Weird and wonderful release here. The two musicians, Ergo Phizmiz and People like us (aka Vicki Bennett) would send their recordings back and forth to one another and the result is so fantastically chaotic that they admit to forgetting who did what. There is so much randomness here, it’s hard to believe that it has cohesiveness or flow, but that is exactly what I felt when listening to the disc. It is the psyschotronix of cd’s, really. There are so many hidden treasures and odd moments. It is whimsical and kitschy, fun and frolicy. Some of the songs actually find the beat while others avoid it like the plague. Bird chirps, sound bites, kid voices, tin cans, percussive beats, Mozart samples, classic soundtracks, banjo picking, bells and whistles, accordions um pa pa’s, organ music, bossa nova, eartha kitt and singing in the rain. lounge music and total nonsense. Like a demented cinematic dream or Disneyland on acid. This must be heard to be believed!
Mellow yet energizing debut from the U.K???s James Chapman off mute records. This is very pleasant and easy to listen to electronic pop/ rock. Vocals are floaty and match the overall tone of the disc nicely. The lyrical content feels meditaional and so does the music at times. Breathe deeply and map out your course. Note language on track 6.
Shemale- Beyond the North Wind/ Bunker
This is the second release from shemale off the bunker label. It is a 6- track mini disc, and the music here is as mysterious as it’s creator. It is slow electronic grooves that are dark and take you from the graveyard to outerspace, or perhaps to a graveyard in outerspace. I loved this! It is creepy, but in a goooood way, truly ??? There are some distored vocals, but really the dark synth beats and spacey electronic grooves carry the album. My only complaint is that it is too short. great stuff.
This is the second release from Rafter off Asthmatic Kitty Records, the same label that houses Sufjan Stevens. Vocally, Rafter reminds me of Sufjan, because they are both delicate and airy when they sing. This album is a study in contrast and contridiction featuring simple lyrics and at times chaotic and abstract musical arrangments. He has brought in more than 15 musicians playing a variety of instruments such as flute, violin, saxophone, and percussion. He uses a few female voices to layer the vocals, and even has one musician, Atlas Kaufmann, credited with ???cooing??? on track 11. As a photography enthusiast, the album cover art is quite interesting, and I think says a lot about the artist and his album. His vocals are very delicate like an egg, and the music just takes these soft vocals, and smashes them to bits. It is dreamy and nightmarish, calm and furious, encouraging and dream crushing, really. I found it a little abrassive at first, but the music grew on me. It is a strange journey filled with ups and downs, but all worthwhile in the end. You should actually consider yourself the opposite of a total chicken if you flow with the journey led here by Rafter.
Frozen Fog is the perfect title for this album. Side one, track one, is slow and thick. Reminiscent of a dream sequence where you can hear your own heartbeat as it echos through your skull. Track two is shorter and liquid sounding. Watery drops lull you in an ambient haze. Side two is just one track with spacey and far out like sound effects that might come from an old episode of ???star trek???. This record was made with synthezisers damaged in Katrina. Not bad for broken stuff. ???cadillac margarita
cadilliac margarita 2/21/2007 A Library
This compilation featuring such artists as James Blackshaw, Michael Chapman, Fred Gerlach, and Robbie Basho, is for the most part is full of rich, layered 12-string guitar instrumentals. some of the tracks were recorded live, while others are studio cuts, but all of them give you the feeling of a really intimate concert. Many of these pieces run seven plus minutes and are so delicate that you can hear every subtle nuance, strum, and chord change. There is even some banjo thrown in the mix when on track 10, “New World Coming”, Billy Faier lets loose and provides the cd with it’s only vocal. The original recording of the song was from his 1973 album, ” Takoma”, but the vocal was omitted. Many of the tracks are by masters that have influenced other muscians. For example, it says in the liner notes that Jimmy Page has listed Fred Gerlach, heard here on track 7, “Devil’s Brew”, as an influence. Track 12, “Kowaka D’ Amor” by the late Robbie Basho, recorded live some time between 1967-1969 at Stanford University, is an impressive ten minute opus, that just gets better and better as the minutes pass.?? There are so many outstanding tracks, but my personal favorites are 1,2, 5, 7, 10, and 12.
Really, really nice.
Recorded between 1998-1999 in Tennessee, This record is straight-foward, fast, hard, screaming punk. It is very high energy and adreniline pumping fun throughout. The tracks are short and furious with vocals that are raw and dirty. Jay Reatard is man in charge here, writing all the songs (save one, i believe) and screaming his way through this release. Things comes to an emtional high point at the end of the track “Pretty Baby” when Reatard’s vocals erupt into an almost primal wail. Note the language on “Drink Today”, “I Like Your Titty”, and Keep On Walking Away”, at the very least. There is probably much more swearing, but it is indecipherable to me. Definitely a “safe harbor” record. Really great stuff, though. Worth a listen.
cadilliac margarita 2/7/2007 A Library
Mellow and pleasant synth-pop is how I would describe the new album from the electronic-acoustic duo of Craig Tattersall and Andrew Hargraves. They have invited self-described “friends” Chris Stewart and Elanie Reynolds to provide vocals for several tracks. Speaking of the vocals, they are sparse here, but that is okay because the quiet instrumentation is what gives this album it’s loveliness. Don’t be fooled by the heavy song titles, because this music is about as menacing as a newborn puppy. This is just really good unwinding music with some interesting electronic distortion. Track 11 is a personal favorite of mine. It reminds me of a piece of soundtrack music that would accompany a protagonist on a late- night contemplative drive down a long, deserted road.