Autechre, "Gantz_Graf" CD/DVD
The title track of this EP continues in the brutalising, complicated style of 'Confield', which has caused such polarization in the Autechre fan base. Booth and Brown have earned the freedom at this point in their career to lay down sheer digital noise if they want to, and to see it consumed in numbers that must far exceed even flagship MEGO releases. And, like their work on 'Confield', "Gantz_graf" is an authoritative track that hammers and screams with pure digital flavours.
Those uncomfortable with the possibility that they're hearing "curated" generative work will be disappointed with the title trackbut to ignore this release would mean missing out on two much more traditional, structured tracks which will certainly appeal to fans of their earlier releases. The high-speed "Dial." beats out constantly evasive drum patterns, with myriad pads bleeping their way through their own equally bewildering sequences. A segue into "Cap.IV", and we're treated to more chunky percussive wizardry and a trademark Ae chord progression which contests, towards the track's end, with unintelligibly fast sequence blurs. Fans will be happy.
Warp pulled out the stops by issuing a special version of the EP containing both the music CD, and a DVD, for approximately twice the price of the CD. (Thankfully they opted to package it in a double-depth jewel case rather than in oversized DVD packaging.)
Alexander Rutterford's video for "Gantz_graf" synchronizes the high-speed mutations of an abstract, jagged, and, well, futuristic CGI object with the music of the titular track. Very impressive. There's also a slide show from the videoa nice addition since the images flash by so quickly.
Chris Cunningham's famous "Second Bad Vilbel" video was an early taste of the robotic imagery exploited in Bjork's "All Is Full Of Love", with an insectoid robot cavorting about in menacing fashion, seen through security camera visuals. It's had a nice facelift that has added more musical synchronization, and has got rid of the dodgy alien creature which spoiled the original.
The "Basscadet" video, which I hadn't seen before, hasn't stood the test of time as well as Cunningham's, using as it does the same CGI technology as all those po-faced X-Mix collections full of bad ambient techno videos that everyone seemed to be buying in the early to mid nineties. It's not bad given all that, and certainly avoids the hippy rubbish seen in most videos of that era.
In sum, no-one would be well advised to rush out to buy a DVD player for this, but if you have access to one, it's worthwhileespecially if you haven't seen Cunningham's excellent video before. - Andrew_Shires
"snowstorm: A tribute to Galaxie 500"
Released last year, this double-CD compiles tracks recorded over a number of years in tribute to one of the most influential bands of the late 1980s. Whils I have always loved Galaxie 500, it's strange to conceive that the three members, pursuing useless post-graduate degrees in the most prestigious Ivy League school, probably hadn't even imagined what sort of impact they would have on the rock community, subtly combining surrealistic post-VU art-rock into a melancholy mix that was noisy enough for the indie rockers and dark enough for the desperate goths looking for a way out. Following their almost legendary unamicable split in 1990, a rash of shoegaze and slowcore acts seemed to emerge, further attempting to tie similar precious binds between divided scenesters. Coincidence? This set is rather atypical in the fact that most of the tracks seem to be culled over years of recordings, rather than curated and commissioned by a label boss who really wants to get their fave artists to do versions of some of their fave songs. Thus, there's both a lot of repeats and a decent amout of musical variety, strangely enough almost mimicing various artist compilations once released on Shimmy Disc (a label run by Galaxie 500 producer, Kramer). It's similar in the fact that on a Shimmy Disc comp, it would be an almost inconsistent mess of people: some who only ever seem to pop up on random compilations, some who I was fond of, some who I've heard of but not from, and some who will never be heard from again. While there's almost no comparison to the feel of the tunes in their original forms, a number of these groups do indeed do a sincere job of paying homage. The music on disc one seems to drag towards the middle, however, especially when Trains and Boats and Planes enter their sixth minute of "Spook," leaving me to wonder that age-old question about "why expend on the styles set forth on the original when you can easily put a far more original take on the songs?" Luckily disc two has a wider variety of both electronics-based and guitar-based acts and, from track to track, holds my interest longer. Be warned, however, that Sugar Plant's version of "Sorry" was recorded way back in 1994, while ISAN's version of "Strange" has no date attached&$151;neither sound remotely like what each band sounds like today. Neither Musical Chairs nor The Pribata Idaho seem to do my fave G500 track, "Fourth of July" good enough justice while Seely do a fine job with "Plastic Bird," leaving me wondering what's the deal with them these days? (Has Scott Herren become too big with Prefuse, Savath + Savalas, and Delarosa and Asora to be a part of a cool rock band any more?) One of the things I can't get over is that I find it rather odd to own a two-CD tribute to a band who only recorded three albums. At the discounted price, however, there's really enough good material to be worth it. - Jon Whitney
organum, "volume one" & "volume two"
For any NWW or Mirror fan who has yet to own anything from Organum, or curious onlookers who saved their money from expensive eBay auctions of these two limited CDs the first time around, now's your chance to finally get a piece of what made Organum so damned cool and collectable. Both discs center around the material originally released by L.A.Y.L.A.H. and United Dairies from 1985 through 1987, where David Jackman pretty much started releasing full albums'-worth pieces of music as Organum. Long before software was making noise, Jackman (and possible yet unnoted other members) would construct evil, abrasive, yet gorgeous noise symphonies from abusing objects and mis-playing instruments, stretching vocal noises and crating a myriad of sound effects, not entirely unlike a number of his contemporaries. Jackman, however, would weave the noises into a long, droning tapestry rather than shuffle through numbers of instruments like what the NWW camp was doing. Perhaps it is through this type of influence that Stapleton began to evolve from the choppy early cut ups and experiment more with long soundscapes, as is heard on NWW's "A Missing Sense" (which was the other side of "Rasa", included here on Volume One).
Some of these lengthy pieces also unsurprisingly serves as an excellent precursor to much of the non-new age drone music created by some of the various members involved. Jackman is joined by members of The New Blockaders for the super-abrasive "Valley of Worms" from 'In Extremis', whose tracks straddle both releases while Andrew Chalk (Mirror, Ora, solo) teamed up with Jackman for the recording of the tame, hauntingly subtle, yet no less intense "Horii" (on Volume Two). Appropriately concluding the two-disc set is "Ich Reiste Weil,..." which, although from 1989, uses a number of similar elements as the earlier L.A.Y.L.A.H. recordings. The artwork is untampered from the 2000 releases of these discs, however, at a basic black, none of the original artwork from the 1980s remains, but hey, they're not going for $50 any more! Once again, however, these releases are limited, without any assurance of a re-press. Don't say I didn't warn you. - Jon Whitney
Lupine Howl, "Vaporizer"
Spiritualized mastermind Jason "Spaceman" Pierce was all too public about firing essentially all of his bandmates after the tour that produced the 'Live at Albert Hall' album (he wisely kept Coil co-conspirator Thighpaulsandra, though). However, instead of letting it get them down too much, the crew struck back and reformed under the moniker of Lupine Howl. "Vaporizer," the latest single from their 'Carnivorous Lunar Activities' album sounds more like a forced attempt to recreate the Britpop funk of Shaun Ryder's Black Grape than the beautiful noise of Spiritualized. While a bit too reminiscent of Ryder's kidney-swapping-for-crack anthem for my tastes, the single stays in your head just long enough to stick. Massive Attack's own 3D remixes the track without changing the flow of it all that much, which is disappointing considering the potential it could have had. The b-side "You Get Inside Me" is a muddy little hunk of garage band glitz, swapping cleaner atmospheric verses with dirgey choruses. I can't imagine myself listening to this single nearly as much as their cinematic work in Spiritualized, but they do deserve credit for not just trying to imitate Pierce's bizarre and unique vision. Rather than allowing themselves to fade into obscurity, Lupine Howl has settled for something a little better than mediocrity. - Gary Suarez
"Magic Bus Tracks"
Released to coincide with Warp's recent European label tour, 'Magic Bus Tracks' is a collection of exclusive and rare cuts from its current roster, as well as tracks from related artists like Luke Vibert and Hecker. However, it is important to keep in mind that "exclusive" and "rare" songs tend not to make it onto full-length artist albums for a reason. That being said, 'Magic Bus Tracks' is a widely lackluster effort from a label that hasn't been consistent in terms of quality releases lately. Part of this stems from many of the "new breed" of Warp acts, whose releases have failed to impress me. Richard Devine is one such culprit, and his rather monotonous "Mov Macros 7" reflects that accurately, with a bland rhythmic pattern that inevitably degrades into DSP fuckery. The same goes for Mira Calix, whose "Simple" is in line with the rest of her uninteresting back catalog. But undoubtedly, the worst thing here has to be Russell Haswell's three minute pisstake, apparently taken from a live gig. The recording quality is crap, but that's pretty irrelevant since "03:01:21 2002 Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt" is just pointless and dull. There are a few tracks that save this collection from being a total waste. Former Skint Records artist Req both shows and proves on the previously released "Soul Plot," a cut-up hip-hop track sprinkled with vocal snippets and just the right amount of sampled funk. Chris Clark surprises with a post-electro jam entitled "Spinning Spines (Aldi Edit)" that comes off like a Funkstorung outtake. Rephlex's new great white hope, Astrobotnia opens the album with a catchy Satanic ditty, but sadly sets a high expectation that the remainder of the compilation never delivers. Considering how enjoyable Warp's previous compilations have been, I was definitely let down by 'Magic Bus Tracks'. - Gary Suarez
Cor Gout + ...., "Textuur"
Cor Gout is no unknown Person in the Dutch leftfield arts & music scene due his main job as singer, lyricist & composer with Trespassers W, a unfortunately often overlooked outfit when it comes to remarkable independent music. Here, various sidesteps are compiled carefully - some live, some studio, most are sung in Dutch but a few also in English. The recordings, made between the late 80's and the late 90's, are all remastered and mostly remixed for this limited edition of 200 CD-Rs and packed neatly in an oversized artprint folder.
This nearly one hour-long compilation offers a wide range of musical styles: CG + Dodo Band offer nearly cabaret like jazz, CG + de R:IP drop the cabaret part, CG + Dull Schicksal dive with "Singalong Song" into the guitar pop realms of the early Monochrome Set, CG + Wim Oudik (ex- Trespasser W.) and CG + Frank van den Bos (still- Trespassers W.) tend to jump into altered chansons, CG + Luc Houtkamp do a nearly spoken word piece originally recorded for a radio show, CG + Alain Neffe (Insane Music, Belgium) get a little bit creepy, not very far away from The Legendary Pink Dots, and the final piece "Gemobiliseerd" with Moebius & Haks & De Joode is a live excerpt that evolves nearly into a dancefloor track, with contra bass set against a keyboarder and drum programmer.
More Contributors are involved but I guess I'll stop for now and recommend this release to anyone who likes true alternative music way beyond any marketing targets and stylistic limitations. Get hold of it if you can. - carsten s.
souRce research recordings
Further exploring theories behind the track of the same name on souRce research recordings 2000 compilation 'Emre [Dark Matter]', 'Netmörk' the disc expands the piece to a 34+ minute movement in three parts. COH ponders what might be hiding within the intricate infrastructure of the telephone network. What becomes of the digitally encoded emotional residue? Perhaps there's an accumulation of energy yet to reveal itself? Conceptually it's very intriguing right from the start. Part one asks the fundamental question is it "dark inside the telephone wire?" It might be but there's certainly a lot of life in the organized chaos of the system. COH's signature tone-drones and other laptop generated gestures seem to perfectly imitate electromagnetic energies. Part two, "Love as Hate" approximates the aftermath of a concluded conversation. At first the touch tones at the tail end of part one simply carry over then slowly morph into beautiful, elongated chimes. By the seventh minute a loping digital dirge sets in and later, near the end, the chimes return accompanied by a cute rhythmic march. The rumbling pulse of part three, "materialize: m=E/c^2" (dedicated to producer Giorgio Moroder and the Khari Kelvin character of "Solaris") gathers and dissipates energy as it ripples through time and space. Then, with an abrupt sputter, it suddenly ceases to be. The final track "Undercosm" fills out the near 40 minutes of the disc. Sound waves reminiscent of a lift-off and distant transmissions are befitting of the MIR space station to which it is dedicated. Up next from COH is a remastered reissue (with bonus tracks) of 2000's 'Mask of Birth' LP on CD courtesy of Mego. - Mark Weddle
David Maranha, "Noe's Lullaby"
David Marhana, known for his work with his brother Andre as the duo Osso Exotico, here presents a new composition that seems equally as informed by Swans and Godspeed You Black Emporer! as by minimalist classical music. Throughout the "Lullaby"s hour (nearly) of music, several patterns cycle over and around each other. The content of each is taken from (melo?)dramatic rock music; a steady bass drum kick, three succinct high-hat hits, a peel of guitar feedback. There's no mistaking the oppressive death-rock gloom that hangs over the work, with rhythmic bass thud anchoring it to an unchanging pace. Images of guitar distortion pedals (most notably a DOD pedal, conspicuously marked "Heavy Metal"), 1/4" guitar cables and a snare drum serve to hammer home the RAWK connotations. Yet, despite the many references to what might be percieved as an energetic or cathartic genre, the music does not evolve or build to any climactic noise; rather, all of the elements present at its beginning of the CD make appearances several times, and then "Noe's Lullaby" simply ends. The composer includes the phrase "to play LOUD" (caps are his) in the sleeve text, but the music isn't loud-sounding at all. So volume doesn't seem to affect the music very much (I resent a composer telling me how to listen to his or her music, anyway). Neither is it particularly narcotic, as its title implies. I tried going to sleep to it, but the threat of a big loud climax, while never actually arriving, seemed possible at every moment. - Howard Stelzer
- check back later this week
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Warp Records USA Mini Tour
July 31 2002, New York, NY, Club Shelter
After the end of an extensive European label tour, Warp Records set its sights a little lower by planning a handful of dates in the United States. Using my status as an elite contributor to a self-indulgent online music rag, I managed to get myself guest listed for the opening night festivities at New York City's Club Shelter. There were three accessible floors, two of which were used by the acts performing, with the third for socializing and perusing the surprisingly limited selection of Warp merchandise. You would think with a NYC office they might sell more than just the new Autechre DVD, the Magic Bus Tour CD, and some label t-shirts. Warp DJs were warming up the downstairs audience when Dntel came on upstairs. Their vibe was rather melancholy to be opening a party at a dance club with, and the audience responded accordingly by treating their set like background music for the most part. Bizarre and often organic, the three performers did their best with the piss poor sound system upstairs (the downstairs wasn't plagued in the same fashion), despite the fact that the audience was noticeably audible during their quieter parts. Next up was Jamie Lidell, who proceeded to kick the night into full swing. Reminiscent of his soulful vocal house experiments with Christian Vogel in Super Collider, Lidell came out like some mad genius showcasing his Motown roots and voice. The music was delirious and addictive, even though the PA was so bass heavy my balloon knot quivered. Bucking the trends of his DSP goofball labelmates, he was accompanied for the majority of the show by a saxophone player, whose bleats pleasingly matched Lidell's bloops. Towards the end of his set, I decided to venture downstairs to give Chris Clark a listen. Though the sound was superior, and the crowd was gyrating and grinding in that awkwardly awful way that IDM geeks do best, Chris Clark's sound did not hold a candle to the abstract funk upstairs. I returned to catch the tail end of Lidell's improv-heavy jam session and worked my way towards the front to secure a good spot for Prefuse 73, one of the two acts I was most excited to see. The crowd around me noticeably changed and grew in numbers as Scott Herren approached the stage. Backpackers with El-P visors and Cannibal Ox t-shirts reveled in the dirty hip-hop cut ups that Prefuse 73 dropped consecutively and seamlessly, and I was more than impressed. Still, I knew I was there as a reviewer and it was only appropriate that I give Richard Devine a shot. I managed to get downstairs just in time for him to finish, which was rather fortunate since I had not wanted to miss the legend who followed him; Mark Bell of LFO fame. While it was only a DJ set and not a live PA, Bell dropped some incredibly slick electro cuts for the crowd. The clumsy movements mistaken for dancing went into full force as Bell whipped out enough underground madness to send Felix da Housecat and his pesky glitz running home to Mama.
By the time Luke Vibert took the decks, I knew the night had already peaked, so I made my way home and groaned over how few hours of sleep I would get before work. At least my life is better than yours. - Gary Suarez
Axis, Boston, MA, Saturday, August 10th.
When Cornelius took the stage, the band was initially veiled from the audience by a huge translucent white cloth. I feared for a moment that he may be taking the same approach to his live act as he has for the promotions for his most recent album, 'Point', and insist on being covered up. Fortunately, the curtain dropped just as the band broke into the new record's title track, charged with a high energy that remained consistent throughout the performance. All dressed in youthful clean white short-sleeved button-up shirts and ties, Keigo Oyamada and his three formidable accompanying musicians blazed through "Smoke" (which featured the interesting addition of a theremin which had not been present on the album version), "Drop," and "Another View Point". Behind them (and partially onto them) were projected bits of visual elements from the previously released music videos for each of the songs. The perfect synchronicity with which the audio and video were matched was difficult to ignore, and could be largely credited to the musical skill of Cornelius and his fellow players. Following this were some older tracks, including "2010," "Star Fruits Surf Rider," and "Count Five or Six" in addition to some even earlier material. Oyamada seamlessly switched rapidly back and forth between acoustic and electric guitars, as well as other instruments. He stuck to the very best of his repertoire with regards to his set list, playing a good mix of his Beach Boy melodies, driving rock rhythms and frolicking beats. Winding down with his irresistible cover of "Brazil" and finishing off with double encores of the brilliant "Free Fall" and "Chapter 8 - Seashore and Horizon," Cornelius treated his audience to no less than what his albums offer: a polished yet unpredictable presentation from a man who clearly loves what he does, and what's more, loves music. - Jessica Tibbits
Subject: TG @ Oundle School
Re the video of TG live at oundle, your liner notes on this site are wrong. We
(schoolboys) were aged 13 to 18, not 8 to 16. Not that it would have made much
These were the liner notes on the video cassette, not our words.
Subject: Brainwashed Radio
Dear Brainwashed Team,
I have tried to connect to *any* of your featured radio stations thru Live 365.
For each and every station, I faced the same "error message" from Live 365: in
order to listen to this station, you have to become a "prefered member", which,
after looking into it, costs you $4.95.
I am very surprised that you should condone this sort of things but perhaps you
don't (pheew!) and just aren't aware of this situation.
We don't condone it and honestly have been negligent to the changes since the shakedown of internet broadcasting, but why should we pay $4.95 to Live365.com for something like Coil's Eskaton Radio when Coil have probably never nor will ever receive a penny from the RIAA, ASCAP or BMI?!
Subject: band list
How may I be represented/included on your
list of bands ?
I'm tired of explaining why, but you can't.
Leave it at that and accept it.
Subject: Gordon Sharp and Cindytalk
i was passing thruough and noticed a question posted on your site relating to
the whereabouts of Gordon Sharp and Cindytalk.
not sure if this has been answered yet but to the best of my knowledge he is
still residing in the Los Angeles area recording as Cindytalk and Bambule, as
well as doing an experimental hardbeat soundsystem called Darkmatter.
actions have featured guest dj's and live performances from the likes of Dj
Scud [ambush recs-uk], Noizecreator [suburban trash industries
- Germany], Christoph Fringeli [praxis records-
Switzerland], Venetian Snares [hymen/planet mu-canada].
There looks like being a Cindytalk 7inch due soon on the Klangalerie label [Austria] and maybe more Bambule releases on the Praxis label [to follow Praxis 29 - Vertical Invasion
which included the collaboration with Welsh wonders the Somatic Responses. Hope
this helps to answer the question.
Subject: Goldmember & Legendary Pink Dots collaboration
any truth to the rumor of this collaboration?
Nothing is signed and official yet.