January 27, 2004
Atom is Born - the remixes
compiled by :: Konishi Yasuhara
label:: Toshiba-EMI Japan
What has previously prolific Pizzicato Five leadman Yasuhara Konishi been doing? 'Atom is Born - the remixes' is a 2003 CD he put together with 12 songs about Atom Boy - also known by fans of 60s cartoons as Astro Boy.
It is true that many of the tracks are different versions of the same song, but each artist takes such a different track that it really doesn't bother you.
Hang On the Box
title:: For Every Punk Bitch & Arsehole
label:: Arrivederci Baby!
It's always exciting to discover new music from a foreign country with a punky youthful energy, and thanks to Cherry Red subsidiary Arrivederci Baby! out of the UK (the label that also brought us the Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her compilation back in 2002), we can hear Hang on the Box, the only all female punk band from Beijing, China.
Formed when the girls were still in high school, it's truly hard to imagine the impact Hang on the Box has on their homeland. Sadly it seems that the Chinese government wouldn't give the girls visas to tour the UK in the World Disorder tour in November 2003 because the government thought that they were "an inappropriate representation of Chinese culture."
label:: Gooom Disques
0078h with its scalding synths and spiky disembodied female voice sets the tone for the rest of the single. It sounds majestic and anthemic without ever establishing a sense of place.
This single comes across to me as a "taster" or short resume of the band's recent work. It shows what direction Gooom Disques wants to pursue right now. I'm just not sure if it is a good one.
Pale Man Made
title:: 'Future shape of...' and 'Show Of Hands'
label:: Pinch Records
Pale Man Made is a 4 piece band from Newcastle that play guitar based rock like early Delgados. One of the members used to be in Shook Yang.
'Future Shape Of...' is the band's second EP, following up 2000's 'Inchberry Sweet Rocket' EP. The bands third EP is 'Show of Hands.' I think it is their strongest yet, and shows that Pale Man Made have benefited from their time together.
title:: Por Favor!
label:: Big Beat
Los Shakers compilation Por Favor! on Big Beat out of the UK (from 2000) is one of the best ways to hear this mid-1960s band. Los Shakers were known as the South American Beatles (they were from Uruguay) and they were one of the best bands to emulate the 1960s Merseybeat sound. Los Shakers go beyond mimicry by playing so incredibly well and without a hint of pretense. They sound so sincere recorded in an age before irony was hip.
Por Favor! collects together 32 songs spanning the 3 albums and various singles they released in the mid 1960s, and is totally comprised of songs they wrote themselves. For anyone fascinated by that Beatle beat, you really should look no further, because Por Favor! is probably the best compilation you can find without hunting down the original lps as obscure South American imports.