Do you remember the 80's UK band Mood Six? They had 2 great songs: "(I Can't Stop) Hanging Around" and ""Plastic Flowers". B-Movie (named after an Andy Warhol painting) remind me of Mood Six, mostly because of the mediocre quality of most of the songs and the cheap synth sound. They have a sound like Mood Six, mixed with a touch of Josef K and Joy Division (without the brilliance of either). What is this CD doing in the gullbuy then? Well, it was $2.99 in the used bin at Newbury Comics, it's on the (always popular at WZBC) Cherry Red label, and it has a version of B-Movie's hit "Nowhere Girl". On this disc is the very different 12" EP version of the song that became a hit for them when it was released in a new version as a 7" on Some Bizarre Records in 1982. This compilation only includes the stuff they recorded for Dead Good Records in 1980. Dead Good was the first label to sign them. In 1981 they were on Deram, 1982 Some Bizarre, 1984 Sire, & 1987 Wax. It's probably unfair to judge them too harshly based on these recordings. At this stage they were still forming, and were not above aping their heroes. On "Institution Walls" you can here Josef K and on (my favorite song on this disc) "Man On A Threshold" you can hear Joy Division. Here's a brief write-up on this disc I found: "17 track mid price 'best of' for one of the most influential post-punk bands of the late '70s/ early '80s. Features 13 tracks from when the band was on the Dead Good label including the original versions of 'Nowhere Girl' & 'Remembrance Day' plus two rare remixes of 'Remembrance Day' by PWL. Other 13: 'Man On A Threshold' 'Refugee' 'The Soldier Stood Alone' 'Drowning Man' 'Soundtrack' 'Insti- tution Walls' 'This Still Life' 'Left Out In The Cold' 'Aeroplanes And Mountains' and four 'studio background into:' tracks that serve introductions to four songs."
November 21, 2000
Adrian Borland was the vocalist/guitarist/writer for the English 1980's band The Sound. They had a very Echo and The Bunnymen type sound (especially with his vocals) and some very great tunes, and put out several good records and 12"s. This solo CD came out in 1997 on a small English label. It is the last record he put out before taking his own life in 1999 by jumping in front of a tube in London. Judged by itself it is nothing special, but as it's makers history is so special and as it's price was only $3.99 used it is pretty good, particularly my fave "City Speed", and the two others I like, "The Spinning Room" and "Between Buildings".
Cex is Ryan Kidwell, co-owner of Tigerbeat 6 records with Kid 606. He lives in Baltimore MD. This record came out on vinyl overseas on 555 Recordings, minus a few of the songs on this Tigerbeat 6 CD. The most notorious song on this disc is his cover of The Dismemberment Plan's "Academy Award". Talk about a re-interpretation! It is the standout piece on this 13 song disc, though there are other great songs as well. My 3 other faves from it are "Am I Schoolboy", "The Angels Are Here", & "Love Cop." Cex's website within the Tigerbeat 6 site had links to these two short reviews that you may want to read too.
Saul Kane records as Depth Charge, Octagon Man, Alexander's Dark Band, plus does many remixes, as you can see in the website od the label he runs, DC Recordings. His Depth Charge recordings have always been my favorite though. Earlier this year he simultaneously put out 2 great full lengths, 'Lust' and 'Lust 2'. this is the first Depth charge release since them. ""The Goblin" is a tribute to Dario Argento, the Italian horror film maker. Buried deep in it are parts of an Argento soundtrack. It is an electro cut up with lots of techno garnishes on it. It starts really strong and keeps it's strength all through the many changes. "Bounty Killer III (Where's The Gold?)" has a lot of movie dialog mixed into it's dirty electronics, which is pretty much a trademark of Depth Charge work. At the end of this song is a second un-named piece you have to start up by placing the needle on (the first song ends in a locked groove of silence). this un-named piece is nothing much. It is just a minute or so of electronic noodling. For me the A-side ("The Goblin" is the best on this 10".
Isobell Campbell of Belle & Sebastian is The Gentle Waves. In Belle & Sebastian she mostly plays Cello and sings a few songs. Here she writes, sings, plays guitar, cello, harpsichord, glockenspiel, and provides fingersnaps. There are 4 songs on this 12". The first songs on each side are my favorites. They really have a kick that I've only heard from her on The Gentle Waves debut 7". The second songs on each side sound a bit like The Carousel or Vashti Bunyan. Those are in an acoustic singer/songwriter style. The first song on the a-side "Falling From Grace" has a french pop sound to it, like a lost Franciouse Hardy song from the 60's. It has a neat harpsichord and overall arrangement which give it a classy sound. "October's Sky" shows a bit of influence from her ex-bandmate Looper. The song is based on a bass phrase, a looped sound providing the beat, fingersnaps like 'The Jets' theme from West Side Story, clarinet, and Isobells hushed vocals.
I've read a lot of criticism about this record lately. Many people believe that Kid 606 should have left the serious Intelligent Dance Music scene alone and should continue putting out great digitally sequenced percussion blitzes as he has until now. ...But truth is he has already traveled in somber ambient waters before - The Soccer Girl EP on Carpark Records was just that. Only difference is that while we thought of The Soccer Girl EP as an aberration when it came out, we can now see it as predating the sound which Kid 606 has expanded into his new 'ps I love you' full length. It's true that some of the songs here seem senseless. "Sometimes" comes to mind. It's kind of minimal hushed electronica has been done many many times by artists more successful at it than Kid 606. But then there are great songs on this LP such as "Where We Left Off" and "Twirl" that are definitely not ambient and that rank with the best of his stuff. "Songizover" is another great song (though it goes on a bit long) that reminds me of Uusitalo (Vlidistav Delay's side project). "F**k up everything you can before you plan on slowing down" is the song that I've read the most praise of on this LP. It is the last song in this set and it is the one which is closest to the craziness of his other stuff. It's a good piece but I like "Where We Left Off" and "Twirl" best out of the 9 songs on offer. I think it is crazy for anyone to criticize him for trying out other sounds than his trademark 'pow' overloads. It would seem obvious that Kid 606 would just rebel and go off in some other tangent is anyone tried to place that kind of artistic control over him. Bottom line is: Kid 606 put San Diego on the map for modern electronic music and his success can only be a good thing for the legions of others coming out in the nuclearly expanding US IDM scene.
This is his second volume of Naturally-occuring VLF Radio Phenomena Recordings. As he says: "First heard on long telephone wires in the 1880's, these mysterious radio signals of Earth were the first radio signals people ever heard. You will be astounded by their variety and beauty". I think you're overdoing it a bit there Stephen on the 'variety and beauty' part, but I am glad to be adding this CD to the WZBC playlist and library. Several years ago when we briefly received service from Twisted Village we bought the first volume of this used. It was a double CD set which is still in the WZBC NCP library.
We have a 7" by Commercial Breakup which came out on Motorway Records. This debut full length has 11 songs. There is a New Order cover ("Bizarre Love Triangle") and an (early) Tears For Fears cover "Suffer The Children". Commercial Breakup have a vocalist that reminds me of the vocalist of the band I used to play in, Turkish Delight. Leah Callahan fronted Betwixt after the Turks ended, and has a new song on the ArchEnemy Records compilation currently charting at WZBC. Commercial Breakup's Elke Brauweiler could be Leah if I closed my eyes. The music commercial Breakup play is totally electronic, but it is all rooted in traditional verse/chorus/verse structure making it more like pop than like Berlin electronic music, which is actually just what this is. From Forced Exposures website: "Welcome to the world of Commercial Breakup. Welcome to the world of Pop without doubts or regrets. Commercial Breakup is Vredus and Elke from Berlin. The most curious thing about them might be, that they've never been in the studio together, as Vredus is doing beats´n´sounds + arrangements and sends them to Elke, who's singing to the tracks. Their debut album a collection of catchy and cute melodies, with post-modern beats and sounds and heavenly arrangements somewhere between Saint Etienne, Moloko and Abba. The album features both singles 'All I Love Is Green' and 'Walking Back Home' besides two cover versions, 'Bizarre Love Triangle' (New Order) and 'Suffer The Children' (Tears For Fears), and seven other pearls. Recording guests have been Carsten Meyer (Erobique), Christiane Roessinger (Lassie Singers, Britta), Joern Hedtge (Department), Henning Rock´n´Roll (Jeans Team) and Schneider TM (Schneider TM/ formerly Hip Young Things)."
Hayleys Cake are a somewhat unknown band on the very hip Liverpool record label Invicta Hi-Fi. There are 3 songs on this EP. "You Do Voodoo" is a funky female pop song which is remixed as the third song. The second song is "Dayz". The best feature of this EP is the Ladytron remix of "You Do Voodoo". Ladytron remove all the music and put skeletal synth underneath the vocals.
New 12" from Kreidler, their first new material in some time. They have a new CD coming out momentarily on Wonder, to be released on Mute Records in the US. This is only the second release on Wonder Records, a new label out of Hamburg. It has a very nice sleeve with hand silk-screening on top of a printed image. This is the first thing they've released since bass player Stefan Schneider left Kreidler to concentrate exclusively on To Rococo Rot. His absence is definitely noted: he is a great bass player that really added to the Kreidler sound. Kreidler have shifted their focus a bit and managed to redefine themselves into a more electronic band that does without his bass playing skills.
It is curious that Berlin's Le Hammond Inferno released their first LP on Japan's Escalator records instead of the label the duo run, bungalow records. Bungalow DID put out the 12" of "Easy Leasing Superstar" (on this CD as song #2) which Bungalows site describes as "uptempo punk-dance - features the music to the latest european-wide NIKE commercial - brand-new songs from LHI, between Bis, UK Subs and Scooter - run like hell!". Here in the states we have never seen any Nike commercial with Le Hammond Inferno, but I understand that this really happened. Not really surprising though: just yesterday I heard the new Gap ad with Badly Drawn Boy as the music. This from the Bungalow site: "Le Hammond Inferno is a DJ-Duo from Berlin. After several 12 Inches full of dangerous samples, groovy beats and all sorts of strange sounds, their first european album will finally be out in 2001. Last year they released their debut album, but only for Japan on escalator records. They already remixed amongst others Saint Etienne, Pizzicato Five, Andreas Dorau, Herbert Grönemeyer. WHO ARE LE HAMMOND INFERNO? DJ-Duo from Berlin, formed 1993. Style: incredibly strange mix of Bastard Breakbeats with stupid samples, Weird Lounge, Small Big Beats, Modern Pop, Noises, Crap-House, Flexis with spoken word... Vision: open minded and entertaining fusion of all possible music-styles. In 1995 they formed the modern pop-label BUNGALOW Since 1996 they are traveling DJs (USA/Europe/Japan/Moon) with a Resident-DJ-Spot at Club Nitsa in Barcelona" My fave songs on this are "Not On The Guestlist", with Kieth 'Chef' Nealy playing a cooler-than-thou doorman dealing with gruff, "Margaret Evening Fashion (LHI vs. Copasetic mix)" reminding me a bit of Thomas Brinkman's Soul Center project, "Herbert" sounding a bit like ESG, and "Shibuya Tekkno" and crazy instrumental which was also on the 'Easy Leasing Superstar' 12". By the way, 'easy leasing superstar' is their in-joke on the way they pronounce 'easy listening superstar' in their German accented English.
Losfeld is Masashi Naka, the fellow who runs Escalator Records, one of the finest of all Japanese Record labels if you favor 'Shibuya' J-Pop. This 9 song LP is similar to other Japanese artists like Montparnasse, Mansfield (both the same person:Masnori Ikeda), and Cubismo Grafico (Tsutomu Oikawa). It's my favorite of this weeks adds from Other Music. I like every one of the songs, and a few of them are total faves ("New Balance" and "Um"). If you like J-pop and have the opportunity to buy this I believe your money would be well spent.