Monday, January 31, 2005

fall on mars

Mouse on Mars have teamed up with mark e. smith from 'the fall' and n.y. rapper 'tears the muffin man' for new vocal mixes of "wipe that sound". "Rumor had it that the forthcoming Mouse on Mars' LP, Radical Connector, was going to be a dance-oriented outgrowth from the duo's stellar Idiology, but I can't imagine anyone expecting such a decidedly enormous beat as the one gracing "Wipe That Sound." The track decided veers away from the modern click and thump of German tech-house, instead shooting for the realm of block party booty anthems: "Wipe That Sound" grooves slow and sleazy through an ooze of typically dense MoM hiccups and atypically sloppy swaths of synth, while a chorus intoning the song title doubles over and chirping falsettos echo in response. Though it generates from a painfully slow, monotone trickle, "Wipe That Sound" quickly gains steam, renewing a slew of R&B cliches through its four-minute maximum recourse and closing as Mouse on Mars' catchiest track yet." "The collaboration MOUSE ON MARS + MARK E. SMITH is a jumbo merger - and nothing less. "Wipe That Sound" is already the coolest club 12" of the year." Buy Radical Connector here or get the 12" at Forced Exposure.

Mouse on Mars - Cut the Gain (feat. Mark E. Smith)
Mouse on Mars - Alien Animals (feat. Tears the Muffin Man)

Friday, January 28, 2005

scream my name

tonight after my DJ gig I am going to see some great midwestern garage rawk. Cincinasty's Thee Shams have it goin' on!

"Thee Shams' particular M.O. is organ-and-harp heavy garage with a fatback streak of swamp R&B; it's the Stax-meets-Sun-meets-Chess raunch that Jon Spencer has been aiming for (and consistently missing) since he shut down Pussy Galore."

Every track rocks mercilessly. It's like getting punched in the face by the playground bully and then the girl next door, as you regain consciousness, rewards you with your first French kiss.

some tour dates:::::

28th - @ The Second Story :: Bloomington, IN
29th - @ The Outland :: Springfield, MO

4th - @ Club Cafe :: Pittsburgh PA
5th - w/ Mondo Topless @ Pontiac Grille :: Philadelphia PA
16th - @ Vaudeville Mews :: Des Moines, IA
17th - @Triple Rock Social Club :: Minneapolis, MN
18th - @ Ralph's Corner Bar :: Moorhead MN
19th - @ West End Cultural Center :: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
26th - w/ James Kinds @ Busted Lift :: Dubuque, IA
27th - @ Busted Lift :: Dubuque, IA - all ages show

10th - @ House of Rock :: Eau Claire, WI
11th - @ King Tavern :: Madison, WI
12th - @ Main Stage :: Green Bay, WI
25th - @ Grimey's Basement :: Nashville, TN 

Thee Shams - Scream My Name
Thee Shams - Wolfman
Thee Shams - Get Out My Life Woman
Thee Shams - Half Past 12

Thursday, January 27, 2005

broken social scene

Broken Social Scene came out of nowhere (canada) and hit it big a year or so ago with their great record You Forgot It In People. anticipation has been building ever since then for their follow-up to see if they have what it takes. their reported new single, Shorelines, just slid across my virtual desk, so I thought I'd give ya a chance to see what you think... its off their new album "Windsurfing Nation", out sometime this year on Arts & Crafts.

edit: apparently this isnt as new as previously though. this is from a Zed TV video, in studio performance, not from the new album. enjoy, regardless. and thanks for the info. never believe what you read on the intraweb! =)

Broken Social Scene materialized in 1999 when K.C. Accidental's Kevin Drew and Brendan Canning, formerly of By Divine Right, bonded their friendship into a band. They spent the next few years honing an atmospheric rock sound in their native Toronto and the dynamic was great. Feel Good Lost marked their debut album in 2001 and introduced a revolving cast of Canadian indie musicians. Drew's fellow mate from Do Make Say Think, Charles Spearin, was added to the band, as well as Evan Cranley (Stars), James Shaw, and Emily Haines (Metric). By the time their guitar-fueled sophomore effort, You Forgot It in People, was released in fall 2002, Broken Social Scene had become an 11-piece collective. Jason Collett, Andrew Whiteman, Justin Peroff and Leslie Feist fulfilled the band's bombastic, orchestrated sound and critics loved it. You Forgot It In People was a buzz among indie cohorts and plans for a stateside release on Arts & Crafts was slated for the following summer. A surprise, however, coincided those plans in spring 2003 when Broken Social Scene won a Juno for "Alternative Album of the Year" for You Forgot It In People. In order to maintain praise from critics, the band issued their first ever b-siders & rarities collection, Bee Hives, in spring 2004. - AMG

Broken Social Scene - Shorelines

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

the moaners

The Moaners are a female rock duo that manages to capture the unapologetic sexuality of PJ Harvey with the raw amplified blues of the Fat Possum crowd. Featuring former Trailer Bride front woman Melissa Swingle and transplanted Baltimore punk drummer Laura King, The Moaners unleash a batch of hard love songs on their debut, Dark Snack. From the opening yowl of feedback that precedes the album's pounding opener, this album is an exuberant expression of freedom and sexual emancipation from a distinctly female perspective. Whereas Swingle's previous band, Trailer Bride, conjured visions of dark, Flannery O'Connor-esque tales, moss-covered trees and mournful secrets, The Moaners are a rock band that are as comfortable invoking the spirit of Chapel Hill-born folk/blues legend Elizabeth Cotton as doing their own reworking of "House of the Rising Sun" with lyrics inspired by a local rural joint, the Paradise Club. Swingle's Mississippi-bred drawl wraps around the lyrics like a warm wind - an instantly recognizable voice that can go from honeydrip sweet to searing in seconds flat. Playing a bottleneck guitar that would make White Zombie or Paul Leary of the Butthole Surfers proud, but infusing it with the best classic garage pop sensibility of 60s and 70s punk, Melissa Swingle and Laura King blast through a set of original rockers that should put the fear into any other guitar/drums duo left standing after the initial assault. Sure you can trace the blues influence in Swingel's riffing or the Stooges' Scott Asheton's tribal pounding in Kings brutal drumming, when all's said and done though, The Moaners just Rock with a capital "R." Their debut release came out this week on Yep Roc. Buy Dark Snack here.

Catch em on tour through the midwest in the next couple of weeks!

SA 01.29.05 - Chapel Hill, NC
TH 02.03.05 - Asheville, NC
FR 02.04.05 - Cincinnati, OH
SA 02.05.05 - Chicago, IL
SU 02.06.05 - Appleton, WI
MO 02.07.05 - Madison, WI
TU 02.08.05 - Bloomington, IN - 2nd Story
WE 02.09.05 - Detroit, MI. - The Belmont
TH 02.10.05 - Dayton, OH. - Elbo's
FR 02.11.05 - Cleveland, OH. - Beachland Ballroom
SA 02.12.05 - Cary, NC. - The Hibernian Pub

The Moaners - Heart Attack

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

giorgio's breakdance

Irene Cara is best known as a singer of movie themes, though she worked as an actress since childhood. Raised in NYC, she appeared on Broadway in 1967 in the musical Maggie Flynn at age eight and can be heard on the cast album for the show The Me Nobody Knows. From the age of 16, she was turning up on television and in films, including a part in the TV mini-series Roots 2 in 1979. In 1980, she was catapulted into stardom and a singing career by her appearance in the film Fame, for which she sang the title song, an Oscar-winning Top Ten hit. Also from the film was her Top 40 hit "Out Here on My Own." In 1983, she topped the charts with "Flashdance...What a Feelin'" from the movie Flashdance, a song she co-wrote that won another Oscar, and Cara won a couple of Grammys for her contributions to the soundtrack. Her What a Feelin' album included the hits "Why Me?" and "Breakdance," and she also made the Top 40 with a third movie theme, "The Dream (Hold on to Your Dream)," from DC Cab. -AMG

But the real star of this mix of Breakdance is Italian mastermind Giorgio Moroder. Composer / songwriter / producer / entrepreneur. Giorgio Moroder is noted world wide for his award-winning, chart topping music. He has worked with many of the most famous names in both film and music including Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Cher, Pat Benatar, Roger Daltry and Janet Jackson. Among his number one hit singles are Blondie's "Call Me," Donna Summer's "On the Radio" and "I Feel Love," Kenny Loggins "Danger Zone," and David Bowie's "Putting Out the Fire."

Moroder's score for the film "Midnight Express" brought the composer his first Academy Award. Two more followed with the Irene Cara number one hit single "Flashdance...What A Feeling," from the film "Flashdance" and "Take My Breath Away" from the movie "Top Gun". His music has also garnered countless other awards including four Golden Globes, two Grammys and People's Choice Awards, and more than 100 Golden and Platinum discs.

Giorgio Moroder has contributed to such hit films as "The Never Ending Story," "Scarface," "Superman III," "American Gigolo," "Cat People," "Rambo III," "Over The Top" and "Beverly Hills Cop II." He restored and scored Fritz Lang's classic silent film "Metropolis." The score includes the hit songs "Here She Comes" by Bonnie Tyler and "Love Kills" by Queen's Freddy Mercury.

Born in Val Gardena-Dolomiti, Italy, Moroder spent his early years touring Europe as a musician before teaming up with Pete Bellotte and eventually producing the epic seventeen minute "Love to Love You, Baby" for singer Donna Summer. The song is credited with starting the disco craze around the world. Several years later, Moroder's "Flashdance...What A Feeling" would also be credited with helping send the music world in yet another new and exciting direction.

Moroder's musical creativity has also touched the realms of sports and world piece. He wrote the songs "Reach Out" for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, "Hand in Hand" for the 1988 Seoul, Korea Olympics, plus the world wide hit song " Un Estate Italiana" for the 1990 Soccer World Cup in Italy.

This is by no means even a touchstone towards a real post on Giorgio Moroder. Regardless, enjoy this.

Irene Cara - Breakdance (extended dub mix by Giorgio Moroder)

Monday, January 24, 2005

six organs of admittance

Perhaps inspired by the east-meets-west solo guitar musings of John Fahey or Robbie Basho, former Plague Lounge guitarist Ben Chasny formed Six Organs of Admittance in 1998 in northern California. Six Organs' self-titled, self-released debut was released that year, followed by various compilation tracks and obscurities. In 2000, Six Organs released the Manifestation EP on Ba Da Bing! records, a one-sided clear vinyl-only release consisting of one extended piece, and featuring female vocals and varied percussion accompanying the centerpiece of Chasny's guitar. Also in 2000, Dust and Chimes was released, first as a limited edition by Pavilion, and then in an expanded run by Holy Mountain. The second full-length from Six Organs, it featured raga-like guitar work surrounded by bells, chimes (as the name implies), drones, and Chasny's multi-tracked, chant-style vocals.

Chasny's latest release, School of the Flower, out now on Drag City is perhaps his most realised recording to date. The addition of drummer Chris Corsano (Vampire Belt, Sunburned Hand of the Man, Dream/Aktion Unit, Dredd Foole, Cold Bleak Heat, Paul Flaherty) is immediately obvious with the drony free-jazzy opening piece and the 13+ minute album-titled workout. Maybe its because I've been listening to the genre a lot but I swear there is a hint of minimalist composers such as Riley or Reich in there. Whats definitely there is what Chasny does best, and that is the finger-picked folk guitar of yesteryear. His back catalog is almost entirely out of print and for good reason. Be on the lookout for his recordings on labels such as Strange Attractors and Holy Mountain. Buy some here.

Six Organs of Admittance - Words for Two
Six Organs of Admittance - Procession Of Cherry Blossom Spirits

Sunday, January 23, 2005

new new order and out hud

download a radio rip of the newest New Order single over at torr's blog.

There is some news stirring in the Out Hud camp. Their second full-length album, Let Us Never Speak of It Again is set for a worldwide release on March 21st, 2005. It will be released in the US through Kranky and will be preceeded with the single "One Life to Leave" due for release on February 7th, 2005. The band plan to begin touring in April 2005 in the East Coast, South and Midwest portions of the United States. The EP featuring one track from the forthcoming album, a remix of that track exclusive to the EP, and another non-LP track. The first statement on disc from the NYC band in two years, the first appearance of vocals by Phyllis Forbes and Molly Schnick on an Out Hud song, plenty of value for the consumer with two exclusive tracks and an indication of the awesomeness of the album to follow. And the EP tracks are indeed awesome. And if you didn't know before, you can easily tell that Out Hud and !!! share some core members when you look at song titles like the upcoming: 'Dear Mr. Bush, There are over 100 words for shit and only 1 for Music. Fuck You, Out Hud'.

This track is the remix of the single. You can hear the single version over at the gabba pod. And you can hear some snippets up at their own website.

Out Hud - One Life To Leave - A Requiem For A Requiem

Friday, January 21, 2005

dead meadow

February sees the release of 'Feathers', the fourth studio album by Washington DC’s Dead Meadow, its second for Matador Records, and its first as a quartet with new guitarist Cory Shane. Dead Meadow play an unusual blend of flawless Hendrix/Sabbath riffage, dreamy psych, heavy undulating rhythms, dirty blues-rock, and environmental jams, with eerie high-pitched vocals. Miles beyond “stoner rock” gimmickry, this is a beautifully natural sound, played by expert instinctive musicians.

While they may not be the next big thing that Matador had hoped them to be, they are certainly worthy of much more attention than to the stoned out sludge rockers. In the world where Sabbath and Spacemen 3 jam, Dead Meadow are a bratty bastard child (Bardo Pond are another). And they totally slay live, dewd. While the new CD starts with a krushing riff that Dead Meadow are known for over the course of their discography, there is also more contrast than ever before. 'Feathers' is nearly poppy at times and might actually win over some female fans with songs such as the nearly Dandy Warhol-esque 'At Her Open Door' and the sentimental JAMC-upgrade 'Stacy's Song'. They've toned down the full-on mastadon fuzz a touch and let their inner psychedelia blossom, it seems. Feathers is truly a gentler vibration on the flesh from the hi-fi. Eat a tab, toke down a monster hit and buy some!

Dead Meadow - Let's Jump In
Dead Meadow - At Her Open Door
Dead Meadow - Good Moanin'
Dead Meadow - Sleepy Silver Door

Thursday, January 20, 2005


Born in Mishawaka, IN at the dawn of 1958, Lisa Germano was the middle of six kids. Her parents were teachers and musicians who encouraged their children to learn an instrument until they turned 18. At the age of seven, she wrote her first piece of music, a 15-minute opera on the piano and, in due time, Germano learned the violin, an instrument that would ultimately guide her to a professional career in music.

She made her debut as John Mellencamp's violinist and fiddle player on his 1987 hit album Lonesome Jubilee. Germano would spend the next seven years with Mellencamp, shaping a smooth, fearless playing style. Additional tours and recording sessions with Simple Minds and the Indigo Girls motivated Germano to do something on her own. She found her voice at the age of 30 and developed a quirky sound rooted in folk-rock and poetry. The lo-fi, shadowy On the Way Down From the Moon Palace was issued on her own Major Bill label in 1991, marking Germano's proper introduction as a solo artist.

Happiness was much more melancholy and acerbic when it appeared two years later on Capitol. Sales were fare, but Germano didn't care for the major-label buzz, so she signed with Ivo Watts-Russell's 4AD in 1994 and reissued a new version of the album. Geek the Girl, which also appeared before the year's end, captured Germano's secrets of a wavering self-concept and her disgust for social ignorance. This particular album of massy sexual conflicts earned Germano her biggest praise from the press to date. People started to connect with her and that's exactly what Germano wanted.

Excerpts From a Love Circus was gushing in adoration when it arrived in 1996, but critics didn't take to this glossy body of work. The emotional double-cross of Slide (1998) didn't do as well either, so Germano took some time off. Within months, Germano lost her deal with 4AD. She questioned her place in music and basically vowed to never make another record.

A move to Hollywood for a simple kind of life gave Germano a much needed break. She took a job as a clerk at Book Soup and enjoyed her anonymity. Songwriting remained an integral part of her life, but having it be a means to making a living wasn't a concern. Joining other artists such as David Bowie, Anna Waronker, and Neil Finn on their respective projects kept Germano connected. Luckily for fans, Germano inked a deal with the ARTISTdirect imprint, Ineffable, in 2002. Germano's classic, twisted sense of humor was at its finest on Lullaby for Liquid Pig, which was issued in April 2003.

These two tracks are from the very limited 1994 EP entitled Inconsiderate Bitch. They are tracks that appear on the Happiness album but have been reworked, as is the entire EP. The 1999 reissue of the album tacks this release onto the end of the LP for an extra treat.

Lisa Germano - Puppet
Lisa Germano - Sycophant

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

early day mining

Some friends of mine are headed out on tour in support of their brand spanking new CD on Secretly Canadian and you should all know about it. In times past, Early Day Miners CDs have been called post-rock or slowcore, but neither are really a good tag. And I can't say that I am too pleased with the description from the one-sheet either but it'll do:

Moreso than on any of their previous efforts, EDM take both musical and tonal cues from the principal architects of the 80's sad-as-hell dark underground - Echo & the Bunnymen, the Church, early-the Cure, and most notably the Bauhaus/Tones On Tail/Love And Rockets axis. While contemporaries like Bedhead and Interpol have mined primarily the darkest aspects of these long shadows, there lies in Early Day Miners' method an innate sense of hope that transcends even their darkest themes (decay, suicide, desertion). Perhaps this is most evident in the guitar interplay of long-time collaborators Dan Burton (Ativin) and Joseph Brumley. Arpeggios abound, the works of Roger McGuinn and The Edge come to mind in that there is a sense of hopefulness and sublimation which drives the songs to a better place. While the album is filled with death and ghosts of all sorts, its unifying theme is the individual's ability to escape the death and ghosts. Even the making of the album (which was done just outside of the band's hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, on the outskirts of Hoosier National Forest) was plagued by ghosts and phantoms. Recorded at the Old Mt. Gilead Church - recently revamped into a recording studio and still immediately surrounded on three sides by a dozen acres of 150-year old cemetery - principal tracking for All Harm Ends Here was halted for days at a time on multiple occasions when inexplicable flutter infected the reels of tape, almost requiring EDM to relocate its principal tracking altogether. Mixing and overdubbing was done at Burton's own Grotto Home Studio in an effort to evade those ghosts in the machine which possessed Old Mt. Gilead. While the Early Day Miners don't make flashy music, their layered music rewards the repeat listener. If you listen closely enough, in fact, you can hear ghosts in the distance.

Regardless, the Early Day Miners' new album is gorgeous and lush and has fantastic triple gatefold artwork. They are out on tour right now with Chris Brokaw, whose name you might know from his stints in bands such as Codeine, Come, the New Year, Consonant, Pullman, and much much more. Check out the tourdates and catch em if you can. Buy their rekkid.

Early Day Miners - Errance
Early Day Miners - All Harm
Early Day Miners - The Purest Red

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

how seely lived like a kings kid

Apologies for the extended disappearance, I was rescuing thousands of CDs and LPs from my flooding basement library. My life is now in disarray. But the upside is that I am handling music that I haven't touched in years...

Seely, the first American band signed to British independent Too Pure (once the home of PJ Harvey, Stereolab and Seefeel), has the distinctly British sound of dream-pop inspired by My Bloody Valentine. The band was formed in Atlanta in 1994 by two architecture students, guitarist/vocalist Steven Satterfield and guitarist Lori Scacco. The two added vocalist/bassist Joy Waters and drummer Eric Taylor, and toured America with like-minded bands Yo La Tengo, Third Eye Foundation and Trans Am. The group signed to Too Pure for their 1996 debut album Julie Only, a delightful piece of indie psychedelia with an impeccable production job by Tortoise's John McEntire. Seely's sophomore LP Seconds appeared in 1997; Winter Birds followed in early 2000. - AMG

Somehow, much like a lot of the music I talk about on here, Seely has managed to nearly disappear from the online world. How can a band that has released three great albums during the internet era on well-distributed labels vanish so quick? Luckily I found that much like my previous post of Difference Engine, part of Seely has carried on with a new project. Lori Scacco recently released a solo album on Eastern Developments. Check out her luscious mp3 snippets on the site, I think I am going to need to order one for myself soon.

A classically trained pianist and guitarist since childhood, cofounder of mid-nineties indie-rock coup de force Seely (Too Pure Records, UK), and later a self-taught sound designer and composer, Scacco is certainly not new to the scene and definitely knows what she's talking about. Scacco sites heroes as far afield as the Coltrane Household (Alice and John), Dusty Springfield, Pharoah Sanders, Darlene Love, Brian Eno, The Delfonics, and the earthworks of artist and visionary Andy Goldsworthy as spiritual (as opposed to formalistic) influences.

Scacco's Circles presents listeners with a lissome and gentle exploration of love, life, soul, nature and narrative - The Essentials - and the cyclical natures of each. Warm piano washes and crystalline acoustic guitar chords humbly meander through ultra-sparce earth-toned atmospheres - but they do so always with a solid set of faithful bass lines walking close by to gently knod affirmation as the music patiently comes into greater knowledge of Self.

On Circles, Scacco lays down tight minimalist jazz compositions to create songs with a strong emotional agility and an overall cool, understanding thoroughly that bit of sensuality that arises out of slow and well-paced revelation. Scacco's explanation of her process maybe gives some insight into how the music came move with such precision of mood "…I played the piano freely for hours, recording everything, trying to get to the point of complete openness, to the threshold of what was really inside of me…this was easiest when I was too tired or out of it to over-think or edit."

These tracks were taken from their 1996 debut CD, Parentha See, which was put out on the Atlanta, GA label Third Eye. The whole album was later rerecorded and resequenced for their Too Pure debut, Julie Only.

Seely - Lucky Penny
Seely - Shine
Seely - How To Live Like A Kings Kid
Lori Scacco - Imitation of Happiness (snippet)

Friday, January 07, 2005

difference engine

A difference engine is a historical, now obsolete, mechanical special-purpose computer designed to tabulate polynomial functions. Since logarithmic and trigonometric functions can be approximated by polynomials, such a machine is more general than it appears at first. The first of these devices was conceived in 1786 by J. H. Mueller. It was never built. Difference engines were forgotten and then rediscovered in 1822 by Charles Babbage. This machine used the decimal numbers system and was powered by cranking a handle.

the early 90s providence, rhode island band difference engine seems to be just as obscure these days. releasing a few 7 inches and two CDs on the long gone La-Di-Da and Bedazzled labels, its been quite a challenge to find mention of their existence on ye ole intraweb. nowadays, providence is known as the home of the crazy noize scene of load records. back then, it was known more for the indie-college-rock of bands like small factory. difference engine were neither of these, but actually they were kind of inbetween, ahead of their time maybe? their sound was thourghly drenched in what can best be classified as dreampop or shoegazer or noisepop or blisspop or psychpop. you know the drill, slowdive, mbv, etc. except much more american; so let's say more like boston's drop nineteens.

now here we are, ten years+ later and I discover today that people from difference engine are still making music but as a new band: fern knight. and once again, they are out of place with their time- fern knight are "...folk-noir with a high spook factor from the woods of providence...infinitely lonely tissue paper singing...with the devil of the blues in her throat...a mournful cello saws its way through the ears directly into one's heart." This evocative, moody atmospheric pop falls in line with great artists such as Nick Drake, Cat Power, Barbara Manning, Low, Red House Painters, Julie Cruise and even Sigur Ros. (according to their label) You can buy it here. And you can also listen to a couple of more mp3s at their own website, too.

Difference Engine - 5 Listens
Difference Engine - And Never Pull
Fern Knight - If I Could Write a Book About You

Thursday, January 06, 2005

holding the edge captive

speaking of michael brook, just before sleeps with fishes, he contributed to a soundtrack with the edge. yea, THAT edge. between the unforgettable fire and the joshua tree, dave evans aka the edge collaborated with michael brook, sinead o'connor (her first recorded appearance!) and others to score this dark european thriller that seems kind of based on patty "tania" hearst. the movie isn't that great, but the soundtrack has its moments. it is nothing like u2 at all, much more ambient. hell the whole thing is instrumental except that there is one 'pop' song, that being the sinead o'connor track. the first track, rowena's theme, is my favorite- echoing finger-picked acoustic guitar with warm french horns that builds up to a classic u2 piano/guitar sound. dear mister edge- how I miss your wonder years! Buy the soundtrack here or you can find the VHS at amazon, or stop by, you can borrow mine.

The Edge - Rowena's Theme
The Edge (feat. Sinead O'Connor) - Heroine

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

equal ways: nooten & brook

Speaking of Clan of Xymox... Pieter Nooten played keyboards for them. When he departed the band after their 2nd full length and final album for 4AD, Medusa, he worked on a much more ambient release with Michael Brook. Check out the demo version of the Xymox song from the same release as yesterday and then the amazing reworking.

The innovative guitarist and producer Michael Brook was born and raised in Toronto. While studying electronic music and the arts at the University of Toronto, he met trumpter Jon Hassell. Through Hassell, Brook also was introduced to minimalist composer LaMonte Young, under whom he studied Indian music. A period working as the house engineer at producer Daniel Lanois' famed Grant Avenue recording studio led to a tenure playing guitar with the Canadian pop band Martha and the Muffins during the late '70s; at the same time, Brook also met Brian Eno, guesting on the 1980 Eno/Hassell collaboration Possible Musics. In 1983, he also played on Harold Budd's Magic Realism.

In 1985 Brook made his solo debut with Hybrid, an influential ethno-ambient work recorded with Eno that discovered the middle ground between Western and Indian musical aesthetics and established his unique, heavily-processed "infinite guitar" sound. (He helped develop and invent this special instrument, which is probably most famously used at the beginning of U2's With or Without You- its the long sustained guitar that never ever breaks.)

He spent much of the remaining decade working with Eno, helping create video sculptures and sound installations across the globe; he also became a sought-after producer, helming records for such diverse talents as Roger Eno, Pieter Nooten, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Balloon, and the Pogues. In 1990, Brook returned to world music, producing Youssou N'Dour's acclaimed Set; more importantly, he began a continuing collaboration with Pakistani qawaali singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan with the seminal Mustt Mustt, a fusion of Western ambient and pop sounds with the sacred spiritual music of the East. In 1992, Brook returned to the studio to record his first solo effort in seven years, the stellar Cobalt Blue for 4AD; a rare concert performance given at a party celebrating the album's release was subsequently issued as the limited-edition Live at the Aquarium. Brook later wrote the score for the Kevin Spacey-directed crime noir Albino Alligator. Buy some of his stuff.

Pieter Nooten & Michael Brook - Equal Ways
Clan of Xymox - Equal Ways (Demo)

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

call it weird, call it xymox

In response to the always intruiging grapejuiceplus, I present a couple of tracks from my gothic yesteryear...

Clan of Xymox has been in the unfortunate position of always being compared to other bands since their inception. Whether it's the Cure or Joy Division, Clan of Xymox has never been able to shake off the similarities to their influences. Nevertheless, the group has produced an impressive body of work that consistently absorbed new sounds while remaining faithful to the '80s goth rock menu. Clan of Xymox was formed in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, in 1983 by Ronny Moorings (vocals, guitar) and Anka Wolbert (bass, vocals). A year later, Moorings and Wolbert moved to Amsterdam, Holland, releasing the LP Subsequent Pleasures as Xymox. (The album was limited to 500 copies.) Xymox then became the opening act for Dead Can Dance in England. The band's presence on Dead Can Dance's U.K. tour caught the interest of 4AD Records, and the label eventually signed them. A year later, Xymox lengthened their name to Clan of Xymox and recorded a self-titled album in 1985, followed by Medusa the next year. In 1987, the group shortened their appellation to Xymox once again, contributing another version of "Muscoviet Mosquito," originally on Subsequent Pleasures, to the 4AD compilation Lonely Is an Eyesore. After the release of the single "Blind Hearts," Xymox left 4AD and joined Polygram/Wing.

Anything that happened with them after this point is really disappointing, so why discuss it? It was disturbing enough looking for a photo and seeing their new incarnation with their Hot Topic outfits and hair colour. bleh! These tracks were taken from a compilation put out in the mid-90s in Holland of their 4AD demos and their first EP, Subsequent Pleasures. Metropolis later reissued it, and you can buy it here.

Clan of Xymox - Stumble And Fall (Demo)
Clan of Xymox - 7th Time (Demo)
Clan of Xymox - Call It Wierd