hearing about the lineup on the newly released record Y'all Get
Scared Now Ya Hear, I knew there was simply too much talent
involved to let it pass me by. The Reindeer Section will
most likely turn out to be a one-time side project for most involved,
but on this debut record band members include Gary Lightbody & Jonny
Quinn of Snow Patrol, Richard Colburn & Mick Cooke of Belle & Sebastian,
Aidin Moffat of Arab Strap, and John Cummings of Mogwai. The finished
product is a wonderful blend of styles most strongly tasting of
Belle and Sebastion and Arab Strap.
This Dublin supergroup is not always the sum of its parts because
everyone involved has had stronger moments independently, but that's
not to say that this isn't a pretty darn good record. While highlights
such as the beautiful "If Everything Fell Silent" make
it all worthwhile, the disk in general is pretty consistent. If
you like the moody and folky sound coming out of Glasglow these
days, you can't go wrong with Y'all Get Scared Now Ya Hear.
Lets keep our fingers crossed for a tour!
|We Came From
Beyond (Razor & Tie)
Nardone is one of the most influential people in hip-hop and chances
are, you never heard of him. That is unless you are from or living
in Cali. For the past 13 years he has been running a hip-hop show
on LA's FM-KXLU and is credited for being the first to rock the
airwaves with artists including Cypress Hill, Freestyle Fellowship,
and Jurassic 5.
We Came from Beyond (also the name of his radio show) is
a refreshingly funky record consisting of remixes by Nardone (including
"Pass the Mic" by the Beasties), rarities by bands such
as Jurassic 5, and new material by artists including Amsophere,
Count Bass-D, and Eyedea. This is a great collection of "underground"
hip-hop and I'm just pissed that we can't hear Nardone gracing the
airwaves out here on the other coast.
- Questions and Comments (Force Inc.)
is definitely a backlash against electronic music these days.
There is just too much homogenized shit out there and it seems
like any geek with a laptop can put out a record. Fortunately,
artists such as Vladislav Delay (AKA Luomo) and Sieg Uber Die
Sonne are still putting out some pretty amazing minimal house.
And now I can add Geoff White to my list of favorites. On Questions
and Comments, White seamlessly blends his German and Detroit
house influences into one unique sound that is all his own. With
an uncompromising momentum, White textures his very mechanical
beats with a warmly subtle dub and very organic soundscapes. Best
of all, White has the uncanny ability to anticipate the distinction
between hypnotic and boring. He has a knack for bringing closure
to each of his 10 tracks at just the right moment. If you are
looking for great minimal house, sans cheesy vocals, check out
Questions and Comments.
From Blood & Fire Chapter 2
I missed Chapter 1, but will definitely be picking it up
after immersing myself in the funky and tripped-out dub to be found
on Chapter 2. Select Cuts has put together a great compilation
of reworkings of classic dub greats such as King Tubby, Lee Perry,
and Scientist by younger dub and electronic bands and musicians.
Though the glitchy, minimal dub style coming out of Germany is largely
ignored on Select Cuts, the record showcases a mixture of
sounds influenced equally by drum and bass, hip hop, and techno.
Remix artists include Leftfield, Dubphonic, Kid Loco, Jah Wobble,
and most notably Apollo 440 on the endlessly funky remix of Yabby
You. Fifteen consistently strong tracks in length, Select Cuts
From Blood & Fire Chapter 2 is not to be missed.
- When (Warp)
Gallo's problem has always been that he won't shut up. Best known
for his directorial gem "Buffalo 66" the man is undeniably
talented, but like the film he is also terribly self-absorbed.
Any time Mr. Gallo is interviewed he chooses to masturbate his
own ego with misplaced vanity and notions of grandeur.
When I heard that Warp was putting out a record by this eclectic
ego of a man, I was very surprised. Warp usually makes better
choices than this. I was even more surprised to find that I kinda
like the disk.
Back to Vincent's problem with opening his mouth... his new disk
When seems to only misfire on the tracks where Gallo chooses
to sing. His voice is that of a sentimental 15 year old boy contemplating
suicide. After a few listens I eventually got used to Gallo's
tenor (somewhat), but it never stops distracting me from the subtle
beauty of the music that carries his voice. Had this been an all
instrumental outing, I would have nothing but accolades to reap
upon Gallo, but unfortunately about half of the songs feature
him on the mic.
When has a very atmospheric, middle of the night production
quality that is wonderfully melancholy and ranges from the somber
to the jazzy. To his credit, it is one of the most restrained
and subtle disks I have heard in a long time with many very nice
moments that will definitely keep me coming back for a listen
from time to time. The piano loop, for instance, on track opener
"I Wrote This Song For The Girl Paris Hilton" is undeniably
lovely. A restrained yet upbeat percussion on tracks such as "My
Beautiful White Dog" are a nice counterpoint to the overall
melancholy of the disk. When is a very formidable effort
and hopefully Gallo will lend the mic next time to someone more
capable. Albeit, with an ego like his this is pretty unlikely.
is the first record by Pole (AKA Stefan Betke) on his own ~Scape
label and it frankly is a disappointment. The album focuses on reworkings
and remixes of two of his tracks from 1988 entitled "Raum 1"
and "Raum 2." The wonderful crackle and pop dub that is
Pole's signature is always welcome in my book, but the remixes by
~Scape label artists Burnt Friedman and Kit Clayton ultimately make
this record a less than enjoyable experience.
Two all new tracks by Pole are included and they are noticeably
more jazzy than his work on "3". Simply
entitled "Raum 3" and "Raum 4," they will without
doubt please all fans of Pole's music.
Now on to the bad... Burnt Friedman who puts out 2 remixes on "R"
is seemingly without direction. Perhaps knowing that he could never
outshine his source material, Friedman opts to be "arty"
in his arrangements and ultimately creates a couple of very disjointed
remixes. His beats are sloppy and sound like they are held together
by scotch tape.
Kit Clayton fares somewhat better on his two remixes but in the
end the tracks sound like glitch thrown on top of a recording of
someone tap-dancing. Sound annoying? It is.
If you treat the record as an EP and disregard the non-Pole tracks
you will be satisfied. If you value your dollars too much to buy
a record that is only half-good, I'd have to recommend passing on
this one. The original recording of "Raum 2" (Pole at
his dubby best) is included and if you don't already have a recording
of this track, then perhaps this record would be a good buy after
all. I look forward to a formal release of all new work from Betke
who is still the most original electronic musician to come along
- Sound-Dust (Elektra)
days when Stereolab produced wonderfully minimal and creative records
like Mars Audio Quintet
and Emperor Tomato Ketchup
are gone. I keep hoping that they will return to their roots as
a Neu!-inspired pop band, but they have given in to the temptation
and laziness of slick production work. I would love to hear the
band stripped of horns and strings, forced to rely upon the merit
of their song-writing. Their last two records haven't made any new
fans for them and finally with Sound-Dust
there is some indication
that the band has listened to the moans of their devoted fans and
focused more on writing good songs. Sound-Dust
is still undeniably
overproduced, but at least the band sounds a bit more energized
on this outing than they did on the formulaic "Cobra and Phases
Group Play Voltage in the Milky Night."
The disk starts out with an electronic introduction that seems to
be an ode to their pre-Elektra sound. Blending its way into the
second track "Space Moth," the first four minutes of the
disk are filled with minor key dissonance and campy harpsichords
that sound like a creepy soundtrack to a kitschy horror movie. Given
this and the haunted castle artwork on the cover, I was left hoping
for a retro-sounding soundtrack theme, but halfway into "Space
Moth," the tone of the record changes and enters into more
familiar Stereolab territory.
If you have already heard the single "Captain Easychord,"
with its annoying steel guitar chorus, then don't fear because the
record recovers from this misstep. I recommend starting at track
four "Baby LuLu" and listening straight through. This
is one of those records that seems to get into stride after the
less subtle tracks are out of the way. All in all, Sound-Dust
may not be a masterpiece but fans of the band will be relieved to
hear some nicely written new tunes by the band.
new release by the Quatermass label does something interesting, in fact
. They have combined the talents of several
well-known artists with the work of lesser-known artists on the Rather
Interesting label to generate an eclectic blend of remixes and original
material. Artists Pram, Pole, Plaid, and Fibla among others are clearly
having a good time remixing the strong work by artists including the
Naturalist and the disk is made cohesive with its distinctive Latin
More of a reimagining than a remix CD (sound like the new Planet of
the Apes?) the record boasts nine eclectic and melodic songs and just
one dud ("Fonosandwich") which is an unusual level of consistency
for a compilation disk. Highlights include the bird-chirping opener
by Pram whose overall breeziness is wonderfully interrupted by moments
of Autechre-sounding electronics. "Being Enveloped" by Pentatonic
Surprise and later reworked to dubby splendor by Pole are additional
Quartermass Versus Rather Interesting
may be a light side-project
for most involved, but it is also a record that is very easy to like.
|The Funky Precedent
Volume 2 (Matador)
Though not as fresh as Volume 1, which showcased the talent of Los
Angeles hip-hop acts such as Dilated Peoples and Jurassic 5, The
Funky Precedent Volume 2 is a refreshingly original compilation.
This time around Matador and No Mayo Records have assembled up-and-coming
acts from the Bay area including Planet Asia, Rasco, Zion I, Foreign
Legion, Live Human, Encore, Protest, Fanatik, DJ Vinroc, DJ Quest
and Pep Love.
The disk is a breath of fresh air considering the embarrassing lack
of inspiration in hip-hop music these days and the turntablism of
Live Human on the track "Lagoona's Bliss" is worth the
price of the record. Most of the best tracks are on the first half
of the disk, but hopefully most will be more forgiving of the duds
(Stymie and the Pimp Jones Love Orchestra come immediately to mind)
given the fact that proceeds will benefit music education in various
California schools. If you are too jaded to care, then just enjoy
|The Clean -
The Getaway (Merge)
thought this record had an uncanny Yo La Tengo feel to it the first
time I listened to it and wasn't too surprised to find that Ira Kaplan
and Georgia Hubley of Yo La fame actually play on a couple of tracks.
The Clean is a band from New Zealand that has been around since the
early Eighties, though I frankly had never heard them until this release.
The Getaway is the band's first release since 1996 and my only
frustration is that I now must go check out what I've been missing.
Brothers David and Hamish Kilgour share the vocals with Robert Scott
and the blend of voices from track to track keep the record from ever
becoming monotonous. If you are a fan of great pop-sounding Indie
with plenty of subtle guitar feedback, then be sure to pick up this
very strong recording. The Clean will be playing The Bowery Ballroom,
Saturday Sept. 15, at 11:00 pm as part of the CMJ festival.
It's Crunch Time (Thirsty Ear)
Ear has been releasing some amazing jazz on their new Blue Series
and It's Crunch Time by The Roy Campbell Quartet is a nice
addition to this group of recordings. If you missed the beautifully
melancholy New Orbits by pianist Matthew
Shipp earlier this year, do yourself a favor and pick it up immediately.
Matthew Shipp is the director of the Blue Series which is ever-expanding
the face of contemporary jazz.
It's Crunch Time features Mr. Campbell on trumpet, Khan Jamal
on vibes, Wilber Morris on bass, and Guillermo E. Brown on drums.
The music is at once melodic and avant gard and Jamal's work on the
vibes will blow you away.
The craftsmanship of the band is marvelously cloaked by a lazy and
muted emphasis on melody. Campell repeatedly introduces his motifs
and themes in such understated ways that his horn playing almost seems
like a mumble. It is a trick that could seem sloppy in the hands of
a less accomplished player, but Campell is clearly a master and is
able to create beauty in understated ways. The only misstep is the
quartet's version of "The Star Spangled Banner," but this
is thankfully the last number on the record and thus easy to avoid.
We look forward to more Thirsty Ear recordings in the future as this
label helps to promote jazz that is as rooted in tradition as it is
|V/A - This is Next Year (Arena
missed the release party for this record a few weeks ago at North Sixth,
but hear it was great. This Is Next Year is a wonderful Brooklyn-based
compilation featuring 42 artists living and/or playing in Brooklyn.
This extensive double CD is a huge volume of music and is a great introduction
to what is going on in Williamsburg and Brooklyn in general.
Ever wonder what Reverend Vince, Stereobate, or any of those other
bands you always see advertised locally sound like? Pick up this record
as a resource because the bands worth seeing are probably included.
The work on this disk is fairly consistent (oddly some of the biggest
duds come from more established bands Ida and the always terrible They
Might Be Giants) but this is a uniquely strong and cohesive compilation
overall. Ranging from Emo, to indie, to alt country (lots of it), to
pure and simple pop, this eclectic blend of music is surprisingly less
disjointed than most compilations.
Highlights include The Boggs, Laura Cantrell, Mendoza Line, Grand
Mal, Mink Lungs, Les Savvy Fav, Bee and Flower, and Cub Country but
most songs are in the pleasant to the very pleasant
to the damn that's pretty good range. As is to be expected
on any compilation, there is some garbage to be found here as well.
Is there a way to scratch my disk so it skips over the cheesy "It's
All Made Up" by the Scouts?
Regardless, this is a wonderful introduction to the Brooklyn music
scene and for the price of a single CD, you can't go wrong. All proceeds
go to B.A.R.C. (Brooklyn Animal Resource Coalition).
Free Williamsburg© | 93 Berry
Street | Brooklyn, NY 11211
| October 2001 | Issue 19
Please send us submissions