Bit of a hiatus over the last few months… oh jeez, where to start with the thumbnail reviews, could be a (relative) waste of an evening…. so in the interests of getting this over with and posted, some have ’em, some don’t.
AMON TOBIN – Isam – gorgeously packaged book format, and an artist I’d forgotten about over the last few years – on the strength of this release though, I might have to backtrack. No review, but a trailer vid for the live set-up accompanying the album should whet the appetite.
BIOSPHERE – N-plants – an unfortunately serendipitous release in that it takes Japan’s nuclear power plants as its focus – though conceived and recorded before the tragic events earlier this year (an ongoing tragedy, though it’s largely vanished from western news-ken). It’s an altogether more sprightly and rhythm-focussed work than other recent releases – perhaps a poignant irony there.
TAMIKREST – Toumastin – I’m told this is their strongest set to date. Differently recorded perhaps, but the rhythms remain the same.
And this track (a single, I think) and its video are utterly gorgeous….
A bumper Cluster-related few months, with the following all released/rereleased…..
ROEDELIUS – Piano Piano & Like The Whispering Of The Wind – two solo piano discs, one new, the other from 1986.
ROEDELIUS – Wasser Im Wind– classic early work, very much after the fashion of my favourite of his many albums, Wenn Der Sudwind Weht – so big thumbs up from this listener.
There’s also been a spate of new Roedelius material over the last few months in duet collaboration with ‘thrusting’ younger electronic players.
ROEDELIUS/SCHNEIDER – stunden
QLUSTER – Fragen & Rufen
At the same time, another member of Cluster, MOEBIUS, ploughs a familiarly idiosyncratic techno furrow with Ding.
ALVA NOTO/BLIXA BARGELD – Mimikry – took me a while to get around to buying this, despite my liking for both protagonists. The two talents don’t quite gell – but it’s promising, and it’s hard not to raise a smile to this track in particular…
STEVE MASON & DENNIS BOVELL – Ghosts Outside – part of a film festival goodie bag, so it almost got binned unlistened-to. Which would have been a shame – I understand that this is a dub reworking of a solo album from an ex-Beta Band member (just how out of touch am I getting?). It’s sporadically engaging – though not enough to have me seek out the source material.
ON/OFF – Mark Stewart, Pop Group To Maffia DVD
BRIAN ENO & RICK HOLLAND – Drums Between The Bells – hardback double edition. The spoken poetic word is the new nu-jazz in Eno-world, it appears. This, and its subsequent follow-up EP are a bit… (and I’m conscious of using this word too much at the moment) underwhelming.
MUSLIMGAUZE – In Search Of The Abraham Mosque – single track that weaves its way through low-key beats and ambience, pausing occasionally for respite. Just when you think there can’t possibly be any more decent material left in the archives, a gem slips out. For me, this is one of them, whereas another recent release – MUSLIMGAUZE/THE ROOTSMAN – On-Line Jihad – is entirely forgettable.
TUXEDOMOON – Unearthed – cd & dvd. The completist in me rears its head again – all of the music and video on this is already available with the Crammed 30th Anniversary box set released a couple of years back. The only difference is the cover.
MACHINEFABRIEK – Sol Sketches & Diorama & Vintermusik – you know what to expect – the pick of these three for me is the Bandcamp download of Vintermusik, one of his 3″cdep releases from 2007, around the time of the mighty Laween track that I still love so much.
CYCLOBE – Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window – finally got hold of the cd version, having had this on vinyl for nigh on a year, unable to play it. Worth the wait though, their most accomplished set to date – the legacy of Coil seems in safe hands.
SUNS OF ARQA – Stranger Music – have I listened to this? I can’t remember. Which pretty much says it all really.
BEIRUT – The Rip Tide – back to familiar territory here, neither under or overwhelming.
ULRICH TROYER – Song For William – a wee digi-dub gem from Austria of all places. Just when I thought I’d heard all the tricks this genre has to offer, Troyer adds a few unfamiliar ones. Deliciously wonky reggae.
THE RESIDENTS – Talking Light: Bimbo’s – not really been a fan of the Talking Light cycle/suite of albums/performances, bought primarily to keep my completist’s drouth at bay.
TARWATER – Inside The Ships – although there’s nothing really new here, this is their most mellifluous outing for a while. Anyone reading this (hello???) know what the extra tracks are on the recent reissued cds?
ANDREW LILES – The Flesh Creeping Gonzoid & Other Imaginary Creatures: Volumes One to Six – A whopping great 6xcd box set as my introduction to the work of Andrew Liles, occasional NWW conspirator.
NATACHA ATLAS – Mounqaliba Rising – The Remixes – Ten years ago I’d probably have been all over this, and it’s a measure of how much my taste has moved on that I find most of the beats and treatments dated and pedestrian here. All this makes me want to do is bathe in the gorgeous accoustics and un-chopped/glitched voice of the album from which this lacklustre spin-off springs.
MAGAZINE – No Thyself – ‘return’ albums from reconstituted acts are most often pig-in-a-poke territory, you’re never sure what’ll be on offer – a leaden rehash of former glories or a brave strike into fresh territory. Ultimately this is neither, but does enough to maintain hopes that, should they continue to work together, things will improve.
DAVE FORMULA/CHRISTINE HANSON – The Organ Of Corti – Serviceable kinda song-based jazz-lite, but a warning – the album’s final track is a throwaway embarrassment.
TOM WAITS – Bad As Me – you know the guy, you know what to expect. And he doesn’t disappoint.
THE RESIDENTS – Coochie Brake/Lying Horse Rock – although hanging on to the Randy/Chuck/Bob conceit of the Talking Light series, this limited edition version of a work that’ll be given wider distribution early next year strikes out in new directions for the RZ – a new mythology to expand on, Spanish language used, a (mercifully to these ears) retreat from recent song-based outings. First three tracks and Bitter Biter stick in the memory.
LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – The Return Of Pipecock Jackxson – finally, a cd reissue for what I think has been a great lost (i.e. only available via eBay etc… in its originala vinyl edition) Perry work, cobbled together during his last few months in his soon-to-be-torched Black Ark Studio. It’s brief, six tracks, but worth every penny. Shame they didn’t keep the original cover art, shabby though it was.
THE ORB – C Batter C – lovely book release (which arrived personalised to me, a pleasant surprise) containing a cd of remixes and a film (not watched yet).
DAVID LYNCH – Crazy Clown Time – It’s David Lynch. It should be great. Its not quite.
LITTLE AXE – If You Want Loyalty, Buy A Dog – Skip McDonald’s recent solo shows have been a revelation, but here he’s surrounded by a band and produced by Adrian Sherwood, taking his contemporary blues schtick into reggae-lite territory. It’s a mixed bag, and I’d love to see him solo again at some point.
WIRE – The Black Session – live artefact punted on their recent tour, caught at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh mid-November. Filed.
ON-U SOUND – King Size Dub – a mid-price On-U sound compilation, you know the territory.
Finally, as a sign-off, here’s a ridiculous earworm from Japan, Trippple Nippple’s – LSD single. Bow Wow Wow on amphetamines, in a good way…