beats, and Hammond organ while at the same time the clear production, occasional sample or scratch keeps it sounding fresh and new.

    The tracks sound like the theme song of a cop show I wish I could have seen or a porno ‘I’m glad that I didn’t. You can’t go wrong playing one of these instrumentals.

    If you ever find yourself evading the police in a stolen Ford Torino make sure to pop in this CD.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on November 10, 2004 at 1:04 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Zoomers “Exist” [hyped2death]

    Another fine reissue/revival from Chuck Warner’s Hyped2Death
    efforts (aka Homework #204 on that label). Check the liner
    notes. While this has one sort of ambling jam (“Freak at the
    Greek”), most of the tracks are short tightrope walks over
    inner anxieties and damp, cramped tape e.q. It sounds pretty
    swank for 1981 cassette culture, though every once in a
    while a track sorta goes through a tunnel of sound, some of
    that those is a result of flanger fanaticism. Lyrics are
    delivered in bursts, that sort of romance vs. robot approach.
    The vocals often accentuated by a gasp or a whisper and oft
    times both, they are nicely up front in the mix. Drums keep
    time, squeeze in some rat-a-tight snare fills, occasionally
    get completely lost. It’s the odder guitar fills (and sax,
    piano and especially synthesizer with well-detuned delivery)
    that augment the angst and make this a Louisiana winner. “All
    We Need” is just too strange and estranging to simply file as
    “rock” but this album (even that track) has moments that rock
    solidly and artfully. There are some really wrong notes at
    exactly the right moments on this!

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on November 9, 2004 at 2:57 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Kahil El’Zabar & David Murray – “We Is” – [delmark]

    Kahil El’Zabar & David Murray – “We Is” – [delmark]

    an intimate yet brightly mic’d live recording at the Bop Shop record store in Rochester, NY does well to capture these animated players’ performance.

    tr1 grooves like the gospel of A Love Supreme; in lieu of Coltrane’s Elvin Jones on trap, here we have the capable Kahil El’Zabar (Ethnic Heritage Ens.) to deliver us the sermon with spirited hand percussion, tasteful trap rhythms and soulful call & response.

    tr2, 5 feature upbeat splatter trap ‘n bop squaks – slightly challenging yet ultimately accessible invites to walk amongst the hallowed halls of hard bop

    tr3 – delicate thumb organ open, warm vox sing truths throughout, beautiful development of Murray’s sax, rich conversation at -9min then solo vibes kiss with water-like bliss before pump organ confessionals draw this ‘Blues Affirmation? to sombre close

    tr4 – swank bass clari + hand perc. that hits right + Band of Gypsys-esque vocal / lyrical feel makes for a toe-tapping time!

    mad hatter

  • Reviewed by Funkminsta Fulla on November 3, 2004 at 6:05 pm
  • Filed as Jazz
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  • melt-banana / big d and the kids table split 7″ – [fork in hand]

    melt-banana / big d and the kids table split 7″ (33rpm) – [fork in hand records]

    melt-banana – high octane Japanese noise-core cover of Toots and the Maytals’ “Monkey Man” complete with aye-yae-yae’s and yo-yo guitars segues to “Operation 3rd Attack”: wildlife noises then mad scratchin’ and finally full-on noise + feedback + drum bludgeoning, albeit brief.

    big d et al. – this is ska-core from Boston, Mass. hard-core riffin’ w/ skankin’ horns. first track is a rockin’ cover of Ministry’s “Thieves” (despite the label’s reversed track ordering), tr2 is original “Apologies” – solid youthful angst w/ decidedly DC sensibility coupled with great primal tom playing finally capitulates w/ almost Morphine-esque closure.

    mad hatter

  • Reviewed by Funkminsta Fulla on November 3, 2004 at 5:58 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch
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  • [coll:] Voices In The Wilderness – [Tzadik]

    This double CD is part of 2003′s celebration of the 10th anniversary of Masada, the jazz quartet that John Zorn leads. Masada doesn’t play on this CD. Instead 24 songs from their song book are performed and produced by about 80 of Mr. Zorn’s musician friends.

    The Masada Book is a collection of more than 200 songs written by Zorn with melodies and harmonies in an attempt to create a new type of Jewish music that is more than the traditional music with new arrangements. He wanted ‘a combination of Ornette Coleman and the Jewish scales.’ (As near as I can tell the Jewish’also called Spanish’scale is the same as a harmonic minor scale begining on the 5th tone.) The scale that the music is based on has that minor-third leap surrounded by half tones that gives the songs a definite ‘Middle east? or at least ‘non-Western? sound.

    The arrangements and interpretations of the music are as varied as the musicians who perform on this release, ranging from straight forward acoustic jazz to rock-jazz fusion. The overall feeling is one of joyfulness and optimism. I felt that the vocals on some of the tracks didn’t really add anything to the songs, so I would recommend sticking to the instrumentals.
    This release is a lot to absorb. Frankly, you’ll have to explore it for yourself. Here are a few suggestions to get started: CD1: 2-Kisofim, 8-Nevelah, 10-Tirzah; CD2: 4-Tannaim, 11-Tiferet, 12-Kedem.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on November 2, 2004 at 1:11 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Existensminimum – “The On and On” – [Flora and Fauna]

    The mastermind behind Existensminimum is Magnus Henriksson of Sweden. The word Existensminimum, literally subsistence level, is a Swedish social services term for the minimum amount of food or money necessary for a person or family.

    But there is nothing minimal about the sound on this EP. Mr. Henriksson wrote and played most instruments on this CD with the help of a few musicians. But when playing live, 10 musicians are required to reproduce the sound.

    Every song is so different from the others that I must describe them separately:

    1. (5:01) – An uptempo, James Bond-y number in 5/4. It has a square 60′s lounge feel, and the singing is just short of over the top at times.

    2. (3:59) – A great song with a driving synth groove and processed vocals.

    3. (5:06) – Orchestral opening gives way to electronic drums. Sounds like Air or Zero 7 with much harder drums. Instrumental

    4. (1:45) – Acoustic guitar soaking in reverb with vocals that start in falsetto.

    5. (3:14) – A U2 parody? This is a big stadium rock-sounding thing featuring synthesizers.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on November 2, 2004 at 1:09 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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