Wednesday, March 25, 2009

london posse - gangster chronicle (1990)

early 90's old-school british hip-hop. to be honest, I thought this was ok-not-great the first time I heard it, but the more I've been listening to it, the more I've enjoyed it. for one, I love posse hip-hop- the old school kind where posse members jump in and finish each other's rhymes and lines, and then everybody says the same thing at once. why don't rappers do this anymore? maybe because it was too fun. ok for two, I like hearing people with british accents rap, especially East London accents. it sounds cool. and three, I like old sample-based hip hop. this sounds kind of like a british version of EPMD, lots of great old jazz/funk samples and boom-bap. it gets a little old over the course of a whole album, but this stuff is great nonetheless.

London Posse - Gangster Chronicle
London Posse - Jump Around (Censored Mix)

super barrio bros - s/t (2007)

the Team Teamwork album made me think of the other major videogame/rap crossover album I know of, the Super Barrio Bros record. this album features two Project Blowed rappers, 8-Bit Bandit and Dumfoundead rapping about videogames over videogame samples. it works pretty well- its really really nerdy, not just because its about videogames, but because the rappers are the indie-backpacker type that put together overly verbose rhymes. I'm not really enough of a rap nerd to get way into that style of rapping, and one of the rappers has a really nasally voice that kind of grates on me. but its still a pretty interesting album, one i'd say worth hearing at least for its novelty value. I probably would have been all over this if I had heard it five years ago.

Super Barrio Bros - Bosses
Super Barrio Bros - Outro Instrumental

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

team teamwork - ocarina of rhyme (2009)

so I don't usually care much for mash-ups, but god knows I love videogames and this was floating around the internet today, so I thought I'd give it a shot. as might have been expected, this ends up being better in concept than in execution... for the most part. mostly, the samples from Ocarina of Time mesh poorly, and i'm not convinced that these guys really have all that good a grasp of how to construct a beat. however, two tracks definitely stand out. the first is the Aesop Rock remix, which makes good use of the already weird and rhythmic music from the Goron Village. the second is the Still Tippin' remix, which is a great song that's easy to remix, but also the juxtaposition of the rap with the Fairy Fountain music creates a beautiful and narcotic blend. I imagine Link tripping off fairy dust while Slim Thug sips sizzurp.

Aesop Rock - No Jumpercables (Goron Village)
Slim Thug & Mike Jones - Still Tippin' (Great Fairy Fountain)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

the speakers - en el maravilloso mundo de ingeson (1968)

released in 1968, this album by Colombian rock band The Speakers is psychedelic in the truest sense of the word- not only does it feature bizarre sounds, spoken words, a wide variety of instrumentation, and strange compositions, but the original pressing actually included a psychedelic mushroom glued to the gatefold (according to the review, anyway). its a very playful and funny record- humor was obvious a big part of what they were going for- and it sounds like some of the less serious 60's psych-prog bands like Gong. there's also a lot of baroque-pop in the sound, along the lines of the Kinks, and a lot of british-style folk music. its a very varied record, but it all works, and its a pretty entertaining listen.

The Speakers - Si La Guerra es un Buen Negocio, Invierte a Sus Hijos
The Speakers - NiƱos

Monday, March 16, 2009

von - satanic blood (1992)

since everyone's favorite satanic nazi murderer is set to be released from prison, I thought I would take the opportunity to talk some black metal. I settled on this album because one, if you know about it you get hella metal cred, two, the band is from san francisco, and three, this album is ridiculous!! funny enough though, and I didn't even realize this until after I started the review.....
....yep, thats cuddly Count Grishnackh himself wearing a Von t-shirt at his murder trial! this review was meant to be. so what kind of black metal is the preferred choice of those who enjoy burning churches and killing their friends? if you guessed "pretty messed up and evil", you would be right! Von are considered (rightly or not, I'm not sure) to be the first American black metal band, and very influencial on the second wave of black metal in Europe (also, the band Watain is named after a Von song). this is their only album (released in 1992), and the recording is exceptionally lo-fi, even by black metal standards. this sounds like it was recorded over a telephone and onto a crappy tape deck. and the music is really, really primitive and single-minded- just relentlessly hammered drums and repeated, simplistic riffs topped with growled messages of satan and.... satan. I'll be honest, when I first heard this, I was not that into it. I thought it was not dynamic enough, too repetitive, too simplistic. but that's because I was stupid, since those facts are exactly what makes this album mind-destroyingly awesome.

Von - Watain
Von - Satanic Blood

Sunday, March 15, 2009

davila 666 - s/t (2008)

first off, its pretty bad-ass that this band is from Puerto Rico. I don't think I've heard any other band from Puerto Rico. second, this is a totally killer record. it hits so many right buttons that its kinda shocking to me- this band is basically everything that underground rock is trying to be right now. its poppy lo-fi garage rock, sounding kinda like Black Lips singing songs in spanish, or like maybe Brian Jonestown Massacre, but authentic sounding and dark. but then, its also got hints of shoegaze, the Jesus & Mary Chain kind, reverbed drums & tambourines, that bands like Vivian Girls or Crystal Stilts kinda have going. plus they're from Puerto Rico, which is hella cutty. and they're on In The Red records, which is a pretty goddamn great record label right now. so your enjoyment of this record may depend on how you feel about the current trends. fortunately, i'm all for this garage revival scene (which I would guess is probably not gonna last much longer), so I think this record is great. the record itself is half split between upbeat rockers, and extra-reverbed ballads- frankly I like the band at both speeds. I dunno if this record got all that much attention when it came out, but I do know that a lot of people at KUSF loved it.

Davila 666 - Basura
Davila 666 - Tu

andrew w.k. - the japan covers (2008)

Andrew W.K. - Kiseki (GreeeeN Cover)
Andrew W.K. - Giroppon (Nezumi Senpai Cover)

Andrew W.K.
Manhattan, New York, USA
The Japan Covers (Universal Music Group)
RIYL: Meatloaf, J-Pop

I wouldn't thought of it, but in retrospect, this is pretty much the best idea ever. what's the only thing more upbeat and positive than Andrew W.K.? J-Pop! well, when it works, it works great. I've had Kiseki stuck in my head for weeks now. I can't escape it. it's too ridiculous, too happy, and amazingly over the top. it leads off the cd, but after that things get a little rougher. it's not that the other songs are bad, but the overwhemling positivity can get tiring. its the same feeling I get when i'm listening to death metal- eventually it gets too claustrophobic and I have to switch to something else for a while. but in small doses, this album is great, and showcases Andrew W.K.'s instrumental and production skill. I wonder if there are any famous guests on this- the people he brought in for the last Lee "Scratch" Perry album he produced were pretty funny.

Andrew W.K. - Kiseki (GreeeeN Cover)
Andrew W.K. - Giroppon (Nezumi Senpai Cover)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

a note about the mp3s

so I thought i'd try hosting the mp3s on zshare, which will stream them, as well as let you download the mp3s (although I haven't been able to download from that site for awhile- it seems broken). but I think streaming will be enough for now, just so that we can get an idea of what the bands we are writing about actually sound like. oh, and apparantly the streaming mp3 might be interrupted by a pop up ad, which is what just happened to me. well, we can talk about a solution to this later.

lifelover - pulver (2006)

Lifelover - Karlek- Becksvart Melankoli
Lifelover - Nackskott

Stockholm, Sweden
Pulver (GoatawaRex)
RIYL: Joyless, Amesoeurs

this is the first album by one of my favorite bands, Lifelover. they are pretty hard to catergorize- they come pretty strongly from a black metal direction, but their music also includes elements of goth, shoegaze, maybe like mid-90's indie shit, movie samples, found sound... it all comes together into what I guess some people (or at least someone on wikipedia) call "depressive rock". still, that's a good description- i've spent plenty of late-late-late nights jamming this stuff before the sun rises. its interesting to me that metal has assimilated all different sorts of music, yet black metal remains pretty formulaic (ignoring bands like Xexyz or Sigh or Dodheimsgard...wait, maybe this isn't a good point). well at any rate, black metal and pop don't cross over too often- Lifelover, Amesoeurs, Alcest, Joyless and Woods of Infinity are I think all of the black metal/pop bands (it should be noted that, I believe, three of those bands are or have connections to the guitar player Neige). in this case, while the music is pretty poppy and catchy, the songs can also be dirge-y and formless. the end result is something very compelling, easy to listen to, and yet it never really takes shape. the fact that the songs are interrupted and chopped up (with dialogue, children's songs, and more) makes the music seem particularly unhinged. one final note, this album is different from the band's subsequent albums Erotik and Konkurs in that they are still using a drum machine, as well as the fact that this album is relatively more "black metal"- giving it a more violent mood than the following albums, as if the band hadn't yet been entirely crushed by depression.

Lifelover - Nackscott
Lifelover - Karlek-Becksvart Melankoli

death metal office drumming


JP could you do a post about that crazy 50's composer? also, i'm not sure how we should do mp3s... i'm thinking a streaming website like imeem, although I don't have any idea how that works.. yet.

an introduction

music discussion and thats all.

lets do this!