Saturday, February 11, 2006

This weeks FE releases

Forced Exposure is like the exotic courtesan who always has some strange thing hidden in her dresser for you.... Go to the main site to see their new releases. Here's some highlights from their update this week:


BELONG: October Language CD (CRPK 031CD) 13.00
"Belong are a duo from New Orleans that follow in the tradition of fuzzed-out folks like My Bloody Valentine, Flying Saucer Attack, and Spacemen 3. Yet if you asked Belong about their sources of inspiration they would say contemporary composer William Basinski or Fennesz. Their debut CD October Language encapsulates their hometown of New Orleans, at once bathed in sunlight and color, yet dripping in sweat, decay and a rich sadness. A collection of ambient melody-suffused pieces that can either put you at ease or scare the crap out of you(depending on how loud you listen to it), sadly October Language might be the only record you'll hear from New Orleans this year."

(VMCS note: If anyone could have pulled off the Sufjan States trick and still have many more years of music making ahead of them, it would have been Jandek... course I guess it would be easy if all you did was improvise everything, bang a guitar and howl - whoops, that's Pennsylvania...)

COR 0782

JANDEK: Khartoum Variations CD (COR 0782) 7.00
44th Jandek album, the 1st in 2006. A riveting, stark cover features a man in black standing in front of a castle. Bent, acoustic guitar grapples with signature fractured howls of later releases. Best song title: "In A Chair I Stare".

KYRGYZ: Kyrgyz CD (DIGI 020CD) 11.00
"Kyrgyz is a name that will be unfamiliar to most, but the band's members read like an all-star team of Bay Area improvisers. This quartet consists of Tom Carter (Charalambides), Loren Chasse (The Blithe Sons, Thuja, etc), Christine Boepple (Skygreen Leopards Skyband), and Robert Horton (Broken Mask, Infinite Article, etc). Kyrgyz's debut album is 60 minutes of droned-out bliss. With its roots firmly planted in trance-inducing soil, the six songs here stretch their branches toward the sun. When four artists of this calibre come together in a single setting, the expectations are high. There is tension to spare. But Kyrgyz is such a perfect blend of all their talents that it never implodes beneath the pressure. Horton is the hand that guides this mix of heavy, hypnotic drones, a thicket of acoustic scrawl, and even free jazz skronk. Each sound is carefully chosen and blended together magically. There are equal elements of Charalambides and Jewelled Antler throughout Kyrgyz, but again it is Horton that upsets the balance to create something completely new. In the end, this is nothing short of brilliant."

LR 104CD

FAITHFULL, MARIANNE: Come My Way CD (LR 104CD) 17.00
"In 1965 Marianne Faithful released two debut albums simultaneously, a self-titled pop album and an album called Come My Way comprised somewhat unexpectedly of folk tunes. While the first album generally reaffirmed her persona as she-devil and soulless poster child of that hedonistic generation, the latter gave listeners a fleeting glimpse of a hidden darker side, perhaps an unintentional foretelling of those black days that would soon follow. This reissue, available briefly in the UK and Japan, features four bonus tracks: her classic 1969 single 'Sister Morphine,' released prior to the Rolling Stones' version, the 1964 B-side 'Blowin' in the Wind,' 'Et Maintenant,' from a 1965 EP and the 1966 B-side 'That's Right Baby'."

LR 105CD

LONGET, CLAUDINE: Colours CD (LR 105CD) 17.00
"Although probably best known for her implication in the 1976 shooting death of her boyfriend Olympic skier Spider Sabich, this sexy French chanteuse / overall swingin' chick released a string of sophisticated pop albums in the late sixties while married to long forgotten Vegas crooner / TV star Andy Williams. Claudine's albums have long been cult favorites among fans of the genre and Colours, Longet's fourth album, originally released in 1969 by A&M, is probably also her best. Featuring breathy versions of songs by Donovan, The Everly Brothers, Joni Mitchell, The Beatles, Gordon Lightfoot, and Randy Newman."


"Diaspora tribesmen from the swamp stricken parishes of New Orleans laid this doubly effective soul stroke to tape before the waters rose. The sounds they get burrow to the heart of the matter with reverb tanked slo-mo and urban howl forming a durable disc of genuine interactive musicality. A keeper and a grower. This is the band's umpteenth record and they really stretch out on this record and unfurl. You can hear their patented brand of lethargo Flipper-isms as if from a tunnel down. Also coming through is some noontime yodeling the Kirkwood's perfected on Meat Puppets II, slowed to a chug. Definitely on their own musical plane to be reckoned with."


GASTR DEL SOL: The Harp Factory On Lake Street CD (TOE 019CD) 13.50
"Is 90s nostalgia underway yet? If not, this reissue may be just the thing to get it started. In 1994, Chicago is the fountainhead for a bona-fide Scene, in which bands are giving timbre and texture priority over riffs and power chords. To the chagrin of many, the press will label it all 'post-rock.' It's the definitive movement of the decade, and front and center are Gastr Del Sol, comprised of David Grubbs (previously: Squirrel Bait, Bastro) and Jim O'Rourke (subsequently: Wilco, Sonic Youth). Some of their city-mates may shift more units; Gastr, with a relentless drive for reinvention, shift the boundaries of where a band can go. Avant punk, atonal song-styling, musique concrète, delicate piano-guitar interplay, raw electronics and modernist chamber music -- all are fair terrain, traversed with subtlety and finesse. Behind the obligatory horn-rims, Grubbs and O'Rourke have 'vision.' A dozen years later, this overdue reissue of 1994's The Harp Factory on Lake Street EP provides the missing piece in Gastr's otherwise available discography. To hear it again is a treat. It's their notorious 'big band' record, and the ten-piece ensemble is a veritable All-Star team of mid-90s Chicagoans, including members of Tortoise, Sea and Cake, Shellac, Dazzling Killmen, Brise Glace and the Vandermark 5; through studio maneuvering courtesy O'Rourke and engineer John McEntire, they blossom into a small-sized orchestra. Remarkably confident in the use of space and dissonance, Harp Factory also emphasizes the conceptual 'scrape', the friction between nuance and noise, that plays such a prominent role in Gastr's subsequent Upgrade and Afterlife LP. Familiar signposts are still in sight -- O'Rourke's compositional skills, Grubbs' associative, absurdist musings -- but this is definitely their boldest outing. It's a record full of blissful confoundment, one that aptly vivifies the spirit of an era. Gastr del Sol may have lasted a brief five years, but they are to the 1990s what the Magic Band, This Heat and Sonic Youth were to their respective decades: intrepid trailblazers through the backwoods of sound."


LADIES, THE: They Mean Us CD (TRR 095CD) 13.50
"After delaying the inevitable for over half a decade, the west coast's most versatile indie rock everyman (Rob Crow, Pinback) and the world's most left-of-everything drummer (Zach Hill, one-half of the outlandish noise duo Hella and drummer for Deftones side-project Team Sleep) have joined forces to unite the disparate worlds of noise and pop as The Ladies on the stunningly addictive and efficient They Mean Us. More adventurous than Pinback, and more accessible than Hella, The Ladies prove to be the best of both worlds. It's even better than the ideal album you've been making up in your head for the last half decade or so."


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