the brainwashed brain
a weekly digest from the staff and contributors of brainwashed
V05I11 - 03242002
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Patches & Keyrings ready to go!
As April 16th draws near, the excitement at Brainwashed Central builds. Production has completed on the brainwashed patch and keyring and they are all ready to be included in the Brain in The Wire boxes for everybody who pre-ordered them. Sorry, there's still no disclosure of the contents of Disc X yet.

!!! sign to Touch & Go
Chicago-based record label Touch & Go, who introduced Slint to the world and changed indie music forever has boldly captured the rights to release future music from the next indie label super mega stars, !!!. !!! now join a roster of champions which includes The New Year, Man or Astro-Man?, Shellac, Blonde Redhead, Silkworm, Black Heart Procession, Shipping News and a whole lot more. A 12" single release is due out sometime this summer while a full-length is due early 2003. With any luck, future plans may include overseas domination, but there's nothing solid to report on as of yet. We'll keep you posted.

jb new album in the works
Jessica Bailiff has mentioned on her website that a new album is in the works for Kranky. The album is untitled and unfinished but might surface by the end of the year. More information will be posted when available.

tanith subjected to flesh eating ants
"Tanith and the Lion Tree" by Edward Ka-Spel of Legendary Pink Dots will be issued for the very first time on LP by a new label, Flesh Eating Ants. Other releases from LPD either out now or coming soon include 'Synasthesia,' (a companion to 'Chemical Playschool 11/12/13') and a new full-lengther from the Silverman titled 'Requiem Settings' and the 2xCD release of 'Textures of Illumina' by Edward Ka-Spel. Dizzy yet?

new matmos performances and remixes
Seevral Matmos-related releases are out now/soon. Available now is the Goem remix album "Gast" which features a Matmos mix along with contributions from Taylor Deupree, Richard Chartier, Mitchell Akiyama, I8U and others, and the Rough Trade/Mute compilation "Electronic 01" which includes the CD debut of the track "Freak'n'You". On the horizon are cameo appearances on albums by David Grubbs and DAT Politics. Matmos will also be joining Terry Riley for a special one-off concert in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, April 19, and will be appearing with Bjork at the Coachella Festival in Indio, California on Saturday, April 27th.


Greg Clow and Sheryl Kirby are inaugurating their Toronto based Piehead Records with an ambitious CD-R subscription series. If Mr. Clow's name doesn't ring any bells you're either in the wrong place or haven't been online very long: DJ, event promoter, writer, discography and website guru, Brainwashed staff member, etc. Piehead is the next logical step for Clow and Kirby to bring many local electronic and experimental artists, not to mention a few other well known names, to a wider audience. Each of the 11 individual artist discs are limited to 250 for sale copies and the 12th disc will be a compilation of tracks from all of the artists. The only way to get any of these is to get them all via a subscription. I took the financial plunge and I'm already happy I did. ARC and Aidan Baker first collaborated at Toronto's The Ambient Ping weekly live event. This disc features 56 minutes worth of material recorded there this year with additional overdubbing by Aidan Baker. Richard Baker and Christopher Kukiel lay down tribal / Middle Eastern rhythms in the form of drums, percussion, kalimba, djembe, dumbec and tabla while Aidan handles guitar and various other instruments. "Transform" sets the tone as richly textured ambiance and active rhythms blend, the percussion slowly melting away by the 11th minute leaving just the dreamy background loop. At this point, comparisons to Stars of the Lid are unavoidable but warranted. On "Arise" the roles are reversed as the lazy guitar chords and frayed notes (I'd almost swear I hear whale song in there somewhere) are sparingly flecked with the gentlest plunks of percussion. "Writhe" and "Slight Return/Raze" seem to add more buried tape samples and miscellaneous other abstractions, mixing and alternating the ambient and rhythmic elements with perfect grace. Lovely, absolutely lovely. The best thing you haven't heard so far this year. The next disc is 'The Canadian Spelling Program' by Hellothisisalex. Oh, and those other better known names? A certain San Francisco based duo as Vague Terrain Recordings and V/Vm. Make some room in your budget right now, and visit for series subscription info. - Mark Weddle


trabant, "moment of truth"
Trabant is the second act to be released by Icelandic label TMT Entertainment, and much like Múm, it's a charming, unexpected treat. This debut full-length album, which follows the EP release of 'Enter Spacebar' has gained a ton of ground already, being nominated for best debut album in the 2001 Icelandic Music Awards and featured in the New York Times as Reykjavik's most interesting new band. The styles flip-flop all around between groovy, laid back, super-cool vocal tunes like "Bluesbreaker," to the campy, kitchy soon-to-be classic, "Bahama Banana," beefy instrumentals like the album opener and first single, "Enter Spacebar," stunning, monumental digital orchestral movements like "Himnalalala," and "Happy Sunny Song," short guitar interludes, to the cute yet questionably motivated album closer, "Superman." It's no surprise that with the schizophrenic variety of styles and saturated instrumentation this album took six months to record, even with the help of super producer/guru Thor of Thule Musik Studios and despite the duo's decade of extensive experience in the Icelandic music scene. At any given moment, the songs bear a multitude of influences, like the vocal styles of Can's Damo Suzuki, basslines as fierce as some of Prince's strongest hooks, hyper psychedelics from cheap organs or ping-pong old-school game-like sounds of Kraftwerk. Toss in the quirky artwork like a cover which features Scandinavian-looking children of the mid-80s pasted into a rank basement discotheque and a booklet which features collages of photos with black-and-white stock imagery and the end result is undeniably one of the most unique yet entertaining releases I've heard in a long time. What are they feeding these Icelandics? - Jon Whitney


Tindersticks, "Trouble Every Day"
For those of you who read my review of French director Claire Denis' film Trouble Every Day in last week's Brain, you may have noticed some comments about the soundtrack. Brought together by Tindersticks and a small armada of violinists, cellists, and even a bongo player, Stuart Staples and company offer a minimal score that borders occasionally on the work of David Lynch darling Angelo Badalamenti. Utilizing silence as well as dramatically somber horn and string arrangements, the finished product serves as an appropriate backdrop to Denes' dark story of cannibalism/vampirism and imperfect love. In some of the most graphic scenes, the music becomes far more lush and unbearably sad when placed in context, such as with the aptly named "Killing Theme". Here, strings and woodwinds compete with the horrors of torture and mutilation, leaving the listener chilled and uneasy to say the least. However, this is where the soundtrack's flaw lies. Without the benefit of viewing the movie, the temptation exists to skip through the less exciting tracks, such as "Maid Theme (End)". Clocking in at just a little over 40 minutes, the CD also includes an extensive 24 page booklet featuring scenes from the film, which is a wonderful treat since so few record companies seem willing to put money into such "frivolities." I'm a sucker for packaging. - Gary Suarez


DJ Scud and Rich Kid, "Murder Sound"
Finally, more DJ Scud available on CD. On this release he teams up with our favorite newly-skinny ambiguously gay rock star drum'n'bass producer Matthias Mootz, also known as Panacea, Squaremeter, Kate Mosh, and here, Rich Kid. After Panacea started producing what can only be affectionately referred to as "soft" drum'n'bass, a far cry from his original release 'Low Profile Darkness.' All is not lost for the fans of his early sound, however, since it is very much present here on this album. Rich Kid is his distorted-ragga-jungle project, and I have to say it kicks enormous ass. I suppose some people might not like the ragga part of it, but I love it; nothing like angry Jamaicans and fuzzy reggae samples. All of his tracks are excellent, and for those new-school Panacea fans, he offers a "Panacea remix" of an old Bloodclaat Gangsta Youth (aka DJ Scud) track. I suppose that warrants the huge "PANACEA" on the cover... trying to sucker in fans, anyone? As for DJ Scud, his stuff is wonderful as always, but I have to say I'm a little disappointed on how little of it there is that's actually new. 0nly one track is new, the appropriately titled "Stormtrooper." His stuff is noisy and balls-out as usual, and his last track (from the 'Gun Court' 7" with Shizuo) veers on being sheer noise. Very good stuff (but we've heard it before! Give us MORE!) from the lovable Toby Reynolds (how's that for a hardcore name?). A wonderful and worthy purchase, but you might want to think about it if you already own the vinyl that contains the source of most of the tracks here. - Chris Zaldua


Clinic, "Walking With Thee"
Clinic, here with their second proper album release on Domino, are one of those bands everyone should hear. Why, you say? Because upon listening, one can easily hear their influences and how they've extrapolated them to their absolute extremes, but also what influence they've had on other bands of recent memory. Their music is a flavorful blend of instruments, live and synthetic, as well as programmed beats and samples. Clinic's members are notoriously shy, not identifying themselves in the liner notes here, and wearing doctor's masks in recent press photos. But with this release, they are stretching out in terms of exposure, even appearing on Craig Kilborn last week. And they should promote the hell out of this record: "Walking With Thee" is an amazing sophomore album release, showing the true potential of Clinic as innovators of modern music. 'Harmony' kicks off the album with an impressive start, part 'Tubular Bells', part harmonica-based blues project. Elsewhere, their sound reflects a more diverse musical background, allowing the band to produce truly original mood music of the highest quality. Ade Blackburn, Clinic's vocalist, is the real star of "Walking," as on each track, he puts his vocal frailties and dynamics on display for all to hear, though it is hardly a detriment to their sound. It's a hypnotic bouillabaisse, a recipe for disaster for some bands, but Clinic make it all sound so easy. Overall, a slight departure for the band vice previous releases as this one is a little more consumer friendly (read: marketable and stomach-able for the masses), and it's a little lazier than their more avant-garde fair, but still just as brilliant as their back catalogue. Highly recommended. - Rob Devlin


The latest duo release from Rob Mazurek's Chicago Underground presents the progressive melding of electronics with that of free jazz playing, resulting in some great performances of very cool and modern compositions. With drummer Chad Taylor at times providing the changes from the vibraphone on the disc's eleven tracks, Mazurek is freed up to stretch in his cornet soloing and explorations. The reversal occurs in "Particle and Transfiguration" finding the cornet giving a re-occuring battle cry over top of the controlled chaos of the drums and the occasional stab on the vibes, which I'm pretty sure were not overdubbed. "Lifelines" is a rolling, catchy vibe-augmented composition with the rhythms shifting between 6/8 and straight double time, and a parade sounding bass drum that gets you right in the chest. "Exponent Red" presents a slippery, repetitive synth bass line in which the melody is played off of while tightly tuned drums groove along nicely. "Two Concepts for the Storage of Light" begins by sounding almost as a lullaby from the vibes with cymbals swells, gradually building with unison lines with the cornet which plays along nicely over crashing drums. About halfway through the tunes 9+ minutes, the second 'concept' appears with a groovy synth bass line, fast and busy swing feel on the drums and cornet themes and solos. The busy and noisier "Memoirs of a Space Traveller" closes with a showcase of Taylor's beautiful nylon string guitar work over what sounds like a respirator (space helmet?). Recorded and mixed by John McEntire at his Soma Electronic Music Studios with help on a few tracks from Ken Brown, this disc uses the free jazz idiom with different elements and ideas brought into fold, as the title suggests, making for some interesting listening. - Gord Fynes


the clientele, "lost weekend" e.p.
If I would have been able to book the band at my high school prom, it would have been The Clientele. Much to the delight of those of us who fell under the spell of their 'Suburban Light' compilation, the band has returned with a new five-song EP. Released by Madrid's Acuarela Records and "loosely based around the poetics of the hangover", 'Lost Weekend' retains the same hazy, oneiric nostalgia that is manifested in their previous work. It kicks off with "North School Drive", a consummate Clientele track in every way: warm, shimmering guitar and delicate, lilting and nearly incomprehinsible vocals. "Boring Postcard", a minute-long piece which sounds like an urban field recording, follows. The third track, "Emptily Through Holloway", is the focal point of the EP; an atypical Clientele track only with regard to its relatively epic length of just over five minutes. Finally, "Last Orders" is a notable departure from their signature sound: a solo instrumental piece on piano. As much as I anticipate the forthcoming debut album that the band has hinted at releasing some time in the future, I think perhaps I would be just as content if The Clientele were to continue to put out their material in a suitably quaint, steady stream of 7" singles. - Jessica Tibbits


Joshua Abrams is a double bassist who lives in Chicago and is probably best known as a member of Town and Country. These solo recordings are released as part of Lucky Kitchen's Sparkling Composers series in a nice brown card envelope with silver patterns printed on it.
Presumably the album title came from the snippet of dialogue that opens the first track "Trip North." This soon gives way to subtle fluctuating electric drones, which sound like processed string bowing, accented by irregular pinging chimes. "After Fire" cuts abruptly in with the quenching flow of running water. It doesn't stick around long as the river flows ever onward, and "Departure (Cellar)" is a much longer melancholic meditation on solo bowed contrabass. Although this starts off sparse and forlorn it picks up atonal clattering creaking momentum which dissipates then builds up scattershot intensity as if mice are running all over the bass strings until a finale of long low bowed drones builds an altogether heavier intensity which finally peters out to a fine point. "Plums" rest on a loop both percussive and droning, over which arch higher string rattlings. Cut to high to mid range electronic squeal and slowly emerging cocoon like eerie insect ambience. Finally the insects taste fermenting sugar and roll drunk in fiddling ecstacy. "Lo Speed Chase" ups the anthill with some overtly rhythmic whimsical wiggling that constantly threatens to up end itself and although it seems to dance as if its laces are tied it manages never to trip. "Everything Can Be Good Sometimes" brings back the running water tapes for another spin as a backdrop for stuttering off centre piano chops, weaving in and out like Steve Reich losing the plot, before they converge and a gorgeous bowed melody like a lo-fi Tortoise caught snoozing erupts quite unexpectedly. Latterly the piano runs haywire again and this feeling of chaos just about to break out but held in check recurrs. "Attic" seems to be a companion to "Cellar" and is aptly titled as it builds more soaring, towering structures from similarly thick squeaky bowings, rising to plink plunk crescendo. The final short track "Crossing Kingston Bridge" seems to be a field recording of tuneful whistling over echoing footsteps. This is a great disc to have on low as dawn breaks, and seems to paint an idiosyncratic engaging picture of a journey. Sound samples can be downloaded from the Lucky Kitchen. - Graeme Rowland


Abfahrt Hinwil, "Links Berge Recht Seen"
Here's a retrospective (of sorts) from this duo comprised of Martin Haidinger (Gimmik) and Chris Cunningham (reportedly NOT the one who directs Autechre and Aphex Twin videos ... but who knows?) that compiles their 7" and 10" on Toytronic as well as their 7" on Expanding Records, while adding only two additional tracks. So for those of you who haven't heard this project before, here's a good start. Question is, is it worth hearing? The answer is a more-or-less-definite "yes." Abfahrt Hinwil produce mostly-three-minute-long swirly melancholy-happy IDM tracks, much like a certain Darrell Fitton, a.k.a. Bola. This is not a bad thing (they do what they do quite well), but they're not innovative and some of you may be tiring of it. With that said, this is a damn good CD - lots of lush, beautiful moments ("Radiowellen") and analog synthy goodness. Since they're all pretty short, none of the tracks really get overlong, and your attention should be held quite nicely throughout the disc. However, I have to say I'm quite disappointed this album has only two new tracks on it. It leaves me a little unsatisfied, since I was familiar with Abfahrt Hinwil's records prior to this. Regardless, this is a cheap, easy way to get it all in one package. Worth a buy if you're a fan - but don't expect anything groundbreaking or too mindblowing. (P.S. - track ten on the album ("Tech 7") is, in my mind, the best song on the album (and a track that blows nearly all Bola tracks away) ... but on the CD, it appears in its 45RPM format (which is the "right" way to play it on the original 7"). If you own the record, PLEASE play it at 33RPM. If you just have the CD, rip the track to an MP3, then use a pitchshift plugin for Winamp or something and slow it down -27% - the resulting track is one of the most beautiful and wonderful things ever. Its sped-up version is blasphemy to my ears. Thought you'd like to know...) - Chris Zaldua


Slepcy, "And Again"
This was an album whose press release suckered me into purchasing it and later made me want to kill whoever wrote it. "Distorted breakbeats laid upon orchestral passages," they say. Yeah. Yeah, right. Let's get this straight - if you're hoping for something like Tchaikovsky-breakcore (hey, it might be blasphemy, but it might be good, too), look elsewhere. There's nothing to do with this album - or with any of Slepcy's work - that's "orchestral." Instead, 'And Again' wastes 35 minutes of your time with meager gabber beats and jabs of distortion and noise. I'm desperately trying to say more about this album... but all I can think about is how bad it was. It really had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Repetitive, dull, done before, done better... this album runs the gamut of musical crimes. Maybe it'd be worthwhile if you've heard Slepcy on vinyl and wanted a collection on CD - but otherwise, stay far, far away from this abortion. - Chris Zaldua


Kicking off his new Kangaroo label, care of Raster-Noton, Ilpo Väisänen debuts the Liima (Finnish for "glue") moniker with four tracks on two black pouched, black vinyl 10"s. The plan for the label is to release more records, including 7"s and 12"s all limited to 1000 copies, of music that has "a strong connection to the Jamaican dubstyle". Your preconceptions of what "dub" by a member of Pan Sonic might sound like, assuming you're familiar with both, will probably be pretty close to the actual product. It's more Pan Sonic with a dub influence than vice versa: cold minimalism lacking in the soulfulness of dub but taking on some of its exterior musical nature. The four versions run five to six minutes apiece, each gradually developing layers of effected beats, bass and electronics. The midpoints are where things get the busiest and most interesting as the blend of flavors come to a head. Good stuff. It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Väisänen does to mix it up more on future Kangaroo releases. - Mark Weddle


do make say think, "&yet &yet"
If I could have one wish this week, it would be that I could be more vocal about things I really, really love. Truth be said, the first two albums from this Toronto-based ensemble didn't do a whole lot for me. While they were pleasant, they weren't all that attention-demanding. From the first minute, this third album is exceptionally more captivating. It's surprisingly quite noticably more energetic, less predictably repetitious and electronically more adventurous than anything I've ever heard out of them. Luckily that energy carries throughout the remainder, with a musical variety accented (yet never overpowered) by breathy voices, more involved horns and tactful electronic noodling than before. All the basic elements like the melodic multiple guitar melodies and pulsating bass guitar are present, plus an impressive improvement on both drum playing and sounds effects. The songs range from the jamming upbeat openers, through the more subtle and haunting "Chinatown," with sparse guitars and thickly plucked bass to the angelic almost Christmas-like "Reitschule" (Riding School in German). While there were certainly some moments on previous albums which went on way too long, the songs here are feverent, yet reserved and captivating enough to be thoroughly enjoyed without being tempted to reach for the skip button. At seven songs/49 minutes, it's perfectly enjoyable in one sitting, whether you're at work, at home making dinner, or driving around the town. - Jon Whitney


Once someone said something like, "Talking about music is like dancing about architecture." It was a snappy quote that has been oft repeated but not by Matt Wand. Over in Salford, which for those who don't know is north of Manchester city centre, there are churches that have been known to make people break out in spontaneous jigging. These churches are made from bricks which were fashioned from small rocks. These are not the same Small Rocks that can be found in electronic beat juggling formations of silly nihil-reggae on this disc. Hopefully this clears up any confusion that may have arisen and the good people in the North of England can carry on happily waltzing inspired by ominous spires, belching smokestacks and crumbling blocks of flats.
Matt Wand has clambered from the smouldering wreckage of Stock, Hausen and Walkman with most of his organs intact and a goldmine of shiny pebbles to send dancers into convulsions as they try to shake their coprolites to clodhopping broken breakbeat celebrations of the Martian housing crisis and minerals with no cleavage. More compact and harder edged than later Walkman works, Small Rocks only reproduce with the prior permission of Dicky, who likes to keep his loungecore moves a little tricky. If there's comparisons to Stock, Hausen and Walkman to be made then they ought to be to the 'Venetian Deer,' although this seems less plunderphonic and all the fiddling about with Gameboys has certainly made an impact as there's fictional hotwired video game anthems lurking round every corner. The Small Rocks were rubbed together to spark up zany hellfire in Dicky's Skull and offer up thanks to such entities as the Pyramidiots and the Inarticulate Brachiopod. Like some old Carry On Computer film, there seems to be lots of silly double entendre intended in the name Small Rocks. It's a joke that would've worn a bit thin if it had spurted all over the music, but since a track from this was included on a Wire Tapper CD and the Wire deals with only serious music it must mean that this is a serious shuffle. There is plenty of scope for 'rocking on' here and the option of getting one's 'rocks off' is not precluded. A Japanese lady pops in over halfway through to sing a warped showtune about a Japanese little devil, and the final ode to Martian cities has some vocoder irritant robovox, but mostly the Small Rocks go for a compact instrumental ride. As if the manic cut up comedy sci-fi beat action wasn't enough, the daft sleeve featuring a bemused convict clutching a small rock is worth having this for! Be well advised that if you just download the sound samples and don't buy this you will be missing out on the free handy ruler for measuring your small rocks! - Graeme Rowland


Fila Brazillia, "Jump Leads"
Another group hell bent on proving that the best electronic music is a combination of programmed beats and sampled live instruments, Fila Brazillia first gained notice as remixers of popular acts. Remixes of Radiohead tracks by the two, David McSherry and Steve Cobby, were the most notable, but their most recent project was the CD by The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli's darker side project away from the Afghan Whigs. Brazillia were brought in after the first mix of the album to add some spice, which they did, but Dulli was so impressed with their writing, as well, that he composed a few tracks with them specifically for the release. The duo show off that skill more here, but the results are a little uneven, though an entertaining listen. It must be said that the use of live instrumentation is impressive, especially the Stevie WOnder harmonica on a few tracks, and that the album is a much more upbeat affair. It's all pretty well produced, and the fact that McSherry and Cobby played most of the instruments with only a few guests is also worthy of praise. There are a few too many missteps, however, for it to be a truly great release. Sampled vocals on 'Spill the Beans' by Washington Phillips come off sounding like Moby Lite, and most tracks use up their fresh tones and originality in the first minute, then repeat the same elements until they're almost monotonous. Standout tracks feature the duo sampling organ and guitar with funky and stuttering breakbeats behind them, and just funking out to rock your booty. There's even an ingenious use of sampling on 'DNA': Dead Can Dance (bet you never thought they'd be used to shake your rump)! All in a greater effort to bring the funk, which they do well. Overall, though, I give the record a C, as it seems Fila Brazillia are nothing more than England's answer to Daft Punk on most of these tracks. - Rob Devlin


This seven-track, sophomore disc from the politically minded NYC purveyors of Afrobeat finds their sound being a lot fuller than last years remarkable Ninja Tune debut. This would be due to the crisper studio production, a few more horns this time around, and the plain fact that these guys can write and perform some heavy lead arrangements that gel nicely with a tightly-knit rhythm section. The disc's opener, "Gabe's New Joint" is a slow and slinky funk number with some great back and forth dialogue within the horn section. The title track shows to be some damn fine Afrobeat. Staccato horn motifs and group vamps, groovy organ solos, lush percussion sounds, and solo breaks which go right off the hook and build tension within the arrangement. This is all topped off with some vocal stylings from percussionist Duke Amayo, with a shout chorus from the band. "War is a Crime" is a bass/drums/percussion Soca-styled groove with some nice call and response melodies in the horn section which give way to separate solos from the baritone sax and trombone. "NYASH" is the track which had me out of my seat and dancing around the living room. The tense building of the busy horns right off the top, widely syncopated bass line and drum groove, lush organ and shekeres keeping it nailed down make this one of the highlights of the disc. Antibalas have always encouraged dancing at their live shows, which is very probable with the amount of energy these guys exude. It's great to know that this disc manages to capture it all. - Gord Fynes


The Anniversary/Superdrag Tour CD EP
A few months ago I reviewed the Superdrag tour EP "Greetings From Tennessee", and I commented on how little I liked the release because it seemed like the songwriting had slipped. It seemed only die-hard fans could appreciate the EP, as the mixes were not great, and the songs weren't the hard-hitting strength one would expect from Superdrag. Well, Superdrag released this split tour EP with The Anniversary shortly after "Greetings", and two of their tracks were also on that release, so I held off. Until I heard recently that the band had rerecorded those tracks and mixed them themselves specifically for this release. In fact, all tracks were recorded just for this release, and although I'd never heard The Anniversary, I took a chance. I'm glad I did. Not only are the Superdrag tracks much better here, The Anniversary are happily a band I am pleased to recommend. They are a bit complex, The Anniversary. Shuffling styles and identities on the fly, the only constant being the powerful vocal harmonies, The Anniversary have the sound of a band that's never happy with one direction, and that's just fine. Hastily written and recorded, as the liner notes announce, these tracks are psychedelic power pop, speaking of redemption and strength in numbers. There's even a humorous moment on the second track, 'Anais', where an aborted start is ridiculed by all involved. Funny stuff. As for the Superdrag tracks, they definitely redeem themselves and reclaim the tracks, as they are much more powerful and, for lack of a better term, crunchy here. You can tell that they wanted to get the power of these songs across better, and that John Davis wail is back, I'm pleased to announce. And you can hear all of the instruments well, which is always a plus. The double-tracked vocals on 'Take Your Spectre Away', originally a track the band was working on for their sophomore album, are a nice touch, as they just drive the band to a complete frenzy towards the end of the track. There's one new one here, 'I Guess It's American,' and it's classic Superdrag: poppy, angry guitar, and Davis singing about what's wrong with this system. "If you ever pull that shit again/Never see you the same way again," says Davis, right before proclaiming "I guess it's American/it's embarrassin'." Indeed. Here, though, The Anniversary and Superdrag prove that real American rock is still anything but, and it's worth it to give these tracks a listen. - Rob Devlin


The second in a series of seven mail order only releases from Subconscious Communications, 'Puppy Gristle' presents an evolutionary missing link in Skinny Puppy history. The 40 minute improvisational jam, aka "brap", was recorded in Southern California in November of 1993, one of many sessions fashioning material for the final Puppy studio album 'The Process'. That particular day Genesis P-Orridge and Larry Thrasher of Psychic TV were visiting and took part. The sound channeling involved cEvin Key on analog gear and Dwayne Rudolf Goettel on digital gear feeding their outputs to P-Orridge's "Gristle-izer" unit (courtesy of fellow Throbbing Gristle member Chris Carter) then on to engineer Ken "Hiwatt" Marshall. Later, Puppy front man Nivek Ogre added some vocals. Key states in the liner notes that this was a brap pinnacle and I believe it. It's the next logical step from the sonic wasteland showcased on the 1992 Puppy masterpiece 'Last Rights': thoroughly manipulated synth waves, shapeshifting noise, beats and percussion, random radio transmissions and samples (especially nice use of obscured symphony), Ogre and GPO's muttered vocalizations, etc. are impressively tangled and untangled in an ebb and flow fashion. With so many hands and minds in control of the collage on the fly, it's somewhat surprising how it comes across as both improvised and composed, chaotic yet controlled. And it sounds remarkably clear, powerful and inspired. Not to mention utterly terrifying and/or beautiful. Portions of the piece ended up on Download's 'Charlie's Family' soundtrack, but you really need to hear it all from start to finish as it is here for the full effect. Much more satisfying than volume one of the series, Download 'Inception', 'Puppy Gristle' stands on its own and has thankfully seen the light of day over eight years after its creation. Next up is Download 'III Steps Forward', studio ideas from 1996 to 2000. - Mark Weddle


Little Computer People - "Little Computer People Remixes"
After the super-brilliant album last year (easily in my top five from last year... I like it more with each listen) 'Electro Pop' Anthony Rother returns with a boatload of remixers to interpret the Little Computer People song "Little Computer People." And that's the only downside to this album, really: only one track is remixed. I would have loved to hear other versions of "Follow the Leader" or "I Am" or "Eyes"... but no. Alas, that really doesn't make this a poor album, because the remixers vary so much in sound and style that the whole thing never gets repetitive. The first (and probably best) remix on this disc is Anthony Rother's own - my God, what a remix it is. Taking the rhythms and feel of the original song, switching, adding, and removing a few beats here and there, and adding his *own voice* (that's right! no vocoder!) he transforms the song from a C64 period piece into an epic reconstruction. I had no idea he sounded so good without a vocoder. Psylocity's "punk remix" is, well, just that: a dirty funky reinterpretation of the original with slightly different vocals. Wonderful. Karl Bartos's (yes, THE Karl Bartos) remix is a wonderful string-drenched piece, while Heiko Laux's "Flow" remix is perfect for a dancefloor. The "1979 Original" is a, uh, band-version of the track (guitars, drums, and all), and the disc ends with a fantastic new track called "Little Computer Men." Tack on the brilliant Quicktime videos and PSI49NET discography and Commodore 64 emulator with PSI49NET demo that come packed on the disc, and this is a fantastic deal at a cheap price. - Chris Zaldua


francisco lopez, "untitled #123"
In the tradition of untitled releases from Francisco Lopez, #123 once again comes without artwork and consists of one long track with silence both at the beginning and end of the disc. Lopez went through great lengths to record this disc, spending a year with other electronic artists (Aube, Carsten Nicolai, Martin Tetreault, [the user], Jaap Blonk and many others) making recordings inside a silo in Montreal and then finishing up the in Paris at the Iannis Xenakis Musical Creation Center. The result? More impressive than your typical chin-scratching reaction from groups of people who have always had designer bathrooms and certainly less insulting than Lopez' tribute to death metal. After about one minute of dead silence, low pitched quiet sounds appear, resonate and slowly, slightly creep their way up the frequency spectrum. After about ten minutes of this quietness, the somewhat recognizably digitally edited sounds of grains and metal rhythmically pulse and play with an interspresed silence. Before long, more sound samples appear and sustain, replacing the silence with the hiss of running grains, and a resonating gong-like hum and shimmer. The intensity grows louder, louder, and louder until a frightening, violent cut. For the next thirteen minutes or so, all's quiet, or is it? The display levels register something but the frequency is so low, it's almost completeley inaudible to the human ear. A thunderous rumbling follows and crescendos for the remaining 24 minutes of the audible portion of the track. The grand finale by which all sounds appear to be playing at once. Every second gets more and more torturous and nightmarish until the cut. Relax your ears as the track ends with 16 minutes of silence. In the end, while it was a charming audio adventure, I'm honestly only left with one question: where do all these "artists" get the money for these projects? - Jon Whitney


We know that sometimes these CDs are somewhat challenging to find, which is why we have a community section which can be used to obtain nearly everything available on this site.


Antibalas - Talkatif CD/LP (Ninja Tune, UK)
Badly Drawn Boy - Silent Sigh 7"/two CDEPs (XL Recordings, UK)
Bazille Noir - Türbläser 12" (Klein, Austria)
Thomas Brinkmann - Soul Center III CD/2xLP (Novamute, UK)
Chris Carter - Electronic Ambient Remixes Three CD (CTI/World Serpent, UK) Current 93/Thomas Ligotti - In a Foreign Town, In a Foreign Land CD+book [reissue of previous limited edition release] (Durtro/World Serpent, UK)
Esem - Enveloped CD/LP (deFocus, UK)
Flunk - Blue Monday CDEP (Beatservice, Norway)
Meltal - Fractured Constellations CDR3" [ltd to 50 copies] (souRcerer/souRce research/World Serpent, UK)
Stephen Philips/Numina - From Within The Abyss CD (Dark Duck, US)
Ruisort - Acapulco Now CD/2xLP (Certificate 18, UK)
Luke Slater - Nothing At All two 12"s/CDEP (Mute, US)
souRce research - Dark Start CDR3" [ltd to 50 copies] (souRcerer/souRce research/World Serpent, UK)
Various - Lo & Behold CD (Lo Recordings, UK)

Jack Dangers - Variaciones CD (Instinct, US)
Joseph Malik - Diverse CD/LP (Compost, Germany)
Sleeping Flies - You Are Superior CD (Kindercore/Electronic Watusi Boogaloo, US)
Tiger Saw - Blessed Are the Trials We Will Find CD (Kimchee, US)
Various - Audio.NL CD [with Motor, Taylor Deupree, Auch, Radboud Mens, Komet, Static, Slo-Fi, Goem] (Shadow, US)
Otomo Yoshihide - New Jazz Ensemble Dreams CD (Tzadik, US)
John Zorn - Hockey CD (Tzadik, US)

meltdownBrown - Music for the Mildly Disturbed CD (Alleged Iguana, Canada)
ill cosby - homesnake CDR (condsc, US)

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 site,
since release dates can and will often change.

gold chains, chicks on speed, louie austen at sxsw
For the six of you who aren't familiar with South-by-Southwest (SXSW), it's a music and film festival in Austin, Texas. Nine hundred bands play at 50 clubs in five nights. Last Friday at Emo's was a Kork Agency Showcase featuring Gold Chains, Louie Austen, The Mooney Suzuki, Atmosphere, and Chicks on Speed. I had come to see Chicks on Speed, so I missed the beginning of Gold Chains. What I did see was this guy yelling into a mic while his iBook played mediocre beats. I decided to check out the smaller stage, and when I came back, the next act was just starting. A sixty year old lounge singer in a white tux came out on stage and began to sing "The Lady is a Tramp." This is some kind of novelty act, for sure, something to go inbetween the other acts. Then, before the next song, Louie Austen introduced himself and told us, that two young men (M. Neugebauer) approached him and asked him what he thought of electronic music. Before I know it, a beat has started and Louie is singing "Music Keeps Me Staying Alive." It's lounge IDM. Maybe this is what I'll listen to when I'm sixty and I go out to clubs. Louie was extremely entertaining, and his performance and charisma were 60% of the reason that act was so enjoyable. Next came Mooney Suzuki, a high energy mix of indie rock and garage punk. Excellent set, very entertaining men. The drummer, Will Rockwell, and the guitarist, Graham Tyler, are amazingly talented. Their new album, Electric Sweat, is coming out in the next few weeks, and it is quite good.
Then came Atmosphere, and I was looking forward to this set, but it was a dissapointment. The sound levels were off at the beginning, so they never really got started well. If it were'nt for their DJ, Mr. Dibbs, I would have gone to the other stage. He was great, mixing in Ozzy when they started to lose the crowd. I'd say that the highlight of the set was a medley they did of spoofs of other rap artists, i.e. "I'm a slug" and "My name is . . . Tim Daley." But overall, I was not impressed with the band, as they started a fight on stage, and then Mr. Dibbs put some kid who was trying to buy his merchandise in a chokehold for no apparent reason. Maybe they aren't cut out for fame.
Last was Chicks on Speed, and this made the whole night worth it. They had a bad start, as the monitor levels were off , which seemed to be a theme that night, but once they got started, they did an amazing set. They had well-composed songs that were heavy on bass and full of improvisation. Their girl-punk vocals really made the act stand out from everything else that night, and I couldn't get over how captivating they are as performers. They paint themselves and use homemade instruments, like their electronically altered vinyl belts that they play during "We don't play guitars!" They are smart musicians and they really know how to play a crowd. After the false start, they grabbed our attention, spraying us with water and getting off the stage to roam the audience. Chicks on Speed appear to be a retro-novelty act, with neon lame and fishnet hose, until you listen and realize that they are making really good music. I bought the album on my way out, and I haven't been sorry. - Jon Daries


no comment
There's an overabundance of links to wade through and not enough time to comment fully on them this week.

Jesus is with you always at
Rate your fave rods at
Rate your fave wasted chicks at
Close your eyes and listen to Porn for the Blind at Don't look first however!
Watch George W. Bush as Pinnochio at
Play with a Bruce Lee panel at
Play "find the missing jet" at
Fight the DMCA at
Wonder for hours at
Wonder even more at


only one letter this week?

Subject: Notwist

I wanted to thank you for your review of the Notwist's new album. I had just gotten sick of everything else I own, and then I went and bought the Neon Golden LP and I can't stop listening to it.

Cool! Are the kids on vacation this week or something?


dimitry not from paris
do make say think - & yet & yet
microstoria - model 3, step 2
calexico - travelall
oval - systemisch
radian - tg11
DAT politics - villiger
modest mouse - sad sappy sucker
thomas lehn / phil durrant / rada malfatti - dach
neutral milk hotel - in the aeroplane over the sea

dimitri krasnoperov, izhevsk, russia

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