Saturday, July 30, 2005

This Weeks Inneresting Releases (Forced Exposure)

Some interesting new stuff and some great reissues - Keats Rides a Harley is definitely recommended for early 80's punk/indie fans and the fact that there is some new material on it is very intriguing! Byron Coley has a piece in the new Wire so I'll be most likely getting that sooner or later. I'll probably skip the Jandek CD but his covers are always interesting (my guess is that is him) and I'd love to get the 2nd Barrett album reissue but would like to hear some samples from Thuja and the new Resonant release before plucking down $17 a piece.

COR 0780

JANDEK: Raining Down Diamonds CD (COR 0780) 7.00
42nd Jandek album, 3rd new release of 2005. Like some sort of spirit photography, the cover photo features the ghostly image of a bearded man wearing a startling piece of haberdashery. Perhaps some sort of prayer cap? The darker side of Jandek, with deep, rumbling bass and despairing vocals, i.e. "Jesus take my will/take mine and make it yours."

EMI 28906CD

BARRETT, SYD: The Madcap Laughs CD (EMI 28906CD) 16.00
UK version (with bonus tracks not found on the domestic US version), of the first Syd Barrett solo album. Originally released on Harvest in January 1970. "During February 1968, Dave Gilmour had been drafted into The Pink Floyd and for a brief time they existed as a 5-piece. Soon, however, rumours circulated that Syd Barrett would be taking on a 'Brian Wilson' role, writing and recording material 'behind the scenes.' But by April it was clear that he had been ousted completely. Within a month of his axing, Barrett was back in Abbey Road. With his manager Pete Jenner as producer, Barrett began his solo career. Blending angular, riveting guitar-work and jaunty improvisation with more fragile and enchanting pieces, Barrett composed in a suitably elegiac fashion. Later in the recording process, Gilmour and Roger Waters would aid in co-production, shepherding Barrett through many takes and re-takes of what finally gelled as his most skilled and coherent solo record. Includes six bonus tracks including 'Octopus (Takes 1&2)', 'It's No Good Trying (Take 5)', 'Love You (Take 1)', 'Love You (Take 3)', 'She Took A Long Cold Look At Me (Take 4)', Golden Hair (Take 5)'

EMI 28907CD

BARRETT, SYD: Barrett CD (EMI 28907CD) 16.00
UK version (with bonus tracks not found on the domestic US version), of the 2nd Syd Barrett solo album. Originally released in November 1970 on Harvest. Barrett was the second and final studio album of new material released by former Pink Floyd member Syd Barrett. "Shortly after releasing his first album, The Madcap Laughs, Barrett appeared on John Peel's Top Gear radio show where he presented only one song from the newly released album. Two days later, he began working on his second album in the Abbey Road Studios, this time with Pink Floyd members David Gilmour and Rick Wright as producers and musicians. The main aim for the Barrett sessions was to give Syd the structure and focus many felt was missing during the long and unwieldly sessions for The Madcap Laughs. Thus, the sessions were more efficiently run -- with much unreleased material recorded -- and the album was finished in far less time than it took to complete The Madcap Laughs. In addition, with the unpredictability and at times despairing nature of Madcap greatly decreased, the rigid format of the new sessions ended up giving Barrett a less inventive flavor, as a result. Nonetheless, Barrett does indeed have some memorable songs, least of all 'Baby Lemonade,' 'Dominoes' and 'Gigolo Aunt,' all of which are as well known to Barrett fans as 'See Emily Play' and 'Astronomy Domine.' Although not generally as highly regarded as The Madcap Laughs, Barrett -- of which, the cover was painted by Syd himself -- is still a much-prized recording from its maker. Includes seven bonus tracks including: 'Baby Lemonade (Take 1),' 'Waving My Arms In The Air (Take 1),' 'I Never Lied To You (Take 1),' 'Love Song (Take 1),' 'Dominoes (Take 1),' 'Dominoes (Take 2),' 'It Is Obvious (Take 2).'"


BLINDFOLD: Blindfold CD (RES 013CD) 17.00
"Yet another stunning debut album on Resonant, building on their success in 2004 (with Stafraenn Hakon, who plays on this album, and others) with arguably their strongest release schedule in the five years since the label was conceived. Blindfold is the alias of Biggi from Ampop, and is the latest in a long line of Icelandic artists to record for Resonant; however, while retaining the atmospherics and serenity of the output of many of his fellow countrymen, this eponymous collection has little in common musically with his compatriots. In fact, Blindfold is rather difficult to classify; ultimately, this is very accessible melancholic electronic pop with an acoustic element -- melodic but backed with sparse, emotive, organic, textured arrangements, coming across on the whole as understated, warm and earnest. Direct comparisons are therefore hard to draw, with only maybe Piano Magic (circa Artist's Rifles) and Tarwater springing to mind, and with the two achingly fragile vocal numbers that segment the album reminiscent of Maximillian Hecker."

SAAH 032/33CD

THUJA: Pine Cone Temples 2CD (SAAH 032/33CD) 17.00
"Much has been said about The Jewelled Antler Collective, the fertile womb from which Thuja emits its primordial ooze, and of Thuja itself. A loose-knit assembly of like-minded sound ecologists who study the connections between their immediate environment and the music created by its players, Jewelled Antler claims a multitude of music makers in its orbit -- Blithe Sons, Skygreen Leopards, Franciscan Hobbies being just a mere cross-section. Thuja, however, remains one of the earliest and best-known incarnations. Steven R. Smith, Glenn Donaldson, Loren Chase, and Rob Reger coalesce interests in field recordings, found sound, experimentalism, folk and psychedelic rock (among others) to weave seriously detailed and immense journeys into pure sound. By incorporating real-time recordings of natural sounds from their particular surroundings, the four members of Thuja play off each other and the space they inhabit with impeccable instinct, succeeding in creating eerie yet strikingly melodic compositions. The end result is a total immersion of the senses, for both the player and the listener. Across the grand expanse of Pine Cone Temple's two discs, implements such as piano, guitars, percussion, and well-placed contact mics are blended like pigments to conjure the subtlest of sonics, pulling every lost drop of their immediate universe into floating and buzzing cinematics. Minimalist hues are brush-stroked into being and slowly unfurl into the atmosphere. Improvised clouds of sound softly erupt to form compositions of such immense and precise detail, it would seem the music was written out rather than spontaneously developed. Such is the magic of Thuja and their uncanny ability to sculpt microscopic psychedelia from their immediate environment and collective consciousness."

WIRE 258

WIRE, THE: #258 August 2005 MAG (WIRE 258) 8.00
On the cover: Mayo Thompson (The Red Krayola: Since 1967, this Texan guitarist has been pulverising the art and language of rock). Features: Marissa Nadler (The Boston artist and singer owes more to American Gothic than free folk's drifts); Ikuro Takahashi (The ex-Fushitsusha drummer on his switch to rape alarms and mechanical toys); The Skaters (Karaoke machines were never intended for the vocal experiments this Frisco duo put them through); Carla Bozulich's Invisible Jukebox; Musique Actuelle (Byron Coley reports from the Victoriaville Festival); Once upon a time in Brixton: (The first in a new series revisiting significant musical sites: the story of London's Cold Storage studio); Pierre Schaeffer (Goran Vejvoda and Rob Young reappraise the life and work of France's founding father of musique concrète).


VA: Keats Rides a Harley CD (WLR 004CD) 13.00
"Featuring some of the leading early '80s American punk and post-punk bands, Keats Rides a Harley came into existence in 1981 with a clear reason: to document the nascent scene in Southern California that had been neglected up to that point. Assembled under the artistic direction of 100 Flowers (aka Urinals) and producer Vitus Matare (The Last), the original nine cuts display a unique cohesion that demonstrate there was more to punk at the time than hardcore. For the reissue, the nine original tracks have been remastered and augmented by one vintage additional song each by the participating artists. It's twice as much Keats as the world has ever heard before, with most of the tracks surfacing for the first time on this CD." Artists: Earwigs, Toxic Shock, S Squad, Gun Club, Meat Puppets, The Leaving Trains, Tunneltones, Human Hands, 100 Flowers, Danny and the Doorknobs, Arrow Book Club, Vidiots, and Phil Bedel


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