the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V06I20 - 05252003
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dresden dolls take the title
Dresden Dolls have won this year's Rock N Roll Rumble in Boston. We congratulate them and encourage all to check out the brand new website here at brainwashed. It's awesome.

brainwashed radio resurfaces
Brainwashed Radio is back online after a little downtime. New releases from Ricahrd H. Kirk, Cabaret Voltaire, the Kranky label and others have been tossed in. Album feature should return shortly.

three poplars and die stadt announce new releases
Andrew Chalk & Christoph Heemann are very pleased to announce the following releases on their own THREE POPLARS label:

    JIM O'ROURKE 'Scend' LP (3P8)
    A tape composition from 1992 (originally released on CD in an edition of 500 copies) now issued in a revised LP version on Three Poplars. Limited edition clear vinyl in a special dyecut sleeve with insert. 1000 copies.

    '... As I walked out, I thought "I've really started now, and I don't know where I am going to sleep tonight." I felt excited, but also a little unhappy and alarmed. I wished I had not started out in the evening. I had been planning my tour all the weeks that I had walked to and from school in the squalid London streets. I thought, "I shall get away from all this and wear only a shirt and shorts and not go near anyone for weeks and weeks." I had a longing to hide myself in some very isolated place, and I thought immediately of the Lakes. I wanted to go to them, but can't remember what made me finally change my plans and go to D. instead. ...'
    Playing time: 40.34 min.

    WILLLIAM BASINSKI 'A Red Score in Tile' LP (3P10)
    On their own Three Poplars label Mirror offer one of their favourite compositions by William Basinski. 'A Red Score In Tile' is a tape composition from 1979 and was inspired by James Elaine's painting of the same title. Limited Edition of 600 copies.

    ...... something was shining in a long narrow passageway between the theatre and an adjacent building. This was where he had gone. Illumination was there and sounds. From around the corner's edge a grotesque light was trickling out, the first intimations of an ominous sunrise over a dark horizon. I dimly recognized this colored light, though not from my waking memory...
    Playing time: 45.19 min.

    A collaborational work issued in a limited edition of 150 copies. Handmade sleeves by Andrew Chalk.

THREE POPLARS is exclusively manufactured and distributed by DIE STADT.

    MIRROR 'Die Spiegelmanufaktur' CD (DS54)
    A new CD release by Mirror, produced by Andrew Chalk, Jim O'Rourke and Christoph Heemann in 2002/03. This is the extended CD version of their limited edition picture LP on Die Stadt (DS46) feat. a 17 min. long bonus track which didn't appear on the vinyl version. The CD comes in a special die-cut sleeve and features parts of the original artwork. Edition of 1000 copies of which the first 60 copies come with a numbered handmade inner sleeve.
    Playing time: 57.57 min.

    ......Although somewhat imposing on its own terms, the factory occupied only the most obstrusive place within the grey emptiness of its surroundings, its presence amounting to no more than a faint smudge of color upon a desolate horizon. No road led to the factory, nor were there any traces of one that might have led to it at some time in the distant past. If there ever had been such a road it would have been rendered useless as soon as it arrived at one of the four sides of the factory, even in the days when the facility was in full operation. The reason for this was simple: no doors had been built into the factory, no loading docks or entranceways allowed penetration of the outer walls of the structure, which was solid brick on all four sides without even a single window...

    THE HAFLER TRIO 'No Man put Asunder. Part the Second' CD (DS57)
    Second part of the trilogy (the first part 'Cleave. 9 great openings' was released by Nextera in early 2003 and the third part to follow later this year also on Nextera again). One of the most drone based works by the hafler trio so far this is a different version of 'Cleave' adding a darker aspect to the first part. Housed in a special cover (embossed special paper) with enclosed booklet. Edition of 1500 copies.
    Playing time: 67.57 min.

    Released in conjunction with a live concert on the 9. May 2003 in the 'Lagerhaus' Bremen. Two exclusive tracks by both artist. The h3o track 'Water (Episode 2)' is a spoken word piece whereas 'Die Klagegesänge des kleinen Fritz' by Donnersperg shows the musical side of his work. Numbered edition of 300 copies on black vinyl. 200 copies include a bonus 7 inch with remixes of the h3o track by Asmus Tietchens and Thomas Köner.
    Playing time: ca. 18.33 min.

    Designed by Andrew McKenzie this was specially produced for the h3o/Ditterich von Euler-Donnersperg shows in Germany in May 2003. Only 100 made the remaining copies being sold by DIE STADT mail order. The front feat. the h3o logo while the back has a text which was also the design of the tour poster. Silver & white lettering on black shirt.
    Size XXL only ! Limited stock.

    Designed by Andrew McKenzie for the h3o/Ditterich von Euler-Donnersperg show at the 'Lagerhaus' in Bremen on the 9. may 2003. Silver & Black & White. Size A3. Approx. 100 posters were printed on special textured paper and are exclusively available through DIE STADT mail order.

zak sally stays with low
It's been reported that Zak has quit Low but it's now being confirmed by the Low camp themselves that Zak Sally is indeed staying in the band. While they record for Kranky, their upcoming compilation should surface through their own Chair Kickers label.

teka announces dream cell resurface
"Dream Cell" is the very first solo excursion by Philip Knight (aka Silverman), keyboardist and founding member of The Legendary Pink Dots. Recorded between Summer 1992 and Autumn 1994 in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, "Dream Cell" was first released on CD in 1995 by The Terminal Kaleidoscope. Eight years later we bring you this exquisite vinyl edition, complete with a bouquet of vibrant bonus tracks and the original cover art returned to its full glory." For more information, see Terminal Kaleidoscope.

Throbbing Gristle interview site
Looks like somebody else decided to name their website "Entertainment Through Pain," but if you can disregard the unoriginality there and spend some time at, you'll see an interview by TG fan Andrew Weatherall and journalist Tom Mugridge, at the Cabinet Gallery in London. In other TG-related news, Cosey's large format diptych photographic work, "THE KISS," is included in the 'Independence' group show at The South London Gallery from 3rd June to 3rd August 2003. This is the first showing of this work in the UK. The 'Independence' theme of the show celebrates the newly acquired independent status of the South London Gallery but also has a timely resonance in these troubled times. The South London Gallery is located at 65 Peckham Road in London. Tel: UK 0207 703 6120. Admission is free! More details can be found at and


tigersaw: newburyport not boston
16 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video They're not really a Boston band, according to singer Dylan Metrono. The footage was shot at T.T. the Bear's in Cambridge, MA (both onstage and backstage) on March 23, 2003. Thanks to the band and Kimchee super recordings.

Interview, camera, and editing by Jon Whitney

16 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video


  • A current web browser
  • A modern computer
  • The latest quicktime plugin for streaming media


  • A fast connection
  • A willingness to learn


  • 'tude

If you see a blank window without anything streaming, don't complain to us. You don't have the latest version of Quicktime for streaming media. Go download it. It's free.


cabaret voltaire, "methodology '74/'78. Attic tapes;"
For Cabs collectors and fans of their Industrial Records-era music, this collection is a dream come true. Three CDs of unreleased songs and early versions are compiled at a surprisingly cheap cost. From the earliest material on the first disc, the sound quality is amazingly clear. Songs here run the gamut from fully realized tunes to plenty of half-assed noodling. At no point, however, even for the most minimal noodlings, is it ever dull. This -is- entertainment. (Especially the walking jazz tune "The Single," where lyrics include "come on kids let's jive," "come on girls, slide your feet," and plenty of "doo-doo doo-doo"s!) A document like this is evidence that Sheffield's finest haven't always been depressing anti-establishmentalists. Furthermore, hearing the (then) trio of Kirk, Mallinder and Watson play around with sound effects and layered spoken word bits is actually far more interesting on record to hear than a lot of the modern classical sounds of electronic composers that seem to be surfacing by the bucketloads lately. The Cabs clearly had a pop mentality to match their anti-pop tendencies and kept songs relatively brief and to-the-point. At some point, however, the sound bursts become songs, the instruments become learned, the skills become perfected. Sure, there's probably plenty of attic tapes from many bands' youths floating around, but, by the sax, guitar and keyboard echoes of "Magnet," something really cool is taking place and we're fortunate to be able to get documentation. It's a lot of material to wade through (53 songs in all) and not all of it is stellar. For a collection which claims to be all previously unreleased recordings, the version of "Do the Mussolini (Headkick)" on disc two mysteriously sounds as if it was mastered from a record with clicks and skips. It might have made more sense to include these alternate versions on the recent Original Sound of Sheffield comp as things like "No Escape," "Here She Comes Now," and "Nag, Nag, Nag" don't sound much different and appear on numerous releases already. I'm also getting sick of the recycled Designers Republic format for Cab Volt reissue material: the printing in my booklet is dreadful, with bleeding blurry grey text that's next to impossible to read on the greyscale background images—perhaps that's the point, but it's becoming a cheap cop-out. Furthermore, they keep listing web sites for Cabaret Voltaire that don't exist yet. This has been a trend since the late 1990s that continues to this day. The web site here at Brainwashed has remained the best web resource for all Cabaret Voltaire material and has not changed its URL since 1996, damnit! It's lame that they keep ignoring it for sites that aren't online! Okay, enough of my bitching, enjoy the four hours of great music and hope that things like Chance vs. Causality and other unreleased things are due out soon. - Jon Whitney


Mull Historical Society, "Us"
Few truly solo artists can produce an album with this kind of majesty. The last time we heard from Mull Historical Society was 2001's Loss, a carefully planned work and worthwhile listen, but featuring a bit too much extraneous nonsense. Two years later, founding member Alan Malloy has departed, leaving Colin MacIntyre to act on his own. Since they were his songs to begin with—Mull Historical Society has always worked from MacIntyre's extensive backlog of already-written songs—it seems like this shouldn't be that big a deal. Seeing the immense failure of other solo artist projects where other band members have departed tells otherwise. He could just as easily screw it all up instead of making an impressive record. Thankfully, here he manages the latter, as Us is my front-runner for album of the year at this point. Wonderful use of strings, piano, and bright guitars intermingle under MacIntyre's decidedly goofy voice, as he gives it all in these songs, playing out his emotions with no strings attached. Everything tends to briskly shuffle or jangle along with a great mix of instruments and subject matter. When things do slow down a bit, like on "Asylum," there's still a bright edge that could very well be a train at the other end of the tunnel. I didn't care, though, as long as it sounds this good, this complete. The album is great from conception to execution, even when MacIntyre shows off his trademark odd sense of humor on tracks like "The Supermarket Strikes Back." This is a transition point, where an artist makes or breaks themselves based upon past experience, and MHS blows right past it without a care in the world. I could listen to ten records of this and still not get enough. - Rob Devlin


Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band, "a Special Album"
Emperor Norton
Despite their unwieldy name which suggests a rather sizeable ensemble, this Norwegian group is in actuality a trio comprised of DJ Erlend Sellevold (aka Ralph Myerz) and his cohorts Tarjei Strom and Thomas Lonnheim. This, their debut full-length, which is heavily influenced by '60s and '70s film scores, has already placed the band high on the charts in their native land. In fact, Ralph Myerz & Co. borrowed parts of their moniker from sleazemaster Russ Meyer and his cameraman, Jack Herren, as a result of their fixation upon the soundtracks for Meyers' films when the group initially came together.
A Special Album, although it sounds very sample-based, is primarily played live. The second track, "Nikita," the single that broke the band and was quickly snapped up by Volkswagen execs for use in an advertisement, contains a sample of "Sexy Girls" from Gert Wilden's score to Maedchen die nach Muenchen kommern that is used to maximum dreamy effect. RM&JH are indeed impressive musicians in their own right, and play a variety of keyboards, synthesizers, and an assortment of percussive instruments. Assisting them on a few of the tracks are two female vocalists who provide an extra sexy punch to songs like "Casino" and "Think Twice," which are among the strongest on the album. At times, the sound recalls the laid-back funk of Monk & Canatella, while "You Never Come Closer" is an ethereal nod to trip hop on a film noir bender.
Perhaps A Special Album's only weak spot lies in the fact that, by the time the last three songs roll around, the band seem to be running out of ideas. By all means, it's still extremely listenable, but as the record winds down, the ear-catching quality that it opened with begins to evaporate. That said, RM&JH are without doubt one of the most entertaining new bands of the year. All in all, their debut is not exactly groundbreaking, but is nonetheless a fun, upbeat listen. - Jessica Tibbits


Drag City
Dave Pajo has been quite busy lately as a member of Zwan. To make time for his own project, Papa M, he's taken to writing and recording in various cities while on tour and releasing the end result as a collection of CD singles: something he refers to as an audio tour diary. Disc one in this series is comprised of three tracks recorded in Chicago, Bloomington, and Pajo's hometown of Louisville. The relaxed pickin' feel of "Flashlight Tornado" comes off with somewhat of a back-to-basics, coffeehouse approach of acoustic guitar, voice and harmonica. The beautifully re-worked "Beloved Woman" (originally from 2002's Whatever, Mortal) opens with a near-violent layering of cello and violin which then drone throughout the tune's progressions with a eerie seductiveness that brings gooseflesh. In keeping with the Songs of Mac EP, Pajo closes out with his arrangement of another writer's song. The Reverend Gary Davis' "I Am the Light of This World" is a laid back, minor-key strummy guitar number augmented with sitar sounds and minimal keyboard with religious imagery that Pajo conveys very convincingly. As it's always a pleasure to hear Papa M, hearing the stripped down, bare bones take on these tunes is all the more special as the focus is more on the solo artist instead of the full group effort. - Gord Fynes


ellen allien, "Berlinette"
Bpitch Control
Anybody with software can glitch and nearly anybody with a drum machine and sequencing keyboard can make a dance record, but to twist the machines into a modern electronic pop masterpiece requires a healthy amount of both talent and skill. This, the Bpitch Control label matriarch's third full-length album, is a perfect example. From the beginning, there's no time wasted. Crushing dancefloor beats are introduced, and before long are finely matched with shimmering multi-instrumental instrumentation and Ellen's almost magical voice: never obtrusive, never rubbing off the wrong way, and never lacking in the catchy tune department. A dance record to take home is an uncommon concept from a label which is known for its heavy singles output, but the ample usage of differing tempos, sprinklings of guitar work, instrumental and acapella songs, makes this a great album for home, car, or work situations. With every listen, there's new things to notice, as the songs rarely take predictable, overused routes. Fear not the high brow, however, as there's plenty of ass shaking and tush pushing with the higher energy dance cuts. - Jon Whitney


California Oranges, "Oranges and Pineapples"
Fear not: although many of the favored indie rock bands of yesteryear have either folded, made disappointing returns, or just flat disappeared, some are restructuring and returning all the better for it. Holiday Flyer, the pop group founded by brother and sister John and Katie Conley, have split into two groups, with each sibling recording their songs with the same backing band, just under two different monikers. California Oranges is John's project, with Verna Brock from later Holiday Flyer albums serving as the vocal partner and bassist. Twins Matt and Ross Levine round out the group, and the sound is not what you'd expect from Conley, but that's exactly the point. He's turned up the volume on the guitars to blow you off of your couch, but, luckily, he's decided that the harmonies need to stay. I must say that's one of the things I still enjoy most about indie power pop bands: where the prevailing wisdom of today's singers is to trill and warble their way through songs in some apparent impressive display of vocal control, power pop just lets it slide and speak for itself. There's no remarkable vocal skill being shown here, and no need for histrionics. It's just powerful feel-good music. "Broken Typewriter" starts the album off with a bang, and it doesn't let up once, hardly giving you time to catch your breath. Occasionally, the tempo slows, as on "Come Back Now," but throughout Conley and Brock reveal lovely interplay, though Brock's vocals could have used more volume in the mix here and there. Clean guitar tones and a solid rhythm section make for smooth sailing, too, so there's hardly a misstep. California Oranges just rock, and Oranges and Pineapples is a solid debut with plenty worth a repeat listen. - Rob Devlin


The Flaming Lips, "Finally, The Punk Rockers Are Taking ACID" & "The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus EGG"
With all the attention and surgence of popularity of Flaming Lips, it's unsurprising that their older, pre-Warner Bros. material (which has become increasingly harder to find) has been reissued through Restless and Rykodisc. The good news is that there is a fairly large amount pure musical gold in the older material, and that these releases bring some attention to that. The bad news is that the early collection, Finally, The Punk Rockers Are Taking ACID, is pretty much fans-only material. It's not bad, but it's probably not what casual fans are going expect or even grow to like. The 3 CDs that make up ACID are packed with extras and b-sides, but overall, it's all pretty raw. It's like the first EP, which makes up the first five tracks on the first disc, sung by Mark Coyne (Wayne's brother who later left the band). It's great if you're a fan, with a cover of Sonic Youth's "Death Valley '69," Neil Young's "After The Gold Rush," along with some classic Flaming Lips songs like "One Million Billionth Of A Millisecond On A Sunday Morning." The majority of the material from the 3 disc set comes from the band's first few albums, Hear It Is, OH MY GAWD!!!...The Flaming Lips and Telepathic Surgery. The only concession to space seems to be "Hell's Angel's Cracker Factory," edited down from 20+ minutes to three. Excellent liner notes by head Lip, Wayne, round out the set as a real gem. A cheaper, more compact overview of the pre-Warner bros. Flaming Lips, 1984-1990, is also available on Restless.


The Day They Shot A Hole In The Jesus EGG on the other hand, is a 2-disc set made up of the In A Priest Driven Ambulance album (and some extras) and a CD version of the often-bootlegged Mushroom Tapes (demos and outtakes from the In A Priest Driven Ambulance period). The album itself is the first truly great Flaming Lips record and the last before they went to Warner Bros. and is in many ways, the pinnacle of the Flaming Lips' pre-Warner/punk days. It included the addition of another guitarist, Jonathan Donahue (later in Mercury Rev) and it was also the first time they worked with Dave Fridman, who would help the band sculpt itself into what it has become (this album was his senior year thesis in college.) There are moments of brilliance scattered casually all over the album: the ambient cricket sounds and passing cars on "There You Are" are because the band recorded the acoustic guitars in the middle of the night in a grocery store parking lot near a highway; Wayne's off-key singing which give the songs an earnest feel they would otherwise lack; and the use of Jesus as a "something to believe in" stand-in rather than as a religious signifier. The original In A Priest Driven Ambulance album closed off with a lopsided, but very (unintentionally) sweet cover of "What A Wonderful World," but this expanded version has a few more extras, including a medley of The Sonics' "Strychnine," and "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding." The second disc has a fair amount of really cool outtakes, including a slide guitar jam that later became "There You Are." Also included are the two versions of one of Priest Driven Ambulance's highlights, "Five Stop Mother Superior Rain." One is made up of three minutes of feedback drones, the other twice as long and with a lovely piano line, while the original on the first disc has melodic guitar lines instead of the piano. For a bonus disc, it fulfils its purpose remarkably well—alongside the "Priest Driven Ambulance," the discs compliment each other beautifully in a way that they couldn't alone. - David Piniella


Ingram Marshall, "IKON and Other Early Works"
New World
Sitting uncomfortably wherever it is that minimalism overlaps with both new age and American academic experimentation, Ingram Marshall is a bit of a baffler. I liked Fog Tropes when I first heard it on the radio way back in my college days but discovered, when I bought a disk of it not so long ago, that I had grown out of it, as I have with most minimalism. The other works on that New Albion disk had decidedly off-putting new age spiritual cheese going on. However, the sleeve notes that Marshall wrote for the CD of Charlemange Palestine's Schlingen Blängen convince me that it misses the mark to dismiss him as a secondary figure in commercial minimalism with a bit of a spiritual bent. Present as a young man in the New York minimalist scene of the '60s, Marshall had good connections and began experimenting with tape and electronic music and has kept it up since. This CD documents his tape and electronic output during the years of minimalism's downfall in the 1970s as nascent neo-romantic composers like Reich and Glass co-opted it for their own ends and gave it a capital M. Five of the seven pieces are tape compositions based on human voices, using repetition and electronic manipulation to build up eerie artificial sound spaces. These pieces range from the quite effective Cortez (see Brain v06i16) to the rather unconvincing Weather Report and suggest that Marshall was sincere and committed to working hard with very limited personal artistic resources. However, the remaining two pieces, Rop på fjellet and Sibelius in His Radio Corner, lay bare Marshall's abject skills in harmony and melody with run-for-cover embarrassing horribleness. An artist has to both cultivate and rely upon his or her voice of artistic conscience—that little Jiminy Cricket voice that whispers in your ear "Dude, that kinda sucks. Keep it to yourself and work on something else instead." This voice is one of an artist's most crucial assets. I think Marshall, deceived by the success of his music with those New Albion type audiences, allowed himself to overrule his conscience a few times too often to maintain credibility. This CD shows that, unlike many other less than entirely great composers, this wasn't just a problem reserved for his later years. - tom worster


Monopot, "Optipess"
smalltown supersound
With guitars, electronics and some light percussion, Norwegian band Monopot make some of the quietest, sweetest music I've heard in a while. They avoid the bombast of other ambient post-rock bands like Mogwai, GYBE or Low but their second disc, "Optipess" is at least as good as anything by your those bands. The distinctive feature that sets Monopot apart is their minimalism. Optipess has a cover of Cockney Rebel's 70's semi-hit, "Sebastian", which helps drive the minimalist point home: By listening to something that they've altered, you get to hear where they're coming from, and where they're trying to go. Where there were cocky, playful vocals backed with a glorious choir there are now shy, whispered vocals. The string and horn crescendos of the original become a reverbed melancholic guitar playing a head-nodding version of the melody and then circling back on itself. Monopot's original material is much the same: slow, minimal, soothing. "Scena Napoletana"'s low, mellow guitar tones and gentle singing on top of low drones and the guitar's pace-keeping are like a short, gentle lullaby. My only complaint about the disc is that it's only 40 minutes long, and by the time I got to the end of the disc I wanted the music to keep going.- David Piniella


Auf Abwegen
Asmus Tietchens collaborated with American drummer Jon Mueller for this trip to the studio, which translates as "7 Pieces." You can recognize the drum sounds in the first few pieces on the CD, but by the third piece the percussion has either been manipulated beyond recognition by Tietchens, or else Mueller is not drumming anymore—maybe he is making those sounds of objects being dragged and scraped across a surface? It's hard to tell, but it may a pleasant journey through all seven pieces for those who enjoy musique concrète. It's difficult listening for the rest of us—I was even getting bored part way through, but by listening all the way to the end, I found sound enjoyable parts, especially pieces 5 through 7. I'm also extremely fond of the occasional "buzz-pop" noise—it's clearly the sound of a patch cable being disconnected, with the quick "it's not grounded" buzz sound followed by the "pop" of disconnection. What might be regarded by others as a mistake that should be edited out, is instead considered part of the sound manipulation. - Ampersandy


THOMAS KÖNER / ASMUS TIETCHENS "Kontakt der JÜnglinge: -1"
Die Stadt
"Kontakt der Jünglinge" is the title of each CD in a series of collaborations between Tietchens and Köner. Like 1, -1 was recorded live at the Lagerhaus in Bremen. One day I listened to two Tietchens CDs in sequence: 7 Stücke followed by -1. At first, -1 sounded like a continuation of 7 Stücke, opening with sounds of objects being dragged/scraped along a surface. But -1 quickly builds up dense layers of sound, unlike the rather sparse 7 Stücke. The breezy drones provide a background to a variety of noise from industrial grinds to crystalline ringing sounds. About halfway through this 46-minute piece, we are even treated to some vocals! Okay, it's just someone reciting a numeral here and there, but it's all lovely and fun. I look forward to hearing something equally enticing when this duo performs at the MUTEK festival in Montréal on Wednesday, May 28. ( - Ampersandy


Chocolate Industries
One of the great things about some modern pop musicians is their ability to draw from a wide variety of resources and references, carefully blending them together without becoming excessive. When done tastefully, a very interesting hybrid form of music that keeps with its original direction can be established to much delight. With Under A Different Sky, Chicago singer/songwriter Tania Bowers conveys her laid back pop sensibilities approach with, at times, an electro-soul and jazz ballad feel for a rich forty minutes of listening pleasure. As a bass player herself, Bowers has the fine drumming of John Herndon (Tortoise/A Grape Dope) fill out the rhythm section for the better part of the disc's ten tracks while producer Casey Rice (Designer) augments with his signature skills. Other notable guests include Doug McCombs, Noel Kupersmith, Howe Gelb and Scott Herren (Prefuse 73) providing their musical support. Bowers' songwriting and soulful, sultry vocal style is perfectly suited throughout the varied musical scenes; the airy chordal progressions of "I Dream Again," "Boltanski," and "Moonlight & Chaos," the dub-infused "In The Deep," and the country-tinged "True" are some of the highlights. The closest the disc gets to having an edge is the distorted chugging riffage, guitar feedback and two-step beat of "The Rising," which at just over two minutes is all too brief. For years, Bowers has leant her vocals to recordings of various artists and projects within the Chicago scene. Following Dream Of..., her debut EP as bandleader, Under A Different Sky should put her name on the musical map in good company. - Gord Fynes


Frequency Curtain
Elevator Bath
Drone rock may not be understood by everyone, and it may induce sleep among non-believers, but at least it has a sense of melody and musicianship. Frequency Curtain, a project/experiment by Josh Rosen, John Grzinich and Rick Reed, is drone noise for the noise's sake. Using analogue and digital sine wave generators, shortwave radios, and laptop electronics, the three became an experimental media performance group that first began displaying their wares at Intersect 4 in 2001. Improvisational sessions find the members powering up their devices and just producing sound, tweaking and turning knobs on the fly to marry up the various sounds produced by the devices. As such, I feel it should not be judged on the quality or style of the sounds, but on the way the devices interact with each other and the effect the whole performance has on an audience. There are not many artists with this approach, and with each that releases a recording of their work, I always feel like I'm missing a component. This album was compiled from longer sessions of improvisation, and I feel they probably work better with visual accompaniment. The sounds that invade the speakers do not seem to be designed for listening alone, or at least not for listening enjoyment: they cause the hairs on the back of the neck to rise and fall with each squelch and high pitched squeak, and continually irritate the ears even at low volume. But the different sound generators do blend together nicely, and produce enough disparity to keep the listen interesting and varied. The tracks do take quite a while to introduce a variation, however, and by that point many may lose interest. Like many performances, it can be summed up by asking Goethe's three questions: "What are they doing?"; "How are they doing it?"; and "Is it worth doing?" The first two are answered above, and the third is a resounding "Yes." I just feel that it should never be presented in this format, as it loses a great deal of the punch. - Rob Devlin


richard h. kirk, "the war against terror (twat)" & biochemical dread, "bush doctrine"
Intone / Cocosolidciti
Richard H. Kirk is angry at the state of the world, the various world leaders and their wars and such. I think. This could be deduced by reading the writing on the packaging, song titles, or the press blurbs on the web sites. However, listening to the music, it's hardly clear.
Originally recorded on May 21st, 2002, The War Against Terror is basically one 49-minute song, digitally indexed by six parts, all which flow without clear beginnings or endings. While the tune has a rather angry feel, from its gritty and hurried pace, distorted drones and evil synths, it's falls short of making a commentary due to the tiny number of spoken word samples, scarecly repeated throughout the track. Back in the old Cabaret Voltaire days, samples were firm and clear, whether it was "Do Right," "Don't Argue," or the brothers talking on "Low Cool," as choices were made to reinterpret the dark world sonically. With Kirk recordings as of late, the titles and text are strikingly colorful, but the message in the music itself is certainly more grey.


Bush Doctrine is Kirk's first release as BioChemical Dread, and is anxiously described as "an incendiary sonic polemic against oily greed mongering and cultural ignorance," and looking at titles like "False King of the Earth," "King of Baghdad," "Where Is Mr. Sam?," "Zero Democracy Dub," and "I Got Weapons," that would make sense. Musically, this is probably one of the most challenging releases of Kirk's in a long time, threadding non-Western rhythms, wiry radio samples, voices, wind instruments, and cutting things up into a hefty beat soup with tasty, buzzing noise elements. Kirk flip-flops around styles from intense, high energy tunes to abrasive guitar-ish rocking tunes and slowed down dub numbers, delicately matching hypnotic, classy beats with strong melodies with ample noises. Listening to the tunes and -not- hearing vicious anti-war anti-government samples to match his apparent sentiments is a let down, however, as I feel that the packaging (with the song titles and a G. W. Bush cut up on the front) raises the levels of anticipation. I want attitude, I want guts, I want to watch an accompanying set of visuals with things that will make my stomach turn. Perhaps I'll just have to play this album while watching something awful like Fox News or listening to Democracy Now. - Jon Whitney


We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.


I.A. Bericochea - Rojo CD/LP (Minus, Canada)
Salvo Beta - Evil Against Evil Vol. 1 12" [mixes by Safety Scissors, Melt Banana, String The Cinematic Orchestra - Man With A Movie Camera CD/DVD/2xLP (Ninja Tune, UK)
Colder - Crazy Love 12"/CDEP (Output, UK)
Dot - Dot CD/LP (Twisted Nerve, UK)
* Burnt Friedman and the Nu Dub Players - Can't Cool CD/LP (Nonplace/SRD, UK)
Dave Gahan - Dirty Sticky Floors two CDEPs/DVD (Mute, UK)
The Lithium Project - Majik Kiosk 12" (Hydrogen Dukebox, UK)
Nikakoi - Shentimental CD (WMF/komfort.labor, Germany)
Nurse With Wound - She And Me Together Fall Like Free Death LP (Beta-Lactam Ring, US)
Sixtoo - Antagonist Survival Kit Instrumentals CD/2xLP (Vertical Form, UK)
Theory and Atropa] (Someoddpilot, US)
Teledubgnosis - Magnetic Learning Center CD (Wordsound, US)
The Vanishing - Songs for Psychotic Children CD/LP (GSL, US)

This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the site,
since release dates can and will often change.

Black Dice, David Grubbs
May 10, 2003, Brighton, UK
The Fat Cat label has always been a haven for interesting idiosyncratic music with an experimental edge, and they've constantly sought to expose new artists, so it wasn't surprising that I'd only heard half the artists on this label showcase in an all-seated theatre venue. One is still a marginal mystery. Appropriately due to drowsiness, we arrived a little late and missed Drowsy who was described by earlier arrivals as a one-man folk-strumming funeral. Crescent are a band who've been around in some shape or form for quite a while and an obvious comparison is Hood, with maybe some Soft Machine influence? No other band in the UK really sounds much like them though. They play fragile ruminations on the beauty of nature, with sax, keyboards and what looks like a home made double bass meandering streams along. The weak spot is the rodent-like singer who is totally flat. Although his lyrics fit the music really well, I'd rather have heard the band play instrumentals.
The Animal Collective are two possessed nerds from France who sit next to each other strumming very odd and original unchord shapes from their guitars whilst yapping immature over-excitement about pregnancy and other things that make them happy. They were pretty funny. Most everyone was agreed that they'd never heard anything quite like them, and if you like Half Japanese you'd probably also like them. The venue was perfect for Semiconductor's upbeat laptop visions, and the huge video game visuals projected at the screen that had descended over the stage were just the right journey for my drunken head to take at that point. I probably enjoyed them the most and was left energised and eager to hear more. David Grubbs came on alone and played a typically sparse instrumental on a grand piano and then some songs on acoustic guitar. I enjoyed him a lot more when he played with a band, and I can never help thinking that it seems quite unlikely that he'll ever make another record as great as those last couple of Gastr Del Sol albums. Black Dice headlined and made a similar noise to their recent Beaches and Canyons album although I'm pretty sure none of the material was replicated or if it was they'd drastically deconstructed it. They were at their best when the two effects twiddlers let out a prolonged climactic noiseburst. I'd have much rather seen them in a more intimate venue where they might've stood more chance of overwhelming the senses. Despite perfect sound, I wanted it louder so I could drown in it and they seemed a little static behind their wired tables. - Graeme Rowland

Dirty Three
May 11-17, 2003, UK
So you pack your little sandwiches and climb into your little car and put your little foot down hard on the pedal with Houses of the Holy blasting really fuckin' loud. You can't go south from Brighton on that beach with all the little pebbles because you'd drive into the sea so you head north and soon your little heart is pounding and your little sandwiches are all eaten up but at last you've driven "1000 Miles" and the last sound you hear is your little heart exploding with joy because you know at last you are exactly where you need to be. And where I needed to be was on the Dirty Three UK tour because a band that can alternate tears of sorrow and joy and exhilaration so rapidly is a rare thing indeed. Rumours that violinist Warren Ellis was a little fed up of touring meant that I wanted to make the most of this as they might not be back for a long time. In the end I made it to four shows in Brighton, Leicester, Leeds and the second smaller London gig, skipping the big London gig in favour of Calla who I'd never seen before and who were unfussily majestic and almost as intense. I also missed the Glasgow date as I headed into London that day to see the last gig on the Noxagt tour, another idiosyncratic trio who are rather more brutal.
Warren Ellis is a seasoned raconteur with hilarious tales to introduce each intense instrumental beauty. These are loose and shift shape every night around a similar theme. In Leicester heckles diverted some of them off track into even more oddly comedic angles. So Warren might tell a silly story of how their Ocean Songs album was inspired by the smell of urine in a landlocked Chicago heavy metal studio. Then the four of them kick into some deleriously gorgeous yet robust and hard edged rock, shaped in chemical moulds that only years of playing together can bring. Four? Does that make them the Dirty Three Plus One now? Relative newcomer Martin Casey who plays alongside Warren in the Bad Seeds seemed unsurprisingly a little more tentative in Brighton but fit right in with the others, and Warren and the utterly individual and ever more awe inspiring loose limbed drummer Jim White seem to have a particularly telepathic understanding of those ecstatic places they can open up and bleed. Some tunes got pushed into extended foraging forays that upped the intensity ante some, and in Brighton and London when they ran down "Sue's Last Ride" the levels and layers they built and built just seemed like they couldn't get any higher and just kept on reaching for the sun. Warren reckons guitarist Mick Turner regularly walks on water in hotel baths, but he certainly has developed a highly original and utterly distinctive style of playing that seems to reflect the wide open desert shores and burning sun of his former homeland Australia. If Warren's violin is a skyburst of emotive colour and Jim's drumming skitters like pebbles pulled by roaring waves on the beach, then Mick is probably painting in the desert lands and mountain ranges in the heady elemental dirty brew. What was really nice about seeing the band a few times was the way they just seemed to get better every night, although the Leeds show at Brudenell Social Club won out over the last sold out London show at the dark and dingy Barfly due to better atmosphere and sound in a nicer venue. The Brighton and Leeds shows were a contrast being all seated theatres, making Warren's habit of spitting high into the air as he bows his little violin and kicks his leg backwards seem slightly incongruous and transgressive. In Brighton Clogs played a pleasantly engaging set of what you might call chamber rock if you were feeling lazy after an alcohol fueled road trip holiday. But at least I didn't compare them to Rachel's like I did at the gig. In Leicester and Leeds Mr Cardboard Boxman were as much a revelation as two scruffy Australian guitar twangers with an array of looping gadgets and weird junk shop instruments could be, playing part improvised cutout sundown reflections. But it was Dirty Three who had the songs for the ladies with the darkness in their hearts. - Graeme Rowland


Results from last poll:


It's so politically incorrect but sometimes it's too damned funny. features journal entries (or "blogs") from Special Ed teachers and the various stories of their very special students.


clearing your head of noise

Subject: masami akita review

yeah so there are many valid criticisms of metal but lack of talent just isnt one of them. i know its just a little joke or whatever, but still it makes the reviewer come off like he doesnt know what the hell hes talking about. in general metal musicians could play the asshole off of just about anyone around. go listen to just about any death metal album.

Gary responds: Playing your instrument really fast is not talent. Too many metal bands are guilty of just that. For every band in that genre that truly has talent, there are scores more that aren't worthy of licking their boots. When people's assholes are falling off while listening to metal, I highly doubt it's the talent of the musicians that makes it happen. That being said, I miss Fear Factory. Their drummer was a fucking machine-man!

Subject: gary's review

Noise is boring???

What about Emil Beaulieau, America's Greatest Living Noise Artist?

Gary responds: Emil Beaulieau counts as an originator AND a permutator. I love his sets.

Subject: (no subject)

psychologically remind of the meat beat manifesto song..I VERY FUNNY..VERY-VERY FUNNY MAN!


Subject: antony

so I am handicapped with a dialup connection and after two unsuccessful attempts at viewing the antony video clip in this week's brain I had given up hope, only to today read on the coil e-list that a new Quicktime is needed... so I dl it and the video works! It is awesome, and extremely interesting material... I have never seen Antony live nor had the opportunity to speak with him so hearing him say "brainfuck" made the entire clip worthwhile haha... I'm disappointed to have ignored the previous two but hopefully more great stuff is on the horizon... such as the coil e-list mentioned Stapleton possibility... tibet would be fascinating as well though I'm sure his name has been suggested before... nonetheless, a very fine effort, thank you

Thanks for the note, it's always nice to hear when at least one person's watching. I hope you and everybody else watches the others, not just the people they -already- know about, but some new people they might never have heard or seen before.
There's no more MTV, there's no more Night Flight, it's up to people of the new media to be diligent about spreading the sounds and images of deserving artists.


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is it strong sad or no?
- Noir Désir - Nous n'avons fait que fuir (Live au Cloître des Ursulines, Montpellier, 2002)
- Sand - Golem
- Renaldo and the Loaf - Arabic Yodelling
- P.Comelade/P.Bastien/J.Berrocal/J.Liebezeit - The Oblique Sessions
- Autechre - Confield
- Dominique Petitgand - 10 Petites Compositions Familiales
- LPD - All the King's Horses
- Pauline Oliveiros - Crone Music
- Drahomira Song Orchestra - La Chambre de Styrène
- Blevin Blectum - Talon Slalom
- The Incredible String Band - Liquid Acrobat As Regards the Air

Somebody who goes by Nodapoc, who claims this is music to rise from lonely lethargy.

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