Sometimes the underground is a surreal place to be.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Billy Cancel/White Wave - Hidden House Split EP

Billy Cancel - Scan Cluster Scan Scatter, Hidden House - S/t, White Wave - To The Hidden Life (2010)

This is a split/collab I was given yesterday evening by two very good friends of mine. Billy Cancel is an Anglo-to-Brooklyn transplant spoken word artist and half of the power electronics group Farms, who I'd highly recommend to anyone with a taste for Broken Flag or most of the first generation groups. White Wave is someone I've collaborated with on shows, recordings, and various other things often over the past few years (did a thing with Billy once but always a bit more of a schedule issue for us, go figure). Classically trained in viola with an interest in Deluze, Situationism, and loop-based improvisational music, the latter four tracks are densely layered lo-fidelity psychedelic minimalism done as only we of the starving Brooklyn set can do. That is, properly beautiful. The two central tracks are from their new collaborative effort, Hidden House.

This record was put together to celebrate (or at least finished at the time of) their engagement, sadly I can't seem to figure out where the hell the various other related myspace pages are so I'll have to update this at some point in the next week or two (the two Hidden House tracks are on the White Wave myspace). True shame that I haven't got my scanner anymore, as the handmade xerox art is 'legit as fuck' as you might say, and the liner notes are sweetly touched to boot. Cannot possibly recommend this highly enough, both as up-to-the-minute proof that people around north Brooklyn are still doing interesting things lo these many years and as simply excellent work by some of the most creative and interesting artists I've had the privilege to meet.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Series 2: Pick & Choose

Until I get my ripping setup back in action, I'm going to make a go of posting the better bits of my mp3 single rip collection. That'll mean picking through the larger batch torrent stuff I've got. To kick this little project off, here's a bunch of Altern-8 tracks you can't get on CD (and which I'm pretty sure haven't been posted anywhere else (oh look, I'm wrong.)).

Altern-8 - Overload EP, Infiltrate-202 & Activ-8 Singles (1990-91)

Comes off quite a bit closer to their more 'serious' (and lower tempo) Nexus 21 project than the more jump-up raver tracks Altern-8 were known for. Great stuff, but the mixes are much more spacey and come off almost like some bleep shit really (especially the EP). I almost like it more than the usual style they had, since they tended to fill out a mix instead of leaving a bit of headroom like these tracks do. Hell, Passion Devotion nearly hits a Chicago feel. Probably for lack of breakbeat samples. Dig the Freestyle sample on the Infiltrate 202 Vertigo edit and the chill piano house of Re Indulge off the Activ-8 single.

VA - Balearic Beats Vol. 1

VA - Balearic Beats Vol. 1 (1988)

This one is courtesy of the once magnificent, now defunct audio.out blog. So much great music lost to the void (that I hadn't gotten hold of yet...) when he went offline. This is probably up someplace else, but since I've been mentioning it to friends so much and it fits SRO's style such as it does I'm tossing it up here just for simplicity's sake. Cover blurb:

balearic beats by farley

"wot shall i file this BALEARIC BEATS under?" so young joe public, y.t.s., go-getter at yo-price megastore hits his first problem in pigeon-holeing the black vinyl. now seeing that the only "MATEY" joe's "EVER GOT RIGHT ON" is the rubbery balloon type his guv'nor sells, i think we should explain this happy, happy, groove a little more.

now while it's true that the balearic beat was born in IBIZAN clubs, such as AMNESIA and PASHA, it's breeding took place in a small, sweaty, strobby, smokey south london club called ..... THE SHOOM. the hardcore original shoomers, along with another london club THE FUTURE, had discovered the JOY'S of balearic beats, during several previous "summers of love" (sic), and had brought the music and the attitude back to london with them. the kinectic style of dancing now associated with balearics ugly brother, ACID HOUSE, is pure ibizan in origin. The loudest screams at SPECTRUM are always reserved for NITZER EBB and the RESIDENTS while hearing ENZO AVITABILE booming through the smoke at JOY is an ecstatic experience one step away, (some say forward) from sex.

THE FINI TRIBE and MANDY SMITH have become anthems all over clubland, whilst my personal faves are the fast euro-rhythms of CODE 61 and the post-punk thrashing of THE WOODENTOPS. every track of this album will fill floors and put smiles on faces, Throughout the balearic underground. look, i wonder if poor joe's getting the gist of all this, for joe and the yet uninitiated, balearic is the following and much, much more.....

.....loads of hugs and kisses ... smiley t-shirts and happy faces.... feeling saucey instead of sauced......eating fruits on the dance floor....bashed up converse trainers.....lovely girls with blinding pops.....hedionism....sparklers at the future....indian belly dancers at the shoom....almost everyone finally realising that "only love can conquer hate"....watching the sun set at the café del mar....watching the sun rise on primrose hill....the karma collective....poncho's pony tails and body friendships....loads more hugs and kisses....just let this piece of warm anglo-ibizan club culture rush over you, enjoy it mateys!!!

loves & respects to OAKEY, THE RAMPLINGS, GARY HAISMAN, JOHNNY WALKER, STEVE PROCTOR, NANCY NOISE, and to all those out there who truly "shoooom!!!"

xxx hugs and kisses xxx - farley.

God, don't you just love that knackered proto-raver writing style. This one's even better than the Technorave thing from last month. Anyway, this comp was released by the Boy's Own crew and stands as the defining first-generation balearic collection. Toss it on the monitors and play like you're Rampling at Shoom. Check this out too, I keep forgetting to buy this damn thing and I'm sure by the time I have the spare cash around it'll be sold out and worth a few hundo on ebay or something. Grab the 44-page pdf preview, only a tenth of the full book. Epic shit.

D.D.A.A. - La Famille Des Saltimbanques

D.D.A.A. - La Famille Des Saltimbanques (1984)

One of the jewels of my meager cassette collection here. Includes scans of the packaging and all that. I'll leave the rest up to this short bit off the WFMU blog.

I've raved about DDAA elsewhere on this blog, and also addressed the fact that several of their best releases were cassette-only. La Famille des Saltimbanques was released in a beautiful custom package by the Italian ADN label in 1984, and is among my personal top three DDAA recordings, along with their masterpiece, the Ronsard LP (1988) and their first full-length album, Action and Japanese Demonstration (1982). DDAA's songs have a relentlessly human quality, an emotional intensity that I find lacking in much of the post-punk avant-garde, having more in common with Can or Amon Düül than with DDAA contemporaries like Nurse With Wound and P16.D4. The two lengthy songs that make up most of Face 2 of this tape are mindbending excursions of plodding percussion and monolithic distorted guitar.

This is certainly one of the more rockist outings for DDAA, heavy on the bass and the screaming guitar. I've chopped this rip up into the songs as listed on the packaging, if you'd rather get sidelong rips or grab it from a different source, WFMU has sidelong rips and this blog has their own rips as well. Quality might be better from them, I haven't checked. Tape's a bit spotty at points on my copy, ravages of age and all (can you believe it's really been 25 years since this came out? so much more interesting than most of what's coming out now)

V-Effect - Stop Those Songs

V-Effect - Stop Those Songs! (1983)

This is my personal rip from my copy, one of those 'this looks neat let me check it on the old demo turntable' thrift store buys. Mutant Sounds posted this about three years ago but took it down because some label said they were going to re-release it. Since they never did (so far as I can tell), here it is again. I'll knock it down when someone links me to a press on forced exposure or wherever.

V-Effect straddle the no-wave and downtown scenes, though I imagine they didn't see it that way. The downtown people probably didn't see it that way either, since Mori is still with that downtown set and none of the people involved with this record seem to have kept an explicit presence within the "downtown scene" (or anywhere else I can find). Background established, this is... well... likely an album unlike anything you've heard before. Somewhere between no-wave and post-punk, free jazz and actual revolutionary sentiment. Call and response, self-taught sax squeal, analog clap pads on mic stands to add to the drummers' repertoire, thoroughly DIY and anti-capitalist.

This is what w-burg hipster bullshit should be right now. Enjoy.

first your feet... then your back... then your mind... then heart attack...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Mandrill - Mandrill Is...

Mandrill - Mandrill Is... (1972)

Wild funk, fucked fusion, acid soul. This record easily places among the most impressive achievements of the era, ranging from Sly-style soul-funk (Ape is High), JBs doling out the hard-edge shit (Git it All), to straight up acid narrative tracks (the eminently samplable Universal Rhythms) and psych ballads (Central Park). Hell, forget Universal Rhythms, the whole album is chock full of great breaks and instrumental compositions worthy of breaking out the old MPC. This record is certainly a production of its' time, but only more amazing for it. Honestly, best suited to headphones and a couple of rips rather than dropping at a party. There's a lot here to enjoy, give it your best attention & enjoy.

I have this LP, but as I recall this particular rip was one I found on a now defunct blog (that one with four different interconnected blogs I can't remember the name of anymore). The quality is roughly equal to my own rips, but starting in the next week or two I'll finally have myself set up once again to rip records. I've got a grip of house singles, a couple of mix records, and a few LPs. Added to that, I've spent the last few days getting my old MP3 collection transferred from my several old hard drives to my new dual 1.5tb external mirror raid setup, so I've got a few hundred tidbits to share. Stay tuned...