Yeah, from late 2004 already, but good luck trying to find a recent reggae comp that's sweeter, funkier and oozes more gritty charm than this one. An excellent collection of late sixties to early seventies sides from Heman Chin-Loy's Aquarius and Scorpio labels (not to be confused with fellow Chinese-Jamaican producer Clive Chin, who ran Randy's recording studio and the Impact! label). Mainly instrumentals here (including some of Augustus Pablo's first recordings - "Iggy Iggy" from 1969!), and a bunch of vocal sides, dubs and deejay cuts, all of them superb. Closes with a track from the great Aquarius Dub set, one of the first straight dub LPs and a crucial Jamaican release still awaiting proper reissue (although it's relatively easy to find on vinyl). Crucial stuff. *tOm*


You Can Touch - THE A-LINES (SFTRI 2005 - LP)

Great new late 70s style punk’n’roll all-girl band from merry old England here, composed of ex-Headcoatees, ex-Stuck-ups and ex-wives of Billy Childish. Well “girls”, these ladies must all be past the peak of thirty by now, but that doesn’t slow them down one bit and they seem to have a lot more spirit then most of the female outfits (or bands in general) out there. This has that Mersey-beat/Toe Rag feel all over it and it could fit in perfectly in the Damaged Goods roster, as ol’ Billy himself was fiddling the knobs. Musically the sound is pretty close to Thee Headcoatees but with more punkrock thrown in or maybe like a female version of the Armitage Shanks. Very cool bouncy songs with funny/witty lyrics sung in English and some kind of retarded Dutch. My current favourites being songs like,……aaah, hell, the entire album kicks ass! A great cover of “Agitated” by The Electric Eels though. I’m probably overreacting as usual but I think we got a serious competitor for “best all-girl punkrecord of 2005” here. *sAm*


Bassholes - BASSHOLES (Dead Canary Records 2005 - CD)

The long-awaited seventh album, following 1998's 'When My Blue Moon Turns Red'. How time flies indeed. I love just about everything Don Howland's done so far, and this one's no exception. It's got the spotless hifi sound of 'My Blue Moon', sounds less tormented than the mid-nineties recordings (but still pretty damn bleak), and compared to Don's exceptionally macabre solo album, 'The Land Beyond The Mountains' (2002), occasionally, the music almost sounds cheerful, comforting. Almost. Maybe it's the jaunty banjo on some of the songs, or the dobro and harmonica on others, adding a little warmth to the guitar and drum wallop. The second electric guitar on some of the tracks sounds great too. Maybe we'll see the Bassholes developing into a three-piece someday, who knows. Like every new Bassholes album, this one's unlike any of the others, but still everything you've come to expect is there: Don's trademark howl, Bim's fantastic drumming, excellent covers (Blind Willie McTell, The Who, Lew Lewis), traditionals ("Shortnin' Bread"), and a couple of new versions of familiar Don Howland originals (e.g.,"Daughter", previously on the 'Deaf Mix' LP). It took me a while to get into this one, but as always, the effort's paid off. Let's hope the next album won't take another seven years... *tOm*


Touch In Love b/w Chuck-A-Muck - BBQ N BLACKSNAKE (SSLD 013 - 7")

Got Time b/w Cold Hands - GOLDEN BOYS (SSLD 017 - 7")

She Just Don't Care b/w Workers - LUXURY RIDES (SSLD 018 - 7")

Ghosts of You b/w Black Coal Heart - A FEAST OF SNAKES (SSLD 019 - 7")

Pop Culture b/w Modern Day Monster - PONYS (SSLD 020 - 7")

Besides a silly name and ridiculously small pressings, the Italian Solid Sex Lovie Doll label releases high quality music in ugly as hell sleeves (the BBQ/BLACKSNAKE 7" wins on points by the way). Mr. Z has just spit out 5 new releases but while you are reading this, I'm afraid they will be long gone. As far as the BBQ/BLACKSNAKE single goes, nothing to cry about since both songs sound like they were recorded two blocks away from the studio. The sound is dull & muffled and there's not much of a chance that this 7" will meet your turntable very often. The other 4 releases however are worth every Lira ooops Euro. THE PONYS deliver 2 great tunes that will be enjoyed by the fans and hated by the others. Me like it very much! THE GOLDEN BOYS are the real deal. Well, at least for a '68 Comeback devotee like me. Take a great song, strip it to the bone and pour tons of raw blues over it. What we get are two excellent sides that'll make you die for a live show by these Texan gents. Another high-quality product by James Arthur & Co! THE LUXURY RIDES are Screamin' Joe Burdick and Nick Lloyd from The Dirtys, Choyce from The Del-Gators/Les Sexareenos/Daylight Lovers and Wes from The Clone Defects. "She Just Don't Care" will be one of the highlights of 2005 while "Workers" ain't an inferior B-side but another great trashy rock 'n roll rollercoaster. Great! Great! Great! Once you are a fan of A FEAST OF SNAKES' primal screech, you gulp down everything which doesn't mean this ain't a great 7-inch mind you! Especially "Black Coal Heart" is another fine addition to their brutal legacy! Hey wait, stop crying, just send an email to and subscribe to the SSLD Records newsletter so you can lay your hands on these primitive wax editions next time while they're shit hot... *luKe*


(I'm a) Lie Detector/Dear Lorna - BUFF MEDWAYS (Damaged Goods 2005 - 7")

A band that's named after a breed of chicken (or any farm animal for that matter!) and has some kind of World War I gimmick going, can't do anything wrong with me, definitely not if Billy Childish is involved. Live, I thought this was Thee Headcoats all over again, but on record they're the fucking Buff Medways alright. The A side of this 45 is taken from their new second full-length "Medway Wheelers", but the winning hen sits on the flip. *tOm*


A Rare Sensation - THE CHINESE STARS (Three One G Records 2005 - CD)

I first found out about this band when they played a show at the Scheld’apen squat in Antwerp, which totally blew me away. Pounding beat, screechy yet hooky and monotonous guitar parts all delivered with a sexed up brutality making you move your limbs in a most spastic/ridiculous way. All this was actually not surprising when it became clear to me that this included ex-members of Arab On Radar. So when the show was over the only thing left to do was to drag my pina colada drained ass over to their merch stand to pick up the album. Woke up the next day and popped the cd into the player. Still good, but not as great as the previous night’s live experience. This sound a lot cleaner than their live set, and it’s not the pina colada talking now, live it was just a lot rawer and wilder. I think “The Girls of Las Vegas” is a great song though and at least I’ll play this more than just once or twice. *sAm*


DEERHUNTER/ALPHABETS (Die Slaughterhaus Records 2005 - 7")

For all of you who might not already know, Die Slaughterhaus is the house/label of the Black Lips that apart from drunken parties and teenage kids throwing televisions of the roof also hosts some fine releases, hence my attention to this split 7” of two Atlanta bands who were previously unknown to me. The a-side features this great band called Deerhunter, who have sadly split up by now. They do some kind of slowed down artpunk stuff that reminds me of the A-frames, but more punk or I don’t know, a more chilled out Brainbombs? The other side features the Alphabets, an all-girl synth no-wave band, herky-jerky keyboard and teengirl “singing” that sounds somewhat like a bad version of The Numbers or something but fails to amaze entirely. Four tunes by these girls, tunes that sadly never make it into real “songs”. Oh well, all the more reason to turn it over and listen to Deerhunter again. *sAm*


Yeah Baby!!! - THE FATALS (Zaxxon Virile Action 7" - 2005)

This is the 4th 7" of The Fatals from Toulouse and although there's nothing new under the rock 'n roll terrordome, it's another ear-piercing addition to their ruthless disco-graphy. Last week I attended a devastatingly raw but super-exciting show at the fabulous Pit's and I was amazed how these crazy Frenchmen transformed their merciless punknoise into an adventurous gig. On stage, they delivered a scorching mix of primal Oblivians, Laughing Hyenas and Action Swingers drenched in sloughes of desperate blues doom. I can only say that all the appraisal is totally justified : The Fatals are one of the most exciting bands around these days and these 3 hot-blooded tunes here should win you over. Nuff said. *luKe*


Raw Dawg, Raw Deal - THE FUNCTIONAL BLACKOUTS (Wrench Records 2005 - 7")

Shhhheeeeuuuuw, finally a new release by Chicago’s most abrasive punk students The Functional Blackouts, who’s album and previous 7”s had totally blown me away. They lost some members and I was afraid they had split up or something, but with this new 3 song little package they just continue in their usual debauchery. Totally fucked up noisepunk filled with aggression and nihilism in the tradition of the great Urinals. If you like that kind of bullshit, this is a go-getter. I also think it’s the perfect record to have lying on your turntable when your hipster friends come over and start whining about how “relevant” The Raveonettes are. *sAm*


I wanna be blind 7” + Hate Delirium Fucks My Brain LP - THE GRABBIES (Proud To Be Idiot Records)

It must be hard, boring and gloomy times for band like The Grabbies to be as ignored as they are. These guys hail from Italy and play hardcore, real hardcore, hardcore devoid of any Korn, Hatebreed, emo, “oh yeah they’re playing the Ozzfest” bullshit and mediocrity. These guys are fast, furious, obnoxious, drunk and frustrated in a way it scares even a guy as cynical as myself. These guys reach back to the days of The Meatmen, Bad Brains, Dicks, Circle Jerks and seem to be mainly occupied with playing in dirty basements, wearing Black Flag shirts and getting beaten up by jocks behind the bowling ally. They would go great on a bill with bands like lets say: Career Suicide, Direct Control, We March, Out Cold, The Krunchies or Holy Shit! or something and for me personally they get an extra plus for the notes on their “I wanna be blind” 7”: “fuck you and fuck the scene, punks are dumber than cops, die, no really, die”. If you still somewhat like hardcore or need to be guided away from A.F.I., then get both these releases asap! *sAm*


Hans-A-Plast - HANS-A-PLAST (Re-Force Records 2005 - LP)

"Zack, zack, ich bin ein Polizeiknüppel!!" The coolest lyric in months comes from this seminal femme-fronted punk Kollektiv. Hans-a-plast formed in Hannover, Germany in 1978. This, their full-length debut, was recorded on a shoestring in September 1979, released the following month, and hoping to sell 1,000 records to break even, by the end of the same year, the label had shifted a whopping 10,000! Musically, think X-Ray Spex rather than Kleenex, and despite occasional twists and turns and starts and stops, their sound is pretty straightforward punk. Their feminist ideology and political leanings are of the mild variety (the pigs are pigs, American tourists are pigs, and macho pigs are pigs too), so it all adds to rather than detracts from the overall fun feel of the music. This legit vinyl reissue is an exact repro of the original 1979 Lava edition (including a cool zine/lyric sheet) and is limited to 1,000. The cd version has two bonus cuts. Their subsequent albums, "Hans-a-plast 2" from 1980 and "Ausradiert" from 1983, have also been reissued on cd earlier this year. *tOm*


Send A Message - HIGH TENSION WIRES (Dirtnap Records 2005 - LP)

Yet another new project out of Austin, TX, the High Tension Wires include members of The Riverboat Gamblers and are taking me completely off guard with this great first album. This is punk/powerpop that is melodic but hooky, sweet but dangerous, fast and simply mind-blowing. They obviously get their influences from late 70’s punk and powerpop (hence a Kids cover) but they remind me mostly of that other great Austin band, The Marked Men. Don’t expect this to be a second Riverboat Gamblers though, as it’s a lot different from that, but if you even slightly like (good) catchy punkrock then this is one mighty fine purchase. *sAm*


Human Eye - HUMAN EYE (In The Red Records 2005 - LP)

Timmy Vulgar of the late Clone Defects new noise/ punk/ wave/ weirdo band Human Eye. I don’t really know what to compare this to, which is a plus, but let's say something like a totally fucked up crossbreeding between The Piranhas and the A-Frames with a mean keyboard that has been locked up naked in a dark basement for twenty years with nothing to eat but razors and cockroaches and the only sound being screamers, primitive calculators and swell maps records. If I am to believe all the rumours, these gentlemen seem able to evoke this exact same attitude on stage, with show that includes anything from setting rubbish on fire to using a living octopus as headgear (and then micro-waving the poor animal). This is weird as hell and could contain anything from jazz to Hawkwind over Kraftwerk to 70’s killed by death punk but boring it is not. If you like your rock’n’roll to be ultra-iconoclastic, then this is the thing you have been waiting for. *sAm*


Tribute to rhythm and blues volumes 1 & 2 - CHUCK JACKSON (Ace Records 2005 - CD)

Chuck Jackson started in the Dell-Vikings as a doo-wop singer in the late fifties and ended up as a soul/r'n'b hit machine. He's a bit forgotten nowadays, maybe 'cause lots of his recordings suffer a lousy production and are stuffed with lots of cheesy bits. But now Ace has just released his best albums ‘Tribute to rhythm and blues vol. 1 and vol. 2’ on one cd, both released in 1966. Those 2 albums are closely related to Otis Redding’s' 'Otis Blue': you won't find originals on it, nope, what you get is Jackson interpreting well known hits such as Sam Cooke's “A change is gonna come”, The Stones' “Satisfaction” and Sam & Dave's “Hold on! I'm coming”. But this is done with so much subtlety and so much joy that one might forget that some of these songs are a bit less interesting than others. No crappy production or arrangements on this cd, no whooo's or whaaa's from some porcelain dolls in the background. All of the tracks were recorded live in the studio without overdubs, just like at a nightclub. The music is sweet but never slick. Great stuff! *M&M*


Kung-Fu Escalator - KUNG-FU ESCALATOR (Yakisakana Records 2005 - 10")

Vwat ist héppening? Aftzeur tzie décades of tzie neuthing, la France elle fait “boum” de rock’n’roll! Tzeir are all tzese gwreat nuw bands like tzie fatals, mighty go-go players, magnetix, sonic chicken four, crash normal, volt, etc. and one of tzie best of tzese are définitély tzee kung fu escalator. Itz coontains mémbérs of tzie fatals et continue dans le même façon in maeking tzie eunbelievibalie gwreat oblivians/ reatards noizy poenkwrock’n’roll. I tzink iet ies even better tzen all tzie nuclear testing, tzie barets, tzie mimes and tzie croissants dans le monde all teugether. *sAm*


Boogie, Blues and Bounce - LITTLE WILLIE LITTLEFIELD (Ace Records 2005 - CD)

Back in 1947, Modern Records was looking for an answer to Amos Milburn, the biggest R&B name at the time. It had to be someone who could both sing and bang the ivories like no other. The answer was Little Willie Littlefield who soon became one of Modern's most important signings. Where the first volume 'Kat On The Keys' focussed primarily on Willie’s later Modern sessions, this second volume goes back to the earliest days (the late 1940s and early 1950s). Little Willie Littlefield will always be remembered as a boogie woogie bluesman par excellence and here are the recordings that built that reputation. As the title implies this CD displays every facet of his talent as a singer and piano pounder. It includes the remaining sides originally issued on Modern 78s, plus a massive 14 previously unissued masters and/or rehearsal demos featuring just the Kat and his piano. These killer cuts are a genuine delight for all R&B lovers. A less important detail, but one that makes this collection complete is a fantastic picture of Little Willie Littlefield & Pee Wee Crayton on stage in full action. Heehaw, let it all loose! Those must have been the days!!! *M&M*


Chrome Tape - MOTORMARK (Digital Hardcore Recordings 2005 - CD)

Picked this up after their (in my humble opinion) great set at the Pit’s where this girl/guy, guitar/drummachine, female vocals duo blew me away with some quiet refreshing electropunk. This band comes from Scotland and although I had never heard of them before they needed only 5 minutes or so into their set to convince this drunken goof that he was looking at something very promising. Savage beats, raging guitar parts, siouxie alike vocals and a pretty dark attitude makes for one mighty fine record as well, that leaves us with one more band from the British empire to cherish. Fans of Volt, Nazis From Mars, Meine Kleine Deutsche or Digital Leather will eat this up like yummy plumpudding. *sAm*


Celebration Castle - THE PONYS (In The Red Records 2005 - LP)

I’m kind of a fan so I had been really looking forward to this new album of my favourite Chicago Velvet Underground/Modern Lovers /70’s punk inspired wave pop rockers The Ponys. I must say this had to take it’s time to sink in, as they slow things down a bit and it’s less rocking compared to their first 'Laced With Romance' album. Screams of 'Britpop' where to be heard everywhere but I don’t agree with that. After a couple more spins the greatness of this album really starts to shine through, especially songs as wonderful as “Glass Conversation” or “She’s broken”, that is sung by their bassplayer Melissa. An amazing band with a new album that has risen incredibly in my appreciation these last few weeks and is currently my favourite Sunday morning/ afternoon record. *sAm*


Out To Stud - SEXTON MING (RIM 2004 - CD)

Always found this Sexton Ming character a rather interesting chap. A cross-eyed, cross-dressing and home recording renaissance idiot, who once made a record with Billy Childish called "Ypres 1917 Ouverture" (please contact me if you have a copy for sale)... all excellent credentials. Still, I never felt compelled to spend too much cash on his music, poetry books, and, worse even, spoken word recordings. While in London last Spring, I found out about this exposition of Sexton Ming paintings and that's where I heard this CD. The damn thing is amazing. Very much unlike his two latest collaborations with Billy Childish on Damaged Goods (basically annoying lofi affairs that were kinda big on attitude, but low on content) this one's a very listenable, varied and highly enjoyable collection of well-crafted songs. Songs of the off-kilter and bizarre variety of course, with lyrics that occasionally dip deep into the surreal (some downright funny moments too, but the kind of funny that doesn't wear thin after the second spin). A hybrid of Beefheart and Barrett filtered through an early 80s DIY post-punk esthetic (and brought to you under the 'outsider music' moniker...). Easy comparisons maybe, but not far off the mark. This might be one of this year's great unsung records. Don't miss it. *tOm*


Sweet Nice And Happy - SUPERHELICOPTER (P-Trash Records 2005 - LP)

Whaaa!! This is what I call one raw, trashy garagepunk record. After a whole lot of 7”s this German 5-piece kills with this first (?) full length of musical filth. Raging guitar, some crazy organ parts à la The Coachwhips and "Gay Generation" is probably going to be my hate anthem of the year. Shit, this is the band Turbonegro could have been if they weren’t so goddamn gay. “Drink, fight, fuck,..we got nothing to loooose!!” YEAH! *sAm*


The dead stay dumb - Thee Bastouns (Amiante 2005 - CD)

Ok, I might be just a little biased about this as these guys are personal friends of mine but compared to a lot of other bands in the northern France/ Flemish region I think these guys are the shit. Hailing from Lille, France they play Cheater Slicks fuckedupness and drone combined with Pussy Galorish noise and some Sonic Youth thrown in for good measure, but combined with a party attitude of getting drunk, trying way to hard to get those girls and keeping it all pretty DIY. You can download this from their website or get it dirt cheap at one of their shows. As far as shows go this is probably the perfect band to play your basement or living room, them being very drunk and nice and all, they will however get Bicky Burger sauce all over your carpet, not that that should spoil the party or anything, but I’m just sayin’. *sAm*


Energy + The Wet Ones/Christine - THE TIME FLYS (Birdman Records 2004 - 2x7")

This band came under my attention because it was in the 'current favourites' list of many people in Maximum Rock’n’Roll (I know, I know). So after reading some reviews I decided to give these guys a shot and I ordered both their 7”s from Birdman Records, which is also ran by Larry Hardy of In The Red. What you get here is some GREAT Heartbreakers/ Dictators / New York Dolls-y proto-punk stuff but with a modern day workover, so that it sounds authentic and refreshing at the same time. Really cool guitar driven tunes with some unexpecting tempo changes and that great “old leather jacket and ripped blue jeans” feel. Of these two 7” I think “Energy” is the best one although “Wet Ones” is also great. They seem to have an album out now as well and I just can’t wait to hear it. *sAm*


Will Put A Charge In You - TOKYO ELECTRON (Shattered Records 2005 - 7")

Tokyo Electron is the band from Ryan "Elvis" Wong who used to play in The Reatards and probably still does as the band has recently arisen from the garbage dump and will be touring Europe soon. Last year's "Make Me Bleed" debut 7" on the Italian scum collector label SSLD was issued in a hand-numbered edition of a mere 300 copies so very little people had actually the chance to hear it. Totally ridiculous because "Make Me Bleed" turned out to be one hell of a monster 7" and was chosen by many people as one of the very best punkrock 7-inches of 2004. After a Soulseek download of the 4 songs, I can only agree. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to Tokyo Electron’s next offering which has just been released on Jay Reatard's Shattered Records. Again, it's a very limited edition but fortunately, Shattered Records has done two repressings so far so maybe you can still find a copy. You should because "Will Put A Charge In You" is another winner! Of the 3 songs here, the B-side “Put A Charge In You” is the real standout cut. Ryan’s manic vocals and the trashy, wild guitars create an exciting groovy sound that is hard to resist. A full album is in the making and will be released on Shattered Records too. Great! *luKe*


Kings of Benin Urban Groove 1972-80 - T.P. ORCHESTRE POLY-RYTHMO DE COTONOU (Soundway Records 2005 - CD)

After two CDs worth of obscure afro funk gems from Ghana, Soundway's latest labor of love concentrates on the heyday of one of the finest yet most overlooked West African big bands. A household name in their home country Benin to this day, Orchestre Poly-Rythmo is said to have produced up to fifty LPs and about one hundred 45s. The first international retrospective of their music appeared in 2003 on the Popular African Music imprint. The Soundway folks claim that their compilation concentrates on the funkier side of the Poly-Rythmo output rather than the latin and soukous material favored on the 2003 release, but still I find the variety displayed on this new comp quite impressive. This makes Fela Kuti and a lot of the bands from neighboring Nigeria sound like one-trick pony's. Nigeria's capital Lagos being just a short drive away meant that the Beninois could benefit from its excellent recording facilities, which is why all Poly-Rythmo recordings sound crystal clear. This is an exemplary, extremely well executed package (informative liner notes and well laid out with tons of pictures of the original, impossibly rare records) and the music is great. However, if you're only interested in the rawest or most offbeat of post-colonial African music (Ethiopian 60s soul, hard afro funk and maybe some Syliphone or Senegalese stuff) you'll probably want to pass up on this and stick with the two Ghana Soundz compilations mentioned above. *tOm*



Trikont keeps pumping out high quality products like there's no tomorrow. Hot on the heels of last year's fantastic 'Dirty Laundry', which highlighted the country and western strains in deep soul music, comes this monster, the label's third deep soul release if you count 1998's 'Down and Out - The Sad Soul of the Black South'. What we got here is 23 mostly great cuts dealing with "moral questions such as guilt and repentance, remorse and revenge, hope and despair in the twilight of love", which is a quote from compiler Jonathan Fischer's elaborate liner notes and not from 'Dostoevsky for Dummies' or something... This Fischer guy makes a great successor to southern soul authority Dave Godin, who passed away not so long ago, because this is yet another masterful selection of songs. Recommended. *tOm*



Oh yes I know, you've heard it all before and you've heard it too many times. Another blues compilation! Your mum got one for free when she bought a new pair of slippers and your dad has that massive Poppa Chubby tattoo on his ear lobe. But hey, Mr. Hearditall, let me tell you something : this ain't what you thinking! First of all, this is a new Ace release, so chances that you'll hear the same ole' stuff again or that you'll get some shitty stuff are reduced to - let's put it straight - 0! First some facts and figures. We're talking about the fourth chapter in 'The Modern Downhome Blues Sessions'. Modern Records was active in the 40s and 50s, a time when all kinds of blues were flourishing. This CD covers the 'Southern Country Blues Guitarists" from 1948 to 1952 and features various guitarists recorded on various locations in the South : Atlanta, Georgia, Dallas and Louisville. Featured artists are Alexander Moore with Smokey Hogg, Jesse Thomas, Pine Top Slim, Leroy Simpson, Lane Hardin, Big Bill Dotson, Little Son Jackson and Big Charley Bradix. Indeed not the regular hotshots you find on the average compilation! Original Modern recordings are damn difficult to find but this volume offers you 28 smokin' hot tracks from which 7 of them are previously unreleased! It's wailing, soul-stirring blues in its purest and rawest form, stripped to the bone. As usual this release is accompanied with a 15 pages booklets full of relevant information and pictures. I checked out the former volume too which is called 'Memphis On Down' and another must have! *M&M*


SOUTHERN FUNKIN’ : LOUISIANA FUNK AND SOUL 1967-1979 (Ace Records 2005 - CD)

Louisiana as the centre of soul and funk is usually associated with New Orleans but this compilation goes geographically and musically much further. This cd shows what was going on around Shreveport, Baton Rouge and the Cajun regions of southwest Louisiana. Creole, cajun and zydeco definitely had an influence on these 22 tracks, all of them deeply rooted in the bayous. Most of these songs are from Eddie Shuler’s Goldband group of labels and from cajun label Swallow Records. I was a bit afraid when I saw the covered period: 1979 is a bit late for raw soul and funk. Disco was taking over and the search for hi-quality tunes coming from that period must have been a hell of a job. But there's really nothing to worry about. Katie Webster’s 1979 track "Hell or high water" for example is a real gem. If you're not aware that there was life beyond The Meters at that time, you should spoil the rest of your teeth with this candy. As this is an Ace release, there is plenty of information, lots of label scans and hauntingly beautiful pictures in the booklet. *M&M*


SONGS OF PONTUS - RECORDINGS OF 1930 (Kalan Müzik 2003 - 2CD)

The Pontians derive their name from the area they are originally from; Pontos is located in Asia Minor, Northern Turkey. After the so-called Asia Minor Catastrophe in 1922 the area went to Turkey and the first Pontic Greeks moved into Greece. The others had been forced to leave Pontos and move to the emptier parts of the Soviet Union, such as Kazakstan, Abhazia and the Crimea area. From these parts, the massive movement of the Pontians into Greece began after the collapse of the Soviet Union. I suppose you get an idea by now of the history of The Pontians : tragedy & loss. This book-shaped double CD is an exemplary anthology devoted to Pontic Greek music as recorded in Athens in 1930. Most of the songs are unaccompanied solo folk singing but sometimes the singers accompany themselves on lyra. This is outsider music, not as melodious and bewitching as Rembetika but still very gloomy. Each song is explained briefly and the packaging is pure gold. ‘Pontus Sarkilari’ is best enjoyed as a document of a minority group seeking solace in music as a way of survival. This music won’t work on a sunny afternoon, but for those lonely dark nights it’s the ideal companion. Check out for samples and ordering info. *luKe*



What is there to say about this one? It's all in the title. Choice cuts are the unreleased Reigning Sound and Lost Sounds tunes. Mystery Girls - a band I hadn't heard until now - rock pretty damn hard too. Song-by-song notes by Larry Hardy, promo chatter from the guy who does the Letters Have No Arms blog, and apocalyptic artwork by whom I suppose is one of Jon and Christina's little brats. If not, that Charlie Spencer is one sorry artiste. *tOm*


1392: The Persian New Wave: Underground out of the Islamic republic of Iran (Tian An Men 89 Records 2004 - LP)

What the fuck is this?! Iranian punk? This thing interested me so much I just had to pick it up. Actually the focus on a country like Iran in this case isn’t so weird as this was released by tian an men 89 records, a label that specialises in releasing records by indie/punk bands from all over the third world, from countries like Kyrgystan, Kazachstan, Nepal, Bosnia, Indonesia, etc. because otherwise these bands would never be able to make a record due to poverty, war, oppressive governments, the lack of a real record industry, etc…. Ok, this is all very nice you’re probably thinking, but what about the fucking music? Well musically this is anything but a 100% punk album as it includes anything from techno beats and samples to acoustic guitar and chanting but I must say I’m surprisingly amused. Their alienation from western music (pink floyd is the only western band that is legal in Iran) seems to have driven/caused these bands, which often only consist of two people or are solo projects, to do some very original and interesting stuff. They obviously take elements of modern punk/noise/indie/metal… but in some cases really turn it into something so totally of their own that I can’t really put my finger on it. A band like olaanbator for example, who use acoustic guitar, synthesizer and bongos in a way that leaves you shaking your head in a “what the hell is this” fashion, but in a good way, or dark earth, who play some kind of Iranian techno/death metal crossover with a kind of oriental sounding guitar part throughout the whole thing. Call me an idiot, but I think it sounds awesome. Also some more straight up punk stuff like the fat rats for example. All songs are in Persian, so I don’t understand a word except for the translated songtitles such as “jang”(war) and “dars”(school) proving once more that punkrock song themes are quiet international. So for all you “punk as fuck” types this might come as a disappointment but if you’re interested in what other cultures can do to the “punk” archetype then this record (and other tian an men 89 releases) might be just the thing for you. *sAm*


Vancouver Complication - VARIOUS (Sudden Death Records 2005 - CD)

I’ve always liked geographically themed compilations. Compilations that document a particular scene, city, region, county because I think it’s cool to have different bands on a record that played together, knew each other and possibly influenced one another and you get a good idea of what is/was going on in that particular area, which might even have produce somewhat of an own local “sound”. A as far as that sort of a compilation goes this “Vancouver compilation” is one heck of a fine threat. This was originally released in 1979 in three different pressings and on a total of 4000 copies that now most probably all reside in dusty Canadian attics or in the collections of the more notorious amongst punkrock’s historians. But thanks to the good people at sudden death records this has been re-released for every Joe Ordinary (including myself) to play it in his/her cd player and it even contains some extra tracks. This is an almost complete overview of the Vancouver punk/wave scene 1977-1979 and man oh man some goodies it contains, the most well known band on this is probably DOA with two superb tracks of their first 7”: “kill, kill, this is pop” and especially “I hate you”, that makes for another raging teenage anthem. Apart from that you are simply bombarded by hits as performed by the likes of: the pointed sticks (best powerpop band ever?), subhumans (obviously), wasted lives, dishrags (great girlpunk band), active dog (herky-jerky wavey punky), rude Norton (surfpunk perverts) and tons of other great stuff. Only sad thing is the modernettes aren’t featured because they formed only a couple of months after it was decided what bands would appear on the comp. You can go out and buy killed by death nr. 7982 filled with stuff that is more “rare” then actually good, or you can do yourself a favour with this great compilation, made back in the day with the sweat and tears (whatever that means) and efforts of the people who cared. *sAm*