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Music Reviews

Sutherland, Chriss – “Me in a “field” ” – [Digitalis Industries]

Jawbone   5/31/2008   A Library, CD

From the post-punk alt-prog ashes of Cerberus Shoal arose the acoustic freak-folk of Fire On Fire (FOF). Members of FOF include Big Blood???s Caleb Mulkerin and Colleen Kinsella, as well as Chriss Sutherland, who makes his solo debut here. All have been fixtures on the South Portland, Maine music scene for a dozen plus years. Mostly a lo-fi solo acoustic affair, Chriss is helped out on banjo, flute, harmonium and vocals by his fellow FOF members.

Chriss spent some time as a troubadour in Spain at the urging of Wooden Wand???s James Toth and he occasionally breaks into a Spanish chorus to great effect. Much of the album comes off dry and dusty as the Spanish Plain and sometimes he???s as morose as a moss-covered Maine moose, but Chriss seems to have a spirit that can???t be crushed for all its world-worn edges.

Standouts include 1,3,8 & 9. ???Coyote Tonight??? is fucking genius. Don???t miss it.
LANGUAGE ON 4. ???Deseos???.


Nigeria Special: Part 1 [coll] – [Sound Way]

ArtCrimes   5/27/2008   12-inch, International

[coll] Nigeria Special, Part 1
(Modern Highlife, Afro-Sounds & Nigerian Blues 1970-1976) 33-1/3

First of 2 Soundway sets drawing from Nigerian singles and album tracks in the 70s. Part 1 features the early 70s period following Nigeria???s independence, with new approaches to the earlier Highlife style (Sir Victor Uwaifo, St Augustine, Celestine Ukwu, Harbours Band), the influence of American Soul & Funk (Funkees, Mono Mono), ideas from Fela???s Afrobeat work (Don Isaac Ezekial, Semi Colon), and some updated folk tunes (Dele Ojo). What???s nice is there are some 7??? single-only tracks that haven???t been reissued previously, in the Funkee???s case with Parts 1 & 2 stitched together for non-stop dancing pleasure. Plenty of info inside that sets the stage for this interesting era in Nigeria???s recording history, and nice pix of picture sleeves and labels, too.

Le Club De Chats – “Yes Madame! ” – [S-S Records]

cinder   5/22/2008   7-inch, A Library

MEOW! Super kitty cat themed 7″, artwork AND lyrics. Duo from Paris France! Very short songs, in the vain of a stripped down Deerhoof/Numbers/Kleenex/Monty Python skit. Mostly just drums, guitar and random objects. High pitched squeeky female vox, and funny French-man-BBC style male vox. Check their website (address on 7″ sleeve) for some more crazy kitty pics!

Tarp – “Tarp ” – [Breaking World Records]

cinder   5/22/2008   7-inch, A Library

Synth-duo of Joshua Burkett & Conrad Capistran (Sunburned Hand of the Man) make the group Tarp. Two sidelong tracks of space probing moogy drones. Feels like background music for Doctor Who. Lots of the synthy “WAH WOH WAH WOH” sounds! Side A for more bubbling hovering, lava drones. Side B for the foaming surprise attack drones. Spacey! Both sides around 3 minutes!

Sutcliffe Jugend / Prurient – “End of Autumn ” – [Troubleman Unlimited]

cinder   5/22/2008   12-inch, A Library

Sutcliffe Jugend were among the earliest pioneers of Industrial/Noise/Power Electronic noise music, started in the early 80s. SJ consists of Kevin Tomkins & Paul Taylor. Prurient is noise musician Dominick Fernow, who primarily uses just a microphone and an amp. This live 2006 collaboration between the two features lyrics from death poems by Japanese monks. Side 1, 2 & 4 are harsh, distorted, feedbacking, electronic noise tracks. Severe metal blades scraping at the back of your brain, causing bloody eyes. White noise on the TV. Side 3 is way different from the rest. It plays more on the dark, spooky, horror filled torturous nightmares. The ones where you’re bleeding from the head and trying to run in the fog filled woods, with a dagger stabbed in your thigh. Low deep grumbling electronic pulses, fucking killer! Play this when feeling anxious & murderous. Tracks range from 12-15 minutes long.

Chopstick – “Chopstick Floppy ” – [???? (None Listed)]

cinder   5/14/2008   A Library, CD

Chopstick is a guy named Andrew Surber, who goes by “Van”, out of Northern California. This is his first release, full of noisy electronic based improv. All samples and music were created by him. Tracks range from mellow guitar plunking, to guitar freakouts, to full on Tron battle mode. Video games seem to be an influence with this guy. (floppy disc!) Atari-Nintendo wars mixed with sludge noise. Bouncy ball computer guitars. Electronic space wavs. Neat shit.

Charalambides – “Rose/Thorn ” – [Klang Industries]

cinder   5/14/2008   12-inch, A Library

A sidelong and 2 mid-length improvised tracks from Tom & Christina Carter, recorded back in 2000. Long droning organ tones and bowed instruments waft through the air like frozen petals. Every now and then a vibrating guitar string, or a slight pause in the flow, gives you enough time to start breathing again. Christina’s floaty voice appears, intertwined with mellow, organic, sustaining chimes of driftness.

XYX, “Sistema de terminacio sexual”, S-S Records, 7″ 45rpm

ophelia necro   5/14/2008   A Library

From Nueva Leon, Mexico the duo XYX is Mou (from Bam Bam) and Se??orita Anhelo (from Mam?? Burger). This bizarre project consists of?? a bass, a drum set and a lot of delay.?? Four songs with overblown bass and drums along with fucked up vocals (sung in Spanish).

I.U.D., “Dead Womb”, The Social Registry, 7″ 45rpm

ophelia necro   5/13/2008   A Library

“This is the fifth release in The Social Registry???s ongoing series aptly titled The Social Club. Dispatched monthly via letter-pressed/limited edition 7-inch vinyl and digital distribution, this series presents a full musical array: the established and the obscured, the noisy and the delicate, the tempered and the experimental.” The fifth offering of the ongoing Social Club series features the work of Lizzi Bougatsos (Gang Gang Dance) and long-time friend Sadie Laska (the two met in art school years ago).Self described as ???a fucked up mix of Crash Worship and Butthole Surfers”, I.U.D. offers an intense blend of off-kilter drumming, weird (sex laced) vocals and trippy samples. Watch for language on both tracks, Side A is “FF’ing” and?? Side B is “Goat Pussy”. These tracks represent the first released recordings of I.U.D.

Ayers, Kevin – “Unfairground, The ” – [Lomax]

ArtCrimes   5/13/2008   B Library, CD

Kevin Ayers ???The Unfairground???

As a founding member of the Soft Machine and a longtime ???Canterbury Sound??? conspirator, Kevin Ayers has had a long career in the UK and Europe but hadn???t released any new products in many years. But the time seemed right for a resurgence, with old friends (Phil Manzanera, Bridget St John) and younger artists (members of Teenage Fanclub, Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, Ladybug Transistor) paying respect by often recreating authentic baroque-psych-pop sounds of the 60s, with lavish backing tracks of horns, strings, and cooing female vocals for Ayer???s rumbling baritone to lumber over. He responds with charm and melodic flair. And Robert Wyatt gets sampled, becoming an instrument on Track 2: the Wyattron.

Ganelin, Tarasov, Chekasin – “Poi Seque ” – [Sonore]

Max Level   5/10/2008   CD, Jazz

Russian free jazz, and just an absolute monster. This CD is a 1995 release of a 1981 session recorded in Lithuania. The GTC trio lineup was together for 15 years or so throughout the 1970s-’80s, and the guys sound very comfortable with one another here. They have chops for days, and best of all they seem willing to try anything. Things keep moving during these two long pieces, with the music always seemingly heading somewhere else. Pianist Ganelin slips easily from boogie woogie quotes to stately classical to banging noise chords, and he occasionally changes things up with bugle or flute or guitar. Chekasin rips away on the sax, then all of a sudden he’s on trombone, no wait he’s back on sax again; then he’ll gently saw on a violin behind a piano or percussion passage. Tarasov is a loud, powerful jazz drummer who also gets into wind chimes and stuff. The high point for me is the final two minutes of Part 2: after an extended quiet period, things get crazy and intense, with Chekasin blowing two horns at once, then just his sax, while Ganelin’s piano and Tarasov’s drums pound and crash behind him. Brilliant stuff.

Beequeen – “Sandancing Demos ” – [Important Records]

cinder   5/8/2008   10-inch, A Library

Beequeen is Dutch musicians Freek Kinkelaar & Frans de Waard. This is actually a 10″ featuring 8 short demos for their Sandancing album. Mostly (Lou Reed-ish) male vocals, but Olga Wallis lends a female voice on a few tracks. Other guests include Barry Gray (known for his work in the early 80s with The Legendary Pink Dots) and Kees Rietveld on guitar. Simple, mellow pop songs with a semi-melancholy feel to them. Original versions, stripped down, rough mixes, and one unreleased (B1) track!

Dead Machines – “Plays Kwaidan ” – [Ideal Recordings]

cinder   5/8/2008   7-inch, A Library

Husband & wife duo John Olson (of Wolf Eyes) & Tovah O’Rourke (of Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice) make up Dead Machines.
Late night walks in the haunted forest. Thick fog banks. Screaming ghost trains. Damp tunnels that never end. Frozen winds that torture your ears and stiffen your nose hairs. Whispering drones of ice cold memories. This is the soundtrack to that nightmare. Two sidelong horror tracks to play in the dark.