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Joe Pernice
posted a review of Joe Pernice. over 17 years ago
The greatest living North American songwriter, Joe Pernice can make his guitar and voice sound like a prayer wheel or a hatchet. If he hadn't been born, there would have to be a lost twin because how else would his genius take its proper place in... See full review
The Sun God - Scene 3
posted a review of The Sun God - Scene 3. over 18 years ago
Jamal Moss does it again, ressurecting the musical spirit of Armando Gallop (RIP), Mike Dunn, and here, *with* Steve Poindexter. Moss's capacity to make totally contemporary jack trax while avoiding simpl nostalgia is unprecedented. He also makes... See full review
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
posted a review of Fleetwood Mac - Tusk. over 18 years ago
In the same way that 'Rock On' by David Essex, was a No. 1 hit in the early '70s, and remains a radically experimental piece of music, 'Tusk' still stuns after all these years. The sandblasted symphony playing to attack-and-decay strip mining, all... See full review
Fred Giannelli - Fred
posted a review of Fred Giannelli - Fred. over 18 years ago
This is the 'forgotten' Fred Giannelli record, and more's the pity because it's the place where his work with Psychic TV was becoming enmeshed with the newer electronic music emerging from Detroit. Giannelli wasn't releasing records on Probe, Plus 8,... See full review
Various - Turntable Tastemakers - Issue No. 1 - The Sound Of Cleveland City Recordings
posted a review of Various - Turntable Tastemakers - Issue No. 1 - The Sound Of Cleveland City Recordings. over 18 years ago
This relentless slab of dancefloor dynamite was a welcome release, presenting a clutch of stunning hard house tracks, mostly assembled in the Cleveland City record shop. Fortunately, the term 'progressive house' hadn't quite found its way into dance... See full review
Ester B - The Pleasure Of The Music (The Norman Cook Re-Mix)
posted a review of Ester B - The Pleasure Of The Music (The Norman Cook Re-Mix). over 18 years ago
Norman Cook at his most brilliant, turning the soggy original into a pitched handclap battle that stops only writhing elastic-band breakdowns. And it bears no similarity whatsoever to Fatboy Slim. In fact, it's closer to the minor-key chord changes of... See full review
Malcolm X - No Sell Out
posted a review of Malcolm X - No Sell Out. over 19 years ago
Not only is this a demonstration of the drum & percussion genius of Keith LeBlanc, it has more political, rhetorical power than most of Malcolm's recorded speeches. Sadly, the superb black & white cover photograph was not used when the 12" was... See full review
Monster Magnet - Powertrip
posted a review of Monster Magnet - Powertrip. over 19 years ago
Mean, dirty and *perfect* production by Wyndorf. I know some have lamented Monster Magnet's shift away from more melodic, contemporary psych. And those records are good in their own right. But the Satanic metal parody on "Crop Circle" isn't silly or... See full review
Dolly Parton - Peace Train
posted a review of Dolly Parton - Peace Train. over 19 years ago
I've gotten a lot of flack and derisive laughter for simply owning this record. But those folks don't know what they're missing. This has to be one of the strangest collaborations I know of: Dolly Parton covering a Cat Stevens song with Ladysmith... See full review
Various - Collision Course
posted a review of Various - Collision Course. over 19 years ago
Another brilliant compilation assembled by Kevin Martin (Techno Animal, The Bug, etc.) who has an extraordinary ear and the ability to bring disparate artists together and create a strong thematic with killer tracks. Check Martin's 'Macro Dub... See full review
Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money)
posted a review of Pet Shop Boys - Opportunities (Let's Make Lots Of Money). over 19 years ago
This Pet Shop Boys single, in particular, shows that Chris Lowe & Neal Tennant understood that the best dance music (of any variety) combines immense energy and a lethal groove in counterpoint to a strain of minor-key melancholy. Keeping the two... See full review
Various - Egotrip's The Big Playback
posted a review of Various - Egotrip's The Big Playback. over 19 years ago
So sorry to see Ego Trip go. In the US, hip-hop magazines of its quality just can't seem to last and it's a damn shame. As a parting gesture, the folks at Ego Trip assembled this mandatory old-school compilation containing some stone cold rarities:... See full review
Lux Nigra
posted a review of Lux Nigra. over 19 years ago
Though often aligned with close partners Morr Music and City Centre Offices,
Multipara's Lux Nigra is, sadly, the most consistently overlooked electronic label. Despite releasing towering epics like Zorn's "The City's Collapsing..." (frequently... See full review
posted a review of Nettle. over 19 years ago
dj/rupture's collective are infused with his extraordinary range of influences, from early jungle to rai, and North African percussion, Muslimgauze, and speedcore. Yet their music is far from identical to rupture's sandblaster mixes. The tempo is... See full review
Nettle - Build A Fort, Set That On Fire
posted a review of Nettle - Build A Fort, Set That On Fire. over 19 years ago
dj/rupture's Nettle collective with their best record. With his vast point of reference for 'world musics' and turntable manipulation with live instrumentation, these are difficult grooves-not readily apparent, but after a second listen? it's rhythmic mayhem. See full review
Turntable Orch.* - You're Gonna Miss Me
posted a review of Turntable Orch.* - You're Gonna Miss Me. over 19 years ago
Hippie Torales and Paul Scott's 12" epitomizes everything that 'classic' deep house/garage was about: songs not tracks, crisp, stomping piano chords, rubber-band basslines. Check Torales' phone conversation with his girlfriend in Spanglish and the... See full review
Chep Nuñez
posted a review of Chep Nuñez. over 19 years ago
Chep Nunez-R.I.P.
Chep Nunez died, tragically, in a fire. He was, with The Latin Rascals, the most skilled edit wizard in the US. Nunez could cut up soul records with a razor blade, and stutter 909 kick drums, letting delayed handclaps bleed into the... See full review
posted a review of Armando. over 19 years ago
Armando Gallop-R.I.P.
<i>The</i> most imaginative, creative, and unorthodox of all the 'original' Chicago house producers. The subtlety with which he worked the 303 and 909 seems often overlooked. His capacity for creating melodies thin as a paper... See full review
Playground Production Z* - Vertigo
posted a review of Playground Production Z* - Vertigo. over 19 years ago
"The Box" is the rawest, dirtiest, acid track ever recorded. Sure, countless others have used the 303, but here it runs circles around most acid practitioners. It comes from another place altogether.
posted a review of Fantasy. over 19 years ago
That Max & Sol Weiss' Fantasy label should appear as an electro label here is quite ironic (but completely accurate!). In fact the 54-year old label was (and remains) a stellar jazz & funk label, having released records by David Axelrod, Jimmy Smith,... See full review
Conscious - Mount Sinai / Northern Lights
posted a review of Conscious - Mount Sinai / Northern Lights. over 19 years ago
"Morpheus" is one of the most beautiful, "Salsa Life"-era Rhythim is Rhythim <i>trance</i> tracks of the 1990s. What surprised me and a few others is that the track is produced by Simon Berry, who would go on to start the Platipus label and release... See full review
Tarwater Featuring Tikiman - Like A Miracle
posted a review of Tarwater Featuring Tikiman - Like A Miracle. over 19 years ago
"Miracle/Bridge" is <i>the</i> track here, with Tikiman's vocals brought to the fore while the gritty, granite-hard, pared down drum machine track is punctured by zipping highs and clipped snares making the rest of Tarwater's music seem emotionally distant. See full review
posted a review of Sensational. over 19 years ago
Sensational is the hip-hop equivalent of Thomas Mann's Aschenbach character, "the patron saint of all those who labor at the edge of exhaustion".
His brutal, minimalist style rubs some folks the wrong way, as if it were pretentious or overwrought.... See full review
Unitone HiFi - Rewound + Rerubbed
posted a review of Unitone HiFi - Rewound + Rerubbed. over 19 years ago
Worth picking up for the annihilating, long, final track remixed by Muslimgauze. This is a towering piece of electronic dub run through with sharpened sabres and a morning star or two. Play this track at lease-breaking volumes. You'll be very glad you did. See full review
Sofa Surfers - Encounters
posted a review of Sofa Surfers - Encounters. over 19 years ago
Simply put, how can you refuse this record? Utilizing the already unorthodox, brilliant tracks by Vienna's Sofa Surfers (they ain't 'trip-hop'), a stellar cast work their magic. Junior Delgado, Sensational, and Mark Stewart on the same record?... See full review
Monolake - Hongkong
posted a review of Monolake - Hongkong. over 19 years ago
"Occam" sends a shiver through my veins everytime I hear it. It's a perfect example to point to when detractors claim that this 'sound' is repetitive. Monolake subtly and patiently wring changes on the track over seven plus minutes. A shocking, epic... See full review
The House Master Boyz* - Thanks 4 The Trax U Lost
posted a review of The House Master Boyz* - Thanks 4 The Trax U Lost. over 19 years ago
This is probably the most poignant Chicago house record I've heard. "Thanks For The Trax U Lost" has the analogue drum chicanery of anything from the classic Trax years with a profoundly melancholic vocoder vocal. Early house provided path-breaking... See full review
Praxis - 1984
posted a review of Praxis - 1984. over 19 years ago
What Laswell, wih Christian Marclay on the shortwave radio, and D.ST. on turntables, did here is cranium bending. Minimalism with a groove etched in wet concrete. <i>The</i> best record of Bill Laswell's career.
posted a review of Boymerang. over 19 years ago
Graham Sutton, former 'axe-wielder' and songwriter for British band Bark Psychosis turned to drum-and-bass after the band went on hiatus. The transition was surprising but he made gruelling, brilliant jungle tracks in the early Photek/No U-Turn darkstep mode. See full review
On-U Sound
posted a review of On-U Sound. over 20 years ago
I don't think one can adequately describe the <i>profound</i> influence of Adrian Sherwood and the On-U Sound cast of thousands on contemporary electronic music (dub, techno, drum-n-bass, post-punk, electro, and ambient). And through all of this,... See full review
Various - From Beyond
posted a review of Various - From Beyond. over 20 years ago
Brendan Gillen of Interdimensional Transmissions released the most far-reaching, forward-thinking electro compilation I've ever heard. <i>Years</i> before anyone started talking about the electro revival, he gathered some of electronic music's most... See full review
Bunker Records
posted a review of Bunker Records. over 20 years ago
Labels such as Bunker and Viewlexx far from being 'new jacks' in the 'electro revival', never <i>stopped</i> making electro. I-F (Ferenc) and the growing number of artists around his scene in The Hague absorbed Cybotron, Planet Patrol, Pretty Tony,... See full review
Raheem Hershel - Gotta Have The Pokey
posted a review of Raheem Hershel - Gotta Have The Pokey. over 20 years ago
Though it may be self-conscious, this is a still a grimy, '85 style Chicago warehouse record a la early Steve Poindexter, Paul Johnson, Armando, et. al.,
and he shows a great respect and love for that era of midwest lo-tech floorslammers.
Larry Sturm
posted a review of Larry Sturm. over 20 years ago
Larry Strum (sometimes spelled Sturm on some releases) engineered, and often mixed, dozens of early Chicago house tracks. Working with Trax, DJ International, House Records, and many smaller imprints, he was an 'invisible' presence in the formation of... See full review
Arthur Russell - Calling Out Of Context
posted a review of Arthur Russell - Calling Out Of Context. over 20 years ago
A gorgeous, superbly assembled album of Russell's more abstract, free-jazz excursions assembled lovingly by Steve Knutson, who worked at the 'old' Tommy Boy label for a long time, doing A&R on dozens of great projects. This record is on Knutson's new... See full review
The Isolationist - The Isolationist
posted a review of The Isolationist - The Isolationist. over 20 years ago
The combination of Beans, Priest, M. Sayyid, and DJ Vadim could only result in a detonation of the most experimental <i>and</i> whupass elements of analog & digital electronics. <i>The</i> standout Anti-Pop record. Essential.
Morgan Geist - Linking Tunnel
posted a review of Morgan Geist - Linking Tunnel. over 20 years ago
Clair, the brilliant mind behind Clear knew she was onto something after hearing Morgan Geist. As was her wont, she recognized his talent quite some time before he became a 'household name' among electronicians and chopped disco phreeks.
posted a review of Clear. over 20 years ago
As I'm sure most of you know, it was Clair, formerly of Rephlex, who started the Clear label. I don't know if she had any idea how influential this imprint would be. Releasing records by Tom Middleton & Mark Pritchard, Plaid, Autechre, and many... See full review
Vladislav Delay - The Kind Of Blue EP
posted a review of Vladislav Delay - The Kind Of Blue EP. over 20 years ago
Stumbled across this obscure, stickered, white sleeved record in Glasgow, and it threw me across the room-my first exposure to Vladislav Delay's now immense body of work. Along with his work on Sigma Editions, this is the best music he ever made.
Various - Crossed Wires (Abstract Perspectives From Atlanta's Underground)
posted a review of Various - Crossed Wires (Abstract Perspectives From Atlanta's Underground). over 20 years ago
I don't know if the Clockwise imprint is extant but their three releases are/were path-breaking. 'Crossed Wires' presents a stellar collection of artists (some working under pseudonyms) and with the Delarosa record, the label helped set in motion... See full review
Megadebt - Misadventures In Global Domination
posted a review of Megadebt - Misadventures In Global Domination. over 20 years ago
At a time when music in general, and electronic music is no exception, is retreating from the political (not in the sense of <i>electoral</i> politics, but the everyday as political for those who have been made a surplus population by global capital)... See full review
MMM - Elektro Cut
posted a review of MMM - Elektro Cut. over 20 years ago
Hard Wax favorites and it's not hard to see why. Forget 'cut-n-paste disco',
this record inserts slices of classic West End & Salsoul as thin as a paper cut into shattered drums. Erik and his partner, under their various pseudonyms are routinely... See full review
Errorsmith - Errorsmith #1
posted a review of Errorsmith - Errorsmith #1. over 20 years ago
Eric "Errorsmith" seems to be working with equipment provided by aliens. Quite how he coaxes the sounds on his tracks from this gear remains a mystery. And his editing skills come close to those of the late Chep Nunez,
NY 80s hip-hop/freestyle... See full review
Man Parrish Featuring Freeze Force - Boogie Down (Bronx)
posted a review of Man Parrish Featuring Freeze Force - Boogie Down (Bronx). over 20 years ago
Heavy vocoder / Casio tracks with a hard NY street attitude and killer hooks? Just pick this up, it's all you need. Murderous.
Beatmaster - Lipservice
posted a review of Beatmaster - Lipservice. over 20 years ago
This is the creation of Keith LeBlanc who not only made the Malcolm X "No Sell Out" record on Tommy Boy, but also was a former house drummer for Sylvia Robinson's Sugarhill label before going on to work with Adrian Sherwood in Tackhead (with Doug... See full review
Dinosaur L - 24→24 Music
posted a review of Dinosaur L - 24→24 Music. over 20 years ago
Once again, Arthur Russell made a crypto-house/disco that makes almost no sense-but Larry Levan caned this record at the Paradise Garage. Levan was always driven by 'disco' that didn't quite make sense, and thus his love of Russell's extraordinary records. See full review
Joe Church - I Can't Wait Too Long (Let Somebody Love You)
posted a review of Joe Church - I Can't Wait Too Long (Let Somebody Love You). over 20 years ago
Beautiful gospel-influenced, vocal house from a moment in the complex histories of house in which house records were less 'tracks' than 'songs'.
Indian Ocean - School Bell / Treehouse
posted a review of Indian Ocean - School Bell / Treehouse. over 20 years ago
Experimental jazz cellist Arthur Russell (who founded the Sleeping Bag label with Will Socolov) is at a disco peak here, with the help of radical disco prankster Walter Gibbons. Russell and Gibbons were making records like this without analog drum... See full review
Hithouse - Jack To The Sound Of The Underground
posted a review of Hithouse - Jack To The Sound Of The Underground. over 20 years ago
Licensed from the Belgian new beat/italo label Hithouse, this is label owner Peter Slaghuis going hell for leather. Love it or hate it, this is a massive floorslammer.
Mixmaster Gee And The Turntable Orchestra - The Manipulator
posted a review of Mixmaster Gee And The Turntable Orchestra - The Manipulator. over 20 years ago
That stodgy old MCA (in the US) released this elephantine, cut-n-scratch bruiser in 1986 still surprises me. Go straight to the six minute plus dub and tell me it's not an invasive procedure by turntable. Who was this guy? The dub screeches & bites,... See full review