Sunday, April 29, 2007

Rather Raving (about)

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare

Apart from the bonafide heavy hitters I was not really convinced by the critically lauded first album. But I just love this record and anyone saying that this is a bad record does not know what he is talking about. And the average age of this bunch being twenty we can expect plenty of great things to come (I hope, that is). One of those rare records that makes you wish you were sixteen again.

Circle - Pori

Another record, another style. Which means in this case: how many styles can you handle? This time around endearing panoramic ambient sounds mixed up with bass-heavy electronics and off-kilter rhythms, avant garde versus free jazz versus classical, motorik hardrock with Gregorian chanting, bombastic drum work, epic synthwashes all over the place, lots of nocturnal atmospheres and a whole lot more. These guys are as difficult to follow as their song titles are to pronounce.

Jona - Smart Cats vs Dumb Dogs / Evidence

I bought his previous two 12-inches on Get Physical and this one proves that this Belgian continues his ascent to the top techno drawer. And he is doing something original with the labelsound, of which I was growing a bit tired lately. Like always he royally takes his time and just when you think this is going to be another not-much-happening minimal funk track he gets all emotional and melancholic on you.

Von Südenfed - Tromatic Reflexxions

Forget that horrible last Fall-record. This is the one to worship. Great beats and Smith in full effect. I think he needs a new band or something. Again.

Brainticket - Celestial Ocean

Most of the time Brainticket are considered to be Krautrockers but they were actually of Swiss and Italian descent. This album contains some great ethnic inspired prog. But if an inspired bootlegger/editor (think Dark and Lovely or such) added some good contemporary beats to the mighty 'Jardins', you would get a great slow sub-disco anthem. And those who were wondering where Steven 'NWW' Stapleton got those dreamy foreign sounding vocal bits, look no further, you will find plenty of those on this record. Splendid stuff!

Roxy Music - Country Life

My mother had this record since before I was born and I always liked the horribly made-up girls with the see-through underwear, but never got around to actually checking the music. And it turns out to be one of the best Roxy Music albums. Not everything is genius, but 'The Thrill of It All', 'All I Want is You', 'Out of the Blue' and 'Prairie Rose' are among the best they have ever done. Arty as fuck (dig those Weill-ian phrasings on 'Bitter-sweet') but what was ever wrong with that?

Die Tödliche Doris - " "

Ooooooh! Great deconstructed anarcho-punk artrocky stuff from Berlin. They started the whole Berlin scene along with Einstürzende Neubauten and DAF and they are just as great, but more in a chaotic No Wave style à la DNA and Teenage Jesus. What is more, they are also pleasantly disturbed. Has also one of those titles you cannot pronounce, but only read, which I think is another plus. They once released two records that you could play at the same time and then get a third record, the so-called Invisible LP, which even had a catalogue number of its own. I like those antics! Crazy as fuck and anti-everything, sounds like a Fire in the Mind kinda group.

Shining - Grindstone

Thanks for the tip, Bas! Totally freaked out mix-up of gothic, progressive, jazz, hardrock, electronics and what the fuck do I know. Audacious, ambitious, inventive and completely succeeding where others fail. With operatic vocals, always a big plus at the Fire place.

Glenn Jones - Against Which the Sea Continually Beats

Classic instrumental twangy sounds from Cul De Sac-member. Recommended for the John Fahey and Jack Rose lovers. This guy can play a mean tune.

Ibliss - Supernova

This group is what remained when Hütter and Scheider left the one-off project Organisation to start up Kraftwerk. And Ibliss in turn turned out to be another one-off. But it is a beauty. Very funky and with lots of exotic and ethnic sounds, these four tracks are among the best and most accessible the Krautrock movement ever yielded. Although titles like 'Athir' and 'Marga' promise otherwise there is nothing much psychedelic about Supernova. It sounds more akin to early disco and late jazzfunk actually, a bit like Miles Davis circa Agharta and Pangaea, but a lot tamer of course. Nonetheless well worth checking.

Moebius Neumeier Engler - Other Places

A mix-up of tribal, industrial electronics and that mighty unique Krautfeeling. And 'Sumplige Wasser' sounds like it could have been released on Kompakt, or something by the current incarnation of The Orb. Essential listenening.

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