February stuff

February 27, 2011

MACHINEFABRIEK – Apollo CDr & Vloed – the very limited Apollo CDr consists of ‘found’ space program voices, pulses and washes – even the occasional rhythm. Reminiscent in some ways of a live set he performed in Edinburgh a couple of years back (would love to hear that again, but it hasn’t been released). Vloed is an album-length expanded reissue of pieces from around 2007/8, and has a Frippertronicky feel to it, not dissimilar to stuff on Weleer or Dauw – long, looping pieces gradually building towards a climax – although falling short of Lawine noisebath proportions. Both are excellent releases that’ll stay close to the top of the Machinefabriek pile.

UNICAZURN – Temporal Bends – bought for the Stephen Thrower of Cyclobe/Coil connection. Haunting, slow low growers, and a production that makes the cat’s ears twitch wildly. Not sure if she likes it or not. Not sure that I do either.

ROEDELIUS – Gift Of The Moment – yet another Bureau B rerelease. Seems to be a game of two halves, with what was probably the first side of the lp consisting of less treated piano works.

THE RESIDENTS – Talking Light Presents: Chuck’s Ghost Music – paid download from RSD. In last month’s update I bemoaned the decreasing effectiveness of The Residents ‘storyteller’ albums over the years, mentioning that they occasionally obscured stunning instrumental work. Seems that The Residents themselves are aware that at least some of their fans might feel the same, and so here’s a download-only album containing the instrumental backdrops to the Chuck’s Ghost Stories DVD.  Whilst the DVD is probably going to end up fairly close to the back of my Rez collection, shorn of its fripperies the music has an swooping, throbbing, swirling, meandering quality awash with forgotten memories that sets it up there with their better recent work.


Also picked up a couple more ‘vintage’ Muslimgauze releases, but I really should stop delving now – additional acquisitions aren’t delivering any variant of the Muslimgauze oeuvre that I’ve not encountered before, and I’ve no desire to become a completist. 30 is enough.


January stuff

February 2, 2011

WIRE – Red Barked Tree & Strays EP – Wire seem to be revisiting and reinventing their past with current releases. If their energetic last album called to mind a hi-tech Pink Flag, this set favours the songcraft of Chairs Missing. Here’s hoping that their next release borrows its chops from the majestic 154.

COH – Iiron – wasn’t expecting this pre-order until mid-Feb, so it’s a month early. Added to the pulses, throbs and clicks that form Pavlov’s usual audio palette are deftly recorded electric guitar riffs for this, his second ‘heavy metal’ album – mercifully avoiding the appalling fretwankery of the genre to produce yet another masterwork. For my money, this, together with his work on Soisong with the late Peter Christopherson, make him one of the most interesting avant electricians today.

CYCLOBE – Wounded Galaxies Tap At The Window – 12″vinyl release, which seems a questionable buy as I still don’t have a working deck, or space to reincorporate one into my set-up. Might be several months before I’m able to listen to this unless I track down a Rapidshare file somewhere (and why didn’t I just do this in the first place?) or also buy into the CD release, whenever that happens. I wish more artists would offer digital files with vinyl releases, though I appreciate why they might be releasing on vinyl only in the first place.

LUKID – Chord – triple vinyl. Loved the clips I heard of this and thought I’d get it before it disappears. Note to self – must find someone willing to burn all these vinyl releases to disc for me.

VARIOUS ARTISTS – Tradi-Mods vs Rockers – a variety of Crammed Discs associates take on Konono No.1 material, and for the most part produce a draw. Some editing might have benefited this double set, although undoubtedly some noses might have been left out of joint.

CONSOLE – Herself – there’s a Notwist connection here, though you’d never know it. Seen a couple of undesererved critical savagings of this electronic ambient pop. It’s an undemanding listen right enough.

MUSLIMGAUZE – Camel Through A Needles Eye – although decently packaged, the bottom of the Muslimgauze barrel must surely be approaching fast.

THE RESIDENTS – Not Available – an extra six minutes over the original release – and seemingly audio-tweaked too. What’s not to love – this remains the very finest of Residents releases imho.

MICHAEL RANTA/MIKE LEWIS/CONNY PLANK – Mu – gorgeously packaged double disc and booklet, limited to 500. Allegedly seminal improv, played on and mixed by Conny Plank.

THE RESIDENTS – Randy’s Ghost Stories DVD – typically (and almost endearingly) lo-fi video effects coupled with dark ambient soundtracking – and on top of these, some ghostly stories. I’m disappointed by The Residents’ ‘storytelling’ releases (with the notable exception of God In Three Persons) – the texts of recent years simply don’t bear repeated examination, and in the case of  Voice Of Midnight, serve to bury otherwise excellent instrumental tracks. Mercifully the musical backing for this release is now available via RSD, and will likely make a much better bet.