Suzanne Ciani - Lixiviation
WOAH!! Thanks, B-Music (you rule), for releasing this awesome retrospective on Suzanne Ciani! This amazing lady started her own experimental electronic label in the late 70's armed with nothing but her analog modular Buchla synth and wound up making jingles and sound effects for the likes of Coca Cola, Atari and many more throughout the 80's. This comp is an excellent cross-section of both her sound effects and musical compositions, along with fun liner notes and groovy pictures.
Hey, are you looking for a great soul CD? Well, look no further...Bettye Swann's self titled disc on the always amazing Honest Jon's label features some of the most beautiful country soul sides ever recorded. Bettye's voice is soft and delicate but overflows with emotion & inflection. The instrumentation is sparse and deeply southern. One of my all time favorites!
Emeralds - Does It Look Like I'm Here?
Dreamy, hypnotic, visceral and drony, this Ohio-based band (now Portland, OR) create some of the most beautifully accessible experimantal underground seascapes. See also: Mark McGuire.
RIYL: Fripp/Eno, Tangerine Dream, Roy Montgomery - ASHLEY
Cheeseburger - Another Big Night Down the Drain
Do you like to have a bitchin' good time? Do you like your lead singers to play shows while holding a can of beer to their head? Do you have a wicked sense of humor? Do you like house party rock-n-roll and to dance naked in the mirror to 'Cum on feel the Noise'? (the Slade version not Quiet Riot). If you said 'HELL'S YEAH!' then buy this CD. Buy it now and turn it up. If you said 'um, no thank you' then walk away slowly and enjoy not having any fun. - MELANIE
Eddy Current Suppression Ring "Rush to Relax"
This album, or any I should say, will hit your turntable and will not be taken off for weeks. WEEKS! Why? It's infectious upon first listen. They don't cover up their songs/lyrics with heavy fuzzed out noise - everything is audible. The faithful strumming of the bass runs continuously, the pleasing ring of the guitar that sprinkles in at times and then drives it home, and the lyrics that sound poetic in the most chilled out way. And sometimes a little gushy in a very hot way... "I can't get over, the color of your skin / I wanna kiss you all over, don't know where to begin. "
Straightforward all-girl catchy punk meets Beach Boys. What else is there to say? How bout this: It's broken at times, the recording is a little weird and takes growing, but once it does you can't hear it any other way. Songs about telepathic love, dig it. Start with the self-titled and pick up their 7"s. "Surfin Away" is my favorite, if you can find it!
Damien Jurado "Saint Bartlett"
You just can’t open a door to that dark place. It’s somewhere down a dimly lit hallway, down an empty ally-way, it’s hidden somewhere that takes a long time to get to. This is that journey. These are the songs it seems Jurado has written as to not be afraid of what he’s been out in search of all along: happiness.
Phosphorescent "Here's To Taking It Easy"
It’s that empty bottle next to an overflowing ashtray, a voice that’s difficult to determine is resonating from a distance or echoing through the darkness of your own thoughts. Like a bullet fired into the Texas night sky, slowing at it’s apex and turning to commence in it’s decline.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
Heralded as one of the best live shows in the world at the moment, the momentum gathering behind the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble is nothing short of staggering. Eight brothers, all the sons of Sun Ra trumpeteer and songwriter Phil Cohran, have all been playing since they were kids. Released on Damon Albarn's Honest Jon label, their new album is a stunning work of sound, structure, and musicianship. They are also the backing band on the Gorillaz new album "Plastic Beach."
Ettes "Do you Want Power"
Los Angeles' hottest garage rock trio hits the brash and spunky nail on the head with their new album "Do You Want Power" - exploding with sass, swagger, and style. Not to be overlooked - their ep "Danger Is" which has 2 songs produced by Dan Auerbach of Black Keys fame. One of my all time favorite Ettes songs is on this.
Seven Fields of Aphelions
Their debut album "Periphery" is one of the best ambient albums of recent memory. Minimalist new-agey piano rifts float atop a rich bed of warbly synths and pure white noise. Periphery manages to do the near impossible by making a full length ambient album that is actually not boring. Calming, sleepy, and hazy, it still rewards deep listening, as its motifs cycle and recycle thoughout the length of hte album. It sounds both ancient and new. For fans of Eno, Cluster, and all that junk.
Moon Duo "Escape"
Moon Duo rocks! Whether you're on acid or not, this will bring you to another face-melting level! Out of SF, Ripley Johnson and Sanae Yamada offer up rippin guitar parts, simple keys and minimal vocals against a steady, droning beat. Inspired by Spacemen 3, Silver Apples, & Suicide, and not far off of Ripley's project Wooden Shjips. For your healthy dose of psychedelic Krautrock pick up "Escape" today!
Oh No "Dr No's Ethiopium"
36 hip hop instrumentals inspired by and sampled from rare 60s and 70s Ethiopian soul, jazz, funk, and psychedelic rock. Even if you've never heard an instrument tuned to the qenet modes before, even if you're more into ballads than you are tezetas, Oh No's transformative effect on his source material will blow you away in its otherworldly funkiness. Also recommended: Dr No's Oxperiment - a foray into Turkish and Liberian goodness.
Drew Victor "Stand Still Faithful Mountain"
Seattle to Brooklyn transplant Drew Victor's 9th album is a virtuous, hopeful, transcendental affair recorded in Seattle at Litho, with long time friends Grand Hallway & the Maldives. Papers and press have said that his music goes well with earl grey tea or a sit on the front porch. I say, just be quiet, close your eyes and listen. RIYL: Sufjan Stevens, Devendra Banhart Jeff Buckley, and other modern folksy goodness.
Willie Nelson "Willie & the Wheel"
If you were to hear that Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel convened to record an album of western swing, you'd probably think "Of course!". It makes perfect sense. They're old hands, and share a love of Bob Will and his Texas Playboys, the pioneer who dared to combine big band jazz with cowboy western in a city-meets-country sensation. For both Willie and the Wheel, it's a match made in heaven they they handle with ease and authority. With so much musical talent in one room, one would expect to be most impressed with their musicianship; and while there are some really great performances, they also take it easy the whole time, and the overwhelming feeling one gets after listening is just how much fun these folks had, sharing these old songs with each other. And now, you.
Soul Jazz presents "Freedom Rhythm & Sound"
Another excellent set from Soul Jazz Records. This one's a sprawling, double disc look back at the era when jazz went radical. This one is well selected, sequenced, and mastered - ranging from undeniably funky (Attica Blues) to gorgeous (Mary Lou Williams) to the strange (Art Ensemble..) and overtly political (Nuclear War) with plenty of spaces in between. More rhythm than skronk, this set is a fine example of avant-jazz as a social music, music for mind and body. Works great as a primer for those unfamiliar, but also with plenty of rarities for those who know plenty of names on here. The liner notes are a well written history as well. Top Notch!
The latest installment from Texan Jeff McIlwain who now resides here in Seattle, produces electronic, techno, and IDM.
What makes it special? It's melodic beauty combined with a touch of ambience. You can't go wrong with
Pantha Du Prince
A lovely new release by German electronic producer Pantha Du Prince (aka Henrik Weber). Of course, I'm a sucker for deep dubby bass and atmospheric bells, but I also love what sounds like steel drum on some of the tracks. Some notable guests are also featured : !!!'s Tyler Pope on bass, and Animal Collective's Noah Lennox sings on "Stick to My Side". If you're a fan of hypnotic experimental dance music, do not pass this one up!