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Bern Nix Trio – “Alarms and Excursions” – [New World]

Jazz guitarist Bern Nix was a member of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time Band and that influence shows. He listened to Wes Montgomery and Charlie Christian and those influences show, too. But these are just influences, Nix takes jazz guitar into a whole new realm. These tracks are rather free and modern with the one exception of “Just Friends” which is rather traditional, almost soft guitar jazz.

Very intriguing, melodic, guitar fans should check this out.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Mills, Jeff – “Good Robot, The” – [Axis Records]

    I love techno pioneer Jeff Mills and I like robots ok. Actually robots are scary but this EP is not and I wish it was.
    The tracks contradict themselves with a choice of: a- cinematic, dreamy beauty or b- repetitive anxiety ridden beats and nothing in between. I love the dreamy, droney, sweeping tracks but the beats make me want to punch someone, they go nowhere and inspire nothing. So I half like this and I half like robots.

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on January 27, 2010 at 3:49 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Emptyset – “Emptyset” – [Caravan]

    aka James Ginzburg & Paul Purgas, based in Bristol UK. After a few minimal techno 12″ releases, this is the looong awaited full-length LP.
    It’s amazing!! Minimal electronics, a mix of beats and excellent techno tracks along with long sonic soundscapes and tones that will appeal to the droners too.
    They give a nod to Alva Noto and Deathprod (Dark Ambient/Drone) and you can hear those influences. They say “Emptyset acts as a research project connecting the ideas of a modern dancefloor with experimental approaches to music and its design” and that sums it up quite nicely. Even if you don’t like the beats, check out the drones!!

  • Reviewed by Belladonna on January 27, 2010 at 3:43 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Gale, Eddie – “Ghetto Music” – [Water]

    Francis Wolff, co-founder of Blue Note, personally financed the production and release of this music in 1968, but Eddie Gale’s Ghetto Music got lost after Liberty Records took over Blue Note.

    Very beautiful music that brings out both the joy and pain of ghetto life. Tight instrumentals with two basses and two drums in the rhythm section, fine sax from Russell Lyle, and Eddie Gale showing his range on everything from trumpet to bird whistle. Vocals are a standout from the Noble Gale Singers.

    Notes: thumb piano in track 5, especially nice vocals on track 1.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 27, 2010 at 2:05 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Shelton, Aram (Fast Citizens) – “Two Cities” – [Delmark]

    Aram Shelton moved to Oakland, California to study and teach at Mills College but he teams up here with some Chicago pals for this intriguing set of improv pieces. One can hear influences of Ornette Coleman and Roscoe Mitchell, but the overall sound is quite original and certainly is well played. Sometimes engaging (horns on track 6, strings on track 2) but challenging to hear for the first time with occasional whiny, aimless moments.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 27, 2010 at 10:33 am
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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  • Kimbrough, Junior – “First Recordings” – [Fat Possum Records]

    Mississippi native Junior Kimbrough (1930-1998) released his first album when he was 62 in 1992, so any earlier recordings are precious in that context alone. In 1966 he made his first recording at American Studios in Memphis for Quinton Claunch, founder of Hi Records. (Rumor has it that Fat Possum plans to reissue much of this label???s output.)

    Kimbrough succeeded in moving away from ???blues??? commonly heard in the 1960???s and getting back to his Mississippi roots, but he somehow did in a new way. This is spectacular stuff ??? Kimbrough???s intensity, voice, and guitar are in fine form and are very affecting. Emotional, stark, very beautiful.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 26, 2010 at 10:17 pm
  • Filed as 10-inch,Blues
  • Comment on this review
  • Ubangi, Bobby – “Inside The Mind Of…” – [Rob's House]

    Sadly, this debut full-length by Atlanta rocker Bobby Ubangi (born Benjamin Jay Womack) was released in the months prior to his death from lung cancer on July 1, 2009.

    It’s a fuzzy, lofi (recorded on 4-track) release full of garage rock and spare songs. On first listen (before I knew the back story) it struck me as fun and upbeat. Although there are some love-themed songs, upon closer listen, this album got downright depressing, with lyrics perhaps speaking to his impending death. The album concludes with “Sinking” in which Bobby sings: “sinking…everybody’s watching me drown.”

    Various Atlanta friends help out on the release by Bobby Ubangi (whose prior projects included the Lids and Gaye Blades) including folks from Black Lips and King Khan.

  • Reviewed by lombard on January 26, 2010 at 1:42 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
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  • Nelson, Red – “1935 – 1938″ – [Document Records]

    A healthy helping of golden era Chicago blues from a less well known, though not necessarily less talented artist – “Dirty Red” Nelson Wilborn. The very laconic delivery, common for the era, can make it difficult to feel the deep pain punctuated by irrepressable spirit and double entendre, but it also makes the seeking worthwhile. Many of the tracks sound a bit scratchy, but in turn the sound of the original pressings (these are recovered from 78s) appears to be preserved at the best quality achievable. My favorite was “What a time I’m havin’”, which is also notable for being a protest song – WWII soldiers were promised a per-diem bonus that was long delayed before it was finally paid, but there’s lots of good stuff here. A notable document and solid collection of blues.

  • Reviewed by loun on January 25, 2010 at 11:21 pm
  • Filed as 12-inch,Blues
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  • Better Maker, The – “All Things Are Changing; Nothing Dies” – [Holy Sea]

    Self described “living room music” from San Francisco is warm and fuzzy, like the feeling it gives. Good basic rock that still oozes personality – carefully dishevelled CD artwork well reflects the music within. Not a bad cut on the album – I suggest tracks 2 (kicks), 5 (kisses), 8 (sweet, sweet booty!), and 10 (road trip).

  • Reviewed by loun on January 25, 2010 at 10:39 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Tsigoti – “PrivatePropertySpeakstoThePeopleofTheParty” – [Esp-Disk]

    Thollem McDonas proves his versatility and social conscience with this new release from Tsigoti (formerly Waristerror Terroris war). The lyrics printed on the liner notes are crucial to appreciating McDonas??? spoken and sung vocals backed by himself on beat-up piano, Andrea Caprara on drums, Matteo Bennici on bass, and Jacopo Andreini on electric guitar. The music itself is mostly fast-paced, off-beat, punk rock that perfectly complements the anti-war themes of the songs. This is in a league with Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine.

  • Reviewed by humana on January 25, 2010 at 11:12 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Nymphomania: a Collection of Sexy European GoGo Music From [coll] – [Sexy Hexy Records]

    What can I say? This is like many soundtracks to cheesy, sexy movies, and yes, the sound is definitely 60s. Instrumentals (4, 6, 11, 14), female and male vocals, organs, horns, percussion summon images of girls in cages dancing to funky, whimsical music. Find out what ???danger in go go boots??? really means!

  • Reviewed by humana on January 24, 2010 at 2:29 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra – “Kollaps Tradixionales” – [Constellation]

    This Montreal band features a nice mix of atmospheric, psychedelic mood pieces (1, 4, 5, 7) with great guitar/percussion/string (cello and violin) builds (2, 3, 6). The instrumentation is pretty fine, but each song also has its share of vocals, both male and female. Definitely worth a listen.

  • Reviewed by humana on January 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Rollerball – “Two Feathers” – [North Pole Records]

    Released at the end of 2009, “Two Feathers” by Portland’s Rollerball is a glorious combination of sounds. Known for their ongoing evolution as a band since they got their start in the early 1990s in Montana; the latest incarnation includes spacy shimmer, loungy female vocals (in places), active keys and percussion, saxophone, glimpses of retro tropical sounds, a pinch of psychedelia, and moments of cacophony with processed male vocals. From track to track the sound changes considerably, with different flavors for different listeners. I equally enjoyed the loungier upbeat pieces with female voice that the album starts with, as well as the experimental/jazz-influenced work out that brings it all to a close.

    A companion DVD includes an additional six tracks with accompanying video (some from the 90s). The second piece on the DVD, “Two Brunos” is a tour film from 2005 in Italy and Slovenia with both band interviews and performances by Ovo and Ronin.
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  • Reviewed by lombard on January 22, 2010 at 11:48 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
  • 1 comment
  • Ayers, Kevin – “What More Can I Say…” – [Reel Recordings]

    30+ years ago musician Kevin Ayers passed along a pile of unwanted reel-to-reel recordings to guitarist G.F. Fitz-Gerald, thinking that maybe he could re-use them. Eventually Fitz-Gerald took a listen and it turned out that the tapes housed some lovely 1970s-era demos by Ayers. A well-known figure in the English psychedelia scene, Ayers was a founding member of Soft Machine. According to his website, upon hearing these newly unearthed recordings, Kevin Ayers “…found them to be a refreshing reminder of a musical innocence, unique to the nineteen seventies.”

    What More Can I Say…” is a beautiful collection of lo-fi material, with some spoken interludes, a work-in-progress descriptive demo of his “Doctor Dream” piece, spare guitar, piano, and organ. Archie Legget, Eddie Sparrow, David Bedford, Mike Oldfield and Robert Wyatt also appear on various tracks. It’s a quite satisfying time capsule.

    null
  • Reviewed by lombard on January 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm
  • Filed as B Library,CD
  • Comment on this review
  • Voice Crack – “Earflash” – [Dexter's Cigar]

    These guys were a Swiss improvisational group that started in the early 70s and are now disbanded. By the early 80s, they would take apart normal everyday items such as radios, brass instruments, turntables, etc, and recreate and manipulate them into “new sounds using magnetic and radio waves in a complex system controlled by movements of their hands and by light.” Almost like finding the inner hidden child inside an old man, a new life in ways. What you get is crazy skidding alien transmitted signals, glitchy and itchy electronic sounding television warnings. Big timpani sounding drums give it that primal base sound as well.

  • Reviewed by cinder on January 21, 2010 at 1:06 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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  • Red Mass – “Red Mass” – [Red Lounge Records]

    Montreal based project featuring the Roller of CPC GANGBANGS. Sounds like CPC Gangbangs meets Velvet Underground. Psychedelic space rock ‘n’ roll with elements of noise, folk, punk and electronic music. Dark poppy hooks laced with strange sound effects. Male vox, guitar, drums, electronics, keyborads and flute (on Little Man). Red Mass is a collective featuring many artists/musicians from around the world.

    Regular 10″Comes in ultra deluxe Gatefold Sleeve!!
    Limited edition of 400 in Black Vinyl

    redmass10-500x500

  • Reviewed by ophelia necro on January 20, 2010 at 1:52 am
  • Filed as 10-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Vermillion Sands – “Miss My Gun” – [Sacred Bones Records]

    Foursome out of Treviso, Italy.

    ANNA:guitar & vox
    NENE:bass
    CAIO:drums
    KRANO:fuzz & slide guitar

    Five song e.p. of freewheelin’ folk, haunted garage and warbly honky-tonk with cutesy female vocals.

    sbr026-front

  • Reviewed by ophelia necro on January 20, 2010 at 1:30 am
  • Filed as 12-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • 4-Way Split [coll] – [Art Fag Recordings]

    Rock: All of the acts on this split hail from the U.K. except the Dum Dum Girls (featuring Frankie Rose) and possibly the Crocodiles. ???Hollow Hollow Eyes??? and ???Moon Tan??? are upbeat and sung by males. The first has a catchy organ and the second has great percussion. ???Brite Futures??? is also upbeat with guitars, and ???The Weekend Starts Here??? is mild guitar thrash with male vocals. A nice sampling of four cool bands.

  • Reviewed by humana on January 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • Comment on this review
  • Attic Ted – “No Regrets” – [Pecan Crazy Records]

    Self-described as “Country Gothic Carnival”, this Texas band mixes organ, electronics and samples, voice, and drums for a bouncy weird result with flavors of calliope and video game noises. Great fun, makes me tap my foot and want to polka.

    PGM – last seconds of each track are some cool, sort of leftover noise.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm
  • Filed as 7-inch,A Library
  • 4 comments
  • Murgai, Neel – “Neel Murgai Ensemble” – [Innova/American Composers]

    Compositions that are improvised during performance show influence of Indian music and jazz with Murgai on sitar, daf, and throat singing plus Mat Maneri on viola, Sameer Gupta on tabla and Greg Heffernan on cello. Lush sonority and radiance, nice beats at times with dramatic buildup that is characteristic of a raga. Unusual and accessible, a global village you can hear.

  • Reviewed by Cousin Mary on January 15, 2010 at 11:58 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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