Thursday, 31 December 2015

RIP Stevie Wright




Surely Friday On My Mind should be Australia's national anthem. Strangely, I had written an entire post about this song for my 2015 wrap up but never posted it because I thought it was too negative. It was about how this tune ceased to be my weekly anthem as I'd given up the booze and finishing work on Friday had become something to not look forward to....blah blah blah...anyway after a couple of years I decided to have a wee drink on Friday nights again and well...the song's status may well be restored soon, I hope. Stevie, the lead singer of The Easybeats, died a few days ago. He had hedonistic demons that nearly destroyed him at one point. Wright suffered brain damage due to controversial treatment of his addictions in the 70s. He made several comebacks though. I saw one of these appearances that he made on the telly late one night and it was heartbreaking yet triumphant at the same time. That brought me to bittersweet tears which is no mean feat for the hard arse I thought I was at the time. So this guy touched me like few artists ever have plus he was fucking awesome! RIP.



Saturday, 26 December 2015

Best Of 2015 - Albums & Mixtapes & ....


Reflekzionz/Enttropik EP - Ekoplekz
Another great LP from Nick Edwards and the EP has two of his best tunes ever. He's on a hell of a roll and is quite possibly the best living electronic artist on the planet.

Lost Themes - John Carpenter
Carpenter knocks his clones out of the park with this classic epic slab of prog-horror. He just does what he does and that's the beauty of this album.

Playclothes From Faraway Places/Why Does My House Make Creaking Moises? - Moon Wiring Club
MWC are still intriguing, captivating and delightful after 10 years. This is his best since Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets and that's saying something as that's probably his 2nd best work. So this could end up at 1 or 3. This conjures images of ye olde English spectres breakdancing in dank haunted houses. Like Stereolab before him he makes writing about his music pointless as the song titles say it all 'Hide & Ghost Seek' 'Cobwebby Whodunit' 'Chic Exorcist' 'The Hushening' 'Haywire Assistants' 'Timeless Tea Gowns' etc. What is all that whispering about?

Barter 6/Slime Season - Young Thug
How the fuck does he keep it up? Two great releases from rap's weirdest tripper with the most original flow in hip-hop's history? Me like a very lot.

Nightvision - Mark Van Hoen
Mark continues on his merry way outside of trends and makes a little gem of an electronic LP in the process. Did anyone even notice?

Thrilla - Boosie Badazz
Ignore his stupid name change, he's still Lil Boosie to me but as he says he's a 'bad ass mother fucker.' He sounds like a real slime ball with the most menacing swagga in the game. When he gets in a maniacal zone it's as intensely infectious as prime Iggy Pop. Why isn't he as big as Kanye?

Rudeboyz EP - Rudeboyz
Mesmerising tumbling rhythms that bounce around amongst gloomy minimalism.

DS2 - Future
What a year Future's had, especially when you consider his inconsistent previous year. This album is just the tip of the iceberg of his 2015. This is his unapologetic paean to nihilistic hedonism and something tells me this all ain't gonna end well...

EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE - Rustie
Rustie makes a fine return to form and sets us adrift on memory bliss. It's so hard to resist this cheesy, cheap and cheerful noise.

Rich Off Mackin - RJ & Choice
Everyone wanted to write off DJ Mustard in 2015 (including my barber) but Rich Off Mackin can't be denied. This is gold and really feels like a true collaboration between RJ, Choice and Dijon. It's party time, people!

Houston 3AM - Beatking
Beatking continues to kill everything he does and Houston 3AM is up there with his best LPs/Mixtapes. The King is the most un-PC rapper in the game. Bret Easton Ellis needs to do a podcast with this guy!

Safe - Visionist
Everything about this on surface value make me wanna be sick ie. the cover, the artist's name, the song titles etc....omg I want to punch this C*** in the face. So it's with great disappointment then that I have to announce this music is good stuff: Minimal, thin & empty with occasional flourishes into neon lit sound. Hauntological Grime, anyone?


OTHERS I ALSO LIKED
Slime Season 2 - Young Thug
The Hateful Eight OST - Ennio Morricone
Cub OST - Steve Moore
Tales From The Black Tangle - Howlround
Don't Let The Sauce Fool U - Sauce Twinz
I'm Movin' To Houston - Starlito
Beast Mode/56 Nights - Future
3 Weeks/Club God 4 - Beatking
Candy, Diamonds & Pills - Gangsta Boo
Life II Death - Amber London
What A Time To Be Alive - Drake & Future
12 Reasons To Die II - Ghostface Killah

WHAT'S WITH THESE???
John T Gast - Excerpts
Puts in perspective how good Scorn were circa Evanescence and Ekoplekz are now. Switch it off.
Father - Who's Gonna Get Fucked First?
Awful Records is a rather apt title for his label, innit?
Arca - Mutant
It's alright I'spose but am I gonna play it a 4th time? No.
Helm - Olympic Mess
Olympic snooze-fest.
*I could go on and on and on some more but that'll do.....

TELEVISION
Is Girls the only good show on the telly?

Better Call Saul was alright particularly the comedy gold of the Bingo scene in the final episode.

The Golden Age didn't last long did it? Beginning with the first episode of Sopranos and ending somewhere around the last episode of the fourth season of Breaking Bad, I reckon.

MOVIES
Remember when they used to make good movies?

Friday, 25 December 2015

2015 Best Archives/Reissues...


OK so no stuff I already have, just gear I've been turned onto because it's been reissued or is different or better quality than previous issues. So no Cassie or Martin OST.

Individuals - Sunnyboys
My fave Sunnyboys LP in its original form before LA people fucked with it. It's one of the best Australian rock LPs of all time and this version is gold - the best.

User 18081971 @ Soundcloud  - Aphex Twin
So this was 230 trax from the Aphex archive dumped on soundcloud for like a week. It was like he realised 2015 was a very lean year in music so he gave 2015 a gift in 20 albums worth of top material. Some of the fan made comps of this stuff were great ie. Selected Ambient Works 3 & 10 Mellow Tracks For Free. This puts Mr James back in the spotlight as one of the greatest living electronic producers. So much goodness!

Muscle Up - Patrick Cowley
More funky cosmic disco jams and spooky atmospheric exotica made for porn films.

Fridge Trax Plus - General Magic & Pita
Delve into the strange netherworld of droning fridges. Classic Mego 90s electronica.

Industrial - Allesseandro Allessandroni
Great intense library LP fom 1971.

The Guest OST - Steve Moore
2014 synth soundtrack action from Moore who's one half of Zombi.

Rossso Sangue OST - Carlo Maria Cordio
The one I was waiting for. Choice Italian horror soundtrack from 1981. This contains some of the best synth soundz I've ever heard.

Electronic Calendar: The EMS Tapes - Peter Zimofeiff
Plenty of primitive synthesiser, electronics, atonal sounds & so much more from a forgotten figure of the 20th Century's Avant Garde.

All The Rest of The Rudeboyz Stufff - Rudeboyz
If the 4 trax on the EP weren't enough for you, a bunch of other tunes were available here on the interweb.

Documents 1975 - Harmonia
Krautrock's most underrated group give us more magic as you would expect.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Best Tunes Of 2015


Best Friend - Young Thug
I Got Hoez - Beatking Feturing Short Dawg
Mitsubishi Song - Rudeboyz
OD - Young Thug
Halftime - Young Thug
Quarterback - Young Thug
I Serve The Base - Future
Constantly Hatin - Young Thug featuring Birdman
Round My City - Lil Boosie
Playin Tricks - RJ & Choice
Throw Some Mo - Rae Sremmund featuring Minaj & Thugga
Broke Boy - Iamsu! featuring RJ & Choice
Big Rings - Drake & Future
Get Down - Rudeboyz
In My City - Starlito featuring Sauce Walka, Young Dolph, Killa Kyleon & Sosa Man
Get Rich - RJ & Choice
Fuck Up Some Commas - Future
Where Ya At - Future featuring Drake
Rarri - Young Thug featuring Young Ralph
Blow A Bag - Future
Thought It Was Drought - Future
March Madness - Future



Tuesday, 24 November 2015

2015 RAP



Houston's Beatking and Atlanta's Young Thug have just released another quality album each. For me right now there are four rappers who stand out from the pack Young Thug, Kevin Gates, Future and of course Beatking. I love me Lils too ie. Boosie, Duke, Durk & Herb. HBK, MPA and Sauce people are real good too. It's hard to leave out the perennially underrated Starlito. Then there's Gangsta Boo, Youngs Dolph & Scooter, Zuse, RJ, Choice and a bunch of others. One thing I'm way not getting is the Awful Records roster. Every artist on this label seems to get a great critical response with every album they issue and yet I couldn't name you one that I thought was any good and I've listened to at least half of Awful's catalogue. Some things are for other people I guess, people not like me.



Those 4 aforementioned rappers are just several notches higher than the rest at the moment. Kevin Gates usually has the best quality control of these four but he's only released one short mixtape this year Murder For Hire that was a bit hard to handle as the djs were a bit overbearing, smothering Kev's idiosyncratic tunes. So really apart from those 7 tracks so far we've only got 4 tunes that are slowly trickling out of i-tunes from his LP Islah which now has a release date for 2016. What's goin on Kev? We were getting two quality albums/mixtapes for the last three years running and that was an unsurpassed winning streak for recent rap. Perhaps I should give Murder For Hire another chance. So 2015 has been a tad disappointing for Gates fans after those previous three years. I don't read gossip columns so maybe I'm missing something like record company troubles, parole violations, legal issues, personal problems - possibly all of the above. Of the remaining 3 it's hard to say who's on top. Thugga and Beatking have released 3 albums/mixtapes each in 2015. Young Thug can be a bit erratic while Beatking is very consistent but can be a bit samey so it's a toss up between those two. Future's released 3 albums/mixtapes as well this year but he has the edge I reckon because he did that collaboration with Drake What A Time To Be Alive which is surprisingly good. Anyway it's not football so we can enjoy everyone's season and I'm pretty sure before the year is out Young Thug and Future could have at least one more release left in them each. As Gates says these four guys 'don't get tired.'


Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Big Black & Stuff


I used to think this was a top tune/racket, still pretty good innit?. Those Big Black records were good as I recall. The Rapeman album and the first three Shellac 7"s I thought were classics back then, sure I haven't listened to them in years but old Steve had a bit of talent. I couldn't get fully into Shellac's debut album At Action Park so I didn't really follow his work after that. Dog And Pony Show is the outstanding tune I remember from that LP. He did a great job recording, producing, engineering (whatever he used to bloody call it) particularly on that first Breeders LP, Pod and of course Surfer Rosa from The Pixies. He recorded a million bands, most of which are probably not worth listening to. Steve produced some non angry men like Labradford and Low. He even produced a couple of good Australian bands ie. Crow and Dirty Three. One aspect of Albini's personality that really endeared me to him was that he was a huge Wildlife Documentary fan. Rock people didn't say shit like that in the 80s/90s. I thought that was pretty bloody punk or was it anti-punk? It certainly was not cool or in any way fashionable. I also liked Albini's writing. He might have been the reason I first got turned on to Slint's Spiderland as he wrote a review of it in the pages of Melody Maker, I'm pretty sure. He also produced their inferior debut Tweez. Come to think of it I'm pretty sure I read an article that Steve wrote where he went through a bunch of records he'd recorded and he slagged off Surfer Rosa. He was was just being honest, many thought he was a c***. You used to be able to just write what you thought back then and it was ok. Now all these sensitive little kittens would call him a bully or a troll, wankers! I think I'd rather be a c*** than a troll. Trolls just remind me of those stupid little dolls with pink hair.



Anyway enough words have been spilled onto pages about Albini and I'm not trying to get a job at Mojo so the reason he's being discussed here is because there's a recent podcast with a conversation between Albini and Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi. I was having a depressing Sunday and trying to take a nap so I thought 'Why the hell not? This might lull me into sleep'. Funnily enough the only time I ever saw Shellac was when they were supporting Fugazi at The Collingwood Town Hall in Melbourne, perhaps in 93 or 94. Shellac were an incredibly impressive live unit, Fugazi were alright but I think I may have left during their set in search of a pub (no booze at these shows, god even the Puritans loved their booze). This podcast chat is a couple of old geezers reminiscing about the good ole days. One thing I didn't know was that MacKaye had done a project with Al Jourgensen, he of Ministry and immense drug taking fame. So that must have been weird because wasn't MacKaye straight edge? How on earth did they get along? Anyway I've never heard that record by Pailhead....I might check it out....nah I doubt it. Ian and Steve discuss recording, the UK, crashing at people's houses, Chicago, Touch & Go, Wax Trax, a mutual love of Adrian Sherwood, boring shit, more boring shit and there's plenty of arse kissing despite them being occasionally critical of one another. It wasn't as boring as I thought it might have been. I must admit I did nod off towards the end, hey it was long, they are musicians ie. they sometimes make good music but that doesn't mean they're dazzling conversationalists and geez...guess what? It's only part 1 apparently.

Anyway this goes out to Ant, my first blog member who loved his Fugazi back in the day and followed Shellac long after I did. Let me know what part 2 is like as I don't think I'll be downloading that one.

A better podcast featuring Albini sans tedious twat MacKaye is here. Albini discusses his love for Baseball and it turns out he's he's a celebrity poker player and lover of cats.


I loved this cover of Supernaut when it came on the radio in 91 but I don't even think I knew it was a Black Sabbath tune at the time. All I'd heard of Sabbath back in 91 was the Paranoid album which I had on a cruddy tape and on the other side was Pink Floyd's Piper At The Gates of Dawn. That's a strange combo but I guess they both became beloved by my rock brain. I can't say I was a Ministry fan, like my mates were but this is Jourgensen and co along with Trent Reznor on vocals. Now, I did not know that he was singing on this until yesterday. Is it true? and who really cares? I still like it despite being aware of the Black Sabbath version for like 20 years now. Steve Albini would hate it.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Young Thug - Quarterback


I don't think I posted this before but it's a toss up between this and the previously posted Best Friend for best tune of the year for me I think. Young Thug should do a whole album of tunes with the vibe of those two tracks, that'd be the best LP of the 2010s don't ya reckon? Barter 6, Slime Season 1 & 2 have 53 tracks. I've made a mixtape featuring the best 29 songs from those three releases called 2015 THUG, if he'd released that it would have been an all time classic. Then there's all his features including 5 on Gucci's Brick Factory 3 and that Metro Thuggin mixtape bootleg and so many more I didn't include. You could probably make another classic mixtape of the best of all those, I'm sure I've missed a bunch too. Does anything recorded go unreleased? Beatking on his closing monologue from 3 Weeks calls it 'the mixtape grind'. I kinda don't get it. Do the rap guys feel they have to keep pumping out so much stuff just to remain constantly visible? Anyway over 29 top choonz in a year is pretty bloody impressive. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Tales From The Black Tangle - Howlround


Good old Robin The Fog is back under the Howlround moniker with a terrific new record Tales From The Black Tangle. This one is definitely heading further into the darkness. This LP is engulfed in fog. Foggy drones, foggy playgrounds, foggy cities, foggy horns, foggy radios, foggy sirens, foggy trains in foggy shipyards and foggy miscellaneous sounds all add to the foggy magnificence of this eerie little, shall we say, foggy gem. The foggiest record of the year. Thanks to Foggy Robin and his foggy friend. In a word Foggy.



I didn't think the video was dark or foggy enough, so i turned down the brightness to its lowest, changed the picture quality to its worst and slowed the music by half, fuck that was cool.

Abundance Of Stuff


Well it's been quite a couple of weeks for new releases, a bit like the old days when you didn't know which releases to get because there were so many that you wanted to hear. Now though the ones you don't buy you can just download, I suppose, plus many are free downloads anyway. Beatking and Young Thug releasing new albums/mixtapes in the same week is a good week which ever way you look at it. God I'm still getting my head around Thugga's Barter 6 and the first volume of Slime Season and now we've got Slime Season 2. His new mixtape Slime Season 2 (after only a couple of listens) is quite possibly up there with his two classics Black Portland & 1017 Thug. Young Thug also has a collaboration mixtape with Migos about to drop at any moment plus another official solo LP. He's the new James Brown ie. the hardest working man in show business. Beatking's 3 Weeks is his third album of the year as well and his quality control is usually the highest in the rap game only rivalled by Kev Gates. Beatking has signed with Sony and he made an LP for them in 3 weeks. It's not as dementedly bangin as something like Gangster Stripper Music 2 from last year but he's still funny, profane, non PC and hey it wouldn't be a Beatking release without a version of Kiesha, surely this is the 17th time this tune has turned up, I expect a version on all his albums till he retires now. Is earnestness starting to sneak in to his array of aesthetics though? He may be stupid but Beatking's not dumb so naming this album 3 Weeks feels to me like a disclaimer as it's probably the lesser of his three releases this year. He's letting you know this was chucked together very quickly. Hopefully I'll have some further thoughts on this stuff once my mind has processed it all. Boosie Badazz (some of this sounds outstanding, after one initial listen), Zuse and Amber London have released worthy new material in the rap zones too in the last week or so. Recently Gangsta Boo, Skipper, Ty Dolla Sign and Lil Herb have put out mixtapes worth listening to as well and I reckon I've probably missed a few too.



In electronic zones Rustie creator of possibly the best record of the 2010s (well at least one of the top 9), Glass Swords, has a new album called EVENIFUDONTBELIEVE and it sounds really bloody good compared to last year's disappointing Green Language so that's exciting news as I was ready to write him off. Arca and Mark McGuire have new LPs plus I just discovered Steve Moore's synth soundtrack The Guest that was released earlier this year. That Visionist album Safe still has me transfixed and slightly perplexed as I can't quite pinpoint why I like it so much. Then there's the archival box from Harmonia which I guess is really only of interest as it includes the previously unreleased Documents 1975. I believe this is getting its own separate release which I can't wait for, in fact I'm gonna have to download that right this second I think.


Then I discovered That Bret Easton Ellis does podcasts. I've checked out the episodes with Kim Gordon, Ariel Pink and Doors drummer John Densmore, which are all worth listening to. This guy can talk and then talk some more. Sometimes I wonder if he needs guests at all. His epic intros are gloriously verbose. It's all about Bret and it's fascinating as is his obsession with LA.

Finders Keepers Radio did an excellent Halloween special although their shameless self promotion is starting to wear thin. These guys are obviously massive music fans but business and marketing are starting to cloud their vision slightly.

Last but not least I've discovered the dudes from the legendary but now dead sharity blog Mutant Sounds have started doing podcasts as well. They've done two episodes so far of Mutant Sounds Radio. If you loved the Mutant Sounds blog you'll know what you're getting here ie. Seminal music from subterranean fringe dwellers brought to public consciousness by counter obscurism.

Oh and one last thing......I was going to post this tune last week as I've been getting into the 2003 Ricardo Villalobos LP Alcachofa and then I noticed this has been issued on a 12" recently which is weird. Anyway me love this tune a lot.




This is on the other side of the 12" and is the opening track from Alcachofa and it might even be more awesome than Dexter. Legendary.

Oh then there is more stuff..... this time in Hauntological zones......maybe next time......

Monday, 2 November 2015

Lunatic Asylum Mix


I don't think I've posted this before maybe some blog I frequent has, I dunno, but I only converted this to mp3 today and geez I like. The first half in particular is gloomtastic and the second half is good too in gabbalerous/hard trancemania style. It's all hardcore. All trax are from Dr Macabre aka Renegade Legion aka Lunatic Asylum aka many other monikers. This is rave music for the Apocalypse. When he gives it a bit of kick early on in the set the bass drum is so fucking thick it's awesome. If you're happy when it rains this doomcore will have you in gloomy euphoria. Bring on the end.


This 3 cd set on Megarave Records from 1999 should be in every gloomcore freak's household. It has tunes from all his aforementioned aliases plus a few others like French Connection, Slut Burger, Negative Burn, Micibri and guests Rotterdam Terror Corps. This would be in my top ten single artist compilations of all time, he being Guillaume Leroux a French bloke.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Patrick Cowley - Muscle Up


I was very pleased to see this new release of old stuff. Patrick Cowley's 2013 archival record School Daze was terrific and this one is even better. This is more archival material from the 70s and early 80s. Some of these tunes were used in porn films. How lucky were these film makers who got to use Cowley's compositions in their pornos? I'm pretty sure if Cowley had lived beyond 1982 he would have become a renowned soundtrack composer. Cats Eye opens Muscle Up by setting a strange futuristic tribal atmosphere with haunting piano and very big and ominously slow drums. The Jungle Dream is an incredibly expansive and humid piece of ambience. It comes complete with jungle sounds and a faintly menacing vibe that something is occurring off in the distance. Conjuring thoughts of danger as there maybe some kind of sacrifice ritual taking place behind that next set of trees. Deep Inside You could be a Michael Rother/Neu outtake with its damn fine treated guitar and krautrock pulsations. Somebody To Love Tonight is neon lit night time synth dub for seedy city streets. Pigfoot is a glorious synth jam with classic funky guitar licks. 5th of Funk is some more mental synth funk/cosmic disco action. Don't Ask is a restrained cop show stakeout tune set in a future urban metropolis perhaps what Cowley imagined San Francisco might have been like in 2017, I mean he died over 30 years ago so... By the time we get to Uhura he's getting really out there into the cosmos. Timelink is Berlin School electronics with a didgeridoo which places the outback amongst the infinite stars, incredible stuff. Mockingbird Dream is a sprawling hallucinatory journey that slowly goofs off behind some unknown planet. Best archival release of 2015.

Friday, 30 October 2015

The Horror The Gloom The Doom


Halloween isn't really a thing here in Australia, despite many attempts by consumerist architects to make it so. I hate it when it gets referred to as an American custom as it quite clearly emanated from Celtic tradition and probably has Pagan roots. Anyway it's a good excuse to get out some frightening and gloomy tunes. I could have posted a hundred or more of these doomcore/gloomcore gems but here's just a handful. 


This one from Marc Acardipane is from 2002 but I only discovered yesterday. One World No Future came out after the 90s heyday of doomcore techno but it's damn fine. There's probably still a bunch of artists creating replicas of the genre and trying to keep the faith today, like there are still drum n bass people etc. 




Frozen is an alias for Miro. I think Frozen only did the one EP, Soul Saver, from 1997 where both of these tracks come from. Miro had a bunch of other pseudonyms Stickhead, Reign, Jack Lucifer, Evidence, Hypnotizer and the list goes on. He made many fine records and continues to this day doing minimal, sometimes quite dark, techno under his name Miro Pajic.


This is another 90s bewdy from Miro Pajic under the alias Evidence. This was on his 1999 compilation Hardcore Made In Frankfurt, probably released a few years earlier on 12".


Monday, 19 October 2015

On The Hi Fi - Recent Synth Soundtrax


CUB - STEVE MOORE
Loving this. This is Steve Moore from Zombi, the synth-prog group who brought us the top faux electronic soundtrack albums Surface To Air and Spirit Animal in the 00s. If you know those records you'll know what you're getting here. This recording is an actual score to a film though. Cub is a retro-synth soundtrack that's so good it doesn't need to pretend it's anything new. This score is the sound of a man and his synthesiser creating fabulous minimal and spooky analogue sounds not unlike John Carpenter whereas Zombi were more like your full on horror prog rock group along the lines of Tangerine Dream or Goblin. Best soundtrack of 2015?


COLD IN JULY - JEFF GRACE
I missed this one when it came out so if you like your synth horror soundtracks, like the above, this is for you. I have come across two excellent Jeff Grace soundtracks previously 2011's The Innkeepers and The House Of The Devil from 2009. I knew this was more synthy than those aforementioned two scores which were a lot more symphonic but Cold In July while tipping its hat to John Carpenter moves beyond mere cloning of ones influences. Jeff Grace feels like a real contender for the electronic score crown. Cold In July is undeniably a post millennial classic synth soundtrack that makes the terrific and very enjoyable music of Umberto, Zombi, Salisbury & Barrow feel like mere fanboys playing at wanting to be their heroes Moroder, GoblinTangerine Dream etc. Grace was once an assistant to modern soundtrack legend Howard Shore, hinting at what you're getting here (Carpenter meets Shore meets some mysterious new ingredients) and that something more intellectual might be happening here. Grace has made a synthesiser soundtrack his own like no one has really done since the early 80s. Achieving that is no mean feat and should put into perspective his talent and potential. Somehow he puts new textures into the atmospheres of these tracks and adds a new level of sophistication to synth scoring. I hope Grace continues doing electronic soundtracks as I feel he is on the verge of something great within this field. Cold In July is up there with the best recent soundtracks and gives Mica Levi's brilliant Under The Skin from last year a run for its money. This is some serious synth biz and then some.


BEYOND THE BLACK RAIBOW - SINOIA CAVES
This slab of synth candy is from 2010 but wasn't released until 2014. Beyond The Black Rainbow is highly rated amongst synthesiser soundtrack aficionados and it doesn't disappoint. Caves is a member of the psych-prog rock group Black Mountain and apparently has another cosmic synth gem under his belt with 2002's The Enchanter Persuaded. Having quite enjoyed what I had heard of Black Mountain on the radio, many years ago, I didn't really know what to expect from this Caves soundtrack but geez it's a real delight. After Umberto released the fantastic Prophesy Of The Black Widow 5 years ago at the height of Not Not Fun's great run of releases, I thought there may not have been any life left in this kind of retro synth gear, how wrong I was. On Beyond The Black Rainbow Caves piles on the tension and cosmic grandiosity. VHS memoradelia and dread fuelled dark ambient are the order of the day here. Eerie intergalactic vistas are intertwined with sprawling cosmic prog workouts to great affect, rejuvenating the spooky sci-fi soundtrack genre. Another bewdy.


LAW UNIT - ANTONI MAIOVVI & UMBERTO 
This one came out a few months back and passed me by so I'm glad to be catching up with it now. I'm not really sure who Maiovvi is but I know he released an album on Not Not Fun last year and recorded a soundtrack for the 2012 short film Yellow. I totally dig Umberto's four albums of faux horror/sci-fi soundtracks From The Grave, Prophesy Of The Black Widow, Night Has A Thousand Screams and Confrontations. It's been a couple of years since Confrontations so I've been wondering where the hell Umberto have been. Law Unit delves into much darker territory than Umberto's previous Goblin/Carpenter-esque synth confections. Some of it heads into industrial/EBM/dark ambient type zones making it a bit different from past Umberto releases. Still getting my head around this new, harsher direction for Umberto but I guess I have to start looking at it as a collaborative tangent rather than a wholly new look Umberto. Having said that, it's not bad though.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Fragments Of Time Part 2



In the comments box of that last post Simon Reynolds asks 'What do you think of gqom?'

Gqom is a genre originating from Durban, South Africa which is stripped down and rhythmic music designed for the dancefloor that's springy, minimal, raw and funky with elements of tribal house, kwaito, hip hop and broken beat. What I had heard of gqom (a Zulu word meaning drum or hit, I believe) up until today I thought was alright. Then I discovered Rudeboyz and they've got some great trax. In particular I love the below Get Down which is like a Basic Channel tune stuck in a pinball machine but trying to break free, I like a lot. The other great trak is Mitsubishi Song by Rudeboyz member Menchess (3rd tune below). This one's got fabulous tumbling rhythms that bounce around amongst the dark minimalism. The other two tracks are bloody good too. All of these tunes have their own mechanical internal logic that becomes mesmerising, v nice.

The Rudeboyz EP is released on a British label called Goon Club Allstars and is one of the first international releases of this regional style that has barely made it outside of Durban. So far gqom has been an mp3 game and here's a bunch of tunes that Rudeboyz have uploaded for your listening pleasure.


Friday, 16 October 2015

Fragments Of Time



I dunno if It's me or not but I have a stack of unfinished posts that I just can't be bothered returning to. Is 2015 too boring to write about? Is writing about music irrelevant? Am I taking myself way too seriously after receiving kind words, tweets and replies from people I admire and respect? Have I started second guessing myself? Had a loss of nerve? Or run out of things to say? Has medication levelled me out so much that I've become indifferent to anything or everything. I suppose rap is still where it's at in 2015, with only a few choice things emanating from other zones. I am waiting for something to come along and stop me in my tracks though. I reckon even the slow increments of innovation in hip-hop are coming to a halt and the rest of the music world has reached stasis point or entered a time-warp. Let's face it I'd be happy if something really retro came along as long as it was bloody awesome, you know like that last Daft Punk record, Urge Overkill circa Saturation or Soft Bulletin era Flaming Lips. If the concept of time's been flipped I don't see why we can't use that to our advantage, at least for cheap thrills. Hey cheap thrills are some of the best thrills. Perhaps I'm not as easily swayed or impressionable as I'm not young any more, then again Random Access Memories was only two years ago...I'd be happy with a new Bruno Mars album at this point. Maybe Retromania is no longer the thesis of our times. The law of diminishing returns has probably killed that party. Should someone write something about stasis? Stasis, I just did. I guess Ekoplekz and Beatking will probably have new records out soon but come on everyone else I can't keep relying on those two artists for my new music pleasures, they can only release two or three records a year.....oh I suppose I can if I have to.



Telly, movies and blogs all seem to be offering less. I used to love the blogoshere back in the day. The early to mid 00s were its heyday it seems. When the likes of Blissblog, K-Punk, Woebot, Gutterbreakz et al. were writing about stuff like Grime, Dubstep, electronic music of the time, old stuff and even rock, it was great. I wasn't even into any of the music really but their excitement was infectious. I don't even know what I was listening to then (ye olde afrobeat compilations, I think?). I mean Friday nights were all about gettin drunk and listening to The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top and AC/DC. I thought music was over for me but I liked the fact that innovation and progression were still happening, so I still kept an eye on it. I thought maybe something new would come along that I liked eventually. It did come slightly with Hauntology, Hypnogogia, Altered Zones type stuff and Ratchet. Now it's like Philip Sherburne is the only one attempting to document the new (see this Energy Flash post) but even he appears to be struggling to get blood out of the stone. Good on him though, at least, for trying. I think I came to this blog game too late. In my first couple of years of blogging there was still a shitload of great stuff being released but it has been petering out and in 2015 well geez.....

Sunday, 11 October 2015

CHBB


Here's something that has sat in my i-tunes unplayed for a long while. My version doesn't sound quite this good though. So my mp3 might be a bootleg or a demo, I dunno. The Electro Maggot played a version of this track the other day. The actual physical item of this, which is a 10 minute cassette from Germany in 1981, is impossibly rare and fetches big $$$ on e-bay. CHBB only did 4 releases all of which were 10 minute tapes that I am led to believe were only issued in runs of 50. Anyone can find that fabulous Liaisons Dangereuses LP from 1981 in some form or another but these four tapes are sort of The Holy Grail of German Post-Punk. So CHBB are Chrislo Haas and Beate Bartel. Krishna Goineau joined these two later to make up Liaisons Dangereuses but obviously wasn't part of CHBB, so that above youtube title is slightly misleading. The 4 CHBB tapes have never been reissued and I'm not even sure they're anywhere on the web any more. They're just not some obscure collectable though, the music is excellent and right up there with the Liaisons Dangereuses album for innovation. One of CHBB's tunes showed up on that Metal Dance 2 compilation a couple of years back. Who knows if there will ever be a proper reissue of the nine tunes contained within these infamous four C-10s? 

It's pretty good, innit? Thanks for reminding me Electro Maggot.


This one's a mad killer tune from the first tape. I'm pretty sure if you stripped this down to the synth and drum machine it'd pretty much be techno in 81, wouldn't it?


This is gold from the 3rd tape



Classic post-punk tropes from the first tape.


And here's a little bit of a classic from Liaisons Dangereuses that was also on their one and only self titled LP.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Gerry & The Holograms


Holy shit this is the best old music discovery I've made in 10 years I reckon. I'd not even heard of them until 2 days ago. This is so damn good I can't believe my ears. All I know is they were from Manchester and this was released in 1979. New Order were surely fans as they nicked the melody for Blue Monday. Thanks to Finders Keepers Radio for the heads up on this, it featured on their synth spezial. You can download the entire Absurd catalogue, which consists of 10 or 15 singles or something, from Jonny Zchivago here. He also hints at Martin Hannett's involvement on these recordings. There is no mention of Absurd or Gerry & The Holograms in that biography on Hannett though. 

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Finders Keepers Radio


I was surfing the net in search of something musical to excite me the other day and I thought "Have Finders Keepers released any 'old stuff' this year that I might have missed?" I don't remember the answer to that now. I did however discover these Finders Keepers Radio Podcasts. The 10th anniversary show reminded me of where my head was at in the mid 00s. The only current stuff I was into then was Animal Collective and Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti give or take a Deerhoof or two. I didn't engage with Grime (except for a little bit of Dizzee & Lady Sovereign on the radio, call me commercial) or Dubstep at the time so I got into this weird old stuff that was being reissued by Finders Keepers and the likes of Trunk Records. This was also around the time Ghostbox started too, but that was new music and a whole other story. I definitely recommend listening to this podcast but it's a weird old game for sure. So you go back in time 10 years and hear stuff that was already old by like 30 years then. Talk about atemporal. Reminiscing about reminiscing about stuff that was unheard by you but reminiscable by others from around the globe. I just had a look at my cd collection and realised I had over 30 albums released by Finders Keepers!!! So obviously, I like what they do a lot, although now this stuff feels doubly old. I can't imagine head honcho Andy Votel listening to Young Thug, Kevin Gates, Future, Beatking etc. now, but in 30 years time they'll be able to go back and neatly pick out what was awesome, an anomaly or really strange about the state of current southern rap though....er maybe that's a bad example....maybe they would discover a bizarre scene from Uzbekistan that was influenced by 2010s southern rap, that's more like it. What Finders Keepers are on about is hindsight, alternative histories, retro-eclecticism and diggin deep because most current music sucks.

Andy Votel's voice is incredibly close to that of another (in)famous Manc Jonny Vegas. I keep picturing him as Vegas. 808 state's Graeme Massey gets a second act on these podcasts as a possible cult comedian because he plays this character Tape Worm which is hilarious, I mean I assume it's him, it could be Votel, I dunno. The host Pete Mitchell puts me in mind of slightly hipper Alan Partridge.


THIS WAS GOOD
Well Hung is a Finders Keepers compilation of funky Hungarian pop from the 70s. A few years after this was released I got talking to a woman who was perhaps 15 years my senior from Hungary. I showed her this on my I-pod during a uni lecture and to my surprise she sang along to every tune and then gave a run down of who they were, what they used to be and where they were now. She thought it was really weird that I was into this shit.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Top 3 LP Covers Of All Time

I was filling in a questionnaire about best LP covers the other day and found it really hard. My conclusion in the end was that movie posters are much better pop art than album covers. What surprised me most was how much I didn't give a fuck about the artwork for albums. Perhaps movie posters are better because they promise so much yet the actual movie rarely delivers on that promise. Movie posters as an entity unto themselves seem like a much more successful artform than the poster as part of the combination with the movie or album artwork by itself. Album artwork really seems to be an afterthought doesn't it? Music doesn't need it's sizzle to be sold because it speaks for itself.

Sure I had a few other favorites but below are my top three LP covers of all time and the music is awesome too...just slightly magnificent.


Big Fun is surely the best LP cover ever. The soundz within are bloody exceptional too!


In Concert is quite possibly my fave Miles record.....uh and that cover!



An amazing trilogy of funky ghetto pimp shit that really suits the tunes. The album sleeves for In Concert & On The Corner were once described as 'tastelessness' by Canadian jazz magazine Coda, ha...the last laugh is on you Coda, tastelessness never tasted sooo good. Don't you love how people with a different taste to you describe it as no taste as if there couldn't possibly be an alternative to their specific tastes. Stupid. I love these Corky McCoy cartoon covers more than the covers Mati Klarwein did for Miles Davis but they're great too (see below), if a little tasteful.



How good is the Live/Evil one? Fucking mental.

The two different styles of cover art really sum up where Miles was at, at the time. A culture clash of high culture and trash. Davis was making mercurial epoch defining art and designing sonic templates for future genres to plunder but he also really wanted to be down with what was happening on the bad ass fonkay streets. He wanted to eat his cake. I think he did and then some.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Portishead - Third - ?


Why am I writing about this now? Old news I suppose but....I dug it out the other day and gave it a spin. This LP was universally acclaimed and ended up in a lot of best of the 00s lists. I don't recall any reviews at the time but it seemed like everyone liked it and thought it was a good idea. Portishead moved away from the trip-hop and headed into much whiter zones. I mean Beth was always white as a ghost but in a Dusty/Janis wish I was black kind of way. Was she once a Janis Joplin impersonator? With the hip-hop and soul samples turfed here for tributes to Can, United States of America via Broadcast, Pram, Silver Apples and whatever else they were referencing beyond track 6 etc. it all seems a bit odd. It's a bit like, I dunno, The Stereophonics releasing a jungle album. On Third, it was like Portishead wanted to rewrite their own history and state the case that: We too could have been a UK post-rock band circa 94. Third would have fitted pretty neatly into that category. The best thing about Dummy though, was the fact that they weren't indie or post-rock or Brit-pop. On Dummy they were stark blue eyed soul with hip hop beats encased in a dub mentality. It felt pretty new or at least of it's time with their re-situation of John Barry with bleak torch singer amongst dubbed out trip-hop. I think their debut and the underrated follow up were quintessential 90s records that are still worth listening to, depending on how much time you spent in Cafes in the mid 90s that is. So why all the plaudits and respect for Third? I can only think that perhaps the 00s were worse than I thought and people were grasping on to anything. I mean it's tasteful and everything but.... fuck by the time they get to Deep Water's country twang, I wanna smash the fucking stereo in.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Cherry Moon On Valium....again


Sorry this isn't something new, just the old Cherry Moon On Valium mix from 2011 but I just watched this for like the 20th time and I never get sick of it. They should do another mix. I converted this to mp3 and put the audio into my i-phone a couple of years ago and it is one of the most played things ever on my phone. I keep meaning to make a compilation of all the original tracks at their real speeds, I think I've probably got half of them. Then just looking at the track list I realised there's a few I haven't recognised in their slowed down form. Anyway I posted this ages ago but hey it's fucking timeless, innit?

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Young Thug - Best Friend


Diggin that vibe....on this. I love everything about Young Thug, his moves, the way he wears his clothes, his videos and...Oh yeah his singing. He is so cool and funny. There's also something disturbing about him which adds to his greatness. Best Friend is from the mixtape Slime Season which was was released this week but apparently he's got a whole other album ready for release! More on Slime Season once I've got me head around it. Slime Season isn't as mental or rough as 1017 Thug but it sounds real good though.



He's really killin the sound and vision combo isn't he?


He's sold me. Get me some lean. Every other rapper pack up and go home.






Funny bastard.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

On The Hi-Fi - Part !!!


The fog has lifted slightly but I feel like I can barely string a cohesive sentence together. I'm strugglin to get past 'I like/don't like' sort of writing at the moment. Deep analysis might be out the window until my brain gets flowing again. Sometimes it seems you need to be a musicologist to review this (above) kind of shit but no, I'm gonna give it a Space Debris crack. This is very bloody good. Before we had jungle we had the polyrhythmic mentalness of this Latino shit. Some of this music is as outre as Miles in the 70s while some of it sounds like it could have been off the soundtrack to The Love Boat. Many a legend is to be found on this comp that came out 20 years ago including Palmieris Charlie & Eddie, Joe Bataan, Ocho, Grupo Folklorico etc. This new version has an added cd with 8 tracks that weren't on the original collection.  Do I need to mention Cuba, Boogalooo, Salsa Classic, Puerto Rico, New York, Fonkay or whatever? This is Superfly, sometimes soulful, jazzy, summertime and everything else in between! Makes you want to drink cocktails in the sun and dance like you think you are the greatest dancer ever.


LIVE IN ALCALPULCO - DDAA (1981) (Tape 2)
Well I was not expecting this. I had previously heard DDAA's Nouvelles Construction Sonores Sur Fondations which was a lengthy drifting sonic art collage released in 1991. When the opening tune Ready With The Answer came on with it's rubbish bin percussion and mental guitar I was so shocked I thought this was a different group altogether. It caused a flurry of research and no it wasn't two different groups, it was the one and only DDAA. As far as I can tell they were a 3 piece who had formed in France in 1979. This release is surely where Sun City Girls got all their inspiration. Live In Alcalpulco is fabulously minimal stuff that sometimes sounds like a Middle Eastern no-fi Slint gone acoustic with drums made of cardboard. Then it goes psych post-punk like a No-Wave group stranded in the desert jamming while imbibing mushrooms then incredibly inventive drones, space invader noises and gamelan-esque percussive sounds enter the fray. The crowd of two like it a lot and clap enthusiastically (surely this is a faux-live record). I thought I was hip to all the under-underground classics by now, but no way, I was not even aware of this double cassette until today. Subterranean Gold!


I have been waiting for a new release from Gesaffelstein since his classic Aleph from 2013. I guess this isn't the true follow up to that masterpiece of 'beautiful paranoid atmospheres, bangin streamlined EBM and Cold Rushes.' It does have the cold and paranoid atmospheres but not so much the bangin club tunes. I assume Maryland is a horror film because this is quite the grim soundtrack. An hour earlier my brain had been comparing Burzum's ambient black metal tunes to those of the mid 90s electronic doom/gloom-core variety ie. Miro, The Mover, Reign etc. so it was weird that this turned up as surely Gesaffelstein loves all that stuff. Wall Of Memories could be a Burzum track with it's simple but bizarre piano phrase that is chilling to the (hard)core. Could a horror score be album of the year two years in a row?

*The Space Debris airwaves have been featuring the aforementioned Burzum plus the likes of Bathory, Ulver, Celtic Frost, Wolf Eyes (??), Bene Gesserit, Skin, Swans, Crime & The City Solution, Clint Ruin & Lydia Lunch, Terror Danjah, Isolee, Ricardo Villalobos, Arthur Russell, Future, Young Thug and er.....Gong. A little old school hip hop has been on the decks too including the likes of LL Cool J, Schooly D, EPMD, Slick Rick, NWA, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, Dr Dre etc. with a blog post coming up on these ye olde artists and the current state of Hip-Hop.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

2015? Part 2



Simon Reynolds chooses this as his pick for 2015 so far here in my comments. Atlanta's Future was the kingpin of weird rap before Young Thug came along and remains just as relevant as Thugga. They both come from the same church ie. Lil Wayne worship. His 2012 album Pluto was choice as was this year's Beast Mode mixtape which I wrote about here. Future had a couple of other good mixtapes Dirty Sprite, Astronaut Status and Streetz Calling but last year's official album Honest was a tad disappointing. Fuck Up Some Commas originally appeared on the Monster mixtape from last year as well as on 2015's DS2.


Turn On The Lights is classic anthem from Pluto.



Real Sisters was on Beast Mode as well as appearing on DS2.



This is the closing tune on Beast Mode.


Future featured on this great tune from Jeezy last year which made my end of year list.


Anyway back to now....the Mrs chooses this as her 2015 pick. Goin back to Live To Tell vibes on this one fo shizzle.


Same name different song. Vocally he's a bit reminiscent of Billy McKenzie doncha think? He kinda does with deep tech what Daniel Bedingfield did with 2-Step Garridge on Gotta Get Through This sort of...maybe....I dunno.....does he?



I think he originally did an acoustic version of this anyway....


Hard for me to go past this one from Beatking for 2015.


Oh and I really like this...sure it's got a bit of Dre/Snoop circa 92/93 RJ & Choice have their own swagger though which raises this tune beyond mere pastiche, is it not awesome? Iamsu! is a star. Call me retromaniacal....... 


Iamsu! with RJ & Choice again....

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

2015 - How Shit?


I've gotta say 2015 has got to be the worst music year since fuck before the 2nd World War, I reckon. I'm stuck in 90s musical zones (see above) myself and don't particularly care that my listening isn't drifting back to the now. In fact I want to stay right in those places when and where the possibilities seemed endless. Me and the Mrs discussed a furniture shop closing down near our house the other day and ended up in the terrain of "Is that it then? Music's finite so i guess furniture is too." I was saying how these retro interior design shops had become so uninspired and formulaic, why would anyone want to spend money on this new old shit when there's plenty of old shit anyway?. The retro eclecticism, of the products in these shops, is disappearing up it's own arse at an accelerating rate. Is it that no one is game enough to say right here's a new style? So we just continue down these tasteful but conservative aesthetic avenues? Nobody's killing their idols. There's way too much reverence. We lived through a modernist time but that has gone. Where are the generation gaps? The kids don't even want one. Teenagers don't seem to exist anymore, kids don't leave home until they're over 25 now. You used to leave home and disassociate yourself from your family and become a whole new you, severed from the past. Emma went to the Bowie exhibition in Melbourne last weekend and said there were kids sans parents there. I thought what the fuck? These youngsters are going back 40 years. In 1985 diggin the 60s seemed old but it had only ended 15 years prior. When I was 17 (by then we had Public Enemy, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jnr., Acid House, Hip-Hop etc.) I wouldn't have been caught dead being interested in a culture that was 40+ years old. Strange days indeed.

*This is raw thought data that's still being processed in my mind.



**A retro curio in itself. First issued in 1971 (maybe the year I was born) on his Hunky Dory LP then was later released as a single in 1973 when Bowie had reached stardom. It became a massive hit in the UK.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Munch Bunch


Sounds like something off Ariel Pink's Pom Pom, I reckon. The Mrs has been singing this all day so I checked it out. I don't recall it at all...maybe it didn't make it to the telly screens of regional Victoria in the 80s. We only had two channels...



I vaguely remember this though.



This the only other one I recall. I'm pretty sure this show was actually French but dubbed into English. I would have been none the wiser back then though. The rest are a journey into Emma's childhood tv mind.



Loving Button Moon's theme. "I am the moon" "Howard Moon"... The Boosh guys must have loved this.







Saturday, 22 August 2015

Silver Apples Of The Moon - Laika

UK POST-ROCK TOP 14: PART 4

Fuck I loved this record when it came out in 1994. I was already into UK post-rock shit and just starting to get into jungle. I saw this as a terrific amalgam of the two. Maybe we didn't really need it but it was ticking all my aesthetic boxes at the time. I'd been big on Margaret Fiedler's previous band Moonshake since they had released the Second Hand Clothes EP in 1992 followed by the classic Eva Luna LP that same year. Big Good Angel from 1993 was the last Moonshake record to feature Fiedler and was a classic for her to go out on. I must admit I never followed them after she left. The Laika project had me very excited though. Along for the ride were ex-Moonshake bass player John Frenett and producer Guy Fixsen. Chuck in Lou Ciccotelli on percussion, My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig as a digital editor and even Louise Elliot from Australia's great Laughing Clowns on the sax & flute. How could you go wrong? You couldn't, Laika didn't!

Silver Apples Of The Moon kicks off with Sugar Daddy and you can feel the city streets with it's sampled noise, rain and trains. Then a sultry propulsive beat kicks in while classic 90s bleeps drift into the mix as Fixsen and Fiedler sing together. Fixsen, who had produced Moonshake, takes on a more prominent role here. As well as co-engineering, he co-writes every tune with Fiedler, sings, plays synth and other instruments including vibes, marimba, melodica, the sampler and even guitar. Laika were about unison whereas Moonshake had been about tension. Fiedler mirrors Fixsen (or is it the other way around?) taking on all the same roles in the band ie. engineering, sampling, playing all the same instruments etc. Next is The Marimba Song which has a trippy, tropical and Can-esque vibe. This tune introduced the band to the world as two versions of it appeared on their debut recording, the Antenna EP. Let Me Sleep has frenetic beats, unbelievable bass, spiralling layers of free sax/flute and a general air of cluttered urban space. Coming Down Glass is an ultra spaced out funky wind-up toy hip hop jam with flute squiggles. The whole thing sounds like it was recorded backwards.

If You Miss starts out oppressive before a vibraphone appears to brighten things up but then it flitters back to darker terrain and continues to fluctuate between the parallel universes of isolationism and blissed out ambience for the rest of the track. In the meantime the hypnotic beat maintains an amazing flow motion. 44 Robbers has Margaret rapping kinda awkwardly like Debbie Harry, taut guitar lines that sometimes veer off into noise, Pacific(state) Island soundz and an incredibly tight rhythm like The JBs. Red River could be a Moonshake tune with it's squalling sax, tense noisy guitar shapes, claustrophobic minimal bass and tumbling out of control beats. Honey and Heat is a mesmerising off kilter urban dub tune with see-sawing samples. The samples here are meticulously crafted and create an entirely unique peculiarity. Expansive rolling rhythms, loopy flutes, eerie samples, choppy guitars and Guy's whispered vocals all contribute to the strange twilight of Thomas. The delightfully jazzy, almost surf instrumental Spider Happy Hour brings proceedings to a close.

Like a lot of UK post-rock's lost generation a duality was at play on this album ie. alongside the urban intensity was also a swirling intergalactic vibe. This often gave the music a disconcerting feel which made you want to come back for more so you could experience the discombobulation again and again. On their next LP, Sound Of Sattelites, Laika would rocket off into the stars completely, leaving the squalor behind them in a vapour trail haze. Silver Apples Of The Moon is a time capsule of intersecting mid 90s musical zones. A real curio. 

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Rowland S Howard Lane


It's real. Rowland S Howard got a Laneway in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria named after him. I no longer reside in Melbourne so thanks to Darcy B for the picture.

I died first. Where my bloody laneway?!!!

Rowland was of course in a little band The Birthday Party with another bloke called Nick Cave. Now when's Tracey Pew getting his laneway, I wonder? Howard played guitar, occasionally sang and wrote some of the songs on the below classics.


PRAYERS ON FIRE - THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (1981)
The Birthday Party at their best. Here they were still a little bit arty and very funky. They were traversing the depths of depravity though. When I think of this album I think of Tracey Pew's bass, which is just plain filthy, pure sleaze. Then there are snippets of lyrics like 'Fats Domino on the radio.' Sung by a pained Nick Cave as is 'Ice cream and jelly and a punch in the belly.' Then we've got the clang of Rowland's mental guitar that is actually meant to sound like that. Prayers On Fire is an unholy racket and absurd fun for all the family.


JUNKYARD - THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (1982)
This is The Birthday Party at their most raucous and psychotically over the top. Junkyard is ferociously chaotic from go to woe. The noise reaches fever pitch on tunes like Dead Joe, Blast Off and Big Jesus Trash Can. This cacophony is some of the most uncompromising rock ever produced. Sex and death roll around in this putrid blues. The Birthday Party may have inspired a legion of z grade imitators but no one could match their intense sonic assault.

*My mini reviews taken from here.
**More on Rowland here and here and here and The Birthday Party here.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

What's On The Hi-Fi Part $?


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 10
I can't seem to get out of 90s zones. This is a cracker of a mix. I've been working my way through DJ Extreme's mixes at Hardscore. Listened to all his 92 and 93 hardcore mixes and now I've reached Volume 10 of his 94 Jungle mixes. This is a fabulous trip into the 90s. We've got funky drummers, half-time bass lines, divas, ragga muffins, chipmunk traces, r&b dudes, sinister synth stabs, washes of ambience, drum splatters and just plain mental bass. This mix is worth it for the array of bass lines alone. You tend to forget that in amongst the euphoria of 90s hardcore a darkness lurked just as much. This mix contains big names like Dillinja, Ed Rush, Doc Scott and DJ Phantasy as well as 2nd and 3rd level playaz. Jungle was so good in 94 the B, C & D grade artists are fucking great too. The quality went deep and the beat science rewards were endless. Volume 10 isn't relentless with the beats, space has it's place here as well. Sometimes you think the darkness is going to envelope the whole set and the drums are going to conk out. That never happens though until the end, I guess. Big Ups to the Extreme.


DJ Extreme - 1994 Jungle Volume 9
Here's another DJ Extreme mix which is a bewdy too. This mix starts out with gold ie. DJ Dextrous & Rapid's Rapid. The House Crew, Tango, Marvellous Cain, Dillinja and D'Cruze all pop their heads up in this ace mix. I can't get enough of this shit and let me tell you there is a bounty of it at Hardscore. Time-stretching, remnants of hip hop, traces of 70s reggae, Ragga, Rave sirens, Amens, House, ethereal lulls, elastic booming bass, dubbed out divas, cymbal splashes, bleeps, mini ponds of euphoria, occasional swells of thick bass goo that leap into the drum n bass future and much more feature here. What's amazing is how different Volume 9 is from Volume 10 which is a testament to the genre's flexibility and breadth of vision and probably why the Hardcore Continuum would continue on for another decade before running out of steam. "They played that bloody Jungle music all night!" And why wouldn't you with choice tracks such as these.


The Church - Hologram Of Baal
Ever since Reynolds posted those Go-Betweens & Church film clips a week or two ago it has been hard to get out of these Aussie zones. You might have noticed I was/am quite the Church fan. I seem to have lost 1996's Magician Among The Spirits so I gave this another listen and wow what an underrated little gem this is. By 1998 they had probably lost at least half of their 80s fan base but that didn't mean they weren't still making legendary music. By this stage of the game we'd all ditched the paisley shirts and pointy shoes long ago but The Church continued on their merry way making druggy journeys into sound. I guess their only contemporaries at the time were Mercury Rev (a friend once described Yerself Is Steam as The Church meets Butthole Surfers), The Flaming Lips and Spiritualized. The Kranky label had been releasing psychedelic space rock for a while too by this stage but the Church weren't following trends. They just did what they did best and made one of their best LPs while they were at it. Hologram Of Baal is The Churchiest of 90s Church LPs. It solidified their 90s experimentalism while containing all of what made them great in the 80s making this an album of consolidation for the band. This LP is like a Church progress report of where they had come from, where they had been and where they were going. More gold.


BRICC BABY SHITRO - NASTY DEALER
Now this is a state of the art rap mixtape 2015 style. With most mixtapes you can usually tell which region of America it's coming from ie. Drill & Bop (Chicago), Ratchet (California) trap/weird (Atlanta/The South) etc. but Bricc Baby Shitro throws them all onto this mixtape making it hard to tell where he's emanated from. It makes sense then that he's from LA but now hanging out in Atlanta. Even though Bricc Baby's got a handful of producers here, the mixtape remains pretty cohesive. Having Young Thug on your mixtape is a blessing and a curse. Thugga will give your recording a higher profile but he's most certainly going to upstage you no matter who you are. That puts the starpower of Young Thug into perspective ie. no one in the rap game can come close to him and this has been the case since his 2013 classic 1017 Thug. Anyway this is a genre mixtape that considers the state of where hip hop is in 2015. You may not like having this plethora of rap sounds all in one place but it's almost definitive of the year or at least the decade in which it was made.