the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V07I05 - 02082004
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new tortoise album and tour dates
Tortoise have a new album on the way along with some live dates this coming spring. It's All Around You is the group's fifth album of all-original new material and their short string of tour dates shouldn't be the only ones to support the album (ie: look for an extensive tour somewhere in the future). Sound samples and other stuff due soon at the website, dates are now available (scroll down).

new colin potter date
Colin Potter of Nurse With Wound and Ora has a date scheduled at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston for Tuesday, March 2nd. Integration 2 features sound and vision from Keith Rowe, Phil Mouldycliff, Paul Bradley, The Other Collaborators, and David Gate. This will take place at the Peters Arts Centre at 8:00 pm. Says Potter, "The last one went really well...."

wire hit australasia
Wire have some dates now available for Japan, Australia, and New Zealand starting later this month. In addition, the group will also play a handful of UK dates when they return.

gsl issues out hud/!!! split cd
Gold Standard Labs has finally issued the 12" split between Out Hud and !!! on CD. The split-series single was originally released back in 1999. Although GSL has also put out other music by Out Hud, it's unsure right now if anything other than the original 12" tracks have been included.

important announces new releases
Imporant announces three new releases: John Fahey Hitomi double LP (special edition on clear vinyl), ANP Absolute Null Punkt CD, and Space Machine Three CD. Hitomi was the last album released in John Fahey's lifetime and it has been notoriously difficult to get even in England where it was released. This is the first release for this album in Fahey's home country and the only vinyl edition. Important Records list subscribers have the opportunity to get this on heavy dute double 150 gram clear vinyl. These are packaged in heavy duty tip-on gatefold jackets. There are only 100 on clear vinyl. ANP is KK Null's pre Zeni Geva free/improv noise-rock group. This release finds ANP playing live in Japan. KK Null plays drums, guitar, nullsonic, voice. Seijiro Murayama (original drummer from Fushishutsa) plays drums, metals, tubes. Space Machine is Yamazaki Maso's (Masonna) solo synth-psych side project. This single CD release includes both the Space Machine 3 studio sessions as well as Space Machine live at Big Cat in Osaka, Japan with Makoto Kawabata of The Acid Mothers Temple. Also available on February 24th (but not available to ship right now) is Last Of The Analog Sessions by Merzbow. It contains the only 3 unreleased albums from Merzbow's pre-laptop period all packaged in original sleeves designed by Masami Akita. The first 1000 of these box sets come with an embroidered Merzbow Analog Sessions patch.? This entire package is housed in a lavish reflective foil printed box. Says John from Important, "the next six months are going to be extremely busy with new records from Hafler Trio, King Missile III,??Fe- Mail, Genesis P-Orridge , Barbez, Jack Dangers, Muslimgauze, Kimya Dawson?and maybe even that Hot Rodney record I keep saying we'll release." For more information and to sign up on their email list, see the site.


sharon jones and the dap kings
22 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video If the only dub in your collection comes from Germany and the only Funk in your collection is sampled, then you should probably pay close attention to Sharon Jones and the funk power of the Dap Kings. Jones and the Kings are living the funk through their own music and others on the Daptone label, with others like Lee Fields and the Sugarman Three as part of a funk rebirth movement coming out of NY. Hope you're not completely sick of Janet yet as bits of Jones' cover of "What Have You Done for Me Lately?" are included.

22 Minutes, Quicktime Streaming Video


  • A current web browser
  • A modern computer
  • The latest quicktime plugin for streaming media (hint: use the latest Netscape if other browsers aren't working)


  • 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.


ghost, "hypnotic underworld"
Drag City
The last few years have seen popular movements in the development of improvisational rock music, whether it's influenced by Anglo folk, experimental, or jazz music. There's another dimension, however, which in my mind takes the music up a notch: the psychedelic/prog bit. By incorporating the colorful drug-crazed lunacies of a few decades' past, Ghost have been pleasing very devoted international crowds for years, and it's no wonder, their songs are true songs and not just a bunch of people farting around who can barely play their instruments. Hypnotic Underworld is easily one of 2004's first fantastic albums of the year, with the familiar genre-bending stretches of Ghost and shimmering over-the-top production by Taishi Takizawa. It opens with a stunning four-part movement of "Hypnotic Underworld," and the slow building 13.5 minute "God Took a Picture of His Illness On This Ground." Here, a commanding bassline underscores saxophone, malleted drums, echoes and twitters of sound effects, all contributing to an experience remeniscent of masters like Taj Mahal Travelers and Magical Power Mako, siezing control of the senses, disallowing much else to be paid attention to, other than the music. Part two, "Escaped and Lost Down in Medina" picks up the pace with a steady beat, a sea of other instruments (including prominent drums, guitar, strings and piano), and a mesmerizing looped bassline that doesn't change for the entire 7+ minutes. It acts as a perfect crescendo on to the rest of the album as the buildup of sound and tension increases steadily through pretty much every cycle of the bass loop. The choral vocals of part three, "Aramaic Barbarous Dawn" ache to be dragged out much longer than the 2+ minutes and scream of late 1960s acid-induced psychedelia before it quickly runs right into the 22-second part four. From here on, the album picks up with various styles of rock, jazz, and sound textures, toying with pop tendencies nearly all the time with instruments remeniscent of experimental pop of yesteryear. Organ, harpsichord, tabla, sitar, and flute aren't uncommonly found alongside squealy guitar solos and trancelike vocals. Whether the music conjures up images of babbling brooks and folklore forests, staring endlessly into a clear starry night, the hellfire of the underworld, or completely dazed black light parties, the songs on Hypnotic Underworld are never weak or loosely strung along, and the album seems surprisingly short at 70+ minutes. While I look forward to seeing them live, I'd much rather be sitting on the grass outside rather than be stuck in a dirty rock club with an obnoxious cash machine jingling off in the distance. - Jon Whitney


Tonalamotl, "Mo(ve)mentsum"
Massachusetts-based Sedimental Records has been in sporadic activity since 1993. They don't put out records often, but when they do it's clearly a labor of love. Past releases skip across what is either a highly idiosyncratic or just plain broadminded survey of experimental musics, revealing a commendable focus on debut and early releases from relatively obscure artists. The packaging and presentation of the label's releases are consistently exceptional, though they operate best as indicators of the keen interest and investment Sedimental brings to the music itself. Late 2003 saw the release of five new titles, ending a period of stagnancy with quite a bang. The first of these comes from Texas improvisers Tonalamotl, a revolving group of musicians who create slow-building textural immersions much in the traditional of electro-acoustic groups like AMM. All tracks were recorded live around the surprisingly rock-ist core instrumentation of guitars and drums. These instruments become hardly recognizable, the guitars taking on throbbing, motor-like sounds that ride the background much of the time and drums sounding systematically disassembled, each piece of wood and metal given its proper tinkering. The most interesting aspect of Tonalamotl's music is the way the group seems to confront the performance space. Much of the sound on Mo(ve)mentsum feels gathered via contact mics, scraping surfaces or mining the air around the diligent performers, who move with the frenzied attention of electrons in an atomic cage. In a track performed at Austin's 33? Records, the store's door alarms, scattered coughs and floor creaks become lynch pins and transition markers in the drifting composition. Hundreds of sounds incapable of being passed off on keyboard or even dog whistle (both of which appear liberally) make up the bulk of these often subtle, though immediate pieces. Wind coming through the room on one track sounds like it could've been pulled from Alan Splet's ambient-industrial Eraserhead soundtrack; elsewhere what must be a keyboard drone meets distant percussive hammering to approximate the sound of an idling engine, punctuated by the occasional cymbal crash or drum kick. Moments like these abound, where splashes of the recognizable or the rough bring the listener out of the budding trance state, face-to-face with the twitching human making all the racket. The production is such that each exploited detail is respectfully captured but in a way that allows the rustic character of the music to bleed through. Even with this new release, their second, Tonalamotl remains an enigmatic group, its members involved in various ways with other (unlikely) Texas bands such as At the Drive In, Trail of Dead, and White Heat. With the recording dates for these tracks stretching back to '97 and '98, it seems doubtful that the group will record again, all the more reason to look for Mo(ve)mentsum now. - Andrew Culler


Larsen never lacked a sense of beauty. Even on the most cathartic rushes of adrenalin guitar mayhem that erupted at opportune moments on their stunning Michael Gira-produced album Rever, they always had an air of ritual mystery and a mystical energy that perhaps recalled other intense Europeans Deity Guns and Neubauten, with a nod to prime New York avant rock. There are ancient monumental shadows looming over and cast by their muse. Having lost bassist Silvia Gross to jazz, Larsen are now a quartet with a more stripped-down, instrumental sound, which is no doubt going to see them get a few godspeed comparisons. Every ringing guitar note and accordian drone hits home in an uplifting spirited enunciation of landscapes both cinematic and emotional. It's no surprise to discover that they've played gigs supporting Thalia Zedek, who no doubt found them kindred spirits. While on Rever there were occasional jousts of Live Skull dual guitar hellfire, here, heavy ponderous drums hit home with the same melancholic deliberation as Come and Thalia's more recent solo recordings. MUSM was originally a very limited US tour CD-R but is now getting a wider release on CD and vinyl. It opens with a collage from Larsen's long unavailable debut album, No Arms No Legs: Identification Problems and a couple of remastered tracks from that album which set the scene but are soon surpassed. Half of MUSM was recorded as a soundtrack to Winsor McCay's animation "Cartoanimalettimatti." These five tracks are certainly riveting standing alone, more enticing melodic entanglements unfurling with every repeat listening, yet it would've been nice to have seen some of the animations on the computer section of the CD-R. "How a Mosquito Operates" circles inexorably towards some bloody climax, and "The Sinking of the Lusitania" is suitably aquatic, each dramatic pause between chords seeming to let more water seep in. There is an unrecognizably mutated version of Syd Barret's "Vegetable Man," which opens with an accordian drone elegy, before sleigh bells and guitar pangs rise slowly above creaking turnip brains. A short outtake from a recent rehearsal session ends the album with a hesitant question mark. However the highlight of MUSM might well be the film of Larsen performing a majestic slow building instrumental in a Polish cathedral, not so much for the film itself which fades images of the band walking the glowing night time streets of Gdansk with their static stage presence, but for the music which would have been nice to have had as regular audio. Maybe this is a hint of even better things to come and will appear on a future album? Larsen have two more albums in the pipeline, including collaborations with Lustmord and Jarboe. If they're even half as fine as this, they'll be utterly essential. - Graeme Rowland


Beta-Lactam Ring
The peat bogs of Northern Europe have been the source of some of the most exciting archaeological finds of last century. Fortuitously, the chemical content of these viscous pools of goo was such that corpses fished out thousands of years later were hardly decomposed at all, allowing anthropologists to solve many a historical riddle of the early Iron Age. Bog Bodies are currently on display at the Museum of Ireland, stunningly lifelike bronzed cadavers, many fully dressed in the costume of the period. Earthmonkey is the work of a homo erectus named Peat Bog, who has managed a similar archaeological excavation on Audiosapien. Perhaps it is less significant to the scientific community, but Earthmonkey's terrestrial, Neolithic stomp is a deliriously accurate reconstruction of the hairiest psych-prog of 30 years past. This is not a zoo-bound monkey of the poo-throwing variety; this monkey is a holdover from a previous evolutionary phase, a giant ape that bounds across the fertile landscape on its knuckles looking for sustenance, but finding only amanita muscaria on which to subsist. So this Earthmonkey vibrates to an ancient shamanistic current, riding the wave of Terrence McKenna's archaic revolution, which Peat Bog translates into a series of deep and droning rhythmic jazz-rock jams, liberally sprinkled with moondust by producer Steven Stapleton. This pairing makes sense, as Peat Bog has collaborated with Nurse With Wound on several releases as Inflatable Sideshow, and Stapleton's production touches jettison this material straight to the heart of the Kraut. The rhythms on Audiosapien are of the trance-inducing Jaki Liebezeit mould, with a variety of lysergically-effected guitar riffs, saxophone blasts and atmospheric electronic textures, unashamedly evoking mid-period of Amon Duul II or arcane Kosmische jam bands Kraan and Xhol Caravan. This hairy, future-primitive quagmire is augmented by contemporary beat constructions, which places Earthmonkey vaguely in the techno-prog neighborhood of The Orb and Eat Static. "Reflections On Native Yard 52" lifts the bassline from The Rolling Stones' "2000 Light Years From Home," but veers into an entirely different wormhole: a cyclical rhythm that perpetually reigns in the cosmic bounce of the lead guitar. Elsewhere, the roll of a didgeridoo creates a droning, ethnicized backdrop for mellow grooves, every empty space filled with ghostly vocal samples and bizarre Stapletonian textures. The plot of the Lord of the Rings is recounted by a young British lad with sound-effects accompaniment on "'And They Go Off To This Place...,'" and the two-part song suite of "Burningman" attempts to evoke the primitive desert paganism at the heart of the annual Nevada festival/rave/catharsis. The deeply stoned third-eye soloing on "Make Me One With Everything" is so immersive, it makes the goofy song title almost completely forgivable. Plumbed from the depths of Ireland's gelatinous fens, Audiosapien is the sound of psychedelia de-evolving into the shaggy depths of a dimly remembered past. And most importantly, it doesn't suck. - Jonathan Dean


Beta-Lactam Ring
In adidition to a fourth LP side not available on the CD edition, Beta-Lactam Ring's double vinyl edition of Audiosapien also comes with a bonus 12" billed as Earthmonkey vs. Nurse With Wound. Hanu @ Basecloud is a welcome companion to the album, and could even stand on its own quite well as a short LP. The record is introduced by the legendary Jimmy Carl Black of the Mothers of Invention, intoning his famous line which will be very familiar to Zappa fans: "Hi, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, I'm the Indian of the group, and you're listening to...Earthmonkey!" This auspicious introduction is sampled, spliced, chopped and poured like lumpy gravy over the rest of this sidelong track, a powerfully hallucinogenic slab of fierce, majestic psych-rock that phases all over the stereo channels. I'm guessing that Nurse With Wound's contribution lies in the incongruous vocal snippets and samples sprinkled liberally throughout these tracks, adding just the right amount of strangeness and complexity to the primitive Kraut jams. Side B is a different beast altogether, a Middle Eastern-textured psych excursion with a dark, shuffling beat overlaid with snaking funk guitars, horn bleats and hair-raising washes of surrealistic sound. It's a bit reminiscent of the soundtrack to Fantastic Planet, pulled through the other side of an hashish tent filled with ranting bedouins. This 12" is just as accomplished as Audiosapien, but with an intensity and focus that makes it even easier to return to. - Jonathan Dean


Kathleen Edwards, "Live From the Bowery Ballroom"
The much-hyped alt-country troubadour commemorates her long tour in support of her debut album Failer with this short but sweet live EP/DVD. The DVD portion is just the videos for the first two tracks on the debut, "Six O'Clock News" and "One More Song the Radio Won't Like." They're quaint, simple affairs that really don't follow the plots of the songs but show off the many faces of Edwards, so the videos themselves are a bit of filler. Clips like these are for fans only anyway, as if you didn't see it on TV and it wasn't a hit, you'll never see it again. In that regard then, they're a nice addition. The live tracks aren't filler at all, thankfully, as they really show off how Edwards can lay it on thick when she wants to. In promoting the record, she appeared on all the late-night talk shows, performed the single, schmoozed it up. But the performances themselves on the shows were lacking, honestly, as if this was just another in a long line of essential evils that needed to be fulfilled. On the EP's tracks, recorded — obviously — at the Bowery in New York, Edwards lets her hair down and feels the songs a bit more. And though her voice warbles a bit here and there, it's not a detraction and she still comes off as great as all the hype makes her sound. "National Steel" was my favorite track on her album, and it gets the full treatment, frailty and all, with small changes in voice here and there as needed. Edwards starts it off alone, but when the band kicks in, let's just say I hope she's paying them what they deserve, cause they bring it full scale. Guitarist Colin Cripps adds great licks and capable backing vocals, too, making the songs sound darn near their studio counterparts in tone. "Hockey Skates" next, and it's obvious how much the fans love it as they cheer it on when it starts. It's looser, and Edwards lazes her way through it, but no matter as it's still a great song. Closing out the too short experience is a clever cover of AC/DC's "Money Talks." It shows Edwards influences, sense of humor, and ability to throw a good curve. I wish the EP had been longer, but it's enough to tide fans like me over until the next awe-striking full-length. - Rob Devlin


Beta-Lactam Ring
If he is mentioned at all, Martijn de Kleer is mentioned primarily for his job as twice lead guitarist and youngest member of The Legendary Pink Dots. Produced by LPD mainstay Raymond Steeg, and boasting guest appearances from drummer Cevin Key (Tear Garden, Skinny Puppy) and bassist Ryan Moore, So Close Yet So Far Out uses an impressive variety of approaches and instrumentation, by far outstripping any of the usual implications of a solo guitar album. In addition to playing some deliciously fried fuzz guitar, de Kleer also tackles bass, synthesizer, organ and some surprisingly passable vocals. What he accomplishes is a psych-rock long-player with shades of damaged 60's psychedelia, shoegazer pop, and a clear affection for the rich, textural space dementia of Hallway of the Gods-era LPD. It's no coincidence that "New" is the English equivalent of Neu!, as the song owes a debt to Rother and Dinger, a chugging organ-and-drum beat that form the perfect backdrop for de Kleer's fragile vocals and brain-sizzling guitar. "Delayed Chemistry" is propelled by de Kleer's lyric, a compact pop song boasting dense production and a ridiculously shredding guitar solo. It's a bit reminiscent of Bevis Frond's work, which is saying a lot. "Jet Lag" is a favorite, a heavy-as-shit anthemic blast of stoner metal, heavily phased and placed alongside the screaming engine of a jumbo jet. An actual White Mountain Apache storyteller narrates a mystical tale against a backdrop of de Kleer's mellow psych on "What Happened To A Young Man...," and the whole thing sounds a bit like a fantasy soundtrack to one of Jim Morrison's peyote trips. The cyclical lyrical refrain of "You Are..." is exploited to gradually lift the track into the stratosphere on an ectoplasmic crest of swirling guitar effects. "The Apple Crumble Trail" is a 25-minute meditational soundscape utilizing field recordings of Himalayan villagers, expanding into a masterpiece of slow-cooked rock splendor that gy!be and their ilk would be too cynical to produce. - Jonathan Dean


Ryan Moore's bedroom dub albums have taken him far beyond any of the acclaim and recognition of his stint as the bassist for the Legendary Pink Dots, garnering almost unanimous critical praise. Twilight Circus Dub Sound System succeeds because of its deceptive simplicity; the music seems to be an alarmingly precise and studied recreation of the original, groundbreaking 1970s dub by progenitors King Tubby and Lee Perry. The warm, organic textures, the unashamedly melodic basslines, the deliberately messy live instrumentation and atmposphere are completely without peer on the current scene, dominated by boundary-pushing German artists such as Pole and Rhythm & Sound, who often surgically excise reggae's soul in their clinical pursuit of post-dub experimentalism. All of Moore's albums up to this point have been exclusively instrumental dub, using a minimal palette to portray his signature sound. After eight or so albums however, this limiting formula would have become repetitive to all but the most hardcore classic dub fans. Foundation Rockers takes a deliberate step into new waters — a collection of vocal dubs by a number of great Jamaican vocalists with full horn sections and top-notch production. I am happy to report that the album is a beautiful accomplishment — a warm, wet, nuanced album that is entirely redolent of classic dub productions, but with a creative edge that keeps it from becoming a retro exercise. The legendary Big Youth contributes the de rigeur antiwar vocals on "Love Is What We Need," a mellow, vibe-y song that gets even better after it's been dipped into the Amsterdam bongwater on "Dub Is What We Need." Luciano's laments for peace and unity float alongside Moore's gloriously rocksteady rhythms and vibratory bassline on "What We Got To Do." "Alpha Skank" in an instrumental track spotlighting the talents of the Might Three Horns brass section that lend their considerable talents to the whole album. Every track is a winner here, but Mykal Rose's particularly haunting crooning on "No Burial," as well as Moore's heartbreaking guitar fills, push the song to the top of the heap. Foundation Rockers is an extraordinarily lovely album of reverential dub reggae that exceeds expectations and delivers on the promises of Moore's back catalog. - Jonathan Dean


Greg Davis "Mort aux Vaches"
Greg Davis' music is difficult to not like. If abstract computer music is at all your thing (and it occasionally is mine), Davis' is nothing if not pleasant. It exudes a serene positiveness—an easy and smiling warmth. The music of this disc, culled from a live radio session on VPRO in Amsterdam and featuring songs that appeared on his previously released albums and singles, appears to be grounded in folk and pop songs with the structures gently splayed into digital dots. Stephan Mathieu and Christian Fennesz tread along paths such as this one, but Davis' music is remarkable in that, despite the random bleeping noises, there are no sharp edges to it at all. It's inoffensive, innocuous, fading into the background just as readily as it intruiges (to those who wish to engage it in this manner) with the richness of its component sounds. When Davis finally sings and plays acoustic guitar in the Beach Boys cover that closes this album, I imagine him sitting with his laptop at the bedside of a child, tucking her in and lulling her to sleep. Or else he's sitting on a swing in some lush garden on a sunny afternoon, soaking in the sun and running some loose melodies through a Max patch. This could easily veer off into Nobukazu Takemura-like quasi-New Age drool, but somehow it remains tasteful. Only a real cynic could not smile along with him. - Howard Stelzer

Taylor Deupree / Chris Willits, "Audiosphere 08"
This collaboration began during a performance at Tonic in NYC celebrating the release of Willits' Folding, and the Tea, still one of my favorites on Deupree's 12k label. Willits' style of guitar processing, a method he calls "folding," involves the digital reassembling of plucked rhythms and melodies in a way that resists both fragment pile-up techniques and a tired glitch aesthetic. The accurately "folded" results show evidence of computerized cuts, false stops, and redirections, but each piece also retains the timbre and irregular sustain of the guitar itself, as if Willits' laptop were just another pedal at his feet, each uncanny alteration arriving seamlessly, swift as the click of a heel. Folding would not be as impressive, however, if the guitarist's playing were not so underhandedly melancholic. Without the rolling minor chords of someone like Fennesz, Willits brings emotion to his music in a more subtle way, producing fragile, staggered tonal clusters, taking on weight only as they are creased and misaligned during the "folding" process. The "tea" to which his debut's title refers is clearly not the skyward, psychedelic brew filling fellow lap-tarist Joseph Suchy's glass, but more like a strong herbal black, the kind meant to accompany sitting and staring into surfaces. Taylor Deupree's earthbound approach to micro-tonal sound arrangement is a perfect match for the concentrated, tactile element of Willits' work. Fostered by the growth of his 12k imprint, Deupree's now-mature style has developed around a minimalist dissection of sound, a mapping of sound particles in a way that, like Willits', avoids an obsession with glitch-ist process, or deconstruction per se. Instead, Deupree, along with the expanding 12k roster, favors a highly suggestive magnification of sound events that feels wholly related to human gesture and the surrounding world, full of miniature drama and plaintive tug. Most of the music on Audiosphere 08 comes from live sessions where Deupree uses Willits' guitar, run first through the folding box, as source material for his microsound investigations. The live setup creates a kind of circular dialogue resulting in some remarkably focused compositions. Up close, the product of the collaboration is predictable: the dominance of Willits' guitar gives the tunes a buoyancy and a more present melodic portion than Deupree is used to, and the latter's position in the background situates the guitar's colorful folds in a crisp stew of tiny sounds, ranging from the static skips and jumps more typical of Deupree's solo output to assertive drones, pulsing as if stripped from the core of a plucked string. At greater remove, isolating each musician's contribution becomes not only impossible, but a easily forgotten interference in the enjoyment of these tracks, so much so that the two solo live tracks also included make for an interesting look at just how much one of these guys brings to the table. As a release, Audioshere 08 holds up surprisingly well among the intimidating previous output of its contributors, and as a collaboration, this music is a stunning achievement, a beautiful rounded sound that leaves me hoping this duo will record again. - Andrew Culler


Eight Frozen Modules, "The Abduction of Barry"
Orthlong Musork
Musician/Producer/engineer (hell, he even ran live sound for Stars of the Lid!) Ken Gibson has the kind of expansive back catalog that makes me either gleeful or nervous upon discovery of one of his records. When someone has put out this many records in a relatively short career under this many different names (DubLoner, Reverse Commuter, The Premature Wig, etc,...) what I normally find is that each project is so micro-focused that the artist limits the scope of each work unneccesarily. With Eight Frozen Modules, Gibson explores the realm of cut-up DSP and electronic beats, which is in its own, an area that still hides a lot to be discovered. With The Abduction of Barry, however, Gibson is sticking to a pretty tight formula in an attempt to refine his output in the wake of some off-balanced previous discs. Here the formula is pretty simple: cue up some punchy electronic drum kits, take the wave-slicer to some ambient textures, and mince it all up with a healthy dose of pinging zips and bursts until it approaches the kind of techno cacophany of Richard Devine and his ilk. After the ambient opener, the first half of the album all sounds like a collection of attempts to create one song. On "Lifestyle d_ugs" (the B, A, R, and Y are left out of all the song titles) the first melody that isn't an atonal swirl of shapeless tones emerges and the record starts to hit a stride. For much of the album, Gibson leaves the bass frequency work to his pummeling kick drums that fire off in stuttering ping-ponging fashion, but he's most successful in creating a deep nod when he drops in the subs and lets a little of the dub wash over him. In fact, my biggest complaint about the album is that it doesn't try enough things. With Gibson's mixing and production acumen, he seems clearly capable of blending styles and drawing on a variety of influences more so than he does here. The Abduction of Barry is a worthwile addition to his already impressive discography, but I'm hoping that next time he can fuse a little of the energy from some of his doppelgangers and create a record that offers a bit more varied of a journey.- Matthew Jeanes


Un Caddie Renvers? Dans l'Herbe , "Now There's A Weird Taste In My Mouth"
Dekorder is a new label/distributor based in Hamburg and founded by the same people behind the now-defunct Disco Bruit imprint. Kicking off with an impressive group of 3" discs and 10" records, the label seems to pick up where Bruit left off, furthering its juxtaposition of the bubbly, cut-and-paste electronica dominating labels like Sonig and darker digital landscaping characteristic of groups like Jazzkammer and new Hafler Trio. Dekorder's first release comes from Barcelona-based multi-instrumentalist Un Caddie Renvers? Dans l'Herbe who has just released a full-length CD on the label, breaking up their 3"/10" streak. If this mini-disc is any indication of the sound of his newer material, I can comfortably recommend hunting it down. The music flows from an impressive range of sources, including a number of Sub-Saharan instruments, cello and guitar, all fed through software to create sparse but effective compositions that develop in a deceptive, half-improvised manner sometimes reminiscent of the work of Sack & Blumm. The sound of the Mbira (thumb-piano) dominates much of the disc's 20 minutes, cut into elaborate chiming patterns, never gaudy, and invaluable to the continental vibe drifting off most everything. The laptop thankfully sticks to the background of Weird Taste, performing cutting and looping functions almost exclusively, letting the soul of the instruments and Un Caddie's breezy playing do most of the talking. Even at their most repetitive, the artist's piano and guitar figures maintain a hypnotic, truly cinematic bent that immediately separates the music from the majority of small-format laptop productions. Un Caddie has many more releases, including several through his own Ooze.Bap label and the newer Dekorder release Like A Packed Cupboard But Quite?, making this 3" the perfect introduction to a refreshing new face that will undoubtedly provide for future discoveries. - Andrew Culler


Voks, "Vaks Vanskab Ak"
For the second Dekorder release, Denmark's Voks delivers a 3" that lacks Un Caddie's adventurous sound-grabbing, but is no less colorful. With former releases including a spot on Goodiepal's V/VM 7" series, Voks makes intensely na?ve computer music, revealing an obsession for toy instrument sounds and dawdling, childlike rhythms. These songs are not playful in the punky, campy style of artists like DAT Politics or the oddball fringe of the Sonig label; instead, Vaks Vanskab Ak is more of a mood piece, despite its more flamboyant qualities. Tracks reject dominant melodic roles; rather, sounds scatter in loose compliment of each other, haphazardly forming recognizable motifs, like the loose Middle Eastern feel that invades songs like "Hottenslot" and "Tuuie." The disc acts like a scatterbrained attempt at scoring an absurdist's animated short, full of swift mood swings but with enough open space to imply corresponding action or visual reference. Vaks Vanskab Ak would make a perfect backdrop for the bizarre puppet show pictured on its cover in which skeletal figures ride elephants and giant chickens, though I'd warn against extending its 20-min. length. Voks shows a charming command over his arsenal of tinkering toys and popping synth sounds, but a move to larger format will require a further consolidating of ideas and perhaps some NyQuil for the manic inner child who gets carried away ad nauseam on a few of these. - Andrew Culler


John Hegre, "A Nice Place To Leave"
Dekorder 003 comes from John Hegre, a mainstay in both the pop and experimental scenes in Norway as a member of established pop group Kaptein Kaliber and one half of the amazing electro-acoustic improv duo Jazzkammer. The first full release under his own name, "A Nice Place To Leave" is understandably more in line with his work with Jazzkammer, a 3" disc consisting of three improv pieces produced with primitive electronics, guitar, computer, and what sound like obscured field recordings. The songs are sparser than most Jazzkammer, but they avoid a meditative end as all three seem to hinge on the element of surprise with brutal, physical sounds consistently puncturing the atmospheric passages. The first track builds on a looped guitar drone sounding like a gigantic bell pounded at low volume. To this repetitive sound, Hegre adds bits of static and synthetic sound, threatening a kind of rhythmic progression, though the track never picks up, ending instead with premature insistence as the electronic hums and pulses grow louder and more prominent before throwing themselves into concentrated blasts of noise, terminating seconds before speakers are blown. The second track is drone-heavy and uneventful until nuanced guitar noise, falling things, and what sound like birdcalls made by a modem begin to section off the cold mass of sound, easing it into a crisp, grinding stop. The closing track picks up the looping guitar from the first, making clear that A Nice Place is really one long piece, bookended by these drones which could be easily extended and remain interesting. Hegre keeps the noise largely absent from this final section as he does (relatively) for most of the disc, making it less memorable than most of his other works, but no less captivating. His grasp on timing and successful juxtaposition is as apparent as ever, and I can only hope Dekorder has a full-length in store from this always-interesting artist. - Andrew Culler


Resina, "Opinio Omnium"
Mousike Lab
Resina is the cooperative effort of and Marco Messina, two well-known electronic-based entities who experiment with a multitude of styles and themes in achieving their unique brands of glitch music. As Resina, they manage structures that may be complicated and not wholly electronic — as they pass all their scrambings through analog equipment during recording/assembly — but they are ultimately conventional and vaguely uninteresting. Not to belittle the effort or the final product too much, but these songs work from the same canvas and paints with not too much variety, which makes for a static listening experience that could be better spent on more challenging fare. If there are different themes to these songs, I missed them, as they all sound remarkably similar. It seems like too many electronic artists concentrate on only the aesthetic of the contrivance instead of on melody and the song itself. Resina do some things extremely well: beat structure and full use of all frequencies; layered sound effects and the odd sample thrown in; working from one point and building to another in a predictable but still non-jarring way. All things considered, though, once you've heard one track you've heard them all. Similar computerized beats continue throughout the album, almost to the point where on the first listen I could predict where the beat/song would go next, like a clarivoyant conductor of a synthetic orchestra. There's a wealth of experience with Resina, that much is clear, and having never heard the personnel involved I can't relate this to their other works. But I think at this stage they'd have learned there's more to electronic music than this. - Rob Devlin


SixToo, "Almost A Dot On The Map"
Vertical Form
This collection from SixToo represents underground hip hop at its most tame. There's enough hip hop in the world that it seems unnecessary to have releases from indie producers that don't attempt to bring anything else to the game, and SixToo is certainly a by-product of many, many De La Soul and Tribe records. That's not to say that SixToo is making an effort here to duplicate anyone else's work, just that he isn't making enough of an effort to create his own. It's hard to tell from the liner notes and the link to the label website is a waste, but it appears as though this record is a collection of tracks recorded between 1996 and 2002. It certainly seems to ring true because a lot of the material doesn't seem to have aged well, with tracks built primarily around Blue Note style jazz samples, upright walking basslines and the usual crispy vinyl-sampled break beats. The production is mostly an homage to that intelligent side of hip hop that dips into rare groove record crates for all of its inspiration, but the lyrical content is quite a different story. SixToo doesn't rhyme about clubs and cars and inner-city life, but about personal, sometimes too-detailed stories. The wife, the time he had that operation, the trip to so-and-so... it's fertile ground for hip hop lyricism and some of SixToo's best rhymes land just on the right side of the infamous line between "clever and stupid". However, I'm not sold on his voice and his delivery, and most of these tracks sound like they would be more entertaining coming from his compatriot, Buck65. There's some unintentionally funny stuff in here too, like a line about the future of "Canadian Hip Hop". I don't know why, but that phrase just seems like it shouldn't be uttered in a record that is otherwise fairly serious and introspective. All in all, there are better and more adventurous versions of the stories that SixToo is telling out there.- Matthew Jeanes


Daniel Menche & Kiyoshi Mizutani "Garden"

My initial reaction upon learning of the "Garden" CD was that the two composers are an unlikely pairing. Menche is known for his malevolent, very physical noise. Mizutani, who came to many listeners' attention as an original member of Merzbow, has focused on documentary recordings of birds and natural environments in recent years. Even stranger is their decision to divide the tonal specturm in half for their album together, with Menche producing only the low sounds and Mizutani the high ones. What on earth could this be? To be honest, after repeated listens, I'm still unsure. The music is one hour-long piece, with the division between the artists' contributions quite pronounced throughout. I found this distracting, as I attempted to resolve in my mind the deep sub-bass rumble (from Menche) and the twittering birds and insects (Mizutani), which certainly seems to have been produced in isolation of one another and simply grafted together. Not that some lovely moments don't occour; the initial eleven minutes are riveting, the odd juxtaposition of elements creating a tension that just doesn't sustain itself for the hour. I was never able to forget the conceptual conceit and hear "Garden" as a single piece of music. Perhaps this was an intentional decision by the artists, but it does not work for me. - Howard Stelzer


papa m, "hole of burning alms"
Drag City
Drew Daniel of Matmos once said something to the effect of Dave Pajo being one of those people whose musical and artistic talents are just beyond comprehension, to the point that can make a number of people jealous. Pajo's guitar talents can be heard from releases stretching back to the late 1980s with Slint (even earlier with more obscure bands' records that can probably not be located anywhere), continuing on into the 1990s with King Kong, Palace, Tortoise, and appearances with Stereolab, Royal Trux, and For Carnation live. In 1995, he released something as M, then M is the Thirteenth Letter, then Aerial M, before settling on Papa M. It's important to note that recordings collected here does not compile -the definitive singles collection- (it would span more than three discs with today's technology), however, it does form a strong album of coherent material that can be listened to pretty much within the catalogue of his first three releases through Drag City: Aerial M, Post Global Music, and Live from a Shark Cage. In addition, it does sort of close the book on the musical style which has come to pass for him: the music is instrumental, and slowly, over time, it evolves as Pajo gets more comfortable working with new elements of compositional style, instrumentation, and recording technique. Opening with the first couple 7" singles, the group is a very basic guitar/bass/drums lineup. It's not until track five, "Mountains Have Ears," that Pajo begins to employ drum machines and computer recording techniques. While it gets more electronic, Pajo combats it with more traditional routes: following another mildly electronic piece "Vivea" is "Last Caress," a Misfits cover which is probably the first release with Dave on the microphone. (This song wasn't the beginning of his vocal career as it wasn't until after the album Live from a Shark Cage that Pajo began to sing on nearly everything.) Some of the more obscure recordings include the 13+ minute Travels in Constants track, previously available only by subscription to the Temporary Residence series and two Christmas singles only available to lucky people on Drag City's mailing lists—one of them being the 16+ minute cover of "Turn, Turn, Turn," where the band (now more than just Dave) just planned to play until the four-track tape ran out. Speaking to Pajo, there are considerations in releasing more singles collections in the future, but, for now, for those who missed these things the first time around, your second chance to enjoy these awesome tunes has arrived. The compilation is available now if you see him on tour and in a couple weeks if you can't get out or the tour comes nowhere near you. - Jon Whitney


We know that our music picks may be somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.


Beans - Now Soon Someday 12"/CDEP (Warp, UK)
Cane - Teknotest 12" (Arcola/Warp, UK)
Casino Versus Japan - Hitori + Kaiso (1998-2001) 2xCD (Attack9, US)
Chromatics - Plaster Hounds CD/LP (GSL, US)
CiM - Do Not Multiply Models CD [collection of early EPs] (Ann Aimee, The Netherlands)
Dave Clarke with Chicks On Speed - What Was Her Name? 12"/CDEP (Skint, UK)
Greg Davis - Curling Pond Woods CD (Carpark, US)
Decoded Feedback - BioMechanic 2xCD [reissue of Bio-Vital and Mechanical Horizon albums with bonus material] (Out Of Line, Germany)
Deru - Pushing Soil 10" (Delikatessen, Germany/US)
Anna Domino - Anna Domino CD [reissue of 1986 album with bonus material] (LTM, UK)
Dykehouse - Chain Smoking/FYD 7" (Ghostly, US)
Dynarec - The Lost Souls 12" (Delsin, The Netherlands)
Einst?rzende Neubauten - Perpetuum Mobil CD/CD+DVD/LP (Mute, UK/US)
Enduser - From Zero CD (Mirex, Germany)
Enduser - Wreckin Shit 12" (Sonicterror, US)
Fog - Hummer CDEP (Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand CD/LP [initial CD copies include a bonus live disc] (Domino, UK)
Fym - Emotions Under Curfew 12" (Boogizm, Germany)
Goldfrapp - Twist 12" [with exclusive Mantronik remixes] (Mute, US)
ISAN - Meet Next Life CD/2xLP (Morr Music, Germany)
Individual - 180 Bullets Per Man CD (Ant-Zen, Germany)
Izu/The Andies - Izu vs the Andies 12" (Stuffrecords, Scotland)
Jaga Jazzist - Day 12" (Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
Knowledge of Bugs - My Way No Way CDR [ltd to 211 copies] (Piehead, Canada)
La Rue - Luv 7" (Tummy Touch, UK)
Lambchop - Aw C'mon CD (City Slang, UK)
Lambchop - No You C'mon CD (City Slang, UK)
Liars - There's Always Room On The Broom 10"/CDEP (Mute, UK/US)
Loka - Beginningless 12"/CDEP (Ninja Tune, UK)
Magic Arrows/String Theory - Yaphet Kotto/Honey-top 7" (Frank Wobbly & Sons, US)
Meat Beat Manifesto - RUOK? In Dub DVD [5.1 surround audio] (:/Run Recordings, US)
Merzbow - Tamago CD [limited to 350 copies in special packaging] (Plan DX17, US)
Monobox [Robert Hood] - Molecule Remixes Vol. 1 12" [mixes by Pantytec & Ricardo Villalobos] (Logistic, France)
Naum/Joachim Spieth - Speicher 15 12" (Kompakt Extra, Germany)
Old Man Malcolm - Pride in My Product/Eye Contact 7" (Frank Wobbly & Sons, US)
OOO - Beyond Cycles CD (Planet ?, UK)
Out Hud/!!! - split CDEP (GSL, US)
The Rapture - Love Is All 7"/two CDEPs (Mercury, UK)
The Red-Eyed Legends - The High I Feel When I'm Low 12"/CDEP (GSL, US)
SixToo - The Psyche Years CD/2xLP (Vertical Form, UK)
SoulWhirlingSomewhere - the great barrier CD ["best of" anthology with two new tracks] (Kalinkaland, Germany)
Donna Summer - Wooden Karova 7" (Mirex, Germany)
Throbbing Gristle - TG+ 10xCD [companion set to the TG24 box - contains 10 further live shows] (Mute, UK)
Triple R/Various - Selection 2 CD (Trapez, Germany)
* Ty - Upwards CD/2xLP (Big Dada/Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
* Various - ZEN Compilation 2xCD/3xLP (Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
* Various - ZEN Remixes CD/3xLP (Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
* Various - ZEN TV DVD (Ninja Tune, Canada/US)
Volcano the Bear - All The Paint I Can Breathe 10" (Beta-Lactam Ring, US)
Donato Wharton - Trabanten CD/LP (City Centre Offices, Germany/UK)

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 page,
since release dates can and will often change.

Results from last poll:


stupidity is contagious
Tom "the Fish" asks: Who would be stupid enough to document their crime spree on film?
A: Northeastern students!

give some cowboys some acid
Unearthed on the Internet now are drawings by a sketch artist as they draw the subject under various stages of an LSD trip. Believe it (or not,...)

Is Janet jackson a Coil fan?
What do you think? Compare a picture of her nipple to Coil's first album cover.


spank you very much

Subject: this is for rob devlin-

I am in the band seekonk, and I wanted to thank you for the review of our album "for barbara lee".

Since entering the world of recording and releasing music, I have been often reminded that our music is not for everybody. It makes us very happy when someone gets it.

Rob Devlin responds: That's very kind, but the music is quite good, so the praise was well-earned.

Subject: DFA

Jonathan Dean reviewed our new singles and there are some really weird errors.

1. The artist's name is GAVIN Russom, not DAVID Russom
2. The DFA consists of James Murphy & Tim Goldsworthy (not James Lavelle, who was Tim's ex-partner at MoWax circa 1996)

Thanks for the support. The reviews were wonderful.

Thanks to the Internet, the corrections have been made. Jonathan Dean has subsequently been scolded properly.


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the wind howls
Double Leopards - Halve Maen
Rope - Widow's First Dawn
Philip Jeck - Surf
Crescent - By the Roads and Fields
Mirror - Die Spiegelmanufaktur
The Blithe Sons - We Walk the Young Earth
Scott Tuma - The River 1,2,3,4

Mike, tucked in a corner, hiding from the grey skies of the windy apple.

feedback and submissions:
Brainwashed Functional Wardrobes
P.O. Box 7 / Arlington MA 02476 / USA
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