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Faust – Something Dirty

Bureau B

Faust – Something DirtyOk, as most of the people reading this will know Faust were one of the most important bands of the 1970s Krautrock movement and have an incredible important body of work behind them. Also at this moment in time there appears to be two Fausts, so this is Jean Hervé Péron and Zappi W Diermaier’s Faust aided and abetted by Gallon Drunk‘s James Johnston and Bender’s Geraldine Swayne.

So that all cleared up, let’s get down to the music on offer. Album opener “Tell The Bitch To Go Home” is a three chord blues workout that to be fair would not have sounded out of place on an early Gallon Drunk album. Think “Some Fools Mess” without the dynamics. It has the feel of a studio jam and doesn’t seem to really gravitate beyond that and develop

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Klaus Schulze – Big In Japan (Live In Tokyo 2010)

MiG/Captain Trip

Klaus Schultze – Big In JapanAfter spending the last few years playing live with Dead Can Dance’s Lisa Gerrard, Klaus Schulze thought it was time to get back to playing some ‘pure’ Schulze live and this is exactly what this double disc delivers.

Schulze had not played in Japan since 2003 and these shows were set up by a fan of the man. It seems as if Klaus took this on board and decided to play a set full of classic sounds for his audience. The disc opens with “The Returns,” a reworking of 1977’s Mirage track “Crystal Lake.” This piece shimmers beautifully in all its Rivendell glory. Majestic string sounds cascade over each other as Schulze switches from major to minor key in a lilting stillness like summer air on water. When the major theme kicks in it begins

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K-X-P/Eat Lights, Become Lights (live)

The Lexington, London 19 January 2011

K-X-P at The LexingtonIt’s a red-light night tonight at The Lexington, north London’s finest whiskey bar and excellent venue to boot. Red décor and red lights make for a surreally-flattened visual experience, as if watching tonight’s bands during one of the more blood-soaked sections of Suspiria. But there’s no gothic horror show from Eat Lights, Become Lights – their take on psychedelic immersion is far more in the Düsseldorf tradition, as befits what is effectively Klub Motorik‘s house band.

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Deerhoof – Deerhoof vs. Evil

Polyvinyl/ATP

Deerhoof Vs. EvilThe release of Deerhoof vs Evil means that San Francisco-based Deerhoof have been putting out their genre-hopping ditty-bopping noisy beautiful schizophrenic pop for about 16 years now – for the record, that’s 60% longer than the Beatles were around. Deerhoof haven’t sold nearly as many records as the Beatles though. Even in France, where the Beatles have apparently sold less records than astigmatic Greek charity-shop stalwart Nana Mouskouri. Isn’t that something? And she’s been around even longer than Deerhoof. I’m not sure where I’m going with this. Maybe Deerhoof should get Nana to do a guest spot on their next album. Anyway, Deerhoof vs Evil, while sadly bereft of guest spots by spectacle-fancying Greek warblers, has an excellent title for a concept album, I’m sure you’ll agree. In fact, if concept albums are your thing you’ll be like a

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Daniel Alexander Hignell – Soundscape Study 001

Triple Bath

Daniel Alexander Hignell - Soundscape Study 001The title Soundscape Study is immediately misleading – while ostensibly sourced from the sonic ambience of dreary and audibly sodden holidays (in Scotland’s Isle of Barra and France’s Fitou respectively), this disc lacks the arid mic-fetishising of a great many soundscape pieces. Daniel Hignell has come to this work with a peculiar ear for the ambient sounds of thunderstorms and tidal crashes, holistically stitching and interlacing the sounds into a musically continuous suite.

While the 001 of the title suggests this is Hignell’s first foray into soundscapery, he is remarkably assiduous with his source material: he never adulterates the sounds with unnecessary effects but allows timbral and tonal affects to seep from the pores of his recording devices – subtly deploying in-the-red mics for their rhythmic rattle or miking the patter of rain

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Our Love Will Destroy The World – I Hate Even Numbers

Dekorder

Our Love Will Destroy The World – I Hate Even NumbersThe latest offering from Campbell Kneale (late of the recently-disbanded ambient/drone outfit Birchville Cat Motel and also responsible for the immensely heavy [post=”black-boned-angel-verdun-2″ text=”Black Boned Angel”] doom project) finds him tackling the wonky end of electronics (de)composition in what comes over as part demonic exercise in digital bricolage, part attempt to submerge the listener in so many sounds that the sensation of being drowned in audio quicksand is one to be either escaped from as rapidly as possible or surrendered to in abject acceptance.

Dissonance in expansion is the order of the day on I Hate Even Numbers, as the title track of the LP demonstrates, and all the usual adjectives deployed at this point to describe electronic music can only come unstuck; there are squitters, there is plenty of shimmering

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Jowe Head & The Demi Monde – Diabolical Liberties

Topplers

Diabolical LibertiesTopplers Records are an old-style independent label based in Scotland who specialise in limited runs of beautifully presented eccentric pop gems. Depending on your point of view (or age), it’s a sign of either the label’s willful obscurity or unquestionable genius that a high proportion of these releases are by ex-members or associates of Swell Maps. To someone whose formative years were soundtracked by the likes of Swell Maps, Television Personalities and Cult Figures, discovering Topplers Records is like Christmas and birthday coming all at once – I had no idea that Jowe Head, Phones Sportsman and their surviving chums were still active. Since finding the label, I’ve snapped up every release and even (unsuccessfully) attempted to coax Phones Sportsman (who now is a north Wales resident) to come out of hiding and play some gigs round

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The Legendary Pink Dots – Seconds Late for the Brighton Line

ROIR The Legendary Pink Dots – Seconds Late for the Brighton LineLike many of the best things in life, the Legendary Pink Dots are a mystery. At least, it’s a mystery how come they’re still so criminally obscure, when not only have they been releasing awesome music for a good thirty years now, they also have tunes and a fanbase who tend to verge on the obsessively evangelical side of things. They straddle genres like a post-modernist doing the MC Hammer dance over an ADD sufferer’s iPod, with everything from industrial to pop, from jazz to space rock, from folk to dub being dragged into Edward Ka-Spel and co’s music factory, later to emerge from the crystal chimneys as beautifully majestic music.

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The Flying Lizards – The Secret Dub Life of The Flying Lizards

Staubgold

As the slipstream of punk washed its way through the record industry in the late 70s and early 80s it seemed to many of us that commercial music might be changed forever to become permanently open to imaginative, offbeat constructions and general weirdness. That was, of course, the kind of naïve illusion that makes youth bearable. What really happened was that the genuine musical revolution happening at the grass roots was simply mined by the industry for product, picking up aspects of the new music and isolating them as gimmicks that could be marketed as novelties of various kinds. So it was that the early 80s created a slew of novelty records and, in this case in particular, the ‘messthetics’ of The Desperate Bicycles and The Door and The Window – avowedly amateur music that disdained commercial polish and sniffed at

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