?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous 20

Sep. 15th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Okie Dokie Stomp

Clarence Brown was one of the great guitarists of the jump blues/early r&b era. He was tremendously fluid and played with an seemingly effortless sense of groove. All too often the bands he played with went by jazz conventions, and he was forced to share the lead with other musicians. It would have worked well in the clubs, but it wasn't what you wanted on record. If you've only got 2 or 3 minutes you basically want to hear him play the entire time.

That's why Okie Dokie Stomp is such a great piece. It's all Brown, all the time. He plays the opening notes, he plays the final notes, and in between you've got two of the finest solos of the early electric guitar. He's backed by the Plume Davis Orchestra on this 1954 recording, and they knew enough to do as little as possible to keep things moving along. Wise move.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown - Okie Dokie Stomp
(alt)

Sep. 14th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Yellow Swans - Neon War

There's something to be said for keeping things simple musically but going absolutely apeshit on the noise. It certainly worked for Yellow Swans on Neon War from their album Bringing The Neon War Home (2004). Melodically it's slow moving and has the simple cadences of early techno, but it's overlaid with layer upon layer of sonic splatter. It's a truly heroic density of electronic noise: feedback, distortion and heavy delay effects slash and tear at the musical canvas. It's like steroidal psychedelia, overwhelming and magnificent.

Yellow Swans - Neon War
(alt)

Sep. 13th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Alan Vega - Bye Bye Bayou

Music seldom came more noir than that of Alan Vega and Suicide. He sang like a man with a permanent slouch, spitting out words from the corner of this mouth between drags of a cheap cigarette. He may have worn sparkly jackets but he sounded like a growl in a tenchcoat, a pouting avatar of rock and roll menace. He was to the '50s what vaporwave was to the '80s.

Bye Bye Bayou came from his self-titled 1980 album. It's 8 minutes of menace cloaked in swampy miasma and gunshot drumming. If you only know it from the LCD Soundsystem, this is both darker and more troubled. It's the sound of a man completely out of his depth and fronting his way out of a deadly situation with masterful rock minimalism.

Alan Vega - Bye Bye Bayou
(alt)

Sep. 12th, 2019

cyberinsekt

I Am A Lake Of Burning Orchids - Innocence

It seems redundant to say there was something a bit dark about I Am A Lake Of Burning Orchids. I mean, that's the whole point of the power electronics part of the noise music spectrum, surely? The band channelled raw emotional pain, screaming in rage at the breakup of relationships, and that would have been fine in itself. It's just that at times there seemed to be something of the incel about them.

You can hear some of that on the title track from the 2011 release Innocence. It goes from wall of noise and inchoate vocalisations into something particularly bleak and lonely. It's the sound of self-imposed isolation, drifting helplessly on a sea of nostalgic synth tones, with just the occasional crunching wave. It's quietly intense, but with a vast rage hidden beneath. Really impressive music, but mostly I just hope whoever made it is better now.

I Am A Lake Of Burning Orchids - Innocence
(alt)

Sep. 11th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Alice Donut - My Boyfriend's Back

My Boyfriend's Back was recorded in 1963 by the girl group The Angels, and it's so teen drama it hurts. The singer's being harrassed by a bloke giving her some unwanted attention, so she's telling him about how much trouble he'll be in when her boyfriend gets his hands on him. Nothing graphic, and with sexual politics so backwards that they should have drowned in the flood.

For their first single Alice Donut updated it. It's a joyfully tasteless proto-grunge take on the whole sha-na-na scene, messy and noisy and with rather more threats of being ground into fish food. Superb vocal sneering from the 1990 album Mule.

Alice Donut - My Boyfriend's Back
(alt)

Sep. 10th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Assagai - Asaka

I was only a kid the first time I heard Assagai, but I think I loved them from the very first note. I had no idea what genre the music was, just that it was full of joy and life. Back then I certainly wouldn't have pegged it as jazz, that was the comedy music you heard on old cartoons. In retrospect I'm even less certain. Listen to Fred Coker's fizzy guitar on Asaka: he's in full on 1970s electric blues rock mode here. It threatens to veer into retro kitsch, but it's just so damn expressive. Really love Louis Moholo's drums on this track though, he just gets so many different sounds from those skins. Taken from the 1971 album Assagai.

Assagai - Asaka
(alt)

Sep. 9th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Shockabilly - Oh Yoko!

Much love here at Doklands for the lofi clatter of Shockabilly. Like many of Kramer's bands they were an ill-fated trio, splitting acrimoniously. Still, while they were together they recorded some of the most inventive music of the early '80s, despite being predominantly known for their cover versions. Oh Yoko! from the 1983 album Earth vs Shockabilly is little more than a minute long, but its frenetic energy is enough to get why Eugene Chadbourne was considered one of the most exciting guitarists of that age.

Shockabilly - Oh Yoko!
(alt)

Sep. 8th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Mathieu Lamboley - Carton Rouge

Here's a cool moment from the soundtrack to the new film Minuscule: Mandibles from Far Away. It's an animated movie about insects, and Carton Rouge has that old Carl Stalling cartoon soundtrack feel about it. Love it when music runs full speed in one direction, turns on a sixpence and then falls flat on its face.

Mathieu Lamboley - Carton Rouge
(alt)

Sep. 7th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Julia Kent - Sheared

Little on this planet sounds a good as a well-played cello, and as long as Julia Kent is around we'll never go without. On this track from her 2019 album Temporal she adds urgent muffled drums and some ghastly detuned bells. Sheared lives with its perpetual sense of understated menace until Kent plays her strings as long siren howls and the entire thing descends hellwards.

Julia Kent - Sheared
(alt)

Sep. 6th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Andrew Bernstein - Thought Forms III

Andrew Bernstein plays sax with the mighty Horse Lords, and here's some of his solo work. The three part suite Thought Forms comes from the 2015 release Cult Appeal. It's like the ecstatic minimalism of Henry Flynt or the overblowing arpeggiation of Colin Stetson. Using circular breathing Bernstein plays a stream of rapid notes of ridiculous length, constantly pulling away from the tonal centre and teasing a return, every minor resolution bringing a tiny wave of bliss. It's tidal music, raw and harsh, exhausting in its relentless virtuosity. Brilliant.

Andrew Bernstein - Thought Forms III
(alt)

Sep. 5th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Aby Ngana Diop - Michael Ozone's Liital Rhythm

Aby Ngana Diop was a Senegalese taasu singer, a form of half-spoken half-sung storytelling. With her strident nasal voice and the call-and-response from her troupe, her performances were intense affairs. She recorded Liital for a 1994 cassette release. It draws you in with its rubbery drum patterns and then excoriates you with those vocals.

2015 saw an EP of remixes of her work. There's one by Black Dice that keeps the original madcap energy, but I really like this more traditional mix by Australian producer Michael Ozone. It isolates a few small phrases and beats and gives them space to be appreciated. It's very generous, quite a curatorial approach, and results in a irresistible bit of minimalist funk.

Aby Ngana Diop - Michael Ozone's Liital Rhythm
(alt)

Sep. 4th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Ill Considered - Dawn Lit Metropolis

Crossover noir jazz from this young UK band. Leon Brichard on bass and Idris Rahman on sax keep things moody; Yahael Camara-Onono on percussion and Emre Ramazanoglu on drums mix things up with frantic polyrhythmic breaks. Amazingly assured stuff considering that it's entirely improvised, and the dry late '90s d'n'b textures keep this rooted and accessible. From the band's self-titled 2017 debut.

Ill Considered - Dawn Lit Metropolis
(alt)

Sep. 3rd, 2019

cyberinsekt

Afous d'Afous - Dounya Hi

I normally like my Saharan guitar music rough round the edges. If it doesn't sound like it was played with barely functioning instruments and recorded on a cellphone then I tend to get a bit sniffy about it. That's why it's so hard to come to terms with the fact that I rather enjoy the music of Algerian guitarist Kader Tarhanine and his band Afous d'Afous.

Dounya Hi comes from the 2917 release Tenere. It's rich, intricate music, and while some of it is rather too smoothly polished there's enough that has a little catch on the edges to keep it enjoyable. Vibrant sounds and songs sung with what sounds like real emotional openness. Apparently at home they're the most popular Tuareg guitar band, even beating out the likes of Tinariwen. You can definitely hear why.

Afous d'Afous - Dounya Hi
(alt)

Aug. 31st, 2019

cyberinsekt

Momus - Bluestocking

Should you ever need a handy reading list for literary smut, I'm leaving this here for you. Bluestocking is from Momus's 1991 album Hippopotamomus, and it's filled with his deliciously camp electropop. Very glad he didn't coin the term sapiosexual here, as it would surely have ruined things.

Momus - Bluestocking
(alt)

Aug. 30th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Faust - Hit Me

Faust Is Last (2010) was meant to be the band's final album. It wasn't, of course. Turns out that they just couldn't stop collaborating, from old pals like Slapp Happy to newer talent such as Lone Taxidermist. But seeing as how by the time this album rolled out the only member of the original line-up was Hans Joachim Irmler, it didn't feel like too unlikely a proposition.

Hit Me is one of those numbers that needs to be played loud. You need to honour the distortion and the thud of the drums, the blown-out speakers and the calorific decibels. It's primitive psychedelia with Mark E Smith style vocals, unholy and massive and shares at least some of its musical DNA with Interstellar Overdrive. Quite brilliant, just don't expect another Meadow Meal.

Faust - Hit Me
(alt)

Aug. 29th, 2019

cyberinsekt

T.S.O.L. - Abolish Government/Silent Majority

I reckon I probably first heard T.S.O.L. on the GTA V soundtrack, which is about as uncool as it gets for musical introductions. Still, kudos to whoever picked the playlists and placed this hardcore firebomb in front of tens of millions of people. Abolish Government sounds like any number of other late '70s/early '80s LA punk acts, but Silent Majority is both sparser and more effective. It's the sort of fuck off to the military that increasingly hard to do these days without offending the nationalist hordes who don't realise their politics is identity politics. This one was originally released on T.S.O.L.'s self-titled debut EP from 1981.

T.S.O.L. - Abolish Government/Silent Majority
(alt)

Aug. 28th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Tony Allen - Cool Cats

One of the neat things about jazz is that no-one expects you to stop being great just because you get older. So it is with the godfather of Afrobeat, drummer Tony Allen. Cool Cats (named after Victor Olaiya's highlife band with which Allen got his first gig. It's almost entirely what you'd expect: big bouncy rhythms and massive warm stabbing horns, but listen closed and you'll hear a tremulous piano wash over the whole thing, a molecule-thin layer of discord like an oil sheen. Damon Albarn of all people. Taken from the album The Source (2017).

Tony Allen - Cool Cats
(alt)

Aug. 27th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Ignatz - Eulogy Example

For many years Bram Devens made music that was very self-consciously outsider. I never thought it worked that well, and had him written off as someone who had heard Jandek at too impressionable an age. However by the time of his 2016 album The Drain he had dropped the malfunctioning electronics and uber-tormented vocals and focussed instead on his acoustic guitar. To these ears it's a massive improvement. Getting intimate with a raw guitar is an entirely different proposal to emotional open heart surgery when it's sung. Terrific lo-fi careworn folk.

Ignatz - Eulogy Example
(alt)

Aug. 26th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Gortician - Kill Jim Morrison

Everyone needs to have had a little Gortician in their life. They were an underground (read very DIY) extreme metal act from the dawn of the mp3 era. I'm fairly sure that Kill Jim Morrison dates back to the '90s as it seems it came from the original mp3.com, back when it was effectively the first web 2.0 company, a repository for musical acts who were more tech savvy than they were successful. Is it grindore? Despite having personally collaborated with Jason from Gortician (he didn't appreciate what I did to his music and in retrospect he was quite right), I couldn't honestly tell you. What I can tell you is it's a utter maelstrom of sound, and its 128kbs encoding marks it as a quintessential artefact of its era.

Gortician - Kill Jim Morrison
(alt)

Aug. 25th, 2019

cyberinsekt

Test Dept. - The Legacy (A Lasting Presence)

Pax Britannica (1991) was perhaps the most ambitious record that Test Dept. ever made. Taking in British imperialism, the effect of Thatcher and even the dark political underpinnings of industrial and neo-folk music itself, it was certainly not lacking in scope. Recorded with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and with extensive sampling of political speeches it still featured the familiar Test Dept. drum sound but built on it to create a work of true menace.

Here's the final section. If The Legacy has a flaw it's in the rapid cut of some of the samples, but honestly they only help intensify the riotous discord. It's a full speed tumble from the end of Thatcher to the crazed militarism of George Bush Sr, as horror is piled upon horror. Would be interesting to know if it still holds the power I hear in it for someone who didn't live through that era.

Test Dept. - The Legacy (A Lasting Presence)
(alt)

Previous 20