miércoles, 24 de febrero de 2010

Red Snapper - Making Bones (1998)

A full decade of acid jazz never produced a more stunning fusion of electronic music with live instrumentation than Making Bones. Poised halfway between Sly & Robbie and Roni Size, Red Snapper's first album for a worldwide audience surfs a wave of breakbeat funk that includes nods to dub, punk, soul, drum'n'bass and hip-hop. The rock-steady rhythm section of Richard Thair (drums) and Ali Friend (bass) holds the groove better than any sampler, tying together radically different material like classic British soul on "Image of You," metallic drum'n'bass on "The Sleepless" (with excellent rapping by MC Det) and the fusion update "Bogeyman" (with trumpeter Byron Wallen). It's obvious the Snapper have mastered all aspects of '90s electronic dance, and Making Bones is proof positive. Source: [AMG]

Red Snapper - The Sleepless

Track Listing
1. The Sleepless
2. Crease
3. Image of You
4. Bogeyman
5. The Tunnel
6. Like a Moving Truck
7. Spitalfields
8. Seeing Red
9. Suckerpunch
10. 4 Dead Monks


viernes, 19 de febrero de 2010

Buck Wild - Beat Me Silly (1996)

As it happens, Buckwild's debut album, Beat Me Silly, was the first full-length release on Lobster Records, the label guitarist and vocalist Shawn Dewey started with his friend Steve in the mid-'90s, and it could not represent the label's modus operandi any better. Dewey started the band as a return to playing parties and no pressure kinds of shows, and Beat Me Silly is obviously a work of energetic joy. The album moves effortlessly between brash, modern post-punk ("One Day" resembles what Foo Fighters might sound like if that band was as grounded in punk as they claim, bypassed bright, shiny production, and just played for the fun of it) and punk-pop a la Green Day with vocals that are less interested in the pop half than the punk half of the equation. The music on the other hand is spiked by instantly catchy melodies, and the band occasionally breaks into split-seconds of harmony and quiet musical passages. For such a loud album in a genre that prides itself on holding in any impulses of tenderness, Beat Me Silly is surprisingly attitudinal. Many common punk emotions rise to the surface, from anger to boredom, but at least five of the songs betray infatuations or love (including a cover of the Turtles' "Happy Together" that is surprisingly faithful to the original, only kicked in the rear a bit) albeit love that often turned out bad for some reason or other. In "Slipping Away" there is even self-chiding built in for showing such vulnerability: "Why do I want her...." Buckwild is less impressive when it tries to play it sensitive on the soft sections of "That's the Problem," but when the song kicks into overdrive it is a monster. Dewey is no crooner, but when he's raging through his words, he navigates an impressive vocal range. Beat Me Silly, it turns out, is an excellent album that generally sticks to its strong suits: controlled aggression that allows its vulnerability to seep to the surface despite the effort to conceal such a soft heart beats at its core. Source: [AMG]

Buck Wild - American Dream

Track Listing
1. Artificial Love
2. One Day
3. Just in Time
4. Flowerstand Girl
5. What I Saw in You
6. The Letter
7. American Dream
8. That's the Problem
9. Happy Together (is a cover of Happy Together by The Turtles)
10. Slipping Away
11. [untitled]


sábado, 13 de febrero de 2010

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Experimental Remixes (1995)

With Experimental Remixes, various indie rock, dance, and hip-hop luminaries step in to remix and rearrange a handful of Blues Explosion songs, and manage to create an interesting and enjoyable collection. Jon Spencer has long voiced his admiration for hip-hop, so it's no surprise that he would want to collaborate with some of the best samplers and remixers in the business. Beck and the Beastie Boys' Mike D turn "Flavor" into a cut-and-paste workout, while Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic injects "Soul Typecast" with funk and menace. However, it's "Greyhound" that gets the best makeover, courtesy of Moby and the Wu-Tang Clan's Genius/GZA and Killah Priest. Moby's version is a screaming piece of techno-pop, with a brilliant guitar solo laid on top. This segues into Genius/GZA's starker version, in which nearly all of the instruments have dropped out, leaving only the rolling bassline and drums to contend with Killah Priest's rapping. Experimental Remixes is sure to appeal to both fans of the Blues Explosion and to fans of the artists featured throughout the album. [The import edition includes three bonus tracks: "Implosion," "Explo," and "Blues 'XXX' Man"]. Source: [AMG]

The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Flavor

Track Listing
1. Bellbottoms (Old Rascal mix)
2. Flavor, Part 1
3. Flavor, Part 2
4. Soul Typecast
5. Greyhound, Part 1
6. Greyhound, Part 2
7. Tour Dairy
8. Implosion
9. Explo
10. Blues 'XXX' Man


domingo, 7 de febrero de 2010

Cast - Mother Nature Calls (1997)

If Cast's debut album All Change was trad-rock at its most joyous, their second album Mother Nature Calls is considerably more problematic. Electing to expand their sound slightly instead of replicating All Change, Cast paints itself into a corner. They haven't abandoned the traditional Brit-pop stylings of their debut, but they've strengthened it with a tougher sound and neo-hippie mysticism that manifests itself not only in John Power's dippy lyrics, but also in trippy instrumental sections. In theory, this is a way out of the trad-rock straitjacket, but in practice it falls flat. The main problem is that Power's melodies aren't nearly as sharp or memorable as they were on the debut; this immediately brings attention toward his lyrics, which are naive and often embarassingly simplistic. Cast also doesn't have enough charisma to save the songs with energetic, distinctive performances when they're flailing. These problems become all the more evident when they do get it right, such as on the shimmering "Guiding Star," the punchy "She Sun Shines" and the heart-tugging "I'm So Lonely (Calling You Back)," and they have the same sparkling joy that made All Change a delight. But that's a rarity on Mother Nature Calls. When the tunes and attitude are there, such weaknesses are easy to overlook, but since Cast comes up deficient on both counts, Mother Nature Calls is simply a dull listen. Source: [AMG]

Cast - Guiding Star

Track Listing
1. Free Me
2. On the Run
3. Live the Dream
4. Soul Tied
5. She Sun Shines
6. I'm So Lonely
7. The Mad Hatter
8. Mirror Me
9. Guiding Star
10. Never Gonna Tell You What to Do (Revolution)
11. Dance of the Stars / (untitled)