scroll down or click to the review you seek..reviews in this issue of:
Robert Ashley - Automatic Writing CD
Burning Man Drummers Collective - Music for the Playa CD
C.O.T.A. - TA'Wil CD
Crib - She Is Church CD
Christoph De Babalon - If Your Into It, I'm Out of It CD
Delphium - How Can You Hide From What Never Goes Away? CD
Delphium - Breeding Bad Blood 7"ep
Dream Stalker - S/T 7"
Drums Over Heaven - Anunnaki CD single
Endura - Great God Pan CD
Richard Franecki - Welcome To The Electric Circus CD
Fruited Other Surfaces - S/T CD
Stewart Home - Cyber Sadism Live! CD
Illusion of Safety - Bad Karma CD
Lockweld - Blueprint Theories CD
Daniel Menche - The Chrome Homicide 7"
Muslimgauze - Uzi Mahmood extended play 12"
Nocturnal Emissions - Sunspot Activity CD
Nuns With Guns - Hard Corps CDep
Psychic TV - Ov Power CD
Psychic TV - Themes 2 CD
Rx (Ogre/Atkins) - Bedside Toxicology CD
Rays & Genius - tomorrows leaders are busy tonight Cassette
Second Sight - s/t CD
Sub Arachnoid Space - Endless Renovation CD
Straphangers Art Ensemble - Straphangers Ball CD
Tortoise - Why We Fight 7"
Trip Theory - Something For Your Mind CD
Various Artists - Views from the Perfect City CD
Various Artists - We Hate You: Tribute to Throbbing Gristle / CD + 7"
John Weise - Cat Woman is a Cat Vampire 7"
Z'ev - Ghost Stories CD re-issue

[cover art] ROBERT ASHLEY - Automatic Writing - CD
(Lovely Music Ltd)
I bought this disc due to reading someplace that Nurse With Wound were very inspired by these recordings.. and upon listening to this release, I can hear it's influence totally. The title track is a composistion made up of recordings, from 1979, of mild fits "Tourettes Syndrome" .. it is a very haunting and lengthy piece.. it is not something to hear, definatly more of something that takes real listening.. but if you listen.. and find yourself trapped in the light chilling lofty flow of the organ that grinds along to this lapse into sound confusion..you will to taken away to a simple and odd state of non-thought..and drifting. The second and third pieces are pieces of an opera composed in 1966 by Ashley to comment on the deaths of 2 women in his life at the time. The first of the 2 is a dialoge done by a woman describing violent images and suggesting she was raped..with a chime being played continuously through her speech and occassionally being emphisized by a sound that sounds like the roar of a sea lion, or a wooden table being dragged on tiles. This piece is very mesmerizing and is visual invoking. Quite amazing for being recorded in 1968! The last track on this disc is the shortest and the oldest of the 3.. a very minimal piece with the repeating of the title "She Was a Visitor" throughout the entire duration..with very sweet white noise for a backdrop.. this piece was done in 1967.. the white noise sounds like it could be a field recording from someplace where there is an electric generator or maybe a moving body of water, as there occasionally appears what sounds like birds chirping in mix. The most amazing thing that happened to me regarding this track is while listening to it I, by chance, coughed..and the pressure on my ears at the moment of coughing changed the ricitation to sound like "She Was a Predator"...I stopped and rewound the track to see if maybe the one time, the ritual repatition was changed..but it was not.. it was an audio hallucination.. I was moved.. - [Lob]
(Lovely Music, Ltd., 10 Beach St., New York, NY 10013)
[cover art] THE BURNING MAN DRUMMER'S COLLECTIVE / Music for the Playa / CD
Ah, drum circles...they add ambience to any event, and are great fun to play in/with...but you don't just sit and listen to them. Which brings me to the subject of this review...Music for The Playa is a CD of drum circle performances (good ones) jazzed up with overdubbed ambient noises, MIDI instruments and such. Most of the tracks are pretty well done for this sort of thing. Track 7, in particular, is very effective, with Gong overtones ringing over the hand drums like distant thunder. Spooky. Unfortunately, there is too much ambient synth noodling, crowd noise, and other filler, and not enough of the drumming. The tracks that are good, are too short...killing the chance to build up a sustained mood, or to use it as dance music for hippies. Rating (1-10):4. - [Salad]
this disc is available thru T.O.P.Y. North America
COTA - TA'Wil - CD
(Charnel Music)
Monumental dark classical stuff from the same label as Crash Worship. Where Endura evoke caves and dungeons, COTA hail from wide open spaces - more manic and howling, but still lit by the moon. There are 6 pieces here, the space on the CD allowing each to really get going and raise an atmosphere. The percussion is biting and syncopated and the accompanying drones are exquisitely beautiful and rich. This is one I've gone back to again and again. There's a limited version of this that comes in an impressive but definitely not vegan-friendly stitched cow-hide pouch. (From a found cow corpse, rather than a slaughtered one, they stress). - [JE]
(Charnel Music, PO Box 170277, San Francisco, CA 94117-0277, USA)
CRIB / She is Church / CD
(1998 Win Records)
This is a disc made up of 3 live recordings of this Southern California experimentalist.. CRIB IS Devin Sarno.. he plays the bass guitar.. or rather he plays the tones from a bass guitar.. CRIB is very much a drone project.. this disc of 5 tracks, plus remixes, will nearly put you into slumber..it is very hard to tell the differenece in tracks, as they all really sound alike.. until the remixes of the track "Requiem".. (that are extra hidden tracks, 12 minutes into the silence at the end of the 5th cut) They are really different from the rest of the disc.. they are filled with beats and rhythms and other sampled noises. The Remixes are done by Tom Grimley and by Live & Direkt, and they are real gems at the end of a long medative path ..so dont put this disc on to go to sleep to.. it WILL put you out.. but the stuff at the end, will wake you up just as quick... - [Lob]
CHRISTOPH DE BABALON / "If You're Into It, I'm Out Of It" / CD
(1997 Digital Hardcore Recordings)
I stumbled across this CD someplace.. and it looked sorta intresting with it's black&white cover art photography..i had never heard of DeBabalon before this listen. The CD seemed to be a digital re-issue of a previously released work that was on vinyl, as the track listing on the back is set for sides A thru D, cutting the 11 tracks of sound from this German eletronics artist, into four distinct parts. Parts A & C are very ambient and filled with washy swirling flowing sounds that instantly reminded me of some stuff i had heard from Lustmord..dark and very meandering.. and then on the other parts, B & D, it is fast and furious breakbeats, techno punches that the DCH label is well known for, but not as ahrd as Atari Teenage Riot. The release is very listenable..and quite odd.. i personally like the flowy dark noises much better than the techno stuff. - [Lob]
Delphium - How Can You Hide From What Never Goes Away? - CD
(Outsider Records)
Impressively laid-back, but still intense full-lengther recorded 1993-1997. Delphium have got the same kit as a lot of other people, but use it in refreshingly unclichéd ways. So you get gently pulsing synths that manage not to be "techno", some really good breakbeat loops with some eerily discordant strings behind them, and some quality drones. Hell, there are even some noised-up guitars on here that have NOTHING to do with rock and roll! It's the use of restraint, repetition and the duration of the tracks that really suck you in. Delphium flit about a bit - you can hear the echoes of everything from trip hop, to reggae, to post-rock, to some kind of strange Martian symphony orchestra in there. In the space of one track you can be lulled into a nice dream-like state and then woken up by a cacophonous racket. One to watch. - [JE]
(Outsider Records, 10 Yarborough Road, Lincoln, Lincs. LN1 1HS - UK)
Delphium - Breeding Bad Blood - 7"e.p.
(Outsider Records)
A limited release that serves as a good, but frustrating, introduction. Good because the quality of the material is great, but frustrating because the tracks on the "swirl side" aren't long enough to get you where they want to take you. The "nothing side" fares better with the 6 minute title track - groovy phased beats, rumblin' bass and some nice hushed dark atmospheric bits. Works a treat if you're doing a fucked-up chill out DJ set, I can tell you. First pressing comes with a hand-marbled colour frontpiece. - [JE]
(Outsider Records, 10 Yarborough Road, Lincoln, Lincs. LN1 1HS - UK)
[cover art] DREAM STALKER / s/t / 7"
(Burping Turds Musick)
This 4 track 7"ep was alot of fun..it is pressed on really nice, very brittle & fragile, Clear Vinyl.. meaning that you can see clearly thru the inner grooves.. it is also limted to only 50 copies that were pressed, only 40 of which actually went out into distrobution..(mine is #10!), and also the sleeves were hand designed to give it that extra push of unique-ness. yeah yeah, the package is nice..but what about the sounds?? the 1st track was very minimal..sounds like LP surface noise mixed with the amplified twanging of some really thick metal springs...the 2nd is a little more creepy.. with some great loop sounds that seem to be turntable based, and some distorted vocals dropped in sorta randomly, saying very surreal comments like "..it's getting real again..".. really nice.. very dark and dream infectous.. at least they are living up to thier name. The B-side starts with a guy talking about not being able to dream for the "last fucking year" and then proceeds into some percussive rhythms played on some sort of metal.. thru delay and reverb to make it sound like a great giant bell of some sort.. the track is very well crafted and gave me the feel of some early works from Hafler Trio.. up until a point near it's end where it becomes filled with bass tones and fuzz and stays creepy in a chaotic way.. but not so trance inducing as when it started...i think this was supposed to be 2 tracks, but i couldnt hear where they seperated at all.. - [Lob]
(Burping Turds Musick/Po Box 282/Lancaster, NH 03584 usa)
Drums Over Heaven / Anunnaki / CD single
(Slippery Fish Music)
A weird one. Mad sub-bass and breakbeats that almost fall over into disjointed Squarepusher territory. Accompanied by some bloke reading about ancient Sumerian culture or the Iluminati. Can't see the junglist massive giving this the rewind treatment, but it's pretty fine in a strange ambient occultural propaganda way. It's difficullt to know whether to listen to the information or groove to the music, but it's quite compelling either way and I'm hoping they do more because it isn't like anything else. - [JE]
Available for £3 (to "I.Waite") ppd UK. Drums Over Heaven, PO Box 16164, Clapham, London SW4
Endura - Great God Pan - CD
(Elfenblut Recordings)
3 years in the making , this is Endura doing what they do best. The labels trip off the tongue - gothic, pagan, darkwave, sinister... before the teeth sink in - a painful reminder that all categories are extremely dubious. It's amazing how many groups do this sort of thing really badly. Endura manage to be bleakly percussive and classical without sounding cheesy. The vocals aren't intrusive or overly pretentious (though you have to worry about titles like "The sperm of metals", eh?) - the whole CD is more about restraint and suggestion than in-your-face show and tell. Which is fine, but surely Pan suggests a little more bestial lust and humour? Either way, Endura have a great future making soundtracks for horror films where the monsters triumph. - [JE]
(Elfenblut, PO Box 9, Hadleigh, Suffolk IP7 5AU - UK)
[cover art] RICHARD FRANECKI / "Welcome To The Electric Circus" / CD
(Insignificant Recordings)
Being a fan of Richard Franecki's band VOKOKESH, i was excited and curious to hear his first CD of solo material. This collection of material was composed, recorded and produced by Franecki and it is very much based in electronics.. all 9 tracks are instrumental.. and the best comparison i could give you is that it sounds like it could be a Legendary Pink Dots record, without vocals.. the music is very much in the vien of what Ka-Spel and Silverman make happen with their music.. It's a very stoney release.. take your headspace into consideration before exploring further. - [Lob]
(Insignificant / PO Box 280960 / San Francisco, CA 94128 usa)
FRUITED OTHER SURFACES / s/t / promo CD (no art)
(Vermiform Records)
well who ever this is, is really twisted.. this CD would be classified as a "quirky/wierd" type of experimental music. It is all over the place.. there is a very large presence of old analogs..and some really basic drum machines.. imagine the Boredoms, with primative equipment, with a political message.. oh yeah, i forgot to mention that huh? This CD has ALOT of political views on it .. a little too much ranting and preaching for my tastes, but hey.. i am not a political prisoner of my own paranoias like some people... near the end of this disc of 74 mins (yep, they filled it up..) instead of the spoken word rants thru distortion, they switch to some sampling and attack in a very Negativeland type of fashion.. well at least what Negativeland USED to sound like anyways.. i guess we could call that "Classic Negativeland" sounding?? For what it is worth this disc is filled with alot of screeching and twisted quirky noises.. my favorite was the track was the one done with the digital phone tones and an answering machine for source material. - [Lob]
(Vermiform / PO Box 12065 / Richmond, VA 23241)
STEWART HOME - Cyber-Sadism Live! - CD
(Sabotage Editions)
An hour of Stewart Home live readings and audio ephemera. Good stuff too, the readings are from four different live performances and capture Stewart's live feel pretty well. It always impresses me immensely that he does his readings from memory, rather than from notes. This is especially gratifying during the longer pieces like the classic A Fiery Flying Roll piece from Defiant Pose, which is included here. The piece superimposes a narrative that reveals the history and psychogeography of central London onto an account of a riot that destroys it, alongside a third text which describes an anarchist being given head whilst travelling down the thames in a boat, reciting Abiezer Coppe's rant.
Other readings include Home's scatalogical Teutonic Order of Buddhist Youth from Red London, his story about the Australian Whitehouse (a tribute band) and several off-the-cuff exchanges with audiences of variable hostility.
The "Cyber Recordings" are an interesting collection of Neoist archive stuff, documents from Home's feuds ("The True Blue Confessions of Larry O'Hara, Spookbuster!") and a coversation with Jimmy Cauty of the K Foundation. More care and attention has been put into this than your average spoken word CD. Buy it and hear why Stewart Home is so reviled by reactionaries everywhere! - [JE]
(Distributed by Overground: PO Box 148, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 3DQ Fax: (0)1273 205502)
(Soleilmoon Recordings)
This is a disturbing album full of disturbing samples and loops. As far as the actual music goes, it's got kind of a monotonous industrial sound. The actual music is not very memorable. The real gems of this are the soundbites. They're really dark and twisted. If you're making a mix tape for loved ones and you want to screw with their heads, this should be in your collection. Personally, I thought it was decent, but I probably wouldn't listen to it more than twice a year. ---[Rev. Dr. Paul Mathers]
LOCKWELD / Blueprint Theories / CD
(Vinyl Communications)
This newest assult from Lockweld comes on and bursts into your ears like a raging locomotive...a harsh driving pounding torrent of electronics and samples begins this 5 track, 38 minute, release from this Ohio trio. Consisting of Makita (from the punk band Apartment 213), his wife Karen, and thier comrade Dwid (former vox for the band Integrity)..Lockweld go to new places in this release (which i beileve is thier 3rd CD, thier 2nd for Vinyl Communications) starting out in the torrent described above, the disc soon relaxes in to a wash of noise, and adds in digitally affected and distorted vocals ranting words and views of a deep and disturbing apocalyptic nature.. and then at the end of this disc comes the surprize appearance of BEATS.. harsh beats, beautifully dropped techno digital hardcore beats, touching the edge of gabber-land.. but still staying erratic enough not to bore you.. This is a very well laid out release, not too long, and filled with gooey sonics to make your ears water and your mind listen.. - [Lob]
(Vinyl Communications, Po Box 8623, Chula Vista, CA 91912)
DANIEL MENCHE / "The Chrome Homicide" / 7"
(Banned Productions)
"The Gruesome Homicide of the Chrome Heyena [sic]": dark "trippy-part"-of-"Echoes" soundscape with brushes of storm/static texture a la Churn. Lacks only the shrieks of the albatross. Cryptic, and the hyena's a long time dying. "The Sudden Disappearance of the Black Blooded Jackal": spiky and vicious, like En Nihil, with much flange. Made a sound like a swarm of gnats in my room. A piece of visual art included with the sleeve: black-and-grey cardboard square marked with thick, wispy brush strokes to achieve a portrait of the buzzing from the record. - [CA5]
(Banned Productions, Po Box 323, Fremont, CA 94537 - USA)
MUSLIMGAUZE / Uzi Mahmood / extended play 12"
(Soleilmoon Recordings)
another release from Muslimgauze...but this is an American release on vinyl, making it a rarity just in that sense, for the UK based rhythm/percussion project of Bryn Jones. This 12" features 4 different remixes of the same groove.. and it is probably the most "Hip Hop" sounding release i have ever heard from Muslimgauze, complete with turntable scratching in the opening mix..very sweet if you like the hip hop groove with an ethic euro-feel to it.. - [Lob]
(Soleilmoon Recordings, P.O.Box 83296, Portland,OR usa)
(Soleilmoon Recordings)
Minimalist tinkliness and the odd gleeful screech on top. Yo! It's not stated whether the music is inspired by Sunspot emissions, or whether the frequenices appear in the tracks as with AAA delegate and ex-beauty queen Fiorella's work. Either way it's one in the eye for pagan crooners who strum away about blood and the sun and all that mystical bollocks. This music does strange things to your head - it's as much about the spaces as the noises, recalling a lot of the "eastern" zen/taoist influenced musics. It me go a bit spinny, anyhow. There are some great tonal variations here, and I would throughly recommend this to any aspiting autonomous astronauts as part of their training. The noccies do it again! - [JE]
(Soleilmoon Recordings, P.O.Box 83296, Portland,OR usa)
NUNS WITH GUNS - Hard Corps - CDep
(AIN Australia)
Bonkers Burroughs sampling, big beating, banging tracks. Apparently the live show features a full live-video mix as well. They are our mates, but we choose our friends very carefully. There is no way you're going to get a copy of this CD, though. It's a limited edition of 3. (heh, heh, heh! Reviewer sticks CD case down his trousers and gasps with the near-orgasmic elitism of it all). Future releases should be not only even better, but more available. - [JE]
PSYCHIC TV - Ov Power - CD
Don't know much about the status of this one, it looks like a bit of an under-the-counter job. Seems to be a re-release of the legendary Ov Power bootleg live LP that had record collectors foaming at the mouth at its mere mention. It's a recording from 1983 and is pretty good quality. It descends into a long percussive freak-out in the 2nd half. The packaging is very reminscent of the "skulls, skinheads and scarification" era of T.O.P.Y. (nice and stark) and this will make a pretty good addition to anybody's collection of PTV documents. Not the best place to start (I suppose we should do a consumer's guide, eh?), but worth checking out if you can find it. - [JE]
PSYCHIC TV - Themes 2 - CD
(Cold Spring)
Yet another quality release from Cold Spring. This slots in nicely with their re-issue of Those Who Do Not and the T.O.P.Y. Angels ov Light release. Themes 2 was originally released as an LP of ritual music in the mid 80s. This sort of thing was often ridiculed at the time for trying to do something other than the standard rock 'n' roll schtick. However, it has stood the test of time and is now revealed as a precursor to a lot of the weirder dark ambient or isolationist music of today. It's easy to deride people who experiment, or use the terminology of magick as part of their work. Closer inspection reveals that Psychic TV were experimenting with musical loops and peaks 10 years before they were turned into an everyday act of bliss by dance music.
I guess rock critics are unhappy with music that is designed to elicit a response, that demands some interaction beyond being entertainined (not that there's anything wrong with being entertained, mind). The sleevenotes describe the theories and intention in some detail, but the only way to see if it's any good is to give it a go and see what happens. Your experiences and insights whilst listening are what the music is about.
The pieces from the original LP were also used as theme music for some of Derek Jarman's more abstract films. This CD is therefore dedicated to him and contains an additional piece entitled Prayer for Derek. The extensive sleevenotes also outline Genesis P-Orridge's relationship with Jarman and are a great read. A classic. - [JE]
(Cold Spring: 87 Gloucester Ave, Delapre, Northampton NN4 9PT)
[cover art] RX (Ogre/Atkins) - Bedside Toxicology - CD
(Invisible Records)
This is the new project from Ogre and Martin Atkins of Skinny Puppy fame. In some ways it sounds a lot like Skinny. The interlaced industrial drums are still there, the robot-in-pain vocal stylings, and the rather disturbed subject matter. What's different are the timbres...the gothic string pads, Slayer-esque guitars, and Charles Manson/horror movie vocal samples are history. More suprisingly, the distortion is mostly gone from the vocals. The album opens with Ogre on unamplified guitar, covering Syd Barrett! If that intrigues you, you'll like this album. Skinny Puppy got thinner. Rating (1-10): 7 - [Salad]
(Invisible Records, PO Box 16008, Chicago, Il 60616)
[cover art] RAYS AND GENIUS / tomorrows leaders are busy tonight / CASSETTE
(Rays and Genius Music 1998)
this is a collections of recordings using sorce material provided by Randy Grief and Jeph Jerman.. it was compiled and composed by R. Kitch (formerlly of I.A.M.Umbrella, His Masters Voice, & late 80's LA sonic trio, SENSITIV)..it is a very ambient journey that is the 1st part of a 3 part series of releases forthcoming from Rays & Genius. This release is comprised of 6 tracks of long and trance inducing tonal vibrations, scrapings, and ghost like sound droppings.. the influence of Randy Grief is very apparent.. other comparisons i can make are to some ambient stuff by Brian Eno and to Rapoon.. this is really good late night listening material.. - [Lob]
(Rays and Genius Music)
[cover art] SECOND SIGHT / Second Sight / CD
(Shanachie Records)
This is a really fun disc. This band consists of Grateful Dead family members Vince Welnick and Bob Bralove, along with legendary Bay Area guitarist Henry Kaiser, and a collection of some other hot Bay area players..(including guest appearances by the Dead's Bob Weir and the late Jerry Garcia) It's 11 tracks of mostly pure instrumental musical exploration, touching only for moments on the blues, this disc is mostly jazz based interplay between the talent involved with the band, being truly jazz influenced and very psychedelic based as well.. The musical interaction within this ensamble reminds me alot of GONG or AMON DUUL or even the musical noodlings of PHISH but with that family feel that only seems to exsist in Bay Area bands.. if you have any friends that are Deadheads, turn them onto this.. if you are afraid of anything remotely GD, take a deep breath and try to ease into this one.. it is sweet spacey sticky stoney psychedelic rock. --[LOB]
(Shanachie Records)
[cover art] SUB-ARACHNOID SPACE / Endless Renovation / CD
(1998 Release Entertainment)
this is SAS's 4th full length release.. their 2nd for thier current label Release.. Mason Jones (Trance, Charnel Music) and his crew of audio astronauts are on a mission to take your ears and throw them into the deepest rhelms of cosmic space that a mind can wander into.. and they seem to have such fun doing it.. This disc of 6 tracks is different from their previous discs, as it is not soley a live recording.. it uses live recordings as the bottom layer, but adds an array of string sounds, horns, and other samples to cause the needed and desired effects.. i would compare this disc to some of the grooves found in early 70's GONG, or CAN.. or maybe wordless HAWKWIND... Definatly a must for fans of pure psychedelic space rock - [Lob]
(Artichoke/Rollin Records/Haltapes)
This is a long CD..it comes in a simple package of 2 photocopied pieces, a front and a back..black and white art.. in a Ziplock sandwich baggie. This is a live documentation of a 6 person ensamble containing people like Hal McGee on his trusty synthezier, and Edward Rollin playing over 10 different instruments (most of them wind instruments).. the disc when it first started reminded me of stuff i have heard from The Third Ear Band..and then it moved away from the simplisitic minstral-esque melodies and began dropping in sound samples.. and rhythmic drones.. reminding me easily of stuff by Nurse With Wound. Other parts of this disc features vocal works by Rollin and Bruce Waid that reminded me if some of the experimental vocal stuff by Mr. Bungle/Faith No More mouthpiece Mike Patton. I really like the overall dynamics of this release.. as it does tend to get droney at times.. but just as you've had enough and are reaching to switch to the next track.. the change in the musical soundscape happens and you are kept.. listening. ---[LOB]
(for info on getting this CD contact HalTapes@aol.com)
[cover art] TORTOISE / "Why We Fight"/"Whitewater" / 7"
(Soul Static Sound)
"Why We Fight": melodic, bouncy, but sort of generic, especially the rockist drumming and the quasi-tribal guitar: sounds like an outtake from GRACELAND, without Paul Simon, even down to the Belew-esque feedback texture drones.
"Whitewater": Backwards guitar noodling, Casio drums (I believe the setting is "Rock 1"), bass drone: nothing anyone with about a hundred bucks of equipment and a couple weeks couldn't do in a basement. Not unpleasant, but not very interesting. ---[CA5]
TRIP THEORY / Something For Your Mind / CD
(Platinum Entertainment)
Well.. this disc says right on it to "file under: Electro-Breakbeat Dance", but what is doesnt say is that this Georgia based duo is really heavy into projecting an old school hip-hop feel to a serious collection of drum and bass breakbeats. This release seriously funks up the spine and will make you giggle with it's sublime silliness.. if you like drum and bass.. and you like old school grooves like Grandmaster Flash or the L.A. Dream Team.. then this disc is a must for your car sterreo. - [Lob]
[cover art] VARIOUS ARTISTS / Views from the Perfect City / CD
(The Inial Group)
It's not a good sign when you press play and immediately want to press stop, is it? This is some of the worst crap I've heard in ages... repetive sequencing, boring notes, total pretension, and a complete lack of human emotion. This is Kraftwerk without the funk. Remember those tinny music-box doohickies that people would drag out at Christmas time, the ones with a plastic ballerina on top that ground out a mechanical rendition of something from the Nutcracker until you wanted to hurl it across the room? Well, if you took that music box, changed the melody to something you can't hum, and added a European art-damage attitude, you'd have this disk. Rating (1-10): 1 - [Salad]
(The Inial Group P.O.Box 13292, LaJolla, CA 92039-3292)
Various Artists / We Hate You: A Small Tribute to Throbbing Gristle / CD + 7"
In the world of industrial music those who remember the past seem condemned to repeat it. Post-modernism means that everything is up for grabs, at least in theory. In practice it often means that all the good ideas get drowned in waves of self-referential irony. How long before there's a "No-Way-Sis" covers band doing versions of early-eighties Psychic TV, Current 93 and Swans? The ultimate irony is that there's been a twofold tribute to Throbbing Gristle going on since they split in 1981. Their most interesting legacy consists of people who have applied their ideas and theories to their projects - and that applies to video makers and hackers just as much as it applies to musicians like Coldcut, Andy Weatherall and countless others. The other legacy is the massed legions of white boys in their bedrooms with a load of books about mass murderers and some distortion pedals, some of whom are represented here. That said, this is a pretty good package. You get a nice clear vinyl 7", a full-length CD and a booklet, all in a 7" sleeve that's designed to look like TG's "Mission of Dead Souls". Like most compilations it's patchy, but there are some great/engaging/funny tracks from Aube, Kapotte Muziek, Merzbow, Illusion of Safety, and Eugene Chadbourne. Needless to say there is also some absolute tosh from Anus Presley (a hur hur hur.), Bilge Pump (oh stop it, my sides will split), Jarboe (surprisingly) and Mourning Cloak. Two decades after TG the terrain has changed. There are still people doing innovative things with whatever equipment they can lay their hands on, but it usually isn't noise (and TG were much more than that).The Information War that they talked about is still being fought, but new tactics are required. In the next decade the issues will be about who has access to technology, and how we deal with the massive amount of data that is now (potentially) available to the more fortunate of us. Compared to that, some plonker shouting the lyrics to "Something Came Over Me" over a Casiotone in Stoke on Trent really isn't worth your time. - [JE]
(Jazzassin, PO Box 1402, Leangen, 7002 Trondheim, Norway)
[cover art]
JOHN WIESE / Cat Woman is a Cat Vampire / 7"
(Helicopter 003)
this single is made up of sounds performed and recorded by John Wiese. It is limited to 500 copies pressed. the first side consists of cup up and found harsh electronics very much in the traditional Japanese style..lots of movement in the aural space created...comparable to Government Alpha or Randy Yau. The 2nd side is more of a droning delay based soundscape, generated with analog synth source material. It sorta reminded me of some stuff by Sleep Chamber, very stoney and trance inducing. Both sides ended with locking grooves, which i always like.. - [Lob]
(Helicopter Records)
Z'EV / "Ghost Stories" / CD
(Soleilmoon Recordings)
Let us travel back some twenty years. Back to when Tom Waits was singing the blues, Skinny Puppy and Einsturzende Neubauten weren't even gleams in industrial eyes, Oingo Boingo was a high school drama troupe, and many members of Instagon weren't even born. Out of San Francisco came a bald experimental noise artist called Z'ev. His real name is Stefan Weisser. Before groups were recording themselves banging things together, he was recording himself banging things together. For over twenty years, he has been putting out breath-takingly original and mind numbingly relentless albums.
Naturally, with such a long career in the experimental side of music, many of his albums are darn near impossible to find. A Z'ev album that is relatively easy to find is "Ghost Stories". It is a reissue by Soleilmoon records of an out of print album. They have done this with several Z'ev albums to make them easy to find and easy on the pocketbook. Bless them. It was recorded in Amsterdam on Halloween of 1990. It is sixty-eight minutes of Z'ev banging together what sounds like lead pipes. You never hear a peep from the audience, but I'm assured that it was recorded from a concert. I don't blame those ticket holders. It's difficult to explain the power of "Ghost Stories". It's really hard to convey the beauty of how Z'ev bangs pipes to one who hasn't heard it.
I would highly recommend this album to every creature that walks the Earth. The first time I threw it on was in the wee hours of the morning as I did some writing. I had it on really low. Every once and a while, I would stop working, lean back with the calming throbs of clattering metal and say, "Wow!" It was ambient music at it's highest quality. The next, and more satisfying time I listened to it was mid-day, a few days later. I cranked up the stereo so that the walls hummed along and laid on the floor with my eyes closed for over an hour. The effect was transcendental. It transported me to a calm and ethereal plane. "Ghost Stories" can be found in lots of music stores. Log off and go buy it right now. - [Rev.Mathers]
(Soleilmoon Recordings, P.O.Box 83296, Portland,OR usa)

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