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VanFlower, Tara “My Little Fire-Filled Heart” [Silber]

Sophomore solo spin, from this lady of Lycia. Her heart pumps
with the same slow, dark (and echoplex’d) blood that flows
through the Ventricle label. But while Ventricle’s trickle
usually is icily lacking in oxygen, TARA VanFLOWER’s little
fire-filled heart does actually burn red with some hope and
that sort of faith you catch glimpses of in Jarboe and Steve
von Till. The language of lyrics — heaven, blessed, worship
and on drives the point through the symbolism like a rusted
nail through the wrist. “Conversation with Death” summons
the goth/spiritual nicely. Most tracks are draped with
subdued industrial clang, and the vocals enveloped in
effects. Rain drops on an eerie ice cream truck during the
lullabye “When” followed by a snippet of “You Are My
Sunshine” (a la an early Low album). You could live in hope
but you’ll not stray from the darkness w/ this night
blooming Flower. “Ethernal” indeed.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 24, 2005 at 11:12 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • AK-Momo “Return to N.Y.” [Hidden Agenda]

    A pretty damn skippy pop record. The boopsie, breathiness of
    ANNA KARIN VON MALMBORG is worth the price of admission alone
    But her partner in crime, MATTIAS OLSSON is the secret weapon.
    The lush sonic beds that Anna cavorts in are feathered by his
    fluffy samples, often with cute little percussion shuffles.
    He also lays down some silky sheets of old analog synths, and
    yes including mellotron!! (Well I think I hear it on #1, #3
    maybe #10, or is that optigan?’) You can often hear the vinyl
    pip and popping as part of a loop that he has captured, esp.
    on the closing number…which takes a surprising darker twist
    away from the shiny candy of its predecessors. “Boys & Girls”
    Definite mellotron underneath a starless sky and Anna’s voice
    doing a wavering “silent scream.” Her voice really has nice
    elasticity…beating around the Kate Bush on #2, whistling
    through the warzone on #8, purring like Eartha Kitt, flitting
    about your brain-branches like the first crush you ever had.
    Outstanding Swedish musical massage.

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on April 24, 2005 at 11:11 pm
  • Filed as Format,A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Mackrosoft, the – “The Dawning of the Aja Aquarius ” – [Mackrosoft Records]

    This is the fourth CD in a trilogy [sic] by metamorphosizing jazz-funk supergroup The Mackrosoft. The group is led by conductor, producer, arranger Aja West, who also plays keyboards.

    The music is somewhere in the space between 70s jazz/funk fusion and instrumental hip-top. Nine people are listed on the inner sleeve as having something to do with percussion, and this is a very percussion-heavy album. There is a lot of electric piano, organ, fuzzy guitar, and wah-wah guitar about. Mostly instrumentals, once the groove is established some interesting solos from guitar and sax (Bury the Mammoth), synth (Thank You All).

    Middle Passage (6) is the only one with vocals, though a few of the other tracks have ‘ooh ooh? or ‘ahh ahh? backing vocals.
    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on April 23, 2005 at 10:53 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Sun Ra – “Media Dreams ” – [Art Yard]

    This is a live recording of Saturn native Sun Ra in Italy one January evening in 1978. He is playing with Michael Ray (trumpet), John Gilmore (tenor sax), and Luqman Ali (drums). Originally issued on Sun Ra’s Saturn label, this is a limited re-release by the UK Art Yard label.

    The album opens with A1: Saturn Research, in which Sun Ra has his electric organ set on ‘stun? as he takes the audience through highly abstract patterns and cosmic greetings.

    There are two long tracks that must be heard: A2 Constellation starts with the rhythm machine channeling Surfin’ Bird by The Trashmen as a trumpet, sax, and then organ rip through it. B1: Media Dreams goes from the sublime to the bizarre.

    The last two tracks B2 and B3 sound downright conventional after listening to the tracks that come before it. Sun Ra is on an acoustic piano for these songs.

    Thanks to Art Yard for reissuing this rare album that gives a glimpse of Sun Ra playing as part of a quartet. The mystery of why the Huygens probe photographed a mini-moog on Titan has been solved.

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on April 23, 2005 at 10:51 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
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  • Congos – “Give Them the Rights ” – [Young Tree Records]

    This is the first release of new material by The Congos in seven years. Over three years in the making, it features eleven songs written by leader and lead singer Cedric Myton. Most songs are co-written with wife Yvonne.

    The Cognos are best known for their release Heart Of The Cognos, produced by Lee Perry (which we have in Reggae on vinyl). The thoroughly modern sound engineering is the only giveaway that this was recorded so recently. It sounds like a classic forgotten reggae classic with Mr. Myton’s distinctive falsetto singing.

    There are many guest musicians on this release, most notably Sly and Robbie. The topics of the songs range from protest (2: Give Them The Rights) to praise to Jah Rastafari (9: Praise H.I.M.) to acid character studies of the obnoxious and showy rich (8: Mr. Shark).

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on April 23, 2005 at 10:49 pm
  • Filed as CD,Reggae
  • Comment on this review
  • Brill, Paul – “New Pagan Love Song ” – [Scarlet Shame]

    This is peripatetic singer/songwriter Paul Brill‘s 3rd full-length release, released in October 2004. Locking himself in his studio with a few close friends through the long winter of 2003-4, Mr. Brill also acted as recording engineer and producer for this CD.

    The most noticeable thing about this release is the use of electronics for sound processing and synthesized beats. There is just enough to let you know that this was recorded in this century without overpowering the beautiful melodies and excellent songwriting.

    The recording is clean and three dimensional, which allows the pop-influenced arrangements to shine; every instrument can be heard clearly. By contrast the meaning of the lyrics is usually obscured and interpretations are left deliberately open. After repeated listens to Powerlines, ‘I’m still not sure what it’s about. If you liked the Hood that we added earlier this year, you will like this.

    Standout tracks: 6: Powerlines (in interviews, Mr. Brill said that this song indicates the direction of his future music, which bodes well for his next release); 5: Lay Down Your Weary Head (esp. the violin work by Jenny Scheinman); 7: a meditative cover of The Doors song, Indian Summer,

    Language: ‘shit? on 2

    –Hunter Gatherer

  • Reviewed by Hunter Gatherer on April 23, 2005 at 10:47 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Music of the Ashanti of Ghana [Ethnic Folkways]

    Recorded in 1976 by Verna Gillis, 2 stellar percussion pieces, 5 perc w/ women’s voices and one outstanding guitar and perc song that brings the heart of Ghana to your ears. Historical relevance is obvious but the performances are timeless. All pieces are short and
    have a lively sound that will uplift any accompanied selections. Rhythm is some high odd number over 4 with substantial butt-moving influence and the pieces carry emotion of a narrative of generations of people.
    3w:African Heart Rhythm
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:44 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,International
  • Comment on this review
  • Skygreen Leopards – Life & Love in Sparrows Meadow [Jagjaguwar]

    Great granola pop of Donovan Quinn+Glenn Donaldson.
    Distinctive jagjaguwar sound occasionally wandering into Barrett/Guild of Temporal Adventurers/Kendra Smith zone. Ranging from bright and upbeat to lush and contemplative, the songs breathe of simple but deep emotion like the clarity of childlike wisdom. Short, acoustic pieces with vocal duets offer temptations to intimately interpret these deceptively simple songs.
    3w: Granola Folk/Psych Pop
    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:41 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Aaron Dilloway – Boggs Vol Two [Hanson]

    Wolf Eyes member releases two obscure CDRs long out of
    Print (Seizure,Appalling & Alive). Electronic soundscapes stripped down to reveal the rough edges. 4 pieces that get harsher throughout. Seizure1-noise for co’nnoisse’urs. Buzz, hum and pulse set you up for a noise poem of motorcycle sounds and locust rhythms. Seizure2 offers destroyed loop fragments ground into forms less probable than before, thus human progress is achieved. Live at c-pop is more locust rhythm action that lauches to a crescendo. (4) is industrial sounds that rip thru the fabric of time and space.
    3w: Noise for Co’nnoisse’urs !
    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Glenn Spearman – Free Worlds [Black Saint]

    Spearman lays down the heat in 3 sextet pieces, plays in an intimate raga vocal duet and leads the play on several blues, ballad structures. (1,8,3,6) Sextet pieces rule the release, JR Routhier’s solid body/dirty pickup gtr cookslike a blues master jammin’. GS,Marco Eneidi, and Raphe Malik create big band free form over JRR, Lisle Ellis on double bass keeps things tight and Donald Robinson on drums.Paul Plimley’s piano work on the quartet pieces are also first rate stuff(2,7). The raga with Pakistani vocal masters reminds of L’infonie.
    3w: Badder Than SpyJazz

    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:38 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Mouthus – Loam [Ecstatic Peace]

    Simple structures of gtr, loops and drums reverberate and resonate into monstrous ultra-drone maelstroms. Guitar overtones with soft hum feedback, loops and Sleep-like drum phrase timing emit sonic turbulence that gives the feeling of your world shaking at the foundations. Like early Gate (Julian Dashper w/more feedback and space or maybe an angier, more articulate Thela). It could be a group fronted by Morley’s bastard son.
    3w: Jaw Dropping Shit
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:36 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • 2 comments
  • Gayle,Charles/Parker/Ali?”Touchin on Trane” [Free Music Production]

    STRONG evidence for status as present day tenor sax #1! William Parker and Rashied Ali give Gayle a moving target rhythm that allows him to soar into jet stream polyphonics or settle into modern interpretations of Trane voicings without losing momentum in the trio’s center of sonic gravity. Gayle controls notes unintended for the tenor sax with agile mastery and power where others sound as though sphincter blowout were imminent.
    3w: Power Jazz Mastery
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:35 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • KK Null/John Wiese – “arc seconds”

    Arc Seconds (Helicopter)
    Soundtrack for the Apocalypse. Scorching screed unloaded at mass volume specially engineered to induce a state ofmental peristalsis. Corporate jingles, Muzak buy messages and all other ‘productive? signals are culture jammed by this massive sonic onslaught, Deprogram Now ! It may not be too late. This short piece is antidote to all that comercially clogs your existence. Very Industrial sounds that remind of early Merzbow work.
    3w: Anihilation Armegeddon Soundtrack
    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:31 pm
  • Filed as A Library
  • 1 comment
  • Gum – Vinyl Anthology [23five]

    Waves of lo-fi analog dissonance ranging from disorienting cacophony of close-up raw noise emissions(D1) to more distant, ambient droning noisescapes(D2). Complete releases
    from 1987-90, this documents the lo-fi noise experiments of Philip Samartzis and Andrew Curtis. Locked grooves, multi-track decks and effects boxes are the artifacts of Frankenstein recombination of collapsed sounds from vinyl destruction. Carnivalistic sex and violence themes give a tactile appearance to the pieces while the countercurrent of manipulated surface noise goes to work on your distracted subconscious. You are no match for the forces of dysfunction herein.
    D2:trk1-fuck,cock,pussy/trk5-very quiet 10:40->9:40/
    trk7-blank from 3:02->1:07
    3w: Errors? Hidden Intentions
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:28 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Futterman Jordan Fielder – Southern Extreme [Drimala]

    With the left hand of Muhal Richard Abrams and the right hand stride of Jaki Byard, Futterman permeates Kidd Jordan’s Maurice McIntyre-like sound on tenor sax creating a Cecil Taylor/Jimmy Lyons dynamic with New Orleans spice taking the place of euro-classical overtones. Forceful searching runs of ts +pn swirling and winding in hyperballad style climaxing with screaming reed over Tayloresque arpeggio rampage. Compositions embrace complexity as another incarnation of the New Orleans riff style of pre-WWII Dixie jazz and cook up some distinctly Southern style avant garde on tenor sax, piano and drums.
    3w: N’Orleans Avant Garde
    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:26 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • Ahmed Abdul-Malik – The Music of [New Jazz]

    Conversational, sociable, ‘happy ending? jazz where all turns out as expected and all the dinner guests behave. What saves this from Blue Note boredom is the uniquely North African (Sudan) influence on the song structures. Andrew Cyrille on drums and Calo Scott on cello give a lively, upbeat accent to the Arabic and calypso tunes. Abdul-Malik also plays oud to further accent the international flavor of the album.
    3w: happy ending jazz
    -Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:22 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Jazz
  • Comment on this review
  • The Brunos – Bloody Knuckles [Skunkman]

    Flute, mandolin, violin, accordion and drums color the modern authentic renditions of Irish traditional music. These next gen Chieftains do the homeland proud with tunes ranging from uplifting ‘top o the mornin’ stuff to slower thoughtful traditional
    dance tunes. The title belies the moods of the songs. Lyrical instruments sound like a chorus of voices at times. Vocals on two tracks (7,13). 1-6 are light and upbeat, 7-14 are more serious in tone and the last 3 do the serious trad dance thing. Trk 16 is a medley of 4 songs so don’t let the false ends get ya’. The musicianship and tone of the songs are bleeding orange and
    green for ya’, so here’s spittin’ in the Queen’s eye !
    3w: have another pinty
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:17 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Residents – ?Animal Lover? [Mute]

    Marvelous timing, metered (mostly female) vocals and gamelan percussion accents filtered thru the Residents? archaeological musical perspective with rhythm tracks based entirely on animal mating noises (cicadas and frogs, whales and humans for longer wave stuff). Some psychedelic electro march but mostly very beautiful, dreamy songs with delicate childlike hymnal vocals. They escape their signature sound to embrace conventional song
    forms with a subtle, simple yet powerful sense of composition and arrangement. If the Residents aren’t on your short list of great American composers, this release will help you get your shit together.
    3w:Western Culture Sainthood
    - Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:11 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Dredd Foole?A Long Lost Battle With Eloquence and Intimance [ecstatic yod](33rpm)

    Soul searching songs of lost love, second-guessed lifestyle and reflections on mid-life memories in an acoustic guitar and voice setting. An honest and fallible sound that is both haunting and cleansing. If its been awhile since you’ve examined your life, sit back and let this troubador of emotional journeys relate his undefined, incomplete wisdom with you. It’s not about hitting the right notes, its about striking the right chord of emotions and
    Dredd Foole does with unashamed, intimate openness. Strength comes from confronting weakness and here is a performer that is willing to do the heavy lifting for you, open up and live.
    3w: Foole for love
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:09 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Boris- ?dronevil? [Misanthropic Agenda]

    Guitar-driven evil and dark, resonant drone are the two sides of Boris. The drone disc is a 21st century take on Tony Conrad’s minimalist works: 1 is a hollow, cavernous, reverberating, eternal gong vibration thing, 2 is dark, ringing siren sounds. The evil disc is an exercise in hypothermal headbanging; 1 is a Skullflower at 16rpm start, then a kind of ambient interlude finishing with a headbanger in full rage at 16rpm. 2 is a 4-note descending sequence drenched in feedback and hum. Like a hovering spacecraft beaming extra-sensory information directly to your central nervous system with sonic sorcery,
    inducing a slow-motion whiplash of endorphine releasing motion.
    3w: Hypothermal Hypnotic Headbanger
    – Outlier

  • Reviewed by outlier on April 21, 2005 at 4:02 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review


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