Sunday, July 24, 2005

This Weeks Interesting Releases

Can't say I'll buy 'em all but here's the latest from Forced Exposure - click on the album to go direct to the store (and I get no compensation or anything for the links). At the end are some releases from Aquarius, Darla
and InSound that I'd like to hear.


FURSAXA: Lepidoptera CD (ATPR 013CD) 14.50
This is the fourth full-length release from West Philly-based solo artist Tara Burke aka Fursaxa. Boasting a fan base with the likes of Bardo Pond, Acid Mothers Temple and Thurston Moore who released a record by her on his Ecstatic Peace! imprint two years ago, Fursaxa is a new signing to ATP Recordings. A previous member of the band UN, Burke is now one of the epicentres and key collaborators of the North American free-folk movement, along with such luminaries as Jack Rose, Charalambides, Ben Chasny and the Jewelled Antler Collective. With her hypnotic, echo-y churchbell chanting, Burke possesses a power-filled vocal sound that harkens back not only to those other polar queens of disaffected freakout psychedelia Nico and Barbara Manning, but she is also akin to and inspired by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century Benedictine mystical abbess. With the low drone of chord organ and farfisa, detuned ringing guitar, and endlessly looped, multiply-tracked vocals applied with heaps of delay, Fursaxa sounds like a tripped-out medievalist perched upon a poppy petal. Burke has an alchemical knack for turning folk into lo-fi, and then into sheer psych and back again, but more importantly, her music is pure humming narcosis.


VA: Can't Stop It! (Australian Post-Punk 1978-82) CD (CHAPTER 037CD) 17.00
A repress of a 2001 Chapter Music release. "A long overdue compilation of Australia's incredible post-punk history, featuring the finest selection of bands from the period 1978-82, with many previously-unreleased tracks. This is a fantastically inventive and dynamic time in Australian music history, a time when Australia stepped out of the shadow of overseas influence and asserted its own musical identity for the first time. All of the bands on Can't Stop It! released their music independently, either themselves or through the handful of visionary labels of the time such as Au-go-go, M Squared, Missing Link or Innocent Records. Unfortunately much of the music has since been ignored or forgotten ... until now. Restock/repress of this incredibly well done, in-depth and legit comp (which has since received a full-page write up in the Wire) of the elusive Australian scene. Features The Moodists, Voigt 465, The Take, Essendon Airport, The Apartments, Ash Wednesday, Primitive Calculators, Makers Of The Dead Travel Fast, Ron Rude, Xero, The Limp, Fabulous Marquises, The Slugfuckers, Equal Local, Tame Omearas, The Particles, People With Chairs Up Their Noses, Wild West, The Pits and Tch Tch Tch."

CCT 3004EP

SLITS, THE: Man Next Door 12" (CCT 3004EP) 8.00
"The Slits, with borrowed equipment and knowledge of two, maybe three chords, were a reality? and made some crude commercial recordings for Island Records and CBS, as well as recording a couple of John Peel's BBC radio sessions. Special moments were guaranteed and true when they worked with veteran reggae producer Dennis Bovell, setting the stage for a future generation of riot girrrls and the remarkable sound of punky reggae. The re-release (original on Human Records) on Collision came out exactly in that period and featured John Holt's famous reggae composition 'Man Next Door' on A-side, as well as the great Slits composition 'In The Beginning.' The B-Side includes the splendid and very rare full length 12" version 'Animal Space.'"


SOUNDTRACKS, EPIC: Good Things CD (DBK 113CD) 16.00
"Co-founder of British post-punkers the Swell Maps, Epic Soundtracks reinvented himself as an eccentric, critically- acclaimed piano balladeer during the '90s with his first-ever solo album, Rise Above. Featuring guest appearances from admirers like Lee Ranaldo, Kim Gordon, and J Mascis, the album was a warm, gentle exercise in traditional-style pop that placed Soundtracks and his piano firmly at center stage. Two more acclaimed albums followed. On November 22, 1997, Soundtracks was found dead in his London flat. Good Things is Epic's final album, recorded just before he passed away and issued now for the first time."

DC 298CD

BONNY/SWEENEY: I Gave You CD (DC 298CD) 5.50
Bonnie "Price" Billy and Matt Sweeney. "This dandy enhanced-CD, featuring the song 'I Gave You' from this year's fantastic Superwolf album plus a video for the song directed by Mike Piscitelli, is just one more example of how far Bonny and Sweeney will go for their fans. Full of mystery, intrigue, hand wringing and furrowed brows. Two non-album tracks, 'Four Screams' and 'Birch Ballad,' round out the trio of songs on the single."

Aquarius new arrivals

album cover KISS THE ANUS OF A BLACK CAT If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks ((K-RAA-K)) cd 17.98
How can you resist a band name like Kiss The Anus Of A Black Cat? And with a name like that, what can one possibly expect musically? Well, surprisingly the music here manages to conjure up the same sort of dark confusional forboding that the name hints at. Forbidden? Taboo? Some sort of alchemical majick? Some sort of witchy incantation? Why else would, well you know. On If The Sky Falls, We Shall Catch Larks, KTAOABC, the project of a young Belgian musician and instrument builder named Stef Heeren, unfurls a gorgeously dark, mesmerizing chunk of minimal, melodic, brooding, lilting and lovely doom folk. Harrowing and brooding, falling somewhere between the apocalyptic ur-folk of Current 93, the rickety, swampy biblical dirge of Woven Hand, the brooding acoustic bombast of later Swans, seventies pagan psych-folk (Comus, Incredible String Band, etc.) and even some of the strident prostletyzing of New Model Army. Very spare in its instrumentation and structure, aggressively strummed acoustic guitars underpinning ultra dramatic and slightly venomous vocals, occasional bells and strings and piano, subtle cooing background vocals, all very repetitive and hypnotic, churning in a thick fog of emotional turmoil and spiritual unease. Dark and droning, intense and intensely fervent, slipping from loose slithery balladeering to fiery and impassioned swells of soul-laid-bare sermonizing. Really quite amazing. Fans of C93, Nick Cave, Death In June, Comus, Swans, Der Blutharsch, Richard Youngs, Woven Hand and 16HP will certainly swoon, but this should definitely appeal to fans of all things emotional and dark, folky and forboding. Beautifully packaged in a minimally screenprinted fold over cardboard sleeve.
MPEG Stream: "Nihil, As In Nihilism"
MPEG Stream: "Almost, Silver"


The Dying Californian


Restock. Not Post-Rock. Not Now-Wave. Not New York. West Coast country tinged indie rockers The Dying Californian's new album is a must have for fans of Neil Young, late night drinking with friends, Neutral Milk Hotel, long drives, early REM and your local neighborhood dive bar. Their story starts in Santa Cruz sometime around 1994 when the same four musicians that make up The Dying Californian played electric live shows as the chaotic hardcore band Nuzzle. As such they released albums on indie labels Troubleman and Zum and toured the nation. But these artists, Nate Dalton, Andrew Dalton, Ricardo Reano and Simon Fabela, four musicians who have stuck by each other for so long, found their taste in music evolving and soon their hardcore roots grew into a more melodic passionate songwriting style. In 2001 the change in their music had become so noticeable that they changed the name of their band to The Dying Californian and embraced the changes completely. Still today 10 years creating music together, the four have not lost any of the live intensity of their younger days, it's just channeled differently. Their journey is more like a marathon than a sprint. Fueled by the voices that come late at night , a few drinks in and most likely a few more to go, their new full length album, recorded in San Francisco, is a blend of Indie Rock, Americana, tinged with the Blues and some Country. This is their 2nd release for Turn Records, their self titled e.p. was released in July of 2002. press: "Such a perfect combination of lonely country and carefree pop..." Sincere Brutality "Ragged, affecting tunes for late night whiskey drinking." - Shredding Paper "Their intimate style may draw comparisons to the more introspective end of The Elephant Six posse, but The Dying Californian are in a league of thier own..." -

From Insound:

THE HEAVENLY STATES 'Black Comet' (Baria)

Black Comet is grainy, orchestral rock ranging from the classicism of Neil Young, Van Morrison and VU on tracks "Look and Listen" and "Pretty Life," to the fighting side of folk with title track "Black Comet," to the southern gothic of "Elastic Days" and even to lullabies and waltzes with tinges of Palestrina, Deep Purple and Bruce Springsteen. Sound impossible? It is - and they do it.


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