Monday, September 28, 2009

Mandatory Repost: Speed, Glue & Shinki-Eve (1971)

"Blues·based funereal dirges about scoring amphetamines ('Mr Walking Drugstore Man'), paranoid sludge-trudge proto-metal anthems about taking drugs to avoid straight people ('Stoned out of My Mind'), cuckolded dead marches to cheating women with invitations to them to commit suicide ('Big Headed Woman'): welcome to the world of Speed, Glue & Shinki. Even before Atlantic had unleashed this astonishingly raw debut LP on to an unsuspecting public in 1971, guitarist Shinki Chen was already touted as Japan's answer to Jimi Hendrix (he wasn't) and the gorgeous Franco-Japanese heart·throb Masayoshi Kabe was adored by thousands of GS fans as Louis Louis of the Golden Cups. Bandleader, songwriter and singing drummer
Joey 'Pepe' Smith was something else again, however, for this six·foot·two Filipino had an out of control amphetamine habit and a need to tell everybody about it. Imagine the Move's ultraslow pre-glam single 'Brontosaurus' as a blueprint for an entire career, and you have this bunch of ne'er-do-wells in your sights. Add ominous atonal sub-sub-Tony Vtsconti basslines and sub-sub-Bill Ward bibles·thrown-at·the-sofa drumfills, and you've hit their pleasure centre headon. Songs came courtesy of the singing drummer, and if his lyrics are killer, then his asides are even more masterfully snotty ('Do yourself in', 'she smokes all of my dope', 'You can get
love if you want it, baby, but you can never get it from me'). Let's conclude this review with bass player Masayoshi 'Glue' Kabe's current thoughts on his old band: 'We were loose ...Joey would break the drums and stuff ... Even when I listen to it now, I think, 'What a great
band: Crude, too.'"

This is such an amazing goddamn record and NO ONE has tried it from the original post! Aside from being an enormous blow to my ever expanding ego, I was aghast at the fact that no one who visits has heard this. This is some prime fucking Japanese rock and roll. So heavy. So good. So get it this time. Awesome.

Take it or Eve it

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pärson Sound-Pärson Sound (1966-68/2001)

"Parson Sound was one of the earliest and most radical experimental rock bands of Sweden and the nucleus of a lineup that went on to become International Harvester, Harvester, and eventually, Trad Gras Och Stenar. With their expansive intake of styles as diverse as West Coast psychedelic music and the Velvet Underground's minimalism while still retaining a hint of their Swedish roots, Parson Sound created an unusual sound similar to early Krautrock, though predating its beginning by a year. The group began in Stockholm in the spring of 1967 shortly after a visit to Sweden by minimalist composer Terry Riley to perform his classic "In C," as well as a new work with Swedish school children called "Olson III." Guitarist Bo Anders Persson, a student at the Royal Academy of Music who had already experimented with tape music, participated in the "In C" and was deeply inspired by Riley's open-minded aesthetic in contrast to the stifling atmosphere of the university. Persson started Parson Sound as a free improvisational group with cello player Arne Ericsson, also from the Academy; bassist Torbjörn Abelli, a music student at the University of Stockholm; and radio journalist and poet Thomas Tidholm, who met Persson while working on an article. Thomas Mera Gartz, previously the drummer for the psychedelic beat group Mecki Mark Men, soon joined the group and in the next year, others came and went in the loose collective, including Urban Yman, Bengt Berger, Bjorn Fredholm, and Kjell Westling. By summer 1967, Parson Sound was performing before audiences in cafés, clubs, and festivals and they also gigged a couple times on Swedish radio in September and December of that year. Parson's repetitive and hypnotic riffs were quite similar in sound to the Velvet Underground in its more improvised phase, so it was only fitting that in February 1968 they were part of an Andy Warhol exhibit at Stockholm's Museum of Modern Art. Eventually, the group coalesced around Persson, Abelli, Tidholm, Ericsson, and Yman and by summer 1968, they had changed their name to International Harvester to further refine their sound. This group would eventually become Trad Gras Och Stenar, while several of Parson's alum went on to another progressive experimental group, Arbete Och Fritid."

"During my long holiday break, I not only found time to listen to a lot of music that I'd missed from the past year, but also dove back into the back catalogue of my collection with wild abandon and re-discovered a lot of music that I realized I wish I had more time to listen to on a regular basis. One of the albums that was played on multiple occasions (out of earshot of my wife, as she hates this stuff) was the double-disc self-titled release by Párson Sound, an underground Swedish psych rock band from the late 60s that created insane music that still destroys much of what is being recorded today.

The very early roots of the band were formed in 1966, when a musician named Bo Anders Persson started compositional studies at the Royal Academy, but felt a bit hemmed-in by the emphasis on technique and theories. Only a year later, Terry Riley visited Sweden, and Perrson was one of the musicians who took place in a performance of the classic In C, furthering his notions of creating more experimental and improvisational music that incorporated elements of folk and rock music. In a rapid burst, a batch of musicians came together, playing everything from traditional instruments to tape loops, amplified electric cello, saxophone, flute, and more.

Many members of the group (including Persson) would later morph into such groups as International Harvester, Harvester, Trád, and Grás Och Stenar, and while all of those incarnations had stellar moments, none of them capture the almost feverish intensity of these original sessions. Originally recorded for a wide variety of outlets (including rehearsals, outdoor park performances, and sessions for live radio), the recording quality isn't always the greatest, but the sheer hypnotic quality of the music more than makes up for any deficiencies.

It's music that's hard to classify today, and probably split even more heads open when it was originally recorded. "From Tunis To India In Fullmoon (On Testosterone)" is literally one of the most noisy, minimal psych tracks I've ever heard. Clocking in at over twenty minutes, it chugs forward relentlessly with a doom-riffic rhythm section as guitars, electric cello and soprano saxophone wail away and joust with one another while building up some delicious tension and release. "One Quiet Afternoon (In The King's Garden)" captures a recording from a restaurant performance (I can only imagine being there) where the group layers multiple tape loop, flute, and string drones over pounding drums and guitars before the entire thing gets swallowed up in a creepy haze that sounds like the group is trying to contact spirits from beyond the grave.

In places, they do sound a smidgen more of-their-time, but even the more traditional opening section of "Sov Gott Rose-Marie" morphs into a sort of primordial drone-rock that pretty much melts away any of the more lighthearted melodies that came before it. Showing a completely different side of their personality is "On How To Live," where an open-air recording adds delightful nature sounds to an open-air acoustic park jam that predates groups like The Blithe Sons by over three decades. The release even contains a tape-loop and voice meditation by Persson himself that sounds ages ahead of its time as well.

In their fairly short period under this name, Párson Sound exploded with ideas, and even managed to find some high-profile accolades, opening for The Doors and even playing at the opening of an Andy Warhol exhibition at the museum of Modern Art in Stockholm at his request. It's just over two hours worth of music that's incredibly expressive and intense, and unfortunately out of print again. If you must have the CD, good luck hunting it down, otherwise the excellent digital-only re-release label Anthology Recordings has just made it part of their high-quality catalogue."

Ooooh boy. This one is a monster. A big, scary Scandinavian, doomy, drone-happy monster. Insanely stunning for the time it was recorded (1966-68) and equally perplexing that virtually no one got to hear this until this very decade. I can't say enough good things about these sessions and this band. It's a shame they didn't stick together for the long run but I'm fucking elated with what we've got and I'm betting you will be too.

Parte uno

Parte dos

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Old Time Relijun-Witchcraft Rebellion (2001)

"It's a fine line that separates the ragged stomp and swagger of Old Time Relijun and the borderline blackface routine of Jon Spencer and his Blues-ploitation, but it's an important one. Rather than rely or clichés, milking them for comedic effect or just for a strutting, self-congratulatory wank-off, Old Time Relijun takes the blues and twists it into a contorted, freakish figure similar to the way Captair Beefheart's early Magic Band did, complete with lyrics that seem pulled out of a peyote-eater's dream journal.

Old Time Relijun revolves around Olympia-based songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Arrington de Dionyso. The band started as a one-man deal, but over time de Dionyso recruited other Olympians to help his cause. For some time now, Old Time Relijun's drummer has been Phil Elvrum from the Microphones (lo-fi indie rock's great white hope). He also recorded Witchcraft Rebellion, and it features a few of his by-now-expected marks of idiosyncratic brilliance, though he mostly keeps the twists and turns to a minimum, relying instead on a trebly, tense sound.

As his name would seem to suggest, Dionyso sings like some drunker ecstatic lunatic when he's not doing his best Beefheart imitation. At his strangest and most compelling, he sounds like a Mongoliar throat-singing Popeye. Needless to say, it's one of those voices you're going to either love or hate immediately-- I happened to love it.

As for his lyrics, here's a good sample from the disc-opening "Mystery Language": "I can take off my head and so can my dad/ In the grocery store it falls on the floor..." You get the idea-- even the band's name is cribbed from Beefheart (Mr. Van Vliet's refrain or "Moonlight on Vermont"). Yet Old Time Relijun have clearly developed their eccentricities to such a high degree that they distinguish themselves beyond mere imitators. Those with the aural endurance to make it through Witchcraft Rebellion's early sonic assaults will discover hints of dub, Motown, post-punk angularity, and hipster-jive poetry strewn throughout the album.

"Cuneform" starts out like classic Beefheartian chang-ba, but ends sounding like a vintage Nick Cave rant-- uh, if Cave had ever ranted about archaeology. Elsewhere, "Mercury Snake" is a dirty slow jam coupled with the strangled blasts of a sax trying to turn itself inside out, and "King of Nothing" sounds like Sebadoh as fronted by the aforementioned spinach-eatin' sailor man.

The problem with most modern bands who take a lot of their cues from Beefheart is that they almost always ignore the wild sense of humor present in a lot of his music, focusing instead on Beefheart's more serious, conceptual, and high-minded aspects. I'm mainly thinking of U.S. Maple here, and they serve as a good foil to Old Time Relijun ir terms of bands heavily influenced by the good Captain. Old Time Relijun takes Beefheart's more playful elements and runs, synthesizing them with a shambling melange of clatter and junkyard funk. And in doing so, they transcend their influences by out-conceptualizing the conceptualists."

Gotta love a band this weird. There's that definite Beefheart weirdness along with some Primus-esque moments for good measure. After reading the review you might be able to tell if you'll dig it or not. Definitely for those who enjoy strange, humorous tunes. Highly recommended.

Yee haw!

Cerberus Shoal-Homb (1999)

"A five-piece band out of Maine (yes, Maine), they play what I would call ambient rock with ethnic influences. Ambient rock might be a contradiction in terms, but they fill the bill pretty nicely as they sway back and forth from meandering soundscapes filled with flutes, digeridoo, and brass to almost full-on rock in the form of electric guitar and more of a standard lineup of instruments (although they still have lots of other, more ecelectic ones in place as well).

Reading the list of instruments played by the fellows on this release almost gets to be a bit of a choir after awhile (it spans over 30 items), and it includes everything from the above mentioned to congas and cowbells to shakers, keyboards, tablas, and things that I can't even pronounce (like a dholak). Over the course of 50 minutes of music, they've created a solid release that has 5 different tracks (that feel more like movements) and work a re-occuring theme into things.

The opening track of "Harvest" leads into things very slowly, with all kinds of chimes, twinkling, and treated spoken-word samples (that sound like they were phoned-in over an unsteady phone line) drifting behind a rather haunting keyboard tone and percussion that sounds like a heartbeat (and very well may be). It's kind of an eerie opening to the disc, but it all fades out and into the next track of "Omphalos," which is quite possibly the best one on the disc. After starting out slow, the track builds up with some keyboards, a rather simple guitar line and excellent tabla percussion, before horns work their way into the mix and provide some absolutely beautiful moments as they build into a sedate climax.

The final three tracks on the disc all work sort of the same theme without coming across as too repetitive. "Myrrh (Waft)" takes a more ambient, unfocused route of almost random chimes and keyboards while "Myrrh (Loop)" works itself into the loudest track (and most rockin') with some blaring guitars (that almost recall hair-band status) and horns that step together in punctuation. The last track "Myrrh (Reprise)" is sort of a combination of the two that never gets going too much, yet never drops off into noodling (and has some excellent guitar work) and works in some chant-like vocals that are never overbearing. Overall, it's a pretty darn good release and one that makes me want to hunt down more work by the group. It may drift a little bit too much for some listeners, but it's a good release overall and if you took Macha and Tortoise and locked them in a room together, it might sound something a bit like this. Maybe. Good stuff nonetheless."

Really awesome, awe-inspiring music with all of the instrumentation and influences. Did I mention this band contains Big Blood/Fire on Fire members before they went the folk route? Do I need to say anything else? Grabs it, heathen!

Feelin' right at Homb

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Harvey Milk-The Singles (2006)

"Who would've though this would ever come to pass?! Those of you who love things slow and sludgy and heavy, should be on your knees, thanking whatever god you pray to, for allowing this divine musical covenant to be placed in your dirty, filthy unworthy hands!
Harvey Milk were Atlanta's answer to the Melvins, but slowed waaaaaaaay down and spaced waaaaaay out. Songs so spare but somehow so impossibly heavy, riffs so thick that they threaten to clog your speakers and rhythms so stretched out that they can barely be called rhythms. Add in a serious free jazz + ZZ Top obsession and you've got the recipe for one of the greatest, heaviest bands EVER. They recorded two brilliant full lengths (with their original lineup), one of which was re-issued on Andee's tUMULt label a couple years ago. And we thought then, sadly that we had heard the end of HM forever. But along comes Relapse to save the day, collecting all of Harvey Milk's impossibly rare 7"s and compilation tracks onto one black-hole-heavy chunk of aluminum. Most singles collections allow you to trace the development of a band, watching them slowly turn into the band you already know and love, but this collection proves that HM spontaneously combusted, emerging from their tarpit womb a fully formed, lumbering, molten, sludge rock colossus. From plodding, 3 mph sludgy, dirgey Melvins's worship, to chaotic noisy caveman thud, to Codeine-ish slow motion mood rock, to spare, rhythmic bass and drums space-scapes with demonic, anguished howls and Hendrix like riffs dipped in tar and sprinkled with wild peals of head-shearing feedback, to semi-acoustic tear jerkers, with warbly barely-in-key vocals, I mean, they even do a fucking Peter Criss solo song! How brilliant is that! Harvey Milk confounds as much as they just flat out destroy. How the fuck does a three piece rock band actually sound like they're playing on the wrong speed?! It's as if the entire band had a pitch control knob, and they keep turning it down and down and dooooown. And playing drums for this band must be utter hell. Massive expanses of space, demarcated by pounding beats, spread so far apart they just barely make up a rhythm, with enough space between beats for the drummer to get up, go to the bar, have a cigarette, and make it back in plenty of time for the next beat. So minimal and hypnotic and difficult and heavy, it just blows all other sludge rock hopefuls back to the stone age. And even in the context of a 'singles collection', songs that were never meant to be together on a record, this stuff falls so perfectly into place, you would never know this wasn't conceived as a proper record. Yet another testimony to the under-appreciated genius of the mighty Harvey Milk. Liner notes from AQ pal and Chunklet head honcho Henry Owings. Essential for those of you who love Boris, Corrupted, Earth, SUNNO))) and the like, as well as their massively head crushing opus Courtesy And Goodwill Towards Men!"

God what a fucking nasty band. I could go on forever. Everything from the bone crushing riffs to the earthquake bass rumble to the drum abuse that could split boulders to that fucking HOWL. Creston Spiers is easily one the most intense, heartfelt, honest vocalists in all of music. This band strikes one hell of a cord. You'd do well to get it.

Harry Owens from Chunklet deserves lifelong respect for being such an incessant Harvey Milk fanboy and getting all of these old unavailable 7" tracks together for mass consumption. Music fans are better off for it. A sincere thank you.

I do not know how to live my life

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mad Professor-Psychedelic Dub: Dub Me Crazy Pt. 10 (1990)

"A disciple of Lee "Scratch" Perry, Mad Professor was one of the leading producers in dub reggae's second generation. His Dub Me Crazy albums helped dub make the transition into the digital age, when electronic productions started to take over mainstream reggae in the '80s. His space-age tracks not only made use of new digital technology, but often expanded dub's sonic blueprint, adding more elements and layers of sound than his forebears typically did. In the mid-'90s, he returned to the basics, debuting a more retro-sounding style on the Black Liberation Dub series. Additionally, he ran his own studio and label, Ariwa, which was home to a stable of vocalists (with an emphasis on lovers rock and conscious roots reggae) and some of the finest British reggae productions of the era. As his reputation grew, he became a remixer of choice for adventurous rock and techno acts, most notably revamping Massive Attack's entire second album under the new title No Protection.

Mad Professor was born Neal Fraser (or Neil Fraser) circa 1955 in Guyana, a small country in the northern part of South America. He earned his nickname as a preteen, thanks to his intense interest in electronics; he even built his own radio. At age 13, his family moved to London, and around age 20, he started collecting recording equipment: reel-to-reel tape decks, echo and reverb effects, and the like. In 1979, he built his own mixing board and opened a four-track studio in his living room in the south London area of Thornton Heath. Calling it Ariwa, after a Nigerian word for sound or communication, he began recording bands and vocalists for his own label of the same name, mostly in the lovers rock vein: Deborahe Glasgow, Aquizim, Sergeant Pepper, Tony Benjamin, Davina Stone, and Ranking Ann, among others. Amid complaints from his neighbors, he moved the studio to a proper facility in Peckham, South London. In 1982 he recorded his first album, Dub Me Crazy, Pt. 1, and quickly followed it with a second volume, the successful Beyond the Realms of Dub. 1983 brought two more volumes, The African Connection (often acclaimed as one of his best) and the fairly popular Escape to the Asylum of Dub.

The Ariwa studio was moved to a better neighborhood in West Norwood during the mid-'80s, and upgraded for 24-track capability, making it the largest black-owned studio in the U.K. From there, Mad Professor really started to make an impact on the British reggae scene. He produced major hit singles for Ariwa mainstay Pato Banton and Sandra Cross, and also helmed the breakthrough album for conscious reggae toaster Macka B, 1986's Sign of the Times. At the same time, the ragga era was dawning, and all-digital productions began to take over reggae. As the ragga sound grew more and more dominant, Mad Professor's brand of dub got spacier and weirder; while ragga detractors complained that Mad Professor's work sounded sterile compared to the dub of old, many praised his otherworldly effects and inventive arrangements. The Dub Me Crazy albums reached the height of their experimentalism during the latter part of the '80s, although by the early '90s they were showing signs of creative burnout. The 12th and final volume in the series, Dub Maniacs on the Rampage, was released in 1993.

Meanwhile, Ariwa continued to prosper as a label, with further hits by the likes of Macka B, Pato Banton, Sandra Cross, female singer Kofi, Intense, Jah Shaka, John McLean, the Robotics, Sister Audrey, Peter Culture, Johnny Clark, and others. Additionally, he began to collaborate with some of reggae's better-known figures; most crucially, he teamed up with main influence Lee "Scratch" Perry for the first time on the 1989 set Mystic Warrior. In 1991, he produced the first of several albums for the groundbreaking veteran DJ U-Roy, the acclaimed True Born African; he also went on to work with the likes of Yabby You and Bob Andy. He switched his focus to touring in 1992 and released the 100th album on Ariwa not long after.

With his high-profile collaborators, Mad Professor started to make a name for himself outside of the reggae community, and soon found himself in demand as a remixer for rock, R&B, and electronica acts. Over the course of the '90s and into the new millennium, he would remix tracks by Sade, the Orb, the KLF, the Beastie Boys, Jamiroquai, Rancid, Depeche Mode, and Perry Farrell, among others. His best-known project, however -- and the one that truly established his credentials -- was 1995's No Protection, a completely reimagined version of trip-hop collective Massive Attack's second album, Protection. Perhaps creatively refreshed, Mad Professor's own albums started to regain their consistency in the mid-'90s. Mixing electronics with rootsier, more organic sounds indebted to the earliest days of dub, he left behind the Dub Me Crazy moniker to launch a new series, the subtly Afrocentric Black Liberation Dub. The first volume was released in 1994, and others followed steadily into the new millennium, albeit at a less prolific pace than the Dub Me Crazy installments. More collaborations with Perry and U-Roy followed as well. In 2005, Mad Professor celebrated Ariwa's 25th anniversary with a tour of the U.K. alongside Perry and the double CD retrospective Method to the Madness."

Awesome dub album for maximum stoned consumption. Many thanks to Robert for showing me this gem of an album. Highly recommended.

Dub me crazy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum-Of Natural History (2004)

"Some groups cannot be heard -- they must be experienced. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum are a case in point: they're the musical equivalent of stepping off the curb and encountering a westbound bus where you'd expected to find empty street. The breath is knocked from your body; your head spins; your senses come alive with the intensity of new and unusual input. For a short time you feel as if you're lighter than air, and then you return to earth fundamentally altered by the experience. There may also be some bleeding.

Of Natural History is a sensory tidal wave poised to flood your every faculty. Its torrent of information can be literally exhausting -- concepts, impulses, dreams, equations, tropes and more, so densely packed together that some of them have been compressed into fossil fuel, accelerant for the remaining thought-block. We have names for some of the pieces of this inhumanly complex puzzle: you may detect prog's unflinching rhythmic exploration, the clinical clamor of early industrial, the icy technical perfection of math rock and speed metal, spazzcore's unhinged free association, the sinuous defiance of orchestral avant garde, death rock's theatrical bloodlust and bestial simplicity, or even the showy, temperamental craftsmanship of operatic metal. As with so many puzzles, it all goes to hell the moment the lid comes off the box.

Initially, Of Natural History gives little indication of its mind-scrambling power. "A Hymn to the Morning Star" starts out reverent, even placid; Nils Frykdahl's stentorian croon suggests a devil-worshipping Neil Diamond or a more debauched Leonard Cohen, or perhaps even Darth Vader's taller, more masculine brother. This is what people who've never listened to Nick Cave think he sounds like. Never mind the fact that we're witnessing the arrival of a strange and terrible god -- more developments on that front are coming soon enough. An unseen hand flips a Sabbath switch and Frykdahl drops even lower. "I am the adversary / and must remain / the adversary," he drones. This, presumably, is the title character from "The Donkey-Headed Adversary of Humanity Opens the Discussion", and he's not friendly. Determined to shred your flesh like rice paper, he's content for the time being simply to shred. The changes come at a furious pace -- impossibly fast, improbably articulated, shifting to an off-kilter orchestral figure, then back to the riffs as Frykdahl babbles and howls like a Glenn Danzig nightmare, every beat accented with bullet-stopping force. A black mass chorus provides accents, intoning "Death by science" as bell-tones ring and shattered clockwork clatters.

You're only two songs in...and you're already shaking.

"Phthisis" puts Carla Kihlstedt in the bully pulpit. She's icily calm here, with an oddly Björkian vocal sensibility. Later, in the tumultously operatic "Gunday's Ghild", she's as seductive as a spurned succubus. Her vocal interplay with Frykdahl gives Of Natural History its palpable sense of wrongness, swallowing conventional expectations the way a black hole swallows light.

A track-by-track trawl through Of Natural History can't hope to capture Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's phobia-jangling majesty. Direct exposure is required, and headphones provide a properly immersive experience. The disc's most extreme pieces, like "Bring Back the Apocalypse" (its final seconds, anyway), have a controlling effect despite their unrepentant theatricality -- they tug at your mental bell-pull, first patiently, then with increasing aggression as the record unfolds. Try getting through the spoken/sung/shouted "FC: The Freedom Club" without struggling to clear your head of fragmented thoughts. If your nerves have been jangling since "The Donkey-Headed Adversary", think seriously about alerting a care provider. The Sleepytime Gorilla Museum don't want you to have an "easy" listening experience -- they want to leave you wide-eyed, babbling and foamy-mouthed.

Most of the time it's not an unpleasant experience, especially after you've dissected the first few layers of this carefully coordinated performance. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum don't worship Chthulu in their spare time; they're normal, straightforward people who watch television, read magazines, eat breakfast cereal and play Yahtzee, just like you and me. They just happen to make music that leaves us drained and dull-witted, eager for a fresh round of punishment, preaching and processing. Once it clicks for us, we chase that moment of impact, that mental chaos, like a new addiction. The apocalypse has never sounded so good."

Holy fucking shit. That's all you can really say about this band. They are so far left it's ridiculous. But goddamn they are brilliant. If it's about pushing yourself, seeing just how much fucked up weirdo music you can enjoy, then this is for you. If you take unbridled joy in the darker, stranger things in life, this is for you. If you're curious, LOOK. Absolutely incredible music that is staggering in its genius.

Join the freedom club

Faust-So Far (1972)

"One of the BEST RECORDS EVER. That's right. And I don't think we're really going out on a limb with that claim. Certainly one of the best krautrock records ever (as are pretty much all the Faust albums, actually). This, Faust's second album, originally released in 1972, has been reissued numerous times over the years, for a while as an expensive Japanese import only, then in the crucial Wumme Years box set, and most recently by Collector's Choice as a two-on-one with Faust's self-titled debut. We still stock that for the budget-minded amongst you, but since this is such a classic, we figure some folks will want this newer, nicely digipacked reish all by its own. Unlike the two-fer, the cd booklet here includes all the full-color images (one illustration per song) that came as art prints with the original vinyl. And as well, there's new liner notes and vintage photos in there as well. Nice.
But let's get back to this best records ever business, for those that weren't already nodding in agreement. It's the missing link between The Velvet Underground and The Boredoms, we're telling you. Just listen to the mantric opener "It's A Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl" and tell us they weren't influenced by the VU... yet taking things way further into the trance-zone, pioneering the minimal post-rock sounds of many popular indie bands today... Circle ferinstance! And for sure the Boredoms. Also, without Faust, chances are, no This Heat. No Nurse With Wound. Yep they were pioneers all right. And still sound plenty fresh 'n weird today. So Far reigns in the sound collage craziness of their selt-titled debut, tightening up into actual song-form-iness, even getting into some pleasantly lyrical poppiness... but always ready to do something violently eccentric. "Daddy, take the banana!"

So it's pretty obvious I love Faust. But this really is one of the best records ever. I can't say enough about it. The amazing atmosphere of "No Harm" into that demented blues jam. The weirdo lounge jazz of the title track. I could go on and on. But if you don't have this already (which you probably do?) then I would fucking jump on it in a heartbeat. Boo yah.

Daddy, take the banana!

Zoltar Doesn't Die, He Just Hibernates

Greetings Minions,

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I've been moving, working, gettting edjukated and so ons/so forths. But nevertheless, I'm gonna get back to posting lots of glorious tunes for your disposable. I'm not getting the greatest upload speeds in the world so bear with me but I will do my best. Thanks again for checking stuff out. There will be plenty more.