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Old 06-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Damn, that is one hell of a good song! If the rest of the album half that good I'll have to check it out.

Great review, man. It's good to see you writing them again.
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Old 06-04-2010, 09:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Janszoon View Post
Damn, that is one hell of a good song! If the rest of the album half that good I'll have to check it out.

Great review, man. It's good to see you writing them again.
Thanks - and if you like that song then you're in luck; the whole album sounds pretty much the same. That's more of a back-handed compliment than a negative criticism. I like the whole thing - it's got a singular feeling like good albums should.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default MARE: s/t EP



I'm upset over this. This band, Mare, made a great record and disbanded. I would be tempted to call it worthwhile just because it was released by the Hydra Head label - but I would not be so biased. I call this great because I have loved it for over 5 years and still put it on regularly. That, and it's got some extreme-like heavy shit mixed with slow melodic sounds and it's rare for a band like that to hold my attention for so long.

So..why? Well, somehow it hits the perfect sweet-spot that I guess does exist in post-metal, et al. I can't emphasize enought how rare this is - very few bands have done it. Make a heavy/screamy/whispery/post-rock album in the mid-00s that holds up today. Mare did.

They made this self-titled EP that runs about 25 minutes long and it is good to the last echoey, dissonant, slowly executed power chord. The vocals are key. If you don't like 'extreme' vocals then I am sorry you have read this far - because that's what Mare does, mostly. Deathly and desolate like American Black Metal. But this was made in 2004 and it's also got plenty of appeal for folks who like heavy post-rock from around that time. I mean, heavy heavy vocals mixed with quiet, melodic ones that actually sound good. And lots of 'spacey' interludes that'll hook the Mogwai fans.

If you can handle it then please listen to the entire thing start to finish. It's not very long and it flows together better than most post-rock/post-metal albums. Truly.

Here are the first two songs - after these there are only two more to go

Anisette


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Old 10-06-2010, 05:17 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Just listened to that Son of the Electric Ghost album - absolutely love it! Big big big thanks on that one. Can you recommend anything similar to that? Or any other SOTEG albums?
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Just listened to that Son of the Electric Ghost album - absolutely love it! Big big big thanks on that one. Can you recommend anything similar to that? Or any other SOTEG albums?
SOTEG has made a more recent EP but has released better material as Bil Bless. He made 'The Life Mechanism 1 of 2' in 2009. Here are some songs on it..

Drunk O' the Wallace


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Old 12-18-2010, 12:50 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default El-P - Fantastic Damage (2002)



Songs:
1. Fantastic Damage
2. Squeegee Man Shooting
3. Deep Space 9mm
4. Tuned Mass Damper
5. Dead Disnee
6. Delorean
7. Truancy
8. The Nang, the Front, the Bush and the Shit
9. Accidents Donít Happen
10. Stepfather Factory
11. T.O.J.
12. Dr. Hellno and the Praying Mantus
13. Lazerfacesí Warning
14. Innocent Leader
15. Constellation Funk
16. Blood

Written and Produced by El-P
Turntables operated by DJ Abilities

Released by Definitve Jux



El-P was working on Fantastic Damage when the planes hit the towers and the Pentagon. It was released eight months later and because he makes a lot of dark, stark rap songs, this album was inevitably labeled Ďpost-9/11í art and all of that. And it was. Fantastic Damage is cold, paranoid music that was good for listening to while you sat in a darkened room, backed into a corner with a gun in your hand waiting for more, even worse shit to go down. On the other hand, itís deeply unfair to call Fantastic Damage a reaction to 9/11 because El-P was always dark, cold, stark and angry sounding. He grew up in Brooklyn in the 80s so I guess he had his reasons. In fact, the lyrics on Fantastic Damage are far more personal than political. He raps a lot about himself, his past, his music, his record label, and the rap game. But El-P is a protest rapper and he certainly takes swipes at his countryís government, over consumption and the generally sad state of the world. In any case, when I listened to this I didnít think about terrorism or paranoia; I just loved the music and Fantastic Damage has been one of my favorite rap albums ever since.

Lately, Iíve found that the instrumental tracks are also some of my favorite hip-hop. The instrumentals version was released also in 2002 but I donít think I fully appreciated it until recently. Iíve always liked El-Pís production style though. A lot. He made the beats on The Cold Vein by Cannibal Ox (possibly my favorite ever rap album) and also the beats for Fantastic Damage. And this was in a time when the top underground hip-hop producers like DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist were bragging about how theyíve spent years combing the earth for vinyl and have about 12 million records from which to choose samples and show off their turntable skills. El-P wasnít like that, though. He wasnít a crate-digger but instead used samples that he found and happened to like or ones that he made himself on his synths. And Fantastic Damage does use excellent samples. Thereís bits of Silver Apples, Mike Oldfield, and David Bowie songs in here and El Producto incorporated these samples into his dark sounds smoothly. To me heís one of the best sound producers around and his music holds up better today than that of his more technical peers.

El Producto is up there with the best lyricists as well and Fantastic Damage is full of twisted up metaphors and obscured meanings. Usually his point isnít earth shaking but he does talk about things like his childhood and his career in interesting mind-boggling ways. He doesnít play around like a hyperactive child with words as much as say, everybodyís favorite white rapper, but he does lay down his simple narratives in unexpected, cryptic ways. Also unlike that other guy, he doesnít care if his words shock you or not. Of course they sometimes do such as when he spat this classic line about his former affiliation with Rawkus Records..

Quote:
I live on the lunch table
Touched fables
Ducked labels
Cafeter one heat 'em live for the terrordome stables
Signed to Rawkus
I'd rather be mouth fucked by Nazis unconscious
Personally, I think that would be worse if I was conscious and awake, but itís got a good ring to it. Anyway, El-Pís later album Iíll Sleep When Youíre Dead seems to have created a much bigger buzz but Fantastic Damage is where itís at for me. Just listen..


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Old 02-08-2013, 07:04 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default My Bloody Valentine - m b v (2013)

I realized that one thing the Internet is missing is a review of the new My Bloody Valentine album. It seems like the release of this album would be pretty important to a lot of people but I couldnít find anything. Since nobody seems to care about the album, I decided to write a review of it because I think the release of the album is a pretty special occasion. I think itís the first one ever written.


Like the bandís music, my thoughts of it are rather base and visceral. They seem to come from a primal place. But, in modern human terms, Iíll say right off the bat that I think the album is excellent and easily qualifies as a stranded-on-a-deserted-island record for me. Seriously, I fucking love this thing.

My impression is that Kevin Sheilds had great fun playing with all of the digital technology that is now available to him and was not twenty years ago. The band had already gone crazy with layers of melodic-ish noise even before they had an infinite number of digital tracks at their disposal. Iíll bet that Mr. Shields has been playing with sounds for the past twenty years and that a good chunk of those years were spent refining his bands sound to the point that he felt ready to unleash an album. It was definitely worth the wait.

Please note that I do not kiss ass. I would not endorse the sound of a recorded album based only on who made the sounds, especially in the case of My Bloody Valentine. I donít know any of them at all. If they had not made music that set my heart and mind afire twenty years ago, I probably wouldnít even remember their name, distinct as it is. If they gave interviews, I have not read them. I never saw them on television. Granted, I did see them play their old material live when they toured in 2009, and I did sort of fall in love with the female members of the band, but that happens to me all the time when I see women play music live. It has nothing to do with my impression of the new MBV album.

So how Ďbout I discuss the album, eh? Okay, yeah, thatís the point of this.

Iím not going to give a track-by-track analysis of it because I have found that to be very boring whether writing or reading. So Iíll talk about it organically. Please forgive any dissentions into generality or specificity because those will probably emerge. Here goes..

The album starts off the same way humanity did, crawling out of a primordial soup. The first song is a mumbly mush of electronic noise. No heavy melodies but a forceful sound that reminds us all that, yes, this is the band that made Loveless. We love them for that and the band knows it. So the opener is good. It sets a mood.

The next tracks get down to business and set the stage. The subsequent orgasm is foreplayed as soon as the first drum beat kicks, which happens immediately. But this is just the second song out of Forty Six Point Five minutes of music so thereís no way theyíll shoot their load yet. After twenty-some years, the band knows how to work it better than that. But the second song is beautiful, groovy, and enticing. Itís fun. They seem to have taken a note from mid-1980s The Cure and added a little bit of happypop to their chilly sound. But not too much. The band is still withholding love from the listener but giving out just enough that they know were staying for damn sure.

The third song, Ďwho sees youí is a Loveless Two Point O number. Beautiful, layered, distorted, cold, and poppy. This is what they do. This is how My Bloody Valentine makes their money. The fourth song, Ďis this and yesí is proof that somebodyís been playing with synths for a very long time. Its like some 1980s new age shit made with 2000s tech and a My Bloody Valentine signature.

With only five songs left before we have to wait another twenty years for new material, m b v takes off. The rest of the album fucking rocks in that special way that the band does. Take the catchiest songs from Loveless, analyze the piss out of them. Then create some similar sounds and add a whole lot of effects and youíve got the next bunch of songs. They are blissful. I donít like it when people use the word bliss lightly and Iím not doing that. These songs offer bliss and I suggest taking them hard and raw.

By the time that the penultimate song, Ďnothing isí finishes, youíve probably already come. I mean literally you probably had an orgasm. If not then you should find someone who shares your interest in My Bloody Valentine, restart the album and fuck for about 40 minutes. The last song, Ďwonder 2í is an enigma to me. It fits the My Bloody Valentine mould but itís all over the place and not in the pleasant way to which weíve become accustomed. Rather, itís kind of a noisy mindfuck. It doesnít wrap me me in a comfy wet blanket like every other song does. It sounds like the music that a U.S. military band would play as soldiers take over a newly discovered habitable planet by donning outer-space armor and mowing down aliens with some kind of space-age ordnance. Iíve yet to wrap my mind around the albumís closer. I hope that you orgasmed before the last song begins because, if not, you may remember the whole album as an angry, dissatisfying sexual experience.

So there ya go. Thatís my review of this obscure little album that will eventually be revered by future generations.
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