Wednesday 31 December 2014

The Chainsaw - Rhythm Section

Was listening to this tune today on me computer and thought 'gee whizz that's a beauty'. This is from 93 and it's gold that rocks da house. It kind of predates Basement Jaxx don't you think? "Are Rhythm Section and The Rhythm Section one and the same?" I thought, and no they're not. The Rhythm Section were Belgian and had a tune I know called Can You Feel which I always thought was the British Rhythm Section who had sold out because it was like happy house. The Belgian group were doing more like nu beat/acid house in a happy stylee, whereas Rhythm Section were more yer UK 'ardcore because they were from the UK and did hardcore. You can check out these geezers below. Loving the guy with the cap, sunnies and mo combo. This tune's a bit darker and dirtier than their other tunes. Anyway The Chainsaw is a choice cut. It might have been their last tune, I dunno. I've seen a comp of theirs and it only goes up to 1992 so maybe they don't rate it.

"What are you lookin at? We're not Belgian you twat!"

Sunday 28 December 2014

Rap Mixtapes - Influx Inertia

They were counting down the days by the second at Datpiff for the release of Luca Brasi 2 by Kevin Gates and I got caught up in the anticipation too. I think I ended up downloading it in the middle of the night. I mean I didn't set the alarm or anything, it just so happened I couldn't sleep. I was looking forward to it though. I still don't get why such quality releases are free. I guess it's hard to stop the pirates so why not? Some of these free mixtapes are for sale as well. In my list of best LPs/Mixtapes of 2014 sixteen of the thirty six were given away free via Datpiff, Live Mixtapes etc. They have become such quality documents I decided to put them along side the proper album releases. I think it was Lil Wayne who started the trend of making mixtapes of such high standard. He even used to say the accompanying mixtapes released around the same time as his proper LPs were better than the official releases.

I've still got around 20 mixtapes in my 'inbox of new mixtapes' playlist that I haven't had enough time to give proper listens to. They're just the recent 2014 ones I've downloaded. A stack more await downloading but it's starting to get ridiculous. Then there are the recommended classic mixtapes as well from like the past 15 years or so. I only got into this scene in the last few years so I've got a bit of catching up to do. I went off hip-hop post Ironman for some reason. I love Ironman so it was probably Wu Tang Forever that stopped me in my rap tracks.

It's starting to get a bit like DJs who I used to see in the specialist dance record shops in the 90s who'd play 20 seconds of a track and have to decide yay or nay, right then and there. I used to think they must miss heaps of good shit especially in the hardcore/jungle scene where the best bits might not happen until 2 or 3 minutes in. Anyway I've had to say nay to Salva, Blanco Huslah Kokane and Og Maco recently so they've been deleted. They may have grown on me but I feel I have to be ruthless. I've said Yay to Kevin Gates Luca Brasi 2, Travi$ Scott's Days Before Rodeo, Zuse's Illegal Immigrant, King Louie's Soprano and YP Spoelstra's Heat Vol 3. Those five artists have good track records though. So once they get the yay they have to await proper evaluation at a later date. Then we've got "the I dunno?" category which is kind of a purgatory for mixtapes. Starlito's Theories, WhoKid Woody's R.E.A.L, Archive Nation a compilation hosted by Lil Silk, AD's Comptonfornia 2 and Dej Loaf's Sell Sole all sound alright but they have to wait until their time comes after the Yays have had their proper listening time. By the time I get around to "the I dunnos" though a whole new batch of mixtapes will be vying for my attention as well as proper rap releases (like Starlito's Black Sheep Don't Grin which sounds pretty good!) and non rap zone releases (The Moon Wiring Club parcel finally arrived). So they may not get a second chance. Hey they are just the ones I've given a go! Still waiting in the wings we've got Archibald Slim, Cheif Keef, Boogie, Future, Sauce Twinz, The Guys, Goldlink, YG, Lil Herb, A$AP Ferg and the list goes on and on some more.

As good as Bullet?

So I can't even give proper reviews to Kevin Gates (sounds good so far, a bit of a cleaner sound but I dunno if it's up there with his past 3 classics: The Luca Brasi Story, Stranger Than Fiction or By Any Means. I mean that's a pretty hard task right there innit?) or Zuse (I don't know if it's as good as Bullet yet). I have finally given King Louie's Soprano a good listen and can say it's the goods. More like a trad rap companion to the more futuristic Tony. That's as deep as I can go at this point.

More good shit from King Louie.

It all reminds me a bit of that story (Sartre maybe?) of the guy who decided to read an entire library but by the time he died he was only up to the authors beginning with the letter E or something like that. This is just a microcosm of the information overload age. I have other interests too (er..well other types of music obviously, footy, wildlife documentaries, philosophy &....well that's about it really) but....

Swamped, inundated, overwhelmed!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Gabber Christmas

Merry Xmas Humanoids. Here's some lovely Christmas tunes for y'all. I'll paraphrase Jesus here from John 10:10 "Live life in abundance" Check out the theology man! That quote is particularly relevant to Xmas but also for hedonism and existential Nihilism. I better stop there before, you know, I start ruffling a few feathers and my comments box gets filled with nutters. Then again shouldn't it be called the nutter box?

Hardcore Dutch Sylee!

I love the eastern motifs on The Tower it makes it unlike any tune from the era that I can think of. That movie/tv sample has got to be Ice-T but I don't know what it's from nor do I particularly care.

*All three of these tunes were on the compilation Ruffneck Collection Part V from 1995 which I've been listening to today for some reason.

Friday 19 December 2014

Best Of 2014 - Albums & Mixtapes

Pom Pom - Ariel Pink
Heavenly West Coast pop hits, delirious goth, over wrought glam, funk, glitter scuzz rock and demented bubblegum psych (sometimes all within the same song). I can't possibly write another word on the subject.

Black Portland - Young Thug & Bloody Jay
Atlanta's stellar nutcase duo make mental rap classic. Demented euphoria.

You Might Also Like - eMMplekz
More funny shit and mental absurdity ranted by Baron Mordant over some of Nick's most accomplished trax to date.

Unfidelity/Four Track Mind - Ekoplekz
Two classic double LPs in one year! Maybe Four Track Mind just pips Unfidelity at the post but these albums are inseparable as they came from the same recording sessions, I think. Nick Edwards reigns in his wayward machines like never before to achieve stunning results.

Oxymoron - Schoolboy Q
The title says it all. Killah state of the art sex, drugs and rap 2014 stylee. Oxymoron not only refers to Oxycontin addiction but to the dichotomy of Schoolboy Q's being ie. trying to be a good dad but being a bad ass gangsta.

Reconsider Lounge/Session Man - Rangers
I thought they'd vanished but praise the lord here they are again twice! This time in snippet and snapshot mode on Reconsider Lounge, a bit like they were on 2010's classic Suburban Tours. Session Man is almost like stoner jamz but in a Rangers universe. OMG these are guitar albums! Remember them? It's all about past pasts, past presents, past futures and the present present and future past, present and future. Memoredelia! The talented Joe Knight is a star. Why aren't Rangers as big as Coldplay?

By Any Means - Kevin Gates
King Kev's got the best voice in the game and his flow's incredible. An intimate insight into Kev's life. From being dirt poor with no electrical, being incarcerated, having children and being signed to major record label Atlantic. His life's a movie. Louisiana trap at it's finest.

Gangsta Stripper Music 2 - Beatking
He is the Beat King and he's had a sterling year. This was the Club God doing his Houston ratchet thang which is the best mix of 10s rap and 90s rave these ears have ever heard. Crank this sucker up to 11!

$hmopcity - Kool John
The most underrated mixtape of the year. Bay Area ratchet from the HBK Gang that was all killah no filler. Kool John makes the best HBK Gang recording to date. It's party time, are you putting on 10 Summers or $hmopcity? It's a no brainer.

Underground Tape Cassette Music - Gangsta Boo & Beatking
Fucking great collaboration from 666 Mafia's legendary Gangsta Boo and Club Godzilla Beatking. 80s electro & fucked up 90s rave flavas clash with 2014 Texan Ratchet and 90s creepin Memphis shyt. Rewind!

Life After Death Row - Boosie Bad Azz
Lil Boosie gets out of prison and makes a hell of a poignant mixtape about the experience. True Detective had nothing on this Louisiana rapper's gritty reality.

Tony - King Louie
Gangsta tales from Chicago set to mini cinematic synth symphonies. Louie's a King, a God, a Don and they call him Tony after Tony Soprano. Futuristic sex, drugs, violence and megalomania!

Under The Skin OST - Mica Levi
Best soundtrack since _________. Intensely sinister, harrowing and still. A bit like Bernard Hermann if he'd had a stroke and was wasted on painkillaz. Who'd have ever thought I'd enjoy something by Mica Levi? The world is a strange place.

Beautiful Pimp II - Rome Fortune
Atlanta's one of a kind suave space age rapper makes a sequel better than the original. Cito is on the beat throughout the entire mixtape which was a great move.

Heat Vol. 1 & 2 - YP Spoelstra
Two volumes of choice 2014 ratchet from California's HBK Gang. YP's giving Mustard a run for his money and he's just put out a 3rd Volume, bloody hell!

Leporine Pleasure Gardens - Moon Wiring Club LP 
Hallucinatory, phantasmal and lysergical. This is Moon Wiring Club severed from their beats and it's probably the closest sonic equivalent to dropping acid I've ever heard. Flashbacks man!

Torridon Gate - Howlround
Who'd have thunk a 24 minute recording of a garden gate would be this enjoyable?

R.O.C. - IX Tab
A trip into creepy electronic zones where funny things happen.

A Que Fresco - Que & Mike Fresh
Like Speedy Gonzales, the subject in one of their songs, these guys don't mess about. This is 2014 rap at it's most buoyant and audacious. A pop triumph.

Butterfly Effect - Shinishi Ataobe 
Some of the most enjoyably serene ambient dub tech I've ever heard. There's also some slightly noisier dub tech trax in a Basic Channel stylee (Ataobe once released an EP on the Chain Reaction label). Hypnotic and beautiful.

From Out Here - The Advisory Circle
Perhaps their most fully realised LP to date. A musical interzone somewhere between idyllic and peculiar. An album that plays tricks with your memory.

My Krazy Life - YG
Monster - Future
Fearful Wiggings - Dave Graney
The Power And The Glory - Perc
Bullet - Zuse
The Mobb Tape - Zmoney
Wet 2 - Skipper
Tha Tour Part 1 - Rich Gang
Leporine Pleasure Gardens cd - Moon Wiring Club
Audio Rehab Vol.1 - Various
Definition Audio Presents Vol.1 - Various
Oculus OST - The Newton Brothers
Pavilion - Panabrite
Influkz - Ekoplekz
We Invented The Bop 2 - Various
8 of The Moon Ballades Series - Motion Sickness Of Time Travel

Benji - Sun Kil Moon
20 years since I've listened to anything by Mark Kozelek but I couldn't ignore this album's cult groundswell on the interweb. Holy shit things have changed since Red House Painters Ocean Beach (well mostly, he is still singing about his mum) ie. Mark's way more hokey now, getting back to his Ohio roots. There are no Johnny Marr-esque guitar licks or 4AD flourishes of sound here. This is bare bones recording wise. Less is more, keep it simple and let the words paint the pictures. Who would have thought he could get more morose? Well he has! This is a stunning work of a master songwriter. The words just pour out of him unfiltered and somehow it works. Benji is an insight into a tragedy strewn life and a morbid mind like no other. Although he finally makes a joke on the last track. One does also wonder how much of this is possibly black humour like when he's asking you to think of mass murderers when you're feeling happy. I've always thought he was pretty funny I must admit.

Rustie - Green Language
Peaking Lights - Cosmic Logic
Young Thug - 1017 Thug 2
Skrillex - Recess
DJ Mustard - 10 Summers 

Mr Mitch - Parallel Memories
Apparently this is connected to grime. I have no emotional investment in grime so it doesn't bother me. Like last year's album from Logos I didn't even know it was somehow comin from grime. I just liked the tunes. When I first heard Parallel Memories I thought it was like an electronica LP from 1994. Hey 94 was a great year for electronica and it's pretty good....
Vessel - Punish, Honey
Daft Industrial throwback of the worst kind or kinda cool weird noise? I dunno.

Kevin Gates - Luca Brasi 2 (Only got it yesterday)
Starlito - Black Sheep Don't Grin (As above)
YP Spoelstra - Heat Vol. 3 (As above above)

Ian Crause - The Vertical Axis. I noticed this in Simon's list. I assume it is he of the great Disco Inferno. I totally did not realise he'd released an album this year as I don't read music magazines anymore and only skim the online one (you can probably guess what that may be). I think I bought one issue of The Wire this year. I've gone from being a chap in the 90s who wouldn't miss an issue of The Wire to someone now who can barely give a toss. Sure things change in 20 + years but who'd have thought so many bad writers would be employed there. Sure the music scene's not the same either but there is still great music being made. The evidence is right here in my list but I wonder how many of the above recordings even got coverage in The Wire? The thing is I probably wouldn't want to read it anyway unless it was written by Mark Fisher. Anyway back to The Vertical Axis, fuck I'm looking forward to hearing that. Mark Fisher probably reviewed it. This is actually from 2013.

True Detective
Happy Valley
Orange Is The New Black

Ghosts Of My Life - Mark Fisher
Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story Of Modern Pop - Bob Stanley (sure I got this for xmas 2013 but fuck it took me 4 months of 2014 to read it ie. many pages)

Ripping off Young Thug is dumb. It's like ripping off Mark E Smith ie. he's so idiosyncratic if you're copying him it's so obviously not you. It makes you an instant joke.

To bang on about artists that are dull, overrated or just plain shite like blanco husalah kokane, salva, fka twigs, beyonce, ben frost, 1001 Young Thug wannabes, popcaan and whoever else innit?

There's only one Young Thug (he's on the left).


Thursday 18 December 2014

Best Tunes Of 2014

Forever Bloody - Young Thug & Bloody Jay
Low - Juicy J feat. Young Thug, N Minaj...
Lifestyle - Young Thug, Rich Homie & Birdman
2 On - Tinashe feat. Schoolboy Q
Studio - Schoolboy Q feat. BJ The Chicago Kid
I'm Comin Home - Lil Boosie
Hunter - Total Control
Florida Water - Young Thug & Bloody Jay
Turn Down For What - DJ Snake & Lil Jon
Club Goin Up On A Tuesday (+DJ Snake remix & Drake version) - I Love Makonnen
Area 51 - Theo Nasa 
One Spliff - Hodgson
Gladiator - RS4
Kuang EP - Lee Gamble
Shake It Off - Taylor Swift
Flesh War - Total Control
Everything Was Legendary With Robert - Dave Graney
Amnesia - Kevin Gates
No Tears - Jeezy feat. Future
'til we pass out - Raven Felix
Danny Glover Remix - Young Thug feat. N Minaj
No Type - Rae Sremmurd
No Love - August Alsina feat. N Minaj
CoCo - O.T. Genasis
Don't Know - Kevin Gates
Pole Sex EP - Beatking
Fuckin Wit Me - Tinashe (Mustard On The Beat)

* I tried to make sure these were singles, songs with videos, virtual singles or promo singles in some form or another otherwise I would have had like 17 Ariel Pink tunes and like 40 from Beatking & HBK Gang. Those songs are on the albums in the upcoming best of 2014 albums and mixtapes list. Then again I guess anything on i-tunes or Beatport is technically a single, whatever!

*No Type by Rae Sremmurd gets a nod for the incredible vibe created by producer Mike Will Made It (of Pour It Up fame and the above No Tears) and the singing from one of the duo but the other guy is such a Young Thug wannabe he ruins it just a tiny bit for me, but it's soo good.....I can let it slide.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Power Ambient LOL

I couldn't help but have a little chuckle to myself when I read an article at FACT on "Power Ambient". This is some kind of re-branding so the writers don't seem recalcitrant. Terms like New Kosmische, Nu New Age, Hypnagogia,Vapour Wave and even good ole Ambient have obviously become embarrassing and passe for these writers. So Motion Sickness Of Time Travel get a second bite of the cherry under a new genre pseudonym "Power Ambient". Hey I've always liked em no matter what category they've been put in. What about one of my other ambient favourites Panabrite, do they get to be rehabilitated? They released another excellent LP this year Pavilion, or do they remain in the backwaters of passe pigeon holes?

This is taken from Panabrite's 2014 album Pavilion.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Reissues/Archives/Compilations of 2014

Another great year for ye olde music. In this list are only things I missed first time round (or 2nd or 3rd or 17th) ie. it doesn't include Blue Bell Knoll, Doolittle, Spiderland, Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, Friday The 13th, Led Zeppelin Vols. 1, 2, 3 or etc. Oh...and no Bedhead or Mogwai because they Then there's the never really owned category ie. I've only ever had taped copies of The Sunnyboys and Since The Accident or crappy mp3s of Electricity, The Boogey Man, Forbidden World, Chopping Mall etc. so they're included. 2014 was a hell of a year for cult horror synth score reissues! It's like all the soundtracks I've been looking for were all released at once. Labels like Soundway & Finders Keepers continue to unearth fabulous music. Death Waltz, Waxwork, One Way Static, Luxury Products & Superior Viaduct are the new(ish) labels on the block giving us what we want from the esoteric archives as well. So here's 20 great old records.

Sunnyboys - Sunnyboys
The sound of my childhood and my older brother's record collection. One of The classic Australian rock debuts. The Sunnyboys were young, charismatic, troubled and so alive. Their first record is some of the most exciting guitar music from 1981 or any other year for that matter. It came with a bunch of bonus tracks but who needs em with an LP this fanfuckintastic?!

Axemen - Derry Legend
The Axemen reissue program continues. After their 1986 mangled pop masterpiece Three Virgins came the follow up Derry Legend which has been long out print. This LP has gained (Derry) legendary status in my brain. Derry Legend is The Spotlight Kid to Three Virgins Trout Mask Replica if you get my drift ie. it's a more accessible pop version of the band yet still retaining all their strange awesomeness. 80s NZ rock doesn't get much better than this.

Andrzej Korzynski - Man Of Marble OST
Groovy soundtrack from Poland 1977. A psych synth disco classic. Soo good....Finders Keepers have done it again!

Boards Of Canada - Hi Scores
Two years before Boards Of Canada released their magnum opus Music Has The Right To Children came the Hi Scores EP which is similarly awesome idylltronica.

Caustic Window - Caustic Window
Strangely unreleased but excellent LP from Richard James aka Aphex Twin from his golden era 1994. Why on earth did this get shelved? A timely reminder of where all your favourite electronica (remember that 90s term?) comes from.

Peter Jefferies - Electricty
He of classic underground 80s NZ group This Kind Of Punishment and Bruce Russell's right hand man at Xpressway Records. He's so idiosyncratic only Peter Jefferies sounds like Peter Jefferies and the world's a better (If slightly darker) place for it.

Severed Heads - Since The Accident
A key LP from Sydney's early 80s experimental scene. Still pretty much ignored here in their home country to this day. Wake up Australia!

Susan Justin - Forbidden World OST
The cultiest synth soundtrack of them all. Issued for the first time since Web Records released it in 1982! A one off unique blend of electronics, pop and soundtrack motifs. Death Waltz continue their roll.

Chuck Cirino - Chopping Mall OST
More cult Carpenter-esque synth soundtrack gold from the 80s. Waxwork Records is all about quality not quantity.

John Harrison - Creepshow OST
I finally got a copy of Creepshow after like it's 5th or 6th reissue. More 80s psycho synth sounds from 1982.

Ralph Jones - Slumber Party Massacre OST
Possibly the best of the post Carpenter cult Horror synth scores from 1982.

Tim Krog - Boogey Man OST
Now this one was rare until now. A much coveted 1980 horror synth score from Tim Krog, a UCLA film composing graduate. Horrortastic!

Bruno Nicolai - All The Colours Of The Dark OST
Italian Giallo score from the great Bruno Nicolai. Nicolai was a frequent collaborator with Ennio Morricone. It doesn't get much better than this for spooky Italian 70s soundtracks.

Bruno Nicolai - The Case Of The Bloody Iris OST
This is from 1972 as well (see above) and it's another slice of Italian horror soundtrack weirdness. Haunted yet bizarrely jaunty at the same time.

Hungry Man - Keyboard
More crazy keyboard action from West Africa in the late 70s. If you thought William Onyeabor was the last word in spazz synth psych afro funk you were wrong. Some of the best sounds ever squeezed out of a synth and put to tape. Is there more of this shit yet to be discovered? I hope so.

Various - The Sound Of Siam 2
A splendid second serving of Luk Thung & Molam tunes from Thailand. This time from 1970 through to 1982. Incredibly distinguished, beautiful and laconically groovy.

Heldon - II: Allez Teia
More tripped out 70s space frog prog from Richard Pinhas and co.

Pye Corner Audio - Black Mill Tapes
4 albums worth of horrorological atmospheres and old eerie synthesiser goodness. Perfect to while away wintry afternoons.

John McCallum - Surf Nazis Must Die OST
Classic 80s drum sounds, synths in overdrive and anthemic guitars. There's even a wayward noisy sax at one point. It even becomes poignant and a little melancholy at certain stages. Surely this is where Mark McGuire got all his ideas from.

Various - Suburban Base Records: The History Of Hardcore, Jungle, Drum & Bass 91-97
Hardcore you know the score and if you don't check out this compilation from one of the best labels of the era.

*Other Years

Sunday 7 December 2014

The Advisory Circle - From Out Here

GhostBox seem to be releasing less and less. I think the last one I bought was early 2013's Elektrik Karousel by The Focus Group (We'll just forget about The Sound Carriers shall we). The Advisory Circle's From Out Here came out yesterday and well the sound of brown continues. The Mrs says "Someone playing with their Casio in 1983." She lived in a small seaside village in North Wales at the time. She adds while Escape Lane is playing "Lovely use of minor falls." During Causeway Ballet she offers "This is very soothing and gentle and somehow familiar." This LP isn't anywhere near as jaunty as their previous LP As The Crow Flies from 2011. We're heading into much stranger zones on From Out Here. For every melodic and idyllic tune there's a peculiar one. It wouldn't be an Advisory Circle album without a couple of logo tones would it? There are two here. Gee whizz, he's even in 'Ekoplekz for babies' territory on Experiment. While the usual hauntological themes are present and accounted for such as 70s TV, library music, eeriness, information films, found dialogue and Radiophonica, this album captures the stillness, innocuousness, melancholia and the metaphysics of being. I dunno if it's just me today (impending birthday) or what?...but this album has signalled to me like no other that we are trapped (even though it's fleeting) in time. Lost in a time-warp and vaguely bewildered. Zoloft world....

Speaking of great batting averages John Brooks, the man behind the moniker The Advisory Circle is almost up there with Moon Wiring Club's Ian Hodgson, his collaborator on the Woodbines & Spiders record from earlier this year. Whether Jon is in solo mode (The excellent Music For Thomas Carnacki, Music For Dieter Rams and Shapwick) under the pseudonyms D.D. Denham (The terrific Electronic Music In The Classroom), Georges Vert (An Electric Mind) or making Advisory Circle albums his strike rate is high. The intriguing debut Advisory Circle mini-album Mind How You Go came out in 2005 and the masterpiece Other Channels was released in 2008. Wow, Mind How You Go is nearly 10 years old. It seems so much older and yet it also seems more recent at the same time. Is this atemporal stasis? It's some kind of paradox befitting the music of The Advisory Circle anyway.

*These soundbite things on soundcloud are rather annoying aren't they? That's the first & last time I'll embed them in a post!

Moon Wiring Club - Leporine Pleasure Gardens

Does any other artist do the sound and vision combo better than Moon Wiring Club? Loving this tune, the film clip and the artwork as usual. This year it's a cd/LP set. Happy Xmas. Does anyone actually like mince pies? Now the wait. Will the parcel arrive in time for my end of year poll or Christmas for that matter? He's had a bloody good run hasn't he. I think of his output so far 7 of the 8 records have been true delights. That's a hell of a batting average though. Here's hoping he scores a century with this one.

I think this one is the LP cover

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Tinashe With Mustard Again

Just saw this. This is what we want Tinashe working with DJ Mustard. I dunno if this is anywhere near as good as 2 On but then again how many tunes are?

I did like this one from her album Aquarius. Mustard not on this beat though, but he might as well have been.