Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Monks "Black Monk Time"

Formed in mid 60s, in Germany, this garage rock phenomenon is usually acclaimed as one of the best garage rock bands and a good proto-punk example too. They're considered by many music critics and musicians as a great 60's obligatory garage rock reference. I think they sure deserve to be in Rock & Roll's Hall of Fame. They're still active, since they reunited in 1999.
This album, "Black Monk Time" was their first and only album released. Their label by that time was Polydor Records.
The track list is the following:
1. "Monk Time" – 2:42
2. "Shut Up" – 3:11
3. "Boys Are Boys and Girls Are Choice" – 1:23
4. "Higgle-Dy-Piggle-Dy" – 2:28
5. "I Hate You" – 3:32
6. "Oh, How to Do Now" – 3:14
7. "Complication" – 2:21
8. "We Do Wie Du" – 2:09
9. "Drunken Maria" – 1:44
10. "Love Came Tumblin' Down" – 2:28
11. "Blast Off!" – 2:12
12. "That's My Girl" – 2:24

The album's lenght is 28 minutes and 28 seconds. My favourite songs are: "Shut Up", "I Hate You" and "Higgle-Dy-Piggle-Dy"(although I also admit the whole album itself is a "must" for any rock fan).
You can get the album right here.

The Monks getting their first signature haircuts in the 60's.

Also, listen to the following song "I Hate You":

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Burzum "Hlidskjalf"

This album was composed by Varg Vikernes, Burzum's frontman, while he was in prison due to: the murder of Euronymous, former guitarist of Mayhem; and the arson of several churches in Norway. It was released in 1999. He made this entire album only by using synths. It's marvelous, seriously...
The track list is the following:
1. "Tuistos Herz" (Tuisto's Heart) 6:13
2. "Der Tod Wuotans" (The Death of Wotan) 6:43
3. "Ansuzgardaraiwô" (Warriors of Asgard) 4:28
4. "Die Liebe Nerþus'" (Nerthus' Love) 2:14
5. "Frijôs einsames Trauern" (The Lonesome Mourning of Frigg) 6:15
6. "Einfühlungsvermögen" (The Power of Empathy) 3:55
7. "Frijôs goldene Tränen" (Frigg's Golden Tears) 2:38
8. "Der weinende Hadnur" (The Crying Höðr) 1:16

My favourite tracks are: "Ansuzgardaraiwô", "Der Tod Wuotans" and also "Frijôs goldene Tränen". The album's lenght is 33 minutes and 42 seconds. It was released on the label entitled Misanthropy.
The album can be downloaded here. This is a great album, one of the best dark ambient albums I've heard lately.

Below, as a preview, you can hear "Ansuzgardaraiwô":

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Designer Drugs "Datamix 05"

Designer Drugs are a duo from New York. Their genre is electro. Recognized as one of the best upcoming electro groups, these guys make awesome remixes and fine tunes, teaching people a lesson about nightclubbing.
They recently produced a free compilation for all you electro fans and it's available for free on their myspace. It's called "Datamix 05".
You can download it here.

You can hear one of their best tracks "Zombies" right below this text:

[upcoming bands] Crisis

CRISIS are from Porto (in Portugal). Their music is somewhere in between hardcore and electro. Pure electro nihilism, it makes you want to rave until you're dead meat. Their members are: the Nihilist (vocals), Jack Diamond (vocals + noise instructor) and last, but not least, Anacobra (audiovisual machines). If you're into bands/musicians/artists like: Crystal Castles, The Prodigy, Kap Bambino, Ratatat, Gallows and Hot Cross, you'll seriously enjoy these people.
Their songs feature some stuff like: samples from a video of 12-year-old pre-teens talking about acid trips (a classic 60s video on youtube, Black Lips also sampled this stuff, haha), Nirvana samples, 8bit mixed tunes, hardcore vocals, kap bambino-ish vocals sometimes. Well, you guess that this seems to be a cool combo, that struggles and shows us that anger is also a different form of energy.
They'll release pretty soon their debut EP (so you better get focused on this band).
Check them out on their myspace here.

Cass McCombs "A"

Cass McCombs deserves more attention: he's a great musician. Inovating in the folk and alt country fields, this album has received critical acclaim (the album he released in 2007, "Dropping the Writ" was nominated by Amazon as one of 2007's best albums too). Oh, you should also check his official website for some more info, perhaps.
The track list is the following:
  1. "I Went to the Hospital" - 5:14
  2. "Bobby, King of Boys Town" - 3:47
  3. "What Isn't Nature" - 4:48
  4. "Aids in Africa" - 5:42
  5. "A Comedian Is Someone Who Tells Jokes" - 3:30
  6. "Gee, It's Good to Be Back Home" - 2:59
  7. "Meet Me Here at Dawn" - 3:39
  8. "When the Bible Was Wrote" - 4:06
  9. "My Pilgrim Dear" - 4:50
  10. "Bedding Down Post Xmas Time" - 3:54
  11. "My Master" - 4:20
My favourite tracks are: "What Isn't Nature", "My Master" and "Aids in Africa". The album's lenght is around 47 minutes, I think. It was released on Monitor Records (now he's signed to Domino Records, by the way).
I got to know this artist's music thanks to a pro skateboarder's part in a video of the DVS Shoe Company. The song that played on the pro's [Jason Dill] part was "What Isn't Nature" and it imediatly got stuck in my head. It's original, authentic and seems to be lost in many musical genres, being a misfit among folk music. It's melodic and melancholic and somewhat nostalgic too.
Just listen to the album by downloading it right here.

You can hear the song "What Isn't Nature" next, as a preview do Cass' music (in case you didn't know it):

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gray Matter "Food for Thought/Take it Back"

One great punk band, Gray Matter didn't have much success. This info was extracted directly from their myspace: "Formed in the summer 1983 from the ashes of several Washington, D.C., area punk bands, Gray Matter's mix of melody and punk power helped key the 1984-1985 punk resurgence in the nation's capitol. Consisting of guitarist Mark Haggerty and drummer Dante Ferrando (both of controversial first wave Dischord band Iron Cross), guitarist and singer Jeff Turner (founder of WGNS cassette label and studio), and bassist Steve Niles, Gray Matter was inspired by British punk bands. The band rehearsed but rarely played out, and it wasn't until the summer of 1984 that they played their first important public gigs, finding alliance with bands like Rites of Spring and Beefeater."
You can also find some more information related with this band here, on Dischord Records.
This album, "Food for Thought" is their first album and probably their best work.
The track list is:
2."Oscars Eyes"
3."Fill a Void"
4."Give me a Clue"
5."Gray Matter"
6."Caffeine Blues"
7."Crisis and Compromise"
8."Flash in Time"
10."I Am the Walrus"
11."Chutes and Ladders"
12."Burn no Bridges"
13."Walk the Line"
14."Take it Back"
15.4 "A.M."
18."The Spy"
19."Walk the Line"

My favourite tracks are "Burn no Bridges", "I am the Walrus" (Beatles cover), "Chutes and Ladders" and "Give me a Clue". Still, this album, when inserted into the punk scene, is marvelous, with great vocals and faithful to what I'd call a punk philosophy (somewhat nihilist, as it's always associated); there's energy to take and give, on this record.
Get the album here or here (if you don't apreciate that much rapidshare links and use more often mediafire).

You should also check Ali Boulala's skateboard part on the film "Sorry" from Flip Skateboards, that features the song "Burn no Bridges" (it was this part that got me into Gray Matter, some years ago).

Below is a video of my favourite song from this album, "Burn no Bridges".:

Throbbing Gristle "The Taste of TG"

Giving reason to the subtitle ("A Beginners Guide to the Music of Throbbing Gristle"), this compilation features songs from TG's more audible times to the more noise and gore phases (it's obvious that their sound is always dark, no matter if it has a more "pop" approach or not). In case you didn't know, this band, Throbbing Gristle are quoted as the authors of industrial music.This album was released on [the now dead] Mute (on May 14 of 2004).
The track list is the following:
  1. "Industrial Introduction" - 1:05
  2. "Distant Dreams (Part Two)" - 5:30
  3. "Persuasion USA" - 7:29
  4. "Something Came Over Me" - 3:43
  5. "Dead on Arrival" - 6:08
  6. "Hot on the Heels of Love" - 4:24
  7. "We Hate You (Little Girls)" - 2:07
  8. "United" - 4:04
  9. "Cabaret Voltaire" - 3:58
  10. "Exotic Functions" - 4:18
  11. "Zyclon B Zombie" - 3:52
  12. "Walkabout" - 3:04
  13. "Hamburger Lady" - 4:15
  14. "His Arm Was Her Leg" - 5:40

My favourite tracks are: "Distant Dreams (parte two)", "United", "Zyclon B Zombie" and "Hamburguer Lady". The intro song "Industrial introduction" is also very appealing, a mesmerizing drone.
You can get the album here.
By the way, I also advise you to see some live videos of early TG: "Something came over Me" and "Discipline".
Here are also some links to some songs on this album: "Distant Dreams (part two)", "Industrial Introduction", "United", "Hot on the Heels of Love" and "Hamburguer Lady".

-A picture of the band, more recently.

Below is another Throbbing Gristle video, of a relatively recent live performance of "Persuasion" which I enjoyed watching and hearing:

Friday, October 16, 2009

HEALTH "Get Color"

HEALTH's second album is pure genius. LA's finest electronic noise rocker's or whatever you'd call them, excel in radness and that's that. This album, "Get Color", was released in 8th September of 2009. It was Lovepump United's privilege to launch this album.
The track list is the following:
1. "In Heat" - 1:47
2. "Die Slow" - 3:12
3. "Nice Girls" - 3:10
4. "Death+" - 2:39
5. "Before Tigers" - 3:26
6. "Severin" - 4:09
7. "Eat Flesh" - 4:02
8. "We Are Water" - 4:15
9. "In Violet" - 6:14

Its lenght is 32:53. "Die Slow" is the main single off of the album (its videoclip is also great).
My favourite ones are: "Die Slow", "We are Water" and also "In Violet"; however - and consider this that I'm telling you - the whole album is really good.
The album has some tracks that are more intense, [more or less] allowing me to label it as some "electro noise" music at those times. At other times, songs like "Die Slow" are more shallow and more audible. But, when hearing all tracks, it seems they fit together like if each song was a magnet attached to a puzzle in a fridge. HEALTH have been progressing and if they continue to ascend like this, they could release EP's, LP's, tees and albums monthly that I wouldn't bother and would try to invest on them [if I had enough money to do that too].
Many critics have said really well about this piece. According to Pitchfork, "Die Slow sounds like a party where Lightning Bolt's playing at one end of the room and Giorgio Moroder is studiously banging out psych-disco masterpieces at the other...". This is just one of inumerous examples.
The album can be heard by clicking here.

Next, I'll put below the "Die Slow" videoclip (it has a linear bauhaus shapes touch, with psychedelic effects mixed with it, resulting in an original piece for your eyes):

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

[gig reviews] Soft Circle at Galeria Zé dos Bois' rooftop

Ok, last sunday, by a pre-dusk part of the day, I filmed Soft Circle (Hisham Bharoocha's project, since he departed from Black Dice). It was a cool gig, that started more or less by 17h:45min. Hisham uses loops with modern music technology, then looping again with his guitar's help and some pedals and finally, he sings and plays drums, while these loops set a dazzling beat, with rhythmic cycles that hypnotize the viewer. Hisham, himself, seems like a spiritual person. A great musician, that excells in good timing while playing his drums, this project that started around 2007 seems to promise us a lot of good music. Soft Circle's second album, with Ben Vida, is scheduled to be released by Spring of 2010.
For more info on Soft Circle, click here.

I'll upload the entire gig, if I can spare some more time... By now, I uploaded this short one:

Monday, October 12, 2009

[upcoming bands] Youthless

Alex, from this duo named Youthless said in Muso's guide: "Youthless is Sab and I. I play drums and sing and sometimes I play synth lines with my free hand. Sab sings and plays bass through two amps which he alternates between using a footswitch. We also use a bunch of weird FX boxes and other toys. It’s a bit of a strange set up but somehow, amidst all the confusion, we manage to bang out some rockin’ tunes."
Like they've said in some interviews, they don't like to be labeled, since it doesn't give them that much freedom to record whatever they want.
They're a great promise and are going to launch this month, October this is, a new single through Enchufada records.
You can hear next [click on them] the following Youthless' songs: "Golden Age" and "Blondie".

Below is a videoclip of their song entitled "Monsta":

Saturday, October 10, 2009

[upcoming bands] Celan

Another great musical group, with members ranging from Einstürzende Neubauten [Ari] to Oxbow [Niko]. The band's members are the following: Chris Spencer (Unsane and also Cutthroats 9), Ari (from Einstürzende Neubauten), Niko (from Oxbow), Xavi (flu.ID) and Roeder (flu.ID). Check out Celan's myspace.
Their musical genre is hard to identify... it's original and intriguing. Like they said on their myspace: "a band you can pigeon-hole at your own risk and categorize as noise, rock, avant-hardcore or whatever you like to call it."Settled with frustration, anger, desperation and insanity perhaps, this supergroup promisses to shatter many ears for years. For now, they've released their debut album "Halo".

Check this live performance of the band:

Brian Wilson "Smile"

"Smile, sometimes typeset with the idiosyncratic partial capitalization SMiLE, is a solo album by Brian Wilson, with lyrics by Van Dyke Parks released on 28 September 2004 on CD and two-disc vinyl. Wilson, Parks and Darian Sahanaja completed the legendary unfinished album project, started in 1966 for Wilson's former band, The Beach Boys. It was released in September 2004 with back-up from members of his touring band, including three members of Wondermints."
This album has more to say than just what wiki introduces to the viewer, this time. It has inspired so many artists. Take in count, ranging into a more experimental background, Animal Collective and Panda Bear or even John Maus. Its clear that many synth-based artists produce melodies nowadays that assure us that SMiLE's impact on popular music culture is remarkable. Brian Wilson's melodramatic pop tunes are so catchy and are a synesthesia of happiness and sadness, that can't be described by these words I'm currently typing. Like it's often said, an image is worth more than 1000 words. These songs are worth more than 1000 images.
A transcendental baroque pop masterpiece, a beautiful alienating psychedelic pop work is what this "SMiLE" is.
It received high critical acclaim from music critics: earned a 97 on Metacritic; All Music's review is pretty good, giving this album 4.5 stars out of 5; Drowned in Sound gave it 10 out of 10 stars; Pitchfork gave it 9 out of 10 stars; Rolling Stone gave it 5 out of 5 stars; Robert Christgau (a great american rock music critic) gave it an A+; Tiny Mix Tapes gave it 5 out of 5 stars. Great reviews, huh? Smile hit #13 in the US during a chart stay of 17 weeks. It reached #7 in the UK, going gold (100,000).
The label that was lucky enough to release this record was Nonesuch.

The track list is the following:
  1. "Our Prayer/Gee" (Brian Wilson/William Davis and Morris Levy) - 2:09
  2. "Heroes and Villains" - 4:53
  3. "Roll Plymouth Rock" - 3:48
  4. "Barnyard" - 0:58
  5. "Old Master Painter/You Are My Sunshine" (Haven Gillespie and Beasley Smith/Jimmie Davis) - 1:04
  6. "Cabin Essence" - 3:27
  7. "Wonderful" - 2:07
  8. "Song for Children" - 2:16
  9. "Child Is Father of the Man" - 2:18
  10. "Surf's Up" - 4:07
  11. "I'm in Great Shape/I Wanna Be Around/Workshop" (Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks/Johnny Mercer and Sadie Vimmerstedt/Brian Wilson) - 1:56
  12. "Vega-Tables" - 2:19
  13. "On a Holiday" - 2:36
  14. "Wind Chimes" - 2:54
  15. "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow" (Brian Wilson) - 2:27
  16. "In Blue Hawaii" - 3:00
  17. "Good Vibrations" (Tony Asher, Mike Love, and Brian Wilson) - 4:36
My favourite songs are: "Good Vibrations" (I don't know if you've heard Psychic TV's cover, which is also pretty mad good), "Surf's Up" and "Cabin Essence".
Some instruments that Brian used to convert this album to a real masterpiece are: keyboards, power drill, whistles, hammer, wood winds, harmonicas, some sound fx, celery, guitars, leg-slap, semi-conductor, mallets, drums, saws, cello, violin, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, bass trombone and [above all] Brian Wilson's vocals.
If you find this album really appealing, you should take a look at this website, a great source of info for this work.
Get this album right here.

Brian Wilson, the man.

Like I usually do after reviewing some albums, I'll put below a song that's included in the subject at hand. This time, it's "Good Vibrations":

By the way, this time I'll add an extra bonus, since you can hear more songs from the album by clicking on them: "Surf's Up", "Wonderful", "Song for Children", "Child is the Father of the Man", "On a Holiday", "Mrs O'Leary's Cow", "Cabin Essence", "Old Master Painter / You Are My Sunshine".

Friday, October 9, 2009

Aphex Twin "26 Mixes for Cash"

Another production of Richard D. James, this compilation was released in 2003.
Aphex Twin has always been asked by many artists (including Madonna herself, which he denied to make a remix of any song of her). This time, he was more ambitious and wanted some money, so he made this compilation, so that he could absorb some cash into his bank account.
I find this record quite good, although Richard has done better works during his career. The main genre of this album is electronic music, although it can be considered as some "aphex twin-ish" ambient music too. It includes 22 remixes and 4 original Aphex Twin tracks.
The track list is the following:

Disc one

  1. "Time To Find Me, AFX Fast Mix" – 7:34 – remix of Seefeel
  2. "Raising The Titanic, Big Drum Mix" – 8:42 – remix of Gavin Bryars' 1994 recording of his 1969 The Sinking of the Titanic orchestral piece [1]
  3. "Journey, Aphex Twin Care Mix" – 10:14 – remix of Gentle People
  4. "Triachus, Mix by Aphex Twin" – 4:12 – remix of Kinesthesia
  5. "Heroes, Aphex Twin Remix" – 5:18 – remix of Philip Glass' orchestral version of David Bowie's Heroes, mixed with samples of Bowie's singing from the original
  6. "In The Glitter Part 2, Aphex Twin Mix" – 5:02 – remix of Buck-Tick
  7. "Zeros and Ones, Aphex Twin Reconstruction #2" – 5:49 – remix of Jesus Jones
  8. "Ziggy, Aphex Twin Mix #1" – 4:25 – remix of Nav Katze
  9. "Your Head My Voice, Voix Revirement" – 3:15 – remix of Saint Etienne
  10. "Change, Aphex Twin Mix #2" – 4:16 – remix of Nav Katze
  11. "Une Femme N'est Pas Un Homme, Aphex Twin Mix" – 4:06 – remix of The Beatniks
  12. "The Beauty of Being Numb Section B, Created by Aphex Twin" – 3:27 – an original track; "The Beauty of Being Numb" was remixed by Nine Inch Nails for their remix album Further Down the Spiral.
  13. "Let My Fish Loose, Aphex Twin Remix" – 5:26 – remix of Nobukazu Takemura

Disc two

  1. "Krieger, Aphex Twin Baldhu Mix" – 3:23 – remix of Die Fantastischen Vier
  2. "Deep In Velvet, Aphex Twin Turnips Mix" – 3:50 – remix of Phillip Boa and the Voodooclub
  3. "Falling Free, Aphex Twin Remix" – 7:41 – remix of Curve
  4. "We Have Arrived, Aphex Twin QQT Mix" – 4:23 – remix of Mescalinum United
  5. "At the Heart of It All, Created by Aphex Twin" – 3:49 – shortened version of the track created for a Nine Inch Nails remix album.
  6. "Flow Coma, Remix By AFX" – 4:59 – remix of 808 State
  7. "Windowlicker, Acid Edit" – 4:15 – acid remix of the title track of Aphex Twin's Windowlicker
  8. "Normal, Helston Flora Remix by AFX" – 6:51 – remix of Baby Ford
  9. "SAW2 CD1 TRK2, Original Mix" – 6:30 – alternate version of the track from Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II commonly known as "[radiator]" with added beats (Was included in the April 10, 1995 edition of Peel Sessions)
  10. "Mindstream, The Aphex Twin Remix" – 3:42 – remix of Meat Beat Manifesto
  11. "You Can't Hide Your Love, Hidden Love Mix" – 5:05 – remix of DMX Krew
  12. "Spotlight, Aphex Twin Mix" – 6:57 – remix of Wagon Christ
  13. "Debase, Soft Palate" – 5:50 – remix of Mike Flowers Pops

My favourite tracks are "Falling Free", "We Have Arrived", "Heroes" (this one is kind of bizarre, since it mixes the original David Bowie song with Philip Glass) and also "At the Heart of it All".
The album's lenght is in total 139 minutes and 17 seconds.
You can get the cd1 and the cd2.

Next is "Heroes" remix by Richard D. James... Kind of awkward (in a good sense), just hear it for yourself to see I'm right:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Public Image Limited "First Issue"

Sir Lydon's project after murdering Sex Pistols [although in the 21st century he has ressurected them] this album is filled with a nihilistic new wave / post-punk / weirdo spirit. In the 80's there weren't many bands similar to P.I.L.:John Lydon had once again found a new way to shock the UK.
Released in 1978 (by Virgin Records), this public attack record entitled "First Issue" has 8 tracks:
1.Theme (9:06)
2. Religion I (1:30)
3. Religion II (5:49)
4. Annalisa (6:07)
5. Public Image (3:01)
6. Low Life (3:39)
7. Attack (2:56)
8. Fodderstompf (7:46)

Songs like "Religion I" and "Religion II" mock any christian, verbally spitting straight at their face. Just examine these lyrics: "He takes the money / While you take the lie / This is Religion". Or take a look at these ones: "(...) And prey to the bitch / That spelled backwards is Dog". Musically, I prefer the following songs: "Theme", "Public Image" and "Fodderstompf".
Some critics have said P.I.L. were responsible for developing the post-rock movement (since their music changed -thanks to Lydon, once again - rock music upside down).
The album's lenght is 39 minutes and 54 seconds. All Music rated it with 4 out of 5 stars.
You can get the album here.

The following video is a live version (in Tokyo, 1983, I guess) of the song "Religion I":

Monday, October 5, 2009

COIL "Love's Secret Domain"

Surpassing Beatle's L.S.D. for sure, this legendary COIL album is brilliantly haunting. By hearing this record, you can recognize how their self-induced madness aims [at the listener] are achieved.
It's an astonishing collection of despair-flavoured tracks, that only make the listener fall more deep into COIL's audible abyss.
This album contains 13 tracks:
  1. "Disco Hospital" – 2:18
  2. "Teenage Lightning 1" – 1:49
  3. "Things Happen" – 4:22
  4. "The Snow" – 6:41
  5. "Dark River" – 6:27
  6. "Where Even the Darkness Is Something to See" – 3:05
  7. "Teenage Lightning 2" – 5:09
  8. "Windowpane" – 6:11
  9. "Further Back and Faster" – 7:55
  10. "Titan Arch" – 5:02
  11. "Chaostrophy" – 5:37
  12. "Lorca Not Orca" – 2:04
  13. "Love's Secret Domain" – 3:52
The ones I prefer are: "Chaostrophy", "Dark River", "Love's Secret Domain" and also "Windowpane".
This is for certain a must have for any COIL or industrial / experimental eelctronic music fan.
The cover work seems to look like an abandoned door carved with awkward drawings, being a forbidden entrance to a social taboo path.
Comparing this one to other COIL records, I don't think it's the one with the darker mood.
Released in 1991 (although it was recorded during January 1988 to October 1990) its lenght is 60 minutes and 34 seconds. Pierro Scaruffi, an Italian-American culturan historian, rated it 6 out pf 10; All Music rated with 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'd rate it as 7 out of 10 though.
Get the album here.

Next is "Dark River"'s videoclip:
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