August stuff

August 30, 2010

I’ve been stuck in the house for one reason or another during most of what has passed for ‘summer’ here in bonnie Scotland –  hence the ridiculous level of purchasing going on. I really should learn to twiddle my fingers.

LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – Revelation + Sipple Out Deh: The Black Ark Years Jamaican 7″s – something old and something new here, Perry’s new 2010 release, and a double cd collection of Black Ark material from the 1970s. Perry’s currently on an upswing, with several more than decent albums in the last few years. Long may this level of quality and productivity continue!

MUSLIMGAUZE – Syrinjia + Armsbazaar + Nadir Of Purdah + Hussein Mahmood Jeeb Tehar Gass + Uzi Mahmood + Sulaymaniyah – continuing my blast into Muslimgauze’s past. I probably have enough now.

Nope, it appears that I don’t…….

MUSLIMGAUZE – Lazhareem Ul Leper – archive series volume 15, fresh out on Staalplaat.

MOEBIUS & BEERBOHM – Strange Music + Double Cut – more Bureau B rereleases, and nothing spectacular here. The barrel is in danger of being scraped at this point.

HIGH FREQUENCY BANDWIDTH – Hell Fire And Brimstone – a deluxe tinned edition full of goodies from an Orb off-shoot, and there’s some cracking stuff with additional singers/rappers here. Encouraged me also to seek out….

THE ORB – Orbsessions Volume 1 + Orbsessions Volume 2 –  Volume 3 proved to be a strong collection, so I finally bought into the earlier volumes – and I’m not disappointed. How could I have missed all of this stuff first time around – or was none of it ever released?

ON – Something That Has Form And Something That Does Not –  entirely unremarkable. Let’s leave it at that.

NURSE WITH WOUND – Second Pirate Session – missed this on the special edition Rock’N’Roll Station release a good few years back, so great to have – one of the finest NWW recordings imho.

THE RESIDENTS – Voiceless Midnight – paid download from RSD. Shorn of the annoying voice artists, the Voice Of Midnight music get its chance to shine. I’d been hoping for an expanded physical release of this material, but with Ralph closing and the Residents seemingly about to take a different tack in selling their music, this download is probably as good as it’ll get.

THOMAS KONER – Nunatak/Teimo/Permafrost – triple cd ambient reissue. TBH, I can’t see what all the fuss is about here. Engaging enough, but nothing that I haven’t heard done better elsewhere.

COH – Z-Rated – beautifully packaged limited release ‘historical’ compilation.

STEVEN BROWN – El Informe Toledo OST – paid download of Steven’s wonderful music for a documentary on Mexican artist Francisco Toledo, a score that earned him a Mexican ‘Ariel’ nomination.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – 1960/2010 Africa 50 Years Of Music – gargantuan 18 cd boxed set and book. Where the hell to start with this? I haven’t as yet.


July stuff

August 9, 2010

AGF/DELAY – Symptoms and ANTYE GREIE – Einzelkaempfer – Saw her perform last month at a tiny Edinburgh venue with about 30 people present, her show exploring a posited but ultimately perplexing (for this viewer at any rate) relationship between electronic music and calligraphy.  Very enjoyable though, so, not having heard any AGF stuff for a good few years, I invested in these two recent releases. Thumbs up!

LAURIE ANDERSON – Homeland – Lavishly packaged, and a partial return to a minimalistic approach not unakin to her early work (United States 1-4 remains my favourite of her audio releases after all these years), but there’s just something missing here and it’s hard to figure out exactly what – perhaps some of her stories fail to engage, perhaps the songs aren’t always as memorable as they might be, perhaps the instrumentation is a tad too predictable. It’s certainly worth a listen and is the best work she’s released in a while.

COH Vs ITO – 3 Girls Mixed Up – Good to see Ivan Pavlov (hopefully only temporarily) free of his Soisong commitments and back on the solo trail. This is a real curate’s egg of a release though, part spoken word, part Pavlov’s interpretations, part remixes.  I’m holding out for the seemingly-impossible-to-get-hold-of-even-from-the-releasing-label Z-Rated. Anyone who’s found a source to buy this latter release, particularly its Full Metal Jacket edition, please get in touch.

JANELLE MONAE – Archandroid – I came across this video for single Tightrope on YouTube a while back and was totally enraptured by it.

And so I investigated further, buying the associated album and an earlier release, Metropolis – The Chase Suite. Perhaps not quite the finished article, either conceptually (the project) or Monae (as a performing artist), but even saying that, she’s more adventurous than the vast majority of pop music I’m currently subjected to.

BIG BOI – Sir Lucious Left Foot – Bought on the strength of the Janelle Monae release, and because I quite liked some Outkast stuff. Great in the car.

THE OTHER TWO – The Other Two And You, Super Highways – a misguided effort to bring about summery weather solely through the playing of cheesy electro-pop has, sadly, failed as another damn squib of a Scottish summer draws to its inevitably premature end. Back of the pile until next year then….

KID CREOLE AND THE COCONUTS – The Ultimate Collection –  hey, I was still feeling summery – and for once, a tad nostalgic. This is about all the KC&TC that I could possibly want. And then some.

THE RESIDENTS – So Long Sam – four tracks emerging from a recent work-in-progress performance in the US appeared on RSD for a week each. Still wondering whether to expect more via RSD, or if a fuller iteration of the work will appear sometime later this year. Whichever, it seems that change is coming to the Residents world, with Ralph America closing down and the RSD operation apparently on a shoogly peg.

COIL – Colour Sound Oblivion – This ultimate Coil fetish object finally arrived, having been ordered at the tail end of last year – though I was expecting the wait. Good news is that it’s been painstakingly and lovingly assembled and is a joy to behold – and with 16 DVDs to wade through, it looks set to provide a few months of engagement with the now sadly terminated Coil oeuvre.

MACHINEFABRIEK – Duotoon – another in a long line of 3″ cds, this is a bit of a departure for Rutger since it’s made entirely from sine waves layered into a lengthy drone piece. Sachiko M territory then? Sort of, but there’s more studio trickery at play here, and it holds the attention better than any Sachiko M stuff I’ve drifted through.

MUSLIMGAUZE – Observe With Sadiq Bey, Izlamophobia, Maroon, Return Of Black September, Iran – picked up cheap on eBay to feed my resurgent interest, and I’ve also been checking out all his early albums via download, searching for a single lengthy track I heard at a (now-departed) friend’s house in the early 90s – talk about looking for a needle in a haystack.  Nae luck so far, although memory can be deceptive. More on the way next month.

CAN – Landed, Saw Delight – CDs picked up cheap on eBay, having sold my vinyl copies years ago. There’s a couple of decent tracks on each release, but these are at core, shelf-fillers.

LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY – Sound System Scratch – apparently being hailed as the compiled holy grail of bizarre Black Ark dub sides, and it’s certainly a hoot.  But I’m sure I’ve heard more adventurous stuff emerge from BA. Still, a definite keeper.