a weekly digest from the staff of brainwashed
V02I48 - 11281999
BEST OF '99
While the best of the '90s poll is still being drafted up, let's take a vote on the best of 1999. We'll post the results of this the first week of 2000 - at which time we'll probably start voting on the 90s. The best album of the year or even the decade might not have been released yet for all we know!!
We've added a new feature this week, a label corner with a little blurb on a notable small indie label. These labels chosen each week will probably be the artist run sites, the smaller operations, the ones who haven't had the advantages of major indie distribution or major contributions. If there's any suggestions for future labels, feel free to contact us.
PRE-ORDER SHIRTS STILL AVAILABLE
Don't bitch when you can only get one color and one style of shirt, get your pre-order in for a spiffy new Brainwashed shirt. Currently, they're available in many colors and a couple styles but once the pre-orders have all come in and the shirts get manufactured, you're left with only one color/one style and two size choices (L/XL). Thanks for all of your support, we can really use it as we have plans to accent the site with more sound samples on the pages and these reviews, build the brainwashed label, and of course to KEEP ADVERTISING BANNERS AWAY! I don't ever want to see a time when people will reflect on "the good old days when brainwashed was free of shitty advertisements." Pre-orders close January 15th, so get them in ASAP please!
SORRY FOR DOWNTIME
This past week, the kind souls who provide hosting for this and a couple other related sites switched machines, so there was some downtime scattered throughout the week, related domains in the family may have been affected. Sorry if this inconvenienced anybody.
Join our semi-regular contributor Mark Weddle and his friend Ray Treinen on their new email list devoted to 'minimalism.' It's purpose is to discuss modern minimalist electronic music artists/labels, including (but not limited to) those contributing to the raster-noton "20' to 2000" series (Komet, Ilpo Vaisanen, Ryoji Ikeda, COH, Beytone, Senking, Thomas Brinkmann, Scanner, Noto, Mika Vainio, Wolfgang Voigt, Elph), Pan Sonic, Frank Bretschneider, Mick Harris, Oval, Porter Ricks, Gas, Terre Thaemlitz, Thomas Koner, Maurizio, Monolake, Pole, Nobukazu Takemura, Tactile, Nurse With Wound, Merzbow, Throbbing Gristle, Dead Voices on Air, Aube, Rapoon, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, James Plotkin, Stars of the Lid, V/VM, Dna Le Draw D-Kee, Mimir, The Body Haters, etc, etc .... All the relevant info is held at www.onelist.com/community/minimalism. Spare the Philip Glass jokes please.
For those of you subscribed to the email lists on brainwashed's brother site, Hollyfeld.org (Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Meat Beat, Cabaret Voltaire and others), here's a note from administrator Dan Garcia regarding changes and possible downtime this coming week:
Hollyfeld.org and it's related/hosted domains will be moving on the morning of Monday, November 29th. This will affect mailing lists and email/shell accounts, as well as
We have everything set up and ready to go at the new location, so hopefully the downtime shouldn't be noticed (outside of about an hour of lag on mail sent during that time period). If things go smoothly that is. If we run into problems, we may not be up till monday evening, or tuesday morning at the latest.
UI, "THE IRON APPLE" E.P.
Ui bring us a 5 track collection, noted on the back with similar song titles - perhaps remixes of each other - but to me sound like 5 completely different songs. If you didn't like Ui before, you're not gonna like them now as this EP will not win you over. While the band show off on this CD EP how skilled they are at their instruments and producing a clean product, the melodies here are rather weak and overdone. Great musicians yet terrible writers, I love Ui's collaborative works with other bands including the Fires EP with Stereolab and the Unlike remixes. This EP does nothing for me sadly enough. - Jon Whitney
HOLLY JOHNSON, "SOULSTREAM"
The former singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood is quite alive and kicking despite the rumors he's been dead for years. It is true, he has been HIV+ for quite a few years but he's been working on painting, started his own label, Pleasuredome and recently released this, his first album in almost 10 years. While his pop disco style is not something I would buy regularly, I had to get it just to hear how he's doing as I was a big Frankie fanatic in my teenage years. From the first notes, the album establishes itself as a calculated uplifting dance oriented effort. From the first sung note, it seems as if all is good in the world again. A comforting feeling as Holly's voice is one that I have missed hearing for far too long now. While for the most part Frankie's themes were all about sex, war, aggression, destruction, heedonism and a little bit of love, Soulstream is an album of hope, joy and living through pain. Holly pays tribute to friends who have passed away in "Disco Heaven," with messages that the afterlife as one big happy party. "Hallelujah" and "All You Need is Love" (not a Beatles cover) also continue with the messages of freeing your mind, loving one another and hope. (Yeah, it's a bit poofy.) In "Legendary Children," he starts off listing famous poets, writers, philosophers, actors and such - and while it's kinda predictable where he's going from the people chosen, the amusing chorus bursts in, proudly boasting that this song is basically a celebration of the famous queers of history. A touching and spine-tingling version of the ballad, "The Power of Love" is included on the album - Frankie's last #1 hit single, the 'Christmas' single released first 15 years ago. It's wonderful to hear that Holly hasn't lost his voice since that time and I look forward to hearing what he plans to do with the Pleasuredome label. - Jon Whitney
BEASTIE BOYS ANTHOLOGY, "THE SOUNDS OF SCIENCE"
You know most of the songs, so why drop the cash on this 2-CD Anthology? Well, it makes a great gift, all the hits are here as well as some stuff only available on CD for the first time. The packaging is neat with a huge and comprehensive booklet, sparing no details on the recordings and history of each of the 42 tracks included, images of nearly all the singles line the stiff cardboard sides as well. While most of the hits are the versions directly lifted off the B-Boy's albums, there's a couple gems like the brand new "Alive," the limited single - never released on album before, "She's On it" and the live video version of "Three MCs and One DJ." Another inclusion on this album I'm all over is the "Body Movin'" remix by Fatboy Slim. While I'm not a fan of Fatboy Slim's music, his remix of this track shines - he is after all only a remix artist when you consider all of his hit singles. It's a great package, including a few non-album tracks as well, and if you're not comfortable with the tracklisting, compile your own collection online, as a couple CD stores are offering a special net-only version customized from the songs you choose from their entire catalogue (sans Licensed to Ill).- Jon Whitney
PET SHOP BOYS, "NIGHTLIFE"
So I waited on this release since Greg Clow informed us there was a limited 2CD version due out soon. I sort of almost bought this simply for that because while I was a Shoppie in the 80s through the first few records, in the 90s I really haven't collected muchm thus I'm regretting it now while glancing at the 2-CD versions selling on eBay for loads of money. I figured I really couldn't lose with this one. The main CD really impressed me. While I'm used to hearing the Pet Shop Boys hits and thinking "oh that's neat" for a short while, this album's non-hits are what shines far above the two singles previously released. "I don't know what you want but I can't give it any more" was the first single and is kind of a snoozy sleeper, hardly a strong selling point. The follow up single, "New York City Boy," a collaborative with NY remixer David Morales is cute and poppy but it feels rather empty and directionless. High points on this album include the quirky tongue-in-cheek country-esque bit "You only tell me you love me when you're drunk" (gotta love PSB for them long song titles), another straight-faced ridiculous lyriced-song, "Vampires" and the hard hitting duet with Kylie Minogue, "In Denial". On this track, Kylie plays the daughter of, could you guess, a man in denial. String arrangements by Massive Attack hitter Craig Armstrong bring this song to a subtle epic bit. Other contributions from Armstrong can be heard scattered throughout the rest of the disc. The bonus CD for those of you lucky enough to find this edition (limited to 2,000 allegedly) has 11 tracks of new songs and remixes. It's a decent collection of PSB's more experimental tracks not strong enough to go on the full album, yet none less sincere. Whoa, never thought I'd hear a female having an orgasm on a Pet Shop Boys record, "Je t'aime... moi non plus" is a track lifted off the first single and accompanies all the other non-album tracks from the first two singles. Save yourself the cash of all them damned import singles and just dig for the 2CD version. - Jon Whitney
AKI TSUYUKO, "ONGAKUSHITU"
On sale at the Takemura show was this Japanese CD release of singer Aki Tsuyuo, the girl who sang on stage with Takemura at the concert. The CD uses a minimal amount of electronic sources, yet experiments with soothing tones and gentle melody structures. There's no singing on this disc at all and it was produced by Takemura himself, and is a high recommendation for fans of this year's album from him, "Scope." For eleven dreamy tracks, this release is a nice companion to doing some late night work after all the snooty deep listening instrumental jazzy art rock, bumpy disco and bombastic screaming adolescents I have reviewed earlier in this issue. Brew a hot cup of herbal tea and burn the midnight oil. - Jon Whitney
We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a RECOMMENDED STORES section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on the site.
Arovane - untitled 12" (FWD, Holland)
Blackalicious - Nia CD/2xLP [initial copies in special packaging] (Mo'Wax, UK)
* The Clarke & Ware Experiment [Vince Clarke & Martyn Ware] - Pretentious CD [full release of album previously available via mail order] (Mute, UK)
Electronome - 4+10=12? 12" (Nuform, Holland)
Everything But The Girl - Blame 2x12"/two CDEPs (Vrigin, UK)
Funckarma - Part 3 2x12" (DUB, Holland)
Ko-Wreck Technique [Push Button Objects & DJ Craze] - Ko-Wrecktion 12"/CDEP [with remix by Plaid; CDEP includes extra track] (Chocolate Industries, US - Warp, UK)
Kreisel [Mike Ink and friends]- Kreisel 99/48 7" [ltd edition] (Kreisel, Germany)
Leftfield - Dusted 12"/two CEPs (Higher Ground/Sony, UK)
Nine Inch Nails - We're In This Together three CDEPs [first part includes Porter Ricks mix of "The Day The World Went Away"; third part includes CD-ROM video] (Nothing, Germany)
South - Run On Time/Torriano 7" (Mo'Wax, UK)
South - Sight Of Me/Better Things 7" (Mo'Wax, UK)
South - Time To Riot/Dub Remedies 7" (Mo'Wax, UK)
Alden Tyrell - Love Explosion 12" (Viewlexx, Holland)
Air - Eating, Sleeping, Waiting and Playing VHS/DVD [documentary from 1998 tour plus videos for several tracks; DVD includes bonus material] (Astralwerks, US)
* Chemlab - East Side Militia CD and Burn Out at the Hydrogen Bar CD [reissues with exclusive mixes and new liner notes] (Invisible, US)
DJ Godfather - Via Satellite From Detroit 12" (Intuit-Solar, US)
* Funkstorung - Post Art CDEP [reissue of 12" from 1998 with unlisted bonus track] (Chocolate Industries, US)
While - Lock 2x12"/CD [vinyl includes two tracks not on CD] (Chocolate Industries, US)
* Art of Noise - The Seduction of Claude Debussy CD [with bonus track] (Sony Techno, Japan)
Pig - Genuine American Monster CD (Rock Records, Japan)
Various - Nummer Een CD [a collection of favorite, unreleased, rare, and upcoming recordings from the Djak-Up Bitch roster including EOG, Phako, Funckarma, Autophonic, Duracel and more] (Djak-Up-Bitch/Phonics, Canada)
Various - Warp 10 Box 6xCD [box set containing the three Warp 10 2xCD compilations plus an exclusive Warp t-shirt and other stuff] (Warp/Sony Techno, Japan)
For a more comprehensive release schedule stretching far into the future, please check out the NEW RELEASES brought to you by Greg and Feedback Monitor.
NOBUKAZU TAKEMURA/BROKEBACK/CHRIS BROKAW
Chris Brokaw, most notable for his involvement in Come opened up this show, which consisted of the stage filled with no more than 2 people at a time for the entire night. Brokaw has been experimenting with guitar and looping devices much like Mick Turner of Dirty Three and David Pajo with the recent Papa M incarnation, but Chris uses more of a chord strummed rock edge. A small drum kit sat on the side of the stage for a good portion completely unplayed, Chris would get some guitar progression going, overlay it with a few more notes and more chord banging, set the guitar down and play the drums along with himself, only pausing on the drums to change the guitar melodies. Brokeback took the stage next with Doug McCombs of Tortoise bass fame along with an upright double bass player. The songs were much like a live recreation of the wonderful album released earlier this year, with pre-recorded effects of birds and trains accompanying their quiet improvised sounding set. Headlining the bill was Nobukazu Takemura, Japanese electronic musican. From what most of the experts have been saying, Takemura allegedly takes traditional Japanese themes and expands on them electronically, mutating the sound, using the melodies as a base and overlaying other melodies and harmonics. For the first portion of his show, he was joined by female singer, Aki Tsuyuko, whose voice he would sample, loop and layer, making a chorus of Tsuyukos essentially. It was pretty and charming but not a stand up rock club sort of event. By now the tour has ended, but you can still catch Brokeback . - Jon Whitney
||Simon Raymonde / Robin Guthrie
||Musicians in Cocteau Twins
||Cocteau Twins, solo albums from Simon Raymonde and Robin Guthrie, Dirty Three, Francoiz Breut, Sing-Sing, Nanaco, The Czars, Sneakster, Russell Mills/Undark.
||The advantage artists with nearly 20 years of industry experience have is that they can now call the shots - whereas before, they would have to sit by idly and watch their destiny planned out at the hands of someone else. Now with their own label, Robin and Simon can release music from some of their own favorite artists along with release their own music on their own terms.
The following is a list of functional urls that have absolutely nothing to do with Coil:
- Mark Weddle
What's on our wish list this year? BRAINS of course! Please buy us lots of gifts from www.brains4zombies.com. Raawrrgh!
Sorry to say this, but for a band with such brilliant musick, your site kinda
sucks. From in my opinion the second best band in the world, i would have
expected much more from your website. but it's pretty boring and never
changes. please, pay a little more attention to this site. sorry, i don't
really have any suggestions, but, well, you people are the artists here, so
you should be able to come up with something brilliant and weird. thanks,
and i love your musick. i think you're absolutely brilliant.
Appreciate the feedback, sir, but who the fuck are you talking about?
I was pretty surprised when reading the Brain this week, reading something
about the Notwist! They are quite well known in Germany and have been
around for many years. You actually have an error in your review, saying that
Notwist is an "offshoot of the Tied and Tickled Trio". It's the other way, TTT
is kind of a Notwist side project.
Notwist have been around since the late 80s/early 90s. I remember seeing
them live in about 91/92 opening for Therapy? Back then they were noisier and
punkier than they are now.
Whoops, thanks for the note.
Subject: Notwist again
I saw the Notwist open up for Fridge earlier this year and they were fucking awful. I did notice Laetitia from Stereolab in the audience. Shortly thereafter, they were on tour opening for Stereolab.
Just imagine if Laetitia stuck around for Fridge!
Subject: my Diamanda article
Saw my article reprinted on your site, the one of Diamanda Galais.
That's one of my favorite pieces, glad you liked it, too.
Please direct your thanks to Garth MacNeil! Yee-haw, one of the finest of the finest.
I don't know if this is where I should direct this question, but I've run out of options. I have noticed that the Tortoise site has not been updated for quite some time now. I notice this because I am currently in Brazil. It was stated on that site quite a while ago that Tortoise would be playing with Tom Ze during the month of August. I am a huge fan of Tortoise, and after seeing them play with Tom Ze, I have become a fan of his too. I haven't been able to find any info on the shows, let alone anyone who has heard of Tortoise or even remarkably tom ze. Do you have any further info on the shows, or any idea where I can get info? Ze's site is no use, and now I am begging, even pleading for some help?
Hold up, buddy, Tortoise isn't their only job. Brokeback has been out on the road and Isotope 217 are still out on the road, leaving only John McEntire's location unaccounted for - but as everybody knows he could be off producing or remixing tons of people right now. Basically whenever we have information for the site, we update it. Sorry if there hasn't been any Tortoise information in a while.
When will new Bowery Electric material become available (on import or domestically)? Please let me know.
As soon as there's a scheduled date, the website will be updated.
Subject: Moon Music 2......sold 500 copies yet??
Hi I just sent my money out this week. DO you know if Coil have gotten money for 500 copies yet? I really want that disc of unreleased stuff...............
Last I heard they hadn't got them all yet, but they're getting close.
A POSTCARD WITH NO PICTURE
1. Halfway To A Threeway - Jim O'Rourke (Drag City)
2. ...Postcard From - Arrow Tour (Childisc)
3. Racubah! - Various Artists (Comet)
4. To-Day's Sound - Piero Umiliani (Easy Tempo)
5. Open Circuit - Claude Denjean (London 4-Phase Stereo!)
6. Instrumental Music - Björn Olsson (Omplatten)
7. We Are DMX - DMX Krew (Rephlex)
8. "Live From a Shark Cage" - Papa M (Drag City)
9. In the Court of The Crimson King - King Crimson (24-bit remastered 20th
- Samuel Grave, whereabouts unknown.
© 1999 Brainwashed, all rights reserved.
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Arlington MA 02476
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