Archives by month/year

Acid Mothers Temple/Southall Riot/Floach (live)

The Social, Nottingham 30 May 2001

The first act were Floach, an electronics duo from ScoobyDooLand. With a table full of electronic contraptions that would have made Throbbing Gristle drool (and a hairstyle that would have frightened Dave Hill from Slade), they cooked up a glorious electronic rumpus. If Pierre Henry had been commissioned to compose the incidental music for a Carry On film, it would have probably sounded like this. Sometimes they hit a groove, other times they just turned up the heat and let their pots boil over. Watching lab technicians at work is usually a boring experience, but Floach were smart enough to suss this out and took the piss out of themselves in such a charming way that you couldn’t help but like them. They made you like them.

Next act, Southall Riot. Oh dear. The classic scenario; It’s all very well, and they’re probably nice

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Tied + Tickled Trio – Electric Avenue Tapes

Label: Clearspot Format: CD,LP

Electric Avenue Tapes - sleeve This ‘trio’ are in fact a sextet, including the brothers Marcus and Micha Acher who enjoy playing with the conventions of jazz and introducing dub and electronics alongside improvisation. The first track, “United World Elevator”, is a good example, starting in a fairly minimalist style with sparse keyboard and drums, human, electronic or both. It suddenly takes on another dimension as the tenor saxophonist, Ulrich Wangenheim, asserts himself. His improvisations are impassioned and contribute a human voice as the electronic interference of Andreas Gerth infiltrates the mix.

The rest of the music seems closely focussed on the strong drum and bass with washes of sound spread over this foundation, as in “Tusovska Dub Version”. Here a simple but powerful bass riff drives through the scattering of electronics while the percussion is placed high in the

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Biosphere – Substrata 2

Touch Format: 2xCD

Substrata 2 - sleeve detailTo call Substrata a good album is an understatement. It has been described as one of the finest Ambient albums of the Nineties. As far as I’m concerned you can scrub out the bit about the Nineties. Biosphere, a.k.a. Geir Jenssen from Norway, has created some of the most amazing Ambient music I’ve heard in a very long time. Substrata is an album to play at full volume in sub-zero conditions.

This re-release of Substrata is a lovingly-designed two CD edition containing two extra tracks that were released on the Japanese version of the album, along with the Man With a Movie Camera. In 1996 Geir Jenssen was asked to write a new soundtrack for Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov‘s 1929 silent film of the same name, and hopefully one day the score and film will be placed

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Tool – Lateralus

Label: BMG/Volcano Format: CD, limited CD,MC

Lateralus - detail of one page of the sleeveTool. Hmm. Can we forgive them? I mean, like, ever? After all, as the instigators of nu-metal, they are largely responsible for Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, all that big-shorted, high testosterone sports metal malarkey. Only there’s nothing remotely “sports” about Tool — no, they’re resolutely “old metal” imagewise – you know, namechecking Crowley, decorating their sleeves with mystical paraphernalia, and generally getting all apocalyptic on yo` ass.

And indeed, they’ve got doomier. Last album, Aenima, a patchy though often brilliant Industrial Metal nightmare, had a sleeve decked with poo jokes and, commendably, a lovely painting of Bill Hicks. This time, jokes are to a minimum, and there’s none of the petulance that sometimes dragged Aenima down to a level of just being something that rocked. In fact, now Tool are

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Calexico – Even My Sure Things Fall Through

Label: Quarterstick Format: CD

Even My Sure Things Fall Through- sleeve Spanning most of the musical history of Calexico, a band highly reminiscent of duo Joey Burns and John Covertino‘s previous bands Giant Sand and especially Friends Of Dean Martinez, this EP combines unreleased tracks with remixes of previously-released material, some European B-sides, and three CDROM videos to make an almost definitive collection of Calexico’s southwestern-Texas-Arizona-tinged music, all on one compact CD. While the majority of the material here is original Calexico, there’s also a wonderful cover of the American Music Club song “Chanel No. 5” that’s so heartbreakingly rendered that it blows the first version clear out of the ballpark. The remix of the trumpet-heavy “Banderilla” is also wonderful, as is Two Loneswordsmen’s remix of “Untitled III.”

-Holly Day-

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Salvatore – Fresh

Label: Racing Junior Format: CD

Fresh - sleeve detailSalvatore popped down to Marrakesh from their Nowegian home to record Fresh, and from the opening twang of “Get The Kids On The Street, It’s A Party” things take on an electronic groove dimension which can only have been aided by the atmosphere of Morocco. “Get The Kids…” holds all the Motorik cards, dealing out chord chugs and twirling synths on a rhythmic base held in precise tension through the crisp sound of the brushing drums and the clanking sound of brand new bass strings. The title is just about right too, as it’s a perfect number for getting things going in a bouncy style.

It’s no real surprise that Salvatore are going to work on their next album with John McEntire either, as there is much to Fresh which relates to the expansive sound of

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Bomb20/2nd Gen/Zan Lyons (live)

2nd Gen Electrowerkz, London 4 May 2001

Noise and gunge and digital Punk Rock descend on paintball hall Electrowerkz, and even if the night is also a launch for the No More Rock N Roll compilation, it really does have some stomping moments to put a writhe on the dead face of Sid Vicious and perhaps Kurt Cobain too. Why? Because the kids jump up and down, make temporary mosh pits even, in front of the selection of electronic soloists (plus guests) who, despite the proliferation of laptops and boxes of tech’n’DATs , really give it some, and put on a show while they’re about it.

Zan LyonsSo after a few hours of previews of the new DHR video compilation (well worth checking out for the expected bunch of vids from Atari Teenage Riot via

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