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Music Reviews

Blktop Project – “Concrete Jungle” – [Too Good]

rasbabo   6/29/2016   A Library, CD

Take an Afro-beat infused rhythm section, add basslines dripping in funk, stir in the freedom of jazz improv, and a sporadic wash of psychedelic guitar. Garnish with a hint of melodica. This absolutely rules.

Get sucked into the wash of the churning bass grooves and great drumming. Even the slower tracks will have you bobbing your head and swaying in time. All tracks are solid.

Plaid – “Digging Remedy, The” – [Warp Records Ltd]

billiejoe   6/29/2016   A Library, CD

Andy Turner and Ed Handley. Also performed under the names The Black Dog, Atypic, and Balil. Sounds like electronic beats with danceable melody. Light and happy. I???m not familiar with their work but we have a ton of it in their library so you might be.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Clawed – “CLAWED Rob” – [Self Produced]

billiejoe   6/29/2016   A Library, CD

Uh oh! Creepy buzzy feedbacky with reverby awing and oohing. Warbles and static. Heavy. No idea at all about the artist so I welcome any enlightenment offered. Lots of sonic texture. Noise and electronic influence. Delicious like hard candy that breaks your teeth.
— Billie Joe Tolliver

Surf Coaster, The – “Rising” – [Five Nine Factory]

Cousin Mary   6/29/2016   A Library, CD

Newest album from this awe-inspiring Japanese surf trio – original member Shigeo Naka on guitar, Nobuhiro Kurita on bass, and the stunning drum work of Kozue Ito. Fine playing, interesting original songs, a couple of classical favorites, and a couple of surf classics. Recommended!

Brrwd Love- Vol. 1

cadilliac margarita   6/29/2016   10-inch, Hip Hop

A creative collab between friends REPEAT PATTERN & TA-KU,

This collection features both of them on a few traks along with other friends

And emerging artists. Dreamy bedroom beats, samples, loops.

Incoherent lyrical content. The most abrasive track is A4???s Divison,

filled with scrapes, cuts, and heavy breathing. Mostly it???s pretty mellow sound

snapshots with many layers and elements. You will catch something

new with every listen. All tracks a pretty cool, but Primm (B3) is my

personal favorite because of the 1970s easy listening flute intro

and underlying current.



<3<3<3 Caddy

Severed Heads – “Stretcher” – [Medical Records]

Kai Sync   6/29/2016   12-inch, A Library


This out of print Severed Heads 1985 album is re-released by Medical Records and they actually took up to the task to assemble all the various versions of this album that was released in USA, Europe and Australia into one coherent release including various demo outtakes. In 1985 the band was down to only two members, Tom Ellard and Stephen Jones.) Also, at this point of time the sound got more dancy due to usage of MIDI and Yamaha DX-7 synthesizers. In addition, most tracks have a radio signal mixed in the background. This album is a good summary of where electronic music in the mid-eighties were still grounded in a half-way pop-dance formula and where the post-punk movement still influenced the music making aspect with a slant of exploration and experimentation. Thanks to this experimentation the tracks still breath air after all these years with shades of electro-cacophony disco, primitive loop mangling, avant-garde dance tracks and weird synth-pop.

Orbital – “In Sides” – [Full Frequency]

Kai Sync   6/29/2016   A Library, CD


It feels strange to review an album that the reviewer listened inside out 20 years ago (1996.) It’s definitely not Orbital’s crown jewel — however, it has a very definite tonality grounded in the Orbital knack formula of taking mysterious, odd-beat chord progressions and turning those to melody hooks. Many of the beats also have influences from trip-hop, acid breakbeats, jungle/DnB and abstract/exotic patterns. Another bonus are the eery and sultry female voices used to paint the soundscape. The overall theme is ecology such as the track “The Girl With The Sun In Her Head” that was recorded only using solar power. Out there Somewhere Part 1 and Part 2 is a musical attempt, similar to Orb’s escapades, describing the universe in 25 minutes total. It’s up to the listener to decide if this was successful.

Here in USA this specific album might have been one of the bigger entry points for the audience into the emerging UK/European dance music scene. This US release has a bonus disk that includes a live recording of Sad But New, two versions of Times Flow plus other material.


cadilliac margarita   6/29/2016   A Library, CD, Soul

Pronounced JAMESON

3rd solo album from Michigan multi-instrumentalist Christian Berishaj.

He writes and produces his records. He directs his own music videos.

Tracks dripping with soul grooves, lush string orchestrations,

the poetry of a hard life lived, longing and heartbreak. He has

a smooth voice, easy flow, decent falsetto, and is clearly very

talented. This record is sexy, melancholy, and quite beautiful.

A real panty dropper! I loved it! FCCs on tracks 3-7; 12

-<3<3<3 Caddy

V/A SENTIENT SOLDER II [coll] – [Ratskin Records]

Louie Caliente   6/28/2016   A Library, CD

19 tracks and 19 bands from our friends at Ratskin Records. Heavy distortion, industrial static, and throbbing rhythms are common themes, but there’s still an incredible amount of sonic variety here. Something for everybody!

1 Moor Mother Goddess: Thumping, distorted, and soulful goodness.
2 Future Blondes: Pounding beats and synth noise.
3 Las Sucias: Industrial Reggaeton!!!!
4 Beast Nest: Ambient and squiggly.
5 Thoabath: Static and lo-fi Puerto Rican trashcan rhythms and raps!!!
6 Black Dog: Black metal punk.
7 Coral Remains: Slow industrial beats with punches of pulses and waves of fuzz.
8 Big Debbie: Heavy beat, ringing guitar, and haunting suicide-esque vocals. Almost dancy.
9 Fleshlight: Fast glitchy drum machine bongos. Distortion slowly cranks up and beats meld into something larger. Definitely dancy!
10 Jeweled Snakes: Synthy sci-fi dark post-new-wave.
11 Maya Songbird: Fuck music.
12 Bonus Beast: Rumbly beats and gurgly rhythms.
13 Tralphaz: Harsh blasts of static and a broken walkie-talkie from hell.
14 Black Spirituals: Droney and pretty guitar harmonics. First minute is very quiet.
15 Malocculsion: Abrasive nastyness. Buzzing alarms, sparking electrodes, and deep growls.
16 Zanna Nera: Retro 80s synth-pop with an industrial satanic bent.
17 Styrofoam Sanchez: Electronic thunderstorm on a sea of sludge.
18 Slanted Square: Echoing melodic synths juxtaposed with screechy looped samples.
19 Loachfillet: Like a lost castle level from Super Mario Bros, but with way more than 8 bits.

Godspunk Volume Sixteen [coll] – [Pumf Records]

Louie Caliente   6/26/2016   A Library, CD

Compilation of nine British bands, each of them sharing in the cost of CD production and distribution. The result is a variety of interesting sounds, ranging from straight-ahead punk to far-out psychedelic electronics.

Howl in the Typewriter: Playful experimental wanker-pop. Each track sounds different. Mellow psych/punk to drippy-droney and orchestral pieces. Final track samples Hanson.

UNIT: Melodic Brit-pop with a modern electronic feel. Slightly creepy.

Spam Javelin: Hardcore punk rock with aggressive guitar riffs and pounding bass.

Nil by Nose: Underwater bloops and dubby beats.

The Large Veiny Members: Retro synth-heavy electronic experimentation.

Catholic Overspill Blame dJohn: Bizarre mix of synth, acoustic guitar, and maracas.

seven eyes: Strange droney blips+buzzes played forwards and backwards.

Higgens++: Britpunk.

Tirikilatops: Crunchy beats and melodic bloops. Gah-gah-Goo-goo vocals mixed with Japanese exercise soundtrack? Great!

Ostermeier, M. – “Tiny Birds” – [Words on Music]

Hemroid The Leader   6/22/2016   A Library, CD

A flapping of wings
Strapped to the gurney, the somber tones of a gentle piano, the medicine cart squeaks down the hallway. A window is open somewhere. The medicine man is adorned with clattering gold bracelets, necklaces and earrings, and tusks of every kind. Down the hatch …

Koban – “Abject Obsessions” – [Avant]

Kai Sync   6/22/2016   12-inch, A Library


This is gothic post-punk with drum machines, angry synths and lyrical content. This duo from Vancouver with the second album continues the dark post-punk path with manic drum machine patterns, french speaking subtitles, male post-punk angst vocals, dirty synths and angry guitars, borrowing a path into to the darkest corners of the listener’s brain. Post-punk as a movement is a tough choice as any musical paths could be considered cliche, however Koban achieves to carve uniqueness into this 30+ year old genre, mostly thanks to adding energetic complexity and introspection to each song. It also helps to sing parts in French.

Maribou State – “Tongue” – [Southern Fried Records]

Kai Sync   6/22/2016   12-inch, A Library


Maribou State is Chris Davids and Liam Ivory, specializing in jazzy and more modern deep house with their own releases as well as remixes of other tracks. This EP has three versions of the Tongue track of which two are actually not remixed by them. Well, this is trip-hop like deep house with some fascination with loungy piano/electrical piano jazz chords and sultry female voices. It should work fine in a bar in San Francisco that is close to the OM Records label. Gentle dance music, too gentle. The remixes are somewhat more adventurous even if we are not dealing with left-field production trickery.

Stray Dog Volume 2 [coll] – [Oxen]

abacus   6/20/2016   A Library, CD

the best in fuck-all-music harsh noise screeching electronics dark drone drivel safari guided by Oxen headmaster Matt Purse aka Fenian collecting garbage collectors from around the globe: FACIALMESS and BLACKPHONE666 from Japan, or Dromez from Ohio, KAKERLAK from Oregon, Black Sand Desert and Leah P from LA, etc, etc… cracked cut-ups, feral feedback foaming, hateful horror hardwares… for the self-loathing in all of us, music to murder listeners to.

Dalek – “Asphalt For Eden” – [Deadverse]

Louie Caliente   6/19/2016   CD, Hip Hop

After a 5-year hiatus, Dalek is back with another album of dark industrial hip-hop. Big walls of warm sound encompass angry quasi-political vocals. Heavy old-school beats and looped samples are soaked in fuzzy guitar feedback and soaring synths. Elements of drone, noise, ambient and shoegaze. Lyrics deal with themes of war, consumerism, and mass media. Check out the Chomsky sample on track 6.

Track 5 is instrumental. Track 1 is clean.

FCCs on 2, 3, 4, 6, 7.