Friday, 28 September 2018

THE SLITS



























"cut"
Year:    1979
Country:    UK
City:    London
Label:    Universal
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    11
Time:    34 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk            Dub












Here are some things you might already know about Cut, even if you haven't heard one note of the Slits' music: This is the first time the album's been released domestically in the U.S. on CD (with the obligatory bonus tracks). The album cover features three members of the group wearing nothing but mud and loincloths. When the group first formed, they couldn't play their instruments for shit. The songs on the album offer an amalgam of punk's abrasive DIY WTF-ness and the spacious relaxed rhythms of dub reggae. This album is a keystone for any and all punk-based grrrl movements. And-- though it goes without saying, it's often said anyway-- this album is terribly, terribly important in the history of the rock music and the grand scheme of canonical flippity floo flap.





Funny thing is, for all its import, Cut is actually a lot of fun. Fun in the way Ari Up trills and coos and yelps across the songs like a precocious schoolgirl taunting all the boys and teachers. Fun in the way Viv Albertine scratches and waxes her guitar. Fun in the way Tessa's bass and Budgie's drums slip in and out of grooves like lovers test-driving the Kama Sutra. Fun in the way the group turns every subject it touches into a giddy playground sing-a-long, whether it be a diatribe against pre-set gender roles ("Typical Girls"), a story about Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten butting heads ("So Tough"), a cautionary tale about PiL's Keith Levene's drug use ("Instant Hit"), or songs tackling other didactic topics like invasive media propaganda, shoplifting and the idealized love of a new purchase. Fun in the way producer Dennis Bovell employees spoons and matchboxes as beat accents (in "Newtown"), centers the group's meanderings with a little piano or more traditional percussion, and allows the band to occupy both punk and dub at the same time. The Slits don't destroy passerby: They stop them, dance around them, sing songs to and about them, playfully taunt and tease them, and then pass them the dutchie.





The bonus tracks are OK add-ons-- the group's version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" was slated to be the record's first single way back in the day, and would have served fine as another respectfully disrespectful punk cover, but appropriately ended up as the B-side to the actual first single, "Typical Girls". "Liebe and Romanze (Slow Version)" is an instrumental version of "Love Und Romance" bathing in the hot and welcome tropical sun outside of Lee Perry's studio, and serves as a pleasant cool down after the frenetic shenanigans that preceded. But, of course, if you're giving this album a spin, it's for the first 10 tracks, and if you're coming to them for the very first time, then I envy you. Yes, this is an important document, and part of any balanced popular musical diet, but this isn't a multi-vitamin-- this is skipping school as spring turns to summer to spend an extra-long lunch with friends driving to the not-so-local Jamaican bakery for a few beef patties and some much-needed fresh air. Take a long, deep breath, and enjoy the moment while it lasts (*Review by David Raposa ).
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"return of the giant"
Year:    1981
Label:    Universal
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    8
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk            Dub












Return of the Giant Slits is the second studio album by The Slits, released in 1981 by CBS Records on LP and cassette. In comparison with its widely acclaimed predecessor, Cut, released in 1979, it showcases a softer, more experimental sound, inspired by African music. Several months after its release The Slits disbanded. The album was out of print for more than two decades until being reissued on CD by CBS Japan in 2004 and then by Blast First in 2007 with a bonus disc featuring alternate versions of songs from the album.
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Wednesday, 12 September 2018

BUILT TO SPILL



























"keep it like a secret"
Year:    1999
Country:    US
City:    Boise, Idaho.
Label:    Warner
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    10
Time:    47 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Indie Rock












Keep It Like a Secret is the fourth full-length album released by indie rock band Built to Spill, and their second for Warner Bros. Records. The original tracks for the album were recorded on Nov 1997 at Bear Creek studios in Woodinville, Washington by Phil Ek, with overdubs recorded on mid 1998 at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle, Washington.[1] Keep It Like a Secret was released on February 2, 1999. The album spawned two EPs: Carry the Zero and Center of the Universe. Pitchfork ranked the album at #41 on their "Top Albums of the 90s" list (1999)
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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

GASOLINE



























"a journey into abstract hip-hop"
Year:    2002
Country:    France
City:   Paris
Artist:    Yoann Letard
Label:    La Fondation
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    14
Time:    70 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Breakbeat            Trip-Hop














Gasoline is a music group formed in 1998 by Yoann agency. The musical style of Gasoline, under the abstract hip-hop and hip-hop is characterized by scenes from noir films. Gasoline released two albums, "Journey Into Abstract Hip Hop" and "Snap Your Neck Back". This Hip-Hop DJ has very good skills on the decks and plays downtempo as well as crude uptempo breakbeat. His sets are made of scratches and pass-pass for the pleasure of the Hip-Hop instrumentals' lovers. He likes crude beats and deranged samples. Nevertheless Gasoline is an excellent music producer. He is involved with many Hip-Hop underground projects in France.
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Thursday, 6 September 2018

ZOMBIE NATION


























"leichenschmaus"
Year:    1999
Country:    Germany
City:    München
Label:    International DJ Gigolo
Format:    CD
Tracks:    11
Time:   50 min.
Genre:    electronic
Style:            Techno            Breakbeat












Zombie Nation is a German techno and electro project of the Munich based DJ and producer Splank!. Until 1999 Emanuel Guenther (aka Mooner) was also involved in the project. The track Kernkraft 400 taken from the debut EP was licensed a number of times and one remix version even entered the charts. Since 2001, Florian Senfter has released tracks on different labels under his new pseudonym John Starlight. In 2002 he did not renew his contract with Gigolo Records and decided to start his own label, Dekathlon Records. In early 2005, the sublabel UKW was launched as a new platform for Zombie Nation and John Starlight releases.
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Wednesday, 15 August 2018

THE EX


























"27 passports"
Year:    2018
Country:    Netherlands
City:    Amsterdam
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    10
Time:    56 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Art Rock            Experimental












Dutch band, formed in 1979 in Amsterdam. Initially an anarcho-punk band, over the years they have incorporated many different musical styles such as jazz, noise, free improvisation, and ethnic/world music while still keeping a focus on anarchism, lyrically.
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"catch my shoe"
Year:    2010
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    9
Time:  50 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Art Rock            Experimental


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"turn"
Year:    2004
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    13
Time:    50 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Art Rock            Experimental


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"blueprints for a blackout"
Year:    1984
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    18
Time:    36 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk


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"tumult"
Year:    1983
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    33 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk


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"history is what's happening"
Year:    1982
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    20
Time:    32 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Punk


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"disturbing domestic peace"
Year:    1980
Label:    none
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    14
Time:   34 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Punk  Rock



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Monday, 30 July 2018

THE SIDEKICKS


























"happiness hours"
Year:    2018
Country:    US
City:    Cleveland, Oh
Label:    Epitaph
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    36 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Alternative Rock












There’s a contentment riding your bicycle up the Short North on High Street in the summer. It’s hot, but in the Midwestern city summer way. With Columbus birthed in the Midwest during the rise of the auto industry, the lanes are wide enough so the cars driving by don’t stare you down. As you pass 5th Avenue, old dirt red brick buildings of years past turn into the boxed development of today. A breeze passes where Surly Gurl’s and Betty’s lived, the new apartments built under local officials’ bearish deals with big money, and watering holes like St. James Tavern with your memories pouring out of them. Living may not be easy, but at this moment life may not be hard. The Sidekicks’ Happiness Hours are the moments found in these thoughts. Happiness Hours is the fifth full-length from the four piece hailing from Columbus, Ohio. It’s their most poignantly light album to date. Produced by John Agnello of The Hold Steady and Kurt Vile fame, The Sidekicks intersperse their carefree roots while exploring new sonic territory falling somewhere between Weight Of Air and Runners In A Nerved World. The album opens up with a double time kick and snare combo leading to a minute and half bouncer that finds them driving past a stadium attending to the needs of a friend’s pet. It’s genuinely both present and nostalgic, a state explored throughout Happiness Hours. A connectedness exists throughout the album with singer Steve Ciolek referencing happiness hours several times during the 39-minute duration. It provides images of both simple moments and boozy early evenings. The lively guitars of Toby Reif and Ciolek have an easiness about them recalling early Built To Spill. The interplay is bouncy and light with drummer Matt Climer and bassist Ryan Starinsky shining through in subtle moments, particularly when they hit the midrange. The occasional tempered trumpet is also added into the mix. Agenllo’s production captures the mood exceptionally well.


There’s a straightforwardness in the lyrics not seen since Weight Of Air. References to Columbus, Ohio abound, whether it’s the aforementioned Ohio State University stadium, Summit Avenue, or heart-shaped state tattoos. These specifics are varied through a universality of scenes from early adulthood. Lead single “Don’t Feel Like Dancing” recites a litany of reasons for not joining a partner on the dance floor. Album standout “Medium In The Middle” has Ciolek “feeling like a rock stuck skipping on a great lake” passing on poppers at a party while Drake plays in the background. Closer “Happiness Hours” contains drifting thoughts at happy hours recalling giant white crosses found on highways. The chorus states “happiness comes in hours / distraction is a daze / lovers deserve flowers / love is just a phrase” while the verses give glancing nods to both career and a future with kids.


The Sidekicks’ have never felt more at home than during Happiness Hours. It sees a band known for evolving their sound continuing to grow as musicians. The Sidekicks have found contentment and want to share it. Happiness Hours provides a worthy summer soundtrack to humid Midwestern evenings (*Review by Eric Rosso ).
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Sunday, 15 July 2018

NAPALM DEATH


























"diatribes"
Year:    1995
Label:  Earache
Format:    CD
Tracks:    12
Time:    45 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:             Avantgarde  Metal










The 90s was a time of reckoning for a lot of classic 80s metal and punk bands. Usually said bands jumped onto a trend and lost any of their identity, stuck to their guns only to fall flat, or ended up producing a magnum opus. Napalm Death were odd in that they not only managed to jump onto a trend (avantgarde / experimental) but then actually made a true classic with "fear, emptiness, despair". This time the band repeated more or less the same idea, this mix of avantgarde, experimental and industrial, which can to remind bands as Ministry or Godflesh.
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"inside the torn apart"
Year:    1997
Label:    Earache
Format:    CD
Tracks:    12
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Avantgarde Metal











I like their experimental stuff from this period and these three albums. The vocals and music don't seem to quite gel, but kudos to them for trying. I also like the engineering - more space, more cosmic ambient, more bass, than the solid wall of white noise that is their Russell - engineered albums today. "Inside the torn part" mark the finish of those three albums  where Napalm Death abandoned their typical grindcore style to approach to music styles closer to avantgarde, experimental and industrial. Understood, underrated and almost forgot albums then, mid 90s, which with the pass of the years became in a really original Napalm Death albums (*Review by Greg Pratt )
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"words from the exit wound"
Year:    1998
Label:    Earache
Format:    CD
Tracks:    12
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Avantgarde Metal



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Sunday, 1 July 2018

TORTOISE
























"millions now living will never"
Year:    1996
Country:    US
City:    Chicago
Label:    Thrill jockey
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    6
Time:    40 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Rock













It’s hard to believe but there was once a time when the oft convoluted and meteorically misunderstood sub-genre of post-rock was just about finding its feet. With the likes of latter-day Talk Talk and Louisville quartet Slint having laid the transatlantic groundwork of sorts, Chicago instrumental outfit Tortoise all but personified its modus operandi in the mid-Nineties, not least on their second full-length effort, Millions Now Living Will Never Die, a six-track masterstroke boldly melding jazz, dub, rock and every conceivable sub-genre in between. Almost twenty years on from its initial release, a new vinyl re-issue of the record grants us an ideal opportunity to re-assess its legacy. Bowing out via the supremely cinematic, knowingly Morricone-inspired ‘Along The Banks of Rivers’ (see also: McComb’s solo work as Brokeback and Vincent Gallo’s Recordings Of Music For Film) Tortoise offer up a rather melancholic refrain to balance out the almost corporeal optimism that runs parallel with the band’s innate confidence throughout.  If the likes of Slint and Rodan were the shrugging, quietly calculating twentysomethings of early post-rock, Tortoise were, for the most part, propagators of a  playfulness and intelligence that, perhaps most impressive of all, never seemed to contradict each other on Millions Now Living That Will Never Die. More than anything, though, whilst not exactly flawless – and despite having release four superb albums since – it remains Tortoise’s most crucial statement to date; a gallant and ground-breaking second album  in which fearlessness and variance fortifies what continues to be its resolutely singular legacy (*Review by Brian Coney ).
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"TNT"
Year:    1998
Label:    Thrill jockey
Format:    CD, 2 x LP
Tracks:    12
Time:    64 min.
Genre:  rock
Style:            Post Rock



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"standars"
Year:    2000
Label:    Thrill jockey
Format:    CD, LP
Tracks:    10
Time:    44 min.
Genre:    rock
Style:            Post Rock












Revered for their ineffably clean, precise playing, Tortoise couldn't help but mess with the formula slightly on their fourth album, Standards. And from the beginning of the first track it sounds like a major overhaul, with heavily over-miced drums and distorted guitars framing a pummeling groove from bassist Doug McCombs. On the second track "Eros," the phlegmatic synthesizer lines and clipped drums are more reminiscent of experimental electronica outfit Mouse on Mars than any fellow post-rock luminaries. When the band finally hits its stride, though, midway through the third track, "Benway," it's with a quintessential Tortoise groove, driven by repetitive bass figures and a vibraphone melody (plus a hilarious nod to prog-rock at the end, with several seconds of stop-start playing). Standards does return the group to the green fields of their last record, but only occasionally; John McEntire and company appear too restless to consider making the same album twice. Ironically, despite the range of sounds, Tortoise is still doing what they've been doing for nearly a decade: playing some of the most empathic, group-minded rock of their era, then indulging in much recomposition courtesy of the mixing desk and various effects. "Monica" is one of the least Tortoise-sounding tracks the group has ever recorded; it sounds like an early-'80s pop/R&B track (complete with talkbox guitar) filtered through the lens of British IDM, but then mutates into an intriguing stereo-separation drum workout. Overall, Standards has a few detours for fans conscious of any band's "progression," but plenty of interesting songs and great musicianship for less vested listeners. Though it doesn't develop the evocative or impressionistic side of Tortoise (as heard on TNT), the band is certainly as inventive as ever (*Review by John Bush ).
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