The ever revolving cast of characters that form Smegma grew out of the Los Angeles Free Music Society in the mid-70s and has not stopped reocrding or performing since. This, however, is their first "proper" album in over ten years. Rumblings includes a cast of familiar characters, but also includes the infamous Richard Meltzer (known for his writing and for his involvement in the Blue Oyster Cult). Limited to 1000 copies and coupled with a video for the song "Rails," Rumblings jumps back and forth between tape manipulation, screwy free-verse adventures, recognizable musical arrangements, and playful sound collages constructed from metallic scrapes, diseased brass instruments, and typical commercials. The result is a little bit like flipping through various television stations, but with the ability to find a red thread through the chaos of comedies, cartoons, and documentaries. The first few tracks promise all of this before some of the collages start to become dull and the middle portion of the album begins to drag through some directionless bits of space noise. "Rails (uncoupled)" and "Moonleggs" pick up where "Johnny No!" left of and luckily things only get better from that point. Smegma are best when they attach their own particular brand of surrealism and nonsense to the traditional rock stylings of the 50s and 60s. "Moonleggs" crosses tropical guitar chords with a spool of broken speech samples and distorted horn moans before giving into the primitive and galactic energy of "Smoke," which mingles absurd lyrics with a propulsive bass line and drum performance. The end of the album feels far more cohesive than the beginning and almost feels as if it were meant to stand alone from everything else on the disc. "Rumblings" and "Supersimple" continue the guitar and noise ethos with both consideration and aimless abandon. The continuous metamorphoses that each track exhibits is intoxicating and by the end of the album I feel like I've had some strange psychedelic experience. Despite something of a slow start, Rumblings is a lot of fun and it does nothing but get better with each listen. "Rails" is the kind of song that I wish could be extended into a 20 minute freak out of curving noise and vocal destruction, even if that meant less tape splicing were to appear. Those tracks just seem distracting after hearing the thump and growl of their jam sessions. - Lucas Schleicher
This album is going to make a lot of people very happy. Jesu is the first full-length, all-cylinders-firing rock-oriented release from Justin Broadrick in quite a while, following a long period of time during which the former Napalm Death guitarist and Godflesh founder indulged his interest in hip-hop, dub and other, more experimental, less satisfying projects. Nothing against Techno Animal or Curse of the Golden Vampire, but I am guessing that most of Broadrick's hardcore fans were just biding their time until he unleashed this long-rumored debut full-length from his new band Jesu. The album is released at a very serendipitous time, as the resurgence in interest and popularity of post-metal and noise rock has reached a fever pitch, just the right time for Broadrick and crew to show everyone how things are really done. And show them he does, unleashing a longform rock album that recalls the best slow-burn doom metal and shoegazer psych-rock, without really sounding like anything else other than itself. People will doubtless attempt to refer to this as "metal," but it's no more "metal" than Godflesh ever was. Instead, it's a unique combination of elements: rumbling, speaker cone-obliterating bass to rival the most bowel-voiding moments of Sunn O))) together with thick, textural layers of grinding, melodic guitar, powerfully sparse drums and a blinding wall of wintry keyboards. Broadrick's vocals are desolate and emotive, plaintive wails that are artificially time-stretched, vocodered and harmonized to stunning effect. With the heady sense of chilling ambience provided by the synthesizers, I was reminded of Burzum's Filosofem, though the vocals share more in common with Alice in Chains or some other reference point bound to scare the beard-strokers away. The album is composed of eight somber rock dirges of generous length, each one compounding layers of distortion and echo throughout their length, filling the room with forceful surges of sound that funnel down noisy whirlpools or crest to awe-inspiring heights. Jesu is more than the sum of its parts. From a collection of essentially down-key, depressing musical elements, the music at times achieves a sort of heavenly spiritual transcendence. Case in point is track two, "Friends Are Evil," in which melody is provided by Broadrick's funereal, downcast vocal mantra along with ferociously belted guitar and punishing bass crunches. By the seven-minute mark, however, the song has become triumphant and majestic, aspiring to the ecstatic "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" heights suggested by the band's name. The band's effect is largely visceral and thus difficult to translate into words, I am certain this will please longtime fans of Broadrick as well as fans of Hydra Head, Southern Lord, Robotic Empire, and related businesses. - Jonathan Dean
The Field Mice reissues
In a proper offering of respect, LTM has assembled three releases (including a double CD) collecting all of the Field Mice's output which has been out of print for a number of years. The majority of songs are licensed from the now defunct Sarah Records, a label which was created for the very specific teleology of releasing 100 singles (though in actuality they surpassed that initial vision). The Field Mice were the canonical Sarah band, expanding the label's sound beyond the hermetic tag of twee pop, which it wore and still wears as a badge. While the Field Mice certainly hovered in the regions of twee, they also forged and hybridized other sounds: dance, electronic, indie pop, Brit pop, folk, and shoegazer. Despite a histrionic dissolution of the band, some of the former Field Mice have continued recording like-minded music under monikers such as Northern Picture Library and Trembling Blue Stars. In 1998, Shinkansen Records, Matt Haynes' follow-up label to Sarah Records, released Where'd You Learn to Kiss That Way, a double CD collection of Field Mice songs which was more of a greatest hits compilation than an exhaustive discography. Since that collection itself has been out of print for a while now, LTM has kindly stepped in and released a full retrospective arranged chronologically on three separate releases.
Snowball + Singles
Named after the 10" mini-LP which The Field Mice released on Sarah Records in 1989, this includes the first two Sarah 7" singles, a 7" on The Caff Corporation, and a compilation track. What struck me first was that the cover art on this CD (and the others) was largely out of touch with what I knew of the band's original artwork for their records. Field Mice albums tended to have very colorful and geometric covers designs which caught the eye immediately. On the LTM reissues there are some wispy, Photoshopped landscapes which look like the covers on music once found at The Nature Store. The font for the band name and the title have a horribly tasteless drop shadow which looks like something a fifth-grader created on MacPaint in 1987 for a Mother's Day card. I almost expected to hear the sound of rustling leaves for 70 minutes with a bonus track of lapping ocean waves. Reassuringly, the music here is unsullied and as I remember the band. The two Sarah seven-inches supply the best moments on this disc. Songs like "Emma's House" and "When Morning Comes to Town" are such delicate indie pop moments that their fragility becomes not so much a liability as it is a strength. The latter song opens with such a softly-strummed guitar that as a result your ears are piqued by the challenge to hear the music. A doting bass line soon picks up the louder decibels and colors the softness elsewhere. Other instruments fall in eventually and even the guitar tempo picks up and the song becomes inexplicably dancy, albeit in the most soft-spoken way possible. "Emma's House" is anthemic in a way that indie pop rarely can be. A drum machine provides a robotic beat wherein shimmery guitars climb up and down, settling down only for mere seconds at a time. The song is the eponymous cut from The Field Mice's first single when the band was but two people: Bobby Wratten and Michael Hiscock. In fact, most of the songs on Snowball were produced at a time when the band was still a two-piece. I never much cared for the Snowball 10" and still don't, but "This Love is Not Wrong" is nothing if not pure twee beauty. "Letting Go" interestingly conjures sounds of The Cure with its minor-chord ramblings, veiled whispers, and glistening keyboards. It sounds eerily similar to "All Eternal Things," a song from the most recent Trembling Blue Stars album. Some things don't change, I suppose. "That's All This Is," is from the Airspace! compilation and by its own virtues is the best validation for LTM's reissue. Resonating like a percussed lullaby, it's the type of song for which a Field Mice lover desperately pines.
Skywriting + Singles
This two-CD set is an overview of the band's middle years. At this point, I am starting to get a little suspicious of LTM's graphic designers and what their aesthetic vision was for these CD covers. Gone now is the nature imagery and in its place there is the distressed stature of a skyscraper looking spookily like one half of NYC's Twin Towers. The image is irrepressibly hideous, not for what it evokes but simply for its banal appearance. The music on disc 1 is my least favorite Field Mice material, partly because they endeavor to sound a little too much like the Human League (hardly an imprudent move in and of itself, but executed not very well here) and partly because the band loses some of its virtuous fragility through the over-used electronics in the songs. The songs are taken from the Skywriting 12" and the So Said Kay 10". Most people will tell you that "So Said Kay" is a song which typifies everything good about The Field Mice, but I submit that the song "Holland Street" is a much better mark of the band's glory. The hand-drummed beginning sounds nearly tribal but any primitivism is soon dissipated when the guitar lusciously falls in and from there the song simply percolates for three minutes in the best sort of instrumental anxiety. "Holland Street" sounds like a perfected introductory song for an album. Too bad LTM didn't feel poetically licensed enough to play with the sequencing on these reissues because it would have made one decisive opening track. One of the more curious songs here is "Humblebee." It is a sound collage which is more perplexing than artfully incisive. The Field Mice seem out of their element here, lost in the continental forests and far from any meadows in Surrey. Disc 2 offers some salvation from the electronic experimentation of disc 1. "If You Need Someone" is playful and soaring with its keyboard and guitar exchanges. Wratten's vocals are so earnest it can hurt, but they never make you feel embarrassed the way that some earnestness does. With only its title, "Anyone Else Isn't You" explicitly announces The Field Mice's thematic vision of singularity and of purpose. Many of their songs focus on a significant other, whether adored or estranged or both, firmly believing that this is the one person who can make life meaningful. If the band does not zealously believe in destiny, they certainly are blinded by it occasionally. Though this theme is something you can probably discern from just perusing the song titles, actually listening to the lyrics confirms it. The songs from disc 2 come from the Autumn Store seven-inches (of which there are two) as well as some outtakes and compilation tracks. Skywriting + Singles ends on something of a sour note with the tedious ten-minute rumination entitled "Other Galaxies" which jams and drones for about seven minutes too long. Of the three reissues, this installment is the least brilliant and yet the most voluminous.
For Keeps + Singles
At this point, I am convinced that LTM hired a consultant from the Thomas Kinkade galleries (no, they don't look like Kinkade's work but they exhibit the same lack of taste) to design the covers. This third cover has a fuzzed-out ocean scene (or are they clouds?) with the same blue/purplish hue saturating the other covers. On a good note, the drop shadows have disappeared from the fonts. Whether this was done purposely or as an oversight is unclear, but my money is on the latter. Fortunately, the music starts out more satisfactorily with "Five Moments" from the For Keeps LP, which was The Field Mice's only official full-length album. For Keeps still has those moments of Human League emulation but the band was able to dilute that with some more standard indie pop creations. "Five Moments" starts off with some suspect effects-processed and tribal vocals (not tribal like the drums from "Holland Street," which were almost Native American influenced. This is more of an eastern Indian sound, from the heart of Bombay or New Delhi) but soon enough glides into a gentle and pleasant wah-pedal melody. Annemari Davies's vocals are featured on this song, not Wratten's. Davies also gives voice to the most heartbreaking Field Mice song to be found anywhere: "Willow." It is a simply but infectious guitar dirge drenched in pathos and sadness. The song is elegant and easy to listen to but in between the lyrics there is writhing and pain beyond what you might expect from the band. Perhaps less soul-crushing but equally dramatic is "A Wrong Turn and Raindrops." A swollen harmonica mixes with a lethargic guitar and the song never gets going until the chorus where the guitar gains purpose and clarity, the vocals gain intensity and melody, and the song comes together, only to fall apart again during the next verse, come back once again at the next chorus. The pattern repeats for four and a half minutes. It is offsetting yet compelling and heavy on the emotion. To balance things out, there are moments of levity such as "An Earlier Autumn" which has a country twang and a light step. The song (along with "September's Not So Far Away" and "Between Hello and Goodbye") is from the last Sarah Records Field Mice 7" and returns the group full circle to something that is much closer to their initial sound: spritely, playful, and dripping with lovelorn honesty. - Joshua David Mann
BILL FAY GROUP, "TOMORROW, TOMORROW AND TOMORROW"
More than 35 years after Bill Fay's work first surfaced on Decca Records, the unique singer-songwriter is finally getting his due. I suppose its inevitable that an artist who recorded two such singularly idiosyncratic and intensely rendered albums1970's Bill Fay and 1971's Time of the Last Persecutionand then permanently disappeared off the radar screen would be the subject of much speculation. In Bill Fay's case, this speculation has often taken an unfortunately hyperbolic form, with many critics painting a portrait of a psychotic loner whose music was clearly the result of drug burnout and paranoia, a "mad bearded Rasputin" with a resemblance to Charles Manson (a reference to the photograph of Fay on the cover his second LP). This finally prompted Bill Fay to write an angry letter to The Wire last year, setting the record straight: that he was simply a songwriter who had long hair and a beard "as a lot of people did then," and that he had never been heard from again only because he lost his contract with Decca after the poor sales of his two albums, and couldn't get signed anywhere else. "I still continued to write and record but not with a label," Fay continued, and Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow is the first evidence of that work. This album, recently released as a digipack CD by Durtro/Jnana (David Tibet has long been a champion of Fay's music), contains Bill Fay's third album, the follow-up to Persecution, recorded 1977-1981 but never released until now, 25 years later. Bill Fay Group is the name given to Fay's teaming on this record with The Acme Quartet, a misleadingly named improvising trio of guitar, bass and drums. These smaller arrangements create a more intimate backing for Fay's intensely personal, soul-searching songs that provides an interesting counterpoint to the huge, Scott Walker-style MOR strings (along with searing fuzz guitar and climactic passages of free jazz) that characterized the first two LPs. This is not to suggest that the music on Tomorrow is simple, however. It is far from simple. The group utilizes a complex interplay of competently played jazz and psych-rock elements with sudden left turns into areas of psychedelic abstraction, as well as vocal doubling, stereo panning and a multritracked backing chorus. At times the effect is very reminiscent of the mid-70s work of Pink Floyd, at others Soft Machine. Roger Waters and Robert Wyatt at their best, however, cannot equal the haunting, apocalyptic lyrics and intuitive chamber-pop songwriting that seems to flow so easily from Bill Fay. Over the course of 20 tracks, the artist never misses a hook, creating haunting pop songs that recall the instantly memorable melodies of a Paul McCartney with the chilling doomsday prophesizing of a Current 93. If Time of the Last Persecution represented the songwriter's emotionally wrenching exegesis of Armageddon, then Tomorrow points to a doorway out of tribulation and purgatory. After climbing a "Strange Stairway" to "Spiritual Mansions," and confronting unflinchingly the hypocrisies of life and man, Fay sings triumphantly: "We are raised/We sit beside Him now/We are raised." Bill Fay navigates a symbolic world informed by Christian prophecy, but illuminated from within by personal revelation. His weathered voice and unique musical genius are able to mediate these impossibly vast concepts straight into the realm of the individual. It's outrageous to think that this album might never have seen the light of day had it not been for the efforts of Durtro/Jnana and the Bill Fay Group, as it represents the inevitable and necessary third chapter to the trilogy and a sublime masterpiece of modern pop music. - Jonathan Dean
Vicious Pink Goo, "Take U To The Car Crash"
Yuck. Thankfully this 12" from Vicious Pink Goo is not indicative of the depth and breadth of current trends in dance music. I can get down with a substance-less booty jam with the best of them, but this is the kind of amateurish, formulaic piffle that makes me want to leave the club scene well behind. The artists took no care to create or craft a single sound in the title cut or its b-side remix that is the least bit interesting. This is simply stock disco and electro rehash with predictable lead lines and endlessly trite drum beats. Anyone wanting to replicate "Take U To The Car Crash" needs only to purchase a couple electro/techno loop CDs and leave all notions of experimentation and fun behind. Cheesy synth lines, mechanical beats and obnoxious trash vocals seal this record as the worst thing I've heard yet this year. The irony of one of the mixes being called "Original Mix" despite the fact that not a single thing about it is original is the only thing about it that makes me smile. - Matthew Jeanes
ANAL, "ZERO BEATS PER MINUTE"
Fuck Off & Di
In 1995, Jody Evans was a 19-year-old studio technician working on Julian Cope's dreadful 20 Mothers album, when the Archdrude himself caught the youngster fucking around with his VCS3 synthesizer, creating a marvelous racket. Thighpaulsandra, the widely acknowledged master of all instruments synthetic and analog, was also at those sessions, and, similarly impressed by Evans' instinctive techniques, joined forces with Cope to produce his debut album as Anal. Released as an LP on the K.A.K. label in 1995, Zero Beats Per Minute was conceived as the ultimate anti-rave statement, growing out of a series of after-club performances along the London-Swansea mainline in industrialized Newport. Anal would perform next to the train tracks, hoping to catch wandering acid and ecstasy-fueled ravers as they wandered from closed clubs to after-hours illegal warehouse parties. As anti-rave, I imagine Anal's brand of noise worked quite well, a series of rhythmless explosions of aggravated analogue noise specially formulated to piss off all but the most anarchic ravers. Anal was far more interested in the bleak, industrial frigidity of Throbbing Gristle and Whitehouse than the mid-90s weekend rave scene typified by Praga Khan and the Lords of Acid, and it shows. As a punk-as-fuck, industrial-strength belch in the face of vapid dance and drug culture, the album works. As another way for synthesizer fetishists to get a cheap thrill, it also works; anyone who likes Mount Vernon Arts Lab or Queen Elizabeth would likely also appreciate Anal. The question of whether or not it contains good music is a bit more difficult, however. The album's first six tracks are all relatively brief little sketches of Anal's delicious blasts of analogue drones, blankets of static, steam-venting copper tubing and gale-force plumes of thought-canceling noise, but nothing stays long enough to fully develop. The album's main attraction is the sidelong behemoth of "Journey Through a Burning Anal," which uses all of the techniques on Side A to build a long, slowly transforming odyssey through the graveyard shift of a steel mill, with clever little nods to more popular forms of techno here and there just to remind you of how far you have traveled. Though this track is nice enough, when it was over, I couldn't help feeling a little shortchanged by the album. At 31:42, it's incredibly brief, the LP apparently having been shortened for this reissue. I can only speculate as to why it would have been edited down in its transition to the digital format, but it seems an odd choice. Fans of Coil and Co. who have been waiting years for Eskaton to make good on its promise to release "I Am Newport" b/w "Kiss Me Ringland" will doubtless be disappointed that this material has not been included as bonus. Also, Cope's Fuck Off & Di label apparently engineered this release without the consultation of Jody Evans or Thighpaulsanda, making this entire release of somewhat questionable pedigree. Let the buyer beware. - Jonathan Dean
Hive Mind, "Death Tone"
I think this is supposed to sound grinding, heavy, and intimidating, but the latest from Chondritic Sound's founder sounds more like a blast of dense, hot air than anything else. This single, 42 minute track fluctuates between a frustrating stasis and short, intense barrages of machine noise and static. The bass-like rumble that stays through the entire album undergoes a series of modulations that becomes thicker and thicker while waves of bees, never-ending crunches, and low-end frequencies boil over one another in an almost indistinguishable haze. Eventually Death Tone begins to sound as though it is going nowhere and by the end of the album I feel as if I've been run in tiny and completely uninteresting circles for far too long. There's no doubt that the album is incredibly loud, but it isn't punishing or particularly noteworthy in its severity. With a title like Death Tone that's a bit disappointing, especially considering the label Hive Mind released this on and the lack of any discernable arrangement other than the shifts in texture that so gradually occur. The constant cycle of homogenous elements doesn't allow for any shocking moments or unpredictable blasts of sound and it especially doesn't allow for any interesting developments. Roughly ten minutes of listening to this would have been enough to let me know what was going to happen throughout the rest of the record; an entire 30 minutes or so is wasted repeating and rehashing what was accomplished very early on. To make matters worse, the jumble of fuzzy waves that make up this album eventually begin to blend into the background and disappear altogether. Instead of sounding like a confrontation with something deadly or even scary, the music slowly becomes benign and altogether easy to listen to. I expected something confrontational and demented, but received a poorly constructed and disengaging soundscape. Louder, far more deadly havoc exists out in the realm of noise; the name and vaguely anti-musical sentiments of Death Tone aren't enough to make a bland and redundant recording exciting or horror-inducing. - Lucas Schleicher
Machine Boy, "Depression EP"
At the intersection of loopy, downtempo electronica and spoken word poetry sits Machine Boy and collaborator Lorian Elbert. It's a well-trodden stretch of road that their project approaches, full of successful and experimental marriages between the often uncomfortable, confrotntational and confessional vibe of a poetry slam and the more or less easy-to-swallow looped beat, sampled melody routine. Here, Machine Boy unfortunately adds nothing to the previous cast of characters who have worked with these tools in the past. While the central point of interest is supposed to be Lorian Elbert's spoken word, that's exactly what derails this disc and leaves Machine Boy's production to try, (and fail) to take up the slack. Elbert's poetry might mean something if read with conviction, but her delivery is soaked with the dissociated, uninterested droll of someone's who's heard of poetry as a verbal art form, but hasn't quite mastered it. Every line pulled from her verse is delivered with virtually the same intonation so that I'm never sure if all the words are from one long poem about tedium, or just sound that way because she lacks the spirit or presence to bring the words fully to life. The words are further maligned by Machine Boy's sampling, looping, and poor recording of them. Spoken word is a hard thing to pull off without garnering laughs from all but the most turtle-necked English majors, but artists like Nicole Blackman, Maggie Estep, and Elizabeth Alexander bring to mind the kind of collaboration that Machine Boy no doubt wants this to be. Thankfully, none of the tracks are long enough to inspire contempt, but they aren't interesting enough to merit the short time they do occupy either. Tied down to deconstructed poetry and musical backing that doesn't seem to notice that the words are there, the Depression EP never has a chance to take off. - Matthew Jeanes
We know that our music picks may be somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.
WEEK OF FEBRUARY 27 - MARCH 5
Isabelle Antena - Easy Does It 2xCD [second disc includes remixes by Buscemi, Thievery Corporation, Shape, Nicola Conte, La Malice, Yukihiro Fukutomi, Dr Drak and Musiq For Pleasure] (LTM, UK)
Balanescu Quartet - Maria T CD (Mute, UK)
Basement Jaxx - Singles CD [singles collection - also available as a limited 2xCD with bonus disc of b-sides & mixes] (XL Recordings, UK)
Björk - Triumph Of A Heart two CDEPs/DVD (One Little Indian, UK)
* David Bowie - David Live 2xCD [remastered reissue with bonus tracks] (EMI, US)
* David Bowie - Stage 2xCD [remastered reissue with bonus tracks] (EMI, US)
BT - The Singles Collection CD (Nettwerk, Canada/US)
By The End Of Tonight - A Tribute To Tigers CD (Temporary Residence Limited, US)
Drekka - Extractioning CD (Blue Sanct, US)
Eluvium - Talk Amongst The Trees CD (Temporary Residence Limited, US)
* Field Mice - Skywriting 2xCD [remastered reissue with bonus material] (LTM, UK)
The Gasman - The Grand Electric Palace Of Variety 2xCD (Planet µ, UK)
Markus Guentner - 1981 CD/LP (Kompakt, Germany)
HP Stonji - Melaina Chloe CD (Spezialmaterial, Germany)
Martin Landsky - FM Safari 12" (Poker Flat, Germany)
LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing At My House 12"/CDEP (DFA/EMI, UK)
The Mars Volta - Frances the Mule CD (GSL/Universal, US)
Minus Story - Heaven and Hell CDEP (Jagjaguwar, US)
Moby - Lift Me Up 12"/two CDEPs (Mute, UK)
Manhead - album sampler 12" [mixes by Reverso 68 & Felix Rennefeld] (Relish, UK)
The New Blockaders & Nobuo Yamada - Prickle/Crevice 12" [single sided on clear vinyl, ltd to 400 copies] (PsychForm, US)
Nagisa Ni Te - Dream Sounds CD (Jagjaguwar, US)
Okkervil River - For Real (There's Nothing Quite Like the Blinding Light) CDEP (Jagjaguar, US)
Masha Qrella - Unsolved Remained CD/2xLP (Morr Music, Germany)
Quinoline Yellow - Dol Goy Assist CD/LP (Skam, UK)
The Residents - Animal Lover CD (Mute, UK)
Sindri/Otto Von Schirach - Sindri and Otto Collaboration Series Vol 2 of 10 7" (Imputor?, US)
Stereo Total - Do the Bambi CD/2xLP (Disko B, Germany)
Swervedriver - Juggernaut Rides CD [best-of collection] (Castle, UK)
Tarentel - Big Black Square CDEP (Temporary Residence Limited, US)
Tarentel - Paper White CDEP (Temporary Residence Limited, US)
Various - Septic 5 CD [with Stromkern, Battery Cage, Seabound, This Morn Omina, Anthony Rother and more] (Dependent, Germany)
Various - Spire: Live At St. Pierre Cathedral 2xCD (Touch, UK)
Patrick Wolf - Wind In The Wires CD (Tomlab, Germany)
This is simply this week's highlights from the NEW RELEASES provided by Greg and Feedback Monitor. For a more detailed schedule stretching into the future, please check out the page, since release dates can and will often change.
have you got what it takes?
Subject: What does it take to write for Barinwashed?
I spent about three solid years reading every webzine I could find, fooling
myself into thinking I was assimilating it all and culling from the internet
consummate musical knowledge. It wasn't true. All I actually did was buy nearly
everything pitchfork lauded. And now, after returning about 150 cd's over the
past year, getting a record player, and ACTUALLY LISTENING to jazz, classical,
early twentieth century blues, plenty of funk, and a lot of odds and ends, I
finally feel as though I have shaken the indie monkey off my back. I still love
Black Dice, Xiu Xiu, Basinski, Fennesz...but instead of picking the "next big
thing" I'd rather write about music. Hopefully a lot of strange music. Your
site seems that sort of place. Hope to hear from you-
#1: it takes somebody to spell "brainwashed" properly!
#2: it takes somebody to read it! (Hint: instructions are on here somewhere).
I hope this isn't too stupid a question, but I can't figure out how to
pre-order an item. I want the Jessica Bailiff 7" single, but see no paypal
link next to it. Thanks.
It's not stupid, the pre-order deal has seemed to have confused some. Pre-orders are only available for the set (Sybarite, Jessica Bailiff, and Aranos). Whatever's left will be released April 16th but there will be no free CD accessory or bonus 7" given away with them.
Subject: The Eye (mis-fired we think)
im waiting and waiting for your new album ...i want to be free but it seems its
impossible in this world i ll send u later
Aww, that's nice of you, we'll pass it along to Death In June.
Subject: The Eye
Got the DVDs - thanks very much! I've only just started watching them, but
have really enjoyed everything so far. Very nicely done (and, of course,
great subject matter). Put lots more of them out!
hope all is well with you
Subject: da podcast
The podcast edition is a great addition! Thank you for the coolest sounds
Thanks. Maybe one week we'll get the mic levels correct.
Subject: bering sea review
Many thanks for the review, great writing and not just because it is
so complimentary. What I love about reviews on brainwashed is that the
reviewers really listen to the records. It might seem obvious, but lots
of reviews in papers just seem to rehash press release one sends.
all the best,
Yeah, we hate that type of (re) writing too, which is one of the reasons we write the way we do.
Those Mirror samples were stunning--any suggestions as to how I can buy the
If only there was an easy answer, but there isn't. Most of the releases are done by the band and traded and re-traded at inflated prices, but occasionally labels like Die Stadt and Robot will issue material in larger editions. Stores like Colin Potter's IC Distribution seem to have the best prices and Forced Exposure carries anything that's a wider scale release.
A review for a release like that can hopefully give case to the desire to have these things available for more people, but who knows. We're not in control of the music.