Monday, December 22, 2008

Updates Coming

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. I'll be getting my shit together in the next week or two and updates should be somewhat regular again. Please email me or leave a comment if any of my links are dead, I'm sure some of them are.

Until I get on top of things again check out my friends blogs:

The Business of Words

Ironic Contrarian

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dert Floyd - Westside of the Moon (2008)


Dert is one of the freshest producers in LA and he works his magic yet again with a free beat tape release featuring 34 exclusive tracks showcasing samples from the Pink Floyd discography titled Dert Floyd - Westside of the Moon. (Evade the Noise)


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Friday, October 24, 2008

Four Tet - Rounds (2003) [Domino Records]


Free jazz drummer Milford Graves has a nice trick that he performs at his shows: He brings someone in the audience up on stage and asks them to feel for his heart rate. It starts out steady, but as the person holds both wrists, it slows, and Graves begins to diverge his bloodstream on either side of his body, finally achieving an internal polyrhythmic pulse between the two points. Then he jumps behind his kit and clatters away in ecstasy.

Four Tet's lone member, Kieran Hebden, is fascinated with the impossible rhythms that the free-form jazz greats could bang out as they pleased. Whether or not he's taking a page out of Milford Graves' book is debatable, but he opens "Hands" with a cardiac sample fibrillating into a multi-limbed percussive rattle of densely edited and seemingly random drum hit samples that just starts to stroke Barry Altschul's beard before locking down into a hip-hop groove. He fades the cymbals' sizzles into the pseudo-Clyde Stubblefield sticks of "She Moves She", a cycling song evenly spaced with wheeling rimshots, scattered gongs, and funky string plucks that veer around the car horns that bleat past.

"My Angel Rocks Back and Forth" gently blows iron-lung sighs through ride cymbals and dirty, run-out grooves while an austere piano twinkles, hinting at the sort of gentle sounds Hebden will soon weave around English folk legend Vashti Bunyan. Verging on the lugubrious is the nine-minute "Unspoken" (whose piano riff is lifted from, of all sources, Tori Amos' "Winter"), but Hebden's touch keeps it from morass. Here, he controls his ingredients-- fictitious soundbytes of early Gato Barbieri sax, a plaintive finger or two from McCoy Tyner, broken chimes, backwards feedback, and a DJ Shadow kickdrum-- keeping them at a contemplative simmer, rather than allowing them to come to a full boil.

"Chia" is a tabla-bubbling conduit to the mod bass and shimmying sitar of "As Serious as Your Life", namechecking the crucial free-jazz text by Val Wilmer, yet standing much closer to Miles Davis' On the Corner, with those odd-metered handclaps and that stuttering punch of a Jack DeJohnette hi-hat. With metallophone ripples at a wake, "And They All Look Broken Hearted" is an abstract and solemn affair, recalling the oddly melodic cadence of a player like Bobby Hutcherson, and with spliced drum solos swirling around some affected harpsichord and vibraphones like club smoke, Hebden captures the cool sadness of old Blue Note posters. It sounds like a shoo-in for the album's closing track, but it instead leads up to "Slow Jam", which has that long goodbye of the best melancholy closers, a circle game of echoing footsteps, fitful static, gleeful kazoos, lulling guitar repetitions, and shadows surely sinking in, revolving all disparate sounds to resolution.

Freely moving in and out of cycles, able to coalesce or evanesce in a heartbeat, straight up and down, or else banging about like a toddler on the pot shelf, Rounds funnels every element through the drum, which always remains at the forefront of the mix. But what gives this record its internal order, and allows it to stand out against previous laptop explorations of immense record collections, is the other genres Hebden dabbles in and draws upon to flesh out the beat. Though hardly obvious the first time through, there's the supple, propulsive fun of funk, as well as the pastoral placidity of folk, both moving over the cut-up rhythms like cumulous clouds, allowing hot light through at some junctures, but cooling things out with a darker umbrage in others. Rounds may not be "as serious as your life," as one track proclaims, but it does feel that pulse. (Pitchfork Media)



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Monday, October 20, 2008

Tobacco - Fucked Up Friends (2008) [Anticon]



On his first solo album, Tobacco explores a darker, starker, and altogether more badass dimension of his complex vision. With his group, Black Moth Super Rainbow, Tobacco distinguishes himself as a master of jagged beats, glowing melodies, and pronounced tension. This time, he works alone, in rural Pennsylvania, away from conventions and interference.

As always, Tobacco recorded Fucked Up Friends using analog synths and tape machines, which gives his work a timeless distance from digital pop music at large. His tracks evoke sonar, mellotrons, and deteriorating cassette tapes; his windshield-rattling beats thump hard against their technological limitations; his hooks emerge from thick ponds of distortion, which heightens their hypnotic power. Fucked Up Friends is equally cosmopolitan and self-contained, the soundtrack for an imaginary underwater cop show, a welcome stranger anywhere in time and space. (PR)


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Lone - Lemurian (2008) [Dealmaker]



lone (Matt Cutler) has something that I think is very healthy for an artist to have in this age of myspace music and the vast array of underground labels, and that's a strong identity - I could spot a Lone track by hearing one or two bars, he has a personality in his music that is vivid.

I reckon that Lemurian could provoke synaesthetic reactions in those who don't already have the condition, that is, its character seems to extend beyond the sonic domain into some other sensual domain.

I think that if Lemurian was a colour, it'd be aquamarine. If it had a smell, it'd be seaweed on the breeze. If it had a taste, it'd be saltwater. If it had a texture, it'd be scratchy coral. 'Sea Spray' is about as fitting a title as you could get for a Lemurian track.

As well as filling your ears with faded loungey chords, bursts of weathered VHS strings and Hawaiian musical postcards, Lemurian is caked with the thickest punchiest soulfully - shuffled hip hop beats that would satisfy anyone who simply has to nod their head to enjoy themselves.

This is also daydream music, you can't listen to it without going off somewhere. Personally, I slip into the daydream of being sucked into the 80s arcade game 'Outrun' and tearing around a looped pixellated parallel to Miami or some other palm-tree-avenued sea front, with Lemurian pumping out of the car stereo of course. (Bibio of Mush Records)


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(sorry for using a foreign download link, it may look sketchy but the link at the bottom is legit)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jaga Jazzist - A Livingroom Hush (2001) [Ninja Tune]


If you need any further proof that Europe (and particularly Norway) is the place where all the interesting stuff is happening, look no further than this record. A Livingroom Hush is the debut from Norwegian collective Jaga Jazzist, now given a wider release by Ninja Tune.

The album's already picked up critical praise (even from the NME!) with one memorable quote describing it as 'Charlie Mingus with Aphex Twin up his arse'. Though this is an interesting (if unsavoury) notion, the album is far from the kind of confrontational experience it suggests. Jaga Jazzist bolt together elements of electronica, formal jazz writing and the wide open spaces of dub and post rock into a lush, listenable stew that's very much their own.

Unlike some of their contemporaries, there aren't any specific references to jazz tradition; you won't find any Alice Coltrane samples here. In fact they're as likely to remind you of Soft Machine or John Barry as much as Herbie Hancock. This pluralist approach is laid out on the opening "Animal Chin" as flute and vibes patterns swirl over lurching breakbeats and churning bass, and the luscious glide of "Going Down", where luminous horns carve out aching melodic lines.

Often the cool beauty of the brass arrangements is reminiscent of Gil Evans or Oliver Nelson, and the short, sweet solos of Lars Horntveth, Jorgen Munkeby and Mathias Eick offer the same mix of introspection and inquisitiveness that you might find on a late 60s Blue Note date.

Nothing stays still for very long; "Airborne" kicks off as spacey jazz ballad peppered with digital crackle n' pop before morphing into a slinky Hancockian bass clarinet riff, joined by intricate countermelodies from strings and horns as the tenor takes over. All in under 6 minutes. Elsewhere you get space age bachelor pad music ("Lithuania"), breakbeat cheesetronica mashup ("Midget") or queasy abstract ambience ("Cinematic").

Jaga Jazzist's grasp of dynamics and structure(whether achieved in real time or through digital cut-up) puts them apart from the usual jazztronica suspects. It's the mix of 21st century texture, intelligent jazz writing and improvisational concision that makes this one of the most enjoyable records of this (or any other) year. (BBC)


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Jaga Jazzist - The Stix (2003) [Ninja Tune]


Although they’ve been a relative unknown on this side of the Atlantic, Norway’s Jaga Jazzist have spent the past ten years honing their deft blend of jazzy, melodic post-rock and thumping electronic programming. At times their music can conjure up the oft-maligned term “fusion," but Jaga’s alloy is stripped of all limp elements and replaced with an almost prog-inspired knack for quirky time signatures and quick shifts. The Stix, their second full-length, represents a further refinement of the efforts that first came to light on their debut A Livingroom Hush (reissued domestically by Ninja Tune). The melodies this time out are dizzier with more complex arrangements and effortlessly integrated electronics to boot. Whereas their debut at times felt like too much of a forced electro-acoustic pastiche, The Stix revels in smooth seams and graceful transitions.

The first few tracks on The Stix quickly cycle through all the things at which Jaga Jazzist excel. “Kitty Wú” opens things with a fine mix of heady, ascendant melodies that pass through horns and synths alike against a trade-off between rhythmic electronics and wily drumming. “Day” emphasizes pulsing beats, loping melodies and sky-high shoegazing synths, segueing nicely into the skittering drums, urgent harmonies, and over-the-top horn bleats of “Another Day”. “Suomi Finland” slows down and spaces things out a bit. This track relies less on sonic overload and temporal dexterity than its predecessors, initially allowing for keyboards to compete with vibes for the dominant melody, pausing for a brief interlude of guitars and flutes.

The remainder of the record finds the band spinning variations on their central themes. “Aerial Bright Dark Round” is more pensive and brooding than anything else here, with a neat contrast of grainy electronics and forlorn brass that eventually gives way to swelling synths. “Toxic Dart” again finds sputtering electronics squaring up against sax lines, thus setting the table for the full-band climax with electronic and acoustic drums clattering away against simple guitar refrains, while “I Could Have Killed Him in the Sauna” works the climactic interplay of the band to great, swirling effect.

The album becomes problematic at points when it seems as though the band’s main desire is overload – that is, piling layer upon layer of effect and instrumentation in an effort to make the listener swoon or perhaps demonstrate their own virtuosity. At times it’s blindingly effective, and at others it almost feels like overkill, as if the band could have easily worked with a few of ideas and explored those to more fulfilling conclusions. It almost feels as though, when listening to the album as a whole, that such a rush of shifting melodies and time signatures makes it distinctly difficult to retain anything. Admittedly, subtlety might not necessarily be Jaga Jazzist’s method of choice, but there still is something to be said for more understated approaches and textures.

In the end, though, any complaints leveled against The Stix are relatively minor. This is still exhilarating music that’s expertly composed and played. One would hope that in the future Jaga Jazzist will slow down and explore some of the neglected corners in the basement of their composition, or rely less on busy arrangements to convey a full effect. Whatever the case may be, while presenting no astounding leaps forward in terms of concept or composition, The Stix still survives as a great and meritous listen. Having achieved success in their homeland in both the critical and commercial aspects (this album debuted at No. 3 on the Norwegian pop charts), it would be nice to see Jaga Jazzist experience similar accolades in this country as well. (Dusted)


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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Medeski Martin and Wood - End of the World Party (Just in Case) (2004) [Blue Note Records]


This new Medeski Martin and Wood release is heady stuff, certainly on par with the recordings that made the group something of an underground jazz legend in the early- to mid-nineties— Shack-man and Friday Afternoon in the Universe. But while End of the World Party (Just in Case) reminds you of those albums, and even more so the trio's Blue Note debut of 1998, Combustication , where they explored the possibilities of groove cum ambient sound, the compositions, the performances and the recording on the new disc are more pointed and purposeful in every way.

This production job by MMW and Dust Brother John King provides the most clarity and depth of any project the group has done. Billy Martin's kick drum echoes off your walls from the start in "Anonymous Skulls" and the mobile throb of Chris Wood's bass(es) underscores the rhythmic aspect of the music in an emphatic way the more atmospheric approach of The Dropper and Uninvisible did not allow. If you have any doubt he's one of the strongest bassists in contemporary jazz, listen to "Curtis," where Wood is the backbone of this band's sound.

If you've seen Medeski, Martin and Wood over the last few months, some of these tunes, such as "Shine It," may sound familiar. Party is the end result of group improvisations on stage and in the group's Brooklyn studios from which melodic motifs and polyrhythmic beats were sculpted into a dozen comparatively short tracks in the four to five minute range. The cumulative effect of listening to this album in its entirety is much the same as seeing the band live: the development of momentum is imperceptible, until you find yourself in the midst of the sharp funk of something like "Ice" and realize how much ground you and the threesome have covered in terms of textures and beats.

It's hard to say how much King contributed to the construction of the album as a whole—he's credited with "a little of this, a little of that"—but it's safe to say he kept the emphasis on rhythm. Some of the production touches, such as those on the title song, border on cute, but they end up being ephemeral blemishes that give way to more substantial themes such as John Medeski's use of electronic keyboards on "Reflector." As the billowing electric piano and acoustic bass waft through lightly exotic percussion on "Midnight Poppies/Exotic Birds," it also becomes clear how effectively MMW use space in a music that is otherwise as dense as any jazz on the planet.

Those who found their most recent recordings a bit too esoteric will rejoice in the syncopation that abounds throughout End of the World Party (Just in Case). And, again, anyone who's seen Medeski, Martin and Wood live in the past year will marvel at the mood and flow of this studio creation that certainly contains, apart from the physical presence of the band and an audience, all the best qualities of this trio on stage.(AllAboutJazz)


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Can - Tago Mago (1971) [United Artists]


Tago Mago is the second studio album by the German experimental rock band Can, and was originally released as a double LP in 1971 by United Artists. It was the band's first studio album to feature Kenji "Damo" Suzuki after their previous vocalist, Malcolm Mooney, quit the band in 1970 due to a nervous breakdown. The album was remastered and released as a SACD in September 2004, and included commentary from former Melody Maker journalist David Stubbs and Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream.

Tago Mago has been described as Can's most extreme record in terms of sound and structure.[1] The album has received much critical acclaim since its release and has been cited as an influence by various artists. There have been attempts by several artists to play cover versions of songs from Tago Mago. Remix versions of several tracks by various artists are included on the album Sacrilege. (Wikipedia.org)


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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Animal Collective Rarities and Bootlegs

Check out this dudes blog. He has compiled every AC recording you could want including B-Sides, unreleased songs, live recordings, new post-Strawberry Jam tracks, the Black Dice/AC split "Wastered", and a lot of other dank musical nugs.

Make sure to watch the video at the bottom of Avey, Panda, and Geologist live in Nashville 2003.


BRRRPTZZAP the Subject

Sarah Palin: It should be illegal for the victims of rape to abort their babies

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brightblack Morning Light - Motion to Rejoin (2008) [Matador]



Naybob Shineywater pens mystic lyrics about rainbows, hologram buffaloes and living in a little tent down by the river — and he's got the hippie bona fides to back it up. With his partner, Rachael Hughes, Shineywater lives in a solar-powered home in New Mexico, where the pair typically craft psych-rock blues albums under the name Brightblack Morning Light. But on the duo's third record, they expand their sound with touches of Muscle Shoals-era soul. Cuts like "Hologram Buffalo" are accented with flutters of reedy saxophones, and the morphine-slow "Oppressions Each" features sensual backing vocals from soul vets Ann and Regina McCrary. Meanwhile, Shineywater sings about dropping out of society: "Always closer to the land," he croons, "and nobody wants oppression." His lyrics are still ridiculously New Age-y — "Keep the spirit clean and let the high times roll," he sings on "Past a Weatherbeaten Fencepost" — yet his airy vocals are so subsumed within sumptuous drones that it doesn't matter. At 50 minutes, Motion to Rejoin's jams drift off into the ether, but that's their whole charm: Surrender to the flow, and you'll never know where the time went. (Rolling Stone)


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Brightblack Morning Light (2006) [Matador]


Pitchfork gave it an 8.2:

The first few weeks I listened to Brightblack Morning Light, I was working on a longish project: It nestled into the background like one perfect, melancholic deep-woods quilt. Listening more closely, the lullabies keep showing new angles while getting livelier and livelier. That sort of compositional ruggedness is a treat: Brightblack Morning Light offers a clear-cut differentiation between run-of-the-mill indie-rock bar bands hiding out in folksy wardrobes and those doing something nuanced and complex. Hell, not even a song called "We Share Our Blanket With the Owl" could fuck up this shape-shifting slumber party. (PitchforkMedia)


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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Daedelus - Denies the Days Demise (2006) [Ninja Tune]

Daedelus aka Alfred-Weisberg-Roberts returns to the fray with "Denies The Day's Demise," a new album of electro-tropicalia. The LA-based musician and producer always tries to do something thematic with every release and the contrast with his first Ninja Tune record could hardly be starker. If "Exquisite Corpse" was his hip-hop album, this is his techno record. There are no collaborations here, Daedelus choosing to strip right back to his own music and voice. In a further departure, this production focuses on the live elements of his previous recordings rather then his well-known sampling style. This is
Daedelus naked, so to speak.

So what is "Denies The Day's Demise" all about? On one hand it's a child's temper tantrum to stay up late, on the other hand it's a grand desire to save the world. "Day's Demise" starts with "At My Heels" a world roaming song, lyrically tongue-in-cheek. Then the riotous "Sundown" officially sets off to the Southern Hemisphere with a full Brazilian bloco band and a stadium rock audience. "Nouveau Nova" a driving, multi-layered exercise which sounds like Bach played on a Bontempi organ ends up as post-bossa, whereas "Viva Vida" sounds like carnivalé in halftime, all lament, and redemption. "Like Clockwork Springs" pulses unlike any previous Daedelus affair, while "Samba Legrand" exudes an easy, lilting charm. "Lights Out" proceeds as a freaked-out exercise in tempo-teased hiphop-isms. Then without any slackening of rhythmical power we reach "Bahia," wherein Daedelus' famous bass clarinet chops get an outing on a celebratory, beautifully broken track. Before the dawn there are tracks like "Patent Pending," nodding to another Alfred, Mr.Hitchcock, with its fluttering flutes and suspense. Then finally, the hyperkinetic loveliness of "Sunrise" gives way to the sheer morning brilliance of "Never None The Wiser", like awakening after a particularly heavy dream...

A thematic and musical tour de force which repays repeated listenings, Daedelus' "Denies The Day's Demise" is all about raging against the dying of the light, the romance of the night and the sheer arse-waggling marvellousness of latino rhythms. Don't dorm… (Ninja Tune)


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Prefuse 73 - Surrounded by Silence (2005) [Warp]


Scott Herren's (aka Prefuse 73) follow up to 'One Word Extuinguisher'. This album
includes appearances from Masta Killa, GZA, Ghostface, El-P, Beans, Pedro, Camu Tao, DJ Nobody, Kasu from Blonde Redhead, The Books, and Aesop Rock. Enjoy.




Sunday, September 21, 2008

Count Bass D - Robbed Without a Pistol (2008)

So after I posted links to both 'Dwight Spitz' and 'BEGBORROWSTEEL' today, Count Bass D himself emailed me requesting that I remove the links. Of course I did and the generous Count has offered this for us instead (from the email):

"I have an alternative for you.

Count Bass D - Robbed Without A Pistol (2008)
For more information:
http://countbassd.blogspot.com/2008/09/count-bass-d-robbed-without-pistol-2008.html

And the link for the project:
http://sharebee.com/e2509b5e

Thank you in advance!
--Count Bass D"

the above project is apparently a 30 minute instrumental release. Check it out and make sure to support his upcoming release, 'L7 (Mid-Life Crisis)' that is going to come out next month on 1320 Records.

Prefuse 73 - One Word Extinguisher (2003) [Warp]



This is an album I'm really digging right now. Pitchfork gave it a 9.1:

Up to now, Scott Herren-- the shy, lanky Atlantan responsible for Prefuse 73's fabulous glitch-hop debut Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives-- hasn't made his name as a purveyor of confessional music. The closest he ever came was the laptop catharsis of Delarosa and Asora, which had no secrets to tell; rather, its intricacies of meter and texture gave your head something to do while your guts spilled out over it. Vocal Studies + Uprock Narratives was hard-edged and fast-cutting, immersed in early rap techniques and sensibilities; it didn't express feelings, it steamrolled them. But One Word Extinguisher shows a range of emotional grappling usually foreign to instrumental hip-hop. It's clear that Herren was coming back to the studio night after night not just for skills and thrills, but for a measure of solace. Make no mistake: This is a breakup record.

"The never-ending battle" is what Herren calls the break-up that lasted for the year-plus during which this album was in production. "I locked myself in my room working, disconnected the phone, bummed out as fuck," he told CMJ in March. "You can't talk to anybody, you feel like shit, and it's the only thing you have to express yourself." A year of unspeakable suffering channeled into sixty ripe minutes: In the hands of anyone else, it could be torture. This sorrow, however, sparks with a sweeping wail of queasy ahhh's that carry stunted hopes for a soon-to-be-doomed relationship. Vocal scraps and a blood-curdling scream announce the descent of the mask of hip-hop rage, as an eightfold synth-scribbling bomb drops right into "The End of Biters", the first of several sucker-punching cutfests in the illustrious tradition of the edit record. Next comes Diverse's self-absorbed "Plastic", a screed that rails with righteous indignation against "pop trends and predetermined top-tens." All this over-the-top rebuke is obviously an escape from something.

Things begin to come into focus as "Uprock and Invigorate" bounces in with its edges exposed. Warm, fretless bass, flitting Rhodes, drizzling sawtooth, and a brittle snare become intent on stocking up and locking down with every passing bar. But beneath the surface lies a hint of tension between the percussive exoskeleton and its syrupy core, an orderly contest of soul-versus-machine that momentarily eclipses the sense of loss. The rest of the album projects this kind of tension into a giant battle of the sexes. "The Color of Tempo" mangles its feminine samples with a virile beatbox pattern; "90% of My Mind Is with You" breaks up heavy panting with a deliberately difficult, meter-defying beat, and ends with a series of mournful, defeated R&B samples. There can be no more doubt when, on "Female Demands", a girlfriendish voice casually tells Herren to "fuck with the beat here" only to be throttled by digital effects; the rest of the track feels like a giant damaged gynorcism. Before we know it, we're desperately trying to forget her, bumping with another woman who croons "you... you... you..." on the offs.

Meanwhile, straight meters are often sprinkled with triplet ligaments, propelling the beat with an uncommonly light touch. But Prefuse's rhythmic sophistication isn't just about alternating threes and fours-- as the lesson goes, it takes two interlocked meters to make African music. While Herren rarely tries to stand up in two meters at once, he often relies on the juxtaposition of mildly divergent rhythmic feels within the same beat, proving his mastery of some of the subtler tensions available to the instrumentalist. This gives him access to some very subtle tensions-- though many tracks seem like tricks to distract us from the ongoing devastation. Sooner or later, it sinks in that we're in the company of an emotional fugitive, sealed in a room with machines whose perfect control, he is convinced, will allow him to avoid the inevitable emotional reckoning. Through scorn and bombast, through distraction and self-parody, through the sheer weight of craft, this Prefuse tries to wear his sorrow down, to crush himself, to explode the emptiness. A thrilling listen, but how could such a mission succeed?

I'm not sure how he did it. There's a glimmer of hope in the open restraint of "Choking You", a sawtooth shuffle scattered with chirpy, chalky bits. Another late track calls a gender truce, as a skeletal crunch frames some lightly doctored female vocals, giving a cold, sweet impression, like melon rinds left out in the rain. And the last track, in spite of its metric and sexual duplicity, offers a baffling promise of balance. Unexpectedly, the music becomes its own consolation. (PitchforkMedia)


Download Part 1

Download Part 2

Count Bass D - BEGBORROWSTEEL (2005) [Ramp]


Begborrowsteel is a little too disjointed to be genius itself, but it might be the work of a genius just playing around in the studio. Sixteen “songs,” often spanning less than a minute, fly by seemingly too short to stick, but somehow do; this is more a concentrated album than an EP, even when the songs are more incomplete than short. And it all probably amounts to the best work of Count Bass D’s career so far.

The oddball D, who released one of the first hip hop albums in which the emcee played every instrument involved (Pre-Life Crisis), has converted himself to a true loop digger, constructing several songs from nothing but beats, obscure radio interviews (“Nina & Weldon” uses one of Nina Simone’s) or old movies (“Bullets Hit Brains”). The combination of amazing samples and odd-subjected raps like tooth decay and Zoloft (“Drug Abusage”) and group sex (“The Mingus Sextet”) make for unusual little songs. Even those not sold on the odd flow of the Count can admit he has developed into an excellent producer, “to old beats indebted” but nevertheless strikingly original.

On the only song that fits anything like a single format, “Down Easy,” D is singing, not well, but convincingly. “Low Batteries,” on the other hand, just starts out sounding like a somewhat normal rap song until, like an old Walkman, it starts to slow down and the raps start turning scary: “Count is drinking / I will not take baths, still stinking…Fuck every last one of y’all….I’m 30 years old…” It sounds even better on the record than it does conceptually.

The quick flow of subjects and tracks slows towards the end, but while Begborrowsteel is in its comfort zone, it’s a surprisingly hooky record for something this strangely structured. It is possible that Count Bass D has done us all a favor by removing the hook, most of the lyrics, and sometimes even the context from the hip hop song, giving us the first-ever non-skit 58-second rap song. Or it is possible that this is just a strange preemptive strike from a talent we’ll see more of in 2005. (Dusted Magazine)


Link removed by request of copyright holder

Count Bass D - Dwight Spitz (2002) [High Times]


"Freedom" is sort of a heavy word to attach to a disc or a rapper, but it's clear that's what Dwight Spitz is all about. Locked in a room with only an Akai S-3000 sampler and an MPC-2000 drum machine to keep him company, beat-maker and rapper Count Bass D emerged with a fistful of assorted tracks as tight and unpredictable as anything on the market.

Like Blazing Arrow, the latest disc by Blackalicious, Dwight Spitz crackles with an artistic spark rarely felt within the confines of mainstream hip-hop. Lyrics hit the listener from all angles; Count Bass D's cliché-free rhymes make it impossible to guess what comes next.

But unlike Blazing Arrow's relentless surge of optimism, Dwight Spitz is all over the place. The disc runs from the cool of "August 25, 2001," to the wicked smooth of "Antemeridian," to the gorgeously jazzy "Jussa Player," probably the only hip-hop track in current circulation to begin with the Compaq computer boot-up sound.

Count Bass D goes for variety and impact; his brief, tight tracks often take a single sample, hammer it repeatedly, and drop neat sets of clear rhymes atop funky jazz loops and keyboard progressions that build low-tech Casio soundscapes. The result is a mosaic of sound that acts like musical caffeine; the shifts are sometimes stark, and the contrast keeps a listener awake and bobbing to the beats. It's throwback, and it's radical, echoing the stripped-down expertise that marked Beastie Boys spinoff BS2000.

A rapper who'll name Desmond Tutu or Timothy McVeigh as soon as he'll drop the Fat Boys or Mos Def, Count Bass D embroiders his streamlined melodies and samples with verbally agile rhymes that entertain and dazzle. Spoken out, Count Bass D's lyrics are cold and delicious. But even on paper, they pack weight, like this passage from "Dwight Spitz":

I got a plan like Built to Spill/
Do a US tour for nine months and then I chill/
First name Dwight/
Middle name is Conroy/
I used to truck more jewels than a convoy/
That dream is over I be broke and never sober/
I want two Neve EQs, not a Range Rover

Dwight Spitz defies categorization. It's not a smooth blast of polished radio fodder, or an in-your-face assault on societal wrongs; it's just an artist and his friends making songs. And that's a relief.

A sample on Dwight Spitz declares: "Real music's gonna last. All that other bullshit is here today, and gone tomorrow."

Tomorrow, Count Bass D will still be around. (Flak Magazine)

Link removed by request of copyright holder

Friday, September 19, 2008

Octopus Project - Hello Avalanche (2007) [Peek-a-boo Records]



After several years of nearly non-stop touring with a wildly infectious live show, The Octopus Project has risen to the challenge of capturing that energy and creativity in the studio, and band's third proper full-length is a bold step forward musically and artistically. With ragged, furious distorted guitars at one end of the spectrum and the pure, luminescent tones of the Theremin at the other, "Hello, Avalanche" mines a staggering variety of sounds, bursting with brilliant contrasting colors and cascading waves of sonic bliss.

Although members Josh Lambert, Yvonne Lambert and Toto Miranda each have their instrumental specialties, they spread ideas out on as many instruments as possible, each writing for and performing on any sound-maker they can find. And if the instruments themselves weren't enough, many sounds were manipulated to push them even further — inhuman drum breaks three layers deep piled over live drums, guitar parts mulched into bits and reassembled into a tiny Prince army, and sequenced beats, edited loops and practice space demos spliced with studio recordings to achieve the perfect blend between high-end studio trickery and lo-fi home experimentation.

From gentle vibes and heavenly Theremin choirs to jaunty basslines and electro-static glitch-grooves to a wailing din of dying guitars and break-neck percussion, "Hello, Avalanche" is indeed a welcome disaster, an enchanting sonic cataclysm.
(Peek-a-Boo Records)


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Guilty Simpson - Ode to the Ghetto (2008) [Stones Throw]


For years Guilty Simpson has been a rock on the Detroit hip-hop circuit alongside those such as J Dilla, Slum Village, Eminem (whom Guilty still calls “Marshall”) & D12, Obie Trice, Proof, Phat Kat and Black Milk. A member of the Almighty Dreadnaughtz crew, Guilty emerged as a sound to be reckoned with after linking with producer Dilla in 2001. In the midst of recording an album’s worth of material on the MC – including the recently released duet “Take Notice” off of Dilla’s heralded Ruff Draft album – Dilla gave Simpson his first appearance on disc with “Strapped” (from 2003’s Jaylib album).

2006 marked his allegiance with Stones Throw Records – at Dilla’s behest – and appearances on both Chrome Children installments and subsequent tour. It’s taken years, but finally Simpson’s full-length solo debut, Ode to the Ghetto, brings him worldwide, chronicling a life led in the rough-hewn city that birthed him.

Featuring an all-star cast of producers normally reserved for those signed to six-figure deals (J Dilla, Madlib, Denaun Porter of D-12), Ode to the Ghetto marks an evolution, incorporating a more topical and thought-provoking persona in addition to the extra-savage braggadocio Simpson is known for. “I want to make the consumer care about the music again,” the 31-year-old explains.

Guilty’s testosterone-charged, inner city themes possess of a sense of humor at times so side-splitting, it only proves how serious he really is. This rapper was raised on the field of battle and he has more to say than just how fresh he is and how fresh “they” are not. As a matter of fact, he’s found that he’s here to remind the hip-hop world – currently captivated with that manufactured freshness – that life in the ghetto is real.

The evidence shows excessive use of double entendres, too much flavor on public grounds, microphone assault, and verbal harassment of an officer of the law. On the counts of freshness AND realness: The Court of Hip-Hop finds Mr. Simpson to be Guilty. (Stones Throw)


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Im Back

Sorry for the lack of posts this month, Ive been moving back to school and just recently got internet in my room. I have a lot of albums to upload in mind so keep checking back.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

µ-ziq - Lunatic Harness (1997)



1997: what a year for music! You had Radiohead’s barrier-blowing ‘OK Computer’, The Chemical Brothers’ rave defining ‘Dig Your Own Hole’, Spiritualized’s escapist’s dream ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, We Are Floating In Space’… the list goes on and on. Of course, amongst the lime-light hoggers, there were small masterpieces going un-noticed; albums like ‘Lunatic Harness’. µ-Ziq (pronounced “mu-ziq”) is the alias of Mike Paridinas, a Londoner and creator of some of the most original pieces of electronica I’ve heard in quite a while. In a way, it’s not entirely original, but it shoves different electronic sub-genres together into a bizarre, but deeply fascinating package which can be eerie, calm, frightening or beautiful or sometimes all four at once. The lush melodies that spring up recall the work of his friend and occasional collaborator Aphex Twin, while the beats are complex, fast and strangely natural-sounding. Together, they create pieces which conflict weirdly, making it sound half dangerous and half content. It varies seemlessly from the almost video-gamey opener ‘Brace Yourself Jason’ to the twisted and self-explanatory ‘Approaching Menace’. The highlight for me is definitely ‘Hasty Boom Alert’ which brings to mind a wonderfully other-worldly landscapes seen from the window of a speeding aircraft. (blueclax.wordpress.com)


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Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (2004)


The first album from DJ Dangermouse. Originally recorded for his friends until they encouraged him to release it.


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Friday, August 15, 2008

Mouse on Mars - Ideology (2001)



While their peers in the field of electronic music continued to either overshoot experimentally (resulting in radical, unlistenable work) or make the same records over and over again, German duo Mouse on Mars pumped out radical, intriguing work by the bucketful. Idiology, the duo's seventh full LP in as many years, is a more immediate album than its predecessor (Niun Niggung), not quite as reliant on the hyperprogramming and content to simply chug along with crunchy beats and the usual roster of push-the-envelope effects. The opener (and single), "Actionist Respoke," sets the agenda immediately, with a red-line vocal sample shimmying its way through a crunchy breakbeat production. It's probably the most traditional track on the album though, as the pair throws away the Mouse on Mars rule book for much of the rest of Idiology. "Subsequence" works its way around a dabbling piano line soon taken up by clarinet and strings as well, with all manner of effects/samples chirping away in the background. Tracks three and four comprise ten minutes of practically beatless, chaotic bliss, introduced by a fetchingly overenunciated vocal from drummer Dodo Nkishi. The next, "Catching Butterflies With Hands," lurches along like an obviously dysfunctional toy from some Disney cartoon, struggling to perform its duties and, in an odd way no one could've expected, succeeding. Hidden within Idiology are at least half-a-dozen mini-masterpieces of neo-electronic composition, and as many tracks of flat-out electro-funk. Most significant of all when considering Mouse on Mars is that, in the notoriously coattails-riding electronic scene, no one's been able to duplicate what Mouse on Mars does so often, so consistently, and so well. (allmusic.com)



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Monday, August 11, 2008

Plaid - Spokes (2003)


This ten-track disc is an immediate pleaser, especially for those who like sounds that can be coy, conceptual and at the same time funky and salacious - like the bobbing happy-go-lucky flavor of "Get What You Gave". Some sort of calypso-driven disco meets jazz-hot meets the wild kingdom. "Buns" sounds at first to be something ala Trio's "Da, Da, Da" but soon blends arctic visions derivative of the tectonic era of John Foxx and Gary Numan. Plaid has basically reshaped the 80s on Spokes and its update should last longer than its potential 15 minutes. (igloomag.com)


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Slag Boom Van Loon - Slag Boom Van Loon (1998)


Combining the bed-sit beats of Mu-Ziq and the musical disobedience of Speedy J, for intelligent dance music observers this side project of the two experimentalists must read on paper much like a historical Beatles and Rolling Stones crossover. Hey, if equally mythological team-ups can happen in comic books, why not here? Even when you can point out each musician's superpowers on each track (accurately or not), Slag Boom Van Loon have gone and constructed an hour's worth of meticulously absurd electronic fizz. "Light of India" builds up a wall of sitars and Aziz-like transglobal percussion while other pieces like "Broccoli" sound like a Bjork instrumental forced to subsist on underground fungi for a month. Effortless and interesting, this is a collaboration that shows just how screwed in the head dance musicians can be when they get around to it. (Allmusic Guide)


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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Andy Votel - All Ten Fingers (2002)


With fingers in design, production, label management, DJing and a whole bunch of other pies, Twisted Nerve honcho Votel has to have every single one at his wanton disposal. With such a busy lifestyle, it's no surprise that it's taken him so long to muster up his first full-length album. The result is as a 15-track album that borrows as much from his label's love of lo-fi acts as it does from their love of electronic noise-smiths like Mum and Dad or Sirconical. All in all, though, it's a dark album where water drips down the studio walls as moody, sullen beats interrupt themselves occasionally with churns of garage-rock guitars. Votel lets his fingers do the talking. (XLR8R)


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

Selda - Selda (1976, reissue 2006)



The music you are about to hear defies categorisation. But for all intents and multi-purposes, this record is a folk album. Embodying all the aesthetic watermarks of a private press country LP, Selda's debut long player from 1976 has masqueraded as lamb dressed as mutton, throwing many a discerning wolf from the gourmet scent. Behold! Space age, Anatolian, electronic, progressive-protest, psych-folk-funk-rock from the Middle East. All of the above ingredients are presented immaculately with up-most authenticity and conviction to create a delectable hybrid concoction which has never been replicated or equalled in the 3 mutant decades since its recording. (Andy Votel)



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VA - Vertigo Mixed (2005)



1. Morning For One/Introduction/Modus Operandi (5:29) - Linda Hoyle, Gracious, Nirvana
2. Battle Of The Locusts/The Kettle/One Way Glass (4:58) - Aphrodite's Child, Colosseum, Manfred Mann
3. (Oh No Not) The Beast Day/Three Sisters/Willie The Pimp (5:21) - Marsha Hunt's 22, Affinity, Juicy Lucy
4. Think Of Life/Toe Grabber/Leave Me Woman - Gravy Train, Freedom, Flied Egg
5. I'm Afraid Big Moon/Vulture Blood/Walking In Your Shadow (5:28) - Frumpy, Warhorse, Uriah Heep
Train/Piccadilly Circles/Shes Mine - Juicy Lucy, Bob Downes
6. It's Getting Better/Air Mattress/Hectors House (4:30) - Atlantis, Janne Schaffer, Ian Carr
7. Government Man/Living At The End Of Time/I Am You (4:28) - Patto, Affinity, Atlantis
8. Time Machine/An Dro Nevez/In A Token Of Dispair (6:14) - Beggars Opera, Alan Stivell, Dr. Z
9. Lets Get On The Road Again/Di It/For Madmen Only/Memory Lane/In Part (5:01) - Atlantis, Aphrodite's Child, May Blitz, Baker Gurvitz Army
10. Lights In My Mind/All Along The Watchtower (4:25) - Cressida, Affinity
Galliarde/Snakes And Ladders (5:14) - Trace, May Blitz
11. Roots (4:33) - Nucleus
12. Let Them Come When They Will (3:40) - Cressida


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VA - Cross Continential Record Raid Trip (2007)



01. AE Bizottsag - Baad Schandau*
02. Paul Kass - Roadrunner*
03. Billy Bond - Tontos*
04. BONUS TRACK *
05. Marta Kubisova - Tak Dej Se K Ruman A Projdem Suet*
06. Daniel Schell & Dick Annegarn - Granvelle*
07. Rodway Leyland Duo - Caravan*
08. Charlie & Esdor - Da Klagar Mina Grannar*
09. Sam Spence - Water World (selection by Boney Votel)
10. Jerry Williams - Crazy 'Bout You Baby (selection by Ben Hatton)
11. Pierre Cavalli - Un Soir Chez Norris (selection by David Holmes)
12. Indoor Life - Archaeology (selection by Jazzman Gerald)
13. Carmen Andaloro - Sulla Neve Con Te (selection by Bob Stanley)
14. Amral's Trinidad Cavaliers Steel Drum Orchestra - The World Is A Ghetto (selection by Chris McBride)
15. The Stylers - For You (selection by Cherrystones)
16. Chwys - Gwr Bonheddig (selection by Gruff Rhys)
17. Onyx -Air (selection by Doug Shipton)
18. Nashville Teens - Wydicombe Fair (selection by Chris "The Judge" Arthur)


* Selections by Andy Votel and Dom Thomas


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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Finders Keepers Torrent

Here's a great torrent of everything (or almost everything) released on Andy Votel's Finders Keepers record label through 2006. Within the next couple of weeks I should be able to upload some of my favorite albums from this torrent for those that don't want to dl all 3.5 gigs of this.

List of the albums included:

Gruff Rhys - Yr Atal Genhedlaeth
Wool - Wool
VA - Welsh Rare Beat
VA - Welsh Rare Beat 2
Voice of the Seven Woods - Self Titled
VA - Songs From Dracula's Dulcimer
VA - Cross Continental Record Raid Trip*
VA - Holy Harbour
Lubos Fiser - Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
VA - Vertigo Mixed
The Valerie Project - Self Titled
VA - Styles of the Unexpected*
VA - Songs of Insolence*
VA - Songs in the Key of Death*
Stanley Myers - Sitting Target OST
Sarolta Zalatnay - Self Titled
Selda - Self Titled
VA - Psychedelic Phinland
VA - Prog is Not a Four Letter Word*
Spacemen 3 - Playing With Fire
Spacemen 3 - The Perfect Prescription
Susan Christie - Paint a Lady
Diane Cluck - Ova Nil / Oh Vanille
VA - Now We Are Ten
Chris Harwood - Nice to Meer Miss Christine
VA - Music to Watch Girls Cry*
The Yamasuki Singers - Le Monde Fabuleux Des Yamasuki
William Loose, Stu Phillips and Marion elling - Finders Keepers Lover Weepers
Jean-Claude Vannier - L'enfant Assassin de Mouches
Don Cooper - Howlin' at the Moon
Bruno Spoerri - Gluckskgel
Mustafa Ozkent - Genclik Ile Elele
Geysir - Hijomsveitin
Galwad Y Mynydd - Self Titled
VA - Folk is Not a Four Letter Word*
VA - Finders Keepers*
Daisies OST
VA - Entertaining the Unobvious^
VA - Cherrystones Rock 2^
Creme Soda - Tricky Zingers
Serge Gainsbourgh - Cannabis
VA - David Holmes Cherrystones Hidden
Gruf Rhys - Candylion
New Colony Six - Breakthrough
Bonnie Dobson - Self Titled
VA - Bearded Ladies
VA - All Ten Fingers*
VA - A Kind of Awe and Reverence and Wonder LP

* - Mixed by Andy Votel
^ - Mixed by Cherrystones

Torrent

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Pitchfork Music Fest Animal Collective Interview

Avey, Panda, and Geologist talking about their recording process, new album and an upcoming "visual album" DVD at the Pitchfork Music Fest.

Part 1:



Part 2:

VA - One Nation Under a Grave (2007)


Twisted Nerve legend Andy Votel presents a 'mutant mix tape' featuring raving cannibals, UFOs in distress and perverted tribal rituals. All in a days work, of course, for our reporter Cindy Suzuki...

Andy Votel is something of a legend in the world of depraved psychedelic records: his labels Twisted Nerve and Finders Keepers specialise in collecting the most freaky and obscure gems known to humanity, then warping them together into “mutant mix tapes.”

Were he around in the 1950s he would almost certainly have been labelled a communist. But as it is, he's around now - and his albums sound like eccentric LSD parties, or perhaps out-takes from the Eurovision Song Contest, featuring the black sheeps that were too weird for the world.

"do not attempt to consume this album without some kind of friendly guardian being in the room..."

This record is the third in a current series that includes ‘Music To watch Girls Cry’ and ‘Songs In the key Of Death’. It clicks all the right boxes for a classic Votel compilation: all the artists on it are a) phenomenal musicians and b) probably very high. The mix is interspersed with such classic B-Movie samples as “I can make the secrets mine… and I can use Dracula to help me!”

Alas, there was no tracklisting available as this article went to web, but the music, we are assured, comes from Spain, Turkey, Sweden, Poland, France and South America, which accounts fro the frequently indecipherable languages. Not that any of that stuff matters – this is music for witchdoctors, and the sense of ‘the other’ is what makes it all so voodoo.

So one minute we have a kinky French lady doing a striptease cover of The Who’s ‘My generation’, then the next we’re listening to a an American high school student discussing how beautiful the stars are while a hyperactive blues riff zooms behind her. A Romanian choir croons ‘Sound Of Silence’, while a perverted sitar twangs away in the distance. It’s like the greatest Russ Meyer movie never made, with a soundtrack performed by tropical cannibals being secretly controlled by Serge Gainsbourg.

Just one word of warning: do not attempt to consume this album without some kind of friendly guardian being in the room to keep your head together, should you suddenly display signs of irrationality, incoherence, or madness. (Artrocker.com)


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Friday, August 1, 2008

James Pants - Welcome (2008)


Mr. Pants is a purveyor par excellence of that unmistakable “fresh beat”: 80’s Soul, Electro Boogie, Early Rap, New Wave, & Post-Punk Disco, all of which can be found on Welcome where James plays drums, keys, guitar and sings. (Stones Throw)


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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dilla Ghost Doom - Sniperlite EP (2008)


MF DOOM and Ghostface rapping over a couple of classic Dilla tracks. DOOM has the first track, Ghost the second, with both tracks mixed together to form the third.

1. MF DOOM - Sniper Elite
2. Ghostface Killa - Murder Goons
3. Sniper Elite and Murder Goons Mix


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Venetian Snares - My Downfall OST (2007)


'My Downfall OST' is an album by breakcore artist Venetian Snares. The title is in reference not to an actual soundtrack but rather the soundtrack to Aaron Funk's "downfall". It is said to be a follow-up to the 2005 album Rossz Csillag Alatt Született, as hinted by the reappearing Hungarian song titles. Aaron was quoted as saying, "This album has nothing to do with dubstep and very little to do with breakcore." It, like the album it is said to follow, consists largely of classical compositions. However, unlike said album, it features very little in the way of drumbeats, instead focusing on an atmospheric sound made by the classical instruments. (Wikipedia)


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Venetian Snares - Winter in the Belly of a Snake (2003)


I uploaded this mostly because of how sweet the album cover is. It's definitely a good album if your into VS's insanity.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

VA - Chrome Children Vol. 2 (2007)


VA album co-produced by Stones Throw and Adult Swim. Tracks selected by Peanut Butter Wolf.

  1. "Chrome Dreams"
  2. "Rhymes with an L"
  3. "Living for the City"
    • Performed by Roc C
    • Produced by Oh No
  4. "Stay with Me (Instrumental)"
    • Performed by Chocolate Star
    • Produced by Gary Davis
  5. "Reverse Part Two (Koushik Remix)"
  6. "Get Back"
    • Performed by Oh No
    • Produced by Decypher
  7. "Money Motivated Movements"
    • Performed by Guilty Simpson
    • Produced by Four Tet
    • Cuts by J. Rocc
  8. "Selah's Children"
    • Performed by Madlib the Beat Konducta
    • Produced by Madlib
  9. "Baron Zen Theme (Danny Breaks Remix)"
  10. "Happy Now?"
  11. "Bubbha's Dance"
    • Performed by J. Rocc
    • Produced by J. Rocc
    • Cuts by J. Rocc
  12. "Soul Traveling"
  13. "Keep Running Away (Egon's Edit)"
  14. "Marcus, Martin and Malcolm"
  15. "Murder"
    • Performed by James Pants
    • Produced by James Pants
  16. "Strange Life"


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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Madvillainy 2: The Box


This week Stones Throw announced the release of a box set of various Madvillainy related stuffs to tide fans over until the release of Madvillainy 2. Inside the box are:

-Madvillainy "2" The Madlib Remix CD
-One Beer (Drunk Version) 7"
-Madvillain Demo Tape of the original Madvillain recording session.
-"Nominee. Best Rolled L's" T-Shirt
-"Meanwhile..." Comicbook

Pre-order on this is 125.00 and will ship out on 9/25

http://www.stonesthrow.com/news/madvillain-box

Mike and Rich - Mike and Rich [Expert Knob Twiddlers] (1996)


Mike and Rich are Mike Paradinas, aka µ-ziq, and Richard James, aka Aphex Twin. This album is a departure from Aphex Twin's ambient techno of the mid nineties and focuses rather on jazz samples and acid jazz beats.

The caption on the cover reads: "Cleverly maneuver your records onto the platters and then listen to the tracks in the right order to win! But watch out-the tracks are different on each side you could be helping your opponent instead of helping yourself!"


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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ratatat - LP3 (2008)


New album from Ratatat released on June 8.


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

You Don't Know: Ninja Cuts (2008)


Three discs of songs by various Ninja Tune artists.


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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask (2005)


Rapping with cartoon characters was artistic suicide until Gorillaz dropped a bomb in 2001 with a platinum album and what turned out to be a surprisingly long shelf life. Next out of the box is Danger Doom, the stunning and welcome collaboration of two of hip-hop's most innovative artists, both of whom already have close ties to the world of animation -- Danger Mouse not only named himself after a cartoon but is also a part-time Gorillaz beatmaker, and the rapper MF Doom has imagined himself variously as a comic-book character and fire-breathing monster-movie hero (not to mention, he's rarely photographed without wearing an iron mask that makes him look like an early version of the Marvel supervillain Doctor Doom). Their partners for The Mouse and the Mask are the characters of Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block, a cast whose creators share with Danger Mouse and MF Doom the same influences (obscure '70s superheroes, some making a resurgence on Adult Swim) and motivations (a parade of surrealist fantasies intersecting with real life, like the crusading happy meal that airs on Cartoon Network as Aqua Teen Hunger Force). Granted, none of these cartoon characters are rappers, and they're wisely given only backgrounds, transitions, or samples (all of them hilarious). No, it's the experts who handle nearly all of this record, and they're at the top of their game. Doom's dense flow and ciphered allusions have much in common with Adult Swim; both presuppose a large body of cultural knowledge to appreciate what's going on and both rely on a series of bankable eccentricities presented at light speed with high artistry and innumerable subtleties for later parsing by fans. Danger Mouse's productions have the same punch and catchy flair as on Gorillaz's Demon Days, but they're even more impressive here with the absence of Damon Albarn's interference and need to court a pop audience. He calls on the same type of rollerskating pianos, brassy fanfares, flutes, vibraphones, and cavernous drum loops that anyone of a certain age will recall from Fat Albert or Electric Company. It all adds up to the best album of the year in the hip-hop underground, and perhaps the best with any degree of popularity. (allmusic)

Hilarious video of the movie "The Mask" with the track "The Mask' featuring Ghostface Killah dubbed over it.





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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Amon Tobin - Supermodified (2000)


Supermodified is still rife with sophisticated Brazilian lounge-jazz samples and unpredictable drum'n'bass skitterings, this time augmented with more overt nods to hip-hop and Aphex Twin-style sympho-electronica. Feeding off Latin rhythms, downtempo beats, and wildly adventurous musical jumbles, Tobin's manic bliss never allows the songs to wander, working a sense of method into a sea of crazy atmospheres. The result is focused, enticing, and fascinating. (Matthew Cook)


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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Mouse on Mars - Iaora Tahiti (1995)


Mouse On Mars, the Duesseldorf-based duo of Andi Toma and Jan Werner, applied the post-rock aesthetics to post-techno music. The pseudo-psychedelic trance of Vulvaland (1994) was unusual mainly because of its tragic, gloomy mood, but Iaora Tahiti (1995) layered elements of dub, jungle, hip-hop inside a shell of warped ambient/cosmic cliches, thus creating a new kind of futurism, one that was not Kraftwerk's paranoia of machines but a very bodily (and current) neurosis. (scaruffi.com)


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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Modest Mouse - The Lonesome Crowded West (1997)


Here we find a little of everything -- a turntable adding scratches to the conventional rock sound of "Heart Cooks Brain", a down-by-the-river fiddle on "Jesus Christ was an Only Child", a few pop nuggets and several longer pieces with a half-dozen tempo changes.

Thematic glue binds the musical sprawl, with stream- of- conciousness lyrics touching on the familiar Mouse topics of suburban decay, the lonely road, confusion and dislocation. Frontman Isaac Brock's lyrics are like a glass table at an SNL cast party, with finely-chopped lines pointing in all directions: "My brain's a cliff/ and my heart's the bitter buffalo" ("Heart Cooks Brain"); "I'm drowning upside down/ my feet afloat like Christ's" ("Styrofoam Boots"). When a band's oldest member is twenty-three, the active word is usually "potential." Modest Mouse, however, have arrived. (Pitchfork ca. 1997)


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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cannibal Ox - The Cold Vein (2002)


The Cold Vein was the first full-length album to be released on former Company Flow member El-P's newly founded Definitive Jux record label, and its release was preceded by a significant amount of hype, particularly within the hip hop community. In late 2000, a split double vinyl single appeared on Def Jux, containing three new songs by Company Flow and two tracks taken from The Cold Vein: "Iron Galaxy" and "Straight Off The D.I.C." (see 2000 in music). These songs also appeared on the label compilation album Def Jux Presents, released on March 20, 2001. The first single, "Vein", was released in April 2001 with "A B-Boy's Alpha" serving as its b-side. The album was eventually released on May 15, 2001.

The album is also noted for its profound lyrical content; many critics and fans felt Vast Aire's and Vordul Mega's lyrics painted a vivid picture of a poverty-stricken New York.[1] Gavin Mueller of Stylus Magazine wrote about "The F-Word", a song addressing unrequited love: "Moments like these show not only the skill of Can Ox’s MCs, but the potential for hip hop lyrics to work on as many levels as the finest English poetry." (Wikipedia)


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Friday, June 13, 2008

Radiohead - Com Lag 2plus2is5 (2004)


An EP by English rock band, Radiohead, first released in Japan and Australia in March 2004, followed with an April 2004 release in Canada and finally a UK release in May 2007. It is a compilation which collects many of the B-sides from the singles released in support of 2003's Hail to the Thief, plus remixes by Cristian Vogel and Four Tet and . The speech bubble on the cover says "はい、チーズ。" ("Hai, chiizu."), akin to the English phrase "say cheese". The quote on the back cover of the album "I travelled all over the world. I stayed in the best hotels, visited the best beaches and I had access to beautiful women, champagne and caviar. No, I don't regret a minute of it." is from the spy John Symonds. (Wikipedia)


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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Venetian Snares - Rossz Csillag Alatt Született (2005)

Rossz Csillag Alatt Születettoften, often referred to as The Hungarian Album, is a 2005 album by artist Venetian Snares, released on the Planet Mu label. Inspired by an earlier journey of Aaron Funk's to Hungary, the album title and all of the track names are in Hungarian; Rossz Csillag Alatt Született translates to "Born Under a Bad Star". Stylistically, the album consists of traditional strings and trumpets mixed with chaotic breakbeats in a brooding ambiance. According to Tiny Mix Tapes, it ranked at #25 on the Top 25 Albums of 2005.

The concept of the album came when Aaron Funk imagined himself as a pigeon on Budapest's Királyi Palota (Royal Palace). (Wikipedia)


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MF DOOM and Clutchy Hopkins - MF DOOM Meets Clutchy Hopkins (2006)


The man with the mask, metal-face MF DOOM and mysterious Clutchy Hopkins. Is Hopkins really this bearded old man? To give you the short version: after travelling around the world, today Clutchy Hopkins is living in a cave. Or you just don´t care about it and enjoy this jazzy, funky Hip Hop songs from two fantastic musicians. (Urbanology.com)

Released as individually painted CDRs packaged in black and white paper sleeve, often given away with The Life of Clutchy Hopkins (CD/LP).


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Monday, June 9, 2008

The Boards of Canada - The Campfire Headphase (2005)


Campfires have strange powers. And so, under the heading of The Campfire Headphase, Marcus Eoin and Mike Sandison have unleashed their smoothest and most organic release yet. The usual frosty, almost creepy tone and man-machine beats have been usurped by a focus on electric/acoustic guitars and warmer basslines, but their sound still hits the mind like a high spirited, fuzzy memory so no one should feel alienated by this that’s not supposed to. Seriously, man, those woodland fires have got some serious juju goin’ down. (Pop Matters)


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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Boards of Canada - Music Has the Right to Children (1998)


Sometimes an album is so good and makes its case so flawlessly that it spawns a mini-genre of its own and becomes shorthand for a prescribed set of values. The Velvet Underground's third and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew are two older records that spring to mind, and I'd toss in Spiderland as well. It's not a long list, but somewhere on it belongs Boards of Canada's Music Has the Right to Children. (Pitchfork)


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