Saturday, September 23, 2017

S.M. Nurse - S/T (1986)

S.M. Nurse are a band defined by their marginality. Crafting tunes that are simultaneously dense and dancey, these Dutch composites combine the hilarity of sampling professionals Negativland with the sound of a typical European minimal wave banger. It’s their marginality though- not belonging to any one genre, inhabiting the fringes and testing the limits of many different DIY and punky sounds which merits their listenability. By 1983 when the content of this cassette was performed, one might have thought that the functionality and allure of synth pop/minimal wave had fully run its course. Namely, that the highest highs had been reached, often in the form of singles by Euro weirdos who put out one mercurial release only to disband. But one only need to listen to lead singer Annekke Stempher’s repetitive, cocky, and digital (evoking Laurie Anderson’s definition- on again, off again) vocals, Jos Jak’s grainy, strung out, and paranoidally funky guitar tone, and Menko Konigs’ interlocked electronics to feel the bliss of their sound. The sampling is impeccable, not just telling sonic narratives, but providing lyrical narratives as well, done no better on the song “That’s The Body”, where a voice asks over and over “Did anyone touch you here, or here? Or here? Or here? Or here?” while Stempher and Jok lay down a dissonant funk.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Ludus - The Visit / The Seduction (2002)

Now here is a very interesting release. The Visit / The Seduction, which, as intuition might lead one to believe, is a compilation of two Ludus release from 1980 and 1981 named (you guessed it) "The Visit" and "The Seduction" respectively. As intuition probably wouldn't lead you to believe, this compilation also contains the singles "Mother's Hour" and "Anatomy Is Not Destiny". Now what actually makes it interesting is how splendid and bizarre this album is. Think post-punk from moon men. Think mercurial ballads and syncopated symphonies. Think Essential Logic but with even more talented individuals operating the instruments performing much more complex compositions. Fast, angular and disjointed guitar, phenomenally tight drumming, bass lines from Eden, and a singer who defies categorization, everything you could really ask for.

There's one last thing of note about this album that I found out only recently. I was lucky enough to come upon an original copy of "The Visit" EP and made a shocking discovery: it's not the same as the CD I'm sharing with you folks today. Entirely different takes of the same songs (albeit more or less in the same style). The oddest part about this is the fact that the CD booklet makes no mention of this discrepancy. I'm not sure if this holds true for "The Seduction" or the singles but it's an anomalous tidbit nonetheless. To my knowledge the EP isn't available online, so, as a special treat for you guys, I'll be uploading a rip of my copy of "The Visit" as soon as I find this god damned AC cable.

Want to break your little piggy
Steal your pennies make you cry

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Various Artists - Corrupt Postman (1988)

Never before or since has twee amateur hour (and a half) been so brilliant. Here we have a criminally obscure compilation on a criminally obscure label of some criminally obscure musicians and the Field Mice. Charming, coy, catchy, congruous, cathartic, clarion, cataclysmic, and much more, I would strongly advise against passing this gem up.

It's clearly blurred

Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Verlaines - Bird Dog (1987)

It figures that I would lose internet access for several months shortly after deciding to revive this blog. I'll get around to reupping all the links that are down, this might take a while as I'd imagine there are quite a few.
Today we have some lovely jangle pop from Dunedin courtesy of the Verlaines. Not really sure what they put in the water in Dunedin but it seems to really give one an ear for melody. Very catchy passionate stuff, one of the real shiners from the scene if you ask me.

And you'll wipe it good
And you'll wipe it clean
And say I'll see you in the death machine tomorrow
Unless somebody's god intervenes

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rare Snail Habitat of Ichetucknee demo (199?)

(no art, unsurprisingly)

Late 90s emo from Gainesville, FL (hence the name taken from the Ichetucknee river/state park).

Intensity controlled in such a way that the shifts from manic chugs to cathartic, beautifully melodic multi-guitar arpeggios are seamless; a mundane intensity pervading an entire culture, realized only by those wild enough to record it.

This has been a favorite for years. I get a kick out of this quote from drummer Dan Haddock: "this was the coolest band i've ever been in but i quit to concentrate more on my drug habit."

synthesize my life
(it's not so simple)

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Catherine Ribeiro + 2Bis - Catherine Ribeiro + 2Bis (1969)

Some far-out folk from our friends in France. This wonderful record offers us all of the bouncing, breathing, arrangements we've all come to expect from 60's psych folk coupled with one of the more powerful and enthralling vocalists I can name. With such emphatic and passionate performance this is a hard album to pass up, highly recommended.

I don't speak French