Thursday, August 31, 2006

A few albums I've been looking for:

V/A - Music & Rhythmn (Peter Gabriel, XTC, Lots of World Music) (1982 WEA Rec.)
David Sancious - The Bridge (1981 Elektra)
The Golden Palominos - This Is How It Feels Thanks, Milton!
Renaldo and Loaf - Songs for Swinging Larvae (Ralph) Thanks, Anon!
Sun City Girls (almost any) Thanks, Weevil Doer!
Eugene Chadbourne - There'll Be No Tears Tonight Thanks, Secret Whistler!
Shockabilly - Heaven (pre-Shimmy remix)

Anybody got these on a shelf, garage, hard drive?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

King Crimson

Live in Warsaw (2000)
DGM Club

A really nice sounding set from the post-double trio Crimson, around the time of ConstrucKtion of Light album. It's a great demonstration of the concept that Fripp has long stated; that King Crimson sounds much better and is more engaged performing live in a way that cannot be replicated in the studio. Everyone is in top form and every track buzzes with electricity. Most of the selections center on the aformentioned album and the previous ThraK. Adrian Belew plays a solo acoustic version of Three Of A Perfect Pair and the album closes with a cover of Bowie's Heroes (which Fripp played on two decades prior to this).

Adrian Belew - guitar & vocals
Robert Fripp - guitar
Trey Gunn - touch guitar, ashbory bass, talker
Pat Mastelotto - electronic drumming

Live in Warsaw disc 1
Live in Warsaw disc 2

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid

Riddim Warfare
Outpost Recordings

Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky in a great album that incorporates elements of Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Musique Concrete and Ambient music for a malange known as Illbient. Miller's sonic creations are both post-modern, yet organic in nature and urban without becoming trendy nor easily dated, a common pitfall of mainstream Hip-Hop. It helps that he's also a great bass player (he plays upright and electric) with a great feel for the beat. Guest here include Kool Keith, Wu Tang's Killah Priest, Karsh Kale and even Arto Lindsay!
This is probably one of Dj Spooky's finest albums and offers a good stylistic cross-section of his extensive oeuvre.

Riddim Warfare pt. 1
Riddim Warfare pt. 2

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Axiom Ambient

Lost in Translation

Nice sonic tapestry woven out of Material tracks, as well as other Axiom releases and original pieces. It's a nice mix throughout, with pastoral, natural background sounds that bridge the tracks. Two late, great guitar heroes - Sonny Sharrock and Eddie Hazel - perform a duet together, albeit in studio edited form.
Bernie Worrell, Bootsy Collins, Buckethead and George Clinton star in Cosmic Trigger. All tracks have really long running time, save for one that clocks in at eight minutes. Fans of the ambient label and mid-nineties Material will no doubt enjoy this two-disc set.

Lost in Translation disc 1
Lost in Translation disc 2

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Bill Laswell

Hear No Evil
Meta (2000 reissue)

A repackage/reissue of Laswell's 1988 solo album Hear No Evil (the original came out on the Venture label). This album reminds me a lot of the previously posted Hallucination Engine, lineup-wise, but the emphasis is on stripped down instrumentals over classical Indian music. Nicky Skopelitis' Coral Sitar is also a predominant feature throughout. Two songs from the album - Kingdom Come and Lost Roads get lengthy treatments, each being stretched out as two atmospheric ambient pieces on a second disc.

Both Discs ripped @ 320kbps

Hear No Evil disc 1
Hear No Evil disc 2

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Seven Souls
Worldly Troika

"...Can any soul survive the searing fireball of an atomic blast? If humans and animal souls are seen as electromagnetic force fields, such fields could be totally disrupted by a nuclear explosion. The mummy's 'nightmare: disintegration of souls, and this is precisely the ultrasecret and supersensitive function of the atom bomb: a Soul Killer, to alleviate an escalating soul glut." ~ William S. Burroughs
I couldn't think of anything more appropriate to follow up the last post...
Lots and lots of Burroughs reading from The Western Lands. In this incarnation of Material, some of the music is Hip-hop-ish and features multiple remix/remodels of the song Seven Souls. Some notable guests (other than the usual stable-mates) are rapper Rammellzee, DJ Spooky and Tetsu Inoue.

Ripped @ 192kbps

Seven Souls
(re-upped 12/28/06)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Hallucination Engine

What can I say about this release?
It's the one that kicked off my long obsession with collecting all things Laswell and - truth be told - an interest in world music in general.
This album has all the primordial elements for most of Bill Laswell's future projects; a sound that is exotic to the point of being both mystical, ancient yet very modern and urban. Here Material crafts a world fusion sound that is never sentimental or pandering and seems to advocate the dissolution of borders - with regard to both nations and musical genres.
In 1993's Hallucination Engine, they've edged away from funk and reggae (and are miles away from the herky-jerky experimentalism of just- post NY-Gong Material) in favor of a poly-fusion of Arabic, Indian, North African music and contemporary jazz.
Wayne Shorter's saxophone takes center stage of several tracks and Zakir Hussain and Nicky Skopelitis' playing are also predominate features here. At the heart of this album is a William S. Burroughs piece that undoubtedly introduced lots of folks to his words and writing. John Coltrane's Naima emerges from the middle of a beautiful classical Arabic piece that features Simon Shaheen.
One of the wonderful things about Material is that no two albums are the same.
I bought many Material albums after falling in love with this one and haven't found another (although I enjoy nearly every one) that effects me in the same way that this one does. For me, this is truly a desert island disc.

Ripped @ 320 kbps

Hallucination Engine pt. 1
Hallucination Engine pt. 2

Monday, August 21, 2006

Pharoah Sanders

Message from Home

A really nice n' funky album from the great Pharoah Sanders, produced by Bill Laswell and featuring many mid-nineties Material alumnis (Bernie Worrel, Jeff Bova, Foday Musa Suso, Aiyb Dieng with engineering by Robert Musso, natch!).
Here's what AMG has to say about it:
Message From Home is rooted in, but not exclusively devoted to, African idioms, as the overpowering hip-hop groove of "Our Roots (Began In Africa)" points out. But the record really develops into something special when Sanders pits his mighty tenor sound against the pan-African beats, like the ecstatically joyful rhythms of "Tomoki" and the poised, percolating fusion of American country & western drums and Nigerian juju guitar riffs on "Country Mile."
Get it here.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Share and Enjoy

Hey there.
I've been finding so much cool music that I can't even remember where half of it is.
Let's see if I can try.
A great new (to me, anyway) punk blog is PunchDrunk.
He's got (some with nearly complete discogs of) Crass, Rudimentary Peni, Stranglers, Ramones and - my hometown heroes - Dead Moon.

Speaking of Punk, another one I just discovered is Hangover Heart Attack (how can you not like a blog named after a Poison Idea song?). He's got a lot of New Bomb Turks, DRI, 7 Seconds, NoMeansNo and more...
..He also does the great Real Punk Rock - The Spirit of 77- the title of which is pretty damn self explanatory. If you cut your teeth on punk and hardcore, it's well worth visiting.

Another new discovery ( I think she popped in at someone else's digs - I can't possibly remember.) is Sheila is Dangerous. I will take her word for it; nearly every Sheila I've ever known has been. But here she's got a great Masada album (507) on the download that you might wanna snap up - and fast.

Many of us have been on a Eugene Chadbourne kick , sharing what we have and finding new stuff in the process. I gave up trying to document it as it made my head hurt. If you were in our little Potluck (as we call it in the colonies), Potlatch - whatever, feel free to shout out in my comments and I'll bring it on forward.

And now for the usual suspects (not the derivative american movie):
Speaking of Masada, White Noise has up the incredible Electric Masada Live at the Mountian of Madness. Wow! This is Masada cranked up to 11, with lots of great Marc Ribot guitarwork. Check it out.
C'Est la Merde has put up a great Marc Ribot album Spiritual Unity.
Weevil Doer made of the coolest contribution to the above-mentioned Chadfest, with the EC home taped Dinosaur. many of the songs are cruder versions of the ones that appeared on Shockabilly's Heaven, but the real surprise is all of the untitled tidbits that make up the rest of it. Freeking amazing!
Moogpower has loads of cool stuff, including the great Laswell/Wobble's Radio Axiom. Dubtastic!
He also has Consolidated's great Play More Music.
Mr. Lucky (brought to you by the letter M) has got some great shares over at his non-M digs Oranj Aural.
Right now he's got up the dual Axiom compilations Manifestations and Illuminations. WOOHOO!
Post Punk Junk has just put up the entire Steven Jesse Bernstein album Prison. Run and get it now.

Posts might be light for me, I've got to go to a real potluck. In the States - someone inevitably brings one jello salad too many, someone bringing seven kids only brings a watermelon and you get sick on a combination of too much beer, artichoke dip and potato salad all percolating in you gullet.
Cheers comrades!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Bill Laswell

Filmtracks 2000

An odd, mixed bag from Laswell from the ongoing Tzadic film series. It's not altogether clear if any of this songs have been used in any movies and most are only cinematic by virtue of their exotic, world-beat nature, the emphasis here being on Middle Eastern music styles. Oum El Bouaghi is a great integration of Arabic music styles with dub and O Haji Baig has an almost Turkish flavor to it. Some sound like extracts and/or out-takes from other Laswell projects and indeed Deadly Haven seems lifted out of the middle of 2000's Lo. Def. Pressure. Fans and completists of Laswell's recorded output would do well to snap this up (I did), even though, taken as a whole, it seems kind of redundant or unnecessary.

Filmtracks 2000

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Marc Ribot & Los Cubanos Postizos

¡Muy Divertido!

The second album from Ribot and his Prosthetic Cubans relies less on material from Arsenio Rodriguez and includes more originals done in classic Cuban style, save for some crazy instrumental diversions. Los Lomas De New Jersey tells a tale of longing for one's homeland, which Ribot helpfully translates for us. Marc's guitar is on fire on several tracks here, as is Anthony Coleman's Hammond organ. This is a very intense, upbeat record.
Muy Divertido - indeed!

Marc Ribot & Los Cubanos Postizos
(re-upped 11/4/06)

Thanks to C'est La Merde for prompting me to put this up; I was stuck as to what to put up next!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

John Zorn

Book of Heads

A John Zorn album that's a Marc Ribot album that's a Eugene Chadbourne album - sort of....
Thirty-five little etudes of varying lengths played by the brilliant Marc Ribot, each displaying one unorthodox guitar technique after another, in a piece Zorn originally wrote for Chadbourne.

From the liner notes by John Zorn:
Composed in the summer of 1978 at a time when I was spending almost every day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in search of inspiration, this music was originally written for and is dedicated to guitarist Eugene Chadbourne. Meant to GAS him, and to stretch his already prodigious virtuosity to even wilder extremes, many of the extended techniques used here (toy balloons, talking dolls, mbira keys, wet finger whoops) were learned from him and were an integral part of his improvisational language at that time. Others are standard to contemporary classical guitar notation (body knocks, whisks, bowing, multiple harmonics) and still others were the product of my own sick imagination (playing with pencils, rice, pulling strings out of the bridge notch).
Marc Ribot tackles all of these effects with unusual precision and an astounding virtuosity, adding his own personal touches to make the music even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
I don't know if anyone's shared this one in the past or not, but I thought as long as we're on a Chadbourne binge...

Get it here.

Eugene Chadbourne

198666 EP
Ralph Records

Just a brief little Eugene Chadbourne 7" EP this evening.
This came out in 1986 on Ralph Records and as far as I know was perhaps his only release for them. It's nicely recorded affair with a few songs we've heard before as well as a few fresh covers. Amerikka Stands Tall was updated to depict the US bombing of Libya. There's also a rural folklore horror story of The Devil On The Radio.
A few swell guests (Jon Rose on Cello and Violin and one Dr. Johannes Rosenburg on demented backing vocals) round out the proceedings.
1. Amerikkka Stands Tall (Libya Version)
2. Jesus Protects Mexico
3. The Devil on the Radio
4. You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd
5. Skip a Rope
This was the last ever item that I ordered from Ralph. I didn't normally buy 7" records from them, but the prospect of Chadbourne recording on the same label as The Residents was too much of an enticement for me. I still have all the catalog/pamphlets that they mailed me over the years.

Download: 198666
(re-upped 1-3-07)

:::More Chadmania::::
Our favorite Evil Doer has put up the amazing Dinosaur tape from the endless mailorder supply house that is the Chadbourne residence. It's fucking fantastic! It contains not only the core of what would become their swan song album Heaven, but has a ton of unlisted material - much of which appears in different forms on other EC albums, most notably LSDC&W. Check it out.

Lots of our comrades have been putting up Chadbourne lately. Dorfdisco is one. Lucky at Orang Aural put up some early EC and Zorn stuff.
There are more, but my brain is too frazzled to sort it out now. Perhaps this weekend.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Eugene Chadbourne

The President/He is Insane

(Not the original issue cover)

Originally released in 1984, this was one of Eugene's first homemade records. Many of his crazy classics appear here in sketchy, early forms. Topical material consists of the Grenada invasion (America Stands Tall, Greetings from Grenada), Ronald Reagan, then Vice-President Bush, his favorite state Senator Jesse Helms and the KKK.
But the real gem of this album is the full-on gonzo home-taped side two. It features liberal doses of Rake, Plunger, Birdcage and miles and miles of spliced tape samples in a non-stop barrage of noise and low-fi bluster, which I left unbroken, track-wise, as it is on vinyl to preserve its insane continuity.
Subsequent reissues of this record on CD include many more tracks, as well as his own distinctive custom packaging. I suggest you check it out here.

Psycho Birdcage
(tracklist in comments)

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Earth vs Shockabilly
Shimmy Disc

First long-player by this NY-based sonic sludge unit. It expands on ideas from the first EP, but goes much farther in terms of gonzo energy and over the top execution. Chadbourne's vocals and guitar are buried in distortion and way too much reverb. The effect is like listening to an early sixties radio station with really bad reception and another station bleeding over from adjacent spots on he dial. Which is also how a song comes out with this twisted trio; a Beatles song becomes a country song, a country oldie becomes a heavily Wah-wah laden psychedelic tune. The Door's People Are Strange becomes a mutated jazzbo tune before melting into a pile of goo. The Beatles, Johnny Cash, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Roger Miller and more get similarly thrown into the blender. And it was just a hint of the madness to come.
This is the Shimmy Disc remix and may vary from the original Rough Trade issue, which I don't own.

Are You Experienced?

Saturday, August 12, 2006


A cool project and labour of love from everyone's favorite Pixie Ninah. This uniquely packaged limited edition compilation CD features a hand-built, repurposed and circuit-bent Noise Cookie.
The WOMEN TAKE BACK THE NOISE compilation, 3 years in the making, showcases a collection of 47 women artists worldwide who experiment with sound in various ways, ranging from ambient-organic to quirky-glitch-beat to harsh or extreme noise, as well as categories yet to be defined...

Check out WTBTN's website for step-by-step documentation of the process of creating the packaging, the artists involved, some very lovely noise-cookie sound samples and ordering information.

Consolidated/Disposable Heroes/Emergency Broadcast Network

Party Like It's 1991
-Or, Play That Funky Music, Whiteboy.
(this is an article I wrote for a now-defunct local independent alternative weekly - alas, they folded before rejecting or running it. - downloads after the sermon)

A couple of cool used CD finds have prompted me to remember a short slice of time in the early nineties.
Back in the Bush I regime there was a burst of highly politicized industrial/hip-hop and aggro-rock that seemed to have a common thread and sound. A lot of it took cues from Public Enemy, who were titans in the hip-hop world and also at the center of most anti-rap controversy.
So perhaps in light of that, they were an understandably appropriate template for the burgeoning proto-industrial (semi)white-boy rap scene to adopt.

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy - Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury

The Disposable Heros of Hiphoprisy emerged from singer Michael Franti's earlier, punkier project The Beatnigs and even updated their Television (the Drug of the Nation) on their debut album Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury. Franti is a powerful and authoritative rapper, not unlike P.E.'s Chuck D. And- like P.E.- most songs sound like a CNN report, with almost statistical reportage of the state of Bush I's America. They also cover the Dead Kennedy's California Über Alles to feature then-Governor Pete Wilson. Co-conspirator Ronald Tse (what happened to him?) provides ample fat, double-tracked beats and samples to great effect.

Consolidated - Friendly Fascism

Industrial dance saints Consolidated sound very much like Disposable Heroes during this period, and even name-check Franti on the opening track to Friendly Fascism. Consolidated have a tendency to let the politics of their lyrics- and especially given the high ratio of samples to music- outweigh musical form. Like a Crass album, musicality takes a back seat to the message, but here the music is very good. And like with a peace-punk band, the listener runs the risk of being hit over the head with lefty dogma, no matter how like minded they are or how heartfelt the conveyed sentiments may be. This time around it's male chauvinism, meat, vegetarianism, meat, racism, meat, fascism, meat, abortion rights and more, not necessarily in that order. The whole album is interspersed with soundbites that seem to be about the band and the many confrontations they encountered in the media and apparently at their own shows. Although the band centers its sound around hip-hoppish dance music, it occasionally turns the dial over to Ministry-ish aggro-metal and feel-good hippy rock. One hilarious song, College Radio, laments the state of that formerly cool medium with funny, ironic lyrics.

Emergency Broadcast Network - Telecommunication Breakdown

Emergency Broadcast Network were like a cool amalgamation of the above two bands- albeit with much less rapping, and a much heavier reliance on ironic media sound-bites and samples. In fact, it's this latter aspect that dates Telecommunication Breakdown the most. Although most samples themselves are somewhat timeless, the sheer number present per song make this production sound more like something that would've come out in the earlier nineties (instead of it's release date of 1995!) along with Tackhead, Ministry and to a lesser extent, Negativland. But it is a great sounding album, with lots of heavy, hard-edged beats and fat synth lines- thanks in no small part to the production prowess of the great Jack Dangers (Meat Beat Manifesto), whose signature is all over this album (in fact, Dangers is the common thread to all the above albums- and it shows in the sound). The motif of this disc being a multi-media device is driven home with samples of flipping dials, soundbites, announcements and the like. EBN were famous for their shows-as-multimedia events - so much so that they were tapped by U2 to provide visuals and transitional material for their ZooTV Tour. No doubt this fact helped them secure the superb packaging and bonus features in this production (a floppy disc - remember those?) and maybe even the swell guest appearances and producer credits, such as Brian Eno and Bill Laswell, who each produce a track.
But the album also drew heat for them in the indy world, which slagged them as sell-outs and the multi-media format album as a mainstream flash in the pan, which it isn't.
It sounds very timely today, in spite of some potentially dating aspects present in the mix.
In today's political environment, all of the above albums sound very appropriate, especially where they mention Bush (this was nearly 10 years before the Billy Carter of the Bush family ascended to the throne), Iraq, media manipulation, economic stagnation, racial ghetto-ization, etc...

Where are bands like this today? Most of these bands enjoyed the status of being rock-press media darlings, especially Franti, who now trades under his own name and with a sort of peace n' patchouli circuit friendly rock thing. Consolidated went public with their courtship and subsequent dumping with big record labels, culminating with 1999's Dropped, but have been very quiet on the scene, even when releasing the occasional album.
The boys of EBN are involved with aspects of multimedia and marketing.

Who are the equivalents of these bands today, and would we get to hear them?
It's also interesting to note how much ire that band like Public Enemy and similar groups drew and by comparison how much the debate seems to have died down now that most hip-hop has centered around an apolitical and nihilistic/narcissistic lyrical bent.Hip hop, be it of the whiteboy variety, or otherwise, seems to be largely apolitical by comparison and perhaps safely so. By mimicking the imperialistic nature of our culture and highlighting a self-destructive outlook, rap seems to have found a safe and profitable haven for itself.
In today's heavily commodified spectator society, it's much more likely that bands with politically charged lyrics quickly find themselves awash in a sea of irrelevence.

Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy - Hypocrisy is the Greatest
Consolidated - Friendly
Emergency Broadcast Network - Telecommunication

Thursday, August 10, 2006



The third LP from this manic trio is much darker and weirder than the previous three, as they progressively rely less on covers in favor of some very outré originals (although sacred cows The Beatles and Creedence Clearwater Revival get slaughtered).
The album features some of their best ensemble work, mainly in the form of dirgey instrumentals propelled by Kramer's overdriven bass, Chadbourne's free-form riffing, and Licht's sparse, jazz-like drumming, especially on an incendiary cover of Syd Barret/Floyd's Lucifer Sam and the title track. The Fug's Ed Saunders guests on the somber and topical Nicaragua and Chadbourne spews political venom on Your USA and My Face.

Born on the Bayou


Rough Trade

Contemporaneous detractors aside, Shockabilly were one of the great unsung heroes of the ugly, atonal eighties. They beat the Butthole Surfers to the windowpane-acid spiked punch bowl and could out-goon the Cramps on any day.
Actually, most critics of the band seemed to center on guitar molester Eugene Chadbourne's Muppet-on-DMT vocal stylizations, which is understandable and difficult to defend. But in today's musical pantheon, he doesn't sound all that out of place say next to Les Claypool, nor do they sound as hickoid-on-bathtub crank as, say Bob Log III or countless psychobilly cats.

My favorite Shockabilly record, hands down, is Colosseum, their second full-length album.
Here they've edged away from country and rockabilly (save a hilarious take on Roger Miller's Dang Me) and move straight into psychedelic rock and retardo sludge.
The semi-autobiographical The Secret of the Cooler is one of the most beautiful ugly songs I've ever heard. The album also features more original songs by both Chadbourne and Kramer than on their debut EP and subsequent album. A Chadbourne original, Hattisburg Miss. is one of the straightest things this trio has ever committed to vinyl. Eugene really cuts loose on a version of the Byrd's Eight Miles High with a fat, overdriven solo which at times sounds like Robert Fripp channeling the late, great Sonny Sharrock.
Sadly, Eugene Chadbourne claims Shockabilly was one of his least favorite projects and Kramer has apparently desecrated the mixes on subsequent reissues of the Shockabilly catalog he put out on his Shimmy-Disc label.

Secret of the Cooler

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Nurse with Wound

Who Can I Turn To Stereo
World Serpent

My favorite ever NWW album, 1996's Who Can I Turn to Stereo. This is a crazy, haunted house soundtrack filled with nonsensical voices, jarring creaks and boings, exquisite corpse recitations and one singular hypnotic beat wound throughout the tracks that coalesces into the hypnotic Yagga Blues. This is a great album to listen to loud, with all the lights off.

Two Golden Microphones

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sharrity Report

All this crazy uploading has made me neglect Kill Ugly Radio's other function: to point at other people's stuff.
Some cool stuff out there:

Dust to Dust has sprung from the grave with a vengeance, with more soundtrack mayhem. He's got up Dolemite, Willie Dynamite, Death Wish (Herbie Hancock!), Conan (Basil Poledouris), The Crow Soundtrack (not the ubiquitious rock soundtrack) and my fave, THX-1138 by Lalo Schifrin. Too freaking cool!

Roggelstroe has got an amazing array of stuff for you, including several David Sylvain albums and three - count 'em - THREE - rather hard to find Resident albums (Fingerprince, Duck Stab and pre-Meet the.. Baby Sex!).

Stefan over at Moodswings has got a few collections of minimalist composers (Reich, Riley, Glass, etc.), Bootsy's new Zillatron (great!) and approximately 23 tons of Mingus! How's that possible, you ask? The internet, that's how!

Dorfdisco has got up my all-time favorite Eugene Chadbourne album, LSDC&W. If you only own one EC record, your wife will be happier than if you owned five. And this should be the one to own, as it's a great sampler of this guy's completely off the hinges discography. I kept meaning to rip my copy, but then, I'm a lazy bastard.

And right now, GPOD , your one-stop-shopping-place for reality hacking audio and video - has got an impressive array of books-on-tape (er.. mp3 player, whatever) for long waits, commutes, recovery from appendix surgery, etc..
...Lots of them are read by Michael Scott, making it easy to mash up Kafka’s Metamorphosis with The Words of Christ.
At last!

Slow Music Project

Largo, LA 2006

Fascinating improvisational ambient project featuring an amazingly diverse lineup.
From the band's website:
here are the main points of slow music:

a larger-than-usual number of musicians (in this case, six) play long-form improvisations working with ambient/textural/environmental music-ideas. this means live performance rather than programming. this means flexibility in the moment and freedom to respond. there is an unfolding and unpredictability. there is also a high degree of risk.
Who are the musicians in question?
It's Peter Buck (REM), Fred Chalenor (Caveman Shoestore), Matt Chamberlain (Pearl Jam, SNL Band), Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Bill Rieflin (Ministry, Revolting Cocks, REM) and Hector Zazou.
Not too shabby, eh?
This live set, captured in Los Angeles earlier this year, is a great sounding document from an interesting project. The playing is very sparse and minimal, yet it is far from dull. Most of the instrumentation sounds to be largely acoustic (cello, exotic percussion, upright bass etc.), save for some electric guitar from Fripp and Buck (ever thought those two would play together?) and some light keyboards. I first heard about them a week after they played in my town (the story of my life!).

Get Slow Music

Kill Ugly Radio (re)Podcast

New Sounds for Old Flesh
(Jan. 24, 2006)

An ambient exploration of David Cronenberg's Videodrome, utilizing Howard Shore's brooding, minimal score and many sounds and dialog from the movie itself.

Old Sounds for New Flesh.mp3 (55 megs, 60 min.)

Pete Namlook & Klaus Schulze

The Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog
Ambient World (Germany)

Not only is this, the compendium of this long running series, my first listen to any of them, but I also got it just days prior to hearing about Robert Moog falling ill due to a brain tumor. His eventual passing compelled me to give it a listen again, and his spoken introduction makes me both sad and yet also introspective at the music revolution he launched, as is apparent from this album, which samples a track from each of the previous eight (of ten total!) albums. Namlook and Schulze lay down big fat Moog lines in a giant, cosmic reverb-y void. All the song titles reference a Pink Floyd song, albeit in a cheeky, rearranged manner (Phantom Heart Brother, Careful With That AKS Peter, etc.) but it's not very Floydian.
A friend told me that this sounds like a long lost Jean-Michel Jarre album, and I'd have to agree. It's very deliberately old-school - save for the occasional not-too-ancient sounding drum machine. Maybe that's why I enjoy it so. One could imagine futuristic (by late seventies reckoning) spaceships careening around the room, Carl Sagan in his dandelion-seed spaceship or recall a lysergic memory or two from the pre-Reagan era.
Folks who stopped listening to music after Tomita, Vangelis, and Tangerine Dream peaked can have a reason to rejoice and lament no more that the future ain't what it used to be.

Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog pt. 1
Evolution of the Dark Side of the Moog pt. 2

Monday, August 07, 2006

King Crimson

The Power to Believe

The latest slab from this nearly 40 year old prog-rock band that proves it can still take on all newcomers to the field. As Fripp has often stated, King Crimson comes together when they have relevant music to play and/or things to say. And this time around this thematically tied together album seems to be about our beliefs and perceptions, faith and the mass spectacle society. Level Five, the album's opener after a brief a capella of the thematic motif, is a Red-like scorcher that proves that no one but Robert Fripp can coax cello-like nuances from his guitar at one moment and frenzied, terror shrieks the next.
In fact, this whole album hearkens back to earlier periods of KC's history. The device of stringing this outing together with the Power to Believe I,II and the Coda are reminiscent of the Peace chorus on In the Wake of Poseidon. Level Five rather resembles the title track from 1974's Red.
Not that this is a derivative or nostalgic album by any means; there is enough here that would give Tool, Mars Volta, et al, a run for their money. The pastoral sounding Eyes Wide Open is one of Adrian Belew's most beautiful songs yet, and seems a very appropriate song for a post-9-11 world.The aggro-sounding Facts of Life seems to transcribe the rationale of the Project for the New American Century, with the lyrics:
Six billion ants, crawling on a plate/ Six billion ants, crawling on a plate, /none of them give back as much as they take.
The very post-modern (for a prog-rock band) Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With, complete with amusing placeholder fill-in-the-blanks lyrics, has one of the catchiest, most life affirming choruses to date.

21st Century Schizoid Band

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Skinny Puppy/Throbbing Gristle

Puppy Gristle

Not sure what's the skinny (sorry!) on this track. It's allegedly from a one-off, live in the studio collaboration between Canada's Skinny Puppy and Genesis P. Orridge. It's not super easy listening, but then, it's Skinny Puppy and (one fourth of)Throbbing Gristle.
Here's what Wikipedia says about it:
Puppy Gristle is 40 minute improvisation jam between cEvin Key, Dwayne Goettel, and Genesis P-Orridge, recorded in November of 1993. Vocals from Nivek Ogre were added later. This release was only available through the Subconscious website. There were two pressings of this CD, both in a run of 1000 copies. Each pressing had slightly different artwork and cases. The first used jewel cases while the second had digipacks. However, the audio on both pressings are identical. Some of this jam session has been included on tracks by PSYCHIC TV and DOWNLOAD. (link)
Puppy Gristle

DJ Cheb i Sabbah

Shri Durga
Six Degrees

The follow up to Krishna Lila focuses on Northern Raga style Indian music. This one relies slightly less on instrumentation and more on vocals and devotional chanting. But far from being a studied recreation of classical Indian music, some of the tracks feature modern, trippier elements such as dub, electronic percussion and treatment of traditional recordings with delay-type effects. There's also some nice audio verite included in the mix. Ustad Sultan Khan guests here, as well as others. Both this album and the previous - Krishna Lila - have companion remix albums that are also worth checking out.

Shri Durga

DJ Cheb i Sabbah

Krishna Lila
Six Degrees

Fantastic album of Indian music by Algerian (by way of France and lately a house DJ in San Francisco) DJ Cheb i Sabbah. Despite his adopted Muslim-sounding name, this album is made up of Hindu devotional music and divided into two halves: North and South, representing two schools of traditional Indian Hindu music. There's a lot of great Indian singing, in both male and female voices, and tons of traditional indian instrumentation all layed under Sabbah's electronic beats. Some notable guests here include Karsh Kale, Bill Laswell, Natasha Atlas and it's engineered by longtime Laswell cohort Robert Musso. This is a beat heavy, rich and exotic world fusion album, simultaneously modern and ancient sounding. It's definitely an album for those with a wider sense of 'here' and a long concept of 'now'.

Krishna Lila

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Short Shelf-life Blowout

Light posts...

Hi all.
Updates are queued up, but I am hamstrung by a criminally slow upload speed this weekend. I talked to many residents of India about it, who can't really help me at the moment.
I am also harvesting bamboo this weekend and need to spend time with Mrs. Chardman (it's our anniversary! - no weaseling out of it, here.).
I hate to tempt folks with promises I may not be able to deliver on, but here's what I might be putting up:
Tabla Beat Science
DJ Cheb i Sabbah
King Crimson
Slow Music Project
and more...
Stay tuned

Tabla Beat Science

Tala Matrix

Fascinating world fusion project from Karsh Kale, Zakir Hussain, Ustad Sultan Khan and (of course) Bill Laswell.
Hussain's deft Tabla playing makes up the foundation for the compositions and his beats are treated and sliced and diced digitally. Kale provides modern, yet exotic percussion and electronic beats . Add to all of that Sarangi and singing by Khan and some very spacey, yet understated Bass-work by Laswell, as well as some Turntable play and electronics by the MidiEvil Punditz for a very modern, global-house oriented album.


Also, be sure to check out their amazing Live at Stern Grove album, which includes vocals by Gigi, who also duets with Ustad Sultan Khan in more than one song. The playing is fantastic and the recording is absolutely crystal clear. Songs from Tala Matrix are expanded upon and reinterpreted and DJ Disc melts some vinyl. Laswell's playing has seldom been louder or spacier.

There's also a very similar set captured on DVD, entitled Talamanam Sound Clash: Further Adventures in Hypercussion, which I highly recommend. I reviewed it over here.

Angelo Badalamenti

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
Warner Bros.

Beautiful , lush jazz -tinged soundtrack by David Lynch's long-time composer Angelo Badalamenti for the cinematic prequel to the tv series Twin Peaks. The orchestrations are rich and many songs include vocals by Jimmy Scott, Julee Cruise and even Badalamenti himself, on tracks penned by Lynch and credited to the band 'Thought Gang'. The tracks range from the very pretty (The Pine Float) to sensual (The Pink Room) and menacingly foreboding (The Black Dog Runs At Night) - just as in the movie.

Wrapped in plastic.

Friday, August 04, 2006



Lots of cool beats from Brain (Primus, Buckethead, Praxis), with turntableisms from Extrakd and Eddie Def. This is slick, urban driving soundtrack music at it's finest, with organic, funky beats and lots of vinyl-melting scratching and mixing. Deep bass by Laswell (credited here with Realization) and surprise guests Buckethead, M.I.R.V. and others.

Get real Gone.


Erotic Terrorism
Beggars Banquet

Angry, Aggro-style poly-national rock, circa 1998 from UK group Fun-Da-Mental.
Fun-Da-Mental is a radical, multi-ethnic, British, Islamic rap band formed in 1991. The style of the group mixes East and West, featuring rapping over Indian, Afro-Caribbean, and worldbeat samples. Thematically, Fun-Da-Mental is concerned with social justice, particularly in regard to Britain's treatment of its Asian and Afro-Caribbean citizens. The core members of the group consist of Aki Nawaz (who uses the stage name "Propa-Ghandi") and Dave Watts (who goes by "Impi-D"). Nawaz (who was a member of Southern Death Cult using his proper name Haq Qureshi) formed the group along with Man-Tharoo (also known as Goldfinger), DJ Obeah, and Bad-Sha Lallaman
This is an awesome album. Not nearly as Hip-Hop as some would have you believe (on this release, anyway). It sounds more like how Prodigy, Ministry or even Broken era NIN would've sounded if the members were pissed off multi-ethnic activists, and with a heavier emphasis on exotic percussion. They mixes lots of style such as Middle Eastern Chanting, Bhangra and even some African music along with audio-verite samples.
Apparently their latest album is causing quite the ruckus due to recent events not exactly improving their lyrical stance:
Even before its release, the group's latest album All is War (The Benefits of G-had) has provoked controversy over its lyrical content. I Reject is a strong rejection of the hypocrisy and immorality of the west and is a criticism of the Iraq War; Che Bin compares Osama bin Laden and Che Guevara; Cookbook DIY contains explicit lyrics about suicide bombings.
Fun stuff, this.

Demonized Soul

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Brian Eno

Thursday Afternoon
EG Records

One sixty-one minute long single track on this made-just-for-compact-disc format album (this was 1985 after all!). It's not an Eno release that gets high reviews, but I don't see this one around that often. It doesn't really have anything much to distinguish itself from most of his Ambient series or installation music pieces, but then it is very good ambient music.
I nabbed mine from the Goodwill (a big charity thrift shop chain in the States) where I almost never find good music on CD.
This album is really more for Eno completists who want to collect days and days of his Ambient stuff (I'm still trying).


Something I ferreted away in my page and plum forgot about:
Confucious over at Different Waters has posted TONS of unofficial Eno albums, i.e. installation pieces, bell study, etc...
He's got:
I Dormienti
Music for Prague
Extracts From Music For White Cube
January 07003 Bell Studies For The Clock Of The Long Now
Kite Stories

GO check 'em out and get started on rolling your own all-Eno home Muzak system.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006



An early glimpse of Slovenian Industrial band and singular art rock movement Laibach.
This album serves to document Laibach's early, pure industrial period. Recorded live, it's one of the few albums to feature original frontman, Tomaź Hostnik, who left the band and later committed suicide.
Tinny and - true to the genre- discordant and mechanical, it does contain some hints of the madness to come, albiet in a sketchy manner. At times they sound not too unlike Cabaret Voltaire or Throbbing Gristle circa '79.
The album also includes an early studio version of Drźava that threatens to resolve itself into a straight ahead rock song, but doesn't.
And yet there's another nearly complete concert here, this time introduced by an unidentified female announcer, sarcastically reading an apparently real newspaper editorial condemning Laibach. It makes you understand how provocative they were (and still are) at home and abroad. The music here pulses and throbs and all vocals are sung (chanted, barked?) in Serbo-Croatian. For those looking for the Germanophilic, bad European song covering Laibach, you'll either be sadly disappointed or illuminated as to their Yugo-Avant-Garde origins.

Ljubljana-Zagreb-Beograd pt. 1

Ljubljana-Zagreb-Beograd pt. 2

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Feeding of the 5000
Crass Records

Taking a break from all the Laswell/Axiom stuff for a guilty pleasure blast from the past.
The debut long player from Britain's Anarcho-collective Crass is an amazing record. As unmusical as some if it sounds even today, I can't help finding a huge soft spot in my heart for this record. I love the pinch-nosed Dalek vocals of Steve Ignorant, the chucka-chucka duck-quack rhythm guitar and the tin toy percussion. I also like how the black and white politics match the black and white foldout poster/lyric sheet/booklet. Gee Vaucher's artwork was a huge influence on me, even if I didn't realise it for another decade. I remember ordering this album from Rough Trade and eagerly awaiting getting it and hearing the band that I had read so much about but never heard. There's a part of me that still wants to believe in their politics. This is one of the few punk albums that I refuse to give to my teenage son, along with other Crass albums and assorted other goodies. I must confess to this not being a rip of my own vinyl, as it's very well worn.
Thank the God(des)s (and my ChronoPay account) for the Russian greymarket.

Do They Owe Us a Living?



The last (so far) in Laswell's long-running Material outfit. Not really sure what makes a project a Material release, as crews and music styles vary as much - if not more - than his solo projects. This time out, it's a straight up Hip-Hop album - and a pretty hot one, at that. Produced by Laswell along with Scotty Hard, Eddie Def, DXT, Extrakd and others. Very few other Axiom usual suspects make an appearance here.
Some notable MCs are Ramm Ell Zee (who opens and closes the thematically tied album), Kool Keith, Juggaknots, Nature Boy Jim Kelly, The Ghetto Prophets and good old Flavor Flav. Bernie Worrell and the steamy voice of Lori Carson (Golden Paliminos) make the beautifully dreamy All That Future a standout track.
This is a pretty sophisticated sounding Hip-Hop album and very trippy at times.
Bizarre sidenote: There is a Seattle art-noise band that goes by the name Intonarumori that -oddly enough - has an album entitled Material which is not to be confused with this album, but sounds swell nontheless.

"My Style Is I Ain't Got No Style"

Method of Defiance

The Only Way to Go is Down
Sublight Records

Fierce Drum N' Bass album from Bill Laswell, drummer Guy Licata, and Submerged on electronics, released late in 2005.
From a news article about Laswell, the album and the live performances that went into creating it:
At the beginning of the first set, behind his drum kit, Licata establishes a hypnotic foundation of breakbeats as Submerged applies a mixture of jazzy samples and ambient loops—a complex juxtaposition of cut-up rhythms and rapid-fire drumming timed so perfectly that someone listening to an audio recording would swear that Licata’s beats were programmed. Then Laswell plugs in with a series of silky, effortless runs up and down the fretboard at frequencies so low that his bass lines aren’t merely heard but are also felt in intense, gut-rumbling waves. Surrounded by pedals and effects boxes, Laswell tirelessly experiments with filters, reverberation techniques, and styles so varied they resemble everything from free-form jazz guitar to crunchy metal-chord progressions.
If you like Laswell's D&B excursions, this is the shit.

Holiday in Guantanamo


Who knew that Greil Marcus' great book Lipstick Traces - the book that attemps to draw parallels between Dada, The Situationists and 70's punk - had a soundtrack album? Not me, but Dorfdisco did and he has it up. Go check it out.

Hakim Bey: TAZ

A reader requested I put up TAZ, but I was fairly certain that G-Pod had done it first.
Here's a link to the post they did on it (I checked it and it's still active).
Some bands include manifestos in their liner notes. The liner notes to this album are a manifesto. Explaining T.A.Z. is difficult, but stating that Bey’s spin on the spoken-word genre is wizard mindfuckery is a good start. Chaos, anarchy, subcultures - Bey advocates nearly everything, including creating free states for like-minded cabals and collectives. He recommends marginalized groups form secret societies and concludes with a lengthy piece on boycotting cop culture. Musique concrete cloaks his words in an eerily seductive melange of avant-garde noise and ambient music. But the sounds are almost immaterial. Bey’s words are the primary focus of this disc. This album truly is punk as fuck, not in the ambient-styled music, but in the message it contains.
This is another great Axiom spoken-word album which I highly recommend.
Let me know if the links expire, in which case I'll rip my copy and post it.