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DJ Shadow – ?Mashin? On The Motorway/Walkie Talkie? – [Island] – (33 rpm)

This is a double 12″ single released in June 2003 and consisting mostly of remixes of tracks by DJ Shadow. Oddly enough the title tracks (and the only two radio edits) are on sides B and D.

This is turntable-ing, MC-ing, and remix-ing at its finest. If you like hip-hop even a little, then you will find something to like about this release.

Be sure to check out the Soulwax remix of Six Days (D1), which is almost a DJ Shadow/B-52s mash up, and D4, which is a fast and funny track that would work well on a drive shift.

C1 stretches out a bit, starting with a sample of DJ Shadow from the excellent Scratch documentary, then taking a detour into techno, then back to the turntables. For a more dark, techno vibe, check out B1.

Language: A1 (Check the title), B2 (Though it is a ‘radio edit,? the word motherfucking is barely concealed. I had to listen carefully to hear that the word was scrubbed.)
–Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 11:09 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Hip Hop
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  • James White – ?Flaming Demonics? – [Ze Records] – (33 rpm)

    James White (a.k.a. James Chance n’e James Siegfried) has great taste in suits and oh, by the way, is one of the main characters associated with the late 70′s/early 80′s No Wave scene in NYC.

    This album, released in 1983, is his last studio release of five (if you count his LP with the Contortions and the 4 tracks on the No New York compilation, which we have in A on 12″). Ze Records was recently revived and moved to France by label co-founder Michel Esteban, who provides excellent liner notes that are definitely worth a read.

    The music is demented, cacophonous, and chaotic. Most tracks find the rhythm and horn section working a minimal funk riff, while Mr. White wails away on his tenor sax frenetically. He sings too.

    This is an incredibly energetic album. At least one track will have you dancing around like a maniac. Like he shouts in another song: ‘Try being stupid instead of smart.’ Good advice for us and advice he takes as well.

    Three word review: VOODOO DISCO JAZZ
    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 9:43 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Hood – ?Outside Closer? – [Domino Recording] – (33 rpm)

    This is Hood’s sixth full-length release and their first one in four years. But the Leeds, UK-based quartet have released some singles and EPs in that period.

    The music is beautiful and smart indie pop, equal parts natural sounds (guitar, vocals, drums, violin, piano) and electronic sounds (sampled vocal loops, beats, synth). It sounds like it has less electronics than it really does.

    It may take a few listens to get through the shiny finish. Though each song is it’s own creation and has its own sound, the entire album hangs together.

    Each side starts off with an upbeat track and then unwinds into an introspective vibe. I really like this album.

    Language: B1 (‘fuck’)
    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 8:36 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Underground Resistance – “Return of Acid Rain Ii, the ” – [Underground Resistance]

    By the time this EP was released Underground Resistance was just ‘Mad? Mike Banks, the two other co-founders, Jeff Mills and Robert ‘Noise? Hood, having gone off to explore other opportunities. It was released in 1994.

    UR, always the political group, is warning us about the perils of acid rain, a particular problem in Detroit it seems. You need to read actual album to find this out, for it is impossible to deduce this from the music.

    And the music is Detroit techno. The versatile Roland 303 is the primary instrument, and it is being put to good use creating lots of good acid-y sounds. The tracks are short-ish — for techno anyway — ranging from 2:20 to 4:19.

    My only complaint is that the tracks seem to end just when they are getting a groove. Maybe the acid rain got them.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 7:33 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Rewind! 4 [coll] – [Ubiquity Records]

    This is the 4th in the excellent Rewind series put out by California label Ubiquity. The Rewind series has new artists and bands covering and updating (and sometimes completely changing the genres of) classic songs.

    There are some amazing remakes covering a wide range of genres covered on this CD. There is soul/R&B (1,4,6,12), world/Afro/Latin-beat (2,5,6), spacey electronica (7,9), and folkish (3,11).

    There are several tracks that simply must be heard:

    (1)An impossibly funky cover of This Land Is Your Land by Sharon Jones & The Daptones, which I’ve reviewed on the 7″ release.

    (2)The folky cover of Cameo’s Word Up!

    (4)Alice Russell belting out her version of 7 Nation Army by The White Stripes. It sounds like this is the original and the White Stripes cover it, and the liner notes agree with me on this point.

    The Joni Mitchell cover doesn’t really add anything to the original, though it is beautifully sung. Burt Bacharach’s Look Of Love gets slowed down and sung through a vocoder.
    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 7:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Phonophani – “Oak or Rock ” – [Rune Grammafon]

    Phonophani is Norwegian programmer/composer/studio engineer Espen Sommer Eide. He is also – of Alog and 1/5 of Boiling Fjords. This is his third release as Phonophani and his 2nd on Rune Grammofon. It was released 8/2004.

    Mr. Eide writes his own computer software for manipulating sound samples, and helpfully includes a sample program that you can download from his website. The sounds on this CD are either entirely synthesized or high processed organic sounds. Rhythms and melodies are spare. The emphasis is squarely on the timbre of the sounds, which are somewhere in the space between natural and processed sounds (Oak or Rock?).

    The songs have an icy and austere feel. The piano, organ, string, and vocal samples sound like they are refracted through ice.

    All songs are instrumental, though 9 contains vocal samples that make it unsuitable for a bed.
    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on February 27, 2005 at 7:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Transformer Lootbag s/t [Science of Sound]

    ebut from Madison, Wisconsin trio on the guitarist’s
    (Ricky Rheimer’s) label. Punchy guitarwork carmelizes
    this sugar crunchy pop. I hear XTC, Bob Mould, Pixies,
    Woozy Helmet, Kaito. Shouty vocals are very condensed,
    (with effects) Rheimer and bassist Steven Riches trade
    duties, often firing lyrics that overlap each other.
    That helps give this music an insistent feel, along w/
    Matt Abplanalp’s racy drums. Actually what Abplanalp
    does well is to drop out a beat or two sometimes and
    let Rheimer’s guitar whiplash a bit. That’s especially
    vivid on the last track, which has some sort of nice
    whammy on that guitar too…and then the faux runout
    groove to boot. Shake your Lootbag.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:36 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Narrator, the “Youth City Fire” ep [Flameshovel]

    Banks of klanking guitar and some nice whiplash drumming are
    at the point where the needle strikes the heart of the manic
    panic churned out by this Chicago fourpiece. Yeah, the vocals
    at their best are exasperating, probably from years of trying
    to sing over stacks of amps without a PA? But the rock here
    is as real as a blood blister, and drummer Nate Heneghan just
    slaps the skin around a lot. The guitars occasionally get into
    some see-saw stereophonic slash versus slash work, and do a
    good job of sharing the spotlight, playing off each other.
    Flameshovel tends to bring out some of the crispier guitar
    torched rock, trebly Fender-fried, finger-licking stuff. As
    such it almost is important that the vocals be a little weak
    as if to say, “oh yeah we gotta sing something.” Weird little
    keyboard interlude on “Horse with Blinders” gets eaten alive.
    This ep, is definitely an Emphatic Play and promising for
    the hinterlands where rock is still spoken.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:31 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • [coll] The Lab – 20 Year Anniversary [self]

    We are lucky to live in an area with such a high weirdo
    percentage…indeed we help in our way to boost that number.
    But these LAB rats make their own mazes and draw new, wilder,
    weirder rats from all over the world. The Bay Area may lack
    some of New York’s notoriety, but I think that pays off with
    an atmosphere that really let’s anything go. Encourages it
    to do so, which I imagine is what the Lab is all about. I’ll
    have to talk to Beth Custer who is the chief cheese these
    days…if she curated this CD, she gets extra kudos as the
    pieces connect from one to another like a relay race from
    outer space. Really well done…unabashed brainiac waves
    emanate from each piece. A familiar rock ditty from Zmrzlina,
    some spoken choked works (Robair’s opera!!), you got vampy
    camp from Amy X, drone, jazz and plenty of what-the-hell
    is that and why-the-hell-do-I-care-it’s amazing. Each time
    through something different leaps out at me, as I write
    this Toychestra and the Opera Califas and Jin Hi Kim’s
    Korean avant-soul and…hell it really is all mind-bowling,
    sticks three fingers in your head and tosses it down the
    lane in style! Shoulda been a 10-CPU box set!

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:29 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Kickass, the “Death Metal is for Pussies” [BiFocal]

    The album title says it, I believe it, that settles it.
    No…no…no…but if you are like me and sadly cannot
    stomach any more throat core vocals you may enjoy this
    album of grisly riffage. I know that hyper-technical
    guitar work can leave some cold, but don’t the pink
    work-out outfits warm you up a bit. Titles namecheck
    Led Zep, and Living Color but in addition to guitar
    swagger-slash-solipsism, the Kickass do bring in some
    trumpet (end of #2) and a little piano (end of #6)
    which was a nice surprise for me. More in that vein
    would be welcomed. This debut from Greenville, NC may
    not prove that pink is the new black but at least
    Tyrannosaurus Rock isn’t extinict yet.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:28 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Books, the “Thought for Food” [Tomlab]

    An emblematic drop of laptop pop…whether it has much
    shelf life bears to be seen. On first listen this is a
    very engaging release, the samples instead of slapped
    heavy like gags across the mouth of music, are instead
    more nimbly suspended into the actual songs. Along with
    said samples the Books have Paul de Jong, a cellist, &
    Nick Zammuto on guitar. Check “All Bad Ends All” that’s
    infectious and done extremely well. It tap dances up the
    keyboard and down your spinal column. There’s a clean,
    well-lighted craziness to the conections created here.
    And a sort of Eugene Chadbourne bounce to their fruity
    lutery. The cleverness that fuels much of the Books
    may oddly be their greatest threat…whether they can
    scratch a deeper itch than kitsch. In the meantime,
    have fun and gentlemen good luck. -Thurston Hopeful

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:25 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • [coll] Molam : Thai Country Groove from Isan [Sublime Frequencies]

    Wham bam thank you Molam…by way of Sublimers
    Bishop and Gergis. The inviting splashisness
    of the package exceeded only by the sounds on
    this. “Husband Drunk, Wife Drunk” is amazingly
    intoxicating, the first time I heard it, felt
    like a 20 min track, I just dove into it. It
    has the short of hypnotic shuffle of reggae,
    with banks of secret-spy keyboards and the
    spousal vocal interplay works towards a great
    yet brief harmony. “khaen” appears throughout
    (#1,4,5,10,12-4) like a call to a coronation.
    That and the crazy soap opera shout-abouts
    were both featured in the most recent Neung
    Phak/Sun City Girl “event” The shout-abouts
    are #2,8,11. #11 has an accidental hiphop
    intro giving way to brittle flying guitar that
    has the energy of a classic garage legend.
    This is music spawned of the crossroads but
    having taken its own true root. You can listen
    and hear: ska, ethiopian funk, bachelor pad
    keys, driving psych… This may just be the
    sublimest of them all (so far…).

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 21, 2005 at 2:19 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,International
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  • Sun City Girls “Carnival Folklore Resurrection Radio” [Abduction]

    Time travel back to November 2nd, 2002…hijack city by
    the trinity of heresy and nowsy known as the Sun City
    Girls. “Uncle Jim” spills his mic skills all over the
    second CD in a three-part Kahnversation. If he’s too hip
    on the lip for the hip-hop squad, then it’s their loss.
    This here is firewater and every other oxymoron you can
    muster. Reconstituted radio and odd rareties including a
    Bat-blister TV rendition. It’s not the I-IV-V chords that
    gave that theme life, it’s the screaming harmonies! The
    Twilight Zone theme gets twangled, Anthony Fremont gets
    namechecked, Bison makes a “Dele” and WFMU station ID.
    Madness reigns from the tuning wash to Yamantaka chant
    at the beginning through to the end wherein Alan Bishop’s
    daughter shows that unflinching pinching of the funny
    bone is genetic. Laird Henn is egged on by an answering
    machine. Insurance blues are rued. Brian Turner offered
    his show up like a sacrifice to the gods, but rather than
    just a live set, they created this. Life.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:15 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Andersen, Steindor “Rimur” [Naxos World]

    Centuries old Viking-style old skull rap…or “rime.”
    Instead of braggadiccio, the Nordic tack is to denigrate
    one’s skills (poetic and amorous) before launching into
    the tale. See liner notes for more details. To today’s
    American ear, these vocalizings will sound vaguely like
    gregorian chants, but with more “wobble” to ‘em (maybe
    the rhyming?) Tracks 16 and 18 are softened by strands
    of harp. #12 floes over an icy bed of subdued (subzero?)
    digeridoo. #14 is the only duet, sure wish there more
    it was my favorite. One for the ages…and Sigur Ros
    fans as well (that group has helped revive interest
    in these form of expression.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:13 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,International
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  • Soothwag “S.B.T.W.” [Abiogenesis]

    Should file a ballistic report rather than a review. Pounding
    noise from 2001 and this Japanese signal processor/exploder.
    Beats are detonated, with enough regularity to incite the
    brave to dance. Sound is jammed in a bit, making this less
    of a headphones-listen than an open-air assault. Blasts come
    in sets of waves. Sections like the middle of “Gakai” when
    persistent rhythms relax and we get the drift and draft of
    static are very welcome, and could have been deployed more
    often I feel. “Corrode” delivers a sort of swagger, with
    slapping swatches of sound over a heavier noise-funk. The
    fury-on-the-fritz of this project though is undeniable.
    This is the first of at least two by Shunichi aka Soothwag.
    It would be interesting to hear him collaborate with others
    perhaps from less infernal realms of sound.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:12 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Smegma “Glamour Girl 1941 + Pigface Chant” [Japan Overseas]

    Richard Meltzer in your mind, not in your toilet? I suspect
    how much one likes/hates this will depend upon how serious
    one thinks Meltzer and the Smegmen take themselves. This is
    a regurging of the original full-length and ep for Meltzer
    and his Pasadena-to-Portland posse, with some other chunks
    coughed up just for this release. One of those ends the CD
    with “uh, don’t come in here,” while there is a masturbatory
    feel to much here, there’s a lot of flair as well. My guess
    it’s all an allergic reaction to Meltzer’s listening to too
    many records (he reviewed for Crawdaddy, the Village Voice
    and such) and making too much money for Blue Oyster Cult
    lyrics. The CD starts with some fairly open free jazz, but
    there are tortured tantrums leaking in as well. Frustrated
    poet. Well, just plain frustrated. An early use of loops is
    evident. There’s a helluva lot of rare beauty in these rough
    recordings (#8 and #5 say) By the time the EP breaks wind,
    it’s vocal collision/collage where chants meets chance.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:11 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Slowblow “Noi Albinoi” [Kitchen Motors]

    Dagur Kari wrote/directed the film from whence this music
    floes. Even by Icelandic standards, this music is chilly.
    The pump organ seems to have an arctic wind blowing through
    it at times (especially on “Another Hole”). Hmmm, somehow
    in writing a track title with caps, I feel I have betrayed
    this release. This wants to be lower than lower case, well
    with the exception of the faux muzak on “Morgun” which was
    written/performed by Sigridur Nielsdottir, a 73-year old
    outsider musician who has allegedly issued near 30 albums
    of her casiotone-for-the-plainfully-happy. Check out her
    work on “Komdu Litla Barnid” that is a sweet lullabye that
    just suspends time. “Groove” thaws out the drum kit, and
    drags some nice neanderthal knuckles along a rock riff.
    Weird and welcome to hear that dirtbag rock amidst all
    the pristine iciness. Less out of its element, though
    different is the licensed Shostakovich “Elegy” as done
    by the Rubio Quartet. Aside from the Nielsdottir, the
    only other vox are at the end, with the other Slowblower
    Orri Jonsson. Iced-aged.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:10 am
  • Filed as Format,CD,Soundtrack
  • Comment on this review
  • Shrimp Boat “Something Grand” [Aum Fidelity]

    What a long, strange triptych it’s been. This collection of
    all ne’er before released material was apparently what drove
    Steven Joerg to create the fine Aum Fidelity imprint. Reading
    the liner notes here reminded me of meeting a group of guys
    at college who had all gone to high school together and thus
    had their own history, mythologies and even hostilities. But
    you like ‘em all. The Boat floats to many sonic ports. There’s
    definitely an element of riding the rails, banjo tweaking and
    hobo vocals. A lot of thin, flecky Stratocaster guitars and
    so you get lazy noodling in “The Light Between Your Knees”
    but then that has this great odd dischordant progression.
    Other times there’s dubwise motion and hell the saxes, the
    saxes are the most charged and “Wonderful, Wonderful.” This
    is Chicago, must be something in the spit valves there. Ollie
    North goes south in “I Can’t Wait, I Cannot” which winds up
    being for the birds…but helps to set the dates, ’87 – ’92.
    What more can you ask of art students (especially ones with
    sax smoking friends) other than to make more music. Perhaps
    Joerg is shooting for a Nobel Prize and a new album, in the
    meantime this snapshot good cop, Prekop, pre-post rock has
    an active feel in composition/capture and out of time

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:08 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
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  • Shalabi Effect “Pink Abyss” [Alien8]

    First a masterpiece, then a mess…and now this, a
    messterpiece from these Montreal minstrels and their
    namesake mastermind, Sam (or Osama) Shalabi. This is
    another foray into the field of psychedelic poppies,
    aside from a gorgeous ballad on #2 featuring guest
    vocalist Elizabeth Anka Vajagic most of this teeters
    on the fence between hippy jam and even less focused
    sonic noodling. That being said, listened en toto
    from end to end this album creates its own landscape
    with tabla often as its touchstone. The short tonic
    track after the aforementioned ballad serves as an
    incredible shadow (with clarinet). The album is
    bookended by less organic, more orgonic materials. The
    initial cut is a flutey forest shredded by a sampler,
    the last cut sort of orbits in space around the turf
    that has been traversed earlier. While track #9 does
    recall their earlier galactic garden processionals,
    really all of this is enjoyable. It just tastes like
    it was taken out of the oven a tad too soon. Better
    that than too late…

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:07 am
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Sexy Prison “Bury My Heart at Vladistovok” 33 rpm [toneVENDOR]

    While some will prefer the B-side to this single sided 7″,
    the boys cooped up in Sacremento’s “Sexy Prison” probably
    wouldn’t mind. Them boys would be vocalist John Pritchard and
    de-bassist Robert Pickle, together they may have given birth
    to the recently added “Babyhead” comp. Gotta love reproductive
    technology these days. Pritchard’s reverby singing is like a
    woman with too much mascara, you kinda wonder what it would
    look/sound like without it…but you can’t stop staring at it
    nonetheless. The second track has a sample at the root that
    might be “Funky Cole Medina” or something, it gets briefly
    excavated for a spell along with four bars of a Tiki calypso.
    These two numbers are as subtle as a drag racing commercial,
    fervent with left-over machines from the disco age rebuilt
    with illegal parts and maximum squelch. The lyrics are so
    warped, I thought they were singing about Boz Scaggs at one
    time. Even if they weren’t this is still tremendous.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on February 13, 2005 at 3:05 am
  • Filed as Format,7-inch,A Library
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