Saturday, August 26, 2006

13 on Sunday

Emtidi - Saat [Pilz, 1972]
Emtidi got caught up in the Krautrock landslide, but Saat, in contrary to the wild experiments of most krautrockers, screams ‘hippie’ all over. Hippie or not, this is easily one of the best folk records I've ever heard. Although there are a lot of cosmic nuances, this is ultimately a flower children's record. The light of hope burns brightly on this one. So bright you won't even wink when that fellow intones it in German.

Current 93 feat. Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Idumaea [Durtrojnana, 2006]
There are a lot of versions of this Charles Wesley composition on Current 93's latest record. But to me Will Oldham's version is boss. Of course, as with David Tibet himself, you like the voice or you hate it. At first it seems as if his vocals are fighting the melody, but that's just the path he uses he lures you in. Heartbreakingly chilling.

Blackhouse - Hope Like a Candle [RRRecords, 1985]
I found this in the cd archives when I was looking for my Scott Walker cd's. About the strangest combination you can think of: seriously fucked-up industrial rhythms, a screaming warped voice and proselytizing the Christian faith, all in one neat package. Blackhouse are the most dangerous Mormons on this planet. Few industrial releases still cut it today. This one does.

Six Organs Of Admittance - The Sun Awakens [Dragnet, 2006]
What can I say? A landmark record where the old and new weird America embrace each other for one of the best records the still young millennium has brought on. A record that can change your life.

Adult. - Hand to Phone (PSS 2091 Mix) [Clone, 2002]
Carl Craig's remix is the one that set all the dance floors on fire, but this version by Italy's Marco Passarini, only to be found on a limited Clone 12", is the emotionally more satisfying one. A dark groover on the intersection between electro, idm, trance and techno, it sacrifices dance floor appeal for a deeper take on the original, in the process throwing everything out of the window except the original's chorus. Imagine Juan Atkins in a very dark mood and your halfway there.

Hair Police - Constantly Terrified [Troubleman Unlimited, 2005]
Evil noise rules on this one, the piercing howl that sounds like somebody's soul is being sucked out of his body, resounding sometime mid-record, being my favorite horror moment of the last few years. Haunting stuff but it definitely grips you.

Kiki - Boogy Bytes [BPitch Control, 2006]
People have been complaining about electronic music's lack of real emotions since its very inception. Since Kiki's fabulous Boogy Bytes mix they ought to shut up forever. And that’s' a fact!

To Rococo Rot - Kölner Brett [Staubgold, 2001]
With these guys there is always a conceptual angle. Kölner Brett was the name of a new kind of building in, as you would guess from the title, Cologne, where working and living combined in one single unit. The record is the reflection of the architectural grid of that building, given shape in twelve nameless compositions. Who cares when the music is as elegantly and horribly perfect-in-a-German-way as on this record. Techno minimalism vs. post rock is a winning combination, it would seem.

Scott Walker - Scott [1967, Fontana]
It is tempting to compare Walker's first album with the abstract mad genius of The Drift. And frankly, those broad orchestral backdrops to me, living in 2006, sometimes sound just as psychotic. 'Montague Terrace in Blue', 'Angelica' and 'Always Coming Back to You' still bring chills to my spine. And That Voice! Even on this first, pretty traditional solo record it propels you to ecstatic heights, the way normally only religion would.

Lindstrøm - Summervibes (Promo Mix Innervisions)
A promo mix by mister Lindstrøm himself. An internet search revealed it is already a year old. Especially the beginning is pure joy. A little bit further on, as you would expect, he goes on delving too much in the cheese corners of his disco collection. But I have to admit that I couldn't care less when the third track turned out to be Flash & The Pan's 'California', the kind of song that makes you forgive all misgivings and makes you smile for at least a day.

Justin Timberlake - Sexy Back
Pretty unavoidable isn't it? It is with Justin not with Nelly Furtado that Timbaland makes the single of the year 2006. A severe case of just-can't-get-you-out-of-my-head for days on now. Although, as Martijn put it, it's gonna be a bit awkward being caught singing "I let you whip me if I misbehave".

New York Noise 2 [Soul Jazz, 2005]
No Wave, electro, hiphop, funk and some guitar experiments combine on Soul Jazz’s second report on their further research into New York's Golden Age. And the guitar experiments provide the most interesting tracks. My favourite here is Red Transistor’s 'Not Bite', which is basically a guy screaming nonsense over a barrage of punk noise. I can recommend Rhys Chatham's 8-minute guitar wall, 'Drastic Classicism' as well, that is if you reckon yourself headstrong enough. Sonic Youth is presented with ‘I Dreamed I Dream', a moody cut from their debut release and it’s nice to hear Kim Gordon’s younger voice again. And UT's 'Sham Shake' has obviously drawn more than some inspiration from The Slits and Siouxsie and her Banshees. Not all the tracks have aged well but overall an entertaining selection.

Xasthur - Suicide in Dark Serenity [Bestial Onslaught, 2003]
One of the few records where the poor sound quality actually adds to the experience. Gothic synths pull Wagnerian movements, the agonizing is atrocious, the dismal universal and ancient the growl rising up from the bowels of the earth. With greetings from the Dark Prince. The title is a howl as well.

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