Archives by month/year

Jazkamer – Metal Music Machine 2

Pica Disk

Jazkamer - Metal Music Machine 2I have had a small break from reviewing the Jazkamer monthly 2010, but this is not me quitting the promise of reviewing every monthly. No, I have been busy running a festival, and was planning on picking up where I left with submitting the August release. But what happens? During the festival I was, as the first person in the world, given by Lasse Marhaug himself this brand new Jazkamer release, and being taken by surprise by the title, I knew I couldn’t help myself doing this one first. So the rest would have to wait, but it will come of course. This release is due out November 2010.

When Metal Music Machine was released in 2006, Jazkamer was hailed over the world with this new metal direction, even by their old noise fans who

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Alien Sex Fiend – Death Trip

13th Moon

Alien Sex Fiend - Death TripOK, a bit of a lesson in rock history. Well, by “lesson” I obviously mean “completely partial and somewhat half-baked theory put together by me for the purposes of reviewing an album,” but at least it’s not like double geography or something, on a sunny day, when you have to squint at a map of Haverfordwest for an hour and a half until you feel like marching off to the careers teacher’s office and telling him you’ve decided that what you absolutely, more than anything want to become is a dictator who can have the whole place annexed and the inhabitants butchered before having it removed from all maps, books or other sources such as might be used by particularly cruel geography teachers. (Note- if anyone from Haverfordwest

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Various Artists – Bloody War: Songs 1924–1939

Tompkins Square

Bloody War - Songs 1924–1939The ordinary soldier’s tale is a lamentable one full of dark humour born of hardship and kinship in barracks and battle. Here are 15 such laments ranging from the period 1924–1939 from the USA; in Europe a sometimes overlooked participant in the First World War, with its own continental conflicts and a civil war to draw subject matter from.

A CD of songs taken from private collections of out of copyright 78s, starting with Zeke Morris‘ “Just As the Sun Went Down” and featuring the amazingly named Red Patterson’s Piedmont Log Rollers telling of “The Battleship Of Maine,” an event of sabotage or subterfuge controversially precipitating the Spanish-American War; its inclusion tempting comparisons with politics behind the Gulf War. Scanning past the flags and eagles on the artwork and showing the record company’s sympathy with the

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Various Artists – Portobello Shuffle: A testimonial to Boss Goodman and a tribute to the music of The Deviants and Pink Fairies

Easy Action

Various Artists: Portobello Shuffle: A testimonial to Boss Goodman and a tribute to the music of The Deviants and Pink Fairies“Bbbbrrrriiinnggg, bbbbbrrrrriiiinngggg. This is Uranus calling Pink Fairies, hurry up and reform and play some shows. We will pay 50,000 intergalactic credits.”

Ok, let’s start from the beginning; you should buy this CD. Not just because the entire royalties go to Boss Goodman, roadie, DJ, producer and chef – and the man who kept The Fairies on the road – but because it has some of the best rock’n’roll songs ever written. Boss suffered a stroke in 2006 and is on the long road to recovery and probably will never work again. So on to the music itself…..


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The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres


The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic SpheresAfter having Steve Hillage play on their first (as well as several other) albums it does make one wonder why a collaboration between The Orb and David Gilmour didn’t happen a long time ago. The Orb had referenced Pink Floyd’s work enough including sampling Richard Wright’s keyboards at one point. Anyway, with a rather polite fanfare here are the fruits of their first labour together. And to be honest with you its kind of what you expect, which is no bad thing.

The album is fairly short with a total running time of 48 minutes. Side one, or the ‘Metallic Side’ as it’s called, sets the scene with glistening synthesizers that seemed to be played from within an alien spacecraft. After a few seconds Gilmour’s instantly recognisable guitar sounds lifts off and makes the

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Sand Snowman – Nostalgia Ever After

Beta-Lactam Ring Records

Sand Snowman – Nostalgia Ever AfterIt might be thought that with a title like Nostalgia Ever After that Sand Snowman would be revivifying old-school folkies with a penchant for replicating the sound of chiming bells and hippydom sat cross-legged around lava lamps while the bong slowly bubbles over paisley dreams worthy of both Keats and Beardsley; and to an extent, they might be. Or more to the point, he might, as this is not so much a band as an artist living behind a suitably psychedelic pseudonym and within some equally out-there music.

Embedded at the core of Sand Snowman’s sound is the stalwart, circling acoustic guitar, but there is far more occurring here than just the languorous strum or the occasional pick and twang; a veritable woodland grove of instrumentation suffuses the

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Grinderman – Grinderman 2


Grinderman 2 (not Electric Boogaloo)Is it just me, or did it suddenly get kinda butch in here? I mean, the amount of testosterone coming out of the discerning listener’s speakers at the moment is really quite intimidating. What with Michael Gira‘s reactivated-and-all-male-again Swans trying to frighten you into an early grave, and Grinderman back to try to “charm” you into bed with a bottle of Jack and a handful of pills, I have to wonder why. (Or “Y”. That was a very poor joke for genetics geeks there. Sorry).

A couple of years ago, when Nick Cave first announced the Grinderman project, there were a lot of theories, fears and expectations doing the rounds. Was this Cave trying to get back to his dirty, sex’n’violence roots in The Birthday Party? Was this the mid-life crisis

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The Black Twig Pickers (live at The Vortex)

The Vortex Jazz Bar, London 27 September 2010

(The Black Twig Pickers live at The Votex September 2010)My view of this evening is tainted in about 200 different ways and as I haven’t drafted this review I don’t know what you’ll make of it but hang on a minute. I have to explain that when I was younger and more energetic and had more brain power with which to be creative I did used to review music; but after awhile I became bored of my own observations and felt I was often saying the same thing in an emotional way and not really reaching any points of information for the target audiences desiring the over analysis of technical something or anothers. To me writing reviews is work.

This gig is being held in

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Lesbian – Stratospheria Cubensis


Lesbian – Stratospheria CubensisThe second album-length outing from Lesbian finds the self-professed prog-doomsters reaching further into the upper reaches of the psychosphere on a craft constructed from some seriously heavy sounds and equally convoluted musicianship.

Lesbian like to rock, they like to soar, and it’s quite possible they’re rising high over the stratosphere right now. Ten parts doom to three parts pomp, Stratospheria Cubensis is a logical component to all things stoner-appreciated, decked out with passages of relentless weightiness interspersed with occasional levitating melodies which squirm and turn, though without quite hitting the symphonic excess of the likes of Ulver. However, underneath it all, the all-pervasive riffing eventually always gurns its way back onto the processional rhythms and widescreen expanses of mushrooming ecstatic release. This of course allows for some comprehensively wibbling high-energy guitar runs in old-school,

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