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Jun. 26th, 2019

cyberinsekt

The Mummies - That's Mighty Childish

Here's some super-raw garage punk from original Bay Area rebels The Mummies. Half their equipment sounds as if it were broken and the other half was almost certainly stolen. That's Mighty Childish sounds as it bypassed the mixing desk entirely and came to life via a battered cassette recorder sitting beside it. Every note, every shout is massively distorted and as loud as possible, deliberate and emphatic. It's kind of perfect. Originally from the 1990 EP Shitsville but good luck finding a copy, you'd be better off tracking down the compilation album Death By Unga Bunga.

The Mummies - That's Mighty Childish
(alt)

Jun. 25th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Mark Pritchard - Come Let Us (feat. Gregory Whitehead)

Here's another piece from Mark Pritchard's recent release on Warp, The Four Worlds. On Come Let Us he's joined by sound artist and playwright Gregory Whitehead. They combine rich drones with samples of Whitehead's 1985 work Ziggurat to create an incantation, a work song to erect the Tower of Babel. Maybe this time when we get to the top we can steal the goose that lays the golden eggs and the magic harp, and then knock the whole thing down ourselves, letting God fall to his death at our feet.

Mark Pritchard - Come Let Us (feat. Gregory Whitehead)
(alt)

Jun. 24th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Can - Deadlock (Title Theme)

1970 saw the release of Soundtracks, a compilation of the various film music that Can had produced over the preceding years. It's all from before they really found their feet with that great pair of loose jazz-influenced workouts: Tago Mago and Ege Bamyasi. But that means it's very much the work of a band in creative flux, experimenting with styles and forms. And in the case of Deadlock, that was making the music for a spaghetti western. There's an unexpected austerity to the orchestration which has helped the track age well, but the star is undoubtedly Jaki Liebezeit's dramatic drums. A hell of a musical storytelling performance, all crammed into 100 seconds.

Can - Deadlock (Title Theme)
(alt)

Jun. 23rd, 2019

cyberinsekt

Gastr del Sol - Blues Subtitled No Sense Of Wonder

Blues Subtitled No Sense Of Wonder is a abstrusely melancholic late period song from David Grubbs and the Gastr del Sol boys. It's from their 1998 album Camoufleur by which time they were starting to sound less wilfully difficult, but it still embraces the tonally unexpected. It's still not comfortable music: alarm bells ring throughout, strange sonic artefacts emerge to bracket each phrase. And then halfway through it suddenly blooms like a desert flower: rich and warm, throwing all those early atonalities into perspective. A keyboard coda does the same thing: dry and awkward phrases find a peaceful resolution with the aid of some of the aleatory sounds from the very beginning. It feels mournful and wise, and anyone who suggests that there's no sense of wonder in this song then is dead wrong.

Gastr del Sol - Blues Subtitled No Sense Of Wonder
(alt)

Jun. 22nd, 2019

cyberinsekt

Country Teasers - David, I Hope You Don't Mind

Ben "The Rebel" Wallers and his band Country Teasers are best known for their irony, for riding roughshod over boundaries of taste and decency, and for their intensely detuned country-meets-avant-garage sound. Only one of those is true in the case of David, I Hope You Don't Mind from their album Destroy All Human Life (1999). It's an ode to their friend David Edwards, lead singer of Datblygu whose ill health forced him to retire from music. They give us the rarest of songs, a tender and honest thing that's as painful as a newly undressed wound. Wallers' voice is deliberately off key. It hurts him to sing about this, it's damn well going to hurt us to listen to it. That's a technique we're all too familiar with when it comes to singing of personal suffering, but to hear it used as an act of empathy is brave and rather wonderful.

Country Teasers - David, I Hope You Don't Mind
(alt)

Jun. 21st, 2019

cyberinsekt

Daniel Blumberg - The Fuse

It's piano ballad time, though this being Doklands it's a piano ballad filled with plenty of choked noise guitar. The sickeningly talented Daniel Blumberg is the man responsible for The Fuse, and even from the first listen it'll sound like a vintage classic to you. One of those songs where you've no real grasp on what's being sung about, but it's absolutely devastating. From the 2018 album Minus.

Daniel Blumberg - The Fuse
(alt)

Jun. 20th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Polvo - Fractured (Like Chandeliers)

Next to the hot air blower of Kevin Shields, the single most immediately recognisable guitar sound of the 1990s might be those of Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski, the two guitarists in Polvo. They sounded like a cassette tape being chewed up, spooling out in all directions. The band were of the crucial early post-rock outfits, and certainly the one who most sounded like Thurston Moore. Fractured (Like Chandeliers) is from the EP Celebrate the New Dark Age (1994), and while it's structurally quite conventional for Polvo, it really shows those guitars off well.

Polvo - Fractured (Like Chandeliers)
(alt)

Jun. 19th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Charming Hostess - Iron Man

I've long been a fan of Jewlia Eisenberg and her nerdy-sexy-commie-girlie crew Charming Hostess. It's not just that she's one of the great voices of today, it's the wisdom, the soaring harmonies, and the defiantly unglamorous subversion. Expect music made from ancient Babylonian pottery texts, Diasporaic musical traditions, death metal, country and western, eastern European scales... and apparently also expect covers of Black Sabbath played on gamelan.

Iron Man comes from the compilation Undercover Presents Paranoid (A Tribute to Black Sabbath). It has all of the weight and stateliness of the original but finds its soundscape within physical metal. It becomes ritual music, the band a Greek chorus creating a rite of transformation. Metal enough for you?

Charming Hostess - Iron Man
(alt)

Jun. 18th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Prudence Teacup - The Things We Made

Prudence Teacup is Alfra Martini, lead singer of Virgina Plain. It's her outlet for homemade recordings from her lo-fi scrapbook of sounds. Most are songs done in an indie parlour noir style, weary and with minimal accompaniment at best. However I'm most fond her piece The Things We Made, an instrumental for dusty harmonica, broken clockwork and unattended radar. At least, that's what it sounds like. It's the lonely ache of discarded instruments as they pick themselves up and make the best of things. From the album Where All The Little Songs Go When They Die (2010).

Prudence Teacup - The Things We Made
(alt)

Jun. 17th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Assagai - Irin Ajolawa

Here's something by Assagai, the Afro-rock group formed by former members of The Blue Notes. Far from the challenging free jazz they had played, Assagai was a chance to indulge in seductive rhythms. Irin Ajolawa comes from their self-titled 1971 album and was written by guitarist Fred Coker. Still more jazzy than anything else, and no bad thing either. Quite irresistible.

Assagai - Irin Ajolawa
(alt)

Jun. 16th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Borbetomagus - The Original Chirping Chicken

The Original Chirping Chicken, that's got to be good times surely? Well sure, of course it is. It's Borbetomagus, why wouldn't it be? Everyone wants to get down and party to the corpse of music being dragged across a dial of radio static.

The legendary noise trio of Donald Miller (guitar) and Don Dietrich and Jim Saute (saxes) are on fine form on this 1992 recording. Relatively subdued by their abrasive standards, this is an intense and brooding number. There's a gale blowing for sure, but it's whispered, and any property damage is happening on the other side of a few closed doors.

Borbetomagus - The Original Chirping Chicken
(alt)

Jun. 15th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Buzzcocks - Harmony In My Head

When people remember Buzzcocks they think of Pete Shelley and so they should, the man's songs were some of the greatest of the era. But there was another singer and songwriter in the band, lead guitarist Steve Diggle. Diggle wasn't the lyricist that Shelley was, but his best songs had something else, something magical. They soared. He knew how to pile on the discord layer after layer until the moment hits when all the pain cancels itself out and you're left spellbound and exultant.

He seldom did it better than on Harmony In My Head, released as a single in 1979. His 20 a day rasp made you think you were getting something straightforward and no nonsense, but the words turn out to be rather oblique. I hear it as comparing the social pressures and compulsions that we labour under as being like earworms. Consumerism isn't a philosophy, it isn't an ideology, it's just a tune you've got stuck in your head. Fill it with better ones, start with this.

Buzzcocks - Harmony In My Head
(alt)

Jun. 14th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Noxagt - Swarm

Magnificent musical crossover from the Norwegian experimental rockers, this. Swarm comes from their 2003 debut Turning It Down Since 2001. A leering bass, droning viola, furious drums,and incoherent vocals, Noxagt are closer to Massaker than to Lightning Bolt. Rock god sized swagger and emotional architecture. Love it.

Noxagt - Swarm
(alt)

Jun. 13th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Felicia Atkinson - Carve The Concept And The Artichoke

Felicia Atkinson makes electroacoustic sonic dreamscapes. The only structure and logic her closely encountered sounds follow is that of the moment, they are so intimate, so all-encompassing that they seem to obliterate the past. She finds the sub-bass that lurks beneath the most everyday of found sounds, adds bells that at first sound sepulchral and then entirely artificial, and finally a piano whose spiky figures eventually lose all reverb. Dead twigs in the fog. Wondrous and rather disturbing music from her 2015 album A Readymade Ceremony.

Felicia Atkinson - Carve The Concept And The Artichoke
(alt)

Jun. 12th, 2019

cyberinsekt

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper - For Everybody / Mike Angelo & the Idols - The World May Not Like Me

In 1985 the World Wrestling Federation released the compilation record The Wrestling Album. It was bad kitsch, filled with unfunny skits and tawdry novelty songs; end-of-the-pier pointlessness as Viv Stanshall so memorably coined. Roddy Piper's contribution may have seemed a little out of place: a brassy party rock anthem to inclusivity. Except, what was that ending? Were Piper and his backing singers really singing "kiss my ass" to the tune of Ring My Bell?

Why yes, they were. And more to the point, Piper wasn't necessarily singing "for everybody" either. Because For Everybody was nothing more or less than a sanitised version of The World May Not Like Me (Fuck Everybody) by Mike Angelo & the Idols. We were being worked!

If I were to tell you that The Idols were a spinoff of a spinoff of Lynyrd Skynyrd, you could pinpoint the exact sort of music they were making in the mid-'80s. It's dumb, obnoxious equal opportunity offender bullshit, but at least it's not overproduced. The World May Not Like Me retains a certain asshole-ish charm. Of course, the band would go on to re-record it under its more famous parenthetical title and indeed ruin it with studio gloss. But this? As good time novelty songs go, it's a top one.

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper - For Everybody
(alt)
Mike Angelo & the Idols - The World May Not Like Me
(alt)

Jun. 11th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Bahta Gèbrè-Heywèt - Ewnet Yet Lagegnesh

Bahta Gèbrè-Heywèt was an Ethiopian singer born in 1943. He recorded in the '60s and '70s, retiring in 1973 to enter accountancy. Perhaps embarrassingly for him, some of his best tracks were instrumentals, including this slinky soulful jazz number. All credit to the arranger, the legendary Mulatu Astatke. Perhaps a little too smooth for most of you, but Ewnet Yet Lagegnesh is sheer pleasure as far as I'm concerned. Check out the amazing detuned piano interlude, pretty unique.

Bahta Gèbrè-Heywèt - Ewnet Yet Lagegnesh
(alt)

Jun. 10th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Croatian Amor - Weapons of Paradise

Croatian Amor is the work of the Danish musician Loke Rahbek. It's an unsettling blend of styles: industrial and ambient electronics. Weapons of Paradise comes from the 2012 EP The Mermaids Of Jadransko and it mixes a rough scraped static with some pure warm keyboard melodies. You know the sort of thing, pretty dancing lights music. This then gets met by a feedback counterpoint that starts to pick the entire thing apart. It'll do its best to convince you it's easy listening, and by the end you might just be convinced.

Croatian Amor - Weapons of Paradise
(alt)

Jun. 9th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Attarazat Addahabia - Aflana

Habibi Funk is a German label that compiles unheard Arabic funk from the 1970s and '80s. If that sounds like your sort of thing, then try this. I don't know much about Attarazat Addahabia except that he's Moroccan, and his backing singers believe that close harmony shouldn't be too close. Aflana is shrill and raucous and totally nicks the melody from Für Elise. Thankfully it's put to better use than the sort of classical crossovers you got in the west in the 1970s and the band very nearly make the tune their own. From Habibi Funk 007.

Attarazat Addahabia - Aflana
(alt)

Jun. 8th, 2019

cyberinsekt

This Immortal Coil - Tattooed Man

This Mortal Coil were the 1980s supergroup of 4AD artists who released a small handful of critically acclaimed cover albums. This Immortal Coil... well they were similar. Again a group of artists who drew together to record an album of covers, but covers of only one band. The Dark Age of Love was released in 2009 and was a tribute to the late Jhonn Balance, co-founder of Coil.

Tattooed Man was written about (and perhaps for) Marc Almond. Appropriately, it's a dark cabaret number full of the musk of perversion and desire. It was never quite as spare though as in this solo piano version by the French-Israeli singer-songwriter Yael Naïm. She gives it the feel of lonely late night desperation, and in the process illustrates what an underrated songwriting duo Balance and Sleazy were. Very fine indeed.

This Immortal Coil - Tattooed Man
(alt)

Jun. 7th, 2019

cyberinsekt

John Zorn - Gevurah

Gevurah is one of John Zorn's most pleasing radical Jewish jazz tunes. This version of it comes from the 1998 album The Circle Maker and it's played by the Bar Kokhba Sextet: Cyro Baptista, Joey Baron, Greg Cohen, Mark Feldman, Erik Friedlander, and the great Marc Ribot. So precise it's almost dainty, yet driven and dark: heavy bass shadows illuminated by flashes of light from Ribot's Cuban guitar. Real strutting music.

John Zorn - Gevurah
(alt)

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