Tuesday, June 13, 2006

a sudden flurry of goodness signals it's time for a...


ESG, Keep On Moving (Soul Jazz)
Hot tune: "Purely Physical". Sort of primordial yet inorganic, as though hewn from the living (planet) rock of ancient electro

Broadcast, The Future Crayon (Warp)
this stereolab-style miscellany of comp contributions, 7 inches, and other rarities = better than any of their albums proper i think

Thom Yorke, The Eraser (XL)
avant-whingey wallow with eerie echoes of roy harper vocally and even in guitar textures here and there, elsewhere a forlorness and frailty that put me in mind of silent running/neil young circa "after the goldrush"-(a this-planet-is-fucked-let's-board-the-spaceship-and-look-for-a-new-home vibe (and then whaddyaknow i find out yorke's actually done a cover of "after the goldrush" )

V/Vm, Sabam neo-NewBeat anthology
Hot track: "The Acid Sausage"

Various, Touch 25 (Touch)

Various, Feel the Spirit: Other Wordly Folk Music Gems and Psychedelics compiled b y Mark Pritchard (Optimum Sounds)

Junior Boys, So This Is Goodbye (Domino)

really feeling

The Caretaker, theoretically pure anterogade amnesia six-CD box (V/VM)

Johnny Too Dark, Can't Wait EP (Kin)
Truly as good as man dem seh

retro feeling (reissued)

Arthur Russell, First Thought Best Thought
AR wearing his downtown avantgardist hat: lotsa instrumental mix-up-the-styles inbetweeny what-is-this? fruitlessness where you think "why would anyone make this, or indeed listen to it?".... but plenty glinting ambientish stuff as glorious as anything else he did, just minus beats or voice

retro-feeling (unreissued)

Alice In Chains, Dirt
Highlight of VH1 Classic’s enjoyable Metal Month was being reacquainted with the work of AiC (who stole the show when they performed as part of a Heart tribute concert, not hard given the latter only have, like, two killer tunes... they're both from Seattle of course, friends, and apparently jam on acoustic guitars oftentimes of an evening round at Nancy's). Surpassed only by Nirvana as has-aged-best-out-of-all-them grungers, perhaps cos Alice were the most metal and least alternative of the class of 92; the stark clarity of structure and sonorous majesty of voice pisses over the turgid mushy roil and sub-blues old-man's-voice-outa-young-man's-body wailing of Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, et al, while Soundgarden, uneven songwriters, couldn’t match Alice for tunes. The obvious source for mood is Sabbath and Saint Vitus, but there’s a morbidity and abjection that weirdly reminds me even more of The Birthday Party; one tune here sounds uncannily like “King Ink” and it’s almost too obvious to bring up the Junkyard parallel.

Blue Oyster Cult, “ETI”, “Godzilla”
The Metal Month’s Top 100 Hard Rock Songs thing also gave me impetus to give BoC another go, to see if I liked anything as much as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” (loved since first heard on the radio aged probably 14). Still can’t really get that deep into the cognoscenti-rated early stuff (Tyranny and Mutation etc), no for me what wows is the “sold out” later BoC of “E.T.I” and especially “Godzilla” (that mighty mighty riff, and underneath percolating shufflefunk drumming that’s basically a breakbeat). Shame BoC songs always tend to go flaccid at the chorus though.

Professor Emerson Myers & Associates, Provocative Electronics: Electronic Constructions on Traditional Forms (Westminster Gold Series)
Seems like every fucking university in America had an electronic music laboratory in the Sixties; this one is from the Catholic University of America!

David Hykes/The Harmonic Choir, Hearing Solar Winds (Ocora)
Mystic-minimalist avant-choral music. $1—hooray for progressive schools and their annual fund-raising fairs!

Walter Carlos, Sonic Seasonings
Tomita, Firebird
$8 and $3 respectively--hooray for Vermont used record stores and aging hippies from the surrounding hills clearing out their attics!

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